Memorial Day. The “unofficial” start of summer. Barbecues and home improvement projects. I will admit that I look forward to Memorial Day just as much as the next guy. Even today, while I made my Dill Potato Salad, I day-dreamed about how I would spend my summer. But how did you use this extra day off?
Growing up, my dad was in the Navy. Not just in the Navy, but career Navy. We actually had a brass eagle mounted to our mantle just above the fireplace. We were definitely a patriotic family. My brother was in Boy Scouts, so every Memorial Day, we would go to the local cemetery and sing God Bless America while gun shots were fired. It was very moving for me, even at a young age. I was more than aware of why we celebrated Memorial Day. But how can I emphasize the importance of this day to my kids the same way that my parents did with me?
Enter my extremely America-loving husband! Every year, we pop our Patriotic CD into the minivan and drive slowly through our closest National Cemetery, crying. It’s sad. It’s happy. It’s beautiful. It’s encouraging. Encouraging to know that, even though so many men and women have taken their lives so fearlessly for me and for you, there are still many more anxiously awaiting to serve. Wow! God Bless America!
So. How will you pass on your Memorial Day traditions to your kids? Will it be about how many rooms in your house you can get organized on this extra day off? Or finding the greatest sales at your local mall? Or will you really remember that man, woman, brother, father, mother, sister that died for you?
Well, whatever it is, this is mine. My very first blog post! I have to say that I’m a little nervous. I really don’t know why. Maybe I’m worried that I won’t have anything to say. Or worse, no one will listen. Either way, this is my chance to help moms be the best that they can be without losing themselves. I know that might sound a bit cliche’, but that’s truly how I feel. I’ve been a mom now for over 12 years. During that time, I’ve tried to hold down multiple part time jobs, lose weight, fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes, try out the easiest meal plans for my family, plant and grow gardens, can my harvest from said garden, try new workout fads, made cards and crafts, decorating, wear 4″ heels at the playground while pushing my 2 year old in the swing, and the list goes on and on. I’ve made the mistakes and had the victories. I’m not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, but my goal is to help all moms find themselves while also loving their families and doing what they feel God has called them to do. For me, I remember, at the age of 6, helping my mom in the garden of our Seattle craftsman style home while dreaming about being a mom. When I became a mom to my beautiful daughter 12 years ago, it was truly one of the best moments in my life. Finally, I was doing what I was meant to do! Thank you, God! But in that process, I also found that I lost the person that my husband fell in love with. I took care of my baby and my husband, and not myself. I had a spotless house, beautiful flower beds, recipes to die for, but I wasn’t all there. I became unhealthy, a little stressed, what if something went wrong? 12 years and 4 kids later, I realized that the most important person I had to take care of was me. If I took care of myself, everything else would fall in place. We’ve all heard this before, but is it really true? YES! I’m proof! Now, let me be clear. While I “take care of myself first,” I don’t let my house go to hell. My children don’t go to school in dirty clothes and half made lunches. My husband doesn’t warm up Hungry Man meals from the freezer for dinner, although he might like that sometimes. But when you take care of yourself, you want more and more to take care of everything else. You want to be that better woman, wife, mom. I hope that I can help you on your journey. So, hold on and let’s try this together! Thanks for reading. OH WAIT, it’s a maiden voyage!