Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The year I learned to say no.

Before I was a mom, I was a teacher.  I kept busy, not committing myself to different things because teaching took up a lot of my free time.  I loved it. Then, I became a mom and made the surprisingly easy decision to quit my job and stay at home.  The year Ethan was born was incredibly peaceful.  It was a fun year and really quiet.  I think the only commitment I made was to join a MOPS group (so thankful for my sweet friends who encouraged me to sign up!). There was something about this year that I look back now and realize that I crave that peace. The time.

Something happened after Ethan turned one that changed.  Things were easier since he was napping less and so I began to say yes to things that had always been a no.  I taught Sunday School, worked in the nursery, joined a Bible study, eventually became the coordinator of Mops.  I even tried to be a P31 super woman by starting a pampered chef business.   I absolutely loved doing each and every one of these things, but over time I became tired and sometimes resentful that there was no rest.  No margin.

I wanted more.

I needed more.

There had to be more.  Nobody was getting my best, especially not my husband and my kids.  So, I did something that some thought was pretty drastic.  I stepped down from EVERYTHING.  For entire year, my only commitments were Bible Study on Tuesday, our life group, and my family.  I also enlisted the help of my wonderful mother in law to watch Weston every now and then so I could go and do things for me.  I realized that in all this doing I was forgetting about myself.  I know that sounds selfish, but I firmly believe that we have to take care of ourselves to be our best at anything.  

It was also a hard year.  I had to get used to NOT doing and NOT being.  When I was asked to do things, my first instinct was always, "sure."  I had to fight that instinct to say yes.  There were a lot of things I would have loved to say yes to, but knew in my heart that I couldn't.  Not this year.  Not now.  I needed to practice the art of saying no.

Saying no meant saying no to some fun nights of fellowship, and while I missed it, I really didn't.  I missed the fellowship with my mom friends, but realized I longed for deeper friendships with other moms.  Something I often missed out on because I was leading something and too busy to fully connect.

As the year of saying no ended, I knew I had to stop saying yes to so many things.  I had to set boundaries for my time and commitments.  I had to be selfish with my time for the sake of my family and for my mental well being.  By saying no, we had more quality time to spend together as a family.  I also became more intentional seeking out friendships, making coffee dates with new friends.  I also found I had become more consistent with my quiet times.  I ended that year, closer to God, closer to my family, and much more content.  Sometimes, we don't need more in our lives, we just need to slow down and allow ourselves some margin and rest.

I don't think that we were ever meant to be such busy people.  I know that as women, we want to do it all.  I honestly, don't think we were created to do it all.  Last summer, at a Bible study leaders training, we talked about the different generations in the room, and one common observation from the wiser generations was that our generation is constantly doing things.  We excel at multi tasking.  We want to accomplish everything.  This is incredibly true and saddening.

Psalm 46, calls us to "Be still and know He is God."  I found that it is really hard to do this when we are constantly going and doing.  We are so busy, it's hard to shut off.  When we are so busy constantly saying yes, we are missing out on the quiet moments where we can hear God.  Our times with God become rushed and impersonal. . . just getting the job done.  When I started saying no, I became hungry for His word. 

I also learned that sometimes God has someone else in mind and if we constantly say yes, then someone else may miss out on an opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and try something new.  And if no one else can do it, maybe it's not supposed to happen.  We don't have to do it all.  We aren't meant to do it all.  We can't feel guilty for saying no.

In 2016, I encourage you to slow down and commit to being less busy.  Let's not be tired, overworked moms that want to do it all, but moms that want more time. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Monday Meanderings

Happy Monday!  My son went back to school today and Weston and I started back with pre-k stuff at home and it sure is quiet.  Much of our vacation, it was raining and beautiful, but the kiddos have been so stir crazy the past few days.  While sleeping in was wonderful, I am ready for routine back.  Bring on the spring semester! 

Over vacation, my husband took my by one of the new ice cream stores in Fresno.  It's nowhere near where we live, but we were downtown for a party and even though we had eaten, I made sure to save room for this raspberry sorbet.  It was quite tasty.  The foodie in me just squealed with joy that I got to go!  Usually, I am not a fan of sorbets because they are way too sweet and I want something that pairs with chocolate syrup. . . and maybe some caramel.  This sorbet was not overly sweet and the berries were so fresh! 

So, while I dream about this beautiful sorbet

Here are some things that have caught my eye lately:

 :: Star Wars fever is very strong in our house.  I haven't seen it, but I feel like I have because my 7 year old and husband cannot stop talking about it.  The Force Awakens world for the Infinity 3.0 arrived on Saturday and I really am not sure who was more excited.. . my husband or my sons.  ha ha!    This video is pretty funny though! 

  :: Do you have a Duvet cover on your bed?  We do and seriously, why does it have to be such a pain to take it apart?  A friend shared this on FB the other day and all I could say was GENIUS!!! Definitely life changing!

 :: I am so excited for the Fuller House to start airing on Netflix next month!  I was a HUGE Full House fan and have very fond memories camping out in front of the TV on Friday nights to watch all 4 shows that made up the TGIF line up.   This blog post was pretty much awesome! 

:: Cotton and Steel fabrics are having a lawnquilt contest and I really want to do it, but I don't think I can fit it in this year.  But check out their new lawns! 

:: This book just came in the mail and I can't wait to start reading it!  The pictures are beautiful!  Plus, now that the Christams decorations are put away and my house is quiet, I really am feeling the need to start redecorating again. . . it's looking a little sad. 

:: I am looking forward to starting back up with Bible Study in a week, but I've already started reading the book and it is so good.  Lisa TerKeurst is an amazing writer and has always been up there as one of my favorites.  So, I am looking forward to digging in! 

Friday, January 08, 2016

Flashback Friday: Dark Chocolate Dreams Banana Muffins

 I am hungry just thinking about these beauties!

I think today is a great day for a flashback Friday.  It's our last official day of vacation and we are out having fun. . . before we had back to our normal routines and school.  These are probably one of my favorite muffins and if the bananas I bought the other day don't get eaten soon, we will be making these this weekend. 

You can find the original post over here

I hope that you have a wonderful day and a restful weekend! 

Thursday, January 07, 2016

What's for Dinner {December Edition}

December went by so quickly!  I honestly don't remember much about what we ate, but these three meals I do remember! Between church programs and school I felt like we were rushing around so much that dinners were most often quick, like spaghetti and Trader Joes meatballs or Quesodillas.  But, here is a little bit of dinner inspiration for you as you menu plan.

Carne Asada 
 This was probably my favorite find of December.  I've been doing a lot of grilling on my husband's new grill so this was super fun way to use it.  I bought super thin sliced meat specifically for carne asada and marinated it it in the marinade the whole afternoon before grilling it. . . so yummy!  And it doesn't take long to do because it's super thin!  We liked this so much that we made it for our Christmas Eve Taco Bar. 

Chili Lime Tacos with a grilled pineapple salsa
We loved this recipe so much!  I now cheat and just buy chili lime chicken from our local meat store, but the pineapple salsa in this recipe is wonderful!  

Simple Sesame Noodles
This recipe is one of our staples, but I hadn't made it for a few months.  I just love this recipe a lot and love having all the ingredients in the pantry so I can make it whenever we just need a quick dinner. 

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What was the most favorite thing you made last month in your kitchen. . . post link in the comments! 

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Welcome to 2016!!!

 Happy New Year sweet readers!

It's been a few weeks (sorry about that!), so let's grab a hot cup of coffee and sit down and chat.  

We are still in vacation mode over here, but things are beginning to slow down.  Our Christmas season was wonderful and busy! We hosted Christmas Eve with Jon's family and just this weekend, we had a fun New Year's Party for the people in my husband's departments.    I am enjoying that we have a third week, so we can just be.

Our Christmas was wonderful!  We spent some great time with both of our families and eating delicious food!  My best friend got me a coloring book and I am just hooked. . . I cannot stop coloring!  It's so relaxing!  

 The Christmas decorations were put down yesterday and now my house feels really naked.  Surfaces are really bare right now and I am okay with that. Last year, I read the Nesting Place and loved it!  The author (and one of my favorite bloggers) Myqillyn Smith suggests quieting your home every now and then.  And so, in the transition between decor, I am quieting our house this week.  And since this week, we are just hanging out and staying close to home, I am enjoying the quiet.

Now that the kiddos are a bit older, I am really savoring the fact that they LET me sleep most mornings.  I won't lie. . . sleeping til 8 or 9 in the morning has been wonderful (I've also been staying up way too late)!  And, even though that is going to end in a week, I am looking forward to getting back to our normal life.

I am trying to pick ONE WORD for the year.  I am having serious commitment issues about this year's word.  I am hoping to share my word with you next week.  This year is going to be bringing about a bit of change with Weston starting school in the fall and who knows what else will happen.  But, I am anticipating it to be a very exciting year. 

I plan on listening to more podcasts and reading more books and getting caught up on my albums this year.  There will be lots of cooking. . . I even want to try my hand at making a sourdough bread starter.  I also plan on finishing some quilts!  One top is almost done and I can't wait to share it with you. 

I wish you a wonderful 2016!  What is a hope you have for the upcoming year?


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