Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Give thanks

Family...stable paycheck....cozy home...freedom....safety....
really good friends....and my boys...

for all these - I am truly thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Things that make you go hmmmmmm....

One of the most surprising things about being a parent actually doesn't have as much to do with parenting as it does with personal growth and development.  Paulo and I had Thomas when we were both 35 years old.  We'd both complete 4 yr college degrees, did a bit of travelling, had esteablished careers, set up house, and lived quite a bit.  So we thought we knew who we are and what we were about. 

Then this tiny little person comes into your world and takes over everything.  As you make your way through the first few sleepless months and you live from one feeding to the next, you think you're doing okay and things are going well.  You teach him how to smile and laugh, you give lots of love and hugs, you chatter away and engage with this little person.

At about a year, I started to realize - am I really who I thought I was?  Am I really who I want to be?  It now becomes so important because I need to not just teach my child, but to model it to him.  I don't want to be the parent who says "Do as I say, not as I do".  I want to actually live according to what I preach. 

So its been an eye opening few months for me.  I've started to ralize things about myself that I never would have believed were true.  Like, after all those years of going out and being busy and being part of the gang, I actually prefer to be a home body!!!  Well, knock me over with a feather, I would have NEVER thought would be me.  But these days I'm very content staying home with my boys (big and small). 

I heard a sermon last winter when visiting a church.  The pastor preached that "Our passions dictate our priorities".  I've been stewing on that theme for a looong time now, and its really start to resonate with me.  As my priorities are shifting, I'm starting to see what my passions are. 

This is a really fun journey.  I'm enjoying the process, not just the end results.  And I hope I'm becoming more and more my true self - who God really created me to be. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

God, Grace, Gratitude

A dear, precious friend of mind gave me this sign a recently.  She and I have a long wonderful history, but we've had a few rough patches too. She has given me grace and forgiveness and this sign is a sweet daily reminder of that. 

Its also a daily reminder of the grace God gives us daily, and to remember to give gratitude.  And these days, there is much gratitude to be given.  We've had a huge change in our household and the riches are abounding.

A little background first: Paulo has given me the greatest gift by allowing me to stay home to raise Thomas.  In order to give me that gift, he has had to put in some pretty heavy overtime these past 2 years to make up some of my lost income.  Most weeks Paulo works three 12 hours days, which are really 14.5 hours days with the 1+ hour commute each way.  On these long days, Paulo does not see Thomas at all.  NOT AT ALL.  Then he works two 8 hr days - 10 hrs with commute.  Most weeks he has to use one of his free evenings to project, meetings, business, etc.  So most weeks he's home 1 night a week, sometimes 2.  On his "early days" he gets home at 6pm.  Thomas goes to bed at 8pm.  So that's only 2 hours together as a family.  Not to mention, Paulo is way too wiped out to be doing much around here that late in the evening.

Well, the 4pm to midnight shift became available, and has now become Paulo's shift.  When it was first presented to Paulo, he and I talked about the pros and cons.
  • Shorter commute time because not going/coming during heavy traffic.  Shorter commute = more time at home.
  • EVERY morning with us
  • Higher pay rate, therefore higher OT pay, therefore, less OT required
  • Slower and quieter in the shop so Paulo could get a lot more accomplished
  • More free time with us during the awake hours of Thomas' day (and my day too for that matter)
  • More free time to do things around the house, which means more free time on the weekend to just hang out
  • Taking less vacation time for side work and house projects and therefore saving more vaca time for us as a family
  • uuuummmmm......NONE

So he has started the new shift - this is our 2nd week.  So far - we LOVE it!!  Of course, there is some adjusting.  I'm used to being on my own a lot, so I have to share my space, my time, my parenting a lot more now, which isn't a bad thing - just different. And its a change I'm willing to make.

This is never something we sought out, we didn't even think about it.  But God loves us so He brought it about - in His perfect timing and His perfect will.  And for this I have a grateful heart.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The BEST halloween EVER!!

I've never been a big fan of halloween.  For a few reasons - I don't like to dress up, I don't like the feeling of leftover candy and all the mind games it plays on me, and quite honestly, we don't live in a "neighborhood" and don't know our neighbors, so I don't really feel safe going to strangers doors with a 2 yr old. However, we had a wonderful invitiation from our awesome friends Laura, Savannah and Katrina to go to their house and trick or treat in their neighborhood. They live in a very safe development with tons of little kids and lots of trustworthy people.


Thomas really enjoyed himself, and he got the hang of it immediately.  Now, we are not a candy house.  Thomas has had candy maybe 5 times in the past year.  But he knew he was getting candy, and he held onto his trick or treat bag with gusto.  I kept asking if he wanted me to take some out and put it in the stroller so it wouldn't be so heavy - NO!  He held that bag all night long.  We hit about 30 houses in 2 hours then headed on back to our friends house.  I hope this is a new Halloween Tradition!