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It’s almost midnight, and I totally have a stomach ache and a headache, and I think a sore throat too.  It’s probably all resulting from the popcorn intake at the drive-in. maybe I can’t blame the sore throat on that. It was colton’s birthday party tonight. we had 11 kids, and the cool part is that- get this- 11 & under are free at the drive-in. chuckle. Good deal. Here, it started out at 81 degrees and dipped to a chilly 77 degrees as we were loading up to come home. You gotta love that about AZ this time of year! we had a good time. the kids loved it and MOST important… colton felt that it was a great party. I am glad that he was happy. It’s fun to see the changes, and growth in your children. Don’t you think? I have seen some changes in him that I really like. Capri has brought out a softness in him that I didn’t really ever see before. It’s caused such different disposition in him.  It’s funny how just one person’s attitude in a family can effect the dynamics of everyone. As I sit and contemplate his life…and HIM, as an individual… I marvel at the last nine years.  I compare the kind of mother I was with colton as an infant compared to how I am now with Capri. In almost a decade, I have changed and grown significantly myself.  I can remember quite vividly the feelings I had as colton was handed to me, and we were released from the hospital. I had the “you really think I can take care of this human?” attitude with the nurses. I couldn’t have felt less capable, or qualified to be his care-taker. I can remember the thrill of each milestone and the pride that I felt in being a mother. The next two were a bit of a blur I am sad to say.  The pace of my life increased with 2 more little ones, and along with the birth of cory and the arrival of quincy, it was more of a ‘sink or swim’ mentality than ‘confidence and experience’ approach. 3 little kids close together had an intensity that nothing else really compares to- at least not that I have experienced. And because of that intensity, the learning curve and the experience gained up until this point…having a new baby again is simply the sweetest, most pure and precious experience of my life. not because I love this child any more than the others… because I feel like my love for the older children has been magnified with the arrival of this little one- but because I have a totally different perspective now.  I am so thankful for the wisdom, knowledge and experience I have gained up until this point.  I am so thankful for the calm and confidence I feel with Capri, as a result of that learning. But above all, I am thankful for the piece of heaven that Capri brings into our home.  It’s something I remember feeling when we brought Colton home. 9 years ago. 
I am a very different person than I was 9 years ago.
It makes me wonder how the changes in a woman, over the course of years that she bears/rears children, influences/impacts the outcome of the individual children.
I mentioned that we took the kids camping last weekend- and how happy they were- and how happy I was that it made them so happy!  When I see my kids out playing with each other and their friends…it makes me happy. And I think that it’s totally natural for all parents to wish and hope for happiness for their children.
Today- as I was rushing around doing my thing, Saturday stuff… normal life necessities, shopping, laundry, cleaning etc…I was in a good mood. Not for any particular reason- and Colton said to me: ‘you seem happy mom. I sure like it when you are happy’. This simple statement, accompanied by a hug around my waist and a very sincere smile, made me realize…that just as much as we hope and wish for our children’s happiness, I believe they wish for ours.  Similarly, I have that desire for my parents. I know I like it when my folks are happy too.  My point in all of this… on this night that 9 years ago- my life changed forever as I became a mother, is that a happy woman is a better mother. A better wife.  A better friend.  And as a woman… the time, and effort you invest in your own happiness- remembering to love yourself, and be careful with yourself- benefits all those around you. 
I am not always happy. I am critical and judgmental of myself. I have high expectations of myself, and don’t cut myself a lot of slack.  i am my own worst enemy… I don’t dwell on my strengths, or focus on my accomplishments… but instead tend to beat myself up about where I fell short, and how I am weak.
You know that I love that ‘she’ book by Kobi Yamada… and I read it all the time because of the strength I find there, and the way it helps me imagine the kind of woman I am striving to become.  Anyway, I picked it up again today when I was cleaning up around my studio, and the quote that stood out to me today was:
 “she was kind, loving and patient…with herself”
(in the book, the word “patient” is written larger than everything else)
I share all this because I believe that we are much more similar than we are different.
And just to remind myself, that happiness is powerful. Effective. Contagious
And it’s a choice.

  • Vee

    22 October, 2006 at 12:43 am Reply

    I totally agree!
    awesome post from and equally awesome lady
    I think as mothers it makes you be a better woman and make you appreciate the little things so much more
    love your post so much.
    I am happy your ds had a great day, my son turns six today!
    feel better!

  • chanel

    22 October, 2006 at 2:35 am Reply

    I totally agree, and I have taught my hubby that if the mum isn’t happy then NO ONE is …. he’s finally getting it – LOL! You have to put yourself first and then you can give to everyone else in your life! gotta get me that book!

  • jamie

    22 October, 2006 at 5:37 am Reply

    i totally agree…and i just made a little “SHE” inspired book for a friend who has just made some tough life changes…big move, divorce, new job, etc…and is stepping out there into this crazy busy world on her own…we need to celebrate eachother:) we are more the same than different…thanks for the inspiration Heidi!
    i posted a few pics on my blog a few days ago if you want to see it.

  • Lisa Tanner

    22 October, 2006 at 5:49 am Reply

    It’s so funny to read someone’s post about what inspires them (like you with the She book) and be inspired by that someone and what they say at the same time. I’m a blog stalker and always check in to see what’s going on in Heidi’s world! I’m always inspired. And reading the other comments gave me an idea for a gift for my best friend who recently lost her husband. The inspiration I’ve gotten in just a few minutes was unbelievable – THANKS!!!
    I hope you feel better and Happy Birthday to Colton – it sounded like a wonderful day!

  • angela

    22 October, 2006 at 5:56 am Reply

    Heidi its amazing the way you take the way we mothers feel and put it into words in a way that when we your blog, we sit at our computers going “oh my god I know exactly what she means by that”

  • Momto4

    22 October, 2006 at 6:50 am Reply

    Thank you for you comments. My 4 daughters are all grown and have children of their own, but I still get so much joy from watching them as grown young women doing great things with their lives and influencing their children for good. Motherhood is tough and frustrating at times, but when you see you own child blossoming and becoming it is a joy like no other. Marilyn

  • vicki f

    22 October, 2006 at 6:59 am Reply

    it is a true statement. they grow up so fast. i remember when i had my first child. i thought the same thoughts exactly. but it was a maternal instinct to care for someone so unconditionally. although he is a teenager and stretches my nerves to the snapping point, i love him so. after hearing you speak in b’ham al, i bought the “SHE” book and have it in my office and one at home. I love to see the people who come into my office and thumb through it and watch their expressions. I sit and think, “Did it inspire them as it did me.”

  • Grace

    22 October, 2006 at 7:15 am Reply

    I am single no children and NOT by choice and sometimes am a little jealous of “moms” but I feel blessed with lots of neices and nephews even my friends children call me aunt Grace and 1 little girl Sarah Joan every year for Mother’s Day has given me a gift. She says I am like a mom in the love and caring I always give(tear)and she asked her mom if it was ok if she would feel bad, and she smiled and said she thought it was great and the truth..Most of the time single women are just not thought of because “we don’t understand” and most of the time we don’t there is nothing like a mother and childrens bond nothing at all and hopefully 1 day I will get it but we do understand and Heidi you help me to understand to smile with your childrens little saying and big love for mom and dad and each other. Thank you for sharing your family and hearts with all of us. Happiness is a choice…it is isn’t it. I never thought of it that way thank you.

  • savannahscrapbooking

    22 October, 2006 at 8:09 am Reply

    Thanks for the reminder!

  • Sarah

    22 October, 2006 at 8:17 am Reply

    that’s all
    just wow
    thank you for articulating what I (and so many other women) have inside.

  • mom78968400

    22 October, 2006 at 8:35 am Reply

    Just ordered “She.” Should arrive on Monday. I appreciate all that you share with us. We as moms are a community that rely on each other for support and friendship. We value our roles and the way they will not only impact our children, but those around us. Happy Birthday to Colton and to your family on the upcoming year of being a family that will continue to love, grow and make…choices

  • kim Loewen

    22 October, 2006 at 8:47 am Reply

    Colton’s birthday party sounded like so much fun! I wish we still had drive-ins here, it would be a blast! I truely believe in the importance of being happy and how it can really change your life. I love that ‘She’ book and feel like it has also given me strength in times when I have really needed it. Thanks for sharing it with me!

  • michelle hill

    22 October, 2006 at 9:11 am Reply


  • Monique

    22 October, 2006 at 9:29 am Reply

    This is one of the many reasons I think you are AMAZING! 🙂

  • Annie

    22 October, 2006 at 9:36 am Reply

    I read your blog all the time, but this entry brought me to tears. You know I have no children of my own, but some of what you’ve articulated so beautifully shows up in my job as a teacher. I enjoy the amazing experience of seeing the changes in a group of kids over the course of a year. In their own “teenager” way, they express love and appreciation for the adults in their lives, too.
    This probably doesn’t make much sense, and may even seem weird for a teacher to feel that way about her kids, but I hope I have appropriately expressed my appreciation to you.
    Thank you. You touched my heart today.

  • Lori Muse

    22 October, 2006 at 9:43 am Reply

    Thanks so much for your comments today, they were really needed. I am a mother of 4 under 5 years and can very easily lose sight of the big picture. Thanks for reminding me to make sure that I take care of myself so that I can be a better mother and nurturer for my children.

  • bethy

    22 October, 2006 at 11:01 am Reply

    hi heidi,
    thank you for sharing these struggles inside yourself. i LOVE what you said. it can appear sometimes that people are happy because their life is easier, or their circumstances are “better.” when we look at people (like you) who seem to have it all together and don’t ever appear to get frustrated. thank you for reminding us that even behind your perfect, beautiful, happy, pink world, you are just like us. and that our happiness is not given to us through our circumstances. we have to choose it. i’m signing up for your class because i think you will remember to remind me of this 🙂 🙂 totally glad i found you through this white box of mine.

  • Rorie

    22 October, 2006 at 11:43 am Reply

    Heidi, thanks for this insight. I plan on making a sign with that she quote and hanging it up in my scrap room, where I can see it all the time.

  • Lara Cousins

    22 October, 2006 at 12:59 pm Reply

    Awesome words Heidi – thank you for always sharing what’s on your heart.
    Lara in S.A.

  • Shawnna / flipflopmom

    22 October, 2006 at 1:42 pm Reply

    thanks for sharing!

  • Rhea

    22 October, 2006 at 2:03 pm Reply

    TFS that was one of the nicest things I ever read!! WOW thats a whole page right there! a very touching one!

  • Katrina Grabowski

    22 October, 2006 at 2:31 pm Reply

    This is the most beautiful thing I have ever read. One year ago my husband and I had our third son. Which was a complete surprise. Our oldest were 16 and 13 and we were done. Because of my age the doctor never checked for pregnancy we thought it was the begininng of menopause. Since everything monthly was normal and I was on birth control??? Needless to say this shock came at six months. He is such a blessing to our lives and has softened my boys as well. My husband and I are like kids with a brand new toy. Not to say it is not hard with teenagers and a newborn. You have put all my thoughts into perspective. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Woman to Woman Sincerely, Katrina

  • Janelle

    22 October, 2006 at 4:12 pm Reply

    amazing, your words always flow so eloquently…like a song, poem…u never seize to amaze me. so heartfelt, so raw & to the core. you always shake my thoughts up!

  • sarah w

    22 October, 2006 at 4:31 pm Reply

    i couldn’t agree more. while i don’t have children yet, i can completely agree that a happy wife makes a happy marriage and a happy husband. happiness makes everything easier in life, you can accomplish far more with a happy heart than without one.
    i love the SHE book. and that quote is SO true.
    glad that you’re happy. and glad that you’re sharing your happiness with others.

  • Raimi

    22 October, 2006 at 5:25 pm Reply

    Simply loved your post today. I totally needed to read those words. I can relate! Thanks for the words of inspiration & the feeling I had after reading your post. Thank You! You are an amazing lady!

  • Julie

    22 October, 2006 at 5:35 pm Reply

    Love this and agree with you on so many levels. I have 12, 9 and 1 year old boys and the change in the big boys when the smallest came into our lives has been just beautiful to watch. Also I was shocked to be pregnant after so long and wondered how I would cope yet have enjoyed the experience sooo much and am definately much more relaxed about stuff. If my first born has made it this far and turned out this well when I didn’t have a clue what I was doing then the youngest should be fabulous!
    So nice to know that women all over the world are on the same wavelength. Love to you all from an English girl in Australia!

  • patty

    22 October, 2006 at 6:02 pm Reply

    so, so true.

  • Sharon @ Norah'S

    22 October, 2006 at 6:13 pm Reply

    Very inspiring as always. Must get the SHE book.

  • kass

    22 October, 2006 at 6:29 pm Reply

    I’m not a mother Heidi, but I truly believe that happy parents – genuinely happy parents, go a LONG way to making a child with a happy disposition.
    Sounds like your young man is a great kid.

  • carol

    22 October, 2006 at 6:50 pm Reply

    your perspective is charming… so well spoken and balm for the mother’s soul…
    but tucked inside your message was salve for the woman’s soul as well… the woman who’s walking down the road of divorce after 28 years… weary, sad, afraid … your worlds about womanhood…taking care of ourselves, continuing the challege to make the most of ourselves..whether we be 28 with two young children – or turning 50 in two months and beginning the rest of my life as a single mom…. Lately, I’ve been having a hard time with being ‘happy’ with all that I am having to manage, but your last words needed to be read by me…to remind me that I do have the choice to be happy…despite the odds that I fight each day… I can still choose to be happy! I need to work on it…and the view that you shared helped me to focus that into view. It’s always a treat to read up on what’s new with your business, but Heidi, I gotta tell ya… when you speak about things like this…motherhood, women, nurturing our selves, growing as a person, a whole different side comes out that I just LOVE… JUST love! thank you for sharing this side of you…
    SHE shares, and we are better souls for it…

  • aliciaking

    22 October, 2006 at 7:36 pm Reply

    I am truly thankful for the unexplainable, spiritual, definately had to be there experience we had shared during our SHE class. (and I know a lot of women out there feel the same way!) Heidi you brought out a new “SHE” in me, and for that I am thankful. I am thankful for the same beliefs that we have, and knowing that there is more..out there. I am always inspired by the “SHE” book, I read it all the time. I think about what it says..”She designed a life she loved” and I am getting there. I am thankful to have your creative and spiritual thoughts in my life!

  • Alexandra-mama of two, wife, daughter....

    22 October, 2006 at 8:34 pm Reply

    the ironies in life simply amaze me. that tonight, when i was feeling my most LOW and sadness at not being the ‘perfect mother’ nor the ‘perfect daughter’ to my aging parents-in my own eyes–i read your post. heidi swapp: mother, business owner, SHE knows and understands we are all the same in this world- thank you. i must go find the “she” in me. a heartfelt thank you. God bless.

  • Nicole Mc

    22 October, 2006 at 8:44 pm Reply

    Oh Heidi, thank you so much. This post brought me to tears. I have 3 boys. Ages 6, 3, and 1. I’m soooo overwhelmed. I want to cry often. Sometimes i cant stand myself, sometimes i cant stand my children!! (of course i love them with every ounce of my being!) But do you know how i feel?? You reminded me that i will get thru it, and made me imagine my own sons faces when we are just enjoying each other and not worrying about the laundry being done. I feel at peace at this moment, thank you!

  • Wendy Treseder

    22 October, 2006 at 10:24 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing your post today Heidi. It made me smile and nod and even wipe a happy tear from my face.

  • Melissa H - Perth

    22 October, 2006 at 11:43 pm Reply

    awesome post, heidi. a great reminder… i agree, i think we are all more similar than we are different. 🙂

  • Kylee

    23 October, 2006 at 12:12 am Reply

    Thanks Heidi – I really enjoyed reading ur post today (and other days too!) And you’re totally right, we are more similar than we are different – what an awesome truth.
    All the way from Australia ;o)

  • Jolene George

    23 October, 2006 at 1:13 am Reply

    I love that you see and appreciate each and every blessing in your life. I liked your blog title. Choices is what our RS lesson was on. They let me sneak out of primary so I could play with the grown ups…very nice! :o) http://jolenegeorge.blogspot.com/

  • Jane

    23 October, 2006 at 4:06 am Reply

    Thanks for telling this story (and all the touching stories you tell). It was just what I needed today.

  • Nancy

    23 October, 2006 at 5:57 am Reply

    So today I turn 30 — and was just reading this thinking… AMAZING! Over the weekend I too was thinking how a single decade has changed my life and my family’s life so much. We have grown from 6 (my mom, dad and four girls) to 22 — can you believe that!! Talk about explosion. So meanwhile, my three sisters and I are all going through the chaotic days of little ones in the house, all fighting perfectionism (which is truly and evil trait), and all working towards creating happy healhy homes. This was so perfect for this day! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Kristy Gussio

    23 October, 2006 at 6:38 am Reply

    Totally agree! And reading your post reminded me that I need to follow through on an idea I had—-wouldn’t it be great to throw a “Book Swap Party” for all of your friends and have everyone bring a book that has influenced their lives—then everyone could write a little about how that book has inspired them and then we could swap with our friends (everyone gets a new book for their collection). I’m going to get started….. Thanks for inspiring me!

  • Wendy Myers

    23 October, 2006 at 8:52 am Reply

    I have never posted on your blog. Sometimes I don’t get to read the whole thing as yours tend to be long. I sneak it in at work.LOL
    Anyway, as I read your blog today I want to cry as you describe how you feel about your children and how each is unique and I think WOW we all just want to be Happy.
    Thanks for letting me know that we all feel the same, sometime bad days sometime WOW days.

  • Jaime Jackson

    23 October, 2006 at 9:18 am Reply

    Heidi–thanks so much for your inspiration. I signed up for your class, and then saw this post and thought “Yep, I certainly made the right decision.”
    Your posts (this one and the one about making time for FUN)made me realize that there is only so much time for us here on this earth. Make each moment count. I can’t wait to start counting my moments with you in 2007!

  • betsy murray

    23 October, 2006 at 10:06 am Reply

    i wish i could have read this 25 years ago.
    this was sincerely beautiful. thank you

  • Kathy Pitt

    23 October, 2006 at 4:45 pm Reply

    Thanks for your post today Heidi … I had an unhappy morning with my eldest son, and I came home from the school drop off feeling like a failure that I made him sad & we both cried. Your post has just reinforced I do want my children to be happy, And i need to accept the changes he is going through and support him, not try to bring him back to how he was.
    Thanks so much Heidi, you are a blessing to all of us who share you life on your blog!

  • Felecia

    23 October, 2006 at 6:09 pm Reply

    “I am critical and judgmental of myself. I have high expectations of myself, and don’t cut myself a lot of slack. i am my own worst enemy… I don’t dwell on my strengths, or focus on my accomplishments… but instead tend to beat myself up about where I fell short, and how I am weak.”
    This post RESONATES in me…On October 12 (which, incidently, seems a life time ago!)I became a mother for the first time at 36. The peace of heaven my little guy brings to our household is profound…and the way I feel being a mother is almost surreal. My husband has said that the change in me is astronomical…as though some kind of auto-pilot was disengaged. I stopped rushing, running, being hyper-critical and started to experience moments in the now.
    Your thoughts so touch me…how different I have become with just this first child, how happy it makes me just to be able to put him to sleep, feed him, give him a bath, and how very happy I am that I waited until this time in my life to be a mom. I would have been a poor mother if I’d started earlier in life…this child is the best thing in the world to me and he arrived at just the right time.
    Thanks for sharing your insights.

  • Michelle M

    23 October, 2006 at 6:53 pm Reply

    Ok…saying this with a smeltering of tears in my eyes….THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I READ YOUR BLOG! Is there any chance that I can use some of your journaling as a quote?? I have the perfect pics and your words actually moved me to tears!

  • PROLIX from la Normandie

    24 October, 2006 at 1:21 am Reply

    Bonheur is everything!
    As on my blog :
    {ThE fReNcH tOuCh}
    where I put bright colors (yellow etc) and a pop style to make people dream and be happy everyday!
    So, I hope they’ll be!
    It’s an hard goal, but a beautiful one!
    Beaucoup de bonheur for everyone!!!

  • Tammy

    24 October, 2006 at 11:02 am Reply

    I love the “She”. Recently, I bought two copies to give to girlfriends going through difficult times. As women, we are faced with so many demands in our lives. We tend to fulfill the needs of the people around us that we unselfishly forget about our on needs.
    “She designed a life she loved.” Words that I carry with me each and every day now after reading the book. Yes, you are so right…we do have a choice for happiness.
    I enjoyed reading your inspiration words.
    God Bless,

  • Angie Nichalson

    24 October, 2006 at 12:44 pm Reply

    Hi Heidi..you are sooo right, it is about CHOICES. I believe one should surround themselves with people and things that make them happy…and being positive about yourself and your life sometimes has to be a conscious decision..it is NOT ALWAYS EASY!! Rock on sister, you are the best!! angie

  • Talia

    24 October, 2006 at 1:12 pm Reply

    thanks so much for sharing this, heidi. i am in the throws of “young motherhood” right now…my girls are (almost) 2 and 3 months…i feel like i just go thru the motions most of the time, but you’ve reminded me to slow down, to take it all in, to appriciate them for the miracles that they really are. wish i could express my thoughts the way you can…something for me to work on!

  • Rhonda Steed

    24 October, 2006 at 2:57 pm Reply

    Wonderful wonderful stuuf Heidi! I’ve never read that She book – but I might have to check it out. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Lori S.

    24 October, 2006 at 3:05 pm Reply

    So true, Heidi. I really needed to read all of this today. I had 4 children in 5 years and my oldest will turn 9 years old on Christmas Day. What a difference a near decade really does make. I finally know myself almost for real now! Take care!

  • Angie

    24 October, 2006 at 11:35 pm Reply

    Thanks for this post. I love Kobi Yamada’s books. They remind you to think and to appreciate yourself. I have “Ever Wonder,” a great book that helps you ask “why not” rather than “why.” And I think you are right – we take ourselves too seriously, we set our expectations of ourselves to high, and sometimes, we just need a refresher – breathe…and then, exhale. Thank you!

  • Tracy

    25 October, 2006 at 9:14 am Reply

    Thanks Heidi, you always seem to inspire me, and I thank you for that!

  • Pam

    25 October, 2006 at 9:59 am Reply

    I got a lot out of this post really I did but I had to laugh at your comment about it being chilly at 77 degrees! 🙂

  • melissa deakin (momteacherwriter)

    25 October, 2006 at 12:23 pm Reply

    i just wanted to say thanks for writing
    this…i have tears in my eyes and i know
    i was meant to read this today.
    i need to be patient with myself and accept
    my flaws and you are right…be happy…i am blessed.
    thanks so much for sharing your wisdom.

  • Jen G

    26 October, 2006 at 5:41 am Reply

    thanks, Heidi. what a wonderful post to start my day. I hope yours brings you a peaceful smile.

  • Nicole Pollard

    26 October, 2006 at 10:50 am Reply

    Thank you for mentioning “She” in your post. I was inspired and I bought it. WOW! It brought tears to my eyes and totally inspired me. THANK YOU!

  • Sharon K

    26 October, 2006 at 9:03 pm Reply

    Great post;

  • Kelly Goree

    27 October, 2006 at 7:34 am Reply

    I think many women – myself included – can totally relate to your thoughts on this. This was an amazing entry to read, Heidi – and you’re an amazing person. So glad you’re happy 🙂

  • Vickie

    28 October, 2006 at 1:52 pm Reply

    I haven’t read your blog in a few weeks but while scrapbooking today I had a feeling that I should read it today and I am so glad that I have. You see, I am scrapbooking school photos from the 80’s of my son who was killed in a motorcycle accident last year (He was only 28 and his precious, sweet girlfriend was killed also). He was 2 when one sister was born and then 9 when his younger sister was born. I can completely relate to what you have said and I am so glad you have said it so well. Thank you for making me feel good today! I wish you all the happiness that one person can have and keep on being yourself! You are a special lady!

  • Debby

    29 October, 2006 at 2:08 pm Reply

    Really great post! I thought you might enjoy seeing the Creative Escape mini album that I made out of the lunchbox from the event. I saved every little thing and captured the fun of the event, I think! Hope you enjoy it! You can click on my name to see the pictures on my blog!

  • kat

    29 October, 2006 at 2:50 pm Reply

    what a great post! love reading this, as i am expecting my first baby in february. i always wonder how its going to be to be pregnant when i have other kids. great great post- thank you!

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