Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. -Benjamin Franklin
I'm sitting here in a quiet house. All are asleep...finally. 2011 has started out with some much needed relaxation and down time for the Rollins Ruckus. I've been less stressed now that the holidays have passed and the kids seem more calm since we're not coming and going as much. We've spent a lot of time at home, just being a family, in this first week of the new year. I've even cooked a few times! Hopefully we'll continue throughout the year being home more...a little more structured and a little less busy - getting rid of all the things we try to do that aren't necessary and just add stress. We've spent the first nights of the new year playing choo choo trains, flying "nintendo game" (remote control) helicopters, playing Donkey Kong on the Wii, reading books, dancing in the kitchen to the music on the iPod, and watching Dora, Little Bill, and Curious George. We got a new TV for Christmas so the satellite guy came over yesterday and set everything up for us. Jeb wants to hang the new one (he's been wanting to hang the TV in our living room since we moved into this house) so an electrician is coming in a few days to put an outlet up on the wall...little things like this make Jeb happy.
Last night Jeb and I went out on a date and left the kids with a babysitter. No, not my mom and dad, but a real babysitter! This is only the third time that we've left the kids with a babysitter, and as we were walking out the door my stomach hurt and I was remembering why this was only the third time we've left them with a babysitter. The satellite guy was still at the house, Reid was screaming and clinging to us telling us not to leave and please could he go, LilliAnn was fussing and wanted me to hold her, and we were late for our dinner reservations. We decided to put the kids in my car and let Casey (the babysitter) take them to Braum's to get Reid and ice cream. We knew that if he watched a movie in the car that he would settle down and be alright...hopefully. He screamed bloody murder when Jeb tried to put him in his car seat and I was a nervous wreck all the way to dinner. Jeb kept telling me we should just cancel and go home, but I insisted we still go because this would make the third time we had cancelled our dinner reservations. Jeb promised since LilliAnn was sick and we stayed home for New Year's Eve that we would go out this week...just the two of us...where we could actually go out and eat our dinner together instead of in shifts, and get to enjoy our meal without it being cold or having a kid on our lap, or having to get it to go. It was a much needed night out and we had a blast together. We ate a romantic dinner at Ember's at the Fire Lake Grand Casino - complete with champagne, bread with flavored butters, steaks, and lots of laughs. We sang together to old songs on the radio all the way to the movie then held hands as we watched True Grit...which Jeb was SO excited to see by the way. The food was excellent, the movie was excellent, and the company was excellent...and when we got home we found out the kids had been excellent! Hopefully 2011 will consist of a lot more nights like that for Jeb and I. On my way to work this morning I got a text that read..."I don't think I told you how much fun I had with you last night and how pretty you looked. I love you." That man is my everything.
Today I had an amazing massage and then went to Braum's and picked up strawberry ice cream cones for Reid and I. LilliAnn even enjoyed the ice cream too! Yes, it's the first week of the new year and I'm eating ice cream AND we had pizza for dinner! No, I didn't make a New Year's resolution to lose weight and go on a diet. We are, however, going to buy a treadmill tomorrow for Jeb and I to start running on in the mornings. I feel better when I work-out and I wouldn't mind losing about 5 pounds and toning up before lake season. More water is my main goal right now...NO POP and LOTS OF WATER!
This week I've been purging - cleaning out the playroom, my kitchen cabinets, my bathroom drawers...trying to get my house in order for the upcoming year. But, I've also been trying to get my heart in order for the upcoming year. I've gone to church my entire life, but I've never felt like I really knew the bible. Yes, I'm a Christian and have a personal relationship with Christ, but these past few months I've been longing to know him more. I don't want to just know a few stories and morals from the bible that they taught me in Sunday school as a child, I want to really know the bible...the background, the history, the authors, the timeline, details of the life of Jesus. Spiritual maturity is the word that comes to mind. I want a more intimate relationship with the Lord. My mother got a book for me called, The World's Easiest Guide to the Bible, and it's amazing! I wanted a book that would give me historical background and teach me about the bible chronologically because that's how my mind learns things. I like things organized and in order. I've been reading the book for several weeks and the more I read the more I want to know - the more questions I have and the more fascinated I become with God's word. When I finish this book I plan on reading the entire bible. That is my resolution for 2011. I want to know be so familiar with God's word and with scripture that I am fully prepared to teach my children and help them grow in their faith, as well as feel more prepared to discuss my beliefs with others. God's really been speaking to me, particularly reminding me that this Earth is our "temporary home." Everything we do should be to glorify Him. Our focus should be on our permanent home with Him in heaven and helping to further His Kingdom. When you start to put things in your life in perspective you realize that most of the things you stress about day to day and really not that important at all. I'm going to try and keep my priorities straight in the upcoming year and focus more on the moments.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. -Philippians 3:13-14
Speaking of moments...I've had some wonderful moments with my children recently that I want to always remember. I'm going to list a few here...
-watching LilliAnn take her first steps the day before she turned 9 months old
-Reid giving his "sissy baby" a ride on his Thomas the Train, then watching her crawl after him and
laugh as he drove his Thomas the Train power wheels
-watching Reid eat his strawberry ice cream cone while watching NickJr, pink goodness dripping all
down his face and all over his shirt! He freaked out because he dropped the cone on the floor and we
had to wash it off!
-LilliAnn standing up and bouncing up and down dancing with the biggest grin on her face,
showing those precious two bottom teeth, when she hears music playing
-Reid grabbing his "Woody guitar" and singing "you and me going tishing (fishing) in the dark"
-Reid asking me, "mama, what's my favorite Woody song?" "You've got a friend in me?" "Yeah, that's
right. You've got a friend in me."
-Reid laying in the middle of Jeb and I about to go to sleep and saying, "Hold my hand, mama. Hold my
hand, dada. I love you everybody!" Then sitting up in bed, looking around, then flopping back down on
the pillow and saying, "Let's all just take a break."
-Reid telling my dad, "Let's go play Donkey Kong Papa! C'mon Papa! Let's go! C'mon! It's in there
Papa. In daddy's room...The Man Room!"
-Reid laying next to me almost aleep, touching my hair and saying, "you have pretty hair mommy."
-seeing the sparkly in sissy's eyes when her daddy talks to her
These are the moments I live for. I may not be perfect at being a parent, but thankfully we have a God who is perfect and offers us forgiveness and a new beginning through his Son, Jesus Christ. I love my two children more than anything in this world and I will to everything possible this year and the years to come to raise them in a happy, healthy, educated, structured, fun, loving, Christian home. So here's to 2011...and another blessed year!
Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. -Oprah Winfrey