Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Sacrifice of Being a Mother

Lately, I've been feeling discouraged. My kids are pulling everything from me and I'm having a hard time with it. All I do, is for them, and very little is for me. I'm not reading, blogging or sewing. I'm not painting or decorating. I barely even have time to unpack. They need my constant attention and it is draining. 

Three days after moving to South Carolina, I decided to leave the unpacking to another day and get my kids out of the house for a few hours. I took them to a primary activity that our new ward was putting together. The activity was at the primary president's house and consisted of decorating cookies and gluing cotton balls to santa's paper face. It sounded like a great first activity to get people acquainted with us, and us with them. 

Before stepping in the door, I reminded C and C to be kind, to share, and not to fight or we would leave. Within five minutes they were both crying, taking toys from other children, and trying to hit me. They didn't want to share, or play with the other kids. They didn't want to decorate cookies or place cotton balls on santa. They didn't want to stop crying and they didn't want be nice. Without going into more agonizing detail, let me just sum it up as one of the most horrible experiences I've had as a mom. I left feeling angry, embarrassed, discouraged, and tired. I'm sure the other moms understood, but that didn't change how frustrated I felt. 

The rest of that day, I let satan creep into my heart and fill my mind with thoughts of inadequacy and discouragement. Why am I doing this? Why did I decide to have children so quickly and so close together? Why do I stay home with them? Why is being a mom so so hard? 

My birthday was last week and with my gift, my mom sent me a story. It's a story to help mom's keep the right perspective. I want to share some of it with you... 

"As you near the end of your mortal life, there is nothing that will bring you more joy - celestial joy - than your children. No creation, no book, no song, no success can begin to touch the joy of children properly raised. The things that concern you are mortal and will come to an end. Your children are eternal."

She goes on to say, "You must be patient. There will be a time for doing the things you want to do when your children aren't so dependent on you. Work slowly and steadily on your projects and the Lord will bless you but make sure your home is running properly first. Most importantly, the Lord loves you and cares about you." 

The words shared in Bonnie's story, touched me deeply. Nothing else matters but my husband and my children. The number of books I read, the projects I get done, the pictures I hang, the posts I share, the cleaning I do, is all of little value compared to the children I raise. Sometimes that's so hard to remember, but it is true. My children are of infinite worth and they are what matter most. 

"Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. 
It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in.
It is what God gave you time for."
-Neil L. Anderson 

Out of all the goals I have in mind for next year, I want giving my time to my children more freely and selflessly, to lead the way.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Saying Goodbye

Today we spent our last day in Williamsburg with some of our dear friends, the Jones'.

We excitedly explored the pet store, where the kids got to pet a snake and turtle (my boys dreams were coming true). We devoured Which Wich oreo chocolate milk shakes that have easily become our favorite. Then we took our walking circus to Trader Joe's to grab some yummy holiday treats. With two mamas and five little ones in tow, we got a lot of stairs, scowls, and smiles.

It was wonderful, but hard to say goodbye when the time came.

Our last evening in West Point was spent with my good friend Jessie and her family. We ate warm cornbread and chili, and visited for several hours while the kids ran around making messes. It was relaxing, enjoyable, delicious, and a bit heartbreaking.

I've decided I'm not good at goodbyes. I hate them.

Virginia will always have a piece of my heart, and I will never forget all the friends and family I've come to know and love while living here.

I came to Virginia 6 1/2 years ago with empty arms. But now, I'm leaving with more than I could have imagined.

Goodbye Virginia. We love you. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thanksgiving In The City

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you had a warm, relaxed, and yummy holiday. 

We spend our holiday a little different this year and decided to go to Manhattan, which is basically our favorite place on earth. We filled our three days with as much as the kids could handle, and they did surprisingly well. 

Here are our pictures from the trip... Enjoy! 

^^Dinner at Shake Shack in Grand Central Station^^
^^Magnolia Bakery^^
^^Window shopping at Macy's^^
^^Writing and mailing letters to Santa^^
^^Snuggled up in our room watching a Christmas movie^^

Thanksgiving Day
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
^^Watching the snow fall from our hotel room^^
^^Thanksgiving Day feast at Norma's. A must if you're in NYC.^^
^^The crunchy french toast was pure heaven^^
Central Park 

Black Friday 
^^This picture kills me! The life of a three year old^^
^^The Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall with this handsome man of mine^^
^^Hillstone prime rib sandwich is another must if you're in NYC^^
^^Pretending we're locals^^
^^Stumbled across You've Got Mail's Lalo Cafe after playing at the Children's Museum. What a pleasant surprise!^^ 
^^Dinner at Jacob's Pickles with an old friend from home. Great conversation and an amazing bacon and egg biscuit made for a good night.^^
^^Times Square^^

^^The best cookies you will ever have^^ 
 ^^Home bound^^

Happy December!