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Five Things

Hello! Happy Friday!

I have to confess, I feel like I’m limping toward the weekend this week. I’m so tired. I think it’s a combination of the heat (we’ve been in the 90s already!) and a full calendar of activities. I’m REALLY looking forward to a mostly unscheduled weekend. Here are a few things on my mind this week.

1. Christmas cards. Yep. It’s true. I finally took down my Christmas cards this week. I posted on Facebook that the moment I did it, the kids revolted and thought it was way too soon. What?! Luckily, friends chimed in that they still had theirs up or had just taken them down this week, so I felt better. I like to put them on a binder ring so I can look through them over and over again. What about you – do you keep them up all year (something I seriously considered) or do you have a creative way of using them after the holidays have passed?

2. Museum of Failure. A few weeks ago, when my father-in-law was here, he told us the story of how Kodak missed the boat on digital photography. Just a few days later, I came across the Museum of Failure, which included Kodak as well as other companies and ideas that just didn’t work. So fascinating. (via Jocelyn K. Glei)

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3. A Very Easy Dinner Party. I loved this. Because what’s most important is the connecting, not the dinner.

4. Do More Things That Make You Forget To Check Your Phone. Less scrolling, more connecting.

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5. This quote.

What are you up to this weekend? I say we are “mostly unscheduled”, but we have a couple of baseball games and some fun outings with friends, and I’m “scheduling” some creative time, too. Our temperatures will be dipping back down, for which I am super thankful. Hope your weekend is full of friendship, learning opportunities, and connecting with others in ways that make life richer. Thanks for reading!

creative habit · etsy shop · Jewelry

Doing the Work

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. Not a sad funk or a discouraged funk or it’s-rained-for-three-weeks-and-I-just-need-some-sunshine funk. I’ve been in a busy funk. Which might be a weird thing to say, because when you’re busy, you’re usually moving and active and getting things done and in sort of the opposite of a funk.

I haven’t felt inspired. Inspired to make things or start projects or even write in my journal. I haven’t felt like I had anything to tell. And I haven’t really had space to tell it if I did. It’s been days and days of drop offs and pick ups and baseball and karate and Target and grocery shopping and taking this here and picking that up there. Most days are go-go-go until I crash at the end of the day.

But then I read a couple of things that made a difference.

The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst came on the hold shelf for me at the library. The subtitle is “Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands” – sound familiar? I am not even halfway through it, but I’m loving this book and making so many notes in my journal from what I’m reading. Here’s one:

“The decisions we make dictate the schedules we keep. The schedules we keep determine the lives we live. The lives we live determine how we spend our souls.”

If I just keep going with the errands and the to-dos and the trying to get ahead, I will never find time to do what I love and what my soul needs – making things, writing, and connecting with my people.

Then, as I was reading Shauna Niequist’s Savor devotional on April 25:

“Get up. Create like you’re training for a marathon, methodically, day by day.”

And this:

“Discipline is not antithetical to creativity; it’s vital to it.”

Discipline! Not waiting around for inspiration. Not getting my other tasks done in order to find time to create. Make time to create and DO IT.

So that Tuesday morning, the day of the week where I have the biggest chunk of time to get things done, instead of tackling my to-do list and running here and there trying to squeeze in more productivity, I blocked off my calendar for “create”. I started Pandora, sat down at my workspace, and made stuff for two hours.

rainbow earrings

It was awesome. I made some pretty things, I got lots of new ideas, and I felt the funk begin to slide away. Instead of waiting to be inspired to get to work, I got to work and was inspired.

The thing is, this isn’t a new revelation for me. I KNOW this, really. (I did a whole 31 Days Series on it a few years ago.) But when life gets busy (or even just funk-y), I can’t figure out why I’m not doing the things I want to do. I lose focus. I get sidetracked. I forget.

So I made a tiny little life hack: I added “Create” to the calendar on my phone and I set it to repeat. So I will have a reminder that pops up to spend some DISCIPLINED time doing the work I want to do. And I will schedule the other life stuff at other times. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, or even if I have to move it to a different time slot, it’s the beginning of a practice that will help me remember to do things that feed my soul.

And my hope is that by feeding my soul, I will be keeping the funk away, too.

new earring photos

PS – I’ve added the earrings I made last Tuesday to my shop. Click here to see them in all their rainbow-color-ordered glory!

five things

Five Things

Hello! Happy Friday!

Where did this week go?! Well, some of it went to treehouse building and driving to the airport and making a gallery wall and catching up with friends. But it’s gone by so fast that Easter has completely snuck up me. (FYI – I just Googled “snuck vs. sneaked” – both are correct!) I usually spend a couple of days creating color-coordinating outfits for our family for Easter – just because I CAN. But not this year. I’m sure we’ll all look fine on Easter morning, but there probably won’t be a match in the bunch.

Here are a few things on my  mind this week:

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1. Treehouses. It’s not finished, and I want to do an entire post on it – Husband wants to tell how it REALLY went and how much it REALLY costs, so maybe he’ll guest post one day soon – but it was a ton of work, and the kids love it. For now, we are using that big green ladder for treehouse access, but there will either be a wooden ladder or a cargo net ladder in the front (we are still in negotiations). It is so fun to look out the dining room window and see this. (I’m not gonna lie – it’s also fun to have my car sawdust-free for the first time in a week, too.) Shout out to my father-in-law for helping Husband with this big project – those two were ALL IN on 10-hour days for almost a week. (My job was mainly KP duty – keeping everyone fed and energized – and, of course, throwing out my two cents every chance I got.)

2. Yes, Your Sleep Schedule Is Making You Sick. This was a very interesting read, covering sleep as it relates to our use of screens at night, jet-lag, and depression.

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3. Gallery Walls. Over the last few weeks, my friend, Jen, and I have been working on her living room wall. Her husband is a hunter, so she had several duck paintings lined up behind the sofa. She wanted to mix it up a bit and make a gallery wall, so we played around with different arrangements, shopping her house for other pieces, adding in a letter K, a wooden heart that Jen painted, and antlers we found in her garage. We finally installed it on Monday, and I just love how it turned out! The takeaway: when you want to make a change with pieces you already have, the gallery wall is the way to go. (Other “shop your house” takeaway: pillows! Jen wanted to update the ones on the sofa, and she found these darling ones in the closet. Sometimes you don’t need to buy new – you just need to play around with what you’ve got.)

movement and stillness

4. This quote. Husband and I had a conversation about this last weekend. These are two things that are constantly on my goals lists – moving my body and quieting my mind. I just finished Into the Magic Shop, in which the author, James R. Doty, tells the story of how he learned meditation and mindfulness and went on to discover how it connects with the power of the brain and of the heart. It is amazing to realize how the brain can actually be rewired through the deliberate practice of stillness. It is also amazing how something so seemingly simple can be so hard to actually DO. But I’m trying. Baby steps.

5. This made me laugh. We are BIG Alexander fans here – the kids love the book (and this one and this one, too) and the movie, and I remember getting in the car after school one day when I was little, telling my mom it had been a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day” after having memorized the line when my teacher read it aloud to us. This is a great updated version.

Hope you have a weekend of being outdoors, rest, beauty, stillness, and laughter. Also hope you have a lovely Easter, and thanks so much for reading!