Tuesday, July 29, 2014

excuse all the crickets chirping

I crawl out from under my stupid bronchitis-induced rock to mother the small humans and bake scones.
My two littlest guys and I have been having park fun and beach fun while Isaac and Audrey are at music camp

baseball fun, too.

And this little choochie face. Kiss those cheekers!
At the end of the night I have two choices. Write or sleep. Sleep keeps winning. Here's hoping that changes soon!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Be Good to Yourself

I had a post thought through, but not typed up for today and I have quite a few of them as unfinished drafts in my little blog folder. I have some thoughts on prayers. And by some thoughts I mean I could fill a library with bountiful tomes on all that I do not understand and struggle with on the subject of prayer. That one will take some time. I have some thoughts on living flawed lives in a seemingly perfect world, where photoshop and social media and edits abound. I have some thoughts on the cutest first birthday invitations. But all of that requires more thought that I can muster today. Instead, I will serve as exhibits A, B, and C through Q about the correlation between lifestyle and health.

I don't get sick. I just don't. The rest of the world battles the sniffles and I stand strong. The winter colds make their run and I scoff at them. Until this year. I have had random colds and what I suspect was a slight case of influenza and sinus stuff and general blah. Repeatedly. It is not something I am used to. I haven't needed to go to the doctor, although maybe I should have, and I rarely take medicine because medicine jacks me up, but I have been sick more this year than I have been the last 15+ years combined.
sick, sick, sick on our vacation last year. Fever. cough. vomit. the illness trifecta.
Here's the thing about this year. I am eating worse, exercising less, sleeping fewer hours, and living through more stress than ever. I am not prioritizing my own meal planning. The kids eat three veggie-filled, healthy meals each day and a snack and I grab whatever's handy. The stuff that's handy is rarely healthy. I run two times each week and play wiffle ball with the kids periodically, but strength training and family bike rides and walks and time chasing kids at the park and all of the other ways I stay active and moving have fallen to the wayside. The sleep deprivation is well documented and is improving. Hip hip hooray! Stress? Don't even get me started. OK. I'm started. Attempting to move and all that entails. Medical issues with kids. Traveling husband. New baby. And so on and so forth. It's life. We all deal with junk.
To recap, poor nutrition + less exercise + less sleep + more stress = illness.

Today all of those things added up to bronchitis. In case you were wondering, ain't nobody got time for that. It hurts to cough and  hold babies and push kids on swings and play catch and have kids on my lap and laugh and, oh, yeah, breathe. All of these things figure pretty prominently into my job description. Especially that bit about breathing.

So I lay down as much as is possible and hit the hay as early as possible and now I take the Zpack and rub the thieves essential oil to knock this nonsense out. Finally, I try really hard to learn the Lesson of Bronchitis.

We all know that the thing everyone says about a plane crashing and putting your own oxygen mask on first before helping others is true. It's true on a plane and it's true in real life. I'm busy and you're busy and she's busy and he's busy, but if I don't take the time to rest and eat well and move and remain calm in spite of crazy, then I'm no good to anyone. And I need to be good to people. And so do you.
And that is the lesson I'm hoping to learn. Be good to me so I can be better to others.
I suspect it's a lesson you need to hear, too.

Go forth and be good to you. Your people will appreciate it.

How do you make time for you in your busy day? 

Friday, July 25, 2014

When the mama feels crummy

When the mama has a fever and a hacking cough and the baby isn't sleeping well and the showing requests are coming rapid fire and the kids want to go to the beach and the husband is working overtime, crawling into the fetal position and sticking my fingers in my ear to quiet the din seems like a perfectly reasonable option. But, I'm trying really hard to pass for a grown up these days, so instead I just get through the day with as much laughter and grace as I can muster, which isn't much, but is hopefully enough, and go to bed before 9 pm.

Plus, I'm batting 1,000% so let's do this.

And, somehow, Asher turned 11 months old this week, which is both a joy and a tragedy unto itself, says the overly emotional mama. I blogged about it here.

Have a great weekend. Because it's Friday, right? I woke up groaning because I thought it was Thursday and then, hooray, I got the surprise of a Friday.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Keep on keepin' on

GMO. Organic. Clean eating. Which reading curriculum? How many extracurricular activities? How much allowance? What's an appropriate bedtime for growing kids? When will I get a date with my husband again? This mojito has too much mint in it. Is that normal speech for a 5 year old? The grocery store stopped carrying my favorite yogurt. How long will it take to sell our house? The red light at highway 65 lasts days! Will we get to go hiking this summer?

Because we're all fed and we have shelter and we don't worry about violence in our home or getting shot in the front yard or being drug out into the street and raped as a war tactic or bombs dropping on our roof.

Because we don't fear all of those things, we can fill our lives with "problems."

Not to say some of my/our problems aren't valid and real. Food production affects all of us and our planet. Education is important. We all need boundaries. We all love time away from the hustle and bustle of life. It's just that my stresses come from a place of entitlement and overall goodness.  People struggling to stay alive and safe and to protect their children are not worried about the latest workout fad or if a store's free wifi is working.

There is always something to complain about. Always. And it is absolutely absurd to think that I'll never open my mouth or start clicking my fingers on a keyboard to complain about bad naps or arguing kids or a husband working overtime or losing my only swimsuit bottoms. It's normal to share our lives and concerns and complaints with others.

I don't know where to go with this. I just want to say Gaza. Malaysia. The US-Mexican border. Ukraine. Israel.

Death and destruction and murder, and blind, venomous hate that has been perpetuated for years, decades, centuries.

Sometimes, a lot lately, I think about how random it is that I live here and someone else lives there. Gaza. Malaysia. US-Mexican border. Ukraine. Israel.

Sperm met egg in the USA where I would be born to parents who love me and support me and we didn't know real, true fear. Two teenagers, surprised by the news of pregnancy, raised me and surrounded me with people who loved me. I hit the jackpot.

My life certainly isn't perfect. My upbringing definitely wasn't perfect.

But I get to worry about what I feed my kids instead of whether I'll get to feed my kids. I get to be annoyed about all those tennis balls that get hit into the pond instead of worrying if the kids are safe playing in our yard. I get to worry about if we'll find a day for Jim to join us on a family hike instead of worrying if he's working enough to pay our bills.

Suffice it to say, I've been watching the news and reading the newspaper lately and my heart is heavy with all
of the pain of the world. So I just read this quote over and over again.

And I love on these people.

And I try to use my jackpot spot in the world to lift others up. It never feels like enough. But I know there are a whole lot of us doing our little bit to overwhelm the world.

Let's keep on keeping on.

Do you keep up with current events? If so, how do you balance being informed with being depressed?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Running after pregnancy-my story **

For a while now I have been a runner who doesn't actually run much. My mind still thinks like a runner, but my body hasn't been moving like a runner. I've done a few races that were challenging and fun, but my training was remarkably lax. I have an assortment of reasons and a list of excuses.

Jim's work schedule is extremely unpredictable.
Baby's sleeping is extremely unpredictable-or predictably not great. (I love him so I'm being kind)
Four kids' schedules.
Winter from hell.
No treadmill.
Breastfeeding supply issues when I added too many miles.

Excuses-you will notice a sleep deprivation theme:
Too tired.
Not enough time.
Mama's boy will cry the whole time I'm gone. (I have a jogging stroller)
If I sweat I'll have to shower. (lazy, but sadly true)
I can't wake up earlier than the baby. (this is tricky, but I can make it happen.)
I'm too tired at the end of the day.

Asher is eleven months old today and I have been spending a fair share of time looking back over these past eleven months. Truthfully, most of it is a giant blur. I have no idea what we gave anyone for Christmas. I am pretty sure I missed some friend's and family member's birthdays. I was less of a friend than I should have been. It's been a wild, fantastic, exhausting ride that I'd do again a million times. But wow. Nutso. Running didn't exactly take a back seat because we weren't even in the same vehicle.

I remember a sensation of constant motion. Of too much going on around me and not enough of me. It was nothing specific I could put my finger on at the time, but looking back I feel a sense of blurred vision and wheels spinning in mud. Keep baby sleeping. Teach the big kids. Naptime. Feed people. Nurse baby. Teach. Snuggle. Plan. School. Feed. NurseBounceBabyPlayCatchDriveToDancePianoBasketballFeedPeople. Try to grab some sleep.

I have been frustrated with myself. I kept running and stayed very active throughout this pregnancy. I assumed I'd have the baby and get right back to it. Running. Strength training. Races. I'd be all in. I follow running sites on Facebook and read running blogs and it seemed that they delivered a baby and got back to serious running very quickly. I wanted that, too, and I figured if they could, I should be able to as well.
running with my baby bump-photo courtesy of Photography by Emily Marie

taking my little baby bump (around 22 weeks pregnant) to the mountains of SC

But I couldn't. In reality, it was much easier for me to recover from a torn ACL than get my running mojo back after pregnancy. I was physically exhausted. Emotionally drained. Time starved. I felt guilty for leaving all four kids with other people. I put running and fitness way down at the bottom of my long list of things to do, basically ensuring that they never happened.
back from a Moms on the Run workout on my due date

hiking with kids at around 37 weeks pregnant
Eventually I just decided to give myself the grace to trust I would get back to it when I was ready. I expect a lifetime of fitness so I figured that taking a hiatus from more strenuous activity wouldn't be the end of the world. It was not an overnight realization, but it was a healthy realization and relieved a lot of pressure I'd placed on myself.

I'm here to say I was right. I woke up a few days ago and I want to run more. (I am still nursing Asher so I will do it gently and wisely to keep both of us happy.) I need to carve a space out of my day for running and strength training. My body craves it. My mind desires it. I want time with my running shoes and my thoughts, time with my running friends and a long stretch of road.

Watch out, world. I'm ready to run again.


**This is not about weight loss. This is about feeling great and clearing my mind and feeling strong and having all of those positive feelings affect all other facets of my life.

What do you do for you that makes you a better person, mom, friend, spouse?

Monday, July 21, 2014

The days are long

Have you heard the saying, "The days are long, but the years are short?" 

I first heard it when Isaac and I were in an infant ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education) class together all those 10 years ago. Gulp. Ten.

I've thought about it a lot over my baby- and child-raising years. It has walloped me in the face at major milestones (walking, talking, no training wheels, first drop-off playdate, last day of school) and birthdays. It has snuck up on me and tapped me on the shoulder during quiet, tender moments and silly, laughter filled times.

Hey, you. Mama. Pssssst.

The absolute truth of these words is ringing louder and more persistently in my ears as my children (and I) get older. 

There are days that feel they'll never end. Sick child. Sleepy child. Sassy child. Busy day. Tired, overwhelmed mama. The minutes tick and tock and I wonder how we'll make it to bedtime with sanity intact.

There are days that stretch before us luxuriously as we meander through our day taking a bike ride and looking at clouds, running through the sprinkler and sharing ice cream, noticing the array of delightful colors at sunset. The long, lovely day ends with bathtime and cuddles and books before bed.

There are days that rush by with sports and school and meals and hugs and kid transportation logistics and who'll watch what game and who'll drive to piano and we collapse into bed in a sleepy heap.

There are days, like we experienced this weekend, where big things happen.

First time at camp.
Getting settled into her cabin at drop-off time

Saving goodbye to her fantastic camp counselors 2 1/2 days later

First birthday invitations sent out.

Another baseball season in the books. Another second place finish.
practicing his wall climb during hour 5 at the ball fields

A great season with great coaches and players
And I want to press stop, then rewind, and I want to start life over with these four beautiful children of mine. From the first snuggly introduction at the hospital to the nights awake to the first steps and the first favorite book and the long walks in the stroller where they start to discover nature to the first dip  in a lake to. . . on and on. All of it. I want it all again. I'll take all of the bother along with all of the magic.

I get this life. This life is such a gift. A fleeting gift that is passing by way too quickly. Some days I notice it more than others, but it is always lingering in the back of my mind, whispering in my ear.

Love more.

Hug often.

Watch the sunset together.

Eat more ice cream.

Take more walks.

Say I love you.

Say I'm sorry.

Mean it.

Put down the phone.

Pick up the baby.

Write a love note to your spouse or child.

Wear your swimsuit. Dive into the deep end. Get your hair wet.
cellulite and saddle bags be darned
Because we can't do it over. But we can do it better from here on out. We can live this life for the gift it is.We can love these people around us like the gifts they are.

We can let go of the unnecessary stresses that we place on ourselves and that we allow others to place on us. Stresses about where we buy our clothes or how our house is decorated or which reading group the kid is in or if we're going on a summer trip or if we're not busy enough or if we're too busy or which extracurricular activity guarantees early college admission.

Because the first birthday invitations are in the mail and the 6 year old is excited to start first grade because he gets to do ALL of school now and Audrey went away to camp and Isaac is almost 10 1/2. 

 Life keeps on keeping on. Let's make it a good one.

 How do you put aside the stresses of life, balance work and play and parenthood and life, and make life beautiful? I'll all ears!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Keeping Mitch's Pinky Swear

I posted this picture on my personal facebook page last night.
 I left my kitchen like this for about five hours. I titled it Bake Sale Insanity. It felt like I was begging the universe to send a last minute showing our way. Thankfully that did not happen and we were able to tackle the kitchen later in the evening. But, the mess was all for a really good cause. Isaac and Audrey are doing a triathlon on August 2 to benefit the Miracles of Mitch Foundation. We spent two days (minus baseball, cat sitting, nap time, etc.) baking cinnamon chip scones, brownies, special K bars, and Rice Krispy bars for a neighborhood bake sale. Boy, did we make a mess. Boy, everything was tasty! This is Isaac's third year and Audrey's second  year doing the triathlon. They are raising money to support families who have children with cancer.

some of our happy bake sale customers and one goofy Elliot
Read the link for more information, but here's the cliff notes version. Mitch was 9 and dying of cancer, but still showed the strength and compassion to be sad because so many kids had to stay at the hospital alone while their parents worked extra hours to pay for all of the expenses associated with having a sick child. He shared his concern with his parents and emptied his own savings account to help families at the hospital buy Christmas presents. His family knew he wouldn't be alive to help again the next year, so Mitch made his dad Pinky Swear that he would keep helping sick kids.

Mitch's legacy lives on through the Miracles of Mitch foundation and our family is honored to be a part of the Pinky Swear. Families ask for help or are referred through hospital personnel. The foundation helps with things like car payments, birthday parties, mortgages, or anything that will help families financially so they can be more present for their children.

They raise funds all year, but their biggest fundraiser is the Miracles of Mitch Triathlon. For Isaac's and Audrey's age group they do a 100 yard swim, three mile bike, and 1/2 mile run. Isaac and Audrey are training hard, but they are also holding bake sales and asking friends, neighbors, and families for donations so they can help more kids. Isaac has been mowing neighbor's and friend's lawns and giving half of the money to Miracles of Mitch. Audrey and Elliot are cat-sitting for a few families and anole-sitting for a friend, with half of the money to the foundation. We're trying to work with a local business to have a portion of the proceeds benefit the cause. They are committed and working hard to hit their $1,500.00 goal. (Elliot can't race since he isn't 7, but he helps with all fundraising endeavours.)

In their Miracles of Mitch gear, ready to canvas the neighborhood
 Each racer is given an All-Star. The All-Stars are kids with cancer who are being helped by the foundation. This year Isaac is racing for Domenick and Audrey is racing for Jaimie. If they are feeling well, the All-Stars attend the triathlon so the kids can meet each other.

The triathlon itself is incredibly emotional. First the All-Stars parade in and then the racers follow. It is a sea of orange and blue, of ill and healthy kids, of beautiful, loved, special kids who all deserve a future.

Here are some pictures from last year.

getting used to the water

Elliot the cheerleader

baby cuatro along for the ride with Elliot in his regular spot on the baby

racers heading to the starting line

Tired triathlon finishers

Celebrating a great triathlon and a great organization
I am really proud of Isaac's and Audrey's efforts. I am really, really sad that there are sick kids and mamas bearing the burden of loving someone so hard and being worried sick about her or him. I am heartbroken that Mitch died. I am amazed that his parents turned their horrible, unimaginable hurt and created this safe place for families who are struggling.

I am sharing this here because I want more people to know about this organization and because we want to help as many families as possible. So far the kids have raised over $800 toward their $1,500 goal and we're holding our second bake sale on Sunday afternoon. If you are able to help in any small or big way, here is the link to my kids' fundraising page. Thanks to all of you who have already pledged. The kids really appreciate it.

I'll state the obvious. . . there is no pressure to pledge. I'm just trying to share the word in as many ways as I can think of to help as many families as we can.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate all of the kind words you send me through the blog and facebook and email and real life talking to you face to face.

Happy Weekending!

What are you up to this weekend? 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Looking ahead

Audrey is gearing up for her first time away at camp. She is absolutely thrilled. I know this because she's been obsessing over the packing list and going on and on about the schedule of events. "We're playing Mighty mighty noodle scoop challenge???!!! Why didn't you tell me?" "We stay up until 10:30? What if I sleep in and miss breakfast? I don't think I will, but I'll be really tired." (I did let her know that the camp counselors would be sure to wake her up.) "I want to get there early enough to get a top bunk." And on and on it goes.

My favorite happened this afternoon when she came up and asked if she could whisper something in my ear, but it was long so she hoped I could hear her for all of it. "Ummm, I really want to write more about going to camp and maybe make a scrapbook so I want to take pictures but my camera doesn't have any batteries in it." Have I mentioned that I call her the keeper of our stories? It is a well deserved moniker.

She is only excited. About staying up late and bible study and bonfires and fun games in the big field and all those kids. Bounce off the walls, when can I pack, how early can we get there excited.

I am mostly ill about it in that overprotective, where has the time gone, how in the world did you get big enough to just stay while I have to drive away way.

But her excitement is so over the top and contagious and pure that I'm certain I'll live to tell the story and I'm also fairly confident I won't cry until after I've gotten back to the car. Only fairly, though.

I'm trying to stay right here in this day where my daughter is really excited and looking forward to grand new adventures. I'm trying not to look ahead and think of it as the first time she just stays while I have to drive away. I'm not very good at the staying right here part.

I zoom ahead to first dances and driver's license, dates and college drop offs. My mind just can't sit still.

The thing is, I want her to live this big, bold, beautiful life. I want grand adventure and bravery and truth and beauty for her. I want big love and epic fail. All of those things sound great in theory, but in reality they sound like first time at camp and getting hurt and taking risks. They sound like failing and succeeding, getting hurt and overcoming. Things my mama heart wants to run from, protect her from, act as her human shield about.

But I can't. And I won't.

So she'll go to camp and she'll stay up too late and (I hope) she'll brush her teeth now and again and maybe even hit the shower. I hope she'll grab some fruit and/or veggies at meal time and rest a little bit during quiet time. But what I really, really hope is that she'll make enough memories and have enough brand new fun to fill a nice, big scrapbook. I hope she comes home with new stories to tell. Stories that are just hers, but that she'll share with us. Lots of little stories that will add to the big, wonderful story of Audrey.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Read It: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I love books. Thankfully I love my children more because every time I crack open a good book I am hit with a strong desire to ignore the entire universe until I finish reading it. I stifle that desire, but it's there.

I love being transported to new cities, meeting new people, and gaining insight into another time in history, another culture, another way of seeing the world, all through the pages of a book and the thoughtful smattering of ink on a page. I am in continual awe that we all learn these 26 letters that make up this dictionary full of words, yet some people can manipulate and frame them in such lovely, significant ways that leave an imprint on my heart.
"A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic." - Carl Sagan
~Carl Sagan
So, yes, I love books.
My go-to books are tragic and gut-wrenchingly depressing with a side of WWII. I don't know what it says about me that when I have the chance to open a book for relaxation and escape, I often choose to go to Nazi Germany, the bedside of a dying man, or war-torn Rwanda. I'm sure Freud would have a field day with my book choices.

I think a lot can be learned from how characters handle tragedy. I think our world and our understanding of the world can be broadened through books. I think books offer us a chance to better understand our place in this vast world. And sometimes, in reading just how painful and difficult and seemingly impossible life is for others, I am reminded just how lucky I am and how we must find beauty in our everyday experiences to make it through this crazy, messed up, gorgeous world. Plus, I am a sucker for beautiful words and sentences. It makes me really, ridiculously happy.

Speaking of words, how's that for a long introduction?

An aside: We were talking about the word chillaxin' the other day (that's a weird conversation topic, I know) and I expressed my strong dislike for it. The kids asked why and I said I wasn't really in the business of combining words, but instead I liked to use as many words as possible and stretch them out nice and long to get my point across. Jim thought that was a very accurate explanation and I've proved my point again here!

OK, back to the topic at hand. Books. In particular Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

If you're in a book club, put it on your list. Now. It is one of those books that I finished and I wanted to immediately discuss with other people. It is about life and love, discrimation and sexual assault, living afraid and following your dreams, quadriplegia and assisted suicide. It is about all of those things, but it is mostly a really lovely story about two special people whose paths crossed in a very unlikely way and who forever changed the course of the other person's life. I adored the characters, except for that one idiot and you'll know which one I mean right away. I especially loved Louisa Clark and Will Traynor. I loved their flaws and complexity. I loved their banter. I loved their tender, sarcastic exchanges. I loved how complicated it all was and how there was no right or wrong answer, just layers upon layers of gray and room to draw my own conclusions, conclusions I'm still thinking about now.

This book made me think. In fact, it continues to make me think about people with disabilities, particularly those in wheelchairs. It made me feel deeply. It made me roll my eyes. It also made me ugly cry. It was everything a really sad, thought-provoking book should be.

If you're like me, the book won't hook you right off the bat. Give it some time. I am definitely glad that I did.

So, go forth and read Me Before You. Then call or email or message or one of the other 33 ways we have of contacting each other so we can discuss the book. I can't wait!

*Shout out to my friend, Jaclyn, for the recommendation. Although we haven't known each other long, she knew this depressingly beautiful book would be right up my alley.

What are you reading now? And what should I add to my miles long reading list?

Monday, July 14, 2014

7 Things You Need to Know Before You Put Your House on the Market

Our house is on the market. What? You hadn't heard? I'll try to be more vocal in my complaining.

We are not those people who lucked out and sold our house the day it hit the market. It's fine. Really, it is. It's similar to how I feel about people who have babies who sleep through the night at two months. I'm simultaneously happy for them while also being insanely jealous. Yeah for you. Boo for me.

We are also not those people who lucked out and sold our house in the first week or the first month. Nope, we're just trucking along, cleaning our house like crazy people, and considering the wisdom of planting that Catholic saint somewhere in our yard.

Since we're kind of house on the market professionals by now, here's my list of things you need to know before you put your house on the market.

7 Things You Need to Know Before You 
Put Your House on the Market

1) The feedback will drive you straight-up nuts.

Sure, we get some valid and constructive feedback. We also hear things like, "We need a 3-car garage" or "We want to live on the lake." Hey, genius, you saw the pictures and you read the information about our house on the website. If you need those things, do not bother coming to my house. You just have your realtor send a showing request and then drive to my house. I spend a substantial amount of time preparing for your hallowed arrival. It ain't easy. And if you want to live in a five bedroom house on the lake then you might consider winning the lottery.
We'd offer you $250,000 for this, but we need an 8 car garage.
My new favorite is from this weekend. "They need to declutter. I know they have lots of kids, but they really need to clear out more stuff." My initial urge is to kick this particular realtor in the teeth. We spent days and weeks cleaning and clearing our house out. It is unrecognizable from its former self. I live in this house.  Actually, six of us do. We have to school and eat and sleep and bathe and LIVE here. We do all of that every day. We need a few things out. Sue me. No, instead buy a house with a three-car garage on a lake and never have stuff in it. Adios.

2) You will want to burn your house down.

You will get a showing request and you will look at your kitchen and laundry room and you will think that it'll just be easier to dump the kerosene and light the match. In the short term this sounds like a logical solution. Stifle the urge. Please. Don't do it.
good for s'mores. bad for your house.

3) There will come a day where you don't know where 1/3 of your belongings actually are.

Storage? Put away in its actual spot? Shoved in a random drawer during a crazy clean-up frenzy? Your guess is as good as mine. There was a time when Audrey and I were frantically looking for my running watch as I was getting ready to head out to coach Moms on the Run. She flung open the cupboard where we keep the pots and pans, then moved onto the lazy susan, all perfectly illogical spots for a watch, before exclaiming, "I'm looking everywhere because I know that watch could be absolutely anywhere by now." To prove her point I found my watch a few days later in the washcloth drawer in the kids' bathroom upstairs.
Hi. My name is Garmin. I hide in random cupboards.

4) You will troll the other houses for sale in your neighborhood like a psycho.

It's got fewer square feet, but it's got a deck. That purple bedroom is heinous, but they have a bar in the basement. The unfinished basement is a problem, but the master bath is gorgeous.

5) You'll get all judgy about it, too.

They think they'll get that price for a 3-bedroom? There's no way. But what if they do? Seriously. What if they do? If that house sells before ours I'll just freak. I mean, what's wrong with our house? There is absolutely nothing wrong with our house. Right? Right? RIGHT?? How did they do that? Do you think they buried that statue? We should have just buried the dang statue.
And my neighbor requests no fence and no dogs. Great. Thanks.
6) You'll second guess every decision you've ever made about your house.

From paint color to flooring to size of garage to landscaping. You'll forget that the house has worked wonderfully for you for as long as you've lived there. That is has tons of storage. That your baby learned to walk on these floors. That you know the creaks of the doors and can tell which child is about to come padding into your bedroom. That the bathroom floors have been baptized in baby splashes. Instead you'll focus on the few things that people point out, which will then make you see everything as flawed. It's messed up. It gets in your head.
boom. what Epictetus said.
7) It'll be okay.

Really, it will be. We have a house. Actually, a beautiful house (that someone should buy). It is on a fantastic street in a lovely neighborhood near my favorite friends. The people who live with me in my house are my home so I'm good so long as they're with me. It's going to happen. Go for a run. Read a book. Grab a mojito with a friend. Chill.

Alright, homeowners, what would you add to the list? Any words of wisdom?