Pick Up Your Feet

“Pick up your feet, we’re building memories” 

December 15, 2022

Life is full of idealistic thinking.  And if we are honest we have all been there.  We have had idealistic and unrealistic ideas of how we thought things would be.  And somewhere along the way, all of us have probably thought our house, apartment or condo would stay spotlessly clean.  I did.  But then I had kids and that all went out the window.  Things stayed hopelessly messy and I stepped on so many LEGOs in the middle of the night that felt like sharp nails piercing into the soles of my feet.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of messes.  I think they are one of the best ways to learn.  Messes in the kitchen, messes outside, even messes with building LEGOs and train tracks are some of my favorites.  And I was raised by a mom who also loved messes.  I have vivid memories of making sugar cookies and mud pies when I was a child and I don’t remember her ever being really upset. So, I asked her one day and she reminded me that it’s all about perspective.  She told me about a saying she always said to my dad when we were young - “Just pick up your feet, we’re building memories”.   

Perspective.  By definition perspective is a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.  Sometimes all you have to do is shift your perspective.  And that is exactly what I needed – a shift in how I viewed those messes. They indeed were messes but they were also very much memories. 

Now you can’t just throw caution to the wind and live in constant messes.  Children need to have boundaries and be taught to care for their things and clean up after themselves.  However, in the moment, in the middle of the mess, you are indeed building memories.   

As I think back, I can recall some of the biggest messes and the greatest memories.  When we were putting in our pool, it rained for many days before the concrete was poured and it made a giant mud puddle.  The best image I can give you is otters.  My children asked if they could “slide” down the muddy sides to the puddle at the bottom.  And they did... over and over and over again until mud was all I could see.  A huge mess – yes; but an even bigger memory.   

I can’t even count the number of kitchen messes that have happened over the years.  But we all have memories of homemade pasta on Christmas Eve and countless cookies that will last a lifetime.   

At some point I decided to make my new perspective a permanent part of our home and still have the sign hanging that simply says “Pick up your feet, we’re building memories”.  And by the way, not even a year ago, almost all of my children sat in my dining room and built LEGOs together creating a bit of a mess that is still partially there; but so is the memory of laughter and sibling bonding.  

So, if you are knee deep in LEGOs or train tracks or American girl dolls or mud pies or countless craft boxes just pick up your feet because you are building memories that will last a lifetime. 

On a family trip to Utah, we played this game daily with 16 people! It was on this trip that Gabe, the youngest GBM child, coined the new term, “unexpected point”. During many car rides home from school over the years, Anna Catherine’s children began incorporating “medium point” as one of the categories. It really can go on and on!

Being that we are a family of food lovers running a food company, it is no surprise that many of the answers to this game revolve around food. Lily, the youngest of Anna Catherine’s children, bounces her high point between “leaving school”, and “eating a snack in the car”, every day.