GETTING BACK TO SIMPLE

4 Apr

FRESHKIDS MOMS 3/31/2017

BY: AMY KERSEY | www.toddlerhoodandothershenanigans.com |
Joint Base San Antonio
We Are FK bl2

FRESH KIDS EAT FRESH.

As a new military spouse, I was excited for the many surprises that awaited me as we transitioned from Colorado to Texas. One of the biggest challenges so far is the realization that I’m not “just around the corner” from anything! In Colorado Springs everywhere I needed to go took fifteen minutes on any one of three major roads. In San Antonio if I were to leave my phone at home or zoom away without it fully charged I may never find base again. It’s in these unfamiliar moments, when the surprise wears off, that I begin to long for familiarity. Speaking of familiarity…

Reed We are FK Bl1

WE ONCE MADE HEALTHY CHOICES.

Alright mama’s,  I am going to be COMPLETELY honest here.  Be gentle. At first, I hesitated to blog for a whole grain, gluten free, Non-GMO company.  I love a good ice cream cone on a warm sunny day. Heck, I considered home delivery options for a permanent soft serve machine when I was pregnant. If you’ve ever been pregnant or vacationed on a cruise, this resonates. Twenty-four hour ice cream? I’m in! Sometimes I feel like I am the world’s worst mom when it comes to healthy balanced nutritious meals. Truly.  And strangely I was the ‘make your own baby food‘ mom and proud of it! (Thanks Tyler Florence!)

Somewhere along the way… like that ridiculously long drive from my new house to, um, anything… I lost my drive for healthy eating.  I’ve always been concerned about body image, and I’ve never strayed too far from a good workout. But nutrition is another bag of tricks.  Literally. Suppertime at our house is like Russian Roulette, Trick or Treat; you just really never know what the outcome will be. And my lack of ability prompts my own version of Kitchen Nightmares.  My husband jokes that I should stop trying new recipes, but the truth is I haven’t met many recipes I like.  I don’t know about other moms, but if I were having quarterly performance reviews this would be the area that needs improvement- the part of my job that keeps me from getting that big raise.

THE MESSAGE IS SIMPLE.

But maybe it’s the transition from Colorado to Texas- from “Right around the corner!” to “Siri? How do I go from point A to point B?” I’m starting to realize something: in a place where it feels so hard to go anywhere, less seems to be more. For food anyway.

All out of mac n’ cheese? Okay. No more fruit snacks in the pantry? I got this. Who doesn’t love some fresh strawberries anyway? Add cheese and pretzels and we’ve got a healthy AND filling snack.  A juicy peach ripe off the vine? How about fresh carrots or snap peas from our backyard garden to go with the hummus we made yesterday afternoon? The kids LOVE it and the message is simple. Simple clean food really is better. It’s better for you, better for your sanity, better for your children, and – oh yeah – simple, clean food honestly does tastes better.

In every area of my life I am learning to appreciate the less-is-more mentality.  My youngest ate two helpings of mushrooms the other night.  Mushrooms.  You know how often I’ve made those for him?  Um, never. What four year old eats mushrooms?  But I’m learning to navigate through this transition, from Colorado to Texas, from regular mom to military spouse. And as I do, it’s so nice to have healthy snack food companies like Fresh Kids partnering with mama’s like me to grow a healthier generation of kids. Fresh Kids is committed to simple and clean ingredients. Check out the ingredients label on the items in your pantry, and you’ll see what I mean!

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My Husband is a Thief

26 Jun

Today was a beautiful day.  My boys relished the new pool in the backyard catching every moment they could of the sun shine.  I mostly stayed inside and packed boxes.  Every once in a while I’d glance outside assuring myself of their safety.  But instead of catching glimpses of their safety I kept catching glimpses of their joy.  There is something so contagious about joy.

John 10:10

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

…And they were having it to the full.  There cup was overflowing.  Daddy was swinging them so high on the swing and laughter permeated that space.  I was laughing and grinning from ear to ear but they didn’t see me, didn’t hear me.  What I mostly noticed was my husband’s thievery.  He was stealing moments.  We are so busy getting ready to move but he stops.  He has so much on his plate and the plate keeps growing but he stops.  He is so good at stopping in the moment and engaging our boys.  I don’t down shift so fast.  When I am in a moment the responsible part of me wants to finish the moment out and take care of my responsibilities.  I don’t take the moments to steal joy.  But my husband captures them and takes it all in.  I have to be careful not to envy his intentionality with my boys.  I am mostly just so grateful that he loves them so much.  I am great at capturing their moments and it touches my heart in a way nothing else does.  However, I am not so great at stealing our own moments.  And the reality is, sometimes things can wait and they don’t even often have to wait that long.

It only takes a moment to lock eyes with a ornery five-year old and smile.

It only takes a moment to comfort a bruised Reed.

It only takes a moment to jump in and join the swinging…the smiling…the laughter.

 

It only takes a moment.

 

My bigger fear – when they do hear me, when they do see me, what do they hear?  What do they see?  There are some things only daddies can do and my boys got a really good daddy.  If we deem ourselves the responsible one, (which may not even be true), we have to steal moments and stop and ultimately choose joy.  Praying God will give me the strength and courage to steal when I tell myself I shouldn’t.

Why my Mom is a better Mom than me

12 Jun

I am tired

But this needs to be on paper.

Why my mom is a better mom than I was- Top Ten:

 

And go…

 

  1. PATIENT -She has waded through my cynicism and waited patiently for me to even recognize cynicism was present in me.
  2. SACRIFICE – She takes care of my sick kid when her kid has a commitment she’d like to be a part of. She prioritizes missing her own kids’ commitment to protect her kids, kid. Only a Gramma.
  3. GIFTS- Alright this one seems small but I love the small things. When she ‘thinks of me’, buys me a book, or a shirt or anything really, it tells me I am on her mind which means I am also not likely far from her heart.
  4. COMFORT- There is not much that gets me upset to tears, but when I do get upset to tears there is no one that comforts like my mom. Her hugs engulf you and her concern for your wellbeing is genuine.
  5. LONGSUFFERING- Those that know my younger years know my mom suffered long. Two strong heads do not make a soft heart…or do they?
  6. PLAY- My mom is able to get into a kids world and find out what makes them tick. So what if it is grass soup in the bird feeder? My kids have been making soup in the bathtub ever since. Sometimes you just need a fresh reminder that these people have only been here a few years, they cannot know it all and we wouldn’t want them to. What fun is an adult stuck in a kids body?
  7. PRAYERFUL- I know my mom prays for us. I mostly pray that I can make it through another day. I ‘pray’ that one day I will be the prayer warrior for my kids that my mother is to us.
  8. GOD-FEARING- ….And this is a big one. Need I even say more? There is nothing like a mom who loves Jesus.
  9. ROASTS and Pies – No seriously, this should be in a category all its own, my mom can make a mean roast and a delicious flaky pie.
  10. HOME- There is just something about my mom that feels like home and she currently doesn’t have a home. I love my ‘home’ and the people in it. There is just something about your mom heart that allows you to take up residence there.

Well, clearly too late for Mother’s Day but an ode to you mom. Thanks, not just for being my birth mother, but truly stepping into the name MOM in every way.

Your wild daughter,

Amy

My Sick Obsession With Baby Toes

1 Sep

Image I can’t get enough of them.  I just keep taking pictures of them.  

 
Feet without a face…
RANDOM.
However they are connected to something I love so very dearly.
 
And, today it dawned on me what I love so much about them.
 
They are soft, squishy, comfy little things.
They have no callouses.
They feel like velvet.
They are smaller than my hand.
They barely yet serve there purpose.
 
But, they are loved.  
 
I could touch these little toes indefinitely.  They have not been hardened and calloused yet by the harsh realities  of an imperfect world.  Don’t get me wrong, we are all born into sin.  And we all start selfish in this place and honestly, end selfish, but hopefully improved and more closely reflecting the image of Christ.  If you don’t believe that, spend some time with my two year old.  He is sorely disappointed with this world that ought to revolve around him.  
 
But the reality is, I love these toes because they are not yet hardened by the world around them. They are soft, pliable, and ready to explore. They trust what they are eagerly getting ready to learn.  And there is something refreshing about a blank canvas.  
 
Oh, to learn from our children what we are all to busy to take a moment to absorb. 
 
Lamentations 3:23
Your mercies are new every morning.  Great is your faithfulness. 

 

I’m not made for Skinny Jeans

30 Jun

tumblr_m3z9wxOz3k1r0atrno1_500I had an epiphany.

I have been wearing my post pregnancy jeans for some time now. I just can’t make the switch to “mom jeans”, but skinny jeans….well they just don’t fit.  My friend Becky wrote a blog the other day about that ‘fit’ into motherhood that doesn’t always feel right.

http://beckygiovagnoni.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/splintered/

And I can’t help but feel that her blogs and mine can often feel like they go hand in hand.  She seems to have the same struggles with motherhood that I often have.  Maybe it’s because we’re ‘older’ mom’s (sorry BeckyJ ).  I loved her perspective on still being the kid in this thing called ‘motherhood’.

This last week or two I have really felt myself get cozy in my loveseat, so to speak.

I have snuggled in.  

I’ve embraced the fact that it was a hand me down (which I am super appreciative for). 

There have been a few impactful moments where I have recognized in the midst of the crazy that I am comfortable here.  That life does and can slow down (if I let it).  And that, I really enjoy it more, when I’m not running scared.  But it has taken some stillness to realize the chaos isn’t happening to me but that I am the creator of it (extremely hard lesson learned).

It’s like a pair of skinny jeans. Tom Papa, the hilarious comedian, spoke about:

Life is a pair of skinny jeans and we’re fat.  Being a human is uncomfortable.

And … it is.

Being a human is uncomfortable but in my epiphany what I noticed was…it’s in the way I am ‘wearing’ my jeans.  I seem to still think I can fit into the skinny jeans.  I am pulling and stretching and laying back on my bed trying to squeeze into my pre mom pants and they don’t fit.  I look in the mirror and see all parts of myself that didn’t exist before.  And I think somewhere along the way, I thought… if I lose these jeans they will never fit again.  And I liked my pre mom pants.  I like the way they fit and the way I fit into them.  I was afraid of the ‘mom jeans’ because this person I had become, that I knew well, pre children…

I liked her!

She was balanced

And fun

And full of energy

And zeal

Unashamedly unafraid

 

And something happened when I had children.

Fear.

Crept.

In.

 

I had never been afraid, of anything! 

I had been hurt.  I had been discouraged.  I had been deceived.  But fear…that wasn’t really something I had experienced….

Until children…

 (They can be terrifying little people).

 

But on the way home from church today I realized, I don’t need to fit into my ‘skinny’ jeans. 

It’s ok to wear ‘mom jeans’ even if there are moments I see a reflection in the mirror that doesn’t compliment my every angle.  Even if there are moments I don’t look like me.  These children are a part of God’s shaping me into the person that He created me to be, and I get to do likewise min them.  Look, there are days when it feels like the pants don’t fit.  But they do!  As horrifying as mom jeans can look they do fit on these child bearing hips! 

 

So today, I embrace you, ‘mom jeans’, more and more you are fitting.…

Just right.

“You know what we’re doing today?”

24 Jun

1044706_635385203157634_2029390198_nYesterday we got back from a three day, camping excursion, just me and my boys, the open road and a few mishaps.
My two year old is like me. He seeks out adventure at every turn, he needs adventure. It spurs him on and upon our return home, at his every wake from sleep, he asks me, “You know what we are doing today?” I always respond with “What are we going to do today?” “We’re going on a trip.” He says, with such a glimmer in his eye. He longs for adventure. And here are the reasons I think why:
• On a trip, it is just him, his brother, and mommy and daddy. No daily interruptions, no laundry, shorter naps and more activity. Our focus is great and it’s mostly on him.
• On a trip, life slows down and it’s ok to go to the pool…one more time.
• On a trip, there is no limit to how many times we can dance with Yogi.
• On a trip, it’s new and exciting and there is something to learn, to see, to do.
• On a trip, there is a level of independence he can have with mom and dad still in arm’s reach.
One of the big hoorah’s of our time there was a Yogi Parade with candy flung from a fire truck and dancing with Yogi. As I sat and watched all of these little people, unabashedly dancing with Yogi, I couldn’t help but think…..this is why…
This is why Jesus loves the little children.
This is why we come…with faith like a child.
(Matthew 18:3-“Truly I say to you, Unless You turn around and become as young children, you will by no means enter into the kingdom of the heavens.”)
You see…
• To my two year old. Yogi is real, and those hugs…they mean something.
• To my two year old, the boy he just met really is his new best friend.
• To my two year old, there is no reason he can’t climb that mountain and there is no fear as to how he will get back down.
• To my two year old, those people he doesn’t know look just like the kind of people he’d like to dance with.
• To my two year old, there is no stranger that is not worth saying hi to.
My two year old sees the value of people and relationships more than most adults do.
In essence, my two year old (at this stage of life), well he believes and it’s credited to him as righteousness. It sure looks like righteousness to me.

So, my current prayer, at least for today….”Lord, make me like my two year old.”

Mom’sday

12 Mar

Diary of my day:

 

7:40 No alarm – I need to leave no later than 8:15, but only with one kiddo.  I can do this!

7:45 What’s that smell?  Do we have a gas leak or something?

7:50 “Honey, I think we may have a gas leak or something.  When you get up I really need you to check it”.

8:00 “Are you getting up”?

8:15 Um….I am not going to make it on time.

8:20 The hubs- “Well, it’s not a gas leak in the house”.  (The motorcycle had a fuel leak and all the fuel leaked out).

8:40 I cannot get the car seat out of the car, and the hubs needs it to drop off our oldest. 

8:42 slight slamming of the car door and small tantrum

8:45 “Are you almost out of the shower”?

9:00 En route to my mom’s.  Time due to work 9:00 a.m.

9:15 arrival to mom’s

9:16 Baby has a Poop through. (of course he does…)

9:17 Used the last three wipes.  Nurse baby, go to work.

9:30 Arrive at work (drove over a pot hole –you Colorado Springs folks know what I’m talking about)

10:15 Get a particularly strange call at work.  (almost certainly a prank).

10:18 Definitely not a prank. Something terribly wrong with the individual though.

10:25 Talk to restaurant to see if they have my lost phone

10:30 Talk to cell phone provider about lost phone

10:35 Purchase a product to locate my phone.  New product provides coordinates.  My phone is at Stetson Hills and Powers (location of the restaurant)

10:45 Phone is still at the restaurant

11:00 Husband en route to the restaurant (My prince)

11:15 En route to moms to nurse baby

12:00 Husband still at restaurant, scanning the area (Wow, can you say dedicated to the task)

12:15 Husband is soooooooooo patient

12:20 Another poopie diaper, no wipes. Hmmmmm…wet three paper towels and wipe.  Good as new.  Was that spinach?  I don’t remember feeding him spinach?  Heading back to work late (fussy, teething baby finally asleep)

12:30 After re-running GPS tracker three times with a Stetson Hills location, it’s now showing our street address as the location…Curious?

12:35 Someone must have returned it.  Exhausted, frustrated husband heading home

12:50 Husband home, cell phone is not

1:00 Husband is scanning the area

1:00 Me-on the phone with our service provider.  They can’t help (again-5th or 6th call between the two of us).  Re-run GPS tracker, now the phone is a street or two away from home.  (Feeling a bit like Enemy of the State at this point)

1:30 Husband finds phone in the crib.  Husband and wife long for crib, mmmm…naps.

2:00 Husband and wife back home.  (surprisingly kind to one another). 

2:10 Husband and wife plot Hawaiian vacation

2:15 Husband and wife have realization there is no money for the Hawaiian vacation

2:15 Wife home, husband returning to work. 

         Total work hours logged-1.45 for my 5 hour day

4:00 finally get baby down for a nap again.  4:30 oldest child wakes, ironically so does baby.

5:30 Making dinner, baby is ready for dinner; his dinner is not ready for him. 

5:32 Toddler meltdown, baby gets peaches and banana.  Toddler wants peaches.  Toddler gets peaches.  Toddler does not want mac and cheese and hot dogs.  Toddler will eat his dinner tonight if it kills mommy.

5:38 Cry off – who will the winner be?

6:00 Baby well fed.  Toddler still putting up a pretty good fight over dinner. 

6:15 Toddler has had 4 time outs with intermittent spankings.

6:30 Baby is down to sleep

6:45 Laundry

7:45 Toddler wants fruit snacks

8:00 Toddler finally eats dinner, after 15 minute debate over fruit snacks.

 

All of the gaps in this diary are for your viewing pleasure. I did have time to blog and a ½ hour snuggle time with my toddler, and quite a few moments of prayer and reflection on hurting people beyond my days struggle. 

 

Ex….haust….ed.

 

Thank God his mercies are new every morning.  Now for the return of the man I love to do life with.  God willing…

8:30 Husband arrival

p.s. 8:10 roomate wakes baby