Rants, reality and learning to embrace the little things.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Middle Man

I told my middle son that I was going to give him a spanking every morning when he woke up, just to go ahead and set him straight for the day. He thought it was funny. I wonder if it would work....

If you know Aiden, you know a sweet, bashful, blue eyed, lady killer. He is slightly impish, however this child has given me little trouble from day one and has by far been the easiest to raise. He was the easiest to deliver, the quitest, the best eater, the most perfect, laid back and happiest baby! He is always tender and loving and a friend to all, always putting himself last and doing what he can to make peace. He is also a verbal punching bag for his brothers. Poor kid. I hope one day he grows into his linebacker build and takes both of his brothers out in one swoop! I know he never would though. He's my sweet one.

Aiden is my pickiest eater. If I left it up to him he would have a well balanced diet of bread, cheese, butter and candy. My family has always joked about Aiden's food selections. He used to respond with a "Nuuuuh uh!!" but has since embraced the humor. At dinner one evening, my oldest, Nolan, asked Aiden if he wanted a stick of butter for dessert. Aiden grinned and said yes. My dad wants to make him a shirt that says "Butter makes everything better..." Aiden would wear it proudly. He's not even 7 but definitely keeps up with our family's off the wall sense of humor. I love that boy.

Animals seem to flock to Aiden. He has a way with them. He's my tiny Doctor Doo Little. His concern for all things living melts my heart...however the moment is often short lived as I'm soon asked to smell his finger or he announces he just passed gas....Boys.

I often wonder what Aiden will be like when he gets older. I hope he maintains his gentle nature and bright, inquisitive mind. I fear he is going to cause me a bit of heartache as he already has little girls swooning over him. I ran across some pictures from when he was in preschool. Every photo was him surrounded by all the little girls in class. He always has a crush, although he's gotten better at hiding it so Nolan doesn't give him grief. It has started young for this one. Thank goodness he is still clueless to the attention!

Aiden is a natural athlete. Perhaps he will take good care of his mother one day with his pro-sport paycheck...its always fun to dream, isn't it?

God has blessed me with three amazing and unique little boys. I don't know where my life would be without each one of them. Today, I thank my little Aiden Clark Conklin for warming my heart and always making me laugh.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Hate Christmas

Ok, I don't really hate Christmas. I hate what Christmas creates. The "I want, gimme, flash, bling, money" attitudes....vomit. Kids are in a competition to see who gets the most video games and largest Justin Beiber poster from Santa and parents are out to make sure their snot face child wins! Lord help us.

My mom, bless her heart, glanced over the items purchased for the boys from "Santa" and said "That's not enough." Holy shnikes woman! Have you lost your mind? Its damn well gonna be enough! I think she's getting senile as she ages.

Jesus got 3 gifts. THREE! Not an entire Toys R Us aisle...

The meaning of Christmas has been lost for years and seems to fade further into oblivion every season. It's sad. A celebration has turned into an obligatory ritual. A blessing, now a burden.

Here is my challenge to all 3 people who will read this: Remember the reason. Remember why we celebrate. Look at what you have instead of what you don't have. Thank God for sending our ticket to eternity all those years ago. And for Pete's sake, spank your children, they are getting on my nerves!

Merry Christmas everyone and blessings for the New Year!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rewarding Lonliness

The lyrics of the song make me cry but I blame you for the tears.
I wasted all my time telling you goodbye
I could have conversed better with this wine.
The lights shimmer brighter now that you’re gone.
Your shadow covered all the beauty around.
You lied and said the sun was just going down
But it was you all along
Standing in the doorway blocking the rays
Those good ol rays, so warming to the soul
You made me go cold
But now that you’re gone I cry while basking in the sunshine
As lonely as I am, I was lonelier with you around.
It’s harder than I thought it would be but I’m stronger now because it’s just me.
I loved you good for a while
But you just made me cry real good
Now, I can’t stand,
No, I really can’t stand
That I let you

The hardest thing I’ve had to learn and except is that, for the time being, I’m better off alone. That there is no man on this earth that can love me the way that God does. I tried for so long to substitute God’s love with human love. Earthly love is tangible. You can see it and touch it. Human love is a cuddle, a kiss, an audible “I love you”. It’s flowers and handholding and passion. It’s also fragile, and you can lose it in the blink of an eye.

True love is God given. However, more often than not, what we think to be “true love” is a convincing lie and a fleeting emotion. It sickens me to think I’ve fallen for that lie.

For the life of me I cannot figure out why I chose to ignore Psalm 146:3.
“Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal man who cannot save.”

Why, oh why did I have to get my heart broken so many times to learn such a valuable lesson?

I went about this lesson the hard way and have been left a little jaded and bitter towards the male race (my sweet boys excluded). I just wished I had learned early on that God could be my everything.

Both of my sisters figured it out. If you haven’t read my sister Heather’s blog, you should. Heatherlaynelamb.blogspot.com. She has her love story blogged and right smack dab in the center of that human love story is her love story with God. She depended on Him solely when boy after boy left her jaded. God rewarded her dependence on Him and brought her an amazing man, Mr. Hunter Lamb, who ALSO depended solely on God. Although there are times that they lean on each other, as every married couple should, they never lose sight of the One who got them where they are. God is their glue.

I didn’t have that glue. In fact, I’m still struggling to coat myself in that “glue”. I don’t know if God will ever bless me with what both of my sisters have but I do know that IF He does, I want to be ready.

Jim Caveizel spoke at my church a couple Sunday’s ago. You may know him as Jesus, in “The Passion of the Christ”. He has an amazing testimony but one thing he said really stuck out to me.

“A true knight does not wear shining armor. Their armor is dented and dull and blood stained and they rescue their fair maidens.”

He was talking about men being Godly men. Men who stand up and stand with their families. Men who keep their eye on the Lord and fight the world around them that is tempting to bring them down.

Ladies, we also need to learn what a fair maiden is. We need to be worthy of our knight’s fight! We need tend to the men that God has placed in our lives. We also have to fight the world around us.

I failed to do that.

God and God alone is the one who will drive us through the fight.

This time alone is one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I have faith it is going to be one of the most rewarding. My eyes and my heart have already been opened to so many truths in such a short amount of time. I was constantly using some sort of relationship, romantic or even just a friendship, to distract me from the things I needed to focus on. I finally think God has me just where He wants me. I’m ready to listen. I’m ready to learn. I’m ready to be coated in glue.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cookies and Candies and Cake

When did the food pyramid become separated into two categories? Adult and children. Did I miss the email? Not only that, while the adult pyramid remains the same, the children’s pyramid looks similar to this:

Colorful multi-vitamin
Chicken nuggets and hotdogs
Grilled cheese, mac and cheese, cream of cheese
Peanut butter and jelly, goldfish crackers, pizza, french fries
Candy when you tinkle, candy when you cry, and candy when you smile
Juice, soda, juice, soda, juice, soda, juice, soda, juice, soda, juice, water, milk

It makes me sad. When did kids get so picky? Let me rephrase that, when did parents allow kids to be so picky? Kids have always been “Ew gross, I don’t wanna, you can’t make me, I’m hungry” little people. Parents have chosen to allow kids to be pacified with whatever they point their chubby little fingers and grunt at.

I’m not the perfect parent and just as guilty as the next mom standing in the McDonalds line while her kid throws a fit on the nasty tiled floor because they got the blue car and not the green one. I can still be sad though. Sad that I gave into the hype and that all it takes is big pleading eyes, a crusty nose and the pronunciation of “L” as “Y” to get me to cave and feed my blonde angels dinosaur shaped, processed chicken meat…ish.

I WILL pat myself on the back for the fact that I never make my kids a “special” meal at dinner. They sit their little back talking fannies down and eat what I put on their plate or they go to bed hungry. It has worked wonders and I can proudly say persistence had paid off. My oldest son asked for peas instead of fries on a family outing once. It was the proudest moment of my parenting life. I just wonder why more parents aren’t doing something similar.

Walking into my boy’s elementary school sometimes knocks the breath out of me. When I was in school, there was one, maybe two over weight kids. Now…oh man.

It infuriates me! However, at the same time, I don’t know the kids, I don’t know the parents, I don’t know the situation. I just find it odd how many of them there are. Coincidence? Most likely not. Heartbreaking? Absolutely! It feels like we are giving our children a jump-start on adult obesity and coronary heart disease (the leading cause of death for men and women in America).

“Remember Junior, if your heart starts to beat really fast and your chest hurts, its probably all those chicken nuggets catching up to you. I apologize in advance baby, you were just so darn cute I couldn’t say no!”
Not cute.

According to www.cdc.gov “Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. The prevalence of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1%.”


I think the problem is time. It has become such a precious commodity to everyone. Most food is coated in sodium, preserved and pre packaged for convenience now days. Just add water and microwave. Zap the nutrients and clog your little munchkins arteries all in less than 5 minutes! Whoot Whoot! Who’s jumping on that train? 90% of America, that’s who.

Proverbs 13:24 says this “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”

I’d like to think this could be taken several different ways. Discipline is not just classified as hauling off and smacking the rear end of your impish little elf. Discipline is training friends! Training your children to behave, to be kind, to EAT RIGHT! Discipline IS love.

Showing your children love is not giving your child a king sized Snickers bar because they only screamed for 20 minutes rather than 30 at the doctors office. Love is a shiny sticker and maybe a fist bump (my boys respond well to those) and a “Hey bud you did awesome in there!”

Too many parents are equating love with rewards. Sadly, rewards can become indulgence. When those rewards are food, which seems to be the reward of choice among several brat breeders, the end result is not too pretty. Food+Indulgence= “What is your five year old teetering on? 180?”

Of course that is an extreme, but sadly, all too common case.

All in all fellow and future parents, what we need to decide is this: Do we love our children more than convenience? Do we love them enough to say “NO”?

I, for one, would like my children to out live me. I’m thinking grilled chicken and broccoli is sounding perfect for dinner tonight!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I'll never make it onto the cover of a domestic magazine...

I wouldn’t exactly consider myself domestically handicapped, nor would I call myself the queen of domestication. I’d say I fall somewhere in between. For example; canned biscuits are my best friends. I drink while folding laundry and, more often than not, have a beer with my “home cooked meal” (canned corn and some sort of chicken I sprinkled garlic salt on or drenched in barbeque sauce). Should I bring cookies to the new neighbor, they would be from the grocery store bakery and lovingly arranged on a floral paper plate. All in all, I’d say I get an “A” for effort.

Honestly, I’m doing it in the best interest of my boys. I would hate for their expectations to be set too high when it comes time for them to find a little domestic goddess of their own. Yes…that reasoning works…

I know I have the ability to be the Bree Van de Kamp of Spring Hill, TN. I even tried my hand at it for a while. Unfortunately, one divorce and a couple of heartbreaks later it made me realize that, even with the best effort, if your heart is not in it, your “human” will prevail. In the end, I was left with God, a glass of wine and one heck of a kitchen mess to clean while my 3 little angels threw punches in the living room.

I feel honesty is the best policy, seeing as I failed to be honest to even myself a couple of years ago. With that said I’m HONESTLY struggling. I’m struggling to allow God to guide to my actions. I’m struggling to do ALL things for His glory. I’m struggling to let go and let God. I’m struggling to clean this dang mess up from breakfast….

Some days are better than others. There are days I glow with confidence and others that I feel downer than dirt. There are days that every living soul is my best friend and other days that I’d pay to punch the next person who glances in my direction. You want an emotional roller coaster? Jump on!

Does that make me a failure? Nope. That makes me human.

Perhaps I may be a tad more dramatic in my emotions than most…some may disagree with the “tad” part. Heck, I’ve had more than one person walk away from me for that very reason. I also learned that God weeds out those who cannot love you unconditionally. Unconditionally as in, “You drive me crazy, have you lost your ever loving mind? I still love you.” In all fairness, who of us really is easy to love? We all have our faults. Some people just hide them better than others. If you think you are without fault, you would be the person I’d pay to punch. Just sayin’.

I feel like I’m repeatedly taking a college course that is designed to fail. The one class I’m never going to pass but will continue to take until I do. Its called “Being True to Yourself 101”. It’s full of lessons on loving others as God loves them, loving yourself as God loves you, seeking God even when you’re mad at Him, learning to accept your faults, not blaming others for your faults and praying for those who have hurt you. The most important lesson, however, is the lesson on being who you are and being PROUD of who you are. I feel that my grades are little better on that lesson here lately. The other lessons? Let’s just say “FAIL” seems to frequent my vocabulary. Oddly, I don’t think I’m alone in this class….

All of that said, sometimes I wish I was Martha Stewart with all of her domestic glory and illegal stock exchange wisdom. Mostly, however, I’m just glad my children get fed. My Susie Homemaker image may be slightly tainted but it sure does elicit a good belly laugh when the reality of it is revealed. I can handle that.

This is the beginning of my blog-o-rants and reality. May you enjoy.