Sunday, January 22, 2012

Movin' on Up, to the East Side.....

Since there is no part of the cat that is actually still in the bag, thanks to my loose-lipped children and a few others, I guess I can finally share with you all that after nearly 11 years of giving half our lives to the mortuary, we are FINALLY leaving!!!!  I know, I know, it's hard to believe.  I was with all of you who thought we were destined to be here forever, but the stars have aligned, and there is a 6 bedroom, 3 bathroom home in the foothills of Layton, just waiting for the Stringhams to grace its doorway!  (Not to mention the 5 mature fruit trees and beautiful large garden area at the back of a huge backyard!)  Our official move-in date will be March 1, though we've been gradually moving things over for a couple of weeks now.

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to be saving $300/month just in gas money! Being closer to the school is a huge bonus, but the best part, I think, is the fact that we will no longer be chained to our home every other weekend, or miss out on anything scheduled for Tuesday or Thursday nights.  What a relief!

So if you don't hear from me for a while, it's because I'm busy working full-time (still subbing for a teacher on maternity leave), trying to pack my house up, move-in to the new house, patch up and clean the old house, and still find time to nurse my baby and do homework with my kids.  Phew!  Thank goodness Princess Gretchen is now consistently sleeping about 8 hours every night, or I might just go crazy! :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Right Stuff.

So I was pretty much a blogging slacker in 2011, but in my defense, I've been busily living mi vida loca! 

I don't know why the new year always brings such a sense of relief to me--it's not like anything has changed considering yesterday was just yesterday, ya know?  That being said, 2011 was a challenging year for me, and probably like a lot of others, I didn't accomplish a lot of the things I was so gung-ho about when the year first began.  However, I was not so subtly reminded in Sacrament Meeting yesterday that I am often way too hard on myself.  I'm generally the kind of person who jumps in feet-first to the new year with all sorts of thoughts and ideas about how to improve myself and the environment I am surrounded by, but I fail to look back at the things I did right.  And while I do have goals and things I want to work on improving for 2012, I'm trying to remember to be gentle with myself, after all this life is a training ground where we are able to learn from our mistakes rather than be condemned by them. (Bruce C. Hafen)  So before I make the jump ahead, I'm taking stock of what I did right so that I can recognize and repeat the patterns that got me there.

1.  I bought my very first parenting book called Parenting with Love and Logic, and read it in almost one day.  While I'm not an expert, I've been using their techniques, and it's making me feel like a parenting rock star! It has taught me that I don't have to be in control of everything (whoa!) and that my children are perfectly capable of making choices on their own and dealing with the consequences of those decisions.  Our home has been a much happier place since mama figured a few things out.  What I learned: It's okay to not have all the answers as long as you go and look for them.

2.  Despite my dread over another pregnancy, we followed the spirit and added Gretchen Caroline to our family.  Every time I look at her, hold her, feed her, think about her--I am reminded that it was absolutely the right decision to bring her here and that she was meant to be our caboose, even though we went into this thinking we were giving Dixon a brother.  All is as it should be.  What I learned:  Follow the Spirit. Period.

3.  The Great Purge of 2011 was so, so right!  Clearing out our clutter and reclaiming the space in our home did more for my peace of mind than anything else I did all year long.  It made me see that I could undertake a huge project (while pregnant, no less!) and succeed in accomplishing something so daunting.  Because of the great purge, I have begun to work on living within my means in other aspects of my life, and this will certainly carry on into the new year.  What I learned: Organization = Peace.  AND, I can do hard things.

4.  I became a substitute teacher.  At first, it was only to supplement our income during the holiday season while work is slow for Mike, but because of my experiences so far, I will soon be going back to school to get my teaching license in conjunction with my Master of Arts in Teaching degree.  It's quite ironic, since I remember vividly my time at BYU when I mocked all the "Molly's" who were majoring in Elementary Education. "Of course you're an El. Ed. major!" I would think to myself with an obvious eye-roll, as another sweeter-than-sweet co-ed would introduce themselves at the beginning of a semester.  What I learned:  I LOVE teaching. AND, not all teachers are sweeter-than-sweet. :)

I've had a lot of little victories on my journey through 2011, but these are the major ones that I need to remind myself of when in the coming year I start to feel like I'm doing more wrongs than rights. 

With that, my resolve for 2012 is to Remember the Right and Press Forward.  It's gonna be a great year!