Monday, August 26, 2013 wasn't so bad afterall...

The best thing about the first day of school is it is so hectic and crazy that if you get caught up in the whirlwind of new clothes, shoes, and backpacks...taking pics in the backyard with the cute signs...without the cute signs...funny pics...serious pics...the "I have had enough" pics...getting all the school forms signed...taking pics by the car (because that is what Memaw did to Mommy every year)...running late...forgetting the name tag...taking pics outside the school...inside the the hallway...

When it comes time to actually do the "have a great will be great" is hard to get all emotional...

Combine that with my kiddo who was so excited about meeting new friends, seeing new classrooms, and just experiencing everything about Kindergarten that she could barely hug and kiss me good-bye...

The end result is a Mom who could cry if I really sat and thought about it...but after seeing all of Dotty's excitement I chose to be excited instead of sad.

I am so thankful I am raising an independent, self-confident, fun loving, life living, friend making, risk taking, no fear kind of girl.

She is so amazing.

As I watched her take it all in today...and as I saw her so excited to start this new adventure...I couldn't help but bust with pride.

My Dotty has always been so full of life and has a true joy for living it...and that includes going off to Kindergarten.

So how can a Mom cry over something as wonderful as that?!?! Truth just can't help but smile! :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Night Before Kindergarten

Tomorrow will be Dotty's first day of Kindergarten at Iowa Park Kidwell Elementary.

Where did the last 5 (almost 6) years go?!?!

I swear I can still remember the night before Dotty was born. I was nervous...excited...and ready!

Tonight once again...I am nervous...excited...but I am not sure if I am ready.

As a mother I can't help but worry about is what we mothers do best I think. I worry she will not find her way around school. I worry she will not make any new friends (although if I were being totally honest my child could make friends with a rock so this is really not that big of a worry). I worry a kid might be mean to her. I worry she might be mean to a kid. I worry she will miss me. I worry she won't miss me. I worry she will struggle. I worry she will not challenge herself enough. I worry she will get hurt, get sick, get tired, or even worse...get a boyfriend!!! I worry about ALL of it and more!

Then again I think of all the moms, dads, and folks in general that don't get to have this night...for one reason or another...and I thank God for the opportunity to worry about my child's first day of Kindergarten. I thank God for every moment of every day for the gift that is my Dotty.

Tomorrow will be both a happy and sad day...for me...and a day of new beginnings for both of us. Tomorrow I will watch Dotty head into a classroom to start school...and I will watch her do that year after year for many years...God willing.

Tomorrow I will smile and take pictures (too many for Dotty I have no doubts)...I will wish her luck and tell her she will do great...I will tell her to have fun and that I will see her soon. I will do all this without a crack in my voice...without a tear in my eye...without a single sign of sadness.

Then I will go back to my car and I will cry my eyes out. I will cry tears of sadness for my baby not being a baby anymore...for years gone by too fast...and for all the times I didn't pause to bask in the blessing that comes with each child. And I will cry tears of joy...for having a happy, healthy Kindergartner. I will cry as all proud mommas cry when their hearts burst with pride. I will cry for both Dotty and me...for the journey we have made so far and for the one still ahead of us.

Simply put...I am going to do one of those "ugly cries"...and I have no doubts it will not be pretty.

And when the time comes to pick her up at the end of her day...once again I will have a smile on my face and there will be no sign of tears. Because that is what moms do. Moms hold it together when we need to...and we let it all out when we have time to...we are both strong and weak...but we know there is a time and place for both.

Some day I will tell Dotty about how hard it was to let her go to Kindergarten...perhaps when she is about to send her own child off for the first day of school...but whenever the time comes it will be a long time in the future...because tomorrow is a day to celebrate.

Tomorrow Dotty reaches a of many!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

In honor of "My Brittany" of the best stepmoms I know...

Today I want to give a special tribute to Brittany. She and Tony are getting married today and thus she will "officially" be Dotty's stepmom. But Brittany has been more than just a stepmom to Dotty for a long time now.

For a while when people would ask Dotty who Brittany was in relation to Dotty...Dotty would simply reply "My Brittany".

Several times when Dotty had "Mom's Night" or "Dad's Night" at school Dotty would ask me "When is there going to be a "Brittany's Night?"

Dotty has loved Brittany from the beginning...and to this Mom's joy and delight...the feeling is absolutely reciprocated on Brittany's end.

Brittany has always shown Dotty unconditional love and that is all I could ever ask for from anyone who is in my child's life.

But on top of that...Brittany has also shown me unconditional love...not to mention respect and friendship. Brittany never tries to be "the mom" to Dotty. She has never once stepped on my toes when it comes to parenting choices or decisions. She always keeps me in the loop. She is so supportive of the non-traditional co-parenting relationship Tony and I have and best of all...Brittany is the sweetest thing on earth.

I always say if I had met her earlier in life we would have been good friends...luckily we are now good friends AND parents to Dotty.

I know we five (Tony, Brittany, Dylann, Dotty, and me) make quite a sight sometimes...and no doubts many people wonder how we make all this work. The fact is...we choose to make it work and one of the main reasons it works is because Brittany is so great.

Today Dotty will be one of the cutest flower girls on earth (her and Dylann will share this title).

While today is very special...I must say that Brittany has always been very special to me.

I wish Tony and Brittany nothing but the best...and a long and happy marriage. I know Dotty is one lucky girl to be loved by so many...especially by "her Brittany".

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Just call me...

I have been called a lot of names in life...

At birth I was named Jill Pepper Montz.
My Grandma Montz liked to throw in an extra name on occasions when I was in a bit of trouble referring to me as Jill Pepper Marie Montz (her middle name).
Lots of my friends call me Pepper or Pep.
In sports sometimes I was just called Montz.
My uncle refers to me as JP.
My Dad likes to call me Sugar Pie.
In the past I have been called Sweetheart, Sugar, Sweets, Darling, Little Lady, and a few others by customers...some of them got away with calling me those names...some of them got corrected depending on how they said it.
Back in my hay day of sorts I got called names like Gorgeous and Beautiful from time to time.
Then there were those who were not so fond of me and I won't repeat the names they used.

But over the last few years I have been loving referred to many times by children (and even some adults) as Dotty's Mom.

This name above all others brings the biggest smile to my face and to my heart. I love to be known as Dotty's Mom.

Most importantly though...I love to simply be Momma.

When I hear that sweet voice of Dotty call out is like music to my ears. (Of course when we are trying to get ready in the mornings and I hear MOMMA being shrieked at an octave only dogs and I can hear...for the 100th time in only 15 minutes...I do tend to think of the sound as less soothing than other times.)

Overall though I love to hear Momma being called out...whether it is to show me a drawing, to help her down from the trampoline, to kiss a boo boo better, to see a heart shaped rock, to calm her fears at night, to dance with her, to sing with her, to just be near her...being Dotty's Momma is the best name I ever got.

And it is a name I will forever be called.