Friday, January 31, 2014

The Friday 5

I can't believe another week has flown by.  We've been hunkered down this week with my children passing a cough back and forth to one another.  I've driven myself to the point of insanity trying to clean every surface they touch (and lick).  My efforts clearly were in vain; my sweet baby girl's runny nose and cough has turned into bronchiolitis (no RSV, thank God).  We're humidfy-ing and applying Baby Vicks liberally and hydrating...hoping this passes soon.

On to the goodies!



1. DIY Book Page Mobile from Lindsey @ The Pleated Poppy - will make any bibliophile's heart swoon.



2. How to Have a Happy Home by The Nester - Myquillyn and 4 other bloggers went to Uganda with Compassion International.  So many of her posts from this week have been moving, but I think this may be my favorite one.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="625"] image source[/caption]

3. Becoming Home: Loft Inspiration by Carmella @ Assortment - I love Carmella's tiny house and she often sites one of my favorite books (Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka) as her inspiration.  Here she gives us a peek at a few of her favorite photos which also inspired her boys' loft.



4. My Cleaning Closet Overhaul! by Jenny @ Little Green Notebook - Just wow.  I have a closet that you can barely open for fear you'll be attacked by a vacuum cleaner, and I live in fear of my detergent falling and hitting me on the head in my laundry room.  Not only did Jenny make her space clean and functional, but it's oh so pretty, too.



5. Molly's Sketchbook: Sweetheart Charms from The Purl Bee - Such a cute Valentine's craft! And I love the sentiment behind the charm.  Saving this one for when my daughter is a little older.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

On My Bookshelf in January

January-Bookshelf

I started out the month weary from Christmas and with no real plan to read anything.  When Anne from Modern Mrs. Darcy mentioned a few books she wanted to re-read this year, it reminded me of one I had forgotten I wanted to read.

Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes is beyond fabulous and has become one of my favorite food memoirs of all time.  I've tried out a handful of recipes already, and they all have gone into regular rotation in my house.  Beyond the food, Shauna's story draws you in like a conversation with one of your best friends.  At times, I was literally laughing and crying all at the same time.  Definitely moving this to my "to buy" list.


I'm always on the hunt for something new to read, so when Carmella mentioned she was learning how to cook a wolf, I was completely intrigued. More cookbook than cooking memoir, How to Cook a Wolf by MFK Fisher was first published in 1942.  It is full of advice for the home cook to be creative in frugality, which is what I expected.  I didn't expect to laugh so much!  Fisher is hilarious and full of sarcastic humor.  Her words are just as relevant today as they must have been 70 years ago.


Just as I was finishing reading Sense & Sensibility in December, Nicole from Gidget Goes Home announced the Motherhood & Jane Austen Book Club.  I love Jane Austen, but I tend to watch movies based on her novels rather than read the real deal.  I'm not sure if I'll follow along and read all 6 novels this year, but Pride and Prejudice is a favorite, so I'm determined to read at least this one.


I came across Rachel Held Evans' A Year of Biblical Womanhood somewhere online, and honestly I wasn't that interested.  But then I kept seeing references to it randomly, so I thought "eh...I'll give it a go" and checked it out from my local library.  Wow.  I'm really not sure what I expected (actually that's not true...I'm pretty sure I expected to be turned off by this book) but this book was surprisingly awesome.  As in, I couldn't put it down awesome.  As in, I still haven't watched this week's episode of Downton because I was reading this instead.  It's an incredibly thought provoking read, so if you're just the slightest bit interested in what the Bible has to say about women, I highly recommend this book.


I was a huge Full House fan growing up.  The wait list for Candace Cameron Bure's latest book is insanely long at my library, so I grabbed Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness instead.  It's autobiographical as well as being a diet/motivational book.  I'm only halfway through it, so I don't feel like I can give a fair assessment of the book as a whole.  I'm enjoying the autobiographical side of the book, but I have mixed feelings on the way she intertwines spiritual and physical fitness.  Jury's still out on this one...


stack-of-books-jan-2014

And that's about it!  Do you have any book recommendations?  Share with us in the comments!

Note: this post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting Tids & Bits!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Fastest and Best Hot Chocolate

best-microwave-hot-chocolate

It got cold again.  As the winds turned from calm to blustery late yesterday afternoon, my son and I sat cuddled up listening to the wind chimes blow and he asked for hot chocolate.  I looked at him and realized that at 3 years old he already knows that when it gets cold we need to cozy up, hunker down, and have something warm in our hands.  With all of the craziness of the evening hours comes dinner and baths and stories and tucking little feet into their beds.  It's just me and the kids in the evenings, with me running back and forth between the two littles.  It's not usually leisurely, at least not for me.  But here was an opportunity to change that.  A chance to make, at least one evening, special and different.

best-microwave-hot-chocolate-2

The best recipe I've ever found for hot chocolate came off the back of a can of HEB Cocoa Powder.  I've tried so many different recipes, but this is the one I hold all other recipes to.  As fabulous as the recipe is, it makes a huge pot of hot chocolate.  I only needed 2 cups, and I really didn't want to wash a pot.  So I reached back into my memory and tried to remember my shortcut for this recipe...the way I used to make it long before babies, when it was just me and my husband.  I'm not sure this is the way I used to do it, but it turned out fabulous.  Just as good as making on the stove in a large pot, but without the extra dishes.

Microwave Hot Chocolate 

For each mug of hot chocolate you will need:

1 Tbsp cocoa powder

1 Tbsp sugar

a pinch of kosher salt

2 Tbsp water

1 cup of milk

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

In the bottom of your mug add cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and water.  Stir with a fork to combine until smooth.  Add milk and stir gently.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes or until heated through.  Remove from microwave and stir in vanilla extract.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Baby Moccasins

baby-mocs-top

I'm so excited to share these with you!  I love to knit and crochet and sew, but its so hard to find good chunks of uninterrupted time to work on those types of projects.  These were a long overdue project that took very little time to complete.

baby-mocs-bottom

I used a sport weight cotton yarn from Hobby Lobby (I Love This Cotton in Carousel Ombre).  The pattern is one I've used many times over the last few years from Linda Permann's Little Crochet: Modern Designs for Babies and Toddlers.

baby-mocs-closeup

Cotton is a great year round choice for our climate.  70 degrees one day and 30 degrees the next is pretty typical for Winter in South Texas, and while wool is breathable as well, the cotton is more forgiving on our frequent warm days.

baby-mocs-closeup-2

They're soft and cozy, and because they were quick to crochet I have that wonderful sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing what you start.  Funny how that feeling so often eludes me these days.  ;)

Have you recently finished a fun project?  Share in the comments!

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Friday 5

Good morning friends!  I can't believe it's already Friday.  I am unbelievably excited about the cold weather in Texas!  True Texan right here...jumping up and down over the very slight chance of maybe having snow in South Texas.  Here's a quick roundup of some of my favorite recent reads.  Enjoy and stay warm!

1. Making my Bed by Emily A. Clark

I love how light and airy her room feels.  This is similar to how I envisioned our master bedroom once upon a time, before I got sidetracked with 2 babies and 2 dogs.  A girl can dream, right?

2. On Giftedness and Calling {5 Clues to Your Calling} by Edie @ Life in Grace

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640"] image via Life in Grace[/caption]

Really, I do believe I love everything Edie has ever written.  She has written before on vocation, many times in fact, but this post is truly a masterpiece.  If you only get the chance to read one of these links, read this.

3. Oh Dear, Can He Breathe? by Sherry @ Young House Love

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="350"] image via Young House Love[/caption]

I'm loving this terrarium so much that I'm feeling the need to make my own!  I have a decidedly brown thumb, but if Sherry can make it work, maybe I can too?

4. National Handwriting Day by Darling Magazine

How did I not know there was such a day as National Handwriting Day?!?!  As a self-professed stationery freak this is right up my alley.

5. The Wardrobe Architect Series by Sarai at Coletterie

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="650"] image via Coletterie[/caption]

This is an ongoing series on finding and defining your personal clothing style, which is awesome and fun all on its own.  But I can totally see applying the series to interior design (or any kind of design really), using it as a tool to help you create an atmosphere which is uniquely you.  Intro, Week 1, and Week 2.  Make sure you check out the worksheets Sarai created.  Such a great resource!

What about you?  What have you read and loved this week?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Planning to {UN}hurry

On Tuesday I joined 69 other bloggers in declaring my {UN}word for 2014, {UN}hurry.  I talked about how slowing down and making time and space for my family to journey through our days was going to require a shift in thinking.  For me, that also includes a shift in planning.  I need to plan my days substantially better, so that I can focus on what absolutely must get done each day and, hopefully, free up larger chunks of free time for my family.

Enter Whitney English's head-over-heels-gorgeous Day Designer.

day-designer

I've had my eye on this planner since 2012.  And I didn't spring for it in 2013.  As 2014 approached I found myself going back and forth, adding it to my Etsy cart, and then taking it out again.  I knew I desperately needed to get organized, but it's not an inexpensive planner, and I tend to have a hard time splurging on things for myself.  In the end, it was my husband who surprised me and bought the planner.

day-designer-packaging-closeup

It came beautifully packaged.  I think I squealed a little when I opened it.

day-designer-velveteen-ribbon

I loved all the thoughtful details Whitney put into designing this planner.  And the planner itself does not disappoint.  It is, by far, the most well laid out planner I've ever used.  Each day gets its very own page, which is hard to find in a planner.  In the past, I've used a plain spiral notebook as a planner for this reason alone.  But a spiral notebook isn't indexed, doesn't have calendars, and well...it's just not as pretty.

In the end, it's up to me to plan, no matter how pretty the planner.  But I'm a visual person, and the appeal of using something so beautiful to plan my days seems to have tricked me into becoming better organized.

What about you?  Do you have a favorite planner?  Any tips for getting organized or planning out your days?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Veggie Soup For Your Soul

It's that time of year in South Texas.  Mountain cedar hit us full force last week, and that means every member of my little family has been suffering.  Just when it seems like everyone is getting better, I've woken up the past two mornings with absolutely no voice.  None.  *Sigh*

When I'm feeling a bit under the weather, the only thing to soothe my spirits is soup.  Alright, alright, soup and chocolate.  But for today we'll just focus on soup.  I absolutely adore homemade chicken noodle soup.  But with all of us feeling not so hot and no chicken or egg noodles in the house, my favorite chicken soup recipe became veggie soup with rice.

veggie-soup-saute

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 1 large parsnip, diced

  • 3-4 medium carrots, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil + extra for vinaigrette

  • kosher salt

  • fresh ground pepper

  • 1 quart vegetable stock

  • 1 cup of rice (I used basmati) + 2 cups water

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (or vinegar whatever you like)

  • 1 heaping tablespoon dijon mustard


I start just about every soup I make by sauteing veggies.  In this case I used what I had on hand...onion, carrots, parsnips, celery, and garlic.  Dice all your veggies roughly the same size and cook over medium-high heat in about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Season with a generous pinch of kosher salt.

For whatever reason, I cannot under any circumstance cook rice on the stove.  This frustrates me to no end...so I cheat.  I use a rice cooker.  To each his own.  While the veggies are sauteing away, start your rice in another pot.  Or, you know, in a rice cooker.

When you're veggies are lightly browned and nice and soft add 1 quart of vegetable stock and cover your pot with the lid.

When your rice is done add it to the stock pot.  Recover with lid and bring to a boil.  Once you've reached a boil, reduce heat to simmer.  Check seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Now we get a little fancy.  There's nothing like feeling under the weather to kill your appetite.  Food just doesn't taste as good...flavors aren't as strong.  To remedy this, I followed Shauna Niequist's example from her latest book Break and Wine (LOVE!) and made a quick Dijon and Balsamic Vinaigrette to drizzle on top of our bowls of soup.

vinaigrette-formula

Oh. My. Word. Y'all.  It didn't disappoint.

I eyeballed 1 part vinegar to 2 parts oil (about 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup oil I'd say), added a generous spoonful of dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper to an old jelly jar and shook until it was well blended.

veggie-soup-for-your-soul

Here is the soup all steamy and hot with a drizzle of vinaigrette on top.  The soup is fabulous on its own and is what I fed our sweet baby girl for dinner.  Everyone else got the gussied up vinaigrette version.  It's a great meal on its own, but it's especially fabulous served with this bread.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

{UN}hurried. My {UN} Word for 2014.


It's become popular over the past few years to choose a "word" for the year, either in place of or in addition to new year's resolutions.  I've enjoyed reading about other people's words, but I've never focused on a particular word for the year.

When Edie and The Nester announced they had picked {UN} words for the year and invited everyone else to join in, I had no idea what in the world my word would be.  Words like "untired" and "undistracted" popped into my head over and over.  But I knew they weren't quite right.  Yes, it would be lovely to not be tired all the time, but with a 9 month old and a 3 year old that's not really feasible.  And to not be distracted would be fabulous, but with two tiny ones my attention is always divided, at the very least between the two of them.  Distracted is sort of my natural state during this season of life.

But {UN}distracted came close.  It hit a nerve with me because I feel like so much of the last year and a half I have been here physically, but when I try to think back I feel like I've missed it somehow.  Almost as if I have some sort of amnesia for the last year of my life.

I went to the library this morning and the Kiddo asked to come with.  I was about to say no, and my husband was backing me up, offering other fun things to do while I got out of the house.  But I said yes.

I had a huge stack of books to return and he enjoyed dropping them in the return drop.  Then I let him help me find my book on the hold shelf, and help me check it out using self-checkout.  When I said it was time to go he asked if he could get books for himself.

Again, I almost said no.  But I thought, eh...why not?  So we wandered over to the kids' section and he picked out 4 books to go with his stack of books we already have checked out at home.  I told him it was time to go checkout and he spotted the table with crayons and pictures to color.

You get where this is going, right?



I almost said no...then I said yes.  I realized there really was no hurry and we had an opportunity to spend time together doing something he wanted to do.  We colored for a bit.  He talked to two little girls that were also coloring, asking them their names.  Then he decided he was ready to go.  We walked to the front and he checked out his books.  He held my hand and walked to the car like a big boy.  He was well-behaved overall.  It was relatively painless.  I have a sneaking suspicion it's because I gave him the time and space to explore his surroundings.  I didn't rush him, even when I was tempted to get in and get out.  We added an extra 10 or 15 minutes to my errand, but in that time we created a memory together which we wouldn't have otherwise.

{UN}hurried.  A life {UN}hurried.  That is what I want.

I can already tell it's going to take a huge shift in the way I think and act.  I've always valued efficiency...doing a job as quickly and perfectly as possible.  I walk fast (and I drive fast).  I type fast.  I race myself to clean my house as quickly as possible.  But in life, maybe faster isn't always better?  Maybe the good comes in the journey between the bullet points of our days?

A life {UN}hurried.  Can you imagine the possibilities?

Do you have a word you want to ditch in 2014?  Please share in the comments.  :)

I'm linking up today over at Life In Grace...be sure to visit and read what {UN}word others have chosen for this year!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Dream a Little Dream {or a big one}



I'm an ideas girl.  My brain is always swirling and spinning with thoughts of how I could make little tweaks to things around the house...or maybe brace the ceiling and knock down a wall.  I'm always dreaming and scheming about how to reconcile my loves for collecting vintage and designing spaces (homes, gardens, Airstream travel trailers...you name it).  Most of the time my dreams and idea just swirl around in my mind.  My home, my garden, my Airstream travel trailer...they are my creative playground.  They are the place where I get to test my ideas and see if they sink or swim.

And then sometimes I have ideas that just can't really be tested here at home.

You know I love design and my heart sings for vintage.  You know I'm always reading 5 books and only finishing 3.  You know that I occasionally tackle sewing, knitting, and crocheting projects for my family.

Did you know that I have always been a stationery hoarder?  Always as in since age 5 at least.  Back then it was the excitement of a new box of crayons and a spiral notebook just for me.  Remember those toy catalogs that would come in the mail every Fall?  The ones with every toy possible?  There were play kitchens (which I adored) and blocks and baby dolls and remote control toys and cars you could actually drive.  There were unending possibilities in those catalogs...and I would sit and stare over and over at the pencils you could have your name on, and the little pink diary with colorful hearts and a lock and key on which your name could be engraved, and the little pads of paper....which, you guess it, could have your name.

I'm not sure if my love of stationery came because of the love of the thing itself, or because of the ability to have my name put on it.  You see, every gift shop on the planet stocks those pencils and mugs and play license plates that come pre-printed with names on them.  But you'll never see a Judith among them.  When I was little, the closest I could come would be Judy...but this option has always bothered me because there is no "Y" in Judith.  Even in high school when my name was shorted for awhile, I insisted it be spelled Judi.

So why did I love the stationery from the catalog so much?  Because my mom and dad could order it for me with my name printed on it, and because to me, that was rare and special.

I still love stationery.  My heart still takes a little leap of joy when I come across the perfect set of notecards.  And I have special pens that I bring out just for writing notes to friends.  But over the last few years I've moved away from using bought stationery and have started designing my own.

It started with a Valentine's Day card when the Kiddo was 2 months old, and since then, with only one notable exception (when I was massively pregnant and my husband was recovering from a major illness) I have created our own cards and invitations for every family event and had them sent out to print.

And so I'm dreaming again.  I love collecting vintage goods, but if I'm completely honest, I'm not in love with selling them.  I have such respect for all those who are able to collect, refresh, and resell vintage items.  There is so much work behind the scenes that I just don't have time for as a mom of two tiny ones.  Every item has to be cleaned, staged, photographed (lighting has to be right!), a description has to be written, it has to be priced, and then you have to figure out shipping to Timbucktoo.  If you do guess right on shipping and there is any small profit, it doesn't come close to paying you for your time.  In my case, my time is extra precious because it is my time away from my children.  So, my goal for this year is to slowly but sure get the rest of my inventory listed in my Etsy shop and sell out.

But there is another dream which has creeped into my mind these last few months.  And that is the dream of designing my own line of stationery.  How can I do this in a way that is sustainable for me as a full time mama of two?  I'm not entirely sure, but my early thoughts are it would be in the form of purchasable digital files which people would then be free to have printed as many times as they wish.

Is it crazy?  I don't think so.  Not as crazy as my dream of selling vintage.  :)  Will I fail?  Well if I do, it won't be the first time.  :)

What about you?  Any crazy dreams for 2014?  Knocking down any walls?  Starting new exciting projects?

Friday, January 10, 2014

What I Read in 2013::The List



I am astonished when I look back at the tremendous amount of books I read last year.  I've always been a voracious reader, and I usually have 3 or more books going at once.  But I think last year may have been record breaking.

There are a few changes I made which helped me plow through so many titles last year, but that is a post for another day.  This list is extensive, so I won't go into detail about why I liked each title.  I've tried to group them by similar categories so it's easier to browse.  I've also discarded any books which I didn't finish reading all the way through.  We read many, many, many children's books this year as well, which I will list in another post.

Deluxe: How Luxury Lost it's Luster by Dana Thomas

Parisian Chic by Ines De La Fressange

How To Look Expensive by Andrea Pomerantz Lustig

How To Dress for Success by Edith Head

Overdressed by Elizabeth Cline

A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit

Girls Gone Mild by Wendy Shalit

Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler

Scandilicious by Signe Johansen

It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon

Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman

Scandinavian Stitches by Kajsa Wikman

Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Free-Range Knitter: The Yarn Harlot Writes Again by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Young House Love by Sherry and John Petersik

A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz

The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer

The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading by Jessie Wise 

You Learn By Living by Eleanor Roosevelt

A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle

Below Stairs by Margaret Powell

The Memoir Project by Marion Roach Smith

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam

All the Money in the World by Laura Vanderkam

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

Do The Work! by Steven Pressfield

And the only two fiction books I read in 2013 that weren't of the children's variety...

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Clearly I favor non-fiction, but I very much loved the two novels I read this past year.  Now that I realize just how much I'm leaving fiction out, I'll be making a greater effort to include novels in my reading choices for 2014.

What about you?  What were your favorite reads in 2013?


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Balancing Life as Mama



Oh y'all.  I can talk a good talk on this one.  But the reality is this is still my greatest daily struggle.

Just about every mama I talked to warned me that the adjustment from one child to two is the hardest adjustment to make.  They told me it was harder than going from no babies to one, and they told me going from two kids to three or more was infinitely easier.  I heard them, but I really had no way of understanding what they were saying until I got thrown into the deep end with two kids.

I had lots of ideas for 2013; lots of ambitions.  But what needed to come first was my family.  And while I acknowledged this with my head, my feet kept trying to take me in a different direction.  I knew that my top priority was my little brood who needed their mama, but I had dreams of doing things for myself.

I was going to blog the way I'd always wanted to.  I was going to open my Etsy shop full of vintage goodies and have fun sharing my love of old things.  I was even going to tip my toe back into the waters of interior design.  All good things, yes.  But not exactly what needed to be my top priority last year.  And when these things didn't pan out the way I wanted them to, I felt like a failure.

I struggled against my desire to do more, to be more.  It felt like I was smacking my head into a brick wall on a daily basis.  The more I tried to cram what I wanted to do into my days, the more I began to grow impatient with my daily life as a mama.  I began to view simple things like building yet another train track or reading the same book for the 84 millionth time as interruptions - which they aren't.  When we were in the throws of potty training, I felt over my head and was frustrated with the extra 2 loads of laundry I did every day for months on end.  And over time I began to resent the life I was living.

I've done a lot of soul searching on this one in the last couple of months.  I've come to a breaking point more than once, and here are some of the things I've learned:
  1. It might sound like a no-brainer, but I have to get out of the house every day.  If it's only to go to the grocery store, so be it.  But if I can get out of the house and go for a nice long walk every day, so much the better.  I don't have to change outfits or worry about workout gear if I'm going for a walk, and I can take my babies with me if need be.
  2. If I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed and feel like I'm going to snap and yell at my son, then I need to walk away.  If he's not in imminent danger or putting his sister in imminent danger (like running into the street or smacking her on the head) then I need to walk away until I can address the situation calmly.  
  3. I need to not care as much how my life looks to outsiders.  I don't live an idyllic life and staying home with my children is hard work.  Period.  Sometimes I hear comments about "what do you do all day?" and I want to poke myself in the eye.  The more I hear these types of comments, the more I feel like I'm not measuring up to some standard of super-mom.  Instead of letting these things roll off my back, I feel the need to apologize for my choice to stay home as a mom.  But I don't need to apologize.  Don't I feel like my education is being wasted?  No.  If anything I feel like my education is benefitting my children.  Reading this last week was freeing, if for no other reason to know that I'm not alone.
  4. If I'm having a crazy day and my list of to-do items is starting to choke me, it's okay to leave some of those to-dos undone.  I really started to see the value of this the closer we got to Christmas.  I didn't want to spend the holidays stressed out, yet the closer we got, the more stressed I was.  I built up such a list of things I wanted us to do, there just weren't enough hours in the day for us to do everything.  By Christmas Eve morning I was in a sour mood trying to figure out logistics for getting everything done.  I realized I could either get everything done or I could take a couple things off that list and we could enjoy our day.  I lightened our load for the day and it ended up being one of my favorite Christmases of all time. Now, when my to-do list seems to be a bit much, I try to whittle down to what absolutely HAS to get done, and let everything else go.  It's easier said than done, but I'm learning.
  5. When I've gone too long without a break, I need to be honest about it with my husband.  If he can't watch the kids for a short while, then I need to call in reinforcements from somewhere.  It's okay to admit that I need a break.


I know I will spend the rest of my life trying to get this mothering thing down.  It's a process and I'm not sure we're ever "done".  Do you struggle in balancing your life as a parent?  What bits of wisdom have you discovered?




Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hello 2014. Hello Change.


I've been thinking a lot lately about change and the new year.  For me, the last half of 2012 and all of 2013 was like one huge run on sentence.  2013 left me completely run down, knowing that something needed to change.

I'm not one for resolutions, mostly because I make my resolutions near impossible to accomplish and throw in the towel way too fast.  Traditionally my resolutions have had to do with achieving a certain number on the scale or running a marathon (when, truthfully, I loathe running).  If not some sort of physical achievement, my resolutions have to do with keeping an immaculate house...in short they always revolve around achieving some form of perfection which lives only in my mind.  And so, I shy away from resolutions, because I know perfection is not what matters in this life I live.

But things have been way beyond perfection in my life for some time now.  And in order to refocus on the life I'm making for myself and my family, I've decided to make some changes in my daily habits.  Instead of making one big long list, I've decided to add one new habit every month during 2014.  I started back in November, because November is when I really began to see how lost I was in the midst of the daily chaos.  I'm not seeking perfection all at once.  I'm seeking to improve, period.

Curious about what my changes look like?  Here they are...

1. (November) - I will floss every day.  If I forget and skip a day, I will keep going with the floss the next day.  I really can take the extra minute to floss.  My gums and my dentist will be proud of me.

2. (December) - I will take myself for a walk every day.  If at all possible, I will walk by myself so I can go the pace I like and think to myself in peace.  If it's not possible, then I will take my family for a walk with me.  A snail's pace walk with little ones trumps not walking at all.  We all need to breathe in fresh air.

3. (January) - I will cook more.  My son will re-learn to like foods that aren't processed and pre-packaged.  My daughter will never know the difference.

I'm not sure what February's habit will be.  I'm not there yet.  But I look forward to this new year all the possibilities which lie ahead.

Have you made any changes for the new year?  What are they?