I smacked my head against the wall for hours today trying to come up with a clever name for a new blog. I can't believe I neglected this one for over a year - a year and one week exactly!
I considered scrapping this blog and starting over, but I think I'll just pick up the pieces and move on, filling in back story when and where I feel like it. A lot has happened in the last year. Levi grew almost 5 inches taller and several shoe sizes. We gained a daughter-in-law, and another grandbaby. Micaela left for BYU and Doug's work responsibilities grew from construction management to CEO of Edkey, Inc. My mom stepped into the cancer ring for the fourth time and my best friend survived acute myelogenous leukemia. I developed an extreme aversion to scorpions after getting stung and discovering I am allergic to scorpion venom. We moved into our own home in November and just last week I sent in the final papers to complete my capstone course for my Bachelor's degree from BYU. Yes, after 13 long years, I am finally going to graduate. Ammon and his sweet wife Cambrai will also graduate in April and we are going to celebrate.
So now what? What does a stay-at-home mom, with only one independent, dependent child left at home do with all her free time? The same thing she has always done. Make choices. Hopefully the best ones. I've come to realize that we all have the same amount of hours allotted to us each day and we all decide differently what we do with those hours. Quite honestly, I don't see much more "free time." When you are a mom, there is always something that needs or wants doing. It's tempting to say that now I get to choose more of the things I want to do instead of what I have to do. But the truth is, I have always been doing what I wanted to do. I chose to be a mom and tried to be the best mom I could be for my kids. I'm still trying to get it right. Because being a mom is a forever job. Mothering doesn't stop just because a child turns 18 or leaves home for college or career or gets married or all of the above.
To quote a friend, I am a perfectly imperfect mom. I wish for "do-overs" all the time. I did way too much spanking during the first half of my parenting years. And too much yelling. I feel sad when I think about those mistakes. Then one of my children will call or text or send me a Facebook message and thank me for teaching them how to clean a bathroom or ask for a recipe so that they can eat some "Mom" food. Then I feel like maybe, just maybe, I didn't do so bad after all. Of course, I didn't raise my children alone. I have the best husband and father for my children. They text him more than they text me. He is still their adviser and confidante. Plus, he speaks math. My children are all geeks, each unique in their own geekiness, and I couldn't be more proud.
Back to the new blog thing. I'm going to stick around here and see what happens. I still have a passion for food and books and families. I'm ready to step out of my comfort zone and share some of that passion. Maybe review more books. I know lots of authors. Authors make the best friends. They let me read their books. Especially if I review them. Plus, they answer questions about things like how to write horses into your book so that you can deduct riding lessons off on your taxes as "research." (A girl can dream!)
I have a passion for strengthening families. I'll probably blog about that too. Guest bloggers are fun. I can bring in "experts" on teaching our children more about faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities (The Family: A Proclamation to the World).
That reminds me: Did you know that while the U.S. and the U.K. are scurrying around trying to lengthen school days and reduce holidays and playtime for our children in an attempt to increase test scores to compete with Asian countries, China has announced that they are reducing hours in school and giving children more play time, because childhood mental illness has become rampant? In the U.S. childhood mental illness has increased as much as 8 times what it was in the 1950s. I don't think it's just time in school that's the problem here. I think this problem has more to do with the need for more and better parenting.
Well, it's after midnight and I've rambled enough. It's time to stretch and grow and share the joy that I've discovered as a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter and friend. I may do it through books, or share recipes. I have a renewed love for hiking and I want to repurpose some furniture. I'll let you know how that goes. I'm sure I'll rant now and then, but my goal is to bring light into my corner of the world. I hope you'll stop by and say hi!