Please notice

My husband and I were recently discussing which of his older sisters we think would be married first, Sarah (30) or Jennifer (28) honestly I see nothing wrong with not being married even by the time you’re 32, but I know it’s something they may think about quite often. Levi voted Jennifer would and though I agreed I wondered why he answered it so quickly and with such certainty.

“Sarah lacks the confidence that a man that age would look for. She is pretty but she acts like she doesn’t know she’s pretty; you have to be comfortable with yourself before someone else can be comfortable with you.”

Now hot dog that makes perfect sense! But wait? Maybe my husband is semi-blind to the fact that I feel like the most gangly awkward person to walk to planet since Gumby or maybe he’s just too kind to mention it.

“You know you’re pretty and I like that, you’re not overly confident but you’re not under confident either.”

Okay, its the later. He’s blind.

My husband and I had a bit of a rough patch in November. To be exact it was November 9th at 1:43am but hey who’s counting the minutes since? (Hint Hint* that would be me.) And while ever since high school I haven’t really had the best confidence in myself or my appearance I knew I was one of those Semi-pretty girls that has to rely on her highest trait and a killer sense of sarcasm. But that night, or morning more or less, I was basically kicked off that average type pedestal and thrown into a whirl-wind of “never good enough” and somehow my husband has managed to stay completely oblivious to it.

Levi has never been one to enjoy coffee or poetry or leave me exerts of “Having a coke with you”  for me to find but he does manage to have a sweet side to him every once in awhile; like bringing home my favorite candy or by writing happy birthday or happy anniversary on the bathroom mirror. Now, I knew all of that when I married Levi, I knew what to expect and what would happen-not to set the bar too low, or for that matter, too high. But, after November 9th I feel he owes me something, anything really, a compliment, a flower, a love note.. which is so gruelingly unfair but I still can’t convince my heart to think any other way.

See, after that night I don’t think I’m good enough for the man that chose me as his wife. (and if any of your reading this feel the same then God bless you because I’m sure you are everything and more that that man could ever want or deserve.) I feel like everything I do I have to constantly look my best. Wake up at 8 work out, put on pants (actual pants: jeans), do my make up, never smell like any baby fluid, always have fresh breath, shaved legs, armpits, etc. It never ends, like I’m constantly preparing myself for our first date. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it’s more than exhausting when you try to do it EVERY SINGLE DAY. Even worse is my husband doesn’t seem to notice all the damage that has been done.

No, I don’t need a compliment every single day. I don’t need massive amounts of ego boosting comments. I don’t need you to write stories and poems and draw images of what the brown curls by my ears do to every muscle in your body or that your hands clam up when I get closer to your belt line. Do I want that? Yes of course, every woman wants something like that. But that would be very unfair to expect that from him simply because he screwed up one time.

What I wish my husband would notice is this; your wife isn’t comfortable in her own skin, she is endlessly wishing she was darker, a little rounder, shorter, darker hair, longer hair, and had beautiful petite dry hands. I wish he would notice just how often I look around to see if there are any females with those traits, to see if they notice your traits or you notice their’s and then there is some sort of connection that we seemed to have lost. I wish you would notice how much I love having short bangs and that while I know you hate them I need you to tell me that they look nice or at least decent so that I’m not forever pinning them back when you’re around. I wish you would notice that I make it a point to trace the lines on the palms of your large hands that you cant seem to stand or that I gladly tickle your back even though you seem to hate the way it looks but I think its sculpted in the likeliness of Artemision Bronze of either Zeus or Poseidon. I wish you would notice the way that I look for your approval in every outfit, hairstyle, decision, or meal even though I know I don’t need it. I wish you would notice that the damage isn’t gone, its still there, living and thriving in the body of your wife who is just longing for the approval from herself that she lost on November 9th at 1:43 am.

Advertisements

All that you are, all you’ll be.

 A letter to my bear.

Looking at you now in this moment, with your hands that look to be even too small to properly grab a hot wheels, with your gold flaked eyes that look at me like my hugs could cure cancer; I know all you are and all you’ll be.

I know that you will be an earth quake; a force to reckon with. A beautiful disaster that could tear apart the strongest of cities but would be a wonderful new beginning. 

I know that you are marvelous, you leave everyone you meet in puddles over your infectious sunshine spirit. I know that you are antsy and curious and you thrive on the warmth of your mama. 

I know that you are intelligent, I know you will continue this thirst for knowledge. 

I know you will love fearlessly and without regret the way we always have. I know you will be tender most days but strong in a storm. 

I know you are the most welcoming baby I’ve ever been blessed to know, and I know you will keep the trait for all your days to come. 

I know you love your frigid mornings in the mountains. I know you will be curious of the roaring evenings of the sea.

I know all that you are, and all you’ll be. And I cant wait for everyone else in this big huge galaxy to learn all of you too. 
Forever your biggest fan,

Mama 

Isaac won’t be “one of the boys”

You can hear it anywhere at any time, “boys will be boys.” It seems to be thrown around all the times now days; even worse it’s being used as an excuse. 

He makes fun of a girl because she talks funny; “boys will be boys.”

He took inappropriate pictures of her while she was passed it drunk at a party; “boys will be boys.”

He snapped her bra strap in class while she was working in front of him; “boys will be boys.”

Wake up! This isn’t some phase that they grow out of. It’s not them acting out to get attention. It’s not them being mean and terrible to a girl because they like them. It’s not “boys being boys.”

I know that I’ve said I’ll raise my son to be a faithful loyal man, which I will, but I will spend hours trying to teach him, and pray for him that he never becomes one of the boys. 

Isaac will be a gentleman, he will be kind. Because hate and vulgarity is never something you’re born with, it’s something you’re taught. Now I’m not saying he will be a saint; he’ll stumble and fall and make mistakes I’m sure, but he will be raised to know women are his equal. And yes that chivalry isn’t dead. He will learn to open the car door, to protect her, to comfort her. Because in high school boys may act like boys, but it can only be an excuse for so long. Till your son becomes a registered sex offender because his joke went a little too far. 

So please, if you’re a father, with other father friends, or a mother with father friends, or a mother with mother friends; that joke your co worker made about the “office whore,” the way that your girlfriend looks a little too long at a waiter inappropriately, the way that you scored a hole in one and reference that as your best pals wife. Don’t. Because not only are your sons learning that as long as you say it’s a joke you can say anything; but because that’s someone’s daughter, someone’s mother, someone’s soul mate and other half,  someone’s sister. And I’m sure you’d be damned if someone talked about the girls in your life that way. 

So, boys will not be boys, if they are taught to be gentlemen. 

My son shouldn’t have to compete 

I vowed when I got pregnant I would give every ounce of my time and energy to my son… boy was I in for a rude awakening. In case you weren’t aware you do need a little bit of alone time or “me time” to keep your sanity in check as a new parent. 

But today while nursing my son I was strolling through Pinterest and Instagram like I usually do; and I looked down to see my little boy looking at the back of my phone, where my face should be he only saw a white blank lifeproof case, not his mama. In that moment I felt the worst I have ever felt. Why should my son have to compete for my attention with social media? Why should I feel so bored while feeding him or just sitting with him that I have to see what’s going on in other people’s lives instead of living my own? So in that moment I learned I need to turn over a new leaf, to live in the moment; to live in MY life not the lives of other through my iPhone. 

I have read a bunch of articles written by moms about seeing other mothers not paying attention to their children in public and looking at their phones. Granted, every time I read one I think “Dang you women pay attention to those babies! I’ll never look at my phone again.” Then about 8 minutes later I’m looking at this weeks “Tiny Kitchen Tuesday” on Tastemade. (Anything tiny is my weakness) so I can see why it’s difficult, I think every mother or father needs their own “ah ha” moment when they realize that unless you really want to change a nasty habit, you’re not going to. 

When my son gets older I want him to remember the activities we did, the walks we went on, the crafts, the endless hours of tickle fights and book reading. I don’t want him to remember hearin “uh huh honey, that’s nice” while I’m not even looking him in his glowing eyes while he talks about something he loves. I don’t want him to remember our walks with me having one head phone in my ear. I don’t want him to think of his mama as the lady who couldn’t take five seconds out of her day to give her son every ounce of her attention. I don’t want to be that mom, I WON’T be that mom. 

I will help my son grow, and learn, and laugh. All while giving him the attention and time he deserves. Because every child deserves a parent who isn’t eaten up by social media, who doesn’t have to watch tv to be entertained while in a room full of toys and their children. And yes sometimes I’m sure I’ll slip up and miss something that’s happening because I got a text or I found a perfect recipe on Pinterest, but really; spending time on my phone… C’mon that’s what nap time is for. 

I wanted to change the world.

Being a stay at home mom I feel so guilty that I don’t contribute to the income of our household. I can’t help but think if I had a simple part time job that my husband would at least be able to be home during the times his son is awake once in awhile. (Note: I did go back to my job 6 weeks after having Isaac but two days in my husband told me to quit. And seriously, being a waitress after just having a baby when your stitches haven’t healed all the way he did NOT have to tell me twice.) 

I am somewhat of a stickler when it comes to spending money. I like the security of having a healthy savings in case anything were to happen; and with my husband being the only one working that just leaves us about 77 dollars left at the end of the month after bills which almost gives me a panic attack…almost. 

You see, women that are used to working all the time and don’t want to be babied or rely on someone else entirely find it difficult knowing that they aren’t contributing. But, my husband managed to help me see an entirely different point of view when I broke down crying saying I wanted to contribute; I wanted to…”Change the world.”

What I didn’t realize is that I am changing the world.. All mama’s are changing the world. We are trusted with these little people that are going to grow up to be doctors and soldiers and peace makers and even gas station clerks. My son may go to space or be a train conductor, a paleontologist. But no matter what he becomes; I’ve changed the world. Even not the big huge one we are standing on, his world. I never had my mom there when we were little, I had a step mom sure but my dad worked, my sisters were best friends, and my step mom didn’t have much time for my interests (seriously I was the biggest tomboy west of the Mississippi years 2004-2008). I want to be the one to teach my son, to watch him grow and learn. To be the one he expresses his feelings to, tell me his dreams and his fears and show me his imaginary friends. I want to show him he can be anything he wants, he can go anywhere he chooses. So I WILL change the world, because he is my world. 

So stay at home moms, or stay at home dads; you are contributing, you’re raising these beautiful special little people and that is changing the world in the most powerful way we know how. 

I see Methamphetamine where my sister once stood 

I’m shaking with anger and fear while writing this, so bare with me. I don’t entirely want to throw my sister under a bus so I’ll just call her “Cristy.”

Dear Cristy,

I don’t hate you, but I don’t like you. I want my son to know you but I want him to have nothing to do with you. I remember who you were but I can’t recognize you now. All these feelings and you can see why I’m torn on what to do. To try and save you or to let every memory I have of the clean you, the happy you, just burn away faster than your next hit will.

” I was sleeping. I was gone. He took my phone. “

All these excuses and I don’t believe a single one. You weren’t asleep you were passed out. You weren’t gone you were just too high to remember where you were. He didn’t take your phone you just pawned it for money. I want nothing more than to have one day; just one, where I wake up when I was 10 you were 14 and we all got bikes for Christmas. That was my favorite one because we were all shaking with excitement rather than you shaking from withdrawals. I want to see you happy in the Colorado sun light with your brown wavy hair and crooked smile and eternally bare feet just laughing with your twin. Sucking in as much air as you could because you thought you’d never laugh that hard again. When your lungs were strong and healthy not weak and tired. God, I’d give almost anything for one of those days.

I want to save you, to teach you that our Lord and Savior will forgive you for this. Forgive you for all you’ve done that if he forgives you so can I, so can our siblings, so can your sons. But I can’t help save someone who doesn’t want to save themselves. The last day I remember seeing you specifically, you were awake and alert (but that doesn’t always mean sober) I had your oldest son, my favorite nephew if you happen to ask anyone that knows me. He didn’t want to go to your house, he just wanted to sit in the car and ride. We rode down roads, through the city, around parking lots; anything to keep him from going home. Until the sun started to sleep behind the mountains and he eventually had to go back to the yellow stuco house with the chipped wooden white door where he knows his mom might not wake up. I gave him the only thing I could (a cheap white turtle bracelet that you could buy at any gas station for 2 dollars) and his eyes lit up like fire works in July then filled with tears as you called him inside. My heart would never forget the anger I felt at you in that moment and how it was breaking for the most important boy in my life.

So, I don’t hate you, but I don’t like you. I miss you but I don’t want to see you. And I think about you, but not this you.

Dear Cristy, please wake up, please come home.

Some Babies do Keep

Babies don’t keep. 

 This statement is all too true- I can look at my 9 week old son and notice how he’s changed in a million ways since we brought him home on July 20th. But sometimes babies do keep; no one is ever open to discussing that though. 

I’m one to love pictures; taking them, being in them, looking at them. I love them! Which makes sense why I’m an avid Instagram user. Recently, I started following a young mother. Nothing in particular about her stood out I liked her style of photos though. She was pregnant with a gorgeous little girl and was due to have her in August. But that didn’t happen.. After delivery she and her husband went back to a home that had a crib that would never be slept in, toys that would never get played with, a home filled with clothes that would never be worn. My heart ached as she tried her best to inform everyone what had happened. 

And just like that my heart stopped, I couldn’t think or move. How could this beautiful woman have to go through the pain of child birth but without that grand reward of snuggling our warm little ones so close and dear. Selfishly I thought about myself in her situation, how I would have nothing left to carry me after losing my child. How I would need something to breath the life back into me. But this average everyday woman has become my hero, her beautiful writings and her tired spirit make me fully appreciate everything I have. To know that she was so close to her dream but had it ripped from reality so suddenly she lost her breath, makes me want to do nothin more than to make her tea and listen to her dreams for her daughter. I think about it everyday, her daughters name was Sylvia, she had a dimple chin and brown curly hair. I think about all the mothers I read about that have lost their children, whether in miscarriage, still birth, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. 

So if you’re a mother that has lost a little one and need a little push, a little hope I’m here. All mothers are here. Don’t hold back talking about the babes you have lost simply because you worry about someone else’s discomfort. I push you to tell strangers about what you think they’d be like; how you imagine your daughter would put flowers in her hair from your garden after watering at 6:42am every morning. How you think your son would need to hold your hand as you trailed through the yard looking for frogs and bugs while you soak up every ounce of his imagination. How you can almost hear their giggles after doing shadow puppets on the walls before bedtime. I pray you feel comfort in telling people these things because it’s a beautiful thing to imagine a world where all babies don’t keep.