christmas cards

christmas cards are a struggle for me.  the picture below was on the front of ours this year.

i love the picture.  love love love it

but i feel like it's a bit deceiving....

that day, i was mean.  i made the kids and shad wear clothes they didn't want to wear.  shad didn't want to wear a pink shirt.  kate wanted the flower on top of her head, not on the side.  tanner didn't want his shirt tucked in. elle didn't want to be held.  she wanted to run around a play. 
shad and i had an argument on the way to the shoot and weren't really speaking to each other.

we don't look like this normally.  shad does, for work.  but the kids and i....not even close.  kate's hair normally has lots of rats in it.  both kids choose their own clothes.  that means an array of colorful clothes.  mostly dirty clothes, because if they really want a certain shirt, and it's in the dirty clothes, who cares.  right?  often it's the same outfit they wore the day before, slept in, and kept on the next day. dirty faces, snotty noses and bare feet are the norm here.  i am usually in my pjs or workout clothes until late afternoon.  not because i'm lazy, but i am doing dishes, holding elle while she eats, and cooking.  i'm normally a shade or two lighter...i don't remember exactly, but i'm sure i slathered on a bunch of fake tanning lotion that day to cover up my white body.

is that just the way christmas cards are supposed to be?  not real?

sometimes i feel like blogging is sort of like that.  we put forth our best selves.  for lots of we really want to remember all the crap?  do we want to air our dirty laundry (not literally...metaphorically) for the world to see?

and then there's the a different side to the coin.  we are blessed. we live in america, i have 3 healthy kids and a husband, i'm able to stay at home full-time, i know my savior, i have a roof over my head and food on the table.

i should never, ever complain.  right?

it stresses me out.

i've gone through phases where when i look at other's blogs, i feel crappy about myself.  knowing that it has nothing to do with how lovely their life may seem to be, but that i feel insecure as a mother, wife and daughter of god at that time.  i compare, and realize as hard as i try, i won't ever measure up.  no one can, when we compare our whole selves to every one else's best self.

i guess it's been on my mind a lot.

you never really know how you appear to others.  but the last thing i ever want to appear is that we have a perfect family.  we are so far from it.

in the behind the scenes of every "picture perfect moment" on here, is a tantrum.  screaming, yelling and crying.  the "picture perfect moment" is there too, but is often a fleeting moment.

i do cook crazy healthy recipes.  and my kids do eat them.  but they also eat costco pizza and doughnuts every saturday morning. kate had pretzels for breakfast this morning.  and right now tanner is sneaking the girls starbursts that he got in a good bag at school last friday.

i try to look nice, wear clean clothes, and have make-up on.  but most of the time, i'm in my pjs (dirty from cooking and cleaning) or work-out clothes (sweaty and stinky).  i often have make-up on, but it was put on the previous day and then slept on.  i've had three kids, i have a tummy, mom arms, varicose viens and huge dark circles under my eyes (i wear concealer.  always.  if i don't without a doubt i get asked, "oh my gosh!  what happened to your face?).

i love staying home with my kids.  but....often, i'm super frustrated.  elle throws fits all the time, tanner is starting to talk-back and argue, and kate is completely verbally abusive to me (i know i shouldn't put up with it...i try my best).  the three of them try to talk to me at the same time.   all the time. to the point where i want to scream "shut-up and leave me alone!" i don't aloud, but i do in my head.

usually kind words come out of my mouth.  but i swear.  every day.  a swear word or two slip from my mouth.  i gossip.  i try not to.  i do it anyway.  and then i feel guilty.

if you live locally and come over to my "clean" home, remember that i've picked up shortly before you arrived.  it doesn't always look clean. and that i didn't clean it all on my own.  i have a helper, named "blanca".

and there are other things.  personal things.  things that should not be put on a blog.

every single family has problems.  every person has struggles. we just can't see them sometimes.

i know i'm all over the place with the post.  hopefully i'm making sense.  maybe i'm the only one who struggles with blogs and christmas cards.