I have found myself, lately, feeling very angry.  I can feel the anger running around in my head like an animal held captive.  Pacing.  

I have spent the last few days trying to track where this anger stems from.  Why my heart beats out of my chest some mornings, raging in my ears, making everything around me appear fuzzy.

I am nervous to blog about this.  Mostly because this is so real.  And also because anger is frowned upon in society. It's acceptable to be sad. It's acceptable to be anxious.  But anger? Anger in a woman? That's unacceptable.

But, I am angry.  
I don't like it.  
But there it is.

I am angry that a handful of people have made me feel less than.  Through innocent conversation my worth was put into question. I am undervalued.  And in response to that I began to wonder if it was really those people I was trying to answer or myself?  Do I wonder if there's more out there?  Do I wonder if it's all worth it?  If I am what's best for them?  Do I wonder if by choosing SAHM status I've let go of being regarded as smart? Or capable? Or educated? Does my SAHM status reduce me somehow?

I don't think I feel that way, but I feel that as a perception of others.  
I am less than.  "Just a housewife." 

"Just" nothing!
I bust my ass here!!!

I am instilling in my kids the character traits they will need to thrive & succeed later in life.  Can't we all just accept each other and our choices? How odd that as a working mom I felt judged by SAHM's and as a SAHM I feel judged by working moms.

I am mad that the numbers on my scale mean so much.  
156.6 is a very, very happy day.  
But 158.2?  That is a very, very angry day. 

I am angry that I have to exercise or watch what I eat. I am angry that I let my body get like this. I am angry that even if I do all the work and get to my goal weight, my body will still never be what it was.  And don't feed me a line about how stretch marks are beautiful.  My stomach is destroyed.  And while I wouldn't trade it for my children, I would like both. Some women have both. A stomach that is flat and unwrinkled, as well children.  I am angry that when my body was youthful, firm, beautiful, I didn't appreciate it. 

And above all, I am angry that I missed out on Logan & Jack's first two & a half years.  This is the one I keep coming back to.  I did some reading, and "they" say that most anger is rooted in pain.   

Boy, is it ever.

It's like when I was living it, I was able to pretend & ignore all I was missing. But now I am home. I am experiencing exactly what I missed the first time around, and it is breaking.my.heart that I wasn't there.  I had no idea the number of moments I missed.

 I was feeding Wyatt snack yesterday and I opened my mouth as he shoveled a Cheerio in his, and instead of feeding himself, he fed me.  Then he smiled, looked at his empty hand and grabbed for another one off the tray.  I don't know why, but this felt like a profound moment.  The interaction between mother and son so beautiful, so sacred, so fleeting.  And it made me feel hollow.

I know that when I was home, I was fully there for those boys.  I know I did the best I could with the hand I was dealt, but I also know that I need to recognize and acknowledge that loss in my life.  It is real.  That is time I can't get back.  On the other hand, I don't want to waste the time I do have wishing I had the time I missed. That doesn't make any sense.  I can never replace what has been lost.  I have to accept that the past cannot be any different than it was, forgive myself any mistakes I've made and forge a new future as their stay-at-home mommy.

But this being angry about it? It's so uncomfortable. 
I am much more comfortable being sad. Crying.  
Or anxious, breathing unsteadily, feeling as though an SUV is sitting on my chest.

I wrote my sister-in-law Julie about my anger, and she reminded me of some of the amazing things I have done this year.  Umm, like moving to the middle of nowhere without so much as a store or a girlfriend within 400 miles.  Oh, and the seventeen pounds I have lost.  

But the most important thing she said?  
Eating too much is not who I am.
I cried.

She's right. I am so much more than my labels: SAHM, writer, emotional eater, blogger, wife...  We are reduced by our labels.  I adored her honesty, and the way she so clearly sees my journey.

Why is it we can't see in ourselves what we see in each other?

I think that's all I've got for tonight. Thanks for letting me vent.  I feel better.

I will close with what feels like an appropriate quote:

"Life isn't fair, but it's still good." 
-Stephanie Nielson

{Photo credit: Jack Cunningham}


A Shot of Milk

1. The most challenging part of being a mom is...
Losing my temper. I am a yeller.  This is something that I am working on daily.  Trying to find what sets me off, what calms me down and better ways to discipline the boys without raising my voice or losing my cool.

2.  The best part of being a mom is...
Knowing I am all they need.  Like when Logan wakes up scared at night, and all he needs is for me to tell him he's okay.  Or when Wyatt is crying and all it takes is me scooping him up off the rug to put a smile on his face.  It feels very powerful.

3. The worst part is...
Not sleeping.  I am so tired of being tired!

4. The best thing about being married is...
Having your best friend live with you.  I love talking over my day, my thoughts, my life goals with Josh, knowing he'll be on that road with me every step of the way.

5.  The hardest part about being married is...
Constant negotiating.  What are we eating, watching, doing?  And parenting together.  It's a constant conversation where you must find a middle ground & be on the same page.

6.  The most romantic thing your husband has done for you is...
Hands down flying home from Marshall for my 29th birthday as a surprise.
Best moment of my life.
{for a basic recap visit this link, or for the extended version, this one}

7.  The most fun we've had recently was...
Going on our snowmobile date.
It was so nice to be without the kids, out of the house, enjoying this amazing place we live!
I was giggling like a school girl on the back of that thing!

8.  A typical Friday night for us is...
Put the kids to bed, make a pizza and watch a movie.
 I make it a rule to do nothing.
It's lovely to have one night a week where I just sit and veg out.
We take turns picking movies.
I always pick chick-flicks and Josh chooses scary movies like The Village.

9. A typical Saturday morning of us is...
Josh sleeping in, and the boys and I staying in our jammies until lunch.
Saturday is the only morning I don't do any chores or anything "not fun".
It's one way that I make sure weekends feel different from weekdays.
I love it. We watch movies, play cars and lay on the rug with Wyatt.

10. My husband would say my best habit is...
 Journaling. Or flossing.  I do both nearly everyday.

11.  My husband would say my worst habit is...
Putting something back in the fridge or pantry with less than one serving left in it.
He always asks me, "Who's going to want a "shot" of milk or KoolAid?"

12.  My favorite family time is...
Dinners together, where we all sit down and eat the same thing.  These used to be pretty rare, as the boys were picky eaters, but now there are about five meals we can make and eat together.  I enjoy the conversation, and working on the boys' manners.  (Well, actually, I hate working on their manners, but I love seeing their manners in progress!)



 So in my new life here in Alaska, I am a stay-at-home mom.  I actually like to think that is why we are in Alaska.  That any sacrifice made on my behalf is worth it (...not having fresh fruit, no access to a clothing store, freezing my butt off every time I step outdoors) all because I want to be home with my children.

There was a time, not that long ago, where this was not the case.  Where every morning I would wake up, ready myself and the twins for the day, and leave them in the care of their two beloved Grandma's.
It was torture.

 I tried (most of the time) to keep my attitude in check, and to enjoy the moments I had with my students (adorable special needs kids whom I loved), but if I tell you the truth (and I usually strive to do so) it was killing me.  Missing after-nap snuggles, play time and all that down time really did a number on me.  It fattened my body & bruised my spirit.

 I would arrive home after having picked up the twins from my mom's house (or arrived home to the boys with Grandma at my place) and the race would begin.  Laugh, play, do laundry, do dishes, read a book, make dinner, sweep the kitchen, make lunches, give baths, cut toe-nails, make phone calls, put on jammies, give snuggles, blog, pray, cry & fall asleep.
Only to wake up, of course, and do it all over again.

 The worst of it, as you know from my Heavy post, was the fall of 2010, when I had imagined I'd be exempt from working.  We had trusted that with a fresh degree and the ambition to provide for his family, Josh would find a job.  But that hadn't panned out. (Again, I know you know, I'm just revisiting what went down... It's good for me.) And so I went back to work, feeling lower than low and wondering what in the world God was teaching me.

Some mom's can do it.  They can go to work. I know that. I am friends with them.  Somehow they balance being a mom with being a professional. They love their kids and their job, and find a way to make the two glide seamlessly along.  I am not that girl. I never was.  The first day I left the twins, when they were five months old, my little heart tore wide open.  Now, three & a half years later, it's finally starting to heal up.

 October of 2010 I found out I was pregnant.  God had been whispering to me about a baby, but I wasn't listening.  Josh didn't have a job, I was miserable... No way was it the right time for a baby.  So every time the thought of our family growing popped up, I would shove it back to the recesses of my mind.  Nope, not right now.

God made it happen anyway.  (Good lesson: it's all in His time, not Our time.)  And as I crawled under the covers that brisk October morning and broke the news to Josh that we were expecting a third (and not fourth, God willing) baby, I felt as if I'd made a wrong turn onto a one way street.  There was no going back.  I had to trust the road ahead would lead to brighter days, but I had little faith.  Hope escaped me.

 Lucky for me, there was Josh who hugged me and kissed me and told me we were having a baby. A baby!?! And that it would be wonderful, and we would be fine, and the timing was really just perfect.  So I pretended to believe him, and when I got to my mom's house, as we stood in her family room on the cold tile, unwrapping the boys who'd been bundled in hats & coats, I told her I was pregnant.  She was, of course, ecstatic, hugging me and smiling so big.  Her excitement was contagious.

We whispered that maybe this time it would be a girl!  And this time it would be a singleton! And I could try for a VBAC.  And I could try my hand at nursing again.  Now at least when I had my negative thoughts (What if the baby is not well?  What if something goes wrong? What if it's twins again?) I would have some positive thoughts to combat them.  Like imagining Josh holding his baby girl, Bailey and Jack & Logan kissing a sweet, pudgy faced sister.

 Unless you have had to leave your kids, against your hearts' desire, I don't feel I can adequately describe the perfect agony of leaving as they cry for you.  Or leaving as you cry for them.  I thought since the boys were young (only two years & eight months) when I quit and began my journey as a SAHM that they wouldn't remember.  That assumption, at one point, brought me solace.  But last night Jack said, as we snuggled in his bed after stories, "You weren't a mommy for a day.  You weren't a mommy. You went for work, for work, for work so Grandma had to watch us."
I asked him about that and he said, "It made me sad. I was like, oh, you're not there."  Then I told him he didn't have to worry about that anymore, that I was going to stay home forever to take care of him, Logan & Wyatt.
"That's why we moved to Alaska," he said. Clever boy.
I agreed and told him that Daddy became a teacher in Alaska so mommy could stay home.
"Forever?" he re-confirmed, "So you won't even work when we go home this summer?"
I had no idea he even remembered, let alone spent time thinking about when I used to leave.  I assured him that this summer would be a time of fun, and I would not be working.  It was sort of full circle.  I'm not sure I can explain it.  But knowing that he wants me home, and that he understands why we have had to sacrifice some things (proximity to our loved ones, modern conveniences) makes me really proud of what Josh and I have done (and are doing) for our family.

 Which, finally, brings me to our topic of the day.  Staying at home.  I know I have been a SAHM for 14 months now, which sounds like a long time, but when you break that up into the transitions we have had in our family in that short time, I can see why it took until now for all of us to settle into a routine that is comfortable.
February 2011- Quit my job, cash out my retirement, get our tax return & Josh subs like crazy
March 2011- Go to the Alaska job fair in Seattle
April 2011- Accept teaching position with Lower Yukon School District
May 2011- Celebrate Jack & Logan's 3rd birthday (early)
June 2011- Welcome new little brother
July 2011- Adjusting to being a family of 5, as well as squeeze in summer fun with Daddy
August 2011- Josh leaves for Alaska, I single parent our three kids
September 2011- Pre-school starts for the boys
October 2011- Mommy leaves to visit Daddy in Anchorage, packing up the house
November 2011- Surprise visit from Daddy, we move in with Grandma & Papa
December 2011- Daddy is home again, celebrate the holidays
January 2012- Depart the home we've only known & arrive in Alaska
February 2012- Finish unpacking & settle in
March 2012- Life finally starts looking "normal" for us with Mommy home & Daddy at work

We'll throw another wrench in the boys' adjustment next month when we head home for a three-month vacation, but that will be a welcome respite! They are so excited!

 In addition to thinking about me going to work, Jack has been semi-obsessed with Josh's work schedule. "Do you work today, Daddy? When is your day off?  Where are you going?"  and when Josh gets home it's, "I missed you, Daddy. Did you miss me?"  Then this morning he was playing trucks, and his truck had a Daddy at home, and his Mommy went to work.
I was talking to Josh about it, and I wonder if his absence from August to December has something to do with Jack's heightened sensitivity to any absence on Josh's part.

 In addition to the kids settling into my being a stay-at-home mom, I am settling into it as well.  I had hoped some of the juggling would decrease once we were reunited with Josh, and it has, but there is still some balancing to be done.  Managing bills, household chores & care of the children is exhausting.  Between budgeting, banking, checkbook balancing, grocery shopping, cooking, baking & cleaning, the boring old household stuff can end up being just as time-consuming as care for the children: bathing, disciplining, entertaining and memory keeping.
In the beginning of our time here, I found myself struggling with the idea that no task I accomplish is ever done for good.  There is always more laundry. There are always more dishes.  They will always need another bath, another book, another timeout.
And just when I was reaching the point where I had myself wondering if I was cut out for this line of work, my friend Kristina sent me a book.  The book.  I have been reading it, pen in hand, underlining parts that speak to me, circling important points and putting stars next to letters from mom's who totally get me.  The book she sent? In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms by Dr. Laura Schlessinger.  Now, I will say this... She is a bit intense (read: really super duper intense) about the importance of staying home with your children.  And while I agree it is what's best for my family, if you don't feel that way, the book could be a pain to read.  She's also really opinionated and some would say old-fashioned, but as a general rule (in this particular book of hers) I like what she has to say and want my household to run the way she depicts a happy SAHM family.
If you are questioning your worth as a SAHM, or wondering what more you could be doing to help your family, increase your joy or just need a good old fashion self-esteem boost, I recommend the book. I am only through chapter 6, but it has changed, or at least refreshed, my perspective on what exactly it is I do here.
Now is the part where I share with you
the bits & pieces of the book that have moved me...

1. Homemaker

She starts off talking about embracing your inner homemaker.  Just reading the word homemaker, and repeating it to myself, conjured up cozy feelings of being cared for, loved & well kept.  It brought to my mind images of fresh baked cookies, homemade meals & a tidy home. It is a label I have tried on and decided to keep.  I am more than a SAHM.  I don't only care for the children. I care for our home, our finances, and our marriage.

After reading about being a homemaker, I began lighting candles each day.  They make me ridiculously happy, and remind me to slow down and breathe when the day gets crazy.

Like on Sunday when Logan hung (literally) from the curtains in my room with a hanger he found in his closet, and the curtain rod ripped out of the wall, causing him to crash onto my bed and sent screws flying everywhere.  Or on Monday when Jack was up in the living room window watching the diggers on the road out front and he ripped that set of curtains down, breaking the hardware so that they couldn't be re-hung even if I wanted...
I have to remember to breathe.


2. Setting the Tone

She also talks about setting the tone.  She says the mother is the center of the home, and all emotion starts & ends with her. It is an awesome power, and one I have to use wisely.  If I wake up grouchy, I find the kids tend be naughtier than usual, the baby more cranky and little irritations feel much bigger.

If I bathe myself in patience, remember to breathe and take time for myself, they are different kids.  They are able to entertain themselves for periods of time, play cooperatively and are more willingly helpful.

Remembering to slow down, enjoy moments with my kids, and lower my (insanely high, perfectionistic) standards also helps.

A calm mom = calm home & a happy family


 3. Bad Days

And even with these thoughts in the forefront of my mind, having three kids age 3 & under is hard.  Some days just suck.  The baby is teething... The twins won't nap... I woke up on the wrong side of the bed...

And those days I cut back the to-do list, knowing it will all wait, and try to just be.  To rest when they rest and remember that being here, hard as it may be, is always easier than leaving was.


4. Working

 I can't even comprehend leaving Wyatt.  It breaks my heart to imagine it.  I am so grateful I don't have to.  I am so grateful that for his entire life, I have been there.  For every nap, every diaper change, every meal.  It's exactly what I wanted. 

Looking back on my life as a working mom is incredibly good for me.  It reminds me of what I've been through, and how hard I worked to get here. 


5. Full Love Tanks

The good thing is that even on crappy days, I have perspective.  I know I am doing an important job.  A new job that I gladly accepted, jumping up & down excitedly after finalizing all the paperwork.  The new gig?  Tank Filler.  I am filling these boys up.  Their love tanks, so to speak, are topped off everyday.  

I worked for about three years in a behavior disorder classroom, and there was this boy who stole my heart.  And everyday I would pour myself into this kid.  Giving him my attention, my love, my adoration. But at the end of the day, it was never enough. I could never make up for the life he had lived, the pain he had suffered and the environment he was raised in.  As hard as it was, I had to accept that it would never be enough.

My boys are blessed.  They are blessed to be loved and cared for and wanted. They are blessed to be raised in a home with two parents, family dinners and bedtime stories.  I get to raise them to be self confident, sure, loved, and accepted little beings.

Dr. Laura emphasizes that perfection is not necessary, just being there is enough.  On my "off" days, this is comforting. Even when I'm not at 100%, it's still me. And I am the best girl for the job.
Jack has shown me this truth.  As of late he's been walking up to me randomly asking, "Did you know I love you?"  Then he hugs my leg, and goes back to whatever he's doing.  It's moments like that when I stop & think, whatever I'm doing, it's enough.  They know they are loved, and they can express love. 

One way I express my love is to show them that no need is too small.  This is a hint I picked up from 10 Habits of Happy Moms by Meg Meeker.  That is another book I love- but we'll save details for another day.  She says that you show your child their worth/importance by meeting their needs, especially the small ones.  Cutting the sandwich diagonally; washing the stripe jammies each afternoon; putting a bandaid on even the smallest of injuries.  Life is in the details, they say. And I find this to be very true for small children in particular.  By doing these small deeds each day, I show them they matter.

6. Through Their Eyes

Aside from meeting their needs & filling their tanks, I get to experience life through their eyes. 

A broken printer becomes a great place to use their tool kit, pretend to be grown ups and work.  A walk outside becomes a discussion on where snow comes from, why crows can fly and how planes land.

 Rolling a tortilla out all on his own ends with Jack saying quietly, "I did it! I'm so proud of myself!"
Everyday events become adventures, children's books are weaved into the tapestry of their very beings and bedtime snuggles become a sacred time, more cherished than moments on any pew in any church in all of America.  Where, finally, they have my complete attention.  For those ten precious moments each night, they exist alone in my sight.  No brother to compete with, no baby crying out. Just him & me.

 Where we stop and talk. About God, airplanes & summer.  Where Logan tells me he wants a God toy to play with and asks me where we will land if the airplane on the way home needs gas.  In those moments I feel like the best mom in the world. Simply because I am present.

In their eyes, that's all that matters.  If only the rest of us were that simple to please.


7. Daily Worth

I may struggle to prove my daily worth, but I am living daily for others.  Dr. Laura is good at pointing out just how important that is.  How vital the role of wife & mother is to a happy home. 

Nurturing my family gives my life meaning.  My life would be empty without marriage & motherhood.  And while some days the sacrifices outweigh the rewards, I know it's like Josh said when he proposed. When all is said and done, the good will outweigh the bad. Every time.

That's not to say that I don't need support from Josh.  I do.  
His gratitude is vital.  His support is what makes it all work. 

For example, he makes sure, every morning that I get a shower before he leaves.  I get an entire half hour, alone, no interruptions, to let hot water slide down my back while I rock out to Sugarland, while he feeds the boys breakfast and dresses them all for the day.  It's a small block of time, likely not a huge hiccup in his day, but to me... Oh to me, those thirty precious moments are like gold. 

He also takes any opportunity to give me a break.  He'll take the boys to drive his friends to the airport, take them on walks, or over to play with Joe's kids.  He will also jump in and do dishes or make dinner any time I don't feel up to it.

In response to his support, I have been working to do my hair and makeup and keep a nice, cozy, clean home for him to come home to.  That's not to say that all those things happen everyday, and there aren't days where he comes home and I am pulling my hair out, but my intention is for the house to be a calm, peaceful place for all of us.  And on those crazy days he smiles and tells me that he knows just how crazy it is home with the kids, and he wouldn't trade places in a million years. 
He knows that it's important that he take care of me.  And I know that my job is to ask for what I need from him.  I try not to make him guess.

Knowing that I have his support & appreciation makes feeling my daily worth easier. 
As do those faces.

8. World

We live in a fast paced world.  Information right at our fingertips, media seeping into every aspect of our lives, every moment of every day.

I have had to allow myself to slow down.  
To get back to basics.  

For the last week, I have seriously limited my Facebook time.  I have most Facebook interactions e-mailed to me, so there were some days I didn't even get on Facebook, I just checked my e-mail to see if anyone had contacted me.  It felt so good to let it go.  To delete something unnecessary from my day.

This also means that I haven't been blogging unless I feel a desire.  I am trying not to hold myself to any standard other than my own.  For me, blogging is meant to be an outlet, a fun way to express myself and work through what I'm experiencing.  When it starts to feel like a chore, I have to step away.

I am busy enough with just my children & my house.  I hate when it also feels like I am being pulled also by strings on the computer.

In addition to some "extras" I have had to let go of perfection & out-of-control standards.  This has made me happier,  healthier and more relaxed.  Dr. Laura says " A good home has serenity, acceptance, love & support. This is the goal.  NOT the most tasks accomplished in the least amount of time."

 My house cleaning schedule has helped with this immensely. (I clean set rooms on set days to space the work throughout the week.) Also, I stopped cleaning the playroom.  Yes, you read that correctly- I don't clean it anymore.  It was making me nuts. So I just let it go.

 My week of intentional parenting has also helped.  Spending at least ten focused minutes with the boys has helped me realize what is truly important.  

Who cares if my house looks like it was out of Better Homes & Gardens?  

"I learned to be confident in what I believe in, no matter what everyone else in the world thinks or does nowadays." This quote from Dr. Laura's book is easier said than done.  But if you can achieve it, the reward is magnificent.

In all these things, moving to Alaska has been amazing.  It truly is a slower pace out here.  Most days I find I am still pretty busy, in terms of daily tasks, but outside the house, time stands still.  There is no rush to do anything.  The most frantic we get around here is when it's Saturday afternoon and we want to hit the post office before it closes at 3pm.

Actually, to tell the truth, I don't know if it's Alaska that has made the difference, or if it's being a SAHM.  Anything I don't get done on Monday, I can get done on Tuesday. There is so much more flexibility, and I am thoroughly enjoying that.  
I have the opportunity to tell the world to wait its turn.  

9. Independence

Another important part of being a SAHM, especially a new one, is instilling independence. When I was working, it was easier (read: faster) to just do it myself. 
Cleaning up, dressing them, brushing teeth....

Now I have the luxury of time.

Time to teach them to undress & dress themselves, gear up for the snow, and throw their laundry in its bin.  Time to turn clothes right side out.  Time to improve manners.  Time to work on chores: dusting, making beds, setting & clearing the table.  Time to teach self care: wiping, hand washing, teeth brushing, body washing...

 Time to teach them what being a brother is all about.  Sharing, hugging, helping, apologizing.

But it's not just about independence for them.  I am working on personal independence as well, which in turn is improving my confidence.  In both child rearing, and also in the kitchen.  It feels so good to be growing right alongside them.
I recently read Kelle Hampton at Enjoying The Small Things' new book Bloom. In it she says, 
"Confidence doesn't always come in surges.  Sometimes- lots of times- it brews unbeknownst to us, building during the times we feel least confident- through the tears, the questioning, the self-doubt, begging God to make it better. Confidence, like contentment, is earned, paved stone by stone until you finally turn back and realize it has all been pieced together to create something strong.  Confidence is a process."

It's along the same lines as this other favorite of mine:
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow." 
-Mary Ann Rademacher

Independence, like courage (and contentment, for that matter) comes slowly, often painfully.  Until one day, Logan comes running at me, full speed, slamming into my legs for a hug, beaming up at me as he says, "I did it! I snapped my own pants!"

"The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence." 
-D. Waitley

10. Thirty

I will be 30 soon, and I want my life to look the way I imagined. I want control of my future, as much as that is possible.  That means I want my ducks in  a row...

I want to make the decision to enjoy being a SAHM.  Each day, it's a choice.

That doesn't mean everyday is going to be rainbows & lollipops, but it does mean I am going to make the most of every situation.

Shared whining equals negativity;

Whereas being grateful leads to a good life.
That is why each morning during Wyatt's nap, I write furiously in my journal all the things I have to be grateful for. Some days it is easy. Other days it is a struggle.  But those days are the days I need it most.

 I love that being home has given me more time for my children, blogging, housekeeping & finding myself.  I have re-discovered this song my sister dedicated to me here

{katy perry}
Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind
Wanting to start again

Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin

Like a house of cards
One blow from caving in

Do you ever feel already buried deep

Six feet under scream
But no one seems to hear a thing

Do you know that there's still a chance for you
Cause there's a spark in you

You just gotta ignite the light

And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July

Cause baby you're a firework

Come on show 'em what your worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky

Baby you're a firework

Come on let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
You're gonna leave them falling down

You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe you're reason why all the doors are closed

So you can open one that leads you to the perfect road

Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow

And when it's time, you'll know

You just gotta ignite the light

And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July

Cause baby you're a firework

Come on show 'em what your worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky

Baby you're a firework

Come on let your colors burst
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
You're gonna leave 'em fallin' down-own-own

Boom, boom, boom

Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It's always been inside of you, you, you
And now it's time to let it through

This new me that I am discovering... she's been here all along.  Three decades in, and I have to say it feels so good letting her ignite. She is beautiful, confident and worthy.  

I will close with the words of Kelle Hampton, whose blog continually inspires me to be more, do more & feel more as a mom and as a woman.

"No matter what, there's always a new day, 
a clean slate, an opportunity to begin again 
and vibrantly live out our one wild & precious life."

Now go.  
Ignite your light!