Behind the Scenes of the Housewife Life

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Having a picnic for snack time in our front yard.

My current house is painted white. There is a “welcome” mat and a small mailbox, a wreath on the door with a tiny bunting I made. I love having front steps to sit on and watch the world drive by. Sometimes the boys sit with me and we count cars together. Inside our house, and everything that happens here, is what I call “behind the scenes.” Welcome to my home and my life. Have a seat on the couch and make yourself comfy.

I have house clothes and public clothes. Once in a blue moon I decide to “dress up” in my public clothes even though I am just at home with no plans of leaving. It’s just nice to not look lazy all the time. However, of course there had to be spills. The dark smudge on my jeans was from this morning’s breakfast when my two year old decided to dump the last of his milk on my lap and I didn’t care enough to change. I tell myself no one is going to notice. And here I am pointing it out to you.

My four year old points at my sockless ankle.

“Mommy what’s that? Did you have blood?” His nose wrinkled only an inch away from the questioned site.

“That’s a scab. You have scabs too. See? It was blood but now it is healing and that’s a scab. Mine is on my ankle and yours is on your knee.” He seems surprised at the discovery of his own scab and picks at it.

While he picks at his scab I admire my new nail varnish. A nude pinkish colour. One of my favourites I have ever had. When we moved from England to Ohio almost a year ago, it took a few months for me to realise I had gotten rid of all my nail varnish! So I bought a new colour but didn’t like it. I was in a bold mood and chose a bold colour. Mood swings coupled with impulsive buying was never a good match. This “safe” nude colour has proven perfect next to my tan skin. A small and otherwise trivial matter, but sometimes these small things can make a large difference in a woman’s world. I now wear my flip flops with confidence!

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Counting cars.

My two sons begin to scream at each other over a toy. They always want to play with the same one at the same time. Seriously? They have ALL these other toys and books and whatever, but they both want that ONE! A few months ago I had asked my husband if we could please start getting two of everything. He said no. They have to share and take turns. Fine. Before I became a mother, I believed my children would never fight. I have been humbled a thousand fold for thinking so foolishly.

I’ll make us a cup of tea. I only have peppermint, is that alright? Growing up, my mother used to always make peppermint tea, but we drank it cold. My love for mint must come from her. I miss her. Do you ever eat or drink something because of memories? Years ago when I was employed, I worked in a very posh retail store. We had our lunch break and later in the evening we had a tea break. I always had peppermint and liquorice tea, sweetened with brown raw cane sugar, with a slice of my homemade lemon cake. I haven’t been able to make a successful lemon cake since the big move but I will continue to try. The tea however, I cannot find anywhere! If you happen to see it, do let me know! For now, we will be grateful for this peppermint.

So, I am really out of the loop with the music world. On a bright note, I can sing several varieties of the Itsy Bitsy spider, the ABC song, and a few others that I can’t seem to think of on the spot. Having said that, it was a real treat the other day when I was in the car listening to my husband’s playlist and this really cool song came on. I am quite convinced that someone from the band at one point lived the life of a housewife. Because it totally connected with me. I don’t know who they are and I can’t remember what they said, but it was nice knowing that someone out there shared similar feelings as me.

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My four year old comes over and inspects my cup of tea.

“Is that hot lava? It’s hot. See? Smoke. Is it a fire? And burn the house down? No. You can drink it. Mommy do you like it? Is it good?”

I cannot express how wonderful it is to see my son growing up and hearing his thoughts. He may talk in circles but I am ecstatic that he’s figuring things out on his own! My two year old then comes over to see what the fuss is. He takes a look inside my cup and goes back to his playing. He could care less about my tea. I’m proud of him too. For being able to return to his task as if there had been no distraction.

What a journey motherhood is! It’s so big I am silenced for words. There is just an emotion, understood within the circle of women.

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Behind the scenes of a landscaped yard is a squirrel running up the tree. A spider busy spinning his dinner. A lady bug being watched by my four year old. Flowers being picked by my two year old. Pinecones waiting to be played with. Rocks waiting to be treasured.

Behind the scenes of my front door is family life. I watch how they walk. How they play. I listen to their voice. Their sounds. Their cries. I touch their skin, their hair and cuddle them close. I look into their eyes. I notice the books and movies they choose. The songs they sing to themselves. I notice their emotions, their reactions, trying to make sense of who they are. I am memorising all that I can.

I just re-read the 1,000 words that you just read and one word came to my mind: details. My life has become a life full of noticing details, dissecting those details, making some sense of those details. And I wonder, if I, like the passing cars that we count, am a detail in someone else’s story. A detail among the other millions of people living in this country. And yet here you are, dear friend reading these details of my life.  And with that thought, I’ll close with a quote from my four year old prince, ” thank you for realising me”.

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Facebook as a Journal

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“Are you going to facebook status that?”

“That is facebook status worthy!”

“You’ve GOT to facebook status that!”

Ah yes, the facebook status. It is quite amazing how in a few short years Facebook has dominated us. And many of us are using that infamous option -the status update- as a journal. We share with the facebook world our children’s milestones, fun family activities we did that day, quotes that inspire us, and so on. Hey, I do it too! It’s fun and convenient.

But I have to be honest. I miss paper.

Years ago as I sat in a writing class at university, my professor told us about a theory where the very act of writing can tell us more than if we just sit in front of a screen. The story from our minds travel down to the emotions of our heart, and together go down our arm, through our fingers, into our pen and onto the paper as words. More truth will come out if we engage our whole body. Like if we sit with our notebook on our lap. Body pressed against the pages, our heart pouring out into it.

It’s a theory.

Sometimes I think I should go back to always carrying a notebook with me in my bag. I have HEAPS of them! Yes it takes up space. But. When I HOLD it, it takes me back to that place where I once was. And I can see through my handwriting what emotional state I was in. There are pages that are watermarked with tears.

I blog. I do Pinterest. I do Facebook status. I do Instagram.

More and more I keep thinking I’d like to go back to paper.

I recently bought my toddler a journal. I will go back to the beginning of my Facebook days and re-write everything from there into his journal. The nice thing is that Facebook kept track of all the dates for me! I have seen some other lovely ideas like family time capsules, family journals, and so on.

I am thinking of my future generations. I don’t want them to just have a website to read, I want them to touch something I have touched. I want them to know the stories of why I kept certain items. I have a big box of stuff from my grandmother and older generations before her which is great, but there are no stories attached. I wish I knew more. I have so many questions.

So all that other stuff (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter which I never joined) is fun but as with most trends, it’s appeal is fading. At least for me.

I’d like to document life more in the “real” world. The world I can touch things and feel things and hold things and smell things. And then I’ll come back here to My Velvet Notebook, my online diary, and tell you all about it! xx

(Photo credit: I actually found on google that Facebook makes books from profiles!)

Heart Everything You Love

I titled this “everyTHING” and not “everyONE” because it is so obvious to me that we love and are grateful for our near and dear. There are times I need to remind myself there is so much MORE in this world that gets easily overlooked and forgotten that has contributed to my heart.

My heart flies farther than the end of my road.

On sunless days our hearts may feel shadowed by the frustrations of the current circumstances we find ourselves in. I think its great to seek, find and make our hearts in our everyday life. Personally, I do struggle during the dark winter so these reminders simply help. A bit like my ‘Beating Depression’ series that I tried to start and ironically never finished because winter knocked the motivation right out of me!

Hearts are Love.

I love books, libraries, reading, writing and just words!

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I love to cook, eat and watch others enjoy it too.

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I love to sew and create.

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I love the many adventures marriage brings.

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I love to travel and discover all the different beauties this world has.

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I love how music can often find the words you can’t.

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There is so much more I could add my heart to. Flowers and gardens. Going for long walks in nature. Maps for road trips. Art galleries in old cities. Walking along a sandy beach barefoot. Going to the zoo with my kids!

There is a quote I found that said, “If you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.”  I imagine our minds wander very far from our address.

In my continued efforts to stay positive, I am currently surrounding myself with hearts to remind myself of what is in mine. The more love I feel for the world around me, the more I can feel love within myself and be a happier person for those I already treasure in my heart the most.

Fun on photo booth

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