The Blessed Life

The Blessed Life

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Things I don't do

So I mentioned that I am reading and loving Shauna Niequist lately. I just finished Bread and Wine and am now reading Bittersweet. It is so wonderful. For reals. 

One of my favorite chapters in the book is called Things I don't do. Basically, Mrs. Niequist, when faced with trying to be a woman who could do it all decided to instead figure out what was really important and do that, rather than trying to do it all.  

I love that. Mostly because I'll never be a person who can do it all. I'd rather figure out what the important things are and do those. In the book she talks about the fact that coming up with a list of what you will do is easy.  It is figuring out what you're willing to give up that's hard.

So here is the start of what I don't do.  

I don't throw elaborate birthday parties for my kids. If you're looking for a Pinterest party, don't look here. I will have cake and ice cream and possibly an activity (hope you count playing outside as an activity).  I will decorate a little but nothing you will want to copy. I just don't have time or energy or money to plan those types of parties four times a year. 

I don't spend very much time decorating. Now, I don't think my house is a total disaster but you won't find me going overboard to make sure my house looks like anything you've ever seen on Instagram or blogs or anywhere else. My house is serving it's purpose. It is a home and we like it. I hope if you come for a visit you feel comfortable and not like you can't just relax and be yourself.   

I don't attend home parties. Sorry, ladies. I know how terrible this sounds from a Mary Kay lady, but for real, I'm not coming. Most of these parties are in the evenings during the few precious hours I have with my family all together.  For now, I'm not willing to sacrifice time at home for a home party. I will do a girls night out, a book club, or a family get together but not a high pressure sales party!

I don't spend time trying to look like a million bucks. This is something that is harder for me to come to grips with as I used to really appreciate looking my best. These days I am happy to leave the house in matching clothes that don't have snot/food/marker/milk/whatever on them. You won't see me posting any "what I wore" posts. 

Please don't misunderstand me.  I'm not saying these things are bad.  What I'm saying is that for now, these things aren't making the most important list in my life.  I am willing to not do these things to make time and energy for other things. If you want to spend your time shopping for awesome clothes, hosting elaborate parties and decorating your house to the point pottery barn is calling you for tips, go for it!!!  I'm just not able to do those things plus everything else. There are, of course, other things that I don't do I just didn't list them all! 

I encourage you to think about what you might be willing to give up (even if just for a season) in order to really, truly focus on the most important things in your life. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I am a mom of a five year old. What????

Isabelle is five.

Isabelle is five.

ISABELLE IS FIVE.  I am in a bit of denial.  Isabelle is also.  She told us multiple times that she did NOT want to turn five.

I am continuing my tradition of doing an interview with her on her bday, so here goes.

Favorite food?  Pizza, crunchy chicken, chicken noodle soup from a can (NOT homemade), and pancakes.

Least favorite food?  Stroganoff

Favorite color?  Red

Favorite TV show?  Calliou

Favorite movie?  Toy Story

Best friend?  Hannah (it is really Molly!)

Favorite toy? Bear Bear

Favorite book?  If I Were a Jungle Animal (the book we happened to have out at the moment!)

Favorite Snack?  Fruit Snacks

What do you want to be when you grow up?  Teacher

What does mom do all day?  Clean

What does dad do all day?  Work

Coolest person you know?  Mom

Favorite song?  I obey right away.

From my perspective,

Her loves include "doing school," coloring or anything art related, playing with her sister, being outside, donuts on Saturday mornings, church, spending time with family, the tv show Wildkratts, black leggings, singing and dancing, listening to KXOJ (the christian music channel) at bedtime, having a backpack, sleeping without pajamas, crunchy chicken for dinner, taking showers, reading books, playing on the ipad,  helping out around the house with the dishwasher and laundry, and waving at people from the front door as they drive off.

Things she's not so crazy about include, pasta with any kind of sauce, loose pony tails, socks that bunch up at her toes, shoelaces that flop when she walks, leggings that are too short,  sharing toys with her siblings, and brushing her teeth with the thomas the train toothpaste.

Isabelle is such a great daughter.  She is loving, kind, helpful and compassionate.  She is sensitive and a rule follower and rarely gets in trouble.  She is getting better and better at sharing and recently gave almost all of her candy from our church's fall festival away to friends and family.  She is also a very thoughtful girl, always wanting to make things and buy things for other people.  I love being her mom and I am so thankful that God entrusted me to be her parent!  Happy Birthday, Isabelley Red Jelly!

Friday, November 8, 2013

What I'm Loving

A little Friday list.

Things that I am currently in love with!

1.  New PW Cookbook.

It is amazing.  And mine has a great story behind it.  A couple of weeks ago, Isabelle made me a "fall" card by picking leaves out of our yard from our tree that turns a great red color.  Then, she told Jason that she wanted to get me a present.  Jason took her to Walmart and they picked out this cookbook.  When she gave me my card and present, she said it was because she was thankful for me.  I think it might be the sweetest thing ever.

2.  Shauna Niequist books.

So far I have read Bread and Wine and have started Bittersweet.  They are so, so, so good.

3.  The weather.

I haven't had to turn on my heater or my a/c.  It is wonderful.  And when it gets a little chilly at night and I have to wear something more than a tshirt, my life is complete.  Throw in clouds and I am in Heaven!

4.  Ice Cream.

I think at some point I may qualify for worlds biggest pregnant person.  If not, a few more nights of ice cream eating should seal the deal.  Besides orange juice, it is really the only thing I've been craving.  Oh, and fried chicken.  But in my defense, I haven't given into that craving yet.

5.  Hillsong's Young and Free.

This album is one of my new favs, and I don't even own it (thank you very much, pandora).

What things are you loving right now?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

my son throws fits

i have a confession to make.

i am a judge-y mom.

there, i said it.  i have judged other moms.  please tell me i'm not the only one.

however, i am really trying to stop.  having a son who throws fits is helping me.

here's the thing.  i used to think one of two things when i saw a kid throw a fit.

1.  the mom was doing a lousy job at parenting in that moment.  whether that was because she had her kid at walmart at 10pm and he was throwing a fit from being tired, or because she couldn't control her kid no matter the time of day, i assumed sometimes it was the mom's fault.

2.  the kid was a terrible kid.  spoiled, entitled, whatever you want to call it, i felt bad for the mom with the bad kid.

but, then, lawson started throwing fits.  all. the. time.

and, my parenting is seriously not to blame (maybe a little to blame, who knows?), and lawson seriously isn't to blame.  and i'm not just making excuses.

lawson has a serious, for real, speech delay.  by two years old most kids will say about 50 words and will start saying 2 to 4 word sentences, by two and a half most will have about 300!  lawson says about five words.  ni-night, hannah and banana which sound exactly the same when he says them, dada (only sometimes in the correct context) and love you (only j and i understand him). and that is after six months of speech therapy.

can you imagine not being able to communicate about your needs and wants?  like if your kids were disobeying but you couldn't correct them?   what if you wanted your morning starbucks but had no speech? parent teacher conferences where you couldn't say a word?  how about trying to communicate with your coworkers or boss?  doesn't sound pleasant does it?  you'd probably resort to crying also?  you might not throw a fit because you are an adult with problem solving skills and not a two year old, but i bet you'd be frustrated and crying.  i would.

when i was being a judge-y mom, i never considered that the child had underlying issues i knew nothing about.  i was just assuming something about a family i had never met, never talked to, never interacted with in the least.  and i was incredibly wrong.  and now, NOW i have much more compassion for the mom with the toddler throwing a fit.

does that kid have autism?  a speech disorder?  some other underlying reason for throwing a fit or acting like i think is out of line?  i feel compassion for the mom or dad with that kiddo because i have no idea what their day to day life is like.  maybe they are a terrible parent, but maybe not.  but why not extend grace and compassion instead of judgement?

at least that is what i am trying to do.  and i have a lot of making up to do!  i encourage you to do the same! it might take practice but i think we can all agree that extending more understanding and support to fellow moms is a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

oh hey there

wait, what?  i have a blog?  weird.

i think between speech therapy for lawson, and occupational therapy for lawson, and homeschooling isabelle, and trying to prevent molly from seriously injuring herself, and cleaning my house, and trying to not wear myself out while being preggers, and mops, and family, and birthday parties, and all the other "stuff" we've been up to i just gave up the easiest thing...blogging.  i hate that because i really like blogging.   even if i'm not particularly great at it, i like the idea of being the memory keeper for my family.

so, i'm gonna put down what we've been up to and then hope (really really really hope) that i am more consistent from now on.  i don't remember what my new year's goals were from last year, but next year may just be blog more and lose weight.  moving's what we've been up to.

i've been reading some shauna niequist books.  i love them.  and now i want to start a cooking club.  i'm not sure i know enough people that cook to start a club, but i really want to.

the girls learned to climb the fence.  our neighbors love us.  NOT.  they climb up and then yell at the dogs. or sometimes they yell at the construction workers across the street.  it is awesome.  in case you couldn't guess, molly is the one who showed isabelle.

we went to the pumpkin patch with jason's mom.  he took a great selfie with laws.  i love those two to pieces.

we went to our church's fall festival.  and no, our kids did not wear costumes or go trick or treating, in case you were wondering!

we added a new member to our family.  my precious nephew, wyatt, was born almost two weeks ago!

we've spent a ton of time outside.  the bounce house has proven to be one of the greatest toy investments we have ever made.  lawson is finally old enough to play in it and he loves it.  

molly has been expanding her fashion sense.  in the first picture she picked out the entire outfit, right down to the hat, gloves and cowboy boots. second pic is her wearing two shirts, two headbands and fake glasses. molly is hilarious.

lawson has become a master at the ipad. it is a bit crazy, really.  he gets to use the ipad/iphone during therapy for a reward and now he is an expert.  and for the record, we just finished OT today but will continue speech twice a week.  he is making progress.  slow, but still progressing.

isabelle had her kindergarten picture taken.  we are lucky to be in a homeschool group with a photographer! i may be slightly biased, but i think she is pretty gorgeous.

so there you go, a brief recap of what we have been up to. now to just blog more than like once every two months.  we shall see!  if you are on instagram and want to keep up with me there you can find me @tracy_dickinson.