Squarespace Blog / "skull and crossbones"

My first championship game.

Ok - so I guess that title is a bit conflicting. It wasn't my first championship game - I grew up playing sports... I played in (and won) plenty of championship games... but this was my first playing the role of mom. Wow, is it ever a different experience. I was stressed, I was excited, I was laughing, I was cheering & I was crying. I was a hot mess. They started off behind and really had to play hard to catch up... but they did it. The fought their way back to the top and they won. Everyone stepped up and played their best, and even some of the kids that don't hit well were getting on base. One of the boys (nicknamed clutch today for his great hit) put tears in my eyes. He struggles at bat and bases were loaded... 2 outs... coming up on his third strike. He got a hit! I screamed RUNNNN RUNNNN!!!!! And he made it to first. Got an RBI and kept the inning going. Because of that we got back into the "meat" of the batting order and the next coming hitters scored 4 more runs.  Not even my kid and I was fighting tears. He was SO PROUD and that kid didn't stop smiling the rest of the game. (the smiling crowd shot was after he hit, everyone was up smiling and cheering. It was the cutest thing EVER) In the last inning Izzaq made an AMAZING catch and the crowd went wild... and for the third out to finish the game, Izzaq made a great play, tagged first and the game was over. When he stepped on that bag all those kids jumped up and down, squealing for joy... high fives, hugging, cheering... It was amazing. I was crying, papa had tears in his eyes, other moms were hugging and crying. It was just so cool. They played so great, and fairly (even when the other team was trying to be a bit of a bully) and kept their cool under pressure... the coaches led their team to victory and we all couldn't have been more proud of our boys. To see the looks on their faces when they won was priceless... Izzaq was a little sad I didn't get it on video, but really... I am so happy to have that moment locked into my mind forever instead of distracted behind a screen. 

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What annoying things do people assume about your family size?

I saw this and thought after my baby announcement, and Audrey's great "mom of 6" guest post... this was perfect. People tend to lack a filter sometimes and say REALLY annoying and inappropriate things about your parenting style and or family size, right? Did you get any of these? How many kids do you have?

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Letting Go of the Baby Years. Guest blogger Post.

Say hello to the amazing Audrey - mama behind one of my favorite etsy shops Kaboogie... and one woman I look up to in the mama/parenting/crunchy world. When in doubt, ask her... she has all the answers, and if she doesn't she will happy take the time to help you find the answers along the way. 

"I didn't even want kids. Seriously. I was going to be "The Career Woman." 

Well guess what? Six kids and 25 years later, my mind has finally wrapped itself around the fact that there are no-more-babies. I'm 48 years old, and I won't ever lay in my bed in the early dawn hours staring at a snuggly, warm little person who's whole world is me. 

No more counting little toes. No more full bellies, drunk full of momma's milk. No more snorty giggles over silly momma noises. No more coos at my baby massages. No more adorable little baby outfits. No more massive rush of endorphins after a 24 hour back labor that carries you through the next week. No more slobbery baby kisses.

My youngest is 7, but it took me until he was about 4 or 5 to stop seeing "baby" and see the young boy he had become. Outings were easier. Bedtime was easier. Explanations were easier. Everything was easier. Everything, that is, except accepting the new phase of my life. 

I am blessed to have crafted a life where I can be with my kids all day. As they've grown, I've reaped the blessings (and sometimes the incalcuable pain) of their independence, in small increments. I no longer have to wonder why it's so quiet up there, what are they getting into? I no longer have to stare out the window while they play outside, or hold my breath while they climb things. I have freedoms I haven't had in many years. 

Now I have a new set of worries. Will they be ok home alone? Are they safe out there in the world? Will they become responsible on their own? Will they resent me for things I did when I had no idea what I was doing sometimes during the exhausted, sleep deprived years? DID I DO ALL OF THE THINGS RIGHT?

Ask any honest mom, and she'll tell you the God's-honest-truth. You're going to screw up. Your kids will, at some time, look down their noses and assure themselves that they will not make the mistakes you made. Maybe they'll be right. Maybe they won't. They'll make whole new mistakes.   

They'll also be doing some mundane thing someday, and go about their business in the same way you did, maybe not even realizing that they learned some awesome thing they're doing from you. Maybe all the advice they scoffed at in their infinite 16 year old wisdom will be of some use someday.

As sad as I get sometimes when I miss the baby years, let me tell you what kind of joy is mine to relish at this point. Seeing the last of them learn to read. Proms, driving lessons, licenses, amazing growth in the things they love to do, hilarious senses of humor. Borrowing clothes from my girls. Watching my oldest work out his life as it unfolds, not afraid to get out there in the real world. Working alongside my girls tending animals. Seeing them be kind to each other when no one's watching. Learning along with them as we homeschool for the 16th year. Relaxing about pretty much everything, because they seem to have it covered. Concerts that don't include cartoon characters. Movies that aren't animated. Philosophical, political, and faith discussions that challenge me in ways I never saw coming. 

Because I've grown with them, I can gladly say goodbye to the stressed-out freakazoid I sometimes was. I don't miss that at all. Moms learn as they go, just like kids. I like the me of today, I'm much more relaxed. I haven't broken anyone. I'm proud of each of them, not for accomplishments, but for their potential to craft the life they want. Or just go be the people God meant them to be. Either way, fine by me. As long as they do it with all their might.

So it seems we've come full circle. The baby years are tucked away in a hastily crafted box of memories. I'm not lamenting anymore. I'm looking forward to doing things with them that I can only do with older kids, and looming over the horizon, is a whole 'nother phase that I'll cherish in a much different way. 

Grandkids! "

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Probably the last one... maybe. BABY!

Hi friends! I am ever so pleased to announce that my sickness and exhaustion has a purpose! It's because I am growing a real, live baby inside my belly!! It's true - Baby Z #4 will be arriving at the end of Feb and we couldn't be more excited about it. I mean really, how can I run a baby business without a baby?! It had to happen ;) 

I am currently 7 weeks and 3 days - sleeping more in a night than I usually was in about 4 nights, exhausted, nauseous all day, and absolutely smitten about bring another Zrust baby into this world. Let the hunt for the perfect Z names begin! Feel free to comment some unique suggestions below for both genders as this one will be a surprise. We currently have (pictured left to right) Izzaq, Zavery & Rozzlyn. 

And I'll end this with my absolute favorite Jim Gaffigan skit about having 4 kids. Can't wait to start this next adventure! 

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Thirsty Thursday in the parenting world

Thirsty Thursday doesn't mean what it used to... in college it was the day we all dropped the books and ran to the bar for 2 for 1's. Yum! Now... well it's just another day. A day that is kinda close to the weekend... but lets be real the weekend doesn't mean much anymore either. I work form home and have 3 kids... and its summer. The days all just blur together at this point. 

BUT! I have seen this 1,000 times and it makes me laugh Every. Single. Time.

So I had to share.... hope it brightens your day :) 

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