Friday, September 24, 2010

How Do I Do It?

When I sit down and put pen to paper and list all my responsibilities I can get overwhelmed just trying to remember them all. Aren't most of us that way, though? I guess that's why we don't do it very often! I had a brief thought to try to make a list here, but got overwhelmed just thinking about it!

My life is full and I love it! I have my marriage, 5 kids, church activities, school activities, sports activities, friends, and on and on. People ask me how I do it and I'm never sure how to answer that question, but I give it a shot if they really want to know!

One key thing to realize is that what works for one family doesn't work for every family. I remember looking at women who I thought were amazing and "had it all together" and wanting to be just like them. Over time I realized that "having it all together" is relative and is really an illusion a lot of the time. I also realized that I am not those women! I have to do what works best for me and my family. So, I should get to know them and learn from them and then take that information to heart and apply it in a way that works best for my home. Easier said than done, though!

Managing my home is more challenging during some times of the year than others. But on the average day, here are some things that help me:

--Prayer. It may sound like something people just say, but I mean it. My faith is important to me and carries me through.

--Saying no! If I am asked to do something that doesn't line up with what is best for my family, even if it is a good thing, I have to say no. This gets easier each time I do it.

--Simplify. My two year old does not need a room full of toys and my 7 year old does not need 30 outfits or 7 pairs of shoes (neither do I!). We keep what we need and give the rest to other people. (We love hand-me-downs and get them a lot!) This helps with clean up time and laundry. The less we have the less there is to clean up and wash. Please do not think that my children don't have any toys or clothes. They have plenty and we still have toys that aren't really played with other than to dump them on the floor. That's apparently a two year old thing! But simplifying our home has played a key role in getting on top of managing it.

--Limits. My children are limited to one "sport" per school year. We feel it is important to be at home as a family for supper reasonably often and that is nearly impossible if our children do more extra-curricular activities than this. My 10 year old boy and 7 year old girl will be playing soccer this year, and my 5 year old girl will be taking a ballet class. The 2 year old and 1 year old boys aren't old enough yet! As my children get older I realize this will get harder because of school clubs and other things, but we have set a precedent in our home that our kids understand. They may have to say no to some things. And, really, that's okay.

--Planning. I am a calendar person! When a note comes home from school that a function is coming up, it immediately goes on the calendar. I also keep a master shopping list and if a note comes home asking me to bring an item, it immediately goes on the list. The only problem with this is that I do my shopping once a week, so if it's needed more quickly than that I have to have my husband grab it on his way home from work. That doesn't happen often, though.

--Meal planning. Every Monday evening I sit down and plan all the meals through the next Monday evening so that I can have my shopping list ready to shop on Tuesday morning.

--Flexibility. My husband has a job where he can get called in last minute, so sometimes I have to improvise when it comes to getting everyone where they need to go. It stresses me out! But I have (sort of) learned to be flexible. Most of the time my husband will run the kids to their sports activities as much as possible so I can get supper cooked and the other children bathed.

--Willingness to change. If my life is a struggle and something we are doing isn't working, my husband and I figure out what can be done to fix it... and we do it. Waking up every day dreading what the day will bring is just not a way we are willing to live on a regular basis, so we do what we can to change it when that happens.

I could probably go on, but there is only one more thing I simply have to mention and most days is what determines what kind of day it will be... and that thing... is ATTITUDE. My attitude is key. For one thing, attitude appears to be contagious. If I have a rotten attitude it doesn't take long before my husband and kids share that attitude. Then the day tends to go downhill from there.

Confession time! Quite honestly, there are several things that trigger a bad attitude in me. Hopefully that's not just me! It is somewhat freeing to know what my triggers are so I can be on guard. My biggest trigger is being late. I can't stand to be late!!! If I think I'm going to be late I'll start yelling at the kids to hurry and getting all huffy and angry. It's not pretty. I'm improving a lot in this area, though! Mostly because I make sure I'm not late, but if something crazy happens and I will be late... well... I'm working on it! Other things that completely ruin my attitude are negative, complaining people and things like flat tires or the internet going out.

I am learning, though. I am learning that it is impossible to be a successful wife, mom, church member, or friend if I have a bad attitude. So, when things start to go downhill like it did today when I was almost late picking my kids up from school because my 2 year old had hidden my keys in his toy box... I take a deep breath, pray, and ask God to help me.

I am thankful for my full life! There is never a dull moment... that's for sure!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Just Stuff..

I was all prepared to write some inspired post on patience or decision making or something "important" like that, but the words just would not come, so... I'm just going to let y'all know what's going on :-)

Life goes on in the midst of decision making and big life changes... my family still needs to eat and school is still in session and laundry still needs to be washed, dried, folded, and put away (laundry is my least favorite chore! - ha!). For several days I avoided everything but the bare minimum of the household chores, but then my husband ran out of clean underwear - ha! So, back to it!

I made a doctor's appointment today cause I've been having some strange symptoms. I couldn't get in for a couple weeks, but I will hopefully get some answers then. It is entirely possible my symptoms are all stress related, though.

My older two kids had their first soccer games. They both lost, but still had fun :) My son's game was really close and the other team scored at the last minute. My daughter's game wasn't even close. They played hard, though, and enjoyed themselves :-) My son is actually a pretty good soccer player. My 5 year old started a ballet class out at MCC and we are in love with her instructor :) I loooove her accent and she is great with the kids. My daughter isn't showing any signs of raw talent, but it's still early... and she's having fun :) Can you tell that fun is our goal with our extra-curricular activities? :-)

My Sunday School class is doing something really exciting! We are starting a downtown Bible Study called City Gate. It will start out being one Saturday night a month and is open to everybody, so if you are interested in more information let me know! The first one is Oct 23rd at 6pm at Union Station in the upstairs meeting room. It will be great! Please come :)

I should go fold some clothes... have a great day!

Friday, September 10, 2010


Well, the saying "you never know what tomorrow holds" is very real in my life right now. We got news that my husband's plant is shutting down permanently. We will be moving soon. He'll be working at a different plant within the same company.

How is it that one moment everything is rolling along just great and then all of a sudden "BAM!" everything changes?

It's not all that surprising I suppose. It's happened to us before... and it will happen to us again. That's just life. That still doesn't make it any less shocking when it happens, though.

This will be a hard and sad time for our family. We have sooo many people that we truly love here. We've invested our lives here. There are so many people we will miss terribly.

That being said, anyone who knows me well, knows that I'm not the negative wallowing type, so.... I'm about to make a list of things that have blessed me during this time of confusion....

---We still have a job! My amazing husband is great at what he does and an asset to the company... what a huge blessing! A move is better than being unsure of whether we'll have a paycheck coming at all anytime soon. There are many people in that boat and I'm thankful we're not in it. I love you sweetie!

---We feel so incredibly LOVED. It's not good that the people we love are sad :( I don't want them to be sad... but they are sad because they love us and don't want to see us go. It just means so much to me that we have been blessed with such amazing friends, church family, and school family here in Meridian. From the moment we started telling people what is happening, we have received an outpouring of love and encouragement. We are blessed.

---Our marriage is strong. My husband really is my best friend. We are there for each other. Yesterday was a roller coaster... one moment I was weak and sad and he held me, the next moment he was sad and I held him... then there were the moments we were both sad and we held each other. I cannot imagine what it would be like to go through a difficult time without him.

---God loves us!! Y'all know I'm very real about things... I'm not going to gloss over the negative in a way that makes it seem the negative isn't there at all. I have questioned why this is happening and I have felt frustration and anger and confusion. Yep, I have. And I will again, I'm sure. But at the end of the day, I trust God. He is sufficient. Thank you, Jesus, for loving me!

So... there are a few of the positives in my life right now. I am not naive enough to think that the negatives won't get the best of me in the weak moments, but with the support and love of my friends and family we will be okay. God is faithful, even when He doesn't make sense to us in the moment.

I'll post more on our move later :-)