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 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.


The few times I've had to shovel snow this winter, I've found myself thinking about Grandma and Grandpa Lund and their perfectly shoveled walk. As a little girl, I remember walking up to the house, the snow (up to my little girl waist) shoveled in a perfect curve away from the walk. I can picture Grandpa, his strong back, his strong hands, shoveling...shoveling...shoveling. I always wondered why they kept a broom on the porch during the winter but now I get it. I think I inherited my snow removal OCD from my Grandparents. :)