I’ve had these pictures sitting in an unwritten blog post for days now waiting for me to write something fancy about them. They wanted their 15 minutes of fame, and frankly, I don’t blame them. But they’re not getting it today. Well, they’re here to be seen, but not heard. Not this time. I usually go through the whole “this is how long this piece has been sitting in my basement and then here’s how it looked before I painted it and here’s what it looks like now” thing with you guys, but I can’t do that today. Today I need to share what’s on my heart. And with that…did you know I’m a mom? I talk about my beautiful littles here and there on the blog, but mostly they’re not the center of the show. They don’t really exist much here. This is usually “my” world. And really, for that, I am thankful. These past couple weeks, especially this one, have been incredibly trying for me. My two girls, 5 & 2.5, fight constantly. Well, maybe not constantly, but when I’m in the throws of it, it seems like every single “darn” second. (Yes, you can fill in “darn” with what I’m really thinking!) And the whining! And the “mine” all. the. time. Oh my! You guys, it has been hard to say the least. And I’ve been stressed about other “stuff” in the background which makes it even harder for me to “deal” with them. I’m a mom, but I haven’t been mothering. Yes, they bicker and whine, but my not giving them the attention they need is only making things worse. And deep down, I know that. And that makes it harder because I know part of it is me. They need a referee. They need someone to show them the way. And I’ve just thrown in the towel this week and said deal with it yourselves. And it got worse. Daily. Late this week, my mom came to see us and spend the night. This morning when she was talking about going back home, I literally almost broke out in tears thinking “I don’t know how I’m going to handle the girls for the rest of this whole day”. Even knowing my in-laws will be here tomorrow (thank GOD for our helping family!), I just couldn’t face another several hours taking care of them. But I didn’t say anything. I just let her go and I pushed through. Somehow this evening came around and things started changing for me. I finally was able to just sit with them and enjoy relaxing. I was with them. And although they weren’t perfect, we were together and it was good. And then we had bath time and snuggled a bit before they asked me to go to bed…early! I know it’s just one day. One evening, really. But something switched in my brain tonight and it told me to stop running from them and just be with them. This stage in life is so hard. They’re growing and learning and have so many questions and are just plain curious. I need to constantly remind myself of that and remember that I’m the teacher. I’m the one they look to for answers and guidance. I’m not saying I think I have to be perfect all the time or that I should never get a break. I’m just saying I realize that my kiddos need me. I can’t just quit on them like I did this week. I know things will get better and that this is just a phase. It’s just been weighing so heavily on me lately. I’ve been withdrawing from friends and family and work. It’s just been a tough couple of weeks. So, thanks for listening. I know this isn’t my normal blog post, but I needed to get this off my chest. Thanks for being such an awesome group of readers! I truly appreciate you all!