March 24, 2014

Putting the Pieces Together Again

Sometimes I feel really stupid writing about, or even feeling like, my life is challenging.  Seriously, I have first world problems and I get that.  Yet even with first world problems, sometimes life can be challenging and lately it really, really has.

Actually it has been really challenging since November.  In November my baby brother (youngest of 10 children) was married.  That was awesome.  Family came from all over the place and there was nonstop partying from a week before the wedding on the 12th until Thanksgiving.  I think most of us can admit that partying, while awesome, is also exhausting.

Then I had a miscarriage.  I've been pregnant 10 times and have six children so I've been down this road before.  This time, though, I was 10 weeks along instead of six weeks along and that really affected my emotional response to the whole thing.  I was pretty sad.

In early December, a few days after the miscarriage, I took a trip to Vegas with my hubby and a bunch of family members to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday.  We took him to the Rodeo finals because he's always wanted to go. It was really, really fun and I am so glad we went but it wasn't exactly restful.

After that I returned home to my children and tried to find the Christmas spirit.  I never did.  I bled all through December and into January and wound up getting some extra ultrasounds before everything finally cleared up.  It was a sad holiday season for me and I felt guilty on top of being sad because I didn't do nearly as many Christmas things with the kids as normal.  I put together our traditional Christmas chain with a Christmas activity written on each link, but while we managed to take off a link every day, we only did about a third of the activities.  My children noticed.  I was more than ready to put the Christmas decorations back in boxes on New Year's Day.

After Christmas, my husband and I tried to decide whether or not to move or remodel the kitchen and whether or not we wanted another baby.  Very big decisions.  We talked and thought and prayed and went back and forth and everywhere in between.  We decided yes to baby and then couldn't figure out the best plan for the house.  Our house is small--only 1600 square feet with four bedrooms.  We didn't want seven children with four bedrooms, but we really liked our $700 house payment.  We literally changed our minds daily.

We finally decided for sure to stay in our home and remodel the kitchen--until Heavenly Father started a whole chain of events that convinced us that we were supposed to move.  We found a house that we wanted but needed to get our own house on the market.  We spent two weeks sleeping very little while we tried to make our house look like eight people didn't live in it.  Then the showings started and I really hit the stress zone.  I found it extremely difficult to keep my house clean all the time and then take the kids and leave the house for hours at a time.  We went to parks and museums and my sister's basement and it was very disruptive to our life and schooling.

Our house sold and we have the house we want under contract and everything is sort of slowing down like I should be able to breathe again, but there is a lot of fall out.  We haven't done any schooling in ages.  I've regained ten pounds that I worked so hard to lose after Oskar was born.  (I'm a stress eater.)  My children have no schedule to speak of and I haven't put myself to bed at a reasonable hour in months.

And so my first world problem is this: trying to pull ourselves together for the next month in order to achieve a little sanity before we pack and move and unpack.  After that it will be another challenge to figure out new chore charts and a new routine and logical rules for the new house (things like how far the little kids can bike away from the house will have to be thought out and taught).  All the while school is needing to get done.  I'm exhausted and still pretty sad about the baby and happy about the new house and unenthusiastic about the amount of work that still needs done before life can resume a neat little routine (my mom used to tell us that hard work never killed anyone, except the ones it scared to death; frankly, I'm scared).

Mostly, I am disappointed in myself that scripture study and FHE has gone by the wayside and I'm struggling to make those things happen again.

On the other hand, God is good and kind and everything worked out beautifully for us to get a large home at a very reasonable price with plenty of bedrooms and in a location that I'm pretty excited about. Our house sold in three weeks--allowing us to meet the contractual deadlines for the house we wanted.  Friends and family helped us pull our house together so it could be shown and brought us food and babysat my children.  I am confident that if we are supposed to have another baby, we will.  If we don't--well, I've been blessed with six gorgeous, healthy, wonderful children and my cup runneth over.

Eventually, I'll pull our lives back together.  It just might take more time than I'd like and more work than I want to do and more emotional energy than I feel I have.  One day at a time, right?


  1. I'm so sorry for the loss of your baby. (Seeing it in print doesn't even express the feeling I have. So I'm adding you to my prayer list. hope that's ok)

    I've been wondering about how you've been doing.
    (since I love your posts and hadn't seen any in a while)
    I just figured you were busy and you have been!

    You're certainly going through a lot of big changes.
    Even though I haven't gone through exactly the same thing, I've had life changing things happen amidst homeschooling. (my husband's illness, moving, family drama, etc.) The only thing I can say (from my experience) is that it's ok to let the homeschooling go for a while until the dust settles. Your kids are very bright and maybe if all you have time to do during all these changes is to sit and read books or try a new recipe with them, that's enough for now. Or maybe even go on a hike (if you are physically up to it yet). Your kids may even end up schooling themselves this next few weeks and they will probably be just fine. My little ones have survived somehow. Something I learned from my sister, before I ever had kids, was every time my sister had a baby, or a bout of depression or sickness, her homeschooling efforts suffered but her children did not. It showed me back then that homeschooling is not always perfect in terms of sitting and following a lesson plan but children learn much more during times of change than a book can teach them. Hang in there. I think you are amazing :)
    (congratulations on your new home)

  2. Well, if it helps, _I_ think you have every right to be feeling upended and worn out! And I think you're coming through it all admirably. So happy for you with the new house, etc. Hope it all goes well! (And I'll send you those recipes soon! :))

  3. Amy, thank you so much for your kindness. You can always pray for me. I always need it! You're right--my children will be fine. Thank you for the reminder.

    Marilyn, love you. Now that I have your permission to fall apart, I no longer need feel guilty about it. :)

  4. You sound far stronger than you are giving yourself credit for. :) I know I've only met you in person once and even then it was in passing, but I could see that you were happy and positive with your cute kids around you (it was at the Christmas Village in Ogden a few years ago).

    I'm sure it's difficult to share some of these personal things, but I want you to know that you have helped give me a little perspective today and that I deeply appreciate it. I miscarried what would have been our 6th baby, at 4 weeks. I'm doing well, but it's been disappointing, because for some reason it's been especially hard to get pregnant after our last child. Anyway, I know that Heavenly Father is loving -- and merciful. It sounds to me like he is watching over you and your family and knows your needs before you do -- at least that's how I am reading your post. :)

    Thank you for sharing and I hope all goes well with your move.

  5. Lynette, I am so sorry about the miscarriage. It is never easy. And thank you for your kindness. We should really work on meeting again. :)

  6. K, I haven't commented on a stranger's blog in AGES....since instagram took over the world. But I just have to comment here and say after happening upon your blog tonight through a friend of a friend of a friend in response to doing some research on homeschooling my soon to be kindergartener, I'm excited to add your blog to my list of homeschool inspirational blogs. I love your writing style, your reviews, your suggestions, your basic- no frills approach it all. Thank you! Also...we are also playing this housing game and it is NO fun. I hope it's over with soon for you so you can get back to worry about the day-to-day and not so many big decisions!

  7. Ali--welcome to Frolic and Farce!! I am so glad you've found some useful posts here. I appreciate your kind words, especially right now. Good luck on the house game and homeschooling. Homeschooling is so much fun!! Shoot me a comment if you have any specific questions you want me to address.

  8. Oh My! Look who I found! My long lost cousin :)
    This is Alicia. Love your blog! I will have to call you some time. I'll get your number from Leslie.