laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

The Peanut To My Butter


I am so excited that it’s Friday I could just sing…or dance! And I just might! We sing and dance while we clean, and little do they know- that’s the plan for today. A good ‘ol cleaning cleverly disguised as a dance party! I love it! If you tell me you’ve never had a dance party while cleaning not only will I not believe you (c’mon, I know you’ve let a move bust through the tunes while cleaning.), but I will defriend you. Unfriend. Whatever, we’ll be through. If you really haven’t. Crank up some of your favorite tunes from when you were in high school… and find yourself a’dancing! And then we can remain friends.

Now back to our regular programming.., I was so happy just a few minutes ago, and it seems my mood is fading fast. I’d better get to cleaning dancing as fast as I can so that I don’t lose my good mood completely. Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

So now we’re really back to our regular programming. It’s Friday, and I’m thankful. After a weekend that felt like it lasted a week, I’d never been so excited to see my children. 4 days was at least a day too long to be separated from them! But I am very thankful for my parents (and littlest brother) for having them, and the kids had so much fun. It’s very apparent our separation was much harder on the mama than the children.

Mostly, I am thankful for hubbyman. I wasn’t sure he was so supportive of me becoming a doula, but he has been amazing. During the weekend he’d make me a drink, and let me debrief. And he’d get up and make breakfast, and more importantly, coffee, before I’d head back in. After 6 hours worth of driving, 21 hours of sitting on the floor trying to soak in every word, and 3 hours of coffee runs… it left me completely exhausted. Mentally, physically, and definitely emotionally. Hubbyman has been so great. He’s put the big kids to bed and come up to find me still cuddling with littlest (What? After the weekend, I needed some extra cuddles!) and has taken him and put him to bed as well. And encouraged me to have some down time, some quiet time, and that it was ok to do so. He has done that almost every night this week. The first night I fell asleep on the couch, and the nights after that I’ve only spent maybe an extra hour awake and up, lounging on the couch. But it has been amazing for my own self. I actually have slept better, and better yet- I wake up, feeling like I actually got some sleep! And I am really shocked by how much more patience I have during the day. Apparently, I was really needing some down time. Where I’m not mom, and I’m not in charge, and even if it’s just mindlessly watching TV, I’m allowing myself some time to unwind, relax, and just be. And apparently, that’s exactly what I’ve been needing. I am so thankful to my hubbyman, for allowing and encouraging me to have some time for myself. (It’s like he knows me or something.)

Not only has he allowed me some time, but he was been incredibly supportive. He recently accepted a new position within his company and has promised to find ways that I could attend births, without having to stress over childcare, because he’d simply come home and stay with the kids. He is an incredibly hard worker and in his previous position they kind of let him do what he wants because of that- I’m hoping his next boss feels that way too! I will be doing daytime childcare for friends starting late fall/early winter, and so I’m trying to get all the births in that I can before then! (I have 3 on the books between now and then.) A local hospital has a great program where they offer doula services. While it’s unpaid, it would be a chance to get a good number of births under my belt, and stay active in the birthing community, and be able to schedule it. I’m going to wait a few months into doing childcare before officially signing up (I don’t want to over extend myself), but I’m very excited. And I love how supportive hubby is. He understands why I want to do it, and believes in it whole-heatedly. And is truly willing to explore every avenue possible so that I can do and achieve things that I want/believe in. It’s incredibly endearing. If I am successful in anything (be it professional or personal), a great portion of it is because I have his support. And I am so grateful.

Photo Credit: thestencilsmith.com

And now we’re off to my dance party! I hope you all have wonderful, dancing weekends as well!

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Most Important Of All


A friend of mine recently shared this post, and wants it framed for her son’s room. She said it’s her favorite post of mine. And actually, the post I wrote yesterday already had me thinking about the things I want to teach and show and model for my children, which led me to think of those posts (there was one for my daughter too). So I’ve decided to repost them, and I hope you’ll forgive me. But sometimes, in life, you just need reminders. And today I’m wanting a refresher on all the things I want to teach my children, and really, things I want to (re)teach myself as well.

My Sons, I Want For You…

  • Be respectful. To everyone. Everywhere. People have hurts that sometimes aren’t visible, treat them accordingly.
  • Talk to others in a way that wouldn’t leave you embarrassed if you found out your mama was listening.
  • Learn to listen (for most men this is an acquired skill, I’m pretty sure). Really listen, not just hear someone making sounds, but the words that they’re saying.
  • Treat all women in the manner you should treat your mother: polite, respectful, helpful.
  • Be courteous- even if you think it’s not appreciated or deserved. Maybe especially then.
  • Be honest.
  • Violence (against anyone) is never really the answer.
  • Never look down on someone for the way they dress, how they look, or what they believe.
  • Be compassionate.
  • Never treat people as disposable. They’re not. Even if you date her for a week and find out she’s suuuuper annoying (even if I agree)… you will still treat her as an individual with feelings. Just not an individual you’ll marry.
  • When you are dating, try and behave in a manner you won’t be embarrassed to recount to your wife. Or your mother for that matter.
  • Never make fun of tears. No matter if they’re from a girl or a boy. Pain is pain. (Compassion, my sons!)
  • A strong man is someone who knows and accepts his weaknesses (or tries to strengthen himself in those areas).
  • Feelings are not a weakness in a man. Embrace them.
  • Don’t be run by emotions (or hormones), think things through.
  • Think before you speak.
  • Don’t let anyone push you around. Be your own man.
  • Learn to take charge and to be responsible for things. It’s ok to know what you want- and to go for it.
  • Don’t just follow ANYONE just for the sake of a) trying to look cool or fit in, or b) not having to make an actual decision yourself. Neither reason will suit you in the long run.
  • Know that you were made to be EXACTLY who you are.
  • Know that life really isn’t all about you.
  • Reach out a helping hand, whenever you possibly can.
  • A man of faith is a lot stronger than a man with no beliefs.
  • You’ll stand a lot taller, the more time you spend on your knees.
  • Family is a blessing. (Whether you like it or not!)
  • Dream dreams, wish wishes, and love your loves. No matter what others may say or think. (Except for your mother, of course.)
  • Be secure in who you are, because you will always have people that will support you.
  • No matter what else you do in life, what you wear, who your friends are, what your job is, how much money you make, or where you live… remember that your mama loves you. And please always live nearby.
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Yes, some of these are similar to things I want to tell her brothers, because let’s face it, the basis of how we live and treat people (or the ways we should), don’t change depending on which gender you are.

My Daughter, I Want You To Know…

  • The most beautiful people in the world are not movie or rock stars, but the people that are true to who they are and the things they believe.
  • While you are a beautiful girl, you should not look for validation through your looks. You will never find it, and it will leave you unfulfilled.
  • It is more important that you attain inner beauty than outer.
  • The way you treat people is much more important than the way you look. (Yes, I know these first ones are all similar, but in today’s society everyone comments on how cute or pretty or well dressed little girls are, instead of focusing on how polite or well-mannered they are.)
  • All that said, I hope you always know how beautiful you are, inside and out.
  • You cannot find validation through others. That is between you and God.
  • Never talk to anyone like you are better than they are (no matter what their circumstances are)- because you are not.
  • Talk to people in a way that shows that you are listening and that their thoughts are worth hearing.
  • When you have a difference of opinion with someone, consider their side.
  • Treat men the way you would treat a child. Kidding! Just wanted to see if you were paying attention! Treat men the way you would your father- with honesty, respect, and a little bit of fear. (ha!)
  • Don’t let anyone (man or woman) tell you that you are not good enough. You are. Always.
  • Don’t let someone treat you as though you are disposable. If they do, dispose of them. And quickly.
  • Embrace your feelings and emotions- but don’t let them run/control you.
  • Be a take charge person! Don’t follow anyone else who’s path does not lead to yourdesired destination.
  • Be responsible! And take responsibility for your words and your actions.
  • When you are dating, try and behave in a manner you wouldn’t be embarrassed/ashamed to recount to your future husband. Or your mother for that matter.
  • Think twice before you speak. Think three times before you act. And then go ahead and run it by your mother first.
  • Know that you are EXACTLY who you were made to be- and be proud of that.
  • Know that life really isn’t all about you, don’t expect others to act like it is.
  • A woman of faith is a lot stronger than a woman with no beliefs.
  • Family is a blessing, even when it doesn’t feel like it! Where else will you find people who will love and support you, no matter how crazy your ideas are?! (you are your father’s child)
  • You will never regret reaching out a helping hand, whenever you can.
  • Be secure in who you are and be the best YOU you can be because I will always support you. Maybe not without voicing my opinions, but I will still support you in your journey.
  • Don’t be afraid to dream your dreams (and follow them), wish your wishes (and turn them into reality), and love your loves (with your whole heart). No matter what anyone else says or thinks. Except for maybe your mother.
  • No matter what else you do in life, what you wear, who you know, how much money you make or have, or even where you live… remember that your mommy loves you. And I’d really prefer if you lived close by.

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Rocking Chair Bliss


Thankful Friday… today I am both thankful in general, and thankful it’s Friday. We are expecting some snow, starting this morning, this weekend and I’m looking forward to a weekend of snuggling in with my honeys and maybe some fun time outside. we haven’t had enough snow to really enjoy winter activities and my biggest boy has been so sad about that. Today he decided he misses warm weather since there’s nothing fun to do outside right now. Can’t say I blame him. We were looking forward to snowball fights, snowmen, sledding, and snowshoeing…but there just hasn’t been the snow for it. Hopefully this weekend will turn that around. So today, I am thankful for weather that feels like winter, and hoping it brings snow to make it look like winter as well.

I am also thankful for something else. Those that know me in real life, and probably those that have read along with me for a while now, know that I am a breastfeeding advocate (the daughter of a lactation consultant, I can’t help it!). Now if you know my feelings on breastfeeding and it’s importance you probably just think that I’m not one of the masses who has struggled with it. Unfortunately, that is simply not true. Now I am a go to person for questions, and have never minded the late at night phone calls fielding questions that I sometimes get. Sometimes my hubby even gets phone calls about breastfeeding to have him run by me. I don’t mind one bit. The truth is, a lot of the answers I have, is because I’ve been there. I’ve had a baby who only wanted to nurse all the time (and by all the time, I mean all the time. Truly.), I’ve had to figure out how to get newborns to latch correctly, I’ve had to figure out how to deal with nursing strikes and growth spurts, cluster feedings, thrush, and teething. With my oldest I lost my supply when he was only 9 months- when I was pregnant with his sister. With MissE she and I both battled a long, painful battle with thrush when she was 12 months old. And now with my youngest, after we passed the year mark I was thrilled. No major bumps (or bites). I thought that finally I might have one child that I could wean naturally, in our own time. And it seemed as if we were going rather smoothly along that road. Unfortunately, as his eye teeth have come in, he has developed some bad habits in his latch. My oldest was so adamant about nursing that even very, very little I could coach him in how to hold his mouth and he would do whatever it took to continue nursing. My youngest is more stubborn about doing things the way he wants. These teeth have been slowly easing their way in for months. Seriously- they first poked through  about 2 months ago and they’re still maybe half in. Try as I may, and try with all my might I did, but have ended with pain and lots of tears. After the battle we went through with MissE, hubbyman was adamant that I not let it progress to infection and the battle that becomes. While it seems we may be headed down that road anyways, we’ve certainly been trying everything in our power. I pumped and pumped and pumped some more. I was not getting enough milk and my body was not healing fast enough to actually nurse him. Last week he and I were both sick, which made pumping more difficult. I mean, not only did I not feel well, but he didn’t either, therefore was always in arms. Pumping and holding a wiggly baby toddler is not so easy. Today is my 5th day of not pumping. It’s kind of heartbreaking and I feel disappointed and sad.Littlest is now 18 months old, and I know that I have gone above and beyond what a lot of moms do, but it was not how I had envisioned things. You’d think with 3 kids, at least one of them would be easy! (But I guess it just adds to my frame of reference for more breastfeeding questions.) Now I know this doesn’t sound like it fits into a thankfulness post, and if I’m honest, I’ll tell you- I am not thankful for this. At all. But what I am thankful for is the support I have always been given by my husband. He came to my defense when I called the failings of my body into question (between his pregnancy, his birth, and now this…). He has become a staunch advocate himself, and  I find that something to be so thankful for.

We recently acquired a rocking chair that my parents had in the house I grew up in, which was wonderful because we didn’t have any furniture that rocked. And everyone with kids needs something that rocks! Between sick times and cuddle times- it’s just a necessity. At least to me. And over the holiday sales I found some suede microfiber fabric on major clearance that I snatched up to reupholster it with. I just about lived in this chair while we were all sick, rocking Littlest to sleep. And it became a miracle for while we were transitioning to bottles and milk not from the tap. We’d always nursed for nap time and bed time, and it was becoming a challenge to put him down without. In came the rocking chair. I mentioned to hubbyman how thankful I was for the rocking chair to rock and snuggle him in close, and how still having that time was helping to alleviate some of my disappointment. And so this week he took it upon himself and took apart the chair. He took the old upholstery off, he did some upkeep to the chair itself, and he spent a couple evenings in a row doing the actual reupholstering. I really missed being able to use it while it was a work in progress. But when I took Littlest upstairs to rock after an hour of unsuccessful bedtime attempts, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness. He put his chubby little hand around my neck, gave me a kiss (along with the sound- his kisses always include the sound mmmwah!), nestled in, and went right to sleep.  It may not be the way I’d hoped, or the way I’d envisioned, but as I sat and rocked my sleeping baby, the disappointment and frustrations subsided and all I felt was thankful. For this old rocking chair turned into new and my sweet hubbyman who always seems to know my heart.

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Give Me A Break


TODAYMoms and the people over at Redbook (the magazine) have declared today “No Judgment Day!” (The links will not only take you to their sites, but to their articles about No Judgment Day) It’s all about a day of not judging other moms, as much as not judging yourself! And I tell you what- it couldn’t have come at a better time! Today is day 4  of Miss E and Littlest E having running faucets noses, day 2 of Big E being fevered with a sore throat, and the day I woke up feeling like someone had clawed their way down my throat. So while I was looking around my house thinking all kinds of “judgey“things about myself and trying to find the motivation to make myself crawl around the house getting things done while willing my children to stay whinelessly on the couch while I do so. Neither being very likely. Then I read the No Judgment article. So today, since I likely won’t leave the house, I am giving myself a day free of self-judgement.

TodayMom is asking you to go to their facebook page and answer the question, “Don’t judge me because…’  If you go there, and happen to read my answer- please don’t judge me.

Staying true to theme, here is a short list of things I have decided not to judge myself for today (and I’m hoping that you’ll join me in not judging me for these things!).

  • I made banana cream pudding for breakfast and the kids are on their second bowl. I really made it because it was what sounded good to me.
  • While I eyed the laundry in need of folding, I just faced the other direction, wrapped myself in a blanket, and cuddled with my kids while watching a cheesy Christmas movie.
  • We chopped a little tree last Thursday, but it’s in water outside as I still don’t have a stand for it…
  • I have no Christmas decorations up/out
  • There are more toys on the floor than in their bins (that may be a slight exaggeration, emphasis on the slight.)
  • I know it’s before noon, but now is when I usually decide what to make for dinner (so that I can have things thawed/marinated/know what to send hubbyman to the store for), but I already know that I don’t want to make dinner.
  • I have a house full of fruits and vegetables (and meals made from them) and I have no interest in any of it. Only banana pudding. And a craving for a some spaghettio-s.
  • I may just make soup for dinner, even though I know hubbyman won’t like it. (the only soup he deems acceptable is tomato, and only as long as it’s paired with grilled cheese. Otherwise soup does not constitute a meal. If he sees soup he’ll continue looking through the kitchen/oven/fridge hoping I also prepared something else to go along with it.)
  • I’m thinking nap time should begin at 11am today!
  • I refuse to get out of my pajamas today. I labeled MissE’s pajamas as “comfy clothes” to get her to join me in the pajama wearing party.
  • I have no even thought about Christmas cards. And I’m refusing to give them another thought today.

Are there things you judge other parents for? Are there things you feel judged on by other mom’s (or dad’s)? Are there things you judge yourself for? Give yourself  -and others- a free pass today! And try to carry a little less judgment through the rest of the year!

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Stranger Happenings


So we have lots of things going on right now… hubby’s brother (and his family) are moving to China and are here to visit before they leave. Which also overlaps with my brother getting married, and so we’re gearing up for that (as all but littlest E is a part of the festivities) and anticipating the arrival of a host of other out of town family members that we don’t normally get to see. So when I say we’re busy, I mean, things are insane and  I’m going a little crazy!! But we are enjoying the family time and hopefully we are able to really make the most of it! So if you’re wondering why I’ve suddenly become so boring or why my posts are no longer adding spice to your life… now you know.

So with all of the busyness of these weeks… I have some kids that seem to be a little wound, as well as myself. And Hubby/Daddy, he’s just plain tired. My normally, I-don’t-know-how-to-be-unhappy baby is crying, whining, and basically clinging to my legs all day long. Which does leave me a little big on the frayed side. Thankfully, Hubs came home early yesterday and so I was able to jump in the truck and go to the grocery store. I know it’s lame that most of my “down time” (read: kid free time) is spent at the grocery store, but they’re only little for a very short time. I’m never going to look back and say, “Man, I wish I would have spent more time away from the kids when they were little.” (I don’t see myself saying that about missing any point of their lives, but especially now.) Anyhow, I tend to dawdle at the store, because it’s my de-stress time, lame as it may be.

Usually my hour long grocery trip is uneventful, and the cashier is the only person to talk to me, and I’m just fine with that. And it’s enough time that I get home and the kids are like, “Yay! Mom’s home!” and I’m glad to see them. Yesterday was pretty much the same except for one minor detail. I say minor, because it really was no big deal. To look in, you’d never think of it as anything substantial. But for me, after the day I’d had with the kids, it was. Let me preface this by saying that we spent the weekend out of town and that I didn’t know until a day or two before that we were even going out of town. Then we got home past bedtime on Sunday and had company coming the next day. Starting to get the picture? And if I haven’t mentioned this before, I do not like disorder, and I like it even less when visible to people who don’t live with me. So I’m scrambling and trying to get things done as quickly as I can, while the children run behind me undoing just about every thing I do… and then add the fussing baby (do to teething and the busy weekend). So I was about to merge onto the meltdown lane. And then I went to the store.

I’m at the checkout, and the lady behind me starts making small talk as we wait. Why do they stick those order separator things so far out of your reach anyways? I smile and agree it’s ridiculous. And then this stranger showed me kindness. She looked at me and said, “You must have small children.”  I quickly look myself over trying to find the stamp (or hand print) that screamed, “I’m a mom.” I didn’t see any. Unless the state of my hair, my sweatpants, and the exhaustion in my eyes count. I smiled and said 3 and asked how she could tell.. She just smiled and said she’d recognized the look of exhaustion the can only be caused by 2 types of parenting: the under 3 crowd or the teenage crowd. And since I didn’t look old enough to have teenagers, it must be the former. I smiled and nodded, then asked her, “Teenagers?” She smiled, and I saw the exhaustion in her eyes as well as she nodded. And that was the the long and the short of our “conversation.” But somehow, afterwards I felt a little bit more refreshed. I think that it offered some sense of community. A moment of “I’ve been there before.” combined with “we’ve all got our own struggles,”  that made me feel a sense of the bigger picture as well. They’re not little for long, we all have different struggles, each as unique, and as hard, and as scary, and as sad as anyone else’s, because they are our own. But for a brief moment in time, I felt like I wasn’t alone in my struggle after all. So the next time you’re at the grocery store, the gas station, walking down the road… offer a little support to those you meet. Even if it’s only in the form of a smile. You never know how life changing (even if momentarily) it can be.

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I do not like you, selfish I am


Sooo…. I said I was doing that “Love Dare.” Did I happen to mention practicing patience and kindness is hard? (versus just saying you’d like to acquire those attributes) I’m a few days behind, but I’m trudging my way through it. And because just like using a recipe verbatim would probably kill me, I had to tweak a few of my daily challenges. Like the day the challenge was to buy my spouse a gift. There are a couple reasons I did not do this: 1)I’m trying to do the challenge on my whole family and 2) trust me when I say that hubbyman would think it a better gift that I DIDN’T spend the money than if I’d boughten him something. I did, however, make him a big batch of Snickerdoodle cookies- enough to share with coworkers! Which meant I stayed up until 2 am because I had to make them after getting the kids to bed. And cleaned up afterwards so he didn’t awaken to a kitchen that looks like a bomb may have exploded inside a vat of flour.

Back to “the dare” that I seem to be dragging my feet through: I have a confession… while in general, I love big, give freely, and have so much empathy that it’s almost a problem… sometimes I get spent.I forget to do things just for me, or to at least take a “time out” myself. And then I become…selfish. (*insert collective gasp here*) I know, right?! It’s awful and I’m not proud of it. It is, however, true. I start to feel taken for granted which leads to feelings of discontentment. And discontentment (for me) breeds anger. In the midst of my feelings I get so caught up in how things are affecting me that I fail to see the effect I’m having on my family. And lately I’ve been a bit caught up in this cycle. Because my daily life is so entirely about “the little things,” My days pretty much revolve around the dishes, the laundry, the meals…and I can very easily get caught up in the feelings of I do it all and nobody cares. Which if I were to be introspective at all, would leave me admitting that I’m really feeling inconsequential. Instead, I stick with anger. Like a long lost friend, there is some strange sort of comfort in being angry. It’s such a familial-feeling friend to fall in with. It whispers in your ear, “You deserve some appreciation, way more than you’re getting. Nobody else does what you want. You’re always doing what they want…” You know anger and anger knows you. This cycle has a lot to do with why I started the Love Dare to begin with. As old of a friend as anger is, I’d like to get reacquainted with some others, like the patience and kindness I’ve been saying I’m working on.

And so the dare continues and I read and I do what it says, but I’m not sure I’ve actually been working on my patience…or my kindness. Maybe on the surface, but not so much in the heart. In fact, I found myself growing MORE angry. And the more I read and the more the lessons said, “you may be feeling this way… try choosing to behave like this…” the more angry I felt. What if my anger is valid? (insert thought bubble: of course my anger is valid!) What if I had some major injustice done to me? (insert thought bubble: of course I’m justified in my feelings!) Surely this justifies some anger and discontent. Nonetheless, I kept reading and then came…maybe day 8? It talked about two rooms. One is where we put the praises of those we care for (spouse, children, friends, etc and the wonderful things they’ve done and said to/for/about us and our positive feelings about them) and the other is where we put the negatives (he said, “blah, blah, blah…” she said, “blah, blah, blah…” they did this to me, they said that to me…) And while compartmentalizing some things can be healthy…moving into a room of discontentment, of course, isn’t. The day’s pages were filled with things like, when you spend a lot of time in this room you may go there to pick your fights, to be reminded of why you’re mad, even to prepare yourself for battle. And I have to admit, I do this. I go over the list of transgressions that I’m so worked up over and prepare what I would say, or what I think I should say, or what I feel is deserved to be said… over and over. It can become compulsive, even. Yuck. And can I just say it’s a little bit maddening when the very thing (the day’s love dare lesson) that’s making me mad, totally has me pegged. Crap. But just to show it who’s boss I thought I’d wait a couple days before acknowledging that the words on the pages were real in my heart. Ridiculous, right?! Of course it is, but it’s honest.

And so I confessed some of the feelings of my heart to my husband. And instead of the dialogue I’d perfected in my head, back in that room, I found the opposite taking place. Instead of my anger spewing forth, my insecurities, my fears, and my real emotions came out in a way that was open, honest, and non-accusatory (maybe some of those lessons were sinking in after all!). And my husband…instead of the words my head had heard him responding with, well, he responded in…SHOCK. He had NO IDEA that I was feeling the way I was feeling. It turns out the anger I’d been carefully polishing and protecting, like a prized trophy, is hard to hold on to when someone is so surprised by the fact that you don’t think everything is wonderful, because THEY are really thinking things are (truly) wonderful, and that I knew how wonderful he thought it all was. I mean, it’s almost laughable. Here I was, stewing in discontentment that I was sewing into my own life… and there was my husband, looking at me with eyes that spoke volumes of love, compassion, and concern…along with some confusion. And of course, the negativity began to fall away… and so here I am sitting in another room. A room with warm, compassionate, thankful words on the walls. Walls that show examples of my children having patience with me. Words that show my husband making an effort to let me know he appreciate all the little things he does. Words and memories of all the wonderful, thoughtful things my family and friends do and have done. Some, even on a regular basis. So while I’m fighting the urge to roll my eyes at the sappy, corniness of some of the things this room has to say… I am humbled and appreciative that I have all these things to say about those that are closest to my heart. And I’m reminded of a phrase I was often told growing up, and have often repeated, “You cannot change others, you can only change yourself.” And while any life is going to have ups and downs and cycles that are forever repeated, today I am CHOOSING to think positive thoughts about those around me along with myself. I work hard to keep everyone clean, clothed, fed, and happy. Erik works hard to provide the means for all of that. And the kids work hard to be…kids! Learning and living, and really, trying to be good. And while it may not be true of everyone, today I am going to CHOSE to be motivated with kindness and patience towards everyone I come in contact with. (insert thought bubble: Can I spent the rest of the day in bed with the door locked?)

today’s mantra: My feelings, thoughts, and desires are not more important than yours.

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