2019

 

Did I ever share my word for 2019?  It doesn’t seem as though I did.  2018 was hard.  My word back then was Wonder.  I found myself full of wonder but in none of the ways I imagined.  Mostly just WONDERing what to do.  WONDERing how I got to a place I didn’t intend to get to.  To be frank, WONDERing that the hell I was doing.

I was glad when 2018 was over.  Its a story for another post.  A story that will take courage to tell and one that must be told when littles (can I still call Clever, Dapper and Spicy littles when they are 10, 9 and breathing down 8’s neck??) are not underfoot with excitement for Christmas…  Its hard because as every writer knows, our stories are not our own.  They are intertwined and weaved with other’s lives and truths.  Our version is but one facet… Still, as writers also know, stories within us must come forth or they overcrowd and corrupt our minds leaving no room for new stories and beginnings.  So I will write my story and you will hear my story in due time.

As it is, 2019 came.  I anticipated it and welcomed a fresh new year.  Not to lose weight (tho I need to), not to quit smoking (did that almost 11 years ago- thank you very much)- no real resolutions were happening here.  I was just grateful to see a new year, pick a new word and begin again.

My word for 2019 was (and for the next 20 days still is) STRONG.

It was deceptive at first, I admit.  Its a bold word and claiming it as my word of the year was daring.  Especially given the fact I didn’t feel it.  I wasn’t sure I believed it.  Okay, I know I didn’t believe it.  But I made it my word and I thought about it every single day thus far in 2019.  I make decisions that will make me a strong person. I work to make my marriage strong.  I strive to be a strong role model for my littles .  I have strong friendships and learned to appreciate them and nurture them.  I was strong in the realization that other friendships weren’t.  This is okay, it makes the strong outshine.  I see them clearly.  I feel that this year – and last- let me see everyone clearly.  I still STRONGly wish everyone well.

I am spending the next several weeks thinking and praying for my next word.  Praying that Jesus just lets it come to me and gives me the purpose to slay all things with my word!

2020, I’m coming for you and I am so happy to keep on keeping on!

XOXO

Reminder

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I am still here.  I write this as a reminder to myself even more than a notification to my readers.

I have been writing so much these last few months, just not blogging.  I have missed this.

I find myself thinking of this blog often.  I think,

“What do I want to write?”

“What is there to say?”

“Do people really want to hear a housewife’s take on kids and married life?”

“Do I really want to talk about kids and married life?”

“Should I just post works here?  Try to get feedback?”

Lots of questions.  And with full disclosure, I didn’t come to any definitive conclusions.

With the exception of this:  I want to write and I want to write here.

I want to write about whatever I want.  This blog doesn’t need to fit under an umbrella that only touches on certain topics.  It can be all encompassing.   I have no control over who reads, who shares, who cares.  But that isn’t why writing has ever mattered to me.  Writing has been my lifeline since I was a child.  When I was 7 and used writing to help me grapple through my father’s death and throughout my life going through every other hardship and joy.  Writing is home.

So here it goes.  Continuing the act of saving myself.  Using my God-given talent to spend time with myself…and hopefully you all as well.

XOXO

Clever is in business!

My eldest son, Clever, 8 1/2 (officially) has been hired.  His first job.  His father and I are his employers and we could not be more thrilled with our new employ.

We never really did the allowance thing with our daughter.  It just never came on our radar.  We presumed we would skip it for our final 3 as well, but these times and people are different.

We realized the need for an allowance with Clever a few weeks ago.  He paid his younger sister, Spicy, $23 to switch dinner glasses with him at supper.  “Okay.”  We said to ourselves.  “Someone needs to learn and appreciate the value of money. ” So I decided to come up with a system.

Here is what we did.

First, I wrote an iron-clad contract!  🙂  Clever, his father and myself signed it.  It states what his job duties are AND what is expected of us as employers.  It states payday is every Friday.  It also states that of all the monies he earns, he is to split it the following: 50/40/10.  50% Save, 40% spend and 10% Give.

Second I went to Staples.  I bought a binder.  Its the color GREEN for MONEY and is labeled “Woolford Bank and Trust”.  I also bought a calculator and an insert for the binder that had a velcro flap and 3 sections to it.  This was to break down his money each week into his Save, Spend and Give sections.

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I scooted over to our bank and asked for a mound of Savings Deposit Slips so we had plenty on hand for when we were doing our banking.

Next I went online to look for a kid-friendly bank register.  I mean, what’s the point of teaching him about money unless I teach him how to balance his “checkbook”? Am I right?  I found one I liked online.  It is from Moritz Fine Designs, LLC.  I liked this particular register because it provided big enough spaces for my 8 year old who still writes big and also has Save, Spend and Give (Donate) broken down so he can easily keep track of each “account”.

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Now to the job/work.  Clever already has regular chores he has been doing.  We consider these things he does to contribute to our family and household.  Things like making his bed, bringing down his laundry, bringing trash cans in, etc.  He now ALSO has a list of 5 additional chores that he gets $10 each week to do. Bam!  That is his allowance.  Every Friday he gets his “paycheck” in $1 bills presuming he has done his job well.  So far so great.  I decided to pay him in $1 bills because it is much easier for him to break down into each account (Save, Spend and Give).

There is an additional things we do as well. I wanted to teach Clever one step further with this lesson.  As it is in life, you can do what is expected and you can earn your paycheck.  You can also be a “go-getter” and earn even more on top of your base.  So I created “The Jar of Opportunities”.  This is a glass jar that sits next to the Woolford Bank and Trust binder.  It is filled with popsicle sticks that have various jobs written on them as well as Yard Sale stickers that show what each job is worth. Clever can earn even MORE in his paycheck if he does MORE work.  Crazy idea, right?  LOL   He can choose to do them all or do none.  It is up to him.  Luckily for me, my Little Alex Keaton wants to work hard and get the most money that he can.

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Every Friday, he gets paid his Base Salary and whatever extra money he earned from the Jar of Opportunities.  Then comes the fun part, I sit with him and we break the money down into each account and he has to figure the balances as well as count out the money to make sure it matches.

This is proving to be such an awesome experience.  He is learning so much about money and our fiscal system.  We went shopping the other day and he learned about Sales Tax.  He learned that the list price of something is NOT its actual cost because of taxes.

This helps him with his Math skills, with using a calculator properly and the proper way to balance a check register.  The life skill of being practical with money.  All things that sadly are not often taught and so desperately need to be.  It also teaches him that if you WORK for something, you EARN it and there is a great deal of PRIDE that can be taken in that.

Of course, now my younger two are dying to hit the pavement for work but I told them , you have to be 8 1/2 to get hired.  I need time to work with each child independently to be sure these important life lessons are soaking in.

XOXO

Wonder Wednesday 03.21.18

I took a break last week from my blogging and my writing. I settled in on vacation with my family and tried to be present for all of it.

And you know what? It was amazing. It was the epitome of the wonder I am seeking year long.

This was last week. Beautiful beach. Sea air. Colder but still majestic. Today? I sit staring out at the first full day of spring- watching the skies dump huge amounts of snow for hours upon hours.

I see the wonder in both. I am so lucky!

The point of choosing a word is so you can have focus. So you can enhance your life and hopefully other’s lives. I feel blessed because I am finding the wonder in each thing. And it is such an amazing quest to be on.

Dont misunderstand me; not everything is perfect or without stress sometimes- but this word is leading me intentionally to seek the joy; the wonder.

xoxo

 

 

Wonder Wednesday 03.07.18

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I’m feeling all the feels today.  Full of wonder and gratitude.  Even surrounded by inclement weather, I feel the sunshine.  This man, my husband, turns 43 today!  And I am in wonder every day that we get to share this life together. It is a blessing.  I see it for what it is.  That is a gift in and of itself.

I am also feeling a touch of melancholy today. You see, this 43rd birthday for my husband has been huge for me.  My father died when he was 42.  I was 7 and at the time it seemed as though he was so old.  I remember being perplexed when people said, “Oh, he was so young…”  I was cognizant of many things all year that my husband was 42.  I was aware we also had 4 children.  That we also had a 7 year old.  The familiar roles were at times, startling.

And now, today, he is 43.  The spell has been broken.  We are together and we are living on.  Sometimes tedious, sometimes hard but always, always full of wonder.

 

 

You’re kidding that its almost March, right?

My word for 2018 is Wonder.  My word I pick is always intentional and thoughtful.  I try my best to map out the year I want to have, the year I envision and then I set out to pick the word that will best help me stay my course.

2018- Wonder.

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(art done by in house artist, Spicy)

I want to see the world through a different lens, perhaps a psychedelic one.  I want to see the good in all.   I want to feel that glimmer of extraordinary in everything.  I want to make intentional choices for myself that bring me wondrous things.  I want to inspire others to seek their own wonders.  That was my plan.  It most certainly still is.

But somehow, it is nearly March.  How is that possible?  Is anyone else shocked by this?

I feel in times such as these, when we have fabulous notions and ideas but we let time slip by (or rather it squeaks by on its own), the best plan of action is a PLAN OF ACTION!  A purposeful intention that is also a regimented intention.

I vow to check in here each week, we’ll say Wednesdays- I call them:

Wonder Wednesdays!

  When I write this little blog of mine, in my little space on the internet- I will report to you the wonder I have seen, felt, tasted and discovered.  I challenge you all to go find wonderful things as well.

 

 

Back to the Core

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We always hear, “Write what you know.”  Perhaps that is why I was so quiet for so long.  I wasn’t sure I knew much at all.  I was never focused on one thing long enough to speak, er, write about it with any sort of intelligence or wisdom.  I go from the time I wake until the time I collapse.  Swimming, hockey, ballet, scouting, play dates, church, school trips, school volunteering, all household task, etc. etc. etc…..

Here it is.  I am a wife.  I am a mom.  And these people I made are getting older.  They are getting busier.  The more involved they become in their lives, the less in touch I become with my own.  I’m aware this is not a huge revelation and I know from speaking to my sister, its normal. But why?  Why does it have to be?  Why does helping them find their way mean I must lose mine?

It doesn’t. IT DOESN’T!

And they aren’t asking that of me.  My husband isn’t asking that of me.  I am doing it to myself.  How many stay at home parents do that to themselves?  It doesn’t make me a hero.  It doesn’t make me a martyr.  It makes me less than what I am called to be and that serves no one.  Not my husband, my community, my children, my God nor myself.

I am getting back to the core of myself.  I am vowing to myself and this little piece of space I have in the great ether that I am going to carve out time- for me.  I am going to take care of me.  I will practice my craft and make time to do what I love.  I used to see that as selfish.  I don’t anymore.  I need to take care of my WHOLE self so I can wholeheartedly be an asset to my family and their lives.  So I can be me.

So I am going to write.  Create.  Get back to my core.

Are you?  Are you doing what you are called to do?  If not, please do.  The world will be a brighter place when we are ALL our Authentic selves.