Writing on here has been on my mind a lot lately, and I keep trying to pin down the why to why I choose not to write.
Is it because it's not as popular as the other social media platforms? Nope, I'm pretty sure that's not it, since I don't write for other people.
Is it because I've been busier than usual? Well yes, that's partially an answer.
Writing on here has been on my mind a lot lately, and I keep trying to pin down the why to why I choose not to write.
thoughts by Annie Leavitt at 6:45 AM
We ran away for 24 hrs to see the new Provo temple a few weekends ago. Obviously a quick trip, not as cold as I planned for but even better than we expected.
The tour was much too quick for my taste, but the interior was to die for. All Victorian, late 1800's decor and architecture, in milieu with the Provo Tabernacle's design. The provo tabernacle was our Stake Conference center for 3 years, during college I attended choral concerts there and in 2010 Ty graduated from BYU there! So, he basically graduated from a temple, I'm going to go with that. ha
thoughts by Annie Leavitt at 1:28 PM
The majority of my writing has been going to my little side gig at What to Expect. I write for their "Word of Mom" blog and have had quite a few assignments since the beginning of December. You can read some of my posts:
Here This one was my favorite, we have really gotten a hold of our finances using this method. Hallelujah!!!!!
I've also been a little (read A TON) wrapped up in volunteering for my church. We name them "callings" and you serve wherever you have been called. I now serve in the primary, which is children ages 18 months to 11 years old and it basically consumed my life for the last 8 weeks. You can ask my hair stylist, I have the grey hairs and loss of hair (apparently this is called "Stress release"?) chunks to prove it.
But things have been getting better, I'm proactively working on handling stress and compartmentalizing my brain. It is actually quite difficult to teach a woman how to do this to her brain, to turn it off and on. A female brain just runs on high speed and that's it, but I feel like I am getting better at wearing my hats. Mom hat, wife hat, ballet teacher hat, friend hat, primary hat, being a nice person hat. That last one slips off a lot but baby steps right?
The kids, oh my beautiful kids. They are growing up right before our eyes. Have you seen the movie Inside Out? Oi Vey, unless you are ready to bawl your eyes out and FEEL ALL THE FEELINGS don't watch it. It even got Ty right to his heart. Our little girls are turning into young women and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Which has me thinking a lot lately of why we value "Little" kids more than adolescents/adults. My mom in me just adores the littleness of everything. I didn't appreciate it when the first two girls were changing and chasing getting older. I was in the trenches of raising babies and sadly a lot of their milestones were just on the sideburner for me. But now, oh every time phoebe reaches a milestone I just die a little inside. She is reading! And she lost her first tooth!
*Side note** I can now see why so many people KEEP having babies, somehow that stops this constant ebb of change and uncertainty that is growing up. More on that later, but I can see why it would help.
Rodney is growing up too, I know right? The other week I watched as he bit his tongue and every so slowly and with the sternest of concentration buttoned up his church shirt. I DIED. Why does he have to turn into a little boy? Why is it so hard? Also, why does he cry and turn into a puddle when it is time to put on his shoes? Those moments make me a little less sad he is growing up. For the love of pete put your stupid shoes ON.
This post has been the best thing I have ever read about your children growing up and leaving. I wish I had written it myself.
"...I wasn't wrong about their leaving. My husband kept telling me I was. That it wasn't the end of the world when first one child, then another , and then the last packed their bags and left for college.But it was the end of something. ``Can you pick me up, Mom?" ``What's for dinner?" ``What do you think?"I was the sun and they were the planets. And there was life on those planets, whirling, non stop plans and parties and friends coming and going, and ideas and dreams and the phone ringing and doors slamming.And I got to beam down on them. To watch. To glow.And then they were gone, one after the other.``They'll be back," my husband said. And he was right. They came back. But he was wrong, too, because they came back for intervals -- not for always, not planets anymore, making their predictable orbits, but unpredictable, like shooting stars.Always is what you miss. Always knowing where they are. At school. At play practice. At a ballgame. At a friend's. Always looking at the clock mid day and anticipating the door opening, the sigh, the smile, the laugh, the shrug. ``How was school?" answered for years in too much detail. ``And then he said . . . and then I said to him. . . ." Then hardly answered at all.Always, knowing his friends.Her favorite show.What he had for breakfast.What she wore to school.What he thinks.How she feels.My friend Beth's twin girls left for Roger Williams yesterday. They are her fourth and fifth children. She's been down this road three times before. You'd think it would get easier.``I don't know what I'm going to do without them," she has said every day for months.And I have said nothing, because, really, what is there to say?A chapter ends. Another chapter begins. One door closes and another door opens. The best thing a parent can give their child is wings. I read all these things when my children left home and thought then what I think now: What do these words mean?Eighteen years isn't a chapter in anyone's life. It's a whole book, and that book is ending and what comes next is connected to, but different from, everything that has gone before.Before was an infant, a toddler, a child, a teenager. Before was feeding and changing and teaching and comforting and guiding and disciplining, everything hands -on. Now?Now the kids are young adults and on their own and the parents are on the periphery, and it's not just a chapter change. It's a sea change.As for a door closing? Would that you could close a door and forget for even a minute your children and your love for them and your fear for them, too. And would that they occupied just a single room in your head. But they're in every room in your head and in your heart.As for the wings analogy? It's sweet. But children are not birds. Parents don't let them go and build another nest and have all new offspring next year.Saying goodbye to your children and their childhood is much harder than all the pithy sayings make it seem. Because that's what going to college is. It's goodbye.It's not a death. And it's not a tragedy.But it's not nothing, either.To grow a child, a body changes. It needs more sleep. It rejects food it used to like. It expands and it adapts.To let go of a child, a body changes, too. It sighs and it cries and it feels weightless and heavy at the same time.The drive home alone without them is the worst. And the first few days. But then it gets better. The kids call, come home, bring their friends, fill the house with their energy again.Life does go on.``Can you give me a ride to the mall?" ``Mom, make him stop!" I don't miss this part of parenting, playing chauffeur and referee. But I miss them, still, all these years later, the children they were, at the dinner table, beside me on the couch, talking on the phone, sleeping in their rooms, safe, home, mine...."- Beverly Beckham
So as things are getting better some things are more hard. Life is life. My soccer coach and teacher/part of our Leavitt family passed away this week. I have shed many tears over this. What great man. Why do the wonderful people die young? Their youngest girl is Lucy's age and somehow that hits me even harder. Sometimes life is so unbelievably unfair that I can't stand it.
Hug you family today, and call your friends. Life as an amazing ride and you never know what will be tomorrow.
thoughts by Annie Leavitt at 12:20 PM
thoughts by Annie Leavitt at 9:50 AM
things have been going well, and not so well here at the Leavitt house this December. after having a great Thanksgiving, i deep cleaned some rooms to get ready for Christmas decorations. I forgot last year that I gave away all of the Christmas decorations I didn't "love" and gifted them to the senior center. Can I tell you how wonderful it was to decorate and put everything away in one day? It was so easy! And only the things I truly, truly love are here in the house.
Thank goodness I left a diagram for the little lighted house display on our mantle, I had a true griswold meltdown trying to make it all work last year. We had a lot of mishaps putting up the tree too, it seems like everything has been really good, and really difficult all at once.
Good things: Phoebe is READING! The beginning of the year was hard for everyone here in the house because someone was always mad that she couldn't read or write. She was crying one day, and when asked the reason, she answered, "There is a girl in my class that can write any word she wants. I want to write every word there is too!" She is a hard worker and it pays off, my favorite beginning reading moment in the family was lucy, at age 5 driving home from Las Vegas, "Mom, what is an ADULT BOOKSTORE?". ha! I almost ran off the road. I told her, "OH, you wouldn't like that, it's full of really boring books with no pictures." Oh the joys of living near sin city.
The kids and I have been thinking of new ways to help people out this time of year, and we are excited. I feel like I am pretty on top of everything gift wise, but then I always do a mad dash a few days before because I second guess myself. Really hoping to avoid that this year.
Rodney loves his preschool. He loves his teacher, he loves his friends there, he knows the Pledge of Allegiance by heart! And I love that it takes approximately 2 minutes to get there. hehe.
Abyy is reading like a crazy woman, and that makes my heart happy. Lucy is reading Jane Eyre, which I thought might be a little too old/hard to read for her but she enjoys it. I know she will love it a lot more once hormones are pumping through her veins. bwahahaha.
Ty has had lots of work, and that is both good and bad. It's hard to see him crazy busy, but it definitely helps out this time of year.
In true annie fashion, I gave some horrendous gifts to friends. I thought they were so wonderful/funny, and then when I handed them out I had this awful gut feeling that it wasn't the right thing. Ugh. Gift giving is not my forte, but I'm working on it. I hope your home is filled with peace and love right now. Every night we have a fire, I curl up under a blanket and feel like I can make it another day. When I go to workout in the morning my beautiful tree greets me.
thoughts by Annie Leavitt at 9:04 AM
thoughts by Annie Leavitt at 1:00 AM
thoughts by Annie Leavitt at 2:33 PM
thoughts by Annie Leavitt at 6:30 AM
We made it. We survived the relentless heat that continued on clear through October. Ugh Ugh Ugh. And we barely survived hunting season. And birthdays are over until January. Exhale.
I love November. We have had a fire glowing from the fireplace almost every night, coats, mittens, pomegranates and thanks to my pruning and fertilizing,
Ty took me to the Balanchine Celebration performance at the Smith Center for my birthday. Nevada Ballet Theatre impressed and inspired. It was absolutely beautiful. Considering two of the ballets were choreographed in the 1930's and yet look effortllessly timeless, you can visually see and feel that man was a genius. A total scallywag, but a genius nonetheless. ;)
We finally, finally, finally! Took family pictures. I find this a good gauge of where my mental health barometer is, because I haven't wanted to, had the desire, motivation, or energy to take family pictures for THREE YEARS. The last time we took the pictures Rodney wasn't even one. Face palm. Our good friend and neighbor took them and I just love them. This is the only one I have seen so far, and I have no words. I can't believe this is my family.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, I love food and spending time with my family. I love reflecting on the past year and all of the many blessings I've witnessed. God is good.
thoughts by Annie Leavitt at 1:24 PM
thoughts by Annie Leavitt at 1:57 PM
I called to give him back. I called a week after having a tiny, furry terrorizing puppy in our home to give him back. He was nipping at the kids all day long, he was hyper (I thought he was mellow when bringing him home). It was just too much work, and I did not have an ounce of extra energy or attention for anything else. My plate was full.
Luckily we didn't give him back. It's been 18 months and our dog has turned into a great dog. And I can't believe I'm saying this, I even like him now. He's definitely not perfect, **be forewarned, he still humps everyone, we are working on this**. But besides the humping, and always flashing us his unit, ahem, he is essential to our house now. He watches over the kids, all.day.long. If they are outside, he is right there. He keeps constant property control, he knows who belongs at our house, and who is a stranger. He knows what time the girls come home from school and what time is too late to be in our driveway. This is priceless to me. He also is really scary when he's mad at someone on our property late at night. He waits at the bus stop with Phoebe, he goes on my runs with me, he even enjoys Ty's humongous hikes he goes on. He follows grandpa on his 4-wheeler and the girls on their bikes. He endures Rodney's constant poking, prodding, wrestling and body slams.
Most importantly he has outgrown barking at strange objects at 2am. For his first year if something was misplaced on the yard and he stumbled upon it he would turn into an ambulance siren. Alert! Alert! Something is in the yard!
One night it was a toddler bike.
Another night it was a work ladder and bucket ty had placed next to his truck.
Once we come out in our pajamas, and show him that no, it is not a ravenous coyote out to kill him or a criminal coming to butcher us, he calms down.
I'm so glad this doesn't happen anymore.
He loves grandma and grandpa. I think he might even have a greater love for them, as they spoil him just like grandparents do their grandkids. ha! They give him the best food and attention. He basically splits his time between the households like someone with joint custody.
And...he's religious. I say this because he has the greatest guilt complex I have ever seen an animal possess. If he has done something even remotely wrong you will know it. He cowers to the ground, he covers his eyes, he will army crawl 100ft to me when he knows he is supposed to heel but is in trouble. One time he was displaying all of his remorseful behaviors. I could tell he felt awful and even more guilty because he knew I hadn't yet seen the crime scene. An hour or so later I walked out to the trash and saw the dirty deed, he had opened a trash bag and pulled out probably 5-6 containers. But he had stopped there! I can only imagine the guilty thoughts going through his head as he played with the trash. "Mom is going to kill me. Mom is going to kill me." It's actually laughable when you think about it.
So if you are coming over to our house, we would love to see you! But look out for our humping and guilty complex ridden dog.
thoughts by Annie Leavitt at 2:39 PM
The new season of Daniel Tiger is on Netflix. This is a big deal in our house. I love that show, and find myself singing the songs all the time in the midst of a terrible tantrum or chaotic battle over dinner. "You've got to try new foods 'cuz they might taste gooooood!". And, "If you get so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath...and count to 4!" I'll admit I might have tried to use some of these on Ty. Bah!
A few things about this new season:
That lady just doesn't exist.
thoughts by Annie Leavitt at 9:32 AM
thoughts by Annie Leavitt at 9:12 AM
I will admit, the first month without my iPhone was tough, tough, tough. I second guessed my choice several times, I mourned, I was angry, I bargained, I was in denial. All of it.
After a month things started to get better and better, and they just haven't stopped. I knew I had a lot of addictive behaviors when it came to my phone, namely INSTAGRAM, pinterest and TEXTING. But I never realized that life was moving faster than I could keep up. Which kept me in a constant flustered state. Like a camera that can never focus until you slow down, that was my daily life.
I've had some time to reflect and I would say the top 5 bonuses of not having a smart phone are these:
1. BETTER MEMORY. my memory is getting better. appointments, phone numbers, dates. no joke, after several weeks the digital cobwebs are clearing and i feel more present every day. my brain clouded with social media in my pocket all the time and my face in my phone. now i feel the temperature of the room differently, the sunset, my children's faces, people's voices, my clothes, even reading is different.
2. SLEEP. I sleep sounder. I wake up more alert. I am less cranky. What's not to love about that?
3. TIME. I have SO MUCH FLIPPING TIME ON MY HANDS. I'm not even joking. Laundry? Yes, I have time to fold and put away. Talk on the phone with a good friend? Yup, I have time for that and can fold the laundry at the same time. Manage emails, write on the blog? Yes and yes. I would say without my smart phone I have at least 1-2 extra hours a day. Yikes. I'm reading about a book a week holla! That makes my heart so happy.
|some of my favorite reads lately, obviously in a self help phase.|
4. FREEDOM. I am not a slave to technology. I can run errands, drive on vacation, watch a movie with my kids, take a walk, go on a dinner date without thinking about posting it, or thinking about what other people are doing. Is that a cute photo? I hardly ever think that anymore. Selfies? No more my friends. Just doesn't work with a nikon lol. But guess what? More people died this year from SELFIES than from SHARK ATTACKS. When will we wake up? Sharks, that eat small dolphins for snacks are SAFER THAN SELFIES. What the hell is happening to our society?
thoughts by Annie Leavitt at 3:54 PM
|these were the fluffiest marshmallow clouds against a pure blue sky, |
a pure maynard dixon painting
on the other hand, for the majority of the time we don't wait long enough for a project or undertaking to fully ripen. we bail because it is just taking too long and seems like it will never work out. we quit because, heaven forbid, it is too hard. we want the easy route. we want to fit in, we don't want to stick out holding on and working on to something that is different, undesirable by the masses or doesn't even look like fruit at all.
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us
There's a time for us,
Some day a time for us,
Time together with time spare,
Time to learn, time to care,
We'll find a new way of living,
We'll find a way of forgiving
Somewhere . . .
There's a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we're halfway there.
Hold my hand and I'll take you there
thoughts by Annie Leavitt at 7:15 AM
It was still a great trip for the kids. I didn't get any good photos of the camping spot or going to Cave lake (which was sweltering by the way) or their off road trip, but the highlight for our kids and what they can't stop talking about was riding on the steam engine train in Ely, Nevada (again...HOT). We meandered throughout the HOT museum and then rode the train for a little over an hour. The kids loved it, especially the open air car with benches. Ty's favorite part was the 2 bucks they saw, I think that was Grandpa Rod's favorite part too. Here are some photos I snapped along the way:
I thought Ely was fascinating. I had only visited before for high school soccer games, seeing the older parts of town and the train row houses was fun. We even spied a few brothels (go nevada!). The train passes by many old mines (Ely was a mining town) and one where it collapsed and around 100 chinese migrant workers were lost and never found. Apparently Stephen King was doing a cross country Nevada motorcycle trip and was fascinated so much that he filmed and based his book "Desperation" on. Interesting factoids like that totally excited me. Thanks mom.
thoughts by Annie Leavitt at 11:40 AM