Sunday, April 25, 2010

Time to Dance

I have a new morning routine. My new routine is designed to help me slow down and be more engaged in this good life. In my new routine, I try to get up before the rest of the family (as I did in my old routine), but now, instead of getting ready and hurrying off to Starbucks before work (old routine), I now stumble straight into the kitchen. I usually put on some type of music to set the mood for a happy home when my people wake up; something that is conducive to worshipping God – usually a little Dave Matthews, U2, David Crowder, Norah Jones or Veggie Tales. Normally, by this time, the boys are awake (and it does not matter if it is 5:30 am or 7:30 am – If I’m in the kitchen, somehow, they know it) and we begin working on breakfast. After breakfast everyone goes to their rooms, gets dressed, brushes their teeth and whatever else needs to be done.

It’s during this time, that I make my way to our playroom and set the ipod to any number of songs that immediately signal to the boys….it’s time to dance. It’s kind of funny because they know what these tunes are.

As soon as my people hear, I Got a Feeling (Black Eyed Peas), Hey, Soul Sister (Train), Christ is Risen (Jeremy Riddle), I Just Haven’t Met You Yet (Michael Buble), or any other number of songs – they dance their way to the playroom – no matter what they were in the middle of. Literally, sometimes they arrive with a toothbrush in hand, sometimes with just one shoe on, sometimes with no pants – no matter what they were in the middle of – each Jeansonne boy finds his way to the playroom, moving to the music (even our 15 month old…he can’t talk but he can dance!)

For the past number of weeks, it has been the greatest moment of most of my days. Me and my boys dancing it up together, for minutes each morning. Unfortunately, these boys are learning their moves from me, but that’s another blog for another day. (If you need an image think of an NFL player’s touchdown celebration and combine that with Ellen’s mad dance skills.)

It’s a fantastic way to start our day.

Now, dancing with my boys might just be for a season, but dancing with my boys each morning has reminded me and will hopefully instill within them, that no matter how busy and/or serious things get in our lives…..

It’s good to make time to dance.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Looking for School Zones

Last week, I was driving with a friend of mine when all of a sudden I realized that I was actually in tune with the conversation that we were having. We were about 10 minutes into our drive from point A to point B when we came across those blinking yellow lights indicating a school zone. I slowed down from 35 to 20 mph only to realize that my entire day slowed down in that moment. As we drove through the school zone, I noticed the homes on the street, the kids walking along the sidewalks and most of all; I caught every single word that my friend spoke. I love hitting the school zones, because they are my new built in reminder that life is happening.

About 5 weeks ago, Kris and I took the kids on an 8 day road trip. Our adventure landed us in Austin, TX at a friend’s house. It was a life changing experience for us as we spent every minute of all 8 days together as a family. We spent our days at parks and festivals and shopping malls and other friend’s homes. We spent our evenings sitting together eating dinner, bathing the kids, reading and then after putting them to sleep, we would sit together engaged in real conversation over a glass of wine.

After being there for about 6 days, we couldn't figure out why we felt so connected to each other and to all of our kids. We could only determine that we both felt incredibly relaxed and loved the slow pace of life we were experiencing. Obviously, part of our ability to relax was the simple fact that we were on vacation and away from the normal hustle and bustle of our busy lives. But, there was still more to it than that. I have been on many ‘vacations’ and still missed the moments. This was different. This was intentional. Kristy and I ventured out on this trip very determined to make the most of our time as a family and as a couple.

It was also on day 6 in Austin that we determined to become more intentional from that day on. Since that fantastic vacation, we have been on a quest to figure out how to slow down in our everyday, ordinary life. So far, it has been amazing. As a family, I feel that we are more connected than ever before. Some of the ways that we have become more intentional include:

Getting rid of our television. We got rid of the TV and re-arranged our den to accommodate a slower pace of life.

Slowing down in the mornings. Instead of rushing out to Starbucks each morning (I was usually at the coffee shop each morning an hour before even needing to be at work), I now prepare breakfast each morning and help get the boys ready for school. I get to work on time.

Slowing down at night. After eating dinner, bathing the kids, cleaning the kitchen and putting the boys to bed (we’ve always done all of these things together), we sit on the sofa and enjoy a little wine (or beer or coffee) and real conversation. It’s cool.

Looking for school zones. Now, I try to live at a much slower pace and love hitting the school zones, because they serve as my reminder to be engaged in the everyday, ordinary moments of this good life.