Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Labor Day Weekend....in pictures :)

Lots of Labor Day water fun for us....

Our Labor Day weekend in pictures....

Pool party with some friends from our church community group....

We tried to have a picture contest--girls against boys to see who could get more creative. Of course we did push-ups and then crazy jumped in. And I am assuming we won haha. The guys did belly flops on the slip-n-slide! 

Monday, September 01, 2014

Brylee goes to Kindergarten.

Brylee June starts kindergarten tomorrow morning. Life at the Horton house is going to be different, no doubt. Brylee keeps us going most days. She is just like her mama, always has a plan for what we need to do and how we need to do it.

When I think about Brylee several words come to mind.

She is strong but yet so very sensitive. She has the ability to run the show but can easily feel and connect to the hearts of others.

She is smart. She understands things that she shouldn't understand for her age. She listens to everything, every word I say.

She can feel for others. I know this because her heart breaks when she sees me cry. Even as a two year old she would hurt when she would see me cry. She will be able to love others in a big way if she chooses to allow herself to "go there" with people.

She is organized. She re-arranges her room about once a week and puts everything in its spot.

She loves to take care of others, especially her sisters. She wants everyone to be ok.

Brylee stands for what is right. This gets her in trouble sometimes because she is adamant that things be right. I feel peace though, knowing she is a rule follower. Of course she will get out of line in her life, but I pray she always goes back to her roots because I know that will be enough to get her back on track.

Brylee is ready for this new journey, I know it.

Dear Brylee,

It seems like yesterday that I held you for the first time in my arms. You were so tiny, 6 pounds 8 ounces. I had never held anything more precious. You made me a mommy and that is the best gift I could have ever received....

Watching you grow up has been entertaining in so many ways, not to mention a huge blessing. You have been the first to do everything so it has all been new with every step. You were the first to say "mama" and the first to show my heart what it felt like to have to let you go and grow up. 

Your life made us a family. You started something beautiful in our home and we are grateful for that. You taught your daddy and me how to love each other more purely and you gave us a reason to hold on tight when things got hard. 

You are ready for kindergarten and you are going to do so well. I pray that you are a leader and choose to lead others in the right direction. I pray you obey and remember that respecting your teacher is a must. I pray that you choose to be the kind of friend that you want to have. And I pray that you have a "pretty heart" to the other girls at school.....because good friends matter more than anything. 

Always remember to let your light shine inside of you. I have always taught you this but carrying it out is not always easy. Others will try to blow your light out, in different ways, but it is so important to remember that it is ok to BE YOU.

You matter because God says you matter. You are beautiful inside and out, even if you make a mistake. You are loved and I will always love you unconditionally...no matter what. 
A part of my heart will not be the same without you here everyday but that is part of growing up....and letting go.....

You are my little best friend and my hope is that you always will be. Your daddy and I will be your cheerleaders forever and we can't wait to see all the plans that God has for your life. They are big, I can feel it!

If I could give you any advice it would be this. Love and accept who God made you to be. Don't change for anyone else. Try hard not to let others steal your joy and what you know to be true about yourself. God created you exactly how He intended you to be and it is my prayer that you will hold onto that tightly. Fight for that hard because everything changes when you choose to allow others to speak into your identity. 

Your identity is in Christ and He has a purpose for your life. 

I will miss our days together but I will be so anxious to pick you up every day and see what you have learned. 

I love you with everything I have inside of me. I am ready to let you go on this next journey....

Always and forever, Mommy 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

"The danger of anger"

Definition of anger: A strong feeling of displeasure or irritation.

I spent the last 24 hours away from the distractions that typically circulate my world....there are many. A few days ago I felt strongly that I needed to escape life and take a long look at my heart. I have been so confused lately and I have not been able to identify the root of the confusion. I knew I needed to go figure it out....whatever that meant.

I asked Audra to go with me because she knows me. The real, raw, imperfect Tanna. She knows my failures as well as the times I have succeeded and she loves me the same.

It's not easy to really "go there" with someone, knowing that you will have to be vulnerable and open but I trust Audra. Nothing in me doesn't trust her or her love for me. I remember one of the questions from the bible study this summer and it said..."name someone who you are SURE loves you." I didn't even have to think....I just wrote her name immediately.

I am especially grateful for that during times like yesterday when I am confident that she is about to see parts of me that are not pretty. Ya we all know that all of us have "junk" in our lives but having to watch it play out in someones life is difficult. I knew allowing her to go there with me would mean that she would see and hear some things that may not be attractive. But I was ok with that.

This blog is not really the appropriate place to expose the details of my heart, so I won't do that, but what I do want to do is process through my thoughts through writing. I learned yesterday that I am very angry. I knew walking into it that anger filled my heart because of the way I had been responding the last few weeks to others in my life.

People act out of what is in their heart. That is what I was doing. I was functioning out of anger and fear, which was very out of character for me. Even though I knew I had anger in my heart, I had no idea how much anger nor the depths of the anger. As Audra walked me through an exercise on forgiveness I felt like I was saying things that I had not even thought about in 10-15 years. I just couldn't believe how much certain things had ripped me to the core back then, I just had no idea.

There are so many times in life where we stuff our feelings. We stuff things that were said to us. We stuff things that were done to us. We stuff, and we stuff, and we stuff.....not realizing the damage that it does to our soul.

Gods timing is perfect, it always is. I sat in church tonight and I couldn't believe that the pastor was preaching on conflict and anger. Of course he was preaching on that! He wrote the message just for me, right?! I felt like that but I am sure I wasn't alone.

At one point he said....."When we choose to push pause on our anger then it usually ends up coming out at the worst times." Remember, people act out of what is in their heart.

If I am being honest, which I am trying, I would have to say that the hardest part about this is when I see my anger come out in my reactions to the girls. It's not their fault that their mommy is going through some stuff and there have been several times over the last few weeks where I have been heart-broken over my reaction towards them. I don't ever see a good reason to raise my voice to them, it is just not necessary, but I have done that lately. I haven't been ok inside and it seeps into all areas of my life.

The second thing that I heard tonight at church is this..."unresolved anger destroys the heart of the one who is angry."

Man, talk about words that hit me like a ton of bricks. My heart has been a train wreck lately trying to juggle way too many things but now I finally know why. I am not confused anymore. I have chosen to stuff my anger for so many years and the bomb finally went off inside of me. As hard as it is for me to admit that, I am so thankful that I have identified it. Once you know the problem, and the root of it, then you can work WITH God to fix it.

I desire nothing more than to do the hard work to fix it and let Him restore me. I don't want to feel like a train wreck. I want to be filled with joy, peace, love and all the things that bring hope. I know how that feels and I want it back. Somewhere along the line I dropped the ball and lost track of where my eyes should be. I looked to the left, then to the right, and I chose to take my eyes off of God and placed them on other things that were not praiseworthy. That is where I messed up. The bible says that God will keep us in His perfect peace when our minds are fixed on Him. I know what I need to do now and I am going to do it.

A very special friend said something to me tonight that meant so much. Her eyes were filled with tears and she said she could see joy back on my face. She saw the hope that I felt and that is how I knew it was real. She saw "Tanna" again, the girl who loves life and doesn't let anything bring her down. I was so grateful for her words.

Audra and I opened up a big can of worms called anger last night that is going to take some time and hard work to sort through but at least it is in the light. The enemy cannot work against us when we bring things into the light.

So tonight I am at peace, knowing that I have taken a step in the right direction. Many of you may be on your own journey, and realizing that there are many steps ahead, but all that matters is that we keep moving forward. Someone once told me that we are always moving, whether it is forward or backwards, but we are always moving in some direction. Lets fix our eyes on God and move forward...it is the only way to finding true joy.

I love you Audra, you really are my best friend. Thank you for loving me for free, no strings attached. 

Meet the teacher!

The Horton girls were over the top excited to meet their new teachers this year for school! I am so happy that they will all be at the same place this year. Audree and Cerly will be in preschool two days and then Brylee will be in kinder. I am confident they will be taken care of and loved on constantly and that makes my heart happy :)

She's ready to go!!!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Naptime stories....

Yesterday at nap time Brylee and I were talking about how she is going to learn how to read this year at school. She was so excited and the first thing she said was....

"As soon as I can read then I am going to read Cerly her naptime story every day...."

Made me tear up, knowing that she won't be home at naptime anymore. I asked her to practice reading to Cerly for the next two naptimes and it was a joy to watch. She has a great imagination and Cerly loved it too! I will miss these moments when she is gone next week.....

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