Saturday, November 24, 2012

What's going on inside my brain...

Months ago I posted and said things might get more real on here as I will use this space for more than journaling (which apparently is not a real word)  about my family.  It's hard to step out of a comfort zone and not worry what others may think.  But then I realized it doesn't matter what anyone else things. I don't care.  And so here it is.  

I believe in growth and change.  I believe people can and are supposed to progress.  And I believe that other people don't always believe that others can change.  Because we all know change can be really hard.  I believe that we all say things that we regret.  We all speak without thinking and I know when I do I am left beating myself up over those stupid things I have said. I worry that perhaps I have offended someone, which is never my intent.  It can be really hard to express my opinions verbally and on the spot.  I like to have time to think things over. And my head is never as clear when I am in a group and don't have time to think about what I want to say.

I believe in striving to be Christ-like.  Unfortunately that concept is foreign to the natural man inside each of us.  That's why I said "striving to be".  The bottom line is we are all human.  And human nature can be selfish and worldly.  Those things are opposite of Christ-like.  Whether you believe in Jesus Christ or not, you know the stories of Him, and what Christ-like means.  Shouldn't we all strive to be like Him?

We all make mistakes. That is how we learn.  I can be overly sensitive.  If you know me, you have seen or experienced that.  I have to remind myself that people often don't mean to be rude or insensitive. You can never know what someone else is going through or thinking.  You can't "walk a mile in their shoes".  So you just have to remember others may not mean to be offensive.  I have been working on not letting myself get easily offended in the past several years.  Because being offended is a choice we make.  It isn't easy. I have a lot of work to do in this area. But I am trying most of the time. I have had to learn to "let things go" and move on.  Often times I can only do that after a lot of effort and prayer.  I tend to dwell on things and I need to write them down to get them out and pray to find peace and closure on things.  I pray for the help and strength to not feel offended because of what someone else has said or done.  Because perhaps they didn't mean to hurt feelings.

Then again, there are people who are mean or miserable because that is just where they are in their life situations at any given time.  (That's okay. This is normal.)  In those instances, we can't know for sure.  It's the whole 'you aren't in their shoes' thing again.  In times where something seems to be done or said out of spite or malice, we still should not take it personally.  We still should pray to overcome our natural instinct to be rude in return, or become defensive. That will only do more damage and the situation will escalate to something that is needless. (I do feel there are times where we need and have the right to defend our actions or positions on things.  This takes wisdom.  You have to be able to use good judgement in defending yourself and your beliefs.)  We should pray for the person who has offended us too.  Pray for them to feel love and kindness and for their situation to get better and easier.  Pray they can find peace and happiness and that they will feel the love needed to not act out of hurt or fear or whatever else is causing the offending behavior.

I know my purpose.  But it can be so easy to let things get in the way and to lose sight of that.  Everyday I am trying to be the best mom and wife.  Those are two things that are the most important to me.  I want to protect and respect my family, my marriage.  But there are a lot of other demands too. Those things get in the way. I want to be a good friend, a good neighbor, a good sister, good PERSON and follower of Christ.  And you know what? Sometimes I fail. I fail a lot. Many nights I lay down knowing I have failed.  But there is comfort knowing that following each night I will have a new day to try again. And again. And again.  And again. And again.  You get the point. Because that is what this earthly experience is all about.  Making mistakes, learning from them, and becoming closer to who we can and are meant to become and who we are to ultimately be.  I have a long way to go.  But I honestly am trying. And I know that is what matters.

Please know if you have been offended by me that I am sorry.  As my husband admitted to me once, he doesn't like to be wrong and guys don't like to admit they are wrong. None of us do.  It is the same for women.  It is hard to admit when we are wrong.  I have been wrong many times.  Pride is an ugly thing and one of those natural instincts we have that we must try to overcome.  And sometimes there isn't a right and wrong (sometimes there clearly is though).  There is always a way to be sensitive to others and have respect for differing views and feelings.  No one person is the same as the next. But we all deserve to feel love and respect and to be treated kindly and as equals.

And those are the things that have been circling around in my mind in recent days.  And if I didn't get them out, I would have driven myself crazy :)  I don't even know that I have been able to express them as clearly as I would have liked, but there's the gist of it.  I feel self-conscious about my ability to articulate my feelings and thoughts and opinions.  I think it has something to do with all my family having their degrees and knowing I never finished mine.  It is so ridiculous, I know.  I have learned so much more that has been useful by being a wife and mom than a degree could give me.  I wouldn't change anything at this point in time. I finished massage school.  I am doing the things that I know are right for me to this point in my life.  That is what matters.  If you don't like what I have to say, you don't have to read this blog. Remember that. We all have choices to make as to how we spend our time and how we react to the opinions of others.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So close

...and so yet so far.  The house is almost done. But there is a massive list of things yet to be done. Carpeting, garage door, stain the deck, appliances, screens on the windows, window sills, electrical needs turned on, breaker stuff (I think), kitchen sink, gutters, shutters, sprinklers, landscaping, front porch/step railings, ceiling fan in great room, TONS OF TOUCH UPS, pedestal sink in the half bath, and LOTS and LOTS of clean up.  I am probably forgetting a number of other things also. But really....we are so close. It still doesn't feel real.

We are supposed to close in 16 days. We will see if that happens on time! And then the moving. OH! I hate moving! And unpacking! And organizing! We are practically hoarders it feels and looks like!  It might take forever to set up house and make it home. But we have this vision of getting it done quickly. (YEAH RIGHT!) We still have so many unknowns.  We definitely do not have enough furniture to furnish the place at this point. I am toying with the idea of just letting the formal living room be a toy/play room for now...Travis thinks I am nuts because that is what everyone will see when they walk in. I say who cares! They know kids live here! Let there be a designated space for the mess and let it be there instead of the main living space or the bedrooms.  Though I go back and forth on this so I don't know what will happen.  Thoughts? Opinions? I need help!

Also, we have bought a lot of stuff (furniture, mostly) from Ikea over the last couple months. And we intend to buy the budget allows...and we have a lot to put together. It is going to take forever. I am exhausted thinking about it. But in about two months...when I am enjoying the holidays in my  eating Thanksgiving dinner in that beautiful new kitchen at that beautiful new dining set (NOT FROM IKEA) will all have been worth it. The stress. The tears. Oh...and the no extra money in the monthly budget thing, too...yeah. I am pretty sure it will all be worth it.  Because I get my own walk-in closet!

It's okay if you want to punch me in the face or hate me for a little while. I totally understand.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On building a house...and completely unrelated tangents

This post is me getting out the mumbled, jumbled ramblings in my head. I don't know about you, but I talk to myself. A LOT. Mostly in my head or my kids would think I am even more nuts than they already know I am.  Here's the thing.  At the end of last year when I wrote my 2012 resolutions (goals, more accurately) in my journal, one of them was to journal more (the goal was to WRITE IN MY JOURNAL at least once a week).  Prior to that I rarely did. Maybe once a year?  And sadly sometimes less and I rationalized that that wasn't TOO terrible of me because...well, I blog. HA. That is laughable.  Because for those five of you who read/follow this here "blog" know that I rarely post.

Now I think I did alright with this goal for about....two months. And maybe that is being generous....probably.  And I have posted on here like...twice (?) this year. Can't remember. And the year is more than half over. So my new goal is to try to type on here a little more often. It will be less worth coming to than it was before because mostly I posted for the grandparents who are all so far away. I know they come here for the pictures of the girls and not-so-much the typing I do along with that.  It will be more of me getting all this crap/stuff/etc that runs through my mind out. And it is my hope it will free up my brain to focus on things that are more important, like...the present. My kids, my husband, my faith...instead of dwelling on all the random thoughts that never get OUT.

So this post will likely be LESS about building a house than the title suggests.  Because if you want to see that....there are pics on Facebook. :)  But we ARE building a house. And it is pretty much a dream house. Not a complete dream, but a dang good start.  See, to be complete we would have needed a little larger budget to work with and been able to finish the basement. But we HAVE A BASEMENT and that makes me happy.  The possibilities are endless!  Space for storage, food storage, and someday, finishing some/all of it to have a place where our kids can have their friends come and gather at our house.  Because there is no where I would rather they be. Teenage girls. I used to be one. Enough said.

Part of me feels a little selfish to be getting to build such a large house. It is a lot of space. More than we really need right now. Because let's be honest. What does a family REALLY need?  All that is needed is a space to call home and be together.

Perhaps I should begin at the beginning. We were not looking for a house. Or thinking of moving. And when I say we, I guess I mean ME.  Travis had let the thought cross his mind. And I just kept thinking we should give it a few years.  But my younger sister likes looking at homes and she told me I had to check out this perfect floor plan of a model home she had walked through. I went to the website and filled out their "$20 thousand down payment giveaway" --for fun. And the next thing I know, they are calling me (IMAGINE THAT) to get me to come check out one of their communities. So I agreed. Because looking at model homes IS fun.  And so we went. And the model--we HATED it. Whew. Then the agent showed us some other floor plans and...whoa. Dream home. (pretty much--because honestly I had never given a "dream home" a thought. I figured it was years down the road.)  And when he told us we could put just $1000 down and they would hold the lot while we sold our home, there was no risk. Because that money was 100% refundable since it was contingent on the selling of our current home.

And so it began. In October we listed our home, signed a contract, picked out our options at the home gallery. And waited for the right buyer to come through and want our home. For months. And the whole time we poured over our new floor plan, went up to Herriman and walked through the model of it up there several times, always falling more in love, feeling more invested. But at the same time I knew that if it wasn't supposed to be that it wouldn't. And so I tried to prepare for that.  Not that I am a pessimist...I prefer to think I am a realist.

Jump ahead to June and having lowered our home price three times and FINALLY an offer and an agreement reached and we had 3 weeks to close. And all the while I thought how nice it would be to de-clutter and how exciting it is to move. But not when first you have to move some place else first. While the dream house is built.  I will also admit as I packed up and put things away/in storage at the old place I grew really fond of it. I remembered how I loved it. We hadn't outgrown it yet.  We moved in when Riley and Izzy were two and one. Their childhood thus far was there. We brought Lucy home there. She had all her "firsts" there.  Including her first birthday in May--that whole first year.  We spent almost half of our marriage there.

And the de-junking...that didn't really happen. It's so hard. When you have so short a time and you are a hoarder.  Travis didn't want me to do it anyway. He wanted everything to go in boxes and we would sort and get rid of at the new place. So for now, most of our things are in a storage unit...

Construction is between a third to half of the way complete. At my best guess. And even though I drive by and walk through the house every feels too good to be true. It's OUR house.  We have ALWAYS had shared walls or floors or ceilings. We have lived in apartment complexes, basement apartments, with relatives, owned a townhouse in Rexburg and then our twin home in American Fork. This is a structure that is all ours. And it is thrilling!!!!  And where I have probably used the phrase "lucky" several times--as in, we have been lucky how things seem to work out. The truth is we are BLESSED.  I don't necessarily believe in chance.  I do, but I do believe that God's hand is in all things.  And He has blessed me and Travis a lot. I am blessed to have found and married my best friend in the world, that we have been able to have three healthy girls, a stable job, and means to provide a life.  The blessings are so many I cannot count. And I don't take them for granted. Even when it seems I do, I don't.  Then the realist in me sets in.  I have friends who face terrible struggles. Struggles I cannot even imagine.  And I think, why not me? Where is my trial? Certainly I have something to learn. And I know it's a lot to learn, let's be honest.  I know there are trials. There will be. So then I worry, which is useless.  I am a control freak who has to remind myself I am not the one in control.  I am trying to enjoy the blessings. I am trying to not let the worry ruin the blessings that are all around me right now.

There is nothing I want more than to be present in today, in the now.  With my family and to enjoy those blessings that our Heavenly Father has given us.  And I have to try really hard to try to keep that focus because it isn't easy for me and many, many days (most days) I fail.  A lot of days seem to pass me by totally wasted.  Perhaps that is my trial for now and if that's all it is, I am grateful for that. I have to learn this lesson before the bigger ones.  It can be so easy to look at others and think they live the charmed life. Or the opposite. And for me, I really do have it so, so good. I don't mean to boast, I struggle with so many things. But I am grateful for the life I have with all it's imperfections.

I am guessing there will be more ramblings from my jumbled brain in the future. Feel free to come back or not :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

2012 Thus Far.

As usual I am way behind on this blog. I think about posting almost daily. But I can never justify the time it will take!  So here I am wanting to catch up and I get on here and realize Blogger is WAY different!  I had heard there were changes made but I hadn't realized how different it would be...hopefully I find that I like the adjustments!

I can't believe this year is almost halfway over.  Where is the time going?!  I am going to sum up what's been going on with the Anderson family thus far in 2012.  First of all, in January, Travis's sweet Grandpa Simon took a fall, broke his hip, and had some complications that were going to make surgery questionable and then his body started to shut down anyway.  He made the decision that we was ready to go.  It was so hard to watch Travis say good bye to him for now.  What a blessing our knowledge of Heavenly Father's plan is!  We know that Grandpa Simon is now with Grandma Simon who he had been without for almost 12 years.  While it is sad for those of us left behind to say good bye, we know it is only temporary.  Someday we will all be together again :)  Our first thought was just to send Travis home for the funeral but I couldn't bear the thought of not being with him to support him and show my love for the family.  I knew there would be a lot of family there that we don't get to see and I also wanted our girls to experience the funeral because we had just been up to visit this past July and they had very vivid memories of Grandpa.  We tried to prepare them as best we could.  Death is a pretty difficult concept to grasp.  I am not sure if we prepared them as well as we could have (for example: during the funeral Riley had been sitting with Barb and Barb told her that we would be going to the cemetery after the service to bury the casket.  She came back and told me this as she wasn't sure I knew that's how these things go... Then in the car on the way to the cemetery Riley told Isabelle where we were going and why and Izzy gave me this look like, "Really, Mom? They are going to put him in the ground?!"  Seriously she looked mortified. I hadn't even thought to tell them what we do with bodies.  We had mostly focused on the fact that although Grandpa's body was no longer living, his spirit was and that he was now in heaven with his wife and Heavenly Father and Jesus, etc).  Anyway, 4 months later and we have paid off all our plan tickets and the car rental and all I can say is that it was worth it. It was worth it to be together as a family and to be able to see so many relatives that we rarely see. There are still members of Travis's family that I have never met after over 7 years of marriage!  Grandpa Simon was such a sweet man.  I am so grateful that I got to know him and that when we were there in July we sat and listened to his stories.  The funeral service was so beautiful.  The stories that were told about his life made us laugh more than cry.  He would have turned 90 (I believe) in February.  He lived a long, wonderful life and raised 8 children.  Those 8 children have 33 kids between them.  Many of those kids are now married and have families of their own.  What posterity!

We returned home and I realized that Lucy had a tooth that had broken through!  She had been sick but I totally hadn't even thought to look for teeth because our other girls didn't get their first teeth until they were almost 1.  But sure enough, shortly behind that first tooth, the second broke through.

Can you see those two little bottom teeth?

February 18th marked our 7th wedding anniversary.  Prior to that I had only left the girls (Riley and Izzy) once for one night ever.  But we decided it was time for another night alone and my sister Maria and her husband kept all 3 girls for us for one night so we could go up to Salt Lake and spend a night at Anniversary Inn.  We stayed in the room themed "Romeo's Retreat" and I did all sorts of things that week leading up to our night away to build the excitement.  It's heaven to have time to focus on us.  And it's definitely much needed.  We do what we can here at home but it was so wonderful to have a time we knew there was no chance anyone would interrupt!!  Maybe someday we will get away for more than 24 hours.  I can only hope!!

Around that same time I gave up nursing Lucy. She was the only baby who I would say I was able to nurse successfully.  With the first two things just didn't go well and I stopped completely at 4 months. And even in the four months it last I did a lot of supplementing with formula and pumping.  Needless to say while I didn't necessarily LOVE to nurse, I was a little sad to give it up.  With each milestone with her I feel so sad that this might be it...since I have often felt I don't want another child.  Thought I am too young to say I will do anything permanent, I do feel like I am at MY capacity.  I will always yearn for another baby.  There is nothing sweeter.  But we each have our limits.  While some women can have 6, 8, or 12 sanity will not survive that!  I want there to be enough of me to give my husband and each of our kids my love and attention and I am already spread pretty thin. Luckily, I think they are all pretty forgiving of my shortfalls.

In March our house showings picked up quite a bit but we still haven't had any bites at the house.  It is a little bit discouraging but I know the big thing is that there is a lot of homes in our area in this same price range.  We have lowered the price twice and are about to do it a third time this week.  Crossing our fingers that the right family will walk through the door. Travis is ready to buy a TV for the buyers. THAT IS HOW MUCH HE WANTS IT SOLD!

At the end of March we went back to Coeur d'Alene (but we drove this time) and spent a week there for Randee's wedding.  It was a beautiful wedding and we are so thrilled that she and Spencer have recently moved down here to Utah so we can hang out with them!
All the girl cousins in the Anderson family!

Anderson Grand-girls with one Pingel granddaughter :) Cute girls!

Good looking Anderson's!! Especially that one second from the left ;)  

The whole gang.  

It was such a wet, chilly day!  But it doesn't look like the happy couple minded one bit!

Also, my mother-in-law knows how to put on a reception!! She is pretty much amazing.

April brought Easter (my favorite!) and Lucy started walking. What a naughty baby! How dare she continue to grow up and reach these milestones.  Seriously everything about her is ahead of my other two.  It goes faster anyway, with each kid, but she is so ahead of things...there aren't enough hours in the day to keep up with her new words/developments/abilities! She is getting so darn smart. She has a pretty good vocabulary for her age, although not everything she says can be understood by just anyone.  There are words she tries to say that only we understand.  I will post more on her soon. After all, she turns ONE this weekend :(
We went to an Easter egg Hunt at BYU which was pretty successful!! And totally crazy.

The cutest little Easter bunny ever.  Can you tell we woke her up to have Easter morning?

It worked out so nicely that their little flower girl dresses from the wedding could be used as their Easter dresses!

Also, Riley's school held their annual awards assembly.  Each class was able to give out two awards, one for superior academic achievement and one was for good citizenship or something like- for a child who is exhibiting good qualities and character.  The Academic hero award is as it sounds, for a student who works hard and completes their work, etc.  Riley received that award and we are so proud of her.  She is a pretty well rounded kid for now.  She is smart and can focus on schoolwork but she is also very social.  She wants to be every ones friend and I have had several moms tell me how she has been so good at befriending their children.
Riley also had to do a research report and present it to her class at the end of April.  They were doing a unit on The United States and Presidents.  She chose to study George Washington.  She did really well and got a perfect score.  Here she is working on her visual aid for the report.

May has been the most insane month yet for me.  Izzy had been asking when she gets to return to preschool. I kept her home with me to keep the craziness to a minimum.  I figured there is always next year for her second year of preschool since she won't go to kindergarten until fall of 2013.  The issue was that because Riley was in kindergarten this year here is what my Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday would have been like for the year.  Tuesdays and Thursdays I would have had to take Izzy at 9:45, take Riley at 11:30, go get Izzy at 12:15 and then go get Riley 2:30.  Then because Wednesdays are "early out" days at Riley's school she goes for 2 hours earlier than normal so it would have been Izzy to preschool at 9:45, Riley to Kindergarten at 10:50, pick up Izzy at 12:15 and then get Riley at 1:00.  I did NOT want to be making so many trips. I already have to wake Lucy up from her naps to take Riley to school.  But Izzy had been missing preschool more and more so I sent her back for the month of May. She is starting to read words with the short "a" vowel sound as long as the words are really simple and short!  She can blend the sounds together much better than Riley did when she started reading. Although Riley was younger.  

On May 10th both my younger sisters went through Mt. Timpanogos temple to receive their endowments.  What a neat thing to be at the temple with both of them and my mom.  The next day, Alyce married Nathan Johnson in the Manti temple. That is a really neat temple and Oh. My. Gosh. Their sealer was incredible.  We were told before we went in that no note taking was allowed and my goodness I can understand why. I wish I had been able to record every word he said.  He was really amazing!


 This is my favorite photo of the day(from the ones I took). I know it doesn't even show her face, but she looked stunning.  I can't wait to see the pictures their photographer took :)
 Let's just say it was really hard trying to get a pic of Nate and Alyce with our kids!
Cutting the cake.

 Mother's Day was very sweet as both the girls made something at school for me.

As you may or may not be able to read these answers that Riley gave to these questions I will tell you some that I think are funny.  She put that I am 6 feet 11 inches.  Ha. Not the best guess!  She also put that I weigh 11 pounds. Those two are the funniest. She put that she thought my favorite food was "a rost" (roast).  It is one of my favorites I guess, but definitely not my most favorite!  She guessed my favorite TV show was "a danseing show".  Not really, but I do enjoy dancing shows.  She nailed the question on what my favorite thing to do was with this answer "Spend time with dad".  I will treasure this forever :)
At preschool they put each of the kids hand prints on paper and put a photo of the child on it with their name and year.  Travis bought me a new Food Network Griddle!  It is much larger than my older and semi-broken griddle we had been using.

Riley's school held their Dance Festival last week and each grade did a different dance to songs that were mostly from musicals.  Kindergarten danced to "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid. I am the worst when it comes to holding steady to video, but if your stomach can handle it, here is the video of Riley dancing :)   (Try the link below? Let me know if it works...Having technical difficulties...)


This girl loves to move her body. When we play music I can only describe what she does as "interpretive dance".  I want to get her into some type of movement class.  I don't necessarily was to deal with a dance class that will have all types of shows, etc.  But I do want her to be able to explore and have fun!

My last duty as a room parent this year was to help put on Kindergarten graduation.  It came together so nicely!

Again, sorry for the shaky video, but here is the song the Kindergarten sang at graduation. "First Grade, First Grade" to the tune of "New York, New York"
Whew. I would call this post a marathon of sorts!  But at least I have filled in the nothingness with a little bit about what has gone on this year.  I am trying to enjoy every minute of every day.  The girls are all getting so big so quickly.  I will have to do posts on each of them as individuals hopefully sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I am their mom. And that's all they want.

Today as Lucy napped, I checked Facebook for updates from friends. My sister-in-law shared this link to a wonderful post and I realized I need to stop procrastinating and get back to blogging. Okay, that has NOTHING to do with the post itself, but it made me want to get back on here and write a bit.

I checked on Lucy and this is how I found her- peaceful in dreamland.
My heart is happiest when one of the following occurs: 1. I see my children sleeping, 2. I hear my children laughing and giggling, or 3. I am with Travis and we have some good quality alone time. And I suppose I could add #4. when one of my family members succeeds at something or progresses in some way. I mention these things that bring me the most happiness, because the people who bring me the most happiness also have the ability to really test me and push my capacity to handle the trials of life more than other things. For the most part. Funny how that works? I suppose it's no coincidence!

I have been thinking a lot lately about being a mom. It is such a heavy responsibility. I know that is probably a bad adjective to use. But I can't help but feel the weight of my role as a mother. And a mother of girls. There are many other words I could use, too, that are much more "sunny" and "cheerful" when it comes to describing motherhood. But gets in the way too often. (If that even makes sense?)

When I read the article on Power of Moms (which is a phenomenal site that I visit from time to time- if you don't, you should...) I knew that was exactly what my kids want. They want ME. The honest, imperfect, goofy mom that is ME- despite my flaws (and there are many). Too often I lie down at night feeling like I have failed at being their mom that day. I fall asleep asking my Heavenly Father to give me the strength and insight I need to be a better mom, to be what my girls need me to be. Then I realize how forgiving these sweet girls are. They love me no matter what. I know I have the children I have because they will be the ones to teach me the things I need to learn and grow.

I loved General Conference a couple weeks ago, because there was one talk in particular that I hope to benefit from as a mom and learn to be better. I was talking with someone recently about how hard I thought it was; being a parent. How hard kids are, in general. And this person's opinion was that how your children act or are isn't an indication of how good of a parent you are necessarily (although I do think a child's behavior is linked to how they are parented, at least in part)...she said that they come to us how they come to us. Spirits with their own personalities and level of difficulty, with their own "issues". And this was her opinion because she knows some phenomenal moms with really difficult children or who face trying circumstances relating to their kids.

As for each of us having unique dispositions, I do know that is true. We each have our own personalities. So I suppose that does play a role. But it dawned on me. We are NOT given more than we can handle. My girls came to me with personalities suited for my capabilities and limits as a mom. Perhaps "limits" isn't the right word. I just mean that I won't face more than I can handle as their mom. And I will face the things I am supposed to so that I can learn the things I need to in this particular role as a mom. There are days (many of them) that I feel like my kids are so. darn. HARD. (for me). Then I get around other people and their children and all of a sudden I am extremely grateful for my own kids and our challenges. Instead of thinking "My kids are gonna be the death of me!" I can stop and be grateful and realize they aren't, in fact, so difficult. Compared to most, I am able to see that my kids are pretty easy. And I think most moms feel this way. They have days like I do when they are at their wits end with their own children...but when it comes down to it and they can see and experience other children, they would pick their own kids, their personalities, and struggles or situations. As I said, I realize often my kids are pretty "easy" fact, this same person who felt kids come to us as they are and will be- raised 7 wonderful children and I said to her, "I don't know how you did it I don't think I could ever handle 5...or 7. (NO we aren't going to have 5 anyway). And she said something like, "Five like yours would be easy!") And I thought sure, it would be easy for someone with different limits and capabilities than my own.

This motherhood thing is on my mind all the time. It is easy to get distracted. It is easy to feel overwhelmed. Especially because that mom who lives down the street seems to have it together and does it all with ease. I said "seems" because let's be one and I mean no. one. has it all together and can do it all. Even those seem-to-be "supermoms" out there (we all know at least one of those, right?). No one is perfect. Just because it seems a certain way doesn't mean that is how it really is. As I type, lyrics from a song from an old Strawberry Shortcake episode/movie (?) come to mind, "Sometimes things aren't what they seem to be." And that is what I have to tell myself. If this "supermom" always has her kids hair done to perfection, their outfits clean and perfectly coordinated and is involved in the community and her kids are in three activities each AND she runs 10 miles a day...well, let's just say something else, somewhere is lacking. AND THAT'S OKAY. We all have areas where we excel and areas that can use some work. That is just how this mortal existence is. We are here to learn, grow, develop talents and skills, and be tried so we CAN learn and grow.

Some moms have the time management thing down to perfection. Some just have the "perfect" balance in certain areas that I can't seem to figure out. Sometimes I am a total drill sergeant with my kids, other times I hover too much (helicopter parent, anyone?), and sometimes I care too much if my kids' friends see me as a "fun" mom...but none of this matters!! If anyone was perfect in all aspects then what is the point?! I am so grateful that I have realized this and I have that perspective. We should each be trying. Everyday we can try. Try harder, try to be better, try to improve where it is needed. Seek to reach the "right" balance for ourselves. Some days will be better than others. Sometimes we will just plain fail. It's okay to have those long as we don't let those days chew us up and swallow us into depths of despair and as long as we don't give up. Our kids don't expect perfection. They just want us.

I am glad I can accept myself and even say that most days, I know I am trying and that is what counts. Flaws and all. If someone else doesn't like me that doesn't matter. My kids like me. I like me. Those are the things that matter. As I type -they are outside doing the following:

They have been asking to paint for months and I finally figured, "What the heck? Let them paint...but let them do it outside." :) And then Izzy said what she always does when I let her do something she wants to do or something fun...she says, "You're the best mom ever!" And if she thinks that is true, that is good enough for me.
While the older girls paint, here is Lucy...wishing she could be out there doing what they are doing. This girl loves all things that are related to her big sisters. No one can make her laugh like the girls can. And she makes a bee-line for their bedroom if we are upstairs.

I have such a bad memory and there are so many thoughts that run through my head on this topic of being a mom. I will never get out all that I feel and think. I wish I were better at writing. But I am not a writer...I am not witty or entertaining but I don't blog to be those things. My blogging has always been more about journaling a few parts of our family life. There are many things I leave out because I have forgotten or not photographed them. And I want to be better. I want to keep this record for my girls. I want them to know I love being their mom and I know it is my most important job, right now especially. And I know that where I am right now, it is where I should be and I know that I am enough for my girls. I am enough. But I will keep trying to be better, too.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Current pics of the girls

I can't believe it has been over 3 months since I last posted. Where is time going? I think I say that at the beginning of each post I write. Really, I WANT to get back on the blogging's just overwhelming to think of how much I haven't posted about!

The girls are getting big! Especially Lucy. Riley is still loving kindergarten. She is learning so much and it's very exciting. Izzy is starting to read a little bit. She isn't as motivated as Riley was. She is my laid-back kid. So I don't push her too much. We just sit down and sound out some really simple three letter words for now. She needs help with a few letter sounds still...but it is coming. She does get easily bored and disinterested. One thing she can do much better than Riley could starting out is blending the sounds together to say the word. Riley would say the letter sounds over and over and over...and I would have to help blend them for her to get the word. Izzy on the other hand hears each of the sounds once and voila! She knows the word. It's fun to see little minds at work.

I try to document the funny things the girls say. Sometimes as facebook statuses other times in these little notebooks I have started for each of them. It isn't enough. I know there is so much I don't record...but oh well!!

Lucy is 8 months now. She is crawling all over, sometimes even pulling to standing ....she can wave, say "mama" and "dada" and click her tongue. The is so fun! I can't get enough of her. I love the baby stages and milestones. I am still trying to soak it in...knowing babyhood will all too soon be over and toddlerhood, though fun, just doesn't compare.

The holidays were wonderful. The magic and excitement of Christmas with kids is the best. I loved that Christmas fell on a Sunday. We got up, went to church and then came home and had Christmas morning. That is how it should be every year.

Lame attempt at an update. But it's something, right? Hopefully more to come. NOT in three months, either!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lucy's Newborn pics

...5 months late. But as the saying goes, "Better late than never", right?? Thanks to our good friend Justin for his amazing photography talents :)

I love how she is peeking in this picture!

So teeny-tiny and precious.

And 5 months later:
Time flies when you're having fun, and this girl has added a lot more fun to our lives :) I'm not even sure how the past 5 months have flown by so quickly. But I guess it's because Lucy and everything else has kept me busy, busy, busy. And can I just say as much fun as it is, baby #3 was by far the biggest, hardest adjustment ever. The good news is I think we are gonna make it! Slowly but surely I am adapting to the new "normal" for us. It feels good to be a family of 5!