And the Award Goes To…..

What a beautiful day!

I hope it was a sunshine-filled day where you are too.  We’ve had our fair share of cloudy/cold/gray/rainy days, and I love those too, to be quite honest, but today the sunshine and blue skies just suited.

It’s been a day of taking care of business.  (More cleaning out of things that belonged to those I love.  Today it wasn’t as hard as it has been, and that tells me I can do this.  It’s not easy, it’s not fun, but it’s doable. Which is good, because it has to be done eventually.)

It has also been a day of laughter.

My sister Mess Cat and her little guy Shaker mixed in with this crew?

A blast.

While my Fella and Leroy were hauling the heavy things from over yonder back to the house, we watched the children.

Ahem.

Well, we did.

And we talked about silly things like TV shows and things our children have been up to.  We talked about serious things like worries and the like.  And we talked about books we have been reading.

Mess Cat and I both LOVE books.  We both love to read.  Over the years we’ve shared many a good book back and forth and enjoyed talking about them.  (Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor, I’m especially looking at you. #tearsofsorrowandjoy )

Hey, Mess Cat, I think we’ve had our own little book club going and didn’t even know it.

But that was before.

Before the heartbreak and pain and grief.

It was interesting and somewhat comforting to me today when Mess Cat said that she really hasn’t been reading like she used to.

I was worried it was only me.

And since she’s making a concentrated effort and being intentional about picking up a book and reading it, I am encouraged.  Maybe we will get back to being the avid readers we were before the grief and anxiety took over.

IMG_6735

As we were talking, I hopped up from my Roost and found the book I picked up for a bargain price the other day.  I had to buy it for the blurb on the back alone.  HILARIOUS.  I shared the first chapter with Mess Cat and my oldest, and we were all three laughing until tears were rolling.

Good stuff that.

I’ve missed it.

Aub said that her Psychology professor has used some of this writer’s material in her classes.  I found that fascinating, so I read the author’s biography on the book jacket.

And this grabbed my attention.

IMG_6736

I read it aloud to my sister and my firstborn, and again we laughed.

It felt so good.

Mess Cat said through the laughter, “Self-awarded!”

And then the question came that simply had to be asked.

“So what award would you give yourself if you had that power?”

We laughed some more and batted around ideas.

After much contemplation this evening, I decided I would give myself the “most likely to compliment a stranger in a checkout line, at the grocery store, or anywhere else in the general public.”

In addition to this, I also award myself, “Mama who can frustrate her children in 10 seconds flat using less than fifteen words and no body language.”

I’m just that good, y’all.

Tonight I am thankful for the laughter.  For the feeling of not being alone in this journey of raising children, missing parents, cleaning house, and not reading books, I am especially grateful.  I’m also happy that I could find some things about myself that were “award worthy.”

What about you?  What award would you give yourself if you had that power?

(and here’s the thing–you do have that power)

So go ahead.  What’s your award?

Wishing you a day of appreciating all the wonderful and quirky things about yourself.  Name them.  It’s a good thing to love the person you spend most of your time with.  It just makes you a kinder person with everyone else.

Love to all.

 

Pep Talks

There’s a moment I look forward to every day in our homeschooling adventures.

It’s that moment when Cooter finally decides to buckle down and get his work done.

Finally.

He sits with his pencil gripped so tight, his head bowed close to his papers, and works so intensely I can just about hear the wheels turning in his head.

And that’s when he starts.

The pep talks.

For himself.

I took notes this last time just so I could tell y’all word for word.

Because, really, pep talks.

It’s when he finally hits the point that he realizes I’m not backing down and it has to be done if  he wants to continue a life with any privileges at all.  And he gets real forceful with himself.

“Okay.  You can do this, Cooter.  Come on.  You got this.  You can’t let fear rule your life forever.  You can do it.  That’s it, Cooter…..”

and so on.

Wow.

I mean, I feel like I can do it for him after that, don’t you?

And that’s usually when he gets it done.  Usually.

What is it with my children and pep talks?  I mean, I’m choosing to find it pretty cool and a bit amusing.  But there’s a wee part in the back of my mind that asks, Are they doing this because I’m not cheering them on enough? 

I don’t even know.  I hope not.

Remember back during the summer when our Princess left herself a note to cheer herself on for her last day of swim lessons in the hope that she’d get tapped to audition for the team?  It said, “It’s the last day.  Make it big.”

This evening was her very first swim meet.  She was so nervous and excited and it was downright precious.  She has spent all week working through those feelings and getting herself ready for this ‘big day.’

This is the sign of a true swimmer.  Their event/heat/lane lists on their arms or legs.  I think she's a little sad that it has started to fade.

This, I’ve learned, is the sign of a true swimmer. Their event/heat/lane lists on their arms or legs. I think she’s a little sad that it has started to fade.

My version of pep talk for her was keep smiling, do your best, have fun, be a good sport, and remember to say thank you.

And she did, each and every one, I’m fairly certain.  She did very well, especially considering this is the first time she’s done anything like this.

Tonight I’m thankful for children who teach me what it looks like to love and speak kindly to oneself.  I am thankful for a friend who taught me what I needed to know in my new role as “swim mama.”  And I give thanks for her teenage daughter who took the time to mentor our Princess and be a guide and encourager for her in this new experience.  Not everyone is able to give themselves pep talks in every situation.  That’s where we come in, y’all.  To be encouragers and give folks the pep talks they need to let their lights shine.

Take time today for a pep talk–either for yourself or someone you know who needs one.  C’mon, you’ve got this.

Love to all.