Tuesday, June 24, 2008

blogger's block? maybe not.

Well, I'm here. I have so very much on my mind, yet can't seem to find the exact words to articulate them. I think I'm suffering from blogger's block. I feel things so deeply that sometimes I am overcome with emotion.
Jenny moving to Minnesota is one of those times for me. My schedule has been super busy (just like yours, I'm sure!) and I've been running here and there, trying not to think much about the reality of her moving.
Michelle just created the greatest sister/cousin time ever for all of us! We had cousin camp at her house a week ago and that's where I'm allowing my thoughts to dwell.
It was awesome. We spent a lot of very meaningful time together. Fun is inevitable when we're all together, but cousin camp was even more deliberate than usual. We had a schedule, a menu, and we all knew that this was the last time we'd get to do something like that while the Swansons are still living in California. (uh oh, the tears have started.) Our only regret (and I think Michelle and Jenny would say this, too) is that we haven't done things like that more often.
Sunday, we all celebrated little Jacklyn's first birthday together. It meant so much to me that they drove all the way down to my house so soon after we were all just together. Gas prices are ridiculous, but family time is priceless and worth it all. It was a blast! Man, I love my sisters and their families!
In addition to this, Jeff has been hired to teach next year in Watsonville as a 4th grade teacher. I am so very proud of him and excited for him. At long last, a dream realized! He will get to sleep like a normal human being, and not have the early morning hours of a bread man. Along with this job, however, comes a brand new budget. I haven't even sat down with him to discuss this fully, but I know there is some underlying stress there for us both. Life is good. We are sooo blessed to be able to homeschool the girls, to have them in piano and in swimming. We eat out when we want, we buy brand name foods at the grocery store (like Lucky Charms rather than Marshmallow Mateys), and we drive all over the place (again with the gas prices!) God has been so good to us and I think I've become a little too comfortable with all the little extras. Change is definitely coming to our pocketbook and I feel a bit nervous. Will I still get to stay home and homeschool? What about piano and swimming? God knows how every detail will work out....but, I'm just saying....it is causing me some stress.
Another item of note on my list is how fast my little girls are growing!! Kourtney is 10, Maggie is 8 and Jacklyn will be ONE this week!! Enough to make this little Mommy get emotional over here!
Kourtney is such a lovely young lady. What an old fashioned description, but....she is! I love the way she cares for others, the amazing way her mind works and how much fun it is to have conversations with her!
Maggie is the one I am most seeing change in. My little Mags isn't so little any more. She is really getting to be an older girl, yet, in my mind, she is still that spunky little thing that would both shock and embarrass me with every other comment! She has developed such a sweetness about her. She really is a nurturer and loves to help take care of Jacklyn. She thrives on one-on-one time with Mommy or Daddy and still makes us laugh.
And then there is little Cha Cha. My funny baby is such a blessing! I think of the years I longed for her. I think about the scary pregnancy. I think of those first days in the NICU and the first months I lived in such anxiety. She has become such a natural part of our lives now, that it's hard to remember what it was like without her. I love her little voice, her cheery, "HI!" and her cute little fat feet!
Truly, I am blessed in my life. Michelle and Jenny are fantastic sisters. Their families enrich my life in so many ways. Jeff is an incredible husband and Daddy and I thank the Lord for his provision and blessings....and my girls...ah, my girls! God outdid himself there. I don't deserve the joy that they bring me and I am so very grateful.
I guess writing this has helped me think things through a bit. I am still emotional over here, but I am, above all, grateful. I'm thankful that I can bring each of my concerns and emotions before the throne of grace and lay it at His feet. He is so good.....all the time!
Guess I don't have blogger's block after all. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

deep breath

Wow, who knew that creating 2 California missions would be so stressful for little ole me? I guess I see all my imperfections coming to the surface. See, the girls are learning a little about California history and decided to, along with some friends, create CA mission models. They will display these at a little end of the year ceremony with our local homeschool group.
All I can say is that I'm so thankful that my friend, who is the other mom involved, has such incredible vision and crafty skills! I seem a bit tapped out these days. Jacklyn hasn't been sleeping as well as she normally does....which, by the way isn't terrific, but do-able for me. She's teething and has been up an awful lot the past few nights. I am suffering major sleep-deprivation and just sort of stare at these mission projects with a glazed-over look on my face.
Tonight, I've been working, though. Okay, I have to be honest. My amazing husband was on the job. We bought lasagna noodles for the roof of one mission. Jeff pain-stakingly scored each and every noodle, with an x-acto knife, and then broke them in half, long-ways. (They are uncooked, mind you, and break very easily.) I will dye the noodles red tomorrow morning, with the help of my 4th grader, whose mission this actually is.
Tonight I did cut a few things out for her, but sheesh! Can I just say....this project has taken on a life of its own! I hope the girls are actually enjoying it because it is causing me great stress to think of getting them done by the end of the week. And....I'm not even the one doing anything! Remember my previous blog about not being able to keep up with the pace of what other moms can do? Yeah, here's some proof. Maybe I'm just too easily overwhelmed. I'm not sure. Truly, this is fun....just stressful.
Pictures of the completed missions will be posted soon. I'm sure you (my audience of 2 or 3) are aching to see them!