Wednesday, October 23, 2013

places not things

places not things.......

That is our family motto.

Picture this. 
A giant dream home filled with only the best of the best furnishings and textiles. 
Fancy cars. 
Dressing right out of the catalogue. (But really, who orders clothing from catalogues these days anyway?) ....so let's just say dressing.... really really nice.
Exotic vacations to foreign lands.

All this is basically opposite of my life.

I usually let this stuff just roll right off my back.....I am really quite good at not comparing.

I mean, it's kind of hard (and a bit humorous) to compare my life to others' when
a) we live in a tiny 100 year old house.
b) Robby's car has windows you have to physically roll up (remember that? so vintage!)
c) we all know my kids dress like orphans 9 days out of 10. (they do clean up nicely every now and then, I must say)
d)We camp. Yes, we drive alot and camp alot, and we love it....but exotic? no. I've never been further east than Denver, and I've never even been to a foreign land. Canada was AMAZING....but it didn't exactly count as a foreign travel....

And you know what? That's the way we like it. It doesn't bother me one bit.

But it's hard when my kids start to notice what all their friends HAVE (iTouch. it's always an iTouch. "mom evvvvvveryone has one!!"). 
And what all of their friends DO (soccer, baseball, gymnastics, tennis, art classes, piano,  horseback riding, fencing, drama class, pottery, chess club, cheerleading, tuba lessons, boy scouts, girl scouts, tae kwon do, rexquando, sorcery school, clown school.......)
You get the picture....it's a lot of stuff.

There are 8 year olds with more more activities under their [black] belt than I will ever have.

Not only can we not afford so many activities and clubs and lessons.....it's just so much time away from each other. I don't want my kids gone every day after school.....call me crazy.

But a few weeks ago, I had a moment. 
A quick, weak moment where I started to feel sorry. Not for myself--but for them......are they missing out? Look at all these fun activities they could be doing after school, like cooking classes, tv/vcr repair, small business management (wait.....those aren't after school activities.....that's that commerical from the 90s) .....
But really, kids can do just about anything these days, and they DO do everything.

We sat down and talked about it as a family. If they really really really wanted to do _________, then we'd have to pass up our next family trip. 

"What do you think, kids?"

It took about 2 seconds for them both to say NO WAY. 
So we loaded the car and off we went.
www.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.com
I climbed up the rocks before breakfast one morning as the sun poured over the red earth in Moab. 
It allllllll came together (it always does in the desert)
I could hear my kids scrambling over boulders and chasing lizards with their friends. 
They aren't missing out. On anything. They are living, and living well.
Sure--our extra curriculars may be different than some of their friends', but that is what is best for MY kids. 
They come home from school and ride bikes and scoop chicken poop (and they complain the whole time, don't worry). 
They are the best little campers and hikers and explorers. 
And they are happy, which makes ME happy. 

Look at my grubby little family.....I just love us.
www.inthelittleredhouse.blogspot.com
Every family is different.
This is my family, don't compare it to yours. 

We don't have everything (haha, not even close) but we have what is important to US.
Every family has different needs and wants, and have different ways of functioning together.
We have found what is best for OUR family.
While this house isn't our forever house, we will always live in something small, (and most likely very old) so we can spend our money elsewhere. 
I am totally willing to skip the shopping spree (who are we kidding, I hate shopping) so we can fill our gas tank for a road trip. 
And I will forever remind myself that just because my kids will never master the flute or be badminton king......they are living well, and they are loving life.....and hopefully learning something along the way.

I hope they look back and are thankful for memories of family road trips, camping under the stars, and dirty faces, and forget about all the "stuff" they never had.
I hope they value the experiences they had in life over all of the "things."

It is vital to your happiness to find what 
works for YOUR family. 
What is important to you....what do you value? 
Make it a priority.....who cares what anyone else thinks.
Stop comparing!
You'll be happier, I promise. 



48 comments:

❤Coco Rose❤ said...

The most uplifting post I have read in a long time! Thank you! xxx

Anonymous said...

Awesome post - I couldn't agree more - I love having my kids home with me after school, just hanging out, doing puzzles and playing. I remember when my daughter was little and I was so worried about her doing activities, now that she is gone all day at school, I really appreciate the time that is unscheduled!!

Toni Englestead said...

love this post!

Kasey said...

YES!!

Jackie Norris said...

Way to do what is best for you! I only have one kid right now so we aren't in to the extracurricular activities yet, but we live in an area that is very focused on achievement. If we still live here in a few years it will be hard not to take part in that mentality. I want my kids to explore different options and find talents and passions, but not at the expense of family time. I love how you have combined both!

I hope we settle in a small home so we don't have ROOM for too much stuff! I do spend money to make our home feel "homey" and to keep it organized (for my own sanity)!

Ashlee Sanders said...

not sure how i stumbled across your blog but i must say, I AM LOVING IT. thank you so much for the great reminders- it's way too easy to compare our lives! yep, love it.
somethingus.blogspot.com

Romney Family said...

You took the words right out of my mouth!! This is exactly how I have been feeling lately about not having my kids involved in everything and we just like you prefer our little time we have after school/work to spend as a family!!!

Emily.Cathryn.Bethea said...

PREACH IT SISTER.

The Webbs said...

Right there with ya sista.

I felt like the worst mom for the longest time that Bentley wasn't in preschool. Evvvvveeeerryyy single 3-4 year old I know is in preschool. And that's fantastic for them, but for me, for some reason... I felt the urge to teach her every possible thing before my tiny girl goes to big girl school. What happened to learning at home? And arnt kids in school for (what feels like) the rest of their lives anyway?

We are right there with ya with living in a tiny old house (90 years old you beat me!), roll up windows on my car too! I've never wanted a fancy car or big house, just a place to keep clean and nice within our means.

Every family is different, and as sad as it may sound you posting this makes me feel so so so much better about the way I am doing things around here. We make our memories as a family by traveling too. Luckily the husband works for the airlines so we are able to travel for free, its just finding time to go and saving up for the rest of what trips cost.

your a good mom sheena, and for your family! Glad to find someone with similar teachings in their home, not that every other home isnt awesome in their own way. There is no wrong way to raise a family (okay there is but you get what I mean), with special prayer hopefully we all do what we are guided to do.

Liv said...

If this were facebook I would want to click the "like" button a bunch of times for this post!

Tysha Carter said...

I can't tell you how much I love this, but I do! The simple life is so so good when you look at what is in front of you and not all around you. But finding like-minded people to put in the mix sure is special. Thanks again for being such a bright little light!

theusualbliss.com said...

My best memories as a child are from road trips or camp outs, getting dirty and wearing the same clothes the whole time. You're amazing parents and your kids will inherit your sense of adventure and love for nature! My favorite line from this post is "Stop comparing!" I like being reminded in moments of insecurity that really, no one cares. Thanks, Sheena!

julie said...

So good!!

Jackie said...

Lets face it, memories as a child are no fun spending time staring at piano keys practicing "x" amount minutes...I lied about them anyways. Ha! It's spending time outside with the dog, having adventures, and going on road trips! Although sports were a big part of my life growing up, it has gotten pretty ridiculous with the amount of gadgets and gizmos (wait, I sound old..) and lessons upon lessons on things that maybe they are only half interested in in the first place. Plus, when do they have time, even after homework is done? I love the way you think, I guess I just had a soap box about it! :)

Sarah Beth said...

Sheena this is awesome. I think you guys are doing it right. And maybe that's just because of where and how we grew up. Yeah I loved sports and activities in school, but mostly that was just from the memories we got to make along the way. Your kids seem like very happy, healthy, and awesome kids. They are lucky to have parents who really encourage them to get out there and live life.

Lori Folkman said...

This is perfect. How did you get to be so wise? :) Love ya!

Holley said...

I agree with you, however, I really enjoy seeing my kids try a lot of things (within preset boundaries)It's fun to see them be really good and something they tried, and it's also good for them to try something just to they find they aren't good at. A lot of learning goes on when they try and succeed but the most learning happens when they try and try and try and don't, but in reality they succeeded in trying. As they've gotten older, they know better what they do and don't like. For me, it's allowing them a chance to discover who they are, what they're interested in, and as a family we are never sad to say we gave it a go.

Trying=learning=experience=knowledge.

Hayley said...

Love that grubby little family!

kassidi bridge said...

Love love love this...except I totally want Ole to be badminton king, wink.

Ashley Sjuts said...

I was just thinking today- am I crazy for not wanting all this "stuff" the world tells me I should be wanting? Sometimes I wish that living simply and enjoy life instead of things was valued by more people instead of being an alternative lifestyle choice.

We too will always live in a small house and my in laws cannot for the life of them understand how I do not have a finished basement on my must have list. lol. I don't need a place to send my kids. I would like to be around them. Also I have a younger brother- I know what can happen in basements : ) not on my watch!

Isa said...

I actually really love that philosophy - things just end up being clutter, places and experiences create memories that last much longer. You can have just as amazing a life with less money - props to you and your beautiful family!

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Angela said...

I also love your blog. . . Especially because it helps alleviate some of the mom guilt I feel. I live with my girls and man 75miles from the closest grocery store. I had a writhing angry rattlesnake fall onto my toddlers feet last week. I worry all the time about her social skills and lack of dance classes or X. But she is rich in rocks, sunsets, bugs, sand and family time. Thanks for the reminder! And fyi, where I live matching Patagonia is dressing really really nice. ;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so real and honest. Agree with much of what you've said!

Jenny Lynn said...

Wonderfully put! We are kindred in spirit. It is all about being together.

Laura said...

Agree a thousand times over. It's the WAY TO GO.

Sini │ my blue&white kitchen said...

Oh how I loved this post! There's so much to do in this crazy world we live in that you would ALWAYS "miss" something. SO that is clearly the wrong way to think about things and well, life in general.
You are doing great. And hey, I would totally LOVE to go camping! Is there a better way to spent the family weekend?

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Bridget said...

love love love this. i feel like we have so much and yet the kids always want more - our 18 year old really dealt with this. his happiness was completely reliant on what STUFF he had. and out of guilt, we got him a kindle... it kept him happy for, oh a month? until there was something bigger, better. it's so hard. i hate that battle. sometimes i feel like steve and i are the only ones swimmin' against the current.

Danielle Huddleston said...

Great post! Sounds like a great life to me :)

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Caitlin F. said...

This is such a beautiful post. You're right, your family may not have everything - but it has what is most important: love, fun, adventure, comfort, shelter, and dedication to one another. So many blessings :)

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Laura said...

I love this so much. My fiance has huge student loan debt and gets worried about how we'll live our lives, but this is the sort of thing I want: places, memories, not things. Health, food, love, and everything else is just icing on the cake.

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