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Currently Browsing: Little Guy Lessons

The Smell of Muffins Means Home

It’s Saturday and it smells like muffins. Some moments were a struggle. My boy says, “It seems like you’re always either having a really good day or a really bad day.” I said this one isn’t too bad but sometimes I just have to move through it.

Like getting Fiona dressed and her teeth brushed. I don’t necessarily enjoy those activities, especially since now that I’ve said “Fiona not in Mommy’s face, it’s the one place she wants to put her hands and her toys while I’m down on my knees dressing or diapering.Fiona's room on Shalavee.com

I spoke to my friend about my regular Motherhood overwhelm and she said it seems like maybe, since I had a rough childhood, maybe I’m really hard on myself. I’m trying to create this mythical childhood for my children and my expectations may be high. I agreed.

I have buttermilk in my refrigerator because it makes yummier baked goods. Today I found the recipe for buttermilk muffins in the Joy of Cooking. I made half of them with chocolate chips and half with strawberries. My children have no idea that other children don’t probably get freshly made pancakes on school mornings. They take their luck for granted. And as I said in this post, I’m OK if they don’t truly know the hardship that other children suffer.Fiona and muffin tins on Shalavee.com

The muffins are for a church potluck where Eamon gets to find out who his secret mystery friend has been. We’ve given our children family, community, clean diapers,  milky sippy cups on demand, and unconditional love. And muffins. And that is truly all that children need to grow up mostly functional. And I’m good with my motherhood over-achievements so far. Tossing in some radical self-care just in case though.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Trust Fund Addition Mission

I went on a goodwill mission today and took my son to the movies. He’s moving into that tween zone of growing up. He’s pushing his boundaries out, sometimes even bullying me to get what he wants, much like his little toddler sister. And funds are pretty much depleted in our trust fund.

It was four years ago I made mention of this concept in a post called Trust Deposits. Remember the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People? One of the concepts I culled from that book was about the trust accounts you build between you and the people you are in relationships with. Your children and your spouses as well as your coworkers or your neighbors. You pay into the account with kindness and good will so that when your relationship takes a bump, you can draw from the surplus between you without effecting the relationship. Trust Fund Deposit on Shalavee.com

Seems my son and I are going through another phase where I’m trying to be kind but am feeling agitated. My son isn’t recognizing these deposits are necessary. And I’m beginning to not feel great about us. It happens. So today I took him to the movies trying to fatten up the trust fund. We ate at Subway and then saw Zootopia at the movies. It was nice and more of that kinda thing will need to happen in upcoming years to keep plugging the holes where my trust has leaked out with his ignoring me moments. But I’d rather try to continue to build good will than keep feeling mad and frustrated, wouldn’t you?

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Christmas Ease : $15 Trees and Fried Chicken Picnics

You must know, I’ve been waiting for writing inspiration to strike me recently. Like inspiration was a possible thunderbolt and I’m posing as the lightening rod. And nothing. Until today when the simplest choices turned out to be the big thoughts I was waiting to catch.

The Christmas tree tradition was a big deal growing up. I remember the long car trips to tree farms in down parkas to chop down our own trees and then having hot cocoa and numb toes. Later, I remember haggling with the tree vendor in the frigid shade of the December world on Christmas Eve for two trees for 30 bucks so I could lash them together. And being very proud of that Charlie Brown tree. My sister put plastic forks and fiber fill on the tree and it’s the only one I remember being together for.Daddy and Fiona at the playground / Christmas Ease on Shalavee.com

Today was our calendar designated fetching of the tree day. At noon My husband and I discussed the possible scenarios of long drives and money spent. And remembering how the tree is secondary to the little people’s happiness, I chose to press the Easy button and feel the definition of ease.

The tree was procured half price at the grocery store and then we drove to the local State park and ate a fried chicken picnic overlooking the muddy low tide river followed by playground playing. My husband remarked how it wasn’t always this easy in our days before children. I told him I had no idea back then. Before children, we act like idiots. We become different kinds of idiots after we have them.Fiona tic tac toe playground

The experience and memories of future Christmases are in my hand and we have a limited amount of moments to enjoy our lives and our children. Letting go of expectations of perfection and idealism makes such lovely room for experiencing the present.I have been grinning like an idiot all weekend reveling in the luxury that is this priority of happiness.

The weather was gorgeous. My children played on the playground. My husband was “off” he said. And that feeling slid us into our evening meal and our family movie. A day filled with ease achieved. Until the baby threw up her chocolate pudding in her crib at midnight. Sigh.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

BEing Seen

I found a secret special “aha” a while back on Instagram. A woman returned from a retreat which had moved her. And what she described was sort of mind-blowing to me. She said she had felt like she had truly been seen for who she really was by the women in that room. And I envied her. I wondered what that felt like.

I was reading a piece written by business and soul guide, the amazing Caroline Kelso, entitled The Importance of Soul Friends in which she explains how a life long friendship with her two girlfriends is much more than just that. To explain, she quotes Irish poet and philosopher John Donohue from his book Anam Cara : A book of Celtic Wisdom. An Anam Cara is a soul friend. “A friendship that transcends the surface… that exists within the mutual love and acceptance of each others’ core being.” She says that she feels unconditionally witnessed by her two lifelong friends.

To be seen in this world is one of the greatest gifts

you can receive.” -Caroline Kelso-

Daddy and Fiona on the fire engine from Shalavee.com

And this quote she chose from John O’Donohue vis Brain Pickings.org explains what the love light of a soul friend truly gives you.

In this love, you are understood as you are without mask or pretension. The superficial and functional lies and half-truths of social acquaintance fall away, you can be as you really are. Love allows understanding to dawn, and understanding is precious. Where you are understood, you are at home. Understanding nourishes belonging. When you really feel understood, you feel free to release yourself into the trust and shelter of the other person’s soul… This art of love discloses the special and sacred identity of the other person. Love is the only light that can truly read the secret signature of the other person’s individuality and soul.”

Do you already know this gift in your life? Or like me, have you hidden yourself away from everyone including your cherished ones for fear they see what you’re sure you know to be true? Failure and flaws. Because to allow their mirrors to show you their version of you, you get to feel the belonging and the self-esteem you never would otherwise.  The only catch is that you have to believe in your heart there’s a possibility to be loved first.

Mark and Fiona on a hayride on Shalavee.com

I spent my day with my husband and my children very intentionally doing stuff specifically for them where fun and family would be woven together with their memories of their childhood. I was as fully present as I could be in the hopes that I will hopefully give them the self-love I seem to have grown up without when parents just can’t be there.

And when I got home and took a look at my social media notifications, I discovered that a community I have spent time in and nourished connections within was giving me an acknowledgement. I was being seen. That I work so very hard to publish the very best content and writing I can muster within the limits of my life as a Mom. And for many years, there wasn’t really any sign that anyone was reading or caring. But as I have honestly and kindly been present to witness other people, to see and hear what they are saying and showing, I finally can see that I am having this great gift returned. Partially perhaps because I am not expecting to receive acknowledgement from the wrong places. And I have committed to the process and not the results (comments, followers, numbers).

Eamon and Fiona in the pumpkin patch on Shalavee.com

I know without a doubt that the only reason I get to enjoy any recognition from my people is because I was the kind of friend that I needed to have. And I found many like-minded women strewn across the country, and the world, by being this friend. Stripped of the shallowness of appearance and societal restraints, we went right for the good soul stuff. We saw each other not for the outsides but the insides. And that was a gift I would never have expected or would have received had I not been willing to be seen.

As Caroline pointed out, “In order to be understood for who you are, you must show up and be willing to be seen for who you are.” And have the faith that if you are just you, that those who are meant to be your friends will know you with their eyes closed and their minds open.

Love to all of you wonderful readers. I can not express my gratitude for your devotion and support, be it silent or spoken.

Wanna see the whole month of posts? Start here.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

The Easter Egg Debacle

I know you think I am a nice person. And I am most of the time. But a patient person? Having a toddler has shown me all of my imperfect impatient downfalls. These became glaringly apparent when we went to dye Easter eggs this past Saturday morning. How quickly I had forgotten the Christmas cookie baking lesson. Dying Easter eggs on Shalavee.com

I thought I would be able to figure something out on the fly. Give her a way to dye the eggs. But boom, she’s trying to lay the egg down on the flat table, grabbing the cups of dye, and there’s just no way to baby proof this event. As I was already twitching from the rest of the morning, the moment she took the egg and crushed it in her fist, I knew we were done.blowing bubbles on Shalavee.com

I bloody well love dying Easter eggs. It’s totally a thing for me. Mandatory seasonal crafting along with carving pumpkins. But there are certain things that need to be done without two year-olds and this was one of them. I didn’t mention the brain exploding amount of patience it took the other day to hold the bubbles for like 45 minutes straight while she attempted to blow them, did I. I’ve just gotten rid of the eye twitch and pray it won’t return.

Yes, some women are born to have and raise children with infinite patience and no other expectations. Pas moi. I could do without this toddler phase except for the utter heart stabbing cuteness of her saying “Wogger” for water. And the shrieking contagious giggles she gets when her Dad zerberts her on her tummy.eggs and bowls on Shalavee.com

So I am now completely aware that again, I’m not a toddler crafter. I need to leave this stuff to the pros. I’ve learned my lesson. And I’d like to apologize to Fiona, and I just might some day, but not today. I am however secretly praying she doesn’t take this event personally and have it thrown back in my face at age thirteen.

The posts are no longer truncated and all words will appear in your mailbox. However, if you want to see all my lovely full color pictures, you’ll still need to click over to the blog to view those.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks a bazillion for your visit.

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