Please ignore the fact that I wrote this post out in February and just today gathered the photos for it. I'd better get it in today since tomorrow is April!
I read somewhere or heard somewhere or I guess just know deep deep down somewhere that the mother determines the temperature of the house. And of course I'm not talking about the actual number of degrees but the warmth, the tone, the moods.
Sometimes when I reflect on that I think, why? Why me? Why does all of that come down to little old me? It's too much.
Some days when I'm in a funk and I just can't seem to get out of my own way or pick up my own spirits I have to have a few rules or concrete things to look back over. Most of the time it's like a checklist in my head but recently with so many snow days and so much sickness going through my house and on top of it a whole week off in February. Do you know what it's like in Connecticut in February. Without gobs of money to get us all on an airplane and fly to a place that would get me out of my funk I have to choose to change just a few things and then magically (well it's not exactly magic) things change.
So I remind myself every so often ~
1. You love winter. Snow is pretty and the bottom of my girls feet are clean. It's cozy and warm. Everyone is together in this one little house and that feels good. Soak it in. Enjoy it.
2. Cook a yummy dinner every day. Plan ahead, even if it's just the day ahead what you'll feed your family. And eat together as a family every. single. night. Buy a new cookbook if you have to or scan some old ones to get yourself motivated.
3. Take out the pretty dishes. Look around. Clean out the cabinets. Pull out pretty place mats that you've been "saving" and use them. Use China if you have to... but make dinner pretty. (Even if it's just homemade pizza.) My grandmothers strawberry china, the napkin rings my aunt bought me when I was on a trip with her, little dainty punch glasses from my other grandmother.
4. Keep the house clean. Put things away. Make it a priority. A clean house makes everything better.
Okay, so I thought about going around and taking photos of my house all clean but then I realized that would take too much work so I thought I'd show you one little clean corner. Ha! It's next to my side of the bed and it's 'just so'. It might be the only 'just so' part of the house on some days but oh man do I ever enjoy it after a long day. It's always ready and waiting for me. My little piece of heaven. Pick yourself a corner that will always be clean. It makes all the difference in the world.
5. Paint your nails. Pick out a pretty shade of pink and sit in the bathroom and paint them. You always, always feel better with pretty nails.
6. After the dinner dishes and baths are done, turn off the 'big' lights in the house and just have little lamps (and twinkle lights) on. Put on 'loungewear'. (not jammies, not the clothes of the day, not the non-yoga yoga pants for cleaning but pretty, comfy loungwear) And the rules for loungewear are that you are DONE for the day. No more counters can be wiped down, no more little piles can be put away.
7 Clean out your bra and underware drawer. Toss all of the 'tired' items and treat yourself to a pretty new bra and matching underware set.
8. Mix up the schedule if you've been sticking to it and need a huge break from a strict schedule or get back on a rigid schedule if you've been feeling wishy washy with your days.
9. Use pretty paper for lists and clear out a drawer so that you have the pencils just the way you like them and just where you like them.
10. Turn on some praise music. Nothing like Twila Paris wafting through the house.
Fill my heart; fill this house; fill this day, O Lord. I am weak; and I need your strength.
Sometimes it's just the simple things to feel so good. That pull me out of a mood. Anything that can help me helps all of them. I know this list isn't super inspirational or faith filled. It's just the little things that can turn up the temperature of the house. And of course I don't recommend that you do all of them One or two will be all you need.