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Christmas Exhaustion

Mary must have been exhausted.

She was carrying a miracle, yes, but she was also carrying an out of wedlock baby, on a long journey, to give birth in rudimentary settings, with no family around, and no idea what would happen next.

Christmas Eve found me sleep deprived, anxious, and preparing for an evening ahead that would require more energy and happiness than I could muster.

So I sat in a church pew on Christmas Eve and cried for Mary and how tired she must have been, for how unfair it was that she would never fully comprehend the awesome power that her sacrifice would bring to the world. I cried because that one little baby would make every single one of my mistakes ok.

Maybe you are in the middle of your own exhaustion. Maybe you are carrying something wonderful and powerful, but right now it just feels like a burden. Stay strong, your burden may become a light for others.

If you are still happily enjoying the extra time with kids, and the extended bed times, and the family fillin…

Christmas Inspiration

Christmas is just a week away! 
Time to get in the Holiday spirit!
I can read all day about Edie's love for people andhospitality .A friend sent me this beautiful idea for passing on the tradition of Santa. Chex mix for your next gathering. 100 Best Christmas Movies of All Time (Three of my all time favorite Holiday movies made this odd, and eclectic list. How many have you seen?)We make these cookies every year. We have begun cutting way back on Christmas gifts for our kids, and I love what this article has to say about that. Apothic Red and Apothic Darkare my new favorite wines. (If you are local, they sell it at CFC!)

Source 
I hope you all have a blessed and very Merry Christmas!








Stuffed Mushroom Recipe

If you never cook another dish in your life, I simply ask that you make this one dish and then you may die in peace having cooked the most perfect dish ever.

Maybe I am being dramatic, maybe I'm not. I guess you'll have to taste it and see for yourself. 
I made this dip again for Thanksgiving recently. My local grocer couldn't get in Fontina, so I substituted mozzarella and monterey cheese. It was a major hit. 
I had the herbs left over, so I got to thinking about what I had in my fridge and what I could make to go with the herbs. 
And thus, this dish was born. 
Seriously amazing. 
Mouth watering. 
Divine happiness. 
So dang, stinking good, I did not take a single picture before we devoured them. 
Just make them. 
I am being bossy. Try them, then you'll understand why. 
Have I made myself clear? 
Good. Let's get started. 
Best Stuffed Mushrooms... Ever Ingredients 1/2 tsp thyme finely chopped 1/2 tsp rosemary finely chopped 1/4 cup roughly chopped or shredded parmesan 2 …

Holiday Juggling

I have never been able to figure out if I am an extrovert or an introvert.

If you know me personally, you probably think right away, "She's an extrovert!". But as much as I love people, and gatherings; I love, love, love being at home. I love being here with my people, watching movies, playing board games, just existing, together at home. It's my favorite. 
So when I have running around to do, it can get stressful for me. I can quickly feel overwhelmed, constantly picking up one kid, dropping off another, going to town and back again several times a day. And when things are scheduled on a Sunday, my tolerance level peaks out. I like my Sundays to rest, reset, and breathe. 
This month I do not have a single Sunday that will be spent at home. 
I am dreading it already. I want to curl up and cry. I want to stomp my feet and say, "No, No, No". I want to put on my pajamas and Christmas music, lock the door and pout. 
But since that does not appear to be an optio…

Love a Little More

The baby didn't sleep last night. As in, he was awake every, single, hour, and intermittently, his sister woke me up as well. I should be sleeping right now, truly, but he just laid down for his nap and there are words I want to say. So I give them to you.

I have a friend who is hurting right now. She has received hard news, and her heart is broken and my heart breaks for her. I would fix it all if I could; wouldn't we all, given the chance?

But of course I can't. I can pray like crazy, I can listen and I can be supportive. I can also cook and I can bring drinks, because sometimes, you just need good food and a good drink.

There is a lot of negative in the world right now. I could blame it on the recent election, but I think it has more to do with our mindsets. It's easy to latch onto the doomsday mentality. It's easy to get sucked into our own head space and worry and turmoil.

The holidays for me are a beautiful, magical, wonderful time of year. I know that is not…

When you appear relatively put together but you are one screaming toddler away from drinking wine while locked in the bathroom...

I don't know what it is exactly that is causing this extreme meltdown in my friends at this particular moment in time, but it seems that everywhere I turn another one of us is struggling to pull it together and about half of us have flat out given up the ruse that we are keeping it together.

I would venture to guess that a lot of it, is just getting back into the swing of getting kids to school, and sport practice and music lessons, and where I live, harvest season.

I know that because I am a mom to four littles, I am also surrounded by other moms of the same age group, but I am willing to bet if you have older kids, you have your own struggles, or have definitely been in our place.

If you do not have kids. Quit reading now, I wouldn't want to discourage you from having children. I swear despite all our complaining, it really is the most wonderful thing to have children. Except when it isn't.

Full disclosure I am in full on potty training mode with a toddler, the baby is i…

The Power of Words

I am an avid reader. I love many different genres and tons of different authors. Knowing this about me, a girlfriend texted me the other day and said she wanted to get a devotional book, what would I recommend?

I had to tell her something, something I had felt for a long time, but I don't think I had ever given words to before.

I do not like devotionals.

I feel guilty about this, and a little like I am not as good of a person as the people who set aside time during their day and commit to a true 'devotional'.

I cannot get into them and I have never found one I can stick too. My problem is simple, they are too much work.

Most devotionals I have ever read want me to read what they have to say and then get out my bible and look up certain verses. Some even have the gall to prompt me to sit down and write out my thoughts. Whoa, hold up, how much time do you think I have?

Now, lets be clear, Jesus deserves my time. I get that. But right now, Jesus and I have an agreement. I thi…

Newest Arrival

My list of 'to-do's' is a mile long and I can think of a hundred reasons I should not be sitting here writing, but I don't care.

The long stretch of pregnancy is finally over. Baby boy joined the girl tribe nearly three weeks ago, and it has been such a blessing. My pregnancy was not an enjoyable one at all, so when he arrived nine days before my due date, I was a bit surprised, but purely delighted.

My three previous kiddos came within two days of their due date, but I kept telling my husband I didn't think I would make it to my due date with baby number four. Even with that intuition, I wasn't as prepared as I should have been. When we got home from the hospital I had lots of newborn clothes to wash and I had to dig the bassinet out of the basement and clean it up.

Here's the great thing about having multiple children; you no longer sweat the small stuff.

Have you ever seen that mom with a ton of kids and you wonder how she does it, and how she remains so…

Truth

Today I was amazing.

I got the oldest to school on time, ran errands with the little ones, came home and scrubbed the whole house in time for a very important meeting with the banker, I folded (and PUT AWAY laundry) and as I type this, homemade supper is simmering on the stove.

Seriously, today I nailed it. Yesterday was the exact opposite.

A dear friend is struggling with life right now. She feels like she is sinking and that she is failing in every area of life; motherhood, marriage, and work.

Everywhere I look I see another post or article on how we need to rid ourselves of Mom guilt, and then another one on how to balance work and home life, and another on the need to let it all go. I have even written my own versions of such things.

Here is the truth. I am so over it.

I am over hearing how we need to do this and that to have balance and rid ourselves of the guilt. There is no such thing as doing it all. Somedays you kick butt, somedays you suck at life. That's the truth of it…

Sensory play: From manure to play dough

My Mom is an incredible woman. She can make just about anything, whether cooking, baking, painting, sewing, or more. Plus she can hold her own out on the farm doing the dirty work. I inherited about half of that and quite frankly being just half the woman my mother is, is a pretty lucky thing.

As a kid I remember making homemade play dough all the time with my Mom. We lived way out in the country, like hilly billy, back woods, distance. We didn't have the luxury of buying new play dough if we left the play dough out and it dried up. Instead, we made our own.

I've always made play dough with my girls since they were teeny tiny as well. Today, I switched it up just a bit. I added scents! I used the same recipe my mom has used since we were kids, and when it came time to add the dye, I also added an essential oil to each of them.

Now, lest you think that I am bragging, or running for Mom of the year, yesterday the two oldest spent several hours out in the cattle pen, literally up…

For the Love of Home

My house is a mess. Not just run of the mill, I have kids messy, but real deal, it would take some serious hours of deep cleaning to tackle this mess, mess.

With little energy and time being at a premium, I tackled the most visible thing that I can handle right now that is driving me crazy.

The girls do most of their crafting, sewing, homework, you name it, at our dining room table. I am constantly nagging at them to put away their project for meal time and yet inevitably I end up scooping it all up and dropping it on the fireplace mantle next to the table. This has led to a fireplace that was overflowing with piles of discarded projects.

I began looking for a free standing piece of furniture to put in the dining room, something multifunctional to hold all of our puzzles, crayons, papers, crafts, board games, etc. I thought perhaps a buffet with lots of storage or a hutch would do the trick. Right away I found the perfect piece, but at $425 I wasn't prepared to invest that kind of…

Working From Home

Mondays are my work day. Working from home means having to be a self starter, which I tend not to be. If something has a deadline, you can bet I will have it done, and done well, on time. But until its necessary for me to actually begin a task, I put it off.

Case in point, today, none of the bills due are actually due today or tomorrow. So I am sitting at my desk writing rather than getting down to business.

When we got married, my husband and I discussed what our roles in our family business were going to be. It took a lot of learning and give and take, but we agreed that I would handle the bulk of the office work and he would handle the bulk of the outdoor chores. It isn't perfect and we both pitch in  to help the other out when its needed, but for us, this is the system that works best.

Working from home requires a specific kind of balance. A balance that has taken me a very long time to figure out. I use to think that since I worked from home, I just did my office work when it…

How do you know?

Inevitably when you are a talker and open like I am, people will ask you questions. When I am pregnant, the questions often center there.

The other night, while out with several friends, I was asked the same question over and over. How did you know you wanted another baby or how do you know when you are done having babies?

Obviously I cannot answer for everyone, but I can tell you what my experience has been.

With each of our pregnancies, I would wonder, "Is this my last pregnancy?" Then I would be cuddling those sweet little newborns, with their soft skin and fresh smell and I would wonder "Is this the last time I will have a newborn of my own?"

People had told me over the years, "Trust me you will know when you are done having babies." But it was such vague answer, it was something they couldn't describe, just a knowing sense.

That was frustrating.

This is my fourth pregnancy, we have three wonderful little girls. In discussing whether or not to try…

A Little Encouragement

This pregnancy has been hard. I do not want sympathy, I am not asking for pity. I put myself in this position literally and figuratively. I am owning that. I am simply saying to all the mothers out there, whether you have one or ten, having kids is hard.

I have reached my limit where we are in survival mode. With my other pregnancies, I could still pull myself together the majority of the time. Now just putting on pants is hard. The whole process of having to find a clean pair, and take off my pajamas, and actually put one leg at a time into them is hard.

The baby ate dried flies off the windowsill the other day. The four year old got stitches. The kindergartener had to bring me crackers because I was too sick to get up. My mom and sister folded my laundry while visiting. My bedroom looks like my closet threw up.

A wonderful person complimented me the other day on how well I handle motherhood, and I nearly burst into tears. Because it is so hard.

Don't listen to that little voice …