Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. I hope that this day finds you relaxing and taking a few moments for yourself. My morning has started out wonderfully – sleeping in as much as possible (almost made 8am!), coffee in bed, time to write and my cute littles helping Jon with breakfast.
I became a mom in 2009 when Katharine came into this world. It seemed like a long time coming with a miscarriage along the way. My mind was blown away by this little package of joy (and tears) that we had created. Jon and I lived in Phoenix and brought this little bundle home to our small apartment, not knowing what we had gotten into.
Today, we are blessed with a caring, intelligent, strong, opinioned little 7 1/2 year old who is out to take on the world. She makes me smile every day. Posed below helping with Mother’s Day brunch preparation.
Two years and 4 months later, our family became complete when Matthew was born. By this time, we had settled back into Park City and I thought I had this mom thing down. 1 + 1 definitely equaled way more than 2. Matthew was a calm little one, just rolling with it when his two year old sister gave him aggressive hugs and tried to “help.”
Matthew just turned five years old, and has fully lived up to his nickname (#shifty), so pictures of him not moving are hard to find. He is one of the most kind, earnest kids I have ever met. He loves life and makes us laugh daily. I have never met a five year old who builds Legos like he can, and he still snuggles me every morning. Posed below at his first ever t-ball game.
Being a mother is more than I ever imagined. It has challenged me to slow down and take it in, with the knowledge that these days won’t last forever. Here are a few things that I have learned in the last seven years that in reflection have helped me to become a better person.
- Being a mom means being comfortable with constant change. Early in Katharine’s life I remember thinking, I have finally figured this thing out (happened to be relative to her sleeping). The next day maybe even the next hour, things changed. Before kids, I thought I had life figured out. I had a plan, and overall things seemed to go according to the plan. Now, that just doesn’t work (it probably wasn’t working before either). Having kids makes it incredibly obvious that you have to be flexible.
- Being a mom has helped me enjoy the journey so much more. Often times before kids, I would set a goal and celebrate when I reached it. Not a bad thing, but what I missed in that process was enjoying the actual journey. With my kids, the journey is the fun. Matthew is learning t-ball right now, and last week I went to his game and just giggled the whole time as they ran all over the field doing about everything but playing t-ball.
- Being a mom means you have to understand your values. The clearer that I have been on what matters to me, what I value, the better I am for my kids. One of the strongest examples of this for me has been with working out. I have had an on and off love affair with fitness my entire life. The last four years I have refocused myself on being strong and fit in order to live the healthiest life I can. I value this and now so do my kids.
- Being a mom means little eyes are always watching. I want to role model for Katharine and Matthew that you can be a confident, smart, caring mom and worker at the same time. I hope that this helps them to know that anything is possible.
- Being a mom is about helping my kids make their own dreams come true. We talk about this a lot with together. We can’t do it for them, it is about them identifying what their dreams are, working hard to make them happen and enjoying their own journey.
I am humbled by how lucky I feel on this Mother’s Day. Being a mom is the best.
We are in the middle of a relaxing beach vacation with our kids for the very first time. Sunday was both of the kids first time playing at the beach. Katharine was beyond excited. As she played in the surf, giggles, an occasional squeal and moments of “this is amazing,” were what filled the air. What a moment this was for her! Her happiness filled our faces with joy just being around her.
I sit here while the kids are napping after another fun filled morning thinking about my list of things to do both back at home and at work. How in the world did my to-do list begin to creep back in my head? Instead of heading upstairs to relax, or reading a book, I pull out my computer and begin down a path of checking email…almost out of habit. Has my busy lifestyle made me incapable of just relaxing? What the hell am I doing.
Today, I am confessing. In hopes to not make this my path for the afternoon, I am writing this blog instead of doing my work email (oh damn- the notification of another email just popped up….hold strong). I am choosing that a “to-do” list shouldn’t run my life, despite how busy I am. I am choosing that by confessing, I am taking back control. Working too much is not a forgone conclusion. I refuse to accept that my email and my work list can control my life. It starts today.
My commitment for this week is to get back on vacation, and stay there; to start squealing with my kids on the beach when the surf touches my toes; to a margarita (or two) for lunch; and to a nap snuggling with my beautiful little kids. I will be back next week!
“I just wanna make you laugh. I just wanna see that smile. Babe, we’re only here, oh, for a little while. I just wanna hold you till we fall asleep. I want love, I want us, I want you, I want me, I want peace.” – O.A.R.
We have been fighting sickness in our house for what feels like the entire winter. One of us gets sick, then the other, then Mom which takes everything down. On this late-April weekend in Park City, rain and snow have graced us with their presence waking up to a 3-4″ layer of white on everything, including our spring tulips. We decided to take it as a weekend just to hunker down in our house and be at “peace.” No commitments to anyone, no plans, just each other.
This morning as I prepared some bacon and eggs for breakfast, Matthew was building a whole scene in the living room – Dusty Crophopper was being rescued by the Fire and Rescue helicopter while Katharine was preparing for class at her art table. She was a 13 year old that can drive to school, and is practicing her cursive writing. In this land of pretend, O.A.R’s song “Peace” came on our stereo and both kids starting belting out the above lyrics almost subconsciously.
What a good memory to capture on my blog. I am grateful to have the life that I have. Today it isn’t marketing meets motherhood, it is must motherhood and being at peace.
We may be coming close to a major milestone in the Snavely household. Matthew has decided that he is okay with the potty. He has been working hard at potty training for the last few weeks and wearing undies to school every day. We are down to diapers for naps, overnight and of course skiing, with only a handful of accidents each week. After a long five year run, the most hated baby accessory in our house, the diaper genie, may finally be able to be sent to the dumpster.
One of the things that I forgot about with potty training is the absolute celebration that we have begun to have over pee pee or poo poo. I came home from work yesterday, and our babysitter was cheering Matthew on in the powder room, “You can do it Matthew! Keep going! You can put your poo poo in the potty.” I proceeded to go running down the hall, adding to the cheering, “You’ve got it buddy!” He takes it seriously, as obvious by the need to bring his camelback to the party.
What a difference 10 years makes. 10 years ago this month, Jon and I were celebrating our move to Utah and the purchase of our first home. We were excited by finally moving to Park City, and taking on the life we wanted, where we wanted it. Today, I find myself celebrating bodily functions with an almost three year old…Strangely, more excited than I was when we bought that first house. Loving the reminiscing about all of the cuddly baby moments and the diapered toddler moments as we move into the next phase of life.
Sometimes during the tantrums, the sibling fights over toys, and during the crazy schedule I try to run, I can forget the joy of what I have in front of me. This weekend when we were out to brunch with Matthew, I captured Matthew at his finest. He is kind, energetic, inquisitive (what’s that mom?), and loving. His eyes tell stories and he makes me smile.
This last week at work I had the opportunity to hear Chris Williams speak of his personal story of letting go. He lost his wife and two children to a drunk driving accident almost ten years ago. He spoke of forgiveness and moving forward with his life. It was an unforgettable moment for me to listen to his story. His humbleness, quiet power and gratefulness for the life he has lived helped me to take a deep breath. How many times do I harbor anger for something that has happened to me? How many times have I carried this frustration throughout my days, letting it inadvertently control me? Chris framed forgiveness as a selfish act, saying that the act of letting go helped him to move forward. Wow. What a powerful thing to remember when things don’t go as I want them to go. Here is to hoping that I never have to face something as tragic as Chris to learn this.
For now, I am grateful for the moments. This weekend we enjoyed so much fun together…skiing together, playing pretend together, building castles and jails for Matthew’s infamous “mean guy” together, and snuggling as a family of four squeezed into our queen-sized bed. Sometimes life seems hard, sometimes I have no energy, but always I feel lucky. Lucky to have this little Matthew in my life, lucky that Katharine is his big sister, and incredibly blessed to have Jon to share it with me.
One of the cutest things my little Matthew is saying right now is “My Love You.” At almost 2 1/2, he has so many new words coming daily but this phrase and the smile behind his eyes as he says it make me melt. Today when I was putting him down for nap, he leaned up to my ear and whispered it to me while nuzzling up for hugs and kisses. It makes me wonder when you truly begin to understand love. I could swear to you that Matthew understands. But, how? and what?
I think what he understands is the connection and unconditional emotion that we share. It is authentic, simple, unassuming and not influenced by the world. The more that I think about this love I have for my kids, the more remarkable it is. I try to tell them and show them as much as I can….through my words, and my supportive action, discipline if needed, and sneaking hugs and kisses as much as possible.
Matthew is the sweetest of little guys. His sister Katharine was (and is) my first experience at truly unconditional parental love. “My Love You” little ones.