Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Family Visit Austin, Texas

Sometimes when life is moving fast its hard to slow down and think through things enough to write. I talked last time about wanting to sit down and write something beautiful. That longing is always there. I tend to overthink life a little bit. It is what makes me and others like myself see such greatest and beauty in life as well as sadness and despair.

My brother and I talk sometimes about people that have really lost the ability to live. They are just moving through life. Let's pretend that person is me for example. My life may look similar to what it does now, if I started living that way. I would wake up, get breakfast for my girls, go through the routines of diaper changes, naps, meals, playing, bedtime etc. And then when they were asleep maybe I would put on the television and fall asleep to it. Maybe I would get on Facebook and scroll mindlessly through all my friends. The real difference though would be that I would try very little to actually use my mind. To think through any ideas of what life is or why I am doing this job called motherhood. I know there are people out there that live this way. Too tired or too sad to really live. Just walking through the motions.

I think I may have the opposite problem. I have written before about my two sided self. The one living and talking through life and the other one thinking through it. This second self, is where I am sure all of my better writing lies. But these are all my private thoughts which can be hard to make public. Part of me wants to just post pictures and happy little stories for my girls one day. Another part of me wants to become a better writer. To process life through writing.

Last night I was laying in bed nursing Rosemary and looking through instagram. I love to follow other mothers who are artists. I am often inspired by their lives. Other times I feel jealous and incomplete. I see them make beautiful things and take beautiful pictures. I let myself wallow a bit in the fact that I don't create near as much as I would like, well besides babies. I am pretty good at making those. But as for photography, writing, learning to draw or sew... I want to do those things. But the truth is I barely have the time to write this blog.

After I think through these things I tell myself that this is just a season of life. Where I have two that are two years or younger. I also tell myself that just as some writers and poets can capture ideas and feelings of life so beautifully, there are others mothers that can make it look more beautiful. But the truth is, we are all changing  poopy diapers. Everyone is living life. Yes maybe some have more opportunities that others, but lack of opportunity should never be an excuse to not try my best. To stretch myself in being a better mother, writer, wife, artist, etc.

These are a few of my favorite pictures of when my dad, step mom and meme came to visit this last weekend. I just want to write out a few memories and thoughts about their visit. I will do another post  when I have a little free time. I want to talk about some of the things we did while they were here. Right now though, life is still a whirlwind after moving, having family visit, and now leaving at 4am on Thursday morning for friends wedding in Arkansas. I am trying to take one day, one moment at a time and complete tasks. The girls and I went shopping for snacks for the trip today; I am doing laundry and packing our bags. I am excited for the trip. Even if its ten hours in the car with two little ones.

Here are the things I want to remember about my family's visit though:

How my Meme and Rosemary instantly became friends. Rosemary went into her arms and would nuzzle into her neck. My Meme was so thrilled and obviously loved holding a cuddly baby.  They both share the middle name of Joyce. I was originally going to use Joyce as a middle name for my first, but was so glad I waited until I really felt that the name fit. Because I do believe there is a special bond between my Meme and Rosemary.

How my dad kept having mannerisms and telling jokes that made me swear I was with my brother. I had always thought my dad and brother were not that much alike, but they are way more alike than probably either of them realize.

How I kept hearing the phrase, "He's just a simple country boy" in my head over and over when watching my dad in the city. It has made me love him even more watching him as I am now an adult too. He is so kind and sensitive and simple in the best ways.

How sensitive my Meme is just like my dad. And that maybe I got my more emotional side from my mom, but my dad's side is so sensitive. My Meme would tell me things she heard on the news and become teary eyed. Such a soft and beautiful heart.

How my step mom looked when she went indoor sky diving. Later after she watched the video she said she looked dumb when she had raised her hands and cheered at the end. I had thought the opposite. She had been nervous to do it because of her past neck surgery, but she had faced her fears and had the time of her life. Everyone in my family is afraid of heights. I know if it wasn't for her and Andrew we never would have ended up at a place like that. But it was such an awesome experience. Those are the pictures I want to add next time.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Moving Once Again

I have sat down many times this week to write an update on our life. I struggle between not having much time and just wanting to quickly write an update, and then wanting to sit down and write something beautiful. I have had this bad habit for a lot of my life. I sometimes want to do things either perfect or not at all. Two small children are helping me change that. Because a lot of the time things just get done however that may be possible. Because life really isn't perfect.

We have been in Georgetown for a week. We were officially out of our first apartment last Monday, and Andrew's next day off is this coming Monday when we will move into our new apartment in Cedar Park. I sort of like being nomadic. It was not exactly enjoyable to pack up our whole place with two small children, but I do like knowing exactly what it is we have. I like going through everything and getting rid of all the extra we really don't need. I now feel like our family is between wanting to have a home with all our special little things, and then the other side of that being just having a few simplistic pleasures and needs. Then having the ability to move and explore and take life as a big adventure.

I remember being about ten and sitting in church while a missionary talked about their work in Romania with the gypsy people. I remember that man's talk being the first real time I heard about someone really living in a culture other than their own. We had learned about other cultures in school, but I had never really heard of the missionary lifestyle of living in such a different environment that what one was raised in. This whole idea of missionary work and travel sort of opens a huge discussion that I'm not really wanting to write about in this exact post. Mostly I just wanted to say that I have always loved the idea of traveling and even doing so in college.

Traveling with small children is not the same as my college days. Going to Spain alone compared to moving across Austin with two children seems to feel like the same amount of work. This makes me second guess a more nomadic life. I also like being close to Andrew's parents and family. I like the idea of consistency, but maybe after awhile it would drive me a little crazy.

What is funny is that most of my generation was probably told growing up "you can be whatever you want to be when you grow up." Or something like that. Go to college. Pick your career. Don't let anything stop you. Or as the large banner in my high school said, "Shoot for the moon. If you miss you'll land among the stars." Or something like that. Even though the moon is way closer than any star. But either way, maybe I was the only one reading that dumb banner every time I passed it, but it engrained that idea that I could do anything. But as I have been growing up the idea has sort of become "I can have or eventually get whatever I want." The idea that my dreams are achievable has become I deserve all my dreams eventually. You know, after my student loans are paid off.

I have heard people say the problem with our generation is entitlement. Maybe we were told that we deserved the world. That we should go out and change it. Maybe now we all think its ours to own. Either way, I still love having dreams. But I am realizing that having dreams is different than counting on them to happen. Maybe we will have a great little house with land one day. Or maybe we will live in Europe for a summer. Or maybe we will move all over the place while Andrew works his way up in his career. I am learning that goals and dreams are important, but the best thing I can do is love my family and take one day at a time.

Even living in a big city compared to my country raising has me always wondering if I am raising my children right. If I am "giving them enough." But what Andrew's mom told me this week, (which funny enough Andrew also always tells me) is that different is just different. It isn't right or wrong. Blanche might not have an acre of a backyard to play in but she has the trails inside Austin to hike. Maybe my children will grow up in the same wonderful house their whole lives, filled with memories and tradition. Or maybe we will always be moving and finding new adventures and diversity.

For this week though, we are in Georgetown. Feeling nomadic in the sense that we are living out of suitcases. This week has been good for me to realize that you cannot rush time. I can't force the days to go by until we move into our new place. I have to live each day, one at a time. This week I have started seeing that each situation has pros and cons. We are in-between homes, but I have been given more time to think. Thinking about my family and our future but also about how I want to help people. We have been so blessed by Andrew's parents letting us live with them. All of our stuff everywhere. It has made me think more about how my dreams include not only loving my own children but those around me.

One of the pros of this week has been a backyard and sprinkler. Blanche loved it, and Rosemary watched her sweetly. When Blanche was finished she walked over to turn off the water. I told her good job and then I saw that she was actually turning it the wrong way on full blast. The sprinkler started spinning like crazy and spraying Rosemary as I ran to stop it. Obviously Rosemary wasn't too stressed about it. She's my easy going, life loving little girl.