Smelling the Flowers

IMG_4003How often do you “stop to smell the flowers?”

No.  Seriously.  We toss that phrase around, but do you ever actually do it?

Both of my kids have developed their own habits, without much direction from my husband or me, to always stop and smell the flowers.  (And hug trees.  My boy loves to hug trees.  And now, his sister does, too.  I love it!)

We can be out on a walk, in a parking lot, at the zoo…  Doesn’t matter where.  If the kids see flowers, we aren’t going anywhere until we stop to smell them!

And it’s pretty great.

What might be a rushed, stressful moment, suddenly turns into a deep breath, a beautiful smell, and a reminder of what is sweet about life.  The kids take a deep breath and smile and giggle.  They get excited over the prettiness of the flowers.  And even when the flowers don’t smell, they’ll tell me how ‘yummy’ they are!

Now, when I’m out by myself on a walk or running errands, I often find myself taking deep breaths as I walk by planters and gardens.  I may stop to look at an unusual flower or enjoy a bigger whiff.  And I enjoy the moment.  Just that one small moment, for what it is.

I love that my kids remind me to enjoy the little things.  It’s easy to forget and get sidetracked…  But those little hands and little faces draw me in every time.

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So do it.  Take a moment to “stop, and smell the flowers.” I dare you!

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Weekends are… Messy

I’m a neat freak.  Organization nerd.  Simplicity geek.  I love a clean house, where everything has a place.  I love clean floors and sparkling countertops.  I love for my home to be “pretty.”  That’s when I am totally relaxed.

Or…  When I used to be totally relaxed.  With two toddlers running around, the house hardly looks like that today.  Or…  Ever.

Today, as I was cleaning up lunch, I glimpsed our living room – the remnants of a blanket fort falling apart.  Costumes and cars all over the floor and chairs.  Shoes and socks thrown about the kitchen floor as the kids headed upstairs to naps….  And all I thought was, “yep.  It’s the weekend.  This is what weekends are for.”  Smile.

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A couple of weeks ago, a friend asked me, “If at the end of the day, your house is still a mess, still dishes in the sink, laundry to do, and dinner to be made…  Do you feel guilty?”  She, too, has two small children at home.  I knew where she was going with her question, but all I could do is laugh.

Guilty?!  Nah…  Life’s too short for guilt.  I may cringe.  I may feel a cleaning sprint coming on before bedtime.  I may have to take a couple of deep breaths and give up a little free time to get some of it done.  But guilty?  Nope.  Not a bit.

My house is not what it once was.  It’s not a quiet, beautiful, serene sanctuary from the rest of the world anymore…

But.  It is: comfortable.  A place full of laughter and energy.  A place where imaginations get sparked.  A place where forts and rockets, baby dolls and stuffed giraffes rule.  It’s a messy kitchen full of healthy meals.  Laundry that shows a love of the outdoors – dirt, grass, puddles, etc.  A place where markers, paint, crayons, play-doh and shnibbles of paper show up in the carpet (!).

Is it perfectly pretty?  Nope.  But it’s perfect for us.  And that’s all that matters.

When you look at my list of goals, none of them have to do with having a clean house.  Get projects done?  Yes.  Continue to make this house ours?  Yes.  But perfectly clean?  Nope.  (As much as the neat freak in me loves that idea…)  Nope.

Life is too short.  The time with our kids learning to play and imagine is too short.  There are some things you just have to let go…  And this is one.

Weekends are messy.  That’s what makes them delightful!  Will I feel guilty about that?  Not in the least…

Now, excuse me while I straighten up just a bit before the kids wake up…!

Goals

Goodness!  A week and a half has gone by already…!  Life is busy with two little people running around the house… AND life is busy when you start implementing some goals, right?

Earlier this year, as I started to get my mojo back and was getting excited to find some time for “me” again, I made a list of seemingly-easy-to-achieve goals.  Things like:

  1. Read one book a month.  (I’m one month behind, but have two going right now!)
  2. Get outside.  Everyday.  (Doing it!)
  3. Walk 3 miles, 3-4 times a week.  (Yes!)
  4. Meditate.  (Currently doing about 4 days a week – looking to do 7.)
  5. Eat healthier.  (Did Whole30 in March, then switched to Paleo.  Feeling great!)
  6. Start strength training.  (Started strength training on Monday!)
  7. Get back in the habit of going to church.
  8. Have a social outing with a friend at least once a month. (Yes!)
  9. Date night (or day) with the hubby at least once a month.  (Yes!)
  10. Complete one project around the house each week.  (Yes!)

This past weekend, I crammed all of these things in!  Finished a book – “A Man Called Ove.”  LOVED IT.  Camped out in the yard with the family, complete with a filled kiddie pool and campfire with marshmallows!  Walked.  Meditated.  Tried new, yummy Paleo meals.  Joined the YMCA.  Went to church to celebrate some of my former youth group students graduating high school.  Went to a concert with a girlfriend.  Worked on pretty-ing up the front porch.  (Only thing missing was a date with the hubby!)

And it feels good.

I’m starting to find a groove again.  I’m more patient with the kids – and myself.  Summer is here, and I’m hoping to take it a day at a time and enjoy it!

What are some goals you’re working on?  Small things.  Easy things.  Things that only require you to make a small chunk of time and prioritize it?  (Notice my goals aren’t “lose 30lbs” or “learn to play guitar,”  Lovely ideas.  But, I need achievable right now.  Things that bring joy – that don’t lead to failure or let down.)  It’s a great place to start!