Crafts,  decorating

Fall Mantel

If you live in the United States, Thanksgiving is a nice buffer between Halloween and Christmas.

No such buffer exists in Ireland.

But, old habits die hard and traditions are important.

I have no idea if our grocery store will stock whole turkeys in November or if I can find the ingredients to make my grandma’s pumpkin chiffon pie recipe, but I’m curious to find out.

Even if I can’t find those things, it’s really the spirit of Thanksgiving that matters.

While the leaves are still turning colors here and the temperatures have started to drop dropped, I’m going to savor autumn.

Because I get to experience it in Ireland.

Because I know this is a season of our life and I want to soak it up.

Because this scene below happens in my home on a daily basis.

Even though I can see a lego brick lying in wait on the rug and I know I’m probably definitely going to step on it, I’m acutely aware of the precious nature of this view.

Like all seasons of our lives, whether I handle it with grace and optimism or hang onto it kicking and screaming, it will pass.


The other day the kids asked me about another season of our life. They asked how many diapers I had changed.

Like it was a funny joke.


Time for some math, kids.

Roughly 8 diapers a day (probably more) multiplied by 365 days per year is 2,920 diapers per year. Between two kids, I will round down and conservatively say that’s 5 years of diaper changes or 14,600 diapers (or nappies as they say in Ireland – don’t ask me what a nap is).

Kids: Wow, Mom! That’s a lot of diapers!

Me: Indeed.

Kids: How many diapers did Daddy change?

Me: *choking on my coffee* Not enough.

This conversation with my kids was a poignant reminder that while I sometimes miss the season when my kids were babies, I don’t miss all of it.

I don’t miss the diaper blowouts – especially that one on the airplane. I don’t miss that helpless feeling of watching the clock turn from 3:00a.m. to 3:01a.m. while wondering why I can’t get my child to stop crying. I definitely don’t miss that time one of my children spit up in. my. mouth.

Without perspective I didn’t know what I would or wouldn’t miss – not really – until the season had passed. I don’t miss the middle-of-the-night crying, but I miss holding my babies in the quiet of the night. However, that season had to pass so I could see my kids with their two front teeth missing right before Christmas…even though helping them pull those teeth out made me gag! And that season had to pass so I could see my kids learn how to ride a bike and learn how to read and perhaps best of all, make their own breakfast while I stay in bed a few minutes longer.

I sometimes think to myself, “Stop. Slow down. You’re going to want to remember this.” Staying in the present is difficult. I fail at it all the time. That’s why I am so thankful for every day that I get a do-over because when I get it right, it buoys my soul to discard the noise, soak in the moment and simply be…happy.

P.S. Read about how to make color wrapped wheat here.
P.P.S. Read about painted wood arrows here.
P.P.S. to the S. Watercolor by me from a long time ago.

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