Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Now that the website is launched, we're dealing with plenty of little glitches and fixes but in general, life seems SO much less stressful!  I've had a few melt-downs in the past couple weeks when all I did was work on the computer and quickly meet my kids needs in a fairly basic way while finishing so so so many things on the website.  But the hard work seems to be paying off and life feels so much better now. My new goal each day is to enjoy.  To do what I can do in some specified hours each day and just enjoy the rest.  And with dance and scouts cancelled this week for reasons I don't even know and basketball season over for the boys, life really seems slower and nicer on all fronts!

Jared, the twins and I went to the school to see Eliza and Isaac receive awards this morning.  I loved seeing their proud grins as they stood up there with their certificates and felt so happy to hear the nice things their teachers said about them (especially since we've experienced some real struggles with school here and there).  We've got good kids.  The assembly was long, long, long - and not exactly thrilling other than the parts my kids were in. Sitting there for so long with the website waiting would have driven me crazy in the last few weeks.  But today I just sat back and enjoyed (and replied to just a couple emails on my phone...).

I made bread yesterday.  And it was really good bread.  We had bread and milk for dinner with a few carrots on the side - bread hot thick with honey and butter.  Everyone was so happy.  My mom used to make bread sometimes and when we'd come home to a house full of that fresh-bread smell, we were in heaven.  So I've tried to do the same for my kids over the years and have valiantly failed - brick bread is what we all affectionately called my attempts.  But then my sister taught me to make bread at Bear Lake last summer and I've made some pretty darn good batches this year.  Still, it's a process - a messy, longish process.  It felt so good yesterday to just take the time to make bread and let the twins knead it and not stress about the time it took to clean up.  It felt good to go the extra mile and clean behind the canisters and wipe down the backsplash and just do those little things you notice and can do something about when you're not feeling stressed and rushed.

I took a somewhat leisurely trip to the grocery store today with Oliver and Silas (it's been a mad dash for bare essentials for quite some time now) and had them help me think of some good meals for this week (the meals haven't been stellar lately).  As the boys were helping me pick out fruits and veggies.  I asked Silas if he thought we should get some squash and he said "noooooo - really no squash!"  (They love just about every kind of vegetable - Oliver requested broccoli and green beans for his birthday dinner - but somehow squash, the favorite baby food for all my kids, has ended up on the gag list for most of them!)  After turning down the squash so vehemently, Silas went over to Oliver who was a little further down the aisle and said "Oliver, guess what.  We almost had a squash situation.  But I told mommy no."

These boys crack me up and I need to remember more of what they say!  They use a lot of big words lately - and use them correctly.  It sounds so cute with their little voices.

Tonight we went to a really cool hands-on science exhibit at the old train station downtown.  The kids were so excited to learn about sound waves and static electricity (some of those shocks really hurt!) and optical illusions and all sorts of interesting stuff.  Some of it was a little over the twins' heads so we wandered out into the big old train station waiting room - cavernous place with beautiful murals commemorating the completion of the railroad.  The place feels so empty now that its purpose is long gone.  I wish the new double decker trains that connect Salt Lake and Ogden pulled right up to this old station so it could bustle and be used as it was meant to be used.  Oh well.

Anyway, they had those machines where you can turn a penny into a souvenir there in the old waiting room and Oliver and Silas begged to create their own special pennies.  I always say no about this sort of stuff.  With 5 kids and usually some friends along for good measure, I never have enough quarters or time or patience it seems.  But when I found the right number of quarters in my wallet for my two boys to make their smashed pennies, they got the hugest smiles of glee and amazement on their faces!  We made awesome souvenir pennies and they were soooooo happy.

When I had tucked Oliver in bed last night, he started crying and said "I hate Ogden!"  I hugged him and asked why and after a while he came up with "because I don't get to do fun things here."   After a weekend of skiing and a trip to the children's museum last week with cousins, that hardly seemed fair.  I told him I know there are lots of fun things we used to do in St George and that I miss it too but that there are different really fun things to do here.  We talked about the fun things we've done lately and the fun things we have coming up and he went to sleep happier - he was just overtired I think.

So tonight when I tucked him in (after he'd carefully stashed his special penny in the bottom of his jammie drawer in the special wallet Ashton made for him out of duct tape, Oliver said, "you know that thing I said last night about Odgen?  Well now that I have my penny that says Ogden, Utah on the back I feel much better."  I'm so glad.

Sure there were bad moments today - like when one child brought home a report card with some stuff on it that does not reflect his abilities and we had to have a big talk.  Or when all the kids were being super loud and talking to me at once and I was so tired since I didn't sleep well last night.  Or when Jared and I went out for a lunch date to celebrate getting the website done and it wasn't very fun because we weren't used to talking about anything other than the website.  Or when Oliver and Silas disappeared in the grocery store for a couple minutes - I swear I've lost a few years from my life thanks to worry over wandering kids.

But I choose not to focus on the bad parts of today.  I have melt-downs and stressed-out moments more than I should.  I worry too much.  I work too much.  I do too much.  I think too much.  I enjoy too little.  And I mean to change that.


Alissa and Brandon Owen Family said...

Saren-- this is the most wonderful post! You do such a fantastic job characterizing life, motherhood-- the moment. Your last few sentences need to be viny-lettered in my family room! It makes me feel so validated. What a gift. Thank you for all you do and write. By the way, Ogden is one of my most favorite places in the whole entire world! Really, it is. Just wait until summer, when you can rent jet skis right on Pineview --for pretty cheap; and play in the fine coral sand at pineview; have raspberry shakes at Chris' or pizza at the Eats of Eden; canoe in Cozi dam (Causey? sp?) dam above Huntsville; horseback ride by Huntsville; watch a sunset at Pineview (some times it looks like Norway from some views; golf in Eden; play tennis at Huntsville's new tennis courts and park-- right by David O McKay's place; then, you will never want to leave. We vacation in Eden every summer and every summer we dream about moving to Ogden. Some of the greatest tennis players have come out of Ogden. I love Ogden. I always have. I keep trying to tell Brandon Ogden needs a good patent attorney:) Sigh. Maybe one day we can join you! Thanks again for this post and others. Alissa (Redd) Owen

Eyrealm said...

Wow, what a post! I love what Alissa said too! I laughed about "the squash situation" until I cried. You just have to know Oliver and Silas to really appreciate that!

Such good observations. Love you! Can't wait to talk tonight.

My Story said...

I think you are amazing! After reading that entire post and watching you go through your day with your adorable kids, then reading the part at the end, I appreciated you even more for being so honest about the overwhelmingness, as well as the sweetness of motherhood!

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how comforting it is to know a mom that seems to have it all together from posts, parents with intention, also struggles at time with the various obligations. I know at times I'm distracted and short tempered with my children because of work, and as much as I'd like to think I wouldn't be like that if I Was a SAHM, I doubt that would be true - yes, I'd have more freedom to be just with my kids, I'd still have those moments when all the kids want something, the phone is ringing, one of the dogs threw up, and whatever else can happen in the moment. I am TRYING to tell myself it will change in 30 minutes and not get worked up in the hectic moments. Its really helpful to know I'm not alone and that I can still be a good mom even with my shortcomings.


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