Enduring

Sometimes the path is hard. It feels hard to put one foot in front of the other. The bushes along the path scratch up your arms and legs. You stumble and trip on the rocks on the path. You fall down and cry. You sit in the middle of the path, sobbing.

You also know that you must go on. You know that the path won’t always be so difficult and you must put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward, even if you don’t progress for a while because you keep backtracking to see what exactly led you to this hard path. In the end, you’ll get there.

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My planning is done. Everything is tidy. Our first day of school begins today. Grades 1, 4, and 10.

Last night was very hard. Parenting teenagers is not for the faint of heart. My first reaction is to cancel today and feel angry and sad about my plans being derailed. But I know my other children would be so upset to not begin, they are so looking forward to today. And I don’t want to wear the martyr hat. So, I remember I’m the captain of the boat and I put one foot in front of the other and navigate into unknown territory. I let go of expectations and just jump in and see where it goes.

I’m sure tonight I’ll post plenty of pretty pictures that will make some out there feel less-than or jealous that I have it all together. This is why I’m sharing this blog post. I think sharing our struggles, the truth behind the pretty pictures, is a gift to others. We are all human. We all have our struggles and fall down on our face sometimes. It’s easy to pretend it’s all roses with the internet. But the truth is: life is hard sometimes. Parenting is hard sometimes. Mothering can sometimes makes you feel like your heart has been ripped out. We must endure and push forward. Feel it all, give ourselves a hug and keep putting our feet down for the next step. That’s all there is to do.

Sunday musings

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My husband sent this to me the other day because he thought of me. It’s funny because I had seen it just the day before and thought, ‘Yep, that’ll be me!’

We’ve been using only wood to heat our home this past two weeks (due to some repairs we need to make under our home.)  I’ve never chopped wood before in my life, but it has become an almost daily ritual now. I love it. I mean, I really love it. It feels satisfying to physically use all my strength to split the wood, and gives me some empty space to clear my mind and relax. I especially love chopping in the rain.

There never seems to be enough hours in the day. Or days in a week. Weekends aren’t really days off for me at all. I’m convinced I work harder and have less down time than the weekdays. I always look forward to Mondays. It is a fresh start to a new week. A new beginning. This week we have to trek an hour to take two kids to the dentist. Not looking forward to that. Exhausting. But, it’ll be behind us in a few days and we’ll survive.

Spring is starting to really feel near. I love the rain so much, and I’m not looking forward to the hot, hot, hot summer. But, I’m excited to watch the seasons turn once again. Oh, and I’m so happy for the time to change in a few weeks.  Who else has been waiting, counting the months, for the clocks to spring forward? I have a three year old who never got the memo back in October (or whatever it was) that the time was turned back an hour. So, she wakes every morning at 6am, no matter what her bedtime. Seven am wake ups will be wonderous! I’m an early riser, in order to have some quiet alone time, and while I don’t mind waking at 4am, so I can get two hours to myself every morning, 5am will be much easier to accomplish.

And speaking of spring, our dear chickens can feel it coming too. We adopted our chickens back in August, and they were still babies. Three days ago was the first time ever that all four laid! I don’t even eat eggs, but it still made me excited. The first one to lay out of all of them was Rose, our speckled Sussex. But she was also the one who stopped laying for a few months this winter.  But, then I found this! So beautiful, aren’t they? The colors and shapes are all unique.

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For those who are love chickens and want to know, we have a Maran (Artemis), an Americauna (Ella), a buff Orpington (Peaches), and our Speckled Sussex (Rose). They are the best pets I’ve ever had. I love them dearly. They are easy to take care of, super low maintenance, so entertaining to watch, and they coop themselves up at night. They are most definitely pets, and they’ll live out their lives with us, even if they stop laying one day. P. loves to pick them up, it’s adorable. If I can figure out my feelings about posting pictures of my kids on the blog, I might share a picture of it.

Our chickens are super tame, they love coming into our house when we aren’t looking. Rose makes a B-line for the cat food, though. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to chase her away from that if someone has left the door open. It is hilarious because the other three sort of mill around, looking for crumbs here and ther, but Rose wastes no time and goes tight to the cat food. I always shout, ‘No, you are eating yourselves!’ This is the chicken that had a really hard time figuring out where to lay her first egg last year. She wandered into the play room (which has a door to outside) and nestled onto a heap of play silks. I showed her out. Later,  I was cooking in the kitchen and heard a scraping in the laundry room. Open the door and see the chicken IN our empty washer, trying to see if that’s a good place to lay. (As you can guess, my children often leave the doors open. In the summer, it is hard to keep the doors closed!)

My husband, I think, feels like we have a zoo of animals. Three cats, three Guinea pigs, and four chicken.  It doesn’t feel like too much, most of the time. Keeping the three bathrooms clean (or even sort of decent) is way more work than the animals. Go figure!

 

It’s a whole new world

I’ve been vaguely aware of the existence of 4H for probably 5 or 6 years, but I didn’t really grasp what it was until recently. And, today, after our first real show, I’m still a little dazed. It does indeed feel like a whole new world that we’ve entered.

R is showing cavies ( I didn’t even know that word in English until a few months ago!), aka guinea pigs. He owns two piggies at the moment, and wants to buy more. That will have to wait until we can get them a larger cage. Today was his first time showing, so he was in the novice group. The entire event was huge today, so many people!! And each group had so many kids in it. When I saw how big his novice group was(10 or 11 kids) I was worried that he may not get champion, which was what he wanted. But, he did! He got reserve champion (second place). He was thrilled! He said he’d never felt prouder in his life!

After having spent the whole day there (we left our house at 7:30 and didn’t get home until 3:30), I feel initiated into this foreign 4H world. I’m not a loud-noise-crowded-areas person. So, that is difficult. But, I’ll learn to deal with it, and get down a routine for the shows. (Important to remember: bring more snacks than I think the kids will eat!). I had good company today, as we had three other families in our group and our lovely 4H group leader with us. That sure made the day more enjoyable. It was amazing to see so many rabbits and chickens. Some of the bantam chickens are so tiny, it is incredible!

R cannot wait until the next show. So, I think we are in it for the long run. It is exciting to see him growing and unfolding as he nears his teen years. So much love for that person.