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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Open up my head. Spill it out.

My sister's baby shower is this weekend. Yea, I know--time flies huh? It feels like yesterday that I just planned her bridal shower. Well, it wasn't yesterday, but it was one year ago almost to the day, which is kind of awesome. Can't blame a girl for knowing what she wants and going for it, eh? So I'm in the throes of all that business which means my house (kitchen) is a mess. My brain is also a mess hoping we don't forget anything to bring to the venue. And praying it just turns out nice for her.

Of course since this weekend I have a lot demanded of me both my girls up and get colds. DON'T SAY IT. And also, it's one of those, is it allergies? teeth? really a cold?-things so you just don't know. I may or may not have sent Emeline to school with a cough. Whatever. I need time to do stuff sans almost-four-year-old. Sorry classmates.

I have totally fallen off the eating-awesome-train. I will have 2-3 days where I eat great, then I'll go and mess up. My mind isn't right. My head HAS to be in the game when it comes to committing to it, and right now, for some reason it's not. I am still working out all the time, but I just can tell the difference when it's not coupled with great eating. It's not BAD eating, it's just...not the best. All this to say, it's still a struggle, even if you've met goals, etc---no one is above slip-up's. It's letting it get out of control that's the problem.

I keep telling myself, summer bodies are made in the winter, Katie. GET IT TOGETHER. March, April & May=crunch time. Literally, I need to do lots of crunches. And then eat well so you can see the results of said crunches. You can't out train a bad diet.

This weekend we had weather in the 50's with sunshine. I can't even tell you how good that was for my soul. It was like this hope of Springtime. God's way of saying, hey, it's coming. After this horrendous winter I promise, there will be sunshine and warmth again. The next day it dropped down the 20's again and today? It's snowing. Well played, God. Well played.

Lucy is in this horrendously weird stage. I want to attribute it all to those massive teeth coming through (and they look SO painful), but goodness. She can be such a wreck sometimes. The girl can get into more trouble in a 5 minute span than a criminal could. She drives me complete bonkers and also has me feeling all smushy gushy lovey within seconds. WHAT THE HECK.

seriously. why do the bad ones have to be so cute? freak.
I feel like the worst mom ever, but articles that basically say, PARENTING IS BOTH THE BEST AND WORST THING IN MY ENTIRE LIFE totally ring true with me. I'm sorry? I guess? I just have a hard time being all sunshiney and butterflies when I feel like most days I am totally losing my mind. Posts like this make me laugh and make me realize other people get it, too. It's like, the best kind of love coupled with the worst type of frustration. SO WEIRD. And also, moms of just one sweet little baby that doesn't do much yet, I don't expect you to get this yet. Just try not to judge me. Okay, it's fine, you can. And enjoy this sweet time. Really.

Most of you know that gender equality it something I feel super passionate about. I'm currently in a Bible Study that's focusing around this--taking a look at women in the Bible, looking at multiple views and contexts, seeing how our culture has warped the views of women and made us into the stereotypes many of us often fight against. I'm really, really excited about this and maybe one day I'll be brave enough to post more about this without scaring the pants off of people. Challenging what you thought (or think) your views are is so good. So much so. I'm in a phase of life where I am stretching, stretching, stretching my mind about what I knew, and what I thought I knew--and I cannot tell you how refreshing that is.

I've taken a lotttt of time off doing photography on the side but I am finally missing it. Like, I am itching to get behind the lens and take some pretty photos. It's been too long and that's just ridiculous.

Can I blame winter for all my problems? It seems to cover all the areas--yea?

I have some posts I want to write. Soon. But I guess we'll see.

***

As I was writing this post, the preschool called for me to pick up Emeline. Joke's on me, huh? 

So how are YOU today?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Knowing when your family is complete.

Last night we were walking out of the YMCA as a whole family. Emeline insisting to be held like a baby, and Lucy insisting to walk (toddle/run/face plant) on the icy path back to the car. I could tell we were holding up traffic on the sidewalk, so I glanced back and said, "oh I'm sorry, we're slow--you can pass us!" as I moved over to the side.

The sweet lady with her teen son replied, "Oh, no--I'm actually enjoying this. I miss these days sooo much."

I jumped back, "Really? I'm told I will one day--I'm not sure I believe it...yet."

"Oh, trust me. Mine are 21, 15, and 13. I miss these days more than you know."

***

One of our biggest discussions around these parts the last few months has been this whole idea of when do you stop having kids, is our family complete now, is this even in our control??

Actually, I should say, the conversation has dwindled down recently because according to my husband it's been tabled until we have time to sit on it, to really think about it, to pray about it, to see where life takes us in the next year or so. Right now we just aren't on the same page, nor are we ready to make any decisions. So as usual in our marriage, we just wait. No one trump-cards the other. No one gets sneaky. We stop worrying about perfect-age-gaps between our kids, because, we don't really care about that. We just wait and see where our heart takes us.

But let me back up. Before you got married, did you have ideas of how many children you'd have? Did you discuss details of the approximate number of little bodies that will rule your household over your quiet little dinner with your clean, un-wrinkled, clothing, and with that well-rested sparkle in your eye? Ohhhh, did you go as far to discuss the names of your precious little babies, too?

We might have.

Okay, fine we totally did.

And if you're wondering....4. That's what we said back then in those days. And no, we never used any of the baby names we discussed back then either.

The problem is, you see, I'm a realist. My husband might call it something different, ahem. But let's just say if I feel overwhelmed now, with two kids, which, to be very honest with myself and you, I do most days. (Please stop laughing mom of lots of children. I know. Perspective.) Then I think---WHY ON EARTH WOULD I HAVE MORE? Back then, when I said 4, I had no clue. I just thought that I was kid 3 of 4, and I loved it. So, yea, 4 sounds good. Never did I consider my mom in all this.

I admit that I don't handle stress very well. It's a weakness of mine. In a moment of high stress I feel my entire world is crashing down and I might get a tad-bit dramatic about it. But the idea of more than two children absolutely terrifies me.......at this moment right now.

My reasons for this are more than just the whole raising-a-whole-'nother-person-thing, although that's part of it. I mean, it starts alllllllllll the way back to how I feel like I'm dying a slow flu-death from about the moment of conception on. I become the World's Worst Mother when I'm growing a human in my mid-section. I am capable of basically nothing. Every smell sends me into a spiraling downward pit of Puke All The Time. I become way too familiar with every throne in the house. Can't even prepare my children breakfast without the wafting smell from the fridge getting stuck up my nose and making me sick for the entire dang day. I mean, every system in my body feels like it's shutting down except my uterus apparently, and well, that just doesn't work for me when I have other children to take care of.

And before you say that every pregnancy can be different--all I know is, that sounds like a trick to get me knocked up again. A mean 'ole trick. I have two full term pregnancies now that I've learned from. I can only go based on history......................and you know what they say about history. It repeats itself.

I sometimes feel so pulled between just my two children right now that I want to just call TIME-OUT on the world so I can have a moment to pull myself together and figure out Who Do I Get To First? Too bad that a quick time-out-freeze-life magic aren't my superpowers because Lord knows I could have used that. Instead I was born with none. Rude.

I like where I'm at now. Physically and mentally I am feeling pretty good (ok, the snow and cold miiight have me down a bit, but Spring is coming. Yes. Yes it is. Breathe.), and I love that I can do fun things with my kids and run and play and keep up. I know I'd lose my body again if we decided to have a bigger family, and while yes, that's a tiny struggle in my mind, at least I know I have the tools to get back there if I had to, I guess.

I think about when and if we'll ever move from this townhouse. Right now I feel crammed and yet I know larger families live happily (while I'm sure a little squished) in even closer quarters and I feel like a brat for even caring about something like that. But admittedly, I do think about it.

I think about how fun having my two girls is now (and also how hard some days are), and imagine that traveling with just two is probably so much easier than traveling with more. That maybe, just maybe, this could be our life as a family of four and I actually think I'd be very happy with that.

But then there's this part of me that isn't sure. There's that part of me that just cannot fathom the idea of not going through another beautiful birth and seeing my husband hold a tiny, sweet newborn that we made together again. But I sure as heck don't want to do it again for a looooooong while.

The funny thing is, ultimately, we don't really have control over this stuff, as much as we think and hope we do--- really, we just don't know.

I think what's important for me to remember is the here and now. I really think that's the phase in life I'm in. I'm totally and completely content with these two amazing gifts. I have beautiful little ladies that God entrusted me with. Right now, being a girl-momma is my thing. It's what I am, it's what I know. I may not necessarily want any more children (now), but I have no idea of what the future holds for my family, and that's ok, too.

I'm really ok not knowing right now. I mean, what do we actually know anyway?

That lady at the Y last night reminded me of one thing, I will enjoy this season of life. Because no matter what our future holds for us and for our family, there will come a time when we miss it. Or at least that's what I'm told. :)




***

What are your thoughts on this whole topic? How do you and your spouse handle differences when it comes to your ideas for your family? When did you know your family was complete? Did you have lofty goals for # of kids you'd have and then, like me, reality kinda smacks you?

Share.



Friday, February 14, 2014

Nobody wants a sappy post.

But I will say this. For us, Valentines Day marks the day, 12 years ago that this little barely high-school boy sent me 6 roses to work. Followed up by a second delivery of 6 pink roses. Followed up by a night where we hung out and he begged asked me to be his girlfriend and I finally decided that oooook I will try to get over our age difference, because, I like you a little. (I actually liked him a LOT but was trying to play it cool.)

I know that was the best risk at love I ever took, because, well, it was really the only one I ever took and --it resulted in some good, no, amazing things. 



I'm not a huge fan of cards--I feel like they can never really say the right things. But the card he gave me today? yea. It was a good one. 

There are good days,
and bad days, 
and tough days
and sad days, 
and fight-the-world days 
and sing-out loud days...

and that's okay, 
because I signed on forever,
which is a whole lot of days.

As long as they're me-and-you days,
I'm happy.

Really happy.


It's not always easy, but there are no other people I'd rather do life with. 

***

happy valentines day, and happy weekend :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Make me smile Tiny Dancer

Eighteen to Twenty Four inches of snow. Yep. And we're about halfway there already with some of the biggest flakes I've ever seen coming down. Let's not talk about it, ok? I'm a little bitter.

Dreaming of warmer things...and cuter things. Like this video of Emeline's parent observation ballet class last night will surely help.



I mean. I can't take it.


You know, pictures are funny. I wish you could have seen (okay not really) the epic meltdown she had at first. She got totally thrown off by one thing (and hello domino affect), and well, she started acting crazy and crying and I thought I'd never get to see her dance (we usually watch from outside on a little video monitor display). But, a few bribes a deep talk later and she went out there like a champ showing me her stuff.

The sweet teacher informed me that she's "fabulous" (her words) and such a good listener, and last night was not at all indicative of how she normally behaves. I'm so glad to know that being in the presence of her old Ma threw her off that much. I feel awesome about that (eyeroll).

Anyway. Stay warm. We're trying.

and for the love...Think Spring.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

impending doom & random things.

I can basically sum my pathetic blog into 3 things this winter.

1) someone is sick, again.

2) it snowed, a lot. again.

3) i'm tired of it, therefore feeling sad/bummed/miserable. again.


Don't worry, I'm even sick of myself. Which is why I try really hard to just not write when I know it's going to be one big whine-complain-wahhhh fest again. It's like, I know it in my head. I really shouldn't complain, because things are good. But I also just, sincerely, down to the depths of my bones am craving warmth and sunshine in a way I'm not sure I ever have. It's all I can think about. I daydream about moving towards warmth. What my life would be like if I had little beach babes instead of kids bundled up like we live in the tundra. Sometimes I sincerely think quality of life is at stake during rough winters like this. I mean, I can't be alone in this thought

Anyway. I will try to avoid sobbing hysterically whining about the 12+" of snow coming tonight into tomorrow and instead I'll blab about other things.

-Remember when I mentioned that we started watching Breaking Bad? Yea, well we did and we have completed it. All of it. I have never, ever been so ready for a show to be done. Because, holy stressful-knot-in-my-stomach-batman. Although I'm really glad that's over with, I loved the show (which is weird for me, actually), and may eventually miss it. For now, I breathe a sigh of relief and side-eye every car wash and blue rock candy out there. It has warped my brain, man.

get ready, Declan-this is your Valentine.

-Since we're talking TV...let's talk TV. The Bachelor, yep--I'm watching. While you won't find me doing a roundup every week talking about such things (I find the few I read kinda funny, mostly), I'm a faithful watcher for the most part, but I'm not a huge fan of the girls this season. I pretty much only like Renee, and I have a feeling she won't be 'it'. He'll probably end up with Clare who I find, honestly, a little lot annoying. Yet, of course I'll still watch. Juan is charming, I'll give you that. (Also, I cannot, I mean, cannot watch any more kissing scenes between him and Sharleen though--they are the epitome of awkward and I get squeamish. Ok just had to get that out. phew.)

-Emeline & Lucy are SO sisters. They literally adore each other one second and playing in a magically sweet way, and then beating each other the next. It's pretty roller-coaster'y around here. There's squeal and giggles galore, and then screaming. It pretty much goes on all day, every day. See also: bracing for the teen years.


-It's safe to say that we (Emeline) are beyond Frozen obsessed along with every other little girl age 2-10 around the world because our life basically revolves around this movie and the soundtrack, and oh, you can't forget the dresses, too. My husband and I are perfecting our duet to 'Love is an Open Door' and, well, it's quite impressive. Basically, we are like every other parent with Frozen-obsessed children. YOU CANNOT GET THOSE SONGS OUT OF YOUR HEAD, FOR THE LOVE. 

1 minute and 29 seconds of your life you can't get back, but I promise you won't regret.


(majorly regretting not getting this on my big camera, sigh.)

-I feel like for once we don't have Valentines Day plans, and because of the impending doom, I mean, snow, I'm actually all whatever about it-since they would have been ruined anyway, likely. We always 'celebrate' the day because A BILLION AND ONE YEARS ago Declan asked me to be his girlfriend on that day. So it's special. And if my calculations are correct, I believe it was 12 years ago. Holy cow. I've been with this guy for 12 years, that's insane! We were such babies. But I'm glad it worked for us (duh).

Saying yes to be his girlfriend. Saying yes to be his wife. Two cute girls. I still like him. I'd say we've done good so far.

We'll celebrate with popcorn & probably some kid movie on the couch, let's be honest. Cheers to being super awesome.

***

Alright. Back to daydreaming about Springtime.

xo


Friday, February 7, 2014

Living in the twilight zone.

The last two weeks have been weird. So much so that I swear to you, I am craving a normal week more than you can even imagine--I am just, I guess, done with this adventure, let's say.

Honest to God, it feels sometimes like Real Life Stops when sickness hits your household, I guess, because, in a way, it does. You're quarantined with these little people (and big people, too--Declan got strep and was out for days this week!), and none of your normal life moves on around you. Suddenly schedules are out of whack, and nobody is sleeping, and you've missed going to the gym so many times you start feeling fluffy again in your mid-section and swear you catch a glance of double chin in the mirror as you walk by. It's bad.

Add that stuff in with the fact that our area was hit with some crazy weird snow and ice storms this past week? And yea, schools around here have been out the entire week except for one 2 hour delay day. Emeline literally had ZERO preschool, power has been out across our county and all the counties surrounding us, our YMCA lost power for days, therefore, that's been closed, too. Basically, the perfect storm of Everything Happening At Once. And holy cow, a little bit of ice does A LOT of damage. Let's not even talk about the number of snapped trees and debris everywhere.

As it turns out, our little townhouse was only without power for about 12 hours. At the risk of sounding like a complete and total princess, I will say, it was not a fun 12 hours. But, once we got back in touch with reality it was clear as day that we were the lucky ones, because, as it seems, most everyone we know is still without power. Do you know what that means? Their houses are freezing cold. They're bundling by fireplaces (if they are lucky enough to have them) to keep warm. Driving up and down the street just to charge their cell phone for a few minutes to keep in touch with reality. Businesses are closed all over. Universities are opening up and becoming relief centers so families can come and keep warm and charge up their devices. Many people are all displaced and regular life has stopped for them.

Last night we had a full nest. As it turns out, literally, between both sides of our family (who all live within 20'ish minutes of one another), we were (and are) the ONLY ones with power, with warm water, with food that's not going bad in our fridge. Thank God my parents have a generator, so they've got the essentials running and they have a house-full of my side of the family over there keeping warm'ish. But last night, we had Declan's side here camped out all over our house.

the cousins last night, cuddling before bed

I was texting with my friend last night, and we were saying how no one likes to be displaced from their home, it totally sucks--and not sleeping in your own bed, especially with kids, that's hard. But sometimes you just gotta suck it up and call it an adventure.

I'm certain that everyone is ready for this adventure to be done now, though, especially those going on days of freezing-cold-house and babies with cold toes and noses.

This week felt like we were living in the twilight zone. Nothing is normal. Frankly, it's been a downright weird, weird week.

It's safe to say that this girl is craving the norm again. Regularly scheduled preschool, knowing my family is all comfortable in their warm homes, everyone being back to work again, healthy bodies in this house and, yep--the gym being open on regular schedule would be nice, too.

***

Normal week, here we come.