Awwww Monday: Mom and me

When you become a parent, you finally appreciate and understand what your mother did.
~Julianne Moore

Last Saturday was my birthday and we took a day trip to Kansas City. While we were there, we stopped by to see the woman who birthed me all those many decades ago.

At 85, she is still kicking’ and lives independently with her husband in their own home. Good genes. May I be as fortunate when I get to be 85.

Like all mother/daughter dynamics, those teen and early adult years were all sorts of challenging. I remember giving my parents flowers on my 21st birthday with an “I’m sorry” card. A perfect child I was not.

Appreciate your mom. She’s wiser than you think and stronger than you know.
~Steve Maraboli

So fast forward to 2019, and I’ve come to realize just how difficult it is to parent young children…..as well as adult children. And, over the years, I’ve developed an appreciation for my mom’s back stories and the experiences she had as a young woman, wife and mother. Perspective is everything when you take yourself out of the center of attention.

I’ve also come to realize a child’s birthday is just as much a birth day for the mom as the child. Moms usually get lost in the hoopla of the child’s special day, surrounded by well wishers and gifts. For most moms, the joys of watching her children upstage the sacrifices she made physically, psychologically, emotionally and financially. Sacrifices many women will never begin to understand until they are mothers themselves.

So next time you have a birthday, enjoy the attention, say thank you for the gifts, and don’t forget to acknowledge the woman who made it possible.

Blog hopping today with Comedy Plus and Awwww Monday. 

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Spring…I found it!

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If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant:
if we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome.
~Anne Bradstreet 

Rarely has spring felt so welcome as after this winter. Who’s with me on this one? Well, look at that….everyone’s hand shot up! I’m not surprised. It was a long, cold, brutal winter in most of the country.

But I think it’s safe to say winter is finished and let’s all decide right now that we’re not going to dwell in the past. There are much warmer, brighter days to turn out attention towards! But…remembering the past is what makes spring sooooo welcome, isn’t it? Especially this year. If it wasn’t for the harshness of this past winter, we wouldn’t now appreciate spring nearly as much because we would have had anything to compare it to.

Adversity in our life is much like that brutal winter we all just survived. These *winter seasons* are recurring periods when trials and challenges relentlessly blow through our lives. And all we want to do is duck our heads, turn away and hide from the harsh, bone-chilling weather. We know we just need to do what it takes to survive and ride it out, knowing it will eventually pass…but it’s so hard to not get sucked into the abyss of hopelessness while going through it. And when it does pass, we enjoy life again…renewed, refreshed and more appreciative of the good things in our lives.

But if we never have adversity in our lives, how will we ever know joy feels like? How will we ever differentiate between the two? If our days are nothing but an endless stream of butterflies and rainbows, how will we ever really learn how to appreciate our good fortune?

Surviving adversity is like surviving this past winter. When it passes, we welcome the warmth of spring as it rejuvenates the earth and brings life back to the desolation left in winter’s wake. When we survive those times of adversity, we emerge more focused and thankful for the blessings and joys we realize were really there all along…we were just too defocused to remember their warmth.

Now for Five Random Friday Finds For Spring!

1. I *found* spring on a walk this past week. The above photo is of a Bradford Pear tree that decided winter is finished and is ready to announce the arrival of spring. Cue the trumpets.

2. The grass greened up and seemingly grew 3 inches overnight. Entrepreneur will actually need to mow this evening. Guess the plow blade can officially come off the John Deere riding mower. Hallelujah.

3. The Investigator gave in and bought flowers for our front entry containers. I try and resist until the first of May, but can tell you with confidence that I probably won’t last that long this year. Time is short….buy flowers!

4. We sold the pool table to make way for a playroom in our lower level for the grandbabykins. I feel a trip to Hobby Lobby in our near future.

5. The Golfer is coming home late tonight for the weekend. Twix is being baptized and the Golfer is playing the role of Godmom. If you remember, she came home for a while but moved back to Florida after Christmas when it dawned on her she couldn’t hack didn’t care for the cold winters in middle Missouri.

Hope you all have a wonderfully warm weekend.

Linking up with Random Five Friday and Friday Finds.
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Random Friday Finds for March 14

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Texture by Kim Klassen: Pinit2, soft light 80%

You’ve only got three choices in life: Give up, give in or give it all you’ve got.
~Unknown

How true is this quote I discovered for Kim’s Friday Finds? How often do we feel like we just want to give up and give in to life’s adversarial circumstances? I believe it’s because giving up/giving in to everything from a 5-year-old’s hard-headed stubbornness to a major life spitball is so much easier than digging in to fight the long fight.

We tend to throw in the towel because giving everything we’ve got for the long haul is really super hard. And we don’t like hard. We want easy. We want perfect without the practice. We want what we want….without exerting any more effort than we think is absolutely necessary…much like that little 5-year-old.

Life….give your all to the stuff that matters most….because in the end, those are the only things worthwhile.

Now for Nancy’s Radom Five:

1. Today would have been my dad’s 86th birthday. But he passed in 1992 at the age of 64, one year from being able to retire. I think there’s a lesson in that story. Retire early? Yes, please. But the bigger lesson is to make sure we make every moment count with those we love. My last memory is of celebrating Thanksgiving…taking for granted we had lots years ahead of us…thinking our daughters would have countless times to make memories with him…never realizing that within a week, he’d be gone. Life…yes, it is short. Stop wasting time and give it all you’ve got.

2. Entrepreneur replaced our perfectly good television. We are now proud owners of a 65 inch, high-definition one. To accommodate this, he had the bridges in our entertainment center extended. The good news is the picture is so crisp and clear that we can see the pores on the faces of the people on the screen. The bad news is he forgot to increase the size of the family room.

3. Peanut is obsessed with the movie Frozen, and is working on the lyrics to many of the songs. This has led to a new Peanutism…Rememberize. I’ve rememberized a lot of the words to the songs, Nana. Yes, baby, you certainly have!

4. Peanut is now officially registered for kindergarten. Exactly, how and when did she get old enough for *big school*?! We went to visit the elementary school and turn in her paperwork…which BTW, is the same school her Mama and Godmom went to when they were younger. It seems like just yesterday. So many memories flooded back as we walked the halls. Life…yes, it is short. Stop wasting time and give it all you’ve got. Do you see a theme here?
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kindergarten reg 3

5. Twix was 5 weeks old last Monday. Mama got her first social smile yesterday while they were running errands. That’s always such a thrill when your baby looks at you and there’s a “Hey, I know you” connection in their eyes…and then they smile. Those are the times that really fill your heart with joy.
Twix-5 weeks

Life…yes, it is short. Stop wasting time and give it all you’ve got.

Linking up with Random Five Friday and Friday Finds
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Recipe for a good life

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Textures by Kim Klassen; 1010 at 70% screen; 1111 at 100% soft light

Life is full of give and take.
Give thanks and take nothing for granted.
~Linda Poindexter

Gone is the blaze of Autumn glory from the trees and bushes. What’s left is the rigid, branchy framework that supports the buds in the spring, leafy shade in the summer and eye candy in the fall. So often we take for granted this supportive framework…only choosing to look at the lovely window dressing.

The freshness of spring, lushness of summer and beauty of fall have now given way to a more somber season…a season of reflection and thanksgiving. Have you ever thought it odd that Thanksgiving corresponds with a time of year that appears more uninviting than other months? Do you think it’s to draw our focus away from external appearances and help us to focus more internally? Could it be a deep breath before the glitter and sparkle of the holidayz distract us once again?

Thanksgiving….a time we overeat and sit in front of the TV watching football pause and count our blessings; a time to reflect on what’s important and re-prioritize our attitudes.

Thanksgiving…a season to look at the framework of our lives and recognize the importance of its support. A framework that holds us together and gives us stability throughout the different, and sometimes difficult, seasons of our lives.

How often do we take people in this framework for granted? When was the last time we said thank you to someone for being there for us? It could be a heartfelt I love you said in such a way that conveys deep appreciation instead of a quick, passing phrase. It could be an embrace that lasts a little longer than usual. It may be quietly taking their hand and conveying our gratitude with a smile.

Many of us are entering the holidays without someone we love around anymore. May we always remember to not take anything or anyone in our lives for granted. Life is short…as  Autumn reminds us as it slips quietly into Winter’s grasp.

And may we always remember to give thanks to the One who has given us the people and blessings in our framework. People and blessings we sometimes casually take for granted.

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you. Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! ~Psalm 118:28-29 

Linking up with Quotography: Remembrance and Thankfulness,
Texture Tuesday and Texture Twist
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