How do you see it? Is it a letter? Is it a symbol? What is it to you?
Tomorrow is April Fools Day. Will you use tomorrow to fool someone? Will you use tomorrow to make a joke? Will you play a prank on someone? How will you play out tomorrow?
The month of April is full of fun days...no joke....look below to all of the awesome, yet odd days that are ahead of us. How will you make each day count?
April 1st - April Fools Day
April 2nd - Children's Book Day/Peanut Butter and Jelly Day
April 3rd - Don't Go to Work Unless It is Fun Day
April 4th - Walk Around Things Day
(I have to admit...I am going to take a break on some weekends...)
April 7th - Caramel Popcorn Day/World Health Day
April 8th - All is Ours Day/Draw a Picture of a Bird Day
April 9th - Name Yourself Day
April 10th - National Siblings Day
April 11th - Barber Shop Quartet Day
April 14th - National Laughter Day/Look Up at the Sky Day/Reach as High as You Can Day
April 15th - Rubber Eraser Day
April 16th - Eggs Benedict Day/ Librarian Day
April 17th - Cheeseball Day/High Five Day
April 18th - Jugglers Day
April 20th - EASTER DAY!
April 22nd - Jelly Bean Day/Girl Scout Leader Day
April 23rd - Lover's Day/Take a Chance Day
April 24th - Pig's In a Blanket Day
April 25th - East Meets West Day
April 26th - Pretzel Day
April 27th - Prime Rib Day
April 28th - Kiss Your Mate Day
April 29th - Greenery Day
April 30th - Honesty Day
As we live the month of April I cannot help but to think about making each day a little more special. If you have kids, please comment on your amazing ideas each day you do something fun or creative with your child. If you do not have kids...post something that I and everyone else needs to learn.
Each day is a day. Whether or not it is a National Day...you and I can make it a day that can be remembered! Here we come April!!!
My Repurpose for Today : Live each day like it is new and a day my kids will remember.
This past week has been our Spring Break and we have LOVED it! We have had a chill week and enjoyed being together and enjoyed the "slow pace" mode...which is usually non-existent in our house.
Earlier today we took the kids to our Museum of Science and History. We love going to this. Justin and I enjoy reading up on the history of our city... and Maddie and Macaiden enjoy the little things... like the animals and hands-on activities.
I am grateful to have one of my Nanny's diaries. I enjoy reading it every once and a while...it is still VERY difficult for me to think about Nanny at times...just because... I have an image that is hard for me to get out of my head, but I try so hard to cherish those special memories and hold them close to my heart.
Justin and I then began to have the discussion about what we would do if we won the lottery....seems far fetched I know...but hey...we like to dream. I honestly would not want my life to change dramatically.
Our life is SO busy. The MAIN thing I would want to change...if I ever won the lottery would be to SLOW DOWN. I am realizing that the only reason our life goes by so fast is because we are so busy. I am constantly looking ahead and thinking... what is next on my calendar for work or for the kids? When did life get so busy that we put work, priorities, and other obligations before our family...or even ourselves?
This past Spring Break week...if it is at all possible to believe has been "slow." We have had no agenda and it has been amazing. We have made it a point to do things together and make time for each other without the hustle and bustle of priorities, deadlines, or things that get in the way of being a family.
I told Justin today...people do not just take drives anymore. We drive ourselves to work, to the grocery store, to soccer practice, and so much more....who wants to drive just to drive? I do. If I had time, I would drive. I would drive with the top down, the wind blowing in my face, listen to my favorite tunes, and just be. People used to do this... before they were "too busy."
Your home address is something that should be important to YOU. I LOVE LOVE having people over. I love creating memories with family and friends. I love to create memories at MY home. This past week has been a week where my house number has meant a lot. I was able to sit out on MY front porch, drink coffee, and watch my kids play. The hustle and bustle of life stopped this week. My address meant something more than a place I just sleep...it was a place of memories and a place to rest.
My Repurpose for today : Remember that my house number is not just a place of dwelling but a place of memory making.
The number two thing that people regret on their deathbed (according to www.beyondblindfold.com) is... not to work so much.
This hit a little close to home with me.
An anchor is a person or thing that provides stability or confidence in an otherwise uncertain situation. Do I do this? When bills seem to pile high..when I am frustrated with the kids' homework, when I know there is a deadline coming up...am I representing an anchor?
People regret missing out on their kids' childhood memories or even their companionship that they could have with their spouse. Is this me?
Justin and I come home everyday exhausted...just like every other working parent and... we are tired. When my kid ask, "Will you play hide and go seek," or "will you come buy something from our store?" (that they created on their own)...will I be too tired or... will I be the one who says..."YES?!"
I do not want to be on my deathbed wishing that I had done MY kids' childhood differently because I was too tired.. or... because I did not have enough money. Memories are things that I can NEVER get back...money....yes, I need it, but it is replaceable....memories are not.
I have been in many boats where we have to "re-anchor" because the anchor would not hook...I want to have my anchor hook .... I do not want it to matter with how busy I am...I need my kids to know they are first.
My Repurpose for today : Make my anchor a strong one where my kids know that they are first...before anything... so that on my deathbed...I have no regrets.
Tomorrow morning my daughter and I will be venturing out to Orlando, Florida for her Seaworld trip. She and her Girl Scout troop earned a trip and I am so proud of her. I have to admit...I have thoroughly enjoyed the cookies along the way. :)
I have two and half hours alone with my 9 year old tomorrow morning. She is so excited. I was overfilled with joy when she asked if she could pick out some CD's and if we could stop at Starbucks to have breakfast together.
I have to admit, this is the first time that Maddie and I have been on a trip together. I have a lot of "repurposes" for tomorrow's drive. Okay...as horrible as this is to say...at the end of every work day I am exhausted. Both of my babies have soooo much to say... and I PROMISE...I do my very best to listen but I am also so tired from a job that begins at 7:30am and most days ends at 5:30...I'm tired. I have told you before, we tell our highs and lows at the dinner table almost every night, but I know I have blacked out a couple times because my brain has stopped.
One thing that I do try to do... is look in their folders every day. Macaiden especially, is so excited to show off his work every night. I always save their special art work and have it on display. I KNOW that their day is important...and it is important to ME TOO!
Tomorrow, I am going to listen. I am going to sing. I am going to dance. I am even thinking about letting Maddie have her very first frappocino! (do they make decaf?) This is MY time with my first born, my baby girl.
In the words of the Eagles, "Take it Easy, don't let the sound of your own wheels, drive you crazy. Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand. Just find a place to make a stand and take it easy." Tomorrow and maybe everyday I should re-read what I am writing when I am super tired. I need to lighten up! I need to not think about "what on earth is going on in my little baby's head!" or maybe THEIR understanding is better than mine!
I am going to take it easy tomorrow with Maddie. I am going to enjoy listening to HER stories. I am going to make tomorrow a memory. I am going to do everything I can to make a memory not just in my mind but in hers. I want her to know that SHE is my goal tomorrow. Tomorrow is ALL about her and she needs to know she matters to me. I will not act tired (maybe until I get to the hotel room at least) and I will take the time to really listen to what SHE cares about.
My Repurpose for today (and tomorrow) : Take it easy. Take it easy to the point where it is easy to listen to my kid because what she says is easy and music to my ears.
Yesterday, March 15th, 2014, Justin and I completed the largest 15K in the United States, the Gate River Run. This is an amazing run. The run starts in Downtown Jacksonville, heads over two bridges, then ends at Everbank Field (home to the Jacksonville, Jaguars). Training for this race was difficult. Justin and I are both very busy so weekends were my only option. I had done 9 miles twice before the race, so I thought I was ready.
Justin's grandfather is a Streaker (not the one you are thinking). A River Run Streaker is a person who has run the race every year since it began in 1978. His grandfather will be 80 years old in April and he, once again, completed the River Run. I know that it is an honor for him to have his son, grandson, granddaughter, granddaughter-in-law all in the race...and this year his great-grandson completed the Jr. River Run....all by his side supporting him. When Streakers ran passed us and saw our shirts that said, "We run because he streaks," a sense of pride and honor filled our hearts. One man, who was running by, told us he was one River Run away from being a Streaker because the first race he was in Vietnam. I could not help but to yell, "thank you!"
Running is MY escape time. It is my time to get away from our crazy schedule and have "me time." When I train for a long race I can immediately tell whether or not it is going to be a good run. Those of you who run know what I mean. Another thing that makes or breaks my run is my brain. This might sound silly, but my brain can completely control my entire run. Most of the time when I am at about mile 6, my head will say things like, "Just walk! You are getting more exercise because it will take you longer...enjoy some sunshine." It might say, "stop until you get to _______ point, then you can pick it up again." It is crazy how powerful our minds are.
Yesterday there were 20,000 runners registered for the River Run. The entire 9.3 miles is lined up with thousands of people cheering the runners on. Another powerful point for my brain was to see these eyes on me. It was amazing to see faces that I knew cheering ME on. It motivated me to go! Hearing people yell my name or pass out water, oranges, throwing donut holes, or even sausages and beer...these people kept me running!
This is such a fun run. The most inspiring thing to get me through the race is to see my kids' faces at the last turn of the race. I know they are there waiting for me and I know that when I see their faces I am almost through! When I am tired I think of them.
This year, Macaiden did his first Jr. River Run race! It began at 11:00am. I knew that I had to finish at a certain time so I could get to his race on time. I had to finish so I would have enough time to get to him, make sure he was safe... and get to his finish line. Well...it was kind of crazy getting to him. I saw Maddie and Macaiden's sweet faces, and I knew they were in good hands, but I could not get to Macaiden before the start of his race. Their grandmother pulled through and got my little man to the starting line! I saw him take off and he finished his first mile race in 5:33!!!!! He completed it.... and in a time that I still can't believe.
I say all this because....I have to ask myself..... what race am I wanting to win each day? Is the race that I am running worth it to me? Once I finish the race I am on...am I ready for the next? I have spectators and eyes that are watching me from every angle...just like this owl. Am I cheering my kids on their race?....I know theirs are about to get harder than mine. I can be their spectator and cheer them on when things get really hard and when things get even harder and they make the right decision with a thousand eyes watching them, I can be that one pair of eyes that meets them at their finish line and tells them how proud I am of them. It might not matter to them now, but I know that it will one day.
My Repurpose for today : Make sure the race I am running is worth the sweat, pain, and each step. Eyes are watching from every angle.
Tomorrow is Grandparent's Day at our school. I am so excited to host this event. I have to admit, I am a little nervous...the theme has changed since the past years...I have tried to make it a little more upbeat and happy. My goal is to take parents and Grandparents down memory lane and cherish memories that they have had.
I have had a lot of memories with my grandparents over my life. I have AMAZING grandma's and grandpa's. I am sad and heavy at heart to say that I recently lost one of my grandmother's but that does not mean that my memories are gone. I am even more happy that my two kids have gotten to know their great grandparents.
Our grandparents have a story. They are a story. I am so intrigued with how much history changes that I had asked my grandparents to write a little something about some things that they remember. My grandfather wrote : "It was a few months later in 1945 that my mother remarried and we moved to Parris Island, SC, where my stepfather served in the Navy. Parris Island is actually a marine base. I remember sitting in the movie theater with a friend (don’t remember the movie) when all of a sudden the movie shut down and an announcement came over the loud speaker that Japan had surrendered and the war was over. Since this was a Marine base the crowd went wild with celebrations. I shall always remember that. " - Donald Griffin
I remember where I was, how the weather was, and the exact moment I found out about 9/11. One day I will be retelling this story to my grandchildren. In the words of my grandfather, "I shall always remember that."
My children are blessed with over a dozen grandparents. They are two lucky children. The amount of wisdom that they could inherit.... if they would just listen.... is incredible.
Not many of you know... but my daddy, my kid's grandfather... was in a horrible car accident yesterday. The doctor's are calling him a miracle and I praise God that he is in the condition that he is in. I say this to you tonight so that you will...hug your parents, hug your kids, hug your spouse, and hug your grandparents a little tighter next time. Without them...we would not be here today. I am so glad that my daddy, and my kid's Grandy is here to tell stories, and give life lessons, even about safety.
I have come to learn that many grandparent's that have lost their spouse want to talk. They want to share stories and share love and meaningful moments. Remembering their happy past, and sometimes sadness, they need an ear. I need to remember that that might be me one day. I need to love and embrace my elders. They deserve more credit than I do.
They say that growing "old" brings wisdom...well, maybe we should listen instead of talk. Maybe we should take the time and listen to the huge stories that grandparents have. Listen, not because we are forced to, but because we want to learn, because we want to hear, and because...we need show them that we care. Each one of our grandparents have a story....how will our story unfold? What will our story be when we become grandparents? Will it be something that you are willing to say? I can honestly say...I will not share everything, but will share many learning moments and hope my children/grandchildren will one day come to the appreciation of me or better yet, life.
I love hearing words like, "you will never please anyone so just do what you think is right," or "don't be a doormat," or "life is not worth doing things that make you unhappy...only commit to things that make you happy...life it too short." I want to live by these amazing words of wisdom, or better yet, live as if it might be my last day.
My Repurpose for today : Live each day like it is a storybook. What will my story be for my grandchildren?
Where ever I am I always find myself looking out the window wishing I was somewhere else. - Angelina Jolie
After reading this quote I could not help... but stop and just think. This is a sad quote to me. Today I looked out my front window and saw my husband showing Maddie how to water our plants. I could not have asked for a better window or better yet, wishing I was someplace else.
The time change has gotten to us. The four of us are very sleepy. However, it has brought more daylight, which means, more time outside! We LOVE the outdoors and thanks to some very special friends, we now have an outdoor table to enjoy a meal. As I watch my husband grill outside my kitchen window, I have found a sense of satisfaction. I see a man who has his escape time and enjoys his grill.
I enjoy watching my kids play on their scooters, bicycles, and playing with their sidewalk chalk outside my window. The windows in my house are my camera. They are there to view angles, views, and visions that are candid shots of my precious family. They do not always know that I am watching...however, my view is enough for me. I get to see them when they know "mom" is not watching their every move.
After selling Girl Scout cookies this weekend, I walked into a surprise. Justin had built me a coffee table for our living room. Our coffee table is made out of a window. As I walk past this window coffee table I will always be reminded of the memories that will be made and the love from a husband. The reflection now reflects my floors, however, this antique window once showed the view of many memories.
As you view outside your window, remember to think about the memories you are creating. Are they ones that you will forever treasure or ones that you will one day want to erase? The good new is...we can wash windows and a new view can be made every time they are clean.
My Repurpose for today : Every time I look out of a window I will make a goal to see a different view....better yet, a memorable view.
It is a rare thing for me and my husband to have a "date night." Our date nights usually entail putting the kids to bed then cooking together. I absolutely LOVE doing this. We cook, talk, and eat. Last night we were able to go to an amazing event for our school. After dropping the kids off at Justin's mom's house, we went home, got dressed, then headed out.
Our school auction event was a great success. One item that was auctioned was front row seats to the 8th grade graduation. I could not help but get a little emotional thinking about my kids graduating 8th grade...then I got to really thinking about my kids graduating high school. I cannot imagine my household without my kids. What on earth will my house be like?
As I spoke with moms, I was reminded that my husband is before my kids. My kids will sadly up and leave me one day. This doesn't mean that I do not love and give my kids what they need. It means that I need to make sure that I make my marriage a top priority. It means that I make sure that the spark that led me to my husband becomes stronger.
This past year has been a growing year for Justin and myself...I think so anyways. I have LOVED "hanging" out with him. We have had some awesome conversations, trips, and even our weekly cooking, date nights. I said this before but the love I have for him today is soooo different than the love I had for him on our wedding day.
People associate X's and O's to hugs and kisses. Almost all of my texts to Justin end in an X and an O. I hope he knows that those x's and o's have real meaning.
Now, my kids have THE best kissing cheeks! I love giving them love with hugs and kisses and it saddens me when the day comes that they will want to get a goodbye hug and kiss away from their friends so no one sees them, I will then, have to remind myself that they do love me. One thing I do know is that no matter how scared I am about not having my kids in my house, I have a husband who is not embarrassed to kiss me or hug me in front of his friends.
My Repurpose for today : Get all the hugs and kisses from my kids but give my husband even more.
Over the last few months Justin and I have been hard at work on our website, www.etsy.com/shop/macmaddies. The kids have taken notice in all of the things we have been doing lately. They are getting excited about how rooms have changed as well as different projects that are sparking interests.
It is interesting to me that this past weekend, a good friend of mine actually had the conversation about what or how our lives would change if we were "rich." I was filled with joy when she told me that she thinks I would stay the same person. I would hope and pray that I would stay who I am. I told her that I have a dream to live comfortably (maybe, just maybe... not having to live paycheck to paycheck), but I also have the biggest desire to give to others. I wish so badly I could help an orphanage or even write a check to my best friend so she can have a baby....that is what I want. I want to live "comfortably" and to give!
I overheard my little guy just this week talking to his daddy about being rich....He out of the blue, not provoked...and to this day I have NO IDEA where it came from said to Justin, "daddy I don't think I want to be rich." Justin responded with, "why not?" Macaiden, in his little voice, responded, "I think when you are rich you keep wanting more, and I just want to be happy." I overheard this conversation as I was straightening my hair and heard Justin stop and say, "you are wise beyond your years my son..." (I know Macaiden had no idea what his daddy was talking about.)
How on earth does my barely 6 year old know what this means? Who did he hear this from or where did he get this idea? Was it me? I have to say that both of my children are in-tuned to things that I am not even in-tuned to and I am even taken aback, however, once again this got me thinking, especially when... tonight when we were making another item (again, to help us not live paycheck to paycheck), Macaiden asked, "is this going to make us rich?" I looked at him and with a quick response I said, " I sure hope so." Macaiden looked at me straight faced and said, "I don't. Mommy, I just want to be happy."
Am I living a life where I am showing my kids I am happy? Am I showing them that really the ONLY thing that brings me happiness is THEM!?
As I write this now, I am still in disbelief how my little man can express such words, but then, I everyday, learn that my kids teach me lessons, and amaze me everyday.
I do want to be able to live comfortably....don't get me wrong, we do live paycheck to paycheck, but so do a lot of families, but we are BLESSED. We are blessed with amazing jobs, amazing families, and if you haven't noticed (I know I am biased) AMAZING kids. I am rich already....my kids keep me going and richness is what you want it to be. If in the words of Macaiden....My richness is what makes me happy.
My Repurpose for today : To rethink about what the word "rich" means to me.
"If you want to have a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story." Orson Welles
Who doesn't want a happy ending? All of my favorite childhood movies end with "and they lived happily ever after." Happy endings are what people long for in stories.
My life is a story. Your life is a story. How do you envision your ending? I took this "happy ending" phrase two ways. Of course everyone wants to be remembered in a good way. However, I like to look at this phrase a little different. I want this to be my phrase at the end of every day. My sister-in-law is about to get married and a word of advise that I have for her is to "never go to bed angry at your spouse." When I have done this, I wake up in a bad mood. As a mom, I do not like going to bed mad at my kids. I again, wake up in a bad mood when I know our problems were not resolved.
Each day is a story. We do not know when our last day will be, however, I can live each day to the fullest. If my story were to end today, would I have a happy ending?
Life goes by so fast. As a working mom, I realize that each year goes by even faster. Maybe I should end my story on a good note, or a happy ending, instead of longing for tomorrow.
My husband made this pallet wood art today. We are having a blast repurposing items that some would think that their ending has long past. However, we see a pallet, and give it a completely different ending. He took an old, used, and left on the side of the road pallet (like it was the end), and gave it a happy ending!
When I have those days I am tired, yelled too many times, gave my husband the silent treatment... once again, I am going to do my best to remember to be a repurposed pallet wood, I am going to do my best to end my day with a happy ending.
Every night at dinner, the four of us as a family ask what our favorite part of the way was and what the worst part of our day was....
My Repurpose for today : making the best part of my day end with a genuine hug, kiss, and an "I love you," to my three favorite people in the world...Justin, Maddie, and Macaiden...then I will have had a happy ending to my day.
I am an everyday mom who likes everyday things. I love taking everyday items and giving them a repurpose. Our number one seller is our candles!