Thursday, February 20, 2014

my sidekick.

"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have for instance."
~Franklin P. Jones

This is my fifth time having a toddler in the house. You would think I would be a pro at this by now. And in someways I surprise myself at how I far I have come in my decade of mothering. I have learned a few tricks of the trade. But there is still something about a whining crying toddler that can unnerve you and I am still not above throwing a cookie or a lollipop at a fussy almost two year old in the grocery store.

But oh how i love this age. This is the age their little personalities come out and everything is new and exciting in their eyes. It is an age of wonder, sweet kisses and snuggles. Silas keeps telling me, "Mom Eden is not a baby anymore. She is like a real girl now."
Yes, its true. She has her  own opinions. She walks and talks and mimics and keeps us all laughing with her crazy personality. She keeps mama busy too. This girls does not stop moving till she goes to bed. If it is quiet for too long, I start to panic.
Is she eating the deodorant again? Coloring on herself with markers? Pulling things out of drawers? Sneaking candy?

Her signature thing is to move chairs and stools around the kitchen to wherever I am. it is both enduring and annoying at the same time. I am washing dishes and next thing I know I feel a stool smack up against my legs and she is there wanting to help. Baking, cooking, emptying dishwasher and she is right on my heels.

She is my sidekick.

Some days with a toddler can feel tiring and long. But her joy and the way she touches my heart is irreplaceable and I am so thankful to get to spend my days with her. Even when I am frustrated she will look at me with those big brown eyes and say her new learned word "Sor-wee" (sorry) and I melt into a puddle on the floor.
Today Hope had extended preschool to make up for all the snow days. So around the table today at lunch was just Eden and I. I was very thankful for this sweet, full of life little girl to have as my sidekick.

"There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep"
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Silence is golden...unless you have a toddler. In that case silence is very, very suspicious"

Sunday, February 16, 2014

adjusting my focus.

Within the confines of the four walls of my house all I can see is the piles of dishes and laundry, messes that need cleaned up, fights that need broken up, wet snow boots, wet snow pants,  and restless children with attitudes. 

This winters has felt hard. We have had a LOT of snow days and a LOT of time together in the house. I love my children. But some days when we are all in our little farm house together rubbing shoulders and bumping into each other it can feel discouraging and defeating. My selfishness is exposed. They are fighting, whining, hungry, wanting more of something. I don't feel like I have anything left to give. I wonder if I am even doing anything right at all. 

Yesterday was one of those days. Another big snow storm hit this week. More days off of school. More time spent in the house. More messes. More attitudes. It felt like more than I could take. I felt depressed and trapped in my life. I needed out. I needed perspective. I felt like I was too close to see clearly the blessings in my life. Everything was looking a bit blurry.

We all got into the suburban and went for a drive. It was silent as we drove, the kids quieted by the new surroundings and I felt like I could finally take a deep breath, look out the window and hold the hand of the man I love. 

It is amazing how getting out of ordinary day to day even if it is just to Chick-Fil-A can give you new perspective...
we found these awesome coils in the parking lot next to chick-fil-a....
when all else fails climb into empty coils in a mall parking lot and let your daughter practice her photography skills.

Perspective changes everything and mine needed a change. 

I want to learn to get perspective in the midst of chaos....because well, chaos is part of the deal right now. And like food, air, water and grace, I seem to need new perspective every day. 
I felt break through yesterday only to find myself feeling frustrated again today. 

I recently read that gratitude and negative thoughts cannot coexist. 
I am feeling a whole lot of negative right now....

So right now I choose to thank you Father for this life. 
That I am alive and healthy.
 For mercies that are new every morning. 
That you are bigger than my mistakes.
Thanks for your love. 
For freedom.

Thank you for my best friend that I can walk through life with. Our week apart only strengthened the love and bond I feel with this man. Thank you for giving us each other. Thanks for the way he makes me laugh and pushes me out of my comfort zone, time and time again.
Thanks for love.

Thank you for my five children. Thanks for their health and their boundless energy. Thanks for the way they expose things in me that needs to exposing. Thanks for the way they make me laugh....with their antics, hugs and the silly things they say. For their personalties and friendships. Thanks for the way the push me to be a better mama, a better person.

Thanks for this little farmhouse in the middle of nowhere that has been a refuge, a safe haven and a cozy place to live. 

Thanks for so many great friendships and loving families.

Thanks for hot coffee.

And chocolate.

 Thanks for snow days. And time together.
 And the hope of spring.

Thanks for a body that has delivered five healthy children....stretch marks, muffin top and all.

A table we can gather around.


A camera to capture memories and moments.

There is so much more...I am starting to feel better already. 
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

"When life gets blurry, Adjust your focus."

Monday, February 3, 2014

seeing the blessing of today.

Truth be told I was not jumping for joy when the text cam in at 6:30 am saying that school was now closed. Mark left early yesterday morning for Oregon and for some reason yesterday seemed like one of the longest days ever. I had a head cold that felt like it was turning into a sinus infection and the thought of a week of him being away loomed in the back of my head like a death sentence. I wasn't sure if I could make it. Dramatic? Maybe. But those were the thoughts rolling through my head. 
So when I awoke to another fresh snow cover I was feeling a bit heavy. Cabin fever and sickness is already high in this household so the thought of another day in the house with five kids felt a bit daunting.
But as I came downstairs and started my coffee I looked out the window. "It is pretty out there..." I stepped out onto the porch. We live in the middle of nowhere so the only sound I could hear was the birds chirping and the snow falling. It was so quiet and peaceful and beautiful. Something inside of me started to shift.  I snapped a picture with my phone.

I have spring fever and dream of the days we can gather around the picnic table, run in the yard (versus the house) and sit in the sun. But by August I will be pining for something else so today I want to choose thankfulness. So today I am thankful for quiet peaceful snow fall, a warm cozy house, hot coffee, boys playing legos together, a big sister reading to little sister, a baby playing mama, and a house full of life...chaotic, loud, messy life.

P.S. i wrote this in the morning while the coffee was still hot and the day new. But because of the snow our Internet was down so I never posted the entry. It is now after lunch and this perspective is barely hanging by a thread. It seems so easy in theory to just embrace this day but when there is fighting and whining and headaches (my own) it is hard to do.... 

So that is why I am writing this instead of sweeping the floor, doing the umpteenth load of laundry or breaking up the fight that is ensuing in the kitchen...because I need this...perspective. Help me God to see the blessings of today!