Elizabeth Enlightened Reboot...

I am rising out of the ashes, casting off the chains of complacency.  OK, that was a bit dramatic.

I have decided to reboot my site.  Since it is so popular in the movie industry I figured why can't I do it too?  So stay tuned as I make my blogging comeback.  My new focus is on living life instead of surviving it and what we all can do to achieve this.  There will be lots of random commentary on life, love, family, parenting, friendship, career, and everything in between!

Dreams Redefined

When I was younger, say 14 years old, I always dreamed of being the career woman in a big city with a corner office and ridiculously important title that went with it. I would have the six-figure salary, a name brand wardrobe that advertised my sense of style, a loft apartment with an airy floor plan and modern furnishings. At the time I thought this was the definition of having it all. This is what all people should strive for, right?

As I got older that dream changed. Instead of graduating from college in four years it took me nine making me 27 when I graduated. By then I had met a man and fallen in love, I had a good job and made a decent salary. Shortly after graduation I got married, bought a house, and had two children. Don’t think that these events held me back from my dream because you would be sadly mistaken.

What I realized in my journey is that it is not the things that you accumulate in your life that define who you are, but what you have to show for it. Even though I have a great job and a nice salary, my career is a very small part of who I am. For me, having a loving husband, good kids, a great home, and a happy life is more important then a fancy title and a corner office in a big city. Everyone is different and sees life in a unique way, and the world would be a boring place if we didn’t. When I think about that childhood dream I see that the things I thought would make me happy seem shallow in comparison to what I have now.

So my question is, what good is working hard for material things or a career if you have no one to share your life with?

Helping Hands

My girls love to help out with everything. They pull chairs up to the counter when any meal is being made so they can feel like they are a part of the process. About the only thing they don’t try to help with is vacuuming which actually causes them to run away screaming.

When the “I makin/helpin” mantra first started in our household, I admit that I found it more annoying then useful. Everything took longer to do because their “helping” created more of a mess then when we started. Now I view it differently. I began to notice that the simplest task, like throwing dishes in the sink at the end of breakfast, gave a huge sense of accomplishment. Even my little one can throw stuff in the trash, pick up her toys, or bring things to momma. They beam with pride when I tell them Thank You and what a big girl they are.

So here are the lessons I have learned from my children:

  1. I need to slow down and appreciate the process. I get so caught up in daily routine and am used to doing things myself that I don’t even realize I am on autopilot. Now I view it as teaching them how something is done and the fact that they want to learn is just a bonus.
  2. I don’t have to do everything myself. Take this with a grain of salt. They are both under the age of 4 but they can help with more then what you think. Simple things like finding shoes so we can get out the door, picking up toys, helping make beds, throwing diapers in the trash, handing me groceries to put away are all things they love and is one less thing I have to do.
  3. It teaches them responsibility. Everyone likes to feel useful, even children. If I can teach them early on to do things for themselves I am hoping it will foster their independence. I could be wrong though.
What have you learned from your children helping you?

Friday Feature: Waiting for Superman

Education is something that is extremely important to me. It was ingrained in me as a kid and I have carried that with me all my life. Now that I have children of my own I am even more conscious of the quality of education that they will receive when they enter the school system.

That is why Waiting for Superman is this Friday’s feature. It follows a handful of students through their school that does little to help them get to the academic achievement they deserve.

I think the trailer speaks for itself, so watch it here.

I believe everyone would benefit from seeing this movie regardless of if you are an educator or a parent.  What does this movie say to you?

Picture Perfect Home

I am an avid magazine purveyor. I love them. I love the articles, the pictures, fascinating people and places that grace each page. I also read my daily horoscope. I don’t live and die by it, but I like to read it everyday just to see if at the end of the day I can say, “Oh, now I see what it was saying.” I have a point, I promise.

The other day my horoscope said something about not comparing myself to the images in magazines because those pictures are staged, airbrushed, and held to almost impossible standards. To be flawed is to be a living, breathing person….or something to that effect. So it got me thinking. This same insight could be held to the home magazines that I like to daydream over. The pictures are always pristine.  Everything is always in place with matching colors schemes and flawlessly decorated. I would love it if all my rooms looked that way, but then who wouldn’t, right?

I recently received my copy of Do It Yourself magazine, and while flipping through the pages, that old feeling of “I wish my living room looked that way” began to wash over me. Then I came to a pretty profound realization: My living room will never look that way (at least in the foreseeable future).

Here is why. See this picture:

There are about a billion reasons why it will never look this way on a daily basis but I will narrow it down five:
  1.  I have little kids.  That's right, all of you out there who have kids are probably picking up on the same things I am in this picture.  My kids + light furniture + white rug = disaster.  I try to be conscious of where my kids set down their drink cups but inevitably one gets past me and it results in juice stains.
  2. Accessible shelves.  Again, kids will see this as an open invitation to explore the contents of everyone of those baskets to see what they can find. 
  3. We have toys....lots of them.  We have separated the toys and make an effort to have our kids pick up what they are playing with before they get out something new.  However, when you have had a long day and everyone is crabby, sometimes it is just easier to leave them out and walk around them.  I know, please try not to judge.
  4. I have stuff.  We have clutter in the house which admittedly most of it is mine.  I try my hardest to operate under the "everything has a place rule" but it doesn't always work.
  5. No matter what I do it just never stays that way.  About the only time my living room remotely looks similar to this is after I have cleaned because I am getting ready for a holiday/birthday/get together.  You know what I'm talking about. 
Someday, when the kids are older, my rooms will look this way.  Until then, I will continue to daydream and remind myself that I am only human and my space isn't a picture, it's home.

When Life has Other Plans...

....you rearrange your time the best you can.  This week's Friday Feature will have to be postponed due to time constraints.  My deepest apologies and I will come up with something ultra fabulous for next week!

Lessons in writing 2...

Here is another lesson that I took in my writing course.  The class was given several partial statements and we were to choose one and write somethign that would hook the reader.  I chose "According to the oldtimers....".  As you can see the writing prompt could take you in just about any direction that you wanted.  This is what I came up with:


You will never forget the day you die. That is what I had always been told anyway. According to the old timers we would have many deaths to look forward to, or forget about depending on how you looked at it. I have come to believe it is a little bit of both. Sinking now to the bottom of this murky lake it was definitely the latter of the two.

“Are you ready?” I heard faintly echoing in my mind.

“Nearly,” I thought back.

I wanted to take it all in, the confines of the darkness, the weight of the water, the unbearable panic that besieged my body. I looked at the small pinpoint of light that could vaguely be seen high above me. My chest was on the verge of exploding.

“I’m ready,” I cried silently water rushing into my lungs.

I felt myself dragged from the darkness and I gasped for air sitting upright on the table. The light in the stark white room was almost too bright but it was always that way when you returned.

“That was a close one Keira,” she said pulling the IV from my arm.

“They always are,” I replied.