Friday, January 13, 2012

My Kind of Contest

I saw a pin that caught my eye. It was this: 

Wouldn't that catch your eye? So I clicked to see what it was. Turns out it was a prize in a contest. Now, I'll tell you, I never win contests. Ever. If you ever want to win something, ask me to enter against you. It will increase your chances of winning. But unlike most internet blog contests, I didn't have to just comment, I didn't have to like anything on Facebook, and I didn't have to Tweet anything. I simply had to write a story about a photograph. Oh, now that's my kind of contest. So I entered my hastily written story (I had to make dinner for MY once-upon-a-time-sailor after all). And I waited. And I waited. And I forgot. And then, just now, I checked. And I won!  I cannot wait to get this 231 year old document in my hands. 

And then I need to figure out how to display it safely so it last for another two hundred years or so.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

We Now Return to our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Today was the first day back to normal. No more baking, no more Christmas preparation, no more post Christmas lazy days, no more husband home from work, no more time off school work. I'd love to be able to say that we started the day early, did chores, had a homemade breakfast before hitting schoolbooks. The reality is that I took all my morning vitamins (I'm fighting off a cold and thought I'd give my body everything I could to help fight it) on an empty stomach. Definitely not a great idea. So my morning started out with a bit of post-vitamin ick.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who experiences this, am I? You know, that feeling just after you swallow the last one that tells you that you probably should have eaten something first, or at least spaced out the 4, 5, 6 different vitamins you just swallowed in one gulp.  So homemade breakfast turned into Cheerios all around. Chores? Well, Zach and Maddie let the chickens and ducks out around 9:00. We did get some schoolwork done, but it wasn't the full day of scholarly activities that I had hoped for.  I didn't accomplish a lot. But I got some of the laundry done. Well, I got some of the laundry folded, but not quite put away. Does that count?  Not much else was done. Silas was a little fussy this afternoon and I ended up napping for about a half hour. Attempting to potty train Sophie ended up with a lot of clean up and not much success.  Zach and Maddie spent more time than I would have liked playing a video game.  Dinner was a large salad and homemade mac and cheese with some diced leftover smoked ham thrown in. (Pretty tasty, by the way.)

So I guess we really did get back to our normal. Way more items on the "To Do" list than we actually get done. But it was a good day. And for that I am grateful.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Curse of Parenting

I've often said that my least favorite stages of childhood are teething and potty training. It's true, these times can be frustrating and tiring. And when you're in the middle of them, it seems like those days will never end. My husband and I have been blessed with a very unique perspective. Our seven children range in age from 4 months old up to 23 (and include a son-in-law and granddaughter). What we know, is that babies grow up quickly. Too quickly. From infant to baby to toddler to little girl or boy to child to teen to .... gone. The days go by faster than you'd ever imagine.

Our oldest lives on the other side of the country. We're lucky if we see her twice a year. Yesterday our second child left to return to school.  For some reason, saying goodbye this time was harder than when he left in August. Maybe it was because in August he left three days after we welcomed our littlest into the world and I was still on a newborn high. Maybe it's because when he left we had just ended a whirlwind few days that included hosting a party for 50 or so people, giving birth less than two hours after the last guests left, preparing for a coming hurricane, losing power (and running water) due to the hurricane, getting oldest son and husband ready to go, getting power back an hour before they left.... yes, all true and all within 3 days.... and I didn't have time to think about feeling sad.

We know that Josh will be home in April (I'll be booking his trip sometime this week), but this leaving thing is hard. I think it has become harder because this time we know. We know that he'll be gone for a while and that, while Skype is amazing (and free!), it isn't the same as being in the same house. We know that he'll grow and change and need us less, and that's the way things are supposed to be, but it's still hard to let go. We know that this is only the beginning of the leaving.  He'll leave again and again, and one of these times he'll leave for good. We know, because we've already had one child leave, never to return. Oh, she comes back, but she's no longer our child. Now she's a wife and a mother.  And we know that we'll experience the leaving five more times. And I think that it doesn't get easier, but that each leaving will be harder.

So this is the curse of parenting. We pour our hearts into our children. We give them everything we have. And if we do it right they leave. They pursue the path that God has for them and it is good. But it is hard for those of us left behind. So if you see me looking wistfully at my middles and my littles, it might be because I'm counting the time we have left. Because I know how quickly it goes by.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions. I look at my life to see what's working and what's not working on a pretty frequent and regular basis and try to make changes that make sense when they're needed. I think a lot of the New Year resolution frenzy is because we let ourselves go the last couple of months of the year, so the fresh start really appeals to us. It certainly appeals to me. But if you resolve to do something positive, then slip up, don't wait until next year to try again. Each day is a new beginning. It just so happens that this day, today, begins not just a new week, but also a new year. 

So, here's to no New Year's resolutions! But, if this year happens to bring along a three-baby weight loss, some personal financial goals, some decluttering and re-organizing, and maybe a way for me to be creative at home and make a little extra money on the side, well that would be very nice, indeed.


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