Tuesday, January 27, 2015

{sols} texts to breathe

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A little over a year ago, my Mom figured out texting. She was using a not-so-smart phone and it took her a bit longer to spit out a short, simple text. (Remember ... a-a-a? Pressing a number one, two, or three times to select the right letter?)  But, she stayed with it and figured it out.  She's upgraded her phone recently, so I don't think it is as difficult to send a lengthier text these days!

I know it is not her favorite go-to form of communication with me, but some days (or weeks) that's all we have.  We had a set time every Saturday afternoon, when the girls were napping, to chat and talk and reflect on the week.  That precious time is gone as now my four and a half year old babies aren't napping so much.  And if they are, I'm napping too!

So, because my Mom knows I'll read my texts throughout the day, she has accepted this as an every day way to communicate.  I love that she recently started sharing positive words, reminders, words of wisdom, or scripture passages each morning via text.

It's the perfect way to start my day.   Her words provide me a moment to breathe.

I may not always have a chance to respond, but her words each morning mean the world to me, even when it is difficult to talk on the phone each week because of time or energy or both. She continues to  stay connected and send me positive words.

A sampling of my "Mom's Wise Words" texts ... and two of my favorites:

Wouldn't you love to be reminded that you are enough?  That you are chosen to change the world?  And that God is the author of your life -- so don't worry so much?  I'm the lucky one receiving the texts to breathe.Thanks, Mom, for your positive words.  Keep them coming because those little words in your texts mean so much more than you will ever know.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

{sols} ouch

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I looked at the clock realizing that I needed to leave. I grabbed a bag and stuffed two books inside.  Threw my purse and bag over my shoulder.  Picked up my full water in one hand and my keys in the other.  I closed and locked the door behind me.

I walked outside surprised to see the sunshine.  A one-eyed peek to the sky and a forced smile due to the squinting.  It was so good to see the bright sunshine. I closed both eyes for a moment and and a more natural smile appeared.

 I suddenly remembered the appointment. Then my foot slipped. My arms flailed in the air.  I felt as though I was moving in slow motion. Surprisingly, I didn't drop a thing as I landed hard on my knees.  I stared at the black driveway in front of my eyes.  Then I slowly stood up.

"Owww," I whispered out loud knowing I pulled some muscles that I didn't even know I had.

I quickly looked around.  No visible neighbors witnessed my not-so-graceful slip and fall.  I quickly sat in my car, looked in the rear view mirror, still wondering if anyone just happened to be peering out their window. 

I sent a text to my husband:  "Just slipped & fell on black ice on driveway. Ouch."

And he immediately texted me back: "Omg are you ok? Did you hit your head? Do you remember hitting your head?"

I laughed out loud at his extreme worst case scenario response knowing that I didn't hit my head.  I wanted to call my husband and tease him about not remembering him, but after he answered, I just started laughing again loving how much he worries about me.

"I'm okay.  Just some skinned knees. Ouch."

As I continued on with my day, my body reminded me of my fall.  And all I could do was laugh.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

{sols} time to breathe

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Last week I shared my one little word for this year. My one little world that I will focus on all year. My one little word that will guide me this year. Just one little word ... instead of all those silly resolutions. My one little word for this year is ...


How thankful I was that I was already able to practice this one little word. School was cancelled last week due to the extreme cold for not one, not two, but rather three whole days. Daycare was paid for already for the week, so my girls went to "school" as we call it. (I had some mommy guilt.)

I returned home after dropping the girls off, and then I was able to


Without interruption. Without a "Mommy!! Come here!" Without a sound ... Until my phone rang with a wondering hubby, "Whatcha doing now? I thought you could ..."

"Hmm...that's a good idea. I'll add it to my list. We'll see ..." I replied. Click.


Time all to myself. Time to spend it the way I wanted to. Time to do the to do list or choose not to. Time I haven't had to myself since before the girls were born. What a beautiful gift of time to just


I organized and sorted and cleaned and dumped and filed and labeled.


I went to breakfast with a friend and talked and laughed and cried and enjoyed every minute.


I relaxed and put my feet up and snuggled under a blanket and read and closed my eyes and napped.


I focused on my breathing and inhaled and exhaled and inhaled and exhaled and focused on me.

Focusing on my breathing centered me to my core. I was more relaxed. I had more patience. I felt balanced.  I felt good.  And the mommy guilt was erased.

again, just breathe

{Go on now. Take a deep breath in. Just breathe. Right now.  In this moment. Feels good, right?}

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

{sols} just breathe

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I decided to take some time off from blogging over the last couple weeks.  I needed a break.  I was not feeling worthy of sharing words.  I just needed to breathe.  Live life.  Enjoy the moments of now.

Even though I knew that I was missing out on holiday celebrations, slices and stories, and one little word selections.

But I just can't keep up with it all.  And I am okay with that too.  I have "let it go ..."

My one little word was right there, waiting for me.  I never really thought too much about it.  But it's the reminder that I need in all aspects of my life these days ...

Breathe ...  in the word of God, knowing He is in total control.

Breathe ...  during moments of stress and chaos and busyness of life.

Breathe ...  to close my mouth, open my ears, and listen more.

Breathe ...  to find a more balanced life.

Breathe ... during exercise to help create a heathy body.

Breathe ... when I'm hungry to slow my cravings.

Breathe ... while I'm eating to enjoy each nourishing bite.

Breathe ... deeply at the end of a long day and capture a few memories in my journal.

Breathe ... to enjoy this life right now.

I'm optimistic about this year.  We have quite a few milestones coming and reminding myself to breathe will be essential to enjoying the moments.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

{sols} tick tock

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I'm still trying to figure it out.  {Tick. Tock.}

I know there is no magic schedule or formula.

But, how do you do it all?  Balance everything in life?  {Tick. Tock.}

I'm just trying to be the best mom and wife and teacher ...

Time for home and school.
Time for reading.
Time for writing.
Time to just be in the moment.
Time for you.  And you.  And you.
{Tick. Tock.}

Time for just me.
Time for reading the Bible.
Time for exercise.
Time for blog reading.
Time for Twitter, Pinterest, You-Name-It.
{Tick. Tock.}

Time for planning.
Time for PD growing.
Time for fun.
Time for slowing down.
Time for to-do lists.
{Tick. Tock.}

Time for cleaning.
Time for organizing.
Time for laundry.
Time for grocery shopping.
Time for just-for-fun shopping.
{Tick. Tock.}

Time for browsing.
Time for talking.
Time for sleeping.
Time for enjoying the company of friends.
Time for praying.
{Tick. Tock.}

I understand there is always some give and take.  There is always time for this and not for that.  Priorities are made, and they change day to day.  And do you ever notice that everything takes way longer than you think?!?

Always time to forget.  Little time to remember.  Time for time.

Sometimes I wish there was a magic formula and schedule.

Then I wouldn't have to take time to try and figure it out.

{Tick. Tock.}

Image from Pinterest

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

{sols} the big baby

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First it was moaning.  Then the chills.  A trip to the bathroom.  More moaning with a little whining.

"Ask Daddy if he's a big baby," I told the girls.

"What?!? Daddy is a baby?" P. repeated with a laugh.

"Ask him when he comes down," I replied.

Yep.  My hubby is sick.

You would have thought the world stopped turning.  Or, at least, that is what he wanted us to believe.  Instead, I did what I thought was right.

"Stay.  Away." I told him.  "We love you, but don't come near us."

"Daddy, Mommy said you were a big baby," M. emphatically told Daddy, which as you know wasn't quite what I said.

"Oh, I see how it is," Daddy said softly, turning away.  His world didn't stop turning.  He wanted to be babied.  And I wasn't playing his game.

"Sorry.  I just don't want anyone else to get sick.  Go rest in the basement," I told him.  "Love you.  Feel better.  Away from us."

"Hey, Daddy, look at what I'm coloring!  I'll make you a picture to make you feel better," P. said.

"Thanks ..." and the door to the basement closed.

I feel bad that he doesn't feel good, but I have two little -- four and a half year old -- babies to take care of every day.  I don't want them getting sick ... and I don't want to get sick.  (You know what happens when Momma gets sick ... the world DOES stop turning!)

No babying the big baby.  But I'm pretty positive he went and called his mom.

"Hi, Mom."

"Awwww....what's wrong?"

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

{sols} ella arrives

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We were away for five days over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Enjoying time with my parents.  Warmer temperatures.  Lots of rest and relaxation away from all the busyness of life at home.

But that meant for a crazy busy Sunday afternoon after we returned home.

Unpack the car.  Sort.  Unpack the bags.  Put away.  Start laundry.   Repeat until complete.

And then I remembered that Monday was December first.  The day our elf was due to arrive.

Add that to the to do list.

A quick trip to the grocery store with the girls for what I planned on "only the essentials".  We ended up with more, so we were offered help out.  I had never accepted help before, but with a full cart and two little shoppers, we needed an extra cart and the assistance.

"That would be wonderful. Thank you," I replied.
"What's he doing, Momma?" P. asked.
"Why is he getting another cart?" M. wondered.
"He's going to help us bring the extra groceries to our car.  Isn't that nice?"  I explained to the girls.
Less than a minute later we were headed out the door and P. whispered to me, "Mom, you know how Grammy talked about doing kind things for others?"
I nodded in agreement as she began to slowly point toward the gentleman assisting us.  "He is doing something really kind for us."
"You are right ... " Smiling in amazement that she truly understood our conversation at dinner a couple nights before about being extra kind to others this holiday season.


We returned home.  The rush of putting away groceries.  Eating dinner.  Finishing laundry.  Making room for the Christmas tree.  Getting the girls ready for bed.  And then it was time to focus on Ella, our elf.

A quick peek on Pinterest for any last minute Ella ideas.  
Dig out Ella from one of the Christmas bins. (Which one is she hiding in?)
A letter written from Santa.  (Tweaked and printed.)
Another search on Pinterest ... searching for "random acts of kindness" ideas. (Thanks, Mom, for planting this seed.)
Edit the Santa letter.  Added the part about helping Ella make Christmas magic by being kind to others.  (Reprint.)
Print out "random acts of kindness" idea cards for kids. (Thank you, Pinterest! Cut out.)
Wrap the pajamas.  (Ella arrives with a new pair of pajamas.)

Ella wasn't hiding on December first.  She was right there in the center of the kitchen counter.  Smiling with excitement about the Christmas magic and joy that is to come.

Whew.  And that was only December first.  Twenty-four more days to go.

And I am excited about all the extra kindness that is to come this month.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

{sols} giving 100 thanks

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Over a month ago, I received this personal invitational tweet:

Yes, a little challenge.  I'm not one for a blogging challenge.  I apologize to anyone who has offered up a challenge in the past and I miserably failed by doing nothing.

This was one little challenge that I wanted to do ... it just took the right time to complete it.  This little challenge was to share 100 that I am grateful for and right now felt like the right time to share my list.  Thank you, Terje, for your little challenge.

Here it goes ... 100 things I am thankful for.  Right now.  In this moment.  In no particular order.

  1. My God
  2. My hubby
  3. My two beautiful daughters
  4. My Mom and Dad
  5. My brother and sister-in-law
  6. My church small group
  7. My friends
  8. My PLN via #twt #sol #twitter #pinterest
  9. Colleagues and educators that keep me thinking
  10. Smartphone (and I thought I really didn't need it)
  11. Crystal Light Ice Tea
  12. Hat and gloves
  13. Rain on the sound machine
  14. Sleeping through the night
  15. Books
  16. My daughters' love of books
  17. My cute cape cod home
  18. New siding
  19. All four seasons
  20. My job
  21. Days off with my family
  22. Holidays
  23. Holiday lights
  24. Planning ahead (just ordered Christmas cards, yeah!)
  25. Time with my Mom and Dad
  26. Snuggles and hugs
  27. Warm blankets
  28. Slippers
  29. Sunny days
  30. Anything chocolate
  31. Pants that fit just right. Pants that fit. Period.
  32. Clean sheets
  33. Sunday afternoon naps
  34. Quiet
  35. The excuse of why my house is a little messy. (Thank you girls.)
  36. The morning text and prayer from my Mom
  37. A new book
  38. Time to read that new book (rarity ...)
  39. Pinterest ideas
  40. "I thought of you" Pinterest shares
  41. A new notebook
  42. The perfect pen
  43. Organization
  44. A beautiful quote
  45. Books on CD for the car ride to school
  46. Mocha frappé
  47. Making memories with my girls
  48. Praise music
  49. Good smelly candles
  50. Good smelly lotions
  51. A crackling fire in the fireplace
  52. Time to "catch up"
  53. Providing a Thanksgiving meal for a family
  54. A home cooked meal made by someone else
  55. A clean house
  56. Christmas lights
  57. Clear starry night
  58. Glistening, white snow falling
  59. Hearing my girls just laugh and laugh
  60. Hearing "I love you Mommy" just because
  61. Always learning
  62. Word games
  63. Board games
  64. Making simple crafts
  65. Chapstick
  66. Warm infinity scarf
  67. My hubby running to the library to pick up my books on hold
  68. For those times I say "yes" to my girls
  69. Opportunities to be a better mom and teacher
  70. My earrings that always fit
  71. My faith bracelet
  72. When my hubby does the laundry
  73. Watching a kids movie with my girls (even if it is Frozen for the millionth time)
  74. A warm home
  75. Heat seats in my car
  76. Outdoor walks
  77. Fresh air
  78. My church
  79. Family pictures
  80. Saturdays with nowhere to go and an open schedule with nothing planned
  81. Sleeping in
  82. Purple. Yep, purple.
  83. Goodnight kiss
  84. A hot shower
  85. Good neighbors
  86. Peppermint tea
  87. Text messaging
  88. Fall decorations 
  89. Christmas decorations
  90. When I have nails to paint
  91. Free babysitting from family
  92. Wednesday date nights with my hubby
  93. Blogging and the TWT community
  94. Writing my stories
  95. Reading your stories
  96. This season of my life. Right now. 
  97. The Thanksgiving season
  98. A reminder to be thankful
  99. Terje's little challenge
  100. Time. Time to reflect on all that I am so thankful for. Right now.

Some things are little.  Some things are big.  It doesn't matter.  There is so much to be thankful for. Right now.

Are you up for a little challenge this week? 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

{sol} not too early ... right?

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We did it.

We took our girls and we went.

I never intended to do this.  It was not predetermined or planned.

It just kinda-sorta-happened.  All on a whim.

Yep.  We saw Santa.  And his reindeer.  Before Thanksgiving.

I know, I can't believe it either!  I am one to celebrate the holiday that is coming and not any earlier.  I love Thanksgiving, so we celebrate being thankful.  And this last weekend, we rushed by it all and saw Santa.

The good news?  It was free.  I snapped a few cute photographs.  Now we can avoid the busy mall and the overpriced photo with a crying child trying to get away from this big man in a funny red suit because we waited and sweated in our fancy dresses for hours...

And the conversation overheard on Santa's lap was priceless:

Santa:  And what would you like for Christmas this year?
M:  Um ... a trampoline. (By the way, this is the first we heard about this!)
P (leaned forward to look around Santa at M):  You can't put a trampoline in a present!
M (leaning forward to respond to her sister):  You can put it into pieces!
Mommy and Daddy and Santa:  {Laughing.  Out.  Loud.}

Quite a memorable way-too-early trip to see Santa.

And that night it snowed ... because Santa had to head back to the North Pole.

Not too early, right?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

{sol} something is different

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I can't quite put my finger on what is different this school year.

I'm busy with home and with school.  Always something new happening.  Always trying to keep up.  Always not quite meeting my own expectations.   Giving and giving and giving of myself and my time and my energy.

Then tonight I read Dana's slice about the tightrope -- the pulls of being a mom and being a teacher and all we can keep doing is put one foot in front of the other.

Our lives are so full and there is so much to be thankful for every single day.  And yet, it's hard.  I struggle.  I want the best for everyone, for everything, for everywhere.  Balancing on that tightrope.

Then tonight I read my mom's slice about her mission trip to Guatemala -- so promising in a world I know nothing about nor could I fathom the struggles of life beyond what I know.

I'm busy all day long.  I'm accomplishing what I need to get done when I need to get it done.  But it's never enough.  And it's never good enough (in my eyes).  Yet, I still push forward, going through the motions of life.

Then tonight I read Elsie's 100 things gratitude list slice -- full of the little things that mean so much in life.

I need to work on that little list too.

Reminding myself that time to write each Tuesday is important for me.  Carving time into my schedule to write hasn't been a priority.

And time to read other's words and slices is fulfilling too.  Finding pockets of time to read, share, and connect through your words has been difficult.

Even when my life feels too full and I'm too tired all because this year is just different.