Friday, November 29, 2013


I've started this post a few times.

I am full of brilliant (in my head) ideas. Some of them work, some of them don't, and some of them are never realized (for various reasons). One such idea was to take a picture of Husband and myself in our wedding clothes for our 10 year anniversary. My dress has hung in my old closet at my parent's house since my wedding day. I've thought about having it preserved but our apartments were small and our house isn't much bigger. I was content to leave it there and they didn't mind.

This past Wednesday I went to pick it up and it was gone. My parents didn't get rid of it, and the reason it's missing isn't important. Wednesday my mom and I found several things missing from their house. It was frustrating. We were angry - then I found myself repeating in my head, it's just stuff. Some it might have been my stuff I was saving, but it's just stuff. Some of it can be replaced and some of it can't, but it's just stuff. It's all about perspective. I can't say I'm not upset or angry (though the anger is subsiding). I can't claim to be in a state of "zen" about the whole situation. I can be thankful for what I did find and thankful for the memories.

I did find my quilt that my grandma made me. I did find a couple of photo albums from my childhood that were trashed but the pictures were fine. I found a few things from my childhood and for that I am grateful. When we drove back to my grandma's, my mom commented about how there are some people who lose everything due to fire or flood. Discussing things with Husband the same sentiment came up. Yes, our situation is different, but we are blessed to have what we do left. It's all about perspective. At this moment, I'm going to try and keep my perspective open and focused on what really matters. I'm going to try and focus on the positive and fight the negative that wants to stay angry. I'm going to happy to have the memories and know that, even without the physical reminders, I know I am loved and have been loved.

And, because I still believe my idea is brilliant, maybe I'll find a new dress to get those pictures taken in.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Three days ago I turned 32. It was a great day that wasn't overly focused on me. I had a great day hanging out with my boys, Husband, and my sister-friend. The twins and W played in the wet and mud left over from the rain and I ran around barefooted taking pictures and enjoying watching them play. I sat with the twins as they drank warm apple cider from my tea cups (something they love that makes them feel grown up). We cuddled and watched TV. We had pizza for dinner. They went to bed and my sister-friend and I chatted and hung out. Husband got home and we went for an ice cream run. So low key, but absolutely wonderful as I spent the day with my favorite people. Then the next day my sister-friend and I went and saw 12th Night performed at the local university. It was fun (though maybe I should pick a play that needs less focus the next time I decide to jump back into the world of adults).

So, here I am at 32. I thought I'd do a thankful for 32 things post.
1. Husband
2. H
3. G
4. J
5. W
6. Family that isn't by blood
7. Family that is
8. Our house - it's small, old, and needs lots of repair but it is a shelter and I like it
9. Being able to stay at home with my boys
10. Piles of laundry - maybe not having to wash them but the blessing of having them
11. Food - even when it feels like there's nothing to eat I know we still have so much
12. Our backyard - it's big and perfect for four active boys

H, G, J, and W
13. My parents
14. Great in-laws
15. My grandmas - they are amazing and I love the memories I have with them
16. My grandpas - they aren't alive anymore but things happen almost daily that make me think of them
17. Traditions - both new and old
18. Our church - community, teaching, and the list goes on
19. Creative outlets - I only wish I had more time to do them
20. Letting go - minimizing and remembering things aren't the most important
21. Hearing the twins carry on conversations
22. H helping without being asked
23. The dual immersion program and school where we send H (and eventually all our kids)

24. Disposable diapers (you can laugh - W eats solids and I'm glad I can throw that mess away)
25. My bike - I haven't ridden it lately but I like riding it and it's so pretty
26. Fireworks - I like them and I love the feeling of wonder and awe that they evoke that goes way back to childhood

27. The dishwasher - I don't mind washing dishes but boy does it make life easier
28. Our SUV - I didn't want to be a van mom
29. Cuddles from my boys
30. Projects with/for my boys - they aren't always (usually) cheaper but somehow the boys and I always like them more
31. Phone conversations with my big sister
32. Kisses and hugs from my boys

Saturday, November 23, 2013

November Blog Your Heart

I feel like I'm standing on the edge and what I do next will determine how so many things go in so many areas of life right now.

I'm so close to my goal of pre-H weight (6+ years in the making here). I have further to go than that but what a huge milestone. I need to be better about snacking and exercising (major downfall). Of course, Thanksgiving and Christmas are here which doesn't help but I'm trying to not get caught up in baking and sweets constantly. I really want and crave the sweets right now though, especially chocolate.

I'm trying to focus more on the positive with the boys. Sometimes it's not easy. They're good boys and I need to encourage that more through positive praise.

W is SO big. I can't believe he's 14 months. He is also super clingy, more so than my others. It seems impossible but it's true and sometimes I don't know what to do beyond let him fuss and follow me around. I hate it but I can't get anything done if I don't.

The twins are going to be 4 in less the two weeks. They have grown so much from those little six-pound babies we brought home. I LOVE seeing them develop and the differences in their personalities. So much fun!

H is craving attention and I need to be better about giving him some focused time beyond homework. I am glad he is benefiting from the after school program but I'm still torn on him being in it. He just doesn't get enough play time. It is the hardest part of our schedule (although it does make pick up so much easier).

I'm happier and I think that's the effort to be content. I also think it's me being more focused on the positive. Either way I like it. I'm liking me at this moment - not perfect but more happy/motivated/etc.

**I'm linking up with Stephanie Howell for Blog Your Heart.**

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


November is a full month for our is December. Really, it all starts in August and then continues to build until it is two months so full of birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Still, these two months are two of my favorite months of the year.

There has been so much focus on thankfulness during November, and that is good, but my real focus lately has been contentment. I can't say I'm always content. I have four boys. I'm content in that. I have four rowdy, messy, clingy, wonderful boys - a few of those traits (and some others not mentioned) certainly leave me less content sometimes. We have a house. There are times when I'm more aware of how small it is, and it gets cluttered easily, and I'm not always (usually) great at keeping it clean, and those sometimes chip away at my willingness to be content, but I'm working on it.

This past year was especially difficult. There were some big schedule changes with H starting first grade, and then joining the after school program. There have been several (the first day of school included) days where H has brought home reports of less than exemplary behavior (don't take this to mean I think he should be perfect, I'm well aware he's a 6-year-old boy). We are struggling with the same issues at home...times three because if H is doing it you better believe G and J are going to follow suit. W is the sweetest cuddler, and he wants to do that always. Forget cleaning or eating or cuddling other children, he has turned into a rather opinionated and stubborn toddler who doesn't like to share his mama. More things to work on, more things that make life a little more difficult. Lots of whining and needing help. Lots of toys to pick up and dishes to do. Lots and lots of repetitive things that make it feel as if NOTHING is ever getting done.

I can honestly say there were several months where I was just worn. Kids are hard. Being a stay at home mom is hard. Keeping house is hard. Not getting enough sleep is hard. I didn't have a very content attitude...or even a good attitude.

This past week Husband and I went on a little anniversary getaway to celebrate 10 years. A few weeks before this getaway I had gone to my parents for a quick weekend trip with all the boys but without him. When I got home he asked me this question, "Do I make you happy?" What kind of question is that? In my mind it causes panic, what have I done, what do I need to do, etc. The answer was, of course, yes (don't get me wrong, he drives me crazy sometimes, but he makes me happy regardless). It was a eye opener. My attitude has been so wrong lately that he didn't see me smile much, and I wasn't acting happy. On our little getaway he asked me question #2, "Do you like what you do?" Do I like being a stay at home mom? He wasn't asking to be unkind, and I'm so glad he asked. We had some good talking that getaway while we drove the various places he had planned. He was sweet enough to say he'd never say I have a bad attitude...I would. I love being a stay at home mom. I love getting to be with my boys, but it isn't easy. There are so many times where I don't get enough sleep (both because of me or my children), so many times where everything doesn't work out like I want or it feels like a never ending cycle of dishes, laundry, and homework. But when I really think about each day, when I really look at what I'm doing, when I really take the time to see how my children are behaving, I know so much of it boils down to my attitude. Add to these questions some things that have been discussed in MOPS, and some extra time just for me and Husband because of preschool one day a week and a date night one night a week, and then some times where Husband has given me a break just for me and the sky is looking a little bluer because I'm paying attention. A few nights ago I failed, I was sick (litereally) and tired and just needed to sleep. Husband didn't criticize, and he accepted my appology when I gave it, and he even listened when I told him how wonderful our children had been (though they were struggling with bed time routine when he got home). He helped get them to bed and then I took some medicine and went to sleep myself.

Now my goal is to tell him how wonderful the kids have done throughout the day - to brag on what awesome little boys they are. So, I'm learning and striving towards contentment. Thankfulness is awesome, and I do my best to help my boys be thankful and realize how blessed we are, but for me I'm going to take this month (and next month and so on) to focus more on contentment. Maybe I'll get it more right sooner rather than later. It doesn't matter as long as I am doing better more often than not.