[Destination]: A Clean, Organized Kids’ Closet

We finally did it!  We moved the girls into the same room, and they are loving it.  I have to say, I’m loving it, too.  It has it’s moments, like naps are pretty much irrelevant at this point for my youngest when the oldest is in there with her.  And they tend to wake each other up in the mornings.  But, all in all, this has been such a great experience, and I’m so glad we finally got ourselves organized enough to do it!

Moving Little B over to Big B’s room was a smooth transition.  However, moving her stuff has taken quite some time to actually accomplish.  DH and I had to figure out how to get clothes and other items to fit into the room without dressers taking over the entire space.  I think I’ve said before (or at least meant to say before) that we have had WAY too many clothes in our house.  Thank God I actually purged a bunch of that stuff already!  I couldn’t even imagine trying to fit two little girls with oodles of clothes into the same room before.  Now, it’s totally doable.  And not only because of the decluttering…

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The original inspiration for this project came from a pin on Pinterest from iHeartOrganizing.  However, after looking at prices and realizing we would probably need a little more storage space in the closet itself, we decided on a DIY shelving system that could hold more storage bins.  The photo above is what DH and I finally agreed upon…and I couldn’t be happier!  Each girl gets her own set of colored bins (the blue ones are for overflow), and each bin holds something different (one has socks/underwear/swimsuits, one has PJs, and the other has seasonal bottoms).  The bins on the bottom shelf hold each girls’ shoes.  I need more hangers, but I’m hanging shirts on the bottom and dresses on the top, and each girl gets one side of the closet.  

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We’re actually close to not needing ANY dresser in their room…ANY!  I’m already coming up with things to do with the extra space (a little reading nook in their room, since they have so many books – add that project to the list).  

While this all may have started from a simple pin, it’s leading me towards becoming content with what we have.  Is this my dream house?  No.  But turning it into our home is bringing peace.  It’s also helping our family to realize there are more important things than “keeping up with the Joneses”.  Maybe someday we’ll have our dream house, and we’ll keep taking steps to get to that point.  For now, this is where God has us, and I need to leave all of this up to Him.  I’m blessed to have a roof over my head, food on the table, and family and friends by my side to share in this joy.  I pray that you all learn to be content wherever you are, too.

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[Destination]: Home…from vacation

This past week was spent just a few short hours from our home to celebrate the marriage of my brother-in-law.  It was a truly great time with some truly great people.  We got to spend the entire week at a little retreat in the woods (well, a wooded area of Mechanicsburg anyway), and we felt like we were able to just “get away” for a few days.  While we still had the rush of getting ready for the wedding and packing as much into 7 days with our West Coast family as we could, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

It’s amazing what can be revealed to you once you take a moment to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view.  It’s in those quiet, albeit chaotic, moments that you realize just what you might be missing or what you really do need in your life.

Lessons learned during this vacation:

1. Slow down.  Life is not to be rushed through, and it also does not bend to my rules.  No matter how much planning you put into a day, something will always go differently than you expect.  Roll with it.  Enjoy it.  Watch your kids (and yourself) grow from it.  And don’t stress about the fact that things change in an instant.  Control what you can, but be ok with what comes your way.

2. Family is of utmost importance.  Ok, so I already knew this one.  I know it enough that I often tell my DH how much I miss his brothers who are now all out West.  Their families are growing, our family is growing, and my girls often ask if we can invite their aunts, uncles and cousins to their birthday parties.  It breaks my heart.  So, we will make it a priority to do what we can to get out there and visit.  Because life is all about your family and it needs to be a priority no matter what.

3. Live life simply.  Learn about what you need and what you can do without.  The simpler life is, the happier you will be.  Clean out your stuff, cut down on your bills, really take the time to think about whether you need that bigger house or more expensive car.  You’d be so surprised about what you can live without and what you really can get by with.  As an example, I know our lives have gotten so much better and more meaningful through simply turning off our cable.  It saves us some money each month, and we’re “forced” to spend more time as a family, connecting, bonding, and just plain talking to each other.

I’m so thankful for the time that we’ve gotten to spend with family over the past week.  Now, it’s time for us to unpack, decompress, and get back to our normal routine.  That routine will certainly be changing.  I think the girls have really like a more “relaxed” mommy over the past week.  My biggest hint was yesterday, on our way home, my oldest daughter Keira kept telling me she loves me.  Over and over again I got to hear those beautiful words from her.  I asked her this morning why she kept telling me that (not that I was complaining) and she said, “because I just love you”.  That’s certainly good enough for me.Image

[Destination]: A Happy Mommy

Boy, there are days (many, in fact) where I feel like a Monster Mommy.  I’m constantly telling my kids “no” and “don’t do that” and “stop it”.  And, of course, there’s the yelling and screaming.  My kids do not respond well to that.  Then, I feel bad when I’ve made them cry, start to cry along with them, and find myself apologizing for the way I acted.  It’s bad.  And I hate it.

You see, my kids are really good kids.  I’ve been blessed with two very loving, very strong-willed, and very well-behaved daughters.  I’ve even been blessed with a boy (who’s on the way in October).  So many people tell me how well my daughters play together and how nicely they interact with each other.  And, I have to admit, they really do.

So why does Monster Mommy come out on occasion you ask?  Because this mommy has issues.  There, I’ve said it.  I have issues.  Unfortunately, I have my own demons that I have yet to deal with, and they come out at my kids when they’re not acting exactly as I think they should be at that moment.  I hate it.  My girls are 2- and 4-years-old.  They act like 2- and 4-year-olds act.  And that should be ok.

Being a mom is a tough job.  I know that when I left my life in the corporate world to be a stay-at-home-mom, I got a lot of strange looks (especially from the men).  I left a fairly well-paying position as a manager where I got to direct adults, teach them new ways of doing things, and run my department, to instead go change diapers, clean up the house, and teach my kids to share their toys and wipe their noses.  I’m pretty sure that some of the men in my company thought I was absolutely nuts, and that I was taking the “easy way out”.  My former boss actually told me that I would be back in less than a year.  Nice vote of confidence, huh?

I’ll tell you right now, I would not trade my life for the world.  Yes, I’ve thought about throwing in the towel once or twice (or maybe twenty times).  But then I take a look at my kids, even when they are screaming and fighting and making a huge mess, and I know that I’ve made the right decision for my family.  I haven’t seen my husband more thrilled than last night when he walked in the house, dinner was in the oven, and there I was, barefoot and pregnant, vacuuming the living room.  That may sound like something out of the 1950s, but honestly, I couldn’t have been happier either.  Life makes sense now.

So what’s the strategy from here on out in order to not be Scary Monster Mommy anymore?  I really don’t know.  There might be no way to avoid me this way, but I will try.  I’ll keep asking for help, look to God in times of need, stop and think about what I’m about to say, grow and change and become a better person all around.  But, for now, I have to accept the good with the bad and know that, while it’s not always easy, it is ALWAYS worth it.

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