Simplifying… With Multiples

It would seem that having multiples would completely defeat the purpose of living with less…

But for me it. Helps. So. Much.

I bought two pair of church shoes when I was engaged. They were identical except one pair was brown and the other was black. I have worn those shoes ever since. These puppies have walked me through countless verses of Just As I am and have been around long enough to see many a popular praise song go from hit to vintage… Maybe not vintage… but out of fashion. ;-)

Shoes look fine

I still love them, but…

Melted Heel

It was time for them to go. Besides the one melted (?!?!?) heel on the brown pair, the fake leather was peeling off of the black pair. I loved them so much that I bought a back up pair of black flats at Target years ago when my beloved flats started showing serious wear. The idea was to wear the “backup pair” as often as possible when I needed a black pair and save the “good ones” for when I needed a “nicer” pair… Yes it was silly… And because it was Target… They had an identical purple pair for cheap that I couldn’t refuse…

Where am I going with this?

Oh, I bought three pair of dress shoes.

Yes it totally helps simplify life.

My feet just don’t fit most flats. They’re usually too tight at the top of my foot or too long. So when I found a comfy pair that fit… I bought black, brown, and navy.

Shoes in multiples

They are plain enough to go with anything, but cute enough that I love them. Also having the same exact pair in more than one color makes my shoe selection easier. If flats are what I should be wearing, then all I have to do is choose a color. Bam. No mental energy wasted on

Should I wear the moccasins or the ballet flats?
Would the ones with rhinestones look better or the flats with the metal spikes?
Orange suede?
Purple faux croc?

Now, I am NOT saying you can’t have any fun shoes. Of course you can!!! But for ME in THIS STAGE of my life… I just don’t have time for it. I realized that when I forced myself to wear the purple pair of Target flats recently… and realized that I had worn them maybe twice… So the back up flats were donated, the broken down loved flats were trashed and I feel lighter.

Four pair of shoes were traded for three. :-) Not only did I downsize by a pair, I downsized a choice.

Boom. Fewer Decisions = Simpler Life.

Now I have more mental energy to make more important decisions, like Curious George, Thomas the Train, or Veggie Tales when Daddy works late. ;-)

2014 in the books…

I’ve done resolutions as well as goals in the past… They’re all the same thing really… and they never really work. So I’m kicking them to the curb and deciding to yet again choose one word for my year. :-D

For the past two years… I have done this… chosen a word. A word that, I hope, will shape my year… For 2013 it was Hobbit. That word was both ridiculous (since most people pick sunday school fluff words like hope or love… ) and ridiculously on point for our year. For 2014 my word was Shire. Once again that word was an uncanny description of our year.

In 2014 we finally bought a house. And really… The year has been all about fixing up this place. We’ve completely renovated the kitchen, replaced all of the flooring, renovated a bathroom, painted the entire thing, cut down trees, on and on and on. This entire year has been about fixing up our own little Bag End. Shire was definitely a perfect word for us because that’s where we live. Complete with grumpy and nosy Hobbit neighbors…

Grumpy Hobbit

 

Now that we are finally getting settled into our new place… I feel like it is time to grow roots. Meet people. Break out of my INTJ cocoon and wear my extrovert hat (I can totally pass as one…) This year my word is:

Fellowship

 

Hobbit Company

Fellowship LOTR

Because I’m a Tolkein nerd, of course it relates… Bilbo had the Company of Thorin Oakenshield. Frodo had The Fellowship of the Ring.

I want a posse.

Or just a friend…  :-) Someone who understands what it’s like to have a sweet baby hanging on your leg all day… or at least makes an effort to understand why my life is both amazing… and exhausting.

A friend linked to this blog post on Facebook and it made me realize how… insulated I have become. I’ve never been super good at friends. I watch on Facebook as people fly across the country or even world to hang with their Bestie. FOMO is a beast I tell you… I see other Mamas post pics of fun nights out together. Or go on vacations together. Or post about just how amazing their best friend is. I just have no idea what that’s like.

More than a year ago I was included in one such amazing night out with a group of Mamas. I had such a blast… but I felt so socially awkward, really… I was the new mom on the block when it came to the ladies. Most of them had been friends for years. It was so nice to be included. Still I felt like I was watching more so than interacting. (This was not. at. all. due to them!!! just me and my, well… awkwardness ;-) While we were eating one mama said to another something that really resonated with me. She said “You. You are my people.” I remember thinking how super sweet. What would it be like to… have your people?

My goal for this year is to fellowship. Fellowship with the people God brings across my path. To invest time in them as I can. To love on them and to be a friend. Who knows maybe that’s the best way to find your people. :-)

 

 

Character

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While I have so. Much. To. Do. To get ready for upcoming holiday events… Today I needed a reminder that everything I do is important. That developing these little ones’ character is something that is done one decision at a time.

Mama Funk

I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately…

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But I’m annoyed. At everything. (Except for that awesome robot picture my son drew… And was wearing :-D )

Tonight the Hubs took the Littles after supper. He does that most nights, but I usually use that time to catch up on something. Anything. Laundry, cleaning, organizing, planning, etc.

Tonight… I laid down and did… Nothing. I did so much nothing that I fell asleep for a few minutes. I had forgotten how awesome it is to do… nothing. It wasn’t until that brief pause that I had a chance to breathe. To reflect. To identify stuff.

The last year was hard on us. Very very hard. We went through some very hard things. Life didn’t stop for the hard things. Things had to be done. Clothes had to be washed. People had to be fed. Baby had to be born ;-). Boxes had to be moved. House had to be fixed. Boo boos had to be kissed. On and on and on.

Everyone goes through hard things. Life doesn’t stop for them either…

But why on earth am I still running myself ragged? Isn’t this exactly why we’re on a mission to purge and live simply? The payoff was supposed to be time. Why am I not there??? Because I have been going full tilt my entire life and I have no idea how to slow down. We’re here!!!! We. Are. Here. And I’m still chugging along like a really useful engine ;-) when the Hubs and i both really need to take some time to heal and unwind.

That’s the new goal. Now that we have less stuff stealing our time… We need to learn how to slow down. Do nothing. Pray. Listen. Heal.

Proof that Kids Don’t Need Much…

We worked in the yard today. The Hubs finished hauling off the monster bush remains!!! While we were outside I was getting annoyed. We have a super great playset in the backyard. It has swings, a slide, a fort loft, a tire swing. It’s incredible.

But the kids weren’t playing on it. I finally convinced them to swing some, but I was still angry. I thought they were ungrateful.

… Then I noticed my 3 year old son playing “golf”

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He had found this stick and rock and used them as a putter and golf ball…

And I was so excited. He was too afraid of potential spiders on his fort to risk climbing it… So he had found something else to do. It was creative. It was fun. Best of all, it required no toys at all. He was completely content and having a blast.

Proof that kids really don’t need much stuff to play.

… Although I wouldn’t complain if they started playing on the swingset more.

… Maybe it’s time to purge more toys… ;-)

Abandoning Ship {well… 31 days}

Normally I’m a finisher. I cannot stand to leave projects undone.

But after a more recent post by the Nester… I’m abandoning ship on 31 days.

ABandoned Ship

My head is swimming with all sorts of thoughts and emotions. None of which I plan to write about. I guess I’m just… disillusioned.

I will continue to write for my friends and family and those who wander in. But as far as the writing challenge goes, I’m done.

I love all of you and I’ll be back once I’ve taken a break.

 

<3

Taking My Own Advice

This weekend I took my own advice.

I tried something I’ve been wanting to do for a while (no accordions were involved…), AND I took a break :-D

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^ This would have been a cool hot dogs or legs picture… Except it was too cold for legs.

This weekend we went camping… At the beach. :-)

I’ve been wanting to camp for… A long time. This is the first time we’ve gone as a family… Ever.

I’m not sure yet how to rate our camping event on the favorites scale… But I learned lots.

I learned about my own likes and dislikes… As well as those of every person in my sweet family. My kids just did so great. They loved the beach, they loved the tent and were jut so… Adaptable. I am so proud of them.

I also learned that hot cocoa on a cold camping morning is the B E S T.

We haven’t been able to really do anything like his before. Mainly because camping requires… Stuff. Since we were literally buried under junk, a hobby that required actual equipment just wasn’t an option. I’m so glad we were able to finally make this happen for our kids.

Yay for purging and new adventures ;-)

Take a Break

Sometimes you need a break.

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(^ wish I knew the source of this image…)

Scripture calls for one weekly.

Purging is kind of like Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball method. He advocates paying off your smallest debt first. The reason being that when you pay it off… You’re excited. You feel accomplished. You are energized to keep going in your journey to financial freedom.

The same thing can happen with simplifying. Donating one small thing makes you feel lighter as you drive away. Donating something that is an eyesore is almost a rush. Every time you look at the clean empty space where that unused item was, it is inspiring. Momentum can build and build.

But sometimes even with the momentum, it just gets overwhelming. When you get to that point… Take a break. Start again when you’re rested. Don’t wait so long that you forget the goal… But do take time to relax and refocus.

Try It

Sometimes you think you like (or would like if only given the opportunity) certain things… For all kinds of reasons.

Maybe you think you would be a rock star accordion player, if you only had one. (I have no idea why accordions keep coming to mind… Maybe remembering Steve Urkel???)

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Sorry. Back to the point… Lets say you just know somehow that you would love he accordion more than anything you’ve ever tried. Maybe you spend years pining for that accordion.

If you are drowning in clutter it’s hard to try new things. The constant nagging of All. Of. Your. Things. Is more than enough to occupy your time. Maybe the garage filled floor to ceiling with boxes is your excuse for not getting that bocce ball set. Or maybe you have the set but you’ve never played it because it is buried under the rest of your junk.

Cull the crap. Trash the treasures. Make room for the life you want to live.

Try out that accordion. Maybe it will be everything you dreamed. Maybe you will absolutely hate it. Either way at least you will know…