Friday, July 15, 2011

Pressure Cooker; and I'm not talkin about food...

I'm talking about you! Now before you go and get mad at me, I mean you as a collective term for all mothers. Women really.

Recently there have been a few of the blogs I follow talking about honesty and being real. So I figured I'd share the life lesson I got today on being real and what it means to me. It is about ALLOWING ourselves as mothers to BE real. Real people. Real humans.

Real means, by definition; True and actual; not imaginary, alleged, or ideal, Free of pretense, falsehood, or affectation, Genuine and authentic; not artificial or spurious, in other words to NOT be perfect. It isn't just about a house that gets messy or food that isn't perfect, or in my case, hardly ever on the table these days, its about how we raise our families, how we treat our spouses, and how we live life in general.

Oftentimes we percieve real as what we want our house/family/life/body/image/insert your word here; to look like. We have a picture in our head, a very pretty picture of how things are supposed to go. And when the control is taken from us, we just insert "picture" real, for "life" real.

Let me tell you a bit about real...'s real's not's real
a spotless's not's real
calm cool and's not
screaming at your child(ren) when you didn't mean's real
perfect's not
happy's real
perfect's not
a mothers's real

As a mother we are expected to do so much, to be so many things. And we want to proudly wear those hats. Sometimes, just sometimes, those pressures, whether put on us by ourselves, society, family, or friends take their toll on our well being. And sometimes they can result in a mother doing or saying something she isn't proud of.

Are you starting to see the underlying theme of this lesson? You guessed it. *Sigh* Worlds worst mom confession; I yelled at the lil princesses today. I mean really really yelled. I shouldn't have. I'm not proud, at all. As a matter of a fact, that REAL guilt? I have a lot of it. The thing I have in my corner? They are children. They have faith and love like a child. They see the world, their mother, through their eyes, not those of an adult who can hold a grudge. There is a reason God called us to be like the little child. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:4 They have so much to give. And in that, forgiveness. Unconditional forgiveness. I asked for it, I received it, and I accepted it.

AH-HEM now listen to need to hear me, yes I'm talking to you!

I am here to tell you that it is ok. It is ok to have yelled at them louder than you meant. Ok to have hurt their feelings. Am I saying do this anytime you like? NO WAY girlie, don't even think about it, I am however suggesting, you are human. God did not create you perfect. He did not intend for you to be perfect. So why are you trying? Instead, try to be the person, the mother, the sister, the daughter, the wife, and the friend that He intended for you to be. A human, imperfect, mistake making, messy hair, sweats wearing, children grime displaying, all around REAL person.

Go ahead. Let yourself. It's refreshing! I finally did and look at the results!

Everything from the day faded away as my wonderful family gathered on a picnic blanket outside our house tonight to have some Chick Fil A. (which by the way is soso yummy if you have never had it!) After that instead of picking up and heading in on routine, we tossed, no, threw it out the window. And what a treat! The giggles resounded all around the circle, the smiles lit up the evening sky and the memories they will last forever.

And that my dear reader friends is what truly matters.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hairbow Rescue How to

I'm being taken over!! Not evil orges, or scary bad men, but by hairbows. Yes hairbows. Having three lil princesses in the household it seems, means more times than not I am being overtaken by these pretty lil creations.

They seem innocent enough, but then they conger together and plot to take over your house, and that is when they don't look so sweet! Something needs to be done!

I couldn't control the lil buggers until today, I think. I came up with what I think is an ingenious concept. A way to keep all of them in one place, displayed, pretty, and accessible all at one time!

The Pringles can hair accessory holder

You will need :
1 piece scrapbook paper
1 clean pringles can
decorative ribbon
contact paper (optional)
glue gun, glue dots, scissors

First take your average Pringles can and
your favorite piece of scrapbooking paper and introduce them.

Measure your can and draw a line on your paper so you know where to cut. Use a scrapbooking or sewing tool to keep the line straight, if you have it. I didn't because they are somewhere in the moving boxes still. *sigh*

Once it is cut take a glue dot and put three down in a line, just to secure the paper to the can while you prepare to glue the rest.

Get your trusty glue gun out and glue the paper evenly all around the can (do it every bit of the way, not just at the seam, as this will not hold if that is the only place you connect it. It is best to do the top rim and bottom rim and every third of the way the whole middle.)

Next if you have some contact paper laying around, I suggest using it, because it will help the paper to last a little longer from accidental nicks and jabs that the hair bows may make (reference back to the plotting hairbows)

Now comes the fun part. Take your ribbon and measure it to your can. Add about an inch on each side. Mine ended up being about 13 inches each. You want to put a dab of glue on one end and then fold it to the inside of the can. Do this with all four pieces. I wouldn't suggest using more, as I once thought I was going to, because once you get all the hairbows on it fills it up pretty quick. You want easy access therefore 4 seems to be the perfect number.

Once all ribbon is on put a dab of glue on the other end. Flip the can upside down and glue it to the bottom. Repeat with three other ribbons.

Now for the finishing touch. Trace your lid on the remaining scrapbook paper. Cut just on the inside of the line and fit in the UNderneath of the lid.

There you are done!

Add millions of hairclips and you have a neat, pretty organizer, that if you wanted, you can add other necessities on the inside of.

And one last thing, for the small hair ties, the greatist thing you can do for yourself is to get a "keyring" clip, they sell huge ones in craft stores, and put ALL of them on this, then you can just "roll" it to the color/tie you want and they are there and not a mess and easy to get to...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Life Lessons from Annie

No Annie isn't a new friend I have made here in Utah. I am referring to good ole' "Annie", orphan Annie. "The sun will come out tomorrow..."

Which actually brings me to my first point. The song. It is true. When you are experiencing what is dark and gray, the sun will come out. There is a bible verse:

4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

We were going over this verse with Alia tonight because she was upset she has been naughty as of lately. We told her how forgiveness was hers and now she should think of good things, but she wasn't able to, so out we pulled this verse. At the very moment that I was reading it Brandon called us upstairs to witness the most AMAZING double rainbow I have seen. Gods Promise.

It goes to show that through your hard times, there is beauty somewhere with in them, even through the rain you can see the sun. With out the rain, you would not have a rainbow like this. With out your tears and pain, you wouldn't have the ability to experience the all encompassing joy, or the true feeling of contentment that is in your future path.

Getting back to Annie, we decided, when Alia asked us what an orphan was, what better way to explain it to her than show her the movie. So we had a movie night with the two girls.

While watching it, I saw it from a perspective I haven't looked at before. First of all the scantily clad Mrs. Hanagan was a little more risque than I remember. Which I suppose is good because it stands to say my daughters probably won't remember her either.

What I did notice however, was how positive Annie was. How her outlook was one of joy and happiness. And when she was sad, she tried to turn that into some sort joy. To her, that joy seemed to be in song, but when she sang, you'll notice, she smiled.

We need to look for the joy, the silver lining, the rainbow in all our situations. Not just the happy ones, they are easy to smile upon. But the hard ones too.

I bring this up because the past week was filled with crying and depression for me. It wasn't because my home life was bad, or my marriage, or my kids were bad, or something terrible happened...I honestly can't tell you why I experienced those feelings. But I did let them get to me. Watching this movie I found myself wanting to aspire to be like Annie.

Alyssa commented, "I want to be in this movie". I heard myself saying, with true conviction, "I do too honey."

I meant it, I liked how I felt watching it. I liked the joy and the positive outlooks on everything. How when she was told she was going back to the orphanage, instead of crying and throwing a fit, she looked for all the positives that did happen to her over the course of the day and thanked him for those. That is what God is looking for from us. It not only frees our insides, it makes us beautiful on the outside, because it shows through.

Be real, but be open with God. He can fill your empty heart. He can heal your hurts. He can solve your problems. If you get quiet and still and listen for his un-audible voice you will find it, in your heart. Look for the positives in life, there are always some.

I challenge you to find even one thing good, when you are feeling like the world is down on you. Just one, no matter how small.

Feel free to share with me how you have found the rainbow through the rain in your situation.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Car Pack Carrier: How to make it so you are ready for anything!

So I figured that a good portion of my readers aren't from UT, so I wanted to share this "how to" with you. I was watching studio 5 the other day, which by the way is a fabulous show! It is one of my very favorite shows, and if you live here and don't watch it, you need to! Sad that a "news" show is on my favorites list. But it has tips on EVERYTHING from how to's, food, stuff to try, places to go in SLC and so on.

Anyhow, I decided to give their car pack carriers a try. And boy am I glad I did!

We decided for my birthday that we would go to Bridal Veil Falls which was a beautiful day and a beautiful decision.

The neat part about it is, this time of year, you can wade, well with the runoff this year, swim in the base/foot of the waterfall. You can even climb it quite a ways up. It was very cool, but for two little unsteady feet, this meant falling in at some point or another.

Alyssa decided since she fell in she would make the best of it and do her best at being Ariel.

So as we weren't ready to go home, and it was a half hour drive, we wanted to try a new BBQ place, I went to my trusty carpack where I had clothes for them all ready to go. (they become very compact if you put them in Ziploc with the air out) They changed in the van and poof, they were ready for another fun adventure.

So lets not put you off anymore:

How to have a car/van/SUV that is ready for any adventure!

In the first one, this is your emergency of sorts, but it is way better than just an emergency kit. it is THE emergency kid. Super Mom's kit.

In the summer you never know where you are going to stop or for how long. There has always been that "longer than expected stop". Or maybe you wanted to stop at a park but just couldn't because you didn't have (insert necessary but un-necessary item here)

With this one you can.

Beach towels
Water bottles
Med. Kit
Hair ties
Bug spray
Handy wipes
Outfits for your kids, each one, (cheap ones) that they can change into in case of emergency (ie, the trip to the waterfall where they fell in and needed a change of clothing)
Garbage bags

(go to the dollar store for ALL these items and it doesn't hardly cost you a thing)

Then there is what I call the fun bucket. This is good for those days you want to stop at a park but just don't feel ready...this too has come in handy, at the fireworks when the kids wanted glow bracelets they were selling for an arm and a leg, and for these I only paid 1$...insert glow bracelets + happy kids = happy parents!

Jump ropes
Nerf football thrower
glow bracelets
sidewalk chalk
funny prickly balls
catch game
bottles to fill with water

Again all of this you can find either at the Target dollar spot, or at the dollar store, so it doesn't add up to much. The snacks you buy are perfect in size because they are very small in amount, so it isn't wasteful and they are the kind that won't go bad.

I am SO glad I have done this, so I encourage you to make up one of your own sets and then tell me about it. What did you do? What did you add? Were you able to use it? Link to a picture if you want :)

Have fun!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Do you love grocery shopping?

If so you most likely have never had one of these trips!!

I decided to go to Wal-mart on Sunday (because in UT it is VERY very empty on a Sunday) and thought what a great idea, I will get in, get all my stuff and get out.

Well first of all, I was doing price comparisons, so I should have known better, and second isn't it Murphy's law that nothing ever goes right?

So after an hour and a half I was waiting in line with my OVER flowing cart...I hate when we get to the end of the month and need literally everything! So anyhow I was patiently waiting for the full cart in front of me, and as I was organizing my cart getting ready to unload I hear this unmistakable sound.

The sound that made everyone around cringe. It was breaking glass. No it wasn't a child dropping a piece of stem-ware, or a woman going into labor (awe come on you have heard it, the pickle jar thing, no? ok anyhow...) it was me , yes wonderful lil ol me, well no I take that back, it wasn't me, it was the jar that decided to come alive and made a choice that it wanted to commit suicide instead of coming home to be ravenously eaten by my family. It came to the conclusion that the wal-mart floor seemed a better fate for it.

It doesn't end there either. Since it was a Sunday in UT, the checker was the only guy available and he had to put the full carted couple in front of me on hold, go find a wash cart, come clean it up, find someone to swept up the remains and make sure it was all gone.

So I ran to get another one, and you can bet your booty that I held onto that jar as if it was my firstborn!

Finally they left and another checker came on duty and checked me out. She couldn't have been nicer, which was a relief. However I had SO many groceries that I needed two carts, which means that I needed someone to help out. So she had that same guy, checker cleaner, come and help me. On our way out, he says "if you don't mind, how did you end up breaking that jar"

Ummm, well I thought it would be fun to see if glass really did shatter when it hits the ground at an angle.


It fell...DUH!!!

Is what I wanted to say, but I actually just shrugged off saying;

"Well you saw how full my cart was, and it just happened to be on the top, and it fell"

So, to make a long story short, I really can't stand shopping! At least the kind that includes picking up groceries!

Note to you; When over stuffing your cart make sure to not put the glass items at the top!