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    Look in a book

    Saturday, April 17th, 2010

    Some of the books inspiring us around here recently:

    Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life

    Calm and Compassionate Children: A Handbook

    My Heart’s at Home: Becoming the Intentional Mom Your Family Needs

    Writing Motherhood

    and some great, inspiring websites:

    Mom Shots

    5 Orange Potatoes

    Rhythm of the Home

    Childhood Magic

    What’s inspiring you?

    Some thoughts

    Friday, March 26th, 2010

    Someday, perhaps soon, I will have things of my own to write here. But seeing as I was up until 5:30 in the morning with a completely awake and screaming child, I thought I’d share some other people’s thoughts (far more coherent than my own) that jumped out at me today. All of them are quoted in Writing Motherhood, an excellent book that I highly recommend.

    “What made my predicament worse was that I had come to believe one of the great American myths- the myth of the natural mother. I grew up thinking that parenting in general and mothering in particular was something a woman could just do without preparation…. We all thought that a “good mother” didn’t need lessons. -Susan Cheever

    Motherhood is a job. With most jobs, the more you do it, the better you get at it. There’s a certain learning curve and then you’re fine. Motherhood is a job where the learning curve never ends. You’re constantly trying to figure out the parameters of what’s expected of you. – Kate Moses

    It’s easy to lose sight of the larger perspective when we’re caught up in daily life- signing permission slips, making lunches, teaching our children to be kind to one another. It doesn’t always feel as if we’re doing anything truly profound. And yet with each kiss, with each lesson, we are doing the work of the ages. – Denise Roy

    On being a Martha. No, not that one.

    Sunday, March 21st, 2010

    Oh my friends, it’s been a while. The fact is, I’ve been feeling like a bit of a mess on the homemaking front. I have enough laundry to choke a horse (if you were into that kind of thing, although it probably wouldn’t take that much. Choke an elephant? A herd of elephants?), clutter everywhere, and our household schedules are kaput. I feel completely ineffectual and unproductive.

    Martha Stewart I am not.

    (Although I did make two baby blankets today, that’s kind of Martha S.-ish.)

    But as I thought just now about also being such a slacker about posting here, and then thought that posting would just make me a poser, I remembered the Martha we named this site after. And I remembered what was said about her. She was “careful and troubled about many things”. She wasn’t a master homemaker, if she was, she wouldn’t have been so stressed out about having guests; things would have been under control on that front. But she was working at it, trying to make everyone comfortable, trying to nurture, and she was concerned.  And I’m certain that when she allowed herself to slow down and “choose the better part”, she received inspiration and teaching not only for her spiritual life, but her physical-cleaning her house- life as well.

    And I’m hoping that with some refocusing, I will too.

    Instant spice

    Sunday, February 7th, 2010

    I know I just posted, but I had to share my morning’s inspiration to add instant spice to our day:

    Add chocolate chips to the pancakes.



    What’s your recipe for instant spice?

    Gathering nuts for the winter

    Sunday, February 7th, 2010

    I feel like I’ve been in a season of gathering lately. Ideas and inspiration are being found and stored away, to be put to use after pondering and thought. These are some “nuts” I’ve picked up recently:

    Steady Days

    The Art of Simple Food


    Simplicity Parenting

    I haven’t really put any of these ideas to use yet; I’m kind of letting them simmer for a while to see what ends up bubbling up to the surface as important.

    What’s inspiring you these days?


    Thursday, January 21st, 2010

    I’m reading this book.  Don’t get judgy on me.  It’s awesome.  An example of awesome is this quote:

    You bear God within you, poor wretch, and know it not

    I’ve been sitting with that idea for several days, and it really resonates with me.

    Would you like to do an experiment?  It’s probably raining where you are, so an experiment where you don’t have to go outside might be nice…

    Will you sit with the idea that God is inside you for a few days, and let us know how it goes?  I hope you do…

    Be still

    Friday, January 15th, 2010

    I read this today and wanted to share. This is Vera Farmiga, talking about the book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (a book that looks AMAZING, by the way).

    “In one sublime passage, she [Dillard, the author of the book] talks about how in order to see things in all their dazzle and beauty you’ve got to be still. I’ve always found that paragraph very poignant, because in the age of high-speed Internet, fast food, and express checkouts, we attack everything at breakneck speed- so many people cannot, will not, and do not know how to be still.”

    Do you take moments to be still? Can you make one today? Will you?

    And will you share with us the dazzle and beauty you see?

    Getting Crafty in 2010

    Monday, January 11th, 2010


    My sister and I have been talking about working together on a bunch of projects this year.  We are both very excited to make both things for our homes and for ourselves and our children.  Today we spoke for a little while and solidified our intent to get our craft on.

    She started making a tangible list of projects and that has inspired me to make a list of projects too.  With the thought of creative list making in mind, I was wondering what blogs inspire you.  We have discussed it here on MDM in the past, but I was wondering if anyone had any new inspiration blogs to offer.

    A few that I have been enjoying and gleaning inspiration from are:

    Burdastyle – a site dedicated to sewing and altering patterns to express your own individuality.  There are a whole bunch of free patterns that you can download and and print out, and some that are offered at very low prices.  Their blog is very active and frequently makes say out loud, “I want to make that!”

    The Purl Bee – While I would classify myself as NOT being a knitter, I do enjoy fiber arts and one day will put myself in that category.  Until that time, I find a lot of inspiration for projects from the Purl Bee.  They have many knitting projects but they also have a lot of other types of projects too.

    Nap Time Crafts – I love this site because it constantly reminds me that even with small children I can still make time to work on projects.  She has really colorful and cute projects for herself and her home and often puts together tutorials for the things she makes.  She’s very big on sharing knowledge and telling her readers how she made things and I LOVE that attitude.

    The Little Green Notebook - This site is run by a woman who is a great home decorator.  She is getting back into the game and opening her business after having children.  She posts projects she has worked on for both herself and her clients, things that inspire her and how she did the occasional project too.  I find a lot of inspiration from both her designs and in where to buy certain items.

    Steep Street - As a photographer, I have been finding great inspiration from this blog.  She always inspires me with her creative use of PhotoShop and her ability to capture the light and see things in angles that I might not think of.  She has really inspired me to learn my software better and be able to use my tools to create more creative art pieces.

    What has been inspiring you lately?  Are there any projects that have been bouncing around in your brain lately?  Are there specific colors or themes that have really been catching your eye lately?  Where are you finding your creative inspiration?


    Friday, January 1st, 2010

    A new year! Hooray!

    I love the opportunity a new year affords me to look back, look forward, assess where I am and where I’d like to be.  Last year, right about this time, I came up with a list of themes to focus on for the year.  They were:


    I set a number of my uberlist goals around them, and tried to check in throughout the year.  I succeeded in some areas better than others; in one or two I think I actually ended up farther back than I ever started.  But it was definitely a worthwhile endeavor.

    This year, I’m just picking one word, one concept.  (I was going to pick two, with the second being “simplify”, but that seemed somewhat ironic.)

    My word for the year is connect.

    There’s just so much there. I want to connect with my family,  my body,  my friends, nature. I want to connect with a sense of peace. I want to connect the steps between wanting (ie. an organized house), and doing. I want to help others connect with new friends, new ideas. I want to connect my own thoughts in new ways.  I want to connect with the Divine.

    What are your goals for the new year? Did you come up with an uberlist? If so, please link to it! I love seeing what other people come up with! (If you want to see mine, go here.)

    A thought

    Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

    “True greatness is not always tied to the scope of our tasks, but to the quality of how we carry out our tasks whatever they are.” -Spencer Kimball

    I was going to write more about this, but reflecting on the content of the quote- the quality of what I’d write wouldn’t be great, so I’ll pass for now. We’re in the midst of ear infections and sore throats and the like, so I’m struggling to make the quality of any of my tasks great at the moment.

    Expect more consistent posts once the new year starts… it’s on my Uberlist!