brain dead

I feel a little brain dead lately--like there's this void of any real thoughts in my head. I'm not sure if I should contribute it to the amount of times my kids watch Zig and Sharky (I mean...what really is that show?!), the mind-numbing chores that keep me busier than I'd like to be, a lack of sleep, or just the grey, winter sky. 

Today was a rather long day, and coupled with a brain-dead brain, it felt like I should just curl up and go back to bed at 9am. Sadly, I couldn't. I pushed through the fog and managed to finish my Thursday chores, bathe the babies, read to them and play a few toys with them too. On paper, it wouldn't appear all that bad. But then there are the unwritten tantrums that just put my nerves slightly over the edge, propelling me to the kitchen for an early lunch just so I could chase the lunch down with chocolate, and lots of it. 

Do you know these days? Perhaps you can replace a few key characters (aka...babies) with a certain friend, spouse, coworker, etc. 

Are you feeling the winter fog too? It's thick over here. Tonight we're supposed to get 8-12 inches of snow (in addition to the 6-8 inches we already got this week), which means Genevieve's field trip to see a play in South Bend will likely be curtailed by a snow day, and I will have to comfort her broken heart with an empty promise that the school might reschedule the show (highly unlikely). Oh to be a kid and to have your heart set on a field trip that may never happen! In addition to her sad face, I will also be thrown into the midst of chaos as my girls decided to make every craft in sight, since they can't go outside all day. 

Blah. Double blah. 

I'm sounding like such a pessimist. I guess it's sorta true at the moment. I've worked so hard at seeing the bright side, but let's get real for a moment, a pessimist can never truly change its true form. It can adapt most days, but sometimes its true nature just spills out all over the place, like a waterfall, and man, does it ever feel so good. ;)

And lastly, although there never was a first, I'm about to start my period, which according to Tim, lasts for about 3 weeks. Hahaha. The man doesn't have an agenda or anything. ;) But for periods are wreaking havoc on my body. It's like we all want to help the poor mom who's just starting labor with pains at a level 2, 3, or 4, and we're all so happy to bring her what she needs to feel more comfortable, but do we do that for the 30-something-year-old moms who aren't in actual labor but their bodies don't actually know that. Their period is just in full force, and we're like, "Sorry about your luck, but make sure you fold and put away the laundry. Oh yeah, and don't forget to sweep the floor." Ugh! Kill me. But for real. I'd give anything for a nurse to give me a pass at life, even if it was a 2-hour one. 

Oh boy...there's that pessimism. I hope you know that as I write this I have a coy smile painted on my face because I just love how pessimism brings out my sarcasm. Their in cahoots today, and it may be the best thing of my day. 

Anyway, sorry that you've probably been waiting for me to write something of value and you got a whole lot of babbling. But it was nice to be back. Perhaps it will prompt my brain to think deeper. Maybe. Hopefully. 

Finding the perfect tree

We always choose a fresh tree, and this year we had a wonderful time searching for her this past year. (I should note that Mya was a total nightmare because she couldn't bend on the type of tree she wanted.) But the rest of us had fun running among the trees and joking about the ugly ones. But we finally compromised and loved that tree dearly for 6 weeks. Timmy especially loved it, tearing ornaments off by the handfuls every single day.

Christmas 2017

Christmas keeps getting better as the kids get older. I think they opened presents in about 10 minutes (and it took Tim and me about 4.5 hours to wrap them), and they spent the entire day playing and building. It might be my favorite Christmas yet.

Winter 2017

These are some of my favorite pictures from November and December. I ran a race at an incredibly fast place (I think my knees still ache from sprinting for nearly 3 miles). Elle started ballet and loves it! My dad came to visit, and we had a great time organizing things around the house and eating too much good food. Elle and Birdie sang in a Christmas concert at school, and they are both such adorable performers that I can still see their huge smiles in my head. And Timmy continued to grow older and more ornery. Man...that kid is going to drive me crazy, but he is so cute.

Halloween 2017

I realize I'm embarrassingly behind on life, especially life in pictures. But here's the deal...I do not have much time. I wish I did! I keep meaning to log how many hours I spend driving to and from school and/or after-school activities. If I'm not home and on my knees with the kids, I'm in the car, going to fetch them from one place or another. So I'm so sorry! I will try to be better. But look at these cuties in their Halloween superhero costumes!

Where did my confidence go?

There was a time I felt more confident about my appearance. I don't think I ever really second guessed the way I dressed, smiled, styled my hair, etc. because I always felt I was true to myself. Sure, I had issues with my body; I still have issues with my body, but I didn't let that affect the way I presented myself outwardly. I guess I only let it eat away at me slowly over the years, and there have been days when that ugly monster has nearly eaten me whole, but for the most part, I have learned to live with him as one would a terrible roommate. I try not to pay any attention to him, and I sometimes feel like he's almost invisible. Almost.

Those feelings aside--I really did like myself for most of my young adult life. I enjoyed swapping clothes with roommates and trying different styles--all in an effort to define my style.

But somehow over the years I've been married and been a mother, I have let my style slip a little. I don't feel so confident when I look at the mirror. I often try on several shirts and pants before I give up and go for my standard v-neck t-shirt and jeans. And if I'm lucky enough and the weather is a bit cold out, I throw a sweatshirt over the whole ensemble and forget to look at the mirror again. Until it's nighttime and I realize I have rice in my hair or marker on my face and I'm back in comfortable sweats/pajamas, waiting for sleep to envelop me, which it always does rather rapidly.

I recently took an overnight trip to see my brother in Chicago, and he told me he liked my choice of outfits a couple of times. The compliments are probably long forgotten with my brother, but they have stayed with me ever since, especially since I see him as one who has always been comfortable with his style and proud to be who he is, and who he is a really outstanding guy, and it's reflected in how he presents himself.

His compliments stayed with me through the month of December, and I found myself wondering why they meant so much to me. After a lot of thought, I think it's because he's as real with me as real can get, and he would've been honest with me if he didn't like what I chose to wear so the fact that he did made me think somewhere inside I still have the fire to present myself, and present myself well.

I've really been considering my new year's resolutions this year, and I'm not done with my short list, but I have decided on one resolution: to present myself as a lady with class and style. I want to wear more color this year, more dresses this year, more blouses instead of v-neck shirts, more high heels (hopefully comfortable ones if they exist), and more jewelry. I did some early spring cleaning and tossed more than I anticipated in hopes of finding solid pieces that fit my body and my personal style, which although on an average day would appear to be pajamas, is really not that way at all. I know what I want to look like, and I even think I know how to do it, I just have to stick to a schedule that allows me to take time for myself in the morning--the one I currently have leaves me about 1 minute to shower and another 2 to get dressed.

Obviously, I realize confidence runs deeper than fabric, but I also realize that after 10 years of wearing spit-up and marker stains, it's also nice to look beautiful on the outside from time to time, and that's my goal.

He taught me to serve.

I didn't want the day to pass without expressing my gratitude to God for giving the world this humble man, Thomas S. Monson. President Monson has been the prophet of my growing years. I became an adult, a wife and a mother with him as president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His simple stories and words calmed my worried mind so often as I tried to decide the right thing to do or say. He taught me to serve, even, and perhaps especially, when I wasn't really in the mood to serve. He taught me to quiet the corners of my home so I could be receptive to inspiration as to who needs a call, text or visit. He has been a bright, guiding light in my life, and he will be missed.

I love the picture above because I love how age softened his smile and eyes with wrinkles. It's how I've always known him, and it truly was an honor to know him.