Rawlins Family

Rawlins Family

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Times and Seasons

Life has been crazy around here for the last couple of weeks, and I'm starting to lose my mind. I've noticed that when life gets out of control with my kids it's easy for me to really slip in other areas of my life. I get a little blue and start feeling negatively about EVERYTHING when things are hard with the kids. I think being stuck at home - away from friends and social activities - compounds all of the hard feelings I'm already having. Plus, I'm stuck in the house that I'm usually too busy to clean because I'm dealing with cranky littles all day. And being in a messy house exacerbates the all of those "down" feelings. I can handle mess for a little while, but once it creeps into the corners and takes over bookshelves (which, in 1800 sq. ft., with seven people happens pretty much all the time always) my brain just about explodes. I don't like clutter. I put up with a certain amount that just comes with having five kids, but it really makes me crazy.

SO, yeah. Not really feeling like I'm in a great place right now. And I need to shake myself out of it! So I'm writing it all out here so that I can hopefully gain some clarity and perspective.

I need to remember, at this time and season of my life, that I've chosen to bring five entirely new human beings into the world. The window of time during which their world will revolve around me is so short, and I have to make the most of it. I'm blessed to be homeschooling because it allows me to extend that time a little bit, but I can already feel it slipping away with my big kids who are involved in so many activities. I feel my soul itching for better time management that will help me refocus my energy on them. I want so much to be more present, instead of constantly half-listening to them while I work on other, less meaningful tasks. I have time set aside each day that is mine, and that's important, too. But that time needs better boundaries so that the me time doesn't bleed into the hours that should belong to my sweet babes. That time management and self-discipline is my biggest goal of the year. If I don't accomplish anything else this year, I want to get that one thing right.

In the same vein, I want to use my personal time effectively. I can't fill anyone's cup if mine is empty. I was doing really well reading the scriptures and working on personal improvement (ie. taking care of this overworked body through proper diet and exercise) over the first few months of the year, but I've started to slip up a little and I can FEEL it. Whole 30 was a huge eye opener for me. It showed me that my body really functions best when it's treated to good, healthy, whole foods. I had so much energy, slept so well, and felt generally amazing. I held onto those habits for several weeks afterward, but when the kids got sick and I kept getting sick (three rounds of antibiotics in three months just makes a girl sad, okay?) I just stopped caring and went for what was easiest. I've been trying hard to get back into the groove, but I know I need to make a more deliberate effort. I know that effort into pays huge dividends in my ability/desire to be a more effective mom/wife/person. So, back to work!

The last thing I really, really, reeeeeeeeeeeeally want to do is get control of this dang house. We've lived here for 8.5 years and blossomed from a family of four to a family of seven. We hope to be in a new house sometime next year (hope!!), but in the meantime I need to go through the nooks and crannies and purge the heck out of this house. We'll do some renovations later in the year, and a little work now will save me big-time effort later. And I'm just overall feeling the need to edit! We don't need so much stuff. I love throwing things away. It makes me happy.

So three big areas to refocus on. I think I got this. The important stuff won't ever happen if I don't plan for it to happen, right? We're going to finish out the school year strong and then switch to our summer schedule in about a month. I'm so looking forward to days by the pool...

Here are some recent pictures of the kids. Thanks to Tara Peckham Photography for the great shots.

Cameron, 11, 5th grade. Loves scouts, legos, backstroke, having "hang outs" with friends, and reading books about ninjas. Is a phenomenal big brother, and is always helping around the house. Puts up with the insanity of being our guinea-child. Sorry for practicing on your, kiddo!
Miles, 9, 3rd grade. Loves climbing trees, Hobbits, asking deep and meaningful questions when he's supposed to be in bed. Has boundless energy, a great zest for life, and incredible compassion. Can't even imagine my life without this crazy kid!
Sophia, 7, 1st grade. Loves reading, being outside, gymnastics, swimming, and being awesome at life. Wishes we would finally cave and get a pet, but she'll settle for being a veterinarian when she grows up. But she doesn't want to be a nerd. Apparently. Whatever. She's smarter than me! And she keeps us laughing with her silly antics. She's a true light in our home.

Haley, 4. Loves playing ponies and Barbies, kissing her baby sister, reading books with mommy and daddy, going to the library. Also loves snuggling with mommy and daddy in the morning, which is awesome. Gets the award for being the easiest, most mellow kid ever. She's dreamy.

Emilyn, 15 months. Loves walking fast, binkies, babbling, eating things from the floor of random public places, following big sisters around, is president of the Daddy Fan Club. She has been the perfect capstone on this crazy family. She's a super trooper and puts up with being dragged everywhere, but really loves when she gets mommy to herself.