Kindness starts with us

The other day I was at Barnes and Noble with all the kids. Jamin had a dentist appointment downtown and I needed to drive him back home.
During his appointment (four hours) we entertained ourselves in the children's section of the store.
Vera and Elena arranged quite a few stuffed animals onto a stage the store has for storytime. Their imagination took off from there. Esther and I followed Joshua around the store. His original plan was a train table that's usually there. Sadly, it was missing with no explanation. (Rude :p)
Another mom was there with her son. Our kids played together the whole time, making up stories on the stage for their mom audience.
When this other mom was leaving she told me how great I looked. How she is so exhausted with just one child. She also said how nice my kids were... It was just really nice.
I was feeling stressed out from keeping track of all the kids by myself. Once I got those words of encouragement I was lifted up. It changed my exasperation to patience and kindness. I was able to make it back to the car without feeling like I was trying to escape.
Of course, it gives me a good feeling to be complimented. But more importantly, it fills me up to be able to be more loving towards others. It takes away the negativity I may be feeling at the moment.
I hope this insight encourages you to compliment a stranger. Whether they seem like they need it or not. You could make their day better. More importantly, it gives them kindness to pass on.

I don't need you, Perfection

This afternoon I was reading to Elena. We were reading about Peter Rabbit and Jumper. They were going to school learning about their relatives. At the same time, I was trying to nurse Esther.
Esther started getting fussy because of her teething. We were only halfway through the story, so I got irritated that we had to stop.
I took a minute and stopped myself. I stopped myself from letting the irritation turn into anger. Then, went on to get Esther settled.
Elena went off to play with Vera while I took care of Esther. Within a short while, I was able to get back to the lesson with Elena. We contrasted the different types of rabbits we read about. Then, looked up photos of the different rabbits.
It wasn't the original plan. However, when you have multiple children, sometimes you have to go off plan. In the end, we still got our lesson in.
I've been dealing with stress lately. Some of it is trying to get more done than is humanly possible. The other part of it is trying to get things done "perfectly". I struggle a lot with perfection. This struggle can inhibit my ability to get anything done.
Perfection is also good friends with Comparison. Comparison likes to show up in my social media as well as out in the real world. Better dressers, better parents, better housekeepers... etc.
Even my goals list, I'm afraid, looks more like a copy of someone else's. I'll be going back over that soon. Some of my problem with my goals is poor time management. The other part is that I'm trying to accomplish goals that I don't care about. They are things that I think I need to do so that I keep up with what others are able to do.
Fear can also be paired with perfection. When you don't get something started because you don't think it will be perfect, that is the fear of failure. It's okay to fail. We weren't born knowing everything. We have to fail a little bit (or a lot) before we can get it right.
I think I'm going to have to write some more on perfectionism. But, another time, otherwise this post is going to get out of control with bunny trails. ;)

Outdoor projects roundup

Fall is here! The most wonderful time of the year! ;)
Our exterior is in need of some decor. I have the same wreath on my door from last winter :o
Our entry has been collecting random things and is looking sad. Here are some ideas I'm hoping to complete by next month. 

If we owned this house, I would be painting the door yellow! This wreath is a nice compromise. I also like the chinese lantern wreath on the same page.

I've been collecting jars for these fairy lanterns. 
These are going to go on our fence. 

Photo By: Image courtesy of Sam Henderson
I'm all about white pumpkins. I like the texture they added to this one.

I lOVE this from Lines Across. So many ideas... our porch may be filled with pumpkins. haha!

I also got a new light fixture for our porch (for $5!) 

What are you working on this month?  

September Goals

Time for a goal update! 

I did not do well. 
That's okay, though. I at least am working at some of these which is better off than where I was a few months ago.

Finish reading "An Unlikely Event", and "Orphan Train"
 I had a hard time getting into "An Unlikely Event". I don't know if it's because I kept getting interrupted, or I just didn't like it. I just got Orphan Train from the library, so we'll see how that goes.
I started, "Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me", by Mindy Kaling. So far, I think we're the same person. I've also started a non fiction book, "Antonín Dvořák", by John Clapham. I thought it would be fun to read about the composer Elena will be studying this month. I'll also be learning how to pronounce Czech names. lol.

Visit Mt. Rainier (There's a free entrance day this month!)
Didn't happen :( I forgot all about it when we made our budget, so we didn't have the money for gas. boo. 

Actually stick  to our grocery budget... *ahem*
I did okay with the grocery budget, but we got many coffees and ate out when those things were not in the budget.
Commit to 45 minute barre3 workout sessions at least 4 days each week
Didn't do this, because I was full of excuses. haha. 

Have a date with each of the kids (one on one) once a week
Well. Elena got a date...

Get to sleep by 10pm each night, so we have energy for all of this :D
Still working on this. Sometimes I'm so tired I have no choice... Most of the time though, Jamin and I stay up watching our shows. That's the bad thing about relying on netflix for our tv. We can just keep watching the next episode; we don't have to wait until next week.

Work up to getting out of bed at 5:30am

Get a date in with Jamin
This happened!! Our wonderful friend Mary watched all of our kids for us, for five hours! We ate at Ivars on the waterfront and then rode on The Great Wheel. It was so scary and I promised Jamin it would never happen again. lol
It really is the best to just be with each other and have each others' attention for a while.

Now, on to new(ish) goals!

Keep working on reading books
Kill the coffee and eating out for the month
Commit to 45 minute barre3 workout sessions at least 4 days each week
Have a date with each of the kids (one on one) once a week
Get to sleep by 10pm each night, so we have energy for all of this :D
Work up to getting out of bed at 5:30am
Get a date in with Jamin
Take a break (each day) to just do me things

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