I’m soooooo busy

You guys, I wrote this post TWO years ago and never published it. I just stumbled onto it this week and the message continues to resonate with me. This is a process of refining that will never be done, but wow, what a privilege that we have the opportunity to choose to make ourselves better each day.

”There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” – Art Turock

I found this yesterday and it was like a kick in the pants. (The back of the pants kind that propels you forward, not the front of the pants kind…) I will admit, I find it really hard to just focus on one thing. I would love to be good at everything, and there are a lot of things in the world that interest me. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough time to pursue everything in the world. We have to be vigilant about where we invest our time.

Sometimes, we think we are too busy for the things we should commit to. This is your official wake up call to get honest about your time.

Are you interested or committed?

I’ve got a secret!

Ok, so it isn’t a secret if you follow me on instagram, but we’ve got a sweet new member of the family on the way, due in September!

We found out on Christmas Eve, and for once we didn’t blab immediately to family and friends, but enjoyed keeping the news to just the two of us for awhile. Now that we are sharing, it has been wonderful to see how excited everyone is. I will confess, I was really worried about negative comments since two seems to be the socially acceptable number of children to have, and that was part of my desire to wait a little longer to share the news.

As excited as we are, this pregnancy has been tough so far! People were starting to think I was dying of H1N1 flu in January when I was too sick to do anything. All I can say now is thank goodness for modern medicine because there are some things that no amount of ginger, peppermint tea, and crackers can cure.

Speaking of modern medicine, those of you who are familiar with my birth stories know I was treated by midwives and that both boys were born outside of a hospital at a free-standing birth center. This time will be a little different and this little one will be born at a hospital with an OB. We’ve had two appointments with him so far, and he’s every bit as wonderful as the midwives and I think even a better fit for my personality. The birth center still has my support and love, but after two near car births, I really need somewhere closer to home. (That sound you hear is my mom’s sigh of relief)

Prior to trying, I had told people who asked that we probably would have a third because I just didn’t feel like everyone was here yet – our family wasn’t complete yet. Ultimately it was that feeling that helped us to decide that a third was the right move for us.

I am really looking forward to sharing the rest of this journey on the blog!

All is calm, all is bright

Do you ever really listen to the words traditional Christmas songs like Silent Night? “Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright..” It sounds wonderful, but not a thing like the Christmas season, which is a little more Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (by the way.. how terrible is that song?!).

In the past few years, our family has tried to make changes in the direction of calm & bright. Last year and the year before, we did handmade gifts, which was really fun for those years, and this year, I felt like I had really maxed out my creativity and it was causing more stress to make every gift. This year I identified 5 steps to a more joyful and peaceful Christmas.

5 steps to a more joyful & peaceful Christmas

ONE/Gifts. They can be handmade, or store bought. Whatever makes your stress level next to nothing, as long as they are given with love, they are right.

TWO/Budget. I am really passionate about this one. If you aren’t doing this already, try a cash only Christmas. Start in January, setting a little bit aside each month in a Christmas fund, or build Christmas expenses into your December budget. Either way, no credit cards. I think most people you buy gifts for would rather a smaller gift (or a nice note!) than have you go into debt to give them something amazing that you really can’t afford. Gift within your means.

THREE/Decor. Keep it simple! Some of my favorite decorations are the simplest – family heirlooms like my grandfather’s model trains and great-grandmother’s copper molds, a rosemary tree, and candles. The absolute best new thing we did this year, was to do a major declutter and purge before bringing out the Christmas decorations – we donated and packed away almost all of the boy’s toys that were in the living room. It has been wonderful and much easier to tidy up.

FOUR/Tradition.  I think traditions and rituals are one of the sweetest gifts I can give my children, so we’ve been trying to focus on experiences more than anything else this year. We’ve had a few nights in with Christmas cookies and hot cocoa watching some of our favorite Christmas movies, gone to Zoo Lights, attended the Winter Faire at Reid’s school, and I have plans to see the Nutcracker with Reid in a week. Some of these things are traditions from our childhoods, and some are new to us.

FIVE/Breathe. Be kind to yourself and take time to recharge, no matter what that looks like – wine with the girls, a dinner date, yoga, daily quiet time, or reading a book with a big mug of tea (or all of the above). Let yourself off the hook when it comes to doing it all. Do some well, let the rest go.

Wishing you a calm & bright Christmas.