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Platypus

January 17, 2013 — Leave a comment

“Mommy, watch. Mommy, watch.” I heard as I was filling my dinner plate and heading to the table. There Eli was, so focused as he stabbed the pasta and scooped it into his mouth. He looked up to make sure that I was indeed watching him and his eyes were filled with pride and excitement as he waited for me to respond. I of course let out a proud squeal as I told him what a big boy he was. It wasn’t that long ago that I was having to spoon feed him all of his meals. How incredibly fast these little ones grow up!

Dinner time

Eating his breakfast like a big kid!

Later that night Eli was playing with his Phineas and Ferb action figures. He began lining up all the characters and naming them one by one. “Candace, Phineas, Ferb, Bella, Mertz” (Yes Bella and Mertz are his shortened versions of the character names but it completely counts.) Then he pulls out Perry the platypus (for those that do not watch the show he is the family pet as well as a secret agent.)  He holds it for a second, looks at it and then casually says “platypus.” Wait, what did he just say? Chase and I started laughing. How awesome is that? He knew to call Perry a platypus! It really does amaze me at just how much their little minds absorb. Never would I have thought that all those times of watching the show that he would have picked up on the fact that Perry the platypus was just that… a platypus. The little minds of our children are far bigger than we could ever imagine! Every day he learns a little more, each new days brings more words, longer sentences and a little tiny human that will carry on a conversation with me. I sit here and think back to the days before Eli could actually communicate with words and it feels like forever ago, yet just the other day, all at the same time.

The other thing that really shocks me is that people other than Chase and I understand his words! You know how for such a long time in the early toddler years your child will see you talking to someone and they will chime right in. When they are done the other adult smiles, looks at you and then asks what they said because mommy knows the toddler language. The day that Eli was able to say things and I wasn’t asked what he said, wow that was weird. How did my little boy grow up so quickly? While this new stage reminds me of how quickly he is growing it also brings about a whole list of other joys. There is nothing like the way my heart melts when I hear the excitement in his voice as he discovers something new and yells out “Mommy, watch!”

Month one, the clothing fast has now come to a close. I can’t believe how quickly it came and went. I’m looking back on those four weeks at all that God taught me and I am thankful. I honestly wasn’t really sure just how much I was going to get out of a clothing fast. I thought that I would only be revealed that I have more than I need. While this was definitely a point that was brought to my attention He didn’t stop there. I learned a lot about myself and I was reminded of points that I had allowed myself to forget. Here are a few things that I learned during my clothing fast.

  1. Tic-Toc Goes the Clock. I did not realize until this fast that I spend WAY too much time deciding what I want to wear. I will stand in my closet just staring at my clothes (confession, sometimes I get tired and I sit on the closet floor). My problem is that I over think it– I might get cold in this… I just wore that last week… that shirt just isn’t that comfortable… and on it goes. During the fast you know what I did? I got up, grabbed one of my seven designated clothing items and BAM! That was that! No fuss, no wasting time, just quick and to the point.   

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    My closet overwhelmed me the first day after this fast!

  2. Cha-Ching. Many items in my closet have been passed on to me, but not all. The point that came to me is just how much money I wasted. Think about it, I am sure that I am not the only one who has multiple pairs of jeans, several cardigans and numerous pairs of shoes. Every item has a price tag. Some might have been on sale… maybe $5 and others more pricey. No matter how you look at it, every item in my closet was money out of my pocket. (This isn’t to say that new items can’t ever be purchased, just put a little thought into it and make sure it is an item that will be used many times and the money would be worth spending.)
  3. The What If’s. I have countless items that I have not worn for at least a year just hanging there, taking up space and getting rejected every morning  Why do I keep these items that I know I have NOT worn and probably will NOT wear? I admit I tend to hold on to it because maybe, just maybe I will wake up one day and want to wear it… it’s the clothing “what ifs” that lurk in my closet! I’ve decided that if it has been at least a year and the clothing has gone unworn then it is time to part our ways.. no more what ifs!
  4. Dress to Impress. When I find myself having trouble picking out something to wear I realized, am I dressing to impress…. myself or everyone else? Does it really matter what other people think of my outfit? No, all that matters is what I think of myself and if I put together an outfit that reflects my style and personality then that is what is important.
  5. Use and Reuse. Confession: I re-wear my jeans a couple of times before I wash them. Yikes, I said that out-loud! I did this even before the fast. But it never occurred to me that this was remotely possible for shirts/cardigans. Apparently it is. Does anyone notice? Nope. Now obviously clothing does get dirty and smelly, but unless that is the case people have no idea. I’ll be honest, I do not intend on continuing this with my shirts now that the fast is over, but I definitely learned that this was possible and the world won’t end.
  6. Just a little Stain. I’m messy! I learned this about myself early in life but it was definitely amplified during this month when I continued to spill food on my very limited wardrobe. I think it is time for me to face the facts and make a conscious effort to be more careful when I eat.
  7. Take Notice. I think it is human nature for us to think that other people think about us more than what is actually true. The fact of the matter is that people think about me and my wardrobe far less than I would tell myself is the case… like when I am picking out clothing for the day and I tell myself that I just wore that last week, the truth is i am probably the only one who will remember that! And honestly if people do notice your clothing it’s not very often someone is going to tell you that you just wore that item… no one said that to me and I had bright, pretty obvious shirts that I continued to repeat.
  8. Less IS More. I survived an entire month on seven articles of clothing and you know what I realized? The world continues, nothing fell apart, and I am satisfied with far less than what I have. The closet full of clothing is a blessing that I do not take lightly anymore, but I can live on a fraction of what is in that closet and be satisfied.
  9. Give More. With this new realization that I can have a wardrobe made up of far less than what I actually have and the numerous items going unused in my closet I want to give away these items more often. Why hoard my clothing for the what ifs? Instead give them to someone who needs them more than I do. I am also finding myself wanting to simply reduce my wardrobe to find a more simple closet not filled with excess. This closet will be purged!
  10. Carry on Luggage. We went on vacation during this fast and you know what I figured out? I always OVER pack! There is simply no reason for me to bring as much stuff as I usually do. Toss a few items in a bag and be done with it! Hand washing an item in a hotel sink if it gets dirty is not the worst thing and it certainly will not ruin the vacation. Less luggage is very freeing on a trip!

Month one has come to a close and now it’s time to begin the next fast of this journey. Month two- the stress fast, spending seven times a day in prayer and reflection to focus less on stress. This begins on Monday!

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I’m a little messy and I smell like menthol, but I’m okay with it!

With still having five days to go with my Searching for Simplicity clothing fast I have finally stopped spilling food on me! Instead I have started having another issue. Since there has been a shift in the weather my Lupus has flared up and sometimes I use a muscle cream to soothe my aches and pains. This is normally not a big deal when you have an entire wardrobe to change into, but only having seven articles of clothing is leaving my shirts smelling like menthol. Isn’t that just lovely?!? You can probably smell me coming around the corner. But, I decided that I just don’t care. If the cream helps, which sometimes it does, then I am just going to have to smell! So be it!

I trade one issue of stained clothing with smelly ones and it’s not even because they are dirty! Oh the irony, how I truly appreciate you! It definitely is giving me a humbling experience, no fast is supposed to be easy. There are always challenges and I could very easily let these little bumps in the road cause frustration, and even distraction from the entire purpose of the fast… BUT only if I allowed it. How easy it would be to let my spilled food or menthol smelling shirt cause me to worry about what others will think of me… They probably think that I don’t wash my clothes? Didn’t she just wear that? Why does she smell like menthol? Does she own anything else? Guess what… those lurking questions are WHY this fast is so important! It’s breaking me free of what others think of me! All that matters is what God thinks of me and what I think of myself. So what if I tend to be a messy eater and get food on my clothes… yup, I’m a little clumsy and I am okay with that. And so what if my shirt might occasionally smells like menthol, that’s just what I have to do and I am fine with it.

I never would have thought that this fast would have brought so much insight into myself. I am so glad that I started my seven months of fasting with this one. Check back next week for my Top 10 things I learned during my Searching for Simplicity clothing fast.

 

I am officially two weeks into my first month of fasting towards simplicity. Let me just say that the beauty of only having seven articles of clothing for a month really makes packing for vacation a breeze! Boy did I plan that well, or did I? Seriously though, I was done packing in less than 10 minutes. There was no standing in front of the closet debating which shirts I would possibly want to wear. I never thought about how much I over pack for trips. I usually plan an outfit a day and then some. Really, do I honestly need four extra shirts and three pairs of shoes to visit family? My argument would usually be what if it gets dirty, spill something on it, the weather changes or I just change my mind on what I want to bring. If you can’t tell, I tend to over think when I am packing… I believe this fast has taught me to come to terms with that. My options for our vacation were limited, I got my seven articles and that was that. Did it make my trip any less fun because I didn’t have a ridiculous amount of clothes in my suitcase to pick from, no! Actually, it made it worry free. I absolutely loved that we only had one suitcase and it made getting home and everything put away so much easier! Worry free I tell you! The biggest difficulty so far with the limited wardrobe is that I am a messy eater. In fact, night one of the fast we were eating a snack and of course I drop it on me. I knew this about myself all along but it has never been an issue until I’m on vacation with no washing machine and a limited number of clothing. I admit, every night I was hand washing my shirts in the bathroom sink and then laying them in front of our fireplace in our room to dry. I mean honestly I am not that much of a messy eater but apparently on vacation my messiness was at an all time high:

Day one– I spill my gravy from my french fries at lunch 

Day two morning– I spill cranberry juice at breakfast

Day two afternoon– I spill hot chocolate

It was a pretty funny picture to watch two of my three shirts hanging to dry while I am hoping to not spill my chips and salsa on my only clean shirt… at least it makes for a funny story now. I know this probably sounds ridiculous and you are probably wondering if I am even pay attention to what I am doing when I eat. I guess I need to be a little more careful, when you have an entire wardrobe of clothing being a messy eater doesn’t really seem to catch your eye, I plan to change this… so far since being home from vacation I have not spilled anything on my clothes! Woohoo, yay me!

Month one clothing fast- so far, not as bad as I thought. Still two weeks to go…

3810870705_46a5db9f4d_nNumber 26… perfect homemade Pad Thai. This is item number 26 on my 30 before 30 list. Chase and I love Thai food, in fact we went out to lunch today to our favorite Thai restaurant. When I initially set out to make my list I was having no problems coming up with items to put on the list, but at the same time I was also wanting to make it things that I could actually do during the next four years. For instance, I would love to travel to several countries on my “gotta visit someday” list, but at the same time it’s not necessarily practical that we would be able to take several big vacations before I turn 30, I mean we do have bills to pay and all, not to mention item number 10 which is to be debt free which would mean we need to stay on a budget. So with that said I came up with some things on my list like item “perfect homemade Pad Thai” because it is not an easy thing to mark off yet still completely possible.

We have attempted homemade Pad Thai once. All in all it was decent… not bad, not great just merely decent…edible, if you will. The biggest problem was on my purchasing the wrong kind of noodles, apparently that makes a world of difference in how the dish turns out. We even bought a cookbook that had a bunch of different types of Pad Thai recipes, but I guess if you don’t have the right noodles nothing will matter. Oh well, at least I like to cook and it’s always fun to try new recipes, which apparently is what I will have to do if I ever want to cross this item off my list!

 

Photo Credit: Ben Sutherland