Here we are My Friends, my favorite time of the week. I’ve snuck out of bed and tiptoed downstairs as quietly as possible. I like this time to myself & I try to savor it as long as I can.
The morning coffee is brewing and wishing me a good morning in its sweet aromatic way. And a fine morning to you too….did I just tip my invisible hat to my coffee maker? Aw yeah, this is going to be a beautiful day.
I grab everything and head on over to my favorite spot at the kitchen table. I need my calendar, my laptop, my stickies, my coffee, my favorite pen and my beautiful daily log.
I’m working on finding an electronic calendar that fits our needs & I’m still pretty frightened by them. I’ve just started defining what I’m looking for and researching online calendars that fit the bill, so for now the paper version stays. But I do see the possibility of this being the last year.
What I really want to talk to you about is my log. This bad boy has saved me on many occasions and I don’t know where I would be without it.
I always wear the same jewelry….One pair of earrings that I never like to forget as I think they pull the attention away from my huge nose. One ring in the top of my left ear (I guess it is called a Helix). I tried to do a Tragus piercing but I looked like an idiot – I totally can’t pull that look off. (we’ll talk more about that beautiful experience later)
I wear one necklace. Usually it is this one a dear sweet friend made for me. I love it. Two weeks before one of the kids’ birthdays I start wearing a necklace with their names on it. Right now I am wearing Jack-Jacks. Makes him smile – which in turn makes me smile – which in turn makes Darren smile…its one big smile-fest over here.
If asked what anyone in my family is wearing today, I wouldn’t have a clue. Do I scan everyone’s outfit when they leave to make sure I won’t be getting another phone call like the one I got a few years ago from my daughters teacher asking me to bring her pants since there seemed to be confusion on the different between leggings and tights and how her teacher could see her Holly Hobbie underpants? You better believe it. But I am willing to bet it wasn’t the John Deere Trucker hat, volleyball knee pads from 1st grade, a purple tutu, the belt from your robe, and Kermit the Frog t-shirt ‘it’s not easy being green’ that I found in their laundry hampers this morning? I think that’s a safe bet & I would take those odds.
I mean, really? I’m pretty sure you’ve worn that hoodie for the last 4 days. It’s stinky. Seriously Dude. 4 days. How in the heck is your laundry basket full? Ugh.
Way back in our honeymoon days, Darren and I were making dinner & I tell him we only cook the noodles for 6 minutes since he likes the noodles to be al dente.
‘I do?’ He says. “Yes, yes you do.’ I remind him. “Why do I like them al dente?’ He asks.
‘Because that’s the way I make them’ I mention – very matter of fact-ly.
I heard that snort.
‘Ah yes, that’s right, that’s why.’
I love getting cards in the mail, any kind…especially Birthday cards. They make my heart so happy. The idea that someone took the time to write to me just makes me feel so darn special. “You like me! You really, really like me!”
A few years ago I started trying to make an effort to send everyone I knew a birthday card. It felt like I was writing a card every day. It started to be something of a chore, I had to think of a different way/a better way, I wanted it to be fun, not a chore. These were birthday cards for crying out loud.
I decided that dedicating a day to making them instead of a few minutes every day would be more my style. I spent my day addressing envelopes, writing birthday wishes, stamping and adding stickies that noted your special day. When I say ‘I spent my day’ I should say daysssss <= yup, extremely plural.
I needed an even better way.
I mentioned yesterday that I am a fan of saving money when I can. I think it’s great. Well, mostly great. I remember one spring, about this same time of year; I decided it would be a fabulous idea to go get my legs waxed. But wait….I could totally do it myself, right? Totally.
Brilliant idea number two….? Wait for it…
Isn’t there some sort of wax you can make yourself?
Oh yeah, we’re doing this people.
Its true. I don’t do it. I tried, really I did. I got the binder, I cut all the coupons. Heck, I even made a coupon category map and put everything in the clear protective sleeve thingy. Those things took forever to find by the way. And off I would go, getting all my stuff I had a coupon for. I was saving tons of money. But wait…was I really? Would I have bought the creamed spinach if I didn’t have a coupon? No, no I wouldn’t have. It’s true, I did save twenty cents on said creamed spinach, but would I have saved $5 if I didn’t buy it at all? Touche creamed spinach guy, laugh all the way to the bank Buddy.
This has been a hard concept for me. I swear I am constantly telling my husband, “But Honey, it was on sale’. The sweet man does a little smile, the teeniest shake of his head and says a word or two so I don’t then start yelling about how he never listens to me. (yup, I know your tricks Schroeder – and I might just adore them)
Organization is tricky around here. It seems like there is always something to put away. I’m embarrassed to say that finding a ‘home’ for our stuff isn’t always easy. But I am excited to find just the right home for our things in this new house.
One thing we did figure out how to organize is the kids ‘stuff’…class pictures, art work, yearbooks, report cards and a movie stub or two.
Many, many moons ago there were two kiddos that were heartbreakingly miserable. They were incredibly deflated and forlorn. Down comes the Good Fairy and she says, ‘You know what you need? You need to find the Bluebird of Happiness.’ The children agree & off they go on their adventure to find this Bluebird of Happiness. Their quest was a treacherous one filled with danger around every corner. Days turn into nights and nights into days and the children become so disheveled that they start their way home, even more miserable than when they started, so troubled and racked with despair. As they look up to see the front porch of their home, there it is, right there in front of them, the Bluebird of Happiness, just waiting there for them the whole time.
Or so that’s how I heard the story goes.
Good golly this story touches my heart.
I heard about the Bluebird of Happiness existing from the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I highly recommend this book. Like seriously, this woman is a genius.
This story is how I turned into a tchotchke person. Well, a bluebird person. This is also why I give bluebirds as gifts every chance I get. That and bubbles, bubbles make everything better.
The Bluebird of Happiness
After mom passed away I started thinking about traditions and documenting our history. Part of this thinking is what has brought me to the writing world. Another part took me down the path of ‘what does tradition mean to us’. First I had to start with asking myself ‘what is the difference between tradition and routine?’ Routine feels like chores, doesn’t it? And traditions, well…they feel like hot chocolate. With marshmallows. They warm my soul and make me smile.
We celebrate (with cake) the first day of school
The birthday fairy comes every year and gives you a dozen balloons
Planting jellybeans the night before Easter
On Mother’s Day, we pick out our oodles of flowers to plant
We have a backyard campout every year
Adding leaves to our ‘Thankful Tree’ during the month of November
Good luck meal on New Year’s Day
When I was a kid, we took a vacation with some of our family friends. It was a road trip from Denver to Santa Fe, all 7 of us packed into a van full of snacks, pillows and card games. We would stop every hour or so to see the sights & when we piled back into the car the moms always said ‘On to the next activity!’ I loved how they said it, all cheery and bubbly with excitement.
I think about this phrase quite often & I wish my mom was still alive so I could ask her how she did it. Mom, how in the world were you able to stay in the moment until it was over AND THEN focus on the next activity?
I struggle with this.
I’m not gonna lie. This parenting gig is hard. Like really hard (we drink every time I say that). My oldest daughter had been asking for her own phone since she was 7. “But Mom, all my friends have one’. *insert full body eye roll*
I went to an internet safety class at my daughters school one evening and the police detective that was teaching the class/seminar freaked me out. Dude. The stories she told. Jaw dropping. Like seriously, I wanted to go hide my sweet children in the basement for the next 100 years so those creepy guys can’t get anywhere near them. Over my dead body.