Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sometimes Life Just Needs a Fresh Coat of Paint

If life has you down maybe a little change is in order. Change is refreshing when life starts to become stagnant. It can be a small change; something as simple as a change of thought. Sometimes big changes are needed but most of the time all we need is a small shift to make our world feel fresh, new, and full again. 

Life will always seem chaotic, there is no getting around it, but what we do in the midst of crazy is what modifies the moment. If we were to get even deeper on the subject, how we choose to perceive any given circumstance is ultimately going to shape that situation into a negative or a positive. Life is what we make it. We can choose to sit, stress, and worry about our future, or we can be thankful for all the blessings that surround us. We can mope, cry, and complain about our schedule, or we can rearrange and organize it so we are excited to get up each day. Yes, there are bad days, but it's what we do with those bad days that make us either stronger or weaker.

One small change that has been long overdue is the painting of my our office (I have to remind myself that I now share this space with my wonderful husband who now works from home, but that's a different post). One simple coat of paint and my our work environment went from a dark, gloomy dungeon to what a work space should be. Such a simple modification completely changed my perception of what work feels like. Sometimes all we need to do is give our life a little facelift. 

Life is always changing. We can either choose to smile through it, or we can pitch a fit and constantly be discontented with life. My goal is to model this outlook for my children. Life is so short and I am a believer that we need to make the most of every single moment. If a situation has you down, if your day-to-day is stressing you out, try giving it your life a fresh coat of paint!

Pin It!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Cooking Party for the Big Seven

We celebrated our Ella's seventh birthday this week! She chose to have a family party and wanted to do all the planning and cooking on her own. 

The plan:

Dinner: Ramen noodles 
Dessert: Confetti cake with pink frosting
Games: Freeze dance and simon says
Entertainment: Little House on the Prairie

I don't think it gets any easier than that!

Just one minor set back; she kept falling off the stool. 
"I'm so sorry El, you've inherited your mom's klutziness."

With a big smile on her face she says, "I'm not good at frosting cakes, but it sure does taste good!"

We forgot to buy candles but she found a used "5" in the pantry. She plops it on top and with a giggle and says, "That's okay, I'll just pretend it says seven!" 

I love this girl!

We painted nails and prettied up for a quick photo shoot! 

Nothing says "seven" like one front tooth gone and one just hanging there! 

An Interview with Ella

Mom: What's your favorite color?
El: Pink.

M: What is your favorite thing to do at school? 
E: That's easy; color.

M: What was your favorite birthday present?
E: I love my art studio!

M: What's your favorite holiday?
E: Valentines day because it's close to my birthday and because it's all about love and I'm all about love.

M: What do you want to be when you grow up?
E: An artist.

M: What do you think is the worst job ever? 
E: Fixing lamps because I have no clue how to work electricity. And it sounds awful.

M: What is your favorite thing to do? 
E: Having holidays.

M: What is the funniest thing you have ever seen?
E: An elephant pooping.

M: Describe what the best day of your life would look like?
E: Spending time with my family, playing games, laughing, giggling, having cake, and going crazy.

M: Describe what the worst day of your life would look like? 
E: I don't want to have any worst days, how about a worst second? That would be if someone slammed my head against the carpet and then me sitting in this chair, all alone, for the whole day, and crying.

M: Do you have anything else you want to tell me?
E: I love going to the zoo and I would love to have my next birthday in a gym. I love when you take my pictures, it's fun. Don't you think my new outfit is cute? Papa and Nana got it for me because they really love me! That's all.

Pin It!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Determind to Stop the Yelling

You know that moment when your blood pressure starts to rise, beads of sweat start forming on your forehead, and your eyes feel like they are going to pop-out of your head? I'm describing the moment stress starts to take over your world. 

We all deal with stress in different ways; unfortunately I'm terrible at dealing with it. When I start to feel like things are out of my control, I can lose it. This usually comes in the form of yelling.

We have a lot of bodies roaming under our roof, so it's naturally going to be loud. Everyone feels the need to scream when they want to be heard because everyone wants to be heard at the exact same time; I get that. We are just a loud family, no way around it. I wouldn't change it... we have a lot of fun! But lately stress has been at an all-time high around here, and the rudeness and yelling have become excessive. 

Erik and I know the problem... it's us! We are the example and we do a very poor job of being that example. I watch it unfold; I yell at them for something and then they turn around and bark and their siblings minutes after. I speak to them in kindness, to pick up their shoes in the middle of the floor, and they turn around and talk to each other in a loving way. It's a powerful thing!

My prayer lately has been that we could have a peaceful home. My prayer is we would use our words to encourage, strengthen, and empower one another; to speak out of love rather than frustration. 

This is easier said than done for a family that has developed a very bad habit, but I'm determined to change.

I am the one apologizing the most, "I'm so sorry for raising my voice, mommy needs a minute."

Erik and I are holding each other accountable. When voices start to rise, we remind each other to "do the opposite." It's a lesson we took from a Seinfeld episode titled "The Opposite" to help us laugh through this time of change. On the way home one day we decided to start doing the"opposite", exaggerating what it would look like to do the opposite of how we would normally react. We would say everything in a whisper, sing-song voice. We did this because, like George Costanza, we realized that every decision we had ever made was the wrong one and we would be better off doing the complete opposite of our natural response.

"No, no, honey, we are not going to hit, that's not nice."

"It would be really lovely if you all could talk kindly to one another."

Instead of how we would normally respond.



I think when you are learning something new that's totally foreign to you it's best to over-exaggerate your efforts. After it beings to sink in, you can bring it back down to a level of normalcy.

It was funny to see how long it took the kids to start getting annoyed with us. About five minutes into our new "opposite" persona, Abby piped up "why are you guys talking so weird?"

We don't want to change our fun, loud, crazy family; we just want respectfulness and kindness to be more prevalent in our home. If a simple lesson from Seinfeld helps us get there, then so be it.

Pin It!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Rules Make You Do Crazy Things

The mind can be a funny thing. Sometimes we make a big deal out of something that turns out to be nothing. We can also tell ourselves it's not a big deal and it turns out that we were way wrong; at least that's how my brain functions!

Is putting laundry away really that big of a deal? Who cares if it piles up to the ceiling? In my mind, it's a daunting task and I despise it doesn't get done. Most of the time, outfits are pulled from the massive pile sitting on top of the dryer. Hey, at least they're clean!

Is cooking a meal an all day event? No, but for some reason I build it up in my mind and avoid it. "Cheese and crackers for dinner everyone. Enjoy!"

How long will it really take to paint my office? Probably all day, but I tell myself "Oh, we can knock that out in a few hours. No prob!" 

A few small frivolous purchases throughout the month doesn't seem like a big deal...until the end of the month! "Oh crap! That's a lot! Sorry." 

I'm only eating a small sliver of cake. I'm not even sitting down or getting a plate so it doesn't count... "What happend to the cake? Oh my goodness, did I really eat that whole thing?"

Matthew seems to operate on the same level!

Erik has made a new rule in our must use the downstairs bathroom and only the downstairs bathroom.  I wouldn't use that bathroom if I were you... yuck!

Our upstairs bathroom, the one the guests use, was getting trashed. So they were banned from the upstairs facilities. At first, I was sad for one likes feeling booted. But all of those feelings quickly left after seeing how fresh and clean the bathroom was... I'm a big fan of the new rule! The truth is, I wish I was the one who had come up with it.

Erik has a lot of great ideas...just don't tell him I said that.

Matthew our lazy, crazy, child, doesn't like to go all the way down the stairs

The other night I saw Matt suiting up in his winter gear so I asked him what he was doing.

"I go pee."

"Wait! What?"

He didn't respond and made his way outside to the nearest tree.

Oh my goodness! Seriously?

I'm not sure why my three-year-old finds it easier to put on his hat, coat, and boots then go outside to pee... in the snow. But to him it's easier than making his way down the stairs!

I love this kid!

Pin It!