Friday, September 30, 2016

Premature Anxiety--- When Being Organized Can Backfire

I'm an organized person. I make and follow through on lists, charts, clearly defined goals, etc. I consider this a strength as I manage my household, multiple daily schedules, projects, and teaching (my own children being my current focus). I always know what is for dinner, my kids Halloween costumes are half-way completed, and I've got Gwen's piano lessons sketched out through May. But I think the 'planner' gene backfires when it comes to big, life-changing events. Like moving. Where my easy-going-never-plan-anything husband is baffled that I'm even thinking about it yet, I am starting to get moving anxiety! How come I am already feeling this... irritation?...from an event that won't occur for another 10 months? Nearly a full year away, and yet already my mind is cranking out insomnia-inducing lists of things to get done, I'm feeling pressure to start packing, and worrying about all the details!
 Naturally, I'm trying to manage my tendencies by starting early, sorting and decluttering now, finishing projects and such that will clear out my over-loaded-mental-to-do-list.... but it doesn't seem to be enough to assuage the anxiety. It helps to know I won't be 'wasting' things by being rushed into just getting rid of supplies or items I would rather see put to use. So my project to-do list is quite lengthy right now. Everything from Christmas present-making, to clothing items for my kids (that will become Christmas presents by default), to a project my mom commissioned me to do before our family reunion in the summer (which coincides dangerously close to the move and I therefore need to get all of the sewing finished sooner rather than later).
and so is my list of household/furniture/yard work/kid items for which I've got to find homes. 
and my list of projects to finish up around the house like painting, re-do grout, replace broken tiles, replace old boards on the deck and refinish, clear up and beautify flower beds, re-do retaining 'wall' in the front, and deep clean everywhere! 
and my list of things to start packing up as soon as I possibly can. 
I have to admit, it is completely irrational to stress about it NOW when there is still plenty of time and as my dear husband regularly reminds me, "worrying doesn't help at all anyway"...I stumbled across this little quote and thought it sounded like me right now. 

yup.  I am feeling a little slimy and toxic blob of mental unpleasantness with me all day every day. 

Irrational? Absolutely. 

But it is persistent and only seems to be increasing with the approaching holidays. I know I need to stop stressing and just take things one step at a time... but when the WHOLE PILE is on my mind ALL THE TIME, it feels like I'll crack before the 'one thing at a time' rule adds up to much relief.

Seriously, it is all mental. All. Because my daily tasks are more than manageable and my time is well-balanced and each day is truly happy with my family. But the mental burden is not dissipating. I have to wonder if I'll get any peace of mind until everything is packed (or maybe unpacked?)... 

sounds like it could be a 'mental-blob' next 10 months! lol!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

I'm not old

Do birthdays make you feel old? Remind you of your aging? Send you down memory lane? Make you wish for other years? I feel like my birthdays have become less significant to me as I've gotten older. I still love celebrating my children's birthdays, but mine are just... well... I just don't feel compelled to have all the pomp and circumstance for my own day. (Mother's Day, on the other hand, has become a much bigger deal to me!...)
Eric scattered little collections of flowers and post-it notes of love throughout the house so I'd find them when I got up. It was a wonderful surprise that kept on surprising me as I'd discover each new vase! Even when I thought I'd found them all, they just kept appearing! Best one was the laundry room. :)
I had a great birthday with a fun workout in the morning, well-behaved kids, a nice piano lesson with Gwen (I'm her teacher this year and my lessons are hit and miss in their awesomeness), time to work on some sewing, treats brought over, socializing with friends when collecting children from a playdate, City Barbeque deliciousness, and Graeter's ice cream with the gals after bed time. It was a wonderful day!

Birthdays are so interesting because you are celebrating an event you had little to do with successfully accomplishing (we should all give my MOM presents on my birthday!). You are also acknowledging your aging. But you know, I've never felt older on my birthday. And I still don't. I still feel like I'm 24 not 34. (Okay, I don't feel 14 and certainly not 4, so I guess I can measure SOME change!)
Here are a few things that keep me feeling young:

CREATE. I love to make things. Add to the beauty around me. Sew it, bead it, paint it, sing it... I just love to create! Above is a lace tee I made from the lace I had leftover from the wedding dress. Not enough for front and back, so I added a floral pattern for contrast on the back. I LOVE it! My new favorite shirt!

 DANCE. I love to move, to feel the music, to push my body and not be bored while doing it! I get the best workouts when I'm dancing because I push to the end of the song instead of talking myself out of as many reps or slacking off my intensity. Can't slack off when that beat is driving me! I love music and I love having a good time with my friends! I am so happy that I get to teach a "Zumba" class (I'm not a licensed instructor, so technically I can't call it that) once a week!

 EXPLORE. Eric and I are doing monthly stay-cation dates this year. We have had so much fun traveling around the world culinarily! I look forward to visiting some of these destinations for real some day, but in the mean time I'm happy to just explore from a distance!

 MOTHER. My kids keep me on my toes. Keep me busy. Keep me searching for new things and new places and new books and new ways to experience the world. I love seeing simple things through their eyes. Things I take for granted are kindled anew and become magical! Mothering gives me opportunities to help lil ones learn how to cope with imperfect moments (Emmett was not happy for this picture, but I still love it).

 LET GO. I am not always so good at this, but I try to not worry as much. To just enjoy living and not stress about what other people think of my house, my parenting, my financial choices, my occupation choice, my clothes... or my dance moves. These moments are when I can look back and know I was truly, blissfully happy! Photo cred goes to Breanne Weston Photography

 LEARN. I have a voracious appetite for learning new things, whether it be new places and cultures, or history, or skills. I love to read and non-fiction has moved up to my favorite genre of late. Best non-fiction reads of the summer? Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, and In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. And 2 others I read last year that were also fabulous: Horologicon: A Day's Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language and The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold in the 1936 Olympics. There is so much to learn and eating it up all keeps me young! Best learning is hands-on and we loved our sight-seeing this summer!

 LOVE. Oh, how can I express. My Eric keeps me young. Our love keeps me young. Our intimacy keeps me young. I. Absolutely. Adore. This. Man. We celebrated 10 years just recently. It was an exquisite excursion!

LAUGH. My mom once told me, "if you can laugh at it, you can live with it." I see the wisdom in this and have tried to find something happy or quirky in every day to keep the stress and worry from creeping in. It works wonders for keeping our family happy!...I will admit that this is soooooo much easier to do when Eric is around. He just makes me laugh so easily! He knows how to diffuse my angst like no one else!!!

 I don't have any great pics to illustrate the remaining things on my list. But I am quite certain that SERVE and FAITH belong there too. Whenever I start to think I've got a lot on my plate, I think of someone else I know whom I've had the opportunity to serve. and I remember to count my blessings. And most definitely my faith in Christ gives me hope and purpose, providing the joy to each day that makes life so wonderful. Without faith all the above things would become dull and lose their luster. Service and faith both keep me young because I remember I am more than myself. Keeps everything in perspective and helps me to appreciate each day. 

 nah, 34 isn't old. Not when I've got my wonderful family around me to keep me young! Happy birthday to me!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Big Boy Emmett

My baby boy turned 2 a couple weeks ago and I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledge his rapidly moving progression towards "big-boy-hood"!
His stats at 2:
h: 40%
w: 22%
head: 73%
He's no longer the chubby baby whose thigh and neck rolls had to be diligently cleaned out... but he's still got the large head to house his intelligent brain!

 For his birthday we did not have cake because he won't eat it. Instead we had his absolute favorite thing: fresh fruit! We lit and blew out the strawberry-candles a dozen times because he thought that was awesome and was laughing so hard we couldn't resist his requests for "again?" He didn't even hesitate before devouring his entire bowl!
 Gwen and Caroline approved!

Trying on his new cowboy boots. His current favorite things are cars, TRUCKS, trains, buses, and any other vehicle. 
While he's still happy, sweet and mostly easy going... he's not afraid to dish out the stink eye when mom blocks his view of construction vehicles! 
He loves riding his car-car all over the place, swinging, and playing "money" (one for the money) with Daddy. His favorite books are Freight Train and his new truck book. His favorite show is probably still Baby Signing Time, though he always asks for Batman, lol! He is very verbal and talks our ears off with demands and stories. He knows the names of 2 dozen friends and will randomly ask about one or another during the day ("Mommy, where's Remi?") and I get to come up with really creative guesses about what his friends might be doing at any given moment! When he wants something, he either politely says, "Emmett have it? Hold it hand?" before taking it... or... he'll just take it. Yeah, we're working on that one! He loves numbers (Chicka Chicka 1-2-3 is also a favorite book right now) and ABCs (his favorite is X. Sometimes E. Everything is X when he says it is. He will adamantly insist that a B or an S are both X and he'll get quite upset if you don't concur!
It has been so fun the past few months to really see his personality come out-- this boy definitely has preferences!  
 Loved the hat... the beard only lasted about 20 seconds!

 He adores fresh peas!

 And loves to be silly with his sisters. He loves to hold hands or sit in laps of his older sisters... or older friends (sorry, Jacob!!! He just adores you so much!)

 And for fun--- a little walk down memory lane. 
4 days old. His entrance was quite unforgettable!

 One week. Photo courtesy of my talented MIL. 

 Our chubby Buddha belly baby!

 A wonderful crying spell that got captured. I figured it could stand in for all the other fits! Mostly bc of  *gasp* being put down!

 Boy loves to eat!

I miss this sweet cherub face!

Luckily I have this one to look at now!

Happy Birthday, Emmett! We adore you!