The older my kids get, the more obvious it is that time flies. It is an unfortunate occurrence on most days. I look back on a day, week, month or year and gasp at how it is gone and not returning.
Making sure that I am present and grateful for this fleeting time has become a priority. I am getting mushy in my middle age! But instead of hiding it, I am actively trying to exploit the side of me that wants to hold on to every moment of my children’s lives. It is one of the reasons why I love the Hallmark Life is a Special Occasion message.
Special holiday events, family vacations and momentous occasions are a great part of life, but are few and far between. What we have everyday is everyday. Finding ways to remember the special, quiet moments that happen in the ordinary is my mission!
Here are some ways I have found to help me remember the everyday:
- Write it down – Whether you have a blog, journal or a drawer full of scraps of paper, it doesn’t matter! Record those tiny stories of a joke told on the way to school, a dinner disaster, the time a backpack was forgotten, an argument that turned silly or how a hug made you feel. At the time it seems like these are things that can’t possibly be forgotten, but they are. Looking back on these simple times helps keep things in perspective and leave your kids with a first-hand account of what happened.
- Take a picture – I adore my phone camera because I always have it with me. Not only is it handy when I want to take a picture, but the camera roll is full of snippets of our life. Someday I would like to organize all those photos, but the fact that I have them in the palm of my hand makes today a bit more special. Don’t wait for the posed shot or the perfect light. Grab the moment as it is – there is glory in that.
- Save the art – Kids tend to be prolific artists and it is a visual timeline of how fast they grow. Keeping track of their art is no easy task, but there are ways to “keep” it without wallpapering the living room in construction paper. Choose some of your favorite works to frame and display. I am always amazed at how professional and awesome kids artwork looks when framed well. Create a folder for other favorites or start a tradition of taking a picture of the work before its disposal.
- Make a dish – I am not a good cook, but I have a folder filled with family recipes that I can execute in an edible way. The pages are filled with 3×5 cards, paper scraps and scribbled writing secured with tape. It doesn’t look pretty, but it makes me smile to make one of my grandma’s recipes read from a recipe card that she typed out on her manual typewriter. There is a typo which reminds me of how labor-intensive it was for her to send me the recipe typed that way. Getting the kids involved in making dinner sparks conversations about my grandmother and what funny things I used to find in her fridge.
- Uphold a tradition – Family traditions don’t have to be fancy! One that we have is that I make oatmeal every morning. Only 1/3 of my boys appreciate this tradition, but the fact that my youngest and I share a morning ritual is comforting and fun. We have a rhythm of gathering bowls, serving oatmeal, and sprinkling brown sugar that I know he will remember forever.
- Say ‘yes’ spontaneously – One thing I try to do is keep spots in our family schedule that allows us some spontaneity. If we are driving home from school on a warm, fall afternoon, I want to be able to experience that with a quick stop to a local park with some friends or an unplanned shaved ice picnic at our favorite stand. If one of the kids suggests something that sounds fun and reasonable, I want to be able to say yes!
- Join in the fun – As mom, I often get wrapped up in what needs to be done and I forget that it will still be there later. I need to stop what I am doing and go play for awhile with the kids. Whether it is a board game, running around the yard or video games, they are always willing to include me. I think they just see me as someone that they will likely beat!
- Set a timer – It is so easy to get lost in work, online stuff and everyday tasks. I set a timer with a reasonable amount of time and then stop when it rings. This gives me accountability as to my time and more moments to go do what is really important to me.
- Make a call – I am not a phone person, but making time to call a relative or friend every once in awhile can give you an outlet to share some of those small family stories that happened over the last few weeks. Sharing it makes it even more important.
- Give a hug – My boys are at ages where they are hug-resistant, but that just makes it more fun. Whether I get a good hug in or I end up chasing them around the house, the experience shows them that I care. Keeping a playful spirit everyday has helped me remember that even though they don’t think they do…kids need hugs!
Hallmark wants to know why it's important for your family to create new memories and commemorate them. Visit Hallmark.com/Explore for product news and special offers. Life is a special occasion.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hallmark. The opinions and text are all mine.