Don’t forget to hug the ones you love tonight. -Justine
Do you ever feel like you need to and want to do everything? You wish you had a million hours in your day so you could get to every single thing you can possibly think of, and feel that satisfaction of doing it. Because there are so many good ideas, and so many fun things, so many things to enjoy. And yet, for me anyways, I want to do so many things that I sometimes feel crippled by the weight of it all and end up doing not much at all. *sigh* And then if I do accomplish much and someone asks me “how do you do it all?!” I feel embarrassed and show-offy and guilty because I don’t really do it all. Because if that thing got done then my house certainly isn’t clean, or my laundry pile is 10 feet tall. And I feel like I’m reinforcing some evil Pinterest-driven guilt women feel about what they SHOULD be doing and don’t. And I feel bad, even though what I did is just because sometimes I feel like I have so much creative energy that I just might burst, and I did what it took (stayed up late, let my kids watch too many TV shows, actually got organized enough) to do that thing. I did it because I like doing stuff, not because I’m trying to be something I’m not (*cough*MarthaStewart*cough*) OR because I think everyone else should be doing that stuff too. Or on the flip side that someone who DOES feel competitive about that stuff would look at my efforts and be all, “Seriously? You should see what I can do…” *sigh again.*
So with that being said I’m gonna’ post about decorating kids’ birthday parties this week. Not that I even think for one second that you even have to decorate for a kids party. I just like it. So I did it.
Last week a dear friend of mine got married.
I had the delight of being a bridesmaid, and my Little M had the big task of ring bearer. It was a quickly-planned wedding (about two months?) Yet it was pulled off beautifully and made perfect by the warm sunshine the Lord gave that day. I thought I’d share a few pictures I managed to snap during the reception on my phone.
(The details, in order of importance.)
(The scheme was based on “burlap and lace”)
(Recognize my settee? It was a cozy little love seat for the bride and groom)
(The blanket on the loveseat was given to the bride’s mother by her mother for her wedding. So special.)
(The reception featured a number of talented friends and family playing music. The Hutchisons are pictured here, and I could listen to them all day.)
(And how often do you get to roast marshmallows for a s’mores bar in a bridesmaid dress? Not often, my friends.)
(Kids found the play tent downright magical: colouring, dress up clothes, games, swords and fairy wands…)
(My sweet little fairy)
(Croquet, bocce, badminton… people stayed long and played together.)
(Don’t you love the way the sun shines on a perfect autumn day?)
(A lemonade/cider stand built by the bride’s father for the day. The bride and I gathered the old wood ourselves. It was totally worth the tetanus shot I needed. No, seriously.)
(The stunning bride.)
It was such a beautiful, fun, blessed day. But even after a good day like this…
…sometimes a girl’s just gotta’ climb into a nice warm bath. ;)
I’m totally an introspective person. But this year with all the talk of resolutions around New Years I felt a bit overwhelmed. In these years raising young children I’m learning I really have to go easier on myself. So I decided to nix the resolutions this year. I have a few goals I want to work towards, but nothing written in stone. And I’ve also been thinking of my Thirty before Thirty list.
It’s been over a year since I compiled this list. It’s neat to see what’s been accomplished. And interesting to see some of the ways my interests have shifted. As you’ll see below I may be changing the list up a bit…
1. Have at least 3 kids. 4 if I can convince Sean.
Baby L was born in the last year - so I’d call that progress! Though I’ll admit I’ve been seriously contemplating some changes in our plans for how many kids/when. Lord willing we’ll definitely have another… it’s just a matter of when.
2. Build our farmhouse.
Still slow and steady on this race, but last year actually brought some huge progress! For starters we were overjoyed to finally recieved permission from the rural municipality to subdivide the land! Hooray! And in the fall we visited our home builder and toured a show home version of the house we hope to build. Still a long way to go, but that’s a whole lot more progress than we’ve had in years!
(Yes, this is a never-before-shared sneak peak.)
3. Send an art portfolio to a variety of publishers to be considered as an illustrator.
This is the other goal that has taken a major shift in my thinking - I think I’ll take it off the list. While illustrating would be incredible, and I love to draw, I’m just not sure now is the time to pursue this dream. My passion for this right now is not where it needs to be to chase this. So I’m just gonna’ put this one in God’s hands, and trust Him to lead the way if this is what he might have for me some day. (There’s plenty more life after 30!)
4. Bake a pie. Saskatoon berry… yum!
Haven’t baked a pie since, however. I should get on that, eh?
5. Train myself to hang up my towel after my shower. (I’ve been trying to do this since year 1 of marriage.)
OK, this is a weird goal to measure. But I’d say there’s been improvement here. Mostly because any time I’m gonna’ leave my towel somewhere I think of this list. Yeesh.
6. Go combining on my own.
Another one I may take off the list. It’s not necessary, and again, it’s just not the time in life. Hmmm… what should I replace this goal with?
7. Pay off my student loan.
Getting… so… close…
8. Go to an NFL game.
We almost did this past year, but decided to save our money (see goals #2 and #7). But we’re working on it. Perhaps next year when Baby L is older. We just can’t decide if we want to see the Eagles play in Philly or in another city.
9. Print off Blurb albums for all my babies.
Well, Little M is 2 now, and doesn’t have his book finished. So. Not doing so hot on this goal. But I have all the pictures, right?
10. Have 2 Corinthians 4 totally down by memory.
I have actually already done this, but I want to maintain it in my memory, so this one won’t get crossed off until I turn 30 and can still say it.
11. Get my driver’s license. oy. Passed on January 12, 2012
Oh yes I did. I am a real grown-up now.
12. Run 10K in under an hour. 10.03 K in 54 min. on October 16, 2010
So glad I did this when I did. Two kids in the jogging stroller seriously slows me down! (Though the toddler yelling “Faster, Mommy! Faster!!” does inspire me.) ;)
13. Hug my brothers.
How lame is it that I haven’t done this yet? We’re just not huggy types. It’ll happen.
14. Read through the Bible start to finish.
Once again petered out at around March/Deuteronomy last year. I still read it, of course, I just wasn’t working through it systematically. I have another idea for this, though. I’ll tell you about it some time…
15. Learn to use my camera on manual mode. February, 2011 (Still needs a bit of improvement, though)
Thank you Lindsey for teaching this at the women’s retreat last year! I am enjoying life without a flash.
16. Learn how to box. If I’m 29 and a half and still haven’t done this, taking a kick-boxing class will suffice.
No progress. Not too worried about that.
17. Create pottery again.
Oh, I hope I have opportunity to do this one…
18. Improve my posture.
Well, I just sat up straighter after reading that one. So. (Having babies does not help this goal! Pregnancy wrecks all those muscles!) Though props to Jillian Michaels, because I’ve rebuilt a lot of those muscles. Thank you, 30 Day Shred.
19. Plant my own vegetable garden.
This ones kinda’ sorta’ dependent on having a yard of some sort. So, see goal #2…
20. Find a really great haircut for me.
Not so worried about this goal either. My hair’s in a pony tail 90% of the time anyways. I mostly just want to grow it out as long as I can go…
21. Be able to draw people in motion proficiently.
Little M’s just started to want to draw on a somewhat regular basis, so maybe I should work on this…
22. Have a recycling station set up at home for plastics, metal, paper, and compost.
Now that Im driving I may do more paper recycling since I can drop it off regularly. But this goal’s also a bit dependent on #2.
Make holobtsi (Ukrainian cabbage rolls) like my great grandma’s. Done and yum.
SO need to do this again. Bacon fat and Ukrainian friends = good times.
Own a cool pair of rubber boots (found my perfect turquoise Hunter wellies!) and my own Carhartts
Was so glad I had my boots last spring with all of the flooding! But for my farmer husband’s sake I hope I don’t need to use them nearly as much this year.
25. Sew Christmas stockings for my whole family.
I thought about doing this before this Christmas, but I’m wondering if I shouldn’t wait until all my children are born and named? Yes, probably. This goal has just become sidelined by intentional procrastination.
26. Organize all my iphoto pictures properly.
Well, a new computer and a new iPhoto should make this easier, so here’s hoping this year’s the year!
27. Write and direct an Easter play for the kids at church.
Not yet. Though I was brainstorming the other day…
28. Find, and buy, and wear the perfect white dress shirt. (This has been a long quest.)
This is another goal getting axed. I realized I don’t really need/want a white dress shirt anymore, despite the fact that any fashion magazine might put it on your list of “must haves”. Don’t need it. Stopped looking. And happy about it.
Figure out a 29th goal. Host a ridiculously fabulous outdoor dinner party
One day. Not today. It’s -40C, after all.
30. Be more in love with my husband than ever before.
Another goal that’s hard to measure, but I’d definitely say it’s true. Man, I love that guy.
I had a day earlier this week when, for some reason, everything seemed a little clearer. Every time I dressed my baby in soft, clean clothes, or wrapped her in a warm blanket, or laid my children down on their cozy beds, or fed them nutritious food, and gave them clean water to drink, or spent time with them, or bathed them, or felt the warmth of our home, or prayed for my husband working hard to provide for us - I was so aware of what a precious gift these things were. I felt that each thing was like I was holding gold. I realized how incredibly rich I am. To be able to give my children all of these riches is a great honour. And I was so grateful to the Lord who gave them to me. And I was aware of children who do not have these things or who do not have someone to give them. Not because the Lord loves those children any less - certainly not. His heart loves them (and my children) more than they could ever ask or imagine. But in a my world of the day-by-day mom stuff that can become so all-encompassing, narrowly-focused, and at times overwhelming He allowed me to see beyond. Partly, for His praise and glory for the gracious gifts He’s given me. And partly to remind me to see with His eyes, and pray and care for children (and mothers) who don’t have the sweet gifts of clothing, or food, or home.
One day may come when I do not have all these things. Does that make the Lord any less good? Certainly not:
“…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
And if I lack any or all of these material things one day I can still find reasons to praise the Lord. For these things will all pass away, but He is my Sustainer, my Provider, my Saviour, and my Strength. And He is enough. He is greater than gold.
But for now, I hope I can live in thankfulness, recognizing how rich I am, and using each piece of gold for his glory.