Wednesday, August 22, 2012

from an ordinary day to an extraordinary day

While garage sale-ing a couple of weekends ago I found a free box full of magazines. Jack Pot! Those are one of my favorite things to find at garage sales. I picked out a large handful to take home and have been reading ever since. One of the free magazines I brought home was a copy of Better Homes & Gardens from June 2004 and in it is an article titled, "A Day Like No Other." It was written by a Michele Meyer and I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with you all. Since I could not find it online, I am going to give you the main points she makes with a little of my own additions here and there. I hope you enjoy it and that it inspires you like it has me. 

My stack of free magazines with BH&G June 2004 on top.
Michele writes, "It's all too easy to put off so many of the little things in life, so you should make a commitment to trying these suggestions as soon as possible-today, in fact." And we should because, if we are not already aware we should be, life is short. We put things off until tomorrow because there is always tomorrow. Right? Maybe not. And if there is, those years fly by and I hope that my family, my kids will look back to see extraordinary days instead of ordinary or ugly days. 

"Here then are 12 suggestions that you can put into action" to turn today, an ordinary day, into an extraordinary day. 

  1. Love To Be Loved ~ Offer each family member a warm hug and kiss whenever you part or reunite. You'll not only remind them that they are loved, but you'll also feel more loved yourself.
  2. Listen. Really Listen ~ There's a line from a movie that goes: "Are you listening or are you waiting to speak?" Often we're so busy crafting our response that we hardly hear what others say. Break yourself of this habit.
  3. Create A Secret Affection Code ~ Devise a gesture, like tapping the tip of your nose, to silently signal your spouse and kids "I love you" in public. Then put it to use daily.
  4. Daydream For A Moment or Two ~ A mental break not only lets you destress, studies say it also boosts creativity and improves sleep and eating habits. So take time to be a momentary space cadet.
  5. Use Humor in Frustrating Situations ~ While stuck in traffic or the slowest checkout line ever, look for the absurdity of a situation-and often you'll find yourself chuckling instead of stewing.
  6. Watch Your Kids Sleep ~ No matter how old they are, a few moments of seeing your kids' peaceful, beautiful faces in repose can make up for the (many) hassles of parenting. Sneak in tonight and have a quiet look.
  7. Boost Someone's Confidence ~ Have each family member say something positive at dinnertime. It doesn't always have to be about a person; it could simply be about their day.
  8. Hold Someone's Hand ~ Few experiences are as tender as a hand slipped unexpectedly into another's. Touch is an incredibly important part of life. It makes you more alert and attentive. It builds intimacy. And it just plain feels good.
  9. Climb a Tree ~ Blow bubbles, do a cartwheel, climb a tree, or read one of your child's books for yourself. Reconnect with childhood.
  10. Keep Your Fan Mail ~ Create a file folder and sock away any written compliments you get from your spouse, kids, siblings, and friends. Add to it each time you receive something that makes you feel good about yourself. Then return the favor. 
  11. A Little Bit Goes A Long Way ~ Feel overwhelmed by a daunting task or tasks? Instead of procrastinating and dreading them, take one step toward completing them, no matter how small. Once you do, you build momentum. 
  12. Linger Every Day ~ Forgetting how to dawdle is a tragedy. Make sure it doesn't happen to you. So once a day, take a few minutes longer at something than you normally would. Snuggle with your spouse in the morning after the alarm goes off instead of leaping out of bed. Savor a cup of coffee (or tea) while reading the newspaper instead of downing it on the way to day care. Life is busy enough. Before today ends, carve out a small chunk of time just for lingering. "Women run from one task to another and forget to take time for themselves," Patricia Averill, PhD, says. "Taking just 10 minutes every day reminds you that you're valuable too."

Me and baby girl lingering in the hammock in the backyard.

And you know what? You are
Lets all help to make it an extraordinary day for each other.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Getting ready for school with Mom's Manager

So, everyone that has a school aged kid knows it's back-to-school time. Time to gear up, stock up and get back to a routine. Well, my little guy is starting kindergarten this year and all this back-to-school stuff is new to me. Okay, yes, I did go to school when I was his age so it isn't completely new to me but, now that I am the parent, this planning out new routines and stocking up on supplies and getting mentally prepared, is new. 
And a little overwhelming. And exciting. And worrisome. And fun. 
Mom needs a manager. 

Well, what to my pleasant surprise, while shopping for school supplies, there it was. Mom's manager. Ready for me to take it home at the sale price of $3.99! A full 18 month planning calendar to keep the whole family on track and together. I am so excited. I love these calendars because you can give each member a color so everyone knows what is going on with who. And, as a helpful bonus, it comes with some stickers to flag certain events and doings. 
I am in love!

Their sample page of how to effectively use
the planner. 
The stickers that came with the calendar.

With our manager in play, I feel like we are ready for school to start. And for our first ever school year start, I hope this helps to keep us organized, on track, on time and, most importantly, sane! What helps you get your school year off to a good start?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Delight in the house of God

A Psalm

About a month ago, I went blueberry picking with my mother-in-law and my two kids. It was beautiful out, in the country, birds chirping and the sun shining down. My kids picking and eating and getting dirty while I was filling my bucket to fill my freezer for the year. Life was good; life is good. And then I found it, the little birds nest, tucked away in the bush, a reminder to me from my God.

Psalms 84: 1-4 (NIV)
How lovely is your dwelling place, 
O Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. 
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young- a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God. 
Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.

Yes, how lovely it is. And I am blessed. I will praise you!