Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years "Should Have Already Been Doings"

Last year I posted my Twelve Goals for 2012.  Frankly, I remember what none of them are so that hasn't proven to be a very effective strategy for me.  Here are the five things that I am purposing for 2013 but subject to change with more time to think on it.

1. I Purpose To Do What Should Be Done Now
What do I mean?  I mean that when I see something that needs to be put away, I will do it now.  When I see behavior that needs to be addressed, I will do it now.  When I see a way that I am called and able to serve/give/bless, I will do it now.  I will not continue to put things off, allowing them to build up until they become impossible to handle.

2. I Purpose To Make The Lord My Number One Priority
In re-reading George Mueller's Autobiography I am once again struck by the fact that I may talk a great talk about faith but I need to make sure my life reflects it and that MUST start by being purposefully soaked in the Bible and prayer.  I struggle with this friends.  I have such a hard time being still sometimes but He will mold me!

3. I Purpose To Make My Husband My Number Two Priority
It is so easy to get caught up in the kids, work, life, friends, commitments that I forget how vital it is that I serve my husband first and completely.  It is my goal to serve him with a completely willing spirit, rejoicing in what I have been entrusted with.

4. I Purpose To Plan and Not React
I spend entirely too much of my time in "crunch time" which could sometimes be avoided by planning better.  I'm not sure how this is going to look just yet, but I want to plan and not react.

5. I Purpose To Practice Hospitality
This one will have to come under my husband's blessing (although he is usually quite supportive of these types of endeavors).  I want to love on people around me.  I am blessed beyond belief and if I can make dinner for another mom or watch kids for awhile or have girls over to play games - I want to be purposeful about practicing hospitality.

These are my five things.  Hold me to them ok?

And while I'm at it, my goals for 2012 revisited...

1. Frugality - I managed to cut our household spending and was able to give away out of our excess.  I'd say success.

2. Schedule - Ha ha. Ha.

3. Prioritize - I think God may be working on this in me until the end of time.

4. Repurpose before Purchase - Much better!  We are also in purge mindset!

5. Hospitality - Better, not great.

6. Fellowship - Better, not great.

7. Memorization - Needs improvement.

8. Don't lose me. - I was telling my husband about a God sized victory the other day and I was excited to see what things were bringing me joy.  Still have work to do, but I liked that.

9. Journal - I need to write more.

10. Disciple - I am so thankful for the people God has put in my life this year!  I hope I have blessed them as much as they have blessed me!

11. Treat My Body Well - Lost 16lbs so that's a win.  Need to get off the Christmas cookie diet and back to good foods.

12. Be Purposeful - Obviously an issue still, see above.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #84

So much to be thankful for!

1. I am thankful that my kids are just as excited the day after Christmas as they are Christmas morning.  Oh the things I can learn from them.

2. I am thankful that my little girl LOVES to be a Princess.  I hope she maintains that mindset through her life (in all the good Princess ways!)

This will NOT let me upload it facing the right direction. 
I think it's worth turning your head.  Note the heels.

3. I am thankful for time with my husband, family and friends over this Christmas break.
4. I am thankful for some downtime away from Facebook and other media during the break.
5. I am thankful for playtime in the snow!

6. I am thankful for my new camera and USING it!

7. I am thankful for my husband being awesome and taking care of sick kiddos.

8. I am thankful for my family and friends who I know are always there for me.

9. I am thankful for time (hopefully!) tomorrow with Miss Morgan!

10. I am thankful for sleeping which is scheduled in 26 minutes.  So tired.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Post Christmas Blahs (Not Me!)

It seems like every year after Christmas I'd get just a little blah.  I think mainly because all the preparation and anticipation were over and it just seemed like - great, back to normal.  This year though I love that my kids are just as excited today as they were yesterday.  They are just as ready to go when there is a pile of presents and when there isn't.  I think this year my steady is a result of them.

This year I'm excited about a lot of things.  I feel like personally I have a lot of "resolutions" I want to make for 2013 although I'm going to call them "things I should have been doing anyway" and I'm going to go ahead and start now if that's ok with y'all.  I am also excited about family things and plans for 2013 and am just excited to see what the year will hold for us.

Some of my goals although I'll add more meat to it later are...
- To get out my awesome new camera and take pictures.  Lots of pictures!
- To do things NOW instead of later.
- To spend five minutes every morning figuring out and prioritizing what needs to get done that day.
- Focusing on what is important.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Christmas Time Is Here!

Y'all understand that my lack of blogging has been Christmas induced right?  :)  As if I have a stellar history of blogging on a regular basis.  Typically around Christmas time I have a list of who I'm buying for and what I want to buy.  This year I had a list of who but had a REALLY hard time with the 'whats'.  Becki (my sister) and I decided that Aaron and I would not exchange gifts with her and her husband which was nice.  I think we both struggle with what gift to get each other and we both agreed to get our parents something extra instead.  Good compromise...except they are also difficult to buy for :) 

Aaron was my hardest challenge and come Wednesday I'll share with you what I ended up with.  I can now honestly say that I am pretty pumped about almost all of the gifts I have (there is one person who I still would like to get something else for, I just have no idea what) and I can't wait to see them get opened!

The girls went with Daddy to get ornaments today.  I will add pictures when I'm not feeling so lazy but there is one on my Instagram site!  I love this tradition although I wish I could be involved.  I think it is an amazing thing for the girlies to go out and make memories with their Daddy though so I will be content just hearing about it.  Grace picked out a Princess (of course) and she told me Daddy help Abi pick one out with owls hooooooooooooooooooooooo.  They are both super cute.

Tomorrow we are going to my Grandparents' house in Indiana (just me and the girls) for the day and then Monday starts that madness in Dayton.  I love Christmas. 

I did decide that next year if anyone doesn't have a present by the 15th they're outta luck.  This last minute nonsense is not fun!  (Oh, AND my kiddos got complemented by a lady at the checkout at KMart for their awesome behavior while waiting in line.  SO PLEASED!)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thankful Thursdays...err Mondays...Top Ten #83

Let's just say Thursday wasn't a good day for me.  I emailed my friend who is stationed far far away and at the top said please read this email in your best whiny voice which seemed like a terrible thing to do since again, she is stationed far far away but it really was that not fun of a day.  She was able to call me a couple days later and I am quite thankful!

I feel like there has been a lot of tragedy lately, from the Connecticut shooting to people in my personal life who are just struggling and hurting.  I feel like this is such an amazing time of the year for most, but for them I think sometimes it can feel like salt in a wound.  The radio today said to grieve with those who are grieving - to really feel their pain before we go throwing Bible verses at them.  I liked that.

My thankfuls through it all...

1. I am thankful when the Lord is glorified.

2. I am thankful for a relationship I have been able to build with an awesome young lady.  What a privilege to get to speak into her life. 

3. I am thankful for a family that does not compete with each other at Christmastime.

4. I am thankful that my kid loves to sing to my Grandparents (her Great Grandparents) on the phone. 

5. I am thankful that my husband is such a good Dad and takes good care of the girls.

6. I am thankful for the calm that comes with trusting the Lord.

7. I am thankful for my little girl's excitement.  I LOVED watching her abracadabra everything in the house today with her magic wand.  She did disappear me a couple times, trying to not read too much into that ;)

8. I am thankful for nail polish.  Keeps me from biting my nails and a simple way to feel more feminine.

9. I am thankful for friends who encourage me.  I seriously couldn't do this life thing without them.

10. I am thankful for seeing first hand a young lady who was blessed by a local church (and this was not ours, something completely unconnected) and how blown away she was by their love.  Praise God that there are churches that rally around people - I love it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

on waiting.

I feel like lately there have been so many instances of waiting in my life that I'd be silly not to at least take a moment to ponder them.  This of course leads to thinking about the memorable periods of waiting that I've had in the past...

...waiting for the right guy to come along.
...waiting for the right guy to realize I was the right girl ;)
...waiting TWO YEARS to kiss him.
...waiting for an engagement ring.
...waiting for a positive after a miscarriage.
...waiting to figure out what my particular calling was for a particular season of my life.
...waiting to see any sort of result from time spent investing.
...waiting for delivery of Miss Grace...five days longer than my 'due date'.
...waiting for delivery of Miss Abi...13 days longer than my 'due date'.

I think that the more I wait the more I learn.  It is in those periods of quiet anticipation that I think God speaks most clearly.  Now I am more equipped to tell those who are waiting about the joy on the other side and how much more joy if the waiting can be done 'right'. 

I remember the desperate desire of my 16 year old heart to feel like I was being noticed by guys.  I also remember the complete let down that came when I went out on my first real date.  (For someone that has only gone on 5 dates prior to dating my husband I've got some good stories!) 

I remember sitting in Mexico on a mission trip telling someone about how amazing it was that my first kiss wouldn't happen until I was engaged and why and how incredible that felt.  Not knowing that my soon to be fiance was talking to my dad about the same thing, on the same day.  (4th of July, pretty memorable)

I remember being so angry with God after losing our first baby and the frustration that came out of it.  But I remember time and again that God is able to work all things for His good, even when the things themselves tear us apart.  Right about the time my emotions got all back together we found out about Miss Grace and now even her name is a reminder of how good our God is.

God is so good and provides so much.  I wonder how many times I've missed those blessings because I didn't wait and rushed into my own way and my own timing.  I could have probably found a guy to marry me if I had really tried - and it certainly wouldn't have taken two years to give away my first kiss.  I know I could have whined the entire time I dated Aaron about how much terrible it was to not know his timing and to pressure him into telling me - but I would have missed the beautiful day that was our engagement day.

We are refined by waiting.  Like it or not the times of quiet uncertainty are usually the times we do the most search and where we'll find the most answers.

And God always has an answer.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #82

I meant to write this last night.  Seriously :)  I even had a mental list of my ten things going.  Then I stayed out waaaay too late after waking up waaaay too early so it didn't get done.  My sincere apologies.

Here we go...

1. I am thankful for the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert I got to attend last night with my dad, cousins and one of their friends.

2. I am thankful for moments that reaffirm where and why.

3. I am thankful for obedience even when the result wasn't what I expected.

4. I am thankful for Christmas tree set up with the family, shopping and secrets and fun.

5. I am thankful for yarn nativity scenes that my kids can play with and learn from.

6. I am thankful for Disney Live!  We had fun with Miss Grace!

7. I am thankful for taking a walk and actually using a sling.

8. I am thankful for hand print ornaments.  I love setting up my Christmas tree and looking through these, the ones the girls buy with Daddy and all the ones from trips.  I love traditions.

9. I am thankful for tents and playing!
  (Candra, that is a blanket over the baby gate/fence thing you left behind!)
10. I am thankful for quiet, unrushed time with the girls this week.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Blessed Beyond...

Handprint Ornaments - I love traditions!!!
Grace on Left, Abi on Right

I. Love. Christmas.  It's true, Aaron made fun of me last year and ended every conversation with "We know, you love Christmas"...even when it was not at all related.  Love it.  But every year I'm struck with this weird guilt when I try to buy presents but don't have "just the thing" in mind or when I write my Christmas list.  Sure, I wish I had an amazing camera and I would LOVE to redecorate the house, but needs?  That'd be a short list.  I know it isn't necessarily a season of filling needs, but I have so much already.  Seriously.

The other thing that I thought was funny was my clothing on Monday and really, almost every day.  I believe a delightful combination of hating shopping and God working things out really makes this happen a lot, but my outfit Monday consisted of jeans my sister had bought me for Christmas a couple years ago, a shirt and sweater a friend had given to me in a bag to take to the thrift store after I took out anything I wanted, socks that were in my Christmas stocking and jewelry that had been gifts from family and friends.  I want for nothing.

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. (Matthew 6:28)

I bought a Christmas present today using a gift certificate that was 6, yes SIX years old.  I have been doing as much Christmas shopping as I can using gift certificates, "free" money and other avenues and I was stoked to find what I wanted at the best price at this store AND have almost half of it taken care of for me.  Delighted.  I do believe that God provides so much more than I could ever need.

And finally, I was sorting out the girls toys tonight. You know, all the toys they had to have?  We ended up getting the right pieces together and putting most of them away.  They each got two babies and have a set of blocks, a baby stroller and a stacker game to share.  That's it.  The rest is out of sight.  And you know what, they had more fun with those items then when they empty everything onto the floor.

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  (Matthew 7:11)

We have so much.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mondays. Gotta love them.

I feel like lately God has been talking to me.  And not in that sweet "Good work, keep it up" kind of way but in that "things are about to get real" kind of way.  I have this vision in my head of what things should look like and how they should be.  Why doesn't that ever translate to real life?  I think God has been very clear that I need to put down my expectations and pick up His.  Through some very 'random' and unconnected events I feel like I have gotten some reminders of why I am where I am in this life.

That being said, there are things that I need to do to make it better.  I need to make it through the day without losing my patience.  And I need to get rid of distractions that keep me from all I should be doing.  I need to stop focusing on the material and focus on the heart.  I need to be willing to say GO FOR IT instead of being cautious.  I need to step out in faith instead of waiting for faith to come to me.

That being said, did ya'll know I am on a mission?  Seriously.  My heart breaks for kids who do not feel love and most of the time we think of orphans and my heart seriously breaks for them, but my mission field right now is teenagers.  In Ohio.  And you know what, I need to love them with all I've got!  I am so pumped to work with this amazing group of young women on Monday nights.  All from different backgrounds, some loved completely, others still sorting it out.  They are amazing.  They make my heart beat. 

I wish I could always remember my focus and my passion.  I wish my heart wasn't so easily distracted and swayed.  But friends, let me tell you, I adore them.  These are the girls that are forever a part of my family because I MEAN it when I tell them...

We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.
(1 Thessalonians 2:8)

And that can get messy and hard and complicated, but so worth it. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Wonder

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Wonder


my little girls amaze me.  all new things they learn and even the way they learn things.  the way they respond to situations and how already they fight for what they think is right.

i love how they delight in the little things.  how chocolate milk is the best treat.  and how everyday we talk about going sledding even though grace has never seen firsthand enough snow to be able to sled.

it delights me as they learn new things and can tell daddy that God made them - super cute of course.  and how everyone is a friend but somedays only mommy abi and daddy are best friends. 

wonder means to me that childlike taking in of everything around them.  oh how i hope i haven't lost that ability and that especially this christmas season i'll take it all in - the lights and beauty but also the meaning and reason for it all.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #81

I am thankful this week for many things!

1. Getting to sleep in yesterday while my husband got up with the girlies.  And he got up at 6am with a terrible diaper so I'm extra thankful for his patience :)

2. Peace in knowing that God is in control, even when it doesn't feel like it, even when I forget, He is there and gently reminds me.

3. Shopkick.  I know, this is a crazy one, thankful for an app?  But I am going to get to use quite a bit of "free money" to pay for Christmas presents which will seriously help the budget this year.  I'm excited to see if I can cover 100% of Christmas gifts next year!

4. Simplicity.  I am thankful that my sister and I decided that instead of exchanging gifts for the sake of exchanging gifts between us and our husbands we'd both just buy our parents an extra gift each!  I LOVE IT!

5. Faithful Grandparents.  Two of my grandparents are not doing well at the moment and while I want to hold on to them as long as I can, I also know that they love the Lord so it is well with my soul.  Surprisingly enough, it is well with their souls too.  I hope when I'm older I have such faith and peace.

6. Monopoly Deal.  Ok, the game was fun but I'm really thankful that Miss Morgan was able to come over and hang out with me!  I MISS HER SOMETHING FIERCE when she is away at college.  And now this talk of moving...don't even get me started.

7. Applesauce.  That's right, it was annual applesauce time.  I made 35 quarts.  Well, 36 but one exploded.  I'll give away 30 and keep 6 for my family.

8. Date night.  I seriously love date night.  I especially love date nights that include That Crepe Place because bananas, nutella, vanilla spread and peanuts in a crepe are DELICIOUS!

9. My girlies.  I am so thankful for my girls.  For the hard parenting lessons, quiet moments and loudness of it all.  I'm thankful that I am learning and growing just by being their mom! 

10. Friends!  I'm thankful for friends who make it 'easy'.  I love texting friends that I don't get to chat with often about the joys and pains of motherhood!  We all need good friends!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


today is...

...sick baby, cuddle-bug

...floor covered in cheerios, juice cups on the toy box tree packed away...still

...dishes and laundry and dust monsters threatening to close in

...sleep granted by a loving husband

...priorities and purposefulness lists and ideas




Tuesday, November 20, 2012


So there is a blog I like that does "Monday Musings" which I feel might be appropriate for me.  But it's Tuesday...and I still haven't done last weeks Thankful Thursday or Five Minute Friday so maybe adding another day is a bad idea.  But it would be an easy way to get my random thoughts out.

Things to think about.

So in other news...

...I cut my hand open.  My right hand, go figure, right below the pinky on the outside.  It's ugly.  Anyway, I cut it washing a cup (I have also broken two cups and a vase in the space of a couple days) so I immediately wrapped it in my dirty dish towel and called Aaron to come home from work (I'm a weenie and he works 2 minutes away).  He came home, looked at it and promptly left to get me bandages.  LOTS of bandages.  And chocolate.  It was nice.  Either way, it is healing.  And I took a picture so if you want to see it I'll text ya. 

...It's almost Thanksgiving!  I can't wait to see my family!  So fun!

...I got a pre-Christmas gift from my parents!  Well, its for the family...probably mainly the girls...but for now it is MY Wii.  :)  I'm excited.

...I have been Instagramming more.  Find me at

...I had more thoughts but I still have a lot to do and my hand hurts.  I did want to post and say happy Thanksgiving!  Thankful this week for a lot!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Updates on Life

Didn't I tell you my dress was awesome?  I LOVE IT.  Seriously.  Best bridesmaid dress EVER.  Oh my goodness, I am so pumped to wear it again in February when we take our Princess Girls out!  ACK!

Anyway, my life has been wedding wedding wedding all weekend and it was AMAZING.  Friday night was the rehearsal and I think we were there until 10pm so I didn't get home until 11-something.  We definitely should have just gotten a hotel in Cincinnati.  Ah well, live and learn.  The next morning we got up early (ok, the other girls got up early...I definitely took advantage of no kids at home and didn't get up until 8:30) and went back to Cincy for the day!  I got home around 12:30am  but got to sleep about 8 hours before picking up the girls for church so I can't complain!

IT WAS AWESOME.  The wedding was beautiful and the reception was SO MUCH FUN.  Seriously, all moms need to go to this kind of party every once in awhile to remember that having kids doesn't mean they are old!  It was a little out of my comfort zone and one guy asked at one part of the evening why I was hanging back.  My response was that while I want to celebrate my friend and her marriage, I also don't want to have a ton of pictures on Facebook that I have to explain to my kids (my big kids that is).  Most people don't believe that you can be at a reception with an open bar with alcohol all over the place and NOT be drunk (or even drinking!).  Crazy, but that is the filter through which I live my life sometimes.

Don't you love this picture?

Made me laugh.  He REALLY is that tall, he is 6'9". 

Other news...

NO, I am not pregnant.  My mom asked me that yesterday.  I'll tell, I promise.  I am down 14.5 pounds now!  ACK!  So exciting!  I definitely wanted to lose some weight before we had another (although as you may by now know we don't time these things so there was no guarantee).  I'd like to lose another 16 but if I get to "healthy" before that I'm ok with that too.  So crazy.

The girlies are good.  Grace decided she wanted to have a tea party so I think that is on the agenda for tomorrow.  We might also try to go to storytime. 

That is the long and short of it.  Life is keeping me busy.  I am reading an awesome book that really has me thinking about my relationship with the Lord.  My kids are beautiful and wonderful and keep me on my toes!

Have a good night!

P.S. Morgan, I miss you!
P.P.S.  Candra, I want to meet your daughter! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Quiet

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Quiet


the quiet at my house is rare.  sometimes it is quiet with background noise.  sometimes it is 'somebody is in trouble' quiet.  most of the time though it is loud.  and fun.  and delightful.  sometimes the noise gets to me so i turn up music louder to drown it out.  sometimes i just take step back and find my quiet on the inside.

i think so many times i let my surroundings dictate my mood and behavior.  instead of stepping out and owning it i get caught up in the loud and crazy and allow it to overtake me.

i think my girls hear me best when i am quiet.  i think i hear the Lord best when i am quiet.  amazing what He will whisper if i stop to listen.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #80

I just realized that number #10 today will be 800 thankfuls.  Wow!

First Hair Cut!!!  She was so excited!

Abi got some bangs.  She ALWAYS had her hair in her face.
Yes Morgan, Abi DOES have eyes! :)

1. I am thankful that one of my big kids is getting married this weekend to a man who loves Jesus and will live happily ever after (with lots of prayer and hard work at the marriage thing!).

2. I am thankful that my bridesmaid dress ROCKS.  I am so pumped.

3. I am thankful that she has already given me permission to bawl like a baby.  She's my first big kid getting married.

4.  I am thankful that my bridesmaid dress ROCKS.

4. I am thankful that my mom is willing to watch my girlies all weekend so I can participate in all the wedding goodness without having to worry about them.

5. I am thankful that I get to talk to my Grandparents a lot.  I love them.  I can't imagine a world where you can't just pick up the phone and call them.

6. I am thankful for my husband who is a constant source of sanity in my world.

7. I am thankful that the election is over and that God is bigger than all of it.

8. I am thankful for emails from my friend who is so far away.  I miss her.

9. I am thankful for this book I'm reading...which I'm not going to share the title of because if the rest of it is as good as the first few chapters EVERYONE I know is getting it for Christmas.

10. I am thankful that Thanksgiving is in two weeks and I get to see all my family.  I LOVE IT.


Happy Thursday, be thankful!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Letter To Me

Dear Me,

Your office needs help.  You know that right?  Seriously, find the floor.  But ya know, those crumbs on the floor that make you crazy all day every day and those sippy cups by the sink?  Those are signs you have kids and are busy.  It isn't like the floor is covered in crumbs.  (Have you seen those kids eat?  One meal is all it takes.)  Relax.  (But really, find your office floor)

Some days you probably won't make dinner.  Good days, you'll grab a already cooked chicken at Kroger.  Other days, it may be McDonalds.  Trust me, that won't make your kids fat.  Although that and Handy Manny all day might so lets maybe make sure we keep that limit in place.  And you know that husband of yours?  He actually likes to cook.  Good call on marrying him!

You know all those things you tell yourself as you surf the internet?  About how your house isn't decorated well enough or maybe at some people's houses there really is a place for everything?  Yeah, they probably take the pictures right after they clean (and found the floor) too.  Keep working at it, but don't let it define you. 

Speaking of floors, find the one in your closet too.  You have a lot of clothes.  You wear about 25% of them.  Get rid of the rest.  Yes, one day it might look good on you but really, by then you'll want to buy something new anyway.  Say goodbye.  It won't hurt.  I promise.

And no, throwing away some of the pictures that your kid happened to lay a crayon or marker on does not make you a bad mom.  Keep a sampling, keep the special ones, it's ok.  She'll understand.  At least by the time she becomes a mom.

Make lists.  They keep you sane.  But not lists of all the things you don't do well.  That'll make you crazy.  And tackle something you don't want to do everyday.  I bet it doesn't take long before it becomes less stressful.

Eat well.  Eat protein (enlist that husband of yours to cook some meat!).  Don't eat the kid's candy.  Remember, you feel better and more energetic when you remember vitamins and don't eat like it won't last a lifetime on your does, there is no longer anything funny about that saying.

Most importantly.  Pray when you tell people you will.  Pray right then.  Don't forget.  Make a list.  And read your Bible.  God isn't done talking to you yet.  In fact, pretty sure He'll tell you something most every day.  Do it.  No really, do it.

It's a crazy world out there, surround yourself with people you love.

And have a great day!


Saturday, November 3, 2012


My house is strangely quiet.  No kids shows rumbling in the background, no faint wisps of music floating up the stairs.  Just me and the keyboard.

It is in moments like these where I think of all the work I should be getting done but instead I just pause for another moment to soak it in.  To find that refreshment that I need when things are loud. and crazy. and full.

I feel like I am always at war with myself - needing the quiet and solitude but craving my family and kids at the same time.  I think that without the quiet I don't do the rest very well.  This is where I am refreshed.

Today's agenda is: work now, while I can.  Love on the girls when they wake up and listen to them laugh.  Finish everything else when they go to sleep.


I'm going to go sip my coffee and drink in the silence of the house for another moment and then chip away at what today has in store.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Roots

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Roots


i'm going to assume we're not talking about the insane amount of gray roots i found this morning when i put my hair in a pony tail.  i mean, i had more than my fair share of gray hair at 20 and i have no desire to find out what it looks like now, eight years later, when it isn't dyed.  i'll age gracefully, just not yet.

where was i?

my grandpa came to town awhile ago for a few days.  he and my grandmother always stay with my parents and i usually end up spending more time at their house than mine for the weekend.  i love them.  i love hearing stories about when they were younger.  i love hearing about where they come from and how they got here.  i love love love when they tell me stories about when my dad was young and the things he got into.  i also love hearing them and my dad tell the same story from their completely different viewpoints.

i have a picture deep in the old photo albums of me and my grandpa and i think my sister, at the Air Force Museum, standing in front of one of the planes my grandpa flew.  (still blows my mind to think he flew planes.)  i feel like i have the world's worst long term memory so i don't remember much about being there that day, but i know that it is something that delights him to talk about - flying - the Air Force - those days.

for awhile i have been saying that i want to go with him and my little girls to the Air Force Museum.  and so, after putting it off we finally did.  and we got a picture with him, and me and my little ones in front of one of the planes he flew (ok, maybe in front of ALL of the planes he flew).  i need to dig up both pictures and put them side by side.

i love it.  these are the people i come from. these are the stories i need to learn so that when they are no longer able to tell them, i can.  these are the people who told my dad, who told me, about Jesus.

that's a legacy.

those are roots.


Seems appropriate...

I was just telling someone the other day about how Abi has taken to throwing fits then I read this quote yesterday and it made me laugh...

"I have an obnoxious sense of humour and it has always tickled me to see small mites of two feet tall attempting to take over the universe by flinging themselves to the ground and kicking the floor."
- The Common Room

Five Minute Friday to come when I have 5 minutes without my small mites attempting to take over the universe...which might be tomorrow seeing as my two littlest sisters-in-law are coming over for a sleep over (3 & 5 years old).

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #79

I'm thankful, oh so thankful (sung to a tune heard only in my head)...

1. Family Pictures!

2. Awesome awesome awesome time with my grandparents this past weekend!

3. Chris Rice on Spotify. What a weird and diverse play list but makes me happy.

4. That my kid LOVES to go to church and did so great in a new church kid's program when we visited my grandparents!

5. A positive email about my Grandpa's health situation.

6. A kid who keeps getting bigger and has SO much personality!

7. Speaking of personality...we went on a cupcake date...she started tunes only heard in her head.

8. My kiddo announcing she was going to marry one of my best friend's sons.  And then telling me in a completely different conversation we needed to go buy roses and cake.

9. Snow!  I love snow.  My kiddo is so pumped to go sledding so she was watching carefully the few flakes we got.

10. Christmas shopping.  SOOOO pumped for Christmas shopping.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A sneak peek...

Here is a family picture sneak peek!  Until I decide which ones I'm using for Christmas presents this is all you get! :)  This does NOT include some of my favorite favorites!



Ok fine, two of my favorite favorites...


Monday, October 29, 2012

a day in the life...

Today's is one of those days I feel like I have it together. It's 11 o'clock my kids are dressed, breads in the bread machine, the dishes are going, the laundry is running and things are pretty calm. I know that I still have a ton to get done today but frankly I feel really relaxed about it right now which is pretty weird for me.

4am move downstairs to the couch so I can turn the monitor off and Aaron can sleep

8 a.m. decided I don't really want to get the kids out of bed yet but I probably should

9am coffee is made kids are dressed we're on our way

10 a.m. first load of laundry is in bread is in the bread machine dishwasher is empty and refill

10:30 a.m. kids are eating toast iand apples, I eat some peanut butter and apples not too shabby for breakfast

11 a.m. kids are playing really really happily I'm working on my grocery list and my to do list for the day

11:30am laundry moved again, playing with the girls

12:20pm nap time show - Abi fell asleep in my arms

12:50pm both girls in bed, Bible then work time

3:00 Grace is up...never seems like I have enough time.  She is eating raisin bread that we made this morning and sitting at her little picnic table in my office while I work.

4:00 Abi is up - had a snack now I'm going to get them settled in with a show so I can sneak out the door.

4:30 Leaving to go grocery shopping

6:30 With a new pair of jeans and a FULL trunk I am headed to Bible study!

7:00 Bible study with my girls

8:30 Dropped off three girls, grocery story

9:45 Home...realized I didn't get Hub's text about what he wanted and went back to school

10:15 home, sleepy, hungry and going to eat now

11:30 It is now late and I have 25 emails to answer and a LOT of boxes to check off on my to do list.  Going to go get after it - goal is bed in 1 hour!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #78

I am so tired right now.  To the point of looking at my emails and going hmmm, words.  I got nothing left.  Last night I went to bed at a sort of reasonable time but Miss Abi decided it'd be fun to be up until about 2:30.  I was up at 7 and at work by 8:15 and didn't get home until after 6pm.  Long day.  Ah well, the 40 some odd emails can wait till tomorrow right?

This week has seemed so smooth.  I feel like I have gotten a LOT accomplished and just thankful that things seem to be going well.


1.  ...for an upcoming trip to see my Grandparents.  I think they are amazing.

2. ...for a good day at work.  I got yelled at by a customer but other than that it went well.  I tried to be nice but man, I hate getting yelled at.

3. ...for a good balance this week.  I have work to do still but I feel like I have been busy about the important things.

4. ...for ALL the laundry getting done and put away on Monday/Tuesday.  It was amazing.

5. ...for my awesome new water cup from Old Navy.  I now drink a TON of water every day and I feel so much better.

6. ...for my continued weight loss!  I don't talk about it much but I am now down 10+ pounds and while the number I'm shooting for is another 19 to go, if I feel healthy before that, that's fine too.

7. ...for my husband and date nights with friends.

8. ...for Mama DiSalvos...amazing gnocchi and meatballs!  Oh, it was so good.

9. ...for some fun shows coming up at the teen center!

10. ...for getting greeted by "MOMMMMMY!!!" when I got home today.  Never gets old.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Week Goals Update!

Uh I didn't do so hot this week and will probably keep the same goals for next week.   I did get more blog posts written so I would consider that a win, small as it may be!  I am working very diligently to find balance and to maintain priorities although I feel like documenting my life AND keeping it full of pictures and images IS important.  I feel like sometimes life has a tendency to snowball on me so I'm trying to figure out what the things are that are always most important and what things will help me get the whole thing back down to manageable.  I'll let you know when I figure it out!

The goals for this week include...

1. Quiet Times every day!

2. Keeping up with Mt. Laundry

3. Being purposeful in separating work and life time.

4. Doing something fun with my kids every day (that is something they find fun!)

5. Allowing myself to sit and think and focus during my day.

We shall see how it goes!  This week I will hopefully also be getting our family pictures in so I am super excited to see those.  It feels like it has been SO long since we got them taken.  For my next career I want to be a photographer - after I get a sweet camera.  :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Five MInute Friday: Look

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Look


look beyond the piles of stuff, the dishes waiting to be washed and the crumbs on the floor.  look past the piles of paperwork, emails to be answered and voicemails to be returned.  peer into the small spaces that are so easily missed and you might find...

...a smudged hand print from not that long ago that is so much smaller than that same hand today...

...a love note written from a friend and received on a tough day..., drawn quickly by three year old hands that illustrate everyone she loves...

...chocolate chips dropped to the floor when the stirring got a little crazy...

...marks from the wet lips of the one year old that likes to kiss everything...

this is life and more importantly this is MY life.  i will miss it if i don't just step back and look.  im so thankful for the days when the perspective is set and, regardless of what the day holds, the day is filled with family and life and love.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #77

Here are my Thankfuls for this week!  Don't forget to leave me some of your thankfuls!

1. I am thankful for a change at work that means (hopefully) both better business at work and only out of the house one day a week.

2. I am thankful for answered prayer and acknowledging HIM.

3. I am thankful for a few sets of silly circumstances this week.

4. I am thankful for people to kick ideas around with.

5. I am thankful for my AWESOME bridesmaid dress that I get to wear in just a couple weeks!

6. I am thankful for old Nick shows on YouTube (Camp Onawana...anyone?  Am I the ONLY person who remembers Salute Your Shorts?!?)

7. I am thankful for date night with my hubs - it had been too long!

8. I am thankful for clips of stupid game show outtakes on Youtube.

9. I'm thankful that this list does not have to be especially deep.

10. I am thankful for the quietness of my house at nap time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Grace!

*this post is oh, exactly a month late*

My Dear Grace,

I adore you.  From the moment I laid eyes on you I knew my life was forever changed.  Now, three years later you have amazed me in so many ways. 

I love when you come up with new things, like the other day when you said "Look Mommy, an octagon."  I didn't even realize you knew the word octagon never mind how to use it.  Or when you sing bits and pieces of songs from here and there.  I love that you are always learning and wanting to know WHY - even when I don't give good answers.  Sometimes Mommy just doesn't know.  And I see that mind turning constantly - seeing and absorbing.

I'm sorry about that too, that absorbing you're doing.  That frustrated noise you make?  Yeah, you got that from watching me.  And I know that my attitude has a huge role in how you behave during the day.

But when I listen to you sing "You Are My Sunshine" to anyone who will listen, or when you go hold someone's hand because they look sad - those are the moments that just melt my mommy heart.  You are such a sweet little girl and want everyone to be happy.

I love how you love your sister and you look out for her.  I have to remind you sometimes that I'm the mom, but only because you are mimicing the things I do and the corrections I may give.

You love fruit - especially strawberries - but you will not eat meat, except bacon and all things breaded.  If I would let you live on milk and cereal you would be a happy camper although you remind me daily that you really like candy.

Grace, I am so excited to be your mom.  Thanks for making my world so much better!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

This Week's Goals

I always find I am more productive when I've publicly said "this is what I'm going to attempt to do."  In the midst of my fairly restful weekend, I needed some down time, I got a LOT accomplished.  She here are my goals for the week.  Let's see if that will help me meet them!

1. Spend time with the Lord EVERY day.  Not just "oh, I snuggled under a blanket and prayed" but legit, spending time investing my relationship with Him.  How shallow I am sometimes.

2. Pray.  Pray for those around me, situations that are rising up and feelings that burn in my heart that just need to be poured out.

1. Come up with one new way to advertise in the two areas I work on. 

2. Focus completely when it is work time.

1. Turn off work when it is "family" time.

2. Read my kids one book each day.

3. Update my daily chore list to reflect my new schedule and evaluate what my realistic expectations are.

4. Write.  Even if it is just 5 minutes a day.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Race

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Race


my days are a blur and my heart is just hoping to hang on.  every time i'm away from the girls for more than a couple hours they get bigger, i can see it.  when i get rushed i get mean and when i'm mean i regret it.  slow down.

do this and do that. get this pile finished only to have that pile grow.  take out the trash, empty the dishwasher and fill another cup with milk.  hold back tears during hard phone conversations with ones that i wish lived closer.  then it is the end of the day.

what have i accomlished?  am i closer to the goal?  did i take time to make goals? 

here is what i know...
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oh.My.Goodness. Thankful Thursday Top Ten #76

Ya'll, is it bad that I JUST realized I have missed thankfuls for almost two weeks?  It has been that crazy around here.  So here is my situation - I just "finished" a HUGE project for work (re-opening a twice/week event that I get to run).  So the start up is finished but now it has to be maintained which is more on my "regular" work week and now means two 8-10 hour days out of the house.  It is crazy.

I have learned a lot though during this process.  Some highlights are that I took my time with the kiddos for granted, I miss them a lot, it is great for them to have daddy time, I need more sleep, I have to ask for help.  I am so blessed with awesome friends who are willing to do almost anything for me and I have relied on them so much lately.  I'm also thankful that my husband pushes me to reach out.


1. Little Miss Heaven Reigns - I am so stoked that SHE is finally here and I want to meet her!

2. Music that speaks to my soul.  I think the Newsboy's version of Like A Lion (My God's Not Dead) is like a power anthem.  I could blast it all day and I think I couldn't help but be in a great mood.

3. A trip to Houston!  Oh my goodness, so amazing.  It was great to see almost all of my Aunts and Uncles and of course my cousins.  The main reason for going though is my Grandma who I love dearly.  She is such an amazing woman.

4. I am so thankful that my husband is able to stay home with our girls when I can't be here.  They love him and he is so good with him.  (I laughed last week when I got home - they were both in party dresses!  I think Grace talked him into it - she LOVES Princess dresses)

5. I get to be a bridesmaid!  How awesome is that!  I can't wait!  We are going dress shopping on Saturday and this girl will NOT let me look hideous so I'm excited!

6. Friends getting married on Saturday!  I'm not going to be able to be at their wedding but I'm sure it will be amazing and they are just amazing people!

7. The anxious anticipation of family pictures.  She said 4-6 weeks and it has been 5.  They were great last year and I can't wait!  (Almost time to update the photo wall again!)

8. A night to relax.  I have SO many things to get done but took the night "off".  I left work around 6pm, got the girls home after picking them up from a friend at 6:45, ate dinner, got them in bed at 8pm and have done laundry and almost nothing else since then.  I think I needed the down time.

9. Unglued by Lysa Terkhurst (I probably butchered her name but I'm feeling lazy right now).  It is such a good book. I love the part about labels and how we allow things to label us because we aren't willing to just take little steps to get rid of them.  I've got some projects coming on.  I'm feeling like another "getting rid of junk project" might be in order!  Although I really need someone with some craft and beauty skills to help me get my house decorated properly.

10. This quote from the other day...I think it was Joyce Meyers but I just happened to hear it while I was walking by a TV so I didn't spend a ton of time looking into it...
"Stop asking God to do things you could easily do yourself and just don't want to."

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #75

I am so behind.  In life.  Really.  So blogging is important to me because it is a story of my journey and where I am and where I was.  But at the end of the day, it is usually last.  Generally because I feel guilty stealing away a few minutes to pour out my thoughts here when there are piles of projects sitting in my office around me.  I need to get over that.

This week I am thankful for...

1. A new Georgi baby that is coming soon!!

2. Friends who gently remind me to post. :)

3. A HUGE project that is almost "complete".  (It's an ongoing thing but the initial set up is almost done)

4. A new group of Princess Girls.  CANNOT wait to get to know these ladies better!

5. Chocolate yogurt.  Seriously?  Genius.

6. My amazing friend Christine who has watched my kids as much as I have these past few weeks.  She is great and it is awesome to have someone close by to watch my kiddos.

7. My beautiful little girls.  I feel like lately I've been tired, mean mom and I need to quit that.  They are seriously the best kids ever and deserve the best I can give them.

8. Chinese food...homemade by my husband.  He cleaned the kitchen too.  Seriously.  It was awesome.

9. Sleep.  Seriously, sleep is my friend these days.  I don't see enough of it.

10. Moments to stop and be thankful.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Of tomatoes and escape artists

My darling daughter has figured out how to get out of her room at night. 

Night 1: She won't leave her room, it'll be fine!
...until she woke up Hubs who startled her which startled me and ended up with her wide awake in bed with us for an hour till I kicked her out.

Night 2: Child safety lock, we got this!
...until she promptly announced, look mommy, I broke it and opened the door!

Night 3: Unscrew doorknob, child safety lock, heavy kitchen chair in front of it with bells on it.
...I woke up before she did...go figure.

Ah well, we will see.  I need to figure out how to safely keep her contained until I'm ready for her to grace us with her presence :)

Hubs took out the tomato plants the other day. It was a hard fought battle but he prevailed. These things had taken over and were growing up and through our porch slats. There were tomatoes growing inside the railing that couldn't even be removed, carefully as we may have tried.

So now we have three buckets of green tomatoes slowly ripening one at a time. It has been amazing.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Focus

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Focus


i love fridays. i love that for five minutes i can tune out the world around me and write and think and process.  for five minutes the to do list on my wall doesn't matter and the incessent tuggings for my attention fade quietly into the background.

for five minutes through laughter or tears i can quietly sit and type and think.  five minutes when i can be creative without strings attatched or judgements made.  five minutes when i know i'll get a beautiful comment from someone else offering their encouragement.  five minutes to connect with the world but more importantly to connect with myself.

stop. take a breath. take a moment. think the thoughts. write the words. focus.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #74

Yes...that is birthday ice cream.  The cake I was going
to give her went bad and I wasn't about to make ANOTHER
cake to sit around our house after that one and before her
official birthday cake.

What a crazy busy week.  I seriously feel like I have been running all week - starting with a 7:30am text message Monday morning scheduling a meeting.  All good though - busy is better than bored!  I have four big projects I'm in the middle of so four different to do lists taped to my wall, all while planning my girls' birthday party this Sunday.  Fortunately we keep things pretty low key so making a cake and blowing up some balloons should pretty much have me covered at this point.

So hubs makes fun of me because we tend to have rather drawn out birthday celebrations in my family.  So we did Grace's birthday with just our family on Wednesday, will do a mini-party on Saturday with my parents and grandparents (Great Grandma and Big Poppa - where did she get that??) and then their party on Sunday.  It's nuts.


1. Still thankful I'm not famous.
2. I'm thankful for Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst. Oh how this book speaks to me.
3. I'm thankful for Princess Program starting up again!
4. I am thankful for the Newsboys and songs like "God's Not Dead" and "Revelation Song".
5. I am thankful that two weeks into my three month Sunday School commitment it is going well :)
6. I am thankful for friends that I'm reconnecting with.
7. I am thankful for my Hello Mornings group that encourages me to get up and get my quiet time done!
8. I am thankful for Hershey's Simple Pleasures chocolate - they are tasty good.
9. I am thankful for simple and fun birthday celebrations.
10. I am thankful my kid is still young enough to think getting underpants and tights for her birthday is fun.
11. I am thankful that she LOVED the game I got her...and that apparently she can play it without me ;)
12. I am thankful I live within walking distance (on a good day!) to the library.
13. I am thankful for encouragers.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Glad I'm Not "Famous"

I was looking for a blog I used to read online today and in the search it came up with "Blog Name" then underneath "Blog Name Haters".  Then I got looking into a few things and realized that yep, they were right - pretty much every famous blog/person/tv show has a "haters" group too.

I realize there are people in my life who don't like me or might chat about me behind my back - it's a part of being out there but sheesh, to have someone dislike me or my family or something SO much that they feel compelled to not only talk about it but also to post about it on a regular basis.  Breaks my heart.

I'm guilty, I know.  There are people, things, etc that I don't like and while I try to be reasonable about it I do get caught up in the moment sometimes.  (For example, a frustrating experience at Walmart/Target/Meijer/etc - is it the store's fault? corporate's fault? or the cashier's fault? and does it really need to be shared everywhere??)

I don't know - it just makes me sad to think that there are people out there scamming other people, that there are people who's single comment gets taken the wrong way, but mostly that we are such a train wreck society (again guilty myself, not pointing any fingers that don't point right back at me) that there is a platform for this sort of thing.  Makes me want to really think about what I'm watching, reading etc, especially when it comes to the "reality" type shows and blogs in general. 

</end rant> 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Graceful

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Graceful


this is kind of making me want to cry.  graceful?  i'm not.  i mean, i have moments where the words come out eloquently or the movement looks smooth...but not usually.  i feel like graceful people are the ones that are comfortable in their own skin and with their own thoughts.  i feel like i'm too often at a comparison point...

...i wish my house was decorated like hers...

...i wish my meals were as healthy and good as she can make...

...i wish i knew how to get my kids to listen like hers do...

...and on and on it goes until i have so devalued what i can do, what i am doing, to the point of insignificance.  i wish my confident self would tap me on the shoulder and remind me that i have a three year old who needs trained - just like her kids did when they were three.  and she cooks those meals because it is fun for her and relaxing, just like saving money with coupons is for you.  and well, we have friends that can decorate. 

i wish my confident self would remind my un-graceful self that blogs are the pretty picture and the people who know me and are friends with me aren't going anywhere.  that i may not have it all under control but the important things, yeah, i've got those.

grace: characterized by elegance or beauty of from, manner, movement or speech; elegant


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #73

So thankful today!

1. I am thankful for family pictures!
2. I am thankful for better sleep.
3. I am thankful for great Bible study Monday night.
4. I am thankful for friends' weddings coming up!
5. I am thankful for sermons online.
6. I am thankful for Sunday School planning fun!
7. I am thankful for my husband being on my team parenting.
8. I am thankful for lots of work to be done!
    (But Morgan, I need you to come help me get my office under control)
9. I am thankful for chats with my friends, Chick Fil A, phone dates, park dates and more.  I need them.
10. Princesses.  Big ones, small ones, all my girlie princesses.  I love them.

Photo Day 6: Everyday

Today was family picture days!  We did Grace's 3 year old pictures, Abi's 1 year old pictures, family pictures, me and Aaron pictures, girls together pictures, ALL KINDS OF FUN STUFF! I can't wait to see them all!

We may have bribed Grace to be on her best behavior by promising ice cream.  So that is the picture above...our post picture session treat.  She earned it - she did great!

She has been cracking me up lately.  She remembers so much and shocks me with the things she comes up with sometimes.  She was trying to tell me a show she wanted to watch that we happened to turn to the other night.  I had asked her if the people on it were big or small and a couple other questions (gotta keep it educational!).  So she told me the answers to the questions I had asked.  It was crazy.  I hope these things shock me with Abi too - it is just so fun.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


i don't like mornings.
i wake up slow - and usually cranky
i like my coffee...with a lot of sugar and an excessive amount of milk
and then i like to sit. quietly. for awhile. to think.
these faces are what i usually wake up to.
(although I'm supposed to be waking up for quiet time with God)
i love their silliness.
grace tends to wake up pretty slow...sometimes.

abi is off and running from the second her eyes open.
there is no slowing her down.
she needs to explore her world.
and play music.
and laugh.
and hug.
they delight me.  even on days that have to start with "grace, mommy hasn't been using her nice words and I'm sorry"...she is very forgiving.  i hope i extend that same forgiveness.
my beautiful girls - both getting so big and so wise.  i adore them.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Photo Day 2: Father

Day 2: Father

Father seems so formal.  That's my Dad - Grace's Poppa.  I'm so blessed that my parents live nearby and LOVE LOVE LOVE my kids!