Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Okay so I've always heard not to try to better yourself in every category all at once. Just focus on small changes, yadda yadda yadda. I know you have all heard it too. Well the last couple of weeks (week?) I have been in self improvement overload. I'm trying this new diet/cleanse. I'm doing pilates again. I'm Konmari-ing my entire house, and I just got hired to teach at VIPKID. (If you haven't heard of it, it's a company in China that hires native English speakers to teach kids in China English, through video chatting. They have a fun platform, and it's really interactive, and you get all silly and channel your inner YoGabbaGabba personality. At least that's my take on it. I passed the first couple of interviews, now I just need to make my introduction video and I'm all set. I'm seriously so excited about this. If you're interested there is referral bonus program and I would get a little bonus if anyone used my referral link. You do need to have a bachelors, and be willing to work during China's peek time, which is really, really early here. I've heard you don't have to do that early anymore, but if you want a consistent schedule that is the best time. Anyway, if you're interested, here my link: I'm also doing this personal finance class through my church. Oh and my prayers and scripture study have been on point lately too.
        So I guess what I'm saying is, this just diving right in thing has been working really well for me. Maybe I'm going to get burned out super fast, and gain back some weight. Or my house might cluttered again more quickly (she promises no rebound!) And maybe I won't stick to my budget forever. But right now I just feel awesome and so I think it's worth it. And maybe at least one of these areas the improvement will stick. Either way I took an entire van load full of clothes to Goodwill today. And there's no undoing that! All of my kids rooms are sparkling clean today. So if anyone wants to come visit, within the next 72 hours 48 hours 24 hours would be a great time. I vacuumed every nook and cranny. I dusted ceiling fans. I mopped the floor on my hands and knees. The kids all asked if we were moving.
        Another thing, I really love this heatwave. I know everyone is complaining about it. But I love crazy weather forcing me to stay indoors. It doesn't have to be a hurricane or a blizzard. 122 degrees will force me to stay inside just as much. But also leaving me with the option to run and grab pizza for dinner. We've been making the most of our time inside with my cleaning frenzy, and watching lots of Netflix, and making slime, and baking cookies on our dashboard. Eliza cries every time we need to walk from the car to anywhere, but hopefully she gets used to it. We have a few more trips planned to get a break from the heat this summer, and before we know it, it will be Christmas and we'll be enjoying 70 degrees again!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

My house is a mess. I am horrible at sticking to routines. Cleaning, exercising, diet... all those good habits that make you a successful adult, I fail miserably at those.

But today I was sitting on my dirty kitchen floor trying to get Nora to walk to me and Eliza came and sat on my lap. And she looked me in the eyes and kissed my cheek and said, "You are the best mommy ever." She tells me this almost daily, and for some reason I usually brush it off. Probably because she also tells me I'm mean, and she doesn't love me anymore almost daily as well. So I just let it all slide off. But for some reason today I heard her. I let it sink in. I realized that to the little person whose opinion matters most (on this particular subject) I am the best. She doesn't care that our floor is dirty, that laundry hardly ever gets put away, and the toys are only in their designated bins 3/365 days a year. It didn't effect my "best mommy ever" standing when I lost my temper, or brushed her hair. She doesn't mind that I waste too much time on Facebook. She sees me, in all my flawed glory, and she loves me relentlessly. Almost suffocatingly. And that's beautiful.

Even Olivia will occasionally declare what a great mom I am. I don't know why I'm writing about this. Maybe because the messy house really is bothering me, and for some reason whenever my kids tell me that I'm "the best" I usually ignore it. Or immediately think that they just want something. But man, I just feel so lucky to be their mom lately.

I realized the other night, when I should have been sleeping but my mind was all over the place, that whenever I'm walking all I do is reach my hand out to my side and almost instantly there is a tiny hand intertwined with mine. More often than not there's a fight for the coveted spot of holding my hand. And more often than not I end up with this weird thing where two kids hold each hand, each getting a couple of fingers to grip onto with their tiny hands. Though I guess it has been a while since Olivia fought to hold my hand. But sometimes I just feel so overwhelmed by all this, I don't stop to appreciate it. So I am now. I'm writing it down so that when they're all grown up and I reach out my hand and there's no one there to hold it, I will have these precious memories. Memories of times when there was almost not enough of me to go around. Memories of being needed (for every.little.thing.). Memories or being snuggled, kissed (elbowed, squished). Memories of being fought over to sit next to on the couch, and making room for everyone. 

 I know this time is fleeting. Olivia is 9. We just repeat her entire life, and she's 18! I started this blog when I was pregnant with her. It really doesn't seem that long ago at all. And time really is speeding up. So I'm making an effort to stop beating myself up about the disorganized messy house, and try to live in the moment with these lovely little people while they're still all so obsessed with me.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Last weekend we went to Tombstone, AZ with Aaron's parents and saw a gun show. A "hilarious gun show" to be exact. And that's not just a joke about my biceps. Honestly the whole experience of Tombstone was definitely a big notch up from what I was expecting. It was a really cute town, and I really adore touristy things. Like if Aaron would let us, I would stop at every tourist trap I see every time we are on the road. So this whole place was really just a giant tourist trap, but definitely worth the trip. Especially after spending a half hour of the drive reading about the history of the town, it made it so much more interesting. Did you know Tombstone was once the largest city west of the Mississippi (aside from San Fransisco)? It's one of the last boomtowns. The whole story is really interesting, and I recommend you read their wikipedia page on your way there, if you ever find yourself traveling in southern Arizona.

These are the only pictures that are on my phone. Aaron took a bunch more. This trip happened only a few days after we got back from the Redwoods. Oh my goodness, it was magical. Heaven on earth, amazing. I loved every second. We went with our good friends, who have NINE kids, and our kids just had a blast. We camped in Humbolt County, and drove up to this touristy thing called Trees of Mystery. It was all so much fun. I documented most of that on facebook, between Aaron and I. Camping is so good for family bonding. Also, we drove the whole way home in one shot. 900 miles. In one day. 5 kids. A minivan. It took almost 14 hours. It was crazy and exhausting, and the last thing I wanted to do 5 days later was drive 250 miles to Tombstone... but we love Grandpa! 

And that's about it. Life is just good lately. I feel incredibly lucky to be living this life. A day doesn't go by that I'm not told that I'm "the best mommy ever", or that I'm not cuddled, kissed, and loved beyond my capacity to comprehend. Not to say there isn't a lot of overwhelming chaos happening all the time as well, but there really is so much good.