Friday, February 12, 2016

#shine

The other night I was at my wit's end.  The girls were bickering, Jackson was throwing a tantrum, and I was simultaneously folding laundry, emptying the dishwasher, and picking up the trail of hats, coats, and mittens that the kids had left behind.  I then switched gears and started dinner prep, a task I usually love, but couldn't find the energy to smile.  Why?  Because the aforementioned chaos was still happening except now complaints of starvation were thrown into the mix. By the time dinner was done and the kids were put to bed, I wanted nothing more than to stuff my face with chocolate while watching something -- anything -- on Netflix.

Instead, I decided to pay attention to that little voice in my head that said, "Go read a book."  I knew exactly which one to pick up.

 


Here is a snippet of her book that resonated with me the other night:

Sister, what could be crazier than a woman who wakes children up before dawn, feeds and waters them while listening and affirming all their chatter, gets them dressed and off to school with signed folders, then perhaps heads to a job to put food on the table or stays home to raise littles who cannot even wipe, completes one million domestic chores that multiply like gremlins, breaks up forty-four fights, intentionally disciplines 293 times a day, attends to all emails/correspondence/deadlines, helps with math/writing/biology homework, serves dinner while engineering a round of 'High-Low,' oversees Bedtime and Bath Marathon, reads lovingly to lap children, tucks them in with prayers, finishes the endless Daily Junk Everywhere Pickup, turns attention to husband with either mind or body, then has one last thought at the end of the day: I am doing a terrible job at everything.

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.  This is beyond unreasonable.  It is destructive.... Meanwhile, we have beautiful lives begging to be really lived, really enjoyed, really applauded -- and it is simpler than we dare hope.

Amen.

The awesome thing about social media is that we can share ideas and implement the ones we like.  The down side can be summed up in one word: comparison.

Why do we constantly feel the need to measure up to other people?  It's unfair and unkind to do that to ourselves.

My life is far from perfect.  I stress over things like screen time, after-school snacks, and the holes that seem to be in every.single.pair of my girls' leggings.  I obsessively analyze, update, and tweak the family budget to accommodate five people's needs and wants.  I regularly bribe my two-year-old with suckers just so he won't throw tantrums in public.  Our cars are old and I worry about when/how we'll ever be able to replace them.  My kids fight.  I lose my temper.  I don't use my time as wisely as I should.

BUT...

I have to give myself credit for the things I'm doing well.  I have to be thankful for the things that are going well.  I have to be proud of my children during the times they love each other well. 

I don't have a blog that showcases fancy crafts and projects.  I'm not well-traveled, I don't have a career.  Heck, I don't even have a set schedule half the time!  But within the walls of my home I'm a teacher, a mentor, a scriptorian, a listener, a friend, a wife, and a mother.  Perfect?  Absolutely not.  But in my own way I'm setting a standard that, I believe, will continue long after I'm gone.  

Maybe your best thing won't draw a paycheck, but it is how you shine and glow and come to life and bless the world.


This is your place.  These are your people.  This is your beautiful, precious life. #forthelove

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

January little things

We started off the new year with a pretty rough start.  Our kitchen sink backed up, our car window exploded {still can't figure that one out}, and Jackson almost electrocuted himself -- all within a couple of days!  As inconvenient as those events were, we're grateful that they were simply that: inconvenient.  The sink got fixed, the window was replaced, and our little boy wasn't hurt. 
 


Thankfully things have settled down a bit.

The kids were thrilled that we finally got some snow!


I'm convinced that Kylie was destined to be a winter baby because she loves the snow.  She would rather take the extra time to carefully hike to the bus stop in all of her snow gear than accept a ride from me.  Power to ya, girlie.


 This guy is going to have hat hair for the next 3 months or so.


I started organizing the kids' important documents and school papers.  Between now and when they graduate from high school, all of their school information, art projects, sports photos, and church certificates will go in those bins.  I have a feeling they'll fill up fast as the years go by.


We enjoyed celebrating Kylie's 8th birthday.  

 

Per tradition, Uncle Kyle got her a gun, only now she has advanced from darts to BBs.  It'll be fun to watch her try it out once the weather gets warmer. 


We attended Great to be Eight, a program at our church that helps prepare the kids who will be getting baptized during the year. There will be at least 14 kiddos getting baptized this year and Kylie was so excited to be able to kick things off.


I took Jackson to Urgent Care one morning because he got his finger stuck in one of the doors in our house.  Normally I wouldn't bother with a doctor's visit but he was still crying after 45 minutes and I wanted to make sure it wasn't broken.  Thankfully it wasn't.  The 2 hour adventure at the doctor's office was made bearable by Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and raspberry suckers :)


I repainted our half bathroom.  Long story short: the paint color I was going to use to cover a patch job wasn't the right color at all {how many shades of cream can there be?} so I changed the entire color of the bathroom instead.  A super simple project suddenly became far more time consuming than I had anticipated but I'm actually really glad I did it. 

 I got my hair cut and highlighted, something I haven't done in quite a while.


Josh and I got to have a date night while his mom was in town.  Love having quality time with my guy!



And there you have it.  A month of ups and downs!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Celebrating Kylie's Baptism

At the end of January, Kylie took the plunge.  Literally!



We were blown away by the many friends and family members that came to show their support. We know some pretty amazing people.


Our nephew, Colton, accompanied Josh's mom all the way from Washington state.  He will be celebrating his own baptism in just a few months.  We LOVED soaking those two up for an entire week.

 


It was so fun watching the kids play together.  They got along really well.


 
One evening we went to a Japanese steakhouse for dinner.  We all really enjoyed watching them cook the food {and do some pretty neat tricks}.

 


Each night we read scriptures together.   
{Look at that gorgeous quilt Josh's mom made for Kylie.  She spent months getting all of those baptism-related phrases and pictures on there.  She is so amazing!!}

 

It's tough to find places to burn energy in the wintertime but I think we found a few good ones!  Recreation Unlimited is a showroom featuring tons of different play sets.  

 




On another day, Josh and Cindy went to Michigan to attend the funeral of a dear family friend.  Meanwhile, I took the kiddos to an indoor park, followed by an afternoon of baking.  Happy Groundhog's Day :)



The kids spent hours playing in the basement with Colton's new remote-controlled car.

Summer's buddy, Carrie {Josh's co-worker} met us one afternoon for lunch.  So fun to see her.  The restaurant was a little hole-in-the-wall place that served some pretty delicious food.  I'll be back soon to get one of their chicken pot pies!


Cindy was kind enough to put the kiddos to bed one night so that Josh and I could go out on a date.  

I'm so glad we got to spend some quality time together.  It stinks that we live so far away from each other but it makes moments like these that much sweeter.  Miss you guys already!