I was driving my daughter to preschool last Monday and I was listening to her babble in the back seat pointing out every thing she loved while looking out the window. Toddlers really do have a way of making you stop and smell the roses as they find joy in the most simple things. She kept repeating herself about how cute these little trees were and how she wanted one at Christmas, so when she started to shout "MOM I AM TALKING TO YOU," I finally turned around to see what she was pointing to. They were just small ornamental pine trees in this yard by her school. She just couldn't believe they had real Christmas trees in their yard and she wanted one of those too. No, she wouldn't remember if we have had a real tree at Christmas yet since she just turned 3, but it really made me stop and think about how I may be choosing the easy route over the experience. Why? Because it is easier. And we have become so obsessed with finding the quickest, cleanest, and most thoughtless option, we often forget that most things in life come with a valuable lesson or experience. So why have we become so busy that we do this? Busy on our phones, computers, and trying to keep connected to the world. What for? Don't get me wrong, I am writing this because I had the revelation that maybe that is exactly what I am doing right now and stopping to ask myself why, has led me to this post. I am guilty. I don't know why looking at my phone has become more enjoyable and taken over the many joys in life. I find it actually more depressing than anything to open up FaceBook and see the animal abuse, the child abuse, the politics, the hate, the bullying, the killing. And yet, I am choosing to waste time on that rather than baking, blogging, exploring, reading and simply just living my best life. I have decided to give this whole Easy or Experience thought a go. Seriously. We have a fake Christmas tree. Why? Haha because it is easier. Less mess, no pine needles, and I don't have to water it or hunt for that "perfect" tree every year. Because in this society we are all about perfection. So this year, we are getting the real thing baby!! We are going to go as a family and find whatever tree my daughter thinks is great, and that will be our tree. I will still put up the fake one, because I love the season and I love the celebration, but we are going to experience it with new eyes. Who knows, it may just become a new tradition for us! If you hear me complain about the mess, kindly remind me of this post!
If you are my friend on FaceBook, you may have recently seen my post about my cake pops.....they were made with love! Haha. Another lesson for me. My daughter loves cake pops and asked me for Mickey Mouse ones for her Birthday. Every year I either have someone make me the cutest cupcakes or cookies, buy the decorations and buy all of the food. Why? It's easy. I am not sure what else I am too busy doing at that time, but apparently I am. But when your daughter asks you to make Mickey Mouse cake pops, Pinterest to the rescue. The process it takes to make them is long! Finally I was done and I was frustrated, annoyed and felt bad because they were.....well ugly. But my daughters eyes lit up when I showed her the Mickey Mouse cake pop just for her. She said "Mom, I love it. Thank you". "You made this for me?" Yes baby girl, I made those. My heart melted and yet these hideous looking cake balls were a pain in the butt to make, it was so worth her reaction. ( I have yet to decide if I will make them next year). Bwahhhhaaaa.
Now that it is Fall here in Iowa, most of us are cleaning our yards up before the first snow! EEEK! Last year I managed to rake up a small pile, just enough for my daughter to jump and play in the leaves, then hired it all to be cleaned up and taken away. I have terrible allergies, so I try to avoid raking and playing in them myself. I took sweet photos of her last year playing in them so when she is older she can see how "awesome and loving" her Mom was to let her do that. Haha (insert sarcasm). This year, for the ultimate experience, I made sure that I was a big girl and took my allergy pill. I used the blower to gather the leaves and then I raked them into a HUGE pile, big enough for all 3 of us to play in. The dog, daughter and I :) I forgot how much I actually like to rake and do yard work. I do have a garden, but it is not the same! Is it really that hard? The simple answer is no, no it's not. AND I have this really great picture showing how much joy it brought her :) No that is not the pile!
The list goes on and on. It is a choice that we have to make every day living with children and even relates to our spouses! I totally know there are times that you can not jump in a puddle or play in the rain, but the times that you can, why not let them? What is it seriously going to harm? The amount of excitement from my daughter when I let her play in the rain is exceptional! Best day ever. What's another outfit change when you have already changed 3 times that day already! Haha. And going back to the spouse thing, I am not an expert, actually I have learned a lot in my short life. But what I do know is that when I make the choice to choose love and kindness, my world rotates a lot more smoothly then when I choose stats. No keeping score, no counting flaws, but taking the time to leave a note somewhere, sending a nice message throughout the day goes a long way! You may be asked a favor by your significant other and to you it seems so crazy that he or she thinks you have this time and doesn't he know that you are already busy enough? I promise if you choose to look at it as an opportunity to show love, it will change your life! I have a friend who has 3 kids and is married and we were chatting about kids and the work and all the same things we always chat about as women, and she mentioned she made her husband his lunch everyday. What? Are you serious? I was a little taken back and didn't understand why it was nothing to her but only to realize that it was her choice. She wanted to and enjoyed it. She already made 2 other lunches for her kids, so why was it so much harder to do 1 more? A light bulb went on inside my head. This was one of her ways of showing him love and appreciation. It would be kind of hard to be mad at your wife then sit down only to realize she made the food you are eating :) Bwahhhaaa At least he has to think about it!
I tend to avoid things that are messy. Hate to admit it but I do. Why? Because it's all fun and games until someone has to clean it up. Painting is messy. We have painted...a lot.
Playing in the mud is even worse. But we did it. Someone else seemed to enjoy it too.
Halloween is not my favorite Holiday by any means. I am perfectly fine to skip carving or de-gutting pumpkins, but yet again I have my daughter to thank for allowing me to experience it all over again this year! And it just keeps getting better! What happens when 2 perfectionists try and de-seed and carve 1 pumpkin? Haha it was hilarious! My daughter carefully plucked each seed from the pumkin and no seed was left behind :) We cleaned and cooked our seeds for the first time together and fought over who got to eat the last one! So much fun!
How many things in your life could you change to experience it, instead of just doing it? I am going to make a list with my daughter for this winter and we are going to write down things that she wants to do. Yes, she is only 3 but have you ever talked to a 3 year old? They know EXACTLY what they want to do :) Haha. So far on the list is the ride the train at the mall and build a snowman! If you think your child forgets things, maybe you should give them more credit that you are because my daughter will remember there are sheep at Von Maur the instant we step inside that store....even as a 1 year old! They KNOW!
I know people are so sick of politics and hearing about them and people's opinions are being plastered all over social media and in our very own streets, but are you looking at this election with the easy or experience aspect? It is so easy to sit back and post such hate, negativity and spew awful words from your mouth but are you gaining anything by doing that? A lot of posts are focused on "How will I tell my children?" You tell them that change happens, a lot, and it is hard and uncomfortable and sometimes very painful, but you are strong enough to move on. There will be more change in their lives that will occur other than just changing Presidents. You show them love and grace and they will respond positively. Certainly I am a little scared of how President elect Trump will handle this job, but instead of rioting, damaging our country, or using Facebook to post such nonsense, maybe I will try to experience it from another angle. Remember when your Mom told you "Not to judge a book by it's cover?" Maybe we all should apply that to this. Above all, this is our America and it can only be great again when people start choosing love over hate. Go out and volunteer instead of wasting time rioting. We are putting our police officers more at risk when we display this violent behavior. People make mistakes all of the time, we are all sinners but we have a forgiving and loving God. Let's be more like that. YES we are in for quite the experience so buckle up and do your part to make it worth it. We are in charge of ourselves and our actions so let's put our best foot forward and pray for Trump, pray for your friends, your family, your children and your enemies. Love trumps ALL.
November always has a way of making me reset, rethink and show gratitude. Maybe it's Thanksgiving, the Holidays or just family events. I don't know but I hope that after reading this blog you come out with maybe a new perspective or have your own "ah ha" moment too. Maybe it is for your kids, your spouse, or yourself. Trust me when I say that the memories and experiences that come from living your life are much greater than any other "business" that we choose to fill our time with!
Much love friends and cheers!!