Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

What we're thankful for-

1. Nathan- "Family, our home, food, toys, friends?"
(with a look that meant "was that the right answer mom?")

2. Sean- "Um, You're the best cooker mom. And, ummm.... my toys! "

3. Claire- "Fairies!"

4. Daniel- "Me wanna go outside. Let me!"

5. Kathleen- "ahlaaaaaa"

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Daily Life

This little girl makes some pretty serious messes when she's eating. 

 But recently she's taken an interest in cleaning them up, which isn't so bad. 

I'm thinking she's trying to free up some of my time so I can play more afternoon peek-a-boo. 

Cute 1st grade handwriting. 

Someone thinking a smile will get her off the hook after being caught gnawing on the woodwork. 

And Sean, after cleaning the house for me because "I just want you to sit and have a rest for being the best mom!"

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

And just like that...

it became winter. 

Nothing better than kids waking up to fresh snow in the morning.

See more winter-y scenes here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day

I will never get tired of seeing this view in the evening. It makes me sad that there are places on this earth where people never even notice this because they have such a poor quality of life. 
Here I stood last night, admiring the sunset as I tend to do, 
underneath the exact same sky as someone across the world feeling intense fear that they might not make it through to the next day. 
I am infinitely lucky to have been born in this amazing 
and free nation. 
So THANK YOU to all of the veterans (my grandfathers, my parents, my husband, countless friends...), and those currently fighting to preserve the freedom that allows me to admire this sky night after night with ease in my heart. 

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,

who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,

who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet,

who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,

who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,

who has given us the right to trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician,

who has given us the right to vote.

~Author Unknown

(We love you Corey!!)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Happy Friday

Things Danny has cried about already today 
(and it's 10:50am) 
-That we dropped Claire off at school
-That we need to go pick her up soon
-That he wanted 2 granola bars
-That I gave him 2 granola bars
-That he had to share with Kate
-That Kate decided she didn't want any
-That I asked him to help me clean up
-That I cleaned up by myself
-That I asked him to get off the table
-That I didn't help him get off the table
-That I made myself soup and said that since he didn't like it, he didn't have to eat it
-That I got the mail without asking him
-That I offered him some milk
-That I didn't give him milk since he said no

"Top takin pitures at me mom!!!"

....See where I'm going with this?
I'm just going to inhale deeply and remind myself of this
Happy Friday! 
If you're me, 
Happy day before a firehouse day when you're all alone with 5 screaming kids and 1 cranky teenager all of whom can't stand you 67% of the time!  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thoughts on being thankful...mostly

I'm annoyed right now, and I really wish I wasn't. I am impatient, unmotivated, and just kind of in a funk that I can't seem to lift myself out of. To be clear, in my right mind I know that I have NOTHING to whine about. 
Claire and Danny have gotten into the habit of throwing some pretty unbearable tantrums that I have zero tolerance for anymore. The mess around the house seems to have a mind of its own and, at least to me, seems like it compounds by the second whether I put forth the efforts to control it or not. The rental house we own needs a new furnace and hot water heater... like today. We got that news yesterday, I optimistically thought it wouldn't be so bad after a good nights sleep. Well, I was woken up at 4:30am and then again at 6:30am and yes, the news still stinks.
 I keep seeing all of these facebook posts about being thankful and my immediate reaction is to think "why does that person get to be so happy all the time? Why don't things go wrong for them?"  ...Isn't that so awful? 
But it's not that these people are always happy, or that nothing ever goes wrong for them. it's that despite all of their issues, whatever they may be, they are still able to sit back and recognize the positives about their circumstances. I'm thinking a conscious choice to focus on some positives might be the first step in clawing my way out of this pre-holiday funk that has descended down upon my house (or really...just me). 
Some positives? The tantrums are the worst, I am NOT thankful for those. I am however, thankful to be able to have that problem. There are people everywhere who would give anything to be in my shoes which are still ankle deep in diapers, crying, fighting, drooling, snotting, and all others things related to have a million kiddos ruling the house. 6 years straight and still going strong and I still have another year or 2 before all things baby have left his home. There are not many people that can say that have change diapers for 8+ solid years without a break. 
I recently watched Home Alone for the first time with my boys. Nate loved it and one of his many observations was that the craziness in the beginning of the movie was sort of like our house, and he's right! What's even better about that is I remember watching that movie as a kid wishing with my whole being that I could have that family, and here I am years later... and I do! I really do! These 6 kids and all of the insanity, mess, and aggravation is literally my dream come true. There is no reason that shouldn't be telling myself that every single day I wake up breathing.
 If having my wildest dream answered comes with some mess then so be it. I am not a machine, no amount of household help can change the fact that this is a real home with 8 real people, and that is just the way it has to be. 
Am I grateful for the opportunity to replace the furnace and hot water heater...1 month before Christmas... with 1 days notice? Um, not even close. But, I am grateful that this is an issue that we can handle. There are millions everywhere who are living in circumstances that I can't even fathom. We work, we save, we plan. I realize that not everyone always has those options, but we are some of the lucky few who have been blessed with a situation that allows us to do all 3. And for that, I will be eternally thankful. 
My husband was at the firehouse a few days ago and sent me a text stating that a Cleveland firefighter had just been shot. This man and his new wife were packing up their belongings because they were moving the following morning to their new home as a married couple. He went out for some dinner, came home to an evil that I can't even imagine, who took his life right there in front of his home. It is the type of tragedy that has by the grace of God never touched me first hand. So last night as my husband and I sat here pouting thinking of the phone calls that had to be made, the money that has to be spent, the plans that now have to be pushed off- to fix the rental, I thought of how quickly that wife would probably switch places with me if she could. How quickly she would jump at the chance to be sitting at home so she could get the text that something happened from her husband, rather than see that it was him in the driveway as she scrambled to call 911. 
So I am thankful. I am thankful for all of it (well, minus the dining room wall that has to be torn out to fix the upstairs bathtub!). I am positive that I will yell today, that I will secretly wish I was anywhere else other than here.... but in a calm moment of clarity I know that this is all perfect, perfect because it is real and it is ours. We are all healthy, warm, fed, happy (most of the time), and loved. Can't ask for more than that....right? 

...well, an extra $5000, a nanny, a housekeeper, someone to fix that bathtub, and maybe a bigger kitchen wouldn't be the worst thing... but still...the dance goes on.   

(Disclaimer- there was a massive tantrum happening during the writing of this blog post so I don't want to hear about any typos Corey!)