Chuck Norris and Motherhood

Motherhood  is joy beyond measure, but holy crap is life different!

As I’m learning to navigate this new phase of life, there are times when I wonder where I am, who I have become, and have I lost myself in the process of becoming a mother?

In the midst of all this questioning and changing, who knew Chuck Norris would have the insight I needed?!?

It all started when we picked up his book “The Secret Power Within: Zen Solutions to Real Problems” at a used book sale. I intended to give it to a friend as a gift, but one night when I was up late nursing I decided to glance through it. That’s when I found this quote:

“Handle everything with a disposition open to chance or change.”

And that’s my life in a nutshell right now:

I thought I was going to wear this cute shirt,

but now there’s pee on it.

I was going to run a quick errand,

but I’m still in my pjs.

I was leaving early,

but after I got the baby ready there was a diaper explosion.

Handle everything with a disposition open to chance or change…because children are improv artists and laughing is the only way to keep your sanity!

Thank you Chuck Norris for the unexpected insight into handling life…you are a badass!

If you want to check it out for yourself, I found some copies on amazon here.

Or let me know and I’ll lend you my copy!

Like this post? Share it on Facebook! 

best isn't normal

When the best way isn’t “normal”

I was adopted into my current family almost two decades ago, so it would be natural to think that when it came to building my own family, I would not be as rigid on how it happened.

Instead, I saw this as my chance to finally be “normal.”

I just wanted to be a regular person having a family the regular way.


So when we realized pregnancy on our own was not an option, it took me years before I was ready to look at other routes to parenthood.

I had to let go of the dream I had of a “normal” life, and it was not easy for me to surrender that.

Once I did, we found out about embryo adoption, and everything just clicked.


I like to say that it is the best of both worlds, because we get the incredible privilege of adopting embryos  AND the amazing experience of pregnancy.best isn't normal

It has also been the complication of both worlds, because we got the endless paperwork of the adoption process and the frustration of fertility treatments.

best isn't normalAnd it is the greatest miracle in our world.


We used an adoption agency in Washington state, were matched with a family in the United Kingdom, with embryos stored in Boston, that had to be transported to us in New Orleans.

We were literally all over the map, as far from normal as you can get…

best isn't normal

and I wouldn’t have it any other way!


How about you? Has something not going “your” way turned out even better than you imagined? Click here to share this article on Facebook and tell your story….

We all need help remembering that when life isn’t looking the way we imagined, it’s leading us somewhere even better!


God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. ~ Ephesians 3:20, The Message


Want to hear a song I wrote specifically about the wonderful joy of this pregnancy? Check it out here…it even features the baby’s heartbeat! 

Our dog ate Peace

When our dog Shadow gets nervous, he chews things.

Most of the time it’s a wicker trash can or basket.

Mildly annoying, but not terribly expensive to replace.

There have been some more pricey victims as well….like the extra leaf for the table that we store under our bed and only bring out when we have company coming over.

That one was a little harder to forgive.

Over the years we’ve learned to keep wood and wicker items out of his reach, but sometimes I forget.

Which is why, while decorating for Christmas, I placed a  wooden “Peace” sign on the hearth in our living room.

Well, there was a thunderstorm while we were out one evening which made Shadow nervous.

And he literally needed peace in the midst of the storm.

So he attacked and ate the “Peace” decoration.

Even though I know he was only looking for the nearest wooden thing to chew on, it does seem ironic that he was eating the very word that described what he was looking for.


It’s easy to poke fun at how silly he is, but I wonder if Shadow and I are really that different.

How many times have I been so angry that I’ve attacked and chewed out the very person that could help me calm down?

For instance, on Christmas Eve I was hit with an avalanche of food after opening the freezer.

I had a meltdown (no pun intended) and immediately turned and yelled at my husband.

What I really needed was a hug and some help in the kitchen.

But instead, I ripped him a new one.

I chewed up Peace.


I wish that I had taken a music minute when I felt myself getting exasperated.

Taking a time-out to tune in would have saved me a lot of grief.

Something short and simple like this song could have really helped me turn the whole experience around.

 

Peace in Playfulness

Even though we can always find much to celebrate heading into the Christmas season, it’s still really easy to get caught up in the craziness and stress out instead isn’t it?

For instance, in preparation for the baby’s arrival we are getting new carpet in the bedrooms and replacing the tile in the hall bath…

all happening next week.

Which means our dining room and garage are holding all the items from the baby room and bathroom so we (or rather, my hubby, family, and friends) can paint the nursery and prime/texture/paint the bathroom this weekend.

I was so proud that I was totally keeping my cool about all the bins and boxes stored around the house.

In fact, our living room still looked normal and we even had the tree decorated!

And then half the lights when out on the tree.

Thinking this was something I could handle fixing on my own, I set about replacing the burned out bulbs.

No dice. It’s apparently a blown fuze of some sort. Definitely beyond my capabilities.

So we half a half-lit tree for the time being…and it’s not the end of the world.

But it IS a challenge to remain calm amid the chaos of a house literally turned inside out while improvements are being made.


What has helped me to maintain some sense of peace is singing some hymns I adapted for meditating.

I’d love to share these unique compositions with you in case you are dealing with similar holiday anxiety.

The Hymns to help during Holidays experience is literally just that…

simple songs in a singalong style to help us go from feeling like we’re falling to pieces to feeling at peace.

To Hymns, Holidays, and a Happy (if at times chaotic) Home,

 

Hymns, Holidays, and Helping

Some days I feel like I barely made it through in one piece…

This year, I want to be able to say

“I made it through with peace.”

Hymns, Holidays, and Helping: Music to Combat the Craziness

If you enjoy being still with your thoughts, this is NOT for you!

If you are interested in achieving Peace but also want to be Playful, then this IS for you!

“I loved the opportunity to sing along with these meditations.  It was so unique!!” ~ Jess

Wait…are we meditating

Ultimately the goal is the same ~ PEACE

But we achieve it through singing instead of silence.

A combination of listening to positive music and saying encouraging words with simple statements that you (and your family) can singalong to.

“I loved the harp and vocal meditations, the messages were a great way to start my day!” ~ Shauna

Songs include lyrics and melody from:

♬  Silent Night ~ Away in a Manger ~(Holidays)

♬  It is Well ~ I Need Thee Every Hour ~ (Hymns)

Features:

♬  A portion of proceeds go to Wounded Warrior Foundation. ~ (Helping)

♬ Immediate access to the entire experience (10 + singalongs)

♬ Digital reminders sent to your inbox

Music that affirms our faith, reminds us of our strength, and centers our soul will change our day.

And changing our days will change our lives.

Start the experience now!

my anchor holds

Anchor Hold

I used to think of an anchor as something that

weighs you down or holds you in place,

Until I learned one thing changed every thing…


I’ve written a song about this, “Anchor for your Soul”….check it out here!


You see, my very first full time job was as a singer in the Navy band.

Which meant I had to go through bootcamp.

I had never run a mile or done a pushup in my life, and now I was required to do those things (and other unexpected tasks) in order to serve as a singer!


“I made it through bootcamp, I can make it through this”

has become my mantra in tough times.

I use the strength I gained from that experience

as an anchor.

Because sailors use anchors to hold the ship in place,

but climbers use anchors to pull themselves up to a higher place.

Totally changes everything, doesn’t it?

I’ve written a song about this, “Anchor for your Soul”….check it out here!

 

What is your anchor when things get rough? Share this and let us know!

I Couldn’t Keep Up

Do you ever feel “wrong” or “not good enough”?

It started early for me…

Pretty much as soon as I could walk, I started making up song and dance routines, ♬ grabbing my glue stick “microphone”, 🎤and roping my younger brother into running pyrotechnics (throwing leaves in the background 🍁) for my outdoor “shows.”

So my parents dutifully enrolled me in dance and piano lessons…

And I got kicked out of my dance class.

I am seriously uncoordinated and despite my best efforts it was becoming painfully obvious that I couldn’t keep up.

(That is still a bit of a sore spot for me.)

Piano lessons were a bit more successful, but there was always a girl my age who was better than me.

“Sally” (name changed to protect the innocent) always seemed to learn music faster and play it prettier.

I could never “win” because she was better.

Even though I enjoyed music, it just felt like if I couldn’t be the best it was wrong to even try. 🎹

I stopped and started lessons many times as I struggled with this feeling of inadequacy. <SIGH>

The constant comparison was exhausting.

IS exhausting.

Because (as much as I hate to admit it) I’m still doing this today.

Someone’s business is more successful, they have a better website, more likes on Facebook….

I should try this new tip, do that fancy trick, buy this new software, etc.

This was the wake up call I needed to snap out of it, step away, and talk to God:

Don’t set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do.

Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do.

If you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.

~ excerpted from Matthew 23, The Message

There will always be a metric to measure success and find ourselves not good enough.

Here’s to simply being ourselves instead!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do you think this is an important message that needs to be heard?

Please share on Facebook so that others will know they have permission to be themselves too!

Words can really wind you up, making you feel awesome…

“That compliment made me feel like I can do anything!” 😀

or awful.

“That email made me want to punch a hole in the wall!” 😤

Most of the time when it’s positive we hear it and soon forget it, but when it’s negative we can stew on it for DAYS!

Last Friday I got an email that made me feel like an idiot and I spent three days moping and fretting.

On Monday we heard the baby’s heartbeat. ❤️

It was an awesome experience that I’ll remember forever, but I did not let that miraculous feeling consume me the way that stupid email did.

So it got me wondering, is there a way to harness the power of music to help us hold onto the good stuff longer? ♫

Time for an experiment.

I asked my friends on Facebook to share the things that they were most grateful for.

I’m weaving them into a song that will debut right here.

My hope and prayer is that this will get our day (and our weekend) off to a positive start.

Check it out and consider sharing it with your friends.

What we focus on expands,

let’s expand our blessings this weekend!

Wonderful Joy

Debuting the song we wrote together!

Posted by AprilSingsalot on Friday, September 29, 2017

 

 

 

changing a habit to help when times are tough

Here comes the pretty part…

That’s what one of my students told me today during his piano lesson.

He had a favorite part in the song and he had finally gotten to it. So he paused to announce it proudly.

That’s how I feel in my life right now. Like the last few years of struggle to become parents were a long, hard passage in a song. And now, here comes the pretty part! The light after that long dark tunnel.

We wouldn’t appreciate the “pretty” parts if it wasn’t for the difficult parts. So I’m thankful for EVERY part of this journey.

And that’s why I chose “It is Well” for the Facebook live this morning.

Satan may buffet,

Trials will come,

but God is the victor

when helpless I feel,

He is the guard for my soul.

If you are also thankful for every part of the journey, share this with your friends! 

 

Good News! A lesson in Release

I’ve shared with you our infertility struggle. And now I get to share the good news…

I am pregnant! 🤰

I can honestly say that this is the happiest I have ever been…and that I wouldn’t trade a minute of the six year journey to get to this moment.

One of the many things I realized is that I was holding so tightly to the way I thought this had to happen. Lost in all the appointments, calendars, and alarms I started to think I had control over the outcome.

No surprise, it wasn’t happening as scheduled. I got a really strong reminder to

Release meant that we took a break this summer to travel and recover emotionally from all of the ups and downs we had been through.

When we returned, we felt we were supposed to try again, and decided to tell no one.

Releasing the need to share and instead lean on each other and our faith.

The week leading up to our embryo transfer was also VBS at our church. Every day of that week I sung these simple yet powerful words with the children…

Grounded in His love, Full of faith and hope

Everywhere that I go, Everything that I do

He’s keeping me on track, He’s always got my back

God I’m listening for you, You are the one who’s

GOT THIS!

If you need a reminder of this (like me!), check out this free recording of the song and some fun coloring sheets.

It’s a constant struggle to release and remember that God’s Got It, but we’re in this together!

P.S.– Music has saved me in many ways so I’m passionate about helping others find comfort in song as well. Please consider sharing this message with a friend!