Monday, September 20, 2010

"This is the Real Me."

This past week has been a huge encouragement to me, with so many sweet friends going out of their way to compliment me in some way or another. This probably won't be a blog post that I'll flash around on the internet. I know there are several of you who check by every day just to see if there is something new, and this one is for YOU. So let's get personal. :)

I am not someone that has a huge self-esteem. Not at all. And I never really have. I don't want to go all deep and psychological on you, but it probably all stems from a gawky childhood where I was often told I didn't "fit in" with the group of friends I played with in elementary school. Yeah. Yikes, haha. I remember hearing an analogy in high school...either in my Child Development or Parenting class that I've always remembered, because it makes so much sense to me. Imagine your feelings as a big bucket. It takes a lot of individual cups to fill that bucket up; a lot of smiles, a lot of compliments, a lot of encouragement. But it only takes one person to come along and knock your bucket over, spilling out everything that has been built up and causing you to start all over again.

Don't one has knocked my bucket over! Yet...haha. But it's bound to happen eventually. It always does. I wish I were like my husband...I swear that guy has rocks in the bottom of his bucket. It takes a lot to tip him over. But not me. The slightest little bump, and oopsy daisy! There she goes!

As a mom, this is definitely not something I want to pass down to my daughters. I know what a burden it is to constantly worry about what other people are thinking or's a pain in the butt! (I'm trying to get over it guys, I really am, haha.) There are so many things that I'm strategizing to do over the next few years to build and grow confident girls, but you know what, my parents did that for me, too. I was told "I love you, " a whole lot. I was encouraged to not care about what other people thought. And yet, here I am. Boy, peers have more influence than any of us will truly ever know!

But you know who else has a huge influence over little kids? Other people's parents. Why is that? Maybe it's because you know your own parents are supposed to love you, but when another trusted adult reaches out a hand to show how much they care you feel particularly special. I can think of a laundry list of parents who did this for me. Parents who would show up at school events and always just say, "Hi, Adrien, how are you?" Some of those parents are still with us, some are not. But I am so thankful for every single one of them.

I also owe a lot to many of my friends' moms, who never ever made me feel inferior to my friends the way other girls my age could. Oh, yes, all of you slumber party moms out there. You invited me into your homes, fed me pizza, included me in your games, and treated me equally. Seems like something that should just be natural, but I clearly remember certain moms being just as "cliquish" within their daughter's groups of friends as their daughters were. Oh, please, dear Lord, don't let me ever be that way!

So now I'm asking a favor and offering a promise in return. There's absolutely nothing I can do about things that happened in like, the third grade, haha. But I can choose the way things are from this day on. I already know of many, many kids my own kids' ages. Seems like there's a bit of a baby boom going on around here! And now that I'm a parent myself, I promise to always treat other people's children kindly and fairly. I only ask that some of you could do the same for my girls. That's all. :)

And I promise to teach my children to treat your kids with kindness, too. I plan to teach my girls that as daughters of God, they don't have any other option but to "love their neighbors," even if those "neighbors" aren't nice to them, first. Oh, and to all the moms of girls out there, I promise to throw some totally awesome slumber parties. Maybe some regular parties, too, you know, so all those boys can come hang out . :D

I can't wrap this one up without reiterating the point that I have a wonderfully encouraging husband, awesome parents, and LOTS of great friends. I have definitely moved passed the "middle school mentality" and am confident in who I am as a wife and mother. Nothing anyone ever says will make me feel differently about those things. But there are still a few areas that could use a little bucket reinforcing. Remember to use kind words with people that you meet. So simple, yet so important. And another big "thank you!" to everyone who has shared such kind words with me this week. You've definitely filled up my bucket!

I'll leave you with a link to a song I find myself humming a lot. I kind of feel like this song sums me up perfectly. Maybe you can relate too, ladies. :) Have a great day!


Cassie said...

Here I am, the first person to comment, yikes, creeper alert! lol. I promise, I check all my blogs in the morning before I start really 'working,' I'm not a creep, I promise. lol.

Anyways, I never knew you in grade school, and I only really knew your name in high school. I have just really known you as a quite girl who married Eric Robert. And I feel we have only really become "virtual" friends, if that's even a word, lol.

But just from FB and this blog, I would have to say you ROCK! You are an amazing Mom, you have an amazing sense for writing, you know exactly how you feel and how to express it, and you see your future bright and clear and you are pounding that path to get you there. I have nothing but praises for you and your cute little family and life. You are so talented!! Evie and Gracie and any other babies God blesses you with along the way are lucky, and should tell all their friends (maybe even Stella one day) that their Mom ROCKS (ok and Dad too)!! Keep up the great work, you are an amazing Mom and person!!

Adrien said...

Oh boy, way to make a pregnant lady blubber, haha. Evelyn thinks her mom has lost her marbles. Thanks, Cassie! Those are all such wonderful compliments, and I'm so thankful for the internet because I've definitely been able to connect with so many awesome people that I wouldn't have otherwise. Stella is welcome over any time! :) Okay, I can't resist saying it..."No, YOU rock!" Hehe.

Anonymous said...

oh Adrien.... you are wonderful and I wouldn't have made it through college without you. I can't wait until Nick and I move closer so our girls can be friends. and of course our trips to Disney world will be the BEST!! and I am sure that no matter what your girls go through with friends and cliques throughout their school years, they will always come home to a confidant mom who will be not only telling them how special they are, but will be showing them through how you live what it means to be a true woman of God. and I can think of no one who will do a better job than you, I love you Adriiiiieeeeen!!!!!

Andrea Ingles said...

My mom and I find ourselves talking about your are an amazing writer. I always knew that it was your passion, but I never got to "experience" it. I'm just bummed that Jay won't be able to come to the amazing slumber Keep doing what your doing! I am blessed to call you my friend :)

Adrien said...

Thanks, girls! I love ya both!

Steph- I loved being your roomie for two years! I can't wait for our daughters to finally meet! We are so going going to Disney. We're shooting for a spring 2012 trip if we've paid off all of our debt by then. Um, you should come. :) (Our kids will still get in for free, haha. And we could care less how old they are, because we plan on going BACK! Like more than once. Because I'm a Disney nut case.) Miss you!!

Andrea- Thank you for the lovely compliment! I rarely share things that I write, so it means a lot to me to hear that. And you know Jay will probably be over all.of.the.time. Well...if our kids are anything like all of us were, haha. In that case I'm sure my kids will be knocking on your door, too. :D

sara.braun said...

Adrien, I LOVE reading your blogs. I may not get a chance to check daily, but I do check as often as allowed in this crazy busy life. You have alot of wonderful ideas, and I think you are a great mom! I guess I am a little late on this blog but oh well here it goes! My daughter Katelynn is almost 4 months old, so she will be in between your daughters' ages, but you have my promise that if our children come to be friends, I will treat your girls kindly and fairly. :)

Christine Pettijohn said...

Wow girl, I always viewed you as someone who was confident but yet quite and shy. You definitely are so nice and can write like no one I know. Keep up the good work. I do not know if you will see Wyatt so much with the age difference but maybe. He flocks towards Evelyn in the nursery during church when I take him in there. LOL. Again keep up the good work!!!


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