Of all things Mom

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Friday night I was at the laundromat (only 6 more laundromat trips, we are moving into a house July 1st!). As I stood there folding laundry, I was listening to music. I was also crying. Because on my playlist I have a song by Ed Sheeran called Supermarket Flowers. He wrote it for his mom after she died.

For so many years, I hated Mother’s Day. The pain of infertility would cause me to weep and ask God why and wonder if I’d ever be a mom.

I can’t say that I hate Mother’s Day now, in this different stage of my life, without my mom here. But it is hard. It makes me sad. It makes me long for one more day with her. And as Ed sang to me over and over Friday night, “A heart that is broken, is a heart that was loved.”

We were well loved.

Before God gave blessed us with our two little miracles – he gave me two step kids. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I won the lottery when it came to step kids.

Holly and Cody were 11 and 12 when Pat and I got married. It was about five years later when Angel joined our family. All the years of infertility and heartache – I’d do it all again to have her as my daughter. In the card she gave me today, she wrote, “I’m so glad God destined for you to be my mom.”

Oh my word, thank you Jesus.

My almost Irish twins. I remember the long nights and long days. The exhaustion and overwhelmtion. But so much joy and so many adventures.

Through it all I had my mom to encourage and support and help me. One of the hardest things about being a mom these past six 1/2 years has been not having my mom with me on the journey.

But there is still joy. And every day I’m learning how to see it better. I’m learning to lean into Jesus and the friends and family He has put into my life.

We stopped by Grama Barb’s today to give her hugs and tell her Happy Mother’s Day. Our life has been made so much richer with her a part of it.

Seven months ago, we were blessed with our first grand baby. In November we drove out to Detroit to meet Briar Eloise for the first time. We were about an hour away from Detroit and I just started weeping. I grabbed Pat’s hand and I said to him that I understand now how much my parent’s loved Angel and Caleb. It filled me sorrow. And it filled me with joy.

Oh this precious baby girl – we love her so much.

Infertility, step-mom, mom, motherless, grandma… so many journeys. I think being a mom life is about 99.9% finding the joy through those journeys. Many days I have failed at this. But thankfully each day is a new opportunity to find that joy.

Whatever journey you may find yourself on today, I pray you would find joy and embrace it and know that God walks with you through it.

Last day of school

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Another school year gone. Friday was the kids’ last day of school. We now have a 4th grader and a 5th grader. WOW!

Last night, after their first day home for the summer, I might have possibly thought to myself, when does school start?

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It was a good last day. Very bittersweet for two reasons.

First, Mrs Kuiken. She was Caleb’s 3rd grade teacher and was also Angel’s 3rd grade teacher. No more Quittems with Mrs Kuiken.

The second reason is Mr Woodward. He was Angel’s 4th grade teacher and he is moving to GA to be a children’s pastor. Very awesome for him, his family and all the kiddos he will minister to, but Eugene Field Elementary won’t be the same without him. I have seen both kids, but especially Angel, grow these past two years in so many ways and I know a lot of it has to do with the teachers they have had.

First, the first day of school picture.

The last day of school. Stop getting taller Angel!

Then I got a few pictures of the kids by themselves. Angel was easy peasy.

Caleb… well, I love him dearly, but it’s a challenge when it comes to taking pictures.

I guess this one is Pat’s fault. That’s him “hiding” behind the tree.

Every other Friday we go to Casey’s for breakfast. We hope this is a tradition the kids will remember and not just the precursor for them to get diabetes. Hey, it’s only every other week so that’s not too bad!

I was able to get off work early so I could be there to take end of day pictures. Here is Caleb with Mrs Kuiken. I wanted to get some pictures of Caleb and his friends but again, the whole picture thing is a struggle with this boy.

Angel with some of her friends.

These two kiddos are new to the school. They came only about a month ago or so. We had an event at school a few weeks back and I was standing in the hallway with Angel and these two friends. One of them said to me, “Angel is a good friend. We are new to this school and we can always count on Angel to be there for us.”

Wow. So proud of my girl and how she lets the love of Jesus shine through her!

And last but certainly not least… the man, the myth, the legend… Mr Woodward. To be honest, Angel was not excited about having Mr Woodward at the beginning of the year. I’m not sure why. But by the 2nd day she was very glad and to see the impact he has had in her life is so amazing. Caleb was so bummed that he wouldn’t be able to have Mr Woodward next year but thanks to social media we can hopefully stay in touch.

So there ya have it. Another year come and gone, the kids taller and smarter and sassier, but like I tell them almost every day, always my baby girl and baby boy.

She still waves at me

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Hello. My name is Missy. It has been six months since my last blog post.

I think I stopped writing because I’ve never wanted to post stuff just to post stuff. In the past, I would hear the title or theme of a post in my head and then I would go write it. I think most, if not all, of the ideas were from God. But the past six months I haven’t heard much. So did He stop talking? Of course not. I think I stopped hearing. Or maybe He did stop because He knew I needed a break. I don’t know.

What I do know, is that I heard today.

I went to the kids’ school to have lunch with them. As I was leaving, I looked over to the playground and saw Angel, hanging out in a circle with her little friends. She saw me and I waved, and then she waved.

I heard it immediately…she still waves at me…and I knew it was time to start writing again.

Now granted, she’s only in second grade, but I was still a little surprised she waved at me. She seems so grown up. So mature and independent. I love seeing her grow into a beautiful young lady but I also hate it.

I would like to say that we are going to be the coolest parents even as she gets older and that she will always wave. But I think there’s a pretty good chance there will be a year, or two, or three (Lord, please not more than that), when she won’t like us too much. Even though it’s hard and exhausting, I want to cherish every single day we have with them when they want to hang on us and talk to us and sit by us and show us stuff over and over and over.

I wonder how God feels when I stop hearing? When I prefer to go to my own room and do my own thing, instead of curl up on His lap and tell Him about my day? It breaks my heart to think about when the time will come when my kids prefer other people and/or things to me and Pat.

Can you imagine how God’s heart breaks when we do the same to him?

Lord, I open my ears and heart to you. I want you to be my first in all things. Thank you for helping me to hear.


When you feel like a loser parent

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I checked my phone on Tuesday last week to see a call and voicemail from the kids’ school.

Of course, panic ensued because when the school calls, it’s always bad news, right?

I listened to the message and thankfully there was no emergency. The message was from the guidance counselor and she wanted to let us know about the mentor program the school participates in. She also said they had a mentor available and she thought Angel would be the perfect fit for her.

My first thought was not one of thankfulness and joy that my precious daughter would be able to a part of the mentor program.

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