Family · Personal

It Won’t Be Like This Forever.

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Hi! It’s Monday!

Duh.

Before I get going, I want to extend sympathy to those of you who are battling the absolute horrendous heat! I feel for you. If you want to come visit, our high this week is 76 degrees. Wacey has bunk beds.

Anyways, how was your weekend? Ours was pretttty darn good. We took the boys to the ranch rodeo in town on Saturday afternoon, and gosh ranch rodeos are one of my favorite things. I miss when Bert used to ranch rodeo all summer, hopefully next summer he can get a team together and they can enter some! Wacey spent the whole time eating, commentating, and being reallllly into the broncs, Lord help us.  Buster spent the whole time throwing things down the bleachers and trying to escape and smiling at random people. Yesterday we started slow, drove around, checked water, found a broken water line, came home, and then Bert and Wacey went out to fix it while I stayed home and did chores during Buster’s nap. It was a pretty big leak but they got it sorted and all is well in the world.

I even had time to tidy up and throw a load or two in the wash so we’re not waking up to absolute mayhem tomorrow which is so sweet. Basically, it was a great, fun, low-key weekend and ohhhh boy I needed it.

I’m in that busy, full, Groundhog Day-esque season in my mamahood journey, and it’s been hard to not feel frustrated with how little I actually accomplish some days. The boys are also at two notoriously ah…trying ages. Wacey is just shy of 3 1/2, so he knows everything, has lots of big feelings, and some of those big feelings are not-so-nice ones directed at his brother and us. Buster is almost 16 months, so he’s big and mobile and has very little sense but a lot of curiosity, and a very good idea about how to antagonize his brother.

Do not get me wrong. I have two amazing children. Even on their worst days, I still feel lucky to be their mama, and their worst days really aren’t all that bad. They’re filled with a lot of tears but a lot of laughter and sweet moments, too. But the gratitude has been a little lost in the fights and the crying and the protests and the repetition lately. My own heart has been struggling a little bit, and I really didn’t like how I was mothering, or wife-ing, or being.

So, I took a step back.

It’s still hard, guys. I still lose my cool, I still wish for more hours in the day, I still wish I had more help so I was able to chase my own dreams a little harder. But I know this is just a season, a really short one, and before too long my biggest kid is not going to be happy to sit by the pens, playing in the dirt with a stick while we work cattle. He’s not going to look up at me and my camera and say “Hi, mom mom!” He’s not going to ask me to “carry you?” or get a huge kick helping make a “butter sammich.”

So, I’m going to take more pictures, soak up more moments, and breathe a little deeper because even though it’s hard and the days feel soooooo long sometimes, in my heart and in my brain I know these days are fleeting.

You know, though: I kind of hate when people say that, because sometimes it feels like people are covering up how hard parenthood can be and are saying that it’s all fine because your kids aren’t babies forever and that their parenthood journey is always serene and beautiful and full of grace. Trite laid right on top of photoshop sandwiched between two big slices of “ha, nope!”

Let me tell you what: it’s not always fine, and most days around here involve at least one wreck. Buster has scratches on his face because I can’t get between him and Wacey fast enough, but he’s learned to retaliate by hitting Wacey square in the nose which is just peachy. We have wash that hasn’t been put up, not a single thing is hung on the walls, and 5/7 days a week I don’t change out of workout clothes because why? My temper can be short. I do my dream-chasing and working in the margins of my day, and I hate that I don’t have a better version of myself to devote to those things. I am not my best self right now, not even close, and that’s showing in my mothering and wife-ing. But, guys, it’s okay. I know this. Every day is a new day, and every day has so many fun things in between the trainwrecks, and we have plenty of Neosporin. It won’t be like this forever. There is grace in these days of raising young children (for the Bible tells me so), and it’s fine that we’re a little bit of a mess. It’s getting better. Every single day. In large part because I know that there are seasons when things feel hard and when I’m not my best self because I’m human, and even in my hardest seasons I’m still so, so lucky. I have so much gratitude, but I’m also really tired. Right? Is that a thing?

It won’t be like this forever.

Parenthood is so bittersweet.

Maybe that’s why everything in my house is so sticky.

 

Celebrate · Family

Happy 4th!

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Happy 4th! Or rather, happy Day After The 4th! Or rather rather, “It Can Now Be Fall.”

Oh come on, you knew that was coming.

Anyways.

We had a blast yesterday! I was going to start this post by saying “OMG I’m the worst blogger/mama/documenter of our lives because I’m terrible about taking pictures,” but you know what? I took some! I didn’t take enough, and we never got one of us all together (#2019 goals) but I did get some and I even brought my real camera!

Anyways.

We have never done much for the 4th, but I’m trying to change that because it’s such a fun holiday! Neither one of us grew up with families that really went nutso for it (which is totally fine), but I kind of want to be nutso? Can I be a First Generation 4th of July Nutso?

I hope to maybe someday work up to that level. If you’re reading this and we’re friends, let’s go nutso together next year. 

Yesterday was pretty low-key, but for us it was practically the Royal Wedding because Bert took most of the day off and even came to town! Bert left the ranch, guys!

We took the boys to lunch where they behaved like angels and Wacey ate food. I am not kidding. Wacey ate restaurant food and enjoyed it, which is a big deal since he’s currently in a Picky 3-Year-Old phase, and Buster didn’t even throw much on the floor. Basically, it was magical. Bert was even on board for swinging past Starbucks, bless him, so we got to chat on the way home with two sleepy babes in the backseat and a coffee in my hand and oh, my stars.

After lunch, coffee, and a leisurely drive home, we camped out for naps and rest time, and then turned right back around and went to the rodeo (after turning off some water, feeding some horses, you know, the usual stuff that always happens when you’re going anywhere with a rancher). It’s such a treat to live close enough to town now that we can take a break in the middle of the day and go home if we want!

We got to the rodeo early enough to get a great parking space (is there anyone else who gets so much satisfaction out of this? You know, close but not too closer so you’re not having to hike to get there but you can still get out easily when it’s over?) and get a good place to sit (another love language of mine).

The rodeo was pretty good, and the fireworks afterwards were great. I love a good firework show, and I love that in small towns we don’t have to fight crowds of thousands of people to see one! Wacey absolutely loved it, Buster got scared and held on to me for dear life (which, let’s get real, I will take any day because baby snuggles) but still watched the show, so maybe next year?

So, we’ll count this as a success, and I’m already scoping shirts for next year.

Happy Mondayest Thursday, it’s pouring rain here (Hallelujah!) and I’m going to go finish the pan of 4th of July Rice Krispies because ‘Merica.

 

Family · On The Ranch

A Family Affair

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Do you remember going with your parents on “Take Your Kid to Work Day,” or when you had a day off from school? I grew up in the city–Denver–and remember those days so well! I remember camping out under the conference room table at my mom’s office, eating snacks, or playing dolls and listening to CCR with my dad in his office while he worked.

When we bring our kids to work, they may not get fun snacks in a conference room table fort, or get to have their own desk to “work” on, but they have a ball and we’re lucky that on a ranch, there’s a whole lot of “Take Your Kid to Work Days!”

A couple of weekends ago, we preg-checked our fall-calving cows (to see who was pregnant and who was not) and it was so  fun. I didn’t really help, to be sure–the boys and I showed up late (but can you blame us, the vet was there at 6:15!) and mostly just went because we just love working cattle. The boss’ whole family was there, too, with some of the neighbors and the owners, so we had 70+ years between the oldest (the owner) and the youngest (Buster).

The kids were pushing the cows from the tub to the chute, the neighbors were pushing the cows up the alley to the tub, the vet was doing his thing, Bert was running the chute, the owner and his wife were vaccinating and taking care of the records, the boss was checking teeth*, and his wife was making sure the kids were actually helping, and taking over when they needed a hand. I was taking pictures, offering encouragement and bad jokes, and we were all holding Buster, haha.

The kids only hit each other in the face with the flags a couple of times, one of the girls got peed on by a cow but only a little bit, the owner’s wife made the most delicious snickerdoodles, and Buster didn’t eat too much dirt or dirt-like substances, so we’ll count it as a major success.

Afterwards, everyone got wet (or downright soaked) putting horses in trailers and packing up supplies, but we were so grateful for the rain that not a soul complained, and it made lunch together a little festive. I love that we get to spend time together, and that it’s always a family affair when it comes to this ranching gig.

Except when it’s reaaaaalllll hot outside. Then I’m busy. With something inside. I won’t always have the excuse of “it’s too hot for the baby!” but you’d better bet I’m going to use it while I can.

*as cattle get older, their teeth can get worn down or fall out altogether, and that can make it hard for them to eat, so we check teeth to make sure they are living their best life. Plus, our country is so rocky that their teeth can wear down faster!