family

Letting go…sort of

I grew up attaching sentimental value to material things. I was the kid who never used her stickers because what would happen if I found the perfect place and occasion to use that super duper cool Lisa Frank rainbow colored cheetah sticker and I had already stupidly used it on a notebook? I mean, who put stickers on paper, right?! Stickers were meant to be saved and used only for super special occasions on super special things. So when I was a teen I had boxes full of stickers that no longer stuck because the glue had finally given up after all those years.

When I was a teen, I had this one t-shirt that was just awful. It was a white tee with a story printed on it about mice. It was on a background that had some mid-century art on a rolled-out scroll. It was weird. It made people stop and try to read the story which made me feel super awkward because it was on my chest, after all. But my grandpa bought me the shirt and so I associated it with him and donating it felt like I was being unappreciative and like I didn’t love him. I did the same thing with letters from friends and pretty much anything my mom, grandma, or grandpa ever bought me.

Needless to say, this translated into my adult life and I hung on to pretty much everything because you never knew when something would come in handy. Hence my three boxes worth of shopping bags my husband pulled out of my apartment when we moved into our house. My grandma always had a thing about keeping the good shopping bags (you know, the ones made out of thick plastic with sturdy handles), so I guess that stuck with me and I just kept accumulating bags and more bags because doing so always reminded me of my grandma.

I slowly started to learn that letting go of things didn’t erase memories, but old habits die hard. Five years in this house and you’d be hard pressed to find evidence that I was still a bit of a hoarder, but if you dug in the cabinets under the sink or the bottom of the pantry or the depths of my closet, you’d find bits and pieces of things that seem like meaningless odds and ends, but somehow remind me of something my grandma once said or something she’d keep.

As I typed this post, I realized that this is not where this post was supposed to go. I was going to tell you all about my decluttering adventures, and how freeing it’s been, but instead it became a trip down memory lane and a sort of introspection. It kind of brought up all kinds of happy feelings, so I’m just going to leave it here for a rainy day when I need a bag and can’t find one because I’ve finally let go of the habit. ❤

 

 

JuneJitterbug Exhaustion

June is basically a month-long celebration of birthdays, graduations, and other party-worthy events. I think there’s one week where we have a family birthday every single day. Elliah’s birthday is on the 15th, then just 15 days later we have my husband’s birthday, and in between that, we have Father’s Day.

Parties! People! Family! Cake! Every extroverts dream!

But for me? The month leaves me emotionally and mentally drained. I love family. I love my people. But I need time to recharge in order to function. How does one find alone time in family home of 6? One doesn’t.

This week alone I had graduation, we celebrated Grandpa’s birthday, Tia Grace’s birthday, Tia Martha’s birthday, Elliah’s birthday, and Father’s Day.

Which is why today is almost sacred to me. The girls are at daycare, my husband is at work, Caleb is at his dad’s, and Monika is sleeping and watching movies, which gives me the silence and solitude I so desperately need to recharge and be able to function like a normal human being.

Most people don’t get that.  It’s not the work that goes into throwing a party or the walking back and forth in heels keeping kids in line at graduation or teaching summer school after a hectic year that exhausts me. It’s the constant having to be present and talking and listening and being around other people that is utterly draining.

So today I rest and I relax and I sit still and in silence and recharge to deal with tomorrow. ❤

4d443f1f4cbebf90fa86054faef8042e--introvert-quotes-introvert-problems

 

December, Untitled.

Man. October? I guess I didn’t keep up with this thing after all.

The year is almost over and honestly, thank goodness for that. I’m ready to put it behind us and start fresh. A friend recently told me that 2016 was reportedly going to be bad all around, and I can say that’s pretty accurate.

I won’t recap everything because a lot happened since I last posted, but here’s a few tidbits.

Caleb turned 13. I now have two teenagers in my house.  What the?!

We lost an epic woman. A woman with a beautiful soul, a contagious smile, an infectious laughter, and an incredible energy. My babies are blessed to be a part of her legacy and Elliah’s hair, smile, and laughter will forever remind me of her. img_8505

It’s sad that it sometimes takes occasions like this one to reunite family members, but I’m thankful that we got to spend so much time with our El Paso family. The kids had a blast playing with their cousins and I love seeing my husband spend time with his brothers. Distance sucks, but it makes times like this weekend that much more memorable.

We miss them already and are looking forward to our trip up there in a few weeks!

cough, cough, cough, get away from me

Everyone in my house is sick right now.  Monika has a cough that won’t quit.  Ellexa has a horrible ear infection.  My husband managed to catch that too.  Elliah has really bad allergies.  Caleb and I see to be the only normal ones right now, but living with four sick people and not getting sick yourself is nearly impossible.  I feel my ears tingly and my throat scratchy,  I’ve been drinking emergen-c and taking vitamins like crazy.  Drinking a ton of water.  And yet.

I have my first half marathon to run on Sunday. I.cannot.get.sick. Fk.  I hate this.

And then to top all this shit off, I went for a short, easy run yesterday and now my left knee hurts all the way up to my thigh. @(*&*^%&#(%$^)*@&

I’ve been eating like crap because I’m so busy all the damn time so I’m too tired to cook so takeout always seems like the easiest option, but it makes me feel so gross and sick.

I need a reset.  I need a vacation.  I need a getaway.

Sunday. Run. Monday. Rest. Cannot. Wait.

 

Mustard.

I’ve been meaning to post about the beginning of the school year and how all that’s going and my training and my birthday and everything, but I’ve fallen down the Netflix rabbit hole and every spare moment I’ve had has been spent watching Dexter with Mona.

Ellexa is LOVING pre-k. She adjusted as well as I thought she would. She loves her teacher and she enjoys doing her homework (most of the time). She loves telling us all about the new things she learns and does each day.

Elliah is still adjusting. Every day is a battle of wills to get her to stay at daycare without crying. There’s nothing that she doesn’t like about it, she just got so used to having her big sister there with her.

Mona is doing as Mona always does: amazingly well.  That child never ceases to amaze me.  Noteworthy: Cotillion dress shopping has begun.  Bring on the hunt!

Caleb is doing great.  He has joined flag football and has his first game tomorrow. Basketball still is and will probably always be #1 in his heart, but I’m glad he’s branching out.

My gym membership has gotten little to no use.  I’ve managed to work in a few outdoor runs here and there and one single strength workout since school started, but that’s it. And let me tell you, I can feel the difference.  Not a fan of this lethargic, pudgy feeling I’ve got going on 24/7.

I haven’t even done my OOTD posts anymore because I hate the location of my mirror and need to figure something else out.  My hair needs a touch-up.  I’ve got lesson plans to work on.  I pulled something in my back and can barely move.  It’s gonna be a fun weekend.  This is 31!

 

On the end of summer and not hyping up firsts

I do this thing with birthdays where in my mind, it has to be the birthday person’s most special day everrrrrr.  In concept, that sounds great.  But making that happen? Totally impossible.  You can’t make every.single.birthday the most wonderful day ever. The pressure is crazy.

Unfortunately, I do the same for firsts. I get all excited and happy and expectant and I end up psyching myself out to the point where I just don’t want to do whatever it was I was looking forward to.

So this year, instead of focusing on Monday being THE FIRST DAY BACK TO SCHOOL! I’m tricking myself into thinking that it’s just the second week back and it’s just another day. Yes, there will now be students and yes, I will now be teaching, but it’s just another day.

Except Monday is also Ellexa’s first day of “big girl school” (she attended pre-school at the same learning center she went to daycare).  It’s her FIRST! DAY! OF SCHOOL! So I’m psyching myself out about that.  Especially because our mornings are already so hectic and adding another school to the mix will definitely be testing our time constraints.  I can’t not go to my child’s first day of school and walk her into her classroom and stay for a bit.  I just can’t! So I’m praying it all works out and goes smoothly and she doesn’t cry and Elliah doesn’t have a meltdown at pre-school and I’m not epically late to work.

And oh my gosh, did I mention Caleb started 7th grade this year? He shot up and slimmed down and is all grown up.

And Monika.  She’s a junior.  A JUNIOR.  What the hell, man???

I’m gonna go make me a tea and cry in a corner.  Forget firsts! Bah.

Four and done.

The girls are growing up and I’m finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and that light doesn’t include any more babies.

The girls are out of diapers.  They can get basic things like water and snacks for themselves.  They sleep (mostly) through the night and in their own room.  They can both tell me what they want/need verbally instead of crying (although meltdowns are the exception because words go out the window).  I don’t have to worry about carrying diapers/bottles/baby food/strollers around.  They can walk or sit in a shopping cart.  They can entertain themselves.  Monika is old enough to babysit and the girls are old enough to be babysat.

I’m enjoying my time with my kids. Most of the time I feel like I barely have enough time to pay enough attention to each one of them individually and adding one more baby into the mix would be chaotic and just not an option at this point.  I want to be able to spend time with each of my kids one-on-one and I can only spread myself so thin before being totally wiped out from existence.

My kids all have huge, ginormous, strong personalities. Which I am very, very thankful, I might add.  But it’s exhausting.  Dealing with four different personalities is tough. And they’re all so…expressive and vocal and in-your-face.  There is no tuning them out.  There is no “holdonasecletmecatchmythoughts” It’s always go-go-go.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way!  I’m loving watching each one of them develop their personalities and grow up.  Sometimes it kills me that time goes by so fast.  Especially when I think about Monika and how she’s almost 16, almost out of high school, and almost ready to drive.  She’s almost an adult. And Ellexa is starting school this year.  SCHOOL! It’s crazy, but oh so exciting!  I always thought once the girls got older I’d be itching to have another tiny baby at home, but no.  The baby fever is gone.

I’m looking forward to not having car seats in my truck and not having to buckle/unbuckle each seat every single time we go somewhere.  I’m ready for my truck to stop feeling so crowded because of clunky, oversized carseats.

I’m looking forward to be done paying for daycare.  I mean, that’ll likely last a few more years as after-school care is necessary since school schedules vary so much between grade levels, but either way, I’m ready for that money to be back in my pocket. (it will more than likely not be seeing as kids get progressively more expensive each year of life, but still)

I’m looking forward to being able to go to soccer games and basketball games and award ceremonies for the big kids and whatever activities the girls decide to pursue without having to calm a fussy baby/toddler.

I’m looking forward to watching my babies grow up and be able to really be present in the moment.  ❤