All Smiles!!!

I’ve been nominated for the….

SuperSweet

Many thanks to twinzees for nominating me!! I’m so happy to have found your blog… your twins are adorable!

The rules for the award:

  • Thank the blogger(s) who gave you the award and link back to their blog.
  • Nominate other blogs for this award and let them know.
  • Post the award on your blog.
  • Answer 5 questions:
  1. Cookies or Cake? Definitely cookies… unless we’re talking cheesecake, then I’ll take the cake any day!
  2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate… can’t stand vanilla
  3. Favourite sweet treat? Any kind of milk chocolate with a hazelnut or rum filling ūüôā
  4. When do you crave sweet things the most? Right after lunch!
  5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? I’ve had many nicknames, but none of them are necessarily sweet, except the one my husband calls me (he’d probably appreciate it if it didn’t go public!)

My nominees

  • A Thoughtful Housewife – Ashley always has something fresh on her blog, a humorous concoction of all things marriage, parenthood, and life in general.
  • Mennonite Girls Can Cook – I love their recipes… real, homemade food made with love.
  • Five In Tow – Kristen shares moments from her life “with five in tow”. I especially love her recent series on how to enjoy your children more.. check it out!
  • Atlantamomofthree– She writes about all things domestic… great ideas and lots of food for thought!
  • My Blessed Life – Yummy recipes, DIY home decor, and seasonal crafts to make any home more beautiful!

And thanks again for the nomination, twinzees!

Making Our Values Real – Part Two

(Continued from last week’s post…)

Now that we’ve discovered what our most desired characteristic for our home¬†is, what do we do about it, what do we do WITH it?

We tailor our lives around THAT quality.

Last week I mentioned that mine is peace.

So how do I create that peace in our home? How do I make our lives more peaceful?

It’s all in the little¬†decisions we make¬†from day to day.

What can I do to make our home more peaceful?

Well, in a physical aspect, many things, actually: I can declutter, play soft music, decorate in a cozy style that says “come on in and relax” to anyone who happens to enter our door, cook good meals that the entire family can enjoy together, keep our home relatively tidy (the decluttering would help with this, minimizing stuff to clean up in the first place), keep our home free from expensive breakables so our children can play and live freely without any stuffiness… and the list goes on and on.

Now this may sound complicated. It’s not.

We just have to decide to do it.

You don’t have to take a course or buy a product.

You just have to change your mind.

-Steven Pressfield
 

But it goes further than creating a peaceful, comfortable home physically. What about our actual lives, our daily activities, the over-all flow of our days?

We put our purpose first.

For me: Peace comes first.

After that, it’s all in the application…

If I plan a playdate on Monday, coffee with my mother-in-law Tuesday, a doctor’s appointment Wednesday and so on… will our lives be peaceful? No, we will be constantly leaving the house, rushing here and there, and still trying to live normal, peacful lives at home, cook meals, make sure we’re home on time for the kids’ naps, etc. The stress would ruin all the good that might come from all these appointments. If I spread them out and, say, only plan something for 2 or 3 days per week, our lives will run smoother and be quieter, hence more peaceful.

Will me cleaning the entire house from top to bottom¬†in¬†a week¬†cultivate peace? No, so I don’t do it in a week. Rather, I spread my deep cleaning out over the entire year so that I NEVER have to do any spring/fall cleaning that would take away from our peaceful home, even if only for a week.

Will rushing off to town for a last minute lunch ingredient cultivate peace? No, I would have to wake the baby from her nap, race to town and back and then frantically throw a meal together probably over the noise of a crying child (or two). NOT worth it… I’ll substitute with another ingredient I already have.

You get the picture.

But, this is me. I tend to like staying at home and taking life slowly. Obviously, not everyone is like me, so you may find comfort in having a busy, full schedule. Nothing at all wrong with that – every woman and family has different characteristics and values.

So, that quality that you deeply desire for your family, that characteristic that you want your lives built around?

Make sure that always comes first.

Find something you’re passionate about and stay tremendously interested in it.
-Julia Child
 

(Find Part 3 here)

If you’re new… head here to read about the purpose behind this blog (and perhaps a little bit of encouragement?)

Making Our Values Real – Part One

Image courtesy of healingdream / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of healingdream / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On Monday, I mentioned that I would be writing about the purpose of our life as mothers. As it turns out, the idea I had in my mind did not at all come through clearly¬†in that phrase… obviously I was a little rushed when I wrote that and didn’t put a lot of thought into my wording. I apologize.

What I was meaning to write about is not our purpose in life (although that would be a thought-provoking topic to delve into) but rather how we can make our purpose (or dreams) for our homes and lives come true, or more precisely, how we can make our most valued quality become a practical reality in our daily lives. So if you’d like to weave a certain quality or aspect into your family’s lives, here are my thoughts:

Do you live from day to day without really thinking about the little decisions you make or why you do what you do? I’ve had weeks (or months) like that, and at those times I feel really lost in life, like I’m trying to catch up to some standard but yet don’t have the energy or motivation to do all I want to do or don’t even know what I want or should be doing with my life, or how that should look in all the miniscule details of daily life.

I think every mother has those times.

So how do we deal with it? How do we dig ourselves out of the rut of monotony and infuse some passion into our lives?

How do we learn to love what we do on a daily basis and have that energy that we crave?

We find a value or quality to build our daily lives around.

I’m sure every mother has at some point thought about what they’d like their life to be like, what they want to be the central theme of their home.

This quality may be to raise our children with certain values and morals, or to create a haven of rest and peace for our family at all times, or a fun-loving and laughter-filled environment.

Whatever your most valued quality for your home is, find it.

You may ask, “How?”

Well,¬†a good place to start is to think of all the things you DON’T want your lives to be like, the things you don’t want to cross your children’s or husband’s mind as they look back on this time from the distant future, or what you don’t want your guests to feel and think when they enter your home.

For me, that means this: I don’t want to be remembered as being rushed, focused on a clean house, checking things off a to-do list all day every day, constantly rushing here and there trying to accomplish as much as possible.

The opposite of this? PEACE.

What I want is peace.

Peace in our home, love in our hearts, and a good foundation for our children to grow up on and live by.

That’s my most desired¬†value, my most needed quality in our home. Peace.

What is yours?

What you do today is important, because you

are exchanging a day of your life for it.

-Author Unknown

(Find Part 2 here and Part 3 here)
 
If you’re new… head here to read about the purpose behind this blog (and perhaps a little bit of encouragement?)

i’m still here

I apologize for the lack of activity around here lately. My husband’s grandfather recently passed away, and I felt I should take a little break from writing.

But I’m back now, and have a little reminder for all of us¬†mamas¬†in the wake of Friday’s tragedy¬†in Newtown, CT. The devastation these parents must be feeling now is unimaginable, and I hope they know that many others are thinking of them in their grief.

You will never have this

day again with your children.

Today is a gift.

Breathe and notice.

Study their little feet and faces.

Relish the charms of the present.

Enjoy today, mama, it will

be gone before you know it.

-Jan Hatmaker

A link for you from one of my favourite bloggers – worth the read:

Newtown as I know it :: Jamie Martin

I hope to be back here on Friday to resume the regular weekly posting schedule with some thoughts on our purpose in life as mothers.

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard.
Do not let the pain make you hate.
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even thought the rest of the world
may disagree, you still believe it to be a

beautiful place.

– Kurt Vonnegut