I Vacuumed Out My Washing Machine

I'm not a failure. I'm a just a mess. I'm not a failure. I'm a just a mess. I'm not a failure. I'm just a mess. And mess is okay.

That's my new mantra.

I spent a good ten minutes vacuuming out my washing machine this morning. Yep. I remembered that I had washed a load of laundry yesterday afternoon and neglected to put it in the dryer. Not a big deal, everyone does it. But when I opened the washer to re-wash the laundry, I saw that everything was covered in something white. At first glance I thought it was just lint and that a towel or something was peeling very badly. I went to pull some of it off and realized that it was not lint, oh no! That would be too simple. It felt like damp tissue. IT WAS TOILET PAPER.

TOILET PAPER.

AWESOME.

I pulled everything out and sifted through the items, covering the floor and myself with tiny shreds of damp tissue, and found cardboard from the rolls and a Quilted Northern wrapper. I had washed more than one rolls of toilet paper. There was tissue all inside the washer, stuck in the little holes that drain it. How did this happen, you ask. Well, we store the toilet paper above our washer and dryer on a shelf. Correction, we stored them on a shelf above the washer and dryer. I assume a pack fell in while I was doing laundry and I failed to notice.

I was completely annoyed and stressed out about the situation at first. I almost threw it all away but I'd have to buy new towels and yoga pants. So, I decided to take them outside to see if I could shake them out enough to toss them in the dryer and let the lint trap catch the rest.

There was so much tissue on the towels that when I tried to shake it off, it looked like it was snowing. I just started laughing. I yelled for my husband to come look and he smiled and my stress melted away for the moment. I had him take a video and I called my son downstairs to watch it "snow." He thought it was awesome.

Then I spent the next hour and a half shaking out the "snow" and vacuuming the deck, the floor, and the washer and dryer. The lint trap on the dryer got full eight times. I emptied the vacuum three times. It was nuts.

What did I learn from this experience? Aside from paying more attention to what I'm doing and what is going on around me, I learned to laugh at a stressful situation. I need to do more of that. We all do.


I am Not a Failure, I'm Just a Mess and Mess is okay.

I want to know who read my diary and decided to make a movie about my life. Fess up. Who did it??? I'm seriously about to go look for the hidden cameras and microphones in my house.

Last night some of the women from my MOPS group got together and watched "Mom's Night Out." It's the must see movie that you probably haven't even heard of. If you are a mother or are even thinking about being a mother, go right now to your local Redbox and rent it. Go ahead and grab some chocolate and some tissues as well. Grab a mommy friend or two also because I'm 100% sure that they need to see it too.

-SPOILER ALERT!- oh and be prepared for run on sentences, incomplete sentences, poor punctuation, and the like. Truth is...I just don't care right now.

"Mom's Night Out" brings to light what may be the hardest thing to master as a mother. Acceptance.

I have had three major goals my entire life:
1. To find a man who will love me more than anything else
2. To have a family
3. To stay at home with my kids until they are school aged

Check, check, and check. I'm living my dream. Sounds wonderful, right? Well, it wasn't easy to get here and now that I'm in this place.....well, it isn't all roses. Everyone tells me how lucky I am to be a stay at home mom. And I am lucky. I am blessed. But being a stay at home mom is overly romanticized. It's a lot of diapers and snot and tantrums and stepping on Legos. It's a lot of waking up every morning to a messy house that you swear you cleaned yesterday. It's going eight hours a day sometimes without one adult conversation and forgetting how to use "big words" because you your kids are 4, 2, and 8 months old. It's a lot of trying to fit into once well fitting jeans and doing my hair only to change two hours later into yoga pants and a ponytail.

 I AM A FAILURE. I AM A MESS.

It's a lot of feeling like I'm a failure as a mom. I'm a failure because my kids watch too much tv. Because they eat too many PB&Js. Because I don't stop what I'm doing and play with them every time they ask. Because the beds aren't made and I haven't mopped in like two weeks. Because they wear a dirty shirt to church and I forgot to cut their finger nails...again.

It's a lot of feeling like I'm a failure as a woman/wife. I'm a failure because I don't run and do crossfit like everyone else seems to be doing. Because I'm lost when it comes to current trends. Because I only wear high heels when I am FOR SURE going to be sitting wherever it is I am going (and I still slip them off as soon I'm sure no one is looking). Because I'm not contributing to society. Because I love to blog and never do it anymore. Because I don't pull my weight in this family.

It's a lot of feeling like I'm a failure as a friend. I'm a failure because I forget everything. Because I nod and smile while you tell a story and I am off in la la land thinking about something I forgot to do or need to do tomorrow. Because I didn't call you on your birthday. Because I didn't attend girls night. Because I'm pretty much out of touch.

It's a lot of feeling like I'm a failure as a daughter, sister, and granddaughter. I'm a failure because I don't visit often. Because I don't call near as often as I should. Because every time we talk, I'm complaining about something or someone. Because I am consumed by my own life.

FAILURE.

What the movie last night made me realize is that the only person who thinks I am failing is me. My children adore me. My husband loves me unconditionally. My parents and friends understand because they've either been in my shoes or they are currently in the same boat as I am. No one is judging me. If they are...well, they can go fly a kite and I'm probably better off without them anyway.

ACCEPTANCE.

Everyone accepts me for who I am except for me. God gave me this life because I am worthy of it. Isn't it a slap in His face for me to consider myself a failure when He created me, loves me, and has enough faith in me as to give me three of His children to raise?

I am NOT a failure. Neither are you. Life is messy. Motherhood is messy! To quote the movie, "I'm a mess. But I'm a beautiful mess. I'm His masterpiece, and that's enough."

So next time I feel like I am failing as a mom, a wife, a woman, a daughter, or a friend I will tell myself that I am not a failure, I'm just a mess and mess is okay.

Beach 101: Packing for Toddlers

The clan is back from vacation and I've got some great ideas for your next beach trip with the kiddos! Although my children are toddlers, my Beach 101 packing list has items for everyone. We had the best time in Orange Beach, AL last week. It was a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of daily living. Orange Beach is beautiful. There are plenty of yummy restaurants to eat at and things to do for all ages. Maybe I'll do a restaurant review next!
Anyhoo, the kids loved the beach. Jareth loved swimming in the ocean and the pools while Laney enjoyed digging in the sand and picking up shells. Thanks to my father in law, Jon and I were able to get some good, much needed alone time. We spent our days between hanging out on the beach, eating yummy seafood, and lounging around the condo. I even brushed up on my Rook skills! It was a nice relaxing week.
Now onto the packing list. There were some smart mamas and papas on the beach while we were there. There were a couple of items I saw under some canopies that I was just plain jealous of. One was a baby pool. I admit it did cross my mind to take our little inflatable pool with us but it was an after thought and I didn't feel like deflating it and shoving it into our already packed-to-the-brim trunk. I wish I had! Little ones, like our 16 month old, love to play in the water but may not be quite ready or willing to play in the ocean. A baby pool is a great way to keep babies happy and shaded while playing on the beach. Something else I noticed was a large bucket with a hose and sprayer on the end. This would make cleaning off sandy faces and hands SO much easier! We came up with the idea to take squirt/spray bottles of tap water down with us. I also noticed a family had set up a pack n play under their tent. If you have an infant or a small toddler who needs a nap or simply a break from the sand, this would be so useful. So smart!
Most of the items on my list below are no brainers. However, there may be one or two that need an explanation. For example, the clear sheet of plastic. Dig a good sized hole in the sand near the shore and lay down the sheet of plastic. Use buckets to fill the plastic with water and viola, you have a pool! Please don't leave your little ones un attended though! Also, I listed jars with lids as a fun item to bring to the beach. Grab a couple of large mason jars and go on a shell hunt. You don't have to worry about they sand getting in your beach bag and it makes a pretty souvenir. There you have it, my Beach 101 packing list for toddlers! Do you have anything to add? Tell me in the comments section below!
 

Happy Father's Day!