Easy Like Sunday Morning

I was sick the first part of this weekend so I feel like I need another day–anyone else need one as well?!?

I’m just now feeling up to tackling my weekend projects, like laundry and a few work things and refinishing an old desk. Not sure it’s as realistic goal to get all those done today…especially since church, lunch and grocery shopping will take up my morning.  (Photo cred etsy.com)

So I’m drinking coffee to try and get a handle on today. I’ll let you know how that goes.(Photo cred Sweatpantsandcoffee.com)

While I’m waiting for my coffee to kick in, here’s my gratitude list for the day: 

-a beautiful roof over my head

-plenty of food (well, after I go grocery shopping)

-a good job that has the flexibility to let me be here for my family

-plenty of coffee (I ran out yesterday and it was a difficult morning to say the least, so I’m super grateful that Mr. Wonderful picked some up when I wasn’t feeling well.)

-naps, Christmas movies, and pajamas all day (pretty much yesterday)

-healthy kids

-a sweet husband who is doing the best he can every day to get better

Have a blessed, well-spent and refreshing Sunday y’all! (Photo cred myblog.com)
┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015. Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hello!

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Laundry Truths

  
I got this from my friend over at Life, Kids and a Glass of Red–this is truth! (And you should go check out her blog, it’s hilarious!)

If you’re stuck doing laundry today like me, I’m sorry! Let’s chuck it all and do something irresponsible, like write on our blogs­čśé

Have a blessed Tuesday, y’all!

(Photo credit NickMom) ┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015

Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

The Struggle is Real

Ever have those days (weeks) where you just can’t quite get your flow? 

We. Are. There.

The seven year old told me this morning during a particularly rough patch of getting ready time that he wished he was being raised by wolves.

Parenting fail.

The PTSD has been more PTSDish this week, with fogginess and forgetfulness. The Mama has had much less patience with everything. And then I find something that sent me right over the edge: 

 I left a note that says “To whoever’s doing this, I will hunt you down!” 

Unfortunately there are two potential culprits who can’t read so my threats may be lost on 33% of the household but whatever.

We’re transitioning our eating to organic, real food and gluten free(ish) so I made an attempt at gluten free cookies the other night that turned out like this: 

 The four year old got into the markers: 

 And at one point last night I lost the baby. THE BABY! Turns out he was outside while his big brother was practicing the trombone (your welcome Highland Farms addition!) but my heart was in my throat for a brief moment.

There have been too many doctor appointments, therapy appointments, treatments, homework, actual work, laundry, dirty dishes, dirty floors and just messiness. At this point it may be easier to burn the house down than to clean it, and of course we’re having family over this weekend for birthday celebrations.

Crap! I have to go buy presents.

Things are undone here at the Shafer Casa but we are still holding on. I’m in need of a perspective change, a paradigm shift, a better attitude.

The only way I know how to do that is to find things right now even in the middle of the mess to celebrate. To be grateful for. So here is my list for the moment:

-My sweet baby who still runs at me with open arms and slobbery kisses when he hasn’t seen me for awhile.

-My twelve (how is he twelve?!) year old who practices trombone outside and made first chair.

-My seven year old who tries so hard.

-The sweet girl who still just sometimes wants to snuggle with her Mama.

-The partner who hugs me when things get too hard and tells me we’re all gonna be ok.

Reading over that list shows me I have a lot of blessings in my life right now. I shouldn’t waste another minute on the stuff not going right, but breathe in the stuff that is.

Good talk, y’all. Thanks!  

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer) ┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015

Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

Bless This Mess

Maybe it’s because I’ve hit my busy time at work or we’ve started school or I’m just not in my groove yet but things are kind of a wreck around here. If you’ve been checking out my Instagram feed lately you can see a theme: big fat mess! 

 (Yesterday’s post, my actual laundry room!)

It’s ok, I own it.

I recognize at this point in my life it is just not possible for me. Well, it is, but then I would have to give up things that are important to me: Oasis time with Mr. Wonderful, family dinners, playing outside time with my kids, precious time alone.  (Snapped this adorable pic of a great big sis taking her brother for a ride)

I’m just not willing to give any of those things up for a clean house or even an organized one at this point. We are slowly but surely getting ourselves together and adapting to our new normal and that’s good enough.

We are learning to give ourselves and each other a break. And then we plow through the mess to continue making memories. For the longest time my hands were so full: of deadlines and papers, hurts and worries, To Dos and expectations. And now, even though I still have those things that must happen today to keep my family on track, I try to focus on the priorities and let everything else go. 

(Three gifts from my kids while we were playing outside-my treasures)

 
I am choosing to be a different kind of Supermom: I’m the one whose kids may arrive somewhat messy and loud but I bet they’ll be laughing. And Mr. Wonderful and I may not have a typical household-the Mad Cow (PTSD) makes that impossible. But we embrace the impossible around here. We do what we can do and leave the rest for tomorrow–it’ll still be there when tomorrow comes. And if we can handle tackling it then, we will.
After the last few years we’ve been through–Mr. Wonderful going kinda nuts, us finally getting a PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury) diagnoses, him getting treatment, our family learning how to cope with our new normal–the little things just don’t matter anymore. It’s amazing how your perspective can shift when you’ve seen up close and personal how bad things could be.

So we’re a mess. And I’m grateful for it. God bless this mess!

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015) ┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015

I would love to connect with you on Instagram and Twitter, swing by and say hello! 

#PTSD #mentalillness #nostigma #messyhouse #blessthismess #blessings #mypinkchampagnelife

Laundry

Have I mentioned yet how much I hate laundry? 

It may be a smidge out of control and my helpers are only mildly effective at best. One of them who shall remain nameless is constantly undoing all of the laundry we’ve already folded. As proof I’m including an actual un-retouched photo of my laundry room–and it’s not even the worst it’s ever been. 

I should probably be embarrassed. But this is real life y’all! 

To stay on top of the amount of clothes needing washed I really need to do two loads every day. I blame Mr. Wonderful for this–because he is a giant his clothes are humongous and take up lots of room. Truly I am in need of a visit from the Laundry Fairy.

I need her to whisk away my dirty laundry and exchange it for clean and sparkly. She seems to be to busy to drop by these days.

Does anyone else ever run a load of laundry, forget about it because you got busy with twenty-seven other things and then have to re-wash it? Twice?

Yeah, me either.

Mr. Wonderful tries to help out but he has the Mad Cow which means his short term memory makes it nearly impossible to remember about that load of clothes he put in. Sometimes I re-wash his loads and mine. The silver lining here though is that when our clothes are clean they’re CLLLEEEEAAAAANNNN!

I’m hoping to get to some laundry later today as my children have informed me they have nothing to wear tomorrow. But I also know my limitations: I have two work appointments and a speech therapy appointment for the seven year old, plus dinner, homework and baths to navigate. It might not happen.

It’s ok, that’s what I have Febreeze for….­čśë

Anyone else brave enough to post a pic of their laundry room?

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015) ┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015. I would love to connect with you on Instagram @MyPinkChampagneLife and Twitter @MyPinkChampLife. Swing by and say hello!

Writing as Procrastination

Do you ever have those days where your To Do List is so long that you’re completely overwhelmed? So instead of tackling the list you find something to do that’s not even on it?

Yeah, me either.

Truthfully, this post is in direct response to the pile of mail on my desk, the pile of laundry that needs attention (oh laundry, why must you vex me so?), the pile of bills that needs paying, and the pile of poo that a Mama of young kids often finds herself up to the elbows in.

Rest assured, the diaper has been changed. As for the laundry, work and bills, no thank you. Maybe if I’m polite enough it will all just go away so I can take a nap.

Some days, like today where I can use writing as a brain dump and a procrastination technique all at once, I love it. I relish it. I crave it like chocolate. Ok, maybe less than chocolate but still. Rats! Now I’ve just convinced myself to procrastinate writing by finding chocolate. 

Sheesh.

Other days I get so angry at writing I could just wring its scrawny little neck. Stop tormenting me already! I just wrote yesterday! I can skip a day, right? Quit flirting with me, calling me like a siren to her sailors. Don’t tease me, offering a reprieve from my daily workload only to turn me away with nothing to show on paper for my efforts.

The writing life is something that’s always followed me around like a little lost pup. I could ignore it for so long before I had to take action. (You can buy the resulting book of my action taking here.) And now that I’m writing and speaking about topics important to me (like adoption and PTSD), it’s become my pet. Writing has become my passion and distraction.

I know there are a thousand other things I should be doing right now, but putting words from my mind to the paper is like meeting an old friend for coffee. It’s time well spent, a relief to pick up where you left off, and a warm fuzzy for the heart.

I really wish this didn’t have to end. 

Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

 

 

Writing on Purpose

Since we’ve moved, I’m trying to find my go-to writing spot. My favorite place, Cuppies & Joe is now too far to dash away to whenever I find myself with a bit of time to write.

So I’m auditioning writing spots. Today’s is an epic fail. With four kids underfoot all the time, I need a place with a relaxed vibe, good coffee, a comfy place to sit. The coffee shop I’m in today is for people much cooler than I am. And probably younger.

I’m sitting on a hard metal bench listening to techno music while sipping tea. This is all wrong for me! For some, again those more hip and awesome than the likes of me, this would probably be writing nirvana.

However.

Sidebar: however is just a fancy schmancy way of saying but. I like to throw it in every once in awhile to convince you I’m an authentic writer.

For me I can barely think writerly thoughts. My mind keeps getting caught up in the loop of the nonsensical words and techno beat. Pretty soon my writing is just going to look like beep beep boop. (Nod to WordPress.com there.)

Sigh.

I have to find my spot quickly. I’m supposed to be working on the follow up book to My Pink Champagne Life with a finished manuscript by, oh, January-ish, and my muse, my mojo and my main writing area are missing! Anyone seen my mojo?

Here’s the thing I would encourage all writers with however (there’s that fancy but again): write anyway. Write even when the place is wrong. The words won’t come. The time is short. The To Do List is long. The kids are home. The coffee is cold. The Internet is down. The laundry is calling.

Write when you don’t feel like it and write when you do. Write as if your fingers are on fire. Write when you’re sick and when you’re well and when you feel as if you have nothing to write about.

I promise you this: if you get in the habit of writing no matter what, eventually you will end up with usable words on a page that can turn your dreams and hopes and promises to yourself into that book or article or story that you were meant to write. That only you can tell.

My only advice to writers is the same advice I give to my three year old: 

Use. Your. Words.

Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

Not Ready

We’re packing our bags to go home. I find that though I’m ready to see all my babies and be in my own space again, I’m not ready to leave these relaxed vacation feelings behind. Please don’t judge me, but I’m so not ready to have responsibility other than my own needs yet. I’m not ready for the weight that is my world.

I still have a few hours of weightlessness yet. Some of it will be used up by sleep. As much as I love sleep I’d rather spend my last free moments leaving the house spontaneously or shopping or smooching Mr. Wonderful wherever and whenever I feel like it without eight eyeballs watching or a chorus of “Mamas” every minute and a half.

I’m so grateful for time free from being a grownup. This is a hard gig, one that I feel ill-equipped for most days. Between all the kids, jobs, book promotion, PTSD, events, lessons, homework, groceries, laundry and bills I feel like I’m drowning sometimes. This week has given me a chance to breathe air again.

Believe you me, I’m sucking it down like breathing is going out of style. I’m cramming every moment of this getaway with Mr. Wonderful full of fun and laughing and reconnecting and smiling for no reason and food runs and silly pictures with large inanimate objects and eating candy and ruining my dinner with dessert first.

And I’m going to try my hardest to keep some of this lightness, some of this vacation mindset for my real life. Steal kisses from Mr. Wonderful. Smile at nothing and everything. Ruin my dinner with ice cream. So that my kids will see Mama, not Mama with responsibilities weighing her down but Mama ´╗┐embracing them while sailing thru and finding reasons to be joyful. Free. Light.

I’m not ready, but by tomorrow I will be.

´╗┐´╗┐

Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

Things Are Piling Up

Every mom has those weeks (months, years) where there seem to be more kids than time, more stuff than space, and more laundry than you could have ever imagined! I feel your pain sisters.

I am currently in one of those seasons. There are literal piles of work papers, home papers, a kid’s speech exercise papers and bill papers that all seem to have their own zip codes because the piles are so big. I should probably be more alarmed than I am. 

This is not really a DefCon 5 situation for me though. Being an artsy type, I need a little bit of clutter-it’s how I think and organize. Poor Mr. Wonderful is a different story though.

He’s retired military and is used to things being just so and shipshape and in good working condition. Alas, our family is none of those things. 

However, I say that with joy. My kids don’t have to be perfect for me-I am by far no example of perfection or organization. Some days I’m pretty sure I’m barely an example of mediocre, but again, I’m ok with that.

My kids just know that I only expect them to try their best. Work hard, be kind, show grace. Have gratitude. In fact, I think that the intersection of grace and gratitude is where a lot of cool stuff really starts to happen, especially inside a family.

Where grace and gratitude meet is where forgiveness starts. Where appreciation is shown. Where encouragement happens. These are all good things as far as a family is concerned. These are the oily fluids that keep family dynamics lubricated and functioning. When our spirits get gummed up with a lack of grace or gratitude stuff gets stuck. Gets gross. Gets broken.

Mr. Wonderful probably has to bite his tongue when I get creative with time management or when the paper avalanche created in our bedroom (because hey, it’s almost tax season as well!) threatens to tumble. He probably has other things planned to accomplish when I suggest playing hooky. But he shows me grace and is grateful that I’m the CFO of the family. And I don’t have to twist his arm too hard to get him to play hooky.

Grace shown leads to gratitude. I’m shown grace by my Heavenly Father, which then gets spread all over my family because of my gratitude. Sometimes the only difference between me thinking I’m having a good day versus me believing it’s rotten is my gratitude.

Frankly, things are piling up: bills, outgrown clothes, clean clothes, To Do Lists, children. I also have some other things piling up: love, joy, great memories, fun times, pictures, happiness. 

I guess when I focus on the right piles, my life seems pretty sweet.

Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015