Thursday, May 19, 2011

May Mom Blog

So, when Nadia and I started out this month, we had thrown together a last minute idea hoping for the best. What we got was an overwhelming response and an indescribable group of women that have touched my heart in more ways than I can count. So overwhelming, in fact, that we actually have a few days scheduled in June to fill out the overflow!

Being a mother can be all-consuming. It can be difficult. It can be wonderful. And these women are showing us all the different facets on a daily basis. We've had a military wife, an adoptive mom, a mother of an autistic son, and so many more.

The thing that I have gained most from this experience is that we are all so different, yet so alike. We all struggle, we all rejoice. And having this community of moms to celebrate motherhood has also, I hope, created an additional support system to other moms. We can share our successes and our failures together because we know what it's like.

I am so proud to be a mother of two amazing kids. And even through the rough days when they are yelling and driving me crazy, once I tuck them in bed, I see what a true blessing they are to me. And even without a crystal ball, I know that they are going to be amazing people. My hope is that I will do right by them every step of the way.

Today was actually supposed to be a post by Debra at Write On Target, but she ran into a little snafu in her plans. But, please be sure to check out her blog. She is a writer and is actually a local friend to me.

And if you are just now checking in with the #MayMomBlog hop, please check out the chart that I have listed below to find the ones you've missed. Yesterday's hostess was Carrie at The Sweetest, so any listed after her are our future hostesses.

NadiaMusings By The Light Of The Moon
Christine All About Momsense
CrystalDomestic But Not Martha
DanaThe Sears Family  
Wendy JeanKeeping Up With The Pickles
KimberlyAll Work & No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something
CorinneOde to Blogging
JanaThe Bees Knees
DeborahThe Truth About Motherhood
AniAnime's Musings
JulieI Love Purple More Than You
JillYeah. Good Times.
JackiWhat Did She Say?
BrandiThe Adventures of a Dysfunctional Supermom 
TheresaMy Life As Taz
SaraMomma Findings
CarrieThe Sweetest
DebraWrite On Target
Jen Little Miss Mocha 
AmyTransplanted Thoughts
LeslieLeslie Gail's Blog - New Life Focus
NatalieMommy of A Monster
KarmenFamily Sized Fun
JCLittle Animation
AdrienneOn the Road Less Taken
KellyGo Go Gadget Zen
SusanMemoirs of a Writer
ElizabethMother's Gilt
Allana PrattBlog and Vlog Musings
KelleyKelley's Break Room
CaroleNational Mom
JanetTulip and Thelma
SeanAverage Supermom
Kim Rubber Chicken Madness

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

So, it's Mother's Day and I'm thinking I should post. I think I said everything about my kids in the last entry, but I'd like to take this in a different direction.

I was a basically well behaved child for most of my life. However, during that handful of rebellious years, my mother went through a lot of worrying and aggravation. I stayed out all night. I went out when I was supposed to be grounded. I disobeyed. I yelled. I even moved out to live with a boyfriend and his family for a while. I was just as selfish and inconsiderate as a teenager could be.

Through it all, she waited up, she argued, she demanded and she tried to make more rules for every one I broke. She also supported me, loved me and never gave up on me. And after I finally grew up, I realized all she went through while she was dealing with plenty of other issues. We don't realize what our parents deal with in their lives until we become adults with worries of our own. There are bills to be paid, friends and family to help, our health to take care of and jobs to weigh on top of it all.

It takes a long time for the tables to turn and a child to appreciate her mother. I didn't want to be smothered. I wanted to make my own mistakes and learn from them myself. She hated it. But, somehow, I think she understood. And now, after having my own kids, I think she was just grasping for a way to keep me from getting hurt. Isn't that what all mothers want? To keep their kids safe?

My mother took care of five kids. She was a second mother to all our friends. She cooked dinner every night. She helped with homework and attended school functions. Our house was always clean. We didn't have a ton of money, but we had everything we needed. We were a house where board games and outdoor play were encouraged and cherished. She did more for us than I ever realized.

Now, after two kids of my own, I appreciate her more and more every day. Her strength and love for us was boundless. No matter how much we probably drove her nuts, she was always there for us. I love her dearly and I hope she knows that there could never be another mom that compares to her.

***While many would assume I'd post a pic of my mom at this point, anyone in my family knows that is the worst thing I could do. My mom HATES pictures of her anywhere, so posted for all the interwebs to see would be mortifying in her eyes. Instead, I will post a pic of her beautiful mother who was the sweetest, cutest, giggliest (yes, giggle-i-est) lil grandma a girl could have. In our family, we called her Nanny. We lost her only a few months after I had my son 11 years ago and she is desperately missed. Happy Mothers Day and eternal love to you both!

That's me with Nanny!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Respect, Appreciation and Love

Last night, we experienced a momentous occasion. I would be remiss if I ignored this event as it relates to us today. My father was in the Army. My grandfather, my husband, my cousin, my friend…they have given their all to support our freedom in the armed forces.
And as I watched the news, I spent some time reflecting on what this means for us. Without delving into the politics and morality issues of war, our military is full of men and women to be proud of.  They deserve respect and thanks from every one of us. I try to instill this thinking in my children. It was only a week ago that I was in the grocery store with my kids when we passed a man in fatigues. As we walked by, I smiled and thanked him for his service. My son then told me that while on the school bus one day, the children all yelled and waved to a military vehicle that was next to them on the road.
As I raise my children, I try to impress small lessons that sink in quickly. I try to lead by example. Table manners? Sure. Never wander off? Absolutely. Respect? Ok…let's face it, that's a tough one. Even if I think they don't always show it properly, at least now I know they give it when it counts.
I was a fairly good kid growing up. I had my rebellious years for a bit, but like everyone else, I never thought I would be a strict parent. After having kids, it's much easier to appreciate my parents and what they did for me growing up. Being a mom is a tough job. We have to make rules and know when to draw the line between friend and parent. We have to put up with the "No!" and "I hate you!" and "It's not fair!" screams. It's not all cupcakes and sprinkles.
The good thing is, there are many more wonderful moments to remember fondly. The first giggles, first steps and first words are always exciting. But then there are the times that you get to see your child developing an individual personality. Or watch them enjoy their own achievements. One of my favorite moments with my son, now 11, is watching him get his first hit in baseball. As he ran to first base, I could see the glow of disbelief and pride on his face. He has also shown some great artistic potential. Going to the art show at his school was important to him. You could see it in his bubbly energy as we all walked in together. He nearly skipped to the exhibit to find his items. At his first guitar performance, he refused to look at me, probably knowing I was tearing like an embarrassing mother would.

My daughter is only four, and she is a whole different breed. It was obvious from the start that everything she did would be on her terms only. She can be indignant and frustrating. She can also be incredibly entertaining. Even when she misbehaves, my husband and I struggle not to laugh at her actions in order to show that being disciplined is serious. She's brazen and clever, and I think some day she is going to pursue her dreams with tenacity.

Even when they are exhausting, sometimes it's helpful to sit back and watch them for a few moments. Smile at their playfulness. Adore their quirks and expressions. The years pass quickly and each year holds new and wonderful changes. There are no words to say how I truly feel about my kids. They make me proud and joyful every day. They fill my heart and flood my soul.

It is my honor to direct you to our next blogger, Crystal. She will be posting her entry tomorrow at Domestic, But Not Martha at tomorrow.
Crystal has become a dear friend of mine on Twitter @DmstcBtNtMartha. She is a young mother and military wife and I find the timing poignant that she was scheduled so early in our tour to share her story. She is constantly working to help others with fundraising, volunteering and prayers. She is a kind heart and a beautiful soul and I am lucky to call her a friend.
Please be sure to continue the tour with her tomorrow!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Mom Blog Tour

During the month of May, Nadia Romanov (@NadiaR13) and I have organized a star-studded Mothers' Day blog tour. Each day a different mom will take the helm at her blog providing a mom-inspired post. We've gathered up some of our favorite women and asked them to join us in celebrating moms for the entire month.

Our first blogger will be Nadia, then I'll be hosting tomorrow. Every post will have a link to the next day's blogger, so be sure to read, enjoy and check for the next place to go. We'll also be posting reminders on Twitter and Facebook.

Our list includes the following fabulous blogs:

Musings By The Light Of The Moon
All About Momsense
Domestic But Not Martha
The Sears Family  
Keeping Up With The Pickles
All Work & No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something
Ode to Blogging
The Bees Knees
The Truth About Motherhood
Anime's Musings
I Love Purple More Than You
Yeah. Good Times.
What Did She Say?
The Adventures of a Dysfunctional Supermom 
My Life As Taz
Momma Findings
The Sweetest
Write On Target
Little Miss Mocha 
Transplanted Thoughts
Leslie Gail's Blog - New Life Focus
Mommy of A Monster
Family Sized Fun
Little Animation
On the Road Less Taken
Go Go Gadget Zen
Memoirs of a Writer
Mother's Gilt
Blog and Vlog Musings
Kelley's Break Room

Enjoy!! And Happy Mothers' Day!!