Friday, February 17, 2017

Speech Meet

I just got home from watching Jason during the semifinal round of Speech Meet.

What is Speech Meet?
I'm learning as we go since this is our first experience with it.

Everyone at their school has a "speech" that they have to memorize and perform in front of the class. There are three different categories. Jason chose Bible. I think the others might be poetry and fables... or something like that.

They have a certain amount of days to get their speech memorized and then they perform it in front of their classes. The top two in each category for each class advance to the semifinals.

Today I watched nervously as Jason stood in a crowded room of judges, parents, and peers and recited his 10 verses about Zacchaeus. He looked so sharp with his hair spiked up and his bow tie on. He spoke clearly and looked around the room. He's turning 9 on Monday and he just did what so many adults are really afraid to do. Public speaking is tough!

He finished off his speech and sat back down with his friends. I watched as he held out his hands and said to his buddy, "My hands are shaking!"

What a great experience for Jason! To realize that he CAN stand in front of a crowd and speak. And he can do it well. And to feel the adrenaline feelings that go along with it.

We don't know yet if he advanced to the final round where he will go against students from other schools. His friend that he was up against today also did really well. I'm nervously waiting for the results. But either way... I am SO PROUD of my Jason! He was committed to practicing and doing his best. He overcame nerves. He did it!

To me, no matter what the results are from today's semifinals, he is a winner and he has my heart!


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mom, There's a Bad Word In My Book.

I realized shortly after moving into our house four and a half years ago that we would be having conversations with our kids about words they heard very soon... much sooner than we had hoped we would have to. When your house is ten feet from the sidewalk and people are constantly walking by... and when the playground is just across the street... words float in our windows.

I knew I wouldn't be able to keep my kids from hearing them, so I started asking them daily... "Have you heard or seen anything that you have questions about?"

And they started asking us about the words they heard.

My hope was that they would become comfortable talking to me about anything, that they would trust me enough to ask, and that since we started talking about those words when they were in kindergarten and first grade that they wouldn't feel the need to use them when they hit middle school and all the kids were trying them out.

I don't know if my plan will work out as I hope... but I do know that we are building a comfort level with the awkward conversations. Liza and Jason ask about words all the time now. There is no shame in saying them when asking. But sometimes they still surprise me.

Like in this recent conversation with Liza....

LIZA: Mom, there's a bad word in the book I'm reading.
ME: What's the word?
LIZA: *shows me the book and points to the word retard*
ME: Do you know what that word means?
LIZA: Yeah. Doesn't it mean like bitch or something?
ME: *laughing so hard inside!* Well, not really.

I explained what it means and why it's not a nice word to use. (She was reading Percy Jackson.) 
And then I felt so content. Liza doesn't run around using the word bitch... but she was comfortable enough to know that she could just say it to me to explain what she was thinking.

I hope conversation is always this easy between us.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Relationships Are Messy

I saw the above quote while scrolling down Facebook the other day and my mind screamed "LIE! It's a lie!"

And it is.

We pass around fluffy quotes. The people that pass them around are usually in a good place in their relationship. They are in a place where it still feels amazing all the time. They are young. They are dreamers.

I was once one of those people.

But... I don't know... I've been married for 14 years now and I have been in a REAL relationship, even the "right relationship" as I've seen this quote say as well, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but not every day is going to be like Valentine's day.

Some days are going to be hard.
Some days will be filled with stress and fighting.
And some days will feel like Valentine's Day... but not every day.

Wouldn't it get boring if every day was like Valentine's Day anyways? Wouldn't it lose it's appeal because it would become the routine and expectation and there is no surprise in routine.

Maybe .0001% of relationships will find this quote to be true through their entire life.

Chances are it won't be yours. And I don't say that to be mean (although I am a bit jaded). I say it to prepare you.

Relationships are messy because life is messy... people are messy.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Monster Trucks Movie... and How It Became Jason's New Favorite

Back in November, on a day we didn't have school, I took the kids to see a movie. It was the first time we had seen a preview for, or even heard of, Monster Trucks. After the preview ran Jason looked at me with his big blue eyes full of excitement and wonder and said, "We have. to see. that movie."

In December we went back to the theater to see another movie. It's what we do on days off. Again, we saw a preview and posters for Monster Trucks and Jason went on and on about how he really had to see that movie and couldn't wait for it to come out.

In January, we had another day off of school... so we went to see Monster Trucks!

Jason woke up excited.
And then he shared that he was nervous. He was afraid that he had let his expectations run too high. What if he didn't like the movie as much as he thought he would? What if it was a let down?

I was hoping for his sake that he would love the movie as much as he had been hoping he would for the past two months.

The theater we go to is about 35 minutes away and I loved looking in the rearview mirror to see Jason hugging his stuffed animal that he brought along for the ride. I loved listening to him talk about his hopes for the movie and his nerves because of his expectation.

And I loved snuggling with him at the theater.

I loved watching him as he sat on the edge of his seat completely involved with the movie.

And when it was over, he once again turned to me with those big blue eyes and said "That was AWESOME!!"

Expectations not only met, but exceeded.

He went on and on about the movie. He loved every second of it and said that it's going to be a really REALLY long time before he has a new favorite movie, IF he ever has a new favorite movie. Monster Trucks is it.

And it was cute! I enjoyed it. It was a silly, unrealistic, feel good movie. It was clean and so appropriate for kids.

Jason's birthday is coming up and I thought I had it easy... get him the movie and some Monster Trucks toys/products. But nope. The movie won't be released on DVD in time and I can't find any Monster Truck stuff anywhere.

I guess he'll be getting a "coupon" saying he'll get the Monster Trucks movie the day it comes out.

If you haven't watched it... you should! Especially if you have an eight year old boy!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Evolution of My Blog

I took a long, unplanned break from blogging.

The truth is that I love to write. I enjoy sharing my life but I also process through sharing. Sometimes I start a post and I have no idea where it is going to go, but by the end I'm writing out things I hadn't even thought of and I land in a good place.

When I first started blogging I titled my blog "Life Happens"... because life happens and how we deal with it determines who we become.

After a while I found myself in a really good place and I changed the name to A Hearty Overflow. I wanted something fresh and "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks."

And then I found myself in a place where my overflow was anything but hearty and it became hard to write in the space that was titled A Hearty Overflow. So I did another rename and made it Laura Lately... because I can keep that one no matter where I find myself in life. Good times and bad times... it can all fall under Laura Lately.

Well Laura lately is an angry, hurting, jaded person.

That is why I stopped writing. I felt my soul had become too dark and nothing I would share would be uplifting. I didn't think anyone would want to read about my angry heart and jaded thoughts. So I didn't write. I didn't process. I didn't share.

I miss writing. I miss the process. I want to blog again. I don't know if it will be often or few and far between. But I want to write. I want to share my angry heart and jaded thoughts... because that is who I am right now. And just maybe... through writing, I'll start to process again and in the end land in a better place.

*fingers crossed*

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