Saturday, February 28, 2015

Flying Solo

From the beginning, I've always been a single mom. The girl's dad and I seperated when they were 10 weeks, divorced over a year later and have always been an ocean away. Normally it's no big thing cause that's what I'm used to. Ive never done it any other way. But then there are sometimes that I really wish I wasn't flying solo in this. Today was one of those days.

I had my second sleep study last night. It was horrific and I got like 7 minutes of sleep. The girls slept at Sa's house and that was a disaster too. So today all three of us were exhausted and out of sorts. I couldn't help but to keep thinking I wish I had a parenting partner so bad, not something that typically crosses my mind.

I have help from family and some close friends, especially Sa and the Fosters and my mom, that I appreciate SO SO much! But it's just not the same, at all. It would have been so nice to be able to leave the girls at home on their regular routine last night, take a nap today and/or just get a good break every now and then without having to feel super guilty or pay an arm and a leg for it. And that's not to mention having someone to talk about the hard stuff with, make decisions with cause some of those are so hard and work through the financials with. But my gut tells me that is just not a luxury that I will ever know.

I muddled through today flying solo. We stayed in our pajamas ALL day, watched a movie, and ate Taco Bell. I was a super lazy mom and let the girls play on the iPads way too much, I laid on the carpet while they did a craft, and we played hide and seek where I let them hide for a REALLY long time before I came to find them! I'm so ridiculous. But then I did teach them how to play baseball in the living room. It was just total survival mode and I was not winning any parenting awards today. But we survived! The girls were in bed at 6:45 and I probably will be by 8:45!

After a good nights sleep in our own beds I'm really hoping tomorrow is an easier day! I just have to keep reminding myself that I do all the work so I can get all the blessings! And that is priceless!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Yee Haw!

It's Rodel time y'all! And today was Go Texan day. That's the one day a year that all of Houston gets our cowboy/cowgirl on to kick of rodeo season.

Keagan and Riley have got to be the cutest Texan/Hawaian/Japanese/Chinese (with an emphasis on Texan) girls I ever did see! They wore their hand me down pink cowgirl boots, denim dresses, pink bandanas and pink cowgirl hats today. I knew Riley wouldn't really keep a hat on for long, so luckily yesterday I found the cutest mini cowgirl hat on a headband! She loved it and was upset she couldn't sleep in it last night. This morning I seriously think they could not be any cuter!

At school the girls celebrated with a hoe down. I'm pretty sure that watching Kindergarteners dance is my new favorite hobby! I could do that all day! Ridiculously darling!

The awesome coaches and music teachers put Riley right next to Keagan. They said the girls obviously wanted to be together and that everyone in Keagan's class is so sweet to Riley. All those cute 6 year old dressed in their boots and hats did six songs and dances. My favorite was "I See a Texas Lonestar." Riley did all the actions pretty good to that one, probably because Keags has been singing it all week. On others she was so enamored with all that was going on that she just periodically danced between all her people watching. Keagan on the other hand had all the moves down, was right on beat and even enthusiastically sang along! As she had told me she would this morning, at the end if one song Keagan took off her hat and threw it in the air!

Riley, Keagan, Carera, Piper and Katherine

Keagan and Jayden

Today was seriously just the cutest ever! They both had a blast and were so tickled that Sa and Addie came I watch!

Yee haw! Get em cowgirls!

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Open House

These two girls skipped through their school tonight like it was the best playground ever! And of course they hugged a million people along the way.

One of our cute friends was introducing Riley to her son and he said "Mom! That's Riley! Everybody here knows Riley!" And then gave her a hug! And Keagan has just as much support. The sweet mom who does the entire yearbook even talked about the great shots she has gotten of the two of them.

I realize that this sounds as cheesy as can be. But tonight all I could think was that we have found a place to be loved and taught! I couldn't be more thankful!

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Every now and then, I make really good parenting decisions. Every now and then, I'm a stellar mom. But most of the time I'm just your average mom tryin my darnedest to do the best I can.

And then there are the times that I make really stupid choices! Like really stupid. Those are the mommy fails. We all have them. So let's start with the good stuff first.

Friday I took Keagan lunch at school like she has been begging for. I'm at that school all the time but Im never there for lunch. I finally gave in and she was SO sweet and loving. She kept telling me "mommy thank you! I love you so much!" That's like a check for 100 grand to this mom!

I found an awesome deal on new swimsuits for the girls. Even better news is they both loved them so much that they slept in them! For the last three nights in a row!

We spent Sunday morning before church playing games and making puppets. I think it is so hilarious that Keagan loves to make up games for us to play by combining 10 different games she has played at school so that it is super complicated with endless amounts of rules and directions!

And then there are the mommy fails. Oh that just might be the 10 times I snapped at the girls this weekend because I'm still sick or when I totally yelled at them right before church! You know nothing gets you in the spirit of worship like a good tongue lashing! Oh and then when I got to church and sat down, I realized I was wearing flip flops! Yep, a mom fail.

On Mondays I pick up Riley a half hour early from school to get her to therapy. Apparently on this Monday she had a massive diaper and had to take advantage of the extra pair of clothes I send in her backpack. Unfortunately this mom hadn't updated them from beginning of the school year. That means Riley went to therapy in shorts when it was 40 degrees and wet outside! I got a look or two. Definitely a mom fail!

But then there is the most spectaculars of mom fails. This one is a real doozey, so brace yourself!

The other night when we got home, I let Keagan roll down the passenger side window and get the mail for us. Then all I had to do was safely drive up the driveway while my six year old was STANDING in the front seat NOT buckled!! That was my first great decision. My second great decision was to give into her demands to "drive crazy" as I'm occasionally known to do. But I only ever do it in the driveway while my children are securely buckled in their car seats! But since I'm a total genius and a really good mom, I stop short to get a cheap laugh and wouldn't you know...



I caused my kids head to slam into my windshield and totally crack it! The good news is she said it didn't hurt, miraculously!! That's a Ginn head for ya! The bad news is she felt so guilty, burst into tears and offered me her hard earned 4 dollars in her piggy bank!

I have repeatedly assured her that it was 100% my fault. I have assured her that this was a mom fail! And an expensive one at that! Mother of the year right here!

Hey, you win some. You lose some. But on second thought maybe I will take that piggy bank money!

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Miracles Bloom

I don't believe in luck. Nor coincidence either. No such things.

I believe in God.

And the God I know is in the details of our lives. Wether we pay attention and recognize it or not, He orchestrates the big stuff and directs the small. He plays a part in the grand, and even the minute. Oh, and He loves to POUR blessings upon us as the scriptures state. Not sprinkle, pour. I can testify that He is working things out for us. On His own time table, of course, and not in the way we always think is best. But He is always working. And while He is working, if we add our faith and gratitude to that foundation, then miracles bloom! And man, they are beautiful!

A miracle is a wonderful working of God, and you know we believe in miracles BIG TIME around here! I have two of the greatest miracles ever made that are sound asleep in my house right now! If you had lived this life with the two of them, you would shout the miracles from the roof top too!

There have been hard things and stupid things that happened this week. Of course there has. But amidst that, I barely had to take a peek to see there are miracles all around us! It is amazing, but those beautiful miracles just keep on coming! And if it's one thing I know, when I recognize those miracles, identify them and thank The Lord for them, then more of them come!

So that's exactly what we will do!

Last night a HUGE miracle happened at our house! Both my babies slept in their own big girl beds all night again! Yes they are six. But with Keagan it has just been a battle I haven't had the energy to fight for way too long. And the Nana had gotten Riley in the bad habit of sleeping in her bed the last several months. So I mean it when I tell you that it was totally the workings of The Lord to get both girls to miraculously want to sleep in their own beds again over the last week or two! It was not by much effort of my own, but totally a miracle that caused big change of hearts for both girls! Ones that I appreciate immensely!

Riley is also doing so great recovering from her cold! It wasn't too long ago that getting a simple cold virus meant spending days in the hospital on oxygen for my sweet girl. I truly find it to be miraculous that her determined little body can now keep her asthma in check and fight like a girl to kick that respiratory crap out of there!

Sometimes The Lord even miraculously answers unsaid prayers. For weeks I have been lamenting over Riley's therapy schedule. It is a twisted web of schedule balancing and getting the best for Riley that makes any changes very difficult. I had wanted a certain change to her Wednesday leave school early for therapy day, but knew it was all but impossible to do. So I hadn't even prayed about it or mentioned it to anyone. Then to my surprise, they called me and asked me if we would be willing to make that exact change this week! That is a huge blessing for both of us! And one that I know is a miracle!

Not everything is rainbows and gumdrops. Life can be hard. It's a lot of hard work! But there are so many blessings, and incredible miracles that He pours out along this path that bring so much joy! My eyes are open and constantly looking for all those miracles being sent. And I'm still missing a ton of them. I guarantee you are too!

Take a look around today. It will probably amaze you how many miracles are happening in your life. It's not luck, or coincidence. It is God.

My God.

His miracles will continue to amaze me.

"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."
Alma 26:12
The Book of Mormon

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hit By a Truck!

Both Riley and I caught the crud goin around. To no ones surprise, she is taking it like a champ and I am acting like I got hit by a truck! It's pretty sad to see a grown woman be so pathetic and a six year old show her how it should be done.

Story of my life!

But I've decided that tonight I am actually going to be able to sleep all night and then tomorrow I am going to wake up a new woman! A resolute commitment is all I need for that to happen, right? Maybe that and the Z-pack my doctor prescribed today, an unhealthy amount of orange juice and some good ole NyQuil! Either way, tomorrow both Riley and I are going to be completely healed and happy! I'm really hopin!

And in the midst of body aches, chills and coughing, my amazing friend Emily drops off some sunshine! I don't know what I have done to be so blessed with such incredible people in my life!! But I better figure it out soon so I can keep doing it!

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Loved, Loved, Loved

On this Valentines day I am as single as a Pringle! Ok that may be the best simile ever! But I feel loved, loved, loved!

My favorite little Valentines ever, each treated me to the cutest handmade cards from school! Six year old handmade things have got to be one of my absolute favorites! Keagan's even came in the mail! Seriously precious!

I gave those two kindergarten charmers chocolates and headphones that Keagan has been dying for! I've had to force Keags to take them off so many times today and when Riley wears them I think the music tickles her ears so she just laughs and laughs! Best 5 bucks I've spent at Target in a while!

I also took them to paint pottery. I'm always one for creating a memory more then getting a gift. We ended up having quite a cute little celebration!

In addition to all the other sweet things friends have already done for us this week, today Sa gave all three of us darling Valentines gifts and the Petersons and McArthurs surprised us with a large tray full of mini heart shaped cakes/brownies! They were delicious and so thoughtful!

Since getting divorced, Valentines Day isn't really one of my favorites. But today was simple, easy and wonderful. So many friends and family this week really made my holiday by thinking of us and taking the time to show us they care about us! I was totally compelled to say a gratitude prayer today, just driving down the street, as I am so thankful for all these wonderful and sincere people that The Lord has placed in my life!

Plus, I couldn't have celebrated this day with two cuter people, or anyone I love more! So we end the festivities feeling loved, loved, loved!

Happy Valentines Day 2015!

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Friday, February 13, 2015

I Heart Parties

School Valentines Day parties are the best! I really heart them!

I am Riley's class room mom so I was busy playing games and blowing bubbles to just barely make it to the end of Keagans party, much to Keagan's dismay. But after school we played together on the playground and ate pizza on the patio at MOD in gorgeous weather! Then the girls were the cutest little helpers when we helped set up and decorate for the Quilting Bee tomorrow at church. And when we finally came home to sort through all their fun Valentines, there were darling treats waiting for us from my friend Nikki and a package for them from Grandma Debbie!

So after fun AND lots of treats, I'm pretty darn sure Keagan has forgotten all about me not being at her party! She is just happy as a clam tonight! I'm quite certain they both are!

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Little Chefs!

My amazingly talented and amazingly generous friend Christy made the girls the cutest Valentines gifts! It's matching ruffle aprons and chef hats made out of the cutest hearts and fox fabric! They are to die for cute and the girls LOVE to wear them! Keagan said she is going to keep hers until she grows up to be "a cooker!" And a Riley is currently sleeping in her apron!

I'm SO blessed to have such amazing friends! And I didn't even mention the super yummy chocolate she included for me!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Just In Time!

After school today we took a long walk to soak in the gorgeous sunshine! While zooming on her scooter, a sweet little six year old gathered these beautiful flowers just for me! A gift of love that I desperately needed today!

The last few days have been very difficult and today was a doozey! So these sweet little flowers, in this sweet little hand, came just in time!

And then I came home tonight to another beautiful surprise! Gama Linda snuck in the house and left the girls and I the most incredible Valentines gifts! So amazingly thoughtful!

Both gifts could have been a dirty old rock and I would have cherished it because they showed me that I'm loved and they knocked the edges off of a really difficult day! I also received several calls and texts from friends who knew today would be tough and I am amazed by their love and support! I am forever thankful for all of the incredible people in my life who The Lord placed in it to help me thru all of the good times and the bad! Let's hope they are helping me and I get the chance to help them through a lot more good times soon!

Meanwhile, I've got some flowers and goodies to enjoy!

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Amidst the Mess

My house is a gigantic mess tonight and I don't even care! I never unloaded the dishwasher at all today and there are still toys and things strewn out on the living room floor. I can't remember sweeping after any of the three meals we ate in the kitchen. And if you've seen Riley eat that should make you shudder!

Instead of dealing with all of that, I played, and played hard with my girls!

It was a remarkable Sunday!

On a typical Sunday, I do get some play time with the girls. But I definitely care too much about the house being cleaned up before I do. In all likely hood I will go back to that by tomorrow morning and I'm going to have today's messes to clean. But for today we made memories amidst the mess! And it was grand!

This morning Keagan created a lemonade stand in the family room and Riley and I were VIP customers. That somehow evolved into playing "lava princesses" which of course is pronounced "la Ba" and requires a lot of jumping on furniture. And to wrap up the morning, we headed to the park while still in our jammies! With perfect weather and lots of six year old giggles it was almost dreamy!

We barely made it home in time to have lunch before getting dressed and getting to church at 1:00. Then after a great 3 hours of church, we were right back to completely ignoring the mess and playing together. We played on the swing set and went for a walk before dinner. We squeezed in all the fun we could before the sun went down!

Today was a day to remember. I didn't spend any money or make any grand gestures. I just played. I played with the two people in this world that I love the most! I don't do it enough and I was so blessed to do so!

Unfortunately I can't keep them six forever. One day they will laugh at the idea of playing with me. So I'm so glad today that my sink is full of dirty dishes. Because so is my heart!

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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Mark your calendars kids because I am actually up past midnight, by choice!

And it was all worth it to see the beautiful Whammy (my niece Sami) play Lenora in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" tonight! As always her voice and her presence were enchanting!

Meanwhile Keags and Rys seriously partied it up at Miss Taryns who is one the greatest friends and free babysitters ever!

A great night all around!

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Friday, February 6, 2015

Those Ears!

Miss Riley and I were back in a doctors office today. It's just what we do. She did great and came away happy!

Yep she is sitting IN the dump truck and if that vacuum worked I might have stolen it!

I was seriously so surprised that she was so happy at the appointment despite being SO sad that she didn't get to go to school with Keagan. We were at the ENT to see if she could have middle ear disease and if that is what has caused her hearing loss. It's strange to say, but I was disappointed they didn't find anything. It's just that could have been a much easier fix then the alternatives. So I guess we will dig a little further and proceed with the sedated hearing tests in a couple of weeks. Something tells me that unfortunately neither of us will be this happy for that appointment!

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