Thursday, November 21, 2013

ON >> Being Present

Today I wanted to get a little bit more personal.  We are always sharing little fashion inspirations, but our hopes are so much more for this blog.  When we created this blog, we wanted to not only bring fashion inspirations, but wanted to reveal real life with you too.  Our blog is still in such an early stage and we have yet to go all the directions we want to go.  We have so many aspirations for this blog, but we are only two people and can only move in these directions so fast.  As much as we would love to do it all, we just can't, and we are okay with that.  Our hopes are to bring more lifestyle posts, more "mama wears" posts, more "nitty gritty posts"...The list goes on.  We want to be real here, opening up not only our lives with you through pictures, but opening our hearts as well.  As amazing as fashion is, and as much as we enjoy to style ourselves, our family and our homes, that is such a minuscule part of the whole realm of things in this one precious life we are given.  So today, I really wanted to share with you all what has been on my heart lately...


Most of us look at this time of the year, especially this season as a time to reflect on your year as the year is coming to an end.  Thanksgiving is exactly a week away and we can't help but to stop and count our blessings.  Then comes Christmas, and who doesn't just love the anticipation of Christmas morning and all the joys it brings as the family comes together, faces light up, presents are given and received.  But if you are anything like me, as much as there is anticipation for this day, there also comes hustle and bustle.  Hustle and bustle that is just added onto your other every day duties and tasks.  It's a lot!  And as a mom in the midst of a busy day season, it's easy for us to overlook our children.  In fact it's easy for us to look at our children as a "duty or task", rather then little precious humans that we need to connect with.  

I'm guilty of it.  And maybe that's why it's on my heart?  I believe as a blogger, since I'm constantly in the social media world, I'm more aware of it.  I'm aware of the uncompleted blog posts that are calling my name, the phone that won't stop buzzing, the Instagram feed that is maxed with pictures that need "my approval" and "my likes"(ha!), the email inbox that needs attention...  What is it for you?  What calls your attention over your kids?  

I need to be present.  I must be present.  Everly just turned 2 and I swear it's just not possible, she was just placed in my arms yesterday.  Silas will be 4 months old next Tuesday and I seriously don't know where the time has gone.  Time is a wild thing and my babies are growing up way too fast and I don't want to miss out on it.  I don't want to have any regrets.  I want to be present in their every day, I want to watch them grow, watch them learn, hear them when they speak to me, love on them and squeeze them every chance they let me, because I know it won't be much longer when they will be ready to go and do their own thing.  

How can I put this into practice?  First, I need to identify the areas in my life that are tugging at me in directions away from my children.  Then I need to just say, no, to those things.  I wrote out a list of my 5 distractions and I challenge any of you to do the same.  Then I wrote a list of 21 ways I know I can be more proactive in my children's lives and I will share them with you, in hopes to give you some inspiration.  I know sometimes it's hard as a mom to always be entertaining little ones, but sometimes it's not even about entertaining and more just "enjoying" them.

1.) Put down the smart phone.  Check it once an hour for a couple minutes.
2.) Sing children songs.  Everly's current favorites are interactive ones (go figure) "the wheels on the bus", "this little light of mine", "this little piggy", "patty cake", "go tell it on the mountain", "Jesus loves me".
3.) Get onto the floor, grab a game or a toy and invite them to play with you.
4.) Don't make your child say, "Mom", more then once.  When they want your attention, (in the right setting) stop what you are doing and make eye contact with them so they know you are listening to them and really care about what they have to say.  Wouldn't you love if your children looked you in the eye when you asked them to do something?  We are their example.
5.) Ask them something that you know will make their day.  Do you want to go to the park?  Do you want a lolli-pop?  Do you want to make a fort?  
6.) Tell your child you love them frequently through-out the day.  Tell them why.
7.) Encourage them.  Even if they are too little to understand.  "I love when you smile!"  "You make mommy so happy when you do that!"  "Mommy is so proud of you!"
8.) Ignore your house-hold chores and other distractions for at least an hour when they wake up, before they take their nap and before they go to bed.  Focus this time completely on them.
9.) Try to say, "Yes" more then you say, "No".
10.) Include your child in what you are doing.  Making lunch or folding laundry, even if it takes you an extra 15 minutes to get it done.
11.) Tell them a story about when they were just a baby, or just learning something for the first time.  Or share with them a story about when you were their age.
12.) Don't yell or raise your voice.  Again, remember, you are their example.
13.) Play pretend.  Everly loves playing doctor and loves to make me delicious plastic food.
14.) Dance often.  Pick them up and twirl them in your arms.
15.) Be quick to forgive and ask for forgiveness.  Forgive yourself.  Let yourself be the best mom you can be.  This includes putting your pride aside, even in your faults.  This will eventually play out in your children's lives as they encounter friendships, so be the example of how to care and be tender towards others.
16.) Kiss your husband in front of your children.  I've heard this and believe it with all my heart, "One of the greatest ways you can show your children you love them, is by loving your spouse."
17.) Turn up the music really loud in the car or at home and just go crazy.
18.) Be patient.
19.) Go on a lunch date, visit a local farm, take them for a cone of ice cream, go on an "adventure".
20.) Hold them tight.  Squeeze them when you hug them.
21.) Be present!

I hope these things have encouraged you!  I would love to hear your "go-to" list for being present in your own children's lives.  If you have anything to add or share, we would love it!

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