making the trek

Trekking through life: Faith, family, friends and a whole lot of coffee!

Parenting the bigs March 11, 2017

Filed under: encouragement,Friends,Kids,messy,Parenting,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 10:12 AM

I was listening to one of my podcasts**  on my way to work, Girlfriends by Danielle Bean and one of the feedback messages she had was on the limited amount of blogs for the parents of the bigs…..teens and young adults and it got me to thinking.  So much thinking.  I don’t even think I can fit it ALL in on one post, because my head just doesn’t release my thoughts sometimes….but I’ll give it a try.

Here is where I date myself and on the same hand don’t even care.  (The blessings of the backside of 40, ladies….it is a gift!!)  The advent of technology has me absolutely feeling like an old lady though.  For example,   “back in my day we made friends at the park and playgroups, cell phones were a luxury and if you were dealing with parenting issues you reached out to your group of real life friends.”  You see, internet was sparse back in the old days.  Dial up.  Sloooooooow.  And it was so new that it was just weird–because it was different.  The thought that you could make a community of friends on the internet was just well….a thought best kept to yourself.

Fast forward 15 years and my GOODNESS how times have changed!!

There are amazing communities of faith filled women, Mamas who have been there and done that for advice and Mamas who are trudging through it in solidarity.  We have the double edged sword of social media with all it’s pretty pictures, real life messes, fun videos and videos of what’s really going down in the kitchen at the arsenic hour.  What an amazing and challenging time to be a parent, especially of littles.  The world of evangelization just leveled up, BIG TIME!  And it is a club that I’m not sure if I will ever feel feel comfortable in..trul:   I only snapchat my real life friends, barely instastory and keep my grams pretty tame…facebook, you are mostly dead to me.  True story.

And then you get into the season of the bigs.  At first, I thought that perhaps just not “coming of age” with the combination of internets and parenting makes me a little leary of all things world wide–the discomfort and unfamiliarity of it all.  However, I also found upon further reflection that these babies are now growing into young adults who want the internet on THEIR terms and not of their blogging mother.  And so I resist.  And then, I hear the feedback that reminded me there are so many ways to bless others with this technology and we can all use this to encourage and build up (even though we often see it turn on honesty and genuineness).  So, it’s a balance of protecting the privacy of your growing people and sharing in the gift and challenge of parenting—what works for others, tips and life hacks to grow in faith and realize that we AREN’T THE ONLY ONES dealing with x,  y, and z.

In the past, I have shared some of our trials in this season and have even written on the very painful time of our  son’s episodic struggle with anorexia-type issues and likely I will very soon write about our daughter’s recent depression recurrence.  The fear of being so transparent in a world wide arena holds me back though.  This past week, however, reminded me that we are NOT alone and if blogging helps me process and encourages someone else in the same battle then I will do it.  But first…..Imma gonna pray on the next post.

In the meantime, if you have a second, minute, hour, pray for Leticia Adams  and family whose son ended his battle with depression this week.

St. Dymphna, pray for us.

**Adventures in imperfect living by Greg and Jennifer Willets

Among Women by Pat Gohn

 

Ask, seek, knock October 24, 2016

Filed under: encouragement,Faith,Kids,Parenting,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 7:48 PM

With growing kids, I truly want with every fiber of my being to wrap them in bubble wrap and orchestrate their every move, always keeping them close to Jesus and to mama.  However, although I want to do EVERYTHING for them, I know that in doing EVERYTHING for them, I do them an enormous disservice, and so frequently, we step back.  Way back.  Let them go and watch them fail.  Watch them struggle.  It is a painful process to watch sometimes and an internal struggle for the Hubby and I on WHEN to step in.

It is so hard to watch your kids grow through the tough stuff. Sometimes repeatedly.  They do grow though.  So do we.

When they DO succeed, it is with immense joy and celebration and sometimes even awe that we can rejoice with them as they taste the fruits of their labor and perseverance.

I imagine that is how God views us; He lets us go and do our thing, hanging back in case we need Him.  He encourages us through our struggles and cheers our victories.

Yet, He wants us to come to Him in our struggles, to seek His guidance and wisdom to receive His strength to power us through those times of trial.  The times we seek Him out, our struggles seem less lengthy, more manageable; when we try and and tough it out and “do it ourselves”, we often have a long and weary road and our troubles persist long beyond their term.

Let us remember, Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”.

Practical application:  19 yo loses his truck key and reaches out to the parental units for assistance, from a random neighbor of a friend because his phone is dead.  Dad brings him his spare key.  An hour away.  On a Sunday night.  No hesitation.  No grumbling.  No guilt trip.  Because he asked.

Practical application:

  • any time
  • any where
  • any thing

One day, maybe I’ll grow up to be as patient as my Hubby.  Until then, I’ll just keep asking.

 

 

 

We reap what we sow October 18, 2016

Filed under: Family,Kids,Lessons,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 6:00 AM

Have you ever had your toddler sass you with a phrase or intonation that was a dead-on impression of you?  Or perhaps a middle schooler roll their eyes with a disdainful expression that you’ve seen “somewhere” before.  Maybe even a high schooler or young adult disagree with you about something and throw your own logic back in your face?  No?  Maybe it’s just me then.  Just kidding, I know I am not alone here on this one.  There is no better mirror on our own parenting than in the faces, words and actions of our children.  I, for one, have seen some not so great mirroring of my own over the years and will honestly say; parenting is a constant work in progress.

Today I was privy to a portion of a particularly nasty and public conversation between two people.  These people are related to me and the conversation was one that my sister and I shared with our father 3 decades ago.  OUR conversation, though seriously explosive and resulting in a 7 year long estrangement and forever deconstructed relationship, positively paled in comparison to what I read today.  As I sat back and picked my jaw up from the floor and judged it all, I realized how horribly sad this situation is.  So broken.  The father, has long had anger issues and has never acknowledged that he could be mistaken on any subject.  Ever.  A father who can not ever be disagreed with.  A father who loves to spoil his kids and participate with his kids as long as it is something that holds his interest.  The daughter, a child of a 2nd and 3rd marriage to an older father and younger mother.  The boundaries?  As far as social media and family rumors go:  loose boundaries, spoilage resulting in entitlement and now anger, frustration and lashing out.  A lost little girl needing guidance, love and security, but unable and unwilling to ask.   A truly tragic truth, some lessons are never learned, only repeated with likely the same sorrowful results.

We reap what we sow.  Mamas and Papas those little hearts need boundaries.  They need to feel safe.  They need to trust that we have their backs. They need to know that they can screw up and we will be right there to help brush them off and give them solid advice and encouragement for the next go around.  They need to learn how to argue respectfully and know that sometimes in life we can agree to disagree and respect each other’s points.  They need to know as they navigate kindergarten recess, middle school lunchroom, and high school cliques that we are there every step of the way; not fighting their battles but cheering them on and fueling their self-esteem.  Sometimes it means making the unpopular choices and denying a sleepover, checking in with a parent, monitoring social media and cell phones.  Honest conversation.  Hard conversation.  Those boundaries are setting that foundation for later in life when those preschoolers on training wheels are spreading their wings as 19 year olds on motorcycles and preparing to move out.  Setting up boundaries and expectations early is the difference between a selfish, entitled young adult unable to make a committment waiting on society to give them a trophy for showing up to work on time and a confident and aware young adult able to understand the value of a dollar, a strong work ethic and the importance of following through with committments.

We don’t have to be our kid’s friends, they will have enough of them on their own.  Our job as their parents is to lay the groundwork so that they will be adults we want to include as friends. Anything else is a disservice to them, heartbreak for us and only adds to furthering moral and social decline in our society.

And for the love, keep your poop off social media.

 

Saturday: A day in the life October 15, 2016

Filed under: Kids,Life,Marriage,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 10:01 PM

Saturday.

Biketoberfest.

Semi fall weather.

Early morning walk sesh with the pup.

Coffee with my mom and John.

Run a few errands.

Watch Hubs hang the back fence (and hold a few panels for him)

Gave our HOCO girl a pedicure (looked pretty awesome, if I do say so myself)

Take the girl to get her hair done.

Drink coffee Hubs delivers to hair salon.  (I love him)

Run to Publix to grab some dinner snacks for an impromptu Homecoming dinner.

At our house.

Clean bathroom.

Hubs vacuums.  (Have I told you how much I LOVE him?!?)

Get serving dishes for food.

Hubs and I take the girl to meet friends for pictures .

Back to the house for the kids (6) to eat and hang out.

Take the kids to the dance, manage a selfie with them before we go.

Home.

Shower.  For the first time today.  Pretty.  Real pretty.  And stinky.

Watch the final episode of Stranger Things with Hubs.

Now to stay up until our girl gets home!

 

 

Time=Runaway train August 20, 2016

Filed under: Changes,Faith,Kids,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 8:47 AM
Tags: , ,

Right now, I just came off Facebook reviewing all the back to school pictures that I missed this week……taking Facebook off my phone has been AMAZEBALLS, y’all.  Truly.  So freeing.  Anyway, I was perusing.  So fun to see how much my friends kiddos have grown.

I was NOT prepared for all of the first year of college send off pics that filled my feed.  One after another.  I see those smiley faces, bags, dorms, full trunks and I know this is what we do.  We grow them up and send them off.  It is the circle of life.  And I just want to cry.  Just a few minutes, a nice big cry in my bathroom, cathartic and snotty and be done.

And then our oldest turned 19 this week and since he nevers lets me take his picture anymore without a crazy face, I posted a throwback to about 12 years old and I’m dying all over again.

Then our almost 17 yo stayed at a friends after the football game last night and I’m just wanting to shackle them all to their rooms.  Forever.  And hug them and kiss them and squeeze them tight.  But I guess that would be weird.  So.  I won’t.

Top it off with the fact that I am on Day 3 of the St. Monica novena for our kids and the spiritual attacks are real.  I was truly mean and grumpy last night.  Embarrasingly so.  I owe my kids an apology.  Already gave one to the Hubs.  And the dreams last night.  So vivid.  So haunting.  So nerve wracking and I know right where they are coming from.  Thereby doubling up the prayers for all (and if you could offer up a few for me that’d be greatly appreciated!).

Anyway.  Father Time, cut the crap and slow this train down.  I’m just here trying to enjoy the journey!

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.

 

 

To each his own June 19, 2016

Filed under: Changes,Faith,Family,Kids,Uncategorized — tracye1 @ 1:36 AM

We have just come off of graduation season.  And we have made it through our first of 4 (God willing!) in the next few years.  I have to tell you.  It did not look like I thought it would.  While I struggled with this in the beginning, as I processed it and opened my eyes to what was happening,  I was able to embrace it.  Slowly, I was actually able to relax in this and chuckle in the reality that our plans must be so much entertainment for God.    When we do actually step back and look at the big picture, sometimes we get a little better idea of living the plan God has in mind for us rather than struggle to keep our own agenda alive.

In these 18 (almost 19) years of parenting, I am CONSTANTLY amazed at the differences in each of our children.  There are similarities to be sure, but the differences between the kids and between us as parents has me always trying to readjust my view of life based on our kid’s perception, my husband’s perception and we ALL have a different outlook.  Isn’t that the way it is in life?  So why does this frequently catch me off guard in my own family?  The struggle of being human is real, I tell you!

Any time I am able to detach my will from any given situation it’s crazy what I can learn.  Things that I view as important to take care of RIGHT!  NOW?  Not always the case.  Emotions and hormonal struggles of the teen life?   Those require a stepping back and dusting off the brain recall of that truly tough transition in life from little kid to big kid.  Raising up humans is constant motion, assess, re-assess and alter course.  There is no black or white.  That is the constant reminder to myself; we are all different and there are many, many ways to live this life.

Bearing all this in mind, when I am able to reconcile these truths the reality is that when your kiddo has a different view on school and finishes 6 months early, graduation holds no interest for him.  Appeasing his mother for graduation pictures for announcements is a compromise.  The time to sit in graduation ceremonies will come and will come on multiple occasions but for now we sit back and watch this kid grow into a young man on a path that I never would have even imagined and  yet it just feels right for him.  Once I put my own agenda down and allowed God to take control (I’m always playing tug of war with control), my eyes were opened to yet another path and truth that God truly does have this.  These little humans are HIS.  On loan to us.  And HE does a WAY better job of taking care of them than I ever could.  And THAT is awesome.

So, Jesus, I trust in you.  Take the wheel.  I’ll try not to take it back , but we both know I will.  So have patience with me and I will continue to work on that, too.

 

Birthdaze June 14, 2015

Filed under: Family,Kids,Photos — tracye1 @ 9:24 AM
Tags:

Sunrise

May and June are busy celebration months around here with lots of cake, so yeah.  Good times!!!

  • My birthday
  • Mother’s Day
  • Nephew’s birthday
  • Sister’s birthday
  • Anniversary
  • Hubby’s birthday
  • Daughter’s birthday
  • Father’s Day

The Hubs and the baby girl of the family have their birthdays within a week of each other.  Which means twice in one week we will have Chinese food for dinner and cake.  Yum x2!

crab

The girls are getting ready to spend time with my mom this week annnnnnnnd my sister and her family while my nephew is in a baseball tournament in Cooperstown so they have some busy and fun-filled days ahead of them.  Anticipating that, I took the girls and friends to the beach for the night to celebrate that precious 12 year-old’s birthday.   What that boils down to is this:  Beach, Pool,  pizza lunch at 230p.m., cake for dinner, grapes and carrots for snack, nighttime walk on beach and late bedtime.  Followed by waking up for sunrise, walking to waffles across the street, pool swim and everyone back in bed at 9:15 a.m.  I’m anticipating a rally for a last minute beach time or dragging girls home by noon.  For now, I’m enjoying my view, the sounds of the ocean and silence….sweet, sweet silence in the condo.  😉

Sarah

 

 
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