Dreaming

It’s been one of those restless days, where I want everything at once. Dreaming about staying home with my babies (something that’s finally coming true…). Dreaming about our would-be farm with veggies and chickens and goats and cows, freshness radiating from our table, honest and hard work driving our day. Dreaming about the school I want to start. Dreaming about the degree I really ought to get if I want to start that school. Dreaming about that (those) university(ies) where I’d like to get that degree (UMF, Antioch, Harvard…). Dreaming about ditching our house. Dreaming about revamping it completely. Dreaming about dreaming about dreaming. 

The hubs took both kids out with his friend to the store, so I wandered about our yard a bit aimlessly, trying to sort out my toughts. It’s less than two acres, but it’s depth is tremendous. The previous owner was a prolific gardner, but unfortunately was unable to keep up the yard a few years before we bought the house, so it’s a daunting piece of land in terms of care. The yard is almost like an outdoor house, an old one, with many heavily detailed rooms. 

No, I may be dreaming a great many things, some that may come true, others that may not, but at least I lay my head here, in my sweet little house in the woods, in my sweet, sweet life. 

Things That Make Me Feel Good

I know, I know, I haven’t posted in forever. Apparently life is crazy busy when you have a five year old, a newborn, and work full time. Who would’ve guessed? (Not me apparently, since I started yet another blogging venture during maternity that I haven’t touched since I returned to work five weeks ago.) But I wanted to post today because I actually have time. Baby boy is happily chewing a finger, E. is absorbed in her morning dose of the Arthur cartoon (a personal fave of mine), and no is going to need me for at least a few minutes. I also wanted to post something so there was at least some evidence of my existence between my last post and the beginning of summer vacation (a mere three weeks away).

So, I bring you this - things that make me feel good

New nail polish in a sweet blue!

 

Apology for the blurry pic – I’m not a skilled one-handed tablet picture taker. A cool new watch so I can start running again (I know, not having one is a pretty lame excuse). I had to replace my old AWESOME watch that a work friend gave me when I started running last year…I accidentally sent it through the wash :-(

A summer dress.

Food that isn’t bad for me. I have a serious carb and Reese’s addiction that I’m trying to kick (again). Thankfully I love yogurt (with a sprinkle of cereal on top) and a bowl of fruit. It also helps that it all looks so pretty.

After being cooped up all winter and then being cooped up at work, a little pick-me-up here and there is nice. Nothing quite like a pretty dress and ambition to get a girl going.

E.’s birthday is coming up in exactly one week and I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that she will be four years old. It seems unbelievable to me that this little bundle of beautiful that I brought home after 42 weeks of gestation has morphed into this person who walks and talks and thinks such amazing thoughts.

But she has.

And amidst the planning of birthday parties, the gift ideas, and hopes for her upcoming fourth year, I’m realizing that the year she is leaving behind hasn’t just been a time of extreme growth for her, but for me, as well.

I think it’s rare for us to stop and realize how we’re in the process of growing and changing. It happens so subtly that it’s easy to sort of glide through it and then, maybe a few years down the road realize, “Wow, I’m totally different.” But sometimes we catch ourselves in the middle of a massive mental rewiring and can sit in awe of the change of which we are capable.

While there are so many things I want to work on in my life (as we all should), I am very proud of the person I’m becoming. The decisions I make are more thought out, better research, more clearly understood. I’m less impulsive, can control myself (anger, eating habits, for one), and have a better understanding of who I am. I know that 24 is young and that I have many more years of self-discovery to come (all of which I look forward to), but after years of feeling a little wobbly and a little in-between, it is incredibly reassuring to know that you do change and that growing up isn’t so bad.

Joining again this week for her writing prompt link-up. Here’s the topic I picked:
2.) Are you on Pinterest? Share the last five items you pinned, choose one and let it inspire a blog post.

I am completely and utterly addicted to pinterest, so this post was sort of a given (though I really liked all the prompts this week). Here are my last five pins (as of when I sat down to start writing this post):

A beautiful bedroom that has modern yet rustic charm.

While this kitchen totally wouldn't work in our house, I love it. From the colors, to the retro appliances, to that sweet backsplash, it's totally a dream kitchen.

I thought these would look adorable at any sort of seaside gathering, though they're supposed to be for a baby shower...

I'm rediscovering my style and I've found I'm pinning a lot of outfits that look like this one.

If we had the space and had a baby girl, this would so be her room...

I’ve shared my last five pins, so now it’s time to pick one to “inspire” my post. Hmmm….

Fashion.

Okay, so I’ve never really considered myself fashionable, nor have I ever had an eye for that sort of thing, nor have I ever really cared. Much.

I mean, I do care a bit, but I’m also the kid who showed up to school in ripped jeans and flannel shirts long after the first time it had been cool (early ’90s) and long before it became cool again (now), because I had a ridiculous infatuation with Kurt Cobain (despite the fact that he died when I was, like, six).

Now that I’m an adult I’m realizing that my taste in clothing is changing just as much as my opinions and behaviors. I mean, in high school, when I wasn’t wearing the ripped up jeans and my grandpa’s old flannels, I might be in a corset and mini skirt embroidered with skulls. Or in a long-ish khaki skirt with a shirt and sweater set. Or in a light blue linen sundress with Adidas flip-flops. My style changed on a weekly if not daily basis and none of them match what I like now.

I seem to be attracted to basic, classic, and pretty (example being the above picture of that cute little outfit featuring the red cardigan), which I think, when I was in high school, I would have associated more with my mom than myself (i.e. totally not cool).

But maybe that’s the point. I’m a mom now, and the days of the goth mini skirts and flimsy sundresses are past me.

I don’t think that means I need to dress unattractively though, which is somewhat of an internal debate some moms have. It’s maybe not a debate over whether or not they should look and feel attractive, but maybe over whether or not they should spend the time and money on making that effort. When you have a kid it’s hard to afford new clothes (especially if you dress on the trendier side and you can’t afford to buy a new wordrobe each season), and when those kids are little, forget about keeping things clean. You’re cleaning them or some mess and nine times out of ten something will get on your clothes and it becomes disheartening trying to keep your “nice” clothes clean. And then slowly, as everything spirals out of control (at least with  me), your nice clothes morph into that pair of jeans that don’t have the hole in the crotch and your wedding dress.

So, I guess this post is two fold. One side being, your style changes as you get older and your life changes. I’m not dressing up to go out with friends and maybe meet a cute guy. I’m getting ready to go see “Tin Tin” with my kid and husband and I, personally, want something more modest, but still “cool” that doesn’t say my sense of self and taste has died and gone to Mom Jean Hell.

And that leads to the other side – I feel as though I deserve to look nice. I mean, I don’t always feel like or have the time to pick out a nice outfit and get myself ready, but it’s nice when I get the chance. I’d like the opportunity to bring it some place other than work, and while most seven and eight year old girls appreciate the zebra print shirt and sparkly nails, on a whole, I think the the general population of my workplace doesn’t care very much how I dress.

But I do. And I think my husband likes it when I put a little extra effort in when I’m at home, and I’d like to think I would put in the effort I do for work at home if that’s where I was all day.

What that photo of the outfit represents to me (aside from some clothes I’d like to buy), is how I’ve begun to morph into adulthood, refined myself, and am still discovering who I am as an adult and mother. It is a far cry from where I was just five or six years ago, and that makes me immensely happy.

I was talking to my best friend the other day. She’s single and childless, works three jobs (this girl is a machine), and there are things that she and I don’t quite get about one another any more. Which is fine. The fun thing about having friends is that, hopefully, on some level, they’re different from you and you’re constantly learning new things about one another and how to work with and love all sorts of different people.

But this isn’t about how to be friends with people who live entirely different lives from you. It’s about not comparing your entirely different lives.  

I don’t exactly look at BFF’s life with a wistful eye. For all the “freedoms” she might have because she doesn’t have to worry about anyone besides herself, there is all that single girl drama that I am more than happy to avoid (and, am frankly naive about, since I’ve not been single since I was a teenager). Plus, I love the fact that my husband is mine and we are a team. And, above all, I have a wonderful kiddo in my life who makes things all the more rich and exciting. BUT, I have a hell of a lot of stuff on my plate. And I don’t get out much. And I’m fairly sheltered from the outside world. I also don’t have much time to hang out with friends and dish about the stuff that goes on in our lives.

As I was chatting with the BFF the other day, I found us both agreeing that I have no life. And, I think there are lots of moms out there (or other people who just find themselves incredibly busy all the time) tend to think or say the same thing. And when I first said this, I felt okay about it. But as I heard my BFF agreeing with  me, I felt a little pang, and that pang has been gnawing at me for days now.

Who decides what a life should look like? Just because I am not living the life that has been ascribed to vaguely middle to upper class, white, educated 23 year olds does not mean I’m not living. Damnit, I’ve done more LIVING in the last five years than most chicks in their early twenties. And that’s awesome.

What’s more–what an incredible insult to my child and husband, to say these two fundamental people who shape my life, are completely inconsequential. If they are what my life currently consists of, and then I go on to say, “I have no life,” then I’m really saying, “Hey, you two, shorty and beast-man–LOSERS!”

And if all that’s the case, then what about my job? My job, to some degree, is important and it’s a huge part of my life because I spend a heck of a lot time there. And I’m not sitting at some desk filing my nails. I’m working with kids who have special needs, and I’m trying to help them work their skills and be better students. It’s not, like, being Mother Theresa, or even being that Freedom Writer teacher, but it’s a job to be proud of, and if I say I have no life, then the work I put in and the people I work with suddenly have no meaning (in my universe, anyway).

Now, I’m not saying that if I’m feeling a certain dissatisfaction with how things are going in my life, like I’m feeling a little stir crazy and need to get out with the hubs or some friends, or I’d like to read something other than Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, or I’m kind of down because I’ve yet to travel outside of the country, despite our ridiculously close proximity to Canada, it’s not okay. We’ve all got things we want to do, and we should make time or try to find a way to do those things. But we can’t look at others who are maybe getting more of a taste of that particular side of life and feel like we’re doing something wrong or there is something “bad” about our lives, or, worst of all, that we’re not living one. If you can look at your world, as a complete whole, and feel proud, feel happy, and feel content, then even the busiest, biggest, and most naive shut-in of a mother (a.k.a. me), can confidently know she is living. It. UP.