These Days: Updates from a Busy, Working, Student Mom

crazyHello my blogging peeps,

It has been too long.  I’ve missed you.  I really have.  I have about 1,000 things to write and so few minutes in the day.  I know I”m not the only one!  We are all doing our best, aren’t we?

My fantastic girlfriend from growing up told me: “I wish you’d write more about YOU, about YOUR life.” and it gave me pause.  Don’t I do that already??

So here’s a little skinny:

I live in my car.  Ok, not live, but practically live.  I’ve moved out of the nap time, park time, library time, 2-hour-windows-of-time-where-you-can-hardly-get-in-a-shower stage and now I drive from here to there and everywhere, especially between the hours of 2 and 8 pm.

And we’ve lost our evenings.  Gone.  Kaput.  You want us to do an evening activity?  Good luck.  When we get home from wherever we are, and after we eat, do homework, and shower, it’s 9:00.  One kid is asleep.  The other is almost asleep.  And the other has his nose in his book for another hour.  This makes conversational time and cuddle time and quarreling time between me and Bookguy nearly impossible, so we just look at each other as we climb into bed and say, “You good?”

No, but in all seriousness, Bookguy and I are starting to be creative about when we talk.  We text and email and voicemail and sometimes he goes into work late so we can talk in the am, and we’re thinking we’ll need to start having lunch dates too, because there is alway a kid awake or around, and not only awake, but eavesdropping and curious about us and life.

Which I love.  Because you guys, my kids are SO MUCH FUN.  We’re playing legit board games now, and throwing the football in the front yard, and my children’s personalities are starting to blossom, and they’re so very thoughtful about the world.  They notice things.  They’re so dang optimistic.  They have the BEST sense of humor.  They still believe they can change the world, and most days they just want me to tell them, “I love being your mom” which I do, because I do.

blog 2My big kid, Pumpkin, is 10 and in 5th grade, and I keep checking if he has armpit hair.  He doesn’t yet like girls, but he’s a MAGNET, if you ask me.  I mean, just look at this picture.  Girls will CRUSH on that.  He’s 5 feet, 3 inches tall, and weighs 120 lbs, and is precocious and smart and compassionate, and sometimes he comes up to me in the kitchen for a hug just because, and we stand there hugging, even sometimes dancing.  Can I be so lucky?  He’s playing in the Majors for Little League, and is becoming a skilled writer, and, like his mama, has a bit of social anxiety.  Whenever we have to go to an event, me and Pumpkin trickle in last together, and he shoots me this look like, “do we HAVE to go?” and I shoot him back, “Let’s get out of here and go throw the baseball.”

Peanut (almost 9, 3rd grade) still sits on the counter and watches me cook dinner every night.  She is an eager helper, enthusiastic learner, and a genuinely happy clam.  She makes friends everywhere we go.  Everywhere.  And you should see her on the soccer field.  Her tiny 42 inch high, 50 lbs, frame chases down girls twice her size, and she shoves them, and uses her body, and dear God, I’m so glad I have a daughter with brothers because she will NOT take sh*t from anyone, even though she’s petite and even though she’s kind, she’s quite stubborn and righteous.  She’s also playing the recorder, god help us.  She is so lovely, and everywhere we go people comment on her beauty, and I watch her look down a little embarrassed, and I wonder if she even knows how stunning she is, both inside and out.

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The Bean, (6, pre-K) is so very animated and absolutely hysterical.  He is the clown of the family, always laughing at himself or others, and, quite Dennis the Mennis like, he explores the world with his hands, not his eyes or his ears.  He tries and tests everything, and has the confidence of a true leader.  I honestly think he is going to be a preacher when he grows up.  You should hear the kid pray.  He’s entered a phase where there’s a lot of questions about his adoption story, and I recently put together a photo book to help him piece things together.  He’s asking to reenact certain videos from his early days when we first met him in Ethiopia, and a part of me thinks this going back to babyhood is about his searching to understand it all.  He’s enrolled in karate and Rookie baseball, so he is occupied 4 out of 5 afternoons with some physical, team activity.  Our team of people who help us help him have suggested it would be best for him to have directed physical activity after school every day, if possible.  It gets the energies out.  I think about his struggles last year, and the suffering we all went through, and all I can say is, thank you Lord for good physicians and pharmaceuticals.

I’m in seminary.  Other moms tell me all the time they want to go back to school, or they are jealous, and I have two thoughts: a). if you want to go back, you should, and b). it’s not as sexy as it seems.  The best part of this school experience, for me, is, God is healing pieces of me that I glued back together over and over and over again with weak sauce Elmer’s white pasty mush.  I’m becoming a more well-rounded Christian.  I am forgiving myself better than I ever have, and forgiving others just the same.  I am less and less fear motivated, and truly learning to strive less and abide more.  On Mondays I drop the kiddos off at school and then drive to Talbot (which is about 25 minutes away) and am in classes all day.  My nephew picks up my children from school and watches them until I’m home.  During the week I try to do my homework, which is a lot of reading, praying, and paper writing.  I’m meeting new friends and becoming (I think) more myself, and am experiencing God’s love for me in very personal, real ways.

blogI am still working, but less.  And writing, but less.  I’m currently writing on an online devotional project for a client.   And I just contributed a couple devotional pieces for a new Women’s Bible.  Yates & Yates is working on several fun and exciting projects, and Bookguy has recently taken on four new clients: Jon Acuff, Jen Hatmaker, Lecrae, and Angie Smith.  I get to chat with him about proposals and marketing plans and covers and strategies and what the market seems to be doing.  It’s a very fun industry, and as book people working in the book business, you can imagine the amount of reading that takes place in our home!

I suppose the one area I feel a little lost these days is church.  Our three-year old church plant died a short time ago.  It was so sad, I’ve had a hard time coming out from it.  We are back at our old, wonderful church, and there are so many welcoming faces, and we slid right back in to calling it ‘home.’  Our children are doing well.  The ministry at the church is fantastic.  But I personally am feeling lost.  Where is my place here?  We went from a church of 150 where probably half were new believers, where we were needed every Sunday, that met in a grungy school gym, where we sat on hard aluminum chairs (my bum fell asleep every Sunday) and where we were actively involved in almost every area of the church, to a huge church with bells and whistles and programs and a great sound system and so many service opportunities and so many faces I don’t know who is new or who is old.  My spiritual director has told me that perhaps my place right now is to just sit and breathe.  Maybe that’s all my soul can take.  So that’s what I’m doing, which sometimes makes me feel like a taker, but it is what it is.

That’s the skinny on me, my friends.  It feels a little weird giving an update like this.  But Erin McGoldrick should be happy.  :)

Blessed by each of you.  Be gentle on yourselves.