31 Days of Real Life: Day 7

Here's my quick thought for the day, as I come off the heels of a busy work week:

It's not worth it to try to stress yourself out and cross off every to-do list item. It's just not. Why? Because the list will always be there. One thing gets done but another thing inevitably pops up. It's the nature of life, and it's okay. It's okay if you feel like something has slipped or if you're running behind. At least that's what I'm telling myself. So much to do, with seemingly not enough time. BUT if I pressure myself to do everything and do it all perfectly, I'm doing a disservice to myself and those around me. I guess the moral of the story today, is let's all give ourselves some grace.

Day 7, done.

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31 Days of Real Life: Day Six

Some days, your dinner game is on pointe. There are veggies--fresh ones--and a colorful palette on your child's plate (not that will eat all of it, but hey, at least you're trying). These are the nights where the meal doesn't come from boxes or cans and that involved, like, actual prep time and your actual oven. And you receive praises and applause as you take a bow before your family as they gratefully thank you for your diligent care and expertise in preparing such a fine meal. I may be mildly exaggerating here. These are the nights that you feel like a culinary goddess, a domestic powerhouse who keeps her family healthy and strong.

And then there are other nights, when you come home from work and have to leave right away to go to Cub Scouts, or whatever other activity it may be, and you realize it's almost 8:00 and holy heck, the kids have been snacking all evening but haven't actually had dinner, and you thank the Lord in His great goodness for the creation of Hot and Ready pizzas and you call it good.

Amen.

Day 6, complete.

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31 Days of Real Life: Day 5

The purpose of this writing challenge is two fold:

1. To prompt myself to actually write and post something every single day this month.

2. To make sure each post falls under the theme of "Real Life." No sugar coating allowed.

Keeping that in mind, I give you day 5 of my "real life" experience. Welcome to my dining room. Technically, this all happened yesterday, but seeing as how it still looks exactly like this, I figure it's appropriate to share it today. We are waiting for our insurance company to send an adjuster out to pinpoint the exact cause and exact coverage determination, but yeah, this is real life today. Yikes.

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All in all, it could be a lot worse. The kids are often in that room playing with Legos on the table, but thankfully they were at school when this happened. All of the Legos are buried under all of that fiberglass insulation though, so that's a bummer. There were at least 30-40 mini-figures. Hopefully they can be recovered or deemed replaceable. I didn't have any dinner guests planned anytime in the immediate future, so that's a plus. And, both entrances into the dining room have a door, so the space can be closed off from the rest of the house. Out of sight, out of mind, at least for another day, until the adjuster comes out and tells us where to go from here. But the sooner this real mess is out of my real life, the sooner I'll be real happy about that!

Also, be sure to check out past posts in the series and the Laughter Without Fear Facebook page for nightly updates!

31 Days of Real Life: Day 4

Today at work, I was at the first of two teacher-training days that helped us prepare for a five-day event that will happen later this school year, where we will have school at a nature center for a week. It included a 50 minute nature journaling exercise that was the most peaceful and serene experience I have had in months. We each found a spot far away from anyone else, sat down on a stool, and write about + sketched what we saw around us. It was such a calming experience. 

As I looked around me and sketched out the fall colors of the trees across the lake in front of where I was seated, I remembered a conversation I had with my Grandma Dixon on a summer day when I was ten or eleven years old. 

"Christina," she began,  "what color are those trees up ahead?" She was driving, and pointed to a cluster of trees next to the road off in the distance.

As we got closer, wondering if it was a trick question, I gave what I thought was the correct response. "Green." 

"You're not wrong." she said. "But there's so much more to it than that. If you really look hard, you will see not just one shade of green, but many. You'll see yellows, pinks, and browns. There's always more than just one color."

Grandma liked to paint nature scenes and landscapes, and perhaps she was telling me this, hoping I would appreciate it in the literal sense. I did, of course, and often think about it, and her, when I am taking in a beautiful scene like I did today. But it also applies to so much more. People. Relationships. Life. You may look at something and make a snap decision based on what you see at first. But it's not that simple. And if you stop to look, you'll see that there's a lot more color than you originally thought. 

 

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#write31days: Day 3

The beauty of this 31-day writing challenge is that there are no rules other than consistency. I must commit to sharing bits of real life each day this month, but how much or how little may vary. I could expand upon the words and phrases: rushing, dinner in the crock pot, teaching, prepping sub plans due to teacher training tomorrow, many tasks and little time, etc. BUT expansion is completely unnecessary unless I want it to be. With that freeing revelation, I will just highlight a small part of my evening...

Because mama has to relax when and where she can. Here I am lounging in the bed of the ER where I had to go get my stitches removed tonight, following a nasty mini bike accident a few weeks ago. Evelyn told me I was acting "vewwy bwave" and held my hand.

Because mama has to relax when and where she can. Here I am lounging in the bed of the ER where I had to go get my stitches removed tonight, following a nasty mini bike accident a few weeks ago. Evelyn told me I was acting "vewwy bwave" and held my hand.

Suckers. Cartoons. They were happy. Mommy was happy. Success. 

Suckers. Cartoons. They were happy. Mommy was happy. Success. 

Now the kids are in bed, Chris is on his way home from recording school, and I've got a not-so-hot date with a laundry basket. I know, I know. Don't be jealous.  

Be sure to follow along on my Facebook page, and check out the rest of the posts in the Write 31 Days series:

Day 2

Day 1

#write31days Launch Post

#write31days: Day 2

Today there are few words, but a few pictures to represent the details of real life today. I did not get a picture of this (you're welcome) but it should be noted that my day also included a short nap with Evelyn, which was blissful and helped a nasty headache go away. 

Powerful reminder at church today: Do I turn to Jesus only when I'm starving and in desperate need? Or do I turn to him for daily nourishment?  'Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.' John 6:35

Powerful reminder at church today: Do I turn to Jesus only when I'm starving and in desperate need? Or do I turn to him for daily nourishment?

 'Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.' John 6:35

Local friends, if you are looking for a church and are in the Lapeer area, I would love to have you join my family and I at Woodside Bible Church. There are also several other campuses in southeast Michigan. There are so many amazing things happening there for God's glory. It's home for us.  :)

Jesus is my daily bread, but Meijer had my literal bread on sale for $1.99, plus everything else I needed for the next week or two. Real life, y'all. 

Jesus is my daily bread, but Meijer had my literal bread on sale for $1.99, plus everything else I needed for the next week or two. Real life, y'all. 

These two kept me company at the grocery store and were such a big help. It's such a game changer only taking one or two kids to the store instead of all three. Not all shopping trips are hassle-free. I've had some that left me bawling. Thankful for today's positive experience! 

These two kept me company at the grocery store and were such a big help. It's such a game changer only taking one or two kids to the store instead of all three. Not all shopping trips are hassle-free. I've had some that left me bawling. Thankful for today's positive experience! 

When we got home, Chris was working on his first attempt at harvesting the walnuts from our trees out back.  

When we got home, Chris was working on his first attempt at harvesting the walnuts from our trees out back.  

This was the seventh night in a row that Jackson and I have been working on his reading workbooks and beginning readers at night before bed. Trying to be super intentional with him about this, and he has been loving it. He has made a lot of progress and he is so proud of himself whenever he reads a sentence, new work, or book by himself! I am one proud mama (and teacher)!  

This was the seventh night in a row that Jackson and I have been working on his reading workbooks and beginning readers at night before bed. Trying to be super intentional with him about this, and he has been loving it. He has made a lot of progress and he is so proud of himself whenever he reads a sentence, new work, or book by himself! I am one proud mama (and teacher)!  

My proud reader. My heart could burst. 

My proud reader. My heart could burst. 

Alright friends, that's day two of Christina's Real Life in a nutshell. Two days in and I have a 100% success rate with this challenge. So far, so good. To be continued. Don't forget to check back tomorrow!  

#write31days: Day 1

Life is full of bumps in the road. Today I had a minor bump that derailed some plans. Loaded everyone in the car to head to visit a friend who just had a baby, and who lives about an hour away. After everyone had found shoes, gone potty, gotten every toy, blankie, book, etc. that they might need, then gone potty again, then lost a shoe, found it again, and then finally, blessedly got in the van and buckled up, I realized we would not actually be going anywhere. A surprise twist, as it may be. 

Turns out someone had opened the back door with a wee bit too much force (it wasn't me, honest, but a child who shall not be named!) and it came off of its hinges. I couldn't close it completely. I couldn't open it any further. It was stuck. I was stuck. Chris wasn't home and wasn't due back for several more hours. So, I tried to fix it myself, did not succeed, may have muttered some things under my breath that were full of frustration, and then decided to move on. 

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On the plus side, this meant we got to spend some extra time with my friend's son, who had been along for the ride with us today while his mama was working at her older son's cold and rainy football game. We don't get to see him all that often, and he is a riot. His mama and I have been friends for almost our entire lives-since kindergarten in 1991 and it's so fun to live close enough now to get to be a part of our kids' lives. Another plus is that I made the executive decision to put in a movie-if you haven't seen Inside Out, you are missing out, and now we are all being lazy. Well, I'm being half-lazy/half-productive, since I'm writing this on my phone as I watch it. 

Let's not talk about the pile of laundry in front of me that I am choosing to ignore.  

Let's not talk about the pile of laundry in front of me that I am choosing to ignore.  

So, that's a glimpse of real life for me today. Plans changed, but the world didn't end. Bumps in the road happen, and sometimes you just have to take a different path, and keep moving forward. 

Day 1 of real life, complete!

 

Write 31 Days Challenge: 31 Days of Real Life

Fall is my favorite season, hands down. Pretty colors, sweater weather, trips to the cider mill, and yes, everything pumpkin.

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I've just recently discovered something else that I decided to add to my life this month and I am really excited about it, although halfway through, I may decide that this was post was written in a moment of temporary insanity.

While reading a recent blog post from writer Becky  McCoy, I discovered the Write 31 Days writing challenge and have decided to take part. I have been looking for something that can help me be more intentional with writing more often, and this will hopefully give me the push that I need, all while sharing the realities of life with all of you!

I will be documenting the next 31 days with pictures and words that fall under the theme "31 Days of Real Life", which is to say that I will share the good, the bad, and the ugly of what my life looks like as a mother, wife, teacher, writer, daughter, and whatever other roles come into play this month! All of the "hats" we wear tend to intermingle, after all.

I will try my very, very hardest to write one post each day. Sometimes just photos, but often there will be words to go along with it. I hope you will check back here on the blog to stay up to speed, and also check my Facebo ok page for the links to the posts each day. It's a little intimidating to commit to writing and sharing every single day for an entire month (prayers and encouragement are greatly appreciated!), but it's exciting at the same time, and I hope you'll join me!

Cheers to the next 31 days. When they are over I am DEFINITELY having a slice of pumpkin pie to celebrate. ;)