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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Changes All Around Me

I haven't written a new blog post in a really long time  Partly because we have been busy and partly because I was trying to sort of refocus on our life and not think about posting or writing.  One of my things I have been trying to do is focus more on me (which is actually harder than you would think!)

You see, there are changes happening all around me.  Some are good.  Some are not....good....but, not necessarily bad. They just.....are, which requires a full reset of my mind, my time, my habits, my mood.

We had road trips and family reunions.

We moved D-man into his college dorm room in early August.

A-girl and L-girl started a new school also in early August.

We now are only homeschooling 3 of our 6 kids. (Plus an occasional extra little cutie)

It is strange.

We have had changes in our schedule of watching extra little people.

All adjustments to our "normal".

Lots of the changes have been an emotional roller coaster for many of us.  Life is hard.  Teenage girls are hard.  That is all.

All of these changes come at a time when I am trying to focus on myself a bit more.  Trying to be okay spending a little money on me.  (so far, I have gotten a new expensive bra, gotten my hair cut/highlighted, placed my first ever order at Zulily, and given myself permission to use the Plexus products that are making me feel fantastic - even though I was sort of annoyed that they worked!)

Basically trying to spend enough time and effort on things that make me happy and healthier.

So, for those of you that tune into this blog to see cute kids.  Never fear, you will still see some of that, but not so  much of my big kids. (It is hard to balance their desire for privacy and whether or not they feel like they look good enough in the picture) I suspect you will also be climbing inside of my head a bit more, as I work towards being okay focusing on me and what I want/need in this life, which means that I am sure there will be rambling posts where you take a trip through my psyche.

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Want, Not A Need

I got myself a "want" today.

Something I wanted, but did not "need".

It was hard.

As we were leaving the store, I said to Rainman, "I feel sort of sick to my stomach."

He said, "Why?  Because you spent money?"

Well, yes, actually.


It is funny, because you work and work to get to the point where you can buy things or spend money in life without guilt, or without going into debt.  Then, when you get there (if you are me) you have trouble actually doing it!

Want to know what I got?

First let me give you a little background story about how I even came to the point were I could sort of justify spending money on a "want" in the first place.

Remember, when we moved into this house, I hated the kitchen?  Rainman assured me that we could remodel it someday.  We had visions of blowing out walls, flipping the sink around so I can enjoy the gorgeous view of our backyard through the big picture window and building our own super long farm table that would fit all of us, and eventually spouses and grandkids.

Flash forward a few years and we have paid off our credit cards and are starting to have a little freed up money for projects.  We decided that now was the time to get the kitchen some help that would make me happy.  We have a really good friend who is a contractor, so I asked him to come over and take a look at some of the things I was hoping to do, so he could tell me if they were even possible, and get a really rough ballpark figure of what it would cost for someone to complete the work. was a huge, astronomical figure.  A "NO WAY" figure.  So, I let go of my dreams and told Rainman that if I could have some money to paint the cabinets and get a gas stove, that I would be happy.

He happily agreed to that one.

I have started painting, but still haven't been able to find the time/energy and gumption to pay the $70/gallon for the Benjamin Moore Aura paint that I plan to use on the cupboards.

But, I have started the process and even with just messy primer on them, the kitchen looks tons better to me.

So, one day last week, a friend of D-man's who works at a big box electronics store and somehow knew that one day I wanted a gas stove, sent a message that they were having a 4th of July sale and some of the stoves were 40% off.


I like a good sale.

Rainman said we had already set aside money and budgeted for it, so I should go for it.

I hemmed and hawed for a bit because I didn't "need" the stove yet.  My cabinets weren't painted yet.  there wasn't anything wrong with the flat top electric stove.  I just hated cooking on it.

But, Rainman kept encouraging me to go for it.  So, I spent hours researching stoves on-line, comparing features, reading reviews and felt ready to make a somewhat educated purchase. I decided on this one.

It is a Whirlpool 5.8 cu. ft, 5 burner gas stove with a convection oven.  I am quite excited that the 5th burner is oval shaped, so I can use my big past iron rectangle skillet for pancakes again.  I am hoping I can just leave it sitting on top of the stove all the time, like I could I at our last house.

Sadly, I forgot to factor in taxes and the $140 installation fee, so I still had sticker shock at the check out counter.  I started backtracking saying that we could get the cheaper model and that if I got the expensive one I wanted I would have to cook more, so maybe I shouldn't spend such a big chunk of money on something that was only going to create more work for me in the end.

The ever so helpful young man that was checking us out, just laughed and exchanged a knowing look with Rainman.  I assume he hears this kind of panic a lot when people are getting the big ticket items.
Rainman is still laughing at me, because I really do feel sick to my stomach.  Really.  I am sure that I will love it when it gets here and is installed and everything, but for now, I still feel a little sick to my stomach because it feels like such a frivolous thing to spend money on.  You know?

You know how you always say things like, "If only we were rich...." or "it must be nice to have money"?  I have decided that I am just not built to be rich, because it is waaaaaay too hard for me to spend money,....and it actually makes me sick.  LOL

Monday, June 20, 2016

Thinking About Me

I have been thinking about myself quite a bit lately.

Want a little glimpse into what happens in this brain of mine?!?

If your answer was yes, read on!  If your answer was no, check back soon because I have graduation pictures and other stuff like that I will be sharing soon.  So, go ahead and scroll down for some pictures and ignore all the rambling thoughts I am about to share.

There is a constant mental conversation  (about me) happening inside of my head, but it gets shut down because stuff.

Which leads me to these kinds of questions:

At what point in life or motherhood is it bad to think about yourself?

At what point in motherhood is it bad to think about your own goals?

Your wants?

Your wishes and dreams?

Even though I think about "me" all the time, it is still sort of hard for me to think about me.

Hahahaha....did you follow that train of thought with me?  Did I lose you?

But, like I said, I have been thinking about myself and my wants more and more lately.

Part of my thought process is that I am starting to feel my age.  Realizing that I am officially a middle aged person.  That I am not necessarily the "young mom" anywhere I turn.  I am the veteran now.

When did that happen?

I have wrinkles.  Rainman and I both just recently looked at a picture of us and said, "Wow....we look old!  When did that happen?"  We were both sort of shocked and sad.  (Me more than him, FYI)

I get that because of my age, I am not expected to be fashionable or to look like a Hollywood mom.  But, a little part (sometimes a big part) of me wants to be fashionable and praised for my style and looks.  I don't want to wear the "mom jeans", elastic waisted slacks (uggg) or those patterned shirts with the big prints.

Yes.  I am shallow.

I am also thinking about myself more lately because of a conversation I recently had with a friend. We were talking about the doctors telling me that part of the management of the pseudotumor cerebri thingie that I have,  is getting my weight down and keeping it down.

We were commiserating about how hard that is and she said something that really stuck with me.

She said, the problem with someone telling us that we have to lose weight is that the act of losing weight and everything that surrounds differently.....exercising, etc., requires a certain level of selfishness and self focus - something we moms are horrible at.

Now, I am not one of those completely selfless moms that bends over backwards to do everything for my kids and make things easy for them.  I pride myself on helping create fairly independent, self sufficient children.  That being said, I am still a mom to 6 children (with 3 extras a few days of the week).  I love them all....dearly, whether they are my biologically connected people or not.

But, that love makes it hard to focus on me.  Just me.  There is just too much constantly swirling around me (diapers needing to be changed, somebody needing to be dropped off or picked up somewhere, meals to be made, cleaning to be done, boo-boos to be kissed, disagreements to be refereed) to really just focus on me.

And, to be shallow again for a moment, if you think for a second, that even in my late 40s that I do not want to turn heads and have strangers check me out, you would be wrong.  Completely, wrong.

No, I don't want to be harrassed, or objectified, but, I want that slight hesitation when I enter a room, a quick appreciative gaze and the sense of power that accompanies that feeling.

I remember that feeling.  It is a heady feeling.

(Apparently, I liked that moody/smirky look into the camera without smiling look back then!)

Have I just taken the advances of womankind back to the 50s?

The start of the whole pseudotumor cerebri thing started with a trip to the eye doctor to try and get fitted for contact lenses.  Why?

Vanity, that is why.

It started with a girls trip to Minnesota with my sisters and my mom.  My sister took my picture and we were getting a weird glare from my glasses, so she suggested I just take them off for the photo. When we looked at them later, I thought, wow....I look pretty.

I haven't seen myself as pretty for a very long time.

Which got me to thinking.....yes....about me....again.

I started wearing glasses exclusively when we moved to Georgia.  I started getting more and more creative with my frame choices too.  I saw it as a way to show creativity, quirkiness and some personality.

But, I think my glasses also became a way for me to hide when I started gaining weight. (As crazy as that sounds since I do not pick boring frames).  Maybe it was a a way to distract "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain", Wizard of Oz kind of a way that said...."pay no attention to the girth you see down below....eyes up here, everyone!"

My best friend just recently told me that she has never liked my blue/aqua glasses because she felt like they took over my face and hid me.

I think subconsciously, that is exactly what I was going for.  Giving people a way to describe me "The lady with all the kids and the aqua glasses." Instead of, "The big lady with all the kids".

There is this little sermonette floating around on FB about the devil and who he chooses to try to work against......and why.  This clip is a might long, but she is pretty funny, so it is worth it, if you have the time to watch it (especially if you happen to have sons....).

I sort of love her tough, no nonsense approach, don't you?

Anyway, that got me to thinking.....about my kids and who they will be....but, about me....and who I am supposed to be.  Or, who I was supposed to be.  Know what I mean?  Am I Sarah Connor?

Am I her?  Or, have I let myself be distracted and derailed away from who I was supposed to be, by doing something stupid like getting fat?!?

Am I supposed to be the fit, fabulous lady with a bunch of kids that can go to a waterpark with them and actually put on my suit and join them and not just hold all the purses and towels?  Am I supposed to be the fit mom that can share clothes with my teenage girls.  (that thought just made me laugh - because my girls would be horrified!)  But, you know what I mean.  We have seen those moms out there that can pull it off.

Or, is it time for me to let go and just be about my kids?  Is my purpose here to raise amazing and awesome little people that will grow up and do spectacular things?

I don't know.

I just know that I want to be, if not skinny, then.....skinnier.  Normal sized, not super sized.  I want to feel pretty.  I want to feel powerful. I want to take moody/smirky pictures staring into the camera and like what I see when I load them on my computer.

So, yeah, welcome to the inside of my head.

Fun place, right?!?!

So, do you want more glimpses into my head or do you want D-man's graduation pictures next?