Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Photo Collage template by Designs by Lili
Currently, I am...

  • Reading Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness and Satisfy My Thirsty Soul by Linda Dillow.
  • Writing in my new planner from Paper Coterie.
  • Playing Chefville on Facebook, and Words with Friends on my iPhone.
  • Watching Vampire Diaries on Netflix, and season premieres of my favorite shows this week. 
  • Trying to be patient, and remember that God created my children with their own unique personalities, and He chose me to be their mother.
  • Cooking another Pinterest recipe, Crockpot Pizza. Definitely a success!
  • Drinking a Coke my hubby brought home for me. So sweet of him!
  • Calling my mom, the WIC office, and my therapist.
  • Pinning these Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Latte muffins, this pretty Twinkle, Twinkle card, and the cutest DIY Instagram-inspired necklace.
  • Tweeting about contests to win craft supplies or pretty things. Which is pretty much the only thing I use Twitter for nowadays. 
  • Crafting in my Smash book, documenting our family trip to Indiana. A little hybrid, a little washi tape, lots of journaling on little note cards.
  • Scrapping a page about Riah and my dear friend Ashley's daughter Grace meeting and becoming friends, and how I wish we lived closer. 
  • Doing too much, never enough, cooking, cleaning, dishes, laundry, cuddling kids, playing blocks and trains, being a mom. 
  • Going to the grocery store, to counseling, to the park.
  • Loving my family. So intensely, dramatically, sometimes frustratingly, but always loving them. 
  • Hating how I always blame myself and pile on the guilt. 
  • Re-Discovering the joy of crafting with my hands, creating jewelry and papery stuff. 
  • Enjoying my son Avyn's language explosion, and his sweet, affectionate personality. 
  • Thinking about some advice I've received, and how perfect it is. 
  • Feeling tired, as usual. A little introspective. Sad about some things. Excited about new opportunities.
  • Missing my sister so much. She left Wednesday to go home and start a new job, across the country, and I don't know when I'll see her next.
  • Hoping for some time to reconnect with Josh this weekend.
  • Listening to an awesome Pandora station my sister shared with me, full of my favorite worship songs.
  • Celebrating Josh's birthday on Friday. 
  • Smelling coffee in the morning, every morning. Somewhere along the way I developed this habit that I have no desire to break. 
  • Thanking God for a precious two weeks with my sister. For my husband, who isn't perfect but who tries, and talks to me, and loves me unconditionally. 
  • Considering the future of my blogging and scrapping. Big thoughts, but just tumbling around in the back of my mind right now.
  • Starting a new job, working part time in the Childcare ministry at my church. 
My post today was inspired by a challenge issued by Ali Edwards, and I thank her for the inspiration to document a slice of my life right now - and I challenge you to join in!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Living the Length and Width

Today, I was inspired by Ali Edwards' post for the Big Idea Festival over at Big Picture Classes. Here's the quote she shared by Diane Ackerman:
I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.
This resonates with me from the angle of fully appreciating the stage of life I am in now. Rather than trying to simply get through it, or longing for some hazy better day in the future, I want to live the full width of my life right now. The highs, the lows, the sort of boring, everyday in-betweens.

My life is full of everyday-ness. It's so easy to impatiently look ahead, to anxiously anticipate the next "big event" - visiting family, going to the museum, MOPs meetings, etc. So I just "live the length" of the days in-between, trying to hurry them along, and miss out on all the precious "little" moments each day - the width of my life.

Like this moment, when Cai decided to blow bubbles out the door since I wouldn't let him outside to play (it was muddy from recent rain). Avyn loves bubbles, and soon joined him, exclaiming over each round of bubbles. I stopped writing to capture this sweet moment, so rare now - usually they'd rather fight and argue!

Something else Ali said really hit home for me, too.
When I'm sad or angry I'm letting myself feel it fully and when I feel on cloud nine I'm letting myself experience that amazing joy and really basking in it. And I'm taking care of myself along the way. - Ali Edwards
How often do we skip taking pictures or recording memories of the sad times, the frustrating days, the times when you want to wring your kid's neck? Personally, I'd rather gloss over those moments in my life, get through them and never look back. But I think that's cheating myself out of a legitimate, inescapable part of life - and maybe cheating myself out of a lesson God wants me to learn.

I created this layout for another Big Idea Festival challenge this week (Cathy Zielske's "Get Real" challenge). It documents a not-very-fun memory, but it's real. It's what happened, like it or not.

As a mom, I think I have the hardest time with that last sentence - "taking care of myself along the way." It's too easy to let that slide, to feel guilty about doing something fun that's just for me. Or even doing something necessary that's just for me! At the end of the way, I'm often too tired to think straight, let alone focus on delving into my Bible study or soaking up a good book.

This is an area I've been wrestling with for a while. I've discovered (well, admitted) that I'm prone to allowing crushing guilt to take over my life. But the old saying is so true: "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" When I take the time to care for myself, I care for my children better. They love having a happy, relaxed mama! I'm not talking about regular manicures, hour-long bubble baths every day, long weekend excursions with girlfriends, or just frivolous time-wasting. I'm talking about intentional, specific, purposeful taking care of myself. Feeding my soul, taking care of my body and mental health. It's important.

And that's all the soul-searching I can manage for today! Are you participating in the Big Idea Festival right now? I'm finding so much inspiration, and hope to share some more with you soon.