Monday, December 26, 2011

My Heart is Full

The gifts have been opened, the mess (mostly) cleaned up, the newness has worn off of the presents and the season, but my heart remains full.  We have had such a wonderful time making memories, doing the mundane, getting excited, and just being together.  We are blessed with so much.  We are healthy, happy, and can openly give thanks to the most amazing God who provides.  He provides the little and the big, the exciting and the ordinary, the wonderful and the difficult.  I am learning how to give thanks for it all, in the moment.

I have been reading "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are" by Ann Voskamp.  I struggle to find the words to adequately express what her writing evokes in me.  By the end of chapter 1 I was online ordering copies for women who are important to me.  I am learning to revel in the now, no matter what the now entails or what "then" has wrought.

Right now, my heart is full to bursting with the amazing gift of family.  My kids, my husband, my brothers, my mom, the in-laws that I count as my own...I am truly blessed.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Reading a few insightful blog posts by great women, I thought about my own blogging efforts and cringed at the fact that I haven't posted in months and before that it was only sporadically.

I could point to our three small children, a husband who travels for work, the house I can't seem to keep clean, the ever-present laundry in need of washing, the dishes that never seem to all be washed, any number of things that keep me from posting. The reality is that I have not made it a priority, kind of like sewing and photography. These are things I enjoy doing, but have not made time to keep up with. In fact I have not really made much of the things that make me happy (aside from my husband and children) a priority.

It took reading a post by Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing to put words to my state of mind. The comments to the post were just as impactful to me. Apparently there are a lot of 34 year old women out there feeling the same way!

I have just been in a funk. I haven't sewn in months. I recently realized that for over two months I didn't take pictures on anything but my phone. I started the year off exercising regularly, but then cold and flu season hit and it seemed like someone always had a fever and couldn't be dropped off at the childcare center in the gym. I managed to indulge fairly regularly in escapism through my love of books (I am now addicted to audiobooks and ebooks), but aside from that I have been absent from the "me" side of life. After all, I started this blog as an outlet for me...a place to rant, ramble, share, question, and explore.

I have realized that I need an outlet for me in order tone a good wife and mother. I become cranky and irritable when I haven't even been able to shower or go to the bathroom alone for days on end. I lose sight of the wonderful personalities my kids have when it feels like I am a referee from the moment they wake until they finally fall asleep at night. I can't appreciate their sweet voices when I am constantly raising my own to be heard over the whining, fighting, and boisterous playing (not to mention the baby crying). I cannot savor their hugs, which will all too soon be less freely given, when I feel touched-out by on-demand nursing, co-sleeping, and constant tugging on my shirt to get my ever-divided attention.

I love being a mother, a wife, and a homemaker. Ten years ago I couldn't imagine myself as any of those things, but I truly believe these roles are ones that God intended for me. However, knowing that I am on the right paths doesn't mean that I always feel warm and fuzzy about it. As a recovering type-A personality it often makes me insane that I can't do it all perfectly all the time. I get frustrated and overwhelmed. I feel inadequate. I can't see the forest for the trees. I miss the beauty and wonder of life by focusing so much on comparatively small things.

The past year has been a journey for my faith and marriage. I feel like I am reengaging in my life. I have started taking my camera places again (even if it is just the backyard). I have scheduled time with my husband (yes we are nerds and need to have things on a virtual calendar in order to accomplish them) when he will cover the kids while I spend some time in my mom cave sewing. The dawning separation anxiety of my 8-month-old means that time for yoga classes and regular workouts may still be difficult, but I understand how important it is for me to take that time when possible. Luckily the women who work in the nursery at the gym are wonderful and really try to make it work.

It won't be perfect for I am far from that, but I will find pieces of me in the semi-chaos that is life with three small children. My husband is an advocate for my time when I ask for it. He understands far better than I the need for an outlet and time for oneself. I need to set aside the mommy guilt and take some time for myself to make me a better wife and mother. God, help me do just that!

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