Thursday, January 24, 2013

A fresh start

Sitting here on my couch looking out the window to a grey cloud covered sky, snuggled in a blanket, listening to my sweet baby boy sigh heavily in a deep sleeping nap I feel refreshed. Lighter. Positive. The new year is here. This is day 1. A start over. Clean slate. Higher expectations. Bigger dreams.

I walked 1.64 miles today. Laced up my sneakers. Threw on my sweatshirt. Inserted my ear buds. Out the door I went. Alone. Driven. Motivated. Strong. Encouraged. It was raining. That had no effect on the beginning of this journey. And I walked. Fast. Hard. Steady. Music blaring in my eyes. Wet pavement beneath my feet. Cold air on my face. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.
I haven't done this in a really long time. I have let motherhood and excuses stop me from being my best. I had lost sight of my health and happiness. I forgot how awesome it feels to be out of breath. Sore. Accomplished.

My goal is to walk 100 miles in 90 days (or sooner). Weather is not holding me back. Time isn't either. Nor is my mood or time! This is my life. My health. Not only my physical health but my mental and emotional health. How will I give Hensley the best life ever without being my best? I realized it wasn't possible.
I have prayed. Searched. Sat and thought. What do I need to be my happiest. What makes me feel joy. What makes me smile. How can I lay my head down each night and think "This day was awesome. I felt awesome. I did awesome things." ?

I felt I had become stagnant in many areas of my life. I felt I needed to be jump started back into my life. So instead of continuing to look for this one "thing", or person, or feeling to do that I decided to just DO IT. Who else is responsible for my well being besides myself? I have to make the changes. Get off the couch. Move. Build strength. Soak up my time. Make the most of the minutes of each day. So I am.
New Year's resolutions are made by many and followed through by few. I have been those many in years past. But realized I have never been the few. This year I will. This year I will do the work. See the results. Feel the burn. Be happy. Feel better. Be the person I know I need to be.

Over the past 14 days my little family has spent our days surrounded by our families, good food, warm snuggles, and making amazing memories. We have shut the outside world out a little and found peace and comfort in our world. Christmas came and went. We soaked up every second of the magic. He ate til we could bust. We played Mario on Hensley's new WiiU. We had nerf gun fights. Laughed as Hensley strutted around in his "Mario outfit", which consists of Carhartt overalls, a red shirt and a red hat. He has spent days in his birthday suit with only rainboots on. He is constantly pretending to be a Mario character or shooting pretend fireballs at us and the dog. He and his daddy have watched football games together, where Hensley asks, "Can I play football when I am bigger?" One afternoon we told him when he was 5 he would be able to sign up for football at the field near our house. Ever since then we get asked about every 5 minutes, "I am I 5 yet??!" :)

We are always looking for his purple mask and new gun he got last week. He rides his new scooter and new tricycle through the kitchen and never slows down. We have painted and played play dough. Indulged in yummy snacks more times a day then we should. Looked for nerf bullets for hours. Seen how high we can make them stick on windows.

The conversations we have had with him have included alot of questions lately. For example: After handing him a juice box we get asked, "How does this taste so good?" or "Will red crackers make me grow be and strong like Daddy?"
He has given so many kisses, hugs, and snuggles. Most every night we all cuddle in the same bed staying close and keeping warm.

Sadly, this time is over and it's back to reality. Andy is off to work in Pennsylvania for (get this!) TWO MONTHS. We are missing him like crazy. But we have preschool, and soccer, and gymnastics, and lots of new toys to play with to keep us busy. I love the extra one on one time with Hensley and the challenge of doing it all myself. The extra time my mom and Uncle Brandon. Looking forward to this new year and all the new exciting challenging things to come!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Being satisfied....and everything that comes with that.

This little post is not about the fun adventures we have went on recently or the new exciting things coming up in our lives. It's about an internal struggle I have had for several months now and one that finally came to peaceful resting place for me last night.

Lately everywhere I look are friends having babies. And not just having babies, but having second (or THIRD!) babies. They are expanding their families. Bringing more joy and love into their hearts and their homes. Their little ones are anxiously awaiting new brothers and sisters. There are baby showers, and growing bellies, and baby cuteness everywhere.

At the same time in my life Hensley is getting older. More independent (everything is "I can do it by myself!"). He doesn't "need" me as much as he once did. He can reach his snacks in the pantry. He can dress and undress himself now. He can play his videos games by himself. His little imagination is growing by leaps and bounds and I catch him playing his own little made up games or singing his own little made up songs all the time now.

I started to feel "the pressure" a while back. That maybe another baby is what my family needed. Hensley has so much love and attention from everyone I figured maybe it was time to throw another one in the mix. I went back and forth daily for months about the issue, keeping it to myself and one day really longing for one and the next day appreciating the fact that I just had one.

One day I was thinking how I loved our laid back life. The carefreeness of it and the fact that during "most" days I have my alone time and I am not totally and completely exhausted at the end of the day. I love that Hensley and I can pack up and go shopping all day or to the circus or the park for hours on end with no hesitation. We can decide to head to the beach for the weekend without much planning. Throw a huge birthday bash without having to consider there is another one to pay for and organize in a few months.

But then I see a new baby and remember the sweetness and amazing experience it is to have a newborn. I think about the fact that Hensley has been asking for a baby brother for months. And that I want him to have that bond with another little person for the rest of his life.

It's been a back and forth battle in my head. I finally shared it with Andy, which in return I got a pretty straightforward response of  "No!". This, of course, made me longing for one even more. I asked him daily. Told him all the great things having another one would bring. SLOWLY, he began to come around and it even got to the point where he said PROBABLY! That was huge!!!

I read countless blogs and web articles online about the difficulties and such of adding a second baby. I thought about the things in our house that would have to be rearranged and how the schedule would have to be reevaluated especially with Hensley attending school a lot more in the fall. But I let the new baby bliss cloud my mind and push any hard reality out.

Then....someone who really cares about me brought all that reality to the surface. Asked me to think about the realness of it and not just the newness and the happy parts. I have just been accepted back to college and set my mind on a program I was passionate about. I was preparing my mind for a lot of studying and reading while Hensley spends a lot more time in preschool in the fall. I was hoping to be in the hands-on part of school once Hensley entered kindergarten, and ready for jumping back into the word field soon after. I was preparing my life to be a comfortable one with both Andy and I working hard and being able to vacation and enjoy our little life with Hensley. I hadn't wanted to think about the fact that 4 (maybe 5) mornings a week I will be getting up early getting Hensley off to preschool (25 miles away) and then having to go back and get him every afternoon. I hadn't thought about the work to go through a pregnancy and newborn stage all the while having to provide for Hensley's needs and give him the attention he is use to and deserves. I hadn't thought about the fact that the possibility of me having the luxury to stay home until age 5 with another one was slim to none! All these thoughts just a few months ago and I wondered how did it all change so quickly in mind.

After hearing the reality of it from someone close my wheels started turning. I looked at things thoroughly. I started thinking about what I really wanted long term. And I came to a conclusion......

I am happy. I like the way things are. I like the plan we had originally set out for our future. I like the calmness (most of the time). I like our little family. I like us 3. I love the bond me and Hensley share because it is just us. I realized Hensley has a brother and sister even though they are only part time in our lives. He loves them and who is say they won't become a bigger part of our lives as time goes on. I like the times we have together and the love between us 3. I don't feel like part of me is missing or that my family isn't complete.

I realized I felt pressure. I felt like everyone around me was doing it. Everyone was having babies. So maybe I should too. I guess I felt left out a little. After looking at the big picture I realized that for now.... I only need 1. I am happy with 1. I am satisfied with having only one child.....and all that comes with that.