laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

Not Gone. Just Living.


I’m hoping to get back into blogging…I know I’ve been far and few between lately. I’d made the decision to keep the computer off, or at least in use minimally (and I mean minimally) during the day and evenings… and if time was going to be spent on the computer, it would be after the kids had gone to bed. By the time that happens… I’m usually about spent. So I haven’t gotten there yet. We’re in the constant process of streamlining. Our lives our activities, and especially our things. I’m working on getting things more organized (well, I’m pretty  much always working on that, but it’s been a more active process lately.), and paring down all the things that we have. A house full of things will not make anyone happy. A house full of love could make anyone happy.

It’s not just the distraction of electronics though. I’ve been guiltified (That’s right, it’s a new word. Accept it and move on.) about housework too. How many afternoons have we skipped the walk or trip to the playground because the whole house wasn’t clean? A lot. How many days have I wished we wouldn’t have gone to the playground and stayed home to clean? Absolutely none.  So in the last two weeks we have spent afternoons on the deck, sitting in the pool. Making and playing playdough on days when it’s been gray and raining. We have been living and loving.  And I have still gotten a few loads of laundry done in between. I’m calling success. There’s food in their bellies, clothes on their backs (or at the least covering their bottoms- hey, they’re little!), and definitely smiles on their faces. They’ve been happier with me, and I’ve been happier with them.

I have another confession. I thought I would feel really resentful of not getting the day time to process out blog posts, but I’ve actually found it to be freeing once I let it go. I don’t want to lose the blog (or my lovely, wonderful followers), but I do feel like I’ve found my life. You see, I was   trying to have it “all.” (But really, aren’t we all?) I wanted to have a perfectly clean, perfectly organized home; a well-loved family who I spend intentional time with; a successful blog; an abundant garden; and the start of a new career. Most of these things could take up most of your day if not all of your day, individually. And I was trying for it all, simultaneously. I felt like everything was only being half-done and half-heartedly at best. So I’ve already mentioned how freeing it feels, but I’m going to say it again. Totally freeing. I can throw in laundry in between games, activities, and outside fun with the kids (and gardening too). And TV has been limited too! So there is no doing things around TV times, we watch TV as it fits around our life! Which is obviously, how it should be! Totally freeing. And I feel so much happier and content the more and more we move towards our intentional living ideals. It’s awesome. I’m less stressed, I’m less frantic, and I think I actually do get more things done because I have less distractions and aren’t trying to do 100 things all at the same time. As the kids get older, some things will be easier and time may be more easily managed (and maybe some day I’ll have help with the laundry), but for now this is where I’m at. And I’m loving it.

For my fellow bloggers- I’m still following! I do most of my reading on my phone which makes it impossible to leave comments, but I am still reading and enjoying all the lovely and funny things you have to say! One of these days you will each have a million notices from all the liking and commenting catching up I’ll do! I am also intending to get some posting done this week (and hubby has agreed to help make some time available for me on the weekends too so I can do some posting and scheduling.) so I’m not gone, just living.

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A Love To Last


So, I’ve been thinking, lately about the way children grow. This weekend I attended the beautiful wedding of one of my cousins. Now this cousin happens to be one that I carried on my hip for years. I’ve always loved children, and especially babies. And he was “my” baby. And I just witnessed him becoming a husband. Thinking about how old that must’ve made me feel? I hadn’t thought of that, but thanks for rubbing it in pointing it out. And it left me thinking about how just a few minutes ago, it seems, I was a tween, and he just a baby… it makes me realize that in seemingly a few more minutes, I’ll be watching my own children walk down the aisle. And that is truly mind blowing.

While I thought about what it would be like to watch one of my babies pledge their lives to someone, other than me, I couldn’t help but think of all the things I hope they find in a partner. I mean, how many times have we watched friends and family in relationships where we’re like Ugh, what do they see in him? Or How can he not see the way she treats him? But, let’s face it, it’s fairly safe to say that lots of us have been in a relationship like that. Where we couldn’t see what was right in front of our faces. So how do I teach my children to avoid that? How do I tell them about the things to look for in a spouse?

The long and short of it is that I show them.

I teach my daughter that although sometimes it feels like she will never stop talking, all of her words are worth listening to. I teach my sons that honesty is more important than being the one that is right. I show my daughter that true beauty is in showing kindness to those who are undeserving, because in reality, everyone deserves a little kindness. I show my boys the importance of gentleness. I show my daughter that her dreams are as important as anyone else’s by living out my own. I show my sons that raising a family is thing to be proud of, by having pride in our daily interactions. I show my children what commitment looks like. I show my children that their father is a man worthy of respect, by the way that I respect him. I show my children that I am not servant to their father, who follows behind him, but a partner, who walks along side of him. I show my children these things because this is how they will choose their partner. These are the ideals they’ll carry with them. The way their father and I relate to each other, and the way we relate to them. I can only hope that they see all the things I am trying to show them. And that I can remember to behave in a way that is intentional, so that I am showing them, and teaching them patience. With each other. With me. With their future partners. Because heaven knows, in marriage, and in life, you need a lot of patience to get you through.

To my baby cousin, who is now a married man, and his sweet wife: Hold hands, even when you don’t feel like it. Kiss each other goodnight, even when you don’t want to. Have a tradition that you stick to, and really stick to it. Because when you continue to behave as if you’re madly in love, it’s hard for those feelings not to follow. And in the hard times, that will get you through. And DO go to sleep mad once in a while. Sometimes you do need some sleep to think clear-headed and not to just say words out of frustration, anger, and sleep deprivation. Don’t look at arguments as an end, rather as a beginning to learning better forms of communication between each other. And from a former young bride to another, remember that while others may think you young and naive, really it just leaves you with all the more years of growing old together- and making fun of those that stood in your way.  Love you!

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The Peanut To My Butter


I am so excited that it’s Friday I could just sing…or dance! And I just might! We sing and dance while we clean, and little do they know- that’s the plan for today. A good ‘ol cleaning cleverly disguised as a dance party! I love it! If you tell me you’ve never had a dance party while cleaning not only will I not believe you (c’mon, I know you’ve let a move bust through the tunes while cleaning.), but I will defriend you. Unfriend. Whatever, we’ll be through. If you really haven’t. Crank up some of your favorite tunes from when you were in high school… and find yourself a’dancing! And then we can remain friends.

Now back to our regular programming.., I was so happy just a few minutes ago, and it seems my mood is fading fast. I’d better get to cleaning dancing as fast as I can so that I don’t lose my good mood completely. Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

So now we’re really back to our regular programming. It’s Friday, and I’m thankful. After a weekend that felt like it lasted a week, I’d never been so excited to see my children. 4 days was at least a day too long to be separated from them! But I am very thankful for my parents (and littlest brother) for having them, and the kids had so much fun. It’s very apparent our separation was much harder on the mama than the children.

Mostly, I am thankful for hubbyman. I wasn’t sure he was so supportive of me becoming a doula, but he has been amazing. During the weekend he’d make me a drink, and let me debrief. And he’d get up and make breakfast, and more importantly, coffee, before I’d head back in. After 6 hours worth of driving, 21 hours of sitting on the floor trying to soak in every word, and 3 hours of coffee runs… it left me completely exhausted. Mentally, physically, and definitely emotionally. Hubbyman has been so great. He’s put the big kids to bed and come up to find me still cuddling with littlest (What? After the weekend, I needed some extra cuddles!) and has taken him and put him to bed as well. And encouraged me to have some down time, some quiet time, and that it was ok to do so. He has done that almost every night this week. The first night I fell asleep on the couch, and the nights after that I’ve only spent maybe an extra hour awake and up, lounging on the couch. But it has been amazing for my own self. I actually have slept better, and better yet- I wake up, feeling like I actually got some sleep! And I am really shocked by how much more patience I have during the day. Apparently, I was really needing some down time. Where I’m not mom, and I’m not in charge, and even if it’s just mindlessly watching TV, I’m allowing myself some time to unwind, relax, and just be. And apparently, that’s exactly what I’ve been needing. I am so thankful to my hubbyman, for allowing and encouraging me to have some time for myself. (It’s like he knows me or something.)

Not only has he allowed me some time, but he was been incredibly supportive. He recently accepted a new position within his company and has promised to find ways that I could attend births, without having to stress over childcare, because he’d simply come home and stay with the kids. He is an incredibly hard worker and in his previous position they kind of let him do what he wants because of that- I’m hoping his next boss feels that way too! I will be doing daytime childcare for friends starting late fall/early winter, and so I’m trying to get all the births in that I can before then! (I have 3 on the books between now and then.) A local hospital has a great program where they offer doula services. While it’s unpaid, it would be a chance to get a good number of births under my belt, and stay active in the birthing community, and be able to schedule it. I’m going to wait a few months into doing childcare before officially signing up (I don’t want to over extend myself), but I’m very excited. And I love how supportive hubby is. He understands why I want to do it, and believes in it whole-heatedly. And is truly willing to explore every avenue possible so that I can do and achieve things that I want/believe in. It’s incredibly endearing. If I am successful in anything (be it professional or personal), a great portion of it is because I have his support. And I am so grateful.

Photo Credit: thestencilsmith.com

And now we’re off to my dance party! I hope you all have wonderful, dancing weekends as well!

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I Choose


There’s my sign. There’s your sign. As I begin another journey. I’m telling you, you can begin yours too. No matter what you’re doing, where you are, or who you are… there’s your sign. We’ve all been waiting for something, right?

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out who I am and what I want to be, or do, in this life. It’s good to know that no matter what point I’m at, it’s never too late to choose another route.

And so today I am leaping in, with both feet. A new horizon. A new career. A new start.

Today I am thankful for the people in my life who encourage, support, uplift, and call me to tell me to take a deep, cleansing breath. I am thankful that with them, and often because of them, I am strong. I am determined. I am starting anew. It may not have be the life I pictured as a little girl. But it is definitely the life I want as an adult. It’s been a journey to this point, but as of today, I am choosing my life. I am (continuing) to live with intention. And I’m being intentional about it.

*Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts! Cross your fingers, this is a big weekend for me! Full of lessons, note-writing, training, and probably not a lot of sleep! Plus Littlest will be spending two nights IN A ROW away. (For the first time.) I already miss him. Hubbyman has promised to tell the grandparents that they can drop Littlest off with his daddy at any point over the weekend. I know they won’t, but his words were comforting to my mama heart. May you all have a weekend filled with new adventures, incredible food, and unending wine bottles!

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I SHOULD Be Napping


I was hoping to do a post on maple syruping today… but I left my CD with all the pictures I took during the season in the truck… that is currently being driven by hubbyman. And can I just reiterate how annoying it is to have letters that don’t work on your keyboard! I had no idea how often I used those letters! Ugh. So I may still do the post later today, as he should be coming home for lunch. But the day has yet to unfold so we will see how it turns out! But you will see a post on it eventually, because I love the photos, I love the season, I love the syrup, and my syruping family!

I stayed up waaaay too late trying to catch up o the ever mountainous piles of laundry. It was pretty successful, but I am completely exhausted. I am hoping that it means we can just enjoy our day today. So far we’ve had movie snuggles, breakfast, and we’re currently doing some school work. Littlest is coloring Elmo. (Or Melmo as he calls him) MissE is requesting she get new letters in her name so she can try writing something else. I told her that she could just write other letters, but apparently she can only write letters that are in her name. And biggest is practicing his number writing skills. I am so thankful they enjoy learning and sitting and doing their lessons. Even if it’s just for now.

Aaannndddd since it took forever to write this with the on-screen keyboard… here are some things I’m really thinking.

(credit: designismine.blogspot.com)

(credit: www.someecards.com)

This is why I live in Minnesota!

(credit: pinterest.com)

(credit: someecards.com)

(credit: someecards.com)

And lastly….

(credit: someecards.com)

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As Much As Humanly Possible


Last year at this time, I was working on completing the “Love Dare” out of the movie Fireproof. Not because my marriage was over. But because it was in need of maintenance. Mainly preventative. (All marriages, as all relationships, need continual maintenance.) Actually, I’d decided I would do it on my whole family. I’d decided to go through the study for Lent. I’d thought it would be a good thing to do yearly, but as Lent came around this year, I didn’t really feel it necessary. I think I just didn’t want to have to DO it. Last year, it took me longer than the 40 days to finish, because I made sure that my heart accompanied my eyes along with each page, and each lesson. Sometimes each day’s readings and challenges would take me numerous days to complete. The last week I have been overtired, and it’s leaving me overly emotional. By the end of the day I’m so tired that every time I feel a body jump on me, or arms grab my hands away from what I need to be doing to coerce them into doing what they want to do… it’s all I can do not to just run to the bathroom and lock the door. I’m sure it has a good deal to do with it being the end of winter, the time of year everyone’s chomping at the bit to enjoy some sunshine and warmth, while still being trapped indoors. I had a conversation with hubbyman the other day where he said mentioned he thinks he has grown to be more patient, as a husband and a father. And I agreed; he has. I replied with, I think I’ve gotten more impatient. And, sadly, he agreed.

And then my tablet, my e-reader, my device with my Love Dare on it has died. I haven’t officially started it again (I could just download a kindle to my computer and do it there), but I may do a summary. Or I may just put on my big girl panties and do it.

I’ve been rereading some of my first posts, from last year. And as I read through some of the ones I wrote during the time I first started The Love Dare, this one struck me the most. So instead of trying to find another way to say what I’ve already said, I’m just going to include some parts that I feel show the truth of my heart.

I have a confession… while in general, I love big, give freely, and have so much empathy that it’s almost a problem… sometimes I get spent. I forget to do things just for me, or to at least take a “time out” myself. And then I become…selfish. (*insert collective gasp here*) I know, right?! It’s awful and I’m not proud of it. It is, however, true. I start to feel taken for granted which leads to feelings of discontentment. And discontentment (for me) breeds anger. In the midst of my feelings I get so caught up in how things are affecting me that I fail to see the effect I’m having on my family. And lately I’ve been a bit caught up in this cycle. Because my daily life is so entirely about “the little things,” My days pretty much revolve around the dishes, the laundry, the meals…and I can very easily get caught up in the feelings of I do it all and nobody cares. Which if I were to be introspective at all, would leave me admitting that I’m really feeling inconsequential. Instead, I stick with anger. Like a long lost friend, there is some strange sort of comfort in being angry. It’s such a familial-feeling friend to fall in with. It whispers in your ear, “You deserve some appreciation, way more than you’re getting. Nobody else does what you want. You’re always doing what they want…” You know anger and anger knows you. This cycle has a lot to do with why I started the Love Dare to begin with. As old of a friend as anger is, I’d like to get reacquainted with some others, like the patience and kindness I’ve been saying I’m working on.

And so the dare continues and I read and I do what it says, but I’m not sure I’ve actually been working on my patience…or my kindness. Maybe on the surface, but not so much in the heart. In fact, I found myself growing MORE angry. And the more I read and the more the lessons said, “you may be feeling this way… try choosing to behave like this…” the more angry I felt. What if my anger is valid? (insert thought bubble: of course my anger is valid!) What if I had some major injustice done to me? (insert thought bubble: of course I’m justified in my feelings!) Surely this justifies some anger and discontent. Nonetheless, I kept reading and then came…maybe day 8? It talked about two rooms. One is where we put the praises of those we care for (spouse, children, friends, etc and the wonderful things they’ve done and said to/for/about us and our positive feelings about them) and the other is where we put the negatives (he said, “blah, blah, blah…” she said, “blah, blah, blah…” they did this to me, they said that to me…) And while compartmentalizing some things can be healthy…moving into a room of discontentment, of course, isn’t. The day’s pages were filled with things like, when you spend a lot of time in this room you may go there to pick your fights, to be reminded of why you’re mad, even to prepare yourself for battle. And I have to admit, I do this. I go over the list of transgressions that I’m so worked up over and prepare what I would say, or what I think I should say, or what I feel is deserved to be said… over and over. It can become compulsive, even. Yuck. And can I just say it’s a little bit maddening when the very thing (the day’s love dare lesson) that’s making me mad, totally has me pegged. Crap. But just to show it who’s boss I thought I’d wait a couple days before acknowledging that the words on the pages were real in my heart. Ridiculous, right?! Of course it is, but it’s honest.

And so I confessed some of the feelings of my heart to my husband. And instead of the dialogue I’d perfected in my head, back in that room, I found the opposite taking place. Instead of my anger spewing forth, my insecurities, my fears, and my real emotions came out in a way that was open, honest, and non-accusatory (maybe some of those lessons were sinking in after all!). And my husband…instead of the words my head had heard him responding with, well, he responded in…SHOCK. He had NO IDEA that I was feeling the way I was feeling. It turns out the anger I’d been carefully polishing and protecting, like a prized trophy, is hard to hold on to when someone is so surprised by the fact that you don’t think everything is wonderful, because THEY are really thinking things are (truly) wonderful, and that I knew how wonderful he thought it all was. I mean, it’s almost laughable. Here I was, stewing in the discontentment that I was sewing into my own life… and there was my husband, looking at me with eyes that spoke volumes of love, compassion, and concern…along with some confusion. And of course, the negativity began to fall away… and so here I am sitting in another room. A room with warm, compassionate, thankful words on the walls. Walls that show examples of my children having patience with me. Words that show my husband making an effort to let me know he appreciate all the little things he does. Words and memories of all the wonderful, thoughtful things my family and friends do and have done. Some, even on a regular basis. So while I’m fighting the urge to roll my eyes at the sappy, corniness of some of the things this room has to say… I am humbled and appreciative that I have all these things to say about those that are closest to my heart. And I’m reminded of a phrase I was often told growing up, and have often repeated, “You cannot change others, you can only change yourself.” And while any life is going to have ups and downs and cycles that are forever repeated, today I am CHOOSING to think positive thoughts about those around me along with myself. I work hard to keep everyone clean, clothed, fed, and happy. Hubbyman works hard to provide the means for all of that. And the kids work hard to be…kids! Learning and living, and really, trying to be good. And while it may not be true of everyone, today I am going to CHOSE to be motivated with kindness and patience towards everyone I come in contact with.

I cannot promise that I have already let go of all the emotions and moved myself back into that room (you know, the good one). I can tell you, that I am clinging to those truths, and that outlook. We all have things in our lives, whether big problems, or small children, that get the best of us. And in the end, it’s our decision how we move forward. Our decision. Our choice. Our life. When I stop and let all those things fall into their proper places, letting the lessons take hold, only then can I really see the bigger picture. The picture where someday I will look back at the trivialness of arguing over who did the dishes, and wish longingly for the chubby little hands I once held to encircle my neck once more. The picture were I have a life well lived, and a life well-loved. A life I hope to continue living with intention. Treating those I love in a way I would always intend to, at least as much as humanly possible.

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Coffee: You Can Sleep When You’re Dead


I stayed up late last night. And it wasn’t to read a good book or have a good talk with a friend. No, it was scrubbing counters, floors, picking up countless odds and ends, organizing, and laundry. Doing all the things that never seem to get done on the day to day, or have a hard time getting them all done in the same day. When you live in a house full of the under 5 crowd (ok, so I guess it’s the just-turned-5 and under crowd now), sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of it all. Especially when two are boys. Boys who leave a wake of disaster and destruction. By the time I switched yet another load of laundry, picked up the last dinosaur, train, and strawberry shortcake figurine and actually climbed into bed, it was after 2am. There was a time when that wouldn’t have seemed so absurd but when you have little people that wake like a lightning bolt and don’t stop until 9pm… you come to value sleep in a way I’m not sure you can really understand, unless you’re a parent. I thought about texting hubbyman, asking him to grind some beans (I don’t know why but I hate that part of making coffee) and set the coffee pot for me. But I was so exhausted, and -of course- Littlest woke up as soon as I crawled into bed… so I just fell asleep to the thoughts If he really loved me, he’d prep and set the coffee pot for me. (It would definitely be further proof as this is something I don’t think he’s ever done before.)

Insert a noise that may have been a cross between the words, I hate the sunlight and a curse word in a language undeveloped (Or just really-tired-mama-speak) when I woke to find that MissE was in bed with me (who is about as lovely in the morning as her father…. and maybe her mama) and Littlest was wide awake and mad. And it was only 7. I could barely even keep my eyes open. I tried to coax them into cuddling and just laying quietly, but they were not havin’ it. I got them cereal, turned on a cartoon, and stood in front of the coffee pot, willing it to magically make itself. And then I noticed a green light on it. That was the timer light! Which means that he really does love me! 

(photo credit: Keeling Korner)

I still have more on my list of things to do today that I had high hopes of crossing off… but my Miss has just projectiled apples all over the living room. So I’m thinking this day may have other things in mind for us. Good thing my sweet hubbyman made enough for more than one cup of coffee. I’m gonna need it.

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Does This Go Together?


Now I may have missed the actual time line to join in with all the bloggers that followed along with the 100 Way to be Kind To Your Children (from Toddler Approved!– who also happens to have totally awesome pinterest boards!). But does that mean it’s too late for me to work on being kind to my children? Absolutely. Not! Just in going through the list, I’ve found that not only will it be beneficial for my children, but it will be healthy for me too. It’s letting go of some of the pressure, some of the ideals… and just holding onto the fact that some days survival is good enough.

This weekend we will be creating like crazy! We are going completely organic (and homemade) in the cleaning products. I’ve made dishwasher detergent and laundry detergent before. (I liked the former but wasn’t impressed with the latter.) We use a homemade solution in our carpet cleaner. But as we continue on in our lives, trying to live with as much intention as we can… we came to the realization, did we really intend to put lots of chemicals on (and therefore into) our bodies, let alone our children’s? I think we all know the answer to that! So this weekend we will be traveling deeper down that path. Hubbyman made shampoo last weekend. He seems to like it. I’ll admit it does smell good. Hopefully I remember to charge up the camera so we can really document the process, as well as the outcome. An added benefit to making these things ourselves (other than the obvious health benefits)? Money. Pennies on the dollar, folks. Another benefit, you get to choose how they smell! Which for me and my smelly sensitivities is fantastic. My choices (of essential oils) lemon and tangerine. Together = heaven. Or pretty close to.

And since we’re on the topic, you might want to go ahead and read the 5 Grossest Things You’re Eating from the Supermarket. Or even better, The 15 Grossest Things You Eat. Might make you think twice. Or lots more. If you read those 2 alone, even without doing any further research, I don’t think you’ll ever question why we buy our beef from a family farm. Or why we buy organic milk. Or why we make just about everything from scratch. And why I like to can my foods myself.

On another note- I woke up thinking today was Thursday. So imagine my surprise (and delight) that today is, in fact, FRIDAY! (*insert a big WOHOO! here*)  And so… I’m going to start with my kindness, get my butt off of here, and make my kids clean their rooms! Hey, teaching them the importance of proper organization is showing them kindness, right? I like to think so!

*I am thankful for people I have never met, or have only met briefly. At least in person. I’m part of a MN Cloth Diapering Mamas group and they are so sweet (and just about the only group of mamas I have ever seen remain mama drama free. It’s refreshing!). And not only that, they have been willing to make donations to my brother & his expecting wife’s cloth diaper stash! Woohoo! It may not seem that exciting, but trust me when I tell you it is! And one of my absolute favorite diaper makers, Softbums (go ahead, like their facebook page too- tell them I sent you!), has offered to make a donation (in diapers)! This is incredibly amazing- and when I called my sister-in-law she definitely shared my excitment. (Plus, the softbum diaper style is her favorite. And out of the 2 diapers I got her for Christmas. One was a locally made by LetJoy Diapers (like her page while you’re at it too!), and the other was of course the adorable giraffe style Softbum. (I tried adding a picture, but for some reason, wordpress is not cooperating at the moment. Hopefully later I can add it in, because it is so cute that I really wanted to keep it for Littlest. Even though he has several softbum diapers himself, it’s the only print one that we don’t have!)

*I am thankful for girlfriends. With kids. Without kids. Girlfriends can be big lifesavers. And an evening with them can be so refreshing. Even without wine (last night it was *homemade* specialty lattes!). But let’s not kid ourselves, an evening with girlfriends and wine, well, only coffee can compete with that.

*I am thankful for children who love their mama. Possibly more than any other person in the world. (I say possibly, soley on the off chance hubbyman is reading this. I give them pretty  much all of my time and attention. And while Daddy is still their hero and the funnest of the fun, Mommy is the favorite.)

*I am thankful for children who are very independent. You know, for the most part. (And sometimes this backfires, like the other day when I caught Biggest teaching Miss who was teaching Littlest how to fly and be super heroes. Which, in reality, meant that they were wearing their hooded towels as capes while jumping off the top of the bunkbed to fly.) Remember this, closed doors = children up to no good.

*I am thankful that I enjoy cooking. Seriously, life would be a lot harder for this foodie family if that was not the case. Plus, my coffee wouldn’t have been quite as good without the homemade (yes, that’s right- you may now bow at my feet.), delicious donuts that I added a swipe of cream cheese frosting too. Yum.

*I am thankful to be married to a man who sees the big picture, even when I just want to focus on surviving the next ten minutes.

*I am thankful for any and every person who stops by, says hello, or just reads a line or two. I’m always surprised, humbled, and blessed by the people who (both in person and on-line) tell me they read what I write. And occasionally, they enjoy themselves. You are the people that keep me sane. (See, now I hooked you in- you can’t stop reading, or else I will lose my sanity. And then you’ll feel the guilt. Gotcha. I’m kidding. Mostly.)

Happy Day of Friday to You and Yours from Me and Mine!

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Live To Love Another Day


I opened this tab and sat here and stared at the blank screen, willing thoughts and words to come. I stared at the screen some more. I opened another tab. I checked my facebook notifications. Nothing terribly interesting there. Although, it turns out, I am not alone in my enjoyment of the combination of red wine and snickerdoodles. But maybe that’s because they didn’t know that was my dinner. Whoops. (I don’t care.) It turns out, that the emotions I’m feeling, that I’ve been feeling, they’re not fleeting. Apparently I have to deal with them or something lame like that. I spent the majority of the day in tears.

Now I know that I talk of my love of wine and it’s powerful healing and relaxing properties, but the truth is… I’m not a big drinker. I don’t need a glass a day; I don’t even want a glass a day. I certainly enjoy a good glass of wine (my father in law just made a new batch of plum port, and wow, is that good!), but it’s just more of a eh, if it’s here I’d have some, maybe. Unless I have an already cold can of Pepsi, because more likely that yells my name a little louder. And I kind of have a “rule” that I don’t drink before hubbyman gets home. It’s not really a rule, and truthfully, hubbyman wouldn’t care. I just don’t feel like it (I’m still pumping myself full of caffeine to survive until he gets home, I don’t need anything that makes me more tired!), plus I feel like it can be a slippery slope once you go there. However, there have been days when things have happened or bad moods have occured and I’ve texted the hubbyman to say Is it too early to start drinking? To which he always responds, Nope. And then he gets home and finds that I never even poured myself a glass of anything. Or if I did, it just sat there on the counter. Well, yesterday, I poured myself a glass of wine. And while I only had a couple of sips by the time hubby came home, he took one look at the wine on the counter, and immediately looked at me, and asked what was wrong. I shrugged and shook my head. He immediately came over and gave me a hug, and said, last night you cried and today you’re drinking wine… what’s going on? And I couldn’t even respond. The emotions were too fresh, the pain too real. And then he quietly said, You want another baby. And I just cried. I know, we have three children and our oldest is only 5. We are crazy, busy. But I love it. And I love them. And I am not saying that we would actually have another baby, but I would love another one. But that is not an option. And it’s not a choice I get to make.

While I was terribly disappointed that hubbyman had to drop the kids back off after Tae Kwon Do to head back in to work, I was very surprised to see him return with roses, for me. For the second time in a week! (This is unheard of in our household! Truly, unheard of! I asked if this was his way of getting out of paying the higher prices for flowers when it’s Valentine’s Day. He claims he didn’t think about that until after he bought them. I think I believe him.) I’m sure at some point, we’ll probably talk, with words. But for now, the support of him just holding me, of just acknowledging why I’m sad, and showing his love and concern. That’s pretty powerful. The truth is, I don’t know that I’m ready to talk about it. It’s one thing to type it out, but it’s another thing completely to use my own voice, to have to hear those words. I woke up today, and felt…exhausted. Emotionally spent. I’m hoping it’s a step in the right direction, at least.

In the midst of all my grey skies, I am still surrounded by the humor and excitement that is my children. I wish I could have gotten it on video, but I forgot my camera at home… during Madonna’s halftime performance, my MissE (who loves all things dance and singing) was glued to the TV. When the cheerleading part came on, she stood directly in front of the TV, mimicking their moves and even singing along. (And I promise she has never heard that song before.) It was hilarious and amazing all at once. And further proof that we need to get her tiny little behind in a dance class.

And my oldest just informed that I am making him freak out due to how much annoying I’m being… on that note, I think I have some children to annoy, I mean play with.

my dinner... Red Wine and Snickerdoodles

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Mom Challenge


Do you ever have one of those dreams where everything feels so real, and something happens that wakes you up either feeling very a) happy, b) sad, or c) mad? Me too. In fact, I had one of those dreams last night. And I woke up furious. And the fury was directed mainly at the hubbyman (who luckily for him, had already left for work). At first I was confused as to why I was so angry with him. I didn’t immediately recall the dream and I was trying to think of anything to happen recently that would cause that kind of affect. And slowly I remembered the dream. Whew. At least I don’t have to spend any more time being mad at hubby for something he didn’t do. (Or do I stay mad because of the potential that it’s something he could/might do at some point, some day? Hmm… no, I won’t. That sounds like a lot of useless effort, and I haven’t even had my coffee yet.) No, he didn’t have an affair, or leave me, or anything like that. And I don’t remember all the specifics, other than he volunteered me or something, saying that I would sit down and do it and not be allowed to leave until it was done. And man did that cause a scene. Maybe because I got up, yelling and stomping like a 2 year old and fled the perfectly lovely dinner we’d been having with some family members… in my dream, of course.

Well, I decided not to hold hubbyman accountable for his actions in my dreams. (You’re welcome, my dear. I’m generous, I know.) So I put on my big girl pants, and went about my business. My business being primarily of the homemaker variety. I cleaned forever, I did mountains of laundry, and I even discovered that there is actually carpeting on the floor in my children’s bedrooms! Who knew?! The day was not going so bad, considering my mood at its start. My biggest boy even gave me a moment of reprieve with his wit: Whew, it’s a good thing I turned to five now. Five is a big helper, and it looks like you need a lot of help around here. (he says as he looks around…hey, he’s not wrong.)

*Just as I typed the last sentence, the computer decided to no longer be connected to the internet (something it decides to do more often then it decides to connect)… and my children were left alone with my laptop while skyping with their cousin (*cough* hubbyman *cough*), and knocked it off the desk or did who knows what to it, so that now the screen lights up an array of beautiful colors, but that is it. (Sad face) When hubbyman got me the computer, he had enough presence of mind to buy the extra warranty, so this week we’ll be bringing it back (it’s only 6monthsish old) and hopefully we will come home with a new, working laptop. And then I can get back to blogging. In the meantime, I’ve been deep cleaning all of the bedrooms, and more. Today, well, this week, it will be the office area. Which means the filing. Deciding which papers can be tossed, shred, or kept for forever never to be looked at again. I also have Biggest’s birthday party to plan this weekend. One I thought we weren’t going to have (after setting a date up, hubbyman decided he didn’t want to do it… but grandparents vetoed and we’re back on!). Needless to say, I have lots of planning going on! Hopefully, the internet fairies will be on my side and I’ll still be able to do some posting in the next couple of days (I’m going to want to share all the fun things for his birthday party… I love kid birthday parties!) ! Until then, I’m going to share this with you. I tried to print out just a couple of them, but the printer decided I needed 5, so this will probably be posted all over the house (I’d planned for the fridge, bathroom, and bedroom, but maybe I’ll post it on their doors as well!)… it’s terrific! And I think even the best mothers can use the reminder to parent with purpose every day, and I think this will do that. Check it out!

(clicking on the picture will bring you to the page! be sure to go check it out and print out a copy for yourself!)

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