Creativity · Family · Parenting · Perspective

Thursday Thoughts

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.

John Barrymore

This is what writing is to me. It’s happiness. I love to write with paper and pencil. The feel of the pencil gliding over the paper soothes my busy mind. Every two weeks, I try to utilize 30 minutes of early morning devotional time to write. Words flow freely from my mind through my hand. Pieces of my soul marked in my handwriting. My middle of the night insomnia sessions are where my best thoughts flow. Will I ever write that book I’ve been dreaming of authoring since elementary school?

The journey is never ending. There’s always gonna be growth, improvement, adversity; you just gotta take it all in and do what’s right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment.

Antonio Brown

Marriage – When I took my wedding vows, full of excitement and passion, I vowed to love him until death do us part in good and bad. I still do. I’m still promising that. It’s deeper and stronger than I could have ever imagined. What I don’t think either of us realized at that point is that we vowed to love – deeply, strongly, confidently, and with covenant – is that we might not always like each other. It is completely unreasonable to vow to like someone all the time. Sometimes, we don’t even like ourselves. The majority of the time, the real issue is with yourself. Your partner’s job, promise, and covenant is to love you thru that. Those valleys are where you grow. Look up. Valleys only happen between mountains. Start climbing.

Loving a child doesn’t mean giving in to all his whims; to love him is to bring out the best in him, to teach him to love what is difficult. 

Nadia Boulanger

Parenting – “My child is having a hard time. She is not giving me a hard time.” These words were on repeat this morning in my head starting at 4:32am. Our 6yr old woke up and needed to use the bathroom. Sleep did not find her again… and after two hours of cuddling, it was time to get dressed for school. Cue the sobs. Cue the stomps, whines, pointing, and tantrum. Deep breaths. She is not non-verbal. Her biggest character downfall is her inability to use her words to ask for help or admit when she is incorrect. It’s easier to stomp and sob. Going the tough route with her doesn’t help. She is stubborn and has to make the decision herself. When she threw her twisted sweatshirt at my feet, I refused to help her pull the sleeves out until she verbally asked for help. Her father did the same thing when she furiously swung her brush at him instead of just asking him to help her brush her hair. It was a doozy of a morning. 90% of them are nothing like this. I set a timer and told her she needed to have her fit turned off by the time it went off or she was destined for bed immediately when she arrived home with me this evening. Miraculously (tongue-in-cheek) her tantrum was over about 10 seconds before the timer dinged. Hugs all around before she ran out the door to the bus. Then her father and I considered Mimosas or Bloody Mary’s for breakfast… not really, but we both had to take our own frazzled nerves and anxiety down a couple notches before we came to work. Parenting is not for the weak-willed or faint of heart.

“I always loved running…it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.” 

Jesse Owens

I’m signed up for a spring 2019 half marathon. I didn’t run one in 2018, although I did take on a hill-filled 10K (actually 6.7miles). Half Marathon Number Five. I ran my first 13.1mi organized race a couple of months before my MS diagnosis. Now I need a goal to get my consistency back. After swearing I wouldn’t run another unless I was trained well enough to knock 10 minutes off my previous finish time, my focus has shifted. Many months of just drifting along… I’m ready to get back in the current and head for something. What it is, I’m not sure. The steady beat of my feet and breathing in and out assist my brain in sorting thoughts. We shall see… we shall see.

As you attempt to make big differences, remember to appreciate the small differences.  And remember that you don’t always have to reach the goal you set in order to make a difference.

Win Borden

Be kind today friends. Find a way to lift someone else up. Even if you are dwelling in the valley right now, reach up and out. Be gracious.

Wear the fancy dress. Tell the joke and laugh at it. Do that cannon ball into the pool. Dance in your kitchen. 


Much love — Jen

Creativity · Family · Fitness · Perspective

Begins with “S”

Six Miles – That’s how many glorious, relaxing miles I got in last night while my kids were at Vacation Bible School. How many times is it 6miles_LIonly 63 degrees for a July evening run in the Midwest – USA?! I’m officially one minute per mile slower than when I was getting consistent runs done.

Six miles of feeling my feet hit the road while listening to the music on my iPod. Freeing. Sanity breathing. Mind clearing. I’ve registered for a 10K in September. After last night’s run, my confidence at running it comfortably has increased. I doubt it will be a 10K PR, but I suspect I can cut time if I get in a uniform schedule.

SullivanSullivan – Our new, very large cat (Maine Coon) has decided his favorite place to lay is in a bathroom sink. I guess that’s fine…. “You do you, Sully.” Today is the 5th day since we adopted him. After having an affable feline friend for over a decade until his passing in December, the enjoyment of my husband and kids to this new guy is evident. Honestly, I’m still warming up to having an indoor pet again.

School – Dare I say it? We are edging up on less than 20 days until it starts! After we returned from Colorado and knocked out a few days at the fair, everyone seems considerably happier about school starting. The kids look forward to consistent time with friends and living a normal schedule. I swore I wouldn’t mention it until August starts…. but we had school supplies on super sale at our local store – 20 pencils for $0.99 and notebooks for $0.19 each. It would have been silly to miss that discount when those items were on the list.

pencils in stainless steel bucket
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Other “s” encounters this week included a snake, storms, and my son’s prize winning sunflower at the fair. Have a snazzy, superb week!

Creativity · Family · Perspective

Grasp – Free Fall

via Daily Prompt: Grasp

Some mornings just need a moment to fall into place. I’m not grasping life by the horns today. That was yesterday’s chaos. Let the chips fall where they may!

My desk is fully visible, sans the mountains tackled yesterday. My to-do list is relatively short.

Instead, I’m choosing to sit back in my desk chair and listen to some acoustic John Mayer.

 

Free Fallin' Acoustic
Tom Petty original was a favorite song to sing along to in the car on the way to high school with my sister.

 

Early morning devotions. Kids dressed and off to school. Connection with my husband. 10min FitSugar abs workout. My gallon jug of water and a bag of snap peas prepped for snacking at my desk. Mascara and lip gloss applied. Quick drive to work.

Ready. Set. Go.

Grasping life as it comes, but taking a moment to sing a classic.

Isn’t it all about balance? The push vs. the pull? Catch and release? The firm hold and the free falling moment?

Grasp. Free Fall.

 

Creativity · Family · Parenting · Perspective

Deep Thoughts: Kid Style

  • Elephant poop.
  • Ketchup.
  • Mud boots.
  • Dying of thirst.
  • What is a different name for salt?
  • Fun Dip: specifically the blue colored kind.
  • Play date plans for today.
  • What did my teacher say at parent teacher conferences this morning?

These are just a few of the topics I’ve covered in the last 18hrs. Some were full blown conversations like the elephant poop- size, smell, have you seen it before? Some were smaller 30 second blips- ketchup, how we like ketchup and it makes things taste better.

Young kids are so refreshingly spontaneous! Life is truly all about finding enjoyment in the small daily moments.

kids-girl-pencil-drawing-159823.jpeg

 

Creativity · Perspective

Three Things

If you follow my musings, you know we’ve been fully engulfed in influenza A, influenza B, and a touch of stomach flu during January. It’s like January was a germ-filled, Christmas-gathering hangover fog.

I’m welcoming February from my couch as I continue the long slow recovery, but I’d like to be a bit more playful with my post today.

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Three Things

Three things I like:

1) hot vanilla tea
2) peonies
3) hugs

Three things I can live without:

1) crickets
2) sunburns
3) instant gratification

Three places I’ve traveled:

1) Hawaii- Oahu & Kuaui
2) Saskatoon, SK, Canada- I have relatives there! It was a family road trip when I was a kid.
3) Sanibel Island, FL

Three places I want to visit:

1) Maine
2) South America
3) Georgia or Alabama- I’ve never been to that part of the South.

Three things I always buy as cheaply as possible- on sale or generic:

1) paper napkins
2) mustard
3) hand soap refills

Three things I splurge on and apparently feel like I have to justify to the world:

1) skin care- R+F, because I was tired of being a 30-something with acne
2) hair care- Monat Volume System, I can’t use the others “systems” because it makes my hair fall out. Most OTC shampoos make my psoriasis flare.
3) hot dogs. It’s just a mental thing. It’s all mechanically separated…

Three games I’ve played the past month:

1) Guess Who
2) War
3) Pie Face

Three things I like to read:

1) Articles that explain things I don’t know – i.e. Cryptocurrency, Easter Island stone heads, making diamonds from radioactive materials…
2) the Bible every morning. Lots to learn, ponder, and reflect on in between those covers.
3) Books – I know that is broad, but I have a WIDE array of interests. Historical fiction, Historical Non-fiction, “Better Yourself” type books, some fantasy but can’t get too out there- NO ZOMBIES or creepy stuff.

Three people worth quoting:

1) C. S. Lewis
2) Maya Angelou
3) Laura Ingalls Wilder

Quote1

 

 

Creativity · Faith · Family · Fitness · Health · Parenting · Perspective

The One Word Goal

giphy1

Self improvement season. We are a couple of days out. Sitting on the cusp of when people will pledge to themselves to eat healthier, exercise, change spending habits or make another life change for the better.

Perhaps it will be to add in more reading or quality time with friends and family?

giphy2
Reading Rainbow – One of my favorite childhood classics!

Suppose it’s a mental shift to a minimalist lifestyle? Or to go back to school?

Why do we wait until self improvement season to set these goals?  The new year. A fresh start. Flipping the page on the wall calendar.

Marketing people love this time of year. When better to push a new product or equipment on us? There’s no better time to remind us that we have flaws.

It is unlikely that I will be bucking this trend. I set goals as well. Goals are useful when kept in perspective.

  • I know I want to be more efficient and intentional with the end goal of being able to freely flow in my non-work time.
  • My parenting fuse is too short with my 7yr old… I’m a work-in-progress to expand my sense of humor and patience. *sigh* Boys are so LOUD!
  • Running half marathon #4 or dipping my toes in the water with another sprint or longer triathlon. Plans to train will have to wait until after my annual MRI in February. (aka – what is going on with my right hip and leg?)
  • Finish the sort and purge leftovers from doing the remodel last year. Our extras could be someone else’s treasures!
  • Laugh more. Smile more. Play more.

A dear and wise friend texted me yesterday with her one word resolution for 2018. After a particularly hard year of burying family members and friends, she is seeking to again find JOY.

To encapsulate all of one’s goals for a year into one word is a challenge. I started this entry four hours ago.

After much deliberation (drum roll….. da da da da da da da…..) the mindset to ENJOY. Is it all going to be good? Definitely not. I’ll likely have to move my mind around a little bit to make it happen, but L.M. Montgomery says it best:

ENJOY

With best wishes and kind intentions for a healthy and safe start to your new year, much love — Jen

Creativity · Perspective

Wordpress Reader

I’m not terribly in the mood to write.

It’s been a rough handful of days with my youngest having some sort of mystery virus that has covered her little pixie body in an angry rash, hives and swollen up her neck lymph nodes and tonsils. Yes we’ve sought medical attention, but after swabs and cultures there seems to be no answer except “wait it out and keep her comfortable. Call us if she gets worse.”

bleh… not what a mom wants to hear.

In my waiting and anxious early mornings of checking her breathing I’ve gained a new appreciation for WordPress Reader. It is silent, varied and ever expanding.

My Reader doesn’t throw out advertising trying to bait and hook. The stories sit like a large evolving library full of opinions, perspectives, and life experiences to be read.

Thank you to the authors for being with me in my quiet early mornings.