Journal post alert! I have to get these blanks filled in. (If I can even remember what happened...)
May 23--Jane turns 10
Jane turned double digits, which always seems old. She's such an easy, fun kid. It wasn't her birthday party year (we do every other year because I'm not that nice of a mom) so we basically made it up to her with food. Breakfast was omelettes and cinnamon puffs, lunch was a subway lunch delivered to the school (she told me she didn't want to go out to lunch with me...she wanted to eat with her friends. Boo.) and homemade mac and cheese for dinner. She'd been wanting Nike tennis shoes forever and I am too cheap to buy them but decided it would be a great birthday gift so we headed out after dinner and picked out some that she loves.
This birthday is so boring, I can't believe I'm even taking the time to record it. For the record, I was in the worst part of my morning sickness and I STILL made all of this food. (I want to take credit but feel like I should acknowledge that I noticed during this pregnancy that I had little miracles of feeling good whenever I had something like a birthday or a church event or something I HAD to do. Tender Mercies.) And now for a few pictures:
July 15- My birthday
I've said it before and I'll say it again: one of the perks of getting older is that you realized that it's up to you to voice how you want your birthday to go and then you don't have any unmet expectations. Not a perk: you really can't stomach meal after meal of good-but-bad-for-you food so you have a spinach smoothie for your birthday breakfast instead of cinnamon rolls and bacon. Too bad.
I asked for: Birthday meal and celebration on Sunday (the day before my birthday) and a long lunch at the lake with a borrowed jet ski (on my birthday). Ryan (big surprise) totally came through. He put together a fun family party with traditional birthday (kid) games like pin the tail on the donkey and we laughed and laughed. I made my dream dessert (Fudgy toffee cookie bars. Link here.) and enjoyed every bite. On my birthday, we borrowed a friends jet ski and took turns as a family enjoying the perfect weather and beautiful lake.
Then, in kind of a last minute decision, I loaded all of the kids in the car and drove to Canada. We'd never been, some of my besties were all meeting up, and even though Ryan couldn't come, I couldn't resist. Honestly, driving to a new place, through TRULY some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen, with an audio book in my ears and big kids in the back--my kind of birthday present.
August 25--Gabe turned 13
Also a milestone...how am I a mom of two teenagers?? Gabe is such a good boy...pretty circumspect with his feelings, but such a goal-setter and always trying to improve. He has a real desire to do what's right.
His birthday fell on a Sunday, which around these parts means no restaurants or paid-for activities, but we managed to make it fun. Gabe is my total foodie--takes food seriously, like everything but is VERY particular about how it's prepared. He thinks about his birthday food for a long time. And now I can't even remember what it was (from the pictures I can only see asparagus and jello. Dang it!) Oh wait,I remember he asked for appetizers for lunch... that was fun... The best part of the whole day, I think, was that Tate (his best friend who'd been gone the whole summer) got home that day and surprised him by showing up for cheesecake and toppings.
August 28--Seth turns 8
Look at all of these major birthdays we had. That cute Seth is 8 (how??) and we had a fun birthday. Friend party was a jungle theme (after switching about 14 times) and we had a cool snake cake and jungle themed games (pin the tail on the lion, find the elephant's peanuts, jungle charades). He has lots of friends that are girls so we always do co-ed when we do something social for Seth. For his baptism birthday, we got scriptures, and church clothes and journals and other church related stuff, but he was so excited about it anyway. Sweet baptism day to be chronicled later.
I should do Faith's next but I haven't uploaded her pictures and that step is just too much for me right now. Soon.
**From the outset, I need to remind readers that a core belief of mine is that God is real, He loves us, knows us and will speak to us and give us guidance in our lives if we ask Him and strive to be worthy to hear and follow His counsel. This how I've tried to live my life and it has always brought me innumerable blessings. It is from an understanding of this belief system that one should read this post.**
I've felt pretty done with the whole baby producing process since Faith was around 3. I was sad she was growing older, but I felt very full with the 5 kids I had and definitely had no desire to go through pregnancy, newborn, nursing, etc. again. I prayed and fasted about it and felt that the direction I received was "you can if you want" when I asked the question about having more kids. Well, I didn't really want, so I closed that door in my mind.
In November as I was preparing a visiting teaching message, I felt very prompted to share the message "Where is Thy Pavillion?" by Henry B Eyring. I wondered which of the 3 sisters I visit needed this message on removing blocks that we place between ourselves and Heavenly Father's will and guidance in our lives, because it was very strong that this was the lesson I was to prepare and give 3 times.
The next Sunday I was fasting about something unrelated to parenting or family or ANYTHING, but I felt like I needed a priesthood blessing from Ryan. He gave me a reassuring blessing that slightly related to my concern, but at the end, he paused. And paused. And paused. I began to get worried. "What is so big that he can't just spit it out??" It was this: "Heavenly Father blesses you to know that your family is not complete."
The words were electric. I have great faith in Ryan's worthiness and ability to convey God's blessings and will through the priesthood and in the moment, I knew the words were true, that we were having another baby and that my life was taking a very different timeline than the one I'd been planning out.
He had to leave for a meeting pretty immediately afterward and I began to pray personally to my Father in Heaven. Without going into great detail, that prayer was one of the most intimate and real conversations I've ever had with God. I felt as if I would ask a question (along the lines of "seriously?" and "Why?" and "do you know how overwhelmed I am with this family already?") and He would answer. And do you know where the majority of answers were coming from? From the lesson/talk I'd given while visiting teaching. Each question would bring to mind a phrase or a story or a scripture from that talk and I knew why I had been so urged to prep that lesson.
Ryan later told me that he had been feeling a strong urge to have another baby during the week previous, but was nervous to bring it up. He swears that he had forgotten it that Sunday when I asked for the blessing (and I believe him) and so when the words came to his mind he was surprised. He said the pause was his attempt to clear his mind, and be sure because he knew how huge it would be. It kept coming back and back.
There have been other sweet confirmations throughout the following months...in the temple, through prayer, from friends, from blessings. I know we are supposed to have this 6th child. I know that our family's life will be infinitely better because of it. I am grateful that Heavenly Father is willing to help me know these things.
That said: it has not been easy. I have had a hard time getting excited about this change. I was frustrated by the whole busted knee issue because it delayed things by 4 months and has made the pregnancy harder. I've had many tearful episodes where I try to figure out how I can possibly handle a newborn, a preschooler, 2 elementary school students, a middle schooler and a high schooler. I've struggled with depression, really bad nausea, body image issues, sleeplessness, stress.
I am finally getting anxious for this boy to come--the blessing of your third trimester is that anything sounds better than being pregnant! And I want to know him and why it was so important he join this family. I want to watch my teenagers love him. I want to watch Faith be a big sister. I want to feel that heavenly spirit that a newborn brings. I am happy to have many more years of trick or treating and Santa and a sweet little voice following me around during my days.
Look at me!! I'm on my blog! I kept having it on my list and passing it by because I'm so far behind that it stresses me out. So I'm just making myself sit down and type a few sentences to get over the hurdle. I wish I could just let it go, but I'm not a journaler and don't really have any other way (other than Instagram--thank heavens for that) of keeping a record of this sweet, busy, hard, important time in our lives. Every time I see my blog books I feel sick inside at the idea that I won't have any more.
So...here I go.
I'm going to try for some catch up posts over the next few weeks that will include:
why I'm pregnant with #6
why this stupid knee surgery has been such a hard recovery physically and emotionally
trips to Utah, Canada, Texas, New Mexico, Seattle
where my kids are at in their lives right now (maybe the most important...I don't want to forget)
I'm sure none of that sounds exciting, but I don't think anyone is even reading this anymore, so it's just for me, anyway.
So I'm majorly patting myself on the back for just writing something down today!
And for the sake of journaling I'll just do this little exercise:
Ryan is at work, which is loves and keeps him very busy. He's probably thinking about what small business venture he can take on when he completes his MBA IN FOUR WEEKS!
I just threw up my breakfast smoothies (9 months of pregnancy nausea!! NEVER happened in any previous pregnancy!! Super awesome!!)
Emma is at high school, which she loves but is still trying to figure out how hard she has to study to attain the goals she's set for herself.
Gabe is in 8th grade. Who knows what class. Do some moms know their kids schedules? I didn't even see him this morning because it was his early jazz band day.
Jane is in her 5th grade class. She's probably chatting with her friend Maci. But not if Mr Rachoy is wanting quiet. She's way too big of a rule follower for that.
Seth is surely talking regardless of what his teacher is doing. Luckily, she had him last year and gets him and LOVES him and so she's probably handling it awesomely. Which is not something I can claim for myself. I don't handle him awesomely.
Faith is playing on the Starfall app on my phone while I type this. She's wearing her silver Sunday shoes which makes her very happy. We are heading out for some errands at the mall and I think running errands with a 5 year old Faith is one of my top 3 favorite activities right now. Yay for missing the kindergarten cut off date!
Seth lost his shoes and had to wear Faith's too-small pair to a soccer game. He was pretty miserable. After the game, Ryan asked what he'd learned from it. Seth replied: "To have a happy attitude when things are hard?"