A Message For YOU (and me)

You are good!

You are smart!

You are awesomely perfect!

I wish my messages to you could compete with all the billboards, commercials, ads, movies, shows and mean folks that are selling you the opposite.

These mediums of media are all shouting that you need something MORE, something ELSE to be better.

Here’s another message from me to you:

You don’t need it and it won’t make you better!

Feeling groovy about yourself can be tricky when we’re constantly hit with messages that make us feel less than.  I recently learned that we are bombarded with 300% more media than a mere 15 years ago, that’s a lot of input and most of it ain’t good.

Here are a few easy happy supplies I use to keep me on the up and up:

  • A good quote like this one: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” (from Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • Happy, a fun documentary reminding me that contentment is not for sale (available for rent NOW)
  • A “Things that make me smile” list:  It’s not too long, not too short, it’s the simple stuff like, lemon in my hot water in the morning, sex with my husband, a hooded sweatshirt after a shower, a dance party with the kids, singing along to a Pearl Jam song (I sound EXACTLY like Eddie Vedder in my car – I swear).

One last thought for all the parents is that our kids are getting all this input too.  It seems young girls are especially at risk, the recent film MissRepresentation does a nice job of highlighting some of the challenges facing our young female population these days.

I wish all you lovable folks out there a happy weekend.


The problem with too much

First let me acknowledge, this is a lucky problem to have, the problem of having too much.  The fact that I sit here, blogging on my Mac, in my comfortable home, my healthy children quietly engaged, I’m a member of the lucky few…..chances are that you , dear reader, are as well.

So we, with our freedom, money, health and safety, tend to create problems.  One of these is the problem of having too much.  Let’s look at the example of clothes, we typically buy enough for every member of the family to wear something once a week and then into the laundry basket it goes.  For now, with my younger children, I’ll concede the benefits of abundant underwear, BUT otherwise it’s kind of silly.  It creates mess, it necessitates storage, which necessitates more consumption, plastic hangers anyone?  It creates more laundry, necessitating more water usage, more soaps, more energy consumption.

During our two weeks on the road I did laundry once, twice if you count my hotel room sink load with Camping Suds, we each had about 3 changes of clothes, so we chose hardy, darker items that could withstand multiple wears, a bit of dirt and still look “presentable”.  Let me tell you when I think about being out from the burden of daily laundry, the question of what am I going to wear, the simplicity of packing, freedom and peace are the feelings that come to mind.

Many of you may have already figured this out, and obviously I see the benefits of this concept in spades, but it still gets tricky.  I’m thinking beyond clothes and into relationships.  Great people in my life that tell me about a soccer team they are putting together –  do we want to sign up, a lovely CSA opportunity – do we want to participate, a birthday party invitation taking our only “free” weekend – will we accept?  It all seems harmless, part of being in a community that I cherish, but in the end, the result is the same, it’s too much.  I end up creating more problems, over tired children, not enough time to run the business of our life, wasted food that I didn’t have the energy to cook so we ate out instead.

Let me reiterate again, I am lucky that I can even count these trivial matters among my “problems”.  The question is whether I will continue to perpetuate these problems or find more comfort in my own self-imposed limits?

Thank you Martha

I love that Martha Stewart is detoxing and yoga-ing and part of a magazine that I enjoy….online of course.  Follow the link for a list of breakfast smoothies that WholeLiving.com put together.  These are sure to be my go-to snacks for the kids (and me) this summer.

Getting lost

And finding what you need.  We are on vacation, we’ve taken two weeks, packed up and hit the road.  It’s the longest we’ve been away from home as a family and it’s exactly what we needed.  You take a step back (or away) and suddenly things come in to focus.  Without the demands of laundry, keeping house, my life’s routines, it’s easy to look at life a bit differently.  I realize now, it’s not about where you go but simply getting away.  We’ve stayed in motels, hotels, and with family, we’ve eaten home cooked meals, PBandJ’s at rest stops, one unfortunate Cracker Barrel meal, and dined with fine linens, we’ve found dragons in clouds, told stories about the people around us sharing the roads, abused song lyrics, and soothed a few homesick tears.  Our plans were loose, our expectations low, our packing minimal (more thoughts on that later)……it’s a recipe I highly recommend.

Happy Summer.

White Sands, NM

Banana Bread Shake

With a Texas summer around the corner, I’m not all that jazzed to fire up the oven.

Enter this little wonder:

1 cup Almond Milk

1 Banana

1/4 Avocado

1/3 cup Gluten-free Rolled Oats (uncooked)

1 TBS (heaping) Almond Butter

Squirt of flax seed

Squirt of honey (raw, local)

4 Ice cubes

Blend and serve.