Thursday, February 28, 2013

Can I love my imperfection?

My new quest? Learning to love the things I hate! I mostly mean me. I need to learn to love me.

Flabby baby tummy, blah. Jiggly thighs, yuck. Seems like it's been a while since I've had perky breasts. Why hello second chin, why do you stick around? I remember thinking I wasn't that cute when I was 16 or 17. Now I see the error I made. Nothing jiggled, wiggled or sagged. I don't miss being 17 - but I do miss that body! Now here I sit at 33, I need to learn to LOVE me. My family does, my friends do now I need to show myself the same respect.

I have a gym membership that goes mostly unused. I mean, it's hard to bundle kids up in the snow & trudge out to the gym. I always feel foolish and clumsy while I am there. The other women in their cute gym clothes and perfect hair. I am lucky if I remember to put on a sports bra & actual shoes before I leave the house. I was in pretty good shape just before getting pregnant with Ophelia. Pregnancy and I don't get along well. Sure, I make pretty cute kids - but it's at the expense of my poor body! I am NOT one of those women who bounces back from pregnancy. You know the kind? Two weeks later & they are back in regular clothes and look fantastic! Yep - they exist and I envy them. I'm sure they work really hard at it too. I simply don't have that kind of self-control or dedication. I don't want an easy fix, but does it have to be so hard?

BUT, now my husband is home and life is just got that much easier. I am going to give this whole workout thing a shot. I need accountability, so I am putting it out there for everyone to read. I NEED to workout more. At least 3 days a week. Will you bug me about it? Will you annoy me until I just give in & go so you'll quit asking?

I'll be honest; I need to lose about 40 pounds. Yeah, 40! Uggg, why can't I just eat cheesecake all day and lose the weight? We live in a world where I can be in near-instant contact with everyone, I can pay my bills online, I can order stuff and it show up at my door a few days later. Can't we figure out a cheesecake diet? Ok, so maybe that's a few years off yet. A girl can dream, can't she? Since we're talking dreams...50 pounds would be even better!

Well, here goes! Tomorrow I am going to force myself to go to the gym! Call me, text me, email me, call me and BUG me until I tell you what class I took (I'm thinking I might try out this new aqua fit class my gym has).

Yeah, then next week I am going to work on eating less Nutella off a spoon! *sigh* Maybe.

God Bless from my imperfect mess....

Monday, February 25, 2013


It has been a very relaxing & very wonderful weekend here in The Smith household. Lots of catching up, laughing, and getting to know each other all over again! This morning Elizabeth went off to school, which may be one of the only days she goes this week. We are slated for another massive blizzard tonight. I don't mind being snowed in this time - since we're all here and can snuggle in together!! For now, life isn't so imperfect. It's simply perfect. Nothing fancy. Just *being* is enough. We are soaking up the small things and loving every minute.

Is there anything that makes you stop & count your blessings? Although this deployment wasn't easy I realize that there are opportunities for thank God for our blessings. One of my favorite songs is this:

                                                       "Praise You In This Storm"
                                                                  Casting Crowns

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away


I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

[Chorus x2]

It's a reminder that everyday, everything is an opportunity to Praise...
I'll try to keep that more in mind, will you?

God Bless from my imperfect mess...

Friday, February 22, 2013

It was a snowpocalypse or so they say...

Well, here we are again.

I am going to attempt driving from here to there & hopefully I will come back with a husband (No, not a new one. The one I have suits just fine!) I know that I am tired, I am positive he is tired and still our kids have no idea that he's coming home.  It's been a very long year & while I don't normally wish time away, I will be glad when this is over.

The possible kinks in today plan:

1. Yesterday it snowed nearly 8 inches of snow.
2. After the snow came a period of freezing stuff came down.
3. After that it snowed 3 more inches.
3. I spent an hour trying to bust the ice off the windows/windshield so I could even leave the house.
4. What should be a 2 - 2 1/2 hour drive may take me 4 or 5. I'm prepared to slide off the road.
5. Once we get where we are going, there's no guarantee that he will get where he needs to be.

The thrown together birthday party was a success. The snow didn't hinder those plans & then everyone was able to go out and go sledding. After sledding there was hot chocolate and cookies. By 4:30, we were all pooped! It was quite a day. Now my big girl is 8 years old. Elizabeth is growing into quite an amazing young lady. She is funny, super smart and loves to read. I have no doubt that she'll succeed at whatever she takes on.

It's amazing how fast time goes by when you stand back at look. In a few years, this past year will be a blip on our radar. It seemed monumental to overcome, tough while living through it & I know in hindsight I will see the growth we have somehow managed as a result. Despite it all; we've made it. I know that each of you has a struggle too, let me assure you that you will make it through. If I can do it - you can do it!

Blessedly little Ophelia took two long naps yesterday & life was that much easier on this very tired mama! I am really hoping for pleasant and peaceful travel. I want to take a moment to thank you all for your well wishes, thoughts & prayers for the past few days. It's truly amazing how many wonderful friends we have!

God Bless from my imperfect mess...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happy Birthday Elizabeth...

Well folks, yesterdays plans didn't pan out! We're still at home & throwing together a last minute celebration for Elizabeth's 8th birthday! I am thankful that I had the foresight not to mention our impending homecoming to her. Such is the nature of the Army. Ever heard the phrase "hurry up & wait"? That pretty much sums up life in the military. Plans change, families move, you leave extended family & good friends behind. But you know what?! Despite all those things I don't think I would give it up. It's an amazing opportunity to meet new people, visit new places and to test the limits of our patience and grace. I'll admit, there was a string of not-so-nice thoughts that went through my mind as I held the phone listening to the change in schedule. On further reflection I know it's better this way. Travel will be safer & planes landing will be safer. I am ok with this change in plans. See - look! I grew a little (ha!). "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8  I'm pretty sure that's a good thing because I know if I was in charge of so much I would really mess it up! I'll let Him handle the heavy lifting and I will do my best to follow my charted course! 

Back to the celebration! We are going to have some pizza, birthday cake and manicures with some neighborhood friends. Hopefully the snow doesn't hinder them walking the 200 - 300 feet to our front door! It'll be fun. The girls can have manicures & a movie and the mom's will visit and try to beat the "snow day blues".

How do you entertain your kids while they have a day off from school? Thankfully snow days have their own built in entertainment! Bundle those babies up & shove them (ahem, ask them nicely if they'd like to go) outside. A strong, hot cup of coffee for the mama's and it's a fine day! Kids come ripping back in to have some hot chocolate and back out they go leaving puddles of melted snow in their wake! Ah, the simple joys!!

God Bless from my imperfect mess...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ah! The weather...

As you read this mornings selection of imperfect truths I will be traveling in the hopes of reuniting with my husband soon. Of course even this is a lesson in patience. The plan was to leave here and return on the same day. That isn't going to work out like I planned.

***I am not being specific because as a military family we are taught (and respect) OPSEC or operational security. I refuse to put my husband and his fellow soldiers at risk because I divulged specific information***

However, here in the great state of Kansas, we are expecting "not your normal snow storm" according to our local weather man. Yippee!! This deployment has been hard enough, at least the homecoming will follow suit! The forecast calls for the storm to roll in and blanket the area in at least 6 inches of snow and likely much more. Plus, for some added fun there might be some ice or sleet involved. 
In order to leave the house for any length of time I had to find someone to let the dog in & out. I packed a battery charger and a 5 gal container of gasoline in case I run off into the snow & get stuck. I suppose I could change a tire if I have to. I need to remember a shovel. The truck has a wench on the front & I have extra water, snacks, blankets, boots, coats, scarves, hats, mittens, toys, books, a cell phone and it's charger, two kids, clothes, and hopefully I remember my sense of humor and sanity! See where I'm going with this? It was supposed to be a simple one day trip...a few hours. It will now be days. AND we're not even sure that the flight will come in as scheduled because if the airport is closed then no flights will land. So - after all this time we get to wait a few more days. 

I don't let you in on all this to garner sympathy. I let you in so that you can see that we each have a struggle. This is mine for now. Soon it will be over and a new challenge begins. I will try to retain some perspective. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own" Matthew 6:34 (NIV) This is what will get me through. How do you deal with stress, overload & general everyday craziness?

In any case, the next time you hear from me I hope to be back in my snuggly (albeit less than perfect) house with my entire family snuggled in & watching a movie or playing a game. I have to let all the stress go. I know we'll be together soon. What's another couple of hours? Well I can't lie, a couple of hours is EVERYTHING at this point. But, I am going to make a last ditch effort at being graceful about it. I'll let you know how that works out for me...

God Bless from my imperfect mess....

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A new adventure...

Last night a friend of mine and I were discussing the not-so-glamorous life that many of us quietly lead. I think in this age of digital media, Facebook & Pinterest we all expect to be perfect examples of spouses, employees, motherhood or whatever role you choose. Unfortunately there are not many examples of the very real struggles that many of us face daily. We have sickness, messy houses, crazy emotions, many hats to juggle! No one can be everything to everyone. I am undertaking what I'm calling "The (im)perfect Truth Project" - join me in sharing the crazy stuff that happens in your life so that the myth of the perfect woman doesn't leave us all feeling like we don't measure up!

Here's a little does of imperfection for this morning; in order to actually get dressed for the day I plopped my 14 month old in her bouncy seat and let her watch 20 minutes of tv. Now, in a perfect world this is a huge no, no. But as a mom you do what you can to get dressed in the morning (when you actually take the time to do so!) Most mornings it's afternoon before I actually attempt getting dressed. She is currently chewing on an ink pen while I type. *great* parenting!!!!

I hope that we can find ourselves together. Thanks for stopping by.