Simplemama

5 Podcast Episodes I’ve Recently Listened to and Enjoyed {A Food for Thought Round-Up}

I’ve heard some really great podcasts over the past few months that I keep meaning to share so here they are for today’s return to Saturday Food for Thought Round-Up.


1. Work, study, rest, play (or, Hemingway’s tweets) from The Art of Simple Podcast hosted by Tsh Oxenreider (Thanks for Rachel from Efficient Momma for finding this one!)

– As someone who is in a constant tug-of-war between all those areas of life, I loved listening to Micha Boyett‘s soothing and calm voice, reminding me gently to focus on the simple details of life.

2. On the same frequency, I’m currently listening (in 5 minute increments) to THE ART OF MAKING DO WITH MOLLY WALTER from The Fountains of Carrots podcast with Christy Isinger and Haley Stewart.

– I have a very creative and ambitious spirit and sometimes it’s tempting to feel like it’s being squashed by the responsibilities of family life. Molly shares how their family uses work to support themselves so they can focus on their family time instead of the seeing a successful career as the ultimate goal in life.

3. Talk More, Tech Less: Balancing Technology and Family with Dawn Wible from the Inspired to Action podcast by Kat Lee (Thanks for Rachel again!)

– Are you noticing a recurrent theme in these podcasts? I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to use the phone less when I am with my kids and as a family or with other people. I’m thankful for all the ways technology keeps us connected and informed but it can become addictive and overwhelming easily and quickly and then I end up missing out on the sweet simple moments of life. I don’t want my kids to remember me always being on my phone. They don’t have phones of their own yet (our oldest is only 11 for Pete’s Sake!) but when they do I can’t really tell them not to use the phones too much if they see me on mine all the time.

4. WHY WE LOVE G.K. CHESTERTON WITH MICHAEL LICHENS also over at Fountains.

– Chesterton seems to be the current Catholic Fad as of late and I honestly know very little of him and can only sit and look on in curious wonder over the hype. Interesting, I listened to this podcast just after going to part of a weekend conference about him and the Catholic Culture. It’s definitely interesting and has given me much to ponder over.

5. NICOLE V BENNETT ON READING, BLOGGING, AND HER NEW EBOOK “READ MORE” from This Inspired Life by Kristin

– I greatly enjoy reading. Understatement of my life. But it’s harder and harder to find the time to really enjoy a good book. Just hearing Nicole talk about the importance of finding time to read, as adults and with our children, is refreshing.

In my Queue: 

1. THE CHALLENGES AND JOYS OF CATHOLIC FATHERHOOD WITH BRANDON MCGINLEY AND DANIEL STEWART from Fountains. I don’t get to hear a lot from dad’s or men really these days, women have successfully taken over the world so it will be nice to hear this one.

2. Wildly Unconventional - from The Art of Simple Podcast. “In this episode, Tsh talks with Stephanie Langford, who’s been traveling around the world with her family this past year!” I love traveling and would love to travel more as a family so am looking forward to picking up any tips from this episode.

3. EPHESIANS 5 AND THE “WIVES BE SUBORDINATE TO YOUR HUSBANDS” THING WITH ALICIA HERNON from This Inspired Life. This is always an interesting, albeit dicey, topic. I’m curious to hear her take.

4. Eliminate Meal Planning Stress – My Top 5 Tips from Kat at Inspired to Action. I suffer serious panic attacks and anxiety over meal planning and food. For real. I hope this helps.

5. Vinny Flynn on the Secrets of the Eucharist on the Jennifer Fulwiler Show. I’ve seen this book around and almost had the chance to do some work for the Flynn’s so I’m looking forward to hearing more about this from the great Vinny himself.

How about you, have you listened to any great ones lately?

P.S. My awesome techy  husband (who has more time and patience to look for apps) found this cool Podcast Addict app for my Samsung Android (since cooler than the iPhone and all.) If you’ve been looking for a good one you should check it out.

One Last Breastfeeding with my Two-Year-Old

A few weeks ago, I realized it had been almost a week since my 2 year-old had nursed. I felt emotionally conflicted. On the one hand, I was relieved to be done. On the other, my heart ached because I couldn’t remember when the last time was. It was just suddenly over. One day I couldn’t stand it anymore so I decided we needed to have one last nursing that I would remember just like I remember our first. It was beautiful and I soaked up every minute of it. I decided to write it down so I can come back and read it and remember. 


A warm morning light glided through the window, awakening me to the moment.

The robins and black birds chirped from their nests in the trees and hopped around on the ground collecting pear tree seeds whistling while they worked.

We sat down on the couch and I scooped him up onto my lap and snuggled him close.

“This will be our last time for mamas, ok?”

He looked up at me with a half-open anticipating mouth and perhaps a slight understanding of the significance my words.

While he nursed with glee, I delved into his deep brown eyes, looking back on the love we’d cultivated over almost three years.

I caressed his skin, still smooth but not quite as new as his fresh newborn skin, tougher and thicker after two and half years living on the outside.

I ran my fingers slowly through his hair, letting each hair run through my fingers like the sand of time.

I swept my hand down the length of his body, now longer and sturdier, remembering the first time I held his slippery wet body against my own.

I cradled his feet in my hands, the same feet that used to kick at me from underneath layers of skin and muscle tissue, keeping me awake at night and reminding me there was a life other than my own in me.

I brought his feet up to my lips, kissing them tenderly, wondering what adventures and roads they would travel on.

I twirled his toes between my fingers proceeding down the row of all the “Little Piggies” going this way and that with a surprise sneak attack tickle under the armpit.

He broke off with a sideways giggle, trying to continue nursing while simultaneously laughing; dribbles of thick milk ran down his chin.

Even though he’d hardly nursed anymore I guess there was still a little left in there; the chunky remnants from the bottom of the carton.

I thought about picking up my phone, checking for emails or any exciting status updates.

Nope. This is the only moment that matters right now. The phone and all its instantaneous current events will always be there. This is my status update, this is my now.

So we sat there, together, soaking in the sacred silence and profound beauty of that moment.

I took a long deep breath in, sucking up every single detail of the moment and tucking it carefully in my box of special memories, hoping to come back to it from time to time and cherish.

This one. I prayed. May I keep this moment forever, please?

I lifted my head to stretch my neck, and gazed out the window. The morning light poked through the trees and a gentle breeze twirled from branch to branch, shaking the tiny and delicate white pear blossoms off as it went.

I watched the thin blossoms glide slowly through the air, like a light spring-time snow. It was my favorite part of spring when the blossoms first cracked out of their buds and slowly stretched themselves out creating a lovely Monet landscape right out my window.

A simple piece of beauty that lasted but a fleeting moment until the blossoms reached maturity and then the winds blew in to carry them away and usher in a new stage of growth for the tree.

The blossoms slowly detached from the stems that had given them life and protection, although a few stubbornly clung to their stems. They landed softly and covered the ground in a silky white blanket. I knew the same time had come for my own baby blossom happily gulping every last ounce.

It was time to let go of this precious time we’d had to bond and nourish each other. The winds of time brushed over us and suddenly, POP! He unlatched, looked up at me with a satisfied smile, rolled off my lap and happily hopped onto his next adventure.

“The moment was over, the blessing forever.”

 

Spring Wardrobe – Boring Conservative Mom Style

Well now that the threat of a tornado whipping in and destroying our house and all our possessions has passed from or area for this time (yay!), I can move on to more important matters.

Like what I’m wearing this Spring! (Since I know at least one person whose camped out in front of her computer just waiting for me to divulge what’s in my closet this Spring.)

In January, I joined Courtney Carver’s Project 333, picking out 33 items of clothing to wear for 3 months. I enjoyed it so much, it was pretty a no brainer to continue for another 3 months. Although, this time around I’ll have to make a few adjustments as the summer temps rise.

I was flattered when Courtney dubbed me as “The Downton Abbey” style of how to do Project 333 but it really cracked me up when Drew Barrymore said, after purging her closet, that she felt like she had become “some conservative, boring woman — but not even in a cool, J.Crew way.” I wonder if she peeked at what I wore as a reference?

As much as I’d love to spend my days lounging in formal wear, my life as a mom of 4 is much too active. The only time I get to wear a dress is for about one hour a week on Sundays – which I relish!

So when picking out my wardrobe, I keep clothes that are comfortable enough that I can sit and read a book on the bathroom floor while waiting for the two-year-old to do his thing, chase after an independent five-year-old who moves to the beat of his own drum, go on a random bike ride or shoot some hoops with my older two. Every now and then I get out of house and get to hang out with people who know how to communicate with multisyllabic vocabularies and so I reserve a few nicer clothes for those times so I can feel like a big girl.

So here’s a taste of my Spring Wardrobe – Boring Conservative Mom Style

The Three Shades of Mom. I was trying do the “mom look” in the last one.

The tops in my closet:

These colors make me happy when I walk in the closet.

Don’t forget the bottoms:

I’m so excited to get to wear dresses and a skirt again! And those capri pants from Kohls with the elastic waistband are so comfy!

I allowed myself to buy 2 new shirts since some of my clothes from last year were either damaged/stained or just didn’t fit right anymore. I scored some great sales and, because of my commitment to Project 333, I stuck to my budget and even spent less than I planned.

After oogling this Maurices shirt, I finally went out and tried it on fell in “love” immediately. It’s pretty, flowy, covers in the right places without making it look like a maternity tent shirt, and is very versatile as you can see below. I can wear it with jeans, capris, or even my skirt.

I also found this pretty trellis-top shirt in one of my favorite colors and a light spring scarf that goes well with it and a couple other shirts I already have. I usually don’t wear scarves once it gets warmer but this one is light enough and ads that extra little flair to take the “boring” out of mom. ;)

For shoes, I picked out some new running/walking shoes, a couple of dressier sandals, and flip-flops – because life’s just easier with flip flops. I picked out a few pairs of earrings and necklaces to go with all the possible outfits and voila, my Spring wardrobe is complete!

In the transition time between switching from the winter to the spring wardrobe my closet became cluttered and overwhelmed again and it made me feel dizzy and confused. Now that my new Spring Capsule is complete and my closet cleared up again, I love walking into my closet and being able to actually see all my clothes.

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