Tuesday, May 28, 2013

An article to share

This article just seemed to have been written just for me.  And while i'm having teenager "issues" right now, not major ones, but major enough to be concerned..   I can see how this whole idea translates far further than just mommying.  

here's the link.

Ann Voscamp.... sigh....  she could so be me.  Except smarter.  And more eloquent :)  But hey, who's comparing! i'll take the wisdom and call it good!

Its been a difficult past few months.   And I've been places i never expected to be- never wanted to be.   But here I am.  And I've struggled with so many things....  Who am I? where did I come from?  Where am I supposed to be? Who can I trust?  so many other "Who" "Where" "Why" questions, FAR more questions than answers have filled my mind.  Which stinks.  Let's face it, no matter how adventurous and courageous you are, (courage- my lifelong goal) the preponderance of questions to answers is the PITS.

And people- well, let's just say that i've become quite disillusioned with people.  They are SO much work.  And being one who has a hard time reading people and knowing who's trustworthy and who's not, it quite frankly doesn't seem worth the effort.  I'm going to try to restrict myself to relationships with people i REALLY trust and keep it limited to a selective few.  I just am so sick of getting burned.

I have been struggling spiritually as well.  God is doing weird things in my life that don't make sense.  He's doing things that don't seem like things He would do and he's not showing up when he's "supposed" to.  Its made me feel a little angry, confused, disturbed... but ultimately I know that the only thing that is for sure in this life, the only real SAFE thing is God.  And i'm hanging on to that with everything in me and knowing that SOMEDAY it will all make sense.

a quote from the article:

What mama is willing to be humbled to the point of humiliation yet not blinded to the wisdom found like diamonds in dirty places?

The dirty places...  Sigh...   Why do the diamonds hang out there?  Why can't I just be blissfully ignorant and not so badly NEED TO KNOW.   Why can't i just be a regular person, UNwounded, UNdamaged UNdevastated?  WHY? See how futile the "why"s are?   And yet they just keep on coming...

Another quote from the article-

What if God said, “What mama is strong enough, persevering enough, tough enough to bend without breaking under the weight of the choices this child will make?What mama is willing to be humbled to the point of humiliation yet not blinded to the wisdom found like diamonds in dirty places? What mama will not just pray about this child but will truly pray this child all the way through their stuff?What mama will be courageous enough to let me write her child’s story?”And then God points.I can’t say I ever wanted God to be pointing in my direction.I can’t.But sometimes we get the unexpected.And I guess, I’m just wanting to breathe hope into someone else’s paralyzed place.

Yep.  I'm IN that paralyzed place.  But its not my children, this time anyway.  Its me.  Am I courageous enough to let God write MY story?  Am I?  I mean, I say I am, but AM I REALLY?   I don't know....   I guess my story isn't over yet, and clearly, I don't have all the answers.  And that's ok.   Right?

Monday, May 27, 2013

The flipside of vulnerability

Is hurt.   I know that, and i'm willing to deal with that.  And yes, perhaps a blog is not the best way to journal or to be vulnerable.  Because its open to everyone.  Even facebook has people who claim to be your "friends" or "family" and stab you in the back.   And really nothing can be done about that, other than just shutting up, because people like that have so little backbone, they won't actually TELL you when they have a problem about you, they just gossip.  that's how they roll.    I knew that i was taking a risk with the post i while back, but the point of this blog is my healing process and my journey to wholeness.  I stand by my statement that if you have a problem with me, you don't HAVE to like me.  And i don't have to care.  Some circumstances make that difficult to stick to though.  I'm being purposefully vague and i know that's difficult, but i guess what i'm saying is just out of human kindness, before you throw stones at me, maybe you could consider a few things.

1.  i can guarantee you that you have NO IDEA what i'm struggling with in my life right now.  The mountains of crap that are piled on my back that began accumulating pretty much from birth... if you are going to judge me, keep that in mind.   Also, if you think you could survive a DAY.  ONE.DAY in my household without screaming, or losing your mind- then yes.  Judge away.  But think hard.

2.  I'm not perfect.  I never made a claim to be.  I am doing the BEST that I can.  And unless you are a perfect parent, or a perfect spouse or a perfect person in general,  keep your stones to yourself.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Daring Greatly Chapter 2

*newbies- this is a non-dated book study covering the book "Daring Greatly" by Dr. Brene Brown.  Feel free to jump in, starting with the introduction, and answer questions in the replies!  Thanks!*

Chapter 2- Debunking Vulnerability Myths

So, i've been reading in various times and places and haven't been typing up the questions immediately after reading, which would be far preferable! (i'm most of the way through chapter 3 and that's with SERIOUSLY slowing myself down,  So... i've been procrastinating, since its kind of hard :)
Live and learn!

1. Thoughts on Myth #1- Vulnerability is weakness.

I love how she said that "vulnerability isn't good or bad... vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings."   Its easy to see vulnerability as being a really negative thing, particularly if you have been burned by being vulnerable, but in itself vulnerability isn't negative-  And personally, i've not had this problem, primarily, i think, because i'm a woman, and very feminine,  and tend to really value the vulnerability of others in my lives, it makes me feel close to them and makes me feel like they trust me enough to take risks for me, which I consider to be quite an honor.  I tend to repay that by sharing myself.   Then again, i'm a MASSIVE emotional risk taker.  One might argue quite emotionally impulsive.  Looking back through the history that i remember, i can see myself putting myself out there a LOT and reaping both negative and positive consequences from that.  The old saying, "you regret what you didn't do not what you did" or whatever, just so totally doesn't apply to ME. :)

I love how Dr Brown said, "Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage"  Ahh... doesn't that just sum it up??? it really does as well, i can totally relate to that.   This Chapter is just loaded with important truths...  this one struck me as well-
page 39, location 291- "Vulnerability is like being naked onstage and hoping for applause rather than laughter." 
 YEAH baby! good stuff! that is EXACTLY it.   I can't even describe how much i LOVE this book!!!!

I love the sentiment contained within this chapter also that the "illusion of invulnerability" is not actually protection at all.  I think that's because while you aren't putting yourself out there to get hurt, you also aren't putting yourself out there to be blessed.  Relating is a HUGE blessing, its what makes us uniquely human.  Its what makes life worth living.  Living without relationship would be a sorry shell of an existence.

2.  Thoughts on Myth #2- I don't DO Vulnerability- 

Yeah, this one, i don't relate to at all :-D   I'm guessing some of you might though! Share!

3.  Thoughts on Myth #3 Vulnerability is letting it all hang out.

Aha! Now we are right back in my territory.  Yes, i have had this problem.  What i've learned, thanks much to this book, is that, As Dr. Brown phrases it-
Page 45 location 554 "Vulnerability is about sharing our feelings and our experiences with people who have earned the right to hear them."
This one is hard for me.  Its not always easy to tell who has "earned the right" or who is too big of a risk.  Particularly since my past has left me vulnerable to not being able to judge well who is a good risk.  Sometimes not obvious people ARE a good risk and sometimes people you expect to be a good risk are actually a NOT good risk, due to their own issues or whatever, and will cause you a world of hurt if you do opt to overshare with them.  I'm "Queen Overshare" so you can totally trust me on this one.

Another thing that struck me personally was talking about how in marriage- BIG betrayals are more likely to happen after a long period of disengagement.  How easy is it to disengage, either in the distraction of life, the slow but steady distancing from your spouse in a long marriage, the mutual response of their distancing and your distancing...  its a perfect storm really.  Stuff doesn't usually happen overnight, and i've most certainly found that true in my life.  I was watching out for the big stuff, trying to prevent the big stuff, and really, the biggest threat to MY marriage was the steady creeping up of the disengagement that makes the big stuff much more likely.

4.  Thoughts on Myth #4- We can go it alone

Yeah, this has never been "me" either... i'm so relational that any kind of "alone" strikes terror in my heart... that's a LOT of talking to myself!  I concur with Dr Brown that the journey toward vulnerability is one that requires a LOT of support from people who will not judge you.  This is hard for me partially in that I tend to surround myself with people who have a tendency to judge people.  Heck, "I" have a tendency to be super judgmental.  I'm seeing that, and working on changing that. I love how she talks about how she wants her home to be somewhere where we can be brave, and share our shaming moments, be fearful, and know that we are all in this together.  I couldn't agree with that more.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Daring Greatly Book Study: Chapter 1

1. Scarcity- Does the constant perception of scarcity in your life haunt you?

Um.... YES! Hence using the word "haunt" in the question.   Seriously, I have a husband and 7 children. we live on one moderately low income considering our local economy, we live in a house that's 1250 sq. feet.  We have enough of everything we need.  95 percent (if my statistics are right) of the world live with far less than us, and yet we are held hostage in one way or another by the idea that "enough"=more.   We have healthy food to eat, we have clothing, we have a roof over our head, we have medical care, we have ENOUGH.  Why do we so often not feel like it?!

2. On Page 21, or Kindle location 299, Dr. Brown speaks of how narcissism is not relieved by cutting people down to size, because most likely narcissism is caused by shame.   Do you have any narcissistic people in your life? Does this description sound accurate to you?

Yes.  and that's all I'm going to say on a public forum, BUT, I will also add that I do wholeheartedly agree that shame plays a domineering role in the person in my life who tends toward the narcissistic.  Which is frustrating.  You can't fix someone else's shame.

3. Do you think our culture contributes to a sense of "not being enough?"  Any thoughts on the questions posed on page 23, location 323?

Yes.  I think that we are in a very materialistic place where we are expected to have all, do all, and be all.  its very difficult in light of that, to see ourselves as enough.

4.  On page 25-  a quote-  Does this resonate with anyone?

Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we're already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something.  And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn't get, or didn't get done that day. 

Yes.  Most certainly it does! I describe my job as a mother as the most guilt inducing job ever.  I will NEVER be successful at it.   I know I could go in the workforce and be VERY successful at any number of things.  But my heart is here, and i choose to do THIS job, despite it being so very hard, and so very hard to feel successful at.  I never realized before that in having this kind of thought pattern, I was setting myself up for failure, never considering myself to be "enough"  So what if we don't do everything on the curriculum plan today.  So what if we take a month to read a particular book! that's so silly!  Honestly, my success as a mother lies in how engaged I am.  If i'm zoned out, just eeking through life, i'm going to be less successful, even if i get MORE done.

5.  Enough questions for me today.  Can you ask a question? What important point did I miss? 

Daring Greatly Book Study- Introduction and study info.

A few thoughts on this format:

I have tried multiple times to participate in online book studies and found them either too fast or too slow to really be able to fit for me.  In hopes of ameliorating that problem for others I designed this so that years later, someone could happen upon this study, and participate at whatever pace is comfortable for them.  Those of you starting off with me, will have to be patient with my pace, as while i read a lot, my time on the computer is and should be limited!  

Right now on my comments i've disallowed "anonymous" comments, but i'll reinstate them if need be. 

I prefer to not have anonymous responses, because i'd really like for us to get to know one another, relate to each other, etc.  But understanding that online is forever and you may not be willing to be so honest if you can't be anonymous, I'd love it if you could come up with a stage name, like "fairygirl" or something like that and use it consistantly.  That way we can get to know you, but you can still maintain a level of anonymity. 

 Please feel free to email me, my email is in my profile now, if you aren't able to make up a pseudonym and reply.  I'm not exactly sure if anon. needs to be enabled to do that. 

1. In the opening to the introduction, Dr. Brown speaks of vulnerability in terms like, "excruciating" and "complicated."  How do you feel about vulnerability.  What comes to mind when you hear "vulnerability?"

For me, I have a mixed response.  I'm a really odd person, in that I was hurt a lot for most of my life, and SHOULD be hardened enough to not trust people, but for some reason I do.  I don't know why, and i think its a mixed bag.  On the one hand, i'm soft- i'm compassionate and caring and let people "in" which is critical to having healthy relationships.  On the other hand, I lack boundaries to keep myself safe so i tend to get hurt MORE as a result of that.  As a result, how i'd feel about vulnerability varies based on how recently I've been badly hurt.

2. The therapist describes vulnerability as "exquisite."  Can you picture that? Can you feel the "exquisite" in vulnerability?

Yes.  I am very vulnerable as a person, as any reader of my blog can tell, and I have been both burned and blessed by that openness.  I have found that for me, vulnerability has stretched the experience both negative and positive, in other words, my "exquisites" are, I suspect, vastly more exquisite than those who do not embrace vulnerability and my "excruciatings" are also more excruciating.  Provided i'm not just "doing it wrong" I suspect that's what a general feeling of vulnerability feels like.  You are open to much more joy but also much more pain.

3. What do you make of Dr. Brown's quote- 

"Connection is why we are here.  We are hardwired to connect with others.  It's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it, there is suffering."

I agree.  I think though, that its a double edged sword.  There's also suffering when you do connect closely with others, just by virtue of the fact that humans are HUMAN.  We hurt people, sometimes intentionally, sometimes otherwise.  Is it worth it? I think so.

4. Wholehearted.  What are your thoughts on wholeheartedness?  What do you think about worthiness and how it plays into the ability of one to be whole hearted?  Do YOU feel like a worthy person?  Do you struggle with seeing yourself as worthy of what you have?

Hmm... this one is hard.  I struggle with worthiness, but overall I think I've overcome this issue... but it creeps back in every once in a while.  I have general self esteem issues so perhaps i'm not even clear with myself on whether i find myself worthy.  I was abused as a child, which greatly colored my perception of myself, and 19 years into adulthood, i overall know the truth about who I am, but still occasionally find myself slipping into old thought patterns.  I think that worthiness absolutely enables one to be wholehearted.

5.  Dr. Brown speaks of being concerned about how being vulnerable would reflect on her in her profession.  Do you have any obstacles to being vulnerable? if so, what are they? 

I find that for me, being vulnerable means hurting others, and being really empathetic, i have a hard time with that.  Also I struggle with not wanting to lose friends.  So my tendency is to withhold the real me, out of respect to others and their feelings, and out of the fear of being rejected.  I'm struggling with that now. I am choosing to BE vulnerable, while being gentle as possible, but i'm choosing to not pretend anymore.  I am who I am.  If others don't like it, that is their choice.  If others choose to not want to be friends with me, that too is their choice.  I feel like my worth is much greater when I AM vulnerable, honest, and real.

6.  If you are a parent, as a general rule, are you engaged?

Oh wow.  This one is super hard for me, because if I'm truthful with myself, i'd admit that no.  Most of the time I'm NOT engaged with my children.  I tend to sleepwalk through life, just weathering the storms and trying to keep everyone alive.  Life is difficult right now, but I will say that when I AM engaged, the rewards are out of this world.  I need to make more of an effort to be more engaged.

Daring Greatly Study/discussion

Ok, so today sucks.  I'm sick, i'm sad, i can't seem to get my mind of someone that it needs to be off of, so i've been trying to distract myself in the least self-destructive ways possible.  right now, that is reading.   I'm working through the book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, which is an amazing book.  Its a must read, i think for EVERYONE, and further, for people who are struggling, like me.  So i'm going to start a discussion and would love for anyone interested to pop in through the comments and we can carry on a book study/discussion right here.  I'm going to be working through the book really fast, most likely, so i'll make a post for each chapter discussing my thoughts of the major points, and you can all chime in as time allows.  that way you won't feel stressed or like you need to finish at a set time.

The book:        

I bought the Kindle version from Amazon, link here http://www.amazon.com/Daring-Greatly-Vulnerable-Transforms-ebook/dp/B007P7HRS4/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1369084197&sr=1-2 Because, when you buy the kindle version, you can also get the whispersync audio version for only $3.99 which is a slammin deal.  You can read on the computer, or on a kindle or like me, on an ipod or ipad (or iphone)  So its really versatile.  I love having all my books in my pocket.  
OR, for the same price of getting the Kindle plus audio version you could get the hardcover copy for $13.99 here http://www.amazon.com/Daring-Greatly-Courage-Vulnerable-Transforms/dp/1592407331/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1369084729&sr=1-1&keywords=brene+brown   Or, get it from the library.  Just GET IT!  Really!! :)

I'm absolutely enamored these days with Brene Brown's stuff.  I saw her video on TedX on youtube, here.  I'll try to embed the video.  

So after watching this, you are most certainly as enamored with Brene as much as I am and are motivated to get started! if not, check out some of her other resources... 

Here's the video series from Oprah's Super Soul Sunday series, which i watched and was crazy motivated by....  Super Soul Sunday Brene Brown series

Here's some of Brene's amazing free downloads-  Downloads

And here's her blog.   Brene Brown's Blog

So hopefully i've motivated you to want to join me on this journey.  Perhaps you are sick of being a faker.  Perhaps you know you struggle with resisting vulnerability.  Perhaps you have been deeply hurt and want to find your way back to being yourself.  Perhaps, like me, your life doesn't make sense anymore and you just want to figure out who you really are.  If so, please join me for this book study! i think we have a lot to learn from Brene and from each other!!  First post coming REALLY soon- but remember, don't feel rushed, do it when you finish the intro. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Our weekend.

What a great weekend we had! my friend Lynn gave me a gift of a night away for my last birthday and we just haven't gotten a plan together to do it, so on our big situation thursday, we decided we wanted to do this RIGHT away, and really, for me, planning last minute works best because then I don't waste too much time obsessing about it.  I'm a planner.  its about my favorite thing.   And for this opportunity we took out our savings and decided to really make it good.  because, and this is my new mantra, "Its cheaper than divorce!"  So began our lets-save-our-marriage-weekend.

And it was a good one.  Most importantly, we had a lot of time to talk about our issues, our goals,  each other, and spend some good quality one on one time together, for the first time since our oldest was born, 18 years and 2 days ago.  We decided that we want to for sure do this at least once a year.  We just have to make each other a priority.  I feel like we basically made peace, though i think it will be a long time before i'm truly at peace with the issue, if at all.  I'm resigned to deal with it, because I am not in the position where i have a right to make choices for myself that clash with my family's well being, and also, my family is pretty terrific.  I still feel like a part of me died.  I don't know where God's going with this, but i'm ok with trusting Him.  So that's what i'm doing.  One day at a time.

So our trip-  we really splurged and our major expense settled in 2 major areas, 1. the cruise!  2. the hotel.   we went on a history of Seattle lunch cruise through Elliott bay, and had the most amazing lunch buffet, complete with salad before, (my favorite part of the meal, it was a yummy veggie/lettuce salad with real crab, and strawberry shortcake with scones afterward... drool...   here's some pictures.   I also got some GREAT video clips of the history presentation which will be on my youtube page as soon as i get to it, aka, probably not for a looong time. http://www.youtube.com/user/mamakven

so, to GET to the cruise, we first parked at our hotel, then took the link train to Pioneer Square and then had to hoof it, and FAST to the waterfront.  I was running to keep up with Andy's brisk pace, with his crazy long legs, and rushing so we wouldn't miss the cruise, as we were late, for a change :).  we eventually found a cab and got to hail one, which i've always wanted to do, except Andy did it, and it was parked not driving.  Oh well, it got us to the cruise on time so i was not complaining. So we did the cruise, which was awesome.  They totally treat you like royalty, very cool.  We decided we could get used to that!   then after the cruise, we went on the new waterfront ferris wheel.  it was expensive, but made for some amazing pictures.

Isn't this one AMAZING? its Andy's.  He had always planned to be a photographer for a living, but life got in the way.  Totally planning to print this out huge and frame it. 

Then we walked back to the link, stopping on the way at the fabulous Magic mouse toy store... drool.... i swear, i could spend all my money on toys...  so much fun.  I was frugal but scored a couple wind up toys, and invisible ink activity books!! a relic from my childhood.  so much fun.  I told the kids they were SO sharing with mama.   Then we stopped at the cow chip cookie store which was right next to Starbucks- AKA the intersection between awesome and heaven.   And had a cookie, some water and made a facebook pit stop.

then we went back on the train and headed back to the hotel.  I was SO wrecked when we got off the train that the two blocks uphill seemed to take FOREVER.  Also, i couldn't find my favorite tennis shoes, the ones that are a couple years old, so i had to bring their replacements.  the new shoes that i don't like.  And i got HORRID blisters.  Which proved to Andy that I wasn't just being a baby :)

i found a slammin deal on priceline, took a chance, and ended up staying at the Airport Mariott.  It was AMAZING.  here's some pictures of the lobby.  wow...   the pool was amazing too but neither of us were willing to bring our ipods there so no pictures.

So we vegged out in our hotel room, which was small, but sooo comfy, the bed was amazing.  We SO need to get a king size bed!!!  and there was 6 pillows...  :)  It was AWESOME.   so we vegged out for a while, then went to the lobby to use the wifi, then headed out for dinner, settling on Red Robin, where we had a light dinner due to our huge lunch.  we came back to the hotel, and changed into swim suits and waited patiently for adult only in the pool time, which came late, but was worth it, as it was so nice to have NO kid noise.  we soaked in the hot tub till we were semi- roasted and then came upstairs took showers and settled in for the night...   Wine, fudge, alone time...  it was very nice.  AND we got to sleep naked for the first time in a long time, which i know is TMI, but seriously, was the highlight of the trip.  I'm pretty sure when our kids move out we will be nudists. What do you bet i'm going to be in big trouble for posting that?  My leg muscles are KILLING me now, wowza, did yesterday's massive walk/running kick my butt!

So today was more laid back, we vegged out around the hotel for a short while, trying to sleep in, but its just so not in our nature.. so we got up snuggled,  packed up, checked out and headed off to Denny's for breakfast.   We then went to half price books and barnes and noble, our usual date destination, and then office max to price photo printers, Pretty sure i'm going to buy that selphy, as soon as i'm sure the financial stuff is squared away.   So at that point we decided we were going to skip the symphony and go home early.  we missed the kiddos and we figured they'd want to get out of the house too, so we took them out to eat at puerta vallarta.   And even got them to sing for Alex!  My baby is so handsome in a sombrero.  And he let me have most of his birthday ice-cream as he hates dairy :)  And it was appropriate, as his birthday is really special to me. Its the day i became mom.  <3

So that's about it! it was amazing!  I'm working on quelling my negative nature and trying to focus on all the things i DO have to look forward to.  I have an amazing husband, 7 beautiful, talented, intelligent children, we have everything we really need, and live in paradise.  I have a lot to be grateful for.  Prayers would be appreciated.  I'm still hurting a lot.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Stuff/ mothers' day

I thought i'd take a few minutes i have while waiting for the grownup pizzas to cook to update my blog.  Today was a bit on the rough side.  Just feeling kind of melancholy, dealing with house stuff, kid stuff, emotional stuff....   and of course I'm probably PMSing and have mother's day on the mind, which is never a good thing.  Mother's day stresses me out.  I know i'm not the only one too.   However, Andy snapped a series of really cool pics of me and Ash the other day, when he was being particularly snuggly.  and it struck me that this is what motherhood looks like now.   Its not such a crashing disappointment when you get to be the mom, because you can choose to engage or not, to be present or abandon, to participate or check out...

Aren't the effects cool? and i really like the composition of the square photos.  i never used to be a fan of instagram, its like, WHY would you intentionally degrade your pictures,  but its growing on me,  Here's my link of all my instagram pics.  Not a lot so far, but hope to add more... http://instagram.com/mamakven  

Tonight we went to our old church... Andy delivered there earlier last week and mentioned it and mentioned how much he missed the fellowship and the sense of belonging.  I could certainly relate.  We love our current church but we never quite became a part of it and now that Ash is scaling the nursery gate we have to decide whether to have one of us alternate in the nursery or stay home with him, (which would mean missing his AWESOME sunday school class, not great) or attend our old church again, where he can't escape, or ??? because just skipping church every week isn't going to work.  I'm feeling just generally kind of lost lately...  melancholy, glum, lost in my thoughts, Its just one of those weeks where i really wish it was like 6 weeks from now.   Ah well, I am well aware the time is a gift- every day is a gift, and i'm not guaranteed tomorrow let alone 6 weeks from now.   i guess i'm just having difficulty finding joy in life right now.  my hobbies don't feel like fun anymore, i don't feel like doing anything.  Yep, i'm starting therapy again, tuesday.  Think Ken is going to have his work cut out for him this time around.    ah well...  Happier posts will be coming.  I suspect.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Its friiiiiday.. friiiiiday....

Today i'm feeling so much better about life.  Things have come together, and i'm figuring out how stuff has happened and what has been going on underneath the surface, which i'll spare you all either won't care, won't get it, or you won't believe me anyway :)  Its all good.  I see a bigger plan in my whole situation.  I'm feeling good about it all.

So, today i opted to drive Andy to work so i could have the suburban, and get some errands run- get gas, get the Costco haul for the week out of the way, and stop at Hobby Lobby while i was at it.  

The kids LOVE Hobby Lobby.  LOVE it.  About as much as i do!  And boy, its quite the big ol' mess of crazy taking my 6 youngest children to Hobby Lobby all by myself.  I get hyper focused- just beeline to where i want to go, if the olders want to go look at the kids stuff they can take a younger with them and i'll have Ash with the cart.  Of course Ash started saying, "i'm HUUUNGRY" right away.  (Mind you it was not even 10 am yet, and even HE shouldn't have been hungry at that point. I think he's remembering the last time we were there right before lunch, he's got that crazy awesome autism memory going on)  And then the spitting started, but thankfully there wasn't anyone really around,  so that made it lose some of its power.   So i discovered that the paper and paper packs and kits were all 50% off, so i spent more time than i normally do there, and bought more than i normally do as well, but heck, it was a rockin deal!  so i FINALLY choose my 3 kits and used my coupon on a pack of watercolor brush pens, since mine are missing, and i've been into watercoloring lately, and made the tribal call of "Kvenvoldens! time to go!"  The well trained crew who heard found those who didn't and i told them to meet me up at the checkout.  As i was walking down the aisle pushing Ash i heard a "CRASH!"  Oh crud... was it one of mine?!  Of course... it was the clumsy 6yo looking sheepish and scared.  "Leif! ugh, did whatever that was break?"  "No," he replied.  I reassured him that it was ok, and we continued the exiting procedure.  We got to the checkout, paid, with relatively little incident, and then moved on to costco...   here's my haul.  I didn't get any pics taken in the chaos at HL.


So next was Costco, which i was starting to dread, having gotten off to a bit of a rocky start before even ENTERING costco, but we did ok, we got through it, only having forgotten diapers and wipes, which we will just pick up next week, and wouldn't have fit in the cart anyway, and i did NOT want to try to pull off a 2 cart trip this week.  Lots of good stuff on sale this week, which is awesome, a few easy to make meals, which is always nice since i really really hate cooking :)  We plowed through Costco with reckless abandon, and made it to the food court just in time before twinny melt down occurred.  We had lunch, and went home. 

Unfortunately, nap didn't happen.  I was completely wrecked when we got home, and was hoping to crash out with the belly bean, but both of the twins were too excited to play outside in the fantastically hot sprinkler weather.  So they play- kids out back, me getting my scrap on, and HOPEFULLY finding my muses who have been hiding, apparently.   I'm kind of desperate for some creative time at this point.  So off i go.  Hope you all have a wonderful day, and weekend. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

I am a new woman

I am feeling GREAT these days! i have a renewed sense of vigor, i'm feeling great about things, i'm loving the increase in birds to our neighborhood and our beautiful walks.  What a treasure this beautiful place I call "home" is.  We are getting a CRAZY early taste of summer here in the Pacific Northwest, particularly odd for us, this early.  Usually its JULY.  I'm lamenting not taking out summer clothes a month or two ago when i cleaned out our stored clothing stash for the kids, but gosh, i totally SHOULD have had another couple months to go! :)  NOT that i'm complaining..

Sharing some pics from our recent nature walks...

Beautiful little Bethie Grace and her cherry blossoms

The Neighborhood kids 

Elliott and his pretty flower

Oh and i'm trying to take up guitar.  Sigh... i have a good ear, perhaps TOO good, unfortunately, and sadly each time i strummed my sad attempt at a C# chord, it sounded different.  My experience learning guitar has thus been that my boobs are in the way and my fingers hurt.  Keeping it up though.  I'm convinced i can do it.  I'm going to blister those fingers and callous them up and make each C# sound the same!

Laughing at my failed attempts

I also painted this week for the first time in AGES.  I used liquid watercolor, the paintboard is what's in the background. it felt SO good... need to do this more.