Friday, December 6, 2013
More and more of my friends seem to be having moments of being down or in a funk. I'm not the only one. I talk to them and they don't always seem like their old self...they are down about the holidays, they are struggling with a child/parenting issue, they are overwhelmed, feeling unorganized, feeling checked out, or just paddling so hard to stay afloat.
I am grateful that I have friends who I can check in with and share with. Who validate or listen. Who encourage or check in. Who share their struggles too so I don't feel like the only mom with a boy scout wreath that has laid in our garage for 3 weeks...because I keep forgetting to ask Ed where the dang door hanging thing is.
Maybe we are just moving out of our sleep deprived baby years and realizing...we are still tired. Maybe we are realizing as we get older our metabolism slows down and our body relaxes and we have to actually think about what we eat and make an effort to exercise.
Maybe we spend more time in our cars driving our kids around and less time snuggled on the couching reading them stories, playing candy land, or just home making dinner with them puttering under our feet.
Maybe we are less worried about what they are eating and how much they are sleeping and now we realize that worrying about their friends, learning, and social choices are far more scary since they are so out of our control.
Maybe we hold a baby and wonder how that time in our life has passed.
Maybe less sunshine means more energy for cooped up kiddos and vitamin D is harder to absorb.
Maybe we have so many friends and interests and hobbies we want to pursue, but no time to give them.
Maybe we know our priorities should be adjusted, but candy crush still wins.
I am taking this holiday season slow. This week I have been determined to get the house pulled together. The laundry off the couch, the toilet cleaned, and a few holiday decorations up. Now if someone knocked on my door I could actually open it because the bin of hunting gear is now off to the side instead of blocking the doorway. But yet this post has SUCH a good point.
I read a post that shared the thought that if something makes you yell or feel stressed his holiday season ...then don't do it. The post can be found here. If baking with your kids makes you lose your marbles...skip it. Target sells cut outs already cut out. BAM! If wrapping up every holiday book so your kids have a surprise every night is too much work...then skip it. Throw some holiday books in a pile under the tree and just fit in reading a few. If attending every holiday celebration that your city throws makes your kids super crabby and overtired...then pick and choose. They really will survive and you will probably be much less snappy.
The other day it snowed. And the temps were decent. And Syd wanted to go out and play. So out we went-- twice. I had so much to do. But I knew that standing outside so she could experience the first snow fall was WAY more important and good for my soul.
Saying yes to something is saying no to something else. Saying no to something is saying yes to something else.
This holiday season, that seems extra stressful and overwhelming because there is so little time between Christmas and Thanksgiving, will be so much more enjoyable if we let go of the imaginary expectations that we think others..... our children, our families, our friends, the lady who checks you out at Target have for us. Because they don't have expectations for us. We are the ones who put the expectations on ourselves. So don't. Do what needs to be done. Pick a few little things to do with your kiddos. And let go of some stuff.
Maybe less holiday decorations means less clutter and a more relaxed feeling
Maybe making less types of cookies means happy cookie baking and less guilt when you don't make it to the gym because you stayed up sipping eggnog, nibbling cookies, and watching a hallmark sappy cry baby movie.
Maybe less holiday celebrations mean you will enjoy the things you do make time for more.
Children find joy remembering. They don't HAVE to repeat something to have it bring a smile to their face. Last year we did the holidazzle parade and it was completely awesome. But this year the moms just might not have the energy to pull it off again. But that's okay.
The holiday tradition I want my children to remember and to come home for when they are 20,30, or almost 40...is the feeling their mama gave them, the feeling of home, and the feeling of knowing that this time of year is magical and meant for family.
I do think....when mama is merry...everyone is merry! Am I right?
What are you saying no to this season and saying yes to instead?
What are you saying yes to this season and saying no to instead?
at 8:32 AM Posted by For the Love of Naps - Sarah
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Henry slept until 7:50 this morning. Might be because he played in the snow before school, after school, and before bed in the dark!
We still don't have a Christmas tree. I will not let the no pumpkin carved 2013 Halloween become a theme in 2013. We will rock the tree thing very soon.
Holiday music makes me happy.
We got a nice dumping of snow yesterday and now it feels like Christmas. Our computer desk faces out to our front yard....or rather our neighbor's beautiful front yard. And they have bird feeders that draw the brightest cardinals, bluest bluejays, and other busy birds. With all the white...the bird colors pop! Love it!
This morning we have a spur of the moment dentist appointment for the boys. Syd will go in another week or so. I am PRAYING that both boys go for it and take it in stride. Charley always has. Henry on the other hand kind of "freaks out." Syd will get a practice run and get a ride in the chair. I am hoping she takes after her biggest brother.
Caught up on Parenthood recently and now can't wait for Thursday nights again.
I have succeeded in making the laundry pile on the couch far less heaping. Today I am vowing to get some put away! Anyone want to hold me accountable?
People seem to really like my pictures when I post them on my Facebook photography page. But then I wonder often if they are just saying that. I feel like a fraud most moments of the day. The roller coaster of confidence is a hard ride to be on.
Henry came home yesterday talking about a snack he had at school that was white bread, yellow butter, and sprinkles. Any butter would work. He said it is served at birthday parties on the big island. I worked out that the island was Australia...and after denying him the opportunity to make it at home until I emailed his teacher to clarify, because the whole thing sounded weird, he remembered they called it Fairy bread. Sure enough, I googled it. Fairy Bread!
Have you started holiday shopping? I have not. I sat down to start last night, sipping a glass of wine. And got nothing accomplished. Maybe the snow will get me in the spirit. Maybe I need to wander the mall aimlessly for an hour and realize that home on the couch with Santa Amazon is the best way to get it all done. Seriously, it is going to come so fast.
I took a look at my blog hits and it is my own fault. All that hard work of building up a following and a community of people that emailed and commented and interacted in this space has really diminished. I haven't been consistent. And I am so down about it. Is anyone out there? If I started blogging consistently again will I be able to build it up again. It is more fun here when there is connection with others. It is a busy time of year for everyone. I haven't had time to read many of my favorite blogs. I miss it. But many have stopped blogging too. I am going to try this week to be consistent. Give a shout out or email hello if you are around and still there. I have stopped blogging our daily little recipes, projects, shenanigans and I can start there. I am going to focus again on blogging for my kiddos and see if that makes it more simple. We'll see....
Meanwhile, it is time to brush our teeth and get to the dentist. Wish me luck!
Starbucks latte for the mama who accomplishes this task!
at 8:28 AM Posted by For the Love of Naps - Sarah
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Okay, if you stopped by earlier and didn't listen to this song...do it now. It is so pretty! I just love it!
Today we got our first snow dump. Driving was awful. It always is when the first few snows hit. But today, just sounds like it may have gone down as a very bad day for MN roads. Drive slow. Drive safe. Use your lights. Brush off your car. Don't rush. Nothing is worth it. REALLY.
On a happier note...I have been anxious to try shooting in the snow this season. Since learning more and taking the photography leap, I just wanted to get out there in the snow and prove that this time of the year can be just as fun of a time to take your camera out doors. So this afternoon, I snapped a few moments and captured Henry and Syd out in the snow.
Time to shake off the sad photographer blues ...thinking the seasons is over.
I think the season has just begun! Bundle up! Let's go!
at 7:27 PM Posted by For the Love of Naps - Sarah
This song above came on my holiday Pandora channel today. I LOVE this version. And there is the mention of snow...so I guess it is festive.
We had a really nice Thanksgiving holiday. It was just what I needed.
I hadn't traveled solo with my small tribe for ages. I got scared I think. Syd was hard and summer was busy. So I didn't make the effort that I am often known for, haha. But we have turned another corner...the corner where everyone is content with some screen, some song, some food, some staring out the window.
The kids didn't have school on Wednesday and when Ed said he wanted to return on Sunday for ski practice and was willing to take two cars so I could stay a little longer...I decided...why not leave early and stay later and really relax at my mom and dads. We just don't get there as much as I would like. I said to Ed at least twice, I could move here. I just love their small quaint town.
Daddy arrived and Thanksgiving day was spent watching the Packers, eating pizza, and enjoying the day at Grandmas. On Friday we woke early and hit the road, AGAIN!
We typically squeeze in both sides of the family for Thanksgiving and this year we did, just differently. We had a new nephew come into this world a near 3 weeks ago. They live down in IL and this was going be an ideal way to get down there for a quick visit to meet the little guy and give big sister Morgan a little fun visit. It is always fun to see them and so special to see them in Chicago. So on Friday we visited little Greyson and Morgan and Aunt Becca and Uncle Mike.
Back to Grandma Barbs Friday night to wolf down some reheated rice meatballs and run wild for one hour with my sister's boys! Man, were they excited to see each other. Henry was chomping at the bit to see Eli and that is so special to my sister and I. They ran their last bits of energy and then hit the pillow.
In the morning we had our Thanksgiving. The kids again, had enough energy for everyone. Penny Poker, bloody mary cocktails, gathering to chat in the kitchen where the cook is trying to do her business.
Stolen moments with Aunt Raina and her iPad. If you don't know about the iPad app Nighty Night....and you have a toddler/preschooler...it is adorable.
I know I post a lot of black and white pictures. But for some reason...candids just seem more real in black and white.
Grandpa Bob pulled an antique erector set out of the depths of his basement and it worked!
Hugh and Syd took a bubble bath.
And the real reality of this day in age...when the energy is too much for the house/adults to handle...the screens come out and all the parents sigh and think...awww, how cute!
And I have very few pics of this handsome 9 year old. He is growing up. And he played penny poker and WON a lot of pennies, all on his own.
More Thanksgiving moments to come. Just wanted to let you all know that we are back home, being snowed upon, and trying to breathe and not feel stressed about the next holiday that is fast approaching. Today, we are awaiting daddy's safe arrival after he had to drive off into the sunset on Tuesday to South Dakota for work. Quick trip, but not ideal travel conditions today.
How was your holiday!? Share a favorite moment!
at 1:36 PM Posted by For the Love of Naps - Sarah
Monday, November 25, 2013
This video is sharing a day in the life of three moms. It is short, and very sweet.
Instead of meeting a friend at the gym at 5am, I attempted to get Syd back to sleep after her diaper didn't hold her nightly fluid output...and I conquered this task. She fell back asleep, somewhat of a HUGE accomplishment for this mama.
I broke down recently and bought a huge Costco sized box of frozen waffles. Usually, we make homemade ones. Oh. MY. GOSH. I am loving the ease of these toaster treats. We won't do it again for a while, but man alive, what a treat to pop those suckers in the toaster and then onto their plates. Helps me stay "on" with the dishwasher cycle.
Instead of the heading to the gym later in the morning we met a friend for a donut.
Ed noticed a little shake in "my car" recently after an oil change and tire rotation.
So before holiday travel I got it in. The guy asked what was going on and I said my husband, who only really drives my car on the weekends noticed a shake blah blah blah. He asked if I noticed. I looked down at Syd who was twirling and Henry who was hopping and looking about...and said, "No, I tried to notice but, my drive time is usually very busy - music, 2-5 kids in the car, whining, treats, arguing, etc." Thinking it would be a quick check, I only packed our lunch and off we went. At an hour and a half I asked how it was going and he said they were not seeing anything and all they had left was the tire balance test. Did I want to skip it since I was getting close to picking up Charley. I said, "NO! Because that is what my husband thought the problem was." I am so glad we didn't skip it. Geez. 2 hours, two small cans of pringles from the vending machine, and a Dr. Pepper for mama later...we left knowing unbalanced tires probably caused the shake that Ed noticed, and I didn't.
The number of people at the car dealership carrying in massive Super Sized fast food pops had me drooling an hour in and I broke down and bought the pop at 1 1/2 hours.
We got home for 20 minutes of breathing time and then had to pile back in the now balanced car to get Charley. Syd was not happy. But off we went.
Today was supposed to be about prepping for holiday travel. Laundry, packing, getting things under control. THAT didn't happen. But onward. I am going to see if Ed can bring home dinner so that for the next hour or two I can focus on these little people, the laundry, some packing, and pouring a cold brew. Because, man, two hours at a car dealership without a bag of tricks is exhausting! The energy in just hoping the kids stay happy, content, and quiet, is huge.
I hope your week is off to a good start. I may not be feeling super balanced today...but at least I know my tires are, now!
at 4:36 PM Posted by For the Love of Naps - Sarah
Saturday, November 23, 2013
I took a few weeks off from reading blogs and felt it. I felt a positive and negative impact from this break. I missed out on feeling up to date with friends, I felt uninspired in some areas of my life (cooking, parenting, breathing). But I also felt a little more focused on our family and wasn't distracted by how other people are living, doing, loving, parenting, etc. I am slowly catching up on some of my favorite places. Here are a few posts that made me think, pause, question, pause, and remember that this is a place I like to come because it offers quick bursts of inspiration. I don't feel failure like when a book sits unopened for multiple days.
Finding Joy's: The mom confession .... love when my favorite blogs keep it real, because then I feel my real is real and okay!
Girl's Gone Child: talking to Strangers....found I had many emotions during this entire post.
Little Girls, Get up! Get up and Eat....by Momastery.....Our kids just want us to be happy...a great reminder.
It is Saturday and we have a low key day ahead. Maybe we will spend too long in our pjs. Kicking off the morning with a little movie on Netflix for the kids and an extra cup of coffee for mom. We will venture to the depths of our basement and bring up the dusty holiday boxes so we can start decking the halls. It is going to come fast! Charley has a fun birthday party to attend and the rest of us will go do something fun, too. Henry needs a bath, he seems to elude this part of the week all too often. Sydney will change her clothing at least 6 times. Laundry will cycle through and continue to mound the couch in hopes of being folded. I will hopefully text my sister throughout the day for bursts of inspiration and encouragement and news about what is happening in her neck of the woods. And I will savor the weekend before the kick off to the holiday season! Excited.
at 7:48 AM Posted by For the Love of Naps - Sarah