July 22nd - Living Well

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Today Sarah talks more about solitude and the importance of it.

Start Quote
Living well IS all it's cracked up to be...

Deliberately seeking solitude
-quality time spent away from family and friends-
may seem selfish.

Solitude is as necessary for our creative spirits 
to develop and flourish as are sleep and food 
for our bodies to survive...

It is not enough for us 
simply to endure or survive. 

We must surmount,
learn to excel...

[We must find] the delicate balance 
between our deepest personal passions 
and our commitment to family, friends, lovers, and work.

As for me, I have discovered that 
the surest way to hear the soft strains of harmony 
is in the Silence.
End Quote

"It is a difficult lesson to learn today
- to leave one's friends and family and deliberately practice 
the art of solitude for an hour or a day or a week.

And yet, once it is done, 
I find there is a quality to being alone 
that is incredibly precious.

Life rushes back into the void, 
richer, more vivid, fuller than before."

I always feel this way after alone time. 

Like new life has been bestowed upon me.

Don't just live. 

Let's live well.

Also, give people space. If they need some alone time, do not judge them or think badly of them. Instead, praise them for knowing themselves and taking care of their emotional and creative well being, and also for being brave enough to tell you the truth instead of a white lie. And then pay it forward.  

Gratitude Journal

1) My parents watched the kids while I slept in until 7:30. Then at noon we all went down for a nap, and then they woke me up three hours later. Sleeping at my parent's house is one of the best things in the world!

2) Mentholatum. 

This stuff makes me think of my Nana. And it is to die for amazing. Don't ever use Vapor Rub again. Vapor rub smells awful and burns. This stuff smells amazing, feels amazing, and actually helps. I rub it on my temples when I have a headache, I put it in my nose and on my chest and the bottom of my feet when I can't breathe...and thanks to my mom now I know that it stops the itching of mosquito bites. I have like 10 on each leg right now, so I basically put mentholated on my legs like I would lotion. Oh. My. Goodness. Itching gone. She said if you put it on when you first discover it it works even better and you shouldn't have to reapply. 

3) Lee Child and the Jack Reacher novels. One of the great things about being at my parents is I usually get to read a lot. I'm almost half way through a book in one evening and one day. I love reading.

4) Running with my mom and our dogs. We are so out of shape, but we tried! Running in the mountains is so hard. 

5) Completely wearing kids out so that they just go to sleep, no questions asked. Jacob was even asking to go to bed. 

6) Thrift stores!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There are two that I didn't know about in Oakhurst (there's a few more, but these are the two ones new to me). The SPCA Thrift store by the Grocery Outlet, which is behind the movie theater and Raley's parking lot. And then go a little further up there is a New Life Thrift Store run behind the New Life Church. I found some great stamps, some puzzles and books, ladybug knee pads for Riley, some gorgeous picture frames, and some more frames. Anyways, I haven't gone thrifting, like serious thrifting, in about 100 days. I know, because the last time I went was to celebrate 100 days of blogging. Well, happy 200 days!

July 21st - Solitude

Friday, July 21, 2017

The last time we talked about solitude was on January 26th.  

"If women were convinced
that a day off or an hour of solitude
was a reasonable ambition,
they would find a way of attaining it. 

As it is,
they feel so unjustified in their demand
that they rarely make the attempt."

I love this quote. 
It's true, when we set our minds to something,
for better or worse, one way or another,
we usually do it. 

This makes me think of Gordon B. Hinckley.


Start Quote
I am convinced
that when the end of the world comes
it will arrive not as two clashing armies on the brink
but as a "last straw"...

I believe that it's essential for busy women, 
by which I mean all of us,
to pause a moment
-this moment-
to reconsider the entire subject of solitude.

Too many of us approach time alone 
as if it were a frivolous, expendable luxury 
rather than a creative necessity...
End Quote

"Certain springs are tapped only when we are alone.

The artist knows he must be alone to create;
the writer, to work out his thoughts;
the musician to compose;
the saint, to pray.

But women need solitude in order to find again 
the true essence of themselves.

The problem is not entirely in finding the room of one's own, 
the time alone, difficult and necessary as this is.

The problem is more how to still the soul 
in the midst of its activities.

In fact the problem is how to feed the soul."
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh

How does she know?

Why is it that every day she writes about what I need to hear?

I had a really bad morning. 

It was one of those days, 
where I was one of those moms,
that everyone stares at because she can't control her children. 
Everyone stares and you can just feel their eyes piercing the back of your head, you can practically hear their thoughts saying "she is a terrible mother". 

We were stuck at the house for three days in a row 
because the van was at the mechanic.
So we were all suffering a little from cabin fever. 

But also, suffering from being with each other too much.

I am mom to three littles, 
an almost 4 year old and two almost 3 year olds...
I have to lock the bathroom door if I want to have some privacy, 
and even then they are at the door yanking on the handle 
"Mom! Mom! Mom! What are you doing mom? Mom!"

I can't do anything by myself. 
This job is 24/7. 

And today it about killed me. 

I tried to do something fun, 
I took them to the library.
Get them out of the house, go see the reptile show...
and they were just squirmy worms. 

All over me. 
Refusing to sit down and watch the show. 

So 40 minutes in, we left. 

Jacob runs out the front door while I'm trying to get the twins shoes on. 

I am embarrassed beyond belief. 
I'm frustrated, and mad...

So then we went to the thrift store. 
Not the smartest move in the world, 
but I wanted to drown my sorrows with a little retail therapy.

Never again will I take the kids on a personal shopping trip. 

30 minutes and $30 later we had a few dresses and pair of shoes and a necklace for myself, and a few more pieces to our halloween costumes. I have a diaper bag over my shoulder, a bag of thrift store treasures, I'm trying to get the cart into the carrel, and then Chase decides to help. 

This was the last straw. 

He starts crying. 

He's "pinched" his fingers. 

I told him to leave the cart. 
I told him three times.
I told him to leave it and come hold my hand. 

Well he didn't. 

And then he's just standing there, crying,
with his fingers "pinched". 

They weren't pinched. 

But apparently it didn't look that way to a couple of women 
who yelled at me from across the store 
"His fingers are pinched!"

I know what pinched finger looks like. 

I drop the two hard earned little hands to help him, 
and his fingers slide right out. 

Not pinched.
He's still crying. 

Well then I had to get all three of their hands...
And then I'm trying to get out the door, and Jacob hits Chase for crying. 
And the women yell again "Don't hit him!"
No shit Sherlock.

I'm all for helping. I believe it takes a village.
But I do not believe that just yelling at me and my kid, 
no matter how well intentioned,
is helpful.

What would have been helpful? 
Come over and offer to take a child's hand while we get to our car, 
or take a bag or two, 
or get the door as I struggled to push it open with my foot 
while dragging three children and myself through it
instead of just starring at me.

I finally get in the car.
I cry all the way to the pharmacy. 
I thank God that there is a drive through.
I never understood drive through pharmacies, 
but with two sleeping 2 year olds in the back I get it now.

I transfer them. They slept from 10-12. 
They usually nap from 12-2. 

I made another dress, 
while Jacob made a creative mess in my craft room...
I was just trying to make it through the next couple of hours 
knowing it would be better when we got to Nana's house. 

And then we made it up the hill.

And the afternoon flew by because I wasn't outnumbered.

And because my kids worship the ground my mom walks on.

And then it was bed time. 

And I finally had some solitude. 

Cherish the solitude, don't fear it. 
In order for me to stay sane,
it's a priority.

When I don't make it a priority, 
days like today happen.
A day where I should have trusted my gut and just stayed home. 
A day where I was so angry and sad I couldn't stop crying.
A day where I couldn't control my temper, 
where I blew up at every little thing...
like my toddlers just being toddlers. 
A day where I physically and mentally couldn't be understanding...

A day where I needed more solitude than I was able to give myself.

I don't tell you this to gain sympathy. 
I tell you about my day in hopes that 
people can be more open about 
the bad that happens in life
 so we can realize that we're not alone. 

Everyone has days like this. 
I can't be the only mother out there that feels like 
a complete and utter failure sometimes.

But these days come to an end, 
and tomorrow will be better, 
and today will be learned from.

I cherish my alone time.
I love solitude. 
It's a necessity.

Gratitude Journal

1) Kitty cats. I took Chase outside of Grandma Great's house for a time out, and it turned into the cutest moment of my day. He's sitting on the step crying, and the cat comes up. She starts rubbing her head all over him, and he starts petting and talking to her. I wish I had my camera, because I don't want to forget that sight of that beautiful boy loving and playing with that cat.

2) Family. 

3) The mountains, and swimming pools, and leftover pizza.

4) Grandma offering you another plant, even though she knows you'll probably kill it...Her trust is astounding.

5) Mom. Nothing makes you feel better than mom.

July 20 - The Journey Is Real Life

"It is good to have an end to journey towards;
but it is the journey that matters in the end."

Check out President Monson's talk, 


Start Quote
I used to believe that happiness could only be found 
after arriving at my heart's destination...

But...I've learned that the spirit of our journey is as important, 
perhaps even more important, 
than the arrival at our destination.

In order for us to realize genuine happiness
we must be willing to court contentment every step of the way.

For after all,
the journey is really all that most of us will ever know. 

Day in, day out.

The journey is real life...

We can certainly carve out time for rewarding reveries
that acquaint us with our authentic selves
and give us glimpses of true north...

For it's during our expectant hours
-those hours that might once have been called "idle"-
that we are most pregnant with our own potential...

This skill
-the soul craft of devoutly caring for our authentic selves-
rarely comes naturally or easily.

But with practice, with patience, with perseverance, 
it does come.
End Quote

[We must] "store up reservoirs of calm and content...
and draw on them at later moments when the source isn't there 
but the need is very great."
-Rupert Brooke 

Speaking of reservoirs, I think of oil in lamps.

Elder Faust, in his talk Your Light - a Standard to All Nations, said

"In the Savior’s parable of the ten virginseach young woman had a lamp. Clearly, this parable has both a temporal and a spiritual application. Oil can be purchased at the market. But another kind of oil, spiritual oil that is not for sale, can be accumulated only by our daily good works.
The parable tells what happened as all ten young women waited for the bridegroom. The bridegroom came at the darkest hour, when least expected. It was midnight, and the foolish five had run out of oil. You might wonder why the five wise virgins could not share their oil with the other five. It was not selfishness on their part. Spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant because we each fill our lamps drop by drop in our daily living.

Instead of being idle during nap time, 
or cleaning, because there is ALWAYS something to clean...
I finally did it.

I made a dress.

I also arranged some music...

Just chose to add a few drops to my lamp.

I kind a figure we've got a few lamps,
two of which I know are 
our spiritual lamps and our creative lamps. 

I also went to the temple.

Just added a few drops to two lamps today.

Gratitude Journal

1) Learning how to do a cartwheel, and trying to do a hand stand.

2) Cousins. 


Be still my heart

3) Getting into the preschool we wanted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4) Finally making a dress, and I'm so looking forward to making more. I have lots of shirts that don't fit me anymore that are super cute, and are going to look darling on her. 
And the boys that wanted a picture too.

5) Music. People have a lot of good arrangements, but I like to take them and make them by own. It is so much fun, and so rewarding to put my thoughts and feelings down in music. One day I want to write my own day...

6) Linkin Park. Some of my favorites, but Linkin Park isn't for everyone.