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Friday, February 25, 2011

Let's get high!

Ok, now if your thinking I'm handing out some weed here, I'm sorry to disappoint you! I'm hoping we can get high together but I'm talking about a natural high here.  Many years ago, I worked as a substance abuse therapist and since my clients "got high" in part because it felt good, I found it important to show them there are natural ways to feel "high".  The nice part about these "highs" are that you won't have a hangover afterward, the police won't be raiding your house and social services won't take your children in the middle of the night.  After a long week of sick children, I felt I would share some of my ways to obtain a natural high. Something I definitely need right now. There are too many to list so here are a few of my favorites. Perhaps you have some you can share?

a hot shower
clean sheets
a baby's first laugh
the first sip of an ice cold beverage
orgasms (yes, I said it!)
a visit to my hair salon
laughing so hard you cry
the first bite of a warm chocolate chip cookie
opening the windows on the first warm day of the new year
children on xmas morning
when your child learns something new that you taught them
falling in love
hearing "I love you" for the first time (child or lover)
receiving flowers for no reason
the fresh smell of your clean house
getting random money in the mail
scoring a great bargain at the store
warm towel from the dryer after a shower/bath (I love to surprise my hubby or kids with this one)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Home Remodeling-the little things

Right now I sit holding a sleeping baby and watching my husband change out outlet switches. When we moved in here, they were all a dirty cream color.  We painted our living room but never changed the switches.  As I watch this transformation, I am amazed at what this clean, sharp contrast does to the room.  I then look around at all the other "little things".  My husband took all the cords from our wall mounted television and hid them under a cord cover.  Such a clean change for a few dollars.  I look at the new light fixture hanging in the entrance way, not expensive, but a clean modern change.  One of the cheapest changes was tiling our entrance way.  It was  a very old wood laminate before and really made the house look old. Now the clean, cold, tile welcomes our visitors. We have many more changes to make. In fact, my husband just took one cabinet and changed out its hardware today making such a transformation in the kitchen.  I challenge everyone to look around your house...maybe its just a piece of trim missing, a new light switch or a cord cover.  Home improvement does not have to happen overnight but if you make these small changes, you'll be surprised at how quickly you can transform a room.  Just one more step in our 30 day declutter/clean challenge...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Murphy 30 day challenge!

Many of you may already know that clutter in your home can lead to increased stress, marital discord and financial strife.  If you think about it, everything you put in your home has a price to buy and maintain.  The time you take to maintain these "things" takes away time from your family and adds to your daily stressors.  Even more importantly, it is very hard to function at your optimal level in clutter!  Therefore, ideally, everything in your home should have a spot where it belongs and a purpose in your everyday living.

The Murphy's are beginning a 30 day challenge this Friday to de-clutter their home!  For the next 30 days, we will have 3 containers living with us.  They will be labeled DONATIONS, SELL, TRASH.  For every item we do not use and do not need, it will go in one of these boxes.  We will have no over night guests, very few weekend activities and lots of decluttering!  Our goal is to complete this by March 20th with renewed energy in our home.  So join us on this journey.  Set up your boxes, organize and purge those toys and let go of all those things weighing your family down!

If you have any decluttering tips, please post them here!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Family dinner... yes or no?

It's 5:00 pm, and junior has to be at basket ball practice, while your little princess has ballerina class immediately after.  What do you do?  Do a quick McDonald's run?  That is the answer many Americans are giving today and unfortunately for our children, it is not always the best answer.

There have been many studies done on preserving the family dinner. Two benefits that appear to be agreed on are that it provides better nutrition for your kids and they do better in school both academically and socially. Many studies site other benefits such as less stress in children, better family relationships, and a time to "check-in" on teenagers.

I became interested in this ritual when one evening I sat my two children at the table for dinner without me and my husband. He was working late and I thought they would be hungry.  My 5 year old refused to eat and said he couldn't eat until everyone was eating dinner.  It dawned on me that this ritual was such an important part of his day. A time when mom and dad were sitting down and listening.  A time when he could crack jokes and have an audience. It was stability and familiar to him so how dare I try to take that away? 

When I think back to my own childhood, I have memories of my brother throwing peas at me during our family dinner and my dad telling me to eat my salad.  Although I didn't really value that time back then, in reflection, it had a profound effect on my childhood. I was never in trouble, I chose friends that also had family dinner times, and our parents always knew where we were for dinner and clean up afterward.

Unfortunately today, many parents feel they must sacrafice this important time so that their child can achieve their highest potential.  I would like to argue just the opposite.  This family dinner, whether it be gormet lasagna or leftovers, is treasured by our children, needed by our families and the foundation of stability in a family.  This meal can occur at any time of the day.  If it has to be 8pm, isn't that better than McDonalds?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It's the little things...

Tonight I went to the grocery store without any children.  Left all 3 with hubby, equipped myself with a list, reusable bags and coupons.  I have to say it was heaven.  For any mom's out there with multiple kids, you know what I mean.  I actually felt like I was on vacation.  Chatting with a girlfriend on the phone, going down the isles in an orderly fashion and comparing prices.  Actually using all the coupons I had because they weren't loss in the snack bag or sippy cup cooler.  I returned home to three happy children, another treat.  It just made me realize that sometimes the small things in life are the most rewarding.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A perspective on aging

Tomorrow I turn 40. There. I said it.  I'm turning 40.  How the heck did that happen?  Last I knew, I was buying my first bottle of liquor as a 21-year-old!

This birthday is a little different for me than others.  For some reason, the age of 40 signifies a new stage in life.  In some cases, your life may be half over, but I like to think that mine is just beginning.  I consider myself a late bloomer in life.  I put my career first and had a grand ole time doing it!  The one thing I have wanted more than anything in life is a family.  In fact, my success in life is determined by my family and frankly, in my 30's, I felt like I was failing.  Sure, I met my wonderful husband, and had two great children.  It was not until our third little angel came long that we finally "got it".  This thing called living. I think we finally got it. 

So now I begin my life at 40 as if I was just born.  I am home taking care of my children as I was meant to do.  I gave birth last year to a beautiful baby girl who I continue to nourish with my aging body every day.  If this doesn't keep one young I don't know what does.  I finally have a family marked by traditions, love, comfort, and joy.  I have great plans for this aging body this year, challenging my body and soul to it's max.  So I will take all the fun loving jokes of being over the hill as a dose of medicinal laughter and begin my new wonderful life at 40.  Today, I feel younger than I ever did in my 30's, I choose to begin this stage with renewed energy.  That is just my perspective on aging.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

20 day get organized challenge

Renee at A Blissful Chaos posted this 20 day challenge to get organized in January.  Although it is February, I'm up for the challenge as our home and school both need organizing. I started with the schedule in part taking it from hers because I really like how Renee sets up her homeschool day. I will admit, I have not implimented this yet.  I'm working on a chore chart and menu planner which I feel I need to complete before I change up our day.  Anyway, check it out and challenge yourselves!