Yourself First


I posted a little about this on Instagram
but I thought it would be good for me
if not for anyone else to write more here.
To really express what's been on my heart.
 
I've written about this before and I really don't mean to be a broken record.
But seeing as this is a real life problem and one that I never thought I'd
have to deal with on my own,
I need to keep it documented.
 
I struggle with putting myself first ever.
As a wife and mother I am constantly giving of myself to my husband and my children.
I am a giver by nature.
I always find joy in serving and find that giving is better than receiving,
and I like to think it's a good attribute to have personally.
However, I never realized just how much I would need to give day after day with no break.
I love my husband and I adore my children.
But I apparently have a limit and my well is not overflowing always.
 
The past few weeks have been extremely difficult.
Rory's getting closer to turning 3 thus becoming a "threenager",
Jade is getting closer and closer to walking and getting more teeth so therefore needs more
cuddles and attention from mom to keep safe.
I've had more sleepless nights in the last week and a half
than I have since having Rory.
(Jade's a good sleeper 99% off the time)
And yes, sleep deprivation hasn't helped me
but the depression had already hit before the sleeplessness.
I had been up all night with Rory throwing up one night,
the next night Jade was up all night just not feeling well,
and as I watched Andrew leave the next night to go to basketball
(they play every Tuesday at the church)
I completely collapsed on the floor in tears because my children had woken up AGAIN
and I just couldn't take it.
(Now, Andrew DID ask if it was ok if he went and I told him yes when I shouldn't have,
he's a great guy - don't think any different)
I cried and cried, took care of the kids, and cried some more.
 
I then talked to my BFF about everything.
I broke down on the phone and everything,
and then I felt bad cuz she lives in Utah and I live in AZ 
so there wasn't really anything she could do,
but all I needed was a listening ear.
She asked me when the last time was that I went somewhere by myself.
I couldn't remember since my trip to visit her.
In March.
 
Needless to say,
I need some Mama alone time.
But whenever I do,
I feel so guilty.
I never feel guilty leaving the girls with Andrew,
cuz he's their dad and he knows how to take care of them.
I feel guilty for needing to NOT be with them.
 
I have always wanted to be a wife and mother.
I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom and housewife.
That was my dream job.
I never had a career I wanted,
or anything in the corporate world I wanted to do.
I wanted to have children and raise them.
So why do I feel this way?
 
via
 
I wish I had the answer.
For now, the answer is to take time to just be Ali.
I had an identity before I became "wife" and "Mom".
I've since lost who I was back then.
I'm not ashamed at all of being a wife and mother,
BUT I feel like if I don't have something that's just for ME,
I won't be able to be the person I should be.
How can I possibly take care of my children and keep the house running 
if I'm stuck in auto pilot all the time?
 
So I'm going to start being better about taking time for me.
It's not going to be easy,
in fact I can guarantee it will be a struggle at first.
To try and find who I used to be again.
To rediscover what makes me happy
and what I like to do.
Here goes nothin folks!
 
 

My Andrew

I want to take a minute and write a little about this wonderful husband of mine.
I don't even know what I would do without him.
 
 
Before Andrew and I dated,
most of you know that we couldn't stand each other haha (story here)
but while we dated other people we both knew that we hadn't found
that right person just yet. 
 
He and I had each had a very serious relationship
(as serious as you can get in high school haha)
that ended on either weird or bad circumstances
before we found each other.
I know I was a broken human being when he asked to date me.
Honestly, he saved me from myself.
He showed me that I was worth something again,
that I should want something more from a relationship.
 
 
He was also the one to say "I love you" first.
And I didn't say it back at that time haha
poor guy!
I told him I just wasn't ready to say it yet,
and he had patience.
6 months into our relationship I knew.
It was Christmas time
(my favorite!)
and while we were sitting in my house,
he pulled out some Swarovski forget-me-not flowers 
as his first gift to me.
I may have cried a little and didn't even say thank you,
I just looked at him and said "I love you too."
 
While he was on his mission
I had a love/hate relationship with the postal service hahaha
We sent letters and cassette tapes back and forth for two years
and we both grew up so much.
I missed him like crazy but I trusted in the Lord and knew if it was meant to be,
it would be.
 
 
He came home and from the moment I saw him again,
I felt whole.
Like my heart was finally back in one piece and it wouldn't have to break again.
When he proposed i didn't even let him get the question out haha
again, poor guy!
I knew how happy he made me and I just wanted to marry him right then and right there.
 

 
On our wedding day,
I had never been happier.
We were finally able to take that step and be sealed for eternity together.
That's right, he's mine and I'm his for eternity.
And we were beyond ready to start our married life together.
 

 
When we welcomed our first baby,
my heart burst from the love I felt for him and Rory.
He was the biggest supporter and comforter
and then the greatest ally I had during recovery.
We had our first rough patch those months after having Rory in our lives.
I neglected him,
he resented me,
we were not healthy in our relationship.
Until we finally decided it was time to focus on us again.
 

 
When I got pregnant with Jade,
I won't lie,
I panicked.
I did not want to go through that resentment stage again.
 I didn't want to deal with that all over again.
So we prepared ourselves for another precious daughter
and we made rules that we still follow to make sure we're taking time for each other.
 
When Jade came
again my heart was full of love for my awesome husband.
He was there.
I don't know how else to describe it.
As long as I knew he was there, I didn't need to worry about anything.
He told me "I know now what I should have done 2 years ago."
and he's been an even more amazing father.
 

 
It's hard sometimes to remember that it used to be just us.
We love the season we're in right now with our sweet girls,
but I do love when we are able to do things just the two of us again.
Helps me remember how I used to be and 
how I can work on being better for my husband.
 

 

 
Andrew is the hardest worker.
I know I say that a lot on here but I'm serious.
He never complains,
never asks me to do more than I am able,
never assumes I'll always be pleasant when he comes home
(though I try really hard to be),
and he loves me.
He's seen me through some of my darkest days
and he was the only light I could see.
I can't really even describe correctly how much he means to me.
 
 
I know this is a little mushy and kinda out of the blue,
but I just really love this man of mine and I still can't believe
he let me steal his heart and that he was stealthy enough to get mine ;)
 

Life!

Holy cow how is it almost April already!?
Time never seems to slow down like ever hahaha
Which is both a blessing and a curse.

I enjoy spending all the time with my kiddos
but I won't lie that I do enjoy the fact that time is passing quickly because
some days are just too long for me or I just need them to end haha
But I LOVE being Rory and Jadey's mama.

Those girls have bloomed into crazy little ladies.
They have this amazing dynamic that I pray continues throughout their lives.
Rory will do anything to make Jade smile
and plays with her so well (most of the time haha)
and Jade will light up like a Christmas tree when she sees her sister walk in
and they talk in their own kind of language haha
I almost feel jealous but then I am so incredibly grateful that they have each other
because I don't have a sister (I have brothers ugh hahaha jk bros! Love you!)
and I truly hope they stay friends forever.


For Activity Days this month we did our Mother's Day gifts
Yes I know, super early BUT we made candles!
FROM SCRATCH!
Guys you know how "crafty" I am so this was a HUGE accomplishment
for me to even do all by myself, let alone teaching the girls how to do it.
And thank heavens for Tanya my partner for finding a shortcut that worked better haha
I made a blue "cinnamon swirl" scented candle. 



BOOM baby!
I made that!
By myself!
And the girls' turned out really good too ;)
 
 
 Also I should never leave my chalkboard pens out when the girls are here ;)
Took me 15 minutes to get this cleaned off hahaha

I got to try out making my moms famous chocolate chip cookie recipe last week.
The one that I butchered at age 10 and haven't had the nerve to try again since haha
But I finally put on my big girl pants and tried again.
 
 
 And guess what?!
They didn't suck!
They didn't come out perfectly like my moms BUT they didn't suck!
 
Last week Andrew and I went to Ikea on a date
and we found a frame there for my Disneyland map in the As-Is section for $10!!
It has two small dings on the side and has some structure issues but I mean,
it's going on the wall and it's big enough for my map, I bought that thing!
 
 
 And I can't wait to hang it up!
 
 So there's life around the Mills' house ;)



Lately

So last week I decided to hop on a plane to Utah and crash at Alyx's
for a weekend and try to help out before her new baby boy makes his appearance ;)



I had loads of fun and took NO pictures hahaha
(other than the awkward driving selfie....)
Let's just say it was quite a whirlwind of a weekend
and it was a BLAST!

The best part was that I was able to help a little bit and 
do things I've been wanting to do for years!
Like I finally met Brooke and Jamie in real life!
Like I hugged them!
Oh and Eryka ran into us at Ikea,
 
 
 
Bri let me shop for LulaRoe in her living room
(which by the way, almost half of my wardrobe is now LulaRoe hahaha
It's just so seriously comfy!)
And guess what?
Every one of them was as sweet as I knew they would be!
I'm even more stoked that Brooke is going to be moving here to AZ in the summer,
so playdates will be happening!

I mentioned we went to Ikea.
I love Ikea.
I haven't been in YEARS because I get overwhelmed by the awesomeness,
BUT after going in Draper,
I knew I needed to go here so I packed up my girls and we went on Monday.
And I LOVE Ikea!
Hahahaha did I mention that already?
I got all kinds of goodies!
Mostly kids plates, bowls, and cups and utensils, and bibs.
A car mat for Rory to roll her cars on.
A timer and sifter, and funnels!
Guys we've been married how long and never owned a funnel?
And I've even got Andrew to go with me there on Friday for date night
so we can look at more serious things like furniture haha



The girls did so good I bought them each a stuffed animal.
Now Rory picked both of them cuz ya know, she has opinions.


Yes.
A carrot for her, and a broccoli for Jade......
and yes, the carrot for some reason is upside down??
BUT they're soft and Jade can eat them.
So I'm happy.

So far that's really been it around here.
Rory's got herself a sinus infection poor girl,
but luckily it's not contagious or anything and she's acting normal 
so hopefully she'll be over it soon!

Also, this has been happening:

video


She's mobile!
Her crawl is my favorite haha 
like a boat rocking!
Sorry it's dark, it was 6 AM when I took it ;)


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