Not Me Monday

After my last blog post and a recent facebook status update…

“If you saw a lady that looked like me at Giant this morning…in the clothes I wore….ahem..I mean “the lady” wore to bed last night, hair up, no make up on (except a little leftover mascara under the eyes), drooling by the donuts…it wasn’t me. Really. There is an impostor out there somewhere… and she took my kids with her. :)”

…I was encouraged by my dear friend Lisa to participate in this:

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

So, here it is!

I am definitely not feeling totally overwhelmed and freaked out at the idea that my baby boy will be starting kindergarten in less than a month.  Nope, I totally have it together and am feeling 100% okay with sending my precious, tender hearted, blonde headed baby boy to that humungoid school.  I would never obsess over whether or not he will be able to sit still or even remember where his seat is.  I am not the momma worried about whether he’ll be doing headstands on said seat while the teacher is reviewing the calendar for the day.  And of course I’m not fretting a bit over the idea of him in that huge, noisy cafeteria eating lunch without his family, needing someone to open the straw for his juice box.  Nope, not me.  Of course not.

There is definitely no way that I stayed up until midnight watching “Grey Gardens,” the documentary about the Beales.  Nope.  I have not been totally obsessing over these two eccentric ladies and their reclusive living habits since discovering their story two days ago.  I mean who does that?  And if I had watched that documentary, I definitely would not have googled “Edith Beale” today and read about an hours worth of articles on these women.  I’m a responsible mother, after all.  No, that definitely was not me.

I did not find my baby girl on the front porch this morning (at 9:45 am) eating a popsicle in her pajamas.  I am much more alert and aware than that.  I would never have allowed her to go ahead and eat that popsicle, on the porch, in her pajamas.  Not me.

I did not get out of the shower today (at 1:30 pm), only to realize I had only shaved one of my legs.  And I definitely didn’t just go ahead and get dressed and leave my left leg unshaven.  Never!  Not me!

I am not pouting today because I am getting no comments on my photography blog.  I am definitely not obsessing over whether the blog is good enough…whether my photography is good enough….whether I’m good enough (and if gosh darnit, people like me).  I am totally confident and sure of my ability to make this business work and would never second guess myself.  And I would never shamelessly promote myself through my family blog.  Absolutely not me!


falling apart

I read a lot of blogs.  The bookmarks neatly lined up on the top of my browser boast names like “I Should Be Folding Laundry” and “The Pioneer Woman” and my favorite, “Enjoying the Small Things.”  Most of the blogs I read make me wonder if these women EVER have a bad day.  Seriously.  They all seem so with it.  And they blog almost daily.  Daily?  Seriously?  Who has the time?  And they all seem to cook beautiful meals and take their kids on fun adventures on a daily basis and shower every morning.  Every morning?  Seriously?  Who has the time?  I just had a conversation with my friend Stephanie about this.  We agreed that at times, these women make us feel a bit inferior.  Where are the blog posts about burnt toast and disobedient children and carpet stains?  But what I have to remind myself is that they have those days too.  They just don’t write about them.  They choose to decorate the walls of their blogs with pictures of only happy moments, fun days, beautiful meals, clean houses and well rested mothers.

My blogging is a little different.  Yes, I love to write about perfect days when I’m patient and the kids are compliant and there is a sense of peace over our home.  But I often feel inspired to write about the hard times.  (I tend to post pictures about the fun days.)  It’s when life feels melancholy that I have a desire to put word to pen (or keyboard) and sort through all the ick of the day.  As I’ve said before, it’s therapy.  And it’s free.

This morning I fell apart.  Totally fell apart.  By 10 am I had already cried, yelled at the kids and expressed to Stan how unappreciated I felt.  Can I tell you what set it off?  Hmm, not sure.  It might have been Avary saying some very mean things to me.  It might have been Ashton arguing with Avary at the breakfast table over her version of rock, paper, scissors.  It might have been Grant complaining for the umteenth time that I wanted him to brush his teeth.  Honestly, it probably had nothing to do with any of those things, and more to do with a lot of worry and a long mental to-do list that I was  fretting about.  Whatever it was, I totally lost it.  I wanted to close my bedroom door and crawl back into bed for the day.  My wonderful husband did the breakfast dishes, had a talk with the kids and then left, probably thankful that he had a busy day away from home.  (I’m pretty sure the kids were wishing they could have gone with him.)

Then the guilt came.  Guilt from yelling and not dealing with disobedience well.  Guilt from unloading my frustration on my husband.  Guilt from falling apart in front of my children.  Guilt because I felt selfish for wanting to be alone.  After a hot shower and a good cry, I had a talk with God.  And He had a talk with me.  (Ok, don’t let me lose you here–I’m not crazy!)  I strongly believe that God’s spirit can speak when we are silent.  And often it is just through a reminder of a scripture.  All at once I remembered this verse:

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. –1 Corinthians 10:13

I no longer felt alone.  I remembered that what I was dealing with wasn’t unique.  It didn’t make me a terrible mother.  Others have faced these issues and temptations.  (Even those happy go lucky bloggers…and better yet, even my Savior.)  And not only that, God was not going to provide ways for me to endure this day.  If I sought Him, I did not have to chalk this day up to awfulness.  I could overcome and make it good.  I did not have to waller in self pity and guilt.  I could, with His help, make it a great day.  And so, that’s just what I did.

And here is the evidence.

A trip to the library:













































A backyard picnic and story time:




















Many photo opps with my own beautiful kids:















































A nature hunt, by request of my oldest explorer son:





























And just time to enjoy my kids.

So I guess the whole point of this post is to encourage other moms out there.  You aren’t alone.  On those days when it’s only 10 am and you already feel as if the house is crashing down around you, remember me.  I’m probably doing the same thing.  And if I’m not, I’ll have my turn tomorrow.  Have a conversation with God.  Let His Spirit lift you up and remind you of what you need to hear at that moment.  Then let go of the guilt and make the day great!  (And don’t, for any reason, read any of those too good to be true blogs. )  🙂

july 4th

Hello!  My name is Misty.  You might remember me.  I’m that girl who used to blog and post pictures of her family.  Yeah, I understand, it’s been awhile.  I won’t blame you if you don’t remember me.

I’m was sitting here with the fam, watching some Home Alone 2,  (old school, I know…that’s how we roll)  and realized it was about time I updated the old blog.  (Did I just use the word old twice in one sentence?  Hmm, I DO NOT think that is a coincidence.  More on that later…)  Our family had a blast on the 4th of July.  I think the best way to show you  is just to post pictures.  I’m better with photography than words anyway, so here ya go…

We spent the fourth of July in Manassas with good friends.  I’m pretty sure the fireworks were the best I’d ever seen and we all had a blast!

Side Note (that is only slightly related to this blog post) :: Did you know that you see several shots of the World Trade Center towers in Home Alone 2?  Yeah, neither did I, until today.  I was shocked at how emotional it made me to see them standing.  And, once again I was reminded of how much I love this country.

Until next time…

10 years

Stan and I were blessed to be able to spend a couple of days together in DC,  celebrating our 10 year anniversary, in early June.  While we were away, the kids did all sorts of fun stuff with Grandma Donetta and Papa Randy, including painting pottery for us and going to their first baseball game.  It’s always nice when we can get away and feel no guilt, knowing our kids are having just as much fun as we are!

We stayed in a fantastic boutique hotel in downtown DC–Hotel Rouge.  Loved the decor and the location.

The best part of the trip was just being with my amazing husband of 10 years! (Although I also enjoyed having grown up conversations, eating food I didn’t have to prepare, wearing heels and being responsible for no one but myself.)

I love this man.

And he loves me enough not to be embarrassed of me when I take pictures of myself in the mirror or when I take pictures of my shoes because I love them oh so very much.  (And he even takes a picture or two of me now and then.  And he’s good at it.)

Did I mention we ate food I didn’t have to prepare?  And I didn’t have to do any dishes.  Soooo wonderful.  Our favorite meals were at The Corner Bakery and Bangkok Joe’s. Mmmmm….. (I love to photograph food almost as much as I love to photograph people.  Does that make me weird?)

Although we did some unromantic things, like visiting the Holocaust Museum (my choice–I had been waiting 6 months to see it), we also did some romantical stuff, like walking along the Potomac just as the sun was setting.

And going to an adorable coffee shop in Georgetown.

And watching a movie in our room.

And just when I thought the weekend was over, Stan surprised me with an afternoon of horseback riding.  It was my very first time riding a horse and I absolutely loved it.

So thankful for the gift of my husband and the 10+ years we’ve had together.


I decided to go back in the archives of this blog to see what I would find.  I didn’t expect it to be so emotional!  Time passes so quickly and I was reminded that I should be savoring every moment because I blink and a year has passed.

Here is a video I found from last July.  I can’t believe how much Avary has grown since then.  And I also can’t believe how much I miss our home (and friends)  in Illinois.  I had to repost the video.  It’s just too sweet.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go kiss my sweet little kiddos before they are another year older.

what we’ve been up to, part 2:: memorial day

I know, I know, I am a month behind on the blog.  But honestly, I just can’t let these pictures  go to waste.

We went to Old Town Alexandria on memorial day.  Honestly, we had no idea what we were going to do, except that it included a picnic and time on the waterfront.  I like days like that.  Days when we just pack some food, load the van and take off.  No agenda, no schedule, no deadline.  Old Town is amazing.  It sits right on the Potomac and is filled with he charm of art galleries, historic buildings and cobblestone streets.

If you go to Old Town on a weekend, you will find a lot of musicians and other street performers.  It’s one of my favorite parts.  There is just something special about these artists who love to entertain passers by.

I have heard of the man who plays the glasses before, but did not have the pleasure of hearing him until this day.  Since it was memorial day, he was playing a medley of patriotic songs.  It was absolutely amazing, and even moving, to watch him make these glasses sing.

And just in case you don’t think you’ll be able to make it to see him, I posted a video here for you to see his amazing talent for yourself!

I could have stood there all day as he turned simple glasses into instruments.  I felt honored to be watching him share his talent with such joy.  When he finished, he took a small bow and almost seemed to be blushing with pride.  I wanted to hug him, but didn’t want to embarrass my family.  🙂

I did take an obnoxious amount of pictures.  I promise not to share all of them here.  Hopefully you will go see him for yourself!

After enjoying the music, we quickly found a shady picnic spot, near the water.  We love picnics….Ashton especially.  Can you tell?  🙂

But honestly, that’s just kind of how Ashton feels about life in general.  He sucks every bit of goodness out of it and is never ashamed to hide his excitement!  That’s just one of the million things I love about him.  ❤  But I digress…back to the picnic!

Somehow I missed the pictures of Grant chasing the pigeons around during the meal.  He has this thing about chasing birds.  I keep asking him what he’s going to do if he ever catches one, but he never has an answer.  I’m doubting it really has anything to do with the end result.  It’s more about the journey!  Once again, Grant’s teaching me something!

Avary enjoyed the strawberries immensely.  I love watching her do big things.  She is capable of so much at age 3.  Her independence is incredible.  (Okay, I know, she’s just eating a strawberry and I’m gooshing.  I can’t help it.)

We saved some bread for the nearby ducks.  It was fun to share this with the kids since it is actually what Stan and I did on our first date.  🙂

The rest of the day was spent exploring the town, taking a trolley ride, eating ice cream and getting incredibly sweaty (no photo available).  Oh, and Stan lost $10 to a street magician.  Well worth it!  I think the pictures speak for themselves!

Oh, and yes, I was there too.  I just happened to be behind my camera all day.  But don’t worry, I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

we interrupt your regularly scheduled blog for this special message…

Yeah,  I know.  I said the next blog would be part 2, but how many of you really care?  My guess is 00.  It’s Father’s Day and I couldn’t resist posting a picture from the day and a few words about the Dad in our house.

Stan was really young when Grant was born…21.  It was the day after his last college final.  I know, you’re thinking we were crazy.  (Yeah, probably!)  But it doesn’t really matter, he became a daddy, and at that moment, my heart knew more love than it ever had before.  And not just for our new little baby boy, but for my husband.  Seeing him hold his son for the first time was like magic.  And it happened each time one of our children entered the world.  I watched him hold Ashton when he was full of tubes in the NICU and my heart melted all over again.  And then there was Avary.  Seeing a daddy with any baby is special, but there is something different about a daddy and his baby girl.  And again, I watched him pick up our tiny princess, her body fitting in his hand and forearm, and my heart was so full.  And now, each time he comforts Grant after a bad day at school or takes Ashton out to play ball or comforts Avary when she’s had a bad dream, that feeling rushes back to me.  Seeing Stan love OUR kids….OUR kids…it’s just magic.  Yes, he was pretty young when he was given the name “Dad” but he’s never taken the job lightly.  And I’m so grateful that my babies call him Dad.  Happy Father’s Day Stan!  I love you.