2015 {one little word}

Here it is…that time of year where I choose {along with many others} my one little word for the New Year.

As I look back, I cannot believe this will be year 6 that I am doing this! Where did all the time go??

If you’re curious, here’s the previous years words:

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

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Last years word was gratitude. I spent many a day/week/month remembering that word in all the little, and big, things of life. Last year was one full of changes…so. many. changes.

First up was deciding to put our house of almost 12 years up for sale.

We did. It sold and we moved 1/2 mile around the corner to a better functioning house. And trying to pack up and move with four kiddos, two being twin infants and newly mobile at the time, was quite the comical undertaking…

In the middle of all that, I ended up having gallbladder surgery { I know }, two weeks before the big move and wasn’t able to pick up my baby twins for almost an ENTIRE month.

I had to keep reminding myself about that word…gratitude. I was grateful is wasn’t longer {but how I wished it was shorter!}, and that I was able to hold them again before they turned ONE.

Then they turned ONE. I’m still in shock about how crazy fast that one year zoomed!

Then, a couple weeks later, my sister moved over 900 miles away.

For the past 12 years, we’ve lived 10 minutes from each other. 900 plus miles is REALLY, really far…

There were lots of other changes, but I won’t get into ALL of them…you get the gist. Lots and LOTS of change….like a revolving door around here!

Gratitude. It helped give me a little perspective when I needed it. And it definitely led to the word that chose me back in September when I started thinking about what 2015 would look like.

I wasn’t really thinking about my “word” for the new year, but just pondering. Thinking. And then it just was there…the word that I would mull around, toss about and think on plenty.

E N O U G H

My word for 2015 is ENOUGH.

As this past year moved through all it’s twists and turns and we packed and decluttered and unpacked {still unpacking} and decluttered some more, I started really taking to heart the process of simplifying.

I would look around and wonder HOW was there still so much stuff after all the purging and decluttering and garage sale-ing??

I know we are in a season of our littlest ones having lots of hand-me-downs. And we are grateful for them. And I process through and process through again and only keep what I know I will put on my babies.

Anything more is too much.

And the process of simplifying has filtered it’s way into the rest of our lives and we have slowly been decluttering and simplifying in many areas.

My husband and I looked at each other in the process of packing and unpacking and agreed “we just don’t want a bunch of stuff!”…

And baking and cooking….I try to plan ahead about two months in meal planning {it’s a process} and in doing so, I typically make about two weeks worth of meals, sometimes more, of freezer and crockpot friendly fare that will feed us well more than once.

{I’ve become a recent convert to liking leftovers…}

Throughout the past several months, simplifying and making sure there is enough, without being too much, has become something I really strive for.

So much so, we’re thinking of selling our freezer.

I know. I’m pretty sure I just heard a GASP! Because I did the same thing when my husband suggested it. But in reality, I’ve been working on us having ENOUGH. Not too much, but enough.

And so, we started using up what was out there and, luckily so, because not too long ago, without our knowing it….the power blipped and the freezer was NOT ON! For like a few days.

And that word, gratitude, came into play one more time. I was SO thankful that we had used most of what was out there. There were a couple bags of veggies and some ice packs. That was it.

And I am so grateful I had already been working on the {still a process} having enough, that I didn’t fill up the freezer with meals like I had been planning to. Because…ALL of it would’ve gone bad.

Now, this is not to say that freezers are bad. I think they’re really awesome. Just, for our family, we want to focus on having just enough of what we need. Enough to feed us for a couple weeks, maybe a little more, but not so much that we have to have extra storage for it.

Again, not that that is a bad thing. Just not for us. Not right now.

I want to focus on what is enough. Not more. Not excess. Simply E N O U G H.

I am certain it will stretch me in the year 2015, as we continue to simplify and declutter and choose to live more simply.

And it is a process I welcome. To have E N O U G H, really, in the grand scheme of things, is quite a lot.

Do you choose One Little Word each year?

What Easy Button?

Here it is. The last week of school and a week-ish before Christmas.

And no matter how hard I’ve tried to keep things simple, I’m still overwhelmed.

I think it’s the two separate holiday parties at two different schools for my two older kiddos that is probably stressing me out the most.

Both are important. Both are significant. And there is absolutely NO WAY for me to make it to both…because they are at the exact same time approx. 15 min. away from each other.

Yeah. Oy.

Thankfully, I planned ahead a bit and have most all the “thank you’s” for all the teachers and therapists for the kids done. But even that, as simple as I’ve tried to keep it, is overwhelming! It could be that my oldest daughter has OT/PT/Speech privately as well as AT school. So, that’s several people right there. And then her teacher, and assistants….there are a LOT of people that do a LOT for my daughter and other kiddos and I am so so SO grateful for them. They are amazing. But, if we were to buy even a simple GC for each, it would completely bust the budget. So, a simple thank you of peppermint bark and a hand written note is going to be it for this year. Because….ALL of them does not even include ALL the amazing teachers and people for my oldest son.

I know. See? Overwhelming.

Making things more simple, means working really really hard behind the scenes at home to pull it all together.

Like meal planning and then actually making those meals/freezing/crockpotting and all that goes with it. And truly, it’s not difficult. It’s just insanely difficult when you have twin toddlers wanting every waking second of your time to hold and snuggle and cuddle them.

Which is AWESOME. But, they also are interested in mama cooking. Also AWESOME. But, they want to be held to SEE EVERYTHING. And one is refusing to be worn of late…I can still get her in a wrap or carrier, but it’s not exactly calming to anyone else…and it’s a fairly decent workout.

So, sometimes dinner takes like three thousand hours to make.

And sometimes my husband wants to make it easier and says “hey, let me pick up something on the way home” and I so desperately want to say YES! Please! But, it’s not so simple with a family of six. And definitely nothing quick is going to be uber healthy and nourishing to my littles.

We have definitely had to learn that the “easy button” is no longer really a viable option for us as it was when we were a family of 3 and then 4. It was easy then to go grab something where kids eat free and us share a larger meal or something. It wasn’t the cheapest, but it was doable. Now with 6? Oh lawdy…it is more work to just GET to a place that will cook and clean up for me than it is to power through tandem baby wearing and take three thousand hours to make dinner. And way cheaper.

Yeah. I liked that easy button. I’m learning that button doesn’t really exist for our family anymore…not in this season. What I have learned is that “easy button” is actually mom working super crazy hard in the in-between moments getting muffins bakes and frozen and figuring out how to make a large batch of mac & cheese {made Gramma style, not the stuff from the box} to last for two meals. And as the twinnies grow, I’m realizing SOON, this double batch will soon be a single meal for us. Unless the parents just don’t eat?

I dunno.

We’re keeping it simple. And I am learning that that means sometimes it’s harder. No, we’re not going to ALL the places for Christmas lights and holiday shows. No, we’re not making it to ALL the parades and pageants and such.

We are choosing some things to go to. And we are doing Advent and spending time watching holiday movies while drinking hot coco and sometimes popcorn.

And watching Doctor Who with our oldest, because he can now, so we’re catching him up on it. And it’s kinda awesome.

{I know…that is not at all holiday related. Unless you count the Christmas specials…}

So. Easy Button? Right now, hard work and simplifying things is my Easy Button.

It’s a season. And as we continue to simplify our lives, I know it will get slightly easier. Or different.

{So next year? Candy canes. Everyone will get a candy cane!}

Do you have an Easy Button? Or a “de-stress button”? Oooh…tell me about a de-stress button! And where can I get one?

 

Yeah. That.

I just spent a ridiculous amount of time starring at the inside of my refrigerator, trying to figure out the best way to reorganize it so as little hands cannot reach so many things.

Because…BECAUSE. I just chased down twin toddlers that I am pretty sure have figured out they outnumber me, and are working together to distract and accomplish tasks on their own little agenda. Things like one grabbing a just within reach jam jar, while the other grabs the syrup, then take off in TWO DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS.

I am pretty sure any rearranging I do of the fridge will be in vain. Because they will grow and get taller. And reach more things.

Also happening? Earlier, I just got some coffee {after I put the twins down for a nap}, set it down, did something else, and then COULD NOT FIND my coffee. Also missing? My shoes. Again. Why? Because either the twins are bringing them to me to wear, or taking them off my feet and trying to wear them themselves. It’s funny…until I need my shoes and am in a hurry to get out the door to meet the bus arriving with my oldest daughter. They also swiped my favorite hoodie yesterday, and I’ve yet to locate it.

Seriously. It’s like I need an intervention.

Then there was the delivery of some cloth training pants I’d ordered for the twinnies. No no….we’re not to the potty training thing yet. I just like to plan ahead a bit because I have four kiddos and planning ahead is pretty much a necessity for survival. And since we have done cloth diapering with Flips {that we have really, really liked}, I decided to get their training pants as well. Just two each. For now.

But here’s the deal. When their adorable little cloth diapers first arrived when I was preparing for their arrival almost {gasp} two years ago, I was so excited and so looking forward to all the fluffy bum fabulousness. I was about to be a new mommy…to TWINS. Then the training pants arrived and I literally burst into tears.

OHhhh my word. Sadness. And we haven’t even started potty training yet! I just ordered ahead to make sure I am prepared for when we DO start. Seriously, I’m a mess over this. And it’s not because of the whole potty training and dealing with the accidents and all that. Honestly, I already change and wash wet and poopy diapers on a daily basis. And, from what I remember from the first round of potty training my oldest, it’s not that much different. NO, what it is this time, is I know these two are my youngest and last two littles that this will be happening with.

And they are growing at light speed you guys!

And wow, what a crazy, random post this is! I’m seriously debating about even hitting publish. Although, I probably will. Because I like to keep it real around here.

So, I’m going to go try and find my shoes now, before the bus arrives and I have to run out barefoot. And I am also going to attempt finding my coffee. I decided to change my clothes to something warmer, so I won’t need my hoodie.

I’m sure it will turn up. Hopefully soon.

How’s your day?

Is There Snot On My Sleeve?

I never thought it would happen to us….that we’d be that couple that could barely manage to squeeze in a date between all the parenting.

But it happened.

Trying to go to dinner and a movie with my husband these days is like an act of I don’t know what. Moving a mountain?

Perhaps.

When we are able to arrange the child care {oh my goodness, I ADORE my in-laws. They love my kiddos. And that means a LOT to me}, and schedule it all in, it’s almost like trying to get ready to go on a weekend vacation.

Except we’re not. We’re just trying to attempt dinner and a movie. By ourselves.

Seriously, folks. Four kids, one with special needs and two being twin toddlers, is NOT easy for people. And preparing them, and getting everything ready and making sure there are clean clothes for toddlers, and diapers…

Strategies in place for the oldest two, making sure all bases are covered JUST TO GO OUT ON ONE DATE!

It’s exhausting.

I almost didn’t want to go this last time, because the twinnies decided to get colds. First one, then the other. By weeks end I was one completely fatigued mama that was extremely grateful for having learned how to tandem baby wear the babies. I think someone saying “just go sleep”, would’ve made me the happiest woman on the planet.

But on a date it was to be…and we eventually made it out the door.

WOOHOO!

Then I looked at my husband and asked “do I have snot on my sleeve?!”

Yeah.

We both had a good laugh. And he told me I looked beautiful.

I love him.

{he’s a keeper for sure}

But seriously, I think I like dates at home better for the time being. Okay, not really. I like getting a chance to eat my food without giving away half my plate to toddlers, and watching a WHOLE movie without interruption. For real you guys, I don’t know what it’s like to sit for 2 plus hours anymore! I almost got bored.

Almost.

But, the feat of getting out is crazy! I know it won’t always be like this. I know there will be a day that my sleeves will be snot free when leaving the house.

But I am also not in any hurry to get there too quickly.

What I do believe though? Is that no matter how crazy it is, it’s important to take time to date your mate. Even it that means coffee on the front porch or popsicles at the kitchen table, just talking, once all the kiddos are tucked in.

It’s not always easy to manage a date OUT, but we try really hard to keep time set aside for each other each week. I want to know what’s going on in his head, and he {crazy enough}, likes to hear all the crazy ideas I have in mine.

Not always easy, but definitely always important.

Being Still In Motherhood

Oh those days.

Those days where the baking bowls you need to make the muffins in are still in the dishwasher. Still crusted with whatever you made up in them last….because you forgot to turn on the dishwasher last night. Again.

The day you get a quick minute to sit, enjoy your hot coffee and try to knock out a blog post, only to open your laptop and it be dead. And you can’t locate the charger because your oldest child has moved it to a seemingly undisclosed location.

Days that force you to slow down and be still.

Days where you put your phone down and forget where you placed it….but it’s an hour later and you’ve filled that time with playing and giggles and slobbery toddler kisses, and you’re just now realizing you didn’t have your phone…

And you didn’t miss it.

Those days where your toddler wants to be held just a little longer before you put her down for nap.

Hold her. Snuggle a little longer.

Days where your kiddos are wearing you down until you’re running on fumes, but moments where they require you to slow down, be still and realize just how precious and short the seasons of childhood and motherhood are.

Savor them.

It does’t mean the days aren’t long and exhausting. It doesn’t mean you won’t be counting down the minutes until bed time….there will be plenty of those days.

But in the crazy busy that is life, let’s take those days where we can’t seem to make headway for what they are…days to slow down. Embrace the still. Savor the quiet little moments.

Be still in parenthood.

It’s so difficult, isn’t it? But especially in the hustle and bustle that is the holiday season, let’s encourage one another to slow down. To be less busy and more present with our families….without our heads buried in our devices….

Look up. Isn’t the glow of that Christmas tree beautiful? See how your littles marvel at all the twinkling lights and texture of the branches?

Don’t miss it.