Friday, September 26, 2014


Today I woke up with the thought, "Today I am going to be a good person."

I think you might already see where this is going. 

I muscled past kids not getting out of bed and bickering with each other, with the perfect if not very sincere note of "now now children do not fight, look at the beautiful day la la." I navigated a mine field of spilt milk and people being late and running out of milk and bread. I noticed how Alex had done the dishes. I stepped outside and the garbage, which we had been gathering the night before had not been put out, so it had not been collected. So I flipped out.

It wasn't anybodies fault really. I just didn't know what to do. Alex suggested that I take it to a neighborhood that hadn't had the garbage picked up and then I really lost it. So he ended up taking the kids to school and putting out the garbage in a different neighborhood.

I was going to be a good person today. It just hasn't really gone according to my plan so far.

I have been nasty sick this week, so I have less than my usual reserves of grace, confidence and human kindness. The mornings have been rough. The crappy thing is though, that I have been trying. What people never see is that when you are trying the hardest to just be a decent person it sometimes looks the very worst on the outside. It is easy to be nice when everything is fine.

I don't do well with a change of plan. I can't actually do that. It is not in my programming. Like taking garbage to another neighborhood is just full of all these unknowns. Where? People might see me, or think I am some kid of crazy loser who can't figure out the way the rules are supposed to work. It is actually hard to explain what is so scary about this, it just IS.

People make such a freaking big deal of "thinking outside the box." What is so wrong with thinking inside the box? It is quite cozy and I am very good at that.

I almost always have a perfect image in my mind of a situation. For example:

A mother making muffins for her children, perfectly dressed, with sunlight streaming in on a clean and well-designed dining room.

I will send my mother a get-well package for her post-surgery, full of hand written letters and licorice nibs and thoughtful pressies all wrapped in cute tissues and papers.

A house that is 100% clean, not one hair out of place, complete with cute pillows and colorful wood- not-plastic toys that are perfectly arranged on a shelf in a an aesthetically pleasing way.

These images might just be a way to torture myself, because they are never the reality. I compare myself to them all the time. Once I imagine the way things should be in any situation, I feel like it really has to be that way. NO deviation!

The only devaition is putting stricter more unattainable demands on it. In fact if I come close to attaining a goal, I will sometimes throw on a "go the extra mile," just to make sure the perfect vision stays well out of reach and can stay feeling inadequate. Shooting myself in the foot.

So here it is. The question I am aiming at: What is perfection?

Ok, right, it is something that exists without fault. And I think it is safe to say that in one way or another, we all want it. Some people are straight up in their pursuit. Some try to drown it or their failure at it with different addictions.  Even if you are judgmental of other's pursuit of perfection, you are still at heart striving for it by setting yourself apart and saying "I am more perfect because I am not trying to be perfect".

All those images that I have in my head, those perfect images, are not moving. They are frozen. Like golden statues. I think I personally equate perfection with control, like having control of people and situations. They are one moment in time that I can decorate and add on to and speak all the voices like Barbies in a DREAM HOUSE.

Here is the flip side:

You know that I love a museum. And museum's are full of these so-called frozen moments. But, when I am standing in front of a painting or a statue, it is the imperfections that make it interesting. It is the curious "why did they do that?" or "why use that color? or put that brush stroke in?" It is the flaws that speak and tell stories. Perfection says nothing, because it is boring. It is the messy and the broken that I go to see.

Crap is going to happen that I can't control. I am going to have to clean it up. And keep on trucking.

 That is what I have to bring to the table today.  No hot muffins- I can't eat wheat anyway. Just my little slice of heavenly angst.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Change is good

I remember mom telling me that before they left on their mission about seven years ago or so. I was struggling so much with change in my life at that time that I actually put the phrase in vinyl lettering and sealed it to my wall. Obviously, a lot of time has past since then. The phrase still pops up in my head from time to time. It helps me feel strong, brave, that I can look straight ahead and deal with the change.
Recently it feels like a lot of change has happened. We downsized, we moved in with my parents, Macy started preschool on a whim, Troy's going to finish up school, implementing a budget and the hardest of all, we gave up our beloved Sadie Dog. It was one of the hardest decisions we have ever made. It still feels like I got punched in the gut whenever I think about it. The kids talk about her daily. We made the right decision I know, but it doesn't mean it's not hard. "Change is good" I have to keep telling myself. It might not be good right away but it will work out for the best. I have flashbacks of her as a puppy. Sleeping with me in my bed. Teaching her tricks which never really worked. In her mind "Shake" meant try to hit you owner in the face by really exaggerating lifting your arm and then jab... Oh and it helps if you have dagger claws. The worst and best is thinking about having my miscarriages. She would lay on my feet in the bathroom as I sat on the toily and sobbed and sobbed. The pain was emotional and physical. She knew I was sad and she took care of me, loved me. Laying her head on my knee. She was my baby before I could have babies. Sadie is a good girl and now she gets to bless another family with her quirkiness. Thank you Heavenly Father for letting us have the perfect dog for our family.
Please watch over her and help her to be loved and happy. 
Now onto the never ending saga of motherhood. This week I feel like we hit a new high and an all new low. It's just amazing to me how much the emotions can range within a day! I feel like things are great like the kids are doing great we're all happy I couldn't ask for anything better. Macy is thriving in school! She loves it and looks forward to seeing everyone and learning. It's  just awesome!  I have so much fun with Avery. Having one on one time is really amazing! We do nails, work on projects and run errands. To contrast those great feelings, within a split second the kids are yelling, biting, chasing, hitting and just total chaos. I think "what in the hell am I doing?" "Why am I a mom?" "My kids deserve someone so much better than me someone whose more patient or more soft-spoken." I feel guilty for feeling that way because I know I shouldn't but I hate feeling like a failure whenever I am in a "mood". I know I can be hard on myself, I guess we all are. 
I've been really trying to figure out where these feelings are coming from.  I have decided that it's the contrast from trying so hard and so long to have kids and not being able to. To my life now with two little girls that are so lively and full of energy and the change is just drastic! I can't even count how many times I prayed to heavenly father that I would be or try to be the best mom that I could every day. Most the time I feel like that's true. I remember promising heavenly father that I would never be mad never be frustrated with my kids. Realistically that's not going to happen. I can't beat myself up about it. "Each day is new with no mistakes in it." (Anne of Green Gables keepin' it real)

President Hinckley says it perfectly here... "To the woman of the church, Many of you think you are failures. You feel you cannot do well, that with all of your effort it is not sufficient.

We all feel that way. I feel that way as I speak to you tonight. I long for, I pray for the power and the capacity to lift you, to inspire you, to thank you, to praise you, and to bring a measure of gladness into your hearts.

We all worry about our performance. We all wish we could do better. But unfortunately we do not realize, we do not often see the results that come of what we do. 

To you young women with small children, yours is a tremendous challenge. So often there is not enough money. You must scrimp and save. You must be wise and careful in your expenditures. You must be strong and bold and brave and march forward with gladness in your eye and love in your heart. How blessed you are, my dear young mothers. You have children who will be yours forever. I hope that you have been sealed in the house of the Lord and that your family will be an everlasting family in the kingdom of our Father.

Now, my dear sisters, that is the way with you. You are doing the best you can, and that best results in good to yourself and to others. Do not nag yourself with a sense of failure. Get on your knees and ask for the blessings of the Lord; then stand on your feet and do what you are asked to do. Then leave the matter in the hands of the Lord. You will discover that you have accomplished something beyond price."

So anyway life is good. It sup and down and all over the place but it's good. I'm doing what I feel like I should be doing. It's a good life.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, September 15, 2014

Meal planning, dead bunnies, and the longest, most boring story you've ever heard

So there is this part in Bridget Jones' Diary where she is making dinner for company and as she's working away she starts to have 'a sneaking suspicion she's somewhat of a genius in the kitchen"--so she's feeling good, basically. This is about 20 minutes before her soup turns blue. Since school has started I have turned into some sort of machine--cranking out lists, budget plans, schedules. It feels really good, especially surrounded by the crisp new school supplies...but I'm thinking maybe check back with me in 2 weeks when I'm sitting on the kitchen floor in a pile of spilled Mac n cheese with a wad of gum in my hair.  I'm feeling super optimistic about the future, can't you tell? I have to say meal planning has always seemed so cumbersome and more often than not a total waste of time and money...I've always hated it until I realized meal planning has everything to do with your schedule, the food is almost beside then point. Anyway it feels good to be finally be figuring this crap out.

We have had a pretty regular babysitter over the last few years, her name is Brianna. The kids adore her and anyway she broke up with her boyfriend about a month ago. As a result of this breakup she was given back her pet bunny, he just dropped it off on her porch one day. She told me about it one night after she watched her kids.."I guess I'm going to take it to a shelter because my dad says 'NO MORE PETS." "Oh.." I said. Take a wild guess what I said next. So 3 days later Nugget came to live with us. 41 hours later he was dead. So...bunnies apparently are like super super sensitive to heat and we essentially cooked him to death in our backyard. It was horrifying, in case you are wondering, to say "come on Maddie! Let's go see the bunny!!..." Only to find Nugget sprawled out--dead as a doornail. I was just trying to buy some time for her grilled cheese sandwich to cool down. Anyhow, we have bunny blood on our hands and I could NOT explain another death to our kids so now my secret has become yours. For your information, Nugget had a brother and sister who were adopted by a farmer who just so happens to live by the Sequoia National Forest. When this farmer found out that Nugget was looking for a new home he got in touch with us, and we just couldn't say no. I've always found that a lot of details can make-up a weak lie stronger. The good news is, though, and I suppose "good" is a relative and context-sensitive term here, that we did get another bunny who was originally named "Angel" by Elsie who was then promptly overruled by Teddy and renamed "Mystery".  The don't know it, of course, but they are both correct.

My kids are changing so quickly it's crazy. Overnight Teddy, who is still handsome and charming and wonderful, has reached the stage where he tells and re-tells the most overly-detailed, long and horrifically boring stories you have ever heard in your whole dang life. He repeats punch-lines like 15 times at least. He's that kid, can you believe it?? So crazy. It more than balances out though..I use the list of family songs that Katie posted to let the kids to choose a song for bedtime. They both sleep in Elsie's queen bed together, so I squeeze right in the middle. Tonight Teddy chose 'Here comes the sun," they weren't sure they knew the song until I started singing it and then Elsie said, "Hey, I know this song.." And Teddy sang the last verse with me. He's never chipped in on any song before ever....they don't really know who the Beatles are but if they can respond like that to my favorite song--there's a good chance they know, despite all the other noise, that they are my favorite little people. It's kind of a relief, you know?