Friday, January 23, 2015

Under Construction

Hey guys!
I've finally decided to update my blog and switch to Wordpress (which is slightly terrifying!). Things are going to be under construction around here for awhile- possibly for up to a month or so. I've had this site for almost 6 years and over the last year, I've felt like it's time to really clean things up around here.

So, please forgive me while I don't post frequently for awhile. Hopefully the update will go easily, but I have this all backed up just in case.

Thanks for reading along and sharing life with us.

Angela

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Scheduling Creativity

Stay in your own lane. 
Comparison kills creativity and joy.

I woke up yesterday to a dark, cold, silent and empty coffee pot. Somehow we'd both forgotten to pick coffee up at the store, which is basically one of the biggest emergencies in my book. After breakfast, I gathered my kids, plus the extra little guy that I watch and we all headed out for the store. I pushed the car-cart hard, with the two one year olds steering and giggling, and the older two "helping" me push, which actually makes it feel like there are 3 drivers, all going in opposite directions. There was a close incident where our car-cart nearly took out an entire wine display, but other than that close call, we left the store in one piece.

By the time we'd checked out and everyone was buckled back in, going home and making coffee didn't seem like it'd do. We detoured and hit up Starbucks. "A Venti brewed coffee please. With cream and two splenda." They forgot the cream, but it was still delicious and I was a better person from it.

All afternoon, I sipped it slowly, while putting kids down for naps, feeding them snacks, putting away laundry and doing all of the normal stuff that I'm sure you do at your house, too. Bedtime came and after that darn Venti, I was still staring at the clock at 1am. As I laid there, I thought about life, about how we're all given the same number of minutes each day and how we all get to choose how we spend those gifts that we're given---our minutes.

I thought about creativity, about writing, decorating, crafting with my kids and about how we can go in phases where creativity comes easily and other times where it feels like we don't have a creative ounce in our bodies.

For awhile now, I've felt like I have nothing left to give, after I do the normal stuff that needs to be done during the day. What I've been forgetting is that creativity begets creativity. It might be forced for awhile and then one day, it will magically start flowing again. If you want to establish a habit of creativity, train yourself to make time for it. Do it when it feels hard. Do it when it feels like you should be keeping up with all of the mundane stuff instead. Keep on keepin' on and then one day, it'll start flowing easily again.

So, today I put creativity on my list. After I put Eliza down for a nap, Paisley and I painted together. I didn't do laundry. I didn't sit on the computer. I painted and hot glued and cut yarn and it was glorious.
Together, we decorated the house for Valentine's Day, which makes me so very happy. January can feel long and dark, but Valentine's decorations always seem to brighten things and remind me that spring will be here soon.

This little Valentine banner was made with burlap, twine, hot glue and red paint.
To decorate our world map, we cut our hearts and hung them on this brightly colored yarn. Color makes me happy, don't you agree?
This tree with all of our initials was super easy to create in PicMonkey. If you want to make one of your own, let me know and I'll walk you through it.
Happy creating, friends. What's something you've been wanting to make lately?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What Our Girls Need More Than Anything

She almost burst with enthusiasm, as she pulled her first preschool report card out of her folder. We were about to make lunch and she looked at me, asking if we could go over it together after she ate. Setting the bread to the side, I walked over to the couch, sat down in the sun and asked her to join me.
Lately, I’ve been trying to remove the phrases “in a moment” and “we’ll do it later” from my vocabulary. I’ve realized that when I say “in a moment”, I usually forget and when I say “we’ll do it later”, it often never gets done. Someday when I’m gone, I want my kids to remember me as the mom who did it then- not later or even worse, not at all.
And so, we settled into the couch together, while the peanut butter, honey and bread waited for us on the counter. Together we went through the report card, talking about her strengths and the areas she needs to work on.
As we flipped the page over, there in the comments section, was what I’ve always known about my free spirited, never-holds-still, wild child, who’s challenges me like none other and who’s filled with a heart of pure gold.
“She brings sunshine into any room she’s in. I’m so glad she’s in mine.”
-Her Teacher
All evening, I’ve been thinking about those words. Since the first time she wiggled in my tummy, she’s never held still. She falls off her chair about 5 times a day, she talks loud and she cries easily. Sometimes I’ve doubted that I could really be everything that she deserves to have in a Mom. I’ve questioned my patience and my anger. I’ve felt guilty and inadequate. From talking with close friends, I discovered that I’m not the only one who has ever felt this way about her daughters.......................
Read the rest of this post HERE, over on All Mom Does, where I post weekly.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dear Judah, Happy Birthday

Dear Judah,
It's hard to believe that it's already been 6 years since that day, when I reached down and pulled you up onto my chest. Thank you for making me a Mom. If 1 million boys were lined up into a long row, I'd pick you.


Last Friday, I took you and 3 of your friends out for an afternoon of playing. You have some great friends and as I listened to you guys play, I read my book. After just a few pages, I got to a part where the author was talking about taking her kids to the pool and not only sitting on the sidelines (which was typical for her), but getting in there with them and playing. Her story gave me an idea.....

I called you boys over for cupcakes and presents and as you all finished up, I asked you guys if you'd like me to go down the slides with you. Before I knew it, I was following you up to the top of the play area, crawling, darting, running and sweating. We lined up and made a train as we zoomed down the slide and then.....we did it again and again.

I'll always remember racing down those slides with and your friends. I don't know how many more years I have where you'll actually think it's cool for your Mom to play with you. Until then, I want to slide more, laugh loud with you, be there with you and not just sit on the sidelines.

For your Birthday, you asked that I'd sew you a blanket. I don't sew well- I'm pretty sure that the way I sew would make most people who know what they're doing shake their head. The best part though is that you're easy to please. You don't care if my lines aren't perfectly straight, if I have to change thread colors once, twice or three times (since I didn't plan well) or if I didn't follow a pattern. I stayed up late making that blanket and when you opened it this morning, to you, it was perfect.

This afternoon it got really quiet and when I went to look for you, I found you asleep on our bed with your new blanket. Later when you woke up, you asked me to carry you downstairs. As I walked down with you heavy in my arms, my eyes glanced in the mirror and I saw your toes hanging all the way to my knees. The times I've carried you in the last year are few and far between. Each time I wonder if it's the last and I try to soak it up, as best as I know how.

Thank you for making the last 6 years of my life the best ever. Before I was a Mom everyone warned me that I'd never sleep again or that I might loose myself. I have to say that all their warnings were wrong. I don't feel like I've lost myself at all. Instead, you and your sisters are the catalyst that makes me want to be the best that I can be. You make me not want to settle for anything less than exactly what God created for our lives.

Happy Birthday to you. You're 6 now and I couldn't be more proud of you.
Love,
Mama
If you're into birth stories, you can read Judah's here. He was 9lb, 7oz and I gave birth to him with a midwife. His birth was everything I'd ever wanted and after that, I went on to have his sisters with the same midwife.

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