For the most part I am. Malleable I mean. But occasionally even I, multi-tasker extraordinaire find I’m being stretched too thin. Oh no, I’ve got a gaping hole over my emotions! Yikes, there’s a slight tear in my resolve!

Yes, sometimes I find I’ve turned into a figurative doughy mess and I feel too stretched out to be able to snap back into shape. Aggravating that precarious state of mind is the fact that I know (somewhere within that miscroscopic logical part of my brain) that nothing is wrong. So bawling my eyes out when I know there’s no good reason for it just makes me feel like more of a failure.

The sad thing about this? It’s a cycle. I’m chuggin’ along feeling great, taking on more and more and suddenly the mental load I’ve only added the tiniest bits and piece too, becomes more than I can bear. I crash and I burn and I cry and I get mad at the world and grumpy with people in general. Then ticked at myself for doing so. Then I cry some more. I just can’t win! I am simply never going to live up to the woman I think I should be. Often this is a good thing, a high motivator. But it eventually always brings me to a complete stop.

Then, after the anger and the crying and the spark of hope that starts my engine chugging again, I find further healing in a bowl of ice cream and a good romance movie. Shortly after that, I realize once again that I can conquer the world…
The Chicken smells like fried stairwell. That’s what I told my husband when I walked in our apartment door last night. Obviously I’d had another long day. As we snuggled under the covers last night I said, “I think I have a mid-life crisis pretty much every month.”

He snickered, knowing exactly what I meant by that. But really, I’m often in a state of transience when it comes to feeling satisfied with my progress in life. Sure it’s ok to cut yourself some slack once in a while but it’s also important to keep striving to be better. I can rarely find a balance between the two. So I got to thinking about my life and where I am as opposed to where I thought I would be years ago. It reminded me of a collage I made with some church leaders and youth 10 years ago. We got together one night and cut loads of magazines apart, gluing pictures or sayings about our dreams onto poster board.

I dug it out of my hope chest today. I don’t know how it didn’t get thrown away years ago but I’m so glad it didn’t. On the back of the poster board is written ‘May 12, 1998 To compare w/life in 2008′
Well here it is, over 10 years later.

I evidently wanted a cat and dog (still do) and I was going to be a WNBA star. Oh how many hours I spent dreaming of playing professional basketball. Yeah, didn't happen. But I did have fun playing in High School.

 I also put a quote on there about controlling your passions. This was a big one for me - A fiery red head at heart. Tempers run hot in my family and my thoughts as I pasted this phrase on were that I never wanted to lose control of my temper again. (HA! Still trying)

 Funny how the smallest picture on the collage made my heart stop for a moment. Everything that I am now, hinges on a picture of two little rings. Ok, not those rings specifically and not even on our wedding rings specifically, but on our union. I am a wife, I always wanted to be a wife. I am a mother. I didn’t always want to be a mother.

To be perfectly and embarrassingly honest here I was terrified of having to…um…do what it is you have to do to become a mother for a VERY long time. Plus I was never one of those teenage girls who loved kids. I babysat on occasion but I rarely enjoyed it. Babies were messy, slobbery, snotty little things and kids were too annoying, demanding and silly. What a brat I was, huh?
But now motherhood defines me. I mean, I try not to let it completely over run my life. I make sure I have hobbies and spend time to myself. But it defines me in that nothing I do is solely about me anymore. Every decision I make affects my husband and 3 little people who are eager to follow my example. Sometimes that is stressful, mostly though it’s helpful. It’s helped me change for the better. 

Once I heard my 3 year old say Damn! for the first time, I knew right then I had to be better at watching my mouth when I hurt myself. Once I saw my 2 year old trying to drink out of the milk carton I realized that I’d better stop drinking out of the milk carton.

Children make you see the worst in yourself without making you feel like you’re a bad person. You see them following your bad example and you not only don’t get discouraged in yourself, you know without a doubt that you can be better and that you must be better, just for them. It’s win win. They better you, you better them. Without even realizing it sometimes.

In spite of the many dreams I’ve had to cast aside, in spite of how mentally and physically draining child rearing can be, in spite of how horrible I sometimes think I am as a mother, I know that this is exactly where I want to be right now. I have become and am still becoming the person I always wanted to be. One who is improving herself each day and sharing her love of life with people she loves more than life. What could possibly be better than that?
Written by my grandmother in Houston. I found it interesting and thought I would share it with you. And when they get my Aunt’s power back on I should have some pictures to share as well.

It was Thursday afternoon on Sept. 11, 2008 as we sat awaiting the arrival of Ike. It seemed as if the entire city and surrounding suburbs were entirely shut down after residents had cleaned the grocery store shelves of all food and water, and drained the gas stations dry. I wonder why people wait until the last minute to make their preparations. It was kind of eerie with the city shut down and now it was just a matter of waiting. Hurricanes can be so boring while we keep waiting and watching, waiting and watching, while they speed up and slow down, weaken and strengthen, veer right and loop left. Of course I thought up until the last minute that Ike would turn. Even though I was prepared, I never thought it would ever come in here. Wrong!!
Finally by Friday evening it was very apparent from the news reports that it was not going to turn. A widow lady who lives in a mobile home came to shelter with us, along with her six cats and a parrot. The parrot went to your Aunt’s house! We watched it coming in on T.V. The extent of it was the most surprising. It practically filled the Gulf of Mexico. We have friends in southeast Texas in Lake Jackson and friends in northeast Texas in Orange and the storm raged the entire state. We boarded up the three big windows in the front and put everything moveable in the garage, had our food and water in. We watched the news until about 10:00 p.m. and then went to bed. I couldn’t sleep so got up again and stayed up until a little after midnight. Shortly after I went back to bed was the end of our power for the next 72 hours. It was soooo dark with no lights on in any house or any street lights, or moon or anything. We had to use a flashlight to find our way to the bathroom.
I can’t say that the noise of the wind was that horrible. I have heard worse in Blackfoot, Idaho many nights when I was sure the house would blow off its foundation. So the noise wasn’t too bad. I slept through it until about 4:00 a.m.
Our next door neighbor, who had a tree go through his roof said that at one point he looked out the window and one of the huge pine trees in our front yard was swaying down to the ground clear across the street and the next time he looked it was swaying clear into his yard. He quit looking after that!
I got up at dawn and looked out. Wow, it was unbelievable. The hurricane was still going on. Leaves were smacked all over my windows. You couldn’t even see the back yard. It was covered with limbs, branches, leaves and debris of every kind. And the wind blowing the rain was a sight to behold.
Later it died down and we went out to survey the damage. Our house was not damaged at all and neither was your Aunt’s. However, the neighborhood looked like a war zone. There were limbs and branches everywhere. Huge, huge oak trees were down everywhere. They had crashed into houses, blocked roads, torn up sidewalks and driveways with their roots as they went down. Power and phone lines were dangling everywhere. About 40-50% of the fences were down. It was just an incredible sight.
What amazed me so much was the fact that, even as it was pouring rain people were already out starting to clean up. I felt that it was rather dangerous as limbs were still falling from trees, but there they all were. Everyone seemed to pitch in to help everyone else out. There was a huge tree blocking the road just three houses from us and our next door neighbor was right in the middle of it with his chain saw.
We hooked up an old land line phone and for a time had telephone service, but it eventually went out too and so we had no land line, no cell phone, no wireless internet, and no power. The power of course was the worst. The first night it was rather hot and humid, but early in the morning a big thunder and lightning storm came in and really cooled things off, so that helped considerably with the lack of fans or a/c. However, it also caused more flooding now that Ike had already begun. Some people had generators, but very few, and the ones that did kept running out of gas. Those generators use an amazing amount of gas. On Monday a couple of gas stations opened up and the lines were just humongous. About a three hour wait. And of course they had to get the police out there to keep everyone in line. We can’t manage ourselves, you know.
We did lose all of our food in our freezer and fridge. I said I would definitely get a generator after this, but then after seeing how much gas they take and how difficult it is to get gas I may reconsider. It was quite eerie around here during the nights without any lights. And eerie to drive past totally empty shopping centers.
The schools are closed all week. Some sustained damage, but mostly it is the fact that we have no gas for the school buses.
The Bush Intercontinental Airport sustained substantial damage. I think they are resuming flights on Wednesday. Hobby Airport also had damage. So we were pretty isolated. We couldn’t fly out, couldn’t drive out, and couldn’t call out. Your Uncle’s mom passed away and he had to drive the five hours to Dallas in order to get a flight out to California.
We were fortunate in that we did get our power back on in 72 hours. Also we did not lose our water and some of our friends did. Your Aunt who lives just two blocks from us, is still without power at this time. I don’t know why they can’t get to her.
All in all we were very blessed. It has been a tremendous clean up job, and lots of lessons learned, but none of us was hurt and no damage done to the house. The Lord blessed us greatly, and we pray for those who lost their homes or lives. We are grateful to all of you who offered prayers in our behalf.