Saturday, July 16, 2016


In life, we all have expectations. We have expectations from others, from ourselves and even from God the Almighty. We expect certain behaviors or reactions from people. We expect certain results from God based on something we've asked for or done. As parents, we have expectations from our children. Mostly behavioral and sometimes educational or emotional. Growing up, I was raised in a "normal" family. My parents were married (and still are), both my siblings and myself have the same parents. We lived in the same house practically all our life. I never lived in a different town until I went away to college. We lived a simple life. My parents had expectations from me. Looking back through my adult eyes, they really didn't have THAT many expectations, definitely not high expectations. We could go anywhere as long as they knew who we were with and when we'd be home. I never had to clean my room. Folding laundry or snipping the ends of beans could be done WHILE watching TV, not before. Now don't get me wrong, at the time I thought their demands were harsh. Seriously, I couldn't go downtown to "hang out" until 9 or 10 pm on a school night. They had to know my friends. Really??? Now that I'm a parent I know I got off easy. I know all the "high" expectations they had of me, made me a strong resilient person I am today. I remember in high school not feeling like I measured up in my dad's eyes. No matter how hard I tried, the bar would be just out of reach. That was his way of pushing me to be better because he knew I had it in me. Isn't it funny how parents just "know" their child's potential. I find myself using the same terminology with my kids that my dad used with me. I don't know if that's inspiring or frightening.

I've been wanting to write on my blog for the past few days about this topic. I guess it hit me when I was down and out in bed. I wasn't sick in the traditional sense. I was depressed. Not sad, depressed. I didn't want to get out of bed and I didn't. I left my 12 year old in charge for the day. Everyone survived and was actually happy because they had unlimited TV and video games. However in the state of mind I was in, I had the thought, "I need to get up, I need to take care of myself and my family" I was putting expectations on myself that I couldn't seem to follow through with. I hated myself for that. Yet, I still couldn't do it. Since then I have taken the steps to help myself which in turn helps my family. The reason I felt this way (besides genetics in all honesty) is because my life is pretty darn good. My husband and children are healthy. I'm not having to go to doctors visits on a regular basis like some people I know. My husband helps out (ALOT) after working all day to bring home the only paycheck. So why couldn't I get out of bed you ask. I didn't think I deserved my life. I didn't do anything special to get it. I met the right guy and the right time and we clicked. He's the hard working smart person that got a great job right out of college that he is still at and has accomplished his goal in the company. Now, granted yes I helped. I supported him, I take care of the house and the children, but is that enough?  According the God, it is. My calling, vocation, job (whatever you want to call it) is to be a wife and a mother. However, I grew up with a woman who was a wife and a mother AND worked outside the home. She contributed to society. How was I doing that? Other mothers that I know contribute to society by joining groups and fundraising. I'm barely able to keep my 4 kids clothed and fed. I was having too high expectations for myself at this point in my life. Or maybe it's the worlds expectations or what I THINK the worlds expectations are.

If someone had a broken leg, or a gash on their leg, people could see they are in pain. If your heart isn't working properly and you need medication for it, people don't think you are crazy or something is "wrong" with you. However (you know where I'm going huh). if one of the most important organs (your brain) is malfunctioning people look and act like your crazy. They even have a saying "it's all in your head". Yes, it is all in my head. My poorly functioning head. Why as a society do we "EXPECT" people to not take care of their brain? I know we have counselors and psychologists, but there is still a stigma of negativity surrounding the idea of "mental issues".

So here is to having less expectations on myself and more love and peacefulness. Life happens when you are busy expecting things......

Monday, October 13, 2014

10, 6, 4, 2 years

I am the mother of four children. When people ask me how many children I'm planning on having... I tell them I planned on three. That usually stops them dead in their tracks (when they know I have 4). There is a saying I heard once, We plan and God laughs. I am a planner. I love to plan. I probably love to plan more than I like actually executing the plan I've spent so many hours coming up with. Planning is great with some things. However sometimes you just need to shoot from the hip and go with whatever is thrown at you. You experience so much more in life that way.
This year has been an internal war for me. I've lost friends, gained friends and tried to figure out what makes me the happiest.
It doesn't seem like it's been ten years (almost 11) since I became a mother. I feel like right now, that is what defines me. Everything I do has to do with being a mother. I don't have an outside job. I don't have any hobbies (although I'm trying to get to the gym more often). What I do has everything to do with being a mother. There are days I feel like that isn't enough. Like I have nothing to contribute to a conversation with other adults (other than what my kids are doing). Phil asked me the other day, "why don't you think it's enough?"  I couldn't give him an answer. Although, I read our Bishops pastoral letter to the diocese of Spokane today and in it was ways we can improve the Catholic church and bring people into the faith or back to the faith. He quoted Pope Francis (whom I adore) many times.  Now, he didn't specifically say anything about motherhood but it got me thinking about what my contribution is to "improving the church". Raising Godly children is my purpose, my vocation, my faith journey. Raising Godly children doesn't just mean they are nice and share their toys (albeit a good quality to have). It's teaching them my faith, my beliefs and why I choose to be Catholic.
This year has also been a faith journey for me big time. I had a falling out with a friend who I thought we'd be friends for life. However our paths changed and we chose different paths. We had to do what was right for both of us. I was blessed to have her in my life for a season and wish her the best. However it makes me think, why does God put people in our life for such a short amount of time?
To give us what we need. I feel like I'm a stronger person in my faith, and what I want out of life because of her. I'm grateful for that.

Life changes daily, hourly sometimes. We have to go with it. Being a planner is good sometimes, but like I already stated, sometimes you have to go with what God gives you. I am the mother of four. It's just as encouraging as discouraging and just as joyful as it is painful. The point is, being a mother requires you to change your ways all the time. It took until I had 4 children to realize this. Now suffice to say I'm still not good at accepting change or shooting from the hip but at least I know that is what God wants from me.

One thing that the pastoral letter said that made me scream AMEN out loud (Seriously) was a quote from Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhoration is to "abandon the complacent attitude that says: "We have always done it this way"

Change is a good thing....

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Gratefulness and re-capping the year

It's amazing that all of a sudden on November 1st people start telling you what they are grateful for. Are they only grateful in November. I realize it's because of Thanksgiving. We are entering into the busy holiday season and we need to remind ourselves what is great about our life. It's like sending Christmas cards/ letters out in December. Why do we do this in November/ December? Is this why the holiday season is so busy or do we have more time to do things these two months because the weather is yucky outside?  Whatever the reason, we consume ourselves with telling everyone else what we are grateful for in November and remind everyone what we did this year in December. I'd like to know what you are grateful for in May or August, not just November. I guess I don't do it so why should I expect others to do it. I have a hard enough time coming up with a list on my own (which I'm attempting to come up with 1000 gifts/ grateful items) in the next year. I was doing really well for a few days but I haven't gotten out my journal for about a week. Why? Life? Death? Not feeling grateful for daily grind things like laundry sitting on my bed. Although I should! Most people in the world don't have loads of laundry on their bed. We tend to forget about the big world outside our own world.
So if you express your gratitude only in November, that is fine. Please remember to express it year round so the rest of us, know you are grateful for the dishes, laundry and messy floors year round...

This is dedicated to Paula Auth. The one I know reads these ramblings of "just a mom"

Saturday, September 14, 2013

New path

When I go out with all my children (all FOUR of them) I get comments made to me, "wow, you must be busy", "are they all yours", "you must be Catholic or Mormon".
To answer these questions, yes I'm busy (what mom isn't), yes they are all mine (seriously who would take someone else's kids to the grocery store) and yes I'm Catholic (but I know Catholics with 2 kids and non-Catholics with 4 or 5 kids).

Even though I'm busy with my four beautiful children I have decided, through prayer, that I am starting my own business. I needed an outlet for just me that had nothing to do with being a mom or wife. One of my blessings/ curses is that I love to organize. I love having everything in it's place (not that my stuff gets in it's place all the time). So what better for me to sell than cute organization totes, bags and purses. Thirty One Gifts is a company that I not only love the products but I love and honor the company. They are a company who believes in a life that I enjoy promoting. Encouraging women to have something of their own all the while being home with family. Putting myself out there was not the easiest thing to do. I am naturally shy (I know people, I don't seem it but I am). I HATE talking in front of people so why, you ask, would I put myself in front of people to sell them products that you could get at Target or Wal-Mart for cheaper? 1) I believe in the products 2) I want to feel better about talking in front of others 3) I believe in the products (oh wait, I said that already). 4) I love the mission of Thirty One!
Please keep me in your prayers! I am going to need them!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A year ago.....

 Every January, people look back at the previous year and evaluate their year. Was it a good year? Was it a bad year? What changed? A year ago, I thought 2012 was going to be a continuation of the 2011. I was still a stay at home mom, married to an engineer with the Corps of Engineers and mom to three kids, two of which were in school. Only one more at home.. ahh.

In mid January my sister called and convinced me go on a quick girls trip to California. We were able to get decent tickets (she had a credit that had to be used) and we were able to stay with Phil's brother and use his car so saved money right there. We had a wonderful time. So relaxing, so many giggles.... Neither of us had been so relaxed in a long time. God knew I needed that vacation because he was about to throw me a curve ball. When I got home I found out I was pregnant.

So.... a year ago I didn't think I would have any more kids... I was surprised and a tad shaken. Am I going to be able to handle 4 kids. Are they going to survive? Am I going to survive? Well  a year later and 2012 was a continuation of 2011, just with another beautiful boy in our family. He came on October 13th (yes he will have a Friday the 13th birthday but he won't get the significance). The planner in me, planned the perfect birth and it happened just the way I wanted (with the exception that I tried to get induced on the 11th so he would have 10-11-12 as a birthdate, but that's ok). The birth was perfect. I was relaxed and couldn't feel a thing (which is what I wanted after 3 births with no pain meds)

Now another year is beginning. What will this year bring? I am looking forward to watching my family grow (up that is, not multiply). I'm trying new things to make my life the way I want it to be, with friends, family and myself.

My goals for 2013 (not resolutions)

  • Catch up on scrapbooking (I'm on 2011 right now. ugg)
  • Have friends over for a meal at least once a month
  • Have more girls nights out
  • Get in shape (don't care about the number on the scale, just want to feel good)
  • Make new memories with my kids (like taking them to California)

So here is to the goals of 2013!!! Happy New Year!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Family of WHAT?? 6??

I grew up in a family of 5. My earliest memory is when my mom went into labor with my brother when I was 3. I've always been part of a family of 5, until I got married into a family of 10. Wow, double the size of what I was part of took some getting used to. So when it was time to plan my own family I thought umm... 2 or 3 would be good. I had my first baby in March 2004, he was a joy. We took 100s of pictures the first day. I was a mother. Little did I know how challenging and rewarding at the same time my life would become. Flash forward 3 years (which is the age gap of my siblings) and I got pregnant again (on the first try again). However this was not to be. Excited we went in for our first appointment and found out the baby was "not viable", not what you want to hear when you excited to bring a sibling to your little boy. I didn't understand why? What did I do wrong? The answer was nothing, this baby was not meant to be part of your family. A year later, we got pregnant (not on the first try but still fairly quickly). God knew why I needed that extra year. The child he gave me needed A LOT of attention as a baby so I needed an older brother who was potty trained, going to pre-school and sleeping through the night. Flash forward 2 years.... should we have a third, should we be the "all american family" at 2 kids, one boy, one girl??? Oh... I'm pregnant, guess we are having a third. Again I dream..... I want another girl. My family was two girls and one boy. Sisters were more important than brothers right? God laughed... he gave me another boy. I really wanted a girl so it was hard to accept Gods plan. I soon realized the amazing little boy in my arms. I was "done". My family was complete!!! Again I plan and God laughs. I wasn't even trying, in fact I was "avoiding" getting pregnant. I knew how it happened and I was doing what I thought was right for our family.

February of this year (2012) I had just gotten back from a wonderful vacation with my sister (who is one of my best friends) so over joyed. I had really need a break to remind myself there was more to me than being "just a mom".  I came back with a new lease on life. I was ready to be a mom again. I remember thinking I was glad my monthly visitor had not come on my vacation, however I was ready when I got back and to my chagrin, she failed to visit. Uhhhh.... What??? Are you kidding me God? I was pregnant with number 4!! I was shocked. I thought I had done everything "right" to keep my family the size I wanted. Over the next few months, many conversations took place between me and God. He showed me that he was giving me what I needed not what I wanted. That is what parents do, give their children what the need, not what they want (usually).

Now I am less than 2 weeks away from having baby number 4 (ANOTHER BOY) and I am still a little concerned about what He (God) has planned for our family. This has been an emotionally and physically draining pregnancy. I don't have a huge belly, I don't get sick, I don't gain weight. I have the ideal body for pregnancy but yet I still FEEL very pregnant.
God gives us 9 months to wrap our head around the idea of bringing a new life into the world.  Sometimes that 9 months is too long, sometimes it's too short. For me, it's been just about right  (depending on the day).

So as I embrace my family of 6, I pray for the peace of mind God will give me, the ability to see the joys in more children than I planned on and the strength to be the best mom I can be to 4!

Monday, May 21, 2012


Obviously I've been so good about keeping up with my blog the last few months. I was wondering when the last time I posted so I looked it up.... January 1st! Oh my, that is bad. I know I have three kids and a husband to take care of but that is really not good if I want to look back at these posts as they are intended, a journal of my life. What happened from January to May?? Well before my memory really fades into the background here is the gist of what has happened!
January- Good intentions to live a better life; physically, mentally and spiritually.

February- Went on a spur of the moment trip to California with ONLY my sister for 5 days (I think it was 5). Got away from the snow, cold and yuck to enjoy the beautiful 70 degree weather in Laguna Niguel. Was able to stay with Phil's family and not have to cook, clean or be called mom at all. We drank, sat on the beach and ate at restaurants where we didn't have to cut up anyone's food. Yeah for girls trip.
Came home to happy children, thrilled husband (for me being home) and a clean house (Yes, I have an awesome husband). Less than a week later found another surprise..... wait for it..... pregnant with baby #4! Let's just say this was a SURPRISE and not the kind I wanted at that moment. I know you are suppose to be happy about a baby, new life etc etc..... but let's just say after my taste of freedom from mom responsibility the thought of starting over with labor, delivery, nursing, midnight feedings and potty training ANOTHER one wasn't on my to-do list for the year (or next year). But alas, I've come to terms with God's plan (more on that later).
February also brought Caleb and Sarah's birthday. Caleb's was just family and Sarah's was her 3 best friends and her cousin. My princess had a Tangled party with art, spaghetti and pin the frying pan on Flynn Rider (you have to see the movie to understand).

March- Erik turned 8 and got to have his first "official" sleep over with his best friend Franklin. They were very excited about it and did very well, although Franklin missed his family at bedtime but was happy to have french toast for breakfast.
Also we had our first appointment with the doctor to check out bean's progress. I was very happy to learn that there was only one bean and "he" was doing great. Got to listen to the heartbeat which was amazing. Technology is a good thing some times.

April- Not much big happened other than day to day stuff. School for kids, cleaning and meal prep for mom and building all sorts of stuff for fish at the dams for Phil.

May- brought my birthday and my parents here for a week to help out, visit with and just enjoy the fact that mom and dad can travel again after dad's stroke a year ago. The biggest surprise of the week while they were here was finding out that baby #4 is a BOY!! I was totally convinced baby was a girl, even had a name picked out. I have never been wrong before but I was this time. Erik was thrilled. Sarah came around after we all assured her she would be the princess of the family.

That brings me up to date. I am going to try to do my best to stay on top of this because like I said, I would like to look back at this someday and probably laugh about all my trials, tribulations and joys that I thought were sooo important I had to post them to the internet forever.....

Yes, change is a good thing (usually). This baby has taught me a lot so far in his short little lifespan. We need to go with with the flow and count each day as a day to be courageous and take the trials with the joys. Easier said than done, especially when you are hormonal. Haha.... to much information huh!