December 05, 2011

Whirlwind of a Weekend

Wow! Where did the weekend go? We were on the go every minute.

Saturday morning we had James' first birthday party at a park in Clearwater:

That night I had a photo shoot at Honeymoon Island.  It went okay.  The family was running late so we only had a half hour of good light and there were two little kids that weren't so into the experience.  Here are a few from that night....

Sunday morning....always crazy.  Although, the two older kids were so good at church yesterday. They usually are.  They really are good kids. Even a few people came up to me and said, "How do you get them to just sit perfectly on the bench like that? What is your secret?" It made me feel happy. Although I had to leave just after the sacrament to nurse McKay and the kids wouldn't stay with the person we had sat with so I had to take the WHOLE family out. Ben came and got Jax so I could nurse though. Jax cries when I nurse McKay a lot of the time. I usually have to distract him but that's hard to do at church.

I was reflecting yesterday about where we are now compared to where we were when we first moved into this ward. When we first moved into this ward I was 22, was teaching, was young and fit, was just finishing up a Master's degree, and we were so in love. To be honest I was feeling pretty good about myself...a pretty cute house, an amazing husband, and a Master's degree at 22...not bad, right? Well, 5 years later I'm 25lbs heavier, we have three kids, this house that seemed so big is now feeling itty bitty, and I'm not feeling so young and fit or educated or special. Ben and I are still in love though and I have 3 beautiful children that I absolutely adore! I just can't believe how much things have changed. Hopefully I'm a better person and learning and growing and softening but sometimes I just don't feel so spiritual anymore or like I'm accomplishing much. It's so hard to maintain spiritualilty when there are so many other pressing needs. Even when I try to sit down and read scriptures my mind is wandering and I'm thinking about laundry I should be doing or work I need to get done or a child who is about to wake up or sleep that I could be getting or a work out I should do, etc. And then Sundays are my most stressful day instead of a rejuvenating time. It's just hard sometimes. Good thing I have a really strong testimony to carry me through this time. I know in another two or three years things will have totally changed again. I'm just trying to enjoy this time as much as possible without ruining myself too much ;) I love my life! There are just a few difficult aspects that I'm trying to find solutions for...weight and spirituality mostly :)

Anyways, Sunday afternoon I had two more picture taking sessions.  One was for the Tickners.  Here's a funny picture from that night....

Then I took pictures of the Sheltons. Sister Shelton was recently diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. She's a funny, feisty, lively woman. It's nice to be able to be the giver of service rather than the recipient.

When I arrived home from these sessions Ben was dead tired. So I took the kids out while he took a nap (it was 6 o'clock at night but he was really tired). The kids and I had a wonderful time looking at Christmas lights and playing. McKay had a meltdown so we had to come home early though. So, we got the kids in bed and I watched the devotional and worked on pictures and Ben hit the sack early.

And here it is Monday morning already. We're about to go to Bishop's farm now. It's not actually Bishop's farm. It's his dad's property with a few horses on it and Bishop is building them a house on this land so he tends to be there.  So Sadie calls it Bishop's farm. Sadie loves to feed the horses. Jax clings to my side and starts to cry the second we drive onto their property. I need to drop something off though, so he's going to need to be brave. Wish us luck :) It's another crazy week up ahead. Christy is coming to town and we have LOTS of fun things planned. Sounds exhausting and delightful!


Johnson Family said...

I have the same feelings Alicia, although from what I can tell you are doing a much better job at it than I am. I often find myself getting down on myself for things I'm not getting done or when I compare myself to others. It's hard not to do. I just have to remember to try my best. Again it's hard to do. You are a wonderful person, wife, and mom and I'm sure you've changed for the better experiencing all that you have in the past few years. Love you!

Mary said...

Oh, Alicia! I could have written these same exact words 20 plus years ago when you and your siblings were little!!!! I know exactly how you feel! There just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done that you want/need to do and everyone else comes first and you and your needs always seem to come last. Welcome to motherhood! But I truly believe that Heavenly Father in His infinite wisdom has made it this way to stretch us beyond our own natural bounds to help us to develop those qualities of patience, unselfishness, and a depth of love for another human being that can't be experienced in any other way than by bringing a tiny baby into this world. Those experiences of motherhood,however hard, and they are hard, and demanding, physically, time wise,and emotionally, will lead us back to Him. We learn to put others before ourselves. We learn Christlike attributes through being a mom. You love your friends and your neighbors and your mom and your dad, your brothers and your sisters, but, in my humble opinion, once you carry a child for 9 months (or 9 months and 3 weeks), and go through bringing that child into the world, and nurture him or her, waking up every few hours or more often every night to feed them or take care of them when they're sick, when you hold them in your arms and you look into their little face and eyes, your heart is ready to burst with the love you feel for them! You know that you would do anything for them, even give up your life for them. That kind of love comes because you've given so much of yourself to them. You're in that "giving of yourself" time right now. There's not much time for you. Don't get me wrong, there's a ton of fun times right now too, I don't mean to sound like it's all drudgery. But it is physically demanding. I remember not having time or energy to read my scriptures. I remember asking myself, "why do I even go to church? I don't get anything out of it. I'm just walking the halls with the kids." But in my heart I answered myself, "Because it's the right thing to do. How else will they know what they're supposed to be doing on Sunday. Do what is right, let the consequence follow." So hang in there, my sweet daughter! You are an amazing mother! Your children are so happy and so good! You and Ben are great parents and these children who come into your home are sure lucky little spirits!!!! I LOVE to watch you mother!!! And I equally LOVE to watch Ben father these sweet children of yours! So don't worry about those few extra pounds or if you only get to read a few verses of scripture each day instead of 1/2 hour. Enjoy those kids. You're doing a great job! And guess what happens down the road as a reward for all your hard work???? You get to be a Grandma!!!!
Love you!

Alicia said...

Thanks for the kind comments. It's nice to know I'm normal even in my struggles. It's especially reassuring to hear it from two mothers that I respect so much.