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So, I had a baby boy 3 weeks ago!  It is so fun to have the little guy in our lives!  I have to say though, it is SO hard to have a baby while living away from family.  I struggled with it when I had my 3rd and it’s been equally hard, if not harder with my 4th.  With my first two I lived near family when I gave birth.  It was so great!  First of all, family came to visit at the hospital!  It stinks being in the hospital alone.  And with babies 3 and 4 my hubby had two and three other kids to care for and being at the hospital with me all the time was out of the question.  Also, family was there at the hospital the day of!  I loved it!  Coming to see us, to see the little one!!  It was great!  My parents were out of town when I had my second and they were still the first ones there to visit us!  They cut their trip short and came back to see us and meet their new granddaughter!  Throughout the following weeks we constantly had attention from family!!  People dropping by to check on us and say Hi.  That’s just what family does.  As well meaning as friends may be, it’s just not the same.  There is something about someone else being as excited about this new little person being on this earth as you are!  There is something to watching them hold your child or shower your other children with love that may be feeling a little neglected because of the new little one.  It just all means so much.  And to get none of that, is tough.  In four weeks and six days we are moving.  Until recently, I’ve had a lot of reservations and mixed feelings about this move.  But now, after having this little guy and aching for family to be around, I am so anxious and ready to live near family.

How Are You?

Three little words.  Seems simple enough, right?  But the truth is, who really wants the truth?  Over the last few years I have actually had several conversations with different people about this.  People ask this all the time, but RARELY want your real answer.  I’ve learned several things about this.  I have found #1 It’s best to just say I’m good.  #2 The danger of telling the truth is the response you open yourself up to get.  There have been rare times where I have been completely honest.  Whether it was a moment of frustration, sadness, tired, pain, or whatever.  When this has been admitted, I first get a look of, “Oh, I’m sorry.”  I don’t tell you for you to be sorry for me.  The next thing that usually happens is the person tries to help me find some “silver lining”.  THAT is the part that annoys the CRAP out of me.  I am not the kind of person to be down in the dumps ALL day EVERY day.  So, for me to be having “a moment”, it is just that.  A MOMENT.  You happen to ask when I am still in THE MOMENT.  I always hate when I say, “It’s been one of those days” and someone says, “Well, you are so blessed because…”  I totally know I’m blessed in SO many ways.  Just because someone is having a “moment” doesn’t mean that those other things are forgotten.

The reason I’m going on a tangent is mostly for myself.  I’m eight months pregnant and people keep asking me how I am doing…  What do I say?!  What I really want to say is…  I’m uncomfortable.  It hurts to stand, it hurts to walk, it hurts to sit down, and I can’t get comfortable laying down.  I pee ALL the time, and all hours through the night.  I am sleep deprived.  I still have 3 other children to tend to and I’m EXHAUSTED.  That’s what I WANT to say.  Can I really say that??  HE** NO!!!

Why?  Why, you say?  Because.  I don’t want the different reactions.  I don’t want the pity.  Truth is, I’m NOT experiencing something that has NEVER been experienced by others.  This is part of the world of being pregnant.  Then there are those who are unable to have children and I have been told that I’m just lucky to have this experience.  I do feel completely blessed to have this experience.  In truth, I LOVE being pregnant, but it doesn’t mean that it’s all pleasant and all a bed of roses.  It is a miracle that a woman’s body can do what it does while pregnant and I truly am SO very very grateful.  But it doesn’t take away how truly miserable and achy my body feels.

So, I do think that in the end it’s always best to just tell people you are great, fine, or good.  There are few close friends in a persons’ life that will truly want the real answer.  By saying you are good, fine, or great, you aren’t being fake because the truth is that life probably is ultimately good, fine, or great!  It’s just that you are having a “moment”!

Balance

I’m not going to talking about balancing a checkbook or balancing on a beam.  I’m thinking more along the lines of balancing life.  This summer has been busy and has brought on lots of changes and such!  All good, but causes me to do a lot of reflecting, on myself, my life, and the people around me.  Balance is, in my mind, so important.  The thing to remember is, each person’s definition of “balance” is going to be different.  The way one person will feel balanced is different than for someone else.  So, keep that in mind.  I think I tend to think that because this is what works best for me or my family, that it’s what would work for everyone, but that is just not the case.

Becoming a parent is such a life changing experience!  It’s overwhelming to all the sudden be responsible for a little person!  Then as they continue to grow up, that weight of responsibility gets bigger.  Because now it’s not just about changing diapers and making sure they are burped and fed.  It’s now about all that AND making sure they are learning the life lessons that will help them to learn and grow and develop into functioning, capable adults.

I am starting to see how different forms of parenting can be good, bad, or somewhere in between.  I grew up with parents who, I feel like, have set some really great examples for me.  For them, I think they found balance.  My parents grew up going on date nights, but still also took time to give us as their kids, experiences.   It wasn’t all about them, but it also wasn’t all about us.  Some may take what I’m saying as strange or weird, but I have come across parents who do everything to make sure their kids experience EVERYTHING.  Some may ask, what’s wrong with that?  Well, I think the problem with that is they are going to grow up still having a need to experience everything.  I’m not saying they will turn bad or do things that aren’t right.  I’m saying they will become parents someday and will still feel like they are the ones that should be entertained.   Then there are the parents like the ones as kids that grow up, where they still feel like they should be the ones entertained and forget that their own children need to have those childhood experiences.

There has to be balance.

I once heard or read that the greatest gift you can give your children is by having a solid relationship with your spouse.  I believe that.  I believe it’s good for the kids to know how important you are to each other.  I think it’s good for them to see that you still want to go on adventures and do things as an adult.  Then I also believe it is important to let children be children.  And have family experiences together.  For family activities to be about everyone.  Not just about the adults and not just about the kids!

Anyways.  I hope and pray that I can continue making an effort to have balance in our lives.  It is something that is also ever-changing.  As kids go into school, and as kids grow up, or as more children come into the family, that balance is always going to be shifting.  The church I belong to, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, promotes families!  I love that!  We have the Family Proclamation.  You can go here to read it, http://www.lds.org/Static%20Files/PDF/Manuals/TheFamily_AProclamationToTheWorld_35538_eng.pdf.

The church also promotes Family Home Evenings.  It’s once a week, on Mondays or whenever works out best for each family, and there’s a lesson, and singing, and treats, and games, and a family council involved.  I love this.  It’s a great way to keep connected as a family.  It’s a great time to open up and talk about what’s going on in everyone’s lives.  What’s working or not working in the family.  It’s just all around a good thing and I truly know it was inspired by God.  Families are important and Satan is trying to do everything in his power to tear them apart.

I hope each and everyone of us can continue working to find balance in our lives!  It will be a great gift to our lives as individuals, but also a great gift for our children to see, feel, and experience.  That can be passed down through generation after generation.

So, I’ve grown up hearing adults, other couples and so on and so forth talking about a man being in the dog house, or sleeping on the couch.  Last night, I was at a soccer game and there were some younger kids behind us.  It’s funny because they were 24 and 25 years old, but because of some of their language and conversations we heard, it felt like they were kids…  Anyways!  We were talking about how we didn’t think cheerleaders belonged at soccer games, and I was saying that my husband would agree.  I turned to him and said, “Don’t you agree?”  My husband and I had had this conversation before, so I knew he did, but the guys next to the girls were saying that all guys would want cheerleaders at any sporting event.  My hubby agreed with us girls and the girls began to joke that he had to agree or he’d be sleeping on the couch!  I then took an opportunity to say that he’d never had to sleep on the couch.

This brought my idea for my blog!  It’s hands down true.  I have never asked my husband to sleep on the couch, forced him to sleep on the couch, or demanded he sleep on the couch.  He has never slept on the couch.  (Other than when he falls asleep while watching TV and that’s usually in the afternoons!)  I, on the other hand, have.  I am a firm believer that if I am the one mad or upset or frustrated enough to not want to be in the same bed or the same room with him, then I should be the one to sleep on the couch.  Now many of you might be sitting there saying, “You should never go to bed mad at each other.”  I COMPLETELY agree, BUT there is a time of night where logic and being realistic are taken over by being tired.  At that point, there is often no way to resolve it until sleep has come and rest has been had.  So, there have been 3 times in my marriage where I remember being mad enough that I slept on the couch.  I don’t remember what it was about, I don’t remember why I was mad, but I remember sleeping on the couch.  And I remember that he wasn’t mad or frustrated so why in the world would I make HIM move when he was quite content to be in the same room and in the same bed?  Regardless of the argument or disagreement.

I personally think there is a growing lack of respect being shown on movies and TVs of the marriage partnership.  For some reason, men get the brunt or the shaft, or however you want to look at it.  Now, men aren’t perfect, I’m not saying they are, but I really feel like they often get disrespected by women.  I’ve seen many times where a woman has been down right, publicly disrespectful to her husband.  It always makes me think, that if the tables were turned, and the man were treating the wife that way, the woman would be so hurt and offended.  Yet, if the woman does it, it should be tolerated.  It’s okay.

IT IS NOT OKAY.  I am also a firm believer that couples should back one another up in public, but correct (if needed) in private.  Putting a spouse down in public can lead to so many hurts.  Once again, it sometimes seems as though women want the support from the husband, but don’t give the same support to the man.  Sad, sad, sad.  In truth, we should all be respectful to each other.  Not just between husband and wife, but between friends, co-workers, extended family, and even strangers.

So, to women out there who make their husbands sleep on the couch when they are mad, that is YOUR choice.  I’m just expressing my choice.  To women out there who put down their husbands and show a lack of respect, that’s again, YOUR choice, but I feel sorry for your husbands.  And maybe take a second to think about the Golden Rule.

Do unto others as you would have others do to you!!!!!!!!!!!!

I grew up in a family where I was the only girl and I had two brothers.  I think because of this, I always thought my little family would work out the same.  I always wanted one girl and the rest boys!  I currently have three girls, a fourth baby on the way and we don’t know whether it’s a boy or girl.   I LOVE my girls, but I have my reasons for the fear of girls.  I was never your typical girl.  To this day, I don’t feel I have ever experienced a girl best friend.  My Mom is the closest this comes for me, but that is also different because we are at different places in our lives.  She’s in Grandma mode, and I’m in Mom mode!

I’ve always found girls to be somewhat difficult.  I have always preferred to have guys as friends.  Guys speak their minds and don’t beat around the bush.  Also, they do not thrive off of drama as many girls do.  I never had a guy use me to get to a girl friend.  I many times experienced the opposite.  Now that I am married, having guys as friends doesn’t quite work.  I was thrilled when I met my husband to find that he had five brothers.  I felt sure that would make my life feel “normal” because I then would have five automatic friends that were safe!  That hasn’t quite worked out how I hoped, and that doesn’t mean it never will…there’s still time for those relationships to grow, but as of right now, it didn’t work out how I’d hoped.

My reason for bringing all of this up is an experience I had the other day.  For church I work with kids ages 3-11!  It’s a LOT of fun and the kids are fantastic.  There was a bicker between three little girls.  Being the “leader”, it was my responsibility to step in and see what I could do to help resolve the situation.  As I’m talking to these three little girls, ages 4, I come to find that apologies aren’t going to be made.  So, I send one back to class.   I took the other two aside and decided we needed to have a heart to heart.  I asked them why they didn’t want to be friends with the other little girl and why they were picking on her.  Their answer was simple.  “We already have a friend at school.  We don’t need another friend.”  I have seen this happen to my own daughter at school and it seriously kills me how young all this starts between girls.  My daughter is 5, going on 6.  She would come home from school and tell me that girls were telling her who she could or could not be friends with.  Often she would get a new girl in class and I’d ask if she was nice to her or made friends and my daughter would tell me that so and so had told her not to be the new girls friend.  These many situations I saw as a Mom gave me the opportunity to teach my daughter.  I am so grateful for teaching moments.  Because they are just that.  Moments.  It sometimes feels like that might be my one chance to really make an impact and let it sink in.  I’ve taught my daughter that you can have many friends.  You might have one friend you feel especially close to, but you can still have many other friends.  I have tried to teach her to be nice to everyone because that is what Jesus would want.

Back to my moment at church.  I then took the opportunity to share with them the things I’ve shared with my own daughter.  I tried to explain that Jesus wants us to love, be friends with, and especially kind to everyone.

I remember being in middle school and high school and thinking I couldn’t wait to grow up because I assumed it would all get easier.  I was so wrong.  If anything, it gets more difficult and more complicated.  As I get older it’s just new things to face.  There’s still competition/comparing, in the way of looks, weight, so on and so forth.  Then there is the big one…how we parent.  We all do it so differently and I’m of the opinion that it’s not a matter of right or wrong, it’s often a matter of what works for each family individually.  What works for me and my family, may not be what works for other families.  That’s okay.  There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just different.  Then there are things like our spouses and who they are and how we treat them and the relationship each couple has.  There’s just so much involved.   Now, having said that.  I must express my deep gratitude for the close women friends I do have.  I have been truly blessed to have a hand full of women that I do care for and they are just easy to be around.  I love our differences and I love the lack of drama that exists between us!

The other thing that I am completely unaware of how I will handle or the right way to handle is the whole sister thing.  I didn’t have a sister.  I never had to share clothes or see my clothes get worn by younger sisters.  I already see that my girls compete over silly things….like who turns off the TV.  If I ask one to do something, two go running to get there first and do what I’ve asked.  I think all that is fairly typical and “normal”, especially for their ages.  So, I’m not worried about it yet.  I just am so not aware of how sister relationships work.  I have sister-in-laws, but I don’t feel like that can even relate to being sisters raised in the same home by the same parents.  Hopefully, I will figure things out as I go and most especially I hope that I turn to Heavenly Father for guidance.  The best advice my Mom gave me about becoming a parent was, “Raise them as Heavenly Father’s children, not as your own.”  I am so grateful for that advice and I really try to do that.  I can see how easy it would be to become caught up in trying to make them what I want them to be, but I have seen that in action and believe with all my heart that that does not work.

My hope for someday is that all girls, young ladies, women could come to realize that we all are who we are.  We need to accept that, embrace our differences.  If there are people you just don’t click with, that’s okay.  That’s bound to happen.  You can still be kind to that person, you just may not go out of your way to be close to that person.  I personally have people that I care about, but for whatever reasons am not super close to them.  And for me, that’s okay.  I’d rather do that, than force something that could be overwhelming and stressful.

Let’s all realize we can have many, many friends.  Let’s all try and focus on the things we do have in common with one another versus only looking at the differences!

Exaggerating!

Exaggerating…  I will admit, I’m as guilty as probably the next person.  When I tell a story or am trying to explain something, I may exaggerate to make a point or to make it seem more like they were there experiencing it.  I think it’s a dangerous thing to do, so I try to be REAL careful, that all in all, I’m still getting the facts of it straight.  I believe there are people who exaggerate everything, and it begins to be hard to tell when the are telling the truth and when they are not.  This I’m not a fan of.

As I’ve been watching the World Cup soccer games, I’ve found that I have LITTLE tolerance for exaggerating.  I am getting so tired of the fakers on the field.  Soccer is an aggressive sport.  Period.  There is going to be some amount of contact made between players throughout the whole game.  I have so much respect for those that get fouled, and pop right back up and move on with the play.  Sometimes they get the call from the ref and sometimes they don’t, but still, THAT’S PART OF THE GAME.  The refs DON’T call everything, nor should we want them to.  They are human and they will make bad calls here and there…  Some far worse than others, but still.  All in all, I think refs try to do their best to ref a “fair” game.

There have been far too many players this World Cup faking getting hit or pushed when there was no such contact.  Today, a guy got hit in the chest, but flew his hands to his face as if he’d been hit in the face…  SO DUMB.  The Swiss have been the worst in my opinion.  I hate fakers.

Like I said earlier, I have so much more respect for those who get fouled, but pop right back up and move on.  I will say, there are those who truly get hurt.  I get that.  If they don’t pop up, that’s fine, but I hate seeing a guy rolling around on the field as if they are in pain and then as soon as the ref makes the call, they hop up, act like they are trying to walk it off, then within seconds they are completely fine.  SO ANNOYING.

Exaggerating in life and in soccer is being dishonest.  It’s a poor sport.  It’s something I don’t like to see, I don’t like to hear, and I’m trying SO hard not to do.

So, a few weeks ago I had several great blog ideas in a row…  Now, I have nothing again!  I tried thinking about what is going on in my life.  Well, I’m pregnant, it’s summer, the kids are out of school, and World Cup soccer is on!  SO!!  I thought, cool!  I’ll write about that!  I LOVE soccer!  I have loved it since I was 6 years old!  I had a friend named Luke Swartz who was a great athlete even as a kid.  He was my best friend and we would hold hands under our knees during computer class in Elementary school!  (Until my Mom told me I was too young to be holding hands…)  So, he loved sports, and at the time specifically soccer.  He had a great move we called the Luke Juke!  Anyways.  So, that’s how I got introduced to soccer.  From that point on I was playing!  I played age 6 through the 6th grade!  During 7th and 8th grade I took a break because I had too many other sports I could do in school.  So I played basketball, volleyball, and ran track!  When I hit high school, some friends told me to try out for the soccer team!  I LOVED it and had forgotten how much I enjoyed soccer (and I was somewhat good)!  Anyways!  You get the point!  I didn’t get to play my whole freshman year because of mono, but I played Sophomore and Junior years and then chose not to play my senior year.  By that point, I had to choose between soccer and singing.  I knew I wasn’t a “star” soccer player, so I chose singing!  The reason I actually met my husband was all because of soccer!  We were playing volleyball and I noticed his Adidas shirt and shoes, and then couldn’t miss the fact that instead of playing with his arms, he kept going for the volleyball with his feet.  So I asked, “Are you a soccer player?!”  I had his attention from that point on!  Points for me!!  My husband and I got married in 2003 and met in August of 2002.  So, the 2002 World Cup Soccer was over.  In 2006 we had been married 3 years and had an almost 2 year old.  I was completely unaware of how World Cup Soccer went!  I had no clue what was about to happen in my life!  The husband that couldn’t wake up in the morning for the life of him, suddenly was waking up at 4AM TO WATCH A SOCCER GAME.  Remember, I LOVE soccer, but this irritated the CRAP out of me.  I could count on one hand the number of times he’d woken up in the middle of the night or in the morning with our daughter…  OH MAN.  That whole month and a half of World Cup was NOT pretty.   Instead of enjoying the soccer games, I was irritated beyond all get out!  LUCKILY, we both learned a lot from that experience and when this year’s World Cup games were coming up, I knew exactly how things would go!  PHEW.  This year I am actually really enjoying it!!!  On Saturday I watched all three games TWICE…  My hubby works, and I watched them with my brother and future sister-in-law!  So, I recorded the games for him and watched them with the fam!  When he got home, that’s what we did the REST of the evening.  I have to admit, that may not happen again…  It was a little much for me!  I will probably bombard a friends’ house and hang out over there for a little bit, or take the girls swimming or SOMETHING!  Anyways!  I am enjoying watching the games and although I have no need to watch EVERY game, I am enjoying the time I get to spend with my husband and it’s proof to both me and him that he is capable of waking up in the morning and still function!  Regardless, it’s been a blast to watch some GOOD FUTBOL!!!!!!!!!!!  GO USA!!!!!!!!!!