Welcome to my digital writing journal, or mydigitalclutter. What started as a family blog almost two years ago has morphed into my writing therapy. This is where I do a lot of free writing, mostly about my life with my family and the things that catch my interest. While nowhere even close to perfect, in each post I like to see how my writing is changing with time and practice. Most posts are left unedited for this reason, so if you don't mind, take the journey with me.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Beating the six year old....at his own game

No, seriously, somedays I feel like I would beat him! Of course, I refrain, but today was one of the worst where the desire almost won out!

How does one reason with a six-year old about anything? Yesterday it was 45 minutes of getting him to understand that home lunch was not an option for school and that eating school lunch didn't mean that I was ruining his life (I really need to lock up the TV for that little gem of a phrase, because I'm sure that is where he picked it up...). Today it was all about tying his shoes or rather, letting his sister tie his shoes because he REFUSES to learn how. Of course today, I was already at work, ensconced in a multitude of problems, which didn't help my temper.

So, how does one maintain some sort of decorum and, let's face it, sanity when it comes to reasoning or disciplining a child? I'm at my wits end!

I once had a friend tell me that the reason our children are so strong-willed is due to the fact they were kept for the "latter days" and to have the strength to be strong against all the crap in this world. Yep. I believe it! I would love for my son to have the iron will he has about shoelaces for something like staying away from drugs, abstaining from pre-marital sex, keeping the speed limit when he starts to drive. Just a few small issues that I've worried myself relentlessly about since he was born.

My biggest issue today though is the guilt I've had today for not being the perfect wife and mother. You see, I yelled at Daniel (seriously, why does he put up with me???), swore at the shoelace challenged son, made the trying to be helpful daughter cry, and threatened to quit my job and hide in a hole. I sat for most of the day with my office door closed, listening to some loud, crashing, yelling music, something I don't normally do, and festered. I've festered all day! When I arrived home, my son acted like nothing had happened, my daughter filled me in on her day, and all was well. But it ISN'T!!! I still feel like crap, and Abbie is walking around on egg shells and Nigel? Well, Nigel....he is content playing with his cars.

How does one go about being everything they should? How do I accomplish being a wife, mother, worker, all the while trying to accomplish a long-held dream, and do everything that each role needs me to. I'm starting to feel pulled into so many different directions, I'm very thin. (Not physically of course, that would be waaay to much to ask for. Thin. In my dreams.)

So, I blog about it, get the crap off my chest, do a little laundry, put away dishes, and try again tomorrow. Perhaps it will be better than today.
*Thank you Google for the image!*

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Twelve Years and Counting

Perhaps I should have scanned a picture that was taken at our wedding twelve years ago, but I think I may be a bit embarrassed to think how much we have changed over the dozen years we have been married. Oh well. You will have to deal with the one we took last November. We don't have too many of us together. Perhaps I should rectify that!

I can remember vividly, not sleeping the night before we made our way to the Bountiful Temple to be married. I also think fondly on our day of chaos that was wonderful, filled with family and friends. But what I choose to ponder and place emphasis on most days, are the amazing experiences we have weathered together in the twelve years of married life.

We started married life off with a very, very short courtship and engagement. While it made a very bumpy first year, I would never change a thing. We learned about each other, and had a lot of growing pains that strengthened us for the trials that were to come.

Daniel held my hand as we experiences five miscarriages as we endeavored to start a family. We stood side by side through lost jobs, school mishaps, deaths of loved ones, and many moves, some more spontaneous than others. We smiled at each other as we welcomed child number one into the world and now laugh as we recollect the fact I tried to kick him out of the delivery room because his voice grated on my nerves. He tenderly helped my battle the mommy blues where I lost myself and everyone around me. I watched him as his chest swelled with pride when child number two joined us, although I wasn't too sure what to do with a boy. He knew and that was enough.

We have driven across time zones and numerous states together, sometimes caravanning with family, other times just by ourselves. It never ceases to amaze me that this man of mine can navigate strange places without a map and alway know where he is going. I always feel safe when we are together and to be honest, I don't know how we survive apart. Just ask me about our short separation last month. I didn't do very well.

All in all, the last dozen years have been a ride of magnificent hills and valleys, dips and turns. It has been exciting, thrilling and so much fun. I thank the Lord everyday that we are still learning and growing with each other. Twelve years.....just the beginning of eternity. Daniel, I love you!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Fixation with Digital and the GPS

A few weeks ago, while driving madly to get to Oklahoma, I had the opportunity to borrow a little digital device (yes, I know...I'm fascinated with all little digital gadgets) called a GPS. Because I was driving virtually by myself and four children and a co-pilot who wasn't familiar with the drive, I relied heavily on this small 3x4 inch device. A quiet, refined voice would call out the directions of roads to be taken and turns to make.

I started my journey with a few lines of destination, Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. It magically created a route, through mountains, across plains, past towns and cities. I watched as the landscape flew by the driver's window and one unfamiliar sight melded into another. I never once grew nervous that I was being led astray by this voice. I continued on in utmost confidence until at last, I turned off the freeway and entered the military base. I had stayed strong and unemotional throughout the journey until that moment. Yes, I had a meltdown of gigantic proportions. I think it was the emotional release of making it over 18 hours in the car with 4 children, only stopping briefly for a bathroom break or two. Luckily I had found my safe harbor with Daniel and I felt secure.

A few days later I used the device as I navigated the unfamiliar streets of Wichita, Kansas trying to find a museum to visit while playing "tourist". Again, I hoped that the quite voice would guide me to my destination. I took the exit it prescribed and found myself in a detour of road construction. It told me to take a left where my GPS told me to take a right. I became flustered because the GPS kept telling me to make a U turn and go the other direction. Being in unfamiliar territory, in an unfamiliar rental car, I wasn't sure exactly how to make adjustments to my route. I finally found a parking area and entered detour information and found an alternate way to our destination. Again, I trusted it to tell me exactly where to go and how to get there, even though the local city information threw a wrench into it.

The next day, we decided to travel to Liberty, MO and visit Liberty Jail, one of the LDS Church Historical sites. I entered what I thought was the correct address, but we ended up driving through gullies and over hills, in some of the most gorgeous farming country I've ever seen. For almost an hour or more, we followed the directions to end up on a dead end road, far from where we really expected to go. After a lot of grumbling and re-evaluating, we arrived at our place of intention, and I, more the wiser about putting in the correct North/South coordinates when entering my desired destination.

Through this experience, I relied wholly on a digital device to guide me to places unknown. That is an immense amount trust to put on something other than my own power. I am not sure that is so wise...or is it? No matter your take on religion, or your belief system for that matter, most of us can believe that there is Someone or a Higher Power guiding us in this life. Be it Karma, or Kismet, or the Gift of the Holy Spirit, truth be told, we have something more powerful than my little borrowed GPS unit to guide us in this life. Are we as trusting to what we believe as we are to the directions coming from the digital box?

My experience with the little black device has whetted my appetite for activities such as geocaching or traveling without set plans. I yearn to walk in the city and find a restaurant, just a few feet away, where I can discover new cuisine. I also can't wait to travel to unknown places and experience the joy of arriving at my destination, just as I had planned. This experience has also caused me to ponder and think deeper about my relationship with Deity. Am I as trusting in that relationship as I was with my digital one?

What are some of the things you trust in?

*Image taken from Google*

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Blogger Night Out?

My friend Terresa and I want to do a get together in Provo on Friday for any Bloggers that are interested in getting together. 6:00 pm at Macaroni Grill:

Macaroni Grill @ River Woods
4801 North University Suite 50
Provo, UT 84604

If you are interested, let me know! It sound like a lot of fun!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The End of Dog Days

Summer is starting to dwindle. As is the course in life, all seasons must come to an end to make way for a new and equally spectacular display of nature's beauty. As I look out my back window, I can see the remnants of my birds' nest that housed the start of life for four baby birds, who I watched with sheer amazement. The corn in my garden, that didn't grow much taller than three feet, and produced little fruit, is an experience I shared with my children, starting them as a seed and moving to some conclusion was well worth the effort.

School starts in two weeks. Like the final bell toll of summer, my children made their way to the lists, posted on the school doors, to find their names amid the others and discover who would have charge of them for the coming year. The beat of finality hit me hard as I thought about the coming months of homework, spelling tests, book reports, and backpacks. I have enjoyed the carefree time of unstructured bedtimes, late night activities, and shorts worn with flip flops. No longer can my kids laze around during the heat of the day, eating popsicles, watching cartoons, sprawling on the couch.

I find it so ironic that as a child, I preferred the structure of the school year, while as an adult, I prefer the summer days for my children. I think I may have narrowed it down to the fact that in our busy lives, it is one thing that is unbalanced and jubilant, lawless and carefree. There isn't a militant mother, hovering over children, trying to coerce them to finish the nightly homework, or study multiplication tables. I get to play, I get to giggle, and play "Go Fish" with my kids and not worry that there isn't something more constructive to do.

Our final two weeks of "freedom" are chock full of activities with family and friends. There will be times of celebration, and times of crazy antics, not to mention a party here or there. Traditions will be observed (one cannot leave out the annual rodeo excursion) and blessings performed by work roughened hands. This transition of summer to fall comes but once a year and I must say, it was well worth the ride.

*Image taken from Google Images, cause that is how I get most of them :)*
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