Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Look at those kids. Aren't they just a bundle of cuteness? Yes, they are and I love them to death. But......

Today, mama lost it. 

Jaina has pushed every button and tested every limit lately. It's a constant stream of, "But I don't like that! Who do I play with? What should I do? I want to do something FUN!!!!" She's been crabby, whiny, negative and obstinate and all the while she wants to do something FUN! 

Believe me....I like fun just as much as the next guy but....

All of a sudden, I had a revelation and my kids heard the speech of a lifetime. 

"It is not my responsibility to give you fun. It IS my responsibility to love, nurture, feed, clothe, teach, shelter, comfort, heal and listen to you, but it is NOT my responsibility to give you fun. You have plenty of toys. Go use your imagination. I am not here on this earth to make sure that you have fun!"

Does this shock you? Maybe.
Does this make me a bad mom? Maybe.
Did this speech given at 6 decibels too loud change behaviors and attitudes almost immediately? Yes.

There's a saying that moms get paid in hugs and kisses. It's true. 
But being a mom is also a thankless job. 

I'm sure my mom is reading this and just laughing out loud because of these lessons that I'm learning ever so slowly. 

So, this is just a little drop in the bucket THANK YOU! to my Mom (and Dad) for loving, nurturing, feeding, clothing, teaching, sheltering, comforting, healing and listening to me. Thank you for putting up with all of my nonsense and for even making sure I had a little bit of fun. :)
I hope you have the consolation of knowing that I appreciate everything you've done for me even more now that I have my own rugrats to take care of. :)

Is it bedtime yet? 

Friday, October 28, 2016


This is just kind of a hodge-podge of life right now...a roller coaster of emotions....ups and downs...the stresses of life and raising kids.

I ordered a pack of yoga cards on Amazon and the kids have had a lot of fun going through them! 
Ah, Weight Watchers. I hardly know what to say about this journey but I do know that looking at these pictures side by side is motivated, encouraging and uplifting. It's so easy to get dragged down by everyday failures when it comes to diet and exercise but I've proved that I can do it....now I just need to keep going!
Anyone tired of making supper? Me!! I'm excited about this new cookbook....maybe it will inspire me. I hope. 
I never imagined the things we would encounter as parents. Sometimes it seems like the emotional burden is heavy...when kids are sick, when things go wrong, even when things are good and right....there is always something in the back of our minds. We are trying a new trick to keep little hands busy instead of biting fingernails and other nervous habits. We are hoping that early intervention will lead to a healthier, happier, less anxious life. More than ever I'm so thankful for family and friends who support us in our efforts. 
"You have to be able to love yourself before you can love anyone else...yet marriage will not tolerate selfishness." 
I'll be the first to admit that marriage takes work. Even the best matched people probably run into glitches once in awhile. 
I love this book. It explains things like communication so clearly that it's hard not to apply its advice. I highly recommend it. Oh, and P.S. Don't worry. We're fine :) 
My friend Jen sent my this awesome shirt. Seriously, it fits me to a T!! How do I explain my relationship with Target? I would say it's thriving. How many packs of diapers, gallons of milk and bottles of dish soap have I purchased? How many times have I hauled all of the kids from the back of the store to the front, just so one of them could go potty? How many times have I walked through the aisles, pushing the cart with a screaming toddler while nursing the baby? How many times have I left the store feeling like it was the best workout I had all week because of the kid juggling and running around? And what is it about Target that makes you so hot!? How many times have I had free time and found myself just wandering the aisles and enjoying the peace and quiet? How many times have I gone to Target just for the simple reason of wanting to go simply because I. Love. Target? More than I can count.
I never thought I would be a Lego mom. I swore I would never buy Legos. Seriously, I love Duplo Legos!! They are awesome! Lesson learned. Never say never. 
I'm a big fan of baby teeth. Ava's front tooth is so loose so I snapped a picture just so I could have one of her baby teeth. :)
If anyone is wondering, we still paint in our undies at our house. :)

Ever heard of Bill Staines? He's my new favorite musician. 

And now it's the weekend! 

Saturday, October 15, 2016


I thought it might be time for a little Oscar update since every time he says something cute I'm like, "Man, I need to remember that! Maybe I should write it down!" :)

He loves his "ABC's" but to him it's "ERD" When he sees letters and wants to tell me what they are he says, "Wow, Mom! E R D!!"

"Peeew!! Deena (Jaina) stinks"

He counts to 11 on a good day but some of his numbers get mixed up.

"I love meetings, Mama."

"Tell me a story, Oscar."
"Ummm...Ruuf (Ruth) and Jesus."

"Can I help you, Mama?"

"You makin me sad, Mama."

He really, really, really wants to go to school.

"I cared (scared) mama."
He gets scared at night of anything that makes a shadow.

"Do it mineself!"

He loves to sing song with his sisters but he's always a few words behind. :)

"Oscar can you pick up your toy's please?"

Friday, October 14, 2016


Congratulations Eric and Amber!!! Wishing you many, many years of love and laughter!!!! 


Ten years. It's seems like yesterday that we stood by the lake and said our vows. Life together has brought so many new experiences. How do you sum up 10 years in a few words? All I can say is that it just gets better. 
I'm so thankful that we were able to take a few days to celebrate our anniversary. Mom and Dad took the kids for the weekend (thanks a million times a million!) and we headed up the north shore. We managed to score one of the last rooms at Lutsen Resort and had the best. weekend. ever. 
We hiked Eagle Mountain (the highest point in MN), rode the gondola and the alpine slide at Lutsen Ski Resort, played mini golf and explored Grand Marais, sat on the beach, drank lots of coffee, toured Split Rock Lighthouse and enjoyed a few precious days of no diapers and car seats. We loved every second of our weekend away. 
How about a little time travel to when we were just babies? :)


I was surprised when Ava came home on her first day of 1st grade and told me that she had had a bad day. She came home on her second day and told me she had another bad day. She didn't like her teacher, she didn't like school and she didn't want to go. It broke my heart because this wasn't the Ava I know. The Ava I know loves school and loves to learn. Over the course of the week, I found out there are 31 kids in her class. That's a lot of kids. I also found out that she had been getting in "trouble." Trouble?! I had a minute to talk to her teacher one afternoon and I was assured that all of the kids were in the same boat....learning the rules and discipline of the classroom. 
It's been about a month now since school started and she's been having good days. Her teacher isn't quite two thumbs up but it's not because her teacher is horrible. She's actually quite good! I think it's just been an adjustment to stricter discipline which is good for Ava. I think overall, she's going to have a really good year. 
Little miss Jaina loves preschool. She has the best teacher and I love that she has this opportunity to go every morning. My hope is that this will be her last year of preschool. Kindergarten, here she comes!!! 

Monday, September 12, 2016


Oscar fell off the couch. Just hugging a pillow, he rolled and flipped. He landed on his head and shoulder. When he didn't stop crying, I knew something was wrong. I called the chiro right away and they were able to see him as soon as I could get there. Before his adjustment, he couldn't turn his head. After his adjustment, he was feeling much better. I thought we were in the clear. 
As the day went on and I could tell he was favoring his right arm (as in not using it at all) I knew in my gut that something more serious was going on. 
I brought him to the Dr. the next day and he had x-rays taken. Sure enough. He had a non displaced fracture on his right clavicle. 
A few days later, he got a brace for his shoulders (I'm still not sure what good it did or what it's purpose was). 
After two weeks he was back to normal. Now you can hardly tell it was fractured except for the bump on the bone and a little bit of wincing when you change his shirt. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Ack! Summer is over! It was a whirlwind three months....
Now that kids are back in school it seems like a good time to get caught up. I'm continuously torn between keeping up this space and deleting it altogether. I think that if I could find a good way to easily convert everything I've written into book form, I would do it and shut down the blog. My favorite form of documentation is photography but Google Photos has me all in a tizzy and full of frustration so I haven't been able to keep that up either. Another thing....I want to make photo books. Go back to old school and sit on the couch and look at a photo album. Sounds dreamy huh?

Oscar talks. Like really talks. I never thought the day would come.
It's funny though that his favorite way to communicate is to roar. It seems to be the language of boys because I've been witness to whole conversations between boys that consisted only of roaring. He love his legos and riding bike. The real struggle with him this summer has been sleeping. He slept with us for two weeks in Oregon. Shortly after returning home, we had a serious storm come through and scared him to his bones which led to him sleeping in our room again. Several other things throughout the summer and just being scared and a momma's boy in general has kept him from sleeping in his room all night long. It's frustrating but I just keep telling myself it's a faze and soon he'll no longer need me like he does now. I've been trying to record his voice now and again so that I can look back and remember his sweet little voice.

Jaina is feisty. She was going to make a sandwich and all that was left was the end of the loaf. "Mom! All that's left is the fat!!"
She put her hoodie on and said, "Mom, can you zip this and put the roof on?"
She went over to where Donald was changing Oscars dirty diaper and was feeling seriously left out when she asked him, "Dad, did he get to have chocolate?!"
Ava asked if there were sharks in a lake we were at. Jaina said, "No because it's not salt water, silly!!"
She's grown almost 2 inches since June which would explain her hearty appetite!!
Oh, and don't let her see you kill a fly. Flies are her friends.

Ava is growing up. She loves to ride her bike and take pictures with her camera. She's also turned into a little bookworm and reads chapter books late into the night.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


1. What's your favorite color? "Pink."
2. What's your favorite toy? "Ummm my thinking putty."
3. What do you like for breakfast? "I like oatmeal."
4. What do you like to do outside? "Play with friends."
5. What is your favorite animal? "Kitty."
6. What do you like to wear? "My jean jacket."
7. Who is your best friend? "Umm I think I have two or three.    Molly, Katie and Elsie
8. What do you like for a snack? "Yogurt covered raisins."
9. What is your favorite song? "Rollin in the Deep."
10. What do you sleep with? "Ummmm Furball my kitty."
11. What is your favorite book? "hmm Judy Moody and Junie B. Jones."
12. What is your favorite ice cream? "Mint Chocolate Chip."
13. What is your favorite vegetable? "Carrot."
14. What is your favorite fruit? "Grapes."
15. Where is your favorite place? "Mall of America."
16. What is your favorite thing to do? "Going to Oregon and going to John and Victoria's."
17. What do you want to be when you grow up? "Can I have two jobs? Well, one is not really a job...a scientist aaannnnddd a teacher."
18. What is your favorite thing to eat? "Spaghetti and pancakes. Not together."

21. What makes you happy? "When I can stay up all night."
22. What makes you sad? "When I have to go to bed early."
23. Why do you love Mommy and Daddy? "Because you give me treats and I love you."

24. What is different now that you're 7? "I've got bigger and I like more stuff."

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Dear Jaina,
It's hard to believe that you're only 4. I feel like you should be turning 5. I don't know why this is....maybe it's because you're tall. Or maybe it's because you can keep up with your big sis who's almost 7! Either way, I'm excited to watch you grow this year!
We had a fun birthday party up at Grandma Z's cabin on Memorial Day! We celebrated with Grandma and Grandpa Lund, John and Victoria, Dane and Andrea, Bronson and Grandma Z! Grandma made you a beautiful rainbow cake just like you wanted! 
You started preschool this year and you love your teacher, Mrs. Yngsdal! Most days you love to go but lately you've been wanting to stay home with me. Your favorite day is gym day! 
You are full of sass and sparkle. You're tough. You're brave.You've got attitude. You're goofy and sensitive. You like to do things you're not supposed to do. :)
I think your least favorite thing is helping around the house. When we ask you to help, you're all of a sudden "too hot" or "too tired" or "your arms hurt."
You do everything in your power to keep up and be like Ava but at the same time you are one of a kind, original, Jaina. 
We love you so, so much! 
Happy Birthday sweetie pie!

  • lbs (coming soon)
  • inches (coming soon)
  • size 6-6x
  • size 10-11 shoe


1. What's your favorite color? "Pink and Purple."
2. What's your favorite toy? "My Barbie dolls and my mermaid."
3. What do you like for breakfast? "Ummm...noodles and cereal."
4. What do you like to do outside? "Play on Grandma's deck and have a race with Grandpa."
5. What is your favorite animal? "Kittens and dogs."
6. What do you like to wear? "My new skirts."
7. Who is your best friend? "Maven, Maren, Ashley and Ruth."
8. What do you like for a snack? "Sandwiches at the park and at the beach."
9. What is your favorite song? "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."
10. What do you sleep with? "Yogi!"
11. What is your favorite book? "The one from my birthday."
12. What is your favorite ice cream? "Sprinkled donut cake chocolate."
13. What is your favorite vegetable? "Carrots in soup."
14. What is your favorite fruit? "Grapes."
15. Where is your favorite place? "The zoo."
16. What is your favorite thing to do? "Umm go to a teddy store."
17. What do you want to be when you grow up? "A vet for toy pets."
18. What is your favorite thing to eat? "Broccoli with salt and butter."
19. Why do you love Mommy and Daddy? "Cuz....you play with me at the park. Sometimes."
20. What do you want for your birthday? "More toys!"

21. What makes you happy? "When Mommy and Daddy kiss me goodnight."
22. What makes you sad? "When you don't come back and when Tap is dead."


Ava and I went out for breakfast last Saturday....I think she's been feeling kind of bad about having to go to school and being left out of fun things that we do during the day. Jaina is really good about filling Ava in on all the details when she gets off the bus. 
We went to the local coffee shop and had a nice quiet time together. I asked her if Kindergarten was what she had expected it to be or if it was easier or more difficult. She said, "Well, I thought we were going to read hard stories and do hard math problems." 
I asked, "So Kindergarten was easier than you expected?"
She said, "Yeah, I'm like, give me a hard one! What is this, preschool?!"

Ava learned how to ride a bike without training wheels!!! Molly has been working with her and all of a sudden she just took off!! Our first ride as a family was 3 miles in the rain and she did awesome. (The last mile was a bit hard.) "My heart is pounding so hard it feels like it's beating against a rock!!"
Jaina was in the bathtub last week and she started crying....She said, "Mom, I don't want to have a baby!"
"Your not going to have a baby, Jaina."
"But my cousins told me to kiss Hunter and I did and I don't want to have a baby!!!"
Hmmm....how do you explain that one?
Jaina told me yesterday that she didn't want to die.
"Why don't you want to die, Jaina?"
"Because I want to be with you forever!"

Oscar vocabulary is growing with leaps and bounds. I just love to listen to him talk! It's mostly 2 word phrases. Today it has been, "Grandpa. Here. Grandpa. Tractor. Me. Tractor." 
He'll usually repeat something that you ask him to say. 
His favorite song is "Old MacDonald" and his favorite color is green. Everything is green. :)

Friday, April 22, 2016


Dear Oscar,
You're two. It's hard to believe my baby is two. We had a fun party with Grandma and Grandpa Lund, Great Grandma Z, John and Victoria, Eric and Amber and Bronson. Grandma made the cutest airplane cake and you got lots of fun toys. Your favorites are your legos, train set, bike and dump truck. 
You'v been talking a lot more lately. When you see letters you say, "E, E, E, E." If we catch you in the right mood you'll repeat letters when we say them. You like to count. "Doo, Eee, Doo, Eee." When you say words it's usually the end of the word like "oat" for coat. My favorite is when you yell, "Ate! Meeeee!" (Wait for me). 
Your response to most things is to growl or roar. :) It drives your sisters crazy. 
The funniest thing is when I put you to bed. You lay down on your pillow and then pop right back up on all fours and bark like a dog. Every time. 
You have a tender little heart and if you get in trouble you just melt. Tears come easily and you always asked to have your tears wiped away. You point and say, "eye."
I think the thing I love the most is that you're a mama's boy. You cry when I leave and you laugh and say, "Mama!!" when I come back. 
If you could choose to be anywhere it would be outside. 
You love anything that has an engine. 
We love watching you grow. Mommy and Daddy love you very, very much. 
Happy Birthday, Oscar

  • 32 pounds
  • 35 inches
  • 3T clothes
  • size 8 shoes
  • size 6 diaper

Monday, March 21, 2016


We have another round of crud at our house....will it ever end? The school nurse called and Ava was running a fever. I picked her up and now all of my kids are in bed (hopefully napping). Oscar started coming down with whatever this is last Sunday....running high fevers, coughing, congested....now Ava and Jaina both have it. In the meantime, I picked something up too.....
I'm hoping we don't miss too many swimming lessons.....
Donald has been working working working....
I've been failing at my running for the past week. Between snow storms and sickness and Donald working late, I can't seem to get it done. 

On a more happy note! I asked Oscar how old he is going to be on his birthday and he said, "two"!!!!!! I was so shocked!! 

Grandma and Grandpa W will be here in 10 days!!! 

Happy Monday! I'm off to take advantage of this silence! #naptime.

....or maybe I should work on that shelf project I started....or fold laundry....I wish the coffee shop had delivery service. 


A couple of weeks ago, I came to the end of myself and signed Jaina up for preschool. Best decision ever.  She's been bored at home and acting out in her typical Jaina way. I researched a couple of places and by that afternoon had taken a tour and signed her up at a school just down the road. She started bright and early the next day! She goes in the morning, 4 days a week. It fits perfectly into our schedule and she loves it. Oscar and I have our mornings together and I can get a run in and only have to push the single stroller. :) 
The neat thing is that she gets Spanish, music, gym, library, show and tell and reading buddy time!! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


I finally found a running program that I love. I'm not a runner and I'm nowhere near being an athlete. 6 weeks in and I've only missed one day. That was yesterday. I'm using the "Couch to 5K" app by fitness22ltd. It's awesome. It starts you off slow and easy doing short run/walk intervals. It's actually "doable" for someone like me:) Today's workout was two 10 minute run intervals with a 5 minute walk in between. There is always a 5 minute warm-up and cool-down. There was a glitch in today's workout and I hit a bit of wall so I decided I needed something to motivate! 
I signed up for my first 5K since 2008. Yay.

"Do or do not. There is no try.  ~Yoda

I might finish last but I'm gonna finish. :)


Just checking in to record some kid stuff :)

Oscar is saying a few more words here and there....some are recognizable and some are, well...not so much.
Whenever he cries he comes over to me and points to his eye and says, "eye", which means he wants me to wipe his tears away.
Cars say "Beep Beep!"
He says, "on, lap (ap), done (un), Tap (Bap), see (eee), No, hi, bye"
He growls...a lot. And chases his sisters.
He loves to be outside. His favorite things to do are shovel and eat snow.
We're having trouble with his sleep again. He just won't go to bed. One night we put him back to bed at least 8 times. Not sure what the deal is. Sometimes he does it in the middle of the night too. 
Cars trucks and airplanes are his obsession.

The other day, Jaina said, "Mom, did you know that sometimes alien's knees honk?"

More Jaina....

"I have magic in my brain."

"Did you know that when I was a little baby I squished some ants and there was blood all over and then I ate the ants and they cut me open to get the ants out and but then they glued me back together?"

This is how much Ava loves school. I asked her the other day if she would like to stay home for a day while her Grandma and Grandpa are here from Oregon or if she would rather go to school. She chose to go to school. Imagine that. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


I just have to record this. Oscar (the man of few words) now says two words together. At first I thought it was a fluke but he's done it over and over. He says "OK Mom" but it sounds like "AY Mum" I love it. :) 

Sunday, January 31, 2016


"Oh thanks Bud!"
"I'm not Bud, I'm Sissy!" 
"Um what?"
"I'm not Bud, I'm Sissy!! You're funny Mommy!"

"Mom, the polymers in the kombucha make the bubbles."

"Mom, does wax make you die?"
"Why? What did you do with wax?"

"Well, I ate some wax from a crayon but then I drank water and swished it around so it was not in my mouth. Does that help me not die from the wax, Mommy?"


I've had lots on my mind lately....

Last Sunday marked the one year anniversary of our move to Minnesota. So much has happened in the past year...
We lived with Mom and Dad for five months! I'm so thankful that everything worked out the way it did and that they were gracious enough to let us storm their peaceful existence and overtake them with kids and toys and laundry. :)
We bought a house in June and moved to Duluth. While it is a lovely old house, it has not disappointed with the number of projects to be tackled. 
Donald turned 30. :)
There was not just one, but two weddings last year! Both Andrea and John were married. 
I learned that there is such a fine line when it comes to health. I no longer get hives...my lips stay their normal size and I haven't had that tight feeling of anxiety for a whole year. I'm thankful for every experience we've had in life. We can always learn something from every path that life takes us down. 
Ava started Kindergarten. She loves it.

Which brings me to the next topic. Ava had her school conference last week and she made me proud. Highlights were that she works well with everyone and is empathetic towards her classmates. The standard for knowledge of high frequency words (like "me, the, at, the, but" etc) is 16. By the end of the year they should know 60. Ava knows 83. 

The weather turned yesterday and it was 41 degrees and sunny. Sunshine does something for me that nothing else can. It improves life by 100%. It's warm and sunny again today. I know it won't last long but I love the promise of spring right around the corner. 

This might sound funny, but Orion stands in my window every night. The skylight above the bed frames him perfectly and there is something comforting about him standing there....He never fails to turn my thoughts to the One who put the stars there.

I went through my box of cards and letters yesterday. Some brought tears to my eyes and others brought smiles. It's funny how time changes even the smallest things. When I moved away, my birthday cards from Mom and Dad were signed by 6 people....As the years went by that number got smaller as kids grew up. It's funny how things like that can hit you and make you feel the speed at which time flies. 

When I had a miscarriage before Jaina, I thought I would never heal. The pain and grief I felt was something I had never felt before. Besides that, having a miscarriage isn't a hot topic of conversation so it was a lonely time. Life went on for everyone else, but not for me. Grief is a strange thing. I thought I would be sad forever. 
I came across my discharge papers yesterday and I was surprised to find that I barely remembered that I had even gone through all of that. It's proof that time heals. I'm thankful for that. I couldn't even tell you when it happened and I thought that the day would be etched in my memory forever. I was wrong....and I'm thankful for that too. 

I've been thinking about all of the people we've come to know over the years, Special people. People that have made such a lasting impact on our lives. I like to think about how life takes us in different directions and we cross paths with people who become the most special to us. Sometime we wonder why we are where we are but when I look back, I think about the people who have rooted themselves into our hearts and I'm thankful to have been where we have been. 
The one regret I have is not telling those people how much they mean to us. 

Well, the sun is shining and the soup is on the stove.

Until next time....

Friday, January 22, 2016


"Mom, I have a headegg."
"You have a what?"
"I have a headegg."
"Uhhhh, what?"
"I have a HEAD-EGG!!"
"Um, Ava, I don't think it's called a headegg. It's a headache."

Jaina and I were making brownies and Ava asked to lick the spoon.
Ava: "Mom, can I lick the spoon?"
Jaina: "No Ava, you can't lick the spoon. You'll get it (chocolate) on your glasses!"
Ava: "No I won't Jaina!"
Jaina: "Yes you will because your nose is really close to your mouth!"

Jaina: "Mom, get me some water. Lots."
Ava: "She's not your servant, Jaina."

A few recent comments from Jaina...
"This is intense!"
"Oh, I'm so exhausted!"
"Don't go all cray cray!"

Oscar said "up" ....clear as day, he said "up"
His words are in there somewhere.....

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Sometimes I need to record the bad days. Because, let's be real. We all have bad days. Don't worry...I'm convinced it will still be a good year. :) 

Right now we are going through some "difficult for us" phases with our kids. Phases that involve lots of crying at bed time. 
Ava is having some issues that keep her up way too late at night. These are things that aren't just straight forward, "here's some Motrin and go to bed" kinds of things. This is hard for me. It makes me weary.  I can't help but ask myself what I've done wrong in guiding the first six years of her little life.

Jaina has a mind of her own. She's still three and tests all kinds of boundaries. She's mischievous and likes to break toys. Just today, I heard the front door slam. When I went to see what was going on, I found that Jaina had put on her boots and hoodie and tromped over to the neighbor's house for milk and cookies, bare legs and all. It was -4 degrees today and it felt like -25. She also doesn't like to eat food that I cook. Tonight we had chicken. We had the same thing a couple of nights ago and she loved it. Tonight she said, "this chicken tastes like rainbows! EWW!" and refused to eat it. But then, of course, she wanted applesauce for dessert. She too has a bedtime routine that gets a bit tiresome. 

Oscar's phase is to be expected. He can't talk. He says "mama" and points. He clings to me all day and melts when I tell him no. (which is often) He's really good at carrying random things around the house and it has me constantly picking up after him. He eats constantly but he eats nothing at all.

I know that none of this sounds horrible and most these things are a natural part of little people growing up but all of the little things add up. (It's also probably nothing compared to what we will be dealing with in another 10 years) Ack!
I'm learning that kids are constantly changing. If it's not one thing, it's another. Every week is a new battle, a new phase. 

So, I've drawn one conclusion. Less is more. 

Remember my favorite three year old who likes to break things? 
Well, I'm tired of finding princesses with only one arm,
I'm tired of picking up toys day in and day out. 
We encourage the kids to clean up too but the reality of it is that it's usually me that cleans up.
I'm also learning that we live in a world where "more is more." 
Kids are not happy with more. In fact, it's the opposite. 
A few days ago, we packed up the mini kitchen that I made for Ava's 2nd birthday and put it in the basement. I killed me to do it but they haven't missed it and I don't find random pieces of food laying around or frying pans under my bed.
I'm very tempted to pack up all of the princesses and figurines until they are ready for the responsibility. 

My struggle is in thinking "Well what will they have to play with if I pack everything up? How will they learn? How will they have imaginative play?" Honestly, they have more fun with pillows and blankets. They play outside. They color. They read books. 

This isn't a forever thing but right now, it's what I need to keep my sanity. I need peace. More toys don't bring peace....or thankfulness. I want my kids to be thankful for what they have. 

So, when I'm tempted to buy the kids more "stuff" (like the Dusty airplane that I bought for Oscar last night and he absolutely loves. Haha), I need to remind myself of this:

Laura Ingalls Wilder had one homemade doll to play with and she was thankful for it. 

I'm also trying to apply this to my own life because - less is more.

Monday, January 11, 2016


Last week, I was washing sheets and changing beds and Oscar was watching me make the bed in his room. I asked him if he would like to sleep in a big boy bed and he got all excited and couldn't wait to crawl in! We tucked him in at bed time and he snuggled right in with a grin on his face. Five minutes later, he was crying hysterically. I raced into his room and found him trying to move under all of his blankets. I pulled them off and covered him with just his little blanket. He went right to sleep and we haven't looked back. We took the crib down the very next day and put an ad on Craigslist. :) (On a cool side note, this is the same bed that both Grandpa Waldo and Daddy slept in when they each were little!)
The funny thing is that ever since he moved into the bed, his vocabulary doubled. So now instead of only saying one word, he says two. Haha :) But really, I'm amazed at the words I hear now. He's said car, doggy, daddy, Tap, go, me.....He also has picked up on things that animals say. He know the sounds for doggy, kitty, cow, bear, lion, pig, horse, sheep, airplane and train. 

Ava was coloring the other day and was singing a little song.... "stalagmite stalactite stalagmite stalactite....."
I asked her if she new the difference between the two and she walked over and said, "Ok Mom, this is how you tell the difference. A stalactite grows from the ceiling and has to hang on tight! A stalagmite grows from the ground."

Jaina was eating cereal for breakfast. When she was done, she asked, "Mom, can I have more, por favor?"

After surviving the first week and a half of the new year (and one week of that with the stomach flu), I'm feeling desperate to get life in order. This includes budgeting, meal planning, organizing, cleaning out, selling stuff that's been laying around for too long, planning, saving, scheduling, finishing house projects....not to mention spending more time on the most important thing in this life.
I've been thinking about two words for the new year. "Present" and "Intentional."  To simply be present. In every moment. Moments are fleeting and I want to make the most of them. And to be intentional about how I choose to spend time and money. 

Here's to a good year. :)

Monday, January 4, 2016


The falling snow
muffles sound
and all the earth
is quiet.
The water
in the river
so cold
runs slow
like black ink.