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Beauty & Ashes…the things Motherhood is made of

i have started and stopped this post 8 times.  i write a paragraph and then i highlight the whole thing and delete it.  here’s why.  i feel this pressure {most likely from myself} to write only the good stuff, so that i prove to all of you {and myself} that motherhood is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  then, i start over typing a little reality, like the one i posted here.  but, that one leaves me feeling guilty for writing the real stuff.  the real stuff might make you think i’m not enjoying it most days, which i am, if it matters.

it’s early, and my boys just came downstairs and turned on the tv.  i had to tell them it’s mother’s day.  they said in robot voices, “happy mother’s day, mom.”  they never turned around.  when i told them i’d like to see their eyes, they both turned around with huge grins on their handsome faces and wished me a happy mother’s day once more, while actually giving me their eyeballs instead of the backs of their heads.

that moment was made sweeter by the memory of last night, when seth asked me to lay with him at bedtime, and i did for a whole 30 minutes, which is about 25 minutes longer than usual.  he asked me how my day was and wanted to know all the details.  he most likely was stalling having the lights turned out, but still, i’d like to hope that he asked because he just wanted time with me.  he shared his heart, kissed me a few times and told me i was awesome right after he told me how awesome he was in his soccer games this weekend.

and yesterday, for no good reason, luke grabbed me and hugged & kissed me and told he loved me.  be still my heart, he loves me.  a whole 30 seconds later he was arguing with his brother for trying to pull his pants to his knees.

lydia was worried yesterday, when she heard that today was mother’s day.  she didn’t know what she’d have time to make me or buy for me.  i assured her that her hugs and kisses were enough, but she ran outside to find daddy to see what she could get me.

she asked me to pray for her last night because she said it helps her sleep in peace.  i think it might be her favorite time of the day.  it has to be better than the day this week when she interrupted a phone call to tell me that it isn’t fair that she can’t play with madeline or lucy whenever she wants to.  it was hard to break the truth down for her and tell her that life isn’t fair.  it was extra hard when she went to her room and slammed her door crying, “i don’t like it when life isn’t fair.” she didn’t like that truth at all. not one bit.

these mothering moments…they’re made of the sacred, treasured ones, but they’re also made of the ridiculously hard ones. being a mama is beauty and ashes.  

it’s all too easy to hyper-focus on the ones that i’m not proud of…the ones i wish i could do over.
…speak more kindly, remind more gently, love more tenderly, discipline more graciously and on and on and on….

today…i’m focusing on the joys of every moment i get to be a mama to these three yahoos.
we argued all the way through that picture i took of them.
the grass was wet on their feet.
they didn’t want to be late for church. {again} 
and i won’t name names, but according to two of them, one of them had awful breath.
i pulled out the big guns and told them this picture was their present to me today. 
hey, whatever it takes, right?

motherhood is glorious, and i’m grateful for the gift of it.
i just got handed the sweetest card with a special note from all three of them.
it had a gift card in it for a spa pedicure. yes, please and thank you.
i’m surrounded by my crew, my parents, and my brother’s family.  
life is full and wonderful.

Lemonade Makin' Mama - Oh my gosh this is me all over it. It’s amazing how alike kids are. This mothering thing… we share similar scenes and that makes me grateful because when it’s not so great it’s nice to know I’m not alone and when it’s glorious I love knowing others are experiencing it too. Love you friend and wish you a truly happy Mother’s day!!

Please give your sweet Mama extra hugs for me this year too. :)

(I am LOVING what you are doing on the bloggy blog too. I laughed… I just remodeled mine some too. I’m not done but it’s closer. I am waiting on a share button. Yours looks so cute!!) - Once again, I could have written this post myself. It’s uncanny, we’re kindred spirits, you and I! I hope your day is filled with all things positive and lovely from this moment forward. I’m off to stand in 45 degree windy temps for two soccer games and I, too, will choose not to complain. :). Motherhood is the greatest blessing.

slip4 - You said it all so well. Happy Mother’s Day, Tara!

Dayle @ A Collection of This and That - Happy Mother’s Day! I think every mother can relate to this post.

Chrissie Grace - I love this.
It is as if you know my heart.
Happy Mothers Day!

Nicole - this is really beautiful. especially the bit about your special moments with your boys. i love their tender sides!!


Aimee - Tara – I just love your heart and how real you are. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us! Btw-LOVE your new blog design. It’s gorgeous!

GLENDA CHILDERS - Loved this post, Tara.

One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain …
Parenting is an inestimable blessing and bother. :)


Michele - Love this every word so true
Thankful we are on this journey together.

Jackie at Roots and Wings - Thanks for being real. You’ve got a wonderful family and you’re a fantastic mother. Hope your day was splendid!

Kelly - Love this- so true! Yesterday was so much more peaceful for me, when I reminded myself that my girls are teenagers, still unfinished humans, so if they didn’t voluntarily wish me happy mother’s day or rise up and call me blessed (ha!), it wasn’t an indicator of their love. I feel their love when they and their friends climb around me on the sofa and fill me in on their lives, or when they roll their eyes, but ask me to dance, and in a million other ways that aren’t always pretty or Hallmark-ish. Thank you for this honest post. So encouraging:-)

Mindy Whipple - Such a heartfelt post – thanks for sharing. Have a great week!

Mary - this sounds so familiar. :)
the fighting, the bickering, the love notes and cards.
mothering is hard, but OH so worth it.

LLH Designs - I like this post exactly as it is. (Though I’m all too familiar with the deleting of entire paragraphs!) I love being a mama, but in this digital, online, social media age, I don’t think I like Mother’s Day. Way too much room for comparison as people post all their photos of special brunches, well dressed children, etc. Me? I didn’t shower or wear anything fancy. Worshipped in the barn and did chores (with the help of my husband and girls since it was “my” day). Nothing fancy, but all good.

T - Tara, I adore the way you empty yourself straight from your heart, every word having a calming effect, even the not-so-glorious moments. Yes. An undercurrent of “…don’t worry, ’bout a thing…’cause every little thing’s gonna be all right.”

What a gift.

And what a BEAUTIFUL, LOVING mother your children are blessed with.

Pedicure. Check. Me too! Yay me. Can’t wait.

Your blog posts are like sweet music to me. Always.

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