Hello there, my Friend; grab a cuppa and come on in! Winter finally arrived in Indiana, with one of those picture-perfect snowfalls that stick to the trees and makes you feel like you’re living inside a snow globe. I LOVE IT!
View from my back door
I used to hate winter, but as I’ve gotten older and the hot flashes have kicked in, I’ve come to enjoy it. We can always put more clothes on, but in the hot summer, you can’t take more off. 😉 Plus, if it’s going to be cold anyway, why not have a layer of white cover the brown grass?
I decided to take advantage of our “snow day” and finish an organizing project in one of my pantry cabinets, and I’m so excited to share the results with you next week.
As I look back on the week and wonder where it went, I mentally listed all the things we did and realize why my head is spinning. I’m also now realizing why I need a nap… or a vacation. 😉
Here’s the rest of the story…
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It’s been a week of many grandkid happenings, including a sleepover with each set of three Littles and keeping one of the sets all day. Then Thursday, I picked up a couple of grandkids after school while their parents went directly from work to an away sporting event for the oldest, and then we had weekend and midweek wrestling meets. Add in regular household tasks, and it’s a lot to keep track of.
Our oldest grandson (in green) is now a middle school wrestler and had his first all-day tournament last Saturday. He did well and wasn’t tentative; we thought he might be. But oh my word, I forgot how horrible it was to sit on bleachers all day, even when you have plenty of natural padding. 😉
Our little Henry is seven weeks old already! He’s a whopping 12 pounds, 9 ounces and we’re pretty sure his mom is producing straight cream. 😉 However, he seemed underwhelmed by his first wrestling meet. Before he was born, we weren’t sure how the then baby of the family, Luke, would take not being the baby anymore, but he’s so sweet and can’t stop kissing his new brother.
WHAT I BOUGHT
That leads me to what I bought – after last Saturday and with six, now seven grandsons who play or will play sports, and recently sore butts and backs, the reality of spending lots more time on bleachers is fresh in our minds. So we just ordered these bleacher seats. Hoping they do the trick. Do you have some that you love?
I bought one of those magnetic wireless phone chargers for my new phone, which I did not have to buy because my old phone wasn’t actually broken. You read that right; I spent a lot of money because the power strip behind the dresser wasn’t on. UGH! But the charger is cool.
These cord keepers stick to the back of your desk or dresser and keep the cord from slipping to the floor.
WHAT I WORE
pants wearing XL || sweatshirt (sold out) wearing XL; similar; similar; plus size || sneakers || t-shirt wearing XXL
Before the January Spending Freeze, I order a few things from J. Jill, including these pants. And taking a cue from this video from Melissa from MM Styling (I shared her in last week’s Dairy), I wore this outfit to that all-day wrestling tourney.
Next week I’ll share a post about how I styled them for a day of running errands.
WHAT’S ON MY TO-BUY LIST
Okay, speaking of that spending freeze, one of my tips for being successful at not buying clothes for a while was to use the time to hone in on your personal style so you can shop more strategically when you start shopping again. I love the casual style of the outfit above but realize it would be more in balance if I wore chunkier sneakers, or as Melissa calls them, “trainers.” So I’ll be looking for comfortable platform sneakers or chunkier “dad” sneakers, like the ones below, starting next month.
WHAT I FINALLY DID
I finally changed out my Christmas wreath for this one. Perhaps it’s more fall-like, but I love the subtle color for this strange season between Christmas and spring. And I prefer not to do kitschy wreaths for Valentine’s Day, St. Paddy’s Day, etc.
*See my trick for hanging a wreath without damaging your front door.
WHO INSPIRED ME
I could and probably should write an entire post on this subject, but I’ve been so overwhelmed with stuff, both mentally and physically, that I’m craving some level of minimalism in my life. So I’ve been binging YouTube content from Dawn, The Minimal Mom. She is so genuine and down-to-earth in her approach to minimalism that she makes me feel like I could do it, at least to some degree.
Her saying that everything we bring into our home is inventory we have to manage is one that keeps rolling around in my head. When we have so much, managing it becomes a job that we likely don’t have time for, and therefore, we become overwhelmed.
The key is to start, even if small, and let it snowball. Even if I never become a minimalist, I’ll be paring way down over time. Could you be a minimalist?
WHAT I ATE
I’ve done more than a fair share of cooking this week amidst having all the kids, and I’m over it. That’s probably because I did a bunch of cooking and baking on the day I kept my grandsons all day, and by the end of the day, I could barely stand. Will I ever learn to pace myself?
But I wanted to have them help me bake a cake (similar to this one) from an E-cookbook The Minimal Mom put together to raise money for a mission organization. It was super moist and delicious.
I also made this Turmeric Lentil Soup, and it was just okay, in my opinion. The ingredients are clean and healthy, but I’d prefer a lentil soup with potatoes and maybe some meat. I love beans (try this quick and tasty cheesy chicken chili), and lentils are supposed to be one of the best legumes. Let me know in the comments if you have a good lentil recipe.
THIS WEEK’S THOUGHTS
Back to minimalism for a minute, being overwhelmed with stuff, whether it’s emotional or physical stuff, when we’re overstuffed, overscheduled, over-committed, or overwhelmed, we have to ask ourselves what it’s a symptom of. Yes, I believe our too-muchness is a symptom of something more profound.
I’d probably have to go to therapy to figure out the why of my mess entirely, but I do know that, in some ways, it’s a form of procrastination for me. Seriously, most days, I have so much going on in my brain with all the to-do’s and shoulda-coulda-woulda’s – I walk in circles and get little to nothing done.
I won’t go into details, but I believe it also has a lot to do with things, let’s call them mini-traumas, that I’ve experienced in the last 10-15 years. (Before that, I wasn’t a keeper of all the things.)
Here’s the thing: instead of getting to the crux of the matter, releasing those emotional things to God, and realizing that He’s our ultimate treasure and THE elixir for whatever we’re dealing with, I self-medicate with physical treasures. This is the gateway to overwhelm, poor choices, stress, decision fatigue, and so much more!
Anyone else? You don’t have to answer that! Just know that you’re not alone. God can be our complete treasure and fix it all!
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”2 Corinthians 4:7
Have a great week!
We have bleacher chairs that we love but I don’t remember where I purchased them. Ours has a hook on the bottom that you can pull out and secure to the bleacher so the chair stays put. Not all bleachers are made where we can use the hook and so we have to be careful not to lean back and get too comfortable in our seats (the chair will topple backwards). Having a back to lean on is the life saver to sitting on bleachers for extended time periods. You will be so happy you have these chairs the next time you head to a sporting event.
Thanks! I think the I es we ordered do have that clip. My husband would fall backwards as sure as the world. He sat shown in someone else’s bag chair at the ballpark this summer and fell right back. 😂 He’s also fallen over movie theatre seats trying to step over the backs. 🤣 Our boys never let him live it down.
As usual, great post! The bleacher seat is a great investment! We purchased 2 last year, after our grandson decided to play midget football and his sister cheers. However, I discovered that the bleachers at our middle school are molded in such a way, the seats won’t work there 😏. Our other granddaughter cheers for our basketball and wrestling teams, so we go to those games/matches as well! I’ve been pretty good with the no buy for January! I only added 2 sweatshirts!
Re all the “stuff” we have…..our family just went through a lesson in that! To keep this short, a friend of ours passed. His daughter needed help cleaning out his house quickly. We were all shocked to see what he had amassed, wow! All of it had value, high end antiques – furniture, glassware, and 4 cars (think original 1967 Shelby Mustang, 1966 Jaguar, etc). It took is 3 weeks to get through everything and boy, we came home each night wanting to toss everything we owned, after seeing all that stuff! We are still on that purging high after going through that process! BUT, instead of looking at the big picture and getting overwhelmed (we’ve been in this house 49 years) , I jot down a few things I want to accomplish! I do that while having my morning coffee with the hubs, so it seems less of a chore! And he even may get an assignment out of it, lol!
Enjoy that winter beauty!
Wow Regina, that can be a huge job. We’ve helped people move before that make you want to have almost nothing yourself. And what a great idea to write a couple of things down. I may try that and at least until the weather warms and I can get into the attic; and my son moves and we get some of his stuff out of the garage and make room for us to get stuff out of ours, I’ll focus on an area or a couple of cabinets and drawers a week. 😄 And donate the stuff immediately.
Hugs and happy purging.
Love this! The last 3 years have been filled with fear, trauma and isolation. I don’t think I’ve over bought, but I have so many areas that need cleaning out, it overwhelms me. I do it in my head so many times that I’m exhausted. I’m going to watch that YouTube and see if it inspires me.
You will love her Anne! I know exactly what you mean- you get locked up. We are so I overwhelmed that whether we buy moderately or limited, it becomes too much because we don’t get rid of anything because we’re locked in indecision. If you listen to her process, you will begin to get the decluttering mindset. So much good info there.
I’m sorry you’ve experienced so much fear and anxiety, it’s how the enemy gets us – he isolated us to break us down. But YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Love ya Lady!
I also just found The Minimal Mom and have been watching her videos. She has great tips and ideas that really seem to help curb the ‘stuff’.
Yesss…. If you watch her long enough you start to pick up on that mindset. And she’s so down to earth. Love that!
….”self-medicate with physical treasures”, that has been me for the last year and a half at least. This has spoken to my heart! I have been inching through life in that time, with deaths in the family, physical issues that included another autoimmune diagnosis, a cross country move that meant leaving my daughter and her family behind, and the list goes on. Instead of doing what I should have done, turn to the Lord, I began buying you name it like it was something prescribed by my doctor. I have been feeling like I need to lay this down and get things out of my house. Thank you so much! This has helped me today.
Oh my goodness, Sarah, I hear you today. While one of those things are plenty, the pile up is overwhelming. You likely have some level of adrenal fatigue too (I do) and I believe because we are physically exhausted too, it makes decision making nearly impossible, so we keep all the things.
But I also keep thinking about the next two verses from todays verses… 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
When we start focusing on and hoarding the real treasure, Jesus, these things do not have the power and weight to crush us!
Through Him, we can overcome!
I live not far from you in SW MI and the snow is gorgeous, isn’t it? I’m using this season when I’m more homebound to focus on some areas for the house that really need decluttering. I love the Youtube channel you mentioned. I worked on recipes the other day and put on a few videos to keep me company. It really helps!
Your post really resonated with me — I think you are being too hard on yourself. How many people have you added to your family in the last decade? It all adds up! We are expecting our first grandchild in May and I’m excited but know that as we add more people to the family, it does take up more brain space too. You are investing in those little lives and they will always remember the time they spent at Grandma’s house. I always love to hear how you are spending time with your family. But I know it is exhausting. I hope I can be a grandma like you are! You are an inspiration!
Thanks so much Dana, it’s just a very busy season here. We do try make the most of every moment with our Littles and we do enjoy it. There are weeks when it’s more intensive than others though. ☺️
I do the same with those videos. I put them on when I doing things around the house. So motivational.
Congrats on the grand baby, you’re about to get the best title of your life, Grandma! Interestingly enough, I’m working on a post for first time grandmas, what YOU will need. Does that sound like something you’d be interested in?
Enjoy your “snow days”too!
Bleacher seats are a MUST. We used them to watch our son, then our nieces. Now my Niece coaches a dance team and we’re using them again to watch competitions. We have nice padded metal ones with the clip.
Like you I’m still on a purging spree and am so mad at myself for buying and storing STUFF. I find the best way to feel better is get it out of the house as soon as you can. A box comes down from the closet or up from the basement, goes directly to the car and my husbands takes it for donation. Out of sight, off my mind. Those are the nights I sleep the best knowing it’s gone for good!
Enjoy those littles❤️
That’s great Loryl! I’ve got boxes in the back of my car to go out today. It’s exciting! This weekend I worked on some pantry shelves and now I keep opening the door to look at my freshly purged pantry. ☺️
Have the best day and KEEP GOING.
I am moving toward minimalism, but I come from a family of pack rats, and it is hard. I also seem to have become “the keeper of the things” in my family 🙈 So it is an uphill battle! BUT I am determined! I just need calm, clean spaces, and with 4 extra people living in our house now…🤦♀️ I read something the other day that said when deciding whether to get get rid of something, think about when you will use it next, and that hit me! How much stuff do I try to find space for that I keep “just in case?” So I have been working on getting rid of everything “extra” for a couple of years, because like you, I spend a lot of time walking around in circles 🤣🤣🤣 I need to check out the minimalist mom 👍
And also digital clutter 🙈🙈🙈 I try to keep it under control, but it just gets worse…
Oh YES, I think more than buying too much stuff, my issue is that somehow o became a keeper of stuff. But i believe it’s through those life events, (traumas, changes, crisis) we’ve somehow either become exhausted of maki g decisions, or we’re hanging on as some level of insulation against our feelings.
And let’s not even get into digital clutter, ugh, so overwhelming. 😣
Let’s baby step into it all.
Love ya Lady!
I love Dawn the Minimal Mom! Her videos and her mindset have helped me so much, especially with getting over guilt for buying things I didn’t wind up using. I’m still working my way through her decluttering book, and I’m in week three of her Garbage Day decluttering checklist. I still have way too much stuff to manage, but I’m getting through it.
I also love the stylist you mentioned. I appreciate styling tips for different body types, and one of the reasons I read your blog is to see “real person” outfits. Thank YOU for your down-to-earth, real attitude and advice.
Oh, YAY, Kathy! And thank you.
It sounds like you’ve got a good thing started. I was just thinking today, “what if I aimed for one drawer a day…or even a few per week on the crazy weeks?” Every step we take gets us closer to getting over “stuffness”. ☺️
I am truly LOVING these posts!!! Thank you so much for sharing your life with us!! 🙂
Thanks so much for the validation Starla. I sometimes think, will people think this is stupid, or overstating? But then I think we all think that what gets us the most down in life, (and what the enemy aims to do) is feeling like we’re the only ones who ________. And we feel like everyone else must have it all together.
I’m here to say, “you’re not alone!”
Have a great week.
First, Henry is adorable. And, isn’t it fun (though painful) to watch your grands at their sporting events. I just spent a couple of hours watching my only (le sigh) grandson swim at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis this weekend. Just that little bit of time would convince me to buy a bleacher butt saver!
It’s so funny you should be writing about minimalism for a couple of reasons. We downsized (and I mean went from over 4000 sf to around 1700 sf and no basement) big time when we built this condo. I kept saying I don’t think there’s enough room, but the husband wasn’t buying that…until we moved and he saw…there was not enough room. I had a gorgeous (to me anyway) purple loveseat which sat in our front hallway until he and the sons hauled it away. He kept telling me there was room for it. Sadly, it is gone…I know it was just a thing, but it was MY thing. My thing where I cried during Covid, where I cried when he broke his ankle during Covid, cried when I was just so doggone tired. So, I know about the downsizing part of it. Having said that, there isn’t a drawer in a dresser that isn’t stuffed to the max with my things that still spark joy in me! The other reason this resonated with me is my youngest son and I were talking about something to do with my daughter (his sister), and he said, “I would venture to say your styles are nothing alike.” He is so right about that. She doesn’t have a sentimental bone in her body, and that’s all I have! So, getting rid of things (not clothes…that’s easy) is tough for me because there’s a story behind almost everything.
Now, onto the matter of the emotional things. I, too, am a keeper of emotional things. But, I am on the team of teachers at our church who teach adults with special needs. Last week, the lesson was on Paul’s letter to Philippi. It focused on standing firm in our faith and being joyous. My friend ended her lesson by saying we should wake up in the morning and ask God to help us be joyful, gracious, patient, etc. that day. Paula, I have been doing that for the last week. I have to tell you my heart is lighter than it has been in years. I feel like He is there walking beside me as He’s never done before. I am more joyous, more patient, and even kinder!
See, we really need to be neighbors…and your backdoor view is amazing…we could talk for hours!!
Oh my goodness, Marsha, we’d never stop talking! 😂
And girl, there’s so much I could say about keeping stuff, it would take forever. But it comes down to the individual and them being ready to the internal work to be able to release some external things. I’ll talk more about that in an upcoming post. That’s said, I’m not sure I could ever be a complete minimalist, but I’d sure like to be a “lesserist”. 🤣
You have an amazing day my friend.
Love the wreath! Where did you find the two bows you’ve attached to it?