Sometimes I catch myself thinking in absolutes. Especially when it comes to motherhood. I let a bad day or the loss of my patience determine whether I’m a “good mom” or “bad mom”. It’s really unfair of myself. There will never be a single action, one time, that determines the mother I am. Who I am as a wife, mother & individual is the accumulation of small decisions I am making each day. Some of these decisions seem trivial and unimportant in the moment. At the end of the day they’ve added up to be a huge part of my self-reflection. As I look at myself, the word “perfect” is not one I would use. Instead I hope to be fulfilled, happy, loving & kind. I want to see a woman who is giving her best effort and leaving the rest in God’s in hands.
Our sweet neighbors invited us to see the Zoo Lights with them this week. Unfortunately, we keep forgetting that having two kids means it takes nearly ten times as long to get out the door. We barely bumped into them as they were getting ready to leave. We had so much fun looking at all the lights. Estelle was in HEAVEN. Baby girl can’t get enough of shiny lights. In fact, she spends most of her day under the Christmas tree just staring at it. Dawson’s favorite part was dancing to the music that was synced with the lights & the “snow”.
Sometimes life with two small children isn’t very “glamorous”. We’ve traded late night dates for 7pm bubble baths and bedtime. The smell of poop and spit up stained shirts doesn’t even phase us. Sometimes I catch myself feeling a little envious of friends who have chosen to wait to have children. They have time(and money) for travel & adventure while it’s just the two of them. Then I see Kellen in a tickle fight with Dawson & Estelle gives me and gummy smile. It might not be traveling around the world or spontaneous dates whenever we feel like it but this is our adventure and I’m sort of in love with it.
This Christmas season our little family has received an overwhelming outpouring of love and kindness. This morning there was a loud knock on the door. We walked outside to see Kellen’s commander, the base commander, a few people from his office and a bus full of men standing around us. I was totally expecting them to start singing Christmas carols! What happened next will be in my heart forever. One of the men stepped forward and began thanking Kellen and our family for his service. Every year this organization of civilian men and women come together to recognize and show their appreciation for a small handful of servicemen who go above and beyond to fulfill their duty. There wasn’t a dry eye in our tiny little driveway as he continued on. I was so proud of Kellen– my heart felt like it would burst! He is the most selfless, hardworking man I know. In the last year and a half we’ve spent nearly ten months apart. It’s been hard on all of us but I sometimes think more so for Kellen. Somehow he carries on without a single complaint. He is teaching our little family humility and gratitude in everything that he does. He deserves all the thanks and recognition. It meant so much to me knowing that others see in him the hard work and sacrifice that I see every day. Before they left we were handed an envelope with a ridiculous amount of kindness inside that we were told not to spend on anything responsible.. Greater than the monetary support was their gift of charity and the reminder that we are so loved. As we received hugs, handshakes and wishes of a Merry Christmas from complete strangers it felt like we were celebrating the real reason for this special season.
November flew by! Kellen took time off to help me at home. It was a huge blessing! With the time off we were able to visit family in St. George. We felt so loved as we were surrounded by family to share the Thanksgiving holiday. All of our siblings were there! It’s a miracle really. Considering each of Kellen’s siblings live in a different state and my family is spread out too. As we spent the weekend with everyone I just kept thinking over and over again how incredibly blessed I am. Life isn’t perfect but it sure is beautiful. I’m learning to take it one day at a time. Keeping life simple is giving me the time to heal. I absolutely love this time of year. Being with family and reflecting on the life and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, is just what I need. I’m looking forward to sharing the Christmas holiday as a little family with our old & new traditions.
R: How long have you been in this stinky diaper?
D: Oh, for hours mom. For hours.
D: Darth Vader eat breakbreast wiff me. No, he doesn’t eat little boys.
After leaving a friend’s house where Daws wasn’t very nice & I asked him what was going on…
D: We just bein’ boys mom.
D: Oh, it’s a beautiful day!
D: STOP IT!!!
R: What’s going on Daws?
D: I’m just fixing my eyes?
R: Are they tired?
D: NO! They’re just really broken.
D: Ladies and gentlemen, cars. I am a bone arrow guy!
D: Does it have chocolate? I just eat it all day!!
D: Once upon a time… there was Captain Hook!
D: Ninjas are mean. They have guns and things to do!
When the smoke detector was beeping to change the batteries…
D: Uh oh! Our house is out of batteries!
During his nighttime prayer..
D: Thank you for little Stelly.
On a Saturday morning…
D: We’re really freaky at our house.
D: Can I go with dad? He’s probably lost in our garage.
When he was busy playing with a box…
D: I’m just doing my stuff.
While watching Kellen put up the Christmas tree…
D: You can do it! You can do it Dad!!
When Stella was crying in the car…
D: Chill out Stell.
D: Sometimes I’m a little mean to trees.