Love Should Hurt

A lot of people seem to think that with love, pain should be absent; that with true love comes peace, happiness, and contentment. There’s a view which many people hold today, and that is that love shouldn’t cause pain. It is thought by many that love should overlook faults; love praises and flatters. Love only gives feelings of self-worth, satisfaction, and importance. It seems like people think that those who care the most are the ones who shower them with compliments. They view flattery as if it equals love. They think, “This person is so nice. I feel so good about myself when I’m with them, and they make me feel so loved! This is how it ought to be.” However, the Bible tells us this:

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

-Proverbs 27:6

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

-Proverbs 27:17

It appears like the majority of the world isn’t grasping that true, Christ-like love hurts sometimes. We forget that having true love and care for someone includes telling the real, raw, honest-to-goodness truth. It can feel like a punch in the stomach sometimes. It can cause hearts to sink, and tears to spill over. Yes, love hurts – for the sake of helping.

I am thankful for friends & a fiancé whom I can count on to confront me when I’m screwing up. I’m thankful, even though it hurts & is humbling, that they will gently tell me the rough truth.

I remember a few months ago Jay told me I was a mean and disrespectful fighter. That was the last thing I wanted to hear (especially in the middle of a frustrating conversation), but it needed to be said. If he hadn’t said that, I would have continued fighting in a mean, rude, and hurtful manner. I remember telling Jay close to the beginning of our relationship that if he didn’t step up and learn how to lead, I couldn’t continue dating him. Did he want to hear that? Absolutely not. It probably stung – really bad. But if I never said that, he wouldn’t have seen that he was lacking in that area, and that he needed to make the effort to change and grow.

I’m thankful for the hurtful – and very helpful – blows of being told the truth.

Iron sharpening iron is painful, but necessary. Through the process of being sharpened, we come to better know what being a reflection of Christ looks like. Rough edges are smoothed through a sometimes very sad and humbling experience. It hurts our pride when our nicks and dents are revealed by means of truth being spoken to us. But how blessed are we to be able to step into the Lord’s light, and rid of those things! What if no one spoke into our lives, telling us that we have things that need to be straightened out? What if our friends only ever complimented and flattered, never correcting and confronting? What if we never told our significant other that they acted wrongly while angry at us? What if we never confronted our friend who was indulging in an addiction to porn or alcohol?

No sharpening would happen.

Christ is freedom, because he is truth. The truth opens our eyes to painful facts – ones that make us want to hide. Ones that make us feel ashamed, and ones that affect those around us. However, it also opens our eyes to many wonderful things, like eternal life and a never-ending love! Praise God.

True love hurts – aren’t you glad?

In Him,

Blythe Elizabeth

Little Bits

My blog’s name, Little Noticings, is meant to represent that I want to remember & record the little things I notice – the small stuff that is lovely & beautiful, but the same stuff that people sometimes forget to find the joy in.

Recently, I’ve been forming a list in my mind of the things I hope I never get used to. The little stuff, you know? I want to remember why these things bring me excitement, smiles, gratefulness, and reasons to love life & others.

  • The sound & smell rain makes during the summer.
  • Cafés. The food, people, atmosphere, coffee, and tea. The smells.
  • Swishy & twirly skirts that are fun to wear.
  • My freckles.
  • The fact that Jay is in love with me… I can’t imagine ever being used to this. I’m always surprised that someone can love me so much.
  • A newly-made bed.
  • Pocket change.
  • Mason Jars.
  • My home.
  • How it feels when a little child holds your hand.
  • Clean baby smell.
  • That look you give your best friend, and they know exactly what you’re thinking.
  • Beautifully sung low notes.
  • The delicacy of feathers.
  • Birds chirping – especially right after a rain, or at night.
  • Finding the big dipper.
  • Reading God’s word.
  • Allowing Christ to change your heart.
  • Sun showers.
  • The first time you can go barefoot that year.
  • When you have to wear a jacket for the first time after months of summertime warmth.
  • The way it feels when skinny jeans bunch up at the ankles.
  • Reading a Bible passage you’re familiar with, and all of a sudden being struck by it in a brand new way.
  • The look in Jay’s eyes that say to me, “I love you so much.”
  • Watches
  • Gifts. Especially handmade ones.
  • A perfect cup of Scottish breakfast tea, with milk & sugar.
  • Being home alone.

… That’s only the beginning. However, this post would be miles long if I don’t stop now  :). I would love some input – what are little things that you hope to never tire of, or get used to? Comment away, Readers  :).

In, through, and because of Christ,

Blythe

Jay Proposed

Thursday (May 30th 2013), Jay asked me to be his wife  :). I am ecstatic! Definitely on Cloud Nine, haha…

Ring

WARNING: long blog post. If you want to skip the story, there are pictures at the bottom of the post  🙂

Before diving into the story, here’s some context: For a while now, I’ve wanted to go on a picnic. School was out, it was warm, and I just love picnics. So Jay made us sandwiches, packed some cookies and drinks, a wee bit of salad, and we headed to Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area. It’s a really pretty place with woods, a lake, paths to walk on, hiking trails, etc.. Jay and I have gone a handful of times during the span of our relationship. We even have our initials carved on a tree somewhere out there…  😉

Another thing you should know: He wasn’t planning on proposing on Thursday. He’s had the ring with him for a month (I had no idea!), and was just waiting for the right time. Apparently he’s been keeping it in his car, and I never noticed! He knew how badly I wanted to be surprised, so he was being ultra careful to make sure that happened. He knew I would be suspicious if he had planned something.

Okay – on to the story!

We arrived at Middle Creek sometime around 3:15, I think. We ate our food, talked, goofed off, laughed, etc.. Normal stuff, haha. I had my camera with me, which was sort of rare – I haven’t been in the habit of taking my camera with me places, and I don’t know what made me decide to bring it along that day. In fact, I don’t even remember deciding to the bring it. It was just sort of there, haha. So I was taking pictures, having a good time, talking to Jay, stealing a couple kisses here and there (feel free to roll your eyes)… Little did I know that in about an hour, I would be more grateful than ever that I had brought my camera along.

Eventually, Jay asked if I was thirsty. I told him yes, I was. He said he had water bottles in the car, and that he’d go get them. I offered to go with him, but he said he’d get them and be right back. I was completely unaware of the fact that it was then that he decided it was a good time to propose. So, he got the water bottles – and the ring – and came back.

I was happily oblivious.

I continued to take pictures, until he said, “Stop taking pictures, and come be with me.” I was having a fun time snapping away, but of course I put my camera down, and joined him by the lake. I don’t really remember much of our conversation leading up to the proposal… But he eventually asked me, “What’s your favorite part of the view?” Sounds like a dorky question, but it’s sort of normal for us. We ask each other what our favorite parts of things are all the time – mostly what our favorite part of the day was. So I turned around (his goal), and started talking about the trees across the lake, and the shadows that the clouds were casting. He said, “Mmm, yeah.” But it sounded like it came from much lower – not the normal 6’2″ that I was used to hearing his voice from. I suspiciously turned around, found him on one knee, holding the ring.

I gasped, brought my hands to my face, and smiled hugely (typical). He said, “Blythe? Will you marry me?”

My response was less than romantic. I said (maybe shouted?), “For reals??” and then, “Of course!” I then rambled on and on, asking over and over if he was being serious, if I was dreaming, if he really wanted to marry me, etc.. He assured me that yes, it was real. No, I wasn’t dreaming. Yes, he wanted to marry me. “Will you do me the great honor of being my wife?” he asked.

I was so excited. I jumped up and down, and wasn’t sure of what to do or say. He said, “Just say yes!” So, I did. I said yes, very happily. He put the most lovely and perfect pearl ring on my finger – which he got custom made – and I just smiled and laughed. Somewhere along the lines we exchanged a big & very happy hug.

It’s funny, because for the past six or so months, I was struggling with being content with where God had me. I was frustrated that we weren’t engaged yet, and I had a terrible time with jealousy. A lot of my friends – most haven’t been dating as long as Jay and I – were getting engaged, others were getting married, and I was jealous. I worked on it, though – or rather, God worked on my heart. He broke me of that, and I noticed how much I was improving in that area. I was able to be happy and excited for my friends, instead of battling feelings of bitter jealousy. I was being victorious in Christ!

I was telling Jay this, and he told me that one of the reasons he had waited to propose was because of that. If I was still dealing with jealousy when he had proposed, guess what? I would have found something else to be jealous of. I am so thankful to be marrying a man who is mindful of the state of my heart, and values my relationship with our Father over our relationship <3. That’s super attractive, haha  :).

The rest of the day was pure bliss – except for the very end of the day, which I’ll get into later… I called my parents right away, then my best friend, Em[ily]. Her reaction was so loud, the phone was about 5 inches away from my ear during the whole phone call  ;). Needless to say, she was thrilled. On our way back to Jay’s house, we phoned his best friend Tony. Not quite as loud of a reaction, but happy nonetheless  :).

The next hour was very fun – breaking the news to his parents, some friends, brothers/sisters, etc.. Not a single reaction lacked happiness, and it was all so joyous!

After dinner, we went to Prince Street Café to meet up with some friends, and ended up running into tons of people we knew. How convenient  :). It was really exciting to be able to share the news in person with so many people! Everyone’s reactions were so happy and excited, and I felt so blessed to have so many supporters. Even a complete stranger congratulated us!

After a grand time of hanging out with friends, Fiancé & I headed back to our cars. This is where the “not pure bliss” part of our day comes in… As we approached the cars, I noticed that Jay’s passenger window was broken. I pointed it out, and said how sorry I was that someone broke in, that I hoped nothing was stolen, etc.. As we got closer (we were about 4-5 feet away from the car), I noticed a man still sitting in Jay’s car. My heart dropped, and said, “Jay, he’s still in your car.” Right away, Jay pulled me back and stood in front of me. The man just stared at us blankly – he looked very stoned. Not a word came from his mouth, nor did his expression change.

Fortunately, there was a policeman & policewoman right around the corner that we had passed while walking to the cars. We ran over, and Jay told them someone was in his car, and that they had broken in. By the time we got back to his car, the man had left. He had taken nothing, praise the Lord. He was clearly searching for something, though, because Jay’s car was a wreck. Stuff was strewn everywhere!

We gave the police as much information that we could supply, they gave Jay the info he’d need to give the insurance company, and told us they’d look for the guy. They left, leaving the two of us in the parking lot, feeling very grateful for God’s protection. Things could have been much worse, in many different ways.

We were just about to part, when two more police cars pulled up, and told Jay they thought they found the guy. They needed him to go with them to verify whether or not it was him. Also, Jay had found the man’s cell phone in his car, so he gave it to the police. At that point, Jay just told me to go ahead on home, so I did. He left soon after, and we are obviously now safe and sound.

So, that’s the story. Pretty wild ending, huh? As Jay’s sister Kelly put it, “That’s a story to tell the grandkids.  ;)”

Picture time  :D!

First, our picnic. Simple, nice, ordinary, and fun  :).

Engaged!

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Look at this handsome man of God  :).

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Two butterflies made an appearance, and one of them was showing off for me  :).

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Very soon before he proposed, I happened to take a picture of my watch…!

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He drew this on a rock with some charcoal, that little sap  :). Haha, I love him!

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And this is him, saying, “Come be with me!”, standing at the spot where he would propose in just a few minutes…

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About 10 minutes later, I was picture-taking, of course! I love my pearl engagement ring, with the two teeny diamonds on either side. It suits me well  :).

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engaged!

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The day before, I painted my nails this way not knowing I would be engaged the next day. I love how it worked out!

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Dr. Bigley and his wife – two people that Jay has been taught by at Lancaster Bible College – were the first people we ran into. They were ecstatic for us, and Dr. Bigley offered to take pictures of us. I’m so glad!

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Well, that’s a wrap! I’m not going to apologize for how long this post was, because I’m not sorry  :). Thanks to all of you who read the whole thing! Your support and love for us as a couple is overwhelming, and really special. It means SO much!

On Cloud Nine,

Blythe Elizabeth

Lifestyle Photography

I don’t have much to say, except that this woman has great talent, and I wish my pictures would look like hers. They’re very real, gentle, emotional, etc.. I love lifestyle photography, and need to dabble in it more. My pictures are too posed, I’ve decided.

So without further adieu, click here for her lifestyle photography page… and feast your eyes on those many wonderful photos.

Thank you, Gina Zeidler, for inspring me.

Peace In The Present

Recently, so many things were up in the air for me. There were several options open to me that I could take, decisions that needed to be made, waiting for one job to start, wondering about things like marriage (everyone is asking me about it, so I figured I might as well not act like I don’t think about it  :P)… Needless to say, my mind was busy, cluttered, disorganized, and at times felt overwhelmed.

I was displeased, frustrated, and impatient. So many things were in line, ready to just happen – but why weren’t they happening? What was the hold up? Thankfully, through lots of conviction, prayer, and surrender, God brought me to a place of contentment and joy. Now, I’m enjoying my present, rather than comparing it to the future. Sure, I still think about the future at times, but it doesn’t cause me feelings of angst. I’m not freaking out about the switch in jobs. I don’t feel worried about the lack of income. There aren’t nearly as many sad feelings about my bare ring finger. I’m also not struggling as much with jealousy, and am able to rejoice with my friends who are entering into engagements & marriage.

I guess all this can boil down to three things:

  1. An obedient heart is a delight to the Lord. He answered my prayer for a change of heart so quickly!
  2. When your eyes are set on the things from above, eternity becomes much bigger and more realistic to your eyes. The things of now seem more minuscule.
  3. Your future is gently & firmly held in the mighty and caring hands of our God, who promises to provide for you. Who are we to worry about it? Worry is a rejection of God’s promise to provide. We may have plans, but they don’t always unfold like we envision. We must know and trust that no matter what, God will provide if we seek his righteousness and kingdom. It’s his promise to us.

Once God brought me to the place I needed to be, things started to happen, and God showed me why he took the time that he did. I found myself asking, “Why did I even doubt his timing, or get wrapped up in my confusion? What a waste of time.” Things with my jobs got worked out. My mind feels less cluttered. I think I am going to work harder on getting a photography business started. I am fully enjoying where my and Jay’s relationship is right now, learning more about each other and ourselves. Of course I so much look forward to being engaged and then married someday, but I’m loving where things are. I’m in such an interesting part of my life, and it’s so temporary. In fact, it will probably be the most short-lived stage of my life! Once things change, it’ll never be like this again.

So, I’m enjoying where I am now. I am learning more about obeying my Father. God’s training my mind and eyes to focus on the things from above. I’m resting in his perfect provision.

And it is so, so good.

Joyfully,

Blythe

“The Lord looks at the heart.”

I see so much emphasis lately on outward beauty amongst young Christian women. Girls are always saying to each other, “Hey, beautiful!” or “You’re gorgeous,” and “God thinks you’re beautiful!” This concerns me.

1 Samuel 16:7 says,

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

Outward beauty isn’t eternal. God is concerned about your heart, not how pretty you are. In fact, I’d be so bold as to say that God doesn’t sit up in heaven thinking about how beautiful you are outwardly. So why tell girls that he thinks they’re beautiful? Why tell them how pretty they are over and over? Why continuously bring their attention to their outward appearance? Our identity in Christ has nothing to do with how pretty we look. If we want to give girls a confidence boost that will last, remind them that God loves them. Remind them that God is pleased with a woman’s heart that is adorned “with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:4). Tell them that true beauty is to be a living reflection of Christ.

I understand that a lot of girls (I am in this category) struggle from time to time – sometimes very often – with the way they look. But isn’t that just showing a lack of confidence in who we are in Christ? Don’t place your confidence in something that isn’t eternal – and outward beauty is not eternal. Showering an insecure girl with compliments on how she looks isn’t ultimately going to give her confidence that lasts.

Please don’t get me wrong – it’s not wrong to tell a girl she’s pretty, lovely, beautiful, gorgeous, etc.. It’s not wrong as girls to wear pretty clothes, do our hair, or even wear makeup. However, it is wrong to place our confidence in the way we look. We shouldn’t bring so much attention to ourselves and our appearances. It isn’t right to place such value on something that is not eternal.

I know it’s a popular verse; one that you’ve heard over and over, and maybe have grown tired of… But don’t underestimate the truth in its words.

charmisdeceitful

 

Lovingly,

Blythe

Ah, Spring At Last

Well, Spring has finally showed up  :). I am so thankful! Today was in the high 70’s, and it was astoundingly lovely. I brought my camera everywhere I went today and took lots of pictures – which I’ll share with you. Surprised? I didn’t think so  :).

Springtime is good for my soul.

I ate a yummy breakfast: organic raspberry earl grey tea, a scrumptious pear, and (yes, three) shortbread cookies.

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I drove over to Janessa’s house, where we painted our nails in the warm noon sun.

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Then she & I went to market.

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spring at last // little noticings

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spring at last // little noticings

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spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

Nessa treated us to some African yumminess, and sat on a bench outside to munch on the goodness.

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spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

I love the police horses.

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spring at last // little noticings

Someone made origami cranes and hung them outside their home  :).

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spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

We got back to Nessa’s house, and unpacked all the fresh produce she bought at market. Then of course we made ourselves a little springtime treat  :).

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spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

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spring at last // little noticings

I loved our printed skirts! I absolutely love the feeling of a warm breeze swishing my skirt around.

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spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

spring at last // little noticings

I went to work after hanging out with Nessa, and didn’t get home until after dark. I lounged on my (unmade) bed, uploaded & edited all these pictures.

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My bed is now made, my window is open, and the fresh smells of spring are spilling through my open window. It’s a good night  :).

Blessings,

Blythe Elizabeth

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but in Pennsylvania, Spring is running way behind. We’re in April, and it’s still normal for the temperatures to be in the 30’s and low 40’s. It’s not right! There aren’t dandelions and violets sprinkling my yard, no warm breeze, no chance of running around barefoot and lying in the grass…

This morning I whipped up this little recipe in hopes that it will encourage Spring to hurry up. It was super easy, and even more tasty. I love the tartness of the lemon with the smooth sweetness of the peaches. I hope you like it!

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

You will need frozen peaches, sugar (I used raw, and you could also easily use stevia), and a lemon.

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

First, wash your lemon and roll* it. Then slice in half, and squeeze all the juice you can out of that sucker.

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

Put your peaches (I used about a cup), lemon juice, and sugar in a blender. The amount of sugar you use is up to you – I used about 1 teaspoon.

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

And if you’re me, you spill sugar all over the table while holding a camera in one hand, and a spoon full of sugar in the other. This step is optional, and isn’t advised.

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

The last thing to do is to mix it all up!

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

And there you have it! An enjoyable, homemade, and healthy sorbet  :).

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

Peach Lemonade Sorbet

I sort of wish the lemon had been a bit bigger – the final product wasn’t as tart as I had hoped, but it was still splendidly delicious! Also, I added just a splash of water to help it mix faster. I don’t think it was necessary, but I was impatient…

I hope you’re enjoying your Wednesday, and that wherever you are, Spring is with you!

x0x0,

Blythe Elizabeth

*By “roll” I mean to imagine it’s a piece of play dough and you’re making a snake. We’ve all done it, so I trust you know what I mean. The purpose of rolling your lemon is to loosen it up on the inside, allowing more juice to get squeezed out.

Polka Dot Shirt DIY

Polka Dot Shirt DIY

Hello! Well, it has been ages – I’ve missed my blog! I really enjoy typing out thoughts and things, so I thought I’d take the time to share a little DIY with you all  :).

Who doesn’t love upgrading a so-so shirt, and turning it into one of your favorite articles of clothing? If you don’t, well… you can leave  ;). This post is for all the DIY lovers out there!

I got this great army-green button up at Salvation Army for $3. I wore it a few times, but always felt like it was missing something. What was it missing exactly? Why, golden polka dots, of course! I’ll show you how I got this super cute look – just please, forgive the poor photos I took of the process! I did it at night, and the lighting wasn’t the best. I was feeling inspired, though, and didn’t want to wait until the morning to do it.

Let’s get started! The things you’ll need are:

  • A shirt that you think could use a little upgrade
  • Color paint of choice (Obviously, I chose gold, but if gold won’t go well with the shirt you’re upgrading, have fun and choose something totally different!)
  • Textile Medium. This stuff is what’s going to make your paint permanent. You can probably find it at any craft store  :).
  • A jar of some sort to keep your paint in
  • A pencil with a brand new, never used eraser
  • Something to stir paint with (I used a popsicle stick)
  • A damp cloth (in case you mess up or spill some paint)

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Go ahead and put about 16-20 drops of gold (or your color choice) paint in your jar, then add half  the amount of textile medium – so between 8-10 drops. Using your popsicle stick, mix it up.

DIY Polka Dot Shirt

Polka Dot Shirt DIY

Once you’ve done this, go ahead and dip the eraser of your pencil in the paint. Firmly plant the pencil eraser where you desire your polka dots to be – I chose to paint the collar and pocket flaps. The polka dots can be orderly, sporadic, many, few… Whatever you’d like  :).

Polka Dot Shirt DIY

Polka Dot Shirt DIY

Polka Dot Shirt DIY

Cute, right? Right  :). Here are some shots I took of myself wearing the shirt, so you can get an idea of what it looks like on someone:

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I hope you enjoy this little DIY!

Much love to all,

Blythe Elizabeth

Read This

As of late, I have been spending much time with kids. About 3 days a week, I babysit three wonderful littles – Sophia (7), Julianna (4), and Drew (1). I have come to love these kids so dearly! It’s been so fun getting to know their personalities, and being a second mom to them. I’m so attached to them. We always have much fun with games, crafts, baking, making forts, being silly, etc.. Sophia is headstrong, practical, but goofy at times. Julianna is sensitive, funny, and loves to dance/sing. Drew is adorable, skimpy when it comes to giving kisses, and loves trucks.

This week, I’ve been nannying two girls (Aja, 5, & India, 2. However, they have many nicknames, and I rarely call them by their real names) – what a joy that’s been! I love driving around running errands, walking Aja to school and picking her up, playing with India, keeping up with the household chores, making meals, etc. These two girls are absolute darlings – they say “Thank you” without me having to prompt, and they always say “May I please” upon asking for something. They have their occasional bouts of attitude, but those have been easy to take care of thus far.

After having spent so much time with kids, you begin to learn many things. And so, I compiled a list of 10 things that I’ve learned.

  1. If there are crayons and/or markers out while a one-year-old is around and you have to leave the room for more than 3 seconds, take all accesible coloring tools with you (or put them well out of reach). If crayons/markers are within reach, things that shouldn’t be colored on will soon have inky or waxy scribbles on them – both of which are rather difficult to remove.
  2. Your efforts to pick up the Duplos are all in vain. They will be dumped out again within 10 minutes of having put them away.
  3. Make sure when you say “one more time,” you really mean one more time. If you cave and give them a few “one more times,” kids will quickly learn to walk all over you and your soft heart that wants to give their cute little selves everything they ask for. It won’t take long for a kid to think that they can receive anything they want if they ask frequently enough.
  4. Cutting food into shapes and such can make all the difference. If you make apple wedges and peanut butter look like a flower (don’t forget the celery for the stem), you are a winner. Children everywhere will you think you are the bomb diggity.
  5. You can keep a 1-year-old occupied quite well just by simply repeating the sounds they make. They’ll stare in wonder, laugh at your silly attempt to speak their language, and smile at you (with their adorable 5-toothed smile and sparkling eyes).
  6. Having to change a poopy diaper right after you changed their wet one is just part of life. I think young children get joy out of making you change their diaper twice in 5 minutes.
  7. Similar to #3… No means no. Unless you come to realize that your reason for saying no in the first place no longer exists, DO NOT CAVE. But at the same time, be sensitive to their wants/feelings, and don’t cause them to feel more frustrated than they already are for not getting what they wanted. For example: “I understand why you want that, but [give valid reason why they can’t have desired thing]. Maybe some other time, but not right now,” is much better than, “Stop asking. I already told you no twice!” A stern voice is good, but not a I’m-annoyed-at-you tone of voice.
  8. Kids pretty much always want the cup that’s not theirs. Because, you know – orange flowers are much better than the pink bumblebees. Pink bumblebees are so 5 years old.
  9. To work well with kids, you need a good amount of three things: Flexibility, grace, and imagination.
  10. Messiness is something you have to accept – messes will happen, no matter what. I’m not saying that you should let your house look like 10 lumberjacks are living there, but don’t get uptight when kids spill all the blocks, crayons, and game pieces all over the floor. Don’t get irritated when they spill their water. Don’t make them feel bad or embarrassed about not making it to the potty on time. Messes happen – and they can be cleaned up. And, it’s a good opportunity to teach kids to clean as they go, and put things away before getting something else out. It also teaches them to be responsible for their own messes, and not to rely on an adult to clean up for them.

Well, this concludes my list. I could have gone on and on about kids, but I figured my list was already on the long side. If you have any comments, feel free to share. If you have tips, leave a comment. If you have disagreements, I’d like to know what they are.

Devotedly,

Blythe