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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Yesterday and Today


My brain lately feels hardwired to look back. Into different days than these. I've tricked myself into thinking it was easier then. I know it wasn't, but I'm telling myself it was. Deep in my bones it feels like life was fresher in different days than these.


Because, here's the thing: they were all mine and they were all home. End of story.
Life now feels like a game changer. One is on a mission, the second graduates in a year and the third wishes shes didn't live here. You see? When they were little, they liked me and they loved home. Now no one's ever home. Dinner feels on the fly. And lives are spent elsewhere. It leaves me spinning sometimes. How did I ever get here?


I have lived this part of my life in knee-deep mothering. I just can't imagine it any other way. But now, mothering takes a different role. Sometimes it's ugly and sometimes it's beautiful. It's just the way of things. And teenagers somehow push you to examine yourself and life in an entirely different scope. That's a truest story.

But this I know. Right here, right now, this is where it's at. Not tomorrow, not yesterday. But today. With these people that literally take up all the room in my heart. My very soul is made up of theirs. They are the air I breathe.


Days pass. Ages change. Life moves. I know I got here one day at a time. One daughter at a time. And here is where I'll always be. In THIS today. Soaking up all it has to give. Not wishing for different days. But taking today as it stands. And holding it's bounty in my arms.

Let's gift ourselves with life where we are. To love and hold and cherish these moments. And to take courage in what is to come.

Look at your people and breathe them in. Love them where they stand and as they are.
Enjoy your story as it unfolds.



Wednesday, May 11, 2016

One Of The Heart Strings

I've been through a few Mother's Days by now. Some were good, some were not so good and most were just "fine". But this Mother's Day? There simply are no words.

We got to talk to our missionary!!! Tears just started as I write this. The moment was pure joy and excitement all rolled into one. She's still her sassy self, just missionary style. That was nice to see. She now loves real, and I mean real, Mexican food. She has sung quite a few times in quite a few places and she got to shake hands with Elder Bednar. Bucket List for sure.

We talked for an hour and a half and it nearly flew by. For just those few moments, our family felt whole and right. Just complete. Laughter held a higher meaning, simple stories became golden moments. And best of all? She prayed with us. In. Spanish. Stop. Right. Here. And imagine your daughter praying for you in another language. Words left me and my heart opened right up and she poured right in.

That final cut-off goodbye was rather difficult. She left us with , "I'll see you soon." Tears were everywhere.

Just now, days later, I'm finally able to soak in the full moment of her call. It has been stored in a place in my heart for my dearest treasures. And ya'll, she's doing it. And she's doing it well. She is obedient and hard working and tries to follow the Lord's will in everything she does. When she graduated from high school, I wrote in her journal, "Be The Good." And look. At this girl right here. She's doing the good. From sun up to sun down.

She really, literally, is my heart.
One of the 4 strings that wrap and hold it all together.

And this Mother's Day. Oh, this day. Will be remembered forever.
And stored on a heart string.



Friday, May 6, 2016

Through The Blinds


In the mornings, I watch her through the blinds. She has no idea that I stare at her and think of all the ages and moments she has been. This stage, this 13 year old torture, is a hard one to swallow. She pushes me to the brink in all her teenager ways. She only speaks to me if she has to. And when I try to talk to her? You would think she was in pain. She hides in her room, behind her phone, headphones plugged in. It's the way of things. A phase? Maybe. Maybe not. Perspective is hard to come by when you're knee deep in the thick of it.

So, I watch her. Every morning. She comes alive when she's with her friends. And I soak in her smile. I want to reach out and touch her joy. And my memories flood with her as a sweet, little girl. A best buddy. I was convinced she would always be that way. I was wrong.

The internet is flooded with advice for toddlers. Teenagers? Advice doesn't exist. At least, real advice. In the trenches kind of advice. Why? Because it's so dang hard. And who wants to talk about all that trouble. So, we stand on the sidelines of their life and we give it everything we've got. Literally, everything. We try and we love and we love some more. It's the only way. Teenagers can pull your soul right out. And every time, I give it right back to them. Every. Time.

Through the blinds I see the girl I adore. And I pour all my love right in her. I want it to surround her every moment of every day. I give it all with my mother's heart. Me to her. Always.

Let's give it all. Every day. Love and patience, and love some more. Sure, it's ugly. And hard. And constant. But deep within me lies a strength of love so strong to make the ugly and hard blur away. Let's hold on to that. Our soul deep love. Let it give us the strength we need as we muddle through the hard stuff.

And let's watch. Through the blinds, in the car, asleep on the couch. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can overcome a mother's love. We'll give it all we've got. Every time. Every day. In every way. Love just may be our road to recovery. No matter the outcome.

Love them through it.
It may just save us both.

 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Catch Up


There was a trip to the Alamo with the Baby Child and Her Friend (who feels like one of our Foster Children). 7th grade is the year for Texas History, so this is the 3rd time we've Alamoed.


Traveling with 2 teenage girls and 1 crazy husband has definitely been checked off my bucket list. Oh the Alamo, we love you. And your Riverwalk Boat Tour is always awesome when you're traveling with 2 girls who think it's dumb. Teenagers are my fave. Like, for reals.

***

The Husband and I had an anniversary.
21 years. Boom.

 He is my joy.
Oh, and did you know our anniversary is also his birthday. Boom again.
I get a gift and he gets a gift. "In Theory". It's a genius way to celebrate.

***

We had the Rain Apocalypse of 2016.
People, it poured. Like, massive buckets.
School canceled for 5 days straight.
Flooding everywhere. It was crazy.


Wanna know what else is crazy? The Turd (our nickname for this car) was parked on the curb. Then it started raining during the night. And it rained HARD. The Turd filled up with water all the way to the steering wheel. The car was full, the trunk was full. Water everywhere. Once it drained, it wouldn't even start. So it sat. In the heat. For a full week before it was towed. Just for fun we opened the car doors to see what it smelled like inside. There are no words to describe. I think Daughter #2 has been praying for it's death for a loooonnnngggg time. Prayer answered.

***

I leave you with a happy thought. Not.
20 more days of school left. Pah-Leaze.


Friday, April 15, 2016

The Missionary


Just in case you don't follow along on her blog, The Missionary Life of Hermana Foster, I've got some updated photos to show you.

She's doing good. So good. Every letter home is a confirmation that she is in the right place at the right time. She's also mentioned that this is the hardest things she has EVER done. But she is learning so much about herself, The Lord and the Book of Mormon. We live for her Monday emails. I read them twice just to hear her voice in my head.

I would give just about anything to hold her in my arms and hug her. Sometimes that need is a physical ache. But then I remember that this girl was born to be a missionary in Santa Rosa, California. She is doing the right thing for the right reasons. So, I ask the Lord to hold her for me.

My favorite picture of her while she was in the MTC:

Her last companion, Sister Burton. They got along so great and even sang together!

Her newest Companion, Sister Gudmundson:

And her very best friend from the MTC is Sister Bennett. They got to see each other last week and it made them both so ridiculously happy. They are determined to be companions one day.

She is now in Sonoma and there are vineyard EVERYWHERE.

She is my light and my joy. She strengthens my testimony with her own. She is constantly teaching me. Missing her is a small price to pay for this incredible life experience. I simply adore her.


Sami, you are loved beyond the stars.
I think of you every moment of every day.
Thank you for using your life to do good.
May angels surround you and protect you always.



Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Birthday, An Anniversary and Team Riley


The weekend started with a birthday and an anniversary.
We got married on Todd's birthday. Every year I give him a birthday present and he gives me an anniversary present. It's the best win-win situation all around. In all the truth I know, this man is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.


21 years. That's quite a number. I even dragged down our wedding album out of the closet just for a reminder. Todd's hair is shorter now and mine looks exactly the same. I'm not sure what that says about us. It just boils down to this: We're perfect for each other. And I'm fairly certain that's all that matters.



On Saturday morning Team Riley all gathered at the Houston Zoo for the Easter Seals event. We made quite a presence. And all for one precious, angel girl who happened to be one of the three ambassadors of the event.



These 2 girls have a part of my heart. I would literally do anything for them. Including arriving at the Zoo by 6:45 am. We walked, we talked and we cheered.


The Texan cheerleaders were there. Wow is all I can say. I seriously pondered how they can dance in those boots. It's a mystery. But Addie was determined to get a picture, so she jumped right in.


What a day for being together for an amazing girl and a great cause.

Kellie and Keagan


Me and My Amazing Sister

Keagan and Her Many Talents

I hope your weekend brought you as much goodness as ours.
Life really is all about loving those close to you.
And wearing matching Team shirts.




Tuesday, March 22, 2016

How To Spend A Day


It's become an unwritten rule that orthodontic treatment equals skipping school. Oh, and having your mom buy you lunch.

So it was today. And in a strange way, I like it when this happens, because I have her all to myself. No one to text. They're all in school. So, she's stuck with me.

She requested I buy Cake Flower for a cake she wants to make. And also enlisted my help to get her Converse squeeky white again.


Luckily, I grabbed a $5 craft kit at Target, and the Baby Child and I crafted together. And she talked to me {gasp}. I might venture to say she liked me. For at least 30 minutes.

I hung it in the kitchen over our missionary board. She looked at it and said, "I like it." I nearly fainted on the floor from the whole experience.


 Every now and then these teenagers give you the briefest glimpses of the girl they are inside. Today I shared several hours with that girl, and I adore her. A day well spent.