The Importance of Taking a Time-Out

The Importance of Taking a Time Out
Sometimes, even adults need a time-out.

Last week, my hubby and I took a trip to Mackinac Island in celebration of our 5th anniversary. The entire trip (including our fun detours, outlet mall shopping, and visiting my brother-in-law and his family) was less than a week long, but it was so relaxing!

Time-Out trip to Mackinac Island
Re-Enacting a scene from “Somewhere in Time”

Our time alone gave us the opportunity to re-connect without the 3 year old saying, “Excuse me, EXCUSE ME! I SAID, ‘EXCUSE ME!!'”(Bless her heart, she’s trying to be polite.), or hearing the 1.5 year old cry.

Absolutely priceless.

My mental health was beginning to show signs of wear and tear, judging by my irritability and lack of patience. Yes, I admit it. I was mean, and nasty, and at the end of my rope. Now that I’m back and fully refreshed, I just hope my loving patience lasts…my children are much more entertaining and adorable when I am not so stressed! I have enjoyed them so much more this week than I did before our trip!

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I’m often tempted to be jealous of my friends with family (aka, built-in free babysitters) in the area…but I fight the feeling and remind myself that I’m just building character and becoming a stronger, more resilient person. When I’m not being impatient and irritable, that is. Yes, my kids are sweet, precious miracles, but parenting is hard, and often, it just plain old sucks!

Sometimes I’m afraid I will offend people with my frankness in saying how difficult parenting can be. But what I really want other moms to know, is if you feel like you’re drowning and can’t handle one more night of the bedtime routine, or clean up one more plate of spaghetti dumped on the floor the very day you *finally* got around to washing it, or lovingly quiet a sobbing child with yet another ‘owie’, or calmly handle one more outburst, you’re not alone! 

Trip to Mackinac Island
Romantic Carriage Ride…sort of…We shared the ride with another couple (strangers) to save money!

All parents need date night, to step back and breathe, to have blessed silence, and peaceful conversations with their spouse. It is good for your marriage, and good for your children. Hopefully, someday they come out with Rent-A-Grandparent for transplants like me! I don’t need a therapist to maintain my mental health, I need a granny on call!

If you want to read more about our getaway, where we went and what we did, check out my guest post over at Family Vacations US. I am so excited-it just went live this morning about two hours ago. Thanks so much to Allison and Terri for letting me guest post!

Lavender Infused Coffee

gourmet coffee at home

lavender infused coffee

Okay, so Lavender Infused Coffee – don’t be turned off right away by the sound of this! I’m having coffee infused with lavender buds this afternoon and it is delightful!!

I felt like I needed to de-stress and figured this would do the trick. I love the relaxing effect of drinking herbal teas, but I’m a coffee girl at heart. I wonder if coffee addiction is a Midwestern thing, because I know approximately two people in Kentucky that drink it. When I moved here 3.5 years ago, I immediately befriended the first coffee drinker I met! My new coffee loving friend and I spent three hours at Panera chatting over lattes…and we barely knew each other! It’s not often you find a friend with which you immediately feel that comfortable! I think God orchestrated our meeting, because we’ve had many many coffee dates since that first one, and we can still talk for hours without exhausting all possible topics!

Here’s how I made my Lavender Coffee this afternoon:

  • Unscrew bottom half of Moka Pot, fill with cold, filtered water (A)
  • Add fresh coffee grounds to filter along with 1/4 tsp (give or take!) whole Culinary grade lavender buds and drop into place (B)
  • Screw top half of kettle back on–tight, but not too tight! (C)
  • Put Moka Pot on smallest burner and turn heat a notch below ‘high’. Listen carefully…it will loudly boil up like an old fashioned percolator and quiet down as all the water is used. Don’t leave it too long, or coffee will burn. This makes a very strong coffee, similar to espresso. My tiny little pot will easily make enough for two, or a very strong cup for one.

Moka-Pot-Guide

 

I’m thinking you could also do this using a pour over method, just by adding the lavender buds straight to the pour over . If you haven’t used one before, they’re super easy and convenient! I prefer an eco friendly stainless steel version with no paper filters to worry about, or potential harmful chemicals in plastic. Click here to see the metal pour over I use every morning! Just dump the grounds and give a quick rinse after you’ve made your coffee! It is also dishwasher safe!

What’s your favorite way to make coffee?

 

My (Revised) To Do List for Today

My Revised To Do List For Today

My revised To do list for today

My Revised To Do List Today:

  1. Clean kitchen Gaze at my children’s sweet perfect faces.
  2. Pick up the living room Listen to my girl’s imaginative stories and swim in the pretend swimming pool she made on the floor out of packing supplies.
  3. Make dinner Appreciate the humor in daily life-wherever you can find it! Sometimes this includes what happens when your toddler tries to ‘help’ you and all your ingredients go flying…
  4. Strip the sheets  Enjoy watching my kids play, dance, and laugh.
  5. Make produce run Listen to the delightful concert coming from the backseat.
  6. Wash the floor  Remember that dinnertime is soon and the little one will just dump whatever she is eating on the floor again anyway so ya might as well forget it.
  7. Vacuum Appreciate the moment of peace and quiet…when you have kids, the roar of a vacuum drowns out all the crying and arguing, so make sure you get every speck of dirt and dust out of that carpet!
  8. Sit down and take a break. No strikethrough here-just stop for a minute!

Moms work hard; we all know that. But I often get so caught up in all the things I need to get done, and I forget to appreciate those sweet little giggles, the 3 year old humor, and the cuddly, sweet baby who just loves her momma. Sure, I would love to accomplish everything on my to do list once in awhile, but realistically it’s probably not gonna happen. Not now, while the kids are small. Not now while they need me every minute of every day. I am only one person- I am not required to do and be everything. I just need to be my girls’ mommy (and their daddy’s wife- but that’s a post for another day!) and love them like no one else.

My to do list will be there tomorrow, but my girls are getting bigger every day and soon enough, they will no longer cling to me when they fall. They won’t look to me to solve their problems (And who knows what solutions they might come up with on their own…!!). They won’t think I know everything there is to know, so they won’t bother to ask, “Why?” incessantly, and I won’t be able to guide them the way I can now, while they’re still young and impressionable.

It’s okay to put some things off until tomorrow. But not the most important ones.

 

My wise friend told me, “You never know the last time your child will do something…whether it’s holding your hand, or sitting on your lap…There will be a last time, and you won’t know when that last time is until it’s already come and gone.”. So stop and smell your children…Wait- that may not be something you want to do, especially if they’re still in diapers, haha! But be still for a moment and look at your kids; look at their sweet faces, and their sweet innocent spirits and appreciate the gift you’ve been given.

Try Your Hardest, and Don’t Accept Defeat

no defeatMy husband often tells me I have a defeatist attitude and it makes me mad. But the truth hurts sometimes. 🙂 I do struggle with a lack of confidence. I think I’m incapable, not intelligent enough…maybe it stems from childhood bullying, but then again, maybe it’s just a character flaw! I believe in having faith in God and He will take care of all that concerns you, but at the same time…God’s not gonna come down and put together your new vacuum for you. He might send someone to do it for you, sure….but only if you really can’t do it yourself.

Though it may not be Biblical, I believe there’s some truth to the adage, “God helps those who help themselves”. The Bible does talk about laziness…

Proverbs 6:9-11

9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
    When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 and poverty will come on you like a thief
    and scarcity like an armed man.

I’ve always loved verse 9. It used to remind me of my brother! (The one who set fire to the mower so he wouldn’t have to mow the lawn, haha!) He’s now a hard working, industrious father, so it’s cruel of me to divulge his slothful past, but…next thing you know he’ll probably be posting the infamous “Nudie-Butt” (baby!) picture of me online. All’s fair in love and war, I say.

You might wonder, what does all this have to do with my defeatist attitude? Sometimes it is pure laziness! You have to get off your heiny and TRY! I’m currently doing a fundraiser for my church, and I have very shaky confidence in my ability to pull this off. But I prayerfully considered it to begin with, and I’m praying for guidance along the way, and I’m praying for a good outcome. Meanwhile, I’m doing the best I can!

Because, in the end, it’s success has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with God.