Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Beautiful Mess

I am admittedly a perfectionist. There. I said it. 

For years I have tried to deny it but it's true. It's both the good angel and ugly beast that haunts me as the trait has served me well in certain aspects of my life and not so positively in others.

With two kids I felt I was able to manage the disorganized chaos, keeping my head just above water; however, now with three kids ages three and under, I find it close to impossible. 
The few times I've accomplished getting our house in a picture-perfect state of cleanliness, I've sacrificed much more important stuff; such as, reading books with my kids or cuddling with the new baby in my life. You know....those real to-do's.
I recently had someone over and I found myself frantically trying to perfect our home before she arrived--throwing piles of crayon art into drawers, carrying my "junk" bin down to the basement, wiping off the top of the stove--when I thought to myself, "why am I doing this?" If this woman really is my friend she won't care about the balls of cat hair that billow up into the air when the door closes behind her (yes, it does happen) or the cranberry juice and play-doh stains on the couch. 
At that very moment I made a pledge to myself. I refuse to clean up to impress anyone. My priorities are to be a good mom, wife, family member and friend. If I'm focused on being all of these things, that's certainly more important than killing myself to keep a clean house.

So, how's a slightly-reformed perfectionist to handle this? By acknowledging that yes, I do realize it's a mess in here, but that's how it's going to be. Yes, I wish the windows were a little more sparkly or the shelves of the frig free of leaking milk carton stains. But, this is part of my life right now and the best thing I can do is accept it. 
One day I will have a clean home again but it won't be full of tiny giggles, cupcake-smeared faces or paint-stained hands. And that makes my heart ache a little. 
So, until then, here it is: you're likely going to see a mess when you come to the Menoni household but it's our own, special BEAUTIFUL MESS. 

The new sign that now hangs proudly on our entry-way door:

"Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy."
  ~Author Unknown

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tri Harder

I love blogging. There are so many things that I want to write about. 

Over the past few weeks I have missed sitting at my favorite table and connecting with my keyboard. Sometimes I begin writing and am feeling angst over life's circumstances and other times I'm overwhelmed with the joys God has blessed me with. 
In the end, my fingers rarely leave the keyboard and gently close the top of my laptop that I am not silently crying. Why? Because blogging has become my therapy. As my fingers tap away trying to communicate all of the swirling thoughts I've had going on inside of my head, my life unfolds. It may not make sense to you as the reader but, it allows me to release everything that has been bottled up within me....the good and the bad. I always know when I am typing that very last sentence because I feel complete, fulfilled. I rarely walk away from that table feeling anything but appreciative for all of the wonderful gifts in my life.
Recently, in the middle of the night, I woke up in a panic. What if, all of the sudden, blogger ceased to exist? 
What would happen to my memories? My children's lives I have been recording for all of these months? 
Although I love all things crafty, I have not been a scrapbooker and wonder if I'll ever get there. If I do, its doubtful that I'll remember all of the small moments, the important details that shaped the happy times in our lives. 
Yes, I'm sure I'll recall all of the bigger picture memories but, how about those small moments that if I didn't record them would eventually cease to exist? For now, this blog holds the memories and I am the memory keeper.

I woke up very early this morning with the full intention to find a way to secure these thoughts, these memories because I don't want to risk letting one single morsel vanish. I have started a book that will print all of my blog entries and my deepest hope is that one day I will be able to share this book with my littles. 
I don't want any credit for recording our lives and the little treasures within in, but I want my children to know that amid all of the chaos, sweat, and tears that I truly enjoyed them. 
I love them for who they are, who they want to be. 
I want to grow old and in my last days know fully well that they know. They really know that I loved and enjoyed them and they were and are special. 
They are the little happies that make my life full and complete. 

I thank my husband over and over again for talking me into having children when all I wanted was to focus on my career. 
I never would have really known what life was about had I not experienced being a parent and all of the excitement, trials and tribulations of it.
Try hard is what I do. I am vested in trying even harder as they grow older because I know the challenges will become greater. I am a determined woman and my mission is to cross the finish line known as a mother who was tough but extremely loving with mutual respect for her kids and, because of that, these relationships turned into friendships. Try hard is what I do and what I'll continue to do.
Speaking of trying hard, my sister-in-law just finished her first Tri.....
Way to go girl!! We are so proud of you!!
She is a great example of not ceasing to push forward and really trying. Great successes in life don't come without trying and trying hard. As a family we are also working on trying harder....

At sharing
Not complaining (this one's for me--the hubs never complains)
"Do all things without complaining." Phillipians 4:13
(Really? Two months old and this is how you feel? And I'm just getting started!)

Team work
(C'mone, how cute is that "B" sticker on her neck? She wore it all day.)
Teaching the kids that although we love them, Mommies and Daddies need special nights out alone and goodbyes will get easier.
Letting the to-do's go to do more of our beach.
And having fun

          Lots of fun

                    Because life's too short and trying hard is nothing 
you have fun
"The one thing that matters is the effort.  It continues, whereas the end to be attained is but an illusion of the climber, as he fares on and on from crest to crest; and once the goal is reached it has no meaning."  ~Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry, The Wisdom of the Sands, translated from French by Stuart Gilbert

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