Sunday, March 1, 2015

Shoe Shopping with a 13 Year-old

I went shopping with Grace yesterday. We were shopping for high heels. Her first pair. She's 13 and ready. Shopping for these shoes was quite an adventure.We actually started last Saturday and came home with nothing because everywhere we went, the price tag was to steep for her. Yes. She was buying her own shoes. Yes. She is cheap. The Apple does not fall far from the tree. You could say I was glowing with pride.

Last week we spent two hours looking for black heels. Yesterday we walked away with a pair of nude heels. A true lady! I'm sure soon we will be on a hunt for a pair of black ones, again. I will go willingly because it was fun. Me and my girl shopping and knee deep in girl talk. Apparently I'm drawn to shoes that a grandma would wear...I'm so not! And Grace believes in destiny like like I do. She was destined to buy the last penguin mood ring at the store. She loves penguins and it was the very last one! It was meant for her. I was glad to witness it.

On the way home we stopped for a few groceries and some General Tso's chicken and a cherry coke. Quite yummy! A good time indeed. I have an amazing daughter! And today she rocked those heels with a super cute dress!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Welcome 2015

This post is almost 2 months behind. Mostly because our home computer has crashed so the only thing we have is an iPad. It's small and always being used. I just have to wait my turn. Today is my turn. 

I had some down time today. I stayed home from church because I was not feeling well. I'm not showered and it is almost 5 in the evening, but I have been occupied. I read the Sunday School manual. We are discussing the teachings of Pres. Benson this year. I don't remember much of him growing up and reading about him as made me realize I was missing out! I also finished a poem I have been working on. It is the first one in 10 years; I feel so accomplished! 

Usually my first entry for the year is letting everyone know what my word for the year is. Last year my word was LIVE. I wanted to truly live my life on purpose. I just didn't want to survive it. I feel I did okay, but know I could have done better. My word for 2015 is:


I've thought long and hard about this. The reason I chose it is my goal this year is to rediscover my talents. Things about me that make me, well, ME! I'm not wanting to develop new talents  
(although that would be cool if it happens in the process), I just want to awaken the ones that I have been letting sleep inside of me for years. I'm not sure why I allowed that to happen, but I have. It's just time to wake them up!

It felt good to write that poem. I'll be honest, it was hard! I used to be able to write pretty well and quickly. Not this time. It took me over a week and my mind felt like mush...but it's done! And, I'm happy to have taken the first step. Now on to the next!

Sound Advice from a 9 Year-old

Keeping this blog updated is always on my mind, but one of my very last priorities- sad, I know. Being the mom of six kids doesn't allow me to do all I want in one day. I, like everybody else, must choose the things I want to occupy my time. Usually, my time is consumed with work, cleaning, cooking, cleaning some more, night routines and then if I'm lucky, a little break before I end up falling asleep on the couch. Today was different. Why? Because I wanted it to be. Today I wanted to remember the words of my 9 year-old daughter.

This week a friend of mine lost her little boy. He was 5 years old. Tomorrow is his funeral. I am quite certain that she is anxiously gathering ANYTHING that will remind her who this little boy was.

The writing that caught my attention belonged to my 9 year-old. In her rush this morning, she ended up leaving her pink fluffy, heart decorated journal on the counter- see why I'm always cleaning? I came home from work, grabbed myself a little snack, and sat down to read what insight a 9 year-old might have (just call me Marie Barone). She's not my first 9 year-old, so I knew I was in for a treat. What I didn't expect was how wise her words might be.

After skimming a lot of pages with hand drawn hearts, flowers, and even a few talking about how much she loved the twins from "Suit Life", I came to her last entry. It wasn't dated, so I don't know when she wrote this, but her words will be timeless. Now, I must tell you that Becca loves to sing. She loves music. I love this about her. Because of this talent, she has been writing songs for a very long time. This is the song I read of hers today:

"Follow Your Own Heartbeat"

Walking down the wrong road,
don't know what to do.
Everybody expects me to be like you.
But, I want my own life.
I want my own heartbeat.
All I seem to do is listen your heartbeat.
I don't want to do that my whole life.
I just want to be my own person,
listen to my own heartbeat.
Don't tell me what to do.
I don't even know you.

My heart breaks for my friend. I cannot even begin to imagine how she is handling this heartbreak. She will be in my thoughts and prayers, all of them. She has 8 children. She is an amazing woman and friend. It is not something I ever wish to experience, but because of it I will hold my kids tighter and I will watch them more closely. I don't want to ever forget any part of them.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Your Kids Should Know Your Middle Name

I took the older kids to church by myself today. Britten was sick with a bad cough. Dustin stayed home with him because I had to conduct Primary and do Sharing Time. During Sacrament meeting, Grace was filling out a a pamphlet all about family history. I'm not sure where she got it from. I had never seen it before. I'm pretty sure she got it from her young woman leaders.  I do know there is a big push right now to get our family history done. I have felt a pulling inside of me to get to know those in my family that came before me. 
I have been studying my Grandma Taylor- I have a post to publish about her. I started close because I realized I really don't know my grandparents all that well. None of them wrote a history. My parents don't have a history. I don't have a history written. I really didn't think I needed to write one...until today. 

In that pamphlet Grace filled out my information. I heard Aaron lean in and ask her, "Mom has a middle name?" My own flesh and blood had no clue that my middle name was Annette. He's fifteen! I knew my mom's way before that! I started wondering what else they don't know about me. I think there's quite a bit. So, I decided to buckle down and do it. I'm going to write a complete history of me! I think I'll break it down into segments. The division being my moves as a kid. I think it will be helpful for them. I think it will be insightful for me even. I plan on publishing them on here so there is a hard record. I'm excited!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Married 18 Years

I write about this every year. It's our anniversary today.
 When we married, I was barely 20 and Dustin 22. We were babies. If my son came and asked about getting married at 22, I would freak out! And, I tell my daughters all the time that they cannot get married until they are 24! So hypocritical, I know. But looking back always brings me peace and I realize how happy I am that we got married. No regrets. So I'll relax a little if my kids come to me as babies, announcing they are getting married.

We all got up early this morning to get ready for our 9:00 church. About a half hour into our routine, I noticed none of my family could be found! I called out. I could hear them in the basement. Dustin rushed up and asked me to take the baby into the bedroom and dress him. I knew they were up to something, so I went. Not before I asked what they were doing, though. He glared at me. He hates it when I'm so nosy. A few minutes later, they called me in. I came into the front room and found this:

Dustin laughed a little and then he frowned. "They were supposed to be floating in the air!"

On my floor were 18 red, deflated balloons. The helium had leaked out over night.  Attached to each balloon was a picture and a piece of paper. The pictures were mostly of him and me, but there was 1 of each of our kids. On the balloons the kids had written a word to describe me. On the paper, was something Dustin said about me. It was super sweet. It completely made my morning.

When you're the mom, you don't hear those kinds of things on a daily basis- actually I don't tell them enough either- so it really was joyous occasion for me. The words on the balloons read:

kind (2 times), amazing, artistic, sharing, loving (2 times), funny, beautiful, helpful, motherly, sporty, cheerful, caring, great cook, awesome, fun, and pretty. A few made me chuckle because you know they were running out of things to describe me. Artistic, great cook would be couple...

I really enjoyed reading Dustin's thoughts. 18 thoughts all about me!

1. You are the most unselfish, caring and kind person to each member of our family.
2. I think you make the best chocolate M&M cookies.
3.I am grateful for how much you put up with me!
4.I appreciate your efforts in the cleanliness of our home.
5. You are impossible not to like!
6. I am impressed by your quick creative abilities!
7. When you enter a room, you light it up with your warmth.
8.I am amazed that you know lyrics to some pretty obscure songs!
9.I love how your nose still wiggles like a bunny when you say certain words.
10.I admire that when it comes to principles, you don't back down.
11. You care for your teeth in such a meticulous manner!
12.Even though I don't admit it, I love it when you look at me.
13.I love the way you laugh!
14.I admire your quick ability to forgive.
15. I admire your strength and testimony of the gospel.
16.I like the funny sounds you make when you sleep!
17.After we argue, I adore how you try to ignore my humorous attempts at apologizing.
18. I love to imagine our future, sitting on the front porch together when we are old.

A few of those comments were said in jest. He hates that I take so long to brush my teeth. When we are rushing out the door, I'm always saying, "Hold on! I'm flossing!" Isn't it funny that what annoys us about the ones we love, we can often turn it into something we remember them for?! I think that is what marriage is all about. You put two very imperfect people together and their job is to figure out how to live with out killing each other, raising a family in the process. I am amazed we are doing it!! However, after 18 years, I'm happy to say we almost have it figured out- the living without killing each other. We have created a relationship where we compliment each other. This whole balloon fiasco is a good example. Dustin likes things to be perfect and work out the way he planned. I'm not like that. I don't need floating balloons to see the thought, effort, and love that went into it. It made me smile and made it memorable to me. Perfect is overrated!

I am so blessed to call this man mine! I have grown so much from being married to him. I am grateful that he works right along with me to raise a family. And I can't wait to sit on our porch in our rocking chairs, grateful for the journey made together!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Forty is so Close I can Almost Lick It

I just celebrated my 38th birthday. 38!! This birthday left me feeling really old. I was told a bazillion times how old I really am not, but it' didn't help in my feeling that I'm old. For crying out loud, I have 6 kids, been married for (almost) 18 years, and next year my oldest child will graduate from high school. The real kicker was when I really thought about how fast the last ten years went and that the next 10 will probably come quicker, I realized my 5th child will be 19 1/2. Guys, I'm no spring chicken!! But, I've decided that that's okay.

I think about the last ten years. When I turned 28, my fourth child was 6 months old. Little did I know that in a month, I would be pregnant with my 5th child. I was in the whirlwind of mothering 4 little ones ranging in age from 6 to infant. I was tired. I was overwhelmed. I felt defeated a lot of the time. Looking back, however, I realize that I was enjoying myself. I can hear my kids' voices in my head and a smile comes to my face. I remember teaching them colors, to count, to read, and we sang, "The Wheels on the Bus" at least 12 times a day because Daddy rode the bus. It was hard work. But, who says hard work is bad? Those moments brought me joy then; their memories bring me joy now. I'm grateful for that joy.

(Pretty sure this is the only picture I have of me at 28. I would be prego by the end of the month)

So much growth happens as you get older. I am thankful for that. As much as I would love for one more day to be 28, I'm happy to be 38. I'm pleased that the in the last ten years, my then 6 year old is now 16 and he is growing into a fine young man. He wore a suit coat for the first time today and I wanted to cry, but I didn't. He has set a goal to serve a mission and is spending a lot of time with our local missionaries between school and work. I don't make him. He chooses to do it! Our then 5 year-old is now 15 and is a hard worker that never sits. He is always willing to do anything. I started to do the dishes and he simply said, "Mom, go sit down. I'll do the dishes." I didn't let him because he does that all the time. Instead I just asked if he would entertain the baby until I was done. He did. Our three year old in this picture is now a 13 year old young lady! I'll admit it, she is in the middle of what I want to call,  "13 year-old attitude". So far, they have all gone through it. I know it will get better. She, however, is a straight A student who works really hard at everything she does. She's a perfectionist and I admire that about her. She recently chose to receive her Patriarchal Blessing and has studied it a lot and is trying do understand what she needs to to do to become the woman it  describes. I have no doubt that she can do it! That tiny, cute, always happy baby on my lap is now 10. She is a beautiful talented young lady who is currently playing soccer and the trumpet. She is on the student council. She is working really hard in deciding what she likes and what she doesn't. If she doesn't like it, she lets you know. She reminds me of myself, not only in looks, but everything else!

Since this photo, we have added two children to the bunch. I have a 9 year old who is energetic, smart, and sassy. She loves soccer. She loves writing and singing. She loves life and people. Discovering that she would join the family and would be born while I was still 28 was shocking. I really didn't know how I would be the mom I wanted to be. But she makes being a mom so easy. She has brought nothing but laughter to any mom situation. Mom's can always use laughter. Baby six wouldn't join us for 7 more years after her, but we sure are glad he came. I was terrified! In fact, I'm still recovering from him. However, he is nothing but pure joy, even right in the middle of being a toddler. The mom in that picture didn't get to enjoy the toddler stage. I actually loathed it back then. Now, I relish every minute of it because I understand how fleeting it is. In 10 years, he will be 12 and she will be 19.

Since I know those 10 years will be here before I know it, I'm just going to enjoy being 38. I'm going to love the stages of teen, pre-teen, and toddler. When I start to complain, I'll stop myself. I'll remind myself that soon I'll be 48 and will look back on what I did with the last ten years. I want to be able to look back with joy, knowing I did all I could to make life worth while for them. That's a hard job, but I know it will be a gratifying job if I do it right. 

First picture of  38. I'll remind myself to be in more pictures

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Accepting I'm No Superstar

Sometimes admitting weakness is really hard. Especially when your life is great and you don't want to feel like you're complaining. I hope this doesn't come across as complaining. I love my life. I have a great husband and I have wonderful kids. We have been blessed beyond measure. I am a lucky lady! But, even the luckiest of us have troubles.

For the past year in a half I have felt trapped in someone else's life. All of a sudden the happy I felt seemed overtaken by sadness, worry, and anxiety. The happy was still there, but for some reason I have had to make the effort to uncover it. It. Has. Been. Hard. And, I think the hardest part was not being able to give it a name. By name, I mean a reason. Why was I feeling this way?

Lately, I have been able to feel the fog in my brain starting to lift. Mostly because I have the energy to lift it now. Before, it just seemed too much. The thought of figuring out the "why" was so overwhelming, I just wanted to go to sleep- well, I just wanted to sleep all the time, period. The thought of doing ANYTHING was overwhelming. The name I have given my situation is depression. I'm pretty certain what I have been feeling is a type of depression. And I think it all started with having a baby.

I have always had a little depression with my kids, but I have always been able to overcome it pretty quickly. I was back to my "normal" self in a few months. So why was this baby different?

After I had Britten, we sold our house of 13 years. We moved into a new house. I was now surrounded by people I didn't know and they didn't know me. I think all the change at once was too much for me. I couldn't handle it. I was clearly not the superwoman I thought I was. This has been hard to admit. Not because I think I'm so great, I know I'm not. But, because it would mean I needed help. I like knowing I can do things for my self.
 I have come to realize I am not getting out of this blackness by myself. I'm beginning to realize that's okay. It was lonely when I was fighting alone. In fact it got me nowhere. I was completely unsuccessful. Once I opened my mouth and heart, and was honest, I had the help I needed to start seeing through the sadness, worry, and fear. It has been awakening!

What a blessing it has been to realize I don't have to do anything alone; I'm no superhero. What a lesson! We are on this earth to help each other. Asking for help doesn't equal weakness. Asking for help means you recognize the strength that can be found when you let someone walk your journey with you.