Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On any given weekday. . .

Our schedule as of late has been insane. We've chosen to expose our kids to various activities, all of which build confidence, help skills to develop, and assist in raising well-rounded, socially adept kids.

But lately, the pace of life is beginning to catch up with me.

Individually, none of the kids are over-scheduled.

Olivia has weekly piano lessons, once-weekly church youth group, is on the school track team (which lasts all of 6 weeks), and the summer swim team.

Jack has weekly piano lessons, weekly cub scouts, and is on the swim team.

Grant is on the swim team.

But add all those things together, plus the end of school year things like talent show rehearsals, staff appreciation week, the school book fair, etc., and suddenly, life is spiraling completely out of control.

Here is what our day looked like today:

8:00-2:00 - Work in school library

2:00 - All three kids had a dentist appointment (I love that all three can get their teeth cleaned at once!)

3:00 - Drive from dentist to track meet to watch and cheer for Olivia.

5:30 - Leave track and drive to swim practice.

6:00-8:00 - Swim practice. The boys practice 6-6:30, Olivia from 7-7:45.

8:15 - home finally after 12+ hours, Olivia started her homework, I put the boys to bed, then started a load of laundry because everyone is out of clothes!

Our refrigerator is almost empty, with the exception of a few wilted and stinky vegetables. We've been living on fast food and take out. Tonight, my dinner consisted of a Starbucks Frappucino, a handful of red licorice, and a chocolate chip cookie. The dinner of champions! (My kids ate Subway sandwiches . . . don't ask me why I didn't get one too.)

I know this frantic schedule is short-lived. Track is over after today. And in 3 weeks, school is out for the summer, as is scouts and mutual (church youth group), and we'll just have swim. Afternoons will be spent lounging at home, taking it easy, and eating meals as a family at home again.

I just ended my 2-year stint as PTA President, and to the amazement of many, did not take another position on the board. I'm realizing that even I have limits as to what I can do, and those limits have been pushed to the max!

It is a constant challenge for me to find a good balance between leading a well-rounded life, and being a crazy woman who is too stressed and busy to enjoy the daily moments of life. A scripture comes to mind, reminding us not to "run faster than we have strength". I need to pay attention to that one, I think.

I am not writing this post to get advice or suggestions on what I should or shouldn't do (keep those comments to yourself!). Rather, I am writing it for myself, so that 20 years from now, when my kids are complaining about how "exhausting parenthood is, and they don't remember being this busy when they were kids", I can look back and shake my head and laugh . . . and remind them that they are where they are because of all the experiences they had. And to tell them to slow down a little, and take the time to smell the roses!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Mother's Day weekend started out with a school fundraiser — Vegas style!

Steve and I got a picture with Elvis.

We played Blackjack and Roulette with fake money chips.

This picture makes it look like I'm really partying it up. I promise, that red cup has nothing in it but plastic chips.

Saturday night, I played in my second official tennis match. My friend Christy and I were paired up. We lost. Actually, we got creamed. The score was 6:2, 6:0. It was pathetic. My confidence was shattered a little . . . and I came to the realization that I won't be asked to play in the US Open anytime soon. But we had fun.

Aren't we cute in our black & white team outfits?

When Steve asked what I wanted to do on Mother's Day, I told him I wasn't picky. My only requests were things I didn't want to do—no cooking, no dishes or cleaning, and no laundry. Other than that, I didn't care!

Sunday morning, Steve woke up early, quietly got dressed, and snuck out of the bedroom leaving me to sleep. When I came downstairs, this was waiting for me.

Breakfast was delicious, and I didn't have to do the dishes afterward! Steve and the kids gave me some colorful new tennis outfits, as well as a sign for my office, which I love. This motto is one I try to live by each and every day!

We took a walk after breakfast, then I told Grant that for Mother's Day, I wanted him to learn to ride his bike. He obliged, though somewhat hesitantly. After about 5 minutes of Steve running behind him, he was riding on his own!

Olivia and I went to see one of her best friends in a local play while the boys went to the park.

We went to our family favorite—California Pizza Kitchen—for dinner. Steve kept his word, I didn't have to cook or clean up all day long!

Being a mom is way harder than I ever imagined. Most days, I crawl into bed at day's end absolutely exhausted. And then, I wake up and do it all over again. And again. And again. But in spite of the challenges, in spite of the tests of patience, the crumbs on the floor, the incessant piles of dirty laundry, and the nonstop chauffeuring, cooking, dishes, and helping with homework, I can't imagine anything I'd rather be doing right now. I know in a few years, the kids will be grown, the house will be clean and quiet, and I'll miss the noise and laundry, so I'm trying to cherish it while I can. Being a mom gives my life purpose. Seeing my kids grow into capable, kind, thoughtful, and caring people is the best reward I could ever ask for!