Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Little Things

  • Gray is really into hotwheels right now. Truthfully, both boys are, but Granger's slightly more obsessed than Nash. His latest favorite is picking one to try to "drive". He will spend ten minutes or more positioning himself perfectly on top of the car until he is satisfied that he is "in the car" and can drive it. It's hysterical to watch. 
  • Nash carries around Cameron's old cell phone and loves to tell everyone he's taking their picture. He holds it up in your face and will keep it there, no matter what, until you oblige him and say "cheese!" 
  • At bedtime, we've started doing "pillow cuddles" where I lay down on their pillow with them and we talk about the day or sing a song or tickle. I was playing with Tenley in the playroom while the boys played in the playroom closet and I heard them talking about pillow cuddles. I walked in to find them tucking the dollhouse baby into bed with her mom and pretending to put her to bed. "Night night! Love you!" the works. My heart about exploded. 
  • Speaking of mimicking us as parents...the boys have also taken to disciplining each other, Tenley, and their toys. Gray spanked the characters in his book tonight and immediately said sorry, but they had to go to time out because they need to obey. The other day, I heard the Nash tell Gray they needed to have a talk and I watched them both sit in the chairs in our living room and discuss that we don't poke, hit, bite, push, or spank or we have to go to time out. At least they understand! 
  • Tenley is without a doubt the happiest baby I have ever known. I can't decide if it's just because she's one baby instead of two, or if she really just cries less, but my days are full of baby laughter and singing, not crying. She's a dream.
  • I did "mommy school" with the boys earlier this week. It's going to be a regular thing for sure. It made such a difference! We had a short lesson on A is for Apple, sang songs, counted apple seeds with chocolate chips [which I'm shocked they didn't just eat! They focused so hard!], colored, practiced writing A's with chalk, etc. They loved it! And after school, they played so well together and didn't come looking for me at all! I feel like they felt special and didn't need to whine for my attention. Such a great day. I can't wait to do it again tomorrow.

One Step at a Time

I was thinking about a lot of things tonight. Cameron scored advance screening tickets for us to The Maze Runner tonight, but we couldn't find a sitter, so I stayed home with the kids so he could have some relaxed time to himself. Truth be told, I didn't try very hard to find a sitter. I don't mind missing a movie here or there and Cam really just loves movies. Heaven knows his brain works overtime during the day, and a little quiet where his wife isn't whispering in his ear is needed sometimes. And I am finding it harder and harder to enjoy watching TV and movies. It's something I'm actually super happy about. Normally, I have four or five shows I'm watching at any given time. Right now, we are watching ONE. One show. Royal Pains on Netflix. And I watch it with Cameron. I used to put the kids down for their afternoon nap, grab my lunch, head upstairs, waste time finding my show to put on, and veg for a few hours in the afternoon, sometimes designing or working on other projects, but for the most part I just watched. And heaven forbid I was out of shows to watch. That was enough to put me in a terrible mood. It dawned on me today that I have been back from Arizona for over a week now, and I haven't watched a single show on my own. I'm so proud of that. And I intend to keep it that way. Does it really matter if I find out who wins the Biggest Loser or who the next Bachelor is? What will I be missing out on? Plus, I am so filled with this desire to create lately, I hate to be distracted when I get a few hours to work. I have dragon hooded towels to make for the boys, a sheep eared beanie to make for Tenley, more blog design ideas than I can count that I really would love to get out of my head and onto the screen, home videos to compile to DVD, an entire home organization workbook to apply, recipes to try, a garage sale to organize, books to read, classes I want to take, skills I want to develop [calligraphy and font making for starters], my 2013 and 2014 family yearbooks to finish [chatbooks didn't work out for me. Not enough space for journaling], a scripture study workbook course I love to focus on, and the three most beautiful kiddos to mother when they're awake. Never before have I honestly felt that there really just isn't enough time in the day to waste on television or movies. It's so exciting to me to be on an upward spiral instead of a downward one. It's addicting. It's empowering.

After each baby, there is a definite day where I realize the newborn fog has been lifted and I, as a mom, have settled into the new addition to our family. The energy that comes from that realization puts me on such a high and it causes so much positivity in every aspect of my life. The boys were nuts today, but I had patience with them. Nash had a hard time falling asleep and was crying. Instead of getting after him, I brought both Nash and Gray a chocolate chip and we sang a few songs, snuggled, and had a quick tickle fight. By the end of it, Nash called out "night night, mama! Love you!" tear free as I shut their door. Loving, patient mothering is so filling to me. Today wasn't perfect. It wasn't even close. But I am so filled. I love the mother I am today. It is such a hard job some days. It is tiring. It is demanding. But oh, it is rich.

Being a mother is such an interesting experience to me. It is a job that is motivated by such an intense love that there is no possible way you can feel like you've done everything these beautiful little ones deserve. There is always more to be done. However, today I understand that just because I haven't done everything does not mean I'm doing a poor job. I am a great mom because I am trying. I am trying to teach my children to love each other and themselves and their Heavenly Father and Savior. I am trying to help them understand the world around them. I am trying to feed them healthy food. I am trying to exercise their brains and their bodies. I am trying to help them feel secure in my love. But most of all, I am trying. And I really think that's what counts.

I'm surprised at how often I think about the spouses my children will have someday. In my mind, there are three other young mothers raising crazy kids right now and just trying to do right by these little ones that they love. I feel so connected to these other women. And I love them so much for trying day in and day out.

In my kitchen, there's a print I made when we were going through the brunt of infertility. It reads Alma 36:20-21.

 20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
 21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.

I always thought the pains and the joy occurred at two very separate times. For example, I was filled with deep pain when battling infertility, and it made the sweetness of our children's births completely joyous, marvelous, and exquisite. However, today I have been thinking about how Motherhood operates on the two extremes often at exactly the same time. I can honestly say my heart breaks on a daily basis. But it also swells to the point of bursting in the same day. My heart breaks over my own inadequacy as a mother. It breaks for the world my children are growing up in. It breaks because my children are growing at all, but in the very same moment it swells because they are growing, too! Being a mother is the richest experience of my life. I am so grateful I get to experience this. So blessed. 

Another step forward I made today is when Cam was gone, I didn't make him feel guilty about it when he came home. All too often, I throw a [super mature] fit when Cam is out late at night at a class/seminar/studying/rare guy's night. Like he somehow owes me something now. Grow up, Kristin. Come on, now! Tonight, I encouraged him to go to the show without me. He came home to a happy wife in a messy house. But I was happy. And I think he'd rather have a happy, exhausted wife than a clean house anyhow. In fact, I know he would, which is why I didn't clean it. He operates at such a high level, I sometimes forget he's human. Our life is pretty stressful. We are both pulled a million different directions each and every day. Sometimes I forget that I'm not the only one who deals with a ton of stress. Selfish as it may be, that's the honest truth. Today, I was aware of him. I'm grateful my eyes were opened to that. And I am so grateful he got the chance to relax. 

I'm getting the hang of this wife and mom thing. At least I feel that way today. Which probably means tomorrow will be a humbling day. But if i just focus on the baby steps forward, we'll be just fine. 

I wouldn't trade this life for the world. You can't buy the feeling that fills our home tonight. Everyone is tucked in tight and the peace is tangible because I'm honestly in love with every imperfect bit. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday at the Park

Every Sunday we come home from church and the kiddos go straight down for naps. And they sleep. Sunday naps are the best naps of the week by far. Almost every time, we have to wake the boys up for dinner. Which means after dinner, they have serious energy to burn. So we go to the park down the street and let them run free until we come back home for dessert. Tonight's dessert was a total let down. [Homemade Nilla Wafers that tasted like potato chips, what?! And banana pudding that never set up and tasted...wrong. Whomp whomp.] Luckily, the sunshine, cool air, and grinning little sister made for a beautiful evening nonetheless. [Seriously can't handle the scrunchy-nose grins she's handing out lately.]


Nash and Gray broke the lens to my camera just over a year ago. At the time, we had just got our very first smart phones. And I never fixed the lens because those smart phones could do it all! And I got sucked in to Instagram instead of blogging because it is so convenient. And it is. But convenience sacrifices quality sometimes. And I've also been spewing all my random thoughts at Cameron instead of writing them out and then I expect him to react a certain way or have the brain power to talk things through with me whenever I feel like it. And that's just flat out not fair. Number one, he is not a woman (thank heavens.). Number two, I have a seriously huge amount of random (though quite good) thoughts. Number three, I tend to think each particular thought is SO important at the very moment it pops into my brain. Poor guy.

This past weekend, Cameron found a replacement lens for me on craigslist for $50. Prior to that he mentioned that someone had messaged him on Facebook asking why I don't blog any more. And that got my wheels turning. I love blogging. I love writing. I miss writing.

I'm back.

And I've been playing with my real camera again. With a new model. She's a total babe. [I knew having a girl would be fun, but I had no way of knowing just how fun it would be!]

So let's start over. Hi. I'm Kristin. I design blogs and websites. I eat whole foods. I tend to attract crazy. I post way too many pictures. I love being a wife and mother. I'm a faithful mormon. And once again, I am a good-enough-for-me writer and photographer. Hey-o!

And this is my Tenley. She's new here.