Monday, January 5, 2009

My 2008

I've been thinking about a friend's blog who posted some tidbits about her 2008, such as, Favorite Book, Favorite Movie, Most Memorable Date, Biggest Achievement, Biggest Failure, etc.

I got really stuck on Biggest Achievement and have been thinking about it for days. What was MY biggest achievement for 2008? As a mother, I didn't get Mother of the Year Award, or anything like that, so there's really no tangible proof of good mothering skills...except for the kids I suppose. I would like to say that last year I completed the schooling of my little ones and can report that they are always polite, thoughtful, helpful, happy, honest, reverent, obedient, caring, kind, smart, get the picture. And that I am the picture of patience, kindness, and fun in a mother. But somehow we aren't quite there and so I wonder where I have come up short. It's incidences where your kid is doing something you remember seeing "other" kids doing and thinking, "MY kids will NEVER do that!", like my 3 year old relieving himself on the beach recently as soon as we were in the most public place...even though we've had a privacy discussion countless times! Goodness! There are the times I find myself asking one kid or another 6 million times to do something when I swore that I would expect them to jump the first time. Then there is talking back, white lies, saying 'NO' and there are plenty of others, but if you are a mother, you know what I mean. (I hope) Miss B is certain there is a Parenting Handbook that she will get when she's a mother, I sure wish someone would give it to me if they know where to get one.

So...I've been thinking I need to change my thinking. I need to focus on the little successes or I will feel pretty pathetic. Things least that 3 year old is potty-trained, the two older ones are pretty smart and do well in school...C is reading way above his grade level. B is helpful with the younger ones so much... The older two have regular chores like unloading the dishwasher, taking out the trash, making beds, folding laundry and vacuuming and they are quite good and quick at them. As for me, this past year I've tried to take any alone time with each kid to talk and really listen and have enjoyed some amazing and funny discussions with them. In fact as I think back, there have also been plenty of game-playing, pear-picking, tickle-wrestling, story-telling, craft-making, tart-baking, park-going and pool-swimming and so it/I may not be all that bad.

As primary housekeeper, I would also LOVE to report that there was a home-cooked meal on the table every night and the house was spic and span...alas we all know that didn't happen. However, I started estimating how many dishes I've washed, bathrooms cleaned, loads of laundry done, toe and finger nails clipped, floors vacuumed and mopped and got a little dizzy, so I KNOW I've been doing something. I have the need-to-be-plucked eyebrows, grown-out roots, chipped toenail polish and a less-than-fit physique to prove it.

From a statistical point of view, this year has been a big and busy one. We celebrated our tenth year of marriage, I was able to go to Ireland with my sister, I successfully drove a stick shift (left side) while driving on the left side of the road, I had our fourth child, we had two great family trips that were full of fun, I turned 30, I enjoyed my photography business, I redid a few rooms in the house, I had some great callings that were both extremely challenging and very rewarding, I finally finished the D&C and Q and I both battled with health and won. So, I guess I achieved quite a bit, when you get down to it! I still hope that I can report next year that I have perfect children...I'll keep you posted!

Q after his operation.

Discharge day...and an awake little boy!

I know my husband has achieved outrageous things this year...he has continued to work hard and also take extra care of me, the kids and the house for quite some time. There's no need to think hard about his achievements!

And now I must go and discipline Dennis in the most loving/determined way possible for drawing all over the piano stool.(sigh) I'm sure he needs one of these...a time-out/nap!


  1. that was so fun to read! what an eventful 2008 you've had! I love all your recap pictures. And I love the last pic of dennis on the floor taking a snooze!

  2. Love it...I think you're definitely right... we need to look at all of the small things instead of waiting for the huge, and then we will realize that we do have a huge accomplishments that just comes in little pieces at a time.

  3. please post when you have figured out all the perfection stuff... I could sure use all the help I can get. Fun read... thanks!

  4. Well, I think in spite of what YOU think, you ARE the ideal mother! Kids will be kids. Look at the Lord - the perfect parent and yet look at the fruits of his perfect parenting! Children will make their choices. :)

    You are a TREMENDOUS writer in addition to a PHENOMENAL photographer! Your many talents just keep bubbling to the surface! I admire you so much. I want you to take pics of me & Bri someday...

    Your work, efforts, creativity, kindness, spontaneity and pure genius are enough to make even the most top notch type of woman swoon!

  5. Fun - I wish I had turned out as good as you at pictures! I used to think I was pretty good. Question - do you use the micro setting to get the blurred background or is there another trick I need to know???

  6. You are great and I also appreciate you outlook on life. Love the pic on N, sometimes I wish I could have one of those!

  7. Erika-
    Sometimes we run, sometimes we walk, and sometimes we fall... over and over again. The important part is that we get back up and put one foot in front of the other. When I get back up or see other people get back up after they fall (or are pushed) it is amazing to me that we are so much stronger than we think we are. S.Loveland


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