Category Archives: Random

I Speak Picture

I think my favorite thing about technology these days is the ease of pictures. My photos on my phone are constantly overflowing. Instagram is where I hang out if I am in line at Target, or waiting at the dentist office, or ya know, doing whatever.

1weird

 entertainment on a midnight in n out burger run with my man child.

3happy

cracks me up to no end. i don’t really know why. it’s just funny.

4teens

i am so blessed to be their mom. i am also to young to be their mom, right? and they are cute huh?

5shoes

fab new shoes at Target, on clearance. oh, how we love Target.

6paleowhat my plate looks like these days. learning how to eat correctly. #betterlatethannever #whole30

7water

completely summer. makes me smile. big.

8waiting

waiting his turn at the park. rock your manners, wee one.

9secret

socrates is brilliant. i hold on to this tightly.

11me

still working on selfies. i hate them. i am a photographer, but I don’t like this side of things. and WHAT is with my arm reflection.

10blessing

uh huh.

12office

turning our garage into a bonus room. my little area is coming along. lots more to do. needs to be done by the first day of school, WHICH is shockingly almost upon us.

13egg

we just found out that princess consuela is now a prince. today we have our first egg. I need to send the rooster away. I am freaked out to eat these. #chickendrama

14jump

love her spirit. no fear. none.

15mary

mary krause you have no idea how this spoke to me. bless you for posting. it remains in my phone. follow this girl on ig. she’s kinda fabulous.

16office

here i sat. editing photos for my “job” and I realized I was looking out at my studio where they were taken.

Aren’t we all blessed?

Happy Wednesday.

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Making Memories

I was 16 or 17. We had a G R E A T youth group and a fantastic youth pastor. He was all about making memories. He was all about telling us, he was all about making memories.

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Every summer we went on a trip called Endless Summer. 1.5 weeks of non stop fun. Camping, amusement parks, beaches, and everything in between. It was A W E S O M E. Well, this one year, we took one of those accordian style busses. It was our transportation for the whole trip. Maybe 70 or 80 of us left for our Endless Summer Trip.

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For weeks prior to this particular year, our youth pastor had been telling us he had a special surprise that we would not want to miss. To say we were all excited would be a severe understatement. There was SUCH a buzz about our surprise. We could not figure it out.

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Heading southbound on Highway 5 toward Los Angeles, a famous stench exists. It is the familiar smell to all Californians and travelers of highway 5 known as Harris Ranch. I think it is home to about 5 gazillion cows, give or take.

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Remember that Endless Summer surprise? Yes, a tour. On the bus. Driving the roads in between said cows. In the middle of July. Hot. Flys. Groaning teenagers. AND a gleefully happy youth pastor walking the aisles of the bus yelling “you will never forget this”. He was right. I haven’t.

…and I love it.

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A few months ago I get a phone call from my husband in the middle of the day, asking if we could take May 16th off school. Of course. He informs me that there is a frog jumping gig at the Calaveras County fair. He wants to surprise the kids. I immediately thought of the cows. I was in.

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Anticipation built with my munchkins.

It was a total crack up and a total surprise until we arrived at our destination.

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You see, they didn’t even know that frog jumping existed. Neither did I.

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*this picture is titled, WHY WE USE A STROLLER.

It was an unusally wet rainy morning in CA, that we set out. It was cold, damp, and entirely entertaining.

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We had a great day.

Here’s to hoping the kids never forget it.

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Somehow, I don’t think they will. I can hear it now…”remember when dad took us to that frog jumping fair.”

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One of the highlights of the day was when we were walking through all the animals. One of the 4H kids started chatting with us. “Where y’all from?” he says. “Sacramento area”, my husband replies. Them the kid went there….

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“YOU CAME ALL THE WAY DOWN HERE, JUST FOR THIS?”

“Y U P”, my husband says proudly.

Making Memories.

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because frogs are cool.

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NORM

When things can start to get to be a mess in life, it tends to drag you down and it can become easy to view things as negative. It is easy to forget to see the positive. I remember just recently on our actual move day, a Sunday, my husband had to work in the morning, so I started things off by myself. I can’t remember what it was, but something went wrong early on and I texted him about it. His response, “no joy stealers today”. He was right. We had been wanting to move, literally for a couple of years, and the day had finally arrived. No. Joy. Stealers.

I chose joy.

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*we are absolutely adoring our new home.

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*****

We have about 3.5 weeks until official summer break and I can NOT wait. I mentioned our garage is going to become our school room/music room/bonus room extravaganza. Both time and money do not allow this to take place right now. SO, I have become the homeschooler who schools all over the house. In the toddlers room, in the hall on the floor, at the kitchen counter, couch, and my bed. I know lots of different people who do school like this regularly. I always thought I was not capable of such flexibility and this couple of weeks has proved to me that I was, in fact, correct. I am not. Our garage is a mess, unfinished, and I am unorganized. From the minute I started homeschooling I knew that I would need a “room” or a “space” that was for school. One that says when we are here, we are focusing on learning. When I sit in my toddler’s room, all I hear is let’s play trains. When we do school on the porch, I put the baby in the swing and say wheeee. When I do school on my bed, zzzzzz.

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For the sake of my children, I am disciplining myself to actually get through the end of the year. In the end, having a bit of separation from the house by being in the garage is going to be fantastic. It’s just going to take some work to de garage our new space. I love a decorating challenge. It will be perfectly ready for school by fall. I have embraced the fact that we are on the mobile plan for the remainder of the year. Once I have embraced it, it is going smoother.

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*****

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*Table vs. Greyson. Table -1 Greyson-0.

Curriculum planning was almost done, but then I pulled something typical. One of my loveliest friends and I were texting each other across the miles and we started the curriculum chat. It led me to a company that I have considered, heard amazing things about, but never really investigated. So after staying up hours to late to research, read reviews, and look at samples, I think think think that I am making a big fat switch. This is why I don’t tell my plan until I order! I am excited and a bit overwhelmed with how to get everything accomplished before fall. Summer’s off? um, no. I really need a couple weeks in the classroom with no students to get everything ready. However, the students live with me, so, um, yeah :).

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*****

Tomorrow my girl is going to be a teen. She was my easiest birth and my fastest. My tall, thin, beautiful blonde girl entered this world at 10.6 lbs and 23 inches long. She had multiple chins and huge blue eyes and she was an awesome sleeper from the beginning. She arrived just 16 months after her brother and the two of them grew up little besties.

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The other night I dragged myself out of my sick bed to make a celebration happen for her. I was not going to bail on that. I went all over town to purchase a couple of gifts and get things ready. I found myself at the mall at a little store we like to call Forever 21. You see she just now is fitting into junior clothes and is pretty excited to shop here. SO, I thought I would get something from here. I wandered aimlessly picking up item of clothing after item of clothing and wondering how I was shopping for my girl in a store that sold heels taller then my baby was at birth. Why, oh why, was I not down the way at the Children’s Place. I desperately wanted to be looking at stacks of shirts deciding between hearts and rainbows. NOT looking at stacks of clothes trying to figure out what part of the body they were supposed to cover.

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*****

Mother’s day is a comin’ and I am going to win in the romance department. I asked my family if we could get the shed put up this weekend. I believe our chicken coup is being built this weekend as well. Can. Not. Wait. The ladies have gotten HUGE. Hopefully I can plant some flowers too! It’ll be awesome. That’ll knock out 3 out of the 4 big projects we have left from the move! I mean a shed for Mother’s Day. What more could a girl dream of???

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*****

Today, I finally feel a bit better. Day 8. Whew. That. Was. Long. I am so glad to be on the mend and looking forward to the end of allergies.

*****

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My baby announces the presence of every one who enters the room. “MAMA”. “DADA”. At. the. top. of. his. lungs. USUALLY, a giant hug accompanies his declaration. It doesn’t matter if it has been five seconds since he has seen you. “CAM” “EMMA “TAY”. It’s so Norm-like.

I love my family. Yes, a place where everybody knows your name.

Perfect.

 

 

 

 

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Today

I am on day 6 of a pretty nasty cold. I haven’t been this sick in a very long time. My husband has been working thirteen hour days all week. I have no real break in sight until probably next Thursday at about 5:30. It’s Saturday. I’m not totally complaining, just partially. In my NyQuil commercial spokesperson state of being, I am completely aware that many live with chronic illness on a regular basis and this cold and allergy season will pass as quickly as it came. However, the daily mundane while under the weather can still get to me.

It has been an incredibly emotional six weeks around here. A lot of life. Life that makes you question who has your back, what’s your purpose, who is your support system, and why do we work so hard anyway. Is it worth it?

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The answers? Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus and yes.

The answer? Make God your audience, not people.

The answer? Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.

Take the road less traveled, rise above it, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent and every other empowering saying you could possibly find on Pinterest. If I embroidered, I would whip up some fabulous creations of all of these sayings and perhaps make a room full of them. Maybe even shrine like. I need the reminders. I am a slow learner. However, I read them and I find my non sick self screaming AMEN AMEN AMEN. Ya know? Hurt brings you to a place of sweet vulnerability and that vulnerability makes me want to just take all the bad and shake it right out and fill up it’s place with a vat full of fantastic. To work my butt off to be different. To live a good life.

When I look at all the heartache in the world around me, it can make me want to stick my head in a toilet and flush it, quite frankly. It can all just be too much. It’s hard to fathom how downright evil some people in our world can be. It’s heartbreaking.

Praise Jesus….because without Him, the mean and nasties of the world, the people who thrive on living for themselves and tearing you down would just overwhelm and do you in.

…and dude, with each passing day I seem to recognize how tightly I need to value those who seek Him first. Those who choose good, and right, and Jesus. Those are my people, ya know?

God’s got me.

Praise Him for that.

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I have been in a season of  life of watching…and waiting… and oh my goodness, the stillness can be deafening. The watching can be overwhelming. The view from the cheap seats, as they say, so enlightening. I wouldn’t trade this period in my life for anything. I live at a turtle’s pace in a world spinning so fast that everything has become a blur. I know this is a season and while it is here, I appreciate it, like the gold that it is.

I fell in love with homeschooling again this past week. I kinda mentioned something about being under the weather :). With our recent move we just can’t afford to take any more time off of school and I can’t muster up the energy to put on clothes that involve zippers and buttons. SO, school on my bed in jammies happened. I sat cuddled up with my 8 year old and we read, and read, and read…. and I thought yet again for the millionth time – this is how life SHOULD be.

Despite all, It is well with my soul. The song plays over and over through my head. Then God confirmed it. Check out what my bloggy crush Kelly posted…

It Is Well With My soul

…and it is. It truly, truly is.

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On a lighter note.

1. The man finally has an actual legitimate reason to wear his boots, rather than just the I am so cute no matter what I wear reason. We are country livin’ now and lovin’ it.

2. Dare I say we are just about settled?

3. Curriculum plans are about final for next year and DUDE? so excited.

4. I have said dude twice in this post, not sure why.

5. I have lost 32 pounds. BooYAH! Old word I know. It just fits. Sorry.

6. When allergies are over this year, I am startin’ running again. My half marathon IS happening in twenty thirteen.

7. My husband is going on a missions trip to Ecuador this year. Um, I am going on a girls trip to Disneyland. Do with that information what you will. One of these things is not like the other. M-I-C…K-E-Y……

8. I am addicted to Shark Tank and Justin Timberlake.

9. I am working on turning our garage into a completely live able and comfortable homeschool room. In addition, figuring out how to keep the crickets from joining in as my students. I have had to expel two of them already.

10. Going to find a random act of kindness to do today, right after my nap.

11. No your eyes do not deceive you. Those are Easter baskets. The pictures are THAT old. I have been swamped with photography work this spring {so grateful} and have failed to pick up the camera for my own enjoyment and my own kiddos. Must fix that. STAT. #hazzardofthejob

 

Happy Weekend!

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The Day I Turned Blue

Moving Day has come and gone. It was amazing on all accounts. Before I get to that, I have a story to document. It was the culmination of sheer exhaustion, meeting my flair for the overdramatic, and a little bit of crazy thrown in.

This new charming country home we are living in has the most charming upstairs hideaway little girl attic extravaganza. It is darling and closet less. So, after about a week of my girls living in boxes, we took a break and I headed up to Ikea with my oldest daughter to pick up a couple of wardrobes for their hideaway.

We headed upstairs to look at all of the options in person. It was confirmed that our online choice was indeed the best option for our budget and space in their new room. We took down the aisle and bin number and began to head downstairs.

I looked down and suddenly my heart practically stopped. I was turning blue. My palms, my knuckles. This couldn’t be good. I texted my sister and my husband. I panicked because it wouldn’t rub off. Even after a trip to soap and water. Nothing. I was definitely blue. Smurf like really.

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I had my 12 year old with me and I was trying to maintain my calm, but I seriously began to think that something would in fact have to be seriously wrong with my blood flow to cause blue palms and knuckles. Right?

I called my friend who is an er nurse. She didn’t answer.

Then I did it. I know I shouldn’t have, but I did. I had no choice really.

I googled.

Oh my word. Diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, blood clots. Now I feel sick with worry and I stop. I begin to wonder if I should drive with my daughter.

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We purchase the wardrobes. Four boxes of 340 pounds worth of fabulousness and out the door we were. If I was going down, the wardrobes were coming along.

I leave my daughter and the boxes at the loading zone to go get the car. I decided to call my sister and hash this out live because really by this point I am sorta thinking it could be my last call. In a last desperate attempt to heal myself and upon my sisters recommendation, I take the box of baby wipes to my skin and low and behold the wipes turn blue. I was cured. A miracle.

Dear Ikea,

That armoire was the prettiest shade of blue I ever did see. It forced me to pet it. Multiple times. I couldn’t understand why such a pretty color would be on clearance. Now I know.

Thank you for the anxiety attack.

Sincerely,

The girl with the blue hands.

 

 

 

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The Day Off

I am T I R E D. That’s to be expected considering what is on my plate right now. I could give you my list of why, but we each have our own to do lists and they can equally do us in and bless our socks off all in the same 24 hours. That’s this little thing called life. In the spirit of continuing to find the joy and live our life, not work it to death, we declared today a “get absolutely not one thing done today day.”

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We really had no business doing so, in some regard, because in just three more days we get the shiny keys to our new digs and I am not done packing. I like things done well, even moving. We have fabulous people coming to help us move and I want to make it easy for them. Which is actually fairly funny considering that they are coming to help us work. They know what they are in for and I do not think they will be alarmed if a lot of the boxes got put together upside down or our couch is so disgustingly dirty that it should be in the dump. Let. it. go.

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My husband and I went on a long walk this morning with our little guy. He said,”You know what I would like? A Noah’s Bagel.” It was one of our favorite places where we used to live. The closest one around these parts is about 20 minutes. So we got home and loaded up the crew and went and had a half bagel box and some water, on the patio. It seemed spring like but in actually was freezing so we didn’t linger. However, it was nice. Really nice.

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Then we decided to head up the road to spend a gift card that has been burning a hole in my wallet since Christmas of 2011. Stride Rite Outlet had a buy one get one half off. Bring on summer. I’m done with pollen spring already. Please and thank you.

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Next, the light rail seemed fantastic. You see, my two year old thinks trains are about the best thing ever and when we asked him if he wanted to go on one I am certain he peed his diaper while squealing in tones I didn’t know existed. Oh, how he loved it. Oh, how I love him. I sat staring and memorizing every detail of his little face, knowing that the carefree uncomplicated baby days are quickly diminishing and while their are plenty more fabulous days on the horizon, there is something so entirely special about the innocence of the beginning of life.

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We rode the light rail to historic downtown Folsom, had some pizza on a patio, and then ran to catch the light rail back to the car. After we got off and waved goodbye to the train, the look of horror came. The one where Greyson realized that the train was in fact gone and we were done. Yes there were tears. BIG. FAT. ONES.

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The rest of the day consisted of naps and leftovers. I did not pack one box, clean out a drawer, administer a test, or touch packing tape.

The troops are getting restless over here. Non order does not sit well with a couple of my kiddos. They have done really well so far, but its unraveling. I am praying fervently for their little hearts. Change can be tough. We have lived here for almost 8 years. Seeing it empty and leaving for the last time will be hard for them. BUT we are so excited too and isn’t life just like that. The good and the sad. The happy and the tired. A big ‘ol mixed pot.

The day ended with the Biggest Loser finale and I think I cried on and off for two hours. I’m now emotionally exhausted too, lol. So, as I wrap up today I am thanking God for rest.

For now? I sleep.

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Tomorrow, I pack.

xo.

 

p.s. my monthly post is up over at HHM. Come on over and say hello!

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The Girls

Following the trend of the last 4 years of my life, I can now add the sentence, “I own six chickens” to the list of things I thought I would never say.

There are six of us in our family, so we each picked a chicken and a name.

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The parent’s chickens~

Stevie belongs to my hubby. A fan of all things Apple. So, naturally she is named after the late Steve Jobs.

Princess Consuela belongs to me. I have seen every episode ever made of Friends. I find it to be the best show ever. So, upon the recommendation of my niece, Princess Consuela it is.

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*Stevie and Princess Consuela

Both of our chickens are Silkie Chickens, like Tori Spelling’s chicken, Cocoa. If you are unfamiliar, please google. These “chickens” are “exotic” chickens the Chicken Store people told us. I think they are a cross between a poodle and a chicken. Whatever the case, stinking adorable. Black and white for us. Romantic, eh?

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*Emily

The kid’s chickens~

Cameron’s chicken is named Diver. This kid LOVES him some ocean. Appropriately named. Very clever.

Taylor’s chicken is named Iris. She LOVES her some astronomy. Iris is named after the Iris Nebula.

…and may I just say now that I love those two kids.

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*Diver is camera shy

Emma’s chicken is named Lola. You know why? “Because it is a cute name”. Good reason. Great reason.

Greyson’s chicken is named Emily because he loves Thomas the Train and since we have girls we had to name it after the girl train, Emily. Makes sense right?

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*Princess Consuela

In several weeks these girls will move into their chicken coop Home Sweet Home.

In several months we shall be eating their eggs for breakfast.

Pretty fabulous.

Thanks in advance, girls.

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Cleaning Up

I don’t really understand allowance. Maybe, I am mean. Maybe, it’s just the ultra tight budget we live on. Whatever the case, it just doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t ever recall any time in life when you get paid for nothing, right? Except when you breath a sigh of relief as you go past Broadway, turn the corner, and collect $200. Then there is FREE PARKING. You gotta love that.

Around here, my kids do chores and always will do chores. There is no payment for them. They are expected because they live here and we are a family and all help pitch in to make the household run.

A few weeks ago, I told them that they now had somewhat unlimited earning potential in the form of Quarter Chores. I will offer them during the day at random times when I need help and they are free to do them or not. They are also free to come and ask me if I need help or any quarter chores done. {The neighbor kids also have been known to help out with Quarter Chores. The word on the street got out that I am payin’.}

It has been fascinating to watch how they all handle this. The chores, mind you, are maybe 10-15 minutes tops. Little things. Only one of my children has grabbed a hold of the fact that a little bit over and over adds up to a lot. {I need to learn that lesson too}. It was really humorous the other day to see that my oldest figured out if he did one quarter chore each day, he could have $7 per month. Kinda like allowance. Oh, light bulb moments. How I live for them.

So, I figure it is teaching them discipline and hard work. They have the ability to earn and save. It’s all on their shoulders. Kinda like life, right? I realize that .25 cents is hardly “worth it” to them to help out. Maybe they will learn the value of hard work. Maybe I’ll just constantly be at a shortage for quarters.

If you are in the need for quarters, come visit. I have a list waiting…

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After several weeks of no menu planning, it felt good to sit down and get my meals all squared away for the next couple of weeks.

January Meal Plan

January Recipes on Pinterest– All in one place so that I can easily find them!

I just recently bought this ecookbook. It’s pretty fantastic. I am excited to try a couple of new recipes (that are on my menu plan) from it this month. Freezer meals, healthy food, crock pot. I’m in 🙂

 

Today we cleaned up the shaggy heads of my four cuties. We drive about an hour to get hair cuts. I know that is kinda crazy, B U T…. it’s worth it to me. Low key, non snobby salon, adorably nice entertaining people in salon, and ridiculously cheap prices {$5 a kid, no lie. We were there 2.5 hours and she gave them the royal treatment}, plus insanely talented stylist. That’s my perfectly normal explanation. We make an adventure of it. Hair Cut Day.

My littlest. His first hair cut and his first lollipop which he kept yelling “mmm dandee”  for candy and not because he thought it was dandy.

Yes, my heart broke a bit.

Before.

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 and after. The curls stayed! Which is good because if they had left, I might have cried in the salon. Crisis averted.

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 mmm I am so glad I get to squish this little monster every single day. I freaking love him.

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Seriously, how did these kids get so big and how many times can I say that?

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 and dear sweet girl, can I please have some of that gorgeous hair? After all, I did go through labor for you. It hurt really bad and I think it would be only fair. Thank you. Muah.

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Jaime’s magical chair. I’m going to buy this girl a pony one day. She’s the hair whisperer and we love her.

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Happy Wednesday.

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The Mission Statement

“Do you think it’s normal that at 41 I feel like I am just figuring out who I am?” I ask.

“No”, he says promptly…”but I think it is good.”

Park conversation between my man and I, while chasing a toddler, watching two girls try and master shoot the duck, and feeling the absence of the 6 foot tall teenager who was lovingly abandoned us to join the neighborhood teens at the skate park near by.

Hardly the words that should accompany this moment, I think. Truth is, moments rarely happen the way you think they are going to. For that matter, life in general rarely happens the way that you think it will.

I’ve got post holiday slump. I always do this time of year. Tonight I was driving home and I gasped alone because off in the distant field I saw it, the one lone house. The hold out. Multi colored lights in meticulously straight lines framed an outdoor tree that was unaware of the date on the calendar, as it still shone brightly. Blow up Santa was peeking out of the chimney and I paused thinking this will perhaps be the last time I see lights this season. I wonder if the inhabitants of this house were die hards and didn’t want to see the sparkle boxed up until next year, or far more likely just busy. Maybe even just big procrastinators. Who knows, or really who cares for that matter. I am just glad that they still had sparkle. My last hoo~rah.

I have been strangely silent the last month. Not because I have nothing to say, but rather because I have too much.

We had an amazing holiday season, all of it. It seems I just declared my intent to move slowly through December and savor every last bit of it when I suddenly find myself banging pots in the street at midnight and yelling Happy New Year as loud as I could. I blinked and the best 6 weeks of the year happened. They were planned for, lived out, and almost cleaned up in the fraction of a second. I don’t know how that happens.

*our yearly post Jingle Bells in hushed tones serenade to mom and dad picture. Read about that here.

…and now here we are. Just days into the New Year. The blank slate, the shiny new calendar. The opportunity to grab dreams and make them realities. The inevitable moments to reflect upon the last 365 days. The very convenient time to make changes, better ourselves, and our lives. What will this year hold?

All of these fragmented thoughts and feelings swarm around inside my heart and head struggling to make any rhyme or reason at all. I recently remembered the opening scene of Jerry Maguire. That’s who I feel like these days. That night where it all bubbled out in the form of a mission statement. It ultimately cost him his job, but “I was 35, I had started my life.” -Jerry Maguire. True change requires true sacrifice. It’s never easy.

*little man received a train table. He played with it for 3.5 hours straight. #notkidding

One of these days, and it’s coming soon, it’s all going to blurt out of me. I am going to channel my inner Jerry, but until then I keep processing and dreaming of an old school typewriter that I can unleash my new found thoughts on when they become coherent.

*new favorite game, to copy my faces

It’s amazing to watch the days play out in my life and see God’s hand using every single breath I take. He promised it and so it is, but sometimes we can’t see the bigger picture and then sometimes God in His infinite wisdom, allows us a glimpse. I caught such a glimpse the other day. A big huge dream and thought wow…what if? If I knew this was coming, how would I change my todays. It inspired me.

*the whole family, minus me behind the lens

Growing older is crazy. The more wisdom I gain the more I realize just how very little I know.

I began praying for a word to focus on in 2o13. The last word of mine was passion. I had lost mine. I found it again and I have had a burning desire for where to put it all. After very little time the word that just was screaming at me was HOME.

I have such a passion for home. The four walls and roof that house the hearts that dwell here. The whole thing from top to bottom and inside and out. The structure that frames it and the people that fill it. Without them I would not be who I am. They make my role on this earth possible. The wife and the mother that I am to be depends on the very breath that they take. They are not a prop in my life. They are my life.

I have been awestruck the past few months at the very big responsibility that lies in my home daily. What a big role I have in shaping our home. I better be doing it and doing it well. Living intently. Living healthy and whole and living Holy. Relying on the very One who gave me life to guide me and move me. My responsiblity is one that is easy to overlook as a home becomes just a place to lay our head at night all to quickly in this warp speed life we find ourselves living. So many things fighting for our attention and it is easy to think home is o.k. when in fact it is not. It’s easy to turn our eyes and take for granted those we hold most dear. To give them our left overs instead of our firsts.

*antique shopping. He doesn’t normally carry furniture around the streets of small quaint towns.

My heart, my marriage, my children, and my home….in Christ, the foundation for all things. It better be in order.

*how we roll on Fridays.

Not so coincidently, I have been gearing up for the great organizational clean out of twenty thirteen. I have said it so often that my husband is threatening to write a jingle for it.  It’s in full swing. I began in the kitchen. Everything got sorted, wiped down, cleaned out, and rearranged. It energizes me in ways words can not express. {Not to mention entertains me immensely as I watch people go to reach for things, remember they’ve been moved, roll their eyes, pause for a moment, and then go to the new location.}

 *”E A T.”

 I’m just kinda crazy like that.

Happy New Year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Greek God And The Beached Whale

I have a story.

I had turned 40. It had happened and I survived, barely. I had given birth to four children and I was ready to take back possession of my body and so the crazy took over to make it happen. After years of not being nice to myself physically, I wondered if it was possible to whack out my metabolism to the point of rebellion and it’s refusal to comply with my efforts. Was this even possible and how could I test that?

After some research, I discovered hydrostatic body fat testing.

You are submerged underwater for the most accurate testing there is. Almost fool proof, I read. Sounded good to me. This would tell me how many calories that I burned in a day, not what some chart would guess I would burn. If I knew that, then I could set how many calories to eat accordingly and loose some weight. Seemed easy enough. I needed this information.

I set out to find where I could have this testing done in my city and lo and behold I discovered that it was going to be on a truck. Oh yeah, high class. This truck traveled around the state and visited various fitness centers for the testing. It seemed legit and I signed up, using $50 of my birthday money. Welcome to the forties.

I called up one of my besties because obviously a girl just doesn’t do this kind of thing alone. I was so excited to find out what my metabolism was like, I really didn’t stop and think through what the test would entail. Turns out that was probably best.

We arrived in the parking lot of Gold’s Gym and pulled up to the truck that reminded me of one of those crazy food trucks. We started to walk over when I first started to think through the awkwardness of what was about to take place. Just then, the door swung open, the setting sun cast a halo effect around this man, the heavenly choir was singing, and it was clear that God had spent extra time on him. He was very nice looking, which is obviously, exactly what one would hope for in this awkward situation. I tried to find some sort of dignity to walk up the five steps to meet him. I heard the memorized instructions being shared with me and I had a slight out of body experience realizing that in a matter of moments I was going to be the only one in a bathing suit under fluorescent lights with my bestie and a Greek god that had 2 % body fat– in a truck. AND, I voluntarily paid money to do this. What is wrong with me?

I changed behind the curtain, took a deep breath, and came out trying to act normal. I made it. I was standing in a bathing suit, head held high thinking I got this. THEN he says “please step on the scale”. For the love of all things that are right in the world. Now Zeuss man was going to weigh me? I close my eyes and start chanting, “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” It didn’t work.

Then I saw it. A giant jelly roll pan submerged in a big tank. Oh Father, what have I done? It’s too late to run from Zeus’ truck, for many reasons. The least of which is not that I am 6 months post 4th baby delivery and in a bathing suit. So, I acted casual, breezy, if you will. This is completely normal behavior and didn’t bother me at all. Pinky swear.

I am instructed to get in the tank and lie face down on the jelly roll pan. I imagined that this is what they haul whales and large under water sea life around in. But wait, that’s ridiculous because the whale would blubber off the sides, or is that why we went for a jelly roll giant pan rather than a plain baking sheet type?  Then I realize that I am missing my further instructions with all this nonsense and I start paying attention. I’m laying face down, trying to awkwardly keep eye contact with the man towering above me while trying to figure out how to maintain modesty of my bathing suit top while I am in the most awkward position imaginable.

Then it gets worse.

Zeuss man puts weights on my lower back to keep me from floating. He then tells me that I am going to take a big breath in and go under water, blow all my air out until I am about to pass out and then count to 5, while laying my head on the jelly roll pan.  After that, I can come out of the water and breathe. I need to empty my lungs of air for an accurate reading. Um, yeah. As it turns out, that’s incredibly difficult by the way. I would say try it, but I like you. So, please don’t.

I’m laying face down covered in weights, trying to achieve a state of pre fainting, while underwater in a tank, in a truck, with a Greek god leaning over the side yelling instructions and banging the side of the tank in efforts to cheer me on. It’s official, I have reached a new low. All I can think is my bestie owes me SO big for me allowing her the pleasure of attending this natural disaster with me.

To make matters worse, every time I come out of the water gasping for breath, like I’m about to die, I get annihilated. I am face down and so as I come up for air, my long wet hair starts attacking me like octopus tentacles around my oxygen deprived face. That only adds to my gracefulness.

After multiple times at this horrific ritual, I am told that he is done. He has it. He now knows the magical information that I am after. I can go dry off and get changed. I thought the day would never come.

If you have ever doubted my commitment to my health, please don’t do it again.

…and yes, my metabolism is perfectly normal.

 

 

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