10 Psychological Obstacles to Organizing

This is an excerpt from Julie Morgenstern's book, "Organizing from the Inside Out."


To find out if you have a hidden motive in staying disorganized, answer “yes” or “no” to the following questions:

1.      Does the idea of a spare, clutter-free environment make you feel anxious or uncomfortable?
2.      Are you a highly visual person?
3.      Do you habitually buy things in large quantities?
4.      Does the prospect of getting rid of anything disturb you?
5.      Do you love displaying everything you collect so you can look at it?
6.      Are you constantly buying more and more cubbies, containers, and baskets to hold everything?
7.      Do you harass yourself all day long with the mantra, “I’ve got to get organized, I’ve got to get organized?”
8.      Do you spend more time organizing and reorganizing than working or having fun?
9.      Do you frequently turn down social activities to stay home and get organized?
10.      Are you constantly rearranging your stuff, never satisfied with the system you set up?
11.      Are you afraid getting organized might squelch your creativity?
12.      Does the prospect of being truly organized fill you with simultaneous feelings of excitement and an accompanying dread?
13.      Do you think disorganization has always been your primary obstacle to reaching your full potential?
14.      Were you more organized at an earlier time in your life?
15.      Does your disorganization keep you from delegating work to others?
16.      Does the cluttered state of your home or office keep you from letting people visit?
17.      Did you grow up in an extremely chaotic household?
18.      Did you grow up in an extremely orderly household?
19.      Did you have a traumatic childhood?
20.      Does your accumulated clutter go back fifteen years or more?
21.      Are you a high achiever who must do everything perfectly?

If you answered, “yes” to three or more questions, a psychological obstacle is likely working against you.  It’s important to identify it and learn how to work around it.

Psychological Obstacle #1: NEED FOR ABUNDANCE

If you have a need for abundance, it is often better to organize what you have rather than try to force yourself to throw stuff out.  Once things are organized, it may be easier for you to see what is excessive, and part with it bit by bit. 

Psychological Obstacle #2: CONQUISTADOR OF CHAOS

Some people keep their lives or spaces disorganized because they love the thrill of coming to the rescue and creating order out of chaos.  Since you thrive on a busy schedule, don’t expect to use the extra time organization gives you for unstructured leisure.  Instead, fill your days with activities that make the most of your incredible problem solving skills.

Psychological Obstacle #3: UNCLEAR GOALS AND PRIORITIES

Given that organizing is about defining what is important to you and setting up a system to reflect that, it is logical that if your goals and priorities aren’t clear, it will be very hard to set up a workable system.  If you feel you have so many goals and priorities it’s hard to focus, consider spreading out what you want to achieve over time, focusing on accomplishing a few goals now and postponing others for later in the year or some point in the future.

Psychological Obstacle #4:  FEAR OF SUCCESS/FEAR OF FAILURE

You may be using disorganization as a convenient way of holding yourself back.  You may be just making excuses.

Psychological Obstacle #5:  NEED TO RETREAT

Some people use clutter as a protective shield, a barrier between themselves and the “outside world.”  Give yourself a chance to get used to the changes you are making.  Try putting things in offsite storage as an experiment.  See what it’s like living apart from these items while still knowing you have them.  An organized work or living space can be a nicer “retreat” than a cluttered one.

Psychological Obstacle #6:  FEAR OF LOSING CREATIVITY

Many creative or “right-brained” people who have always worked in chaos both crave and are frightened of getting organized.  Being organized releases rather than restricts creativity.  It gives you immediate access to all the materials you need to do your work more effectively.

Psychological Obstacle #7: NEED FOR DISTRACTION

Disorganization can serve as a convenient preoccupation to help you avoid issues or tasks you don’t want to deal with or face.  To put it another way, as long as you have a closet to clean or a stack of papers to sort, your mind remains distracted, leaving no room for weightier concerns.  You need to substitute a more head-on approach to dealing with the larger, more perplexing problems you are evading.

Psychological Obstacle #8:  DISLIKE THE SPACE

You find your room, home, or office so loud or so quiet, so dreary or lonely that you dislike being there.  Move to another room, home or office, more to your liking.  If this is not an option, brighten your space by decorating it and giving it some of your personality.

Psychological Obstacle #9:  SENTIMENTAL ATTACHMENT

It is hard for people to let go of things because they infuse them with a tremendous amount of meaning.  By projecting so much identity onto our possessions, we can wind up living in an enormous amount of clutter, surrounded by items we never use.  Your identity comes from inside, not outside.  Objects can remind us who we are, or who we want to be, but the real truth is inside us and doesn’t go away.

Psychological Obstacle #10:  NEED FOR PERFECTION

Often, clutter accumulates because people refuse to deal with it until they have the time to do the job perfectly.  Doing something, however imperfect will help avoid some of the accumulation.  You must give yourself permission to be “imperfect” and move forward.


Top 10 ways you know the Periscope struggle is real

Periscope is a social media app, owned by Twitter, that allows users to live stream video.  While this app has been around since March 2015, it’s just starting to gain momentum and is quickly becoming one of the more popular ways to connect.

Everyone sighs when they hear of yet another social media app they need to download, but for those who have jumped on the bandwagon, they’re loving this new medium.

For all you periscope lovers, here are 10 Periscope problems we can all relate to:

 1.  The flip

You never know what’s going to happen when you double tap.  Food in the teeth.  Zipper down.  Bed head.  You also never know when that double tap will backfire on you and your viewers will feel like they’re on a merry-go-round.

2.  Tapping and swiping everything

You find yourself swiping right on Instagram to share with friends or trying to give hearts to a Facebook post.

3.  You feel like you’re having an affair

You find yourself sneaking away at night to see which of your #scopesisters or #perigirls is live.

4.  Family and friends are so annoying

You are genuinely bothered when your Mom, Husband, best friend or child calls you while you’re “scoping.”  Who do they think they are?  Don’t even get me started about the ones who think they can walk in the room while you’re bearing your soul to the world.  Or teaching your “besties” how to do their makeup.

5.  Your children are malnourished

Because they’re living on goldfish crackers and fruit snacks.  Basically, they're eating anything they can get their hands on because mommy is too busy talking to her phone.

6.  These same children don’t think it's weird

In fact, they don’t even flinch when they see you talking to your phone, laughing to yourself or see you dart across the room as soon as you hear a notification on your phone.

7.  You know the best places to hide in Target

That scope notification goes off and you immediately dart to Men’s Clothing, the Dog food aisle or the Bra section of Target.  You don’t dare miss another inside joke!  #byetodd

8.  You are now “scope broke”
Just one week ago, you had never heard of a beauty blender, roller ball, doterrra oils, dry shampoo, placenta encapsulation or photoshop.  Yet you own all these things now AND every color of lipstick from the drug store!

9.  You’re always talking about your new friends

Everyone in your real life is pretty sure you’re having a mid-life crisis and that you have reverted back to your childhood days of fantasy land.  They’re pretty sure you just have an imaginary friend!

10.  You’ve lost all concept of time

You forget to pickup your children from school, burn dinner and spend an entire day sitting on the couch scoping with your friends.  You’re actually not even sure what day it is anymore.

You can find me on periscope @brittsbroadcast , but don't say I didn't warn you!


Weekly Duties Chart

Here is a copy of our Weekly Duties chart that I'm obsessed with.  This was simply made in a spreadsheet program (Excel), but you could even write this on a piece of paper.  The point is that it's simple.  Add only the essential things you want to get accomplished each day.  My kids have to have everything from the morning and after school checked off before they can have privileges each day.  It works fabulous!  No more nagging from me.  If you want me to send you a template, email me at mysimpletranformations@gmail.com and I will send it to you.


We can't do it alone


This week has been extremely busy for our family.  The stresses have weighed on Tim as he's had to be out of town.  He feels helpless and distant from our family.  I feel blessed that I can be here with my family, but I still couldn't manage alone.  The only thing keeping me from a nervous breakdown is our friends!

Tim & I have an entire village of friends that we rely on daily.  This week my children had to go home from school with friends two days in a row.  Instead of going home alone to an empty house, they are welcomed with love into our friends homes.  These friends make sure our boys get to scouts, let them tag along to appointments, help with homework and feed them dinner.  They take my children to the library, gas station and allow them to make messes in their homes.

We have friends that come pick our boys up and take them on adventures for the entire day.  These friends treat our children as if they are their very own.  When I need them in a pinch, they are willing to step-in and step-up day after day after day.    

Our friends fill in as coach for soccer practice, run my kids here and there and cheer for them when I'm away at the bathroom with another child!  Our village of friends do more than just physically represent for us, they are there loving our boys just as much as Tim & I do.

While Tim's heart is breaking because he has to be away, my heart is bursting with gratitude for the overwhelming help that we receive each day.  I'm often asked, "how do you handle Tim being gone so often?"

The answer is, "Our village!"  A group of incredibly generous and loving friends who take it upon themselves to help us when we can't help ourselves.

{I wish I had pictures of all my generous friends contributions, but these few will have to do.  Believe me, we have help with ALL the boys, not just Crew.}


Marshawn Lynch and Motherhood

I have been in "beast mode" lately and not in a good way.  I've been going all Marshawn Lynch on my innocent, bystander family.  It would be fair if they had their pads, helmet and game face on, but they don't.  They've been completely blindsided by my aggressive running style, ability to break tackles and my propensity for running over anything in my way!  

I'm fully aware of my actions, but yet day after day the "beast mode" continues.  My wife and mom guilt is strong.  Feeling inadequate in my maternal duties, I busy myself with things that don't really matter.  One evening as I was scurrying around the house taking care of some unimportant task, Cooper asked if he could have a snack.  I quickly barked, "Sure, but make it fast...and stay in the kitchen... and clean up after yourself!"  

I was standing in the kitchen reading something super important, I'm sure, on my phone when I glanced up to see the sweetest sight.  This precious boy was mustering all the concentration he had to perfectly spread his peanut butter onto the bread.  For the first time in days, I didn't see the two dirty knives, the loaf of bread, the toaster sitting out or any of the messes.  I simply saw a precious child; learning, growing and becoming right before my eyes.  

In this moment of clarity, I realized that my kids messes are really opportunities for learning and growth.  I felt peace about my abilities to be a good Mom.  The impression came, "you taught him how to do this."  I realized that being busy wasn't so bad.  I was giving my kids the opportunity to do things for themselves.  However, in the whirlwind of daily life, sometimes I need to take a moment to look up.  Just as Marshawn Lynch looks up as he's sprinting to the end zone.  I need to do the same. 

 Sometimes I forget who my teammates are.  My children and my husband are on my team.  They are my blockers trying to push the unnecessary out of my life so that I can get to the end zone.  Too often, I see them as my obstacles.  My eye is too focused on the end zone and I'll run over anyone in my way.  This week I'm looking for team bonding experiences.  I'm looking up more and trying to get to the end zone with my team mates, not in spite of them!


Mid-Century Accent Chairs

My Mother-in-Law told me these all reminded her of Grandma's home.  That's exactly the look I'm going for in my family room.  I've been loving the Mid-Century modern look.  It's the clean lines and simplicity that are appealing to me.  Here are a few that made my top choices, but there was only one lucky winner.

Here are the resources for all 4 chairs:

1.  Target - On sale for $127.49 plus an additional 10% off today!

2.  Urban Outfitters - $379 (free shipping)

3.  World Market - On Sale $399.99

4.  West Elm - $349.00 (Plus $50 handling fee)

I ended up choosing the Urban Outfitters Teal chair.  I placed the order on Monday and it's supposed to show up TOMORROW.  That's a 3-day turn around.  Amazing!  I hope it looks as amazing in my room as it is in my dreams.


Thank you Chuck Norton!

This post is dedicated to my buddy, Chuck.  I must show you this clip that Tim & I think about every time we hear your name.

Thank you, Chuck Norris!

Along with finding out that one person reads my blog, I made a humbling realization about myself yesterday. My heart skipped a beat when I heard this quote:

My stomach sank.  My heart began to flutter.  I'm sure my cheeks got rosy.  Embarrassment sunk in and I knew I was guilty.  Nobody was trying to embarrass me, but the humbling realization that I have been prideful was more than my body could take.  Because I have no filter, I immediately raised my hand and admitted my guilt to a room full of friends and neighbors.

My husband had tried to lovingly point out to me that I was being prideful, but my pride wouldn't let me believe him.  After hearing this quote, I knew the truth.  The only reason I feel like I need MORE is because everybody else has MORE.  The only reason I'm finally satisfied with all I have is when I realize how much MORE I have then others.  This is so wrong!  I wrote about this topic just 8- months ago.  Clearly, I do not understand these principles in my life yet.

Satan is good at deceiving me.  He puts distractions in my way.  He leads me just a tiny bit off course and I completely lose my focus.  It's easy to blame Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.  With the click of a button I can see everything that everybody else has.  I see beautiful homes, perfect bodies, delicious home-cooked meals, incredibly fun moms and successful women all achieving much MORE than I could any day.  I stop paying attention to the beautiful details in my own life because I'm distracted by the seemingly perfect life of others.     

The reality is that my heart doesn't really want all those things.  Satan tries to make me believe that I do, but I really don't.  This quote by Marjorie Hinckley perfectly sums out how I want to live my life. 
“I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.  I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.
I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.
I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden.
I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.
I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.”
This quote and other uplifting wisdom on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are what keep me going back for MORE.  It's when I begin comparing my life to these inspiring people that takes me off course.  Teddy was right on when he said:
"Comparison is the thief of joy." -Theodore Roosevelt
 Here's to a new week of trying to stay humble, stay the course and focus on all the incredible blessings in my life!  How do you stay clear of pride and comparing yourself to others?  I need all the inspiring help I can get!


Playroom Ideas: Your Kids Will Love

Our playroom is always evolving along with my boys preferences.  For instance, we used to keep all our costumes and dress-up clothes in our window seat.  I had one container full of costumes and one container full of weapons.  You know, the essential dress-up items for boys.  I noticed that the bins were overflowing and the boys could never seem to find what they were looking for.  I also noticed they were constantly running downstairs to look at themselves and make sure that they're ensemble was just right.  I knew something needed to change. 


I created an entire dress-up area.  I bought a simple wardrobe rack from Ikea along with some cute wood hangers.  Also at Ikea, I bought a fabric bin (on the right) for all the weapons.  We needed some knobs to hang the bags, pink boa (it gets used), lanyards and a whip.  I also used the same knobs to hang the hats.  The simple coat rack (also purchased from Ikea) is easy for the kids to hang their masks up when they are done.  The mirror completes the area, along with a drop bin, for all the little odds and ends!  This has been one of the most used and most fun areas of our playroom.  


This area is where the kids draw with chalk or dry erase markers (on the reverse side of the chalkboard).  Because I have a toddler at home, I keep the chalk and markers put away in my office and only get them out when I can be close by.  The kids love to put on the capes, which are hanging on the wall, before they begin their projects.  It's also an awesome way to protect their clothes.  I keep construction paper, white paper, stationary, lined paper in the blue "magazine racks" on the wall.  I found those at Ikea in the bathroom section and spray painted them to match the playroom.  The basket below the chalkboard is filled with hand puppets and puzzles.  The basket below the paper is filled with coloring books and other art supplies.  As you can see, we also love the decorate the walls with the kids art projects.  It's a great way to show off their work and also add a little more color to the playroom.


We used to keep all our legos in a large bin.  It was such a mess and took the boys forever to find what they were looking for.  Since my boys LOVE legos and are always creating, I felt like it would be worth the time and money to sort them.  I bought these containers and we spent a few weeks sorting.  I have to admit that I was nervous things would not stay this way for long, but we've had these for a couple years and it's ended up being exactly what the boys needed.

With any great playroom, you need variety.  While I don't love have a TON of stuff, I do love having lots of different options.  This magnet board has provided that for the playroom.  My toddler loves putting the alphabet letters on the board and it's a great way to teach him his letters.  My older boys love to create things with their magformer toys.  I bought the three white trays from Ikea to have the  magnets easily accessible and encourage the boys to use them.


The rug and table in the middle of the room helps to bring everything together.  The boys sit at the table for art projects or, as you can see, use it for super heros.  A table is a must for every playroom!  See the two closets we have on each side of the window?  That is where I hide all the toys!!  I love that MOST of our toys can be hid out of sight.

This closet holds all the toys that can be contained in bins.  I love the clear bins so that we can always easily see what we are looking for.  In case it's not that obvious, I also have labels.  Our bins include, playdough, kitchen toys, music toys, magformers, super heros, batman, guys, star wars, ninja turtles, imagenext, nerf guns, etc.  I always have the boys help me decide on the containers and it's typically decided by how many toys they have.  Because the boys helped me organize everything, they can easily clean up without my help (genius!!)


The other closet contains all the toys that are too big to fit in the containers.  They are easy to see and easy to get in and out.

As you can see, these boys love the playroom!


A teenager and a Mom

The boy who made me a Mom is now a teenager. 

When I was a teenager, I remember wanting, wishing and dreaming about the day I would get my happily ever after.  Someday I would have my very own family.  Someday I would have little babies.  I would be their Mother.  Someday seemed so far away. 

Without really noticing, someday is today and somehow my little baby grew up.  I can barely remember myself before I was a Mom.  Becoming a Mom was everything I had ever hoped for and yet the most frightening thing that ever happened to me.  I think back to my twenty something self and wish I could tell that girl what I know now.

I would tell her to be careful what she wishes for because, so far, every wish she's made has come true.  I would make sure she knew that every day is magical and precious.  Babies really don't keep.  The sleepless nights don't end, they just change.  The joy of snuggling and holding a newborn becomes distant, but your heart still skips a beat when you see your son interact with others, help around the house and be the young man you always dreamed he would be.  I would tell her that all her dreams were going to come true.  Just sit back and enjoy the journey. 

The journey seems so short.  I remember rocking this teenage boy in my arms as a tiny infant, tears streaming down my face, whispering hopes and aspirations about the life he had ahead of him.  Praying he would know how much I  loved him.  Hoping he could be forgiving of all the mistakes I was making.

Now this grown boy bounces in the door, traipses in and out, without a care in the world.  He's polite, obedient, respectful, funny and smart.  I really like the boy he's becoming and I've loved every stage that we've been through to get to this place.  I still can't wrap my brain around how we got here.  Just like that yesterday is today and someday is now.

Many veteran Moms tried to share their knowledge, but it doesn't matter how much great advice I received, I had to learn how to be a Mom my way.  I had to learn from my own experience.  In many ways, it feels like we're starting the infancy stage all over again.  Often, we sit in silence and I wonder what he is thinking.  I wish he could tell me what he needed and how he feels.  Often he does, but other times my place is to sit and be silent with him, much like comforting an infant.  My place is to simply be there for him and try to figure out what he needs.  We're both just figuring out this crazy world together.

This boy, who is now a teenager, continues to teach me.  He continues to make my dreams come true.  I don't know what the next thirteen years have in store, but my wish is that they are just as amazing as the last thirteen have been.

Happy Birthday to my first!


Spicing Things Up

It often happens like this...

I'm in the kitchen making dinner.  I need a spice that can't be found.  I search my cabinet to find the spice hidden back behind all those other spices.  I'm disgusted that it took me more than one minute to find this spice.  I'm disappointed in my organizing skills and determined there must be a better way.  I'm in the middle of dinner so I don't have time to run to the store.  I know that I want to have risers so that I can see the spices hidden in the back.  I'm not sure the store would even carry a riser for such a small space.  In that perfect moment my determination breeds creativity!

Here is how I created a homemade riser for my small kitchen cabinet space. 

I got a box of pasta, removed the spaghetti noodles and cut the box in half.  I needed the box to be sturdy so I stuffed it as full as I could with newspaper.   

I couldn't possibly stare at a sliced up box of pasta in my spice cabinet so I needed something to make it inconspicuous.  I wrapped the boxes with brown butcher paper. 

Ta-da!  My five minute riser is done and works great.  My spice bottles fit perfectly.

Here is the second riser.  The riser on the back row I placed vertically.  The riser on the front row I placed horizontally.  It worked perfect!

This is so much better.  I can see all the spices and hopefully find what I am looking for in under one minute next time.  In case you think that I only use these twelve spices, the cabinet door has a handy spice rack, which holds all my other spices.  This was just the overflow area. 

I really spiced things up around here! 

If you don't own any risers for your pantry, you are missing out.  They are one of my favorite kitchen organization products!  Find some here, here or here.



In the Spring of 2010 my super-smart-talented-professor-cousin, Angie, sent me an email about an opportunity to submit stories.  She even encouraged me to submit my stories.  I was impressed she thought I was talented enough.

Four years ago I wrote six stories that were published.  They were all rapid fire.  My writing was coming fast and the editors kept publishing my work.  Then I got pregnant, which for me means that EVERY.  SINGLE.  THING.  in my life stops with the exception of trying to stay alive and keeping my children alive.

It has taken me four years to submit another story in spite of my desires.  For the past three years I've had the goal to "write."  Not only did I have the goal, but I kept feeling prompted to "write."

As we do, I ignored, brushed off, and found many ways to distract myself from this prompting.  Mostly in the form of shopping or eating.  Oh yes, and the perfect of excuse of being too busy taking care of my family.

I gained 5 lbs and wasted a whole lot of money just trying to avoid my prompting. 

Until last week.  I had just run five miles.  I was feeling great.  I came home to an empty house.  Everyone was gone, but me.  I used the morning to study, ponder and meditate.  As I began going about my daily tasks of laundry, dishes, checking instagram, facebook and email, I heard that little voice in my head saying, "write."

I had so many great excuses not too.  Instinctively, I grabbed my purse.  Then a brownie.  But something stopped me.  For whatever reason, Monday, April 20th was the day that the excuses stopped.

I promptly marched up to my computer, sat down and thought, now what?  I began browsing the internet.  I started doing some research.  One hour later, as my searching and questions drifted to paper, I had a rough draft of a story.

I was shocked.  How did that happen?  So shocked that I decided to surprise myself some more.  I submitted a proposal to have the article published.  I decided to get back to my household chores, when after just 30 minutes, I received a message saying that my article had been accepted.

I finished the article.  Submitted it.  Less than 24 hours later it was published.

While I'm frustrated at myself for waiting so long, I also know that for whatever reason, this is the right time for me.  I'm excited to continue writing and have set some lofty goals for myself to ensure that I don't stop.

The moral of this story is that if God is telling you to do something.  If he is inspiring you and whispering to you over and over and over again to do something.  He will prepare the way.  He will help you accomplish your goals.


my opinion regarding my opinion

Photo Credit:  Nan Hyde
I recently wrote an article for ksl.com addressing 4 problems in youth sports today.  Those who know me well, and sit on the sidelines with me, were probably laughing hysterically at some of the things I wrote.  In fact, as I sat at my son's soccer game last night, I confirmed that I was the perfect example of every single problem I wrote about.  In full disclosure, let me tell you my mistakes.  We all learn from them, right?

PROBLEM #1  Focus is on winning, not on having fun.

My son's team was winning 5-0 last night and I was still yelling like a crazy Mom.  Most of which was exactly what a parent should be cheering,

"Great job!"  
"Nice hustle"  
"Looking good, boys."
 "Go team!"  

I may have heard myself say, "So help me if you let them score I will spank you all!"  I was getting a little worried we wouldn't clutch the shut out that our team so desperately needed.  They needed it for themselves, not for me.  These boys had been working their behinds off (the same ones I was going to spank).  They deserved to see the fruits of their labor.  Luckily, they got the shut out and I didn't have to spank any of them.  The point is.  Winning is fun.  It's just not everything!

PROBLEM #2  Children's performance becomes more important than their health.

The entire reason I began researching this issue is because my son brought home a Red Bull, which he had bought while with his super-responsible-and-completely-handsome Dad.  They just wanted to try a little experiment and see if it changed my son's performance during a game.  (REALLY?!)  My husband wouldn't drink the stuff, but he'd let his son.  My son took a few sips before the game (he didn't dare drink the whole thing after I scared him with horrible details about how he would probably die if he were to consume the nasty drink.)

Turns out he didn't play any differently.  He did great, which he typically does.  Ironically, he got injured pretty bad within the first 15 minutes of the game.  Which leads me to the next point I made in the article.

When I realized that my son was not going back in the game and getting frustrated that I was sitting there not getting to watch him play, I went over to him on the bench.  Now, this is definitely something a parent shouldn't do during a game, but he was injured and I wanted to make sure he was ok.

Or so I thought.

Until I heard myself saying,

"Can you just try to walk it off?"
"Are you sure you can't run?"
"You're really not playing the rest of the game?"
"I missed your last game and I have to miss your next game.  Ugh."

My husband, who just happened to be coaching the game, suggested I run home (it was 2 minutes away) and grab him an ice pack.  My reply, "I don't want to miss the rest of the game.  He can wait until it's over!"

As soon as I sat back down in my chair these words I had typed just two days before came blaring into my mind...

"We need to be more concerned about a child's lifelong health instead of his or her (or a parent's) temporary sports aspirations."


PROBLEM #3  Specializing children too young.

2 of my 4 boys play soccer year round.  My 6-year-old son is on an academy training team.

'Nuff said.

PROBLEM #4  Caring more about the game than the child.

As we were driving home from the game, rushing to be late to a scouting Court of Honor, my first question was, "How is your leg?"  my second question was, "Do you think you'll be able to play in the game on Saturday?"

Hmmm...Game or  child?

My opinion regarding my opinion is that I have some serious work to do.  Thank goodness our children are forgiving.  Thank goodness he is still young and I still have time to change.  Let's just hope that I can learn to take some of my own advice.


Is Something Really Better Than Nothing

While updating my blog recently I noticed that I had over a dozen blog posts that were unpublished, simply sitting in "draft" mode.  They were mostly pictures that I hadn't taken the time to add my commentary to.  While I had taken the time to title them and to add pictures to them, I didn't get around to putting all the final touches on them so I didn't feel like they were worthy of being published.

It got me thinking about how many things in my life are in "draft" mode simply because I don't have the ability or time to accomplish them completely; or exactly the way I feel they should be.

This made me question, "Is something really better than nothing?"

When it comes to documenting my feelings and life on this blog.  Absolutely, yes!  I would much rather have a few pictures posted with a couple of comments than nothing at all.  Something to trigger my memory.  Something for my children to look back on and remember.

When it comes to raising my children, is it better to give them 100% some of the time or 50% all of the time?  Ideally, I'd love to give my children the best part of me.  I'd love to show up and be a 100% Super Mom all of the time.  Realistically, that's not even possible.  I'm not perfect, but I can always try to show up for my kids.  I think my children are pretty happy with my mediocre job.  They don't seem to notice that I don't make gourmet dinners or Pinterest worthy crafts.  They seem to be content to just have me around.

As I go through the different facets of my life; my relationship with God, my husband, my extended family and friends, I would love to give them all the best part of me.  For now, giving all these things something of my life is better than nothing at all.  As I show up each day, little-by-little the "draft" version of my life will turn into an amazing published final version, but as any great story unfolds, I must be patient.

Here are some ideas I thought of that can help me remember how to give "something" as opposed to "nothing?"  I would propose that there are three things we can all do:

1.  Listen.  Most people around us just want to know that somebody cares.  My children don't ever want to hear what I have to say, but they always love when I will sit and listen to them.  The same goes for our husbands, friends and extended family members.  People want to be heard.

2.  Be present.  All you have to do is show up.  Be around for your children so that you can listen.  Put down your electronic devices and enjoy the things going on around you.  No need for frills or bells or whistles.  Just simply be there!  Wherever there is.

3.  Lower expectations.  We need to lower our expectations of ourselves and of others.  We need to be happy with our best effort.  Sure, setting high standards and goals is something we should do, but not with everything-all-the-time.  Let's make our expectations more reasonable.  This will lead to less disappointment and more fulfillment when the little things get accomplished.

As we do these three things, we'll notice that our first draft starts turning out pretty good, maybe our second draft will be even better.  We can continue to edit and build upon our masterpiece constantly until we are satisfied with the life we are living!


enough IS enough

I saw this quote today:
"What we see depends mainly on what we look for."  
 -John Lubbock

It sparked something in me that has had me pondering, reading and praying all day.

I wish that more often in my life I was able to see all the good things that I am doing in my home, with my children, with my husband and for those around me, but usually I'm just seeing all of the many, MANY, many things that I'm not getting done.

Lately, (I'll blame the winter doldrums) this is what I see:

My house in not big enough, clean enough or perfect enough to raise my family in.

My body is not pretty enough, skinny enough or perfect enough to enjoy life in.

My parenting skills are not good enough, polished enough or sub par enough to even raise children.

So on and so forth...

My thoughts look pretty ridiculous in writing, but often these are the things my head (Satan) is trying to tell me!

I realized today as I read the quote by Sir Lubbock that I need to SEE the imperfect perfections that are all around me.  I need to see that I have more than enough.  I'm usually striving to make life PERFECT and that isn't going to happen.  I need to look for the beauty in my life without all the perfectness surrounding it.  Today I realized there are a couple things I must do daily to make this happen:

1.  I MUST fear God more than I fear man.  Meaning, I must not be afraid that others will look at me and judge my life by my messy house, body or parenting style.  I must care much more about leading my life in a way that is pleasing to God and not other people.

2.  I NEED personal revelation ALL.THE.TIME.  I NEED to feel close to my Heavenly Father in order to stay far away from the thoughts that Satan puts in my head.  I NEED to fill my life with good things and good people to help keep me close to my God.

3.  I WILL have more faith.  More faith in the power of revelation, more faith in prayer, more faith in myself and in others.  More faith that what I am doing truly is Heavenly Father's plan for my family and I.  More faith that I can do hard things.

As I spent the day focused on the beautiful things that happened, instead of the many, MANY, many messes and things that didn't get accomplished, I was able to see the incredible beauty that surrounds me!

I have realized that enough is actually enough!


merry christmas

One of my favorite things about Christmas time is receiving all the Christmas Cards with updates about everyone's families.  Here's a quick update on our family.

11 years old.
Sixth Grade.
LOVES soccer and is still playing on a competition team.  This past year they won the President's Cup Tournament and his team took first place in their division.
Great student.  School is easy for him.
Babysits for Dad & Mom all.  the.  time.
Ridiculously responsible.
Endures Piano.
Obsessed with all things sports.  Soccer.  Football.  Basketball.  Had fun playing fantasy football this year and likes to spend way too much money on jersey's and nike elite socks.
He is the easiest son and such a joy to have in our home.  He really steps up when Tim is out of town and takes over the "Man of the House" role very well.  Never have to ask him to do anything twice.  He is an ideal oldest child!

8 years old.
3rd Grade.
Started taking Piano and LOVES it.  His favorite thing to play is a Beethoven song his Grandpa taught.  We hear it at least 30 times a week.
Loves school.  Loves his teacher.  Loves his classmates.
An amazing big brother.  Peace maker/Fight starter of our home (depends on the hour).
Loves animals.  Does pretty good taking care of his Guinea Pig and Leapord Gecko.  Always asking to get more pets. 
Family clown.  He loves to be silly and make people laugh.
Of course, he plays soccer (a requirement in our household).
He has a heart of gold.  Always wants to be good and do good.  Very sensitive to everyone around him.  Love his creative spirit, which means he is always leaving something laying around the house, but usually that is combined with some sweet note that he has written for someone or a bracelet he made for one of his brothers.

 5 years old.
All boy.  Loves superheros.  sports.  wrestling.  weapons.  fighting.  being wild.  chaos.
Has an incredible imagination and lives in "la la land" much of the time creating amazing scenarios in his head.  Tells people he's left handed and allergic to peanut butter (both not true).
Loves school...especially that he is old enough to be in the same school as his brothers.  His favorite part is taking the bus to and from school, recess and all his new friends.
Loves playing any sport, but especially loves playing soccer with Dad as his coach.  He really turned it on this past season and left "la la land" a few times to score some goals.
Super competitive.  Always arguing with his brothers or friends about something.  If you say your Dad is 30, he says his Dad is 50!!  (Sounds bigger and better, right?!?)  That's Cooper.
At the end of the day, this all boy, boy is the biggest sweetheart.  He gives the best kisses and hugs.  He tells us over and over how much he loves us.  He really has the softest, sweetest, side that is just bursting to come out when he's not busy trying to keep up with his two older brothers and his millions of friends.

2 years old.
Mommy's sidekick.
A year ago we thought he wasn't saying enough words and now he won't ever stop talking!
Loves singing "twinkle, twinkle little star", "how much is that doggy in the window", and "follow the prophet" (which he learned in nursery at church).
Loves playing with "guys,"  obsessed with Hulk and chose to be him for Halloween.
Keeps up just fine with his 3 older brothers.  Is constantly following them around and trying to do anything they are doing.
Also obsessed with his Daddy, especially when he's working on a project around the house.  Loves to help with tools.
He is the light and joy of our family.  We love this incredible age of learning and growing.  We all want to bottle him up and keep this little guy like this forever.  He keeps us all laughing and smiling all day long!

Working hard.  Traveling lots.  Supporting our family.
Still playing soccer.
Still coaching soccer.
Still obsessed with soccer.
The best Dad that 4 boys could ever ask for.  He is constantly running around the house kicking the ball with them, shooting hoops, throwing the football, or (trying) to beat them in video game sports. It's always a party when Dad's around!
Amazing husband.  Works hard so that I can stay home with these wild boys and spend all his hard-earned money.

Me (Brittany)
Not as old as Tim.
Busy trying to keep up with all these boys.
I spend most of the time cleaning, doing laundry or shuttling the boys around.
I think my family would agree I'm a professional "nag"
Love watching my boys play soccer, piano or just play with each other.
Still love organizing.
Still love running.
Spend more time updating my instagram instead of blogging about our family, but hope to get back to updating this blog more in the next year.
Life is beautiful.  2013 was such a fun year for our family and we can't wait to see what 2014 brings!  We'd love to keep in touch with all of you and hope you're all doing well.

Much love!


week in review...

I have felt so compelled to write lately, but since I've taken quite a long break, I almost feel like I don't know where to get started. I think this is the easiest way for me is to dust off this blog of mine.  I'm feeling an urgency to journal my thoughts and my life.  I'm sure this will be lots of rambling, but hopefully this will help get my rusty writing skills back on track.

Life is busy.  My days are filled from morning until evening with stuff.  Things to do.  Places to be.  But, we are in a beautifully content spot in our lives.  I love my kids ages.  I'm loving the time I have with Tim.  I love our life right now.  Every week my iphone is filled with pictures like the ones below.  These probably give the best sneak peak into my life.

I always get a wild hair and start projects like this on a whim.  One day, after the cleaning the playroom, i felt like the Lego's weren't being utilized as well as they should.  Who could find anything in that huge container, with millions of different Lego pieces?  I HATE having things in my home that are not being utilized!  I wondered if they were organized better if the kids would play with them more.  Therefore, this project was born:

We spent the weekend sorting Lego's in our free time, which actually turned out to be perfect since I came down with a nasty cold and didn't have much desire to do anything else.  A few days later, our Lego's were all organized and now look like this.  I need to spruce it up a little more and give them some proper Lego's, but I'm so happy we got this far.  I got this idea here from the blog I heart organizing.  Hoping to make mine as cute as hers soon!  I am happy to report that my boys have been playing with Lego's for a week straight and they are still perfectly organized in the bins.  (Wish me luck).

Tim was trying to participate in "Movember" but couldn't do it any longer.  This is what he showed up to dinner looking like one night.  I'm happy to report that nobody approved of the handlebar mustache and it was removed shortly hereafter!  (Please note the can of coconut milk on the table!  I asked Cooper to go downstairs and bring me up a can of mandarin oranges, this is what we got instead!)

I take pictures of EVERYTHING!  What did I do before I had an iphone?!  When I want to remember a quote or send it to someone, I just take a picture of it.  The result is lots of these pictures on my phone.  I love that I will have documentation of these inspirational things.  I really do love the idea being taught here.

Crew has a friend!  He has more than one friend, but he now has a friend that he is always asking to play with.  "Call Mack", "Mack's House", "Mack come over."  They are adorable together (most of the time).  Sometimes Crew can be a bit overwhelming to Mack, but I love watching these little relationships form. 

Parker has a million friends!  This kid is the life of the party.  Tim and I were at the school for Cooper's parent teacher conferences, which were held during the day and decided to go spy on our other boys.  We found them in the lunchroom.  Here is Parker's crazy group of boys that he was eating lunch with.  I couldn't get any of them to hold still long enough to take a picture!

In a magical moment, Payton was also in the lunchroom!  He had to be a dun-dun-dun LUNCH WORKER.  Ugh, he hates it because you have to miss recess.  And it requires work.  This kid would not even acknowledge that he knew us so I did what ever normal parent would do, pulled out my camera and started taking pictures.  (Maybe I am just a little embarrassing!)

Whizzing by me as fast as can be...

Sometimes a clean playroom needs to be documented...

And a delicious dinner that was thrown together with a bunch of leftovers...

And these crazy kids dressing up and having fun...

One of my favorite moments of the week, was how excited Parker was about his Cub Scout den meeting.  They did a service project where they handed out "free smiles" and suckers to people that were coming into the rec center.  How would this not brighten anyone's day?  He has the best Cub Scout Leaders and always has so much fun!

Other notable events from this past week were the boys Parent Teacher Conferences.  They are all great kids.  I'm happy their teachers seem to know them and love them.  I'm happy my kids are able to do well and don't need too much help from us!

Cooper almost got hit by a car in the Target parking lot.  Happy I didn't see it, but scared us to death for a few days.  Reminded to slow down just a little bit and focus on what's most important!

Time out for Women, Catching Fire, Bergstrom's Thanksgiving Dinner, Sophia's Birthday party, indoor soccer games...it's all in a weeks work, but I love it.  I'm where I always dreamed I would be!