Blessings Learned

Our kids had an activity this morning and we skipped it. No one was sick. We didn’t have previous commitments. We just didn’t want to go.

I had mom guilt for about ten minutes before I realized that the world wasn’t going to end because we didn’t show up. It didn’t hurt anyone. Our kids weren’t sad. We didn’t have to rush through the first few hours of our day.

But why did I feel so guilty about not going? Why does every second of the day have to be filled with plans and commitments? Does it really hurt to just say no sometimes?

I don’t think it does. Sometimes we have to say no to put our family and ourselves first. Sometimes we need just one more hour of unscheduled time in the day.

We aren’t teaching our kids to not be responsible or to not follow through, but that life moves so quickly sometimes you have to grab the reigns and slow it down. And that’s okay.

Blessings Learned

For the mom who sees the pictures and sometimes not-so-nice comments about messy houses, and quickly realizes that the pictures resemble her own home – this is a friendly reminder that messes are sometimes blessings!

At the end of our lives, we will not be judged by how organized our homes were but by how we are as people.

Mom with the messy house, I know that you are trying to juggle raising babies, running a house and maybe even working outside of that house.

I know that you wake up at 5 after just a few short hours of interrupted sleep to begin the day. You make an attempt at getting yourself ready for the day, before the house starts buzzing. You throw clothes and shoes on the kids and scramble to find their coats and assignment books before rushing out the door at 7.

The next nine or ten hours are spent pursuing your passion and supporting your family. Quickly running out of the office at 4:59 to get to your volunteer meeting or the kids to some sort of practice at 5.

At 7, a mere twelve hours after you left, you walk in your house to eat dinner as a family around the table, even if it’s fast food. You cherish that thirty minutes where you get to catch-up with your family before you rush to complete homework and bathe some sleepy little people.

Everyone is happily (haha, yea) tucked into bed at 8:30, and you quickly do a load of laundry, set clothes out for the next day and check your email. Nine rolls around and your eyes are heavy. You see that in the short time you were at home the house got even messier, but the mess will have to wait until tomorrow because someone will need cuddles in the middle of the night and you need some sleep before the day starts over again.

You see, I have the same messy house, and the same busy life. And our mess doesn’t mean that we are lazy. In fact, I think it means exactly the opposite. We are living and giving and loving, and our messy homes are a reflection of just that.

Blessings Learned

Finding the Sweet Spot

For a few years, I’ve been telling myself that as long as I’m making this certain dollar amount a year by the time I turn thirty, I’ll know that I’m doing okay in life.

Guess what?

I’m now thirty and not making that dollar amount (not even close), and God used this to remind me of my real worth and of the true blessings in my life.

I literally had a birthday and woke up the next day with a new perspective.

I’ve found such a sweet spot at thirty. I’ve never before felt so great about where I’m at in life and it has absolutely nothing to do with a dollar amount that’s been determined by a company and some letters behind my name.

It has everything to do with putting together puzzles, licking the bowl after we bake cupcakes and middle of the night cries for “momma”.

My accomplishments in life will come from this sweet spot in time. God-willing my accomplishments will grow and bloom and serve and lead. And that reward far outweighs any amount of monetary compensation I’ll ever receive.

I now know that I can’t set these kinds of goals for success, because they detract from what’s most important in my life – puzzles, cupcakes and being momma.

Blessings Learned

Today, one of my high school friends posted a picture of her and her husband dressed up over the holidays. They looked great, and even more than that she looked beautiful. I commented as such and didn’t really think much else about it until she responded back. “We clean up okay, huh?”

My reply of “absolutely” didn’t really capture what I wanted to say to her though. You see this friend, is one I wish I would have spent more time with in high school.

She’s just a genuinely great person. Kind, intelligent, friendly, supportive – everything you could possibly want in a friend, twelve years ago and now. There are now several hundred miles that separate us and I think we’ve only seen each other once since graduation.

Now-a-days she’s a SAHM to a little cutie (toughest job on the planet, really, I couldn’t do it) and her days are probably spent changing diapers, getting food ready and trying to grow her little one into a great person amongst other things. I enjoy the photos she shares of her little one and of them together.

Beautiful friend, I hope that you know that your love and support are felt hundreds of miles away. Being your friend and watching your life (even through pictures) is a blessing. You’re beautiful inside and out every day, not just on days where you get cleaned up and I will forever cherish our friendship, whatever that may look like.

Blessings Learned

Turning thirty sure was sweet. Of course my favorite gift was not from the store, it was spending time with my not-so-little family. However, I did receive this beautiful The Pioneer Woman Willow Cookbook Holder.

I’m so looking forward to trying out a cookie recipe this weekend, and even more excited that my favorite cookbooks won’t be laying on the counter anymore!

Blessings Learned

Hello, thirties!

A new year is here and with it a new decade for me – today!

Hello, thirties!

My twenties were incredibly busy – losing a grandpa, getting engaged, buying our home, getting married, starting my career, baby one, graduating from college, nervous breakdown, job change, a little grad school, baby two, job change, almost getting divorced, re-finding God, losing a grandma, babies three and four.

I feel overly blessed and exhausted just from typing that.  I accomplished more in my twenties than I ever imagined, but I’m truly looking forward to this time in my life. When I reach the end of my thirties, we will have a junior in high school – what?!? I know that the next decade will be just as busy as the first, just in different ways and I think I’ve learned a few things over the past ten years that will make it a bit easier. Of course, some of that learning is still in progress.

  • God’s love is really the only thing we can be certain of. He forgives our sins and grants us the mercy and grace to forgive ourselves, even when we feel that we are worthy of being forgiven.
  • Saying “yes” to everything doesn’t make you a better person. It makes you a crazy person and it’s totally okay to say no.
  • You can push yourself too far. The crash is hard and real and not something you want to re-live. Know your limits and stick to them.
  • Marriages work much better when you turn them over to God, learn to communicate, and see how much life can suck without your other half.
  • People can change and do change. They can surprise you in ways you’ve never imagined. People are also forgiving and can love you even when you don’t deserve to be loved. (Jeremy Brent, you my dear husband, are the best. Thanks for waking up every day and choosing to love me.)
  • The best moments in life seem to happen when you relax and live in the moment. Kids don’t wait for your load to become lighter to grow up. Step away from the work and play in the sprinkler, give the piggy back ride, look at the stars, bake the cupcakes.
  • Turn the music up as loud as you want and always order dessert (two things I will never regret doing).
  • Find your people (they are out there looking for you too) and love them with everything that you’ve got.

It’s not everyday that you get to enter a new decade. Some people meet these milestones in life with sadness, but today I woke up excited and thankful to be thirty and nothing will change that today. Not the lack of sleep from a fussy baby, the toddler who fell out of bed in the early hours of the morning (she’s fine), or the lack of sugary syrup in my iced coffee this morning.

So, welcome thirties – I’m thrilled to meet you. We are going to have a great time!

 

Blessings Learned

cookies & chaos

Phew, we made it through 2017 and what a year it was for our family. We were blessed to watch our kiddos grow, added a beautiful new addition to our family, and I was finally brave enough to start a blog. The year also brought along with it seizure scares with both of our littles. The oldest little had only a febrile seizure while our youngest little spent half of her first month of life in and out of intermediate care for a potential seizure disorder. We were so thankful to receive her Sandifer Syndrome diagnosis and bring home a happy, and otherwise healthy baby.

This year will begin a new season of life for our family. For the first time since 2010 (with the exception of 2012), we aren’t expecting or bringing home a new baby. I’m having a difficult time with it, more on that another day, but looking forward to 2018.

I’m not one to make resolutions because life happens and they are hard to keep. However, in 2018 I do have some hopes.

  1. Finish two Bible studies I started.
  2. Find and create experiences for our family. Whether it be a picnic, trip to a museum or mini-vacation.
  3. Practice my baking skills and make a whole lot of cookies and desserts.
  4. Live a more minimilastic life. Bye-bye clutter.
  5. Embrace the chaos!

With that said, my theme for 2018 is cookies & chaos. I’ll be baking, experiencing life and finding blessings in the mess and sharing.

Sending you wishes for a cookie and chaos (the good kind) filled 2018!

Uncategorized

Quick Lunch #1

I’m sure there are others out there, who love stir-fry like I do. So here’s a quick and budget friendly lunch idea for you.

We are big meat eaters and usually try to cook enough to have leftovers, which was the case today.

All you need is in this picture.

Just combine the following in a skillet lightly coated with olive oil and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.

– 1 package, frozen Stir-fry Starters*

– leftover meat (That would be a grilled pork chop for me today.)

– Stir-fry Sauce, to taste.

*If going home for lunch isn’t an option grab a steamable bag of Stir-fry starter and use these awesome Pyrex Simply Store 14 Piece Round Food Storage Set with Colored Lids, Multi“>Pyrex bowls to heat it up in the microwave.

I’m nursing the baby, so my appetite is ravenous and I devour the whole thing, but it could definitely be split into two meals.

Enjoy!

Uncategorized

Messy Monday

I vowed to be authentic when starting my blog, so authentic is what you get and really I hope it helps other mommas feel like they aren’t alone.

I have NO clue what I’m doing.

Today, I had a large hot coffee, large iced coffee and a Pepsi in way less time than anyone should, used what seemed like a whole can of dry shampoo (Dove brand, I could never bring myself to spend more than $5 on dry shampoo), and stared at my computer screen for lots of hours wishing my big project at work could prep itself while simultaneously biting the bullet and working to get it done.

Much of my evening was spent with a cluster feeding baby and trying to wrangle our cute little messes. They were a real treat tonight. Please see ornery toddler who decided to take a bath in her shirt and diaper and came prepared with swimming goggles below.

You can’t be mad at that face! She was so proud. I wanted to blog about our delicious dinner and dessert tonight, but that’s far from on my mind right now – maybe tomorrow, because it was too good not to share.

Also real life – I misplaced the keys to my office a week or two ago, just kidding a couple of months ago. You’ll never guess where I found them tonight? In my purse that’s been hanging on the back of the dining room chair for months. I don’t carry it anymore because I’ve always got sidekicks who need diapers and wipes and back-up outfits and a purse would be just one more thing to carry. And in full transparency – I very, very rarely even remember the diaper bag. It’s usually a mad dash out the door with a couple of diapers and wipes in hand, if we are lucky.

To end our night, the 3.5 month old has decided that rolling to her belly to sleep is a great idea, momma does not agree. I know, I know she rolled over under her own power and I should leave her alone, but my anxiety ain’t having that.

I’ll be awake watching her if anyone needs anything at all, embracing this Monday. It’s been messy, but blessed.