Super Spies and #Netflixstreamteam

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It’s three am.  This is clearly a time that no human should ever be awake.  Unless, perhaps, you are a doctor or a police person. Or the president.    But no OTHER humans should be up.  AT ALL.

And yet, here is Red, standing next to my bed about two inches from my shut eyeballs.  His little face is glowing like an heart attack inducing alarm clock.  For the past three nights, Red waits until about three am, and then… he wakes UP.  Like BIG UP.

Like, he decides he’s Jimmy Fallon and I’m his next guest, UP.

I am ensconced so firmly in my sleep that when I am woken by Sir Chatsalot I am unsure of who he is.  There is this… a child here.  How did he get here? Clearly, he is not supposed to be here.  How did I have children?  Perhaps this is a post for a different type of blog.  But still, child, who are you?

And then, the questions:

“Where’s my balloon?”

“Canna I fly my paper airplane tomorrow?”

“Is dis a big ouchie or a little ouchie?”

“Can you tell us about your next movie?”  (Ok, he didn’t really ask that one, but I was trying to continue the Jimmy thing…)

 

This is super annoying, I know.  Even Jimmy Fallon fails to entertain when one is in DEFCON 5 level sleep.  And it would be immediate fodder for a stern talking to and immediate escort back to bed, if not for that fact that my sweet Red also has had a fever these past two nights.

Evidently, a 101 temp makes Red very… convivial.  He wants to share his deepest thoughts and dreams, and he wants to ASK about mine.  So at three am, I answer the poor dear as best as I can with assorted grunts and ahums, check temps, administer water, maybe meds, find Captain Spots (his stuffed hyena, of course), and get his chatty little bum back in bed.

So, here’s the problem.  I might have said, in my three am mutterings, that Red could go to VBS in the morning.  I might have.  There is no actual PROOF of this, but since the kid was basically asking me everything short of my blood type and do I prefer regular or spicy sushi rolls.

So BAMMO, next morning, there is a sad SAD little toddler who is gonna miss Da SUPER SPIES!  And he IS a SUPER SPY!  And der were clues!  And he is gonna MISS da clues!  And, most epic and catastrophic of all:  he is gonna miss da caaaaaaaaandyyyyy!

My kids don’t get out much.

Our church’s VBS (vacation bible school, for those of you who are terrible heathens or who have no children to farm off to these things because, FREE CHILDCARE!) is the International Spy Academy this year.  It’s got Jesus ,and SPIES!  My older child has been running around the house with a magnifying glass and some clues that make absolutely no sense because, well, he created them.  It has provided hours of entertainment.

And now, I have a sick spy who is obviously feeling demoted.

So, what does Momsie do when she needs to provide comfort and extra special care?

NETFLIX!!!!!  :)

Thank you Netflix, for saving the day.  Red sat on the couch in his Elmo jammies (spy uniform) and watched this classic not once, but three times today.

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I realize it’s not exactly SPY material, but ders da clues!  And da magnafrying glasses!  And we will solve the case, together, right Mommah?

And we did.  We cuddled, ate grape popsicles, and rooted Basil on as he uncovered Rattigan’s dastardly deeds.

Did I mention we cuddled?  The whole time?  Sometimes a sick toddler who allows himself to just rest and take in a movie is a mommah’s dream.

And before you snark at me about copious television watching, YOU try to tell this one that he can’t go play spy with his brother at da church.  Go on, I dare you.

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I Got Your Polar Vortex Right Here

 

 

This is the polar vortex. Is it just me, or does it seem to be giving us a saucy gesture? Maybe it's just me.

This is the polar vortex. Is it just me, or does it seem to be giving us a saucy gesture? Maybe it’s just me.

It’s 6 pm. I am trying to make dinner, keep the cat out of my laundry (laundry is his enemy, and he must vanquish it), and head up the Toddler Peace Summit Summer 2014.  I quit the Summit after 5 minutes.  I’m not smart enough.  I started pretending that I was from Chechnya and needed a translator and nobody could find one.  That was kinda fun.

Hubs will be coming home from work soon.  He will be thrilled to be home, let me tell you.  It’s because it’s so peaceful here.  So… calm.  I’ll be greeting him with a big red-lipsticked smoocharooni, a martini, and a lovely pot roast.

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If you make one wrong comment about this empty saucepan, I will strangle you with my apron. And the wallpaper in this room is driving me crazy.

 

Well.  Nix the martini.  Sometimes I hand him a glass of water.  It even has ice in it.

And really, not so peaceful here.  Wanna know why? Because Toddler Peace Summit 2014 has taken to the streets.  There’s loud protesting and currently the toddlers have taken the cat hostage and they are all working on their Manifesto.

 

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Heeeeeeeelp!

All of this makes Momsie rather… tense.  The toddlers, being toddlers, have absolutely no clue what “tense” is.  That’s their job.  In fact, I think it’s part of their Cluelessness Manifesto.  Momsie is tense = WE MUST AMP UP THE TODDLERNESS!!!!

And because of this ampage, a terrible, terrible thing happened.  I burnt my biscuits.  My precious, my preshus lovely fluffy little biscuits.  So ready to be smooshed with butter and honey, now huddled on the baking pan like sad hockey pucks.

And I. Had. HAD ENOUGH.

It is precisely at this time that the husband comes sauntering in.  You guessed it.  He is toast. Just like the biscuits.

 

 

Transcript:

Me: ANGER AND RESENTMENT-LADEN SILENCE

Hubs:  Hi!  How are you?

Me: ANGER AND RESENTMENT-LADEN SILENCE.

Hubs: Hey boys! (Boys start freaking out because evidently Daddy walking in the house is like Moses just dropped by to say “Heeeey.”)

Me:   I’m fine.  (Holy cow.  Cue scary music here.)

Hubs: Wow.  Ok.  Really?  Your face is all twitchy. Why are you sitting on the floor turning that light on and off?  Wait, isn’t this a scene from Fatal Attraction?  Can I eat my dinner first?

Me: I burnt the biscuits.

Hubs:  Ohhhhh?  (He then tilts his head to the side just like a Labrador Retriever.)

Me:  I burnt. Them.

Hubs:  Why?

 

Let’s take a bit of a break here.

Really, he is in engineer, so asking “Why?” is not his fault.  It’s not.  That’s part of his job.  Or so he tells me.  I kind of think he must just trot around at work yapping, “Why, WHY?” at everyone within reach.  I wish he would just get it out of his system at work so he would NOT utter it at home. Really, he should know better by now.  When one has dealt with the toddler mosh pit of my day, when one burns the absolute best part of dinner (the rest of dinner was beige and warm, that’s it),

YOU DON’T ASK, “WHY?”

Here’s what you say instead:

Hubs:  Oh my dear.  Clearly you need a break.  Here’s five thousand dollars.

 

So it just kept going, this conversation.  If the hubs knew what was best, he woulda hightailed it upstairs to free the cat and find some chocolate. But no.

Hubs:  Are you mad at me?  You’re mad, aren’t you.  Why are you mad at me?

Me:  No.  I’m not mad.  I’m just tired.  (‘Tired” is code for = so mad.  So, so mad.)

Hubs:  Because really, this is a teachable moment!

Me: Ok. Now I’m actually mad at you.

 

I think it’s best to stop here, to remind all you newly married folks,  that conversations like this really do happen when you’ve been married for a while.  For reals.  I do remember once at our premarital counseling (where hubs and the pastor talked BASEBALL for the majority of the time) that we did all come up with at least one tenet about How to Stay Married for a Really Long Time:

We should communicate a lot.

I KNOW, right?  Pretty brilliant.  I am pretty sure no one ever thought of this idea about marriage before.  I should write a book.

At any rate, the rest of the evening was a bit chilly, but by tooth brushing time I had stopped quoting lines from Fatal Attraction.  After all, when you’re married to an engineer, it is likely your darling husband takes literally everything, um, literally.  Thus, “I’m not going to be IGNORED, Dan!” carries little weight when your hubs’ name isn’t actually Dan.

 

 

 

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Words’ Worth

 

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Well, you know how it begins.

 

Once upon a time, there was a girl.

She was pretty ordinary. Kind of nutty.  Had her moments of brilliance.  Had her moments of shame.  She was nothing too extraordinary, in any way.

Pretty much your run of the mill girl.  As far as girls go.

She was a teacher, a runner, a friend to a few very great people, and an owner of a truly remarkable dog named Norman.

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It is good to interject here that she loves and adores this dog and she believes, firmly, that he will be at the gate of heaven when she kicks it. He’ll be waiting there for her, thwacking his tail back and forth, so that his whole hind quarters waggle, just so you know.

Anyhow.

There were some days when her nights seemed extra long.  When all the feelings she had piled up on her insides and she had no idea in holy heck how to untangle any of them.  There was a skip in her brain that kept hiccuping over itself, like a bruised record needle.  And so, she drank a glass or two of wine, and that smoothed out almost all the issues.

Until, of course, it didn’t.  She kept up appearances, though, because run of the millers know how to do that.  She kept her hair smooth, job intact, all records were clean.  All doctor appointments were kept.  Church on Sunday.  Coffee with friends.  That sort of thing.  Despair, though, wrapped around her shoulders during all the in between times.  It clung on in the mornings, after lunch.  Sometimes before lunch.  It was all around.  The despair was still there even though these really big and wonderful things had happened to her.  Her sweet love had married her.  Her darling boys were born.  Her life was a portrait.  It made her more sad, even, to realize how tangled up she was, despite the beauty all around her.

The part that really befuddled her is that she thought she was so much smarter than all of this addiction stuff.   But yet, she had decided to step squarely on that land mine anyhow.  And then when she tried, again and again, to stop stepping on the landmine, she found that she couldn’t.  It was maddening.  She was a “just pull yourself up by your bootstraps!” kind of girl.  She should be able to do this.

This went on for a million years.

She felt foolish.  And sad.  She worried a lot (more than even her normal quotient, which was all the time) that her church, her friends, would see her treading water amidst the wreckage, paddle up in a life raft and shout out: “You there!  You! The drowning one!  We need to ask first:  Are you a fool? Because if you are, we can’t help you.”

Here’s what happened instead: Her husband, and her friends, and her church paddled up and said: “Are you a fool?  Well.  Aren’t we all.  Get in.”

So, she quit drinking.  Actually, she didn’t quit.  She gave up, and she allowed her sweet God who loved her very very much to take charge.

And she went to meetings.  And she prayed and prayed. And sometimes she sat in her laundry room, weeping, saying, “God grant me the serenity, please.  PLEASE, God.”

And she kept going, through big fat failures, and pain, and joyful days that gave her hope that maybe all this sobriety stuff was possible, really possible, and even maybe just worth it, after all.

During it all she wrote like crazy, because, she liked to do so.  She had to.  It unlocked her heart a bit, to write.  It unraveled things, smoothed them out, like linens in a drawer, all crisp and white, ready for use when the guests come.

And then, she decided to enter a contest with her words. And she got an award.  And then, an article was accepted.  And another one. Another award was given.   And there was something in all of this that straight up fed her soul.  The clicking of the keys in the late night hours, it was her best lullaby.  She would wake up, when it was still dark outside and the birds were just starting to sleepily chirp awake, and she would be casting out words and drawing them back again, working, working on her nets of sentences and ideas.

She still does this.  5:15 a.m, the words wake her up.

And I guess, she just wanted to say thank you.

I guess I just wanted to say, thank you.

Thank you for reading.

Words cannot express how grateful I am.

But I won’t ever stop trying to write them.

No one will ever replace Norman.  But this creature? He is a doggie (Norman variety) with cat fur on.  He gives me joy.

No one will ever replace Norman. But this creature? He is a doggie (Norman variety) with cat fur on. He gives me joy.

 

 

 

To Blog or Not to Blog… That’s the Big Fat Question

 

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This doggie is blogging. Don’t worry, it will make more sense after you read the post.

 

It seems I am now diving into the  TAKE MY MOMSIE SHOW ON THE ROAD world of speaking and leading workshops.  In October, I will be leading a presentation and workshop about humorous writing at the Indiana Writer’s Consortium.  I haven’t quite figured out how I am actually going to get to Indiana, but if they ask it, Momsie will come.

A while back I got up on the podium and spoke to a bunch of moms about recovery.  That wasn’t terrifying or scary at all. Nope.  But I was told I did OK.  I don’t really know because I don’t remember any of it.

Then, just a few days ago, this little publication called Huff Post Live interviewed me about the same topic.  Do I remember that one? Not a bit.  But I have video proof of it right here.  AND I do remember this: my interviewer was cute and nice.  For that I am very grateful.

And finally… I am gonna present this weekend at our local library about, you guessed it, blogging.  Because?  Well, everyone and their dog has a blog.  I finally decided to tell people about why it’s ok to be the dog.

I am a Momsie of many trades, I tell you.  Very busy and very grateful.

 

HAPPY MONDAY, FRIENDS.

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Mom Essentials

 

 

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Joining up with Kasey Johnson on her Mom Essentials Blog Tour today!  I am thrilled to be invited along!

Six a.m.   I am shellacked to my bed like a bug on a windshield.  I have a cold.  My head feels like a watermelon, and I have just peered at the clock with one squinty eye, praising Jesus that I have at least one more hour of solid rest before we’re off to the toddler races.

Except, there is this strange sort of snuffling noise by my ear.  A decidedly wet noise.  It is exactly the noise a desperate toddler makes when he is in his pre-meltdown, sup-sup stage we moms refer to as:  Before the Sobbing Hits Us All.

I slowly turn my head and there, nose to nose with me, is Red, quivering in toddler anguish: “I have to tell you sumthin.  Icanna find my purple round fighter thing, and I weally NEED it.”  I must have looked rather dubious (ticked off).  So, he took a deep, shuddery breath, pressed his damp face on mine and wailed:  “IT’S VERY SPECIAL TO MEEEEEEEE!

Let’s back up:  I have no idea, but I think he might be referring to some made-in-China broke-down piece of a toy that he got at McDonald’s about three months ago.   It is not even a toy in its entirety.  It is an EX toy.  For some toddlered nutball reason this morning it had turned into a Raiders of the Lost Ark epic quest to find it. Except without the cool opening sequence in the temple with the gold idol thingie.

It is then that I might have spoken rather tersely about priorities and how sleep is WEALLY special, and how maybe he could just wait to look for it, like, after coffee?

This took the slobberyness up to a level orange on the danger alert system.  Evidently, this toy was essential.

Wailing followed.  From Red, too.

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No. Really. You deserve a break today.

 

Parenting is a constant epic quest to figure out what is important vs. what is not.  Every DAY I am presented with my own weally weally important things (Moisturizer?  Yep?  Shower today?  No time.  Bible with a side of 6 cups of coffee? YEP.  Planking?  Noooooo.)

And that’s just by 7 a.m.  As the day wears on, Momsie starts to get overwhelmed by more weally important choices:

  • Cheerios?  GMO laden.  Cancer circles.

  • Prayer time with the kids?  Yes, but one kid just smacked the cat with his  bible.  Um, timeout first?  Or do I just lay hands on him and grimly pray for his toddler soul?

  • Some TV? No TV? TV ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY?

  • Wailing and slamming doors from upstairs?  Do I let them keep Conan the Barbarianing it up there and hope they make it out for dinner?

  • One child keeps playing hide and seek all by himself?  Should I call a psychologist?  Is it a phase?  Maybe I should try it?

  • Organic? Or college fund?

GOOD HEAVENS.  WHERE DO I START?

 

We start with the essentials.

 

Kasey Johnson’s new book, Mom Essentials -  10 Words Successful Mothers Live By,   encourages us on our way.  She speaks simply and eloquently about her own Mom walk, and how finding a path paired with her 10 Essential Words has helped her live a life truly tuned in to what matters.

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Kasey Johnson

As a Beacon Press Off the Shelf blogger, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview her about Mom Essentials.  Here are some of her thoughts about her book:

1. Your first essential you chose for the book is about balance. Why did you start here?

Being a mom means we take care of others. I’ve talked with too many women who lose themselves in their daily tasks and the constant routine that is present when raising young children. When our children grow older, their dependence on us changes and that change can seem impossible to accept if we never established who we were before we became a mom. Through scripture and prayer we are better able to maintain a balance between what we do and who we are.

2. In this chapter you suggest that “when we write things down, we keep our memories and our perspectives in check.” Do you journal? How has writing helped your relationship with God? Any suggestions for how to get started or stay consistent with writing or journaling?

My mother gave me my first journal when I was 8 years old. Journaling each night became a habit and it’s followed me into adulthood. As a working mom journaling has lost its consistency, but not its priority in my life. I have a sturdy notebook I keep in my car (that’s where I tend to live most of the time). It’s more like a composition book so the pages aren’t removable, but it’s a great resource to have close by when I want to remember a situation, a funny comment, a challenge, a Bible verse – ANYTHING that presents as significant in my life is written down. Sometimes I flip through the journal and read my thoughts, frustrations, challenges and praises. Remembering these moments brings a kind of encouragement that can only be appreciated when I compare my present with my past. I try to remember that journaling doesn’t have to be lengthy, poetic writing. Instead I use my journal as a place where I can be honest and put my thoughts down on paper so they won’t keep rattling around in my head.

3. Your description of “success” for moms describes a daily progression (a long one, usually) – we are becoming, not being. Could you give some advice and encouragement for moms who are struggling with this concept – that our walk to success is a process? (Ahem. This question is for ME. Progress not perfection… :)

Okay, first off – I am sooooo excited you read that part! I’m always hoping women hear my desire to not think about success as perfection – you’re exactly right – it’s a process.

I hope I’m not the only one who dies a little inside when I see a celebrity who is a new mom plastered on the cover of a magazine in a bikini. She looks amazing and in response I look down at my sweats and grab a bag of Peanut M&Ms! Sometimes we feel pressure to be all things to all people and in turn we stop being ourselves. I will always strive to do my best but I refuse to allow someone else’s expectations to determine my priorities.

4. How did you learn all your organizational skills? Is it just a natural talent?

I’ll be honest – part of it just comes naturally. I’m a type-A control freak but it’s funny how becoming a mom changed my focus and priorities.

For example: Our house is a type of magnet for all the neighborhood kids. I love that they feel comfortable at our house and our door is usually open. But I grew weary of the kids coming, tearing into the toys and then running off. None of them could read so I turned to pictures. My boys and I spent a day organizing toys by theme and had a blast setting up scenes for us to photograph. We printed the pictures and taped them on the bins (I’ll try and put some pictures in this document so you can use them if you’d like). I had a problem – kids weren’t cleaning up because they said they didn’t know where everything went. So I created a solution and I taught my kids to take things one bin at a time and I removed their excuses. Even today I will ask my boys to clean up a room or an area and I’ll hear them call out, “I’ll take care of the blankets!”, “I’ve got the costumes!” or “I’ll take the clothes upstairs!” – I just smile as I listen. I’ve taught them how to manage a room, to manage things and not allow the things to manage them.

I only care about being organized because I know if I keep grip on the things in our life they can’t create problems for the people in my life.

5. What’s next for you? Do you have any other books in the works?

I am working on the next 3 books in the “Essentials Series”. These books cover topics like discipline, school issues and parenting stages. It’s an exciting time but I’m taking things one year at a time. I might not be able to write these books for quite a while, but I’m loving the content my children are providing each day – it’s amazing how I can feel called to write about a topic but then God requires me to wait (sometimes years) to truly find the content and direction He desires. It’s tough for me to be patient, but I see how much better this project is because I didn’t rush things.  People always come first and I’m praying God will continue to guide me and keep me focused on the essentials.

 

Thank you, Kasey for the interview!

For you tired, you poor, you huddles masses of overwhelmed Momsies out there – take an afternoon, make a cup of tea, put your feet UP, maybe even allow a little toddler tv, and just read this book.  It will be a balm for your soul.

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B is For Brevity. For the Love of Pete. And Pete’s Mommy. MOVE Pete’s Point Along.

#TBT:  A post from the way way back.  STILL TOTALLY APPLIES.

 

 

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It is the soul of wit. And stuff.

Scene:  Momsie is muttering to herself and attempting to fold laundry, scrape up burnt oatmeal, and load  a backpack for the blond one’s preschool.  As the viewer notes:  Momsie is frazzled because she is attempting The Multitask.   Last time she tried it she injured herself.   It is a tricky maneuver that takes power and precision.   It’s a Mary Lou Retton* kind of thing.  If Mary Lou was a brain surgeon.  On crack. Massive skills, yo.**

Sooooo.  We have Momsie who is desperately trying to fill in an emergency contact form with something besides an orange marker (not really a mark of sophistication, the orange washable), while thinking it might be good to put on a bra before she takes the boys to preschool.  She is considering that if she just kind of crosses her arms and sort of… clutches at herself during the walk into the preschool, or brandishes the blond one’s Spiderman backpack as a shield… maybe no bra?  Right. No bra.  It should work.  She makes a mental note to avoid eye contact and hopes for the best.***

Meanwhile.  There is this conversation occurring AT her:

“Da wipey thing?  I was trying to wipa da table off and it is SOOOOOO sorta ummmmm  sorta ummmm.  Well mommah,  it is very very SUPER slippy and der was all this SUPER SUPER sticky stuff on da table?  I think it was some honey or maybe… DA SYRUP!  I think it was da syrup!  MOMMAH DER WAS ALL THESE SYRUP CIRCLES ON DA TABLE.  ALL OVER IT!  Did you know? Did you know that?  The sticky stuff makes CIRCLES?  AND DEY ARE ALLLLLLLLL OVER.  I am wiping wiping at da circles but…” (lots of circling with arms here and some additional sassy kick steps, which is part of wiping tables off, evidently–at least in our house).

(Deep breath from blond one)

“… da sticky parts?  Dey were on da table really HARD and I said to them, come OFF circles, but I got really really super tired.  It is hard work, wiping things.  Mommy?  Did you know that it is hard to wipe down da things?  All the time?  And den I squeezed da wiper and it kinda, well, made more of dis mess on the floor and I thought I better ask for help but then I…MOMMIE?  MOMMIE?? MOMMAH?  MOTHERRRR? ARE YOU LISTENING?  I had to wipe REALLY down hard and den, and DEN (dramatic pause–thank God)  the WIPER FLEW AWAY!”  (Hands chop at air ninja style with each word because ninjas do kitchen chores too).

“Mommah.  IT.  FLEW.  AWAY.”  (Blond one  is now channeling Captain James T. Kirk*  because. This. Is. Serious.)

At this point, Momsie stops whatever mind sucking chore she is doing, and pushes her hair out of her face.  She then takes a breath and says,

“So.  You’re saying that you dropped the sponge?”

Blond one:  “Yep.”

Boom.

Post script:

* Yes,  I realize all my cultural references are from the 80′s.  Or further back.  It’s a delicate subject, aging, and we will have another post all about what it is like being forty-ish and trying to be hip without breaking a hip.  I am sticking with Mary Lou and Kirk.

America’s Sweetheart:

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It’s the TEETH I tell you. Hypnotic.

And, my sweetheart, Kirkie:

Look into my eyes...  I am a perfect human being.

Look into my eyes… I am a perfect human being.                     fastcompany.com

So, we are all caught up now?  Mmmm K?

** See?  Here I am utilizing this kind of talk because I am totes hip.  Yo.

***  No preschool children or parents or teachers were harmed during the making of this post.  I ended up taking the bike and trailer to preschool.  When I ride the bike, well, a bra is imperative.  Safety first.

Simplicity NOW!

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This magazine is very aloof. It has issues. (GET IT?)

 

Once, long ago, before I had children,  I did things like:

  • Read The New Yorker.  All of it.  Even the parts I didn’t understand.
  • Cooked elaborate meals with creamy sauces and green things and then:
  • Ate those meals, on the couch,  while watching equally saucy television shows  AND NOT ONCE DID I GET UP.
  • Sleep.

I like to refer to this era in my life as:

The Time Before Children Came Along and Smacked Me Upside the Head with Their Nerf Swords. *

 

So now I have kids. Yep.  You guessed it. This is another post about how kids came along and blew it my life to smithereens.

They blew up the quiet time and my cute house and all my sassy shoes (heels?  HEELS? Too much of my life is block and tackle.)  They blew up menu plans and vacation plans and they really really blew up my body.  Totally did a number on it.  Blammo.

And I accept it (granted, with a lot of snark and some occasional whining) because really?  I love them like crazy.  (The lawyer is again rolling his eyes all over the place.  Appropriate descriptor, he says.)

At night I go in and look at their soft little faces and gorgeous eyelashes and  listen to their sweet little snufflings and just wonder at it all.  And then, I always ask the inevitable question that I think all parents have wondered at some point:

WHY can’t they stay asleep like, ALL THE TIME?  Every major offense they did today is totally erased when I just look at them sleeping!  They are so CUTE!  This would make it all so much SIMPLER!!!

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Corie Clark, author of The Simplicity Project, offers some better options for snagging some elusive Simplicity.  I think she’s really hit on something that most moms long for:  PEACE AND QUIET, FOR PETE’S SAKE.  And maybe that peace and quiet should start in us.  The fact that we are surrounded by whirling toddlers who leave chaos and Legos (and sometimes clothing) in their wake is not really the issue.

It starts with us.

This book is a simple (yes, intended) and practical look at how Corie’s own “Simplicity Project” helped her find that peace she longed for.  I had the opportunity to interview her recently about this book and wanted to share with you some of her thoughts about finding our true purpose, while not letting “life get in the way of living.”

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?  Your family? Your hobbies?  If you were a tree, what kind of tree.. (just kidding)?

I was born and raised in California. I have been married to my best friend, Ryan for 17 years. We have 3 kids ages 9, 12, and 14. We moved from Northern California to Southern California 3 years ago and love living here. When I’m not busy homeschooling my kids or writing, you can find me at the beach. Whether it’s 50 degrees or 100 degrees, the ocean is my favorite place to be.
What inspired you to write The Simplicity Project?

I’ve actually been working on a different book for quite some time and just always had an excuse to not work on it. I never had enough time and seemed to be constantly living in chaos. I decided in February to simplify my life. This was more than just organizing. It was simplifying my health, my home, my finances, and my time. I needed some room to breathe and some room to work on my dreams and live out my purpose.

 Could you explain your writing practice? Do you write at a consistent time every day? How do you find the time?

I WISH I could say I have a certain time I write every day. I do try to write something every day but some days it just ends up being a journal entry. When I am disciplined with getting up early in the morning I’ll have my quiet time and then write. But other times, something just comes to me and I have to get it down on paper before I forget. I imagine that someday when the kids are grown, I’ll spend more time on it. Right now, it’s just a matter of setting aside a little time every day to keep at it.

Do you have a favorite chapter of your book?

I’ve never thought of a favorite chapter. I think if I had to pick it would be the section on time. It really is so important. If we don’t figure out who we are and what our roles are, we can end up wasting time and money on things that aren’t important.

Is there a least favorite? One that was hardest to write, for some reason?

I guess finances are my least favorite thing EVER. It is an area that I still struggle with. If I don’t have my budget made before my husband gets his paycheck, we’re doomed. It is so important though and when we are disciplined and have a budget, it gives me peace of mind.

What do you have to say to the overworked, overstuffed calendared Mom who doesn’t even feel she has time to read a book about finding time… Any last words of encouragement?

The most important point I try to make in the book is to give yourself grace. Don’t beat yourself up for making bad decisions or for forgetting that load of laundry that’s been sitting for two days. Just start where you are, one baby step at a time. And, if you feel like you don’t have time to read the book, I think you’ll be surprised at how simple of a read it is. I’ve read countless books on organizing, time management, and more. I always quit reading half way through because they’re too long and just complicate things. I kept things as simple as possible so that people can really accomplish something. It’s something that I lived and still practice in my everyday life. I couldn’t let life keep getting in the way of living. You shouldn’t either!

 

Amen, sister.

If you’re interested in ordering Corie’s book, click here, or on amazon.com.  You will be glad you did!

And I leave you with my favorite New Yorker cartoon of all time:

 

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*Nerf swords can pack a serious punch, if you’re not prepared.  So, keep it simple.  Store them on top of the fridge and only bring ‘em down when you have had an espresso or are in a really, really good mood.  You’re welcome.