Celebrate It All! Making the Mundane Magnificent!

My mother’s little sister, my Aunt Karen, possesses a special talent for making most anything fun, and she showed me that we could find a reason to celebrate almost any time. Helping me hone my party skills, many an afternoon snack break turned into an Oreo and Dr. Pepper homework completion celebration, with toasting and merriment for two!  We would play “fashion girl” in her  closet-a budding fashionista’s version of dress-up.  Aunt Karen worked in television production, as a  freelance wardrobe contractor.  Watching her work helped develop my eye for style, and when visiting her closet, I could never help myself from asking to pick something out.  On overnights, my mother would have packed a gown for me, but Aunt Karen got to wear sweat pants, and the most clever star-shaped hair clips,  holding up piles of her rapunsel-esque brown hair (which for my childhood obsession with them, have been passed on to me!!) I would drift off to sleep, knowing I would wake up to a special occasion breakfast tray, including a handwritten menu.  Her natural talent for making the ordinary extraordinary, is something I have patterned.  As a mommy, having the magic touch is useful in many ways. Using creativity to make more out of the mundane moments, is a skillset I’m so grateful to have learned.  Even when the days are long, and circumstances aren’t perfect,  there are things in our lives for which to be grateful, and children can be taught to look for the silver lining. Every family must decide what they value. And in ours, celebrating each other, and our blessings, has been a strong hold for making it through this life.

August brings us the last glimpse of summer, before back-to-school bed times, and normal routine. Along with sunny days, and sweet air,  comes the opportunity to make the most of the time before the sun finally sets on summer.

Last week,  some friends and I took our children to a county fair, twenty miles south of Nashville, in Franklin, Tennessee.  Watching the excitement on the children’s faces as they ran from ride to ride, I was reminded that it was this time of the summer (the dog days), when we took our annual “Aunt Karen” outing to Opryland! Maximum ride time was the end game, and from the moment the puff paint dried on our matching t-shirts, we went race pace until the park closed.  I can still smell the kettle corn:)

Every day doesn’t necessarily lend itself to outings of theme park-or even county fair-magnitude, but  looking through the lens of creativity, even  the extra evening hours, can be an opportunity to create memorable experiences.  Don’t stop reading now because you think this is getting ambitious. I’m talking find -it -in -your-pantry type supply lists, for easy at-home  fun! My children also enjoy an unexpected “Pit Stop Party”. When they were little, I kept party hats in the car for last minute stops for ice cream or popsicles.  Any day can go from mundane to magnificent!

A couple of my go-to’s:

Make it snack-tastic:)

I was delighted to open Instagram one day, to receive news that the Oreo Cookie had earned its place among National social media holidays! It was cause for celebration! Creating this themed snack set up took just a few extra minutes and afternoon snack was a little more exciting that day.  There are countless ways to amp up snack time.  Keeping a few left over party supplies in a close by cabinet can come in handy.

Let’s have S’more fun (in our PJ’s) !

To add to the thrill of later summer bedtimes, we have a tradition of making s’mores. I keep the ingredients stocked (and hidden from pantry plunderers).  Fishing rod themed marshmallow skewers add fun in the summer. If sweets at night are a no-no, then set up nets and mason jars and catch lightening bugs. The fun part is getting to stay up late and party, in pajamas!

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