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I’m A Mess

“I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” – Philippians 4:11-13 (MSG)

Today I’m a mess.  It is 11:27 am as I write this and I am sitting in my pajamas. I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet. I’ve eaten animal crackers and several cups of Lipton tea but nothing of any substance because I just can’t pull myself together enough to even think of what I want to eat let alone prepare it for myself. The kids had animal crackers and eventually eggs for breakfast. I can’t focus.  My husband came home from an appointment and his natural reaction was to try to fix the problem. He throws out suggestion after suggestion and finally I tell him that he doesn’t need to fix this for me, I’m just having an off day. He thinks that because he’s my husband that it’s his job to make me happy. I quickly correct him and say that he’s foolish because he can’t possibly make me happy ALL the time. I tell him that I’m not un-happy, I’m just having an off day.

As I’m rocking baby George to sleep, praying that he will actually fall asleep and stay asleep, I read a short story from a book I just bought. It’s about finding contentment and being happy despite the mess and tears of being a mom. Then it really sinks in, I am truly happy. Despite the lack of sleep, the dirty dishes, the smell of poop coming from my bathroom I AM HAPPY.  I’ve struggled with depression for many years and I can finally say that I am happy.

I can laugh at myself. I can find joy in the struggle.  I can see beauty past the darkness. I can enjoy a beautiful fall day at a pumpkin patch with my family even though I’m exhausted, fighting a cold and would be perfectly content just going to sleep. It’s through God alone that this has happened and I am glad. Does this mean that my life is perfect? No, but I don’t need it to be perfect anymore. God doesn’t expect me to be perfect and when I have off day’s like today I know that everything will be ok because what I don’t do today will be waiting for me tomorrow.  So for now I’m fine with being a mess, in fact I’m quite happy to be a mess because the messy house means I have children that are happy and safe, the dirty dishes means I have plenty of food to keep me going, the lack of sleep will eventually balance itself out and I will be happy that I spent the day in my pajamas, eating animal crackers and playing dress up with my Molly.  Now I’m going to crack open a can of soup and rock baby George back to sleep while it simmers on the stove.

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Roadtrip

We just returned from a road trip to the Wisconsin Dells with our 5 children. The trip started off on a bad note, stress had gotten the better of me and I lost my temper with the kids, who were only excited about leaving. I think most of my anxiety was in anticipation of how bad it could be. I had been prepping things for weeks, itineraries, games for the car ride, spending money, packing for everyone, snacks for the car, food for the hotel. Then there were the preparations for home and work; making sure the laundry was all done, the house was clean, sheets were changed, bills paid, bank deposits made, I had paperwork that needed to be taken care of before leaving. Also, it was not my ideal place to take a vacation; a loud waterpark, full of loud kids people, only after a 5 ½ 9 hour car ride (we had to make a few stops for the babe). My anger and frustrations leached onto my husband, we were crabby at each other and for a good portion of the ride we held onto that anger. It wasn’t until the saint of the day came on the radio, Saint Rita (patron saint of difficulties in marriage) that I prayed for the first time all day. We both laughed and it really lightened the mood from that point on.  The trip turned out to be better than I had expected, despite forgetting my well planned itinery on my desk. The kids had a great time, we at least got to be away from the telephone for a few days and are planning another trip in a few months but looking back on the whole thing makes me a little sad.

I’m sad because I let stress and worry steal my joy. My faith must not be as strong as I thought it was because I didn’t offer any of that up, I kept it inside and I let it eventually erupt into a big ugly mess. Jesus said in Matthew 6:27 “who of you by worrying can add a single hour of this life?” I think most moms can agree that there is so much to plan for when traveling with kids but I know after this whole experience that I need to focus more on the joy and less on the to do list. It is frightening how easily the devil can distract me from the Lord, especially frightening in the ways he distracts and tempts me. My To Do List rarely includes playing with my kids or spending intimate moments with my husband and when I can’t get EVERYTHING on my list done I become discouraged which leads to stress and worry. I get so wrapped up on getting everything done that I allow the devil to steal my joy. I understand that there are things that must be crossed off that list but I need to work on discerning what is important and what is not so important.  The kids won’t remember how nice it was to come home to a clean house after vacation, they will just remember that mom was so crabby before vacations and I don’t want to be remembered as being a crabby mom. I want my kids to remember the joyful, fun loving mom that didn’t worry about the little things. I’m also sad because I didn’t take a single picture the whole time we were gone (I definitely need to work on that).

A quick side note, I’ve decided to start writing/blogging again for those of you that have been waiting. After I had baby number 5 I really needed to take some time off but I definitely feel God pulling me to write again. Sadly, when I stopped blogging at http://www.ismomhome.com I lost all of my previous posts when I didn’t renew the site.  I don’t know what I will write about now or how often I will post but thank you for following me on this journey!

 

 

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Uncategorized, Wellness Journey

Motivation

I am not a morning person. I’ve never been a morning person, my (older) kids learned at a very young age how to make themselves a bowl of cereal and turn on cartoons so that mommy could sleep a little longer. Well we no longer have cable and we have four children, so cereal and cartoons are not really an option anymore. I have been saying to myself that I need to just get out of bed and get my day rolling much earlier. When I get up earlier I feel like I have more time to get myself going before the kids rise and all hell breaks loose. Most days I feel like I fall out of bed and then I’m falling behind all day long. Maybe this is why my motivation levels have been way down.

This morning was no different than any other Monday, I wake up, lay in bed as my mind is telling me “just get up dummy, you can do it, get up, take a shower before everyone else starts waking up and needing something from you”. But I didn’t get up, I lay in bed trying to get just a few more minutes in.

Finally I get up because little man is looking for underpants, look at the clock and realize it’s go time and I need to get him off to daycare before the phone starts ringing. I rush out the door in my pajamas, with my wild morning hair and get him to daycare before 9:30. Once I get back home my plan was to take a shower and get ready for the day. As I write this I am still in my pajamas. I attempted at making myself some breakfast but between the baby trying to eat, the phone ringing and sick kids down the hall I finally managed to make some juice and a peanut butter sandwich. This is my life, every day I’m rushing around trying to get everything done and nothing seems to quite go right.

I need to get up earlier!

As an effort of procrastination (something I’m really good at doing) I went on to zen habits habits. I found something about motivation and read that a good way at motivating yourself is to publicly announce that you’ll be doing something to keep you accountable. So here it goes…

I will get up, out of bed by 5:30 am every day for the next 2 weeks!

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Slowing Down

Sundays are typically my slow down day. A day of rest, peacefulness (as much as possible with 4 kids in the house), and family time. I wanted to create a photo series but was unsure where to start. I see a lot of blogs using instagram so it sparked me to jump on the band wagon. Introducing Slowing Down Sundays, a quick glance at the week via instagram! I hope you enjoy a snapshot at my week (although these photos are from the whole month).

You can also follow me on Instagram!

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ParaNorman: A Movie Review

We are definitely a movie family! Will and I go to the movies quite often and our kids are big movie nuts as well, so I’ll try to do a movie review at least once a month. The other night I took the night off from working at the BR (ballroom) and took the kids to see ParaNorman. (photo curtousy of paranorman.com)

ParaNorman is a touching story about a boy who can see ghosts and talk to them. He struggles everyday with the “normal kids”, often gets bullied and has few friends (that are alive). His family struggles to understand him, especially his father who would rather Norman have nothing to do with the ghosts and just be normal. To get a little deeper into the story, the town that they live in is cursed by a witch and as the day of the curse approaches Norman is visited by visions that he struggles to understand and it is up to him to save his town.

Just as the movie Coraline (made by the same folks as ParaNorman), there are some adult references and themes throughout the movie, scary action and images, thematic elements, some rude humor and language, which is why the movie is rated PG. I happen to really like these type of animated movies, Corpse Bride, Coraline, Nightmare Before Christmas all of these movies have similarities in that their characters are zombies, ghosts, witches and monsters. I took my three kids ages 10, 8 and 3 to see ParaNorman. While the older two (especially Simon) liked the movie, William (age 3) thought it was a little scary, especially towards the end when the movie started getting more serious. There was some language throughout the movie that was not really appropriate and a homosexual reference at the end of the movie, which really caught me off guard.

Overall, I really liked the movie. It was funny and had a good message about bullying along with a strong theme about people that are different. There is also a theme about family dynamics and dealings with a struggling father and son relationship.  Being that it was PG I would say that it is appropriate for kids ages 10 and older. I’m really surprised that Avery and William did not have nightmares, they tend to be a little more sensitive to scary movies but they slept fine all night. This is not a Tim Burton movie, but if you like his stuff you will appreciate this movie. The animation was great and the characters were fun especially the zombies.

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Up in smoke.

I don’t plan on doing a whole lot of ranting on this blog but I’ve been noticing a trend lately that has really been driving me crazy. I don’t care if people smoke, do what you have to do despite ALL of the evidence showing that it is horrible for your health. I do care when people smoke around kids, mine or not. Lately we’ve been attending a lot of outdoor community events, events that are especially dedicated towards children and soon enough I smell it. That familiar toxic smell. Immediately I think “really?!” Glance around only to see a woman sitting at a table FULL of kids (I have to assume that at least one of them are hers) smoking like it’s no big deal. Yes, you are outside but if I can smell it 50 feet away, I guarantee that all those kids sitting at that picnic table can smell it and are breathing in second hand smoke.

I grew up in a household of smokers, my mom smokes, my grandparents both smoked, my dad even smoked at one point. Now that I’m an adult and I am not around anyone that smokes I find it incredibly offensive. I can only imagine what I must have smelled like when I went to school, no wonder I got teased so much.  As a parent, I couldn’t imagine doing something like that around my kids, especially if I knew that it was ultimately harmful for them. It seems like parents who are smokers overlook the facts, don’t think that it’s that bad. Or they simply are too selfish not to do it around their kids.

I wish that I had the courage to give these people a piece of my mind when I see them light up around kids. It’s not that I think that I am better than anyone, I just don’t think that a children’s carnival at the church is an appropriate place to be lighting up a cigarette. Or a 3 year old’s birthday party. Or a Kids Art in the Park day. Or at the County Fair. Or in your car with kids in the backseat. Or standing next to me when I’m obviously pregnant (no I don’t want to talk to you if you are smoking). I could go on and on but I won’t, it just really bothers me.

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