November 2014 Cleaning Calendar

Whelp. Another month bites the dust.  Welcome to November!  Another crazy busy month for us, as we have LOTS of visitors coming in, and we’ll be baptizing Lincoln later in the month.  I’m also knee-deep into my small group’s study of Jen Hatmaker’s Seven…so I’ll be filling you in on our journey with that.

But for today, I’ll just be enjoying my kids and having some fun trick-or-treating in our neighborhood with friends.  Don’t worry, I’ll share some pictures next week…I’ve been super busy making the kids’ costumes again this year, so I’m eager to show them off!

Here’s November’s Cleaning Calendar.  Happy Cleaning!

November Cleaning Calendar-Simple Tasks you can do in 15 minutes or less to clean  your home!  From Palmettos and Pigtails

Don’t forget you can click on the picture above or on this link to download and print your own copy.  And I’d be tickled pink if you’d share this post or the calendar!

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DIY Fabric Pumpkins

Where, oh where has my October gone?!?!  Y’all, we have been so busy!  Between the normal holiday craziness, and several impromptu trips, I am feeling very scattered!  And addition to all of that, I just signed on for TWO big craft fairs in November.  Yes, the same November that is 4 days away.  What the heck am I thinking?!?!

So, bear with me as I attempt to find time to tell you all about our travels, edit photos, carve pumpkins, make Halloween costumes, and prepare for craft shows {with some new items in the inventory!!}.  Hang with me these next few weeks, because it’s gonna get good!

This morning, I have a super quick tutorial that I’ve been dying to share with you.  I stumbled across these DIY Fabric Pumpkins on Pinterest a while back, and have just now gotten around to making them.  And let me tell you, once I picked out the fabric and realized how easy they were to make….I couldn’t stop!  Even Jayna made a couple!

DIY Fabric Pumpkins - A Quick and Easy Project from Palmettos and Pigtails

Like I said, I found the tutorial over on My Blessed Life.  She’s got dimensions for the fabric and a terrific step-by-step process with pictures.  Her pumpkins are also much cuter than mine {she added ruffles and leaves}…maybe I’ll go back and embellish mine later.  But for now, I’m focused on ease and speed.

For each pumpkin, you are going to need a rectangular piece of fabric, some batting, a couple of big glass beads or rocks, a stem, and possibly some twine or string if you want ribbing.  As for the fabric sizing, the closer your rectangle is to a square, the “rounder” your pumpkin will be {like the big orange or the small multi-color chevron above}.  If your rectangle is long and skinny, your pumpkin will either turn out fat and kinda flat {like the black checked or the orange dotted}, or tall and skinny {like either of the yellow}.

DIY Fabric Pumpkins - A Quick and Easy Project from Palmettos and Pigtails

The very first pumpkin I made, I had a long skinny piece rectangular piece of fabric.  I sewed the long sides together to create a long tube {right sides together!}, then I turned it right side out and hand-stitched a gather along the bottom of the pumpkin, pulling the ends of the thread {I used embroidery thread for durability} together and tying, in order to “close” the bottom of the pumpkin.  Then I filled it with batting and a couple of rocks at the very bottom {just to weigh it down a bit}.  I then hand stitched another gathering stitch around the top and pulled the strings to “close” the top of the pumpkin.  I wrapped string around the pumpkin, top to bottom, to attempt to make the ribbing on the pumpkin.  And lastly, I hot glued a branch for the stem.

Fail.

My fabric had been too tall and skinny, and so everything was just off.  He kept falling over, and his ribbing wouldn’t stay put.  He’s lucky he made it into my photo shoot at all!  My second attempt was another tall and skinny pumpkin {the other yellow one}, but I made it slightly wider, and it turned out a little better.

DIY Fabric Pumpkins - A Quick and Easy Project from Palmettos and Pigtails

Then I cut a few more tall and skinny rectangles, but this time I stitched them closed along the shorter sides, which created short, squatty, flat pumpkins.

DIY Fabric Pumpkins - A Quick and Easy Project from Palmettos and Pigtails

So much cuter!  I think these ended up being my favorite!  I used a long quilting needle and embroidery floss to sew up and down through the middle of the pumpkin, to create a tufted look.  On the My Blessed Life site, she said to use plastic bags to stuff inside the pumpkins.  I tried that {in the spirit of recycling}, but found they were very noisy, and hard to “sew” through in order to do the tufting.  So I stuck to the batting and rocks {which are easily navigated}.

DIY Fabric Pumpkins - A Quick and Easy Project from Palmettos and Pigtails

Finally, I tried a couple of “square” pumpkins, with my fabric being just about square in dimensions.  So cute!  Although I did notice that the size of the stem needed to match the size of the pumpkin.  I had used the same branch for all of my pumpkins, except for the “Baby Round.”

DIY Fabric Pumpkins - A Quick and Easy Project from Palmettos and Pigtails

She turned out very cute, since her stem was more perportionate to her body.  Next time I think I will use a variety of sticks for the pumpkins.  But overall, I was very pleased!  The whole “patch” took me about a half an hour to fumble through, and Jayna helped too!

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I See Me! – Farm Friends

*I received the products mentioned in this blog post for free in exchange for a review on my blog.  As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own!*

Whelp, Lincoln is five months old now.  I can’t believe how quickly time is flying with him.  He has such a little personality now!  He is a super laid back kid.  He really only cries if he’s hungry or over-tired.  The rest of the time he is smiling, belly laughing and squealing!  Here’s a quick video I caught last week:

He is finally loving “tummy time,” now that he can push himself all the way up, and manipulate toys with one hand as he holds himself up.  Most of the time his little legs are going too {even though his big Buddah belly is still firmly on the ground….he’s not going anywhere!}!  Mirrors are a big motivator for tummy time.  Although I don’t think he recognizes his own reflection yet, he sure does like checking out that cute baby in the mirror.

Recently, I was sent a personalized children’s book for Lincoln from I See Me! books.  And just because they are awesome, they threw in a personalized placemat as well.  Now, Lincoln is not quite ready to be at the table yet, so I used the placemat to help out with tummy time.  Propped up against the mirror he loves so much, Lincoln was happy to push himself up to stare at the handsome farmer and his animals!

And next month, when we start introducing baby food and his is up at the table, we’ll be able to use the placemat in a more traditional way.  It’s really big and easy to wipe off, so it’ll be great to catch all of those drips and crumbs that come with first foods.

Lincoln is really getting interested in books now.  He likes to help turn the pages, and will often “pat” pictures of animals.  So when we got a copy of I See Me!’s new book, Farm Friends, complete with farm animals and pictures of Lincoln, we were eager to read it together!

At first, I thought the giant Lincoln face on each page was silly.  But then I realized that it was the perfect size for Lincoln to see, and in the coming months when he starts recognizing his photo, he’ll enjoy it even more!  The book was perfect for even his little hands, with a sturdy cover and pages that will withstand some wear and tear from him as a toddler too.

Lincoln and DadAnd the book is just adorable!  From a Mom perspective, I love how “Farmer Lincoln’s” face is on every page, in addition to his name spelled out or written at least once on each page.  I’m not sure if you can see it below, but his name is spelled out {in subtle humor} on both his argyle sweater, and on the sweaters that each of the sheep in the field are wearing!

And the former teacher in me loves the many talking and teaching opportunities on each page, from counting, to letter identification, to animals and their sounds, and colors.  When  Millie reads it, she loves pointing out all of the silly things on each page.  {Chickens wearing glasses!?!?!?}

And since just about anything will make Lincoln laugh these days, exaggerated animal sounds coming from Mommy and Daddy are just what are needed to entice a few belly laughs from the baby!

 I See Me! books have a ton of personalized stories, including:

The Super, Incredible Big Sister

I Can Change the World

My Very Own Pirate Tale

I’m a Big Boy Now!

I’m also loving their personalized puzzles {and lunch boxes, growth charts, etc.}, for older kids.

I See Me! Books has a great selection of other unique personalized children's gifts, such as puzzles, lunch boxes, stickers, etc. #iseemebooksAnd right now {just in time to order for Christmas!}, they have a bunch of promotions and giveaways going on!  You can enter to win a free book and a Pottery Barn Giftcard, or “like” them on Facebook to receive 15% off.  Or you can join their e-mailing list to get the newest promotions.

Follow I See Me! on social media:

Facebook          Google+       Pinterest       Twitter       Instagram

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Stay-at-Home Mom: A How-To Guide

I am so very blessed to be able to stay at home with my three kiddos.  And although I loved my job before having kiddos, and completely respect those hard working moms who work outside of the home….I wouldn’t trade my life now for anything.  I have a couple of friends who are, for the first time, now able to stay at home with their kids too, and so I thought I’d give a few tips on how to gracefully make the transition.

Be A Stay-at-Home Mom: A How-To Guide {Tips and Tricks for transitioning from the workplace to staying at home with your kids} - Palmettos and Pigtails

My husband’s advice: stock up on BonBons and Soap Operas.  He jokes around about me sitting on my butt all day, but he knows perfectly well how hard of a job it is to be a stay-at home mom.  And I love to remind him of it on the weekends, by leaving him with all three kids for a couple of hours!

I recently ran across this article on Babble about how being a stay-at-home mom is actually a luxury for your spouse.  I saved it because I find that it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you aren’t doing enough.  As a working mom, you stayed busy with non-household related tasks for 8-10 hours a day before coming home to your family…and now, your primary job is family and household.  And now, in the days of Facebook, Pinterest, oversharing and helicopter parenting…it’s easy to feel guilty about not having a pristine house, themed lunches, and crafty playdates.  Not to mention, a healthy homemade dinner on the table every night.  Sorry, but that’s just not realistic!

Be A Stay-at-Home Mom: A How-To Guide

You may be a Super Mom, but you are still human, and dealing with some very unstable little people who will throw a kink in any plans you make.  So underestimate the amount of “stuff” you’ll get done in a day, and you won’t disappoint yourself.

Be A Stay-at-Home Mom: A How-To Guide

Talk to your spouse about your changing roles in the household.  Establish what “jobs” you will take over, and what he’ll be in charge of.  Dave and I have kind of figured it out by trial and error, but I really wish we had done this.  A specific sit-down chat to determine each other’s expectations of the other will put everything on the table, and hopefully prevent misunderstandings and resentment in the future.

Next, establish a daily/weekly routine.  If you don’t create some sort of organization to your time, you’ll go crazy.  Start simple, day by day.  Personally, I do one major chore a day.  Monday is laundry day, Tuesday is vacuuming, Wednesday is grocery shopping, Thursday is decluttering, and Friday is bathrooms.  So, if I am able to get everybody up, dressed and fed, and do that one chore….I feel like my day has been a success!  I also try to do as many of the Cleaning Calendar chores that I can…not always in order, and some days I am able to do more than one, other days I can’t do any.  My schedule often loosely looks something like this:

5:00 – change and feed the baby
5:30 – shower and get dressed {even if it is just yoga pants!}
6:00 – get Jayna ready for school and Millie ready for the day
6:30 – put Jayna on the bus and eat breakfast with Millie
7:00 – while Millie plays, change and feed the baby, put him back down for morning nap
7:30 – check email and clean up kitchen
8:00 – do daily chore somewhere in here, while Millie is playing and baby is sleeping
8:30 – play or do some sort of project/cooking with Millie
9:30 – change baby, play on the floor with him
10:00 feed Millie a snack
10:30 take the kids out for a bike ride/walk
11:00 while Millie plays, change and feed baby, put him down for lunch nap
12:00 feed Millie lunch
12:30 put Millie down for a nap, change the baby, grab a bite to eat, clean up the kitchen
1:00 blog or sew while baby plays in exersaucer
2:00 finish daily chore if needed and do a cleaning calendar chore
2:45 get Jayna off the bus and get her unpacked and settled in for quiet reading
3:00 change and feed the baby, put him down for afternoon nap, Millie wakes…play with girls
4:00 while girls play together, start prepping dinner, check email
5:30 dinner on the table

It’s funny, as I write this, it seems like there is so much time in the day.  Up until now, I’ve never written down my “schedule.”  In fact, it took me quite a while to think about what I actually do on a daily basis.  So when I wrote down the minimum things in my day, there seems like so many gaps.  But then fill those gaps with potty breaks, tantrums, tying shoes, tears, hugs, time-outs, fussiness, tea parties, lap sitting, boo boos, reading books, etc.  No wonder I don’t get more done!

Be A Stay-at-Home Mom: A How-To Guide

Some of the ways I keep organized, are by planning out my meals.  I do this in a variety of ways, from preparing freezer meals ahead of time, to participating in the eMeals program {and letting them do all the meal planning for me!}.  Either way, I use a Weekly Meal Planner worksheet to get a visual of what I’ve planned for the week, which also helps Dave on the nights that I need him to start dinner for me.

Another important thing to remember is that although it’s important {and your job now!} to spend more time with your kids, don’t feel like it all has to be structured.  As a former teacher and a mommy-blogger, it’s second nature to me to want to have a project, craft or game ready for the kids at all times.  But you have to remember that by having structured activities or even excursions {think zoo, children’s museum, etc.} all the time will create expectations and dependency from your kids.  It’s good for them to play alone or with each other.  It’s beneficial for them to learn to leave you alone sometimes.  And it’s a valuable skill that you may need to teach them, since they will be SO EXCITED to have you at home with them.  All. of. the. time.  I try to balance structured activities {from simple painting to complex slime recipes and scavenger hunts} with free play, and adding the occasional “field trip” excursion about twice a month.  {And the grocery store counts as an excursion, right?!?!}

Be A Stay-at-Home Mom: A How-To Guide

And my final thought is, don’t feel guilty about taking some “me” time.  Whether it’s in the evenings or weekends, when your spouse can take over for a bit, or during nap time, make sure it happens.  It’s easy to get so wrapped up in daily duties and childcare that you forget to take care of yourself.  And if you are stressed out, tired or burned out, you can’t be a good mom or wife.  So don’t feel guilty about that hour on Facebook or Pinterest…I guarantee your working friends and spouses spend at least an hour during the day surfing the internet!

Be A Stay-at-Home Mom: A How-To Guide

And last but not least, enjoy!  Your kids will grow up.  That temper tantrum will only last about three minutes.  That snuggle on the couch will be fleeting.  Soak these kiddie moments up, because there will always be dishes!

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DIY Headband Holder Tutorial

My oldest daughter‘s hair is a hot mess.  We have been growing it out for years, and it is always in her face.  I’m not sure how she stands it.  A single strand of hair in my eyes drives me up the wall….I guess she takes after her father!  Now that her pesky bangs are finally just about grown out, I’ve been allowing her more opportunities to wear headbands.  In the past, they’ve been vetoed because they didn’t hold the mass quantity of hair out of her eyes…and not being able to see her eyes is my pet peeve!

So for the past few months, we’ve been slowly collecting headbands.  Her favorite ones are the thick plastic ones, covered in fabric or ribbons.  My favorites are satin tubes of fabric that have wire inside for twisting around her head.  It gives her kind of a retro look, while still keeping bangs in place.  However, because they are not your typical semi-circular “headband shape,”  they are kind of annoying to store.

So I came up with a quick storage solution for all of the headbands, no matter what width, size or style.  I used an empty oatmeal container, and made it so the lid was still able to function, so it’s handy to keep brushes, hairbands and barrettes inside as well.

DIY Headband Holder with Storage from Palmettos and Pigtails

I cut the scrapbook paper to the size of the canister, and then used the Modge Podge to adhere it to the container.  I did a layer of Modge Podge over the outside of the paper too, to provide a little more stability and protection for the canister and the paper.

DIY Headband Holder with Storage from Palmettos and Pigtails

I also used a piece of scrap ribbon along the top, just to fancy it up a bit {I secured it with hot glue}.  You can see in the photo above that the container lid is still fully functioning for storage purposes.

DIY Headband Holder with Storage from Palmettos and Pigtails

This size container is the perfect width for plastic and fabric covered headbands.  For the wire covered headbands shown above, I just wrap them around and twist them in the back to secure.  Now Jayna’s headbands are all in one place, with some unexpected extra storage in the middle!  And it took me about 10 minutes total {including drying time!} to make this DIY Headband Holder!

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The Seven Project: Intro

My small group just started a new study by Jen Hatmaker, called Seven.  This awesomely funny chick decided to shake up her family’s world by identifying seven areas of excess in their lives, and fighting back.  Each month, she chose a different area of excess to focus on.

Food, Clothes, Shopping, Media, Waste, Stress and Possessions.

Seven - Jen Hatmaker: My small group's journey to rid excess from our lives too!

So my Bible Study group decided to take the challenge with her, by following along and participating in the challenge each week {rather than month, like she did}.  Although technically, this was just the “intro” week for the group, Dave and I decided to start a week early, since we’ll be traveling next week and will have a hard time limiting our food.

So, for the first seven days, we will whittle our diet down to  seven items.  Total.

Chicken, pasta, lettuce, tomatoes, bananas, eggs and bell peppers.

This study comes at a perfect time…because all I can think about is “simplifying” lately.  On a daily basis, I’m horrified by the wasted food, unappreciated toys and plethora of clothes that compel me to think I have”nothing to wear.”  It’s quite sad.  And I’ve been fixated on it for awhile.  I stumbled across this article on Living Well, Spending Less about minimalism when it comes to toys, and it started snowballing from there.  So when my Small Group suggested this study, I went right out and bought Seven, and struggled to resist reading it immediately.  So I’m ecstatic to be jumping into this journey, and sharing it with you!

Stay tuned to hear the results of our version of The Seven Project: Foods!

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October 2014 Cleaning Calendar

Happy October!  It’s my favorite month of the year…because it’s my birthday, AND Fall kind of officially arrives here in the Lowcountry.  The end of September kind of knocked us upside down with allergies and sinus infections, numerous guests, beginning a new sports/Bible Study/Dave Ramsey Class schedule.  So, I’m glad that October is here, and we can get back on track!

So here is my October 2014 Cleaning Calendar. Click on this link, or on the picture to download and print a copy for yourself.

October 2014 Cleaning Calendar - Palmettos and Pigtails

Please feel free to pin this!  And if you don’t follow me on Pinterest yet, head on over to check out what I’m obsessing over today!!

Have a great week!

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DIY Nursery Monogram Sign

One of my favorite elements of Lincoln’s nursery, is the DIY Nursery Monogram that I made for above his bed.  I wanted his room to incorporate various textures as well as patterns and colors.  My original idea for above his crib, was his initials using black block letters against some sort of metal squares, for kind of an industrial feel.

Well, it turns out you have to have metal cutting tools in order to cut the sheets of aluminum to size…and as much as Dave probably would have loved getting a new tool, I didn’t want to add to his growing collection just for this project.

So I had to get a bit creative.  I went to Lowes and bought three linoleum tiles {less than a dollar each!}.

I used Rust-Oleum Metallic Spray Paint in Antique Nickel to spray two heavy coats over the linoleum to create a metallic illusion.

The tiles came in 12×12 inch squares, so Dave used an X-Acto knife to cut the two side ones down to 9×9 inches square.

Then I used my Silhouette to pick out a block font and size the letters accordingly.  Then I cut the letters out of black vinyl.  Use your Silhouette scraper, or a debit card to slowly and smoothly adhere the letters onto the squares.

Then Dave drilled holes in the middle of each square and we used twine to hang the letters from repurposed nails.

The perfect touch to my little boy’s vintage nursery!

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13 DIY Halloween Costumes for Couples

Way back before children, Dave and I were party animals.  We loved entertaining at our house, and our favorite party to throw was a massive Halloween party.  We had a haunted maze in the garage, a life-sized animatronic Hannibal Lector, and tons of Halloween themed food!  But our biggest claim to fame was the costume contest.  Everyone came to our party in costume, and we had prizes for Best Couple, Most Creative, and Funniest….with bottles of wine {with poison labels} as prizes!

13 DIY Halloween Costumes for Couples from Palmettos and Pigtails

Our friends turned out to be quite innovative!  Over the years, we saw some terrifically creative Halloween costumes for couples that were easy and cheap to make.  Today, I thought I’d share some of my favorites:

The Bra: 13 DIY Halloween Costumes for Couples from Palmettos and Pigtails

The Bra:  Easy to make with white undershirts and a pair of matching lacy tank tops!  The trick is to stay together at the party though!

It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: 13 DIY Halloween Costumes for Couples from Palmettos and Pigtails

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown:  If you happen to have a giant pumpkin costume laying around, it would be easy to personify  Linus, Pigpen, or Charlie Brown to go along with it!

American Gothic: 13 DIY Halloween Costumes for Couples from Palmettos and Pigtails

American Gothic:  By far one of my favorite Halloween costumes for couples…a trip to Goodwill for a frumpy blouse and an old picture frame will just about complete this easy pairing.

Hans and Franz: 13 DIY Halloween Costumes for Couples from Palmettos and Pigtails

Hans and Franz: Stuff sweatshirts to create muscles, practice your German accents and get ready to “pump, you up!”

Charlie and Goose from 'Top Gun': 13 DIY Halloween Costumes for Couples from Palmettos and Pigtails

Charlie and Goose from ‘Top Gun': Being near the Air Force base guaranteed access to some pilot gear…and you probably already have the sunglasses…

Olivia Newton-John and Richard Simmons: 13 DIY Halloween Costumes for Couples from Palmettos and Pigtails

Olivia Newton-John and Richard Simmons:  In case you needed an excuse to be “Sweatin’ to the Oldies…”

Gram and Gramps: 13 DIY Halloween Costumes for Couples from Palmettos and Pigtails

Gram and Gramps: Don’t forget the little details that make this costume so believable…a catheter collection bag, lipstick on your teeth, and big ‘ole saggy boobs!

The Stock Market Crash: 13 DIY Halloween Costumes for Couples from Palmettos and Pigtails

The Stock Market Crash: Can you tell this costume was from 2008?  “I was once a Broker, but now I’m just broke!”

Bun in the Oven: 13 DIY Halloween Costumes for Couples from Palmettos and Pigtails

Baker and Bun in the Oven:  Perfect Halloween Costumes for couples who are expecting!  I bought this one on Amazon, but I’ve seen people make their own from a box.  I highly recommend wearing a real outfit underneath….I shed my oven halfway through the night and was glad I was decent underneath!

UPS Man and his Package: 13 DIY Halloween Costumes for Couples from Palmettos and Pigtails

UPS/Mail Man and a Package:  This was a spur of the moment costume, as Loo didn’t know we were having a party when she came to visit…can you tell we had finally convinced her to move to Charleston?

Cowboy and Indian: v13 DIY Halloween Costumes for Couples from Palmettos and Pigtails

Cowboy and Indian: A classic

Allstate's "Mayhem" and Progressive's "Flo": 13 DIY Halloween Costumes for Couples from Palmettos and Pigtails

Allstate’s “Mayhem” and Progressive’s “Flo”: Another one of my favorites! This Mayhem was the “Hot Chick out Jogging.”

Mr. Clean and Molly Maid: 13 DIY Halloween Costumes for Couples from Palmettos and Pigtails

and finally,

Mr. Clean and Molly Maid: It helps if you already sport a bald head, bushy eyebrows and goatee…then all you have to do is borrow one of your wife’s earrings!

Happy Haunting!

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Breathing Room

I have a wonderful small group of women that I meet with on a weekly basis from my church.  Yes, we do Bible Studies.  But we also do deep conversations, laughter, rants, tears, and affirmations.  My Wednesday nights are what get me through the week.

Breathing Room - thoughts on Andy Stanley's study {Palmettos and Pigtails}

The study that we are currently doing is a video series by Andy Stanley, called “Breathing Room.”  We have discovered, as a group, that one of our biggest challenges and weaknesses is the lack of margin in our lives.  We ALL have a very hard time saying “No,” we are jamming as many activities, things and experiences into our lives as possible.  And for what?  Stress?  No sleep?  A messy house?    All for the sake of “keeping up” and “making the most of the time we have.”

In our attempts to make the most out of life, we lose control over what is important.  Our stress levels rise, our focus narrows…and so other areas suffer.  But it’s still so hard to give ourselves a little room to breathe.  A little less clutter.  We jam as much in because we have a fear of missing out on something, of falling behind, of not leaving a tiny imprint in our world.

Sad, but true.  I am a prime example.  I am a blogger.  A blogger that usually has a lot of photos in my posts.  I have three kids, whom I love more than anything….and I love to give them experiences and memories.  And, I love to document those experiences.  And although I don’t usually plan our family activities around the blog, I am always aware of opportunities to share about them on my blog.  So I really have to reel myself in from taking a million and three photos from every angle, and I have to consciously live in the moment…reminding myself to just enjoy the experience with my kids…not to worry so much about what I’ll write about, and if the lighting is good for photos.  Margin needed.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalms 90:12

The Breathing Room study is teaching us to cherish each moment.  One of the examples that Andy gave in the video, was to think about the little tiny blip of time that is our lifespan…when compared to God’s timeline.  Think about how fast our lives go and how quickly our children grow up, and then think about how fast it must seem to God.  Imagining the finite spanse of my lifetime makes me re-focus on what is really important.  The whole concept kind of blows my mind.

Remembering that our time is limited provides us with the wisdom to know how to spend our limited time
-Andy Stanley

Another pivotal moment in the video was the story of a woman who worked in Hospice, and asked people at the end of their lives what their greatest regrets were.  And the top two answers were, “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard” and “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to me, not what others expected of me.”

That second regret really hit home.  Initially, I’d say I don’t really worry what others think of me too much.  I’ve pretty much accepted the way I look, dress and act.  But then, digging deeper, I thought about my life in relation to how I portray it on my blog.  As much as I try to keep it real on here for you, there are certain pressures that I struggle to ignore.  I mean, I love Pinterest as much as the next gal, but  I have to admit that it does often make me feel a bit inferior to all of those crafty pinners.  The expectations for a blogger are high…in order to get paid, we are expected to have quality posts about stuff our readers care about…several times a week, with excellent photos, original ideas, and clean houses to stage everything in.  And thanks to Pinterest and Photoshop, that’s what a lot of you think our reality is.  I mean, who am I really trying to impress?

Family? Close friends?

Y’all know me better than that…you know that any clean surface of my home that is in a photo, really just has stuff shoved to the side {out of frame, of course}, that will resume it’s place as soon as the flash goes off.

Strangers who don’t know me personally?

Let’s be honest, most of them don’t care.  In fact…they probably aren’t even reading this because they didn’t find this post on Facebook or Pinterest.  There aren’t any pretty pictures.  And they don’t really care about getting to know the real me anyway.  They just want to know what my next project is.  So why do I feel so pressured to make them like me?  Golly….it’s like high school all over again.

Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love that there are more of you than ever reading my thoughts on a weekly basis.  But I hope you want to know me.  And connect with the real me.

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature