“One and done.” That’s how I answer when people ask how many kids we have. One is simple. Sure, parenting has its challenges whether you have one or twelve, but one is the best of both worlds – it’s wonderfully challenging and it’s simple.
Being organized. That’s a fantastic way to keep things simple. This, my friends, I could use some work on. But I do my best.
Meal planning. Every Sunday I clip coupons, choose recipes for the upcoming week and make a color-coded grocery list. Cold items are highlighted in blue, fresh produce in green, and non-food items in orange. So when it comes time to make dinner I know what I’m making and am certain that we have the ingredients I’ll need. Simple.
And my favorite way of keeping things simple?
We have to be serious about self-care. Each and every one of us has to relax and recharge. If you run yourself to empty you’ll be of no good use to the ones you love the most.
What are your favorite ways to relax?
Here are some of mine.
Our cats. Snuggling with Kyler and Angel is incredibly comforting. Sometimes just looking at these beautiful creatures makes my heart rate slow down a little. The soft vibration of their purring, the feeling of their abundant fluff against my hand. Dear God, may I never live without cats. Ever.
Flames. Bright orange-yellow flames when the rest of the room is dark. The flickery beams of a lit candle dancing on the wall. Fireplaces. The sparking and crackling of the wood. Disclaimer: our two fireplaces are fake. No wood is involved, no crackling. But I still love them because they create the ambience that I crave.
Healthy food. Not gonna lie – sometimes I do NOT feel like cooking. Most of the time, though, it’s relaxing and pretty enjoyable. Now that I’m eating a ton of fresh fruits and veggies every day it’s downright artistic. Vibrant colors, intricate textures… and knowing my body is getting what God intended our bodies to need.
Warmth. Whether it’s the middle of winter or a rainy summer day, warmth is so very soothing. In case you were wondering (and I’m sure you were), I have the coziest bed on the planet. If you don’t have a heated mattress pad get one. Like, now. Go!
Coffee. Namely, Starbucks. Having one within walking distance of our house is both wonderful and horrible. The fact that it has a drive-thru pushes it just a tiny bit more to the horrible side. We don’t go every day. We would have to take out a second mortgage or sell our firstborn. It is a treat every now and then. It’s not just the coffee for me. It’s the atmosphere of the actual Starbucks. The tables, chairs, scents, music, conversations, the whirring of the blenders… it all makes me calm. I love to go there, order my usual tall half-caff or soy decaf cappuccino, and write. Or read. Or catch up on social media. It’s my place.
Reading. I want to spend less time on social media and more time reading good books. It really gets my mind off of things and transports me to a different time and place. Current book: The Snow Child. Someone posted a photo of it on Instagram and my intrigue got the best of me. Downloaded it on iBooks and am loving it. Beautiful story so far.
Saturdays. Maybe you can relate. Hubby’s home. Lissy’s home. We take our time with breakfast and coffee and watch the birds and squirrels out the back windows. Squirrels – if you really take the time to watch them, especially with nuts and seeds – are profoundly entertaining and impossibly adorable. Last weekend we put a Nutter Butter cookie on the patio. Within less than a minute one of our bushy-tailed friends snatched that bad boy up, made sure it was solidly in his little squirrel hands, and ran up a tree with his treasure faster than you can say “Are cookies okay for squirrels to eat?” Sometimes we stay home and do our own things – watch TV, read, scour cookbooks, color, write, nap. Other times we go out wherever the wind blows us. Today we did a little shopping (after Starbucks) and this happened.
Charming, right? He is part Irish!
When we got home a new neighborhood friend came over to play with Liss.
They were ALL about Shopkins. What seven- and nine-year-old isn’t?
Lastly, I must once again get Ree in here. I looked through one of her cookbooks, cover to cover. She is such a peach.
I’d love to know your favorite ways to chill. Let me know in the comments!
Til next time….. relaaaaax!