Friday, April 18, 2014

Regrets

     It's not very often that I am upset with my parents, because it has always been my motto that, when you know better, you do better. But I have to say this weekend made me a little bitter. Not for me (well maybe a little) but mostly for my children. For the loss of memories. For the lack of a family history. For the lack of a family to reflect back on and be proud of. 
    Sure there are a few things I can relay to my children that they could be proud of. Their grandfather served in World War II. That he was at and survived the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  That both my parents lived through the Depression. That their grandparents were hard workers, who never asked a dime from anyone, and opened their door to those in need. That they were kind and honest to those they came in contact with.  
     I wish I knew more about their childhood, how they met, what they wished they would have done better or different. How exactly did my dad manage to find two Nadine's to fall in love with?
I don't have a lot of regrets, not because I haven't made a lot of mistakes along the way, but mostly because the ones I have made, I have learned many valuable lessons from. But I have to say that one of the regrets I have is that my children have not had the opportunity to be close to family.
     Andrew and I had the opportunity to go to a dear mans funeral yesterday. He was a neighbor of ours 10 years ago when we lived on Falls Dr.  He and his wife were retired and they were such sweet people. He was such a gentle soul. He lived just across the street from us. Our first encounter with him was when I was first moving in and I had run into the house to drop something off and left the kids in the car. I was driving my mother in laws big huge Chrysler, and Kenzie slipped up to the front seat and pulled the car out of gear. It rolled backwards and ran into Steve and Glenda's chain link fence. Luckily it didn't do any damage, but I was so worried that our brand new neighbors would think we were negligent parents. He just smiled and said, "no harm done."  He reminded me a lot of my father. He didn't talk a lot but you knew that he had such wisdom. He would pick strawberries with my kids and play with Luke (his golden retriever) and them. I had such respect for him and secretly wished he could be my children's grandfather.
    Anyway, the reason I am reflecting on this time is because, Steve and his wife were kind of surrogate grandparents to my kids. As they gave his life sketch at the funeral, they talked about what a wonderful grandfather he was and how much he  enjoyed his grandchildren, it just made me sad that my children didn't have the chance to have a wise and gentle grandfather (other than Steve) in their life.  My kids have 5 Aunts, and 4 Uncles. And only have a relationship with one or two of them. They have many cousins, but aren't close to any of them. It's been hard to feel like a lone family with no support system or anyone to celebrate our accomplishments with or lean on when times are hard.  
     One thing I am really hoping for is that they are close to one another, that they are good Aunts and Uncles. And that we are the kind of grandparents that we wanted our children to have. I know that we are given the challenges we are given in order for us to learn and grow. I hope we have learned the importance of family.  I hope we live long enough to know our grandchildren. I hope we are always there to celebrate their accomplishments and to be there to support them when they need it.
I miss my parents and am sad they didn't get the chance to know their grandchildren. I think they would have really loved them.

My Baggage, Your Baggage

So lately I've had several times where I've had the pleasure of dining with others, perhaps no more frequently than in the past, but lately I've been noticing a pattern.
See I'm a picky eater, I've been a picky eater my WHOLE life. It's never changed. I don't like MANY things, I'm not a big dessert eater and I'm not in any stretch of the imagination daring when it comes to food.
Too many ingredients, not sure what is in it, anything remotely resembling an onion, pot luck, too ethnic....... All of these things are cause for concern for me when it comes to food.
So this is where the issue lies.......with other people........not me. It doesn't inconvenience me in the least. I will find something on the menu to eat, or if going to a potluck I will eat a small bit before going, in case I don't like anything there, that way I won't be starving while everyone else is eating. I wish I liked more food, but I don't. No biggy. So tell me this? Why is it so offensive to others that I'm picky? I don't make people cater to me. There are some things I don't care for and will stay away from certain restaurants like, sushi, Thai, and I'm not a lover of pizza, but I'll eat it. I don't cause a fuss if others want to eat at a restaurant I don't care for. I can usually find something.
People make such a big deal if I order something plain,  sauce on the side, or just get a side dish, like somehow I've just offended them because I'm not enjoying the food they enjoy so much.
I think it's kind of sad how food obsessed our society is. I also feel bad that I don't love food, but my daughter really enjoys it. She is not picky in the least. She likes most anything, but sadly she is soooo limited to the things she can eat because of a severe food allergy that causes fatigue, migraines and at times vomiting and rashes over her body. Every meal is thought out and planned. She can't just go anywhere and eat, for fear of cross contamination. She can't prepare her meals without rewashing dishes and scrubbing surfaces in case of cross contamination. She has to look at ingredients ALWAYS. Traveling is a pain for her. Thank goodness for the internet. At least she can research places to eat.
She loves food and can't eat most things. I couldn't care less for food and can eat anything. People feel bad for her, but annoyed by me. Haha what a world we live in.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Brittain

Wow, this young man is growing up right before my very eyes. He towers over me now. Brittain has been the kid in our family that is truly the middle child. He has always been lost in the shuffle. There have been times I'm sure he has resented it, but for the most part he has been kind of happy to be in the background. He has always been able to entertain himself, without much interaction from me. This has been refreshing for the most part, but looking back at it, when you have six kids if they don't squeak, you don't fix them. So I'm sure he didn't get all the attention he probably could have used. In some ways he was frustrating. He was the oldest to want to potty train. He is the most volatile. He has been hyper sensitive. But on the bright side, he taught himself to read. He taught himself multiplication (at age 5). He's self sufficient. He doesn't need to be with friends all the time. But I think he gets lonely a lot. And I know he often feels left out, and wishes someone would call him to do things.
I have to admit though, that I worry about him most. He doesn't make friends easily, and when he does, he's easily offended and hurt by them. Adults don't get him at all. His peers often don't get him.And sometimes I don't even get him. He just thinks on a different level than most people. I worry that he won't find someone that gets him. That he won't find a job or a boss that gets him. I worry he will be alone in life (besides his family). In someways he's a lot like his dad. But his dad managed to have lots of friends, so maybe there is hope yet.
It breaks my heart when people hurt his feelings. When teachers have just given up on him. When he's labeled. 
He's such a good person, with a good heart. He loves his family. He's not rebellious. He's so stinkin smart. He's so compassionate. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He adores his grandma. He's creative and very resourceful. He's so handsome. I just love this boy to death.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Family Creed

I was just reading the blog of a friend of mine. She posts at least a few times a week. She is so diligent and she keeps us in stitches. As I was reading it, on her side bar is her family creed. I was so impressed by the things they came up with. It goes like this........

In times of need our family steps in and steps up and the "wagons are circled".
Our family believes that through the Atonement of Christ and by doing the best we can, Christ will make up for the rest and we will receive eternal life.
Our family believes in prayer, and the power of it, and the need for it, and the blessing of it.
Our family will not let those who died and suffered for our religion to be in vain. We know what they stood for and we will stand also.
Our family believes in WORK!
Our family shows and feels empathy for others!
Our family, with few exceptions, does not borrow money!

Then sadly I thought of our family creed. It goes like this..............

"If you don't have anything nice to say....then shut the Hell up"...
(Sorry for the language, but it is what it is. What can i say, my dad was a sailor) 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Twenty Five

It has been soooo long since I posted anything on here. I feel as though every time I write on here it is depressing. But, I feel compelled to write once again, mostly for me. It's cathartic, I guess.
Next week is my 25th wedding anniversary. Wow, 25 years, I just have a hard time wrapping my head around that. We were just babies, with all the ideals and romantic dreams of how life was going to turn out. Who knew we would have 6 kids, live in 4 different states, go through 14 jobs over those 25 years. Life has never been smooth, nor has it been easy.

A lot of people look at us and think, "wow they have a great marriage", and for the most part it's been good. We've not lost any children. There has been no infidelity. We didn't fight often, or abuse one another. But EASY??? Nope, it's not been easy. We are extremely different people, with different needs, wants and desires. I'm independent, logical, (try to be organized), impatient, demanding, confident in my thoughts and opinions, need to be busy, like to be needed, don't care what people think of me. He's emotional, impulsive (about some things), sensitive, passionate about certain topics (gets obsessed), needy, doesn't like confrontation, loves to be liked, generous, compassionate. In some ways we really compliment each other and our ideals. In other ways we really clash. I'm a "getter done' kinda gal. And he's a, "there's a hurdle in the way, put it down and move on to the next idea", kinda guy. So I guess in some ways he's calmed me down, and I have made him be more driven.
Neither of us were really raised by anyone but life. We learned lessons the hard way. Through humiliation, embarrassment and pure determination. We didn't have parents that guided us and helped us set goals, and taught us life lessons. We paid for our own wedding and everything in between. We didn't have people to help us out when we were first married. We didn't have parents that would make up the difference when we were worried about birthdays or Christmas. We didn't have someone to advice us on finances or major purchases. We didn't have anyone to turn to when life felt unbearable. All we had was each other, and I guess that's how we really have gotten through these 25 years. Just leaning on each other. We had to except each others weaknesses, so that we could depend on the strengths.
The one thing we have always had is..... we were friends. We enjoyed one anothers company and respected the differences.
As I look at my children I sometimes wonder if guidance and knowledge is a bit overrated. I don't know that they are any better going out into the world, with all the knowledge and guidance we have provided, than we were without it. I think because we had to learn the hard way, maybe we learned a bit earlier and fell a little harder, in order to make the lesson a bit more real. I'm not sure if my kids just ended up with all of our weaknesses, or if some of our weaknesses became strengths, because of the life lessons we learned.
I have two children at home right now that are older than I was when I got married. It's strange to look at them and think that I was so sure of what I wanted and didn't hesitate or look back. I went at it full speed.
Did I cripple my kids because I "parented" too much? Did I lecture more than I needed, when maybe standing back and allowing natural consequences be the lesson? Did I catch them to often when they should have fallen, in order to make them stronger for the next time they fell?
Life is tricky, and as a parent you constantly question if you have done it right. Did I set the right example? Should I have been at home reading Dr. Suess, instead of at meetings to start a charter school? Should I have encouraged them more to do more things, to create more talents, to make more friends? Should I have crafted with them more, and cleaned less? Should I have pushed morning scriptures more? Should I have been stricter? Have I been a good enough parent? Kind enough, loving, forgiving, accepting, patient? Did we as parents show enough love for one another? Did we speak kindly to each other, respect one another????
Life is just one big question....... But I read a quote the other day, that I am going to remind myself of everyday in order to be at peace with who I am and the choices I've made.

"The PAST cannot be changed, forgotten, edited or erased; it can only be ACCEPTED."

 So here's to the last 25 years. Whether it be good, bad or ugly....It is, what it is. I'm just glad I get to spend it with these people. It makes it all worth while. I'm glad I have an eternal companion to fight through all the difficulties and celebrate all the milestones with. Life can send you hurdles to jump over, and at times I feel as though I don't have the energy or desire to jump them. I know I can, I have in the past and I will in the future. I can do hard things, I have a friend that will pick me up and brush me off when I fall. 
Thanks Drew for being the MAN that you are. And thanks for the past 25 years. Here's to 25 more.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Few Things I've learned to be True......

1. Life Never is Easy, But It's Worth It - Sure, there are times when you look around and think, "Wow, everything is going so smooth." However we all know that as soon as you have that thought, the next trial is just around the corner. Then there is that moment when all the trials and blood, sweat and tears all seem to have made the hard times worth it, because you appreciate them so much more.
2. Having Children is the Best/Worst Thing Ever- Children bring you the most joy and the most heartache you will ever experience. Having one of them wrap their arms around you and say, "I love you mom" is one of life's greatest joys. Having them then say, "I hate you," feels like they stabbed you through the heart. But I have to say one of the hardest things about being a parent is....all their disappointments, failures and bad choices, are things you get to experience and worry about. I often have to remind myself that they have to experience them and I don't need to take them personal or responsibility for them. They are for them to experience.
3.  I Love My Children More Than Anything - They are the reason I get out of bed in the morning. Why I put in hours of volunteer time at the school. Why I put hundreds of miles a week on my car. Why my bank account is always teetering on the brink of collapse. Why I believe in an Eternal family. They are why I believe we have a loving Heavenly Father. Through them, I understand the atonement. Why our Father in Heaven wants us to return to him. And how hard it must be for him to watch us stumble and fall.
4. Life Goes By So Quickly - I remember my brother-in-law saying once that, life goes quicker as you get older, but as soon as you have children it goes by in warp speed. He was so right. I can't believe how quickly the last 20 years have gone by. It seems like just yesterday when we lived in a little apartment in East Portland, with our two little ones, just trying to scrape together enough money for Drew to have gas for work, for the week. Trying not to go crazy in that little 600 square foot apartment. Trying to keep Sydney from once again tearing out the books from the book case. Experiencing our first ever Earthquake. And just wishing I could spend more time with my mom before she died.
5. Enjoy Life While You are Young - Not that life isn't still exciting, but for some reason as you get older something happens that kind of dulls new experiences. I look back on the adventurous parts of my life and remember how exciting they seemed. Now, I don't really anticipate a lot. I mostly just look forward to the times when all my family is together. That seems to be the most thrilling of times.
6. Embrace Life - I've watched a few of my children not go forward with things out of fear, and it saddens me that they are not embracing all the things that they could, because they are afraid. Just take a step forward and hold on.....It's ok not to know what is around the next corner. It's ok not to have a plan. It's ok to fail. It's ok to make mistakes. We all do. But from those things we grow and learn. If you don't do anything you gain nothing. Just LIVE life.
7. You don't have to have a lot of friends but make sure the ones you do have are good ones - I have some of the best friends in the WORLD. They are loyal, kind, loving, good mothers, selfless. They are the kind of women I want to be. I look up to each of them in different ways. Each of them have a quality (or qualities) that I want to incorporate in my life. I have had friends come and go, but the ones I have kept are the ones that help me to strive to be a better person.
8. Don't Take Life to Serious - I think of all the things that I used to stress out about and wonder, why? My kids always had to have matching socks, that were white. No characters on their clothing. Pajamas always had to fit and be nice. Hair had to be cute when leaving the house (that only lasted until Syd was about 8). My house had to be spotless when company was coming. When we would have a clean day, my kids would always ask, "who's coming to visit." Laugh/smile often. Play games, often. Run, jump, skip and swing, often. Tickle, often.
9. Things I Think Are Still Important - Scheduled bed times for little children. Washing hands after using the bathroom. Opening your door to people in need, (what's the point of having a large house if you don't share it). Sharing with others. People are more important than things.
10. Time is Important- whether it's sharing your time with others. Or saving some time for yourself. Make sure your time is valuable to you, and other peoples time is also valuable to you. Whether you are late or on time for an appointment says a lot about how you feel about others.

About Me

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I am a stay at home mom of 6 kids. My oldest has just left for college and my youngest started kindergarten this year. Life couldn't be sweeter. My husband and I have been married for 20 years...wow did I really say that...ok I'm old.