Independence

Our Country and My Toddlers

For some of you, this weekend means barbecues, family and friend gatherings, lakeside parties and much more. I’ve already seen so many pictures of fun summer activities happening among my virtual friends. We’ve spent some time outdoors but this swollen pregnant lady has been keeping it relatively low-key. There is nothing truly exciting about a holiday weekend since it’s usually coupled with a day or two off work, am I right?! 😊 But this weekend is so much more than that. And I’m pretty sure our Founding Fathers didn’t think this day would be coupled with so many summer activities or that Hobby Lobby would have stocked their shelves way back in March for this weekend. But I do believe they did their fair share of celebrating. I mean, why not celebrate going to war with one of the greatest countries in the world in 1776?!

Most people would mark the beginning of our country with the date of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 – hence the holiday. However, did you know that the Declaration of Independence wasn’t actually signed on July 4th – GASP! It was officially signed a month later on August 2nd. How incredible were these men to help 13 little colonies stand up to Great Britain? Pretty incredible and fearless. Doesn’t all this history of the Declaration make you want to watch Nicholas Cage’s National Treasure movie? I do! I love that movie! Haha!

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Do you remember what the fuss was about anyway? The 13 colonies were under the direction of Great Britain and wanted their INDEPENDENCE from the Mother Country. We went to war with a HUGE, fully stocked with weapons and soldiers, country. Hello! Talk about a death sentence! But these guys were united by the need for freedom against an oppressive motherland. Ummm anyone want to watch Mel Gibson’s The Patriot? Another one of my favorites! It’s much more complicated than that but hopefully that jogs your memory.

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In all seriousness, this holiday is important to me. Not just for my history heart but also for me personally. This year in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the subdivision of Banning Acres, they will be celebrating 50 years of their neighborhood 4th of July parade. I remember going to this parade at least one time, maybe a few times, growing up. My grandparents started this parade in their neighborhood and while my grandfather has recently moved out of the neighborhood and my grandmother is looking down from above, they are still doing the parade. I think that is so awesome. It’s so cool to have been apart of something lasting so long. I’m sure that’s why we, Americans, treasure this weekend. We have been apart of something huge for so long – even if we weren’t even alive. Many of us have ancestors connected to this special day or are here in this amazing country because of this day.

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I do believe it’s important to honor those who made a huge sacrifice for us in 1776 and, even though it might not cross your mind as a day to honor dudes like Thomas Jefferson, it is important to know our country is still growing and changing and figuring out who exactly we are. In the eyes of the world, we are mere toddlers!

For comparison sake and because I love Rome so very much, did you know Roman history dates back to BC which means that Rome has a history lasting over 2500 years old?! American history hasn’t even hit the 250 year mark. Roman history is 10 times older than ours! Just think about that! We are BABIES! Budding toddlers with, at times, an attitude problem. Learning how to voice our opinions and many times being put in time-out.

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Disclaimer: I’m not looking for a political debate nor do I even want to know if you like our current president. I had enough of that during the election.

In many ways, America reminds me of my Twinadoes. Andrew and David are becoming fearless when voicing their thoughts and opinions on things such as food or whether or not they would like to take a nap, go to bed or even share their toys. Many of times this results in screaming, yelling and even crying from them in protest. And we definitely have some time-outs! Our vacation was full of this part of parenting. 😫 Yet, somehow they survive and move on until the next hour when it happens again.

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It’s similar to today in America. Our Amazon, social media, and high-speed internet has brought us into a generation of instant gratification or bust type people. I’m guilty of it just like the next person but seeing it in our younger generation in the classroom might have scared the poop out of me. It’s like we are raising a generation of kids that really need a good spanking. Haha! Seriously! I’m sure the British felt the same way about these Americans in 1776 whining about their much-needed freedom. Why did the Americans need their freedom? Why now? I mean without the Motherland those colonists wouldn’t be there!

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But what does this really boil down to with our 1776 Americans, twinadoes and our current younger generation: INDEPENDENCE. Quite frankly, like the 1776 Americans, my boys are trying to become more independent with every push of the boundary; yet, like the current younger generation in this country, when told NO revert to their baby-self, not quite ready to be in the real world. Not quite ready to face what’s actually out there – which is a lot of NOs, by the way. Even some of our young adults in the real world, don’t get it. They might be too busy looking at all their participation trophies (okay, that was mean but so true) wondering why they can’t get it together or they are completely content with mediocrity (that’s even scarier).

But regardless, this need for independence is just ingrained in us. It’s who we are, not just as Americans, but as people. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (Declaration of Independence, 1776). These rights fuel our need for independence; encroach on that and you’ll see us kicking and screaming in the face of injustice. But we will be okay, we probably just need a nap. 😊

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Want to check out more cool facts that you may not have known about the Declaration of Independence? http://www.history.com/news/9-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-declaration-of-independence

“Momnipotent”

The Not-So-Perfect Woman’s Guide to Catholic Motherhood by Danielle Bean

I started reading this book last night. I have to thank my Aunt Veronica for giving it to me when I was pregnant with the twins. I never cracked it open. During my firestorm to organize as much as possible yesterday (which, by the way, I am paying for it today), I came across this book again. Something prompted me to open it last night and start reading. Can we just acknowledge that when God’s timing is perfect, it’s so perfect?

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I’m not going to lie, my spirit has been wrecked these last few weeks. I don’t mean I’ve had doubts in my beliefs (although that’s totally fine if I have) but I mean, just life has been hard. Last week’s news ignited some serious anxiety issues that I have struggled with for a good chunk of my life. You know when you find something for YOU or plan something for YOU and look forward to that – it’s an amazing feeling. Now take it away – totally sucks. Anyway, I won’t get into it all again – you can check out my previous post if you need a refresher or didn’t catch it last week.

But I’m struggling and I’m overwhelmed. Life has overwhelmed me lately. In ONE week from tomorrow, my due date is THREE MONTHS away and I couldn’t feel more UNREADY. (Is that a word?)

Stress 1: I feel like all the junk has to go. I know it’s not COMPLETELY necessary or even reasonable but have you ever fought with a pregnant woman when she’s made her mind up about something? I don’t suggest it.

Stress 2: Once the junk goes, I’ll feel better about getting ready to bring another human into this world and maybe even start her nursery. Again, I know she won’t live in there for at least 3 months after she’s here because of the stairs we have in our house but argue with a pregnant woman? I think not.

Stress 3: I feel like I don’t have enough time with my boys. They are so fun and so exhausting but I just can’t help but be sad that my first-born children will not be JUST THEM anymore. I’m not worried about loving this girl or having enough room in my heart – I know she belongs there. My heart isn’t complete without her and the future siblings here (2 more to go!). However, it’s sort of funny because I’ve had 2 at one time so you would think adding 1 more isn’t a big deal but it’s HUGE for me. I don’t want this part to end and frankly gets me teary eyed thinking about it. We’ve been through so much together starting from before they were born so it’s a bittersweet change to our story.

Stress 4: The pregnancy itself is a stress. Again, I won’t go into it because I pretty much unloaded last week. And frankly, I’m too tired to unearth those emotions again.

So these are the 4 main stresses I have and then I started reading this book. I haven’t read a ton of it yet but something struck me last night. Spiritual motherhood is something that we, women, are all called to be.

“In makes sense…that while some women are called to biological mothers, every woman is called to spiritual motherhood because motherhood is knit into the very structure of a woman’s being. Women are created with the gift of interior readiness to receive others into their lives, and in doing so, to nurture their emotional, moral, cultural and spiritual well-being. This is an exciting and creative challenge because women can be spiritual mothers anywhere: in the office, at home, with their grandchildren, in the neighborhood, even sick in bed” (Katrina J. Zeno, Discovering the Feminine Genius: Every Women’s Journey, 41).

I found great comfort in this quote last night. I’m not sure why I did but I did.

Maybe it’s because I struggled with infertility so I recognize the want for a biological child.

Maybe it’s because I know people who have adopted or in the process of adopting a child.

Maybe it’s because I have spiritual mothers in my life that have no biological lines to me but have impacted me so much.

Maybe it’s because, as a teacher, I feel like I have been a spiritual mother to some of my students I have watched grow into amazing young men and women.

Maybe it’s because I have seen spiritual motherhood IN ACTION from a multitude of women my entire life – some with children and some without.

Spiritual motherhood. I think I found comfort in it because it’s bigger than me and what I am feeling. This whole earthly motherhood gig is T-O-U-G-H! But somehow, to know that I have something inside of me, that we all do, that feeds our children and the people we connect with around us, that’s bigger and stronger than how I feel right now covers me in comfort and the grace I desperately seek.

Honestly, right now I just feel like I am barely surviving. You know just doggie paddling in the waters of life. My kids probably watch too much TV, get away with too many things, and eat way too many chicken nuggets. I mean, they don’t mind but the inadequacy of how I feel in raising them is suffocating. But right there, in the middle of me suffocating, the Lord says “It’s okay.” The Lord has blessed me, and all women, with this spiritual motherhood because even know I’m totally judging myself (and openly sharing that judgement on my post right now), it doesn’t matter. As long as I am here, present with my boys, they get SOMETHING from me that I didn’t know really existed until last night. I don’t even know if I quite understand what I give to them. But I have been blessed with “an exciting and creative challenge” that I wouldn’t change for the world (Katrina J. Zeno, Discovering the Feminine Genius: Every Women’s Journey, 41).

Here’s to spiritual motherhood,

 

Rachel

New Online Adventures

What’s being going on in our house lately….

So, I like to keep life interesting. It may not be super interesting comparing it to others but interesting to me, nonetheless. Lately, with all the laying around I’ve had to do and dealing with Little Miss’s misbehavior, I’ve had a lot of downtime to think.

Well one thing that I want to do is DE-CLUTTER. I realize this has NOTHING to do with online adventures but roll with me. I’m not sure I’m in the super nesting mode, yet, but I have this sense of urgency to get this house organized. I mean, we are about to bring another human being in this house. Getting rid of the junk seems more than necessary! In fact, even though she will be little, babies have SO MUCH STUFF! Thank goodness it’s not as much as the twins! At least that is what I am hoping for!

De-cluttering is underway in this house – slowly! Have kids? What organizational tools have you come up with to help with the clutter? Please help this mama out! 

Meanwhile, I’ve been keeping active with my business with Usborne Books & More. I joined this company May 10th of last year and it’s been a great experience. Lots of ups and some downs but I have learned so much! I never thought I would sell anything and then these books just fell into my lap. It has truly been the perfect mix of my educational background and my love for books! It’s been truly a passion of mine this past year and I cannot believe I’ll be hitting my year anniversary next month! Incredible! If you haven’t heard of Usborne Books & More, you need to! Of course, I’d be happy to talk with you about that! In the meantime, check out the website: https://g5484.myubam.com – we have amazing books from infant to pre-teen and I am currently reading one of our teen series, Conspiracy 365 and I LOVE IT! 

In conjunction with Usborne Books & More, I started this blog earlier this month! It’s been so fun and hopefully you all have been enjoying some of the writing. My husband thinks I’ll run out of things to say but I won’t, our life is too exciting for that! 😉 The blogging world is so different but I am loving having this virtual “journal” and being able to express myself confidently! Something I think all mamas need!

In addition to my online adventures, two nights ago I joined Rodan + Fields! Say what! I know. I know. I am either crazy or the smartest person on the planet. Haha! Maybe I’m a little of both! But that’s okay, it keeps life interesting. Now, first off, I never thought I would be apart of ANY direct selling company let alone TWO. However, these two companies are VERY different. Don’t worry, I’m not going to knock down your door with RF but I may politely ask if you want a FREE sample – you should say YES because it’s amazing! You will also get to watch the skin transformations like I did and become hooked! 🙂 I am pretty excited to get these products for the best deal possible and be able to share my skin care story with everyone. Quite honestly, I have been on the hunt (for awhile) to find something that I really believe will work on my face. And the fact that I have watched a few people with varying skin tones and skin types literally roll back time and look incredible, I want in! Who wouldn’t!?! 🙂

Truly, I have been watching RF consultants and friends since last summer make monumental strides to amazing faces. Now, I am FB friends with many people in many direct selling companies and I have seen a lot. There are many wonderful companies out there! But something makes sense with Rodan + Fields. Don’t worry, one day I’ll be able to articulate it! I’ve seen many transformations and I want that too. After fertility treatments, twins and now another rough pregnancy, my face is lookin’ OLD. Plus, just kids! Am I right!? And best of all, I can do this along side my first love, Usborne Books & More. So like my twins, they have to share time but that’s okay, it’s totally going to be worth it! 

Now, some of you may have just laughed as I am not yet 30 years old but it is what it is. It’s how I feel about my face. Just 5 years ago I could walk around with no makeup pretty confidently and now, I’m constantly putting make up on my face to go outside where there are other people around. Ain’t nobody needs to be frightened like that! Ha! I hate wearing makeup – truly. Maybe it’s the sports or the constant training for sports but I’ve just never really liked wearing a ton of makeup! I’ve seen some pretty amazing makeup from other companies and if you are looking for some amazing makeup, I can definitely recommend some. And honestly, I was soooo tempted to buy them but to me, it makes more sense to work on my actual skin, my canvas, if you will, in order for my makeup to do it’s job. Or, better yet, I won’t have to wear as much or none at all! Whoop!

I am so lucky that I have such a supportive husband that has cheered me on the last year with Usborne Books & More and now will cheer me on through Rodan + Fields! Don’t worry, this book lady isn’t going anywhere! 🙂 I’m just going to look WAYYYY better doing it! 🙂 Want to check out all the hype of Rodan + Fields? Check out the website here: https://www.rodanandfields.com/US/pws/rachelwebking

The fact of the matter is that our method of buying products is truly changing to buying from direct sellers and largely online. Come on, you know you shop on Amazon! Some of you may resist and that’s totally okay! However, there are so many AMAZING companies out there that you could be missing out on so it’s worth checking out!

What direct sales companies do you love? Why do you love them?

Here’s to new adventures online,

Rachel