Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Happiness found in a tablecloth

Yesterday in my quest to minimize our house I ran across this tablecloth.  It was shoved into the back of the linen closet. It looks like embroidery done by a young child or someone just learning, but I know better.  It's a tablecloth done by my Grandma.  I was instantly sad.  It must be one of the last ones my Grandma made. To see her work go from beautiful to a mess made me tear up.  I wanted to throw it back into the closet and not deal with it or the emotions it invoked. I thought maybe I should throw it away. Looking at it made me sad.  One of the rules in my quest to minimize our house is to only keep the things your love or need. I definitely didn't love this piece.  I didn't want to just throw away something my Grandma made. I decided to put it back in the back of the closet.  I'd revisit it later. When Super Sexy Husband and I were getting ready for bed I pulled out the tablecloth to show him and told him how sad it made me.  I had so many questions about it. Did she know how bad it looked?  How frustrating was it to make?  Was she sad?  Why do it if it was so hard?  I started to cry just talking to him about it.  After writing in my journal before bed, I had an epiphany.  My grandmother loved to embroider.   She made anything you could ever imagine for everyone as gift.  Baby blankets for new moms, tablecloths for wedding gifts, sheets for us kids, pillowcases and fun things she framed.

Maybe it wasn't about what she couldn't do well anymore. Maybe it was something she made because embroidery made her happy.  It didn't have to be perfect.  Perfection isn't everything. I get hung up on perfection all the time.  I choose not to do things because I can't do it perfectly.  Even things I enjoy. Thank you Grandma for this little lesson you gave me yesterday.  You should always do something you love just because it makes you happy.  I'm keeping the tablecloth.  I'm not sure if I'm going to use it as a tablecloth, frame a piece of it or turn it into a blanket. What I do know is whatever I decide to do with it I'm going to smile every time I see it.  Happiness doesn't equal perfection.  Happiness is doing things you love. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

I kinda stopped blogging in February.  I'm not sure what the reason was now...I think maybe spirituality month was a bit personal and I felt inadequate posting about it.  I'm in a better headspace and I'm going to jump back on the horse and start blogging again.  Look for a post soon.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February = Spirituality

Now that the sickness has mostly cleared our house, I have time to blog again. It's better late then never. :)

I'm not sure why I decided to add this one so soon on the rotation. I think my reasoning was to get myself motivated to find a church. We have (maybe mostly me) been dragging our feet finding one. So this month the top priority is to find a church. Which shouldn't be too hard since I'm an equal opportunity religious person. I don't believe their is one TRUE church. The hardest part is finding one that will suit all of our needs. With five people in the family that can be difficult. 

We tried Roswell Presbyterian Church. It was a beautiful huge church. The bigger boys loved it. Who wouldn't when they have a air hockey table in your classroom. :) The now five year old wasn't keen on going to a class alone. So he came with me and super sexy husband.  Mistake!!! The now five year old does not have an indoor voice. He was bored out of his skull despite the church bag (bag full of activities) I brought to keep him occupied. I spent most of my time in the lobby. No one said hi to us, it was huge and very daunting. I quickly ruled it out. I'm looking for a bit smaller. 

I think this Sunday we are going to try the church where the now five year old goes to preschool. He should be fine going to class on his own. Half of his class goes to the church so he will have friends there.  I've heard great things. Look out Northbrook United Methodist Church the Pierce's are coming. :)

My goals for this month are 

  • Find a church
  • Have some sort of Bible study/worship in the mornings
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Read some books on spirituality and religion
  • Figure out what and who I want to be spiritually
  • Random Acts of Kindness at least once a week
Find a church is pretty explanatory.

The next three are all go together. I would like to spend time reading my bible more and having some kind of worship in the morning before I start my day. Which also blends into keeping the gratitude journal. I want to make that part of my daily routine. I think I need to remember the positives I have in my life. 

Figuring out what and who I want to be is probably the biggest thing I need to decide.  I grew up Seventh Day Adventist. I'm not sure that fits me, but I don't know if anything else does. My core is wrapped so tightly with Adventism that I find walking into a Sunday church almost as an act against God. I can feel my skin prickle waiting for the lightning to strike :) I feel safe in the routines of the Adventist Church but I'm not sure if it's comfort or belief that keeps me coming back.  I'm so complicated.  I really should have a church of Erin :) Since I don't believe that Adventist are the only way I can get to Heaven I'm open to finding a church that will work for us. 

I want to preform random acts of kindness at least once a week. I want helping people to be part of my religion of Erin. 

That's this month in a nutshell.  

I'm still making bread and using less processed food.  Life is good.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The end of Project Health

So January is over and tomorrow starts a new project. Over all I am really pleased with how this month went. I am more conscience about what we eat. I'm making an effort to minimize the processed foods that we eat. We are eating at least two vegetarian meals a week. I'm making bread! I'm making more food from scratch!

I never got around to making the cheeze-it's. I had all the ingredients but then super sexy husband used my cheese :) I now have new cheese. As soon as I make them I'll post.

I made Pioneer Woman's Chicken Soup this week. I added noodles and served it with homemade bread. It was soooo good. I'm really thankful for the happiness project if only for the fact I'm cooking more.

I'm drinking more water. I'm taking better care of myself.

I ordered my sleep pills. After being back ordered I got them all yesterday. I had an awesome nights rest. I didn't wake up until 5am, and managed to go back to sleep. Yay!  I'm hoping this will help me with my 6:30 am mornings. I'm not a morning person and I did try (kinda) I managed to wake up at 6:30 twice :) I'm going to keep trying. Mostly because my children want to see my grumpy sad face in the mornings before they go to school.  Going to bed by 10 pm has been challenging. The boys aren't in bed till about 9 pm and it give me an hour with super sexy husband. I'm finding that it isn't enough time. I decided maybe 11 pm is more realistic.

Yay for Happiness Project Month One! Now all I have to do it keep this up while starting my new month!  See you all tomorrow.  :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The week I did nothing on my list.

This week was a bust for meeting my goals.

I did manage to go to bed early a couple of nights and I woke up early 2 out of 5 school mornings. Wednesday morning I had to get up and out of bed by 6 am. Super sexy husband was off on a business trip and I was PIC (Parent In Charge) I thought about having the kids play "wookie" (it's what son #2 used to call playing hooky) but decided I'd be responsible. Darn responsibility!!! Friday I decided to reward my great job earlier in the week and slept in till the now 5 year old had to go to school.

I didn't make bread, dough, breakfast muffins, or cheeze-it's. I bought all the stuff to make them. :) I'll just have to do them this week. I'm okay with that.

We really lack good Mexican food here in Georgia. Let me just state for the record. Nacho Cheese sauce should stay far far away from Mexican food. It doesn't belong. I definitely don't need my enchilada swimming in a pool of it. That said, we had company coming over for dinner last night and we decided we would make enchilada casserole, mexican rice, black beans and a salad. I made Mexican rice from scratch last night for the 1st time!!! It was really good :) I also put dried black beans in the crock pot with onions, spices and chicken broth. Super sexy husband who has been super supportive with my crazy bought corn tortillas that had basic ingredients!  Yay!!! Only thing I didn't make was the enchilada sauce. I'm feeling more confidant and I'll definitely try it next time. Dinner was a success and I used less processed food.  Score!

I'm still drinking more and more water everyday. I'm remembering to bring water with me when I go out. When we eat out I order water 9 out of 10 times (okay, 7 out of 10 times).

I've decided to give up caffeine and booze. I drank my last Half Caf Pod. I'm now on decaf :( I know, I know, but I was drinking too much caffeine. It was making me not feel so good. So I pulled the plug. I had to give up booze because I either get a headache or I have crazy insomnia.  It's just not worth it.

Even though I didn't do all the things I wanted to do this week, I'm still happy with the progress I've made. I'm more conscious about the choices I make with food. I'm adding new things to my Happiness Project for this month. I'm excited by the on going process this has been.

My goals for this week.  Yes I did cut and paste last weeks list  :P

  • Continue to drink more water
  • Wake up at 6:45 am 
  • Make breakfast muffins 
  • Go to bed by 10:00 pm
  • Make more sandwich dough.  Try to find something the kids will like.  
  • Make homemade cheeze-it's 
  • Read Organized Simplicity
  • Take boxes to Goodwill
  • Continue to clean, purge, and organize bedroom
  • Oh...and maybe exercise - guess I better find that Wii Fit (I found the Wii Fit!!!)  

Monday, January 16, 2012

I caved and bought bread

Yes I caved! My children needed something to put their jelly on. The sandwich bread needs a little work. Don't get me wrong it's super yummy. The one problem is the crust. The book recommend that you didn't wrap the bread because it would get too mushy. Instead we followed the directions and put the bread cut part down on a non porous surface. We did and the crust got even harder. So the next day I put it in a bread bag I had on hand. By the afternoon the bread had soften, Yay! Next day we all had it for toast. It made wonderful toast. The boys do not think it is wonderful for sandwiches. The bread book has a couple more sandwich bread recipes so I'll be making more dough this week and testing them out. If that doesn't work I'll be hunting on the internet  :)

We made two french loaves to go with dinner tonight. Just pulled the dough out of the fridge and presto! It was a little more involved than that but not by much. I can't stress enough how easy this has been.

I'm not only making bread but I'm making ice cream!!! I had found a great dark chocolate ice cream that had only the basics and it was delicious. I can't find it anywhere anymore :(  I bought my self a ice cream machine. I've made chocolate ice cream twice and both times it was fantastic.

As for my other goals....

The biggest change I've noticed so far is I'm drinking more water. I'm making an effort to make sure I have my straw cup with me at all times. I'm bringing it with me in the car more. I'm trying to order water with my meals. I'm more conscious about it now than I was ever before.

Ten o'clock bedtime is getting closer to ten :)  I did order my sleeping homeopathic meds. I had stopped using them hoping to save money and that maybe I didn't need them any more. They should be here this week. I'm looking forward to sleeping. I hope they still work.

Tomorrow I promised my super sexy husband that I would get up at 6:45 and see the bigger boys off to school. I might go back to bed. I didn't promise I would stay awake.

With the holidays I got off the green smoothie wagon. I'm going to ask super sexy husband to make some before bed so I have them in the morning. Yes, he makes them. He's better at it then I am :P

I'm making more meals at home. I'm starting to go the extra step and make all my food from scratch. It might be a little more work but it tastes so much better in the end.

I'm aslo working on our home goal. Our home goal is To simplify our possessions and organize our house by March 2012. I decided to eat the frog and start with our bedroom. I'm making headway. I can see the floor and walk with out tripping. It's taking a bit of time since I want to go through everything and minimize. I've taken 2 boxes to Goodwill and I have two more to go this week.

My goals for this week are....

  • Continue to drink more water
  • Wake up at 6:45 am 
  • Make breakfast muffins 
  • Go to bed by 10:00 pm
  • Make more sandwich dough.  Try to find something the kids will like.  
  • Make homemade cheeze-it's 
  • Read Organized Simplicity
  • Take boxes to Goodwill
  • Continue to clean, purge, and organize bedroom
  • Oh...and maybe exercise - guess I better find that Wii Fit

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I want to do it all and eat my bread too!

I'm not a patient person.  I am a instant gratification kinda girl.  That being said I'm having a hard time not wanting to jump to the projects that are set for other months.  My Sexy Husband and I read The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family by Patrick Lencioni last year.  We thought it was an excellent idea.  It has helped us a lot setting our priorities and being more focused as a family.

So I am trying to focus on My Happiness Project, at the same time I'm trying to stay on task with our Frantic Family goal for the next couple of months.  Then add the stack of books I have next to my bed to help me with my goals.  My brain started working overtime last night.  I am so excited about the end result I want to be Samantha and wiggle my nose.   In order to save my sanity I put away the book on food storage I was reading.   I need to stick to my two projects and not think about the others until it's time, which is really really hard, because I have some awesome books in my nightstand.  :)

I made sandwich bread today!!!  I made enough dough for 3 loaves.  We let it cool completely, sliced it and it's good!!!  Yay!  No more store bought for the Pierce family :) 

Here's a picture of the round loaf we have made a couple of times.  It's tasty and goes well with soups, salads, and just butter  :)

I know several of you would like the recipe, but I don't feel right posting it since I got it from a book.  I'm not sure how copyright works.  Here's a link to the book I used.  I love it.  It's easy. Thanks Mom and Dad for the gift card that bought this for me :)

I think today was a success.  Less processed food (shhhhh we won't mention the Krispy Kreme)... Well, maybe I'll call it even.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Here I go.....

Wow!  I never thought I'd be a blogger.  I never thought I'd have something to say.  I never thought anyone would want to read what I had to say.  Now I find I have something to say and maybe some of you might want to read it.

A couple of months ago I read this book http://www.happiness-project.com/ that really made me think about who, what and where I wanted to be in this life.  I'm not unhappy with my life, but I feel that I need to re-evaluate and stop wasting the moments I have with my family.  I haven't been taking full advantage of what I have been given.

I started thinking how many times a week  I tell another parent that the kids are getting big too fast and how much I wish they would slow down.  Even though I wish for more time I am not taking advantage of the now.  How many times I brush off the boys telling them we will do it later and later rarely comes.  The hours I waste on Facebook, television or just silly things.  How many moments do I let slip away with out really appreciating the journey.  Like Gretchen Rubin says "The days are long, but the years are short." I want to make sure I'm living in the now.

I took Gretchen's challenge and started my own Happiness Project for 2012.  I listed all the things I wanted to change or make better in my life.  My Happiness Project for 2012

  • January - Be Healthy
  • February - Spirituality
  • March - Being a Fun Parent/ Creating Memories/Parenting
  • April - Marriage
  • May - Family and Friendships
  • June - Finding Me
  • July - Simplicity, Minimalist lifestyle
  • August - It's all about the fun
  • September - Food Storage, Emergency preparedness
  • October - Attitude
  • November - Mindfulness
  • December - Be Happy 

 My happiness goal for January is Be Healthy.  I chose being healthy because I am constantly dragging.  I'm tired all the time.  I have insomnia most nights.  I have really neglected myself for a long time.  For the month of January I want to...

  • Go to bed by 10pm
  • Drink more water
  • Eat less processed foods
  • wake up earlier 6:45
  • Exercise 
  • Drink Green Smoothies
  • Make Doctor Appointments
So far I've been doing decent job with going to bed on time.  I have fudged it a couple of times if I've been in the middle of a show with my sexy husband.

I'm doing better about increasing my water.  I have struggled with drinking enough water my whole life.  I just don't like it.  It's not my favorite.

I'm cooking more of our food.  I just got an awesome bread making book that I've been using to make round loaves.  I'm going to attempt making sandwich bread this week.  I'm hoping by next week I'll be making all of our bread.  It's not really that hard to start making your own food, and it tastes better and is better for you.

I have failed failed failed to wake up early.  I set the goal so that I could see my sexy husband and the older boys before they left for school, and have some quiet time before the now 5 year old woke up.  So far the earliest I've managed to wake up and out of bed has been 7:45.  I just don't like it.  Especially on a day like today when it's raining outside and it's warm in bed.  I'm going to keep trying.  I might have to keep putting in on the list every month.

I haven't even attempted to exercise.  I was going to walk on days the now 5 year old went to school.  It's been cold so I haven't wanted to walk. Okay, I admit I'm also a tad lazy.  I'm thinking about breaking out the wii fit.  I can exercise and it won't be cold.

I've started drinking my greens. I found this great book Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko.  Every morning my sexy husband makes me a green smoothie.  The greens are blended in my Vita-mix with a few fruits to make them taste better ( although I'm almost ready to go mostly green ).  I've had kale, spinach, red leaf and romaine.  Is it working?  I think so.  I'll keep you updated on my green drinks.  :)
P.S. Don't worry I am also eating fruits and veggies.  This is in addition to what I already eat.

I've made a few doctor appointments I've been putting off for some time.  I have 3 boys that I would like to see grow into men.  I had my first pap in over 9 years and got my first mammogram.  Both came back normal.  :)  I still need to find a primary care doctor, dentist, massage therapist and a naturopathic doctor. I'll be calling and making appointments this week.  Fun times ahead.

After writing all of that I'm thinking maybe I started this blog for me.  Maybe I needed a place to put my thoughts and goals.  It seems more real here.  Wish me luck.