Hello, and welcome to Adventures of a Good Life! I'm Dianne, a 30-something mommy of 2 wanting to use my words to inspire my daughters, and others, to live a good life.
My good life in photos.
Last Wednesday was St. Therese’s feast day. I spent a good amount of that day looking up ideas of how to celebrate with Dylann, since she was named after St. Therese. I thought about decorating cupcakes, doing an art project, or making Dylann watch an educational movie about her. (Don’t judge. I’m a teacher.) But, of course, I got home and felt exhausted and really just wanted to take a nap.
Instead, I decided I’d take Dylann to bring flowers to a St. Therese statue at our parish. We drove to Safeway, and I let her choose. After 5 minutes of thoughtful deliberation (a.k.a., running around trying to pick petals off of every flower she could get her hands on) she went with pink roses.
Unfortunately the church was closed. I was soooo disappointed. Dylann knows the St. Therese statue well as we’ve been going to mass at that parish since she was born. Instead, we went to a different church nearby and offered flowers to Our Lady of Guadalupe. (On a side note…I’d like to think St. Therese had a hand in the reason for our little detour. Always looking to draw little souls toward Jesus and Mary. She is awesome.)
Dylann put the flowers in different vases and at the foot of the statue. When we were about to leave, I motioned to her and reached out for her hand. She ran back to the Our Lady, waved, and said, “Bye Mary!” and ran back to me.
It was perfect. Short. Simple. Easy.
But there sure was lots and lots of love.
Last year I randomly stumbled upon The Nester and joined the #31day writing challenge for the month of October. I think it was pretty successful – I wrote for a good amount of the 31 days and the whole process was quite healing for me as I wrote about letting go. (And that was before the Frozen phenomenon. Ha!)
This year I have been thinking about various topics I could write about for the challenge, but none of them seemed to be what I was looking for.
31 days of cleaningUm, yeah right. 31 days of mommy-daughter momentsToo many to choose from… 31 days of being intentionalI’m still trying to figure out what this means and how it applies to my life. 31 days of classroom shenanigansThis could be interesting… 31 days of inspirationIsn’t that already the purpose of my blog?
Just thinking about a topic began to overwhelm me, so much so that I nearly threw the idea out the door and was going to skip out on the challenge this year. (After all, do I really need another thing on my perpetual to-do list?) For some reason, this got me thinking about my own personal shortcomings and how I tend to have great huge bouts of inspiration that cause me to draw up large dreams that only begin to materialize, but never finish.
I have a problem finishing. I show up, but I don’t stay.
The reason for this, I think, is because as big as my dreams and aspirations are, it it challenging for me to take the necessary steps to accomplishing them. For example, I am always imagining my house as being super organized and clean. I can never bring myself to clean up because I feel like if I can’t get the entire house clean in one sitting, it’s not worth it. My eyes only see the end. The middle part, the how to get there is always missing.
So I thought this year I would challenge myself to work on that middle part – accomplishing those small steps that will lead me closer to the end. If I practice being intentional with my time, and completing smaller, more manageable tasks with the bigger goal in mind, perhaps I will be more successful in drawing closer to making my dreams reality.
Small things with great love. I could apply this to every single area of my life – my work, my kids, my husband, my housework, my friends. I’m excited to see where this journey takes me.
“We must do all that lies in our power; we must give without counting the cost; we must constantly renounce ourselves. In one word, we must prove our love by all the good works we can perform; but, since all that we can do is very little, it is of the greatest importance that we put our confidence in Him who alone sanctifies those works and that we recognize that we are indeed useless servants, hoping that the good Lord will give us through grace all that we desire.”
“Little things done out of love are those that charm the Heart of Christ… On the contrary, the most brilliant deeds, when done without love, are but nothingness.” (Counsels and Reminiscences, St. Therese of Liseux)
Day 1: Small things with great love
Day 2: Detour
Day 3: Vegas 2010
This past weekend’s blogging conference was amazing. Seeing as it was my first time doing something like this, I spent much of the time feeling nervous and unsure of myself, especially when speaking with other bloggers who were more established than I am. However, I also pushed myself to be brave and make connections and be proud to tell them about who I am and what I write about (even if I only spoke to like, 5 people). I left the conference feeling more sure of where I am in life right now and the direction in which (I think) I am headed.
I realized that I write because it is my way of processing my experiences. I am able to express things I have seen and heard and felt using words that come from a very real place. I also write so that my girls will hopefully one day be inspired by my words and our stories. It’s a gift I can give them that they (and maybe their own families one day) will have long after I am gone.
BlogHer taught me that my story is important.
That I need to remember the joy in what I do.
That my story can be a light for those in darkness.
That you can create community through your readers.
That my words have value.
And that I am enough.
POSTED IN: blogging, BlogHer, BlogHer14, conference, inspiration, telling my story, writing
POSTED IN: blogging, BlogHer, BlogHer14, conference, inspiration, telling my story, writing
I got the chance to chat with 2 friends on separate occasions the other day – a rarity nowadays due to the busyness of chasing after a toddler and caring for a newborn. I honestly had forgotten what it’s like to talk to someone who is not a toddler. I totally get now why mommy & me groups exist. One can go a little crazy hanging out with littles all day long!
My good friend from college called me up and we talked on the phone for almost an hour! (Keep in mind the only reason I was able to chat that long is because my parents had my kids preoccupied in another room. God bless them.) We spoke about random goings-on in our lives and complimented each other on how beautiful each other’s kids are. Mostly we talked about how inspired we have been to put good things out there in the world. See, we used to be in a young adult church group together and were constantly doing things to serve our community – from serving at mass, to making sandwiches for the homeless, and even dressing up like M&M’s one Halloween for the children at a shelter. We were making a difference. Nowadays we spend our time serving our own families – still making a difference, just in a different way. And we both feel like doing more. I found myself being inspired to take action. It’s amazing how one conversation can prompt you to act, to move, to do.
Later that evening my husband and I had dinner with another friend and her husband. This friend I have known since Kindergarten. We were best friends all throughout elementary and high school. We even went to college together, but drifted apart a little bit at the time. We remained friends, and I can honestly say that she has been such a comforting constant in my life. Even though I rarely talk to her, I feel like I could tell her anything and she would just get it. We spent our dinner catching each other up on married life and married life with kids. We didn’t really delve into anything “deep” or serious, but for some reason our interaction felt so easy, comfortable, and real.
Connecting with these two made me so thankful for people in my life that help me – sometimes without knowing – to be who God meant me to be.
I recently came across a blog that was offering a micro course on How to Start a Blog with Purpose. I have no idea how I found the blog. The origin was one of those links that led to other links that led to a whole group of links, etc. I definitely think it was divine intervention, though, because I have been sitting on this blog for a while now, wanting to post all the time but never really taking the time to do so after I finished with the Letting Go series.
While I was in college (about 14 years ago…SERIOUSLY?! I am old.) I started a blog because I loved writing, I had a lot to say, and I was experiencing so many cool things that I wanted to remember. Your readers consisted of your main group of friends, and it was basically an online diary. I wrote about road trips with friends, the perils of Hell Week (the week before finals), and finding God in the everyday. Blogging was somewhat new, though not too popular at the time. Presently, blogging is a whole different ball game – an entirely different world. There is so many blogs out there that are inspirational and beautiful and amazing, and I guess when I think about my own blog I feel as though I’ll never be any of those things. I want to continue blogging, but I fear that I cannot keep up with the current blog world and what’s expected of a good blog nowadays. But this course has really reminded me that my message to the world is unique, because of my own unique experiences. It has also made me come to realize that my fear of not being good enough is preventing me from doing something I really want to do, and that is to write about my life in the hopes of inspiring others.
A lot of my inspiration has come from reading other blogs. They have helped me
and much, much more.
So right now, I’m just going to keep writing, mainly for myself but also in the off chance that someone out there might be inspired by my story. Cheers, to the good life!
“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”
― C. JoyBell C.
I often like to scour the web for blogs and websites to help me declutter and organize my life. Today I came across one that had good tips and beautiful, inspirational pictures.
Houzz is one of those websites that constantly makes you say, “I wish my house looked like that!” You can browse photos of any room in a house and add the photos to your Ideabook. The photos have tags on certain parts of the room that will tell you what type of material it is and/or where to purchase the product. You can browse discussions on various design dilemmas you might be having and even pose questions and include photos so that others can give you their input.
One of my favorite parts of the website is the Ideabook section which includes decluttering tips and pictures. One particular article about pilers and filers has the potential to change my life.
I am most definitely a piler who has thought that the only way to be organized is to be a filer. This article makes it ok for me to be a piler and still gives me ideas for how to make my life more manageable. I’m hoping to put this idea into play before the end of the year. Stay tuned for an update!