Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I don't like titles....have you noticed that? Even when I wrote my papers in college, I always forgot to title them. I got them back with a big red circle on the top and the word "TITLE?" out to the side. Not that I am anti-title, just that I usually think of what I want to say first, and I jump right into it...and then forget the title. Since there are no grades here, and it's my blog and I can do what I want, I may keep this no-title thing going. Think of the pressure that relieves! I don't have to think of something that grabs you and says, "THIS...This you will love to read." instead, I'll just start, and you can decide to keep reading yourselves. How liberating for you! Cut out the middle man. I deliver fresh blog posts, organic, no preservatives, no titles. Just pure blog, for your pure enjoyment. You're Welcome.

I have been busy, busy, busy..... I really feel like I am getting my first breath since Thanksgiving. My parents came for thanksgiving. I made 5 christmas presents from scratch for my sister and her family. (My sewing machine broke half way through. I had to borrow one.) I didn't start my Christmas shopping until the 17th. calvin's birthday was the 21st. (I went birthday shopping on the 20th) We had Christmas, got the tree down, celebrated New Year's, then my oldest sister, Sarah came out for a visit. Three days later, my in-laws came into town, and my parents and brother and sister-in-law came the next day. Our friamily (you know, a cross between friends and family?) the Burch's came the day after that. So, all told, we had 16 people in our house this weekend. Whew!
Why the fuss?
It was Dev's eighth birthday. In our religion (go to LDS.org to learn more) we believe that at age 8 a child has reached the age of acountability and is old enough to be baptized if she chooses. Dev chose this for herself, so everyone came out to support her. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful. Probably one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. And it was so fun to have a large portion of my favorite people all under one roof.
Now that it's over, and we are left with mountains of sheets and pillow cases to wash, and leftovers to eat our way through, I've decided that I really like having company. How wonderful it is to have a house full of people--games being played here, movies watched there, good food in the kitchen, laughing till my sides ache, and staying up until I can't keep my eyes open. I can't wait for the next one. Is there anything better than a house full of people you love? I don't think so.

Now that it's all over, my sights are turning more to projects that I've been waiting to get to. I don't want to fill you with empty promises, but I want to share what I do on my blog. Just don't expect it any time soon. I'm going to be napping and cleaning for awhile first.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dev turned eight. Eight! I feel so old. I remember when I was first married and there was a lady at church who's oldest was five, and she had been married for seven years and I thought, "Wow, now SHE is old!" Now I have an eight year old, and I've almost been married ten years. I'm old. But it's ok. I'm coping with it.

On the day Dev was born, I woke up at about 5:30 in the morning because I was uncomfortable and I had to go to the bathroom. I remember the weight of my belly and the momentum I had to muster to get out of bed. After I finished my business, and got back in bed, I started having contractions--steady, but not strong--five minutes apart. At 8:00, we decided to go to the hospital. They almost didn't take me because they didn't think I was progressed enough, but then the doctor came in and broke my water, so then I had to stay. Dev was born 11 hours later.

I had no idea what to do with her. I was so afraid she would start crying and I wouldn't know what to do. Or worse, she would get sick, and I wouldn't know until she was...really bad.
The most fascinating thing has happened this year. I spent so much time just seeing to Dev's basic needs, and teaching her basic life skills, that I was surprised to realize this year that not only do I not need to focus so much on keeping her alive anymore, but she is turning into a very capable young woman. She can do her own laundry, and make her own lunch, (and her brother's), she can get herself up in the morning, and dress herself, and get her own breakfast, and take care of her own dishes, and make her bed, and bathe herself. I still see her sometimes as the little baby I brought home from the hospital, so this is amazing to me.
Even more amazing is the day she and I were sitting at the table working on crafts and chatting and I realized that I really enjoy her company. I really find her thoughts interesting and incredibly intelligent for an eight year old. She's teaching me things now. I realized that she's becoming the person I hoped she would be, and that I like that person as a friend, as well as love her as my daughter.
I think that was partially the goal all along, but it's nice to recognize it, don't you think?

Monday, January 10, 2011

my sister was here for an extended weekend. The night before she came, I couldn't sleep, I was so excited. It was like Christmas. Even though I got maybe three hours of sleep I was giddy and alert taking the two hour drive to the airport.
The entire weekend was packed with as much time together as I could muster.
I love that the members of my family make me laugh so hard. Sometimes when I'm laughing like that, my insides grin and think, "She must be with family, because she's laughing like that again. Yes, that kind of laughing.
This morning when my alarm went off at 6:00 am to take her back to the airport, I was really confused. (Why am I awake?!) Then it hit me and I remembered that our happy adventures were over, and it was time for her to go home. Darn.
For a brief second, I thought about locking her in the closet until after her plane left.
But I did the right thing, and let her go back to her family. (darn conscience)
Now the house is quiet and lonely, even with my kids and their usual games and noise. I found some of my niece's little toys left here (she brought her baby with her), I might not give them back. I may make a plaque and hang it on my wall. It will say, "Once in this house, two sisters came together for an incredibly wonderful weekend. All that remains are these toys and our memories. And these shall never fade."

I need a nap.
and maybe a snack.
Then I'll feel better.
but only a little bit.
I refuse to be comforted.
It's all I have (besides my plaque).

Friday, January 7, 2011

We had a very happy christmas and a somewhat slow and quiet New Year, but I am happy to get to my blog again.
I'm a big New Year's resolution person. So big, in fact, that I have a meeting with myself on my birthday (shortly after the new year), to re-examine my goals and how I am doing. I also feel a need to "clear the mental clutter" around September when there are school supplies in the stores. Something about a fresh new notebook makes me want to make new goals and resolutions. So, for me, the term "new year" can apply to several different times throughout the year. My birthday is the start of a new school year, and so is the start of a new school year, even though I homeschool.
SO anyway, it's the start of a new year! Happy 2011! (I don't think I've written the date correctly yet) My brain is itching with new ideas to try out. A big part of me is relieved that Christmas is over and I can resume life as I know it. Christmas knocks everything else out of the way, doesn't it? How rude. I'm happy to get back to my life.
One of my new year's resolutions is to write more. I used to write all the time. Majored in it in college, even, and taught it for awhile. When I had kids, all of that kind of fell by the way side, but in a good way. The writing-in-the-gutter problem helped me to discover other things about myself that I like; like gardening, teaching, sewing, cooking, repurposing. I feel a better, more interesting, fuller person since those college days when I felt that the only real skill I had was writing. But lately my fingers have been itching to click away on the keyboard again. I have stories that are banging about my brain that want out.
my first new year's resolution is to write more. Hopefully, you who choose to stop by my blog every so often will benefit from my words, but I think it will mostly be a vent for me. That's more important anyway, if I remember right from my teaching days--write for you before you write for others, right? right.
I have other resolutions--losing some weight was at the top of the list, but I think I'm going to replace it with just being more healthy.
I have some great ideas for homeschooling that I'm pretty excited about, so those are on the list, too.
I may post a tutorial or a giveaway, but let's not get too excited, hmmm? *deep breaths* one bite at a time, you eat the elephant one bit at a time.
But I'm glad that my life is back to normal.
I'll take you out with a few christmas/ birthday pictures
*strumming guitar and adjusting mic*
uh, one, uh, two, uh, one, two, three, four...

check out the wicked cool cake I made for Calvin's birthday


Christmas Eve