The busy life of a full time employee, student, mom and wife

Monday, December 17, 2012

A life secret.

I know that everyone wants to talk about this tragedy in Conneticut but I just can't. My heart just hurts too bad. So instead, i'm gonna tell you guys a secret. A life secret. It's something I learned a few years ago that has made me a substantially happier person. I'm not trying to say I have life figured out because believe me sister, I don't. I'm just saying that with this one, little secret that I learned I have become a far more relaxed, happy, and less high strung person. You ready for it?

Learn to accept help. Like, really accept it. Don't go out seeking help (unless you really need it!) and pawn everything off on other people, but if someone offers to do something small to help you out, say yes! If you ask yourself "why not?" and cant come up with a legitimate answer why you shouldn't let this person help within about 5 seconds, tell them yes. But first you have to realize that accepting help comes in different forms.

When my husband and I first started dating we were very young and I was just starting to find myself as an adult. In that journey I learned that adult me likes my house clean. So I would clean our house, and I would get mad that he wasn't helping. So I would make him help. Then I would get mad that he did it "wrong." Then I would go behind him and re-clean everything he just cleaned, all while getting even more mad that he did it wrong and I had to clean it anyway. After a while he saw that I would just go re-clean everything he cleaned so he stopped cleaning. Why clean something if someone else is going to? So I would get mad all over again that he wasn't helping. It was a lose/lose. If he cleaned, I was mad he didn't do it  my way, if he didn't clean I was mad he wasn't helping. I wanted his help but I wouldn't accept it.  I couldn't accept that his way of cleaning was good enough when in reality, it was just fine.

No, he may not have wiped down the sink after he was done doing dishes, but those water spots weren't going to kill anyone were they? The dishes were done weren't they?  He may have missed a spot vacuuming but I'm pretty sure that one little triangle of carpet didn't contain the plague, and we'd all be just fine.  This one definitely took some time, but I eventually learned that I my way is not the only way, and that I don't have to be the one to do everything in order for it to be done "right." This applies to other areas too, not just cleaning. Parenting, driving, cooking... everything. I let him do things and we are a partnership. Not only has this relieved stress for me by not feeling like I need to do it all and being bitter that I'm the only one working, but it's relieved stress on our relationship too. We don't fight about me not having help and doing everything alone because I allow him to help, I don't push it away saying it's not good enough or not "right."

Another way to accept help is to just plain accept it. Let people help. This is still a work in progress for me. When I was slammed busy trying to get everything ready for Anthony's birthday party my mom offered to help. My knee jerk reaction was to tell her no, but thank you. Then I thought about it for a minute, why not? What in the world was so bad about me letting her help assemble some of the things I had made? Why would I say no? Pride? So I went back and told her that I actually could use her help. And you know what? She ended up staying late that night helping me, I would never have gotten everything done in time without her help.  I have a surgery coming up in a few weeks and I have no idea how long I will be down afterwards. My sister offered to make a few meals for my family and I, so I could relax and recover and Brandon wouldn't have to add "cooking dinner" to the list of things he'll already be handling by himself while I'm down. Again, my reaction was to say no. But why? Because I want to be super mom and not let someone else take care of my family? I thought about it for a few minutes and again went back and said actually, yes. Now that's one less thing I have to worry about during my recovery. I know my family and I will eat well (and not fast food) and my husband wont be stressing about making or buying meals.

Next time someone offers help and your reaction is to say no stop for a minute and ask yourself why you're actually saying no. Is it pride? Do you really actually have any reason at all to say no? If you don't have a reason, then just say yes! You can do it, I know you can. Next time your husband cleans the kitchen and leaves streaks on the countertop, just take a breath, walk away, and go kiss him and tell him thank you for the help. It's amazing how much stress you can relieve by just accepting a little bit of help.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fall/Winter pictures

It's the time of year for Christmas cards and family pictures! Because nothing says I love you quite like giving someone pictures of yourself, right? The concept of pictures in/on Christmas cards is a little bit lost on me, except for when given to family members that rarely see you or your kids. But its a "thing" and my family all seem to love it, so we divulge and we took our Christmas pictures this past weekend.

We went up to a really pretty park. It has a railroad track running through it and has a ton of seasonal trees that give off a lot of leaves. It photographs really well. Well enough that there were about ten other families there taking family pictures the same time we were. I wish I was kidding or exaggerating, but I'm not. There was a lot of "watch out, we're gonna be in the background of these peoples pictures" or "just a sec there's someone in the background." But luckily everyone knew what everyone else was trying to do and was mostly courteous about trying to stay out of each others way.

I love photographing my family. In my completely unbiased opinion, my boys are pretty freakin cute and easy to photograph so its fun. The downside of it is that I'm never in any of the pictures. I have about 486,542,878 pictures of my boys together and my husband with them but about 20 of me and the boys and like 3 of the four of us together. I used the self timer to jump in a few of them, but I look a little beat from first taking pictures and the toddler chasing that entails, and then from running to try to beat the timer and get "posed" in time.

The shots I got of the boys were pretty good. I was really sad though, I got some really really cute ones of the two of them when we first got there, only to realize my 1yr old who was trying to play with my camera the night before had switched me from auto focus to manual focus and all of my favorite ones were not in focus. I was able to get a few that were in focus but the boys were over that spot so we had to move on. Sad me. Our day ended early when Anthony got stung by a bee and was in no mood to continue taking pictures. Through the timer beating, the bee stinging, and the manual focus I was able to get some really cute shots. So now, I share them!

This was my favorite spot, that was first out of focus then the boys were over it. As Anthony is demonstrating here.

Hey look! I'm in one! Messy hair and all.

After posting these an old friend from high school contacted me about taking some pictures for her family. So not this coming weekend, but the following I'll be taking pictures of someone elses family for the first time! Wish me luck!

Monday, December 3, 2012


I realize it's been over a week since Thanksgiving, but oh well. This Thanksgiving was momentus for me because for the first time ever, Brandon and I hosted! That week was a little bit of a whirlwind. We hosted Anthonys birthday party (30+ attendees) then 5 days later hosted our first Thanksgiving (~15 attendees). I also went black "friday" shopping that night at Target but it was such a monumental waste of time I wont even go into it.

On Thanksgiving morning Brandon and his friends have a tradition of playing football, the turkey bowl, so he left at like 10 that morning. Thankfully he gutted the turkey for me before he left because I was really not looking forward to doing that and was happy to pass that task along to him. I was a little nervous about him leaving and me being left alone with the boys trying to watch them and get the food prepared at the same time but it actually worked out perfectly. Noah went down for his nap and I put a movie on for Ant, so everyone was gone and out of my hair and I was able to work pretty much without interruption for most of the morning. I got the turkey prepped and in the oven before 11am, got the deviled eggs made, and chopped up and laid out the veggies for the platter  before people started arriving and Brandon got back home. Then I got to open up the wine ;)

Everything went pretty smoothly until it was time to pull the turkey and ham out of the oven. The gravy needed to be made and for some reason, of everything that I made that day the gravy was what intimidated me the most. I got started (with the help of my sister) working on the gravy, but then every side that had been brought over and was sitting out needed to be put in the oven to be warmed up. It got a little hectic in the kitchen and I felt like I needed 5 ovens but in the end it all worked out. The ham was a little cold by the time it was time to eat but it got eaten up anyway.

For my first Thanksgiving hosted I think it went well! Everyone ate a lot, and went back for more so I'd say they enjoyed it. Even with the little bit of chaos I would love to host again, I really loved having everyone over and being able to open my home up. Oh and I REALLY enjoyed the whole not having to drive anywhere thing. I didn't take many pictures becuase I was a TAD busy. But here are a few pictures of the food tables before they got dug into.