With Father’s Day weekend upon us, a story about the power and beauty of a father and grandfather’s love for his people.
Tonight, my mom and dad brought June home from The Third Annual Grammy Camp. This year was the first year they ventured out to another state for a trip together. Which meant my parents took a 2 year old June and a 3 year old Roman aka two newly potty trained peeps on all day and evening adventures all over.
They had an abundance of fun, but I can also trust equal amounts of trips to various restrooms!
It also meant my dad used his one vacation week to spend 4 of the 5 days taking care of grandkids.
I am certain he had a great time, but I am also certain it was no kind of “vacation.”
That’s not even what this story was supposed to be about, but just in getting to where I’m going, I had to point out the grand of our Pa in his choice of how he spent his one week off from UPS.
So, Grammy and Pa are dropping June off, and The Shippmate, Smithers, and I were outside shooting hoops with our chalk of a welcome sign awaiting our June.
I was so excited to get my hands on my Juniper that I had really missed that I nearly missed an entirely different long lost reunion happening.
Between Smith Dyer Shippy and his Pa.
Smith LOVES my dad.
(the frustrations of not really being able to move on your own yet lol)
Tonight was no exception. He was dying to be reunited with the Pa he hasn’t got to see for a few days.
As soon as Pa gets him: CUE THE INSTANT BIG GRIN.
Then tonight, my mom was wanting to get some Smithy snuggles, so she goes to take him from my dad, and y’all– HE CLINGS TO PA!!!!!
This is not the first time he has done this to people trying to take him from Pa, but he was so persistent and playful with it, that my mom kept trying and we were all just dying laughing watching him keep denying any attempt to remove him from Pa’s arms!
Finally, when my dad was going to be leaving, I took Smith (and I must say I am ACTUALLY his favorite person lol) and he was kind of whimpering to me like he wasn’t ready yet and pulls his body toward Pa!
Which, let me just say, if you’re not used to holding a 33 pound Smith Shippy, you need be warned, if Pa walks in the room- HOLD ON TIGHT because when Smith wants to jerk around to where he wants to go, he might almost knock you over.
The whole scene reminded me of something I’ve meant to write about months ago.
In fact, in the notes section of my iPhone there is a folder for all “things I need to blog about” and it’s forever long and many of them will never make here to The Dyer-E, but this one– albeit months late– is finally going to arrive here to be documented and remembered forever.
Smith was a little over 3 months old, and I saw him very clearly “recognize” his Pa.
He clearly had become aware and knew my face/voice, along with Ryan’s and June’s, but as for people outside of those who live here with him, he had not really “known” anyone yet.
Until one Tuesday when my dad came over to spend some time with us.
I saw it.
Smith looked up and knew his Pa had arrived.
And not solely because June was sprinting to the door screaming PAAAAAAA! like she does when he comes over, but because Smith saw him and knew him.
I don’t remember noting this so prevalently with June’s first recognition of someone, but it was so very clear and a bit shocking to me with Smith, that there was just no missing this grand act and display of love and affection between a boy and his Pa.
This meant so much to me that day for several reasons.
The first being that I love watching Smith (and June) adore and love their Pa. To see them grandly reciprocate the kind of love they’re given from my dad is so special to me.
The second being that such a recognition and love and adoration from a 3 month old baby boy does not come without tremendous effort. For my own son to be just 90 days new in this world and to see my dad’s face and know him is physical proof of the countless hours of time and love and care my dad had invested in the life of his grandson.
From the day I told my parents I was pregnant with The Captain that would become Smith, they said my dad would wait to find a job after retiring from education until after Smith was born and I was settled and ready.
This was HUGE to me. Even in the womb, Smith was already being provided for and taken care of by Pa, because it was a tremendous calm for me to know my dad would be there for me and million kids after Smith’s arrival. That eased so many worries I had about figuring the two kid thing out. It calmed my nerves about June feeling left out or me not getting to love on them both like I needed to.
Not only that, but my dad was a huge part of Smith’s arrival.
I wanted my mom to be at the hospital with me, and I would have loved my dad there, too, but I needed someone so close to June to be with her, too.
The second time around is so different in the fact a huge piece of your heart can’t be at the hospital with you but needs to be in the best of care, and I had complete peace and assurance knowing June would be with her Pa.
Not to mention that June LOVED that plan as we were preparing for Smith’s arrival in those last weeks.
Knowing my dad would be with June and bring her to meet her brother meant so much to me.
It also might have involved an instance of a false alarm in which I called my dad in the middle of the night and he drove all the way to Warrensburg while The Shippmate and I got on 50 highway only a few miles before I made an embarrassed (but very Annie Banks Mackenzie) walk of shame back up the stairs and in the house… still pregnant!
My dad was so patient about kind about that confusion, and when the actual time did come— early in the morning on Wednesday, August 19th, my dad arrived as soon as could be and looked more excited than my contracting self felt at 5 in the morning!
I can’t even quite articulate how huge it was for me to walk out our door and go labor with the complete assurance my dad would be there for June and she was loved and taken care of by the best.
While indirectly, it was already Pa forming a priceless bond with his grandson, because Smith was ready to come into this world and he needed a focused and calm mama to deliver!
The days and weeks after Smith’s arrival, my dad was so much help. When people ask sometimes if June was jealous after Smith came, I can honestly say she wasn’t. But then I have to clarify a very present and retired Pa was absolutely to credit for such a feat.
My dad helped do housework, changed diapers, took June on walks to Pinto so I could just savor Smith in a way I’ll always always be the most grateful for, and then held Smith so I could play with June— he truly was the best and biggest of help, but even more than all the dishes done and diapers changed was the fact all three of us— June, Smith, and I– we really just had so much fun having him around to hang out with us during those days.
Having my dad’s company was huge for me when I was sick with mono– both as a morale boost, but also the unbelievable way in which he stepped in and helped with such a new and little (as in young, being that we know Smith has never been little lol) Smith Baby. I will never forget one day in particular— I think the day I tested positive for mono and felt so stressed and overwhelmed on top of miserably sick– my dad had got Smith down for a nap while I was gone! Smith was a few months old, and my dad was able to confidently care for him in a way that most grandpas would not be willing to do for a 4 month old baby! I remember coming home so in awe of the way my dad had both kids napping, dishes done, and I think had also scrubbed some of stains off of our hardwood floor in the kitchen, too!!!!
And while all of that was obviously huge, I still contest that his company and his humor and conversation was the most important to me. From being so sick and feeling down about being so sick much of the winter, just having the company of my dad after he had worked all night meant the world to me.
It was those hours and days and diapers and talks and visits that Smith quickly learned of this guy we all love and June calls her Pa.
I will always treasure the look I saw on Smith’s face when Pa was the first person he recognized and knew.
I will always treasure that look because it was so much more than a look, but the physical proof of the love and time and care invested in a grandson.
The love and time and care invested in Pa’s own daughter.
When I saw Smith “see” my dad, I saw a legacy of love.
Dad, I know there is part of you that probably feels a little off or lost not being at a school doing your thing that you’ve done so well the last 30 years until this year.
I really know that. I see the Mr. Dyer and the Coach in you that misses aspects of education and a career that you both excelled at and one that meant a great deal to you.
But please know the hours and the time and memories you invested in Smith (and June and myself too) were huge.
They’ve shaped a relationship, set a firm foundation, and brought so much joy to me and my million kids.
Every time I see Smith light up to see you and prefer your arms over any others’ in a room, I’m reminded of the sacrifice and the gift we were given with your public school retirement so sweetly aligning with the birth of our Smith Bomb.
We love you, and we’re so grateful to call you our very own.
And affectionately— our very own Zeke Braverman.
Happy Father’s Day to you.
This post has been on my heart for over a week to write, and I just haven’t sat down to get it from my heart to the blog.
All day today, it was very pressing that I needed to write this TONIGHT.
I don’t know if that’s Jesus putting it on my heart for someone or myself or what, but it was the kind of persistent urging I was not going to ignore.
I took this picture from inside my van today:
It was every kind of Missouri summer hot today.
I made the mistake of cooking dinner around 5pm, and then we baked cookies, and thus, our house was also cooking at an uncomfortable temperature (for us) at 78 degrees.
I was sweating folding laundry.
My point is– it’s hot, y’all.
It’s not even officially summer, but the temperatures are putting up a strong argument for this case.
And for a good week, I’ve been waiting to see the tragic headline that somewhere a baby was left in a hot car.
It’s been consistently on my mind for a week to write something. To say something.
To just remind someone or everyone reading that we can’t let this happen.
And I say we, because it’s you and me both, people.
I cannot quite fathom how or why or what happens, but I just know every summer—it happens.
The mom or the dad– it seems to happen to both moms and dads alike– go to pick up their kid from day care only to sprint back to their car to find their precious baby still in their carseat in the backseat.
I can’t even.
Cannot even begin to imagine the horror, the terror, the guilt, the anger, the grief.
I don’t know why Jesus has put this on my heart so persistently.
Maybe as a reminder for someone to read this tonight that is about to have too busy of a tomorrow and needed to remember to not go in auto-pilot mode and forget the most important of cargo in your backseat.
Here’s what I do know– it’s so dang hot, you guys.
Those car seats get extra hot.
Those rearfacing babies are sweating away even with the car on and air going as they’re riding down the highway.
I also know this epidemic of babies left in cars seems to not discriminate.
My Shippmate read a very long journal article on the topic the first summer we had our Baby June.
Doctors, firemen, teachers, lawyers, every race, every socioeconomic group, males and females both — according to the research, anyone is capable of the unthinkable.
The only hope I have for this horrible epidemic is we can fix it. We can prevent it.
There is a way.
Which is huge in a world where we can’t fix so many horrible things that aren’t happening.
I don’t have an answer on how we fix horrific tragedies like what happened early Sunday morning to those precious souls at the nightclub.
I don’t have an answer on how we fix alligators attacking sweet baby Lanes playing in the water at a Disney World resort.
I’ve felt physically ill imagining both of those tragic scenarios and even more sick with the helpless feeling of not knowing what we can do to prevent such a thing.
Which is where I feel as though we have some hope for this situation regarding babies left in carseats.
We can be intentional– whether that looks like putting your work bag or phone or handbag in the back next to the child or having a communication system with a spouse/daycare provided to assure all kids are accounted for — I don’t know what each individual system might look like, I just know we can work to make this summer one without losing a sweet, innocent baby to the horrific heat of a car they were left in.
Babies are too precious.
Let’s do everything we can to prevent more sad news with summer heat upon us.
For any moms and dads reading that have lost a baby to heaven in this tragic kind of accident, I’m praying just for you tonight. For your heart, for your loss, for your family, for your marriage— I am standing beside you in your pain and praying just for your heart.
I feel like today should have accidentally been my birthday.
Not just because I wouldn’t mind sharing the day with Future President Harrison Meyer, but also because today was filled with so many of my favorite things!
I won’t include the part where people working on our street woke us all up waaaay earlier than usual with some major digging that made our house feel like it was vibrating.
June’s impression of what was going on when she woke up was hilarious.
Anyway, I just feel like the city or whoever does that kind of work could come by or email or FB or something the night before to say:
“Hey– we’re going to be up and drilling at the crack of 7am– just don’t freak out and think it’s an earthquake.”
And then if I was in charge of the city, I would include a free short stack of IHOP pancakes as my way of saying “sorry for disrupting your morning– go have some pancakes on us.”
I have no idea why I am not in charge of all of the things.
Anyway, we got up and got productive earlier than normal, so there’s the good part.
That and my mom was coming over.
Which always makes me want to put my house together in a little better way than we really live so she thinks I’m a better housewife than I really am.
Especially so today, because today was the day she was watching my kids for me (she kindly volunteered to watch them one full day every week this summer while she’s on summer BREAK which is no kind of break when you’re Grammy Robin Dyer and always doing for other people) and normally I would be taking them to her house, but the way all of our events of today worked out, it was better for her to come here.
Which was great, except I did NOT want her spending the time she wants to be loving on her grandbabies doing my dishes and putting stuff away, etc. and I knew she would get all of that done during their nap time or something if I left it, so I wanted to get the house in a pretty good order before leaving.
That is actually one of the favorite things of my day, too– the fact I spent a good hour of it cleaning and making our home nice and organized.
But then the best part of my day was that June and I had plans to go to our local movie theater’s summer kids’ movie series this morning.
When my mom had said she wanted to watch the kids on Thursday, I was all for it, but said I would just be with them part of the day, because I didn’t want to miss taking June to the movies.
My mom didn’t want me to miss out on my “me time” so she even offered to take the kids to the movies, which I appreciated, but I WANTED to go!
So originally we had planned to all four go. I actually kind of had in my mind that it might be the best plan for her to stay with Smith and just me take June, but I didn’t want to mention that because I also loved the idea of my mom joining us.
Well because my mom is the absolute best, she called me last night and came to this realization on her own and suggested she play with Smith Bomb while I took June to the movies– just the two of us!
I was SO excited about that plan, and June was even MORE excited about it!
She LOVES saying, “I want it to be JUST Mommy and Junie time!!!” in all kinds of situations that really can’t be that, and honestly it really is rarely just the two of us anymore– and not because I don’t want it to be, but because I also just love it being me and Smith and June or our whole family of four.
So this was so special and so exciting and we chanted, “Juuuuuust Mommy and Junie Time” all the way to the theater!
Gram got there early and helped me get June ready- cue June’s hair being fluffily styled by Gram Bomb:
June even got to add a little more flair to her look at the theater while she got her face painted while I got our tickets and popcorn and drinks.
Also, I had called ahead yesterday to see if we could show up right at 10am and still get a ticket, assuming it didn’t sell out, and the guy on the phone told me they already had 250 kids RSVP-ed but that they open as many theaters as they need, so we could get there right on time and be good to go.
Which is exactly what we did.
We got our ticket, popcorn, and drink for the lovely price of $4 and walked in JUST as the movie was starting.
We walked in to see the theater we were in was PACKED.
I had a quick worry that maybe we should have gotten there a smidge earlier, but then thankfully we found two perfect seats that weren’t too close or too far away!
I just ADORE going to the movies.
The big screen. The comfy seats. The popcorn and good fountain drinks.
The exciting of the experience shared with someone you love— it’s really so magical and special to me always, but ESPECIALLY so with my June!
She is just the most precious little girl that has ever walked the face of the planet, and I teared up– honest to blog– just watching her maneuver her cup of fruit punch back and forth to the cupholder while holding and munching on her popcorn and sitting on the very edge of her seat because if she scooted further back, the seat would fold up on her tiny self!
Like, she did it all SO well.
I was so proud of her and just watching in adoration of how dang beautiful and adorable she is being such a big girl.
And due to the fact, we came right in to the movie starting, I didn’t remind her you don’t talk very loud during movies, so she immediately said:
“MOM! What is that crazy girl’s name!? She’s so funny!!!!”
In a voice that a good portion of the packed theater probably heard lol.
Speaking of packed theater, I LOVED that it was full. I think it’s so much more fun and exciting when the theater is full and this was one of the most packed theater audiences I’ve ever been a part of!
The energy and the excitement of it was absolutely not lost on June. She was loving every minute of the experience and even leaned over to me several times to say- “Mommy– this is so much fun– thank you for bringing me. Just me and you!”
The storyline was so great and entertaining and I most definitely cried at the father/daughter scenes!
In addition to the excitement of a packed theater, I also think there’s just something so fun about having popcorn and a drink at the movies, and June wholeheartedly agrees!
She ate her entire bag of popcorn (maybe I should have stopped her now that I’m thinking about that lol) and it made me giggle when we both slurped the last drinks of our fruit punch and diet coke at the exact same time!
(which was with quite a bit of movie and popcorn left, so we ran out for a quick potty break and filled our cups with water)
It just really could not have been a better time.
We are already making plans for another Thursday morning movie date soon!
And all of this goodness and joy had occurred in our day before it was even noon!
(Oh, and I didn’t mention this, but quickly June decided her own seat was “not nice and cozy, Mommy” so she enjoyed the rest of the film on my lap, which I LOVED! I did find out, however, from a sweet girl next to us that the theater has these things to make the seats stay down for kids! If I bring Smith and June by myself, I likely will grab one of those to try, but for this “just Mommy and Junie” time, it was kind of sweet to have her on my lap instead!)
I took June home (the whole car ride home discussing our favorite scenes and characters from the movie), was able to feed my Smith Baby, rounded up a few things, and then left my two babies that were both all smiles and so happy to be staying home with their Grammy while I got on the road to Lee’s Summit to run several errands I’ve needed to get done.
I made multiple returns after enjoying a little lunch on my own, and then I went on a little shopping spree for the people of my fam.
Mostly for Ryan, as he is playing a show this weekend and never buys himself clothes but often mentions how he wishes he had cool things to wear. So I decided I would surprise him and bring home some stuff for him.
It was actually such a successful shopping day in that I found some shorts I loved, a handbag I ordered online that I’m super excited about, an adorable outfit for June, a Royals shirt that I’m hoping might fit Smithers, annnnnd this $3 throw pillow I’ve looked at several Targets for in the last couple of weeks after seeing it at my friend Jen’s house! The Lee’s Summit Target had ONE left, and I was so excited, as I love festive throw pillows and this one is too sweet and matches my living room decor perfectly:
I love everything about that pillow– the colors, the font, the meaning, the price– made me so happy to find it.
Something I adore about my June is that she is always the first to notice when I change out any decorations. She immediately noticed the new decor I put on our mantle (also from the Target $3 bin!) and my new pillow. I love her observant and sweet self, as she always has the nicest and sweetest things to say about my decor and I really do appreciate that!
And here are a few of my favorite finds for my favorite people:
And I’m quite excited about the new non-cargo gray shorts for The Shippmate.
OH! And I was super excited, because my little nephew Roman has recently taken quite a liking to Superman and I found him such a cool Superman shirt that I had to get it for him! He was SO excited that he kept talking about it and holding it during dinner and even asked me to take the tag off to put on right away. Made me so happy seeing him enjoy it so much.
I also got The Shippmate his 3rd wedding ring. And yes, when you’ve lost two already, the ring might come from Rue 21 and be less than $2 and have skulls on it.
After all the shopping, I made it home just in time to get my babes ready for our family pool trip!
We had made plans to do an evening swim with Grammy, Pa, Bailey and the boys, and it was such a great time. I picked up some pool balls at Target for the kids that we all enjoyed, and it was just a great evening to spend in the pool— playing and swimming and floating and on the slides!
I almost didn’t blog all this out, because I was too tired from all the goodness, but I’m so glad I took the time to do so, because I want to have my June 9th Birthday documented to remember always.
A clean house.
A magical movie date with my girl.
A shopping trip and lunch to myself while my babes are with the Grammy they love and adore.
Several sweet friend chats via Voxer all day long.
An evening swim with my family I love so much.
And last, but absolutely not least, my favorite salad and pizza with my loves.
And one more last on top of that last– taking the time to write it all out like my heart so appreciates.
It really couldn’t have been a better day.
Happy Accidental Birthday to Me!
Our first trip to the pool felt like something that need to be overdocumented, so here ya go.
I did it.
Another year of blogging EVERYDAY IN MAY.
This year has without a doubt been the hardest.
The million kids gig made it no easy feat.
And yet, despite being so terribly inconvenient, it has felt so very necessary. I feel so very called to write. It’s not something I have to force or make happen– it’s something that extends from me as natural as breathing. For as long as I can remember, I have been a lover of words. Reading them, yes. Writing them, yes. Speaking them, yes.
In this 5th year of EVERYDAY IN MAY, I have felt a rhythm come with writing daily that makes me so confident that one day I will write a book.
It’s difficult to explain, but it’s an urging and a need deep inside of me.
More than I want to write a book, I just know I need to.
I actually have been both relieved and disappointed several times today realizing it’s the end of EVERYDAY IN MAY.
Relieved, because I want to sleep again.
It seems the only time I have to write is after everyone is in bed and things are put up and organized and suitable for my writing conditions, so thus many, many blogs this year started well after midnight.
(I really would ADORE an office. With windows. I already have a million and two things I would put in there to decorate and inspire me. Especially my “Thank you for being obedient to write” sign from my dear friend Courtney. I have that out in my living room– which is where I blog– and look to it often, Court. It still means the world to me.)
Anyway, starting a blog at midnight has meant most of my blogs this month were just recaps of our day.
Which highly annoys me.
I had important things I wanted to share.
Like how on Mother’s Day when I was feeling sorry for myself and realized with a friend that the reason Mother’s Day is always going to be so dreadful is because the stakes are too high and the role we live and breathe as Moms is too big for anyone to accurately and fully celebrate. And how it just feels like a slap in the face to get some basil in a huge pot when it’s like DO YOU REALIZE I GAVE BIRTH TO A 10 POUND 14 OUNCE SMITH SHIPPY AND HAVE BREASTFED HIM NONSTOP FOR THE LAST NINE MONTHS????? Basil!!?!! I even love basil, but it can’t measure up to the magnitude of love and honor I feel to be Mom to these million precious babies of mine. Well, right smack in the middle of that whole rant (that I’m sure y’all remember) I had this thought.
I text my friend Ashleigh:
I wonder if Jesus feels this disappointed like we do every Christmas.
And she came back with:
Or Easter for that matter. I freaking died on a cross for you people and you’re hunting eggs!!
And it kind of broke my heart to think how much bigger His sacrifice and love and “days” in Easter and Christmas are, and how I’ve been so guilty of missing the opportunity to love Him and celebrate Him like He deserves.
Yep. Had a whole post on that I wanted to write.
Speaking of Jesus, I also wanted to write a whole blog about church planting.
And how it’s so damn hard.
(Don’t worry– we do church in a bar. I’m allowed to say damn when talking about it.)
But seriously— I had no idea. I just blindly and rose colored glasses thought:
MY BROTHER AND MY SHIPPMATE DOING CHURCH TOGETHER!!!
I’ve known that was going to happen since the day I met Ryan!
(Which is really true. THE day we met, God put on my heart one day I would be at a church under the leadership of Atticus as a teaching pastor and Ryan as a worship pastor. Complete true story I can show you in Future Husband Notebook #8 of 12.)
Anyway, when I took what God put on my heart and daydreamed it out in my own world and terms, it was in a big mega church with lots of people in cool hipster clothes trying to be ironic and humble about how stylish we all were.
There were LOTS of programs and I got to speak weekly to women and teach and lead them while always looking really calmly beautiful while my million kids attended Gospel Kids in a building with tunnels and slides and ball pits.
So yeah, it was basically nothing like what church planting really is.
Since this is just me describing what my blog would have been about instead of the actual blog about it, I won’t go into all the details, but y’all— church planting is so hard for me.
I don’t like that we meet in a bar. I DO NOT LIKE BARS. Every week it stresses me out how it smells in there. I’ve never in my life drank nor hung out in bars, and other than briefly thinking they were cool when I loved Coyote Ugly as a middle school girl, I basically am kind of scared of bars!
And here I am attending a church in one.
Not just that, but I desperately miss churchy people.
The ones that are in church on Sunday morning in their nice clothes sitting in pews not bar stools and using catchphrases like “DTR” and “bless your heart” and “quiet time” and using Bible highlighters and talking about being excited to see Chris Tomlin in concert Saturday before then heading out for a mission trip in another country.
I AM THE GIRL THAT EATS THAT ALL UP.
And that is nothing– I mean NOTHING of what church planting is.
Church planting is like being on a mission trip but without the corny songs and matching t-shirts and you don’t get to be brave and bold for a week and then come home and return to your normal lives, but rather you’re ALWAYS on the mission trip.
Sometimes (pre-church planting) church kind of could almost feel like a country club.
And here’s the part I was going to admit in the blog I wanted to write about it all—
Lean in close, so no one will hear us.
I miss that.
And in the same breath I’m disgusted with myself for being so off in what church and sharing Jesus is supposed to be.
And if I was writing an actual blog about it I would list all of the things Pillar Church does well, because oh man– there are so many things. Especially and namely the teaching, preaching, and singing.
Oh! And another blog I wanted to write was all about women and our body image after having babies.
But someone’s probably already written that one, and I might even still write it myself because I really do have so many thoughts on body image and postpartum and being beautiful and surgeries and “mommy makeovers.”
I also had so many important thoughts to share on my theory about girls and their obsession with Snapchat animal faces.
I’m only half kidding about that.
I had secret behind the scenes stories I wanted to tell from being on Jimmy Kimmel with my Superstar Smith Bomb.
I wanted to address my thoughts on Internet privacy.
I wanted to talk about how I’ve grown in what I can ignore and laugh off here in the world wide web of blogging and the Internet and crazy commenters.
So many thoughts I want to share and discuss.
And yet, they didn’t make it here on The Dyer-E.
But by golly— you know you loved reading every last detail of my carpet shopping experience, Catharine Zeller.
Despite missing some big topics I wanted to write about, it’s still the 31st of May, and I will go to sleep tonight knowing I set a goal to blog EVERYDAY IN MAY….
and I did it.
And it may seem like a small thing to some, but to me, it’s kind of big.
As I sat down to write this very post tonight, it was with a prayer, a Chris Tomlin song (#clichechristiangirl all day everyday, baby) and some tears.
The prayer thanking Jesus for giving me the ability to write and the voice to do so here on my little sacred (and painfully outdated) place of the Internet I like to call My Dyer-e.
The Chris Tomlin song, because certain songs– tonight Good Good Father– prepare my heart for writing.
And some tears, because this blog is so wildly important to me.
That’s scary and bold to say, but I mean it.
I fully realize it’s more important to me than anyone else.
Every May Day I think maybe someone will send me May Day flowers to commemorate their excitement for the start of this 5 year tradition.
And no one ever does.
And I don’t think a May 31st has happened in 5 years without me kind of looking around for a crowd cheering at the finish line.
The finish line that I simultaneously feel like I’m sprinting and limping across from a too busy of May with a million kids and a neglected kitchen, and yet– a heart so dang content that I made it.
But every May 31st, there is no one.
My Shippmate is normally annoyed with the time commitment it has taken by this point, not to mention a good two weeks behind on reading all my words.
I think the EVERYDAY part of EVERYDAY IN MAY annually stresses my mom out, as I’ve forever been a little too much for her “less is more” life mantra.
(and even so, she reads every one and almost always comments, too)
(which I greatly love and appreciate always)
This year, it was somewhere around the 13th of May that June started “blogging” on her own laptop to be like Mommy, so I found this new word in her vocabulary and play as a high five of support from her.
I must admit, so many of you leave me the best of comments. And I’m so sadly behind on replies. I just told Ryan at dinner tonight that “reply to all nice things people wrote and posted when Smith was on JK” has been on to-do lists of mine for months and it keeps not happening. Not to mention so many blog comments that I LOVE SO SO SO much…. and then don’t get them replied to. Please know that I read every single comment and appreciate that kind of word support more than you know! If “commenting on things I write” was a love language, it would be one of mine for sure, and I love you all for being the best — even when my replies are few.
But really, other than June “blogging” and all of the comments I adore– for the most part, as May 31st comes and goes, there is no crowd at the finish line.
It’s like I ran a whole half marathon and no one was at the end with oranges and applause and a medal to present me for my sweat and blood and hard work.
But here’s the thing.
The very, very surprising thing for a person like me that is a firstborn in every way possible and very much driven by approval and applause of those around me…
It doesn’t take anything away from the joy in my heart.
It’s the craziest thing, but quietly finishing the race with no one around to care– it leaves so much of the joy… the feeling of completion… the content in my heart… the celebration of a job well done…
It’s all for me.
I get to take it in and sit with it.
Here in my quiet living room with my tea and oils burning– I get to just cry.
Not tears of sadness because I’m alone at the finish line.
On the contrary!
Tears that mean I did it. Even with no one around to notice or care— ESPECIALLY with no one around to notice or care– I did it.
Not because someone was cheering me on.
Not because there was any prize at the end of EVERYDAY IN MAY.
Not because someone told me I had to.
Not even because people were depending on me.
I did it for me.
I did it because something in my soul thirsts to write and starves for words to meet opportunity on the keyboard to become a blog here in My Dyer-E.
I don’t just WANT to write, but rather I NEED to write.
There is life in each word I type and each story I tell, and for five consecutive years I’ve found a way to prioritize (sometimes– okay often times– at the expense of my kitchen activity) in order to make words meet the blog EVERYDAY IN MAY.
For that, I am so proud.
And tonight– alone in my living room— I celebrate.
A goal met. A job well done. Another EVERYDAY IN MAY complete.
Happy Memorial Day and a heartfelt thank you to all those— past and present– who have served our country.
I don’t appreciate you or think of you all enough, but I sincerely mean it when I say thank you for all you do so people like me can live in this great nation.
This wasn’t my favorite Memorial Day Weekend ever, as things were less than harmonious in my home (just keeping it real) but everyone is better and on the same page again, and HALLELUJAH because I do not love life as much when the love of my life and I aren’t in our zone and being Shippmatey lovey dovey.
You know you love someone when everything feels a little off when you’re not in the groove together.
That and I think I’m getting sick!
Which I’ve been so blissfully NOT sick for so long now and fears and memories from The Winter of Mono and Sick are haunting me as I hope this is just allergies to the max or something.
And yes, I’m fully regret not re-ordering Thieves when I ran out two weeks ago!
Snake oils for President!
I opened my computer on the couch and ACTUALLY fell asleep logging in.
I don’t know if it’s the million kids thing or what, but EVERYDAY IN MAY is killing me this year.
I’m so tired.
I want to write about important things– as in I have a LIST of 4 specific important blogs I wanted to write this month– and not one of them happened.
I think part of it is I’m constantly doing fun and busy things with all my kids and family and I just have no down time to blog.
Until 11:35 at night, and I’m so so so tired.
I want to tell stories from our day and explain things, but instead it’s just another post to say I’m too exhausted to post.
I’m sorry I’m a crappy blogger as of late.
I have so many things I want to say.
And books I want to read.
And text messages I need to reply to. I AM SO BEHIND. I am not ignoring anyone but I am failing to keep up with it all right now.
I need more hours in my day!
And on that note I have to sleep.
Good night, Moon.
I’m not convinced I’m not sleeping now, so yeah.
Also I’m sure it’s my very, very tired state, but I’m also overly emotional about how much I love my kids right now and cried after I tucked them in because I miss them.
That’s kind of strange, I’m sure, but if you knew how awesome and sweet and hilarious and fun and precious my kids are, it would probably make sense.
I love them so.
Don’t miss the way Smith is being such good listener to his teacher (Grammy!)— his little face melts me. As does June’s whole look.
Gah, they’re the best.
I am ACTUALLY not writing tonight, but just throwing these pics on here because my eyes are a miserable kind of exhausted.
I cannot function on 5 hours of sleep.
Like CANNOT function.
I was irritable and annoyed and emotional and rude and frustrated and short and all gross feeling all day.
Sometimes people ask me how I’m so happy and enjoy staying home with my million kids.
I now have an answer.
In two words.
SLEEP. I do it. EVERY night I get a GOOD amount of sleep.
IT IS IMPERATIVE FOR MY FAMILY AND THE WELL BEING OF THOSE AROUND ME.
I do NOT know how moms go without sleep.
You all are amazing.
I am not.
I have to sleep.
And despite seeing a newborn baby on Facebook and wanting to have another one myself, I half wonder if I should stop at 2 perfect sleepers and call it good.
I’m kidding, but I just do not know how I will adjust if 2 kids have been amazing sleepers and then the 3rd ruins what I’ve got going here.
I’ll probably still love ’em but I can’t be sure.
What I can be sure of is June and Smith are champs and I adore them for a million and two reasons, but today especially for the fact they daily give me the gift of SLEEP.
And now, I’m going to go sleep myself.
PS: I love Run for Rachel and the family that does this run every year for their sister, Rachel. We walk in memory of Nanny, and it’s such a special tradition that I really do love. Even without all my sleep lol.
I’m too tired for words, but wanted to include some pictures from our day.
I cannot tell you how happy it makes me that Grammy is out of school and we have all day adventures that kind of feel like mini-vacations with everyone.
We woke up this morning kind of late (as in we missed a 9:30 phone call because we were all still asleep lol) but then we woke up and hit the ground running.
Breakfast. Dressed and Powell Gardens ready. Stop at Walgreens for sunscreen and hair ties.
And then we trekked all through the Gardens to find Roman, Ian, and Gram.
I really chose the wrong day to forget my FitBit because I would have loved to have known all the steps that happened today.
We had the best of times with the dinosaurs and flowers and trolley and all natural no sugar popsicles that Smith Bomb even got to try!
Such a full, wonderful day.
We didn’t leave until almost 4pm, and because my kids are a rare breed they can be tired but not crash in the car which I actually LOVE because they made it the entire 25 min drive home so they could nap in their own beds while I got stuff done!
They’re the best kids in the world, and I’m so thankful for all the ways they spoil me.
Tonight was the first night all week we were all 4 home and under this blessed roof (which never happens that we’re gone or separated that much) and we were all so excited to be together.
In fact, The Shipper sent me this text which I loved very much while I was at Powell Gardens:
And I love that I can never screenshot an entire text convo of ours for the blog because there are always inappropriate things. Bahahhhaha— I love us.
Anyway, so we completely embraced a night of relaxing and loving on each other with take out and Toy Story 3 and homemade chocolate chip cookies by The Cookie Maker aka my Shippmate.
I know I said I was too tired for words— and I am, but here I am still typing, and I have to just say:
TOY STORY 3 KILLS ME.
Like horrible, ugly sobbing cry kills me.
I am NOT someone who says “oh I wish they’d stop growing up” or “I hate how big June/Smith looks” etc– I see and hear moms say that often, and I do NOT think they’re wrong for saying it, it’s just oddly something that doesn’t get me sad very often.
I don’t know if it’s because I feel like they ARE still “little” or because I’ve loved every stage or what, but it’s just not something I resonate with on any kind of regular basis.
UNTIL I AM WATCHING ANDY GO TO COLLEGE AND DONATE ALL HIS TOYS TO BONNIE!
Why did he have to grow up!?!??
I mean, I just hold June and cry like a baby while she no lie says:
“It’s okay, Mommy. Growing is NOT a sad thing.”
And then because she’s such a pistol and loves being ornery she slyly says-
“Sorry- I’m growing up and I’m going to move out in a few days!”
Anyway, I just can’t even handle that movie, but yet I love it so much.
Tonight, Smith was already in bed, and June, Ry, and I were snuggled on the couch for the end.
June and Ryan are not even watching the movie because they’re watching ME sob like a crazy fool.
Motherhood. It’s a trip, y’all.
BUT as Ryan pointed out, June is NOT growing up anytime soon, and I’m going to just not let myself think such scary thoughts like COLLEGE AND MARRIAGE AND MOVING OUT– OH MY.
And June really tried to milk my tears and sentimental heart and convince me to take her to bed, but I told her it’s still EVERYDAY IN MAY and I’m so tired and have to blog but that June is coming!
I actually would do the whole bedtime routine even with EVERYDAY IN MAY and needing to blog, because as you have read, we sleep in when I stay up late and blog (MY KIDS ARE SUPPORTIVE OF EVERYDAY IN MAY- bless them) buuuuuut tomorrow is the one day of the year we get up SUPER early to go participate in Run For Rachel in memory of our Nanny.
And I’m talking we’ll be up a good THREE hours earlier than our norm.
I’m kind of dying just thinking of it, but every year it’s worth it.
(unless it rains, so please no rain lol)
Okay, here are some pictures of our very eventful and active day that my heart so adored!
(or to quote The Shippmate: “fun things you do with your parents instead of going to the grocery store…. again” —– aaaaagh, yet another page in the book for I’m A Better Mom Than Housewife)
Oh, and these pics aren’t in order which slightly stresses me out, but I need my beauty sleep, so I’m throwing that OCD obsession OFF THE BEAM.
But I hope you enjoy these fun pics. It was such a great day with people I love.
I never knew it until I saw Jurassic World last summer while pregnant with The Captain (aka Smithers) but I kind of have a thing for dinosaurs.
OH! And another whole post on this coming soon, but I LOVE MY DOUBLE STROLLER SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT THING MADE ME EVERY KIND OF HAPPY TODAY PUSHING ALL MY MILLION KIDS AROUND IN IT.
LOVE LOVE LOVE. DOUBLE THE LOVE.
Come with me on a haircut journey.
It started with this.
But so dang tired of ALL. THAT. HAIR.
With summer approaching, I KNEW my times of spending an hour plus to blow dry it only to get to an event and sweat myself away and then break 2 hair ties and have to try to pin it up with a pencil were coming.
So it’s like– “cool that I have thick great hair” but not really in the summer because I can never wear it down and pretty.
In fact, earlier this spring, I was ELATED to be going to a Royals game when it was cool out because it was THE ONE time I might have pretty hair at a Royals game, because hair down while watching my boys in blue is just never in the cards for me.
Anyway, I thought about it and then all of the sudden was driving to my hair cut — still a little unsure what I was going to do but with this perfect Julianne Hough picture in my mind that I knew I would leave disappointed if I didn’t go for.
And I had some great and brave shorter hair enthusiast friends cheering me on via Voxer.
As well as a snap from Ryan’s Aunt Janet that I appreciated. I’m not for sure if it was Janet or Gracie giving the advice, but they both have good hair, so either way it was cool:
OH, and this was everything, Sammi:
When I had mono, I would DREAD washing my hair only because I literally didn’t feel like I had the energy to do my hair, and for those two looooooong months I often daydreamed of someone coming to my house just to blowdry my hair for me lol.
Anyway, all of you that joined my convo on FB and Snapchat– and my text and Vox friends, too– I appreciated all of you.
Before I knew what was happening, this was going down:
I really cannot describe how wonderfully fresh and light and airy and perfect cutting off that much hair made me feel!
Not to mention, my stylist, Vicky, is just THE best.
I trust her so much that deciding kind of spur of the moment to go for it was no big deal with her in charge– and her so enthusiastically on board with me!
I feel like you can see in my face how elated I am to be holding that hair in my hands instead of from my head anymore:
Hahahahahha– that hair is HEAVY.
I really cannot be expected to carry all of that hair around AND a Smith Shippy, too.
Y’all are the best, and sure know how a girl that went for A Mom Cut that hopefully doesn’t look like A Mom Cut (GOD BLESS YOU MRS. HANSEN) (yes, I know that’s not your name anymore, but I still can’t call you Lindsey LOL) feel like a million bucks.
Also, The Shipper has been quite a fan, so that’s cool.
And it took me about a fourth of the time to just WASH MY HAIR alone.
I haven’t for real styled it myself yet, but I did get of the shower, throw some gel in it, and rock it curly AND LOVED EVERY LAST BIT OF THAT.
Including the start to finish SIX MINUTES IT TOOK ME TO DO IT.
I really think it’s going to be perfect summer style for me with so many options– some fancier and more stylish and others very, very practical and perfect for my life with a million kids in the Missouri heat of a summer.
I wanted to conclude this journey with this picture, because it’s me and June Facetiming my mom to show her my hair.
June LOVED it. It excited her to no end that it was “very SIMILAR to my hair, Mommy.”
(yes, my 2 year old is now using the word similar and emphasizes it every time she says it because a lady in Target heard her say it and went on and on about how smart she is lol so she is basically now showing off when she implements it into sentences, but I’m too proud of her to care)
She was only mildly disappointed I didn’t come home with blonde hair like hers.
And my mom loved it, too, which is also very important to me.
For two reasons.
1. She’s my mom.
2. She actually has amazing taste in knowing what looks good on people.
3. She doesn’t lie to me lol.
It’s been a win of a haircut all around, and I’m so very excited about donating all of that heavy hair to someone who can use it and appreciate it!
PS: I should really see about sending some extra hair ties with the hair, because Lord knows that ponytail will be breaking someone else’s hair ties now instead of mine.