Sharing my adventures, thoughts and occassional jokes. Sorting through laundry, and a little bit of life…This is How I Train My Dragons…

The End of My Favorite Chapter

I’ve been a little emotional these past few days. I mean, I’m always pretty emotional, but my heart is spinning in my chest with emotion–especially today.

Is it because I turned 36 last week? Not so much, although yesterday Emaleigh told Ray and I that we are “on the downward slope to 40” and she isn’t lying! Is it because my first niece is headed to move into her dorm today? That may actually be a little sliver of it…but I am more excited to see her bloom, because that’s who she is. Is it because I’m seeing all of these back to school pictures on Facebook? Again, this probably plays a bigger role in my emotions because, you see, I’ll be posting a similar photo in a few days.

Not of my kids…of myself.

I will be headed back to school tomorrow. But, this time, I will be working there.

Twelve years ago, I was pregnant with Elijah, and Ray and I made the decision that it would be best for our growing family if I stopped working. At the time, I worked at the service desk at King Soopers, and I had  for almost 6 years. It was a hard, but very exciting decision. After Elijah was born, I never went back to work and we never looked back.

Actually, there were many times that we questioned if it was the right move. Yes, financially we struggled. Being a single income household has not been easy and there were times that we weren’t able to do things because we simply couldn’t afford to. But, the struggle is where the growth happened. It was through the trials that we faced, that Ray and I leaned closer on each other, and closer on God. Our kids never got “all the things” but our kids also never went without. I learned to “ball on a budget”…sometimes the kids would ask what was for dinner and the answer would be, “pantry surprise” because I would literally have to figure something out with what we had in the cupboards. Honestly, I still make pantry surprise and each time gets more exciting than the last. It’s an adventure in itself!

But, more importantly than all of the financial stuff, I learned so much about my life in these past twelve years…through the eyes of my children who I have been lucky enough to watch grow right in front of my eyes.

I was able to watch all of my nieces and nephews throughout the school years as well as during summers. Now I see them all growing up, and can’t help but look back and smile knowing that they have memories of  “that one time at Aunt Caiti’s house”.  I also watched other children on and off which was an added bonus. I was surrounded by kids…and I loved it.  Sometimes, Ray would get home from work and all he wanted to do was have quiet for a few moments, but I wouldn’t shut up because all I wanted to do was have an adult conversation! I can also remember times where I would get on the defense because people would say, “What do you DO all day?”…trust me, it wasn’t all  bon bons and Days of Our Lives.

The last twelve years of the diapers, crying, car rides, library trips, time outs, laughing, spills, fevers, firsts, cuddling, blow outs, splash park trips, learning, visiting Daddy at work,  grocery getting, bandaids, laundry, crafts, arguing over naps, ABC’s, kisses, chauffeuring to practices, cleaning up messes, volunteering, first days, lunch dates, walks, singing, apple slicing, and, meltdowns are all  memories that I will be able to hold on to for the rest of my life. Knowing that for the past twelve years, I have been right where God wanted me to be–Being a stay at home mom was definitely a privilege that I never took for granted and I never will. I pray I did it justice because it was worth the struggle.

Now that our kids are in school full time and I graduated from UNC last spring, we decided (again, together) that it is time. It’s time for me to go out and find out more about myself…but this time, as a working Mom.  BONUS, I will be in the same school as my youngest and will have the same schedule as my kids, which was very important to us.  I am extremely excited about this new adventure, but I am also so sad to be only a day away from the end of my life as a SAHM. (See, at least I can still be hip mom). But, I am going to take the advice I have always given my kids on their first day.
“You go be yourself. Shine your light for everyone to see. Be a friend, especially to those who need one the most. Work hard and learn lots. I can’t wait to hear about your day!”

It’s the ending of an era. It’s the end of my favorite chapter. But, you know what’s neat about coming to the end of a chapter? It means that it’s also the beginning of a new one…and all of the pages are blank. So, here’s to making this chapter as good as the last. IMG_3160


America The (could be so much more) Beautiful


In 1906 the slogan read, “The Great National Temperance Beverage”.

In 1948 it was “Where There’s Coke There’s Hospitality”.

One of my favorites (only because I have a music box that sings this very song) was “I’d Like to Buy the World A Coke”.  Anyone else remember that song?

I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony.

I’d like to hold it in my arms, and keep it company.

I’d like to see the world for once, all standing hand in hand.

And hear them echo through the hills, for peace throughout the land.

Those are all great! All ways that I would like to picture the world that we live in.  Hospitable.  Welcoming. Peaceful.

Well, if you got a chance to watch the Superbowl on Sunday, I’m sure you saw the latest Coca-Cola commercial.  And, I’m sure you have read many comments and blogs about it. Some in support, and some in complete, distasteful backlash.

I saw it, and it immediately became one of my favorite.  Wow, I thought.  What a great country we live in where people can sing such a beautiful song about America, in their own beautiful language.  That’s why we are so unique…a melting pot right? People from all over the world come to visit this great country of ours because we are envied by many as the land of opportunity and promise…to chase whatever dream you have.  Not one of us has the right to take that away.  I don’t care if your family sailed over on the Nina, the Pinta or the Santa Maria…it doesn’t make you any better than someone trying to live out a dream for their family.

Boy, I was way off in thinking that our country might be a little further along than we were in the 1950’s.   Maybe I am just as naive as those that are in an uproar because they think that they were singing our National Anthem. (I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but America The Beautiful is not our National Anthem.)  But it didn’t even cross my mind that people would actually get upset over it.  People turning off their t.v’s in disgust.  Really? I fail to see what was SO wrong.

I’ve seen some of the most hateful comments come out because of this commercial.  Am I wrong to have thought that we live in a world that should clearly be more accepting of people’s differences? Posts on Facebook saying things like, “Our soldiers didn’t risk their lives for our freedom to have a song of our country sung in a different language”. Hmmm. The last time I checked, the United States doesn’t even have an official language!  And, instead of causing an uproar over it, shouldn’t we be proud to live in a place where people WANT to sing about how beautiful it is?

I’m sorry, but this is not America being beautiful.  This is America being hateful, cruel, judgmental and hypocritical. And, WE, as Americans are totally missing the point.  But Coca-Cola? They are spot on.  Kudos to them for recognizing the dream of many people.  And shame on the Americans who are in an uproar over this. (And yes, I am shaking my Mommy finger at you!)

I’m not sure about any of the rest of you, but this is not something that I am trying to teach my kids.  I don’t want them growing up in a society where differences are viewed as wrong, or bad.  Maybe we should stop putting so much focus on the outcome of a football game, and begin to focus on the outcome of our beloved America…who has the potential to be A LOT more beautiful, if people would just open up their minds.




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