Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cinderella Goes to the Ball

A few weeks ago my darling sisters-in-law asked me if I would be willing to help them with decorations for their school dance!  We live in a small speck of a town, with little to no budget for things like this.  The dances are held in the small fire station and making it beautiful is kind of a challenge (a major challenge), but of course I was willing, and on the night of the dance we popped in for a peek at the fun!

I told Emilee that she could wear her Cinderella dress to the dance, but that we were only going to stay for a few minutes.  She didn't care that the time was short, both she and Adeline soaked up the magic, and like any princess at the Ball....they danced the night away.

Our few minutes turned into close to an hour, and I'm sure the high school kids were wondering why a couple of tiny tots were crashing the party.  But before long the clock struck bedtime and the magic faded as two sleeping beauties were escorted home in their royal carriage!

And luckily for us....they slept happily ever after!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Celebrating Mother

I love this print by j. kirk richards.

I decided a couple of years ago, that Mother's day would be a day that I would celebrate no matter who else chooses to honor me on that day!  

I remember being young, making a card, or purchasing a cheaply made gift for my beautiful mother.  My attempts to show my appreciation always seemed inadequate.....and they were.  The sad thing is, my mother always hated Mother's Day.  I don't know all of the reasons, but I think it had something to do with feeling like her children and husband were forced to thank her and finally acknowledge all she does for our family.  I am sure it felt so contrived and somewhat insincere to her. 

I remember a period of time where every year, when asked what she would like for Mother's Day (which we shouldn't need to ask anyway), her answer was always "I'd love just one day with none of my children fighting".  Then she would walk away with a deep sigh.

Motherhood is a tough job.  There is no denying that, but what breaks my heart is when we start to feel so under appreciated, and/or inadequate, that we would rather altogether avoid any mention or celebration of our role as mother.

The first couple years Tyler and I were married I would awake on Mother's Day morning with a buzz of womanly excitement.  I knew I wasn't technically a mother yet, but I was a wife, which put me on the right path.  

I would secretly hope for breakfast in bed.  A heartfelt note......even just a "Happy Mother's Day" would do.......but nothing.  I finally confronted my disappointment and asked my sweet husband, who is always so thoughtful, why he hadn't even wished me a happy Mother's Day.  "Well, you're not my're not even a mother at all!"  GASP!  Did my ears really hears such an unromantic response?  Wow!  I was shocked!  Could it be that we don't fully grasp the depth of meaning behind Mother's Day?  I could already feel a small part of the frustration my poor mother must have felt for all those years!  It was then and there that I decided  Mother's day would be a day of self celebration!  I would treat MYSELF like a queen that day!  I would take pause and honor the gift God has given me to create life, beauty, and well-being.  I would  look myself in the eyes and tell myself how valued and appreciated I am!  And I would spend some time alone, on my knees, seeking the validation that only the Lord can give.

I know that over the years, my family will celebrate Mother's Day.  There will be breakfast in bed.  I will come home from church with a pretty pink geranium, and read hand made cards from my babies, and my hope is my children will give me at least one day with no one fighting!  What I'm really hoping for the most though, is that I will always honor my role as mother and give myself the gift of recognizing how truly blessed I am.

I feel so fortunate to have been asked to share some thoughts on motherhood over at Empowering LDS Women, please go check it out!

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Five Cozy Cottages

I absolutely love a beautiful mansion with vaulted ceilings and high walls filled with great works of art.  I acknowledge the impact of a grand staircase and heavy looming doors with ornate handles.  I appreciate the vastness of a space filled only the finest pieces of furniture and decor, but I have recently concluded that that kind of lifestyle is not for me.  I am a much too cozy person to ever wish for something so grand.  What I do wish for though, is a beautiful cottage home.  Five of them in fact! (What? Excessive?)

If I were blessed with great wealth (which I am in many ways), I wouldn't build a mansion on a hill, I would instead purchase five cozy cottages.

a country cottage
a city cottage
a mountain cottage
a European cottage
and a cottage by the sea

They would all be filled with beautiful things.  Every room warm and lived in.  Lovely linens, inspiring art, color, softness, and surroundings that tell the story of a happy life.

When I was a child, I always loved the image of a fairy tale cottage nestled deep in the woods.  The coziness of a simple and happy life has always appealed to me.

Although five little cottages would give me a place to call home in each of my favorite places, I am completely content with one.  

A worn down desert cottage in a lovely shade of pink is where we currently live.  And I must admit, I have never thought of this place as a dream home, but it is sweet and cozy in its own little way.  Emilee loves the fact that we live in a pink house, and life is always a fairy tale to her.

I think that in all of my dreaming it is good to stop and realize that I AM living my dream.  It is less about where I am, and more about the way I see things.  From now on, everywhere we live will be my dream home, and I will be the creator of my cottage.

*cottage images from here