Friday, February 8, 2013

I want to be Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews is sort of my secret idol. I think she's awesome. She is an amazingly talented singer, she's lovely, and she seems like a genuinely nice person. Every movie I've watched with her in it (excluding Princess Diaries and Mary Poppins, because the latter is a bit freaky, and in the former she doesn't break into song) after the movie is over, I almost always think, "Ah man, I wish I was Julie Andrews..." I mean really, just check out this classic pic:
I honestly can't remember the last time I was singing and twirling around in a field of daises, overwhelmed by the beauty of my surroundings. I've seen beautiful things, sure, but singing and twirling? Nope. Don't have the time or energy for that. I've been thinking about this picture off and on the last few weeks, not because I want to explore a career in singing or take a trip to Switzerland, but because she looks so... carefree. And I, on the other hand, feel like this:
I've been pretty disheartened lately,  like I've been stuck in "one-step-forward-two-steps-back" mode for a little too long. This gets old after awhile. See, I did a little number crunching, and figured we could pay off some student loans much faster if I were to take a part time job. So I've been looking for something I can do in the evenings or weekends, very part time, and it's not going well. It's almost like the economy isn't doing so well and I lack marketable skills or something... Then,this week, I got an atrociously expensive bill for a mole I had removed in December, so now I'm not making us any extra money, but actually costing us extra money. Lovely. 
Then there's the kids. I wonder sometimes how bad kids need to act before they can qualify for Supernanny.  Does a half hour full-on, kicking and screaming tantrum because your child's graham cracker broke count? How about when they dump out every single toy they own at exactly the same moment you are telling a friend how you've finally gotten through to them about the importance of picking up one bin before getting out more? These aren't even the best examples, I'm saving those ones to embarrass my children with later. Preferably in front of their friends.  
I won't go into much more, but it's a long list of things that have been bugging me lately. 
The kids are going stir crazy because it's been so cold. 
Preschools here are crazy expensive, more so for us because we are neither Catholic or Lutheran, and you get discounts for being a member of certain congregations. 
I worry about the house we left behind in Utah, and hope our renters are taking care of it. 
My keychain thingy (very technical term) that opens the locks hasn't been working, leaving me to open all the doors, while my hands are full of groceries and squirming children. 
Food is expensive here. Not as bad as say, Chicago or New York, but I desperately miss WinCo. 
I realize this list is very "first-world-problem." "Oh poor me, my hands are so full of healthy children and food that I can't get into my car! My kids have so many toys to play with! I miss my favorite grocery store!" Waa! Today I woke up feeling a sense of dread, I didn't want to think about the same things I've been thinking about for weeks now. I decided that I'd take a Julie Andrews approach and just focus on the things I love and enjoy today, if for no other reason than to take a break from the hamster wheel, it's not like it's going anywhere!
So, these are a few of my favorite things. (Just try to avoid getting that song stuck in your head, I dare you.)
First of all, this guy:
Brett is awesome. He's a good man, good provider, pretty much good at everything. Just once I want to go to a girl's night out and come home to find the house a wreck and the kids up way past their bedtime. Why? Because he does my job better than I do, way better. Usually the kids are perfect angels for him and the house is spotless when I get home. I'm incredibly lucky to have found a guy who loves me in spite of my pessimistic attitudes and crying once a month because my pants don't fit (I really wish was joking). He's great, and without him, I wouldn't have these little fellas:

*sigh* I love my kids. They're so cute and funny and smart. They both have Brett's blue eyes, which I adore. They're silly and crazy and yes, they fight like cats and dogs a lot, but they also play together and love each other (mostly) and have some great kid conversations. 
Brandon is always very concerned as to where Jason is, and follows his every move.

I rather enjoy when Brandon asks for a drink of water, because he looks like this when he drinks it:
I love his chubby fingers, the fact that he has to use two hands, that the cup covers almost his entire face. For some reason it just makes me smile. 

Jason is getting to be such a big kid, way too fast for my liking. He's dressing himself and learning how to write. He likes to play in the sink. 
"Mom, can I do some more dishes?" Please ask me that when you're 16.
He also likes to line up his extensive collection of diggers. 

 He's such a sweet kid. While I was writing this he looked up from his lunch and asked, "Mom, do you love us?" He asked it like the thought just occurred to him, even though I tell them at least 872 times a day.
"Of course I love you! I love you THIS much!" and I held my arms out as wide as they could go. His little face lit up and he said, "Really?!? Wow, that's a long time." 
I have some great kids, a wonderful husband, and a nice home. When I was doing my workout this morning, like every morning, my mind started to wander. I started to tick off a list of things I was grateful for, testing the truthfulness of "Count Your Many Blessings." I don't do this as often as I should, it's so much easier to point out the things in life I want to be different. I started with the very small, "Hey, I'm not sick today, I couldn't work out if I were sick," and "I'm able to walk, couldn't do these lunges without legs that work..." By the end of my workout my list was becoming a little easier to add to.
I wanted to blog a little today, but I was so sick of thinking and using "discouraged" to describe how I feel that I looked up a synonym, "disheartened" is what caught my eye. Between the blogging and the breaks from blogging to feed my kids and such, "Count Your Many Blessings" has been stuck in my head, but I knew I was missing half the words, and it was bugging me. I looked up the lyrics, and there was that word "disheartened" again:

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

There you have it, counting your blessing really does help. Nothing has changed, we still have student loans I wish would get paid off sooner, the kids still fight, I still have a that pesky dermatologist bill, but right now I'm feeling like things will work out if I can just keep focusing on the positive.

Julie Andrews would be so proud. 


  1. Ah Manda, you express yourself so well. It makes so much sense!! Why does my writing come out a jumbled mess?

    I think you're completely great and such a good example! Count your blessings, I love it. Also, Julie Andrews is beautiful. Although, I'm not a huge fan of the really short boy haircut, but she can rock it. That may be the first time I've ever used the term "rock it", but I couldn't think of another fitting term. Love you!!

  2. Thanks for the reminder, friend!