Sunday, January 22, 2012

Purposeful procrastination

There are many days that I am calf deep in stuff....the mess. In those days I feel that I fool myself into thinking like my worth is based on a grading system on how much has gotten done, or how clean my floors are at the moment. A failure for sure. If this truly were the system for my job, the stay at home Mommy, then I would surely fail and eventually be fired. (No matter how delicious a firing sounds when you haven't had a proper shower in 3 days or a moment in this so called 'peace' everyone talks so highly would like this job as a permanent position.  Even with out a lunch break, a vacation or a sick day all year )Turns out all along Ive been my own boss....and this boss stinks. Although it would be nice to have everything in order, change the sheets every 4 days, have a spotless just isn't going to happen. Some days I will try for a moderately ordered home, but no more list here. I am not a list of stuff to be done anymore and it definitely does not define my role or my value as a wife and mother.

In the recent year I have become more and more ok with this and putting those thoughts at arms length because I know they are a lie. The list of stuff to do, you know the stuff that is so IMPORTANT to get done, I have come to find is not so important after all. Some dumb lie we all tell ourselves to continue to do better and to be more for everyone else.  Like a distraction from life passing.  Totally not working for this Mom.

God is teaching me that there are more important things and I am eating up the lesson.  Its been such a great gift.  I'm so darn busy that I have to prioritize.  Will the sick baby get the extra cuddle or will I go try to organize that stinking Tupperware cabinet that explodes four times a day..? Fussy, crying baby I love so deeply wins every time.  Funny thing is the more we spend trying to critique the list ( the do this, make this better, must be able to eat off the floor, what if someone comes over, do the kids clothes match...?), the less we have for the moments we complain about missing or losing years later. So, in short, Ive had to relax a whole lot.  Ive had to put off today what I may or may not get done tomorrow. Purposeful procrastination. Some days the dishes just pile.  Other days I don't quite get around to putting  on fresh clean socks. You probably wont ever be able to eat off my floors, but that's ok because I probably wouldn't serve you dinner there anyway. I do what I can, when I can, but people come first. If my children want me to sit with them and color then the floor won't get vacuumed.  If the boys want to snuggle on my lap and zone into Yo Gabba Gabba, I won't sneak away to put in the laundry while its quiet. 

While my babies are young and they want my love and attention as much as I desire theirs my house is taking back seat.  The messy rooms have doors I can shut. If there isn't dirt, the toys can stay in the corners on the floor.  Heck, they are probably going to toss those same toys out the minute I turn the corner anyway. There will be days I won't do so well with this plan and I will try to get it all in 'order' , but I'm going to really put some healthy, relaxed focus into this.

In the past few months I have had the idea of death come into my mind a lot more often than I would like.  Sounds sad, and it is.  I think a healthy person shouldn't think about it to the degree that I have found myself.  Truth is, none of us are promised a second more, not an hour. I've seen this around me.  People here one day so alive and simply gone the next. I am anxious about the legacy I will leave when the Lord takes me home.  I pray that I live a long life, not for me, but for my children.  If tomorrow was my day then I would want my children to giggle about the messy house ,but remember how I held them too tightly and how they saw my love for them on my face.  My days with them weren't nose deep in the corners of the home cleaning away 24/7.  They saw my face. My smile. My love....All probably more than they needed.

I want to live my life very well.  I want to be a little bit of Christ in the lives of my family.  Its mostly about love anyways. Part of being blessed is to be able to recognize the blessings and treat them as such.  So tonight when I am absolutely wiped out from the day and I kneel down to start to finally clean up, I will do it gratefully.  During this if one of my babies is to cry out, they won't cry very long.  You'll find me in the rocking chair, caressing their head and breathing them in. When they are finally breathing heavy and back to sleep, I can't promise they will be immediately returned to their sleeping space...I might just sit for a while.

* Below is a poem my husband had found and sent to me one random afternoon.  Its been in the front of my mind every since.

* Babies Don't Keep
Mother, O' Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth.
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek - peekaboo.

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew,
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo.
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

~ Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father
~ James 1:17 from NLT

Monday, January 9, 2012

You Can't Keep Them Little Forever

As a Christmas gift my husband surprised me with the gorgeous growth chart I had written about a few entries ago.  The picture shows no justice to how beautiful it is in person.  Now its hung in the kitchen between two doors and we have gone ahead and marked all the check up heights for all 3 kids since they were born.  Growth is amazing.  It tugs at my heart....I just want to freeze it all and keep time exactly where it is.

Attached to Growth Chart was the most precious of all the gifts.  Its was the reason for the second good cry I had on Christmas morning alone.


from love and hope life springs forth
and on to them we pass our torch

another inch, another year
watch them grow while they're near

each year they spring up; ever faster
mark not the days ; enjoy their laughter

live full, teach them well
big hugs, our hearts swell

too soon they're off to explore
the world beyond our front door

big new love; another setting
brand new hope; a family wedding

the cycle begins anew once more
little ones crawling across the floor

proudest parents that ever could be
more leaves on our family tree

hold them tight and watch them grow
all our blessings overflow

I love you Jenny!
Thank you for everything.
Merry Christmas.


This was written by him. I don't know where or when he was able to find a moment to actually sit and think around here these days. It doesn't matter how I guess....I'm just so touched that he did. I will cherish this for the rest of my life and when I am old and my time is done, I will know that I was part of something really beautiful. Our marriage isn't perfect and neither one of us separately even come close to  it.  Together we do better and we try our best  everyday.  We worship hard, count our blessings fast and love huge. What more could you ask for.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
1 Corinthians 13 4-8

Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas Day 2011

On the eve we checked the radar and realized that Santa was crossing the ocean on his way to us so we quickly got our things in order.  A note for Santa, cookies, milk, and carrots and water for the reindeer. When we got tucked into bed she said she just didnt know how to get to sleep! After the busy-ness of the day she conked out fairly quick.  The boys were down for the count too.
Caught a glimpse of Santas delivery in the early morning before the craziness began.
Santa surprised me with a gorgeous growth chart.  Now I can have this to take with us to the nursing home when we are in our 80's ;)
Santa blew my mind with this surprise.  Matt and I browsed a local store in Milford center on our second date and we saw a sign just like this.  I gushed over how lovely I thought it was and how I wanted to decorate my home someday in sweet things like this.  7 years later and Santa blessed me with this handmade version of the one we saw that day.  He sure does have an excellent and thoughtful memory .
Santa came Mom!!
After we sang happy birthday to Jesus Addy tore into all the goodies.  I found myself tearing over watching all of my children and my husband around the tree.  I worried for so long that we would never be able to bless Addy with siblings ...and here they were.  Crawling all over her, eating wrapping paper and giggling.

Drew checking out all the colorful things. Can you spot him in there?
Addy opened everything. We had to remind her to slow down...I think she likes opening things more than she does the actual 'stuff'. It looks like a TON of stuff, but really not as much as it may look,  we just wrapped everything in all kinds of ways to make it feel fun and make it last longer.
George is just amazed at how cool his sister is, how fast she is moving and probably thinking he could use some cheerios right about now.

 The day was going to be crazy busy so we literally had 45 minutes of 'around the tree time' before we had to be on the road.  We were heading in to Newton to visit with my Father and his family.  They do an early xmas dinner at 11:00 !! Its quite a hike but the kids got their morning nap on the way and were thrilled to see everyone.  They were showered with gifts there, had some yummy meatballs then we had to move along again.  There are little to no pictures because the boys were cranked up running from one end of the house to the other.

Our final destination was to Nana and Grampas.  We head here every Christmas afternoon and stay into the evening.  Aunt Carol and Uncle Larry joined us and it was special as always.  Addy had a blast playing with her big cousins and the boys just enjoyed getting into everything and soaking up as much attention as the could muster.

Again, another table has grown.  What will next Christmas bring??  Excited to see.
Addy loved this tree and was in awe that some of the ornaments were actually made by her Daddy many many many years ago ( many...many...many..;)
Post dinner there wasn't much left to wear.  This was what was left after they ruled the dinner table with their horrible manners.These boys are so hard on their clothes and the messiest eaters ever.  They were hooting and hollering at the table like a bunch of monkeys.  Even throwing pees.
Feeling really cool playing with funky pipe cleaners.  We made lots of strange things and George and Andrew just chewed on them. Nana always has the coolest stuff for the kids to do.  She is so prepared.
The Gregg ladies getting in a photo op.
Drew showing Aunt Carol that he can do it too!
The kids favorite part of the day.  Banging the keys and making sweet music all together.
Addy got in the game too.  How cute are they?
George is questioning Addy taking over.
George breaks it down while Andrew takes a moment to dance it out.
The end of the day.  Another Christmas has come to an end. With all the hussle and bustle we managed to come through it all with a smile and deeply grateful hearts.  May you remember Gods work in your life everyday...not just on Christmas.
This year I am going to try and slow down a little bit.  To not look so far ahead. No more looking to get to certain dates or milestones.  Im going to be present with what is happening because if we don't we miss all the important stuff.  Tired of life flying by...I want to be in on the ride.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds thourgh Christ Jesus. Finally. brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things areof good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which you have both learned, and received, and heard and seen in me, do and the God of peace shall be with you. 
Philippians 4:7-9

First Eve as 5

 My mother and siblings came to celebrate Christmas Eve this year.  We hosted it here in Greenville and it was pretty simple.  Our original intention was to do a 'Chinese Food' kind of night  but we wound up just getting a mess of pizzas with various toppings and making it even easier.  It was nice to not have to travel anywhere and have the kids in their own child proofed environment.  Matt and I were able to relax and enjoy instead of the on the go feeling when we are not in our own territory.

Mimi came early and surprised us.  She showered the kids with thoughtful gifts.  2 being the biggest, brightest hairy beanbags Ive ever seen.  At first when I saw them I had thought she had officially gone mad, but they have grown on me and the kids go nuts on them. They fit in great with the rest of the playhouses and tunnels that have multiplied and taken over our home.

The boys are enjoying some pretty fun boy toys from Uncle Ty and Lori. We were getting tired of all the girly pink stuff so this is so refreshing.  Everything makes so much noise though.  I look forward to a time when my siblings have children.  I am going to hook those kids up with the most ridiculously loud and obnoxious toys I can find.  Payback folks..
All these pictures are out of order and to be honest we didn't get all that many great ones during any of the holiday festivities.  Manning 3 kids makes documenting incredibly tricky.  This is Mimi being a bad role model and playing on top of the coffee table.  Something with coffee tables in this family.  During most all gatherings someone ends up on top of it for some reason or another.
Doesn't someone look so handsome.  From his stance you can see he has been eating well for the past year.  Haha.  Those ties were fashioned last minute the night before out of one of Daddy's old ties.  I swear it was a conspiracy or something because NO stores were selling kids ties anywhere. Luckily I was able to think quick and had 2 fresh new onesies available.
Have no idea what makes this kid tick but he is always so funny.  He thinks everything is a riot.  All you have to do is call his name and he goes nuts.  Maybe he knows how dorky he looks and is embracing it with a healthy dose of humor.
Uncle Matt and Drew messing around.  This was taken after he put Drew in a gift bag and attempted to carry him around the house.  Short didn't work.
I have no clue.  Being with my family brings out a weird side of myself.  I guess this is the real me.
Sitting down to do what we do best.  Eat.  I love family shots around the table because every year it grows bigger and bigger.
Wrestle-mania Christmas Eve style. Men are so rough.  The kids love it.
Meet Lori...Ty's girlfriend.  She is a pretty good sport and fits in pretty well , scary enough as that sounds. She doesn't always look like this.  Mom got Ty a helmet for Christmas ( thank God).
Much better.  Kids love Aunts and Uncles.  Not sure why its so hard to get them all to cooperate for a family picture with us, but they act like little angels with everyone else.
All dressed up and ready to go.  We all loaded up and headed to GNBC's Christmas Eve service. Looking our best to worship the New Born King! A Savior is born!
Mimi and her love bug.  Doesn't she look so beautiful ( Mom , you're cute too...).  This gown was her cousin Jades 6 years ago.  Time is flying!
A wonderful night to celebrate a beautiful day in history.  We love our family and we are eternally grateful to God for all that He has done for us.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
Isaiah 9:6

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dear Santa....Love Addy

Dear Santa,
I would like a video game. I love you Santa! My baby brothers need a bean bag. Two of them please.
Love, Addy

Advent fun: Aquarium!

As part of our Advent Calendar, each day had something fun to do as a family.  Craft projects, special dinners, outings..etc.  This particular day read: Daddy is taking the day off work. We are going to take a train into the city and visit the Aquarium! This is a picture in the parking garage outside in Boston. Addy is a lover of elevators so this could very well be her most favorite part of the day.


None of the kids have ever been to the Aquarium so we were more excited to take them I think then they were to go.  It was freezing cold and it took a lot of finagling to get ourselves there but we were determined.
George was stoked that he was able to move around  by himself.  Fascinated by all the new things and faces around him.  He was still a bit unsteady with walking when we went but he sure gave running a good try several times.

Amazed at how all this is in the ocean and she had no idea.  I actually feel a little bit bad and disappointed in my husband and I that she had not been till now.

Spotted something interesting it seems. Most of the time he was looking at his own reflection in the glass thinking that kid is so funny.  Thats about as deep as Andrew gets....he is such a boy.
I miss the one on one.  Today was perfect to experience this new and exciting place with her. Watching her view life is so magical still for me.

Daddy and his 'handfuls'.
Afraid of absolutely nothing.  She sat here with the 'teacher' for so long.  I was amazed to see her have such focus and a desire to hear an adult She really enjoyed this and touched everything there was to touch. 

Massive turtle.  Drew kept trying to kiss it.

Head to the glass. If I just keep waving to the fish I will eventually get one.
Waiting for the nasty shark to make its way back around.  That thing was so gross and creepy.  It looked so fake ( although they said it wasn't), but still gave me the heebie jeebies.

Dad in all is glory.  Off work, hanging out with all his kids and doing something science related. I had a wonderful time too, but above all, it is was more fun just watching the kids see everything. These kinds of outings are great but end up being a lot of work for the adults. Perfect.

Stopped by the cafe to eat our prepared lunches before getting back to the train and heading home.  Its so nice to have the boys eating solid food now.  Makes trips easier and feedings messy, but less of a huge ordeal.

Georges look says," Come on Ma, do we have to go already?"

The entire Advent Calendar was so enjoyable this year. Addy finally had siblings to enjoy this with and she was old enough to really understand everything that was going on. Christmas time is so magical.   

 We celebrated Christs birthday all month in every way we could.  What a gift He is to us. We are such a blessed people. In all of this celebrating we want to teach our children the true meaning of this time.  A Savior was born to us.  To save us, to love us, to give His life for us.   In this broken world its hard to recognize the blessings sometimes, hard to see the beauty in the everyday...He made it all though.  It is all so wonderfully made.

But ask the animals, and they will teach you;
the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
Ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of every human being.
Job 12:7-10