Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The post about how I ditched my family for 3 days

I've posted on and off about a group that the kids and I are in called MOPS. It stands for Mothers of Preschoolers. Its a ministry for moms of young kids. Once a month, MOPS has a meeting at a local church, the moms come and are split into tables for the year and have a nice breakfast and enjoy uninterupted chat or a guest speaker while nice ladies care of our babes and teach them good bible stuff. Another time during the month we have a playdate. Sometimes the huge group of 30-40 moms and kids, sometimes just the table we are at. Win Win. My kids love MOPS. I love MOPS.

Last year I was asked to be a Table Leader. I was in charge of 8 women, leading discussions, asking for prayer requests, putting together playdates, being a listening ear and bringing food to them when they birthed babies. It was hard, in a sense because I got some moms that insisted on getting knocked up and others that I didn't know how to help, but I loved it all the same. This year I am a table leader again, but also took on a role of hospitality. I bring door prizes, thank you gifts for the speakers and birthday goodies for the kids and mommies.

I was asked to go to their yearly convention when I first became a table leader and I wasn't ready. I didn't know what to expect and I was nervous and just......I don't know. They asked me again this year and offered to pay my way and made it sound fun and helpful and I said yes. So I went.

On Wednesday, the kids were so crazy and picking on each other, I made them hug for 20 minutes straight.  It kind of worked. This behavior helped me not feel bad about leaving.
Thursday morning, I got in a church van with 7 other women and hit the road for Kansas City. OMG I was freaking out. I'd left lunches for the kids at school for 2 days, I'd left Rob lists of what goes in their backpacks, what meds to give them and a million other things. I think stay at home moms have a certain amount of 'everything will fall apart if I don't oversee everything' that they don't mean to have. I had it. I did it to myself. This trip was good because it forced me to give up some things and Rob to take them on. 

We got to KC at 2:30. I was wearing my typical mom outfit of workout pants and a Razorback tshirt. By 3pm I was dressed like a member of society that has a button on her pants and ready to go!
Non Mommy clothes!!!!

I was pleasantly surprised that the convention wasn't all "Shout to the Lord". Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of that.
This one inparticular lasted 3 hours. It involved a Christian comedian so it was all good.

Oh, and this one. This lady has a following like no other. Beth Moore. I was the only one of the girls I went with that had never heard of her. Whoopsie. She was good, had a good message, but she's too grandiose for me.

Instead of all "shout to the Lord" there was a ton of workshops. This one in particular, brought out Sara's inner dork. This woman helped me stay at home with the kids. She taught me about couponing. She taught me about Swagbucks. She taught me about eating from the pantry when money gets tight. I love her. And she was there!!!! My stay at home mom celebrity!!!! Her workshop was about 25 ways to save on groceries without using coupons. SIGN ME UP!

Then, Dr. Keppner from Grey's Anatomy was there! Holy moses. All my worlds were colliding in such a good way. SHOUT TO THE LORD!!!!!!!!!!

Just when I'd had my fill for the day of workshops and shouting to the Lord, the girls and I went out to Kobe for a meal. I must say, MOPS did not feed us great. It was pretty pitiful in all actuality. I was so happy to bury my face in some fried rice.

And Laura drank from the butt of a ceramic lady. It was virgin. We were within a mile of shouting to the Lord, you know!

Our hotel

My girls on our way to a workshop.

Melissa, muah, Laura, Lori.

Amber, Joy, Lynda, Michelle, Amber
A whole lot of women. Not one catfight. Not one, "you have to do what I want to do." Good people. Though we do all have vampire eyes. At least we have matching MOPS chevron shirts.

I rarely talk about my beliefs and such on the blog. This is probably the first time I've said the word God. I've always been religious. I was raised Catholic and this raising made me the person I am today. I wouldn't be who I am without my home church. I've tried my whole adult life to fit in a church like I did in my youth and this happened about 6 months ago when we started going to Sardis UMC. It is a different religion than I'd grown up with, but in my heart, I felt this was best for me and my family and where our beliefs are. We have found a home there, the kids go to school there, and for the first time, in my adult life, I feel very very very close to God. 

This convention would not have been the same for me if I'd gone last year. I wasn't ready mentally or emotionally to learn so much and open my heart so much. I would have rolled my eyes. I would have had stuff go in one ear and out the other. I've done a lot of growing up in the last year. This convention was good for my soul. It raised questions in me that I want to read, listen and learn the answers for. I have a stack of books by the speakers to read and I cannot wait to dive into them. I came home a better mother, wife and child of God. I know I sound like I'm trying to get an endorsement deal, but its the truth.

For any one that cares, I thought I'd list the speakers that I loved and how you can find out more about them.

Kathi Lipp-Organizing
Crystal Pain-decreasing grocery bill
Jen Hatmaker-I loved her so much. She has such a good message
Elisa Morgan-Talked about remaining spiritual in the midst of feeling broken. 
Ken Davis-a Christian comedian. I almost peed myself. I swears. 
Lysa Terkeurst-I want to be her best friend. She talked about being a Mess, like a HOT HOT MESS and still learning life lessons from God.
Jennifer Degle-Identifying things that are draining your energy and what to do about them. this little lady was crazy in a good way.

As for my family back home......

They survived. Rob got them to school and picked them up on time. He took them to a car show AND to the fair. They ate waffles and chicken on a stick and Max saw many many many farm animals. I got home at 3am Sunday morning and at 5:30am Rylan came in to wake Rob up and found me and the "MOMMY!!!!" that came out of his mouth and the hugs and kisses that followed made that 2.5 hours of sleep worth it. Max on the other hand, was like "oh hey" and asked to watch Mickey Mouse. That's my children in a nutshell. Max is easier to please, was an easier baby, and doesn't have the fits, but Rylan has more love in him than I can even describe on 10 blogs. Together they make the perfect pair. I missed them.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Max's 3rd birthday

Max turned 3 thirteen days ago. Bad mommy. Even worse? His party was 9 days before that! The blog needed to be ignored and the babies and the job and the schoolwork and the therapy and the mother of everything that is holy asthma that inevitably rares its ugly head in fall needed 100% attention.

So, back yourself up to September 21. Imagine an ALMOST 3 year old. He wanted a bounce party, so instead of going to a bounce place, it was the same price to rent a bounce house for 8 hours. Rob smoked pork and we did hot dogs for the kids and I went nuts with Nickjr.com on some Team UmiZoomi decorations. All in all, it was a pretty simple party.

I want a bounce house all day every day at my house. This was so fun. I highly recommend it.

We got the kind with the slide. Of course.

The babes pretended to love each other.

So many friends and fam came. Grandparents, school friends, MOPS friends, church friends. The perfect mix of people that we love.

This year I tried to BACK way off on my gift giving. I tend to want quantity and end up getting a bunch of crap. I had heard rumor of

It made it so much better. Less expensive, better quality, less crap. We got him a horse barn that had 7 horses. He is wild about horses, donkeys, mules, anything with hooves and a mane. His need was underwear and socks and his read was some Tag Junior books. 

Grammy and Papa brought Max a picture book about himself. He loves it. 

Dear Max
 At 3, you love anything horses, you love farm animals, you love the zoo. You sing all the time and know most of the theme songs to all your shows. You are incredibly smart and blow me away with what you know. You currently sleep on the floor a lot and that's a little.....different, but oh well. You would eat cereal, applesauce, oatmeal, granola bars, bananas, and yogurt for every meal if we'd let you. Basically you are a walking, talking continental breakfast. Max, please know: we love you so much. Always have, always will. You were the last piece of the Rob and Sara pie to make us whole. Thanks for being our kid.