The saying that it's all about the little things in life couldn't ring more true for me. With a busy lifestyle that includes quadruplets and working from home, it's become infinitely important to me to make my house a place I enjoy being in. It does not mean, however, that my home is professionally designed, decorated to perfection and immaculate. (It actually sort of means the opposite sometimes. But that depends on the time of you day you decide to stop by or the amount of energy I woke up with. Meh.)
As I walked into my living the other day—which is ridiculously crowded with baby paraphernalia from swings and bouncers to jumperoos and a massive fenced-in play area with more colors than a freaking rainbow—I realized that I still take much pleasure in the things I have around because I enjoy them.
This is the entry table right by our front door, so it's the first thing you see when you come into our home and it's something we see everyday walking back and forth from the babies' room. I love the color turquoise and so I keep those bright turquoise candle sticks (which I bought while living in Scotland and later spray painted), they feel cheery and make me remember our time overseas often. The numeral 4 was a gift from my dad and his wife, as they know it's an important number for our family now! The photo of the quads was their very first picture together and was taken at one month old in the NICU. Myself and the nurses did our best to hide their wires, monitors and feeding tubes and it was such a momentous occasion to see all my babies together like that for the first time. The "relax" slogan came from a trip to Galveston a couple years ago with my mom and my sister and reminds me daily to focus on the important stuff and not sweat the little things. Lastly, the slate plaque was a gift from some very good friends of ours. We joked that it needed one more "always" to represent the quads, but the saying could not ring more true for us. Catching a glimpse of all these every day is refreshing, motivational and very personal. It's an easy way to group things together that are important to me!
When you spend a lot of time in the home, I've found that it's very uplifting to keep fresh flowers on hand. I grab a bunch nearly every time I go to the grocery store. I even buy the cheap carnations and cut them short and group them together in a tight closer in a pretty, low-rising vase for a modern look. Sometimes I buy flowers I've never heard of before and sometimes I go for a traditional bouquet of roses. Colorful petals always make me feel good.
Framed photos are one of my all-time favorite ways to both decorate and to display places and people I want to remember all the time. This wall is our only real portion of "hallway" in our small house and it sits just outside the babies' room. It's become a collective space for all my black and white frames filled with photos as far back as 10 years ago. Instead of replacing old pictures with newer ones, I just add more frames with recent photos—like the babies' six month pictures toward the bottom or the incredible birthday card a hospital friend made for me a week after the quads were born. I can't tell you how many times both my husband and I pause at this wall to admire all our memories, past and present.
This sentiment is one that's never outdated. Doing something nice for someone does not have to be a huge event, by any means. It can be as simple as mailing a note old-school style or picking up an extra coffee during your Starbucks run for a buddy. The photo above shows a pair of coffee mugs I had made on Snapfish for my mom and step-dad, which I gifted with one of their favorite coffees. It was just a small expression of thanks for all they do to help with the babies!
Seriously. Go to bed. Some things really can wait until tomorrow. You may not require a full eight hours like I do, but every now and then you gotta let it all go and hit the sack. There are many nights after the babies go to bed that I finally feel "free" and my to-do list is about a hundred miles long. But I know that those 20 minutes I spent goofing off with the quads earlier instead of doing laundry were so worth it. So I pick one thing to finish, take a hot shower and go to bed. Starting off the day without dragging never makes me regret it!
So there you have it. Some easy peesy ways that I try to improve my life on a daily basis. Have some cheerful tips for your day-to-day? I'd love to hear in the comments section!