Thursday, January 24, 2013

Still here... and growing!

Life with 6 little children as the wife of the Bishop is pretty busy. I have started using my phone for 99% of my internet usage which is why my blog has been neglected. I want to change that though, both the excessive usage of my phone and the neglecting of my blog. So as much as I want to go back to when Brandon was 3 months old and catch up in order I'm going to start today with a post for today.

Most of you are on Facebook or Instagram with me so you still know what's going on in my life, but I know several of you aren't so this may come as quite a surprise to you: We are expecting baby number seven! Here are the pictures that we posted on Facebook and emailed to our families to announce our pregnancy:

We really are very excited about this new baby. It's a bit overwhelming at times to think about having 7 children, and it's more than a bit comical to try to picture ourselves raising these 7 children with any amount of grace or style or profound wisdom. It's kind of more like a chaotic survival camp with a lot of love and laughter mixed in. It gets really really messy around here and it's usually pretty loud, but someone is always found helping or loving on someone, and there are always smiles on at least a few faces, and we are happy and doing our best, and we feel good about that.

Monday, March 5, 2012

30 Years...

30 Things To Do On My 30th birthday (in no particular order):

1. Sleep In
2. Enjoy breakfast in bed
3. 30 minute dance party with the kids
4. Watch cartoons while eating cereal
5. Eat 30 pieces chocolate (calories don't count on your birthday!)
6. 30 minutes of exercise (because we all know that, sadly, calories ALWAYS count! Lol!)
7. Give away $30
8. Rock out to some New Kids on the Block
9. Blow bubbles with my gum
10. Give away 30 cookies
11. Write a silly poem
12. Take a bubble bath
13. Talk in an English accent for 30 minutes
14. 30 random acts of kindness
15. Stop and smell the roses
16. Give each of my kids (& hubby) a HUGE hug and tell them how much I love them
17. Build a fort with my kids and play in it with them
18. Skip down the street
19. Take pictures of 30 things that make me smile
20. Laugh until my cheeks hurt
21. Tell 30 people how they have touched my life
22. Color in a coloring book with crayons
23. Read for 30 minutes while snuggled in a blanket in front of the fire
24. Sing while in public
25. Paint my toenails 30 different colors (3 colors per nail :)
26. Give 30 compliments
27. Eat desert before dinner
28. Start a list of things I want to accomplish in the next 30 years
29. Enjoy a night out with my fabulous husband for dinner
30. Go to bed with a smile on my face bursting with love and gratitude for my amazing family and wonderful life!

Highlights of my 30 years so far: Born, baptized, hiked half dome in Yosemite, graduated High School, moved away, got engaged, married the most amazing man in the Fresno California LDS Temple, had 6 beautiful kids, bought our first house, went to Portugal, Germany, and Italy, took our kids to Disneyland several times, bought our second house, went to Hawaii, celebrated 10 years of marriage to the most amazing man on earth! Ran a full marathon, survived over a year (and counting) as the Bishop's wife, training for a half marathon... I think it's been pretty amazing so far! Can't wait to see what the next 90 years will bring!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Brandon - month 3

Happiest.Baby.On.The.Planet!! The End!

Brandon and his favorite cousin Hayden! (love how they are holding hands)

These 3 brothers are so sweet to each other! I love watching them all snuggle together!

Brandon was a super happy easy going smiley 3 month old baby!

Nathan's soccer season

I am still trying to catch up on blogging and thought that I would add a few fun pictures of Nathan during his soccer season this past fall. He did SUCH a great job and as soon as he'd get into play he'd take off with the ball and score a goal!

He was a pretty intense player. It was SO much fun to watch his face as he played. He would be screaming with excitement or smiling so huge it looked like his face would crack!

We love you Nate-man! So glad you had so much fun playing soccer this fall!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Follow up to my previous post

First of all I need to apologize for not being sensitive to other women's situations and circumstances in writing my previous post. I was kind of emotionally charged while writing it and didn't think about how it would read coming from any other perspective than my own! I wrote that post for my own benefit and posted things that I have learned and ways that I have dealt with feelings of being stressed and overwhelmed with motherhood at times and I recognize that not all women feel the same way that I do or SHOULD feel the same way. It's simply what works for me. I hope it didn't come across sounding like I am perfectly happy and joyful every minute of every day in my parenting. Or giddy as I change poopy diapers or 'tickled pink' as I am called to be referee to my fighting hyenas at times! I am SO very far from being that Mary Poppins or Giselle from Enchanted image that comes into my mind as I wrote that! I simply meant that I have that as a goal. I HOPE to be able to find joy in the mundane things. I want to and I strive to and I TRY to. A lot of the emotions behind this post came from the attitude of 'not needed to try' that I felt came off when reading the article I mentioned before.

Here is where I need to say that I realize that there are many MANY women who do TRY to find joy in Motherhood, who try their very best to enjoy every day as a mother but different circumstances (such as clinical depression) make that quite a lofty goal. You should never feel bad if it's hard to find that joy! It is VERY hard, even for those of us who have never struggled with depression or other illnesses, so I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for those of you amazing women who do. I LOVE the scripture that was quoted by my cousin-in-law Aaron in his comment saying that we should not run faster than we have strength. The full scripture reads, "And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order." Every one of us are different and each have our own strengths and weaknesses and our own set of challenges. None of us should try to do more than we are able. Everybody's "try" looks a little different and there is nothing wrong with that and ALL efforts to try to find joy should be commended! Like I said in my previous post, we should not compare ourselves with others and their abilities or their parenting styles. I love what the scripture teaches here, that as long as we are diligent we will "win the prize". I think the prize in this case is joy. Not giddy, silly joy; but a true deep and meaningful sense of satisfaction that we are doing what the Lord wants us to do. As we do our best and as I said in my post, don't try to do too much or try to do it alone, we will come to find that kind of joy and it will be the ultimate prize. I think that is our mutual goal: To feel joy in motherhood. Even the article that I referenced that made me kind of upset at the time said the same thing, that our goal is to find joy in motherhood, even if it's only 15 minutes of joy a day, find the joy, or at least try to.

Another very important thing needs to be said that I feel VERY strongly about. No one. NO.ONE can tell you how to parent your children. No one should. You know them better than anyone and YOU were chosen by Heavenly Father to be their mother. He chose you... on purpose! For a reason! He wants YOU to raise those children, not anyone else. You can read books, seek advice and council from friends and family and people you trust or from people you feel have done a good job, but ultimately it's up to you and your husband and the Lord to put into practice parenting techniques that are best for you. Each parent needs to pray about their own children and even if you see an idea that sounds so perfect and looks like it works so perfectly for other families, it may not work for you. You shouldn't try to make it work for you. Pray about it, ask Heavenly Father's help and guidance, and like I said in my previous post, He will help you. He WANTS to help you! He wants you to succeed in raising your children and he wants you to be happy and feel good about your efforts. I can stand on my soap box all day long and tell you what I've learned and what works for me but in the end it doesn't matter to anyone but me and my family. Maybe someone might read something that I've written and feel good about trying a similar technique in their home and maybe it will work and maybe it won't. What matters is that you are doing what is best for you and your family.

I hope that I didn't cause anyone (else) to feel guilty about their parenting or their struggle with finding joy in motherhood as you read my post. That was not my intention at all. I hope that writing this little addendum will help anyone who may have felt that way to understand that we are all different and we all have different needs and different ways of doing thing and one way IS NOT better than another. We are all different and we should all view our roles as mothers as very individual things that no one can tell us how to do. One way is not right or wrong. This post was simply my way of expressing my thoughts on the things that I have learned and that have worked for me and my family.

The truth is, the mere fact that you are a mother tells how very much Heavenly Father loves you and trusts you. You are exactly what your children need. And whether you struggle every day to carpe 15 minutes or you are trying to seize a whole entire day, you are greatly blessed for your efforts. You are doing a very important work and as long as we are each diligent in our own way and doing our very best we will obtain the prize. I know that's what I'm striving for, the prize of joy in my journey, the prize of eternal life with my crazy, wonderful family. Striving being the key word. Striving doesn't mean achieving or succeeding, it means working hard every day, trying, sweating, crying. Striving to obtain the prize, but at my own pace, in my own way, not faster than I have strength and all in wisdom and order.