Friday, January 27, 2012

My heart breaks a little

I grew up with a history of disordered eating and body image issues.  I have never been overweight, but have very rarely been satisfied with my body.  While there have been times that I've been more accepting of the image I see in the mirror, I often fear that I may never completely accept it.  This was one of my the fears at the forefront of my mind when I heard the doctor say "It's a girl".  I wanted to do everything possible to make sure that my girls loved and accepted themselves.  Often I feel like a hypocrite saying this when I cannot do the same.

I've known for a few years that Sierra has been self conscious about her body.  I've made a very conscious decision to not talk about being "fat" or "dieting" in front of the kids.  We've focused on eating healthy and exercising to stay well mentally and physically.  When she has made comments about her body we talk about all of the wonderful things it does for her: she can run, jump, do gymnastics and karate.  We compliment not just her outer beauty but her inner beauty, her intelligence and kindness, her humor.  We've read books about loving ourselves and having good self-esteem.  I've done the things that I had hoped would prevent her from being like me.  From being unable to embrace everything about herself.

Brad has finally decided that we should deal with it head on.  I just hoped she might "out-grow" it (because, yes, Stacy, we all love our bodies more as they morph into adolescence!).  After having some long talks last weekend Brad suggested that Sierra write a story about it on  This has been a wonderful website for her to express herself creatively and emotionally.  Sometimes it's easier to write things than to talk about them.  Sierra gave me permission to post a link to her story here.  I've debated a lot about whether to post this, but decided todo it for a few reasons.  While I'd love for someone to hand me the golden ticket to make Sierra "perfect" in her own mind, I know that's impossible.  Maybe, though, someone has gone through something similar and has good ideas or resources... for both Sierra and me.  I think she and I both have some work to do!  Or maybe someone can take comfort knowing there is another mama whose heart is breaking when she knows that the person her daughter sees in the mirror is not the one her mom sees.  Most optimistically, I enjoy looking back at previous entries and seeing how things have progressed and changed.  I hope that I can one day go back and read this and see how far Sierra has come in the journey of self-love.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I have no idea how the conversation with my co-worker rolled around to this, but it uncovered a deep seated memory.  When I was 8 or 9 years old my parents would always split a grapefruit between them for breakfast.  I was awake before they got up one morning and decided to surprise them by doing it for them.  Except... I didn't cut the grapefruit evenly.  Rather than cutting it in half I managed to cut it into 1/3 and 2/3.  So I did what anyone would do.  I threw it away by the side of the house!  ( I believe I was worried that they would see it if I threw it in the trash!)  My mom found it a few days later and pondered about why there was a grapefruit next to the house.  Of course I said "I don't know."

The moral of this story:  My OCD apparently started early and I've always been a horrible liar!

Friday, January 20, 2012

One on one time

A few years ago our church led a discussion of  "The 5 Love Languages of Children".  I knew immediately when I read it that Sierra's "love language" is quality time.  Lately, she has given some subtle signs that she is craving this.  Actually she's said "I really want to spend some time along with you... no other kids".  I guess that's not so subtle!  I'm more than happy to pull one of the big girls out of school for a day to spend the afternoon with them, except that Cadence is home all of the time.  Honestly, she is the one who demands the majority of my time and attention. 

I remember going from one child to two after Laurel was born.  I was guilt-ridden for the first few months.  I felt like Sierra was so completely robbed of the energy and attention that had once been only for her.  That aspect hasn't felt as palpable when Cadence joined our family, but it's there nonetheless.  Yet, more than I want for one child to get all of my time, I want more for them to have siblings to grow up with... so here we are!

Sierra had a doctor's check-up yesterday and I found a friend to watch Cadence.  I told Sierra the night before that we would be going to breakfast, just the two of us, before her appointment.  Her whole face lit up as she gave me a huge hug! 

We went to the Waffle House since she had never been there.  We laughed about some of my past experiences there (I left out the part where it was 3am after the bars shut down) and enjoyed too much food.  At one point she went to the restroom and slipped on some water on the floor.  All that I heard was a yelp from behind the door and everyone stopped to turn and look.  When she came out and told me what happened we both laughed and when I mentioned the attention that her yelp got we laughed even harder!

While in the waiting room at the doctor's office we posed for a picture with my camera.  I was looking for a "nice" pic, but she showed her gum.  That led in to a slew of pictures of us trying to get our gum just right and black out our teeth.  Which led to the two of us laughing hysterically in the middle of the waiting room!  It was a moment of pure joy between us. 

Even though it was a short morning together, Sierra keeps saying "Remember when I slipped..." and "Remember when you made that funny face...".  It didn't take much to communicate in her "love language" and it was worth every minute!

Our "nice" picture

What a contented look!

This is the one that really got us laughing!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Christmas 2011

I'm finally getting around to posting about Christmas!  As it is, I sit here in the warm sunlight with the windows open, and I'm not even that far behind!  It was so cool, rainy, and wet last night that I was worried about the chickens.  Although I love the summer and look forward to it coming, I've got a few very cute scarves that I'm ready to bust out if it ever gets cold enough! 

Anyway, we had a wonderful Christmas this year.  As time goes on I can look back and see what a funk I was in last year at this time.  We were living in a rental (while so grateful for a roof over our heads, I couldn't stand the mauve carpet, green counters, and drawers that wouldn't open unless the oven door was down), adjusting to Brad starting a new job, and still figuring out life with a toddler.  When I think back I barely even remember last Christmas.  I didn't realize how much post-adoption depression was affecting me.  So, this kind of felt like our first "real" Christmas in a way.  Our own home, decorations, and cheer - it was wonderful!

My in-laws came down on Christmas eve to celebrate and open presents since they were headed out of town and then we went to church.  We spent a leisurely Christmas morning at home and headed to my parents' house after naptime.  I never felt rushed or stressed!  There was lots of Christmas love and hugs and joy... truly a beautiful day!

Homemade Christmas ornaments (thank you, Pinterest!)

Yes, Cadence, that's how I felt too when I saw how many power tools you got!

I guess Daddy's feet need some work

Reliving our many doctor appointments!

So many attempts at family photos.... so many fails!

Any ideas on how to get a 2 year old to smile on command?

Christmas pj's

Laurel got the honor of reading "The Night Before Christmas" this year.
The book in her right hand is the one I read as a child!

We never carved our Halloween pumpkins, but they became a "snowman" of sorts

We figure by the time Santa gets to our house he might be ready for a cold one.  Rudolph's the DD anyway, right?!

I've turned into my mother.  "Kids, we are really sticking to our budget this year"  Yeah, right!

Christmas love!

One of my favorite gifts of all time... a bongo!!  I need to learn to play it now so that I can join the drum circle on the downtown mall!

Sierra was pretty excited about her keyboard!

Laurel and Cadence are loving their car

Some Xbox fun!

Cadence carries this everywhere now!

More Christmas love!

The girls all love these deer at my parents house

Reynaldo's last night with us.  He's quite the poser!

Monday, January 2, 2012


"What is your New Year's resolution?".  I hate that question.  Can there possibly be a more stress loaded thought?  What do I commit to change within the next year?  As if I don't think about what I'd like to improve about myself or my life everyday! For a perfectionist like myself, the thoughts that stumble through my head are endless and overwhelming.  I think to myself:

1. I will exercise on a regular basis and eat clean the majority of days (honestly,  I don't know what the nitty gritty of "clean eating" involves, but it sounds like it's something I should do!)

2. I will do yoga at least six days a week

3. I will learn to meditate

4. I will learn to use all of the features on my DSLR

5. I will finish scrapbooking for the last 7 years and keep it all up to date

6. I will maintain an impeccable budget

7. I will learn to relax, especially when the house is calling me to clean it

8. I will read books to my girls every night that I am home

9. I will organize.  Everything. 

10. I will finish all of the planned projects that are going through my head

11. I will do a fun crafty thing with the kids each holiday

12. I will organize all of our digital photos

Those are the ones that come to mind immediately.  Now that I look at my list it seems that I've summed up all 1000 items I've pinned on Pinterest!  Why do we hold ourselves to impossible standards?  Why do we set ourselves up for failure?  I know that I will never organize everything, but when asked what I'd resolve to change in 2012 I cannot help but think this.... and it nags at me! 

There are a few that I'd should take to heart, but not to the extreme.  I love reading books to my girls, but when it's 8:30pm and I've only slept a few hours after night shift,  the world will not end if I don't do it.  Yes, I should exercise and eat healthy, but with the intention of being healthy, not to get an unattainable figure.  Yoga and meditation are great, but it takes something away when I feel pressure to do it.  There is a lot that I can learn with my camera, but I am already pretty happy with the pictures that I take.  Organizing, scrapbooking and impeccable budget, all of the projects... I should just be realistic - it's NEVER all going to happen!  Relaxing?  Accept that the fact that is happens most easily after 2 glasses of wine!  Crafts... much more fun when I don't beat myself up if it doesn't happen. 

Hmmm... maybe I should write down my resolutions and burn them?  Watch the ideas which I feel that I should commit to change blow away in the wind.  Embrace that fact that I try my best most every day to be the kind of mother, wife, friend, daughter, self that I hope to be.  Accept that what I have and what I am is enough.  I do not need perfection.

When I first saw this I immediately thought of the person "right in front of me".  I think this is meant for when I look in the mirror!