Sunday, February 28, 2016

What I Learned in February

 

A few thinks I learned this month. As always, I'll be linking up with Emily!

1. I appreciate simplicity in my wardrobe so much these days and I realized recently that it's completely acceptable to wear whatever I wore to church on Sunday to my Junior League placement on Thursday.
 
Because it's put together, ironed, marginally professional, and mostly because I know that it fit four days earlier. It's so a little thing but it makes life during this season so much easier.

2. Not being a crafty mom doesn't mean I can't be a creative mom.
 
I'm not crafty. I'm just not. Sometimes I try to be, but it's not something that comes naturally at all. That said, I do enjoy doing creative things with my kids. The end result doesn't always look Pinterest perfect, but we enjoy it! Case in point: Annie decided she wanted to have a birthday party for her stuffed owl, Midnight (those Beanie Boos have tags with their birthdays listed and Annie puts them on the calendar). We decided to really let her run with it and we ended up having sliders with weird toppings (peanut butter and pepperoni were among the choices!), baked a cake from scratch, made her cards, and collected random little gifts (e.g. Mardi Gras beads) for her. It was so, so much fun and Annie loved it!

3. Signing your kid up for a Goodreads account is as easy and as fun (probably more fun!) than signing up for one yourself. I can't take any credit for this one- it was Peyton's idea- but recently we got Annie her own account and she's loved rating the books. With her favorites, she'll dictate a review and we'll type it up for her. Typing is one of the skills that's on my list to start working on soon!

4. I've become a better shopper.  
I'm realizing more and more that this house growing to accommodate five people is deeply dependent on my being incredibly discerning with what I purchase. Gone are the days of throwing half interesting, this might be useful, somewhat cute stuff in an overflowing buggy mostly out of boredom. We went to Target last week because Graves still had Christmas money and we desperately needed new bed sheets. I looked over nearly the whole store and especially scoured my favorite areas. Y'all, the ONLY thing that really interested me was an adult coloring book. To be fair, I think it was partly just not a good week for Target but I also think I've taught myself to view things differently. It isn't so much that I don't still buy things, I'm just forcing myself to be more conscious and disciplined. I don't go to Target and places like that near as much but when I do, if something catches my attention, I've trained myself to look at it hard once and make an assessment and then not turn toward it again. If I LOVE it I take note; if not I move on. Some days Voluntary Simplicity hurts a little and some days it feels so good. Today it felt really, really good. 

5. My journey with money/things/simplicity is much more cyclical than linear. I say that as a bit of a caveat to the above. A lot of days (a lot of them!) I'm pretty content with what I have. But there are still days where I waste money and buy things we have no need for. And honestly? the worst part is not really the wasted money, it's the time and energy I sometimes waste thinking so much about material things. I guess that's the drawback of becoming more discerning. Taken to an extreme it can become really obsessive.

6. In fact, I'm coming to understand that most of life actually is this way- not a smooth, linear progression. My friend Sarah touched on this in a wonderful post recently in regards to faith and it was so on point. And then another friend I heard speak described her faith journey as "circuitous". I loved that and so admired the transparency in her speaking. And truly, I see it everywhere- with my views on money, with my faith, with parenting, and with anxiety- things are not linear. I just don't think that the thinking of "tomorrow will be better than today" (or "tomorrow I'll do better than today") holds true. And I think we do ourselves a disservice when we make it our expectation.

7. I enjoy social media so much more when I'm not trying to "keep up". I actually realized this writing about the things that are saving my life right now. I do try to stay on top of my Reader and I try to check TimeHop daily, but I don't worry about what I'm missing on IG, Twitter, and Facebook. I just check in when I can or when I want to.

8.  One of the huge gifts of homeschooling I've noticed how much time it gives the kids to focus on things they love. I've been thinking recently about our kids' imaginations, especially now that Graves's has really started to develop. Their imaginations amaze me and one factor among many, I think (and I think this is the case with AP's reading too) is just the sheer amount of time they have that they are allowed to choose how to use. Lately, I've noticed that in busier seasons Annie really struggles to "fit it all in" and often what she chooses for her few hours she has autonomy over is not what I'd prioritize (e.g. television shows). As with most things there are advantages and drawbacks (and I try to be very honest about those) but this is definitely, in my opinion, one of the perks of homeschooling.


9. For me personally not being able to put words to something is one of the worst feelings in the world and I have this fear (that I know is rooted in my anxiety) that the "off" sensation I'm feeling with this pregnancy won't get better once the baby gets here. I can do this relatively easily (and joyfully) for a few more months but I'm scared it's not the pregnancy and is actually just my new normal and it terrifies me. 

10. For some reason, the River Oaks Post Partum Jug is a great comfort and a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel symbol.  
 
When you're all out of sorts and weather headache-y and you've self medicated with everything you can think of that's safe and appropriate, you decide to get holistic and just drink a shit ton of water.
 
11. Each pregnancy is different. I mean, duh. But I gained ten pounds with him at twenty five weeks by twenty three weeks I had already gained seventeen with Sister Baby.
[Same dress, same gestation. Very different pregnancies.]
Several people (my husband and one of my best friends included, so it might just be people who love me) have told me that it'll probably all even out in the end. Let's hope so because by the end I was contracting every time I walked and he felt like he was about to fall out every time I stood up.

These are such fun to write and I always enjoy reading them as well! 

1 comment:

Rebecca Petersen said...

The lack of time to focus on my interests is why I dislike my job so much. One of my friends told me, "You really know how to make the most of the weekend." I just have limited time and so many hobbies and interests!