My life is very ordinary now. I’m a stay at home mom like so many before me. I do laundry, clean up toys, change diapers and clean the bathroom. It’s a never ending job and I’ll probably be doing it for a long long time.
But once in a while, when it’s quiet and I can take a break. Like right now, sitting here in the corner. I can take a good look around my cluttered little apartment and realize that I have woken up in a life-size version of a fantasy I imagined over and over again as a kid. I’m playing house.
And I’m the mom.
I managed to get the role I always dreamed of. I have a husband who goes to work, a baby who needs comforting and a home that needs making. This now magical little apartment is my kingdom, and I’m in charge. I’m the mom.
My white stained couch, the dirty dishes on the counter and the full laundry baskets are colorful little opportunities for me to beautify my realm. They’re my responsibility and I will do them justice. I have the power to make my home as radiant as I want.
It’s also my responsibility to prepare dinner. I can cook whatever I decide. Or maybe I can make something my husband would like. Something that would make him happy after a long day at work. Cause he’s the dad. He’s my husband, he loves me and he’s the dad. I chose a good one to play that role.
My baby girl is crying, she wants me. And I know how to comfort her, because I’m her mom. We can read books, she likes that. Soon when she is older I will teach her to read and write herself. I will teach her good manners and how to be kind and friendly to others. I will teach her to be a good daughter. That’s her role.
Thinking about this makes me smile, I almost feel silly. Because this is my life and it’s not make believe. It’s real and it’s exactly what I wanted – what I always dreamed of. It’s like the floor sparkles a little more when I scrub it, like glitter falls when I dust the shelves. I can see the magic. It comes from living your dream. I got it. I have other dreams now, but none will ever be as big or meaningful as this one. I’m just feeling extremely grateful I guess. Grateful for everything I have, that my dream came true. But especially grateful that I have learned to see the magic even when the dream has become ordinary.
It’s been another one of those days. I’m just leaning back and taking it all in. You’re like my little fairy guide. A patient one, even though I can be pretty boring and clueless you’re always stubborn enough to get me back in the game. Recently you learned that you had the power to take my hand and lead me to the things you wanted to show me. I’ve seen a lot of stuff since then, thanks. Sometimes you’ll even drag me to the front door. I think it means you want us to explore beyond our apartment. I know I’m right when you patiently sit down in my lap and hold out your arms so I can put on your coat and shoes.
I carry you down the stairs and open the heavy doors but once we’re outside you don’t need my help anymore. We almost run across the lawn. We’re so eager that it’s difficult to watch out for rocks and branches. We only stop when we reach the edge of the playground and we take a minute to carefully climb down the steep hill onto the sand. It’s a lot faster if we don’t lose our balance so it’s important to get down on all fours. Once we’re safely down we can go anywhere we want. The feeling of freedom gets to our heads and we set out for the farthest corner of the patch first. We quickly forget about our goal though because you show me all the small pebbles and pine cones we come across. If only we could fit all of them in our hands. We have no choice but to put down the old ones to make room for the new. It’s very important to hold them tight in our hands so we don’t drop them.
We approach the slide. I suggest we slide down from the top but you prefer climbing up from the bottom. It’s difficult but in the end I agree that it is fun – especially with the loud sound our shoes make on the hard plastic. There’s a panda nearby. We know it’s a nice one because it’s smiling. It wants us to ride its back but we’d rather just talk. You tell me it says ‘mooh’.
A lady comes around the corner with a dog. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for and it is so exciting that we forget what we were doing and start our pursuit. The dog is pretty fast though and it takes too long to climb back up the hill onto the grass. The dog is gone and we feel a little sad. We walk back to the swings and talk about the dog for a little bit to try and cheer up. We sit there swinging back and forth for a bit. It’s soothing and we start to feel tired. I turn to you and suggest we go home and take a nap. You understand and agree that that would be nice.
You’re asleep now. I don’t think I will because I like to watching you. Your pine cone and rock are on the dresser. I should throw them out but I’m not sure I want them out of our lives just yet.
I was just telling Marcus the other day, “I used to dream of the day we’d have a dishwasher. Now we have one and I just complain that it smells funny.”
We’ve moved around a lot and throughout the course of our marriage we’ve experienced a few different humble living situations. We’ve scraped, we’ve bought and sold. And I feel I’ve really come to learn the truth of the principle that gratitude equals happiness.
But like I said, I think the hardest times to be grateful have actually been during the times when we’ve had a little more. Marcus got a solid job, and it got hard not to complain about working conditions and salaries. We got our own nice apartment with a dishwasher and washing machine, and it got hard not to complain about it not being ship shape all the time. We had a baby, and it got hard not to complain about lack of sleep and lack of time.
I saw this in my Facebook feed the other day and I’m so grateful to the woman who shared it. When I was done reading through it I’d completely forgotten about my complaints and I felt how it actively allowed me the space for a little more happiness.
Because it’s FRIDAY and I’m feeling a little extra happy about an exciting upcoming weekend!
1. Turn chores into parties
At our house there have been an immense number of cleaning parties, laundry parties, cooking parties, packing parties, unpacking parties, diaper-changing parties, bill-paying parties and homework parties. Marcus is right, I am weird. But really! If there’s good music, snacks and a happy spirit, it’s a party, right? And if it’s a party, you can’t help but be happy!
2. Focus on being grateful
Personally, I say a prayer. Even if you don’t believe in God, just for a second, imagine that He does exist and that you have the opportunity to talk to Him for a few minutes. Put it all out there. Give thanks for everything that makes your life good. If you’re doing it right it’ll probably take more than just a few minutes.
3. Get up earlier
I need to get better at this one myself. My mom taught me the beauty of early mornings. You feel happier for getting a head start and there’s just something inspiring about getting up before the day has really begun. My mom always says it feels like you have the world to yourself for a little bit. What better time to set the foundation for a happy day?
4. Smile! Force it if necessary
Seriously! One of the very most effective things I do when I feel frustrated and need to get it together quickly, is turn around, close my eyes and just smile. At nothing. Keep going! Until you slowly feel your anger releasing. Take a deep breath and think of something funny.
Like… remember the time- hahahahaha!
5. Create something
I honestly never feel happier than when I feel like I’ve accomplished something. I think being creative is so much more than just being artsy or musical. I really think it’s simply acting on inspiration. Or even prompting or allowing for inspiration. Reading a book, developing a skill, developing a relationship, writing in your journal, writing a letter, cooking a good meal, even looking out the window and just listening to yourself for a bit.
6. Cry it out
Marcus still doesn’t really believe me on this. But crying really helps?! Seriously, most times when I’m done I can’t even remember why I was angry in the first place. It works best if you don’t cry alone though!
7. Go for a walk
Some alone time in a different scenery really helps you empty your mind and think of something else. I don’t know if this is the case for everyone, but for me I feel like my mind and my thoughts get louder when I’m alone. It’s easier for me to reason with myself and to find solutions to my problems.
8. Be genuine
Nothing makes me feel more insecure than when I’m trying to be something that I’m not. Be happy about who you are and try to make your personality shine through your best features.
9. Think happy thoughts
Any happy little thought?**
Yes! If you’re somewhat like me, you’d be shocked how many negative thoughts you have throughout a day if you pay attention. Do yourself a favor and quickly think about something else when a negative impression sneaks its way inside your head. Allow yourself to see your day through happier and more colorful eyes – it will even make other people like you more!
10. Do something for someone else
This one may be obvious, but boy does it help! And I know what you’re thinking. Some days there just isn’t a sick widow next door who needs a fresh batch of cookies to brighten her day. But that’s okay. Just go over to Facebook and write to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. It’s much less frightening to open up and give compliments to someone in writing. Especially when you imagine their surprised faces when they read the unexpected message. Or try to be the best spouse, parent, sibling, (in-law?), friend to someone that you’ll see that day. It’s never too hard to serve and there are always opportunities.
I’m a real stay at home mom now. I am a mom. And I stay at home. From work at least. Our life has changed a bit since Marcus started working. We are no longer stay at home parents. Now I’m a stay at home mom.
Marcus’ alarm goes off at 6.30. Mine goes off at 6.35, just in case. We’ve calculated 10-15 minutes to lay in bed and talk. We haven’t quite shaken that habit yet. It’s nice. Marcus whispers ’good morning’ in Baby’s ear. She smiles in her sleep but doesn’t open her eyes. It’s too early. She rolls over. Face down. We laugh.
We talk over today’s plans. Marcus should be home by 7. In the meantime I’ll watch the baby. Our life is pretty simple. Marcus tickles Baby’s nose. ’Wake up!’ She starts whimpering. I give Marcus a pleading look. He leaves to take a shower.
I lie back on my pillow. I’m still pretty sleepy.
Marcus opens the door. I must’ve dozed off for 10 minutes. Baby is awake too. She’s already pulling herself up on her wobbly legs and grabbing the headboard tight. Her diaper looks pretty heavy. I grab her around her waist and kiss her chubby neck. She giggles.
On the changing table she really starts to wake up. I let her hold a pack of baby wipes to keep her occupied while I slap on a clean diaper. I put her back in her PJs, the day hasn’t quite started yet.
Marcus emerges from the bedroom. He can’t decide on a tie. I say the blue one. I prefer solid colors. By the way, he has time to have breakfast together if I want. I agree, one thing less to have to do alone with the baby.
It’s bright in the kitchen. I put Baby in her high chair and she happily slaps her fat hands on the table. Marcus gets out some dark bread. I’ll have that too. I can’t really reach the cereal anyway. Milk? Yes please.
Marcus is almost finished with his food when I sit down. He’s actually in a hurry, the train leaves in 20 minutes. I take a couple of quick bites out of my sandwich and get up to kiss him goodbye. I hug him tight. Five more seconds. Baby gets a kiss too but whips around in her chair when he leaves the room. She starts to cry. I pull her out of her chair. Marcus jumps back into the room. ’It’s okay, Baby!’ He’s surprised that she got sad. We walk into the hall and I ask Marcus when he thinks he’ll be home. Still 7. Another quick kiss before the door closes behind him.
I hoist Baby up higher on my hip and walk to the window. We watch him walk down the street for a few quiet seconds before he turns the corner and is gone.
I turn to Baby. ’It’s gonna be a fun day! Are you excited?’ She grabs my nose. ’But first, we sleep another hour’.
Random selfies that we send to Marcus during the day when we miss him.
For a small carless student family, borrowing a car for even a day is pretty much the coolest thing. We have had one all week and it’s been the best! A couple of days ago we went big time shopping in the biggest store in town, just because we could. It worked out nicely since we’d also been looking forward to Baby’s debut sitting by herself in a shopping cart. Exciting stuff, I know! As we don’t have a car, most of Baby’s shopping trips are experienced from the stroller or from an arm.
So we all jumped in the car in high spirits. I told you that Baby has been more happy about car rides lately.. so we enjoyed a nice quiet drive to Bilka and found Baby happy and excited to get out. I wheeled around a cart, put in her baby duvet for support and finally dropped Baby into the seat. And she sat up straight and tall with an excited grin on her face!
It was the happiest and easiest shopping trip we’d ever done! We could take all the time we needed without breaking our backs from carrying Baby or having to rush out because she’d had enough. She enjoyed the entire ride looking at all the colorful groceries and fellow shoppers. I felt so grown up pushing my kid in a cart like that.
Gonna share a few facts about me with you today. Like the fact that I get super awkward when I realize I need to take selfie for my blogpost about myself. That’s why I did a braid and turned it into a “see-my-hair” kind of picture instead. Sneaky sneaky…
Looking backI wish I would’ve taken dance classes as a kid. I really love dancing. I wish I would’ve learned. Think I could’ve been good – or at least felt really pretty.
I’m a bit nationality confused. When people ask me if I feel more Danish or American I never know what to say. I guess it’s kinda silly cause I haven’t lived in the States for that long, but when I’m in Denmark I definitely don’t feel that Danish. But I guess it doesn’t really matter…
‘Party’ is a magic word to me. If ever we need to do something we’re not excited about (like packing, moving or doing laundry) I try my very best to motivate Marcus by throwing in the word ‘party’. “It’ll be a cleaning party!”. If it can be done with loud music and snacks – it can be fun! I haven’t quite yet convinced Marcus of this truth.
My family are my best friends. For a long time I’ve felt a little embarrassed about this fact but I’ve learned to be proud of it. I love and cherish spending time with my friends too (Love you guys! I do!) but my family is just something else. They’re just the most wonderful and fun people I know!
I have not yet discovered my love for cooking. I know it’s there – cause I love good food – but right now I honestly don’t think it’s worth the time. Once in a while I’ll get excited about trying a new recipe I found on Pinterest but most days I’d rather just get something on the table fast so I can spend more time doing other stuff. I’m so not living up to my mom’s legacy.
Despite loving the word ‘party’ I’m not really a party person. Or I guess it depends how you define ‘party’. I’d much rather be in a smaller gathering of friends or family than run around at a big party pretending I’m having the time of my life.
I’m a mormon. Yes I am. It makes me a better person and brings me more happiness every day than anything else.
One of my biggest fears is being lazy. Or that other people think I’m lazy. For example, I really really want to be a morning person and I hate myself for finding it difficult.
I have a weird secret (secret no more) fear of old churches. As a little girl I once had a nightmare about the cathedral in Aalborg. It was dark and there were eerie Gregorian chants… I guess it just stuck. It stuck good.
One of my biggest dreams is to someday publish a book. That day will be such a good day.
This is where it happens. All my blogging the last few weeks and just about everything else I do. This is my pregnancy nest. Feet up and two pillows to support my back. Usually there’ll be a cup of ice, a new shoe or a handy little snack sitting on the back of the couch. I’ll do pretty much anything here. Eat, read books, fold clothes, run my blog, ignore that I have to pee again.. you get the idea.
Lately, I’ve gotten the question a lot, “what do you do all day?”. I always feel like the explanation would take much longer than the questioner maybe intended my answer to be. So I figured that was a good sign that I should share more of that kind of stuff on here.
So what DO I do all day? Well… I try to keep myself busy. Because it passes time, and to me it’s such a sickening and demotivating feeling to go to bed and feel like I’ve done absolutely zilch today. But mostly, I try to keep busy… so I can stay awake all day. Oh, dilemma of the week! You know those nights when you crawl into bed and snuggle up for the night, but for some reason you just feel restless. All of a sudden you feel like you have all this energy, so much that you have a really hard time lying still – and it is therefore completely impossible to fall asleep. Yes?
Well lately that has been every single night for me. I’m starting to think it may have something to do with my being pregnant. But why? Are hormones making me feel this way? Cause honestly it’s gonna have to take more than a big belly to keep me from sleeping through the night. And yes, sometimes I do wake up and baby is shamelessly kicking me in the gut like she owns the place, but that is not every night. Explanations anyone? Mystery unresolved.
So anyway… the only way I’ve found to (almost) ensure a good night’s sleep is getting up with Marcus at 5.30 and staying awake till bed time. And for the first few days it’s easy enough! My early morning responsibilities are making my hub breakfast, which usually consists of a green smoothie and oatmeal with blueberries, and then packing his lunch, another smoothie, a sandwich and baby carrots. So by the time all that is fixed I feel pretty alert and awake. Or fresh as a fish, as you might say in my home country…. ….
But when I hit day 3 of this procedure I’m dead. Like red eyed dead.
And then I nap. And the cycle starts over.
Third trimester already seems a hoot!
So you understand that I need to busy myself with something. Usually when I hit that desperate time of day, when all I want to do is close my eyes for juuuust a second, I go for a walk. To Temple Square. Here is proof.
But it’s starting to get reeeaally hot here in Salt Lake. And Almost-Mommy here already has a hard time walking very far without the sweltering heat knocking her out. So I bring ice! Oh I’m gonna miss having an ice machine sooo bad! I seriously can get Christmas-level excited about walking down our hallway (that also smells AMAZING, I must say!) down two flights of stairs (still smells AMAZING!) and down to our ice machine where clean cups and as much ice as I have ever ever wanted are at my disposal. And there is also never anyone down there to watch my little mischievous act – which for some reason makes the entire experience all the more pleasurable.
Seriously.. just made myself want to go get more ice.
Be right back.
So when I’ve got my ice I go for my walk. It has over time become “my walk” because I walk the same route every time. Past the Reflection Pool, South Visitors Center, Assembly Hall, Tabernacle, North Visitors Center, Conference Center… and home. Sometimes I’ll stop to take pictures, read or watch tourists. And smell the flowers of course. Why, of course!
And then comes the best part. When my man comes home from work. And he is so happy! And so tired. He works so many hours every day but still he manages to be so excited about what he does. I treasure this so much because I can’t take for granted that he’s always gonna come home from work happy. I just count my lucky stars that God created me a woman and thereby granting me the odds of not having to be the main provider for my family. Can I just say once again what an amazing husband I, for some reason, am lucky enough to have.
Well, that’s my day, folks! In case you were one of the many people who have asked me and have gotten a far from satisfying or justifying answer, there you have it. It’s not much, but I must say I’m pretty content.