Like many of you, I find myself reflecting on the events of September 11, 2001. Where was I when I first heard? Where was I when the first tower fell? Who could have done this? Will our country ever feel “safe” again? Fourteen years later, I can still remember the feelings of confusion, helplessness, and utter, devastating loss.
But one of my most profound memories is from September 12 — the day after — as I drove the car. My daughter Morgan, just 3 years old at the time, was in her toddler seat in the back.
During such car rides before, she and I had shared many conversations about American Flag etiquette. She understood the significance of a lowered flag prior to Old Glory being lowered to half-staff for this most recent tragedy
As we drove past a large American Flag, appropriately lowered and hanging limp with the lack of breeze, she commented in her innocence,
“The flag looks so sad, mommy.”
Where usually, I would have jumped on that “teachable moment,” not that time. No, on this occasion, it was all I could do to swallow the lump in my throat and reply,
“It is, sweetie. It is so sad right now. But the breeze will come back.”
I owe my husband an apology. I recently handled a situation very badly. Not only did I fail to offer the support and encouragement he deserves, but I behaved in a way that was directly opposite to how I should have. The realization exposed much more than a problem with my attitude toward my husband, though.
It revealed a deficiency in my spirit and a sin that still has a grip on me: pride. (more…)
Do you know someone whose house is always spotless and ready for company? Do you wonder, “How on earth does she do it?” Do you wish your home could be perfect, too?
I followed a dozen women whose homes always look like magazine covers and discovered several behavior patterns — things most of these women do every single day. Try incorporating some or all of these into your daily routine and in no time, I’m sure your house will be your pride and joy as well.
Methodology and Observations
The women in this study were identified stealthily — women who hosted Pampered Chef parties, bridal showers, graduation open houses, and church small group meetings where every guest felt obligated to remove his or her shoes before entering the home. Once these model house keepers were identified, without explaining what I was looking for, I asked if I could observe their daily habits for a month. Appealing to their basest dreams of fame and stardom, I told them it was for a reality TV show on the E Network.
1. Women with immaculate homes breathe.
Yes — every single one of them, every single day. Inhale, exhale, repeat ad infinitum.
2. Women with immaculate homes eat.
Often several times a day — some choose healthier foods than others, but all of them eat something every day.
3. Women with immaculate homes brush their teeth.
Is this the secret to a sparkling abode? Considering the fact that every one of the women I studied brush their teeth a minimum of twice a day, it just might be. They also floss — well, they say they do.
4. Women with immaculate homes sleep.
In bed, in the carpool line, on the couch, standing at the kitchen sink — every woman observed in our study sleep for a cumulative average of at least 3 hours per day.
5. Women with immaculate homes go to the bathroom.
We don’t need to elaborate, but even though the frequency and time spent on this particular activity varied widely, it was found to be a habit all of these women have in common.
6. Women with immaculate homes bathe.
This one was a little bit of a surprise, but the pattern was clear pretty early on in the study. Some women bathe at night, some in the morning, some more than once a day. Whether they take a shower or soak in a tub, they bathe daily.
7. Women with immaculate homes plan to work out.
Only 2 actually followed through during the course of the study, but they all have great intentions to work out 3 to 5 times per week.
8. Women with immaculate homes wear clothes.
Outfits, accessories, and colors are unique to each lady, but they all wear something every day. (For the purposes of this study, yoga pants were counted as clothes.)
9. Women with immaculate homes own a phone.
All but one of our test subjects have a Smart Phone, but each lady has a phone, looks at it frequently, and panicks if she misplaces it. It seems apparent that the possession of a phone is a common trait among the best housekeepers.
10. Women with immaculate homes crave carbs & feel guilty for eating them.
As I took a closer look at number 2 (They eat.) we noticed a pattern in eating habits. Each woman reported a deep love of carbs and overwhelming guilt for indulging their desire.
Now you, too, can have an immaculate home!
Having your own spic and span abode by simply incorporating these habits into your own daily routine. Start small — adopt one new discipline every day. It might take you a while to get all 10 (or even 8) in a single day, but based on what I witnessed from these women, when you do, you’ll finally have it all together.
There are probably a lot of people on this earth who will claim to have the best grandma in the world, but my cousins and I will make the claim with just a little more confidence than the rest, because we know we did. My grandma Elsie was the kind of grandmother every single child should be so fortunate to have. (more…)
I want to wish a VERY happy birthday to my amazing dad, David Chew. He is an accomplished pianist, gifted singer, talented craftsman, and obviously, a great father. I mean, just look at me, Emily Chew, and Aaron Chew as exhibit A, B, and C. He is a loving husband to Nancy and the best grandpa a group of grandkids could ask for? (more…)
On my mind right now is a car ride a few days after the events of 9/11/2001. (more…)