Putting It Down

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A few weeks ago I went to bed with crippling mom guilt. The kind that made me want to go take my boys out of bed so I could apologize profusely to them and give them my 100% undivided attention. I wanted to watch their every single move and spend all of my time complimenting their curiosity, their brains, their friendship, their quirks, their looks – I wanted to study every piece and aspect of them and I wanted to let them know very clearly just how much I love them and cherish being their mom.

That day I’d spent a stupid amount of time on my phone. Instead of getting down on the floor and playing Avengers with my boys, I sat on the couch and wasted time scrolling instagram, reading blogs, watching YouTube and researching new Podcasts. That particular day I even caught myself spending more time on my phone while we had lunch ‘together’ than actually socializing with these wonderful little boys I had sitting beside me.

As I laid in my bed, I literally cried myself to sleep. I’d let them down, horribly. They deserved me and my attention and I didn’t give that to them. This day was a particularly bad one for me – I’m never usually that distracted by my phone, but it made me realize I definitely spend more time on my phone than necessary. I thought about all the memories I’d missed because I was staring at a screen. I thought about the little conversations I could have listened to while my boys played together that I missed because I was listening to Instagram stories all day. I thought about the way my boys must have felt as I was so distant. I made the goal then and there that I needed to be way more aware of my time spent on my phone.

For the last few weeks I’ve been hyper-aware of where my phone is and what I’m doing with it. I’ve been training myself that its ok to leave it in a room I’m not in and not touch it for a few hours. I’ve reinforced the rule that cell phones do not belong at the kitchen table. If I was on my phone and one of my kids spoke to me, I consciously put it down and pushed it away from me – giving my sons my full attention. I somehow convinced myself I didn’t need to watch everyones stories and I didn’t need to scroll through Instagram every several minutes to see if anything had changed. I rededicated myself to my sweet boys and my husband. I still check my phone. I give myself those mom-time-outs/me-time here and there throughout the day, but I don’t let social media own me anymore, like I did a few weeks ago. I keep myself busy playing with my boys, being productive in the house or working on a craft or project. I try to actively be aware of my phone – no matter how near or far it is from me and I’m trying really hard to resist the temptation to pick it up just to scroll and waste time. I’m trying to touch it way, way less.

The phrase that has really helped me turn my mindset around is this:

Is anything on my phone more important than my boys? Nope. Not at all. So it can wait. 

Its changed me in all of the best ways. I feel so much better about myself as a mom after making this change. I go to bed more fulfilled and proud of how I spent my day. I feel as if my boys have noticed the change too, and are fully aware of how much their mom loves and values them. I really hope they know that they are far, far more important to me than my dumb phone ever could be.

I’ll still take part in social media. In a lot of ways, social media is good for me. I’ll still have days I post a lot on my stories, and I’ll certainly continue listening to podcasts frequently, but I’m not going to let it own me. I’m not going to let social media steal precious moments from me that I could be spending with my kids.

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Dream Table

You guys! Look at that beaut! I didn’t even know it was a thing, but I am in table heaven and it’s all thanks to Craig.

When Craig’s grandma Millie passes away, we inherited her kitchen table. It was your average oak table, and though there was nothing wrong with it, we wanted to make it our own. I got a vision and Craig brought it to life. He sanded and stained the top then painted the legs and 6 chairs a pretty farmhouse white that I’m going ga-ga over. Then together we picked fabric for the seats and reupholstered them (they’re a really dark brown – though in the picture they look black).

I knew I’d like it, but I didn’t know just how much I’d love it. It’s given our kitchen a facelift and I’m trying to find every excuse to be in my kitchen now so I can keep staring at it.

Thanks Craig. Love you.

General Conference Weekend

First of all, if you don’t know what General Conference is, you can learn more here. I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and last weekend we had our semi-annual General Conference where our church leaders speak to us. Its such a special weekend filled with so much good. I love the opportunity to set new goals for myself, receive guidance and feel the sprit. I felt so uplifted and empowered afterwards.

We spent the final session at Craig’s parents cabin, which the boys were super fond of and we managed to snap a few pictures there.

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Brothers

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I want 1,000 kids, but in the meantime, I am so glad that I have these two and that they have each other. In the last few weeks something about their relationship has changed. Its matured. They play with each other, not next to each other, but with each other. They beg one another to play and on the rare occasion that they’re without each other, they’re so eager to be reunited. Their friendship is strong and powerful. They’ve got each others backs and they stick up for one another. They also fight like, well, brothers. They aren’t afraid to get even and throw a punch – or toys, *eye roll*. They drive each other crazy but they’re also the very, very best of friends. Watching this all come to be has been probably one of the most fulfilling things I’ve seen as their mother.

I remember when Emmett was born and Harrison coming into the hospital, meeting his little brother for the first time. At one point, I was holding both of my sons. The room was full of people and pictures were being taken, but I remember kind of zoning out and just focussing on these two really closely for a few minutes. I had this ongoing prayer in my mind and I just remember pleading, “please be friends forever, please be close, please be friends forever, please be close…” Those prayers have absolutely started coming true. Its magical.

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These boys are wonderful. Their bond is beautiful and I’m just so happy that I get to see them together every day. They are my pride and joy and they’re the cutest, most loyal little guys, ever.

Happy OCTOBER

Its here! October is finally here and I hope you’re all so happy and healthy and know how wonderful you are (october makes me sentimental and uplifting, apparently).

First and foremost, October is bringing my favorite trip to Disneyland of every year. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it 10,000 more times, Halloween time in Disneyland is what dreams are made of and a whole new kind of magic that everyone needs to experience at some point in their lives. Promise. Oh, I can’t wait to get there and watch all the magic through my boys eyes – nothing beats it. All my fellow parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles/etc will get exactly what I’m saying.

Truly, I’m not sure what else October will bring my family. It will certainly bring about a lot of fall scented candles, pumpkin patches, sweaters, socks, celebrating my moms birthday, hot chocolate and spoopy movies (spoopy, to me, means Halloween stuff thats cute and fun, not freaky. not spooky). It should also include more puppy training – Coco is doing pretty good, but absolutely has room for improvement, keeping on top of my housework, hopefully a temple visit or two with Craig, going on walks with my boys walking on crunchy leaves, keeping up on my exercise and drinking more water and focusing more on my mental health.

Happy October, everyone! I hope its a good one for you, for me, for all of us. We all deserve it.

Change

As I’m writing this, its late at night and my mind is racing a million miles per hour thinking about tomorrow morning. Tomorrow morning Harrison has his first day of preschool.

How? How is my first baby already starting school? He started speech preschool last year, but a perk of speech preschool is that I join Harrison. We go together. That same invitation isn’t open to parents when it comes to regular preschool and I’m all torn up about that. I know that at some point I’ve got to ‘let go,’ and let him do these things on his own, and I know that time, at least for school, is now. But I’m having a hard time with it. I’m going to miss him. He’s been one of my most reliable sidekicks and little painters since I found out I was pregnant with him. He’ll be gone about two and a half hours, and thats a long time apart for us. We are close. Its always been me, Harrison and Emmett – we are an unbreakable trio (with our great dad who joins us after work) but things are about to change big time as he goes off to school.

This is the beginning of the rest of his life. He will be in school for the next significant portion of his life. All through high school then on to college. Its a long journey, and its always felt like a journey that was distant in our path, but here we are. Tomorrow our first baby goes off to school. To real school.

I’m going to be brave for Harrison. I’m going to put a brave face on. I’m going to empower him and shower him with praise and squeal about how excited I am for him – because I am excited for him! But once he’s safe and secure in his classroom, I can only imagine I’ll lose it. But from what I see on Instagram, thats pretty normal. Thats ok. Its ok to feel the sting of your children getting older.

Harrison is going to thrive in school, I just know it. He is smart and very curious. He is brave and he tries hard. He likes to figure things out and learn new things. He is a good boy and takes pride in following rules and takes pride in a job well done. He’s a perfect candidate for school. He picks things up so quickly. He’s a sponge and yearns to learn to new things – he reminds me a lot of my dad in that way. I’m just thrilled to see where preschool takes him. I’m thrilled to hear what he’s learning about. I’m thrilled to hear his stories about school, new friends, letters and whatever else he learns about. I’m excited to hear stories about the playground at preschool, because I know that’ll be his favorite part. I’m excited to see hims big grin when I pick him up from school, because he wears that grin almost always. I’m excited to give him a giant hug and tell him how proud I am of him.

This is a big step and a big change. My mama heart is all over the place, but its not about me. Its about Harrison and the amazing, brave, smart, incredible, friendly boy that he is! Its about him growing and becoming more him. Its about him learning more about himself and what he wants to do in his life and I feel honored to get a front row seat to his journey.

21

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Today my darling, peach of a little sister turns 21! I feel validated in saying this since I’m eight years older than her: my little girl is growing up!! 

I feel like I tell this story every year on her birthday, but every year on her birthday I’m reminded of how special she is to me, so I’m going to share it again. I was an only child for eight years. Eight long years of watching my friends with their siblings and longing for one of those built in best friends. My parents were trying and trying, but it just wasn’t happening. If you know my sister, then it totally makes sense that she made us all wait for her haha. Finally, I was given the news I’d hoped and hoped and hoped to hear, when I was seven years old. Mom was pregnant. With a girl. My very own sister! My very own best friend. She was so worth the wait. I remember meeting her for the first time a couple hours after she was born. She had tons of dark hair (she’s always had amazing hair) and a cute little button nose that she’s never lost. I was instantly attached to her and that attachment has only grown in these past 21 years.

She is a wonderful person. She’s unique and doesn’t try to change to fit a norm. She is artistic and creative. She is a doting aunt who makes her nephews feel valued and important. She is a good listener. She is beautiful. She loves Kpop and has taught herself Korean. She’s also learned German. She is hilarious and has this sense of humor that I crave. She is tough. She is soft and sweet. She is all things amazing and I am beyond grateful that she was born!