Throwback Thursday Stories: Keep it Together

Throwback Thursday Stories

My friend, Jessica, over at The Mom Creative has started something kinda fun.  Every Throwback Thursday, she invites us not just to post a TBT picture onto Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, but also to write a little story about the picture — to take us back, in a way, to that day, and why the picture matters to us, and what was going on in our lives at that time.

Since I am the lamest of scrapbookers (#momfail), this blog and my personal prayer journal are the two things that have most documented my life throughout the years.  I just love the idea of looking back a little, taking time out of the busyness of today to remember and give thanks.  

So, here is my Throwback Thursday picture: TBT #1

This was taken in July of 2004, almost ten years ago.  Pumpkin was 9 1/2 months old, and unbeknownst to me, I was about to get preggers with Peanut.

There are so many things I love about this picture.

First, we are sitting on the grass of my parent’s modest mountain retreat at Lake Almanor.  Being a northern California girl, I grew up on lakes and rivers, and there is nothing more peaceful to me than the smell of pine trees, squirrels chasing about, and the lapping of lake waves.  Lake Almanor has become a sort of second ‘home’ to me.  It is a place where I dig deep and breathe and trade the Orange County life that I love for a week or two of mountain escape.

Just look at Pumpkin.  Dang, it goes by so fast, doesn’t it?  I am doing something so simple, so plain — blowing bubbles — and he’s mesmerized. I suppose this reminds me of simpler times — when I only had one child, and he’d receive all my attention.  We’d stop and notice rollie pollies, and I taught him sign language, and I’d strap him in the stroller for a walk around the block.  Everything was slower. Everything.

The little man loathed grass.  I mean, if I put him down on the grass, he’d pick up his feet and balance himself on his bum so no part of his exposed body was touching the grass.  I could lay a blanket on the ground, and he’d stay put on it, because he would never want to crawl off and touch the prickly green.

I was so skinny back then.  Maybe this is TMI, but even back then I thought I needed to lose weight.  I was 27, and my body was strong!  What was I even thinking?

This picture reminds me of the days when I tried extremely hard to be a perfect mommy, and perfect wife, and perfect employee, and perfect friend.   For a while I was able to ‘keep it together’ with hard work and discipline.  This Karen is happy with herself because right now, she’s doing a ‘pretty good’ job.  She’s managing it all, and she hasn’t yet felt the disappointment of dropping balls.  Thankfully, the more kids we added, and the older we got, and the more responsibility that was added to our plates, the more this Karen learned to let go of control.  What a gift!

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You can participate in Throwback Thursday posts too!  It’s really easy (and fun!).  Every Thursday in the coming weeks share your Throwback Thursday Stories.  If you share your photos on Facebook, Twitter and or Instagram, use the hashtag #TBTstories.  Visit The Mom Creative to learn about how to link up.