52 Smiles #7

Did you sing that song with your kids today that I posted earlier? I am in love with it and we’ve been singing it all day! The girls called my sister the other day to sing it to her because we knew she’d love it! Love that someone wrote a song that makes kids realize it all starts with them!

So in an effort to actually get some snap shots (which they TOTALLY are because my pro-tog hat stays at home when I venture out with my own kids!) blogged on the same day I took them, HERE is how we spent our Earth Day doing 52 Smiles number SEVEN!

We started by dropping sweet Bailey off at school who said, “Mommy, I’ll be learning about Earth Day today and school and you guys will be DOING something for Earth Day!” Man I love that kid. Then we headed off to the Muehls to grab them and hit Emmenegger Park for trash duty. Because we decided a fitting Earth Day version of our 52 Smiles project would be to pick up trash at one of our favorite parks!

Adriane and I thought it was funny that no collecting was allowed and yet here we were, eight of us, all with bags ready to collect lots of things!

I guess they won’t mind too much the things we were collecting! HA!

Gray was a total two year old, which is my excuse right now for him being a total turd, and refused to pick up anything. But Parker was awesome and at one point as I was hurrying her along she said, “Mommy, I’m looking for trash! I have to go slow!”

She also said to Lydia, “Your Daddy has HAIR!” HA! Like WOW how did that happen? SO funny! Oh and she rode with Tim and Adriane to the park and told them her Daddy drives over the speed limit! That kid cracks me up!

The creek is swollen because of all the rain we’ve had and the trash in there made us all so sad. I encouraged Tim to go ahead and jump in for the sake of our project but he declined. HA!

The Muehls minus Ahren (who was sad he had to miss our morning together)… Tim teaches but was off today for Good Friday. Oh the joys of NOT teaching at a public school!

One of the neatest parts of the morning was meeting a mushroom hunter who was obviously ignoring the collecting rule as well. He let the kids hold his treasures and then as we were walking away he found one still in the ground to show them…

Isn’t that beautiful? The ground was so wet I just held my camera down and got lucky with the focus! It was hard to not look for mushrooms and start looking for trash again because well, these are just prettier!

I love these unedited shots of PJ veering off the trail to grab that discarded McD’s cup! We will certainly keep grocery bags in the car for each trip to the park in the future! We love hiking at this park and now to add trash collecting to the trips just makes it even more fun! I can’t wait to see if the kids (Parker especially) start noticing trash in other places and want to pick it up! And we can’t wait to take Daddy and Bailey on a trash collecting trip soon!

The kids and their haul!

I want to admit something. On Earth Day. I never recycled until about a year ago.

I used to think recycling was hard. I was so overwhelmed with my three young kids and life in general I thought I just couldn’t add in one more thing. But then one day I just started. And it was easy. Just like the day I started reading food ingredients. It was so daunting I cried at the grocery store the first time. Now it feels like second nature. Anything new seems hard at first I guess so you just have to start. Reading about Katherine’s 52 Smiles project back in January seemed impossible, like how in the world could I make time each week to do something to teach my kids to be other-centered? To give back? To show empathy and understanding? But it didn’t leave my heart and in fact tugged at me for weeks. Until I mentioned it to my friend Adriane. Someone I didn’t know all that well but saw every single day at school drop off and was starting to like so much. Almost eight weeks in to our project and she has become one of my closest friends as we travel this path together. Now our project is pure joy. The bright spot in my week!

All this to say, it’s not too late to start yourself. The little snippets of goodness my kids are getting out of this will change their lives, I just feel it. And you know what, it’s changing mine as well. Maybe it’s changing me the most. Like so many of your comments reminded me today, it’s not about the big things it’s about all the small things because over time, they add up. I’m not a perfect mom. In fact, I’m FAR from perfect. I’m even worse at being a good friend, daughter, sister and especially wife. But I try. I actually try really hard most days. And whether I succeed or fall flat is not the point. The point is, I’m trying.

Did picking up a few pieces of trash save the earth today? Nope. But did it teach our kids to just start? I hope so. Did it remind me that it’s the small things that matter most? Yup.

Today was such a good day.

Although maybe I’m feeling good because I gave up and had soda.

Either way, it was a good day and I’m so thankful for this project and all it’s teaching me!

2 thoughts on “52 Smiles #7

  1. You talk so much about how bad of a mom you think you are, but then things like this prove that the opposite is true. I love this Jodie! What an amazing thing you and your kids took part in and what an incredible lesson. I think you’re great. You should ease up on the self loathing and give yourself a pat on the back every once in awhile. : ) You’re doing a great job. And if you’re sitting there thinking of all the reasons why I’m wrong then STOP and just receive it. K thanks. haha

  2. i tried singing the song with my kids… they yelled at me to stop singing! : ) i’m with you on the recycling thing- for me, it was composting our food waste for our yard. it just seemed SO hard until i did it for a few days in a row. now it’s not even a thought- we just do it. you’re a good mom- your kids will remember this project & all they’ve learned from it their entire lives. i’m glad it’s so fun!!

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