As a mother of two, I find it rare to have an entire night, with part of the next morning off. Let's face it, 34 is not old, but for a mom of two, 34 is old when they want to wake up every morning by 6:30. Mommy and daddy don't always get a lot or any date nights, let alone date nights with friends where we can relax and hang out because sunrise is not beckoning us.
This weekend, for the first time ever, and first time this year, my kiddos stayed with their nana. Totally a different story as to why there. Maybe for another day. They were super excited, but literally would not let me leave once we reached Nana's. After prying them off and promising to pick them up at breakfast time the next morning, we were off to our adventure. This is a yearly or bi-yearly event, time to make the most of it right? Hahaha, we went home to sit in silence for the first hour or so and say how much we missed the hooligans!
In our town, Jerseyville, three new hotspots have popped up and they were on our agenda for the evening. We hit the new local Seafood and Steakhouse, Chopped, how's that for a badass name? We proceeded to walk across the street to the next bar, George's Tavern, where we found ourselves served quickly and with delicious combos- A New York Minute, yes, try it! We stayed until the crowd became a bit too loud and headed to the newest bar in town, Proof.
Proof absolutely blew my mind. The inside was designed in such a way that I never once felt like I was sitting in bar in the middle of our town. For that evening, my husband and I were able to relax and enjoy ourselves, talk to fly-by's whom are children go to school with and people watch.
I think mommy needs to do that more often!!!
Do what you love...a phrase that resonates very strongly with me this week, this month, this year. For the last 11 years, I have taught high school English. I never wanted to be a teacher, but then again, I always wanted to be a teacher.
The education world is shifting and teachers are struggling to hang on. Why? So many changes, too many tests, money problems, the list goes on. Those of us in the trenches, we keep fighting the good fight. I love my profession, I love what I do. It's as simple as that. It makes me happy. That should always be our end goal, happiness.
Are you doing what you love? Are you doing something that makes you happy? If not, why? What would make you happy? What could you be doing differently?
Change is hard, but it's also a part of life. You can choose your path to lead you to whatever destination you wish, but you are in charge of your happiness!
Today, I choose to be happy. I choose to love what I do. I choose.
It has been said, "Children seldom misquote. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said."
As a mother, I find it hard to have the energy, the patience, the endless smiles and the creativity to devote to my children every moment of every day. In fact, I am often tired- tired of the "mom," "mommy," "I need," "I want." I am tired of trying to live up to the expectations that society expects to be the "perfect mom" or the "right mom." I am doing the best that I can and because there is no handbook for this, I must be doing okay because they laugh, eat, love, question and are blossoming beautifully.
I also struggle with the idea of leaving my children for an evening once a month, let alone once a week. I have to let go of the mom guilt and remember to give my husband and myself a chance to reconnect with each other, with our friends, with the world outside of the roles of mom and dad. It's nice to go out and have an evening where we don't have to take someone to the bathroom 55 times and to have a glass of wine and conversation with friends. It's not only nice, but it's OKAY!!
Last night we spent an evening out with friends and left our children in the trusted care of one of our sitters and guess what, everyone survived and had a good time! Yay!! Today however, I reminded that they are only little once and we must be careful of our words around those delicate little ears. See, my children don't listen to the words "clean up" or "why did you think that was such a good idea?" They listen more to the conversations the adults have such as one such instance with a humidifier...
Picture this: your with your two kids in the Urgent Care to decipher if the cold has become something more than just a cold. There are nurses, secretaries and doctors in and out of the room. Somehow the subject of the humidifier comes up and your four year old, bless his heart, at the top of his lungs states "I am sick because of the DAMN humidifier," which is then parroted by his older sister at the top of her lungs, "Yeah, that DAMN humidifier." Now, everyone in and around the three rooms has heard this, in fact, the next county may have heard this. You are tired, just come home from work, have a sick kid and a sick husband...what do you do?
Laugh, I laugh. I gently admonish my children and remind them the word "damn" is not appropriate and you move on. I made a choice not to be mortified that my children are cussing, because they came by it naturally, and move on. I remind myself to laugh, to let them be little, to guide them and let them grow.
They won't be little long.
Life...we are all searching for something and most of the time, we have no idea what it is that we are seeking. In high school, through all the angst, we wonder and dream of adulthood; as young adults, we are rulers of our own universes; as greenhorns in the real world, we often seek the comfort of what was once familiar.
At some point in life, we will all ask the questions: who am I supposed to be? What am I supposed to be doing? Why? How? Then we will shake our heads and think, "Man, adulting is hard...!" As is human nature, we are determined to figure out whatever it is that needs figuring and hope for the best. There's no handbook for this game called life.
At some point in our life, we will face a blow to our emotional self that it will feel physical and can affect us for hours, days, months, years. For me, that was death of my best friend, my rock, my hero. See, my life was in a tidy bubble, until one day life decided to see that bubble bounce.
Having welcomed our darling baby Moo (Mia) in the winter of 2010, my husband and I were truly blessed. Seemingly out of nowhere came the diagnosis that would rock my world. Stage 3 gastric cancer, my mother, the woman with whom every Thursday I tried out a new recipe on our men. The chemo a breeze, the surgery brutal, the relief when she was cleared, immense. This joy last approximately 2 weeks, in which we celebrated life! We laughed, we loved, we ate, we started making plans again...until I knew what it was like to be not bounced, but rather broken, shattered, smashed.
Terminal, lung (gene mutation), multiple places, 18 months, prolonging the inevitable. My dad, the man who had loved me since the moment I took my very first breath would soon take his last. He would fight; he was a warrior. He along with my mother would move into my home with me and my family (husband and 2 1/2 year old), the week I would give birth to my son, Liam Davis. For 4 1/2 glorious months, I would lay with him, hold his hand, laugh with him, take care of him, have him...before the end came.
He would take his last breaths with my hand wrapped tightly around his and I would hold him as he left this world. I would have held on forever, if I thought it could save him, but alas, life.
You see life is what we make of it...it's about finding an opportunity and making the most of it. It's about laughing at yourself or with your friends and family. It's about living. Everyday, living.
This is an important lesson to remember. TO LIVE IS TO BE. TO BE IS TO LIVE.
For 11 years I have taught high school English and I stress this every year. I have some of the most amazing students, but not opportunity for growth, no one's fault, just the way it is. When the opportunity to be your housewife, the City of Saint Louis, the surrounding areas, into the Illinois side, I jumped eagerly at the chance. Soon, you'll get to experience some great events, partake in these events as a guest, customer, vendor, photographer, etc. How exciting!! I cannot wait to bring all of this goodness to you!!
Hey girls, hey! My name is Ashlee, my students refer to me as Madix, my kids know me as mommy, and I answer to just about anything. I hail from Raleigh, North Carolina, but live in the middle of cows and corn Illinois. I am just outside of STL and love the small town life, close to the big city!! I am a lover of all types of books and music. I encourage all my everyone I come in to contact to look at the world as an ever changing place that can always be better. I love all things with caffeine--except energy drinks!!
I am so excited to get to know all of you!! I am dreaming of warmer weather...I really cannot wait to take my kids to the Saint Louis Zoo this summer, Raging Rivers and downtown for some Cardinals baseball!!! What about you? Where do you like to go? Do? Dream of?
Hey, girl, hey!