Feb 3, 2015

Mac n Cheese in February

I received answered prayer about a job yesterday.
I'm thankful that God's got my back, and really excited!
 I've been feeling pretty sentimental lately...crocodile tears-style, going through old pictures of the kids when they were babies, and nearly losing it. You guys, time is so fleeting. 
 We are blessed to live this life, broken and beating as it may be.

Today I'm thankful for Truman's growing vocab, Story's flitting about, and Wilder's quiet strength.
The blessings make my heart burst til I wonder if I can handle it any more, then something like a sunset happens, or I hear a song that speaks to my heart. 

And I can't help but be crocodile-teared grateful for life.

Jan 27, 2015

Seven Quick Tips for Making a Day with Kids Run Smoothly

I'm sharing a few tips/tricks that help mom and kids not just "get through" the day, but "excel through the day." I don't like saying "I wish it was the weekend," because I simply don't know what the weekend will bring. God has me here, today. This is a day to live to the fullest, not wish that it will end.

Cleaning. First, realize that the to do list will likely not be completed until your babies are off to college. Even then? Iffy! My simple trick to keeping the house somewhat tidy and sanitized? Set the timer for 20 minutes and hit the bad places. Set it for 20 more minutes to play with the kids or take a break. Alternate like this throughout the day as time allows! And before you know it the messes won't be as overwhelming.

Get fresh air! Even if it's frigid, go on your front porch and just breathe in the air. Sometimes a quick change of scenery and subjection to Vitamin D will improve your mentality.

MUSIC, music, music! We play Pandora constantly. It keeps things light and fun. 

Practice gratitude. When you start to feel overwhelmed, quickly think of ten things you are thankful for today. I try to remember other people are having to "buck up," too, and that they may have it much worse, and that what I have isn't even bad!!

Look at old pictures of your kiddos. It puts time into perspective. You may get baby fever, just to warn you.

Own your choices. You are in charge of your life, and how you raise your children. It's up to you!

Put your phone AWAY. Read books, color, build blocks, dance! Be goofy and carefree with your children.
And those are just a few of the things I do regularly to keep both momma and babies happy and healthy. 

Jan 18, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

Reading fellow bloggers' new years resolutions and goals has been inspiring and thought-provoking. I don't tend to set New Year's Resolutions because I rarely have the self-discipline to follow through with them. I don't want to disappoint myself by falling short of my own expectations. I'd rather surprise myself by having a blank list first, then do something cool and awesome, write it down, and scribble a line through it indicating, "done"! 

So, this isn't a list per se, because I'm not an organized person, and I like my days to flow with little planning. I really loathe planning. Someday I want a vacation where we pack our bags, a tent, wad of cash, and just DRIVE. This makes me sound entirely noncommittal...and I own up to that. I know I am!

So, here's my Non-list List for 2015:

Be a more intentional mother; recently Story said 
Mom I'll give you $100 if you listen to me, and it ripped my heart out!
Teach my kids about Christ, and love, and beauty and redemption; I have to teach not just befriend
Smile more
Embrace grace
Research and purchase and use essential oils
Speak life into people, including myself
Hug people more often
Look for the joy
Read Scripture daily
Find a full time job that is fulfilling
Do life-enriching activities like exercise, being outside, art/crafting, new cuisine, making new friends
Stop being so self conscious with low self esteem
Stop apologizing for being the way God created me to be (a very feeling, sensitive, passionate person)
Stop painting my life as an irrecoverable mess; it may be a mess, but all is not lost. We are all BEAUTIFUL messes
Stop wearing my heart on my sleeve. Yes, I have grown a bit calloused from heartache and pain experience in 2013-2014 (this sounds terrible but I'm so GLAD those years are OVER). I am learning to reign in my emotions and only show those deep parts of my heart to people who have earned my trust
Do some mega mondo gut-wrenching forgiving
Let the wind blow through my hair
Love my body
Get another tattoo representing endurance, strength, honor, grace, beauty, nurturing, rising, empowerment, inspiration, survival
Continue being positive and optimistic
Get some baby books printed off through Shutterfly

Instead of 2015 "having me," like the past 2 years have, I will have it! It is a gift I mean to treasure and live to the fullest. Those empty places in my heart will just have to catch up. I won't wallow.

Jan 5, 2015


 Christmas with my family was nothing short of magical.
Seeing the babies with their cousins reminded me of all the wonderful times I shared with my cousins.
Instant friendships. Best buds status right away.
And to think my younger sis and her husband will be adding to the crew this July! Such an exciting time.

I learned some terribly difficult, excruciating lessons (like being nice doesn't always work, and wearing my heart on my sleeve doesn't always work either) in 2014 but I'm ready to prove to myself the extent of my resiliency in 2015. I'm making it my year. A year to get all of the unknowns sorted 
so I can get out there and change the world already.

Good grief.

The deeper the heartaches you've faced, the better for you to experience joy.
Heartbreak carves out space in your heart which gives you
the opportunity to fill it back up. Gratitude is the key.
(this was on my friend's IG feed; she didn't have an author credited)

God never uses anyone greatly until he tests them deeply.
A.W. Tozer

You need to fill yourself up with love. Not anyone else. Become a whole being on your own.
Emery Allen

How people treat other people is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves.
Paulo Coelho

Your struggle is not an excuse, it's ammunition.
Sonya Teclai

Dec 23, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014!

If I could see you in real life, I'd hug you with a bright smile and say, "have a safe and blessed holiday!"

I really do hope that your Christmas is the peaceful kind, where you sit contentedly at the dinner table in silent awe of everyone around you, the happy people, the grumpy ones, the fussy ones, the laughing ones. The human beings with precious hearts that make up your family unit. Few things trump being with family, even if that time includes chaos and stress. I like sitting at Mommy and Daddy's table, feeling so full from all the calories, and just taking in everyone around me whom I love so dearly. 

That is the gift I hold so dear this Christmas. 


Angels We Have Heard on High

Billy Gilman

Angels we have on heard high
Sweetly singing ore the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains 

Gloria in excelsis Deo
Gloria in excelsis Deo 

Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ whose birth the angels sing
Come adore on bended knee
Christ the Lord the newborn King 

Gloria in excelsis Deo
Gloria in excelsis Deo 

See him in a manger laid
Whom the choirs of angels praise
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid
While our hearts in love we raise 

Gloria in excelsis Deo
Gloria, in excelsis Deo
Gloria in excelsis Deo

(keeping it real outtake! took these with no assistance! they were so patient)

2015 is going to be better than I could have ever dreamed. That is the kind of God I serve, and I trust Him.

Dec 4, 2014

Decorate Your Heart Instead

Holiday greetings, readers! Here's my heart as it stands this chilly afternoon. The post is a bit all over the place but these are life lessons I need to get out even if they don't flow editorially (nerdy writer jargon there!).

In recent trials God has been immovable, even though lots of things in my life are jumbled and messy!! He's remained the same, so present, so fighting for my heart, pulling at its strings to guide me to true peace and joy...being firm with me as I often dodge the path of obedience. Sometimes I see that very narrow path and just don't want to walk it because it appears too treacherous or challenging. Satan is a total jerk who has been trying so hard. I have to laugh in his face because he thinks he can win. 

It's not going to happen.

As someone who likes to have a general idea of what's going on, not to be mistaken for control freak, because I'm not one, it's been challenging to exist in a sea of uncertainties. I won't expound because it could bore you, but let me just say, through it all my strength has been found in Him. I'm confident I can thrive even in the midst of struggle. I am much stronger than I ever thought I was...than I was ever brave enough to be. I do have my days where the residual pain takes my breath out of my chest and I need Him to be my breath--He is patient with me.

I want to encourage you, especially during the frenzied holiday season, to seek and protect pockets of quiet to reflect on the perfect plan God orchestrated when He sent His one Son to earth. I have two beautiful awesome lovely adorable boys and couldn't bear the agony of losing them. 

Let that kind of love register in your spirit...His love is truly wide and deep and exponentially growing for YOU, with each moment. Christ doesn't need the tinsel and lights...He is THE LIGHT. But also know that He is the originator of beauty, and if He placed it in your heart to create an inviting, peaceful, anointed holiday home then by all means, deck the halls. As long as it is for the right reasons...don't pressure yourself to keep up with the Joneses. 

Decorate your heart instead. 

some of my wreaths this year

I've heard the Christmas story numerous times. One of Truman's books simplifies it quite beautifully. We got to the part about the angels singing glories and Wilder whispered, angels are everywhere, Mommy. They are in this room right now, we just can't see them. They are going like this and this and this (and he gestures to show they are covering the living room ceiling, like a hedge of protection). To which I responded, Yes, Wilder, they absolutely are here protecting us. His deep child faith arrowed straight to my spirit and I was reminded to pray more frequently for safety. I have been so focused on the this season of not-knowing that I have faltered in my prayer life.

So, I leave you with this.

When your life is full of uncertainties, remember that God is quite certain of His love for you. 
He will always guard you. 
 made this snowglobe!

And that certainty is plenty reason to be merry. 

Nov 5, 2014

Parenting distractions

When life takes you on a different path, one you thought you'd never crawl, let alone walk, you wonder if your eyes are peeled open enough to even see the road ahead. To crane your neck just so to look past the roadblocks and remain hopeful for the rainbow, or the ray of light, or the pretty packaged gift at the end of the trying and fighting and yearning and walking and climbing and questioning. I know now that my pretty package with a giant red bow on top...well, it's my opportunity to parent. My darling littles are who the sacrifices and trying are about and for. I see it. My eyes are open wide.

I've realized over the past several months that while I've failed at many things, one thing I have not done is fail my children. Sure, I've made mistakes, and can recall moments I'm not proud of as we all do, but being a mama is the thing I continue to throw myself into and try to excel at. My children will forever be my family; I will always have them and they will always have me. And they need a mother who will not live in feelings of failure.
So often we try to complicate things. We think it's necessary to Pinterest this and paint that, or have our children dress in the best clothes with the best Instagram photos. This isn't where my heart is. I am inspired by those things, for sure, but in this life season, where many uncertain things remain, I must guard my heart against the distractions that abound in the world. There are things that deter me from my course, that take away from beautiful time with my children, and I must simply crack down on going back to the basics.

Back to silly music and laughing and funny faces and wonky artwork hanging on the walls. Love is family and time is what binds a mother to her children. Time is the most valuable gift I have to give to these beautiful loves of mine.
It's nothing new. Nothing life shattering to remember. It's basic. Intrinsic. Necessary. Our calling and position as intentional parents. 

May you be given eyes to see the light and blessings along your parenting journey. And enjoy the little red-bowed gifts interspersed to keep you going!

Also I have really cute kids.
And a TON of laundry to catch up on.