Friday Favorites

Tuesday was Valentine's Day -- remember?? I was in a funk...trying to pull myself together, hormones and all, wishing for chocolate but not having any, thankful for my husband's efforts at a special breakfast but wishing for more, wanting to make my child's lives more extraordinary...more of a celebration, but feeling like a failure.

Here we are unloading his valentine loot from school and toasting with cranberry juice {no sugar added!!}. I made heart-shaped egg salad sandwiches {that were not a hit}. Ezra was sleeping in the car while I threw the blanket out for Peter and I here...quick and very cold picnic next to the park.

He loved the valentine love from his classmates. We put all the candy "somewhere safe". Not in daddy's tummy. Yet.

I've been so inspired by the blogs I follow these last couple weeks. People are on fire, dude. Lots of good stuff. Want to see my favorites?

Kelle Hampton writes about living an extraordinary life on her blog Enjoying the Small Things. I think I've mentioned her moon walks before. Love that. And buying helium balloons for the kids, for no reason. And playing with the hose. I love how she says "[we need to] grasp the perspective of viewing mundane routines as opportunities to transform ordinary into extraordinary." Like turning bath time into a swim party. It's really just a way of adjusting our thinking. We can all do this.

When I was in college, I have a distinct memory of sitting down in thick green grass with my notepad and pen, prepared to write poetry. I really wanted to write, but nothing was coming. So I wrote about how I had nothing to say. I've always been a wannabee poet. Here's my list of poem {or essay} starters, next time I get a spare moment for grass writing.

I love The Little Red House. Such a cool, beautiful blog {with fantastic recipes}. This post made me laugh and then made me feel like it would be fun to write a list of my own. Because I agree with her when she says, "I think being able to find happiness, comes from knowing what YOU like." So a list of things I like. Coming soon.

OK this next favorite is meaty. Rich. Over the top good -- like you'll need to save it and read it a few times. Me too. And then she has three more links at the bottom to more GOOD STUFF. Parents, pay attention. :) It's Janet Lansbury, talking about things we say to our kids. We're talking about specific praise, accepting emotional outbursts, teaching kids how to share {not forcing}, and acknowledging a child's desires. This one -- #5 -- is particularly helping Ezra right now {"you really want that yogurt, don't you? I can't let you have more right now, but you CAN have ______"}. 

Shaun Groves gets two mentions today -- first, this quiet reminder to just be quiet with God. Just hug.

And I had to laugh when I read this discourse about Nerd Love and how this couple spent their Valentine's Day. Maybe I need to play Words With Friends with my husband. He would like that. He likes to win. So do I. That's why I wish he would play Dutch Blitz with me...

This post is pretty deep -- talking about sleep and how we feel like it's a luxury, or even something we're strong enough to do without! So profound her words -- "We pump our bodies full of stimulants, shirk off sleep, bow to the merciless gods of productivity and fancy ourselves invincible." Sleep is all about accepting our mortality and our dependence upon the "One who never slumbers nor sleeps." I'll take some more shut-eye! Any day night.

I love this blog too. Baking in yoga pants. Made me laugh. :)

And Shaun Groves part two, this time writing at Simple Mom -- he's writing about arguing in front of our children and how beneficial it can be. I agree. It has sometimes been hard for me to fight well -- without being passive aggressive. It's about modeling compromise. It's about teaching our children to be peacemakers. Here are some things Shaun has learned to do:

  • "I don’t roll my eyes. Or sigh. Or make light. Or walk away."
  • "I tell my wife what I hear her saying and ask her if I’m understanding correctly."
  • "I admit when I’ve made a mistake and say “I’m sorry.” And mean it."

And finally -- a discourse on the beautiful moments of motherhood. The "kairos", if you read Don't Carpe Diem. And we come full circle to the joys found in the mundane -- "because it is the most routine stops on our journey where the greatest gifts are revealed. I just need to be still enough to receive them." Thank you Janell Hofmann.