Thursday, January 22, 2015

Simplify: Simplify

Have you ever noticed that when something is on your mind that it starts to pop up everywhere? I don't know if that is what I am experiencing or if there has actually been a shift. But it feels like simple is the new buzzword. As though advertisers, marketers, writers, bloggers, etc have a new found focus on less.

And it makes sense. In a culture that is so inundated with... well, everything- a comforting sssshhhhh seems in order. A nod to say that it is okay to slow down, to look up from your phone, to hang out with the people in front of you without responding to that text right now.

I named my blog with the hope that I would pursue simplicity. And for the first time, I am. A few months ago, I stumbled upon minimalism and was inspired. I love reading the blogs, some are too intense for me, but they all have something to offer. (You can see the ones I read if you scroll down to my favorite blogs.)  I am not a minimalist but I'm leaning in and learning more. The ideas are refreshing.

I have been going through my belongings, picking up each item and thinking about the why. We have moved twice in the past year and I am astounded what made it through the transition. Items that have been dragging along behind me, slowing me down. CDs, old books, worn clothes, extra sets, abandoned electronics. It takes time to clear away and to decide. Sometimes I come back to something two or three times, to dig a little deeper- donate, sell, give away

It is nice to shed the weight, the stuff. I watch it fall away and once gone, it is forgotten. I do not regret anything that I let go. It is not easy but it is addicting and liberating! I am clearing space to discover what is useful and beautiful.

This doesn't mean I won't buy things or that our walls will be empty. It does mean that my purchases will be intentional. And Emaline's stuff has mostly been untouched. Her closet, toy boxes, and bookshelves remain full. If she uses it, it has a place.

In doing this, I feel closer to creating the home that is right for my family.

Less to clean, organize, wash, fold. Less looking for misplaced items. Fewer boxes, fewer distractions. More reading to Emaline, more chances to write. More time with the people I love.

Previous entries on Simplicity.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

New Home: First Christmas

December swept by with such force that I have just now caught my breath. I wrote this post on December 8th and never pressed publish. The holidays are always busy but with Nick travelling for work and us travelling for Christmas, we reached new speed. So in an effort to remember, I am posting now without change to my previously written words.

We spent this weekend getting our new house Christmas ready. On Saturday, we bundled Emaline in a tiny sleeping bag and took her on her first wagon ride. We pulled our all-terrain Radio Flyer down the street to a local flower shop and bought a Christmas tree.

On previous years, my choosing method was to find the fattest tree that I could find. It has not always worked out well. This year I picked one that is skinny but full. It is the best tree we have had in years! For the walk home, I carried the baby sack and Nick pulled the tree which had been tied to the wagon. If only Norman Rockwell could have seen us!

That night my parents came to spend the night. I have heard that the Portsmouth tree lighting is the best day of the year and I was so excited to check it out. unfortunately, the lighting and holiday parade were cancelled because of rain. So we went out for a nice dinner and then came home to decorate the tree, listen to Christmas music, and sip Bailey's on ice. It was great. My Mom also gave me a lesson on putting on Christmas lights. Her tips:

1. Start at the top
2. Hang the lights loose and away from the trunk
3. Step back often and fuzz your eyes to check spacing

Now to finish shopping and get some present under the tree. Merry Christmas!

Did you miss these holiday posts?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year: One Word

A few weeks ago, I told Nick about an author who intentionally lives each year carrying a one word theme. Growth. Change. Fun.

Nick caught me off guard today by asking if I chose my word. It was an interesting idea but I hadn't intended to pick a word. Usually I am able to identify themes only in hindsight, after the surprise twists of time begin to make sense. But as he asked me, the word rolled forward as though called upon and letters bolded in my mind.


A little bit more and a little bit less of all of the parts of my life that matter. I walk a tightrope carrying all of the things that I hold dear. It is easy to forget to look up, to lose my footing, to not stop for a breath. Balance.

Happy 2015. May you find your word, whether you know it or not.  

Also, I keep thinking about this post from a few years ago and this one as well.