Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Managed Chaos and Thanks

Stack of magazines for a friend

It's so long between posts these days, that when I come here to write, I don't know what to say. Feels a bit like running into a friend that you haven't seen in awhile...a little awkward but good, too. 
Life here is messy, in all the ordinary ways. "Managed chaos" is what my husband calls it. I swing between over-the-moon blissed out baby love, to crying from exhaustion. People ask me how I'm doing and I have no idea what to say. Wonderful? Terrible? Neither? Both? 
Probably most of us can say that, on any given day. There's good and hard all mixed in together. 
Yesterday, when both girls were screaming simultaneously and my two year old was standing on the counter, throwing raw eggs onto the rug on the floor, I was positive that I couldn't do this mama thing for one. more. minute. 
But I did, of course, and the afternoon brought dinner with friends, and moments to connect with each of my children and hubby individually, and even a few moments outside, sweeping the beautiful red and golden yellow leaves off the porch. 
I have a beautiful, chaotic, happy life and some days I want to run away from it. I want to get in my car and drive fast to somewhere that no one will say "mama? mama?! MAMA!!!!" 30 times in a row. 
You get that, right? 
That it's wonderful and I wouldn't trade it for anything but sometimes I think I can't stand another minute of the chaos?
I hope you know what I mean. I always feel conflicted when people ask me "how are you doing?". I want to be honest and authentic and let the messiness show through but I also want to convey the joy and happiness that I feel. 

On that note, here are some things that I am loving right now:

~My house is slowly, slowly coming back together. One drawer at a time, I am paring down, organizing, simplifying. The external peace of my surroundings really helps me feel calm, so I'm thankful that I am making progress on reclaiming my home after all those months of bed rest.

~ Saulsy. Oh my, I don't know how I could possibly function without him. We will be celebrating our 11th anniversary next month and I am so exceedingly grateful for his love and attentiveness to me and our children. 

~Nursing babies. I was so anxious during my pregnancy that I would not be able to nurse these girls. And, when they were born 7 weeks premature, I was afraid that was the final nail in the nursing coffin. So, I am incredibly happy that they are both strong nursers now. I am proud of each and every one of their little fat rolls. Nursing them feels like a major accomplishment, and a gift. 

~Good food. I am so, so happy to be back in the kitchen. My pantry and freezers are bursting at the seams. I have all our food organized into categories on my phone, along with the quantity and where it is located (we have 2 fridges and 3 freezers). This is so convenient for when I am at the store, and can't remember if I already have something, I can just check on my phone. My kitchen is my happy place. Lately, I have a pot or two of soup going at all times. Today, I have a venison vegetable soup, and a 15 bean soup. I make a pan of cornbread and pull out a jar of freshly canned applesauce, and we have a yummy, quick dinner. I've been making other things that I will save for another post. 

~The leaves and weather have been exceptionally beautiful this year. I haven't been able to spend much time outside this fall, so I'm even more grateful for the beautiful fall leaves outside every window. 

~Good friends and family. I have so many that have loved our family in numerous ways over these last months. I have so far been unable to aptly express my overwhelming gratitude for the encouragement, the late night visits to hold babies while I sleep, the texts, the pointing me to scripture, taking a toddler for a morning, picking up kids from school, bringing meals, doing laundry and other housework, and the list goes on and on. It really does take a village (or two!) to raise a child and my village has been on over-time this year. 

~My children. It boggles my mind that I have six kids. I can't get over it. And twin girls?!?!?! Craziness. Saulsy and I stand side by side and stare at them at night, speechless. We really can't believe it. And wow, are we in love. And our boys!! Oh, man. Saulsy texted me the other day, while driving somewhere with our boys, and said "does your chest ever hurt? Sometimes, my chest physically hurts, I love you and our kids so much". Yep, that pretty much sums it up.  Breathtaking, overwhelming love.

~My washer and dryer. Dang, we do a lot of laundry. Where does it come from? I swear clothes multiply. I'm awfully glad I can stuff it into a machine and push a button. Magically, 54 minutes later, I have clean clothes!

~Psalm 34. My sister-in-law sent me to that chapter after a desperate text during witching hour when I was having a melt down and I cried over the text. Great comfort there.

That's enough for now. I want to share some links in another post of foods I've been making and links that have encouraged and inspired me. I always love to see what other people are reading and cooking!


  1. Thank you for pointing me to Psalm 34. I, too, cried while reading it. I feel silly saying this when I only have 1/2 the number of children you do, but I feel exactly the same way. I have such a conflicted relationship with motherhood. It feels so good to know that I am not alone. Nor are you. I've missed your posts, especially about food. Looking forward to more!
    Much love,

  2. Love love this post...especially thinking of Wilder tossing raw eggs while the girls are crying...yes that is our lives!!! I feel the SAME way when others ask me how I am doing...I am so happy to have my large family and know how blessed I am yet it is also loud and chaotic and hard. And like you, I am so grateful for my husband...I'd be lost without him and his help...and ditto on the laundry. INSANE amounts.

  3. Ben cracked a dozen eggs on Calvin when he was two and Calvin was about 6 months old. I steam cleaned the carpet for two hours (after I rescued the baby). Only one of many tales.....If it's any consolation, we're all still here and we still love each other....but it's still chaotic :)

  4. I haven't blogged in, well months! Lucky for me, I your blog is one of my first stops in the sphere. Viola! You have a great, meaningful post. How do you do it all so beautifully?? You are such a wonderful friend, woman, wife, mother, believer and blogger! Congratulations on your nursing. I am amazed. Laurel, you totally rock everything. Thanks for another inspiring post! And, thanks for that meaningful text from a way back. It is still on my phone as a keeper. It means a lot that you took the time to send me encouragement in my moment of need. I needed everything I could get that morning. I wish you the best in everything especially during the days of present. You have a beautiful family and life as you serve as inspiration to me. Love ya!

  5. Anonymous9:59 PM

    Excuse the typos. I am commenting from my phone! :)

  6. i'm amazed that you came up with this beautifully written and expressed text amidst that chaos at your home. And yes, I understand every word that you have written here. I admire you for wanting to be authentic. I guess that's why I love you so much! :) you are doing great, Laurel!

  7. text...er...blog post! LOL

  8. Wow - I remember those days so well. With my children now ranging from 10 to 21, I don't get eggs deliberately thrown on the floor (not that they don't accidentally end up there on occasion), and there aren't a couple of babies crying while I'm trying to get supper on the table, but sometimes I just think the challenges change instead of going away.
    At least when they are older you can hide in your room for a few minutes of sanity without having to worry too much about the house falling down around you, or someone becoming injured.:D

  9. Anonymous3:58 PM


    Excellent post and I can totally relate!!!! I feel the same way when people ask how it's going--I feel like things are great one minute and I feel like crying the next! I got your email, and I promise I will write soon.

  10. Goodness, it's been forever since I've read your blog, and you've been busy too I see. But I'm glad I came back to it because I love how you share life. (I read your last 20 some odd posts, back to 2010!)

    I understand about the managed chaos and you describe it well. When my youngest was 9 months old, my hubby was diagnosed with cancer. That put us into survival mode for sure. My baby is now 2, my hubby is fantastically healthy (Thank you Lord) though unemployed, and it's time for me to get out of survival mode before it kills me! Take it one day at a time.

  11. Laurel, I love this happy, grateful post! :-)

  12. Makes complete sense. And you are an EXCELLENT writter!

  13. I understand every word that you have written here. I admire you for wanting to be authentic and also little more do a better job i am so impressed with your post.
    Thanks for sharing with us...

    Stair Chair Lift

  14. this is one of my favorite blog posts, ever. seriously. i so totally relate.

  15. Anonymous2:28 PM

    I know its been awhile since you wrote this but I love it. I only have five myself but I completely understand everything you have to say. My Emme is four months old and I feel like my life is never going to get back to normal but at the same time I wouldn't trade it for the world. I agree with one of one of the commenters, you are an excellent writer. So happy to have "met" you! I have a blog too but a new post is long overdue!

  16. Anonymous2:34 PM

    You may get two comments here. If so, I'm sorry. Let's try this again...

    I'm so happy to have found your blog. I love your writing and love how you explained the craziness of life right now even if this post is several months old. I totally know how you feel. Emme is four months old and I'm still feeling like I'm never going to get the hang of this thing. But I know I will. I have too, right? So glad to have met you. I have a blog too, although I don't post very often either. Gee, I wonder why, right? Blessings on your day today. May you have a few quiet moments with a swelled heart full of love. xo

  17. Anonymous7:50 AM

    I do hope that all is well in your world and you are able to return to blogging - your voice is appreciated.

  18. Anonymous7:51 AM

    I do hope all is well in your world and return to blogging soon - your voice is appreciated.