Sunday, February 03, 2008


I've had some major ups and downs in the last few weeks - I've always been prone to ups and downs but they really escalated since Christmas until things were really seeming bad. With a lot of prayer and a lot of good talks with Jared and others, things are now seeming so much better than they've been in a long, long time. I feel like we've really worked through a lot of long-standing issues. We're now working diligently towards a better marriage with a lot more communication and connection and I'm seeing myself more clearly - seeing what I need to change and working towards positive change rather than spending energy on bemoaning the difficult aspects of my life that aren't going to change for a while (I have 5 small, needy kids, finances are tight, lots of things I try to do each day have no visible immediate effect, I don't have a great deal of adult interaction or appreciation for the things I do...). I'm trying to be more pro-active in changing what I CAN change, focus on the positive aspects of each thing in my life and live closer to the spirit, seeking more inspiration and guidance.

I am so blessed. I have the best husband and kids in the world and sure, they could improve and so could I, but that will only happen with patience and small incremental changes. I get so impatient for things to be the way I envision them and get caught up in a feeling of inertia as I wish for the righteous desires of my heart to become reality more quickly than reality allows. I'm realizing more and more that I need to start with myself and make myself more of what the Lord would have me be rather than worrying so much about fixing the organizations and people around me. Don't know if this makes sense - but things that have seemed so confusing and murky are seeming more clear these days. And I'm so grateful.

In a moment of total frustration about inertia, I came across a great deal on a hotel room in Las Vegas and surprised the kids when they got home from school with the news that we were taking off for adventures in Vegas. I just found out that Shawni did the same sort of thing at the same time but her surprise was Disneyland. Our trip pales in comparison - but the kids were SO excited. It turned out to be a really great trip and I felt pretty empowered that I could take 5 little kids to Vegas, successfully get them and our luggage through a casino to the hotel check-in desk then through the casino again to the elevators to our room with all the kids fighting over who got to push the button for the elevator, then all over Vegas the next day.
Picnicking by the Bellagio Lake
Hanging out with the M and M's - OK, not as cool as the Disney Characters
all over Shawni's blog, but Isaac and Eliza were excited!

The kids LOVED seeing the Strip all lit up at night, the novelty of staying in a hotel room (Ashton kept dancing around chanting "I love hotels, I love hotels!"), staying up late eating treats from Trader Joes in our room (made a crazy stop in there for food with 5 kids in tow - not the best part of the trip!), watching some very playful young lions at the MGM Grand for a long time, riding the little train that connects several of the casinos (the twins really really loved this part), and just seeing so many interesting people and sites. I loved just forgetting about everything else for 24 hours and totally being with my kids, going with what they felt like doing and enjoying everything through their eyes. The kids were all really good and it was great just to get away and do something different for a bit and let Jared have some peace and quiet for a while.

The kids were excited about the fake Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty and all that -
but the big boys were quick to point out that they'd seen the real Statue of Liberty
and it was much better than this one
When I got home, Jared had set up a great little weekend for the two of us at Zion and Jessica valiantly agreed to watch the kids. It was SO nice to have some great uninterrupted talks with Jared and enjoy the beauty of the place. We stayed at a wonderful hotel and ate great food and came home feeling rejuvenated and ready to start fresh.

After so many years of kids and craziness, we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and it feels good to be moving past the "just barely getting it done" stage to the "actually enjoying it" stage. Sure, we've had amazing times and precious moments and we wouldn't trade away anything in the last 10 years - but it's been quite frequently grueling and stressful and there are so many times when so many people are demanding attention all at once and there are no clean clothes and the homework didn't get done and the babysitter fell through and the phone is ringing and there's guilt and crushed hopes from so many things undone in the past and worry over things that need to be done in the future cluttering up the present and making it hard not to react unpleasantly (to put it nicely) to the hard things that keep popping up. As a naturally-inclined control freak and perfectionist and a person who desperately wants to do meaningful things all the time in the larger world, life with five little kids has perhaps been harder for me than it might be for some. But I'm learning to see things more for what they are, to roll with the punches better, to count my blessings, and to appreciate the fact that it will really just be a moment in time that I'll have these kids at home, needing me, wanting me. And I want to look back with love and pleasant memories, not with regret that I missed too much in the midst of the chaos and the frustrations and the "grass is greener" mentality.

So I'd better get going on my pro-active to-do list of things that I'll feel MUCH better once I do - organize a mother's group/book group, get on top of the housework that's been bearing down on me, go read with Isaac with a positive attitude, come up with a fun FHE treat....


Jonah and Aja Eyre said...

Great blog as usual Saran. Love how you are always so open in your blog. Its like we get to peek into your personal journal. Glad we finally got to see some of those Vegas photos, too. We've been dying for those. You make it seem so easy! Aja

shawni said...

I wish I could help you come up with a fun FHE treat. Unfortunately I'm much too good at rounding up treats for our family! I loved the great pictures and wise words. I love to think about thankfulness. I don't know if I've told you lately, but a long time ago you sent me a copy of a talk you gave in church about being thankful. I honestly probably think about that talk at least once a week. It's all about how thankfulness equals happiness. I'm so THANKFUL for you and how much happiness you bring to everyone around you. Don't be so hard on yourself. You are one amazing girl. I love you with all my heart. Love, Shawni

Eyrealm said...

What a great entry Saren! I love your perpetual optimism and commitment to doing better although we all think you're doing spectacularly! BUT thanks for sharing and for letting us know where you are. You are amazing!

Hug all those great guys...and Eliza for us!
Love from Perth,


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