Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 9-???: Well....

I have learned a few things during my blogging over the past month. 

1. I still love to write.  Always have.  Probably always will.  It's theraputic and relaxing and I just love it.

2. I love it when people read what I write and I love reading what other people write.  I am not perfect and I feel like if we were all willing to talk about things that we need to work on in our lives, then we wouldn't feel so alone in our struggles.

3. I'm really really really bad with keeping up with a 31 day challenge.  Like, really bad. 

I think I am going to stop calling this a "31 Day Challenge", and start calling it a "31 Changes Challenge" takes much longer than 31 days to make any kind of substantial change in your life...and that change should be a permanant change, not a change that only lasts during the 31 day challenge. 

So, here is my 9th chage...

There is one thing that became so insanely clear to me this month.  I talk a lot about my son and how he is a huge motivation for me to be a better person.  This month, I really took the time to evaluate how I interact with him, and I learned something that I proabably should have known all along. 

Since the time Grayson was a baby, he has always been so in tune to my feelings.  I remember holding him while we were at a big gathering one time, and he wanted nothing to do with me.  When I handed him off to Nick, he was fine.  When I took him back, he would have another melt down.  I didn't realize until then how uptight and nervous I was about being around all of those people.  He could feel that, and because of that, he couldn't relax while I was holding him.

That is one example of many.  Grayson has always been very aware of how I am feeling and the mood I am in.  This month, I started paying attention to how I spoke to and interacted with other kids Grayson's age.  One of the things I noticed was how little and fragile and young those other kids seemed.  They all seemed so innocent!  I realized that I didn't treat Grayson the same way I would treat another 4 year old.  I hold him to a higher standard, which is fine, but I really felt like on a pretty consistant basis, I was being too harsh with him.

I decided that I would try to change my attitude toward him for a day, and see what happened.  I was shocked, to say the least.  My little boy was a completely different kid.  He thrived on praise and hugs and kisses!  He was so well-behaved and sweet, and so much more willing to do what I asked him to do. 

It makes a lot of sense, though.  I don't want someone yelling at me all the time.  I wouldn't respond well to that.  I need a lot of pats on the back and "good jobs!" and hugs and smiles and laughter.  I don't know why I thought Grayson would be any different.  He is JUST like me.  Of course he needs those things to be the best that he can be, too.

The other day we were in the car and we were singing and being silly.  We were having a really good day, and I was trying extra hard to be patient with Grayson and to be kind in the way I spoke to him.  All of a sudden, Grayson said, "Mommy, I really like it when you're happy!  I don't like it when you are mad."  I asked him if he thought I was mad a lot, and he said, "Yeah, you ARE mad a lot!  But today you are happy and I like it!"  ...I love the brutal honesty of a 4 year old.

Obviously I still have days where I am short-tempered and have a hard time being patient, but I am working and making a concious effort to change the way I interact with him.  He is a sweet, silly, crazy, loving, smart, kind, and amazing little boy, and he deserves my patience and understanding.  Tenley is still a baby, so this stuff doesn't effect her yet, but it will...and hopefully by the time she is Grayson's age, I'll have this whole "mom" thing a little more figured out. :-)


We took family pictures for the fist time in a loooooong time, and so far I am in LOVE with the pictures we have seen!  Kelsey Ray Photography rocks my socks off. 

So proud of these two sweeties!

My beautiful family!

She told us to tickle...and this is the cuteness that came from that.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 8: Quit procrastinating.

I'm mad at myself. 

Wanna know what I did today?  Slept in (which was awesome) and then sat around dreading the idea of doing homework.  And then found some other pointless thing to do instead of homework, and then did homework.  Lots and lots and lots of homework.  Oh, and got annoyed with my kids for interrupting me while doing homework.  Why did I have so much homework?  Because I did it all last minute. 

I could have done homework Wednesday.  Or Thursday.  Friday or Saturday or Sunday, even.  Nope.  Waited until today.  When it was due.  Missed out on all kinds of fun with my kids and definitely didn't get my hour of playtime in with them all because I chose to procrastinate.

I am off every Wednesday.  It's the perfect day to get homework done.  Grayson is in school, Grandma can come over and watch Tenley for a few hours, and I can go find a place to sit and do homework.  If I would just take that time to do it, I wouldn't have to worry about it for the rest of the week!  I could enjoy my kids and get all kinds of stuff done around the house and maybe even take a nap without feeling guilty about it if I would just do my stinkin' homework on a day when I have nothing else going on.

I read a saying once (in this blog ) that you should just go ahead and eat that frog!  Wait, what?  Okay, here: "If the first thing you do when you wake up each morning is eat a live frog, nothing worse can happen the rest of the day."  Makes sense, right?  No?

Well, first, you have to figure out what your "frog" is.  Homework?  Working out?  Cleaning the house?  All of the above?  Well, if you're like me you spend an innumerous amount of time worrying about those things and dreading those things and building them up in your head, and then you end up wasting the whole day and getting nothing accomplished.  So, if you do them first...go ahead and eat that frog...then those things are out of the way and you can enjoy the rest of your day!


You will now find me doing my homework on Wednesdays. 

So, what's your frog?  Catch it.  And eat it!  :-)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 7: Dreaming

Today is my anniversary!  Nick and I now have 3 years under our belts and a lifetime to go.

We went to dinner the other night to celebrate and had lunch together today before he had to leave for work.  I love those times when it is just us.  No kids, no friends...just us.  He is my favorite person to be with.

We talked about our past and all the mistakes we've made.  We talked about things we've overcome together during the last 3 years and how everything seems to be moving in a good direction.  Most importantly, we talked about our future.  We always talk about our future.

Nick and I are both pretty optimistic people.  We love life, we love our family, and we love planning our future.  Anytime we are together, the conversation at some point will involve our future plans.  What we want from our careers, what we want our future home to look like, what we want for our's my favorite conversation.  Everyone needs to dream.  Even if your dreams seem far-fetched, it's better to imagine and strive to reach them than it is to sit and be complacent, right? 

Life can get so crazy sometimes.  Between work and school and family, we can get so bogged down that we start living day to day and just going through the motions.  Sometimes I feel like a robot.  Work, eat, sleep, repeat.  It's so mundane.  It's also exhausting.

You know when there is something exciting coming up, like Christmas,  and you get a little pep in your step?  You have something to look forward to!  You smile more, you enjoy life a little're happier!  Right?

I truly believe this is why Pinterest has become SO insanely popular.  It allows people to dream.  It gets you out of your reality for a bit.

So, I'm going to make sure that I allow myself to dream.  Even crazy, far-reaching, impossible dreams.  You do the same.  Set goals for yourself!  Share your dreams with someone.  Make a plan.  Find a way to turn your dreams into a reality.  Life is so very very short. 

Nick, thank you for being the one I share my biggest and smallest dreams with.  Because of you, life is more fun.  Thank you for loving me enough to forgive me when I mess up.  Thank you for loving our babies the way you do and for being the type of father that gets excited about their future.  You give me a reason to wake up every morning and a reason to keep dreaming my crazy, impossible dreams.  You allow me to be silly and crazy and sometimes unrealistic.  You bring so much love and laughter into our home, and I truly can't think of a single person who I would want to share all of this with.  We have such an amazing future together.  Thank you for giving me a reason to be excited about this life.  I am more in love with you today than I was on the day I married you 3 years ago, and I know that with every year that passes, I'll love you even more.

Happy Anniversary!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 6: Being Thankful and Content

Happy November!  This is my favorite month.  It finally starts getting cool, the leaves change colors, and I can wear cute fall clothes!  My birthday is this month, my anniversary is this month, and Thanksgiving (um...hello, AMAZING food) is this month!  Lots of great things happen in November.

A lot of people have been posting every day on facebook something they are thankful for.  I love seeing all the happy and positive posts; they are drowning out the negative ones, which I totally appreciate.  With all the political propaganda plastered all over with everyone bashing the party they don't believe in, it is so refreshing to see people taking time out of their day to be thankful.

I read something once that really stuck with me.  It said, "What if you woke up tomorrow with only those things you thanked God for today?"  Ouch.  There are days I think I would wake up with nothing, if that were the case.  We so often forget to thank the One who provides everything for us.  In this great country of ours, even those who are considered "in poverty" have access to food and water on a daily basis.  Our worst isn't so bad when you really stop to think about it.

My amazing best friend of 13 years (Omg...thirteen years?! Where did the time go?) spent a summer in Africa and came back with beautiful and tragic stories about the people there.  She came back completely changed.  She loves to use the hash tag #firstworldproblems when she sees someone complaining about something that would be considered a blessing in a third world country.  For example: ", my iPhone is totally spazzing out on me!  I can't check my email.  My day is ruined!" #firstworldproblems

I truly have so much to be thankful for.  I have the world's best parents, who have completely supported me and loved me through some really ugly times.  I have a sister and a brother who will put me in my place when I need it, stand up for me when someone isn't treating me right, and will act completely crazy with me in public places. :-) I have beautiful friends, who I know would be there for me in a heartbeat without even asking them.  I have a job that I love.  I have a roof over my head.  Food on my table.  Water to drink.

I have a husband who loves me at my worst, encourages me daily, provides for our family, tells me I'm beautiful...and is so genuine about it that I believe him.  He stands up for me when I can't find my footing to stand up for myself.  He loves our babies and the relationship he has with them is so admirable.

I have two amazing kids.  God allowed the honor of being their mother.  I still haven't figured out what I did to deserve it, but I am blown away daily by the lessons they teach me.  They are happy and innocent and beautiful.  Most importantly, they are healthy.  I hope I never forget to be thankful for that.

Isn't that enough to count myself as blessed? You would think so. However, on a daily basis I find myself wishing for more. I want a new outfit, or a less hectic schedule, or a day to be by myself, or more money, or the ability to get everything done in one day that I think I should. I find myself seeing these people that seem to have it all together, and I wish I were more like them. I see the crafty people that post stuff on facebook and I wish I had their talent. I see moms in the store who have their hair fixed, make-up on, kids dressed like they came straight out of a magazine, and then of course their beautifully dressed children are behaving just as beautifully...

...and then I look at myself, with my hair in a hair tie (probably not washed), jeans, t-shirt, flip-flops, and no makeup, with my kids looking (although still adorable) like they rolled in the dirt before we walked in, and Grayson asking if he can, "Please please please have a toy?  I'll be a good boy.  I really want one.  Mom?  Mommy?  Mom?  Mom?  MOM! Please can I have a toy?  I'll be good.  Please!!!  Mom!  Can I have a toy?  Just a little tiny one.  I promise I won't ask anymore, okay?  I'm not asking for a toy.  I reaaallllyyy like toys, though.  And I'm a good boy.  A really really good boy........................................................and also I love toys."

Do these other moms sedate their kids before walking in?  I'm just wondering.

That's just it, though.  I see a short snapshot of these women and their families.  I see them for a couple of minutes in a store.  I see what they choose to present.  Who knows what their lives are really like?  They could be perfectly happy and just as polished as they appear, or they could be miserable.  There is no way for me to know either way.  And it shouldn't matter.

I am blessed!  Yes, my life is hectic and crazy and disorganized.  Yes, Grayson will continue to ask for toys every single time we go into the store...repeatedly...and loudly.  Yes, some moms will look like they have it all together while I look like it is all falling apart...but that's just a snapshot.  My family is happy and healthy and full of love.  My kids go to sleep every night knowing they are adored.  I go to sleep at night knowing that no matter what life throws at me, I have the most amazing support system.

So, I will be thankful for that and I will be content with what God gives me.  I hope I am never put in a position to know what it is like to be without the things that I take for granted.