One Little Word 2015 Album | March

Today is my birthday, and what better way to kick off the big 3-0 with a few organization goals? This month in Ali Edwards' One Little Word class, she assigned us to set actionable goals related to your word. My word this year is attitude, and a huge part of adjusting my attitude is being able to relax at the end of the day. If I'm flustered in the evenings when we're home together as a family, my attitude takes a significant hit. So you'll see that a lot of my goals are related to organizing my workspace and keeping my brain focused on getting through my to do list.

One Little Word March 2015
One Little Word March 2015

Inside my album this month, I printed Ali's action list (from the class) out on kraft cardstock and jotted down my actions with a white gel pen. I wrote down 5 items I want to focus on and it wasn't until afterwards that I realized that they fall into either morning or evening tasks. Starting my day right and ending the day by creating a clean slate for the following morning.

One Little Word March 2015
One Little Word March 2015

My goals include closing internet tabs when I'm done with them, cleaning up my inbox, reminding and helping my kids clean up (at least) 5 toys before bed each night, writing down one good thing that happened each day, and working out for just 15 minutes a day. Little things that make big progress towards keeping the house and my to do list seem manageable and organized. Which in turn helps me keep a good attitude.

I thought about keeping a separate goal tracker for each to make sure I was following through with these each day, but in the end, these are small tasks (with big impact for my head). And they're tasks that I've naturally been picking up in the last month as I thought about this prompt. If I find that in a few weeks I'm struggling to keep up with them, I may print out 5 of Elise's Goal Tracker to help motivate me.

One Little Word March 2015
One Little Word March 2015

I paired my action list with an image I took last week while in the backyard. The sun was shining, creating gorgeous light in our backyard. Flowers are blooming and getting ready for warmer weather. I was relaxed, had a great attitude, and it was a small magical moment. This is my end goal each day. What I aim for (even if the sun isn't shining and mosquitoes make it impossible to be outside). So the photo acts as a visual reminder of my "why" for these tasks.

*The word overlays on the photo are from Ali's Digital Magic set and are currently on sale!

A Million Ways

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When I was younger, I remember thinking my mom was awesome.  Maybe not 100% of the time, but most of the time.

I remember hopping up to sit on the kitchen counter and talking to her endlessly after school.  I remember watching Lifetime movies with her on the weekends while putting together thousand piece puzzles.  I remember how clean she kept the house, even when no one was coming to visit.

These memories are all from the perspective of myself as a child.  They may not even be the same memories my mom remembers about those days.  But they are what I remember when I think about how good a mom she was (and without a doubt, still is!).

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I spent the majority of my pregnancy imagining what it would be like to be a mother to a boy (I was positive he was a boy from day one).  Oftentimes I couldn't picture it very well and when I did, it was just a tiny glimpse into a dream reality of a little boy, about 3 years old, talking to me.  It was all I could come up with.  I couldn't even fathom what our every day would look like, let alone how I would handle it.

Five years ago I was dropped into the reality of motherhood.  Learning things as I went.  And in those first few years it was mostly about keeping them alive.  Providing enough to eat and in small enough pieces for them to chew.  Keeping interesting toys with in reach and dangerous ones away.  And kissing every boo boo.  

Motherhood was exhausting, but, for the most part, uncomplicated.

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As my boys grow out of that baby stage, I'm struggling to be a perfect mom.  It's not just about keeping them alive anymore. It's about teaching them to be little people. Giving them my attention without losing interest.  Cleaning up the house every day, making sure toys and backpacks and clothes are clean and put away and organized. Being a good example.  Showing them how to be good friends, siblings, students.  Cooking healthy meals and always being on top of groceries.  Teaching the benefits of vegetables and fruit over candy and cookies.  & on top of that, finding time to be creative, to read a book, to get out of the house, to teach myself something.

But the truth is that all of these things cannot be a reality.  It is impossible.

What I'm learning is this:

There is no way to be a perfect mom, and a million ways to be a good one.  -Jill Churchill

I love having mom friends, both in person and online.  But it is second nature to constantly compare.  I'm learning that instead of comparing, we need to determine what being a good mom means for ourselves. It will be different to all of us, as we all lead different lives. Our children are different, our commitments are different, and our families are different.

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I'm not usually so wordy on the blog, but I wrote this up for myself as I contemplate what my definition will be. It all comes back to adjusting my attitude. On being a good mom. A good wife. A good person. A happy person. One who can sit back at the end of the day and be proud of the choices I made.

So as I spend time determining what that list is for me, I'm curious, what is your definition of being a good mom?

One Little Word 2015 Album | Jan-Feb

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One Little Word 2015 Album Journal
One Little Word 2015 Album Journal

This year I'm taking Ali's One Little Word class for the first time.  I picked Attitude as my word for 2015 and I immediately fell in love with the idea of creating a small album documenting my struggles and successes with applying the word to my life.

I'm using a 6x8 handbook album by Studio Calico and so far I've found it to be a perfect size for this type of project.  Between loosely following Ali's class prompts and adding my own stories and journaling, I expect to create a few pages per month.

One Little Word 2015 Album Journal
One Little Word 2015 Album Journal
One Little Word 2015 Album Journal
One Little Word 2015 Album Journal

In January I followed Ali's prompts, setting expectations for the year with the word and defining my goals.  While taking Ali's class isn't required for choosing a yearly word, I do love that there is a specific assignment each month that gets me thinking about applying the word to my life.

One Little Word 2015 Album Journal
One Little Word 2015 Album Journal

Ali provides her handouts in PNG form, which makes it easy to adjust the size to 6x8 prior to printing.  I did the same with the Emergency Mood Booster I mentioned in January.  I hope that this album will not only be a space to hold all my journaling, but also something I can flip through to remind myself of my intentions and give direction when I'm in need of some support.

One Little Word 2015 Album Journal
One Little Word 2015 Album Journal

If you follow me on Pinterest, you already know I've been pinning "attitude" quotes left and right.  I love quotes and how inspiring they can be.  My pinboard grew fast and furiously at the beginning of the year and really helped me set the tone for my word.  So I took a few screenshots of my pinboard, pieced them together in Photoshop and included it in my album.  I can see myself doing this again later in the year since I continue to slowly add to it every week.

I also included a quote from Ali's digital Story Cards.  I created a 6x8 cut file from the 3x4 png file, sent it through the Silhouette, and added patterned paper behind it.

One Little Word 2015 Album Journal
One Little Word 2015 Album Journal

Another reason I love the 6x8 size album is that it gives me a chance to experiment with creating traditional scrapbook layouts on a smaller scale.  The photo I included is actually from Christmas, but it served as a great example of how I want to use the word in my every day life.  The 'observations' cutout is from Ali's What Today Looked Like set, which includes several great journaling prompts.

One Little Word 2015 Album Journal
One Little Word 2015 Album Journal

Loving how this album is coming together and am excited to see how the rest of the year plays out as I focus on attitude.

PS. I'm sharing a memory keeping challenge over on the Studio Calico blog this week!