Saturday, January 19, 2013

I was THAT mom.

Man, this last week has been rough. It's interesting because I feel like I have been reading a lot of blogs lately  of mom's that are learning to be real and transparent in their writing. I feel like I keep it real here. And I am going to continue to keep it real here when I tell you that this has been the worst week in a long time.

Matt and I are not BFFs this week. And so that makes everything worse. Marriage is hard. I know I say this often. It's hard but it's worth it. Luckily we have two marriage retreats in February. So by Valentine's Day we will be pros at this marriage stuff.....

Kids have been hard this week.
I endured the WORST story time hour EVER on Friday. I had Gabriel (my 2 year old), and two little girls I was watching (ages 3 and 1). We got there and I reminded them that there needed to be good behavior and good listening ears. Yeah, they forgot all that the moment our neighbor (the story teller) began her reading. Folks, I was THAT mom at story time. The one who's kids were out of control, standing in front of the book so no one could see, crying because they wanted the "E" carpet square and not the "W" one, elbowing some poor innocent boy because he was reaching for the alphabet stamp that they wanted (said boy was SCREAMING and everyone stared at me, the bad mom).... I wanted to lose it. I was so embarrassed. And of course I was wearing the worst jeans for this all to happen. You know those jeans, the favorite ones that are comfy and make you feel kinda skinny because they are kinda loose... yeah, the ones that you need to keep PULLING UP so that your underwear aren't displayed (why are these my favorite jeans again??) I rounded my kids up as soon as the last story was over and we bolted. I made eye contact with no one. I was that mom. The one with saggy jeans (underwear band showing), screaming kids, and the most frustrated face on ever. Racing through a quiet library. We got home and all kids went right down for naps. I was ready for the day to be over before it was even lunch time.

Luckily that night Matt let me leave after I put Eli down and I went to Hil's for knitting by the fire place. It was so nice and relaxing. Of course I instagramed that. I only instagram cute nice things.

Then this morning, I needed to run some errands, so I brought little Gabriel with. We got gas, stopped at the bank, and then I decided to run in to Micheal's to buy some new yarn. We were in there for FIVE MINUTES, and again. You guessed it. I was that mom again. [Newly potty-trained] Gabriel says "mom, I need to go peeeee....." as he stands up in the cart and his pants slowly turn from khaki color to deep brown. "Gabe, Please, No, just a minute as I race to the front of the store. Pee. All over. Luckily they were fleece lined pants that soaked most of it up. What was I supposed to do? Scream "CLEAN UP IN THE YARN AISLE!!"??? Probably. But I didn't. I scooped up my SCREAMING 2 year old (he was mad that I didn't let him keep the little toy he was looking at from the shelf) and again, bolted for the door. Frustrated, embarrassed mom. All eyes on me. Key is to give no eye contact as you are exiting the store.

These are just a few of the difficult experiences I had this week. Ay carumba right?

Yet some how, I'm holding it together. The good thing is, is that I am hopeful. I know that this week will pass, I will probably forget most of it someday, and tomorrow is a new day. Another good thing is that I have encouraging friends and family around me that support me. They let me vent, they let me say the hard stuff, they let me pour out my raw, fleshy emotions and they do not judge me or worry about me. They lift me up with truth and wisdom.

The best thing? I know God's got my back, and I know that he will never give me more than I can handle. In processing with fellow wives/moms, I was reminded that I am equipped to deal with all of the hard stuff that comes at me. God knew the kind of person I was before he gave me THREE boys and this husband. For some reason he decided I was the one for this job. I was chosen for this life. I don't know how most of the time, but I am going to get through the hard stuff that comes my way. These types of hardships make us stronger. They give us stories and experiences  that help others.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, 
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 
through whom we have gained access by faith 
into this grace in which we now stand. 
And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  
And hope does not put us to shame, 
because God’s love has been poured out
 into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, 
who has been given to us. 
Romans 5:1-5

If you pray, can you pray for me? I need prayer for peace. I need a lot of peace. And patience too. And I need next week to be a better week. Especially because Max has Monday and Tuesday off from school!
Thanks for reading, thanks for [hopefully] not judging me.

We gotta remember we are not alone in this. Give yourself some credit. 

Peace be with you,

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Morning Revelations

Sunday Morning Perfection

This morning, We woke up and decided we should all go out for family breakfast at one of our FAVORITE breakfast restaurants, Louisiana Cafe over off of Dale and Selby here in St. Paul.

Usually, we NEVER go out as a family of five because:
a.) It is expensive.
2.) Our kids end up getting board as we wait and then they make us mad and then when we finally get our food, we are ticked and just rush through eating.
h.) Because going out to eat without kids is way more fun. 

But today, for some reason we thought it would be a good idea. We all got dressed and out the door in an orderly fashion even. Whoa. 

If you think that this post is going to be about how to do a successful family trip out to eat, you are wrong. Don't worry. Although our experience was pretty great, and with minimal melt downs, I learned that sometimes it just works. And when it does, just work, for whatever reason, it reminds me that things are going to be okay in the long run. 

Lately our kids have been driving us completely bonkers. But these little moments, when all three boys are nice and happy and well-behaved, are the moments we will remember most. At least that's what all the seasoned moms tell me when I tell them that I will not survive through these early years and that I can't wait 'til I am 60. 

Yes, my son uses a fork and knife while eating. So proper.

Gabe decided he needed to wear his plastic Handy Manny visor.
It was totally appropriate for our fancy breakfast.

Matt wondering why I have to play photo journalist at every outing. 
We trashed the place. And I didn't have to clean up. 'Twas wonderful
After our breakfast, we went to church. Worship was great. My boys danced and waved little flags and streamers. Our church is down with the kids flag waving and streamer dancing. I had nursery duty, so I missed out on the sermon. Today was "theme Sunday" where our pastor reveals what the prophetic theme for our church body is. Last year was "2012:The Year to Dream" So we all were encouraged to follow the dreams that God has put in our hearts. Our dream was to have a house in a great neighborhood, that was big enough to host Christmas. If you have read my blog over the last year, you will see that God totally made all that happen. 

This year is 2013: The Year to Engage. I'll need to listen to the sermon podcast as soon as it is loaded on to iTunes. It's so cool, this theme, because last week Matt had mentioned to me a teaching he had heard that really challenged him. It was about how we all want to change the world, which is impossible, because the world is HUGE. But that we are able to change one person's world, by investing in them and doing to them what we would do to  everyone if we were able. Engage. Engage in people's lives, in their troubles and in their joys. Reach out and be present. 

Matt and I are praying in to who the people are that we are supposed to take on. What about you? Can you try to be the change that just one person needs in order for their world to change, even in just small ways? 

I'm going to go change my 5 year old's world right now, by dipping in to a mint chocolate chip Haagen Dazs pint. While the other littles are napping, Max and I will have a little Sunday afternoon home-date. 

Peace out y'all.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas 2012 and New Years'

This year we had so much to celebrate. And so many opportunities to celebrate! I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I should have. So this will be an Instagram photo collage. Usually I get super creative and make gifts, this year I did a little bit. I just didn't have a lot of time/money. I painted mugs, made a few dolls, and that was it. 

mugs for a few family members

this is what my kids do while i try to be creative and make gifts... dangit.

i tried to wrap them all fancy and cute. and it worked, they looked
super fancy and cute.
howard christmas
We got to go to a Christmas party at the Howard's house in south Minneapolis. They just bouhgt a huge Victorian mansion and it was decorated so beautifully with trees and lights and a Christmas tree as tall as my house! They provided childcare so that grown-ups could enjoy the party kid-free as the little ones watched a movie, did crafts and ate upstairs. It was amazing. I wore a great dress, a beautiful necklace, some super hot high heels and I just felt pretty. Matt wore his suspenders and a tie. But did we remember to take a picture? Nope. Ugh. We never remember to. But me and the boys took a picture when we got home. 
I still felt pretty, even taking a picture with some dirty boys and a red balloon.

hegstrom christmas
We spent Christmas Eve with Matt's family. It was so fun. We spent the afternoon decorating cookies, the boy played video games, and we wooed over baby Micah. We had a simple meal of sandwiches, chili, and Warren's famous clam chowder. 
My sweet sisters-in-law and my lovely mother-in-law
I got so blessed marrying in to the Hegstrom family. When I was 15 years old I told Leah and Becky that we would be SIL's someday, and six years later, it happened. These girls were some of my best friends growing up, so we have been tight from the beginning. I have the best mother-in-law. Seriously. (And I am not just saying that in fear that she may read this. I know she never will read it because I don't even think she knows what a blog is. She barely can dial a cell phone :)
The Hegstrom-Young-Rain family

This picture was our funny SERIOUS picture. Gabriel was driving me nuts, so I decided to do the cute hang-your-kid-up side down-pose. Look at all those grandsons we blessed Warren and Sue with. There are five pictured, and two more (and ONE girl) not pictured. Those Hegstrom men sure have full quivers. We were so happy to spend the evening with Jason who was home from a cooking program he is doing in Missouri. And it was great to celebrate in Leah and Joe's beautiful new house!
Uncle Jay got Gabriel some spy gear

christmas morning
Christmas day the boys woke up to an egg bake done by daddy, a few sweet little presents (including legos for Max, spy kits and "worker guy" vests, a wooden truck for Eli and cooking stuff for Gabe. Christmas was modest this year. We didn't have a lot of money to spend on gifts, but what we got was very intentional and things that the boys actually had specific interest in. We are so glad that our boys felt loved that morning.

Mmmmmm egg bake...

Matt and I didn't get gifts for each other. We said we'd get gifts at tax return time... which I was totally fine with. But Matt did sneak some Ikea chocolate and the movie Harry and the Henderson's in to my stocking. So romantic right? :) I started to feel bad that Matt didn't really get to open any gifts. He LOVES presents. The night before Matt's mom and dad blessed us with two generous gift cards, but I think he was wishing for more tear-off-the-wrapping-paper kinds of gifts. Oh well, tax season is right around the corner right? Matt had to go out and do a little bit of plowing, so me and the boys ate more egg bake and watched Harry and the Henderson's.

christmas night at my house

whoa. tons. and tons of gifts.

we ate mom's beef stew and soda bread
It was wonderful. We ate, we opened a ton of gifts, and we got to spend the evening snuggled close (since my house is not huge and there were 20 people!) Matt and I were TOTALLY blessed. Matt got to tear open carefully open lots of presents. Including a Magic Bullet Delux (fancy right?), a tough guy Arctic Cat sweatshirt, and.... ready for this? A freakin' XBOX 360 complete with kinect. Our kids got more legos and cooking stuff, and wooden blocks. It was a great night. 

We also were blessed with a family night at Mall of America gift. Complete with ride passes and dinner. We went this last Sunday night, the kids were excited beyond belief. 

new years'
I watch a sweet little girl during the week, and her mom decided that she wanted to bless us AGAIN (after the MOA gift) by watching our kiddos so that we could go out for New Years'! So Matt and I got to go to dinner, and then we got to go and hang with our friends.
potstickers at Big Bowl

kitchen floor confessions with Waty and Rachel

after an intense game of catch phrase and battle of the sexes, we all remain friends

i gave watson a quick stroke of midnight updo

Needless to say, our holidays were wonderful and we were blessed more than we ever could have expected. We are so grateful for a Living God that is worthy of celebration.