No, not adultery… adulting: “the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.” Our son just turned 18, so he is officially an adult. He could legally get a tattoo, vote and apply to be an auctioneer. I’m not sure he will be doing any of those things very soon. Instead, he’s fishing, welding and applying for scholarships.

18. I know… I’ve written about this more than I thought I would. You might be sick of hearing about my senior. When I look back at the pictures of my little boy, I can’t believe how fast it went. I will let him read this before I publish it, but here are my 18 things I want him to know.

  • 1. I will always love you. Not in a cliche way or something that moms “should” say… I really love you. If you have kids some day, you’ll understand.
  • 2. Always be humble and kind. Listen to the song if you need to, but this is important. Kindness will get you further in life than being a jerk or being “cool.”
  • 3. Have fun but be responsible. Your teen and college years should be fun. It’s one time in your life where people will assume you’ll have lots of fun, but please know your boundaries and respect the boundaries of others.
  • 4. You really do need to eat some fruits and vegetables. It won’t make you less popular. It’s good for your body. Unlimited ice cream is fun, but seriously, have a pear every now and then.
  • 5. Keep music in your life. Dance, tap your toes or sing along in your car. Music lifts your vibration and is good for your soul.
  • 6. Stay grounded. Connect with nature and don’t absorb any negative energy around you. Sit on the grass and watch the geese and ducks, stand in the water while you fish.
  • 7. Your college friends are more likely to be your life long friends. You get to choose who you hang out with even more after high school. Choose wisely.
  • 8. Don’t smoke. Don’t smoke anything, just don’t. Your grandpa had open heart surgery in his early 40’s because he smoked. It’s not worth it. It’s really not. Plus you’ll save money.
  • 9. You don’t need to spend everything in your pocket. I’ve failed at being a good example of money managing and letting you learn about it. It’s ok to save some. The fishing lures will still be there next time.
  • 10. You will always have a place here. I hope you always feel like being with us is like “home,” regardless of where we are. A year from now, I might be sitting in your room, wishing for a messy floor.
  • 11. I hope we taught you the value of hard work. It’s ok to go the extra mile. It’s ok to get up early or stay later. People will notice this, even when you think they aren’t paying attention… they are.
  • 12. Look someone in the eye and shake their hand (once COVID is over). I think you do this well. You had a good example by watching your dad. Don’t forget this.
  • 13. Brush. Your. Teeth. I’m not even joking. You have a beautiful smile. We spent a lot on orthodontics. Don’t mess it up.
  • 14. Look for a partner to share your time with. They are not “less than”… they aren’t your maid or cook. You will be a team. Make sure you give and receive respect.
  • 15. It’s ok to change your mind. You already have, but it won’t be the last time. It’s ok. You can do more than one thing with your life.
  • 16. Always do the extra credit. ALWAYS. Ask for help before you get stuck. It’s ok to fail, but you need certain grades for scholarships.
  • 17. Crappy jobs will add to your character. Have a job (at least once) where you have to serve someone so you know how difficult it is. Don’t look down on another profession.
  • 18. I’m so ridiculously thankful to be your mom. That won’t ever change. I can’t wait to see what the world has to offer you.

I wish you peace on your journey of enough. 18 years have flown by, and I am looking forward to cheering you on for the rest of your journey. Oh, and to quote your dad, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

4 more years…(not political)

With it being Inauguration Day, you might have thought politics were the topic of the blog today. I will refrain from political posts because I don’t think my opinion will change your mind. This isn’t about politics. My oldest son has a birthday coming up. He will be 14. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I only have 4 more years! 4 years from now he will be 18 and will be figuring out his next path in life. Wasn’t it yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital? So tiny in the big car seat?! Wasn’t it yesterday that he was farming and put a toy fence around baby Myles to make sure that he wouldn’t escape? Wasn’t it yesterday when he lost his first tooth, had his first day at preschool or learned to ride bike?

The picture above is his baby hat and one of his tiny socks (crayon for size reference.) Now, he is taller than me. He’s becoming such a neat young man. I get to drive them both to school in the morning. Yes, they could take the bus, but I really treasure our time together. Just a quick start to the day may turn into talks about school or ice fishing or the status of the home sale. I also take him to confirmation on Wednesday nights. They do it a little different here. There is a small service and then the kids break out into 2 groups and the adults talk about the Bible verse and our highs/lows. Anyone who knows me, knows that small talk with strangers makes me uncomfortable. It’s way way outside my comfort zone. Why did I agree to take him? Why didn’t I just drop him off and come back later? Example. I want to show him how important this is, and I want to show him that it’s ok to go outside of your comfort zone. I realize now that my mom did the same thing for me. Maybe 30 yrs from now, he will get to do the same for his kids. I’ve always been content to sit in the back and blend in. I’d quietly volunteer but not get too involved. I felt led to this place, and we happen to have a familiar pastor. Perhaps there are greater things at work here. In fact, I know there is. I just need to be open to it.

Some days, my journey of enough leaves me feeling like the sands of time are slipping through my fingers. Some days, my journey makes me feel like I should have done more as a mom. And then, some days, I get a hug out of the blue and a peek into my teen’s life. And in those moments, I feel enough. Peace be with you on your journey of enough.

Confessions of a “Pinterest mom”…

(Photo from recent 10th bday at Thunder Road – go kart cupcakes) I have a confession to make… I love Pinterest. If there was a job where testing out and evaluating the ideas on the site was your sole purpose, that would be awesome. Pinterest moms get a lot of flack though. I don’t do the Pinterest stuff to impress anyone, I do it because I love it. I like finding new recipes or tricks for doing gardening stuff or Halloween costumes – it’s full of ideas. Cam has even looks up kayak modifications for fishing on Pinterest. Anytime I try a new recipe, the boys say “did this come from Pinterest?!” Sometimes it just takes a spark to get me going.

Birthday cakes and cupcakes have always been an adventure. Aside from our first born’s 1st bday, (long story but let’s just say I was a paranoid 1st time mom & didn’t want to give him sugar so his cake had flax & stuff in it – poor kid) we’ve tried to make their bday cakes be fun and meaningful. Not to impress anyone else, but to see the excitement from our kids. It’s something that we both like doing – Cameron gets involved in the design and implementation of the cakes. He’s also a little more particular than I am. So his attention to detail and my baking skills make for a fun combo.

After the first bday fiasco, Dallas’ 2nd bday cake was a 3D John Deere tractor – complete with chocolate donut wheels and Oreo front tires. That was before Pinterest came around… We thought of that ourselves. Since then, there was a Bob the Builder, Mack truck from Cars, Death Star, Elmo, Ham the Pig, Sponge Bob, Minions, Dallas Cowboys star, light saber cupcakes … Just to name a few. We try to make them related to what the boys are into at the time. Myles had a Ninja Turtle bday one year. I made masks for all of the kids and made Ninja Turtle cookies and cakes. The huge smile on his face made it all worth while.

I’m not just making cakes, I’m making memories. However you do that with your kids is up to you. I don’t judge anyone who buys the stuff from the store! If you don’t find this fun, don’t do it. Your kids will be just fine with a store bought cake.

Last summer, during Myles 9th bday, I was still recovering from surgery and not feeling particularly festive, so he just had a couple of friends to a movie and lunch instead of a big party. When he said that his summer wish list included a bday party, my mommy guilt took over and I agreed. He couldn’t decide on what kind of cake to have. Since we were going to ride go karts, we went with go kart cupcakes. (Also made it easier to include his friend who has gluten allergies if I made gluten free cupcakes) He loves Minions still so we had both kinds. It was a hit.

I hope when you see Pinterest ideas, you think of some fun new things to try instead of feeling like you’re not enough. Even though I like searching through there, not all are winners – making dried strawberries in your oven doesn’t taste like candy, it tastes like mush. It doesn’t discourage me though, I just search for something new to try. Peace be with you on your journey of enough.