Laresa Watkins

Some things that may seem not-so-good but really are…

Dec 6, 2016

1-Maddie loves to get up really early, and even earlier now that Martin (our Elf on the Shelf) is here. I can hear her rushing around upstairs, brushing her teeth and feeding her fish before she runs downstairs to find him.  She just laughs and screams and talks to him, then comes into my room to tell me where he is.  Some mornings (like this morning when I was still asleep) it is a little annoying, but I do enjoy our mornings together.  We sit on the couch and she watches cartoons (Christmas cartoons this time of year) while I pray and do my morning devotion, she with a mug of hot chocolate and me with a cup of coffee.  Even though she does sometimes wake me up earlier than I would like, I do treasure that time with her.



2-Charlie was sick yesterday.  I know there should be nothing good about this, but I secretly enjoyed it.  Last week he became embarrassed to hold my hand.  I grabbed his hand on our way into church, and noticed that he wouldn’t grasp my hand. Then, without looking at me, he shook my hand off.  I laughed at him (but may have gotten a little teary-eyed when I told my friend about it a few minutes later).

I hate that he was sick, but I will admit that I loved being able to give him some attention.  The two of us stayed home from church so I could spoil him back to health.  😉


In the midst of this busy holiday season, I feel the need to find the good in the quiet, mundane moments.  Because….

“God was wonderful to us;
we are one happy people.”
Psalm 126: 3
He was good then, and He’s good now! I don’t have to look long to find evidence that he is a wonderful God.  In the seemingly bad, he has created good.  In the dark, early mornings, there is joy and peace, and in sickness there is a chance for restoration.
This makes me one happy person.


A Little Something to Lighten the Mood Around Here…

Nov 9, 2016

Not sure if you’ve noticed, but it has gotten pretty intense around here today. I thought I would try to bring a little cheer to the interwebs this evening. 🙂


SO MUCH hilarity has been happening around here lately.  This conversation:

Charlie: “Do you know who makes the best mac and cheese in the world?”

Me: “Who?”

Charlie: “Gaga.”

Me: “Oh, what about me?”

Charlie: “You’re third.”

Me: “Well, who’s second?”

Charlie: “I don’t know. Somebody.”

I mean, kids just know how to boost your confidence, right?


Halloween also happened (if you know us, you know we do it right):




C and M had several different costumes.  C stuck mostly with Harry Potter, and loved it that a lot of kids really thought that he was actually Harry Potter.  He was also the Grim Reaper during our time trick-or-treating at an assisted living facility, where it was pointed out to me that his costume may not have been the best choice (#parentingfail).  Maddie was a vampire, gymnast, and different variations of Wednesday Addams.

Also, this was one of the highlights of my life so far:


Between trunk-or-treat, harvest festivals, trick-or-treating in downtown, trick-or-treating at the assisted living, and for-real trick-or-treating, we have so much candy in this house it is ridiculous.  We finally sat down today and dumped it all in the floor, took out our favorites and removed the rest from the house. Maddie said, “It’s kind of still Halloween, isn’t it?” And I said, “No, it’s not. It’s kind of already Christmas.”

And I will end this short writing on my thoughts about yesterday and today:

The heart of man plans his way,
    but the Lord establishes his steps.
Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

Calm down, everyone.  God knows what He’s doing.

Summer 2016: Our Summer of Yes

Sep 19, 2016

Summer of Yes

I began the summer by saying no. No to well-meaning friends who wanted to schedule playdates and dinners out, no to Jason when he wanted to sign Charlie up for golf camp, and no to Maddie’s gymnastics teacher when she invited her to gymnastics camp.

I’m sure it was aggravating to some people when I kept turning them down, but I just needed some rest.  It was a long, hard winter for my family, and I was just so tired. I really felt the need for a long stretch of time with no responsibilities or worries.

So I said no, and when we wrapped up our school year, finished with MOPS and church responsibilities, played our last baseball game and went to our last gymnastics lesson, we started our summer of yes.  And it has been fantastic.

We marked a lot of things off our summer bucket list (which wasn’t really a list, since I refused to make any lists all summer long).  We spent tons of time at the pool:


Both Charlie and Maddie are great swimmers now, and every once in awhile (thanks to some awesome lifeguards and plenty of pool noodles) I could actually sit and relax without worrying about anyone drowning!

We went to the beach a couple of times:

Our favorite beach activity: building sandcastles.

Our favorite beach activity: building sandcastles.


Ice cream at the beach is the best!

Ice cream at the beach is the best!


A little daddy-daughter dance. :)

A little daddy-daughter dance. 🙂

The kids had a lemonade/cookie stand.  This made me fall in love with our little community even more.  So many people stopped and bought cookies and lemonade from C and M! There was actually a little traffic jam in front of our house.



We had lots of sleepovers.  This means that the kids slept on our bedroom floor.  They loved doing this every time there was a thunderstorm, which there were lots of this summer.



Maddie learned how to make pancakes, and is now the pancake master of the world.  Charlie orders pancakes before he goes to bed, and she wakes up the next morning and makes them!



And, we had lots and lots of time for silliness:



We did other really productive things, like taking plenty of naps (pretty sure Jason thinks that’s all we do at home now) and going to the movies every Tuesday (How did I not hear about Tightwad Tuesday sooner?). We read lots of books and I am so proud that Charlie, after a year of struggling with reading, is now a super reader. He also learned to tie his shoes.  We’re all feeling pretty happy about those major skills he mastered this summer (well, mostly me since I am the one who had to spend HOURS of my day every day tying his shoes).

I know that summer isn’t officially over until Thursday, but we’re back to school and all of our extra-curricular activities.  After such a relaxed summer it hasn’t been easy it has been a struggle it has been almost impossible to get back into our schedule, but we’re getting it, and I’m starting to look forward to fall and all of the holidays coming up.

This year, with all of it’s ups and downs and crazy rythyms, has taught me a lot about the importance of real rest.  I’m a list-making, planning type of girl, so to take so much time and not do those things was not easy for me.  At the beginning of the summer I asked myself what I wanted to accomplish by the end of the summer, and a major thing I wanted was to feel rested and ready-to-go once the summer was over.  I also wanted my family to have fun at home, and for us to have a vacation-type atmosphere at our house.

I’m happy to say that I can mark those things off of my list (in my head, because making that actual list would have been considered work). We had a great summer and are rested and (pretty much) ready to go.

The Summer of YES-Maddie’s Dinner Party

Aug 1, 2016

Summer of Yes

I have really been trying to say yes this summer.  Yes to ice cream and swimming and friends.  Yes to exercising and campouts in my bedroom floor. Yes to just doing nothing.

I’ve been focusing on relaxing and letting go of the control that I love so much, and at times it has been a little scary. Like when I gave Charlie and Maddie knives and told them they could cut up their own apples when they asked.  I cringed with every slice.

Sometimes, saying yes has made me really uncomfortable.  Charlie wanted to rearrange his bedroom last week, so I trudged upstairs and moved furniture around while he gave me instructions.  I began organizing his overcrowded bookshelf (it’s holding all of his crafts from the summer, which is a lot) and he was like, “What are you doing?” He was seriously offended that I was messing with his stuff.  He said, “Can I put that back?” and of course I had to say “Sure.  It’s your room, you can decorate it however you like.” So now his bookshelf is stuffed with crafts and Legos and Lego boxes and stuffed animals and all of the boards he has broken in karate.  There are a few books on there, but you can’t see them. My type-A self just keeps picturing that bookshelf.

Last month I said yes to something that made me both scared and extremely uncomfortable.  Several weeks ago, Maddie stood in front of the cabinet in our kitchen that is full of my good wedding china.  She said, “Why can’t we ever use this? Let’s use it.” She wanted to have a dinner party for Aunt Betty, who was packing for her move back to Florida.  I thought for a minute, then agreed.

Maddie checked out a book on parties from the library, made a menu, and invited Aunt Betty (who is actually her great-great aunt) for a fancy dinner.  Everyone was instructed to wear their nice clothes and given strict orders that there was no burping or pooting at the party, and you must say the prayer or you would be asked to leave.  She was serious.

We had great fun planning the party and getting ready that day.  Charlie and Maddie were so excited to use our nice china and crystal, and to see my MeMa’s silver.  My heart nearly beat out of my chest while I watched Maddie carrying those plates full of food across the kitchen to the table, and I held my breath the entire time they were filling the crystal glasses with ice.  I actually practiced how I would react if one of them dropped a plate or glass on the tile floor, because I was pretty sure that was going to happen and I didn’t want to overreact when it did.

Folding the napkins-I had to really hold myself back from re-folding them!

Folding the napkins-I had to really hold myself back from re-folding them!


Setting the table.

Setting the table.


Maddie made these flower arrangements-she even cut the flowers herself!

Maddie made these flower arrangements-she even cut the flowers herself (with very sharp shears).


Love these two-but they better quit rough-housing around the china!!!

Love these two-but they better quit rough-housing around the china!!!


Aunt Betty, Mama, Charlie, and Maddie.  <3

Aunt Betty, Mama, Charlie, and Maddie. <3


As you can see, it was a lovely dinner in spite of my discomfort!


Locked up….

Oct 26, 2015

I actually googled “writing prompts” tonight.  I am that desperate.  I saw another #Write31Days blogger who was resorting to an anagram today, and another who is writing in Haiku now, so I know I am not the only desperate one!

I luckily found a prompt that I really liked, though, because it is something that I have been imagining for years…What would you do if you were locked inside your favorite department store?

When I was young, I would walk through department stores in Hanes Mall (not the mall in Mt. Airy, because the department stores there were just basic stores-clothes only) and imagine what I would do in there if I was locked in overnight.  While waiting on my parents or sisters to try on clothes, I would pick out which  bed I would sleep in and what pajamas I would wear.

Now, as an adult, my imagination runs a bit wilder.

First of all, I would want to be locked in Macy’s.  A good Macy’s.

I would not call 911 or try to break a window or anything like that.  I would text Jason to let him know I would be home in the morning, then I would proceed directly to the ladies nightwear section.  By this time it would be pretty late, so might as well get comfy.

After picking out the most ridiculously expensive pjs in the store, I would proceed to the makeup counters. I would remove my makeup and wash my face with only the best available products, then give myself a full facial.

Then I would roam around the store for awhile.  I would grab some of the good chocolates and other snacks they keep at the bottom of the escalator to munch on while I walked around, rummaging through the clothes and shoes and household items.

When I was ready for bed, I would go to the home goods section.  I would pick out some 5,000,000 thread count sheets and put them on the biggest bed they had.  I would add the fluffiest pillows and warmest down comforter.

I’m sure it would be a good nights sleep, so I would have no problem waking up before the store was opened back up.  I would have time to make the bed (you can take the mama out of the house…), wash my face and put on some nice makeup (utilizing the makeup counters once again), and pick out a new outfit, with shoes and purse, of course.

I suppose I would stay hidden until the store was full of customers.  Then I could blend in and walk out without being noticed.

I realize that somehow my innocent story of getting away for a night has turned into a story of myself turned criminal!

This post is part of my series for the #Write31Days writing challenge.  Only 5 more days to go!  Click below to see the rest of my writings for the month.

Just Write 31 Days theme pic


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