I am Woman, Read This Blog

Thursday, September 22, 2016

What are you going to do now?

It's the official first day of fall!  The weather and landscape is changing day by day, I love this time of year and wish it would last a little longer. My day to day life is also changing with the season. All of my children are in school all day now. I have moved on from full time mommy with someone always at my feet, to school days mommy. It has definitely been a strange shift. We hit the ground running at 6AM with making breakfast, making beds, packing lunches, finishing up forgotten homework and getting out the door. As soon as school gets out it's snack, homework, gym, soccer, scouts, activity days, dinner, and crashing into bed (sometimes we sneak a shower in there too). Those hours are crazy, non-stop fun/work/driving all over the county busyness! It's exhausting but wonderful. Truth be told, it is exactly what I always wanted to be busy doing. Remember on The Office during the women in the workplace meeting (season 2, episode 15, obsessed much?) when Kelly says her dream was to be a mom who drives her kids around in an SUV with three rows of seats? That was my dream and I am living it baby! This change of season however, has left me with those odd 6 or so hours when the kids are at school and I have to answer the question, "What are you going to do now?" I had a lot of people ask me this question when school started again this year.  I didn't have an answer, and....I still don't. I could tell you all the things I have been doing while the kids are at school, but mostly it's just all the things I was always doing everyday, just minus the children. I am still busy, I'm just busy by myself. I think as stay at home moms when we come to this new season of life, it's difficult to answer that question. The truth is, our kids still need us. I don't think that my status of stay at home mom has to change simply because my kids are in school all day. I am still fulling that role of stay at home mom even though they are gone. I have struggled (still struggling actually) with how my identity should change with this new phase. Should I get a job? Go back to school? Write that book I always wanted to write? If I don't do any of those things and continue to be "just" a mom, am I valued less? If I do those things, are my children going to suffer because I'm not there as much? These are questions that mom's have a hard time answering because obviously there is no one right answer. I believe that this change of season has challenged me in a good way. It has caused me to reflect on what is most important to me, what my goals are and how I can reach them. I am taking time for myself for the first time in a long time. I am learning how to work harder and help out more with James's business. I am getting all of my work done before it's time to pick up the kids so I can be there for them and support them in their activities and interests. I am volunteering at the school so I can be involved in my children's education. I am working hard to be the best wife and mother I can be. I don't have all the answers right now but that's ok. I also know that things are always changing and life is always going to throw new and challenging things at us. The most important thing is to keep going. So, the question: "What are you going to do all day?" Well, today it was yoga. Tomorrow it will be trying to navigate IKEA to pick up hardware for a job James is doing, then reading to Avery's class. Next week, who knows? I am just going to try and be the best that I can and live in the moment right here, right now. Because if motherhood has taught me anything, it's that it goes by in a blink and I'm just trying to do my best not to miss it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

4th of July 2016!

Do you ever have a day where everything goes so great and you feel so good and have so much fun and when it's over you don't want to fall asleep and do tomorrow you just want to keep doing that day again and again? Yeah, it doesn't happen very often so, when it does, you blog about it!
We had a very wonderful 4th of July this year! It was a fun filled family day and I will tell you about it now:

I made James get up and work out with me first thing in the morning. I knew how many treats I was planning on eating that day and I figured a morning work out would do me good. Yes, I realize that I would have to spend 17 and a half hours on that thing to burn all the donuts I ate, but still, it felt good.

After the gym we got our traditional donut breakfast and headed to the park. We got donuts at Reams bakery and holy cow they were gooood. They had root beer fritters you guys! And Nutella raspberry filled donuts! I know I have been talking about donuts a lot, so, let me explain. We have had a family tradition of donuts in the park for breakfast on the 4th of July since Savanna was a baby. Actually, a Saturday morning donut run was pretty common place in our house until we realize our old and worn out metabolisms weren't doing us any favors anymore and we had to stop stuffing down that sugar and fat before we got enormous. The donut runs have ended and last year we skipped the 4th of July donut breakfast all together! So, this year it was a very special treat to have donuts for breakfast and it was a really big deal ok? Moving on. We went to Jolleys Ranch up Springville canyon to eat and play. We love this park, its only about 10 mins from our house and it is really beautiful. 

After the park we went swimming! We are living in a condo while we build our new house and the very best part is the pool! We are there a lot, the girls' hair is turning green and everything. We always have a really good time swimming together!
After the pool we had lunch at home then went to the theater to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, Out of the Shadows! James has successfully converted his wife and children into super-mega Ninja Turtle nerds so, it was AWESOME!

We ended the night at James' parents house. The kids fed the horses and played with their cousins. We had a delicious feast and set off fireworks. This was truly a magical day!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Summer Break: One week in.

Summer is here! The kids and I had been counting down for weeks and now it is upon us!
Last Day of School 2016

The first week was full of busy fun. On Memorial Day we went to the gym to workout together as a family. The night before we talked with the kids and told them how it could be a great family bonding time, doing hard things together. They didn't seem too interested and grumbled all the way to bed. In the morning though, they surprised us and were little super heroes! They did the whole thing without any grumbling and finished sweaty and happy, it was awesome.

We praised them all the way home and talked about how important it is to keep our bodies and minds healthy and strong. Then we ate ice cream and oreo's so....balance. The rest of the week we played and swam and tried to learn how to sleep in.
The weekend began with our nephew's baptism and the kids first Muay Thai belt promotion. Brendan was baptized by his brother who just turned 16 last month. It was a great experience, especially for Miles because he will be baptized in August!

After the baptism we headed over to the belt promotion. It was so fun and amazing. I am so proud of my kids! I can't believe how far they have come over the last 6 months. There have been so many positive things that have come out of being a part of this Muay Thai program. My kids have gained the confidence to know that if they work hard at something, it will pay off. The biggest change has been with Savanna. She is such a shy and introverted person and after her first class she said she didn't like it and didn't know if she wanted to keep going. But she did keep going and now she loves it! My favorite part is watching the big smile on her face all through class. She has come out of her shell so much, her self-esteem has grown and the terrible anxiety she has struggled with has gotten so much better. It has been so good for all of them and I love being there watching them work so hard, they have motivated me to work harder and have the courage to try new things.

So that's it, first week of summer is in the books! I really do love summer and having my kids home with me, I am so lucky to be their mom. I'm looking forward 11 more hot and crazy weeks with them!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Clouds Roll By

Last week Avery graduated from kindergarten.

 This day had been something I thought about so much. When my children were babies I spent so much time thinking about the day when they would all be in school all day and they wouldn't need me anymore and I would be lonely and just go hide under the covers and be sad. Turns out, they still need me, quite a bit actually. Even though they have all brushed their teeth everyday since they had teeth, they still need me to remind them to do it each day, so there's that. Seriously though, time is weird.  I have a very vivid memory of being ten years old, standing outside the swimming pool waiting for my mom to come pick me up. I remember thinking, I'm ten, ten years hasn't felt that long and in ten more years I'll be twenty, so I don't have that much time to get my act together and be an adult. Now I have a my very own ten year old! When my kids were little I would get so excited for the next phase like, sleeping through the night, being potty trained, starting school. At the same time though, I would dread them getting older and leaving me. I love that I don't have babies anymore because I have more time for myself and having older kids gives us a lot more freedom to do a lot of fun things, BUT, just the other night I cried myself to sleep thinking about how grown up my baby is! See what I mean? Weird.  I pretty much held it together for the graduation. I cried, obviously, but I wasn't hysterical or anything. James saw the tears in my eyes, put his arm around me and whispered in my ear, "you know, we could have another kid I guess, if you want." I laughed, what a sweet guy. We thought about it and if we tried for a baby right now, in seven years we would be right back in school sitting through another kindergarten graduation. Savanna would be 17 (what?!), James and I would be half dead and I would still be crying when they sang that damn song from The Land Before Time! So, clouds roll by and so does time. All I can do is hold my babies tight each day get excited about what comes next.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day

Last week on the radio I heard that a pole was taken of what a mom really wants for Mother's Day. The winner: alone time. I very much have to disagree! The thought of spending Mother's Day alone makes me so sad! This weekend was so special and fun because not only was it Mother's Day but also my birthday. Having my birthday fall so near to Mother's Day every year is so fun! I feel extra extra special and milk it for all it's worth, its true, I do. I thought about what I wanted to do for this very special weekend and all I wanted was to spend it with my family. We all went to the gym together, out to eat together, to church together, built Lego's together, ate some more, and it was awesome! I'll have alone time some other day, like this fall when all three of my kids are in school all day. How in the world did that happen already?! Anyway...

Every year on Mother's day I think about all the mothers in my life. My own mother who made sure I always knew how loved I was. My mother-in-law who welcomed me with open arms right from the start. My grandmother who taught me how important it is to cherish every moment in life. My sisters-in-law, the Aunts to my children, who have all helped me mother my own children and shared their sweet little ones with me. All of the many friends, teachers, coaches and neighbors who have played the part of mother to me and my kids over the years. Thank you for loving me and my kids. Thank you for stepping in to help and teach when I couldn't do it. Thank you for sharing your successes and failures as a mom. I love being able to talk about what challenges we face as mom's and how we are dealing with them, and the many joys of motherhood and how truly blessed we are.

This weekend I also got to visit with James's brother and his wife who have 6 week old twins. They waited a long time for those babies and it's so wonderful to see them as parents. Snuggling my little niece and talking with her parents brought back so many memories of early motherhood. I never had two at once, so it's not quite the same I know, but I remember all those things that they are going through right now. Feedings, diaper changes, gassy tummies, sleeping (or lack thereof rather), and the fact that the usual 4 hour drive from their home to James's parents home took 7 1/2 hours with two babies in tow. I remember being a new mom, being utterly exhausted but somehow able to stay awake and do it all anyway. I'm so excited for my sister-in-law and the crazy adventure she just hopped on. Motherhood is an amazing thing, it changes you in ways you could have never imagined. It is the hardest, most wonderful job in the world but it's so much more than that. It's no wonder that when you need advice or help one of the first people you think of is your own mother. I hope I am doing a good job and I strive to be even better each day so my kids will call me when they're grown up and somehow I can help. I hope everyone had an amazing Mother's Day!

Friday, May 6, 2016

A Real Family

 The last few weeks have been very busy, filled with all the end of school year field trips and events. Each night I have collapsed into bed at around 9:07completely exhausted. When my children were babies another mom said something to the effect of, "wait until they're older and in school, then you'll be busy".  I remember thinking, I am busy! And I was, but, she was right, NOW we are busy! As I lay in bed each night, I think of the day and smile because I am doing exactly what I always dreamed of doing.  All I ever wanted to do was be a mom. A stay at home, cook hot breakfast, pack home lunches, afternoons at the park, driving around to school, sports, fill-in-the blank activity, mom.  My home life as a kid was....not so great. Please, let me emphasize first though, my parents loved us and did the very best they could. We were always fed, clothed, and taken care of and I know there are many, many other families who have it far worse than we did, however, it was rough.  My parents struggled with their marriage and that fact was made very apparent to my brother and me. There was a lot of anger in my home. I always felt like we were just pretending to be a family. I would look at other families and wish my family could be like that. Of course, I never knew what struggles those families certainly had, but as a kid I wanted my family to be close and happy, like them. I remember one very specific night. My dad came home from work and announced we were all going to go have a family night and go bowling together. I remember it so clearly because that was something our family never did.  Don't get me wrong, we did lots of things, we went camping and rode motorcycles and had vacations, but it was almost always with just one parent and us kids. Very rarely did we all go out together as a whole unit. So this night was very special. I remember sitting in the bowling alley and looking around at the other families and hoping they would all see me, my family out together having a fun time, like a real family.  I wanted a real family. That is what I set all my future goals and dreams upon: having that family. As I grew up I realized that my parents had very real struggles and now, as a parent myself, I have so much gratitude for my mom and dad for taking care of  us as well as they did despite their personal battles. I love my parents, I really do and this is not about raking them through the coals, but I want to be completely honest. I wanted something better for myself and my children. My dreams came true when I met curly haired, red cheeked, 18 year old boy named James. We fell in love so fast and made plans for the future. My husband in an amazing father, the best any kid could ever, ever have. He works harder than anyone I know and goes way above and beyond to support his family. He is wonderful to me, he makes me laugh and has always told me how beautiful I am, even when I was pregnant with Savanna and weighed 200-ish pounds (ish meaning more than 200). My children are the most amazing kids in the whole wide world. They work so hard, they are super smart and funny and kind and loving. When we go out to do family time I still look around at the other families and want everyone to see me, my family out together having a fun time. Only this time, we aren't pretending, we are a real family. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Lots of Things

So... is blogging still a thing? I'm thinking probably, no. Personally I have not updated my blog in over a year. You can go back and read the last post, we moved, it was stressful, then it wasn't, blah blah blah. My excuse for not blogging before was that we were moving and I didn't have time, also the computer/internet wasn't set up, whatever. Then I updated with a promise to keep going now that we were settled into our new place and... I never did. I think I never got back into it because I was pretty sure that NO ONE CARES. I mean, really, who was ever reading this? My life is neither more nor less interesting than anyone else so, who cares? Well.... I do. Let me tell you a little about what my life has been like for the last year. I have gotten older, (obviously) but like, really old. The early years of motherhood were so busy and exhausting that I never had time to sit and think about what I was doing and who I was. It was diapers and nursing and crying and carseats and pee and poop and barf. It was wonderful, but it all went by in a sleep deprived blur and I didn't think much about the future or what life would be like in the next stage. Now that stage is here. I have actual alone time during the day to sit and think and I started thinking about me. Who am I? What am I doing? What are my talents and skills? I see the things that my husband and children are doing and I'm so, so proud, but it also makes me wonder. What am I good at? Believe me, I have done some major soul searching and sometimes I feel really great about who I am and sometimes I don't, but I feel like that's normal. I am trying new things, like Yoga Inferno, it's hard and makes me feel strong!  But is it a skill? A talent? I don't know about that, but I do know that something I have been consistently good at is writing. Actually, I don't know if I'm good but I like it. It's very fulfilling to put down what I'm feeling into words. I love starting a story and seeing where it ends up, that's very exciting to me. I also really love to write about my kids and family and what we're up to. I like having those memories captured because life is flying by so very fast. It's good to be able sit down and remember what we've gone through. So I have decided to continue my blog. Like I said, I'm sure blogging is out, everyone has a youtube channel right? That's a thing now? James and I have always been behind the times though, I wore my first pair of leggings this fall and my kids got their first video game system ever just this last Christmas, a used X Box 360. So, it's fitting. It's my hope that writing again will help answer some of those "mid-life crisis-esq" questions and get my brain out of this "what am I doing" rut. I plan to continue to write about my families daily adventures like: James and the kids becoming ninja's and, oh my gosh we're building a house! In addition to that I want to write about life, love, health, motherhood, and things I'm pretty sure we are all dealing with as human beings. Please be sweet and read it, let me know what you think. Share with me what you would like to see me write about. Maybe it's dumb, maybe there are other things I could/should be focusing on, but life is hard, becoming an old wrinkly lady is hard, and if writing all this down can help me get through it then, I'm going to give it a go!