Long December

There's a Meme (I think that's the name for them!) going around on social media lately that says something like "I respond to every text message in my head...and then forget to actually respond. I'm working on that." That describes me perfectly! I compose a million blog posts...in my head. And then life happens, and I never type them up. I even take pictures of things with the intention of blogging about it...and then don't. My biggest life goal over the past several months has to be more intentional. I can't say that I've hit the mark every day, but I have learned to let go of a lot of things that aren't necessary for me.

Before LJ was born, I was following a LOT of blogs. I mean A. LOT. I don't know exactly when I quit reading them all. Maybe it was gradual, maybe one day I just didn't click to my blog reader page. I honestly can't remember. But now I have only four blogs that I check daily, as I am pumping in the morning (yep, still having to do that). Just FOUR. Occasionally, I'll read a few others, but I don't get upset if I miss a post like I used to. That used to really irk me, when I missed a blog post from a blog I followed. Why? Don't get me wrong, I totally support the blogging profession. Bloggers are awesome. I know how hard it is to keep at it, and how impossible it is to be successful at it (which is why I don't and I'm not, haha). But reading so many every single day was really wearing me down. Not the actual reading, cause I love to read and would read all day nonstop if I was able to. But just reading about everyone else's seemingly perfect lives just really brought me down sometimes. Why can't my home be as nice as hers? Why can't my kids always be dressed perfectly and let me take awesome candid shots of them? I know in reality no one's life is perfect, no one's life is any better than my own. But that doesn't stop the little voices in my head sometimes. (What, is that just me?! No one else has voices...? haha)

Anyway, I read my daily blogs while pumping in the morning, or if I'm bored and nursing LJ during the day and that's it. I'm intentional about how I spend my time online. Mostly. I've become a little addicted to Instagram lately. I love following Etsy shops and seeing all their adorable creations. Though the past few days I've been heavily editing my "following" list. I check in on facebook occasionally, but I don't spend hours scrolling through like I used to. That actually was kind of forced on me earlier this year. Our modem for the internet broke one day and we were almost over our data limit for our phones. It took 2-3 days to get a new modem, so I was basically offline for several days. That was so freeing! After that little break, I realized I didn't need to read what every single person on my Facebook friends list was doing. I miss a lot, but I figure eventually I'll hear about stuff anyway. And the people that really matter tell me things personally. So I guess I'm more intentional about social media, too. Though I need to cut down my Instagram time more. I really don't need to follow quite so many shops...lol.

I try to be intentional about my time with the girls. Some days its hard. Some days I'm not gonna lie, I pop in a move (usually "Frozen," ugh) and I just tune out. I'm not ashamed to admit that. Some days I forget to do a devotional with C. I do manage to have at least one conversation with her every day about God and what Jesus did for us. On days when I really have it together, we start our preschool time by reading her devotional for the day, then we work on a Bible verse to memorize, then we'll do a quick study of either a Bible story or one of the subjects in the Child Training Bible. Its really important to me that my children are immersed in the Word. C and I pray together, and I absolutely love hearing her sweet little prayers. Does all that Bible study time make her a perfect child? NO. Far from it. I hear all too often "bad Mama!" or "I hate my Mama!" (Yeah, no one told me these behaviors started so soon...I don't remember being so hateful until I was a teenager.) It sucks, and some days I just want to give up. Some days I feel like a total failure as a mother. And then some days C wraps her little arms around my neck and thanks me for reading to her or doing some other simple thing, and its all worth it.

One of my best friends constantly tells me I'm Super Woman. Ha. I do feel like it sometimes. Most often not though. I worry constantly that despite my best efforts, my girls will grow up to hate me and be terrible members of society. Okay, I don't actually think that'll happen, but we mothers always go to extremes I think. I do worry that they'll turn out "bad," despite everything I do. And on days when C and I just can't get along and she's back-talking to everything I say to her and stomping off to her room and kicking her wall...I feel like I've already failed. Then I remind myself that she's FOUR, she's still figuring out her emotions, she's still learning so much every day. And I have to remind myself that its not about me and I can't take it personally. I know she doesn't really hate me, even when she says it. She just has big emotions and doesn't know how to express herself well.

That sounds like a cop-out, huh? My kid is incredibly smart. I'm not bragging, its just a fact. But despite her being so smart, she has a hard time with her emotions. From what I've read, this is totally normal. So I try my best to just roll with it. Meaning, I try  not to let it really bother me. I don't let her get away with bad behavior. I'll take away a toy in a heart beat. And we are constantly having discussions on the proper way to behave and how God wants us to act. And praying that God gives us patience and makes us act nicer. I think we all need to say that prayer!

All this is to say that, my life is pretty much the same as it was back in October, when I last posted a blog entry. I'm still striving for improvement while not beating myself up when it doesn't happen.

I'm savoring this time at home with my girls full-time. Next month, I start a part-time job. I'm excited about it, but I'm dreading it at the same time. I haven't been away from my girls much at all in the past 7 months. Sometimes C spends the day with one of her grandparents, and even though I need a break sometimes from her, I miss her the whole time she's gone. It'll be interesting to see how our days go once I'm working away from home a few hours every day.

I should have a ton of things to blog about. I do, really. Its just a matter of putting pen to paper...or fingers to keyboard, I guess. There are so many things I do that are different than a lot people around here (cloth diapers, babywearing, baby lead weaning, etc.), and I have a lot to stay on these topics. For Christmas, I got a sewing machine, and I've had so much fun learning to sew. I can't say I'm good at it yet, but I am improving. And really, having something fun to do is the goal, not getting good enough that I can make money at it. My goal is to get good enough that I can make matching clothes for my girls. I have a long way to go! My photography business is doing pretty well. It went basically dormant over the winter, but I expected that. I know 10-11 pregnant women (I know, right!), and several of them want me to do their maternity and/or newborn pictures, so soon I'll have a little business boom. I even have one friend that wants me to be her birth photographer! How cool is that! My mother is opening a restaurant next month, so I'll be working there some to help out. The Great Cloth Diaper Change is coming up. My sister-in-law is getting married in 2 weeks, and my girls are the flower girls. I made their dresses and they are BEYOND cute! So yeah, I have a ton to blog about. I'm really gonna try to get back into it. Blogging kind of holds me accountable. Even if I don't have any loyal readers, if its out there that I'm getting up at 6am every day and having "me" time before the girls wake up, I'm more likely to keep doing it. (For the record, that hasn't happened since....December? Ugh. I have GOT to get back into that habit.)

Plus, my friend Jessica over at Stitches, Seams, and Sass has nominated me for the Liebster award, so I pretty much HAVE to get back to blogging! Which is what prompted me to open up the laptop tonight. ( : I'll be back soon with details on that!