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Taking Care of Me

I finally did it. A few weeks ago, I took a long overdue getaway to visit two of my very best lifelong friends. I got on an airplane and flew all the way from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to San Diego, California for four days. This took me far away from my young boys and that was hard because I am never away from them.

This trip was the first time I’ve had a girls weekend to rest, relax and slow down since before my almost 7 year old was born! I just had not made the time for myself because I had been too busy focusing on being a mom and all of the other things that come up in everyday life.

We planned our girls weekend about six months ago. I had a plane ticket and the date for my trip written on my calendar. There was no last-minute backing out. It is so easy to say you will do something and then just not follow through with it when something else comes up and real life gets in the way. But this trip was important to me and I really wanted to spend time with my friends. It was hard to admit this to myself because my boys have always come first for me and they were just not happy about me leaving. But I let go of the mommy guilt and got on the airplane.

And I had the best time!

This trip was about finding my smile and being happy about something that was just for me. The time I spent with my friends was priceless. My four days in San Diego were filled with amazing food, great conversations, red wine, peace and quiet, beautiful weather, photo taking, reading, laughing, sleeping, sunsets at the beach and walking around the farmers market. It was all that I needed to fill up my cup and to restore my mind, body and soul. It was a good lesson in taking care of myself so I can be a better mom, wife and friend.

It is about time that I start putting the oxygen mask on myself first before I give everything I have to everyone else. Since becoming a mom, I had not been a priority in my own life. I had not taken time for myself in my everyday life. But this trip helped me to see how important it is to slow down and start making the time to reconnect with my authentic self.

When is the last time you did something just for yourself? You don’t have to get on an airplane and fly across the country to reconnect with yourself. Take a little time today for yourself and read a magazine, take a hot bath or enjoy your favorite chocolate treat while watching some reality tv… Whatever it is that helps you to relax and recharge should be part of your everyday.

 

This article was written by Tracy Larsen.

Black & White Summer

The Creative Mama, Maegan Beishline
I have always been a fan of black and white photos. There is something magical about capturing and presenting the essence of something without all the technicolor distractions. Black and white photos represent such classic qualities of truth…of human nature…that, as viewers, we can’t help but relate to what is being depicted. We focus on the interactions, the setting, and the deep layers of presence drawn into the frame. They are the embodiment of simple, unembellished truth and they captivate me with their beauty and raw honesty.

I feel like this summer for us has captured many of the same qualities I love in black and white photos. It has been classic, elemental, deeply truthful, and beautiful. Friends, family, swimming, camping, suntanned shoulders, hair that rarely dries, long afternoons of reading, meals outdoors; for us, these are the basic elements of summer and our days have been absolutely infused with them. We’ve chosen to spend our time doing only what we really love and what really matters to us, and we have filled our days to the brim with just those activities.

When composing a photograph, an artist has to decide what needs to be in the frame and what details just detract from the bigger story. Our lives (or our summers) can be viewed similarly, as a beautifully complex story depicted in one amazing black and white photo. And as the artists and authors of those stories, we ultimately need to make decisions about what needs to be in the frame and what doesn’t.

Each of our summers as a family have captured a slightly different tone. Some are busy, some are difficult, some are blissfully lazy. But I must say that this one has been exceptional. I’m so thankful for a season that has encapsulated so much of the same things I love about black and white photography: raw, simple, and classic elements infused with beauty and truth. It has captured the essence of summer itself folded into deep layers of presence. It has been a wonderfully composed black and white photo, filled to the brim with the elements I would most like included in the story of us.

So tell me…How has your summer been? Has it been filled with things you really love? Because summer is not over and it’s definitely not too late to recompose the image: to take out or add in elements that would make for a better story. You are the artist of your life. Make this summer a classic masterpiece!

The Creative Mama, Maegan BeishlineThe Creative Mama, Maegan BeishlineThe Creative Mama, Maegan BeishlineThe Creative Mama, Maegan BeishlineThe Creative Mama, Maegan Beishline
This article was written by Maegan.

Back to School Round Up

Did I just say “school?”  Yes, I did.  And I know it’s crazy, because I am sure that summer break just began a few days ago.  I was shocked when I moved to Kentucky and found that school began during the first few days of August. So for those of you who are on a similar schedule and for those of you that have more time to prepare… The Creative Mama has gathered some of our very best back-to-school articles:

First up, a few to help you with a mama’s top three school related challenges:

1) Getting out the door on time with as few tears as possible

Make Your Mornings Easier: The Power of Routines for Kids

making mornings easier for kids

 

2) Making a lunch that you and your child are happy about… again and again and again

Loving the Lunch Box

 

3) Having the right tools for homework (both writing utensils and encouragement)

Homework Bag

 

Next up are two traditions that will make that first day extra special: 

Back-to-School Pencil Cake

Happy School Year/ Make Your Own Schultute

 

For the homeschooling crew:

Our School– Our Way

 

A Happy Schoolroom

 

And don’t forget about you!  

Continuing Education

TCM wishes you and your families a great start to a new year of learning and growth!

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