Saturday, June 30, 2012


Oh kids…. what can I say. There are so many things to "say" about raising kids, and so many things not to "say" about raising kids, sometimes it's hard to decipher. Today and everyday I consider what to say to and about my kids. I wonder what is too much and what is too little.

I know I don't say enough to Kid2, it's hard to not cross a line with an 18 year old girl. I want her to make her own choices, but Im afraid she might make her own choices… (see my dilemma?) I think sometimes she wants me to just speak out and tell her what to do and other times she wants me to zip up and stop telling her what to do. I am usually doing the opposite of what I should be doing. Talking when quiet is needed and quiet when talking is needed. I want her to OWN her decisions, feel good or bad about them without being able to say "my mom made me______". Sometimes though I know I have to stand up and tell her what to do because she is teetering on the line of being an adult and still being a child and there are times when she needs help deciding. But…. where's the line? This is where a handbook at birth would have come in nicely. I don't know the line, I don't know when it's best to speak up and when it's best not to speak up. I don't know a lot of things but I DO know that raising teenagers was a WHOLE LOT harder than I thought.

Last night I spoke to Kid2's boss. I should say "finally spoke" to her boss. He had crossed a line of professionalism many times with her and all along I made excuses for him (im SO good at excuses). I would say "he probably didn't mean it like that, he's had a hard life, poor guy, he must have some issues". I wasn't addressing her though. I didn't speak up, I didn't stand up for her and I can't take the back. I have tried a hands off approach to raising teenagers and it doesn't work well for most. I wanted them to learn lessons on their own, taking each day at a time and learning from each moment. Most adults don't do that, expecting a teenager to do it is preposterous, but it was my way. I made a mistake, and last night I tried to own my mistake by showing kid2 how a boss, an adult and a co-worker can be addressed when there is a problem.

I wasn't sure what to say, I wasn't sure it was even a good idea but in I went. To the back office after my girl following one boss while the other waited in the office. I had HAD enough and so had she. I said a little prayer as we walked and just had to believe that God would put words into my mouth. He wouldn't even look at her. When it was his turn to talk my mouth just opened up and I kid you not, the RIGHT words fell out of my mouth. (if you know me well, you know I have no idea how to properly communicate) I was able to get across to him that my little girl HAD been treated poorly by him and that I would no longer stand for it as a mother. I was able to also appeal to his heart and not hurt his feelings. I was able to show her that you CAN effectively communicate a problem to a man, a coworker, an adult and a boss with kind but firm words. It went well. I breathed a sigh of relief.

On the way home I felt proud to have stood up at the right time for her. I felt sad that I had let it get so bad. I felt confused because owning a teenager is bewildering. Most of all I felt lucky to have her to stand up for.

Teenagers are so often misunderstood. She has come home so often with her heart hurting over someone, over small things and big things. She has come home confused and wondering why the world works the way that it does. I think she looks to me for answers and the hardest part about being a mom is that I don't have them. Im also often puzzled at the same things she is.

Say enough? Do enough? Stand up enough? Know enough?

Nope, not me.

But, Im hoping to pray enough to make up for it :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

going nuts in Alabama :)

Summering in Alabama. 

tomato heaven :)

process    noun    1 investigation is a long processprocedureoperationaction,activityexerciseaffairbusinessjobtaskundertaking.    2 a new canning processmethodsystemtechniquemeans,practicewayapproachmethodology.
worknouna day's work in the fieldslabortoilslogdrudgery,exertioneffortindustryserviceinformal grindsweat,elbow grease.
labornounmanual laborworkhard worktoilexertionindustry,drudgeryeffortmenial workinformal sloggrindsweat,scut workliterary travailmoil.
We spent our Monday processing gorgeous Slocomb Alabama tomatoes from the White's farm was SO. MUCH. WORK. 
but SOOO worth it. 
We yielded LOTS of tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, marinara, and ketsup. What a beautiful day full of hard work, helpful babies and absolute heaven in Bat Girls new kitchen! 
What are YOU making this summer?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Could she GET any cuter?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

fathers day :)

Happy Fathers day to my love. 
Thank you for being the father of my babies. 
I deeply love you.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

our first summer project :)

summer. summer. summer. 

What are your plans for summer this year? We always have lots of plans and although some of them never happen, we like to dream big around here. Like for instance I saw a backyard bowling alley on pinterest and would LOVE to make that happen….  odds are… well lets be honest, it's not going to happen.

I love summer! I always have. It means sleeping in, freedom, late nights outside, fireflies, NO schedule, friends, friends, friends and did I mention sleeping in?

Whats on your summer list?

home made tents for Kid4 and all her fantastic neighbor friends

turning the laundry room into a dress up/art room for the girls

figuring out how to have an outdoor movie night
reading a classic a week (this is a huge stretch)

making a giant chalkboard in the backyard
sending a special package a week

making blankets for homeless
teaching kid4 to ride a bike

making swords from wood
teaching Kid4 to sew
buying a trampoline
pop corn parties
planting flowers
learning to knit

writing letters
service projects
walking to town
making pottery
driveway chalk
swimming pool



Friday, June 15, 2012

the queen of quite a lot

This little munchkin was the Queen of quite a lot riding on her daddy's back throughout our whole trip. She napped up there, ate up there, watched the world from up there. She went on walks, shopping, and even on a bus! Her legs certainly didn't get tired, but I suspect her daddy's did. 

She was an angel the whole trip! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012


August 4th 1992… I wasn't ready. I just wasn't ready. I was all checked into the labor and delivery department. I was getting "settled" into the room where I would become a mother… and … I heard HUGE screams coming from another room, from another woman, from CHILD BIRTH!

That was it. I was done. I started putting my things back in my bag and Mr. B. walked in with curious eyes. Before he even opened his questioning mouth I said; "Im not doing this! Im perfectly happy pregnant and … well…. theres just NO WAY!" He laughed because I often "tickle" those around me with my quippy and quirky ideas. This was serious and I was having a complete inner and apparently outer panic.

Long story short- drugged, then birth, then Kid1.

I thought back on these feelings the day I stood and watched him graduate boot camp. The flag was standing before him, he was saluting and so was his father. My hand was over my heart and my little Kid4 was quietly singing the national anthem so proudly. Her voice was in my ear and that boy, my boy was in my eye and all of a sudden I remembered how it felt to "not be ready". I turned to Mr. B. and said; "Im not ready, remember labor and delivery? Remember how I wasn't ready?" he smiled because again Im sure it "tickled" him as his memory was jogged back almost 20 years ago. It seemed like my baby boy might just be a grown man when I see his face or the first time after 8 weeks, it seems like he might have learned how to rely on himself, how to respect himself, how to be a grown up *GASP*…

I stood there with my little girls song in my head, wondering again for the millionth time what the future would hold for my Kid1. I stood there and thought of the very moment that he made me a mother, the moment I kissed his little mouth for the first time and all the moments between then and now. I thanked God for him and prayed for his future.

God Bless my America,
God Bless my son,
God Bless my Airman.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

part of our family

A Family Is Like

© Nicole M. O'Neil
A Family is like a circle
the connection never ends
and even if at times it breaks
in time it always mends
a family is like the stars
somehow there always there
families are those who help
who support and always care
A Family is like a book
the endings never clear
but through the pages of the book
their love is always near
A family is many things
with endless words that show
who they are and what they do
and how they teach you so you know
but don’t be weary if it's broken
or if through time its been so worn
families are like that-
they're split up and always torn
but even if this happens
your family will always be
they help define just who you are
and will be apart of you eternally

Friday, June 8, 2012

Happy birthday Kid4 :)

I can't believe it's been THREE years since I made this collage. I thought she was SO big when she turned 5. I couldn't imagine her growing another single inch, not another second and certainly not THREE whole years. Oh my kid4 is such a blessing to our family. She is just what we needed. She is the ground for us, the one that makes us stop to think, slow down and smell the roses. 

My girl, my beautiful brilliant brown haired beauty, you are the kindest little person I have ever met. You have truly blessed our lives in more ways that I could have imagined. When God gave us you we could have never known what a blessing you would be every single day. I love you, we all love you. Thank you for being exactly who you are. Thank you for being the most real, the most honest and the most kind little girl in our world. 

Happy Birthday sweet baby. I wish for you the very best that life has to offer, deep faith and true love. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A few days with Pa-Paw is just about the best thing in the world in our book! Our Pa-Paw is special for so many reasons. He's the kind of grandpa who WANTS to know everything about each child, he's the kind of grandpa who listens to every word, laughs at every joke and doesn't miss a single hug. Pa-paw, we love you! Your one in a zillion!!! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I am just positive that I'm the luckiest mom in the world. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

us+ life = messy

(This is where we got married)

I read the best saying on pinterest. 
"Marriage is a union of two forgivers." 
Isn't that the truth?
Oh' I can't count the times I have needed to be forgiven.
Thank goodness he is a forgiver :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

My buddies :)

Good friends are like stars. 
You don't always see them,
 but you know they are always there!
- someone else

Sunday, June 3, 2012

my little children

"But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children." Matthew 19:14

Friday, June 1, 2012

a light

This little beautiful lady is the light of our lives. 

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5