Sunday, November 19, 2017

I am enough

I found myself hurrying around nervously
Not sure if what I was wearing is right

I hadn't seen him face to face for more than a few moments for months

I hadn't seen him smile at me in what feels like forever
We haven't even made eye contact since that day

What will he think when he sees me?
Will he be nervous too?
Will he still think I'm beautiful?
Will he compare me to her?

Why do I care?
I can't change what has happened
I'm still protecting my son
I can't punish myself for decisions that were made outside of my control
But I do

I can't keep wondering why I wasn't enough
Why we weren't enough
Enough to hang on for
Enough to fight for
But I do

I often find myself repeating these questions when I'm sad and feeling rejected. 
But God quietly reminded me of one simple truth;
Psalm 139:14
I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

It reminds me that my worth is so much more than what's found in the the opinion of a person. Even if that person is very important. My worth has already been determined and no one else can define it.
My worth doesn't lie in the hands of jealousy or strife. It lies in the hands of the one who created me and made me who I am. My worth is found in God using my life to love and encourage others. My true worth is my life as a mother who loves and her children unconditionally through the challenges and joys of life. 

I still cry often
But not as much
I've done a lot of healing
I've leaned on friends and family
I've listened to advice
I've prayed

I will no longer continue to allow myself to wonder if I'm good enough.
That's not for anyone else to decide
Its already been decided

I am enough

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


3 years ago I quit my job to stay home with my children
after 20 years of working outside the home my career drastically changed
taking care of tiny humans is not the toughest job
but it is tough
some days more than others
but on those tough days I remember what my dad always taught me 
find perspective in my life
what has meaning? 
where is that meaning?
how can I use this to leverage the situation to move myself forward? 
not just move forward, but enjoy every meaningful moment
thank you dad
because of you........

I will not complain about the screaming
because one day my halls will be baron
the rooms will be silent
and I will miss the shriek of a toddler and the laughter of my young ones

I will not long for uninterrupted sleep
because one day I will lie awake
wondering what my children are doing
or if they are home safe in their own beds

I will not wish for a sparkling clean house
because one day I will find small tokens
of children grown, a rattle, a sock, a long lost lego
and I will treasure memories of messy floors in a home well lived in

I will not cry over broken dishes
because one day those cracks and chips
will become fond memories that will bring a smile to my face

I will not worry on long busy days that leave me exhausted
because one day I will be bored and take up hobbies to fill my time
while I fondly remember those days of long "to-do" lists
and days that 12 hours was just not enough

I will not commiserate during long sporting events 
standing in the hot hot sun, carrying a baby on my back
with sunburned shoulders and achy feet
because one day I will only have photos for those moments

I will not shoo my children off my lap
or out of my kitchen
or out of my bed during morning snuggles
because one day my lap will be too brittle to hold them
my kitchen will only hold food for two
and my bed will seem too big for just my husband and me

I will not beat myself up over a missed run or workout
or let my body image warp because I enjoyed a piece of birthday cake
because my kids will remember that I was healthy
and balanced
and fun
and lived in the moment

I will live for today
I will savor each loud, interrupted, messy, broken, exhausting, hot, long day
because someday
my boys will look back and from their perspective say
"Thanks Mom" 
and I will know that every minute counted
whether I can see it right now or not

This is my youngest son Cooper. Most days he is a hot mess. He came into this world screaming and 20 months later, he hasn't found a reason to stop. He challenges me every day to be a better mother. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

How and why I chose to finally forgive my Mom

my mom was awful
my mom was abusive
my mom was a little crazy
my mom divorced my dad after 19 years
my mom disappeared from my life for 10 years
my mom told me she wished she never had us
my mom alienated her children
i never really had a mom

this is the mom i have remembered for the last 20 years
the mom i have chosen to remember

the truth is.....
my mom had 6 kids by the time she was 28
my mom went thru painful labor 6 times
my mom nursed a newborn 6 times
my mom homeschooled 6 kids
my mom taught us to pray
my mom read us the bible
my mom taught us right from wrong
my mom taught me to cook
my mom taught me to clean and sew
my mom managed a crazy house with 3 little boys and 3 little girls

the truth is......
my mom buried her father way too early
my mom was exhausted
my mom was discouraged and gave up
my mom was brutally abused by her second husband 
i didn't even know if she would survive him
my mom was the sole caretaker for her own mother until she passed
my mom was the sole caretaker for her 3rd husband until he passed
my mom was alone and scared
my mom had her own story

the truth is.......
my mom never gave up
my mom tried
my mom apologized even though it fell on deaf ears 
some of my siblings still don't speak to her
my mom tried to gather her life pieces
my mom went back to school
my mom always told herself she could do better
my mom tried and tried

my mom is a devoted grandmother
my mom has built relationships with each grandchild 
my kids love her

the truth is.......
my mom made mistakes

i'm not really sure when it happened, maybe when i started homeschooling
maybe it was when i turned 35 (i grew up)
i began to see my mom as a woman, not the mom that did me wrong as a girl
i started to understand her as a person
a person who made mistakes.....and then tried to make it better
a person who i needed to forgive

i am a mom
i make mistakes
i will continue to make mistakes
some small, some potentially huge
one or more of my boys may be upset with me at some point
i may need to apologize
i may need them to forgive me and help me move on
i may be heartbroken and give up
i may say all the wrong things
and when i do.......

well, i won't want my children to hang on to ONLY that for 20 years

i will want them and NEED them to remember the love
the countless sacrifices 
fundraisers, volunteers time
the long nights
the tears i cried wondering if i was doing the right thing
the stress over each loving punishment
only handed out to ensure they grew up right
the hugs
the i love yous
the encouragements

my mom has apologized and it is up to me to forgive
i have always told her i forgive her but i wonder if i really had
we don't forgive so that the other person can move on
we forgive so that we can move on
but i want her to be released and move on too

i know some of my siblings can't find it in themselves to forgive
that's OKAY!!
we all experience situations differently
each experience has its own outcome and no one is obligated to do anything but what is best for them
but this is finally where i am at
and it feels good

my mom needs me now
more than ever

i am proud of you mom for how far you have come
i am  praying for you as you enter your next life journey
i will be here when you get to the other side

Friday, October 17, 2014

That one time I almost gave up on running

I am a runner

I used to be a good runner, a dedicated runner, a motivated runner.
I used to run miles and miles every week.
I ran with friends,
I ran with strangers,
I ran on my lunch break,
I ran at 3:45 in the morning,
 I ran in the snow or rain, 
I even placed from time to time in my age group, sometimes it seemed like I lived to run.
I Loved to run.

Then I moved to California.
I had another baby,
I'm home with kids all day,
I don't even have many friends who run,
I don't get lunch breaks,
and its always HOT.

So what that means is that I have had to rely on my own motivation and desire to keep the running fire burning......and let me tell you, it just about fizzled out.

I still love to run but finding time is so hard. Running used to be so social time and solo time for me all at the same time, then it became a quick 30 min run here and there sandwiched between a million other things that needed to be done. I have had a tough time finding that coveted "balance" that so many moms (stay at home or working) are desperate to achieve.

I have been so hard on myself, and trust me, I can insult myself better than anyone. I have always had high energy, endless optimism about what I can achieve and my own self why oh why did I lack any energy at ALL? Did I use all my enthusiasm and energy homeschooling? Were my kids sucking the life out of me literally? Kidding!! Was it really the weather? Really the lack of the social aspect? When was I going to snap out of it??

I get up a few times a week and go to the gym but recently, my husband, (who has now become my running partner) gets up with me at 5:00 am about 3 mornings a week and we run. Just 3 miles, just him and me.
The weather is cool and now that I have a 12 year old we can go alone.

At first I was dragging, he just about drug me out of bed. But something happened.......last week I started feeling the same enthusiasm I had felt when I first started running (when Mason was Cooper's age). I begin to think that maybe I have been too hard on myself. I have gone through SO many changes since I moved to California.

New job
New house
New friends
New routine
New baby
New town
New church
New at homeschooling

Each of those things alone marks a huge life change and I have been tackling them one after the other since we moved with no break. I often compare my life here with my life in Oregon and that may be the most damaging thing I can do. I am here, not there. It will not be like it was before, this is my new life. I cannot lose who I am just because I am 500 miles from home. I have to learn how to function, adapt.
I know, you would think I would have taken care of all of these details by now but I guess I am a slow learner.

So, this week I have resolve with new energy. I am a servant of my house and family and that is fine, I have no complaints. But I WILL carve out some time for what I love. The weather is a bit tamer this time of year and I have my sight set on some running goals. The kids are getting a little bigger and I refuse to talk myself out of finding joy in what I love.

Get ready for an overload of optimism, because I am back!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Who's teaching who?

So I am now in the world of homeschooling and I have one full month under my belt, and the question becomes glaringly clear I teaching them? Or are they teaching me?

Its true I want to be the primary educator for my children, I want to teach them not only the academics that they need for a successful life. But that is not all there is to teach. I want to teach my children God's word, character, integrity, patriotism, love for others, love for life and respect for fellow humans, authority and our world..

Now, I am not writing this to explain or defend my decision to homeschool my boys. I learned early on that those who poo poo it will not be convinced by my arguement, so I won't waste my breath.

What I want to share is the amazing journey that just this first 5 weeks has been!

True to who I am, I started with a "plan"......anyone who has multiple kids is laughing at me right now. So, needless to say the first week was bumpy. Not only did I want an immediate fantastic experience, but I wanted it to go a certain way. Daniel threw fits, Mason was confused, Sammy was a goofball because the house was full of playmates. This was week one. I didn't feel defeated and I didn't feel like giving up but I did "feel it".

I re examined my strategy, called other successful veteran homeschooling moms asking for encouragement. (thankfully I have a few in my back pocket that are more than willing to offer encouragement and advice) I heard the same things that I had heard before and knew in my heart. "Stay the course", "Give it time", "Be patient with yourself, and your boys".

So a deep breath and a second week. I allowed myself to be led by the boys......I know it may sound weird, but week two was about adjustment and allowing them to accept homeschooling as a different, but good thing. And so we went, such an easier week and I began to realize......maybe they know more than I thought.

As we have gone into week 3, 4 & 5 I began to feel a difference. I began to feel a calm. They began to have a routine. We established some guidelines for our loose structure and the boys are becoming more adapted and able to guide their own day. They know exactly what they need to do. So now I teach them "lessons" and they teach me a ton more. Don't get me wrong, we have days that are tougher than others......but where would the lessons be if everyday was perfect?

Daniel teaches me forgiveness, patience, flexibility, how to release the reigns (just a bit) and let him try new things. This is hard because he is my oldest, the one I will make all my mistakes with, the one that will challenge all I know about parenting. He teaches me that my kids see everything I do and that's where they really learn. But that boy is funny, super smart, articulate, a great debater (who makes too much sense sometimes) so often he teaches me humility......with a touch of toughness so his head doesn't get too big. He reminds me that my boys need hugs and mommy touch no matter how tough they seem.

Mason teaches me even more patience, he teaches me to think differently about how I communicate, he teaches me empathy because he feels so deeply. He teaches me how to be creative in my instruction and how to express my joy in a way that allows him to beam with pride. Mason is also very witty, and creative and loves to get his hands dirty. He reminds me to smile, to compliment and be an encouragement.

Sam teaches me yet more patience (are you seeing a trend here?) He teaches me to laugh, think like a 2 year old, get on the floor sometimes no matter how busy I am. He is a firecracker, he laughs, he cries.He reminds me to be silly and that he needs me more than ever.

Cooper reminds me every day how fortunate I am to be a mom. He is a constant reminder of God's blessings in our house.

So what kind of mom would I be if I was all these things? I would be VERY patient, forgiving, flexible, humble, a positive example, loving, creative, empathetic, encouraging and unafraid, giggly, joyful and playful.

Just the kind of Mom I want to thank you boys for being a teacher for me. I pray that I can and I will always be attentive to their needs and what they are trying to teach me.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Off the grid

One of my favorite things to do in life is to go camping. I have done it since I was a girl. Although versions of camping change over the years, it is still so amazing to be in the primitive outdoors and enjoy nature in its own element.

When I was a girl my dad took us camping in the deep woods. He was a logger in Oregon so he knew all the places to go. We rarely if ever went to actual campgrounds, we just went out into the Oregon forest. He dug a hole in the ground to poop in and we made a make shift "cooler" by making a pool in the cold stream with rocks, there we kept a gallon of milk and a couple of other cold drinks. We sometimes used a tent or sometimes just slept under the stars. Went fishing for food and ate granola. This folks, is camping.

Over the years camping has changed. We use a real cooler now, a tent for years and now an RV (although we really just use it to haul stuff for 6 people and sleep for a few hours). I enjoy spending my days and evenings outside in nature and I still know how to build a raging campfire. The things you can see and do outside by far trump any lazy day at home watching the "boob-tube" or chipping away at a never ending to-do list. The quality time spent with family talking, laughing, using imagination and talking about how amazing life cycles and our eco system really is in its own natural form untouched my human inventions is irreplaceable.

Since we are new to California we really have no idea where this kind of primitive camping is found. What have found is that nothing compares to Oregon wilderness and there really is not much in the way of primitive, but this weekend we found a place (although a campground) that offered so much of what we love. Nestled at 6000 ft up in the Sierras we camped at Sugar Pine campground on Bear River Reservoir.

We found crawdads, LOTS of crawdads. My kids had never caught any before and certainly had never eaten any. After the campers before us gifted us with a trap full before they headed out, my kids were hooked. They fished for them with a kitchen strainer and a red solo cup. We cooked them over the open fire in a large pot and added them to our Happy Hour feast (a traditional Roybal pre-dinner snack that usually involves my homemade guacamole). The birds, fat squirrels and local scavengers reaped the benefit of a clumsy two year old who constantly dropped food and crumbs around. Even the geese at the water were brave enough to come to shore for some spilled Cheetos.


Although it rained all day Sunday, Monday gave way to the bright sun. We spent the day climbing the large granite rocks, swimming in the warm reservoir, and cooked all of our meals over an open fire. The boys built a make shift Ninja Warrior course complete with a "Spider climb" and "Quintuple steps". It was heaven. Our super smart phones were obsolete for the weekend with no service for miles and any fire we had meant we had to scavenge for firewood. 

We came home from the weekend refreshed with a new found love for California nature, one more step in making California feel like home.

Check out more pics from our trip!!