Tuesday, January 7, 2014

{Finnley Turns Four}

My Mister Finnley is four!
I love this little boy.
So much.
He is silly, kind, goofy, affectionate,tender-hearted,stubborn,a little passive-aggressive,forgiving and one hundred other awesome things.
I love watching him grow and learn new things.
It also makes me sad some days that I can't keep this one little forever.
He loves to snuggle, be held, and carried. I know the time is tooo quickly coming when he will be to big to fit on my lap and held in my arms. He loves smooches, and will find me to give me random hugs for no reason at all .
Finnley is such a sweet little boy most of the time.
Then there are random moments when he'll say something like, "Mom, I'm going to pull all the hair off your head!!!" Or, "Mom, I'm going to kick you in the leg!" Sometimes he'll throw in a growl, or a roar to make sure I've understood. Maybe I should be frightened. But it is so random, it makes me laugh!

This is what daddy wrote about Finnley on his birthday.

" Every year on this date, my mind wanders back to where we were in 2009. To be honest, 08 and 09 were some of the darkest, most challenging times I've ever faced in my life, and possibly ever will. In the midst of some seemingly insurmountable personal and professional trials, we were surprised to learn ( and I do mean surprised!) that we would be adding one more to our family. Logically, this could have been devastating considering all that was happening. Those who knew our situation ( and there were very very VERY few) wondered what in the world we could possibly be thinking! And I probably should have felt the same way..... But amazingly, the opposite happened! The birth of our third son became the only thing that looked bright in what felt like a pretty dark future. He was the only thing I had to look forward to.....

Fast forward four wonderful years, and he's never stopped being that bright spot in our lives! Today as we celebrate sweet, funny little Finnley, in my heart I also celebrate a loving Heavenly Father who is always looking out for us, whether we see it or not. I celebrate a wife who probably should have cut her losses a long time ago, but decided to hang around! I even celebrate trials that change our "ability to see" the incredible blessings we already have, no matter how bad things seem. I love you Finn! Possibly more than you'll ever know. And I'm thankful every single day that you were sent to us exactly when you were. I needed you then, and I couldn't live without you now!!"

Saturday, October 26, 2013

{ A Mother }

A few weeks ago I walked out of Target. Weird, I know! Anyway. I walked out the front doors flanked by three small children. A eight year old to my right, a six year old to my front, a three year old lollygaggling behind me. Also, there was a baby (who is really a toddler,sniff) on my hip. Four in all,... four sons. My sons. I had one of those moments where I questioned how this happened? THESE CHILDREN ARE MINE!?!? "Indeed they are," the voice in my head replied back. "These littles are allllll yours, you are a mother." " You are also thirty-something, but let's not go there." And for sobbing out loud, "GET A GRIP WITH REALITY LADY!"

I made them, these four sons... With a little help of course:) That was fun. And then I grew them,.. in my very own body. That was the most miraculous and nerve wracking thing I have by far ever done multiplied by four. And then I birthed each one of them. When my new babies cried out for the first time and were soon placed in my arms, those moments transcend all other events that have ever taken place in my life. The joy and happiness I felt in those precious moments are etched into my soul forever and ever. Utter contentment in its purest form.

As a child I never remember anticipating the day when I would become a mother. I was not a "little mama" who spent hours playing with and nursing baby dolls. I spent many hours babysitting and caring for other's children. I never wondered if I might one day have my own. Never cared to be honest.

The first hopes and desires I had to one day become a mother started towards the end of my mission. I bought a little boy shirt and a little girl dress that were hand embroidered with the words "Costa Rica" and adorned with colorful flowers and design. I bought them with the hope that one day I would have a baby of my own, and they would wear these little treasures. 

The Lord has blessed me with the children I'd hoped for. I love them so very much. Aside from their father, they are the best thing the Lord has ever given me. 

So why am I letting them down in so many ways? It depresses me a little a lot. I am not saying that I think I am a bad mother, I'm just not a great one. When you are given something you love the mostest, shouldn't you give it the bestest? I love my children more than anything, and I spend many hours everyday working in their behalf. But am I missing the mark? Could I be better and do better? Yes. Yes, yes and yes! I have so much improving to do. I feel sometimes that these precious years, days, hours and moments that make up my life are just passing me by. It makes my heart ache. This life would never be long enough even if I lived to be a thousand years old!  I have been a mother for eight years. It has passed like a flash in a pan. I question whether I am enjoying it enough? Am I living enough? Am I engaging and making each moment count? What can I do better? Am I passing to much time worrying over trivial things? Am I loving my children in the special and individual way that they need? 

All these things weigh on my heart. Time is passing so quickly,  I worry it's going to get away from me before I feel content in my motherhood.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Anyone who knows me well knows that the topic of death is not one you should discuss around me unless you want to turn me into a blubbering fool. The beatitude "mourn with those who mourn"... that was written for me. It is so heartbreaking to me that this life is so, so mortal. Shudder. I try to steer clear of things that remind me of mortality unless I am in a position to have a private and a real good cry!

Very recently the mother of a person I love dearly passed away very suddenly and very unexpectedly. Although she was 85 years old and had lived a wonderful life, it was, and is very sad for everyone who knew and loved her. 

I really wanted to show my love and support for this person who's mother had passed away so I went to the viewing. I stood in line for a very long while. This woman was obviously very well loved. I eventually came to stand beside a table with special mementos and pictures of this dear lady. Pictures with her husband, her children, and grandchildren. Pictures of her all through out her life. She was stunningly beautiful. She had lived a full and meaningful life. Seeing all these mementos and pictures of her life was very inspiring, but also sad. Death is sad no matter how old the person is, or what the circumstances are. I really had to fight off doing the ugly cry right then and there. Tears threatened to squeeze out my eyes and I willed them back in. 

Honestly, it did not occur to me to go to the funeral the next day. Aside from the fact that funerals are sad, my children are on break and I really try to not leave them with a babysitter if I can help it. That morning I awoke to the sound of my phone receiving a text from someone saying I should go to the funeral and they would babysit. They felt inspired to care for my children so I could go. Say what? I really tried to fight the feeling that I needed to go. As much as I wanted to be there to show my love and support for this family I love so much, I just didn't think it was necessary, after all I had already been to the viewing. After much back and forthing I knew I should go. There was a reason I needed to be there. I felt happy that I would be able to hear the speakers, and knew the musical numbers would be amazing. I thought maybe I might feel a little uplifted, and heaven knows, (obviously it knows), that I needed it.

I listened to peppy music while I drove over hoping that sadness wouldn't enter my heart. I got there... sat down... I was good. For like 73 seconds. The moment the service began I could not control my emotions. I needed Kleenex! And fast!  Of course, ... of course there was not a single solitary tissue or baby wipe in my purse. Despite the fact I was sitting in a chapel, I'm certain a swear word crossed my mind. Sorry, I really am . I was unprepared and the floodgates were opening right then and there like it or not. Should I leave? Move to the back? Go sit in the Mother's Lounge!? Leave in search of tissue? WHY AM I EVEN HERE!? Why am I sitting here becoming more disheveled by the second? 


Because there were a few things (or a hundred) that I really needed to hear, that's why. 

I went and got toilet paper and sat through the whole service despite my watery eyes and red nose. 

I am so grateful I did.

This funeral was a awakening for me. 

This dear woman's five children all got up and shared the most touching and inspiring tributes I have ever heard at a funeral. They love her deeply. And she loves them. In my world it is a rare thing to hear children speak of their mother this way. This was something special. It was so touching and so inspiring.

Now,. . .  I am a smart-ish girl and I know that most if not all people do not live in Mayberry. There are challenges for everyone all along the way. But what if my children could love me and speak the same way about me as this woman's children did about her? More than that, my biggest hope would be not just that my children love me, but that they know without a doubt that I love them!... Can I be more loving, compassionate, and caring? Can I show more empathy, and be slower to criticize? Can I be a better teacher? Can I be a better listener, and more engaging? Can I pray for my children more earnestly and teach them from where they came and where they'll go? Can I teach them better of the Savior and and the love He has for them? Can I be a better wife to their father, setting an example of successful home life, and what they can and should look for in their future spouses? Can I speak more kindly, and in softer and sweeter tones? Can I be more affectionate and tender? Can I be less selfish with my time, and spend more time doing things they love to do with me? Can I spend more time teaching them about service, sacrifice, and charity by setting an example and leading the way? Can I set aside idleness and be more, and do more? Can I make each day more meaningful? Can I put more effort into my mothering, and really make the days count? They are numbered, they should all count. Each and every last one.

Holy smokes. I could go on and on and on. 

If there is one word that describes me, it is mediocre. I have had moments in my life where I really dug deep and went all out. But for the most part I am mediocre in about everything I do. 

Sitting there in that funeral the Spirit spoke to me, "It is not to late! You can and will set mediocrity aside and strive for excellence, especially when it comes to being a wife and mother." 

So, this is it for me. There is no calling in life for me more important than wife and mother. There is nothing greater for me to aspire to in this life. I have already been blessed with the greatest blessing and role the Lord can offer me. 
I must make it count.

Isn't it amazing that God entrusts His children to raise, care for and see each other through life? 

I think He's hoping for a little more than mediocrity. 
He's hoping for the best.
The very best we can do.             

" Homemaking is surely in reality the most important work in the world.
What do ships, railways, mines, cars, government, Etc. exist for except
that people may be fed, warmed, and safe in their own homes"....
The homemaker's job is one for which all other's exist."

C.S. Lewis

Payton wearing the little shirt from Costa Rica

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

{Farewell Summer}

Summer is officially over.
Our summer was eventful in many ways. We faced a few challenges. Ones that don't go away overnight or maybe ever. That is okay. We have been so blessed these past few months! 
Payton turned 8 and was baptized. He started Cub Scouts and is growing into quite the little man. 
We are so proud of him.
We purchased my parent's home where we have been renting the past 3 years.
I am so very happy we were able to do so. So so HappY! I love where we live, and the people we live around. I love the familiarity. I feel so at home here. I just could not see moving elsewhere. The times when I have lived in other places I just wasn't quite as happy as I feel when I have lived here. This is home. 

I feel so blessed

I actually was a little nervous for summer this year. Ya know, worried whether I would survive the task of entertaining 4 little ones day and night for weeks on end!  
I changed my children's school track so our summer was actually as long as a "traditional" summer. I have long lamented that my kids go to a school where they are on a year-round schedule. WELL.  Nothing like a "traditional" LOOOONGG summer to give me a little perspective on the matter!:) 
I shall never complain again about the year-round schedule. 
We had a fun summer, it went much better than I anticipated it would. We enjoyed the long days. Most days we tried to get out and do something fun. Some days were just plain boring. 
(Don't want these little men to think every single day is going to be a carnival, do I?) Tooo late. 
I loved the lazy mornings and not having a schedule! Truly the best part of summer. Right? Right. 

The children and I went to Bear Lake a few times. We enjoyed hiking, playing at the lake, going into "town" for pizza, rummaging for treasures at the local thrift shop, and looking at the toys at Kings department store.

We love small town life! 

Thinking back on one particular trip to Bear Lake makes me laugh! 
I often wonder what my children will remember of our adventures when they get older. On this particular trip one of my sons was absolutely rotten. Worst.behavior.ever. I wanted to drown him in the lake.
Okay, not really. But for real! SO Naughty.
I hollered so loud at him my voice cracked like a teenage boy going through puberty. 
I pray this son has forgotten all about it and only remembers the fun we had. Really I do.

We played with cousins and enjoyed my Aunt Jennifer and her kids coming to visit for a few weeks.
We took the kids to Lagoon. They loved it! 
Finnley still talks about Lagoon almost everyday. He wants to go back "so so so bad!"
We went to Seven Peaks a few times. 
The kids had fun there and I give myself a pat on the back for keeping them all alive.
 A BIG PAT ON THE BACK! I should get like a Snickers candy bar.
But I'll take the "pat" cause I'm just so happy they're all alive and well still!

I loved spending time with my little men day after day. 
Lesbehonest I didn't think I would. But I did!
I love them so.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Being a mother full-time is a very hard job I've decided. Who Knew?
It's a thankless job really, and also one that I am bound and do mess up at in at least a thousand different ways pretty much everyday. 
 Oh well. I'm working hard on not letting that get to me. 
{More on that later!}

I was out with some friends the other night, and one friend said something like, " I can't imagine what it would be like to have FOUR boys! Your house must be chaotic ALL.THE.TIME."

Yup, that about sums it up friends.

1. a scene of uproar and confusion
"there was bedlam in the courtroom"
Synonyms: uproar, pandemonium, commotion, mayhem, confusion, disorder, chaos, anarchy, lawlessness.

{That last one makes me laugh!}

Lucky for me, even though I live in "Bedlam" 
I love it.

I love my life.
I really do.
I"m working to get my **** together.
Really, I am.
I also am entertaining the fact that this very well may be as "together" as it's going to get.
It's just so hard when I'm not sure what "together" really is. 
If you see me and it looks like I am frazzled as can be, well I probably am. 
But, I am okay.
I am more than okay.
I am so blessed.
I know that.

The children have gone back to school now. 
We are already looking forward to their first off-track break even!
We are working on making "off-track bucket lists"
We are sure to have loads of fun together. Even if every now and then I yell so loud my voice cracks!
I mean honestly, what's not fun about that!???

1.2.3.and 4
 love that happy little face!
 baby bummy

 Outfit ruined. He makes me laugh!
 Bloomington Lake. Possibly the most pristine place I have ever been
 Sweet little Finnley, slow.poke.
Grandpa and his awesome walking stick
 Payton looking thrilled to be alive;)