Friday, March 8, 2013

Out For a Beer

Recently, I was using a photo-share site and noticed someone had a picture of a night out with a beer and card games at a bar as their latest pic.  I was in the process of uploading pics of SP, so maybe this is why the discrepancy of life styles struck me so clearly.  And, just for a moment, I felt a twinge of jealousy.  "Ah, to be free of all responsibility outside of myself, what freedom! I thought." It seemed so easy and fun.

Then, the moment ended and I took off the romanticized version of my single life and remembered that there were perks and quirks of that lifestyle too.....not better, just different, although certainly easier.  When you've spent the day changing diapers, it's easy to romanticize all that alone time of single life.  But, when I was single, I was working toward the exact life I have now:  married, with children.  As much as I might have told myself 10 years ago to enjoy the quiet, I have a suspicion in 15-20 years, I'll look back on myself now and think that I should've appreciated the noise more. 

When there's a moment of clarity in the chaos, I can see this season of my life in its very fleeting nature.  Diapers will end, babies will grow big and my children will creep ever further out into the world, until someday, I'll be happy when they call weekly and visit on holidays.  Just the thought of LB growing up and getting married is usually enough to make the day seem too short.

It's so easy to go to that place where I lament the lack of free time, date nights, "me time" and general leisure.  I could soak for hours in "if onlys".  Of course, the grass is generally greener.  Perhaps that's when we spend our time languishing while admiring the neighbor's lawn rather than watering our own yard :) Sometimes, at the end of a long day, or an hour after we're up for the day, I feel just done, over it, ready for a break.  When I've had an especially hard day and feel that urge to escape, sometimes it comes with a dose of guilt, that voice saying, "didn't you want these babies for YEARS?"  But, with the support of a wonderful husband, great friends and a tremendous family, those days where I feel truly at my end are few and far between.  I also remind myself when I hear that little voice that I'm not wishing I never had my children, I'm just wishing I could go to the store/bathroom/restaurant by myself occasionally.  I'm allowed to be tired, I don't have to be always "up".  I can be tired without being downtrodden, grateful and weary all in one breath.

I'm working on finding the joy right where I am.  For now, that means I'll have a Guinness with dinner to help my milk production while trying to keep SB from throwing all her food over the side of her tray.   My night out with friends tonight will be spending time with fellow mom's at LB's Little Flower's meeting.  My daily task is to be here now.  To appreciate what I have now.  And now I've got a stinky baby; SB just climbed up into my lap to potty....bonus, she's wearing a diaper :)  Thanks be to God for these special, beautiful darlings.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Room to Grow

We live in roughly 700 sq ft.  Palatial in terms of a NY city apartment perhaps, but for our family of five in a smaller city, it's not quite meeting our needs.  We have two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room and a kitchen.  Thankfully, there's some unfinished space in the basement where hubby has a desk and LB has a play space away from baby fingers.  We have much more than many and it is with deep appreciation for our many blessings that I say, we really need more space. 

Because of some boring financial details, it may make more sense for us to remodel rather than move, so we're looking into it.  This brings about an exciting and scary time of bids, estimates, seeking financing and the lot.  As we go through the process, I feel excitement and anxiety (still working on my joyful anticipation).  The plans look amazing, but it will be an added financial load, so it's a bag of mixed feelings.  The remodel would entail adding about 1100 sq ft.....essentially building another house onto the back of our current house.  The basement would be extended, with 2 bedrooms and a bathroom added.  Above the basement extension, a family room would give us open space for dining, toys, games, tv watching, and general family togetherness.  Our current living room would become my office/library.  Swanky, I know :)

So, while we wait a couple weeks for numbers to be crunched, I'm practicing my waiting in joyful anticipation on one more thing.  As I look at the plans, I repeat to myself, "Lord, your will be done".  I know whether we add on to our home or we find a new one, we've got a faithful shepherd guiding the path. 

Of course, part of having 4 bedrooms is our continued hope to grow our family.  The babies would continue to share a room in the addition, so we would have ~ gasp ~ a spare room!  I'm hopeful that if God gives us the path to a larger home, He'll lead us to a path that helps us to fill the rooms with more children.  After a long day like today, this idea is a little daunting, but I continually have to remind myself that God doesn't give us the train ticket until the train is in the maybe it's a case of, "build it and they will come".  Thank you God for all the little people who daily teach me patience and draw out the best (and sometimes worst) in me.  I am so richly blessed.  Prayers for all of you this Lent as we wait in joyful anticipation of the Resurrection and a new Pope.