Sunday, July 8, 2018

3 moments of Joy

In October of 2012, I started a facebook page with my friend Sara (an amazing mom currently living in Chile with her 3 children) documenting 3 joyful moments in each day. Making the effort even on the really hard days to document 3 things that brought joy to each day.

I have not done this in awhile, so while I was making rice this morning at 6:30am for  a delicious rice pudding breakfast for the kids. I was reminded of something I just read in  Laura Vandercamp's  newest book "Off the Clock: Feel less Busy While Getting More Done" she states that by documenting moments that bring you joy, those moments can  bring you even more joy when you write them down and get to reread them again at some point. 

1. Seeing the sun come up and filter through the forest of trees that sits in front of our house.

2.Hot coffee with this delicious dairy free creamer-called Nutpods  I use the Vanilla.

3. My husbands snoring. Yes,that's right I said his snoring!! His loud shake the room snoring woke me up at 5:13 am which prompted me to just start my day then instead of trying to go back to sleep and get up at am, which is when my alarm will go off anyhow.

4. Bonus moment: When looking through pictures to add to this blog entry I came across this picture of my Dad from last year. We were selling Girl Scout cookies at his retirement home and whatever he was saying was making my daughter laugh. He was a funny man, this photo made me smile and brought me back to that fun day. He died suddenly this year from a heart attack.

 I have gotten so much done in the last  2.5 hours that I have been awake while my 5 kids and husband are asleep. I need to do this more often, but most times my bed just seems the most comfortable in the early hours of the morning.

*Check out Laura's books they are great and have really been a game changer for me.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Steaks in Suburbia, The American Dream,

My favorite summertime activity is riding my bike, I feel alive and free! Although I live on 15 acres (14.6 to be exact) I sometimes enjoy popping over to many of  nearby subdivisions to ride my bike. They all have their own fancy names to set themselves apart from others and as I ride through them I like to imagine who lives there, what they do and what their life is like. I make up stories in my head about them, sometimes these stories are spawned by seeing people outside of these houses and other times I make up stories about those who dwell inside. Only to be sometimes be disappointed when I ride by one day and I see people unlike what my imagination made up.

So at 6pm this evening while riding through Deerfield Subdivision I smelled delicious steak being cooked to perfection on the grill by a hard working man who sat in an office all day making money for his family and my mind began to wander.

I think most of these houses would be what people would call the American dream home.These houses run about $300,000 and are all about 3-4 Bedrooms 2 Baths and near 2000 sq feet. I  know this because I read the for sale flyers sometimes when I stop for a drink from my water bottle.

These are the stories that played through my mind tonight.

This house has beautiful forested back yard. 2 Full time working parents live here with their 3 daughters (I have seen them outside, now I sound like a stalker) This is one of my favorite houses to drive past because a little later in the evening and the sun filters through the trees behind the house and it is such beautiful sight.
Divorced mother of 2 lives here with her new boyfriend, they have a little white dog named Gigi

This married couple is struggling, the husband has a real good feeling that his wife is cheating on him with the new guy she just hired at her office. He is struggling to come to terms with this and is trying his hardest to convince his wife that the life they built together is worth it, he is grilling  steak tonight!
This couple has been married for 14 years and could not be more happy, they know  life is not all sunshine and rainbows but they are true soul mates and cannot imagine being anywhere else but together.

There is a guy in a red shirt angry that his wife is making him do yard work tonight when his friends are meeting for poker night.
This woman was in her 50's and jogging, no story here just happy to see others getting fit!

You cannot tell from this picture but this woman is 6 months pregnant, no story here but happy to see more people getting out and getting fit, yay!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

So I write....

Wake up between 5:30-6:00 am.  

Make coffee or tea depending on my mood.

Start a load of laundry.

Light a candle at my desk and say a silent prayer.

Surf social media for 15 minutes while I wait for the hot liquid of  my choice to be drinkable.

Start writing.

In November of 2017 I knew that I was going to write and publish a book. I had a new book idea and I was going to make this happen. I spent the next 2 months gathering ideas for chapters and stopping at various points during the day to have Siri make notes for me when I came up with content to use in my book. I finally had enough ideas that could turn into a 70,000- 90,000 word novel. So I called my Dad excited to tell him that I was writing a book. This time I really am going to see it through not just 2 chapters but a book and ENTIRE BOOK and I was going to be proud to share this with him.

He died suddenly of a heart attack just weeks after I said this. I was devastated, ripped apart…. I stopped writing.

When I was cleaning out his apartment and going through all the things he left behind I decided that this was not going to stop me, I was sad but that should not stop me from writing. So, I started writing again knowing that although he is not with me in this physical world he is still with me in spirit and when this book is physical and in stores he will see it, he will be proud!

I started writing a book when I was 26, my college biology professor  and mentor was fascinated by my story. He looked over my first few chapters and said the book would be amazing. We kept in touch loosely through the years and he always asked if I was published yet.  Turns out writing a few chapters is easy but writing a book is HARD. I knew someday I would finish it, I have plenty of time I thought. He passed away this year just a few months after my Dad. He will never have the chance to read my book I have waited too long to make this happen.

The time is now

So I write

Every day at least 300 words or 2 hours of work researching. Some days are easy and some very hard and every day I hear two voices in my head:

Voice 1: “You got this, keep going, I know it is hard but if it was easy everyone would write a book. Even if I write and fail, I will learn and try again but no one can succeed if they do not even try.”

Voice 2: “You suck, you will never write a book that anyone will want to read. You should just quit now and save yourself the embarrassment.”

I must constantly keep voice 2 in check and I visually throat punch voice 2 all day long even when I am not writing.

So I write…

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Back to the Classics 2018 reading challenge

I came across a photo of a bookstack by an Instagram follower and was intrigued by her choices. It lead me to Karen's blog Books and Chocolate ...... (Books and chocolate who doesn't love that name?)

I quickly grabbed my 11 year old daughter who is a voracious reader and asked her to join with me as a Mother daughter thing. She was not thrilled about it being classics but when I enticed her with a date night out just the two of us discussing each book over coffee and baked goods, she was sold! Food is a huge motivator!

So I sent her to my room for my secret stash of chocolates and we sat down together red wine in hand (only my hand) past her bedtime on a school night and came up with this list.

In less than 4  hours :
  1. I found this challenge 
  2. Bribed my daughter with date nights, coffee and baked goods to do it with me
  3. Researched books and came up with our list
  4. Signed up for the challenge 
  5. And typed and posted my list on my blog.
1. 19th Century Classic - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen This has been on my bookshelf for awhile but I have never read it.  Robin recalled my friend stating that her son was named after a character in the book. -  Robin's Choice

2. 20th Century -  The Jungle by  Upton Sinclair My choice it seemed interesting.

3. Woman Author - Black Beauty by Anna Sewell Robin's choice, one that has sat on her bookshelf since she started riding.

4. A Translation - The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint- Exupery Just last night Papabird and Canary were watching this on Netflix. This was Robins choice curious to read after her Dad wanted to watch it.

5. Children's Classic - 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne I chose this, Robin and I both like the ocean and sea life so what the heck!

6. Classic Crime Story - The Crime at Black Dudley  by Margery Allingham (Robin does not want to read any crime with me) My choice

7. Travel or Journey - Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdhal This was a book I am requiring Robin to read for school this year so it just fits nicely.

8. Single Word - Heidi by Johanna Spyri Robin's choice, I have never read only seen the movie.

9. Color in the Title - The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel  Hawthorne Hoping this is okay for my 11 year old to read. I suggested this one she approved it after reading about it on Goodreads.

10. New Author - My Antonia by Willa Cather We both agreed on this and found it on a 20 classics to read list in a google search.

11. Classic that Scares Me - Dracula ( I may change this) I chose, not sure if we will keep this selection.

12. Old Favorite - A Little Princess Frances Hodgson Burrnett (the memories of my oldest reading this melts my heart. I will write about it during a review post later in the year) Robin chose this and it is the only book we have both read. Although I have only ever read the abridged version when my oldest was very young. and before I knew that abridged  versions suck in comparison!

I am very excited for this challenge, to read the books and to have this special time with my daughter.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Welcome 2018 you will be awesome

Another trip around the sun

I have 60 years left on this planet. I am going to live until I am a healthy 100 years old.

 In 2018:
I will turn 40
My oldest will turn 18
Papabird and I will be celebrating 20 years
My Dad will turn 69

This will be a year of milestones for sure.

2017 was a great year but it was a year of great change. There were many things thrown at me that were very unexpected most I did not handle very well.

I did not react well to most things, but I have the power to change that. I am a highly reactive person and usually strike back hard and fast  when hurt or angered without thinking. I have worked hard over the years to get this reaction in check but  I had some recent situations in my life that caused many hurt feelings.The second half of 2017  is when I really focused on what I needed to change.

"All bad habits start slowly and gradually and before you know you have the habit, the habit has you." Zin Zigler

I realize now that life is about perspective and the law of attraction.
The thoughts you have in your head become who you are. Raised by a police officer  I grew up in a house where the glass was half empty. There is always something bad out there, someone is always out to get you, expect the worst and be prepared for it......

Well living this way put me in a very negative place. I mean how can I be happy and positive if I think that something bad is always around the corner  and am too busy preparing to deal with situations that have not yet happened.

Sure bad shit is going to happen but I am trying hard and have making giant steps on focusing each day on the good in life, NOT the bad! The birds are chirping and the sun is shining- even when they are not!

4.Green juice

Are some things that I have been doing regularly in 2017 which I really believe have helped. When your body mind and soul are nourished and  feeling good, life will follow. I have lost 25 lbs. and am a much stronger me. Physically and mentally. I am excited for 2018 and am ready to take it on with a new mindset and motivation. I have some exciting projects that I am working on, this will be an amazing year!

Bring it on 2018

Monday, September 11, 2017

Harvest Moon Camping

I said many times and I will keep saying it: I love the moon and feel alive, invigorated and empowered every time there is a full moon. Maybe there is actually power in the full moon or maybe I just am excited about seeing something so beautiful, I may never know. What I do know is that I  will never stop looking at the moon in all it's magical beauty.
I did not actually take this photo of the moon but this is what it looked like on Sept. 6, 2017 as it was rising and peeking through the dark gray/blue storm clouds. As it rose it looked whiter, brighter and smaller.

Fun moon facts:
The full moon will always look bigger when it’s near the horizon, but it’s not actually bigger. It’s totally an optical illusion. You can test this by just holding an penny at arm’s length. The penny will exactly cover the moon when it’s by the horizon and it’ll do the same when you hold it up to the sky when the moon is higher up but appears smaller.
Also the moon and the sun will look redder when they're by the horizon. The reason for this is because we're seeing them through the maximum thickness of atmosphere, which absorbs blue light and transmits red.

I decided to take my 4 younger kids camping at Maumee Bay State park this year to celebrate the full harvest moon and our journey into the fall season.

Our campsite was gorgeous, a spectacular view a yellows, whites, and deep golden wildflowers along the large pond. I had been watching the weather and it looked like we might get a few hours of rain at check in time when we were supposed to set up our tents. So we left very early and arrived by 11pm to set up our tents before the rain.

Canary stole my phone and took a bunch of photos, most of them were of grass and and the tires on the van but this one was a great action photo of me setting up our tent.

The weather was great, we spent the day exploring and going on bike rides along the shore. I did not take many pictures but I was fully in the moment feeling the wind on my face and the sun on my skin. Owl came up with a great game that we played while riding, it was called "What to you see that is beautiful." We took turns looking around us as we cycled along naming one item at a time that we thought was beautiful. Such a great game!

We went back to our campsite to cook dinner and to make moon water which we infused with small shards of black tourmaline. We also made some glow in the dark bracelets with glow in the dark beads.

Some of our tiny moon water charms hanging in a tree waiting for the moon.

Getting ready to head to the beach for our lantern walk after reading a page in the book Full Moon Lore we love this book so much, we brought our library copy but I need to add this to my amazon shopping list ASAP.
Everyone loved the cute little mice nibbling on corn!

We watched the moon rise, wrote messages in the sand, listened to the soft lake waves, and walked with our lanterns while listening to some beautiful lantern songs found on youtube.

It was such a calm peaceful walk.

Back at camp with our lanterns glowing into the night.

Gorgeous moon photo I caught on one of our many walks to the bathroom.
Around 11:30 Robin and I sat out by the fire after everyone else was asleep just chatting about books and life. It was a nice moment, I think we should go camping together one night just the 2 of us!

Just as the moon moved out of a 100% full one of my children woke up vomiting, which brought our camp out to an abrupt end. I built a fresh fire for the children to sit around and by the light of the moon and our warm fire we torn down out tents and packed up the van with the help of Papabird who rode out on that beautiful  September night. 

We had many activities planned for the next day but I assured the children that we would stop back next week and spend the day there.

Despite the fact our camp out ended in a vomit covered mess I would do it all over again because up until that point we had a blast. 

We picked up these great books from the lodge gift shop that I cannot wait to use for our studies.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Don't clean - go play!

I was sweeping the kitchen floor after dinner and feeling overwhelmed by the mess in the house with  Papabird working late. That is when my 2 boys raced outside to  kick a ball around.

This struck me as odd because usually after dinner they get a bit of electronic time. They did
 not even ask, they just wanted to play outside. This was even after playing outside for 2.5 after school.

They are always asking me to play with them but my response is usually "I do not have time" all I could hear in my head as they were playing was:

(A fellow mom made this card for me, it was taped to the inside of my planner for awhile)

So I left my pile of crumbs on the floor set the broom down and went right outside.

They were so excited that I was going to play them...

Yes, Duck decided to take of his boots and play in socks, Sigh! I need to buy stain remover in bulk!!!

We had so much fun.

We laughed

We ran

We even fell down, all of us! My ankle still hurts to walk on today. As an extra bonus I got in 30 extra minutes of exercise according to my fitbit I burned 180 calories. Good things because my ankle is so sore today my workout is going to be quite light!

I look at my now 16 year old and am reminded everyday how quickly time passes. I really do love a clean house but before I know it my house will be clean and empty with grown kids who have moved out.

I know all too soon I will long for the days that my kids were little and the house was messy.