Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I wasn't the mom I wanted to be this summer....

I wasn't the mom that I wanted to be this summer.

Sometimes, I was better. Some days, I really nailed the mom thing. We had donuts and we swam and we laughed and connected. Some days, I was intentional and had a meaningful one on one moment with multiple kids. There were days when I fought the urge to Facebook blast my awesomeness.

Sometimes, I was even more than the mom I wanted to be, I was the mom I needed to be. Some days, I said no. Some days, I made them use their money. Sometimes, I followed through with consequences that sucked for all of us. Sometimes, I modeled Jesus and selflessness and love even when it wasn't what I wanted to do. There were even days when we didn't use electronics.

And sometimes, more times than not, I would like to think that I showed them how much we all need Jesus. Which is a really nice way of saying, I blew it a lot. We didn't read everyday. There was no Bible verse memorized as a family. We used more than our fair share of electricity. We yelled. We fought. We ignored. We went to bed without goodnights. We ate junk. We were out of groceries. We didn't play a board game that lasted for days. And don't get me started on the condition of our house.

The honest truth is, the older my kids get, the harder the first day of school is for me. Did we have enough fun this summer? Will they want to come home when they grow up because we have great memories and traditions worth coming back for? I have THREE more first days with Caroline. HOLY CRAP. There is so much I meant to model for her. And teach her. And I am pretty sure that all I have done is model that I don't have it all together.

So. This year, instead of giving into the panicked, crippling guilt that I feel creeping up, I am going to try to believe that I really have shown them that we need some Jesus up in here everyday to make any of this work and worth it.

If I am perfect, if I have it all together, if I can be the mom that I want to me ALL BY MYSELF . . . then what? Then I have missed the chance to teach them that I can do all things through Christ, that His power is made perfect in MY weakness, that it is God who works in me to will and work for His good pleasure.

I learned well before their first birthdays that none of my kids were perfect. So why am I trying to pretend that I can be?

I was NOT the mom that I wanted to be this summer. I won't be the mom that I want to be this fall-despite the goals we set and the good intentions that I have to do it ALL WELL. But, I do have the ability to point them to the only One who will ever be everything that they need and who will give them more than they can ask or imagine. And I guess, once I settle my pride, that's even better than being the mom that I wanted to be.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Flying Everything

Wow. I won't even tell you how long it took me to get back into the blog. I mean technically into the blog so that I could type this.

Needless to say, it's been a while. When last we met, I had a rising 7th grader, 5th grader, 2nd grader and kindergartner. Caroline and I were headed to Haiti. At some point, I may do a quick summary of the last 3 years, but for now, I have something to say about how fast these last 3 years have gone.

When I named the blog Flying Years, I knew that the saying the days are long but the years are fast was true. I could look at my kids and think that time was passing us quickly, even if the days felt like they were creeping by.

Several years later, I'm sitting here, typing this at 3:07 in the afternoon, and wondering where the day went! Now, even the days are flying by!! And if I'm being honest, and that's kind of what I try to do here, I'm panicking. I mean, somehow, the sloth's pace of a day with diapers and sippy cups and squeezing in Target before naps has become this (sometimes frantic) deluge of activities and real life issues with long term effects, and time?? HA! - there's never enough time now!!!

When we go on road trips, assuming we can trick our kids into putting their devices down--sometimes this is accomplished by pretending to charge said device, but "forgetting" to plug it in. Anyway, when we are driving for an extended period of time, we have been known to play the alphabet game. For those of you who have never played, you look for signs and license plates and find words A-Z - the first one to Z wins. It has been the source of much joy, many laughs and also almost several sibling massacres. When you play, you are so focused on finding that next letter, that the time and the scenery not needed for the game become blurs to your mind and eyes. The next thing you know, you've reached the gas station or restaurant or destination and somehow the hour it took went by unnoticed or you doubt where you are because you missed some landmark you always see while you were desperate to find the ever-elusive Q.

I feel like I have been involved in a much similar game. I have been focusing on the next milestone (or current milestone) and time has flown by. Some of the landmarks blurred by and, all of the sudden, I'm sitting a gas station wondering how I got here so quickly.

Early on in parenting, I think we speed from milestone to milestone, And they are important and necessary. Kindergartners in diapers with pacies and not on solid foods is not the goal we have for our able-bodied kids. So we move to solid foods, excited for the day when we can go to a restaurant and order something off the menu for them. And we potty train, dreaming of what we will do with all the money we will be saving by not buying diapers (**PUT IT TOWARDS THEIR ORTHODONTIC FUND!!**). These are milestones and small victories for us and we march towards them all with anticipation because they come with rewards.

I have hit a phase in parenting--and to be fair, I was warned--where each oncoming milestone is met with some tears and sentimental trepidation. They are still victories. I want to raise great humans who thrive outside of my nest. But, the quickly approaching leaving the nest part is kind of breaking my heart. Sure, the older they get, the more freedom I have personally. (Of course, that time is spent begging God to reveal Himself to them, guide them, protect them, etc, or work to make money to support them, but theoretically, I have more "free time".) It is absolutely true that I do not miss wiping stinky bottoms. But there is something about that time where a shower is the ultimate victory, nap time and bedtime are my heroes and the monsters they are facing are imaginary and under the bed that is precious and innocent.

I will not wax on and encourage those with littles to cherish every moment, because, let's be real, the moments that smell like rotting human flesh poo are non-cherishable. Instead, I will just say, it's all true. Everything you have heard. And so enjoy what you can and take heart that even the rotting human flesh poo stories will, with some time and febreeze, be humorous and precious memories.

Hind sight is 20/20 and it's also often prettier than it really was. I'm going to hope and pray that, likewise, my kids will leave my house with some rose-colored glasses--that when they look back, my mistakes will be covered with some grace and understanding and humor and that they will learn some from them. And, I am going to try and appreciate more. And I am going to remind myself that much like potty training and nursing every 3 hours, this too shall pass--both the good and the bad, so hang on or hang in.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Trip of a lifetime

I know that I “wisely” and “knowingly” titled this blog “Flying Years”, but I am learning more and more with each passing day and week and month how true that phrase is. So much has been happening in the Bass family over the last several months, but it happens in the middle of our glorious chaos and is captured in pictures and phrases on Facebook and Instagram and on iPhones and (hopefully) in our memories.

Today, I am excited to share that in just a little over a week, Caroline and I will be heading to Haiti to serve a ministry there for a week. This was Caroline’s dream and desire and she sacrificed going to summer camp with her friends to go to Haiti. I would like to say that I was the instigator and led her to this opportunity, but she has been the driving force and is giddy with excitement. I am looking forward to this time with her and I am also grateful for a very tangible reminder that our family and our lives are beyond blessed with comforts and amenities and health and food and that we are beyond wealthy and “lucky.” I have been explaining that we will be seeing firsthand what “not fair” looks like. Caroline and I get to go with two of our best friends, Lacey and Kennedy Caldwell, as well as a woman who has become a dear friend to me, Alexis Ware, and her mentee, Alexis. The six of us will be helping with some painting and cleaning and crafts and any other way that we can assist Caleb and Debbie Lucien’s work in Haiti.

Of course, we would ask for prayers for our health and safety……we will be out of our comfort zone in so many ways and expect God to show us things there as we are a little more desperate for Him. In a moment of humility, I would ask for specific prayers for me regarding food safety. I have developed some pretty intense allergies over the last few years to gluten and nuts and pray that I never need to break out an epi pen while there.

Finally, we are still accepting and asking for financial support for our trip. It will cost about $2200 for the two of us to go and we have not met our goal. I am horrible about asking for help in any way, but as Alexis keeps reminding us, “This is not about me!” IF you would like to contribute financially to our trip, please follow this link to the Lessons for Life website (this is the ministry organizing our trip) and donate there. You will need follow that online donation up with an email to Alexis (alexis.ware@att.net) indicating that you would like it to go towards Caroline and Rachel Bass’ trip to Haiti.

We will be so grateful for however any of you choose to support us—prayers, financial, or checking in on Josh and the other 3 munchkins while we are gone. I cannot wait to give you a long and, I’m sure, emotional testimony to all that God does.

Love,
Rachel and Caroline

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sometimes

sometimes you have a day where you just want to wallow. today is not necessarily one of those days for me, but i had one recently. you know the kind--you just want to go ahead and let yourself feel how you feel. and to make matters worse, for part of that time i felt bad for feeling bad. you want to ruin a good self-pity kind of day? feel guilty for feeling that way--guilt, by the way, is never the kind of emotion i like to wallow in.

but sometimes you do have a day where you want to wallow. sometimes you don't want to put your chin up and acknowledge that someone somewhere has it worse than you or count your blessings--you just want to say that life sucks for that moment and it sure does look like a noticeable amount of people have it better. sometimes my husband is a jerk (sorry, Josh) and my kids are handfuls (and not the good kind) and my house is a wreck and my thighs feel jiggly and i wish i could take back 98% of what i have said or done that day. sometimes i wonder if i am successful or will ever feel successful. sometimes i wonder if i will ever feel rested or be able to sleep in without feeling bad or behind. sometimes i just want the remote for my car to work every time i try it (or at least while it's raining and i have bags in my hand and a couple of my kids in tow.) sometimes i have to tell my 4 year old to hurry because there isn't time to stop and lick the snocone before we miss the window to make it to the carpool line before it winds around and ends up throwing off getting Bo to therapy on time (curse you blog writer who quit telling her daughter to hurry and now taunts me with guilt when i use that phrase).

anyway, i decided on one of those days, that sometimes that's ok. i don't think that God intended us to be chipper and glass half full all the time. i don't. i'm pretty sure people don't enjoy being around people who never seem to so much as stub their toe (and i'm pretty sure that sometimes i try to be that person to keep from appearing to be a bitter betty or a sad sally or a burden to anyone.) anyway, i'm pretty sure that God planned on us being sad or overwhelmed from time to time since He suggested we cry with those who cry and mentioned in the Bible that there is a time to weep. so i guess it's ok to camp there for a period of time as long as i remember that He doesn't want us to live there.

but just so you know . . . sometimes i wake up and i can't believe how blue the sky seems. sometimes i cannot believe that i get to live the life i have. sometimes i look up from my book at the pool (yes, i just used the word book and pool in the same sentence) and i see my kids playing with each other and laughing and they can all swim and i remembered money for the snack bar during adult swim and it's only 80-something in august and i can't imagine that i could ever feel anything but happy. sometimes i serve a nutritious dinner that people like and sometimes the laundry is not just done, it's also put away and all the beds are made. sometimes i can list things that i like about myself and my husband and my kids all at the same time. sometimes the diet dr. pepper is the perfect amount of fizzy. sometimes i wake up before my alarm and sometimes i run faster and further than i thought i could. sometimes i am keenly aware of my blessings and have the chance to reach out to someone less blessed that moment.

so at those times, i will be thrilled that there is also a time for laughing and a time for dancing and i will happily camp there for a while too.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

I am a very lucky mom to get to attempt to not screw up too badly the 4 sweet boogers God gave me.

I know that in their short lives so far, I have created many "couch worthy" moments. (My and Josh's term for events that will probably send them to therapy. Ha ha.) But last week a thought also occurred to me that freed me up just a little bit.  And since I am nothing if not giving, I thought I would take a minute to share it with you.

They remember things differently than we do.

(And this is a very good thing most of the time.)

I had this little revelation when I went to Bo's kindergarten tea and read all about me according to Bo. Here are some highlights:

 - I am 20 tall and 10 pounds. (Awesome. What does that even look like?)

 - My favorite food is ham. (I actually am not a big fan of ham at all, but my family loves it, so I serve it.)

 - He loves that I make cupcakes. (Hmmmm. Not sure when I last made cupcakes, but if he remembers me doing it, then score!)

 - I read his Bible with him. (Do I ever? Yes. Would it have been something I guessed he remembered and recorded? No. Because I don't think I do it regularly enough.)

And therein lies my point. He's not measuring me against my standard for me. He's probably not measuring me against anything--he's remembering the times he felt happy or loved. He can't remember every detail of his day or week or month, etc. But he will probably catch the overarching themes.

Sigh of relief.

(Now, I do have one of my four who will be more likely to remember the times I missed it or the times he/she felt bad, but even he/she won't recall every mistake.)

So, maybe I can give myself a little grace and try to make a few outstanding memories that will stick with them and worry less about creating a therapy fund.

Happy Mother's Day.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Words

Running out of words is not something I usually struggle with (just ask my mom, or my husband, or my kids). There is a legendary story my Granny used to tell about the time she and my great-aunt Verna took me to Austin . . . back in the day, backseat seat belts were not required, so I scooted myself up to the back of their seats up front and wrapped one arm around each headrest and proceeded to start talking. Hours later, one of them turned around and said, "Could you just shut up for one minute? Please?" (Or something very close to that.)

Anyway, finding words isn't usually a problem. And even now, in this season of life I am in, it's not so much FINDING them as it is having the time to filter them or record them or even acknowledge them. There is so much noise in my life right now that, sometimes, it's like I can't even hear my own thoughts. But to be honest, sometimes it's more that I am just craving silence.  There is such bliss in quiet.

Lately, however, I have felt a void in my life. It's the feeling I have when I am missing a friend. I realized this weekend that it was writing that I miss . . . 

When I was in the 5th grade, my dad asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told him either a writer or an FBI agent/CSI-type person. (It's ok, I laughed a little too typing it.) I would like to stop here and give my parents some credit for instilling enough confidence in me to have 2 such diverse and lofty vocational dreams. And I'd really like to thank them for then setting me up to meet with someone who worked in the crime lab and a professional writer/editor. It is something that stayed with me forever. They believed I could be either of those things.

Somewhere along the way, the CSI/FBI dream withered away, but my hopes to write stayed with me. In high school, my favorite classes were easily Southern Writers and Advanced Writing. (Both with Mrs. Blackburn.) My Creative Writing class in college was another favorite. When I am happy, I want to write; when I am sad, I want to write. In my head, even when I can't get to a computer or a notebook, I am often narrating my situation or my emotions or whatever the kids have just done. It is my outlet and my sanity. And (Josh, no comment) I think it would be safe to say that lately I have been lower on the sane chart than other times.

A few years ago, my mom introduced me to the Big Mama blog. It made me laugh out loud. I can totally relate to her and I love her writing style. Before I knew it, she was part of my daily routine. My mom and I sometimes act like she's actually a friend of ours. Not long after I started reading her, that same longing I described earlier overcame me. I knew I wanted to write on a regular basis, and so my blog began. And with the blog came other opportunities to write; I also found myself writing and saving it and dreaming of one day putting together a book. I met Jeannette (my editor) and realized that maybe, just maybe, my dream could be part of God's plan for my life.

This is NOT some announcement about being published. It's a thankful post because I know that even though life is crazy and it's harder than ever to find the time to write, I need to. I owe it to myself and (cheezy as it sounds), I owe it God. It's a hope He planted in me and I would be wasting His gift and missing out on something to ignore it. 

Thanks to my mom, I had enough alone time this weekend to actually have these thoughts and realizations. And, thanks to my mom, I got to meet Big Mama this past weekend. I was very excited to thank her for reminding me that I loved to write. 


Here we are Friday night . . . yes, I know it's blurry. I don't care. I was so tired at that point that this is what she actually looked like to me. Ha.

And this was her response to my thanks . . . 


Writing for me won't always be on this blog, but there will always be writing . . . 

Monday, February 11, 2013

80's, Mardi Gras, and some love

Almost 20 years ago (sigh, that hurts to type), I set off for college. While I graduated from UGA, I spent the first year and a half at Belmont University where I met some of the best friends in the world. There is something about the first year away at college that is very bonding--that and they are just amazing girls. I wouldn't change my college transfer at all, but I never made better friends than I had in Nashville. We have done a lot of laughing over the last couple of decades . . . a lot of crying too. Some of my smarter and dumber moments were made with these girls. We've walked each other through some of the best and the worst moments of our lives. And, really, we could not be more different, yet we work and we fit and when we have long amounts of time between us, it's crazy how quickly we pick up right where we left off.

This weekend, we managed to reunite to celebrate the marriage of Amanda and Jason. Amanda married (in total Baker style) in Hawaii over the summer, pretty much unplanned, but just right. We had the "bachelorette" party at the Baker's and did some awesome 80's karaoking. And a lot of laughing. The hair, the clothes and the company were just what I needed after a long week of working and mommying.

Saturday included a delicious brunch prepared by Superwoman/Donna Baker. And what weekend with the girls (and John) doesn't include shopping? Josh joined us towards the end of our little spree and then we all got gussied up for the Mardi Gras themed celebration. My legs are still sore from the dancing and my cheeks hurt from laughing and smiling. It was one of the best weekends and I am so thankful for these girls. I've known them for half of my life and I am so glad that we have a long way to go and many more memories to make.

Here are a few then and now snapshots (Aims, I couldn't find any uploaded of us from the early years--that's how long we've been friends!) . . .

 dinner at Mike Jay's 
 Disco partay
the bride and I back in the day heading out to bootscoot

 Aimee (Chicago), me, Amanda (Dallas), Betsy (Knoxville), and Jill (Nashville)

 Thanks for the rides, Randy, and good for you!

I'm not gonna lie . . . the mask was fun. If you only knew how many pics we took with the masks . . . 

Finally, a little taste of the talented Mrs. Amanda Baker Adams. Y'all, girl has some chords. (I so wish I had Betsy's solo to finish off the evening, but alas, my phone had died.)

video

Congrats to the whole Baker-Adams clan . . . I cannot wait to see what God has in store for you!