Shortest Month of the Year

This week we are taking a rest from school. When we homeschool I like to do six weeks on, one week off. It gives us a nice little break to look forward to routinely. There have been lots of pajama days, bed heads, movies, books, naps. We got a good amount of snow earlier in the week and today the sun is out and it’s just beautiful. I love sunny, snowy days.

We got to negative 20 (maybe 30?) degrees last weekend. While that’s just uncomfortable and obnoxious living here, the cold weather journeyed all the way down to Texas where our families live. Texas is about as prepared for low temperatures and snow/ice as the Rockies are prepared for a hurricane. Fortunately everyone is safe, but I feel awful for the family members who are dealing with water damage and busted pipes. People were without electricity and water for a few days. Inconvenient, for sure. I’m just glad everyone is safe.

We have all the documents submitted for the kids to go back to school in the fall. I feel indifferent, and I haven’t been able to pinpoint why. I think it’s because this past year has taught me that you can’t count on anything and life throws you curveballs, so be ready to be flexible. Flexibility is not my strong suit, but I’m working on it. But I will say I think this experience at home this year will be something we look back on with fondness. Perhaps the best thing that has come out of it has been the relationships between my children. It brings me so much joy to see the sweet times between them, but even more so to hear them talking to each other when they’ve hurt feelings, diffusing arguments, and forgiving each other their trespasses. Those are lifelong skills that I hope and pray enable them to be close forever. It’s easy to love each other when things are going smoothly. It’s something else to love each other when people are being punks.

Gratitude

One thing my parents praised me for when I was a child was my gratitude for even the small stuff. My Dad once told me that if I got so much as a Slurpee from 7Eleven, I was always sure to give thanks. I guess I never really thought much about it, and I think it’s perhaps second nature to me. I have, however, seen the blessings in my life because of it.

I think sometimes it’s easy to get so negative and cynical about life, trials, roles, relationships, the list goes on an on. I’m extremely thankful that I have the ability to find joy in the small things and truly feel gratitude each day. I’ve been broke, I’ve had a sick child, and I’ve had pain and unanswered questions. And from these trials that I’ve had, I have realized what’s most important in life. I am thankful each day for the food on my plate, the car that I drive, the clothes on my back, and these precious little souls I get to be a mom to. I’m thankful for happy, healthy children who can run and play and who are emotionally and physically well. I’m thankful for my body that helps me do what I need to do each and every day, despite the flaws. I’m thankful for a husband who helps me, listens to me, laughs with me, and respects me. Any of these things can be taken away in an instant, and I really feel that in my bones.

Lately I’ve been feeling like bringing these babies in to the world has wreaked havoc on my body. It seems like I’ve gone to war and what I’m left with hurts, is misshapen, out of place, and unrecognizable. I have weird adult, hormonal acne. It’s embarrassing, and it hurts. My ribs are out of place from the last ginormous child I carried. I have embraced my gray hairs and 95% of the time I’m okay with it and 5% I look at myself and wonder what the heck has happened to me (usually when I’m breaking out with said acne). It has been rough! And it all happened so fast. I look at my husband and he looks 10 years younger than he is, vibrant, and nothing has really changed for him and I somehow feel in dismay and as if I’ve been run over by a steamroller.

In church last Sunday someone said, “Gratitude is the first step towards optimism and cheer.” I know that to be a fact. I think if we can step back and remember that it truly has the ability to change our lives. I know it’s elementary and sounds too simple and therefore easily discarded, but if you ask me, gratitude is where it’s at! So I’m going to try to focus on the things I’m thankful for instead of the things that are making me feel overwhelmed. How’s that for deep thoughts?

Can you HEAR ME?

I was able to go on a mother/daughter ski day recently. Well, myself and the daughters skied. My friend snowboarded. It just so happens that this snowboarding friend of mine is one of the best snowboarders I have personally seen. And that means a lot, coming from someone who spent the majority of her life in Texas and nowhere near snow, and whose stature whilst skiing looks much like she just hopped off a horse after a 200 mile ride.

But seriously, I was impressed. Sometimes I feel like I need to pinch myself living here. I found myself gliding down the snow and reflecting on how lucky I am to drive a short distance and be to the slopes.

When I’m not reflecting on the beauty and magic of it all, it would appear my strongest trait on the slopes is embarrassing people. See, the thing about all this mask wearing and ski clothing is that it’s hard to hear one another through all the layers.

I managed to embarrass my daughter whilst at the lift line by hollering to her. I don’t even remember what I said to her but from her reaction you’d think I just asked her out loud, “Hey, honey, how’s your oozing rash doing under all those layers?” Whatever it was, she cooled off (figuratively…and probably literally) by the time we got to the top of the mountain. Moms. So embarrassing.

When my friend pulled out her snowboard (ever the curious type that I am) I asked her, “So, do you wax it?”

Insert pause.

Insert awkwardness.

Insert giggles from moms. And daughters who have no clue why we’re giggling.

Well, well, well. We meet again.

Remember weblogs a.k.a. blogs?

The joys of reading other people’s comical thoughts, how-to’s, or recipes without being bombarded by political views or fitness influencers and algorithms? There were no snapchat filters, no selfies of fitness gurus in their padded yoga pants and push-up bras. Nobody was rolling over in bed first thing in the morning to mindlessly surf through photos or rants of complete strangers, one after another.

Those were indeed the good ol’ days. I confess I forgot about them, aside from the occasional recipe search here and there. I used to love blogging! I had a personal blog, and a family blog for my siblings to all share on. I had a photography blog. And I even had a food-allergy blog. I did all the things on all the blogs.

Facebook came along. And then Instagram came along. it was so easy just to make a little post right from my phone. One thing led to another and I found myself in 2020; the year of mayhem, reading one aggressive or nauseating post after another on the platforms that I joined so long ago; the platforms that were once innocently used for keeping up with old friends and using retro filters to share photos of my babies with my family and anyone else who cared. Selfies weren’t even a thing in the beginning.

Don’t get me wrong, social media has a lot of positive points. I found so many photographers who inspired me, relatives I would have never been able to connect with had it not been for social media (can we just refer to it as SM for a moment?), homeschool moms to draw from, funny memes to brighten my day, friends to connect to and laugh with, and fashionable people to help keep me up to speed on the latest trends whilst I live the stay-at-home-mom-life, under a rock. And the recipes, OH the recipes! SM knows how to bring it!

But about a week or so ago I found myself wondering if the bad was starting to outweigh the good. It has always been an on-again, off-again relationship between SM and myself. Perhaps an abusive relationship that made me feel bad/negative most of the time but would occasionally redeem itself and make me think that “This time it will be different! It was all my fault anyway!” But last week I was feeling spunky. It was time for change. Not just time for inactivating my accounts, but something bigger. Something profound, perhaps permanent.

DELETING.

For half a second I even clicked on the option on FB that was for deceased persons. I thought maybe I could just tell FB I had died and they’d get rid of all of my stuff. Seemed like a logical way to handle things, right?

Anyway, here we are. Back to blogging. Keeping it simple. Ultimately just providing an alternative way for my mom to check in and make sure I’m in fact still alive (despite what I might have told FB). Let’s see where this goes….