Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Book I May or May Not Write

I have the nicest friends in the world.  When I write a short, quippy thing my kid said on Facebook, my very nicest friends will say, "I can't wait for you to write a book."

I sort of feel like people are American Idoling know, encouraging me to do something I'm passionate about even though I am not really good at it---never thinking I would actually have the audacity to pursue it---but then they're in too deep with the lie....but even so, those comments make me feel good.  (Which is kind of weird, possibly narcissistic, because it's actually my kids being entertaining, and not my words.  Yet I press on.)

I wrote for 31 days straight in October, and I discovered maybe I am not so good at writing more than 2 sentences at a time.  So I decided maybe writing a book wasn't in my future.

But then I spent a lot of time thinking during November and realized that, even if no one reads what I write, I think it would be really fun to put into words what swirls around in my head.  Free therapy, perhaps?!

So, tonight, I wrote the introduction to my book.  I may or may not finish it.  But I've, at least, started it.  Because you're my kind friend (and because no one is asking me to write a book, so it probably will never get published anyway), I will share with you the introduction.  A very rough, rough draft.

(And if you're just American Idoling me, let's just stick with that lie for now.)

Enjoy Your Nursing Boobs
And Other Unconventional Advice No One Will Tell You

By Sarah Williams
(My name is so common that it may seem fake.  It is not.)

This is what you need to know about me. 

I have four children.  Three boys.  One girl.  In other words, one child who pees in toilet, and three with terrible aim.   

I have had four c-section births.  You don’t need to ask me condescendingly why I had four c-sections.  They weren’t elective, but it wouldn’t matter if they were. 

I breastfed all of my children for a year.  Except the third one.  I stopped at 11 months so I could go to Islands of Adventure with my husband.  He can be my most difficult child, which I think has something to do with his shortage of breast milk.

I vaccinate my kids because I don’t want them to die.  Just kidding.  I mean, I don’t want them to die.  But that’s not why I vaccinate. 

I homeschool my kids.  We aren’t weird.  I just don’t like to wake up before 8 am. 

I had all of my children by the time I was 30.  So I really can’t be trusted with responsible decisions. 

My husband is super hot and really funny.  That doesn’t matter except just to know I do make some good decisions.

I am not sure if these facts have anything to do with anything.  But I am a very curious (some may call it nosey) person, and if that’s you, I just want to save you the effort of stalking me on Facebook. 

I’ve been a mom for almost nine years.  That definitely does not qualify me as an expert, but I’ve done the 0-3 years four times.  So I have some thoughts on the matter.  Parenting is crazy.  Some days I rock it.  Some days I suck at it.  But I love it more than anything. 

I knew approximately nothing when I brought my teeny little boy home.  When he was three days old, I looked wearily at my husband and said, “I feel like all my friends have lied to me.” 

I was barely 24, so I maybe knew two people with children.  But I somehow felt like, in all of the literature I’d read about parenting, no one told the truth.  Or maybe I was unwilling to face the truth.  I don’t know.  But I do know I felt betrayed.  

Maybe this is just my experience, but I was unwilling to admit parenting was hard.  It didn’t come naturally to me.  And it wasn’t really fun.  It was downright difficult.  And nothing like I had dreamed of.   

(Spoiler alert: it eventually changed.  We will get there.) 

1 am Ramblings

I plan to blog about my trip to MO soon.  My kids and I went for 11 days, and it was just such a good, much needed trip.  I've had a really hard year (nothing major, just a lot of pruning and weird happenings), so going "home" was so refreshing.  My everyday life is so good and I love the life I've been given.....but a break from the everyday-ness of it was really nice.

This is the longest I've spent away from Brett in a really long time.  It gave me a lot of time to think and pray.  The last two dates Brett and I have gone on, we talked a lot about hopes and my mind was already sort of in that mindset.

One area of life that has been really stirring in me is the desire to adopt.  This has been on my radar for a very long time, but it's becoming more of a thought.  Since my child bearing years began, this is the longest I've ever gone without a baby.  But I don't think this longing is a case of baby fever.  I am actually very content with my four precious kids.  If my family is complete, I am 100% fine with that.  But I don't really think we are complete.  I would, of course, welcome a 5th child into my life in any way.  It would be a strong preference of mine not to be pregnant again BUT I would trust God and be excited if it were to happen.

My preference would be to adopt a sweet child.

It seems like a far off thing, if it were to happen.  I have no peace to pursue adoption at this time.  I am not sure if we would adopt domestically or internationally.  I don't have the financial resources and have no plans to figure any of that out.

At this point, God would literally have to put a baby in our lives.  Crazier things have happened, for sure.  So I don't doubt His ability.

This is a really fun place to be.  My heart is open to whatever God has.  But my heart is not longing for a baby I know is mine but not yet home (if that makes sense).  I guess I am in the dreaming stage.

In dreaming, it's interesting to think of the doors this decision could open.  Would we adopt just one child?  Or would my heart explode open for more?  How would this change our family dynamic?  Would it be a boy or a girl?

Money is, and has almost always been, very tight for us.  Most months I honestly don't know how our bills will get paid, but God is ALWAYS faithful.  And I knew early on in my marriage that God would provide for as many kids as we wanted to have, and this has been true.  It is common (and understandable) for people to factor in money when deciding to have children or not....but God has given us a unique perspective to just trust Him.  Money is so fleeting and can change quickly, so I've never put my hope in that.  I obey where I think God is leading and trust He will provide (in every way, not just money).

A woman recently told me that she thinks I have the capacity to have a lot of children.  And, if I am being honest, four kids does not max me out.  YES, I have long days.  And ugly moments.  And lose my patience.  But I do not feel maxed out.  I feel content.  But not overly stressed.  I am not special; it's just the way I am made.

Dreaming is so fun.  The possibility of adoption is such a wild card.  Will we have a fourth boy or another girl?  What will the child look like?  What will the process be like?  Will we even adopt?

I am up late.  I really need to go to bed.  But this dream has just been captivating my thoughts lately.  And I am excited to see what's in store!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Weird Things I Do Before A Trip

When traveling, I always feel this (unnecessary) desire to completely catch up on my life.  Before any trip, I exhaust myself with the most pointless tasks that I feel like much be accomplished before leaving.  I LOVE leaving with nothing on my to-do list!  And it's wonderful coming home to a reasonably put together life.

Today, in preparation for my trip, I did the following:
- laundered every dirty item
- used up as much food as possible
- finished creating CDs of our home videos (I had four hours of Chloe making videos on her own....playing with her toys, making videos for her fictitious YouTube channel, doing gymnastics, etc)
- set parental controls on all of our electronics (this needed to be done for awhile now)
- cleaned my entire house
- downloaded ebooks for Caleb to read on the plane
- paid bills and balanced checking accounts
- got my mail held
- cleaned out my car
- returned clothing items that didn't fit
- touch up painted my homeschool room (that was one of those "if you give a mouse a cookie" chores)
- went on a date with Brett because we had a gift card to use
- packed for my trip (that was necessary)

I have no idea why, but I love accomplishing all of this before I leave!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Time with cousins

Life, In Pictures

Chloe doing my hair at Caleb's game (I love when she plays with my hair!)
 photo 20141108_1055330_zpsfncgspuv.jpg

A turkey I made for my moms group!
 photo IMG_20141106_150616_zpsdgbvi5o6.jpg

A letter to Chloe's penpal:
"I have a friend in Texas.  Her name is Leah."
 photo 20141105_232925_zpsojrsiiwq.jpg

Chloe plans a new party every single day and asks me to buy party decorations every time I go to the store!
 photo IMG_20141104_160749_zpssrz5wpmm.jpg

Artwork.  Two boys and one girl.  Obviously.
 photo IMG_20141104_095546_zpsm7s2wk0m.jpg

Caleb's grammar work.  Hilarious.
 photo IMG_20141104_095031_zps3xxionlm.jpg

Upward Sports

Caleb played football and Chloe cheered this year in Upward Sports.
It was a GREAT season, and we all enjoyed it!

At the beginning of the school year, I felt like we needed to keep a light schedule.  This was perfect because they each had practice and games at the same time (or back to back).  The coaches were fantastic, and it was just a really fun experience!!

 photo IMG_8160_zps1c5caaf8.jpg

 photo IMG_8015_zpsd12ed416.jpg

 photo IMG_8026_zpsabbdf97b.jpg

 photo IMG_8018_zpsd2d6ff1b.jpg

 photo IMG_8019_zps22dad1a9.jpg

 photo IMG_8025_zpsbb8a6cee.jpg

 photo IMG_8029_zps62de4ac2.jpg

 photo IMG_8031_zps8a494fa4.jpg

 photo IMG_8032_zps92f32bf0.jpg

 photo IMG_8090_zpscc3b1df9.jpg

 photo IMG_8108_zpsa62ee245.jpg

 photo IMG_8110_zps0bddf3c4.jpg

 photo IMG_8114_zps1a401a2d.jpg

 photo IMG_8126_zpsc0826042.jpg

 photo IMG_8132_zps631f4288.jpg

 photo IMG_8148_zps17801785.jpg

 photo IMG_8152_zps1e7433cc.jpg

 photo IMG_8007_zpsbc3f373f.jpg

 photo IMG_8039_zps3ec96690.jpg

 photo IMG_8043_zpse364a189.jpg

Luke is in a stage where he runs away when I try to take his picture.  Which is why there are none of him :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Liebster Recipient Award

My sweet friend, Jennifer, at Grace Glimmers nominated me for the Liebster Award.....showing some blog love.  Thanks, Jen!!

It is Monday morning, and I have a full day I will write 5 random things about myself....and nominate friends later (if I remember, haha).

Five Random Factoids:
1.  I can walk on my hands.  At our CrossFit gym, I can walk on my hands farther than most any member...and I am one of the oldest members with definitely the most this always catches people off-guard.  I've been able to walk on my hands for as long as I can remember.

2.  I don't drink coffee, but I love Diet Coke.  In Kansas, all of my friends drank soda....but I have met hardly anyone in Florida that drinks it.  I know it's not the best thing, but it's my one thing.  I eat healthy and exercise, so it's my splurge.  And I enjoy it.  I love the smell of coffee....I don't like milk, though, so I think that's the only way to make it taste ok.

3.  I love checking the mail.  I rarely get anything besides junk mail (most of my bills are paperless), but I still check it with hopeful anticipation everyday.  It's so weird of me.  Every once in awhile, there is something fun, and I get really excited!!

4.  I am obsessed with television but not in a love watching shows sort of way.  When I am watching a show, I think about everything that happens behind the they film the show, what relationships are like among the cast, what kind of food they eat on set, if they feel tired or sick while filming, etc.
TV is so fascinating to me.  It captures and captivates us....and makes us feel like we are a part of it....yet it is all fake.  So I am so curious how it has this power.  I love watching TV (but hardly ever watch movies....I can't sit still long enough).  My favorite shows:  Modern Family, The Middle, The Biggest Loser, Blackish, Key and Peele, Selfie, and Marry Me.

5.  I cannot be ordinary.  Most people seem so content with the American dream (a beautiful house, 2 kids, and a steady income)....and I definitely know why that's appealing, but the dreams I have for my life do not fit that mold.  Though I am a stay at home mom now with not a lot going on, I know my life will not be normal.  I think we will live abroad at some point (Africa would be my top choice).  Who knows how many kids we will end up with (I really hope God's plan is for me to be done having I am talking about adoption)?!  Brett is a dreamer/entrepreneur and I have an adventurous the combination means we just can't be normal.  We are so content but with an openness to wherever God may lead.