Savor the small moments

My husband and I stopped at Village Inn for a late dinner after a long day. I felt so excited to just sit with him for a few minutes and have my favorite cheese fries. While pulling into the driveway of the restaurant I had a moment of clarity…we are so busy and get so caught up in that, that we forget that it’s moments like this that are the important ones. Not only do we need to create those opportunities, we need to realize that they are happening and appreciate and savor them.

“Savor life and all its magic” Unknown

I think it’s easy to fall into the thought process that the trips, the big dinner parties and the planned events are the special times. These are important but the small moments like stopping by for a few minutes to visit, a quick text or phone call to check in, or a last minute invite to lunch or dinner, those are the moments that matter the most. We are taking time to acknowledge that we love someone and want to spend time with them. When we receive those small gestures we need to recognize that the other person is taking a moment to say I love you. We all need to learn to savor and appreciate those moments and not take them for granted.

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together” Vincent Van Gogh

When we have thoughts to check in with someone, take a few minutes to call or text them. I feel strongly that when we have a thought and especially if it persists, we need to follow through. Our instincts are usually right and it is very possible that the person you are thinking of needs to hear that they are loved. I like that we can text, it’s a quick way to check in or ask a question. I think that we need to appreciate those text messages when we receive them. I know I love it when my kids and my mom send me a text just to say I love you, it makes my heart happy and makes my day. But I also think sometimes we need to take time to call, write a letter or see someone in person when possible. I’ll be honest, I am not a phone call person, I get phone anxiety which may sound weird, but it is what it is and it is something I am working on. So if you receive a phone call from me, you’re kind of a big deal.

So remember to create those small moments and remember to savor them when someone else creates one. Try not to take the ones that take the time for you whether it be big or small for granted. Just a side note, the photo I used for this post was taken by my beautiful and talented daughter in law Lindsay. I chose it for this post because I feel like it captured me savoring a small moment with her. She was sweet enough to take some photos for the blog. She did a wonderful job and I feel like she captured me just being me. Thank you Lindsay!

Sending love to each of you. Thank you all for taking the time to read this today.

Kind is the new cool

Be kind, it could be the sunshine that dries up someone’s rain.

My husband and I have a booth at a monthly flea market, it is hard work but so much fun. At this past Sunday’s market there were a lot of people, but one person stands out for me. A beautiful lady in her 60’s with soft long gray-blond hair that she wore in two braids and she was wearing a soft pink jacket. Beautiful smile and sweet spirit, I felt compelled to tell her how beautiful she is and how I love her hair. She hesitated for a moment, thanked me and told me that she really needed to hear that. She went on to tell me that she had been questioning herself lately, not knowing who she is and who she is supposed to be. I am so thankful that I spoke what I was feeling out loud to her. She said if nothing else she came to the market just for that, we gave each other a big hug, not one of those pat your back hugs, it was one of those hugs that you feel. I had a positive affect on her, but she also reminded me of my purpose. I have been so tired and so busy and putting off posting here on my blog. I have been questioning myself as well. I know what my purpose is, but I’ve been questioning how I am supposed to share it with you. Let’s just call it what it is, I have been overthinking. I want to share that the little things we do on a daily basis is what is important in our lives. These are the things that keep us mentally and spiritually healthy. The kindness we show to each other big or small is what we are here for. One comment can change someone’s day or possibly a life. Don’t hold back that kindness, give it away. And always remember the kindness you give should always start at home and spread from there. Kindness should not just be in your thoughts with strangers, it should be first and foremost with the ones you love on a daily basis.

Do I react, or do I respond?

It’s interesting how one word or a tone of voice can change a conversation between people. But something that also interests me is why do we take things personal? Is it the delivery of what is being said or do we need to take a moment before we respond? Is it the person speaking that needs to take a moment or is it a little of both? Taking things personal is something that I am constantly working on myself. I think in general people’s words and actions are not to intentionally hurt someone. I understand that not everyone has good intentions but for this post let’s focus on finding the good in people and assume that there is no malicious intent.

“Do I react, or do I respond?”

There is a term that my husband and I use for certain words or actions, we call them a “trigger”. I think if we can identify our own “triggers” and why they bring out a certain emotion in us it can help us to both speak and respond differently without taking things personally. There is absolutely no way for us to always be happy and not get a little annoyed like when we are hungry, or maybe need a nap, but I honestly think naming these “triggers” can help avoid unnecessary conflict.

“Do small things with great love” Mother Teresa

My husband recently had an opportunity to find out his style of communication is to lecture. This was a little hard for him to hear at first, but he is always trying to improve himself, so I think after he was able to discuss it and process it, he appreciated that it was brought to his attention. I’ve noticed that he has been working on it. For example, being on time is very important to both of us, but if we are getting close to the time, we should be leaving it causes him to feel anxious, so I do my best not to keep him waiting. I know that he is feeling anxious when he starts asking if I’m ready. When he is anxious he will of course have a certain tone (as we all do) or he makes the noises I lovingly refer to as his mild form of Tourette’s (I hope not to offend but if you know him, he really does make noises and blurt out words and I honestly think he can’t help it). I have noticed that lately, he simply asks… “let me know when you’re 5 minutes out”. I think he knows that it is just as important to me to be on time, and that I have not let him down in the past. But, I also know that it is part of his personality to check in with where things are so I try not to get annoyed and let me say it’s a lot easier to stay patient when he asks with patience in his voice. So this little change can help this exchange of words between us not turn into me taking it personal and feeling like he is saying you are going to make us late! It’s just hey, I’m checking in, are you almost ready to go?

I hope this little post will get you thinking, what small changes can I make in how I communicate, or how I listen, am I taking things personally when I don’t need to? Why does that word or statement hit a spot for me? Maybe try to respond by repeating what you heard so you can make sure you are understanding what the other is saying. Sometimes we translate things differently than they are meant to come across. And if we bring it to the persons attention it may help them in how they communicate.

Simple decorating ideas for the holidays

With the holidays fast approaching we are all thinking of making our homes feel cozy for ourselves and our guests. You don’t have to tear down walls, or re-do flooring to make your home feel cozy. It can be moving art, a rug, or even a piece of furniture from one room to another. A simple holiday décor change can make a big difference as well. I have a floating shelf in our front room that I decorate for different holidays. It is fun to decorate for the holidays, but I don’t go all out. I like to keep it simple. The simplicity is pleasing to my eyes but it’s also a time saver. Candles, books and plants can add a lot of warmth to your home. Even just a strand of lights can add a little coziness in the evening.

Here are a few photo’s of my floating shelf. You will notice that I use a lot of everyday décor items along with my holiday décor. Vases, books, vintage bottles, candlesticks can all add height and character when displaying the things you love. Some of these are vintage finds and others are family heirlooms that I love. I am still enjoying fall décor and will change to Christmas after Thanksgiving. I don’t judge you Christmas lovers who change to Christmas right after Halloween, I love it too. But Thanksgiving really is my favorite so I try to savor the fall colors before I put Christmas out.

Don’t stress yourself out about holiday décor if you are hosting, honestly it really is about the time together and as long as your bathroom is clean, that is all that matters.  

Simple fall decor
Halloween decor

Let me introduce myself

t’s time I introduced myself. My name is Amber and I feel like I know most of you personally, so I may have taken for granted that you know me personally. It’s funny how when we follow someone on social media even if they live in a different state or country, it feels like you know them. We see each other’s lives unfolding.  I love the relationships we build, there are so many inspirational people out there and I love seeing your families and what is happening in your lives. My favorites to follow are the ones that share the good and the bad. They share in such a way that you can feel their faith and doubts, they are themselves, they are real.

“Whatever makes you feel uncomfortable is your biggest opportunity for growth” Bryant McGill

I am going to be honest, this has been a hard post for me to write. I think the reason is that I want to be absolutely authentic, I want to be vulnerable and real. I am finding that I am a little scared to share myself. I have been trying to figure out what I am scared of and why. I love to analyze people, especially myself. I really should have gone to school to be a psychologist. I am generally a confident person, but since I started this blog I have been feeling a little insecure. I want you to feel interested and inspired. I realized that one of my fears is that I don’t want anyone to think that I think I know it all. I am also afraid of offending people, but I also want to be honest and true. I am finding this hard to explain and I am REALLY uncomfortable right now, especially at this very moment while writing this. I believe that when you are uncomfortable you are growing, so this has to be a good thing, right?

“Your largest fear carries your greatest growth” Unknown

Speaking of I should have gone to school to be a psychologist… when my kids were little, I did actually go to the local community college as well as a University to check into going to school to study psychology. I spoke with counselors about my options but, I let fear get in my way and didn’t move forward. And since I am in self analyzing mode right now, I am realizing that my fear was of succeeding. How weird is that? I am still trying to figure out the why’s of this. But I figure if I feel that way than others of you may feel the same. So I hope that in sharing this part of me it will help you know you are not alone, and inspire you to figure out why you feel that way so you can move on from it. I don’t really think about going back to school anymore, I am not sure if I really want to pursue that, but I do know it is never to late and if it is something that I start to feel passionate about again, I will do it. But for now, I am going to leave it at that and just share that moment with you.

“You are my sun, my moon, and all of my stars” E.E. Cummings

So I think it’s time to lighten this up with some facts. I am married to my BFF. We have been together for 12 years, married for 7 of those 12. We took our time because we had both been married before, we did not move in with each other until a few months before our wedding. I want to mention that because I feel like we really got to know each other before we were married and I honestly feel like that is what makes our marriage successful. And, I can’t leave out that this man has the best sense of humor and he is constantly making me laugh, I think that is my favorite thing about him. We have 5 adult children, he came with 3 and I with 2. We love each others kids like they are our own children. Being a mixed family has had its challenges but I feel that we have been blessed with a group of kids that know we love them and love us back. They are each amazing in their own way and they are constantly teaching us life lessons and inspiring us to be better people. 3 of them are married or in a relationship so with them added to our family, we have 8 kids. We feel blessed to have these 3 as part of our family, they are each so good for our kids and we love them just as much as our own children. We have a grandson who is 9, we are both madly in love with the little guy and are excited to have more grandchildren. No-one is in a rush to have a baby at the moment so for now we are eating up every moment we have with him. And I can’t leave out the grand-puppies, we have two of those, two grand-kitties and even though I really do not like snakes, I am going to include her. I don’t spend much time in the same room with her, but my son-in law loves her so I feel it important that I mention her. We are both close with our Mama’s and are blessed to have a wonderful relationship with them as well. They are both strong, inspiring women and I am thankful to have each them as a role model. I am surrounded by amazing friends and family and I feel like these people help mold who I am as a person. My family is always in my heart and thoughts throughout the day. They are what drive me. I want to be an example for them, so I do my best to be a good person and a good role model for them. I think that is part of what is drawing me to work on this blog. I want to help people, but I also want to help our kids on their journey and I hope in sharing myself it will help them as well.

So there is a little bit of me and my family. Here are a few fun photo’s of our family.