I know my blog posts have been scarce this summer, but it's because I am absolutely marinating in my family.
Right now, right this very minute- all seven kids are home.
This is what it feels like.
This is what I love most of all.
We're doing Olson-y things and we're completely in our groove, completely comfortable and content.
We're all together.
It's loud and it's messy, but all is right in the world right now.
We also went to see Les Miserables.
It was amazing.
As I looked at the happy faces on five of my kids (Grey and Parker didn't want to go.) I felt like Matt and I had checked off one of those things that are on our bucket list of parenting. I'd gone 2 years ago to Evita with Zane, Emma, Kate and Jane, but Romy wasn't with us and she has made sure to remind us that she had yet to see a real Broadway show.
All of the kids who care about things like that have now gone.
They each had a different favorite part and it was a wonderful day.
We got the girls t-shirts and Kate got a bag as well, since it was her birthday present we were all sharing in.
Spoiled, but happy children are great.
Spoiled, miserable children..... not so great.
Grey had a touch of the spoiled and miserable when we went to do family pictures a few days ago.
After an hour of him pouting and being bratty, I may have lost my cool and yelled at him in the park. It didn't help, but I was fed up with his complaining that it was taking too long when he was the sole reason WHY it was taking forever.
After taking a break for lunch so Grey (and Mom) could re-set, we got the shots we needed.
Matt wanted to be sure we got a picture on some stairs, like we did at Murray Park every couple of years. We couldn't really find anything that was exactly the same, but we got pretty close.
Matt and I also celebrated eight years of being married.
You may not know this, but Matt and I have been married before. :)
I never made it to eight.
I guess technically I did with Grey and Romy's father, but it was over and filed. I had moved to Utah and he had moved to New Jersey for a job.
So, eight years was a milestone for me.
Our life has some big challenges, a lot of that due to those past relationships and issues that arise when two sets of very different people are raising the same kids.
Finding that balance in parenting styles with each other was a challenge for sure. Matt is strict about a lot of things I don't care about at all. I had to learn to follow through on things and he had to learn to let some things go. Matt can handle kid noise, it barely phases him. Backtalk and eye rolling are things he never even notices. When it gets too loud, or a kid has a snotty attitude- the hairs on the back of my neck start to stand up and I short out. Matt had to learn to be aware of the noise level and I had to learn to take breaks. We had to figure out how to run an already established household together, how to resolve conflict and how to teach our children the values & morals that we felt the needed to learn, even when another home they were in promoted the exact opposite. We've had kids who struggled with depression, seven sets of braces and endless pairs of broken glasses.
There have been seasons that were straight up hell.
At least, they were until the end of the day would come, and there was Matt.
Matt makes everything okay.
I still just adore him.
I still cannot believe how lucky I am to have him for a husband and an eternal companion.
I can do anything, with Matt in my life.
I can do forever.
I'm feeling pretty spoiled these days.
I have a wonderful husband who loves me.
I have seven kids who love each other and love Matt and I.
I have a cute puppy who is finally starting to go potty outside.
I have a comfortable home, a car that runs and a life that makes me laugh way more than it makes me cry.
I have a Father in Heaven that continues to love me, no matter how many times I mess up and yell at my kids in the park.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the past eight years.
Life is so, so good.