Monday, December 7, 2015

For my siblings:

I hope this isn't too impersonal, I write when emotions are raw (so like 2am- ha). I mean every word of this in the most loving manner. I'm not implying you guys can't do this because I know you can, but I wanted to give you words of encouragement.
Love you all so very much.

Perhaps this will be filed under "unsolicited advice" but I hope you each get to take something from this.
You're both starting new chapters in your life, chapters that I started years ago. My adventures have been less than perfect, but I've survived thus far. As kids, dad always said since I was the oldest "I stepped in all the holes first" and the two of you got a better fighting chance because you saw what I did and could reroute your "walk". For the most part you both did, not because you saw what I did but most likely because you were better kids (haha).

For my beautiful sister. You've got the marriage thing down pat, I don't ever see you asking for or needing marital advice from me :). You've been an amazing aunt for almost 15 years, so I'm pretty sure you'll have this mom thing down to a "t". Here are the things I would tell myself if I could go back, and what I want you to know.
-Don't rush anything. Your babies will talk, walk, roll over, eat real food when they are ready and at some point you'll wish for those days back.
- time moves so slow, yet so very fast. There will be days that you're so exhausted you'll beg for your child to sleep. Then one day you'll look back and think "remember when we thought he/she would never stop crying/sleep" etc. and you'll want that time back. When in doubt 2 Corinthians 4:17 "for our present troubles are small and won't last forever!...... "This too shall pass", dear sister.
-99.99999% of the time, our parents were right.
-you'll become our Mother, embrace it, She is an amazing woman. It's shocking the first time you hear Mom come out of your mouth, but eventually, it's normal.
-you have a mommy gut instinct, use it, trust it, sometimes you'll be wrong, that's ok, always rely on it.
-Doctors aren't always right.
-kiss your boys as much as you can, one day, they'll not want your kisses in public, but don't worry, it doesn't last long. :)
-being a Mom is the most amazing feeling. There's no love like the love of a Mother for her children. They will try your patience, be patient anyway. They will test your sanity, breathe, it's only temporary. You'll be exhausted, mentally, physically; smile, you'll survive.
-you'll receive more unsolicited advice than you thought possible (like this), accept it with grace and a smile then forget the crazy ones, the good advice will resurface in your mind when you need it.
-Vicks vapor rub on bottoms of feet with socks. Trust me, this is probably one of the only old remedies that I will swear by. (I mean I'm sure whiskey on teething gums works, but here stateside, I believe it's frowned upon :-p)
-these are your children, you get to decide what's best. Sometimes a family member may disagree with your choice, it's ok, do it/allow it anyway.
-most importantly, I've been there, three times. I am ALWAYS here, I will listen and not judge, I'll do my best to offer advice only when asked of me, you can cry, laugh, scream, whatever. Just know- I'm here. I LOVE YOU and miss you more than you'll ever know.
- Be patient with me, this long distance Auntie thing is hard. My intentions are always out of love.

My dearest "widdle brudder", my how time has flown. With our huge age difference, you basically grew up with 3 mothers, sorry about that. You and I are probably more alike than we care to admit. We are "Humphries" through and through. (sorry about that Anna. :-) ). Some of these I'm still learning:
Both of you:
-Set goals, don't settle, always compromise and work together to attain those goals.
-Don't go to bed angry, it's old and perhaps cliche, but it's true. Don't do it.
- You're going to argue, do it with grace, patience and love.
- life is hard, but it's easier with God.
- Read "The Love Dare" and "5 love languages" when things get hectic, revert back to them without telling your spouse, they'll follow your lead.
- Don't smother each other, keep the spark there, but leave some breathing room.
- respect each other, always.
- Balancing a marriage and in-laws is tough. You're going to screw up, you're going to think you're failing- you're not, you're learning.
- Read Corinthians 13:4-7, replace the word "Love" & "It" (referring to love) with your name. This is what you should strive for.
-We can drive by a 5 million dollar home and see the window is off-center, yet we forget to see our own flaws, don't worry with age you start to realize it. Be patient and loving.
- We are weird, I mean there's no better way to put it, we are quirky- embrace it, it's a strong gene.
- we go on the defense, fast. Both of you must acknowledge each other's feeling without going into defense mode.
- Continue to grow in the Lord, everything else will fall into place, even when it's controlled chaos.
- don't be afraid to tell him your needs. He may scoff, but deep down, he heard you.

Ashton: (you'll always be Ashton to me)
- When in doubt on how to react in a situation, think about the Men in our lives (Grandaddy, Pawt, Daddy) and how they would have reacted. Our Father is patient, loving and loves our Mother with all of his heart, be like him.
- She's going to make you mad, react calmly.
- Don't yell or curse when you react. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
- be selfless in all you do.
- One day, you'll have children of your own, but, for now think to yourself "Am I setting a good example of the type of man I want my niece to marry?" If you'd be upset with Avery's husband for something you've done, you should probably change that way. She's watching, and so will your children.
- It is ok to cry.
- Don't stop "dating" her.
- Embrace your inner Melonie, she's there, she's the most loving, selfless person I know.
- I am ALWAYS HERE. Anytime, no matter what. I LOVE YOU very much!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Avery Brooke

I don't even know where to start. I was just going to make a facebook post and realized there isn't enough characters allowed for everything I want to say about this child. If you're new to reading my (not so up-to-date) blog I have 3 kids. 2 boys 1 my oldest the other my youngest, I love my boys it is a different love, a mother son love, a love that I'm raising strong, independent young men and teaching them how to treat and love a woman but in the same respect how to not be used and fall victim to crazy ones (lol). I also have a girl a sweet, sensitive, dramatic not-so-little-anymore girl, my sweet Avery Brooke. This will be brutally honest but stick with me because hopefully in the end it will make all sorts of sense. 

I didn't want a girl. I'm not a girly girl, I dress up ok when I need to but I'm no where near high maintenance I need 10 minutes tops to get ready. Being a mother of a boy worked for me, he fell I told him to get up and brush it off, he got dirty I could just pass it off as "he's a boy", he plays sports and I'm his biggest fan. The day I went to find out what Avery would be I went just absolutely knowing she was a boy, she had to be, what on earth would I do with a girl!? I was 12 weeks pregnant and there she was legs spread on a teeny black and white monitor with all the little girl parts. Surely he was wrong!? I mean 12 weeks is early to be 100% positive. He told me not to paint the room pink but he was 90% sure that he was indeed a she. Fast forward to my 20week ultrasound it was confirmed I'm being thrusted into the world of unknowns. I was a horrible kid rebellious and angry and my sister was the girly girl, God, what am I going to do if she wants dresses all the time!? I became ok with the fact it was a girl, I even started buying little girl clothes, dresses and pink shirts adorned with "daddy's little princess" sayings on it. Who am I becoming!? 

December 3rd I was handed a screaming hot beautiful mess of a pink bundle. I fell so deeply in love with this child. Laying in the hospital bed alone with her and her sweet squeaky breathing as she slept, I promised her to be the best mom I could ever be, that I would teach her how to be a lady but not to ever have to depend on anyone. I knew she would be strong, I knew she would be intelligent and I knew I had my work cut out. 

Days turned into months, months into years, 7 to be exact. She's a drama queen, she wears her emotions on her sleeve (she got that from me, not that I readily admit it, I grew tough skin with a hard exterior you've only seen me have emotions if I trust you now)  she wants so badly to help everyone she sees, her heart is bigger than her body. She has a good little mixture of Tom boy and Princess. Any day it's above 30° outside you'll find her in girly clothing but barely recognize it since it's covered in mud. 
I'm hard on her, very hard. I realize this, I'm determined. I need her to know how strong she is, I need her to use that strong willed attitude for the good, I want her to go far. I want her to let those nasty words someone says roll right off her back without even thinking twice be be able to still love that mean person anyway. I want her to achieve it all, to go as far as she wants to go without NEEDING a man to get her through. I want to watch her succeed and then find a man that is her perfect match, that loves her and doesn't hold her back. I WANT SO MUCH FOR HER, and that is why I'm harder on her. 

I got a call from the school last week. Avery had been nominated from her class to receive the Student of the Year award. My heart fluttered, I didn't even know this award existed and neither did Avery. That's what makes it special, she wasn't striving to achieve this, she was just being Avery. We kept it a secret. She had no idea why she was there. They started with 5th grade and worked their way backwards. I watched her smile, proud of her peers and clap for them, agree with what the teacher had to say about them, her eyes tear up in joy for them. (Just a side note: this child spent her entire summer memorizing names and faces from her year book, she didn't stop until she could recognize every person in the school and call them by name, she knows them all). It was time for the first grade awards. Her teacher was up first, she still had no idea it was her name that would be called. "I've nominated Avery Williams" her face lit up like Clark Griswold's house at Christmas. She was so happy, so proud, she stood there while Mrs. Eckard read a summary of why she picked Avery:
" Avery Williams is not only a hard worker who excels in all academic subjects, she is a kind and caring student who tries to bring out the best in everybody. Avery will go out of her way to help other students in class that are having a bad day or struggling with something. She has kind words to say to everyone and will encourage those who may be frustrated. She gives compliments to her peers and does not hesitate to help when she sees somebody in need. I have noticed Avery is especially kind and helpful to students with special needs. She truly wants to see everyone around her be their best, and she does everything she can to help others achieve and feel good about themselves. 
Avery is responsible, kind and respectful to her peers and teachers. I am privileged to be her teacher this year and I know she will do great things in her future" 

I cannot even put into words the feeling I feel in my heart right now, how I have this love, this pride, this feeling that I cannot even begin to put into words for this child. I am beyond blessed to be able to call her my daughter. I am beyond proud of her for being the compassionate, loving, caring, hard working GIRL that she is. I wouldn't trade my children for anything. 

Avery, you can do anything you want to, I pray you never change who you truly are. Your compassion, your understanding, your empathy, your love for human kind is absolutely amazing, you are indeed a role model for your peers and adults around you. I love you with all my heart Pootah bear. 

So yeah, I'm a Mom, I have 2 boys and 1 girl and I wouldn't have it any other way.