"I love thee to the depth and breadth and height, my soul can reach, when feeling out of sight, for the ends of being and ideal grace...I love thee with the breath, smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death."
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Sunday, November 27, 2016

"It's taking forever"

Hey there.
Been awhile.
More specifically, a YEAR AND A HALF.
Sorry, guys.  I know most of you keep up through pictures/snippets on Facebook and Instagram, so I assume we're all good, right?  I also realize your lives don't revolve around the Duff Family Blog.

So. A lot has happened. I was looking through pictures just now and I know I won't cover it all...so I'm going to try to cover the important stuff.

1) We are all still here. And we all still love each other. I'll start with that because sometimes that is a celebration in itself in that span of time.

2) We are blessed. We have amazing family and friends. We just spent a weekend full of conversation and LOTS of laughter with the Duff side of the family for Thanksgiving/mas.  I am thankful that my in-laws accept me for who I am (sorry again for the "Leave it to Beaver" charade stunt I pulled. Thank you for laughing and loving me even after several glasses of wine.)

3) My side of the family must also be addressed as equally amazing. I am so lucky, you guys. I never even knew that so many families can be dysfunctional....because I have two amazing families that are kind and loving, no matter what. I have these amazing barn doors that everyone commented on how beautiful they are this weekend...and I know the time and effort it took for my parents to make them. They mean more, because of it. No matter where I live, no matter which house, they will come with me, along with a million other gifts/items from my parents. We missed them this week, but thankful they enjoyed each other in our absence as I know we'll all be together again soon to celebrate family.

4) We have married off a nephew to a beautiful girl named Morgan (the name alone is special to Darrin and myself) on our 11th anniversary. I love her more as I continue to get to know her.

5) We have lost a father. The first loss of a parent that my husband and I have endured. This paragraph won't do him or the loss of him justice, but I have a few things to say anyway. It is heartbreaking, no matter the cause or the timing. It is painful and it is strange and it is heartbreaking. I did not know Gary before his stroke, but I can imagine him because of the memories Darrin has shared. I like to think Darrin got everything that was good in his dad. When he laughs with our boys and the jokes he tells. I hear their laughter and hope that Darrin's sounded the same as a boy....the roughhousing even when he is exhausted....the snuggles before bed as he reads them their bedtime book. I don't have to have memories of pre-stroke Gary to know that he raised a good man. And I'm thankful for the man he raised.

6) We have a change of career. Guys. I loved teaching. I really did. But I have to be honest about how draining it was for me. Especially BAND DIRECTING....the time involved is so much more. I couldn't do it anymore with our two boys and with my HS Band Director husband's hours. There is so much that I miss about teaching band, but I have so much less stress and so much more peace in my life now. I am just now realizing that it's okay to feel that way. It doesn't mean I didn't love my students, too. I have come to realize that I am a person who needs a little bit of quiet in order to be sane. I am not only more sane now, but happier as well.  I am thankful for this new endeavor and I hope it lasts forever. And teachers, guys? Teachers. They deserve a special spot in heaven. They really do.

7) We still struggle, too. Hudson, guys. I love him so much. School is hard. Playgrounds are hard. Friendships are hard. But we're getting there. We are working. Every day, we are working on it.
I watch him and Brody play and I'm eternally grateful for BOTH of them. I pray that their sweet relationship is always that. I pray that they remain close. I pray.  I used to think that people were born and for the most part, were molded into who they would become. Then, I had children. And mine are complete opposites. Both dear. Both special. Both mine.....but both so different.  Brody's life seems so easy sometimes. He wakes up happy. He smiles and laughs a lot. He gets over things quickly, doesn't let life get him down easily. And Hudson...I feel sad for him sometimes because life seems harder in that respect. He has to work harder to be happy....and it doesn't seem fair to me.
And on the flip side, I watch Hudson memorize his piano pieces so quickly and then bring it down a step like it ain't no big thing...and I think THAT'S unfair! He was reading at 2 1/2 years old. He doesn't remember learning HOW to read because he never really had to... he just read. What will he do with that? I pray he will do a lot of great things with that big ol' brain of his.

8) We have learned...we have loved....we continue to open our minds. Our family marched in the Gay Pride parade in Dallas this year with my sweet friends, Jerime and Doug's church. We wore shirts that said, "We are whosever." And we are whosever. We love...and I am proud that my boys know that they can be whoever they are and love whoever they want.

9) One thing the boys say a lot is, "It's taking FOREVER." They say this when they are impatient. They say it when they want life to move faster for them. I remember saying the same thing as a kid. At times, as an adult. Lord, help me to never say this again. Life is going by quite fast enough, I must say. Lord, let it take forever.









Sunday, April 26, 2015

"No. You are brave."

Well, guys.
Lots to chew on this time.
I am unsure of where to begin.
There have been many opportunities for growth and reflection in my life (and in the lives of others I care about). Two and a half weeks ago, the man I share an office with, teach with, care about and respect more than he will ever know....had a heart attack 8th period at school.  He wasn't feeling well and he went to the nurse (Thank you, God).  I have seen him remain calm throughout his heart attack and entire recovery process....I know this is a result of his (and his family's) strong and abiding faith in God.  I can see it.  I can feel it.  And I am thankful for the influence his strength and his faith has had on me as I have taught alongside him the past 5 years, and plan to continue to do so.

It is hard for me to explain myself sometimes.  I tend to not care at all about what others think of me at times and then in the very next moment, I care entirely too much.  I know, deep down, that I am an intelligent, capable woman and a great musician and teacher.  (I'm good enough, smart enough and doggone it, people like me, right?!).  But typically, other people seem to have more confidence in me than I have in myself.  I pray about this daily.

My friend and cohort will be out the remainder of the year, leaving me to run a program that I feel both highly qualified to run and also inadequate in comparison.  It is stressful, but he is okay.  It is overwhelming, but he is okay. The kids are okay.  We are all....okay.  And it isn't about me or what others think of me.  What matters is what God thinks of me.  And I will always be good enough in His eyes.  And honestly, I have no idea what His plan is in this....but I am realizing that I am quite capable of this role.  I am, more importantly, realizing that life is so short and that, in the grand scheme of things (get ready, band directors that might be reading this) it is: Just. Band.  It is just band.  And I absolutely love it.  I have the coolest job in the world.  But it is just band.

Today, Hudson and Brody had swim lessons. Darrin took them while I went grocery shopping.
I came home to a meltdown.  Hudson did not have a good lesson.  He HATES getting his head wet and therefore, has a lot of anxiety and fear about it.  We have good weeks and we have bad weeks. This week was a bad week.  You can't talk to him about it when he is upset.  So we wait.  We wait until he is calm.





Tonight, I was talking to him about it and I asked him why he was afraid of getting his head wet. He said, "I hate getting water in my nose." I explained (again) that you have to blow bubbles through your mouth and then you won't get water in your nose. I told him I used to hate that feeling, too, until I figured out how to make sure that didn't happen.  I told him, "Sometimes learning something new is hard and painful and it doesn't always feel good, but you still have to do it.  When you were learning how to walk, you fell down and got frustrated (and to be perfectly honest, Hudson NEVER fell down learning to walk...he just waited until he was 14 months old to make sure he wouldn't fall)....but you kept getting back up and trying to walk.  What if you had just plopped down and decided it was too hard or too uncomfortable and you just would never walk?"  He kind of laughed at this thought.  I told him, "You would never run and play on a playground like you just did. Swimming (and anything else you learn to do) is the same.  It will be uncomfortable at first but sometimes discomfort is necessary to grow and learn."  He looked right at me and said, "But I'm too scared."  I looked at him, with as much strength I could muster and said, "No, you are not.  You are brave."  I felt every ounce of bravery I had for him leave me and go directly to him and he stared at me and said, "Oh.  Okay.  I can be brave."

I feel God doing this for me and I hope you feel that in your life, too.
Give us all strength to conquer our fears, even when we don't feel brave.




Thursday, January 22, 2015

"But not me"

Here I go, here I go again, girl, what's my weakness? Blogs.
Shout out if you recognize that early 90's Salt n Pepa reference.
You're welcome.

Christmas was wonderful.  We enjoy SO MUCH seeing our family (parents, siblings, cousins, nephews, nieces, etc).  WE LOVE traveling at Christmas, but this year, we stayed home.  We woke in our own home and in our own beds on Christmas and it was magical.  On Christmas Eve, the boys sprinkled "Reindeer food" on the front lawn so that the reindeer would find their way (it is an oatmeal/glitter mix thanks to Mrs. Loftis, Hudson's amazing kindergarten teacher).
We had a full two weeks of bonding as a family and with close friends.  We went to downtown Grapevine and drove by our first home, where Hudson came home from the hospital as a baby...where we made Brody and many other memories.  The boys danced in the lights to Christmas music and it was A Wonderful Life in that moment.  A truly Wonderful Life.






One of the days of our break, we went to the dentist.  The whole family.  Exciting, I know.  The funniest part is I had an emotional breakdown over the fact that my boys don't need me anymore.  I mean, they do.  But they don't.  Hudson just lay there and let them do their thing, asking about 17,000 questions in the process.  He farted in the chair and said "Excuse me, I farted." Then he did it again and said, "Oh. Sorry, I farted again."  I mean, this kid is hilarious.  He is so far from shy it's not even funny.  His brain, for some reason, doesn't process shy.  I hope that takes him very far in life.

That night, we went out for dinner and he was staring at a lady in the booth behind us.  I told him to stop and she said, "No, he's fine." (She had been smiling and waving at him).  When she was leaving (she had two young 20's something men with her) she said, "Don't let anyone make you feel bad for bringing your kids to restaurants.  Enjoy your time and don't worry about what others think because it goes by way too fast.  Before you know it, they're adults."  And with that, she pointed at her two grown sons, who were already walking away.

Brody's 3rd birthday party was fun, albeit somewhat stressful (I can't help it; Going Bonkers just stresses me out in general, among many other things....it's just who I am).  The kids had fun, and that is all that matters.


Brody's daycare (and Hudson's after school care) transferred ownership about two months ago.  I had been praying for answers on whether it was the right place for them. I was close to researching other places and then it seems the Lord brought the answer to me.  I love the changes that have been made so far.  It is now a Christian preschool, with an organized curriculum.  They have painted, put in wood floors and done some light remodeling as well, making it so much cleaner/more organized.  The new owner actually sent me this today:


Let's just say Brody is comfortable in his masculinity.

Yesterday, the boys were arguing and bickering and crying and whining nonstop after I picked them up after school.  I mean, a solid hour of nonstop negativity.  I told Hudson he better get happy real quick or he was going to have a really grumpy mommy.  I also told him to be kind and get along with his brother and "that's why I had two kids...so you could entertain each other."  Hudson suggested, "Maybe you should get rid of one of us."  Then he paused a moment to think and looked at me with absolute certainty and said, "But not me."



I usually keep a note on my phone for memories like this and I wait until I have one deep-enough thought and enough material to really chew on before I blog again.  Tonight, this "deep-enough" thought occurred when I got home from dinner at Chick fil a with the boys.  I started their one TV show for the night and I look around my house and thought, "Man I have so many cool things here that represent so many cool people and so much love."  Then, I started counting the "things" from my parents.  Guys, I mean this.  I have the very best parents.  In the entire world.  Almost everything in my house has been touched by them. And by touched, I mean made.  I have several dressers, trunks (both redone and handmade by my talented father).  I have framed chalkboards, beautiful curtains and throw pillows by my amazing, loving mother.  I have clarinet lamps and an oboe lamp that everyone notices the first time they come over.  When I tell them my dad made it, they are usually blown away.  I have antiques passed down and antiques I have chosen myself and I'm sure you can guess which ones mean more to me. My house would be near empty (literally and figuratively) without my parents' influence.  Like Hudson said to me last night....I'm glad my parents never got rid of any of us, especially me.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

"I will never..."

This is always the hardest part.
Choosing one line to begin with...especially after a few weeks off.  But like I said, if something gets neglected around here, I prefer for it to be my blog.  Not my husband, my kids...or my job.  So here I sit again. Just me and my thoughts...(well, and my wine)....so here goes.
This right here?  This is one of my favorite places always, but especially right now.  My husband puts a lot of time and energy and love into decorating our home at Christmas and every time I sit out here I'm reminded of how fortunate I am to live this life.  I have an amazing husband who works really hard, but loves his family just as hard.  And I have two incredible boys that are equal parts frustrating and awesome at the same time.


This right down here?  This kid makes my heart hurt. Every day.  He wakes up happy...it amazes me.  This picture was taken the first weekend of Thanksgiving Break.  I braved it to Cosmic Jump with the boys (and me, just me) so that Darrin could put up Christmas lights.  Brody fell asleep on the way there.  I snapped a picture to send to Darrin, almost like an "I told you so...look how hard this is going to be for me now, pity party type of thing"....and then.  Then, I looked at that picture.  And there was my big boy, nearly 3.  (I know he shouldn't have a pacifier, but you shouldn't judge...we'll get to that part later).  There was my big boy, looking like a baby.  And I couldn't help but miss it. Don't get me wrong, I NEVER want another baby.  Like, EVER.  But in that moment...he was fragile and peaceful and he needed me again.  And it was beautiful.  And I missed that baby boy.


We had an amazing Thanksgiving.  We spent a couple of nights in Oklahoma with my family and then we spent a few nights in Kansas with Darrin's side of the family.  Almost daily, I reflect on how far we have come in one year.  All of us....but especially Hudson.  He is actually a pretty decent traveler these days. We arrived back home, relatively unscathed.  We had one major meltdown regarding the grievance of a gum ball not had.  Otherwise, the meltdowns were fairly minimal.  We were also able to make it to the KSU/KU game, with a lot of the family, which was a lot of fun!




Yesterday, I was on my own with the boys again. Darrin had All Region Jazz Clinic and Concert Friday/Saturday....this also coincided with our HDMI cable on our TV shorting out.  On Friday, I threw a pity party about that and on Saturday, I woke up and realized how RIDICULOUS that pity party was.  I SPENT A COUPLE OF DAYS WITHOUT TV.  Wow.  My life.  Is so hard.  I bet our sponsored child, Luvuyo would be floored if he saw our TV.  If he saw our house.  If he saw our food.  If he saw our cars.  If he saw a mom and a dad, BOTH here. Both alive. Both trying, every day, to love our kids to the best of our ability.  Instead of it being a burden, I decided to spend our day with each other, being active.  We went to Lil Dragons (H's martial arts), then came home and I cut their hair (Darrin usually does this...It's a little short this time...but cute, right?!) and then we went to Pizza Hut to redeem a couple of free personal pan pizzas from Book It program and Swim lessons.  We did this WITHOUT iPads (although one should not judge if I had brought iPads. Again, getting to that point in a moment).  We then went Huffines MS so I could get a few things done.  The boys and I played freeze tag in the gym for a solid 45 minutes.  We had so. much. fun. 



My final point is the most important, I think.  Throughout the past couple of weeks I have posted on Facebook.  One post was a response to a friend who is just pregnant with her first child.  Her original post was very judgmental regarding kids using iPads at dinner.  She said, "I will never allow my kids to have iPads at dinner.  You can hold me to that."  There was a part of me that felt SO GOOD.  I felt (and feel) so good to not be in her shoes anymore.  I have nothing to prove.  The older I get, the more I realize how little I actually know.  The more I realize I have to rely on a higher power.  The older I get, the less I care about what others think.  There are times that we go out to dinner and we bring not ONE iPad, but TWO.  We do this when we are exhausted and we simply want ONE meal where we are waited on again...and ONE meal that we can make it through without a meltdown.  Do I wish every meal was iPad free? Yes, of course.  But have I learned to forgive myself for the times that we allow it, because allowing it makes us nicer, more patient parents for 20 minutes, yes.  I forgive myself.  Back to the Facebook post....I replied and I gave my perspective.  I also stated that before I had kids I said a LOT of "nevers".....I have a feeling this offended the poster....but that was not my intent.  I simply wish that when I was younger, I would have THOUGHT more and spoken less.  I have COMPLETELY come to the conclusion that the WORST thing we can do as mothers (as parents, in general) is to judge other mothers/parents.  Parenting is the hardest thing I've ever done and I often question nearly every decision I make.  But I make each decision after careful thought and prayer and each decision is the best one for me and my family at that given time.  Sometimes, even despite all that, the guilt I feel is enough.  I need NO extra guilt placed on me by others that think they could do it better. (Especially when those others don't have children yet of their own).
On the flip side of that, we had a meeting with Hudson's teachers this week and at one point, it was mentioned that we are all working together, and I was given the impression that both Darrin and I were respected.  Throughout Hudson's evaluation process, it has been said more than once, "Mrs. Duff, you are doing all the right things"...or, "we can tell you are working with him at home and things are improving."  I had a Facebook post last night where my beautiful sister in law (and a handful of friends) all reassured me that I'm a good mother...doing right by my kids.  The nice thing is....being a mother has made my skin tougher than I thought it could EVER be.  However, the impact of those positive statements...man...what if we could ALL do more of THAT.  And less of the judgmental "nevers"....Because again, we NEVER really know what anyone else is going through. 




Sunday, November 2, 2014

Protection

I know, guys.  I know.
It's been awhile.
This is the time of year when I feel I'm being swallowed up by our schedules.
I don't say that to imply I'm busier than anyone else (I have a friend that used to get offended when I talked of being busy).  I don't say that to complain...I say it to explain.
When life gets busy, I try not to shut down.  But I do take a break from non-essentials in order to focus on the essentials....but I'm here tonight.  I made time and I'm so excited!
Although the past few weeks have been busy, they have been fun!
I was able to work in a Girls' Night with Ryan and Steph, which was long overdue and very much needed.  We had so much fun reconnecting!

As I synced my phone tonight to prepare to blog, I was reminded of how blessed I am to have such amazing people in my life.  I met Ryan and Steph my first year at OU and they have been my chosen sisters (I don't have any biological sisters, so I'm allowed to say that) for 16 years.  I'm so thankful that they love me no matter what and I'm proud of the friendship we've maintained.  I had a feeling our kids would grow up together....but I never really knew how solid our friendship would remain over the course of 16 years....I'm proud of us and what we've grown up to be...and what our kids are growing up to be.  Maybe Hudson and Brody will meet their very own version of Ryan and Steph someday when they go to OU.  I pray, anyway, that they have friends like that in their life.







I am also so thankful for my friend, Casey.  I also met him my freshman year at OU.  He was the clarinet player judging our color guard moves behind us (yes, verbally. Out loud, for all to hear).  I knew I loved him the moment I heard that sarcastic, hilarious voice. He was there for me at times when I felt like no one else was. "You mean your boyfriend broke up with you like, the NIGHT BEFORE you were supposed to fly to your parents together for Christmas? No problem, I'll take you to the airport at 5am.  Not a problem."
After judging last weekend, I met up with Casey at Klyde Warren Park for some grub with the boys.
Love him.




One day this week, when I picked up Hudson from his after school daycare, he immediately ran over and started talking to me, a mile a minute (loudly) like he always does.  An older boy (probably 4th grade) notices me right away and yells, "Yay!! Hudson's leaving!!"  I look at this boy and it takes me a minute to figure out what just happened.  Hudson kept talking, and for a minute I wondered if Hudson had heard him....but I know he always. hears. everything.  
I asked Hudson if he was nice to his friends today.  Then I looked right at that boy and asked, "Were your friends nice to you?"  I felt like a bit of a bully, staring down a 4th grader, fire in my eyes.  But lucky for him, he blushed. And lucky for him, I was already on the verge of tears as my heart was breaking for my son.  The director, Ms. Marsha, heard him and immediately looked at him and called him over.  She disciplined this boy while I tried to keep it together and go get Brody.  In that moment...I realized how real this is.  Life is getting real, guys.  
My kids are growing up and I cannot protect them from everyone and everything. I can't protect myself, either.  I am however, thankful for my parents (and teachers...especially band directors) that somehow taught me to have a backbone and some tough skin when people were hurtful and unkind.  Unfortunately, it's not just kids that can be hurtful.  Adults are just as bad at times. And it could be Hudson next time, saying something rude and unkind.  It could be me, on a bad day.  So I continue to pray that the Lord will use me, through my words and my actions, to be kind, loving and patient with my biological kids and my kids that I teach. They are all my kids.  I also pray that I can teach them to be confident in themselves and not be hurt by the words of others.  I pray that I can be kind and loving to my friends and coworkers and if I'm ever rude or unkind, I pray they forgive me for having a bad moment....or a bad day....and I pray they know it is not intentional.  I also pray for that boy that was rude to Hudson, and I pray that it was unintentional.


That night, I put the boys to bed and then I went to bed myself, exhausted.  I can't remember finishing my prayer...but when I woke up at 4am...I couldn't go back to sleep.  I prayed for protection for Hudson. I prayed for both my boys, but for right now, I want extra protection for my Hudson.  I cannot protect him.  But HE can.  I went upstairs. I crawled into Hudson's bed.  He was 90% asleep when he asked me, "Will you stay here with me? All night?"  I, however, was WIDE AWAKE when I answered, "Yes.  Yes, Hudson. I'll be right here all night."


The following night, I asked Hudson to pray with me.  He told me, "I don't like to say prayers, mommy."  I asked him why and he said, "I don't like the way some of the words look in my head."
I asked him which words he didn't like and he said, "Amen.  Amen is a very ugly picture in my brain." I asked him what it looked like and he said it has all these gross lines on these bricks on a wall.  I asked him to draw it for me and he agreed but told me he couldn't draw the bricks.  Here is "Amen":


I explained that the Lord likes it when we pray... and then I asked him if all words are pictures in his brain.  He said yes.  But he said some words are also kind of like short little videos.  I asked him which words he really liked the pictures of...he said "Magic."  I asked him what magic looked like and he said it was all these different colors of sparkles falling downward.  He told me he also likes the word funny.  This is the word "funny":


Protect us all, Lord. And help us all to be kind and loving.  Everyone out there, I HAVE to believe, is simply, doing the very best they can.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Recap

In pictures:






The month of October is always crazy for us. We go into survival mode with Friday night football games, Saturday marching contests, Middle School district and Region Contests, Fall Concerts, etc.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

"I'm not...."

I'm beginning to look forward to this time each week.
This invaluable chance to put my thoughts somewhere.
It was actually a really busy week even though I can't be terribly specific in my thoughts.
Early in the week (Monday or Tuesday) we had a family stop by to talk to us (Huffines Band staff) about their son's Eagle Scout project.  This was a former student of ours who happens to have Asperger's. I was an emotional wreck, to be quite honest.  While everyone was talking and discussing the project, I was listening...intently staring at this young man, picturing my very own biological young man.  I was also receiving a couple of emails from Hudson's kindergarten teacher telling me about his day while trying to listen to this young man speak....so maturely and so independently.
I was. So. Proud. of him.
I know now, the battle his family has fought.
I know now, the times they have probably pleaded and demanded solutions and modifications.
This young man...his broad shoulders and wide jaw and low voice....his handsome "normal" face....represented all that I can hope Hudson becomes.

My mom came down to help out Wednesday through Sunday (today).
She is a saint.  I hope....constantly....to be 1/10th the mother she was and is.  It is so incredibly helpful to have her here to help with pick up of the boys....dinner prep...watching them while I teach a masterclass (which I sometimes have to simply say no to due to Darrin's schedule).  I have to admit...it is difficult at times, to see how much Hudson bonds with her.  He loves her so much.  He prefers her to nearly anyone else.  He needs her in a way that I feel he has never needed me.  There are times...I wonder if he even likes me.  He has never really NEEDED ME, emotionally.  There are times I feel like he's growing closer...and other times, within the same instant...he feels so far away.



Saturday, my mom and I took the boys to the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch.  It was a lot of fun, but if I'm being totally honest....I'm pretty sure I am on the spectrum as well.  It is situations like this that make me able to admit that.  I get COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED in a crowd like that.  I cannot think.  I cannot concentrate.  I can't stand the noises and the smells.  I have learned how to tolerate them and I bite my lip out of habit.  At certain times of the year, I would be embarrassed if anyone looked at the inside of my lip....I go to town on it sometimes.  That's my tick. If you're honest with yourself, you might have one, too.

Each week, as I live this life... I try to think of one profound moment or thought that stuck out to me....something I can blog about with abandon.  This week....it was this one brief moment at the Pumpkin Patch: Hudson and Brody both wanted to get on this bounce house that has a slide.  They scrambled up to the front of the line once we took off their shoes, ignoring about 3 other children waiting patiently.  My mom said to Hudson, "This little boy is in line, Hudson. You need to wait behind this little boy."  That "little boy" looked at my mother like she was CRAY---ZEEE.  He said, "I'm NOT LITTLE!!"  We both laughed and said, "No, No...you're not little..." He said, "I'm a BIG KID!"  We agreed...But I thought to myself...."How often do we all do this?"  We think of ourselves as bigger than what we truly are.  We think we're "big kids" in the big wide world.  We think we're in control.  How often do we look at God and think, "I'm not LITTLE! I'm a Big Kid!"  Ultimately, I know God is in control. I do think we all have some control in the choices we make and in the circumstances we find ourselves in....but knowing HE is in control....gives me some peace.






Today, we went to the Blue Goose after church.
The boys had fun playing in the water....



The adults had fun having (somewhat) uninterrupted conversation.
I love the friends I have chosen for my life.  I thank God for them and I thank God for my family.  I couldn't have been born into a better one....and neither could Hudson or Brody.
I pray nightly that I can be the mother they deserve.

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