Just a homemaker

meme-dew-mother-1324323-tablet

In the Fall last year I went to get my haircut.  Not a big deal, right?  Well, I went to a salon I had only been to once, but I REALLY needed my hair cut, I had a coupon, and a few minutes without my kids.  So I sat down, explained what I wanted done with my hair and the hairstylist starts cutting.  Being the introvert that I am, I wasn’t exactly chatty and the hairstylist looked like she was having a long day.  But I attempted to start up a conversation.  Turns out that she had an outpatient surgery that day and was working her second job of the day, so she was tired.  Well, she asked what I did.  My response was, “I am just a homemaker.”

Now, before I proceed, in my head I was running through this amazing dialogue about a response that I would love to here after I state that I am a stay at home mom.  The purely magical response would be, “You’re not just a homemaker, you definitely do a ton.”  Followed by a great conversation on motherhood and the joys and difficulties of the hardest job on earth.  On another side note, a couple of years ago I saw this blurb on a social media site that was interviewing people for an unnamed job.  It showed the interviewer Skyping with potential applicants and telling them a little more about “the job.”  They were told they would never have a day off, there was no sick time or leave offered, they had to work every holiday, and they would always be on call.  Most of the people were totally appalled and many asked if that was legal.  Then the interviewer told them what “the job” was, it was the job of a mother.  All of the applicants smiled and it ended with all of them saying a big thank you to their own moms.

meme-mother-job-offer-1246781-mobile

Well, my dreaming response was cut short with the response of the hair stylist, “Oh, well did you do any thing before, or did you do anything else with your life?” Truthfully I wanted to jump up and scream, but that would not have been good.  So I swallowed my pain, hurt, and angst and told her what my job “used” to be.  I asked her about having kids and then my heart hurt.  Yes, she has kids but in so many words, let someone else take care of them and put them to bed because she preferred that.  I am not trying to talk bad about this hairstylist and I definitely don’t know her situation at all, but it sure has made me think a lot since that night.

I love being a homemaker.  I remember when I was 7 months pregnant with my third baby and was trying to tie a quilt on the floor, my back was screaming, my other two kiddos (ages 4 and 2) were running around probably hitting something they weren’t suppose to, but being so happy.  I remember sending my cute husband a text, “I love being domestic!”  Haha, that makes me laugh.  But I really do enjoy being home, taking care of my home, and enjoying my time with my kids while they are little.  With that said, we have definitely had to make some sacrifices for the opportunity to be a stay at home mom.  There are too many to even talk about, but I am so grateful for a husband that is a strong supporter of family.

One of my favorite things on motherhood especially, is from Elder Neil Andersen.  He gave a talk about having children and how they will ultimately bless your life.  Read this little blurb: “Many voices in the world today marginalize the importance of having children or suggest delaying or limiting children in a family. My daughters recently referred me to a blog written by a Christian mother (not of our faith) with five children. She commented: ‘[Growing] up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood. … Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get.’ She then adds: ‘Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.’ Now I am not totally saying that every minute of being a homemaker is glorious and perfect or that my children are perfectly obedient.  But being a mom is definitely what God has given me time for right now.  It is an amazing experience that has blessed my life in so many ways.  I love when my kids are all clean in their jammies and we are reading scripture stories or the last Winnie the Pooh book, then every one lays down and I sing them songs.  It is a cherished time for me and I hope it is something that they will remember.

When I was little, I loved to read, and I loved when my mom read to me.  I don’t know if my mom just got sick of me asking for bed time stories or if she was just tired and wanted to go to bed herself, but she recorded many tapes of her reading stories.  I took one of those tapes to college with me.  It was those little things that meant so much, that I want to instill in my kids.  We have long since digitized those old cassette tapes and now have a play list for our kids with both of their Grandmas, one Grandpa, one set of Great-grandparents, and Scott and me reading stories. I am so grateful for those small things.  Many times I find myself reflecting on all the crazy things I put my mom through and you know what, she still loves me.  I hope that as the years continue, that my kids will know how much I am grateful for this time to be their mom and what a blessing it is to be with them. I want them to know also, how much I rely on God to get me through some days.  I pray that they will pray for that help when they need it.

This past week my oldest started 1st grade.  Seriously, it has been hard.  I miss her and I miss all the kids playing together.  The first day, Jake (my 4 year old) and I were wandering around the house because we didn’t quite know what to do without Jenna.  Jake keep asking when Jenna was coming home, and the first time he asked she had not even been gone for an hour.  Tessa, my 2 year old, was confused when Jenna didn’t come back home with us after we dropped Jenna off at school.  “Where’s Jenna?” and I would have to remind her.  Jenna on the other hand, said she missed us but I think she was doing just great and having a wonderful time in first grade.  It is definitely an adjustment for all of us to have her gone.  The sad thing is, is that this week was early out so she hasn’t even been gone for as long as she usually will be!  My mother heart aches, but is exciting for her as well in her new adventure.

Since that Fall, I have often thought about changing my response when people ask me what I do.  But, you know what, I have the best job right now.  I am a wife and a mom with a family that loves me.  Julie B. Beck said what I know is true, “When mothers know who they are and who God is and have made covenants with Him, they will have great power and influence for good on their children.”   Why would I want to change my response?  Now, I say that I am lucky enough to stay at home with my kids, because I really do feel lucky.  I am blessed to “JUST” be a homemaker.

Weeds and Sunburns

You probably know this, but isn’t amazing how weeds can grow ANYWHERE.  Seriously, it is amazing to go into my backyard and in the grass, the rocks, the dirt, and in-between pavers weeds survive.  Why when my tomato plants are struggling and my hanging baskets are looking sad that the weeds look, well for lack of a better word, lovely.  But weeds are not super lovely are they?  Where I live we have a different water system for outside watering than for the culinary water we drink.  It is not as treated and it is always a surprise to see what different kinds of weeds we will get each year.  This year, there is a big weed that looks pretty and spreads fast but is REALLY hard to kill.  And the never ending fight in my backyard is morning glories.  Oh morning glories…they trick me every time and then just keep coming back.  They are not getting my message that they are not welcome here, so the fight continues.

20160819_141809.jpg

Then there are sunburns.  I am a redhead with lots of freckles and fair skin.  I guess it goes without saying that getting sunburned kinda comes with the territory.  Well, this year in particular I could go outside for less then 20 minutes and get burned.  At first I just thought that I just must be getting old…but I thought about it. I have been more outside this summer than previous summers because of my kids ages, they want to play outside all the time, even in the summer heat.  And it was the hottest July in our city ever recorded.  I have tried different things in my quest for being just a little pink instead of fried crisp like a lobster.  I tried different kinds of sunblock, long sleeves, and just staying in the shade but the winner so far has been a crazy sun hat.  Truly I HATE wearing it, but after sitting on the side of the road for a parade on the 4th of July with my lame hat and NOT getting sunburned, my hat has become my defense from the sun.

20160819_141258.jpg

Now you are probably thinking now about how these two things have something in common?  Weeds and sunburns are things that we do something about.  We try our hardest to have proper protection to prevent the onslot of what is coming.  But sometimes, even when we have done our best we get weeds in the grass or a sunburned neck.  It is just like in life, we try our hardest to protect our families from financial storms or health problems or whatever comes our way, but there are going to be hard times.  It is not about IF but WHEN things happen.  The world can give us weeds sometimes, and a sunburn but if we try our hardest we can still be happy.  As the old saying goes, “it is better to prevent and prepare then to repent and repair.”

We can pull the weeds out, even if we didn’t kill them at the roots before the start of the season.  Our skin can still heal from a sunburn.  I have seen that happen in miraculous ways.  When I was a young girl, my sister, who is 4 years older then I, went to a swim party and was in the sun all day.  She got a 2nd and 3rd degree sunburn.  As little kids we actually thought it was cool to see how big of a piece of skin we could rip off her back when the blisters had popped and her skin underneath was healthy.  But, I remember her crying in bed at night because even having a sheet on her skin hurt so badly.  I think we both learned a good lesson that day about how important sunblock is to our lives.  These experiences can teach us and help us to prevent and prepare.

I find that sometimes we let the situation get us down or Satan does a really good job at helping us notice our failures.  I quote the words of Elder Clayton (a General Authority of my church). He says that Satan tries to trick us in three ways “1- He will try to get us to focus on our failures to diminish our confidence, because he knows that this can blind us to our true worth and capacity. 2-He will try to get us to forget that God loves us. 3-He knows that carelessness or inattention to the little things will slowly lead us to forget our eternal potential.” He and his wife have written a great article on being rooted in Christ.  You really should read it! So my little pep talk to you today is, remember that God loves you, even if you get a sunburn trying to get rid of the morning glories.  As we do our best to prepare and prevent, HE will help us to realize our worth and the ability we have to move forward in our lives, no matter what comes our way.

Skinned knees and bikes

This summer my six year old learned to ride a REAL bike.  We were hoping she would learn to ride last year, but she just wasn’t interested.  This year, she wanted to do it and had it down in 5 minutes.  There were definitely a lot of skinned knees though, like A LOT! She figured it out in 5 minutes, but in the ensuing days I think she fell more than that first glorious day.  Normally she is a little bit of a drama queen when she gets hurt, but this time it was different.  She would fall or sometimes jump off her bike before the fall and get right back up.  I was seriously impressed with her determination to become a “master” bike rider as she called it.  I love to see my kids succeed (who doesn’t?) but I loved even more to watch her truly self-motivated to accomplish her own goal.

This summer we also tried to teach our 4 year old to ride his scooter.  Now, you are probably thinking, can’t he just figure it out?  Well, it is a totally new concept for him.  I would say that he is not uncoordinated, but he was having a hard time connecting all the dots.  But there was a HUGE difference…I wanted him to do it.  HE didn’t want to do it.  The more I pushed, the more he pushed back, sometimes literally.  So I gave up trying to help him, and told him he needed to figure it out for himself.  Well, he doesn’t want to.  He uses his scooter to build construction sites and uses it as a wall to make his sisters crazy when they are trying to ride their bikes.  He is definitely more interested in building, digging in the dirt, and teasing his sisters- which is totally fine!

Then there is the two year old.  Yep, she actually took the trike from the 4 year old and took off leaving him sitting in the dirt.  “But mom that is my trike!” Haha, now you know the attitudes of my little ones.  They are all great, but this past year has been the first time when their little personalities are becoming more dominant and the sibling rivalry is coming out. In a way I totally love it, I love to see how they problem solve, or have a LACK of problem solving.  Never a dull day here.  One thing I have really been learning with my kids though, is to just let them be kids.  Sometimes I totally group them into a group called, “little adults.” If you want to read a good parenting book, you should look into “123 Magic.” You can check it out here. I expect them to do things like a rational adult would when their little brains are still just trying to figure out things, like problem solving.

In a way though, I wish I was more like them.  I wish I had the internal motivation to do things like my 6 year old.  She came with that drive, I didn’t teach it to her.  I want to jump right back up when I fall so I can become a “master.”  I wish I could not be afraid to share my opinion like my 4 year old.  And choose to do things that matter to me.  I want to learn from the good around me and laugh like my 2 year old.  I want to have fun EVERY day.  I think that is why in the scriptures we are counseled to be more childlLIKE.  Not childISH.  To be more trusting, more loving, less likely to harbor hard feelings and to go to time out and forget about it.  One of my favorite scriptures related to this is in the Book of Mormon (want to find out more about what I believe?  Go here or here).

Mosiah 3:19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child,submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

Sometimes I do “inflict” on my kids my little temper tantrums, but they love me just the same when I tuck them in at night and sing songs.  I need to be more like that.  I want to be full of love, ALWAYS!

I can learn a lot from my kids every day.  This summer I am choosing to let them be kids.  I didn’t go crazy with schedules or rules or enforce summer homework, I didn’t need too.  My 6 year old will read for hours at a time by herself without me bugging her.  If anything with her, I have to take books away.  Although I did request book reports and she doesn’t really like that.  My 4 year old has decided that he wants to learn to read and is memorizing sight words, because HE wants too.  He has also become very creative this summer, he will color for hours and create silly things EVERY day.  My 2 year old, she is figuring out that she doesn’t have to scream all the time, but she can watch her brother and sister and do what they do, and most of the time they give her what she wants.  Each one of them are different in so many ways, but they are alike in that they are just kids.  I want them to enjoy their childhood and enjoy each other.  Here is to many more skinned knees, bike rides, stories, coloring, problem solving, endless block towers and much, much more love!

What’s in a Name

You might be wondering how I came up with the name of my blog.  Well, you are in luck, let me tell you about it! I read a book by Mitch Albom a long time ago, called “For One More Day”.  One part talked about how our own story starts with our mom’s story and that the reason we want to go home is not to see how it is always the same but to see how the trees have grown.  So when I was contemplating a blog I was talking to my husband about a name for my creation.  I kept coming up with silly names involving freckles or something weird with red hair (because I have both), but then he reminded me that I don’t ever talk highly of my freckles and I really wouldn’t want to be known as the red head girl that hated her freckles. Being the wonderful husband that he is, he helped me out.  He mentioned fireworks and socks. These two seemingly unrelated words to you, have tons of meaning for us, but I felt like it was missing something, so lemonade came into play. Then my literary husband also helped with the placement of the words, so it “sounded” correct!

Fireworks. Scott and I knew each other for awhile before we ever went on a date which was completely fine.  When we did go out, it was not love at first sight for either of us; actually, he got sick on our first date.  NO, I didn’t make him sick but he got sick from the frozen custard that he ate…so understandably he wasn’t super excited to ask me out again.  Anyway, a few weeks later a mutual friend we had invited me to a firework celebration and I in turn asked Scott to come.  So we went to the firework show together and met up with our friend, who we pretty much ignored the whole night.  The short of the story is Scott saw “fireworks” that night, not just lighting up the night, but lighting up our relationship. Scott actually wrote a song for me entitled, “Fireworks,” when we were dating.  Now if that is not one way to a woman’s heart, I don’t know what is.  He wrote it, performed it, burned it on a CD and gave it to me as a present! The lyrics now sit on the top of our piano!

photo-1436891678271-9c672565d8f6

Socks. I have long loved crazy and fun socks.  Seriously, who doesn’t like to wear fun socks?! Scott knew about my sock craziness and previous to our firework date, bought some socks for the occasion!  How sweet!  To this day, 10 years later he ALWAYS gets me socks for Christmas (even though I don’t really need them)! He is great!  After we had been married a couple of years, Scott wrote another song about how we met and all the funny things that happened.  Part of the lyrics say, “Who’d have thought we bond over fireworks and socks!”

feet-933087_640

Lemonade. Life does not always make lemonade for us, we have to choose to make it for ourselves.  I definitely believe that we choose our attitude in our lives.  Sometimes it is not easy to make lemonade when we are wrapped up in whatever is happening around us, but we can do it. Another song written by my love, is about the simple things in life, like going on a drive down Highway 89, and being together.

drinks-1489244_640

So the combination of these three things are fun and important things in the life of our family.  Also, we have three kids and these three words some days are exact definitions for our kids…fireworks= exploding, socks= crazy, and spilled lemonade.  I love them all and I am so grateful for this fun time!  The story of our blog starts here, and I hope to come back a lot to see how the trees are growing.