So it has been so great to be spending lots of family time all together with our little crew that has transplanted out here to the West Coast. For those of you that don't know, I was lucky enough to have a sister marry someone out here before me, and so when I married Randy and moved out here, I was not alone. So now whenever Mom and Dad come to visit I guess you could say they can kill two birds with one stone, if their daughters were birds, and they were killing them, I suppose. So bad analogy there. But anyways, we had to snatch some family pictures in the few minutes after church and before lunch (while the Papa Murphy's was baking. Ha) and here are the results of that shoot.
Konrad and Shannon with their children, (L to R) Elissa, Benson, Carita, Carson and Annika.
It was a little ironic (or poetic justice?) that on Mother's day I would feel so frazzled in my motherly duties. As I mentioned, Charlotte had her dedication that morning, so of course that meant lots of rushing around to get myself and two littles all dressed up for church, and the rushing left no time for breakfast for Jocelyn, which resulted in giving her a granola bar to eat on the way, which resulted in chocolate smeared all over her pretty matching cardigan, which she then didn't get to wear at church at all, because I quickly rinsed it out in the sink and promptly left it in the bathroom, rather than taking it with me into church, but at least she got to wear it for the pictures. O.k. that run-on sentence made no sense, but I'm rushing with this blog post and am going to take very little/no time to edit. So I guess hang on and enjoy the ride here.
Then there was Sunday school which is always a bit of a challenge with Randy off teaching the youth class, and me trying to keep two littles from disrupting our adult class the entire time. But before you award me any medals, I usually have someone help with one of them almost every Sunday, so that I don't have to do it alone. Otherwise I would probably just skip Sunday school. Although do you ever find yourself thinking that skipping something that may seem like a lot of work will only mean that you will be alone at home for the same amount of time and have to load up all the kids alone to go out later, and that would feel like even MORE work, so you just end up going to the thing you were going to skip in the first place? Am I the only one that does that? Anyway, then it was lunch and naps (which Charlotte woke me up early from) and family time and snacks and bedtime stories, and I was just feeling sort of mothered-out from the whole day.
But then I watch my sister with her (count them!) 5, and I think, "How wimpy AM I?!" She does a fabulous job. Gardening and canning up a storm, home-schooling and teaching them about Jesus and whipping up tasty meals on a moment's notice and stretching dollars, and a 1,000 other things every day. I view her as a wealthy source of information and consult her with my questions on natural childbirth, healthy recipes, home remedies and much, much MUCH in between. Her parenting trademarks (if one has such a thing) are patience and selflessness. Honestly, this woman is so selfless when it comes to parenting it almost WORRIES me. She puts her kids first, no questions about it. She will deny herself over and over again for them, long after I've gotten a babsitter and gone out for coffee ALONE. :)
So needless to say, (I mean, really needless because who doesn't know this?) Moms do a lot. Especially my mom. A lot that goes unnoticed, a lot that goes unthanked, a lot that goes unappreciated, a lot that goes uncelebrated and a lot that goes undeserved. Every time she comes out to visit me, I am able to accomplish about 50x more things than I can on my own. She will always be able to work circles around any woman, any time, and where. She will always be able to accomplish things with twice the speed, 3x the efficiency, and 1/2 of the resources as anyone else. She is a woman of little fanfare....she doesn't need big fancy gifts or extravagant displays of affection. I asked her how she feels loved most, and she replied with, "Quality time. And when people let me do things for them." So even a language that speaks love TO her is really just another form of service....her serving others actually makes her feel loved. Amazing.
I have much, much, much to learn from her. I am a selfish person. Motherhood has made me realize (and realize all over again each day) how selfish I truly am. I feel that as a mother I need to constantly, daily die to myself, and to my desires and put another before myself. And it is Not. Easy. But it is what mothers do. And for some like my mom, it is their entire mission in life.
Me? I get a kick out of finding fabulous vintage shoes at second-hand stores, like the ones I wore on Mother's day. My mom? She gets a kick out of washing people's windows. We are very different creatures, my mother and I. But we are both moms, who love their children more than they know, and I am constantly reminded of what my mom had to sacrifice each and every day, as I make some of those sacrifices myself.
Thanks for everything, Mom. I love you.