Home and Family

Take care Mom!

Wow.  It has been weeks since I have written anything.  And what a party those weeks have been!  The bridal shower for our new daughter-in-law is over.  The wedding was wonderful.  Having family and friends join us in the preparations and celebration of the main event created so many memorable moments!  It is time to hit the books for the new school year, and the garden is producing like crazy; the canner will be a fixture in my kitchen for the next six weeks or so.  Life is so full!

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Photo by Emily Pearl Photography

On the down-side, I have over-extended just about everywhere.  The last few weeks have given me a completely new understanding of why Mom needs to take care of Mom.  I have batttled multiple infections, migraines, and other body challenges, my sleep schedule and naps became a distant memory, and I am just beginning to return to anything resembling competency.

What did I learn from all this?  A lot.

  • Take care of yourself.  Eat right.  Sleep.  Take a quiet walk or two.  Allow for time to pray, read, and ponder.  Although I am unsure what I could have changed during the craziest parts of the last month, I have surely come to appreciate the importance of taking time to recharge my batteries.
  • Ask for help.  We did, and it was amazing how many hearts opened.  We solidified old friendships, created new ones, and saw the Lord’s Hand in so many ways…large and small!
  • Have a budget for your time, money, and energy.  Know your limits and work within them.  There are so many things we wanted to do that ultimately didn’t matter.  And so many others that we were able to do because we worked to be aware, careful, and blessed.  While things will be a bit tighter for a bit, I am so grateful for the miracles we experienced through this!
  • Communicate.  Talk with those around you about limitations, plans, and needs.  Listen to what they have to say.  You may find some suggestions are worth their weight in gold.  And sometimes others just need to know what you need from them.
  • Attitude is everything!  While I felt lousy physically, I determined that I was not going to let my body get the better of me.  The shower was fun.  We laughed, shared, and visited.  The day of baking and cooking for the buffet table at the reception allowed for more visiting and great memories.  And the wedding day was marvelous.  Playing mom to both the bride and groom was exhausting, but I would do it again in a minute!
  • People are more important than things.  Focus on them.  While the hall was lovely, the food was yummy, and the gifts were greatly appreciated, the real memories involve the people who were there.  The bride and groom were radiant.  Our son and daughter-in-law were able to fly in from CA so that the entire family was all together.  So many of our family, and friends came and supported us.  There were a few glitches on the big day (The bride left her shoes at my house.  The hairclip we hunted and hunted to find so that my hair would stay out of my face disappeared until the day after the wedding.  Not everyone who wanted to be there could be due to car trouble, illness, etc.), but in the end, it was full of people, love, and peace.
  • Let go of what really doesn’t matter right now; some things will need to matter a bit more later.  My garden, canning, blog, and curriculum planning took a back seat to the other things happening.  As I get back into real life, they are still there, waiting for me to jump back in and get on with things.  And I will.  If I had tried to keep up with all of it as well as the planning, nothing would have been done properly and I would have ended up in bed or the hospital for way too long!
  • God is good.  The blessings and miracles we witnessed were myriad and memorable.

I am so grateful the wedding happened and is now in the rear-view mirror!  This autumn promises to be full of a flurry of activity.  My job is to take time for me, so that I can then take time for everyone else!  Take time for you too!

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Home and Family

Count your blessings!

The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.                                                                            Psalms 145:9

Most of the time I try write something in my blog that might be helpful to someone else.  Today I am writing just for me.  We have just over two weeks to the wedding of my youngest (and are three days away from the bridal shower).   Life has decided to see how much I am prepared to accept and keep moving.  Last Saturday night, I got sick; still working on getting on top of it.  (Not kinda off, not feeling icky, SICK.  Can’t hold food down.  Dizzy.  Sinuses won’t stop running.  Sleep eludes me.)  The bride has found herself without a job.  My husband was gone for two weeks  and got home just in time for me to get sick (see above).  The twins are teething…again.  We are dealing with record heat (along with everyone else).   Our wedding photographer isn’t working out causing a major scramble to find a new one.  The budget is becoming a challenge.  I STILL don’t know where Uncle David is!   And the list goes on.

As we raised our family, when life got tough we would buckle down and focus on the blessings we have.  We would make lists of why we love the people in our life.  We would post a sheet of butcher block paper on our wall and fill it with every tiny good thing we noticed.  We would each take a turn saying something positive before our nightly family prayer.  Today I am going to make a list…blog-style.  The following is my most recent “tender mercies” list:

  • My husband has a job.  And he is back in the state!
  • The entire family has a vehicle that is dependable and we don’t have to worry about getting everyone where we need to be in the next little while.
  • My entire family will be able to join us in the temple as we celebrate the marriage of my youngest to a wonderful young woman.  I am so grateful for a posterity who love the Lord!
  • Even though she was raised by her grandparents (who are now gone), the bride’s aunt has stepped in to help defray some of the costs of the big day- not the least of which the perfect dress.
  • We have a family friend (a professional photographer) who will take pictures for us at a discount because she is just cool that way!
  • We have friends from our old neighborhood who have tablecloths they will loan us that are just the right color.
  • Rain is in the forecast.
  • My daughters are in the middle of the fray with me.
  • Pinterest is a life-saver in the form of ideas and last-minute communicating.  We can get online with our helpers, show them what we want, and never have to find a large chunk of time to spend planning in the same room.
  • I got a message from an old family friend last night asking what she can do to help.  Thank heaven for wonderful people!
  • All three young ones are learning to talk.
  • We have found the final decorations and serving items for a discount or on clearance.
  • The twins are learning to give each other “high-fives” and it is one of the cutest things EVER!
  • People I haven’t seen in quite a while have been helping me find addresses for those I haven’t seen in even longer.  The only person that really matters to me that I still can’t find is my Uncle David.  Time to make more phone calls.
  • The garden is producing in spite of the craziness in the house.  Rain from heaven has kept it alive when I have been too busy to water.
  • A cool front is coming in this week.
  • Garden corn is just starting to come on.  I may live on that for the next week.
  • The bride-to-be announced that “the marriage is more important than the wedding”.   She gets it so I can stop fretting the decorations and everything else and focus on healing and shower preparations.   YEAH!
  • We have friends in our new neighborhood willing to help with cleaning, decoration, tying the quilt, baking, and anything else we need to do.
  • My head is finally clearing, and I expect to be just fine for the shower.
  • The older boys are really taking off with their academics!
  • We bottled 250 pounds of apples last year in the form of applesauce.  It is actually staying down!
  • Ultimately the Lord in charge, and my life couldn’t be in better hands!

What “tender mercies” are you seeing in your life this week?

Home and Family

Let’s hear it for strong women!

My youngest son is getting married in a few weeks.  The last of the weddings for this generation of my family.  We are in the midst of a flurry of wedding plans, reception decorations, and missing-address-hunting!  (Where IS Uncle David?)  We are still trying to find the right tablecloths, and a shirt for the groom to wear with his kilt.  The quilt is underway, but incomplete.  And we still have flowers and the cake to finalize.  (The bride’s parents aren’t in the picture, so we’re helping with most of the planning and arrangements.  Kinda fun; really crazy!)

Meanwhile, life goes on.  Academics, gardening, child-care, teething, and everyone still wants to eat three times a day.  My husband has been out-of-town for training.  Our older son and his wife are away for Air Force schooling, and are trying to find a way to get here for the big day.  My sons-in-law are working on their medical practicum/ master’s degree paper respectively.  It’s okay though.  We can do this!  There are five strong women working to make it all happen.  While our men go out and work at slaying the dragons and providing for their families, we are on the job.  Last week the grandsons did more worksheets and games for academics while the women created shower invitations and got them ready to mail.  Library day is being shared with trips to the fabric/craft store.  And the to-do list is beginning to shorten.

This would be so much more difficult if my future daughter-in-law was timid.  She’s not.  At all.  Decisions are made quickly and then we move on to whatever is next on the list.  The perfect dress was the ONLY one she liked.  Their cake will be a combination of a few different elements from various cakes out there (and will suit the two of them perfectly).  There has been a lot of “yes!” or “no way!” around our house as we explore pinterest, books, and ads.  (My daughters and I have done this before and are kinda the “steering committee” so that all the bases get covered.)  We cook, clean, and talk all the while; lots of final decisions have been made while stirring the pasta or chasing the twins.  Multi-tasking is a gift which is saving our sanity right now!  And will allow us to have joy on the big day!

While we are to be meek, obedient, and humble, no where in scripture does it instruct us to be weak, mousy, or inept.  It is really very difficult to accomplish anything of importance in this life if we are busy feeling as though we should be second-guessing ourselves and doubting our abilities.  The titles “Daughter of God” and “second-class citizen” do not work well together.  Nor should they.  I know where I need work, but I also recognize the gifts and talents I am responsible to develop.  So are my girls.  Bring it on.

In the next three weeks we will finish the flowers, make 30 loaves of bread for the reception, and keep the garden from dying.  The lawn will get mowed.  Meals will be prepared.  Decisions will continue to be made, goals will be accomplished, prayers of gratitude will be said, and I will find time for a nap.