Thursday, March 24, 2011

Read My Diary.

I'm looking back today. Some observations, reflection--

a deliberation, if you will.

Allow me to share my severely chaotic thoughts, in a hopefully non-jumbled way.

Perhaps you know,

that this wall is a remembrance of the places we've lived. It's to remind us of the places we've been and the people we've met,

but also, it's a memento to what we've done.

Perchance you know that some of these places were lived in for as short as 4 months, and some of them as much as 2 years.

You might not know that during our stay in Indiana, we lived in a teensy weensy little 2 bedroom apartment with only a card table and chairs and bean bags.

It was easy to clean. But it kinda sucked. No, not "kinda". And it's a long story, and while that doesn't matter, what does matter,

is that I've forgotten.

We moved. We sacrificed. There was a point to it all. It was fun. It was rewarding. And it was super hard.

It was lonely, as you can imagine, living in a new town-- no car, little little kidlets, a hubby who worked nonstop, not knowing a soul in a new state.

Then up and moving to do it all again. 4 babies. 5 years. 6 moves.

But back to what I forgot. I've forgotten that we're now settled. That we live close to family. That we now actually live in a home of our own, and we love our house. And all that sacrifice made little house projects here and there possible.

And I've been an ungrateful bastage. I'm a whiner by nature.

If I held both lives in each hand and weighed them, the one I'm in right now surely comes out on top. So I better start acting like it.

So here's my personal reminder:

for the drudgery of moving, for the loneliness, for the mommy with the little kidlets that every random stranger made a comment about, and darn it, for just making it through,

Here's to being happy, in the now. Right now.


Dede said...

Wow...I had no idea you'd moved so much! This post makes me so happy! Thank you for your lovely words.

Joanna said...

What a beautiful, heart-felt post. Thanks for letting us peek in. You are a beautiful woman.

Jessie said...

Oh, Mandi! I can SO relate! Remember when I hung out with you once or twice in those crapjoints? It was all so worth it. Thanks for reminding me!

Lisa said...

I totally agree with you and sometimes I have to give myself a little kick in the pants and remind myself to enjoy and be grateful for today. I love this post and your big heart. And all your babies are so cute!
PS I just yesterday found a site that calculates latitude & longitude so I could make a "home" sign, and there you go freaking me out again. Are yours the LLBean version? Love that you have all the places you've called home on your wall.

calikas said...

Ah, so very very true. I can't stand moving, I can't imagine doing it so many times with the little ones. I bet it feels so amazing to finally have a place of your own, and that you knew when you were unpacking, that you wouldn't have to pack up again for a long long time.

Heidi@TheCraftMonkey said...

I LOVE what those signs represent! What an awesome reminder of your life and blessings!

Heidi@TheCraftMonkey said...

and sacrifices! {darnit, hit enter too soon!}

Layne Bushell said...

that made me cry!

Renee said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the reminder. Days after we got married we moved to Canada (I'm from Ohio) where I knew practically no one and it's been five years with only 3 family members close by. Two of which are in their 80's. It's been H.A.R.D. My family is 20 hours one way, my husband's family is 15 hours the OTHER way.

BUT... this is my life. And I too whine a tad more than necessary... and needed the "wake up and be thankful" smack that ya gave me!

Gracious girl... moving so often with little kidlings would NOT be a walk in the park... so hat's off to you! AND that you're marriage is still in tact and thriving, is SO SO SO wonderful!

Thanks again!

And you look FAB-U-LOUS by the way... 4 kids?!? Ya'd never know it!!!! :)

Emily said...

This is an awesome post! You are so awesome to have done all of that moving and still be sane!

WhettenWild said...

I've been trying to learn that lesson for the past 6 years. Just when I think I am on to something.......I move again and things don't go as smoothly as I would like =)

PEACHES said...

OMgoodness, I just stumbled in and finding all sorts of goodies!

Cookie for you for making it through the hard times. Oh hell, take the whole cookie jar. You deserve it!

sam said...

I can so relate to this post, thanks for sharing.

BTW, I think I need some of those signs. Where did you get them? :)

John and Clara Balsmeier said...

I can totally relate to this!!! My husband and I have been married for eight years and have moved 11 times!! I am getting ready to have baby number 5 and only two of them were brought home to the same place. That's only because they are 15mos apart. Life soooo has not been what we have expected, but we have grown through the hard times and have had some really great times. Thanks for sharing a bit of your experience.

PS I also have three boys (possibly four soon) and one princess that puts up with them. Actually, she just uses them as her minions right now. That might change when they realize that she is just bossy and they don't actually have to do what she says.

Leslie@leserleeslovesandhobbies said...

Thanks for the reminder! I've lived a charmed married life, such that my DH bought our house before we even started dating. And we haven't had to go through lots of moves and tears (wait, scratch the tears, I hated this town for the first three years I lived here) so I should consider myself blessed. However, I wish I could have a remembrance wall like that. I'm trying to find things to decorate our house that have meaning, instead of just buying something in the store because it's pretty. Maybe someday I'll become a world traveler and have a wall like that.

Dara Lynn said...

Thank you for reminding me to stay in the now!

Sylvia said...

I wish I'd known you while you were in Houston. You are so funny, talented and now you're grateful to boot!

Yup. Wish I'd known but thankful I can read all about it and see your ragin' talent on yer blog!

Great post!

Teri said...

What a heartfelt post. I didn't realize that you've had such a chaotic few years (in terms of constant changes, not in the out-of-control sense). I am so glad to know that you're settled and happy. :)

jenn said...

Your post could have been written about my life. Minus the four kiddlets... I've just got one. We've moved 5 times in 7 years. I can't wait till I can set up furniture and know that it wont need to be moved just when I get it the way I want it. Thanks for being inspiring and funny. :)

Jen said...

I really should make you a SUPERMOMMY/WIFE cape!!! Moving once isn't easy to do, let alone 6 times in 5 years, as you're birthing and raising children! I am on my knees, bowing down to you. ;)

THANK YOU for your sweet reminder to enjoy the here and now. Why is that so easily lost in the chaotic havoc we call life?

Jen said...'ve gotta hear this funny:

I was just sitting here looking at your pictures again, and my second youngest son walks in, points to the picture of you in the cathedral and says, "MOM!!! That must be a really old picture waaaaay back when you were skinny!"'s the hair! From the back, our hair looks the same. =) As for the rest of me, well, most of it, I have prednisone to "thank" for that. GRRRRRRRR! Poor kid. He felt REALLY bad when I told him that wasn't me. He even teared up.

Andrea@Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

Some days I think I ought to just buy a tepee and a whole bunch of paper plates. It'd be a bunch easier :) But you know what, I'm with ya!! Happy right here, right now.

I've got a big smile on my face. . . Can you see it?! ;)

Carla Sue said...

Hey! I'm from Fort Wayne?! Sorry it seemed to suck for you! I love love love your wall! However, I'm fairly certain if my husband and I tried to implement that, it would have one sign and look really dumb! It's always good to count our blessings though. It makes the grumpy stuff seem much less important!

slommler said...

Amen sista!!! It is all in the 'tude!!!!
Great memories and love the pics!

Creative Decor by Brooke said...

Been there, done that. Looking back sure brings on the gratitute. I know what you mean. So grateful to be where I am now. Thanks for the reflection.

Amie said...

I enjoyed your post. It is good to let yourself remember - it helps you appreciate God's Blessings in your life.

I too love your wall idea and thought - COOL I can do that! I need to make 10 for the last 16 years... Not sure I have the energy! :) But only the last four included kiddos. That makes it a TON harder.

Thank you for the reminder to appreciate God's Blessings in MY life!

Halls Huddle said...

I, for one, am very glad you settled here! I love ya!!!

Marissa said...

I saw a picture of your signs on Pinterest and had to click through to read the post. I'm originally from Fort Wayne and through a series of moves (both as a child and as a married adult) I now live in Houston. Knowing the story I really want to make some now. However, if I did this with all the places I've lived I might need two walls! But thanks for the reminder to enjoy it. My hubbie and I always say, "Next time we move, we're going to do it right and...." because we know it's inevitable that eventually we'll move and there is something we want to change. But everytime we move, we look back and remember with fondness the places and times in our lives. Even if the times were tough and some of the places were less than desirable. Thanks for the reminder to be grateful!

Keely said...

Stumbled here via Pinterest as well and - LOVE this idea and post and blog. :) We're currently in Bakersfield (nine years here and time for a transfer) and considering all the places we can go - international is a strong option, but so is Houston, Pittsburgh, New Orleans. I'm thinking I'd like to copy you and get signs like these made because it looks like we'll be traveling a lot. :)

Katie said...

We move a lot too and I love love love this idea! Can you share where you got those signs? Thanks!

Joy Tilton said...

Found you on Pinterest... the signs and they are perfect for us! We've been transferred many times and lucky enough to have been able to travel too so I am making these for our family room! They will almost cover a wall I'm thinking. Love your blog... come visit me on Granny Mountain in Arkansas!

The Southbay Newlyweds said...

where did you get these signs? love them!