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Showing posts from 2017

Intentional

Nothing about this holiday season went as planned.

We started the stomach flu in our family of six a couple days before Christmas and it finally took down the last person a week later. It was exhausting but also forced a major slow down, in a good way.

Traditions got pushed aside to make room for illness, plans were cancelled, all expectations of holiday celebrations went out the window.

There was a time when this would have destroyed me.

Several years ago, my plans for New Years Eve were cancelled due to a snow storm. I pouted and cried, I believe I may have even wailed "Why Me?" and I know for certain that I made the evening miserable for my husband. All because my expectations had been set too high and I couldn't see what was still possible.

I don't know if it's age, experience, maturity, or a glorious combination, but this holiday had all the makings of an epic temper tantrum, yet it never happened.

I wasn't Mother Teresa, let's be real, but I sort o…

Unexpected

One week till Christmas.

Seven days.

How are you doing?

Hanging in there?

Excelling?

Crying?

It's ok. I've done all three in the past week.

This morning I woke up with nothing to do. Of course there are things to do, but the calendar is clear today.

Today I get to bake and clean and listen to Christmas music and rest. We have been running winter colds through the six people in our house and I woke up with a sore throat, but today I can rest, so I will be thankful for that.

I know this next week can be really hard. I know that losses, finances, and hardships are heightened this time of year. It's ok to be sad. It's ok to feel the weight of unmet expectations.

I am walking into this week with hands open.

I will not let the dreams of what could be ruin the truth of what is right in front of me.

I still have gifts to wrap, goodies to bake, I didn't get a Christmas card sent out this year, snow is threatening to ruin my travel plans, kids are sick, and tensions tend to …

Holiday Hush

Holidays are hard. Whether you love them or hate them, they are coming.

I love the holidays, I truly do, but even with my love for them, I find them exhausting.

Winning the lottery is technically a good thing, but it can be destructive if you do not manage the stress of it.

The holidays can be like that. All the food, all the family, all the traveling, all the invitations, all the baking, all the wrapping; all inherently good things, yet it can be stressful.

I am a home body, but I also love people. These two things conflict for me during the holidays. I love being with my family and friends, but I also suffer when my schedule is out of sync. Naps and bedtime routines get up ended and the kids become overwhelmed and exhausted. I love my family, but even my favorite members start to rub raw when their proximity has been all up in my business without a break for several days on end.

I think this year I am maybe even a little more aware of this. With a one year old and a two year old in …

The Village of Motherhood

I listened to a Mom speak mean words to her child the other day. We were in a public setting and I heard her words clearly. Her frustration, her exhaustion, were on display. What she said doesn't really matter, it's the fact that she said it unguarded, without pretense, just ugly and real. Oh so real.

I was raised to keep your ugly to yourself. Pretend everything is fine until it is fine. I am not condoning what that mother said, but I am not judging her either. I have no idea how hard her day had been up till then. I don't know what she was or is struggling with. I don't know her, therefore I will not judge her.

I hope she realized later how harsh her words were. I hope she took the opportunity to show her child how important it is for adults to apologize as well as children. I hope that it was not her finest moment as a mom, but I refuse to judge her.

It's not my place.

My largest short coming as a mom is that I yell. I hate it. I am ashamed of it. It is somethin…

Too much

Hey there tired mama.

I see you.

But more importantly, I am you.

Sometimes you cry because you are so tired you can't sleep.

Sometimes you hurt in ways that you can't explain.

Sometimes you cry because you feel guilty about being so blessed and yet so frustrated.

Sometimes you cry because someone needs you all the time.

Sometimes you cry because your friend struggles with infertility and you have so many kids.

Sometimes you cry because friends have lost babies and you feel guilty about being mad at yours.

Sometimes you want to get in the car and drive away. Away from the mess, the noise, the chaos.

You want to drive to a quiet place and just sit and breathe... and just be quiet.

But you can't say it out loud.

You're not suppose to.

You are suppose to be happy, you are blessed.

You are suppose to smile, because you will miss these years when they are grown.

You are suppose to enjoy them while they are little.

But today, today you just want to quit.

Sometimes you just wa…

Enough

I have felt like I could cry at the slightest provocation for the past few weeks. I'm not even entirely unsure that it's sad tears, just emotional, life is moving and I can't stop it tears.

October stirs up all kinds of feeling for me. I love the holidays, perhaps more than other people. It is engrained in me from my childhood. My mom created magic around the holidays. They were special and full of family and it was always my favorite time of year.

The holiday season started with Halloween. As a girl, I went to country school and rather than go trick or treating at houses like other kids, our country school had a big Halloween party, complete with a haunted house. There was a cake walk, bean bag toss games, costume contests, fishing over a bedsheet, and more. At the end of the party, all the parents and neighbors would gather in a big circle and us kids got to walk through and collect candy from each of them. It was a child's dream, all that candy and very little effor…

Simplify

I have been wanting to simplify some areas of my life for awhile now, but I just haven't taken the time do it.

I already feel like I live a pretty simple life and there are aspects of it that I really love. But there is more that I want to do to improve the way I am living and the way that I am raising my kids.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to be sharing some of the things I am already doing and some other things I want to implement into my lifestyle.

Let's quiet the noise of the world. Let's tame down the chaos. Let's find a starting point and just jump.

It starts at home. Whether you are single or married or have a house full of kids. Peace begins at home. How you treat yourself and how you treat others.

We have to start somewhere on quieting all of the noise and giving ourselves and our loved ones a place of rest. A place to feel safe. A place to call home.

So lets start small.

First up: Let's enjoy a meal with the people we love.

You can make it from scr…

Gratitude

Gratitude is the key to a life of contentment and joy and yet it still eludes me.

I can wake up and whisper gratitude to my heart. I can stir my morning cup to its tune. I can give thanks for my health, my family, my home and then I watch it slip through my fingers as life gets in the way.

Running late for school, flat tires, crabby kids, burnt supper, piles of laundry, dirty dishes, arguments with my husband. Pretty soon, my song of thanks, is a repeat in my head of all the wrongs, all that is unfair.

Even though I know that if I remain thankful, I can change my own attitude, it is sometimes so much easier to slip into resentment.

Gratitude takes practice, discipline.

Resentment is easy.

How easy it is for me to feel unappreciated when I am folding my seventh pile of laundry, how simple it is to resent the dirty floors I just swept five minutes ago, how enticing to grumble about cleaning up the toys for the hundredth time.

But how hard it is for me to be thankful for the clothes that…

Home

When my kids get home from school, I want them to walk into comfort.

I have four kids under the age of eight, so chaos is a fact of life around here. But even with that factor, I want the over all feeling of being home to be a sense of love and comfort even amidst the chaos.

This starts with me. If I am overwhelmed and exhausted when we walk through the door at the end of the day, then I set the tone. Its my job, as their Mom, to keep my stuff together.

I have a tendency to make a lot of mistakes and apologize regularly for them. But what I have been realizing lately, is that accidentally losing my cool and yelling is very different than giving myself permission to lose it, knowing that I can apologize later.

Kids are very forgiving and I can take advantage of that. I take for granted that when I lose my temper, they will accept my apology. I am not proud, just being honest.

It's wrong.

I am working on it.

Being overwhelmed tends to bring out the worst in me, so there are a coupl…

Autumn Inspiration

Source
I've been pinning all things Autumn over on Pinterest, so I thought we should do a fun little fall round up over here to celebrate the season.

I still haven't had my first pumpkin spice coffee yet (gasp)! So instead I am living vicariously through the internet.

Without further adieu, I give you Autumn inspiration.


This home proves you can decorate for fall without going over the top!


I am having the urge to paint my front door. A turquoise door like this just says 'Welcome'.


I would love to build a entire wall of bookshelves, one that holds books and booze just seems inviting. 


Give me all the layers, all the polka dots but probably not going to rock the red shoes to school drop off. 


Sweaters and flannel? Um yes please.


Possibly the best part of Autumn is the food. We love this soup


And doesn't this just look delicious?


I might be making these later today. 


And a warm drink to end the day.
Alright, thats enough for today. Follow me on

The Unofficial Kick Off

SEPTEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!

It's finally here.

The months will begin cooling from here on out.

The season of snakes, flies, mosquitos, grasshoppers, ticks, sunburns etc. etc. etc. is coming to an end.

The season for cool nights, dinner indoors, early bedtimes, school days, blankets, fires, warm drinks, and cuddling is about to begin.

Don't worry summer lovers, its still suppose to be in the 90's here next week, but its officially September so I can dream.

I've got big camping/hanging out on the river plans for this weekend and I am packing on and off as I type. But I wanted to pop in and say hello and make sure you didn't think I would let the first day of September go unnoticed.

Enjoy your weekend friends!

With love,
Me



Source












Today

You can be strong and cry. 
You can feel blessed and feel sad. 
You can love your children and wish they were back in school. 
You can love staying at home and wish you worked outside the house. 
You can love your job and wish you could stay at home. 
You can be surrounded by people and feel lonely. 
You can crave quiet and be grateful for the noise. 
You can be a good Mom and miss the old you.
You can work hard and feel unproductive. 
You can love your life and want a break.
You can be content and set goals.
You can be brave and be scared.
You can be happy and hurt. 
You can be busy and rest.
You can be faithful and have doubts.
You can be satisfied and dream.
You do not have to choose. 
Be both. 
Be you. 
...

Source
#choosingand


August

August is my gateway drug.

This August in particular has cruised in with high temps in the 70's, WHAT???, and has me feeling all fallish.

August smells like garden tomatoes and the promise of a new season.

My garden is bursting with pumpkin vines and I am hoping there are lots of gems hidden beneath the overgrown vines and leaves.

My tomato plants are drooping with fruit and we can't keep up with getting them all out before they burst. We ate our first garden fresh BLT the other day and the kids oohed and ahhed.

I have shredded and frozen over half the zucchini and I still have a long way to go.

August is where it is at. It's the month I wait all summer for. All the tending to the garden is finally coming to fruition (see what I did there) and toiling in the heat and fighting the bugs is all now worth it.

I know we'll have plenty more hot days before us and school doesn't even start for my kids for another month, but there is joy just in knowing its on its way.

My …

You Are Beautiful

I know some really beautiful women. The kind of women that turn heads when they walk into a room. They have a glow about them, a quality about them that radiates and draws people to them. And you want to know the most ridiculous thing about these women? They all put themselves down.

A new mother that hasn't lost the baby weight. A grandmother dissapointed in the under-flab on her arms. A perfectly fit woman who doesn't feel thin enough. Her butt is too big. Her thighs are too thick. She doesn't wear shorts because her legs are too white. The list is endless.

Why do we take our functioning bodies and put them down? Isn't it enough that our bodies carry us through the day. It gets us out of bed in the mornings, it cuddles, it carries laundry baskets, it gets us to work, it cooks supper, it lays down exhausted far too late in the night. Our bodies carry us through joy and grief, it takes us down wedding isles and across graduation stages.

Our bodies bare scars that tell o…

July Favorites

It's the end of July and I am in full on survival mode, which in it's purest form is simply denial.

So pumpkin mac and cheese is on the docket for today. I recently purchased this cookbook on a whim and it already has more earmarks than any other cookbook I own. Lots of recipes to be tried out!

I just finished this Bible study. It was my first time enjoying a Bible study and I highly recommend it. I am now jumping into this one and this one, which is probably too many at once, but the timing for both of them just happened at the same time. We Saved you a Seat is hosting an online Bible study and you can find the link for it here.

I recently took a trip with the kiddos, and we toured the western half of South Dakota. It's been waayy to long since we did that and I forgot how fun it can be. Get out and tour your own state. There is stuff out there you have never seen, I promise you. Its fun. Do it.

My list of books I want to read is always growing, in fact I already have my …

To Kill a Snake

I wrote this late last spring and never got around to sharing it. It makes me laugh looking back, hopefully it will make you smile as well. Note to the reader, several snakes were harmed in the making of this story.

This morning I needed to mow the lawn, and by lawn, I mean the giant yard space around our farmhouse. Where the 'lawn" ends and the pasture begins is really all relative, it's just determined by where I decide to stop mowing. This was my second mowing of the season, and it started off with a bad omen. And lets face it, if you've ever seen 'The Sandlot', we know to take the omen seriously.

The lawn mower had two flat tires. I called the hubs and he insisted to just drive it with the one tire, irreparably flat and to air up the other. So I did. I kerplunked along, just driving on the rim of one wheel while I slowly drove from the machine shed up to the house.

I aired up the one tire and set to work. I decided to mow the backyard first, so that the gi…

Ugly

Earlier this year I spoke at a conference. I talked about gratitude, grace and joy. I was fully immersed in it and felt it down to my toes.

Then life got turned upside down and busy and somehow I forgot everything.

The last month or so has been a mess. I hate the rush of summer and the vortex that results and sucks up every minute and shreds my plans. I have let it consume me. I have been wallowing in self pity.

It all bubbled up and exploded last week when I threw a tantrum and in an attempt to keep from yelling I kicked the wall. My house that I love, that I built with my hands, that I poured myself into; I kicked it and put a hole in the wall and injured my foot.

It was stupid. The tantrum was stupid. I feel stupid.

But even more than that, I am angry at myself. I am angry that I allowed myself to get to the point that I would act that way.

I wasn't being grateful, I wasn't practicing grace and I certainly was no where near feeling joy.

I wanted my children and my husband t…

Super Simple Summer Meals

Today the weather is cool and there is a breeze, so my windows are open and I am breathing it all in. I started my morning off right and today feels good. Good enough to sit down and catch you up on what I've been cooking on these busy summer days.

I would be lying if I told you its all home cooked goodness everyday, last week there was hot pockets, a frozen pizza (or three), and a lot of sandwiches.

But for the most part, I've been sticking to my go-to's. The ones I can throw together in a hurry. So search no more. Here are your simple summer meals.

Anytime Bagels 

Slice a bagel and put it in the toaster. Fry an egg in olive oil. Lay a couple slices of deli meat in the same pan. When you flip the egg, flip the meat and top with shredded cheese or sliced cheese. When bagel is done and the egg is cooked to your liking, assemble it like a sandwich. 

Now.... there is room to work with whatever you have. No bagel, use regular bread; no deli meat, use bacon; if you like your eggs …

The Difference

We live in a hurting world.

There is so much hate, and violence in the world. It seems to be escalating and intensifying. It can be easy to feel like it is out of control and beyond help.

We shake our heads. We grumble about what the world is coming to. We let fear creep in. 
We give up, because it all seems too far gone.
And yet, I keep coming back to same thing in my head, over and over; we have the power to stop the violence, the hate, the abuse. Every single one of us, has the power.

We have turned a blind eye. We ignored all the warning signs, we were busy with our own problems, and didn't take the time to see what was right in front of us.

Every offender was once a child, more than likely a hurting child. 
What if you were the one to make all the difference?

What if you smiled at that child, and told him it was ok he was late for school and offered him a granola bar before he joined his class.

What if you saw her waiting for her bus every morning without a hat or gloves in th…

When Marriage isn't Easy

The words that I want to say about marriage have been tumbling around inside my head for a very long time, but I have never hit publish because of fear.

Fear that you might think I am being judgemental. Fear that my words would hurt someone. Fear that you would see my vulnerability. Fear that I would be misunderstood.

Before you read on, know this: In no way do I think that someone in an abusive relationship should have to stay. There are MANY reasons people choose to leave a relationship, and I respect those who are strong enough to do so. Not every marriage will last and I do not judge anyones choices! This is intended for those who are dealing with the 'everyday' hardships of marriage and need a little encouragement that they are not alone.

With that said, I have struggled to put into words the right mix of joy, pain, heartache and faith that it has taken to get my husband and I to every anniversary.
But what I have learned in my years of writing, is that every time I get …

Perceptions

I have been thinking about perceptions a lot lately. The perceptions we have of other people; of their lives, of their relationships and how distorted those perceptions often are.

We have a tendency to judge people on appearances, or on past behaviors, and often forget to look at the person who is standing right in front of us.

We can witness a personality trait and it can be good and kind, but then hear about a past incident and it alters what we believe to be true about that person.

Perception is a fickle thing.

I remember a time I heard members of my church gossiping behind another persons back.

I sat in a restaurant in our small town, a few tables over from a group of church "elders" and heard them tearing down another church member for the way she had handled herself in an emotionally tense situation.

I do not remember all the details of what they said, but what I do remember was a sinking feeling in my stomach. I remember thinking these people were leaders, and I woul…