Saturday, April 12, 2014

no yelling for a year

"There should be no yelling in the home unless, there is a fire." 
-David O. Mckay

I remember when I was newly pregnant holding a book in a discount store and thinking to myself "I'm going to be that parent."

You know, the one that doesn't YELL.

The book was called, "Scream Free Parenting."
I read the book from top to bottom and was excited to take on the challenge.

Then I had Jack, and as he slowly got older, I slowly began to yell.

I remember someone telling me, "sometimes you just need to yell."
At the time I brushed her off.
Years later I agreed.
And now I'm pretty solid in the idea that you don't need to yell.

"Words that soak into your ears are whispered -not yelled." -unknown

Even now, I'm picturing a teacher in grade school who would make a hand signal above her head when she wanted us to be quiet.  Slowly the room would become quiet as each kid caught on, while I was usually the last one talking... and then I'd notice.  No yelling involved.  A room full of 15-20 kids quieted without yelling, pretty profound huh?  Did it take patience?  Oh I'm sure, but after accomplishing her goal I bet it felt so good on the inside.

I remember when I put the book in our garage sale and another mom bought it.
I thought to myself, "good luck" and was happy to see it go.

I'm going through another season in my life.  A season where my children yell, and I wish they didn't.  A season where I sometimes yell at Joel and I don't like it.  A season where I sometimes yell over cries and arguing when it would be better if I just stepped into the middle and took control with my presence and soft voice.

Don't get me wrong I'm not a compulsive yeller.  I actually think our house is pretty peaceful, but when my boys fight, when I'm frustrated and I'm tired, I raise my voice, and I don't like that part of me.

I want to be better.
I want to have a more peaceful home, one where my presence is felt, not heard.
It didn't hurt that I read this today when googling "how to stop yelling."

"Raise your words, not your voice.  It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder." -Rumi

I think it's a realistic goal, and a good one to strive for.
No yelling for a year.

I'll post a few follow ups along the way.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Becoming a better listener.

I sat across from my new friend sipping ginger tea in her kitchen.

Her words came out slowly and sometimes almost in a whisper, and I felt my shoulders relax.  I took a deep breath, and somehow her peaceful energy that she let off changed the whole energy in the room.

I didn't know it at the time, but she's a much better listener than I am.

Fast forward a week.

I pulled an old book I use to love off the shelf and put in our bathroom.  Anything I want to read occasionally or I'd like Joel to pick up- I put in the bathroom.

Today I read the two page section called "Become a Better Listener."  And although I know I've read it before, I didn't see the truth in it like I do today.

"In some ways, the way we fail to listen is symbolic of the way we live.  We often treat communication
as if it were a race.  It's almost like our goal is to have no time gaps between the conclusion of the sentence of the person we are speaking with and the beginning of our own." -Richard Carlson, Ph. D.

I'm an introvert, and talking to a new friend can be very draining, but not with her.  She was slow and thoughtful with her words, something I admired and appreciated.  I noticed how it made our conversation deeper in moments and pressure-free.

"Slowing down your responses and becoming a better listener aids you in becoming a more peaceful person.  It takes pressure off of you.  If you think about it, you'll notice that it takes en enormous amount of energy and is very stressful to be sitting at the edge of your seat trying to guess what the person in front of you (or on the telephone) is going to say so that you can fire back your response.  But as you wait for the people you are communicating with to finish, as you simply listen more intently to what is being said, you'll notice that the pressure you feel is off.  You'll immediately feel more relaxed, and so will the people you are talking to." -Richard Carlson, Ph. D.

So glad I stumbled onto those two pages :)
Are you a good listener?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

1st Day of Spring

When I think of today I seeing myself at dusk chasing Jack to the creek.  I couldn't help but laugh the entire time, with him laughing too.  It's like one of those moments in a movie where everything slows down and you're chasing a giggling child through a field and everything else is blurry.

We were playing tag and I was it.  I couldn't catch him and I was running as fast as I could.

After we caught our breath, we looked up at the sky.  The stars were just staring to come out and we counted them.

Before tag we were clearing our land of any trash that had blown in over the winter.  Since the snow has melted we've found quite a bit of stuff.

Later we laid in the grass and I pointed out bird nests in the trees.  Since there are no leaves they're much easier to find.  Soon the woods will be thick again.

We're excited Spring is here.  Our avocado trees have sprouted roots and I've been saving all of our paper egg cartons over the winter.  Soon we'll be able to start our seeds.

Oh, I almost forgot, Jude woke up half naked today.  Ha!  I went in his room to see if he was awake because I hadn't heard anything yet and it was almost 9-am.  His room was cozy with an electric heater blowing on his dresser, and when I looked over the rails, I saw his tiny baby bum.

He is so sweet.  I left him there to sleep, and he didn't wake for another hour.

Monday, March 10, 2014

our life lately

I prefer my blog to be raw and honest and transparent, so that's where I'll begin.

Right now I'm boiling my diva cup and drinking ice water from a large water-bottle.

Our household is on the mend after a virus has swept through this weekend, causing havoc and causing me to call off (a newborn session) for the first time since I can remember when.

Lots of veggies, snuggles, warm blankets, water and the occasional tylenol for a fever that is more than uncomfortable.  The boys have already kicked the bug with their young immune systems that went into overdrive.

As we wait for Spring I've been stocking up on my reading lists for the year.  I've been digging deep into homeschooling and we have decided to get our feet wet.

Tomorrow is our first homeschool gym session at the local Y.  Jack will get to swim for an hour with other homeschoolers his age and then spend an hour in the gym with them.  I've even buying a book off one of the other Mothers I've met online in the co-op.

I hope it is a good fit for us.  I'll give it several shots.  Sometimes the path is right when the timing is not.  While I believe first impressions are important, I think follow up impressions can be just as powerful.

Today I'm finalizing our list on Amazon for our curriculum for the Spring/Summer.  I'm excited to share it soon with you all.

Jack is still in preschool, so next fall he will be prepared if we decide public schooling is best.  Right now he goes twice a week for 3 hours, and he loves it.  His teachers are amazing and we feel right at home there.  He even has his eye on a girl, ha!  And he begs me stop if I mention her.

We've talked to him about homeschooling, his thoughts are... "If I get to swim then I'm all in!"  He's very excited about the homeschooling program that our Y hosts weekly for the school year.

As for the rest of the family, we are doing well.

We're cooking more at home and spending more quality time together.  We've been talking about family projects when the weather gets nice and we've been talking more about faith.

We hope to travel later this year and save up for a used Jeep.  We want a fun vehicle we can drive at night and see the stars!  We also need a 4-wheel drive for the winter months here in Ohio, a lesson we learned the hard way.

My business is booming and the pace is exactly where I'd like it to be.  Word of mouth referrals are the best.  We are all interconnected and it's a beautiful thing.  Google search doesn't hurt either ;)

We are blessed.
As I sit here with diarrhea, lol.
We are blessed.

Monday, March 3, 2014

quiet time

It feels like I'm going through a quiet period on my blog here.

I've been diving deep into subjects like homeschooling, slow food, organic eating and changing our values as a family.

We're saving more and spending less.  We're more intentional and it feels good.  It feels right.

More time together as a family, more time as a couple and reaching out to those who are family and friends.  Sharing memories and saying goodbye to people we love.  Going through all the stages of life and watching new souls enter too.

My job has been a whirlwind of maternity and newborn sessions, it is the season right now and I love it.  Summer will slowly turn my work towards weddings and they make me just as happy and present.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

I'm chopping off all my hair

I'm getting the itch again.
And I don't quite feel like myself with long brown hair.

Short hair is so liberating.
This will be me next week :)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Dear Jack

Dear Jack,
Tonight we cuddled on the couch before bed and read two books together.  One was about a boy who got a puppy.
Afterwards, we headed to your bed where I rubbed your back and sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."  I said prayers and then told you a story about a girl getting a puppy named Valentine.
Then I told you I had a dog named Valentine... you slowly smiled and knew it was from my childhood.

I watched you rub your eyes and I saw an eyelash on your cheek.
I put it on my finger, told you to make a wish and blow.

You said out loud that you wished you had a puppy.  I promised you'd have one someday.

I hate to admit this, but for awhile I'd rush though our bedtime routine... I just wanted some peace and time for myself, but the older I get, the more I cherish you and our time together.  I savor the books, the looks, the stories and even the eyelashes.  

No more rushing.  No more mindless, quick reads.  I love you.  I love you to the moon and back.

Slowing down with you at bedtime has become one of my favorite times of the day... because no matter what happened, I know we'll have our time together to make everything right, and it will be slow and intentional.  I think going to bed happy, cuddled and loved is all any child wants.  I hope you have lots of memories of us at bedtime.  The books, the cuddles, the songs and the giggles.

                                                                           Love you always,
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