Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Reason

I've been watching lots of Christmas movies lately. They are full of fun, cheer, and good feelings. In one of the movies, a man is talking to a group of people. He wants to get them past the commercialism and stress to the true reason for Christmas- being together with family and loved ones.

I did a mental double-take when he said that. The true reason for Christmas is what? Yes, family is important and Christmas can be a great time to reunite with your loved ones, but that's not the reason behind Christmas.

The reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Regardless of it not being his actual birthday or anything else, Jesus Christ is the true center of Christmas. Why? Because of who he is, and what he would do with his life.

Here are some messages from Jesus:


Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Dream Big

The law of attraction, the power of positive thinking, karma, fate, kismet, divine intervention, good feng shui, destiny, serendipity, attitude of gratitude, seeing the cup half full, self-fulfilling prophecy, or just plain old good luck. Whatever you want to call it, there's a power in thinking good things that makes you have a good life.

It is possible to change your attitude, though it usually isn't easy. It takes a knock down to your pride and a lot of humble pie to stop being angry, mad, sad, revengeful, or unhappy. There are definitely situations in life that make you feel all these emotions, and it's not bad to experience them. It's healthy to go through stages of grieving. It's healthy to not bottle up your emotions, but to experience them and let the bad ones go. It's unhealthy to always live surrounded by these bad feelings.

Honestly, it isn't fun to be mad or sad or angry. It can be full of passion (any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, such as love or hate*) which some people take to consider as full of life and purpose. But bad passions or bad powerful feelings are not good reasons to live.

Everyone goes through hard experiences that can leave you bitter, resentful, and depressed. But you have to, you need to experience the emotion and then let the bad feelings go. Leave a space for good feelings then work to put good and light into your life.

Take time out of your day to be alone in your thoughts and feel good things, like appreciation for family, friends, good memories, possessions, jobs, money, food, shelter, clothing, little luxuries, health, abilities, and talents. Take time out of your day to dream about what you want in life, the ultimate life plan for you- your house, car, family, friends, job, vacations, possessions, etc... Doing this helps you refocus on what you do have and what you really want out of life. 

Some would say that you would then attract these items in your life. Others would say that by focusing intently on them for a while, that they then stay in your mind and you subconsciously work towards those dreams until you achieve them. There are religious people who would say that by being thankful for and taking good care of what you have, you become a steward over more blessings. There are groups of people who would say that you are just plain lucky if you get things you dream about.

Focus on good, work through and avoid the bad. Attract good to your self and Dream Big and let yourself live the dream by making it a reality.

When you cry be sure to dry your eyes
'Cause better days are sure to come
And when you smile be sure to smile wide
Don't let them know that they have won
And when you walk, walk with pride
Don't show the hurt inside
Because the pain will soon be gone

And when you dream, dream big
As big as the ocean blue
'Cause when you dream it might come true
When you dream, dream big

When you laugh be sure to laugh out loud
'Cause it will carry all your cares away
And when you see, see the beauty all around and in yourself
And it'll help you feel okay
And when you pray, pray for strength
To help you carry on
When the troubles come your way

And when you dream, dream big
As big as the ocean blue
'Cause when you dream it might come true
When you dream, dream big


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thank You, Mom and Dad

I've always appreciated my parents and loved them. They are great parents to me and have always taken good care of me and loved me a lot growing up.

Then I got married and had kids of my own, and I appreciate my parents on a whole new level. I never realized just quite all the sacrifice and worry and love they willingly pour over me and my siblings.

I read an ARTICLE that points out some of the things I didn't realize until I became a parent. Here are the 10 points it brings up:

"1. You made her cry... a lot. She cried when she found out she was pregnant. She cried as she gave birth to you. She cried when she first held you. She cried with happiness. She cried with fear. She cried with worry. She cried because she feels so deeply for you. She felt your pain and your happiness and she shared it with you, whether you realized it or not.
2. She wanted that last piece of pie. But when she saw you look at it with those big eyes and lick your mouth with that tiny tongue, she couldn't eat it. She knew it would make her much happier to see your little tummy be filled than hers.
3. It hurt. When you pulled her hair, it hurt; when you grabbed her with those sharp fingernails that were impossible to cut, it hurt; when you bit her while drinking milk, that hurt, too. You bruised her ribs when you kicked her from her belly; you stretched her stomach out for nine months; you made her body contract in agonizing pain as you entered this world.
4. She was always afraid. From the moment you were conceived, she did all in her power to protect you. She became your mama bear. She was that lady who wanted to say no when the little girl next door asked to hold you, and who cringed when she did, because in her mind no one could keep you as safe as she herself could. Her heart skipped two beats with your first steps. She stayed up late to make sure you got home safe, and woke up early to see you off to school. With every stubbed toe and little stumble, she was close by; she was ready to snatch you up with every bad dream or late night fever. She was there to make sure you were OK.
5. She knows she's not perfect. She is her own worst critic. She knows all her flaws and sometimes hates herself for them. She is hardest on herself when it comes to you, though. She wanted to be the perfect mom, to do nothing wrong -- but because she is human, she made mistakes. She is probably still trying to forgive herself for them. She wishes with her whole heart that she could go back in time and do things differently, but she can't, so be kind to her, and know she did the best she knew how to do.
6. She watched you as you slept. There were nights when she was up 'til 3:00 a.m. praying that you would finally fall asleep. She could hardly keep her eyes open as she sang to you, and she would beg you to "please, please fall asleep." Then, when you finally fell asleep, she would lay you down and all her tiredness would disappear for a short second as she sat by your bedside looking down at your perfect cherub face, experiencing more love than she knew was possible, despite her worn-out arms and aching eyes.
7. She carried you a lot longer than nine months. You needed her to. So she did. She would learn to hold you while she cleaned; she would learn to hold you while she ate; she would even hold you while she slept, because it was the only way she could sometimes. Her arms would get tired, her back would hurt, but she held you still because you wanted to be close to her. She snuggled you, loved you, kissed you and played with you. You felt safe in her arms; you were happy in her arms; you knew you were loved in her arms, so she held you, as often and as long as you needed.
8. It broke her heart every time you cried. There was no sound as sad as your cries, or sight as horrible as the tears streaming down your perfect face. She did all in her power to stop you from crying, and when she couldn't stop your tears, her heart would shatter into a million little pieces.
9. She put you first. She went without food, without showers and without sleep. She always put your needs before her own. She would spend all day meeting your needs, and by the end of the day, she would have no energy left for herself. But the next day, she would wake up and do it all over again, because you meant that much to her.
10. She would do it all again. Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs anyone can do, and it will take you to your very limits sometimes. You cry, you hurt, you try, you fail, you work and you learn. But, you also experience more joy that you thought was possible and feel more love than your heart can contain. Despite all the pain, grief, late nights and early mornings you put your mom through, she would do it all again for you because you are worth it to her. So, next time you see her, tell your mom thank you; let her know that you love her. She can never hear it too many times."

I think this applies to dads too. A lot of times dads are left out because they are gone from the home working to provide for the family more often than moms. I know my husband feels every bit as much a father as I do a mother to our children, and they love him every bit as much.

Parenting doesn't end when the kids leave the house, it's a lifetime labor of love.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Coffee With Jesus

My mom is an avid reader and recently suggested I read Coffee with Jesus. I put it off, but then she posted a couple strips (it's comic strip style) on Facebook, and I thought I should read the book.

As I read it, I'm reminded of the same simple truths, but in a more modern way. It's reminded me once again, that as fun as brain-candy books are, I still need a good dose of fruit-and-veggie books. After watching lots of fun shows on Netflix, it's nice to watch some Ted. Along with good times, I need inspired times too, and Coffee with Jesus is doing that for me right now.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Stay Home

It seems like almost every time we take our two year old to church, she gets sick. I know it's not just us that this happens to because several friends have mentioned it also. It's even harder because we have a five month old who easily catches whatever her big sister has.

If you are sick, if your kids are sick, please stay home! Order some delivery for dinner. Rent a couple movies online. Or better yet- cook at home and watch the movies you own. Just please stay home!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Infusing Thanksgiving Into Christmas

So many people eagerly jump straight from Halloween to Christmas, with just a quick break for a big Thanksgiving Day meal before the dreaded/lusted after Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday shopping frenzy.

On the other hand, there are those who won't pull out a Christmas decoration or listen to a Christmas song one minute before the day after Thanksgiving, some not until December first.

I am one who appreciates that November is about Thanksgiving and gratitude, however I like to plan ahead and am thinking of Christmas presents already too.

How can these major holidays live side by side?

Be grateful you have someone to shop for.

So many people get depressed around this joyful time of year because they have had a significant loss. There are many with no grandma, no father, no husband, no best friend, no ten year old granddaughter, no four year old little boy, or no newborn daughter to shop for.

There are also so many kids who won't get anything or hardly anything for Christmas because their parents can't afford it or they have parents who don't care. It's hard to forget the little boy from Polar Express.

This Thanksgiving and Christmas, be grateful for those you have around you. Add Thanksgiving into your Christmas this year.

Monday, October 13, 2014

It's Believing That Gets Me Through

"Babies lost in the womb were never touched by fear, they were never cold, never hungry, never alone and importantly always knew love" - Z Clark-Coates (
I recently read this quote and I didn't like it.

When we lost our first child, people told us he was special and that we were special. He wouldn't have to feel the pain of the world.

I was willing to let him feel a little pain if he could have come back to us. I would have been okay if there were times he was a little scared, cold, hungry, or alone if he could have stayed with us. He is always loved, here or not, that would never have changed. The good would have outweighed the bad more than enough to make it worth him being part of our family on earth.

Today I was loading the dishwasher and my baby started crying the last five or so minutes. I kept saying, "It's okay, I'm almost done." She didn't understand me, didn't know I was five feet away keeping an eye on her, all she knew was that she was unhappy, and she let me know.

When I was done with the dishes, I picked her up to comfort her for a minute, then laid her down to wrap her up for her nap. The cries that had subsided immediately started again with more intensity. I held her fighting arms down as I wrapped her up. Then I snuggled her, shushed her, rocked her, and patted her back to calm her down and get her to sleep.

Doing this made me think of what it's like for God to deal with us. We don't understand his plan for us, why he does or doesn't do things. There is so much fear, cold, hunger, and pain in this world. Why? I don't know. I don't know, but I have to believe he does. I have to believe in him.

Do you believe in God, that he is? Do you believe he created everything? Do you believe he has all wisdom and power, on earth and in heaven? Do you believe that man can't understand all the things God understands?

"Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend. ... [I]f you believe all these things see that ye (have faith in) them." when the times are hard.

Just as my baby can't understand why I wouldn't pick her up right away, why she had to cry, why she had to feel sad, why I was holding her arms down while wrapping her up, why she gets hungry, why it hurts when she scratches her face, why she's too cold or too warm, why she can't sleep in my arms all the time, we have to understand that we don't understand God.

Even if I don't understand why he allows bad things to happen to me, even if I can't feel his love, I do believe that God is always there for me and loves me deeply.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Infinite Cosmic Power, Itty Bitty Living Space

When you consider all the things a little hand held device replaces, it actually seems like a good deal!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Daughter Thinks

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(This post was written by my little daughter!)

Monday, September 8, 2014

It Will Happen To You

When I lost my first baby, my good friend was there for me when I needed her. She seemed to know what to do because she'd lost her first babies- twins. A couple months later I asked if it was hard for her to come help me. She said it was, but she knew I needed her. Also, she said that someday I would have a friend who lost a baby, and they would need me.

A little over a year ago, a girl I used to babysit lost her first baby. I hadn't been in touch with her for a long time, but my sister got us reconnected, and I tried to help, but there's only so much you can do online. I thought, okay, here's the person I know that lost a baby, I did what I could.

Then very recently, a friend I've known for years, a really good friend, lost a baby. I thought, this is really what my other friend meant. When it's someone you know really well it is even harder. I cried for her and her loss, but some of the tears were for me and my loss as well, almost four years later.

The feelings of loss and sadness, the anxiety, the loss of hope come back. But it's multiplied because of her loss too. I knew what she was probably feeling, and it hurts to know that someone you love is hurting so much. There's not much I can do for her except to show my love and support by letting her know I'm here for her. I can give her advice, and I have let her know some things that helped me, but the best I can do for her is to give her a hug.

Oddly, even if you've been through something before, it doesn't mean you know what to say to the next person. Every situation is different and every person is different.

There are some things I'd like her to know:

Time will help heal your heart. There will still always be a huge wound, and it probably will never truly close, but it does heal a little, though it will always hurt. It's not that you forget your baby or stop loving them, it's that you've adjusted to the wound, you've found a new normal where you can deal with everyday life without breaking down all the time, just sometimes.

You will be happier again. The sadness and grief won't always overwhelm your life, but it's good that it is now. Grieving is a good thing. People will probably expect you to 'get over it'. They will expect you to move on and be 'normal' sooner that you are ready. Ignore them and do what is best for you. People will give you lots of advice on how to get better, but the only way you'll get better is time and doing what's best for you and your family. Advice from a trusted therapist is helpful, advice from the cranky lady at the grocery store or the busy body uncle is not.

It's okay to be mad at God and at your pregnant neighbor. The world doesn't seem fair, and honestly I don't think it is fair. Somehow it's all supposed to balance out in the end, but it's not the end yet. My good friend told me that being mad at God is like being mad at your parents growing up. You still loved them, but you could be really mad at them too. God understands and can take anything you throw at him and turn it into love. As far as your friends and neighbors, you'll probably be happy for some people and their children but really dislike other people and their children. That's normal.

People will say stupid things, sometimes intentionally, but usually unintentionally. Find someone who will let you vent and then try to let it go, though you probably will always remember.

You'll always feel the presence of you child around, during the happy times and the sad times. There's a shadow in the corner of your eye of a happy, laughing child running around. You'll know how old they would be if they were alive, what they would probably look like, what they would be doing. Your child will always be around, if not in your arms, in your heart. It hurts, but it helps to know you won't ever forget.

Mostly I want you to know that if I can help you, I will. I love you and I'm here for you. I've been there before and sometimes just knowing someone is thinking of you is the best thing they can do.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Parenting Perspective

The year after I graduated from high school, my mom and I were talking with a young mother who had two girls, about ages 6 and 3. She said that she taught the oldest to turn on the TV and get breakfast for her and her sister when they woke up. This way she could sleep in past six in the morning.

I thought that was so lazy and how could she not get up with her girls! I can't remember what my mom thought about it, probably a little surprised because my mom never did that, but probably understanding.

Now I'm a mom of an almost 2 1/2 year old and 3 month old, and it is seriously tempting to do the same thing! She almost knows how to work the remote anyways, and she gets snacks out of the pantry when she's hungry already.

When I was married about six months, no kids, a guy told me his wife and new daughter slept until ten in the morning every day. My alarm was going off at 5:30 am to go to work back then, so 10 am sounded practically lazy.

Little did I know that once I had my daughter a year and a half later, by sleeping till 10 am, he must have forgotten to mention that his wife had gotten up at midnight, three, and six in the morning to feed the baby first and then slept till ten and then fed the baby again.

As much as I thought I knew about what raising children would be like, I could never know until I actually raised children what it's like. I have a new parenting perspective. I have more understanding and sympathy when I see other parents working hard to take care of children. 

Some people talk about how people for centuries didn't have TVs, washing machines, microwaves, and cars, and they raised ten kids each, and they survived. But I say you'd have a lot of trouble finding one of those parents back then who would not take a washing machine and a car! There's a reason that so many people have TVs and microwaves, and it's because they are nice and helpful. Don't feel bad for using them, you're lucky to have them!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Beauty Inside

Sometimes I look in the mirror and think, "Wow, I look really pretty!" Other times I look in the mirror and think, "Do I really look like that? I don't feel like that."

My brain sees myself as a beautiful person, physically and mentally. I picture myself thinner with better looking hair, so when I see the chubbier person with messy hair, it's a little surprising sometimes.

I've known some very special people who just seem to glow, and it's not because of their bronzer, it's because of their beautiful personality. They look beautiful because their insides are shining through, and they make me feel beautiful.

In Jr. High we had an assignment to pick one defining characteristic we wanted to be remembered for after we were dead. I thought hard and picked kindness. I still want that. I want to be the person that makes others feel good. I want to be the person that leaves other people smiling, not because I'm funny or funny looking, but because I helped them see the good in themselves.

Another word I use now is charity. Charity in a spiritual not monetary sense. True charity is pure love. I want to have the ability to love and accept people. I want to not judge them before I get to know them, or after. I want to uplift people, not leave them with bad feelings.

I love myself, and I know people love me, and I've felt the love and acceptance of family, friends, and strangers. That makes me feel beautiful. I want to pass that feeling on to others so they can feel beautiful and others will see their beauty too.

Acting beautifully is a way to change the world. Put good out and good will return to you. You have the power to change the world with kindness and charity. You'll probably never know that you helped change the world, but you'll keep on giving out good because it feels good, it feels beautiful.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I Still Exist

I still exist.

Even if my hair is pulled back in a braid every day then let loose into a crazy wave at night, at least I took a shower.

Even though we may have gone over our restaurant budget the last months of pregnancy and the first months of a newborn, I still made meals at home, and we ate as a family every night.

Even though I still have extra weight accumulated from three pregnancies in four years, I just consider myself more comfortable to cuddle with for my kids and hubby.

Even though my toddler watches more tv than is recommended by the people who know, at least I sit with her most of the time while she watches.

Even though my child ate lots of popsicles and ice cream this summer, she also eats almost a can of corn in one sitting.

Even though I haven't blogged in a long time, I still have been thinking and jotting down thoughts for when I had the brains and time to blog.

That time is now. Get ready. It's coming...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Books By The Foot

I found a really neat website- Books By The Foot, You can order books by the linear foot or by the box. They organize them by subject, color, vintage, childrens, or probably anything you can think of. Someday I'm going to order some just for fun! It would make a great way to start a library or a book-lover's ideal present.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

18 Small Ways To Motivate Yourself

Brad Larsen wrote the following article that just says it all: 

"Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis." - Zig Ziglar

Even the most motivated of us can feel unmotivated at times. In fact, sometimes we get into such a slump that even thinking about making positive changes seems overwhelming.

These motivational fluctuations are part of life, and there are bound to be days when we just don't feel like showing up.  It's not that some people are motivated and some aren't ... It's just that some people are eager to change and others may not be ready.

Are you ready to change? With some small steps you can get started down the road to positive change. Being motivated is a wonderful state of being, where we all would all like to spend more time.

The good news is that you can re-create this state pretty much whenever you want. Utilize some of these strategies regularly, and self-motivation will come naturally when needed:

1. Seek inspiration.  Positive, optimistic, energetic people will always shift your vibration in the right direction. Search them out and become their friend.  Read inspirational books or blogs about your goal often and then visualize what it would be like to reach that goal.

2. Avoid Energy Vampires. Naysayers, pessimists, and braggers will suck up your energy. Avoid at all costs these energy thieves. Sadness, whining and complaining doesn't play well with motivation.

3. Get Support. Find your support network, either in the real world or online, or both. Keeping yourself accountable is easier when you bring other people into the mix. Ask a friend or colleague if they'd be willing to help keep you motivated for a short-term project.

4. Commit publicly. Broadcast your plans on your social media networks. By letting everyone know what you're doing, you will inherently feel responsible to stay motivated.

5. Stay Positive.  Find the good in the bad. Negativity can eat you alive if you let it. Don't let the little things get you down. Try squashing negative thoughts like a bug, and then replacing them with a corresponding positive thought.

6. Think of a Personal Mantra. Spend time thinking of a motivating mantra to keep you focused. A phrase or a few positive sentences about reaching your goals should help keep you moving. Put it somewhere that you will see every day. Sending yourself daily reminders also helps.

7. Stay focused. Keep your sights on the big picture. You have to have a long-term goal and a personal mission that you are striving to achieve.  Focusing on and reinforcing them at certain intervals is surely one of the greatest motivators of all.

8. Create Personal Challenges. Personal challenges are short-term goals, usually from 15 to 90 days. Using personal challenges strengthens your inner power.  The more you do, the more motivated you feel to do even more.

9. Simplify.  If you feel like what you're trying to accomplish is bigger than you, scale it back. Choose one goal, for now, and focus on it.  Spread tasks out over a few days. Break multifaceted tasks into smaller, more achievable goals that you can cross off more frequently.

10. Make a List.  Having a written list of tasks to accomplish is the only way to get anything done. Spread your work for the week over each of the five days. When you finish a task, cross it off the list.
11. Assess Your Progress. If you work constantly, you will make progress. Watching back with satisfaction at what you created will surely boost your energy.

12. Just Do It!  Once you get started on something, you'll almost always get into it and keep going. If you still find motivation lacking, try getting started on something else. Something trivial even, then you'll develop the momentum to begin the more important stuff.

13. Reward Yourself.  To keep yourself motivated, promise yourself something special when you achieve your short term and long-term goals.

14. Do Something Enjoyable. Start the day by doing something that you like.  By getting your head in a happy place, you're putting yourself in a better situation to want to get down to business when you're finished.

15. Set a Time Limit.  There's nothing better than plain old pressure to motivate someone. Set a time limit to help you stay on track. Watching a clock countdown will give you the gusto to keep going in hopes that you can beat it.

16. Know Yourself.  Keep notes on when your motivation sucks and when you feel like a superstar. There will be a pattern that, once you are aware of, you can work around and develop.

17. Don't Aim For Perfection. Accepting that you can be "better" instead of "perfect" leaves room for growth. And that means you have a reason to do more.  And that's what we usually call motivation, right?

18. Stick with it.  Whatever you do, don't give up. Think of your goal as a long journey, and your slump is just a little bump in the road.  Stay with it for the long term, ride out the ebbs and surf on the flows, and you'll get there.

If you only work when you feel motivated, you'll never be consistent enough to become a success. But if you build small routines and patterns that help you overcome the daily battles, then you'll continue the slow march toward greatness.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Rocks Before Sand

Lately I've been doing the big rocks first, or at least making sure they get down throughout the day, and the little rocks and sand seem to all have a place.

Three loads of laundry- washed/dried/folded/put away, two loads of dishes- washed/dried/put away, cleaned the bathrooms- sinks/mirrors/counters/toilets (tub/shower is my husband's job!), cleaned kitchen sink, spent 45 mins outside playing and taking a walk with my little girl, got the mail and got a letter ready to send, did the coupons- clipped/filed, two poopy diapers, cut little one's fingernails, read some books and did two and a half puzzles with her also, and wrote two blog posts. Still had some time to check my email and Facebook about four times, read a couple blogs, read today and yesterday's newspaper, and sat on the couch to watch Curious George with the little one.

Most days are not this productive, but I love it when they are. Funny thing is, the time doesn't seem to go by any faster when I do all these things. I kept looking at the clock expecting it to be a lot closer to when my husband comes home, but it wasn't. It really all does fit in the jar when you prioritize!

Hope you have a couple good productive days too!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Good Book Day

Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freeman has been on my to-read list for about a decade, and I finally read it and am glad I did. It's a love story set in Northern Canada in the early 1900s. Katherine has pleurisy and is sent from Boston to her uncle in Canada to help with her condition. She meets Sergeant Mike and they fall in love. He takes her away to his remote outposts. Together they live through vicious nature and heartache, but each incident eventually draws them closer together in love.

There are some parts that could make a squeamish stomach queasy with the worse side of nature, and there are definitely parts that will make you cry. But the overall story is compelling enough to keep you reading until the last page.

Check it out and have a good book day.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Love Is

Love is many wonderful and good things, with one caveat- love is vulnerable.

Once you love someone or something, you become vulnerable. The happier you can be, the more pain you can feel. But to not love introduces a different kind of pain or numbness, a lack of happiness.

The life of a spy may seem glamorous and adventurous in the movies, but they try to stay unattached to anyone or anything. If they become attached, love something, they have a weak spot which enemies will certainly attack.

Whether it's your parents, siblings, spouse, children, family, friends, or pets, you open yourself to joyful love and to worry and pain. Luckily the love should more than outweigh the worry and pain, making it worth the risk.

As a child I think I just took for granted that my family would always be around and would always love me. As I grew up, I realized that people change, get sick, leave, die. But I've always known that my parents loved me, and that has been a strong anchor for me.

Now I've got a husband and kids, and it's a whole new ball game. It's more intense and more filling of my life, partly because I stay at home with my little girl. My family is my life and my job. I wouldn't change it- it's my favorite thing. Growing up I thought about different things to be, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and good wife. I still have a very part time job I can do at home, and other interests, such as this blog, but my family is my main priority.

My mom stayed home and my dad worked while I grew up, and it was just right for our family, for me. I have learned a lot by watching my mom be a stay-at-home mom, and by watching how my dad would help around the house too. They provided a good pattern of parenting and family life.

Some people would say the worry and pain isn't worth the commitment of love. But if you have a good family, good friends, find the right spouse- it is worth every second.

Love is one of the best things- to love and to be loved. "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." -Alfred Lord Tennyson

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It Matters To Me

Little kids are cute, and they have little clothes, and little toys, and little likes and dislikes. They are just all around cute because they are little. The little things in their lives are the only things in their lives, so to them, they are big things.

Some people reason away children's wishes with a thought that they are just little things, but to each individual kid, their best friend is a stuffed animal and they really want to have a sleepover every night with their best stuffed friend.

Even older kid's wishes and dreams are sadly easily dismissed. A pre-teen in love is thought of as just cute, it's just a phase, just puppy love. But to the pre-teen, it feels like real, intense, unalterable love, to them it is real love. Dismissing their thoughts of being in love hurts them. It's little to us, but to them it's big.

A child's imagination is far greater than ours. We've lost most of our imaginations. When a child wants to be a cowboy, have cowboy clothes, toys and sheets, it's a real thing for them. To them they really can be/are a cowboy, they can make that happen with their amazing imaginations.

Same thing goes for adults. I know several people who are zealously protecting their views, both on different sides of the argument. I haven't made a zealous effort one way or the other, it's not a fight I'm fighting- I chose other fights. To me, it seems like a lot of effort and love put into a topic that I'm not willing to put the effort in to. But to them, both sides, it's a big deal, it's a big part of their life. It's real, it's not little, it's big.

They may see my zealous efforts in other fights as inconsequential and pointless, but to me, those things are worth fighting for.

We all live in our own realities- personal, familial, societal realities that vary from person to family to country. Other people's realities may not seem like the real reality, but they think the same of us.

If it matters to you, I'll try my best to understand that it's big for you, not little, and hope you do the same for me. It matters to me.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What Do We Deserve?

Recently I read a book set back a couple hundred years ago with privileged families and servants. An orphan named Anya is made a servant in her uncle's household after his death. She eventually escapes and finds love. Her husband says it's her right and privilege to be a fine lady of the house enjoying good food, nice clothes, and extravagant parties because she has the right blood line. She doesn't deserve to be treated like a servant, working longs days, emptying chamber pots, and having work chapped hands.

Why does she not deserve to be a servant and actually deserve to be waited upon? Because she was born into the right family. She didn't do anything to earn it, but according to her husband, she deserves a blessed life.

Why doesn't he think the other servants be waited upon instead of serving? Because they were born into the 'wrong' families. Since they don't have royal type blood, they deserve a degrading life of emptying chamber pots and washing royal underclothes?

In the USA there isn't royalty, but many people still feel they should not have to do certain jobs because they are above them. Other people can do those jobs because it's okay for them. Where does this feeling of entitlement come from? Money which equals power equals entitlement. How many poor people clean their own toilets? How many rich people clean their own toilets? How many poor people clean the rich people's toilets?

If I had money would I hire someone to clean my toilets? If I was rich enough, probably? Is it fair to the person cleaning my toilet? I don't know. I guess the justification would be that I'm paying them, and if they worked hard enough then they could be rich like me too. Wrong! It's easy to work extremely hard and still be living paycheck to paycheck.

Moral of my story: You're not better than someone who has less money and power than you, just fortunate to be in a better lifestyle, so appreciate it!

Disclaimer- I did enjoy the book and would recommend it to someone interested in a historical romance book.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Life's Little Luxury Necessities

In reflecting on what we could do to cut back our spending, we looked closely at what we were spending our money on. What was necessary, what was not, and what was that in-between category I like to call a luxury necessity.

For us Netflix is a luxury necessity. Yes, technically we don't need Netflix, but we use it a lot and feel we are getting our money's worth out of it. We own movies and get the free basic cable channels, but Netflix adds so much more for a cheap price that it feels justifiable.

Another for me is getting the newspaper delivered to our door everyday. I read the newspaper, my husband will glance through it occasionally- he usually gets the news online. It's an expense, but again a minor one, especially considering the fact that I use the coupons and can usually recoup the cost of the newspaper, sometimes more. Plus I learn about events that are happening around town that would be hard to keep track of otherwise. It's very justifiable. Also, we recycle the newspapers.

One other luxury necessity we enjoy is grocery shopping at Harmons. Yes, sometimes the prices are more, but not always. But the experience is worth any extra cost. Whenever we go to Walmart or Winco, it feels like we are little guinea pigs running around a huge maze trying to avoid running into the crazy looking mice and rats that are everywhere. We know where everything is at Harmons, they carry certain items that other stores don't, and the quality of the produce and meat beats other stores. The have some extra nice items, like a salad bar with sushi, artisan breads, and really good store made bratwurst and store sliced thick bacon. Also, several employees seem to know us because it feels like we have to go at least once a week to the store- they are very friendly.

Those are some of life's little luxury necessities we enjoy, and we'll keep on enjoying them because we save by avoiding the non-necessity luxuries.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Scar Tissue

I have some scar tissue on my right arm. Blood has been drawn countless times from the same vein at the same spot in my elbow with the pregnancies and hospital stays. I can usually feel it, but sometimes I can even see it. It's a reminder of my pregnancies and how hard we fought emotionally for our kids.

My husband was talking to someone on the phone today, and I overheard him saying that I have a high-risk pregnancy, which is true. The doctor has told me all my pregnancies will be considered high-risk, but hearing my husband say that made me wonder what the person thought.

Before we had problems, the following words scared me: high-risk, pre-eclampsia, toxemia, etc... I didn't even know HELLP Syndrome existed or I would have been scared of that too. Now that I've had HELLP Syndrome, pre-eclampsia doesn't scare me like it used to. I have a been-there-done-that-probably-do-it-again attitude towards it. Magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures (eclampsia)- yeah, it's nasty stuff, had it both times, I can handle it. Getting poked with needles every two weeks for months, then every week, then every four hours in the hospital- I can do that.

I've built up an emotional scar tissue for certain pregnancy issues. It's harder to push that needle into my arm. I see pre-eclampsia as something I'd rather have than HELLP Syndrome. Some people would call it jaded.

But honestly, in the quiet moments of the night when I'm chewing on tums for my acid reflux, it scares me. When it comes down to the moment when the doctor tells us, "You need to go to the hospital now. We're going to have to induce you because you are sick," it's a scary moment and there is no peace until that baby comes out.

So I put on a jaded facade because of my emotional scar tissue, but I'm still getting poked with an emotional needle that's taking my life blood with it.