"A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
50. I did not intend to be away from blogland for this long.
49. I have missed all of you - a lot.
48. I initially decided to stay off the computer for the last two weeks of the kiddos' school year. I had taken on many volunteer and event planning duties at the school as well as a PTA Chair position. I wanted to do a good job and have everything run smoothly for the kiddos and teachers.
47. Ezra was graduating from elementary school and I became very emotional at how quickly my kiddos are growing up so I volunteered some more.
46. I am officially the mama of a middle schooler.
45. Once school ended, I was so excited to have my kiddos home I wanted to spend all my time with them. I love taking in all they have to share.
44. I also began questioning all the time that I spend on the computer.
43. Our days were spent playing, laughing, cooking and eating.
42. When we were done we'd cook and eat once more. These kiddos are hungry.
41. We also walk the doggies together each morning, care for our chickens, feed the hungry kitty, and play with the guinea pigs.
40. Then we drive to swim team and Taekwondo lessons. And cook and eat some more.
39. After a while I couldn't even think of anything to post.
38. My husband works long hours, including many nights and weekends, as an emergency room doctor at the country hospital near our home. We always try to spend the days that he is home together.
37. Soon my sewing space became too hot and I couldn't sit still long enough to get any knitting done.
36. I began feeling antsy and in need of a creative outlet so I decided to paint the walls in my house white. I have wanted to do this for a long time.
35. The kiddos and I headed to Home Depot for paint and supplies. We listened to music and applied blue tape to every bit of molding.
34. Then I went on a lengthy quest for the perfect shade of white paint. Samples were purchased. Swatches were painted on the walls.
33. Then it happened. I found the perfect color white paint and spent several late nights with my husband painting the dining room, kitchen and entry hall - the living room is next.
32. Around here any activity involving a glass of wine and time alone in the evenings is referred to as date night so the husband doesn't mind helping out.
31. I will devote a post and photos to my newly painted spaces soon. But for those of you who can't wait the color is Ralph Lauren's Pocket Watch White which can be color matched in Behr paint at Home Depot (more on this later).
30. I finally had something to post about and wanted to return to blogland when the kiddos and I had to pack up for our trip to visit friends.
29. My wonderful husband stayed home to work and take care of "the farm."
28. Our chickens are eight weeks old now and we absolutely adore them. We love to watch them spread their wings and fly. And I love watching my children's faces as they watch the chickens.
27. We ended up buying a coop instead of building one as I had planned.
26. This took some "letting go" on my part as I really wanted us to build the coop together as a family.
25. I wasn't quite sure about the message I was giving my children when the guy pulled up to our house with the completed coop on the back of his truck.
24. But summer schedules are unpredictable and my husband had to pick up several extra shifts for a colleague. We explained to the kiddos that the chickens needed a home sooner than we could have it built. And that dad had to work extra to help someone else out. And that we would use the extra money that dad earned to pay for the pre-built coop. Not the same as building it ourselves but a lesson was learned nonetheless.
23. I had intended to write that I have guilt that we are raising our kiddos so far away from grandparents and family - and that their dad works such long and crazy hours. I want to be fully present for them and can't bring myself to spend time on the computer.
22. But in all truthfulness, I love spending time with my kiddos. They are very funny and say the most clever things and we laugh a lot. Guilt or no guilt, I would rather spend time with my kiddos than anyone else.
21. This year my kiddos are 11, 9 and almost 6. They are smart, witty, independent, stubborn, caring and always hungry. The good news is that they no longer require naps, diaper changes, sippy cups, or that mama carry a giant purse. The bad news is that they are growing up so very quickly - two more years and I will have a teenager.
20. Who was it that said that when it comes to raising children the days often pass too slowly while the years fly by so fast?
19. Plus my kiddos do not fight or argue when they have my full attention. A definite bonus.
18. I'm glad I took this much needed break from the computer.
17. But I truly missed all of you - and all that you have been up to. And I cannot wait to start checking in.
16. I regret not posting a quick message letting you all know that I would be taking a break.
15. It's just that I never planned to be away for so long. Many evenings I planned to write a post but with the days so long the kiddos were going to bed later and later. And once they went to bed there was still laundry to fold and dishes to be washed... And around 9:30 pm my husband would come home from work and I wanted to spend quality time with him.
14. Yesterday was our 18th wedding anniversary. My husband is my best friend and marrying him was the best decision I ever made.
13. Finding balance is important. Finding time for myself is important. Spending quality time with my family is important.
12. Visiting your blogs is important. I began blogging to share sewing and knitting ideas and to learn from what you all are making. But I soon realized that I learned the most from the way you are living your lives, nurturing your families, and raising kiddos.
11. I am a better person and a better mother because of you and all you share.
10. Once I made the decision to keep the computer turned off - because let's face it, a quick email check can easily lead to a full hour spent surfing the internet - not blogging was easy. But I couldn't stop thinking about all the friends I had made and wonder what you were up to.
9. My kiddos have told me that they are glad I was spending so much time with them rather than blogging - even though I always did most of my making and blogging after they were in bed.
8. However when Abigail saw me walking around with the camera she asked me if I wanted to take her photograph for my blog. Kiddos!
7. Balance is everything!
6. I have chosen to continue my blogging - and living a thoughtful life - because the connections and friendships I have made here are valuable to me.
5. While I was away I gave a lot of thought to the things that are most important to me. The top three are definitely my children, my marriage and my home.4. My mother worked outside the home while I was growing up. But I am so very fortunate to have the financial opportunity to stay home with my kiddos. I have the time to truly listen to my children. To always look them in the eyes when they are speaking. Include them in family discussions. Let them know that I don't have all the answers and that I'm still learning and growing. Laugh with them. Tell them stories about my childhood. Get down on the floor and play with them - even if they are preteens. Especially if they are preteens. Read to them and listen intently when they read to me. Turn off the TV. If they are watching a movie, I watch with them - preferably while snuggling under a quilt. Go outside with them. Play sports together - I now have a pretty good bank shot. I also insist that they go outside with me to walk the dogs or help care for the chickens. I have the time to tell them how very much I love them and how lucky I am that I have them.
3. My marriage is very important to me. It is the foundation on which our family is built. And it is through this relationship that we model love, respect and commitment to our children. Greg and I make it a point to make time for one another. To play with our children together. We do have disagreements and we are thoughtful to talk through them in a respectful manner. Sometimes we raise our voices and have to tell the children that people who love each other do not always agree on everything. But that we will always love one another and we will always remain married.
Greg and I do not go on many dates because hiring a sitter and driving an hour to the city to go eat out is not my idea of a fun evening. Instead we prefer to turn off and put away all our hobbies and distractions and create a special environment at home with yummy food, wine and a netflix movie that we watch while snuggling. For the past several years we have designated several nights a week as date nights at home - we mark these days on the calendar at the start of each month so that there are no excuses.
2. I have given a lot of thought to my feelings about our home. We are still in the starter home we purchased eleven years ago and there are many things about our house that I would love to change. Starting with our teensy kitchen and the lack of a fireplace. We are looking at houses on the market but nothing has felt quite right. In the meantime, home is where we create most of our memories and I want it to be a warm, comfortable and tidy space. If you've ever watched the HGTV show Designed to Sell, you've seen that people like their homes much more once all their stuff and clutter has been cleared out. Well I've decided to make our house 'designed to live in'. I've cleared out all the things that weren't getting much use, including furniture, and organized all that is left. Having less stuff means less time spent cleaning and more time for playing and making.
1. Enough with all this thinking and explaining. I'm off to play with my family - and to visit all your spaces.
In the meantime,
"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who come alive." Howard Thurman