Saturday, March 23, 2013

Weightloss and late night discussions

Late in December or early in January I embarked upon a new goal, I decided that I was going to lose a substancial amount of weight this year. Now, I know many people make weight loss resolutions each January, and many do not follow through, but I was determined to be different. One of the ways I'm different is that this honestly was my first weight loss journey. I'd never dieted. Yes, I'd lost and gained weight over the years but never consciously set out to do so. The other difference was the support of four wonderful ladies. Three of these ladies I'd never laid eyes upon or even heard of before the journey began, the fourth was Ella Rose's teacher last year in preschool. Together, we've journeyed together through weight loss for 10 weeks...and weighed in weekly. And now, after ten weeks we've lost 124.5 lbs cumulatively.

So tonight my husband was teasing me as he said something about my forcing him to sit through yet another episode of The Biggest Loser...and that's why we ended up watching his TIVOed show Revolution. Let me tell ya...I loved the first episode of Revolution, and it reminded me of a book I'd recently read. I only wish I could remember the title of that book. But that's another story for another day. The premise of his show was that the electricity goes out...and doesn't come back on...and then the show fast forwards 15 years. It really makes you think.

When I was in college I will never forget sitting around in a philosophical discussion of reality and a visitor commenting on how humans are the only species that has created something that will destroy them. Something to think about, huh? Technology which is supposed to make our lives so much easier...may make them harder. But it definitely would make our lives much harder if those of us so used to it truely didn't have *any* of it anymore. No, I'm not talking about rejecting it just like the Amish do, but truly having no technology. It would destroy us...or make like much harder. my mind wandered through all of this as we watched the show. Then as the show ended my husband called me "his biggest loser" and asked whether I'd lost the most on my team. I'd not. One of the other ladies who was relatively the same size I began at lost 16  more pounds than I did...making her current weight loss 37 lbs.

So his next question was, "Does she have children?" Which she does. And I told him she has more children than I do and manages a full time job outside the home.

But what really made me beam was when he said, "You do know being a stay at home mom is a harder job than any in the workforce, right?" WOW!! I was amazed that he recognized this.'s true. I love it, but it's true.  And I can honestly say that made my night.

And so now...with my kitchen clean, my children and husband sleeping...I thought I'd take a minute to share that morsel with you. And I know I will go to sleep tonight dreaming pleasant dreams with the knowledge that my husband truly does know how hard I work each and every day.

Good night y'all!

Boop doop de doop

Thursday, March 14, 2013

God Bless those who work outside the home...

It's nine fifteen on a Thursday evening and I've just wiped down my coffee table for the fourteenth time today. Each and every time I've wiped over it, I've removed sticky fingerprints and love smudges from my little ones. And so as I wipe over it for the last time this evening, I find myself thinking back to how much my life has changed in the last year. A LOT! My husband and two daughters are snuggled up in their beds sound asleep. The house is quiet and I've stopped for a moment to blog as my mind wanders to days gone by...

 After I had my eldest daughter, Ella Rose, people used to ask me, do you remember what it was like before you were a Momma. Honestly, I did. I remembered with vivid clarity what life was like before that and in all honesty sometimes longed for those days...when things became too overwhelming. Then I had my second and the memories began to fade. Now, as a Momma of a two and a four year old, I can honestly say: I don't remember my life being much different than being a Momma. It's who I was meant to be...and I'm where I was meant to be. Granted after having my second there were moments I wondered what I'd gotten myself into.

I remember one pointed instance when Evie was a few weeks old, she was sitting in her swing and Ella Rose (who was barely 2) and I were attempting to have supper together. Josh was out of town for work and so it was just the three of us...for what seemed like an eternity. For whatever reason, Evie Alice began to cry that evening and something must have happened (I can't say I recall what, but so did Ella Rose) and in my frustration and complete feelings of being overwhelmed, I joined in and cried too. So there the three of us sat crying. And I remember reaching out to Mom's who had more than one and asking how they did it. And I got an answer from a friend that she'd been where I was, but it got easier with time. And so it Evie Alice is older than Ella Rose was when that incident happened...and Ella Rose is FOUR! time flies.

But as time flies...I was thinking tonight about how my life has changed since I decided to stay at home full time. And I can honestly say, I don't remember what life was like before this. Sure, I remember teaching and getting up etc...but how to make it all work together and smoothly and still do ALL the things that fit into my daily life today, I don't know how it worked...I just don't. For instance, would I have had the energy to have wiped down that coffee table the thirteenth or fourteenth time today had I been working? Granted, the girls wouldn't have been here to mess it up a dozen times because they'd have been at the sitters, but I am not kidding when I say all fourteen times happened after 12 pm today. Ella Rose didn't get home from preschool before that...and Evie doesn't destroy the coffee table without her sisters help. :)

I do however remember what I thought as a working Mom that life would be like as a stay at home mom. I thought I'd meet up with a group of friends multiple times a week. We'd sit around and have coffee or and our children would play (at my house or theirs). Our homes would be sparkling clean because we'd have plenty of time to clean them. ha ha! We would have hot cook meals for our husbands on the stove and supper would be ready when they walked in the door. And the supper part is usually true,  but just as thrown together here most days as it was when I was working because that was something I strove to do even when I was gone from home 10 or more hours a day.

I thought I'd have daily creative activities for my girls to do and that despite the cut in pay money would be plentiful and life would be every way imaginable. And life is grand, but that money that I thought would be so lush and abundant was quickly gone after the school year began. A Refrigerator needed replacing, the washer went out, my husband's car needed a new engine and so on and so forth. And yes, there have been weeks if not months when I worried about how the lights would stay on...the mortgage paid, the food put on the table. Those things have been worries....but they've all happened. The mortgage has been paid, the food goes on the table, and the lights have stayed on. On top of that, the girls have been able to stay in their activities of gymnastics and dance, and even soccer when Ella Rose requested it. None of that is to say my worries were needless they weren't. I've found myself saying to them many times: We are going into the store to get toilet paper, don't ask for anything. There's no money for anything else. Or I'll get that for you tomorrow...there aren't enough "pennies" for that today. :) Heck, I've even emptied my daughter's piggy banks and my husbands to get gas to drive to a consignment sale to buy my daughters new clothes....and prayed my way home on fumes of gas.

My house is rarely sparkling... my friend's rarely come over, and play dates are a couple of times a month rather than multiple times a week, my creativity for activities for the girls is often lacking. I'm short with my girls much more often than I thought I would be.. and often find myself questioning my parenting decisions, the TV entertains them more than I ever dreamed I would allow it to.
But our lives are BETTER for it.

Yes, you read correctly, our lives are BETTER for it. I don't miss out on a moment. Not one...I get to volunteer for any field trips that occur. I do get to do volunteer work in the community. We've found sources for free food is now over abundant rather than lacking. The waiting for presents and treats teaches my girls the importance of delayed gratification. I get to take them to parks, and story hour at the library, tie dye shirts at home, or berry picking. We visit the local dairy and see how cows are actually milked...and have our nightly stories at home. The girls play with their toys here at home and have friends in the neighborhood. The things we buy them truly get used. They've bonded so closely together they swear they are best buddies forever...and I believe they will be. I get to see their imaginations expand daily through being puppies or mommies, choo choo trains, dragons, dinosaurs and more. And I wouldn't give the world to be any place else.

So no, life isn't what I thought if would be like when I began this journey. I don't sew all my daughters clothes, scrapbook fabulously, while sporting a sparkling home, and model children, all while preparing a steaming hot meal each evening from scratch. Although, most of my meals are from scratch. :)

But I have the time with my daughters. I have the time to give to my husband and my community. Anything Josh asks me to do, I can fit it into my day. I also usually have quiet time to read each day...something I rarely got to do while teaching. It was such a luxury I didn't even manage it during most vacations from school, honestly. And I can truly say, life is good.

Which brings me to this, God bless those who work outside the home. I don't know how they do it. I know I did...and not too long ago, but nonetheless...God bless them

Good night!