Friday, January 25, 2013

Ugly Truth

While this is hardly a booming blog... I do find through comments made in person that I have more readers than I would think.  And I know from being an avid blog reader myself that it can be easy to see the pretty pictures and think that a person's house/family/life must be just as pretty and perfect as said pictures... well, its just not true.

I appreciated the post on The Unlikely Homeschool on this topic.  Jamie came clean and reminded her readers that she isn't perfect and what we read on her blog (as well as most others) is just what the blogger wants you to see.  How many blogs show the dirty dishes in their sink, piles of laundry or the ring around their tub?  Not many.

But honestly, we need to show that more.  Our readers... heck, our friends need to know that we are a mess.  That we don't always have it all together.  That our seemingly well-behaved kids are occasionally little dare-devils who disobey and throw tantrums.  Sometimes we are too busy to remember to shower or get to the end of the day are so tired that we would rather leave a sink full of dishes and just veg out on the couch with our husband in the evening...

Here is a pix that I posted on facebook awhile back.  Cute Christmas crafting... right?   But if you look behind the kids you can see my cluttered kitchen counter.  And beneath the table that the kids are sitting at...
This is not an uncommon sight at our house.  Joe and Christine are terribly messy eaters.  I can't bring myself to sweep a half a dozen times a day.  So it often looks just like this. 

There is freedom in sharing those parts of our lives that we often try to keep hidden.  And it creates bonds with people around us because they can then feel comfortable letting us see their secret selves as well.  Relationships are meant to grow and if we do not let our friends see us for who we really are (messiness and all) then our friendships will become stagnant.  So, break out of your shell and have a friend over without cleaning the house first.  Don't be afraid to serve peanut butter and jelly (on tortillas because you're out of bread)... let them in and they'll love you more for it!

 Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Desperate Imperfect Moms

I think it would be safe to say that as moms we all have days when things are overwhelming.  Between keeping up the house and taking care of the kids (and the husband)... its easy to compare ourselves to other moms (real or fake) and become discouraged because we don't feel that we measure up.  I myself fall into this trap far too often.  I enjoy following blogs of other moms and while for the most part that is a harmless act, sometimes my perception gets distorted.  I compare my messy house to a picture perfect one on so-and-so's blog.  Or I feel like a bad mom because I don't have perfectly planned nutritious homemade dishes for every meal.  Or I convince myself that I must be a crappy mom because there must be someone out there doing a better job at it than I am... and then I put on the happy face and tell everyone I'm fine but I'm not because I keep feeding myself those dangerous thoughts that are really just a bunch of poison that sucks the joy out of being a mom and wife.... whew!  Its exhausting just typing all that negativity.  How do we carry on daily life with that filling our heads?

I do not think there is a magic answer to this cycle that myself and many others find ourselves in.  But seeking the wisdom of other, more experienced moms is one thing that I think we can do.  Reaching out within our church or community and finding other mothers to connect with is so important.  Another way to hear from other moms is through the written word.  So many moms are writing books for women like them now.  Because they have been through what we're going through and they know how hard the days (and sometimes nights) can be as a mom.  They want to offer advice and encouragement to help us recapture the joy of motherhood that some of us have lost.

I have two books coming in the mail that I am eager to read and share with other moms.  Hearts at Home's Jill Savage is about to release her newest book: No More Perfect Moms - "Learn to Love your Real Life".  I've read a few of her other books and seen her speak at Hearts at Home conferences.  Jill is so truthful and candid about her experiences (both good and bad) as a wife and mom.  In her book “No More Perfect Moms”, Jill speaks honestly about the pressures we face when society tells us we should have perfect kids, homes, lifestyles and marriages.

The other is written by fellow bloggers Sarah Mae(the mom of young ones) and Sally(the seasoned mother/mentor): Desperate - Hope for Moms who need to BreatheDesperate will lead you to hope, refreshing your ideals, while helping and inspiring you as you embrace this profound  journey of motherhood. No formulas or rules to keep, but a relationship, a coffee-talk between two friends, who give life and love to one another amidst the realities of life.

Its time that we stop the cycle.  No more trying to do everything the way everyone else does and hating ourselves when we fail.  No more feeling like nothing I ever do is good enough.  No more facing our struggles alone.  Grab a fellow mom (or more) and share your life.  Whether you choose one of these books or another or none at all, the point is to connect and be transparent with one another and share your trials and joys. Don't be afraid to let your fellow mom see your house when its cluttered and the floor is sticky from grape juice spilled days ago.  Don't be afraid to tell someone that you feel like pulling your hair out and you need a "mommy time out" sometimes.  Don't be afraid to be proud of yourself and your fellow mom for the things that you do right every day.  Don't be afraid to offer a hug and a helping hand to other moms who are going through the trenches of motherhood alongside you.

Practice carrying one other's burdens. In this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  Galatians 6:2 

 Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6

***** I have a copy of Desperate to give away.  Please leave a comment on this post and tell me why you would like a copy.  I will choose a winner on January 25th.  That is my mother-in-law's birthday.  And while she plays the role of practically perfect grandma to my kids and nephews now, I know she was a desperate mom at one time too.  ;-)  ***** This giveaway is over.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ten Years!

My hubs and I celebrated our ten year anniversary last week.  Thanks to a couple of wonderful ladies who watched our kids we were able to spend a couple of nights alone for the first time in what feels like ages. 
We enjoyed attending an interactive mystery dinner at the Indianapolis Propylaeum.  Each guest at the table had a character to play in the mystery and we all followed a script and worked together to figure out who among us was the killer.  We almost got it but in the end we guessed wrong.  But so did 90% of the groups that participated.  ;-)  It was a lot of fun!
On Saturday afternoon we walked around the mall and had lunch from the food court (Bourbon Chicken is one of my hubby's faves).  In the Arts Garden there was a husband wife duo performing some Celtic folk songs.  They were really talented.  I think they played between 8-10 instruments between the two of them.
On the second night we used a previously purchased Groupon for this cute little Italian place that we love downtown.  Its called Amici's and its so good!
We are so thankful for the work that God is doing in our lives.  We have had our ups and downs but we truly feel that we grow stronger and closer with each trial that we face.  We love each other more now than we did when we got married and we will love one another even more ten years from now.  We are looking forward to seeing what God has in store for us in the years to come.

"A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." - Ecclesiastes 4:12


Friday, January 11, 2013

Little Red Wagon Giveaway

I've been given the opportunity to host a dvd giveaway featuring  Little Red Wagon.  Its the true story of a young boy who sets out to change the world.  With nothing more than a blazing spirit of philanthropy and his beat-up red wagon, Zach sets out to help homeless children in America. In the process, he sweeps his fractured family - and ultimately the entire country - along with him.

I've had the dvd sitting on top of my tv for weeks... we kind of kept forgetting its there.  But when I sat down to write this post I actually watched the trailer for the first time.  It truly brought tears to my eyes.

 And then I watched the movie with my son.  Opened the flood gates!  I don't know what the deal was, I'm not usually this effected by movies...  ok, sometimes I am.  Anyway, it was a great conversation starter for my son and I.  He asked questions about homelessness and a couple of "what ifs" that led to some really good discussion. 

This film is an inspirational story for the whole family.  What a great way to start off the new year.  Maybe it will motivate us to make big changes in the year to come.

Giveaway info:  one lucky winner will receive a dvd of Little Red Wagon.  Winner will be chosen at random on January 19th.  Good luck!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Schoolhouse Pattern review

Awhile ago I bought a bag of designer fabric scraps from Seamology Fabric Shop on Yardseller.  I have loved finding creative ways to use these fun fabrics!  So, when my friend with Schoolhouse Patterns (formerly known as: Pattern Patti) asked me to test an e-clutch pattern/tutorial for her I knew these would be perfect!  Here are a few pix of the final product.

I love the playful patterns on this project!
And the pocket is perfect for the charging cord or your reading glasses.
I am thinking of making another one to use as a diaper clutch to toss in my purse when I'm going somewhere and don't need the whole diaper bag.
If you have made any Schoolhouse Pattern projects please send me a link to your post or pix!  Thanks!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Christmas Recap

We had a delightful Christmas with our families.  My family gathering included a brunch of a breakfast burrito bar.  Yum!  And a nap before heading to grandma's for dinner with my large extended family.  ;-)

 Our Christmas day was laid back and wonderful, just Isaac and the kids and I enjoying each other at home.  No bustling about, just relaxing.

Then, the following weekend we spent with Isaac's family.  The kids had such a good time with their cousins!  I was pleased to get this one good shot of them all looking cute - Joe and Christine were not big fans of the snow so most of their pix were rather dramatic.  ;-) 
We are very thankful for such a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to a great year in 2013!