On Moving

There’s been a lot of change going on around here.  Getting children.  Moving.  And I keep thinking about this blog of mine.

I haven’t been writing because I don’t know what to write.  I’m a SAHM now, whatever that really means, and to be honest my life is starting to revolve around my family (and Jesus) more than anything else.  But because I’m so passionate about keeping my kids off the internet, it’s getting hard to write about what’s really going on around here.  And honestly, when that’s all I want to write about, the other stuff just doesn’t get out.

Plus, not writing about anything means I’m not writing anything anywhere.  And that’s not really the point either.

I hate that this blog takes up too much of my thinking space.  I hate feeling guilty when I’m not writing.  I hate that I have to look at my stats or wonder how to get more readers or wonder why I feel the need to get more readers.  Remember, I started blogging way back when blogs were just blogs.  Now it’s all about how to get readers and work with brands and make money, and I’m not into that.  At all.

But having this blog is making me obsess over things like that.  And I don’t like it.  And my husband doesn’t like it.  So I’m officially quitting blogging as it’s known today.  I’m done.  Sure, I might come back, but really I’m finished with all this internet world is in to right now.  It’s a space I don’t like to be in or like myself when I’m in it.

I also went through a lot these last few months.  For a while my husband and I felt like we were being attacked by Satan in a lot of ways–in his job, in our church family, in our marriage.  A lot of things I said on this blog were taken in a way not meant to be at all (and I’ve tried really hard not to be so controversial!) and all this started happening right when we brought our children home.  It’s incredibly difficult to describe what went on during these last few months.  But after things started happening I decided that my kids’ first experience of Jesus should not be from people who are aggravated with us as leaders or with people taking out their frustrations on us.  They’ve had plenty of years to experience evil, and they’ll have plenty of times when they come across Christians who are struggling in their sin.  But their first experience should not be what was happening.

I feel this desire to shield them and protect them and keep them away from all this.  As much as I’m hating Texas right now, I can’t help but sigh with relief that we won’t be running into birth family at the supermarket or someone ready to yell at me while I’m dropping off a package at the grocery store.  There are no reminders of what they went through down here and we’ve left behind almost all of what our hurt stems from (and what is left is mostly found online).  I not only want to shield them, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel like holing up into my little space with my family for a time for us all to heal.

But…I’m a writer.  And I have a terrible memory.  And I enjoy this “space” that I can call my own and “decorate” how I want.  So I created a new blog (my 7th? blog) for just my family.  It’s all about our adventures to the Children’s Museum and how we like to eat ice cream in our car seats.  It’s incredibly boring but I love it there.  My plan is to keep it more of an online journal style with something I can print out later.  I want to make our US IN updates into photo books, and start taking (amateurish) monthly portraits of the kiddies and print those, too.

I’ve made lots of friends on this ol’ blog.  And the only reason I’m writing this is because I’m incredibly grateful of your kind words through all our struggles, whether you know them or not.  I’ve loved your own adoption stories and your advice in different situations. So I’m going to invite you to this blog, too.  Knowing that it’s not searchable to the public.  I can’t promise it won’t be terribly boring, but boy it will be terribly lovely.  And safe.

Hope to see you there sometime.

–Caitlin

Writings elsewhere

I’ve been having the urge to write, write, and write some more. And then my spacebar broke and now I have to specifically touch the little round sensor button to put in spaces.  So my 95wpm just slowed to about 30wpm.  womp womp

So instead of my own writing, I’ll share some others with you:

via

An interesting read on “productivity porn.”

On how you don’t have to quit the internet.  (A relief for me, I might add.)

Two things we must stop saying about adoption. Actually, all his posts are excellent.

A TEDtalk on anxiety in parenting.

A day in the life of homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way.  A topic on my heart and mind recently.

A peer review of Jon Green’s Looking for Alaska. I personally think he gives the book too much credit, but it’s by far the least gushiest “I love everything Green because of TFIOS” review out there.

Us in June

Yes, I know, a whole two months behind.  But I want to get it in the archives anyway.

DSCN7441I actually have no picture of us from this month.  So here’s this one.  Which was taken in June.  Two years ago.

June was a full month, but mostly I can’t remember a whole lot about it at this point.

In June:

We kept up visits with our daughters until the 12th, when we picked them up for the final time.  Such an awesome experience I will always treasure and never write about.

The husband began feeling major tugs from God to take our life in a new and different direction.

School ended and I was out of a job.

Gammer and Mawmaw came for a visit to meet their (great) granddaughters.

We had a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of clingy toddler syndrome, and a lot of time was spent on the potty.  A LOT.

The days were a complete blur of newness and transition.  I may not remember specifics, but I do remember feeling excited, anxious, nervous, and overwhelmed all at the same time.  I still do.  But at least the fog is lifting and life is starting to be really enjoyed.

 

Us in May

Yes, I know, a whole two months behind.  But I want to get it in the archives anyway.

DSCN9396Sorry, you don’t get the real picture since I can’t censor my kids’ faces out and it not be a photo of feet.  So instead you get this awesome pic of us bike riding on our anniversary weekend. 

May was freakin’ awesome.

In May:

We went on a marriage retreat which will forever change us, our marriage, and how we view things.  (Dramatic, maybe.  But oh so very true.)

We met our children for the first time.  And it was weird.  And amazing.  And then we visited them for the rest of the month.

We were married four years!  So we celebrated with a long weekend in Cape Cod with delicious seafood, a bike ride, lots of ice cream, a jacuzzi tub, and book browsing.

We cut our anniversary trip a few hours short so we could pick up our girls and take them to the zoo.

We had our first all day visit with them, and seeing them see their room for the first time was really cool.  Well, it was cool to see big’s.  Little had no idea where she was or what was happening.

I nested my heart out of our house.  We got their room completely finished, our room re-made over, and shifted around some furniture to fit our new family. 

Cheers to you May.  Man you were great.

Life Lately

Last time I posted this sort of update it was April.  Oh my how life has changed.  And yet, it is so similar.

On going paleo:

So far, not so good.  It’s hard to get back on track when you have two children whose eating habits have already been somewhat established.  So I feel like we’re buying food for us and food for them, and some days it’s really just a lot easier to eat what their eating.  But we’re making great strides in both of their eating habits.  I think corn, black beans, rice, and soy sauce are going to be here to stay, but really if that’s ever the only “non-paleo” foods we eat, I’m fine with that.  We’re just going to take it one day at a time.

she's eating octopus stew, which is hot dogs and v8 juice. but at least there's vegetables...

she’s eating octopus stew, which is hot dogs and v8 juice. but at least there’s vegetables…

On another note, I just read Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar and OMG it freaked me out.  Did you know how much sugar is in everything?  Like a banana?  I was thinking of doing her 8 week detox, but honestly I love paleo, and since the husband has lost 30+ pounds and is off three medications, and since it took me so very long to get him to be on board, I think we’ll just start by limiting our fruit intake and continue to go refined-sugar free.  Well, mostly free, since having kids who love Pirate’s Booty and pretzels makes it hard.

On Adoption:

It’s no surprise by now that I met my kids and they’re living with us.  How’s it going?  That’s the question I get asked the most frequently.  And my answer is:  We’re all still alive.  And really, that’s just about all I have to say on that subject right now.

On the job:

My new job is MOM, a title I always wanted, never thought I would have, and hated the idea of it being full-time.  God is humbling me in so many ways–motherhood is just one.  And honestly, it’s hard work

little one turned two!  so my first job as mom was to throw a party.

little one turned two! so my first job as mom was to throw a party.

On books:

I recently picked up a no-good YA book whose name I won’t mention, and that was the last one that I’ve read in a while.  Unless you count I Quit Sugar.  I think it’s just a matter of finding that balance–it’s not that I don’t have time to read, it’s that when I get time I usually spend it doing things like checking facebook or watching tv.  I’m working on re-prioritizing though.

On the summer days:

Summer is flying by.  But in a very rich, fulfilling type of way.  And knowing I don’t have a job to go back to for a while is really uplifting and freeing.  I don’t have to worry about preparing anything, doing anything, being anywhere at a certain time.  So I get to enjoy my days knowing that if we don’t make some museum exhibit or free pass day, I can just hit it up again later.

My main priority is to just expose the girls to a variety of things and see what their interests are.  Besides walking around with a doll in their arms, nothing keeps their interest for any length of time (even books!! alas!).  So we’re hitting up free nights at the children’s museum, zoo days, the library storytimes, free concerts on the park, movies on the beach, pool swimming, beach going, etc.  So far, nothing is sticking, although they very much enjoy all the activities.  But except for playing in their $8 pool in the backyard, I haven’t gotten any other requests for a repeat activity.

our pretty-much-private pond beach

our pretty-much-private pond beach

On the blog:

I told you yesterday how I’m never going to be a good blogger, and really I’m okay with that.  But I also said that I need to figure out how to put me back into the equation, and I’m finding that writing–not blogging–but writing about anything and everything is helping a lot to work through this transition.

Motherhood is hard work.

I posted this photo and caption for #fridayintroductions with Naptime Diaries and The Tiny Twig on Instagram the other day.

Here’s my #fridayintroductions . I’m Caitlin and four weeks ago I became a mother to two girls, 4&2, through adoption. And it’s weird and stressful and straining and hard. So what do I need to grow in? Motherhood. Half the time I don’t know what I’m doing or how to do it, and I’m finding myself in a weird transition from the never ending “me time” to the constant screams of “mama!!” It’s a role I am so very humbled by and grateful to be a part of, and yet it’s a role that needs a lot more attention and work than I’m currently giving it. #thefrostsadopt.

And woah, was the response so overwhelming.

So hats off to all you strangers who felt the need to give me a pat on the back and some reassurance that I’m doing okay.  As a first time mother who doesn’t hear it that often, it sure felt good.

But here’s the main problem.  You all know I quite my job over a year ago, and being a substitute doesn’t lend itself to constant socializing like you’d think, so I’ve been quite alone for very long stretches of the day for over a year.  And now, I’m not.  Ever.  I pee with two other girls sitting on their own potties.  I take a shower with two little girls playing in the bathroom.  Even when the husband takes over bath or bedtime to give me a break, all I hear is “Mommy look!!” or “Caitlin come here!!”

Going from all day everyday to absolutely nothing has been really really hard.  I don’t struggle with wanting to be on the internet or phone or watching tv instead of wanting to be with my kids.  I genuinely want to be very present in their lives.  I struggle with wanting to be in my own head to process things.  But I can’t.

I’m struggling with finding time to do the things I like to do.  Like sewing projects or writing blogs or reading books–things that make me inspired to do more than just get through the day and things that keep me motivated through the menial tasks.

And because I’m all about the practicality in intentional living, I’m putting together this list of things that should (hopefully) help me, and if you’re a new mom or a seasoned mom, then hopefully it will help you, too.

  • These two posts are probably some of the more useful and practical posts on motherhood that I’ve read so far:  Pancakes and Perspective & The Three Things Concept
  • Annapolis & Company’s new series on “Steady Days” is inspiring me to look at motherhood more intentionally.  I even got up an hour earlier than I had to this morning (so I could finish this post I started on Saturday).  And I’ve already ordered the book.
  • I also joined When at Home‘s Thrive Intentionally Facebook group. Less so for accountability and more so to read about how other ladies are also struggling with their lives.  I’m glad to know I’m not alone!
  • I’m working on recreating my “work” space.  We had to rearrange the furniture to fit our children, so my beautiful vintage desk is out in the open and we keep piling a bunch of junk on it and never cleaning it.  So one of my goals this week is to clear it out and make it pretty and usable with inspiration from this board.
  • I’m also perusing an inspiring list of projects with the hopes to pick out a simple, easy one to complete in order to get me back in the swing of things.  I guess first I have to actually clean my house though.
  • I’ve been wanting to make pulled pork forever.  (I have no idea why.)  So today I’m making this recipe, calling it a project, and marking it off my list very satisfactorily.
  • And I’m forcing myself to write more blog posts.  Some will be good, some won’t, some will be short, some won’t.  I don’t care about quality right now, because I care about the practice of it.  Getting back into writing is very much like getting into a habit of creating, which is what I’m needing right now

So there.  I’m hoping to read, work, and start doing some practical, intentional things to get my life in “order,” to create some sort of routine or schedule, and to help all four of us live a little more intentionally, a little more fuller, and a little more happier.

When I woke up today, it definitely wasn’t Saturday.

I had a half day yesterday, and I think that because it was on a Tuesday it messed up my whole system.  Because when I woke up today, it definitely wasn’t a Saturday.  It wasn’t even a Friday.  And it took me a while to get over it.

I’ve been having these crazy urges to just drop all responsibility and take the next train to Boston and spend the day there.  Just to walk around the Commons, enjoy good food, maybe go to the movies.  Just a day when I don’t do anything but whatever I want.

DSCN7121

Sometimes I really hate adulthood.  I’ve got a mountain of a to-do list that HAS to get done, but I don’t want to do it.  I picked up a long term sub job so now I can’t not go to work because subs don’t have subs, so every morning I drive the half mile to the school and stay there and read the same chapters aloud to 4 classes.  I come home on Mondays to do the Monday thing, Tuesdays for the Tuesday thing, Thursdays for the Thursday thing, and so on and so forth.

I miss the days of spontaneity.  I miss the days where being an adult was all about choosing to be responsible or choosing to forsake responsibility to go on an adventure.  I miss the days where adventures weren’t planned or scheduled out months in advance but happened irregularly, and spontaneously.

There are definitely total upsides to this new routine filled scheduled type of life.  I love the one I’ve committed to and I love the commitments we share.  I love knowing what my days are going to be like.  I love finally having stability and constancy.  But that adventure part has been lacking.

I’m trying to enjoy this last bit of stability before future children come.  I’m hoping to soak it all up because pretty soon my days won’t ever have a true beginning or true end.  And I know I’ll wholeheartedly embrace that change when it comes.  But what I wouldn’t give for some randomness right now.

So instead I’ll turn on the TV instead of the radio while I clean.  Throw a red sock in with the whites.  Change the gray comforter out for the blue one.  Take a long drive across the street to get a doughnut for an after dinner dessert.  And really life my stable monotonous life as much on the edge as possible right now.