Tag Archives: motherhood

Celebrating Halloween Just for Me

Halloween MummyHow do you celebrate the holidays? For the last 25 years my answers focused on my attempts to make the holidays memorable for my children. Now that they are adults and teenagers, they aren’t interested in many of the traditions of their childhood. Without the kiddos to concentrate on, I’m left me pondering what makes the holidays important to me and how to celebrate in a way that brings me joy.

It’s back to my word of the year, happiness, and figuring out what makes me happy – just for me.

I keep calling it an adjustment, but it feels like opposite extremes of the spectrum! All those years, bringing my children joy truly made me happy. The flip-side of not having them to focus on sometimes leaves a painful void. It’s hard to not take their lack of interest as a personal rejection – that I’m not important to them, rather than the activity. Realizing what I was doing to myself has helped a little. But I’m still trying to fill the gap.

With Halloween is around the corner (yikes!) and once again I’m looking for how to celebrate that feels like me.

Halloween candyWhen I was a kid Halloween was cool because you dressed up and got candy. With my kids, I stuck to the cute side of Halloween. I loved walking around the neighborhood with my kiddos, visiting the neighbors. But my favorite part was talking and laughing with my kids. Last year, my trick or treating days came to an end when my teenagers chose to hang out with their friends or had to work. I’m so glad I was able to enjoy taking them out one last time the year before, even though my neighbors gave me grief for not sending my teenage kids trick or treating on their own.

My oldest daughter loves the scary side of Halloween, with her haunted houses and zombie walks. But I’ve never been into the spooky parts. Do you know how hard it is to find Halloween activities for adults that don’t revolve around getting scared or drinking?

I bought a costume to wear to work on Friday and we’re having a potluck. I’m thinking about making Monster Munch and Mini Mummy Bagel Pizzas. I also put together a “pumpkin” decorating contest. I gave everyone a print out of a blank pumpkin for them to decorate. We’ll invite the other teams to vote for their favorite.

If I have enough energy, I’ll spend Halloween night in the driveway with festive activities for my trick-or-treaters; paper pumpkins for them to decorate, pumpkin bowling, and a bean bag toss. Maybe a few quick games of Halloween bingo or I could share some Halloween trivia.

I’m not sure if any kids will be interested in taking a break from their candy quest, but it is fun thinking of the possibilities. I think I’ll be okay on my own this Halloween.

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The Change

I miss having little kids, it’s such a change. I love my teenagers; they’re not sassy or rebellious. But, I miss the “excuse” to celebrate silly little holidays, having weekly summer themes and the other fun kids activities splattered all over Pinterest. Granted, my teenagers will play along with my silliness – especially if there is food involved. But at this stage of the game they are just as content, if not more so, to hang out in their rooms with their noses in books. It’s weird feeling like an empty nester when we’re all home together.

I don’t think it’s just me though. Take a minute and compare the number of blogs focused on young kid activitiescompared to the number of with teen activities. It’s about a 1:5 ratio. I think there is a golden window for themed stay-at-home summer camps and ice chalk. That window quietly starts shutting as the kids approach junior high.

Maybe I’m also missing being a stay at home mom. I enjoy my job and I work for a great company. But it’s hard to get everything done, much less to find the time to make Groundhog Day cupcakes.Ground Hog cupcakes

All the more reason to revamp my blog. I’m in a different place than when I started my blog all those years ago. My challenge to adjust to my current life has seeped over to how my blog no longer feels like me. I’m hoping a blog makeover will help me feel more comfortable here, and maybe help me on my journey to feel more comfortable in my own skin.

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Striving for Balance

Balance of beautyMy word of the year is nurture, but my word for this life is balance. Everything always seems to come back to finding balance – nurture and direction are part of finding my ultimate peace, but that peace comes from balance.

Summer always seems to emphasize how challenging it is to strike that balance. I want to spend time enjoying my children while they are out of school, I want to teach them responsibility, the importance of work and education. I want to help them develop a love for learning and the desire to develop their talents.

If that wasn’t enough to fill a summer, I also have my own responsibilities and a desire to continue learning and developing my own talents. We all have a need for social time and even down time to just relax.

Every summer I know the challenge of pulling it off in a satisfactory manner. I usually only achieve it for a few days each summer.

The rest of the days are skewed one direction or another. I spend the whole day with my family, then scramble to meet deadlines. Or I work and research, then feel guilty that my kids are bored and want to do stuff with me. Yes, they should be able to entertain themselves – and they are usually pretty good about diving into a book. But it seems foolish to not spend time with your kids while they still want to be with me.

Now that summer has passed, I try to remember all that I’ve learned and fiddle with the balance of our lives. Maybe I’ll have a better handle on it next summer. There’s always hope, right?

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Most Inspirational Blogs of 2011

This is my last 2011 recap post, I promise.  I almost skipped it, but I couldn’t not take a few minutes to share my list of my most inspirational blogs.

Your Homebased Mom

Chocolate on my Cranium

Booking Mama

Celebrations at Home

Chef Tess Bakeresse

Small Fry & Co.

Travelin Oma

Creating Keepsakes

Joy the Baker

Little Birdie Secrets

Monzanita Arts and Crafts

Somewhat Simple

Your Cup of Cake

My inspiration is as varied as my interests!  If any of these are new to you, I hope you check them out.  What blogs are on your most inspirational list?

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