family, Music, teenagers, The Commodores

“Easy Like Sunday Morning…” ~ The Commodores

I love music on a Sunday morning.  I love rousing teenagers from there slumber with the alluring smell of pancakes and sausage.  Saturday night sleepovers mean more faces around our dining room table… folding chairs from the basement, sleepy bodies moving about helping to set the table, the smell of brewing coffee and of course, music!!

My Sunday morning consists of Pandora radio… sometimes Jazz, sometimes Country, sometimes R & B… but somewhere amongst all those genres I always find room for my Sunday morning anthem… “Easy” by The Commodores. What an amazing song!! Oh how it moves me… I just LOVE everything about it!  I pride myself in being ‘Easy’ ~ just slow down and understand and life can be easy ~ certainly everyone’s Sunday morning should be easy!  The lyrics include my favorite line in the whole song… “Everybody wants me to be what they want me to be, I’m not happy when I try to fake it.”  This line I find to be so true for so many.  How many of us go throughout our day trying to be something for someone else?  Is anyone really happy when they have to fake it?  I want my children to hear that and understand that and realize fully that they should never ‘be’ what someone else wants them to be… just be YOU!

“I want to be high…so high…I want to be free to know the things I do are right…I wanna be FREE, just me…”  I can’t say I know Lionel Richie’s true sentiments when he wrote that line, but everyone can interpret things anyway they wish, and for me that line says to be “high” on life… not substance.  I feel strongly that we can be “high” ~ that we can rise above all the negative, if we choose to, and be free ~ I believe it’s a choice.

Surrounding yourself on Sunday mornings with all the things you truly love ~ using all your senses… sight, sound and smell…can be the first step in becoming “Easy” in this life. I try hard to practice it each week in our home and it seems to carry me. I hope it helps to carry my children as well.

Be Easy all… Happy Sunday!!

adolescence, awakening, communication, life, teenagers

The Many Meanings of Awakening.

  I love mornings. I love what it feels like to awaken. I love the silence, I love the unique way a morning can allow you to see the untouched beauty all around us before the hustle and bustle begins to stir.  I often talk to my children of the importance of gratitude and how critical it is to have it in our daily lives.  One thought I’ve always tried to bestow upon them is the joy of waking in the morning.  I want them to understand the gift we each have in this awakening.  When we close our eyes at night to end one day we can always go to sleep with the hope of rising again to the morning light.  I ask them… What if there was only darkness?  Do we take it for granted that there is light each day? That the sun rises each day?  These are very simple things that we often look past.  We all complain about the silliest things.  We lose sight of what is really important. 

My husband and I recently came up with a new idea to instill in our home.  In this ever-growing world of technology all of our children have smart phones.  Not an uncommon concern… they are continually plugged-in.  We set up a charging station in our bedroom back in December.  At 10:00pm the kids each bring their phones to our room for the night time hours.  This does a number of things… it allows the four walls in their rooms to literally be walls, as when they are on the internet it allows the whole world to enter their bedrooms.  We feel they sleep better and it is just all around healthier for them.  But I have to say the most important thing that has come from this new practice is the gift of their mornings.  It allows them to awake in the morning with there own thoughts.  It allows them to hear the quiet, hear the birds, feel the stillness.  I believe they had lost touch with what that could feel like, as they would roll over in a state of trance and grab ‘the world’ on the table next to them and begin their day with the thoughts of others.  The news feed of a social media site, a vine, a text message including drama about last night… It just doesn’t allow for any stillness.  I don’t believe this is a punishment, I believe it is a gift.

The dictionary definition of awakening is, as an adjective, ‘coming into existence or awareness’ or as a noun, ‘an act or moment of becoming suddenly aware of something’.   How many of us these days are even ‘aware’ of our surroundings?  How many opportunities are there in a day to have the ‘act or moment of becoming suddenly aware of something’? Do we embrace these moments?

I wonder this as I walk down the street and look into the faces of others.  I remember being a child and always wanting to catch the gaze of another, just to share a smile. I still do that, but as an adult it’s a different feeling I get, I often feel the pain I see in another’s eyes and wish somehow I could change it for them. Other times I see the sincere appreciation for the gift of my smile.  I am fully aware that everyone has a story and that who they are today is a product of something else, something they may have had no control over.  This is why I love teenagers so much and feel they should be nurtured.  As teenager’s they are so resilient, so aware, they see things so clearly.  They often can see what is right and wrong in their worlds and wish to be different from what is wrong.  I have always felt like there is a “window of time” for an adolescent to figure it all out, to get help with what they ponder in their minds, make sense of their emotions, all before entering into the pressures of the real world.  I believe they need to be heard, need to be understood, and be taught strategies for coping.  I also believe they need to be taught to ‘own’ their behaviors, not to blame others for their shortcomings… that they have the power over their own destinies.

The funny thing is people label teens for being confused and uncertain. I actually believe they are very certain. I believe they are often more aware than most of us, the ones I know are.  They are certain of what they feel they will never do as an adult, they know what it feels like to be hurt and swear they would never do that to anyone else.  It then all comes down to adulthood… how will they know how to be true to what they once believed for themselves? What tools do they need to stay strong in their beliefs?  How can we awaken that inner part of us all that just wants to be happy? I truly go throughout my day wishing that others knew that they can control their own happiness… it is to awaken each day and be truly thankful for another day.  Maybe today is the day you talk to someone about your fears and your struggles, talking can lessen our pain. If you don’t have someone to talk to, there are support groups for almost everything out there.  There are so many people struggling.  Begin to see and feel the light of each day, embrace it, awaken to it. Plan to go watch the sun rise tomorrow, teach yourself to feel it’s glory and it’s newness.
Haleakala-Sunrise

I love being awake!!

purpose, writing

Why blog?

As I awoke this morning I found my mind to not be in the same creative place it usually is.  I found this to be sad.  Instead, I woke with personal questions surrounding my blog.  I have gotten a few followers over the last couple of days and this is exciting and fun. But something was different already this morning for me.  I began today wondering what they want to hear me say?  What did they like about my other posts that they might want to know more about? I began to think about the financial aspect of it all and questioned motives of my followers…do they like me for my writing or do they just reach out to all newbies in hopes of growing a business?  I questioned what my own motives are… I’ve always enjoyed writing and most of my writing has been journaling.  Am I hoping to reach the status of earning extra income some day or just for the love of writing?  Could it be both?  How much work besides the creative writing piece should I invest in trying for it to be more?

I believe I have the answer… At least I know what I WANT this to be and can hope that I find peace with allowing it to be so.  I want it to be a creative outlet not a business.  I want to share my thoughts and ideas about life and our world and see who else out there shares those ideas.  I want to discuss things, ponder things, gain knowledge from other points of view.

I sincerely thank anyone who wants to help me “build my blog” and make it something more… but for me ~  I just want to write, I just want to share.  I don’t want to bog down my personal thoughts with AdSense and Plug-ins… I may learn about those as I go along and may care one day. But for today, I am going to journal my thoughts and hope that my followers enjoy what they read and begin to share with me their own thoughts.

Happy blogging!!!

adolescence, communication, family, teenagers

“From little acorns mighty oaks grow.” ~ American Proverb

oak-tree

In this American Proverb we learn that great things come from small beginnings.  When referring to my children this is indeed true.  With our oldest son, 20, currently 6’4 and playing football at the Div. II college level, our (biological) daughter, 17, is 5’11 and still growing (she loves tennis & basketball), our (foster) daughter,17, is 5’9 and though we didn’t begin with her from an ‘acorn’ ~ the growth we’ve seen in her is magnificent and then our youngest son, 15,  is desperately wanting to surpass his older brother and is seeming to do so, as he is bigger every morning when I see him emerge from his bed.

When we speak of coming from ‘small beginnings’ we don’t only have to be referring to physical size.  Our children have grown in amazing ways, way beyond their height!  I often take time to explain to them that being an adolescent is an amazing growing time in their lives.  I want them to understand that when you watch a baby grow in it’s first year, or a toddler grow from age 2 to 3, it is easy to see physical changes and to see the amazing developmental growth of that little guy or girl.  But what about them… What about the adolescent that is growing at that same speed but it is not as noticeable so others forget!

We forget that they are developmentally absorbing all their life’s lessons everyday ~ making connections in their brain, forming ideas, forming identity ~ we forget.  We as parents allow them more freedoms but forget that they still need guidance, daily love and daily support (even if they pretend they don’t need it, they do!!).  This is how I explain to my children why I may seem different from “Johnny’s mom”… I am very careful to explain my point of view, my reasons for rules, my reasons for caring. Whether they want to hear it or not, I explain WHY we are making the decision we are making in that instance.  All my children have always respected my husband and I to the fullest, children learn respect from a very, very early age.  Why do they respect us?  They respect us because they trust us. Trust begins when your child is born.  They begin to know right away by both words and actions if what you say is the truth.  This may be a topic for a whole other post… I may be getting away with myself here (I will remember to do a post on creating trust and respect with your children…afterall, you don’t need anything else!!)

I was talking about acorns growing into mighty oaks.  They sure do… those little ‘nuts’ become the most amazing, strong rooted individuals you could ever imagine.  As teenagers, they begin to nurture you and your spirit if you do it right.  Teenagers get such a bad rap, they only mean well and want to do well, but when you’re not understood and you haven’t been taught to trust others and respect others, how do you expect them to act?  My children have been taught respect and trust.  My children are amazing!!  I tell them daily!! And they believe me!!

I am so proud to say that there are days I need to stand in the shade of my ‘mighty oaks’  and they are happy to provide it for me.  They were once small helpless acorns and my husband and I have watered them, nurtured them and have been proud to watch them grow!  We are so proud!!

communication, life, purpose

What’s in a Blogger’s name?

When I was considering blogging I knew I needed to give myself a name.  A catchy name, a creative name, a name that would be short but yet do a good job at describing me.  I had other ideas… The Seasoned Mom,  The Wise Mom… I wondered about using my motto “Simplify and Slow down” with The Simple Mom… I wasn’t completely happy about any of those.  I didn’t want to pat myself on the back with my name, I didn’t want to define myself as something that I couldn’t live up to, so I decided to look inside of myself and I came up with The Bountiful Mom.

No one who knows me can deny that I have bounty, I have bounty on many levels and I am always happy to share.  I share love daily, I share food daily, I share smiles daily, I share whatever I have and another needs daily.  I even share thoughts and ideas even when no one wants to hear them! (That’s why I thought blogging might be great for me!)

I enjoy being bountiful.  I believe everyone has a bounty of something.  I believe we could all learn to share parts of ourselves for the betterment of others.  I wish people weren’t afraid of their own ideas.  I often see people shy away from sharing what’s inside of them because they feel it’s not “status quo”.  I feel everyone has valuable things inside of them that can and should be shared and embraced.  I guess in order for this to happen we all have to keep our minds open and ready for new ideas and new ways of looking at things.  And there lies the problem… The way I see the world isn’t the way everyone sees the world. I try hard not to get frustrated about this fact.  Let’s face it, even those I’m speaking of with closed minds have valuable things to offer us all… Their minds are closed for a reason, the way they look at the world was taught to them.

I do not believe anyone has ‘bad’ in them, I do not believe anyone wants to be ‘bad’.  Everything within somebody is a result of being conditioned or taught to be that way.  We all have good in us.  We all ~ deep within ourselves ~ want to have a purpose, we want to be something good for someone else.  Sometimes it just takes someone patient to enter our lives and convince us of it… Someone to help you find your bounty!!

Everyone can be bountiful!!

family, identity, time

Who am I?

I find this is a common question for mothers & wives.   I remember when I began asking that of myself… I remember my children were all school aged and I began to struggle with my own identity. 

I could define myself as a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend.  But at this time I had plunged completely into my role as a mom and a wife and I could feel that the other areas of my life were beginning to feel it.  I was never sure how to fix it and began to learn I didn’t need to “fix” anything.  Being tuned in and ‘present’ to my children and my husband seemed to be all I had available, and I needed to learn that I did not need to feel guilty about that.  My life had become sporting events, homework, school meetings, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, after school friends and play dates, and in the midst of all that it was learning how to nurture my relationship with my husband. Learning how to make sure all my children and my husband felt ‘heard’ when they had something to share, that I was ‘present’ when at their activities and speaking with them, that I knew their friends and their friend’s parents, and the list of important things grew and grew.  I needed to teach myself that those things all deserved my full attention and that I would one day be able to nurture other parts of me, but for now I needed to be 100% for them. I had certain people in my life who always understood the importance of these life roles.  My parents have always supported my husband and I completely and they are so very proud of our family.  They have always worked extra hard to find ways of us all being together through the years.  They would attend the kids sporting events, invite us to dinners at their house, make holidays extra special, and plan vacation time together.

  My husband and I would find ourselves closest to the people we spent time with at our children’s activities.  We began to have certain ‘circles of friends’ based on what sports season it was.  We always felt content and nurtured by these relationships.  As time went on some of our friendships began to struggle.  We would have friends who didn’t understand us not making time for them.  We always stayed the course with what has always been most important to us,  that is our family being together, our children being happy and healthy and the two of us being available to each other.  I believe the strength of our marriage and the ‘awesomeness’ of our children is a testament to us making the right decisions.

As time has passed and my children have grown I have been able to expand my answer to “Who am I?”.  I am still a mom and a wife first (I put those roles above all else).  But I have also re-entered the work force after having been a stay-at-home mom for 16 years. I was so Blessed to be able to stay home and care for not only my own children but my niece and nephews as well.  I can now add Assistant Elementary School Librarian to my identity and have wonderful co-workers of whom are my dear friends.  I am also beginning to find more time to nurture my parents and other friendships. I know how important this is!  We still prioritize our time, as our children need us tuned in more now that they are teenagers than ever before, but my identity is beginning to shift and expand.

How do you answer the question “Who am I?”

 

Uncategorized

Here I go…

Well, this is my first post in my attempt at the “world of blogging”.  I am excited to begin!  My mind is flooded with thoughts and ideas of what this blog can be.  I am passionate about being a parent and look forward to sharing my stories, my strategies, and my inner most thoughts with you as I begin this blogging journey.

I am plunging into this cyber-world not knowing a whole lot about it.  I do a lot of reading and researching on the internet and often find myself stumbling upon other blogs.  I have always been intrigued and inspired by the idea.  I have always felt like I had ideas and thoughts that could benefit others and that’s why I have decided to try this.