Hello, friends. I have something special for us. We are moving up in the world. Since I started both writing and taking photos, I've been looking and looking for a way to combine them into one site. But I couldn't find the link. Until I had this moment, and I knew. Hope was the link. Soon after that, I started working on a new site.
Along with combining two of my passions, I also wanted to create room for growth. I wanted to be able to expand what I write about. I love the idea of us sitting down together, cozied up on my couch, with our hands around cups of coffee, talking about life and love. So I created this: Hopeful Hearts and Coffee Cups. Hopeful Hearts for photography, Coffee Cups for the blog. Hope, love, laughter, life, and friendship, all in one spot. I am still transferring some blog posts from here, onto the new site. And there's some technical stuff that my e-geek husband is still working on. But it's up, and I think it's pretty cool, and I just I couldn't wait any longer to share it with you. Come visit our new space! Hopeful Hearts and Coffee Cups. I love it. I hope you do, too.
This site will be up through April 25th, and then we will be fully on the new one. See you there!
So, usually our house is complete and utter chaos. It kind of resembles a three-ring circus, only without the ringmaster holding everything together. I think I am supposed to be the ringmaster, but since I am an introvert I am usually hiding out in my room, so there goes the whole "managing the chaos" gig. Just to demonstrate what I mean by chaos, one day my status update on Facebook was that at the particular moment my daughter was on the computer asking Google how to potty-train a hamster, my middle child was running naked around the house and screaming at the top of his lungs, and my youngest was happily engaged in drowning his stuffed animals in the tub. Because that's not concerning AT ALL. And I was sitting in the middle of it and blocking it all out with social media. So yeah. And for the record, that was not an unusual day. For some reason, I just felt like sharing our normal madness with the world that day.
In an email conversation with a friend recently, I shared with her that I felt like I was finally getting this whole parenting thing figured out. She didn't ask me to elaborate, probably because that was a pretty bold statement that touches on all of our parenting insecurities. If she had asked me for more details, this is what I would have said.
There are moments, everyday-nothing-special moments, that stick in my memory. I don't know why those moments stay with me and other things, bigger things, don't. But one morning, several weeks ago, I woke up and in that transition between asleep and awake, I suddenly remembered a moment from 26 years ago. And then I started to cry, when I realized how that one everyday-nothing-special moment has shaped my life.
There are times when my life just bounces along smoothly. Questions arise and I can bat them away like a self-confident badass. I know exactly what to do with every dilemma that comes up, without a moment's debate. And then there are the times when a question knocks me over and I analyze it for hours. When I can't find the answer no matter how hard I try. Nothing feels right. And this feeling drives me CRAZY! I hate not knowing the answer. So when I had a big question I was sitting with a few weeks ago, it drove me up a wall. I felt twitchy, like I had swallowed ants.
The other day, my son asked for my help finding a video online (parental confession number 1 for this post: my kids watch too many videos on YouTube. I'm okay with it. It prevents Mommy from spiking her coffee). I explained I would be happy to help him, but it might take a little patience. He looks thoughtful and says "That's okay, maybe Dad can do it", to which I insisted "I can do it! I can be patient! I swear!" He considers this for a moment and then replies "You know what, maybe I'll just do it." He's pretty smart, that one.
One day, many years ago, a family member sat me down and told me her story of sexual assault. Her story was meant to be a warning. She did not want me to become prey to the same predator who assaulted her. Telling her story was very scary for her, but she summoned the courage to do it because she knew she could not sit on her knowledge any longer. There are times when the need to speak the truth is more important than the fear.
I have a tattoo on my lower abdomen. It's the word "faith" encircled with an infinity symbol. I got it because I wanted a reminder to always have faith. I got it on my lower abdomen because I figured in times of needing faith, I would lower my head in sadness or despair, and I would see my tattoo, or at least the spot where the tattoo is. I don't generally walk around with my lower abdomen uncovered. I've given birth to three children. Nuff said. But you get what I mean. That tattoo is always there when I need it. But the actual faith itself? No so much. See, faith means trust. They are intrinsically linked. You can't have one without the other. And trust is not an area where I excel.
A couple weeks ago, I made a huge decision. I decided to slow down on my graduate work and take one class at a time instead of two. For some people, looking at my very full life, this would be simply the logical choice. In fact, many people would have stayed at one class at a time from the very beginning. But for me, it took a year of high stress and more than a few panic attacks for me to realize that putting that much on myself was not only unnecessary, it was unkind.
Recently, I went on a trip to Dallas, Texas, as part of my master's degree program. I arrived the day before the event started. I was worried about the travel and being away from my family for that long. But it wasn't until I arrived and was standing in my hotel room, realizing that I now had 30 hours of time completely on my own, with nothing to do, in a large and unfamiliar city, that reality really sunk in.
I am so glad you are here! Welcome to my blog. Look around and make yourself comfortable, because this is your space, too. My name is Amy, and I am no stranger to the ups and downs of life. Join me as we search for beauty and authenticity, tell our truth, and hold space for each other in the messiness of life.