Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Had Something To Say After All

I was going to tell you about my trip to Idaho this weekend to see my younger brother graduate from BYU-Idaho. But it's boring. The trip wasn't boring!! I just don't feel like writing about it. I'm too tired, you see. Too tired.

Tomorrow: Double baby blessing for both of my new nieces. Three separate sides of family (ours, my SIL's and my other SIL's) will join together for the occasion. Should be fun!

Monday: Trip to Midway for the week. Am I ready? Have I packed? Haha! I will be lucky to arrive on Monday before dinner.

WHY do kids destroy everything they touch?! My phone, my iPad, the LoveSac, our X-box, the bike pump, and that's only what I can think of with my crazy forgetful pregnant-brain! Seriously, I'm ready to sell them all to the zoo, the crazy monkeys! Ironically, I believe that all of these things were destroyed by our three boys. Our girls have been found innocent of the crimes; in fact, #1 fixed and sewed up the LoveSac yesterday. So, I will sell my boys. CRAZY boys!

What if I have another boy!?

#5 just smiled at me with his super awesome grin. Sigh, sigh, sigh. I guess I'll keep the boys.

So, our friends from our former ward in California begged us to take their son for the weekend. He's in between EFY and sport's camps at BYU and needed somewhere to stay. We said "Fo' shizzle!" because that's how we roll. It's funny to see this kid now --it's been over 3 years since we moved. The last time I saw him he was 14, short, and obnoxious during piano lessons (I taught him for a year). Now he's super tall, 17, and kind of fun! It's kind of given me a glimpse into what it will be like when my boys are teenagers and it's gonna be... awesome? right?? RIGHT???

It's 5:30PM now. I need to make dinner. What should I make for dinner? You don't know, either? I need to plan better. And stop being tired.

I was pondering about the house we live in and discussing it with my sister on our way back from Idaho today. Our house is not perfect, nor really big. It's suitable, though. We can easily raise six kids in this house. 2 kids per bedroom and one office! It could work. Even if we never have a garage, or a big family area, or a nice walk-in closet and jetted tub, it could work. In fact, I told my sister this:
Our generation is spoiled rotten, you know? Because of the dot-com era at the turn of the millennium (century, whatever), people have started to expect large, large homes (mostly outside of highly expensive places to live. I mean, in some places in CA, people expect small homes!). At least 3,000 sf., walk-in closets, jetted tubs, double sinks, large kitchens, granite counter tops, decks, playgrounds in the backyards, mud rooms, formal sitting rooms, etc. It's not just luxury anymore --it's expected. Does this mean it's bad or wrong to have these homes? Heck no! I want one myself! But I think it has done something to the psyche of comparison in people's brains (and in mine). Because these types of homes have become the "norm" and "expected," we feel bad when we A. Can't afford it, or B. Don't need it, or C. Don't really want it.

My sister has been living in a three bedroom apartment for a few years now (3?). She has three boys. Her husband just got this great new job and so they have been looking for a home to buy. A home they put an offer on didn't go through and she was (understandably) pretty bummed about it. See, they have always lived in apartments. This will be their first home! She's been having a hard time with the whole loss of the house because she's just TIRED of being in apartments with a growing family. It's easy to be disappointed and frustrated. But she found herself focusing on the negative aspect of it too much.

So, she decided to stop thinking about it. Stop thinking about how "they'll be happy when they get the house." And it made me think about all the times I've said I'll be "happy when the roof is fixed. Windows replaced. New home is bought. This one is remodeled."

We talked about how we need to be happy where we are at this moment and appreciate all the blessings that have come our way. Will my kids survive living in this house for the rest of their time with us? Yes. Will my sister survive for another year or so in apartments until they can find the house they need/want? Yes. Sometimes survival isn't enough for people, but I've come to realize, since our conversation this afternoon, that sometimes survival can be changed into contentment. Peace. Happiness, even, you know? It's all about our perception. We can honestly change our situation just by looking at it differently. We can decide what we have is "good enough" by deciding that it is.

That's not to say we shouldn't strive for more! I'm totally a believer in change; the Gospel of Christ is all about change! It's about improvement and evolve-ment. But I think that's more for character than anything. It doesn't matter if you live in a tiny apartment or a great big mansion --if your character sucks, than so does your situation.

Anyway. I think you get what I mean. Funny how I started this post without anything to say. Ha!


FoxyJ said...

Jetted tubs are hard to clean. Not that I wouldn't want one, but I actually don't miss having one as much as I thought I would. We bought an older, but nicer, home in an older neighborhood knowing that we were making some tradoffs as far as the 'extras' go. I'd like to have a laundry room instead of a closet in the hall and I'd like a more open floor plan. But, our house is more than sufficient for our needs. And the funny thing is that when I look back at all those years in apartments wishing we had something different, I now wish I had spent less time worrying about our living arrangements because they always were sufficient too.

Angie said...

LOVE your thoughts on this...I totally get it and and loving where we are is something I am constantly trying to remember to do...thanks for the reminder! It IS frustrating, but I think about one of my friends who grew up with 4 sisters in a VERY small house in S Cali (maybe like 1200-1500 sq ft)and ONE bathroom...hello 5 teenage girls and one bathroom! They survived and had such a great life growing up. They have some great yes, I can do it! :)

Handsfullmom said...

One of my best friends has lived for years with five kids in 1000 square feet. It's tight and cramped, but they make it work. I always think of her whenever I start to think we "need" all the space we have in our home. It's nice, sure, and we built a big house so we could have a lot of kids comfortably, but it's not a "need."

I think there are a few other factors that go into our attitudes towards expecting a lot of space in a home, like:
* More two-income families
* Married couples putting off having kids until financial goals are reached
* Families having fewer kids
* More disposable income because of the above

Our former bishop raised 7 kids in a pretty small home and he always said, "Love grows in small spaces." I hope, for our sake, it also grows in large ones, but I definitely think he is right. =P

Stephanie said...

When we bought our house a little over a year ago, we decided to sacrifice square feet and acres so we could be closer to my husband's work (don't worry, we still have ENOUGH space). It's been VERY worth it!! I would make the same trade again in a heart beat because the extra time every day with Daddy/Hubby home is so much better than more floors to clean!

Cheryl said...

I know a family that raised 7 kids in about 1300 square feet with ONE bathroom (and FIVE daughters!). They are some of the best people I know because they work hard, are unselfish and are grateful for what they have. I think maybe we are actually doing our kids a favor when we don't have all the "wants".