Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day

Tomorrow is Memorial Day. In years past, I was always eager to celebrate this event with a day off of school/work, an outdoor concert, and a grilled feast.

This year, it is hitting me a little different. Don't get me wrong. I still plan on living outdoors and the barbeque menu is all lined up. But I think that living on post and being submerged in the Army lifestyle has tweaked my thinking a bit.
Our lost service members are nationally memoralized on this specific day, but on a military base they are memorialized every single day. You can't miss the fallen as they are everywhere: A building, a parade field, a statue, a stickered decal for a car, a tattoo...

This year as I celebrate I will also remember two specific heroes.

The first is Lt Zac Cook. Zac was a personal acquaintance of mine and my husband's good friend. They commissioned as Army officers together in December 2008. They worked together at Texas A&M while they waited for starting orders. They were working together at a training exercise that following January when Zac died in a helicopter crash. The day of the accident, one soldier had fallen, but five fresh lieutenants where turned into true leaders. One brave soldier had fallen, but a field of hopeful cadets where given a fresh perspective and a stronger commitment to their duty and directive. Zac had served exactly a month to the day he commissioned, but trust me when I say, it only takes a month to make a hero.

The second I personally do not know as well. His name is Lt Robert Bennedsen. My husband and he became friends during Officer's Leadership Course and he later requested to be my facebook friend--I guess once he considered Nathan his battle buddy I became a teammate by association ;)-- After the course they parted ways and Robert was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 2nd Calvary Regiment with whom he deployed to Afghanistan. It was not until we were reading the Army Times a year later when we learned he had died of injuries sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device. I don't think I have to defend my opinion to anyone when I say there is no greater qualifier for heroism than laying down your life for another man; Robert did it for an entire nation of men.

I am honored to have known these men however briefly, on whatever little level I have. I know that there are many others who are remembering husbands, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends...
And I hope that as we sit at our table to eat our burgers and dogs we will all raise a toast to these fallen heroes and thank them for their service, courage, and sacrifice.

I'll end this entry with one of my husband's favorite quotes:
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Today I'm Thankful Because...

I think that oftentimes in life it is so much easier to focus on all of the negativity and disappointments that are circling us, and in turn we overlook all of life's little blessings. This is especially true for me. I have been dreading my husband's upcoming training schedule so much that I am already missing him and he hasn't even left yet. I am trying to tame my son's never-ending runny nose. I am trying to clean up Sam's latest "artwork" (permanant marker on the dresser.) I am losing sight of all of the good things I've got going for me--literally surrounding me--each and every day. So I decided to challenge myself to list all the blessings that I can think of that I have already encountered today.

Today I'm thankful because:

-I woke up
-The sun is shining. The winds are minimal.
-I found out that due to budget mishaps, my husband will not be leaving on Memorial Day--that's at least one more day with him and I don't have to find anyone else to cook my burger ;)
-My husband had my coffee ready and waiting (Thanks Sweetie!)
-I had quiet time with my son this morning-just me and him-for about 30 minutes while sister slept in
-I had a MOPS meeting and we had a clothing exchange. I now have two dresses, two pairs of shoes, tops, pj's and a belt. All are new to me and I didn't spend a dime.
-Also, since it was a MOPS day, someone else cooked me a delicious breakfast ;)
-I made someone else smile.
-I had adult conversation.
-I have an invite to a baby shower. (Babies are ALWAYS blessings!)
-I made a bracelet for my daughter that she is wearing even now and has dubbed her "jingle bracelet." And when the kids are happy, momma's happy!
-I got my daughter to eat vegetables. WOO HOO!
-I was able to find some spare time in my day to compose this blog.
-I now get to spend quiet time with Sammi-just me and her-while brother naps.

I freely admit, overall today is a very easy day for me to have composed this list. Some days are not so easy. So I challenge anyone who might be reading this, regardless of the kind of you are having, take 10 minutes to think of the things you have to be thankful for today. I think you will surprise yourself. God is always good, so your day cannot be completely bad!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Busyness vs. Laziness

I have been going non-stop lately. I have hardly had time to sit and check my emails, let alone compose a blog. And even as I take the time to do it now, I can think of a million other things I could be doing. As a matter of fact, as soon as I finish up here, there are dishes to do, floors to mop, ads to sort through, a shower to take (a luxury now-a-days,)--all this assuming that the kids will be cooperative so I can manage the simple goings-on of my day.
But isn't being busy a good thing?! I can never decide if I am supposed to stay busy or take it easy (which I feel is a much nicer way of saying sit-there-and-do-nothing). I don't think anyone else can either. Just for the fun of it: let's debate.
--------------------------
Warnings against laziness:

“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise” (Proverbs 6:6).
“The sluggard's craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work” (Proverbs 21:25)
“He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great waster” (18:9 (Proverbs 18:9)
"Idle hands are the devil's workshop"
"How soon 'not now' becomes 'never'"-Martin Luther
“Laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him.” - Benjamin Franklin
------------------------------
Warnings against busyness:

"Beware of the barrenness of a busy life."
"He who is too busy doing good finds no time to be good."- Rabindranath Tagore
"The really idle man gets nowhere. The perpetually busy man does not get much further."
-- Sir Heneage Ogilvie

Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes. “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord. You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. (Haggai 1:5-9)
(My personal favorite) I'm in a hurry to get things done. I rush and rush until life's no fun. All I really gotta do is live and die but I'm in a hurry and don't know why (Alabama)

...Proponent of Rest...
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. (Genesis 2:2)
-------------------------------------------

Isn't life a giant balancing act?! Be busy, but not too busy to appreciate the things you are working for. And sometimes busyness is idleness if you are not busying yourself with the right things. I guess all this is to say, we must be wise with how we choose to fill our short days.
I once had a friend say she was faced on a pretty regular basis with the choice of whether she should do the dishes or play puzzles with her young children. She chose puzzles. I applaud her for that! I'm pretty sure that I would have made my kids play puzzles upstairs while I did the dishes in hopes that I would finish fast enough to catch some of the fun...and in fear that if I didn't do the dishes, it would appear to all outsiders that I was (gasp!) lazy.


Let's conclude with a guessing game: Guess what I'm about to do now?
Yep, I still don't know either! But I know I can't sit here another minute lest the pile of to-do's grows even bigger!

Friday, May 20, 2011

For Sammi

My daughter is just like me
A princess through and through
She loves dresses that sparkle
Wants her hair all curly-q

My daughter is just like me
Loves the spotlight; loves the show
She needs to have her voice be heard
When she's around, you'll know ;)

My daughter is just like me
She's a giver; She is good
But she can also be a fighter
If you catch her in a mood

My daughter is just like me
Her temper is short-fused
She has a hard time sharing
And forget waiting...it's no use

My daughter is nothing like me
Always trusting; Worry-free
She will befriend you in an instant
She's more accepting than me

My daughter is nothing like me
She is innocent and pure
She is proud of who she is
Self-confident and sure

My daughter is nothing like me
She's more forgiving and more kind
She's more apt to seek direction
Not afraid to speak her mind

I could compare us both for hours
But I'm sure the more I do
I'll find many more reasons
I wish I was like her, too

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Take that, Tomorrow!

(Author's Note: This was not at all the entry I intended to produce when I sat down to write. But I am so glad it turned out this way!)

I spent the better part of my day trying to get my kids registered with the childcare system on post. (We are still not registered yet. I'm not even going to go there today...) Anyway, I was really glad that I was getting all of this stuff taken care of with plenty of time to spare instead of waiting until the last minute when I really need it.

My husband is getting ready to deploy in the fall. It's our first one. I'm really nervous.
I think the nervousness that I'm feeling on the inside is finally starting to make its way to the surface and now I'm running around like a crazy person trying to anticipate all of the things that could possibly happen to my family in a year's time. I'm insane to think I could do that. It's an impossible task to do. But yet, here I am. (I guess this is the part where I should thank my dad for teaching me as a child to "expect the best; prepare for the worst." I love you, Dad. Expect and prepare for me to visit you at the worst possible time next year ;) )

Preparation is a tricky business. It is so important to be prepared for a big event: for me specifically, to be as prepared as I can be for this deployment. This will help my husband feel as calm as he can about those he left behind on the homefront. This will help my children maintain some sort of routine and stability and structure in their ever-changing family dynamic. This will help me lose as little of my marbles as possible. Planning, preparation, readiness...these are all wonderful things.

And yet, even as I type this, this little verse keeps popping into my head:

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34 NIV)

I am as prepared as I can be for the future. Christ is my Redeemer. Through Him I have found salvation. So I can trust completely that I will withstand whatever tomorrow (or the next year for that matter) will hold.

Take that, Tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Buddy System

I am a runner. Granted, I have not been so good about getting out and running lately, but I am currently working on re-starting my regimen. (May I add here, the broken bum is not helping me.) I don't run as much for fitness as much as I run for stress relief. I get really irritable if I haven't run in a while, and one jog really seems to make a difference.
Today I had a really rough jog. I have a bicycle trailer that converts into a stroller so I can haul the kids along with me. (Sam is too big for a standard size jogging stroller.) Typical of a pair of siblings, my angels were yelling and poking and hitting each other the entire time. Eventually I had to turn around and pack it in early. Needless to say, the arguing was not helping me de-stress.
Aside from the children, I was out at 10am and the sun was already extremely hot. And just because, the wind decided it wanted to blow directly in my face for the majority of the run. Let's just say, today's run kicked my broken butt. :)
Later this afternoon when the kids and I were coming home from Sam's dance class, I saw two women jogging together. Both had babies in strollers. One momma had a double jogging stroller. It was high noon in El Paso. In case you're not from El Paso, let me stress to you how blazing hot the sun is here. We are currently under a wind advisory with winds holding at about 30 mph and gusts at about 55mph. These winds were blowing all over these women and their babies and slapping dirt straight into their faces.
"What a pair of suckers," I thought to myself as I drove past them. But as I took one last hoity-toity glance at them through my rearview mirror, I noticed them smiling and laughing to one another, and they just kept jogging along.

Uphill jog: Got it. Screaming children: It's all good. Burning hot sun: No biggie. Running into the wind: Too easy. Dirt all over me and my babies: I'm ok with that. Everything is easier with a friend.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I love the little things...

Today my husband and I will celebrate our third anniversary. With wisdom from all my years on the earth and my time spent as part of a married couple (lol) I started thinking about the components of a healthy, happy marriage.
I think most memories are built on big events. Marriages are built on the little things.
My husband is gone a lot (obviously) and he has an extremely demanding work schedule when he is home. I love how driven he is and how hard he works to provide for our family. But I would be lying if I said his long hours and frequent absences didn't bother me. Sometimes I'm angry about it. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I wonder why it feels like I have to take the backseat to everyone else's family crises. But when I feel I've reached the boiling point, (or I'm about to boil over,) I think about the little things.
My husband wakes up long before the sun. But when I finally wake up in the morning, I always have a cup of coffee all set up for me. All I have to do is push brew. He is thinking of me in the wee morning hours.
When my husband leaves for training or if he isn't sure if he'll see me that night, I am sure to find some little handwritten note. It might only be a tiny sliver of ripped paper that says "love you babe," but when I find those little treasures, they are better than any Hallmark card.
As much as I bug my husband about it, he really does try his darndest every day to be home before our young children go to bed. He may have been working for 15+ hours and not had a bite to eat since about 10am, but I will hear him march up the stairs and give our baby boy a bottle in the rocking chair and read our daughter her bedtime story. He might only be able to see our children for ten minutes on the week days, but he really makes those minutes count.
And when the children doze off, he comes to be with me. He'll sit his exhausted body down on the sofa instead of our bed so I can lay my head on his chest and talk his ear off. I know he'd rather be sleeping, but he sacrifices yet again, just for me. He spends all day with other people's problems because he has to...he chooses to be there to listen to me jabber about mine.
He knows how to make me smile when I'm upset. He knows when to take over with the kids and give me space when I'm losing it. He knows how to fix the things around the house that I've broken. We laugh a lot more than we fight, and after we fight, we usually find a way to laugh about it later. He supports me when I go to school, go to work, go back to school, can't find work, stay at home, volunteer...
He is my best friend. Our wedding day was one of the biggest moments that we've shared together, but that one wonderful evening wouldn't have been enough to keep me satisfied for all the years to come. Instead, I have that moment to remember and a lifetime of little things left to look forward to. And I really do love the little things...
Happy anniversary to my love. Here's to all the rest to come.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Baby Steps

As a mother, I find it both beautiful and ironic that we are given charge to teach the little lives that we are blessed with, and more often than not, they are the ones who end up teaching us. I thought I would share the story of such an instance I had today.

My son has been walking now for about 3 months. Actually, he is not so much walking as he is running everywhere. While he was learning, I watched him with his dogged determination stumble, fall, mistep, and crash...and get up again and again. His little footsteps were so clumsy and unsure at first. But now that he has "found his feet," he is unstoppable. I love watching him chase his sister around the room, both of them squealing and laughing. It's a lovely sight for a mother to watch her children play happily together. (I'm am soaking it all in now as I'm sure it won't last forever!)

Today, he met another challenge head-on, and happily he succeeded. Today he walked down a stair. I know it sounds like such a small victory, but I was thrilled for him!

There he stood at the top, his little body peering over the step to see the grass that lay beneath. I watched him as he would go to step, decide his balance was unsteady, reassess, correct his stance, try again, decide he still wasn't right, repeat the entire process from the beginning...
As I quietly watched him, I thought maybe I would go over and help him, but decided I would stand back to give him the chance to figure it out on his own. There were three other children in the yard who had already mastered the skill and they would just run up and down the stair, zipping past him, over and over. My son would glance to watch them run by and then he would place his focus back on the stair. A couple of times he would go to step and would look up at me, looking to see if I was watching, probably hoping for encouragement (which I readily gave him.)

After what seemed like a hundred false starts he settled his first foot onto the grass and then followed with his second foot steadily behind. He looked up at me with a silly grin and then he was off to race around with the other kids in the grass. Sweet success!

I decided in that moment that I wanted to be more like my one year old son. I wanted his dogged determination to push through my setbacks and falls. I wanted his patience to make careful decisions and prevent mistakes. I wanted his intense focus to make sure what I was doing was right--even when everyone else is racing right past me. And most of all, I want to be able to pause long enough to smile at my successes and appreciate the new things I accomplish.

And I think I will get there; I'll just have to start with baby steps :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Redo

So Blogger was down yesterday. Unfortunately it chose not to go down until right after I finished typing my latest post. As soon as I hit the "publish" button, it decided that it wasn't going to work anymore for that day. Everything I had written was gone. Needless to say, I was rathered annoyed--partly for the wasted time- mostly because of the finished project that was never going to be seen.
I had it in my mind that if it didn't save in drafts then I wasn't going to redo it. Then I started to wonder, if it wasn't worth re-doing, why did I do it in the first place?
There are so many things I've done in my life that are not worth re-doing. Some things I would do again but in a slightly different way. And of course, there are things certain things in my life I would never change.

If I could have a do-over, I would never:
1. perm my hair
2. color my hair
3. wear white eyeliner
4. join the middle school band
5. date ALL through my teen years
6. drink that entire bottle of Boon's Farm
7. eat that can of "olives"
8. beat my little sister with a pair of blue jeans (long story)
9. take part in 99% of any argument I have ever been in (Ask yourself: have you ever settled ANYTHING with an argument?)
10. take the FRG leadership position lol
11. make promises I knew I couldn't keep
12. say yes to things I knew I wasn't sure I wanted to do
13. take my anger/aggitation out on my children, my spouse, my friends, myself...

Instead I would have:
1.2. embraced the hair that God had given me
3. bought some nail polish--crazy makeup is more forgivable if it is on your fingers and not your face
4. joined the choir instead of following the crowd
5. spent time finding myself instead of looking for a temporary boyfriend (Man, I hope I can teach that to Sammi!)
6. spent a few extra bucks on good beer lol
7. read the label
8. put the jeans in a donate box...or in the trash...or really anywhere but her face
9. acted under the instructions of James 1:19 (quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry)
10. run away :)
11. taken the chance that saying no and hurting someone temporarily would be better than really disappointing them and devaluing my word in the future
12. repeat #11 and add that I need to take my own wants and needs into account sometimes too
13. Prayed

I know that every wrong turn I've made has led me to where I am now. Every mistake I've made has turned me into a smarter, stronger, kinder, more patient person. But I guess the ride down could have been a little less bumpy if I would have had a few do-overs.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Good Morning?

My daughter was honestly the best baby ever. In the mornings she would wake up with a giggle and would just chatter happily to her stuffed animals until I went into her nursery to greet her.
My son must not be much of a morning person...he has two ways in which he "greets" me in the morning: a holler (which I interpret to mean literally, "Woman! I am awake. Get me out of here!") and a full-on scream (this one means, "I SAID NOW!!")
We had a particularly rough night last night. The wind storm kept waking up our poor buddy and I had to console him several times in the night. And since Wednesday is our trash day, all the dogs in the neighborhood give their "Wednesday Morning Salute." (This part wouldn't be so bad if the garbage trucks did not roll through at 5am.)
So you see, it was much to my surprise and delight that when Jack awoke this morning he began a happy chatter. I laid in bed for about 10 minutes this morning just basking in the glory of his giggly sounds. I gave a brief thought of thanks and decided I would take an extra few minutes to wake myself this morning, after all, he was in a really happy mood. I should take advantage of it, right?!
As I ascended the stairs I could still hear him jabbering away. I smiled. There truly is no sweeter sound than that of a contented baby. I opened the door with a jubilant "Good morning, Baby Boy!" and all at once saw the reason for his happiness.
My son, for at least 20 minutes now, had been "painting" his walls.
If it is all the same, I think I will hope for the holler tomorrow morning :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Color Red

My daughter has been on a coloring spree lately. For the past several weeks, she will sit with a coloring book and color in it for an hour. Cute, and quiet to boot. Unfortunately she has taken the love of her crayon to realms beyond her coloring pages. I am finding the markings everywhere...on the top of the staircase, on the car door, on furniture.
Today we were at a library story time and I saw her lift her coloring page up and begin to purposely color the table underneath the paper.
Very calmly I began, "Sammi, we only color paper. Please put your crayons away. We have to leave now." Of course my request was met by protest and eventually tears. As I walked my screaming child out of the library, I felt my self-control begin to slip. "Sammi, quit fussing," I firmly stated. "Sammi, you need to stop fussing now," I threatened about thirty seconds later. Ten seconds later I yelled, "Samantha!" (Big tears and loud screams now.)
I decided to switch tactics. I sat Sam down in her chair and told her, "Samantha, I need you to take a deep breath and calm down before we walk back home." (I had decided today would be a good day to walk to the library...about 1 mile from the house. I was kinda wishing I had driven us there instead at this point.) I asked her to calm down again and this time modeled the deep breaths for her, but to no avail; her crocodile tears and wails were even bigger.
In an instant, I switched back to my fear tactic. Tugging her up to her feet by the arm I shouted, "Come on, crybaby. Let's go." A few steps later a statement came out of my mouth I swore I would never use on my own children, "Quit crying or I will give you a reason to cry!"
Thankfully, a quarter mile into our return home the tears had ceased. I began speaking calmly to her (I felt pretty rotten at this point.) I asked quietly, "Sammi, do you know why Mommy was mad?" "Yes," she answered, "because I wouldn't stop crying." "No, Baby. It was because you colored on something that wasn't paper."
But even as I corrected her I knew she had the answer right the first time. I had an opportunity to teach her a lesson and I didn't. I had the opportunity to react to her behavior patiently and I instead responded in anger.
All it took to get the crayon off the stairway and the car door was a bit of Windex and about 2 minutes worth of scrubbing. I wonder how much scrubbing it will take to wash away my mistake...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

A few weeks ago my daughter shared with me that she wanted to be an alien when she grew up. Since then, she has decided to go for something more realistic: A princess chef. :)

Listening to her, I began to think about all of the silly childhood dreams I had (as well as some silly ones from adulthood.)

When I grow up, I want to be:
A pee wee drill team instructor
A missionary
A famous singer
A supermodel
A Dallas Cowboy's Cheerleader-WAYYY before the reality TV show made it silly
A cookbook author (hilarious, because I didn't cook then and all my recipes now are stolen from BHG)
An Interior Decorator
A party planner
A wedding coordinator
A contestant on American Idol (no, I never auditioned)
A PR rep for the Dallas Cowboys (again with the Cowboys!)
An owner of a dance studio
Rich...marrying into the Army was probably a poor choice :)JK, Babe!!!
A mom
A college graduate
A teacher

I love the limitless imaginings of children. I also love that when my child shares her dreams, I know that she has the capability of chasing all of them. (Except the alien one, of course!) As I reflect on my list, I notice there are some things that will never come to be...that hasn't happened for Sammi yet; her imagination is limitless because her opportunities are still limitless. Dreams are beautiful things, and even when a few of her own doors close I will always urge her to keep on dreaming.
I also notice that some dreams on my list that I have accomplished and others that are still possible. I will keep you posted if any of these dreams come true. (I am rooting for cheerleader lol)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I think I broke...

...My bum!!!

Let me preface this story with the fact that I must be one of the world's top seven clumsiest people ever!

So for Mother's Day my one request was that I got to watch a chick flick with some popcorn on the couch. My darling husband used my movie time as his nap time. :)
(A side note, my husband could sleep through a freight train in the middle of a chick-flick-nap.)

Anyway, I had to hop up from the couch for a momentary movie break and when I returned I tried to "hop" back into the position I left cradled against my sleeping husband. There was one problem...my husband's knee was slightly elevated from the rest of his body and my tailbone slammed right into it.

Even as I write this, I know how pitiful it all sounds, but I am in so much pain! I would be fine, I think, if I didn't have to walk up stairs, sit down at all, or crouch to pick up babies. I have thought about calling to schedule an appointment, but for the sheer embarrassment of having to tell the lady on the phone that the reason for my visit would be to "see if I broke my bum" I think I will wait it out a little.

All this to say, if you are a person of prayer, please mention my backside in one today...I am sure that God would laugh right along with the rest of us :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Simple Livin'

This afternoon after our son woke up from his nap we decided that it would be fun to change into our swimsuits and play outside in the sprinkler. My husband, the handyman that he is, has rigged the kiddos playground so that a hose can connect to a shower head that pours down onto the slide.
Unfourtunately, the sprinkler head was shot and we couldn't get the darn thing to work...so we improvised. Instead the afternoon was composed of us chasing one another around the backyard with the hose, screaming widly, and trying to avoid slipping on the giant mud puddles we were creating in the lawn. It was a beautiful afternoon.
In fact, it was made even more perfect because we had new neighbors moving in next door to us today. I couldn't help but hope they spotted us out there...it would have made a perfect first impression of us in my opinion! It could have been made even better if we were actually able to introduce ourselves to them in that way.
Here we are in our bathing suits dripping wet, covered in patches of mud and grass clippings, silly smiles on our faces...
We are the Tarters. Nice to meet you :)

I love my family...Absent of pretense. Practical. Simple. And isn't it really the simple things in life that make it worth living

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day...

I have made a lot of mistakes in my life...becoming a mother was not one of them.

When I was growing up I had a hard time turning in "what-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up" assignments. "Stay at home mom" never seemed to be suitable answer, but it is what I always wanted. As a college student, I could never select a major, because, let's face it, I was only in for an "MRS. degree." I ended up applying under General Studies and declaring my major as Communications (which is really General Studies in disguise.) As fate would have it, I would meet an incredible man in college, and I would bear two beautiful children...

...then I would spend the next three years struggling with the fact that I was a college graduate that stayed at home and played with Leggos and Barbies all day long. I love my children. Make no mistake; they are two out of the three best things that ever happened to me in my life. But I thought I was capable of more.

The truths of motherhood are quite simple, if I may. I came to a realization: There is no greater gift than that of being able to deliver life, teach, direct, guide, and witness that life becoming a successful component of our society. Don't let anyone fool you. Don't let our society fool you. We do not need to be an independent consultant, to hold important business titles, or bring in paychecks for that matter, to validate our worth as women. We were meant to mother, first and foremost. Are we capable of more? Of course. But let us not lose sight of what we were meant to do.

I am so proud of the women in my life who are able to do it all. I am no less proud of myself to do what I simply know is best: to stay at home and raise my two beautiful babies.

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, whatever titles they may hold.