ūüėėThe Kiss Box ūüėė


Many parents work long hours through the week.  And as much as we don’t want to believe it–it’s just hard on our little critters.  They miss us. Constantly.  At least in our household McKinley misses her father day in and day out.

The book, The Kiss Box by Bonnie Verburg and Henry Cole is a great story that illustrates to children how as parents our love is just as strong even when we’re away.   And nowadays so many parents have to work outside the home.

The story helps initiate conversations about feelings, and in this case feelings of “missing.”   And, it  provides wonderful ways to send each other love, or in the book “kisses,” when being a part from one another.  In the story Mama Bear and Little Bear create “kiss boxes” as a way to send each other kisses when they were a part from each other.

McKinley and I decided we wanted to create our own kiss boxes, as a way to send each other love when we needed it.  This turned out to be a truly meaningful, engaging, and fun project– Naturally, I had to share.


Inside the boxes we put random things.  McKinley cut up fabrics and different textured paper as little sheets to represent love and kisses. I cut tiny hearts out of tissue paper.  When it comes to love the possibilities are endless.

~g

My Digital Detox

I didn’t need another gluten free diet or UltraClear detox. ¬†I needed a digital detox. ¬†A virtual cleanse from the Web World. ¬†And, it was an amazing journey.

I was checking Facebook status updates every 10 minutes. Checking Instagram photo feeds. Taking pictures of my own, editing, then posting them. Reading blogs. Creating blog posts. Reading NPR news. Looking at Birchbox videos. Youtube videos. Facebook videos. Twitter feeds.

Ahh! You get the point.

I needed a¬†new kind of ‘reality check.’ ¬† I swear, you can legitimately¬†lose yourself in the Web World. I know, because I did. ¬†I became someone who cared more about looking at a screen than having a conversation. ¬†I became more sedentary. ¬†And more irritable.

At night it was mostly the television. First, I would put McKinley to bed, and then turn on the TV. Real Housewife trash. And I was addicted. Disturbingly to the point where someone would ask me a question and it would annoy me if it wasn’t commercial time. Seriously? How sad is that?  Yeah, definitely a low point.

I started¬†feeling lost. ¬†And NOT connected. ¬†Facebook and Instagram and all these other social media devices portray this illusion of a collective ‘connectedness,’ but the more you indulge– the more alone you become. ¬†I was desperate¬†for conversation¬†and¬†human interaction. I wanted¬†to feel alive again. ¬†So, I began my digital detox.

 

  • First, I deleted most of my apps from my iPhone. ¬†This way, I wouldn‚Äôt have immediate access to social media at any point at any time.
  • Second, I initiated new interactions with my husband. ¬†We started playing card games at night and reading together.
  • Third, I now leave my phone upstairs in my bedroom for most of the day and night. ¬†The only time I have my phone with me is if I am ‘out and about.’ ¬†Periodically I will check my phone for missed calls and respond to text messages.
  • Forth, I decided to watch specific television shows–and limit my television time to those shows. ¬†Right now, it’s Survivor and Parenthood.
  • Fifth, I tried to only used the computer to check Facebook once a day and respond to emails.
  • Sixth, I completely stopped blogging.
  • Seventh,¬†¬†I allowed myself to still look at and post to Instagram. ¬†However,¬†I did not attach my photos to other social medias.

It was a well worth it experience.

  • I was able to connect closer to¬†my husband
  • Spend more quality time with McKinley
  • Be more present in the world
  • Realize the importance of doing a digital detox
  • Appreciate the small things again
  • Become more active
  • Understand the slippery slope to social media
  • Best of all‚ĶI was able to get back to my roots‚Ķback to being me.

I think this is an awesome exercise. ¬†Try out some of these methods for¬†1 week-monitoring your social media and screen time. ¬†What can you learn from doing this? And do you think you’ll notice any differences?

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Tips to Stay Sane

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Health tip: I know I’ve said this before, but when consuming any fruits make sure you eat a protein with it, like nuts or eggs. If you are looking for sneaky ways to not gain 1,000 pounds during the holidays–eat snacks throughout the day (one of them consisting of a fruit and protein tied together). In doing this you keep your metabolism working and lower the sugar content of the fruit.

Laundry tip: Not only should you make sure all zippers are zipped before throwing anything in the wash or dryer, but hook together those bra straps too! Also, don’t put bras in the dryer, instead hang them up! Otherwise you risk damaging the underwire and shrinking them.

Parenting tip: We all know this one, but sometimes need reminding. Mean what you say and say what you mean. It’s crucial to be consistent! The holidays are a hectic time for schedules, so be patient and plan some extra activities or projects to keep the kiddos engaged.

Mental tip: Practice mindfulness for 10 minutes of your day. Concentrate on your breathing by inhaling slowly counting to 7 and exhaling slowly counting to 7. Repeat and Repeat, and If a thought trickles in bring yourself back to your breath.

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Best laundry tip I ever received…

Laundry Quick Tip!

My friend passed along some advice about laundry and I wanted to share it with ya’ll! Oh, and it saved a nice dent in my pocket. ¬†Have you ever put on your favorite shirt or pair of pants and realized there is a new hole? Or snag? Snag — is that the right word?

Yeah.. so next time you put your load into the washer—check everything that has a zipper and make sure you zip that zipper up! ¬†That’s what snags your clothes in the washer and dryer.

The things we wish we knew right!? Now you do!

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Marriage/Partnership Exercise

Questions.

Asking your partner questions is critical for a long lasting loving marriage. ¬†It’s important to communicate and to continue working on communication, because the truth is we can always become better communicators.

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The exercise is about listening. When my husband and I did this exercise it took us roughly 3-4hours. (Granted we were on a long train ride).  Briefly replying just to get through the exercise is not the point.

Here are some of the Questions we found most profound

  • What makes you happiest/most fulfilled as a woman/man?
  • What makes you happiest/most fulfilled as a wife/husband?
  • What makes you happiest/most fulfilled as a mother/father?
  • What makes you saddest as a woman/man?
  • What makes you saddest as a wife/husband?
  • What makes you saddest as a mother/father?
  • What do you fear the most?
  • What do you look forward to ?
  • How much sleep do you need?
  • What do you consider to be your skills?
  • What do you believe to be your spiritual gifts?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What things need repairing?
  • What chores/responsibilities do you like/need my help with?
  • What intimate things do you enjoy the most? ¬†enjoy the least?
  • What action of mine provides you the greatest sexual pleasure?
  • What other things stimulate you sexually?
  • What times do you need my assurance of my love the most?
  • What can I do that will make it easier to discuss and work on areas or problems that are uncomfortable for you?
  • What concerns do you have that I do not seem interested in?
  • What desires do you have that we haven’t discussed?
  • What do you enjoy doing with me the most?
  • What things can I do that show my appreciation of you?
  • What varying desires (spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual, social, worth, recreational, security..) would you like me to provide?
  • In what ways would you like me to sacrifice for you?
  • What things do you see by my actions that I place first in my life?
  • What concerns/interests of yours would you like me to support?
  • How much time would be good for us to spend together each day ?
  • What can I do that provides the greatest comfort and encouragement for you when you are hurt, fearful, anxious, or worried?
  • What ways demonstrate to you that you are a very important person who is as important or more important than I am?

To see the full list of questions visit¬†Zack Terry’s Blog

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