Monday, December 6, 2010


Sometimes, I get too focused.

I'll be happily listening to my "Peaceful Holidays" station on Pandora, which I've calibrated to my liking perfectly. Simultaneously, I'm tidying the school mess and making lunch and emptying the dishwasher, while encouraging my daughter, Little Miss Pink, to express her artistic side with some watercolor.

And then I look up from all of that, and realize that she has expressed herself all over her cute little face.


Excuse the bad photo. I took it with my Droid, right before I told her to stop painting on her face.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Shout it from the Rooftops!

Okay, so I shared that I have finally come to a jaw-dropping realization. I can't do it all.

Sounds a bit elementary, really. But it was a tough pill to swallow. But then a liberating one.

Really liberating.

Liberating in the exact way Kevin McAllister felt (I would imagine) when he finally decides he's not afraid of the "bad guys" anymore in Home Alone. 
image courtesy home alone (one of the best movies!)

I feel just like that. I want to shout it from the rooftops. I can't do it all! 
I said, "I CAN'T DO IT ALL!"


Go ahead, shout it out in your little corner of the world. It feels fantastic.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Amazing Revelation

 yikes. this is a keeping it real picture, proving that i can teach, but, on some days, i can't teach and cook and put on makeup. something's gotta give, and this day it was concealer & mascara. 

I can't do it all.

Simple, right?

But for a first-born, type-A personality, it's actually quite a difficult to accept and life-altering revelation.


With homeschooling, church commitments, family responsibilities, healthy eating, attempting to exercise, be a good friend, maintain my marriage, keep up (somewhat) with laundry....something's gotta give. Or a lot of somethings.

And little by little this fall, I have come to realize and accept that I just can't be everything to everyone and do everything I "think" or "feel" that I should. I have come to love even more the verse in Phillipians (4:13) that says, "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me." Because that verse doesn't say "I can do EVERY thing..." but just ALL things. I think there's an important difference. I don't have to bake 7 varieties of Christmas cookie and make homemade laundry soap and conquer every dust bunny. I just have to do my best at what I do tackle. And, to be honest, these days its a lot fewer things.

Homeschooling is hard work. Mighty hard. But the fruits of my labor have demonstrated that I'd rather make choices about my time and do less, but do it better.

I can't do it all.

Sounds like a simple thing, but you could ask my best friends and they'd definitely realize it's a huge deal for this girl. This girl who, in fact, held her Little Man's birthday party in a BOWLING ALLEY. Yup. I can't do it all.

Thank the good Lord.

**Cute pictures courtesy of Gruman Photography

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Day I Became a Mom

Dear Little Man,

Did you know that I have been writing you letters since the very early days of my pregnancy with you? Lots and lots of letters written in those days to a baby whose gender I did not know, to little ears I couldn't wait to whisper in and kiss, to eyes that I hoped would be blue, like your daddy's.

After you were born, I wrote you letters. Letters as I watched you sleep in your bassinet next to my bed, letters as you crossed milestones, letters on each of your birthdays--six so far. Letters as you became a big brother and a preschooler and a kindergartner and a first grader. Many letters.

But this is the first letter that I know you really understand. Someday, I will give you all of the letters. But I can sum them up in this: I loved you before you were born. I loved you the moment the midwife placed you in my arms, your eyes open wide and soaking up the whole wide world with your wise, serious glance.  And I have grown to love you more and more each day, each month, each year.

I am so very proud of the boy you have become. I feel like turning seven is a very big milestone, sweet boy! When I tucked you in tonight, I felt as I was putting to bed a little boy and would be kissing a young man in the morning.

You are wise and bright and mature. You are fun and funny. You are athletic and handsome. You are a loving big brother, adored by your baby sister and cherished by your little brother. You are a sensitive soul, much like your mama. You feel things so deeply and are so empathetic. I love that about you. You have Jesus in your heart, which makes me most proud of all.

It is an honor for me to be your mom. I am so glad that we met that bleary-eyed early morning in November seven years ago. I am thankful beyond belief that you are my boy. I wish you everything wonderful in life, most importantly that you would grow up to be a man after God's heart. You are on your way.

Happy, Happy Birthday, Little Man.

I love you more than you can every know!


***photo credits-last three shots from gruman photography

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Favorite Things

This is one of my favorite things about home schooling the boys thus far.
Best Friends. 

And this one, too:

She's pretty darn great, as well.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Best Laid Plans....

See, if you look closely, those are our perfect plans....blowing in the breeze, tossed in the air. God keeps in mind our deepest hopes, but sometimes our grand plans are only minutiae compared to that which he has in store for our lives...

Ahh, the best laid plans are those most wholly turned on their heads, right?

Our family made a move from our first home to a better school district, hoping to enroll our kids (Little Man being the first) in a terrific charter school, emphasizing a classical education. We sold, we moved, we entered the lottery to get in and prayed and waited. Prayed for a clear sign that God's will would be reflected in the lot we were given. And it was #7 on the wait list. Which seemed....murky. Not super low on the list (like #200), but not "in like Flynn" so to speak.

So we waited some more. And wondered. And considered alternatives. We knew that we would prefer Little Man to be in a classical style academy. But now what? After much thought and prayer, that cutie pie and I felt that we were going to home educate if Little Man didn't get in. Which seemed IN-SANE.

I mean, come on. Homeschooling? Even though my most favorite roommate (who is, now, by the way a brilliant physician and beautiful and lovely and gracious and fantastic) was homeschooled, could we really do that? Would my children be as brilliant and adorable as she? And, really, could I handle it?

After lots of prayer and some real angst on my part, we decided that this crazy homeschooling would be the plan. And then, Little Man got into this school. And it seemed perfect. He looked so stinking cute in the uniform and the building was brand new and his teacher was a real-life version of a Disney princess. I envisioned the upcoming years with all three of my dreamy children (2 boys and a girl! So cute!) in uniforms, the boys with sweater vests and my baby girl in a plaid jumper with peter pan collared shirt. It would be perfect. I could go to the gym and lose the mummy-tummy and have coffee and cook amazing meals. I could almost taste the plan becoming reality.

Look, it's Little Man! On his first day of Kindergarten at the school I was CERTAIN he would matriculate into and graduate FROM in 12 years. 

And then, it changed. In the end, our school wasn't a good fit for our family. We wanted more for our kids' education. And I missed Little Man like crazy. Crazy. Even on his half days.

So, here we are. A year later and we bit the bullet. We prayed and planned and prayed some more. And we're doing it.

Homeschooling our kids.
See? It's true. Homeschooling. In the flesh. Well, in the jpeg form of flesh.

For real.

If I ran into my 22 year old self and told myself, "Girl. Get this. You're going to be thirty-one with three kids. Stretch Marks? Oh yeah, you'll have them. And guess what else? You'll have books up to your eyeballs and math manipulatives and a platinum membership at the public library. You're a homeschooling mom, missy." I'm pretty sure that 22 year old me would run. Screaming. For. The. Hills.
And, truth be told, I wouldn't blame her. I still sometimes have that reaction. But I know that this scenario works for this little family.

This scenario, this little classical academy we are running with an emphasis on our faith is something that was SO NOT in the plans. But the best laid plans are really the worst laid plans when compared with those our Father in heaven has for our lives.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you......." God had a plan for our family. It wasn't our plan, but it was the best plan. And I'm so glad we're in on it! Later on in that verse He says, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

So, here we are! Home schooling and loving it. Not every moment, but the overall. I think I am learning the most in all of this. It is a blessing. And we are excited for the journey to continue, excited for the future that awaits when we are faithful to his plans.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Long Time, No Excuses

My sad little blog has really gone by the wayside lately.

Life has a crazy, sneaky way of sideswiping you, not always in a bad way.

So we had spring and summer and fall and birthdays and decisions and some vacations and some more decisions.

So here is a snapshot of our little life right now:

Little Man is almost 7. I, the consummate, self-proclaimed obsessive party planner have yet to begin planning his party. What has happened to me? Little Man, though, is seeming less and less little as the days go by. The summer saw the loss of many more teeth in his apparently too-small mouth and the arrival of some even bigger teeth. His smile makes me smile. Every time. The awkwardness of the giant teeth and the spaces and the squinty-eyed grin combined make me melt. Every time. Except when he's making me crazy, in which case I only defrost a bit. :) He is Mr. Soccer, Mr. Football, Mr. Light Saber and Legos, too. Little Man has become quite a smart, outgoing fellow. I am so proud of him. And those cute, big teeth. I'm blaming his father for them...!

Littlest Man is 5. FIVE. Half a decade. Who the heck took those years? He was just my baby. Our "OH MY WORD! We're pregnant!" baby, 20 months younger than his big brother. My smiling from the moment he was born (almost) baby. And now he's starting to read and (currently) covered in chicken pox (from the booster, can you believe it?) and riding a bike without training wheels. His dimple (just one!) is so deep and so charming and so dangerous (you could fall into that thing) that it should come with a warning sign. One little sheepish or even sneaky grin, and I'm smitten. Watch out, World. Or at least girls of the world. When this fellow decides he's putting on the charm, it's ON. And he's FIVE. Did I mention that? FIVE. Cinco. My heart hurts just typing it.

Little Miss Pink. Oh, my baby girl. She's two and almost a half. My baby who I will call "baby" until forever comes. She is sweet and sassy and spunky and stubborn as all get out. But, man! is she cute. She loves shoes and shopping and purses like there's no tomorrow, frequently changing purses and making certain she has one of her cell phones, lest she lose touch with her peeps. The child was fairly mute for almost 18 months, save for the traditional "mama, dada, baby" words. And one day, the girl woke up and started to talk. And she hasn't stopped since. She wants what she wants and has often been heard sassing after being scolded that, "I'm not naughty, I'm just cute!" We're in trouble.

My favorite Irish hubby (and only Irish or any other breed hubby, for that matter) & I celebrated our ninth anniversary this summer. I can't remember what we did....wait. It will come to me. Oh yes. We went out for a fancy dinner and saw a play. But the day isn't really the celebration. It's the day in, day out that is. I continue to be amazed that I married this fellow when we were practically babies (22!), and yet God, in His infinite wisdom, knew that we were meant to be. We've grown closer and stronger and better every year. And he has gotten even cuter. Way cuter. We may have more wrinkles and a few gray hairs (him, not me...!) and some stretch marks (me, not him!) and lots more mileage on us, but I wouldn't trade the "us" we are now for anything. And ten years is coming up fast and furious! Lucky we! Lucky me.

So, that's an update from our little corner of the world. I hope to attend more carefully to this little blog. No promises. Life is crazy. But it's good.

Monday, March 22, 2010

In Absentia

Long time, no post!

Life has been a whirlwind of late, though, to be honest...when is it not?

I guess I really got out of the swing of documenting my creativity, cooking and projects and was kind of enjoying simply living them out on a daily basis.

Since the holidays, my grandmother passed away, which hit me square in the gut. She had faded slowly, but the reality of her passing is still shocking and not fully set in.

So, busy life, grandma's passing, avoidance...these are my reasons for avoiding this blog as effectively as I avoid laundry.

Which I have a mountain of at the moment. Are you surprised?