3 Tips on Taking Back Your Morning

Hello friendlies,

Some of my favorite things include early, slow mornings, writing the day’s tasks and schedule in a good planner, fresh coffee, and inspiring music. If I’m not careful, mom life leads to rushed mornings, skipped quiet times with the Lord, days that run me instead of my running my day, and too much coffee.

Here’s a few useful tools which have been wonderful in bringing some organization and make the mornings work for me:

Little Tip #1:

Buy a good planner. Right now I am using a Lesson Planner and LOVE it! A sweet friend sent this to me during Uriah’s NICU stay; I love how large each day is — there are so many boxes to write the day’s plans and aspirations in!

Little Tip #2:

Having a hard time fitting prayer time into your day? Me too … one tip I’ve really enjoyed learning from my Bible study is to talk with my Lord while I drink my cup of coffee. So simple, right? But I crave simple these days!

I can really tell the difference in my days when I take the time to talk with my Lord. The beauty of it is that it reminds me of God’s amazing friendship like love; He wants us to talk to Him! And He understands mommyhood, He understands caregivers.

Little Tip #3:

This isn’t really a tip unless you are a musical loving soul like me and are looking for a good recommendation. 😉 I am loving The Greatest Showman’s soundtrack. I feel like everyone is loving this story and I know why! (Warning, there are some curse words so, if that is something you are sensitive to, avoid the song The Other Side). My personal favorites are A Million Dreams and From Now On. Have you seen The Greatest Showman? What did you think?

I can almost always be found doing one of these tips throughout the day (or all at once); hence the coffee-breathed belting of A Million Dreams while I scribble over my planner. Simple joys that bring a little happiness into the day.

What are your tips for scheduling, connecting with the Lord, or a creative outlet? Share below in a comment … I love hearing from you!

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

My Monday Cleaning Mantra

Mondays are cleaning days in our home. The goal is to get the dust dusted, the sinks scrubbed, bathrooms sanitized, beds changed, and floors swept and washed. Then, the rest of the week are upkeep days usually requiring light tidying.

While I sweep and dust and scrub I talk to Uriah about why we clean. I’ve repeated the reasons for why Momma sweeps: Momma sweeps to keep the dirt from getting on our feet. When we have dirt on our feet it gets into our beds and then we don’t sleep well and when we don’t sleep well we don’t feel well and can get sick. So this is why Momma sweeps.

To which I get the usual replies of gah gah gahhhhh or Mommmmma, mommmmma, momma, momma, momamomamomamomaoma!!! 🙂

Teaching Uriah while I work alleviates the ever present mommy guilt; it’s a strange notion that baby needs our attention all the time so other areas of life need to be forsaken to keep baby well-loved.  But mom guilt is silly. That’s why I’m learning the balance between focusing on Uriah and teaching him through my actions that the world doesn’t revolve around him (precious as he is). And one way to do that is talking to your baby as you work, especially children who have vision or mobility issues and who cannot follow momma to the kitchen when she does the dishes.

Keeping the house clean and neat is something I really enjoy doing; there is a lot of pleasure that comes from doing something well and keeping things maintained. Of course, there are days when keeping the house isn’t the most favorable task but I’m learning that keeping to the routine helps keep the mess down which makes future cleaning easier and more tackle-able (is this a word?). Waiting to clean till you see the mess or the dirt is defeating and discouraging; keep up with the mess and your friends will marvel and say fun things like your house is always clean or you should run a business because you are so organized!  

And you can smile, tell them your secrets, and enjoy the beauty that comes with weekly cleaning! 😀

Or, in the words of the magnificent Tasha Tudor, “I enjoy doing housework, ironing, washing, cooking, dishwashing. Whenever I get one of those questionnaires and they ask what is your profession, I always put down housewife. It’s an admirable profession, why apologize for it. You aren’t stupid because you’re a housewife. When you’re stirring the jam you can read Shakespeare.

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Scones for a Wintry Day

I’ve stumbled across a number of refreshing, hygge style blogs in my time but nothing quite compares with The Button Willow Chronicles. I’ve studied this dear lady’s work for sometime, and while it seems the site has been abandoned and no new words are written, I love to read the posts no matter how old.

Here is a yummy scone recipe she left long ago. And I imagine these treats are perfect for our blend of cold, grey weather. Sometimes the sun peaks through but then January winds remind the clouds of their duty and they come back with a vengeance. I’ve heard rumor of snow this week which would be quite delightful.

This recipe makes a crumbly scone which is very biscuit like.  They turn out not-too-sweet which allows one to slather on as much jam or honey as one likes.  Those in the small dwellings prefer their crumbs with jam.  Honey sticks to their teeny hands far too much.

2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (I’ve played with this amount and it turns out fine either way)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 stick of cold butter 
2 large eggs
1/3 cup  milk (fat free to whole…it all works the same, but whole is so much more luscious!)
2/3 cup golden raisins (if you’d like)

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Add flour, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl.  Using your fingers blend butter evenly into the flour until mixture is crumbly.  Add eggs, milk and raisins (or other dried fruit.  I’ve also mashed in 2 or 3 tablespoons of a good jam just before rolling into log.  Messy, but delicious and the recipe works just fine).  Stir just until combined.  Pat into a ball and place onto a lightly floured board.  Roll dough into a log, 16 inches long.  Cut into 16 pieces.  Place rounds onto a prepared (buttered and floured) cookie sheet.  Brush tops with milk and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake 15 minutes or such.

Please make sure you visit the original owner and site. Not only are her scones delicious but so are her words! <3

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

He Won’t Be Little Forever

Just a snapshot of my little hot mess. I promise, he didn’t fall off the ottoman during this process. 😀

Dear mom of young kids,

I know, I know. One more blog post addressed to you, the coffee-driven, alone-time-missing, mass. You who are in the middle of post-Christmas cleanup and credit card statements out the wazoo. Yes, hello, you.

I’m with you. I haven’t a dozen of young children but I do have one. A precious, darling one year old. Sometimes I think he counts for at least two since he currently requires specials cares which involve me dragging around his ventilator, priming his feeding pump, and eye-balling the tiny fists which LOVE to pull out his trach because it is oh, so, fun to make mom get her cardio in. 😉

But really, I understand. Moms are tired. We’re worn down. Even on the amazing, good, organized, low-key days we’ve still got a million things weighing on our mommy brains. It’s exhausting, I get it.

I mean, I’m currently speed writing this. I’m still in my nightgown and it’s 2 p.m. I’m in the middle of trying to keep Uriah entertained while I get the house organized and sanitized since Christmas and a 4 day pneumonia-related hospital admission has me playing catch up.

But there is more to this momhood than busyness, and diapers, and weariness.

Just this afternoon I paused my bleaching and washing to prepare Uriah’s lunchtime meal. When I came close he lifted his darling, chubby arms. Hold me, Mommy. I picked him up and gently laid his tummy against my chest and swayed that little boy who loves to practice tummy time in my arms.

And in those 3 minutes I caught a vision of what might be in the next 30 years …

I imagined laying my head on my 31 year old son’s shoulder; we’re dancing at his wedding. It’s a special day. My son, my Uriah, is grown, tall, and beginning his own life. And there I am nearly 60 years old. I’m probably shorter and fatter than ever but my son doesn’t see that. All he sees is his momma. The woman who loved him.

In the 3 minutes it took to pick up my baby, dance with him on my chest, and let my shoulder get soaked through with snot, I saw what could be. 

One day, our children will be grown. One day, we won’t have littles little enough to embrace on our shoulders. They’ll be bigger, independent, and moving away from the homes we desperately keep for them. 

Dear, tired, worn, frazzled momma. Cherish these moments with me. Cherish the little person you’ve been given because, in the blink of an eye, they will be grown and gone. We’ll never be able to hold them to our shoulders like we can now. I know it’s hard to slow down. I know you have a million-and-one things on your to-do list.

But while you strive to do your best keeping up with life, rememeber to appreciate and enjoy the people in it. <3

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

DIY, $10, Chalkboard Pumpkin

 

One pass through our home and you’ll know I love chalkboard art. <3 What’s not to love about erasable, easy to make, adorable, shabby chic, farmhouse chalk art? Because I am DIY-challenged I like projects that require minimum amounts of money and even less amounts of technical skill because … I still don’t own a hammer (but I do have a very well-used rock that works just as well). Thankfully, chalkpaint is super DIY-friendly.

I started craving a fall-themed chalkboard Uriah and I could use weekly as Autumn progressed. This is Uriah’s first fall and I want to create memories and traditions for our family of three. What better way than us finding things we are thankful for, me giving a mini lesson, and him babbling away in agreement?  Babies make everything more fun. 🙂

This easy, DIY chalkboard pumpkin turned out even cuter than I imagined. I started with a $9.99 wooden cutout from Hobby Lobby (and then I used my RetailMeNot app to get a 40% off coupon). I used two coats of chalkboard paint and tadaa!

I love that it’s large and fills the space above my stove. Now, once a week, Uriah and I change the theme of what we are thankful for. It’s an excellent teaching tool that will be more useful the older he gets. Until then, I get to enjoy the daily reminder and the daily does of cuteness it brings.

How do you practice being thankful? Do you have a favorite fall time craft? I know I’m currently loving Leah’s Thanksgiving Tree @ Grace Lee Cottage.  Share you ideas (or favorite Pinterest crafting board) in a comment below — I love hearing from you! 

With love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie