Absolute BEST moment of Thanksgiving: when Boomer sang his Thanksgiving song for everyone before dinner. He learned it at school and was so excited to sing it for everyone. He was so serious and sincere my heart very nearly exploded from pride and love for that boy. He was even brave enough to sing in front of three teenage boys (who-to their credit-were very respectful). Today I asked the kids their favorite Thanksgiving moment and one they would change. He named that one as the one he would change because he felt a little embarrassed. I was so sad-I told him it was my favorite moment and that the fact he did it even though he was embarrassed made it all the braver and more awesome!!!! He at least grinned at that. Love, love, love.
30 Nov 2013 Leave a Comment
The house is quiet tonight. Everyone has gone home, my kids are in bed, and Michael is watching football. I feel tired, but the good full-heart kind of tired. Thanksgiving went really well. I enjoyed the company of both our families. We are truly blessed on both sides. I am left with good memories of a relaxed holiday. Challenge completed
24 Nov 2013 Leave a Comment
I am hosting Thanksgiving this year. Not because I was feeling ambitious and excited and eager, but rather because my parents are coming to have Thanksgiving with us for the first time ever. Which means there will be a total of 13 people at our house for dinner. This number is actually small to the number I grew up with and not much larger than what we typically have at Michael’s parents house. In fact, I typically make most of the sides and desserts even when it is at his parents house. But having it at our house feels entirely different. I can literally feel my muscles tensing as my anxiety builds. Why am I like this? I am actually super happy my parents are coming. And even more super happy to be making dinner with my mom. But I let those feelings get lost in bundle of useless stress.
I spent yesterday and today cleaning house with the help of Boomer. Michael worked 8 hours Friday night, 24 hours Saturday, came home for about 30 minutes this morning before being called back in to work. And I was instantly mad at him. What about the grocery shopping? We should be going now but I don’t want to leave the house with the oven cleaning. Why did you not even ask before taking the call in? I am doing all of this with NO help! What if they run out of turkeys (yes that was actually something I said)? I have been sick the last few days and STILL trying to get everything done and I am on the verge of crawling into bed and calling it quits.
Once he was gone I stopped what I was doing (cleaning the guinea pig cage) and just sat for a few minutes. I tried hard to imagine what I wanted this Thanksgiving to be like, what would make it wonderful. I want to be relaxed. I want people to laugh. I want yummy food. I want us to be thankful. I want to be happy. Not just everyone else to be happy, but I actually want myself to be happy. Happiness begets happiness.
I decided to prioritize. Only do the things that I feel are important. I do feel clean bathrooms are important-done. A clean kitchen will be important-done. Having food will be important. But I decided to be ok with Michael going to the store tomorrow. Today I will sit down in the comfy recliner and get some rest while I make a grocery list. Win-win.
I am going to do my best to set a mental alarm. Every time my anxiety reaches a 7 or higher I am going to simply stop and sit. Imagine that happy Thanksgiving. Re-prioritize and go from there. What good is hosting if you are too grumpy to enjoy it. And what good is Thanksgiving if you are too anxious to give thanks?
10 Nov 2013 Leave a Comment
I want to be a stay at home mom. I want to work with kids who are grieving and also do international disaster relief-both mental and physical. I want to be more effective at the job I have. I want to make a REAL difference. I want to be a foster mom to babies. I want to experience being pregnant again and I want to adopt a child with special needs. I want to spend as much time as possible with my kids. I want to take them to national parks. And Disney world. I want to do yoga. And Crossfit. And run everyday. I want to clean a little everyday so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming on Saturdays. I want to have a therapy dog. I want to get rid of cable. And maybe my phone.
I want to be more. I want to do what I was made to do. I want to find my passion. And myself…
However when I start looking I find myself surrounded by all the things I am NOT doing. And I feel like an utter failure. I need to try to see more of what I AM doing.
I AM being a parent to my children. I have hard conversations with them. I listen to them. I love them fiercely. I am still in love with the man I married. Deeply. I am responsible. We work hard, we pay the bills, we save, we stay out of debt as much as possible, and we make sacrifices. I go to work every day. I show up. And I love the heck out of those kids too. I TRY. I want to do a better job at everything I do. I will never give up trying to fill the shoes I am growing into.
15 Oct 2013 1 Comment
It’s too darn easy to get distracted by the ridiculousness of life. Today I was focused on a meeting that ultimately was canceled, on entering data into excel, on worrying if Savannah will have time to finish her homework after dance. Days like this happen all the time and then they disappear forever. I forget to stop and feel. To just be. Tonight I had an hour and a half to myself and considered whether I should play on my phone or turn on the tv. Instead I grabbed the leashes and my tennis shoes and the dogs and I headed out. At first I was distracted by my dress pants dragging the wet ground but then I simply tucked them into my shoes, took a deep breath and looked around. It was beautiful! The trees are amazing, the air was amazing and I was once again completely filled with gratitude. I was content. There is a difference between happy and content and as I get older I find myself leaning much more into contentment. I like being happy, don’t get me wrong- it’s awesome. But content is so much deeper. It’s filling. I think the ultimate goal is to overflow with both-I hope some day I get there. But in the meantime it’s a pretty amazing path to travel.
Tonight I started my walk filled with shame-about many things. But as I walked and looked and breathed I slowly turned a corner. I arrived back at home with other thoughts of my day in my mind: the moment I hugged my son for no other reason than I could, when I let a girl braid my hair simply because it made her smile, when I spoke with a mother from a perspective of mutual respect and hopefulness. When I chose to do instead of hide.
14 Oct 2013 Leave a Comment
2 1/2 years ago I quit Facebook. I just did it-cold turkey. And I can honestly tell you it felt amazing!!! I felt so free and (to be honest) a bit smug about my whole “I don’t NEED Facebook” status update. Facebook and I have always had a love-hate relationship (I assume it’s that way for many people). I love reconnecting with people, seeing pictures of everyone, showing everyone my pictures, having said pictures ‘liked’ by others, attempting to make witty status updates, having those attempts ‘liked’ by others, reading witty status updates of friends and family, commenting on their wittiness, and always feeling in the loop. I hated political, religious, tmi and ridiculous posts about every second of someone’s life. Also racist, sexist, homophobic and hateful posts. The hate began to overpower my love. To the point I no longer saw the point.
Fast forward 2 years. We are a stereotypical middle class family of four with two working parents and kids in school who are constantly running from this to that. I began to feel a little frustrated with the fact that life assumes you are on Facebook. Need the soccer schedule? It’s on our Facebook page. Want to know when practice is—Facebook! Everything you need to know about the fundraiser will be on our—you guessed it!!! I found myself scooping my husbands page to get information I needed just to get through our week. This last weekend I needed to find a ride for Savannah home from a dance event and had no way to do so—but could have easily accomplished this task on Facebook. So I have come back, tail tucked between my legs with a mouthful of pride that I’m still trying to swallow. My commitment to you, Universe, is this:
I will NOT post about religion or politics
I will only post words that are kind
I will limit the time I spend staring at a screen
I will unfriend those who are unfriendly
I will remember that following a friend online can never replace calling them them on the phone
09 Oct 2013 Leave a Comment
This was my view from the gas pump the other day. Almost every day I drive over this river-at least twice. Some days I cross the bridge without looking anywhere but straight ahead. But other days I look sideways and I see this. There is not a time I look without getting this deep sense of something. Of awe. Of wonder. Of appreciation. Of joy. I think this river is amazing. It is a life source. It is powerful. Yet calm (most of the time). It is rich with history. I have seen bald eagles flying over these waters. I see tugboats and barges. Fisherman. I have seen it pour over its banks in spring and fill with ice in the winter.
Dear Mother Earth, just keep doing what you do!!! And I will try to look sideways a little more often!