Joyful September ~ Day 19

I get to reveal my big secret a day early….although if you follow me on Instagram it isn’t that big of a secret I guess.

I just haven’t been willing to talk too much about it on social media….

But today it all became final…


Our new home!

It was a short sale so it has taken a few months to get everything accomplished.  But…as short sales go…our was actually a pretty fast short sale.  We first saw the house at the end of June and made our offer at the beginning of July.  Then we had to wait 20 business days to hear from the seller’s bank.  That took us into August.  We signed on Wednesday.  The sellers signed today.  Originally we were told they needed through the end of today to finish moving out.  But, this afternoon our relator texted me and said the sellers were out and she would meet me at the house to give me the keys!  So, this afternoon she and I walked through the house, chatting and discussing plans.  (Our realtor is a long time family friend.)

To walk in and to know it is ours and to start making real plans felt so amazing!

It will be a few weeks before we move in.  We need carpet and paint and some minor kitchen renovations.  But our goal is mid-October.

We are all so happy and so excited!  I cannot wait to share before and after photos as we work on the house.  This house is an old house in a lovely, established neighborhood.  It has character and potential and all the things I so love about older homes.  This home is 100% me and I am so in love with it and all of the potential it has.  We are going to make this house lovely again!  This first time I stepped in the house I knew it was mine….and now it is!

Joyful September ~ Day 18

There was a moment today when I felt so much joy it was hard to contain it in that moment.

We were getting ready to leave for therapy and Emory made a request.  I denied the request and gave my reason for denial.

Typically, at that point, Emory throws some sort of fit.  He pouts, argues, stomps his feet and is generally pretty crappy for a bit….until I dole out the punishment for such attitude and then he is all apologetic and begging for forgiveness because “I AM SO SORRY Mama!  I won’t EVER do it again!”  (ever again means for about 10 minutes)

But today….today he surprised me.  He simply said, “Okay mom!”  and walked off.  I was so blown away and I made a huge deal out of it.  Emory has always responded to praise more than punishment but it is hard to praise him when we so seldom see correct behavior right now.  This was my chance!  I lavished him in praise and thanked him for responding so appropriately!  I told him how happy it made me that he didn’t argue or talk back.  He was honestly beaming!

That moment carried us until almost bedtime!  He was so eager to continue to do the right thing.  Our life with Emory right now is always a tightrope.  Our moving and living situation keeps him amped up.  His stress is high.  His anxiety is high.  He is constantly in overstimulation mode.  It is exhausting for all of us.  It combines to make a moody and volatile child  who we can very rarely predict.  Asking him if he wants cereal for breakfast can result in a total meltdown.

I was so happy to have the chance to build him up yesterday….those building moments are so few right now (and I am an expert in searching and finding even the smallest building moment).


On another note….we had the VERY BEST day of school today too!  It was almost storybook perfect!  :)

Joyful September ~ Day 17

My biggest joy I will finally share on Saturday….

My other joy of the day was a moment shared between the boys.  We were driving home from the sensory gym and they were giggling about something….being silly.  Dean wanted to tell Emory a secret but it was hard because of their seats.  At one point he reached over to Emory and said, “Come here to me.”  The way they were connected in that moment….their eyes shining, laughing, and trying to get close enough to whisper a secret and hear the whisper…I felt honored to catch that fleeting moment between them as I looked up into the rearview mirror.

The boys mostly get along.  But they are brothers and there are squabbles and angry shouts of “I am not playing with him ANY MORE, EVERY AGAIN!”  But the moment I agree that they do indeed need some separation and make them be separate, well, you would think I had cut their legs off!  It is fine for them to proclaim not wanting to play with the other every again or for one to purposefully remove himself for a time.  But it is completely NOT FINE for mom to do it.

I love their growing relationship.  They know how to manipulate each other in the most subtle ways.  But their love and loyalty is fierce and strong.  They excel in opposite ways….Emory has empathy to spare and is creative.  Dean is logical and a fixer of problems.  They learn more from each other than I could ever hope to teach them!

Joyful September ~ Day 16

I have been struggling with Day 16.  I was irritable and grumpy most of the day. Carole would say that I was in my “funk”. I have been racking my brain for a moment I felt joyful.

And now, a full day later I am still coming up empty.

It kind of bothers me. I have nothing in life to complain about. We are healthy and safe. We have money in the bank. We have food and clothes. We live in a loving and supportive family. We WANT for nothing.

Some days nothing amazing or special happens….

It bothers me that when I think over my day I cannot identify a single moment of joy….or at least a moment that caught my attention.

And maybe that is the big moment of learning here. Joy isn’t only in the moments that catch our attention. Even in the dullest of days there is joy. Joy that I have enough to give to others….whether they need someone to listen or to meet a physical need. Joy that I and my children, husband, and family are healthy. Joy that when I kissed my boys goodnight they fell asleep feeling safe and loved.

There are so many thing in life that bring joy even if you don’t acknowledge them.  And maybe….those things are the ones that need to be acknowledged most. Maybe that is why there are some days when nothing in particular stands out as amazing or even good. Maybe those are the days when we need to acknowledge those things that we usually only think about when something goes horribly wrong….when something tragic happens.

So….I take back what I said at the beginning of this post. I do have something to be joyful about….my life! It may not always be perfect. It may not be exactly what I thought it always would be. But it is here and important and that is something that I am very joyful about!

Joyful September ~ Day 15

I spent several hours at my sister-friend’s house last night.  Several years ago now we decided to get together one night a month…our friend date night.  We found ourselves living in the same city again and we weren’t making the effort to spend time together.  It bothered us both so we came up with our Monday date night.  Nathan usually doesn’t have any sporting events on Monday night (although that has changed this year) so I am free to go.

In the beginning we had grand ideas of doing crafts together or working on our own projects as we chatted.  We have given that up for the most part and just sit at her table or on her sofa and talk for the hours I am there.  We catch up.  We elaborate on the daily emails we send.  We share life.

Some months it doesn’t work out because of our different schedules.  But each month we make the effort to plan our night.

I am so glad that we do because you never know where life will take you.  Her husband is a lawyer and there are no guarantees that they will always live in the Dallas area.  They will for now because they like the schools their girls are in.  I don’t see Nathan and I moving far away because I am tied to the family business and he to his job….but life has a funny way of changing in the ways you least expect.  So for now we have the opportunity and we take it.  Spending my evening away is always the highlight of my month.  It is a chance to refill my own bucket a bit.  We both deserve the time spent and the lives shared.


Joyful September ~ Day 14

I had two huge moments of joy today.

One is still not for sharing….soon though….

The other one was this morning at church.  Our Sunday School class has been together almost for a year now.  We have a great group of people.  We are all parents of young children and so we are experiencing many of the same life experiences.  This is the first time in my life I have every been a part of a group like this.  Today, all of these wonderful people, showered Nathan and I with support (relating to the other moment of joy).  I was overwhelmed…and even now when I think about it I am STILL overwhelmed.

Nathan and I are usually the helpers.  We don’t usually ask for help.  It is not something that either of us are very good at.  I think there are lots of reasons for this.

These people…OUR FRIENDS….their support and genuine care for us….true joy!