Monday, March 31, 2014

Forget Me Not: Escaping Thoughts from an OverLoaded Mom Brain

Periodically, I get thoughts, ideas, musings rattling around in my head.  And of course, I always think, "I need to write this down." Typically, though, these thoughts, fighting for space in my overcrowded, under-rested brain, are forgotten, being pushed away by more pressing  thoughts of diaper changes, laundry soap, homework and piano lessons.  Even as I type this, trying to hurry and put to words some poignant learning moments I've had this week, I hear the baby start to stir, the dog bark, and I realize these fleeting thoughts that I felt had impacted me so much, will probably leave me without ever having had a chance to be expressed or shared.

This is tragic to me.

So, instead of writing about how I learned from my mistakes this week, I am going to walk away, and go hug my crying baby.  And cook some eggs for my kids.  Maybe take a shower.

And hopefully, the thoughts will be there, waiting for me tomorrow.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Photo Book

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Visit to create your own personalized photobook.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Things I Wish They Would've Told Me When I Was a Newlywed

My 14 years younger brother just got engaged this weekend.  And I'm so, so happy for him and his soon-to-be bride.  They are young, in love and doe-eyed, and have their future stretched out in front of them.

And for some reason, this has got me thinking back to when I was their age, and thinking about my future.
Maybe young people of this day and age have a better handle on reality and life than I did when I was young.

Growing up, as an LDS teen, attending Young Women's every week, every lesson, every activity that sunk in for me told me to focus on getting married in the temple, do everything you can to get there, be worthy, find a worthy mate, and get married.

 And then have babies.

That last part I think was implied, or maybe I just assumed that was the next step because my mother had 8 babies.

And these are all very good things; important things to plan to do as a teenage girl.  And I did them.  I made it there.  I married a good, handsome, worthy priesthood holding man in the temple.  And then had babies.

But at some time during that first year of marriage, I had an existential crisis.  At no point during my youth, had I made any plans for myself beyond my wedding day.  This was it.  I had made it.

Now what?

Eventually, I figured it out.  Or I'm still figuring it out.  And I'm sure most people do, but for my brother and his bride, and young (or old, like me) people everywhere,  here is a list of things I wish they had told me before I got married.  By no means, does this mean I have all the answers.  Not even close.  But these are little tidbits, ideas, and notions that have helped me along the way.

1. The fairy tales are lying to you.  You don't step off the boat from your honeymoon, and magically live happily ever after.  Being married in the temple doesn't make you impervious to marital discord. You don't have to stop trying just because now you're married. Being married and living with another person is hard. Really, really hard.  You have to work at it every single day.  Over and over.  Yes, there is such a thing as happily ever after, but no, it doesn't happen automatically.  Put in the work, you will reap the reward.

2. Pray every day to love your spouse (this is actually the best advice my mother ever gave me.  She told me one night when I came to her house crying after a silly fight with my new husband in our first year of marriage).  Some days, he will irritate the heck out of you.  Sometimes, you won't even like him.  Many times, you will disagree about things. But, pray to love and accept him the way he is.

3. Date nights are important! Whether you have no kids are 20, alone time, one-on-one time together are husband and wife are crucial to nurture your marriage and your friendship with your spouse.  I've heard and read other people say you can even have date nights at home.  This is great, but with 5 kids, it just doesn't work. At least for me.  Inevitably, at least one will come knocking, or want to join you.  As our kids have gotten older its gotten easier, but they know, Friday night is Mom and Dad's date night.  Every week.

4. Express Gratitude to your spouse. Every day.  Saying Thank you goes a very long way.  Men and Women alike like to feel appreciated.

5. Be Friends with your Spouse. At some point, that honeymoon phase will wear off.  You will both go to work, or school every day.  Time will pass.  And one day you will wake up with 3 babies, and realize that the only thing you and your husband have said to each other in the last week is "We're out of milk", "Did you pay the light bill?" or "The baby has a fever.  Again." Don't let your relationship be all business.  Have fun together.  Laugh together.  Read together.  Play together. Involve your children and let them see you enjoying each other's company.

6. You don't have to agree to get along. And just because you disagree doesn't mean it's the end of the world.  Or your marriage.  Learn to express your differences in a calm and open minded way.  My husband and I are complete opposites when it comes to personality and interests.  But we compromise. We participate in each other's hobbies.  We talk.  We listen.  We bite our tongue when necessary to avoid conflict or hurting the other's feelings. But know that it is important to talk about your disagreements and differences.  There is no room for resentment or grudges in a marriage.  Be open. TALK. Communication is key.

7. Forgive easily and be trustworthy. This is really important.  And doesn't need much explanation.  Be faithful in thought and deed.  Don't sweat the small stuff.

8. Accept unsolicited advice graciously, and then make your own decisions. There will be many who will want to share their infinite wisdom with you.  Take it with a grain of salt, glean what makes sense to you, and use what you have to do what works for you.  There is no right or wrong answer. This blog post included. This applies to children also.

9. It is not only acceptable but crucial for you to take care of yourself. Sometimes as adults, especially women, we get this disillusioned notion that we shouldn't be doing anything for ourselves.  This is fundamentally wrong.  I don't mean you should be selfish.  I mean that you can't neglect yourself and expect to have the energy to care for everyone else that needs you.  For me, exercise is the thing I do that's just for me.  Everyone has their thing. Find yours, and do it.  Guilt free.

10. It's no one else's business when you decide to start your family, and how many kids you have.  Of course that won't stop people from trying to tell you when and what you should do.  Again, accept their suggestions graciously, and do what's right for you.

11. It's okay to speak up and tell people you don't want 100 visitors in the hospital room when you have a baby. I didn't get the nerve to speak my mind til I had my 4th and 5th babies.  My first three, I was so overwhelmed playing "hostess" in the hospital, I wanted to hide under the covers and cry.  I wish someone had told me it's ok to tell people when its time to leave.  Or to ask people to call first before they come.  

12. Someone else's opinion is NOT a good reason to discipline a child. If I had a nickel for every time I disciplined one of my children for someone else's benefit... One day, I realized, who cares if this person doesn't approve of how I am raising my children.  I, their mother, know what's best for them, and no one else.

13. There is no better therapy than baby cuddles.  Messes will wait for you.  Sit down, read to your babies and cuddle.  Nothing cures the blues better than some snuggle-therapy.

14. You will develop some mad ninja wrestling skills when changing diapers. If you sing and make obnoxious animal noises, while giving your baby something to hold, he or she will magically hold still while changing their diaper.  You're welcome.

15. Sometimes YOU are your child's only advocate.  Be on their side.  Always. Even when you know they are wrong.  Even when they made a bad choice. Even when every other person in authority in their life is telling them and you that they aren't good enough.  It's heartbreaking, and someone needs to be in their corner.  That person HAS to be you.

16. Kids make messes.  And getting them to clean them up is tricky. I have to think up new creative ways to get my kids to do their jobs on a regular basis.  Be patient.  And stubborn.  I wish I knew a word for that concept.  Being patient and stubborn at the same time.

17. No one's children are perfectly well behaved all the time.  And neither will yours.  I remember being a young newlywed, and thinking, "Oh, my kids are never going to act like that."  Oh, if only I had known.

18. No matter how many times you tell your kids the rules, they will still want to break them. You will have to remind them to pick up their socks every day.  Every flipping day. Probably 20 times.  Remember that patient and stubborn thing.  It comes in handy.

19. Houses get dirty. Absolutely make time to clean, and involve your kids in the effort.  But don't hold yourself to a higher standard than you can maintain while keeping your sanity. And it's ok if it stays dirty sometimes.

20. Nobody stays caught up on laundry all the time.

21. Sometimes even good, righteous families forget to read their scriptures, or say their prayers or hold Family Home Evening.  So don't beat yourself up if you miss it sometimes.  Finding a balance that works is hard.  Just keep trying.

22. Stop comparing yourself to other people.  It's not a competition.  Be happy for other's successes, and be proud of your own.  And understand that no one's life is perfect.  Even the woman in relief society, who's hair is perfectly coiffed, who's home is always sparkly clean, and who's children seem to be perfectly behaved in their Sunday best every time you see them, who attends the temple every Tuesday, and always has some deeply insightful thing to say every time she opens her mouth. She is fighting some sort of battle.  So is everyone else.  You aren't the only one who has it hard.  Open up.  It's amazing how many people come out of the woodwork, when you admit you are struggling.

23. You don't have to pretend to be perfect.  Keep it real.  It's ok to have bad days.  It's ok.

24. Pray. Pray, pray, pray.  Every day.  I pray in the shower, or in the car.  A lot.  Because quiet time alone is very rare and fleeting.  And I couldn't make it through a single day without Heavenly Father's help.  Or just knowing He's there and listening to me.  And asking Him to be mindful of my children.  There is a deep comfort in that.

I know there are so many other people out there who have so much more knowledge and experience than I do. And I'm still learning.  Every day.  And some things I have to relearn over and over.  And my life is absolutely not perfect.  And I have my bad days. And what has worked for me might be different that what works for someone else.  But, I am happy, and remembering these things helps me to be happy, so I thought I'd share.

If anyone has anything to add to this list, I would love if you'd share your wisdom in the comments.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

In which I attempt to pretend I am Martha Stewart, or June Cleaver or whatever (and a recipe for Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent)

Little by little, inch by inch, I've found myself turning into more of a crunchy granola Mom.  At least that's what I like to tell myself.  We're trying, really, to detoxify.  Trying to eat clean.  Trying to eliminate the chemicals from our life.  Three years ago, I started using essential oils. In fact, since then, I have eliminated every over-the-counter/pharmaceutical drug or remedy from my home.  Slowly, that has transferred over into our diet and household products.  About a year ago, I switched from store-bought-factory-made-chemical cleaners, and I make my own, with essential oils, baking soda or vinegar (not together--do NOT try that!).  I'm slowly making my way into the natural side of things.  Up until today, I have still been using store bought laundry detergent.  I've been wanting to try homemade for years, but have never gotten around to doing it.  Why?
Because I'm lazy.  Because I don't consider myself a homemakey, crafty, do-it-yourselfer type o' gal.  But, I have two babies with eczema, the tiny one has sad little dry, scaley patches all over and I decided it's high time, I get rid of the chemical culprits in our house and take matters into my own hands.

So, yesterday, in a fit of I don't know what--insanity? inspiration?--I went to the store and bought all the ingredients for homemade laundry detergent.  Based on several Google searches, Facebook and Pinterest searches, I found 1,000 different recipes, all of which had the same basic ingredients.  My recipe was adapted from recipes I found here and here.

Here's what I used:

1 bar Ivory (Original) natural soap
1/3 bar Fels-Naptha soap (nothing gets stains out better than Fels-Naptha)
1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT baking soda)
1/2 Cup Borax (as my Dad would say "Who put the Borax in again?")
1 TB Oxy-Clean (added as a booster)
About 60 drops of essential oil (I used Lemon and Wild Orange, but I have full intentions to play around with different scents in the future)

All of these ingredients except the essential oil were purchased at Walmart.  If you need to buy some essential oil, come visit me at and I will hook you up!

Grate both bars of soap and put into large saucepan.  Add 5 Cups Water, and stir over Medium-Low heat until soap is melted, reduce heat to low.

Add washing soda, borax, and oxy-clean and stir until dissolved.  Remove from Heat.

Pour 6 cups of HOT water into a 5 gallon bucket and add soap mixture. Add essential oil.  Stir.

Now, fill bucket to about 3/4 full of water.  Stir, cover and allow to sit overnight to thicken into a gel.

Stir, then pour into empty gallon jugs (I used cleaned out milk jugs), or empty laundry soap dispenser (saving that one for next time), or just leave in the 5 gallon bucket. Shake or stir before each use.

For Top Load Machine use 5/8 C per load (180 loads)
For Front Load Machine use 1/4 C per load (640 loads)

So, my homemade detergent is now sitting, waiting in it's bucket til tomorrow.  I can't wait to start using it!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Peek into my Super Crazy Life

Over the past 3 months, I have gained a much, much greater appreciation for mothers.  My own, first and foremost. My mother raised eight children.  And most of us are pretty well adjusted, decent, good human beings.  Some of us are a little crazy.  For example, my mother's oldest daughter might be a little nutty.

I have always appreciated my Mom, and admire the amazing woman that she is, and the wonderful job she did with Dad, teaching us, loving us, setting an example for us.  Whenever someone asks me who my hero is,  and I contemplate it, her name always pops into my mind.  I have always and will always want to be just like her when I grow up.

I didn't truly come to appreciate my Mom completely, until I started having babies of my own.  And now that I have five little rugrats running around here, I really appreciate her.  And I wonder: How did she do it?  How do all of you do it?  I honestly feel like I went from four kids to ten.  How did that happen?  And between early onset Alzheimers, urinary incontinence, forced insomnia, with a little side of PPD, in addition to all the other lovely side effects of child birth, I'm pretty sure I've been running around without my head for the past three months.  Add soccer, wrestling, rugby, tumbling, piano, homework, and now, UGH, Summer break, and trying to keep older monkeys from turning my home into a Nuclear testing facility, and keep the little monkeys, entertained, fed, cuddled, changed, etc, my mind has run away along with my decapitated head.

Somedays, like today, I have to just sit down and decide to not care that my laundry is piled as high as the ceiling; that my kitchen floor has more little footprints and paw prints than clean spots; that the toddler has found the magic markers and colored herself and her little brother, again;  that I haven't done my hair or applied makeup since Sunday; that we are perpetually late for everything; and that we spend more money on groceries than we do on all of our other bills combined (I really need to start couponing).

But, despite all the chaos, I am happy.  Crazy and happy.

Here are a few little reasons I am crazy happy.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Massage Envy

While the title of this post may appear as such, I am not making a shameless promotion for the Walmart of massage parlor chains.  Do they even call them massage parlors anymore?  I guess that term kinda of alludes to a more seedy establishment than I intended.  Ok, day spa, then.  Whatever.

Actually, I have never even stepped foot into a Massage  My husband, however, has a full on membership.  I guess they have this deal that you buy a membership and you can go in and get a monthly massage.  At any of their 4 billion locations nationwide.  My hubby likes to skip months and save them up and go get a 2 hour massage.  How nice for him. Which bring me to my point.
What I have is actually, good, old-fashioned massage Envy.  Jealousy.  It's not fair, and I'll tell you why.

As a woman in her ninth month of pregnancy, there are certain "minor" (ha ha) aches and pains associated with my current condition.  I'm sure most of you who have been through the whole baby-growing thing can attest to my opinion that of all human beings on the planet who need a good solid massage, pregnant women should be at the very top of the list.  Right? RIGHT!

Recently, I went on a last hoorah "work" trip with my hubby.  While he worked all day, I decided to book myself a massage at the hotel spa.  They immediately told me I wasn't "eligible" for any kind of massage other than their pre-natal massage, in which, the massage therapist isn't allowed to apply any sort of pressure or reflexology.  What the what?!  I told the receptionist, I promised not to sue them, blah, blah, and booked the massage anyway.

The therapist seemed pretty easy going and willing to accommodate my need for some good deep tissue massage during our pre-massage conversation.  But, during the session, the only slight pressure she applied was on my neck.  And while I appreciate that, there are plenty of other places, I could've used some relief; my lower back at number one.  She didn't even touch my lower back.  She "massaged" my legs for more than half of the massage, but didn't even touch my feet.  And the worst part of the whole thing was, because she "couldn't" apply any pressure, it felt like she was just...uh...caressing me for an hour.
Having a female massage therapist whose mannerisms and appearance led me to believe that she might possibly play first base on an all women's softball team, and probably frequents the home-depot quite often,  "caressing" me for an hour, made me more tense and stressed out than I was when I walked in there.
(sorry, I'm not known for being PC.  Apologies if that last sentence offended anyone)

So, a word to all you pregnant ladies out there who are dying for some relief from your sore, tired, muscles.  Pre-natal massages suck! Luckily for me, I have an awesome 11-year-old daughter who gives better massages for waaaay cheaper (a buck or a candy bar).

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ghost in the Graveyard (not a Halloween post)

I starting typing this in my Facebook status, and then realized how long it was getting and decided, why not blog it instead? I've had a hankering to write something anyway.  So, a0 long Facebook status, or short blog post, either way, I have a stupid little story to tell.

My running group meets at 5:00 am on Thursdays.  Yes, I said FIVE O CLOCK in the freezing your tail off crack o' dawn AM.  And I have to drive about 10-15 minutes to meet them.  That means I have to wake up about 4:30 to get dressed, and then drive.

Today, (like a lot of Thursdays lately), I hit snooze when my alarm went off.  More than once.  After the third time (sorry, hubby) I decided to just turn it off and go back to sleep.  Lazy me.  Bless (or curse) Scooter, the dog, because not 2 minutes after I turned off my alarm, he starting barking. After I got up to let him out, I figured I might as well, get dressed and go run.

It took me a few minutes to find my group.  There are a few different routes they might take, so I had to gamble.  Finally, I found them, pulled up ahead, parked and hopped out to join them.

I have a lot of people ask how can I run 6 months pregnant.  Well, honestly, it's not that different than running not pregnant, except that I have to stop 2-3 times during my run, when nature calls.  It's really not that different than any other time of day for us pregnant folk.  I've already had to take a break from writing this post and make a pit stop.  (Dear baby, my bladder is NOT a trampoline!).

So, I started running with my group about 2 miles into their run, ran the length of the course, and thought, well, I'll just make up the difference in mileage and run back to my car.  No biggie.  I'll just be a few minutes later than normal.

Another thing about me and running.  I am a social runner.  Through and through.  I NEVER run alone.  Unless I'm running interval sprints on the treadmill at the gym, and that's really only for like 15 minutes, so it doesn't count.  And running in the dark doesn't really bother me so much, but that's probably because I'm always running with someone.

After I said goodbye to my friends, and went along my merry way, back to my car, I soon realized that, um, yeah, I'm running alone.  At 6:15 in the morning.  In the dark.  I didn't really get scared, per se, but of course, I was more cautious.  I don't want to get hit by a car (it's a lot easier to see a pack of runners in the dark, than a single one).  And I didn't have my ipod.  I had my phone, but no earbuds.  The miles get kinda long and boring without music or conversation.  It gets in my head.  I could tell I slowed down, but knowing I wanted to get it overwith, I refused to walk.  As I turned the last corner on the road where I parked, and trudged up one of those stupid hills that doesn't feel like a hill when you driving it, but feels like Mt. Everest when your running it (ok I walked a little bit), I crested the top and then it hit me.

I parked at the cemetary.  Duh.  Running alone.  Darkness.  Cemetary.  Nah, that's not scary AT ALL!  I totally had a Thriller moment. Good thing I was finishing a run, and had some good endorphins going, and I was in a good mood, or it could've gotten ugly.  I just kept telling myself, if all of these people buried here decided to come back for a visit, they're not going to visit their decomposing bodies, they'll go visit their still-living loved ones.  I'm not going to see a ghost today.

That didn't stop me from sprinting to my car, and peeling out of there as fast as I could.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Running for Two: Halloween Half Marathon, a Review

Last Saturday, I dragged my pregnant rear-end out of bed well before the crack o dawn, and made the hour and a half drive to Provo to run the Halloween Half Marathon. After spending weeks of training , and literally minutes preparing my "costume," I was pumped and read to go! This was to be my second time running this race. I loved the course, the first time. Lots of sweet down hill miles!

I must mention, that I've "run" around the block a time or two. I've run 6 full marathons (one just two weeks ago in St. George) and dozens (I don't even know for sure how many) half marathons. Been there. Done that.

My first chagrin about this race was the cost. $80!!! EIGHTY BUCKS?! Yeah, I know we Utah Mormons are cheap, but come on! This is literally the most I have ever paid in my life to run a half marathon. But, I guess the jokes on me because, yeah, I did knowingly pay $80 for this race. But for that price, there's going to be some serious swag on race day, right?!


My swag bag from the race packet had my shirt ($80 is kind of a lot even for a tech shirt, which, by the way, is too small) and my bib.  And some coupons.  That’s it.

Ok first. My girlfriends from the gym (both have only run one other half marathon) and I showed up at University Mall parking lot, ready to get directed to which bus we needed to board. The bus boarding area was a giant debacle. Chaos. There were haphazard lines everywhere. We stood in line (4 times) to get on a bus, only to be told it was full, and had to go find a new line. We finally shoved some doe-eyed superheroes out of the front of the 5th line and hopped on a bus. I did not see a single volunteer helping runners find the right bus.

Eventually, we made it to the start line.  Well, almost.  The bus driver stopped about a quarter mile away, and told us all we had to get off and walk.  We had to trudge up an icy, steep hill to find the tent at the start line.  And then we waited.  And waited, and waited.  And waited some more.  I was hitting all sorts of PR’s for this race! (most money spent, most time waiting at the start line before the race).  Again at start line, I saw zero volunteers offering information about where to drop our bags (I eventually figured that out on my own ), when each wave (there were three) would start, etc.  There was no music playing, no funny MC making jokes over the loud speaker, no water or drinks to keep runners hydrated before the race (this stuff is pretty customary at a race start).  Just 2 ½ half hours of standing, sitting, FREEZING, and waiting. 

 Finally, at 9:20 am (a mere 5 hours after I left my driveway that morning), my wave of the race started.  With numb toes, and cold, tight muscles, I began my run, weaving in and out of crowds as I made my way down the canyon.  About 2 miles in, just as I was getting my rhythm, enjoying the steep slope (I love me some downhill running!), we approached the highway.  And the road flattened out.  I was taken back, remembering the last time I ran this race, I had at least 6 or 7 miles of that nice steep downhill terrain.  And then I remembered that they had changed the course at the last minutes because of snow.  Oh well, I’m sure they’ve gotten it figured out.  I kept going. 

Let me tell you one thing about running for two.  You need to hydrate.  A lot.  And you get hungry.  A lot!  Typical races, especially half and full marathons have aid stations every two miles or so.  And usually every other aid station has extra goodies, like GU, Clif bars, First aid volunteers, fresh fruit, etc in addition to water and Gatorade.  I didn’t see an aid station until mile 4.  Even though it was 30 degrees, I was parched.  I drank two glasses (filled all the way up about 1/8 of an inch) of water and one of Gatorade, thinking, next aid station, I’ll have a little snack with a drink.

At mile 6, right after a water stop (yep, nothing but water and Gatorade—luckily I had my GU chomps in my pocket and at least got the 15 calories from that), we turned up what looked to be an ugly mother of an uphill slope.  That sucks, right?  Well, yeah, I can take a little uphill.  I don’t like it but I can do it.  BUT…..add “running” uphill to watching everyone who is already however many miles ahead of you running downhill on the opposite side of the road….pure torture!  RULE #1 of race planning.  NEVER, ever, ever, ever, have your runners run down and back on the same road.  It is completely demoralizing for the runners.  I can’t tell you how many times I considered cheating, and just hopping across the street and skipping the uphill part (I actually talked to one girl who did do that), but I didn’t.  I kept going, getting more and more annoyed at being able to see all the people ahead of me.  Once I finally hit the turn around spot about a mile or so up the hill, my attitude changed a little.  It feels good to be the one ahead, but I felt bad for all the people trudging up the hill, looking pissed off.

The second half of the course wasn’t so bad.  We made our way onto the Provo River trail, which I love.  It’s beautiful.  And the fall colors made it absolutely picturesque.  About mile 9 I thought about stopping to take a pic with my phone, but I was feeling good, and again, running for two, you never know when something is going to start hurting, so I had to take advantage and keep running. 

Now, I didn’t count the aid stations, but I’m pretty sure there were only 4. Maybe 5.  With only water and Gatorade.  No extra goodies.  I’m pretty sure I was only running as fast as I did, because I was starving and sprinting to forage for food.

Finally, 2 hours and 16 minutes from the start, I crossed the finish line.  I was looking forward to some goodies to eat at the finish.  (Baby’s gotta eat!!)  I got my medal (must be plated in gold or something for $80),  a warm (yuck) water bottle, and the table at the end had boxes of oranges and bananas.  The oranges were whole, unpeeled, uncut.  After running 13.1 miles, in 30 degrees, they expected their participants to peel their own oranges with frozen fingers.  Ok, maybe I’m a little entitled, but seriously, grab some volunteers and a knife and quarter those babies!  I did not see any volunteers at the food tables at the finish.  Total volunteer tally for the race: zero.

 At the end, I was glad I ran.  It was pretty.  But I could’ve just driven myself up the canyon, thrown on my tutu, and run down by myself for free.  And, I still sit here, trying to figure out where my $80 went to.  Minimal swag, minimal support.  I was disappointed.  For future reference, dear Halloween half race directors, get some sponsors, and some volunteers, and stop being so greedy and use the money to support your runners!

The end.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Random Musings and stuff

I'm not even sure why I logged on to blogger today.  It's such a random occurence.  I rarely get on the computer, except to pay bills (and that's only because the app on my phone doesn't work the same as the website).
I was going to go to lunch with my friend, and she cancelled, so suddenly, I have some time.  So, instead of mopping the floor, tackling the 4 foot pile of ironing, or maybe getting out and doing some yard work, like I should be doing, I found my fingers typing in my blog address instead.

Ry Ry, bless her sweet little heart, is happily discussing life's mysteries with her angels, or maybe she's talking to Scooter, the dog, while she plays in the family room.  I love LOVE this one year old stage.  (Ry turned one last week--can you believe that?!) She is so happy and funny all the time.  Of course, she's curious and gets into everything, and rips and tears and destroys.  But, I don't care.  She's pure sweetness.  I'm so in love with that baby girl.

I supposed if excuses for not blogging were called for, I could blame some of it on Ry Ry.  Babies do take up a mother's time.  Even if they are perfect in every way, and sweet as could be and cute as a button, and all of that mushy gushy cliche stuff that all mothers think about their own babies.  If blame is being passed around, I might as well lump my other three children in there.  Yes, I still have them.  I didn't trade them all in when I got Ry, even though I haven't mentioned them on here in a year.  They are all growing up so fast.  And since we moved into our car.....ok, not literally, but I feel like that's where we live these days.  We eat in there, sometimes they even get dressed in the car.  It seems like we're always driving from here to there and back again.  What did I do with my time before now?  Oh yeah, I blogged.

But, as I said recently in an email to my friend, DeNae, I have diagnosed myself as creatively comatose.  I got nothing.  No tunes floating around, or stupid lyrics that don't rhyme, no inspirational epiphanes about running (I still do that religiously, by the way).

And as entertaining as reading about my status as a soccer mom with the cutest baby ever may be to each of you, I haven't felt the need, desire, or inspiration to write about it.

incidentally, there were some dark days over the Summer.  A lot of them, actually.  But because I suddenly find myself needing privacy (weird, I know) and not wanting to air my dirty laundry all over the internet, I went to the grocery store one day, spent 99 cents and I bought myself a good ole fashioned notebook.   Writing is such amazing therapy!  And I've discovered that doing it on pen and paper, in a place where no one will ever read it, is much more cleansing than blogging it. 

So, sorry, but if I even blog again, its all going to be fluff.  I might even post pictures of my kids' birthdays this year.  Who knows?  Ok, honestly, I probably won't.  Especially now with Instagram.  Maybe I will start reading blogs again.   maybe.....

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It is Enough

I've had all these thoughts swimming around my head for the last month, and I keep thinking, I need to write these down.  In my journal, or on my blog, or somewhere.  And now, I finally got around to sitting at the computer and I'm at a loss of words.  I need to start keeping a notebook with me to jot down thoughts (not just one-liners in the notes icon on my phone)
I've had ideas for song lyrics, inspiration for myself, my family and my children, or sometimes just random funny thoughts and I really need to write things down.  There really is minimal memory left on the hard drive of my brain.  I am at capacity.  Pretty much any new information seems to just seep back out after a period of about 5 minutes.  My husband swears he tells me things and I have ZERO recollection.  (Or maybe he forgets to tell me things--one or the other.)

The last month has been hard-ish.  I say -ish, because life is still good.  I look around me, and see so many of my close friends and family struggling with one thing or another--illness, addiction, injury.  It makes me so grateful.  We are truly blessed.  And yet, somehow, those sneaky little demons seem to find there way back up on my shoulder, whispering ugly lies in my ear.

After I recovered from my thyroid fiasco a few years ago, I felt like I was cured from my depression.  The last two years have been the most emotionally stable that I can remember.  But hormones are tricky little buggers.  Especially the ones that ride around my body like a roller coaster on the 4th of July. You know, those crazy post-partum hormones.  I think my PPD kicked in 8 months after my baby came.  I firmly believe that everything in our bodies are on a delicate balancing act.  If one little things goes off, then the whole she-bang gets out of whack.  I think that is happening to me.  This is my vain attempt at self-diagnosis.  Because it must be medical, because there is no possible way I'm really this crazy.  Right?  RIGHT?!!

For the past month or so, I have been struggling with crippling feelings of inadequacy and guilt.  What have I done to feel guilty about?  I don't know, maybe because I spend 20 hours a week ignoring my children (with my 10 year old watching the baby), so I can make a little money teaching piano or playing for other people.  Or maybe because I left my kids with Grandma, so I could go to Jamaica with my husband.  Or maybe because I spend another 10 hours a week exercising/running (trying to combat the crazy).  Or maybe its because I'm not pretty enough, or skinny enough, or smart enough or funny enough or nice enough.  Maybe it's because my house is messy and my laundry isn't ever done, or because more often than not we have dinner at Chick-fil-A, or Little Ceasars.  Maybe it's because I feel like everyone in my neighborhood has it all together, and I feel like they all judge me because my kids aren't perfectly behaved at school or church, and don't wear the nicest brands, and sometimes, I forget to comb their hair.  And my dog barks too much, and my lawn is too brown, and I have too many weeds in my yard.  And I don't read my scriptures everyday, or attend the temple weekly, and I'm not bringing meals to everyone in my ward that needs it, and I don't babysit for the girl down the street that's on bed rest, and I don't volunteer at the homeless shelter.  And I didn't graduate from college, and I don't quote scripture or Plato and........

See what I mean about those stupid little demons?

It's completely irrational, I know, and really, I am certainly not fishing for compliments.  But the reality is, I have felt guilt for all of these things and more. 

This past Sunday, I felt like I was drowning.  I was at that point when the last place I wanted to go was to church for the simple fact that I would actually have to show my face in public, paint on my fake smile and pretend it's all going grand (and I am terrible at pretending).

But, it was Father's Day.  And I forced myself to forget me long enough to get us all to church.  There has never been a day that I have felt that way, and gone to church and not felt some relief.  This day was no different.  The talks were just for me.  As I sat there in the very back of the overflow with my little family, I breathed a silent little prayer, asking for help.  Help me overcome these dark thoughts.  During the closing song (sadly, I don't even remember what the song was), the words entered my mind, "It is enough." 

Immediately a rush of relief swept through me.  And Peace.  I am doing enough.  I am a good wife and mother, and sister and friend.  And yes, I could do more and be better, but I don't need to get carried away feeling guilty, because it is enough.

We are incredibly blessed.  I have so much.  And I am grateful.

*When I logged on today, I did not intend to write what I just wrote.  I was going to post pictures of our trips and my recent races.  Stay tuned for a post with that for another day.*