Family 2015

Family 2015

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Mom's Take on Smartphones and Such...

I gotta be honest, I am so sick of all the panic and general hand-wringing about technology and social media - I really am over it.

It's not because I don't understand - I get it.  I admit to walking in the living room and seeing everyone of my children staring at a phone and NOT LIKING IT.  I have struggled with the appropriate way to enforce "screen boundaries."  I have said, "if I see that phone at the table, it's mine," and meant it, buddy.

However, I do not buy into the idea that these little computers we carry in our back pockets are going to be the end of society as we know it.  That they are handicapping us and making it impossible for us to truly connect with each other or have meaningful relationships.

Sorry, but I call BS on that.

I call BS on it because I like my phone just as much as the next person - maybe even a little more, if I'm being honest.  Yet, strangely, I still manage to have close relationships with my family (yes - even my teenagers, love their phones though they do), and friends.  I still care for people deeply and have normal face-to-face conversations.  I am still involved in my community and understand the value of volunteerism and giving back.  I am not saying I'm perfect, by any means, but I am standing up and saying confidently that my iPhone has not stolen my soul.

And you know what?  I see these same things in my kids. They love their phones, sure.  But, they also love their friends.  They may communicate with flying thumbs and goofy selfies instead of locked in the pantry on a rotary phone, but communicate they do.  They have deep and meaningful conversations on social media.  They discuss issues, dream about their futures, tackle difficult subjects and encourage one another.  I know this because I see it and read it.  I know there is plenty my kids don't share with me, but it is not uncommon for one of them to say, "Hey mom, read this text, or what do you think about this thing I read or watch this cool video so and so sent me."  Make no mistake, they are tackling life just like we did.

We all need to be aware, we need to be intentional in our relationships, we need to be parents and not allow our kids to be consumed with all things electronic...BUT, we also need to give ourselves a little credit.  We can have these devices and still be and raise good, loving and thoughtful humans.

That's how I see it.  :)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Pausing to Take Stock

Those of you who have read my blog since it started know that I started blogging after I had begun writing a book and then lost all of the content when my computer crashed.  It was a sad, sad day, but I learned the valuable lesson of backing things up and it prompted me to keep a journal of my life and family, because, gosh darn it, I will indeed write a book one of these days!

So...I blog and post to facebook because I like to share with my friends, but also because I am building content.

Today's blog is just a moment for me to stop and look around my life.  I am busy, busy, busy!!!  But, I don't want to miss all the wonder in my busy-ness.  Read on if you're interested, if not - you will read it in my book.  :)

In a few short weeks, my 2nd born will graduate from high school.  I have been thinking lately about how much the dynamic of our family will change when she goes to college (as it did when our first born ventured out a couple of years ago).  The changes are good, but also hard. We have been this close-knit group of 7 people for years and now we have reached the point where the members are starting to embark on the part of their journey where they strike out on their own.  They are SUPPOSED to do this, this has been the goal all along, but that doesn't mean we like it all the time.

In 5 months - 5 short months - there will only be 5 of us living in this house full time.

Kennedy will be a junior at Longwood University.  We have been so proud to watch her embrace college and take advantage of all the opportunities that she has been afforded. Her future is bright indeed.

Reagan will be a freshman at Radford University.  So excited for all she will learn and have the opportunity to be involved in.  I have no doubt it will catapult her forward, not just as a dancer, but as a person.

McKinley will be a sophomore at Stuarts Draft High School.  She discovered a love for theater this year, participating in both the One Act and the musical; and also discovered she can sing. I don't know where she will head after high school, but she will certainly have plenty of options.

Carter will be an 8th grader at Stuarts Draft Middle School.  He eats, drinks and breathes lacrosse.  For the boy whose interests change so rapidly, it has been interesting to see him latch onto this and stick with it.  He has a fair amount of natural talent, and is learning how to add hard work to the equation.  Who knows where it will lead?

Pierce will be a 5th grader at Guy K. Stump Elementary. He often feels like he is being left behind in a family where everyone is so busy, and growing and changing so quickly. I remind him often they they were just like him when they were 10. I, for one, am glad to have a 10 year old who is taking his time with life.

5 kids (well, 2 of them are adults...), 5 different schools.  1 Mom brain and heart to handle it all.

Sometimes, I feel the odds are stacked against me.

But, on days like today I just choose to embrace the waterfall.  Would I want less?  Would I want them to not experience life, learn, grow, fly?  Of course not.  I will let the beauty of their growth overwhelm me, not the sadness of change.

Today, I will breathe deeply and enjoy this moment, I will be grateful for the years of constant togetherness and thousands of shared memories.  I will look forward to all of the new ones we have yet to make.

I will be honored to be a part of making this Mihailoff family tapestry.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Grace for Today

Been thinking a lot about grace lately - mostly because I need it so much.  Not just the grace that saves me in the afterlife, but the grace to walk through this life - day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute sometimes.

Grace to just keep on going when it feels like that is all you have done for years and years and years...

Life has given me much to be grateful for and I am indeed grateful.

But, I am also tired and discouraged some days.

On those days, I am glad that I have the everlasting arms to lean back on.  Part of my journey has been realizing that that is what those arms are for.  I spent a lot of years imagining that they were folded in anger against me.

That realization has been a beautiful fruit of the struggle, I wouldn't trade that knowledge for anything.

But, I am ready, ready to move on past some of the issues that have plagued me for years.

Today, I sigh and keep on walking.  Grace for today and bright hope for tomorrow...