The Day He Turned Seven

Today my oldest turned seven.  SEVEN.  Seven years ago at this time I was desperately trying to feel up to going to see my baby in the NICU after my first C-Section.  (I wouldn’t lay eyes on him for about 6 hours after he was born, and it would be another five days before I would hold him.)  Friends, this one has been hard for me.  Do you notice that or is it just me?  Some years I do ok with them entering a new year of life.  Some years I have a really hard time.  This is one of those years.  Some time in April, it really hit me.  I really started noticing that he has become a “big kid.”  He can read things to me.  He tells knock-knock jokes that are actually funny.  He tells me things about history and science.  He plays Battleship and understands the strategy of it.  He can reach things in higher places.  He can do things I used to have to do for him.  He asks harder questions.  He’s seven.

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Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am incredibly grateful and blessed that my babies are healthy and thriving and growing.  But I am so sad at the same time because those “little years” are quickly coming to an end.  And for Wyatt, I am already missing them.  The snuggles are becoming rarer.  The requests for assistance with the basics are becoming less frequent.  Little by little, we give him a little more independence, and he dances off into the day handling it with ease.  He makes me so incredibly proud, but when they say the time goes so fast, they ain’t lying.

That big kid has taught me so much from the very beginning.  He taught me about trusting God’s timing.  We tried for almost a year to get pregnant and suffered a miscarriage before he came along. He came into this world seven weeks early.  He taught me about patience as I laid in a hospital bed for a week before we decided to induce labor, and then when we did, he wouldn’t come.   He spent a month in the NICU.  I was convinced Wyatt would come home on his one month birthday.  The NICU nurses gently tried to tell me it was highly unlikely.  He taught me about prayer as I fervently prayed every single day to bring my baby home.  He taught me about faith and the power of seeking as we walked out of the hospital, baby in tow, exactly one month after he was born.

He has taught me about humbleness.  Wyatt is easily my toughest child.  His crazy energy and unending quest to climb all the things keeps me busy.  But when he was four and five, I felt like the most unqualified mother ever.  Wyatt couldn’t control his behavior.  It took him hours to fall asleep at night.  I researched and researched.  Nothing I tried would help.  I could look at him and see he physically couldn’t calm himself down.  I humbly had to ask for help when I knew I could no longer do it on my own.  I felt like a failure with one of “those kids” who couldn’t stay calm.  We sought out a couple different professional opinions before finally learning he has a form of Sensory Processing Disorder.  He’s taught me about advocating for my child when no one else will.  Not being willing to accept something when I know in my gut there’s a deeper issue.

But most of all, this child has taught me about grace.  Grace when I lose my patience and yell.  Grace when I humbly go to him to apologize and ask forgiveness to show him that everyone makes mistakes.  Grace when he immediately falls into my arms and tells me he loves me.  Grace when he makes mistakes, and I have to allow natural consequences to follow, even though I could rescue him, because I want him to know his actions have consequences.  Grace when I feel like I’m failing as a mother (like spelling ‘birthday’ wrong on his already very un-Pinteresty cake!).  Grace when he has a rough day at school because he couldn’t calm down enough to listen to the teacher, and I remind him that we all have bad days.  Grace, grace, grace.  How to extend it and how to receive it.

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To My Firstborn, I know you have so much more to teach me as we enter these “big kid” years, but I am ever so thankful that tonight you climbed up beside me on the couch to snuggle.  This Mama’s heart cherishes those fleeting moments because it feels like tomorrow I will wake up and you’ll be driving, bringing home a girlfriend or heading off to college.  Happy Birthday to you.  I am so honored that God chose me to be your Mama.

The Time Cycle Class Almost Killed Me

I went back to the gym today.  I thought I was going to die 20 minutes into my Cycle class… on the lowest setting.  I thought I was going to puke when I was done with the 45 minute class.  True story.  I was praying I could make it the locker room before I lost my yogurt.  (I was fine, by the way.)  Why I decided to go back to the gym and attend the cycle class with Barb, (whom I think is) the toughest instructor but also one of the most amazing people ever, is beyond me.  But I was determined this morning.

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I haven’t been to the gym since February.  I had started going to the gym regularly the end of October last year and had actually stuck with it.  I was working out with a friend, feeling better about myself and actually feeling stronger.  I had more energy and loved the “me time” of just being able to focus on myself.  (Side note-  I used to think “me time” was kind of selfish.  Then I learned how important it actually is!)  Along came our unexpected pregnancy which came with the worst morning sickness I’ve had with any of my pregnancies.  I was exhausted and constantly nauseous.  Thus ended my gym reign, but I was so nauseous all the time, I actually lost weight that first trimester.  Then.  Then we lost that Baby Girl.  I’m an emotional eater, guys.  Not only am I an emotional eater, but I LOVE to bake and cook.  So I baked all the things, because being in the kitchen is one of my happy places…and then I ate all the things.

Now before I go any further with this post, I want to make something very clear:  I do not for one second think any of our value and worth is placed in how we look.  I think your character and soul and how you treat other people are what make you smokin’ hot.  If your kids are still alive at the end of the day and you’ve made it through the day without tearing another person down, you’re pretty much killing it in my book.

So anyway, back to my gym day today.  I haven’t been feeling good about myself.  I’ve been feeding my body crap food (you all know what I’m talking about).  My Chron’s Disease has been flaring up.  My clothes aren’t fitting quite like they used to.  I don’t have a lot of energy and just plain-old don’t feel well.  I am ready to change that- to get back in control of my health and my energy.  To change some habits that have unfortunately formed.

I’ve been reading this book called “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis.  It’s a fantastic book that I’d recommend to anyone.  One of the things she heavily emphasizes is not breaking promises to yourself.  If you truly want something, you’ll find a way to make it happen.  I promised myself no more emotional eating and that I was going to get back to feeling good about myself.  So this morning, I put on my Jades and sneakers and headed to the gym (where I had my near-death experience).

But here’s the real point of this entire post:  When I got done, I DID NOT feel good about myself right away.  I mean, when you finish a workout like that, you’re supposed to feel amazing.  You just finished a cycle class and didn’t die.  Yay, you!  But all I could think to myself was how out of shape I am.  I used to be able to do so much more in Cycle class.  Barb didn’t used to scare the be-jesus out of me.  ‘Why did you eat so much junk at the lake this weekend?  Of course you feel like crap.’ I had taken this selfie to share with my online community and thought ‘Why the hell am I smiling in this photo?!  There is no way I’m posting this with how crappy I feel.’  (Remember in my last post how I talked about how easy it is to just post the good stuff?)

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Except then I really looked at that selfie.  This red-faced photo (because I get really red when I work-out.  I have no idea why) of me in my workout clothes that don’t quite fit like they used to.  This photo was proof that I’d upheld my promise to myself!  This photo was me DOING something about how I feel about myself.  And just like that, I felt my mindset shift. ‘Girl, you just worked your ass off!  You damn well better post that photo!’

It’s so, so easy to bring our own selves down with our own negative self-talk.  It’s so, so easy to take something that should make us feel awesome and turn it into something that makes us feel defeated.  I have no desire to be ripped, but I’d love to be toned.  I have no desire to run a marathon, but I’d love to be able to run a few miles and not feel like puking.  I really don’t put a lot of stock into the scale (altho I can tell you I weigh more now than I ever have other than when I was pregnant with the boys); I just want to feel better about myself and my health.  I used to think saying positive things about myself was really silly, but I’m learning that it’s actually kind of essential to my well-being.

Today, if this is you, I’d love to invite you to my online community.  You can find the link at the end of this post.  (Yes, my LuLaRoe business is also run from there, but the community that has formed there is so, so much more than clothes.  If you hate it, I will take no offense if you leave, but you may find an amazing group of women who are dealing with some of the same life things you are).  I’m going to be running an accountability group of sorts within and would love to have you join us.

What promises have you made yourself and not been keeping?  What negative self-talk needs to be flipped around?  Start small, my Friends.  Don’t expect to be perfect and make a bunch of changes over night, but for the love of all things good in this world, OWN your successes!  Shout them from the rooftops!  The big and small!  Because as long as you’re moving forward, that’s really all the matters, and it deserves to be celebrated.

My Online Community:  http://www.facebook.com/groups/rusticposyboutique

The Start of Something Beautiful

Hi Friend!  I am so glad you are here.  This is the start of something beautiful, and I’m excited you’re tagging along for the ride.  I don’t know how you found me or what you’re going through, but here, in this place, you will find grace and you will find real.  I hope you will find a friend and someone that “gets you.”

So let me introduce myself!  I’m Melissa!  I live with my amazing hubby in Bismarck, North Dakota.  We have three amazing boys that I absolutely adore.  We also have three sweet babies in Heaven we lost.  Our most recent one was in April at 16 weeks along and that sweet girl has inspired so much even though I never got to hold her.  I love coffee and cooking.  I love baking and reading.  I love going to the lake and organizing.  I love Joanna Gaines, drinking wine and Superhero movies.  I love Jesus more than all those things put together.  So here, in this place, we get to talk about it all!

 

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We get to talk about the fun things-  raising boys and kids in general, baking things that taste amazing, fantastic books to read.  We get to talk about hard things- motherhood struggles, self-confidence and miscarriages.  We get to tackle life together- becoming debt free, running a business from home, organizing and balancing it all.  Because let’s face it, when you have people in the trenches with you, life seems little less scary.  You have a little more courage when you see others having the same struggles, the same fears.  You have more grit when you see others failing but getting up and trying again.

You see, I’ve learned these last few years, that we all seem to have the same struggles and fears.  We all feel like everyone else has it all together while we’re over here floundering and trying to keep our heads above water.  But the truth is, in today’s world, it’s easy to “have it all together” or at least appear so.  It’s easy to just share the good things on Facebook and Instagram- the fun family vacations and amazing family moments.  The perfect dessert and the laundry that’s nicely folded.  Nobody wants to admit they are struggling to lose the last of the baby weight, lost their cool with their kids last night or feel like they just can’t get ahead in their finances.  Nobody talks about how they lost their baby last night at 6 weeks or how their 4-year-old is the most hyper-active child ever and you’ve tried everything to help him control it and you feel like a failure as a mother.  (And  yes, those things are all personal experiences.)

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Here in this place, I get to be completely real.  Here in this place, no masks, no staged moments.  You get real-life- the good, the bad, the triumphs, the struggles.  So grab your cup of coffee, hold your head high and march on.  You have an ally, you have a cheerleader, you have a Friend.   I’ll see you soon!