Friday, May 5, 2017

Saying goodbye to friends and jobs and other reflective thoughts.

We said goodbye to a friend Monday. He was a good man and I know he will be missed for years to come. He loved The Lord, was faithful to his family and told everyone about Jesus. Those shoes will never be filled. I am sure that community will feel the gaping hole he left when he went to heaven.

It was strange going to our old church. It stirred up many memories of good times, as well as the difficult ones. I saw faces that seem so familiar to me, yet time has stolen that familiarity between us. I still struggle about publishing my book on my experience there. I am not sure it would be well received.

This year so far has been a year of reflection. We have gone through so many changes.

Our lives seem to have taken that direction of change. I normally love change, however; the changes my family and I are feeling right now, are pretty painful.

We have been hurt by people so deeply. We have hurt others and didn't know it. Dealing with relationships is so tricky sometimes. I have a tendency to be too open, too willing to let others in... only to be used and treated poorly in the end. I have had to make difficult choices in regards to my boundaries. I feel a slight sadness now when I meet or talk to people. It's like the fear of being used and hurt... accused of some vicious lie will somehow surface.

The culture here in Tennessee still throws me for a loop. I have an odd sense of humor. My husband has an even odder one. We laugh at things we find hilarious and it's been hard to find others that match our humor. I know that sounds trivial, but humor is one of the cornerstones of my home. I make an effort to bring laughter and fun in my home for my children. I have been blessed to see their humor come out as they are getting older and I laugh at their wit.

We are still trying to find our way in this state. Being in Utah was easy. You could call a friend from any part of your life and ask to go to coffee. We don't have many friends here. We feel like we are still getting to know the area. The majority of living here we have catered to two different groups of people. Now that some ties are broken and the boundaries I mentioned before are in place, some people we know here just don't seem interested in having a relationship with us. Note I said some.

I've also had the pleasure nightmare of being accused of slighting others when I didn't intend to hurt anyone. I get so tired of people trying to read between the lines. Who would have thought this extrovert is starting to get introverted tendencies? I am a pretty honest person who I feel can be easy to talk to... unless my cycle is on its way and I haven't had chocolate :)

Anyhoo... these thoughts, though some may feel are sad, to me they are just growing pains. I like to learn from my relationships and try to mature, change and allow God to work on my heart. These things I am feeling might not be the best right now, but I assure you, there are good friends I still have and talk to often. I have those VERY few people that love me and always assume the best of me instead of the worst. I am very grateful for those people in my life.

We also lost a job this year. We thought it was a blessing in disguise. Turns out, as usual.. I am used for something I can give and then tossed away as if I was never valuable to begin with. It has been hard to not take it personal, as the way I was treated was hurtful. I was expected to put on a happy and understanding face when I was not really given any choice on the parting terms. What started out as a casual conversation ended five minutes later, with this job my husband and I tried so hard to work at together... gone. But I was assured it was nothing personal... just business. Right.

I just turned 40 as well. Sigh..... I am not sad, really. Ok, maybe just a tad. It seems as if I am still in my late 20's or 30's. But when you have children, time really does sneak up on you. I know women feel as if they are not relevant anymore since they hit the big 4-0. I have to say I disagree. If anyone finds you irrelevant to society, not only should you stay away from that person, you need to pray the younger generations see wisdom and insight from older folks. I mean, we were just there making a boat load of mistakes and cringing over our poor choices! I can still feel the sting of decisions I made years and years ago that still make me wash over with shame. So, we are here to help! One of my goals (among hundreds) for my boys to learn is basic life skills and logical thought processes to everyday living. Now whether or not they will exhibit those skills are up to them! Many of my younger years I wandered through life... not really thinking. I just floated around and made all types of decisions without even sitting down, planning and thinking how it would effect me. I had no idea who I was, pulled around by every fad and obscure subculture. I can now use those regrets and equip my children. So in a strange way, it's kind of a blessing. I remember those feelings when I was young.

I am sure I have rambled on enough. Just wanted to check in. School is almost out and I have many many projects planned for this summer. Can't wait!

Until next time.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Cleaning Tips

Ahh, one of my favorite things to do. I actually love cleaning. It makes me feel like I am making my family's and my life a little easier.

I will give a few tips on what makes my life a little easier. I know people are in different seasons of their lives and these tips can be applied any way. If you can't do as much because you have a nursing baby (which I do at the moment), just keep the same routine and don't take as much time getting it perfect.

I posted about this years ago, but I try to shoot for something similar to it.

I try to touch a room every week, excluding the bathrooms. My boys and I clean them everyday. They wipe down the sinks, tubs, showers and toilets. I scrub the inside of the toilet and vacuum. They shake out the rugs and replace the garbage bags. I organize and fix anything they miss. Really, I am just training them, so I pretty much go behind them and help. Seventh Generation wipes are all they use. They love how easy it is for them. I wipe down the mirrors and wipe the floors down when needed.

I try and shoot for one to two rooms a day during the week for a full clean. Not a DEEP clean, a full clean, which means wiping down surfaces and vacuuming.

Let me lay it our for you:

Monday: The Living Room

I put away all clutter and remove anything that doesn't belong in the room. I vacuum the couches and chair, dust the tables and pictures and organize what might have gotten out of place. I then vacuum under the furniture as best I can and vacuum the rug. Then the pillows are fluffed, throw put in place and a candle is lit to complete the task. Am I weird? Is there anyone else like me that likes to show a clean room by a lit candle?!

Tuesday: The Bedrooms

Since we wash the sheets, might as well clean the room while we are waiting for the laundry. We do make our beds every day in the morning, Tuesday is just a little later. I put away all items in their rightful place, sometimes even organizing a drawer or two. I dust my furniture, wipe down the mirror, vacuum the floors and the rug. I then make my bed and add all my throw pillows. I make sure my closet is looking somewhat organized and fix anything in there that is out of order. Then light a candle and turn on my diffuser.

Wednesday: The Kitchen

I move all dishes to the sink and put away all items that do not belong in the kitchen. I load/unload the dishwasher (unless my dear husband does it, which he has for the last little while) and wipe out the sink. I love using Seventh Generation cleaning wipes. It's easy. You know me, I love easy. I wipe down the counters, stove, fridge and toaster. I spot clean the cupboards. Wipe down the kitchen island and table. Vacuum. Mop when needed. Notice I didn't say mop in any of the other rooms? Well.... I have a secret. I have a no shoes policy in my home. The kids only eat in the kitchen, so the floors stay surprisingly clean. There are times, mind you that I mop like a fiend. But that policy saves me a lot of headache and mess. Anyhoo.. I dust the hutch and spot check the windows and doors. Light a candle and turn on my diffuser.

Thursday: Laundry Room

Make sure there is no clutter. If there are folded clothes in there from doing the laundry, put away. Dust the desk and linen dresser. Organize desk if needed. Dust the washing machine and dryer. Vacuum the rugs and floors. Light a candle.

Friday: Mudroom

Make sure room is organized and everything put away. This is the room that gets the most cluttered. Shopping trips and purses/bags leave a mess. Sometimes my husband even puts the chicken's eggs right by the back door. So it takes me a while sometimes to put everything in place. Vacuum and spot check windows. Light a candle.

Saturday: Straighten Whole House

Pretty self explanatory. Just tidy when I need to here and there. Catch up on laundry if I slacked on my routine.

Sunday: Rest

Just pick up after ourselves and dishes is all we do.

Easy. It seems like a lot... but it's like a room a day for me. I also have a secret for keeping a clean and tidy home. I put my home in order BEFORE I go to bed.

I make sure my boys pitch in several times throughout the day. They are responsible for picking up their own stuff and cleaning their room (Tuesday). They also put away their own laundry. The only thing I do for them is dust and vacuum. They can do it, but I like being up there with them while they are cleaning and they chatter up a storm while I am going around their room, helping organize and optimize their space. They are responsible to put all their stuff that is downstairs back in their room. We put things at the bottom of the stairs to collect and then they take it up in their room and (sometimes) put everything away.

Evening comes and they put their stuff in order, my husband works on the dishes and kitchen and I usually get the rest of the house. Since I did everything the night before, it's easy to start fresh in the morning. It keeps me busy, but the house kind of runs itself after a while. Morning comes and it starts all over again.

I told my husband 3/4 of my job is literally putting things way where they belong. Haha.

I hope this helps or motivates you to keep a tidier, more organized home. Let me know if you have any tips!

Friday, March 3, 2017

It's Just Me :): Laundry Tips

It's Just Me :): Laundry Tips: Here are some tips that I would love to share with you. You know me... the easier the better. I like to semi-break my wash week into typ...

Laundry Tips

Here are some tips that I would love to share with you.

You know me... the easier the better.

I like to semi-break my wash week into types.

First, I have designated days for certain loads.

Mondays and Thursdays I wash all towels. My goal is the get them washed at least twice in the week. I walk around the house first thing in the morning and gather all towels, hand towels and dish rags. I wash it all in the morning (at least attempt to) so the rest of the day is free.

Tuesdays are sheets and linens. When I wake up the boys, instead of making their beds, they strip their sheets, along with the other laundry that is in their basket upstairs. I do mine as well. Again, my goal is to wash first thing so the rest of the day is free.

Second, I wash on an as needed basis.

That means I pretty much keep an eye on the laundry and if I see a load of delicates accumulating, I wash. Same goes for jeans, socks, etc.

That's it.

Pretty easy, huh? I promise, if you stick by this routine, it will run smoothly. I would rather do loads here and there throughout the week than let it pile up and slap myself for having to catch up. Which I still do sometimes. So I know it works.

Give it a try! Maybe it will be a good fit for you, maybe not. It never hurts to try things for a while!

If you have any tips, let me know, I always love to incorporate simplicity.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Perfectly Planned Shopping Trip

I love sharing ideas. I love hearing ideas. Anything that makes this life easier I am willing to at least give it a try.

So I have right here... plans for a perfect shopping trip.

You know how you go out shopping for food and household stuff, just to get home and realize you forgot light bulbs?! Ugh, how could I forget? Well, I had this problem until I started doing one thing differently.

I write my shopping list by ROOM now.

Let me give you an example.

I sit down on my comfy couch, felt tipped pen in hand, ready to write down my items. I picture every room in my house. I remember how the boy's room needs light bulbs. Oh yeah, and maybe another throw rug, theirs is getting pretty worn. Since I am not just focusing on food, I focus on each room and that way I won't forget anything. Not even laundry detergent, because I thought of the laundry room. Oh yeah, and I think I'm out of spray and wash.

So when I get to the kitchen, I finally get to the food. Fridge and freezer first, then pantry.

See how it works?!

Maybe you could give it a try and leave feedback for me. Maybe it's not a good fit for you. It fits me perfectly. Well.... when I have time to remember. *ahem*

Monday, February 20, 2017

Since September...


I am not sure where to start. I guess I can give you some main changes.

**Side Note **  What I write on here isn't even decided. I may continue, I may not. There are so many others out there that have such an eloquent "pen". I am sure you can glean off much more from them anyway ;)

My mom got and BEAT breast cancer.

We updated some things in our house.... like a dishwasher. I never knew how much I loved one until I got married. Every apartment or home we moved into had no dishwasher. I have been hand washing dishes for almost 16 years! 16 years?! I mean, I know it can be done and it's good to do things old school sometimes... but that long?! My poor hands and back and neck and nerves. So easy and quick now. It's the little changes sometimes that keep us grateful.

I had a daughter. Mind blowing. I thought I was done. My youngest was 6. No girls for me, I was fine with my two sweet boys. Then there she was.... dimples and all.

I cut relationships that were toxic. Life changing. I had my self worth, esteem and feelings out there for too long. I was convinced I would never be good enough. I could never measure up to them. I was accused of things I said or did that weren't true. People meddled in my personal relationships. I allowed people to walk all over me. Then, somehow... after I feel like most of my life... I found a voice. I stood up for myself. I paid heavy consequences for it, but boy was it rewarding! Finally. A voice.... and I'm nearing 40.

We lost my grandpa to lung cancer.

I grew. Failed. Cried. Then I grew some more and realized more about myself.

Finally found a church I feel is a good fit. After being here for 9 years. Very different from what I would expect, but a fit nonetheless.

I got funnier.

God has been softening my heart. I feel a deeper love for people. I always have, but I feel it's not clouded by things anymore. It's clearer.

I still love chocolate and coffee.

My circle of friends is like... almost zilch. Maybe 1 or 2 from time to time. I like it that way. These people have earned my trust. So, I'll stick with smaller numbers, thanks.

I still have attitude.

I lost my favorite duck.

I realize how merciful God really is. I deserve to be put in the stocks sometimes. Ever loving... ever forgiving... ever gently drawing me.... my Lord.

It's good to be back for now.

I'll post what's on my heart, mind, or just plain practical tips from a minimalist's' perspective.

Until then....

Checking in.... Again?!

I looked over my blog and couldn't believe it had been almost two years since I wrote anything. If you add the videos I shared, I have hardly written anything.

Oh.. I've been here, just going through life like the rest of you. Growing, changing, regretting, learning, etc. We'll have to catch up, won't we?!

I got rid of my YouTube page a while back. I deleted all my videos. I don't know.... I just saw the dangers of posting personal things. I saw people leaving hurtful stuff in the comments section on the vloggers I followed. I didn't want anyone assuming things or saying hurtful things about my family. I was very careful sharing my children on my videos, but I think what was the deciding factor was when I found a popular YouTuber's video about pedophiles sharing YouTube family videos. That was enough for me to listen to her warnings and get off completely. Apparently, she saw some of her videos on a strange website with other families' children. Videos of them bathing, getting dressed and stuff like that. Oh boy, she was appalled and angry. So, I heeded her warning and got off. Maybe writing should be my thing.

There are some vloggers that seemed to have dropped off the map as well. I get it, I really do. Putting yourself out there is hard. Especially when you have no knowledge of who is reading or viewing your stuff. Lines can get crossed. You might even cross some yourself and not even realize you've offended someone.

So maybe I will take my blog over again. Maybe in the safety of my quiet time I can get things out that are sitting on my heart. I feel as if I am such a different person since last we spoke.

It will feel good to catch up.