Finding (or, rather, “Protecting”) Joy in the Little Years

This week, I get to spend time with moms of preschoolers speaking on the topic “Finding Joy in the Little Years”.

As I was preparing for the lesson, I remembered the time a while back when I had to break up with a Facebook group.

It was a group full of moms swapping parenting stories, pictures, and experiences.

When the group first started, it started out awesome – great stories of epic mom fails. Of kids being hilariously kid-like.

Over time, however, it morphed into a place to air grievances. A place to wallow on the unfairness of it all.
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About Those Influencers…

I didn’t date a lot in high school.

I had a bazillion guy friends, little to no boyfriends.

Maybe it was because I was a commitment-phobe.

Maybe it was because I was wiser than my 15 years and knew I should spend my time making friends and having fun instead.

Maybe it was because no one swept me off my feet.

….or maybe it was because I spent 90% of my time looking something like this:
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ABC Bible Verses

Several years ago when my firstborn was 18 months old, I sat across from a mentor and asked her how to teach him about Jesus.

“Do we sit down every Tuesday for family devotions? Play sermon tapes at nap time? Lay my hands on him and pray over his diaper changes? Anoint his head with oils? Leave it up to the professional at Bible class?”

It seemed so daunting to me.

I didn’t know how. I didn’t have the answers. I’m not great with small children.
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Another One Bites the Dust

“HOW DO THESE THINGS ACTUALLY HAPPEN TO YOU?! 

I’m being totally serious–you are a completely engaged, capable, attentive mom–and yet?!?”

– my friend Aimee. Also, probably my husband.

There’s a list of about 5 establishments our family should never enter again. Due to unforeseen bathroom emergencies, we should never again step foot inside the Kroger pharmacy, Panera Bread, King Wok II, Rosa’s Tortilla Factory, or Braum’s.

It’d been a while since we’ve disgraced ourselves publicly with a banishable offense, so we were probably due.
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HOLEY EARBALLS (pt 2)

We are now one week post tube/adenoids surgery.

I don’t want to oversell the success of last week…..but I totally will for 2 reasons:

1) 4 hours post-procedure, Hutton asked for the TV to be turned down. [ D O W N ! ]

and – could it even get any better? YES –

2) he woke up from anesthesia completely potty trained.

True story.
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HOLEY EARBALLS (pt 1)

[for those who have asked, this is the scoop on hutt’s earballs. If you are not family and/or care nothing about an oddly specific, obnoxiously detailed medical history of my middle son’s middle ear, feel free to pass this post on by.]

About 18 months ago, at the beginning of the Winter Virus Season, our middle boy got an ear infection.

And then another one.

And then another one.

And on and on.
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Calling all Foodies!

For as long as I’ve known Hutton Brooks (3 years and 9 days), I’ve wanted to throw him a food-themed birthday party.

Food is his #1 love language.

That said, I’ve also felt like our window of time for such a theme was running out.

I mean…at some point, constant eating becomes, like, a self-control issue or something.

A 36 year old sprinting to the kitchen at the mention of chicken nuggets? Not cute.

A 3 year old? Totally hilarious. And totally still fair game for a birthday theme.
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My BFF, the 3 Year Old

My very best friend turns 3 today!

(Well, one of my best friends. Easily top 4.)

If you’ve never had a 3 year old best friend, you’re missing out. They are a riot.

They’re messy and unpredictable, too, but mostly just fun.
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Dear Sons, She Doesn’t Mean You.

In 7th grade, as I perused bedding sets at JCPenny with my mom, a 40+ year old male employee waited for her to be out of earshot before he turned to me and said, “You could buy new sheets…or you could just come home and share my queen size bed with me instead.”

In 9th grade, as I was waiting for my food at the counter at Taco Bell, an employee stuck his hand completely down my shirt and groped me.

In 11th grade, as I was scrolling MySpace on my computer, a man walked into the garage of my parent’s home during a yard sale and said, “You got any naughty pictures of yourself on there? I’d love to see them. Or help you take some if you don’t.”

…and on and on.
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The Power of Story

This weekend, we attended an adoption celebration.

Not just any adoption – an adoption that catapulted our friends from a family of 6 to a family of 9.

They didn’t adopt triplets; no, they adopted 3 kids almost the exact ages of their other kids.
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