Sunday, May 29, 2011

First Love

I'm not really a details kinda girl. I wish I was. I wish I was one of those girls who pays extra special attention to things like fancy napkin holders or just the right accessory. Me? I am just excited when I'm dressed and we don't run out of paper plates. But something I continue to learn is that I serve a God who is all up in the details.

At the age of 15 I had a very unique experience. Our youth minister was contemplating taking our youth group to a small fishing community that had recently been hard hit by economic hardship to partner with and work with one of the churches there. I was on our youth council so my youth minister got permission for me and two of the guys on the council to travel with her to that little community and meet the pastor of that church. I still remember walking into the pastorium across the stree from First Baptist Church of Eastpoint. We met Bro. Smith and his wife and he told us about his daughter who worked as a dancer on cruise ships, and of course I thought that was the best job ever! :)  He shared some of the struggles the community was facing and told us about a man who had recently gotten saved and had an amazing testimony of how God had changed his life. Jessie was very young, maybe in his 20's or 30's and unfortunately had also just been put on hospice. That was my first experience with hospice. I honestly don't know that I really had any idea what it was, I just knew Jessie was dying.

My youth group ending spending several weekends there working with a food ministry that took food to people in the neighborhood and we eventually spent a whole week helping with their Vacation Bible School. It was at that church that I had my first opportunity to lead someone to Christ. It was actually 2 sisters and it is something I will never forget. It was also my first opportunit to grasp that young people died. And to meet a brother and sister who were probably close to the ages of Sarah and Eli who lived in a house with a dirt floor. For real. A dirt floor. It was all new to the 15 year old me who had grown up quite comfortably middle class with  my own bedroom, after school activities and still intact family. It's kind of hard now to remember what it felt like when those things were new to me. When they were shocking. But they were. And they broke my heart. I just fell in love with that little community and it was there that God began to speak to my heart about a call to full-time ministry. I LOVED ministering to those people and sharing Jesus with them.

At that time I had no idea what that looked like. I'm Baptist, so I knew I couldn't preach.  :) My parents just knew it meant I would become a missionary and  move to Africa, and as cool as that still seems to me, I never really felt like that was the call on my life. I would avoid that call by trying out 2 different majors. Josh would help me avoid that call by also avoiding his call for several years. Then, it happened. We had been married 5 years and had 2 babies. A friend asked Josh to preach for him one night and that was it. I knew it. I still remember the exact spot on the road we were driving as we made our way to Wendy's for supper after church. And Josh told me he was supposed to preach.

That would begin a whirlwind of plans and lack of plans and moving and big changes. We packed up with two kids under the age of 4 and moved into a 100 year old farmhouse that I had to refloor just for it to be liveable. I started working as social worker making less than half of what Josh had been making. We were called to a church and served there for 3 years before God led us back to Florida. They were hard years. If you read my blog during that time you know. We faced some tough times, times that would have been tough no matter where we were or what we were doing. But anyone in ministry knows that tyring to begin ministry is a challenging and trying time in and of itself. Not to mention, we were both youngins'. 

Now, would you believe that God has brought us to a church that is 45 minutes from that little fishing community I fell in love with? The truth is, I didn't just fall in love with the community there, I fell in love with my Savior there. The opportunities I had to serve Him there drew me so much closer to Him and gave me such a love for a God who allowed me to serve Him even when I was so unworthy. The community I am in now is not so different from Eastpoint. It's a fishing town. Many of the kids in our neighborhood remind me of the kids we met so many summers ago. To top it off, you will never believe who walked in the doors of our church several months ago. Bro. Smith. He is retired now and lives here. He had heard that my husband is a pastor and he and his wife have been attending out church. It's the wildest thing to me. We do not have a single conversation with other people that he does not talk about the work we did in Eastpoint all that time ago and how great it was. We were talking about it with some people tonight and I was sharing how awesome it is to me to once again feel connected to that time in my life when God first called me to full-time ministry. I joked that I had NO idea at that age that I would be a preacher's wife and that honestly, I didn't know if I would ever be anybody's wife!! It's the truth though. Preacher's Wife was not on my radar of future life callings. And yet, here I am.

So much has changed since I was 15. Like the crow's feet around my eyes and the stretch marks on my stomach. Like that I found a boy who not only would speak to me, but decided he wanted to marry me. On a much deeper level, I have known pain and heartache that I did not know was possible at the age of 15. I've also learned to love in a way that I couldn't at that age. Unfortunately though, I realize that the love and excitement I had for my Savior and the work He has called me to is often overshadowed by the stress and routine of everyday life. The disappointments and trials of ministry are easily overwhelming and can cause one to put up walls and to push away from the very thing God is calling you to do. I think that for me, God knew I needed Him to put me exactly where I am and to bring Bro. Smith back into my life at this exact time to remind me of the 15 year old me who loved Him passionately and wanted nothing more than to serve Him. Before I was a social worker. Before I was a wife and mom. Before I was a preacher's wife. I just need to remember my first love.

"I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first."
Revelation 2:19

How I pray that will be said of me!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday

* I am tired of seeing neked people on TV. There. I'm just gonna say it. Seriously, didn't there used to be a certain amount of clothing that you were legally required to wear? I mean, I'm a dance teacher and I'm used to spandex and leotards and all of that but I am just so over all the neked people. I don't care how good you look, I don't wanna see it. Put your britches on. Okay, I'm good now. :)

* It is ridiculously sad how much I am missing my hubby. I remember when we started dating I was on a self-proclaimed "independence kick" and I've always liked to think of myself as an independant woman. But for real I've been checking my phone like every 3 seconds I've only gotten to actually talk to him and hear his voice one time since Monday morning. I actually got the squishy, butterflies in my tummy feeling when he called last night. Is that crazy or what?

* I get so frustrated with my kids at bedtime. I know I've told y'all that. Tonight is the first night this week I've even attempted getting them in bed. Last night Sarah had a sleepover. I finally passed out close to 1. I have the feeling they were still going strong. Now tonight we are back to Kate needing "a piece of water" (that means a sip, btw), a serious fan issue (everybody in my family has to sleep with a fan and we only have 2. We totally hook them in the kids rooms and then move one to our bedroom when they fall asleep) and Eli just came and told me there was a bug on his dresser. He was crying. He would not go in his room. I went to exterminate the bug and it turns out it was one of his shirts sticking out of the drawer! Ugh!

* One of my contacts scratched my eye so now I only have one in. Does this post look crooked to y'all? Just me?

* Sarah fixed a DiGiorno pizza last night and told me she is ready to be a Mom. I am so glad that I've taught her fixing frozen pizza is all there is to being a Mom. :)

* All I want to eat is chicken nuggets. Does that happen to anybody else where nothing sounds good except for one thing? Daisy stole my last chicken nugget while I was dealing with the bug/shirt issue. She better watch herself!

* I don't know how you all feel about the world not coming to an end, but I just wanted to let you know that my 3 year old told me, "Jesus is gonna come back on the clouds and pick us up when we're done."  Very deep words, don't ya think?

Let's just hope He's not waiting for me to be done with laundry, cuz we will all grow weary in that wait. But, while we're waiting, you can head on over to Everyday the Wonderful Happens to link up and share some whatnots that are almost as deep and earth shattering as mine. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Summer Past, Present, and Future

Well, it is officially the first day of summer vacation and we've done it up right. I took the kids to see Rango last night (yes, I took 3 kids to the movies by myself-proof my brain is fried and I am ready for summer vacation) and then we picked up supper from Chick-Fil-A complete with cookies and cream milkshakes. Today has been full of pancakes, dress up clothes, legos, arguing siblings, and friends over for a sleepover. Summer is here! Okay, so I haven't been able to eat any of the tasty treats and most of my day has been spent doing dishes and laundry and vacuuming and doing my same ol' reoutine. It's all good. It's nice to be able to do the routine on my own time table. But, it got me to thinking about how fun summer is when you're a kid. Then, I talked to a friend and she was telling me about a family vacation tradition she had growing up and how they take their kids to the same place. So neat. I find myself tonight longing for a fun trip.

Josh and I are still planning our cruise for this summer and we are SO READY! He's actually in Alabama this week helping with the tornado cleanup and I have the feeling that by the end of this week he will be even more ready for a vacay.  There have constantly been scheduling conflicts and extra expenses come up that have threatened our plans. I don't know about y'all, but sometimes I have a really hard time spending money on vacations. In fact, we've only had 3 official vacations since we've been married and this cruise will mark our 10 year anniversary. I just feel like there is always somewhere else the time and money could be going. But I have come to realize that sometimes you just have to make the time. I have especially learned that as a married couple you absolutely have to make the time for each other. It's an investment that is worth it. And right now there are lots of great hotel discounts and other deals. Josh and I are booking our hotel through They are a great website that gives great deals on rooms and flights and it is super easy to use. Just type in where and when you're going and it will show you the best deals! And honestly, when you've been married ten years, have 3 kids, a dog, and a neighborhood full of kids in your house, it doesn't really matter where you go or where you stay as long it is somewhere that you don't feel like the live-in maid, right?  :)

While I am super excited about a romantic getaway with my hubby, I am also anxious for future family vacations. We've decided we won't do Disney until all 3 kids are old enough to remember it, but we are hoping maybe next summer. Kate will be almost 5. Oh my gosh. I can't think about that.

All this talk of vacations has brought back lots of memories. I went to look at some old pics my Mom had posted on FB and immediately noticed a pattern. We were usually standing in front of a plane.
This particular picture just happens to capture what was the 2nd worst haircut of my life.

My dad was such a war buff and we did not take a family vacation without visiting a war memorial. I wish I had made more of those times and actually learned some history, but most of the time my walkman blocked out the info. (For certain readers under a certain age who are reading this, a walkman was like the early version of the Ipod. Except it had huge, obnoxious headphones and you had to have tapes for it. If you ask me what a tape is I will tell you you are too young to read this blog.) 

This is my favorite. Don't you love how I just randomly struck dance poses on top of mountains whilst looking at cannons? Awesomeness....
If there weren't planes, there were monuments....
Don't we look cool? I'm not sure if we were all tired of each other by this point or if we were trying to recreate some artsy CD cover or something.

We didn't always go to war museums. We had lots of beach vacations, too. I think about my Daddy everytime I make a trip into "town" and ride through the little beach town where we spent many a summer day riding the waves together.
Notice, even at the age of 10 I would not take my t-shirt off. So modest. I was a preacher's wife in the making. :)

Finally, this isn't a war or beach trip. Although it may cause WWIII if my sister sees I posted this. Anyway, we were at Busch Gardens and it just cracks me up to look at our socks. Is anybody else amazed I found a husband after this little road trip down  memory lane? Yeah, me too.

So, I want to know. What is your favorite part about summer? Lazy days? Beach days? Family Vacays? Cookouts? Let me know!

Monday, May 23, 2011

These Are The Days

Hello blog friends! I come to you today a hot mess of sickness and completely irrational Mom emotions. I guess that's my way of warning you that this may get a little sappy. Or sneezy. Or whatever. I don't know.

You see, today is yet another big day in the Fidler house. I never realized before this year what a big month May is. I'm pretty sure most people we know graduated this year. Not really, but it feels like it. Anyway, we had our own little graduate. :)

He didn't have a ceremony so I was totally surprised to get a card with this picture in it. He told me they took turns "graduatin".  Melt my heart. Make me do the ugly cry. If that weren't enough look at the sign on his classroom door
Mercy. I was just thankful they didn't add "as long as your Mama pays off her student loans by then" to the bottom.

The kids had award ceremonies last week and Eli sat on the end of the row. His little head just barely peeked out of the seat. I found myself thinking that it will not be long before I will have to look up to him and he will be a for real graduate and I will be a for real mess. Will somebody pass me a Kleenex? Thanks....

In happy news, we were completely surprised to learn that the school gives out Dolphin awards. You may remember from this blog that Eli was awarded a Dazzling Dolphin award. That meant he was recognized for showing respect, resourcefulness, and another R I can't remember. But it's something good. Anyway, Sarah was pretty bummed because she went all year without receiving that honor. Well, wouldn't you know it, they gave out 3 awards in each grade level that kind of represented like the top Dazzling Dolphins of the year and she and Eli both got one!! We were pretty proud. Okay, we were super proud and obnoxiously texting family members and bragging shamelessly.  They both also made A/B honor roll, but we couldn't help but feeling more pride in the fact that they were recognized not just for grades, but for their behavior and how they treated others. And especially for Sarah, it was an awesome moment!

My sweet girl. Today was their last day of school and I just can't believe this year is gone. What a year it has been. I know I say that every year. We've had some years, y'all! The truth is that while this school year started out a little rough, it really was a great year. You may remember that we made the choice to move Sarah back a grade and that making that decision just about did me in. We had some tough meetings with her 3rd grade teachers and the principal and decided it was what was best. One thing I didn't share at the time was that when I told her reading teacher about something Sarah told me she responded, "She's smart" as if she were totally shocked. I don't know about y'all but I don't want anybody teaching my child that doesn't believe they are smart and capable. Maybe that is just me. Well, it turned out to be the best decision we could've made. Her 2nd grade teacher was an absolute gift from God and I have no doubt that she ended up exactly where she was supposed to be. Her teacher wrote on her report card how much she enjoyed having her in class and then ended with, "Work hard and show those 3rd grade teachers how smart you are".  The thing is,  I never shared with her my experience with the teachers or what was said, but she just got it. She got it. She believed in my sweet girl and she brought out the best in her. And I am eternally grateful.

Eli also had an awesome teacher. It was her first year, but she handled that class with ease. We are just constantly amazed at the things he has learned. It is such an amazing thing to feel like someone cares about your children and is attentive to them the way you would be. We were very blessed.

I know it probably seems weird to be so emotional about my kid's teachers. Haven't I told y'all it only takes me like 5 minutes to get emotionally attached to people? Anyway, I can't help it. I just feel overwhelmingly blessed that they were a part of our lives this year. If you are a teacher working hard to not only teach, but genuinely care about your students, you are making a difference!!

And speaking of a difference, take a look at what a difference a school year makes!

First Day of School August 2010

Last Day of School May 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday

* My week so far can be described in one word: LAZY. I seriously feel like I have been hit by a mac truck for some reason. Feel free to insert "You're not as young as you used to be" to remind me why the rush of activity over the last several months has left me feeling a little drained.

* Ever since the royal wedding I find myself thinking in a British accent. Has that happened to anybody else?

* Yesterday Eli told me it took two years and two months to build the "Awful Tower". :)  He also told me about the restaurants inside of it. For some reason I didn't remember there were restaurants in the Eiffel Tower. I was sharing that with Josh and he said, "Yeah, don't you remember...."  I just knew he was going to say, "Don't you remember from history class?" But no, he said, "Don't you remember from Rush Hour 3?"  Yep, it's official. We are some very cultured people around here.......

* So, we have a problem with the neighborhood children getting on the roof of the church. Has anybody else had this problem? I didn't think so......

* Kate told me to put both hands on the wheel yesterday when I was changing the radio station. I don't know how I survived before I had a 3 year old to keep me in line.

*Every vase in my house is filled with fresh flowers and that makes me feel happy! :)

* Oh my goodness. Last night while Josh and I were sitting at the dining room table we heard a loud thud. We looked at each other and came to the same conclusion. We assumed a kid had thrown something at the window. I got up to investigate and it was a bird!! It had flown right into the window!!! I felt so bad. He died. :(  I try to keep my windows as dirty as possible to avoid situations like this, but it just didn't help this time. I was worried Daisy was going to mess with it, but as I watched she just kept pushing on the bird's chest with her nose. It totally looked like she was trying to give it CPR. Such a distressing night. Glasses falling apart, birds flying into the window. I'm starting to feel like I'm in an Alford Hitchcock movie.

* Tomorrow my precious niece, Lyla, will be 1!! I can't believe it! It seems like just yesterday I was thanking God for tow trucks and little girls..... :)

* My bestie, Karen, is coming to visit for the weekend and I am soooo excited!!!! I anticipate some really late night conversations and a much needed outing to a Mexican restaurant. Woo-hoo!!

I am so proud I am actually linking up this week while there is still some time left in Wednesday!! You should, too!!! Hop on over to Everyday The Wonderful Happens and link up!

P.S.  All of the comments from my last Whatnot Wednesday have vanishesd. I have no idea what happened. I promise I did not delete them on purpose. I'm telling you, strange things are happening here.....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Life's A Dance....

Well, it is a Sunday night and the conclusion of a whirlwind weekend. And I mean, for real, a whirlwind. My sister came in on Friday afternoon with her 2 babies and later that night my Mamaw and Aunt got to PC to stay with my Mom. They all came to my house for lasagne and cupcakes to celebrate 2 May birthdays (Eli and my niece, Lyla) and my Aunt's graduation from college. Lyla really enjoyed her cupcake. :)
Saturday was "THE DAY"! Dance recital day. I've felt so silly that it has been such a big deal around here, because I know there are much more important, serious things going on in the world. But for us, it was a big deal! I've been so busy the last few weeks that I just don't think I've had time to be nervous. Saturday morning was no different. Preparing breakfast, throwing a load of laundry in the washer, keeping up with 5 kids. :)  Then, about 11:00 it hit. The nerves. It has been a LONG time since I've felt that particular kind of nerves. I was a bundle of nervous energy. I stopped midday to take my vitamins and I was drinking some water THE BOTTOM OF THE GLASS FELL OUT. Y'all, I can't even explain it. I've never seen anything like it. The entire bottom just totally fell out. I'm not superstitious, but I found myself hoping it was a sign. A good sign. Like bad rehearsal, good show. Bottom of glass falling out, I won't fall on stage? I don't know. It was crazy, and something that would only happen to me. :)

I was glad when it was time to get busy doing hair and make-up so I had something to do. I love doing stage make-up. It's like you get to be 4 again and just put on make-up until you look like a clown. I have recently discovered fake eyelashes and I heart them. They took some getting used to, but once they're on, they stay and you don't have to worry about mascara running. Which would have been the case 9 hours later after two back to back recitals. Before we left we attempted some pics and we got one of me and Jenny with all of our kids. It was a miracle. I love how Lyla is looking at me like, did they hire a clown for my birthday???? :)

The recitals went so well! I just couldn't be happier or prouder of my girls. For Kate's dance I went to the front of the stage because we didn't want them looking to the side to watch me the whole time. It didn't matter. Not one of those girls even noticed I was there. They did soooo good! ALL of my tiny tots went on stage! Woo-hoo! That was my goal. Everything else was icing on the cake. :) By the time mine and Sarah's dance came, my legs were literally shaking, y'all. I was seriously hoping they would hold me up. They did. I don't know what the dance looked like, but I survived.

Josh ran between shows to grab us some sandwiches from Subway. It brought back so many memories as we sat on the stage and ate. I promise it was just yesterday that I was rehearsing for my senior recital and he was bringing me fast food. The second show went super smooth even though we had fewer dances and Sarah had some super quick changes. That girl amazed me!

I just felt so loved. By the girls, by the teachers I work with, by my boss. They were all so sweet and I felt like they were giving my soul hugs with the words of affirmation they spoke. I felt loved by my family. My aunt, cousin and Mamaw made an 8 hour trip to be there (my Mamaw NEVER missed one of my recitals for 16 years), my sister made a 3 hour trip with 2 little ones and my SIL and T were there, too, giving up time on Leah's last Saturday in the states. My Mama was there just like she was for all 16 of my recitals. She gave me the sweetest card and told me that she knew how proud my Daddy would be. This was my first recital without him and I won't lie, it made it a little bittersweet. But my Daddy knew better than anyone how much I love dance and I don't doubt that he would be over the moon excited for me.I know this weekend was good for my Mom too, to see that all of that time and money she sacrificed over the years paid off!! Josh especially made me feel loved. He played such a big part in the recital. He edited all the music for us, created an awesome slide show and did an awesome job running sound. He gave me flowers. And most importantly, I think he was as excited as me.

I didn't think that anybody else realized what this weekend meant to me, but after Saturday I believe that those closest to me really got it. For me, this recital was so much more than a show. It was a dream come true to dance with my daughter. It was an amazing offering of grace and love from a Heavenly Father who brought something I love back into my life at a time when my heart needed something to keep it going. It is a testament to my God and the work He has done in my life. 11 years ago, I hung up my dancing shoes. I had gained quite a bit of weight and felt like I didn't know my body anymore. Then, I started having babies. Surely, my body would never be able to dance again. In the midst of body changes, major life changes and a serious depression, I lost a part of me. I started dancing when I was 2 and I didn't know what life looked like without it. When I went through my depression the last thing I wanted to do was dance.  Then, God healed my depression, but I have still struggled with health issues. In the last several years I have finally been able to lose the weight and begin to feel relief from some of my health issues. But more than the body issues, there has been healing in my heart. There has been joy restored. Life has dealt some tough blows the last few years, but in the midst of it, I've been given the opportunity to do something I love and to remember just how much a part of me it is. My Mom and Josh have both noticed the happiness it has brought me. T (that's Josh's Mom) :), told me as soon as the show was over that she cried the whole time Sarah and I were dancing because she remembers how depressed I was after Sarah was born, and to see how God has worked and how He has used that precious little girl in my life. We danced to Uncle Kracker's "Smile" and that song just totally applies to how I feel about that child. I am so undeserving of the gifts and blessings I've been given, but I'm just going to be thankful for them right now!

I was sharing with someone that 11 years ago, I wanted to be the star. I wanted to be onstage and be praised and admired. That was my dream. It wasn't meant to be. I am so grateful that God refined that dream and now allows me to share what I love with little girls and be a part of their lives. I had no idea that dance would ever be a part of God's plan for my life again. I've learned that whatever He does, He does it all for His Glory. I pray that my story brings glory to Him and the power He has in our lives. We are never alone. We are never forgotten. Sometimes our dreams and desires have to wait while He works in us, but He knows our hearts and He has a plan. And that plan is better than all of the flowers or standing ovations in the world!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday: I'm So Helpful

* I just have to begin this by saying that today is my last CARAZY Wednesday night! Woo-hoo!

* I have recently discovered a new cleaning product that I am infatuated with . Mr. Clean with Febreze. LOVE IT! It actually works as well as bleach (I'm a bleach girl), but it smells SOOOOO GOOD! Yes, I just said I'm infatuated with a cleaning product. I think it is safe to assume I need a date night or a girl's night or something of that nature.

* Josh let the kids pick out my Mother's Day gifts this year and they did very well. Kate got me a Woodwick candle (love those, too!) and Eli got me some pistacchios. He didn't even read my blog last week as I rambled on about my affection for nuts. (Really, y'all may see me on one of those reality shows one day discussing my unhealthy relationships with nuts and cleaning products.) Sarah got me a really cute luggage label with my initial on it. She also proceeded to tell me all of the things she wanted to get me, but were out of her price range. Josh must have felt like he was shopping with me. She is my daughter. Mamaw used to always tell me I had champagne taste on a beer budget. Or since I don't drink, I guess I have pistacchio taste on a peanut budget. :)

* Today one of my 3 year olds at dance told me several times, "My daddy needs to cut that gardenia down." I tell ya, those babies will tell on you. :)

* As I am writing this my child, who is supposed to be sleeping, just told me, "I just feel like I'm still 5 because I'm just still the same size." I wish I could say "I feel like I'm 17 because I'm still the same size", but oh well. Speaking of that, one of my dance girls told me at dress rehearsal Sat. that I looked like a teenager in my costume and make-up. I decided I would take that compliment (even though we all know it's not true) because that particular child is not one for flattery. She has been the first one on days when I've gone to dance sick or without make-up to say, "You look rough!"

* Speaking of dress rehearsal I think it went really well. There were only 2 incidents. First, the only music mishap was of course on mine and Sarah's dance. Josh is doing sound and has all the songs on the laptop. He accidentally used the one that wasn't cut so it was a much longer version than what is choreographed. Second, as I was backstage changing someone came to me and said, "Your child is naked in the hallway." Say what? Of course! Of course my child is naked in the bathroom. Turns out she had to go to the bathroom right before our dance and Josh had to run sound and video the dance. So, he put Eli in charge. Around here, once you're 3, your on your own. By 6, we expect you to be responsible for others. :) Anyway, I went to the hallway to find Kate in the doorway of the bathroom with her tights and costume around her ankles. Her hat was in the stall. My Mother of the Year Award? Out the door.....

* In other, as I am writing this breaking news. Eli is having a total crisis. He asked me for a band-aid for his toe and it turns out I gave him a breathe right strip. Oops. I got him a new band-aid, but when he pulled the paper off some of it stuck so that caused more drama. I thought it might be Christmas before he ever got it on his toe, but Josh assessed the situation and told him it's in a spot you can't put a band-aid. More emotional breakdown occurred. Is it time for bed yet?

* Well, before I do head to bed, I have to tell you what I did while I was trying to help. Josh was sending out some letters to parents about a new ministry we are starting, and I decided I would be helpful and fold letters and put them in envelopes. Josh had left the mailing labels in his office so I went to get them. His check was sitting on his desk so I decided to be extra helpful and bring it home. We folded and stuffed and addressed all the letters.  Josh took them up to the school for teachers to hand out. A few hours later I said something about his check and he said that he hadn't seen it. PANIC. We tore through the house. Through the yard. Through the church. Everywhere. Could not find it. It hit me. What if we put Josh's check in one of those envelopes and sent it to school???? By the time of this realization it was too late to get ahold of anybody at the school. This morning Josh had to ask all the teachers to check all the envelopes and had his secretary stop payment on the check. Sure enough as I was leaving church tonight one of the ladies handed me Josh's check. It was stuck in a door, caught on a cobweb. Who knew cobwebs could be helpful?

*OH MY GOSH! I ran over a snake on Monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It didn't die. I did a 55 point turn in the road trying to kill it, but it got away.

* Okay, enough of my rambling. I'm getting ready for a house full of company this weekend, the beginning of a new ministry at church and the dance recital. I'm excited! And surprised that people let me help with anything. :)   What's going on in your world?  Link up here and tell us!

Monday, May 9, 2011

It Makes Me a Mama

I used to think the hardest part of being a Mom would be labor and delivery. Now, don't get me wrong, that part was definitely not easy, but I was given drugs and lots of support during that time. I had people from every direction telling me what to do. And the 1 time the drugs didn't work, I was able to scream and holler and give ugly looks and not feel one ounce of guilt about it. And of course, the end result was always worth it.

Almost 9 years and 3 kids later I've experienced many moments in motherhood that have left me asking, "Can I get some more drugs now???? Where are all of those people to tell me what to do? Why aren't people bringing me hot fudge cake sundaes and cute presents anymore?" The thing that I've noticed is that a lot is made of having babies, but not so much raising them. We read countless books about when our babies will start teething and how to take their temp, and those kinds of things are pretty general and pretty much the same for all babies. Then, they become toddlers and pre-schoolers and real kids. They develop their own personalities. They have their own way of thinking, their own way of doing things and their own hearts that are shaped and molded and broken and filled in totally different ways. They pitch fits at the most inopportune moments. They meltdown over having to wear clothes. People at school say mean things to them and you find yourself wanting to punch out a  2nd grader. They learn to fake being sick and as if it isn't hard enough to know how to take care of them when they are sick, now you have to figure out if they really are sick. Is it possible to get real stomach aches every.single.Monday.morning?

You find yourself constantly questioning every decision you make, agonizing over everything you wish you hadn't said, and trying to figure out if you should save up for college or therapy for your kids. To top it off you constantly compare yourself to other moms and wish you were as patient, loving, fun, creative, tender, or fill in the blank with whatever other quality you think of.

Then, Mother's Day comes and you have visions of beautiful, sweet moments with your children. But the thing is, despite the tear jerker cards and special hand-picked gifts, the kids don't seem to understand that this would be a good day to not fight during the entire 45 minute trip to see the grandmas. That for one day you would like to eat your meal without a trip to the bathroom midway. That you would enjoy having conversations with other adults without them flying in your face with glowsticks or elbowing you in the eye. Of course these feelings take you back to the guilt of not being patient and loving enough. And on Mother's Day of all days! The dreams of perfect mothering are shattered.

And then the realization hits that the exhaustion, the frustrations, the fact that you end Mother's Day spanking your 3 year old because it is 2 and a half hours past her bedtime and she has gotten up 83 times, those are the things that make you a Mama. The truth is that the fun people are the grandparents and the aunts and uncles and family friends. They do the spoiling. They get to send them home and sleep at night. Being a Mama is a lot more than those shows from the 50's and those paintings of mothers gazing lovingly at their children portray. Being a Mama means getting dirty. It means being there when kids have owies and upset stomachs. It means loving them enough to discipline them, even though it really does hurt you more than it hurts them. It means you may go 18 years without completing a sentence or a thought. It means you will be riddled with insecurity as they tell you how "so and so's Mama" does things. It means you have a real kind of love for them, the kind of love that gets frustrated and angry and chooses to love anyway. The kind of love that at times you see the things you wish you could change in yourself pop up in  your children and you want to be better so they can be better.

If perfection is what you are looking for, motherhood is probably not for you. If you are looking for a spotless house and smiling children dressed to the nines playing peacefully and eating their veggies, I recommend posing for a magazine cover. But, if you are looking for the experience of a lifetime that will teach you more about yourself and challenge you in ways you didn't know were possible, I recommend motherhood. If you are okay with dirty handprints on the wall as long as those chubby little hands hold onto yours, I recommend motherhood. If you can handle sassy mouthed children as long as those same mouths say, "You are the best Mom and Dad ever", motherhood is for you. If you think influencing and shaping children into the people God would have them to be is important, I recommend motherhood.

It won't alway look pretty. It won't always feel good. You will have doubts, fears and questions. But it's because you care. And that's what makes you a Mama.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sliding Into 6!

If you are new to the blog you need to know that nary a kid's birthday passes in the Fidler household without an annual blog. I can't remember when I started this little tradition, but it has definitely become tradition. So, with less than 2 hours left on this Cinco de Mayo, which is more importantly known as ELI'S BIRTHDAY in our household, let's continue the tradition,shall we?  (Run-on sentences are also a tradition. Sorry.)

On 5/5/05 our world got a whole lot sweeter. We welcomed 8 pound 4 oz. Joshua Eli Fidler into the world. Our family looked a little different then than it does now.
There's Josh with Baby Eli, (I think I called him Baby Eli until Baby Kate was born) :), Sarah and Abby. I had my hands full with 2 year old Sarah and Abby. The energy between the two of them could have launched a space shuttle. I was also in school full-time. I was wored out, but some kind of happy. Eli was the sweetest, easiest, most laid back baby. He slept longer sooner than both my girls. He nursed like a champ. He just hung out and took in the action. And there was a lot of action between Sarah and Abby. Sometimes I realize I don't have as many memories of Eli as a baby and it is simply because of the fact that he was so good. If it weren't for the fact that I couldn't stand to put him down I might have forgotten he was around.

Some of my favorite toddler Eli moments are when Sarah started kindergarten and Kate took really good naps during the day. I had just left my job with Hospice and was soaking up every minute of being at home. We would cuddle up in the recliner and read, "Down by the bay where the watermelons grow, back to my home I dare not go......" Do y'all know that story? I do. Eli did. He actually memorized the whole book.

Another fun time was potty training. Well, the potty training wasn't so fun, but I'll never forget the day I took him to the store to get his "big boy" potty. He spent the rest of the day taking it apart and putting it back together. I knew then that he was all boy. :) 

This year Eli started kindergarten and has excelled all the way. He just makes me so proud. He loves to learn new things, ask lots of questions, WIN, and run. He is sweet, gentle, competitive, inquisitive, athletic, and cuddly. And all boy. He loves any kind of sport, especially baseball, Star Wars, Legos, the Wii, riding bikes, scooters and skateboards, and watching movies. He adores his sisters. They adore him. He plays hard. So hard that he's gone through two pairs of shoes this year, and I mean literally gone through them. I finally threw away one pair that he insisted on wearing to church even when ALL 10 of his toes were exposed.

Eli, I always knew I would have an Eli and you are exactly what I thought he would be like. You are just so cool and awesome and I love being your Mom. I can't wait to see what this year holds! Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Whatnot Wednesday: It's A High Five Kind of Week

* My kids always go to bed the latest on Wednesday nights. Just a little Fidler fun fact for you. We get home from church about 20 minutes past their normal bedtime and then they proceed to stall and distract with skill like you've never seen.

* My SIL had a baby shower last weekend and we have a mutual friend who has just happened to be my friend since middle school. We found ourselves saying, "They didn't have that when my kids were babies" and wondering if we are old enough to say that yet.
* Some of you may remember this blog  where I first disclosed my love for nuts, Well, I have to say it has only grown stronger with time. So many people tell me they don't know how I've stuck with my diet and I will tell you the secret- NUTS! One of my friends at church calls it my bird food. I always have a container full of almonds, cashews, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and raisins. It's my go to snack and really fills me up. In addition to my non-stop eating, I also have devloped a love for oil. I've shared about the Argan Oil I use on my hair and I have now learned I can use it on my skin!! It makes your skin sooo soft! My SIL who is expecting her first baby also shared with me about Palmer's  Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil.  Love that stuff! I also have started cooking EVERYTHING in extra virgin olive oil and garlic. Yum!

* My favorite saying this week is, "It is what it is."  Because it is, isn't it?

* Last night was Eli's last ballgame and I didn't know I would be so sad. :(  I LOVED his coaches and his team this year. They rocked! Tomorrow is Eli's birthday (don't worry, you will hear all about it) :), so I ordered cupcakes from the Pig. After the Easter Egg Hunt I just could not stand to bake another cupcake. Anyway, it was about a 150 degrees and that was some kind of messy!!

* My kids have really enjoyed playing outside the last few days and I'm so glad. I'm a big believer in kids playing outside. :)  The only downfall is making the transition from backyard to the bathtub. And they HAVE to go the bathtub!

* After tomorrow I will have one week of dance classes until the recital. I get to wear real clothes and flip flops and pretty much just sit and watch the dances. Woo-hoo! I am so going to miss my girls, but after a 3 week break we will be back for summer classes. Josh just finished the slide show for the recital and I can't watch it without crying. Does that song "I Hope You Dance" make anybody else cry every.single.time. they hear it? Well, I know for me it is just very emotional to watch the progression of the year and really soak in what an opportunity this has been for me and my girls. But what really makes me emotional is that tomorrow I will pick up 5 pairs of tights and on Saturday I will have to help with 7 changes of tights, 8 costume and 7 shoe changes between me and my girls. Please, just stop and think about this for a moment. A 3 year old.  A pair of tights. An 8 year old. 5 pairs of tights, only about 2 songs to change tights, costumes and hair. Two classes of 2-4 years old to corral and 10 berets that I'm the only one who knows how to put on my jazz girls the right way. A duet with Sarah that reminds me I'm not 16 anymore and always leaves me talking like I need a breathing treatment. *Deep breath*.  All I can say is, I hope we dance, too. I hope there are no Fidler girls stuck in the wings struggling to get their tights on while the show goes on. That's all I can hope for.

* In couponing news, I saved $5.00 last week. Please, try not to be jealous.

* I always realize on Wednesdays just how boring and uneventful my life must seem to everyone. I would ask y'all to pray for something exciting to happen in my life, but seriously, I'm pretty content with boring right now. :)

* So, I've discovered I am a high fiver. I don't know if it comes from my working with kids or what, but I've just realized how much I do it. Tonight one of our ladies at church was so excited because she found some teachers for VBS. She literally squealing in happiness in the hallway. Next thing I know, I've got my hand up in the air. She looked at me like I was crazy, but high fived me anyway. I even got evidence of this as these pictures were posted from Relay for Life.

That is one of my beautiful assistants smiling in the corner like a supermodel. And...I'm the doofus in the back.
Oh well. Here's a high five to ya! Link up here!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gifts That Keep on Giving

Hello friends! Hope you are all having a great week so far! I just wanted to pop in and share some links that I thought might inspire us all. I also think these would be great Mother's Day gift ideas for anyone who is still searching.  Even if you've already had your Mom's present picked out for months, these are still great ministries to be aware of!

As Our Own is a ministry in India that reaches out to protect orphans, specifically young girls who are vulnerable to being used in sex trafficking (shudder) or forced labor and slavery. For Mother's Day you can go HERE  to donate in honor or memory of your Mom.

*  I've talked about Back to Africa before and you should definitely check them out. This is a ministry that sells beautiful jewelry handmade by African women and all of the proceeds go back to those women to support them and their children. What a great opportunity to buy beautiful gifts and support  a worthy cause!

*  We always hear about American Red Cross , but I have gained an even greater respect for them and the resources they provide for our military and their families.

*  This last one isn't necessarily a Mother's Day thing, (although, as a Mom I think it would be awesome to get a gift certificate to spend on my girls!) but it is a great deal, nonetheless. My friend, Jess, has an awesome ETSY site, Mama Moose Bowtique, and until May 6th 20% of all orders will be donated to World Vision/30 Hour Famine to help combat world hunger. You really need to check out her adorable selection!

I hope you will check these out and join me in praying for these amazing ministries and resources that God will use them to change lives!

"People are often unreasonable and self-centered, Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives, be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you, be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow, do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It never was between you and them anyway."

~Mother Teresa