As a mom, it has always been my role to create the powerful memories of our family.

And as an enoughness coach, it’s always my role to help women find that sweet spot of just enough doing — without overdoing.

But, admittedly, I am obsessed with enjoying life — and showing my daughters how to enjoy life.

So, just how do we live more? It’s perhaps a little easier said than done, right? Especially — well, particularly — for those of us with children. Perhaps even harder for those of us with no family to help out for even a day, let alone a night or a weekend? How do we live more?

I will admit, early on in my life and in my motherhood journey, I struggled with this intention. And that’s why I wrote this article.

But, now more than 13 years into this parenting gig, I do get it. Perhaps I always did.

For me, living is the little things. And when I look back at old videos, old pictures, old blog posts from a couple blogs ago, I realize … we have been extremely blessed to live a really awesome life — one that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

I hope that my girls will think back to their childhood and be able to laugh and say remember when … and they can recount a list of memories that make them smile long into their old age.

And, if I’m lucky, they will remember my legacy as a mother as being one that empowered them to be themselves and do fun things — all while taking really good care of themselves.

How do we have powerful moments with children?

I started thinking about this concept years ago, when I read Patti Digh’s book Life is a Verb, but that mindset really sunk in when our family created a memory jar.

I wanted some way to remember when we had really great moments.

I wanted some way to remember when our family had experienced a joyful moment together.

For years, our memory jar was anything from a small, plastic rice container to an extra large glass jar that has been repurposed with a little sign that says Magical Memories Jar. We started it last September or so — long enough to know what we are doing. This idea popped up on Pinterest last year and I think it came from Parent Hacks but I’m not sure of the origination of anything anymore.

For a long time, I was usually the only person writing memories in the jar but I loved it once the whole family contributed. But, contrary to what you might think, memories are verbs. There are actions in memories. We have to do something, see something, hear something, notice something for it feel like a true memory.

We have to notice the beauty or we may miss it. And then you’ll get to the end of your day and think there’s nothing to write about today. There weren’t any A-ha Moments, in other words. It might have been a lovely day, a wonderful day even but no memories?? How can that be? How sad! What a tragedy!

I brainstormed one evening during my daily gratitude practice and discovered that there’s a whole lotta memories and living happening that we had glossed over as a family. I had been ignoring some wonderful, tiny, special, glittery moments that pass by with barely a blink.

It’s all powerful, if we see it that way.

This lesson was a lot like in the movie, “Up” when Mr. Frederickson realizes that his wife was a dreamer, yes, but that their everyday life together was all that really mattered to her. Such a poignant moment in the movie and I dare you to not cry during that scene. Double dare.

The reason that scene is so emotional for so many is because we realize that we are all so busy chasing those big “Rainbow” moments that we often forget about the small, everyday shimmery ones.

And, this magical memories jar project is also great motivation to start living life more. I highly recommend you start this jar today. You can put the little notes of paper in anything at all — a bowl, a ziplock bag — but start today. You will not regret it. Please share some ideas for memories to write down as well in the comments!

Here are 25 ideas to trigger your brain to remember the good stuff, the in-between stuff, the small but-oh-so-wonderful moments.

  1. Silly songs your family sings
  2. The crazy things kids say
  3. The crazy things parents say
  4. Anything related to body functions
  5. Illnesses — or better yet, that amazing feeling you feel when you are finally better!
  6. Random Acts of Kindness — both that you’ve done and when others do it to you
  7. Movie nights, game nights, art nights
  8. Big, scary bugs
  9. Big, scary messes
  10. Trips — big and little, far and near
  11. Daily rituals
  12. Traditions
  13. Adventures — tame and wild
  14. Learning moments
  15. Teachable moments
  16. Firsts. Ah, the firsts. {first roller skating experience}
  17. Books read — this includes parents’ books, too!!
  18. Special meals {spontaneous invite to a friend’s for Pizza Margherita!}
  19. Neat sightings {like when we saw 5 deer run across a highway}
  20. Silly things that make everyone laugh like taking a night to talk in a made-up language
  21. Weird things{ like when five cats suddenly show up living in your backyard.}
  22. The precious, sweet moments when you catch random kindness
  23. Your promotions and successes at work or in your community
  24. Your milestones {such as when I did back bends in yoga!!}
  25. Your dreams turning to reality {the day 5,000 people visited my blog!!}

At the end of the year — or whenever you feel like it — read these notes from the whole year. Now, share some of your own ideas to add to our memory jars!

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