Sunday, January 27, 2013

Smothered by Stuff

we've been house hunting over the past few months and it has become very apparent that the kelley family will be downsizing!  at first i was sad and upset, but the more i've thought about it the more i am excited for this new adventure.  sure, we'll be a little more cramped, but i am hoping that helps us eliminate some of our 'stuff.'  lately i feel like we're suffocating under all of our possessions.  the kids have a playroom that is overflowing with toys (granted, they play with almost all of them often, but do they really 'need' them?), our closets look like a clothing store puked all over the place and our basement looks like it came out of an episode of hoarders.  

however, until now we've always felt like we 'needed' it all.  

it was really funny, actually.  the other night ben and i were having one of our phone conversations that lasted into the wee hours and it was so interesting to find out that both of us feel the same way, but neither one wanted to admit it... maybe it's partly the fact that we were living in denial that we thought we could keep up the lifestyle that we're living... new clothes, fun outings, babysitters, and all the tiny things that add up, or maybe it was just the fact that we can finally, really, see that the joy our kids get out of the world (without spending a single dollar).  don't get me wrong... things could be A LOT worse, but i'm just thankful that we didn't have to hit rock bottom to see that things needed to change.

a large part of me is embarrassed that i am such a materialistic person.  of course, i still think it is a good thing to desire nice things, but with the way our culture is going (me included), people feel entitled to have nice things and aren't willing to just be content with desiring them anymore.  i often have tell our kids:
'i understand that you want that toy/book/(insert thing here), but i'm sorry... we're not going to get it today. maybe you can ask for that as a special gift for your birthday/christmas gift.  we'll just write it down on your wishlist, or you can do your chores and earn it yourself.'  

sadly, i don't really tell myself that (until very recently).

a couple of new things that i will be living by:
“You must walk to the beat of a different drummer. The same beat that the wealthy hear. If the beat sounds normal, evacuate the dance floor immediately! The goal is to not be normal, because as my radio listeners know, normal is broke.” 
― Dave RamseyThe Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

“We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like.” 
― Dave RamseyThe Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” 
― Dave Ramsey

so... sorry friends, i may become kind of a debbie downer to hang out with... unless, of course, you're up for hanging out at my place with a glass of cheap wine ;)

here's to a freeing 2013. cheers!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Tuesday Like No Other

this tuesday was the worst tuesday of the year.  ok, it's only been the second or third tuesday of 2013, but who is counting, eh?

anyways, where do i begin?

i don't have any idea what was going on with spencer.  ok, i might have a slight idea, but seeing as the gemlin can't talk, i will just have to make guesses.  i'm assuming it's either teeth, growing or better chances... his urge to be on the move.  the kid took three naps.  sounds great, right?  no.  they were three short-lived and annoying naps.  i know i am expecting a lot from that little bugger, but if he could just get up and moving, that would be!

the two older kiddos have been at each other's throats today.  i don't know if i'm just noticed the little bickering back and forth more today than i normally do, but better chances are that they need some space from each other.  with this freakishly cold weather and disgusting flu going around, we have been pretty home bound lately and, obviously, that needs to change.  we put up their slide climber and a trampoline... and last weekend ben put up a climbing ladder, climbing rope and an indoor swing.  it has already made itself more than useful with these two busy bodies running around.

anyways, today was just dragging... everything the kids did was annoying and WAY too loud.  i know i snapped at them (more than once) and the moment i did, i felt horrible.  however, an hour later i'd do it again.  i don't know what is going on, but today i was for sure not the mom i strive to be.

oh.. icing on the cake.. how could i ever forget?!?!  

so, i had some clothes in rubbermaid containers upstairs.. this weekend i spent a whole day organizing clothes; hanging up 'new' stuff and packing away the stuff that they have outgrown. the bad part about having three boys in less than three years is that you're ALWAYS switching clothes around.  parker and preston aren't close enough in size to just take if from parker's bar and put it up on preston's (that would be WAY too easy), so i pack it away for a total of like 2 months and then i unpack and do the whole process over again.  then, when preston outgrows something i have to do it for him.  however, preston is my 'little' one and spencer is, well, not. haha.. so i am reaching a point that the clothes can just be transferred from one to the other.  (wow... this is boring... sorry).  LONG STORY SHORT, i had a bunch of bins upstairs, all organized, and the boys decided to dump them all out and roll around in them.  so awesome.  i blew up.  like.. bad.  i had already had enough and this was just too far. i yelled and sent them downstairs to clean their playroom while i did this on my own.  i seriously just didn't even want to look at them (horrible, i know).

i spent the next (i have no idea how long, i was too angry to calculate) bit of time re-sorting and packing.  honestly, it wasn't as hard as the first time because i kind of remembered what went where, but still.. it sucked!  i got the boys ready for bed and as we were all laying together, reading books, the guilt really sunk in.... 

i was so incredibly mean to them today.  i had no patience and everything they said or did was inconveniencing me (even though i can't tell you a single thing i did all day).  

i snuggled in extra close to them and let it all out.  i apologized for how rude i was, for not giving the time they so obviously needed and for yelling at them.  i started crying as i told them how bad i felt and that i was not proud of the way i acted.  i, again, told them that they are allowed to point if i am ever treating them bad during the day and i will try to fix whatever it is that i am doing.

(keep in mind, parker is three and a half and preston is two)

i was awestruck by what happened next... 
preston threw his little (but strong arms) around my neck and squeezed as hard as he could.  then, when he was done, he gave me the biggest kiss on the cheek and then just laid back down next to me (with his arm still behind my neck).  
parker just calming said, 'you know mom, you did make me really sad today but i'm not sad with you anymore.  tomorrow let's just work as a team better.'

seriously.. am i not the luckiest girl alive?
good night all, and here is to hoping that tomorrow is a little brighter!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


me: 'what are you guys doing upstairs?'
parker: 'we're just playing hide and seek.'

{insert metal image of two adorable boys running from room to room looking for each other, 
accompanied by the sound of their little feet on the hardwood floor and 
giggles as they catch each other}

welcome back to reality!
what he actually meant is that they were dumping out rubermaid containers of clothes, six to be exact, into a giant pile and laying in them.  

what is the worst part?  
i had just organized those containers... some were too small for spencer that needed to be put in the basement, some that are still a little too big for spencer that were in his closet, some were my clothes, and some were too small for parker, but not quite preston's size.  

great.. so i have a mountain of clothes and i have to re-sort all of them! it looks like gymboree puked all over my bedroom floor! ugh, i'm too sober for this!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Quick Note of Happiness

i love how their little brains never shut off and i love how weekend mornings are filled with a million questions that ben has the patience to answer (in depth)...

parker: 'how are houses built?'

parker: 'tell me about the sun.'

preston: 'choo choo?'
parker: 'he wants to know how a train works.'

hope you're enjoying or weekend as much as we are!

Monday, January 7, 2013


it's taken me a week to figure out what my new year's resolutions are.. 
i have obviously been giving it a lot of thought.  

the following are the way i want to live my 2013:

i thought this was a perfect way to look at the start of a new year... be grateful.
i truly have everything that i really want.. an amazing husband, wonderful children, a super great support system of friends and family, my health and a roof over my head.  

i never thought i would be 25 and living the life i dreamed of.  now i just need to remember to stop anxiously waiting for the next stage of life and relax and enjoy the one i am in now. 

with having children, this one is a given! we may not have money to go out and have all the most fancy  things (heck, we don't have money to have common things right now), but that frees up time for some other wonderful things... snuggling up on the couch as a family to read books, sunday morning breakfasts, kisses and cuddles and building forts in the living room.

in 2012 i had the mindset 'what can i do, i am just one person' but i have come to realize that the most amazing, world changing, people were just that... one person.  chances are i won't change the world (i'm still realistic in 2013), but i can change the way i treat myself, my family and those around me for the better.  and i guess, you never know, that may start a ripple effect! 

i want to live my life deliberately, but i would be happy if i just was a deliberate parent.  i don't want to just float through life on autopilot, and i really don't want my kids to in their future, so i want to take this year to really sit down and think about what i think is important for my family.  i'm changing as a parent everyday, learning more and more about myself and my kids, and that isn't something i could have done if i just sat back and 'watched' them grow up.   i needed to actually get into the thick of it and make some choices, even if it meant going back on what i thought was right (see previous post for donna bell's quote).  i want to continue to grow and make calculated decisions that will be best for myself and my family.

i really need to start finishing what i start (wow, that was a mouthful).  my goal for this year is to deliberately choose (eh.. you see that, i'm already living deliberately. haha) what i am going to invest my time and talent in.  yes, i am a stay-at-home-mom.. i have all the time in the world, right?  i hope to complete more things that i start, and i know the only way i can do that is by not stretching myself so thin.  i often get asked to volunteer for things or do things for others (both of which i LOVE doing), but i really need to start thinking about myself and what is the best for me and my family before i begin making commitments.

i know this is silly, but it's oh-so-true!
i personally love getting things in the mail (don't deny it, as long as it's not a bill, you do too) and i love that i have the power to brighten someone's day by doing something so simple (and cheap).

i must begin to be more patient... heck, if i'm telling my three year old that he needs to practice it, i probably should too, right?  this kind of goes with my original goal outlook on life for 2013 'don't spoil what you have by desiring what you have not' but the waiting is especially difficult for me.  i am a planner.  i like to know what we're doing tomorrow, next week, and next month (who am i kidding... i am already thinking of our plans for parker and spencer's birthdays, which are in may).  right now we are in the middle of house hunting.  need i say more?  haha.. i just need to remind myself that as long as i do what i can get done, well.. that's all i can do.  it's hard and annoying and i feel like a total child who has completely no control over some situations, but maybe i should just take that as a gift that is is one less thing that i have to worry about.  ben has never stopped doing what is best for our family, so i will just trust that he will get us our perfect home (ahem.. 'soon'... right, sweetheart? haha).

be positive. period.

enjoy your manic monday!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Ringing in the New Year Right

it sort of just hit me that another year has come and gone... it doesn't help that i have just spent the last two hours looking over old pictures of the boys, teary eyed, wondering where in the world did my babies go?  yes, i know they're still babies, but they are turning into such boys lately that i don't know how i am going to handle it when we're all said and done with 'babies'.

this past year has been a pretty rocky one for the kelley family... with ben working out of town and a new baby, this momma could use a coffee (wait, i gave up caffeine.. maybe just a nap then). on the flip side, however, this past year has shown me how much i have to give.  

these boys are. my. life.  

i live, eat and breathe for them 
(as i'm sure any parent does for their child)

some days i feel like i am utterly failing and then i hear simple words, like:

'momma, i love you so much' 

'my favorite part of today was playing with my best friends; you (as in me, mom), preston and spencer'

or when i peek in on the boys playing together and their imaginations are millions of miles away and my knights in shining armor are working together to defend their precious castle (thanks auntie shelly) from the dragon (or the ogre, sea monster, giant...) and you can hear in the their voices how much they truly love each other 
(and even with their wrestling matches, that often go too far, they still commonly sit back to back {just barely touching} in the playroom while they each read books)

those are the moments that i know i have done something right.
i don't know what it is, but it must be something.

a favorite quote of mine is one from donna bell:
'motherhood is a choice you make everyday to put someone else's happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing, even when you're not sure what the right thing is... and forgive yourself over and over again for doing everything wrong.'

it just screams out to me because even on the bad days (and honestly there are more of those than i'd like) i can see the goodness in my boys. 

we have done a lot of growing this past year and i am so happy that i am open with my kids about how i feel, what i expect from them and what type of mom i want to be.  i am happy that my kids aren't afraid to tell me how my actions or words are affecting them... 

parker: 'mom, do you know i am not listening to you and i am making this angry face?'
me: 'i might have an idea, but will you tell me?'
parker: 'i am just really upset with you because you said we were going to paint today and now we're going to bed and i didn't get to paint today. that really hurt my feelings that you said we would and so i am mad at you.'

(yes, that is an actual conversation i have had with my three year old)

first of all, nothing puts a parent in their place like their child telling them that they hurt their feelings... talk about ouch. secondly, you have no idea of proud i am of him for being able to express that to me.  if he wasn't able to process those feelings and then be able to tell that to me i can tell you how that scenario could have played out:

me: 'ok, let's go get ready for bed.'
parker (whining): 'nooo....'
me: 'it's time for bed, we need to get upstairs.'
parker (this time screaming) 'nooooo... i don't want to!'
me: 'you better listen to me and get upstairs.  it is late and i don't have the patience for this.'
{enter yelling, crying, threats... and you can imagine how that may go}

*** disclaimer, i am not a perfect parent. i do not always give my children the patience and respect that they deserve... i do snap and i do yell. i said it's been a year of growing, i didn't say i'm fully grown ;) ***

what i guess i am trying to get at here is that i am proud of my kids and i am proud of myself.  like i said, it's been a blur of a year and i feel lucky that i made it out alive, but that's just it.. i am still standing and with this new year, with so many new opportunities, i feel more ready than ever to lead this family on more great adventures.

here is wishing all of you an amazing 2013