All posts by Shawizms

Wife, mother of three adorable humans, dog mom of two mischievous dogs, Christ follower, football lover, and living out life in completely disorganized chaos. But loving (almost) every minute.

A Weak (but heartfelt) Thank You

I don’t know if you’re allowed a “social media break” when you have a blog.

But I needed one.

It’s been a busy and difficult and strenuous time since last I’ve been here.

There have been some big changes around here too.

If you hadn’t heard or seen, my sweet mom has joined her Savior for this Christmas.

And honestly I just haven’t had the words or strength to be here as we’ve journeyed down this path.

But I’ve had a few requests recently for both a talk I gave at my church, and what I said at my mom’s service.

While I am still needing to reformat my talk into a “postable” format, I wanted to share what I said at the service last weekend.

I also wanted to take a moment to profusely thank everyone who came out to honor my mom, who has been praying for us as we walk down this road, for the kind words and love shown to us, and for the patience and understanding given as we navigate our new normal. I know I haven’t replied to most messages or emails or texts, but please know that we have received and read them all.

Thank you does seem a bit simple, but it’s all I’ve got right now.

So thank you.

And please keep those prayers coming.

And now, for those unable to attend last weekend, here is the best I could do when trying to sum up my mom, and the impact she’s had on everything she ever touched:


Well. I am glad to see so many people here today wearing black. My mom would have been very proud. Because as she always said, black never goes out of style.

As I’ve been thinking recently, what I might say before you all about my mom, I’ve struggled.

How do you sum up the life of someone you’ve known forever?

Someone who’s been there every step of your way?

How do I accurately tell you just who my mom was?

I could tell you about how she ran Spartan races without blinking an eye.

I could talk about the fact that she homeschooled three kids and somehow managed to keep (at least most of) her sanity.

I could say what a loving and wonderful Nini she was to my kids.

I could mention that she and my dad were high school sweethearts.

Or I could focus on the fact that whatever life threw at her, no matter if she liked the call on the field or not, she always clung to her faith, and knew without a doubt where her hope was.

And I should probably also mention that she would have shaken her head at that football reference.

But just saying these things out loud doesn’t seem to do my mom justice.

They don’t tell you enough how special, and wonderful, and absolutely perfect for me, my mom was.

So I think I’ll just say this.

My mom was amazing. She was strong, she was beautiful, and she was truly my best friend.

And I’m really going to miss her.

 

Mom

 

Men are from Mars, Husbands are from Heaven

Recently our little family has been dealing with a decent amount of…well I’ll just sum it up as “stress.”

It’s not so much large, super crazy difficult stressful things, but more along the lines of a whole bunch of different issues that start to add up.

Sometimes I think it’s more overwhelming for me to have all those “little stresses” verses one “big stress” because it starts to tread the line of failure.

Meaning, I should be able to handle everything because big picture these things aren’t “that big.”

But little by little they add up, and then almost always completely overwhelm me.

Adding raising two small kiddos and just generally trying to maintain the household it’s sometimes a recipe for a breakdown.

And the other day that’s exactly what happened.

I just reached my breaking point.

The stress, the kids, the unclean house, I was just kind of done.

Ok, pretty done.

Totally done.

I had a headache I couldn’t shake, dinner wasn’t making itself, and it just seemed like we were facing battles (however small) where we couldn’t gain the upper hand.

To say I was a hot mess when the Hubby walked in the door was a bit of an understatement.

Now, it should be said that my hubby is a great husband and father, and rarely does he come home and “shut down” simply because he’s off the proverbial clock.

But that particular evening, I was more than thankful for him and his husband/father capabilities.

He swooped in and completely took over.

While I took our little Smurflet and got him down for nap number three, the Hubby took over handling the Mini, the dinner, the dishes…

A practical, real life example of husbandly love.

By the time I got the Smurflet down all that was left was for me to sit, and be still for a few moments.

A little reset, if you will.

No, nothing was solved in that evening.

(Much to the dismay of my “Mr. Fix-it” husband 😉 )

But there was still a weight lifted, and for a moment some much needed relief.

And I was reminded how thankful I am to not be doing life alone.

In this case, it was an assist from my wonderful husband.

But whether it’s a spouse or even a friend, it makes things generally a whole lot more bearable to have someone there to refocus you, realign you, and come beside you.

Someone to remind you that no matter how overwhelming or unwinable the situation might seem, you aren’t alone.

Someone to show you real, practical, Biblical love.

Someone to just love you where you’re at.

Because sometimes all you need to turn things around is a hero in an apron:

Apron

Happy Birthday Mini

It’s hard to believe that three years ago (ok, so more like three years plus a couple days…) you arrived, fashionably late, and turned our world completely upside down.

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You brought with you sleepless nights and poopy diapers and a whole host of unexpected trials and daily sacrifices.

You have brought more worry and tears than any other person I’ve ever met.

unnamed2

You’ve brought me to my knees, both literally and physically, so many times that I’ve lost count.

And you are definitely to blame for all your daddy’s gray hair (heh).

And yet

You’ve made me smile and laugh more than I ever thought humanly possible.

unnamed4

You’ve taught me so many things I never thought I’d learn. But I am thankful I know now.

And you have made your daddy and I so very, very proud as we watch you grow and learn and become a little more you every day.

So I wouldn’t trade all the worry or sacrifices or poopy diapers (wellllll…) for anything.

Because it’s what’s made you, well, you.

Happy Birthday my dear.

unnamed3

Your daddy and I (and your little brother!) love you so very, very much.

Happy Birthday Hubby

As usual I’m a day (or three) late (and probably a dollar or three short also, however that is an entirely different post…), but I’m pretty sure the Hubby wouldn’t love me as much if I was on time and organized.

Or something like that.

Anyways, back to Tuesday. Tuesday we marked the passing of another year for my dear Hubby.

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And while he is now staring directly down the barrel at 30, he has handled the passing of time quite gracefully.

To quote the Hubby himself, I am very lucky to have such a young looking husband.

Ha.

😉

But in all seriousness, I am thankful to have had another year with him.

Although no marriage or person is perfect, we are perfectly imperfect together, and I cannot imagine my life without him.

Keith Birthday 1

Though I try sometimes.

Juuuuuust kidding.

I’d miss you.

Eventually.

But really, this guy is a wonderful father, a fantastic provider, and puts up with us (read: mostly me…), so that’s gotta be worth something.

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So Happy Birthday dear Hubby.

May you continue to look as young as you think you are.

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Little Teal Shoes

Noralyn2

We were halfway home when it hit me.

I was glancing in the rearview mirror to ensure you and your brother were doing ok.

All I could see were your pretty teal sneakers on the end of your long, little girl legs.

And suddenly I realized.

I hadn’t thought about your shoes all morning.

That glance in the mirror was the first time they had crossed my mind.

Which meant that when we were rushing out the door, late as usual, you went ahead and put those sneakers on all by yourself.

When instructed to get ready to leave, you got and put on your shoes without asking momma to help you.

I didn’t think about your shoes because you didn’t need me to.

I’m not quite sure how that happened.

Wasn’t it just yesterday you needed my help with everything?

Wasn’t it just yesterday that you relied on me so fully and completely?

Now my attempts to help are met with the cry of “I can do it myself!”

And the scary thing is

You can.

You can put your shoes on all by yourself.

You can do so. much. all by yourself.

And although I realize it’s the ultimate goal to teach you and grow you,

I admit it made me a little sad that morning.

Because I realized that you are indeed growing up.

Growing up into such a strong, independent, and amazing girl.

And I am SO incredibly proud of you.

But if I might make one request?

Just a small one, I promise.

Could you slow down just a little?

I’m not sure my heart is ready.

Noralyn1

Dear Meme

I’ve been thinking about you a lot this month.

Not only does the month of May mark your birthday, but it also marks the day that you left.

Well, you aren’t ever far from my mind really.

Just recently I was spreading laughter when sharing the story of how Romeo used to try and snatch the tennis balls off the bottom of your walker.

Boy did he try hard for those things.

And I frequently tell people that a large part of my love of being in the kitchen comes from all the time I spent in there with you.

Meme Thanksgiving

You are probably where I got my love of chocolate too…

Really it can just be as simple as anytime I look at your great granddaughter, because she shares your middle name.

So I just wanted to take a moment to say that we miss you.

That we love you.

And that I promise that although your great grandbabies may never get a chance to meet you, they will know all about you.

Even if they don’t actually believe that you really did forget where you hid all those Easter eggs…

Love you, Meme

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Hello, Smurflet

My little Smurflet,

I have written, and rewritten this post for you.

I just can’t seem to find the words that I want to say.

Although to be honest, I’m thinking that the whole “lack of sleep” thing may be influencing my serious lack of articulation.

So that one is kind of on you…

Killian1

But when it comes right down to it, I’m not trying to say much.

I just want you to know that your daddy and I love you very, very much.

And we’re so so happy you’ve joined our little family.

Killian2

And your big sister, she loves you too.

Killian3

And she is REALLY excited that you are finally here.

Trust me, you got the best big sister.

Killian5

I also want you to know how much I am praying for you.

I’m praying first and foremost that you learn to love Jesus, little one.

And in light of that, I’m praying that your daddy and I, even with our many failures, are good examples of what it looks like to continually live by faith.

I’m praying that you never, ever doubt just how much your daddy and I love you.

I’m praying that you and your big sister always remember just how special it is to have a sibling, and that you two stay close as you grow up.

And I’m praying that you will grow up into a strong, kind, and thoughtful man.

Although I am also praying that you don’t grow up too fast…

If I’m honest, I might pray for that last one more frequently than I should.

Only because I love you, my Smurflet.

Killian4

Welcome to the family!

Happy New Year – Is God Still Good?

Hello blogging world! It’s been just about forever since I’ve made an appearance, and my apologies for that. Not that it’s a good excuse, but between the holidays, being pregnant, and then dealing with some unwell-ness I’m afraid getting online was a bit of a last priority :/

Survival was more the theme 😉

But I have been slowly working on the post below, and so without further adieu, I present my (somewhat late) New Years musings:


As it does for most people, the beginning of a new year always causes me to pause and reflect.

A year is a long time, with lots of calendar space for new beginnings, adventures, ups, and of course downs.

2017 certainly filled up those empty spaces, and while there were many wonderful things that happened, there were also many difficult things that happened.

Continued health battles within my own family, the passing of a dear family friend, job difficulties, the list goes on.

Even watching from as an outsider other people filling up their calendar space with unasked for trials. Sick kids requiring hospitalization, struggles with infertility, the death of a (very) young man, although not unexpected, that was still hard to witness.

This list goes on too.

And it seems easy to reflect back on the joyous moments of the year and celebrate, even to be thankful. Thankful for happy times and smooth sailing.

But reflecting on the less joyous times I confess often gives me pause.

It seems like those lows were pretty low.

Those down times went pretty far down.

And I find, for myself at least, it becomes easy to start questioning.

Why is this happening?

Why is this happening to me?

Why is this happening to so and so?

And, again for me at least, I can find myself questioning the goodness of it all.

After all, what good can come from the premature passing of a friend?

Where is the happy in continued health struggles?

How can this difficult situation be any positive for anyone?

Where is God in all this?

Why did He let this happen?

It’s not fair. It’s too hard.

I admit this is a mindset I find myself falling into much too easily.

Especially this past year.

Not so much whether or not God is good, but if He is good all the time.

Even when I don’t like what is happening.

Is God still good even in those low lows?

Is God still good when I am struggling?

The answer of course, is yes.

But sometimes getting that truth from my head to my heart is harder than it should be.

Sometimes in the middle of enduring or witnessing suffering and difficultly and pain my gut reaction is to pull away.

To start to question the goodness of God.

To doubt Him.

Where did He go wrong?

But here’s the thing.

If I keep down that path of doubt and frustration, and even sometimes anger, I find myself feeling like I am spiraling completely out of control.

Like I’m falling down that big black hole of nothingness.

But when I run back to God?

When I cling to Jesus like the life preserver I so desperately need?

Things start to make sense again.

The crazy out-of-control spiral calms.

Because here’s the other thing.

God IS still good.

Despite everything.

INspite of everything, actually.

Now, this doesn’t mean I suddenly like or understand or want what’s happening.

Clinging to my Savior during those hard times doesn’t suddenly make cancer “easy,” or death “fun,” or really any difficult situation more “ideal.”

What it does do however, is help me remember that this world doesn’t follow my agenda.

That my plans really don’t matter.

I know, it seems strange to find comfort in that.

But it rights my world again when I remember that there is someone else in control.

And that the someone else is good, and just, and loves me.

And that in the midst of hardship and heartache and struggle….

….He’s never going to leave me.

And that during those low lows, I can remember that even if I cannot understand it (and I often don’t), there IS a plan.

No, it’s not my plan.

But it’s a good plan.

I’ve watched what I would deem devastating circumstances turn into the most beautiful testimonies.

I’ve seen people with strength I didn’t know possible, that pulls them through even when they are certain they will fail.

And it continues to remind me that no, this is not MY plan.

But at the end of it all,

Even if I don’t ever see it,

There is goodness.

And justice.

And peace.

So I guess to answer my own question, yes, despite it all, God IS still good.

No, that doesn’t make it easy.

It doesn’t even mean that I immediately cling to Him when things get hard.

But I can ALWAYS circle back, because He is good.

And I think I am most thankful for that as we start this new year.

Today was a Day

Today was a day.

You know, one of THOSE days.

An emotionally draining, physically exhausting, when the heck is it going to end day.

It’s been a long few weeks over here, and to be honest I’ve been working on a blog post for a while now trying to express all we’ve been walking through.

Let’s just say I’m still not able to find all the right words.

I’ll get there, I hope.

But anyways, on top of wrestling through some tough and sometimes overwhelming emotions, today was a day.

It started with a sleepless night, which isn’t necessarily new (hello 25 weeks!), but is kind of my Achilles heel.

That was greeted by a grumpy, demanding, and just generally frustrating toddler.

And after one thing leading to another I found myself arguing with (yeah I know what you’re thinking) my two year old.

Because it’s completely rational to try and have any sort of rational debate with a two year old.

Hashtag winning….

This lead to spending most of nap time going over every detail that makes me the most horrible mother.

Because nothing makes you feel super inadequate quite like making your child cry.

Just really capturing mother of the year over here.

The remainder of the post nap evening was mostly salvaged due to daddy coming home (YAY) and taking the emotional toddler somewhere else, so as to keep mom from going totally insane.

I’m sparing you most of the details, but guessing every mom out there understands what I’m taking about.

And now I sit here reflecting on the day, part of me is embarrassed to admit the struggle it was, considering I have only one child to deal with.

I look around and see moms of three or five or more and they just seem to have it all together.

And here I am with one (and a half?), and I’ve got more days than not where I’m not sure I’m going to make it.

But I gotta be honest.

So today was a day.

And as I sit here broken, exhausted, and overwhelmed by my mothering failures, I am grateful that tomorrow is another day.

I am grateful for grace.

I am grateful for a two year old who won’t remember all my failures of today, and certainly doesn’t hold them against me (I think anyway).

And did I mention that I’m grateful for bedtime?

I might just be grateful for bedtime most of all…

Smurflets

Hello internet friends.

It has come to my attention that a somewhat recent upcoming event in our lives has yet to make a public appearance.

Essentially, I have some exciting news (well we think it is at least) I’d like to share with all seven (hopefully you’re all still here) of my readers.

Come the ever exciting month of March we will be welcoming Mini number two into our little family.

Or as I have been affectionately calling him or her, our little Smurflet.

We (read: everyone but Romeo) are very excited to add to our daily adventure, and aside from very similar symptoms as pregnancy with the Mini, mommy and baby are looking quite healthy.

The Mini is very excited for “new baby’s” arrival, and we have no doubts that she will be a fabulous big sister.

NewBaby1

In an effort to include big sis in all things baby we’ve asked whether she thinks this Smurflet is a boy or a girl, and she’s pretty convinced it’s a boy.

NewBaby2

Of course, she is also convinced that she is a boy, so we’ll probably not hold too tightly to her opinion just yet…

Anyways, that’s our most recent and exiting news, and I am sure it will provide me with plenty of new material as we move right along.

Now if you’ll excuse me, the Mini is down for a nap and I am pretty sure I hear my pillow calling my name…