Thursday, November 13, 2014

what's gotten into me this year?

Usually we don't get our Christmas tree until the weekend after Thanksgiving.  We've actually been known not to put up a tree until freakin' the middle of December.  But this year.... I'm soooo ready to get decorated for the holidays, and it seems like so many of my Facebook friends are ready too!  PEER PRESSURE!

I know everyone complains that Thanksgiving gets looked over but.... why can't you celebrate Thanksgiving with Christmas decorations up?  I think I'm going to this year!!!

Amelia and I went grocery shopping today and we browsed all the Christmas aisles.  I picked up some stocking stuffers for the kids (I love being able to shop for presents with a toddler who won't remember HAHAH!) and I've already started ordering Christmas gifts.   During AJ's dance class I made a list on my phone of random people in our day to day lives that we should make/give gifts to (like their teachers, dance teacher, art teacher, Nancy at the barn who takes care of the horses, the UPS guy... etc).  I'm just... SO in the Christmas spirit this year!   YAY!  

This weekend I think we're heading up to the Novi Equestrian Expo and the boys have riding lessons on Sunday but I think somewhere in between there we're going to try to get down at least some of the Christmas decorations.  Besides.... Ry bought some shelves to organize the attic so this would be a PERFECT time to get that done too!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Because when...

When your 2 year old asks you to ride horses with you, you say yes.  Always. 



today... is a big day!

Today I did something that I thought would not happen for decades.

I paid of the 2nd and 3rd of my 5 student loans.  PAID IN FULL.   Oh my holy word.   It feels AWESOME to feel free from a chunk of that debt.

I can't wait to tackle the last 2, and then Ryan's.  I want to be student-loan debt free before next summer which will mean.... I will have paid off a total of $100k in student loans in a years' time.  Oh yes.   For reals.   AMAZING huge sigh of relief.

I have so many goals after that.  First will be Ryan finding his niche and working from home.... not sure what he plans to do but he is wanting to leave his job badly, but he needs to have SOMETHING to do with his time.

My next huge goal will be to buy either a farmhouse to renovate and 20-30 acres, or buy 20-30 acres and begin building our dream home on it.  That probably won't happen for a few more years but that's the next huge accomplishment I want to take on.  I still have no idea where we want to live long-term.   Its scary to think of moving away from Michigan but the longer I'm here the more I despise the weather.  The thing is.... I hate HOT summers, but I also hate months on end of soggy, gray, cold weather too.  Can I have somewhere that is 75* year round please?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Hudsonisms...

This weekend we went to Birch Run shopping.   Hudson picked out this red sweater at Nautica he looooved so we bought it for him.  He bugged us the whole entire day to wear it.   This morning, we told him he could wear it to church if he wanted to.  He was totally geeked.   On the way to church we overheard this conversation in the back of the truck.

Hudson:  Porter, I knit this sweater!
Porter:  No you didn't!  Mom, Hudson is saying he knit his sweater.  Did he?
Me:  I don't know.... maybe?
Hudson:  Yep!  See!!  That's why they call me a "K"nit-wit.

I about died.  Just.  About.  Died.

Then, after church we stopped at Dunham's.  Hudson hopped out and still had on his sticker/nametag from church.  He says "I could be a worker here!  I'm like.... a MINI worker!"  


Saturday, November 8, 2014

torn

I have this daydream often that we live on a farm with chickens and goats and horses and I homeschool and the kids and I laugh all day and everything we do is filled with learning and wonder and excitement.  I know it's a fantasy.  It's not reality, or mine at least.  This is the highlight reel plastered on blogs and Instagram accounts.  

But what keeps resonating with me is this pull to homeschool them.  I really felt the urge beginning last fall, when Porter was in 2nd grade.  His class was disorganized and chaotic.  Luckily he's a good student and learns quickly, but every time I volunteered I couldn't help but think.... We could do this writing in half the time and I know porter can do a better job than he's doing!  And the friends.... He's a good kid but he is constantly drawn toward the naughty kids of the class.  He thrives on their exciting, rebellious behavior and constantly befriends them.  He knows their behavior is wrong.  He doesn't cross the line at school but he does come home with some behaviors and knowledge about things that we don't discuss or allow at home. We live in a bit of a transient community, but there are some great families and great boys in his grade that he could be friends with.  However, there is never more than 1 or 2 of these good kids in his class.

Last year I had the boys stop riding the school bus because of some of the things they told me were being said/talked about on the bus by 6th graders.  This year I was just appalled at some of the language and things spoken about by one of the boys in his class.  

And the more I really analyze schools-from teaching to volunteering positions- I realize how much time is "wasted" and not actually educational.  They're there for 7 hours a day.  So much of that time is spent transitioning 25+ kids from one lesson to the next, or getting everyone to follow directions or quiet down.   My kids are spending 7 hours a day with kids that I can't control what they learn from home or say at school and I'm not there to mediate.  They could be learning the same amount in less than half the time at home.  

I keep feeling like I'm being pulled to homeschool but the thing is.... I feel like the worst mother ever as it is.  My patience is shot by the evening.  I feel like my plate is so full as it is.  Truth be told, most days I look forward to dropping the boys off at school and having the day free from chaos and fighting.  I know that if I tried homeschooling it would be a bust.  I would suck not only as their teacher but as their mother as well.  Not to mention working from home on top of that.  I don't know how I could possibly balance it all. 

It kills me that I don't have the attitude of loving to be around my kids all the time.  It kills me that, I'll be honest, Porter's challenging personality exhausts me on a daily basis and that some days it is all I can do to even like him.  

I headed to bed with worries heavy on my shoulders.  I'm not sure what the right choice is for us.  Do I attempt to homeschool and really get my life in gear and organized to the minute and planned and productive?  Do I switch schools?  Do I look into private schools?  Do I hire someone to homeschool for me?  

I passed porters room on the way to bed and paused to watch him sleep.  I used to do this every night when he was little.  I love him with all my heart.  There are many days I don't like him (and many days I don't even like myself because of my lack of ability to deal with his personality) but I always love him.  I want to shelter him from the bad things in this world.  I worry about his choices.  I worry about the path he will take in life.  I just want the best for him. For all our kids.  Right now I just don't know what exactly IS the best.  

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ameliaisms

10.16.14
-I cared a wonder (I’m scared of thunder)

-Early one morning snuggling in bed with Porter and I. 
Amelia:  "Poe, you gimme a frog?” 
Poe: "no”. 
Amelia: "dang it all"

-One day I called her Sugar Bear. She said "I not sugar bear. I just a-meeah"

11.6.14
-I was dropping her off at Oma's one morning and getting out of the truck she says "I don't want to scare Oma. She nice"

-She's so bossy to the boys. At dinner tonight she says "stop talking boys. Shhh!" She is constantly tattling on them but it's for the silliest things. Like "Poe say me to stop it". "Poe say me be quiet".  

-Riding in the car today I said "the clouds look like cotton candy!"  She laughed so hard and said "you funny mama!"  I said "I just want to eat those clouds up!"  She laughed harder and said "yum yum I eat them in my belly!!"

pay it forward....







I'm in this major pay-it-forward mood lately, and yesterday a friend inspired me to give anonymously more often.  Yesterday the boys and I headed to the Animal Shelter to drop off donations.  On the way there we swung through McD's to get a drink and McFlurry.  I paid for the car behind me.  This McD's was in kind of a sketchy area of town and the McD's worker looked at me like I had 2 heads when I told her I wanted to pay for the car behind me as well.  Porter was totally in awe that I did... he said "That was REALLY nice, mom!"  I hope that I inspired him, too.



Today, Amelia and I did a little shopping after dance class and I had a craving for a spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy's so we... uh I... decided to hit up drive through again.   I ordered and then noticed the really old, sputtering rusty truck behind me and thought... what the heck.  Two pay it forwards in two days.  So I paid for his order, too.  It was $20 or so, so I hope that maybe he was ordering for some work friends, too, and maybe I spread a little sunshine not only to his day but to theirs as well.

                                 

 I plan to make a list of things I can do throughout the holidays (and throughout the year!)... some intentional and some random and anonymous.   This year is the first year ever we've been in the financial position to just give freely and generously and it feels amazing to be able to do this for others.  So the moral of the story here is.... not that I've eaten fast food wayyyy too much lately, but that even the smallest little acts of kindness can go a long way.  Spread some sunshine into others' lives.

                                            
                                         

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

lazy day ramblings

Today I have no expectations for completing anything.  We are having a lazy day.

It's rainy outside.  Has this been the rainiest October in Michigan or what??

Amelia feels ucky and is whiny.  She's had a stuffy nose since this weekend.   I've been lazy at applying oils.  GRR.

My legs and butt is soooore.  I went riding yesterday and it always is a great lower body workout.  I just wish I could make more time for it!

How does the morning fly by so quickly??   I swear, I drop the boys off at school and then its lunchtime.   Nevermind that we've done nothing but sit on the couch and watch cartoons, eat Sour Patch Kids and I've been busting butt catching up on work-related tasks.

We may or may not be eating Kraft Mac n Cheese for lunch.  Don't judge.

I just got back from an AMAZING work weekend trip in Chicago with some of the best girls you can find anywhere in the world.  I will be writing up my thoughts about this trip sometime soon I hope.   I've been trying to catch up on sleep.  The last two nights I've gone to bed at 8pm and slept for 10 hours.  Yesterday I also took a nap.

I've been so lazy at potty training Amelia.  The girl could be trained by now but I am a slacker.   I rest easy knowing it is highly unlikely she will go to kindergarten in a diaper.

Football is finally over and the boys are starting riding lessons.   I don't anticipate they'll care to show or anything like that, but I want to see if either of them have any further interest in riding more often. I really would like to get another horse that either one of the boys, or Ryan, or a friend could use and ride with me.   Its boring riding alone!  But, I hate to pay for another horse if it won't get used.  I know in about 2 years Amelia will be all over that... but in the meantime... not sure its necessary.  We'll see!   I have a feeling Porter will be more into riding than Hudson, but I really think riding could be a great confidence boost for Hudson- especially since he really has no interest in competitive team sports.   We'll see!!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

the day that never ends....

I've been in a mood today.  Not a pretty one.  Ok.   I'm not in a pretty mood very much anymore anyhow.  (did that make sense?)  Anyhow, today just started out sucky and no matter what, it just kept being sucky.    There are some good little specks though.


  • Our life insurance guy was supposed to come tonight for a meeting... even though we finalized everything I'm like what the actual hell do we have to meet with you AGAIN?  I don't want to meet with you again until one of us knocks the bucket.  I don't have time for this shit. 
  • I cancelled said appointment.  
  • I finally hired a cleaning lady today... like an "all house clean my everything" cleaning person. She comes tomorrow.  I'm excited!  I'm also like... crap... we've got to clean the house for the cleaning person!  Seriously though, we just got back from camping and our house is FILLED to the brim with laundry and things not put away.  Not to mention we still haven't fully transitioned out summer stuff so we have two seasons of crap all over. 
  • Porter is FINALLY done with football. I loved watching them play but oh my everloving lord THREE 2-hour practices a night, plus a game on the weekends is more than I like to deal with. The season actually ended almost 2 weeks ago but the guy who runs the league decided to throw "one more in" so P's team (Michigan Center Red) played the other MC team (black).  It rained most of the game and was cold, but it was a nail biter all to the end.  The ended up tying. 
  • Tomorrow, in addition to my house getting cleaned, I'm getting my hair done.  It's been MONTHS!   It is soooo desperately in need of coloring.  I am going dark again.  I'm over the blonde.  Bleh.  Its okay for summer.  Something different.  But I love my dark hair.   
  • A few more days until CHICAGO!!!   I'm so in need of a weekend away.  I'm headed to FUEL (Fire Up Everything in Life) event with my Lemon Dropper girls.  YEAH!   I'm excited to be with these ladies this weekend, and to meet up with so many that I work with daily and know only from Facebook.  It's going to be an awesome weekend.  
  • This fall.... isn't fall supposed to be dry and crispy and cold?  Well... I feel like ours has been nothing but RAIN!  Seriously... its rained like every other day.  So, our leaves are totally wet. Can't rake them into piles for the kids because they're... WET.   I feel like its my most hated springtime taking over my favorite fall season.   MICHIGAN.... you're not helping yourself here.... I'm about over it.  
I'm so complainy.  I know.  Maybe I need to do my 3 positive things post.... no, what I need is a nap.  Like a long, no one bother me for days, nap.....

Monday, October 20, 2014

book issues


I have a really terrible problem.   I want to read.  I love reading.   I have lots of books I want to finish. But.... other things seem to come up and I never complete anything.  I start reading a book and then another one comes along that sounds SO good that I start that one, too. And then another.  And another.  And then finally I'm so overwhelmed and in the middle (or beginning...) of so many books I don't know where to focus!   This summer is where it all started.... I started the Divergent Series.  I got through 2 books and am only part way through the 3rd.  And now its been so long (and I've started so many others in the meantime) that I don't even remember where I was.  I decided to start a list of books I started but haven't completed yet this summer/fall. GAH! 

  • Divergent series

  • The fault in our stars

  • Summer sisters

  • The art of racing in the rain

  • Momfulness


  • Beautiful Mess

  • Start.

  • Desperate

  • Carry On, Warrior

  • Dare to Dream

  • Christ in the Chaos

  • Five Love Languages of Children

  •  
  • The Best Yes

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

thankful | september 30

A few years ago when I was seeing a therapist, she suggested I write down 3 things I'm thankful for at the end of the day.  The purpose was to focus my mind and heart on the positives from the day.  To see the successes, no matter how small.  I've kind of been in a rut lately and feel like I need to refocus a bit.  I don't think I'll do this daily, but whenever I feel negativity creeping in I'm going to try to document the good, the positive, the uplifting.  So, for today.... no matter how insignificant:
  1. This morning when I realized it was picture day for Porter, and I told him he'd have to wear the polo I had picked out for his school pictures instead of the outfit he'd picked out.... he accepted without a hitch.  No whining, no tantrum, no questions.
  2. Hudson conquered his fear of going upstairs alone to get his parrot that he wanted to take to school after I told him it was time to leave and I didn't have time to go upstairs with him.  He had the choice to go upstairs alone or go to school without.  And he mustered up his bravery and ran upstairs alone.  CHEER!!
  3. I've had an eye opening day... realizing what amazing women I'm in the presence of daily. Seeing one of my best friends reach a goal she's worked SO hard for, and deserves more than anyone.  Seeing two of my girls take on and replicate leadership skills.... it literally brought tears to my eyes.  And finally, I'm doing a pay it forward with some lavender oil I brought home from France.  One of the requirements is that my team has to pay it forward as well, and be nominated for the oil.  And reading through the nominations.... seeing how uplifting and kind these women are, how they cheer each other on, how they encourage and congratulate and acknowledge each other. This just makes my heart so happy.  Its hard, with women, to find friends who do that for you.  To find a group of people who can be truly happy for each other. Who can celebrate successes, encourage each other and tell each other openly that they're proud of them.   Truly makes my heart happy.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

back in the groove

Now that school is back in session, I feel like we're settling into a more "normal" groove.  Lots of things still going on, but it feels more manageable.  It has been a crazy, busy month (football has taken over for realz... gah!) and I so need to go back and pull out some pictures and blog about them. Lots of firsts for these kiddos!


  • Porter is playing tackle football.  I'm not thrilled they start so young (3rd grade) but he really likes it.  He gets braver and more confident with each practices (says Ryan... because I stay home with Amelia..... she's a wild beast at practice, trying to jump on the mats with all the big kids).   As much as I complain about practice time and the busy-ness, I love watching him play. 
  • Hudson is taking an art class- painting!  We signed him up for flag football but he refused to even attempt to participate so we aren't going to push it with him.  He's total opposite of Porter and I honestly don't see him in physical sports, but we'll see.  He was SO excited about the painting class!   
  • Amelia started dance class... Creative Movement.  She's super excited to go, and oh my gawwwww kill me with cuteness!  Can I tell you how long I've waited to have a little girl to wear a cute little leotard and piggies?  GAWWW!  She went into class without looking back, and when she came out she was ALL smiles, saying "I went a dance class!  I got a sticker!"
  • I haven't been out to ride Lacey as much as I've wanted to.  Once a week has been my average... which is phoooey.  But, it is what it is.  I finally ventured out into the trails/fields behind the barn and can't believe its taken me that long to go check it out.  Perfect riding areas!  I only wish we had another horse so I could have someone come along and ride with me.  It gets kind of boring riding alone. 
  • Amelia and I are headed to South Carolina next week for a girls-only weekend.  Well, it was supposed to be kid-free but I had literally NO ONE to watch her so I'm taking her along.  It'll be my grandma, mom, aunt, cousin, me and Amelia.  We're going to Edisto Island.  I can't wait. 4 full days of relaxing at the ocean. Heaven. 
Question for you readers.... we recently had an incident where I realized I REALLY needed to have parental security on our computer/internet for the kids.  So, our internet is pretty much locked down.  It has really opened my eyes to the age Porter is at, as well as how many things our kids are exposed to at such young ages.   Today Porter recognized this funny mom-parody ("All I need is Space") as the tune to "All about the bass".  I asked where he heard that song and he said he heard it at school.  So and so was on YouTube on the iPad.   (they have classroom iPads).  Kids at his school are also allowed to have iPods out on the playground.   Is it just me or..... does this seem inappropriate?  I mean, some of the "popular" music is soooo inappropriate for younger kids, and I'm sure half the parents don't listen to what the lyrics are saying.  We're really trying to watch what the boys are exposed to, and I'm just feeling uncomfortable with young kids having unmonitored access to YouTube and use of personal iPods with unmonitored materials on it.  What do you think?  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

dance class mom fail

I signed Amelia up for dance class for 2/3 year olds and was SO excited for her to go.  I ordered her a little leotard with skirt, ballet shoes and tights.  I knew she was going to love it- she LOVES to dance. After waiting 20 minutes for "her class" to start, we realized that the whole time we were waiting HER CLASS was in session!  Oops!  Good thing she was just as happy with hopping around the circles on the floor!  




Her first official class we made it to was as great as could be expected.  She went right into class, no issues at all.  She was ready!  I was afraid she's be nervous or want me to go with her but no.  She walked right in and never looked back.  They crawled through tunnels, danced fast and slow, walked across balance beams, jumped through hoops on the ground.  She came out of class beaming, telling me " I go a dance class!"   She loved it!   


Sunday, September 7, 2014

it doesn't have to be taboo

Have you seen the article about the Duggar kids floating around... The one talking about how they announced their pregnancy before the standard 12 weeks, and that they chose to do so because they would acknowledge their baby if they did miscarry?  This kind of hit home with me, and made me feel guilty.  

See, right after I came home from Silver retreat I found out I was pregnant.  Yes.  Pregnant.  #4.  Huge surprise and not planned.  At.  All.  I spent a good week feeling awful.... Thinking about the things that a 4th child would screw up.  Like drinking wine in France, or vacationing as a family in one hotel room or only having 3 cubby baskets in my foyer.   And then I started to realize how great it would be... One more child to love (or drive me crazy), one more chance to savor those little baby moments, one more gummy faced smile, one more first step.  I got excited about watching our 3 kiddos with a new baby, and seeing Porter and Hudson dote on another little baby.  I started to get excited.  


We have never really announced our pregnancies until I think close to 10 weeks.  Usually after we get a chance to have an ultrasound and hear the heartbeat.  Before we left for France we told a few family members, and I'd told a couple close friends. But while we were in France, Ryan talked freely about it.  My getting knocked up was kind of the butt of our jokes because, well, it's kind of funny when your friend asks if you have a tampon bc they need one in the middle of a castle tour and you're like "Hello, me? Did you forget I got knocked up?"  


We got home from France and I was looking forward to LeeAnn scanning me and hopefully becoming "Facebook official" as I was close to 9 weeks along.  


And then I miscarried.  And it kind of became this taboo, awkward thing.  Thank GOD I was home when this began because it was a painful few days, physically and emotionally.  I wanted to hole up in my room for the week and just be done with it.  It was an awful last week of summer.  I felt like I was in labor for half of the week and unable to do anything productive with the kids.  I was grumpy and sad and nonexistent as a mother.  I felt like a failure.  I let a few people know what happened but all the "acquaintances" that had been told?  What do you do then?  Ugh.  And then this article came out.  And I realized.... This doesn't have to be a big secret.  This happened.  This baby had a heartbeat and little arms that moved and it shouldn't be taboo.   It's part of our story.  I can write about it.  And document this as part of our life.

I am no stranger to miscarriage.  Before we had Porter I miscarried very early- at 5 weeks.  It was awful-  when the only thing you want is a baby and you lose a pregnancy you're so excited about and you don't have other children to keep you preoccupied and all you can think about is the waiting and wishing and hoping.  This miscarriage hasn't been as emotionally difficult- it was unexpected, both the pregnancy and the miscarriage, but I do feel sad when I realize I should be 12 weeks along now, and that other friends are announcing pregnancies and I would have been pregnant with them. 

I'm not sure where we will go from here. We hadn't planned on a 4th child but now that we welcomed the idea I feel like it feels right.  But then I worry that maybe the miscarriage was a sign that we aren't supposed to have a 4th.  That we don't need anymore craziness in our lives (who does?).  And, well, we all know the Ry and I never produce any calm, complacent, docile children so surely a 4th would be another wild, strong willed, independent kiddo.  I guess time will tell, and we'll have to see what direction prayers and fate point us in.  But for now, I rest easy knowing I don't have to feel like this is/was something to hide.  Thank you, Duggars, for opening my eyes.  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

what a compliment

Amelia woke me up this morning stroking my hair.

A: "Hair look nice. Take a shower today? Take a bath today?"

Me: "Are you asking did I take a shower or am I going to take a shower?"

A: "Am I"

Me: (laughing)  "Yes, I am going to take a shower today"

A: (grinning, because she knows she's so goofy and cute) "Okayyyyy"

Thursday, August 28, 2014

It's a chair for...

Yesterday I had to have some bloodwork done so I took the kids with me.  Its usually an in an out type deal but for some reason, we ended up waiting in the waiting room for 50 minutes before being called back.

Anyhow, in the waiting room they have chairs all around, and one was like a loveseat chair but not quite as big.... inbetween a loveseat and a chair. Amelia climbs up, all charming and cute and says "Its a couch! I'm sitting on the couch!" So, porter sits with her and he says "Its just a double chair Amelia." 

Everyone's smiling at Amelia, who is just being adorable as usual. Hudson, who was super grumpy all morning, says all loud "It's a chair for fat people"

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Firsts

I spent the weekend in Spokane, WA for Young Livings Silver Retreat.   It was full of all kinds of firsts for me...

-Upgrading to First Class on my flight to Phoenix (Janell texts:  "I upgraded to first class last night on a whim... there's a seat next to me!  It's only $200!"   Nicole texts back:  "I'm going to kick your ass!")
-White water rafting ("I want a peace raft! You are all traitors!  I don't want to splash!  I want a new raft.  I need to switch rafts!")
-Ordering room service and spending way more on it than I ever would have in the past
-Buying my first pair of LuluLemon leggings.  HEAVEN On EARTH.  Worth the $90 (yes.  OUCH!)
-Crashing a wedding 

This weekend.... I can't even express in words how amazing it has been. This weekend has been about friendship, oils, education, camaraderie, more laughter than you could ever need, new experiences, and the realization that you're more blessed than you could ever have imagined. This weekend has made me realize how life changing the past year has been. Life changing in a GOOD way. A really, really, really good way. I'm going to miss all these girls once I arrive home but am thankful to know that we will be together again soon and when we do--- let the good times begin... AGAIN!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

just.... enjoy.

I tend to push myself too much, and am guilty of not setting aside quality time to just decompress... to relax, let loose, have fun and ENJOY THE DAY.   This summer..... its almost over and I feel like I haven't been allowed to do things that *I* want to do.  Things for myself.   Things with the kids.   And it's silly... because I can do anything I want, but I have this thought in my mind that I have to be productively working, or at least feeling like I'm working, or else I'm slacking.  So, I've spent a lot of my summer working my butt off.  Sure, it pays off.  It pays off WELL.  But.... I also know I need to cherish these days because babies don't keep.

Carly and Kinsley came over today and while we sat on the deck just watching the kids play (well.... I was regulating the boys b/c of course Porter always seems to make issues out of everything) and chatted about business and kids and life in general, I realized... I need to schedule time like this.  I NEEEEEED to make time for things like this.  To push work aside and just enjoy the day, enjoy the company, enjoy the kids.  

I hope that I keep this in mind, that I'll never regret the time spent with the kids or the time spent with friends.   I'll never look back on life and think "Oh, I wish I would have worked more".  No.   I need to keep perspective.  Today brought me that.  Thank you.  


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Amelia's Big Girl Bed

I'm not exactly sure how we're already to this point.... packing up the crib and busting out a big girl bed.   It's breaking my heart, I tell you! The last one is bittersweet.   So bittersweet.

I've been putting this off for awhile now.   We moved Porter into a twin bed when he turned 2.  Hudson we moved at 18 months.  Last weekend Ryan went out of town and that night, Amelia decided to show me her skills in scaling her crib.  She's officially on the loose.  I had been browsing Pinterest with ideas for her big girl room so I was getting excited at finally just changing things over.  I decided to go for it.

Originally I'd wanted to use the headboard I bought that matches her dresser.  However, after a botched attempt at putting a full sized bed in her room, I decided a twin was better suited.   She has a long dresser (which takes up room) and her big dollhouse and stable, and I plan to put an Expedit shelf in there as well.  So, twin it is.

Her room is pretty "vintage" inspired, so of course a Jenny Lind bed is only appropriate!  I scoured Craigslist and found one 2 hours away, by Lake Michigan.  You know what that means... ROAD TRIP!   I'll document that separately, because that's quite a story.

So, I got her bed home and set up, and she was so excited about it!  She keeps calling it her "Bunk Bed"   I love it.  She's doing pretty good so far staying in bed.  Naptime is probably the hardest.  But, lately she's been scaling back on naps as well.  She still needs them (seriously!!) but instead of her typical 2-3 hour naps its been a quick hour nap and then she's still grumpy. BOO!

I've already ordered a quilt from Pottery Barn Kids, and a bunch of different vintage sheets and pillow cases from Etsy and eBay.  I can't WAIT to pull her room all together!  It's going to be DARLING!











Monday, June 30, 2014

lazy days of summer is a lie

If you're on Facebook, or a blogger, or even on Pinterest.... you'll recognize the posts I'm about to mention.  I hop on Pinterest and I see millions of posts about Summer Bucket Lists and fun summer activities and crafts and places to go.  I have a Summer Fun board and the past 2 years I've created our own Summer Bucket List of some sort to keep our days full.  I crave the busy, the full days, the crammed in activities and outings.  And then, on the other hand, you will come across posts talking about "screw the lists" let's let our kids have a summer like we had when we were kids in 1975... let them run rampant through the neighborhood and not \\\\\\\\\\\\\\see them until dinner.  Let's do nothing all day but relax and enjoy each other.  Forget bucket lists... forget millions of fun, planned activities.

I envy those people who are able to do that because in all honesty, I think the lazy days of summer is a big fat lie.

What brought me to think about this, you ask?  Well.  This morning I woke up and knew I had to get the kids out of the house or I'd lose my mind.  I had already decided I'd take them to my grandma's pool so that's what we did... by 9:30 we were on the road, hit up the grocery store for snacks, drinks and lunchables, and swam until around 12:30.  You'd think this was a relaxing type of morning... right?

Wrong.  

These are my children we're talking about.   The entire time they were at the pool- my boys, my 9 year old niece and Amelia, I heard my name called less than 387 times and I had to get after Porter about 436 times.  They begged me to get in.  I got in.  Then they (mainly my kids) only shouted after me to watch this or help me do this or look at this or this person is doing this!!   Oh. My. WORD.   So 12:30 rolls around and I'm exhausted.  

We get home and I send everyone upstairs- nap for Amelia and reading time for the boys.  An hour passes (as well as 5 or 6 interruptions from the boys asking when they can come down... holy mother eff.... can I get ONE HOUR??) and not long after, Amelia is up. We watch a little tv to wake up and then head outside.  Take out pizza, the neighbor kiddo Eian, the hose and kiddie pools for the evening line up.

You'd think this would entertain them, right?

Wrong.

These are my children you're talking about.  Stops quirting your brother.  Share the slide.  Don't push. Don't hit.  Stop bugging him.  Leave her alone.  Stop screaming so loud.  Hudson leave the hose on the jet setting when you're shooting at their targets.  Porter stop whining about your pool floatie.  And the list goes onnnnn and onnnn and onnnn.

7pm we finally had to send Eian home because Hudson decided to start emptying the pool out and didn't stop when I asked him to.  In the house, shower and bath time now.   It's going to be an early bedtime.

Now... we had a full day.  I'd love to wake up tomorrow morning and just lay around the house... let the kids play and read a little, organize a few things etc...  But no.  That sounds amazing in theory but do you know how much fighting and whining would be included in that scenario?   I think tomorrow we're headed to the zoo.  Then maybe back to the pool Weds or Thursday and on Friday we're going to an Adventure Park to do an obstacle course in the trees type deal.   I'm exhausted just thinking about the week, but I know if we just sit at home it'll be nothing more than me screaming at kids for non-stop fighting and Porter instigating things left and right (because I'll be honest- this boy is like 5 kids in one.  I could have a whole herd of 10 kids and it'd be less work than Porter among 2 others.  He knows how to get under peoples skin and bug people and push limits like no other).

So screw you, lazy days of summer.  I guess... maybe lazy days means 5 margaritas deep so the kids' fighting is drown out by a tequila stupor but.... maybe I'm wrong.  I guess I'll continue on my jam packed summer filling in the down time with activities to attempt to maintain my sanity.

firefly nights


Tonight was one of those marvelous, once in a blue moon nights where life just seems perfect.  I almost missed out on these moments... I originally had plans to ditch the family after Kidz Kamp night and go for a few drinks.  The kids have been driving me bonkers at home lately.  It's been a Long, rainy week. 

Anyhow, at church Ry decided he wanted to go to outback to eat after the Kidz Kamp event was over and the kids begged for brown bread.  It was 7:30 and I knew we were asking for a disaster.  We are gluttons for punishment and always leave dinners at restaurants thinking "why did we do this again??"   But anyhow, we went to outback.  
The kids were amazing.  Sure they got antsy but for the most part they were great!  They ate their food, kept themselves entertained and we treated them with desert.  We all shared a chocolate thunder in which no one whined over anyone else getting more than them.  We left and I couldn't stop praising the kids for their good behavior.

On the way home Ry said to me "do you hear that?"  Yup. It was the sound of the boys talking and laughing and conspiring together.  Happily!   No fighting!  In this moment they were best friends.  Partners in crime.  

We got home and noticed there were fireflies outside.  We ran in and got a jar and went out back to catch some. They spent a good 20 minutes chasing the fireflies and filling their jars.  It was the perfect end to a summer night. 
Here's to hoping they sleep in in the morning!







Tuesday, June 10, 2014

letting go

Today was a big day for Poe. He's going to basketball camp at the high school, which is pretty much right across the road from us.  We literally can see the high school parking lot from our front yard.  He's been begging for more independence and well, I decided that maybe this is one little way I can let go and he can assert his independence.   I won't lie... it took a lot of convincing but I finally decided to let him ride his bike to camp. I watched him the whole way, and he did a GREAT job.... he didn't ride crazy, he watched where he was going, and the biggest one- he made it there HAHA!  But, let me tell you.... big moment here.  Why is growing up so hard.... on the mamas?


quiet time

It's quiet time around these here parts.   It doesn't always happen so seamlessly, but today is one of those days.   Both boys are cooperating and are quietly reading in their bedrooms.  Hudson has already passed out napping.  Amelia is asleep.  I know it'll only last an hour, tops, so I'll soak it up while I can
.  


Saturday, June 7, 2014

FREE book when you take the plunge!!

So, I did a bulk order of these books and I have 5 extras.   They're normally $25+ shipping/handling from the publisher, but I'm going to send it to you for free with the purchase of the Premium Starter Kit. I love my oils, but I also think it's essential (har har!) to have a guide to teach you how to use them properly. First 5 peeps to take the plunge and order the kit get oily goodness and the must-have book for free! (new enrollments only)

Want to learn more about Essential Oils and about my oily journey?  Start HERE. 






To purchase a starter kit please follow these simple instructions:
  1. Go to:  Wholesale Member Sign-up
  2. Please make sure you've checked Wholesale Member (and not retail customer---you will not get wholesale prices as a customer)
  3. Enter #1443070 in the sponsor ID and enroller ID areas (they actually should already be there)
  4. Fill out your info
  5. Select your kit ($150 premium starter kit is the best value.  You get 11 oils plus a home diffuser in this kit)
  6. You can say no to the Essential Rewards--in fact, I recommend this until you've tried the oils and know if you like them or not.
    Disclaimer:  The information on this website is based upon my research and personal use of Young Living Essential Oils. I am not a doctor. Products and techniques mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Read the full disclaimer here. 

    Monday, June 2, 2014

    24




    24 hours. 

    Night and day. 

    Fresh beginnings. 

    New outlooks. 

    I am thankful for the rising sun, bringing a new day to start over fresh again.  

    Sunday was rough.  As a matter of fact, the whole weekend was rough.  I have been in a terrible mood lately and this weekend Porter was in a completely ridiculous mood.   The past few days he has done nothing but whine and moan and complain and argue and rage and cry over everything.  Mood swings galore.   The littlest things set him off.  If something isn't his way he either whines or pouts or stomps or yells.  It felt like I was living with a 2 year old Jekyll and Hyde in the body of an 8 year old boy.  I spent my whole weekend breaking up arguments, typically started or instigated by Porter.   I'm going to be honest.  By Sunday, I really didn't like my kids.  At. All.  I was exhausted.  And angry at myself for blowing up at them so much but also angry at them for their attitudes.  I wanted to leave and go find a hotel to stay in for a few nights alone and in silence because I was sure my head couldn't take anymore noise and whining and arguing.   I ended the weekend feeling so defeated. 

    Monday came, and when I picked the boys up from school I ran a few errands before picking Amelia up from daycare.  The two boys that got in the van after school were complete opposites of the boys I'd spent the weekend with.   They were kind to each other.  They were talking to each other- without picking and irritating.  I stopped at the gas station and let them pick out a snack since we weren't heading straight home.  The entire way to JoAnn Fabrics they shared snacks, trading Cheez-Its for Bugles.  Porter bartered, "I'll give you 4 Cheez-Its for 2 Bugles!" And they laughed with each other at the trades.  We stopped at JoAnn to pick up my sewing machine and they were fascinated by the monogram sewing machine that was sewing cars and frogs and trains.  Hudson gladly shared the rest of his Bugles with Porter, Porter thanked him in a kind voice.  They shared each others excitement as they watched the machine stitch a car.  I stood and watched them... in awe.  These boys.  AHHHh.  This is how I want to feel about my boys.  Pride.  Joy.  Love.  The lady at the sewing station told me to go ahead and look at fabric while they watched the machine.  I hesitated, thinking... I don't want to miss these moments of kindness and getting along.  Surely they'll start fighting and I wont' be here to break it up.   But, I walked away so proud of them... I couldn't believe what a change it was from the day before.  In 24 hours I went from wanting to run away from them to not wanting to leave their side because I wanted to marvel in their relationship with each other.  

    I am thankful for new days, new beginnings, and new outlooks.  24 hours.  

    Monday, May 19, 2014

    serendipity


    April 2014 was my 1 year anniversary with Young Living as a Lemon Dropper.

    April 2014 I hit an enormous milestone in the company:   Diamond

    Just the thought of this blows my mind.  It is surreal.  I've worked so hard for this yet it is so unexpected.  I can't explain it.  Who am I to be here?   Who am I to achieve this?  Who am I?

    Let me tell you a little bit about my journey.  The other day I saw the word serendipity on pinterest, and it resonated so loudly with me I couldn't deny it.   This entire journey was serendipity to me.  God was working so strongly in my life, and I had no idea.  I had no intentions of being on this journey, and I had no clue this is where my life would lead me.

    In 2012 I quit my job as a literacy coach.  If you've followed my blog for any length of time you'll remember what a struggle I was at around that time.  I wanted to be teaching full time (note *I* as in... that was MY plan, not Gods!), and I'd been putting in my time in a district/school I loved but doors were not opening for me like I had planned (again.. *I*).   I needed to continue working on my Master's Degree to fulfill my educational credits needed for my professional license, but I didn't want to finish my Master's without ever having taught full time.   I was at a cross road.  After I had Amelia, I was hit with a blow that forced me to drastic measures- I quit.  I quit with no other plan in place. I quit on the spot.  I knew my future in the school was not going anywhere, I'd never be hired in full time so I quit.  It was one of the bravest, scariest things I'd ever ever done.  My husband was proud of me but I was terrified.  While I didn't make much at the school (between $14k-$20k a year... no benefits etc), that income was necessary for us to survive.  My only plan was to dig in and pursue photography full time.

    2012 to 2013 was the hardest year ever for me.  I never spoke much about the struggles we went through and I really never divulged how low we got.  We fell behind on our mortgage.  We struggled to afford groceries and formula for Amelia.  We made bad financial decisions, my student loans defaulted.  It was bad.  I never confided this in anyone- ever.  Prideful, I guess maybe?   It was an embarrassing year of my life.  I wanted others to perceive me as flourishing and staying afloat, when in reality, we were sinking fast with no life boat in sight.  I trudged ahead with photography, putting all my efforts into that.  I started a little "side gig" of painting signs to pay bills.  Sure, I loved the artistic job and while I enjoyed it, it was kind of humiliating inside to know that I had a bachelor's degree and was painting signs to keep my family afloat.

    In April, something led me to essential oils.  The Lemon Droppers, to be specific.  I never had an interest in them, never thought the oils- or the business- had a place in my life. But  God had other plans.  I whole heartedly believe this was a God thing- He was working in my life to guide me on this path.  He led me to this serendipity of life.   My son had been sick with a sore throat, and we'd had on again off again sickness all winter, and multiple things led me to call my friend Michelle and talk to her about these oils.  I knew I wanted to try them but I didn't have the money.  Literally... I did not have $150 to squat on.  However, she told me about the business side and how the Lemon Droppers worked and I was very skeptical. I've done direct sales companies before and I've never gotten anywhere with them.  How was this going to be different?  She assured me, it was different.  Lemon Droppers worked together, they were a team, they helped each other.  They had a different approach and while the team was new, it was doing amazing things so far.   I charged my kit to a credit card and prayed I hadn't just done something incredibly stupid.

    Here's the kicker... I couldn't even tell Ryan what I did.  Yes. I hid it from him.  He saw my oils on the counter and I just kind of shrugged them off.  He asked how much they were and I told him "Free. A friend sent them to me." HA!  Well, they WERE free after my first months check!

    This past year has been the most amazing, mind blowing year of my life.  I spent months praying to God that this would work, that this THING... this team... this job... that I had no intentions of doing, would pan out.  In the late summer I had the opportunity to take back my horse from my teenage years. At the time I was making enough to pay her board, but I was hesitant to count on that money.  Every time I visited her at the barn I prayed that I would always be able to afford her, as I knew without Young Living that having her would not be possible.   I've prayed for my team, for my team members, for the growth of the company, for my wisdom and leadership.  And every month I see progress, some months larger than others, but I see progress.

    I begin to say "I have built this team below me" but I know that is not true.  I haven't done this alone. God has put me on this path, and He is the reason this has succeeded thus far.  And my team- I would not be where I am without an amazing, motivated team.  I can't take credit for this, but I did work my butt off.   When I started this business, I treated it just like that... a business.  A job.  I "clocked in" each day and spent time learning the business end.  I spent time working with teammates to brainstorm ideas, encourage each other and get our ducks in a row.  I wasn't one to sit back and hope it happened.... I knew after a month or two that I was going to MAKE this happen. I was going to help make big things happen not only for myself but for my team.

    So... Diamond.  This makes me giggle because it is so insane to think that is where I am right now. Diamond in a year.  2 levels away from the highest rank in the company- and I made it there in 12 months.  This journey started out with full on skepticism, turned into desperate prayer and finally rejoicing praise.   At my 12 month mark I had 9,000 members on my team, and over 1,000 of them business members.  That number makes me laugh.... I am essentially a leader to 1,000 business members.   What the what?   Remember what I made in A YEAR as a literacy coach?  That's my monthly check. (YL income disclosure statement)  Who am I to have this success?  Who am I to have been given this path to follow?   Who am I to find this financial freedom and yet have so much freedom with my family and children while they're young?   This is a God thing, that is all I can say.  I would have never chosen this path myself.

    One of my favorite things about this job- this job as a team leader- is helping others find success in building their own business as well.  I have cried many tears of happiness hearing my team members success.  Is everyone going to have the same rapid success I have had?  No.  Is everyone going to hit Diamond within a year?  No.  But... I have no doubt in my mind that anyone who works hard enough at it, and puts in time, effort, enthusiasm and commitment will eventually get to this point.   Those that refuse to fail, those that refuse to quit- they will find success.  If you jump in with both feet, fearless and with faith and work at this like it is your business (because it IS YOUR business and YOU and only YOU are responsible for its success and progress!), I know it will show results.  I know this because I've seen it happen time and time again.

    Serendipity.   Lemon Droppers has been my serendipity.  The unexpected good... the path I never intended to take.  The plan I never had in place.

    Friday, May 16, 2014

    story of my life


    Not kidding... this totally happened.   You know those days when everyone is fighting over something stupid, and your attempts to diffuse the situation don't help at all, and you finally lose your everloving mind?   Yeah... well.... its perfect when 1D comes on the radio with Story of My Life and you can blare it loud.... because truthfully, the fighting... the chaos.... the losing your mind.... that is the true story of my life.  

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

    angel kisses

    I love freckles. 

    I have freckles, so I guess I have to love them, right? 

    Porter has had freckles since he was a toddler, and I always tell the kids they're kisses from angels.  I noticed recently that Hudson has some faint freckles spattering his nose and cheeks.  I pointed it out and he was astonished.  I told him they're kisses from angels... that Nina must be giving him kisses!  

    A few days later he comes out of his room and says "MOM!  I have another freckle on my wrist!  Oh. My. Word!  Look!  Nina must have given me a kiss last night!"  Melt my heart.   This boy... he has such a childish wonder about him.  

    I love him.