Sunday, January 23, 2011

My ah ha moment

Every once in a while I have a moment of clarity that seems to put my whole life into greater perspective. This last week I was blessed with one such moment.

When I became a mother at age 20 I wanted to be the best possible mother. I was so young and had not had the opportunity to develop what kind of mother I wanted to be. I just knew I wanted to be there for my kids. I wanted to sing to them and play with them. I wanted to give them the perfect upbringing. So I looked to the women around me. I started to emulate the ones I admired. I would ask them what worked for them and I would strive to do what I thought at the time was best.

As more children came and I got a little more comfortable in my mothering I began to see what worked for us. I realized some things that I was mimicking didn't really match with what I believed or they simply didn't work for me.

Along with this came the desire to do what these women did. There was food storage, scrap booking, sewing, genealogy, photography, digital scrap booking, home decorating, blogging, jewelry making, stylish clothes, complicated job charts or parenting styles, lavish vacations, amazing parties, amazing meals, thrift store shopping, organization. I have tried all of these things plus a few more. Some I was better at then others, some I failed at and never looked back.

As I blog surf I am surrounded with people who are really good at 1 specific thing. It is their hobby, their passion their love. I know where to go for any topic mentioned above. I recognize that we all have our thing and that is a big part of why I have tried so many. I wanted to find the one thing that I was passionate about.

I was cooking dinner the other night for the family plus Emma's friend who was sleeping over and four of Jared's friends. As I worked in the kitchen and listened to the kids around me I was filled with so much peace and joy for my life. It occurred to me that they are my passion. I do not need an extra hobby to obsess over when I have my obsession right here in front of me. I love when my kids tell me thank you for the dinner or hug or good talk we shared. I love when I get to spend lunch with my husband and we talk about our day. I love when they invite friends over and I love when they let me know how much they love me.

Disclaminer- of course there are hard days and hard parts. There are days I need a break or a nap or both. But for the most part I love it. Just like any hobby, sometimes you need to step away to remember why you love it so very much.

Does this mean I don't still enjoy doing some of those hobbies mentioned above? Of course I do. But what it means for me is that I don't need them. I don't need to be the expert on anything but my family. I applaud these other women. I think it is wonderful when we each can find our "thing" and then share it with the world. I appreciate their talents and their willingness to share so that I can copy what they have done when the need or desire comes about. Or I can just enjoy looking at the beauty they have created knowing I am creating my own kind of beauty in the walls of my own home.

What this also means for me is that I can be happier in my own skin. It is like I have finally figured out my calling in life. How silly that seems to me as I write it. I have six kids. I obviously like being a mom. But embracing it as what I am good at, what I love, what I am passionate about brings me greater peace. It also helps me to let go of comparing with other moms. I am my own kind of mother with a beautiful family to tend to and care for. And for today that is more then I ever dreamed of.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Whats for dinner?

I just got done reading my SIL Sarah's blog post about dinner. It got me thinking about how much I really do enjoy dinner time, most of the time.

I will start this post off with a disclaimer. Some nights while I try to cook Jacob screams and cries and won't be comforted by anyone but me. Like last night. He was having a very hard time and wanted Hugz from me. AKA he wanted me to hold him. I was stirring over the stove top and had to be careful how I held him. He was still screaming. If I put him down he cried harder. Some nights are hard like this.

With that out of the way I want to document why I love to cook for my family. I read an article from Power of Mom's a couple weeks ago that talked about why we have our children work alongside of us. It is not just to get the house clean, it is to build relationships with them. That rung so true to me as I thought about our evening routine.

I usually start in the kitchen while the kids are finishing up homework and the little ones are playing. Before long someone always joins me and asks to help. It is interesting to me that they seem to take turns and usually everyone is not all in the kitchen at once. Sometimes they are but it is not the norm.

Discussions then pursue. We will talk about their friends or the mean kids. Basketball or choir. Things they love and things they hate. Maybe because we are not being formal they are more lose with their tongues. I have learned more about my children in the kitchen then other place in my house. Even when there is nothing for them to do they will still hang out and talk with me.

Really this is what I love about being a mom. I get to be the one person they tell everything to (for a few more years at least) I love being so much a part of their lives.

Cooking dinner leads into eating it and family discussion can be just as enjoyable. Sometimes arguments do ensue but for the most part I really enjoy sitting around the table together. Kids will tell the funniest stories and I feel like this time is also good for their relationship as siblings

I did not always feel this way and I remember dreading the dinner time hour. I think having older children to enjoy it with has helped and also realizing my baby won't be little forever helps too. While he was crying yesterday I just kept thinking about the fact that I will never have a 2 year old again and some how that made the crying seem lovable.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Why me?

I have been musing over a thought for the last week. The kind that sits in the for front of your mind waiting for you to figure it out. The kind you know Heavenly Father will help you with so you don't worry about it you just...ponder on it. I think last night as the answer came to me.

I have been wondering why some people have so many hard challenges, then others seem to have fairly simple no major trial lives. I was not wondering this to question my faith or question Gods purposes more of just curiosity. There are times in my life when I have had major trials. Some few that have been life altering. Other challenges just feel hard at the time but I feel confident that I will make it through. And some trials I cause myself and those are just frustrating because I know I could have prevented it.

But all in all I feel so blessed with my life. I have been given so much. A wonderful husband who is so good to me. He adores me and cares so much for my happiness. He is more patient then I thought a person could be. My children are all very bright and good and beautiful. So at times when I see life as being so wonderful I wonder why us? Why am I so fortunate to have all of this? I do not believe it is because I have done anything extraordinary. I have seen extraordinary people with far less and even more for that matter. I do not believe our lack of trials is simply because of our faithfulness or devotion to God. So what does it mean then?

And this is the conclusion I came to. When we are given much we are required much. He gives to those so they can help others around them. He tests us in our blessings to see if we will be like the good Samaritan. If we are strong in faith, will we build those around us. If we have wealth, will we feed the hungry. If we are blessed with many talents, will we give of ourselves to help those in need.

I think in life we can be both the giver and the receiver. I may go through seasons of weakness in one area and yet strengths in another. I guess what I have learned is that in my moments of blessings/weaknesses in any area of my life I need to be asking not why but how. How can I give back? How can I show gratitude to my Heavenly Father for all that I have been given?

The statement why me now takes on new meaning. Why me? Because I have something to learn or to teach. Something to give or to receive. I pray I may have the wisdom to find out what these things are on a frequent basis.

Jacob turns 2

My baby is no longer a baby and with that comes both sad and exciting emotions. The sad is that I will no never have a baby who lets me hold him and rock him and love him just because I want to. The happy is the joy I get while watching him grow and develop and learn and become an amazing little boy I love to have around.

He loves to talk to all of us and is constantly telling us stories. Usually we only understand every third word or he do understand all the words they just don't really make sense when put together. He loves Toy Story so much and is constantly telling us, "Buzz, Woody, Jesse, Rex, etc." He loves to sleep with his toys and sometimes it gets a little out of hand. We know only let him take 1 or 2 and he does not always like this new rule.

He loves to run and run he does. If we are outside he will just take off and say, "Run, run." As he takes off without every looking back. He loves it so much he will even do it at church. Ryan sits up on the stand and Jacob wants to sit with him. Usually this ends up with Jacob screaming and me having to leave the chapel. Today he was standing right next to me playing nicely with a little girl who was sitting by us. He looked at me with a smile then bolted. I was not about to run down the aisle in my heels so once I realized how was out of reach I let him go to his dad. What are you gonna. do. It made me laugh as well as most of the people sitting around me. Eventually he got bored and walked back to me. Funny kid!

He also guns, balls, the trampoline, and Betty. He makes a wonderful bang bang sound, throws the ball a little to hard, would jump all day long, and pets, pokes, and feeds Betty often. They act like siblings to each other.

When we drive by Grandma's house he cries if we don't stop.

He asks for hugz when he wants to be picked up. He does love his snuggles still and this I love as well.

Jacob likes to kiss my nose and poke everyone eyes as he says, "eyes."

He really is very loving and playful and we all thank Heavenly Father often for this sweet boy who brings our family together in laughter and joy.

He was so cute when he opened his presents. He would show them to me and wait for me to take a picture of it then he wanted me to show him that picture. When I would forget to take a picture he would remind me.
I have several more pictures like these.

We got him new bedding and he was very excited about it. Sarah put it all together for him then put him in bed with his toys. He played for a while then laid down like he was going to take a nap. Sarah and I laughed.

Here is his birthday stash.This is my most favorite cake I have ever made. It was fairly easy but very rewarding and I didn't want the kids to eat it. I loved looking at it.

Once he blew out his candles he passed out the marshmallows to everyone.
Happy Birthday Jacob Hyrum. I can't wait to spend this next year with you! I love you!!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

New Year!!

2010 favorite moments-
New more roomy house
Betty joined our family
Enjoyed vacations as a family and as a couple. Big Bear, San Fransisco, Disneyland, Vegas, Huntington Beach
Running 14 miles up the PCH.
Learning about the Power of Moms and Mind Organization for Moms.
Jared received the priesthood.
Sarah gets high honors at school.
Emma's fun b-day party.
Joseph learned how to read well! He is now over the 200 word club at school.
No major hospital visits for Joshua.
Jacob became our happy little boy and left baby behind (even if we do still call him baby.)
Ryan getting to spend more quality time with us.

I have decided that for this year I am going to do my goals a little bit differently. Instead of writing down all the things I want to do or become I am picking one main thing to work on and then I am writing out all the ways I can accomplish it.

A few weeks ago when I was feeling rather negative and very stressed out through the council of my husband I received the answer that I was to simplify. I have been thinking about that ever since and trying to figure out what that really means for me. So with that in mind I have decided that for 2011 I am going to focus all my efforts on Simplicity!

I am going to first and foremost devote more time to the Lord by reading my scriptures and kneeling in personal prayer every day. Not just casual study and casual prayer but the kind of study and discuss with my Father that I get to know both my Heavenly Father and Savior in a much more real and intimate way. I will have more time to do this because I will spend less time doing things that don't really matter. (like redecorating my house, shopping, lack of a good schedule)

Which brings me to number two. I will come up with a two week menu for all meals. I will then shop on line by week and have those shopping lists saved that I order every monday night. This will save on time and energy (I will know what is for dinner, I won't have to run out to the store for the one item I am lacking which will also save me money, I will be home with the kids at dinner time not running around worrying about dinner, kids will have lunch food-always, milk won't run out, I will be much more relaxed at dinner time and my kids will enjoy time cooking with me in the kitchen)

Third on my list will be to come up with a cleaning schedule. This will include displaying the laundry schedule I have created that works wonders when I use it. This is to be something very rough and not to be stressful. Just a basic every day schedule of things like when I will pick up the kitchen and when I will make my bed. I want ot have a set schedule for every day so that Josh and Jacob know what to expect.

This leads me into the fourth item. Create a daily schedule that includes more play time with the kids and more play time with the boys during the day. The idea for me is to be home more and more available for every day enjoyment with the little ones.

Fifth is to teach Joshua how to read. He loves writing his letters and asks me how to spell everything. He is ready and excited. I am ready. This is his year.

Sixth is potty train Jacob. I recognize this does not sound like it goes with simplifying but it really does. Once he is potty trained I will never have to buy diapers for my children again. This has been 12-13 years coming and I am excited to simplify in this way.

Seventh is to spend even more quality time with Ryan. With our busy schedule sometimes we don't get enough good time together. By letting using my time more wisely I will now have more time in the evenings to just enjoy him.

Eight figure out how to simplify the kids job charts. I am not sure yet if that means keeping it the same with a few modifications or a whole new redo. I think modifications would be the best.

Ninth I will schedule the year with everything that I can. Including time for special day long dates with Ryan, birthday parties, anniversary, weekly date night with kids, basketball, piano etc. I want everything on there. That way I will always know what is going on and when I really do have extra time.

Tenth will be to come up with a Family home evening schedule for the year. A rotation of who will teach, offer prayer, snack, etc.

And eleventh I will be VERY selective about adding anything extra to my list.

All of this will be a tool to help me be home enjoying my family more. So that when I am home I am not stressed or feeling anxiety. This way I will be able to be more emotionally available for my kids.

Growing up I never loved my name. I always thought it was boring and I dreamed of something more exotic or more beautiful sounding. This last week I got to think about the importance of a name and that I was sure my name meant more then I had previously given it credit for. So I decided to Google it (Google answers all of our questions right?) What I found was that my name meant to be joyful, bright, or cheerful. At first I didn't think much of it. But as it sat in my brain a thought formed. I believe that I was sent here on this earth to do just that. To find the joyful, the bright, and the cheerful. That when I don't feel it I am to seek it out and let it fill my surroundings.. That as I learn to do this more fully I will more completely fulfill my mission here on earth. So that is why I want to simplify... so that I may have an open heart and mind to fill my life with more joy, brightness, and cheer.

I am so excited about this next year. I am optimistic it will exceed my hopes and expectations. Here is to looking forward!!!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas!

It came a little late but we sure did enjoy it. A few of the kids asked for snow for Christmas. So Ryan and I decided to rent a cabin and let them enjoy time in the snow. This place was so perfect for us. 2 bedrooms plus a loft that held a bunk bed and a twin. It snowed the night we got there and the entire next day. So wonderful! The best part was the back yard. It was huge and had a big slope. The kids could sled in our back yard! This proved to be more useful then I could have imagined.

A couple days before Christmas I got sick. I by the time of our vacation I still was not doing any better. With the amazing yard I was able to stay inside most of the time (Joseph also got sick the morning after we got there.) When the kids got cold they would take off their wet clothes and let them dry in front of the dryer. Then when they were ready they would head out again. It really was so great to watch them!

Once we got to the cabin we didn't leave until it was time to go. We made all of our meals there. We entertained ourselves there. It was great. Dinner tasted better there. I made dinner the first night and Ryan the second. He made hamburgers for him and the kids and lobster for me. It was so good. The best lobster I have ever had! We played lots of board games and even enjoyed a talent show. It was one of my favorite vacations!

Talent show pictures.

The only sad part was coming home.