Friday, July 22, 2011

You're my best mommy ever!

I have had a couple of things on my mind recently and maybe what I need to do it hash it out online to be able to get back to sleep. So for those of you who don't know, I am the mother of 2 beautiful children, Elijah and Ariana. I love them so much! Ever since I can remember I have been preparing, planning, and hoping to become a mother. I have known since I was a young girl that my main callings in life would be teacher AND a mother to a (hopefully) big family. Once pregnant with Elijah, I anticipated the transition into motherhood to be fairly natural. I have worked with children most of my life so the general caring of a child did not seem frightening/unknown to me. I figured that one way or another my child would be physically taken care of. Here is what I didn't anticipate:

  1. Raising a child isn't so much about whether or not they are eating, drinking, sleeping, etc
  2. Being a mother will test your abilities to stay calm and focused when you are exhausted, frustrated, and least patient.
  3. Many times--you will make the wrong decision or act in a way that is childish, selfish and/or embarrassing. Not intentionally....but wrong nonetheless.
  4. You are needed by EVERYONE ALL THE TIME! (This includes the husband, dog, cat, etc)
  5. Children are beautiful and forgiving. 
  6. At the end of the day, if you have made more good decisions then had a good day.
  7. You will never stop thinking, planning and preparing for their future. Most events throughout the day cause you to wonder about "how this will turn out?" OR "Will this help them in the future?" OR "Have I ruined them for life?" OR "How can I do this better for them next time?"
  8. It doesn't matter how much money is being put into the bank account. There is still more to pay for so as a mother I am always trying to think up ways to supplement the income, stretch the dollar, and put money away....all without making everyone feeling penniless or poor.
  9. When I am at my best, I am a great teacher to my children. When I am at my worst...I am a horrible example!
  10. I don't always have the answer. I don't always know what to do. I am not always proud of my actions. I am never done being a mom. 

This list could go on and on.

The reason this has been on my mind is the other day, I was hanging out with the kiddos in their bedroom and it became time for the cleaning of the room to happen. I very nicely asked my children to get cleaning. (We clean all the time so they knew what was coming and what I expected from them...right?) They put 1 or 2 toys away and then started to get distracted. So again I reminded that they should be cleaning up their toys. I offered some suggestions of what needed to be cleaned and told them to get moving. Again, 1-2 toys got put away and they got distracted. At this point I could feel my level of frustration rising. This was not my mess and I should not be expected to clean it all by myself. In a stronger tone I reminded my children that we should be cleaning their room and to do it NOW! I think you can see where this is going. Eventually I told my kids (in more of a yelling fashion) that if they would not do it when I asked them nicely that I would yell...and I did. I through a grown-up tantrum. I used a few (semi) mean words and threatened to throw the toys away, etc. until the room finally got cleaned.

Later that night, I had time to really reflect on my actions and I was reminded that while I did begin with the right had gone sour because my expectations for my little kiddos was too high. Elijah is 4 and Ariana is 2. I should have been able to find a way to calmly get them to do what I asked. I should have offered more specific directions. I should have taken time to settle down before involving yelling because my kids don't deserve "mean mommy." I will cut myself a little slack because I didn't erupt right away and because "being a mother will test your abilities to stay calm and focused when you are exhausted, frustrated, and least patient." Aside from all of that...I should have reacted differently.

So while I was reflecting on this moment and feeling like i am just the worst mom ever. I was reminded of what Ariana said to me not even 30 minutes after this bedroom ordeal. We were eating lunch together and she leaned in to me and said, "you're my best mommy ever!" I had just yelled at her and yet she still thinks that I am her best mommy ever. That warms my heart.

"Children are beautiful and forgiving"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My secret plan to get new flooring...

Are you tired of looking at your old, dirty, floors? Do you wish that you could upgrade but just do not have the money to do so? I have the solution for you!

Here is how I did it:
1) Puncture the water main immediately under your house
2) Crack the concrete underneath your flooring (a small hairline fracture will do the job)
3) Wait as the water slowly gets absorbed by the plastic moisture barrier, padding underneath the laminate flooring and ultimately begins causing visible water damage to your (not so old) laminate flooring.

Once the leak has been detected you will have no option but to tear out the flooring, dig into the concrete, repair the pipe, pour new concrete and finally REPLACE YOUR OLD, DIRTY FLOORS! WAHOO!

True story! Trust works! I am living it right now as we speak.

On the upside, at least I do not have to pay for all of the repairs. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Felt like a teenager today

When was the last time that you woke up in bed snuggled next to your husband WITHOUT kids climbing on you or asking you for food/movies/etc? This morning I woke up slowly. I got the stretch. It was past 7:00 am.

That was nice....

One other comment. I was up last night planning for Disneyland when my brother asked me to help him find the same deal that I got. I checked online and in just 2 days my trip has gone from $1700 to $2000. I am SO grateful that I purchased when I did! I can't believe that airline prices can change so much overnight. That seems just mean and unfair!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Here is what I am thinking

With today being General Conference...I spent a good part of my morning planted on the couch listening to the inspired words of our prophets. In between children climbing all over me, coloring pictures (given to Elijah by the primary) and poking Aaron in an effort to get him to stop snoring I was impressed by the "in-tune" nature of their words in relation to my life. First there was the tithing talk. See Aaron and I were really good about paying tithing until shortly after we had Elijah. Financial it was a bit of a transition for us and we missed a couple of months. When we went in to our tithing settlement that year our Bishop did not offer much encouragement. Instead I left feeling kind of bullied and reprimanded. I know I shouldn't let that impact my choices. I KNOW that paying tithing is a blessing. I KNOW! But when times are tough and you have a husband who is not used to paying 10% of his income to the church it can be kind of a struggle to have the faith necessary to do so. So the tithing talk was good for me...truly inspired and needed.

Then there was the talk about temples. I love the temple. Being raised in the church has instilled in me the wonderful nature of temples--if I remain worthy, I will be able to live with my family forever! As I am getting older and I unfortunately get to experience the unfair, randomness of life I am comforted by that thought. I can be with my family forever. As people pass I know that I can continue my relationship with them after this life. Also, I know that the relationship that i have with Aaron is better because we were married in the temple. We are both (mostly) working towards the same goal. For me, this means to live my life in a way that is pleasing to Heavenly Father. I want to always be someone that he can be proud of--making positive choices, helping others, teaching my children correct principles, doing my best to follow Him, etc. Aaron's details may vary slightly but together we can be better overall. Also, because we were married in the temple we are STUCK. TOGETHER. FOREVER! This eternal perspective makes a difference when we are having disagreements.

One other thought I had about the temple was...why don't I go more often!? Too often I let things get in the way of going to the temple (that is 40 minutes away). I need to work harder at this...

One of my favorite talks overall was the one about taking the time to form relationships, spending time together, listening and acting on the advice of our spouse. (Okay...maybe that wasn't the intended message but that is what I took out of it) I appreciated the story of the husband who came home to the wife handwashing all of the laundry because the washer was broken. His immediate response was to fix the washer in an effort to help his wife but she instead asked him to go and play with his children. He did and enjoyed the time he had to be with his children but said he would not have remembered that moment if it were not for what happened later in the evening when his little girl gave him a big hug and said he was her "best friend" That was touching to me because so often I feel like I am running errands, cleaning house, doing the "responsible things"...maybe I should have more moments being a true friend to my family. I just love the sweet/crazy little personalities blooming in Elijah and Ariana. I hope they will always look to be as a friend (who sometimes has to be a little mean providing direction/discipline)

On another note..I am always getting weeping when I hear about couples leaving secret messages for each other (on a mirror, in scriptures, etc.) My question is this...WHERE ARE MY SECRET MESSAGES?! Aside from the occasional husband is lacking in the "secret message department..." Does this get better with age? Will Aaron turn 30 and all of a sudden have the urge to be sweet via messaging? Any advice/insight on this subject would be great!

Final note: DISNEYLAND MAY31-JUNE 4! I cannot wait. Any pointers?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Life tends to unfold itself as it should

All day, I have been reminded of my brother in-laws tattoo that says something along the lines of, 'life tends to unfold itself as it should." As I am getting older and settling into adulthood, I can't help but to agree with that quote. I feel like I have spent so much of my time trying to plan. High School was about planning my future--I wanted to be married by 21, have kids at 23, finish college...etc. Once I had Elijah (at 23 by the way) it only felt natural to move out of an apartment and into our first home (and our own mortgage) which would be temporary because in 4-5 years we would sell and move into a bigger place...

It has been the moments where plans have fallen through that I have seen the Lords hand really visible in my life. I am a music conductor. When I am conducting music I get to create music by calling upon individuals in the ensemble to produce a particular sound. For instance...if I would like to hear more saxophone I could reach into the ensemble and call upon to saxophone section to play louder/fuller. I can also move my hands in a manner that would ask everyone in the ensemble to play shorter, softer, faster, slower, etc. I like to tell my students that I am the puppet master and they are my puppets. If they are following my correctly, the sound that the audience hears will be a representation of the musical image that I have in my head.

I mention this because I feel like the moments that I am letting life unfold or reveal itself as it should are the moments that Heavenly Father becomes the conductor of my "song"

When I got pregnant with Elijah, I had not yet finished my bachelor's degree at WWU. I had every intention of finishing my student teaching after he was born but would I really finish? The day came to say good-bye to my new baby and to enter the classroom--it was heartbreaking. I felt like I was fighting everyone of my instincts, "how could I abandon my new baby? Was this what I was really supposed to be doing? A couple of days into the program and I was given the confirmation that everything was as it should be. I needed to finish and so I did. What a huge blessing this has been in my life. Because I fought to finish, I have been able to see Heavenly Father open up so many doors for me. I believe that Heavenly Father created a teaching position for me. I have the opportunity to teach band/orchestra mon-thurs mornings from 7:30-8:40. While this may not seem like much to everyone else, it is perfect for me. This position gives me the opportunity to show the world what I can do as a teacher. It reminds me of the sacrifices  I made years ago and it helps me remember what a blessing it is to work and then come home to be the mother of my children. I feel like I get the best of both worlds--I am a stay at home mom who works in the mornings/evenings teaching music.

Aaron and I are coming upon change. I can feel it...the air in the room is different, we are being prepared for something new. I am not sure what this means. I don't know if we will continue living in our little condo in lynnwood or if we will move. I am not sure if aaron will continue working at his job. I can tell you one thing...this time, I am ready to let Heavenly Father take control. Instead of making plans, I want to follow plans. If Heavenly Father feels like we need to be called upon to do something else...I hope that Aaron and I are prepared enough step it up.

What will this song sound like? ...I guess we will just have to see.