he finally lost it

My firstborn has been positively DYING to lose a tooth for like, three years now.  At the beginning of the summer, he finally found one that he could wiggle so he thought that he would wake up the next day and be able to pull it out.  Four months later, the darn thing finally came out today.  It had been hanging by a thread for two days (I even video taped several attempts at pulling it out) but just wasn't ready to come out until today.  He got my attention, pulled up his helmet and smiled so big, pointing at the gaping hole in his bottom row.  I asked him if he knew where his tooth was and he said no.   "That's OK, mom.  I'm gonna write a note to the tooth fairy and tell her what happened and I'll just ask for three dollars."  Not really sure where he came up with that amount, but for a FIRST lost tooth, he just might get $5 :-).


The First of Many

This time last week I was a wreck.  The out of district school that Tate had attended for the past two years was not going to have enough space for Britton to enter Kindergarten.  I was faced with a few choices:
1. Leave Tate in his current school, send Brit to the other, in-district school and pray that a space would open up for Brit at Tate's school.
2. Leave Tate in his current school, home school Brit for a year and then send him to the out of district school with Tate.
3. Move both boys to the new, in district school and be done with all of this forever.

My final decision came on the day before school when I realized there was really no hope of getting Brit into Tate's school this year.  We decided to send both kids to the in-district school where they and Ellie will carry out their elementary education career.

Why all the fuss?  Why all the confusion?  Why wasn't Tate in his in district school to begin with?

When Tate started Kindergarten, we were building a house, living with my grandmother, I was working full time and Brit was attending the Little School.  It made the most sense for our family to send Tate to the school that was located closest to our temporary residence and closest to our new home.  Ga Bill HB-251 made that possible, providing there was enough room for Tate after all the in-district kids were placed.

Fast forward two years later.  Tate is in a school that he loves, his parents know most of the teachers, are involved in the PTCO and have a fantastic relationship with the administration.  We never thought twice about sending Brit to the same out of district school that Tate was attending.

To make a long story short, there was not enough room in the out of district school to accommodate Brit.  As much as I hated to take Tate out of a school that he loved and away from his closest friends, in the end, we really had no choice.  We'd been looking forward to our boys attending the same school for years- we were not going to have them separated this year or ever.

My heart still aches when I think about...

  • not seeing Nancy Cathcart at parent drop off and Susan Turpin in the pick up line   
  • knowing I'll never bump into Mrs. Herrin or Mrs. Gannon in the hallway as I show off my second grader and kindergartner
  • knowing that my sons are not in the same building as Madeline Washington, Britt Cody, Kathy Meredith, The Bracketts, The Hills, The Vickerys, The Halls and The Pauls.  
  • I'm sad when I think about Charlie and Smith playing football without my son or Ansley pretending to be a S.W.A.T team member without her Tate.  

We made so many great memories at Clarkesville and I would be lying if I told you that this transition has passed without tears, heart ache, worry and fear.

When I asked Tate about going to the new school, he said: "That's ok mom, I make friends everywhere I go. Plus, Trevor and Kalen will be there!"  Oh, there was so much love and admiration in my heart for that boy at that moment, I thought it might explode.  Because of my son and the confident little guy that he is, the Habersham Board of Education Superintendent & Board Members, our beloved CES Principal Dr. Susan Turpin and the administration at Fairview Elementary, our family was able to make the transition into a new school comminuty as painless as possible.

So, as we casually began our First of Many days at Fairview Elementary, I watched my brave little men walk confidently down the hall of their new school:

We had a good laugh when we almost collided with a dear friend
and fellow kindergarten parent:

And it did my heart good to know that my Britton, though largely unknown at FES,
will be in the company of this sweet little friend all year long:

Best of luck to all as the 2011/2012 year is now underway!


Let's be honest here

What good is a blog if it only reveals the bright and shiny, most socially acceptable and properly presentable part of you?  While endless musings of bliss and perfection may serve as a vehicle for elevating your self esteem and could quite possible evoke inspiration for your readers to achieve a likeness to your perfection, it isn't real.

I've been in a dark place, folks.  January, February, March, April, May, June, July & August have all been marked by separate, but equally painful experiences.  They've been personal, relational, professional and situational.   Some within my control, some quite beyond.  Every time I would get out of a valley and finally seem to reach the top, another blow would knock me down the mountain.  I do not want to even admit this to you, but I have found blogging impossible over the past 8 months because no matter what I was to write about, there would still be these big "things" going on in my life that I couldn't share, thus making anything I had to say seem false and inauthentic.

So, for reasons that I will not describe in detail, 2011 has been the most painful year of my adult life...or possibly ever.  There has been a shift in my soul.  So much so, that sometimes I don't even recognize who I am...who I am becoming.  I guess the best way I know to describe the outcome of these painful experiences is in a before & after illustration:

BEFORE, the world was my oyster, every day a party, and every person was a like a present waiting to be unwrapped.  My home was a revolving door to friends old and new, my conversations casual and open. Trust was not earned, but doled out like candy canes at Christmas.  If you said you were my friend, I believed you.  I risked being vulnerable in hopes of being rewarded with true and authentic relationships.

AFTER, the world is a big, scary place...not sure I like it here.  Better to just love your family and be selective about the few friends you hold dear...and even then, don't reveal too much.  Trust no one except your husband.  What's the use in pursing new relationships?  People are just in it for themselves.  Never reveal your whole heart and take caution in all situations.

So the BEFORE living was fun and free and exciting, but it opened me up to some excruciating situations.  The AFTER has been quiet, closed, specific, calculated and guarded.  The AFTER, though safer, is cowardice, faithless, all-consuming and sad.

And so now, I'm done.  I'm done with the hurt and the situations that caused it.  I'm over the dread, the re-hashing, the analyzing and the agony.  I want off the free fall to doom and darkeness.  I'm choosing to move on.  I'm choosing the BEFORE, but a tad bit refined.  I'm choosing to be ME.

The wake of this storm has left some relationships broken, but I know that time heals as it passes and my God restores ruins and breathes life into which there once was none.

Eight months almost to the day that all of this began, I can breathe again and can finally, finally, FINALLY see  His hand, His mercy and His grace in it all.   I have no bitterness left.  Just love, forgiveness and cautious optimism.

I thank you, faithful readers, for not deleting my bookmark on your own blog due to my inactivity.  I'm coming out of a place I hope to never return.  Looking forward to the posts to come about the life my God has blessed me with.  Though imperfect, made perfect in Him.

Be blessed, dear ones.


Still have not returned

You know, I should probably be busy catching everyone up on our beach trip but we've managed to keep the free spirit of vacation alive here at home.  I haven't powered up my computer, paid any bills or returned any important phone calls since we've been back.  I think I could live in this family cocoon forever- riding bikes, playing ball, eating popsicles, swimming, catching fireflies and ignoring bedtimes.  I'll let you know when I'm "back".


Mother guilt

Things that keep me up at night:
Did they read enough today?
I forgot to give them math practice work.
What will they think of first when they think of me when I'm gone?
Did I hug them enough today?
Did I make sure to look each one in the eyes and have an age appropriate meaningful conversation?
I only have ten years left of all of them at home.
How many vegetables have they eaten this past week?
Their college funds aren't what I'd hoped they'd be at this point.
I need them to see me read the bible and pray.  Why do I wait until they are asleep?
What does a tacky tourist look like anyway and why didn't we plan out the outfits tonight?
I forgot to brush ellie's teeth.
What will their teachers be like this year?  Are they getting what they need in school?
Do they know that they are loved?
Why did I let tate eat two sweets today?
What will we find out on the 17th?
Why is teething so hard for ellie, should I go back into her room to comfort her again?
Does britton know that I SEE him and that I know how special he is?

On nights like this I find little comfort. All I know to do is pray and be thankful for the joy they bring and hope I can give them back as much as they have already given me.


Last Day as a 6

Seems like he's been six forever.  Time usually whizzes by when you're bringing up little ones, but this past year has seemed to go a bit slower than most.  Probably because I haven't missed a thing- class parties, ball games, field trips, doctor appointments, sick days, bed time stories, homework, I've been there for it all.  Thank God for that.

Here he is.  Not the best picture, but it was so humid outside today that my lens kept fogging up.

He is SUCH a character, has SUCH a big heart and is SUCH a challenge these days.  He was the biggest surprise of my life- unplanned but oh-so-loved.  Happy Birthday tomorrow, buddy.


Oh, Happy Day!

What better day to come out of blogger hiding than a day like today?  Not just because it is Mother's Day, but because today my first born made a public profession of his faith through Baptism.  There is no greater gift than to know that your child will spend his life on earth serving his Lord & Savior and then spend eternity with his Maker and his mother & daddy in heaven.

Happy Mother's Day to me!

Oh, and these little guys were the cherries on top!

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