for a long while now i've been neglecting the little touches that have always made my house a home - the flowers, candlelight, notes on the chalkboard wall, homecooked meals, bubble baths for the kids, cleaning the fridge every monday, purging the kids clothes & toys by season, throwing parties, making playlists for the ipod...and i hate to admit it, but even saying blessing before dinner.
at first it was a kind of freedom - i was now a busy working mom with more on my plate than i used to have. it felt good to give myself permission to let some things go. to let homemaking habits slip while i cultivated working habits, while our family shifted and got used to our new routines.
but lately, it was making me sad. the lack of colorful blooms, the unmade beds, the scroungy mess of art supplies, the disorganized cupboards...the feeling that our home was becoming a place of function rather than a cozy and peaceful retreat that was a pleasure to come to.
with this realization, i started to put more effort in this part of my life. i've started to get my home back in order. it started with a scented candle i was given in may...a nice little luxury that i put in the hall bath and left burning most of the day. i enjoyed it and when both kids commented on how nice it was, i realized how important these little touches are. tiny pleasures like this were something they had grown up with and probably missed without knowing they missed it. when i replaced that first candle with a new one i'd purchased in town, satchel told me how very much he liked the new milk-glass candle holder it came with. once again, he noticed.
next, i brought home several bunches of cheap flowers from trader joes. temple shrieked with delight at the tulips in her bathroom and proceeded to carry a bunch of pink gladiolas to the nature table/altar in her bedroom where she placed them next to her framed baby photo. it was like i had given her a present.
for the first day of school, i promised the kids a pot of sunshine soup - one of their favorites. when satchel thanked me several times for making it and ate it for lunch 2 days in a row aftewards. same for the happy first day of 4th grade! sign on the chalkboard wall and the early morning bubble bath today.
their appreciation of these small efforts reinforced what i myself had been feeling and the important realization of how much we all need little pleasures and snippets of beauty in our days.
fall is a great season for celebrating simple, small pleasures which i still remember from my own childhood. my mom would simmer a pot of cinnamon stick & vanilla on the stove...such a lovely smell! hot oatmeal in the morning. sweet notes in lunchboxes. afterschool treats.
back to school - as much as i resisted it this year, as much as i wanted more summer and extended sunlight and morning lie-ins - is the perfect opportunity to build our days around rhythm and beauty. so i'm excited to pour a little more creativity into this part of my life. if you are feeling inspired too, please share! what do you do in your house to bring beauty to your days? i'm not ashamed to say that i am easily inpsired and will steal your great ideas readily :)