Brooks Says: I keep telling her…

A real conversation in our car the other day.

(Sidenote: My mother-in-law is overly generous and is always bringing toys, clothes, shoes, gifts, treats, etc for our kids when she visits.)

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Brooks:  When is Grammy coming down to visit us? I want her to bring us some presents.

Me: Brooks, that isn’t a good attitude. I don’t want you to expect gifts every time Grammy comes down to visit.  You should want to spend time with her, not ask her to buy you stuff.  I’m going to tell her not to bring any gifts next time she comes down to visit.

Brooks:  I don’t know what’s wrong with her.  I keep telling her to buy adult stuff, but she keeps buying kid stuff when she comes down her.

 

 

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The cost of my yes.

I’m reading a book with my women’s bible study called “Present Over Perfect” and while I’m only halfway through, generally the premise is that so often we get stuck trying to be everything for everyone, except for those we really need to be there for.  We’ll bend over backwards for those who are in our “outer circle” (your happy hour buddies, friends I see 3x a year) but they aren’t really our “people”.  My people are my family, my closest friends… these are the people that I’m going to call when I get crazy news – good or bad.

And as a result, we live this frantic life trying to do, do, do.  We leave no margin in our life and so we are exhausted and overrun. We keep ourselves busy doing unimportant tasks for people who really aren’t that important to us.  We’ll cancel our family plans because our boss’ boss asked us to start a huge project at 4pm on a Friday (due Monday morning).  Or we’ll try to take on the Team Mom, Room Mom and PTA Coordinator roles – but by the time our kids get off the bus, we’re wiped out and angry because we’ve been stretched too thin trying to be too much for everyone else.

I can completely relate to this.  I often say yes to too much and then our family life suffers.  I sign us up to volunteer for events, or to host friends on the same day we have back-to-back sports activities.  I find I either say YES to everything, or YES to nothing.  It’s hard to find that happy medium.  So our life will be crazy hectic for 4-5 weeks and then completely dead for a month or two so we can recover.

Even when I’m resting, I’m not really resting.  I’m mentally planning my kid’s upcoming birthday party or I’m folding laundry while I relax and watch a show. I think mom’s are especially guilty because we take on so much when it comes to our children. I want to be super mom and working mom and helper/volunteer mom and party planning mom and playdate mom.  I want it all.

But at what cost?  That’s what I’m trying to figure out.  How can I really find the balance that we need for our family?  This book has really helped me remember that sometimes saying YES to something only feels important for a moment, but when I look back at my life, does my YES really matter.  I want to do things that make our family better.  That give us more margin to do things God might spring on us.  Not to have us suffering as we run from one activity to the next, one to-do list to the next.

Unpopular Opinions

Funny how there are some things that “everyone” loves that you just can’t get on board with?  Whether it’s a tv show or movie that everyone is raving about or a particular type of shoe.  And it’s funny how hard the “adorers” push that product, like they’ll be able to convince you with their words that it really is funny/delicious/comfortable/etc.

Here are some of my unpopular opinions:

  • Cheesecake is gross. Yes, I went there to start. I know many people claim cheesecake is the best dessert ever – in fact, it’s my husband’s dessert of choice!  I can’t get on board. I feel like cream cheese needs to be incorporated into salty foods, not sweet.
  • Goat cheese. I figure these kinda go together. The popular and trendy cheese tastes like moldy cream cheese to me.  I can’t even “eat around it” just getting a little in my mouth makes me want to scrape my tongue off.
  • Seinfeld. This show is terrible. It’s so annoying how they never get to the point. And I understand that is the premise, but I just feel like I’m wasting precious minutes of my life if it’s on.  (Again, my husband loves this show and owns several seasons on DVD so it’s a case of opposites attract).
  • Coffee.  I don’t really like coffee-flavored items, but even worse for me is the feeling coffee gives me. It makes me feel jittery and hungover. Plus if you drink coffee, that taste just infiltrates your tongue for the rest of the day, no matter what you’re eating!
  • Apple products.  I know, the masses are against me! My brain doesn’t work that way. And I realize that I’m SUPPOSED to love Apple as 30-something who likes to do creative work.  But give me a PC any day of the week. The only Apple product I have is an iPod and even there, I only use it for running.
  • Sci Fi/Fantasy anything. I don’t like  Star Trek, X-Men, Star Wars etc.  I like things that can have a real interpretation – something that could potentially happen.  I’ll stick with my romantic comedy, adventure, crime/drama flicks.
  • Dark Chocolate. I’m not sure if this is really an unpopular opinion because I think most of the world prefers milk chocolate.  But I’ve had a few friends who say they prefer dark chocolate items and dark chocolate tastes too bitter. Milk chocolate for life!

What about your unpopular opinions?  Anything that the world loves and you can’t stand?

Who is going to watch chick flicks with me?

I’m a mom with no daughters.  This means I don’t really having shopping buddies in my household. Nor is there anyone who wants to go get their nails done the one or two times a year I do this.  I guess since I’m not girly girly, it worked out well for me to have boys.

But, who is going to watch chick flicks with me?

I saw Troop Beverly Hills was playing over the weekend, so of course, I had to record it.  It was one of my favorite movies as a little girl and I hadn’t seen it in at least 20 years.

I decided to ask my boys to watch with me.

They weren’t as impressed. But we didn’t get to the songs part… yet. So I’m still holding out hope that they’ll like some of the movies I grew up on.

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Just living in this “all boys” world!

P.S. And yes, I am crazy and don’t like the “glaring tv brand light” on the front of my tv so I keep a postcard in front 24/7/365.  Don’t worry about that little blue light, it goes away when I turn the tv off – otherwise I’d have a postcard there, too 🙂

Landon Robert is 7.

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This sweet thang turns 7 today. He is the perfect firstborn.  Easy going. Responsible. Fun. Hardworking. Adorable.

There are so many things I love about this boy.  I love how his role as older brother as really evolved over the past year.  He really cares about his brother and is fiercely protective of him.

Landon, Brooks and I were on a recent bike ride and several times something happened where Brooks fell behind, fell off his bike, got stuck in the middle of a big hill and this boy just turned into super brother, quickly finding out what was wrong and helping his little brother out.  He hopped off his bike, grabbed B’s bike and walked it up the hill, then went back down and got his own bike.  There are examples like this all the time of how sweet his is taking care of Brooks.

I love how he gets along with everyone.  He is loved by so many in his class. The teachers tell me he gets along with everyone.  He’s a natural peacemaker and avoids conflict.

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He is just all-around awesome. He works hard no matter if it’s reading, helping in the yard, working on his sports skills or doing a chore like cleaning the playroom or putting dishes away.

I am so proud of who this boy is and what he stands for.  He is joy, love, kindness and tenderness all wrapped in one. I get choked up just thinking about the fact that I’m already about halfway through my parenting job.  I can’t believe he’s been my baby for 7 years already.  It’s flying by.

Happy birthday to my sweet Landon Robert.  You are the awesome-est young man and I’m so proud of who you are and what you bring to our family.  I can’t wait to smother you with kisses (while I still kinda can) and love on you all day.  I love you (times a million bajillion)!

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Brooks says: Getting big muscles

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This boy is too observant.

Brooks looks over at Dean one day, while Dean was doing P90x, and said “dad, if you want to get really big muscles, you have to take your shirt off.”

So now, whenever he wants to exercise with daddy, he takes his shirt off.  I guess Brooks realizes all the guys with really big muscles are usually shirt free showing off their six pack.  And he’s right – you don’t see many obese guys dying to show off their bod with no shirt, just the ripped ones!

Five year old correlation.

Recent weekend highlights

With my slack blog posting efforts, I’m going to throw a couple random recent weekend highlights into one post.  Straight from my camera phone – recent weekend highlights:

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This was one of my favorite moments recently. Just me and my two boys sitting on the floor. This was shortly after Blouie Finn joined the family, so we were keeping him company in Brooks’ room.  The boys were sorting and trading their Pokemon cards. I was asking them important life questions – What was the best part of your weekend? If you could only eat one food for every meal what would it be? What’s better – basketball or baseball?  I’m a real life, Barbara Walters with my intellectual questions 🙂  No distractions, just heart-to-heart convos with these kids.

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Pie Face was hilarious. Each time it would get close to Brooks, he’d pop his head back just in time and the whipped cream would fly over his head onto the floor.  Finally, Dean stood behind him and held his head in place.  That’s what I call good parenting! Plus, gotta love their Steelers gear!

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Landon rocking out his basketball game!  I think this was the last game of the season.  He’s on the far right with a few of his teammates.  Waiting for what he calls the best part of the game – the star sticker rewards and snacks.  #kidsthesedays  #go13

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Peanut butter-marshmallow-chocolate fondue.  Yes. Please.  It was delicious.  My favorite is definitely the bananas and the strawberries. Hmm… what would make this better? (A favorite question when eating meals with the Bradbury side of the family) Answer: Not much.

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I found this apology note in the couch cushion.  He never gave it to me, but I found it and asked about it.  I wish I could call this #parentingwin but Landon did this all on his own.  Dear mom, I am so so sorry for being mean to you. Will you forgive me? My heart burst a little when I read it.

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We finally scheduled our adults-only family date night (plus Jonas).  My parents treated us to an Escape Hour and it was so much fun.  Plus we escaped!  Sidenote: How hilarious is it that my nephew Jonas and Dean are matching!? (navy stripe shirt, khaki pants, brown shoes.)  The only thing Dean was missing was the ginormous blow out Jonas wore later at dinner. 🙂

So there you have it… fun weekend memories captured on my phone. Our life lately.