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Monday, January 19, 2015

having four

I was out for a walk with my baby and puppy yesterday. The day was gorgeous, the sky was hugely blue and it couldn't have been more perfect. A group of retired ( we are in Florida, after all ;) folks stopped to pet the dog and we got into a conversation.

I never volunteer that I have four kids. They talk to me and are sweet as if I am a first time mom. You know what I mean, right? They ooh and aah over the baby and I love it and we build a little repore. If/when they ask me if she is my first, I say no and prepare them for what they are about to hear. When I say four, their faces quickly and naturally express surprise and I can read the thought fleeting through their mind, "Is this person in her right mind? Is she like us?"

Insert comedian Jim Gaffigan. check out this clip!

I can't tell you how much I love my third and fourth children ( and the first ones obviously but this is about our standing out by having more than 2). And having (so) many, our needs are met. There is the fun one. There is the compassionate one. We have an orchestrator. And we have a baby to snuggle with.

And they have each other. Isn't loneliness one of the greatest problems of our time, after all?

Have a great day, friends!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Organization has been everywhere! So I hope my assimilation of ideas isn't redundant. Eek!

I've been thinking a lot about order with the new year. After all, it is a virtue on which the others rely. Did I really just say virtue? The stuff of old school nuns who inspired fear ( no offense to all I the wonderful religious there are!) in their pupils? No, not that virtue. But real, authentic virtue that lives and breathes and comes in the form of some of your favorite people. Have you ever been in contact with a person that just captivates you with their generosity or genuine happiness? Virtue. Have you ever seen someone who is courageous in the face of difficulties? Virtue. Have you ever seen someone sacrifice the things they want so that they can give their children the things they need? Virtue. Virtue reflects maturity, and that stands out in a crowd.

So, order, my friends, is a virtue. Now there are so many different angles and avenues it covers. It reaches the big picture of our lives and whether it is ordered to what we believe is most important. It goes all the way down to whether or not we have dirty socks on left lingering on our floors. It even reaches into our closets. We maybe don't like this virtue. It doesn't feel like our friend.

But like the best of friends, it knows us well and will hang in there, encouraging us to pick up those socks and hang up those clothes. It reminds us to pray if we say heaven is our goal. It tells us to rethink our closets and have only what we need and where we need it. And it reminds us that people are always more important than creating our perfectly ordered abode.

So what am I focusing on right now?

Getting back to my prayer life. After having my fourth I have been running on low fuel here. But as I explained to the kids ( and myself), if mama's gonna give, mama's gotta be getting it from somewhere. I need God, plain and simple.

Myself- yes. Myself. I haven't been looking my best, aside from the fact that I still have baby weight ( funny aside- a woman at the store told me she's been trying to loose her baby weight for 12 years! Lol! But please don't let that be me in 12 years...). I took a look a the things that were bothering me and made a couple of changes to just those things. I followed Lauren Liess' advice (I've been following her blog for a while) and started her  skin cleaning regiment and I'm so happy with the results so far! I have much more even skin tone. My eldest has even noticed! I also got some cool coral lipstick and it makes a big difference in feeling put together. I also thought more about my daily "uniform" and it really should consist of mostly looser shirts and shorts or comfy skirts. Looking put together feels more like me, so I feel better having a game plan!

Toys- cleaning them out and throwing away broken ones ( or even just extra ;) feels oh so good

Edit edit edit. I saw this on a decorating blog and it really resonated. Some people think about a particular room all day every day for their career. I can and should spend a little time making my rooms feel the best they can, which means paying attention to how they are used, removing excess and for me, redoing a gallery wall and desk area! Much cleaner and more purposeful all around!

Up next? Rethinking and organizing closet spaces. Many years back as part of a new moms group, I did a little series on home organization. Boy did it open my eyes! One of the gems is how efficient and functional closets can and should be. Time to get going again!

Have a fabulous day, friends!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

lively up yourself

Sometimes I feel very non-committal to color. I LOVE color, and especially the play between them. I go through different moods and I want my surroundings to reflect them. I can't help myself! And so when it comes to choosing something new, I feel torn. I want change, but how badly and how long will it last? And when it comes to things we change less often like furniture or a rug, which  I am in the market for because I need something cozy for my not-so-little-baby-anymore to sit, crawl and land on in our family room, it is harder for me to choose.

My current inspiration is in the form of the marriage of coral and pink!!

I've always loved pink, but wearing it or using it in the home is risky. I don't want it to look too sweet. But I need the boldness of it in my life right now.


study perfection!..


How are you going to lively up yourself this year?

despite all odds

for yesteryear!...

As women and moms we are never short on challenges. There are tangible physical challenges of meeting daily deadlines to schools, time deadlines of getting to practices, laundry and housework and meals, thrice daily. These are mere physical realities, not to mention the ever present personal ones. I won't go on, because the picture is pretty clear.

What we don't perhaps do often enough is look back and see our accomplishments as such. A lot happens in a year! We've met big and more importantly little, hidden challenges that only God and us know, and these are worth acknowledging. Otherwise we could take ourselves for granted and I don't think this was intended for us. 

Give yourself kudos, and really celebrate this past year before you think about the next. Perhaps then when you think of 2015, you'll see it as another opportunity to succeed rather than as another year where you maybe have to fix something. 

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2014

well done, friends

Cheers! Salud! Or whatever your toast of choice may be. We did it! Congratulate yourself for giving it all you had to make the ones you love have a wonderful day. I know you did a lot. And now its time to enjoy your tree with your wine and favorite book. Mine will be War and Peace ( I know that sounds snobby but you should give it a try. No one understands women better than Leo.).

And as you rest, I am sure the refrain is re-echoing Gloria, in excelsis Deo...


Saturday, December 20, 2014

its beginning to look a lot like christmas!


Ok, but truly, it is. I hope you are enjoying it and taking it in. I hope that the stress has subdued and that you are coasting into the last week and actually able to have some quiet, reflective time; something we all crave. It is part of how we are made. It is that restless yearning in us that longs for something more. Make no mistake. :)

Besides striped sweaters and skinny jeans; caramel macciattos, boots and bags; the idea of a shimmery olive table cloth for Christmas dinner with bits of red, coral and peacock thrown in; and black nail polish with gold glitter for Christmas I can't get enough of relationships. It is such an honor to be mom. The one the kids confide their deepest secrets in. The one the baby looks to and checks for affirmation from. The one who holds court and hears both sides before making the sentence.  WHAT?!?! Back the truck up! ;)

A young family has all the opportunity of the world. From the very beginning, we show our kids life and frame their viewpoint of it. We show them what is normal, what is special, and what is most important by what we say, but mostly by what we do. For better or worse. And therein lies my gratitude. Yes, we all make mistakes daily. I am not living in the clouds. But, we have the opportunity to reflect and grow in our understanding and in our lives along with our children. We have the chance to help them to speak to each other and listen to each other. When there is a conflict, which there always will be because as a favorite Saint says, stones are polished with stones and souls with souls ( St. Josemaria), it is a great opportunity to promote communication skills. That sounds so trite, but aren't relationships the things that really matter in the end? And the kids will grow up and form close bonds of their own one day. They will have learned that not everyone thinks and feels like them. And they will have learned to respect that and cherish it.

So, my prayer for my family and yours is that we make the most of the break and truly enjoy each other's company, seeing each one for who they really are. Each person is an entity unto themselves and is part of making the tapestry more beautiful.

Have a great day, my friends!