January 22, 2016

Wardrobe Staples- The Next Season

Some day (soon-ish), I will neither be pregnant or breastfeeding and it will be the first time in over six years that I can say that's true... How that is even possible is a bit beyond me. I first got pregnant in the late summer of 2010 and it's 2016 now.

Some day I plan on having a body that no longer looks like it has just been pregnant or that looks like it still IS pregnant.

And when that time comes my clothes for my prepregnancy weight will be almost a decade old and some of them much older than that. So... I'm looking at wardrobe staples lately and thinking about slowly putting money back for some quality pieces.

30 Pieces You Should Have in Your Wardrobe by 30 (or 40?)
-striped shirt/boat neck
-ankle length black pants
-ballet flats
-boyfriend jeans
-plain white tee
-ribbed turtle neck
-denim jacket
-stylish sunglasses
(amazingly/bizarrely I had all of these pieces on rotation while living in Prague and had to get rid of most to lighten my load when moving to Africa. Hmmm.)
10 Wardrobe Essentials Every Woman Should Own
-plain white tee
-ballet flats
-elegant blazer
-slip on tennis shoes
-striped shirt
-classic black pants
-classic pumps
-dark denim
-classic white shirt
-little black dress
10 Staples for Every Woman's Wardrobes
- black pants
-French cuff dress shirt
-black pumps
-day dress
-black suit
-evening dress
-dressy jacket
-evening clutch
-strappy sandals

Wardrobes Basics Checklist

What do you think are "staples" to consider for the mommy with not so much money but a big desire for timeless style?

October 19, 2015

To Remember You- For My Children

I am 36. I have watched both of my grandmothers struggle and lose their grasp on reality by their late 70's. 

That is me in 40 years.

I lay awake at night and think of this.

I'm rocking a little boy who is my biggest baby yet. He stretches his legs long like a cat stretches. He pulls off and smiles at me in the dark with milk making a river trail down his cheek.  I breathe him in and live to the fullest and die all at the same time.

I think to the future.

I loved my 20's. I sat on park benches and wrote poetry, traversed great cities, countries and continents, rode trains, and chatted over glasses of wine while live music filled the air. I loved my 20's.

But I love you more. Each and every one of you.

I ache for the years I gave to myself and took from you.

Some day, undoubtedly, I will slip away. Before death, I will be gone. And in the blank stare of my eyes, my confused anger and frustration, you will be hurt. I will no doubt lash out and forget you, or your children.

I want you to know my sweet children that I ache for that already.  I am sorry already... Know it's not me saying those things.. It's not my critical words but a shadow of who I am in confusion and pain and fear lashing out.

When those days come, when angry words escape my mouth, I need you to know how desperately I love each of you.. How I have loved my days with you. I carried you, birthed you, and breathed joy and sweet relief as I pulled each of your warm little bodies to my chest and held you tight breathing in the miracle of you.

I love you.

I pray for each of you. I pray for your lives, your hearts and your futures.

I want to know your children... to be there those first few weeks of their lives to nurse you love you and serve you in your fear and wonder of it all. I don't want to miss a single moment.

I want to be there.. to pick up the phone and laugh with you when your child acts in a way you never dreamt, eats things they shouldn't eat and when you feel like you're doing it all wrong (hint: you're not). I want to show up at your door when you call me crying, hopeless in despair, feeling like you can't go another moment.

I will drive all night, all day, and arrive with no questions, to make you food, clean your toilets and to listen.

I love you.

I've loved you with a crazy self abandoning love.  The crazy love of a vain woman who would give up her body and her years of youth for you.

I only wish I had given them sooner.

September 18, 2015


In this season of life and in this season of motherhood I want to pause for a moment and be candid.

If not for you my friend, then for myself so I can look back and remember. So I can look back and see clearly if I was crazy or if I have changed etc.

But this season of washing dishes, wiping bottoms, counting pennies and missing sleep is special and wonderful and.. hard. Oh so very hard.

I end most days feeling overwhelmed and scared. I feel like I can never catch up with life. Like the floor will never stay clean, my hair will never stay brushed. I can't accomplish projects, and my to-do lists grow and grow and I feel like day after day I sink a little deeper in the "not dones" and the "still to dos" and the deep vat of comparison.

You know the comparison right? For me it's that other moms have magazine perfectly clean homes, thin legs, work outside of the home and they don't seem to be as frustrated. I'm the mom who invites someone over and as they pull up in the drive way, I stir with one hand, give a dirty look to the disobeying child with another as I lunge to wipe crumbs off the table to make it all look less.... Less disgusting, less uninhabitable, less like I'm sinking deeper into the vat of "not dones".

Today I woke up and lay in the stillness listening to two girls bounce off of walls and giggle and in another corner of the house a little boy grunting and kicking. As I stared at the ceiling and thought of what I had to do I realized at that exact moment I did NOT feel overwhelmed and anxious.

I wondered at it for just a moment... It was just me. Feeling rested yet sleepy, and just.. breathing. Still. Calm.

No overwhelming, tingling, jittery nerves.

I moved to the baby's room and as I nursed him I thought of the reason.


Much of this season of life for me is thwarted.

My plans to accomplish one small thing (today my big goal is to look over a gym contract.. but good luck with that mom  of 3), are constantly thwarted.

And as plan after plan after plan get thwarted the electrifying current of frustration grows and zings its way through my body and heart til I feel like I could just melt into a puddle of angry tears.

The truth.

The truth is the gospel will only be as evident and active in my life as I apply it.

The truth is, all of my frustrations come from an idolatry deep in my heart.. a not trusting Jesus alone for my hope and salvation.

There is hope. This is a season.

But for the record.. it's just how I feel.

September 6, 2015

Dear Aylan

Sweet boy, my heart is ripped out of my chest.

I nurse my sweet warm baby and tuck my other two to sleep and they are the age you and your brother were just last week as the boat carrying you flipped.

At night I cannot sleep. Knowing that so many other babies and little "Aylans" are displaced, scared, hungry, afloat in stormy waters of a scary and unfair world.

As a child the world is black and white.

You should treat others the way you want to be treated.

That is what adults teach you.

Then you become an adult and realize that adults don't want to live that way. They are too busy being practical and worrying about the bottom line and politics.

People are too worried about protecting resources.

And I understand that so many people fear terrorism.

But seeing your sweet little body face down on the beach how could anyone not just see the humanity?

How could anyone not just see the little boy that was growing and needed to be protected?

To assume every Syrian, from the father trying to protect his family down to the wife desperately clinging to her hungry and scared children is a terrorist is fear based and ludicrous... If that's the case then all Americans are mass shooters or millionaires.

And we are far from it sweet boy.

We are also mothers and fathers. Little children longing for a bike and scared of the unkown, needing to be protected.

Oh sweet Aylan, until now I was completely unaware.

I saw the swelling problem as a backdrop behind welcoming a new baby to my home. And since 2011 it has slowly grown and the massive outcry from Syria is silently deafening.

I met a woman at the park last summer. We sat at the table while our children played and I could tell she was unsure of how I would receive her.

I tried to make her feel at ease and asked questions which quickly led us to her family in Syria and how every last member of her family is now displaced all over the world, Egypt, Germany..

We exchanged numbers though I knew she was about to go back and visit family.

And even now I haven't heard from her again, my texts unanswered amidst a sea of questions.

So as I lie there awake at night sweet Aylan thinking of your short life and your father's desperation and grief, I also think of a woman afloat in a sea of grief here at a park in my own town... Unsure of her nephews' and family's safety.

Sweet Aylan you woke a world and I hope somehow your father in all of his grief can somehow know that your life made a huge impact. The life of your sweet mother and your 5 year old brother as well.

Though short, your lives awoke a slumbering world to the painful reality of a crisis at hand.

Rest in peace sweet Aylan. You will be mourned by the whole world.

Read how Ann Voskamp has encouraged you and me to do SOMETHING. To care, to notice, to write a letter to Aylan.

A positive story of one man making a difference.

You can pray for thousands of refugees in Europe. Pray that are treated with dignity and respect.

See what Syrians are carrying with them across the sea.

5 Practical Steps you can take NOW

Get involved in Texas.

And lastly, THIS.. This is something I plan on doing.

August 24, 2015

Summer Colds- We are sick

This may be one of the less impressive posts ever.

But we are sick. This is Isaac's second cold and he's not 4 months yet. Not surprising when every sibling sneezes snot on you and insists on kissing a gillion times each day.

We're sick. Mommy can't sleep with a headache and chills kind of sick.


August 19, 2015

Selling Something

We're all selling something.

Sometimes it's the idea of a certain theory, or book to read, or political party. But we're all selling something.

The thing we "sell" to whoever has ears on their head, is something that we feel is valuable. It is something that has impacted us on a daily level and has made our lives better.

It may be a parenting strategy, a hair gel, or a special diet.

When I had to go off dairy with Claire I remember feeling less in a "fog". I would tell anyone who would listen how much better I felt despite myself. What I mean by that is I REALLY want to feel well and my very best while subsisting on buttercream icing and gorgonzola cheese washed down with sour cream. But the simple truth was living without these things I loved made me feel better. It really really did. And I just had to share it with anyone who would listen.

You can see where I'm going with this. (Or maybe you can't).

Our faith is valuable. We say it is the most important thing.

But it isn't something that most of us "share" convincingly and say how great it is and you just have to try it.

Sometimes I cringe and want to cry inside because I think why that must be.

Why would I be willing to tell someone who has gone dairy free before to no avail that they just really must try it again. They just must!

How and why could I be so bold about something so unimportant?

Why is it harder to share about my faith?

And quite simply sometimes it is that we don't believe. In principle yes. But in reality, we don't want to say, "Try this! It will change your life- I promise!!" because we're not sure.

What if it doesn't?

Who am I to say?

Am I changed?

The answer for me is yes. Yes I am. 

But just like going off dairy, after being back on it and undisciplined for some time I lost my passion to share about it because I was off shamefully buying thumbprint cookies at the bakery and throwing away the packaging before I got back with my family.

In the same way, my faith grows stale when I don't fall down on my knees and cry out to the Lord. When I don't cut out frivolous things and when I erect idols and alters out of foolish things like myself, control and enjoyment.

The minute I cut these things down I'm flooded with joy and peace that I want and must share.

I'm telling you guys.. if you haven't you simply MUST try this. And I mean it. You too will be flooded with joy and peace and you will just have to share it.

August 17, 2015


I'm tired. Like tired-tired.

Wake up in the morning, stumble out and find out from the family that the baby kept them up and i didn't even know it because I was too tired and slept through the baby crying off and on all night.

I mean... for a sleep deprived mom, you've come pretty far in exhaustion when you actually don't register the crying.

And it's my own fault. Stay up late to have time alone. Stay up late to spend time with friends, digging into our hearts and lives together.

But it's worth it.

But I still think I will go to bed early tonight... :)

August 14, 2015


In my little anger bible study I've already learned a lot.

Namely small things like, anger isn't love.

Dur right?

But it's been a big revelation for me. When I start to feel frustrated, and indignant my heart whispers, 'Anger isn't love', and I back off of my high horse.

I want to love my people more than I want to be right... That's for sure.

Also, I've learned that anger isn't the root of anger... Pride? Guilt? Fear? Control? Etc. Something else is at the root and it is likely a constant combo of soooo many different things.

So focusing on the anger and not being angry isn't going to help. But rather focusing on why I'm angry- and realizing it's not loving and not a godly response.

Already it's helped me to back down and stay calm when normally I would have been internally ripping my hair out and stomping my foot.

Today is a random, crazy, wild, unbelievably blessed day where EVERY tiny human in my house is napping.. What?!!

Also, today the girls were in the backyard and I heard the giggle... You know the one.

The very naughty-something-is-happening giggle.

Then I realized the girls were in the dog house (really a utility shed with a doggy door).

Claire said they were playing camping. And I said, "Oh don't do that!!! It's so dirty in there and there might even be ticks!"

Then she said, "But we like their beds!"



And at lunch she confessed that they both ate the dog food, and she ran her little fingers down her neck to show it going down and made a grimace then said, "I don't think that was a very good idea!"

Yep.. That was our day!

Here are some links I've loved today

She always has great links.

Piper on why you don't like other Christians. So good!

Best advice for new moms. (my heart was saying "yes!!" when I read this).

August 13, 2015

#3 3 months old And Other Happenings

This guy is 3 months old.

I'm so glad he's mine! He is sweet, cuddly and happy (now that I'm dairy free of course).

He smiles freely and coos. He even smiles for his big sisters now.

Goodness he's a warm, soft, baby smelling little ball of happy. Worth. Every. Month (of pregnancy). Worth. Every. Push too. :)

Love him!

13 pounds 12 oz.- filling out 3 months clothes and his little feet are threatening to burst out of his 3-6 month jammies already. Eek! My baby!! He's growing and going to be moving away and getting married before I know it! #exaggerationalert

With my other kids I got them on a routine and followed baby whisperer pretty closely. Morning naps around 10, then around 1, and  cat nap around 5. Never nursing them to sleep etc.

But I don't have the heart yet! I'm nursing this sweet little plump monkey to sleep and not caring when he takes overly long naps... And.. He's just as happy as he can be! 

He nurses late at night, is pretty flexible, and wakes up about once a night between 3 and 5. He sleeps in a while and is so happy.

In other news:
Big sisters at the park. I think we are working past some of the bumps from incorporating a new little person. The girls are playing so well together (mostly). Thank God! I've read some great books on anger, sibling issues etc. and have adjusted some things I've done which I think help.

Today I overheard Claire playing and singing, "Jesus is the boss! Jesus is the boss!" I took a mental note of how cute it was and went about my business as she sang on and made up lyrics (which she does often). Later I tuned in and she was singing, "I wish I WAS THE BOSS! I wish I WAS THE BOSS!"

That kid!

 And the little guy at church. ;) What can I say? I'm a grandma at heart.
Here is at 2 months old, and below at 1, 2 and 3 months.
(Can't you just see how miserable he was at 1 month?? He would wake happy, then eat and just spew projectile spit up out of his nostrils and little mouth like a gushing angry fountain then he would scream for at least 30 minutes. Poor thing.. :( If he didn't spew first he would look miserable and cry and scream then up to an hour later spew.. I've never seen anything like it...) And we've been spew free since I gave up dairy for good on July 16. Woot!
The girls at 3 months.. Claire on the left with her "What you talkin' bout Willis?!" look.

August 12, 2015

Make the hate stop

Do you want to know what I think?

Well I will tell you what I think...

The hate crimes, bigotry and general stupidity must stop.

While many eyes are trained on the horizon of global epidemics, war and politics, underneath our noses a putrid smell has been rising that can't be ignored.

I'm tired of hate crimes. I'm tired of young unarmed men being shot down. And we debate?

Even if they were doing something illegal or that seemed illegal the debate should stop. Simply put, of a different race those youth wouldn't be gunned down or harmed.

It's ludicrous and the numbers just keep rising.

Silence is the enemy and you are agreeing with it by not saying anything.

I'm grieved, ashamed and saddneded.

Today a family from our church, who has served our community so well, been so faithful and loving had a hate crime committed against them and for no reason.  Not just that but against their young son while he was throwing trash away...

Racial slurs painted on their dumpster right beside a swastika.

You may feel like the problem is far away but it isn't.

You may not fear to take your trash out or for your teenage son to walk home from school or even around the block- but can you imagine wondering if he could have a hate crime committed against him just for his color?

Not for an action. Not for any reason at all... but just for being there.

It has to stop.

Has to.
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