Friday, March 18, 2011

bitter-sweet memories

today my little girl turns 4. in some ways i can't believe she is already 4, but mostly i think, "wait, she's only 4!" she has always seemed older to me. maybe it's because she started talking so much earlier than our boys, or maybe it's because she always been obsessed with "pretties", or maybe it's because she has always had her own opinion and has never had a problem expressing it. whatever the reason, my little girl has never seemed very young to me.
my baby boy also reached a milestone today. he is now 6 months old. i've kept clothes from my older 2 boys as hand-me-downs and i store them 6 months to a bin. that means that today i pulled out a new group of clothes for my little baby and had to put away all the clothes he's outgrown.
this is where the bitter comes into play. as i folded each little outfit and put it into the garage sale pile i couldn't help but shed a tear. some of those outfits have been worn by each of my 3 boys. i kept thinking, "i will never pull this onesie over a tiny newborn head ever again. i will never fight a squirmy little foot into this shoe ever again. i will never see this outfit on one of my babies ever again." of course, i kept a few very special outfits for sentimental reasons, but most things are going bye-bye.
as much as i understand the reasons why we are done having children i still can't help but wish for another one. we had 4 kids in 5 years meaning that being pregnant and having children have been one of the main focuses of my life for over 6 years now. how do i find a way to let go of such an important part of my life? how do i come to terms with the fact that the thing i've devoted my body to for the past 6 years is no longer present in my life?
of course i know the answer. i focus on raising my children now. there is kindergarten next year; karate and ballet classes; play dates; and a myriad of other activities in our future. but knowing this is what i now need to turn my attention to and doing it are two very different things.
now for the sweet. pulling out each of the "new" outfits brought back happy memories of when my older boys were little. i remembered my boys wearing everything i took out of the bin. in most cases i also remember who gave us each outfit and why. it made me smile to think of my baby getting big enough to wear clothes his big brothers wore.
i am excited for the future. for all the adventures we will have as a family. i just really, really, don't like change.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


We all have trials, each and everyone of us. For each person trails come in different forms. Some trials we bring on ourselves through the choices we make, other trials are thrust upon us by outside sources.
Additionally, we each handle trials in our own unique ways. Some people chose to face the bad times face on, having faith that everything will turn out right in the end. Others curl up in a ball and wait for things to improve.
For our family, trials almost always seem to come in monetary form. Before anyone judges to harshly and tells me to just stop spending, let me say that we do everything we possibly can to stay out of debt. In fact, our only debt is one student loan and our house. Not bad considering most people are loaded down with vehicle and credit card debt. We rarely eat out, never go to the movies, and we don't even have cable. And we also put part of every pay check into savings.
No, our problems seem to come in the form of medical bills and breakdowns to our cars and the house. Thankfully, we do have some savings to fall back on, but what do you do when that runs dry? Well, I guess that's when faith comes in. In my religion we pay 10% of our income to tithing. That may seem like a lot, but I have no doubt that because of that 10% we have found our way out of some pretty dark times. I am grateful to give that 10% to the Lord, because as I see it, He lets me keep 90%! Not bad.
So as we are now in the midst of another financial trial. I take my hunky fireman by that hand, smile, and say, "bring it on!"