Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Let's talk about love.

Love is weird. 

Now before you go rolling your eyes saying, yeah like YOU'RE some kinda love expert, let me preface this with, I'm not, nor do I perceive myself as such. I am however, a human who holds in her possession a heart, a fully functioning soul, and a few years of trial and error under her belt. 

I've loved and lost, I've loved and won. I've cheated and I've been cheated on. I've walked away from love, I've ran smack into it. I've soared and I've sunk. I've got a past. I've sinned. I have gnitty-gritty unpretty parts in my story that taught me more than any textbook I paid $300 for in college. And I'm not one bit ashamed of any of this. Not one iota. It's shaped me and taught me, it's given me a frame of reference for the three individuals who count on me to guide them through this messy thing we call life. 

I didn't sit like a damsel in distress twiddling my thumbs. I made blunders for sure, but I seized days, even when I flopped I took something useful away from it. 
Also, I'm not stupid enough to think that everyone doesn't have at least one thing in their past that makes them smack themselves on the forehead. 

Now I'm a mom, my world's changed, axes have been tilted, my priorities are changed and suddenly I've started looking at this whole love thing in a totally different light. 

I'm divorced. *gasp* Yeah, turns out that doesn't earn you many points in the mommy groups. Ask me if I care. 

We co-parent, and we have our things that make us tic, but I can say with pride that after years of ironing things out here and there, and a husband that was amazingly supportive from day one,  most of the time things go pretty darned great. We've got an amazing kid that came out of it. She has four parents. FOUR! All four of them love her, all four of them want the best for her. All four of them are there for her. Some kids don't even have one parent that wants all of that for them, so as far as I'm concerned divorce was a win for me and everyone else. Why? Because we LOVE her. 

I used to think love was ferver, fantasy, romance...all that gunk you see on the Ryan Gossling flicks. 


But Ryan Gossling ain't bad........


Here's love. I'm so deep in it. My husband. Whew! It's real. But as it turns out, real love isn't pretty! I wish I could reach all of the young girls in this generation and shake them by the shoulders and tell them this. 


Real love is your husband snoring with his mouth open, but pulling you in to snuggle in the middle of the night. 

Real love is your hubby loading the dishwasher with your naked kids.

Real love is your hubby doing last nights dinner dishes while you sleep in.

Real love is enduring each others morning breath.

Real love isn't flowers and satin sheets, it's him filling your car up with gas, helping you clean up your kids puke splatters off the floor while you both laugh at the splat sound it made. 

Real love is supporting him through his big decision that you're actually kind of nervous about.

Real love is him holding your hand while you get a scary prognosis.

Real love is him bringing you ice water while your head is in the toilet because carrying his babies is making you sick as a dog. 

Real love is forever. Forever can be daunting. Forever ain't always fresh as a daisy. But forever? It's forever man....think about that. Someone loves you SO MUCH that they said 'ya know...I'm gonna deal with this human forever' 

that's HUGE!!! 

Real love is work. Backbreaking work.

Real love is effortless. It's a paradox. 

Real love is him empowering you. And you him. No resentments.

Real love is forgiving him.

Real love is him forgiving you.

Real love is sacrifice.

Real love isn't petty, it doesn't keep score. 

Never keep score. 

Real love is him holding you while you have one good weep, because someone you love broke your heart in a way you didn't think possible. 

Real love is him helping you mend that broken heart day by day, encouraging and being there through it all.

Real love is crying you're eyeballs out together when you hear your babies first squeak after the doctor delivers him.

Real love is being broke as a joke together and not minding one bit...because you're together. 

Real love is encouraging one another. Complimenting even when you don't feel like it. 

Real love is setting goals and lovingly holding each other accountable. 

Praying for him. Him praying for you. 

Real love is being each other's accountability.

Real love is having respect. Respect for your marriage, the vows you took. 

Real love Is understanding boundaries and being ok with them.

Real love is fighting some times.

Real love is trust. Recognizing it's value. Rebuilding it when necessary because you LOVE that other person. 

Real love is going shoulder to shoulder and plowing trough life together, day by day, year by year. 

Real love is saying I'm sorry. And meaning it. 

Real love is repenting. 

Real love is understanding that real love is a commitment, and a commitment is a decision you make. 

Dancing in the living room....after the kids are in bed and you kick a few Elmo toys out of the way. 

Real love is understanding the need of space from time to time. It's ok to need that. 

Real love is not watching the next show in the series until he can watch it with you. 

Cherishing the little moments that add up to a day, a week, a month, a year....

Real love is tag-teaming that crying baby(ies) in the middle of the night. 

I don't take it lightly that this big, tall, dark haired dude pledged his life to me. I love him with all I got. And through hell or high water, and there WILL be both in marriage, I'll love him still. Cause he'd do the same. 

So's not some grandiose gesture all of the time, although those can be nice every once in a while, but it's beautiful. It's a dance of commitment and tenderness mixed with just the right amount of turmoil to keep you both grounded. 

Yep, that's love alright. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Don't blink

My sweet little boy.

In a rare moment it was just he and I. Isabella was at a friend's house and Nora Jane was napping, but Beckett just couldn't settle, so we sat in the floor and he made "soup" 

He stirred it and stirred it, then he would feed me while I proclaimed it was the best soup I'd ever tasted, and that made him giggle every time :) we did that for about 45 minutes until all of the sudden he stopped and took my face in both of his chubby hands and gave me the biggest kiss...then he was off to clank his trucks together. 

This time with them has passed so quickly. They're growing up minute by minute and I'm practically frantic to slow it down. But since I can't, I'll savor. 

I just won't blink. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Some days

Some days we don't get much school done.

Some days we learn things like how to prepare a meal for the family instead. 

Some days we don't get much school work done, because some days we have just a little too much "help". 

Some days we don't get much school work done because we decide measuring our little brother is more fun. 

(Princess Nora was sickly this day, and was down for a marathon nap, but she got measured too, don't you worry :) 

Some days we don't get much school work done but we do learn som real life lessons outside of the textbook...

Like how to sign our signature for our new library card...

Which we did very well I might add! 

Some days are just like this. And I'm leaning that that's ok. 

But my eye still twitches. 

A mom posted this is my local homeschool support group...

Trying to remember this. Not succeeding. Some days mama stresses is all. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Fast and the Furious

Recently, hubby and I were making our budget, when we added up how much we were spending a month on eating out...sobering and embarrassing are the first two words that come to mind. 

So we decided to go on a restaurant fast. That includes fast food windows. (Cue in weeping and gnashing of teeth) I'm guilty on all counts. I'm so busy homeschooling, keeping kids satisfied, changed and fed (read: alive) and shuffling Isabella around to her various activities, that by the end of the day I'm so exhausted, we end up grabbing take out. 

Well, after seeing what we were spending a month, we both knew it was time to make some changes. So I've challenged my family to a two week restaurant fast! As my husband put on our kitchen chalkboard, we are currently two days incident free! 

Little dude enjoyed himself some sugar snap peas! Nora just opened them up to picked out and play with the peas. 

I'm taking this as another opportunity to clean up some habits in our diet...note I'm NOT health nut by any stretch of the imagination, but at this point I feel like any steps in the right direction, no matter how small, are an improvement! 

I decided that we needed to curb the red meat and ground beef out of our diet a little, and incorporate more fish. So for the first time in my life I ordered from the seafood case at my local grocery store. I had to avert my eyes from the various marine life staring back at me, but I ordered some filets and got the heck out of dodge. 

My husband is a smidge on the picky side, so I was a little nervous about tonight's dinner of baked cod (it was good!) brown rice and steamed broccoli. He ate every bite-even the broccoli! Anybody who knows my hubbs knows what a feat that is. 

The twins weren't enthusiastic, but Isabella cleaned her plate...and just in case anybody was afraid I had gone all healthy on them, I baked a chocolate sheet cake for dessert. Holy mackerel! (Snort-get it?) it was good! I'm not telling how much I ate, but it was in the range of  less than four but more than two slices....

Not eating out is going to be a huge sacrifice of convenience...but we are saving for our dream home, so I'm trying to look at the BIG picture here...but boy oh boy those Golden Arches just tease me when I drive by...what I wouldn't give for some steaming hot French fries!!! 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Shew Lawsy!

It's been a busy week! With hubby getting back into the swing of things after being off of work for a month, and us getting back into our regular schedule of engagements, plus a few extras...I'm pooped!!! 

We had a fun midweek treat when some friends invited us over to see their sweet new baby goats...they were so tiny! Isabella was instantly in love and the twins, who I thought would be terrified,  were actually fascinated! 

Isabella is holding baby Rudy, the sweetest little brown goat I've ever seen. He let us hold him and pet him until our heart's content. Isabella is now obsessed with goats...and if it wasn't for the darned neighborhood ordinances I would be more than happy to oblige her! Someday, Isabella!!

This weekend Isabella cheered, and she got to call the cheer at halftime. It was so cute. I love that she has found something that excites her so much! She absolutely loves it! 

My sweet babies are so good natured, they get lugged around to co-op, karate, cheer practice, games and wherever else we have to go that week but as long as they have snacks, mommy and room to run they're happy little boogers. Hard work, but happy :) 

Sometimes though we get so tired that we fall asleep with a chicken Mcnugget in our hand. 

Or we just lay down in the middle of the hallway at church during cheer practice. 

Some days I fall asleep with chicken nuggets in my hand too, and there's been plenty of times I've wished it was socially acceptable to lay down in the floor in public ;-) 

There's been plenty of mischief this week, hubby worked all weekend on the production team for the resurrection youth conference, so it was late nights for him and exhausting days for mama! I'm jealous because he gets to rub elbows with some of my favorite Christian no fair!!! I'm at home cleaning up a sippie cute that Beckett decided to play in. No joke. What is it about playing in liquids?!?!

That is the face of guilt, folks. 

Needless to say I am SO EXCITED that hubby gets a day off tomorrow!! :) :) Mama's got a hot date with her sewing Machine and a diet coke. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

To-do about Tuesdays...

Today was a busy one! Been buzzing about tonight in my craft room.

Tuesday's are our co-op day when Isabella goes to enjoy quality time with other homeschoolers. Exhausting for mama and traumatic for the twins but absolute bliss for my little social butterfly. 

I love the socialization too! But this Mama will enjoy Tuesdays a whole lot more when the twins grow out of their clingy stage! 

Then afterwards we enjoyed a playdate with our dear friends. They just moved into their lovely new house which is gloriously closer to us! This allows for more visits and fun :) There's nothing more exciting than feathering a shiny new nest! Except maybe getting to show it off :) Beckett was so tired he fell asleep in my lap at the table...Nora Jane was so tired she fell asleep while I was buckling her into her car seat...that means it's been a GOOD day! :)

Yesterday my shipment of glittered vinyl came in the mail and I've been pretty much foaming at the mouth to play with it uninterrupted! 

May not look like much to you, but for me this is heaven. My machine sews on it like butter. I had quite a few custom orders to get processed for shipping tonight, so I was only able to crank out a couple of projects, but they were fun! 

These Easter egg headbands are listed in my shop! 

A couple of sparkly monogrammed Hairbow buttons for a couple of princesses I know, and a bundle of random valentine felties. Man oh man...i'm addicted to felties. 

Thinking about listing some monogrammed bow buttons in my shop, we sure like them and they spice up a simple bow so nicely.

Hubby surprised me with a couple of Ott lights after Christmas...they have literally changed my crafting life! I never knew how wonderful proper lighting was until now! 

Ho-hum time to put away my toys and be a grownup again...until tomorrow night that is! :)


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Weekend recap

This is my first trial run of blogging from my new iPhone that my hubby got me for Christmas. I can already tell this will be much more efficient and convenient! Although there are a few features I miss from my laptop that aren't available on the blog app...I can tell I will be using this app a lot!

We've had such a great winter break with our Big Daddy! We've been very spoiled having him home for a month and nobody is looking forward to him going back to work tomorrow. He's so hands-on with the kids. I'm not sure what I will do without him!

But now it's time to get down and dirty with our homeschooling...we started back last week but took a light approach since all anybody wants to do while big daddy is home is hang out. It's hard to focus on adding three digit numbers when there's a wrestling match with the twins going on on the living room floor is all I'm saying.

Time to start the spring break countdown! 

We spent his last weekend before going back to work watching Isabella cheer at her very first basketball game! We had a birthday party for a dear friend and we started another household project as we slowly but surely get our house ready to sell sometime in the future. Normal and low favorite! 

Here are a few of my favorite moments.     
Isabella the cheerleader! Oh the cuteness was all around! She had such a blast! And all the little girls on her squad are adorable. I can really see myself digging this whole cheer mom thing. I made her bow...and it looks like I'll be making them for the entire squad as well! So. Much. Fun. She's cheering through Upward, ta local church program that's totally Christian based which we LOVE.  
I started and blew a diet all in the same day. Let's just say there was a Hostess  display and lack of willpower involved.  I'll try again tomorrow. That's what I love most about tomorrows. 
This cute little scene...Isabella and Beckett enjoying a snack together and watching a movie. These two. They're inseparable.
Nora and Beck put their new bathtub crayons to use. Colored the entire tub. 
Beckett and Nora in the middle of a serious conversation at the birthday party we attended. Always blurry and always on the move, these two. 
I can't get enough of watching them watch tv together. Twins are amazing. 
Isabella holding a GIGANTIC Python. Ack!!!! Yuck!!!! No thanks!!!! 
Here's the head of that thing. NO WAY MAN!!!!! if you're looking for me I'll be clinging to the ceiling by my toenails. 
I showed my husband how I can shove grapes in my upper lip. Yeah...I'm approaching 30...why do you ask? C'mon!!!! Like you never.... 

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Here's to Monday! Pass the diet coke, please!!! 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

An open letter to my girls

It's a scary time to be a girl. Even scarier, I think, to be raising girls. 
It's a cruel society of mean girls, social media bullying, fat shaming, religion bashing, immoral, corrupt, reality-tv-wannabes, the meaner and more drama the better and the list goes on and on. 
This has been on my heart for a while. Things I have learned throughout life, some the hard way, I want my daughters to carry with them, things I want them to know and I hope I teach them...things I hope that I enforce so strongly in my parenting that they are embedded in the very cores of their souls and can't be shaken no matter what. I finally decided it was time to pen it out. So here it open letter to my girls.
To my girls, my freckle-nosed oldest, with a heart so kind and pure it makes me ache with love and protectiveness. And my blue eyed silly girl with a laugh so hearty that she spreads joy all around. 
Isabella and Nora-Jane

There is nothing in this world that could ever shake my love for you. I may not always like what you do, but my love is unconditional. I will always build you up publicly. I will never shame you. If there ever comes a time I feel you need constructive criticism or a reprimand, it will be in private. You are my prides and joys. My beautiful women. And of you I will always be proud.

Don't take yourself seriously. Life is nothing but a big learning curve, so take a big swig of that bottle over there labeled Sense Of Humor and be prepared to laugh at yourself. A lot. Besides, nobody likes a Serious Sally ;-)

Pray. Pray in public. Pray in private. Pray yourselves to sleep. Prayer will get you through anything, my loves. And I do mean anything. The more you talk to Him, the more He talks to you.
Scuff up your knees you pray so much. Which leads me to....

 ...listen for the whisper. That "feeling" you get when you're doing something that you're not sure about? That is the holy spirit saying "No, No, No!" listen for it, and for the love of your mama, HEED it. That feeling you get when you're praying about a situation or a person you love? That tingly feeling of adrenalin in your heart? That's the Holy Spirit saying "I am here." Memorize that feeling.

Always stay true to yourself, not the cliche kind...but the soul kind. You will find yourself in many sticky situations throughout this life. ALWAYS choose kindness. No matter what. You will never regret kindness, but you will always regret knowing that you hurt someone you cared about.
People will lie about you. Spread rumors. Assassinate your character. Let them. The only opinion you need to worry about is the one upstairs. The people in your life that truly know you and care about you won't give those words a second thought. This is easier said that done. PRAY.

Never stop trusting friends. Not all people are bad. You're going to get burned a time or twelve...but don't let that stop you from building new relationships. When we allow ourselves to be defined by the past, we close ourselves off to new friendships. God has so many amazing people for you to meet. Don't take that away from Him just because someone didn't value your confidence enough to keep it.

Don't let your past define you...let it refine you. Mistakes are for us to learn from. And if you're anything like your dear old'll have a decent resume of mistakes to choose from. USE them. Learn from them...we can use everything for God's glory. Everything. 

Be silly. 

Love with your whole heart, every time. This is not being naive, this is being wise enough to know bad circumstances aren't permanent if we don't want them to be. Fall in love...get your heart broken....then fall in love again. Our hearts are amazing things. They will take a beating in life...but bind them up, let them heal with that sweet balm of time, then unbind them and use them again. Sweet girls you will be so glad you didn't lock your heart away. 
Nobody likes a Bitter Betty ;-)

Practice Faith. Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not there.

Don't be afraid to ask for respect. We teach people how to treat us, and what we allow is what will continue. It's okay to want to be treated with respect, and it's okay ask for it.

Don't stay in dead relationships because you fear the fall-out. Fall-outs can be bad and scary...but they don't last forever. You may be lonely for a season, you may lose a few friends...but you will never be alone. When you release yourself from a toxic relationship, you're respecting yourself enough to know when to walk away. You will gain so much knowledge from these experiences...and you will learn how to recognize and foster true and genuine relationships as a result. Face that fire with your head held high.

Never be ashamed of your spirituality. He made you the way you are for a reason. 

Don't ever, EVER "vent" or talk badly about your husbands to anyone. Ever. Call me if you need to.

Look for a man who brings you a dozen donuts instead of a dozen flowers. Fills your car up with gas instead of buys you jewelry. Tells you you're lovely, not hot. Lets you walk through the doorways first because you're the lady. Tells you you need to eat MORE because you're looking thin, basically, look for a man like your daddy.

Dress for your body type. Love your skin. God gave you this body to use for His glory, love it, don't hate it. Every shape can be stunningly beautiful with the correctly fitting clothing and proper accessories. Dress modestly....I know when you're teenagers this will go out the window...but try and learn from your fashion faux pas and take pictures so we can look back on them and laugh.

Get that tattoo if you must, but start with something small that no one can see and keep it for a few years...chances are you won't be the same woman ten years from now. Trust your mother on this one.
 Pierce anything but your mouth-parts. Yuck. Disgusting. Don't do that.

Always keep a tube of red lipstick, and never get drunk in public. That's just sloppy and not classy.

When you hear a gaggle of girls crucifying another girl with their words, pray for the girl they're talking about. 

Always form YOUR OWN opinions of people. Never judge a person by someone else's gossip. 

Don't make fun of people with others, even if they can't hear you. You will regret it. Trust your mother on this one.
Never stop doing nice things for people. Continue to bless others, but don't run yourself ragged. Sometimes you will feel like your gestures go unappreciated, do them anyway, it's not for you, it's for Him.

Don't hold back because of someone else's jealousy of you. Don't allow someone who is bitter about their own life and choices, to put a damper on your joy. Enjoy your blessings, don't brag, but enjoy them, praise God for them and be as happy as you want to be! Their attitudes are their problems, not yours.

Remember that there are always consequences for your actions, and they're not always immediate.

Never entertain jealousy. What a waste! We all have different journeys...count your blessings any time you feel yourself getting pulled into Satan's snare of jealousy. Always rejoice for other people's blessings. Be the friend that everyone wants to share their good news with first. Your life and your friend's lives will be an ebb and flow...your up-time might be her down-time, her down-time might be your up-time... remember that and show grace to yourself.

Never respond to hate. When someone accosts you, be it in person or otherwise, silently walk away. This is not being a doormat. This is setting yourself to a higher standard.

Not everyone is going to like you, no biggie....that just frees up space for more awesome people.

Be a fruit checker! Observe those around you, observe their fruits, what types of emotions do they produce in the ones around them? How do they interact with others? Are they gossipers or are they prayer warriors? Know them by their fruits. Gravitate towards women who build each other UP.

Never allow yourself to be in a compromising situation with a gentleman you don't know. We will be talking about carry permits as soon as you're old enough.

DREAM! No dream is too big and there is NOTHING you cannot do. I have faith in you. Don't be afraid to reach up there and snatch that dream right out of the clouds and make it real. Don't EVER be afraid to fail, failures happen, they're nothing to be ashamed of and they're all a part of the beautiful process. You can do it, my loves.

Always apologize when you have been wrong. This may be awkward, and it may be ill-received. They may accept it, then turn around and UN-accept it. But that's not your's your job to say I'm sorry. And mean it.

Forgive. This one is tricky. Prayer helps. But believe me when I tell you, forgiveness is more for you than it is for the other person. When you forgive, you free yourself from the shackles of bitterness and resentment. On the same token, just because you forgive someone, doesn't mean you have to waltz right back into their dance. You can love from afar, and truth be known, there will be times in your life that for your own well-being you will have to love from afar. Love them, forgive them, bless them and don't stop praying for them.

Grace, grace, grace. Use it. Give it. Own it and thank the Lord for it. 

Never put on airs, always be honest...the minute you get cocky is the minute you'll trip over the curb of life. Trust your mother on that one.

Always be mindful of what you put into your mind. Just because it's a New York Times best seller or a box office blowout doesn't mean you need to see it or read it. Our spirits are fragile and it's our responsibility to guard them. Just remember, garbage in, Garbage out. 

Never change who you are to try and get people to "like you" If they don't automatically want to be your friend upon meeting you, that's truly their loss. No person is worth compromising yourself for.

And finally. 
Wait for God's timing. Don't rush things or get swept up into something that feels out of your control. If you're feeling overwhelmed and scared then it's not from Him. Any door He opens for you will be accompanied with peace. He knows what He is doing, and when we try to take control we risk a tremendous catastrophe. When we wait and trust in Him, He blesses us beyond our wildest dreams. I should know, He gave me you :)

I love you more'n my luggage.