Monday, October 31, 2016

Closing Out The Month of October with Big Changes

I don't know about you, but October has been quite a month. Typically, I love this month as I watch the change of the seasons - the chill fall air as it becomes sweater season and while I attempt those fun fall festivals with the kids. This October was different, and I am quite happy the month has finally come to a close. With the end of the month, we also finalized the sale of our home and completed a temporary move while we build our new house. These many life changing events are exhausting and I look forward to quieter days over the next several months before we have to move again. In the midst of all this chaos, I realized how little time I have to care for myself. Most moms are guilty of this and it's time that we change it.

I have come to a point in my life, with four kids, where I don't miss the weekly ladies' nights or the weekend getaways. Don't get me wrong, I would definitely love to do those again in the future, but right now, I'm happy at home getting the rambunctious kids to bed and then relaxing on the couch watching a show with my husband or pouring over a good book.

When it comes to New Year Resolutions, I have always believed they are a bunch of promises waiting to be broken. I believe in daily commitments to our family and friends, while also renewing our personal and spiritual goals. This is where I have been lacking, and where so many other moms are also feeling lost. We go through each day attending to the needs of our family, and by the time bedtime comes, we have little energy left to renew our depleted selves. This needs to change!

As women, and especially as mothers, we need to focus on ourselves, because when we eat healthy and exercise, our children desire to do the same. When we spend moments reading a new book, our children will seek to imitate our search for learning. When we spend moments in quiet reflection, our children will also desire this peace of mind and soul. Each of us is so occupied with our family, that we forget how important the mother's role is beyond just her service. Mothers show the love and they provide the protection. Mothers are the mediator and also the observer. How can anyone provide all these roles without caring for oneself also?

Enjoying a few last views at our old home.

With the end of a month, and the beginning of a new month, it is time to focus on ourselves while also caring for our families.

  • Enjoy these last few weeks of fall weather and spend the afternoon outside enjoying the gift of nature. Teach those little ones how blessed we are for green grass and the beautiful sun.
  • There is a time for work and a time for play. Sometimes the laundry can wait, but other times it cannot. Find the right balance.
  • Remember that you are raising the next generation. What an amazing, yet daunting task! Take time to read. As mothers, we should also desire to learn new things. If we are learning and growing, our children will desire to do this also.
  • Organization and Balance. Find what works best for you. Some moms have a weekly meal plan, while others like to cook on the spur of the moment. Some moms have a weekly cleaning schedule, while others clean as needed. None of us are the same, so find what works best with your family, but make a firm commitment to maintain a healthy and happy home.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

When It's Time To Accept The Change Of The Seasons

This past weekend was more difficult than I expected. It has been almost 10 years since I founded my floral design company. This business was truly a work of the heart as I built it from the ground up, mostly by word-of-mouth. Those personal referrals were the best. I had never been formally trained in flowers, but I realized quickly that I loved working with them. What better job than designing a masterpiece out of God's beautiful creations? But as my husband and I welcomed more children into the family, my time became limited, and instead of enjoying my life as a mom, I was becoming frustrated with the little ones and frustrated with my lack of time to design flowers. I shouldn't be surprised anymore by God's sense of humor, because just when my business was exploding, I decided through many hard lessons, that it was time to close the doors. I needed to focus on the little ones and their needs above the needs of my brides. These days and years are just so short, I don't want to miss these crazy moments!

I truly admire the women who can do it all - the family, the career, the social life, and personal time, but I am just not one of those women. I can definitely stretch myself thin and still survive, but I don't want that type of life. So I have learned that through every phase in life, it is time to accept some things and give up others and right now I choose to give up my entrepreneurial aspirations for my family - except my writing, I need my writing! It was difficult to let go, especially since I can be a controlling person, but I can always start up the company again in the future. Nothing needs to be final, after all, there are so many phases in life. Just like the season for apple picking (which we did over the weekend). All fruits and vegetables have their own special seasons, so do the seasons of our lives. Change is good - it's just difficult to accept sometimes!

It was difficult for me to give up a company I had worked so hard to grow, but it was time. I can still get my flower design fix by creating arrangements for our church, but I do have a sense of relief that there will be no more weddings in my near future. Instead, I will have much more time with the family, sewing my quilts (a hobby I haven't tapped into for many years), time for school functions, church events, and of course, my writing. Ultimately, if I am not working towards the good of my entire family, then I am working towards nothing, because my greatest gifts are my husband and my children and if I don't treasure them first, then nothing else matters.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

When It's Time for Chocolate - Katherine Hepburn Brownies

There are just some days when my sweet tooth takes over and I.MUST.HAVE.CHOCOLATE! I found the most delicious brownie recipe, and then tweaked it to fit my own style. You will definitely want to try these Katherine Hepburn Brownies for your next dinner party, work treat, or even afternoon snack. My kids couldn't get enough of these, I will need to make these again soon!

I love gooey brownies, so I removed the walnuts from the original recipe.
These brownies were baked in muffin tins.

There's something special about powdered sugar sprinkled over a delicious brownie - so I added my own special touch

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything" ~ Katherine Hepburn