Thursday, June 29, 2017

Scarcity. But....three things.

An insufficient supply of something.

I can't stand that word.  It gives me anxiety.  And I need more anxiety like.....

(can't even think of a good comparison here, because that's how much I don't need more.) 

I was driving Crosby home from swimming lessons today and we always take the back route on the way home from swimming lessons so we can see the horses and I caught a glimpse of him in the rearview mirror.  He was quiet, because he's always quiet after swimming, eating a sucker, and the wind was blowing his hair because his window was down; better to see the horses like that, and I just had this overwhelming swell of panic about him.....and Georgia too......

Was I soaking them up enough?
Every little subtle thing about them?

The way he always smells a little like Chinese food (and I know that sounds bizarre--but I love it so much).
The way he pats my back with his little hand when I hold him.
How he says, "Thank much.'
How Georgia asks me if she can sit on the kitchen counter and talk to me.
How she lets Crosby climb in her side of the car every.time.we.go.anywhere because she knows it makes him happy.
How she is the only person he won't fight about having to hold their hand in a parking lot.
How she is a fiercely loyal girl.
How Crosby says, "Daddy, you're craaaaazy."
How he calls ketchup,  kep-itch.
How the two of them beg me to play "It's Raining Tacos" on full blast in the car.
How they can get so wildly insane together and just when I want to lose it, I watch them a second and feel so thankful for them, and how much they love each other, drive each other crazy, the bonds they share, and that they're mine.

And that list is so short.  So insufficient.  So needing more added to it, because there is so much more.  But sometimes in the moment it's hard to recall all the amazing things about your kids and it makes me panic sometimes that I'm missing something, a detail has escaped me that I really wanted to tuck into my heart but now it's gone.  And the sadness of that........

So I was thinking the other day about this feeling of scarcity and am I doing enough, being enough, remembering enough as these babies get older and older and I landed on this very simple routine we started in our family about three ago but haven't made it as much of a priority as we're going to.....our three things book.  The perfect space to remember and archive forever those small moments that make us who we are. A book that we can look back at and remember.....oh yeah....that was so funny....incredible.....amazing.....significant....

About a three years ago we bought a blank journal and intended to make a list at dinner every night of three things that we were each thankful for from that day. It would be dated so we could skim back through the lists when we wanted to and remember.....all of it.....all that we needed to and wanted to.

Some past entries.
Thankful for:

    • 7.28.14     Georgia read a book all on her own.
    • 8.1.14       We're running the Color Run tomorrow with good friends.
    • 8.5.14       In the can eat rice with dinner.....OUTSIDE! 
    • 11.10.14   AND YOU GUYS---WE DID THIS ONE HOURS BEFORE WE FOUND   OUT CROSBY WAS BORN.....Great first parent/teacher conference for G.
    • 9.7.15       Georgia & Daddy camped in the basement.
    • 12.31.15   Bubbles, the fish, is alive..........still. 
    • 9.23.16     Georgia got a FISH award at school!!!!
    • 5.19.16     Crosby had a great eye appointment and won't need glasses!
    • 6.11.17     Chris was home all week and didn't have to travel at all!
And reading through the lists is fun, a glimpse into life then, and things we probably forgot about.  And there's an element of relief in reading it because it chronicles all those things I get worried about forgetting. 

So I am pledging to make our 'three things book' way more of a habit for our family.  Even on really hard and horrible and mean days there are always three things you can find to be thankful for.  And besides it being something to bring me peace of mind, I think it's an impactful habit to model for our children; an attitude of ongoing gratitude.  

It's easy as moms to get caught up in that scarcity whirlwind when it comes to our kids, and it's not as easy to do something intentional, that is realistic, to combat it.........but this little practice is one way that I've found I can work against that machine. It's not that original or even creative, but when it's done regularly, it can be revolutionary. 

So whether it's in the car, at breakfast, before bed, after school....whenever.....I challenge you to create a three things book with your family too!  It makes for a really good read. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Deck

A request for some deck details was a good motivator to bring me back here.  We spend a lot of time on our deck in the summer and fall because here in Michigan you blink and it's time to get back inside and shut the doors for months on end and turn on the heat.  We've kind of made the deck a second living room and over the last few years have collected some really basic pieces that we use over and over again to make it one of our favorite places to be.  We don't have a huge deck at all so we can't put as much on the deck as I'd like to and there are some days Chris would argue I need to stop already.

Our deck is also basically on the face of the sun, that darn western exposure, so I'm pretty thankful that succulents and cacti and palm trees are having a good long moment, and are pretty cheap, because that's about the only thing I can guarantee won't look dead every day between the hours of noon and seven p.m. I get a lot of those kinds of plants at Lowes and even my local grocery store (and Grand Rapids friends--check out the D & W at Knapp's corner for great inexpensive plants--while their groceries and produce are a joke in every context--they sell some amazing cheap plants).

I think it's worth it to go out and buy a really huge pot--really huge--to anchor small cheaper pots around.  However, the really big one I have is from a local nursery (Horrock's if you live in Grand Rapids) and was less than $50.  And you really only need three to five pieces in a little group to make an impact.

And the item that I'd say really transforms an outdoor space is something that creates a running water sound.  My mom has had this little copper lotus leaf bubbler (featured below) for a long time and there aren't really any other ones on the market, which is so weird to me, but you can find this one on Amazon and it's so easy to just place in a pot and when you hear that little trickling water sound, it just instantly makes your deck seem like a get away.

A few of my other favorites are in the collage below--the rug we have from Target, some pots from Target that we've had for years and they still are doing well despite baking in 100 degree heat every day, the love-seat from World Market that's a few years old but they still sell them, the little house lights from Target that are under $10, and some more favorite planters and plants.

The Deck

That little cactus in the turquoise planter is called a road-kill cactus and I got it at Lowes.  No prickles either!

So--that's about it!  We also have two pretty huge cantilevered umbrellas on the deck that we bought on clearance one year at the end of the summer but that's not too exciting--but so necessary being that whole face of the sun thing.

Hope you're cooling off somewhere good today!

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