Archive | homemaking RSS feed for this section

taking care of mama

12 Jan

Starting 2012, I had a list of resolutions, or “intentions” as I like to call them. Doesn’t seem so weighty then. 🙂 As I reflected over them, I saw a common theme amongst many items; items like “make time to create weekly,” “go to bed early, wake early,” “go to yoga 2 times a week,” etc. The common theme was that I am craving caring for myself. As I get carried away, from the moment I awake, to the demands of mom, wife, housekeeper, educator – I forget to make time or priority to care for me.

However, if I don’t care for my needs:

  • physical
  • spiritual
  • emotional
  • intellectually

then I can’t possibly be caring for the needs of others in the best way possible. BUT, I find it SO hard to take care of me! Why? Before I had kids, I thought nothing of reading a book in the middle of the day or going to the gym. Confession: I like my family and being with them. I feel guilty at doing my own thing while everyone is together. But I NEED to be okay with it. I NEED to be okay with my husband taking the kids to the park while I have quiet time at home. I NEED to be okay with going to Starbucks a few hours on Saturday to do planning while he has the kids at home. I NEED to be okay with letting go of tidying up for the night so I can go to bed early. Once I actually break away and do it, I feel more relaxed and rejuvenated. I know I respond better to those around me and show my family my best, when I’ve given some of “me’ to me.

Some ways I plan on being more proactive in this area for the year are: planning a girls weekend away to refresh and relax, spend a few hours each weekend away from the house – planning for the week ahead, and creating time in my week to sew, create, craft, read, for yoga, and homemaking. The first thing was to decide it was a necessity for me and the second thing was to get my husband’s support.

Mama’s we don’t have to do it all ourselves. Go out, take a break, slow down, and take care of yourself. You’ll feel better for it and your family will appreciate it.


i’m not enough…

20 Jun

We returned home this weekend from a week spent in the beautiful mountains of East Tennessee. It was a great time – my husband spoke a week at Appalachian Christian Camp, we visited our alma mater and enjoy sights and places we loved in college with our children. We visited with friends from high school and had a beautiful week in God’s peaceful creation. BUT now I am sitting here buried under laundry, a grimy house, toys, and dishes. We head to New York in a week and a half for part 2 of part 4 of the Richards Family Summer of Travel and I’m feeling overwhelmed. Add to that some stress for my sweet husband at work and some added responsibility to my plate and I am really feeling like “not enough.” Tonight at church we sang a song and this line resonated in my head, “I lift my eyes up my help comes from the Lord.”

I don’t show enough grace to those I love.
                     i am not enough, but HE is.

I can’t keep up with the daily demands of my family and home.
                     i am not enough, but HE is. I lost my temper at my sweet child today, and yelled, really loud.
                    i am not enough, but HE is.
How can I juggle family, work, school, church, and friends?
                    i am not enough, but HE is.
I have heavy thoughts on my heart.
                    i am not enough, but HE is.
Change. All around.
                    i am not enough, but HE is.
Friends hurting, friends confused.
                    i am not enough, but HE is. I am weary at the end of the day.
                    i am not enough, but HE is.
I want so much more from my relationship with Christ.

                    i am not enough, but HE is.

I am overwhelmed with what’s expected of me, what I expect from myself.
                    i am not enough, but HE is.

Thankful today that my help comes from the Lord and that when I’m not enough, I can count on it that HE is and with Him I’ll make it through.

corners of my home: living room

11 May

I’m guest blogging today over at FaithBlogs! Be sure to go check it out!! I’m so honored and excited to be invited by them to share my thoughts!!


I’m excited to do the fourth post in a new series on my blog that will show you a bit of who I am and the things that are important to our family. Week 1, My front entryway can be found HERE and week 2, Harper’s nursery/bedroom can be found HERE. Week 3, my kitchen is HERE. Each week, until I’ve completed the tour, I am going to take you on a tour of my home and show you some of my favorite corners. I would LOVE for you to do the same if you have a blog and post a link in the comments so we can (1) get to know each other, (2) see others’ creativity, (3) get decorating ideas!

I’m showing you my living room today. We hope to install wood floors in here one day. But for the room where we probably spend the most amount of time, I like it. It’s cozy and warm with splashes of our life throughout it.

This fireplace was a dark red brick color when we bought the house. I hated it. So a few years ago, I decided to paint it white. Everyone I knew thought I was crazy to paint it, but my husband was okay with it so we did it. I haven’t had a day that regretted the decision. It lightened up the room so much! The mantle my dad made us for a Christmas gift this past year.

Once again, I wanted to do something with paint and I was tired of our old tv cabinet. It was dark brown and I just wasn’t loving it anymore. So enter in blue paint. I love it! I like the look of painted furniture and it added years to the life of the cabinet.

I’ve posted before about THIS red desk. I bought it at Goodwill for next-to-nothing and I really like the splash of color it is in our living room. It makes a fun side table for the couch and fits well with my mixed up decorating.

My wonderful friend, Katie painted this great painting for our family. I love the reminder it is. (Sorry the picture is blurry!)

There it is! Simple. Bright but warm. Splashes of color here and there. Functional. (stained.) 🙂 but a well-loved room.

Okay, your turn! In the comments below, leave a link to your blog post highlighting a corner of your house! You could even describe it in the comments if you don’t have a blog or take pictures.


10 May

After spending last week sick with Bronchitis, I reached about Thursday morning and had met an all new level of frustration in my life. I was in the shower, crying out to God, with a heart not settled, and a mind unsatisfied. I realized that I was in a place that I felt I was losing control over so many areas and I hated the helpless feeling I was feeling. (Okay, so do I really have any “control” anyways?)

  • I was frustrated by the lack of cleanliness of my home – laundry not caught up. Laundry never caught up! Toys strewn across the floor of most rooms. Surfaces and corners that could use a good scrubbing. Argh!
  • I was frustrated by my attitude I had lately with my children. Rather than getting patient and calm mommy, they were getting impatient, irritable, short mommy. Didn’t like that. I found myself saying no so often throughout the day without any reason why my answer was no to them. I made mountains out of mole hills and forgot to pick and choose my battles. Ick.
  • As if those two areas weren’t enough to be frustrated about, I was frustrated with my attitude towards my husband. Indifference, irritability, and selfishness were traits I was exhibiting rather than love, concern, and patience.
  • I was frustrated by my body. Sure I’m pre-3-baby-pregnancy weight minus a pound or two more, but how fit am I? My clothes are tighter and things have definitely moved around. How does that happen?! I don’t like what I see in the mirror, but I also don’t do anything about it. I’m a relatively healthy eater, but I can never seem to find time or energy in my day to exercise. At one point I was working out 4 days a week and felt and looked great. But that was a season ago, one less kid, and a few less responsibilities. Ugh.

As I looked further, I realized that at the heart of everything I was frustrated with were my lack of time with God and my lack of time in His word. As I’ve thought on that a few days, I’ve come to realize that when I feel the most frustrated in my life, it’s because I’ve lost sight of my priorities, gotten disorganized, and aren’t living in His grace. This is both refreshing and overwhelming. Refreshing because okay, that sounds like a plan. We can work through this with a plan! But overwhelming at the same time because where do I start at getting back on track? What things are most important? How do I reconcile the important ones with the ones that gotta-get-done?

(1) I need to realize I can’t get it all done. And that’s OKAY. Some days some things will take priority and some days it will be others.

(2) Prioritize. Make lists. To-dos. Get organized. I work so much better this way. I need to purge some things in my life that take time away from the things I need to be doing. But at the same time I need to balancing work with fun and rest.

(3) Stay focused on God’s word and scripture. A sure way to encourage me and remind me daily of His power to get it done.

Finding a balance can be so difficult. Usually the times are simply seasons and we must adjust and transition to the next but, do you ever feel this way friends? What things have you found helpful in not becoming frustrated?

winner winner chicken dinner among other things…

26 Apr

Rough start getting back into a structured school week after a week of “Spring Break.” But we’re doing it with a great unit on “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.” Such a fun week ahead with the planned schoolwork, two playdates, small group BBQ, and a field trip to the farm. I love spring!

Here’s some things I’m loving/thinking about/inspired by/wanting:

Yo-Yo Necklace.  I bought this sweet thing last weekend at the Crafty Feast festival here in Columbia. Love me an independent craft show that makes me feel like I’m walking through the pages of Etsy! I love this little necklace and it’s grey and chartreuse sweetness. I want to try my hand at making some if I could only gather the right fabric scraps.

A typewriter. I would love a typewriter. How special to handtype notes to friends and family on kraft tags? Something sweet and romantic in my mind about typing on one.

{source: here}

Sewing. As it’s getting warmer (and warmer) I am wanting to pull out my sewing machine again and sew some sweet items for sweet Harper. How about some of these darling skirts to go with her Converse high tops?

{source: here}

Winner winner chicken dinner. Okay, I love that phrase and totally cracked up tonight when my 5 year-old yelled it while playing frisbee. Anyways, I am always looking for recipes for chicken. I found this delicious looking chicken dish: Cornbread Crusted Chicken with Jalapeno Popper Sauce. Mmm.. spice? Yes. Bacon? Yes. Cheese? Yes. Can’t wait to make it.

 {I’ll be unplugging for most of Tuesday, spending intentional time with my littles. Isn’t that the hardest? Something always comes up for me to do – laundry, a phone call, the internet, dishes, toys strewn everywhere, etc. I want to aim for being MORE than JUST PRESENT with my children. Ah, the daily struggle.}

it’s that time again!

8 Apr

Mmmm…. I love this time of year! Strawberries, blueberries, and peaches to pick. Then tons of other delicious produce to buy at the various farmer’s markets throughout our area. Last summer, it’s actually what kept me sane in the summer heat – thinking of food all season long. Probably not a very healthy thing, eh? But then again it was fruits and veggies I was thinking of… hmmmm..

Anyways, our strawberry farms opened this week for picking. So one of my best friends and her children and us went to pick berries today. The littles already asked for strawberry pancakes for breakfast with strawberry muffins for afternoon snack.

Hope you guys have a GREAT weekend! Enjoy the beautiful weather and hug your littles!

xo ~ Michelle


corners of my home: kitchen

7 Apr

I’m excited to do the third post in a new series on my blog that will show you a bit of who I am and the things that are important to our family. Week 1, My front entryway can be found HERE and week 2, Harper’s nursery/bedroom can be found HERE. Each week, until I’ve completed the tour, I am going to take you on a tour of my home and show you some of my favorite corners. I would LOVE for you to do the same if you have a blog and post a link in the comments so we can (1) get to know each other, (2) see others’ creativity, (3) get decorating ideas!

I’m showing you my kitchen today. Disclaimer: our kitchen is a work still in progress. Of the major things, we still need to do a bead-board ceiling, new countertops and cabinets (or painted cabinets) and new flooring.

My favorite part of our kitchen.

Yes, we have two coffee makers in our home. We’re that obsessed. Well, okay, one is our normal coffeepot – the red one I had to have. Then we were given a pretty fantastic espresso machine by some great friends. Well, since hubs started using that baby, we have cut down our Starbucks consumption by at least half. Makes a mean latte. 

Love our backsplash that my dad did two years ago. Yes, we’ve been working on this room THAT long. Well, life with 3 kids gets away from you, ya know? Anyways, we hope to paint the cabinets – I think. What do you think? Thinking white with chrome hardware. Then we’d love a dark countertop with flecks of color. Something like that. Ha, under the countertop where this picture doesn’t show – there’s a trash compactor! Remember those? Not sure if it works, can’t bring myself to even open the door!

Opposite side of the kitchen sits our eat in area. We actually have our table to eat in the dining room and we use this area for the littles to have as an art area. The color of the walls carries throughout the kitchen except where there is backsplash.

The other side of the art area for the kids. They love coming in here and painting, coloring, cutting, etc. We usually have an easel that sits in here too, but it’s on the patio right now. I love encouraging creativity in my children and their friends. There are boxes that hold collage materials, paper, magazines, boxes and egg cartons and the such for recycling into art, stickers, notepads, and paint. The buckets hanging on the wall hold the markers, crayons, watercolor paints, colored pencils, etc. I love the kids can use whatever they want and whenever. We frequently hang art creations in the windows too.

This is my beautiful wine bottle light fixture my dad made me. I love it! What I don’t like in this picture is how from the kitchen sink, you see into the garage. Any ideas on window coverings for this window? I don’t want to look at a blank wall, but I don’t like seeing my messy garage either. The “clothesline” is for hanging plastic bags we wash to reuse. We also used to use it to dry bibs we washed.

So, you can see that this is a room that is still a work. I didn’t even show you my original to the house, 1970’s wall oven!! But it sure can bake some yummy brownies and cookies!

Okay, your turn! In the comments below, leave a link to your blog post highlighting a corner of your house! You could even describe it in the comments if you don’t have a blog or take pictures.