how do you do it + more quick takes {sqt}

I did not make it to last week's SQT. So post this middle of the week and link it up in a couple of days? Yes, that's my plan.

1. Let's get the superficial takes out of the way and leave you with the meat of the post at the very end. So if you're not into outfits and several hundred photos of same outfit, feel free to keep scrolling down.

This outfit is from the beautiful backdrop of AUTUMN! Just look at those beautiful leaves. Different hues of yellow, brown, red.

There is a point why I posted this way out of season outfit. Bear with me and you will see below.

2. It's horribly cold here in the Midwest. Last winter was brutal for a week. But it never went down to -35 windchill. Today, as the polar vortex hit the midwest schools had to close for the day. Local Universities cancelled classes. The Medical school cancelled clerkship duties for the day for the 3rd year medical students. That has never happened before.
There is always a first for everything.

Here are other places much "warmer" than Indy c/o Indy star
  • Antarctica, Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station: Minus 5 degrees
  • Everest Base Camp: Minus 2 degrees
  • Irkutsk, Siberia: 14 degrees
  • Anchorage, Alaska: 33 degrees
  • Aappilattoq, Kujalleq, Greenland: 2 degrees
  • Hell, Michigan: Minus 8 degrees
Mars - one planet away from the sun - is still warmer than Indy. Yesterday - it was reported to be 19 degrees there.

For more reading pleasure~
what is the polar vortex?
It's -33 in Minnesota

3. Now for the HOW DO YOU DO IT? part of the post. I am dedicating 5 takes here.
Since announcing our babyNash/BabyD6/6th pregnancy, I have received lovely messages of congratulations and well wishes. A few have stated: I don't know how you do it?. They have 1 or 2 children of their own and are sincerely mesmerized how D and I welcomed another pregnancy while raising five other children.

After some quiet time and reflection, I have come up with the following reasons.

We are open to life. D and I have always wanted a big family. He wanted three. Then I convinced him to go for four. Once our eldest was born, I asked him to budge that number to five children.  We are now expecting our sixth (!) so we are definitely way past what we could have ever wished or imagined.

Being open to life means being open to sacrifices. Being open to life means taking it one baby at a time, one diaper at a time, one meltdown at a time, one Math homework at a time.

4. My word of the year (thanks Jen!) comes into play for this take.

I am on my way to accepting that some things I just cannot do. I envy those pottery barn looking posts of Sarah Williams; and the energy and love Kathryn puts on her cleaning and decluttering; and homeschooling process of Stephanie; and workout commitments of Colleen Martin. I stress myself out thinking what am I doing wrong? These moms are amazing. Why am I succumbing to this pregnancy fatigue instead of decorating my house? instead of working on preschool work with Lucas and Lucy?

Then the stress and feelings of failure paralyze me even more.
I had to stop the negative thoughts.

I accept that I do have the desires to clean, decorate, exercise, teach but not ALL of those things RIGHT NOW. Wanting to check all those things on my to-do list is setting me up for failure.Instead, I focus on what's important and what's needed and then check them off the list.

I accept what my strengths are and use those to care for my family. I may not have a potterybarn looking house but I do like organizing schedules! I may not have a homeschool plan but I do like helping my children with their homework.

5. Let things go. 
 I had to let blogging slide for a little bit. Blogging is a source of happiness for me. But when I was amidst the first-trimester thoughts of: I hate my life. This all-day sickness is horrible. Why am I doing this again? - I did not want to blog or post these outfits.

Hence the blog silence and the inconsistency of instagram posting.

Let things go and come back to it. It's ok to stop. It's ok to change. Allowing myself to stop and change. Whether that's for a little bit or maybe a little longer. Even if it's permanent.

I gave a very superficial example of a hobby that I let go when I just can't or don't want to do it. But this "let things go" can be used for other things.
Maybe it's letting go of being the chair of that big fundraiser. Maybe it's not this year because you have little children.
Maybe it's letting go of attending all the women church conferences.
Maybe it's  letting go of having the perfect hair and makeup every single day. Hey, I give myself make-up free days and lounge-all-day clothing. Don't be fooled by the outfits I post here. I don't look like this everyday of the week.

6. It takes a village.
The American culture can be very "individualistic." How can this or that benefit me? How can I be successful and not be dependent? It's the  "I can do it all" mentality. Me, I, Mine.
However in other cultures like Hispanics or Filipinos, family is a close-knit unit. People ask if I had lots of siblings that's why I want lots of children. I only had my sister growing up. But we were surrounded by our cousins and second cousins and aunts and uncles. We also grew up with our grandparents.

I won't be able to have so many children without the help of my husband and my parents and in-laws. They are very vital to the raising of my children.

Not everyone has family close by. That's why it's even more important to have your kind of village - church community, friends, coworkers, neighbors.

My village also consists of my sisters (miles and miles away from me) and friends I have met through blogging and instagram. If I need to vent, my sisters are just an iMessage away. If I have a question, I am thankful I have like-minded women I found through blogging and social media.

We all need a village and support to survive parenting.

7. Cherish the joy. Pray. Give thanks. 
Being thankful really has changed my prayer life. I pray starting with gratitude. It's amazing how praising God, asking for forgiveness, and lifting up my requests can all revolve around my thanksgiving.

How do I do this mothering/pregnancy/parenthood thing?
Lots and lots and lots of prayer.

At the end of the day, after the fifth time I have swept the floor or broken up a fight, my children are my best treasures. Truly.
My children are teaching me how to love and give more; how to be cheerful even when it's freezing cold outside; how not to be afraid of sacrifice.

When D and I are gone, these little souls will have each other. That's also the best gift D and I can give them... each other.

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Linking up with This Ain't the LyceumJersey Girl, Texan Heart,  I do de ClaireFoxy's Domestic SideElegance and MommyhoodGlass of Glam and Pumps & PushUps.

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