Lazy Dayz

I’m enjoying a Saturday with coffee and nowhere to be. I’m loving the roaring fire and the fact that I’m still in my jammies. I am not even going to glance at my To Do list. 

 (Photo cred livelifehappy.com)

We get so busy hurrying and scurrying that we barely make a space in our lives to take a breath sometimes. That kind of pace can’t be sustained, at least not by the likes of me.

I hear my kids jumping around upstairs, I should probably check on the baby as I’ve lost my visual and he’s the kid who does this: 

 (photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016.)

Now you see why I have trouble getting anywhere on time and why I buy only washable marker. 

How cute is he even when he’s a mess???

Enjoying some breathing time today, how about you? How can you un-busy your world to enjoy what’s happening right this minute?

Have a blessed Saturday friends!

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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) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

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30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 3

Today I’m grateful for the mess. 

I’m grateful that I’m blessed with so many kids my house is bursting at the seams with toys and clothes and dust bunnies.  
I’m grateful for the piles of papers that helped get Mr. Wonderful medically retired. And I’m grateful that even though we’re a hot mess as a family most of the time, we are loved by the One who brought us all together in the first place–     
   
(Photo credit Meredith Shafer) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

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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) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

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

Work From Home They Said

Can I tell you how much I love my day job? I’m the Director of a foundation that gives grants to organizations in our metro area that help the most underserved, forgotten and abused populations of our community. I get to see beautiful things happen every week in the most broken areas of our city. Things that restore my hope and faith. In God and in humans.

I’ve been doing this job for over a decade and it never ceases to amaze me the capacity that some have for service to others. Hugs, food, clothing, prayer, shelter, time, faith, joy and love are just some of the things I’ve witnessed passed from one person to another.

Did I mention I love my job?

On the days where I’m not out and about watching miracles and moments and mission happen, I’m working from home. With two of our four kids underfoot. Who just happen to be three and one.

After having had a succession of three year olds in my house I now know that this is the one to keep your eye on.

In my experience, the three year old is the one who floods your bathroom. Who fingerpaints an entire room with five tubes of fingerpaint you didn’t even know you had the day before you put your house in the market. Who gets stuck at the top of the stairs when they climbed the OUTSIDE of it.

In fact, just during the writing of this post I had to stop and clean up a 120 pack of wipes the current three year old had freed one by one from the package because they were “butterflies.” All over the living room.



I’m so grateful that my board of directors allows me the luxury of working from home. It’s amazing that I don’t have to punch a clock or commute into an office or have someone looking over my shoulder constantly. I could not be more grateful.

I’m finding that I just have to be much more creative with how and when I get my actual work done. Nap times, early mornings, bedtimes and times when Mr. Wonderful can corral the crazy are my optimum work times. This may be unconventional, and it certainly takes some getting used to, but it’s working for our family.

And when I’m home working, my background noise is often, as it is right this second, the sound of kids laughing. As they dump out a 100 piece army soldier set and throw them at each other. Especially the one year old-he seems to really enjoy this.





So my home office is a wreck and now my living room is too. But I will get some work done, then I will play with my munchkins for a bit before nap time. 

And I think, though this time is hard and weird and a giant mess of kid chaos most of the time, that I will look back on this as one of the highlights of my life. I think I will have hindsight to show me that the gift of both working from home and my kids being in the midst of it, was something very special.

Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015