After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A new year, a new ME! (to be continued . . . )

Happy 2012!  And I hope your resolutions are in full swing of being resolved, or whatever resolutions are supposed to do. 

I'll admit, I don't do well with resolutions.  In fact, they have always made me feel like a failure.  So, instead of calling my goals for the year "resolutions," I will simply be calling them "Goals for the year."  This is really the first year I've made such goals, but it just seems right this go-round.

First, I would like to announce that if I am ever pregnant again, I will cry for 9 months.  Probably longer.  Please don't take that the wrong way.  I adore my children.  I loved being pregnant.  Babies are about the best gift anyone can ever get.  In fact, they are little living, breathing miracles.  The simple fact that I have had four little miracles come forth from my body is something I thank God for, well, not enough.  They are amazing and they bless me every day.  Every single day.

But, my body is done being pregnant.  My emotional capacity is done being pregnant.  And now I will be focusing my energy on raising my four beautiful children rather than creating more. 

And now since I'm done being pregnant, I feel like to some extent, I have my body back.  Since some time in September I have lost somewhere around 30 pounds.  It's been a great journey so far, and I totally intend to continue on that path for this year, too.  The holidays put a bit of a plateau in my Primal journey, but we're back on track and loving it. 

I was reading a success story a couple weeks ago and something in that particular story really resonated with me.  "Better every day."  That's one of those things that I can build on.  Better every day.  It's one of my goals.  If I can on average be just a little better every day at something, anything really, this year will be a great success.  Feeding the family, laundry, schooling, scheduling, exercise, managing four kids day in and day out, any of that.  If I'm just a little better at any of those things, every day, that would be awesome. 

But that's just one of my goals for the year. I have some more goals, believe it or not.  My husband thinks I'm crazy, but whatever.  He knew that before he married me. (Though maybe one of my goals could be to get him to accept that even if he doesn't understand it.)

One thing I'm looking for this year is some class.  Christmas kind of put me over the edge.  Or it would have if I had even been on the fence.  I guess it mostly reinforced what I was already thinking. 

How on earth had I sunk this far. 

Oh, yeah.  I had four babies in eight years.  And moved four times in there, too.  Those eight things will suck the class right out of a person, I think.

Not that I was super classy to start with.  But that's beside the point.  Somehow moving and realizing how many first impressions I'm making here in this area was a bit of a kick in my too-big pants.  Not that I didn't care to begin with, but this place is so much more intimidating to me.  My rural roots run deep.  So deep that they seep out at the seams and I think I definitely qualify as redneck.  Don't get me wrong, looking around, there is definitely a group of people who fall into that category.  But, there's the other end of that, too.  With three girls and this boy, I am finding myself leaning towards the other end of the spectrum.  And sadly, there's some work to be done.

Take our Christmas tree for example.  We got a $5 permit, went to the forest and cut it down.  We jammed it into the back of the car between two kids, brought it home and realized that our tree stand was broken.  That's where it all went down hill.

Brent saved the tree stand.  He found a piece of wood, cut it into about 18" chunks and screwed it to the tree. 

Then, since it was pretty front-heavy, he wired it to the wall so it wouldn't topple over on someone.

Last year we got our tree all decorated and then watched as it just fell over.  It was rather irritating.  Decorating the tree a second time is not nearly as fun as the first time.

We found the decorations, which I realized are really pretty sparse.  I think about nine years ago we realized our lights were at the end of their life and ran down to the local market to see what they had.  All they had were icicle lights.  And now nine years later, we still have them, plus one more strand of white and a couple color strands.  Except now only half of one of the icicle strands works. 

Here's me trying to figure out how to make it all work and not be too sad.   Honestly, it took a couple tries.

The boy is oh so helpful.  At grandma's house he unscrewed nearly every light bulb he could reach.  By the end she had a pretty dark bottom half of her tree.

And because of him I also didn't feel comfortable pulling out the glass ornaments.  That made for not too many choices of things to actually hang on the tree.  Plus, a good dozen of those broke last year when the tree just fell over.

At any rate, we managed with the help of some ribbon and some snowflakes the kids made.  And I guess it looked okay.  At least I got a decent picture of the kids in front of it.  YAY!

The ribbon really saved it.  

The whole point of this story is that I have sunk to a level I never thought possible.  But, if all goes well, by this time next year, I'll have found enough class that I can go get at the very least a few new strings of lights for the poor tree.  Maybe even some new fancy red and purple ornaments.  I'd love those.

Having recently moved, I have also recently gone through most of the stuff we own.  By most of it I mean that there are still a hand full of boxes that have not been open from the previous three moves.  But the whole process makes me really think about what kinds of things I need, want, like and would move again.  So, another one of my goals is to only bring new things into this house that I absolutely LOVE.  Not kinda love.  Not maybe could grow to love.  Absolutely love to the point that I go out of my way to use it and will use it until I wear it out.  Maybe even longer.  And while I'm at it, I think I'll try to get my kids to buy into that one, too.  The husband might take a little longer. 

Today I made a pretty significant step towards my goal.  All of them, actually.   I went shopping.  Without a single child.  For the first time maybe since I even had kids.  I didn't even take anyone with me.  I went ALL BY MYSELF.  After all, I had some boot money from Brent and the kids to spend!

To kick my behind in gear, I realized yesterday that it was quickly getting to the end of boot season and if I didn't get on the ball, I was going to miss out.  So last night I announced to Brent that I really did need to go shopping TODAY to get what I wanted.  Or I was going to have to wait until next fall.  Especially if we are looking at possibly having a child or two or three or hopefully four with the chicken pox in the next week or so.  (They were exposed about 10 days ago.  Crossing my fingers.)

If you've never shopped for boots, let me tell you that finding the perfect boot is hard.  They are either too tight around the calf, cheap, cheap looking, too big in the foot, too sloppy looking, or a whole host of other things.  I went to about four different stores before I finally went to Nordstrom and tried on about ten pair.  I walked out of there with four options.  One of them these: 

These are the kind of boot that I would wear out.  Or at least I would try and then my girls would inherit them.  They are expensive.  Like nearly $300 expensive.  On sale they are $247.  But, that doesn't stop me from thinking they are amazing.  Because I'm a shoe snob and I know that when one pays that much for shoes, they are worth every.last.penny.  Frye Jane 14.  Simply a gorgeous boot.

Then I walked over to Macy's.  The pickin' was slim over there.  I picked up a pair of boots and told the sales lady that I was looking for "something like this in a size 8."  She brought a few pairs out and I was not super impressed.  I told her I needed real leather.  She went back in and came out with these:

Born Massi.  Just looking at them they were beautiful.  Seriously, full grain leather.  And then I put them on.  The heavens sang.  I was even able to zip them up with no problem.  To add to the heavens singing, they were a return and were less than half of the original $200!  I barely took them off as I sprinted to pay before someone snatched them off my feet and ran away with them.

Now, I'll be honest.  I do still feel the brown ones calling my name, but they can wait.  I did walk back to Nordstrom and pet them again.  I felt kind of bad for the sales lady.  Josie.  She totally helped me out.  I do need to go back and look her up and buy something from her.  She rocked. 

After leaving there, again, I wandered around some more since I had accomplished my main mission and wasn't feeling ready to return to the herd.

Poking around some I found an awesome dress.  Originally $129, marked down to $50ish.  I thought I'd try it on.  It was beautiful.  I also found a silver shirt (I need shirts) and a pair of pants (I need pants).  The pants were a substantial knit that I would wear every day and then not bother to change out of to go to town.  They are that comfortable AND classy.  When I went to pay, the dress rang up at $10.49.  I felt like I was stealing it.  All the other stuff was well over 50% off, too.  At that I called it a day, paid for parking and skipped to my car with my loot.  All of which I fully intend to wear out.

If all goes well, if I'm better every day, find some class, and work on getting stuff in this house that I absolutely love, next year at this time, I'll have another even more awesome new me, a totally awesome new wardrobe, boots that I totally love, a new Christmas tree stand, and new Christmas lights and decorations.  And maybe, just maybe, someday, I will look back at my redneck days and giggle.  Because really, I kind of am giggling now.  Only this giggle might be a giddy giggle of joy over the new, fancy boots and pants and dress I now own. 

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