Friday, February 27, 2015


The soon to 5 yo boy asked me to make him a sweater for his birthday, a striped red and blue sweater.  I had only ever made a shawl for myself about 7 or 8 years ago.  Ben remembered that I had made many mittens and hats last winter in my nesting bit with being pregnant with Lena, so somehow he decided I could make him a sweater for his fifth birthday.  I hemmed and hawed and asked a dear friend who is a knitting expert about the project.  This is the result.

Another dear friend talked about it being a labor of love, and I can honestly say it was. I feel like in certain parts you can see where I was having a rough day of it.  Its good to be done, and with two days to spare! His birthday is on Monday. Anyway, I'm just proud of myself for sticking with it and not getting overwhelmed completely in it all even though it was a big endeavor for me. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Beloved: a Lenten Journey update

Couch jumping, its almost as good as a trampoline. :)

A wise friend once told me that she never wants to make a decision based out of fear.  This always challenges me, because I feel like I can fall into that fear trap.  I want everything to work out okay and sometimes it creates a failure to act.

I've been reading Henri Nouwen in my Lenten journey, and so far its been a good thing.  He thinks a bit like me, but also not.  But he asks the questions that I need to be asked and challenges the thinking that may be skewed. The Life of the Beloved is my current read, and its good.  It's helping me to see myself as loved because I struggle with that.  You wouldn't think that, me being me and all, but I do.

Hurt and fear of failure really have done a number on me, but its a good start to know that I'm the Beloved. I used to hear the youth minister say "you are a beloved child of God" to countless teens when I volunteered. It didn't hit me then though.  I'm glad he said it to all those kids because its true and they needed that seed, and so did I.

I think I am growing a bit this Lent and maybe not in the way I was intending to do so.  I've already figured out that social media really isn't the culprit to my distraction, though it can be addicting, so its good to reset the limits. Thus, I'll carry out that fast and when Lent is through I'll reevaluate my limits.  Limits are definitely a key. Sometimes I feel like I'm missing out being away from social media, but I know the break is good. There are a few Twitter friends'  babies to be born that I'm anticipating finding out about their births on Sundays. The Twitter community is probably the most missed, there are some good friends on there who are an extension of my IRL friends and I miss them a bit.

I was also trying to work on trying to be more joyous in my vocation.  I think in my day job of being a SAHM, its so easy for me to be pessimistic, and point out the bad parts of the day or dwell on them which is even worse.  I'm noticing that if I'm present more, I like what I do more.  The brain calling me 20 different directions needs to shave off at least a few of those distractions and just be. It still doesn't make me like pretend play, but I can at least do some bits of it and offer it up (which is another whole blog post in its being).

I wanted to write so many things here, but I think I'll leave it at that, a Lenten update one week in. How is your Lent going? Reevaluating as well? Ready to give up? Feeling Stronger? I look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dear's your 1st birthday

I'm one!
Dear Lena,

You are 1.  You made it a whole year with two older brothers who love and adore you but also want to tackle you.  I started this blog long before I knew God would put you or even your brothers in my life.  But I think more and more I want this blog to be for you.  Because I want you to always know that you are loved, but I also want you to know that you are not alone that your mama struggled too, and its okay.

One of my favorite shows, Lena Girl, was Good Luck Charlie.  In it the older sister always had advice for her only sister.  She was surrounded by boys and she was making these video diaries for her baby sister to look at when she got to be her age, they were 15 years or so apart age wise.  I like that and I think at least for a portion of this blog I really want to address you, Lena girl.  I love those brothers of yours, they are amazing gifts that I've been given and they have taught me so much and I am sure there is a infinite amount that they are going to teach me yet, but you are my first daughter.  Your brain is wired differently, I can see it a little bit already, and I think you will appreciate this.

So first I want to say Happy Birthday! You make me smile so much and while you have your crazy moments where I'm just not sure what to do with you, you make up for it with your snuggles. You can say so much already with so little words, you really do read people.  You get that from me, I can always tell what someone is really thinking. A warning to you, that might sometimes get you in trouble, because some people just don't want to say it even if you know it.

You right now think that every animal says "woof" and every baby is your best friend.  That's okay too, I think having the idea that there is good in everyone and that everyone has friend potential might just make life a little sweeter for you.

You want to always be near your mama, you are like your big brother Benji in this way.  He loves soaking up as much of me as he can, though he declared that Daddy is cooler today.  Maybe one day you will think that too, but I hope at least I always have some place in your heart.

You are adventuresome, given the right circumstance.  You climb trampolines and go head first into being raced around by your brothers in the vehicle of their choice, a plastic bin or a police car. You love the snow and sledding and just always want to be included.

You do have your rough evenings, more than probably your brothers had, but its okay.  I know you are still little and these moments are fleeting. You've actually helped me to try to savor more and be okay with a little less productivity.  I'm thankful for that.

So happy birthday Lena girl. I love you.

Your Mama

Friday, February 20, 2015


Yesterday, it was a day that had its ups and downs.  I think somewhere in there, I realized that when there are certain things that are problems outside my control I get frustrated and usually have some of my not so fine moments. Yesterday, had some of those moments and also some growing bits amongst them too.  You see, my husband was supposed to be home before bedtime, maybe not in time for dinner, he had a haircut after work after all, but he was supposed to be home for the kids bedtime.  Yesterday, however, there was a lot of snow in his travels which caused an accident on the highway and made everything be at a standstill for a good hour or more.  Needless to say, he didn't make it in time for bedtime.

I have gotten better at solo bedtime with three, I used to have to call in reinforcements to help out with two and I'm not sure how three is easier than two in that retrospect, but it is for me. I'm finally to the point that I can do it and I don't lose my head.  The not losing my head thing probably helps everyone have a smoother bedtime, at least maybe. So, anyway, when it was nearing 7pm and the husband was still stuck on the highway, I figured I would be doing solo bedtime.

The thing is that I knew today was going to be a big day, and I was going to be out of the house for most of it which meant that I wasn't going to get Helena's birthday cake made unless I did it right then, at 7pm, past the baby's bedtime. So, we made chocolate beet cake, yes I know I'm weird adding beets to cake and all, right then.  A thought crossed my mind that this would be so much easier if everyone was in bed and I was doing this myself, but then I realized this is okay.  This is what I need and this is what the kids are going to remember...making the littlest one's 1st birthday cake at bedtime while daddy was stuck on the highway.

And believe me the whole time we were making it, they enjoyed it but they were also super concerned about their daddy.  They love him so much, they prayed for him to be unstuck, they thought that we should add a snow plow to our van and go rescue him or add a chain and pull him out. When they realized it was just not snow and that there was an accident and that other people were involved, the boys thought to add the people in the accident to their prayers too. They wondered if they needed an ambulance and if they were going to be okay.  I said I hoped so, and that I was sure the people appreciated the kids' prayers.

So eventually we got to bed, Ephraim fell asleep in our bed with the baby and Ben in his bed.  The boys made me read the story of Jonah, and I had to improvise a little because, well, the baby was barely hanging on at this point, but we made through, and I'm glad.  You see I'm realizing that sometimes in these moments where I'm wishing things were easier, I'm missing the good bits if I forget to notice them.  The end of the day was a good reflection point but also if I look back to another point in the day where I was trying to put back together the couch with its slip cover and realizing I wasn't getting anywhere with the kids jumping and or screaming all around me. I just had to stop at that point, it was hard to let go of what i wanted to happen, having an intact couch, but it meant that I just was going to have to stop and be the the chaos. When I let go of my expectation, everyone, including me was happier, the couch did eventually get put back together, but not for a few more hours. Anyway, sometimes, my head thinks things have to be just so, and while a clean house or kids put to bed on time are nice,  I think I am realizing through this that its okay to break the mold and just be. Perhaps I just need to throw in the towel more in a good way and have more of these moments.

These giants are attacking my car, maybe if I smile at them they will be friendly.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


I've been reading Chris Padgett's book "I'm not OK, You're not OK, but It's OK." Its got some meh parts, but honestly a lot has been eye opening. I think its the first book in a while that has actually struck a cord on a deeper level for me.

You see I struggle with anxiety.  I'm not sure I actually ever said that bluntly on the blog before.  I'm not sure I always have had anxiety, though I tend to be a worrier, but there have been a few major key players and plays in my life which resulted in a lot of conflict and fear and this I think was a big source of my current state. I think for a while I was so focused on being hurt that I didn't realize that other things were happening, coping mechanisms, masks and walls were being set up by me.

While I think I have come to a point where I have forgiven those people, I realize now that as a result I am ridden of anxiety for fear of being hurt so badly again. I don't think I realized until recently how deep some of the wounds went.

The connection to this book, is that I never realized that its okay to be needy.  I think I was slowly putting it together these past few months and you can probably see that in prior posts, but I think I would sacrifice myself and my own happiness to the point that I probably wasn't that awesome to be around sometimes. I do need to say, hey, I need this from this or you.  Ultimately, Padgett says we fulfill this need in Christ, this neediness, and I'm getting there, I think. But I have a lot to work on too.

You see I'm not good at being me in a confident way.  I do like the choices that I've made, but when it comes to being able to stand up for myself I'm an anxious mess.  So I'm praying about this these days, and trying to find some ways to grow, to be more confident.

I look at my children, and I love how bold they are, they rarely seem be afraid of things in the way I am.  I'm thankful for that, I know God has given me them for many reasons and this is definitely one of them.  I don't want to crush their spirits though and this is another reason why I need to work on my own self-confidence so that they can be confident.

So that is me, if you are willing to stick with me on this journey then thank-you.  I appreciate it.

Monday, February 9, 2015

WIWS a day late, a buck short....

I meant to get to this yesterday. I really did.  But well, I didn't.  I tried making this crazy pork neck bones soup that took a long while to make and then well it never did get done for dinner, so we had a dump and bake dinner.  Hopefully the soup is good though because it is now this evening's dinner.  Fingers crossed.

Anyway, so a WIWS outfit and post.  Yesterday, our priest was really open about his vocation with us and it was awesome.  Somehow, vulernability really makes you feel loved. And I think that was important for us married folk to hear how he really does think of as his family, and like a husband would lay his life down for his wife and vice versa, he would do the same for us, the church.

World Marriage day or week it is this week, right?  Well, randomly in conversation, my husband gave me a picture of us both from when we first started dating.  I was 21 and he was 22.  It seems a world ago and it feels like we were just kids then and how so much life has happened since then.  Oddly, this picture was taken on a Sunday, just one almost 10 years ago.

But now this Sunday, the kids were my photographers, because the husband was out.  I thought they did a pretty good job. The last one was a self portrait, I can't bring myself to say the trendy word.  It's just no to me. 

I realized that after taking these photos this outfit could have used some more color. I was improvising it because 10 minutes prior to leaving the baby had explosive poop that managed to get on my skirt.  So this was what I came up with. 
Boots: Target
Leggings: Charlotte Russe
Skirt: Clothing Swap
Jacket: Clothing Swap
Shirt: the Loft
Necklace 1: Chewelry bought on Amazon
Necklace 2: 10,000 villages present from my SIL. 

I hope you are having a great start to your week. Check out some more Sunday attire at Fine Linen and Purple

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Busy and Three

So I've been busy. Benjamin asked for a sweater for his birthday, and specifically asked me to knit it. So that's what I've been up to the last few weeks. Well that and I needed a hat, so I knitted a hat, two hats actually, the first didn't fit me so I gave it to Helena. 
I go about a year or more between knitting projects so I'm always relearning and so here's to hoping that it turns out okay.

I wanted to write about these kids of mine. I used to cringe solo bedtime so much with them. There was always so much to do with them and no one was ever happy and it was gnashing of teeth. I just couldn't handle it. The last two times I've done it, I'm not sure if I just let go of expectations, or that they finally understand their routine with me but somehow it's not been cringe worthy. 
In fact tonight I really wanted to smile at my kids and tell them I loved them instead of begrudgingly doing it.

I think the one difference is they are older, Ben's nearing 5, Ephraim 3.5 and Helena 1. Now the baby is still little but somehow, having the bigger two makes her not seem as hard. Maybe because they love her so much, who knows. And today she was hard. She barely napped and instead cried and bit me all day. Teething much anyone?

Anyway, to anyone contemplating a third, I'm now at a point where I can say it's worth it. It's so hard some days, but it's also that much better other days. It's helped me let go of so many false expectations I had before, it's helped me see what I really need for myself and it's just stretched me in a good way. I knew from a good friend who had her three and now has a fourth that three would be hard, but I could see that she also saw the amazing dynamic of it all too. That kept me going this past year, so thank you Clare if you read this.

And now, now I enjoy the silence of three sleeping children. Even if it only lasts a little while with the baby the way she is today.