Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Snapshot

My little chomper and his little chompers.

In the crib, in our crib.
March 2011, 7 months old.

I love the reflection of the crib bars in his eyes; it gives him sort of a cat-like look.

*Sigh* I love him.

(Although none of it really compares to the love I have for my family) 

Link up if you want to...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Confessional

Man, It's been a long time since I've done this, and I miss it!

Link up HERE with Glam and Mama and play along.  It's the right thing to do.

I confess:

  • I'm sick and tired of living in a society where everyone is trying to run everyone else's lives.  (See above: me telling you to link up)
  • Captain Jack cut 3 more teeth this week, and although it's good to get it all done at once, I feel as though I'm nursing this:

Not that he's a biter; it's just the thought of the damage those sharp little incisors could do that makes me a bit nervous.

  •  I'm sick of people who have a false sense of entitlement.  Your problems are your own; I'm sorry you have them, but it's not my job to solve them for you.  (Whew!  I feel better having let that out.)

  •  Friday afternoons are awesome!  I get to go read with the students in Nathaniel's class. His teacher asks who would like to read with me, and over half the students raise their hands calling out, "Me, me!"  It makes me feel loved. Of course, Nathaniel always gets to go first, since I'm his Mom.  I like to bring chocolate and Sour Patch Kids, and feed them to him secretly while we're out in the hall.  I want him to remember that- Mom making life fun and sweet when he would otherwise be bored in class. I want him to know he is special.

I read with the children who stand in need of improvement most. A few, you can tell, are lacking confidence in their own literary skills.  I love encouraging them, pointing out everything they are doing right, and telling them they are good readers.  Because they are.

"I love how you pronounce each word so clearly," I tell them, or, "You are so careful to get the word right when you sound it out; that's great!"  And I can see their eyes light up, and they hide a smile, and sit up a little straighter as they finish the book.  Kids are the best.  One can do just about anything if only one believes it.  I wish I would have known that when I was younger.
  • I'm happy.  Right here, right now, my life is good.  I know that everything that has happened in my life up to this point was supposed to happen.  The evidence for that? It did happen.  I am right where I'm supposed to be.  The evidence for that?  Here I am.   How can I argue with that?  I confess, I'm grateful for the peace and assurance that comes with that knowledge.  Really, really grateful.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Oh, Japan...

...we are praying for you.  

The devastation you are dealing with is unbelievable.

  Earthquake, fire, tsunami, and nuclear disaster all at once- unheard of.

Our hearts ache for you.

We hope you can recover from this.

Before and after arial pictures show the utter devastation.

  Run your cursor over the image to work it.

(Thanks to my MIL for this link)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Snapshot(s)

"If you could only love enough, you could be the most powerful person in the world". -Emmet Fox
True to it's name, this post is a documentary of our afternoon.  This afternoon.  'Cause I'm so on top of it.  For once.  (Take note as it may be a very long time before this happens again).

We have a Sunday rule of no TV or video games that  I was terrified to implement at first.  What were my children going to do all afternoon without a screen to stare at?  The first couple of Sabbaths were difficult, filled with whining and disbelief, and "I'm bored", all of which seemed to creep down my ears and make my back ache.  But I held my ground, and told them I would be happy to find a chore that could cure their boredom, and if they asked to turn on their DS's  onemoretime they would be missing them on Monday, too.

And on the third week, it happened,  We finished lunch, and Nathaniel turned to London and asked, "Do you want to go upstairs and play?"  And off they went, hand in hand, like Hansel and Gretel skipping into the woods to find a giant gingerbread house made of candy.  And they played together. All afternoon. I'm not exactly sure what, but I know from the aftermath that it involved princesses, army men, and legos. All the while Rich and I napped. A napping mom is a happy Mom.  I love Sundays.

Today they worked on drawings in their Pokemon card binders, little detailed drawings done in pen on lined notebook paper.  London had flowers and houses with little beds for the mice, and a magnificent drawing of the Snowbird resort, complete with 10 floors, a baby swimming pool, a 'hanger thngy" and "you get to watch TV in bed".

Nathaniel's rendition of Snowbird came complete with the arcade on the third floor, an ongoing bingo came, and a reception center.  There's even a ghost in the attic.  (Maybe we'll have to check for one when go we this August)  Looking at this, I'm just really amazed that no one in this drawing has a weapon.  Sometimes I think that boy must have been a WW2 vet in his past life. What a boy!

London makes her 'Scalliwag' face, and then leans in towards me and whispers, 
"Mom, just so you know, we. are. made. of. meat."

And since I've had a nap, I'm not even thinking about putting her in the oven.

Just so you know.

"The best thing to hold onto in life is each other. " -Audrey Hepburn

Friday, March 11, 2011

I'm Learning

"Be the change that you want to see in the world."
-Mohandas Ghandi 

I feel as though I've had a slow, but very real paradigm shift over the past few months.  I'm learning so much about myself.  For instance, I'm a codependent.  Well, maybe at this point, a recovering codependent.  " What's a codependent?" you might ask.  In Melody Beattie's book Codependent No More, it's defined as "one who has let another person's behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person's behavior."

That was me, for a long time.  In fact, I thought that was normal; that it was perfectly all right to try to control other people.  It was just my way of life.  I was fighting, always trying to get the world to change and become what I thought it should be.  I'm learning to surrender, to accept things as they are, and I'm becoming much happier with my life in the process.  Accepting reality also means accepting myself as I am- the good, the bad, and everything in between.  It's amazing how the smallest steps of progress in this area can make such a huge difference in how I live my life, and in how happiness comes to me.  It's an upward spiral and I'm loving it.

 The term "codependent" is usually associated with wives and family members of alcoholics.  For me, codependency is more of a mental state than a relationship.  It can come in many forms for different people.  Beattie describes some as "codependent on society.  They're striving so hard to follow rules and be politically correct that they don't know who they are.  They're not listening to themselves.  They're doing what they think they have to do because they're afraid not to, and because they're trying to please society." 

As I'm learning to let go of the things I can't control, I'm able to return to myself, and there I find, surprisingly, the only thing I can control- me!  I am minding my own business, living my own life, instead of trying to live others'.  As I have been able to figure out what is my business, what is other people's business, and what business is God's, it has helped me to focus properly on the things that are my stewardship.  Instead of living somewhere else mentally,I'm here.  It's now.  I've accepted the call to become more present in my own life.  I find myself listening- really actively listening- to my children and being more in tune to their needs.  I'm happier just to be.  Just to live and breathe and be.  Every day is different; every day brings something new.

I've learned that I can't control anybody else. At all.  I can't control their emotions, their actions, their thoughts- nothing.  And by trying to, I was never being true to myself.  Even worse, I was absent from my own life, missing out on me,  trying in vain to live their lives instead of my own.  As I let go of the desire to control things that aren't my business, my life begins to feel, for the first time, in control, because suddenly, my energy is going to the right place.

In her book,  The New Codpendency Melody writes "When we stop controlling others and set people free, we get our freedom back, too....We make our best decisions, get our clearest guidance, and move through life most naturally when our center is in ourselves and we're not exhausted and depleted from giving everything away."

 Here is something else Melody explains beautifully.  "I didn't want to suffer anymore.  There's a difference between feeling sadness and pain, and suffering.  While I cannot control events that trigger feelings of sadness, I can decide how much I want to suffer about it.  Suffering is how we feel about how we feel."

I think what she is describing here is that when we are hurt, we can be sad, and then move on, or we can live as 'victims' and wallow in our suffering. (I've done that.  It's not a nice way to live)  Probably we all know someone who plays the victim role all too well.  Do you enjoy being around that person?  I don't.  I don't even like myself when I'm in a 'poor me' mood.  It's annoying.  And another thing about 'victims' is that they need someone to be victimized by. They'll be offended by every little thing in order to play their role, and have everyone walking on eggshells around them; it doesn't make for very good company.  Sometimes, though, we really are victims, and we have a right to our emotions.  We can feel sad and angry and hurt.  In fact, it's good, it's healthy to feel and process those emotions.  Once it's run it's course, though, we need to let it go.  If years have passed and you're still playing the role of a victim, then you are victimizing yourself by living it over and over.  You are probably doing yourself more damage than anyone else could ever have the power to do you. 

The good news here is that it's all about attitude, and that is something we absolutely can control.  We don't always get to choose what happens to us in this life, but we do have control over the attitude we have as we approach our trials.   And I know, it's hard to live it, it's hard to walk it.  I feel like I falter every day.  But it all starts with changing our thoughts, and practicing gratitude daily.  One small change promotes another tiny change, which leads to another.  Recognizing what I have control over and what I don't was the first small change for me.  Life is good and getting better, and I'm still learning.

"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world - that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves. "
-Mohandas Gandhi

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My First Vlog

I love this little two-toothed cutie pie.  I love the smoothness of his skin, the brightness of his eyes, the way his sweet little dimpled hands reach for mine.  But mostly, I love his laugh....and I'll do just about anything to hear it!

And my sweet little helper?  She is the best daughter and sister and she just gets better every day. I don't know what I would do without her.

Want to hear it yourself? Click here.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Weight Issues?

You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body. -C.S. Lewis

Okay, I know I post a lot joking around with sarcasm and/or added tongue-in-cheek drama.  It makes for good reading.  However, this is a serious post.

My true feelings on weight:

I'm just not that concerned with it.

 I don't know what I weigh.

I don't even own a scale.

  Sometimes, when I'm at my Mom's I get on hers, but the numbers don't affect my self esteem or my mood.; it just doesn't matter to me beyond a slight curiosity. 

I think as women we tend to spend way too much time worrying about what other think about us.  The fact is no one, no one, cares as much about your appearance as you do.  (And if they do, whose business is it anyway? Certainly not theirs)

God made women- all women- with an inherent beauty that cannot be denied.  I do not know another woman who doesn't have her own kind of beautiful.  I have friends of every size, shape and color, and they are all lovely. 

Our society has put so much pressure on us to be thin and live up to someone else's standard of beauty, that most of us can't see past it.  I think the lie that we have to be something we are not distracts us from the happiness we could be having if only we would accept ourselves as we really are.  God made us as we are; aren't we insulting Him by saying we are not good enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, not tall enough, not smart enough, not tan enough?  I think in a very real sense that that is the ugly voice of ingratitude speaking.

We are what we are.  We don't have to be anything we aren't. If we can find satisfaction with what we have, it enables us to be filled with love and peace, rather than emptiness or longing.  The woman who is truly happy with her life, is the one who can recognize her own blessings instead of being filled with envy towards others.

If we have bodies that are healthy, bodies that are able to function, able to serve, able to help us love and nurture, then we have good bodies.  Period.

Why waste your life being unhappy and dissatisfied because of a cultural meme?  What would your life be like if you didn't feel like you had to measure up to someone else's standard of beauty?  Would you have more peace?  More time to just love and be loved?  Would you be kinder to you offspring (who remind you so much of yourself?)  Kinder to your friends?  Be a little nicer behind that skinny girl's back?

What can a thin lady do that an overweight one can't do?  When I workout with my "Biggest Loser" videos, the contestants kick my butt.  And I love them for it.  This life comes at you fast; it's over before you know it.  I want to spend the rest of  my life happy, taking care of myself and my own.  I don't want to die and realize I never really was living because I was so concerned with what other people were thinking that I was never fully present in my own life.  I just want to enjoy things as they are, and live in the moment, no matter what my size is.

God is not proud...He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him.-- CS Lewis

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dear Annonymous

Lol!!!  I love you KyAnn!!!!!