Monthly Archives: December 2013
I’m not a traditional family portrait kind-of gal. I, more often than not, enjoy the silly, quirky, candid pictures much more. I like pictures that are more telling and open and vulnerable, ones that show personality. However, I feel it is my duty to at least once a year make an effort to take a nice picture. Of course, I forgot to take one while my husband was around (he’s working this week) but at least I remembered before it was too late! I’m shocked that we actually got a nice one with every set of eyes looking at the camera. So this is our prim and proper picture for Christmas 2013:
And this is the outtake:
She’s so much like me it’s frightening.
Do you ever have those moments where it seems as though the stars align, even if only for the blink of an eye, and you take a deep relaxing breath and you are once again reminded that all is well?
I had one of those fleeting seconds today. Surrounded by piles of laundry and baby toys, I was stitching-up some moccasins for Eli. The Christmas lights were glimmering, the snow was lazily falling as though it had nowhere important to be. My worries didn’t seem so heavy for those few breaths. Things slipped off my shoulders and I remembered that everything will be fine.
I’m looking forward to Christmas this year.
Eli has been sick and is also teething. He’s always been pretty good sleeper, but for the past four nights it’s been awful. Two of those nights he’s had to sleep with me and one of those nights he slept in the playpen right beside my bed. I can’t do much to comfort him it seems, other than let him know I’m there.
I’m exhausted. I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot lately. Life is getting me down and I’m weary. Our church is having a craft and bake sale this Sunday and I committed to bringing things, but I’m seriously hoping little elves can come and sew things in the middle of the night.
If I were to be totally honest and truthful with you at this point in time, I would tell you that I can’t wait for my kids to grow up and move out. I can’t wait for James and I to have time to ourselves. I can’t wait for my house to be tidy 10 minutes after I cleaned it. I can’t wait to have the energy to take-up some hobbies. I can’t wait to stay-up later than 9:00pm. I can’t wait to sleep-in longer than 7:30am! I can’t wait to be a snow bird and spend a few months out of every year in Arizona. I can’t wait get in my car and run errands and grab coffee without adjusting to children and schedules. I can’t wait.
Screaming right back at me is this annoying voice, dripping with mommy-guilt, that says, “CHERISH THEM!” Because apparently I’m not allowed to wish for slower days and a clearer mind and a cleaner house and better sleep. Apparently I’m not allowed to want to resemble a normal human. A functioning human. No, the mommy-guilt gets me every time…and all of the voice that actually tell me to cherish my children because “it goes by so darn fast! They’ll be grown before you know it!” Well, it doesn’t feel fast right now. It feels slow and tiring and hard. How dare I wish them away and retreat to fantasy land where I live a life that is orderly and creatively stimulating. How dare I!
I’m surviving the difficult “young family” years. Yes, I love my children dearly. I often like them. Heck, I even enjoy them and the craziness from time to time…but it’s hard.
It’s hard when your husband has been working for almost two weeks straight and you’ve barely slept because of sick kids and you wake-up to mess and you’re trying to appease the baby while your kid refuses to eat what you given them because you’re too low on groceries to provide options. Do I argue and get even more frustrated? Do I give-in? Do I teach them a lesson and send them to school hungry? I’m too tired to be going through this 5 minutes after I wake-up. It’s hard being everything to everybody.
Ugh. I need some more coffee.
Have you ever been so afraid that you can practically feel the fear coursing through you? So terrified that if feels as though your heart is about to burst out of your body?
The sounds around you become muffled as your pulse beats in your ears. You hone in to your breathing. You close your eyes and try to, unsuccessfully, calm yourself with reason.
This is how I felt 56′ in the air.
I have been trying to learn how to take risks and put myself out “there”. “There” is ever-changing; a new friendship, a new skill, a new experience. It can be so easy to stay the same person year after year. You get in a rut or a comfortable spot and you forget to live a little or you have a dream but you feel as though it’s too big, too lofty so you don’t even try.
In October we took the kids to Mall of America. I’ve been to the gigantic consumer’s paradise numerous times, but they had recently revamped their whole amusement park. It’s pretty impressive now, in my opinion, and I highly recommend the trip. While doing some research for our short stay I read that Nickelodeon Universe had installed a 56′ ropes course in the park. I got very excited and became determined to tackle this four-leveled monstrosity.
Fast-forward to me 56′ up in the air standing on a 3′ wide platform, trying to muster enough courage to step-out onto two wobbly ropes, with only one loosely hanging stabilizing rope, just beyond my reach.
I looked down to little ant-sized James and shook my head back and forth. He gave me a big smile and two thumbs up. “Easy for him to say” I grumbled to myself, “he’s not up here…and he’s scared of heights!”
Amelia had joined me on the ropes for three levels and then decided she’d had enough. Conveniently the third level is where you get off of the course and go down a massive spiraling slide. While I was dropping her off a guy began removing her harness and I asked him how many people make it to the gangplank, he told me about 60%.
Have I not mentioned the gangplank? Oh yes, it’s this 4′ long x 1′ wide plank that you walk out on with no sides and nothing to hold onto! At the end you pull down on a rope and a big horn blows to signal that you’ve made it. This was my goal. Get to the horn. But first I had to walk across two wobbly little ropes and in order to do that….my feet had to move. I had to take two steps out and grab the overhead rope. I knew as soon as I had that rope in my hands that it would be fine, but when you’re 56′ up in the air, it feels like the biggest distance, the biggest risk. What if I put all my weight onto the ropes and they wobble too much? What if I lose my balance? What if I panic half-way?
As I stood on that platform I contemplated turning around and calling it quits, heading back down to the slide and getting safely to the ground. I didn’t want to be so high anymore. I didn’t want to be this freaked-out.
Then I thought to myself, “Half-way home I’m going to regret it. I’m going to wish I’m right back here at this very moment, feeling this fear. But instead of turning around and picking the safe route I’m going to wish that I had stepped-out and taken the risk.”
This ropes course excited me for two reasons; I’m a bit of an adrenalin junkie and I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I wanted to set a goal for myself and follow through. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m very good at giving-up. I start things and when they get hard, I don’t finish them. I’m tired of that.
So I shuffled my toes off of the platform and stepped out with one foot, then the other. In a split second I had the rope in my hand and I was moving across the 20′ stretch to the next platform. When I got to the gangplank I looked down. There was a crowd gathered and some people were pointing at me, way up in the air. I looked straight ahead and marched forward. I did it!
Sure, it’s a silly amusement park “ride”, but I conquered it and I am damn proud of that fact.
It was as though this little blip in my day was a physical testament to my desire to overcome some of my fears, to take risks and to walk into the unknown.
It’s there a chance of failure? Yes, but there’s also a chance of success and I’ll never know until I step off the edge.