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Phew. It’s been a rough few weeks for us. My patience is thin and right now I’m hiding in my bedroom while Ezra eats cheerios and watches Cars.
Over the past few weeks on top of pouring my heart into a blog series, my husband adjusting back to a weekday schedule at work, and adjusting our finances to less income – we’ve been dealing with car problems.
Because, you know, we did all the deployments, post-deployment anxiety, reintegration, 3 years of separation, difficult pregnancy, traumatic birth, and postpartum depression stuff; but broke with two unreliable vehicles stuff? Yeah, we hadn’t checked that one off of the “real life problems” bucket list yet.
Both my vehicle and my husband’s vehicle started having issues, at the same time. And on top of needing both of those vehicles fixed and/or replaced, we also had to have them inspected and registered in the state of North Carolina before the end of this month. And before we could do that, we both had to get NC drivers licenses.
We’ve spent hours out looking for cars and taken multiple trips to multiple different DMV locations. I’ve been stranded at home on three different occasions. And between car repairs, inspection costs, North Carolina tax costs, Kentucky tax costs (because we still have to pay those too), DMV fees, and replacing my husband’s vehicle – our nice little pot of savings that we hoped would carry us through the next few years of much-less-income-than-we-are-used-to has been drained to next to nothing.
And on top of that…there’s this kid named Ezra who is turning three in three weeks. And I’m finding the almost-threes to be a very trying, challenging time for all of us. We are dealing with lots of temper tantrums, defiance, and stubbornness – general crankiness because of the rainy weather and allergies, and he’s figured out how to unlock his door so being able to keep him confined when he needs to rest or sleep has turned into a challenge.
Lest you think that I just love to complain and hate my life, I really don’t.
That’s why I do these posts. Because I can start them cranky, irritable, frustrated, and er…hiding in my bedroom with tears pressing against my eyelids and a clenched jaw…and somehow, I see beauty woven through the days and start feeling better.
I was going to split this into two separate posts because I have so many photos to share, but I think since I have a moment of quiet and I’m not in the best of moods, I will share everything right now, in one post. Prepare to be overwhelmed.
*exhale and turn on the worship music*
I am a blessed woman. And there is beauty in having a baseball theme for preschool. Because you can’t beat a smile like that from a boy who is beyond-excited to go learn how to play baseball for the first time!
We packed a picnic lunch and went to the park, where we got to feed squirrels!
And this is the closest we got to actually playing baseball:
And then we just hung out in the dugout and drank apple juice, because that works too:
There is beauty in those moments where you know he shouldn’t be standing on the table, and you’ve told him that a million times before, and you should probably be being consistent in your rules and discipline, but that smile draws you in and you just have to go get the phone instead to capture the moment:
There is beauty in those moments where he’s actually still, sleeping, and calm –
so tired he couldn’t even finish his sucker:
There is beauty in free food at Chick-fil-A since we can’t afford to eat there anymore.
(okay, so I we have to dress like cows for our food, but that’s besides the point.)
There is beauty in starting out your day with this and a treadmill:
There is beauty in discovering that cucumbers in a fruit salad is scrumptious – and finding out that cucumbers have more protein than eggs and almost as much as meat. Pass the cucumbers please!
There is beauty in this walking trail close to our house that has working out stations that Ezra insists on trying. Oh the cuteness:
There is beauty in deciding to go raspberry picking, not realizing that it was going to be cold and pouring the entire time. And trying to pick raspberries, hold an umbrella and a fussy boy all at the same time….okay, not exactly fun, but one of those things you will probably remember forever, so still beautiful:
And having kind strangers let you borrow their rain gear since you didn’t think to bring your own
(even though it only stayed on for about a minute):
There is always beauty in free food. Thank you Whole Foods for your coupons:
There is beauty in a boy old enough to put puzzles together on his own,
And the pride that he takes in his work, the exclamation when he puts the pieces together,
And you just smile and praise even though you know the pieces aren’t put together right:
And there is beauty in this child who sees everything as a jungle gym. And even though it’s frustrating when we are late on the way into church and I just want him to HURRY UP ALREADY, sometimes you just have to take the time after church to let him be a boy:
There is beauty in this park a few towns over…
where we go once or twice a month just to relax and hang out by the lake. Ahh:
And there is beauty in hanging out at our local park, listening to hubby play the banjo and watching my boy play with a bunch of other kids:
There is beauty in a child who has a sweet heart that wants to help and be kind to others:
There is beauty – on those days when he’s jumped on you and bashed you until you wonder if you are going to have bruises, and you just want him to stop touching you and calm down – so you pull out some tricks from the baby days and swaddle him, then give him a massage with relaxing baby lotion while he lays still for 20 minutes and watches Praise Baby!
There is beauty in FREE ice cream and soda (thank you coupons), and a FREE concert at the mall – thank you WBFJ our family station – one of the best things about North Carolina.
There is beauty when that friend sends you a link to a pillow that has your name on it, and you love it, but know you can’t spend the money – so she buys it for you:
Have I mentioned how much I love sleeping baby boys? This child spent the morning getting in a lot of trouble at church, multiple time-outs for hitting other kids and throwing toys, and I just wanted to cry when I picked him up – and then 2 minutes down the road he looked like this, so peaceful, so wonderful:
There is beauty in a good hair night when going out with some girlfriends:
And painting this with in class with said girlfriends, one of whom paid for me to go:
There is beauty in a boy who is growing up so fast – trying to undress himself.
And even though it ended it tears, the attempt made me proud:
There is beauty in going into the bathroom and seeing this in the mirror, wondering
“How in the world did those get there?!?!”
There is beauty in little boys at the pool, and realizing how much they have grown up!
There is beauty in a grilled cheese sandwich this beautiful, a rarity around here.
(I’m an expert at burning grilled cheese):
There is beauty in a 10-minute reprieve…when I say “Go wash your hands” and not only does he obey,
but he stays in there for 10 minutes doing who-knows-what!
There is beauty in a reprieve from the heat and a brief cold spell that let me pretend it was fall for a split second. Hoodies and coffee are a magical combination:
There is beauty in starting the last post in my blog series:
There is beauty in the mess. Okay, sometimes, there’s just mess.
But I did post this on my Facebook page and make a lot of other moms feel a lot better about their mess.
And there is beauty IN the mess, when this child is on my last nerve, wrecking my spice drawer,
and then he flashes that smile that gets me every time:
Whatever you’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, but somehow there’s peace
It’s hard to surrender to what I can’t see
But I’m giving in to something heavenly
Whatever you’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, but I believe
You’re up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly
And yes, in case you were wondering, I do feel better. Now I’m going to go hug my baby and try to turn this day around.