Therapeutic Ramblings

I’m here.

I’ve come to the conclusion I may not have any more faithful readers.  I’ve been neglectful in my blog writing.  Mainly because life has been very full these days.  Full probably is an understatement.  It’s been busting at the seams and I can’t seem to catch up.  I’m not complaining, except that I miss writing/journaling.  I’ve pondered over how this blog began.  It was simply me writing about my life, my family and my interests.  I still do that…yet I feel like I can’t post something unless I have photos to accompany my post.  Pouring through photos, editing photos and then adding them to a post is the most time consuming [for me] with blogging.  I love photography.  I’m a visual person, so it seems nonsensical to NOT have photos.  Don’t get me wrong, the writing part does and can take up time.  Depending on the subject, sometimes it can take literally all day just to write one post.  I truly hate when that happens; because then I am too tired to go through the process of adding the photos.  Then I get upset with myself.  It begins a cycle of frustration.  I know why this happens.  My ADD brain causes this.  Even though I know why it happens, it doesn’t change how it makes me feel.

Over the last few months I’ve noticed a trend with some of my other blogger friends.  I’m not the only one who has neglected their blog writing.  As a matter of fact, I’ve noticed some have focused mainly on Instagram rather than blog.  I completely understand this.  It is way less time consuming to post photos on Instagram and add your thoughts than keep up a blog.

In my personal reflection of my blogging, I kind of feel like I need to chastise myself to some extent.  My blog was for me to share my thoughts and feelings.  It is mine.  I don’t need to do it a certain way.  I don’t blog primarily for monetary gain (although it would be nice) so I don’t need to follow certain rules to gain followers etc.  I have always and will always only want readers by way of organic means. {meaning I don’t pay to advertise my blog or any of my social media to gain readers}  However, for some reason, I entered the mindset that I needed to write about certain things in a certain way and order.  I don’t like that.  I don’t like my creativity, my flow of thoughts to be stifled.

I can’t remember the last time I looked at Google Analytics to see how many readers I have or what post was being read the most.  I think doing that also stifled my creativity.  I don’t want to feel as though I am in competition with anyone.  I just want to be me and if people want to read what I have to say, they are welcome.  It’s okay to have a post without photos.  It’s okay to just write.  I’m really trying to talk myself into this mindset…mainly the photo part. {I don’t think I’m a great writer too…please don’t check my grammar}

Last but not least, I think my other issue has been the name of my blog.  I worry people see the name of my blog and think I have a perfect family.  Or I worry they think I’m an expert at creating a joyful family.  Unfortunately, this is definitely NOT true.  About a year & a half ago our family almost dissolved.  My marriage was falling apart.  I had filed for divorce.  Without divulging details, it didn’t happen.  We are working on us.  It’s difficult, yet we are managing.  Life is rough.  Families and marriages are made up of individuals.  We don’t have control over those individuals.  We can influence and teach, but we don’t have control.  Anyway, during that tumultuous time in my life, several people asked me if I was going to change the name of my blog.  It really caught me off guard.  Why would I need to change the name of my blog?  I still believe family brings joy.  My own parents divorced, yet I still love my family…I have more family to love.

When I redesigned my blog several years back, I added and sometimes other emotions as a subtitle hoping to clarify, that just because you have a family, doesn’t mean you will live in a constant state of joy.  We all know that is not the case.  People/individuals in families can cause heartbreak, frustration and every other form of emotion possible.  Even so, I still believe the family is the basic unit of society.  I believe it is better for each individual of a family to stay in tact. {as long as there is not abuse being inflicted in any way}  I’m not going to site a study on family or give quotes.  This is my personal belief from my own experience in this life.  I also know that if a spouse dies it doesn’t mean the family is dissolved.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that I didn’t have any intention of changing the name of my blog when I thought I was going to be divorced.  Nevertheless, now I am reevaluating.  Should I change the name?  Is it misleading?

It would be a lot of work to change the name.  In the blogging world they call the name of your blog your “brand.”  So I have spent many years cultivating my brand.  What if a reader wanted to see what I was up to and they couldn’t find me anymore?  I really don’t want to change the name.  I also don’t want my integrity to be in question.  Yes, this is my blog.  If you have not met me in real life, then my blog is a reflection of who I am as a person.  It is my sincere desire for people to know I am authentic.  I am a highly sensitive person which makes me very conscientious of others feelings.  When I leave this life I want to leave a legacy my family will want to continue…one of integrity and love of all mankind, but most of all my love of family.  It is most precious.  And with constant nourishment it can survive into the eternities.

So whether anyone has read this post or not, the writing of it was beneficial to me.  And from here on out I pledge to write more regularly for me with or without pictures.  With that being said, I absolutely and positively love having readers…especially interacting with them.  You are welcome to come along on this journey.  All insights and comments are welcome…although I reserve the right to delete any contentious ones, as I would rather keep things on a positive and uplifting basis.  Life is rough enough as it is.  I don’t need anyone bringing me down…my own nature does that enough as it is.

Now I’m going to go take a walk/run.  I wish you a good day.

Writing brings joy,

Change Is Good

First Day of School Collage familybringsjoy.com

Hey there!  It’s good to be back!  I’ve missed blogging.  We are somewhat settled into our new abode here in TX.  It feels good to be back in my home state and very close to where I grew up.  Today is the kids first day of school! (at least my 2 youngest ones.)  I enjoyed walking my daughter to school.  Yes, I did say walking.  Our town home is directly across the street from my 6th graders school.  It was THE best first day of school experience EVER!

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{I hope you overlooked the second who above, because I sure did! ugh! :( }

My 6th grader familybringsjoy.com

Now that 2 of the 3 kids are back in school, I have time to blog again…yippee!  I’m looking forward to sharing more special features about our house in OK (which is still for sale…boo hiss.)  I will also be posting a really cool DIY craft tutorial I made for our new mantel here.  I hope this finds everyone safe and in good spirits.

See You SOON,

Inspiring Free Online Mom Conference

There is a wonderful FREE online conference for moms that begins today!  The following video introduces you to what the Mom’s Conference is:

 

Doesn’t that look cool!? Come join me!  Each day of the conference (beginning today,) a new set of 4 presentation videos will be made available on The Mom Conference site for a FREE 24-hour viewing/listening period.  The line up of speakers is phenomenal!

mom conference

What a great way to get re-energized at being the best mom you can be!  I’m especially excited about the meal preparation presentations.  Head on over now!  Click here.

Good moms bring joy,

Five Pins You Want On Your Pinboard

I think Pinterest is an awesome way to bookmark ideas we love.

5 genius pins I've used and recommend from familybringsjoy.com

Today I wanted to share 5 pins I have actually used and would recommend.  They happen to be pinned on my Genius pinboard.  Once you see the pins you will realize why I used that title.

Genius

1. Being the creative person I am, I fell in love with using washi tape on our phone chargers.  This way we know whose charger belongs to who and it looks pretty dang cute too!

organization

2. A thermostat on the wall is not very pleasing to the eye.  I didn’t use a hinged canvas like you see below, but I did put a wooden sign over an ugly security system pad…looks much better.

hiding your thermostat

3. The next pin is how to remove all writing off plastic containers to then use as storage or gift containers.  If you have finger nail polish remover in your house or acetone, you’re in business.  Put some on a rag and the writing rubs right off.  It works my friends!

remove writing

4. Now that I have such short hair I don’t need my straightener anymore…at least not for my hair.  My straightener has found a permanent home in my craft room.  It is absolutely the perfect way to iron wrinkled ribbon.  I love to use ribbon for home decor, scrapbooking, crafting and wrapping gifts.  It makes ironing ribbon a snap!

hair straightener

5. If you have been visiting Family Brings Joy for a while now, then you know how much I use blue painters tape.  I use it for so many things but I was delighted to find the following pin.  It has made hanging up those certain frames with the holes in the back a cinch to hang.  Use your tape to put in between the 2 holes.  Then take the tape off the frame and stick it to your wall.  I usually use a level on the tape so I know it will be level.  Then hammer your nails on the ends of the tape.  Pull off the tape and voila you are ready to hang your frame.  It has made my life so much easier!

tape hanging photos

Great Ideas Bring Joy,

2014 Valentine’s Day Mantel

Valentine's Day Mantel 2014 familybringsjoy.com

Greetings!  I told you I had been busy working on our Valentine’s Day mantel.  I’m sharing it with you today.

Disney Land countdown board familybringsjoy.com

This Valentine’s Day will be extra magical as we will be at Disney Land! {watch out Insta friends, my Instagram feed will be overflowing}  We realized our youngest, who is almost 11, was only 2 and a half years old the last time we went to Disney World.  She was telling me she doesn’t remember much of that trip and it made me sad.  She is pretty much already a tween but young enough to still love everything Disney.  Kids grow up so fast!  The kids have a long weekend off from school and we are taking advantage of it.  I hear it’s supposed to be a good time to visit the park…not too busy.  We sure will enjoy the little reprieve of snowy, cold weather we’ve been having here.  I checked the weather and it’s supposed to be a high of 81 and low of 50.  Ahhhhh…that sounds nice.  None of us have ever been to Disney Land, so we decided to check it out instead of Disney World this time.  Anyway, so I have sort of a Disney theme going on this year for the mantel.

The board I bought at Hobby Lobby and painted it with chalkboard paint.  I’ve used this board many times on my mantel.  I just erase and write what I want for the occasion.

Minnie Mouse Heart Garland familybringsjoy.com

I made this garland initially with just doilies and kids valentines I bought at the dollar store.  I glued them on and used different ribbon to tie them together.  Well, the doilies are a little fragile.  I hung it up and it ripped and tore.  I thought if I reinforced it with some washi tape where the ribbon was it would work.  No such luck, they still broke apart.  I hate when a project goes wrong.  I guess the weight of the valentines was just too much for the doilies.  I ended up adding reinforcement by cutting hearts out of card stock and gluing it to the back of the doilies.  I also punched small holes on both sides of the card stock hearts and tied them together with white twine.  Hooray!  It is not falling apart now!  I love the cute Minnie Mouse valentines.  My daughter made some just like this to hand out to the characters when we meet them for an autograph. (Of course hers are not strung together.)

close up of heart garland familybringsjoy.com

valentine trees familybringsjoy.com

The yarn tree I made for Christmas one year.  Super easy…wrap the yarn around over and over and pin the end on the top.  The dollar store also had these smaller trees. I decided to make a conversation heart tree.  Again, super easy…all you need is a glue gun.  The other tree is made out of buttons, brads and a few flowers.  I’ve seen similar ones on Pinterest and wanted to make one.  You can’t tell in the photo but, I mod podged music paper onto the back of the trees before adding the buttons and hearts.

right side of valentine mantel familybringsjoy.com

Anyone who goes into my house knows I love these little black and white signs.  The quotes on them are worth reading over and over.  Santa even put mini ones (wooden signs like the one above) in each family member’s stocking last Christmas.  I found this one at a local shop in town.  The wooden red heart my daughter made.  I found the vase at a local discount store.  The cute Precious Moments couple was on the top of our wedding cake.  It is special to us.

left side of frame familybringsjoy.com

I was going through my love box (where I keep cards & notes others give me) and noticed a theme in the cards hubby has given me.  He likes to give me the cards with the little kids on them.  Aren’t they adorable?!  Boy that photographer must have offered those kids something pretty awesome to get them to pose like that. lol!  I covered the backs of the window panes with different kinds of scrapbook paper and taped the cards onto the paper with blue painters tape. {I love that tape because it holds well but you can remove it when you want without damaging anything.)

right side of valentine frame familybringsjoy.com

The next few photos are of the music paper pinwheels I made.  Again, I attached them to doilies and added a few embellishments on top with the glue gun.  One of the pinwheels didn’t want to hold it’s embellishments.  They kept coming off so I just left it plain. (The one over the 2)

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valentines pinwheel familybringsjoy.com

Here it is again all together…

Valentine's Day Mantel 2014 familybringsjoy.com

I shot a couple of pics of the tree I have on my foyer table.

valentine tree familybringsjoy.com

I liked the next shot of our newest piece of art above the tree.  Jesus is LOVE.  I thought it fitting to include HIM.  I was trying a different angle to change things up a bit.

Jesus and valentine tree familybringsjoy.com

I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine’s Day week.  No need to show your love to someone only on Valentine’s Day…express your love daily.

Love Brings Joy,

Happy Birthday Family Brings Joy

photo 5 (6)Today is the day.

Five years ago I began Family Brings Joy.

I can’t believe it’s been 5 years.

I wonder how many of you have been following this thing I called life {my blog} for the majority of that time?  I know my sweet mom has.  I hope one day my kids will be happy to have me follow and comment on all their social media.  Right now it’s frowned upon.

Anyway, today I will be celebrating by taking the girls on a shopping trip to our favorite city 2 hours away.  It’s time to buy my college bound daughter a laptop.  She’s pretty excited.  I would be too…there were no such things as laptops when I went to college.  My youngest needs new jazz shoes while my son needs longer jeans.  I don’t really need anything for me.  I’ll just enjoy being with them and grateful we can purchase the items they need.

I hope each and every one of you has a fabulous day!  Thank you for being you and being a part of the Family Brings Joy community.  You are special and mean the world to me. :)

Happy Birthday Family Brings Joy!