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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thankful Post Days 17-20

Yep. Catching up once again, but this one might look a little different. There are all kinds of different things running through my head right now, so forgive me if this sounds a little like a thankful rant instead of just a little post.

Day 17: I am thankful for my upbringing. (I know, I know! I already said I was thankful for my parents--this is different! TRUST ME!) I am thankful that I was raised in a tiny home bursting at the seams with people and animals and chaos--and mostly LOVE! I am thankful that through all my turbulent teenage and young adult years, I always had a safe place to land. I am thankful that--while I may have turned away for a time--I was raised up in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This, too, became a safe place for me to land.



Day 18: I am thankful for the knowledge that I have a loving Father in Heaven who knows me. He accepts me for who I am, and because of this, I know that I need to live my life as His daughter and representative--therefore I must love others.



Day 19: I am thankful for answers to prayers and divine intervention. No one would survive long in this world without either of these two things!



Day 20: I am thankful for challenges. I am thankful for strife. I am thankful that I can do hard things. I am thankful that I don't ever have to do them alone. I am thankful for eternal perspective--knowing that struggles are a necessary and brief part of an eternal plan. I am thankful for strength.




Saturday, November 16, 2013

OMG! Catching Up Thankful Post! Days 13-16

November 13: Thankful for music and the blessing it is in my personal and family life. I love that my girls are always singing!

November 14: Thankful for an amazing support network for my weight loss journey!

November 15: Thankful for those who are patient with me.

November 16: Thankful for books. Lots and lots of books! And reading. And the ability to escape with a good book.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thankful November Day 11 and 12

Day 11

I am thankful for my education. It has always been one of my greatest treasures.

Day 12

I am thankful for the career I had as a high school teacher. I floundered. I failed. I fought. Mostly, I learned about who I am and what I want. I was blessed with many of the greatest colleagues a person could ask for. I had amazing mentors and awesome friends. Sometimes I miss those days. More often I am simply glad that I was allowed that experience.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thankful November Day 10


Some days it is just enough to have a thicker skin and enough perspective to understand where someone could be coming from...and the knowledge that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us all...so we should love all as well...even when it is hard. 

*STEPS OFF SOAPBOX* 
*TAKES A BOW*
*EXITS STAGE LEFT* 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thankful November Day 9: Alisha

Yep. Totally stole this picture from your Facebook page, Alisha. :)

We have been blessed in numerous ways over the past few years, but none more so than with this girl! Our Alisha came into our lives because I needed a part time sitter and she needed a job. The blessing she became...the easy part of our family she became...the dependable, happy, helpful, wonderful, fun guardian she is to my daughters is PRICELESS.

So, I am sure she is every shade of red by now, so I will not gush more. I could not, however, have made it through days or weeks or this past year and a half without her help. We love you!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thankful November Day 8: Sibs

I seriously have the absolute BEST siblings in the entire world. Like, the best best best best best...and I can hardly believe that I was so fortunate as to have my very best friends in the world as brother and sisters. Let's not sugar coat this--we didn't always and don't always see eye to eye on everything, but these five people are my biggest support, my biggest cheering section, and my biggest defenders. They are my foundation and the reason I know I can do hard things--because I am never, ever alone on my journey. They forever have my back, and I forever have theirs.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thankful November: Day 6 and 7

Ooops! Didn't post yesterday...even though I thought about what to post off and on a lot yesterday. Ah, well! Here's a two-fer for ya!

Day 6



It is rare these days that I get to go anywhere with only one kid in tow. The other day, T had a doctor's appointment and Daddy was home, so T and I went to her appointment--just the two of us. Yeah, it wasn't a super fun mommy/daughter date, but I so appreciate getting to spend quality time with JUST Tessa! She is so funny, and sassy, and smart, and fun, and curious, and beautiful! I marvel at this little spirit I have been trusted with, and pray that I am actually worthy to be her momma. I owe her so much. She saved me, and I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for sending her to me. 

Day 7


Let's make this post easy and be grateful for the other sassy-pants who lights up my world! My Quincy Anne is almost three, and I can hardly believe it! She is SO SMART! She quotes movies, runs everywhere she goes, sings at the top of her lungs, acts out parts of her favorite movies (Tangled and Finding Nemo in particular), reads, talks, dreams, jumps, and never slows down unless she is asleep! I can hardly keep up, but I love to try! She announced the other day that she is ready to go to pre-school and would like to start immediately. She asks me daily to listen to "music on the TV" so she can dance her heart out! My Q is amazing! I waited my whole life for her, and I am so grateful that she is mine. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thankful November Day 5: Challenges

I have to admit that I haven't had the best of days. No real reason. Nothing significant happened, but when I have days like this I do my best to try and find something worth celebrating. This evening, as I have played the why me? game, I decided that instead of being such a sad little thing, I need to celebrate the challenges in my life. Okay, celebrate isn't the right word, and let's not pretend that I don't have a sour expression on my face even as I type this, but...the woman that I am today has been very much shaped by the challenges I have faced over the last few years. For better and for worse. I still am climbing my mountain, but I have no doubt that the view will be well worth the climb.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Thankful November Day 4

I have really great parents. I have always known this, but as I have been exposed to the experiences of others and their parents...I just have really great parents! Supportive. Trusting. Wise. Kind. Loving. They bless my life and my children's lives just by being themselves! Today (and many days) I am very thankful that my mom and dad are mine.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Thankful November Day 3

I discovered yesterday that Hallmark Channel is playing their Christmas movies during the weekends, and I posted my excitement on Facebook and talked about it with several people today at church. So, FYI, Lisa, I am not the only person in love with these wonderfully cheesy movies!

I have always been a fan of the fun and cheesy. I think I allow that side of me to be a little more evident to the whole world as I have grown up a little, but these movies hold a particularly special place in my heart.

Two Christmases ago I met with a challenge that I was sure was going to defeat me. My husband was in Texas for the unforeseeable future, I had a one year old, and I was about 6 weeks pregnant. I felt horribly alone. And scared. And lost. So, I did what any person would do...I started watching sappy Christmas movies. A good majority of them were on the Hallmark Channel, and I PrOmIsE you--those movies healed a little part of my broken heart. I watched them over and over again. I watched them until 3am because I could not sleep. I watched them while Q napped on my chest because I couldn't stand to put her down. I watched them while I waited for phone calls. I watched them morning, noon, and night, and I let the less-than-stellar acting and the super predictable story lines wash over me, and I found a little piece of Christmas.

So, today, every weekend in November, and all of December, I will be very grateful that the Hallmark Channel plays their Christmas movies over and over again. I will watch. And I will always carry a little bit of Christmas in my heart that is stamped

 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Thankful November Day 2

Well, kids...since today is his birthday, let's focus on how thankful I am for this handsome guy! I am so glad he came into my life and so glad he gave me the two most beautiful daughters. Nick works hard every day to do right by his family. I am so thankful for the commitment he has made to me and to his daughters to live a healthy, happy, sober life. We are blessed to have him back with us! He is a light in his daughter's lives and brings joy to this household. Love you, babe!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Thankful November and Day 1



I love Thanksgiving! Love it! It truly is the perfect holiday to lead us into the Christmas season. I relish the opportunity to express my especial thanks for the things I have been blessed with in my life. For the past few years I have participated with so many others in expressing one thing that I am thankful for each day during November via Facebook. This year, I decided that I would pay a little more attention to those things and pay them a small tribute each day here on my blog. While I plan to cover all the wonderful big things, I have been working hard this past year to try and recognize and appreciate the small blessings in my life or just my day sometimes. This has helped me to be more positive through my trials (I'm not saying it always works), and so you will have to forgive me if some days my thanks is for one of those tiny blessings we don't normally think about.

Today I will start with a bigger one though.

November 1st: Today I would like to express my thanks for a special lady in my life. My sister-in-law, Kara.



Kara has been around and then a part of this family for quite some time now! I do believe she started dating my brother almost 14 years ago. (Am I right?) The poor girl started dating the boy with five sisters--all fiercely protective and loyal to that brother. His older sister (yeah, me) in particular. The road was never easy, but she/me/we all grew up and into a more wonderful family because she a part of it. I am jealous of her wickedly creative mind and her ability to create and/or duplicate the most beautiful things! I think that every time she says, "Oh, I can do that!" my brother rolls his eyes, but then she just DOES whatever new project/home improvement/design/craft she set out to do.

Kara is the best aunt! She takes care of my girls as if they are her own, and Q and T love her! She has come to my rescue a time or two when I needed help with these handfuls of mine, and I will never be able to thank her enough. She is also the most wonderful mom and a really great wife to my brother.

I love you, Kara! Thanks for sticking around and thanks for being such a wonderful sister to me.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Warrior Woman

My heart has been utterly overwhelmed today. I am restless and anxious as we head into a busy week without the answers to some pretty big questions that will greatly impact the tone and direction (literally) of my small family for the next 14 or so months. All jokes aside, working with government agencies is the most hard, most draining, most frustrating thing I have ever done in my life.

That aside, I have been reading this series of books lately that centers around a tight knit community. Like all tight knit communities, this one revolves around one person who keeps them all grounded. She holds everyone together with her open heart, her easily given love, and her warrior spirit that protects and defends so passionately. In the current book I am on, this character has met a foe she cannot defeat. It is one she does not entirely understand, and because of that, she fears--like anyone else does--she fears her unknown. Her five children do not fear. They see and understand this new addition to this community for the strong, interesting, different person that she is. Because sometimes our children are smarter than we are.

I find myself feeling empathy for and anger at this warrior woman. Probably because I, like many others, have stood in her shoes and where her children are standing as well. Mostly, though, I want to focus on the part of me that feels empathy. Not because I need to spew about things that I don't understand, but because I am so drawn to this character's need and drive to protect. I would blame the momma in me for sharing this trait, but the reality is, I have always been this way.

Right now, I feel a terrible and great need to protect those in my life who cannot protect themselves, partly because they cannot see the enemy, and partly because they are one and two. The real fear that lives in me is that I cannot protect them from what I fear may lie ahead--even if I saw it coming. It is keeping me up. For hours. I know that I will not always be able to protect my children from the hurt and evils of this world. I am praying that MY fear of what could POSSIBLY be in the cards for our future is wrong. Very wrong. It's just that I haven't been wrong yet. And I'm not even proud of that.

I just hope that when PHASE 2 of what has been a very long two years ends next weekend, that Nick will be able to come home to a home where the girls and I reside--and not a home where the girls and I don't. They need their dad, and I need to feel safe again. My heart has been walking around outside my body for too long. It is killing me, and I need it to stop.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Color Me Rad--My First 5K

In July, my sister, Holly, and I decided that we should run a 5K together in September. She works for a company that provides products for various races and events and companies, and she knew that there was a Color Me Rad race close to her around the end of September. This was perfect timing for my girlies and me to pack up and drive a state over to visit--as another sister who also lives in the vicinity was due to have a baby at that time.

So, I downloaded the Couch to 5K (C25K) app that is available for your smart phone, and I told myself we would make a runner out of me yet! Holly and I (and then our sis-in-law, Kara) would text one another after completing a run in order to stay motivated and be held accountable.

Here is the thing. Running stinks! It is awful. It hurts. It makes me want to die or at least hide under my bed for a few hours in the fetal position after doing it. Not kidding. Blech! But, I had committed, so I figured it was time to put on my big girl pants and POWER THROUGH!

I did. I ran at the gym, on the treadmill, almost every other day for eight weeks. I actually didn't complete the entire training app before our race, and I think that I am going to start over and work on my speed a little while trying to make it through again.

Race weekend came closer and closer, and even as Holly and I were pulling into the parking lot across the street from the start/finish line, I was thinking I was crazy.

No. We didn't run the whole way. First, running outside is WAY harder than running on a treadmill watching New Girl to distract me. Second, it was fairly chilly when we started, and did you know that running in the cold shrivels your lungs into hard packed snowballs and you actually feel as if you are trying to cough up a hairball--a cold, dry, prickly hairball? Third, WHO PLANS A RACE UPHILL?!

So we walked some and jogged some and because it is the Color Me Rad race and really just for fun, we had just that. Fun! Despite my disdain for the sport of running, I am learning some things. Like focus. Perseverance. And, I am making up all kinds of fun and interesting curse words in my head to fight through the torture and pain! Bring on the next one!



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

To potty train or not to potty train...

Yeah, it is probably over due time that I potty train Quincy. I mean, she is perfectly capable, but admittedly, I have been unable to bring myself to start. I was trying to wait and take my cues from her, but...she's really indifferent to the whole thing. So, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge whether I am ready for this or not. My wonderful mother said I should be philosophical about it. I said, "Oh! A new blog topic." I don't think she was amused, so I will do my best to be philosophical and possibly even funny about it. I need to find the humor in it because a half day and five pairs of panties later...I need to find some humor.

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Can we pretend that the one time she went potty in the potty she was excited? She wasn't. She looked at me like, "WHAT WAS THAT?!", shuttered and asked if she could play yet.

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Her first accident this morning, she looked at the puddle, then at me, said "Gross" and ran off to play. Notice a theme yet?

Oh, Q. I will apologize now for giving you a reason to see a therapist (my mom BLOGGED about my potty training!), but I assure you, kiddo, the hilarity that is about to ensue will be because we are about to see how truly terrible I am at this. I will probably apologize several times in your life for you having to be the kid I experiment everything on. Thank goodness you are such a good kid with an amazing ability to bounce back from my never-ending mistakes. So, kid. It's you and me and the potty. We got this.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Jennifer and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

With thanks and compliments to Judith Viorst who wrote Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

I went to bed way too late with too much on my mind and when the two-year-old climbed into my bed at 5am she smashed my face with her knee and then I couldn't fall back asleep and the one-year-old woke up screaming which isn't normal and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

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At breakfast no one wanted to eat and cereal ended up all over the floor and banana ended up all over the baby's head and my breakfast shake half melted before I could even take a drink and every time I stepped away from the table to get the two-year-old something new both girls yelled or screamed until I came back.

I think I'll move to Jamaica.

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At the doctor, the wait was long, the reality was frightening and the delivery rushed. I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

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I could tell because upon my return home the babies were fussy. Nap time came late. The girls didn't sleep as long as usual, and they both woke up on the wrong side of the bed or crib. My husband claimed he "forgot" to call me on his way to an important meeting and had me worried that something was seriously wrong.

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Picked up the house to have the girls drag out every toy again. This is fine, but then I walked into the back playroom to discover melted ORANGE  Popsicle on the carpet, and the tile and the dining chairs. Dried orange Popsicle from morning snack.

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Then everyone wanted to know how my doctor's appointment went, and I didn't want to talk about it but I did and everyone seemed to have an opinion about what I should or should not do and while I am sure that comes from a place of love and concern, it really just feels like no one trusts me to make my own decisions for my own life and I really hate being told what to do and how to do it and why to do it. This happens a lot lately from people who know and love me and people who have no idea who I am. Someday my life will be my own again. Until then,

I think I'll move to Bermuda.

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There was spaghetti for dinner and I love spaghetti, but I couldn't eat it. There was Denver Broncos football on TV, and I love the Broncos, but we had to watch Curious George instead.

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Bedtime came. We completed our routine. Bedtime went. Two little girls cried and cried and cried. I snuggled and played and pleaded and lay on their bedroom floor. I begged and threatened and cried too. Around 1am, they both finally screamed themselves out. Then I cried myself into a stupor and drifted off to sleep.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Some days are like that.

Even in Colorado.

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Powderhorn 2013

As you may or may not have gathered, there is a tradition amongst the Mahan family to travel to the Powderhorn Ski Resort over Labor Day Weekend to relax together. Last year, we didn't make it for the first time in a really long time. This was due to multiple babies being due close to the usual weekend. We had a nice June family function in Denver last year, but it just wasn't the same.

This year, at least a small some of us were able to make the trip for our usual weekend. It was a small group. Really small, but it was so good to get away. As usual, turning into the long drive leading up to the condos, my jaw loosened, my grip became less white knuckle, and I am pretty sure my heartbeat evened and slowed a bit. I love this place. More importantly, I love the people with whom I share this place. Just some pictures from the trip!

Quincy practicing for her future career as a librarian. 
We went early to avoid traffic, so we got to go and visit Gramma at her library. For those who do not know, my mom runs the library at one of the elementary schools in Montrose, and she ROCKS at her job.

A little light reading! 
Heaven on Earth!
Celebrated Kelli's 22nd Birthday--which isn't until 9/11
Dad and I might have put all 22 candles on one cupcake. It was a fire hazard. Hilarious, but a hazard.

My awesome parents
The Newlyweds
Sisters...book ends of the Mahan clan.
Watching the light change from the top of the Grand Mesa
Me and my babies
Momma and Q
Momma and T
Dad and me
Mom and me
Blessed to live in this place!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Deep Thoughts with Momma J

I have a major case of the IF ONLY's today. You know:

If only I had joined choir in high school. 
If only I had been brave enough to audition for the musical. 
If only I had finished my novel before the babies got here. 
If only I had majored in gorillas...

You know!

My hubby plays the WHAT IF game a lot, and it drives me insane. Much for the same reason I am driving myself insane today. We aren't meant to live in that place. It isn't healthy. To be hung up on what you did or didn't do OR on what may or may not happen...no good comes from this. 

President Thomas S. Monson, the prophet and leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, gave a talk titled, "In Search of Treasure", and in it he said, "Sometimes we let our thoughts of tomorrow take up too much of today. Daydreaming of the past and longing for the future may provide comfort but will not take the place of living in the present. This is the day of our opportunity, and we must grasp it." 

So, I suppose I need to let go of my IF ONLY's. I can't change what has happened, but I sure as heck do have power over how I handle things today. 

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Library

The girls and I went to the library today to turn in their Summer Reading Program forms all completed, to play, and to get me a book. While we were sitting at the back of the Children's Library playing with the games they have there for little ones (please note that right now, the library is a play place for Q--the magic of being able to check out books is currently lost on her), there was a family of girls each with a pile of books to check out and take home. Their ages varied from pre-teen to older toddler, but I was suddenly swept back to those summer days that my mom would take us to the Broomfield library and we would carefully walk down those steep stairs into the children's section in the basement and pick books to read. Always a pile of books to read. I remember not being able to wait until we got home to start my new books, so I would choose what I wanted and find a place to start reading before we even left. I used to get in trouble with Ramona Quimby, solve mysteries with Nancy Drew, get lost in the drama of Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High and tempering those with books about Helen Keller and various other biographies. I watched the girl today run to the couch with her pile of books and greedily look to see how many pages she would be reading in the next few weeks. If she is anything like me, she will wear that number like a badge of honor--and it won't take her two weeks.
I feel nostalgic for those days when I could spend my whole summer reading. And I did. Before bed, When I woke up. Before church. Outside under the trees. I got lost in the words--the stories.
I watch my girls play with their books, and I am so glad they love to read. I love to listen to Q tell me what is on each page or read Go Dogs Go because she has it mostly memorized. I love that T will pick up a book and open it and talk to it while pointing to the pictures. I love that they will bring me books over and over and over again and NEVER tire of them. My girls are readers. Like their mother before them. I can't wait for the day when they rush through the library grabbing a new book and start reading it before we even make it out the door. I can't wait to watch them get lost in the world of characters destined to be their best friends and worst enemies.
It's a magical place, and books...books are magical things.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Stef's Challenge Topic: Earliest Childhood Memory

Okay, so LisaDad, and Mom have all written this challenge from Stef. I have been thinking and thinking and thinking about what to write. Last June when we completed the 31 Day Blog Challenge, we wrote on this topic, and I shared the story about Adam's fall. I like to believe that I remember everything, but let's be honest. I'm getting old. I remember nothing. So, as Lisa and Dad have shared glimpses of memories, I will do the same. 

Living in Utah for a brief time when I was around four, I remember there were kids down the lane or road that I played with--all older. Playing house with them one day, I got in trouble with my play mom about something I didn't actually do--only in the game--but she actually spanked me. I remember running home crying, and I think (I THINK) the culprit came and apologized. 

Earlier, I remember holding Adam once when he was a new baby. There are pictures documenting this event, as we were wearing goofy, big, yellow sunglasses. I just remember looking at him and thinking that he was funny looking with no face (the sunglasses were on him).

One time, we were at my grandparent's house, and I think my uncle was breaking up with his current girlfriend. All I know is that I was told I had to stay downstairs and I wasn't allowed to bug Uncle Dan while he was outside talking. I do remember "sneaking" upstairs and looking out the window to see what was going on. I think he was hugging her good-bye, but that image is blurry. 

When Aunt Cathy and Uncle Darrell got married, my grandparents house was PACKED. Adam and I slept in a tent in Grandma and Grandpa's front yard. That was awesome. 

You know, the interesting thing about looking back at the little things I remember is that it makes me wonder what Quincy and Tessa will remember. They are so little, but I sure hope that we are creating some wonderful early childhood memories for them. 


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Yes, I'm Complaining a Little Bit...

Mostly because I just have to get this frustration out somewhere, and this seems to be the only way I can do it. I have tried to write down many of my feelings in my personal journal, and that has helped me deal with some anger that I have at the moment, BUT...I'm just exhausted. I was looking back at my posts from April and March and I had mentioned something about how we had been sick for two weeks. Just two. Only two. I was tired then. I couldn't fathom that we would still be fighting various illnesses six weeks later. Yeah, eight weeks of colds and infections and viruses and bacterial infections and runny noses and coughs and stomach bugs and I AM JUST READY FOR MY CHILDREN TO BE HEALTHY AGAIN. That's all.


Do you guys realize that I haven't been to see The Great Gatsby yet? Yep. That's right. I haven't been to see this movie yet. Me. There just hasn't been time. Or money. Or time. 

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I also haven't actually been able to complete an entire workout in about a month. I went from Insanity to nothing...not for lack of trying. Sick kids and working out do not mix. Still eating great. Still loving my Herbalife, but no working out. Yes, I have still managed to drop a few lbs, but think about what that could look like working out! I miss it. I need it. For my mental and physical well-being. 

So, yes. I needed to complain a little. I needed a little pity party for myself. Yes, I feel a little better. No, I am not on a downward spiral into darkness again. I'm just tired. Of pretending that everything is okay. Of worrying. Of scheming and making plans that never work! Of letting people down and not meeting my own expectations. I can admit it. I need a break. I need a Jen break. So stupid that that makes me feel guilty. I'm tired and I need a break from my reality, and I feel so utterly guilty about feeling that way or needing that. I shouldn't feel guilty. Everyone needs a break. A rest. A siesta. I'm just not sure I remember how to do that.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

To Be a Mother


I have been contemplating writing something in honor of Mother's Day since Saturday morning as we were rushing around trying to make it to meetings, and I know that this is my third Mother's Day, but this is the first time it sunk in that I am indeed a mom. Sounds crazy, right? Q is two and a half and T is almost ten months, and the fact that I am a mom and therefore responsible for all aspects of two little girls well-being, education, happiness, and welfare is just sinking in. Don't let that fool you. I work very hard to be the mom my girls need and deserve. Quite honestly, I feel absolutely inadequate to be their mom on almost a daily basis. T has been sick upon sick upon sick, and I hate that I am powerless to prevent that. Q has daily meltdowns because--well, she's two--and I hate that I have to take a deep breath and count to ten everytime. I found myself yelling at her last night for not listening when I repeatedly asked her not to jump on the laundry pile and make it a bigger mess. I stopped mid-sentence and looked at her WIDE and innocment eyes and thought, "Seriously?! What is wrong with me?" The laundry doesn't matter and she is more than happy to help me "fold" and make a neat pile. Those little things just really shouldn't matter.

What does matter is that we get to play outside and color the driveway with sidewalk chalk. We get to lay in the grass and pick up worms (ew!) and rake up the grass and swim and run through the sprinklers and lay on the floor or the couch and watch movies while eating popcorn. We get to color pictures and rearrange the magnets and throw toys all over the living room just to pick them up and do it all again. We get to play dress up and sing songs and go on walks and eat ice cream. We get to spend days reading and learning and falling and making mistakes and picking ourselves up to learn more and run faster and jump as high as we can. While my little girls are growing up, I am having a second childhood. I love being the mom. I love waking up to their faces everyday and kissing them goodnight. This is the job I was put on the Earth to fulfill. This is my calling. I am not always the best. I do not always do it right, but I wouldn't trade this for anything. Not anything.