laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

The Know-It-All Who Doesn’t Know It ALL


I’m a little bit sad… I wrote a post and really loved it, and then MissE walked up, pushed a button, and away it went, never to be found again. Boo. Hiss. Timeout. (Ok, so she didn’t go to time out, but I did.) I will attempt to rewrite it, but you know how that goes (if not, I’ll tell you:), it’s never the same. Because while I was feeling inspired when I wrote it the first time, now I’m just annoyed and cranky.

The last month or two I have gotten e-mails, comments, messages, and even some texts from my dearly beloved friends, both ones I see on a regular basis and ones I haven’t seen in years but stay in touch with via the computer. I have been asked some really hard questions. Which has led to a comment or two, wondering about what claims do I have on the expert title and so I am here to set the record straight. I, in no way, shape, or form, claim to be an expert. On anything. Really. I am just one woman who is also a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend, and also happens to be a blogger.  That is not to say I don’t have opinions on things, in fact, I think that is saying I have opinions on things. Just not the say-all, end-all opinion. I do admit to some level of know-it-all-ness on my part (I do not like not knowing things), but I, by no means, know it all. Got it? Good.

In trying to come up with really great answers to some hard questions, it has caused me to go back and forth in my answers. Because I don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all answers for most questions. Because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all life for most people. I know that my road (you know, the one that got me from there to here) has had twists, turns, and a few dead ends that I can clearly recall. Along the way I have been told by others that I was on the wrong path; that I’d lost my direction; that I should have taken an exit or two along the way… but through it all, I honestly never believed I was lost. I always knew that it was my path. I knew I was heading down my road, to my destination.

I truly believe in living with intention. In treating people the way we’d intend to if we stopped and thought about our actions, instead of just reacting. And maybe by default, I believe in us each having our own paths in our own lives, and in supporting each other as we go along those paths. Do I have opinions, thoughts, and beliefs that I feel strongly about and believe are the “right” way. Of course. Do I wish I could push a button and pass them on to you, occasionally. Will I judge you and tell you your way is wrong, if it’s not what I would do…no. At least, I strive not to!  I have to believe that God made us unique individuals for a reason, and that alone makes it something that should be celebrated (and supported!!) and not condemned.
So go ahead, twist, turn, exit… do what you need to do, on your road, to get you to your destination. And yes, feel free to ask for help along the way. Sometimes, someone has already paved the way and could offer insight into how to make your road a little smoother.
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost. – H. Jackson Browne
It reminded me, of this:
I’m at the checkout, and the lady behind me starts making small talk as we wait. Why do they stick those order separator things so far out of your reach anyways? I smile and agree it’s ridiculous. And then this stranger showed me kindness. She looked at me and said, “You must have small children.”  I quickly look myself over trying to find the stamp (or hand print) that screamed, “I’m a mom.” I didn’t see any. Unless the state of my hair, my sweatpants, and the exhaustion in my eyes count. I smiled and said 3 and asked how she could tell.. She just smiled and said she’d recognized the look of exhaustion the can only be caused by 2 types of parenting: the under 3 crowd or the teenage crowd. And since I didn’t look old enough to have teenagers, it must be the former. I smiled and nodded, then asked her, “Teenagers?” She smiled, and I saw the exhaustion in her eyes as well as she nodded. And that was the the long and the short of our “conversation.” But somehow, afterwards I felt a little bit more refreshed. I think that it offered some sense of community. A moment of “I’ve been there before.” combined with “we’ve all got our own struggles,”  that made me feel a sense of the bigger picture as well. They’re not little for long, we all have different struggles, each as unique, and as hard, and as scary, and as sad as anyone else’s, because they are our own. But for a brief moment in time, I felt like I wasn’t alone in my struggle after all. So the next time you’re at the grocery store, the gas station, walking down the road… offer a little support to those you meet. Even if it’s only in the form of a smile. You never know how life changing (even if momentarily) it can be.
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Always, Always, Always


I read a post on facebook this morning that said: There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.

(Credit: Just Feelin' Good on Facebook. Clicking the photo will bring you to it!)

While I am still struggling with some things, there (as always) are still things to be thankful for. And since it’s been a while since I’ve remembered to do a Thankful Friday post… I’m doin’ it today! Some of these things have happened and some are happening this weekend… I’m thankful just knowing some of the things we’ve got comming up!

  • I am thankful for a day to celebrate my wonderful hubbyman (yesterday was his 30th!)!
  • A brother (and sister-in-law) that want to spend time with the people who’ve made them aunts and uncles. And requesting an overnight with them!
  • And parents willing to take Littlest for an overnight!
  • That Littlest doesn’t mind and actually enjoys being the only one and getting all the attention!
  • A whole afternoon, evening, night, and morning without children!!
  • A night out with friends!
  • That I’m feeling a little more like myself
  • That I’m giving myself permission to feel however I feel, for however long I feel like it
  • That I already miss my children (yes, I really am thankful for that. It’s a wonderful reminder of how much I love them, even when they’re driving me a little batty.)
  • For family and friends ready and willing to give me their support
  • For a very supportive husband (x a million!)
  • For children who are so aware of my feelings, and are always willing to give extra hugs and kisses when they think I need it
  • For my children.
  • For my children.
  • For my children.
  • For Biggest
  • For Miss
  • For Littlest
  • Repeat x a million

Now, this doesn’t really go in line with my  normal Thankful Fridays (but I am thankful to have people in my personal life, and in my blogosphere life that are supportive and caring in my own mental health!), but a couple weeks ago it was Mental Health Awareness week, and it went by without my notice, so I am posting this photo now, because it’s good to be aware of it any time of the year!

(Credit: facebook group I Jump, You Jump. Clicking on the photo will bring you to the original link.)

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2012


After a much needed hiatus, I am back my dear friends. The holidays are over and life is beginning to go on as usual. They were wonderful, ridiculously busy, and filled. And I hope that yours were too.

Here are some of my favorite things from this last year:

  1. Visits from far-flung family and friends.
  2. Weekend getaway with a girlfriend. (and a stowaway in the form of sweet little(st) E
  3. A summer completely filled to the top with some of my favorite people
  4. Our best anniversary getaway to date. (That started with free champagne and chocolate covered strawberries and ended in a free hotel room.)
  5. An empty hotel and pool fun with my sweet, little family
  6. Cutting down our own little Christmas tree, no matter how Charlie Brown-esque it may have been
  7. game nights with friends
  8. quiet evenings with those I love most
  9. late night Wii fests full of wins and defeats all around
  10. laughter, tears, and everything in between that makes life as challenging and wonderful as it always is that leaves us grateful for everyone and everything in it.

 

I hope to continue my attitude of gratitude for many years to come, not just 2012. May you find lots of reasons to be thankful for the year passed (even if it’s just it’s passing), and in the years to come.

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Season of Thankfulness


I can hardly believe we’re just a couple short days away from Christmas! Seems like last week we were still waiting on Thanksgiving! But that’s how it goes every year, isn’t it? And sadly, I missed out on yesterday’s “Simple” post… I seem to have been doing that a lot lately. And if I’m honest, I’ll admit that I sat down to do it, loaded all the necessary photos, and just didn’t feel like it. So the kids and I made another round of sugar cookies instead. And I don’t regret it one bit! But I am hoping to start doing  more recipes again! So that’s something you can be looking forward to (or not!). I have pictures and recipes just waiting to be shared! Everything from monkey bread pizza, sugar cookies!, and mug cakes (they take 2 minutes to make! seriously!). And more!! And they’re all gluten free! And soooo delicious! And since today is FRIDAY (duhn, duhn, duhn) and the fact that this is a season where we are bombarded by things to do, things to make, things to buy, things to give, things to get, and people to see…  it’s easy to get lost in all of that and forget all the things that are really important during Christmas, and always. Along with being thankful. For friends, family, jobs, homes… here are some things I’m  incredibly thankful for!

  • For a hubby who will have TEN DAYS IN A ROW off!! I’m so excited about this I can hardly contain myself! And my mom said that they’ll take the kids for a day during Christmas break, so we’ll actually get a day together! That’s really something to be thankful for!
  • For my Christmas present. Yes, I know it’s just a thing, but it’s a wonderful, pasta extruding thing that I’ve been wanting! And hubby was thoughtful enough to think of it and get it for me! (And let me use it before Christmas even! I did have his permission to open it, but I’m not sure how he would’ve stopped me since I was home when the Williams-Sonoma box arrived!)
  • I take great joy in finding “perfect” gifts for people! I am thankful that I have wonderful, beautiful people in my life to love and appreciate!
  • I am thankful for my NEPHEW that’s a’growin’ in my sister-in-law’s growing  belly!!
  • I am thankful for the sensitive side of hubbyman that who admitted he’d hoped it was a niece, because he thought it would be fun to have a cute,  little niece! (But it will be fun that Littlest with have a cousin close enough to his age that they’ll be playmates!)
  • I am thankful for surprising the kiddos with the arrival of their cousin and aunt and uncle from China!
  • I am SO THANKFUL that we got a dusting of snow this week… and that there’s lots coming down now! (please, keep snowing! please, keep snowing!)
  • I am thankful for every person that stops by here! The ones who read it occasionally, the ones who read it regularly, and even the ones who just skim through. (*ahem*hubbyman*)

And I’m off to go decorate some gingerbread men, snowmen, Christmas trees, dinosaurs, monkeys, elephants, and strawberry-shaped cookies!  What you don’t think dinosaurs or strawberry shortcake land berries are Christmasy? Well, you obviously haven’t seen our nativity then!

Merry Christmas, my dears! And may you accept all the love and hugs a little more graciously than my little ones!

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Ugh.


Since I missed it this week (and maybe the week before too! Yikes!), I’m going to start with a couple things I’m REALLY thankful for!

  • Family!
  • My lovely children!
  • My hardworking hubby!
  • My project oriented hubby!
  • My willing and able brother! (he was hubbyman’s painting partner)
  • My in-laws! We love to go to their house and it’s so wonderful to spend time with them.
  • My sister-in-law got her medical assistance approved (my brother and his wife are missionaries)
  • A hubby who can anticipate my needs- there was creamer in the fridge when I woke up!
And now back to our regularly scheduled programming (ha!):

I want to blog. I like to write. I love to talk. The problem is, I’m having a difficult time actually doing it. Somewhere in between the 3 children, the husband, the laundry, the cooking, the painting (we have vaulted ceilings that were in dire need of painting… not fun. Poor hubbyman.)… and we have someone coming to the house TOMORROW and I was gone all weekend. So the house is covered in paint, tools, and toys.

I spend lots of time thinking about the things I want to say… but when it comes to taking “time out” to do it… I’m not so disciplined. I’m needing to work on a better schedule I think, or better time management at least. I took the kids to my in-laws this weekend for some Grandma & Papa time (an added bonus was then I didn’t have to keep the kids out of the way during painting, or have smell the paint fumes!) and it was nice to “get away.” We did some shopping (for necessary winter gear as we could have snow this month), lots of playtime, and Big E even helped me make super, super yummy Fallen Souffle Cupcakes! It was so fun to have the time and space to do some of these fun things with my little ones that sometimes I miss out on because I’m too busy with the daily grind.

My hope it work super hard this week getting things done (and cleaned!) and organized!!! And the final painting will hopefully be finished next weekend… and then I can get a much better schedule implemented where I’m doing fun things like baking with the kids and making you laugh… those are important things, you know! (*smile*)

In the meantime, anyone have a place they go for really great redecorating or (re)arranging furniture?

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Feelin’ the love ♥


I don’t know about anyone else, but I look forward to Easter, every year. The fun, the family, the food. But also the renewal. Not that you should ever wait till a specific time of year to take it to God, or to be renewed in any form, but for me, the refreshing and the knowledge of what this date signifies resounds fully. And I feel a wide range of emotions. The greatest being thankfulness.

So on that note, I just want to say that I have been overwhelmed by all the love and support all my friends and family have given me every day of this blog. I thank you from the bottom of my heart! It’s been wonderful hearing from friends old and new and making new ones some along the way!

Ant on that note one more time, I have received a Versatile Blogger Award from the cutest of the cute, my friend from college days gone by, Jamie. Otherwise known as the author of Make It Healthy. She is fantastic!

The rules of accepting and passing on the Versatile Blogger:
1) Thank the person who nominated you (Thank You Jamie!!) and provide a link back to their site
2) Tell 7 random facts about yourself
3) Pass the award on to 15 new found bloggers
4) Let the giver of the award know if you’ve accepted the award or not
7 Random facts about me:

1) I have a dog that is the same age as my youngest (and we got him when littlest E was only 2 months old). Let’s just say we had some busy months in there!

2) I LOOVE vegetables. Make me pretty much any vegetable and I will eat it- and like it. Except beets. At least in the pickled form. Eww, and sweet pickles. Wait, does this mean I can’t say I’d eat any vegetable anymore?

3) I am passionate about all things baby. I’m pretty sure no one that has ever known me is surprised by this, but somehow, I was.

4) I ask for recipes from people, but I’m fairly certain I’m incapable of following them. I pretty much decide what I think would taste good together and just do that instead. Thankfully, most of the time it works out.

5) I miss “military life” (as a military wife) way more than I thought I would. Maybe I should just say, I miss the sense of community and family you have. That’s pretty much the only thing I miss. Oh and the NEX/Commissary (hello, cheap groceries!!)

6) I LOVE cooking and would LOVE to take a cooking class.

7) My family is amazing and I thank God every single day for each one of them. Especially on the days they’re drive me insane.

15 Newly Found Bloggers:

1. Uniquely Normal Mom

2. Living Is a Process

3. Lindsey Sews

4. Doodlemum

5. RaggamuffinPc

6. Peaceful Housewife

7. The Grass Skirt

8. The Cottage Home

9. Life, Gluten Free

10. Gluten Free Goddess 

11. Nomadic Foodie

12. Gluten Free Mommy

13. Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom

14. Gluten Free Girl and the Chef

15.I Thought I knew Mama

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Blog Party!


What a fun way to get to know other bloggers, their lifestyles, their thoughts, and be a part of each other’s lives! I by no means claim to be an ultra blogger, but… I think this is just too great to skip out on- a Natural Parenting Blog Party, hosted by The Peaceful Housewife.

The Peaceful Housewife

And as part of the “Get To Know You”… here are some answers to some questions!
  1. How many children do you have, and how old are they? 3 kiddos! 4 yrs. old, 2 1/2 yrs. old, and 9 months!

    What a real family picture looks like

  2. Do you have a partner, or are you a single parent? I have a wonderful partner in my husband of going on 7 years
  3. What are your “hot button” parenting issues? Ignorant parenting (I believe in living life with intention, and parenting is no exception! Not caring to make an informed decision is ridiculous!), along with breastfeeding, nutrition, and many issues surrounding pregnancy and birth! Just to name a few
  4. Have you made any parenting choices that you didn’t think you would make before you were a parent, i.e. cloth diapering a child when you had previously thought it was disgusting? I do things that I wouldn’t have spent time thinking about (like cloth diapers and co-sleeping, and baby wearing) before getting pregnant, but once knew motherhood was imminent, I kind of just knew I’d be doing things naturally, or as much as possible.
  5. Is there one book or person in particular that’s heavily influenced your parenting choices? I read the whole Sears library while pregnant with my first
  6. If you had to describe each of your children using only one word, what word would you use? 1st- imaginative; 2nd- sweet-hearted; 3rd- miraculous.
  7. Is there one parenting decision that you regret more than others and wish you could change? I wish I would have used cloth diapers with all of them! (we were apartment dwellers and it didn’t seem feasable)
  8. Is there an area of your parenting you wish you were better at? oh being more patient for sure!
  9. Now for the fun questions – is there one particular food or type of food that you could eat every day? hmm… probably not! I love eating (and making!) all kinds of foods and probably wouldn’t be happy settling for just one!
  10. Vanilla ice cream or chocolate? ooh vanilla! (do not like chocolate!)
  11. What’s your guilty pleasure? well, time-consuming thing I occasionally feel guilty about- time spent on the computer! If it’s just something I thoroughly enjoy it’s books! I could buy a new book every day!
  12. If you could be part of any television show, which show would it be? Ooh, I don’t know… maybe Grey’s Anatomy, but really just so I could live in Washington again (yes, I do know it’s not really filmed there, but still…). Oh I know! How I Met Your Mother. That would be fun!

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