messy beautiful life

When I get quiet on this space, it is usually always because I am dealing with some real life stuff.  I don’t mean to not write in these times, but for me, I have to process internally before I’m ready to process externally.  Both of which are necessary parts of my growth  .

I am someone who has a natural gift to be happy and optimistic about most things.  I understood it was a unique gift I had when I realized my sweet bubbly, bouncing Stella had it, too.  I am easily excited and a total romantic.  I can usually find something charming and swoon-worthy just about anywhere.  I get giddy over nothing, and the things that normal people get excited for, I nearly hyperventilate.  This is my voice.  It’s part of what makes me, me. 

I am also someone who has fought a life long battle with depression, off and on.  That is a really quirky side of my personality compared to my usual bouncing self, but I have come to really just adore quirky people, and loving this part of myself is hard, but I am really trying to do it anyway.

I think it’s also strange to talk about depression, because you would rather that just go away.  Depression doesn’t own my joy, so where I choose to be happy, my depression can’t reach.  These pages I have written here have been the happy moments I have wanted to keep in my mind forever.  But I also know how important it is for us to share our hearts, especially those tender parts, to heal ourselves and help heal the world around us.

Depression for me picks and chooses it’s years or months to invade, and I have learned how to fight this internal battle in different seasons in different ways.  I have also learned that love is the greatest healer, and nothing heals me quite like loving myself does.

Having a healthy relationship with myself, loving who I am as a person, accepting the way my body looks and my life looks, doesn’t just mean I just do all the time.  It means I have to consciously each day to choose that, over the alternative.  Which is giving into the idea that I’m not doing enough, that I need to be different, or look different, whatever the case may be.  Some days I feel on top of things and it’s easy to love me, other days I fight with myself and have to choose to love me.  This is a journey I’ll likely always be on as a woman, and I’m grateful the years ahead (I hear) come with more self-acceptance and less care of pettiness, especially as we continue to practice self-love.

I live with four young children who sometimes, actually all times, demand and ask of me way more than they give back.  My husband is also living a life keeping his head above water just like me, and our lives definitely pull us away from each other more than we would like sometimes.  I can’t always rely on my “love tank” being filled from them, and when I can extend grace and love to myself, I am less needy of attention from them.  I can also give more when my tank is full.

Loving myself is a daily practice of prayer.  Each day I walk through the areas of my head and heart with God and ask for guidance, comfort, love, patience, direction in whichever areas are weighing on me.  This is the first thing I started doing as I began to build a relationship with God, and it’s the single most thing that has changed my life the most. I am grateful to know that there is this source of Love I can tap into when I’m feeling low, and the good  Lord knows I can feel low on love from time to time.  I can imagine every mother can feel drained of love and patience now and again.

I choose happy every day, I really try even when it seems so impossible.  As someone who fights depression and anxiety, I fight the feelings of restlessness, hopelessness, never-enough-ness, discontent, grief, sadness, past trauma, work through the healing of old wounds.  This is not work for the weak, this is work for the warrior.

I may not be showing up everyday in social media or even here on the blog, but you can bet I’ll be working hard to show up every day in my actual real life.  The life only I can live, the children only I can mother, the husband I get to wife, the struggles I’ve been conditioned to walk through.  This is me.

Every evening, low on patience, messy kitchen, dinner on the stove, and a baby or two wanting up in my arms.  It is the beautiful chaos that to me, creates the most beautiful life.  The pain, the joy, and every last emotion in between.  It’s all just color, and color is beautiful.

Writing this close to my heart feels vulnerable and scary at times, but I think what we don’t share hurts us more than what we do.  We are better together, and I’m so glad you’re showing up for me here and living life along side me.

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Harlo is NINE


On December 18, 2017, my precious oldest turned nine years old.
Harlo has blossomed into such a beautiful young girl.
She is sweet and caring, so very thoughtful.
She is always reminding me to grab a coat for Major, or a snack cup for Grae, or asking for my help to do something nice for someone.
She is so responsible, I almost feel guilty I’m her mom. :P I am flighty and scattered, always trying to be more scheduled and organized.  Harlo isn’t this way at all, and I’m so grateful for her help.
A couple of months ago, my mother-in-law showed up to my door with a magnetic fridge calendar.  When I looked puzzled, she explained to me that Harlo had seen one out with her and mentioned that I needed one. ha!  I  hadn’t thought of it, but now that she mentioned it, I did probably need one, thanks sa much. ;)
She is always reminding me about random dangers or choking hazards or age-appropriate things the babies should or shouldn’t be doing.
I do tell her I have things under control, but I’ve also learned it’s her way of showing love.
She is so good at caring for others.
Harlo has wanted to be a teacher since she started preschool – she has held strong to this, and this year has especially loved playing school with her little sibs.
Right now she has a whole setup in the kitchen.  They will all sit for hours at the kitchen table, listening intently and doing the work she’s assigned them. :)
She is currently teaching Grae all her letters, and is such a sweet little teacher – always encouraging, and always thinking of creative ways to teach.
She will be such a good teacher!  I think it is the perfect job for her.  Not to mention I know she’ll be a great little mama someday.
Harlo girl is wired so much like her daddy.  In so many ways.
She will do just about anything for some computer privilages.
She is a master at her favorite computer games and it makes her quite popular among the young boys at school.  She often has minecraft or roblox dates over the phone with some of our cute boy-friends.
She can’t wait until she can work at Lifeguard Computers and is starting to learn a bit about the family business. :)
She is a home body that loves to travel.  She would rather be home more than anything… except for a good roadtrip.  I think she gets that from me. :)
She also loves design and has an eye for making things beautiful – another thing I’ll gladly take credit for.
As she grows, I love seeing my influence as a mother in her.  It’s been such a sweet blessing to my life.
She plays piano beautifully, and has grown into this coordinated young lady.
She is excited to start dance again this January.  She tried gymnastics last year and realized dance is more her “thing”.
Harlo is an especially good student.  She loves third grade and especially adores her teacher.  I’m so glad she got a great teacher again this year.  It makes all the difference!
This has been our first year with some unkind friends at school this year – it’s been so hard seeing my tender hearted girl come home with hurt feelings, but I must say she’s handled herself so beautifully this year balancing some tricky relationships.  We have talked often about choosing right and treating people kind, even when they’re struggling to do the same.  Mostly she’s been nervous about getting tied into trouble, or her teacher thinking she’s not a nice girl, but of course that hasn’t been the case.  After a few months of sticky situations, things are really looking up at school.  She does have some really sweet friends this year, and I think that has helped so much!
Harlo is definitely an introvert – she will think 300 thoughts before one of them come out of her mouth (not like me in the LEAST).  But one thing I love, is at the end of the day, after she’s taken the world in, she will open up when she feels comfortable and will chat and chat and chat about all the things.  In this moment, I’m so grateful to be her mother, and the one who gets to hear all about her beautiful mind and kind heart.
Harlo is funny, and smart, and creative.  She tends to be good at whatever she tries.
She is the best sister and has such a sweet spot for her younger siblings.
She especially hates when any of them get in trouble, and usually the only time she sasses me is in defense of one of them, bless her heart.
Her favorite job each week is dressing Major for church, and then she just dies over him the entire day in his dapper little gentleman’s outfit.
We had our first week in our new ward, and Harlo fit right in.  She made some friends right off the bat, some who live just up the street, and she really enjoyed activity days this week.
This move has proved to be the most positive for my Harlo girl, I think.  She is just a happy, happy girl and she’s been so excited about our new house and neighborhood, it’s helped me be excited when I’m feeling a bit homesick.
I’m so grateful for her sweet guiding light in our home.
She is an example to us all, and I have loved every minute of watching her grow up.
Even though my heart stings at the thought of her being HALF WAY to 18, it’s so fun watching her grow into the person she’s becoming.
My life changed dramatically when Harlo was born, and each year on her birthday I celebrate in my heart another year of living the good life because of this angel.
Because of Harlo, my testimony in a loving God who knows what and when we need things is so firm, so steady.  She is my proof.
Harlo Elle, I couldn’t be more excited about being your mom.  Today and always, my darling girl.
You are good, and kind, and wonderful.
Being your mother is my life’s greatest blessing.
Enjoy every minute of being NINE, my sweet girl.
Love you forever and ever.
-Mama

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Happy New Year!

We are starting a fresh new year, in a fresh new (to us) house, with fresh new opportunity at our fingertips.  It feels like a great way to be starting a new year.

I am a lover of goals, fresh starts, and clean canvases.

Some things we’re working on over in this neck of the woods:

Coming from a place of authenticity in all aspects of my life – motherhood, work, relationships.  In my late twenties I am learning to finally rely on my own instinct, and trust my own opinion.  Be okay with things the way I like them, even if no one else does.  My own voice, style, path.  Be myself completely and fully, coming from a place of love, and not letting insecurity drag any energy from that space.

Connecting more with each of my children in the way they best connect and feel loved.  This looks different for all of them, and I hope to pay attention, especially as they grow, in the ways they want to connect with me.  Harlo likes chatting late at night, Stella enjoys getting out and about with me, Grae loves my complete undivided attention, and Major loves extended rocks in the rocking chair before bed while I sing him his favorite songs, or a good wrestling sesh.  I hope to love my children in the ways they receive love.  Always!

One thing that 2017 presented me with as a new challenge is not having time for ME, my work, my passions.  This past year motherhood consumed more of me than ever before.  I have always been a worker-bee.  I hit the ground running when I got my first job at 14, and balanced two to three jobs and a side hustle or two constantly as a teen and young adult.  Working was the first thing I was good at, and motherhood was the second.  I’ve had a balance of the two for all these years, and this past year it seemed to come crashing down.  I had to hand over one for the other a lot, and that stressed me out.  I mean, I spent maaaany nights crying myself to sleep while wrestling with God about what I should be doing with my life.  I also learned, that that is my process…  I hold onto every last ounce of my control before I have a meltdown and let go and let God, which I hope to be better and more gracious about walking forward.  Sometime in the year though, I realized that this season was passing and wouldn’t last forever. There have been years of motherhood I’ve been stay-at-home 100% and others I’ve worked mostly from home full-time.  This year needed me home a lot, and I’m grateful for the time, and for the simplicity it created for my life.  I needed to learn that my worth is not equal to my productivity or how hard or much I work, and it’s okay to have those years of simplicity and service that motherhood so readily provides.  Always always learning in this motherhood journey!

I’ve also been learning a lot about what gives me energy, and what drains me of energy.  This has been such valuable information, and this year I hope to do more of what is LIFE GIVING to me, and be aware of what is draining me.  Improving myself and evolving all the time.

I am walking into this year with less things I want to focus on, but focus MORE on just those things. 

New house, new year, but the same ol’ blossoming me.

Happy New Year!

♥ the mama

 

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a sweet time of year

The other night Stella counted the 36 tabs I had open on my computer, and that’s about how life feels right now.

The Holiday season just comes rushing at us, doesn’t it?  I’m a much more slow-paced person, so I tend to get overly stressed this time of year, but the romantic in me can’t help but swoon over the Christmas magic.

This time of year also feels so nostalgic.  I was thinking yesterday of the holiday season Mr. Miller and I spent falling in love and agreeing to spend our lives together while I lived 500 miles away in Texas.  The very next year, we lived under one roof and welcomed a tiny, precious daughter.  Having my first baby just a week before Christmas made a life-long impact on my holiday season.  Each year takes me back to those weeks and days leading up to the biggest change of my entire life – the anticipation, and fear, and excitement overflowing.  My little angel showing up a week before she was due, just in time to settle in for Christmas.  I have never felt the Christmas spirit quite like I did that year.

That tiny Christmas angel of mine will be turning NINE next week.  I am feeling all the feelings as I wrap my head around each quickly passing year, and all the ways she changed everything for the better.

Feels a bit reminiscent to the way our Savior’s birth changed everything for the better.  What a special time of year!

Reminding myself today about what the season is really about, and giving myself permission to slow down and focus on less being more this holiday season.

Each year, our church finds ways to focus on Christ during the season.  This year, the Light The World campaign is going on with amazing ways to serve this holiday season.  No matter your faith, or beliefs, I encourage you to jump in as many days as you can and join the challenge.  Find more on mormon.org #lighttheworld

 

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