Friday, November 15, 2013

it's so worth it

                 You know, some days are hard, but then I wake up to this and my heart gets to sing.

Morning spit up rubbed all over by those awkward little hands

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

the rantings of a tired mother

I'm not always the most patient mother.  In fact, I'm sorry to admit that by the end of most days I'm balancing on a very thin wire.

Any mother of toddlers will understand the rush of trying to accomplish any task with a deadline while your toddler is trying to crawl between your legs and is undoubtedly calling your name every two seconds (no...really.  Every. 2. Seconds) but never responds when you ask them what they need.  Somehow you trip on the 7 different toys that they have dropped behind you, in front of you, and to the side of you as you've been working.  Often you look over just in time to see that they've pulled a chair over and are beginning to pull the knives out of the block on the counter to "help" you.  At this point, the pasta boils over on the stove, the toast is burning, and the "said child" is reaching their little hand towards the stove to once again, "help".  As you are running to save the day, the baby starts screaming.  Not crying, mind you, screaming.  As in, "I am dying".  You run in to find that their leg is caught between the slats in the crib and by this time, you figure you may as well just let the toast burn to a crisp.

If you followed all of that, you'll certainly be with me on the next point.  Forget about trying to get out the door!  I told my husband on the phone today, "well, I just need to use the restroom and get the kids in the car, so we'll be there in roughly 5-45 minutes."  Those of you without children think that I'm exaggerating.  Those of you with many children are laughing at how naive I am. (You don't need to pretend. You are all smiling, remembering that it was, indeed, hard with 2 children, but you also know that I have no idea what is coming.) What could possibly take me 45 minutes?  That could be the post that never ends, so I'll just leave it at this.

Now, for most days, this is an exagguration.  Lots of days I fly out the door with grace and organization, my temper completely in check with a huge smile on my face and lots of excitement for our task.  But not always, not today.

Sometimes I think if I trip over another toy or have my toddler chant my name one more time, Nathan is going to have to take me to the loony bin.  If I catch my daughter brushing her teeth with toilet water (true story), or reaching her hand in her dirty diaper to clean herself, or drinking all of the water that she's been using with her water color paints, or throwing blocks at the baby's head so that he can play catch with her (all so common place it shouldn't faze me at all)...I'm going to TOTALLY LOSE IT!

I think to myself so many times a day, "I'm not good at working amidst chaos.  I need order to be productive."  "If my surfaces aren't clear, I can't work"  "If I can't move, I can't be productive".  I've been thinking about how debilitating those thoughts are.  I believe the scripture that tells us that our weaknesses can become strengths (Ether 12:27).  I thought about that scripture today as I had one of these thoughts fly into my head.  I am a person who functions well with organization.  And of course, the goal is to keep my house and life as organized as possible.  But I also know that children don't fit into that mold.  If I want a house spilling with children and happiness, there will be balls flying and paper airplanes zooming.  There will ALWAYS be toys in the kitchen and dishes in the sink.  There will be laughter and tears, and fighting, and singing. And that's exactly the way I want it.

So, if I want that, then I need to start working on my weaknesses.  I want to be the mom that can function with a million different things flying around me.  I want to keep my cool when kids are screaming and I've stubbed my toe on yet another block left by the kitchen sink.  So here's to the messes that my cute little 2 give me now, so that when the 27 come (please sense sarcasm) it'll be a breeze.  (Again, sense sarcasm).

Life as a mom will never be easy, but I think that in working on things and seeing moments like this as opportunities to grow and develop new talents, it'll be easier to see the joy in the process.

Perfect on days I'm not in a hurry, frustrating when I have a mommy melt down.

Adorable. But for purposes of this post, please read, "sticky hands from sucker find a way to touch the most expensive thing in the home before I can clean them off"

Friday, November 1, 2013


Isn't my parents' yard to DIE for right now?  So many memories playing in this backyard and using these two trees as our soccer goals.  Makes my heart hurt and smile at the same time.

warming my heart

  I love watching these two interact, mostly because I know that they knew each other in the pre-earth life.  Nathan and I felt so strongly that Brigham was waiting to come down and watching these two together, I finally know why.  They are too close to have waited longer, they missed each other too much.

Sometimes I watch their little bodies trying to figure life out-they know each other's spirits, but they're still trying to get used to each other's bodies.  If Eden walks into a room, Brigham lights up like crazy.  Eden calls him "Buddy" and "D-D" depending on how she's talking to him.  When she is taking care of him or playing with him she calls him "buddy". When she's trying to get him to do something (or stop doing something) she calls him "D-D" which is "Brigham" in Eden language.

She spends lots of time each day reading to him, trying to help him stand up to dance with her, giving him toys to play with (notice the picture above....that is her VERY special kitty cat, brigs is the only one that she lets touch it), she also lays on his play mat with him and patiently teaches him how to grab his toys, she "helps" him turn over, gives him "drinks" from her sippy cup, and tries to feed him anything she is eating.  (I have to watch this girl close, she's too caring for her own good).

I'll have to get more pictures up to remember how the two of them interact, but I just want to remember how it warmed my heart every time I saw it.

Fall is Seriously Beautiful

I realize that I grew up in this area, but having lived in Rexburg for 7 years, I forgot that fall here has changing colors and very little (if any snow).  I am basking in the beauty and LOVING this weather before I'll be trapped inside.  Nathan's sister and her husband drove up from provo area to come on a double date with us (babysitters fell through, so it ended up more like a double date with a 3rd, 4th, and 5th wheel-but still lots of fun).

Perfect Chaos

I have an obsession with looking at old photographs and video recordings.  I especially love looking at my parents' old home videos.  Maybe it's because I live close and my siblings are constantly telling me about funny clips they've found.  Maybe it's because watching those old things helps me realize that the perfect home life I remember was actually much more chaotic than I thought.  Maybe it's because when I watch those videos I realize that I'm human, just like my mom was.

I love seeing those moments of my mother, treading water in the chaos of her life as a mother of eight children.  I love sneaking peaks of those moments and getting insight into how she was feeling, what she loved and how she reacted.  It helps me realize that my mother knows exactly what I'm thinking and feeling.

I watch the videos often.  In every video I've watched there is some child crying or yelling, "mom, mom, mom, mom!"  In every video, there is my mother, as cool as can be amidst balls flying around her head and babies crying.  My mom has always had a gift for tuning out other distractions and focusing on what she needs to do.  When she was giving her attention to a child, the others needed to wait.  Oh, they'd still be calling her name, but I knew that when she turned her attention to me, she was all mine for as long as I needed her (within reason of course).

I love looking at those pictures and videos because my mom wasn't trying to pretend that everything was perfect.  Life was life and it was her life.  And that's what's so fun to watch.  I giggle and giggle as I watch things my sister and I made my little brothers do.  I laugh so hard and the doors opening and closing every few seconds when another one of us ran in or out.  I love that at moments, you can see in my mom's eyes that she was losing it, I love that it's simply us.

I think of how often we pose our children in perfect outfits, hair curled and spit up wiped.  We pose next to beautiful buildings or trees that we've never seen before and we try to capture a "moment" that isn't even real.  The moment a child looks away, the picture is "ruined".  Well I'm here to say, that I feel those pictures have a time and a place, but I'd really like to focus more on the real life situations that happen.  I want beautiful pictures of my kids in their pjs with cheerios stuck to their bottoms at noon.  I want pictures of them playing catch with dad in a "every-toy-that-we-own-is-on-the-ground-and-the-laundry-is-piled-on-the-couch" living room.  I want to capture the light hitting my daughter's bed with poop smeared everywhere, I want pictures of my children's books strewn EVERYWHERE in their room because they've literally been reading every single one and dropping them as they go along.  Goodness, I want to look back and remember the moments that drove me crazy and realize in the aftermath that it was part of what made my life so perfect.

Starting now, I will not only take, but display pictures that show my life how it really is.  When visitors come, they will know that I am a mother of children who don't ALWAYS mind, who pour bowls of cereal on their heads, who start crying when I tell them they can't have more ice-cream, who leak out of their diapers onto me the second before I leave to go somewhere.  My visitors will know that with me, they don't have to pretend to be perfect.  They don't have to pretend that they didn't change out of their sweats right before they came over.  I want my walls and displays to show who I really am, and only some of what I want to become.  I want my walls to show that motherhood is hard, and challenging, and draining, and lovely, and motivating, and worthy, and fulfilling, and beautiful.

I'll always take pictures of perfect hair, but those pictures will never be as priceless as the photos showing my perfect chaos.