Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Finding balance in life!

Mammoth Hot Springs, YNP 2010

February was a busy month, but a wonderful month. I have been thinking A LOT about balance and what I really want out of life. What Tracy and I keep coming back to, is more TIME!

TIME and FREEDOM are the biggest motivators that inspire us to exercise discipline and sacrifice daily, so we can stay on the fast track to getting debt free. As we look at our lives it always comes back to:
"I wish I had more time to spend with my kids".
"I wish I had more time to put towards my passions in life".
"I wish I had more time to really BE there for my family and friends".

Tracy is always bringing home uplifting and inspiring things to listen to and watch. One night, he showed us a really good "TED talk" given by Nigel Marsh, that we watched with our kids after dinner one night last month.

You can watch it Here
(It's only ten minutes long and the last two minutes are the best!)

The little boy's comment:
"Dad, this has been the best day of my life... EVER!"
really got me evaluating my own life and the things I am doing with my kids. I need to do a lot better, but the older I get, the more I am realizing how precious the "moments" with my kids are, and I want to have more days where my kids say:
"Dad, Mom, this has been the BEST day of my life... EVER!"

The amazing thing about days like this is most of the time you haven't spent much money at all, you've just done out-of-the blue things AND the most important ingredient; you have given your TIME to them!

Here are some moments in the past month where I heard these words:
"That was the best day of my life!"

Tracy's parents called us up and wanted to have the kids come and spend the night with them. These moments to the kids are priceless.
Tracy's dad is a kid himself and when we went and picked the kids up, we saw that Grandpa had given up his whole morning and built an Igloo with the kids. Ethan talked about this ALL Night long and I heard many times
"That was the best day ever... Grandpa and Grandma are awesome!"

We've had an ongoing yearly tradition of watching
"Groundhog Day" on February 2nd. This year we celebrated a day early as we had Scouts on Wednesday night.
So, at 6:30 we all got dressed in our PJ's and filled up containers with however much Salmon/Artichoke Dip, crackers and veggies/dip that we wanted and we all got cozy on the couch and chairs with our Snuggies and snacks and watched this together. We laughed SO hard and had such a great time!
The kids LOVED this and yes, "That was the best night ever" were the words we heard over and over!
Ethan and Kimmie had a night together as Tracy and Jade went on a camp out to a cabin with the Young Men's group in our ward.
Ethan was SO excited to have some one on one time with his mom. We went and cashed in his "Book it" Pizza coupon at Pizza Hut and had lunch. We then went and spent an hour at the library looking at books and even checked some books out. Ethan's favorite treat is pistachio nuts and so I bought a bag of them and we came home and made up hot chocolate, ate pistachios and Pink Cookies and lounged around reading our books.

Sad reality... Ethan is now to a point where he wanted to spend the night reading a book by himself, SO, I indulged and had some reading time myself.
"Mom, this has been the best day ever"
were the words Ethan said to me as I tucked him in bed.
(miss cuddling with my Ethan on the beanbag like I used to do here)

I didn't think that cupcakes could make Ethan say
"This is my best day ever",
but he is so used to having everything frosted in pink and so to come home and have YELLOW frosted cupcakes made him a VERY happy kid!

President's day weekend
we usually head to Utah to enjoy some warmer weather, but our Ethan Kip, had been sick with the flu and was just starting to feel better, so we decided to do a "Stay-cation" instead. We took the kids to see the movie;
"I am number four"
(at the expensive theater, something rare for us),
went and ate at Applebee's
and our FAVORITE... we went and spent the whole afternoon soaking and swimming at Lava Hot Springs!

We arrived at 1:45 and didn't leave until 7:15. We all enjoyed the hot water, getting out and making plates of crab dip and crackers, lemon bread, orange slices and BRACH's candy to eat. We all fought over the treats!! I loved laying down and having Ethan come and lay his head on my lap and having Jade come and lean against my back. I loved feeling the gravel under my feet and looking over and seeing Tracy, the love of my life, talking and socializing with others that were there. The hot water, cold air, LOTS of great talks, conversation and FAMILY FUN that we had was priceless!
(OH and we enjoyed Pizza Hut on the way home)
Definitely a weekend worthy of saying;
"That was the best weekend ever!"

I've been taking a stroll down memory lane
quite often this past little bit and I came across some adorable photos from last summer of other moments where I have heard the words,
"That was the best day ever!"

Popping popcorn over a camp stove,

trips to Yellowstone where we camp at the campgrounds in our tent, cook over a fire, go and listen to the campfire program, look at every sign, see every site there is to see, get ice cream, walk hand in hand and have the best time ever... these are the things that truly matter to kids!

You don't have to spend much money, take your kids to Disneyland, or do extravagant things to make kids happy.
These photos break my heart,
as I have never thought to make homemade Root Beer (except at Ethan's 8th birthday party). At our family reunion last year, Ethan thought that this was the coolest thing ever and BEGGED us to have an afternoon where we could make it and he could stir it.
I need to make sure I take time to do that one hot afternoon this summer!

 Kids spell love,

The small things matter.
So grateful for each moment of time Tracy and I get with our children. Hoping to keep fine tuning our lives so that we can balance our lives with work to have more TIME to be there and create many more wonderful days where our sons comment;
"That was the best day of my life...ever!"


Ann Marie said...

What a great Kimmie post.
Your kids sure are blessed to have a Mother and Father ( and Grandparents ) that love them so much.. and make extra efforts to create the things we love. Isn't that the best??

I LOVE when people I love remember the details about little things I love. It shows that you care enough to pay attention!

I agree! Balance in everything!!

Our Paper Plates said...

Yes!! My thoughts exactly. I just need to remember this post on those days when my 18 month old is throwing a tantrum while the beans boil over and visiting teachers show up to see me still in my pjs. Ha ha - life is a work in progress i suppose!

Connie said...

What a great way to start my hectic day! Thanks for posting this!
I just love the way you take time to make sure your family is happy and well-taken care of!
You're an inspiration to me in so many ways!

I'm going to watch the video when I get home from work tonight.

Have a "best-day-ever" day today!