Friday, March 30, 2012

Routine Gone Wild

I've been wondering where I've been lately.  Don't worry, you read that right! I've been wondering where I've been!  This was definitely "March Madness" for our family, leaving little time for blogging unfortunately.

Exhibit A:

This is our calendar for March, and actually does not include everything since Saturday is also a workday for Martin, so he frequently has meetings on those days.   Putting both boys in Little League has turned out to be fun, yet stressful.  This month alone we had 24 combined practices and games, and have to work the snack bar 4 times in the next month as well.

Everyone is out of sorts.  The cat is hiding in underwear drawers...

The house is a mess...

Laundry sits unfolded:

And even this guy got lost:

It's like he climbed up there to escape the madness and can't find his ship.

Although we've tried to keep our routine as stable as possible (at least in the mornings), after school everything is out of sorts.  Normally we get home around 3:15pm, do homework, make dinner, have baths, and they go to bed by 7:30pm.  Lately we've had to break homework time in half, go to a practice or game from 4-6pm, get home and eat a late dinner, have a late bath, and although they get in bed no later than 8:30, they are tired, cranky and mad even at 6pm.

So, as you can probably tell, this month has been challenging. Not even so much because of the schedule, but because of the way it affects both boy's moods.  They are just so tired from all the activity. Although they love baseball, every minute of it, I wonder if it's worth it.  Yet when we see their excitement, it's hard to think of not doing it at all.

Micah getting the game ball:

We have about 6 weeks left, and we'll have to make some decisions about skipping some weeknight games for our own sanity.  I just don't know how much more of the irritability I can take, especially on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when Martin has to leave after the games and go back to work, so I'm alone handling double meltdowns. We will see.... but for now we try to enjoy the season, and we're glad the boys are having fun.

Hoping to check in more often now that our March Madness is over; Spring Break is only a week away - yeah!!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

When Someone Hates You

She walked by me, and I got a knot in my stomach. I know how she feels about me, but I kept hoping things would be different this time.  "Hi!" I said, in my most friendly voice.  She just stared back at me, saying nothing. I knew she heard me; I was only about 2 feet away.  Then she asked me a question, "Why are you here?"  I came up with some kind reply, trying not to stumble over my words. It was awkward.

I really don't know what I did to make her hate me, although I have a few hunches.  She may have heard the things I said about her - it wasn't gossip, really, but they weren't the kindest words.  Thinking they were said in confidence, I now realize they weren't.  We were never friends; she was someone I once worked with who did a poor job, and it negatively affected me.  At the time, I vented to those close to me (and maybe a few others as well).

She's not the first person who hated me.  She's not the first person to make my palms sweaty and my heart race, causing me to hide behind walls and go a different direction.  Hey, being married to a pastor, it pretty much comes with the territory. Someone doesn't like your husband, they usually don't like you either.

But in this case, I knew it was my fault.  I didn't have to say anything to anyone else about her, I chose to. It made me feel better. I even got some people "on my side." I did say it wasn't gossip, didn't I?  :)  See, I have realized something:  when someone hates me, there is usually something that I did, even if it wasn't intentional.  I never meant to hurt her, but I did.  I never meant for her to EVER find out that I didn't like her!  But she did.  

There have also been times that I have been hated and there was really was nothing I did to cause it.  Sometimes people just don't like you.  Maybe your personalities just don't mix, or they don't like the clothes you wear, or the role you play in their life.  You do everything you can, but it doesn't work. They don't want to like you, and they never will.

However, much of the time, something triggered the negative feelings.  Sometimes it was even something that we did.  We should always be willing to ask ourselves, "Did I do something, even unintentional, to cause this?"  Do we owe that person an apology, even if it isn't worth it?   And the motivation for offering an apology shouldn't be so that we will feel better about ourselves for doing our part; it should be because it is the right thing to do. God calls us to be peace-makers. He also calls us not to gossip, even when we don't think it is gossiping.  

There will always be haters.  Yet I'm finding that there are things I can do to stop from getting more haters.  The first thing I have learned is to just close my mouth when I feel like venting, because you just never know who is listening.

Proverbs 17:28 - "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Coping Skills for Exhaustion

I am just so tired.

That phrase has been coming out of my mouth multiple times a day for weeks now.   It's not that I have too much to do, although I could always use less responsibility; it's just the weight of the many hats of a mother, a wife, a woman in ministry, a friend.... well, you know.  You know how it is.  I wouldn't take any of it back; I am just so tired.  Is it okay when you're tired but it's all from good things? I hope so.

My best friend called me last week, concerned, and asked, "What are you doing to take care of yourself?"  I replied with something like, "Ummm....."  That's a good question.  When I'm overwhelmed, I default to:  candy, chocolate, and eating.  Hmmm...I don't know if it's working out well for me.

What I need to be doing and what I am doing are two different things.  Here are some things that are good to do when overwhelmed:

- Just say "no" to more time commitments. This would come in handy now that we're committed to 24 Little League practices and games, just in the month of March.

- Spend time with God each day.  This is obvious, but I confess, it's probably the first thing that gets neglected when I'm overwhelmed with too much to do.

- Go to bed earlier.  Did I really need to watch "The Bachelor: The Women Tell All," even if it was to finally see Courtney show some remorse for her awful behavior?  (Disclaimer:  I honestly hate that show and have only watched it 2x, but long enough to see who the evil villain was!)

- Eat healthy.  Take it from me, a diet consisting of Girl Scout Cookies, fast food, coffee and Hershey's kisses will only make you feel worse.

- Have some time alone each day.  When some people are overwhelmed, it helps them to be around friends more, have coffee time, or chat on the phone for an hour. That definitely helps me too.  Yet at this level of exhaustion, I'm finding that time alone does more for me than anything else.  Time in quietness, in a dimly-lit room, just sitting still.

I'm sure exercise is also a great coping skill for exhaustion, but I'm just starting with these 5 things for now.  A nap couldn't hurt, either.  A long, five day nap.  What coping skills do you find work best when you're tired or exhausted?

This image was on Facebook today, with no link to the original source, but I thought it represented my current state of mind well :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Funnies

Just wanted to pop in and say "hello," and leave you with a few Friday Funnies for this week:

Micah noticed that someone passed us who had a "fat tummy" as he called it.  "Mommy, he can hibernate!" he shouted.

Jaden pointed to my elliptical machine in the garage. "Why don't you use that, mommy?"
Me: "Well, I go to the gym now."  Jaden: "Well, you could still use it on the days you don't go to the gym!"

Micah went up to Martin and said, "Dad, just a reminder that Jaden cannot play the Wii today because he threw the remote yesterday."

And if you've ever played with Photobooth on a Mac, you know how hilarious it can be.  This is Jaden and I messing around on Photobooth today:

For more Friday Funnies, visit these past posts.