1. I've been decluttering my kitchen. Well, tossing the crap is more accurate. Except a lot of it isn't crap at all, just stuff I don't use. See, once upon a time, pre-Johanna, I sold Pampered Chef. Oh, how I loved those kitchen gadgets! The stoneware! The stuff! So I have a lot. And it's mostly in great condition (not my saucepans because I threw caution to the wind and chucked those suckers in the dishwasher, so they're super ugly now), and I've been torn about getting rid of it.
I've been making hard decisions, is what I'm saying, and I'm also letting go of some dreams. I am not going to make super cute mini loaves of bread to give away at Christmas, so the Mini Loaf Pan must go. I have a muffin tin I like better, so the 12-cup Muffin Pan goes, too. The Stoneware Fluted Pan, my navy blue Deep Dish Pie Plate, a Mini Baker, a Large Round Stone...
That sounds like a lot--and that's just the stoneware, I'm not going to list all the gadgets--but I still have plenty in my cupboards. It's just the stuff I use now.
Well, mostly. I cannot bring myself to get rid of my tart pan or my cheesecake pan, even though I rarely use them. I have a couple of small oval bakers (that Pampered Chef apparently doesn't sell anymore) that are just too cute to toss.
I still have cupboards to go through, but what I have done makes me happy. To open up a cabinet and immediately be able to find what I'm looking for? That's gold. To have space between the mixing bowls and bakeware? Amazing. To have one less crock of tools on my counter? It makes me feel lighter.
I wish I'd have learned that lesson years ago, to not get caught up in the want. It's embarrassing to look at everything I thought I couldn't live without, now stacked up in Eric's brew room while I try to decide what to do with it... try selling it online? Save it for next year's church rummage sale? Drop it off at a charity shop? Hopefully I'll remember this dilemma the next time I find something I can't live without. Meaning: Yes I can. Live without. Enough is enough already.
2. So now that I've written about my growing maturity on stuff, let's talk about a shopping trip. (Ah, the irony.)
Yesterday the girls and I went to The Big City to do some school shopping. Johanna says that supplies are more important than clothes, and she's probably right, although 90% of her closet makes me want to cry. We spent FIVE HOURS in the mall. We learned that most of the stores don't open until 11 a.m. on a Sunday. Well, whatever, we hit the food court and got an early lunch and then started crossing things off Abby's list. She's the easy one--she knows what she wants, and she's good about trying things on and separating the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.
Johanna is harder. She doesn't really care about clothes, so getting her to focus usually takes some work. She found a couple of things in Abby's shops, and then we went to JCPenney because it sort of sounds like they need the business. And also because I couldn't find any of the usual kid's clothing stores anywhere around.
Penneys came through in a big way. She found leggings and a couple of really cute sweatshirts. Johanna is not into long sleeves, but she did pick out a plaid green shirt "for the winter!" and some t-shirts of questionable taste. (Angry Birds Space, anyone?) She even tried everything on to make sure it fit. You know what? Easiest shopping trip I've ever had with that child. And people! There's a very good percentage she'll actually match this year (but just because we got some black and gray leggings, which pretty much match anything).
I tell you what, my girls are awesome. I was thanked repeatedly all through the mall, and repeatedly on the car ride home, and repeatedly until bedtime. I appreciate the gratitude, but I also appreciate the fact that they understand the concept of a budget, that they do not expect to be given anything, and that they're happy with what they do get. That's the upside of
lazy parenting raising your children with low expectations. Or something.
Coldplay, Don't Panic. Because you know what? Malls are not my favorite place ever, but we endure because we must.