Thursday, April 17, 2014

We Must

Change is scary. Good change, bad change, everything in between, I always seem to want to hold back and hang on to the everyday mellowness that I've become accustomed to.

I have always felt this yearning to do something big.

I've started with the biggest part of my life, throwing myself completely and unabashedly into motherhood. Being a mom has changed me in many ways. I know that's what everyone says, and I truly believe everyone means it. How could they not?

For me, being a mother has completed me, reached into the deep caverns of my soul that I didn't even know existed and filled them with love and meaning. I am passionate about motherhood. Not just in my role of molding and loving these amazing little people, but in all of the extras that come along with it. I am passionate about every aspect. I want to share with people my personal journey. I want to inspire others to find their own truth within motherhood and become the person they always were meant to be because of their children, not in spite of.

Motherhood has compelled me to reach back into my dreams and dust off a little corner I had long forgotten. I had given up on so many thoughts and goals and ideas in college when I had felt less than important, incompetent, and was generally convinced that I had no real purpose in life. Then I jumped into my 20s and spent the better part of the last ten years growing my family. Within those ten years, I found myself again. Those little dusty dreams that I had long forgotten have crept back to the surface and I'm starting to feel like I can't just push them back inside anymore. They need to get out, they need to breathe and grow and take life.

I'm ready to stop holding those dreams back. They've been calling me, begging me to allow them to take shape and take off. My passion for motherhood has catapulted me into a place I never dreamed possible, but that I've been working toward my entire life.

Change is scary. But change is necessary. In order for us to grow and become all that we are meant to become and do all that we are meant to do, we must change. We must.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Deep Breath

When I started this blog, I tried to envision the kind of blogger I’d be.

I knew that the blog would primarily be a place for me to just write. Write about my kids, my life, my feelings. Nothing special or significant to anyone but me.

I read other blogs and sometimes I just can’t help but to wish I could write like them! Humorous blogs are great! I laugh along with every other reader when I read about the chaos and frustration of other families. I get it, I relate. I just can’t write like that.

The problem I continuously have with this and other blogs I've written is this attempt to write what I think other people want to read. That is completely opposite of my original purpose for the blog. Who wants to read a blog about a woman with a boatload of crazy children who just sings their praises constantly and wonders if she’ll ever be able to reach any of her dreams? That’s not entertaining.

Though it is the truth.

So I’m succumbing to myself and the writer within me.

Sometimes I may have funny things to say. I live with a bunch of energetic kids, something funny is almost always happening!

Sometimes I’ll talk about how overwhelmed I am with my life. Because it’s true. And I am.

But for the most part, I will be writing from a positive place.

I can’t help it, to be honest. That’s just who I am. I've always been a “glass half full” kinda lady. For better or for worse, no matter what is happening in my life. Some people seem to relate to that and encourage that behavior in me. Most of the time, I’m met with animosity, claims that I’m unrealistic and out of touch. And maybe that’s all true. But I've been this way my entire life. It’s just the person that I am.

I WANT to be happy. I WANT to be positive. I don’t want to wake up feeling miserable every single day of my life. Sometimes I do wake up and am angry at the world, but I try very hard to move past that. I just don’t want to live that kind of life. I truly believe that happiness comes from within, and that we are each capable of choosing how we feel about a particular situation.

I often here that I’m “fake” because I’m “too nice” or “too positive” and that this is all just an act. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I am just being me. No apologies.

As I move forward with this blog, with my life, I feel refocused and ready to be me. Authentic. Real. Genuine. Good, bad, and everything in between.


I will continue to dream big. I will continue to envision how I will make a difference in the world. I will continue to parent in my ever-evolving style. I will continue to love deeply and passionately and unconditionally in every facet of my life. Will that all make for entertaining writing? Eh, not always. But it’s real, and that’s important.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Plans and lists and DO IT!

How many times can you "start over"?

I keep asking myself that. I have these great plans and ideas and make lists of things I'll do tomorrow and the next day.

And then I don't.

I muddle through. I plan to make breakfast every morning. Instead, we stop at the gas station and grab donuts with about five minutes to spare before the first bell rings.

I plan to catch up on the laundry, which is a pretty lofty goal for six people, but I plan on it. I wash and dry load after load, and put the piles of clean clothes on the bed. Then it's suddenly bedtime and I don't really want to put the clothes away so they end up in a pile and that pile inevitably falls over and of course it's raining and I just let the dog in and she's laying on that once-clean pile of laundry so I guess I'll catch up on the laundry tomorrow.

I plan to sit down and update my website and work on my business which excites me and I want to dive in! But then I sit down which is the universal symbol for "hey my boobs are free" and both the little girls want to nurse and I remind myself that this season in my life will pass too quickly so I close the laptop and focus on my girls but I never do pick that laptop up again because now I have to pick up the big kids from school and then dinner and homework and bedtime.

I plan and I plan and I plan and I never, ever DO.

I want to slap myself in the face and remind myself THAT THIS IS POSSIBLE. Living and breathing and creating and mothering can be done, can be done well, can be done moderately okay even, and I can DO THIS. I just have to DO.

Four kids is hard work. Heck, ONE kid is hard work! Gosh, even having no kids and just trying to figure out YOURSELF is hard work!

I'm just trying to work through each day, being what I can to who needs it, doing what I can when possible, and trying to hold out just a little bit of hope that my dreams for my life can and will come to fruition, despite and maybe even because of the breakfasts and the laundry and the nursing.

This Week's Menu!

I'm taking part in a pretty cool Pinterest interactive experience!

That's the fancy way of seeing I'm pinning cool stuff and you should, TOO!

I created a board on Pinterest called "This Week's Menu!" and each Sunday I'll update that board with what is on our menu for the week. I'll post a link here on the blog for those who want to participate, too!

I'll update here reviews, recipes, and we can take bets on how many meals are burned beyond recognition and how many times my family orders pizza because I don't know how to boil water each week.

Fun times! :)

Why am I taking part in this?

Because I am SICK and TIRED of eating crappy food that doesn't nourish my body. I want to MAKE food. REAL food. WHOLE food. GOOD food.

Please trust, I am far from perfection. Odds are good that I'll be popping in a frozen pizza every couple of nights or making the kids peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because I have no energy to cook.

But if I want to CHANGE something, I've got to put it out there! I need to raise the bar for myself and my family. My expectations must change. Nutrition has become a priority for me, and instead of just thinking about it all day, I'm taking action.

And damn it, I might even learn to cook in the process.

Comment here with your Pinterest board link if you'd like to join in! We can follow each other and get some yummy ideas!

Check out: http://www.pinterest.com/jennymfv/this-weeks-menu/

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Reality

I'm still in the newborn bliss stage.

I'm also in the oh-crap-I-have-four-kids stage.

And a dog.

And a husband.

And dreams that need care and attention just like my babies.

And dishes to be washed and laundry to be sorted and why don't I have one of those vacuums that runs all by itself?

Life around here is chaotic. The clutter multiplies from each room to the next. I swear I get rid of one thing and four things show up in its place. My mind is running a mile a minute, and physically I'm doing the same thing. But I just GAVE BIRTH and my body can't quite keep up with what I need it to do. Throw in the lack of sleep and I'm a big ole mess.

This is reality, folks.

I often post about how wonderful things are and how happy I am, and those are all true. But the reality is that mixed in between the wonderful things and the happy is pure and utter chaos. Most of the time, the chaos is great. I can handle it. But sometimes the chaos is the dirty, messy, tantrum-throwing, I-can't-find-my-homework, stop-hitting-your-sister, I-hate-you-mom-you-ruined-my-life kind of chaos.

The reality is that it's not all butterflies and sunshine and happy unicorns around here. The glitter and sparkle aren't always exciting; sometimes they are just a bitch to clean up off the floor.

Sometimes we run out of toilet paper in the middle of a stomach bug. Sometimes the dog jumps on the counter and EATS the dinner I just pulled out of the oven. Sometimes I just want two minutes so that I can pee...ALONE.

A lot of these not-so-pretty moments are just part of living. Sometimes there are moments in there that I'm not proud of. Like when I lose my temper over things that are meaningless. Or when I realize my words are the problem. Or when I pretend I can't find the book she wants me to read for the 300th time and the truth is I kicked it under the couch.

I'm real. This ain't always a picnic.

The whole "Super Mama" thing is not because I think I'm just the most fabulous mother to ever walk the face of the Earth. It's because my KIDS think I am. Isn't that amazing? We can have the worst day ever around here...I can forget that we dance class and only have ten minutes left to eat so I pour a bowl of cereal for everyone, and then we are late to dance class, and then I almost run out of gas getting home and have to pull over in below freezing temps to pump the gas and I'm cold and damn it why didn't I tell the hubby to get me gas that morning, and crap we didn't finish homework and I didn't dry the towels so showers won't happen tonight and the baby wants to nurse RIGHT FREAKING NOW and oops bedtime passed 30 minutes ago...

...and as I come to tuck them in to bed, they tell me that it was the BEST day ever.

That I'm the best MOM ever.

On those particular nights, I typically hug them close, remind them how much I love them and how amazing they are, and then off I go to cry about how I don't deserve such awesome kids.

But they DO love me...in the worst and in the best moments. And life isn't just one or the other. So if they can still love me in the worst...well, then, I guess I'm doing a good job.

Today is yet another no-school-because-Mother-Nature-is-a-whack-job day. The kids are home and it's too cold to leave the house and they are still getting over a stomach bug anyway...so today, I'm just going to try and hold it together. At this very moment, the baby is asleep on my chest, and I'm soaking in the sweet newborn-ness. Bam and Gray are laying on the couch together sharing a pillow and a blanket, and Tee went and poured everyone a drink. They are all being so kind and sweet, and I'm overflowing with love for them.

I feel so LUCKY to have them. Yes, I also have a ton of laundry and dishes and cleaning to do. Yes, I have my own homework that I need to catch up on. Yes, I have a LOT going on in my head that I want to do or achieve that just aren't happening right now. BUT...most importantly...I have THIS. I have this chaos that is so full of commotion and crazy and joy and love and I wouldn't change it for anything.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Taking Leaps

We are falling into a routine. Tee and Bam are at school, doing their thing. Gray and the Baby are home with me. We're figuring things out. Slowly.

Toddlers are harder than newborns. Just an FYI, in case you were wondering.

School started back up for me. Yeah, I'm a bit crazy like that, going to school while juggling 3,000 kids and everything else...but I WANT THIS. I truly do. I NEED to finish school. For me. For my kids. It has to happen. I'm not slowing down or stopping this time.

What's interesting, though, is that the Baby's birth has triggered inside me a whole new way of approaching my goals. As a family, we've veered away from a lot of the mainstream thoughts on parenting and have adopted what some may call more of an attachment parenting style. It's all just labels, really. At the end of the day, we love our kids and do the very best we can for them. Just like every other parent I know, whether they make the same choices I do or not! My point is that as we've taken this new path, I've discovered a lot more about myself and where my heart lies. I've been thinking about where to go with my degree and my career over the last several years, and this pregnancy really set me on the path to fully understand what my heart has been telling me. Holding this baby in my arms, it all seemed clear.

Vague enough, huh?

Well, it is what it is for now. I need to explore more what I want to do with these ideas and plans that are exploding inside my head. I've found a love for all things natural. I want to explore how nutrition can make or break your health. I'm in love with natural childbirth, and at bare minimum an informed CHOICE in birth. Breastfeeding has become a passion of mine. Raising babies and kids has fulfilled me in ways I didn't think possible. I have expanded the area that my degree is heading in, and I think I will be able to finally put some concrete plans together. Plans that make my heart sing!

In the meantime, I am jumping head first into my business. I've puttered around long enough, putting it off, getting scared, not taking the leap. I'm no longer allowing myself to get in the way of my plans. That's really it, I get in the way of myself. No more!

Taking leaps is scary business.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014

Hello, 2014!

I realize that life doesn't exactly start fresh when the ball drops,  but for us, this year, it felt like it. 2013 was a year full of changes, challenges, and heartbreak. We lost two very important people to our family and it has shaken all of us to our core. We dealt with job loss and financial woes. Overall, it was a terrible, terrible year.

We were happy and ready to put 2013 behind us, hoping and praying that 2014 would be filled with wonderful things!

And so far...it has!

We welcomed our sweet baby girl into the world on January 4. She is beautiful and amazing and has added excitement and joy into our house.

She has also added exhaustion and lack of alone time for mommy, but hey, who needs any of that, right?

In all honesty, I LOVE the newborn stage. Truly, I do! Sure, getting up to feed the little one throughout the night isn't glamorous, but I don't mind doing it. She's almost two weeks old now, and we are starting to get into a groove. The immediate wave of exhaustion has subsided and I'm pretty content with the lack of sleep. This stage passes SO quickly and I'm trying to treasure every single second of it!

With the big kids in school, it's just me and the little girls during the day. We are still trying to get in a groove. I'm still trying to balance my schoolwork and my business with my girls, and I've put almost everything aside so that the girls and I can bond together. The transition when you add a new family member is sometimes challenging, and my sweet Gray has needed a bit extra time to get used to her new little sister. But we are getting there! Slowly but surely, we are finding our footing and getting in a groove.

Besides the challenges that come with having four kids...I truly am deliriously happy right now. This little girl is pure bliss, and our family feels more complete than it ever has. The hubs and I are truly blessed!

So far, 2014 has been just as wonderful as I had imagined it would be!