Monday, March 24, 2014

the day-maker

Today was Monday: grocery day. I have become an avid Aldi lover, so we always start there to get the basics and slide over to another store to grab whatever specialty items Aldi didn't have. It needs to be said that if you have never been to an Aldi, and there is one anywhere near you, YOU MUST GO!! NOW!!!! It's a sister company of Trader Joe's and can always be counted on to be found in the most ghetto shopping center around, but golly. The produce rocks my socks and the basic staples are so cheap you'll think it's a joke. I don't buy my meat or coffee there, but everything else is fair game!

I digress.

So we just pulled in, I handed Roman the cart-quarter, and I reviewed our plan of action with the boys: be good helpers, walk beside the cart, please don't ask for things that aren't on our grocery list. And for the love of all that is good, PLEASE DON'T RUN. And between there and the time he gets unbuckled, he lost the quarter. Twice. Three times. So I dig out the secret Aldi quarter stash in the ash drawer and explain that money is to be handled carefully and since he lost it that many times, he would have to wait for another turn next week. Mother translation: I don't have any more quarters in case things go south again, kid. Sorry.

Cue Lady Awesome.

She sees that Roman is distraught as I pull out our cart, and she smiles at me saying, "If it's okay with you, mama, I'd love if he got my cart out..." Shh! Lady, I'm teaching a lesson here. "...And it's been a long time since I've had little hands to help me with my chores." Dang it. So you want to bring joy to a sad little kid while reminiscing your days gone by, and I'm going to keep you from that privilege? Okay, fine. We'll teach the lesson of manners and thank yous today instead.

Lady gives quarter to kid. Kid gets cart. Kid smiles. Mother reminds kid of manners. Kid says "thank you." Into the store we all go.

Five seconds later, I have said "no" to at least five things, and Liam is in a dead sprint down aisle one.

Remix.

So I take a deep breath, and in the calmest voice I can muster, (Because kids are kind of like animals in that way. When you're angry and just need to get your hands on the little buggers, you have to let the pretend-sugar ooze from your voice in order to override the common sense that is screaming in their head, telling them to flee from danger and run for their lives!) I gather them quickly to my side. And there, kneeling on the floor on the right side of aisle one, and four feet into the door, we review our rules for the grocery store that day.

Take two.

Lady Awesome is now reaching for eggs as Liam grabs the milk and lugs it over, met by my celebration and encouragement. Meanwhile, Roman is giving himself props for getting the mayo into the cart like I had asked him. She leans over to me and quietly says, "Keep going, mama. I know it's hard when the days are long and it's inconvenient, but putting in the time now will make things so much better when they're grown. Remember, you're building helpers." I glance over through my tear-brimmed eyes to see her two teenage daughters standing with her cart.

Grateful, I utter some sort of inadequate expression of thanks and offer a trademark crooked smile.

It is some time later, around the cheese case, that we meet again. She approaches me and, in a hushed voice, explains that she and her daughters are buying some oyster crackers to feed the seagulls that are gathered in the parking lot outside. And, if I'm okay with it, would my boys and I like to join? Of course we do. We agree to meet over by the birds after putting our groceries into our separate cars, and she hands my boys the sacred bag of crackers to hold and bring over.

So I have the boys standing in the back of our SUV while I load the groceries from cart to car and barely finish explaining "Okay, boys, stay right there. I'm just running the cart over to the return and then we'll head over. Don't push buttons and don't hop out." And there, coming up to my right shoulder, is her oldest daughter. She hands me a quarter back and says, "I'll take your cart back for you."

Stunned. I am stunned. As if this lady hasn't already been kind enough, she has thought of every step I have to organize to make this happen.

Some people really know how to love on other people. 

It is among the flock of seagulls that we all meet up, passing the bag back and forth while making small talk with each other. We throw our crackers high in to the air and out in front of us, occasionally taking pause to laugh at small boys who prefer to eat many of the crackers that we expected would be in bird bellies. And we continue the dance until the bag is filled only with crumbs.

We exchange the expected pleasantries, me making sure my boys each look them in the eyes and say "thank you" and myself explaining how kind and thoughtful they were. And how much that made my day. She smiles and says, "I just really love when I see a mom with young children who is taking the time to do things the hard way- the right way. We are all in such a hurry these days, that we miss the big stuff. You're doing a great job, Mama. You need to know that."

And it was there in the Aldi parking lot that I cried.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Beanies



I cannot stop wearing beanies these days. Call it lazy hair days, call it winter, call it love of an accessory- I don't care what you call it. I just know I'm going to keep wearing it! Leave it to this gorgeous gal from my insta feed to make me keep coming back for more... 









Sunday, March 9, 2014

fin

Well, I think we have reached the end of the beauty series. I think I have covered the topics on my heart, as well as the ones good friends have asked to hear more about. There are a few more questions on my radar that I may cover later, but I think this is a good stopping point.

So I just want to say "thanks."

Thanks for reading.
Thanks for coming back.
Thanks for hearing my heart.
Thanks for being brave. Brave enough to believe you are truly beautiful.
Thanks for the way you chase after life- trying to make each day better than the last.
You inspire me.
You touch my heart with the comments you leave.
You make my day with your private messages, exposing your struggles and trusting me with them.
You challenge me to keep pushing, making each of my days better than the last.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
I hope you know that by now. Like, really know it. Deep in your bones.


And so it is with this post that we go back to regularly scheduled programming. If you know what the heck that means, please let me know! haha

A post is coming tomorrow with a regular It's Becker Style blog post. But for tonight, I just wanted to say thanks. I needed the closure. [And for those of you who are wondering what the HECK I am talking about, you can do a search in the bar on the top left hand corner of the blog under the topic "the beauty series." There are about 8 entries there that talk about some stuff.]

Thanks, you guys. I sure do think you're great. 


Monday, March 3, 2014

i hope you know

You know this blog- and the instagram and fb page attached to it- is only a puzzle piece of the picture, right? One small, edited, selected part of the whole.

You know that the outfit my toddler is wearing was taken before the spaghetti sauce dumped down his shirt and the booger slid out of his nose and onto his lip. Right?

You know that story I shared when Jerry made me feel loved is totally true, but what you don't see are the times we are duking it out, working and praying hard so that this marriage actually IS as sweet to be in as it sounds like it is. Don't you?

You know that new sofa looks nice sitting in front of the window, but there is no picture that lets you see the time we have taken to save up for it, or the thing we didn't buy in order to get it.  I hope?

So why do I share these things? Why do I post pictures of the time I actually got dressed, when I am currently blogging in my sweats with no make up? Sweet friend, I feel like you need to know that I have no interest in being disingenuous. My heart isn't to make my life seem glamorous- in fact, I can assure you it feels like nothing of the sort. So why choose to share that thing?

Why do any of us choose to share the things we do?

I keep thinking of this quote at the beginning of the book by Donald Miller, "Blue Like Jazz."

"I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.

After that I liked jazz music.

Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way."

I share outfits, room décor, and kid pics because I have a heart to inspire others. To help. To create. To enjoy. To create beauty in life around me. And because one of the things I love most in life is sharing things I love with others. Ask Jerry. If we go out to eat together, you will be forced to try a bite of that entrée I got at the restaurant that made me roll my eyes in sheer bliss, because I want you to taste something, too. If you are doing life with me, I will beg you to read the article that I just read and that touched my heart, because I want your heart to be touched, too. I will excitedly tell you about the amazing price I just got my new coat for because I want you to enjoy the sale with me if you need a new coat, too! You see... I just love living life beside people. I love savoring it.

I'm the girl who genuinely chooses to spend her time counting her blessings and not focusing on what she doesn't have. I believe life is beautiful and God is inspiring and our days should be embraced with a conquering yell in our lungs and wide-open arms. I believe life is sweet. It's a joy. It's a privilege. I believe in living with open hands- that the blessings I have may be counted a such, but to also be ready to give at the second they are asked. I love to look at the homes/outfits/food my friends [and cyber friends!] post to insta/pinterest/fb and be inspired by it. And so I add my "noise" to the bunch in hopes that others will be inspired and will, in turn, inspire me right back!

I don't believe a person's value is attached to their outfit. I don't believe a home needs pretty things in it in order to be filled with joy. I don't need validation from others to know that my life is an honor and a pleasure to live- I only pray I live it well. And I hope you are living yours well, too.

So if you have ever walked away from a blog post wondering if that's all I cared about, know that it's not.
If you have ever questioned whether I shared the picture of my home trying to impress you, know that I didn't.
If you have been tempted to think I use superficial means to define the worth of those around me, know that I don't.

I just want to suck the very marrow out of life. And I want to enjoy the beautiful things and precious moments in it. I want to celebrate the victories and process through the trials and remember the lessons. And I love to share them with you.

Thanks for walking life with me.     ----/--@