Leave it to these kids to fill my cup up so, so very full. I love them to the core and the opportunity to be their mother. Right down to the very last sleepless night, temper tantrum, load of laundry, and goldfish crumb in the couch. In fact, it was only fitting that I spent the night before Mother’s Day folding laundry and shampooing carpets until 1:00 in the morning, ha! This morning we spent doing the basics – church and donuts. I’ll admit that this Sunday morning was a little harder and I was wishing for the hubby’s arm wrapped around me during worship and hand grabbing mine during the sermon. Or maybe just one of the kiddos to be a liiiiittle tinier so I could keep them with me in the sanctuary. Doing things alone all the time wears on me a little, and just when I was dwelling in those thoughts, leave it to the hubby to text me all the I love you’s and some really exciting news for our family! He can really get me from the other side of the world.
Our littlest gal has exploded with personality and all kinds of awesome in the last month. The days of no walking are long past and I’m doing a little mental panic crossing my fingers I got her crawling stage on video somewhere. I guess if I didn’t, I can always snag one of Julia’s and tell her it’s her someday. They’re basically clones of each other, so she’d never know. My favorite part of everyday is how excited she gets to see me and how loved the excitement on her face makes me feel. She only pulls out the mama’s when she’s reeeeally hangry, but she her favorite word is bye-bye and she’ll tell everyone with that gap-toothed smile and cutest wave. There is only one tiny little thing I would change about her and it’s to make her cuddly again, because boy I miss her sweet snuggles. They’re rare nowadays but they are the BEST.
This middle gal. I love her hard, and out of all the kids we every parent, I think she is going to teach me the most about motherhood. She challenges me daily and leaves me needing grace, and oh how I admire her fierce personality, independence, and confidence. The one and only thing that will make her happy without fail is her sister, and I really mean it when I say I think Aubrey is the thing she loves the most in this world. She does things that drive me nuts like pick off her nail polish 20 minutes after I paint them, so she can do things that make me love her to pieces like asking me to paint them again. This week when I was venting to my husband about her manners (or lack thereof), he reminded me how patience in the short term will win her heart in the longterm. I’m not sure how he knows exactly what I need to hear when he’s not here to see the daily struggles right now, but he surely does.
And of course, Mitchell is my sweet boy. The one that crawls into my bed at 2:00 in the morning, wakes me up, and tells me he didn’t want me to be lonely so he came to cuddle me. The one who grabs my hand in the parking lot and kisses it, and looks up at me with his eyes smiling behind those red glasses of his. The one who tells me he loves me 462 times a day. The one who doesn’t know just how right he is when he tells me he is just like his daddy. He is sweet to the core and I have no doubt there’s some five year old girl out there somewhere who is in for a lifetime of happiness someday.
After church, we grabbed some Krispy Kreme for breakfast – I figured Cracker Barrel would be nuts for Mother’s Day so we opted for our sugar in the form of donuts instead of syrup.
And then to the pet store, because who doesn’t love window shopping for furry little friends! Just kidding – I was returning the carpet cleaner I was using until 1:00am. And I found two dead birds in our backyard when I cut the grass today (real life) so I’m taking that as a sign that it’s a good thing we just stick to our two dogs. Also, Mitchell was disturbingly fascinated with the scorpion and asked for a pet iguana. I’m suddenly feeling even more grateful to have a pet I won’t worry about eating me while I sleep.
Back home we went, and as we pulled into the driveway (and the car thermometer read 86 degrees), Mitchell put in a request to go to the beach. So we threw on our swimsuits and off to the beach we went with the windows down and the Trolls soundtrack blaring. We lathered on the sunscreen in the back of the car, squeezed Aubrey’s chubby thighs in one of Julia’s old swimsuits, and off we went! The water was warm enough for swimming and their little feet ran around covered in sand and I am convinced going to the beach is the best decision we made all day. Of course, there I was substituting a perfect afternoon that should be filled with 100% joy with about 40% sadness that Steve wasn’t there to enjoy it with us. And right then, we ran into some good friends who we got to talk with and laugh with. They loved on our babies and they captured this Mother’s Day picture for us. Which was just what I needed to snap me out of my deployment-sucks-give-me-my-husband-back funk.
Back home we went, completely covered in sand. After three naps, we were back in action. Before I knew it, Julia was running around in the cul-de-sac in her underwear, I was cutting grass, the kiddos were sneaking popsicles, and our sweet neighbors were surprising us with fresh cut watermelon. This popsicle picture is actually from last night, but you get the idea. Popsicles are on the menu this summer for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It’s time for three (very necessary, very thorough) baths before the week kicks off. And as I sit here missing Steve, he texts me to tell me he is spending his evening off work writing papers for his college classes. Even when he’s not here, he’s not only serving our country, but serving our family and we are so insanely proud of him and grateful for him. Of course, we missed our mommas today – my mother-in-law who raised the man of my dreams, and my momma who just finished up her term in Topeka as a Kansas Representative and was celebrating Police Week in DC with my dad. Two incredible women who were the backbone of two amazing families that Steve and I are so very grateful for. And, we might even have a visit coming up soon, so hooray for that! I have so, so, so many incredible momma friends who I admire and respect so much, and I wish I could have hugged each and every one of them today (especially you military wives), but you know who you are! Happy Mother’s Day to all and to all a well-deserved night’s sleep!