I wrote this on Thanksgiving and posted it to my Facebook page. Thought it would be a good place to start with my Blog on here. When I do post, I’ll most likely shorten names for privacy reasons, but those who truly know me will most liekly be able to tell who it is I’m referring to. Happy Reading!
November 27, 2008:
On this day of giving thanks I’m reflecting on the year and noticed that there are only thirty-four days left in 2008. Thirty-four! It’s amazing to realize all that I’ve been involved in and where I’m at now on this road called life. In January I was working at Books-A-Million part-time and enjoying my time out of the house. I was surrounded by my favorite non-human things to love, books! It was my third time in less than a dozen years working at the store. The last two times I was hired the management at the store was gracious enough to do the unspeakable in the world of corporate retail… give me as many (or as little) hours as I wanted, whenever I wanted them.
After just three months (I’d started October 2007) I had to give my two weeks notice. J’s work schedule switched to twelve hour days and it didn’t allow for time/energy for him to care for the kids while I worked. Plus I discovered that I was pregnant- which is why I left the bookstore the previous times. So good-bye to employee discounts, once again. In February, I started watching two of my nephews four days a week. That allowed me to bring in some needed money but be able to stay at home, especially nice on those days/nights of “morning sickness”. N and I had fun with his “cousin buddies”, and A, too, when he wasn’t in school.
In April I had an ultrasound showing the baby is a girl… so the purple and pink planning began. And J lost his job, and was out of work for two months. Joy.
June included a fabulous trip to the greater Boston area without kids (or husband), compliments of my oldest sister. A was sweet enough to drive me around to all the literary and architectural spots of my choosing. (J was happy he wasn’t there to suffer through those locations, but he was busy with a new job and night classes.) The cooler weather of the Northeast was a much needed break from the summer humidity while six months pregnant. Plus the experience of flying first class was great in itself!
July was a great month for personal goals. I participated in an on-line writing challenge hosted by Laurie Halse Anderson, one of my favorite writers. The challenge was to write at least 15 minutes a day, all month long. I only missed three days, and they were all Sundays, so I didn’t feel guilty. (Who ever said the Sabbath is a day of rest never worked in Primary/Jr. Sunday School!) I started back to work on a story I began in 2001 and wrote an average of a page a day. It was wonderful to get back into the creative process of writing regularly. But I’m sorry to say, I let it slip away after the month was over. Excuses of being a mother of a two active boys and being pregnant are valid, but not worth whining about. My fault!
I kept my nephews through the end of July. That allowed me two weeks with A and N before school started for the eldest and a month and a half off from “work” before the newest was born. As if moms get time off… well, I did, in June!
And I was released as the Primary President of our congregation, a post I’d filled for nearly five years.
September brought the birth of S, a week after my first (hopefully only!) trip to the hospital with false labor. My heaviest baby, she beat N by half an ounce, at 9 lbs 15 oz. But she was an inch shorter, at 22 inches. (A was only 8 lbs 12 oz and 21.5 inches.)
It’s been great to have a frilly girl with crazy red hair. Hopefully her hair stays red, or at least red-tinted. I always wanted red hair, and it’s just in the last decade or so become more strawberry-ish… though it keeps getting darker, plus the forever multiplying white/gray hairs are taking over… but that’s another topic.
October was a month of juggling and routine making. Adjusting to life being out-numbered by kids. Having more children than hands takes lots of getting used to… but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not even another vacation.
Earlier this month I bravely traveled to New Orleans with N and S, plus the help of a dear friend. We drove the 3.5 hours (with stops) to see Laurie Halse Anderson (the author mentioned in the July happenings) at a book signing event. She was sweet enough to ask ME if I was “Wonderwegian” and if she could get a picture with ME. Thankfully N and S cooperated and their weren’t any rush-from-the-bookstore-with-a-screaming kid-moments. L.H.A. signed six novels for me, two picture books for S, and two novels for Christmas gifts.
Yesterday I attempted a portrait shooting to capture all three kids that would be worthy of copying for Christmas cards. There is one decent picture out of the two dozen attempts but I think I’ll try one more time. And today, being Thanksgiving, I’ve been thinking about my blessings and accomplishments. At the beginning of the year I committed myself to goals in eight different categories (physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, social, family, financial, and professional) to try for a real-rounded life. Isn’t there a quote saying “Reach for the stars. Even if you miss you’ll end up among the stars” or something like that? Well, I reached all right. Out of my eight goals, I’m on track for one- family. I know I won’t reach/complete the other ones in the next thirty-four days but I know I’ll be enjoying this season of magic and beginning the new year in a better position than I ended 2007.