Friday, October 7, 2011

House Guests

Hey, anybody want to come visit? Did you know that San Luis Obispo is the home to happiest people in America? Did you know that it is also the home to this?

Joe and I had just gotten home from a movie and thought the kids put a toy spider on the sliding door to scare us. It only took a small moving of the door before we realized that it was indeed very real, and was indeed very much INSIDE our house.

Luckily for us (a family plagued by arachnophobia) a neighbor rang the door bell at just the moment we discovered this unwanted house guest,(Seriously, a tender mercy there who helped us to capture the spider in a shoe box. Then, as a family, we walked the box far far far away and released it into the wild. I sure hope it didn't follow us home. Seriously, I think I'm going to need more than an Ambien to sleep tonight.

See the video here:

Untitled from Brooke Brundage on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Some Birthdays, Some Ramblings and a Confession

So here we go again, getting behind during birthday simply cannot happen! The blog will simply not recover if I let it go at this point. And I'm not willing or ready to let over four years of family history and journaling go out the window. So, here's the bare bones of it.

Charlie turned seven over one month ago. This child is amazing. He's fully immersed himself in the second grade. He loves math and loves to read. He is kind, he is curious, and sometimes just a little bit silly. You cannot take a bad picture of this kid. He's usually quiet and tends to blend into our family sometimes so much that we have to check, "Charlie, are you here? Did you make it into the car?" Other times he is outspoken and has strong opinions. One evening he was in the car with Joe, and, unsolicited, Charlie began a conversation with his father about his preferences for Beattles songs.

He launches into his critique:

Charlie: "You know what song of the Beattles I don't really like?"

Dad: "Which one?"

Charlie: "All You Need Is Love"

Dad: "Oh yeah, how come?"

Charlie: "Well, it's kind of doesn't really have very many words, and then all the words are the same, just over and over and over"

Dad: "Well, yeah, I guess that's there a song that you like more?"

Charlie: "Yeah, Helter Skelter...there are lots of different words, and Ringo is so funny at the end when he yells about the blisters on his fingers."

Hmmm...I had to go to itunes to test his critque, but, he's kind of right. Too bad, "All You Need Is Love" has long time been one of my it will always be tainted by this seven year olds complaints about it.

So, he had a lovely birthday. For obvious reasons, we're trying to be really conservative with gifts this year for birthdays. But at the last minute, I donated one of my favorite jackets to the birthday cause and turned it into a replica of Luke's jacket in the Return of the Jedi when he gets his medal. John pitched in and made a replica of the medal. By far the best gift of the day.....and I'm only a little bit sad about not being able to wear my jacket anymore.

Charlie and I circled back around again and decided on CPK for our shared birthday dinner. Then we ended up in the back room of Coldstone with an ice cream cake and candles.

I left the following day for five lovely days in Oregon. I celebrated my 35th birthday by lying around all day, reading a book, and then walking with my mom to the Dairy Queen for a birthday Blizzard. You'd think I'd be such an ice cream snob by now, but there is just something about an M&M Blizzard that can't be beat. It was the best.

And now, I'm back and trying to settle into a life that has suddenly become ours. Getting the kids off to school each day, opening the Cupcake Shoppe, helping with homework and piano, making dinners, running kids around to Scouts and Activity Days, packing lunches, dealing with drama and arguments, and basically just trying to keep up.

And you know what? It's tough. A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of listening to President Uchtdorf talk at the General Relief Society Meeting. His talks are always right on the mark...and he really seems to "get" the LDS woman, at least from my perspective. His first point was about how women compare themselves to other women, and how we're always down on ourselves because we can never keep up. I admit, there's a certain aspect of that idea which rings true for me....but the more I thought about it, the more I realized the truth of it for me. I'm not comparing myself to other women so much as I'm comparing myself to the myself of five years ago. I try to stay positive about my health, but there are days that I really just don't get it. How am I supposed to keep up with the life I've created for myself when my body simply can't keep up?

President Uchtdorf went on to say this,

"Everyone has strengths and weaknesses.

It’s wonderful that you have strengths.

And it is part of your mortal experience that you do have weaknesses.

God wants to help us to eventually turn all of our weaknesses into strengths, but He knows that this is a long-term goal. He wants us to become perfect, and if we stay on the path of discipleship, one day we will. It’s OK that you’re not quite there yet. Keep working on it, but stop punishing yourself.

Dear sisters, many of you are endlessly compassionate and patient with the weaknesses of others. Please remember also to be compassionate and patient with yourself.

In the meantime, be thankful for all the small successes in your home, your family relationships, your education and livelihood, your Church participation and personal improvement. Like the forget-me-nots, these successes may seem tiny to you and they may go unnoticed by others, but God notices them and they are not small to Him. If you consider success to be only the most perfect rose or dazzling orchid, you may miss some of life’s sweetest experiences."

So this is what I'm trying to celebrate the small successes. Maybe it doesn't matter so much that I can't physically do all the things I used to be able to do. Maybe it's okay that much of my time with my children is spent sitting at the table doing homework, or lying on my bed on a Sunday afternoon watching a movie with all the kids. (We really had fun watching Home Alone a few weeks ago)My abilities as a mother have certainly CHANGED in the last few years, but I'm trying hard to remember that just because I'm a DIFFERENT kind of mother now, I'm not any the worse for it, and hopefully neither are my children. I'm looking for the ways to turn this weakness into a strength. And here's one thing I'm starting with...I'm going to take a break from all my craft/sewing/home improvement blogs. I'm going to erase them from my favorites. I'm no longer going to look at all the things that other mothers are able to do, and instead, I'm going to spend time focusing on the things that I CAN DO as a mother.

I'm going to try to be a little more patient with myself.

Anybody want to join me? What will you do to be more patient with yourself?

And now, onto the day ahead. I'm looking forward to finding the bits of success I can today...but I can tell you one thing, it will not include a sewing machine, paint brush or a glue gun!