Hello, friends! Today, I want to share an installment of the Summer of Growth series. Now, this wasn’t something on my original list, but its definitely worthy making a self-renovation list.
This week spent away from the land of little girls has definitely given me plenty of free time. At first I was kind of mopey and worthless, but then I decided to be positive with my time. After all, I have plenty of it with no school, work, girls or computers.
Plenty of time to think. Time to think about myself, the routines I’ve been living, the habits I’ve been working, the goals I’ve been striving towards and the person that is ‘me.’
I’ve had plenty of time to evaluate myself and my actions. My way of living and the choices I make. The person everyone sees and knows. Who I portray myself to be. To make sure I’m being the person I want to be. A “head check,” we shall call it?
I think we all need to make sure we have some alone time, like this. Especially if you’re in a serious relationship/married and/or are a parent. We need time to separate ourselves from those around us. Time to make sure we still know who we are. To make sure we’re not letting our very self to be absorbed by another (completely unknowingly, most of the time).
None of us do it on purpose, but it happens. A lot. I think especially with wives/mothers. We get so caught up in filling all these roles and tending to the needs of the family, that we sometimes lose ourselves. We get too caught up in being the perfect mother and ‘trophy’ wife.
We need to take time out for “me time.” I know it sounds cheesy and cliche, but it is so true. Its good for everyone. It helps you be the best partner you can be, it helps you be the best mother you can be and helps keep your own sanity in tact.
Everyone needs a break every now and then. Whether its an hour of space in another room, a lone trip to the grocery store, pedicures with the girls, reading in a cozy chair at the local bookstore or a week that your child spends with the other parent. Whether we want to admit it and like it or not, its true.
You’ll have a renewed sense of self, rejuvenated patience, a clear mind an a fresh new ‘start.’ How is that in any way possible not self renovating?
What are some ways you like to get reacquainted with yourself? What improvements have you noticed fresh from a break?
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! I hope this post finds you well and having a good week. I’m itching to share this reflection post with you.
My Lilie has been gone since Friday evening. She’s visiting her father, a whole TWO HOURS away, until Sunday evening. I’ve never had to go so long with out her. I’m simply miserable. And I don’t even have a computer at home to keep me occupied!! The house is a wreck, my sleeping and eating habits are off and I’m just not myself without her. Pitiful, right? Ugh.
I know, I know. I’m supposed to be using this free time for wonderful adult and independent time. But now that I have it, I’m at a loss as to what I should do with myself. Well, I’m working on that.
Another chick flick is scheduled for tonight, and pedicures with a childless girlfriend is scheduled for Wednesday night. I’m hoping for another date night in there some where. Maybe Olive Garden? Mmmm.
So, what has all this lonesome sorrow taught me? To remind myself to make use of every special minute I have when she is here. This is a lesson for all you parents out there. Put down your smart phone, turn off your television, set aside your laptop and put your bookmark back into your book. Forget about the dishes, for now. The laundry can wait.
Go to that beautifully, innocent, little creature of yours and do something with him/her. Do something fun with him. Do something she wants to do; even if it is reading her the same book you already read to her (twice) two hours ago.
Spend time with your child. Make memories. Sweet little memories. I promise you those simple little things will mean way more to them than any big toy you buy at the store.
Take him for a walk. Push her on the swing. Play on the jungle gym with him. Pretend to make an extravagant feast with her. Dress up and have a fabulous tea party–with real tea.
Before you know it, they’ll be too big for making those memories and the time will be lost. Time you can never have back. Time that will never be forgotten. Because if you don’t, that very thought will be sure to haunt you for the rest of your life. And here’s the worst part: it will do the same to your child.
Well, what are you waiting for? Why are you still here? Go!! They’re waiting for you.
Hey, everyone! Its me! I’m back! I’m having to bury my little laptop, though. Its the motherboard and ts really not worth my money to fix it since I paid so little for it to begin with. So, I’m saving to go ahead and make the leap from pc to Mac ASAP! In the mean time, I’ll be going from the campus labs to borrowing a friend’s old backup. Thank God for generous friends, right?
My wonderful, beautiful, amazingly talented Texan cousin is guest posting for us today. She writes for her own blog over at Live Loved… and I do encourage you to visit her little nook. She’s a beautiful writer and really knows how to speak to and from the heart.
So, here she is. Please give a warm welcome to Lacey Wilcox.
- Pre-heat oven to anywhere from 325-350. I know that’s a gap, but it will depend on your oven. Baking with honey requires you to bake at a little bit lower temperature, so you’ll want to really watch these the first time you make them!
- Melt your coconut oil (or butter) over low heat in a sauce pan.
- While it’s melting, combine all the dry ingredients (except the instant coffee) in a bowl, and whisk together so that they’re thoroughly combined.
- In a mixer, combine all your liquids, including the honey, and add in the instant coffee.
- Gradually mix the dry into the wet, making sure you scrape the sides of your bowl to get it all.
- Once everything is mixed together, fold in the chocolate chips.
- Spread into a greased 8×8 inch pan (my batter was a little thick, so it didn’t really pour).
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. If your brownies have baked this long and still aren’t done when you try the toothpick test, bake them for two-three minutes at a time until they seem done!
My little laptop has taken ill. I’m going crazy over here. Apparently my smart phone just isn’t enough to satisfy my internet/blogging needs. I’m going to be pretty out of the loop for a little while. Here’s the bad part: I really don’t know how long it will be.
However, my little one will be out of town with her dad next week, so I will try to venture over to campus and use their facilities as much as possible. Also, I’m working on setting up a couple of guest posts. I don’t want to leave my readers hanging and I don’t want anyone wondering off due to my lack of upkeep. I’m looking for posts about patience, self discipline and life lessons.
I’m working on some research, of my own, to write about how to deal with a rowdy child. No, of course its not Lilie… I mean she’s just the most perfect kid in the world. Didn’t you know? I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t believe that I’ll just blame it on her father’s ADHD genes.
Well, here’s hoping. They didn’t give me an estimation of time to get the thing fixed, so I’ll just have to keep you posted. Cross your fingers and grab a few fuzzy wish balls. I need as much positive energy as I can get.
Miss me! Hope to be back with you soon!!
As an parent in the US, I’m raising my daughter in an extremely diverse culture. There are many different types of ethnicity, different religions, different social statuses, beliefs, personal styles, and lifestyles. There are so many different types of people around us and each and every one of them is beautiful in their own way just because of those differences.
I want Lilie to see that beauty. In order to help her see these differences in a positive light and not judge others or try to change herself because of them, I need/want to raise an open-minded child.
How am I trying to raise an open-minded child? I’ll tell you.
I need to walk the walk and talk the talk. I cannot expect to teach my daughter one thing while she sees and hears me doing another. I need to really examine myself and the way I talk and treat others that are different from me. I need to realize, myself, that I just may not be as open minded as I like to think. Through our lives, we often pick up our own stereotypes and prejudices and then, unknowingly, pass them on to our own children.
For example, When I point out another individual at the grocery story, do I say “That cute little Oriental/Black girl over there?” In order to keep myself from doing such things, even though I mean no harm, I stop and ask myself, “Would I say ‘that cute little white girl over there?’” No, most likely not. Therefore, I shouldn’t do the same with any other race.
I also need to teach her to explore diversity. Even someone who is consciously open-minded and culturally educated sometimes faces ideas and beliefs they do not understand or want to accept. When a situation arises, that we feel uncomfortable, scared or unsure, we need to learn from it.
Instead of jumping to judgement, I need to see this as a chance for Lilie and me to learn something. In these situations, Lilie and I need to explore other cultures’ views and beliefs. We can research and read and look for documentaries, together, to help teach us about other peoples’ views and beliefs.
I need to teach my child to not be afraid of what she does not understand. Ignorance breeds intolerance. While she’s young, I need to expose her to different races, cultures, lifestyles and religions. This doesn’t mean I want her to adapt to them or become someone different than she is, however. It just means I want her to learn that our way of living is not the only way of living. And just because someone doesn’t live, look or believe the same as us, doesn’t mean they’re wrong. Showing her these things while she’s young, will help her develop an acceptance for people and places outside her comfort zone.
Children who are over-screened and sheltered from the world, are inadvertently given a simple lack of knowledge, which hinders the ability to have an open mind.
When dealing with the judgment of others, I have to stay calm and confident. When someone uses an irrational statement, action or belief, I have to make sure I handle it rationally, otherwise, even if I’m trying to teach my child good, I will only teach Lilie that it is ok to be irrational. That’s not what I want.
The best way to handle this, is to calmly explain the situation to her, after learning the facts, and seeking help if need be. She needs to know that such behavior is not acceptable and is not right. She also needs to know why.
And finally, I need to communicate with Lilie. I need to ask her questions about the way she feels about diversity. Open ended questions. I want to ask about her feelings, reactions, thoughts, fears and concerns when we hear about hate crimes. I need to really listen to what she is telling me and use these times to communicate with her. Communication is one of the best ways to combat a closed mind.
How do you feel about raising an open-minded child? Is it one of your parenting goals? If so, what are some of the tools you are using to help promote that open mind?
Once upon a time, there was a red-haired, green eyed, freckled girl. She enjoyed sweet tea, sun dresses and reading. She had a curly-headed, blue eyed, freckled little girl who loved strawberry shortcake and playing in the sun. There was also a dark-haired, tall guy who enjoyed golf and living with the freckled girls.
The red-haired girl also had a step-mother. Now, this step-mother wasn’t like most. She wasn’t old and wicked. She was loving and fluent in sarcasm. This made the red-haired girl very happy. The step-mother loved all things with curly hair, blue eyes and freckles.
One weekend, the step-mother hopped on a big airplane and flew to see the freckled girls and the guy for a visit. While on this visit, they enjoyed many fabulous activities.
The first night, after the little curly-haired girl went to bed, the adults enjoyed some home-made strawberry sangria. It was to die for.
The next day, they ate delicious muffins and drank coffee for breakfast on the patio, in the hot sun. The red-haired girl and her not-so-wicked step-mother went and purchased a magnificent umbrella to block the sun, for lounging on the patio.
The group decided to grill out for lunch and got together some burgers and mixed veggies. Suddenly, a great storm blew in and forced the reluctant group inside. But their dining plans were not to be washed away. They were forced to move their grilling mission indoors.
Once the storm had passed, the guy left to go play golf with his nice guy friend. The freckled girls and the step-mother ventured back to the patio, in their rain boots, to enjoy some delicious strawberry short cake.
Later on, the girls and the generous step-mother went for a fabulous coffee date at their local Starbucks. That night, the adults played cards and the little curly-haired girl was ecstatic to sleep with her Mimi (the red-haired girl’s step-mother).
The rest of the weekend was just as splendid. It included stuffed shells, rummy, a fun retirement party and more coffee drinking, muffins, patio time and good conversation.
When the step-mother loaded her car, everyone was sad to see her go. She left on a jet plane, but they all knew she would be back again. In just four weeks, she will return again, this time bringing along another favorite guy.
And they will all live happily ever after.
Hello, all. I hope your weekend is setting in quite nicely. The warm weather definitely allows it to be more enjoyable. My freckles are definitely popping with all this patio time. I really need to get my rear in gear on that sun hat purchase, huh?
I do so love summer for so many reasons. I haven’t made one in a while, so I thought we’d do a list. A list of a few of my favorite things about summer.
Why do I love summer so? I’ll use these photos to show (haha you know you liked that little rhyme):
Bright colors and beautiful flowers.
Time to make sun tea!
Well, that’s enough for now. There’s a patio chair and a wet glass of iced sweet tea calling my name. Hope you have a magnificent weekend!
I want to share another piece of my wisdom with everyone. As usual, I don’t know how wise it is, but rather probably just common sense.
I’ve always loved change. Growing up with divorced parents and a stepfather that was in the military meant a lot of moves and a lot of school changes for me. I have no childhood friends. The longest friend I had is one from middle school. Other than that, I only have my siblings and cousins to share childhood memories with.
Change is no stranger to to me. I like to think I thrive on it. But here’s a confession: I think age has gotten the best of me there. Since becoming a mother, I find myself a lot more controlling. I don’t like when things happen beyond my control.
That was my biggest problem with my divorce. He left me and there was nothing I could do about it. He told me he just didn’t love me anymore and there was nothing I could do to change that. Ouch. That was definitely a time in my life where I had to make the choice to be happy and look for the positive things that would come from my divorce, because there was nothing I could do to change it. Change was coming and I had to adjust.
Don’t get me wrong. I love new things. New experiences, new friends, new jobs, new styles, new towns and new homes. I do still love the change, to a certain extent. Its just making the decision (if it is in my control) and taking the first big step that scare me. Yes, I said ‘scare.’
So, you know what I’ve learned to do to deal with these times? Prepare myself.
I start off with a little prayer to God. I ask for His help in making this decision. I ask for clear signs on what I should do (because apparently I’m blind). I ask Him to put us where we need to be in life. I ask Him to show me the way and clear a path so I know which one is mine.
Second, I sit down with my little Wild Things note pad and make out a pros and cons list. What are the good things that could happen from this major change? What are some of the bad things? I think my ‘pros’ list is usually longer. This helps keep me positive.
Then, I call “the wise one” for advice. She always helps. And honestly, if I would just follow my gut instinct, most of the time, I’d already know the answer. But its really comforting to hear the encouragement from someone you highly respect.
Then I pray some more. I choose to trust Him. I take comfort in knowing He’s in control. And you know what? I must admit that He never lets me down. He maybe surprises me; but He doesn’t let me down. These major changes always end up feeling right and they always lead to more open doors.
Its like He has it all planned out…. weird, right?
So, how do you deal with change? Is it easy for you? Hard? In what ways do you prepare yourself?
I’ve been working on getting up earlier every weekday to go running. I must admit, that I’m still not doing perfect, but its not all bad. I’m really honestly starting to like it. If you promise not to tell anyone, I might even admit to looking forward to it.
I’m running only, maybe, a mile a day and I started out using my iPod or Pandora on my phone. The past couple days, I haven’t taken anything. Honestly, I might like it better that way. Time seems to go by faster because I’m not counting how many songs I’ve heard to measure the length of time that’s passed. It gives me a time to sort through my thoughts, get myself together and mentally prepare for another day in the land of little girls.
Patience is another work-in-progress on my summer list. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m not crazy about the idea of having any more children. I just don’t know that I’m cut out for it (i.e. I’m not so gifted in the patience department). As crazy as I am about my little lady, one seems to do enough for my sanity.
When I decided to write about patience, I did a little reading up on the topic to make sure I would actually have something worthwhile to write about. It actually ended up going in a different direction that I intended, but I think it will make the series flow better.
I started becoming impatient with myself for not being able to pick up the getting up earlier habit. I think when I started this new task of better self discipline, I hoped for faster results. When I went one week without being perfect, I was ok with that. But when I went a second week and possibly a third week without being perfect? I’m getting a little frustrated.
After reading a little bit, however, I realized that patience isn’t just dealing with life matters and little girls. Its also about being patient with myself. I need to stop and realize that I’m only human. Part of nature. Very rarely does nature create change in an instant. It takes time.
Plus, if we go back to our five pillars, ‘persistance‘ is right there. I have to keep going. Keep pushing myself. Keep trying to get better.
So, I don’t know if you’re struggling to do anything for yourself or make any changes in your life, but try to be patient. I know we all tend to be our hardest critic, but come on. Cut yourself some slack, will ya? You’re only human, too.
Take it easy. Breathe and take a step back from things. Once you’ve gained a more positive perspective, again, jump back in.
I also find that if I try to do too much at once, that’s when I start to lose my patience more. Keep things simple and try not to tackle too many projects at once. Focus on what’s most important and you may find more room for patience.
As you know, this summer, I’m living in the land of little girls. I have two of them running around and sometimes more if the little neighbor girls are out. Don’t ask me why, but our house seems to be the hangout spot. I’m really not complaining, though. At least I can watch over ‘my’ two and make sure everyone is playing nicely.
In the land of little girls, though, only one is truly mine. That means at any given time, there may be three others running around that belong to someone else. Now, I know little girls are magical little beings, created with only good ingredients such as sugar and spice and everything nice. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret. These dainty angels are not scared to show their pointy little horns.
Something I’ve always kind of tiptoed around, is disciplining someone else’s child. Don’t get me wrong, though, if the child can come play at our house and with our toys, she will obey our rules. I have not hesitated to tell a child what to do, while playing here. But actually disciplining them? I usually just tell them if they can’t follow the rules, they need to go home.
How do I deal with those situations? Well, I did some research and figured, surely, I wasn’t the only one with this dilemma. So I thought I’d share what I found. You know what I found out? Basically what I already knew. There’s definitely not a black and white solution. Its all grey, in these parts.
When there is not a parent around and a conflict arises, step in and deal with it. But when the other child’s parent is present, that’s when things get hairy. Every parent is different. Some would be fine with their child being disciplined by another parent, where others may not. Some parents agree with the village theory and some claim the disciplining of their child only for themselves. So, I would just suggest to approach those situations with caution.
There’s really no right or wrong answer here, I suppose. My plan is to just keep on disciplining the way I have been and if someone doesn’t like it, then their child should probably stay home.
We had little boys that played in our yard a lot at our old home and now the little girls here. So far, I haven’t had any angry parents come a knockin’ at my door with a bone to pick. I think I’m in the clear for now.
Have you ever had a discipline discrepancy over another parent’s child? How did you handle?