Sunday, November 6, 2016

On Letting Go, Halloween, and Perfect Moments

Hello Friends,

How are you? Are any of you feeling a little tense lately? This election season has been a bit crazy! What have you been doing to reduce stress? Have you been able to let go of stress? Even when it isn't the election season, we should be finding positive ways to get rid of stress and negative energy.
I have been doing a few things.

October and November brought such beautiful weather and colorful leaves. In the afternoons, the kids and I often enjoy jumping on our trampoline which is under one of our walnut trees. One of my favorite things to do is lay on the trampoline while the kids are running around me, throwing leaves at each other and laughing. I like to lay there and just think about things. There are a lot of things to think about, you know. One afternoon, as leaves were falling on my face, I thought, I can be like this walnut tree and let go of my "leaves". Leaves could mean negativity, bad habits, stress. I realized that I have some habits I would  like to change. The main one being time spent on my phone. I have been more conscientious about my interactions with other people and putting my phone away while I'm playing with the kids and talking to Dan after the kids are asleep.

When I start to feel stressed or tense or negative energy, I just visualize the trees letting go of their leaves and I imagine my stress, and negativity floating away. Have you ever noticed that after the leaves fall, new leaves do not grow back until the Spring. We need time to get rid of the bad habits before new ones can grow. Oftentimes, I forget about this and try to start too many things. This Fall, I am getting rid of bad habits and waiting until winter or maybe spring to start good ones.

I have also been enjoying afternoon runs with my great friend, Shannon. I really love this time to be out in nature! The weather has been perfect running weather and the colors are so bright and bold. Shannon and I see eye to eye on a lot of issues and it is so refreshing to discuss things with her.

I hear many people say all the time "you cannot give from an empty cup". I believe this! It is so important that we take time to do the things that we enjoy so that we can give back to the people we love. One way that I fill my cup is having a girl's night with my bff, Kae. Oh, how I need this time with her. I look forward to our time together so much! We eat without having to feed anyone else, walk around Target, laugh, cry and discuss important issues. I am a firm believer that all women should have a best friend, other than their husband.

Anyway, I got a little bit off track. Those are a few of the ways I have been "letting go"!

Our Young Women's lesson on Sunday was about gratitude. I really love the month of November to take time to express our gratitude. Our teacher asked us all to think about a "perfect moment" we had throughout the week. Immediately, a perfect moment came to mind. I wanted to type it out so I can remember it when I read over this post:) We attended a wedding reception last week and they had a dance party. Sophie and Eli quickly ran to the dance floor and started dancing. The group made a circle and the two of them went in the middle and started showing off their best moves. I sat on a chair and just watched. I didn't even think about grabbing my phone to take a video, I just enjoyed their energy. Eli was doing the worm and Sophie was break dancing and clapping. It was such a happy moment that I want to remember always. After the song was over Eli ran over to me and said "Mom! I danced in the middle and I did the worm"! After the dancing, the bride threw her bouquet. Next, Sophie came over and exclaimed "mom! The bride threw her bouquet and a bunch of the flowers flew out so I let the teenager catch the main one and I picked up all the little ones off the ground! I'm so excited!

Lastly, Halloween was such a lovely day! The kids had so much fun!


I hope you all enjoy the rest of Fall! Remember to be grateful for the small and simple things, because they are what bring us the most happiness!





Monday, August 29, 2016

Chicken Soup For My Soul

This post is about how chicken noodle soup really is good for the body and the soul....

I got home from work and just felt heavy and tired. Do you ever feel heavy and tired?
I hope that you have ways that make everything better.
I'm tired because I didn't spend enough time in my classroom this summer and now I am paying big time!
There is so much that goes into getting a classroom ready that people may not know about.
Luckily, I have kind family members who help make it go faster and funner (Thanks Katie and Dad!)
I'm feeling heavy because I have what I call the pre-fall blues. I think they it's a real, diagnosable thing!
What happens is Summer is over! Some of you may understand how sad this is!
My Bestie, Kae sent me a meme that pretty much summed it up... "I'm a teacher because I'm solar powered and I get my energy from the sun" so true! I really do get so much energy from being in nature with the sun shining on me. Does anyone else feel this way? I love taking my kids on adventures and summer time is the very best time for adventures!
Don't get me wrong, I love Fall! Fall is also a great time for adventuring....its just that the adventures are shorter and fewer. I love leaves changing, the weather cooling, hot cocoa, fun holidays. The problem is in the back of my mind there is this nagging feeling that Winter is right around the corner and the struggle is so very real for me in the Winter. I have lots of coping strategies that get me through (sun lamp, sledding, hot coco, girls nights, valentines day) but Winter is just hard for me.

Enough rambling, lets get to the point.
I was feeling tired and heavy and my dad called and asked me to make some chicken noodle soup because he was sick and it always makes him feel better.
So, I went to work making chicken noodle soup and boy was it good for my soul!
As I was cooking, I tested here and there and with each sip, my heart got a bit lighter.
I got thinking how lucky I am to be able to make soup for my dad who gives so much to his children.
Dan got home and started playing with the kids, their laughter and happiness filled up our whole house.
I am so lucky to have a husband and two children to laugh with!
I went up stairs to switch laundry over and caught a glimpse of my cute new decor pillow and pillow cases on my bed! So lovely and cute! Actually, I'm pretty lucky to live in a home that I love!
I went in the pantry and realized I had plastic bowls and since I already had a sink full of dishes, I was happy to be able to use plastic...less dishes, yay!
By the time I was done making the soup, my heart was feeling much less heavy and much more happy!
I hope that I can remember this evening during the long, cold days of Winter:)
What do  you do when your heart is feeling tired and heavy?

love,
Em

PS: I know that many of my friends are really suffering with heavy problems, I do not want to make light of their sadness. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with my friends who are suffering and tired and heavy with problems:)

 

Chicken Noodle Soup:
  • start boiling some chicken stock this can be any mixture of salt and pepper, chicken broth, chicken boullion cubes and water. I just keep adding stuff till it tastes good. Bring to a boil on medium high to high heat
  • while you are waiting for the broth to boil, chop up some carrots, when your water is boiling add the carrots
  • now, start the celery..clean it and chop it up. When the carrots are softened (not all the way but kind of soft) add the celery to the broth and carrots.At this point, turn the burner down to mediumish
  • make the noodles! mix up one egg with two tablespoons of milk or cream and half a tsp of salt. 
  • add one cup flour and mix it till it forms a ball
  • roll out pretty thin with lots of flour
  • cut into strips. As you cut them add a bit of flour and fluff it together.
  • when you get them all cut, add to them to soup
  • lastly, chop up some cooked chicken and throw it into the soup
  • we love to serve to soup over mashed potatoes, and don't forget to garnish with lots of cheese and crackers!