Silent Sunday

“We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness.

God is the friend of silence.

See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence;

see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…

We need silence to be able to touch souls.” 

Mother Teresa

Happy Daisies🌼

When picking up flowers to have on various tables at my twins graduation party, I decided to get a variety of a few different blooms. Their party was three weeks ago and I JUST had to retire these happy, pretty daisies this morning! They were the least expensive yet brought joy for much longer than any other flower!

Getting Ahead or Enjoying the Moment?

get-ahead

Recently, my daughter had her very first job interview.  After we decided on her outfit and printed a copy of her resume, I wondered if they’d offer a 401K plan.  Although utterly absurd, the thought really did cross my mind.  While I should have been enjoying the moment, I zeroed in on getting her ahead.

I have fallen victim to society’s push that if you’re not ahead, you lose.  Worse yet, if I’m relaxing and enjoying an event, I have sometimes criticized myself for not using that time to “get ahead” on other things!

If you have teenagers in your house, perhaps you saw the Teen Choice Awards this week (8/11/13).  Ashton Kutcher gave an inspirational 4+minute acceptance speech, stating that “opportunity looks a lot like hard work”.  He talked about being a dish washer, a deli worker, and sweeping Cheerio dust off of a factory floor before making it big in acting.  I was inspired for my kids as they embark upon their first jobs.

The next day, inspiration waned as I read a profile in Fortune magazine of a CEO whose first job was interning at major corporation.  This was a chief factor attributed to ‘how she got ahead’.  Seriously, how many teenagers have access to corporate internships at 16?

This always-need-to-get-ahead syndrome is perpetuated by retailers.  On July 1st, I went into Joanne Fabrics to pick up a 4th of July decoration.  As the sliding glass doors closed behind me, I smelled October.  Cinnamon filled my senses, pumpkins greeted me, and my summer yellow shorts just felt wrong.  At 70% off, Independence Day décor was scarce.

Still in need of the decoration, I drove to Target where the BACK TO SCHOOL signs left my youngest squealing in the doorway, refusing to step any further into my normally-beloved Target (2016 update: Target is no longer my beloved store).

Hobby Lobby?  Christmas decorations!  I actually pondered if I should buy something!

This same mentality filters into politics. The GOP was campaigning for 2016 immediately after the re-election of Obama.  That was somewhat understandable, since they have work to do if they hope to regain the White House.  However, two weeks after his re-election, national news claimed that President Obama was “campaigning” on behalf of the Democratic Party to ensure in four years, the Democratic candidate would win.

At what point is there focused, meaningful work being accomplished?  Can it just be ok to actually enjoy SUMMER until August?  If my Christmas isn’t bought, wrapped and baked by Halloween, am I behind?

The economics are easy:  excessive early marketing sells more stuff and panics a 22-year old into hiring a financial planner when they haven’t even paid off student loans.  The psychological aspect however, is much more fascinating.  Why do some teens believe that cleaning the windows at Dunkin Donuts isn’t worth their best effort because they will eventually be “getting ahead” of that lowly job?  Why do we watch the political pundits evaluate for four years?  Why am I thinking about retirement funds for my 16 year old?!

While I do save for retirement and have been known to buy Christmas gifts throughout the year, I have to stop robbing myself of the delight that’s meant for the moment. If I’m worried about my daughter’s financial future, I won’t enjoy the pride on her face.  If I make celebrating Christmas a 4-month long event, it will no longer possess its excitement and specialness.

With more focused intention, I believe we can “get ahead” on critical things without sacrificing “the moment”.  Thus living a much more joyful life!

Ice Cream Cone Cakes!

Last week, I wanted to be a “fun Mom” who sent something “different” in for the end of season Lacrosse party.  I had completely forgotten about ice cream cone cakes!!  I fell in love with these all over again!cups

Ingredients

Cake mix – any flavor  {We like Funfetti}

Flat bottom ice cream cones {Joy sells colored cones}

2 tubs of whipped frosting – any color/flavor

Sprinkles or other decorations

Directions

Prepare cake batter as directed. While Betty Crocker recommends pouring the batter into cupcake papers and then placing cones upside down on top of the batter, I prefer filling the actual cone – not all the way to the top or the batter will spill over (I learned that the hard way!).  Then, your finished cone will look like this (instead of half empty): Ice-Cream-Cone-Cupcake

Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes.

Transporting the cone cakes is quite an adventure.  I decided on the egg carton, but here are a few other ideas as well:IMG_1464

ice-cream-cones-full-shot

I LOVE the next two photos and I plan on using cups the next time (but filling candy a little higher for my security!):

plastic

candy

DSCN0729

How Do I Know That Last Winter Was a Long One? 7 Things That Don’t Really Bother Me This Summer

I can tell that last winter was brutal (and it still lingers in the back of my mind) because my summer thoughts and behaviors are a bit different than in previous years!

7 things that don’t really bother me this summer that usually annoy me by mid-August:

1. The humidity. I have repeatedly turned off the central A/C this summer just to let the humidity sink into the house. The. Heat. Feels. Good.

2. The house flies. I’ll admit I’ve yelled for those “vermin” to get off my food, but I’m not hunting them down with newspaper!

3. The birds chirping at the crack of dawn. Too many of last winter’s mornings were pitch black until 8am. I love the birds chirping at the first streak of the dawn’s light!

  

 

4. The endless clumps of grass on the hallway floors, falling off of my husband’s sneakers after he mows the lawn!

5. The pool water puddles across the doorway and kitchen floor as kids are en route to the bathroom after leaving the swimming pool!

6. The mountain of wet pool towels piled up nightly in my mudroom.

7. The doors left open by the kids when the A/C is on! The summer air is wonderful….

And, a few things that DO bother me that never usually do?

1. The first sign of autumn: I usually appreciate the sight of the very first red leaf appearing on my front bushes. I think of how I will decorate the porch for autumn…This year, I do not feel appreciative of that leaf at all but I did take a picture for you:

2. Rainy days and cooler nights. We’ve had a recent stretch of both. Normally, I view such days as a good opportunity to catch up with the inside chores. This summer, I walk out to the porch and watch the rain.

3. Back to school shopping. By now, the kids’ backpacks are usually packed, folders and binders are labeled and clothes are purchased. I just can’t bear the thought of summer ending :(. This year, I have not bought a single supply, nor the much-needed new sneakers. I have two more weeks…

4. Earlier sunsets. Last summer, I would have decided it was about time to get to bed earlier and start rising earlier.

 

 

 

 

 

This year, the sun setting a tiny bit earlier each night is a vivid reminder that I cannot escape what is on its way…

Enjoy The Remainder of Summer!!

“For everything there is a season…”