Friday, February 15, 2019

Agency


So apparently I missed writing yesterday too.  It’s all a bit of a blur again.  It was another OWN it / early morning seminary day, so i got up, did my prayers, affirmations, & visualizations before I left, and I am pretty sure I did my Spanish lesson, and I know we did our family scripture reading, but I don’t think I did my Family history (indexing), nor did I do my personal Come Follow Me study or my journal…  Still trying to figure it all out I guess.

So after my last entry -  I suppose I should say that I’m feel better.  I am in a place where I can see mroe clearly that Yes, I have made plenty of mistakes as a person and a parent, but my children also each have their own personalities and they have their AGENCY.  I really have TRIED to do my best.  Sometimes my “best” wasn’t very great, but it was what I could do in that moment with the skills and understanding that I then had.  I’d like to think that I am a better wife and mother NOW than I was when I started…  and I plan to continue to learn and grown and improve.

So yesterday, after I picked up the kids from robotics (which Bryan is LOVING and Caleb thinks is a waste of time, mostly due to his partner…) we had just over an hour before we had to go to scouts (707)  I found Caleb in my room, hiding under my bed crying.  It was hard to hear and understand him, but something about the pressure of having to go to scouts.  I gave up.  I just told him he could stay home.  So he did.  The whole reason I am committing all this time and money is because CALEB said he wants to earn his Eagle.  If HE doesn’t WANT this - I am not going to keep pushing it.  Yet, at the same time, I believe he would really really benefit from it.  He needs to learn to push through hard things.  He needs to have a venue where he sets goals and gets out of his comfort zone.  We signed Bryan up to be Caleb’s “Buddy” - because Caleb thought that would help him be more comfortable in the troop.  The leadership opportunity has been great for Bryan, he is really enjoying it, and last night he really did a great job stepping up and leading, on the spur of the moment, and he did a great job!.  (and he had a fun time doing it)  It is yet another mystery for me to figure out what to do. 

Tim bought dinner last night (for Valentine’s day) so when we got home from scouts we were all enjoying dinner…  then Bryan asked, “Mom, did you remember to print of those pictures for my history project?”  SHOOT!  Of course I had forgotten.  His history class has been doing a unit on THEIR history.  A whole bunch of family history stuff.  Each Friday there has been another project due.  For this one, Bryan chose the option of scanning and creating a scrapbook kind of thing.  Grandpa Mellor’s 80th birthday is this year, (next month, actually) and we are planning a surprise reunion to celebrate.  Tim has been working on a slide show presentation to celebrate his/their life - We piggy backed on that and he took what Tim already had, then added some to it.  Luckily Stevensons copy center is open until 8, so I raced over there and got it done 5 minutes before they closed. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

an emotional SLUMP


So I missed writing yesterday.  I DID get up early, but it was an OWN IT workout day, so I only got in a few things before I went, and then I just never got back to it throughout the day…  I was also in a terrible mood last night.  As I think about it, it’s a bit of a chicken & the egg scenario - I don’t know which was cause and which was effect.  Did I get into a bad mood because I didn’t follow through, or did I not follow through because I was in a big slump?  I think it was the slump that encouraged me to not get back to finishing…  Just because I have had lots of days when I don’t fit in my exercise, and it hasn’t knocked me flat emotionally.

I think what happened is that I started feeling like I have failed my children.  I see the strong and amazing spirits and personalities they have, and I am thinking that for their sakes, they should have come to better parents.  Aaron was on my computer yesterday and he left himself signed in.  (on facebook)  I have always had a “no privacy policy” when it come to social and internet communication, so since he left it open, I checked out his message threads.  It is so disappointing to me to see bad language, evidence of bad choices, declaration of addictions, etc…  I know it is pointless to do so, but I find myself wondering what I did wrong.  How I failed him.  He is so unhappy and directionless in his life.  He doesn’t like himself at all.  He is so convinced that he is worthless, and I don’t know how to help him.

Caleb is also struggling with so many things.  He has so much inner turmoil and anxiety.  He gets so angry at everyone and everything for what feels (to me) like no reason.  Katrina & Bryan are frustrated with it and feel like they have to walk on eggshells around him because everything they do or say makes him angry. 

Katrina & Bryan seem to be doing ok, but then I worry - “Aaron seemed like he was OK too, and he wasn’t…  What if these two are having inner struggles that they are hiding?  What if mess them up too?”

Anyway, that’s where my thoughts and emotions were last night up until I finally forced myself to go to bed at 11:30.  I certainly was not looking forward to getting up this morning, but I need to follow through.  I need my mind and body to have something it can cling to as a sign that I’m not a total failure.  (As I think this morning, I recognize that I am being a little overly dramatic in that statement.  I am not feeling the darkness and despair that I was feeling last night.  I am still discouraged and at a loss what to do, but I know everyone has their agency.  Yes, I have made plenty of mistakes as a parent.  I am emotionally flawed and was perhaps unable to give Aaron the love and support that he needed in his formative years, but I have done my best.  I have tried to change and improve the person I am.     I am working at being a better mother and a better human.  I have to hold on to the trust that the Atonement of Christ can heal all wounds and make up for my lack.

In other news, my shoulder it totally killing me right now.  I think I am about ready to give in and call Dr Robinson to set up an appointment to have the scope done.  (They’ll go in with a little tube things and “vacuum out” the calcite deposits, which should eliminate the pain I’ve been in (to one degree or another) for almost 2 years now.  I’ve been trying one last ditch effort at non surgical healing by taking some supplements and having acupuncture done.  So far, does NOT seem to be helping.  I'm also so discouraged with my weight.  just keeps climbing up and up.  I know I need to make sure the exercise part of my morning is serious and a priority - not the thing that I can let slide if I run out of time (which I always do)  More importantly, I need to track and record the food I am eating.  I KNOW these things, but I just don't want to DO them. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

This feels a little wicked to say out loud, but I am so grateful that Stake Conference is over.  I feel the choir went well (with a few minor hiccups).  As I sat reviewing things in my mind this morning, I thought of a few things we could have have done differently, but you know what?  Given the time frame and the ever-changing parameters, it was good. 

Stake Conference was good.  The main message I got out of it was to be more aware of (and ask for) opportunities to minister to people around me.  And to make sure I am committing time to temple & family history work.  I am toying with the idea of adding indexing to my miracle morning, but then I will HAVE to get up AT 5 (i can't lolligag around and wait until 5:30 to roll out of bed (like I did this morning)

So yesterday - I went to hear Ethan Mugleston speak in sacrament meeting yesterday prior to leaving on his mission to New Zealand.  He will be joining my email list :)  Aaron and Ethan have been close friends ever since 1st or 2nd grade.  Ethan was the last of Aaron’s friends to leave for his mission, and I worry a little about him feeling alone and left out…  Not sure if that will prod him to make some definitive decisions about which direction he wants his life to go, or just make him depressed, but there isn’t much I can do about it either way so I will just keep smiling, loving, and supporting.

After conference it took me a while to get everything cleaned up - a few people had left things in the choir loft so I gathered those up and returned them to their rightful owners.  I got home just before 4pm.  Fred & Christie were outside and I ended up talking to them for a while, which meant I ran in and ran right back out, since I had a scout committee meeting (707) at 4:30 in Orem.  I was 12 minutes late… Oh well.  By the time I got back home (just after six) I had a headache and was starting to feel sick.  I got some food and water  (i hadn’t had anything since 8 that morning) and soon felt better.  I joined the boys (Tim, Bryan & Logan) in a game of Canasta (card game) then we all watched a movie.  It was based on the true story of Patrick Henry Hughes, a boy born without eyeballs and with a form of dwarfism that kept his arms really short and affected other joints as well.  It was a slow moving story - but inspiring to see how his parents (his dad in particular) had to put away their original dreams of his son being a sports all star - and helping him become the amazing person he was sent to become.  (In the end, His dad ended up leaving his job so that he could be his son’s “legs” as he participated in the college marching band.  The father son teams travels all around the world today, giving motivational speeches and inspiring people to reach for their dreams and do what it takes to be your best self.

Send all the kids to bed by 9, and MEANT to go to bed early myself, but I didn’t.  I really need to get better at that.  I really just love my “alone time” after people are in bed.  (just don’t love the morning after…  when I discover that i missed a couple hours of sleep that I COULD’VE had.

This week is looking much calmer than the last two.  I am really looking forward to it. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

I know that the Sabbath is the "day of rest"... but mine was TODAY!

Ahhhh, yesterday was nice.  I meant to be a little more productive than I was, but oh man, it felt SO good to not be running a million miles an hour!.  Tim & Katrina had both gotten up and done “Saturday jobs” before I even got home from Bountiful baskets, so where I expected to have a lot of housework to do, they had already done the majority of the surface clean up.  I ended up cleaning the downstairs hall and laundry room, and doing 4 or 5 loads of laundry throughout the day, but while waiting to move loads from washer to dryer, and then folding them, I laid in my bed and read a book.  It has been a while since I’ve taken the time for that!  I mean , I LISTENED to The Miracle Morning a few times in a row, and I’ve been reading things related to my gospel study, but really, I haven’t just relaxed and read a book for  while.  (I did buy myself a Mary Higgins Clark book for Christmas, and I took a day to read that - that was my last time…)

We went to the adult session of conference last night and it was good.  The first couple speakers went way over their allotted times, so the last 4 really trimmed down what they had to say - but it was good.  No super powerful take-aways for me, but the reminder to focus on Christ and let him heal me, carry me, etc, as opposed to trying to do things on my own - and the importance of Ministering - we don’t have to know the right words to say, or have all the answers, we just have to BE there with love, the Lord will work WITH us accomplish his ends.  He just needs us to allow him to work through us.  I need to step up my game in this area.  I have a new “youth companion” and so far I have not been a great mentor or teacher for her.  I need to fix that.

After conference we went to the Spadafora’s for banana splits.  Jenny is SO good at creating environments of happy fellowship.  An eclectic group of people, all chatting and having a good time.  Conversations going every which way, yet everyone feeling welcome and accepted.  It is a gift she has. 
This morning at 9 I will be going to hear Ethan Mugleston speak in church prior to leaving to serve a mission in New Zealand.  I need to get dinner started in the crockpot before then…   Then I’ll try to make sure I have all my ducks in a row for the family choir “stuff”  (like sharpening 60 pencils….)  Then we need to be at the multi-stake building by noon.  (trying to organize and arrange all those families in the choir loft if going to be an interesting game of tetris!  (the goal is to keep family groups together - without getting little children buried behind big people…) I am  praying everything goes well and that the music is well received and helps bring the spirit into the meeting.  I’ll be honest - I will be glad when this particular conference is DONE!  It has been more stressful than the others, simply because of the last minute nature of it all.



Saturday, February 9, 2019

all is well

Good news - I survived yesterday!  Hooray.

I was a bit cranky and irritable in the morning, but I tend to get that way when I have not had enough sleep (especially when it is some else’s fault that I didn’t get to sleep because they procrastinated a project.)  AND I get that way when I am feeling unprepared for things (this one was MY fault because I didn’t make Bryan pack on Wednesday, and I hadn’t pushed harder to get everything all done for stake conference.) So - yesterday morning was like a double whammy!

Here’s something from yesterday that was interesting to me.  I had two different impressions (at least two that I distinctly noticed) - One that I followed, and one that I didn’t.  (and I WISH I had followed both...)

The first was regarding the activity booklet I was creating for the choir.  I had finished printing out the pages for the booklet, but I wanted to size them down so they fit two to a page, double sided and could be folded into a book.  I know we have a feature on the copier at school that does this exact thing.  I had the impression that I should take the pages to work with me, get permission from the administration to make some personal copies on the work machine (paying for them myself) then I would have a working master copy that I could take to the copy store.  I did take the pages to work, but then I felt dumb and awkward, so I never asked for permission.  I just decided to go to a copy store and do it after school.  (Don't ask my WHY I felt that way - it's not like I was doing anything wrong in asking...  sometimes by brain just worries about silly things and invents issues out of NON issues!

So…  After school I brought the boys home and gave Bryan strict instructions to GET PACKED for the Klondike.  I ran down to a local sporting goods store and bought some wool socks for Caleb, mess kit bowls and mugs, and some hand (and toe) warmers for the boys.  Then I ran to Staples (in the same business complex) to buy a few things for the stake music library AND create my master copy of the booklet.  And guess what - they did not have (or were not aware of) the same feature that was on the school machine.  In order to make it work on their machine, I would have had to manually reduce the size of each one,  then cut them out, tape them together to make the pages I wanted, then run them through again.  I was super frustrated, thought about running to another copy store to see if they could do it... but instead I ended up just driving BACK over to the school and asking for permission to use their machine.  It was not a big deal or a problem at all, they charged me .50 for the copies…  and I had it done in 10 minutes or less.  (I still had to cut and tape together two pages to get them in the format and order I wanted…, but I knew ahead of time that I’d need to do that)

Then I ran to Smith’s and bought the boys some cans of soup for dinner and a few snacks, then picked up Katrina from School.

Got home about 3:30, ensured that Bryan was packed, and threw into his pack the new things I had purchased, and got the boys to the church at 3:55.  (i know, I was a little late, we were supposed to be there at 3:45…  but “shocker!” (not) there were still about 8 boys NOT there.  We unloaded the stuff onto the curb, then loaded it another van  few minutes later  when the parent volunteer driver showed up.  That is about the time Bryan realized he had forgotten his COAT!  So I drove him home to get that.

Now, I had PLANNED to drop them off at 3:45 - 4:00, then drive over to Orem for an acupuncture appointment.  (Trying that as a way to hopefully to get some relief & healing for my shoulder) It was at this point I had my second impression.  The copy place the stake likes me to make use is called Print-Mark.  I now had my masters to copy of both the booklets and the word sheet for the congregational hymns, and I planned to make the copies on either Friday night (post acupuncture) or Saturday.  I had the thought to check the operating hours.  (I am used to making my copies at Stevenson's, and they are open until 8pm and that includes Saturdays)  I checked online - and SURPRISE - Print-mark closed at 6pm and is NOT open on Saturday!  I raced over there and got my copies made - 1000 copies!  Good news is they did the booklets first so I was able to staple them while i waited for the others to print.  I ended up not getting to my acupuncture appointment until just after 5, but they were still able to fit me in.

I am SO grateful I listened to the prompting to check the hours of operation of the copy center - or I would have been out of luck today.  And I WISH I had listened to the prompting to make my master copy at school.  If I had, I would have gone straight to the copy center and dropped off my project(s) to be copied, THEN gone shopping for soup and winter gear, then could have picked up the copies on my way to my appointment AND I would have been on time for it.  Oh well - it all worked out just fine.

Today I did Bountiful Baskets this morning (just got home and I’m finishing this entry as I eat my breakfast - yummy homemade granola with fresh blackberries that i got in my basket this morning.   I have a MOUNTAIN of laundry to do, and I need to do some cleaning of my house - it has been pretty neglected this week.  Then we have the adult session of conference tonight.  Should be a little bit easier of a day.

I hope the boys are doing well up on their camp out.  Right now the temperature in Payson (the city nearest to camp maple dell) is 24 degrees.  BRRRR!

Friday, February 8, 2019

I need a break!

YIKES - I feel like my life is OUT OF CONTROL.  Ok, not really, but it does feel like I am running and running and running, and not really making much progress.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time working on finding fun mazes, word puzzles etc… to create a booklet for the family choir children to have during stake conference.  It was a bit bigger of a project than I originally thought it would be.  I think I have something that is going to work, but I haven’t had time to go make copies to know for sure!  I have to do that today, plus get the word sheets printed out for the congregational hymns.  Conference starts tomorrow!!!! And I am still not ready.  I’m thinking I procrastinated a bit on this one…  :(

So, yesterday.  As I said, in much of my free time, I worked on the “quiet activity book,”  also went to work, of course, the boys had robotics club, then scouts with troop 707.  Bryan had to be there at 5 for patrol leader training.  We have Logan Black (a friend of Bryan’s) staying with us for a week as his parents are in hawaii.  Yesterday was the first day.  Both boys have a big history project due today, that as of getting home from school yesterday (AFTER robotics class) had not yet been started.  Logan stayed here and worked on his project while the boys went to scouts.  We raced home, dropped off Caleb, picked up Logan, and raced off again to get Logan to his basketball game by 7:30.  It was a good game, they were behind (by about 10 points) almost the entire game, but in the last quarter they actually pulled it off and with the help of a few 3 pointers, they pulled ahead and won the game by 3.  Bryan and I cheered for Logan, while we worked a little on the history project.  (They have to create a visual “family tree” - and it cannot just be printed off.)  We took an old dusty artificial ficus tree, one that we have been meaning to haul off to DI for a while now, and turned it into a “family tree.”  counting Bryan as generation 1, we went back 5 generations.  Boys on blue paper, girls on pink.  So at the game, we were using the family search app on my phone and he was writing down all the names.  (of course, it ended up being a waste of time, because when we got home and checked the assignment directions, he needed to include death & birth dates and places…  and we hadn’t left enough room on the paper for that information, so he had to write them all again.

Anyway, we got home at about 9, then they ate some of the dinner that was still left out, then got started on homework.  Logan was basically done, so he ended up just proving to be a distraction as he tried to be “helpful.”  Bryan was able to get his science homework done, and he worked on the “tree” project until about 10:10, then I sent him to bed and I worked a while longer at it - attaching all the papers to the tree.  He has a few more things he needs to write out this morning, plus some math to do…

Today will consist of work until 1, then getting bryan packed for Klondike (i really wish I had insisted that he pack when Caleb did)  and getting the boys off by 3:45.  I have an acupuncture appt at 4:30,  still need to squeeze in getting all the copies made, and I really should run and buy some wool socks for the boys campout.  Caleb could really use new boots too, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to fit it all in.

Somehow I need to figure out how to take some deep breaths and calm myself down or I will never survive this day!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

SNOW

It is crazy to me how I can sit down to write and seriously not remember what I did yesterday… I think that’s why all my journal entries sound about the same.  “I got up, went to work, came home, did blah blah blah…
Yesterday i DID get up - and did go to work.  Oh - I can talk about the weather.  IT IS SO COLD!!!!  We are in the midst of a “winter storm watch” or “warning” I forget which, but yesterday was super cold.  Northern Utah got hit a lot harder than we did, as far as snow.  Lots of school districts up north had a SNOW day yesterday…  That doesn’t happen very often in Utah.  It snowed more last night and the road were pretty slick this morning taking Katrina to seminary.  Actually, she drove.  She did just fine - we just took it nice and slow. It’s another FULL day today - I hope I can get everything done.  I think I’m hitting a little wall - I’ve been feeling lack of motivation the last couple days.  I’m having a hard time pushing through all these tasks on my “to do” list.  The problem is, a lot of my “stuff to do” is related to stake conference, which is just 3 days!  I don’t have any more spare time.  I guess i need to buckle down and get it done!