Friday, December 07, 2018

80% preparation, 10% doing it, 10% cleaning up

Really fun activities from the Homegrown Preschooler

I have found that my life is 80% preparation, 10% actually doing that thing you prepared and 10% cleaning up after. 

A meal: meeeeal planning argh, grocery store, putting groceries away, chopping, boiling / actually sitting down and eating / dishes

These fun activities: planning, writing lists of supplies to buy, actually buying them, prepping /actually having fun and taking these pictures / cleaning up

Going out: Preparing diaper bag, changing a million diapers everyone decides to poop in five minutes before leaving, getting jackets, putting on shoes, preparing snacks and water, driving somewhere / actually being there / coming home, taking off shoes and jackets, cleaning snack recipients 

Can anyone relate? 

Now that we are in Advent it seems all the more appropriate. I guess that's the way life is set up. Childhood and even adulthood is always "studying for something", "preparing for something", waiting for your kids to grow a bit, etc. etc. 

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Self-criticism

Kitchen night club. Crazy kids. 

I know a few people who have gotten divorced after having a baby. Apparently there are some statistics which say couples who have twins have higher rates of divorce. Couples who have handicapped children have higher rates of divorce. 

I have a theory which is "couples who experience obstacles and difficulties are more at risk of divorce". Which is... everyone. It is hard enough to experience obstacles and difficulties on your own... a million times harder with someone else. 

Or not. If you have some supernatural help to love each other with a supernatural love. It's called grace. If you love and patiently support each other like 1 Corinthians 13. 

My cleaning lady was telling me about how she is a second away from divorcing her husband (prayers?!) and it broke my heart to hear her list his every fault and vice. Her childrens' every fault and problem. Of course, it bothered me because I also saw myself in her. When I get sad and upset, I see the problems of those around me better than I see my own. 

But as a great G.K. Chesterton quote goes: 
"What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but an absence of self-criticism."

God doesn't give us a detailed list of our faults and vices or "tell us to our face" how we are. If only we (and I) could love each other with God's love and not our own. 

Monday, December 03, 2018

Breathtakingly beautiful

"Life is amazing. And then it's awful. And then it's amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it's ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That's just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it's breathtakingly beautiful.” LR Knost

I have realized recently that some people look at me and my life and think we are perfect and living the dream life. Which in some ways I am... because children are a blessing and I have a few... but that doesn't mean I don't experience sadness, doubt, failure, anxiety, emptiness, anger, etc. just as much or more as the person next door... or the single person. I "press on" (St. Junipero Serra, ora pro nobis!) through a plethora of these and other negative feelings EVERY DAY. 

There is a culture that doesn't tell us the truth about life, marriage or family. It tells us marriage is about having a big, expensive party and "being happy" and if you don't feel happy, then "move on". And having a kid is like having an expensive pet. Make sure you have enough money for it! So you can dress it up and buy it expensive "development" classes. And so I think people think if you don't have those beautiful wedding pictures and baby pictures you can't be happy and you can't live the dream life. 

Nope. This is not heaven and this life is haaaaaaard. 

I experience a lot of this strife and I try to cling on to what I have learned is true and good and beautiful... breathtakingly beautiful. 

Friday, November 30, 2018

Building family culture

Spreading pesto for the quiches. Reading about bugs. 

About a few months ago and more intensely every day, Addie and Davy play together. Fight more also. But play pretend and talk and look at books together. It's amazing. I wasn't expecting it. 

I had read about "building a family culture" in blogs and books before, but only now am I starting to see what it looks like. And it depends so much on me it's scary. The little family traditions I try to implement as simple as having dinner in the living room. A few times Adelaide has whined when I try to have dinner earlier without daddy, "I want it in the living room with daddy!" And I am a bit surprised by how much she enjoys such a simple thing. The songs I pick for us to listen to, the toys people buy for us, those meals I make again and again... this is our family culture. There is something that is being created out of nothing. 

My husband and I went to a conference where they quoted someone who said man and wife are two people who see something (a couple, a marriage) where there is nothing. It was beautiful and true. And from this nothing, something more and more keeps coming. A community of persons. A heritage. I pray for a legacy... like Sally Clarkson says. And it all starts with these litte tiny things we do together. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Struggler by Brother Isaiah

Have you heard of the Franciscan Friars for the Renewal? I hope so. 

You know those songs you keep singing to yourself for weeks like a mantra? This one is that for me:


Sometimes I feel like I'm struggling and others are thriving. Which is not true! What counts is who and what we turn to in the struggle.