January 31, 2013

January 2013 In Pictures

For more details on what we did this month, please check out our January Update.
 Picking up my sweet girl after being away at the Grandparents in AL. 
 Our new baby cousin, Mason
Karate Kid Birthday
 This is what Skylar thinks of red carpet and Award's Show season. LOL!
 Her favorite time of the year. Florida strawberry season.
 Dinner. Yep, I'm Mother of the Year already. 
 On my trip with Dad we saw palm trees and 80 degrees. So happy!
 Checking out Mike's Dad's new pontoon boat. Nice, eh?
Skylar with her buddies Emma, Sydney, and Drew.

January 2013 Update

I'm feeling a little behind this month. There were quite a few things that I wanted to get accomplished in January but didn't. Mainly, I still haven't written our "Year In Review" post for 2012. Yikes! We just had too many other things going on.

We made it through the holidays and we survived Skylar being out of town for 9 days. I  missed her terribly but the best part about her being gone is the first hour I get her back. She's always so happy to see me and she just hugs and kisses and snuggles me. I kid you not, she rubs my face and tells me that I'm beautiful and precious and the best mommy ever. And then when the "new" wears off, she goes right back to being her sassy self. I sure do love that stinker!

We celebrated her 6th birthday this month. My-Oh-my, where does the time go? Little miss techy opted for an iPod Touch rather than having a birthday party with her friends so we just had a small family celebration at the house. She's rather interested in karate these days so she requested a "ninja" cake and wore her karate uniform to the party.
Mike just wrapped the "Boat Show" at his work, which kept him pretty busy. They did really well and Mike even won a few gift card incentives for sales. I just got back from a 3-day road trip with my dad. He's in outside sales and I used to ride along with him when I was younger but then marriage and a little girl happened so I haven't been in a while (ahem, about 10 years). We had a nice little visit down to Mobile, AL and over to Baton Rouge, LA and then up through Jackson, MS before heading back home. We even took a little detour by my freshman college dorm. Let me tell ya, THAT was quite a surreal moment. It was a good trip and I hope that we can do it again next year. The iPod birthday gift came in handy while I was gone. I taught Sky how to text and FaceTime and she caught right on. It was fun to keep in touch everyday, especially since she spells phonetically. Some of her texts were hilarious including when she found the emoticon keyboard.

Oh, and if you haven't heard, tLG is no longer doing hip hop and she and Mike have both signed up for Tae Kwon Do. She is really doing well so far. She absolutely LOVES it and she is doing great, if I do say so myself!

Mike is getting ready to go on his annual camping trip and us girls our gearing up for our 3rd annual NO BOYS allowed party. Stay tuned....

For more pictures, click here.

January 24, 2013

thoughts on becoming a karate mom

Before I was a parent, I knew nothing... but I thought that I knew everything. Then January 16, 2007 happened. Pretty much everything I thought I knew or planned to do went out the window when tLG was born. Becoming a mother is akin to eating one gigantic slice of Humble Pie. You do things that you never thought you would do and learn to live in peace with things that you refused to tolerate pre-baby.

That being said, I still hold on to a few ideas that I'm pretty firm about. 1) I will not drive a mini van. 2) I will not be a soccer mom.

Are they silly? YES, of course they are! And one day I may very well be eating a slice of mini-van flavored pie. This past fall, I came within a few signup forms of becoming a soccer mom but managed to talk her into Hip Hop instead. We have a family "rule" that you can choose one activity per school year and once you start a sport, you must finish the season because "Bishops never quit."

A few months ago, tLG became obsessed smitten with the actress, Olivia Holt, after watching her Disney movie Girl vs. Monster. Turns out Ms. Holt is also a regular on the show Kickin' It, which is about the teen lives of some dojo students. So then the karate obsession interest began. She watched episodes of Kickin' It over and over again. She went to Build-A-Bear and made a furry karate friend. She went so far as to ask Santa Clause for a Gi (karate uniform) as her only request. When said Gi arrived, she wore it for two days straight and, to her delight, there just happened to be a Karate Kid marathon on TV. For her birthday, she requested a karate cake. Like I said, obsessed fascinated.

When K-Diddy and MiMi gifted her with a generous donation toward karate lessons I did some inquiring and found a highly-recommended Tae Kwon Do gym just 10 minutes from home. tLG went for a quick trial class with the owner and then back again for a full class with other students. At the end of both she wanted to sign up immediately. I consented. Actually, I registered her and my hubby and they are going to train together.

Remember that "rule" about extra-curricular activities? Yeah, I broke it. At this point, I've lost track of of the amount of broken rules and humble pies in my short stint of parenthood. There are too many to count. In hindsight, I was never a fan of driving 30 minutes one way for a 30-minute dance class that usually starts 5 minutes late and we just couldn't swing the cost for both so I'm pulling her out of Hip Hop. On the flip side, I just signed a 12-month commitment for Tae Kwon Do so the "rule" is back in effect. For real this time.

While I was adamant about not becoming a soccer mom, I never even considered that I might one day be a karate mom, and wife for that matter. To be honest, I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. I'm not even sure I fully agree with the institute and principles of karate and I really have no idea what we are getting into. Naturally, just like soccer, I'm coming to the situation with pre-conceived ideas about the sport. While I know that TKD is supposed to be for self-defense only, I'm not sure that I want my kid knowing she has the ability and knowledge to physically hurt someone. I also know that the sport teaches quite a bit of discipline but I have concerns that it is too strict. Because I come from a yoga background where you listen to your own body I have worries that the instructors will push too hard and we could potentially have an injury. Then there is the hubby factor. He comes from a military background and I fear that him training with her will create a more intense experience. In my mind, intense = hard core = unpleasant.

Let me just say this. My apprehension has nothing to do with the actual gym or the staff. They have been super friendly and the owner is a top-notch guy, open and honest, who offers a great rate for the amount of classes you receive. In fact, I kinda feel like they sense my apprehension and are trying to put me at ease.

Obviously, I still have a lot to learn but I just don't have a good feeling about it. At all. However, there have been many things that I have done for the benefit of my child even though it may be uncomfortable and/or inconvenient for me. This is yet another one of those times. I'm not doing it for me. I'm doing it because it's important to her and, over the years, I have learned the utmost respect for her determination. Her willpower rivals mine any day of the week and Mike says I'm the most hard-headed strong-willed person he knows. Our willpower is not a force to be reckoned with but to be heard, appropriately channeled, and supported.

I will never forget that moment so long ago when I finally gave myself permission to parent outside of the box. Our quality of life improved greatly.

Hi, my name is Staci Bishop and I'm a proud karate mom. And wife. :)

January 2, 2013

My 2013 Resolutions

I can't find the right words to communicate what I want for this year. I've reviewed my resolutions from previous years hoping for inspiration. I even revisited why I make New Year's Resolutions. The problem is that my goals for 2013 look very similar to 2010, 2011, 2012, and my unspoken resolutions all rolled into one. I want to do the same things again. Apparently, I make really good resolutions. I really want to solidify some habits that I've already started so I'm going to focus on these goals even more. Here's a quick summary of all my resolutions combined together in no particular order
  • grow as a child of God
  • keep a simple routine
  • eat healthy meals together as a family
  • nurture the dog
  • pay down debt and control spending
  • go green
  • parent my child physically and spiritually
  • mind my marriage
  • take care of body
  • make memories and write them down
  • try something new
  • follow my passion
I truly love the start of a new year. It's like a clean slate and a fresh beginning. But I'm really okay with life right now and have no issues with this year spilling over into the next so I'd say this is a perfect list for me right now.

Happy New Year!

What are your resolutions for 2013?

January 1, 2013

2012 Year In Review

Here's a little look-see at my favorite moments and memories of the past year.

I remember the fresh start of the new year. Oh how exciting it was to put some bad things behind and move on to good stuff.

I remember registering for doula training and being beyond thrilled to get started. I remember the birth high I experienced after my Leap Day homebirth baby, and the happy emotional roller coaster I was on after my VBAC baby. Those 1st two were super special. Birth is truly a passion for me and I am so thankful for the certification which equipped me for this work.
I remember seeing my name in print on the byline of a magazine for the 1st time.
I remember that Skylar lost EIGHT teeth this year. She can't stand a wiggly tooth and prefers to pull her own.
I remember a few parenting fails from this year; times when I wasn't patient enough, lost my temper, said things I regret, and dug my heels in when I shouldn't have. I also remember that four little words ("you are so beautiful") turned around a bad night. There was a moment late in the year when I made my mind up to be the adult in this relationship, let the little things go, mind my words, and stay peaceful. It's amazing how much Skylar's behavior improved after mine did. Win-Win!

I remember a particular 4-wheeler ride at the Circle S Ranch, where the sky was perfectly blue, the trees were magnificently green, and the field was 100% covered in yellow flowers. It was breathtaking.
I remember my 1st conference in San Diego. It was neat to see everything finally come together and for my work to be appreciated.

I remember the sweet day when our two favorite neighbors finally tied the knot. We had watched their relationship grow starting with the Nashville flood. Skylar was a bell ringer. Mike played in the band. I was just delighted to be there.

I remember Skylar getting her first trophy at the gymnastics spring fling. It was a proud moment in her little world.
I remember when she brought home her first written story and illustration about tigers. It didn't seem possible that she should be doing these things in PreK and I was beyond proud of her work.
I remember the excitement that came for me as I dressed up the car on the last day of school and Mike said I was "oozing summer happiness." The arrival of summer meant late bedtimes and lazy mornings. Skylar also miraculously learned to sleep past 7 a.m. this summer, which was a wonderful surprise!
I remember Mike taking Skylar fishing and how much she loved it. He even tried to sneak out early one morning at 4 a.m. but she was up and dressed and waiting on him. :)

I remember a visit to the observatory and getting to see Saturn for real.

I remember summer visits to the lake and getting our favorite shady spot. I also remember Skylar falling asleep in the shopping cart on our grocery runs afterwards.
I will never forget our 1st annual summer solstice party. Skylar helped me plan for months and we so looked forward to it. The floating lanterns were definitely the highlight along with Skylar telling me "this was the best day of my life."

I remember that Mike developed a love for climbing and a hobby that has stuck, which is a miracle in itself but perfect for him in so many ways.
I remember how Skylar adored the baby kittens at the barn. She gently snuggled them and talked about them and even dreamed about them.
I remember piecing together childcare for the 8 weeks of summer and having a bitter sweet feeling about her going back to school. I didn't feel sentimental at all about her starting Kindergarten but I was terribly emotional about her loosing her two front teeth. The physical signs of her growing up are sometimes too much to bear but weeks later I couldn't get enough of her toothless grin.
I remember going to my first rally and it was a BIRTH event. Awesome!! I was able to check an item off my bucket list: attend a rally for something I believe in.
I remember our trip to the fair, which marked the end of summer. tLG couldn't get enough of the fun houses, we all got funnel cake, and I managed to avoid the ferris wheel. Whoo Hoo!
I remember my little artist making history and putting her mark on a local mural project which will forever house the three precious little letters, SKB.
I remember catching caterpillars in the yard and watching them turn into butterflies. I had a spiritual epiphany watching our Maker take something creepy and crawly and turn it into something so different and amazingly beautiful.
I remember Mike getting promoted at Bass Pro right before his 1-year anniversary, which was a big goal for him.

I remember when MeMaw died. I felt some sadness but not the grief I anticipated. I am truly thankful she is in heaven and can't wait to meet her there one day.

I remember my 2nd conference in Palm Beach when Skylar and Mike got to come with me. It was SO much fun! Granted, I was beyond exhausted when it was all said and done but a great trip, nonetheless.
I remember the fear and excitement that came with leaving one job for a better offer. It was nerve racking but I still think I made the right decision.

I remember that Skylar couldn't decide if she wanted to be a pirate or a basketball player for Halloween so she dressed up as both.
I remember the day that I taught Skylar to draw a star. She was so proud of herself and drew them everywhere.
I remember that my girl developed quite a sense of style and I stopped trying to fight it. She puts together things that I wouldn't but they work for her and her hip-hop style. To be honest, she looks adorable most days. Her go-to style item is her teal boots and she gets compliments on them everywhere we go.
I remember that Skylar loved hanging out on Saturdays. We would blast the music and clean, at her request. I think she's more of a homebody than me. In fact, I know she is. It's quite a chore to get her to want to go out.

I remember when we moved Skylar's mattress into our bedroom since she kept ending up in there anyway. After that, she would randomly choose to sleep in her room and we would miss her.

I remember an amazing peace and contentment that came around Thanksgiving when I noticed how vastly different our marriage and our family dynamic was from the previous Thanksgiving. In fact, I would say that I witnessed a miracle over the last year. God is good!

I remember when my girl developed an obsession for karate that just wouldn't stop. Bless her, the only thing she asked Santa for was a karate gi (uniform). Thankfully Santa knows how to Ebay.
I remember when Skylar left for Alabama for holiday break. The first few days were eerily quiet but I got frequent calls from the "Smitherman Repair Shop" and  knew she was having a blast!

2012 was the best year I've had in a while and I will cherish these memories forever. Thank you for allowing me to share them with you.