This last year was a really hard one for us here at the Rose Garden. We have had TONS going on since last summer, and it has been compounded with surprises, both good and bad. Here is a timeline of the last 14 months for us:
June 5th, 2009 Bought our first house!
June 11th, 2009 Moved for the second time in 6 months. (First time Nov 2008)
August 2009 My dad got married (to a wonderful woman whom we all love).
Oct 31st, 2009 A police officer shot for no reason in Seattle (30 miles away)
Nov 29th, 2009 4 police officers murdered in a coffee shop in the city next to ours. (6 miles away)
Dec 26th, 2009 A police officer shot on a call in another city next to ours. (9 miles away)
Jan 2010 Memorials that went along with that.
Feb 10th, 2010 My husband was in a shooting. (Thankfully, no one was hurt this time)
Feb 11th, 2010 My 80 yr old Aunt fell and broke ribs, puncturing her lungs.
May, 2010 We took a three week vacation to visit that Aunt, my mom, and Don's family in CA, just trying to regroup before we settled back into life in it's new state of normal.
June 13th, 2010 We found out we were having a surprise baby.
September is here. I am already nearly halfway through this pregnancy and the Belly Bean is making it's way known in the world. I am starting to get excited about the new addition, although it was a long time in coming. (I am a very sick, miserable kind of pregnant person.)
The year has taken it out of me. I feel as though I have aged many years in the last 14 months, and I felt an intense desire to make life as simple as possible lately. This summer has been focused on making that simpler life a reality. And my job has been putting aside all of the things I think that should look like, to make the simpler life a reality instead.
In my head, a simple life includes things like home cooked meals, fresh made bread, children reading in front of the fireplace, and a perfectly clean household. This bliss is just a natural state of being that flows from one thing to the next. In reality, I have three crazy, beautiful, and imaginative children that would rather build forts out of every chair and blanket in the house or citys out of Legos across the livingroom than read. My kitchen is repulsive to me as often as not right now and so 'home cooked meals' often means pasta with sauce that I canned last year. Sometimes I have a side dish...
Wracking my brain over how to make this life easier, simpler, and cleaner is a very hard job. It started with getting rid of stuff (as always).
I am not sure how we accumulate stuff. I don't buy much, and I don't let the kids just buy arbitrarily either. I think our stuff multiplies under the beds when we are not looking. Like Gremlins. Lol! So getting rid of stuff was in order.
Another thing I have done is plan more. Rotating dinner menus, scheduled workbox days, and Excel sheets outlining budget plans have made life easier in the long run (although it was a LOT of work!).
We are still in the throws of trying to make the simple life happen. I feel like I have been surfing rough waters of life lately, and yet...
Very few effected the core of what we love and live for in any real way. The shootings were nerve wracking and VERY sad. But my husband is here, and safe with me still. And everything else? I can say it was just too much... but isn't that the luckiest state of being one could be in? Too much to do, too much to eat, too much to choose, too much to fix/maintain? Having too much. Having to choose between all the wonderful (albeit stressful) things to do. That is a blessing and a curse. But so much better than not having enough. I am grateful to live the life I live where these are the choices I get to make. I am grateful for every pound of food that comes from my garden... right along with every time I am not dependent on that garden for all of our food. We are so blessed!