“You are going to have your hands full.” I can’t tell you how many times I heard this when I was pregnant, most often when I was running errands with August. I knew that life would change when we had two children (and yes, we are a part of the “two under two” club), but I had no idea just how much life would change for my little family in such a short time.
If you are familiar with this site and social, you know that Wit & Delight is all about aspiration and inspiration. What I hope I have been able to convey, if not visually but conversationally, is just outside the frame of these perfect vignettes, lies a dirty dog, a pile of laundry and one exhausted (but happy) woman. I have no problem sharing life’s messier moments with you, dear reader, but there are times when I just wish that I hadn’t set the bar so high in my carefree, childless days. With Bennett Katharine debuting a month early (and let’s be honest, she was a wonderful surprise, to begin with) I still don’t feel like I’ve got my head wrapped around this whole life thing, throw work into the mix and I feel like we’ve been treading water just to keep up appearances these days. This can be rather troublesome when you run a lifestyle blog with a library of picture-perfect homes.
Over the years (and thanks to plenty of hours in therapy) I’ve learned to look at the most difficult challenges with less fear, knowing that somewhere in the struggle, there is a lesson. Fear can stop you from some of life’s greatest moments if you let it. I’m trying to turn my fear of the unknown and fear of not hitting “perfection” as learning opportunities. Personally, since I’ve had children, some of my own inadequacies have abated (while others have intensified, but that’s a whole other post), and disappeared. With a mischievous toddler and hungry baby, I just don’t have the luxury of stewing in my own thoughts.
One of the lessons I’ve learned with two under two (so far) is that you’ll enjoy life more if you let go of the little things. Little things like hand-painted Easter egg using only organic dyes. And homemade bread. And cakes made from scratch. And worrying about overbaking the ham. And making sure that the servingware is unique and defines “me” as a personal brand. And that the floral doesn’t compete too much with the food, and oh, is the music too loud? Is it hot in here or is it just me?! There is a season for everything, and for me, this is not the season of caring about the little things. And folks, this shift in mindset is incredibly freeing.
With a new baby, comes visits from extended family for the upcoming Easter holiday. What was once a catalyst for panic and obsessive planning, has changed to an excitement to spend time with family, and introduce Bennett to those that we love. With my new “don’t sweat the small stuff” mantra fully in place, we’ve opted to go totally store bought and ready to serve this year. So when I learned that ALDI had just about everything I could possibly need for Easter, I was eager to learn more.
Not so long ago, a project (and hosting an upcoming holiday) would’ve sent me into a tailspin of lists, ridiculously high expectations (go back to my Easter post from two years ago. While beautiful, I have flashbacks of trying to imprint floral patterns on eggs dipped in natural dyes while pregnant with August and remember how miserable I was) and multiple trips to grocery and home goods stores. I couldn’t this year. As I am just coming back to work, on the hunt for a new nanny (another story to tell, when I am in a better emotional space) I just couldn’t take on a “next level” project. Imagine my relief when ALDI told me that not only could I pick up a spiral ham and other ingredients for our simple brunch, but also florals and everything I needed for Easter baskets for the kids (and maybe a chocolate bunny for myself).
Let me reiterate, letting go of the small things (like multiple car trips for supplies with two little children in the middle of March in Minnesota) is incredibly freeing. With ALDI, it was easy to get something good (looking) and delicious out on the table. To personalize it a bit more, add some florals and plenty of baked goods and BAM you’ve got yourself a low-key, zero fuss Easter that everyone can enjoy. Because when mom is happy, everyone is a little happier, too.
Ed. note: This post was sponsored by ALDI. The compensation received in exchange for placement on Wit & Delight is used to purchase props, hire a photographer, write/edit the blog post and support the larger team behind Wit & Delight.
While compensation was received in exchange for coverage, all thoughts and opinions are always my own. Sponsored posts like these allow for the development of additional dynamic content to be produced, unsponsored. Thank you for supporting our partners!
Kate is currently learning to play the Ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, kids, and dogs. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_.
BY Kate Arends - March 21, 2018
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Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.
Their hams are delicious and well priced. I have purchased them for 6 years now and my family & extended family LOVES them.
I might not have children. But I agree with you about how freeing it is to let go of the small things. It’s something I’m learning to do this year. And as always, thank you for sharing your perspective and journey. 🙂
I love food posts! I find it so incredible how amazing your spread of food – and the decor and everything – look so good even though you’re prepping for two little kiddies! Really thumbs up! 😀
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
Everything looks so delicious!
Yes! I feel you girl. I have a four year old and ten month old twin girls in Wisconsin. Gone for now are the days of watercolor painting white paper napkins and trying to bake criossants. ALDI has double seat carts – which is a huge win 🙂 I am a walking showpiece when I go to the store with my crew. Wouldn’t have it any other way! And if I had a dime for every time I heard “you’ve got your hands full” I would hire a housekeeper.
I used to entertain with what can only be described as extreme anxiety, ironing table linens (and spraying pillow cases with lavender water), cooking from scratch and all the rest. When I had kids, that all stopped. You know what I learned? Nobody cares. In fact, people have more fun at our home now that it’s a little chaotic, less-than-perfect and sometimes a mess. People want to be with people. End.Of.Story. I’m heading to Aldi’s for a ham.
Aldi’s biggest fan checking in — seriously can’t believe that people live their lives without knowing how great and affordable Aldi is. It’s the good news that I love evangelizing most. Of course some items are better bought from other grocers and depending on the season they might not have everything, but man are they a great option!
Yes and yes to all of the letting go – and the freedom in that. And the craziness too. Enjoy every minute!!
Photos turned out to be so lively!Bravo!