Monday, September 12, 2011

Blogging and My Life

Let's face it: I've been largely absent from the blogging world for quite some time.  (I know - you're all in rehab and going through therapy because you miss me so much; I'm sorry!) 

I'd love to be able to tell you that it's because I'm just too cool for school or that I'm working on something really, really big.  I'd love to be able to keep up with this and balance everything perfectly...

BUT the truth of the matter is this: Folks, I'm getting my ass kicked. 

Dudes, it's a struggle.  It's a beautiful, exciting, rewarding struggle, but there is no way I'd be doing anyone any good if I pretended it wasn't a battle.  When we found out we were expecting a fourth kiddo last year, I shrugged and said, "Meh... what's another babe? I'm already out-numbered!"  But now, a year after that announcement, I'm facing the reality that it isn't just the 4 kids... It's life.  It is simply life as an adult with mind-boggling mounds of responsibility that sometimes makes me feel like I'm trying to run in quicksand. 

Ya know?  It's the living-within-a-Nazi-budget thing because we're carrying two mortgages right now... it's the four-kids-who-deserve-my-best thing... the having-a-small-business-to-run-and-grow thing... the being-a-good-wife-and-household-manager thing... All of those.  And more.  Let me back up and explain a little bit - not because I want sympathy or am trying to bitch, but because maybe it'll comfort some of you to know that no, not everyone's life is smooth-as-silk all the time:

We just got full-use of our basement back.  After 20 weeks of dealing with the mold/water intrusion, we finally got it back.  We lost easily a couple thousand dollars worth of stuff to mold, not to mention the lost time, wasted opportunities, etc.  But that's better - finally!  However, we found out in August that the gentlemen who were renting our other house (which we were unable to sell in 2008 - thank you, economy) were leaving.  So we had to instantly pare down our budget and, while we've always lived well within our means, it has meant attempting to feed our family on $100 a week.  That has translated to added hours of pouring through grocery-store circulars, writing menus, compiling lists and coupons and trying to weigh cost-savings against healthy eating choices.  It literally sucks up hours of my week... However, that also means that I buy whole chickens instead of boneless-skinless breasts and nearly double my prep work for one dinner.  Lunches include apple slices that I have to peel, slice and soak in lime-juice instead of purchasing ready-made bags of them.  And that's fine!  I'm doing what I have to for us!  But that certainly doesn't leave any time for blogging... especially when that budget excludes disposable diapers and you consider the amount of laundry that goes into have 3 kids in cloth diapers full-time... And, let's be serious: we all know how I feel about laundry.

Jack, Jordan and Addie are in preschool this year so twice a week I am committed to getting them there and home.  And I have MOPS, a moms group at my church and also Jack's baseball practices and games to travel to and from, but beyond that, I have to have snacks prepared and packed, cups ready, diaper changes to consider, etc.  It's just a lot.  I'm keeping my photography business at a comfortable level, but as we head into the fall, it will pick up quite a bit (which is good! I love my craft!) and it will constitute even less free time.  Additionally, I have a few things on the horizon that are community-service related that include using my business to generate some income for some charity work.  Again, all of this is stuff that I dearly love and am happy and excited to do, but it takes time.

Oh, and we're raising four young kids.  Jack and Jordan are super active.  Addie has a speech-delay we are getting a treatment plan worked out for, and Peyton is exclusively breastfed with the appetite of a college football running back.   It is, at times, overwhelming.

Clearly this is just our normal.  It is not anything lamentable or regrettable, nor would I, for one hot second, assert that I have a difficult or bad life... Quite the opposite, in fact; I am happy and content and proud of where we are and I couldn't be more comfortable doing what we're doing with one another.

But it is because I love my life and am so happy with the decisions we've made and the paths we've walked that I find it impossible to put off any of my responsibilities in order to spend more time blogging.  Don't get me wrong - although I am content and blissful, I do spend some time every day struggling with frustration, stress, fear, uncertainty, doubt and anger.  (It would be entirely and freakishly unnatural if I did.)  And that fact is what this blog post is really about for me, and hopefully for you as well: it is for me to tell you that it's okay to feel the full spectrum of emotions - good as well as bad.  I just set about each day with the hope that if this is my last day on Earth, I may look back on it with no regrets.  That I might stand before the Lord proud of myself as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend and child of the God... that I might only need to pray for thanksgiving and ask only for the strength to live the next day as the one before it, should I be given the gift of tomorrow.  More often than not, there is at least one role in which I do not perform the way I'd have wanted to.  More often than not, I find myself praying also for forgiveness for my shortcomings in at least one area of my life and begging for just one more chance to do better. 

Either way, the result is always me waking up resolved to glorify God and serve my family, friends and brothers and sisters to the best of my mortal ability.  Rarely does that include blogging, but as it does mean I need some time to myself - to vent, to connect, to reach out, I'm not giving up on blogging because I do love it so much.  It's just that I'm asking your forgiveness for not having a post up every couple of days so that I can focus on being the person I know I am and making myself better each day.  I guess it also means I'm asking for your support and maybe a prayer or two to help me in that journey.

Thanks for reading and for sticking with us through everything!  I promise I'll be my witty, funny self next time!


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