Rainbows and Unicorns

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I don’t always see rainbows and unicorns, but I’m always looking for them in my mind and once in awhile I find them, both literally and figuratively.

Today I got lucky and actually saw this rainbow over my house and it made me smile.   There is something magical about them.  You have to be looking up to see them and they don’t last for very long, so if you’re not paying attention and you stay inside, you might just miss them.

This is how I see life. There are rainbows that appear and we have to be present and in the moment to see them. We have to go outside and play.

What rainbows did you see today?  What was magical about your day?  Did you slow down to see what’s special in front of you?

I have holiday anxiety in my body. I want to be in several places at the same time and my To Do list is bigger than my To Be list. Yet I refuse to be too busy and to let the anxiety take over. Instead, I  made the time to be present and to enjoy the gifts of presence with my self, my friends and with my family, amidst the chaos and rain and shopping and planning and cooking and cleaning.  This is what advent means to me.

Susanne saved me a place at yoga this morning. I was running behind in the rain and hitting every stop light. I didn’t think I was going to make it there on time, and if you’re late, the yoga teacher puts out a sign saying the class is closed. I was fearful and planning a plan b, and luckily Susanne was able to stall and I squeezed in the door just in time for an awesome workout. Melissa is an amazing yoga teacher.

I had lunch with my BFF Julie who broke her arm. Mom’s are not allowed to go down. We have too much work to do.  I was thankful for the silver lining that she wasn’t hurt too badly and that she had to stay home from work for a few days and that we could see each other. We enjoyed catching up and just being. This To Be list is quite fulfilling and it feels so good to check things off.

Because I was out during the day, I enlisted the help of my elves to get the housework done after school. They are good little elves and worked with me to declutter our house after our trip this past week. We got the laundry all done, the floors cleaned, the kitchen decluttered and the bathroom cleaned. I am so thankful for them.  We believe in work and play, but we have to work first. After the house was less chaotic, I took the boys to the pool in the rain so that they could swim and practice water polo. I have to thank our time in Amsterdam for desensitizing me to the cold, dark, and rain and to go outside anyway.  They were happy and I was happy watching them enjoy each other tonight.

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Finally, Juliana and I went to a Pampered Chef party and fundraiser with my PEO sisters to raise money for women’s education. I loved being out with her, spending time with friends and enjoying shopping for fun new kitchenware.  I can’t wait for our presents to arrive.

As the hustle and bustle and christmas music fills your ears, remember to slow down and enjoy the journey. Make time for rainbows and unicorns, and if you don’t see one this minute, I’m sure one will appear soon.  Keep looking. Never give up.

Namaste.

Spring Break for Moms

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Today was my spring break and I was so relieved and thankful for my still and quiet house. Can you relate?

Everyone went back to school and I got my break from the noise, continuous clutter stream, chaos, constant requests, and conflicts. Thank you to the teachers for taking over again today!

Typically on Monday mornings I exercise right after the kids leave. Today I was so happy that no one was home and I had the house all to myself. I decided to watch a movie first thing in the morning for three reasons. One, I usually fall asleep during movies when it’s night time. Secondly, Pili told me about the Book Thief and that I should watch it because the little girl in it reminded her of Juliana and that it was a good movie. It’s been on my list and I picked it up from Red Box yesterday but fell asleep last night before I could watch it! Finally, I just wanted to relax before working again and I wanted to be in my house and this sounded like pure luxury to me. Of course, I folded all the laundry while watching so it wasn’t completely just quiet time doing nothing, not that there is anything wrong with that. The movie was great by the way, and I highly recommend it.

I love my kids and having them home with me and actually really enjoy their company and personalities, but when we don’t have structure for a week, my job gets a lot more challenging and constant without many breaks. I got a taste of what summer will be like and I think I’m going to start planning some activities and outings right away.

I’m all for unstructured days and going with the flow, but my kids would prefer to sleep in and the. spend 8 hours looking at their electronic devices and I’m looking for a little more stimulation, movement, and learning than that.

I am going to have them help me with the planning, especially on the days we don’t have anything particularly planned.

Today I saw that Marianne’s daughter made a list of the things she was going to accomplish and do on her vacation day in Hawaii. She came up with this plan on her own and I love that she created some structure to help her think about how she was going to spend her time.

I think it was Christine L. who once told me that her dad made her do this during the summer days when she was a little girl, and that it helped to manage expectations. The child came up with the first draft, and the parent could edit it and add their suggestions.

I’m thinking if I have my kids do this, it will provide them with more autonomy, and hopefully I’ll have to direct them a little less and I won’t have to think of all the details every day. Go ahead and steal this one. Don’t you think it’s a great idea?

How do you like to plan your summer break? Do you send your kids to camp? Stay home? Travel? A little bit of all? Hmmm… Just curious.