Friday, May 31, 2013

Life, Motherhood, Running Randomness

There are days lately where I forget I even have this blog and when I wonder why I even post on here at all anymore.  I guess I've just been in a different place in my life as I adjust to this new place in life.  Lots to adjust to too.  But life is finally starting to slow down a bit and things are feeling a little more normal instead of a constant WHIRLWIND of NEW NEW NEW.  Things are still VERY NEW and every day still brings with it something that I've never done or seen before but my old friend Routine is making her way back into my world.  And I'm realizing more and more just how much I love a little routine in my life. I'm also remembering the gift that this blog is to me.  Expressing my thoughts on here  is an outlet to me. It allows me a way of writing my heart as it comes or sharing my adventures as they happen.  It is different to me than just writing in my private journal.  Even if nobody but ME reads this thing, it is still just that... a Piece of ME.  Glad for it.  I guess in a way, many of my blog posts are a form of therapy or self-talk... this blog helps me process in ways that I might not otherwise.  So, here I am... the last day in awhile that I will have a short stretch of hours just to me since summer vacation for the kids starts.  I have a million things I could be doing right now (running included) but I'm making myself just sit down and take some blog time.  I know that I'll walk away from it ENERGIZED and clear headed.

Days like today call for some a REALLY RANDOM BULLET FORMAT... thoughts, goals, gratitude all rolled into one big hodge podge of a blog post.


  • LOVE living here in North Carolina.  Asheville is unlike any place I've ever been before.  The quality of life we have experienced here is so good for our family.  We are even more in love with the small town we live in that is just outside of Asheville proper.  It is a small town feel but not too small to where we feel isolated from the culture and vibrance of a city.  
  • I think that perhaps my favorite of all things about where I live right now is my front porch.  I spend so much time out there!  Coffee on my porch swing in the mornings, curling up with a blanket and glass of wine in the evening, dinner with the family out there, meeting all the young families that walk by our house at all hours of the day (especially evenings)...oh, and just sitting out there and listening to the BEAUTIFUL SONG of the birds!  They sing ALL. Day. Long!  No joke.  I've never heard so many bird songs in my life.  Sometimes I sit out there to read and write and I will just get lost in the songs they sing.  I even hear them at night right before I go to sleep.  
  • I've been reading Jane Eyre.  Why have I waited this long to read this book??!  Beautiful, romantic, inspiring, and a book that given me just an overall appetite for bringing my reading life back in full force.  Trying to find time for that is another thing but not training for anything right now means more free time.  I feel awakened.  This summer will be my summer of reading classics...I've said this before but I'm determined to really do it!  
  • Meeting new people is exciting and energizing but I'm realizing more and more as I get older just how much of an introverted side I have to go along with my very extroverted side.  I'm a person that needs a certain amount of time with just ME...getting lost in my thoughts, processing life, writing, reading, observing...I NEED this time.  Spending too much time in constant social situations without alone time can be draining for me.  My battery needs recharged with alone time... plenty of it.  
  • I think part of the reason I get drained from too much social time is that I tend to share so much so fast with people.  Some call this a lack of filter.  I just think of it as being me.  However, I admit, with this tendency to open up to people so quickly, comes a certain level of vulnerability after the fact.    I love quickly, share freely, let people in easily... but gosh, there's a part of me that wishes I was a little more reserved sometimes... it would make certain things easier.  I'm feeling a tad vulnerable lately with all of the new people I've met (but nobody that truly knows me here) and just an overall need to put my shell back on for a little bit.  But who am I kidding?  I never keep my shell on for very long.
  • This big move across the country has actually made me feel closer to my forever friends that are there no matter what.  It has been comforting to me to know that these people are only a phone call, letter or e-mail away.  A simple text of "I love you" or "I miss you" or a joke or picture...these things are treasures to me lately.  Big smiles on my heart knowing that these connections are timeless.  
  • My mother heart is so so full of JOY and COMFORT lately.  My kids have adjusted so well to being here.  They are thriving...gymnastics, swim lessons, travel, sports, adventure, and the best of all is that they are growing so close.  They may not have made a ton of super close friends just yet but instead, they have begun to become the best of friends.  Don't get me wrong, they still FIGHT like crazy but the love and interactions I've seen among them has been priceless.  I know that they pick up on our happiness in being here too.  
  • My son gave his preschool teachers a small gift that he made along with a note that he "wrote".  I can't say enough about how much happiness it brought for me to see them get down on his level and read his note so personally.  They looked in his eyes and answered his questions that he wrote.  And they just made him feel SO SPECIAL.  Ah, this was worth a million dollars to me.  
  • My kindergartner (almost 1st grader) has gone from reading a little bit to always having her nose in a chapter book or magazine and constantly writing letters to her family back home in Oregon.  This has been another gift in the motherhood department.  And one that has made me know that she is in a good place with her school.  
  • My oldest is 2nd grade going on high school.  Really, she's always been this way but there have been lots of conversations lately that I didn't think we'd be having this soon.  The good thing is that she feels safe talking to me (so far) and I'm so glad we've been able to have such special time together lately...time to really talk and connect and let her know that I'm ALWAYS here to hear her. 
  • Truly trying to remember to be in the moment with my kids.  I'm so much better at this than I was when they were younger.  As they get older, there is so much more I feel like we can share together...jokes, conversations, stories, thoughts about life, appreciating beauty... Just savoring the gift that motherhood is and ENJOYING them! Even if I do feel like I want to rip my hair out 1/3 of the time.  Ha!  
  • So much power in just saying "I'm Sorry" to your kids (to anyone really) when we make mistakes and react in ways we aren't proud of.  I've done this a lot the past year but telling them that I'm sorry and admitting my faults shows them that it's okay to make mistakes and that they don't have to be perfect to be wonderful and loved. 
  •  RUNNING.  Running has taken a very different seat in my life compared to a few months ago.  I'm not training for anything.  I'm not even running very many miles.  I'm certainly not logging any mileage or following any plans.  I'm JUST RUNNING and LOVING the gift that it is!  
  • Just for fun, I ran 4 miles two days ago with on again off again 200s with the faster ones being around 6:40 pace.  Not fast enough to be repeat pace but a nice little fartlek type run to get my heart rate up and help me sweat like a pig.  So good for me.  
  • Most of my runs are easy and fun with some random lunges or push ups thrown in for good measure.  
  • Sub 8's still come pretty easily but my endurance is hilarious these days.  
  • Yesterday, my husband and I got to go on a trail run date for his lunch break.  AH, I love trail running!  Especially with him, my favorite running partner.  
  • Speaking of my husband, he will be running a marathon in September along with all the other many people hoping for a BQ.  I know he has it in him and I'm glad to support him in his training after all the time he has supported me.
Speaking of running, better get that in now or I'll miss my opportunity.  And friends from Oregon coming to visit this weekend...can't wait to see friends!  

*  What's your favorite classic to read??  Please share as I make my summer reading list.  

Happy Friday! I miss my Runninghood Community!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

First Trail Race. 30k Cradle to the Grave. Wow!

So happy to cross this finish line.  Slowest race I've ever run/hiked/walked in my life.  But an incredible experience unlike anything I've ever done!  

A few weeks ago, I decided to do something a little crazy.  Well CRAZY is all relative.  But it felt a little crazy then and it surely feels a little crazy now.  A good crazy.  An exhilarating crazy.  The kind of crazy that makes you feel like you're really LIVING life!  I signed up for my very first trail race. Not just a little one either.  A 30k. The Cradle to the Grave 30k here in North Carolina.  I didn't know anything about the race course.  In fact, I didn't know much about trail racing period.  I've done very little of it in comparison to someone that would call themselves a "trail runner".  After today, I've realized a few things....about trail racing, myself, my day, and about these Appalachian runner mountain folk in Asheville, North Carolina:

  1. Never trust an elevation map unless you really know how to read one.  Understanding the numbers on the side of the chart and not just going by how flat or hilly it looks on the screen is quite important.   Scale means something on those things!  
  2. Never trust these crazy (good crazy) Asheville runners when they talk about things being "fairly flat".  They lie.  Ha!  Or they are so warped from running here for so long that they don't understand what their hills are really like...BRUTAL! They are some tough tough runners! 
  3. If a runner from Asheville tells you that a course "Isn't that bad with elevation", expect VERY HILLY.  If they tell you that a course has "Big Hills", trust them.  Be very afraid.  Run the other way.  
  4. I have a completely new respect and understanding of what it means to be a trail runner.  Wow!  
  5. Going down steep hills with technical trails is an art in itself.  I don't know how these people did it so fast.  I was almost as slow going down the mountain (literally a hike for 2 miles up) as I was going up.  
  6. These trail running women that passed me at the end are amazing!  
  7. Running this trail race is like nothing I've EVER done with running before in my life.  It was EXTREME running and would surely fall in the category of extreme sports in my opinion (but that's coming from someone that isn't into extreme sports AT ALL).  
  8. Running a road marathon and PRing is a completely different kind of racing than it is to run 18 plus miles that involves shin deep mud, knee deep rushing water, fallen trees, roots, rocks, streams, etc. etc.  
  9. I have never been so hungry in my life while in a race.  Towards the end I walked a lot...or hiked.  I was dreaming of a cold beer and a burger.  Anything really.  And then I found a quarter of a peanut butter sandwich in my fuel belt...HOLY MOLY!  I have never been so excited to eat a piece of food in my LIFE!!  Ever. I walked and ate my sandwich and soaked up all that was around me.  
  10. Something so FREEING about not being a slave to the GARMIN and knowing that time is not what this race experience was about.  At All! Time on the Garmin is of NO Concern!  At least it wasn't for me.  There were a few stretches of wider trail where I picked up the pace to a sub 8 mile but most of the race was single track and technical.  No way that I was going to run any decent splits. 
  11. Trail runners at this event know how to celebrate after a race...The first thing I got was a cold beer and then warm BBQ. 
  12. Something about running through rivers, crossing logs, having your feet covered in mud, and running through pouring rain that makes you feel AMAZING and TOUGH!  
  13. I worked muscles today that I'm pretty sure I didn't know I had....or at least I'll be certain of this tomorrow.  
  14. Today was a humbling experience but it was also an experience that has made me feel so STRONG and ALIVE and PROUD of Myself.  I'm so so glad I took this challenge and that I keep taking these opportunities to try new things in life.  They are stretching me in so many new ways.  YES YES YES to LIVING FULLY!  
  15. When I woke up this morning and it was raining so incredibly hard (Um, I'm talking torrential downpour), I almost laughed at the idea of racing a trail race.  But I'm so glad I did it anyway...despite the way less than idea conditions that made this already DIFFICULT course, absolutely CRAZY! There's that good crazy again. 
  16. Thankful for a friend that I met here that has become a fast friend.   She's the kind of person that inspires me to be MORE of MYSELF.  Especially with trying new things with how she sent me up a mountain the other day for my training run.  ha! 
  17. If I do this again, I will bring more fuel and definitely take my water and Nuun again!  I found that my body craved REAL food today and I will for sure pack at least another half peanut butter was a piece of heaven to have on the course today.  
I wish that I could have taken pictures of this course today so I could share what it was like.  Well, not really because that would have taken away from my experience (and my phone would have been ruined from the rain) but it really would have helped in explaining just how intense this was.

Rushing water
Cold Puddles
Thick mud
Pouring rain
Fallen Trees
Steep inclines and declines
Jutting rocks
Root covered ground
Lush Forest
Vibrant Green
Sounds of nature
Logs for bridges
Heavy breathing, slow climb
Digging Deep 
Slow doesn't matter
Soul Alive
New Limits
Many Moments of Solitude
Alone with Thoughts
Conversations with Myself

So happy to have done my first ever trail race!  An Amazing one to have as a first!  And this Brooks Tank is officially my racing tank after wearing it for the past 4 or 5 races.  I LOVE it!  

 She placed second in the 5k!  It was so nice to have her to celebrate and carpool with today.  

My brand new Brooks PureGrits will never be the same again!  :)

I'm not sure when I will do another trail race but I do know that I found something NEW today (within myself and in the experience) that I'm richer for finding.  Truly a LIFE moment that has made an impact.  So glad that I decided to try something I've never done's these things that make life extraordinary.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How Will You Give Something Beautiful?

I'm always thankful for the mornings that I allow myself to be still enough to write.  So often it is almost as if someone else is writing for me and then the words that end up on the page are meant just for me to read.  This is why I love my journal so much.  For example, yesterday I wrote something to myself right as I was waking up and having coffee.  I reread it today and honestly, I don't really even remember writing much of it but it is just what I needed to read.  It is one of those pieces that is very private...something I probably wouldn't share with many but I'm so glad it is there for me.  A beautiful message just for me from me.  

This morning has been one of those quiet mornings where things have just fallen into place in a way that I found myself sitting down at my desk with my coffee and journal.  I started making a list of goals or things that I want to live by in order to be my best self.  When I was finished with my writing, I looked up and saw a little notebook that I've had for awhile.  On the notebooks are the words : 

"How will you give something beautiful to the world?"  

I think the biggest way we can give something beautiful to the world is by BEING US.  By telling our story as it comes.  By being REAL, talking to ourselves as we go, valuing what we have to give and most importantly, SHARING ourselves with the world or just with those we love the most.  We all have something to give.  Something beautiful.  Our Story is unique and wonderful.  

Some of my Life Goals from today:

  • Listen to your inner voice. She's wiser than you know.
  • Stop putting limits on yourself.  Things aren't as HARD as they seem.  All it takes is Believing.  The first step starts it all...TAKE IT!
  • Enjoy the process.  Life is too short not to.
  • Continue to LOVE and be vulnerable by sharing yourself.  When you give YOU, others feel a freedom to give THEM.
  • Tell your story as it comes and has been but don't stop believing in your role in WRITING YOUR STORY as you want it to be.  
  • Learn from mistakes, awkward moments, heartache, and the times you fall.  These things are part of what makes us who we are.  They add layers to our wisdom. 
  • Surround yourself with positive people that uplift, support, and love you and others.  The REAL DEAL kind of people.  
  • Don't be afraid to be REAL...even if it feels scary at times.  You are where you are and chances are that you're not alone.  
  • Keep dreaming and setting new goals...this is what keeps us feeling ALIVE.
  • Support others with love, encouragement and validation.  
Happy Wednesday!  What are some of your Life Goals to live by?  


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Ramble Run 12k Run and Where I'm at with Running and Fitness

Mother's Day weekend is off to a great start!  And I must say...I LOVE this running for fun gig!  I'm so happy not to be training for something specific right now.  Running for the pure joy of running is just what I need right now in this season of my life.  And that's just it, it's a season.  It won't be long before I'll be craving another goal race and I'll be printing off my training plans, visualizing goals, being conscious of bedtimes and race nutrition, etc.  Until then, bring on the fun running.  And it has been just that.  Fun.  Wonderful.  Freeing.  My focus has shifted from tempos, marathon pace runs, and endurance work to...
body and spirit
tell me that I

I don't really log my mileage when I'm not training but if I really think about it, I'd say I've run a total of 50 miles since Boston.  Not per week.  Total.  How many weeks has that been?  Four?  Well, I took the first 2 weeks off completely and then I've worked my way back into running very very slowly.  My longest run has been a 10 miler just a few days ago but I'm mostly running between 4 to 6ish miles when I run.  I've been spending my time focusing on:

  • Seeing a Chiropractor to get some things figured out with my spine/hips/feet
  • Going to a Physical Therapist to strengthen my hips, glutes and get this quad healed up.  
  • Running slow and easy (no speed)
  • Strength...nothing too focused but definitely hip and glute work in addition to push ups, pull ups (I'm up to about 5 or 6 again...hope to do 8 to 10 by end of summer...10 proper pull ups), lunges, squats, dips, etc. etc.  
  • Loving my body with where its at. I think women get better at this with age perhaps. I'm definitely up in weight compared to a year ago but I'm really embracing my fuller legs/buns that come with more hills and strength.  My jeans are tighter in the legs but I feel STRONG.  And my husband likes the extra curves so I'm hoping that some of that stays on as I increase mileage.  Unfortunately, the boobs are the FIRST to go as I increase my fitness level.  Oh well, I've come to find myself really embracing the small boobs these days too.  It goes with the whole package...strong, lean, fit, and flat.  Ha!  
  • Being positive with myself and being open to trying new things....Like my first Trail Race next weekend.  I'm in no condition to seriously race a 30k trail race but I'm going to have fun and be prepared to run strong and happy and slow...oh, and I'll fully prepared to die!  Ha!  It's called the Cradle to the Grave 30k.  Excited!  It looks beautiful.  And I'll be able to wear my new Brooks PureGrit2s!  
  • Running Hills.  I have no choice if I'm going to run outside in Asheville, NC. So much hillier than where I came from.  And I don't mind...I think these hills are going to help so much.  Beats the Treadmill (which I haven't trained on in what feels like FOREVER).  
Today was my first fun Asheville race.  My husband and I ran the Ramble Run 12k together.  Oh what a course!  Holy Hills.  Glad we weren't out to race race.  Considering my lack of training right now, I would have killed myself on those hills instead of have had fun on them like I did today!  

What a beautiful run!  Not only did I get to run with my best friend, but we had fun doing it.  The race offered free child care through the YMCA and then we picked the kids up to run their Kid Run.  So, the whole family raced.

I was pleasantly surprised to win 1st place in my AG.  I'll take it.  Glad most of the people ran the 5k.  I'm perfectly happy with a 7:48 average on a very hilly 12k course considering we were running close to 9:45 pace on those up hills.  It felt great to finish with a smile and talk a bit with my husband during the race.  Such a different feeling to run for fun as opposed to a time goal.  Gosh, I've missed running with him!

I raced in my Brooks PureCadence2s and my Brooks D'lite Micro Mesh Racerback Tank.  It has become my favorite tank to race in.  Super thin and light.  Perfect for warm weather when you don't want to just wear a sports bra.

Then I came home to find a box of more Mother's Day love!  My new pair of Brooks PureGrits2 and PureFlows for my 8 year old daughter.  Love sharing what I love with my kids.

It's a good day!  Happy Mother's Day Mamas!


Friday, May 10, 2013

On Conquering Fears. Lessons from Trail Running.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” 

--Eleanor Roosevelt

I'm not quite sure why the formatting on this post is so goofy.  Really annoying but no time to figure it out so embrace the goofy (different spacing, size, font...):  

I've heard it said that one should try something that scares you every day.  This is supposed to help us live more fully?  Face our fears?  Feel liberated?  Not hold ourselves back?  Break free from monotony.  Honestly, my first reaction to this statement has always been that I'm not sure that every day brings with it something scary to try. But the older I get, the more I see things differently. I think if we look, there are little things everywhere in our day that we might avoid because they scare us in some way.   I suppose it doesn't have to be a BIG thing.  Or even something that would be defined as SCARY in the traditional sense. Maybe it is a simple as talking to a stranger or inviting someone new to dinner.  Or running in a new place.  Trying a foreign food.  Talking to your kids about a topic that you've been avoiding.  Taking on a new challenge.  It makes me think that it would be a fun challenge or writing project to live a year or a few months at a time where I'm conscious and active about doing one thing every day that scares me.  I imagine this would serve as a great personal growth opportunity.  If anything, it would make my days quite interesting and make for some good writing material.  Hmmm, maybe I'll try that one of these days...A Year of Facing Fear Every Day.

I have plenty of fear surrounding me lately.  Trust me.  This move across the country, as exciting as it is, has been one big adventure of facing fears and living in new ways.  Sometimes the fear seems a little too much for me...almost stifling.  But with each new fear that I conquer with this move (or really just this move itself), I find more freedom.  As with any big change, it takes time to find my ground.  My feet are a tad wobbly as I get settled.  I'm trying to keep all my plates spinning during a time that I feel like I'm spinning myself.  So far so good.  We are thriving, kids are happy, there's so much that we love here, we're making friends and so much more.  Everything around us is NEW.  And this can be a bit scary.

One new thing for us recently is having all three kids in school for a longer stretch of time.  This means that I have up to four hours to myself on some days.  My husband and I have decided that on one of these days we will take an hour or so to go on a trail run lunch date.  Running together (especially on trails) is our favorite date so this is really exciting for both of us.

Yesterday's first trail run date proved to be just as much a lesson in conquering fear as it was a moment of embracing beauty and love.  I'm almost embarrassed to even tell this story because of how small it seems to anyone looking in but it was actually a big deal to me yesterday for some reason.  At one point in the run, we came to a wide stream. Wide is all relative.  There was no way of crossing it unless we wanted to walk through deep water.  Since we were at the start of our run, we didn't want sopping wet feet. I know, such a small thing to worry about when on a trail run.  Ha! But I had many other errands to make and no change of shoes. Our options were to find another way around or go back another way (much less beautiful).  My husband found a place through some trees where the stream was much easier to leap across. In fact, most of you would laugh that I was even scared of it. Something so easy seemed like such a leap to me at the time.  But I was SCARED.  Like little girl-like scared.  On a different day, I might have not even have thought twice about this jump. In fact, today I'd look at it and laugh myself.  But I stood there for a good 5 to 10 minutes trying to muster up enough courage to just jump.  I felt so much fear over this silly jump.  It seemed to parallel so much of what I've been feeling about life on some days lately.  It just seemed too much for me even though it was obvious that the leap wasn't beyond my capabilities.  I finally demanded that we turn around and go back.  I cried like a little baby at my annoyance over my husband trying to get me to do something I didn't want to do and made some excuse about life being scary enough right now.

My husband, my best friend, has always been there for me.  He knows when to push me and encourage me.  He knows when to wrap me up and let me be.  He knows me.  We are good for each other in that we challenge each other to keep being the best we can be.  We're there to support, push, and catch the other if they fall.  Some days he would just let this go.  But yesterday he didn't.  He was gently persistent about me making this leap.  Maybe it was just that he desperately wanted this trail run that he took his lunch break for.  But a big part of it was because he wanted to see me face this small fear and he knew that I'd feel so much better for it.  As we were running away, he stopped me and asked me to just leap on dry ground to see that I could in fact cover the distance that it would be to get over that stream.  I did just that, still annoyed at his persistence.  And then I headed back to just get it over with.  I'm not sure it was out of being irritated that he wouldn't drop it or my desire to conquer this fear and knowing the feeling that would follow it.  Probably a bit of both but I knew I NEEDED to make that jump.

As soon as I got to the place I needed to jump from, I remembered the above quote and I pushed myself to just GO.  What's the worst that would happen?  I'd fall on my ass?  I'd get wet? I mean good grief...this is what trail running is all about!  Why so much fear over this stupid little jump?  I took a deep breath and let go.  I stopped letting that fear control me.  I took the leap.  With it came a huge feeling of freedom and relief.  It was so much more than a jump over a itty bitty stream (that felt HUGE).  It was an exercise for me.  It was a metaphor of facing life fears and realizing that fear is a liar...I mean most the things we are scared of really aren't even deserving of the energy it takes to worry.  Fear holds us back from so much.

Even if we only got four miles of actually running in before having to head back, the drive there was worth every moment of time.  The greatest gift of the run besides the beauty and time with my husband was that LEAP.  Or little jump.  Ha! It was a "Life Reinforcement" made me stronger.  And I'm certain that it will carry over to many other things in my life.


What a gift that running is.  It is one of the greatest teachers in life and I'm so thankful for the lessons I've learned on the run.  Here's to facing fears!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

New Home, New TRADITION, and Lots of LOVE

The sunshine is coming through my windows.  My music is playing.  I have several hours to myself while my youngest is in preschool.  We are finally in our new home!  Life. Feels. Good.  Everything seems to be falling into place so perfectly.  And with that comes peace and a feeling of normal.  As much as I love adventure, I also love routine.  I love feeling settled and in control.  Being in our home and having this space to make my own is so exciting.  We still have so much organizing, unpacking and cleaning to do but this is all part of the FUN in making a new home OURS.  I'm just trying to remind myself that I don't have to do it all at once.

One room down.  The rest of the house to go.  But I can see the FLOOR!

Every day here brings with it a feeling of gratitude and happiness. The more that things come together and fall into place, the more the fear and worries fade away. Everywhere I look I see beauty... the mountains, trees, our neighborhood, my view from my office, the lake where I run, my kids running around and loving their new home... just feels RIGHT.  It could be that this is just something new and that it will all wear off but right now, this place just feels so perfect.  Feels like the place we've been dreaming about all along.  The only thing missing is our family and close friends back in Oregon.

With a new home and the craving of routine, comes starting some new traditions with my family.  As I unpacked box after box, I found all sorts of things that sparked inspiration.  I would pull out a favorite book and remember the feelings that the story evoked in me.  An old journal that reminded me of that time in my life.  Books about things to do with kids. Colorful paintings that put a smile on my heart.  And then I found a Gratitude Journal that my mom had given me back in 1998.  I've always loved this book but I never really did use it much.  I tried but it never really worked for me.  I've just tucked it away knowing that I'd use it someday.  Seems as if I must have known all along that it wasn't meant to be used until now.

I'm big on creating family traditions to help instil values and make memories.  There are many healthy habits and traits I want to help my kids learn and one of the most important things to me as a mother is to raise GRATEFUL kids.  I'm excited to make our new family tradition in our new home to keep a family gratitude journal.  Simple.  Quick.  Meaningful.  Every morning at breakfast we will have a new page with the date at the top and we will each take a moment to write down one or two specific things that we are thankful for. Or more.  We are only on day three but it seems to be a tradition that will so easily stick!  And what a treasure to have this book to look back on as the years go by.  It is already fun to see the things the kids come up with that are significant to their present moment.  The thing I love about it the most is that it doesn't take much time at all.  In fact, I wrote my quick bullets down as I was putting breakfast on the table and my husband wrote his after I called him back in the house before letting him leave for work. The ease of this routine is important in a busy house with three kids going all different directions.  I especially love that the kids see us doing this too.

This journal will sometimes be left out for when we pass through the dining room to the kitchen.  When I see a pen and an open journal, I will surely stop for a moment to write something.  Maybe the rest of the family will pick up on this too.  

In the process of creating new space, family traditions, and a happy new lifestyle here in North Carolina, I hope that above all, it draws us closer together and brings with it LOADS of LOVE.

Front Porch Kisses

What are some of your favorite family traditions in your family?