Monday, August 25, 2008

Living a Beautiful Life

Precious Gifts

Count me in as another fan of Alexandra Stoddard... I've been thinking about her and her philosophies as I move toward making my house a home-sweet-home. I love her concept of living a beautiful life. No matter what my circumstances are, I can strive to bring beauty, comfort and a little more peace in my home.

The key word is strive, there, people! :-) My daily realities include 2 pets, a teenage daughter, messes, spills, busy schedules, busy husband, a major landscaping overhaul outside, and the ever-present To-Do list and errands.

Despite all this, and maybe because of it, I need to have my home be a haven for myself and this busy little family. I used to think that I would wait for a more prosperous Someday and then really go to town decorating and furnishing the house, and there you would have it: (poof!) a haven.

In the meantime, I've discovered that life doesn't wait. Children grow, memories are being made , and life is being lived whether the house is "perfect" or not. I've learned that living a beautiful life does not hinge on having a perfect looking house (inside or out). It's about the dear ones inside it, good dinners and even better dinner-table conversations, stories read aloud, hugs, laughter, shoulders to cry on, and doing fun things together. It's about keeping the house in some kind of order and having routines; that shows love and gives comfort, too.

Over the years, my "living a beautiful life" has changed from being Martha Stewart and having her house, talent, and salary having the perfect package to finding joy in the everyday. For example, I love looking at my Eastern Redbud tree outside my kitchen window. It has heart shaped leaves -- is that cozy, or what? I love that. These leaves will turn such a bright shade of yellow in the fall that I don't have to turn on my kitchen lights! I look forward to that every year. It's putting a love note in my daughter's lunch every day (yep, she's in Jr. High now) and having a family tradition that we wave to each other until we're out of sight -- that's living a beautiful life to me.

A home is still a big part of living a beautiful life. It's where we live, love, sleep and dream. But my haven and my beautiful life will not be found at the furniture store. Decorating my home and improving it is going to be more like a journey. I think my haven is going to evolve as we try to live fully each day. Feathering this nest will be more about choosing carefully, and surrounding ourselves with things that we love and that reflect us as a family...

But, that's a post for tomorrow, because I've already gone on longer than I intended, and that to-do list is calling me...

graphic: Precious Gifts,

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