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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My reflection

Looking at pictures of myself is always an interesting endeavor. I've come to realize lately that what I see when I look in the mirror is different than what others see when they look at me and when I look at a picture of myself, I am forced to see what others see.

The fact is, the person in this picture is a stranger to me. I've spent the better part of 23 years convincing myself that I'm okay. As a result, I've developed a condition I like to call "Reverse Anorexia". The main symptom of this condition is the ability to look in the mirror and not see the extra 150 pounds that is clearly obvious to the rest of the world. It's not so much that I'm comfortable with the way I look, it's more that I'm in complete denial about the way I look.

How did I let myself get to this point, you may ask. Well, I'm not entirely sure and the disparity between how I think I look and how I actually look is starting to cause some problems for me. So I guess I'd better do something about it. Maybe it would help if I began to cultivate a little less self-acceptance and a little more of this:

Friday, May 22, 2009

Let's go clean the basement

My Grandma once told me that when she and Grandpa were young newlyweds, she didn't get to see her parents much. She said she remembered one day when she was feeling especially sad and lonely Grandpa told her that sitting around feeling bad wasn't going to make it better. He then invited her to come clean the basement.

Knowing that my Grandpa was a very wise and kind man, but not terribly understanding when it came to womanly things, I asked her if it helped.
Her answer was: "Well, I still cried, but I guess it took my mind off my troubles."

You know, my troubles are not the same as my Grandma's troubles, but that doesn't mean I don't have troubles. I have days when I am so weary of cleaning, cooking, errands, homework, laundry, housework, yardwork, potty training, etc. etc. that I just want to hide! The mundane sameness that is my life becomes very overwhelming. Those days become my "blah" days. Those are the days I tend to indulge my laziness. I think: "I'll feel better after I rest and relax". But of course I never do, in fact, I usually feel worse!

Those are the days when I can practically hear Grandpa say to me: "Let's go clean the basement". Sigh. Okay, Grandpa. Let's go clean the basement.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm not "That Mom"

I was watching TV yesterday afternoon (as I folded laundry and silently cursed the Scott's guy for fertilizing my lawn on the hottest day of the year BEFORE I could water it) and I began to notice a similarity in the commercials that were coming on. All of them showed "moms" doing "mom things". In one, a group of moms took care of scrapes with military precision; in another, a perfectly groomed, fit (young) mom fed her smiling children plates of food made beautiful with fresh fruits and veggies; in yet another, a mom picked up her kids (and half the neighborhood) in her clean, state-of-the art, fashionable mini van.
As I watched these perfect TV moms, it came to me that I'm not "That Mom". I'm very rarely sympathetic when my kids scrape their knees (it's a long way from your heart, as my dad would say), I'm NEVER perfectly groomed (or fit), it takes my kids a whole week to get ONE day's serving of fruits and vegetables, and in spite of the fact that we spent a small fortune getting the van cleaned, I can no longer see out the windows because of the bugs and dirt all over them (inside and out).
But you know, I don't want to be "That Mom". So what if I scream and yell and cry? So what if I'm fat and dirty and stinky (sometimes)? So what if my kids eat junk food and I occasionally (gasp) SPANK them? To all those impossibly perfect TV Moms I say, go jump in a lake!
It turns out that I love my kids more than anyone else in this whole world ever could and they know it! In my own imperfect way, I take care of them and provide for them (with Brian's help, of course!), nurture them and teach them. And, I LIKE my noisy, rowdy, stinky, dirty, messy life! I refuse to live any other way!

Although, I would enjoy never having to clean poop out of underwear again.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Being Mom

I know everyone blogs about Mother's Day, but I couldn't resist. I have no words to express my gratitude for my opportunity to be a mom and my feelings about my own mom run very deep. I miss my mother-in-law terribly and I'm trying to develop a relationship with another mother in my life.

I am surrounded and nourished by mothers. But lately, I've been more and more aware of all the women who want desperately to be mothers but can't have children for one reason or another. My dear neighbor who teaches primary and cares for her sister's baby when she has no children of her own, another friend who saw the goodness in my sweet Graeme even though her physical disabilities prevent her from conceiving a baby of her own. My new mother's daughter-in-law who has a baby in her womb that isn't growing and might have to face this world four months early.

My heart breaks for all of these women and I wish I could tell them how much they enrich me and my family. I know they will have the children they long for, I just don't know when. Please pray for them. I know Heavenly Father loves all of his children and someday we'll all understand.

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's time!

Hooray! It's Gardener's Market time again! I've been sewing and crocheting like a maniac and tomorrow it's finally time! Yippee!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Spring is such a beautiful time of rebirth and renewal. Everything is alive and growing again. Two of my children were born in the Spring and my gratitude for them is without limit. Spring is also bittersweet for me. My mother-in-law was born in the Spring and she died in the Spring.
My relationship with her existed before I became aware of the insanity in my own brain. I treated her badly and I regret it more with each passing year. She was a good and kind person who lived her life the best way she knew how.
She loved her grandchildren more than anything! Chloe loved going to Gramma's house because Gramma would read to her as much as she wanted and let her play the piano and paint and play with clay. The fridge was plastered with her "masterpieces".
Graeme was a baby when she died so she never had the chance to know his tender heart and she never met Kai. At least not in this life. Often, as I watch the kids playing or eating or talking, I wish that she was here to be with us. I know that I will see her again someday, but I wish that I could share all of this with her now. I wish she could be here for the big things like baptisms and marriages and the little things like birthdays and Sunday dinner. I wish I could make up for the mistakes I made with her. Most of all, I wish I could take away the pain and sadness that Brian feels, especially this time of year.
In a way, of course, she is still with us. We have pictures and memories, furniture, even our cars and the house wouldn't be ours without her. Most importantly, though, she left me with the determination to make the most out of every relationship. I no longer have the luxury of taking people for granted. Sometimes you turn around and they're gone.