Monday, April 22, 2013

*A Big Responsibility*

It's a known fact that baby mammals learn by what they see. I recently came across this quote on a kids research site that really got me thinking:

"Baby mammals learn from their mothers. Most of the mothers don’t really try to teach their babies, but the babies watch their mother and do the things they see her do. Through copying their mothers, baby mammals learn everything they need to survive."

That quote alone is enough to make me feel so inadequate to embark on this thing called motherhood. We have so much responsibility as mothers and such an impact on how our child turns out. I have really started to watch and notice the things people do and I started to realize just how much a person's family impacts who they become. Obviously it's not always the same for everyone so I may not be right about all of this, but the main person I've noticed that was completely shaped by her family is..ME. And that fact brings me enough confidence to think there's a little truth to these thoughts I've had. A lot of times…families DO pass down many things to their children that they don't even think about.

If a family hunts, they usually pass that down and the boys can't wait to make it to the tree stand. If a family has ventured out to try to camp once like mine and it was an ultimate fail, the kids usually don't yearn for the outdoors. If a family had a dog and it was a positive experience, that person usually wants a dog. If a family is into exercising, the child usually is as well. I rarely find a person that is running everyday that comes from a family who never did. Granted, in our new granola culture there may be more people, but I feel like the ones that truly pull it off have seen it done before. If a family like mine says dessert is a great thing, we never fear it…but if your family has always made it the bad guy, maybe the cake chewing doesn't go down so easily.

Everyone talks about how friendly my family is, but we were taught to be that way. My mom was super friendly and instilled in us that being rude to another person was not an option even if we felt like it. And by "instilled" I mean we got a little visit from Mr. Wooden Spoon every time we thought we could get away with doing whatever we 'felt like'. Suddenly we had smiles everywhere we went! I love bright colors in my house because it's what my mom always had and makes me feel at home. I expected to be a stay at home mom, because that's the culture of my extended family and was a priority to them all. Lots of women whose moms worked, expect to continue to work when their babies are born because that was how their family did things. Both my parents and Brian's parents never drank…and we never did, either. We followed in their footsteps and mimicked what they did. We learn by what we see!

Church and God were always major priorities in my family and it was passed down to be a major priority to me. Granted, my own relationship with Christ had to come out of it when I was a little older, but I had a very easy ramp up to find Jesus. There's never been a day that I doubted there is a Creator…because the people I trusted the most never doubted. I am so thankful that I have known since I was very young that I AM saved and there IS hope. I have never held a hopeless thought.

Private school was a big part of my parent's life growing up and then it was a big part of mine. I will keep that torch going and send my children to a private school as well and I don't think that's just out of left field…I think that was instilled. I haven't even had a second thought about anything different and I know it has to do with how I was raised and all the positive memories and experiences I hold close. I absolutely LOVED my schools.

My family says "I'm sorry" and so do I.  Being taught that I'm not always right and to apologize and forgive is one of the greatest gifts I've received.  Families that stay truly close use the word "I'm sorry" very easily. My parents have always been open and honest and talk about everything and therefore I can be the same way with Brian. My parents play and laugh together, and it was important for me to find someone that was the same way with me.

I like to dance because my mom, my aunts, and my grandmother all love to dance. I choose to do jazzercise because that's what my family does together and it holds so many good memories for me. I like to read because I saw my mom read. I've never even considered buying a bikini or wearing a low cut dress because my mom never did (and I was never given an even close opportunity) haha. I like to eat…because my family likes to eat. I have just recently found out that a salad is actually a MEAL to some people and am still a little dumbfounded, haha. I always have this WANT to be a super skinny girl, but then I realize just how much I like to eat and kind of give that up by lunch time.

I guess I just feel this huge responsibility come over me when I realize the things I don't even think about are going to really effect the way my child turns out. I am starting to try to think about what I want our priorities to be and what will be instilled in our baby without us even thinking about it. I'm trying to think about what I don't want to pass down like my fear of the highway or thinking there's a tragic event coming down my path any day now…I don't want my child to jump at every eighteen wheeler like I do. It's scary to think that a life will be watching ME to help shape who they are and how they see the world. I want to be a good mother so bad but I know that I am imperfect and will fail many times. 

My greatest prayer right now is that I will be able to make the decisions my baby needs and at least be a mother that my kids always want to come back to, no matter how many mistakes I make along the way.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

*Thank you, Adulthood!*

There are some things in life that you can get away with as an adult that would have never gone well as a teenager. One of those moments happened to me this week and I was thanking my lucky stars that I have passed into adulthood. Growing up can be super scary, but I'd say it was A LOT scarier before I married Brian. Now he makes me feel safe and I am not panicking over trying to figure out my life. He does most of it for me and I am definitely okay with that. :) Even though being older comes with more responsibility, it also comes with less punishment at times….like this week for instance..

As most of you know we have recently moved into a brand new house. Everything is shiny and perfect and nothing has been tainted by people living life in it. It smells like fresh carpet and paint every time I open the door and it's an absolute wonderful feeling to be in such an amazing place. I reallllly wanted to keep it untarnished as long as possible, but knowing me…that couldn't happen for long.

I am loving our new garage because I FINALLY have a parking spot! At our last house, the car Brian is building and all it's parts had the number one spot. Now I feel happy and free because I get to open a garage door and actually drive in now that he has a huge shop to himself. Usually it wouldn't be very tight, but right now the crib and a few other things are still in the garage to be painted or moved. Because of this my driving has to be absolutely PERFECT to get my car out right. Too bad I've never been a perfect driver which should have been taken into account.

So, this is where my thankfulness for adulthood comes into play. The other day I drove into the garage and took a strong turn once I got in trying to avoid the crib. It was all fine and great and I totally forgot about it that night. Well, the next day I got into my car and confidently put it in reverse and put on the gas quickly only to hear a VERY strange "SCREEEECH" as my car started feeling like it was coming off the ground. Turns out, I had completely scraped the side of the garage and was stuck with one wheel off the ground. "OHHHHH no…." is all I could think, "That didn't sound good."

I moved forward and tried to reverse again hoping to be able to get out this time just to hear another "CRACK…SCREEECH….BANG" the moment I put on the gas.

Well, that didn't work.

So I tried to make a major turn to get my car away from the side but I just kept getting stuck for a while. Finally after a few good scratches and bangs, I made it out. I realized pretty quickly that the construction men across the street were watching the entire thing. "Hey, guys…just trying to back out of my garage…can be tricky, ya know!" I didn't really talk to them, but I'm sure they understood.

I was just happy to be out so I went on my merry way without looking at anything. Later that day after Brian got home I was getting ready for bed when I suddenly remembered what happened. "Hey, Brian!" I yelled from my room out to where he was watching tv, "I have to tell you something.."

"Oh no…" was his reply as he started laughing. He knew THAT wasn't good. "Well, I was backing out of the garage today and it was a bit tight and well…I kinda ran into the garage wall a few times and got stuck with one wheel off the ground."

He took it well. REALLY well…and that's when I was glad to be an adult. Cause…the garage is MINE…the car is mine…and everything is okay. I'm not in trouble! It's the greatest thing ever. My car unfortunately took a bigger hit than the garage wall though which is sad. But to me…the scrape across the side just looks like mud from far away. It's not too bad. That car has been faithful for almost ten years now and has heard many scrape sounds in it's day.

Only this time…it was okay and didn't come with a major consequence. Granted, Brian said we should never buy me a new car, but I'm okay with that. Because I know that I am not number one behind the wheel and it's not like I MEANT to scrape everything up. Old faithfuls are what I need and nothing more.

I think this little ole situation was a good reminder of one of the benefits of growing up. And a benefit of marrying Brian and someone that really likes you even though you accidentally without ever meaning to break in the new house.

Thank you, adulthood…thank you.

Monday, April 8, 2013

*The Moment of Truth…Cooking Edition*

Now that I am back on my feet and feeling pretty good again, I got this wave of energy to get back to working on my cooking and baking skills. I looked through pinterest to find exactly what I wanted to try and excitedly waited for today where my wonderful susie homemaking skills would be put to the test! I think I had more confidence in myself than I probably should have.

I have spent the last five hours of my life trying to bake/cook and it has been full of frustrations and failures. It took two hours in the grocery store because I have no idea where or what anything is.  Then I had to re due a cake gone absolutely wrong that was called: "The EASIEST dessert recipe ever". Then I had to run to the store again only to realize when I get back that I'm STILL missing one ingredient. Not to mention I FINALLY got something right but could not open the salsa jar to save my life. Soooo…figuring THAT out took another 15 minutes of pain and suffering when I thought I had about reached the end.

What should have taken me 20 minutes to prepare, ended up taking me many hours.

My kitchen is a wreck.

I did figure out how to make a cake and was so excited about it…until I put the icing on and the entire top layer of the cake PEELED off. What's up with that?! Do you HAVE to do the icing fresh out of the oven? I was ADD and forgot so by the time I came back it was already ruined. It still tastes good, though. Infact…I'm licking icing off a plate now trying to comfort myself.

After all that and having to sit down to take a breather and regroup...I found some deep burst of energy that kept me going. I tried one last time and FINALLY put together the Cowboy Dinner that I had been trying to do. It's kind of like Shepherd's Pie, but not exactly. I'm not sure of the difference in it, but it's meat, beans, cheese, onions, and corn underneath a cornbread topping. Sounds really good to me…I'm waiting for it to come out right now to see if I have had at least one success today. I'm really hoping so.

I am realizing that I need lots more time devoted to this because it's a serious thing of trial and error when you have NO history of cooking or baking at all. It takes three times longer than the recipe says when you take into account having to clean up all my messes and mistakes and going BACK to the grocery store to get things I botched up the first time. I won't have time to do all this when the baby comes, so I guess I need to do it now? That thought made me push through.

Hopefully this  concoction in the oven right now will work out. If I don't have something to keep me going other than this pre-made icing, I don't know if I'll find the strength to go on with this. But I know I need to….let's hope that I am amazing one day and look back on this and laugh. And maybe..just maybe tonight will be a success. It's about to be the moment of truth.