Sunday, January 31, 2010

Practicing What I Preach

As I sit here and start to blog I am overcome with a ridiculous sense of guilt. I feel guilty because I probably should be folding the laundry that just got done drying or getting a head start on dinner while the kids are still napping, or working on my store's financials, or writing my store's next ad, or taking out the recycling which is overflowing, or basically doing anything that isn't for me. I decided to ignore this feeling of guilt today because I know that I cannot be the only mom out there that feels this way. So maybe I'm supposed to confess to my secret guilt so that someone else out there may not feel so alone today in theirs.

I don't know what it is about being a wife and mom that causes so much pressure. To be honest I don't really have many outside sources putting pressure on me. My kids wouldn't care if I didn't make some elaborate meal for dinner and just served reheated chicken sticks, my husband isn't going to care that I didn't jump on the laundry the minute it stopped drying, and I get to make my own deadlines when it comes to my store. So why all the pressure? I really have no answer for this one. If someone out there does, please clue me in.

But for the very first time in my whole life I feel too overwhelmed. Don't get me wrong, I've been overwhelmed before. I was overwhelmed when I was working full time going to college and building a house all at the same time but even then it wasn't unmanageable. But all of a sudden I feel like I will explode or implode at any second. My first thought was to talk to my doctor about getting on some kind of anti-anxiety medication. (now this should alert you to just how crazy I feel because I am usually not in favor of prescription meds. I mean I run a health food store for crying out loud.) But I've decided to take a different approach for now. I've decided to actually practice what I preach. (Just a note, I am not saying that I think medication is unnessesary.I do believe it is important to treat anxiety with every means possible. For me personally, it is a last resort.)

So I have two things that I have begun...The first being that I am going to focus on my nutrition. I kind of let things get out of hand over the holidays. We no longer had a set routine so I completely stopped taking my vitamins and we were always running from place to place which meant eating on the run as well. So that all has stopped and I am making a conscience effort to be more deliberate about taking care of my health. It is funny how I put so much effort into my family's health and the health of my customers yet I always put mine on the back burner. Well, not anymore. The second and probably the most important change I've made is to dive into God's Word. I've always tried to have a "quiet time" but other things, such as laundry, for some reason seemed more important. So I would just try to fit God in where I could. Well, I don't know why it took 27 years for me to realize that maybe God should come first but it has finally clicked (or I have snapped ;).) And I have been so blessed lately through my time Him. I can think of three very big concerns I have had weighing me down in which He has lifted through reassurances in His Word. Isn't He awesome?

But, let's face it, I still feel crazy 90% of the time but for now I'm going to cling to the hope that I have in God's faithfulness and in the knowledge I have in my body's ability to cope with stresses when properly nourished. I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bah Humbug

Okay, so the reason I haven't blogged about Christmas is because I really am a Scrooge and I couldn't bring myself to sit down and type about how joyful it all was. And I hate that because I know that I should love it. I mean shouldn't I be so grateful that my kids have more toys than FAO Schwartz and we have more family than Abraham? But instead, I bah-humbugged my way through Christmas. I get really overwhelmed with our Christmas schedule.

It begins the day before Christmas Eve. My mom still wants to do Christmas with just her kids and my grandparents. But I usually love this one because we just go and hang out, eat, play, and unwrap gifts. And that is pretty much the way it happened this year except than when it came to unwrapping gifts Jack became a little monster. Mom had apparently gone crazy and bought my kids EVERYTHING! It was a mountain of toys! And Jack decided he was going to conquer that mountain by tearing through every present as fast as he could. It freaked me out that my usually very sweet and appreciative little boy could be so monsterish. Little did I know that was only the beginning. (Unfortunately I had forgotten my camera so no pictures from Christmas at Moms.)

The next morning, Christmas Eve, we were expected to be at Cracker Barrel for breakfast with my Daddy and Holly and my siblings. Usually we would just go over to their house for breakfast which allowed us to still be in our pjs with crazy bed head but we decided to try something new which meant waking up super early to get everyone showered, dressed, and presentable. We then went back to my parent's home to open presents.

Jack was so excited because he recognized his name on the gift!

Daddy and Addie unwrapping together.

Jack sporting his cool new mud boots and showing off his puzzle.

Addie loves shoes and she just had to try on her brother's new boots. Although you can't really tell from the picture, she and Grandma are dancing.

Addie playing with a new toy.

And then for the rest of the day this it what everyone did...stare at the tv and play Jack's new Super Mario game. Ridiculous!

The annual Christmas picture...with my sister's stupid dog.

We were supposed to go to my Dad's extended family later that evening but we try to keep Christmas Eve evening just for us. We watch a Christmas movie, make reindeer snacks, eat junk food, and play with new toys. This was the best part of the whole Christmas hoopla.
Kiddos and Daddy playing with the new race track. Addie loves the cars as much as Jack.

Cracks me up that Jack plays with Addie's babies more than she does! He is going to be such a good daddy!

Somebody is in love!

I am so glad I had already taken pictures of the kids in their Christmas jammies because this was the best one I got all night!

Then it was Christmas morning. We had to wake up super early again because we are supposed to be at Levi's Granddad's for breakfast and we still have to fit in our Santa gifts at home before we leave.

Jack was really excited about these little capsules that turn into sponge shaped animals. They are pretty cool.

Addie Grace had to be woken up and was not very happy about it.

All Jack wanted from Santa was a robot and he was very happy to see that Santa came through.

Addie got a little purse with makeup, keys, phone, and compact. She loves it and carries it all around the house. But she likes to take out all the makeup and puts in Jack's cars instead. Silly girl.

Jack was showing Addie how her doll house worked.

So then we head off to Levi's Granddad's for a quick breakfast and open presents. Granddad's is fun because all the little Pope kids are there running around and being little terrors. Plus all the pictures turn out awesome with the green carpet as background. =)

These tights were the reason I bought the dress. I just love the ruffle butt!

Jack ripping into everyone's gifts.

Addie stayed close to always.

We then loaded up all our new toys and clothes and set off to my Mimi's. This is my favorite meal all year long...well this and Thanksgiving at my Mimi's. Half of our family wasn't able to make it so it was kind of a weird one...very quiet.

Poor Addie has to strip down before she eats. She doesn't seem to mind as long as she is stuffing food in her face...and yes, she has two plates. The girl can eat!

Okay, so this was weird too. For some reason everyone got out my grandfather's guns and decided that it would be so much fun to take a picture with them. Addie and I refrained from looking like the Clampits.
Then home to unload and take a quick nap and then off to the final Christmas event...dinner at the Popes, (the old ones =) Just kidding Karalu...I mean older ones.
Uncle Elias puts his skills to work in the kitchen and always makes the very best steaks EVER!

Addie and Madi playing.

My little sweetheart! Love her!

Uncle Levi and our very beautiful niece, Haley. Love her too!

Haley giving Addie a kiss in their pjs.

Jack and Uncle David being boys and rough-housing.

Seriously...isn't she just a doll?

Amy and I had the impossible job of passing out gifts quickly before the kids ripped into every one of them.

Jack and Haley with their new laptops. Super cute.

Jack and Haley rocking out.
Well, when I look back on it it doesn't seem so bad...kind of nice, at least now that it is over and I know I don't have to do it again for another year. I did manage to join the Snuggie owner club and well, you can't really put a price on the joy that that brings. =)