You never know






(Trudy photobomb)


(I found this little list today, made earlier this summer.  Friends to knit for.  Dear Bonnie, Sarah won’t be forgotten.  There are reminders of her everywhere.  I continue to think of her everyday.)

This morning, as I stood at the stove cooking eggs with Silas (the “helper”), Gabe and the girls worked to do a combination of making paper snowflakes and boats made from wood scraps.  It was all so sweet, and messy.

But, the day ended up being one of those that had me on the verge of tears more than once.  I barely squeezed some lunch in around 3:30 p.m.  I kept thinking to myself with maybe a touch of self-pity, “The mom has to at least sleep and eat sometimes!”  Poor, poor me.  My youngest three are at the end of an illness, and they are just super needy and emotional right now.  It will pass, but today–I just gave myself one little goal:  Use a quiet and kind voice, no matter what.  And I did it.  I think that quiet, sometimes grave voice actually frightens my oldest son!  I’m going to master it.

What’s funny is that I put up that slightly humorous blog post (given my day to day reality), totally expecting people to tell me how to improve my blog and make it more “helpful.”  Haaaaaaa!  I am out of my mind.  I’m not sure exactly what caused me to believe that I need to start blogging in a different way somehow than I have for all these years, or that I am in a position to do so.  I guess I’ve been suffering from some dissatisfaction.  I need to learn to go with the flow, and accept the whole concept of “seasons.”  And I’m not talking about falling leaves.

Thanks for reigning me in, and reminding me that it’s okay to just be me.  I escaped to my computer here and there throughout the day and read all of your really sweet comments, and they were the happiest part of the day (and probably helped me use my nice voice.)

I have never been able to achieve anything here that isn’t pretty much in the moment, part of our real life.  I’ve read that successful bloggers schedule their posts weeks in advance even.  I type them up in the moments before I hit publish.  And who am I kidding about being more focused?  There can’t be too narrow of a focus here, because that wouldn’t be representative of my life.  The truth is that I’m not super focused on anything but my faith and family.  And my family pulls my attention in dozens of different directions every day.  And with that, I guess you just never know what I’ll end up blogging about next.  (Okay, it’ll probably be knitting.  But still.  Things could always get a little crazy here.  You never know!)

p.s.  The baby sweater is Wee Liesl.  It just needs buttons and it’s finished!

Focusing

Has anyone else had a difficult year?  I know that we have, and I am ready to leave it behind.  I want to focus on the positive.  It’s in my nature to do so.  This time last year I was in the last few weeks of a difficult pregnancy, which was followed by an extremely difficult birth and a long recovery (I’m still not physically 100%!)  There were months of postpartum depression.  Most recently, I lost one of my best friends.  Those of you who have read my words over the past year, and left yours in reply, have been a huge source of encouragement to me.  You have all been a part of helping me to move through these things.  I know that I am terrible at showing up in the comments and chatting there, but I do read them all, and I am grateful that you take the time to reach out to me.  In a perfect world I could carve out the time to interact more in the comments, but gosh, seven kids.  The food and the laundry alone…full time job.

Thankfully, I’m not depressed these days.  My days are full, but they are good.  Of course it can be difficult to raise a large family, and to homeschool so many children (five in school this year!) But, I like a challenge.  I end some days feeling like I’ve been run over, and sometimes I mentally calculate just how many years of homeschooling I still have ahead of me and feel a bit (or a lot) overwhelmed.  But usually I am able to pull myself together, sometimes with the help of some knitting, and often with the help of this blog.  Writing about the positives helps keep things in perspective for me.

So, I’ve been thinking about my blog and what I want to do here.  I like to share my hodge podge posts of photos and rambling words, and I’m not going to stop.  But, sometimes I think it’s good to be a bit more focused, and I need another challenge, right?  I would like for what I share here to benefit others as well.

So what are you struggling with?  What inspires you?  What do you most come here to read?  I want to know.

Friends and readers often remark to me that the community surrounding this blog, those of you who regularly comment, are exceptionally kind.  It’s true.  You are.  Thank you so much for your kindness and your generosity.