March 1, 2013
by Anne
3 Comments

Five Minute Friday: Ordinary

This Weeks Word: Ordinary (Want to join in? Click here.)

Go:

Sometimes I get really tired of the ordinary. It is like I am somehow waiting for my ordinary every day life to magically turn into something…well, more exciting? I guess I often live with the attitude that tomorrow things are going to be better, different, _________. The other day, I was soooo tired, like I often am, and I was trying to fall asleep for a nap. There were a few things on my mind that were bothering me, and sleep was not coming easily (even though I desperately wanted it too). I decided to get up instead of just lay their wishing for a sleep that wasn’t coming. And I decided that today was the day. Things weren’t going to get better tomorrow unless I made them better today. We aren’t going to be different people tomorrow unless we start doing something different today. Ordinary days and ordinary lives are all we have. Or at least they are all that I have. But, I think maybe there is something magical in that. Something magical about the dishes, and the car breaking down. Something magical about putting a smile on my face and taking the time to really talk to my daughter when she gets home from school. Something extraordinary hidden deep within the ordinary.

Stop.

February 8, 2013
by Anne
3 Comments

Five Minute Friday: Bare

(Want to join in on Five Minute Friday? Click HERE and start writing!)

The word for this week is: Bare

GO:

When I think about the word bare, I think about something that is naked (eek.) I also think about things that are natural and in their true original state. Something that is real. Not trying to be covered up with something that it is not.

This past week, I have been thinking a lot about who I am. Not what I like to do, or what I think about, or any stuff like that. But just, really deep down…who am I?

I think it can be hard to get bare. To get rid of all the excess, the pizazz that we use to cover ourselves up with. It is hard to live in the moment. To stop our constant thinking about the past and our fretting about the future and just live in the bare, real, now.

Sometimes I think that when the bible tells us to “awaken” it means to live in the now. What is really happening in this moment. And stop living in what happened yesterday or what we hope (or don’t hope) will happen tomorrow. It is a struggle for me to live like that. I’m so used to covering up my true life with a blanket. And hiding under it…almost hoping nobody will notice me.

STOP. 

Heart Crayon Thumb

February 7, 2013
by Anne
5 Comments

Valentine Heart Crayons & A Lesson About Love

Rainbow Heart Crayon

Sometimes our kids sure have a lot they can teach us. About simplicity, authenticity, and life. About being who we are without trying to put on a show, or pretend to be…well…anything that we are not. About being enough, because we are enough…

This past week, I really wanted to make these cute heart crayons (don’t even get me started on the massive pile of broken crayons we have collected over the years). I ordered a silicone heart mold, and when it came in the mail my 1st grade daughter, Audrey, was thrilled. We sat for hours peeling paper off crayons (it was so fun that my 3 year old son and my 30 year old husband also joined in). We organized them and mixed and matched colors, we got excited to see what they would look like after they melted. We got creative with different colors of glitter. We each made ones that were specifically our own. We sat in front of the oven and watched them melt…

Valentine Heart Crayon Mold

 And we were right to be excited. When they came out of the oven…each one was a treasure:

Crayon Hearts 1

Crayon Hearts 2

Crayon Hearts 3

We oohed and awed over all of them, we put them in piles, decided which ones were our favorite, and which friend would like which one the best. It was fun…

until

mom ruined it.

You see, all along I had a vision of what these heart crayons should be. A cute crayon valentine placed inside an adorable little baggie with an ornate hand crafted tag inserted inside. A cute phrase like: Valentine, you color my world  (obviously found on the internet) written in a font that could be colored, and maybe a cute little coloring page folded in there too…you get the idea. It was big and grand, and not from Audrey…

Later that day, I walked into the kitchen, and saw my adorable 6 year old cutting up pieces of lined paper, writing “Don’t eat me I’m a crayon” onto each one and stuffing them haphazardly into my cute little bags.

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I was so disappointed. My pretty valentines were not as pretty as I imagined and it wasn’t what wanted. My daughter looked at me and knew immediately that something was wrong.

I tried to recover, but I wasn’t fast enough. She could tell by my face that I didn’t like it. I quickly tried to reassure her, to say it was fine, that I liked what she had done, that I liked what she had written, that it was cute…but she didn’t believe me. She took out all the papers and wadded them up and threw them away, asking me what I would want her to write…telling me it was ok, that she would change it.

And then I saw it.

The show that I was trying to put on.

The fake, unauthentic way of life that I was teaching my child to live. I was telling her through my actions, that her ideas for her own valentines weren’t good enough. That it would be better if she copied a cute phrase found on the internet, than come up with one on her own. That hers wasn’t good enough.

I felt like dirt.

Sometimes, it is hard to see the truth of our actions. It may seem small…and maybe it is…but then again maybe its not. My whole life I have wanted to be like other people. I have valued their opinions over my own, cared deeply about what they thought I should do. And I could see it all in my daughters face when she looked at me. She wanted me to be pleased with her…wanted me to like what she created, and when she could tell that I was disappointed she took what she had done and threw it in the garbage…

I don’t want her to feel like her ideas are garbage…because they aren’t. The more I thought about it, the more I fell in love with her idea…with her phrase. And the longer I thought about it, the more I started to hate that dumb phrase I found online. That phrase was real for someone else (the person who thought of it), but not for us. And definitely not for Audrey.  The longer I sat with it, the more I fell in love with what my daughter had authentically and lovingly created herself. I tried to get her to write it again but she wouldn’t…so I disappointingly put it away.

It took a few days, but I finally convinced Audrey that I didn’t want her to do anything different than what she had done. I let her get out more paper and scissors and make another note to go with her crayons. This time, she wrote “Rainbow crayon. From: Audrey” and I think it is perfect. It is from her, not from me, and it is definitely not from a random person found on the internet. I just hope that next time, I wont let perfect get thrown in the garbage can in the first place…

Rainbow Heart Crayons

Just something to think about:

I read this week that we should view our children as little Buddha’s…always there to teach us what we need to learn. They never go away, they never stop teaching, they just keep on and keep on until we learn to see them for what they are, and finally stop and listen.

Hope you all have a very Happy Valentine’s Day! 

February 1, 2013
by Anne
6 Comments

Five Minute Friday: Afraid

Whelp, here we ago again, it’s another Five Minute Friday! And the word for this week is Afraid…

Ready.

Set.

Go…

Sometimes I am afraid to be me.

Afraid that I’m not good enough.

Afraid that my thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, ideas…aren’t good enough.

Just this week I was reading a book that I think described me almost perfectly. It said something to the extent that we live our lives cut off from our true selves. We live our days filling our minds with other people’s ideas. Other people’s feelings. Other people’s dreams and desires, that we get lost, and don’t even realize that we don’t have any of our own…

I have been trying for the past few days to live my own life, not what I think my life should be, or what other people’s lives are. But my own. I have been waking up early, just to be. It is kind of a weird thing to do and yet, I really like it. I just wake up, feel myself breathing and realize that I am real. I am alive! And I try to be in the moment. It is amazing how many distractions happen. How many things try to take that moment away from me. Thoughts about all sorts of things. Lists of things to do. Regrets. Desires. etc. etc. etc. It is exhausting. And yet it is refreshing to try to take yourself away from all that, and just breath. To realize that we are somebody who is separate from all of those things, and that we can choose to be distracted by those things, or we can also choose to push those things aside (for a time) and just live.

Just live and be without being afraid.

STOP. 

January 28, 2013
by Anne
0 comments

A Little Bit of Chalkboard Love

Last summer my sister gave me this piece of wood. Pretty nice huh!?! Your jealous…oh, I knew it…

Piece of Wood

I guess it used to have some vinyl lettered something or other on it that she didn’t particularly like so she gave it to me. I’ve had it sitting like this on an easel on top of my cabinets for quite some time. I put it up there to just see if it would fit, and it did, so I didn’t bother to take it down. And while an ugly white and brown blank board is a nice decorative conversation piece, I thought it was time to give it a little facelift. I’ve been trying to figure out what color to paint it, and what vinyl lettered something or other I would like to put on it, when I remembered this little bottle of chalkboard paint that I had purchased for another project…hello beautiful little bottle of paint :)

Chalkboard paint

All I can say is that Chalkboard Paint is awesome! And I am just loving the fact that I can write whatever I want on my new plaque, and I don’t have to commit to anything permanent. I can erase it on a whim, or write something special on it for just one day. This is the quote that was up all January:

Quote Board

It has been a great help for me this past month to remind me that I have the ability to choose to be who I want to be each day. I think I’ve got another quote I will be displaying in February…but I’ll have to wait just a few more days to share it.

Hope you have all had a wonderful January!!!