Today I woke up with someone extra in my bed. For the record, this never happens. So I was pleasantly surprised when I was startled awake by a little body hurtling up over the side of the bed, carrying a blanket and an armful of buddies. Theo knows mommy won’t get out of bed before 8. But since he can’t tell time, he also knows he has to wait on me to say, “Ok! It’s 8:00, time to get up!” So for the most part, he has gotten used to occupying himself until I decide it’s “8:00,” wink, wink.
This past weekend was Mother’s Day weekend. It was a reeeally good weekend. It was exactly the kind of refreshment that this momma needed, and I felt grateful for every second of it.
Friday night, Mike and I got to go on a date night for the first time in forever. It felt so good to be out together, just the two of us. We had a wonderful meal at a new restaurant (new to us) in Akron where we got to sit out on a patio and enjoy the perfect, summer weather. Afterwards we strolled around for a bit, mostly to try and work off the discomfort of eating waaaaay too much food (no regrets), before finally ending up at a little coffee shop.
The next day we both commented on what a nice time we had together and how everything went so well that evening. There is truly something to be said about learning to appreciate the good things in your life. This past year with all it’s hardships – with Mike’s crazy schedule and with me not getting much time to myself or time with him – it’s brought into focus the things that really do matter to me. I can live without a lot of things I once thought were priorities, but time with Mike, my best friend, I just can’t live with out that.
Saturday morning we were invited over for a little family breakfast at my brother Josh and SIL Rhiannon’s new house. It’s so crazy to see my little brother with a house! It’s funny how you never really age past a certain point with your sibling (or is that just me?) so that when you see them in an adult context you are like, “Wait! You can’t have a house! You’re only 10!!”
Despite the weirdness, it is so much fun to be moving into the next phase of life with my little brother. It’s fun to see people you’ve known forever in a new way.
Later that afternoon, one of my closest friends, Laurie, came up from Columbus to visit. We spent the day window shopping in downtown Wooster and ended the evening on our patio eating a homemade, summer meal with Mike and the boys.
I made baked stuffed jalapeno peppers for dinner and they were fantastic. I used this recipe (the cream cheese version, not the bacon one).
Sunday, though, was probably my favorite of the bunch. We all got up and went to church together and arrived only 15 minutes late which I will take as a win. Afterwards, Mike treated us to a lovely lunch at one of my favorite downtown Wooster restaurants, Broken Rocks. I love being out with my boys. It’s one of those things that makes me feel officially mature. Plus, what’s not to love about sitting down to a fabulous meal that I didn’t have to cook?!
Theo’s charm was a sailboat to represent his courageous and adventurous spirit. Theo is the bravest, most free-spirited boy I’ve ever met, so the symbolism is spot on. The sailboat also represents transition, which couldn’t be more perfect as he was my first baby, and helped me transition into motherhood.
Oliver’s charm is a lotus flower to represent peace, beauty and resilience. Oliver’s name means peace, and I believe one of his many qualities is that of peacemaker. And he certainly is resilient, and not just because he has to be to survive his older brother! Oliver truly showed us his resilience when I was hospitalized at the end of my pregnancy with him. He is one tough cookie. And beauty because, goodness, that baby is cute!
After lunch Oliver, Laurie and I hit up one of my favorite down town spots for coffee before she headed back to Columbus, and I headed for my Sunday afternoon/Mother’s Day nap.
This Mother’s Day was special for me. Over the past year I’ve really started to appreciate where I’m at in my life. The transition to motherhood is full of difficulty for some, easy for others, or in my case, just hard to get a handle of. At first it seemed like I was giving so much up. Like I was required to become someone that I didn’t recognize. But now, well now I view it so much differently. Yes, there are some elements that you give up to become a mother, but if you focus on those then truly you are a fool. For what you lose is nothing in comparison to what you gain. And as for the becoming someone I didn’t recognize, well, I think that was just me being afraid to let go of one path and venture down a new one.
There were things I thought I had to do. There were things I thought I shouldn’t do. There were all these ideas about motherhood that I had a hard time making a reality. But as I looked at the pictures from my special lunch with my boys and I could see pieces of me in each of them, I realized the important change that’s taken place lately. Yes, motherhood changes you. That part is inevitable. But the other part, the part where you apply your own personal lifestyle brand on motherhood, that’s the important part. My boys have little bits of me in them now and probably forever, not because I’m doing life the way all the books or all the people’s advice told me I should, but because I’m simply being myself, just in a new way.
There is a lot to be said for contentment. For appreciating what you have. And for appreciating the person you are. And I don’t think we can truly appreciate who we are, until we fully appreciate what we have, and where we are. So no matter where you are at in life as you read this, find the things worth appreciating and celebrate them. I believe they are there, for all of us. No matter what phase of life we find ourselves in.