Wednesday, January 30, 2013

that moment when. . .

that moment when. . .

. . .you ask the homeschool mom next to you what she does. .

then autocorrect your sentence and offer-

but of course- you're a stay at home mom-

and then she smiles and says

no- I work full time as an ER nurse.  I just arrange my shifts so I can still homeschool.

Um. Yeah.  Okay.  You're my hero.

(She probably drinks three pots of coffee per day.)

. . .you hear your pastor's six year old son say to your daughter why do you keep trying to hold my hand, Cambria?  {sigh. parenting a girl is not going to get any easier.} #letsnotchasetheboys

. . .your son tells you he's been reading Focus on The Family's adult parenting magazine and he saw that often children get results if they ask for things three days away, rather than immediately, i. e.  "Mom, could we watch cartoons in three days?" {yes} vs."Mom, can we watch cartoons now?" {no} #thanksDr.Dobson.  NOT.

. . .you notice a suspicious lump in your daughter's jeans pocket and she proceeds to pull out some Kotex.  nooooooo. . . I don't want to talk about the birds and bees. . .

. . .you park in front of the house of someone you really look up to and your foot slips onto the gas pedal and there's a pedal to the metal acceleration sound and you actually wonder who is making that awful noise- and then you realize it's you.  In front of the house of the people you really look up to.

. . . you see those 52 Date Night Ideas and all your mind can do is calculate 52 x $30 to sitter = $1,560.00.  #hushedsilence.

. . .you take off your tennis shoes and blow all your breath out before you step on the scale.

. . .church gets cancelled due to weather and you shriek for joy and jump up and down even though you do love God and worship and fellowship.

. . .you look across your Chili's shrimp tacos and wonder what you ever did to deserve a friend like Deeann!

. . .your lil punkin starts to say "Mamma."

. . .your daughter asks mom, how old is a fifteen year old? Umm. . .

. . .you realize somehow your son has been avoiding and escaping showers. . . for a long. . . time. . . as in dayyyyys. . . #phew #showerschedule #Axe #lil'chat

. . .your five year old confides that she heard a bad word. . . hushes her voice. . . leans over to you. . . "s t u p i d."  #whew

. . .just a few moments over here at my house during the past few days.

Children's Museum {music room}

Infinity Scarf project with the yarn JD bought me for Christmas- it's almost done!  Just have to go to Wikipedia to figure out how to cast off. ;)

Eli popped his head into the picture- and yes, he has been a huge threat to the knitting project.  Even dropped the needles down the cold air return vent.

Our Bible Study is working through Jennie Allen's stuck.  This was a project at the end of a study of Romans 8-  contrasting selfish desires with desires filtered through the perspective of God's Word.
Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

ski trips. then and now.

If I were a fake facebooker, tomorrow morning, at dark o'thirty, I would say this:

long weekend skiing with the fam! 

But the truth is that today was a two pot coffee kinda day and skiing sounds like the least fun activity in the world to me right now.

Fun would be. . . maybe. . . laying in bed reading a book and looking out the window?

Ugh . . .never in a million years did I imagine I would be this boring of a person.

I think have officially arrived at the un-fun mom stage of life.

Definitely channeling the grinch as I prepare for the 8th (?) annual ski trip. 

Then I skiied with my man.

Now I chase my toddler around and pray to God that none of the guys in red medic coats comes in my general direction with one of my kids.

Then it was entertaining to watch the stars align and boy-meets-girl moments.  {one of my sisters really truly met her husband on one of these trips}

Now I'm informed of relationships and I'm like huh?! they're wayyy too young!  What?? I didn't see that coming! And other such nonsense spoken from the depths of the diaper bag masquerading as a Thirty-One bag, looking for that last goldfish cracker.

Then  I googled super yummy show stopping bar recipes to take along for the umpteen hungry guests.

Now I look both ways (hoping no one is looking I guess) and pack today's chocolate chip cookies in gladware.  Everybody still likes chocolate chip cookies, right?

Then I couldn't wait to see friends and catch up and chat with my sisters.

Now - well, I still can't wait to see friends and chat with my sisters, but conversation is more like short bursts of information exchanges. In between  diaper changing  Eli and holding my breath watching my boy ski off the lift, video taping the amazing first skiing moments of Cambria and trying not to eat everyone ELSE'S show stopping bars. . . what conversation????

I told Daniel that I was toying with the idea of not going since the work had far surpassed the fun quotient. 

He informed me that he was definitely feeling that attitude from me.

(insert sad face)

It reminds me of Christmas vacation with Daniel's family.  Late one night we ordered pizza and watched one of the Bourne movies.  I love watching action/suspense when I'm with Daniel and I was actually so excited.  Just as we all settled in, Eli woke up.  I decided I'd take some time and make sure he was all back asleep and I rocked him, cuddled him, kissed him and laid him down.  This took some time.  Just as I left, he started screaming.  That behavior is really unlike him, so I spent more time.  I guess I really lost track, because long story short, when he was finally calmed down and asleep, I rejoined the movie crew.

As I sank into the chair, the last sentence was spoken and the credits started rolling. 

Yep, not gonna lie, I blinked watery eyes tears.  I'm that sister-in -law.

It's hard to be a mom.

It's hard to let go of the crazy fun years.

I love my kids so much. 

I would die for them.

But it's hard for me to cheerfully pack a cooler of snacks and pack and plays and overnight bags and a gargantuan ikea bag of three changes of mittens and every imaginable combination of snowgear. 

Isn't that like our walk with God, too sometimes?

I tell God that I would do anything for Him.

But then I don't want to take the neighbor kids to Awana because they conversationally told me they'd had the flu going around.

I glibly think that I will always take the side of Jesus.

And then I hesitate to speak His name.

I'll die.

I just don't want to cheerfully pack.

But for now, He isn't asking me to die, He's asking me to cheerfully pack.

And then there's the fact that in my minds eye, I really really really wanna be a fun mom.  You know, the kind that lets her son's hungry friends come over and just orders one two three extra pizzas. 

The kind that stays up late and listens to a fifteen year old girl's endless boy/will-i-be-single-forever/am-i-pretty drama, on her knees beside a tearsoaked pillow.

The kind who says YES let's go bowling!

The kind who doesn't quit wearing makeup or looking cute even though it's a bit harder than at age 24.

The kind that goes to skiing trips.

And just so you know, I was just describing my mom, who will be there tomorrow. Probably skiing.


I have now effectively psyched myself up for the weekend.

We're going skiing with the fam!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Peppermint Popcorn

My morning started out with this shocker when Jacob prayed at breakfast that we would

(get this)

find it urgent to be kind and generous with each other

I had a hard time not laughing out loud.


An hour later he must have also felt that it was urgent to call Cambria a bossycat.

What is a bossycat, anyway?

Oh the queries of motherhood.

Jacob's penchant for using big words is one of our main bonding points.  The only thing that we seem to share in common is a love for the English language and reading.  Other than that he is a clone of his daddy.

Anyway. . .

We made this salad last week and it was sooo good.  I served it in taco shell bowls with that Cafe Rio chicken that is all over Pinterest.  Pretty delish.

I love red cabbage in salads.  I seasoned the cabbage in this one with a little red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and cumin powder and let it sit on the counter to wilt a little while I prepared everything else.

Hypothetically speaking, if you eat healthy, then salad cancels out all of the calories in this peppermint popcorn stuff that I discovered at Deeann's Pinterest party.  (Have I already mentioned Pinterest twice in one post? oh dear)  She says it's not original with her, but I'm giving her the credit anyway. :)
Peppermint Popcorn
3 bags of light butter microwave popcorn, popped
1 lb. white chocolate, melted
handful of candy canes (I used 10 large ones) pulverized in blender
Pour white chocolate over popcorn, stir to coat.  Sprinkle with candy cane "sugar" and pour out onto parchment paper to cool and harden.   
It's a great way to use up all of the leftover candy canes from Christmas.
It's also a great way to sabotage your diet.  I've made three batches in the last two weeks cuz it keeps disappearing. :)

Monday, January 14, 2013


"None of us want to make God look bad. 
But in the end, being fake makes God look worse. 
It makes people think He tastes like Crisco."
-Bob Goff
from Love Does, Chapter 14
A New Kind of Diet:  I used to think religion tasted horrible, but now I know I was just eating the fake stuff

Saturday, January 12, 2013

three year birthdays & what scars represent

Today our littlest man would be three.
It's such a sweet thought. . . not as bitter as the last two years.
Healing is slow.
Much like  deep wounds, at first the grief bleeds, throbs, you don't have a life outside the all-consuming pain.
Then there's a break in the pain, there's check ups, flare-ups, maybe infection, or tearing open and sutures needed again.
But if cared for, a wound heals. 
One day, all that's left is scarring, marking what once consumed, tore, ached, changed the landscape. 
Are scars beautiful?
I don't know, maybe they are.
The scar on my soul left from losing my son, my precious little Gabe, who should be in the throes of potty-training and first real sledding trips - that scar represents so much to me.
It does have a strange kind of beauty.
That scar has taught me that life is precious.
That scar has taught me that the role people play in caring for the hurting is monumental.
It's taught me sometimes tragedy is just plain out of our control.
(I should have known that, you say.  I know, I should have.  But I didn't.)
I learned that God is truly near to the broken-hearted.
I learned that sometimes strong people don't want to live anymore, and sometimes weakness looks strong on the outside.
I learned that underneath our happy small talk, every single person struggles with something.
And healing. . . it does come.
Time heals.
It's true, it does. 
I heard someone say the other day that you don't realize how much you've healed until you look back and remember how broken you were.  I wanted to stand up and shout, yes yes yes. 
Healing looks different on everybody.  Maybe it just means you can smile.
Maybe healing is being able to breathe. 
Maybe it's just knowing it's okay to remember and not cry. 
I didn't dread Gabe's birthday this year;  it was just sweet, to look back and realize how much he changed my life.  I smiled remembering how difficult the transition from two to three children was for me.  I was exhausted. 
One of my favorite moments with Gabe was at one-thirty in the morning when he was about two months old.  He was awake, crying, and wanting to cuddle.  I was tired, sleep deprived, yet something just nudged me to savor him.  I took him downstairs, curled up in my favorite big chair and just drank him in.  I  kissed him, stroked his dark, dark hair, smelled his still-newborn scent.  I clearly remember looking out the window at the dark night and just thinking this is going to fly by.  I don't want to forget.  I want to sear this moment in my heart.  Of course I was thinking of first cars and college, not of tiny caskets or death certificates.  But God knew, and He gave me that precious moment with my little son. 
Healing is knowing that Heaven is real.
Healing is knowing here isn't the end.
Healing is knowing that the process isn't over.
Losing a child isn't something that is ever over.
Healing is embracing what the scars show. 
I'm thankful for my little son's life. 
I wouldn't wish losing a child on my worst enemy, yet I'm truly thankful for what I've learned on the grief road.
I'm so glad that three years ago little Gabriel James was born. 
Happy birthday, my sweet, sweet baby.  I love you so much.
{and just because it's his birthday. . . some of my very favorite pictures, in no particular order}

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

happy new year!

{changed our headboard quote today}
{love sarah mclachlan


I accidentally deleted all of my old blog design features;  I couldn't recover it and don't have time to keep messing with it right now so I guess it is what it is until I can spend a couple hours with my laptop and these guys.

I also stepped on a piece of glass first thing this morning.

Eli had pseudo - flu all day and Daniel is on duty.

I am very glad that my happiness in the new year does not  depend on circumstances.

The kids and I had fun with New Year's resolutions though;  Cambria wanted to write "Have mom make my bed every day."  Thus ensued an explanation of resolutions; goals to better oneself, not plans for laziness.


I think so, anyway.

Cambria and I made this pillowcase the other day.

Now that I have my sewing machine fixed it's not an all day battle to sew one little seam. 

The fun thing about this particular skirt-into pillowcase is that the skirt already has tons of ruffles that would take for-ev-er to put on yourself.

Do you remember those Mossimo Target skirts that were sold around '03? I do because I bought one to wear to drive to our new town with my fiance and pick up the keys for our first little house. I can't claim this idea as my own, because I saw it at my mom's house first (apparently my sister Lydia bought the pink version and discarded it for Mom to make-over) - but it's quite simple to make a pillowcase out of a skirt.

Anyway, you just cut off the waistband, turn it inside out and sew it shut.  Then turn it right side out and make the corners go to a point with a pencil or knitting needle.  Voila- it doesn't get any easier.

(You can also climb in the pillowcase if you are very small.)

I've been seeing these skirts all over lately at goodwill and salvation army - of course now that I know I want them again, they'll all be gone, but maybe you'll find one in your closet or thrift store and be able to have a fun lil pillowslip for the new year.

Speaking of the new year. . .

one of my goals is more sleep.  I average about 5 hours a night.  I don't know if this is normal or not, but it's certainly not optimal.  Now that my little punkin is happily snoring through the night I'm hoping that some sanity will return.  Maybe? 

Other goals include 

time with God

less busy

more people

great books

good coffee

tasting food instead of inhaling


more outdoors time than walking from kitchen to van

and stuff like that.

Happy new year to you! I'm off to make some chocolate malts and play Mexican Train with my peeps. :)