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Today was the first (half) day of school for CityGirl and BittyGirl. The perks of having three girls means that we only really have to do hardcore Back To School (BTS) shopping for CityGirl. I do get a couple new outfits for BittyGirl, but she’s pretty much set with hand-me-downs. I am SUPER stoked that the 90s have finally made a comeback. Looking through the clothes in the stores, it was like looking at the costume department for the TV show “My So-Called Life”. Lucky for me, CityGirl is VERY into comfy clothes. And if you lived through the 90s, you know darn well that it was ALL about comfort.

CityGirl picked out a cute outfit with floral print wide leg pants, a black lace-trimmed cami and a silver-gray open knit cardigan. She put it on and immediately looked much older than I would like to admit she is right now. She also got her first flannel. I almost shed some tears in the dressing room, y’all. If she wasn’t growing so fast, I’d totally buy her some Docs (or a close knockoff thereof). While trying to find her a pair of jeans to go with that flannel, we hit a major snag.

“I’m not skinny enough for skinny jeans.” Those words came out of the mouth of my intelligent, witty, beautiful and perfectly normal size 8 1/2 year old daughter.  It made my heart and my stomach both drop into my feet. I had taken a size 8 pair of skinny jeans in with us, and while they were 6 inches or more too long, they were cutting into her tiny little belly. It was ridiculous. I looked up at her and said, “No, sweetie, you’re fine, it’s these jeans that are the problem.”

“I’m not skinny enough…” Her words have been repeating themselves in my head since that day. I was always a skinny girl growing up. I remember feeling awkward and scrawny and flat chested for many years and I do NOT want this for my girls. Plenty has been written about how we should be building our daughters up with a focus on their intelligence and talents and less emphasis on their appearance. I’m not going to go into that because plenty of other people have said it before me and probably said it better than I could.

“I’m not enough…” I’ve been working on my own feelings of self worth over the past few months for personal reasons, and this experience has strengthened my resolve. I want to be an example to my daughters – the right kind of example. I want to show them there is so much more to a person than what is on the outside. I want them to love themselves and appreciate the talents they have. CityGirl is becoming quite the little nerd girl, and I love it. She plays Minecraft and talks about it incessantly. She loves science. She was so excited when I signed her up for the Spanish language program at her elementary school, chanting, “Knowledge, knowledge, knowledge!” I hope she keeps up that enthusiasm, if obtaining knowledge is what she is truly passionate about.

“I’m enough…” At the end of the day, this is what I want my girls to think and feel. I hope that I can foster this in them as they grow into the young women they are destined to be. But it starts with me and the example I set. It’s one of the reasons I decided to start blogging again. I enjoy writing and getting my thoughts out. It’s something I’m doing for me. I want them to see their mom continuing to grow and learn and evolve as much as they do. I want them to see their mom content with who she is and what she’s doing in life and never giving up.

And so, that’s what I’ll do.

Because I am enough.

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I woke up this morning to a world where I focused on the important things: my family.  SuperDad and I took the girls to the library.  We checked out some books and DVDs for CityGirl.  I wandered around the stacks with BittyGirl in my arms and found myself in the cookbook section.  I grabbed a couple to bring home.  One is a cookbook with recipes from the Charleston area, The Boathouse: Tales and Recipes from a Southern Kitchen.  We vacationed there a little over a month ago and I fell in love with the grits I had during a spectacular lunch at the Southend Brewery & Smokehouse.  I’m determined to perfect my own.

I also picked up Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious, which I think will be good since CityGirl has been refusing vegetables for a good bit. And heck, if the rest of the family gets more veggies, who am I to complain? They had The Sneaky Chef by Missy Chase Lapine and I’ll check that out next time to compare.

While I was perusing the stacks, I came across Billy Blanks’ Tae-Bo Cardio. Yes, I checked it out. Let’s see if the thing ever makes it into the DVD player!  🙂  When we visit my family this month for Thanksgiving, we’re having some family pictures done and I’m determined not to be fat.  Now, I know I’m not seriously overweight, but I could do better.  And I’m going to, come hell or high water.  I want to be what SisterFriend likes to refer to constantly – a hot mom!  I had Tae-Bo videos before and let me tell you, Billy Blanks KICKS MY BUTT AND I LIKE IT.  That man puts out a good workout video.  I’m looking forward to trying this one and working up a sweat.  Let’s just hope I don’t trip on a toy and kill myself.  😀

I forgot how much the library rocks.  I am glad I get to enjoy it more now!

Those who know me in real life know about the Clue-by-Four.  I speak of it often.  What is the Clue-by-Four? Well, let me tell you about it…

When God is trying to tell you something, teach you a lesson, or just get your attention and you aren’t being receptive, I like to say He sometimes whacks you upside the back of your head with the Clue-by-Four.  Most recently, I got this particular brand of revelation with the loss of my job.  Then I got another one when I went grocery shopping this week.

Just three short days ago, I wrote the first post of this blog.  Two days later, I took BittyGirl shopping with me while SuperDad stayed home with CityGirl.  As I was making my way around the grocery store, BG started getting fussy in the infant carrier.  I am not one of those mothers who can spend much time listening to her baby cry and I still had a good bit of my list to get.  So I decided to take her out and carry her.  I held her up on my shoulder while using the other arm to steer and push the now heavily laden shopping cart.

As I walked down an aisle, a woman passed me and said, “Now that’s a super mom!”  Seriously. I stopped in my tracks, looked up towards the heavens and whispered, “Ten-four good buddy.”  I get it.  I so get it.  This is what I’m supposed to be doing.  These girls are my life’s work, the lasting mark I will leave on this earth.  Loud and clear, God, loud and clear.

I’m still haivng some issues adjusting, but it will come with time.  I still won’t be perfect, but this is some of the best on the job training I have and will ever get.

Halloween has come and gone.  I finished my costume an hour before we had to leave for the Hallelujah Fest at our church.  Oh yeah, I love me some procrastination!  CityGirl and BittyGirl looked stinking adorable in their poodle skirt outfits.  SuperDad, gracious man that he is, didn’t point out how dumpy I looked in mine until after he had posted pictures to his Facebook and I made a comment.  He replied with, “Yeah, that wasn’t the most flattering outfit on you.”

I think it also bears mentioning that as we came home from his parents’ house to show off the girls’ costumes, we were headed upstairs to change clothes.  He gently tells me, “Yeah, I guess you didn’t notice that your skirt is see through.  I could see your checkered underwear.”  NICE ONE!  No, I didn’t realize that the thick felt I had used for our skirts would be see through.  And I also didn’t realize that my loving husband wouldn’t tell me before we left the house.  He swears he didn’t notice it until we were at his parents’ house at the end of the night.  I have my doubts.

I can’t say I’m the most stellar observationist either.  While we were at the shindig at church, one of our friends came up to me and said, “So, how do you like the new clean shaven look?”  I looked up at him, a bit bewildered, as he was sporting his usual goatee.  He noted my confusion and said, “Your husband?  He shaved?”  I said, “No he didn’t.”  He pointed him out in a game line with CityGirl and I buried my face in my hands.  There stood SuperDad, minus his usual facial hair.  I SO FAIL.  I was even up close and personal with that face while I was helping him slick his hair back for his 50s ‘do.

Seriously, do married people just stop looking at each other at some point?  I’m starting to think that’s the case!

I got a bee in my bonnet and decided that this year, I would make a costume for CityGirl. BittyGirl was gifted with a dress that, quite honestly, she would never wear. It’s got crinoline, people. That stiff, scratchy, not-baby-friendly material that clothes makers seem to love to use to poof up dresses. It’s a cute dress, but who wants to fuss with a baby in a dress like that? Heck, just putting BittyGirl in the car seat is going to mess it up. It just so happened to look like a 50’s poodle skirt. So I had the brilliant idea to make a poodle skirt for CityGirl and *gasp* me as well.

Uhm, yeah. See the date on this post? Day before Halloween and, in turn, our church’s harvest festival. I’m still not done with CityGirl’s and I haven’t even started on mine. I got BG down for her nap today and started up on CG’s skirt again. No sooner had I realized that: 1) I needed my iron and 2) I’m totally taking some liberties in regards to the pattern directions, BG woke up. I went back upstairs, got her back down to sleep and returned to realize the iron I needed was upstairs. In the bedroom. Where BG was now sound asleep. The skirt can wait. Even if it means staying up until all hours of the night, this skirt will get finished. I might even attempt to make mine, lest I waste the money I spent on the fabric and pattern. Can’t have wasted money. Nosirree.

I’m glad I have some sensibilities when it comes to crafty things. I know I can cut some corners and still have these come out ok. But, the perfectionist in me is DYING. I just have to keep reminding myself that these are COSTUMES. This too shall pass. But dang if we aren’t going to be the cutest family out there. 🙂

So, here it is.  I’m officially a stay-at-home-mom.  (SAHM for those up on their internet abbreviations.)  Is this what I wanted?  Well, I thought it was.  Was I ready for it?  NOT ON YOUR LIFE.  How did it happen?  Finding myself suddenly unemployed as of last Thursday.

Could I have found another job?  Definitely.  Why haven’t/didn’t/won’t I?  Because SuperDad and I decided that what is best for our family is for me to stay home with the girls.  Even if that means he has to take on another job or two.  Because he is, as I said, SuperDad.  Why is he SuperDad?  Well, up until last Friday, he worked a full time job from home AND took care of our girls, CityGirl (3 years old) and BittyGirl (5 months old).  That right there is THREE full time jobs as far as I’m concerned.

It’s kind of funny, looking back on how we started down this path.  Last Wednesday night, I lost it.  And by “lost it”, I mean I was very close to needing to be committed.  SuperDad posted a little note in his Facebook about going grocery shopping with the girls.  He wrote about the moms and grandmas that stopped him and said how amazing it was that he was taking care of both the girls.  And that right there?  KILLED. ME.  He was always being told what an amazing husband and father he is, which he totally deserves.  But ask me how many times someone complemented my wife-ness and mothering skills.  Go on, ASK.  *waits patiently*  Oh, wait, this is the internet, you can’t ask me.

Zero.  Nada.  Zilch.  Not once has anyone told me I’m a good wife and mother.  I would go to work every day, bust my butt for people who didn’t deserve that much of my energy, and then come home too tired and beat down to actually do the things a good wife and mother should do.  So no, no one ever told me I was a good wife and mother, and I didn’t deserve to be told such a thing anyway.  So that Wednesday night, I lost my marbles and screamed, “I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE.  I can’t keep going to work and getting beat down and come home to the same.  I can’t keep putting all this energy into people who don’t matter and not having any more for the people who do!”

The next day, SuperDad’s day started out very rough with CityGirl and BittyGirl.  I went into work.  I did the best job I could do, going out of my way for the last clients I had before getting called into a meeting and hearing the words “termination” and “clean out your desk”.  I called SuperDad and broke the news to him.  He thought I was joking.  When he realized that no, I do not have the WORST SENSE OF HUMOR EVER, he wanted to come down and pound some faces in.  After I calmed him down, he just came and sat in the parking lot, waiting to give me the hug that I so desperately needed.

And then we went home.  And we talked.  And we realized that God had been trying to get us to make changes in our life so that I could be at home with the girls.  And he said that he would do whatever it took to make it happen.  Because above all else, my husband is truly a man out to take care of his family.  He wants what is best for ALL of us.  And that right there is why I love him so much.

So my new job is to be the best wife and mother I can be.  Will people tell me I’m SuperMom?  Heck no, and I don’t expect it.  Will I feel like SuperMom?  Heck no, I’m going to feel totally useless most of the time.  But will I love it?  HECK YES.

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