Nurturing Oneself

I had an early brunch with a dear, dear friend of mine this morning. As we sat in her sweet little breakfast nook with tea, boiled eggs, and stollen, we chatted about how the year was going and she asked me what I was doing to nurture myself. Honestly y’all, I babbled out an answer full of things that made her go “THAT’S what you find nourishing?” Things like scheduling things, making sure everything had a task associated with it, being better organized, etc. She expressed a bit of doubt with my methods, but being the gracious hostess she is, she just let it go and the topic moved onward.

I got home a while later and really started thinking about it. I am not really a planner. Oh, I try and try to be, but in the end every plan lasts a few days and then I scrap it. So I spent some time just meditating on the idea of nurture and what it meant to me.

Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Nurturing me means extra time around everything so I can digest experiences. Yes, that means a bit of planning, but it is soooo good to have time around things and not just be chock-a-block busy.
  2. Nurturing me also means time for music, which I have not been making. The words “I haven’t played the piano since I got these progressive lenses” slipped out of my mouth and now that I’ve ruminated on it, I got the glasses in January (9 months ago) and haven’t really touched the piano since my mom died.  Hmmm….
  3. Nurturing me means time to read. I have “Time to Read” in my Habit Tracker, but how much have I really been reading? None. Like one day a week, which is very close to none for a Lisa.
  4. Nurturing me also means eating foods I actually like. My husband is very good about cooking dinner, but he is very bad about making food that I really am fond of. Part of that is that the kids hate everything and part of that is that we really, Nick and I, have a totally different palate. I’ve been cooking my own lunches this week and eating all the things I love, like mushrooms and onions and zucchini and sweet potatoes and cabbage, and have been so happy at lunch time!

Anyways, that’s what’s on my mind today. Time to go eat the mushroom/onion/zucchini/feta dish that’s been sauteing while I type. 🙂  Hope y’all have a good afternoon!

Laughing hurts, but this is funny

RA/fibro flare up today. This is how bad it is: my husband is going to the music store to buy a bugle mouthpiece. Nick. In a music store. Buying a mouthpiece. Just picture it. If I weren’t hurting so much I’d be laughing my butt off.

One Crazy Night!

One crazy night! Started off at Greg’s school for dinner from a taco truck and then headed over to Ree’s school for Parent Marcher Night and then headed back to Greg’s school to finish out Meet the Teacher with him and Nick. At one point I was talking to a teacher and completely forgot the word “Mom.” Oh my goodness. Finished out the night with a sno-cone. Mmmm….

 

Tearing Up for Good Reasons

This afternoon I am tearing up because of this: David got a call from one of his former freshmen in band today. The kid didn’t have anyone to come to Parent Marcher night for him and he called and asked David to be his person. Of course he said yes.

Fun Day!

99ADE325-EB2A-4AF6-8FF9-CE5CC0EF40F2We’re a little loopy after March-a-thon, so we’re singing new verses of “What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor,” and Ree is all “Your PTA ladies are going to be soooooo confused because it isn’t even the “Day of the Irish!” WHAT?! ‘Umm, “4 Leaf Clover Day?” “Pot of Gold Day?” “Leprechaun Day?” “GREEN DAY?!” I laughed so hard that I snorted and choked and fell off my chair. “Mom. Mom. Stop laughing! What is it called?”

Update: I went Painting With a Twist (the twist is you bring your own alcohol) later with the PTA Ladies and they were very amused, but not at all confused with this conversation. We had so much fun!

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Little rituals

On mornings where I don’t have a substituting job or volunteer work to go do, I come back home and turn on the Soundscapes channel on Music Choice, make a pot of hot water, and start making tea.IMG_3205

I have a little teapot that I make chai tea in, filling it half full of hothot water with honey and half with milk and then the loose chai I got in Gatlinburg last year. While that’s steeping, I use the bottom half of the pot (which is a giant cup) to make quicker-steeping tea.  Then on colder days I go sit in my corner chair with the owl-pillow-of-love and stare out at the trees and birds.  This time of year there are tons of black birds and robins out in the yard fighting for worms.  I love hearing them fly off in an enormous whoosh when something scares them.209

On warmer days I take my tea outside onto the back patio and sit on my rocker-bench and feel the breeze in my hair.  I think about things I’d like to do in my yard later in the year when the kids are home for the summer and better ways to store all our outdoor stuff (I’d love it if my brain would turn off organizing things during my restful times, but it never does.).IMG_2918

Inevitably the phone rings and it’s back to regular life, but during these quiet moments all is right with the world and everything seems hopeful and lovely.

Listening to: “And I’ll Fly Away” by Anne Trenning

Back to normal, sort of

This week I spent a day lounging around with a bad sinus infection & visiting the doctor. I also spent a day cleaning the garage and doing this:

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(organizing the garage & making a pegboard full of tools)

And

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(Organizing the food related magazines & putting them into labeled holders)

I also spent two days subbing, once in kindergarten and once in first grade. Both are fun, but first grade is less exhausting.

Tonight my Girls Night Out got cancelled, but I’m actually kind of glad because it’s the first time in nearly a month that I’m not required somewhere. Wheeeee!!! I’m in comfy clothes & barefoot & drinking tea & listening to happy music. 🙂

More organizing

I promised more organizing for the next day’s post and many days have gone by and I can’t remember any more what I organized, so I’m looking through my pictures to help me remember:

See, now my three-tiered shelf can be for pretties again!  (Temporary display for now; first things my hands came to)

See, now my three-tiered shelf can be for pretties again! (Temporary display for now; first things my hands came to)

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This is our new art storage cart. I like that it has many drawers, so pens in one, markers, crayons, pencils, etc… I also like that it’s on wheels so it can live there in peace during regular life, or move to the kids room when Greg is on an art spree, or move into my room when we have guests over for dinner. 🙂

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This doesn’t look as tidy as I’d like, but for a $3 over-the-door tie-and-belt rack, it does the job. No more lost belts & ties! Woo hoo!

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Shoes are always going missing in this house, but NO MORE. Bottom two rows are Greg’s, next two are Ben’s, and next two are next-size-up for each of them (for those days when Daddy is impatient).

Honestly, I’ve gotten nothing else done since then, except a tiny bit in my makeup & hair boxes.  Steph and I did a writer’s retreat this weekend, which I posted about here(from a writing standpoint) and here (from an RA standpoint).  Since I’m still working on last month’s holidays, I brought her her family’s gifts, and she sent some home with me for the boys as well.

There were cards & gifts from another friend in there as well.  :)

There were cards & gifts from another friend in there as well. 🙂

The kids were out of school on Monday, so we had a quiet, fun day:

Greg pulled out his science kit and we spent quite a while trying out all its tricks.

Greg pulled out his science kit and we spent quite a while trying out all its tricks.

I remember playing on this with them when they were all babies!

I remember playing on this with them when they were all babies!

This sign on the door of the bathroom at the park cracked me up!

This sign on the door of the bathroom at the park cracked me up!

and worked in the garden. Ben had scouts in the evening. I don’t know that we should call it that anymore, as he’s the only one that ever shows up any more. *sigh*

Yesterday I didn’t have to work, but I did have a bunch of errands to run: a Goodwill drop-off where I spoke to a man named Ram about how God changed his life, a grocery store run to buy lunch makings since the kids had eaten them all up over the weekend, and then my book study on Raising Resilient Kids over at the PDC. After school Ben had dance, so Greg and I hit the dollar store so he could use some of his Christmas money. Then off to piano lessons, where we got a lesson on what goes on inside the piano and how all the pedals work. It was awesome!

Our teacher is super interesting!  :)  We love her!

Our teacher is super interesting! 🙂 We love her!

Today I was hoping to sub, but haven’t gotten a call, so I’m going to go off and work on some stuff in my bedroom, which has all the boxes of “doesn’t live here” from David’s room cleaning last week. It’s pretty scary and I’m tired of looking at them! Once I get done with that, it’s time for fun stuff: writing! 🙂

All I do is rush around and read

Last Wednesday we didn’t have a lot going on, which was good, as I was still recovering from Icky Tummy.  Greg had a short playdate with his friend Kya. We were late, then they needed to leave early, but they had fun in the backyard!  Lots of climbing on the jungle gym the way it wasn’t intended to be played on, of course.   Then I caught up on housework, Greg caught up on My Little Pony watching, and the big kids had school.

Greg & Kya both fit on the swing in her backyard! Too cute!

Thursday all the kids were in school, so it was another day of errands for me, this time for the Spring Recital.  I got the programs made and ordered, practiced my various instruments, and picked things up from hither and yon.  The scout pack meeting was at the Waste Management Plant south of town.  It was very, very stinky, but also quite interesting.  Made me want to re-read Slow River.  David “officially” crossed over to Scouts and received his Scout book from our pack leader.  (I didn’t know that was going to happen or I’d have invited people and probably would have insisted it not happen someplace quite so informal.)

Scouts at the Waste Management Plant

Friday turned unexpectedly busy.  More Spring Recital errands, more just-for-us errands.  Greg got a new toy with his own money at the dollar store.  We had my “birthday lunch” with Nick at Oliveto’s (I had a birthday coupon!).  Then I went up and had a conference with Ben’s teacher because (prepare yourself for the shock.  No, really, prepare yourself!)  Ben had been challenging the teacher and substitute teachers authority.  My Ben.  For real.  It turned out to be no big deal, but apparently he’d had a hard week, there’d been a mix-up with the sub paperwork, and it just spiraled from there.  *sigh*  After that was an impromptu PTA meeting (announced in the funniest way: “Let’s go to my house and drink beer in the front yard while the kids run in the street!”  whee!  note: the kids did not actually run in the street, nor was it an official meeting).  After that I took the kids to the PretzelMaker in the mall, to use our birthday coupons there, whereupon we were treated unkindly by the establishment, they denied looking at our official documents proving our dates of birth (which I’d brought just in case because it can be awkward when two in a family have close birthdays), but they gave us our free pretzels eventually.

Greg's cool new toy. It's already been repaired five or six times. Nick and I take turns repairing it now. Yay for cheap toys.

Saturday was busy as well.  Ben had a birthday party for his friend L. to go to first thing in the morning.  It was in the backyard and I got to spend my morning chatting with my friend R, who I don’t see enough of, which was lovely.  The cake was a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake (homemade).  So very yummy!

This was the Pokeball Drop game at Ben's friends Pokemon themed party. It was a gorgeous day for a party.

Saturday was also my solo debut doing special music on the piano.  I’ve done quite a few duets with Nick’s mom, but never played on my own.  I was so nervous and shaking so hard I could barely play.  Everybody later said that it was beautiful and soothing music (I played Savior Like a Shepherd Lead us from the Simple Hymns book.  I’d originally planned to play a more complicated version, but with the RA flare, I decided to go simple).  Hehehe.  After church I managed to spill an entire cup of hot tea down my front, burning myself across my belly, thigh, toes, and hand.  It was really quite painful that first day and continued to be painful in spots for several days after.

Sunday was the big day of the Spring Recital.  The kids and I practiced, practiced, practiced, then loaded up all the munchies for the reception and drove out to church, whereupon we started set up and rehearsal.  We had some great people come out to help with sound & kitchen stuff, for which we are very grateful.  The recital went very smoothly.  My parents and Nick’s sister and dad came.  Nick did a great job as MC, the kids did excellent at their various instruments (Ben played three pieces on piano, David played one piece, three ways: piano, violin, & recorder), and my clarinet solo (the adagio section of Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No.2) went off without a hitch (playing the clarinet in front of people is a breeze; why is it so difficult to play the piano in front of others?).  There were tons of other refreshments there (we were worried there wouldn’t be), so we got to take home lots of goodies, too. My parents cooked dinner for us afterward.

Me, in my new dress, playing clarinet. I still need to work on my posture, apparently.

Monday we hung out with my parents again in the morning for breakfast, then had a working PTA lunch here at our house to try to make t-shirts (the iron-on stuff just didn’t work).  After that we went & picked up my parents and took them with us over to David’s TARGET Bullseye forum.  David played the recorder there, too.  I can’t seem to get the video off the iPhone, but will update this post once I’ve figured that out.  😉  (Monday was also art lessons and scouts, but no photos of that nonsense.)

 

Yesterday was another busy day (they all are lately, it seems).  Got the kids off to school, then headed over to Rose Stadium for the area 5th grade track meet.  Someone was really thoughtful this year and brought a tent for the parents to sit under (in the bleachers, which I thought was a bit weird, but all the schools were doing it) so I didn’t quite die from heat.  Got some quality time talking with my friend Lea, which is always good.  David ran the 800 meter race and came in 7th, which was an improvement over last year.  I don’t know why he keeps getting signed up for that one; he’s much better at sprinting.  He had a lot of fun, though!  I took advantage of a 10 minute lull in my schedule and showered before heading on to other things.  Other things being: kid pick-up, Lego club, buying a present for David’s friends birthday, taking the kids to piano lessons, then yet another PTA meeting (last one before the spring carnival!), then the aforementioned kids birthday party.  The birthday party was interesting because it was at a pizza buffet and we’d gotten a call earlier in the day that they were going to discount our meals by about half, but we didn’t know why.  Well, come to find out they were filling spots for commercials.  So we had to do all this cheering and present giving over and over and they interviewed some parents and generally were in the way with their big camera and lighting set up.  It was chaos!

Lining up for the 800 meter race

Today looks to be a quieter day.  Greg and I are going over to Molly & Clive’s for breakfast/coffee, then we’re going to register him for kindergarten this afternoon.  🙂  He’s sooooo excited!  🙂

 

Happy New Year!

I was thinking the other day about resolutions and what mine should be this year.  I think mine from last year are still on the fridge, actually, but rather than look at the past, let’s look to the future, shall we?

 

  • This year I plan on losing 50 pounds.  Yes, fifty.  2011 was the year that I gained 25 pounds and I started out the year needing to have lost at least 25.  So that puts me at 50 pounds this year to lose.  My plans include a) having acquired a bunch of lovely to look at, but not in my size-range-yet clothes to spur me on, b) having rejoined Sparkpeople.com to chart my diet and exercise, c) having enlisted my husband into the process to help me keep on task and d) having filled up my netflix DVD queue with exercise titles solicited from friends that exercise-but-aren’t-exercise-fiends.

 

  • This year I also plan on returning to daily journaling.  I haven’t kept up on daily writing in a few years, so I thought that rather than make a word goal or a page goal, I’d make just writing a goal.  I’m going easy on my self this year and including any words I write go towards that, be they in a paper journal, here, on my RA blog, in poetry form, or fiction.  Just getting back in the writing habit.

 

  • I’m continuing on with my piano lessons this year, but that isn’t really a goal, is it?  So here’s a little goal: I plan on playing something for church every third month this year.  How’s that?

 

  • Last but not least, my husband and I have gotten ourselves a daily devotional to work on through the year.  This one is a Bible-in-a-year Couples devotional.  We’ve never tried doing something like this (reading a book let alone a devotional) together before, so that should be interesting.

 

There you have it: my plans for the year in a nutshell.  Hope y’all are having a great new year!

 

Someday I’ll be back again with tales of our last week of Winter Break.  Smile