the best things

I feel like we've been much more intentional about moments these days. A lot of it comes from the knowledge that there's a little person coming who's going to be demanding a lot more of our attention, and this time on the front end is really precious. These are some of the ways we've been spending our moments, and I highly recommend all of them for extra life-savoring. 

Make breakfast on the weekends. My new favorite weekday ritual is making steel cut oats on the stove in the morning and tidying my kitchen while they do their thing. The house is still quiet and the light coming in the windows is soft and gray and the main noises outside are birds. It's a good way to start the day. But on the weekends, we like to make crazy, involved breakfasts, crank up the music and interpretive dance in the kitchen.

Ideal options are:

If you would rather just shuffle out of the bedroom and put breakfast in the oven, you will love Susie Davis's Eggs Benedict Casserole. You're welcome. 

Read a book aloud. Rob and I have been reading our way through the Chronicles of Narnia for a while now, and we've finally gotten to my favorite- The Silver Chair. There's something about reading a book aloud that feels special, like that's how they were meant to be shared. It's been a wonderful way to wind down at night, and a great way to pass the miles on car trips. 

Spend some time by the water. Find a creek, river or lake near you and just go be by it. I heard that in the New Testament Church times, the river was commonly understood to be a place of prayer, and that's what I'm naturally inclined to do when I'm there. Of course I can't just be near it without getting in it, so you may want to plan for that too. ;) 

Have dinner with your family and play board games. Board games are awesome. Family is awesome. It is just wise to put these together. Plus it will stave away Alzheimer's and provide a lot of laughter. We played Mad Gab with my parents this week and have some incriminating videos of each other trying to figure out the phrases. 

Do something you've never done before, even if it's small. Top Notch is a burger joint in town that we have driven past countless times and have never gone into. A scene from Dazed and Confused was filmed there, and every time we drive past we say that we really need to remember that for a date. Well this time we did! It felt like we were in the Brady Bunch, with the heavy 1970's tapestries rolled up over the windows, the bright red booths, and the oldies music playing in the background. I told Rob that it reminded me of going to McDonalds when I felt like going to McDonalds was the best thing in the world. We sang along to the music and shared bites of his fried chicken and my burger, and wondered at how many people had sat at our booth over the years...maybe Matt McConaughey himself!  

Listen to music that reminds you of your childhood. I learned to harmonize by listening to motown music in my dad's truck. We always had on the oldies station, and I knew more hits from the 60's than I did of the present age when I was in middle school. We probably could have been a family band like the Jackson 5. Dad would have been young Michael, obviously. Come to think of it, he could probably sing all his own backup too. 

Allow yourself some little treats. I give myself the treat of fresh flowers or a little plant on my weekly Trader Joe's run. It makes my table look so much happier, and it makes me feel spoiled. Sometimes I'll get myself a smoothie or a chocolate sprinkle donut, to thank myself for all I do. Keep it small though, there's something special about simple little pleasures that are just for yourself. If I treat myself to something too expensive I mostly just have buyer's remorse. 

Learn more about something that interests you. On our most recent road trip we learned about the Holocaust and the formation of Israel as a nation. I really don't know how we got there, but we learned some really interesting things! Another fun option is to watch a movie or read a memoir based on historical events and learn more about that afterwards. Some of our research included watching The Book Thief and reading Corrie Ten Boom's The Hiding Place...  

Get coffee before work with one of your best friends. It will just make your whole day feel charmed. Unless you're a super morning person, don't do this with acquaintances- you'll have to work too hard. I prefer to largely just snuggle and catch up and it not be awkward if I zone into my pastry for a bit. 

Walk around your neighborhood. Take note of all the things you love about it.  I love that we live near a playground where we can hear all the kids laughing and playing, and I love all the different types of trees there are. I love that there are historical homes in our neighborhood and that we're in walking distance of our favorite coffee shop. I love the way our street looks in the fall and in the spring when you look straight down it and the trees make an arch over the road. I love that in addition to all the blackbirds and doves and robins, that there are flocks of bright green Quaker parrots that live all around our area. And I love that there are three Kerbey Lanes (including the original house on Kerbey Lane) within probably a 2 mile radius of our home. 

Make something. And don't say you're not crafty! Everyone can make something. You can crochet, arrange flowers, paint, make music, do landscaping, arrange a gallery wall in your house, or just make dinner! It feels good to do something from start to finish and see tangible results. 

I'd love to hear how you savor your moments! We're always looking for new ways to spend Friday afternoon ;) 

mango & me

how things grow