Daily Moments

Every day there are little moments that make my life so wonderful. There are of course the big things that happen every now and then that make me go “wow life is good”, like the day my husband had flowers delivered to the door when I was at home with our new baby. That was wonderful. But really what makes up a great day, month, year, and life are the little things. Here are my top ten favourite daily moments. I hope it encourages you to take a second and thank the Lord for the beautiful things He’s placed in your life.

10. Morning coffee – starting the day from a place of relaxation first, and work second.

9. Fresh Baking – whether it is a healthy attempt at muffins, or brownies that are way too full of sugar, the smell of baking filling the house brings lots of excitement.

8. Listening to Focus on the Family – Everyday I get great wisdom from people who are passionate about raising kids and keeping marriages strong. These are the little “time outs” that I get during the day.

7. Nap times, those few times a day when the house is peaceful and quiet and I can get done what I need to.

6. Caleb’s beautiful smiles each time he wakes up that just say “I’m so happy to see you Mama!” and the cuddles and playtime to follow.

5. Andrew’s faithful goodbye kiss every morning before he leaves, he never lets me forget that he loves me before he heads out the door, even if he’s running late.

4. Andrew coming home at the end of each day and that moment when he looks at Caleb and says “you’ve grown again today!”

3. Evening walks with my family. Caleb looking up at us in the stroller while Andrew listens to me talk about the little things Caleb accomplished that day or I hear about what happened at work.

2. Evening tea with Andrew while we do our devotions after Caleb goes to bed. I always can count on that time where we’ll seek God together, receive get guidance and direction, and connect together.

1. The Lord’s presence filling our house. When I come in from getting groceries, a walk, or doing errands, I always feel peace and safety in my house. I pray daily that others will feel peaceful and “at home” when they are over, and that my children will always feel that this is a safe and calm environment for them.

Autumn Morning Muffins

Autumn is definitely my favourite time of year. As the leaves change colours and the air feels cooler, I love experimenting with certain seasonal foods. This year, I’ve been really into pumpkin. Pumpkin Spice Cake has made an appearance a couple of times around our house. However, after having a baby, this is the first time I’ve been extremely conscientious about my weight. I decided I wanted to try to make a HEALTHY pumpkin muffin. Whether I have in fact succeeded or not, I don’t know, since I’m still not sure how many calories are in these, but after messing around with a few recipes I have come up with some muffins too delicious not to share.

Autumn Morning Muffins

Prepare and set aside:

1/2 an apple, chopped
1 cup of grated carrot
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

In a separate bowl:

1 cup quick oats
1 cup low fat milk
Combine quick oats and milk and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Add the following ingredients to the oats/milk:
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 tbsp vanilla or cooled coffee
1/2 cup low fat vanilla yogurt or applesauce
2 eggs
3 tbsp. honey

In a large bowl mix:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all bran cereal
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. pumpkin pie seasoning mix

Add the apples, carrots, raisins and/or walnuts to the flour mixture. Fold in pumpkin mixture until just combined. Place in a prepared muffin tin and sprinkle with brown sugar, oats or cinnamon (or combine all three and sprinkle on, that’s what I did and it turned out wonderful). Bake at 375 F for approx 20 minutes. Makes 24 medium muffins.

Trivial Pursuits

Since becoming a mom I feel like my days suddenly have so many goals. Yes, I had goals before, and they probably seemed way more “important”. Now my mind is absolutely swamped with all of the things that I put on myself that I need to achieve.
I want to make sure I spend as much time with Caleb as possible, make sure he’s being stimulated properly, his body is exercising and moving appropriately for whatever age and stage he’s been at and ensure that he feels the maximum amount of love possible.

I also have goals for my health; I need to eat healthy, drink lots of water and remember my vitamins since I’m breastfeeding.

Then there are financial goals, I need to learn how to shop efficiently, plans meals so I don’t buy unnecessary food items or waste groceries in our fridge, while making sure I have enough options for my husband’s lunches and snacks. I need to find great deals for us since we’re trying to get used to living on one income before my maternity pay ends.

And OF COURSE I must have a spotless house. I cannot handle a messy house, dirty floors, a cluttered fridge…hmm what else around here is out of control that is driving me crazy? So the guilt and frustration of not meeting my daily “cleaning schedule” after only 2 weeks of it implementation have me reeling from the disappointment of shattered goals.

I haven’t even mentioned my relationship with my husband and the time that I need to put into him, and the goals that we have together and separately for our relationship.
There are still books that I need to read to help me as a mom, since, if you can’t tell already, I really have no idea what I’m doing. I love my boy, I love my husband, and I love my Maker. And that’s really it. In some ways I still feel so young, so inexperienced, so tied up in my mind of how things “should be”, “ought to be” and “realistically are”.

So I sit here at 9:30 at night, trying to keep my eyes open waiting to go in and feed my sleeping baby one more time for the day, processing and sharing all of this. If anyone actually reads this, they are probably thinking…wow she just has one child? How is she going to handle another? Or 3? Manage a whole house of people? I have no idea. But tonight I am reminded of this (may it bring encouragement to you, wherever you are at):

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

Lamantations 3:22-24

So it will all be ok. This too shall pass. Tomorrow is a new day. The Lord has  new mercies, more grace, and greater strength. There is nothing that He puts me through that He will not also equip me to handle. These trivial pursuits will be laughed about in years to come. I’ll smile at young moms and remember how unrealistic I was with myself, and hopefully bring encouragement to them and tell them to “lighten up a bit, just enjoy yourself”. May we somehow, in the midst of the craziness of life, keep the important things (like love, faith and people) at the forefront of our minds every single day.