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Monday, December 27, 2010

New Year, New Goals

With a New Year upon us I've been doing some deep thinking and goal setting and I have nailed down 3 concrete goals for myself in 2011.

1. Lead by example. Many people might say that I already lead by an excellent example, and I thank you for that. There is always room for improvement. I would like to be a better example of showing empathy and compassion for my teenager. I would like to be a better example of what a wife is for my daughter. I would like to be a better example of what a mother is to my 8 y/o son. I would like to be a better example of what a teacher is to my 4 y/o son as he is making his way into Kindergarten in 2011.

2. Honor your commitment. I made a choice in 2010. I chose to be the wife to my partner of almost 10 years. I made the choice and yet I've stayed on the fence of doing everything in my power to make this relationship a marriage. A union of two into one. In 2011 I am going to work harder to accept my partner for who he is, and love him for what he does and forgive him for what he does not.

3. Respect yourself. I made a big commitment in 2009 to lose the weight. I wanted to be healthier. I wanted to be able to keep up with my children. I lost 45 lbs and went from a size 20 to a size 11. I've gained back 20 lbs in 2010 and it's because I got comfortable with being healthier instead of focusing on being the healthiest that I could be. I am going to really try to make my health a priority every day in 2011 and develop healthy habits that will last the remainder of my life. I don't care if I am a size 6, 11, or 16. I just want to know at the end of the day that I made good choices for myself.

I know that most people think New Years Resolutions were made to be broken. I disagree. I think New Years Resolutions are made to give you perspective on where you ended up after another year of life. It's about resolving the not-so-good choices I made in 2010.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and here's to a new year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

We're taking the Holidays back!

I've been thinking about how chaotic we've allowed the holidays to become. Everyone wants us to come to their house. They want to fix us a large meal that mostly consists of foods the kids don't care much for. They serve dinner late, and this pushes back the gift opening for the kids. It's one of the reasons I do not enjoy the holidays a lot.

We had Christmas with my dads side of the family last night. Tomorrow is Yule (just for us at home), and then we have Christmas eve with my parents, Christmas morning at our home, Christmas afternoon at Grandmas at noon on Christmas day, and then Christmas with my in-laws the day after Christmas at our house.

By the time it is all said and done I am so tired, the house is a mess, and we have more miles on our sleigh than anyone should have accumulated in a weeks time.

I don't get to enjoy our Christmas morning that much with the kids because we wake up early, open stockings, eat breakfast, open gifts, get dressed for Grandmas, and get on the road. The kids bicker (of course) because they don't have time to play with their new toys, and I feel like I am one cup of coffee shy of making it through the day!

This year we are doing something different. A new holiday tradition. Along with our roast, winter squash, yule log and hot cocoa...we are opening our gifts on Yule! We've decided to save the stockings for Christmas morning so the kids still have something to be excited about waking up to. The 4 gifts we buy each child (Something you want, something you need, something to wear, & something to read) will be opened on Winter Solstice and they will have 3 full days to play with them, and we'll have 3 days to find new homes for the toys, clothes, and books.

I'm so excited about this now and I cannot believe I didn't think of it sooner! I think I have finally found a solution to making our time with the kids alone more enjoyable and memorable!

In short, if your Christmas morning is always rushed and chaotic...consider celebrating it at a different time or on a different day, like tomorrow!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Romance...what is it?

I know what the majority of society considers "romantic". I find it fascinating how broad the spectrum is on what is considered romantic between couples.

Why is it that one woman can walk into a bedroom filled with lit scented candles and she immediately feels her hormones surge, while another woman could walk into the same scene and think "eh, I'm not really feeeling it.".

For some women romance is all about wine' and dine. For others "romantic" is having their partner do laundry, or other chores for them.

I know moms who think romantic is a simple bouquet of flowers and an attentive kiss.

For me...I don't really know what romantic is anymore. The candles and flowers just don't spark my interest. There's nothing sexy about laundry or dishes in my book. I'm not into fruit dipped into chocolate either.

Romance, for me, is something more between emotional and spiritual. There's a connection with the mind that sends me over the edge. It's not something I think I can explain, but I also think my clock ticks more biologically and less physically.

I can see a situation between my husband and I and I think to myself "Oh, right...this is supposed to be romantic." and the guilt sets in that I cannot have the feelings that he intended to give to me. I just cannot find them. They seem to be lost.

I find little things to be sweet, but not really romantic, like opening a door for a lady, or fixing her breakfast in bed.

So...what is romance for you? What makes your heart skip a beat? I don't know what happened to me but somehow I have lost touch with my inner romance and it is weighing heavily on my heart.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Goodbye memory!

They say that the memory is the first thing to go. Who's "they"? I don't know...I can't remember! Haha!

In all seriousness though my memory is evading me more and more these days. Some call it mommy brain, and others say it's early onset Alzheimer's. Whatever it is...it's really scary for me!

I've been forgetting to drop off and pick up prescriptions, forgetting school functions, and forgetting to complete my work for my job!

It's very unsettling, but today I came to the realization that I must have way to much going on in life. I'm not so sure that there is an organizational system to keep my life in check anymore. As the kids get older I find myself with more things to do, and remember...and my brain is out of space! My calendar does me no good when I am on the road while it is on my fridge. Using my cell phone alerts doesn't work very well either. Carrying a pocket calendar leads to me needing to duplicate the info on a separate system for mu husband and kids...and then I forget to jot it down on one or the other.

I have a very strong need for order, and control. I need to feel like everything is organized, and just so-so. It's challenging for me to function 'on the fly' and I find that it really affects my anxiety when I do not have things in order.

I'm setting up a new control station this weekend and it will live on our refrigerator until I feel I have regained some sense of control with the family schedule and chores. I have to do something...I feel like I am losing my mind!

What works for you? Do you have a tried and true fail proof system for remembering all of the important daily tasks? Please do share!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Growing pains

I find one of the most challenging aspects of raising pre-teens and teens is watching them grow up, make mistakes, and learn about responsibility the hard way. My pre-teen daughter is in middle school now...well, she's in the 6th grade academy which is actually attached to the middle school...but it's kind of the same thing in my mind.

Gone are the days of classroom parties, bringing in cupcakes on their birthdays, and all of the other little activities that allow parental involvement.

Today is the Winter luncheon at school. It is the only day of the year that parents are asked to come in and have lunch with their students and enjoy a special activity.

I dropped the ball. I didn't remind my daughter. I gave her the Money and she forgot to turn it in. It was in the back of her 5 inch thick binder. When she finally found it her teacher told her it was too late to turn in the money for me to attend the luncheon...or so she says. I have a gut feeling that she lied to me. I have a feeling that she never tried to turn it in, and perhaps just received a reminder yesterday when the school announcements mentioned the luncheon and set off a light bulb in her head.

I really enjoyed this luncheon with my oldest child 2 years ago. I'm sad that I wont have this memory with her. I cannot help but feel responsible for this mishap. Her teacher would say that this is the kids responsibility to remember the money is due. I even feel a slight bit like maybe she didn't want me there...even though I am sure that is probably not the case. She's not usually forgetful, but life has been busy for all of us lately.

So...today is the luncheon and I sit here like a sad momma bear...wishing I was going to the luncheon today. I'm trying to find the motivation to go to work on my day off so I have something to occupy my brain and so I can catch up on some work.

It's hard watching these kids grow up, and even more challenging to watch them learn by natural consequences that their irresponsibility comes with consequences. I was tempted to call the school and ask if I could come and just not eat but I've decided maybe this is a lesson she and I both need to learn. I need to remember that while they are growing up they are still children and do need gentle reminders, and she needs to learn that her responsibilities are valid and important. I hope that she isn't sad when her friends parents are there and I am not.

My oldest and I at his winter luncheon in 2008 :*(