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Showing posts from April, 2009

Reflections on Ten Years as a Mother

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Ten years is a long time. I've reflected a lot on the path my life has taken as I've celebrated a decade of mothering.

Ten years ago, I never imagined where life would take us, nor that I'd have seven kids so close together. I didn't understand how hard some seasons of life would be, nor the devastation of certain events in my life.

But I also didn't understand the incredible growth and joy I'd feel in my work as a mother, nor the blessings of following this quiet path.

I've always been smart and I've achieved a lot of academic success. In high school, I interned at the Idaho governor's office and was one of just a few high school students chosen to intern at Hewlett-Packard after school. I've always been a good test-taker and I got near-perfect ACT and SAT scores. I had two colleges I really wanted to attend. I was one of 24 students who earned the top scholarship at one university and was one of 24 finalists for the top scholarship at the …

Ten Years

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Ten years and four days ago, I graduated from college with a degree in Family Science (also known as Marriage, Family, and Human Development). I'd been married two years and I was expecting our first child, a girl we'd call Lillian, the next day.

I was nervous about the experience. I'd never given birth before, and I'd never really loved babies. I'd always loved to babysit toddlers and older children, but I found babies boring. I worried I'd feel the same way about my own.

Ten years and three days ago, my second anniversary, which was also my due date, passed with no baby in sight.

Ten years ago, I gave birth at 11:53 p.m., seven minutes before our student insurance ran out. The peace and joy of the experience changed me forever.

Lillian has always been my joy and my light. I loved her more than I knew it was possible to love someone. When I greeted her, I felt as though I was meeting my best friend after a long absence.


I loved being a mother. A few days af…

Behind

I've got projects to tackle everywhere and I can't seem to catch up this week (this week? what am I saying? I can't seem to catch up this year!). I spent two hours this morning folding laundry, then another hour to straighten the kitchen and take a load to D.I.

But it seems like everywhere I go, there's another pile to take care of. Right now, I've got:

a messy office to tackle,
laundry room shelves to organize,
pictures to put in empty frames in the family room,
pictures to put up in the nursery,
the spring wardrobe shuffle to arrange (long-sleeve shirts to put away, shorts to pull out, lists to make of who needs what),
a van that needs to be cleaned out and vacuumed,
a garage to organize and sweep out (but can't do very much w/o DH's help)
lots of little home repairs to handle (but can't do much w/o DH's help)
a DH who isn't very available to help
a messy storage area
floors to mop
presents to buy for a wedding and baby shower this weekend
computer proj…

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

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Why we have three cats and not just one:



Look Mom, No Hands!

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Harmony has learned a new trick!

Eight months old and standing up!

For weeks, Harmony's been practicing this skill, especially in her high chair, which makes us all a bit nervous:



(and for those who actually watched the video -- I KNOW! We have now put her highchair on the floor, anchoring it by attaching it to the chair legs.)

She also gets up pretty high on her knees, trying to be a part of everything around her:



But yesterday she spent a good part of the day grabbing onto my hands, pulling up, letting go, grinning, falling down, and grinning some more. She's absolutely pleased with herself, and so are we. She's not walking, but she's able to balance and stand without support!



My kids have all been extremely active and seem to reach the moving milestones a bit early. I think their brains are just wired for early movement, though when Lillian started scooting at four months and walking at ten months, of course I was sure it was a sign of her intelligence (I know, those…

So much for camping!

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We were all set to go camping tonight. The kid are out of school; DH had worked with Joey to plan the menu (and fulfill a Scouting requirement), and we were so excited to go to Arches National Park.

That is, until yesterday:



The weather in Moab, Utah, was to be the same as here, 32 at night and 53 during the day.

I miss Spring. I think I caught a glimpse of her last week, teasing me by stopping by for a day or two, but otherwise, the last few months have been very cruel.

I tried to convince DH that since we weren't going camping, today would be a great day to clean out the garage. He didn't go for it.

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

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Every baby believes the world revolves around her.

Babies in our family don't just believe it.



They know it.





Simplifying Birthdays

Birthdays in our house come in clusters. We have two within 10 days in the spring (April 27, May 6), three within 20 days in the fall (October 27, 30, and November 11), and four within 40 days in the summer (July 2, July 29, and August 8 -- yes, I know that's only three dates, but I have twins).
With nine birthdays each year, it's been a bit of a challenge to figure out how to celebrate. When my oldest daughter turned 3, I was so excited because she was finally old enough for a party with her friends. We went all out and had a great time, and I continued throwing birthday parties for her and her brothers as they got older, but it didn't take very long for me to realize that, well, I just plain don't like throwing birthday parties. They're stressful an overwhelming. After nearly ten years as a mother, I think I've come to terms with the fact that I'm just not a crafty mom. Homemade party favors and fancy treat bags? I'd rather pass.
So our main celebratio…

Happy Easter!

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From our home to yours!

(Yes, I did make the three bigger girls' dresses, but it's not as impressive an accomplishment as it sounds. I cut them out clear back in October so I could make them for Christmas, but didn't finish them until this week for Easter)

We had a beautiful sacrament meeting yesterday. I got to sing with the choir some of my favorite hymns: "Jesus the Very Thought of Thee," "O Savior Thou Who Wearest," "That Easter Morn" and "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,"

I was thankful for the opportunity to reflect on what my Savior's Atonement and Resurrection mean to me. I was especially touched by these words that we sang:

What praises can we offer
To thank thee, Lord most high?
In our place thou didst suffer;
In our place thou didst die,
By heaven’s plan appointed,
To ransom us, our King.
O Jesus, the anointed,
To thee our love we bring!

And is it any wonder that this one is my favorite?

The Wonders of Chicago

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I've never been to Chicago. Unless you count sweating it out in the oppressive O'Hare airport for four hours waiting for a connecting flight (I don't). So I'm more than a little bit jealous that DH took his other favorite girl with him when he flew there for a conference last week.

Then again, I'm a wimp when it comes to heights, so perhaps I wouldn't have fully appreciated the view from the Hancock and Sears towers:

They've been planning this trip for ages, and Lillian paid for half of her flight and GoCard. She's been carefully saving her money since last June and by last month, she'd saved over $200, from her $9 a month for allowance ($1 per year of age), and money earned helping with extra jobs like babysitting and stacking wood.

I was so excited for her. Lillian and her dad left early Tuesday morning and had plenty of time between conference meetings to enjoy the sights of the city. They spent many hours in the Field Museum, enjoyed the Art I…

Living on the Edge of a Precipice

I've been uplifted and renewed by the talks given today in my Church's General Conference. Many of the messages focused on adversity. This is a subject I know something about, both from my own experience and by seeing and feeling deeply the trials of others. I've been thinking through what I might say on the subject a lot lately, particularly as I've watched my father deal with a crippling disease. He is now miraculously recovering, but the effects of the illness linger on.

It hurts to see someone you love struggle.

Tonight, I visited with a woman I admire and love who has dealt with more than her share of trial. The trials she has experienced would fill more than a few books (and in fact, they have!). As we talked about the Savior's atonement, we both rejoiced in the power of His love and the strength of His ability to carry us through the times of sorrow and struggle.

The truth is, we all live one step away from disaster. Hurricanes rage, floods rise, and people dis…