Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I don't really want to belabor and whine my life away about what I struggle with, and part of my struggles should be kept a little on the down low for a bit, so I will just share a few thoughts I've recently had. Sometimes change is thrust upon me or those I love with no warning. Or, perhaps the warning signs of change-a-comin' have been there and I have purposefully ignored them. I dunno, but I do think there is a mourning process that comes along with saying good-bye to the past. Because Tyler's new job endeavor has taken us to lands unknown, I've been discovering all sorts of new aspects and mourning my comfy past. And even though I know I've had the same WONDERFUL church calling for 4 years, I am now wishing it could go on forever even though I know the changes can/may be just as blessing-filled. I have several friends whose lives have been dramatically changed and as I feel and see those changes start to eek their effects into my own life, I want to give it a good 'ol fashioned ARMADILLO position. Ya know, the covering of all sensitive areas and throwing a tough outer shell kind of a move? Not that it makes anything any different, the changes are inevitable and usually out of my control, but nonetheless I still struggle with the whole thing.
I need to get on this change ship that is sailing by with many of my loved ones, but some days I feel like I should be the dramatic, armed-crossed, back-to-the-ship, refusing to leave the dock kind of person. And yet, I will be REALLY bummed to hear of all the good adventures and lessons learned and trials overcome by those who climbed, crawled, or were forced onboard of this looming change vessel. I guess it's time to get my sea legs ready . . .
Sunday, September 20, 2009
We have been busy all summer and since my computer has been weighed down by the massive picture folder I have been hesitant to add more pictures until I backed up and moved pics from one computer to the other. That is tonight's project and tomorrow I will be sorting through the 4,947 pictures I took in 2008. I. am. not. joking. I have got to pull that into something manageable since there is NO way I will be scrapbooking those. I do enjoy the picasa collage option and will probably be making several of those to scrapbook the entire 2008. This summer my friends hosted a summer scrapbooking challenge and I got a whopping 27 pages done. Several of them were from Christmas cards we received last year (I like to keep all your pictures to compare from year to year) and then I did a scrapbook from the two years I taught. . . in 2000-2002. I doubt I will ever be caught up with the scrapbooking thing, but I am making little progress.
Because I need more time to work on projects, I am hosting another Scrapfest in November. This is just a bare bones kind of scrapfest that will only take place for one full 24 hour day and won't have all the giveaways and hooplah of the big shindig in February. If anyone's interested in joining (there's only 25 more spots available) you can go to the SCRAPFEST blog and click on the link to pay ($25.00) and find out more info. And for the gals who already registered I say "RIGHT ON!" We're going to have a good time and I'm looking forward to the smaller group.
Today I had a pretty emotional day. There were just several things that caused me to be overcome with emotion and gave me pause to have more gratitude in my life. My day was pretty much spent in church and, honestly, as torturous as that may sound to some, I really needed it. Sometimes I think my activity in my church becomes kinda rote and just a thing to do on Sundays, but the past couple of weeks I've been thinking about reactivating my self in my faith. I went to church this morning and dragged along my friend Stephanie and her beautiful daughter Issa with me. The couple that spoke talked about keeping the Sabbath day holy (which is all good and everything), but what really struck me was the simple admonition of the husband to the congregation. The sacrament meeting was loud, which isn't uncommon in a Mormon church due to all the kids, but this young man and his wife have had only one baby and he died after only being on earth for a week. He got quite emotional (which then I got really emotional) as he reminded all of us with unruly-climb-on-the-benches-spread-goldfish-crackers-make-too-many-sound-effects kids to be grateful for the noise because there are families out there who long to have the noise and haven't been blessed like that. UH! It was so tender. Later, after I dropped my kids off at our ward, I went to ward conference and spied a good friend of mine rocking her 5 year old "baby" in her arms. I think he fell asleep and as I could only see the tip top of his head from behind her shoulder I thought of what it must be like to have my youngest be 5. So much of the time I roll my eyes with the "responsibility," the "duty," the "job," and [yes, sometimes] the "burden" of ALL my kids. Tyler and I have been blessed. I know that mentally, but sometimes it takes a heartfelt testimony or a watching eye to really feel what I should about the great blessing of being the mom to my kids. With five kids I think I am looking forward to that day that Briggs is 5, but I believe this friend of mine wants more. She deserves more kids. She's a good mom to her kids. She's a good mom to my kids. And yet for whatever reason her baby is 5 and started kindergarten and she fills her days teaching others' children and serving those around her instead of swaddling a newborn. This same friend led the ward choir and I really struggled to keep it together for the whole song. Being there to fulfill my calling that I have loved for the past 4 years was a true blessing today I really feel like I should thank this friend for providing me with the opportunities to feel some tender mercies. (Thanks!)
So, in light of this reminder to be grateful for my family (and yes, even all their racket!) I figure it's time to share some of the past few month's happenings. Keep scrolling down for a couple posts and hopefully I will be able to post more soon. Three month gaps in the history keeping of the Barlow family means there's a lot of details I am not going to remember.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Caylee, 1st day of 2nd grade
Mackenzie, 1st day of 5th grade
Kenzie in a handmedown t-shirt and some new jean shorts
After all the hair flipping . . . it's a Caylee close-up
Another handmedown. On behalf of the entire Barlow family, we'd like to thank Shae Haycock for bringing this sweater to our home. (Oh and total sidenote: Mackenzie had a meltdown about these jeans she has on. They're a size up from what she's been wearing and by the time it's cool enough to wear them they'll look like they were made for her, but she had MAJOR meltdown (yes, tears and everything) over how "ridiculous" and "awful" she looked in them. Oh I cannot WAIT for puberty.)
Mmmmm Hmmmmm Ms. Caylee
"What? Were you talking to me, a 5th grader???" (P.S. Shirt from Savers, or as Mackenzie and Sydney call it, "the best store EV-VERRR!)
One of Kenzie's favorites this year:
Caylee totally busted out with a rap video dance move mid model. No, I am not fearful AT ALL that this is art imitating her future life, right??? She just couldn't resist a little Michael (note background music)
And then Kenzie got all hard core.
Here's all our models. (Zoee, Sydney, Caylee, Shae (friend), and Kenzie.) I'm not sure where Brooklyn was for the final shot.
And the other gals with their fashions:
It feels a little silly to blog about something that happened SOO a month ago, but let's face it, I'm months behind so this is a drop in a very large bucket and I might as well get over feeling silly. And let's face it, these apologies are going to people who are just grateful to have something new in their googlereaders.
Sooo, my baby brother Michael came home from his mission on August 13th and we were so happy to have him home. Mike's return had been anticipated for a long time and I had FINALLY really started to miss him. I mean, I missed him the whole time, but I knew he was where he was supposed to be, so I didn't really think about it too much. Right after girls' camp we had a meeting and the missionaries were all there from our entire stake. They closed the meeting by singing the closing song and THAT was the first time I felt a genuine ache for my brother having been gone for (almost) two years. And just in time since from that meeting I only had to wait about 6 weeks.
We all got all cute (didn't want to have him think we got all grubby while he was gone) and made sure to arrive at the airport at a prompt time. Getting there before my mom was a particular feat since she contemplated spending the night JUST IN CASE his flight came in early. (okay, maybe not really, but she was, of course, really excited.) Here's the grandkids waiting before hand. I had asked who was excited to see Uncle Mike. Only Brooklyn fessed up and I think Austin is trying to hide his enthusiasm (Seth is just hiding behind the pole):