Thursday, March 21, 2013

Please Excuse My Crazy

So, it's been decided that... I'm crazy! This is information I know to be the truth and have come to accept over the years. As I've gotten older, I have embraced my crazy and used it to my benefit. Yes, sometimes my crazy gets me into trouble. Sometimes my crazy says and does things that should NOT be said or done... BUT (oh and what a big butt it has become these days) there are those momentous occasions where my crazy is SO genius and even I am impressed (and I am not easy to impress so I've been told). My crazy often allows me to do things some only can imagine only because they never possess enough "crazy energy" to see it through...

Recently, my crazy had a breakthrough! *thinks to myself* Baby Brawner will be here soon enough. I have to decide Godparents for my sweet boy, this is not a choice I can make lightly. I have had a friend or 2 or 3 possess interest in filling this position, but how do I decide? How do I choose the perfect Godparents for Baby Brawner? How do I gauge their commitment and at the same time make them aware of my expectations without appearing like I am giving them the 3rd degree? How do I make them aware of just how serious this is for me without it seeming like a lecture I would give to my 12 year old? How do I narrow down my options without the "loser" feeling like it was personal? .................................................................
......................................................................................... and that is how the Baby Brawner Godparent Application was formed in my mind. It started off (mildly) as a joke, for fun. But the more thought I put into it, the more I realized how interested I was in knowing how "the applicants" would respond. I now realize I want them to realize how serious this task is for me and not just go into it lightly. It is a job, an important one! I am entrusting you with some top secret, high level stuff here and you are going to require a special clearance. I NEED TO KNOW you are truly up to the task. I started off with only a few questions, I ran it by Jules, we laughed, she gave her input, I took it home, ran it by Mr. Brawner, he looked at me like I was crazy, tapped into his own crazy (I realized we don't agree on a LOT of issues, lol) I asked him topics that were important to him, I edited again (once, twice, thrice, 4 times!), I ran it by Jules, took it home over the weekend to get Mr. Brawner's approval and go over the score card, edited again based off Mr. Brawner's input... now here we are. The Baby Brawner Godparent Application is now completed and has been sent out into the world. I must say, it got much more positive feedback than I expected it would. What I realized... you guys are just as crazy! Or maybe I'm not as crazy as I think... nah! Y'all are just nuts right along with me. I hope you enjoy my application, I hope you take it, keep it, edit it as your own (the writer in me would appreciate the credit:), but PLEASE feel free to use it. I (LORD WILLING), will never need it again.

I pray God's guidance over my decision, please know that your answers (if you would like to apply seriously) will be taken seriously, but my decision will also be based from my heart, what I think will be best for Baby Brawner and mainly from a lot of prayer. Godparent is no small task... I am trusting you with the life of my child, in hopes that in my lack of presence he is in good hands. I am trusting you to love him as I love him, care for him as I care for him and support him as I would support him. Ok, that's all that I can say of my expectation without letting you in on the answers to the application. (maybe even that's too much) *considers edit* Shrugs! what the hey!!! I hope no one assumed I was looking for someone to just put up with Baby Brawner and barely love him, family is MAJOR important to me! But, fill it out as you see fit, prepare to sit in front of a panel for interview in front of myself, Mr. Brawner(I refer to him as Mr. Brawner throughout the app because that is what I call him in real life), Jules, Kai and maybe a few other important family officials.

This will be serious, but so funny at the same time... please excuse my crazy! But it's how I get through life.

I wonder will the application post correctly here??? I can't figure a way to post my pdf as a clickable link... not so blog savvy am I?

You can be crazy and still have PEACE! I am living proof...

Love, Tam

Interested in viewing the Baby Brawner Godparent Application? Post your email and I will send it to you!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Maybe TMI and inappropriate, but...

urgh! kids and husbands... anyone who thinks they're missing out cause they don't have kids or a husband? Think again! I love my kids, and I love my husband and most days they feel like the biggest blessing in the world. Then there are those days when you wish you didn't have either. Both require you to have this huge amount of patience and maturity and SELFLESSNESS! Some days I just want to be selfish, impatient and immature... but NOOOO, I got people counting on me to responsible and loving. Some days I just want to think about ME!!!!!!!!!!!!! *sighs* and then when I do, the whole world falls apart.

I don't expect my 12 year old to be super sensitive to my current load. She's 12, and by nature, she's selfish. But my husband... yes, I expect that guy to understand I am carrying your baby around over here and this (I want to cuss him out) isn't easy! It is not about you for the next 4.5 months! Then it still won't be about you... deal with it! If only his love language was words of affirmation. I can handle that and still survive the day, but all this physical touch they both require... I just can't manage it right now (not without feeling over burdened and like I'm losing my mind). "All I can manage is a peck kiss, sir because my last meal doesn't feel very secure in there and I don't want to chance it. I don't want to cuddle while we sleep cause I am already super uncomfortable and all I really want is to hug this body pillow. It's tough to throw your tree trunk leg off of mine when you're sleeping, and no I'm not really excited about THAT either, but go ahead and do what you want, I'm going to keep my eyes closed and try to stay sleep"... LOL! It's real out here. Now, don't get me wrong, sometimes I get over my issues and am a happy "camper" but not nearly as often as required of me, I suppose cause I got big baby over here questioning my commitment to him... Is me carrying your heavy child not commitment enough??? This was your friggin idea!

Am I the one with the problem? I need someone to tell me I'm wrong (if in fact I am wrong). Do I get to be a selfish pregnant woman and disregard their needs when it conflicts with what I need (not necessarily the 12 yr old's, but that husband of mine?)

I need answers people!

He stay tryna get a piece of my peace!!! (haha)

Love, Tam

Beyonce, Kelly and Michelle ruined it for us all... got these men running around thinking every moment needs to be about them. I love you, I cater and I serve and support but geesh! Give me a break for 9 months while I carry this load.

.... note they did not cover having your baby in this song!

Monday, March 18, 2013

What it is... update!

Good morning and Happy Monday everyone!

I am super tired today! I went to bed at a decent time and I should be well rested, but my body is still tired. It could be the aftermath of walking the mall two days this weekend. I really don't do the mall! But I'll do anything with Mr. Brawner... so that put me in the mall twice! Despite the swollen feet and sore legs, it was a good time. How was your weekend?

I didn't get to see much of my sweet daughter this weekend, she was so "busy" working on a project. I'm not sure her project took up as much time as she spent working on it. She is the most distracted girl... she can't seem to focus on one thing for too long. But she spent her whole weekend doing schoolwork and I did not get to see her much. I told Nae yesterday that I was missing Kai. By Sunday afternoon, I just felt like she was missing from the day. I truly missed her. I must say, she has been being a "Better Daughter". I know I haven't been doing the daily posts on her, but the morning texts still continue everyday and she is still improving. Now that we have some of this behavior, smart mouth thing under control (somewhat), we need to start in on improving at school. She is well behaved and doesn't get into trouble, but her school work and grades are on a fast downward spiral! My straight "A" daughter is struggling in middle school. What I know? It isn't a lack of understanding... it's a lack of focus, it's peer pressure, it's a struggle to find her place and fit in somewhere, it's a missing self esteem. I am... (worried isn't the word) aware. Not worried because I am trusting God, but feeling motherly you know? Concerned! I will continue to pray over her, trust God, instill the importance of her education and her future, and love her. Is there really anything else I can do? I can't sit over her and make sure she does homework and studies, it is her responsibility and ultimately her choice. But I trust God that she will turn it around, I have to! But I'd say spending her weekend working on a project is a good start! I am trusting!

I went to pick her up Sunday evening thinking she'd be done her work after 2 days of working on it, but she wasn't ready and didn't know when she would be. And after walking the mall all day, I just wanted to be home in bed so I left her. Thankfully, my wonderful brother went to get her for me so I didn't have to leave back out the house at 10pm when she finally texted me that she was done. He is a lifesaver! He always does things that may seem small, but mean the world to me. I was exhausted, she is my kid, it was my duty to get her, but he... he is amazing! He drives me to work, drives me home from work. He just regularly goes out of his way to make my life easier and I am so grateful for him. I thank God for him. My heart smiles... 

All these people God placed around me, that add so much joy to my life. I am overjoyed, overwhelmed with love and gratitude. I can't wait for Baby Brawner to get here (have I announced here that It's A Boy?)... I can already imagine just how loved and full his life is going to be; 5 sisters that can't wait to meet him (especially the 1 that makes time to talk to him everyday :), aunts, uncles, grandmas, his dad that claims he's gonna be this hardcore tough parent (but we all know he is a just a big teddy bear and tough isn't even in his DNA), friends that are like family. They all look forward to him making his debut into the world. And I just can't wait to love him and hold him and poke him back! Aww, man he did not like the mall yesterday! He was like "what are you doing mom? we've never moved around this much" lol! Or maybe he was having a good time, and thought it was party time because he would not keep still! It was so uncomfortable though, I just want to evict him. But *sighs*, it's not time yet, let's allow him to finish baking in there. 20 weeks down, 20 more to go! We're in the process of naming him now, we've had one solid name that both Kai and Mr. Brawner have agreed on, and I like it... just not sure it's the ONE, you know? Naming a baby is hard, especially a baby boy. You want it to be strong and mean something and at the same time, not the same name as every other boy he's gonna grow up with. It's tough! The name I like, no one else likes :( and I just can't think of any other contender names right now. Maybe we should do a "Naming Baby Brawner" post/contest. The best name gets a prize (that I haven't thought of yet). I'll think on this some more.

Otherwise, everything is going fine... remember that "AFP" test the doctors wanted me to take again? The first time, the test was more positive than they would like, so they wanted to do it again. Well the second time, it came back just negative enough to satisfy them. YAY! This praying and not worrying thing is working out great for me. I didn't worry so much that I never even told Mr. Brawner. Imagine that! I never even felt the need to disturb his happy thoughts with the information. I know we're a team and he maybe would've wanted to know, but (after my talk with Jules), I never felt like I was carrying a worry. I handed it over to God and allowed myself to not even think about it. If it had been plaguing my thoughts, of course Mr. Brawner would've gotten the details but... God is good! He promises to help us bear all our burdens, and trust me He does!

I pray that you all have a great week. Remember to love and appreciate the people God has placed in your lives, trust that God will help you bear all your burdens and please continue to keep me, my growing daughter and the baking Baby Brawner in your prayers.

 That's my peace! Love, Tam
 Here are some of the texts from last week and today...
Maybe some of my messages are what led to having such a dedicated worker this weekend.
To God be the GLORY!

I gave Mr. Brawner a mason jar filled with chocolates and love notes
for Valentine's Day, this note was taped to the bottom of
the mason jar! Happy Valentine's Day indeed :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Better: Day 5

Good afternoon,

I think moving forward, the posts will no longer be named "A Better Daughter...". Yes, she is currently my focus and I will still include her daily morning text message. But in the process of building a better daughter, I am also becoming a better person, mother and (it doesn't feel like it currently but) a better wife as well. Yes, she is difficult sometimes (often). Yes, she drives me crazy (a lot), but this daily text is not taking away from me at all. It's the easy part, much easier than all the talking and fussing I was doing with her. She's not doing that much different... not to say she isn't being better (she for sure is), but I am also getting to spend time with God, driving away demons, growing more patient, having the strength to cope with her moments! She is not the total of what's changing, all of these things are different just because of the choice I made to be a better mom, a better Christian woman. So I don't want to keep putting all the fault on her and her actions. She is not to blame... she is just 12, yes responsible for her actions but not to blame for what she is dealing with and going through. It is my job to teach her how to handle her stresses, insecurities, temptations, moods... and I can only do that with the help of Jesus. Idk what I'm going to name these daily posts from now on, but no longer will they be A Better Daughter, so much more is going on to create this situation.

I'm sure it was not easy to go from an only child, to sharing what she feels is "hers" with Nae, and then with her mom's new husband and becoming a step sister to 3 other children, and then to her mom having a new baby on the way too. I can only imagine! To deal with feeling displaced at home, then to include the traumatic experience that is middle school! It's the worse! We all had to go through it, and it was not easy. So to have to confront all these things at the same time, and be expected to know how to handle it all... what was I thinking? I understand now. And not to let her off the hook for her behavior, she is still responsible for it. But it is my responsibility to help her navigate through it and I think maybe I was just expecting more from her. Way too much for her to live up to without the proper guidance, instruction and tools. She doesn't need to be a better daughter... she is already a good girl, just a little lost. She needs me to be a better mom, one that can empathize with what she's feeling. One that... (so many things I can't word)
 I don't know what brought this revelation. Definitely my time in prayer, and then having to deal with my own out of whack hormones. I have not been being myself either. I've said things I didn't mean, then realize it after I've already done the damage that it wasn't the best way to say something or handle a situation. I've been less understanding of what others are feeling, then after the fact think... "why am I being so insensitive? Who am I? Where did that come from?" Then I have to go back, apologize, explain that it isn't how I'm feeling, it's just what I said because it was how my emotions felt at the time (if that makes sense) but I know it was wrong. And hope that person understands that I am hormonal and pray they forgive me quickly (it doesn't always happen that way). Inside I am thinking... "I wish they could just understand how I feel!" All my emotions feel uncontrollable, but they are all just circumstantial...
I can now imagine how she feels. Not to excuse her actions or mine... but it isn't something that can or will be fixed if someone is just pointing out my every hormonal mistake, fussing at me, or not trying to understand how I am feeling (no matter how absurd it seems). Only difference is, I'm 30. I know the importance of relationships, and apologizing and seeing the errors in my attitude and words. I know how to voice my feelings calmly even when I feel anger and disappointment.  12? I was selfish and probably felt and anger or a hurt that I didn't know how to express. I sometimes (especially today) wish I could be selfish all the time. I wish I could get my way and yell at the people who I feel deserve it. I wish I didn't have to be pleasant and understanding of how others may feel and the choices they make when they don't work out in my favor. But... I'm not 12, I now know better and it is my responsibility to do better. And you want to think that at 12, they know better... but they don't. They haven't learned life lessons yet to make them even come close to understanding that they are not the center of the world. But through Christ Jesus, we can little by little teach them. But that, too, is our responsibility.
Maybe this super hard, super emotional and super stressful pregnancy is just God's way of helping me feel a little of what my sweet 12 year old is feeling. I am equipped with the tools to handle it (most days), now let me be about my mom business and get to equipping her!

...choices, The Lord sees
them. Bad choices will
lead you into trouble. I
love you, I trust you will
make good choices today!
Good morning my little
I thank God for Him showing me the error in my own ways. I pray that I will continue to grow to be an example to her by making better choices as well. I'd hate for my "lack of discipline" to lead me astray. I can see the Better on it's way! I trust that each of you will keep my family in your prayers in the meantime. :)

That's my peace!

Love, Tam

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Better Daughter: Day 4

Good Morning and Happy Monday! I had a good, not so peaceful, but definitely nice weekend. I spent both Saturday and Sunday in a mall... I am NOT a fan of the mall, but Mr. Brawner didn't get the mall experience on Saturday so we did it again on Sunday. I survived!
Since we're discussing Mr. Brawner... I am the pregnant one, right? But he has been super hot or cold, up or down, I just can't call it. I'm not quite sure what I'm gonna get with him lately. Are men affected by "my wife is pregnant" hormones? Maybe I need to send him morning scriptures to get his mind right too! I had to tell him about himself yesterday... mad about dishes in the sink, mad about a little hair in his brush, mad that I dropped MY phone in the toilet. Why you so mad son? Chill! Fixing one kid, now my husband is a crazoid! The devil is a LIAR! I refuse! So I am remaining calm and ignoring his foolishness, and praying HARD!
To keep on the path for a better daughter, the morning scriptures continue... not only are they good for her, but they are starting my morning off right as well. She comes into my room every morning, and now I am conscious of my reactions to her. I welcome her, hug her, ask her how she slept, tell her she looks "lovely this morning, now get out and get dressed!" (humorously of course). But it used to be, "come on Kai, get dressed! I need to finish getting ready, you go get ready too!" then I'd kiss her quick, hug her quick and send her off. If I am going to expect her to be better, I've got to do better...

I pray the rest of your paths are like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day! Enjoy this beautiful, chilly but sunny morning!

That's my peace!

Love, Tam

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Better Daughter: Day 3

Happy Sunday! Day 3 of a better daughter begins today. I'd like to say that I've seen small changes in her already. Less selfish, a better attitude, more generous to the other girls in our house.
Yesterday, I took them all to the mall. Usually a day out means a very frustrated and stressed Tamika. But she was so helpful... She carried the bags, she rushed to the car to start it so it would warm until I got there,she willingly shared her food. We went to Bed, Bath and Beyond to replace my glass pitcher. Not only did she make it a point to help me find it, but because we didn't get a cart (I really was only getting one thing) she carried ALL the other things I collected along the way. I see the difference just a day has made. I look forward to the days to come!
I don't expect a complete turnaround right away, but thank you Jesus for this reprieve! God is AMAZING!!!!

I see the peace at the end of the tunnel!

Love, Tam

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Better Daughter: Day 2

Good morning! This will be my first time posting on the weekend EVER! And also, the first attempt at creating a post from my phone.
I didn't want to leave you without "A Better Daughter" post just because it's the weekend. I pray everyone has a peaceful, enjoyable and productive weekend. Monday will be here before we know it! Mr. Brawner had to work today so I'm the lucky girl with 5 daughters today, wish me luck!

Peace be with us all!

Love, Tam

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Better Daughter: Day 1

Good Morning and Happy Friday!

I'll make it quick today. So it's no secret that raising my twleve year old has been a struggle. My daughter, oh! how wonderful and beautiful she is, is getting quite difficult as we creep into her teenage years. She is over dramatic, disrespectful, selfish, lazy, condescending... and that mouth! Lord help me! I have to remember she is my preteenage baby, not some disrespectful skank off the street. I can not fight her "non-violent, non-violent", that will get me absolutely nowhere.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." ~Ephesians 6:12

My fight is not with her anyway... It is against these spirits that are trying to consume her, win her over into the world. I have been working to raise a child of God; a loving, respectful, giving, focused, responsible young lady. And I thought I was doing a good job. Actually, I KNOW I was doing a good job... but the devil, he is a crafty sucker... he is trying to win people over to help do his destruction. Oh but GOD! He is powerful and now that I know what I'm dealing with (thanks Gigi), I know I need to win her back with prayer, love, kind words, firm discipline and consistency.

This morning I sent her a text message:

In hopes that seeing God's words and reading for herself what God expects from her maybe, just maybe, it will sink in on a different level. More than my ranty preaching sessions that she's clearly not hearing. I am not forcing it on her, just making it readily available for her to access first thing in the morning. What a way to start the day, eh?
As always, I am trusting. The Lord has done too much for me, for me not to have faith and believe in his power!

I am searching for my peace that comes with having an obedient, well behaved daughter. I will not rest... :)

Love, Tam