Monotony

Yesterday was one of those days.  You know – the ones where you are just tired of everything.  We call it the grind, the day-in and day-out, the same-old same old.  And, most days, that’s okay.  In fact, most days I relish the schedule and the normalcy and the calm.  But, every once in a while, I am just done.

Seriously, how many lunches to be made, dishes to be washed, loads of laundry to fold, homework questions to oversee, meals to make, carpools to run, church activities to go to, fights to break up, beds to make, kids to care for can I possibly take?  I’ve been doing this THIRTEEN YEARS.  That’s a long time.  I don’t even get weekends off.  No wonder I’m tired.

The good thing about days like yesterday is that they are almost always followed by a today.  You know, the day after when it doesn’t seem quite as bad.  Sure, I’m still tired of folding the kids laundry (seriously, how many clothes do they REALLY need?) and packing lunches (Why do they need actual meals?  Could we just live off snacks so I don’t have to cook/prepare anything?).  But, a new days brings a new perspective, and I’m grateful for that.  It’s probably why I haven’t packed it in long before now.

That new perspective helps me see the good – not just the monotony.  Yesterday I got to go to the gym.  I ran.  I didn’t pass out.  Success!  I got to spend time watching my kids as they stared out the window for a good half hour watching a house being built next door.  They were entertained and not making a mess.  Success!  I got to go with my daughter to New Beginnings at church and be there to support her.  I even learned something that will help me.  Success!  I have an amazing husband who didn’t try and fix anything and just listened as I vented the moment he walked in the door.  He even did most of the dishes for me – although that may have been out of fear.  :)  Success!

I’m not trying to be all Polly Positive.  Yesterday was terrible.  I’m suppose as I’ve thought about it today, I just want to make sure I don’t miss the small, happy moments – even if it is a day late.  And, maybe it will help next time I have “one of those days”.  Hey, it’s worth a shot!  :)

Small Things

I love November.  So many awesome things happen in November.  Elections.  My birthday.  Thanksgiving.  Black Friday shopping.  Cooler weather.  Leaves.  Soup.   Christmas lights go up (we seriously saw FOUR houses with lights last night!).  The start of the holiday season.  But, one of my favorites is the chance to reflect on what I am grateful for.

I always think about doing the “Fill everyone’s Facebook feed with something I’m grateful for everyday although no one really cares about how awesome my goldfish is” thing.  But, that seems like WAY too much of a commitment.  Then, I thought about posting every 5 or 6 days with 5 or 6 things that I am grateful for on the blog.  I was even gonna start with my kids and Jon.  Yeah, on November 13th . . . you can see how well that worked.

But, this morning, I realized that most of what I am grateful for are the small things that I overlook everyday.  When I pray, I’m always grateful for Jon and the kids and my house and my health.  And, I should be.  They’re awesome.  But, I rarely take the time to be grateful for the small things.  So, here’s a few . . .

I’m grateful for the nice guy at the gym today who held the door open for me even though it was freezing.

I’m grateful for Skinny Pop . . . seriously, that stuff is like gold in my house.  My kids jump around like crazy fangirls when I buy a new bag.

I’m grateful for Hulu and Pandora which make the treadmill of terror just a little less torturous.

I’m grateful for the one day in ten that Emily actually gets ready on time and we don’t have to impatiently yell from downstairs that we’re going to be late.

I’m grateful for ‘perfect storm’ days when all the kids are buying lunch and we don’t have to make any sack lunches!  (I look forward to these days almost as much as Christmas and my birthday!)

I’m grateful that my kids like each other, even if it manifests itself in mock fighting over who gets to lay on the big couch.  (Rob always wins because, well, he’s giant!)

I’m grateful for flannel and slippers and fuzzy socks on cold days.

I’m grateful for nice workers at the grocery store who take the time to smile and ask how you’re doing.

I’m grateful for candles that make my house smell like fall.

I’m grateful for nail polish – my pretty purple toes make me happy!

I’m grateful for Clorox Wipes . . . seriously, how did I clean without them?!?

I’m grateful for nights where we don’t have to go anywhere and can just be a family.

I could probably go on and on, but that would just be boring.  Hmm, it probably already was.  Oh well, it’s my blog, and I can bore you if I want!  Happy Thanksgiving!  :)

Introspection

Our family blog is going through an existential crisis. Every day, it asks itself why it exists and why no one ever uses it. It ponders if perhaps it has outlived it’s usefulness and effectiveness. And, it wonders if perhaps there is a better, easier way to keep a family record. And, maybe, just maybe, it’s a little jealous of Facebook that seems to get more of the attention now. Darn attention hog, that Facebook!

But, for now, the blog will continue to exist. Maybe not for long, but for now.

And, since the blog is in such an introspective mood, it began thinking about all the change that it has seen over the years. It has seen major life changes like babies and moving and death. It has seen minor changes like kids playing sports and taking vacations. But, the one thing that it always marks is change.

Today was another of those changes. To some it may be big, and to others it may be small. The four Gee kids (one of whom wasn’t even born when this blog began) went back to school.

Back to school means different things to each of the kids who have grown up here on this blog. To Kelsey it is excitement to see friends and the joy that comes from learning.

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20130827-102531.jpgTo Rob it is a resigned feeling that it is just another year, coupled with the excitement of the new challenge of playing football.

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And, for the Mom? Well, there is not one word that can adequately define what she is feeling. There is relief – let’s just be honest – that she doesn’t have to entertain 4 kids every day and feel guilty when they spend a large chunk of most days playing video games. There is tiredness because that stinking alarm clock rung awfully early this morning. There is happiness that her kids are growing up and becoming real people who are actually enjoyable to be around. There is sadness that those same kids who are so fun will not be around during the day to hug and make her smile. There is pride as she watches them bravely walk into new situations and do their absolute best. There is fear – especially watching a young 6th grader enter middle school for the first time – that it will be hard and her kids will have to find the strength to stand on their own two feet without her there. There is anxiety that they won’t make friends or that kids will be mean to them or they will get lost or they won’t be able to open their locker or that they won’t know how to go through the lunch line or a million other scenarios that have played out it her head. There is excitement knowing all the new things they will get to experience and feel in the next year. There is gratitude for the teachers who will give a part of themselves to fill a role that she cannot. There is a calmness as she looks around her quiet house and realizes that if she cleans something it may actually stay clean for a few hours. And, there is a sense of anticipation because the kids will be home in a few short hours to fill her house with joy and laughter and noise (and probably fighting and whining because they’re so tired from school, but we won’t talk about those).

It is kind of nice that there is a blog – a woefully underused blog, but a blog nonetheless – that helps to mark the changes that happen in life and the feelings that accompany them. Maybe it’s existence isn’t useless after all. :)

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Going Green . . . Again!

We’re not Irish.  We don’t know much about Ireland.  I’m not even sure why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  But, I do know it’s a great excuse to for a family tradition.  I love me a good tradition!

Several years ago, an old college roommate of mine posted about a fun thing she did on St. Patrick’s Day with her family.  (Shout out Shauntae!)  And, we totally stole it and have been doing it ever since.  So, welcome to the 2013 Gee Green Dinner!  In honor of St. Patty’s day, we have a dinner made of all green foods – some natural and some courtesy of a bottle of food coloring!  This year included:

Green pizza rolls

Salad

Green jello with green whipped cream

Green apples

Green soda

IMG_2139IMG_2142 IMG_2141After dinner, we always do a treasure hunt.  This year Emmy was in charge, and it was awesome!  The kids especially loved their treasure (okay, Reese’s peanut butter cups – but they’re gold, so it totally counts!) at the end.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  :)

Kumbaya

We’re winding down Spring Break and dreading the early alarm tomorrow morning, so I thought I should maybe post something (it’s a miracle!) about our week!

I’ll be honest.  We played a lot of video games this week.  And watched a lot of movies.  And slept in (thanks a lot Daylight Savings time).  By the end of the week, we decided that we needed to get out of the house and enjoy the beautiful weather.  So, in true Gee fashion, we packed up half our house and headed up to Oklahoma to camp.  (That’s not as hard as it sounds.  As my family will inform you, we practically live in Oklahoma now!)  A quick hour and a half drive, and we arrived at beautiful Lake Murray.

It was nothing spectacularly different, but we had a great time.  We ate.  We played baseball.  We hiked.  We built fires and burned things.  We threw rocks in the lake.  We dug in the dirt.  We didn’t sleep.  We tried really hard to find fried pies on the way home (with no luck!).  It was a lot of fun!  :)IMG_2798

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Change

Looking back over the last six months, I think the biggest thing that sticks out in the life of the Gee 6 is that we bought a new house and moved.  It has been an adjustment.  We miss our old house, our old neighborhood, our old schools, our old friends, and stores being close.  :)  But, we are slowly learning to love all the new things and people, and the move has been good for our family, despite the challenges.  Just a few things we really love . . .

The back porch!  We love to sit outside and eat dinner or just enjoy the fireplace.  Jon has become rather addicted to having a fire going since it has become cold! IMG_1410

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Own rooms!  One of the primary reasons we moved was for more space.  Each kid now has their own room.  We even let them pick out their own paint colors and painted each room before we moved in.  We probably should have guided at least one of our kids a little bit more.  Pink much?

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The spiral staircase!  I just love it.  I totally made Jon buy me a huge Christmas tree (yay for Craigslist!), and we put it right there!

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The media room!  Aside from the back porch, this is Jon’s favorite thing about our new house.  It’s pretty awesome to be able to watch a movie on an entire wall!

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We love our house!  And, we’re adjusting to everything else, so that is a good thing!  I think part of our hearts will always be in good old West Fort Worth, but we’re grateful for a chance to change and grow!  :)

Good Intentions

Every once in a while I sit down at the computer and think about blogging.  I have good intentions, really I do.  Then I realize how far behind I am, and give up.  No one really blogs anymore, anyway.  And, I’m pretty sure the 2 of you who used to read it gave up long ago.

But, it’s New Years!  And, that means that we all get to set goals and do things we always mean to for approximately 5 days before giving up.  And, blogging is on my list of things I should be doing.  See, my older kids have found our blog now, and I really should be keeping some sort of family record.  So, New Year’s Resolution #1 (of 297) . . . blog more.  New Year’s Resolution #2 . . . don’t give up on New Year’s Resolutions before January is over.  New Year’s Resolution #3 . . . eat less chocolate.

It’s going to be a long January . . . :)

Hulk Smash

I have a kid who loves the Hulk.  Last Christmas, my awesome brother in law gave me some superhero cups – Spiderman, Wolverine, Captain America and Hulk.  Ever since then, this kid always has to have the Hulk cup at meal times.  And, not only that, but every time the Hulk cup is used, this kid will growl “Hulk, SMASH.”  It is absolutely hilarious.

So, of course, we had to take this child to see the new Avengers movie.  I mean, the Hulk is in that movie and is awesome!   The entire time we were watching the movie, this child would turn to Jon and ask, “Dad, is that the Hulk?”  “Dad, when is the Hulk coming on?”  And, of course, “Hulk, SMASH!”  At the end of the movie, a couple sitting in front of us turned around and told us how cute it was listening to our kid enjoy the movie.  We just smiled.

The funny thing?  The kid who adores the Hulk is . . . Kelsey!  That’s right, my adorable girly girl LOVES the Hulk.  If you ever want a giggle, just show Kelsey a picture of the Hulk, and ask her who it is.  I guarantee you she’ll say, “Hulk, SMASH!”  What a character that child is!

Mother’s Day 2012

For Mother’s Day, I really felt like I should write some deep, introspective monologue about how much I love being a Mother.  How I find such deep, incomparable joy in the small, everyday chores that every Mother does.  But, after making the kids breakfast, cajoling them to work on Cub Scouts and Faith in God, not yelling when one child threw a pen at me as as if it were a missile and punctured my hand and sweeping up millions of bits of playdough off the floor when my five-year old was done making me 50 “cookies” that I had to then pretend to eat, I don’t feel very introspective.  I just feel tired.  :)

All joking aside, I love being a Mom.  I really have the best kids in the whole world.  They are just awesome, and they totally make all the hand punctures and tiredness worth it.  For Mother’s Day this year, they were so sweet.

The Thursday before Mother’s Day, I got to go to Kelsey’s preschool and have a little Mother’s Day reception.  They gave us cute flower pot gifts.

And, they had asked each kid questions about their Moms.  They read them each out loud, and they were adorable.  I love that Kelsey thinks I only weigh 52 pounds!  Of course, I’m also 54 years old!

On Sunday, everyone took awesome care of me.  I got sweet gifts and cards.  Although, the kids gave me one with sound that just says “Mom, Mommy, Mama, Mother” over and over – you know, just like kids do.  And, Kelsey has insisted on playing it EVERY day.  Multiple times.  Eventually the card just magically disappeared.  It was either that or my sanity.

Robbie made me waffles.  Emily brought me a blanket and pillow and MADE me lay down on the couch.  Kelsey drew me pictures all day.  Adam gave me tons and tons of hugs.   I actually got to see Jon before church!  It was an awesome day!  My kids really do rock, and I wouldn’t trade being a Mom for anything.

Purveyor of Fine Dentistry

As we were driving down to Galveston last week for our fantastic family beach vacation, I saw an interesting billboard.  We were driving through one of the nicer suburbs of Houston, and there was a dentist advertising his business.   And, that’s all well and good.   What I found funny was his use of rhetoric.  Instead of just saying he’ll fix up your teeth, or make your smile beautiful, he chose the words “Purveyor of Fine Dentistry” to describe his practice.

Really?!?  Like someone is gonna see that sign and think, “Oooh, I wanna go to the ‘Purveyor of Fine Dentistry’!  That will make the whole dentist experience SO much less horrible.”?

Will it be so much less humiliating when spit is seeping out of my mouth as I sit for two minutes of torture with the fluoride tray in my mouth . . . if I go to the Purveyor of Fine Dentistry?

Will it be so much less painful when they jam those little pieces of flexible cardboard at odd angles so they can take an x-ray that requires them to GO TO ANOTHER ROOM to push the button . . . if I go to the Purveyor of Fine Dentistry?

Is it really much less embarrassing when I try to answer the dentist’s question about what I’m doing for Christmas around the fourteen instruments sticking out of my mouth and only manage “Eee’re oing oo om’s ouse an eeeeing inner” . . . if I go to the Purveyor of Fine Dentistry?

Are the miniature toilet bowls that we have to spit in any less disgusting . . . at the Purveyor of Fine Dentistry?

It just struck me that too often we try to inflate everything around us by using rhetoric.  We call ourselves “Domestic Goddesses” instead of the more mundane “Mom”.  We call the color on our wall “Summertime” when it’s really just tan.  What’s wrong with just being plain old Mom and painting our walls tan?  It may not seem as exciting, but in reality, the job is the same.

So, kudos to the Purveyor of Fine Dentistry for making me ponder.  I think I’ll stick with my boring old “dentist” though.  :)

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