Monthly Archives: September 2014

Weekend Notes

Maggie's Colors

Hello early Monday!

I am a known night owl – enough so that my son called me “nocturnal” on Saturday. Ha! Now that I get up early and get two kids ready for school AND myself ready for work on Monday mornings and arrive there by 7:45am, I am really kind of wishing I liked coffee. Buuuuut, I don’t.

So, I thought I would start doing a weekend recap each Monday morning after the weekend. There is a two-part reason for this:

1) I can look at it all on Monday morning and remember my family & friend-filled weekends and be happy to start another week, that will ultimately lead to another glorious weekend. It will make Monday not feel quite so torturous.

2) It will force me to stay off of social media on the weekends when my family is all together and just do one big post to share later. I love taking photos, but sitting down after it’s all over to share anything of importance or talk about something I enjoyed seems easier than during our precious few 48 hours together.

Whether the Monday posts are read by family and friends wanting to catch up on our lives or whoever feels the need to know what we did that weekend in Nashville or wherever we landed that particular weekend, so be it. I’ll be documenting it for myself, mainly. The days are long, but the years are short – you know the saying. I’m hoping that by documenting my life as a wife and a mother, the years won’t seem so short. They will seem full and satisfying as I reflect and also hold as a memory keeper later on. 

Here were my highlights of the weekend:

Relaxing with my family. We had NO plans except for Saturday night and I relaxed to the fullest. I posted the crayon photo above on Instagram on Saturday as a memory of one of my favorite things that Magdalen does. She loves to bring a coloring book and her crayons into our bedroom in the early weekend mornings while I’m still sleeping and lay on the rug at the foot of our bed and just quietly color. One time I asked her why she didn’t go downstairs where there is real (softer) carpet to lay on and she said in her sweet, staccato voice, “Because I just want to be near you, Mommy.”

Heart. Melted. Motherhood doesn’t get much better than that, friends. :)

Saturday night is a post unto itself, but it was definitely a highlight. Maybe even a Life Highlight. Bucket List – Check!

Chad played guitar and sang with Katie Armiger while she performed on the Grand Ole Opry stage. I never dreamed my husband would be playing on such a legendary stage as that one. It’s just not something you ever really entertain in your mind. I’m the type of person that takes things as they come and lets myself be surprised and this was a perfect surprise! I’ll do a more thorough post on that performance tomorrow with a couple of fun photos of the kids at the Opry and hanging out at our in-the-works home studio afterward.

Yesterday was a partial outdoor kind of day. The weather here was GORGEOUS. Deep down inside, I am mourning summertime leaving us, but I do enjoy the fall temperatures, as well.

It felt pretty fall-ish with Maddox listening to the Titans game on the radio while we were outside and then watching the (sad) second half on TV. Poor guy. Diehard Titans fan right here, people. He enjoyed relaxing in the studio with the screen doors letting the breeze in while he listened to the sadness of his team. 😉

And even though I said that I am mourning the goodbye of summer…..

…guess who swam her little heart out yesterday? Yep. That Maggie. The water was a balmy (freezing) 72 degrees, but she just jumped right in and never complained. That is one little fish.

And then she got out and was “Brrrrrrrring”, so she laid on her daddy’s chest to get warm and played it up with the full drama that she knows how to do. Our last summer swimming hurrah, perhaps? Say it isn’t so!

Until I found her a nice sunny spot to bask in, where she then promptly told me that she wanted to have a picnic right there on her pink towel. Ha! I wanted so desperately to spend a little one-on-one time with her now that the boys were having football time together that I said to stay put where she was and I would bring her a little picnic. I found some brownies left over from the night before and washed up some strawberries and brought them out to her on two plates for us to picnic together. The grin on her face as I was walking out to her was priceless.

I think she is so used to me being in a hurry that she didn’t really think it would happen. That is sad for me to admit, but true in real life. She sat and told me so many random things and talked about the animals we saw outside and what’s happening at school. I was pretty silent the entire time, just letting her chatter. Sometimes I forget how much she has to say that she doesn’t get the chance to share.

Note to self: Make more time for moments like these. And stick to it. Time is a-wastin’.

I hope your weekends were excellent and full of the simple pleasures of life. Even among the huge and/or really cool things we sometimes get to do, I would not trade these smaller moments as a family for those. I promise, I’m not just saying that. Sometimes, in the middle of a moment with my kids, I realize that it is about to be gone and it hurts inside when I feel that. I’m trying to make more of a point to ENJOY the moment instead of feeling sad about it being over while it’s still happening. Pretty crazy. Maybe it’s a common parental struggle? I don’t know.

All I know is this weekend was relaxing, refreshing and I’m ready for the week ahead! Enjoy your Monday. :)

xo, Amanda


When The Tears Roll

(source unknown)

What a strong feeling the above photo sends through me as an American. These symbols of strength, hard work, and dreams for our lives make my heart swell with pride in our country, solidarity with other Americans, thankfulness for life here in a FREE country. In simple terms: We are lucky. No matter what did happen, we are still lucky as a whole.

Today I woke up just like any other day, got my kids ready for school and scurried them out the door.  Once I was all alone in the house, in the quiet, I sat down like I do every other year since 2001 and thought about this day. This anniversary of tragedy. The memories that I can’t erase. The grief for people I’ve never known.

And I wondered….will there ever be another September Eleventh in the history of my life that my heart will not clench, my throat will not tighten and the tears will not squeeze out from behind my eyelids and roll down my cheeks? Will the memories ever not be quite as sharp? Will the ache in my heart and stomach start to dull over the years?

It’s been thirteen years! Thirteen years and the pain still remains the same. The shock is still there. The tragedies haven’t changed and they won’t.

But you know what? I’m thankful for a heart that hurts when I remember it all. It means my heart is delicate still and kind and empathetic. And when I see so many people that also feel the same, it gives me hope for this world. Because it means there are so many more people that also have delicate, kind and empathetic hearts. That is our hope in this situation. The hope that love is still out there and winning over the hate.

It’s so hard to explain to my kids without bawling my eyes out what exactly this day means to me. I could show them the graphicness of it all, but they are not ready for that. I don’t know if anyone is ever ready for that, come to think of it. How do I portray the emotion and complexity and magnitude of what happened on this day before they were born? How do I explain to them that moment in my life that I first felt true terror and horror? I think I should consider myself lucky to have gone 23 years before I first felt terror like that and I hope they have to go much, much longer before they ever encounter it. But we don’t know the future.

I want them to understand it as fully as they can so they can learn softness and not callousness, so that they can learn heroism over cowardice, so that they can learn understanding over dismissiveness. My number one hope in all of this life is to teach them to be like Jesus. Loving and holding on to tolerance towards those that are not like them and kindness in the face of harshness and hurting when someone else is hurting.

I watched this clip from Jon Stewart, filmed just nine days after 9.11.01, and it sums up everything felt in my heart about the attacks on our country. And they are so poignant and heartfelt, I feel like I can just leave you with his words here. (Click the link below.) Thank you for reading.

Jon Stewart 9.11 monologue

And if that’s not enough to restore your faith in the world – view these photos of what happened around the world on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.


xo, Amanda

(If you are curious to read my 10 year anniversary post on where I was on 9.11.01, click here.)