Grandma Ruby. Y'all have heard about her by now. And y'all know she played such an intricate role in my childhood. I was the middle sister growing up (the now youngest didn't come till I was 17). Me and my two sisters would ride the bus every single day to grandma's house after school until my parents got off of work. We spent every single day during the summer there too. There were so many sleepovers in her living room. So many days she let our friends come over and play. So many hot summer afternoons spent in our little plastic swimming pool, that she would fill and refill time and time again. Trips for lunch at Dairy Queen (where we always split chicken strip baskets). So many memories that I cherish to this day. Family meant EVERYTHING to my Grandma. She loved to brag to everyone we met about how much she loved us and how amazing we were. She was soft but could be stern when it was necessary. She trusted in Jesus in times when money was tight and lived for 20ish years alone, after my Grandpa Robert passed. I know how badly she missed him and longed for the day she got to be with him again. Ive always admired her for her strength, her spunk, and her love for Jesus and family. I'd do anything for a big hug right now. I'm a mom now, and that's all I've ever wanted to be. Really. Growing up, and through high school it came time for me to make a decision as to where I was going to school after I graduated, and what for and I was like uuuhhhhhhh.... I chose to go to John A Logan, a small community college about 40 minutes from my hometown and became a licensed cosmetologist. That lasted all of like 3 years. And do you know what I wanted from the moment I married my husband? KIDS. I wanted to be a mom. We chose to do it all differently and out of the norm, and are licensed foster parents. The three babies we've got have filled my heart more than I ever imagined it could be. I would do anything for them. And being a mom is everything I ever imagined it to be. Magical. Sweet. Precious. And then it is HARD. And exhausting. But any way I spin it, I've found this: it's worth it. I wouldn't want to be anything else everyday, all day. You can ask my husband, I'm a memory maker. I'm the mom that makes us all five go out and do ridiculous things that usually ends up in the two of us feeling like we are herding cats, and ready to pull our hair out. And you know why I do it? And you know why Nathan comes along and pretends to be excited? For them. To see them smile, and use their imagination, get excited, giggle; all of it. Nothing makes me more happy than seeing joy all over their faces. There are times that our kids mention something we've done that seemed exhausting for us, and so much harder than it was worth. And you know who I think of almost every time? MY PRECIOUS GREAT GRANDMA RUBY. And I understand why day in and day out she did everything in her power to have fun with us. Because she loved us more than her level of exhaustion. She loved us more than however much she wanted to sit in her big recliner in the living room and plop us in front of the tv. Because it was all worth it to her to see our smiles and for us to create those memories. My grandma Ruby has inspired me in so many aspects of my life and in my business, but I'd have to say the biggest way is in the way I mother my babies. I have failed so many times. I have chose to be exhausted and lazy on days when I should have played babies with them. I've had my phone in my face more than I'm proud of when I should have been outside drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. Luckily, I have a pretty amazing mom that loves to fill in the gaps for my babies when I fail them or when she knows I am totally overwhelmed. My grandma always talked about how fast we grew up. And even though I have so many memories with her, and had her for 20 years, it felt like it all happened in a blink of an eye. That our time together was here and then gone. I'm quickly realizing how much faster everything goes now that I've got my own babies to make memories with..... I pray daily that I can be a patient, loving, kind momma. That I can be exactly what my babies need me to be. That I can be what my mom, and my grandmas and great grandma Ruby have been for me. That I will take the time to make those memories & do those things that I really don't want to do. That I will press into Jesus when things are hard. That I can live out my faith till my very last day. That I'll make that paper chain with them.
That I'll let them make too much noise on the organ.
That I'll let them play with play-doh even though I know they'll get it everywhere.
That I'll do their hair and make up and let them play dress up. That I'll let them create. Draw. Cut. Glue.
That they'll always have things to remember that bring them joy when I'm gone. Just like I do with my sweet grandma Ruby.