Day 6: Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day will be a bit different this year.  My dear husband will be away so it’s just me and the kids.

So, I decided rather than feel sorry for myself, I will help my kids prepare for Mother’s Day.  Here’s what I’m doing ahead of time in order to make the day a success:

  • Talking with them about what they’d like to do.  What does Mother’s Day mean to them?  What would they like to do to celebrate?  How can we make their visions for the day come to life?
  • Giving them a pile of construction paper, glue, scissors, markers and crayons so they can make make cards if they want.  My 2 oldest can read and write, so they can assist the other two if needed.  And knowing my youngest, she’ll want to make pictures and cards for grandma more than anything.
  • Meal prep!  If I spend the time with the kids in the kitchen today, I can set them up for breakfast in bed tomorrow with minimal clean-up in the kitchen.  Same goes for dinner.  Crockpot dinner – I think so!
  • If I want flowers, then I better find a field where the kids can gather and pick them.
  • If they want to get a gift, then I’ll need to take them shopping and give them money or the supplies they need to create their gifts.

Here’s hoping for a wonderful, memorable Mother’s Day!

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Asking

Fig & Me  (if you’ve never seen her blog, prepare to be blown away by her amazing talent!  She makes the most beautiful dolls for little ones!) posted this TED talk a couple of weeks ago:

And it has me thinking about the power of asking.

It’s hard for me to ask… to ask for help, to ask a question.  Why is that?  Maybe it’s the act of making myself vulnerable and showing my weaknesses.  Maybe it’s admitting that I don’t know something or that I can’t do it all.  Maybe I’m scared of the response that I’ll get when I do ask.

But looking at the other side of it, I feel honored when someone asks things of me.  I have new moms contacting me for help, and I feel blessed to share what I’ve learned along the way.  My kids asking questions about the world they don’t quite understand yet seek my comfort.  A friend needing help to complete a task that she can’t do on her own.  I feel needed.  I have a purpose.  Love.

And it reminds me how much we really do need each other and that I need to do more asking.

Dress Up

Every morning, my 3 and 5 yo get dressed, but within an hour of having clothes on, they are off again.  They dress up as princesses, as ballerinas, gymnasts, tea party hostesses, etc.IMG_6587I often get invited to their tea parties and balls, but one day I thought I would surprise them by dressing for the occasion.  I slipped away into my closet, unzipped a bag that’s been closed for more than 13 years, and put it on my wedding dress.IMG_6262I wish I would have gotten a picture of their faces when I arrived to the tea party that day!  They LOVED it and didn’t even care that I couldn’t zip up the back!

I am beautiful

My husband tells me this everyday.  I smile and give the obligatory thank you, glad that he thinks so.  I glance in the mirror and wonder why he thinks as much.  I just don’t see it.  All I see in the reflection is a tired, plain woman with kind eyes, the same hairstyle, too much weight here, a blemish there.  I pretend to be happy with what I see for the benefit of the 2 growing boys and the 3 little girls that watch.

IMG_7120I look through the computer photo albums searching for a time where I was happy with what I saw, a goal to return to.  Only I look and look and look to find not one image where I was happy with the way I look.   Again, I see flaws, but I see something else too.

I see my son hugging me full of love.

IMG_4152I see 2 of my kids feeling so safe and calm that they find sleep.
IMG_5293

I see my littlest of little girls looking for all the answers in my eyes.

IMG_4842I see a princess dressed up and waiting to go to a magical tea party

IMG_6262And I see him looking at me again…

IMG_5927 like when he returned from being stationed overseas, when he proposed, when we said “I do,” when we became parents 5 times over.

And I begin to see what he sees, what they all see:

I AM BEAUTIFUL!