Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Simplicity | Live Life | Morning Routine

5:45 a.m.

I wake up to the alarm on my cell phone.

I don't mind waking up this early. This is the only time of the day I get to take care of Suzette- not in a selfish way, but in a way that ensures that I am ready to take care of the rest of my troop for the rest of the day.

Because of everything that was taken care of the night before during the Evening Routine, my Morning Routine has been set up for success. Which is why waking up early isn't a bother.

The Morning Routine, as explained in the book One Bite at a Time, consists of five things that fuel you the most.

My Morning Routine consists of the following:
  1. Bathroom time- I've mentioned in a previous post that this and my next item are constants in my schedule. Brushing my teeth and putting in my contact lenses are very important to me. For one, I like to see. End of story. Secondly, if Addie wakes up earlier than normal and finds me mid-routine, well...... I have this things about having my teeth brushed.
  2. Quiet time- Reading the Bible and having prayer time is very important to me. If I do this when the kids are awake, my time isn't focused on what God is trying to teach me, it is distracted by what Ian might be discovering or answering one of Addie super-important questions. By having my quiet time before the house stirs, I am uninterrupted and can focus on my time with the Lord.
  3. Vitamins- My friend Sherri was so happy when I told her I had added this to my morning routine! She has been trying to get me to take vitamins for years! (Side note: I always take my vitamins when I am pregnant because someone else is dependant on them. But for me, I wasn't so consistent.) Now I take my vitamins and lay out Addie and Brian's vitamins too.
  4. Stretch- I've been doing crunches in the morning and then stretching out my back. It feels good to start out my day doing that. Yesterday, Addie woke up early and found me in the office doing my crunches. She looked at me and said, "Mom, are you exercising? It's the middle of the night!"
  5. Get dressed- because my outfit has already been picked out, I just have to lotion up, put my clothes on, do my hair and make up, and I am ready to go. Nowhere in particular, but I am presentable for my husband before he leaves for work, and my children who have to look at me all day.
Addie is also learning to have her own morning routine, which helps me have one less thing that I have to check off of my list. He routine consists of:
  1. Read the Bible- We have a wonderful children's picture Bible that we have gone through together several times called the "See With Me Bible". She is able to go through an account and tell herself the story without needing any help. This is teaching her how to make putting God first a habit in her life.
  2. Get dressed- She is at an age where she is able to get herself fully dressed and take care of her own pajamas.
  3. Brush her teeth- We do check her teeth to make sure they have been brushed well, but this is another item she is able to check off her list.
Once my morning routine is over, I kick it into high gear and become wife and mother. A CD goes on to pump up the family for the day ahead- last week it was Steven Curtis Chapman's Declaration and this week it is Rebecca St. James' Worship God. A load of laundry goes into the wash, Brian's lunch (from the night before) goes into his lunch cooler, Ian is rescued from his crib, changed, and put into his outfit for the day.

Having an established morning routine has had quite a few benefits for our family, the most important one being a family breakfast. Because Brian is totally on board with me, he has been getting up a little earlier, too. This enables our family to sit down to breakfast together before he heads off to work. We don't have elaborate breakfasts (cereal, oatmeal, oatmeal casserole, grilled cheese, hard boiled eggs have made the "menu" for us) but we have a time together that we did not have before.

And spending more time together, for me, is the greatest benefit of establishing routines.

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