July 10, 2013


Today I am thankful for:

  • the wonderful woman who offered the girls cups of ice water when we stopped at the pharmacy

  • the ability to renew library books online

  • the new friends I have made at t-ball games (other moms)

  • kids that did really well through a t-ball game in 90 degree heat and then the ensuing errands that needed to happen before we could get home for lunch.

July 1, 2013

Making it Work

My days are chocked full of what is necessary: mealtimes thrice a day, doling out snacks, sorting/washing/folding laundry, nursing the baby, changing diapers, sweeping and washing floors, loading and unloading dishes from the dishwasher, baths, slathering sunblock, kissing boo-boos, combing hair, fixing ponytails, reading stories, playing dolls, building block towers, de-escalating arguments, pushing swings, watering flowers, refilling water bottles.  Fortunately, the mundane is interspersed with moments of laughter, silliness and cherished memories.

When you add in t-balls games, library trips, playgroups/playdates, appointments, errands, and grocery shopping the busy days get even busier.  

In order to keep the business functioning, I check and respond to business emails on my phone at stop lights and while the little boy nurses.  Mandated afternoon "breaks" at home mean I can usually squeeze in an hour or so of sewing while everyone rests/naps; I then work as much as possible after the small ones are all in bed at night, often sewing until my eyes are heavy and I stop for fear of making big mistakes or putting a needle through my finger.

To preserve my own sanity I've started pushing myself to get out and ride 3-4 times a week. It helps to clear my head and reset my temperament, allowing me to be a better mom, wife and seamstress when I get back.  Some days the pull to stay home and check things off my to-do list is tough to overcome but it's getting easier as I continue to crank out miles.

So yeah, blogging?  It's such a low priority it's about to fall off my to-do list.  Same for most of my usual haunts: Pinterest, Facebook, message boards.  If you really want to see periodic glimpses you can catch me on Instagram more often than anywhere else but even that isn't regular.

But it's okay if I'm not here very often.  Right now I've got other places to be...

June 4, 2013

Today I'm Grateful for...

  • (6/8/13)  My six year old played her heart out this season in soccer.  The coach was a high school student with no coaching experience, and (I'm assuming) little experience with small children.  The other team members up sporadically for practice and late for most games.  Often times they would have to "borrow" players from the opposing team to even have enough to start a game.  They didn't win a single game all season -- usually getting beaten badly -- but she had a fabulous time and made a tremendous amount of personal progress.  After the final game she told us that it was okay they never won any games because she had a great time playing/learning and that she was excited to play again in the fall (if she could).

  • (6/9/13) Amidst all the stuff I needed to do, my husband pushed me to change into my cycling clothes and ride.  He helped to plan a route to fit the mileage I wanted, even ensuring that I started out riding headlong into the 20+mph winds so that when my legs were starting to tire I'd have it blowing at my back, nudging me home.  93 minutes later I cruised into the driveway with a clear head and 18.33 miles on my bike computer.

  • (6/9/13) While I rode and the kids napped, C installed the new garbage disposal.  It's wonderful not having to pay a serviceman to come fix certain things. AND he managed to score the one he wanted on clearance, saving us money on the purchase price as well!

  • (6/10/13) An unexpected greeting card, from a wonderful friend, brought words of encouragement and support at the end of a long, exhausting day.  A simple gesture that helped bring a smile to my face.

  • (6/10/13) Simple, much-needed, long-overdue conversation with a friend.  Face to face conversation instead of over Skype, through text messages or just on the phone. 

May 21, 2013

Morning Thankfulness

  1. I'm grateful for my trooper of a six year old, who played an entire game of soccer (there weren't enough players from her team there to allow anyone to sub out for a break) in the POURING, cold rain on Saturday, without uttering a single complaint.

  2. I'm grateful for beautiful, fragrant blossoms on the trees in my yard and weather that calls for open windows, allowing the scent to gently drift into my house this morning.

May 8, 2013

Unheard Conversations

Today I'm grateful for things that may seem trivial to some, but they are my saving grace.
  • Friends that really, truly understand (and empathize with) the craziness of life.  The ones that get the good, the bad and the whirlwind of it all.
  • Text messages that allow me to blow off steam when my audience doesn't allow it.  MUCH better than bottling it up inside and letting it go.
  • The circumstances that brought such wonderful friends into my life.

April 30, 2013

Morning Normalcy

A random sampling of things said in our household this morning:

  • We don't spray Logan with the water bottle.
  • We don't drink out of the water bottle.
  • We don't lick sister's skirt.
  • We don't use the brush on the leather couch.
  • We don't put dog toys in sister's backpack.
  • We don't lick chocolate off the booster chair.
  • We don't put soda in our cereal.

If you couldn't guess, this was all directed at the middle one.  This kid keeps me on my toes!

April 26, 2013

Gratitude 4/26/13

(Some highlights from this week.)

  1. The middle one has hit the stage where she voluntarily tells us all she loves us.  Out of nowhere she'll come up to me, wrap her arms around whatever body part is accessible and say, "love you momma".  Sometimes followed up by a "so much".  I love you too, little one; I love you too.

  2. The biggest one is playing soccer this spring.  She plays her little heart out.  The team is less experienced than most; the coach a senior in high school -- doing this for his senior project -- with no coaching experience, and no clue about coaching 6 year olds.  She doesn't let it stop her.  At practice she listens well, does what the coach asks and does not goof off during downtime.  During games she gives 110% for the entire 35-45 minutes she's on the field.  I'm so proud of her excitement, enthusiasm and desire to learn new things.

  3. The littlest one is able to grab things on his own accord and bring them to his mouth.  This makes entertaining him much easier, especially when I need to work on dinner or do something for one of the girls.  It's wonderful being able to give him a toy and lay him on the floor or prop him up in the bumbo.

  4. The new vet clinic we're using offered to help me to the car on Monday.  Wrangling 50-pounds of blind dog, the baby in the carseat, and two older kids is no easy feat.  A simple offer of help is greatly appreciated.

  5. C took the girls to soccer practice last night and let me stay home with the baby.  An infected tear duct in my one eye means no contacts for a few days and a very sore, irritated eye.  As much as I missed watching practice, it was nice not having to go out in the wind and bright sun and end up with it more irritated.

April 18, 2013

One-Touch Rule

When we bought this house in 2006, it was the perfect size for our newly expanding family.  Our house in Provo was just under 1000 square feet so it felt like a huge upgrade to move into something closer to 1700.  I marveled at the extra space and all the closet room I was going to have.

Three kids and a business later means we have way exceeded the capacity of this house.  Our closets are beyond full, causing me to constantly get creative with storage solutions.  I have more storage containers and shelf baskets than one home should probably have in an attempt to hide/store the mess.  

Our home isn't fancy by any means but I feel like it always looks so much nicer when it's clean and tidy.  So I try my hardest to keep the clutter to a minimum.  I've found myself lately just moving stuff from one cluttered spot to another to save time (setting stuff by the stairs to take downstairs, clearing off the counter but putting stuff in piles on the kitchen table counter to put away later). 

A couple of weeks ago I was reading somewhere about the one-touch rule and I'm working hard to implement it here in the house.  In theory you touch an item once.  If you pick something up off the counter you take it immediately to its final place, no setting it down somewhere else to be put away later.  Business stuff immediately goes downstairs and gets put away; clean laundry is put away immediately instead of sitting in the basket at the foot of the bed.  It often means I'm running up and down the stairs (what feels like) a million times a day but I think it is making a difference in the clutter.

Now if only I could get the other members of the house to participate!

April 17, 2013

Gratitude 4/16/13

Yesterday was a tough day -- easily one of the most challenging days I've had as a parent -- so it wasn't an easy task to sit down and clear my head last night

  1. Amidst the anger and frustration, I kept my cool in what was one of my most challenging moments as a parent.  I didn't yell, didn't lash out with over-exaggerated punishments to reflect MY anger; my response was calm, yet firm

  2. I have a friend who "gets" it.  She understands what so many other people don't. When everything looks so polite and well-mannered on the outside, anger and ugliness can still lurk within -- sometimes explaining that to people is tough because all they ever see is the good, they can't imagine the bad.  It's wonderful to have someone who doesn't need an explanation.  To have someone who reminds me that I can do this.

  3. We avoided the pre-dinner whirlwind of chaos that occurs when I'm simultaneously trying to get dinner finished, supervising toy clean-up and table setting and tending to a fussy baby.  Foresight on my part meant homemade chicken noodle soup (crockpot), fresh baked bread and warm brownies for dinner.  All ready to set on the table at 6pm with little work in the hour beforehand.

April 16, 2013

Being Thankful

A few years ago, upon the recommendation of my therapist, I started a "gratitude journal".  At the end of the day I would take a few minutes and write down 3 things that had happened that day I was thankful for.  The purpose was to help me focus on the things that were good in my day, instead of dwelling on the bad.

Following suit with most of my journaling endeavors, I kept up with it for a couple of months and then as life turned around it fell to the wayside.  My little one brought it to me this morning, urging me to "read, momma, read".  

As she gleefully jumped on my bed I thumbed through the pages, letting my heart absorb the words scrawled across the the paper.  I realized how important that time really was to my day -- not only to give me a chance to decompress from the chaos of life but to sit and express gratitude for the blessings I had been given, and often quick to overlook.  I realized that I need to find that time again amidst the craziness. 

I need to MAKE that time again.

February 11, 2013

These Moments

Every once in a while, I catch moments like this amongst the chaos.  I feel the tears stinging my eyes; my heart overcome with a love I never imagined.  

January 25, 2013

Decisions in Parenting

Parenting is a series of decisions.  Making choices that are right for the child, right for the family as a whole.  Some of these decisions are ones that can be made quickly and others take much more time.  We have to mull them around for a bit, bouncing around different scenarios in our brain until we find the one that feels right in our conscience.

Even before I had children, I knew the likelihood of my kids being strong-willed, opinionated or stubborn would be quite high.  With the genetic combination of this set of parents it would be nearly impossible to avoid any of those traits.  But my hope was that this personality attributes would come together to create teenagers, and adults at some point in time, that would be steadfast in their decisions, unfaltering to the peer pressure of others.  That when they said "no" to something, they'd stand  behind their choice.

I also knew that making decisions about parenting strong-willed, opinionated, stubborn children wouldn't come easy.  That there would be many sleepless nights spent weighing the pros and cons of decisions, trying to figure out the best path for them.  Naively I believed we wouldn't face these hard decisions until we were facing teenager years, or at least the pre-teen era.

Now I sit and face some tough decisions.  Decisions I never anticipated having to make.  Ones that I had hoped we'd never even have to think about.  By now I should know that life will throw very unexpected situations at us, keeping us on our toes at all times.

These decisions cause me to sit and question my parenting, the choices I've made up to this point.  Are we in this place now because of something we did wrong in the past?  Could I have done something different as a mom?  

I know that I need to stop doing that; I need to believe in myself and my parenting abilities.  At the end of the day, whether or not others believe it, I need to remember that I am a good parent and I am doing a good job.

I'm not at a place where I can openly talk about what's going on.  Maybe that time will be soon, maybe it won't.  But until that times comes I need to use this place as a sounding board, albeit filled with vagueness.

January 24, 2013

The Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday, I followed my gut and chose to not follow a recommendation given to me.  The recommendation didn't feel right for me; it didn't feel right for us.  Instead I went in a different direction and this new direction felt right.  I felt hopeful about the prospects it presented; I felt empowered in the situation for the first time in months.

Today my gut was telling me to yet again not follow a recommendation from this same individual.  But instead of feeling empowered and hopeful by going my own direction, I'm feeling conflicted and defeated. Is this because of the face to face confrontation involved?  The need to justify my decision in explicit detail?  Or is it something bigger?  

Part of me wonders if I'm making a pragmatic decision, or if I'm letting preconceived notions guide my thoughts today.

I wish for the clarity yesterday brought.  Doubting one's self is tough.