Friday, April 4, 2014

She's Turning 30 but It's All About Me

"Do you have any idea how hard it is on a mom when her oldest child is turning thirty?" I asked Amanda last weekend at the homeschool convention. She rolled her eyes and said, "Because it's all about..." "ME!" I finished the sentence with a giggle.

Last night I texted this message to her:
"So I will wake tomorrow morning as the mother of a thirty year old. Because it's all about ME! Lol"

I celebrated my 19th birthday with a party that involved alcohol, a visit from the local police, and a fight with my boyfriend that ended our relationship. Or so I thought.

A few days later I was still feeling nauseous from the party and my roommate suggested I take a pregnancy test. I honestly didn't believe I was pregnant, simply because we were broke up and a child didn't fit into my plans. At all.

Home pregnancy tests were relatively new in 1983 and a bit complicated. It was all done in a test tube with some chemicals and involved a mirror and 45 nerve-wracking minutes. Long enough to chew my nails to the quick.

I checked the test just five minutes before time was up and it seemed a bit dark at the bottom, but no ring! I left the test and headed to the living room to tell my friend how relieved I was to be able to get on with my life. When I returned to the bathroom minutes later to toss the test into the trash, I screamed. There was an unmistakable perfectly-formed dark ring in the bottom of the test tube. It was positive.

Karen ran into the bathroom and grabbed me in an attempt to calm me down. "It's okay, Cheryl! It's okay! I'll help you! We'll do this together I promise." Karen, a divorced, single mom of a two year old was my best friend from childhood. I hung onto her words. "It'll be okay..."

I told John. Of course we would get married; that's what you did after all, in 1983 when there was a baby on the way. Never mind the fact that we brought out the worst in each other. Forget the fact that neither of us had a decent job (I was working as a sales clerk at K-Mart). Karen stood with me a month later as two children made vows they had no intention of keeping.

And then there was the baby. I had no idea how to care for a baby! I was expecting a dark-haired, dark-eyed little boy who looked like his daddy but as I lay strapped to the table, I heard the cry of a newborn and lifted over the drapes was a blonde-haired little girl who looked like me! I was a mommy! I began to weep and continued to cry so hard, even in the recovery room that the nurses wondered if I was planning to give my baby up for adoption. I didn't know why I was crying, but I couldn't stop.

They brought her to me in the middle of the night. "Amanda," I whispered her name as the small bundle was being placed in my arms. Bright blue eyes searched for mine. I felt an indescribable love so deeply that I began to tear up again.

A few days to adjust to motherhood and they wheeled me out of the hospital. I felt a sense of panic and wondered, "Are they really going to let me leave with her? Does anybody care that I don't know what I'm doing?"

If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you may already know that Amanda and I went through some rough times together.

This was the last photo taken of Amanda with both parents before John and I divorced. C. 1986
Dec. 1987 taken one week before Terry and I married
Amanda, Stephanie, Emily Jo. Christmas 1992

 In the Loving a Rebel series, though I painted a pretty grim picture, it wasn't all bad. We had many fun times together!

By God's grace, we weathered the storms together and I am so very proud of this daughter of mine, who also happens to be one of my very best friends in the whole world!

Amanda has been married to Ryan for nearly 8 years.

She is mommy to Aiden (6), Jade (4), and Mila (21 months).

As we went through pregnancy and childbirth in the same year (2009), we are now raising children together!

In addition to homeschooling her children, she also works a day or two a week as a CNA and helps build houses through Habitat. She and Ryan are representatives for Habitat for Humanity.

Okay, so maybe it's not really all. about. me.

Maybe it's more about US; our journey together these past 30 years.

The problems, the struggles, the turmoil; yes.

But also the joy, the victories, the laughter, and the love.

Happy birthday to the one who made me a mommy...

Thirty years ago today.


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This post is linked with:

Modest Monday
Titus 2sDay
Teach Me Tuesday
Welcome Home Wednesday
Raising Homemakers
Wise Woman Link Up

Thursday, March 27, 2014

It's Homeschool Convention Time!

Our family is thrilled to attend the Indiana Association of Home Educators (IAHE) Convention this weekend!

Considering all the motivational speakers and variety of workshops available, the hard part is narrowing down our options. Of course, we can't make it to all the sessions, but thankfully IAHE records each one!

I am really looking forward to encouragement from Heidi St. John via her messages Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Daylight: How to fit your size 16 day into a size 10 as well as The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Romance. In this crazy busy season of my life, I desperately need them both!

This year the folks at IAHE are trying something brand new that we are very excited about; a teen volunteer program called Crew 4:12. MacKenzie, Corrie, and Isaac are all looking forward to this opportunity and the prospect of meeting new friends.

Besides attending sessions, Emily and Haley will be assisting me at the Doorposts' booth. Our family has been honored to represent this company for the past four years. Doorposts has been instrumental in helping to shape the character training of our children and Pam Forster is one of my top Titus 2 ladies! She's blogging now, y'all!

Saturday morning is usually quiet enough for me to slip away to scope out what the other vendors have to offer. We purchase the majority of our curriculum at the convention and save a ton of money on shipping. Plus we have the advantage of seeing and handling the curriculum before we buy.

Here are some photos from previous conventions:

2013 at the Marsh Pavillion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds

2012. From L-R: Corrie, Emily, Haley, MacKenzie, Isaac, Terry, me

2011 At the Indiana Convention Center
Each year, we've been pleasantly surprised to meet several Shoebox readers at the convention. 

Are you planning to attend? If so, drop by Doorposts' booth and say hi!


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