I’ve been cleaning out most of my house for over a month. I’ve meticulously gone through each room and purged, sorted and cleaned but don’t be fooled, there’s more to do, and through it I’ve discovered a thing or two.

Like I used to be a better picture printer and picture framer which simple means, my intense love of capturing life is still active and present however my ability and desire to print and frame said love…

Not so much.

Our oldest can fill a wall filled with her face. Our second oldest, maybe but shy a sliver. Our middle child, not so much. Our fourth…not even. Our last…not.

Are you hearing what I am saying? I have officially sucked at photo documenting my last three children’s lives. The only real way I know they exist is because of the massively large pile of laundry that collects on the floor of their rooms and my grocery bill.

Chatbooks…redeem me.

Thank God for counselors and safe people to talk to.

Additionally for the last two weeks of my life, focus has been on our son who recently became a United States Marine. We were there and then we were here and it still all feels like one ginormous dream. THIS IS WHY I CLEANED. We crammed we were intentional with our time to the fullest during our 10 day visit and I have not one single regret. We dropped him off Monday evening to catch a bus to North Carolina and woke up the next morning to Halloween and doctors appointments and I forgot both.

Mom for the win. My brain. It was done.

And trick-or-treating…my children. What ever will they be?

BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO BE SOMETHING!!

One wore a bed sheet which was brilliant and if I had a spare sheet, I would have been cloaked in one as well. The other wore her brothers costume from two years ago, a glow-in-the-dark skeleton figure whose rib cage and pelvis bone accidentally had been tore from the fabric when the dog played a little too aggressive months back. And the other, well…apparently MY poor planning landed him at Grandma’s house sitting on the couch without a costume while all of his friends gathered at some house for a party I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT. 

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I just can’t keep up. Ever have that feeling?

It’s real.

When I started having kids, I was young and full of enthusiasm and energy, even though I was sleep deprived and house bound. My biggest worries were getting my children on a routine, especially a sleep routine, and instilling in them good manners so they played nice with one another and showed up clean and respectful around my mother-in-law. Little people…little problems.

Now a days, everything obviously wains. Life is bigger than it used to be. My kids are and so is the realities of their life. Elementary, Middle and High School. Fitting in, acceptance, and self-esteem. Bullying. Extra-curricular sports, braces, and after school jobs. College visits, meetings with recruiters, enlisting and choose to serve. Boyfriends and girlfriends and knowing where ones value comes from. Heartache and loss. Anxiety, confusion and depression.

What do I want to be when I grow up? WHO do I want to be?

As their life gets bigger so do my prayers and I have far less time than I used to sit around worrying myself if I am living my best life, a woman whose home displays every photo ever taken of her dearly loved children. I find myself so focused on the big details that I often forget the small ones. AND THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. I don’t really care if I forget the classroom snack anymore, seriously I have bigger fish to fry but don’t get me wrong, I will try to have thirty-three organic juice boxes and peanut-free, individually wrapped confections that I make from scratch so to stay in the good graces of the room Mom but…

I cannot do ALL things.

My kids have outnumbered me 5 to 1 and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sometimes I wish I was more with it, in terms of being the mom I used to be, the one who was at one time super organized and turned every paper in on time, but I am not that person any more. I no longer have THAT life. Now instead of one paper, I have 15. However, I am doing the very best I can and I know that my best is enough. It counts where it should, with WHO it should, and that is where my priority lies.

Friends you might not win in all areas of life. There will be times you’ll fall below the line that is invisibly set by you and the standards of others. You may one day even reach an all time low and fall off the spectrum all together. Good. Create your own. This is not a competition, especially against the person you used to be when you were young and full of enthusiasm and energy. Just do the best YOU can. Your best will look differently in each season so give yourself grace to ebb and flow…what was important in one won’t be as important in another and that is ok.

In fact, it is more than.