Snow=Sledding

We don’t typically get a lot of snow here in Kansas, so when we do, we make the most of it. This year, in particular, we had’t gotten a big snow yet…until Saturday. I don’t know what the final accumulation was but I would guess we got 4-6 inches, which is a lot for us. Luckily, we were still able to have Edyn’s birthday party (more on that later) minus some family members who couldn’t travel to get here. Then yesterday church was cancelled so we met some friends at “the hill” to go sledding! Those of you who are moms know that getting your children ready for wintertime outdoor activities is quite a process. And if you are a mother of young children, who still can’t do it all themselves, it is even more of a feat.  So after digging through closets and tubs to find all of the gear, trying it all on to see what can still fit the different children (and making things that are really probably too small fit anyway), dressing in layers, bundling up, and making a Wal-Mart run for snow boots for the oldest, we finally made it and I was already pooped out. The hard work of getting ready paid off quickly as I watched the girls happily sled down the hill over and over. I even got to take a few runs with them too!

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And check out Ellasyn’s toothless grin! If you follow me on Instram (@janaemettling or @brighsunshinydays) you saw that she lost her 1st tooth on Saturday night. I later found out that it was National Tooth Fairy Day that day-how fitting! It worked out perfectly that we received our tooth fairy pillow in the mail that day! She was so excited! It was a fun moment around here but also just another sign of how quickly she is growing up, which will never be easy to get used to!

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After a couple of hours we headed home for lunch and hot chocolate. And I saw this in the laundry room.

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Once again, more work, but so worth it for the fun they had and the memories made!

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Fearless?

Fearless

I hate fear and I hate moments of defeat.  Moments where you feel like you gave up or lost the battle or let fear win.  There are only a handful of times that I have felt that way in my life.  One of them was this half marathon I ran.  But most of the time I don’t open myself up to failure.  I only do things I know I will succeed at.  But fear got the best of me the other day.

I have been skiing several times before.  I tried as a teenager and was not good at it.  Then I tried snowboarding in college and I was even worse at that.  Then I tried skiing again and never quite got the hang of it.  So last year I decided to take ski lessons.  And it REALLY helped.  I felt like I was finally getting the concept.  I hung out on the bunny slope most of the day, but went down two greens as the day ended.  It was scary, but I survived.  There was hope that I might actually learn to ski.

Last week, we went skiing with some friends.  I hoped to finally gain enough confidence to be able to ski with my friends.  We started out on a green and it was horrible.  I was scared the whole time.  There were drop offs at the edge that I was so afraid of I wouldn’t even get close.  Then we went up another lift, against my wishes I might add.  I looked down the path we were going to take and freaked out!  It was steep!  Now, all of the experienced skiers kept telling me it wasn’t steep, but to this don’t even know how to stop newby skier, it was steep.  I tried to tell my husband that I couldn’t do this run and he just said, “you got this.”  Sometimes those words are helpful and sometimes they just tick me off.  This time was the later, but I tried that first hill.  And I ran directly in to Jeremiah because I couldn’t stop.  And then we were stuck.  My skis were on top of his board and my legs were in between his.  It probably looked hilarious to everyone watching, but I was not laughing.  I was crying.  He told me I had to keep going, so I squeezed my way through his legs and proceeded to take my skis off.  I was done.  I walked up that steep section of the mountain and waited for everyone to come back up the lift.

I was so disappointed in myself.  Why couldn’t I just get over it?  Why couldn’t I “just turn your skis” like everyone kept telling me?  As I stood on the mountain waiting for everyone to come back up, I knew I was never skiing again.  It’s not for me.  I’m just not good at it.  And that stung, but I truly meant it.

As I have gotten older, I realize that I’m pretty stubborn.  I don’t like to admit that I can’t do something and I sure don’t like to fail.  It’s not that I think I should be able to do anything I want without trying.  I am willing to work hard to accomplish something.  Like training for a half marathon.  It’s a long, hard fought battle and I’m okay with that.  I don’t think I really understood that growing up.  I sort of thought that I was as good as I would ever be.  At anything.  Now I realize that that is not true.  If you want to be better at something, work harder.  Train harder.  Practice more.  And never give up!  So that’s what I’m going to do.  I will ski again.  I will practice more and not give up because I’m not okay with giving up.  I’m not okay with fear winning.  Some might say I’m a coward.   That I’m full of fear.  But I say that being fearless is not an absence of fear, but feeling that fear and moving forward anyway.  So when I am on the slopes again with those steep hills staring me in the face, I will be fearless.  I will keep moving forward past the fear.

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Lent Devotional

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Last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday. What does that mean?

Wikipedia says:

According to the canonical gospels of MatthewMark and LukeJesus Christ spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation by Satan.[2] Lent originated as a mirroring of this, fasting 40 days as preparation for Easter. Every Sunday was seen as a commemoration of the Sunday of Christ’s resurrection and so as a feast day on which fasting was inappropriate. Accordingly, Christians fasted from Monday to Saturday (6 days) during 6 weeks and from Wednesday to Saturday (4 days) in the preceding week, thus making up the number of 40 days.

In the spirit of fasting, I have given up things for Lent in the past, but I am not doing that this year. I have decided that if I feel that there is something in my life I truly need to give up then I need to do it permanently and not just because of Lent. With that said, I don’t think it is a bad thing to give things up for Lent and may do it another year, but just didn’t this time. I did want to do something to focus during this time in preparation for Easter and the incredible gift that it is. I have chosen to do the Lent Devotional from Naptime Diaries. It includes 8 different devotionals. Each one includes verses to focus on and pages for writing and reflecting. My hope is that it will encourage me to stop and prepare my heart during this season. If you are interested you can buy the download for the devotional and join me. I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Tween Awesomeness

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

I talk a lot about how scared I am to have a teenager and how difficult girls are.  Mainly because I was an extremely difficult teen.  Just ask my parents or my sister or anyone from the town I grew up in.  All of you I mentioned, there’s no need to share any stories you have to prove that.  There are plenty, but let’s just agree that I didn’t make the best choices.  So it’s perfectly rational that I am terrified of having a teenager.  And, let’s face it, that’s just how the conversation seems to go when people find out you have a tween.

“So, how old are your kids?”

“I have 11 and 9 year old girls.”

“Oh.”  And that says it all. Oh, you’re about to enter in to those horrific teenage years.  Oh, brace yourself because it’s about to get awful.  Oh, you’re kids are about to turn into monsters.  It’s no wonder we’re all afraid to have teenagers.  Teenagers are supposed to be emotional, irrational, awkward, small adults.  They’re not supposed to be fun.

I know it will be tough.  It’s already tough sometimes, but I am also positive that there will be good times too.  I want to be purposeful about focusing on those times and not the hard times.  I don’t want my kids to feel like they are a horrible burden that I have to suffer through for five years.  I want them to know that I enjoy them!  That they’re still a blessing to me even with all the hard times.  With that in mind, here are a few of the fun shenanigans going on at our house.

Here’s a recent text message between me and my tweens.  Porsha had been getting really frustrated with her clarinet when she practiced.  I took it to the music store to have it looked at.

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Apparently she was not excited that her clarinet was fixed.  She hasn’t really been enjoying it like she does the piano.  She has to finish out the year, but next year she will probably do vocal instead of band.  In middle school she has to choose between the two.

Then I stopped at Target on the way home and got this message.

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I cracked up as I got all these, but I did a pretty good job of keeping it together.

Last week we went on a trip and Porsha had my phone for part of the drive.  Then we dropped the kids off with Grandma and Grandpa and went on our way.  The next time I picked up my phone, this is what I saw:

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Porsha had changed my lock screen to this image.  It’s so funny because I really do talk to myself all the time!!  I still have it as my lock screen because it makes me laugh and reminds me how fun my kids are.  And if I leave my phone sitting around too long, I’ll find a thousand of these selfies in my camera roll.

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Or random screen shots like these.

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We have also had some really good talks about more serious things like what to do when a friend hurts your feelings or how God can speak to us and use us.  Sure parenting a teen is going to be h-a-r-d, HARD!  But hopefully it will be moments of hard surrounded by too many fun and happy times to count.  How could you not love these girls?

AlexaPorshaI have tween girls and they’re fun!  Gasp!!

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Mom comparisons

 

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This has really been on my heart lately. Being a mom is HARD! That is no secret. Being a mom in today’s world might be even harder because of the internet and social media. We have the same “regular” struggles that moms have had for generations, but we have the extra pressure of trying to live up to a false idea of having it all together. I don’t think that mom comparisons is a new thing, but I do believe the internet has made it worse. There are so many great benefits to Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram, but they also come with the ability to constantly see how great everyone else is doing which can leave us feeling inadequate. I have personally struggled with this in the past and have to consistently keep myself in check to avoid sliding down that slope again. It is tough. I have recently had conversations with multiple friends who have let the false ideas of what makes a “good” mother haunt them. Comments and pictures online have led them to believe that another mother is better than them. The problem with the internet and social media is that we often put our best out there for everyone to see. This isn’t a bad thing as it is fun to share the good stuff, but we must also remember that that is what others are doing too. They are sharing the good stuff. I like that people don’t air all of their dirty laundry online because I don’t need to see that, but I also think we can avoid that and still be real. More importantly, we can just stop comparing ourselves to others. We are all moms. That is what matters. We all have different strengths and different levels of support systems around us, therefore, we are all different. Different is not a bad thing. Some of us are better at some things while others are better at other things. What matters is that we are the perfect mom for our kids. God specifically gave our kids to us because we are just the right mom for them. If we could all spend more time praying about motherhood instead of comparing then we would remember that. I am not saying that I have this perfected. There are plenty of days when I feel like I am failing and wonder how everyone else can have it all together. When I feel that coming on, I stop and pray and I remind myself that we all struggle. No one has it together all of the time. Then there are days when I feel like I am on my game. Things are going well and I am on top of things. I stop and pray on those days too. I thank God for giving me my children and continuing to work in me to be the mom I need to be for them. And I remind myself that everyone has these days too and those are usually the ones we see online. I guess my challenge is for us to all just love each other through this tough job. Instead of comparison, I want to see us, as moms, lifting each other up. Instead of jealousy, I want us to be each other’s cheerleaders. The truth is…It is hard, no one has it all figured out, but we are all doing the best we can and that is enough. Motherhood is a true gift, so let’s not ruin it with comparison.

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