feel better. live better.

Rainy Mondays Can Be Amazing if You Choose!

Nothing like a dreary Monday morning to really kick off your week. You know what I'm saying? Dang, sometimes when it rains, it pours. And I mean that literally and metaphorically.
It's so crazy how quickly we can put ourselves in a rut. I don't know why we dread Mondays. They're no different than any other day of the week at our house. It's just getting everybody back on schedule, ready with their hair fixed, going to school semi-clean, all together at once now. Let's do this. Rally the troops. Please don't yell at your sister, please don't raise your voice to me. No, we don't have any milk. So what. There's other things in the pantry you can eat. Okay maybe we are out of most things, but you can find something in there. Think outside the box. It doesn't have to be a traditional breakfast. Get creative.We live in America for goodness sake's. We have tons of food in our house. Never complain about not having food. (They already know this song and dance. It's a real hook for me when people act like there's nothing to eat or they are starving) Please don't give me that dirty look. Did you hear what I said? Do not look at me like that again this morning or I will come unglued on you.
Stuff like that to really get your day rolling.
Nothing like a morning of harsh looks, constant complaining, getting drenched taking kids into their schools, and just all-around bitchiness. Welcome.
But then, as I watch little Solie get out of the car and run down the sidewalk, I totally choke up like the softy I am. Bianca runs on. Because you know, she has to win. But not Solie. She has to stop at least four times in the rain toturn around and wave at me. Because she knows I'm going to be looking. Waiting for another wave, and she won't ever let me down. That chick loves her mom. It makes my heart totally melt. I hope she never grows up. But she will. So right now I better soak her in completely.
What a sweet moment.
Back to the house to pick up the other three.... Drop off's. Sometimes they go great, sometimes not so good. And when you add in a Monday and a rain day- you can guess where this is headed. And just for a little fun God allows both of the two in diapers to take a massive dump as we are trying to load up... Right on. We got this.
After getting all three little kids out in the rain, getting them checked into their classes, and heading back out, I'm not super pleased. Just because I'm wet, I haven't had any coffee yet, and just in general it's a dreary Monday.
It's not two seconds after I pull out of the parking lot that I see someone rolling down the sidewalk in a wheelchair. In the rain.... And I'm complaining about what? What about my inconvenience? Reality check.
I hit the McDonald's drive-through for a diet Dr Pepper. Because it's that kind of morning. As I'm going to pay I see one of my friends working the window. He already works all the time at another job. I asked him what was going on, he said he just needs to work more and more to pay child support. What a guy. Good heart, good work ethic. Busting his hump to make it happen for his family.
Wake up woman.
I think I'm getting the picture. Rain. So what. Healthy family. Absolute bliss. Slow down and get that. Mondays. Are exactly what we make them. Having people you love in your life. Priceless. Even with dirty looks and eye rolls in the morning, my nine-year-old is still my world.
Cheers to you on this Monday. Go with it.
Big Love,
Chantelle

Marriage. She's a Tough One.

Marriage. She's a tough one. A beast really. When she's good-she's great. When she's not- damn. Eric and I have been married 18 years. Sounds crazy. I think it's a record. At least in my mind it is. And let me tell you, it's not been all sunshine and rainbows.
We really could not be more different. Lucky for Eric, I only spent the first 10 years of our lives trying to fix him.smile emoticon Because you know I had it all figured out. He was really raised in an environment where counseling was king. I was raised in an environment more along the lines of stuff it and move on. Counseling was for the weak in my mind. Little did I know my future. Strong people don't need counseling. We can work it out on our own I thought That's how I was raised. So when Eric wanted to talk about his feelings and really work through things I would get so angry. Turns out when you get married, you actually bring all of your crap-and I mean all of it -straight up into your sweet little union.... (And if you don't think you have crap, your probably reading the wrong post)....Insecurities. At their fullest.
Here we are 18 years into this gig, thinking we probably have another 40 to go. I can only imagine. And just when we figure some stuff out, we get a do over and the way our life looks changes completely.
I don't have any awesome advice about marriage. Typically we marry people because of all the awesomeness about them. Then we spend the next however many years trying to change them. Really no clue why this happens. But it does.
It's only been after some massive years of counseling and sorting out some of my random junk that I realized maybe I should just love Eric for exactly who he is.
Ground breaking.
Eric is one of the most Type A, outgoing, truth telling, biggest givers I have ever met in my life. Sometimes he is so outgoing and so comfortable sharing his thoughts with others it makes me squirm- because I'm a stuffer. But what I finally learned, and I know it's quite impressive after 18 years-That's exactly why I married him...for all of these exact things about him. He actually does not need to be me....If he was me, we would probably be living like a couple of gypsies on the High sea.
What actually happens when you marry someone totally different than you if you stick with it long enough- is you'll actually complement one another. Don't get me wrong. We share some of the exact same core beliefs- that is why it works. We are passionate about making a difference in the lives of others. That's what brought us together in the first place.
It's crazy how your rolls can shift over the years. Add in a business, two businesses, one, two, three, four, five kids, foster care ends and outs, home, families, in-laws, a life together- it's a wee bit to juggle.
So cheers to doing the hard. Marriage aint for sissies. We love, we mess up, and we get another chance tomorrow. Can you relate?
Judge less. Love more. Seems to be a theme that would be great if it would stick across the United States right about now.
Love on your partner. And remember why you started loving them in the first place.
Big Love,
Chantelle

I Could Never Do That Because It Would Be Too Hard.

Well, I spent part of the morning at Children's Division today. It was so bitter sweet. Monday we will have a huge celebration but it will also be scattered moments of sadness. Our little Teensy is officially becoming a Becking. It blows my mind to think this day is here. But there's always a mix in the happiness with heartache. As our family gains another Becking officially, there is a sadness and knowing that it is a loss from another angle.
Y'all this sounds crazy, but I left Children's Division this morning and just let loose on the waterworks. Can you say EMOTIONAL out of nowhere? So we are official with five kids. Which means we are a maximum capacity family as foster parents. Please hear me, I have zero intention of having anymore kids! But that's what I've said over and over. And God still seemed to bring them our way. Now, 5 is actually the max you can have in your family as foster parents without being re-licensed as a large care family. So, it looks as if a chapter is closing in our lives. That sentence was not nearly heavy enough to cover the weight of how I am feeling.We will always be huge supporters of fostering. It's how we Beckings became Party of 7. Wow. Seven. Yep, all seven of us. (I know I said seven a lot. But it just seemed right in my mind) God brought us together in such a crazy and unbelievable way. Adoption first. From the ends of the earth. Then fostering showed up at our door....A door I did not want to open at first.
Maybe it's a child that lives a mile from you, 3 miles from you, 10 miles from you. Right here in your community. It kind of blows your mind. Then sometimes it's a child God brings from Ethiopia to Cape Girardeau Missouri.
So much change is happening in our lives. It's always good have change. Don't get me wrong. But this is a biggie. Foster care rocked my world- in a way I could never quite get down accurately on paper. Initially it took me to my knees. Made me feel completely out of control. Helpless really. Like I had no say in anything. Which honestly, I kind of needed for a while. My ego needed it.Then slowly, the advocate and justice seeker in me began to rise back up.
We served as an emergency care placement family for a while. This would just be fill in situations where maybe a child was taken into custody during the night and there was really no immediate place for them to go. What an eye-opener. Just never having any clue who's little eyes would be looking up at you. Scared. And sometimes from pretty bad circumstances.
As I've told you before, we have spent evenings in the ER with kids we barely knew their name. I remember going to the hospital to pick up babies and really had no idea what I was walking into.
If you feel led to make a massive difference in the world, fostering is a hell of a start. To make a massive change in the world, it typically starts within our own selves. It's even less about others.
Let me share a thought with you. My journey with foster care has been the most wonderful heartbreaking story of my life. So for any of you out there who feel like you could never do it because it would just be too hard- You would fall in love with the kid too much. That's the whole goal friend. My hope is that we will all fall in love with the kid. It's what they need. What they deserve. Whether your heartbreaks into a thousand pieces or you get your version of a happy ending.
I say this lovingly, so please receive it as it is intended. The next time you think about telling a foster parent those fateful words,
"Oh I could never be a foster parent. It would just be too hard. I would fall in love with them. I could not stand to see them taken away from me." 
-Please rethink that. Because we certainly fall in love with them. And yes it is too hard. But we do it anyway. In the end, it's actually not about us but them. You know, the way it is in life. If you're a parent, a daughter, a sister, a wife. It's never supposed to be about us anyway.
I have mastered this about 0%, but I'm learning every day.
So cheerio friends to a fantastic Halloween weekend. I hope you do something super fun with the people you love. Suck every bit of life out of this weekend. Take it for everything it's worth. Don't let anything rob you from your bliss!
Big Love,
Chantelle

Moms are The Real Deal.

Moms.... Bravest gig in the world.
As a teenager, I would never have expected to become a mom. Yuck. Kids... I don't think so. I'm off to see the world and have big hair.
Momhood was absolutely the very last thing on my mind. I had no clue what was ahead of me in 20 or so years. I've seen so many people write about being a mom. It always touches base somehow. You can never really put into words all of the highs, lows, the joys, the heartbreak, exhaustion, and the sheer moments.
It starts out all fine and good. Maybe it's pregnancy. Maybe it's adoption...Whatever the path. However our kids come to us we all have a journey. We all have thoughts in our head about motherhood. A lot of times it starts out wearing a pair of rose-colored glasses. That's probably good though.
I've never given birth, but I've been right there when one of my best friends did and there is that moment. Hard explain I'm sure. I've also been there through adoption. The waiting, the agony of wondering if your kid will ever come home. Painful. But sweet. Even with foster care some of the same stuff.
You know those moments, when you think you couldn't be happier? Couldn't be more thankful. Will never ever forget this moment. Will never ever take life for granted with this wonderful child . And then life hits. Sometimes really big time.
Those days or a series of days where maybe the kids get a bath but we don't. When we haven't shaved our legs in weeks. When we roll around town with spit up all over our clothes and don't even think twice. When we think if we have to make one more peanut butter and jelly sandwich we are going to use that knife against someone.
Then it's back to the sweet moments. Maybe it's pushing one of the kids in the swing for just a second, helping them learn to write their name. Kissing their boo-boos. Listening to them as your heart breaks while they talk about mean girls at school. Nobody can match a mom in this area. We dominate this.

Back to life happening. Stress. Work. Kids. Family. Marriage. Finances. Sometimes you feel like we could implode. Moments, days, weeks, months go by and we don't even know what happened. Sometimes we lose ourselves big time. And it takes a really long time to find ourselves again. Except when we do find ourselves we are completely different. Changed.
We're tough on ourselves. It's hard to balance everything. We cannot help but want it to look right from the outside even if on the inside it's a complete disaster kind of situation.
Even if we screw up every single day, we're still in it. We are still teaching our kids to love, and be loved. We are teaching them nobody's perfect. And that's a damn good thing. Don't underestimate that. Being authentic is one of the best gifts to give a kid.
Maybe you have taken traits from your own mother. Maybe you didn't really have a mother growing up. Either way, it's a whole new gig to learn.... And just when we get it under wraps, it completely changes.
Add another kid, challenges in marriage, or kids just getting older and problems are new and different. We know the routine.
What is we cut ourselves some slack friends. I'm learning to do that. All of the day-to-day stuff is real. Nobody gets it but you. Everyone has their own hula hoop. And it is legit. And when we feel like we've lost ourselves, we need to give ourselves some time to regroup...and get back to what makes us tick. We deserve it. I'm not sure what happens when we become moms where we lose all sense of ourselves. Maybe it is because we take on tiny human lives to handle and manage and love on and care and keep alive and well. HELLO change in priorities! A lot of it for the good.... A lot of times in the mix we totally lose our fabulous selves. We need to take a second to remember who we are. Why we are amazing. Just exactly the way we are.
And thank you. You are in the trenches. Every day. And it's expected. But it should never go unnoticed.
Much love this weekend. I hope you get just a moment alone to breathe. It might be turning up your jam even though your kids hate that music. It might be taking a bath and drinking a glass of wine with no interruptions! Bathroom door locked. Total privacy. Sounds pretty good, right?
Beautiful brave warriors.
Big Love girlfriends-
Chantelle

It's Finally Over.

Well, I spent part of the morning at Children's Division today. It was so bitter sweet. Monday we will have a huge celebration but it will also be scattered moments of sadness. Our little Teensy is officially becoming a Becking. It blows my mind to think this day is here. But there's always a mix in the happiness with heartache. As our family gains another Becking officially, there is a sadness and knowing that it is a loss from another angle.
Y'all this sounds crazy, but I left Children's Division this morning and just let loose on the waterworks. Can you say EMOTIONAL out of nowhere? So we are official with five kids. Which means we are a maximum capacity family as foster parents. Please hear me, I have zero intention of having anymore kids! But that's what I've said over and over. And God still seemed to bring them our way. Now, 5 is actually the max you can have in your family as foster parents without being re-licensed as a large care family. So, it looks as if a chapter is closing in our lives. That sentence was not nearly heavy enough to cover the weight of how I am feeling.We will always be huge supporters of fostering. It's how we Beckings became Party of 7. Wow. Seven. Yep, all seven of us. (I know I said seven a lot. But it just seemed right in my mind) God brought us together in such a crazy and unbelievable way. Adoption first. From the ends of the earth. Then fostering showed up at our door....A door I did not want to open at first.
Maybe it's a child that lives a mile from you, 3 miles from you, 10 miles from you. Right here in your community. It kind of blows your mind. Then sometimes it's a child God brings from Ethiopia to Cape Girardeau Missouri.
So much change is happening in our lives. It's always good have change. Don't get me wrong. But this is a biggie. Foster care rocked my world- in a way I could never quite get down accurately on paper. Initially it took me to my knees. Made me feel completely out of control. Helpless really. Like I had no say in anything. Which honestly, I kind of needed for a while. My ego needed it.Then slowly, the advocate and justice seeker in me began to rise back up.
We served as an emergency care placement family for a while. This would just be fill in situations where maybe a child was taken into custody during the night and there was really no immediate place for them to go. What an eye-opener. Just never having any clue who's little eyes would be looking up at you. Scared. And sometimes from pretty bad circumstances.
As I've told you before, we have spent evenings in the ER with kids we barely knew their name. I remember going to the hospital to pick up babies and really had no idea what I was walking into.
If you feel led to make a massive difference in the world, fostering is a hell of a start. To make a massive change in the world, it typically starts within our own selves. It's even less about others.
Let me share a thought with you. My journey with foster care has been the most wonderful heartbreaking story of my life. So for any of you out there who feel like you could never do it because it would just be too hard- You would fall in love with the kid too much. That's the whole goal friend. My hope is that we will all fall in love with the kid. It's what they need. What they deserve. Whether your heartbreaks into a thousand pieces or you get your version of a happy ending.
I say this lovingly, so please receive it as it is intended. The next time you think about telling a foster parent those fateful words,
"Oh I could never be a foster parent. It would just be too hard. I would fall in love with them. I could not stand to see them taken away from me." 
-Please rethink that. Because we certainly fall in love with them. And yes it is too hard. But we do it anyway. In the end, it's actually not about us but them. You know, the way it is in life. If you're a parent, a daughter, a sister, a wife. It's never supposed to be about us anyway.
I have mastered this about 0%, but I'm learning every day.
So cheerio friends to a fantastic Halloween weekend. I hope you do something super fun with the people you love. Suck every bit of life out of this weekend. Take it for everything it's worth. Don't let anything rob you from your bliss!
Big Love,
Chantelle