Monday, December 07, 2009


I stayed home the other day (my first sick day on my new job) fighting a huge headache and body aches. I spent the day in a heavily medicated sleep (only the strongest over-the-counter cold/flu medicine will do). I briefly thought about posting that day, but...why? It was the first time I'd had a few moments guilt-free to lie around and just really not care that the house was a disaster and that the kids were fixing themselves all manner of junk food in the kitchen. There's always tomorrow.

So (once the fog clears and the kitchen's remotely clean) what does one write about, when one hasn't written in weeks?

Hmm. Well, for one thing, seasons. Yep. That's the best way I can describe our family as we've adjusted to my w-w-w-working (see, I can almost say it!). It's a new season around here. It's been three full months now. We're letting go of some old things and learning to embrace some new ones. Figuring out what works and what doesn't. Doing some evaluating of what's important. Or not.

I'm not gonna's been tough. For me, a One-Ring-Circus kind of gal, suddenly managing a full-time job, five kids (four of them in sports this fall), all while staying on top of the house and laundry (insert canned laughter here - like that's really going to happen!).

To be honest, I have spent an inordinate amount of time making myself miserable. Wishing for things to orderly, predictable. And right now, they're just...NOT. Wanting to be able to pick up the slack for my family, but right now, I just...can't. Wanting to have unending energy. But I just don't have it.

It's through these times you go back to what's important. Dennis and I had our heart-to-heart (read: he listened while I bawled my eyes out) a couple of weeks ago. We always seem to have those at the end of sports seasons or school semesters, when we're all exhausted, grumpy, and too brain-dead to have a rational conversation like normal people. When we've been running around passing each other but not really communicating. It all gets bottled up, and then one day when I just don't have time for this (usually around midnight), I explode in a fury of tears. I know, I know, not healthy. But after 24 years of marriage, in its own dysfunctional way, it must be working for us. He knows to just wait for it.

So I blubbered and he talked about work and kids and marriage and never-ending house issues and Christmas and whose idea it was to have three kids in December and how on earth are we going to get all this done. That sort of thing. We didn't solve much, mostly because you can't solve things that are part of life and are just tough.

But you can go through them together.

So we are back on the same page, talking. That feels good. Things are slowing down a bit (only two in sports now for basketball season) and on the horizon I can almost taste three weeks off for Christmas....

Meanwhile, over Thanksgiving break I started a new project. Even Dennis agrees it is cheaper and more practical than going to therapy. Hey, and I may even get it done by summer: our sun room.

Here it is in the lovely 80s shades of hunter green, dutch blue and, maroon (Hey, haven't we seen that color before? And my, hasn't Ruthie grown in a year?):
It only took me three tries (plus primer) to find this color (Sherwin Williams - Tiger Eye). I can't seem to catch the light right, but when I do I will post a cleaned up version...
And we've had some firsts around here.

The little girls got to ride in a "float" in Small Town's Christmas (yes, Christmas) parade.
Libby-11 played in her first band concert.
And Neal-15 is, well, FIFTEEN. Today is his birthday, and he managed to drive me home for the very first time today with his shiny new driver's permit. Yes, I am all in one piece. Have I told you lately how much I love that boy?Yes, this has been a tough season for us, but it's also been one filled with beauty and unimaginable joy.


Maureen said...

It is so good to hear from you Katherine! I will keep you and your family in my prayers as you trudge through this new season in life. I am certain you are doing an amazing job. Keep your chin up and remember that it is a season. Happy Birthday to Neal! I hope you enjoy every well deserved minute of your Christmas vacation!
God Bless you!

Dr.Kim said...

Thanks for reminding me that seasons are only temporary, and not here to stay. I just had my fifth baby 3 months ago, and my oldest is only 6 1/2. Needless to say, this is TOUGH. it's a LOT harder than I expected, and it's not easing up as I thought it would by now. BUT, I must remind myself that this will not last forever, and that someday they will be bigger. One day at a time for now is all I can manage.

ET @ Titus2:3-5 said...

Katherine, how I have missed you in my cyber-world!

I have never been able to wrap my head around how working moms manage all their duties. But I know that in your days of feeling crazy, you've got an organizer inside just waiting to coordinate it all! Pull out those awesome chore charts you provide us with and start filling in the boxes with six names other than your own!

Praying that you find moments of quiet and special family times, even (no, especially) during this season.

Bless you!

jennibell said...

Reading this reminds me that there are others in the world like me. We get overwhelmed and then we have these incredible partners who sit and listen and still love us when the tantrum is over. You said not much was solved, but sometimes I think just SAYING everything out loud, and knowing I was heard, is in some part solving the problem. We know we are on the same page. And only then can solutions start to present themselves. Enjoy this CHRISTmas season and know that He is walking through this with you.
And home improvement is a GREAT substitution for therapy!!! Love the new color :)

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

I love hearing from you! Hope you're feeling better by now.
Love how you describe you blubbering while your husband listens. Totally what happens at my house and I always feel so much better:)

Andrea said...

Hang in there, Katherine--you'll get through this tough season. It sounds like you've got the right perspective. and you are right, in tough seasons, you do find out what really matters.
It sounds like painting your walls is good therapy for you. Hope you can get some house stuff done over the holidays! LOVE-->Andrea

Mom2BeautifulGirl said...


First off, you have a beautiful family.

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who completely falls apart at the end of stressful times. You sound just like me. I also totally understand the "no energy to do anything except function". The end of my pregnancy brought about a lack of energy and desire that I've never really felt before. It did pass but it was difficult in the middle of it all.

Take care and know that this time will pass quickly.

You are in my thoughts.

Nicole said...

Oh, 3 kids have birthdays in December? I'm sorry! Keep looking forward to that 3 week break, hopefully it will refresh you and get you ready for next year!

Mommahen said...

I CAN NOT believe how much Neal has changed in the course of one year. His picture this year from last year--goodness! Mine will be 14 years old in March and I can't even imagine driving, but your post reminds me that it's just around the corner.

I'm so glad someone else breaks down at the end of the fall season. This year as I was blubbering to my hubby he said, "it's been this way every season. We'll talk when it's over."
Of course I know he loves me, and he was semi kidding, but when you only get 15 minutes before bed to communicate it can wear on you!

Enjoy your holiday. I'm so proud for you and how you press on--whether you want to or not. How that must please the Lord. And remember Psalm 18:32. Love ya my cyber-friend.

Faerylandmom said...

This may sound terrible, but I LOVE that you haven't written in weeks...

It's nice to know that someone with a real life, like me, is still attempting to write something of substance once in awhile, like me. :-)

I am so glad you chose to share, and that room looks lovely!

Michelle- This One's for the Girls said...

Hey Katherine--

I'm still reading you! And boy, can I relate with this post. I have never felt MORE lilke our life was out of control. 5 kids ages 4-18-- a new move-- one graduating in May and... HEAD LICE.

Thanks for the real post. Misery loves company!


Angela said...

Wow...when I think my load is heavy I will pray for have one more kid and work fulltime, I am part-time and only have's hard deserve those breakdown moments and I think sometimes we need those moments...I had one just a few weeks ago myself.
Press on my friend and Merry Christmas!

Debbie said...

Katherine, I am right there with you. I get to this time of year every year and I think I just can't take another step. And of course I always think "what's wrong with me?". It's nice to get someone else's perspective on those feelings of being overwhelmed. This job of being a mom is tough, but it is also filled with many moments of overwhelming joy. Thanks for sharing your heart. I will be praying for you. Merry Christmas and Happy birthdays to all. We also have 2 birthdays in December, mine and child #2. BTW, I have opted for therapy since I can't paint. Oh well! Still gets the job done.

Cassandra said...

I so relate to "wanting to pick up the slack for your family...but can't" the end of every semester, I am so wiped out and just totally down on myself for not being able to be everything to everybody...thank you for checking in and being so honest and open. We just love you. :)

Ginger@chirgies said...

SO good to 'catch up' with you. Hang in there!!! Hugs.

Chrystal said...

Hi Katherine! I have not been in blogland for some time. I decided to visit some "old friends" tonight and let me just say...your "post" on seasons is just what the doctor ordered. I needed to know that life is just life sometimes and that rough/bumpy times are OK. I'm in the midst of the "little people" and feeling a bit pooped. Thanks for your transparency. It really helped me to feel as though I'm OK. Hope to stop by more often...Chrystal

Beck said...

Katherine, you're in my thoughts so much! Obviously I haven't made the blog rounds in a while, and I'm sorry that things are so BUSY for you right now - but the line about having someone to go through hard times with really spoke to me. I've been so grateful for Bill this past year, and things are much better now for us - and now I have this brand new knowledge that I have someone who has my back during hard times, someone to go through hard times with. Lovely!