Wednesday, 30 April 2014
Last year was the first time I chose a word/theme for the year. It wasn’t something I looked at every day, but I did look back at it a few times throughout the year to remind myself of my goals and focus. The word I chose was “Rooted”. I wanted to stay planted and strong before and during our change in routine. Looking back it’s funny to me that I chose a word that meant I needed to stay in place and grow deeper because I wanted to run. I wanted to change. A LOT! But I stuck it out. I made it. And I think I’m stronger for it. (But I still want to run)
This year I chose a new word. It’s only been recently that I’m ready to actually start putting it into action. This year’s word:
There are lots of things I’d like to make happen this year. Most of them revolve around community, investing in relationships, and being creative with my family. But those things can’t happen if I don’t put in the effort to make them happen. The last 6 months back to work have been a little bit of survival mode as we adjusted. I don’t want to just survive, I want to thrive. And in order to do that, I need to live life with purpose and plans. (Buuuut at the same time I have to be careful not to plan too much and be flexible if things don’t go exactly as I’d laid them out.)
So here I go – ready to live with purpose and intention. Not survival. I feel like this word’s going to be hard. But so worth it in the end. Kind of sounds like last year. And all of life. hmmmmm…..
First of all – it’s finals week at work this week! That means my semester is coming to a close. One of the reasons I love working at a university is that every 16 weeks I get a new start. New students, a chance to improve my lessons and try new things. I love fresh starts. This also means I’ve been back to work 4 1/2 months! Woah.
Anyway….One of the activities/lessons I’ve done with my students for quite some time now is called “Have to/Choose to” and it’s one I’ve needed to remind myself of and put into practice in my own life a lot lately.
It goes like this…
My students make a list of all the things they HAVE to do. I leave it pretty vague – could be a to-do list for the day or it could be things they feel they have to do on a regular basis. My regular basis HAVE to list might look something like this (in no particular order):
I have to cook healthy meals.
I have to lose weight.
I have to read my Bible.
I have to spend quality time with my family.
I have to keep my house clean.
I have to do the laundry (again).
and on an on……
In class I have my students read those lists out loud to each other and then I make them add items they hear others say that they also have to do. As you can imagine it kind of stresses everyone out hearing and thinking about everything on their plate. It’s how I feel sometimes when I make a to-do list. And I LOVE to make lists. But sometimes those lists are overwhelming.
Then I have my class re-write their list in a new way. They change it from “I have to_________.” to “I choose to ________ because/so that _______.” My list would now look like this:
I choose to cook healthy meals so that we can stay healthy and eat together at home on a regular basis.
I choose to lose weight to stay healthy so I feel better about myself.
I choose to read my Bible because it changes my whole perspective on the day and keeps God’s word in my heart.
I choose to spend quality time with my family because we need to make the most of the little time we have.
I choose to keep my house clean so we can enjoy the space we have without added clutter or stress.
I choose to do the laundry so we won’t smell. :)
There’s something about that shift…about not demanding to yourself you complete a list of tasks, but realizing the importance of why you WANT to do the things you set out to do. And if you get to an item on the list you really don’t want to do, or wouldn’t have chosen it in the first place – Let it go! Maybe you don’t actually HAVE to create lunch art for your child every day so you can instagram it. (I stopped taking pictures of Mariah’s lunchbox ages ago – working moms don’t have time for that kind of stuff).
So if you’re like me, maybe you need to take a look at your “have to” list and make it a “choose to” list. I have to remind myself to shift the list all the time.
So I’ve been a little quiet lately on this here blog. I have lots of reasons why. I mean working full time outside of the house limits my blogging availability. And once my girls are in bed I’m D.O.N.E with the day and I don’t make the time to write. Oh, I have the time each night, I just haven’t made it a priority.
This past week I was able to put my finger on some of the reasons why I haven’t make the time.
I wanted to be able to paint a pretty picture of this beautiful new life I’ve taken on in the last few months. And I couldn’t.
Which is silly, because I NAMED this blog “Little Miss Imperfect” for a reason. Because I’m NOT perfect. None of us are, and I wanted to bring some light to that. While I love reading mom blogs for ideas and inspiration, I wanted to admit life wasn’t all about organized homes and crafty parties.
So I had to give myself a little reality check about why I blog.
For me it was easy to talk about the reality or “complain” when I was staying home full time. It came naturally to share with others about how rough things were going because staying home full time wasn’t fulfilling for me. But now I have a super fulfilling job where I get alone time and use my creativity and planning skills in ways I couldn’t when I was home with my girls. So I felt like talking about the messiness of life I’m experiencing right now might sound like I’m not grateful for the opportunity I have every weekday.
That and I didn’t know how to put into words all the feelings I was feeling with the shift in our family. When I was home all day I had lots of time to think. To process my feelings and even pre-write blog posts in my head. I don’t have much of that any more. But I’m learning to try to build more in.
So, hey. I’m back. I don’ t know how often I’ll be here, but I want to start making time to write again. Stay tuned….
It’s almost time to wrap up my three years at home and head back into the working world.
I’m so ready. I know it’s the right fit for our family. Yet, I’m kind of driving myself crazy swinging from one emotion to the other about the whole return.
One minute I’m anxious about the changes. Then I get really excited for the changes. Then I realize I’ve checked out here at home and I’m sucking at mom duties so then I feel guilty. Eventually I come around again and I’m an awesome mom. But through it all I’m still a little nervous. It’s a big change. One I know we’ll survive and will be good for all of us, but it’s the fear of the unknown adjustment period that gets me.
I’ve attempted to write some sort of “closure” post about the transition several times, but I can’t seem to get into words how I feel – maybe because I feel so much right now. Read More
It’s about time I wrote about my Honest Company products. I’m on my third monthly bundle and I’ve tried LOTS of the products so I wanted to share here a little about what I like and dislike.
First of all, you don’t have to do a bundle in order to buy products from The Honest Company. But I wanted to try out a few different items, so I went the bundle route to save money. You can change what comes in your bundle each month and push back the date to come every 5 or 6 weeks, or even longer. You’re also able to cancel the bundle service at any time.
I only purchased items I “needed” or was currently out of. I didn’t want to just buy a bunch of products and waste what I already have. And each month I include mainly new items I’ve only repeated lotion and sunscreen as of this post. Below is a list of what I’ve tried and a few thoughts about each one.
The good: It cleans great. Dishes are sparkly and clean and the scent is really light. Not over powering.
The bad: It doesn’t bubble up like I like dish soap to bubble. In my mind bubbles = clean. But I’m learning that’s not always the case. Bubbles usually mean more chemicals, and I’m trying to reduce the chemicals in my home which is why I’m trying these products in the first place. I also don’t like that it really dries out my hands after washing a sink full of dishes.
The good: The brush is great for baked on gunk. For me it was the perfect solution for my Le Cruset cast iron skillets – especially the grill pan with all its little grooves.
The bad: The little dish the brush sits in is supposed to create bubbles. That doesn’t really happen with the Honest Dish Soap because bubbles are fewer with this soap. My hubby put Dawn dish soap in it once for my daughter and the bubbles were incredible!
The good: It’s ALL good. The smell is heavenly. Eucalyptus Mint. Woah. Fresh and not over powering. Cleans great too!
The good: It’s ALL good too. No streaks on my glass top stove.
*Note: I use this with my Norwex cloths sometimes. I know you should just use water, but I don’t completely trust water to clean it all the germs. Don’t worry. I rinse my cloths out with super hot water after to make sure the cleaner is out. And I figure it’s super gentle cleaner anyway…can’t be too bad.
The good: Thick and moisturizing. We haven’t used it too much.
The bad: Teeny bit of a funky sunflower/nut smell, hard to describe. I don’t feel like it worked as great as the reviews said. Mariah’s eczema spots didn’t seem to heal super fast with it like the customers claimed. Her prescription cream works much better, but I’d like to get away from prescription creams, so I’m torn.
The good: ALL good. Sweet, but light orange vanilla smell. I thought it was a weird smell combo when I read the name of it, but I like it. Mariah has wild and crazy curls that can only be combed after a bath or shower. THIS STUFF WORKS! to untangle and keeps the whining at a minimum. We spray it on and let it soak in while she brushes teeth or puts on jammies to let it do it’s thing before we comb.
The good: Sweet Orange Vanilla smell is light and just right. Good for Lana’s fine baby hair.
The bad: Not super bubbly (this is a theme for me). I’m not sure how great it would be for my or Mariah’s thick curly hair. I still need to test it out.
The good: I really like this lotion. It’s not super thick, but leaves us feeling moisturized. No strong over powering smell.
The bad: Takes a few minutes to sink into the skin.
The good: Not greasy at all! Great sun protection.
The bad: Thick and white and kind of takes a while to spread.
The good: ALL good! same great sun protection in a convenient spray!
The bad: It wasn’t available until this month. So I bought two lotions. BUT the lotions are small to throw in my purse and are better for faces than the spray obviously. BUT they just came out with a sunscreen stick – going to try that next.
The good: No good.
The bad: It STINKS! Literally. So smelly. The citronella smell makes me nauseous. And it’s not very good at keeping bugs away in my opinion. We still get attacked with it on. However, keep in mind me and my girls seem to attract mosquitoes like no other. It might work for you. We use some essential oil sprays for bugs and the nasty deet stuff, but we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. Bugs love us!
The good: It works. My teeth feel clean when I’m done.
The bad: No bubbles. No strong minty fresh breath. I like that about toothpaste, so I need to make up my mind about this one similar to my dish soap problem.
The good: It seems to work (we’ll know from the dentist in a few weeks). Mariah likes the flavor.
The bad: No bubbles. Hard to get a good “lather” in the mouth. Lana just sucks on it and says it tastes like medicine. It’s strawberry flavored.
The good: It bubbles! Cleans my hands well and doesn’t leave them dried out.
The bad: Mandarin scent. I thought I ordered Lavender.
Whew. Long list! I still have the Toilet Bowl Cleaner and Bubble Bath to test from my newest bundle. Let’s hope the Bubble Bath delivers on the bubbles. I can’t shed any light on the diapers or baby products because we’re past that stage, but I’ve heard great things from friends. I started buying The Honest Company products because I wanted the sunscreen. There will definetly be items I purchase again and a few I’ll leave behind. Target has started to carry a few of the lotion, baby products and soaps and I’ve heard a rumor that Costco sells larger sizes of the lotion, but I’ve yet to see it. I still think trying a few bundles is the way to go. We’ll be done with bundles soon and will just buy items when we need them in the future.