Friday evening I went to bed still aggravated. Mostly, though, I was aggravated at myself. One thing I’ve said plenty on this blog in regards to rainbows and unicorns and silver linings is that we CHOOSE those things. Happiness IS a choice. I said a few posts ago that I need to be content where I am in life, especially when it comes to situations I can’t control…to just BE where I am, so to speak. So before I went to bed I told The Man that I was done. I was going to wake up happy and not let the little things put a damper on OUR Christmas.
See, that’s why I was pissed at myself. If my attitude only affected me that’d be one thing. But I have a husband and babies to be around a lot during Christmas and usually I’m The Queen of Christmas. And although they haven’t told me, I know they rely on me to bring the Christmas spirit around here. They all follow my lead as the matriarch of this house and when Mama is all doom and gloom it wears off on the people who have to live with her.
I can’t live with myself knowing that. So, I adjusted my attitude. There’s a first time for everything and this is the first time I’ve ever needed a Christmas time attitude adjustment but I did.
Last night we had our annual extended family Christmas get together and I lectured Hannah later on because while she opened gifts, whichever ones happened to be clothes and NOT toys, she kind of huffed and tossed them aside. I told her that’s rude and sometimes we have to fake it til we make it, meaning smile and pretend you love the jacket or sweater someone bought you even if you don’t. After I told her that it dawned on me that maybe I needed to fake it til I made it this Christmas and in time I wouldn’t be faking as much as just truly being myself–The Queen of Christmas.
Today the Christmas music has been playing all day. We went to church for the first time in weeks. I edited pictures from last night and smiled.
Y’all, the transformation has begun. Watch out. The Queen is back on her throne.
Things that contributed to the change:
The Man- A rare occurrence on this blog and anywhere online really is a picture of The Man. He’s been doing less undercover type stuff at work so I’ve been more liberal with posting pics and talking about him. It’s hard to kind of phase him out of my life online because A LOT of my life IS online and he’s a gigantic part of my life. Filtering him out is hard to do and sometimes I break the rules so to speak and post a picture every now and then.
He’s been putting up with my attitude problem for weeks now and I gotta hand it to him- he’s handled it a lot better than I would if the situation was reversed. I would say I owe him big time but marriage is the epitome of ebb and flow so I’m going to call it even for whenever he needs an attitude adjustment in the future.
Family- I’m blessed with 2 awesome sister in laws and a fantastic mother in law. To have in laws that are your best friends is truly something to be cherished and I try to never take that for granted especially since my family is back in Ohio and they’re all I have down here.
So grateful my girls are growing up with lots of cousins like I did. Seeing them so excited last night about presents and playing with their toys together made my heart full…something I haven’t felt in weeks.
An impromtu night out sealed the deal for me. My mother in law decided last minute that the girls could stay the night and The Man and I went out with his sister and cousin. If I could sum up the night in one word, it’d be “fun”…or maybe “laughter.”
And lastly today, I caught her sneaking around things she’s not supposed to be touching again.
But when she was caught? She pulled the I’m-too-cute-to-be-upset-with-me card.
The cheer is back. I’m planning on riding a Christmas train down the red, gold, and green rainbow of Christmas joy this week.
I just edited a few pictures from my phone (I decided it’s Instagram’s fault for my lack of real camera photos) with Christmas music playing in the background. Every year I look forward to Christmas time…the decorating..the music…the overall joy and cheer.
This past week kind of sucked the everything out of all of that for me. I did decorate on Friday but I just wasn’t feeling it. Even as I hit play on my Christmas playlist there wasn’t an excitement like previous years. I’m usually the girl who ONLY listens to Christmas music from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Day. I usually have my gift list done by now and know what I’m getting for who. None of that is going on this year. I guess I can’t blame it ALL on this past week…I think this whole month in general has been just, I don’t know, meh to me. I’ve been in a funk and I looked forward to the week off work for me and school for the girls last week. I REALLY looked forward to a weekend alone with The Man for our anniversary. Neither went well for me and so I found myself in even more of a funk this weekend.
We were able to get out for dinner while my MIL watched the girls for a couple hours. It’s amazing what a couple hours out of an otherwise dubbed sick zone house will do for you. I was happy to just be out of my yoga pants and have make up on after days of finding new spots to cuddle sick babies every couple hours just to change up the day a little.
I joked with The Man that ya gotta be 11 years in a marriage and best friends to handle over a week of sick kids and being couped up with said sick kids. Alone.
But then Sunday? A ray of light. An inkling of a light at the end of the tunnel.
The girls felt well enough to sit outside for a little bit of fresh air and sunshine. The Man grilled burgers. The girls played with their toys a little. It was nice and NORMAL. I’ve been missing normal. And sure, they both passed out at 7pm because that wore them out after days of fever and no appetite. But today? Hannah is better. She’s been fever free and will probably go to school tomorrow. Livie is still running a fever when her Motrin wears off but in between she does get up to play and eat. The light at the end is getting closer and closer.
So in an attempt to get out of my November funk I decided on 2 things:
1. Stare at the Christmas tree a little bit more. A lot of our lights were burned out so I added a string of lights to make it brighter. Next year I’ll have to remember to add the extra lights BEFORE I decorate it.
2. Let go of things that have held me back this month. I’ve been sucked into The Avett Brothers lately and if you’ve not heard of them, look them up. There’s a song called Through My Prayers and it has been my anthem the past few weeks. It’s partly to blame for my late addiction to Christmas music this year. It’s always hard when the holidays come to think of people who have passed away or just simply left from your life. I’m telling myself it’s okay to think of them and miss them but still have a good, happy Christmas season.
So, with Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas playing I end this post with a quote I read on Kelle Hampton’s Instagram. I love it.
“No one longs for what he or she already has, and yet the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are already standing on it. The treasure we seek requires no lenthy expedition, no expensive equipment, no superior aptitude or special company. All we lack is the willingness to imagine that we already have everything we need. The only thing missing is our consent to be where we are.” Barbara Brown Taylor
I’m not a writer. Sure, when I have a thought or intense feeling on something, most of the time I blog about it.
But I am not a writer.
I have friends who have written and published books. My favorite blogger has written and published a book. I will never write or publish a book. Why? Because I am not a writer.
I’m just me. A mom. A wife. A sister. A friend. Do I write? Yes. Am I a writer? I don’t feel like one. I guess in the same sense that just because I paint a room in my house it doesn’t mean I’m a painter. I might cook an awesome meal for dinner but I am not a chef. I consider myself more of a dabbler than anything else.
What I’m REALLY good at? Analyzing myself. I told a friend this morning that I’m awesome at “shrinking” myself. I pretty much know why I feel the way I feel on just about anything, even if I can’t figure out HOW to feel differently about it if I think I should.
Now how confused are you?
So today I was sitting at the kitchen table doing homework with Hannah thinking about my blog and I suddenly had an urge to write. No, I’m not a writer, but at that moment, I wanted to write. Except I didn’t know what I was going to write about so when we finished Hannah’s homework I told the girls “Okay. Let’s go outside. Y’all can play. I’m going to sit and think.” Today was a nice, Fall day. 85 degrees. No humidity. 1 lonely cloud in an otherwise perfectly clear sky.
The girls were SUPPOSED to be playing and I was SUPPOSED to be listening to them and taking pictures, attempting to muster up some sort of inspiration so I could write. Instead, they bickered and fought over the power wheels and I had to mediate between them. I even tweeted something like my inspiration was being smothered by fighting kids.
But then it dawned on me.
That was the inspiration I needed. Today I’m not writing about a perfect Monday. I’m not writing about a perfect weekend. I’m not writing about my perfect kids or my perfect life. Today I’m writing about reality. I’m writing about the fact that my girls fought for 10 minutes straight about anything they could and all I wanted to do was sneak inside and let them handle it themselves while I hid in my room. I’m writing about how I stayed up til 1 am and my alarm went off at 6:30 and I yawned pretty much all day while attempting to handle 7 one year olds with my mother in law all day. Today I’m writing about how I almost lost my shit after walking into Hannah’s room this weekend and realizing she and her cousin destroyed it.
I am not a writer but if I was I’d write a novel about the ridiculous things that have happened to me in my life. When I tell people they sometimes think I made things up or exaggerated.
I am not a writer but if I was I’d also write about how after my girls fought, Hannah pulled the sweet, big sister card and set up a make shift, not so safe but fun, slide for them to share.
I’d write about how Hannah does cartwheels and round offs all the time no matter where she is, outside OR inside.
I’d write about how The Man’s brother and his girlfriend surprised the family with a surprise wedding on Saturday. We were all gathered there for a cookout and I swear you could hear my screams of excitement in China after I realized why they told everyone to come inside for a minute.
I’d write about how The Man’s sister and I went and got tattoos last weekend in honor of our family trips to Vegas that mean SO much to me. We’re going again in 4 weeks!
I’d write about how much I still adore Instagram and that you should follow me there @TheBecksB if you don’t already.
But I’m not a writer.
Or maybe, sometimes, I am.
It’s August. What does August mean to me? That summer is wrapping up. This makes me very sad. Sure, I’m ready for cooler weather and Fall decorations, the holidays and putting up my Christmas tree. But right now? When I think about back to school and no more being home all day with my kids enjoying the pool or late night movies on a weeknight? I get sad. So last week we spent A LOT of time at the pool. We are all even more tan, but also more vested in enjoying the last few weeks of summer.
The girls are away on a trip right now with their grandparents so I sit here at my computer in a quiet house with the TV on in the background waiting for the Olympics to start. I’ve watched all 4 hours almost every night since they started and I can’t get enough. I’ve always been like this, even as a kid…glued to the Olympics and it was always a family event. It still is now with my own little family.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about family recently after a friend told me of her divorce after being together for 17 years. I was sad for her. Like, truly, almost wanted to cry, sad. She says they are both happier now that they’re not together but I can’t help but to think of their kids and just the actual split because when she was dating him I was dating The Man. She married him. I married The Man. After she told me the news I told The Man and ended it with something along the lines of yes, we’ve had friends divorce plenty over the years but when it’s THESE friends of ours…it hits close to home. You would think that after spending 17 years together you’d spend the rest of yours together, as naive as that is of me to think that. I guess it’s because this month makes 14 years for The Man and me. At this point and after ALL we’ve been through, which is A LOT, we’ve stuck together and have worked very hard on our marriage. I’ve gotten comfortable in thinking that we can make it through anything and we’ll be together til the day we die. I guess our friends’ divorce has made me see that nothing is for sure in life and it made me feel vulnerable and that even our marriage isn’t invincible. HOWEVER, recently another friend of mine posted a list of Godly ways to make a marriage last and Lord knows I have taken those tips and ran with them.
To top this all off, Hannah is getting older and paying attention more to her friends that have divorced parents and she has taken me aside a few times to tell me that she really hopes her dad and I dont’ get divorced because she’d be sad. That broke my heart that she even worries about that and no matter how many times I reassure her that we love each other and we have NEVER thought of that or even wanted to entertain that idea, she was still upset and worried. She’s a worrier like her momma, that’s for sure.
I’m not really sure why I’m talking about this today. It certainly isn’t what I planned on talking about but mentioning family brought my mind on a whole other tangent. Maybe someone out there needs to see this or read the 70 tips on that link I posted.
I guess my point for today is that I love my family and I am committed to us being happy together whatever it is we’re doing…even if it’s just watching the Olympics together.
My girls had their cousins spend a couple nights with us this weekend and although I’ve said this a hundred times, God knew what he was doing when he gave me girls. Sure, they bickered and the girl drama was crazy BUT we had a dance party.
A full on, dance on the table, wear wigs, fake microphones, blast Lady Gaga (Livie’s request), kind of dance party. It was kind of amazing. As I stood there videoing the girls dancing and doing their choreographed moves together I smiled. Like almost wanted to cry smile because Livie is so much younger than them and yet she was right there with them. The 4 of them danced their hearts out while laughing.
It was a good, family weekend.
I’m @TheBecksB if you want to follow me.
Going to spend the rest of this week soaking up the summer. Hope you do the same!
I’m thinking about having a weekly Friday quicky post. What do y’all think?
Today’s quicky is brought you to by the word camera.
Remind you of someone? It’s like looking in the mirror.
She’s been walking around with that camera going “SAY CHEESE!” and yet fights me to take her picture.
Another week of the pool, a couple days of work, a trip to the movies to see Madagascar 3 today and that sums up our week! It was good. It went quick.
I’m @TheBecksB if you want to follow me.
We have a weekend planned of swimming and family at The Man’s dad’s house. We are so excited!
Friday evening I went home with a completely bummed outlook on life. I was still thinking about my dad and even though I told myself that Dad wouldn’t want me to bum around or sulk, I just couldn’t shake it. So I did what I normally do when I feel that way. I took pictures of my girls. And it’s like they knew that their mama needed to be lifted up because everything they did was so cute and whenever I need to focus or redirect I just have to look through my lens. A different view on what’s already in front of me.
Livie has this tendency to get into EVERYTHING she’s not supposed to get into. Usually I’m chasing after her telling her no but that night I decided I’d get it documented to show her that she really was quite a little spazz.
Trying to steal the remote.
Trying to reach my purse
ALMOST getting my purse which by the way I only noticed while I was editing because my focus was on Hannah in HER own purse and then I saw Livie’s little hand on the bottom of the frame. Stinker.
And while I worked out Livie got super antsy and crabby and Hannah decided to step in and be a mama to her. So in the middle of my work out I just walked away and got a picture because I couldn’t let the moment go by.
So that was my Friday and by the end of the night I was feeling ok again. My girls, once again, healed me.
And since I mentioned working out, I will say that I’ve officially lost 15 pounds so far. I’m halfway to my goal weight and I feel great.
Saturday morning I woke up and forgot it was my birthday for about 5 minutes. We just laid in bed and talked to Livie and groaned that it was too early to be up like we do every Saturday. And like every other Saturday I grabbed my phone off the dresser and checked my email. I had 27 unread emails and I thought to myself “What the heck? How do I have that many unreads?” and once I opened up my email and saw they were all Facebook messages alerting me that my friends and family were leaving me birthday messages…that’s when I said out loud “Oh yeah! It’s my birthday!” I got over 50 happy birthday messages on Facebook and about 20 on Twitter. I can’t stress enough the good those did me. The Man worked all day Saturday and I ran errands and fought with the girls who didn’t want to behave AT ALL while we were in stores. It was hot and I was sweaty going in and out of places and I finally called The Man at work with an exhausted sigh and whined that my day went from fabulous to sucking. Then he said he was coming home in an hour and that perked me up. We had plans to go to dinner and a movie later on so I put my best face on and headed home from the parking lot of Target where I had a minor breakdown. And like the night before, I took picture because I needed a pick me up. And it worked.
Dinner was good. The movie, Inception, was great. And yesterday we slept in because the girls were gone and ran more errands and relaxed before our family pictures in the evening. Hannah wouldn’t let me get a picture of her all dressed up but the baby did, per usual.
I can’t wait to get these pictures back. Livie was a mess and did not cooperate at all and it was 95 degrees and my hair was huge and frizzy and we were sweaty BUT I still think they’re gonna be awesome. I can’t wait to see them. And on our way home from the session I was thankful that I had the opportunity to get the camera that I always wanted with the lens I always wanted to get good pictures of my girls on my own because there are times, like at that session, where Livie won’t smile and Hannah complains about the mosquitos while sweat is dripping down her nose. It’s then that I’m glad I get good shots at home because my baby girl usually is all smiles.
And all of this, everything I put up in this post, healed me. And I know that is something my dad would be happy about.