Somehow, we are there now

Something happened last night that I can hardly believe. Opie had his first sleep over at a friend’s house. 

We spent yesterday evening at our neighbors house swimming and grilling out. They have a couple boys who are a little older than Opie and Opie LOVES them, he calls them “his boys”. They are so good to him. They are kind and patient with him and he wants to be just like them. He must have told me three seperate times yesterday “I’m so happy!” While we were there. He was invited ahead of time to have a sleepover and to have breakfast in the morning with them. I’m pretty picky about who I trust to keep my kids without me there, but obviously my neighbors are amazing and I trust them completely, so I said of course!

As I left him there to walk back home last night, I checked with him to make sure he still wanted to stay over there and he said ” Yes! Mama, I know you’ll be sad without me home.. But you’ll be ok!” It was so funny. He then added “I really like you mama” and sent me on my way ha!


In the back of my mind I thought Opie might panic before going to bed or get homesick and want to come home at 2am so I made sure to have my phone on loud and right by my face all night. But the phone never rang. 


I text my friend Jen in the morning checking on them and she sent a picture of all the boys playing on their sleeping bags. He had a blast. So it looks like we are officially moving into that stage with him. I don’t know how it’s possible that we are there, but I think this is going to be such a fun season of life. Some of my favorite memories from growing up are the ones from sleepovers at my best friend’s house. We stayed up too late, acted weird and had the best time– I want all that and more for Opie and it seems like that’s exactly what happened for him last night. My heart is full and I’m so grateful for the friendships in our lives that make it possible. 

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Friendship 


Michael and I are similar in some ways, but mostly we are different in almost every way. I think it’s great. It gives us balance and helps us each grow, because we are constantly having to see things from each others point of view. One of the things we have different views on is what we consider a friendship.  

A few weeks ago we were walking down our street to our friend’s house for a pool party. It was 100 degrees out and clearly we should have hopped in the van and drove down to the end of the street instead. As we dragged ourselves down the road, we saw a man outside putting law care equipment away. I was maybe 20 feet ahead of Michael (I was on a mission), so when I passed the man I smiled, said hi and kept going, never even slowing down. When Michael got to him he stopped, said hi, introduced himself and asked how the guy was. Steve introduced himself and the small talk began. Michael called me back so he could introduce me to Steve. They chatted for a good 15 minutes and I melted into the blazing asphalt. When we said our goodbyes it ended with talk of getting together sometime for a swim (Steve also has a pool) and more conversation. 

A few minutes later we arrived at our friends house and Michael told them about “his new friend Steve”. I jokingly teased him for calling him a friend because he literally JUST met him. But that’s all it took for Michael to consider him a friend. For me, it takes a while usually. I mean there are some people that I have an instant connection with and it feels like the heavens are parting and our friendship is meant to be, but or the most part I’m slower to open up. Honestly, I think it’s because I’m afraid of getting attached to someone who is basically a stranger and getting heartbroken. Which sounds crazy… Crazier than calling someone you met 15 minutes ago a friend, but it’s true! It could be because we’ve moved a few times and each time we move, we have to say goodbye and basically start over making friends and it’s painful. Or it could be because Michael is an extrovert and I’m more of an introvert. Either way, I just love seeing how easily he opens up and I’m glad I have him to balance me out. I hope our kids inherit their dad’s ease when it comes to starting friendships, if they do they’ll have more friends than they know what to do with. If they turn out more like me, I hope one day they have spouses to help balance them out too, and to help them get their own “new friend named Steve”. We all need a friend named Steve, right? 
P.s. Friends– Whether it took us a while to become friends or if it was one of those magical instant friendships, I’m grateful for you. 

Happy trees

Growing up I was kind of a weird kid. I’m still a little weird now, but that’s beside the point. One of my favorite things to watch on tv growing up was “The joy of painting” with Bob Ross, and I watched it whenever it was on. 

Seeing how quickly and effortlessly he could turn a blank canvas into a beautiful landscape blew my mind every time. He would chat while he painted and casually pick the colors he used as he went. And whenever he would make a mistake while painting, he would cheerfully paint a “happy tree” over it. I usually couldn’t tell what mistake was made, because everything he painted was amazing… but he was the expert, not me. Sometimes the painting wouldn’t even have any flaws by his standards, but he would still feel the need to paint a huge tree in the middle of the picture. That would usually really annoy me. I didn’t get why he needed to add a tree or five, to his paintings when they seemed perfectly fine without them. I understand why he added those trees now though. Without them, the picture was too perfect. The trees in the middle of the painting gave character and depth. The trees made the painting feel more realistic. 


I haven’t watched my pal Bob paint in years, but all the time I spent watching him when I was a kid has stayed with me. What used to be a joke between myself and I (I told you I was still a little weird) was that whenever something would go wrong or whenever I would make a mistake, I would say “make it a happy tree” to myself, almost like Dory saying “just keep swimming” to herself. “Make it a happy tree” was my Mantra in times when things were hard and when I needed a reminder to stay positive. It was like saying “push on, and don’t focus on the negatives”. Just because a mistake is made, doesn’t mean everything is ruined. Bobby could’ve tossed the canvas in the trash and restarted a new painting of a hillside in two seconds, but he didn’t. Instead he would turn his mistake into a happy tree and move on. 

Not everything is going to go smoothly all the time. The overall picture still looks good, but that bad day or the time I yell at my son feels like a smudge on the painting I’m living in. I try to turn those smudges into, you guessed it: happy trees.

I’ve found myself making happy trees a lot lately. When we had a bad lightening storm and a bunch of our stuff had to be repaired or replaced? Happy tree. When I’m stressed about Michael being gone so much? Another happy tree. They decorate the flowery fields made up of my family, friends and hobbies. While I don’t enjoy the stress that goes into adding those happy trees to my life, I’m grateful for them because they draw my attention to the space in between them. 

  I don’t know if my BFF B-Dizzle knew his happy little trees would ever have such an impact on someone, and be something that helps them get through hard times.. But here I am! If you have a phrase or saying you tell yourself, share it! Maybe it’ll reach someone who needs it:) 

Leaping

On Saturday I turned 27. Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what 26 looked like.This last year was a big one for our family. We added sweet baby Juniper to our lives, bought a house and Michael graduated from the qualification course to begin his new job within the military. Opie graduated from Occupational therapy AND speech therapy. We added two dogs to our household and a few chickens to our yard. Michael was gone a lot for work, so I figured out how to run our house in his absence and I gained a new confidence in our marriage. Even though he may be far away, we can be just as close and still in love as we are when he is home.

26 was full of love and adapting. I am so grateful for what my year of being 26 looked like. However, now that I’m starting a new year, I want to look towards the future.

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I’m sure that for our family, this will be another big year. Opie will start soccer soon. Then after that is over, he will be doing flag football. Karate too. We have already started doing Pre-K schoolwork at home, and he loves it. Juniper will be walking any day and will be saying more and more words. Michael will be gone for work… A lot. As for me, this year will be HUGE. 

I recently started re-working the blog. If you follow it, you can see what I mean. I’m going to try to post more often about more things than my family. I want to post more about eating, cooking and shopping gluten free. I get so many messages asking for help from a family member or friend of someone who was recently diagnosed with Celiacs, but has no idea how to even begin with changing to a gluten free lifestyle. I want to help. It was daunting when we got Opie’s diagnosis. Who knew our soy sauce, taco seasoning or oatmeal had gluten? I sure didn’t. I’m hoping other people can learn from my trials and errors– Especially when it comes to cooking.

I’m still going to post family updates and posts about motherhood etc, but I specifically want to build up the ‘gluten free’ section of the blog.

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TODAY I opened an etsy shop to sell my paintings. For a long time now, I have been painting water color paintings. I have a million more updates to do to the shop, listings of paintings to add, etc.. but I took the first step and I’m excited about it. I’m going to be adding oil paintings soon as well. Here is the link: Oilandwaterstudio

 

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What made me decided to start selling them is that I need help funding the next bit of news I want to share…

drumroll…

I applied to yoga teacher training! I am nervous even just typing this out and sharing it here. It has been such a dream of mine to become a yoga instructor. I haven’t even shared that dream with more than a handful of friends until recently out of fear that it wouldn’t come true. I find out this week at a sit down with the coordinator if I am officially accepted (and more details about it), but what I do know is it starts January 28th, 2017 and that I can’t wait to start that journey (if I am accepted). I am jumping, no LEAPING out of my comfort zone this year.

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I hope that I am successful in all that I am attempting and reaching for this year, and I hope that my kids see that chasing their dreams is always worth the effort. I don’t know exactly how I will work out every detail yet, but I know that I need to try as hard as I can, and hopefully everything will fall into place how it is supposed to. It always does.

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