Friday, January 30, 2015

forever young

as you all know, last night we bid farewell to the Bravermans
admittedly, i cried at some point in every single episode of Parenthood that i watched 
along with the rest of America
i'm assuming that everyone watches this show, of course

the shows theme song is "Forever Young" and it is one of my all time favorites
and i'm pretty certain I am not alone in that.
GT didn't always watch the show with me, but i could always count on him to pipe in when the introduction started with "May God bless and keep you always" in his best Bob Dylan voice

on that (Forever Young) note, have you seen Young@Heart?
i can't remember if i've mentioned this film before, but i simply love it
it's a documentary about a senior citizens choir that sings pop/rock songs and it is beautifully done.

this clip isn't from the film, but i found it on YouTube
this gets me all kinds of weepy

this clip is from the film and it is, without doubt, my favorite scene

i hope that you have a wonderful weekend and remember to say Forever Young

May God bless and keep you always 
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others 
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars 
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young 
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous 
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth 
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous 
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young 
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy 
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation 
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful 
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young 
May you stay forever young

Saturday, January 24, 2015

me time

there are a lot of people who place a lot of value on "me time" 
i'm still not sure how i fell about such designated time.

i had no idea what i was signing up for when we found out that we were going to be parents.
i thought i did. 

i really had no idea what it would require.
emotionally and physically.
it requires everything you got.
all of you.
all day.
all night.
no breaks.

i thought i knew this.

so, yes, i do agree that some designated time away from the kids, the house, responsibilities is rejuvinating. 
it does provides the opportunity to step back and assess just how beautiful life is. 
it can give a fresh perspective
one that is needed. daily. and sometimes hourly

GT was gone all week, so it was me and the boys.
this was the first year, of the 5 years GT has worked for Duck/Buck Commander, that I have not gone to SHOT show in Las Vegas with him.
to say that i was sad to miss would be quite an understatement.
i look forward to the food, being with friends and spending that time with GT all year long.
but mostly, the food. and time with GT.
so, maybe eating good food with GT. yeah, that's it!
but, it just didn't work out this year. 
perhaps that had something to do with me being unable to leave the 6 month old for more than a few hours. 

we're incredibly ready for GT to be home and to bid a big ole adieu to hunting and trade show season.
we welcome "Dabidy" home with huge, stay-home-for-a-while arms!

the week went by quickly, surprisingly.
our days and nights were full
and i still feel rejuvenated and love my kids!
even though i am currently over-obessively thinking about Townes "schedule".
should he nurse 4 or 5 times a day? should we be on a 3 or 4 hour schedule?
why is he waking up at 530am after he has been sleeping 12 hours at night for months?
today, i have decided to toss out the schedules and feed him when he's hungry and put him to bed when he's tired. 
brilliant idea!
innovative, i'm sure.
moving on...

"me time"
yes, yes... that's where i was going.
i just don't remember my mom, my aunts or my grandmothers ever declaring that she needed some "me time".
perhaps they did devote some time away just for them, but there was no declaration of intent to focus on themselves.
what i do remember is them putting their family before themselves
working hard from sun-up and well past sun-down.
never tiring, but always assuring that we were well taken care of, well loved and in a clean, functioning home. 

I understand the importance of caring for yourself
and establishing some self-worth
many believe that this needs to be established outside of the duties of wife, mother and home-maker
so, "me time" is necessary in order to maintain who you are and your own idea of self-worth

She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
    for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
    then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
    rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
    is in no hurry to call it quits for the day...
...She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
    and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
    her husband joins in with words of praise:

“Many women have done wonderful things,
    but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
    The woman to be admired and praised
    is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
-Proverbs 31 the Message

i am a desperate far cry from the woman described in Proverbs 31, but i like her.
i would like to be like her.
to find my worth in my work. the work of caring for my home and my family
in serving my God.

i do not want my children and my husband to walk on egg-shells around me because i am in dire need of some time to myself, away from them. 
to re-charge when i'm away from my home.
our home should be the central re-charging station...for every single one of us.

this is not where i intended for this post to lead.
but, i started reaching Proverbs 31 and couldn't leave it alone.

all i wanted to write about was the fact that i read a book this week.
a leisure read. and it was good for my attitude and my soul.
(yes, that's a horse head on the table)

with GT being gone and Judson having a nasty cold that made him the opposite of not-needy (i can't blame him, i'm incredibly needy when i have a cold) and kept us house-bound, i was hurting for some kind of outlet.
so, i left social media alone yesterday (the worst time-killer that i know) and read a book all day long-
while Townes nursed, while Judson watched shows (i told you he didn't feel good), while they napped and after they went to bed. 
a whole book in 2 days.
today, i cleaned up the mess that we made over the last two days.

some would say, "good for you!" 
taking time for yourself is rewarded and praised.
but, should it be? 
should we negate the responsibilities we have in our homes to focus on ourselves?

i'm not saying we shouldn't read.
reading is such a good thing. it's a wonderful thing!
it just got me thinking about how we romanticize and place so much value on taking extra or special time to ourselves, when as mothers, that is the complete opposite of what our role entails and requires. 

and there is worth, praise and joy to be found as a mom, as a wife and as a woman....
in doing what God created us to do!

but, i'm down for a pedicure if anybody wants to go...sans kids (smily emoticon)

Monday, January 19, 2015

born to serve

as a child, my signature answer to the question "what do you want to be when you grow up?" was always "a pediatrician" or "a veterinarian".
the answer probably had more to do with the long names that made me sound cool and were fun to say than with my actual desire to care for children or animals.

throughout high school, i thought that i wanted to be a surgeon or a first assistant because i loved my anatomy and physiology class and dissecting cats (i know). 
my senior year, i decided that i wanted to be an art therapist because i discovered my love for art and wanted to help kids who were going through a tough time.

then my Pa got sick. 
The beginning of my freshman year of college. 
We spent many days and nights beside his bed in the ICU.
 I watched his nurses.
I studied them.
I liked what they were doing. taking such good care of my Pa.
using their hands, their minds, their hearts. 
One night, his nurse told us that he was once an art therapist. He switched gears and became a nurse when job opportunities were limited and not guaranteed.

i changed my major.
Katelyn Kirby BSN RN
and never had one regret (ok, maybe a few during the process...nursing school is a pill. pun intended).
i was born to be a nurse
to serve in that capacity.

truly, i feel that i was born to serve. 
i like to help others and be used in that way.
it doesn't feel like a sacrifice to help those who are in need....
 Kings Playground.
the 2 and 3 year old chaos room at church.

when your child is old enough to be in that room during church, you are highly encouraged to volunteer as a child wrangler for one month. 
meaning, you corral the 2 and 3 year olds and keep them from killing themselves and each other while their parents listen to the sermon.

Judson turned 2 in October.

and to say that i was dreading my turn in Kings Dungeon would not be dramatic.
i was asked to "serve" for the month of December.

"but, i have a nursing baby"
"Judson just turned 2"
"we might be out of town"
x.x.and x. excuses. i was looking for my out.

my name was on the list.

so, here we are. January 2015.
i survived.
they survived.
(fewer than usual kiddos)

as we neared the end of the month, my fellow mom-volunteer for the month, Darcy, said, "it's been great to serve with you"
ummm....yeah. that's what i was going to say. 

it actual wasn't that bad and i got to meet some kids and parents that i would not have otherwise
i also gained a new perspective. 
much more gratitude is shown towards workers and teachers
we will help clean up a bit more
we will be using more hand sanitizer

i also learned that my child pushes another child on occasion.
that was humbling.

it was also humbling to realize serving in a capacity that is natural or comfortable for me, might not be what serving is all about.
selfless-serving, that is.
 it's just as important to serve in areas that aren't comfortable.
and what's comfortable for me, probably isn't for you. and vice versa.
you may love teaching 2 and 3 year olds. no thanks
i love helping sick people. you might avoid a hospital at all costs.
just because i don't like it. doesn't give me the excuse to ignore it.

i love to serve.
as long as it was on my terms.
it's easy to serve as long as i enjoy it
as long as it doesn't seem too inconvenient or uncomfortable or chaotic.
is there such a thing as selfish serving? because i think that's what i'm all about.
apparently, it took a few hours in a 2 & 3 year old playground to realize this.

overall, i'd call the month of Kings Playground a win.
just don't sign me up anytime soon.
unless you need me.
i'm happy to serve.
seriously, i am.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2 year old business

big stuff over here for Judson
over the last couple of months, he has transformed into a self-proclaimed "big boy"
perhaps this goes along with the acquisition of a baby brother and alllll of the heavy responsibilities that accompany big brotherhood. 
or perhaps he is just realizing that he is physically larger than most his age 

or it's because there have been some pretty big changes that rocked his little 2-year old world

since Thanksgiving:
1. he no longer sleeps in a crib
but in his "big boy bed"
although, with it against the wall and a with a side-rail, headboard and footboard- it closely resembles a large crib

he made the transition like a champ.
actually, GT is responsible for this one.
i came home late one night from Heart to Home, grabbed the monitor to check on the boys and low and behold...the camera was pointed at the twin bed with a little Judson asleep on the pillow.
i said, "whaaaat?!?", looked at GT
he just smirked 
strong work, dabidy

2. he no longer wears diapers
and those boxer-briefs......

GT is also responsible for this transition.
Judson has been sitting on the potty for a few months off and on and has been talking about it for a while.
i was just dragging my feet, not wanted to commit to urine-soaked underwear and clothes and floors.
or hauling a toddler to the potty while trying to nurse an infant.
i'm fine with changing diapers. really, i am. 

well, one day, GT was home and just started taking JR to the potty
and that was that.
I, of course, jumped on board and he has done great!
we didn't/aren't using any specific method. he wears pull-ups often. and has accidents.
but, Rome wasn't built in a day.
and i am not trying to build Rome anyway.

3. he no longer has a pacifier to sleep
around age 1, judson was only allowed to use his pacifier in his crib or in the car
then after a while, it was just in his crib
and he was ok with that.
but, he was really dependent on it to go to sleep.

as his vocabulary expanded and his ability to have a conversation improved, the more ridiculous he looked while trying to talk with a pacifier.
it was time.
i mentioned this to GT and i told him that we should start thinking about taking it away.
he said, "what are you waiting for"
i don't know. maybe for Judson to naturally give it up, or we lose them all, or for Jesus to come back.
i don't know. maybe for a big dose of courage?

then one day, i decided that was it.
no more pacifier.
so, i told Judson that there were babies that needed his pacifiers.
he was a big boy and didn't need one anymore
luckily, he bought it!
Townes uses a different kind, so i told Judson that the new babies that were just born at the hospital needed his kind.
he put them all in a paper bag, we drove to the hospital and gave them to the babies in the nursery.
actually i drove up to the door of the hospital and took the bag in, throwing it in the trash.
but, Judson thinks that i handed them to the lady who takes care of the babies (the housekeeper he saw through the window). 
we drove away, no tears!
only to turn around and see him with 3 pacifiers that he had hidden from me.
so, i took those to our friends who just had a baby (or did i?)

he had a couple of tough naps and some tearful bedtimes, but otherwise has never looked back.
that first nap was pitiful, though.
he asked, "babies give papi's back to Juh-juh?"
heartbreak hotel.

we are really enjoying this age
Judson is a funny kid.
perhaps all parents feel this way about their 2 year old.
but, we feel it all the same.

he is also talking a lot.
all day long.
he can roughly say his "a,b,c's" with some help and can count to 10 with some prompting.
he does not like to perform on command. and i wish that didn't bother me. but, it does. terribly.

he also really likes to sing, while bobbing his head and doing an arm dance
things like "Bingle Jells" and "Ole Don-doh had harm"

if he isn't willing to go where i ask him to and would rather stay where he is and play, he doesn't say "no" (except for sometimes)
he just looks at me, cocks his head to the side and nods it up and down saying "pway widdle bit?"

he says "hi" to me all throughout the day. 
if i come back from the kitchen and sit beside him, "hi, mama"
when i sit down at the table at lunch, "hi, mama"
or if he just looks at me, "hi, mama"
that training in friendliness is really working.
at home.

he is a happy, fun, easily excited kiddo
but HATES to have his haircut
i told the lady last time to cut it short, because we weren't coming back for a while
you'd think we were ripping out his fingernails
hopefully he'll grow out of that

if he wants to go where i'm going, he'll say "hu-hold, go wif me"
he likes to give "hi-fibes" when we praise him
he often tells himself "great job" after going to the bathroom

along with his quirkiness and humor is the stubbornness and irrational fits, hitting, lack of personal space and what-nots of a toddler.
the good and the bad
all parts of growing, i suppose.

the part that i like the most, is his incredible ability to forgive
i get mad about something, yell at him (yes, i hate it too) and he is right there wanting a hug and for me to love him.
i'm thankful for that.
it makes me want to do a better job.

this 2 year old business is tough stuff, but i'm thankful that it's my job (and GTs) to teach him how to navigate this life. 
i'm also thankful that we get front-row seats to Judsons hilarity, excitment and crazy

Friday, January 9, 2015

restless: a journal entry

the other day
a sunny day (remember those?)
Judson was playing in the front yard
i ran inside to check on Townes, who was napping
when i came back outside, i didn't see Judson
so i hollered for him, no response
i walked around the corner of the house to see a little cowboy hat perched on top of the head of a very content little guy
he was just sitting on a hay bale, under a tree by his dad's trailer
probably thinking about how to rule the world by way of side-smiles and quirky toddler dance moves. 

it has been overcast and freezing cold the last few days
it's basically arctic over here.
we haven't left the house
well, i did leave for a few hours for a research meeting about my thesis (only exciting things, of course)
and GT's out of town 

we aren't really going stir-crazy, per se
Judson does well at being content and happy playing just about anywhere
sure, he has an incredible amount of energy, but we don't necessarily HAVE to get out of the house for him to behave
he does need to learn how to behave in any situation, right?
but, there is definitely some behavior modification that goes along with keeping a 2-year old indoors for multiple days in a row. you know what i mean
my own behavior needs some modification at this point


i've noticed a bit of restlessness in myself lately
most likely it's related to our hibernation status
but, i also feel a bit of it in my soul
sure, i have plenty going on to occupy my time: baby and toddler raising, research work for grad school, house-hold duties, friends, family. 
there really aren't enough hours in the day, right?
but, i still feel like i'm not doing enough
or maybe not doing something specifically
people are hurting, people are in need
so, i'm praying that God will take off my blinders to what He needs me to do for those around me

i'm restless because i feel that raising my children to love God and love others, loving my husband and caring for our home is what i should be doing and that should be satisfying enough.
and it is incredibly satisfying
there is actually nothing else i would rather be doing with my days

but, i can not keep quiet this restlessness for something more
something less of "us" and more of "them"
does this make sense?
i sure would love some input

Thursday, January 8, 2015

6 months with Townes!

half of a year spent with you!
you sweet, little, snuggly love bug
and we just keep coming up with nicknames
Judson and I mostly call you Townesy, Rooskie or Roosker-do

 last month you experienced your 1st Christmas
with your cute buddy, Harrison

you have an "angel kiss" and "stork bite" birthmark
that have yet to fade
but, i kind of love 'em
you're still the cuddliest baby that i know
and give some really great, tight hugs 
i love when you rest your head on my shoulder
you are usually content to sit in our laps and watch whatever your brother is doing
but, you are starting to get a little more wiggly and less content

you're not quite ready to crawl 
but you can roll all over the place and you can spin, so you can get to things that are within a few feet of you
you can sit unassisted for a good while without getting too top-heavy and toppling to the side
you want to get around so badly!

 you smile at just about anybody 
a friend snapped these photos of you during church
her son was talking to and smiling at you

you are interacting with your brother more
and he is enjoying (for the most part) showing you how to play with toys
he gets the BEST laughs out of you
if he isn't around, it seems like you are looking for him...
your little head is on a swivel until you find him, then you let out a funny noise and a grin.
it's almost like an inhaled grunt/squeal...if that makes sense

not to be confused with your squeal-growl, as your dad and i call it. that is the angry noise that you make right before you get upset.
you have definitely started showing more of your not-so-compliant side in the last few weeks.
you are learning that you have a voice and a (pretty intense) scream.
luckily, you don't use it too often and are pretty easy-going

you're a good little night-time sleeper 
but it's been hard for us to stick to a nap time routine lately, so those naps can get tricky

you sat in a high-chair for the first time!
and seemed to like the freedom
until you wanted to be which i obliged

you also tried a mum-mum and some bananas 
you're not so sure about either
oh well, we'll try again later

your hair is really growing in thick
but mostly little bangs
the hair on top is so fine and sticks up like little fuzz
it looks like you've just had a bath, all of the time

you're just so handsome, little bit
you get so excited when someone walks in the room and addresses you
you can make people feel special when they see you

6 months with you has gone too quickly, i must say
i feel like we are just getting to know you, but have known you for forever at the same time
we are so excited to see your little personality develop
and to keep on loving you and your sweet, cuddly self

love you, little Townsey

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Heart to Home conference

you've heard about this, right?
i've done my fair share of posting about it and i hope that you've heard about it through others.
but, i do not want you to miss out on this wonderful event for YOU!
all women, all stages, all problems, all glories, all your baggage and all your good...
bring it.
oh, and all of your friends!

February 6-7 in West Monroe

what began as a conviction to start a women's mentoring program has grown into this incredible ministry and now into a (HUGE) weekend conference!
my mom listened when she heard God telling her to read Titus 2 and find a way to get women together.
bridge the gaps and form relationships
help each other out
encourage one another
challenge and ,above all, LOVE one another

being a woman is hard!
through the institution of Heart to Home, my mom has created an environment that facilitates women of all ages supporting each other in this hard-knock-life
and to celebrate the joys

that's what this conference is about.
 learning from some pretty awesome speakers 

including my brother!

this is what you will see when you click to buy your ticket 

or you can enter my sis-in-law's giveaway on Instagram for 2 FREE tickets

including a backstage experience
so, take a picture at your Heart to Home group, post it with #hearttohomeconference2015 
winner announced January 15th!

any questions?
ask me!

i hope to see you there

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Christmas with the Kirbys

 Christmas festivities began early for us this year
which, is fine by me!

they were kicked off with Judson Ray's party at Mothers Day Out
he LOVES his friends and talks about them all of the time
we are so grateful that he enjoys his time with other kids and his teachers "Ju-wee" and "K-K"
he is always proud to show off his brother, too

we road the Polar Express in Palestine, Tx and will post about that later!

we had Christmas morning with my family the Saturday before Christmas day
mom outdid herself, as usual, with an extraordinary breakfast including monkey bread and white grape juice (two of my favorites that are saved for this day of the year)

Honey and Pa gave some pretty great gifts
especially to their little grandboys

after some playing and a little bit of clean-up, we headed to my Mamaw Jo's for her annual 
Christmas Eve Brunch
she hosted this event early so that we could all be there
ain't that grand?!

she's something else, i tell ya
going above and beyond to take care of her family
making each of us feel like we're her favorite...
...and that's no small task

we each received a gift from her and then we were able to shower her with gifts
i love watching her get loved on

the next day, after church, we all congregated at our barn for my mom's annual 
Cousin Cookie Decorating
 such a fun and festive way to introduce the barn to our family and the barn to our large family.
lots of fun memories to be had here

after the sugar and sprinkles ran out, we walked down to mom and dad's house for some chili and chilling (ha, ha, ha)

i'm so thankful to my family for creating such memorable events surrounding Christmas
it takes effort to make memories
and it takes effort to create events for the memories to happen
i'm so glad that my boys will grow up in this environment surrounded by intentional and loving family

GT and I gave Judson a few gifts 
including a real, black-felt cowboy hat
a wooden truck and horse-trailer
and a light-up moon for his room
(see a pattern here? dude loves some cowboys and the moon)

last year, i started the tradition of giving a book to GT and JR to read together
last year it was This is Texas
this year it was Hello, Texas
so, i guess it is Texas forever (seriously)
they have read This is Texas probably everyday and have now added Hello, Texas to their routine at night
 along with some moon watching

the siblings and nephews were here all weekend, so we did a good bit of playing outside, drinking coffee and chatting, watching football and the guys did some hunting

another great Kirby Christmas in the books!

if you care to revisit Christmas' past, click here and here and here