I wrote this post last night...
Okay, I'm feeling a bit tired and cynical tonight. My day... I got up at 6:30 a.m. then folded two loads of laundry, drank a cup of coffee, did dishes, got my husband's lunch ready for work, sent two emails, made french toast, went grocery shopping, made lunch, dropped by a friend's house for a minute, did school, made dinner, cleaned up, talked with my husband, got the kids to bed, ate a piece of chocolate. There wasn't a lot of extra room in today. I did get think aloud bookmarks laminated to help guide our conversations as we read The Cricket in Times Square. I did get a birthday gift purchased for a party the girls are going to next week. I did get a new shirt and pants purchased for my oldest daughter. But, planning a holiday tradition or getting things together was not on my mind today. Traditions and holidays take energy and time.
A friend of ours commented to me after Christmas that he and his wife were so tired after Christmas had passed. They realized that when they were kids they just got to enjoy Christmas. But, now they are the adults and they get to do all the work that goes into Christmas! I agreed with them. It is a lot of work. It's worth it, though. We are making memories for our children that they will have when they are older.
On days like today, it's hard to imagine all the work that we put into holidays and traditions to make those memories. But, we do it. Because we enjoy the work and our families enjoy the fruits of our labors.
My goal is to find easy, simple ideas to make traditions and holidays fun and special for my family. My kids know how much I love them and that I try. I'm very transparent to them about my humanness--probably too transparent since I wear my heart on my sleeve.
In any case, I love to look for ideas. So, books that are full of ideas are right up my alley...
A new one is coming out titled Everyday Confetti by Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer. These two
But, I just didn't. I didn't find any recipes I wanted to make. I kept flipping and hoping, but none of the recipes were ones that I would make. I was a little bothered by the idea that Valentine's Day is known as "Singles Awareness Day". But, I looked it up and found that indeed it is also now known as Singles Awareness Day. Hmmm...
I kept reading and looking for ideas. But, none of them clicked for me. It doesn't fit with my life. My time is taken up right now with school and teaching. When I read, it's usually about how children learn. I hadn't realized this before I picked up this book.
This book is filled with stories by moms. They're written in the flowery, descriptive way that we talk with our friends (with more words rather than less). They're great if you have time--to read them and implement them. If you're going on a vacation and will be spending time as the passenger in a car, this is a book you could read. If you're starting out with toddlers and big dreams of all the things you'll do with your family, then this book might be for you.
But, if you're coming down from the clouds, grappling with your life as a mom, trying to figure out how to make things enjoyable and simple for your family, then I'd pass on this book. I know that may sound strange and like I said earlier--cynical, but that's where I'm at right now. Sometimes this is the kind of book that's actually hard to read. Because it can feel overwhelming or discouraging. Sometimes you don't have a husband who's on board with cheesiness.
I do things to make my kids' lives special, but it looks a little different. Making my kids' lives special means breakfast in the morning. It means giving a hug whenever they want one. It means listening to Adventures in Odyssey with them. The time we have is what we savor.
This is probably a perfectly fine book. It's just not where I'm at right now and after getting through the Winter holidays, I'm not ready yet to tackle anymore for a little while. Right now, I'm keeping my head above water and putting one foot in front of another!
Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Revell Books.
Post Script... please forgive me for my cynicism in this book review!