This is My Life

2:17 PM

I've been feeling a little overwhelmed by my life for a few months now. For several reasons. 
Unrealistic expectations I put on myself. "To do" lists that multiply upon themselves as soon as I tackle one item (not unlike the spell cast on the contents of Beatrix LeStrange's vault in Harry Potter). I feel like I've been waging an internal war, battling my intense desire to achieve perfection in all areas of my life, and as a result - doing nothing well. Parenting, teaching, being a wife, house-cleaner, time-manager, working out, you name it. 

I had a long prayer time this morning in which I used the last pages of my current prayer journal to pour out my heart before the Lord. Thankfully, He wants that kind of honesty from us. Otherwise, I'd be in trouble. Like a pressure cooker gone wrong.

I realize that my life actually is wonderful. But there are things I can change and those are things I will try to change. Things like altering my basic personality to become someone else...well, not happening. For instance, I was beating myself up last night for being a less than fabulous parent as I perused a blog (Play at Home Mom) on my sidebar. This woman is amazing. She does incredible, hands-on activities with her kids all the time. She's probably raising the next Picasso. And I feel like she's probably a much better mother than I am. She very well may be. She obviously has certain genes which permit her to not mind stuff all over the place. And I realized I just may not ever be able to be like her.

But I do believe that I can be better at who I am. In other words, a better version of myself. Through the power of the Holy Spirit. And that I can find more joy in the day to day things if I quit comparing myself to other moms out there who seem to have it all together. I can be less critical, less impatient, less rushed, less selfish, less demanding and become MORE of the antonyms of that list.

And these are not New Year's Resolutions. Merely a shift in life course. Decluttering my life and my focus and my mind, not to mention my house. As with everything worth doing, it's a process and I feel I have far to go. 

Anyway, enough words. 

Creative kids - I found this one day as I entered August's room. He and Brooklyn had color-coordinated their toys with the quilt colors.

It took me a second when I first looked at the quilt. 
There seemed to be something "extra" but I didn't initially SEE all the toys.

Until I looked closer. Clever children. 

Yummy beignets. My life is very much about creativity with food. And enjoyment of it.

A very active 10 month old who gives himself  black eyes when he rolls off my bed. Or when he pulls things off counters onto his head. Or when he misjudges distances and cracks his face onto tables, drawers, toys, chairs... 

And real men do wear pink. As noted in a blog post I read recently, pink used to be associated with boys because it was a strong color. Blue, placid and calm, was associated with little girls.

 My life is pouty boys in shirts with too-short sleeves.

And gleeful boys in layers and patterns and sweetness and hugs and laughter. 

 And precious all girlness and excitement and chatter and intelligence and bounciness and all that is Brooklyn.

And the occasional craft (this one courtesy of Nan and Grandad) 

Colored and ready to go. 

More of that excitement.

Craft project ready to bake briefly. And me, post-yoga and pre-shower. Sorry.

See my hand enter the hot oven...

As the oven does its magic, let's look over at another part of my life. The fridge with an equatorial split. Northern Hemisphere is pictures and grown-up lists and magnets that actually stick. Southern Hemisphere is devoted almost entirely to LeapFrog products: animal barn matching and most recently, the Letter Game.

Little things all curling up on themselves only to lay back down seconds later, only much much smaller.

Itty hardened plastic Cars characters colored by my children. 

So proud of themselves.

This is my life today: laptop, book (The Power of a Parent's Words), sleeping baby.

My 3rd painting and first foray into landscapes. I didn't get a great picture of it...maybe later.

The stack of books (and DVDs) on my bedside table which only grows, rather than shrinks.

John Adams, sketch notebook, Living by the Book, Just in Case, Mary Engelbreit Home Project Journal

My life is daily enriched by Kyle's morning post-it notes on my mirror. Occasionally I am further blessed to have Brooklyn contribute.

My life is this darling girl.

And this darling boy.

And an ever-growing stack of bags filled with items ready to go to Savers. 
Remember when I said I was going through a major house declutter? It's something to do with cold weather and fresh, crisp air that rejuvenates me and makes me want to dust my walls, swiffer under the beds, clean out our closets, empty drawers, reorganize and minimize. 

And this, my friends, is my life. Glad you can join me.

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  1. As I read through this post, I found myself echoing many of your sentiments. I think it probably has something to do with being first-born over-achievers that actually think perfection is up for grabs. At least, sometimes I think that way, and I am thankful for God's grace in reminding me that it is not about me and instead about Him. How I can make more of Him and more of those around me than myself. Anyway, thanks for keeping it real, as usual. Also, you look pretty great post-yoga, pre-shower. That is one thing we do not have in common.

  2. Wow! So much to think about in your latests posts. One of the good (and not so good things) about our lives today as women/moms is that we have so much great information at our fingertips, but it also causes me to feel very unsettled because I feel like I should always be doing something! Whenever I feel overwhelmed about not doing enough to stimulate my kids' creativity, I remember something Rob told me once. He read that kids that have less structured play time (and less toys) are actually more creative! I guess because they are able to pursue the things that they are really interested in and are required to use their imaginations more. That's what I tell myself because I'm definitely not very creative with thinking of things for them to do :)