Taste the bitter

Today was a little rough. Kids were extra grumpy and I woke up on the wrong side of the bed because of nightmares. I kept trying to keep my cool but I felt I failed more then I succeeded.

Then as were are making dinner my sweet Sarah says to me. “I’ve been thinking about the kind of spouse I want to marry. And I want someone i can talk to and work things out with. Someone who makes decisions with me. Just like you and dad.” She got teary and I felt so much gratitude for this strong willed girl who reminds me of what is really important. It’s love and communicate, even when we disagree.

Rough days pass. The trick is to see the beauty in the bitter. To look for those tiny precious gems that can carry us through the hardships.

Today I’m holding tightly to her words. I may not succeed as much as I would like but I will take this moment as a victory. My daughter is blessed to see that her mom and dad love each other dearly. And I am so so grateful for that.

What a week

(null)
This is me laying in bed feeling so sick. Sometimes life comes at you hard. Every single person in our house got sick. Most of us in a 6 hour period. I will say I prefer it to hit us all at once. It was a little bit easier to handle.

But by tonight I was just so worn out and my fuse was a little to short. To add to the sickness earlier today Jared screamed out in pain. Excoriating horrible pain. He moved just the wrong way and displaced his knee.

We didn’t know that’s what he had done. And so I had no idea how to help him. It is so hard as a mom to watch your child hurt. I didn’t know what to do for him. The chiro wasn’t able to see us until after 6 tonight. She was in meetings all day and that’s the soonest she was available. At this point I just thought he had pulled a muscle or something. The poor kid. I held his hand and said a silent prayer. Please help the dr to help him. When she put it back in he was in so much pain. It broke my heart for him.

I am tempted in moments like these to feel a little down, maybe even a little picked on. But then I am reminded of how aware of us our Father above is. He loves us deeply and if we let Him all things in our life can be turned for good. Remembering that can sometimes be the hard part but when we do the peace and comfort can be felt.

Some days are just hard. You lay down at night and you feel exhausted. But there is always hope for a better tomorrow. Tonight I am grateful for hope and for the knowledge that me and my family are watched over and loved deeply.

The end has come

It’s a bitter sweet feeling when basketball season, for the high schoolers, comes to a close. With both Jared and Sarah playing this year it got pretty busy. The younger kids liked playing around during the games but I don’t think they enjoyed watching so much. As evident from the pictures they take during the games.

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)
Ryan and I have loved watching them thrive in the sport they love most.

Pine wood derby time

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

(null)

The boys had fun making their cars this year. It was Joshua’s first car and Joseph’s last. We will not discuss that Joseph got 4th out of 4 and Joshua got second to last in his group. We will however mention that the pinewood derby is something that is highly anticipated in our house. We will also mention that lots of graphite is kind of a big deal. We learned that after the races were done.

Birthday Man

IMG_0334.JPG

This little man is joy. He keeps us laughing and makes us smile frequently. He wants to be the best at what he does and he is eager to help people be happy. He is giving and I am grateful he will forever be our baby.

(null)

(null)

And didn’t I mention he is easily pleased. He didn’t care to much about his cake or cupcakes he just wanted it to have stitch and have some other characters from his favorite game Disney infinite.

My parents got to be here with us which was also super fun. We don’t see them nearly enough.

(null)

We got to take Jacob out to his favorite restaurant for lunch.

(null)

He didn’t exactly love being sung to.

(null)

(null)

(null)

But the silly faces this kid can pull sure makes us smile.

Love you Jacob!!

The dangers of perfection.

Hello, my name is Susan and I am a recovering perfectionist.

I firmly believe we should strive for perfection. Understanding we will never achieve it. It’s kind of like doing the laundry. The second it’s done more clothes need to be washed. That doesn’t mean you stop washing clothes just because it will never be done.
Ok maybe that’s a bad analogy.

It is difficult for me to put into words as it’s something I have struggled with for so many years. Back in jr high I would get so stressed about projects that I had to do and I would get terrible headaches and I would procrastinate. The thought of doing it was so so stressful for me. Often I would get terrible headaches.

Over the years I have learned what triggers the stress and usually it is because I have to high of expectations. In myself and others.

Now when I start to feel that way I take it as a big red flashing warning sign. Slow down. Step back. Take a deep breath and always turn to the Lord.

Perfection is just to high a goal to expect while in this life. It’s in the process, in the stretching where we learn and gain greater compassion and empathy.

The last few weeks I felt so proud of myself. I had not missed one day of spiritual study and I felt very confident and excited with what I have gained from that.

And then… I made the mistake of picking up the perfectionist stick. I full on picked it up and carried it around for several days and it was so heavy gaining weight with each passing day.

See, I thought if I could be a 100% at one thing I should find a new thing to be 100% at. What ridiculous pressure to put on myself. That’s not how I live my life normally.

I started to get bad headaches and my neck was full of pain. It took a conversation with Allie to realize what I had done. And when I let go I was filled with peace.

Striving to do our best is really all that God asks of us. Trying, and sometimes trying doesn’t look so awesome. When you want to stay in bed all day but you don’t. That’s trying. When you feel impressed to do something and you obey. That’s trying. When you whisper instead of yelling. That’s trying.

Trying is so doable. Perfection is impossible. Doesn’t that just feel so great to read that. Go ahead say it out load. I am not perfect. I am willing to try and try again. Failing sometimes and yet getting up and continuing on.

Getting real here.

I came across this article the other day and I feel its value is worth more then words can express. Sexual abuse is not something people talk about very openly. I feel for the most part we as parents are doing the best we can to keep our kids safe but how do we do that if we don’t know how? This article addresses so well how to talk to your kids to help keep potential dangers at bay. She brings up things I had never thought of and in so grateful for her realness.

We are fairly open in my house. I have always wanted my children to feel they could talk to me about anything. I have discussed sexual abuse with them at different stages in their life and we add more to their knowledge as they get older.

I have also tried to help them understand the purpose and value intimacy is meant to bring to a married couple. It really is such a beautiful God given gift to unite a couple in love. My hope is that as I help them see that they will cherish intimacy and save it for the one person they are meant to unite themselves with.

It’s sad to me that satan strives so hard to destroy this loving unity and uses it to hurt and destroy people and relationships.

I hope like the author of the above article that parents will be real with their kids. That they will give them tools to potentially handle a would be attacker. And that if something did ever happen I pray children would feel they could talk with their parents.

Growing up

I’m laying in bed with a headache when in comes Joseph, EmmaLee and Sarah. We got talking about Josephs new school and come to find out some girl in his class likes him. My cute little Joseph who doesn’t want much to do with girls can’t seem to keep them away. This girl had her friends tell him. What do 5th grade girls expect awkward boys to say or do?
Well Joseph told her friends “I don’t care”. To which the girl replies “that makes me sad but I still like him”.
You can tell he is flattered though and it is very endearing to listen to him talk about his life.
It is rather strange my little is not so little. As we chatted for awhile his non littleness became obvious to me. I felt sad and proud at the same moment. Proud of the boy he is and sad he is no so growing up.

IMG_0085.JPG

Warms my heart

IMG_0277.JPG
Reading opens up the door to such imagination. And sometimes that door takes longer to find. This boy didn’t take to reading until recently. And I love that he now sees the beauty in a good book.

Christmas Part 2

IMG_0592.JPG

IMG_0583.JPG
This years Jammie’s made me laugh. I bought them all onesies. And I’m surprised how much they loved them. Jared’s cape was my favorite! Isn’t that great? He is a good sport.

IMG_0591.JPG

IMG_0586.JPG
I can never seem to get a good picture of the traps we make for the kids. Several years ago a friend of mine told me how her parents would trap them in their room Christmas Eve and part of the fun was figuring out how to get out to sneak a peek. Even as adults her parents still trapped them in. Fun little element right?

We adopted the tradition. Our traps are usually pretty simple and we always feel like we are going to be successful. This year I was so sure they couldn’t get through. We had the security cameras faced on them and everything. We took a painters tarp and attached it to the ceiling and to the floor.

In the morning they let us know it was the easiest trap yet. Fail on our part.
The only compensation I got was knowing I had wrapped everything this year. Normally Santa doesn’t wrap his gifts so Ya, really I win. They couldn’t know for sure what anything was until it was opened. (Insert evil laugh here)

IMG_0585.JPG

IMG_0600.JPG

IMG_0593.JPG

I decided to enjoy the moment and not take pictures so this is all I have of the morning.

We kept it simple this year and it felt full of peace. And all the kids were really happy with what they got. It confirmed to me that Christmas is not about how much you spend or how much the kids get. It really truly is about our savior. It’s about his love for us. I felt that in abundance this year.