Life is Good . . . Don’t Miss It! (Ladies Home Journal, March 2010)

Christmas Jejoes

Making Moments that Matter

I recently read an article in Ladies Home Journal that inspired me.  It discusses being  present for the important moments of your life.  The article calls it mindfulness — the practice of keeping your focus on the present moment. 

I am notorious for lying in bed at night usually around 3 a.m. thinking about all the ways I haven’t been there for each child and how overwhelmed I am.   With all the multitasking modern-day life requires, I find  myself hurrying so fast to accomplish so much I forget to stop and enjoy the moments that truly matter.  I have not been practicing mindfulness and I am missing out on so much. 

So how do I accomplish mindfulness?  It takes practice.  While I am hurrying along accomplishing all the tasks necessary for a family of five I am focusing on getting to the next task.  I should instead focus on the actual task and ask myself how I can enjoy the moment.  I know this may sound crazy, but I have tried it a few times and it really works.  I have noticed more joy in my every day life just by slowing down and engaging in what I am doing while I am doing it.  Whether it be folding laundry or taking out the trash.  I take a deep breath, notice the details of my surroundings and be present. 

The article also discusses during times when I feel frantic or overwhelmed I need to see it as an invitation to be present.  Take a deep breath, focus and bring myself back into the moment.  

When I focus on doing too many things at once I am not giving full attention to either one and then when a child (or three) enter the situation I can only offer a fraction of attention to what really matters.  It’s almost as if I have left my body and I am just going through the motions like a machine.  My mind isn’t even focusing.  

My task list, laundry, blog, e-mail and Facebook will be there tomorrow, but my children are growing up quickly.  A great quote from the article says, “Technology is great for staying in touch with far-away loved ones.  But for the near and dear who are actually near?  Be with them when you can.”  I need to make rules for myself to limit technology for those times when my children don’t need me.  This also holds true for the daily tasks like laundry and cleaning.  When a child does require my attention — be there “mindfully.”  Look in her eyes, notice her expression and really listen.  Incorporating mindfulness in my marriage would go a long way too. 

Hopefully by practicing mindfulness my late night guilt will fade.  I am hoping my children will benefit from a mom who is truly there for them and present.  No more half-heartedly listening to one of my children while I complete a task or plunk away on the computer.  I vow from this moment on to be there as much as I can and be mindful.

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Easy Overnight Oatmeal

Has anyone tried overnight oatmeal?  I am not a huge oatmeal fan although I do like a bowl now and then.  I made overnight oatmeal in my crock recently and awoke to the best oatmeal I have ever tasted.  My daughter loved it and has requested it again. 

Easy Overnight Oatmeal

4 cups milk

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp. melted butter

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 cups old-fashioned or steel-cut oats

1 cup craisins

2 cups apple, chopped

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Coat the inside of a 3-4 quart slow cooker with non-stick spray.  Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and mix well.  Cover and cook on warm or low setting overnight, or 7-8 hours.  In the morning, stir well and scoop into individual bowls.  Refrigerate any leftovers (they reheat well in the microwave).

Hooked on Animal Crossing!

Does anyone out there have a Wii and the game Animal Crossing?  With my husband out of town I can enjoy playing the game while I nurse my four month old.  My 10 year old plays the game too, but mostly on her DS.  It is such a guilty pleasure.  The laundry and dishes pile up while I live vicariously through my persona on the Wii.

For those of you who play the game, today is the “bug off.”  I can’t wait!

Our Fairy-tale Portrait Session

s41457cc122514_1What an event!  It went better than I had expected.  I hope my husband enjoys his Father’s Day gift.    My two year old loved being a fairy.  I thought she would be my difficult one at the session, but she surprised me.   The baby was a little fussy because she had just awakened and was hungry.  My ten year old didn’t like the costume and refused to take her socks off.  But, all in all, it turned out nice.  I just hope my children look back on such events as a fun time and don’t remember the uncomfortable costumes and my short temper.

All is quiet.

Well, the kids and my husband are all in bed.  Why am I still up?  I know I will pay for it tomorrow after the baby has awakened me three times and I am up to get Katey ready for school at 6:15.  I still have a kitchen to clean and dinner to eat.  I made muffins for the weeks ahead which made a small mess.  Dinner is either a bowl of cereal, left-over pizza or mac and cheese left over from the kids’ dinner.  Of course I haven’t counted the three mini-muffins I ate as part of my dinner. 

I can’t believe we are down to just a few weeks before school is out.  It will be nice having a few lazy days in our pajamas with not much to do but play.  I do crave the structure of a school day at times too.  I always go into the summer with a plan — library one day, park another and so on.  I never turns out to be quite that structured, but I will start the summer with that intent once again.  

Best wishes to all the moms out there who are looking toward summer vacation with a mix of excitement and fear.

Welcome to my blog!

I hope you will enjoy my blog.  I plan to write about the day to day happenings of our blessed life.  I will include commentary and photos.  I hope to also include a recipe from time to time and a fun knitting pattern or two. 

My babies in the Bluebonnets.

My babies in the Bluebonnets.

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