31.5.17

Little people big feelings

As I crawl into bed after a LONG day with the kids I can't help but think of their little perspective. 

Cooper is cutting another tooth. His second in as many weeks. I can't imagine how bad that must hurt to be growing a bone up into your mouth. Ouch! I remember when Kenzie was teething I wondered WHY? Why do babies have to go through that pain? I don't have an answer. But thinking about it that way- how painful it must be- has helped me be more patient with the teething process. If I was in constant pain I would want to be held ALL DAY too. I would be irritable and grouchy and I for sure wouldn't want my 2 year old sister all up in my grill (no pun intended ;) 

And then there is my big small old baby girl who will be 3 in two months (cue all the crying emojis). She woke up crying and didn't really stop today. And all I could think of as I was driving her to the babysitter's this morning as she screamed and cried the full 15 minutes was how hard it must be for her to have those big huge emotions and not understand what they are or how to deal. I freaking don't know how to deal and I'm 27 years old. So I just let her cry. I didn't get impatient and tell her to stop. I tried talking her off the ledge (because she does like that kind of communication) but she wasn't having it today. She just needed to let it all out. I get it. Sometimes my pillow ends up soaking wet too. 
And then after a dramatic and traumatic experience at the pool where I had her wear a puddle jumper (cue another 20 minutes screaming crying fit) we went home and proceeded to do nothing but watch movies naked (well SHE got to be naked) because I get it. Sometimes all I want to do is curl up on the couch and eat some of my feelings and not wear pants. 
And as I was tucking her in bed tonight she gladly snuggled her puppy and went right to sleep. Because sometimes we just need to sleep off our bad days. 

My little kids are humans too. Perfect imperfect humans that have real big powerful feelings. And I'm just glad I could see it that way today. And I'm glad for bedtime because....these days are exhausting for mom too :) 

Questions to ask yourself as you minimize your stuff

I thought it might be nice to write down a few things I say to myself as I'm going through a cupboard, drawer or closet and letting things go. As you gain momentum and a habit for letting go of things that no longer add value, the process becomes a little easier.

First, where to start? If there is a space that stresses me out every time I look at it/open it- I know there is work to be done. First you need to take everything out. As you're removing do the initial purge of things that are clearly good to toss. Expired food or stained clothes. A random piece to a toy you no longer own, etc. it may or may not be garbage, but these things are pretty obvious and easy to get rid of. Next when you have that pile go through it again without putting anything back yet. Ask yourself these questions as you go "when was the last time I used this?" "When was the last time I even thought about this?" "Have my children outgrown it and is it worth storing?" "Why am I keeping this?" "Would I buy this again right now?" "Is it useful?" "Do I really need _(insert number here)_ of these? "Does this go somewhere else?" Etc

At this point if there is a lot of stuff you can start making piles. Make a mess before making everything clean and organized. Make the following piles:

• for sure to keep
• goes somewhere else in the house
• donate
• garbage
• can't decide

I usually give myself just a few seconds with each item. What is your gut telling you? If you go to toss something don't second guess yourself or put it in the "can't decide" pile. Just get rid of it. I have come to trust my subconscious and instinct and it makes the process go by much quicker. I NEVER go back through my get rid of pile. If you give yourself long enough you can talk yourself into keeping almost anything.

It's time to put things back. The goal is to organize as you go. Do you have an extra plastic tote lying around that would work well here? Go get it. Need to refold all those towels to fit better? Now is the time to do that. If you find yourself over-stuffing the space- get brutally honest and either find a new home for things or get rid of them. Remember, fear or greed are the two things keeping us from letting go. Be honest and give yourself permission to lighten your load. You will NEVER regret it.

At this point your space should feel light and stress free. You should be able to open and close the door without having to adjust everything. Everything should have a place. Remember our family's needs change and so can your storage places. If you're kids are growing up you can switch things from down low to a little higher now that they can reach, etc.

Address the other piles. Go put things away in their actual home. Don't just shove them somewhere for now. Put the garbage in the dumpster and your donate stuff in the trunk! You shouldn't put your donate pile/bag/box in a place you can see. Get it out of your line of sight and out of mind until you can drop it off.

This whole process can take 2 minutes if you're re-addressing a small kitchen cabinet or 2 hours if you're going through your closet. Even after purging my home I find myself adjusting and making changes whenever I feel the "flow" is off somehow. Again, if you feel any kind of stress or discontent  when you open a drawer/door/cabinet it's time to make a change.

Hopefully this process will help you! What space comes to your mind as you read this? Let me know how it goes as you simplify and minimize :)

Xo

14.5.17

Hi baby: Mother's Day

To my sweet babies,

It's mother's day and I feel so thankful for you. Without you, I wouldn't be a mother. And being a mother has become my greatest joy. You two fill me with such heavenly love and happiness. Your dad and I are amazed by you every night as we climb into bed. We talk about you both, wonder at you. Mckenzie, you are the best person in the whole world. We love watching you grow up and learn and talk. You make us laugh and shake our heads and we are so proud of you. You're a beautiful little girl who is so kind and thoughtful and loving. You're spicy and feisty and full of life. Cooper! You make my world go 'round. You bring a feeling of peace to whoever is around you. You have a charming smile and when you raise those eyebrows- hearts melt. You are growing so fast and my mommy heart can't take it! You make me so happy. 

So while people tell me "happy mother's day" today, I want to tell YOU, thank you for being mine. Thank you for forgiving me and loving me. Thank you for being patient as I learn how to teach, love and raise you. 

I love you with every bone in my body
xoxo

Mom



12.5.17

3 Misconceptions About Minimalism

I loved sharing some info about minimalism on Good Things Utah last week. It's been such a life changing thing for me, I could talk about it all day. But for now, we settled for a 4.5  minute segment ;)

You can watch the full segment HERE

and here is the text I shared for the web story. We didn't really touch on this during the actual segment, but hopefully you can find some value in the words.

Our executive producer Megan Bowen shares her recent obsession- minimalism. After watching The Minimalists' documentary "Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things" she was inspired to go through her home and get rid of stuff she no longer needed and the things that didn't add value to her, or her family's life. She changed her mindset of how she looks at items and asked, "does this add value or serve a purpose?" and if not, it was donated. She purged more than 1,000 items over a 5 day span and in the past 6 weeks has gotten rid of more than 2,000 items from her home. 
She shares 3 misconceptions about minimalism and 3 tips on how to get started. All of her advice is adapted from what she has learned and applied from The Minimalists and other resources online. She recommends finding more advice/tips/info on The Minimalists' website www.TheMinimalists.com

3 Misconceptions
  1. Minimalists never buy anything

    You can buy things. You just have a different motivation behind buying things. Instead of "because everyone else has one" or "I think I need to fill that empty space" it's more "is this necessary?" or "why do I really want this?". While I personally haven't bought anything outside of groceries for about 6 weeks, it's just because I haven't needed anything. My mindset about need vs want has changed.

  2. Minimalist have no home d├ęcor

    Did I get rid of some of my home decor? Yes. Because I realized I had it up because "that's how your house is supposed to look" and not because I loved it. My home is still decorated. But only with things that I love and that were put up with intention. I love having photos around my home, so those stayed up on my walls. Decorate your home however you want. But be intentional with your decorations.

  3. Minimalists go without

    I have felt zero deprivation in the two months since changing my habits and mindset. I buy groceries when the fridge is empty. I put gas in my car when the red light goes on. I spend more on stuff so I can spend it on experiences, security and to help others. I say "no" to a lot of things so I can say "yes" to the important things.


3 Tips to getting started
 
  1. Watch the documentary “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things” 

    As you watch, remember minimalism looks different on everyone. You don't have to live in a tiny house or have all white walls. Focus more on their message about over consumption and less on the "look" of minimalism.

  2. Pick a cupboard or closet to tackle first

    I suggest your bathroom cupboards. Take EVERYTHING out. Touch everything. Is it expired? Are you really going to use that 4th bottle of travel size mouth wash? Think about the rule "Have I used it in the last 90 days or will I honestly use it in the next 90 days?" If not, toss it. Set boundaries for your makeup/hair/beauty/health items. Organize them into their own space and when that space is full, evaluate and see if there is anything you can get rid of (one thing in, one thing out rule). 

  3. Play the Minsgame (day 1 get rid of 1 item….etc to day 30 get rid of 30 items)

    The Minimalists created a fun way to get started and try it out without going totally crazy. It's called The Minsgame. Find a friend, family member or group of people. Every day post a photo of what you're letting go of. First day is 1 item. Second day is 2 items, and so on. Day 23 it's 23 items, etc until day 30. It's a great way to ease yourself into it, and by the end you have let go of 500 items! (my preferred style was purge for 5 days straight, but not everyone likes that idea) use #minsgame to see other people play and connect with that community.

Follow along @minimalistmeg on Instagram for more intentional living and minimalist posts. Connect with The Minimalists on social media for their "expert" advice.

5.5.17

Cooper 6 Months

Umm...when did this happen?? Cooper baby boy is 6 months old and I may or may not have cried about it. It's so funny how with Mckenzie I couldn't wait until the next milestone. I was always thinking "when will she do ___". It was fun and exciting to watch her master a new skill! And now with Cooper...it's like I haven't been able to stalk him as much so he learns something new and I don't want to believe it. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be a really hot mess when his birthday rolls around.


We just had his well check and he's weighing 17lbs 12oz. He's in the 50% for weight and 30% for height (even though I think the nurse didn't totally measure him accurately). So even though he was born 97% in weight, he has evened out to be an averaged sized baby. He's so strong and is sitting up like a champ and rolls from back to front. He shows no interest in rolling the other way so he's not mobile at this point. He smiles allllll day. His pediatrician said he's the happiest baby he's ever seen! Will totally just look you in the eyes and smile. He loves physical touch and I love cuddling with him. He's a great sleeper and is down to 2 naps a day. He is obsessed with food. If anyone is eating his whole body wiggles until he gets something in his mouth. He's basically eaten everything. I prefer Baby Led Weaning so he's been enjoying the food we do. I've been making these banana oatmeal muffins and both the kids eat the whole batch within a day.



Cooper loves Mckenzie and gets so excited when she is willing to play with him nicely. She will now read him books or have a tea party with him and he is in heaven. She can still be rough sometimes, but the bigger he gets, the better he can handle himself. Toys entertain him more than they ever did with Kenzie and I can put him in the pack-n-play with a pile of toys and he's set for up to a half hour playing. He loves his binki during the day, but is using his thumb still for naps and nighttime.



I always want to remember his big gummy grin and how much peace he brings into my life.

Also- look at this picture with both babies at 6 months! All the heart eyes for these two



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