Thursday, February 28, 2013

Peace With Controversy

I used to read a couple of "natural living" type blogs. They were fun and exciting, and they presented different ideas about things I'd never thought of. I learned a few alternate ways of looking at nutrition, pregnancy, general health, and taking care of my kids. I felt good about expanding my mind, but after a while, I started to feel guilty about all the things I don't do.

It's true: there are people who are extreme about health issues who do live better-quality lives because of all the things they do. I admire them for being pioneers in getting others healthy. I have taken many steps toward better health in order to take care of my family, but I've come to realize why I did those things.

It has nothing to do with anyone else's life or family. It has to do with my own family and personal revelation. I resent making choices just because someone told me I should. I can't say I've never made a choice because of peer pressure. I think we all have. It just isn't the right reason to do something.

My family isn't the same as the families on the blogs I used to read, but that's okay. God knows my family perfectly, and as the mom, I'm primarily in charge of everyone's health and well-being. I still feel guilty sometimes...what if we were better off eating organic food? (a total joke to find in Vernal, by the way) What if I made a big mistake because I vaccinated my kids by a traditional schedule? What if I'm too fat, and I've been doing everything all wrong my whole life?

I can't rely on blogs to put my mind at ease. According to others, I am always doing the wrong thing. I should be doing more for my kids. I should be working out. I should weigh 20 lbs. less. I should have a more beautifully decorated home. I could go on for a long time.

Too often, I have felt guilty about having to change something. If I lower my standards of what I should "get done", then I've failed. If I'm not doing as much as so-and-so, I've failed.

No, I haven't.

What I feel that I should do for my family won't completely make sense to anyone else. It's my family. This blog gives only a glimpse into our lives. I don't mean to say that we're hiding lots of secrets, only that it's too complex to describe the logic and spiritual reasoning behind everything we do.

Sometimes I do less, and sometimes I do more. Less doesn't mean I'm unhappy or lazy. More doesn't mean I'm happier or better than anyone else.

I'm happy to be learning every day how to actually use personal revelation. I don't read controversial blogs anymore. They don't apply to me. If I ever feel prompted to know more about those issues, then I'll seek them out.

We are a happy, healthy family, just not the same family as any other. I'm grateful to be the mama in charge or running the home while dada is away. It's my dream job. I'm not the best mom in the world, nor the smartest, cleanest, or most productive. (I hate cleaning windows and hardly touch them!) That's okay, because I'm THE mom for these two boys, and I love them to death.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Trip to Rexburg

I do not like traveling.

Over the years, I feel that I've gotten increasingly pessimistic, even though the quality of trips is a little better. I'm no longer in a van with 10 other people who throw up a lot, constantly whine, and have to stop every 2 hours. My kids are pretty decent travelers so far, and our trip takes half as long as one to NH, but I still hate traveling.

But I do it anyway.

I stress out way too much in order to go have a nice, relaxing vacation with family. It's always enjoyable to spend time with them, but this past time I was really sleep-deprived the whole time. I couldn't seem to get more than 6 hours, no matter what I tried. I pretty much lazed around the whole time, which makes me feel rather useless as a human being. Perhaps I should plan to DO some stuff. I have a hard time just doing nothing! However, I did spend a lot of time practicing on a real piano. My keyboard serves me very well, but I definitely hope to have a piano one day...

James and I had a great Valentine's Day. We did one date at home, which was kind of funny. We wanted to eat a candlelit dinner after the kids were in bed, so we ate with them and weren't actually hungry when it was time for our dinner (but ate it anyway since it was delicious!). Then, we both fell asleep during our movie. Oops. We did a dinner date in Rexburg, which was really nice. James got me a few kitchen items, roses, and candy. He always spends too much on me, so I can't complain.

James went shooting and airsofting with his brothers (and my brother as well). We had a nice family dinner all together on Sunday with the Lees. We were going to visit the Head grandparents, but the van broke down on the way, so we didn't end up going. That was a bit of a bummer.

I had a lot of fun on this trip just hanging out and talking, especially to my sister-in-law. I can't wait to be an aunt this year, finally!

So yes, getting there and back was a pain, and now I have a bit of a cold, but life has now resumed to mostly normal. We got our tax return money, so we're going to order our new Chromebook today! I'm pretty excited, because I'm going to get a few other things as well. I've already spoiled my boys with a couple of Usborne books (from a book party I went to) that I know they're going to love. I can't wait.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


My life has lots of ups and downs, just like anyone else's. Mommy-wise, last week (and really, the week before) was a definite low(er) point for me. Now that it's over (for a while, I hope), I can reflect on the difficulties I had.

Joseph has become very obstinate when it comes to naps. He doesn't want to take them, but I know that he needs them still! He has been reminding me, "Mommy, I not to go to bed!" about 10 times a day. When it comes time for his bed/nap routine, he drags his feet the entire time. For a solid week, he absolutely refused to nap. He would stay in his room for 2 hours just talking and singing to himself, happy as can be, but awake. Everything would go fine until about 5 o'clock when he'd have a tantrum about something minor which would drag on while I was making dinner. Any time that Joseph has a tantrum, Kenny joins in. I thought I was going to pull my hair out. I said many prayers that I wouldn't lose my temper (too much) and that I would be able to pull through.

Through the tough times, it's hard not to think of them as punishment. I must be doing something wrong if so many things go badly. My confidence falters when my children act out, I botch a craft, or ruin a dinner. It's as if I forget about all my successes, all because of one failure. I forget that my failures do not define me. Even if I were to fail most of the time, that doesn't matter, because I'm still trying to do all the right things. I will get it right eventually as long as I don't wring my hands and give up. Having an attitude of giving up has never gotten me anywhere.

Patience is a life lesson that I don't want. I never have, but I haven't learned my lesson yet, so experiences like this are far from over. They do help me appreciate the good things about my kids, like the fact they once they're asleep, they sleep all night (11 hours) and have been since 7-8 months old. They are usually both very happy, healthy children. The moments when they aren't probably make up 5% of the time I spend with them, but moments of whining, crying, tantrums, etc. make for some very long days.

Being a mom is hard. Even though I went into this job with experience, sort of, nothing about having 8 younger siblings could ever prepare me for everything that I face now. It's not a bad thing that I don't know everything; it's just hard for me to admit sometimes. I suppose that's the whole point of the experience. Each child is a new challenge and blessing that I have to figure out and re-figure out every day.

My children are helping me become the person that God wants me to be. Right now, I'm still a shadow of that perfected being, but I'm glad that I know how to get there. One day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Last year was tough financially. I don't fully remember the pain of trials we went through then, because our situation has stabilized and the future doesn't look scarily uncertain anymore. I'm much more comfortable with the way life is going than I was last July and August. I felt that it just wasn't fair. We had avoided debt up until 2012, and suddenly we had 3 loans. We didn't even qualify to take out the other 2 (besides a student loan) without having co-signers, due to our lack of credit history. I felt that we would never see those loans paid off, because X looked like a huge amount of money. James started his job, so we started saving immediately and slowly making payments on all 3 loans. I resigned myself to being in debt for at least another 5 years, not knowing how we'll ever buy a house, get another car, or build up a substantial savings. A teacher's salary is plenty for us, but we aren't going to be millionaires.

Kenny miraculously took a long nap yesterday afternoon, which allowed me to completely do our taxes. I wasn't expecting much, but to my surprise, we got a very good refund. This refund is worth X-3. Yes, just 3 dollars short of those 2 loans. Since we've already paid on them, they are no longer worth X, so we have enough to buy a new computer, something we really need. (The laptop is falling apart at the seams and 3 1/2 years old!)

I'm still in shock that such a wonderful thing could happen. If we can keep up a "debt snowball", we could be out of debt by next year, easily! By paying off the ones we have, we will establish good credit, something we still wouldn't have by now. A house could be in our near future, and that makes me very excited. The Lord was watching out for us this whole time. Instead of handing us X amount of money, he helped us grow through the tough times, then gave it all back this year so we can continue on with our lives. I will never forget this experience, and it's definitely one that I will share with my children as soon as they will understand. Pay your tithing! It really works. :)