Monday, January 26, 2015

Fifteen in '15

I was a little slow to jump on the New Year's resolutions bandwagon this year.

The truth is, I've been struggling.

I feel...average. Worse, actually.  I worry that I'm not very good at much of anything. 

The other night I attended a game night with some girl friends and I wasn't exactly winning.  I declared, "You know what?  I'm good at other things."  My friend looked at me with a straight face and asked, "Like what?"  


I couldn't come up with an answer!

I guess I haven't quite hit my stride yet.  And with social media being what it is, I often get caught in the trap of comparing myself to others.  But that's not exactly fair, is it?

I need to be kinder to myself.  I DO have talents, even if they're not very obvious ones.  For instance, I haven't been late to preschool drop-off or pick-up once this year.  I'm a good cook.  I have neat handwriting.  I've never been pulled over.  I face and overcome anxiety every single day.  I'm a loyal friend and I'm good at keeping in touch.  

Those things have to count for something.

So as I sat down to write a few goals at the beginning of the year, I struggled.  I was in a major rut.  I wanted to pick a focus word and couldn't seem to narrow it down.  I thought about picking a favorite quote and making it my mantra for the year, but that didn't feel right either.  

The best I could come up with was this:

Love this quote

And THAT is what inspired me to create my "Fifteen in '15" --  fifteen qualities that I hope to better develop throughout the year.  I have a pretty good idea of what I want my future self to be like, but it's going to be a slow and ongoing process.  And that's OK.  I'll start where I am.

1. A nurturing mother
2. A service-oriented wife
3. Spiritually fed
4. Organized
5. Driven
6. FUN!
7. Financially savvy
8. Creative
9. Healthy
10. Resourceful
11. Helpful
12. Happy
13.  Adventurous
14. Confident
15. Energized

My 15 qualities started out kind of vague, but I was able to delve deeper and make them into specific, measurable {but simple} goals.  For instance, I will become a more nurturing mother by spending quality one-on-one time with my kids each day.  I purposely didn't attach a time limit to this one because it's about quality time, not quantity.  But I'm amazed at how much my kids light up when I choose to pass up on busy work and play a game with them instead.  

Last week I did something adventurous-- and by adventurous I mean scary {for me}.  I drove 30 minutes to a place I had never been before.  But it was totally worth it!  The kids had the best time at this amazing indoor play area.

So there we go.  I've made a start.  Change is not going to come easily, but it will come. I'm already feeling optimistic about what this year will bring!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tea, anyone?

A few weeks ago, Kylie decided she wanted to have a tea party themed birthday party.  She and I had a great time shopping around for supplies.  Somehow we were able to turn this:

into this.  Voila!

As each girl arrived, she was greeted by Kylie's very own butler.  I wish I had a picture of Josh all dressed up with a pink cloth draped over his arm!  He announced each girl's arrival {in a British accent, of course} and managed to stay in character when the girls giggled hysterically at how silly he was.

The girls made their own pom-pom flower headbands.  They were huge and gaudy and the girls LOVED them!  They went quite well with the bead necklaces and glittery boas they were given.

After a fancy lunch {served by the butler}, the girls played "Place the teacup on the saucer." 
Do you see our butler-in-training over there?  He dressed for the occasion too :)

 Then it was time for gifts.

 For dessert, Kylie requested parfaits instead of a cake.  Since we had lots of fruit with lunch, we opted for a super sweet cupcake parfait.  Delicious!

Josh and I were sporting deer-in-the-headlight looks when all of our crafts, activities, and games were over and we still had an hour to spare!  Thankfully the girls enjoyed just playing together.  Phew!
 When the last guest left, Kylie exclaimed, "That was the best tea party ever!"  I'll call that a success.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Kylie is SEVEN!

Seven.  WOW!  Somehow Kylie went from this:

to this:

to this:
I'm so grateful I get to be this sweet girl's mom.  Here are seven things I love about Kylie:

1. She is kind to everyone.  I love that she can get along with anybody.

2. She is always looking for ways to help out, especially with her siblings.  She's observant and takes notice of what needs to be done.

3. Her laugh is infectious.  When she laughs, she radiates pure joy.

4. She dreams big and isn't afraid to pursue her interests.  Lately she has been very interested in fashion and dreams of becoming a fashion designer one day.  She spends hours at her craft table, drawing and drafting up new designs.  Now she's asking me to teach her to sew!

5. She's an old soul.  I'm amazed at her level of understanding for deep and complicated topics.  Sometimes her maturity level far exceeds that of a typical seven-year-old {or twenty-seven-year-old...}

6. She's very smart and loves to learn.  I love that she's naturally curious about the world.

7. She appreciates all living things.  She'll take an extra moment outside to make sure a bug gets back to its home in the dirt.  She is fascinated by animals and can remember the most obscure facts about them.  Unlike her mother, she can keep plants alive :)

Kylie has requested to have a tea party this weekend to celebrate her birthday.  Pictures of this extra-fancy event will be coming soon!