Monday, August 16, 2010

Dentons Do Summer--Mom Installment

My blog suffered from lack of introspection.
My body suffered from lack of exertion.
My kitchen suffered from lack of attention.
My blog comments suffered from lack of reflection.
Personal goals were largely placed on hold while I focused solely on my kids.

The lessons I learned from Summer 2010 are priceless.

I devoted 95% of my time and energy to being Mom.
I set goals:
Little to no TV/computer/Wii
Fewer activities away from home
More time together
Time set aside for reading and journal entries
Memorize scripture and quotes
No-friends/siblings-only days

In short, I simplified.

And I rekindled the joy that I have for mothering. I remembered how much I love and adore these little people entrusted to me by God. I watched them develop greater bonds with each other, more appreciation for family and less dependence on technology. I crawled and swam and biked and read and taught. I cared more about the development of their characters than the list of their accomplishments.

This summer changed me. I realized anew how important and irreplaceable I am in the lives of my kids. How what I do as their mom has far-reaching, eternal effects.

Life was out of balance for those few weeks. Jenny disappeared and Mom took over. Mom neglected blogging and reading and organizing and shopping for more important concerns. Mom relished snuggling with a nursing baby or eating popcorn at summer movies. Mom discovered that play-doh matters. Green Eggs and Ham matters. Yoda and Percy Jackson matter. But that was what Jenny needed—to reassess priorities and filter out the chaff.

Now that school is back in session, I hope I can remember these lessons. I want to find a balance between Mom and Me, where I can regain a little of myself without compromising my most important responsibility.

I love being Me.

And I cherish being Mom.

For those of you who asked, Lily's shaving cream party was just that--an "End-of-Summer" free-for-all. Nine bottles of dollar store shaving cream and then a dip in the pool. They had a blast. Highly recommended!


  1. I love that picture, I think it needs to be blown up and replace the old family photo on the wall. It's hard to pick a favorite part of the picture-there is so much fun stuff going on-but I really love that Brad is wearing his church clothes-with those funky shoes!

    I love this post, and I'm so glad you had a fabulous summer, sounds like it was just what you need to restore you as you take up all the new things coming your way, and all the changes that have happened over the past year.

    When I read the 1st day of school post it really brought home how much has changed for you all over the past year. Amazing! Hope you find you balance my friend.

    PS-apologies for the long comment, must be feeling verbose as I prepare to teach!

  2. The shaving cream party must have been a total blast! We did a silly string party after we closed on the house. That was a lot of fun.

  3. I love that family picture more than words can even say. It is the very essence of the Denton Sanitorium.

    Funny, I hadn't felt like your blog suffered at all this summer. Well, other than your silence while on vacay.

    I'm glad you shared your lessons learned. I REALLY need to figure those things out too.

  4. Now that is a great picture! All the personalities shine right through and you can really see all the individuality that goes into a family... yours and all others. Thanks for those lessons learned. They are fun ones and good reminders of the things that are really important.

  5. There's nothing I can add. Been there - felt that - glad I did. Bless you!

  6. That picture should be your Christmas card!! HAHAHA LOVE IT!!

    I am all about the *new* me, and I'm so glad that you had a journey to a new you too!

    I want more information about your Thursday morning class too! I'm in Book of Mormon part I (1 Nephi - Alma 29) with Jenn Brinkherhoff over at ASU on Mon/Wed and Teachings of the Living Prophets with her as well on Tue/Thu. I don't have class until noon though so I am totally available for you!!

    Big hugs,

  7. This was a great post. One I should return to many times over the year. I'm wishing summer could last for longer. I feel like I need more time with the girls. I wil be using our last few weeks of summer to fill up with their presence.

  8. This was wonderful Jen!!
    I feel the same way about our summer as the end draws near, but don't think I could have put it so eloquently!!
    You are a wonderfully inspiring mom!
    Enjoy the day

  9. Wonderful post! I'm like you--Keep It Simple; Focus on Priorities; Laugh More and Fuss less.
    Works for me!

  10. GREAT photo, great summer, great idea for a party, great insights, great post.

    Great blogging.


  11. That family photo is a classic, so fun. We desperately need a bit of fun around our home. I sometimes feel like I'm drowning in the day to day routine.

  12. I am with you and couldn't have said it better myself - I love keeping things simple, I love being a mom, I love being me! It's great to keep priorities straight!!

    The picture is Awesome!!

  13. What fun to take a picture of ALL of your family now that they are doing some scattering around. I wish I had been there to see it taken, because I know that Brad did a run and jump on the laps after he set the camera.

    LOVE to all

  14. Sounds like your summer was a total success! Great pictures.

  15. You are my mom hero and inspiration, when I grow up I want to be just like you as a mom. I can tell your kids love you, and each other, and that they love to spend time with you- even when they're big enough that friends are cooler for a while. You are a great mom, and I'm glad you blog so I can learn from all of your coolness.

  16. where did your crisis post go?!?
    it was a good one. one i can relate to. especially since my hubby found an article in a recent men's health mag about cutting sugar out & why we need to...also why our society is ADDICTED to sodas.
    so we decided to cut back on our sugar intake as well. i'm kinda nervous about it. seeing as there's already so little i CAN eat, cutting sugar may send me over the edge.
    but, we shall see.
    i'll keep you posted! (:

  17. Thanks for the reminder. I just read a quote the other day from President Monson saying that too often we fill our time with the unimportant things of life.

    This life we live makes it hard to remember what is truly important and keep that as our #1 priority. I will be working on that right along with you once school starts back.

  18. I love that family photo :) I think it really shows how great it is to be part of your family and how much fun it is to be one of your kids :)

    I'm glad you had a great summer with your kids. It's so great that you put your kids and their needs first over your own wants. I just think you're an awesome person :)

    By the way, happy belated birthday! Hope you had a great birthday :)

  19. Oh yeah! Love that family photo!
    That sugar monkey is relentless. You are good to be so careful!
    Glad your summer was what you had hoped...seem like many of your goals were met. And really great goals at that!

  20. ah, just realized that you meant that your birthday is NEXT Saturday and not the one that just past.

  21. I learned a lot from you this summer. Only wish I still had little ones at home to use those lessons on. thanks for your friendship. happy birthday!

  22. Awhh the family pic is cute! I agree with another commenter to blow it up.

    Kudos for taking time away and enjoying your family.

    Oh yeah we still have not started school yet so we may have to pull off one of those shaving cream parties...looks like lots of fun.

  23. With what you just described, how could you not love being you? I'm so glad your goals of reconnecting and spending time with your kids were met. You, and them, will never miss the episodes of iCarly they did not get to see, or the countless hours not spent updating their facebook status. SO HAPPY FOR YOU!

    Have fun finding this balance as you transition into "school" gear!

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