Thursday, December 18, 2014

Life Hack

How do you clean your shower?

Up until recently, for me, it meant kneeling, scrubbing, reaching, rinsing...etc. Less fun than a barrel of monkeys anyway. And then it hit me - or maybe I saw it on pintrest a while back, I cannot recall - the mop. The lowly sponge-mop. Aha! The perfect tool for tub and shower cleaning.

And now I feel like a super hero every time I clean the bathtub because it's so much easier....and maybe I'm the last person in the world to have realized this trick, but I like it.

I've been vegetating tonight. Emery's upstairs reading and singing to the girls, and I'm reading mom blogs because it's been that kind of day and I'm all for being alone for a minute.
But Christmas is only a week away, and I wish I were planning out the things I need to cook/bake in the next several days and be able to avoid Kroger on Christmas Eve, but that one's not working out so well yet. Hopefully, I'll get my brain into gear soon. Hopefully, I won't be making 7 trips to the grocery store. Hopefully, I'll have a plan.
Let's just say I didn't succeed on that front with Thanksgiving and I was right there in the thick of it at the store the day before. It really wasn't so bad, in retrospect, but it hurts my pride a little to be so disorganized.

It's awfully sweet to start buying boy things. Oh, I haven't bought much, but I'm watching the clearance sections and I have gotten a couple of cute onsies and a pack of receiving blankets. I like this.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Laptop, portable computer

For the last few years, we've needed to replace the battery in our laptop. Thus, it required it's plug to function for more than 5 seconds. But we've entered a new world...bought a new battery and adapter, and I have golden visions of sitting somewhere other than near an outlet to check my email and whatnot.

Also having our computer functioning again means I feel the pull of getting these crazy Christmas cards done, but you know what? We haven't got a picture. Not one. I don't think I've even taken a picture on my real camera since September. And I just feel like it's not worth it to send Christmas cards if you can't even get a cute picture of your kids.
Maybe I'll just wait till the baby is born and send late-Christmas/birth announcements. "Merry Christmas six months ago and oh yeah, we had a baby!" lol. except it isn't even funny. Maybe I can get my act together by new years? Nobody hold me to that.

I finally figured out that Adele is cutting some molars right now. The light bulb in my head went off, and AHA! that's why you had a fever and prolonged runny nose and general irritability on top of your cough and stuff. Now I get it. I'm thankful for mommy brains that sometimes work.

I hung some pictures today in the girls' room. They make it so nice and cozy. Pictures of us on the wall make a house feel like our home. I like it. I like feeling like home isn't just a in-and-out, no-time to-think-about-it kind of place. I like it to be welcoming and personal...albeit very lived in {Which is to say, give me ten minutes to clean up my house before stopping by!}.

Whilst holed up during this bout of sickness, I've been reading some of my old favorites, Stepping Heavenward and Hinds' feet in High Places. In the latter, the main character "Much-Afraid" is learning to follow the Great Shepherd on her journey to the High Places, and one of the lessons she must learn along the way is: acceptance with joy.
That struck a chord with me. How often when trials come do we want to whine and complain...we our appropriate response ought to be, "Yes, Lord, I'll accept what you've given with joy"----Joy because we know whom we have believed in, not necessarily because of the situation.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Just so you know, I didn't regret the gingerbread house build. it got a little hectic when baby girl lost her self control and started popping the candy in her mouth, and we ended it soon after -- cause, hello, almost bedtime and candy don't mesh. I do regret that I also have no self control and have been popping the sweet-tarts off the roof and road and windows because they're my favorite, and the wonka candy was pretty much the reason I bought that particular gingerbread house set.

My girls are sick. :(
We've been planning for weeks to go to my nephew's birthday party tomorrow, and I hate we'll have to miss. Do you know how many birthday parties we've gone to since Hattie has been around? Two, not counting our own, of course. I was excited. But I guess now Hattie won't know exactly how low-key we do birthdays at our house compared to full-blown character parties, and I don't mind that.

It's been an exciting week for our family. It's a BOY! woohoo! We were very happy to see a healthy, growing boy on our sonogram this week. The name's a secret, so you'll just have to wait.

We moved to our new house two weeks ago. And only yesterday have I gotten around to doing some full-out, much-needed grocery shopping. With an upcoming move, I always cook from what we have until the pantry and freezer are virtually empty. So, as you can imagine, it was an extensive shopping trip. But Hallelujah, we get to shop at Aldi again, it's SO nice to save some moola there!

Happy friday and weekend and december!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

the gingerbread house

I have been prepping our gingerbread house for decoration after supper. It's one of those activities that you're so eager to begin, but you KNOW that you'll be regretting before the icing is gone.
Oh well, it's tradition. Except this year, I built the house...cause I never get to (hello resident engineer! ) and I enjoyed it. :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sycamore Bakes: Oreo Truffles

Okay, so this one is a no-bake recipe, but oh is it decadent. And simple. And rich.
I made Oreo Truffles to take to church last night, and they were a big hit.

Oreo Truffles
{Gluten and Dairy free!}

1 package gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies (or Oreos)
1 package vegan cream cheese (or regular cream cheese)
12-ish oz dark chocolate
3tbsp coconut oil

Pulverize the package of cookies. I tried doing this by hand, but finished with my "little chopper" - a food processor would do it beautifully, I'm sure.
Stir in the cream cheese until well incorporated.
Line cookie pan with wax paper. Roll cookie mixture into small balls - you probably don't want these any larger than the size of a chocolate covered cherry. I got a little lazy and started making them bigger, but they get hard to eat.
Put 'em in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Melt your chocolate and coconut oil.
Use a slotted spoon (or a toothpick) to get the balls coated in chocolate.
Put in the fridge and wait long enough for the chocolate to firm up before giving in to temptation.

Makes about 30 small balls. Like I said, I got lazy, so mine turned out about 20 truffles.

The surprising thing to me about this recipe was that even with the vegan cream cheese, I felt like I was eating real candy, like out of a box candy. Light on the inside, rich dark chocolate.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Don't wait for tomorrow.

I remembered some pivotal wisdom today. Don't wait for tomorrow to live the life you want.

For me {today} this translates to:
Don't wait to move to a house before you decorate nicely
Don't wait till you're ready to move to declutter
Don't wait to hang up our paper crafts

Friday, November 7, 2014

Feeling Crafty.

I think pregnancy tends to heighten my need to fulfill a certain crafting quota. It was this way with Adele at least, and thus far in this pregnancy (and I can't really remember any crafting projects when I was expecting Hattie. Mama brain.)

Lately we've been making paper pumpkins, paper not-pumpkins (read: same template, different paper), a scrapbook album for the girls (shh, that's a gift), and today we started on a Christmas tree skirt.

Now, don't get snarky about Christmas getting in front of Thanksgiving because I'm all for being thankful, but I'm also for mindful preparations for Christmas to make December less hectic and more enjoyable. I usually order our Christmas cards in November too.

Anywho, I'm excited for our simple burlap with red stripe skirt, and I just lack using the serger on the edges (because it's much easier than hemming it! and I have a lovely aunt who has just such a machine:) ). And and and, maybe we'll even have a tree this year. We've not had one in the past, but I'm secretly or not so secretly hoping we'll get a little real one…because we already have the skirt, after all.

Hope you're meeting your crafting quota these days, if you're burdened with such a thing.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Of holidays, moving, selfish girl and the usual mashup of thoughts.

Hello, November.
I'm kind of thrilled for you to be here, even on this gray day with spitting rain. {I acquired that term from my husband, before I would have simply and perhaps more desirably said sprinkling.}

November brings a much loved refuge from all the icky Halloween decorations in every store. Sometimes I wish I could hibernate through October because of all those, but I wouldn't really want to do that because October is a lovely month. We drove through the mountains of Tennessee a few weeks ago, and it was so delightful to get to look around and see all the colors of fall from the heights of the mountains. It was an added blessing to a somewhat somber-toned trip altogether, for Emery's mother is dying of lung & brain cancer, and it may have been the last opportunity for us to visit with her this side of heaven.

But I'm still excited for the holiday season. I didn't even mind the Christmas trees on display in Target. I think the childhood wonder of the holidays has come back to me now that I get to experience it with my own girls. "Look mama {pronounced MAM-A by Hattie}, there's Santa Clause!"....even though we don't "do" Santa, she knows he's character that gets talked about this time of year, and that seems fine by her. And old Santa provides a welcome distraction from noticing every Elsa and Anna piece of merchandise that our cart passes. Adele calls out, "Anna" anytime she sees any princess. Lol.
Back to the wonder of season....I realized a while back why I never particularly enjoyed the holidays when I was younger. If I was asked what my favorite holiday was, I would usually say Christmas because I got stuff, by my very self-focused attitude was often disappointed with what I received anyway {Ungrateful.} The holidays for me were times of feeling sorry for myself because I didn't fit in or didn't have a boyfriend to bring to the get-togethers or blah blah blah. Yikes. I must have been terrible to live with.
Thankfully, God changed my outlook on life. He taught me to take the time to invest in others: putting their joy ahead of my own, and I've reaped the blessing of enjoying the holidays. I'm excited about the work and preparations of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Excited to make our home cozy and festive. Excited to teach my little ladies what it means to have Thanksgiving celebrations and to cultivate thankful hearts. Excited to continue to establish family traditions - however simple or maybe cheesy. :)
Speaking of homes, it looks like we may be living in a house again before Thanksgiving! Talk about another thing to be excited about! Our little one-bedroom apartment hasn't been bad for short term living, but I'm certainly not complaining about the prospect of having Windows and the girls having a bedroom and enough space to put out our limited supply of decorations without having to put some fall things away to make room for the pilgrims and leaves. And to have guests, I'm stoked about having guests dinners, play-dates with cousins, friends to tea. These are a few of my favorite things.
Another move is slightly daunting, but at least the vast majority of our stuff is still packed neatly in storage. You know, in my adult life, I've never made a local move. Every move Emery and I have made has been at least 3 hours away from wherever we were living, but we're looking at a 20 minute drive this time and that's so refreshing! I bought a doormat for our potential new house today and a lamp - holla Target clearance! - and, oh, the smile factor is increasing all the time.

So, Welcome November. I'm glad you're here.

PS I'm also glad that there are only 6-ish more weeks until we hopefully will find out the gender of our little - but growing - baby! I'm also hoping that I'll get busy on finding a name for the child after we know whether we're looking at pink or far all I've got are the names that Hattie comes up with for her pretend family. She had a daughter named Symphony yesterday and sometimes says her brother is named David and she's married to Caleb. I asked her what the baby's name should be this week and her response, "Temporary". LOL. That girl. Here's to Temporary Sayre, whom I hope isn't temporary at all.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Oven Mitts

I have a very sweet and thoughtful husband.
And I'm going to shout it from the rooftops.

Today, I asked him to pick up four things at Kroger on his way home from running a few errands. Now I know that he'll usually get everything on my list, but I also know that my man doesn't stick to the list (not unlike his wife, who makes a list of the 10 things and buys $100 worth of groceries)....anyway, it's always interesting to see what he comes home with. Today's extra spoils included GF pretzels and cookies and OVEN MITTS! That dear man.
A few weeks ago, we had discussed needing new oven mitts because I'd burned my hand through one of our old ones. Not acceptable. Except that I speedily forgot the incident and kept using the same old bad one because I guess our others are in storage or something.

But good Emery hadn't forgotten his poor wifey. No, no. He came home with Blue Willow print oven mitts and a matching tea towel, and some day when we have a house they'll coordinate in a lovely way with our china. Sweet man.

It's a delightful thing to be married to such a man.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Random Box

It's a little hard for me to get used to it just being barely light at 7:30 in the morning. I'm missing early sunshine from central time, but on the other hand - my children sleep much later....and I would sleep much later, but my neck thinks it's excessive of me to want to sleep 12 hours, so up I must be.
{There's your run-on for the day.}
What I really ought to have said is that I'm thankful our basement apartment HAS windows, and I can be aware of the outside conditions somewhat - even if the sunlight doesn't come shining in brightly, I'm thankful for windows!

I have bad news. I made those molasses cookies yesterday, minus the ginger because I was out....and Emery didn't even like them. I should probably take that other post down. But I like them because they're so healthy, even if they happen to taste a little healthy.
Last week, somebody made the mistake of posting a picture of cookie cake on facebook, and this pregnant woman almost rushed out to Kroger to find one for herself, but I used a little self-control and made a GF version at home that my family could enjoy too. It was tasty, but alas, it tasted healthy. Of course, I didn't put any icing on, but I missed that certain chemical taste you get in the store-bought ones. Ironically, mine also tasted like whole-wheat, which of course it was not.
In other grocery store blunders, last week I was thinking about buying some bagels and thought, "oh, theses have a lot of carbs." So I didn't buy them and what do you think I put in the buggy next? Doughnuts. Are you kidding me? I was trying to think healthy thoughts and BAM! Krispie Kreme wins the fight. I'll also have you know that the aforementioned brand is the only one I'll patronize that incorrectly uses Ks where Cs ought to be. Because that is an aggravation in my life, especially when it's an educational facility and the name is something like "Kozy Kiddie Korner". Ugh.
(Sorry if you have a business named that. I just made it up.)

Now that those stories are out of the way. I'm glad to report that it's the middle of October. We're going Pumpkin Patching tomorrow. I had hot chocolate yesterday. And we made paper pumpkins that turned out uber cute. I'm glad to meet my fall-crafting quota and move on with life.
Enjoying September and October partially means getting prepared for Christmas. I even went shopping BY MYSELF last Saturday, and it's extremely gratifying to have a few happy Christmases wrapped and tucked away. A bonus feature of buying on the early side is that I have no memory, and Christmas will be just as surprising to me as to those opening the gifts. Score for the win.

Speaking of Wins, Shout out to Ole Miss for having a great season thus far. Hattie can't really understand why the Targets in GA don't sell Ole Miss gear like they ought.

Oh, I also wanted to give an update about my essential oil usage. It's been nearly a year since I bought a set from Plant Therapy off of Amazon, and I've been very happy with my purchase. Granted, I go through phases when I don't use them much, but lately they've been getting a lot of use in terms of peppermint to keep spiders and crickets at bay, and tea tree oil for bug bites, and "Germ Fighter" - which is the same formula as Thieves -for diffusing and hopefully cleansing the air around here of any lingering germs, and Eucalyptus for muscle aches and to keep the sinuses open.
I haven't used as many of the blended oils as I thought I might, but overall, I couldn't be happier.

And cue baby waking up.
Hugs. Happy Humpday.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A month Here. and Sycamore Bakes: Molasses Cookies

It's a monthiversary for us…one whole month of living in Georgia. The very first month of living in Georgia for Emery, Hattie, and Adele, and a whole month on top of the years spent growing up here for me. In high school, I was itchy to travel and maybe be a missionary. I was swept away with the romance of foreign places and mostly of not living in the suburbs. As I matured, I still kept the funny notion of looking down my nose at folks who stayed here, and I was glad I wasn't. But as most things come full-circle, here we are, and I AM GLAD. Besides I've got a mission field in my home, and a captive audience to preach to, and there IS romance in motherhood - if you get your perspective on the right way.
Besides those things, our little basement home here comes with the opportunity for this first-trimester tired mama to nap when Adele does (because Hattie goes to sew and keep our auntie company). And I only have two rooms and a bathroom to try to keep neat. And I'm getting pretty good at backing up the kind of steep driveway and not hitting the trees on either side…ahem, let's say rather that I haven't hit the trees yet. 

So, I'm glad to be here - even if I do sound PollyAnna-ish, I'm glad for that too, because how much better to count one's blessings and be glad for them to than to mope over your lot in life!

Want to know something else that makes me glad? Molasses cookies. I know, everyone is all about pumpkin spice everything these days, but when fall finally does turn that corner and the leaves are spiraling around you in the crisp air, that's when molasses cookies sound the most appealing. Maybe with some hot apple cider and a wood fire crackling, can't beat it!

Molasses Cookies
Gluten free, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free….Guilt FREE!

2 3/4 cup GF flour blend*
1tsp baking soda
1tsp cinnamon
1/4tsp cloves
1/4tsp ginger
1/4tsp nutmeg
1/4tsp seal salt

1/2cup coconut oil
1/2cup mashed banana (one large)
3/4cup molasses
3tbsp coconut milk - or milk of your choice
2tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Place on greased baking sheet, and bake for 9 minutes.

--I really can't remember if these were "drop"style cookies or roll 'em into a ball and mash a little on the pan. Just go with the consistency of the batter for whichever is easiest. Also, make sure your banana is well mashed or pureed. You don't want banana chunks when you're eating the cookies.

*Gluten Free Flour Blend:
               2cups brown rice flour
               2/3 cup potato starch
               1/3 cup tapioca starch
               1tsp xanthan gum, unless otherwise noted in recipe.

This is the blend I always use. You're welcome to try your own favorite blend in place of this one, probably it would work just as well. I stick with this one because I don't have the time or mental energy to complicate my baking by using a blend that takes sooo many types of flours: almond flour, coconut flour, bean flours, amaranth, quinoa, etc etc etc. I've got to keep it simple!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sycamore Bakes: Emery's Favorite Apple Pie

There have been a few times in our marriage - maybe half a dozen or less - when I've made something and Emery has looked at me and said, "This is the best (fill in the blank) that I've ever eaten." And that statement makes me want to jump up and down and smile so hard my face might burst. It's not that he isn't easy to please, but to get such an accolade, it's tremendous.

My poor brain can't remember whether or not he said that about this pie, but I do know that at the top of the recipe, it says, "Emery's New Favorite Pie". That's a glad heading.

Apple Pie
Apple pie is such a cozy, comforting food. Rich with nostalgia. And delightful as can be.

Filling: 6 medium Granny Smith apples; peeled, cored, and sliced
            1/2 cup sugar (coconut sugar is my preference)
            2tbsp GF flour blend
            1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
            1/4 tsp nutmeg
            1tsp lemon zest      ->I used lime juice in place of the lemon zest and juice - worked fine
            1tbsp lemon juice
            1/4tsp salt

Crumble: 1 cup GF flour blend
                1/3 cup oats
                2/3 cup coconut sugar
                2tsp cinnamon
                1/4tsp nutmeg
                1/2cup solid coconut oil

Preheat oven to 400F.
Mix filling ingredients and set aside. (I think it's important to let those apples "juice" while you're getting everything else together, so don't be in too much of a hurry.)
Mix crumble ingredients. Make sure the coconut oil gets chopped up into fine pieces and is thoroughly incorporated.
Pour apples into deep-dish pie plate. Spread crumble topping over apples evenly.
Bake 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and set a piece of foil over the top of the pie to prevent burning. Bake 30 more minutes.

(I needed to bake ours closer to 45 more minutes. Depends on the heat of your oven, ours ran hot, usually.)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sycamore Bakes: "Baked Oatmeal"

I was admonished yesterday that I ought to start an easy gluten free blog….this is due to the fact that I promptly skip over any and all GF recipes that start with 5+ flours. I can't handle that. I CAN handle using my standard rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca blend, even if it's not the very healthiest of healthy blends. True story: I don't care. I get decent results, and I don't have to spend a fortune, and it doesn't make my family feel ill (read- it's not wheat, and that's good enough for me).
But, I also don't feel like I can manage to keep up decently with another blog. Hello, I can't keep up decently with this one. Thus, "Sycamore Bakes" a new (and exciting!) recipe series. Brought to you without pictures because I'm not a food blogger, and don't have time for photography, BUT the recipes are coming straight from my tried and true family recipes binder. I have largely gathered them from all over the internet, and promptly changed 'em, of course. I don't have the original sources and here's my official shout out to YOU, if any of the recipes in this series are actually yours. Thanks.
So there.

With out further Ado.

Baked Oatmeal
This is a hearty winter morning yummy. Easy to make ahead and reheat for a few days until you can eat it all. Makes a 13x9 Full.

6 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups warm water
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup melted coconut oil or butter

8 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup molasses, not blackstrap
2tsp vanilla
2tsp baking soda
1tbsp cinnamon
1tsp sea salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins

The original recipes says you ought to soak the first four ingredient at least 24hrs (to make 'em more digestible). I prefer the texture if the oats are only soaking as long as it takes to get the other ingredients together. Do what floats your boat. If you do let it soak overnight, don't put it in the fridge. Live active cultures are the point.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 13x9. Combine eggs, molasses, vanilla, baking soda, cinnamon, & salt in a medium bowl. Then stir that into the oats mixture with a wooden spoon (if you've soaked them, metal can kill some of your organisms). Mix well. Add in raisins and walnuts, if desired. I've actually never desired both, but the raisins are yummy, and I often don't add either. Cranberries would be extra nice. Pour into your prepared dish and bake 30-35 minutes.

Serve with butter, maple syrup, and/ or cinnamon. We like it with whipped cream too, if you're feeling extravagant.

Happy Tuesday. Happy Baking. I'm making this pronto. (And if you're wondering, I don't have any molasses and I'm going to use maple syrup in its place, and we don't do buttermilk anymore, I might sub a little coconut milk for moisture. I might not even have old fashioned oats, it's not breaking any laws to use rolled - I hope!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Amazing Things

First off, the amazing thing about this post is NOT that I'm actually posting something on this neglected blog…I mean, it kind of is surprising, but not amazing.

Now then, real-time amazing thing number one: we live in Georgia! Hallelu!
I didn't really expect us to move back to Georgia in all the years we've been away. We wanted generally to be nearer to family, and we thought that maybe Huntsville might do the job, but the Lord had other plans and we are joyfully right down the street from my parents! We're talking about family night dinners, people more than willing to babysit, visits from friends that we used only see a few times a year that are now only 20 minutes away. This is a very good thing.

Real-time amazing thing number two: The girls' adopted grandmother and our midwife, "Mamsie" felt of our little bitty bitty baby yesterday. I'm only seven weeks along, and we could feel the baby's teeny arms and legs - this baby is still too small to be able to hear the heartbeat on a dopplar, but we could feel that he/she is THERE. Wow. Wow. WOW. Amazing.

And I guess you've realized it by now, but we'll have baby number three in early May - Lord willing. Funny thing: my due date this time is exactly the same as my due date with Hattie. She thinks she's getting a baby for her birthday - and she very well might. Hattie is convinced it's boy (and she was aggravated with her little cousin for saying she'd have a brother. "Elliott says it's a brother, but I say it's a boy.") But boy or girl, she still tells this little one good morning and good night every day - sweet as she can be, and I think Adele is starting to get some inkling that we're not just talking about her when we talk about the baby. She's going to be in for a culture shock, that one.

So there you have it. Amazing things from me to you.

PS one more amazing thing: PICTURES from our beach trip a couple of weeks ago.

Come to the beach, put your feet in a bucket of water, because it's way better than getting near the ocean.

This look. One of so many.

Fishing with Daddy, a big deal and short lived.

Matching souvenir shirts. :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

P-P-P-Packing AND S-S-Stickers

I've been packing for ages. Well, sort of since June - because I get excited about possibilities. But we're finally getting down to the wire. 

It's a mental challenge. I'm packing for storage. For an apartment. For what stays near the front of storage. For a weekend trip. For a week-long trip. For leftover days in between. And as ardently as I try, usually what happens when I divvy up the suitcases like this is that ALL of the suitcases are required for every night. {Which is, of course, no help at all…except that what you need IS there in spite of having to dig through 15lbs of clothes to get to it.}

I tell you one thing though, for so much of my household to be boxed up - it seems like the house is just as strewn with toys and junk as ever. 
But I know the cause of this. Stickers. My children love them, and I forget that I hate them. I lose my mind when I see free or nearly free stickers (ahem Dollar Tree, 400 for $1!), and all I can think is that the girls will love these, and then one day later when all the stickers are stuck all over the floor and all  the in between pieces of sticker pages are stuck to my foot, I cringe and say, "Whatever stickers are still on still on the floor by the time I count to ten are getting thrown away." And Hattie picks up the mostly whole sheets, conveniently leaving for me all the ones stuck to the carpet after I've gotten to ten, and then I think, "Stickers! Arg!"But they were my fault in the first place, because I lost my mind when I saw them. 

Moreover, stickers are not even something that one has to weigh the pros and cons of before having children. So there. I'm a mother with a sometime absent brain, but I do have the cutest children on the face of the earth….and I guess it's a pretty good trade. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Friday

We have a Mellow Mushroom lunch date today. And the problem I'm facing is whether to eat a snack now or languish with my hunger pangs until 11:30{...but of course it would probably closer to noon before the food arrives, so that settles it. I'm going to eat now, or soon.}

Emery used to say that he wouldn't mind eating eggs everyday, to which I would usually reply, "Ugh, Eggs every day? No way!" Well, I've made him eggs every morning this week, and he hasn't grown tired of them, and I have chosen not to participate in the egg eating every morning.

This morning was a jubilant one in our home. Case-in-point: I was not woken up by anyone during the night. I actually slept so hard that I couldn't remember if I'd gotten up or not, and I had to count the stash of pacis on my bedside table to verify that it was the same number as when I'd gone to bed. After having rested so well, I found myself ready to greet the day at 5:45 (instead of being bleary eyed at 6:10). AND Hattie woke up dry for the third morning in a row!!! Hallelujah!!!!
It can't help but be a good day with a start like that, right?!?

I'd also like you to know that Adele is proficient at saying hallelujah, and it's awfully cute.

Happy Friday, the weekend is drawing near! Praise the LORD!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Of goals.

I'm not much of a goal setter. Never have been.
When people would ask what my New Year's Resolutions were, I would falter because I never made any.

Thankfully, things change. Children help change things for sure. And since becoming a mother, my non-exsistant goals morphed into things like: GET THIS BABY WEANED, GO ON A DATE, SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT.
…all of which would eventually happen, but I wanted to work towards them.

In the last week, I've been setting real, everyday goals.
Goals that I could only start to achieve because the baby has been weaned and sleeps in her own bed all night.

I'm purposing to get up at 6am with Emery, make him breakfast, and have quiet time before the girls wake up.

And to cultivate a merry heart & atmosphere for our home.

I'm excited about these things.
But I confess, I too easily compare myself to others, and just this morning I saw on moneysaving that she's purposing to get up at 4:30 everyday to write a book and run and stuff…and I got a little bummed out at my measly little goal. BUT, she's in a different stage of life altogether, and I have to do what works best for my family - not what looks best on paper.

You can pray for me that as we move from our nice three bedroom house to a teeny one bedroom apartment, that I'll have the courage to keep making Emery breakfast at the risk of waking the girls - whose beds will be right there in the living room/kitchen area.

P.S. Sorry that updating my blog with any semblance of regularity has not been one of my goals lately!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Good morning, beautiful

It's a gorgeous, dewy morning here in central Mississippi.
I love how the morning sun filters through the leaves of our birch tree.

We've had more than a week of travels, and I think, after almost a week of recuperation, we're getting back to normal-ish.
That is, if normal-ish means that your toddler forgot how to control her bladder whilst on the road, and it seems like you're back to square one with potty training. And if normal-ish means working on day-time weaning Adele, which she isn't so thrilled about and woke up nearly every hour to try to compensate.
But my kitchen is clean. The laundry was finished yesterday.
These are good things.

It's funny how things change. I've always appreciated nice landscaping, and when I watched that house-hunters international, I would be shocked at how the driveways in Ireland were paved right up to the house. No bushes or anything. Well, in the last week, I've found myself praising a potential house because there was, "no fussy landscaping". It's a season of life. I don't have time to prune and weed and   mulch flower beds. I count myself a success if I can remember to put the potted plants in the rain and sunshine sometimes…the ones that aren't dead already. It's just the way it is. Maybe when my children are a little bigger I'll be able to appreciate landscaping again. Who knows?

Happy Friday, friends.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

wedding thoughts.

A good friend of mine is getting married. Soon.
There are so many things I want to talk about with her; Things I want to tell her about how much fun it is to be married to your best friend. But it feels like there isn't time. She's planning a wedding after all, and is, I'm sure, busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger, and I, of course, have my two littles always near my feet - and it's hard to talk much with those blessed little distractions.

We went shopping for her wedding gift today. I'm afraid I'm the type of person who looks at a registry and then promptly disregards it. That's mostly because I like to do wedding shopping at places similar to TJMaxx or HomeGoods, and you never know what you'll find there.
I do try to note color themes from a registry and buy things that won't clash (too badly). Sometimes it's challenging to find things that fit what I think a person would like rather than just what I would like -- though I Never buy a gift that I wouldn't like to receive…but especially when you haven't spent much time around the bride and groom and aren't really sure what their cumulative tastes might be. But that, "I hope they like this!" feeling is a little edgy and exciting, and since you'll probably never know if they don't like it - all the better.

But marriage. Only God could have designed it so.
Women need love. Men need respect. That's clear as day in the bible, and it's so completely true.

And those newlywed days are so sweet. You're so delighted just to be together.
But you have no idea why on earth he would do something in that particular way, and he has no idea why you would be crying over that. He probably has no idea how he hurt your feelings, and it's all so new that it's hard to deal with the situation. And it's shocking that he doesn't do things the way your daddy and brothers do (which seems like absolutely the best way, of course), and, of course, he has very specific reasons why he does things the way that he does - even though it's different from what you're used to.
It's like the old toilet paper roll backwards or forwards debate. Do you twist or roll the toothpaste tube? Does it make any significant difference? Not a bit, but you're learning more about each other everyday.

You get to be your spouse's best friend. It takes work and time, but it's more precious than can be expressed.
Make your days special. Make memories. Dance in the rain. Arrange your little home. Smile. Laugh.
Have picnics. Make coffee with whipped cream on top. Snuggle. Work together. Smile some more. Smile so much your face hurts.
It's such fun. Relish each moment.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

You might as well know….

….. I've got the fever.

Baby fever.

It became official to me on Saturday. We were shopping at Target, and I found myself gushing over the littleness of bitty baby shoes and preemptively buying maternity pants (because they were on sale and looked SO comfortable).
I knew I had almost swooned over the size of a friend's newborn a few days before, but there at Target, I realized that I had the fever for sure and certain.

I'll also tell you that I'm wearing those comfortable maternity pants right now, because this mama isn't ashamed to wear maternity clothes when I'm not pregnant….except when it's the 4th trimester and I'm so over having to wear maternity. But that's another story.

I'm not saying I'll have any announcements anytime soon, but I sure wouldn't mind having something to announce.  So there.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Singing School

I try to be real here. {Isn't that the mantra of most mommy-bloggers these days?}

This is singing school week, and we're beat tired. Adele fell asleep in her high chair while I was taking a shower. That kind of tired.

I was dreading singing school this year. I shouldn't have, but I was. In case you don't know, we're hymn-singing Baptists. Primitive Baptist. No accompaniment. Just voices praising the Lord.

A cappella.

{Do you remember that Andy Griffeth episode when Andy asks Barney what he would do if he was asked to sing a cappella? "Well, I'd sing it Andy. A cappella. (snapping) A cappella. A cappella. I just can't remember all the words, Andy."} Lol.

We sing shape-notes.  "Do" is a triangle. "Re" looks like a bowl and so on. "Sol" happens to look like a note in regular music, and consequently, if we come across a piece of non-shape-note music, it all looks like "sol"s to us.

Anyway, I was not looking forward to this week of learning music. I was raised going to singing school almost every year, plus I was in the band in school, so music was something I was very familiar with, but my girls are just learning. So, we've spent the week in the preschool class - though I've longed to be singing with the advanced group.
As tiring as this week has been, it's been lots of fun - which I should have expected. And what's more, this mama has gotten to visit with other mamas all week which is both rare and very enjoyable.

Next week, we'll probably hibernate. I'll probably wish we were doing it right now but alas, singing school only comes once a year at our church, so we'd better soak it up.

Hugs. Its time to sing!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Life is funny

Life seems all kinds of funny today.

Case-in-point: I have a crock pot of beans cooking in the bathroom.

Our a/c is not working right, and I'm trying to avoid heating up the whole kitchen and living room…so into the bathroom the crockpot went. If I had a garage, I'd have put it there.
And we're having guests tonight - which means I want the house to be at a semi-comfortable temp, if possible.

Also, I got Emery his Father's day gift yesterday and, as usual, gave it to him already. He has a trip coming up and needed a new suitcase, but since I don't have any place to actually hide a suitcase AND because I have NO self control when it comes to gift giving, I just left it out the couch with a few things  I knew he would appreciate inside.

Anywhoo, happy friday!

Sunday, June 1, 2014


We travel some.
Not like those who live in a RV and are always on the road, but in the last two months we've spent two separate weeks on the road….and being away from home for that long wears. me. out.

There's something about coming home. Suddenly you can relax. The children run around embracing their favorite things that they've missed to pieces and didn't know it until they returned.
And you're together as a family at home. No other people around, which is a welcome change.

{Not that we don't like other people, but everyone in my family is more at ease when it's just us.}

And so, home is delightful.
There are mountains of laundry to be ironed and put away. There are toys and books and shoes and dishes to take care of, but these things will wait till Monday. Today we're resting. Doing our usual Sunday thing, soaking up the beauty of being home, together.

By the way, how is it already JUNE?? Can someone please tell me what happened to the first half of the year?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Potty Mouth.

 I'm going to talk dirty today. Be warned. This is about Potty Training.

Last July, we started potty training Hattie. {Did I blog about this? I have no idea.}

Anywho, I was thrilled at our "progress" until, at three weeks in, everything exploded and she was no longer potty training and we were dealing with MAJOR meltdowns, oh, twice a day.
And then I was like, "So the terrible twos are real." I'm a believer now.

But there's a little beauty to the story because those terrible, very bad days passed in a few months (and we eliminated the dairy, which helped baby-girl a lot)….and looking back it seems like not-so-bad.

{Funny thing about motherhood, in the middle of a rough season you're in tears every day because it's that bad, and then give yourself a few months and every this is not so bad - and that's why mama's keep having more babies because they keep forgetting how bad labor and teething and potty training can be. But of course, we learn secrets along the way, and we're sure we'll cope better next time. I guess that's why some people -like my brother - say it gets easier with every baby -they have 5 children 6 years and younger.}

Anywho again, we gave up on the potty training for a while, a long while. But about a week before her third birthday, I started telling her that after her birthday she would start wearing panties again. The first  two days of course were accident laden, but after restructuring our goals/rewards we started making fabulous progress. So fabulous that my girl hasn't had an accident all week, and we just started last Thursday!
Hattie loves to pay for things at the store or restaurant -even if what we're buying isn't really for her. So one of our smaller goals was to use the potty three times with no accidents and she could get one things AND pay at Dollar Tree. If we got to ten times, then we could get a little something at Target (ooohhh ahhhhh). And for every success, she could choose a chocolate chip or a jelly bean. Hattie likes chocolate, and that worked well for her.

Of course, we haven't made it to the three week mark yet….so we'll have to wait and see if any regression happens, but I don't think it will because she's got the hang of things now. Back then, I had begun to wonder who was training whom. Which is to say, it felt like I was the one being trained to take her potty before she had an accident, instead of her telling me when she needed to go.

So here's a big hip-hip-horray for Hattie. Way to go baby girl!

Thursday, May 15, 2014


In Mississippi, you're not supposed to need sweaters in May.
But we needed them in the house this morning and last night coming out of church. Brr.
It always feels colder when you've gotten used to 80+ degrees and all of the sudden it's in the 50s…compared to the middle of the winter when 55 feels balmy and great. It's all about perspective.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The breeze

Adele is napping.
Hattie is laughing at Sid the Science Kid. {She finds him hilaire.}

And I'm watching the breeze.
The beautiful springtime breeze that tickle my birch's limb and flutters her leaves. The humidity is low, and that makes the weather delicious.
There's a blue-jay on my fence.

Tomorrow is a birthday.
It's hard to know how to spend the day before a birthday. For tomorrow, we'll be making cakes and celebrating and being liberal. But today is not tomorrow yet. And it seems a shame to just do the ironing on the day before a birthday.
Nevertheless, the ironing IS done, so maybe we can do some sort of birthday-eve festivity.

I never knew until I became a mother how special birthdays are. For the child, of course, but for the mama that birthed the child…to think back on the birthing day and the miraculous birth of YOUR child. Wow.

Three years ago tomorrow, I went swimming in a pool that was too cold to swim in, but I took the plunge because if I waited until after the baby was born and all the after birth stopped, then that Mississippi pool would be warm as bath water and not at all refreshing. So we swam. When you're nine months pregnant, you float pretty easily. I mostly floated ---and I was in labor, too, so that deters good swimming.
Our sweet little apartment, where we welcomed our daughter into the world. I love home births. She was so beautiful from the first instant. Not wrinkled up and red, just beautiful with all that dark hair that has since turned almost blonde.

I love you sweet girl.
I love hearing all your imaginings…about your husband who is an engineer, and your children: Jack and Jill and Jane. And you're often headed to your wedding at the castle or just got married.
You love old fashioned stories, and I'm not sure which of us has been enjoying the Little House on the Prairie books more.
And how you cook! Our day at the beach a few weeks ago, you made "butter" in your pail and stirred that wet sand to your heart's content.
Grow baby girl. Follow the Lord with all your heart. Spread your sunshine to everyone you meet.

Friday, May 2, 2014

hello May.

I've been absent a long while. Sorry about that.

Today, I feel a little lonely without social media.
By way of explanation, I deactivated my Facebook account back in July, and some months ago I got rid of pintrest too - my account kept getting spammy. And largely, I've been perfectly happy without the influx of useless information….ah, but today, today, I was wax nostalgic and wish I could see some pictures of my far-away friends' new babies and what life has been like lately for them. I wonder if I'm falling way behind the trends without pintrest to guide me (but that's completely out of character because I've never been one to follow the trends anyway, though I guess I like to at least know what the trends are). And maybe, just maybe, I have a little crafting quota I need to meet….probably by way of spray painting some cardboard boxes to make them more appealing storage.
All this started at the park.
The girls and I did a little shopping (so many gifts to buy this time of year!), and were happily headed to the park. The weather here is still gorgeous - low humidity, breezy, temps in the 70s - and we haven't had time to go to "our" park in a while. But then I saw that it was a little crowded, and there were mom groups. Sigh. Something about groups of moms at the park really makes me feel lonesome. If the moms just there with their kids, I don't have any qualms about making small talk, and etc, but when the other moms are in groups - oye! That makes me wish I had a group of moms to go on play-dates with, but I don't….and thus all the lonely thoughts and longings for social media.

I know what our mamsie would tell me. She would say, "Have you taken your PLUS?" And I'd have to say "No" because I can't remember to take those things for anything. {btw, PLUS is from Mannatech, it supports your endocrine system with herbs and such}.

Anywho, that's today's story.

I've been thinking for the last few days about culinary journeys. Not the travel around the world kind of journey, but the journey of where you started cooking and how things have changed over the years.

My journey started with Martha White, $.88 bags of muffin mix, complete with little pellets of fruit flavor and maybe even chocolate -if my dad was feeling liberal. One bag made six muffins - which is a shame when you {I} really wanted to eat four of them myself. And there was virtually no way to mess them up. I remember being in 4th or 5th grade and making muffins by myself. And I loved it.

Of course, when I was much smaller, my mother would get out her wooden biscuit bowl with self-rising flour always in it.  And she'd make a well in the flower and add a handful of shortening and some milk and make biscuits, and she'd always save my brothers and I a few scraps of dough to eat…but I never made biscuits like that on my own until I was in middle school and my parents were divorced.

From muffins, I'm not sure where I progressed to exactly, probably boxed cakes and brownies. It was a step up from the muffin mix because you had to add eggs and oil or water. The muffins you only had to add milk - I think. And then biscuits, from scratch. I messed them up at least one time so badly that they were inedible, but my dad choked one down for my sake. You've got to watch whether you're measuring baking soda or baking powder, and I had gotten them confused. Eventually, I made some cakes from scratch, pound cakes usually because they Dad's favorite.
I'd make various baked items to take to church in my teenage years, but never anything worthy of a main course. I preferred baking, but I didn't feel at liberty to use any of the meats anyway to take to a church dinner that my parents weren't attending…and consequently, I didn't get much practice in main dishes before I left home.
After high school, I moved to Maryland to work in an assisted living which was owned by some good friends of ours, and before long I found myself appointed to be a cook solely because I was Primitive Baptist and from the South ---these facts apparently ensured I COULD cook….though I would only go so far as to say that I could follow a recipe. So I cooked dinner for about 20 every night, and got some decent practice in, but mostly I made things that were frozen or came out of a box with canned veggies - there wasn't too much imagination in it, but at the same time, I didn't dare try anything out on my 20 very particular residents, or I was sure to hear about it for as long as they could remember.
After 8 or 9 months in Maryland, I married prince charming and all of the sudden had to learn how to be gluten free. Talk about a learning curve. I had been used to making whole bread - grinding the wheat and everything - and I really really had to weigh in the balance of whether I wanted to give up bread to marry Emery. Of course, I chose Emery in the Long run.
It took me about a year to build up enough confidence to start baking gluten free items from scratch. Gluten free is tricky. Some of my cook books have recipes that I've never been able to make turn out correctly. Oh well. Live and learn and sometimes scratch out a recipe.
Somewhere along the way, I got comfortable enough in the kitchen that I stopped measuring things. It's a little harder to ensure things will for sure turn out right, but it's worth it not to wash extra dishes to me!
Down the road of life a little further, we had to remove dairy from our diet. That was a HUGE shift. I'm still mourning that one some days. But we've made adjustments, found new recipes that suit our needs and our taste buds and move forward.
I hope I'm not done learning. I hope I get better at learning which cuts of meat to buy and the best ways to cook them. I hope I find a way to get enough protein in my diet without dairy - especially when/if we get pregnant again. And I hope I can do a better job of letting my girls help in the kitchen where they can, even though it's often more of a hassle - it's worth it.

Oh, and speaking of pregnant, I want to be! A friend of ours just found out they are having twins, and I found myself a little jealous. Maybe I'm crazy, but twins sure does sound fun….yes, that must be the hormones talking.
BUT Adele still nurses too much at night (uh, and she wants to EVERY time I sit down during the day), for my body to consider hosting another human being. So, you could pray for Adele to start sleeping through the night - if you wanted to - I wouldn't mind that prayer one bit! {Though I can't say that I've ever minded having folks pray for me.}

Hattie's months of anticipation about her birthday are drawing to an end. We're in the single digits on our count-down and she's elated. "I'm going to be 3 on my birthday!" And when I ask her what she might like for her birthday, she usually replies forks and plates ---which we've already bought to have cake and ice cream after church on Wednesday night.  I sure do love my almost three year old!!

If you've had enough fortitude to stick around to the end of this post, I admire your effort. Thanks for putting up with me -my long silences and habitual rambling.

Welcome May. I'm glad you're here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Oh nap time.

Both of my daughters are asleep.

Someone, pinch me. Am I dreaming?

No, don't pinch me, I'm awake and they aren't and it's the middle of the day and this hasn't happened in like a century. Or nine-ish months, whichever.

In other news, I was looking around for a baked bean recipe this morning to take to church in a few days, and the reviews made the recipe sound so tasty, I think I'm just going to have to make them for dinner tonight instead. I've never been particularly excited about baked beans, but I do like the homemade variety, which are kind of a rarity.

We went to Big Lots today, and they had our cookies. You never can tell if they're going to have our Enjoy Life cookies or not, so when they do we usually stock up. I've gotten over feeling silly about buying 6 boxes of cookies at one time because A) they're delicious B) we only go to Big Lots once or twice a month and C) one box gets eaten in one sitting oh, and D) they're half the price there than they are are Kroger. So there, check-out girl, I am not ashamed.

In other other news, I have a one year old. How did this happen? Wasn't she just born? I remember so clearly everything about her labor and delivery, how was that a whole year ago??
And she's too stinking cute. She knows when to laugh and smile at the right times these days, as if to say, "Haha, yeah, I did that" (when we're talking about her) and her vocabulary is gaining ground everyday.  She's really a toddler now, and I'm not sure that I'm ready for my baby to be so big.

Adele and Hattie share a room these days. (Did I already tell you that?) And it's so homey with the crib on one wall, the twin bed on the other and the kitchen-set between.

My mother-in-law's CT scans this week showed that her days are numbered (as all of us are, really), and I'm so thankful we got to have a sweet week of visiting with her. Only God knows how long she'll last, and I pray that her remaining days will be full of joy.

I'm anxious to get my beans cooking. Hope your Wednesday is thoroughly happy.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

My Favorite Shopping Days of the year.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I really,  really like shopping at the big children's consignment sales twice a year. Really.
It's always such fun to get home and look through your purchases and revel in how much {little} you spent for the number of items you bought.
I've been looking forward to the spring sales for a couple of months, and yesterday we finally got to go. :)
I think we got 6 dresses for Hattie and 4 for Adele (though she really didn't need anything since she has all of Hattie's hand-me-downs), and a number of shirts and skirts and bows, and I was quite satisfied.

We didn't go on half-price day, and that hurt my feelings initially because my frugal self wants to get the best deal possible……..but Emery wasn't comfortable with me going to downtown by myself with the girls in tow, and since he wasn't able to go today, he wanted us all to go together yesterday. And I am SO thankful for a husband who takes such good care of us and wants to protect us. He cherishes us, and I love that.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Come on SPRING!

Y'all, spring really is going to come this year. And Thursday is THE day - whether or not the weather knows that is a different story.
My azaleas are right on time (ahem, except that I hacked them to pieces a few weeks ago, and there may only be 15 buds on each remnant).
Did you know in south Mississippi, there are people named Azalea…but it's pronounced Aza-lee.

Oh, but spring time. We've got a gloriously busy spring planned, complete with visits from family (AT OUR HOUSE - which rarely happens), birthdays, FLORIDA (Whoopwhoop!), and all these things on top of the fact that the world will be in bloom.
How delightful!

I'm waiting for the dogwoods especially, they make my heart go pitter-patter, and the pink ones even more so.
Someday, I hope I get to have a pink dogwood tree in my yard. And a maple tree. And a sycamore tree, of course. And a tulip-tree, if it's not too much to ask.
I'm glad we live in a world with beautiful trees and flowers.

My mother-in-law is here for a visit. Back in September, they diagnosed her with Stage 4 lung cancer and only gave her 3-6 months to live, but you know, she's doing great. She hasn't had any treatment and really she doesn't seem sick at all. We've been praying, and we know the Lord answers prayers. Next week, they'll do some scans to see what the cancer is doing, but to look at her, you wouldn't even know she ever had such a diagnoses.

Happy Monday, y'all. It's the last one of the winter!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

At least I'm consistent.

It almost never fails that if I say on this blog I'm not planning to do x, y, and z anytime soon, then I usually do those very things either the same day or within the week.
I guess I ought to filter the post a little better so I won't be caught in that situation, but I probably won't (wait, does that mean I actually will???). Nevermind.

Last night we started, "Operation Get the Children Out of Our Room."
I named it that, not Emery. Admittedly, if Emery had named it, I probably would have had my feelings hurt, but since he didn't dub it - all is well. ha.

Hattie has been saying for months that she would be brave enough to sleep in her room once Adele can sleep in there with her. So we stuck her to that, though she wasn't exactly keen on the idea. She did settle down and fall asleep while I was rocking Adele, and they slept great for, you know, an hour.
Then Hattie had a reaction to the dairy that was in the chocolate chip cookies we had earlier in the evening. {PLEASE don't ever let me say, "She'll probably be alright" ever again. The butter or milk fat in most chocolate chips is enough to set her at odds with the world. It's not worth it!}
And it took about half an hour to get her back to rights, but after than I got about two hours of great sleep. And then Adele woke up and realizing she was by herself, refused to go back to sleep for an hour…after which, I relented and put that child in my bed, so I could get a little rest.
Nap time this morning began, "You lay down when I tell you to" and hopefully we'll nix the rocking to sleep altogether pretty soon.

But let's hit the high note: crawling into our bed last night with no children in the room felt like an alternate universe. It was a breath of fresh air.
Even though, I like having my girls near by, having them in their own room was so refreshing.

And I'm sure we'll do better tonight. We won't slip up with any dairy - hopefully - and maybe Adele will be more comfortable in her crib too.

The funny thing about sleep training is that the start isn't the hard part. I'm pretty used to not having much sleep at this point in my life. I can deal with getting up to nurse and etc, but when it gets hard will be once I've gotten used to 8-ish hours of sleep again and then having to deal with baby waking up in the night once in a while…it's those nights that feel unbearable.
But God gives us grace for each moment, and I'm not worried. We'll make it through, for sure and certain. :)

Happy Saturday. I hope it's 72 degrees and sunny where you are!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

It piles up

I think my sleep deficit over the last year is starting to take a toll. And the problem isn't that I'm tired all the time, but that I can't sleep when I have the opportunity….and with Adele nursing like every hour the last night or two, those opportunities are few and further between.
The bags under my eyes have bags under them.

All that to say, my incentive to begin night weaning is growing.
Except, we're planning to have company in the coming weeks and months, and I'd rather not get started with her in a separate room, and then have to change and confuse things for her when company comes.
Which is to say, she's not going to be getting out of our room in a hurry, and you might start to think I'm a part of the zombiepocalyse (btw, I think that whole thing is too silly for colored TV).

In other news, and happier news at that, my sister-in-law and I have started being accountability partners - and I'm really excited about it. I'm excited to be praying for her and to build our relationship and to be encouraged by her in my walk with the Lord.

In my younger days, the idea of having to be accountable to someone else was kind of detestable to me. I was proud(er). I would do what I was "supposed" to be doing because I wanted to be thought well of and I wanted to measure up to my perception of the other person's standards. How completely missing the point! But how freeing and encouraging it is to me now, to share our struggles honestly and to know that I'm being prayed for. It's great. And I'm thankful.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I am a minority

What minority is that you ask?

I am slimmer than I want to be.
I'm all angles. I'm always reminded of Calpurnia from To Kill A Mockingbird, who was described as such.

The post-baby body is an interesting thing, and much depends on how your thyroid regulates as to whether you lose the weight or not (or even gain more). For me, by the time my babies are 10-11 months old, I've lost all the weight I gained during my pregnancy - which was about 40 pounds - and then some.
I don't want to be underweight. I eat as much as anybody, and I keep dropping.
The other day, I had to buy a size 2 pants. Ask me when I've bought a size 2? Middle school. Yes.
Skinny to the n'th degree.

Before I had children, I could usually browse the 4s, 6s, and 8s. The 4s might be a little snug and the 8s might sit a little lower, but I could wear them all with out problem. These days all those sizes would swallow me.

So here's a shout to the slender people. I am one of you. We get grief for how we stay so skinny, when we really want to say that we'd like to be heavier, but that, of course, would provoke even more words.

Embrace your angles.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

And the Lord provided a pot

{Dedicated to Gabe, who knew about pots, eyeglasses, and a dentist}

A few weeks ago, I was shopping at Kohl's and happened to spend enough to get $10 in Kohl's cash, the only thing was it had to be used within a two week period, or it expired and that would be like money down the drain. unthinkable!
Emery was off Monday for President's Day, and that afternoon, I went to Kohl's (ALONE!) to see if I could find something to spend my ten dollars on…..and I looked and I looked and I looked. I tried on half a dozen pieces and went through the clearance in nearly every department, and I was getting discouraged. The only thing I had found was an undershirt for $3.
And then I wandered into the pots and pans section. We've been needing some new pots, and I've prayed about it and let it rest in the Lord's hands. I started looking for the clearance - which wasn't well marked - and when I finally found it, it was mostly Christmas leftovers and serving ware. I looked around and around those two wracks, and on the third time around I spotted a little pot with a corner of a clearance tag remaining. I made a b-line to the price check and found it was marked $12!!
Do you know what the original price was? $60! I would never feel good about paying that much for a little sauce pot, but oh, $12 is a delightful price for a good quality tool.
I walked out of the store having spend only $5 of real money, and elated beyond measure.

What's more, that very morning we had thrown away our old sauce pot because the teflon was flaking off.

What beautiful provision! Thank you, Lord, for caring about our every need!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A story of a sweet man.

I've got one. A sweet, sweet man.

A man who sends a dozen roses and chocolate covered strawberries just because it's February 11th, and he loves me just as much today as every other day.
A man who knows how much I like to get packages, and sends them UPS.

A man who laughs at all my VERY silly jokes and puns.
A man who cuddles with my girls and kisses us all good night.

A man who cherishes me, which is better than I could have dreamt.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Good morning, Monday

{I know it's 11:00am, but I've got a full hour left to bid you good morning, and I'm going to do it!}

Mondays are my heavy chore days. It's a recovery from not doing chores much during the weekend. Laundry. Dishes. Picking up 40 jillion tiny toys. Restoring order to the chaos.
It's busy, but I like that fresh feeling when the laundry is agitating and the the floor is clear of obstacles.

But then sometimes, the pull-ups are running low and the weather will be worse tomorrow, and the only thing to do is work a Target trip into an already busy Monday schedule….except what really happens, is that we head for Target after naps and lunch and then by the time we get back, the idea of finishing the laundry today is but a dream, but we put another load in anyway and maybe save the rest for Wednesday or Thursday - if we possible.

And then the baby wakes up and blogging time comes to an end. Happy Monday morning y'all!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

So far, so good

I wasn't sad to see January go. We had sickness in our family three out of the four weeks…and that gets old in a hurry.
This Monday, however, no one was sick, and there was much rejoicing!

Adele took her very first steps last night. She stood alone and clapped for herself, which was impossibly cute.

February in Mississippi is a hard call. They're calling for snow next week, but really the daffodils should already be showing their pretty little heads. I dreamt the azaleas were in full bloom, and I had somehow missed it. But it looks very wintery today. Cloudy and most everything dullish brown. Soon though, the green will peek through the browns, and delight will reign in the clouds of pollen.
The promise of spring is a sweet one.

My list of things to make this week has included toasted pecans, zucchini bread, and pickled ginger. We also made some chocolate cake just for fun.

When Hattie helps me in the kitchen, she stands on a chair with a little bowl and begs for a bit of everything I put in my bowl. Accordingly, I oblige her and put a little of everything in her bowl. And she stirs and stirs and is then ready to cook her creation too….and we do, and she eats it regardless of imperfect ratios (ahem, nonexistent ratios) of ingredients. She doesn't mind the taste though, because she's as proud as a peacock to get to bake with me.
The chocolate cake she made was an entirely different shade of brown than mine, but it tasted just fine. :)

I like having a helper. Sometimes, it's cumbersome, but oh, it's so sweet to see her loving to be a helper to her mama….and I know that, like as not, one day she won't be so eager to work alongside of me - and I don't want to waste or take for granted theses precious times together.
Hattie is also talking theology these days, and trying to figure out who made what. "God created the heavens and the earth," she quotes…."Mama, did God make the bathtubs?"
"Mama, did God make the kitchens?"

And street signs. "What does that sign mean Mama?"……."Why?" (<-her FAVORITE question at this stage)
And for every "Why," I want to tell her the truth as best I can. I don't want to brush off her curiosity, but sometimes there are questions that she'll just have to ask God one day because I sure don't know the whys and wherefores of everything. "Why did you honk your horn?…why was that driver not paying attention?"

One more unrelated note, Kohl's. I'm a clearance shopper, but it surprises me when the 60% off price is still a little steep for my taste. What's the deal? I actually bought some pants that were marked 90% off (because $4 IS within my budget!), but it seems extreme that they should even go so far as to mark them down that much. I guess they have to do what it takes to get things sold.

Well, welcome February. May you be a healthy, spring-ish month.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Motherhood in the Trenches.

This post is largely about vomit. The weak stomached need not read on.

The scene at our house for two nights running. 4:30am…cough, blech.
-"Hattie, spit in into the trashcan!"
"No! There's trash in there. Bleh (on the bed). Bleh (on the carpet)"
-"Aim for the trashcan!"
"Get it away from me! (Bleh, bleh. bleh.)"

Wipe up as much vomit as we can. Yucky blankets to the laundry. Cover up the wet spot on the sheets; wonder why we only have one set of sheets for Hattie's bed. Fresh pajamas. Carpet Resolve on the floor. Scrub, scrub, scrub.

Settle the child. Wash hands. Crawl back in bed. Repeat at 5:30.

Adrenaline junkie? Try this scenario. It really gets my heart pumping….and for better or for worse, I haven't been able to get back to sleep before the 5:30 round, so at least that's one thing.  I think the adrenaline is that part that keeps a mama's gag reflex from operating full force; I think it's the part the helps you get down to the business of cleaning things up without thinking about being totally grossed out.

 This is the very first we've dealt with throw-up in Hattie's 2.5+ years, and I do count that a tremendous blessing. And no one else threw-up at either the sound or residual smell associated, and that too is a great blessing. And what's more, she hasn't thrown up since this morning. Maybe she's got the yuckies out of her little system……Nevermind, the yuckies are NOT out of her little system (sigh), but it wasn't throw up, and that is somewhat easier to deal with.

I think the hardest part so far has been lunch today. Adele and I had to eat, and poor Hattie was relegated to a squeeze pouch of applesauce.
"Mama, I'm better now, can I have some pizza too?"
-"No dear, this is the same pizza you threw up last night. Maybe tonight you can have some rice if that applesauce sits well."
"Okay, I'm ready for some rice."
-"Not yet, dear, you have to give your belly time to get better."……..and on and on. She doesn't seem to feel that badly, which is very confusing as to why she can't eat normally.

I feel like I'm earning a motherhood merit badge right now. It would probably say "Survived 1st Stomach Flu", and I'll feel a little taller and wiser having earned it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

On Pink Cake (again)

 You may remember, I like pink cake. It's sheer pink-ness makes it much much more tasty than any other color cake I can imagine.
Hattie likes pink cake, too. With only four months until her birthday, she is talking most every day about how she'll be three on her birthday and how she'll have a strawberry cake and how-in a nutshell- she wants almost everything just the same as it was last year. I've told her she didn't have to have a strawberry cake, but she reassured me that it is the flavor of choice for her birthday. She's also told me that Adele wants an orange cake for her birthday. ;)

Now, I have a confession. I've been a little loathe to commit to pink cake again because before today, I was pretty sure there wasn't any other option for the strawberry gelatin part….I mean, I thought that all strawberry gelatin was loaded down with Red 40 and who knows what all, and that's why I was noncommittal.

But, Hallelujah, I found today on Amazon a more nutritious strawberry gelatin, and I'm stoked. I didn't want to make baby girl a cake that I couldn't really feel good about her eating.
I'm thankful to have this concern put to rest.

I'm thankful I can make Hattie pink cake on her birthday with a clear conscience.

I'm thankful we can indulge in pink cake to our hearts' content! It's going to be deliciously pink….in May.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Essential Oils

Before Thanksgiving, I received my order of essential oils (from Plant Therapy because they are tremendously cheaper than the bigger brands, but are good quality).
Do I think they work? For sure.
Are they going to keep us from getting sick altogether? Obviously not…Emery's on day three of the horrible flu, and my throat is feeling questionable.

Last night, the girls and I hunkered down for bed (Emery's has quarantined himself in the office), and I was tired enough that I didn't want to go get the oils and do our feet. No big deal, I thought. And then after a few hours, I realized that I couldn't sleep because my feet felt so DRY!
This is coming from a person who doesn't like to have lotion on her legs at night because it's harder to sleep.

I haven't gotten into using ALL of the oils in the kit I ordered (14 of them), but I do like the Immunity-Aid blend, orange, and lemon oils best so far.
I thought I would like Germ-Fighter, known as Thieves in one of the big brands, but it's too strong for my family. In a carrier oil, a few drops of Germ-Fighter will make the rest of my family's skin turn red, and in a diffuser, Adele starts sneezing. Oh well, I'm glad I didn't just buy that one by itself as I was tempted to do.


In other news, Adele learned to drink from a straw, which is just about the cutest thing in the world, next to her waking up and clapping first thing. And those two little teeth make her look bigger than I'm ready for. In fact, this whole 'being nine months old' thing is almost too much for my little heart. We've been able to hold her in our arms for as long as I held her in my womb. She's grown so much!
We canceled her well-visit this time because I had serious nerves about contracting illnesses at the Dr's office. I don't think they ought to schedule well-visits during flu season at all.

Emery having the flu this week has been a trial…most of all to him, I'm sure. Fevers of 104 aren't easy to deal with, but my little girlies crying because they can't play with Daddy is pretty hard too. And single parenting isn't a barrel of monkeys either. I'm really thankful he doesn't have to travel with his job; having Emery home every night is such a blessing.

Pray the rest of us are spared from the flu!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


"He giveth more grace"

Oh how I need MORE GRACE!

Especially when Adele only slept an hour or two at a time last night.
Especially when I don't feel like I've recovered from our Christmas/New Year's travels.
Especially when my two year old is so thoroughly a two year old (and I'll leave it at that).

I wanted to pity myself this morning. I wanted to vent to any and all my mommy friends who would sympathize. I wanted to rationalize being short on patience and mercy with my children….But God {Aren't you thankful for the "But God"s in the Bible!}….but God reminded me that in my weakness, he is strong. That underneath are the everlasting arms. That He would sustain me and give me grace and strength for every moment.
So, I'm trying to be thankful for difficult days like this; thankful for the reminder of my own weaknesses and insufficiencies, and of the bigness of God.

"I can do all things through Christ"…..even getting the dishes washed!