24 October 2013

::Confessions:: Eating Crow

(Written  Friday, October 18, 2013)

::Confession::

I don't like inviting new people into old traditions. It bothers me. I am a creature of habit, structure and continuity (for the most part). 

I want my traditions to be the same. Kev and I have only established a few traditions thus far in our life and while there will be more (this I am sure of) as our life progresses, right now our traditions are limited. The kids will always receive a chocolate orange in their Christmas stocking each year, and wake up to a room full of balloons on the morning of their birthday. Each year we will go to the Lovely Bee's & Tree's for hot cider, fresh honey and a one of a kind Christmas ornaments; and every October our little family will venture to Maris Farms, the best pumpkin patch in all of Western Washington!



And last weekend that is exactly what we did. Fall is my favorite time of the year and nothing says Fall more than a pumpkin patch. So as we drew closer to the middle of the month my anticipation for pumpkin picking and cow train riding grew stronger. Last weekend we dressed the kids up in their pumpkin patch outfits (because I just can't help myself), and headed south for our third annual Maris Farms Pumpkin Patch picking trip...with six extra people. I must admit, I wasn't thrilled at this prospect when it was first presented to me. I loved dearly everyone who wanted to join but my antisocial, tradition loving heart said that this just wasn't right. 























We always go, just the four of us, on a weekday when it is peaceful and quite. There is never any objections to what we want to do and we move freely as we please. This is how it supposed to be and this is how it always has been. So the thought of going on a busy weekend with six extra people pulling us in different directions didn't sit well with me. But the next two weeks before Halloween for us were full, and if we were going at all this year it would have to do now. So I swallowed my pride, bit my lip, smiled as though it didn't bother me, and made Kevin promise that next year it would only be us; the way it should be.

Boy am I eating crow!

The previous two years at Maris was perfect for our little family of 3 and then 4. The kids were babies and and having the run of the place was perfect for them. But this year was different. I now have a preschooler and toddler and with their growing age comes a new found freedom; for them and us. This year was different, it was alive, upbeat and fun; and having our extra family there was perfect. The kids ran and played. Kaydence rode a pony for the first time and Kam took his first ride in the cow train. Kev and I had more freedom to enjoy the farm just as much as the kids, as there were others to keep an eye on our little ones. Kev and I regressed in age and enjoyed the activities and attractions made for children and adults alike. We were kids again, sliding down the underground slide and running back to the top of the hill for more. We ate fruit loop kettle corn and funnel cakes with no regrets, and bathed in giant pits of corn kernels. The company was great, the conversation fun, and the memories amazing. And as we pushed our wheelbarrows of pumpkins back to our individual vehicles after hours of fun I couldn't help but feel a little ashamed of my earlier feelings. I had had such a great time it seemed so silly that I been worried in the first place.


           






                    


























 And at that point I realized that SOME traditions can be just as great with more people and adaptations, you just need to change your perspective on how you view these experiences.



Thank you to our lovely personal photographer, Karen, who captured so many amazing memories for us. We love you bear!

07 October 2013

Failure

Failure; a word that has plagued me my entire life. I have spent my life in constant fear of not succeeding. With everything I do I give 100%, wanting nothing more than to succeed and unwilling to accept anything less. I busted my butt in high school opting out of fun electives and taking double AP English and math classes in order to graduate a full year early. My goal in life was to be successful at whatever I did in life, and I would attain this at whatever costs.

My deeply woven fear of failure is definitely due to the constant failure that surrounded my upbringing . With every disappointing role model in my life I wanted nothing more than to be better than that; to be better than them, to achieve more, to do more, to be more.

I have had my plan for success established since I was young. I would go to college, obtain a degree, have an amazing career, marry a wonderful man, buy a gorgeous suburban home with blue shutters and a white picket fence, have a few beautiful kids and live the "American Dream."

Since having my first child, a little over three years ago, I have been working hard to make something of my life. Being unmarried without a degree and pregnant at 22 years old, made me a failure by my own standards. I have been determined to not become a statistic and have spent the last three years going to school full-time in order to attain a degree so I could better support my family. I am constantly basing my success by the lives and success of others. Feeling disappointed when someone else reaches a milestone I have not (buying a home, getting their degree, etc.)

However, as I travel deeper into this life journey of mine, I have began to see that I have been looking through the wrong eye glass lenses. My vision has been incorrect for so long, cloudy and blurred by this idea of what society deems "successful." I have been spending my life trying not to be a "failure" believing that success is measured in the amount of money you make, the number of vacations you can afford to take and the amount of things you possess.



More recently I have been carrying a heavy load. Juggling more balls than I can handle. I have been desperately grasping at this idea of success, stressing myself out with work, school and homework, not including my home life and all that goes along with it. I have been holding onto this idea that having it all is the only way to truly be happy and that by giving up or quitting anything I start makes me a failure (there it is again, that word I hate so much.)

Well, my acts has finally come to an end this week. As I sat tossing 16 different balls in the air praying that I would be able to catch each one as gravity quickly brought it back to me; I instantly realized that I am no longer having fun. In fact, I am just plain unhappy. I spend so much of my day stressed out, bitter, resentful and angry. There is more work than I can possibly handle sanely and not enough time, energy or outside help to make it worthwhile.

So this past week I exchanged my old pair of glasses for a new prescription and was amazed at how crystal clear everything was. I took as step back and realized that for so many years my vision of success has been skewed. I now see that what I truly value has nothing to do with the amount of money I make or what I can and can not afford. I realized that when I stop comparing my life with others, I am very successful on this road of life that is mine. To be where I am today coming from where I started is an amazing feat in itself. This success is something that can only be truly enjoyed by me because I am the only person who knows what I have overcome.

I just want a humble life; full of joy, love, family, support and good memories. I want to watch my children grow up and bask in their littleness; for they have a life time to be grown and only this small period of time to be little. People keep telling me that this is the perfect time to go to school because my children won't remember that I am gone so much. This doesn't sit well with me. I will remember that I wasn't  present and I will never forgive myself.


So this juggling act looses a ball today as I put school on hold. I already have one degree and the rest can wait until the kids are in school. Sitting in front of a computer 4+ hours a day will be more reasonable while my babies are in school, and not affected by my lack of presence. I know I can be successful in school while working and raising my children, and my current 4.0 gpa proves that. I, however, am failing my kids with every "not now honey," "in just a minute sweetheart, mommy is doing homework," "I am too tired to go to the park today love, maybe tomorrow," and "how about cereal for dinner...for the 2nd night in a row." Starting this month mommy and the kids support daddy with his endeavors to become Doctor Tatum, while mommy puts her Bachelors degree aside for awhile. No longer will my success be measured in dollars, but rather the amount of kisses and giggles I can tickle out of the two amazing little people I brought into this world. I am truly resolved in my decision and happy to get this time back with my kids. I look forward to being able to start vlogging and blogging again as I document these precious times in my kids life, and can already feel a huge change in my attitude and temperament. My kids may not remember that I was present during these early years of their life but I will never regret having missed it.

If being a failure means I am forced to live simple, humbly and happy; than I wear my dunce cap with pride!