Friday, September 23, 2011

Date Night In: "Fall" In Love

I love fall.

I also love my husband.

Something deep inside me tells me I should combine the two.
Photo Source

For this "Fall" in love date, keep it simple.  A cool picnic, hot drinks, warm blankets, and reminiscing about when you fell in love.

Start by simply writing a short note to your husband inviting him on a home date.  In the note, tell him something that made you fall in love with him.

For the date, start with laying out sweaters and mittens for you both (if you have kids, include them).  Take your husband to an outdoor place (like your backyard) and have a chilly picnic.  Serve chili, corn bread, carrot sticks, and hot cocoa.  Over dinner talk about what you love about fall.  Listen for geese, read nature poems, or collect leaves.  Perhaps go for a hand-in-hand stroll. Make analogies of fall to love.  Notice, for instance, how the breeze makes tree branches sway like they are dancing lovers or remark on how the leaves fall to the ground, content to let go of the past.

Photo Source
When it gets dark or too cold, head inside.  Team up and give the kids a bath and put them to bed.  Encourage your spouse to go relax in your bedroom while you set up.

Start a fire or set the mood by dimming lights and lighting candles.  Turn on slow music--like Frank Sinatra or smooth jazz.  Make a cushy sitting spot with warm blankets and pillows.  Get some "fall" snacks/drinks (Frontier Kitchen's apple crisp, caramel apples, hot apple cider, etc.).

Photo Source

Get your husband and snuggle.  As you snuggle reminisce over how you fell in love.  Where did you meet?  What do you remember wearing?  Where was your first date?  Your first kiss? When did you KNOW you were in love?  When did you first say you were in love?  What did you like best about your each other when you were dating?  What do you like best about each other after all this time of marriage? What makes you "fall" in love with your spouse every day? What is your favorite memory from dating? From being a newlywed? From this last year of marriage?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Things I Love: A quick cleaning tool

Here's a gripe.

I can't stand Swiffers.  I don't like Swiffer Sweepers.  I don't like the little Swiffer duster thingy.  I just don't like Swiffer stuff.

Here's why: They do the exact same thing a can of Pledge, a rag, and a mop with water can do BUT they produce so much more landfill waste.  They drive me crazy.

But I have a problem and he is 2.  This two year old regularly makes my wood floors look like a sticky tie-dye shirt.  Don't laugh; it's true.  By lunch time it's not uncommon to have yogurt, mandarin orange juice, granulated Jell-O (don't ask), and pet hair gobbed onto my floor.

So I lug out the bucket and the water and mop.  Not a great process to do a couple of times a day but I don't want to take the less-green Swiffer short cut.  So I don't.

When I was staying with my sister she introduced me to the Rubbermaid Reveal {swoon}.  It's a green version of a Swiffer.  Put a little white vinegar and water in the dispenser, squirt, and run the mop head over the goo.  Goo gone.  YAY!

Even better, when the mop head gets icky, simply throw it in the laundry.  No more landfill fill!

Now I won't lie, this sucker isn't good for deep cleaning. You are still going to need to actually mop or do a hands-n-knees floor scrubbing every now and then BUT with the Rubbermaid Reveal, there's no need to break out the mop 2 times a day.  Winning!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What I Think About: Forgiving Yourself

Watch this video. Read the lyrics.

Have you ever just messed up?  I mean ROYALLY messed up?  The kind of messed up that will bring you to tears in thirty years when you think about it?  The kind of messed up that makes you seriously contemplate enrolling in science courses in hopes of inventing a time machine?  The kind of messed up that hurt someone? The kind of messed up that leaves you feeling totally broken?

I really messed up.  When I called my sister to confess she loved and supported me.  She said, "There is nothing you can do that can make me not love you.  Of course, I'm related by blood so that covers it."

To which I replied the most faithless words I've ever spoken: "Blood doesn't cover everything."

The second I said it I audibly gasped.  I was horrified that I said it.  I was more horrified that in many ways, I believed it about myself.  Deep inside of me an aching mistake made me believe that there are some sins that blood doesn't cover.

I know this is NOT true but have you ever stood in that place where you just FELT that it was true?  That you were standing in a shadow that the Son couldn't redeem.

If you have been there, tell me how and when do you forgive yourself?  I mean, forgiveness (even self-forgiveness) is key to grace and mercy.  But is there a time period where you should "feel" the effects of your sin?  How long should you mourn your actions before you seek to forgive them?  Off the cuff it feels like the answer is "you shouldn't drag yourself through the mud" but right now it just feels like the person I've hurt deserves to see me struggle and mourn over my wrongdoing.  Not because such lamentations will change the deed but because it will help that person know that I really feel the affects of my actions.  That I feel the pain.  That I am sorry.  Gut-wrenchingly sorry.

So when do you forgive yourself?

And of course the bigger issues is how?

I know I will never forget this incident.  I will play and re-play it in some small fashion (even if it is just a, "how could I be so stupid?!) several times a year.  How can I use this circumstance to remind me of all the ways that I need Jesus without consistently asking, begging, pleading for mercies I've already been given?  How can I use this to spur me on in a way that makes me a better person but helps the one I've hurt know that I haven't just forgotten and moved on?

Where is the balance between the burden of regret over sins committed and the mercy of peace from blood that cleanses?

What I think is that I need to learn to forgive myself.  Your wisdom is greatly appreciated.  Your prayers more so.

Thank you to Shell for letting me Pour My Heart Out every Wednesday

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Days of Play: Pour Painting

Have I mentioned that I love Pinterest?  Well I do.  Here's another craft idea I found from stalking other people's boards.

Pour Painting.

Photo from Housing a Forest

This is such a fast and unique art project.  To make this you will need a drop cloth, old plastic table cloth, newspapers ... do you get what I'm not saying here?  It's gonna be a fun mess.  Prepare.

You'll also need some cheap paint (bright house paint?) and matting board (DO NOT use regular paper here).

To make this you essentially have your kids lay down drops of color on the matting.  Then pick up the matting and move it this way and that until the desired movement of art is complete.  Let dry at least over night.

For more details and photo instructions, head to Housing A Forest <---Yes, that's a link you can click

Have some messy fun painting with your kiddos!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Music Monday: Foster The People

Two words for you.



I love Foster the People, an American Indie pop band.  They have these songs that remind me of summer.  And recently I've heard radio stations in my area playing this song:

Pumped Up Kicks

And Helena Beat is also pretty awesome (I can't say the same thing about the video!)