Tuesday, February 18, 2014

As I Am

Okay, so my last post was melancholy at best, Ariel-esque spoiled at worst.  Yikes.  Still, it was helpful to formulate some of the thoughts that had been buzzing through my consciousness and validate them.  I think if I allow myself to dream of greener pastures, I unconditionally will.  Simultaneously, I could never deny that I live an incredibly cushy, nerf-life.

I still plan to reconcile my conflicting emotional narratives.  For instance, in an attempt to curb some of my materialism, vanity, envy, and other such "thick of thin things," I'm setting down some concrete ground rules for myself.  I actually introduced them to the kids, as well, though I won't enforce it with them since they don't have money to buy anything and honestly rarely want to buy stuff anyway.  I'm the problem here.

Before I make any unnecessary purchase, it must meet at least one of the following criteria:

1. I've had it on my shopping list for a long time and have not wavered.
2. It's ridiculously cheap.  And I mean reeeediculous.
3. It is so indescribably beautiful and perfect that I can't imagine being quite so happy without it.

Yeah, preferably all three criteria.  And then, if I do deem the item worthy of purchase, directly upon arriving home and nuzzling it into some now-much-brighter corner of my home, I am also required to remove two similar items from my home.  Yep, straight to the thrift store donation box.  The two removed items must be as similar to the newly-purchased item as possible.  This is to prevent me from buying more ballet flats and justifying it by tossing out old socks.

Ellie and Erik seemed a little concerned about the equation I was presenting.  Erik lamented, "But then soon we'll have NO toys left!"  Ellie, on the other hand, resolved to sell those pairs of less-wanted items at a garage sale to earn money for a new guinea pig, and confidently asserted, "Well, then I'm going to start buying lots of new stuff right away!"  Yeah, we'll need to review the math, but I'm pretty pleased with the prospects.

I haven't made an unnecessary purchase since creating this new plan last week, so I think so far, so good!   Also, I realize this plan mostly addresses materialism, but I'm hoping it will spill into the territory of some of my other vices.  A girl can only hope.

In other news, my family continues to be my most tremendous source of cuteness and pitter-patterings of the heart.

Ellie has been learning to sew, cook, and clean like a champ lately.  I think she's trying to replace me, and I'm just pleased as puddin' 'n pie.

Kyle's mom gifted tickets to the Children's Theater to Ellie and me for Christmas and the performance was everything we dreamed it'd be and more.  Seriously.

Erik continues to see the world through a scientific lens, sometimes literally.  He adores Ellie's microscope and wishes only for a telescope for his birthday.  (Congratulations, Tiff, for finding one for 70% off at Target after Christmas.)

We were all a bit disappointed that the lion's mouth drinking fountain was out-of-order, but Erik took it the hardest.

Mish gifted Kyle a FryDaddy electric fryer for Christmas and our taste buds and muffin top just couldn't be more robust as a result.  One night our family was identifying Kyle's homemade hush puppies as creatures.  Ellie called hers a bird.  Charlie declared his a whale.  Millie's was a fox.  "Mine looks like a polyp," said Erik.  The ocean coral variety, not the kind you have removed after a colonoscopy.  Ahem.

Charlie and I were recently talking about emotions and I asked him to tell me something that makes him angry.  Without missing a beat, he replied, "when people don't follow me."  Indeed.  He can't really handle not being a leader, though much of the time all he's trying to lead is his own (sometimes naughty) ideas into full fruition.

Charlie beams and excels at school.  So many people there to lead, I guess.

In many ways, he's just as challenging to raise as he was three years ago.  I recently was given the compelling advice to "never tell a stubborn child what to do."  I'm trying to work on using enforceable statements with him, but I find myself often lacking in leverage.  After all, there are only so many weapons to confiscate.

Millie is two.  We love her even when she calls us "bap."  That would be her version of "bad."  With no exceptions, she corrects us by declaring herself a "big girl" when we call her "baby girl," but I won't stop until she ceases to melt my heart with her smallness.  Or until we have a smaller baby, whichever comes first.

She's still a baby, right?  RIGHT?!

And Kyle is ever my rock.  I plan to keep him around until I'm as generous and forgiving as he is, and then I'll keep him around some more.  Ingrid, as usual, says it best: "I love the way you say "good morning," and you take me as I am."  He takes me as I am, and I couldn't ask for more.



Thomas Family said...

Oh Tiff. You are the best. I love you. :) I love that you are constantly trying to be a better version of you. I could use a bit of your soul searching. :) I too have been feeling the need for simplicity and yet besought on every side by all the things I don't have. There are so many voices and I have been working to listen carefully to the only one that i know will fill me with contentment with who I am, who I can help, what I need, what I don't need, and what I can give to others in need. Delving into my scriptures has helped so much. Still working on it and I'm sure I will be forever. Thanks for your words. Your family is beautiful!!

Heather said...

Oh how I love your posts you amazing writer! Craig got a fry daddy for Christmas too and has been loving it ever since. Although now he expects to fry something every week which goes completely against my health conscience mindset. I guess we can just off set it with green smoothies. ;)