Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Project Smiles

This morning I thought I was never going to get ahead of the messes around the house.  I was knee deep in toys, spilled drinks, soap running down the sink, dishes, crayons, cheerios, and all the lovely things that come with living with small children. Just when I finished cleaning up one mess, three new ones were made.  My to-do list wasn't even unburied from all of the random things accumulating on the counter when I just stopped and soaked it all in.  The chaos around me that will one day be still and quiet was being missed out on.  I was trying so hard to plow through it and get to the next thing that I was forgetting that I can find joy in even the things that make me feel crazy.  I looked around at the onions simmering next to the crock pot of soon-to-be cooking black bean chili, my daughters covering the table in paint, glitter, crayons, and whatever else they could find to create with, my youngest child around the corner trying to figure out how to plug random things into the outlets (thank God for plastic covers!),  and my reflection in the mirror that looked like someone I'd become somewhere along this road of motherhood....greasy hair, black yoga pants, a stained t-shirt and a look of craze in my eyes.  I looked at these things and smiled.  I realized that they were my life and even though I'd much prefer the chores to be done, the dinner to be made, and to be instantly beautiful and presentable when I wake up, this crazy scene was MY life and I remembered to smile. 

My friend Tayarra's blog today at Honesty was inspired by A Beautiful Mess and was all about recognizing things that make us smile.  I love how she wrote about all the things in her life that make her smile.  Reading her words made me smile.  Isn't that usually true of smiles?  When I see someone else smile, I almost always find myself smiling too.  So, I decided that I really must get in on this Project Smile action.

Here are some pictures from today that make me smile, even if they also make me crazy. 

Okay, so this one isn't from today but here are my three biggest reasons to SMILE

This is what I saw this morning when I just stopped and let the chaos make me smile.  This mess means that I have little ones in my home to make the mess.  I know the day will come when I'll ache for finding glitter in random places throughout my home.  I'll miss the kid art and the spread out crayons and paint that are a sure sign that creativity and creation are in progress.

This little man knows he's doing something that gets a reaction out of Mom!  It makes me smile that he has a curious mind and wants to figure out how things work but I'm not so keen on his fascination with plug sockets. It makes me smile that someone invented plastic socket covers.

More crazy mess that I was able to find a smile in today.  This spread of mess is a sign of life!

Such joy came from digging in the wet sand box today!  A mess for me but so much fun for him.

Okay, this really does drive me crazy but also I squeezed a smile out at this shoe chaos.  This is  sign of little feet in the house and my running shoes on top of the shoe box pile is a sign that I will run again tonight...definitely smile worthy!

I will never NOT smile when I see these treasured shoes.  The "Fancy Green Shoes."  Smiling because she still fits in them and too soon they only be collecting dust in her baby box.

Black Bean Lime Chili and Wine

One Happy Baby Boy Loving His Chili!

What makes you SMILE? 



  1. Wow Amanda! Chills and teary eyed and honored that you were inspired. This was beautiful. I felt like I slipped right into your house shoes. Right into the chaos and felt my lips expand in a soaking it all in big kind of smile inhaling and exhaling as if it would slow down the time! So glad you posted. Those crazy babies are adorable!

  2. Aww..I loved this post! My house is usually a mess of pictures, crayons, and toys too. But, you're right. Soon enough, my little boys will be grown and gone. With that being said, here are some things that made me smile today:
    * Making a mix of different cereals for my boys for breakfast this morning.
    * Picking up my youngest from preschool and having him run towards me with a huge smile on his face!
    * Watching my boys during swim lessons
    * Playing hide-and-seek with my boys

  3. Love your blog Amanda! This post was awesome - such a good reminder to slow down and smile at the simple things in life. Here are some things that made me smile today:
    ~Kaden wearing his Halloween costume the minute he got home from preschool, off for bath, and back on again the second he was dry.
    ~Lexi saying "bubble" over and over. Her new favorite word!
    ~Ben singing to the kids while giving them a bath. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow, rock style"
    ~Kaden eating crab for the first time and watching it bake in the oven...thinking the claws were so cool!

    So glad you are doing your blog...inspiring.

  4. Oh that was awesome! I get so frustrated over the toys scattered from here to there, but you made me stop and SMILE! This mess wouldn't be here if i had my little man in my life. Thanks for your blog.

  5. "...the spread of mess is a sign of life!" Love that! :) And I'd smile if you'd share that black bean chili recipe!!

  6. Hi there;-)
    love it. and i think my lil' A needs to be friends with your lil' girls because she too is an art makin' machine! if she could color all day she would;)

    and sooo true about the lil' green shoes. because b4 ya know it, they will be too small;-) keep enjoyin' baby!

  7. I was also going to comment on your blog goal you mentioned on my blog. It does suck up a lot of time...reading/commenting can become so consuming! Especially at the beginning. What' I've found is I now go through a bit more of ebbs and flows and commit ~1 hr a day more or less, some days WAY more, others...not at all.. But it's always a balancing act;)

  8. I'm so smiling from all your comments!!