Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer 2012 Bucket List

If you are a friend of mine on FB, you know how much I love Kelle Hampton's blog! If you've never been, the link is She has two girls, Lainey and Nella. Nella has down syndrome. Kelle's blog is all about celebrating life, the big and small moments. Recently she posted about all the fun stuff she wants to do with her girls and her family this summer. The idea has inspired me! I tend to be the kind of mommy who desperately wants to let her kids finger paint but then gets anxious at the actual execution of finger painting.  I  have always wanted to let the kids sleep in the family room, under the Christmas tree, while watching "How the Grinch stole Christmas". But as soon as the kids start fighting about someone stealing their blanket or being in their spot, I lose it. Well, that is all changing this summer. I have a pretty horrific school schedule until June 27th. But after June 27th...I will be all about the fun, baby! I will. ( I am confident that the mantra "Fake it till you make it"! will enable me to successfully execute the Summer 2012 bucket list!) So, without further it is. Now, I know people read here but NO ONE ever comments. I implore you to take a moment and at least consider making a bucket list of your own. Don't fret about the details. Maybe your bucket list will have two items, maybe 20. Maybe it will be wildly outlandish. Maybe not. Either way, I want feed back, people!:)

Simpson Family Bucket List Summer of 2012
1. Eat Popsicles for breakfast
2. Take a moon walk
3. Have an impromptu neighborhood bonfire. Invite someone we've never met.
4. Go to the Farmer's Market and buy fresh berries,
5. Make something yummy with said berries and leave it on a unsuspecting neighbor's door.
6. Play in the rain
7. Plant a mini vegetable garden and watch it grow
8. Paint with pudding.
9. Go to the beach
10. Have the kids write letters to the teachers they had this year telling them they appreciate them
11. Have an outdoor movie night
12. Be in a parade
13. Go on a hike.
14. Go on a family bike ride.
15. Surprise daddy at work with lunch
16. Send each of the kid's friends a mini care package.
17. Have a water balloon fight
18. Have a lemonade stand
19. Go to Camp Grandma
20. Go camping!

This SUMMER is going to be AWESOME! Now it's your turn! Have at it!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Maybe being a mom

 It has been a busy weekend. We have been planning a surprise party for Jeff's mom for several months now. All the planning came to fruition this weekend as we gathered to celebrate this women, Barb, who has blessed all our lives so richly. We were able to keep the party a secret and when she walked through the doors of the room where the party was held, her face was priceless. Complete bewilderment. Complete shock and awe as her face panned the room and she recognized that the room was filled with only people who love her. It was wonderful.
We had invited all the party goers over to our house afterwards and a group of about fifteen came. It was a wonderful afternoon and good conversations and lots of reminiscing. Jeff's sisters had put together picture boards of Barb throughout the years. It was neat to see my husband and his family growing up through the years. There were many pictures of Jeff's father, Roger, who passed away when Jeff was only eleven. The resemblance Jeff shares with his father is surreal. He could be his twin. It was a wonderful day spent celebrating a wonderful mother and women!

Today is Mother's Day. I am not sure why but Jeff continues to not get this holiday right. He has come a long way with recognizing what my love language is and how to make choices that will show me how he loves and appreciates me as his wife and as the mother of his children. I guess when he makes choices to not validate me in the ways I have asked him to again and again, I feel that he maybe doesn't appreciate what I add to his life and to our children's lives. Maybe it is validating the sense of failing that I feel lately when it comes to parenting. I am stressed. I am yelling. I am irritable. So when I wake up on a day when many are being recognized for all they do to make them wonderful mothers and I don't get that, the tiny voice inside my head is SCREAMING,  " I told you, you suck!"

Thankfully, Jeff and I , despite our vastly different love languages and needs for validation, have a good marriage and are able to work through hiccups. He knows he failed today. He knows that I am mad but more importantly he knows I am sad at his lack of consideration. He knows that he will change a few more diapers today and that he won't ask me when I will be home from studying. Hopefully he knows that next year he best have a bouquet of flowers and get the  right damn donut I asked for!

I am thankful for my three munchkins who made me great cards and projects at school. I am thankful for their school that put on a wonderful mother's day tea and their daycare that also had a wonderful mother's day celebration too! I am thankful for all of the blessings in my life. That my children are happy and healthy. That my husband is helpful and supportive and learning. I titled this post, "Maybe a mom" because I had intentions to write about how maybe being a mom doesn't mean having everything go your way in regards to motherhood. Maybe it is the constant battle to be better than you are. Maybe it is doing the best you can, with all you have. Maybe it is something you appreciate when it's too late. I strive everyday not to wish these years away. Sometimes I feel like that is all I do. When will I be able to sleep in again? When will I not have to sit holding a sick baby in one hand and a bucket in the other waiting for her to get sick again? When will I not have Caroline tapping me and saying every.single.morning. " I am hungry, get up now!" When will I not have to ask 100 times for the kids to get their shoes on and get in the car to go to school? I think today it hit me that the answer is ALL TOO SOON! I know when it happens I will be so angry with how I wish it away. I will curse myself for my selfishness and inability to live in the moment. I continue to desire to lean on God more for mothering help. I desire to grow closer to Him through the trials. I desire to cherish more mundane moments. I desire to not wish my children's childhood away. Maybe tomorrow will be the day I finally get it right. I pray that it is! Happy Mother's Day!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Busy, busy, busy

I have officially finished my first semester of graduate school! Yeah for me! Yeah for having this week off to accomplish the goals I had to clean my entire house, organize all the closets and clean the basement which is really just a toy room/toy graveyard at times! Thanks to all the hard work I did with my friend Nicole, last summer, getting goals like this accomplished are a snap! Seriously, I couldn't believe how easy and painless and even fun it was to clean/organize when everything has a place! I continue to reap the blessings of what Nicole did for us almost a year later!!
Next week I begin the Summer I session which will mean me taking three classes. I am taking Psychopathology, Social Change and The Effects of Child Trauma. Real light material, huh?! I am actually really looking forward to all of these classes. Since I am doing my internship next year at the Child Trauma Assessment Center, the more I can know about child trauma, the better equipped I will be to help serve the children that come to get assessed. The information I will learn in psychopathology is important and relevant to pretty much anything I will be doing as a future social worker. Being able to properly diagnose someone with a mental illness is important! I have a feeling I am going to think of lots of crazy people I have run into in this sometimes strange life and diagnose them. The last class is with a professor I had last semester and he is wonderful! He epitomizes social work and is a wonderful example of how to make lasting, relevant social change. Two of my classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The child trauma class is a three weekend class held in Grand Rapids. It is held Friday nights from 5-9 and then all day Saturday from 8-5, so those weekends will seem long. Throw in Matthew and Caroline playing baseball/tee ball, school ending, camps beginning and I feel like we're going to be dizzy by the end of June! Thankfully, I am all done on June 30th. Then we will have the rest of the summer to relax and just enjoy doing nothing. I am sure we will find many activities to keep us busy. It will probably seem boring around here after the hectic schedules we've had this past year!