I love the practice of reflection; looking back to see what happened and how to grow from it. This is why I had started my “Top Five” of the week posts, but as you probably noticed I have not done one of those in a few weeks. I decided to save my ‘top fives’ (along with any other events, lows and interesting information I have gathered) for a monthly “lessons” post instead. This way I can share each month what my journey has been, what I have learned and maybe inspire you to do the same. So here are my ‘Lessons from May’….1. Always take time to look up! Sometimes in an ordinary day, you find something extraordinary right above you…reminding you that sometimes the best things are simple and taken in on the most ordinary of days and seemingly mundane moments. I took this picture on a regular Tuesday after I happened to look up….reminders from God are all around…sometimes we just have to pay attention…..#itssimplytuesday but it is also simply amazing <32. I am constantly learning from my children. It is a daily practice of me thinking I am guiding and teaching them, but by the end of the day I am looking back on something that happened; whether it was something said or actions taken, that causes me to pause and realize that I am just as much the student as the teacher. I took this picture after school this last month when all my kids wanted to do was sit in the front yard and pick dandelions. They see beautiful dandelions where the world sees a weed. They see a chance to sit in the gentle breeze and take in the sunshine. They take it and they completely immerse themselves in the moment; living in those small moments and enjoying beauty; choosing love. Constant reminders from my little people that teach me life lessons I need to remember. 3. Bookstores are still my favorite! I have become quite the Amazon book buyer….I love it! I can look up just about any book, buy it for a great price and have it delivered right to my door! But there is something about leisurely walking the aisles of an actual store; where you can pick up an actual, physical book and flip through its pages, read the back cover and get a sense of what the story may be or what ideas and information it may contain. Random fact~ I also will completely pick up or not pick up a book depending on the cover and feel of it; weird? Maybe…but just another reason to love a book store…check out the pic below…I found some books I wanted to remember for later so I snapped a pic…with my favorite latte by its side…because bookstore = coffee…am I right? 😉
4. Mom dates are totally essential and totally a thing. So my trip to the bookstore (see #3) was not a solo trip, but one I shared with a good friend of mine, Crystal. She and I are on the same page about many things and our daughters happen to be BFF’s, which makes our play dates and get-togethers kind of amazing as our kids can play and get along quite well for the most part. However, sometimes moms and girlfriends just need time to get away, to be their own people and to have a conversation without any interruptions. Enter, the ‘mom date’.…totally a thing and totally a necessity. If you haven’t planned one in awhile I suggest you do…which reminds me…I need to get one (or ten?!) on the calendar here soon! 😉 And next time we need a picture!!
5. The last day of school can be just as hard on a Mom as the first day of school…maybe harder. I was so unprepared for the amount of emotions I had on the last day of school. I did not expect it all which is maybe why I say it could be harder. And I think the quickness of time is also so unexpected and it hits us at moments. We are flooded with memories and suddenly we realize that time was going fast when it seemed so slow. As a previous teacher, I knew how much a child grows and changes in that first year of “real” school, but as a parent I was unprepared for the impact it would have on me. She will always be my baby girl, but she is definitely more of a kid than when she started school last fall. (Here is an open letter I wrote to her at the start of the school year last fall- An Open Letter to My Daughter now that she is in Kindergarten )
6. It feels amazing to hand over cash to purchase something huge! We just recently finished a huge home improvement project at our house! We had to get all new windows and a sliding glass door for the entire first level of our house. I say ‘had to’ because the windows were getting very bad (i.e.- black mold~ yuck!) and it was a must. Even though we have been implementing the Dave Ramsey financial strategies to our income, budget and savings, we still needed to put a pause on debt payoff to move forward with this much needed project. We were able to save and pay fully in cash and it was (and is) the best feeling! The idea that you shouldn’t get something until you can actually pay in full is quite a novel concept these days, but I can tell you we have so much less stress and headache. We can truly enjoy our purchase and relax! Read here to find out more about how we did it- How and Why We Paid Cash for a ‘Houseful’ of New Windows
7. Sometimes it is ok to treasure a little mess because we know we were living our lives fully when it happened. A few weeks ago I wrote a 2 part series about clearing paper clutter (you can read it here and here )…. I truly believe in a system to organize and help with clutter, but things like the last day of school, dance recital and upcoming birthday parties tend to make extra paper and piles at our house. I want to be real and show everyone that even when there is a system in place, this can happen…because life happens. The key is to not let it frustrate you or overwhelm you. Reinstate your system when you can and life will go on…treasure it instead of resenting it, because of what the “mess” represents. <3
8. The season of “right now” is exactly where I should be; not what I hurry through. Motherhood is demanding and everything is needed ‘right now’…especially with little ones. The constant demands and right now needs in this life make it hard to work toward any other dreams or aspirations I may have for my life. I start to feel resentful …and then the guilt.. It was a vicious cycle that was wearing on me, until I realized that this season is the way. My goals and aspirations are what they are because of who and where I am “right now” and there really is no other place for me to be….(Picture below is of me and my littles on Mother’s Day a few weeks ago) Read more about my thoughts on this here: When You are in the Season of Right Now
9. The sibling bond is incredible! I have one sister and I have always felt connected to her and I am pretty sure she would say the same. We were each others’ first friends and I treasure our relationship very much! But to watch your own children form that bond is something I didn’t expect to be so incredible to watch. I have just started to notice their devotion to each other; Paisley is all about ‘teaching’ and ‘showing’ Brantley and he simply soaks it ALL in and adores her above all. You can see it in his eyes and it warms my heart, captivating me every time. It makes me appreciate the bond I have with my own sister even more also. The connection of a sibling is something quite amazing to watch unfold.
10. You can crave alone time and miss your kids at the same time. I am naturally more of an introvert, so I need time to myself; time to think, time to create and time to just be. But I am also a Mom, so it can feel weird to be by myself. When I get time on my own, I feel like there is something missing and wonder what to do in some cases…it is quite conflicting and I noticed it more recently this last month. I have started to take the kids over to my parents’ house once a week so I can have a day to work at home on writing and such. The picture below is of me trying to work while the toys are staring me down making me feel guilty…yikes! Anyone relate?!?
11. A handmade sign by the birthday girl beats any store bought decoration anyday! In our quest for all things Hello Kitty birthday party, I had mentioned to Paisley that I wanted to get something to decorate the fireplace mantle, some sort of banner or picture. We didn’t find anything at the store that day, but I wasn’t worried and didn’t mention it again. Paisley, however, must have been thinking of it and came out of her room later that day with a ‘sign’ drawn on a piece of notebook paper to decorate the fireplace. It had the same colors as the tablecloth we had purchased earlier that day and even had a hand drawn Hello Kitty. Perfection! And my heart melted right then and there….
12. On the same note~ Hello Kitty parties are more doable than I thought…and did you know there are actual Hello Kitty movies/shows? When Paisley said she wanted her birthday party to be Hello Kitty, I wasn’t sure what games and items we would use for it. Hello Kitty is cute, but that is about all…or so it seemed. I knew about bows and all the cute items, but she didn’t have a show or even any character to try to pull any sort of activities from...again or so I thought! We did a google search and there it was…Hello Kitty movies! I had no idea! We ordered one for next to nothing and Paisley has been a girl obsessed. I wouldn’t say it is Academy Award winning material, but it makes her happy and the shows are only about 15-20 minutes each, so guess what one of our party activities is going to be at her party this weekend? Yep you guessed it! A Hello Kitty Princess show! Along with Purr-fect Popcorn, Pin the Bow on Hello Kitty and Pass the Paws, I think we will keep our guests entertained with all things Hello Kitty! I will do a party update post on it all this month! Check the movies out here- Hello Kitty movies
As I reflect on May I couldn’t help but share a quote that resonated with me this last month. It was shared in a writing group (Hope*Writers) that I belong to as a ‘mission quote’ for writers and I find it to be so true. I share many of my own personal thoughts, struggles, joys and experiences. I do this to to help and encourage others, but also because I am a fellow struggler in need of encouragement too. The way I find mine is by reaching out and expressing it all through writing. I am not an expert by any means, but one that strives for the same happiness, peace and joy that everyone desires. My hope is that my little corner of the internet is helping or has helped you find some inner peace and everyday joy. And that your May can be reflected on as I have with you today; with lessons learned and joy achieved. And that we can move forward in June with our May lessons in our pockets and our eyes open to what this month has in store for us on our journey.
Happy June Friends!
I would love to hear some of your ‘Lessons from May’! Share with us some of what you learned this last month…and how you grew from it!
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