Tuesday, April 1, 2014

only one. a pep talk of sorts.

Last night after dinner somehow my whole clan ended up on the kitchen floor. Hundreds of fresh crayons strewn about, coloring books galore. We were all full blown laying on your belly-style-coloring. I have to say, my husband is an impressive colorer. I had no idea.

Anyway. As we were laying there and going to town on coloring books, Declan says something about wanting to make a Spring/Summer bucket list to make sure we're intentional about places we want to go and things we want to do.

Perfect. Sounds good to me.

So I grab a poop brown crayon and start jotting things down. It quickly became a family discussion and Emeline grabbed her pen and began 'writing', too and asking everyone in the family the same question,  "did you 'fink about it? where do YOU wanna go?"

We thought and we pondered. We threw out fun ideas like going fishing, and to the local railroad--trips to the lake and to the zoo. All of these things sound so fun to me. I wrote down my idea for last minute, spontaneous weekend trips. I wanna hit up some cool restaurants, you know, think Diners-Drive-in's and Dive's style. I wanna DO fun stuff. I wanna just go with my family and hike and find little hidden corners of the world I didn't know existed. 

I have this deep urge to explore.

The problem is--when it comes down to it, nothing I ever think in my head that sounds so amazing ever turns out to be, well, that amazing

Am I the only one with this problem?

The actual act of getting there, doing it, the planning, the prep---it's all so exhausting. And gosh, with kids--things actually going as planned? Forget about it. I can't even get a 30 minute Target trip to go my way, let alone some whirlwind, last minute, weekend trip, I'm sure-----so why bother

Sometimes that's how I feel. And I haaate it.

I don't know if we're just in a rough patch as far as the kids ages go or what. But sometimes I feel like we'll never get to live that fancy free life I picture in my head.

The truth is--when I really dig deep and I think about it? The problem lies within me and me alone. It's how I react to the stressful situations, the way the kid's act like, well--kids. I can get out of my fairy tale mindset and just know that new situations, new places we visit, new things we explore, while they'll be fun, we will still have those hurdles to get over, and gasp, life isn't over in the midst of it. 

I know. It all sounds so trivial. And I guess it really is. But sometimes it holds me back, and dang it-I don't want it to.

I want to have a fun summer filled with making memories. And yes, some of those memories are gonna come with messes.  

It's gotta be about the journey. I only have this one life, right?


  1. I feel this way too! Even with big trips and travelling, sometimes I feel like it never lives up to my expectations, and we're tired and hungry instead of having the time of our lives. ...BUT I still treasure those memories like nothing else! It's still worth it. And sometimes it retrospect you can see how amazing it was even though it was a hassle!

  2. I have been pondering doing a summer bucket list too hoping that it would make us more intentional with the time we have together. Especially after this God forsaken hell of a winter (with the exception of bringing baby #3 home, of course). We have been stuck inside SO MUCH that I want to explore every chance I get.

    It does seem like I may have set my expectations a little too high though as it take us at least 30 minutes to even get everyone in the darn car!

  3. My friend was just telling me how they drove 45 minutes to the butterfly garden to watch butterflies bloom and it was the worst trip of her life and they were only there about 25 minutes because her daughter was just being a pain, probably over tired, over stimulated blah blah blah. I get it. It's hard to do things with a kids and it always a gamble....most of the time it's just easier and less stressful to just stay home. I think it's their ages right now, mine are 3 and almost 2. I'm hoping in a couple of years it will just get easier...right about the time time we decided to have a third.

  4. My girls are 10 & 8 and I still feel that way a LOT of the time. It gets PHYSICALLY easier to do things the older they get, but then you get the fun older kiddo melodrama. (Especially girls. OH, THE DRAMA.) The only way I've found to escape that "All that work, for THIS?!" feeling is by learning to have zero expectations. If I plan a fun day going to an outdoor festival, I go in FULLY EXPECTING someone to have a bad attitude and/or be difficult. The girls know by now that their complaints get them nowhere, so it IS BETTER than it used to be, but there are still times when they just act funky. Also, "Fake it till ya make it" is a great mantra for so many aspects of parenting, this situation included. Even if it seems to be so not worth the trouble, look for the tiniest positive thing & it will be worth it. For sure.

  5. I dont even have kids, and I am so the same way. Certain things just stress me out to no degree, for absolutely no reason and it makes me miss out on the memories, on the fun. I hate that I am that way...
    I want to be stress free and just go with the flow. I honestly have no idea how to relax. Sounds weird to some people but idea :/ I don't want to always think about how much things will cost or how many PTO days we have to take or whatnot. I just want to enjoy... If you figure it out, let me know ;)

  6. My "babies" are 18, 16 and 6. My first two kids were only 18 months apart and I remember these feelings all too well. I know how hard it is but you know what makes it so worth while now? My older kids remember the little trips and the fun stuff that we decided to go and do with them. Their memories aren't of meltdowns and l-o-n-g restless drives. Their memories are about how much fun they had and the time they spent as a family. I totally understand where you are coming from and I am sure you have heard five gazillion times that these times are gone in a flash but it is so true. My two oldest are too busy working and worrying about colleges to go on those little trips now. My youngest enjoys them now but there is nothing like having the whole family around for those memory making fiestas. Take care, your blog is wonderful!

  7. This is SO TRUE. Even without kids, I feel like I hype myself up over certain things just to be let down, and that's mainly because my expectations are too high and REAL life happens. Things can't always be perfect and go exactly as planned, and I'm slowly learning that. I just wish I could enjoy the moments as they come and find the beauty even when I'm stressed. I don't want to waste my life away waiting for the happiness to just happen. Really makes ya think!

  8. YES! This is very True! I also have all these great ideas in my head and I get so stressed out because I want everything to turn out perfect and how I invisioned it that I pretty much ruin the entire trip. But I still blame it on the hubs.

  9. I am the same way. A big family trip is something I have wanted to do for a while, but I know it won't turn out like I want. I will be stressed and deal with whining. And before the planning even starts I just nix the idea. I hate that I do that about so many things.

  10. I can imagine! But you are right, it all lies with you. So if you decide to make the decision to do something, then do it. And welcome what comes along with it. Sometimes what comes along with it isn't what you were expecting, but at least you will have memories right?

  11. The only thing I could really think about while reading this was the fact that you, being present in that moment & that moment only, allowed you to make a fairy tale moment. Think back to that scene: bellies on the floor, immersed in a mess of crayons & coloring pages, talking with your family about your hopes & dreams. Magic.

    If you can channel this mindfulness & focus on being present in the current moment as it comes instead of worrying about "CRAP CRAP I FORGOT THE WATER BOTTLES!" "Gotta load up the kids before nap time hits & we're out of luck!" "Crap my phone is dying & I might need it later!" "Shoot, we missed that exit & it's going to add 20 minutes to our travel time!" etc., then you can have those fairy tale moments. Find the magic in the mundane. This poem kind of reflects that ideology:

    "Make the Ordinary Come Alive"
    Do not ask your children
    to strive for extraordinary lives.
    Such striving may seem admirable,
    but it is a way of foolishness.
    Help them instead to find the wonder
    and the marvel of an ordinary life.
    Show them the joy of tasting
    tomatoes, apples, and pears.
    Show them how to cry
    when pets and people die.
    Show them the infinite pleasure
    in the touch of a hand.
    And make the ordinary come alive for them.
    The extraordinary will take care of itself.
    By William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents.

    Soak it up & let the love in. It doesn't have to be perfect to be perfect for you! <3

  12. I often feel this same way. I am very resistant to do things with my 2 small kids. My 3 year old son has Autism , so I am often "guarded " about what we do ! I don't want to feel this way! My goal for summer 2014 is to "do" and enjoy the messes.
    Thanks , Amy

  13. This is how I feel with 2 small children. My 3 year old son has autism . I am very guarded about what we do and where we go. My goal for summer 2014 to "do" and enjoy the messes! I want to enjoy life with my small children! Time flies!

  14. I kinda have a similar issue, which is I'm always crazy stressed out and not having as much fun as I should be "in the moment," but then I always seem to look back on those trips and think, "wow, that was really fun." Maybe in the end I just don't remember how hectic it was - I block it out like post traumatic stress disorder. My advice would be to just do it and fake having fun until it starts to actually be fun. It'll always be crazy and hectic, but maybe you'll be able to block out those parts? :)