Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Confessions: Catching up, Motherhood, and Too Many Words

Does it ever feel like the second you get caught up, the piles of to-dos mount again?  That's how it's been feeling here.  I feel like I just get a blog post ready, and something (or someone) else needs my attention.  Usually, those attention grabbers pull me toward more important things, so the interruption is welcomed (hesitantly, at first).  In saying that, I haven't read some of my favorite blogs in awhile, and I feel behind.  Crazy, right?!  On top of that, I've not commented in forever.  Sorry!  It's funny how the littlest things (like those) can seem heavy sometimes, and it's even crazier that not blogging, reading, or commenting can cause feelings of inadequacy.  I can't believe I just typed that, but I did. 

Anyway, I'm just jotting a ton of things down here in this post as a way to catch up quickly!  Here goes:

I'm on day 22 of Whole30.  Before you think that's a big feat, let me remind you that it's my third try, haha.  So, I've had a few special (for me) snacks around the house.  Do you know what happens when you do that?  Your kids find them extra special, too...

I did a little eye make-up tutorial for Olivia this Monday.  It's nothing professional, but if you want to know my daily routine, check it out here.

When you live in the country (or anywhere really) you're internet randomly goes down.  That doesn't go over well when it's a day you plan to get a lot of emails responded to.  It happened yesterday.  I owe several of you an email, maybe from weeks ago (I'm getting on that)!  So, rather than catching up, we did a little of this...
...I sent the boys outside with watercolors.  Carter and Peter's faces were clean.  Hmmm.  "Let's paint John Paul!"

Have I mentioned how in love with this little thing I am?  Seriously, I cannot get enough of her. Having a girl is fun in ways I didn't expect, but my absolute favorite thing thus far is seeing all of the boys around her.  Everyone is in love.

It's funny how tastes change.  I never really liked southwest decor growing up.  Well, I shouldn't say that.  Really, it just wasn't for me.  But, I feel these make the entrance to our house so much prettier. I'm a changed woman.
Do you have an Erin Condren planner?  If so, did you know until November 1st, you can order a new free cover?  Use the code FREECOVER.  

I'm shooting my first wedding this weekend.  Tiffany is getting married, and she asked me and a couple others to take photos.  If you think about it, on Saturday, say a prayer all goes well as this beautiful bride begins such a holy sacrament!

Some days I think I have split personalities.  Let me explain.  I've always loved kids and have always wanted to grow our family (His plan, permitting).  Some days I walk around thinking, "I've got this!" Others, I am quickly put in my place.  Like this weekend when Peter had a meltdown in a restaurant full of people and screamed in the car for over an hour until he calmed down.  Maybe I should tell you we were 6+ hours from home, no naps had taken place in two days, and it was past his bedtime.  Are those all just excuses?   But, what if I told you something similar happened two days later with Carter.  Granted, we had just driven that 6+ hours back home (same situation, different day, different child).  During those moments (especially when not in the comfort of my own home), I question everything.  Every thing.  Should we be disciplining differently?  Are they watching too much TV?  How do I get through to him?  Am I giving them enough attention?  The list goes on.  But, if I dig deeply, something might edge to the lead in terms of what really bothers me in these moments.  It comes down to this:  others think I'm in over my head (don't they have to be thinking this?).  If I'm honest, some days I feel that I am.  But, at the end of those days, I know (and am always reassured) that it is all worth it.  Truly, I feel that.  I adore these kids.  I love the chance to learn from them.  I love being made so raw...seeing so very clearly where I am weak (I just prefer it to not be in public, ha!).  Love it in a, "God, I need your help, this is getting deep" kind of way. Obviously, I worry too much about what others think.  I am selfish. And, I want a level of control of my life that will never be mine.  Those deep, gut-check moments of clarity are brilliant and give reason to the doubt.  However, they don't always make the moments any more bearable.  Yes, I want my children to be "good" because I want others to see that we're trying our very best to raise them the "right" way.  Yes, I want them to behave, because I so desperately want people to know that even on the hardest days, I'm not throwing in the towel or saying "no" to other little ones, if we're so blessed. Yes, I want them to act in public as they do the majority of time at home because I want someone to truly say, deep in their heart, that they support us as parents, that we aren't crazy, that we aren't irresponsible, and that they see the blessing in these little ones, too. But, the truth is, none of that matters.  It doesn't.  What does is realizing that I cannot and will not make it trying so desperately to seek approval from anyone other than Him.  Another truth: life with four kids, ages 0-4, is demanding.  It's exhausting.  And, it's downright difficult at times.  But, I keep coming back for more. Why?  For the little moments.  For the kisses and hugs and "God bless you and keep you safe, Mommy"s.  For the joy that comes in seeing them reach up to the Cross and ask to kiss "Jejus."  For the moments, however far between, that come with a deep sigh of relief and the thought, "I've got this."  Why?  Because. this. is. my. vocation.  These little ones are bringing me closer and closer to Christ, no matter the purging that it takes for me to get there.  It is hard.  But it is good.  So very good.  By the end of this vignette, I'm back to thinking, "I've got this."  Pray for me.

With all of that said, the idea of balance comes in.  Why do I blog?  Why in the world am I even considering starting a side photography business right now?  What - you just got a new puppy? (Yes, we did).  How in the world will we manage if we homeschool?  Should I try to grow my blog and my presence via social media?  Does ANY of that even matter?  Oh wait, I need to cook?  And clean? And pay bills?  Blah blah blah. You've heard it all.  Luckily, you get to hear about trying to manage all of those things from someone other than me because I'm sure I question everything relating to balance at least once a day.  I'm looking for an answer!  Olivia is sharing a post here on The Fisk Files this week about that very thing.  Balance.  Don't miss it.  

Finally (promise I'm stopping), I've been really debating starting a Capsule Wardrobe.  I know you've heard of it.  It's all the rage, thanks to Caroline.  Jenna has done it.  This Jenna has, too!  Kendra's doing it.  Grace, Blythe, are you next?  I want to do it.  I think I will.  But, I'm not so sure when I'll find the time to squeeze that one in.  Maybe a babysitter is in order while I line my closet out and simplify my life (and my materialistic addictions).  Doesn't Caroline make it look so cool?  I'm sure it may have just a tiny bit to do with how beautiful she is and how put together she seems!  Anyway, it's fun to think about.  And, will be even more fun to do!  

This post is finally over.  Thanks for listening.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Peter is Three

Yes.  It's been another year.  This little man is three, as of last Friday.  And, I'm finally blogging it up. So, just a little recap of the man of the hour: Peter is a strong-willed little guy.  He definitely has his mind set on certain things and rarely is swayed.  Yet, juxtaposed to that will is one of the softest hearts imaginable.  He's as sweet as can be to his baby sister, and the thought of you being upset with him sends him into hysteria.  As I've mentioned before, he's in an "army" phase (most call it camo, but don't tell him).  He loves everything "army" and drives his little jeep with reckless abandon.  He's an animal lover, and he'll gladly help the guys with any work they have to do.  He's attached to his little horse blanket ("neigh-neigh"), and his blue blanket is rarely far from his side.  Ice cream is his favorite treat, and he loves to have time to himself.  Sometimes I wonder if we were alike as kids. He isn't much of a cuddler and can be unbearably shy.  He's definitely one who requires a bit more figuring out, and his's so good.  Just like Saint Peter, he's a little rock and will be forever strong.

Onto the party.  I never think the kids will even know what is going on (in terms of a birthday party this early in life), but I'm always wrong when it comes to being three.  They know.  Boy, do they know.  

I say this every year, but my mom always made a huge birthday poster for us, detailing (in pictures) our lives throughout the years.  It was one of my favorite things about my birthday.  So, I've tried to carry on the tradition.  
Since Peter loves army things so much, we decided to go with a army party theme.  Now, when I say theme, I mean a few coordinated utensils, favors and maybe a banner.  I am not your party planning mom by any means.  But, it works for us.
With that in mind, I knew we (Jeremy and I) had to make these.  And, we did.  They were so fun...until I iced them.  How can something go from army to witch's hat/Halloween in seconds? Look.  That's how.
Oh well.  The taste didn't change.
We have enough cousins in the area that when we have a party, it's typically just family.  When people started arriving, I looked to find Peter.  And, half the presents were already opened.  Thank-you writing might be very general, as I have no clue who gave what.  But, he was loving it!

 I went outside to check on the kids and found this... in her army bunk.

Carter managed to get a few more cuts in need of bandaids.
When I talked to Jeremy about an army theme, he said he might put together a little obstacle course. Honestly, I wasn't sure it would work.  The oldest at the party would be seven, and well, I didn't think they'd be that into it.  Was I ever wrong!!  It was the "life of the pary!"

There were tunnels...
 ...a hay maze...
 ...a gunny sack pull...

 ...a wall climb...
...a crawl under the wire...

...a tire thing...
 ...and a balance activity.

To say they loved it is an understatement!

Carter was in.tense!

 Peter was a bit concerned about the dirt in his new boots.

 Rett has always been so sweet to the little ones!
 And, you'd never know Gentry was the only girl there.
There were prizes for the finishers.
 A very typical face...
 ...and a gate decoration?
 Finally, we had cupcakes, and ice cream.

 And, they asked if they could sleep in the new army tent.
He woke up to this.
When I asked him his favorite part of the day, he responded, "All da people came for me, Momma!"

I would call that a success.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Guest Post: Elizabeth from All Kinds of Things

Almost a year ago, I "met" Elizabeth from All Kinds of Things via a blog mentorship we both did.  She's as sweet as can be and has a host of things she blogs about -- from days with her little ones to yummy recipes and all things organization.  She has something for everyone!  Please, check out her blog, and let her tell you a little more about herself...

Hi! I'm Elizabeth from All Kinds of Things~ I am so excited to be joining you in Britt's space today! Is she not just the most beautiful person? I have loved getting to know her and you - her readers!

Until just a few years ago, I was an elementary school teacher~ I taught third-grade, and I loved it with all of my heart, but when Caleb (my oldest) was born, I eagerly retired from the classroom. Since then, Isaac has joined our family, and I am so thankful for these three loves~

As a family, we love to learn together... yummy food...

...and laugh.
In this family, we do alot of laughing!

I enjoy taking pictures...
...but my littles are my favorite subjects.

I have a passion for motherhood...
...and I would love to encourage you along your journey~

What is the best way to connect with you? You can follow "All Kinds of Things" on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and Bloglovin'
Please stop by and introduce yourself - I always enjoy meeting new people~