7.27.2014

seven

seven years ago today i gained a new identity.  i became 'mommy'.  though she wouldn't call me that for nearly another 12 months, my whole life changed that day and nothing has ever been the same.  i would not say that most of motherhood has come easily to me.  i have so much respect for the role of 'mom' that i often truly feel overwhelmed often by the gravity of the responsibility of it all.  i question my choices, i make mistakes, i ask for forgiveness.  we have fun, we laugh hard, we hold hands. 

and she is the one who started all of this, my lily margaret.  seven years of all of this.  seven years of both of us learning more about ourselves, each other, our world.  i haven't ever met a child like lily.  she is equal parts artist and perfectionist.  her exacting standards for herself are impressive and impossible.  her ideas are inventive.  her friendships are enviable.  her energy is endless.  her art is stunningly original.  her compassion is inspiring.  her love is my muse. 

i am so thankful for my birthday girl.  i love you lily.

seven

seven years ago today i gained a new identity.  i became 'mommy'.  though she wouldn't call me that for nearly another 12 months, my whole life changed that day and nothing has ever been the same.  i would not say that most of motherhood has come easily to me.  i have so much respect for the role of 'mom' that i often truly feel overwhelmed often by the gravity of the responsibility of it all.  i question my choices, i make mistakes, i ask for forgiveness.  we have fun, we laugh hard, we hold hands. 

and she is the one who started all of this, my lily margaret.  seven years of all of this.  seven years of both of us learning more about ourselves, each other, our world.  i haven't ever met a child like lily.  she is equal parts artist and perfectionist.  her exacting standards for herself are impressive and impossible.  her ideas are inventive.  her friendships are enviable.  her energy is endless.  her art is stunningly original.  her compassion is inspiring.  her love is my muse. 

i am so thankful for my birthday girl.  i love you lily.

7.18.2014

review: west elm rochester sleeper sofa

spoiler alert: its terrible.

the rochester sleeper sofa we waited on since may arrived today not only missing a cushion, but the 'bed' pulls out to a mattress that is 10" shorter than a queen. the bed is advertised as a queen pull out. ummmmmm its not. and on top of that the mechanics inside are a HOT MESS and you basically feel like you are going to fall through it and it sways back and forth when you touch it.

the local manager wanted them to send me a new one but i don't want a sofa of this quality. its TERRIBLE.  so they are picking it up today (thankfully) for a full return.  i'm incredibly disappointed as combining our offices and the guest room was one major pain point of downsizing and we still don't have a solution.

so anyway that's my review. stay away. FAR away.

7.11.2014

you are

i learned to love music with a hairbrush in my hand, dancing on the couch, singing at the top of my lungs to my mom's lionel richie albums on the record player.

for the past 10 years my mom and i have called each other every single time our favorite 'you are' is playing anywhere.  i seriously stop in my tracks when it comes over the speakers in the grocery store and dial her up.  it will forever make me think of her hip-shaking side-step dance that she does to pretty much any song written before 1985.

she was a die hard commodores fan long before he was 'lionel' and i may have an
unnatural love for his crooning due to early life indoctrination.  so when my sister called to say his 'greatest hits' tour was coming to austin we immediately bought tickets and surprised her for mother's day.  for the past week my car has been a non stop playing ground for all things lionel- brick house, easy like sunday morning, dancing on the ceiling.  non. stop.
 
the long awaited concert was last night and it did not disappoint.  lionel was f
unny, charming, adorable, and very very sweaty. (hey, its texas in july, what did he expect??)  when about 2 bars of 'you are' played over the speakers i literally screamed and jumped out of my seat and we hugged and swayed and laughed and just drank in the moment.  it was amazing.  and will probably be one of my favorite nights with my sister and my mom that i ever have.

just as i was about to post on facebook about my moment, i had a sharp twinge in my heart.  one of my best friends was mourning 19 years without her mother yesterday.  i was not only overwhelmed in the hilarious wonderfulness of the lionel concert, but by how blessed i am not only to have my mom with me to sing and dance to 'you are' but for every step along the way for the past 36 years.  

i love you mom.




 

5.26.2014

i should rename the blog 'adventures in downsizing'.  our big move is this week! we are reducing our living space by 1100 square feet and have been busy selling furniture and things that (thankfully) just won't fit in the new house.

people's reactions are pretty polarizing.  they either respond positively with something along the lines of "oh wow, that will be so freeing" or they respond on the negative with "are you serious??"  well, YES we are serious!  i know this will not be without its challenges, but we are definitely up for it.

this is of course not to say we won't miss our (not so) little piece of paradise.  i have moments when i want to sit down and have a really long hard cry about leaving but honestly, i just don't have time.  moving 5 people is a full time job.  and i have a full time job already.  and did i mention school's out for summer already??

so we have 6 more days here in our 'country' abode and as we head back to civilization, i'll take lots of pictures of the new space once its up and running.  i'm truly thrilled about our new neighborhood and the people we are going to be living life with at our new address.

5.16.2014

reno

i've been watching hgtv long enough that i've convinced myself i can throw around phrases like 'reno' and 'demo' when referring to the house and sound legit, but let's be honest.  i probably sound like a crazy person.

here is a mini before/after of some of the drywall changes happening this week and after today there will be no more tile or carpet in the house (save the girls' bedrooms since they loooooove carpet and it does make a small room feel much more cozy).

i wish i'd taken 'real' before pictures with a camera that doesn't also make phone calls, but this will have to do!

arches in entry way surrounding a skylight removed, including inset wall arch
(subtopic: architects of the 90s.  wtf)

before/after of the arch madness

5.13.2014

dear annie,

when i tell you pacifiers are not allowed outside your room, please don't think you're fooling me when you walk around with your hands covering the bottom half of your face.  or when you hold your blanket lovey in a ball with something clearly inside.  or when you have a suspicious lump in your leggings.

signed,
not born yesterday

4.30.2014

moving on up

i had planned to post a LINK to our home for sale here to boost the possibility of a quick sale, but the austin market didn't need me to help find a buyer one bit.  if you live elsewhere in the world it might not be on your radar, but with our small town having on average 150 new people moving to it on the daily, the real estate market is insanity.

we started to feel the tug to move last summer.  despite having just put in an amazing pool of our design and loving having friends over to enjoy it almost daily, we still felt living in our current home left us with a feeling of lacking community.  those in big cities might not really understand how much of a difference 5-10 miles can make in austin (and especially southwest austin) but the stronger the tug felt and the closer we came to the prime selling season we felt it was time to leave.

every person that saw our listing asked me why in the world we were leaving this paradise and to that i really don't have an answer that has satisfied many of the inquirers.  i don't need an answer for anyone else and kevin and i are thankful to be 100% on the same page as far as leaving is concerned.  for some reason 'being closer to family' and 'closer to downtown' or 'we miss living in community' doesn't seem to convince anyone else we should be leaving.  i am going to miss this house.  i will likely never live in another one like it and i will miss just a million things about it.  in the end, it is just a house.

so where are we going?  well we aren't leaving austin (never, silly).  we are simply moving about 8 miles away, still in southwest austin in a neighborhood where my sister's family and several friends live. after much gnashing of teeth and worry and prayers for peace, i resigned to needing to get an apartment for the summer while we continued to home search (which in austin is more like stalking then pouncing and hoping your offer beats the other 5-10 they get the day the house hits the market).

and then our offer was chosen.  the first offer we put in on any home was selected.  for a house on my sister's street.  5 houses away from a family member!  that was one of those days when you don't have to convince me that God delights in the details of our lives.

wanting this to be a smooth transition for my girls, i already signed them up to be on the new neighborhood's swim team.  we are just two days into practice and standing yesterday watching the girls chatting with other 5-6 year old neighbors made me so happy.  i was able to talk to no less than 5 amazing women that i am thrilled to have in closer proximity of my life.  annie was able to play with her little cousins on the playground during practice.

sometimes it seems to good to be true.  i know its going to be a painful transition in some ways (goodbye yard, pool, and about 1200 sq feet!!!) but we are hoping the reward far outweighs those growing pains.  we are looking forward to our move in less than 6 weeks!

3.17.2014

taps microphone

is this thing still on???  

i find it fitting that my last post over 6 months ago was about deciding to do a hybrid homeschool because that illustrates basically what life has been since september.  family, school, church, work.  repeat.

i wouldn't change a single thing about it.  it has been so rewarding to be an active part of lily's kindergarten year and we have decided to hang in there for another year.  so we will have 1st grade for lily and eve will be in kinder!  i can hardly believe it.  it will be a whole new challenge to homeschool two at the same time, so don't expect me to be on here any more frequently :)

in the absence of posting here i have a myriad of thoughts and half written posts swimming around in my head but just lack the time to pound them out on the keyboard.  i do miss writing and the record that the blog provides through the years.

i photographed a wedding saturday about an hour and a half away from home at a ranch, about 25 minutes down country roads from the nearest highway.  at 11pm on a country road, nearly half an hour from the nearest light post, do you know how dark it is? 

dark.  i mean creepy sea of black, can't see anything very far ahead even with your brights on, and did i mention it was foggy?  it was. 

i am now and have always been terrified of the dark.  there is something so all encompassing about darkness that i can't get over.  i know intellectually that i'm fine and i'm safe, but that means next to nothing when everything around me is black.  i freak.

the morning after that drive i sat in church hearing the song lyrics 'your name is a light in the darkness, oh your name is a word of truth.' and despite having heard about 'the light' my entire life, it really washed over me how hopeless darkness feels.  how lonely.  scary.  uncertain.  and it just takes one light (or if you're me, the brights and interior lights) to break through all of it and change the whole game. 

i'm thankful today and always for the light.  and i hope to pop in here more often than i have been.

7.31.2013

i was asked in a comment to talk about our choice of schools and how we came to the decision on where to start elementary school for our oldest daughter.

well gosh it wasn't easy.  we are in a great school district with strong test scores and our house is zoned for an elementary school that some of my friends are happy with, some not so happy.  in my gut i just knew we needed to explore our options.  austin is nothing if not adventurous and well educated, so there is not a shortage of education options.  from unschooling to private to charter to waldorf, we have it all.  and we have it all nearby.

i talked to parents at all kinds of schools.   i quickly in the early fall ruled out the most common alternative choice for our friends and community- a hybrid homeschool, university school that was classical christian education.  kids go to school just 2 days a week in kinder and do 2 days of homeschool.  my reasoning for ruling this out was that my own schedule and abilities just made it seem too far a reach for us.

we applied to christian schools, we entered charter school lotteries.  we prayed, i cried.  i panicked.

christmas rolled around and i told kevin, we should at least go to the homeschool/university school open house.  we rsvp'ed and planned to attend.  then the truck ran over our lives and everything was on hold indefinitely.  she was accepted at a small private christian school.  i thought this seemed simple, safe, yes.

as we emerged from the accident fog, things seemed to shift a bit.  we went to the late spring university homeschool open house.  we knew that night, it was right.  it was our school.  i was terrified and peaceful at the same time.  this meant a lot of change, a lot.  change.

we applied and then held our breath.  the longer we waited the more i knew i would be positively devastated if she was not accepted.  then when we were lucky enough to be accepted i panicked that i was not sending my kids away 5 days a week.  haven't i been waiting for a chance to be the one with a place to send her kids 5 days a week for nearly 6 years?!

i made the choice to close a portion of my business indefinitely to accommodate this change and have cut back my work hours roughly by half to make space in my week for the homeschool days that we will have starting with the school year.

since making this decision about her schooling i have felt freedom, community, and am excited but also intimidated by the coming year.  i think she and i both have so much to learn and i am thrilled that we will be growing together.  we will be together.  this makes me the happiest mom.  i know it will be a stretch for both of us and i adore that we will go through it all together.

we have also decided to make our education decisions one year at a time.  this is our choice for this year and this year only.  we do not know what the future holds and will cherish being an active part of our daughter's kindergarten year.
there are just certain things in life that you don't know the depth of your passion for until pushed.  i have begun to realize how strongly i feel about the freedom of expression and worship lately.  it isn't something i have given much thought in the past and what a blessing it is to live in a country where i have been privileged to take this freedom for granted.

as a mom i allow and encourage my kiddos to worship every day- in songs, in dance, in our words, in the way we treat others.  it is all worship.  or rather it CAN all be worship.

i want my kids to be able to feel fully themselves in every environment.  to feel authentic and comfortable with all walks of people and in all places.  

we started at a new school this week.  kindergarten is becoming a reality very quickly.  i already feel fed and nurtured by our school choice and i am so so excited about this coming year.  as these random disparate thoughts were bouncing around my head this morning i sat in a lecture and heard a school leader say "don't reduce your faith to morals and behavior.  your kids need to know and trust the truth of the gospel" 

amen, hallelujah to that.  so here's to a year of character building.  i think lily and i both have a lot to learn in kindergarten, but my greatest hope is that she will feel fully able to be her true self, to find ways to worship in her own way daily, and to find a connection to the truth that is the gospel.

7.23.2013

do you ever see a new product and think 'i totally should have thought of that!'?  i saw a post on facebook about something called TILE and oh-my-goodness.  if only this had been around when i was a kid, it could have saved us some very tense afternoons of being ordered to search the house high and low for my dad's keys, dayplanner, and remote.  ha!


 genius.

5.01.2013

when did my baby get so grown up?? sniff sniff

3.29.2013

i sat down with lily last night to read about the lord's supper.  she was inquisitive and full of questions about passover and why feet were so dirty during jesus' time.  we were having one of our first truly open engaged conversations about the bible.  she begged me to go on once Jesus was arrested to hear what happened next.

we read and read and i cried while i told her what happened to jesus.  she wiped away my tears and asked such great questions. we read on until easter and cheered for mary running as fast as she could to spread the news.

and it was a glimpse for me into this huge responsibility and privilege of guiding her faith.  and not in a song singing, church attending way.  in a heart posture, broken with jesus, cheering for mary magdelene's joy way.  what a gift.

3.27.2013

one of my oldest friends in the world came over tonight.  we sat and talked and i just love the feeling of being with someone who has known me for nearly 20 years.

talk turned to the pool we are building in the backyard and i admitted i am having anxiety about the safety issues surrounding pools and my lovely friend had a wonderful suggestion.

so today before the pool is plastered, i wrote on the rough concrete the verse of isaiah 49:10.  so for those of you who plan to come swim in our pool this summer you can know beneath your floating feet are the words....

They will neither hunger nor thirst. The searing sun will not reach them anymore. For the LORD in his mercy will lead them; he will lead them beside cool waters.



3.20.2013

there are moments when i see a characteristic of mine in one of my kids when i'm proud, times i'm embarrassed, but last night i had the unique feeling of pity for one of these inheritances.  i was reading a book to annie when eve and lily came in to join us.  annie and i were in the rocking chair and lily perched on one arm and eve stood on the other side. 

as we were reading eve realized she was the only person in the room with her feet on the ground and freaked out, yelling 'i don't like being the only one with my feet on the ground, i'm scared!' and jumping into my lap (and on top of her little sister in the process).  sweet eve!  i can relate to her scardey cat crazy tendencies because i used to have them.

and by 'used to', i mean still do.  i'm afraid of the dark.  i'm afraid of lakes.  the tiniest unexpected sound when alone basically makes me scream bloody murder.  when home or in a hotel without my husband i wash my face half at a time, you know... so i can keep one i open for monsters and murderers.  i made kevin put a mesh wire housing around the inside of the air conditioning vent over our bed because i was convinced a spider or bug would fall down onto my face in the middle of the night. i mean, i'm just getting started here.  i could keep going... trust me.

so to see this paralyzing ridiculousness passed on to my sweet eve made me a little bit sad for her, but at the same time chuckle.  because just when i think she couldn't be any more like me, she jumps onto a chair to get her feet off the ground.

3.19.2013

we are dropping like flies over here.  another kiddo with a broken bone, another all too adorable brace!


3.18.2013

i do NOT want another baby.  repeat.  i do NOT want another baby.

i was ridiculously happy to get the baby 'junk' out of my house (bouncy seats, swings, exernightmare) but the crib?  i seriously may have to make a therapy appointment whenever we take it down (you know, when she's like 11).

annie woke up crying in pain last night and i rocked her in her room and i sat there thinking 'wow.  this rocker and her crib are all that is left in the house of babies.' as she fell asleep laying on my chest i looked down and realized that her legs were bent up like a frog and she barely fits on me in that position.  it was the first time in nearly a year that she has willingly slept on my chest.

so as much as i do NOT want another baby... this is harder than i thought it would be.

3.08.2013

newsflash:  i'm getting old.

as kevin so sweetly pointed out, we are 16 years from our high school graduation and it is 16 years until annie's.  as if that didn't make me feel old enough, this week in austin is SXSW.

SXSW is a music festival (come film, interactive, yadda yadda) that i used to plan my entire spring around.  planning out parties to attend, concerts not to miss, and hitting the town looking for cute single guys was the order of the day.  i took off days of work and stayed out until all hours.  the concept of it sounds a little like torture to me now.

i'll try to take the girls to a few daytime kid-friendly shows, but i am worried that will feel mostly lame.  then again, my girls love to get their groove on at concerts, so perhaps they will keep me feeling young?

it is hard to feel young when you turn on the radio in the car and after the first few bars of a song think 'oooh is this a catchy new song' and before the thought is even complete in your mind you realize its an old rod stewart song.  yeah.  so like i said, i'm old.

3.06.2013

i was jogging the other day while on a quick work trip to dallas and it was colder than weather.com had predicted.  i borrowed an extra layer of clothes and headed out to run.  now if you've ever been on a treadmill next to me at the gym or live in my neighborhood you may already be familiar with my propensity to throw in some jazz hands depending on the music of the day.

so there i was, heading down a pretty busy street and i found myself air drumming.  i had the decency to *almost* get embarrassed for a moment, but then i remembered i was also wearing my dad's 1980 dallas cowboys winter knit hat with yarn puff ball on top.  which, really if you're going for 'cool' you've already missed by a mile.

that's when i remembered a moment at a bowling alley when kevin and i were dating, maybe engaged.  there was some random song playing and i was dancing around the lane with a bowling ball and he just looked at me and said 'you are SO going to embarrass our kids'.  and you know what?  he was apparently right.

3.01.2013

kevin pointed out the other day that it was really time to change the images in my header.  seeing as i no longer have a baby and two toddlers.  i am in denial, but since annie had no teeth in the old shot and it looks like lily isn't far from actually starting to lose hers, he is probably right.

so here you go!  *tears*  my babies are growing up!

2.27.2013

i had the lucky pleasure of taking all three girls to one of eve's doctor appointments yesterday.  we were there for nearly three hours.  as i said on facebook, i don't really consider myself an emotional eater until i'm locked in a 8x8 room with my girls for that length of time.  then i'm ready to order a pizza.

when we arrived at the second of the two doctor offices, there was a bell on the counter to draw the receptionist's attention.  annie saw the bell and it was ON.  'ooooh!  bell!!!!!'  i immediately told her, 'no annie.  no bell.'

she looked at me, deadpan.  then in her shrill 2-year old voice she shouted at the top of her lungs...'DING!!!!!!  i'm a bell!   DING!!!!!!!!!!!!!'


life with annie can be hard to describe.  there are so many moments like this when i really really want to keep a straight face but it is nearly impossible.  we have called her 'tank' since she was old enough to crawl and we saw how she plows down life, undeterred by pretty much... well.... anything.  something in her path?  no worries.  she's 'tank'.

as she has gotten older her spunky style has certainly not waned.  she's the girl that yells 'DING!' when told not to ring a bell.

2.25.2013

i was standing in a friend's kitchen today thumbing through a catalog on her counter (because obviously when left in charge of seven, yes SEVEN girls, the first thing you do it chill and browse.) and as i looked up to say something like 'hey you guys all still alive?' i saw her phone on the bar buzzing with a text.

as the screen lit up i saw her phone background was a picture of eve in the hospital with her c-collar on, groggy from anesthesia, with her sweet sweet smile.  if i hadn't been the responsible party in the house i might have completely lost it.  to know my friend wanted a constant reminder of eve to offer up her prayers and good thoughts just moves me beyond words.

so i am totally stealing her tactic.  and i will change my phone background today to someone i want to be praying for.  i love this idea and i feel beyond lucky to have such amazing people in my life.

2.22.2013

as life returns to normal (thank god.  literally). i wanted to share this sweet sentiment a friend wrote about this whole crazy accident.

"The terribleness and glorious-ness that can happen in a single week is truly staggering. We've all learned so much from this accident, but here is what I'm focusing on this morning:
I cannot fool myself with the sometimes mundane feeling of my days. There are no ordinary days on this earth. The truth is, on any given day, somewhere within one square mile of my given location, someone is having an extraordinary day; either tragic or brilliant. This means I have an opportunity to either help someone in need, to celebrate something wonderful, or to witness an actual miracle. Every single blessed day. I just need to pay closer attention. Thank you, Eve Burpo.
"

2.17.2013

thank you for all the love and sweet notes for eve.  she is home, on the mend, and doing remarkably well.  as a mama it will probably take my heart longer to recover from the incident than it takes her bones.  she has been a shining example of forgiveness, patience, grace, and love.


2.13.2013

 just another day.  headed to my sister's house to take a walk we've taken many times before.  my parents were in town to help her through a husband-less week with her 4 babes and we wanted to celebrate fat tuesday with a pancake dinner.  kevin was in the midwest for work, we were ready for valentine parties at school the next day.

as we headed toward the playground on scooters, going south on the safe residential sidewalk, my sweet niece rode her scooter through a cross street without stopping for adult approval.  eve paused long enough to say 'mommy i bet you're proud of me for being safe.'  i assured her i was very proud.

one block later my eve was a house length ahead of me on her scooter when a pick-up truck headed down the street decided to hop into reverse and swing backwards into the driveway my little baby was scooting past.

in slow motion i remember my dad saying something under his breath about the driver.  i have a split second of memory thinking he was worried about nothing.  i didn't see what he saw.  i didn't see what was about to happen.  i could have never imagined it.

eve even saw him coming at the last second she hopped off her scooter to start backwards as i ran screaming down the street.  the kind of scream that a neighbor cringes to hear.  the scream of a terrified mother worried about losing the most precious gift she has ever been trusted to love.  as i watched her tumble under the car my mind went white.  i was clawing at my dad screaming 'call 911' so loudly i think it was nearly silent.

i climbed under the car to find her.  she was trapped beneath the running pick-up truck with the metal bar of her scooter pinning her to the sidewalk.  she couldn't breathe but she could scream.  it was the hardest worst saddest scariest longest shortest minutes of my life.  i couldn't stop the truck.  i couldn't get her out from underneath.    

i couldn't protect her but god did.  he held her safely in the palm of his hand while the world tumbled around her.  the accident was not a surprise to him and he held her tight and most of all SAFE.

once we freed the scooter from its wedged spot under the car, i clawed my way to her and i pulled her onto my lap shaking.  i laid on my back on the pavement with her on top, too scared to look at her face to see where the blood was coming from.  not ready to know if her face would ever look the same.  if her physical body was changed forever.  just holding her spirit i found myself praying out loud rocking on the sidewalk.

as the ambulance came the realization that i had two other children watching this horrible moment hit me hard.  i saw them down the block being loved by my dad, mom and sister and i was immensely grateful that if i couldn't stop their tears, they were with the people that love them just like i do.

the ride to the hospital.  the x-rays.  c-collars.  MRI's.  pain management.  retelling the one visual i wanted to completely forget over and over for each new professional who entered our room.  how can a memory soften and have grace when you have to remind yourself every hour?  hearing that cry.  remembering the panic.  my shaking hands.  her beating heart.

today she is healthy and in good spirits.  she has a skull fracture and three vertebrae fractures.  we will know more and we will manage it.  

us?  kevin and i have our eve.  my girls have their sister.  we are the luckiest people in town.  we have spent the last two days wrapped in the love and prayers of our friends in a way i never imagined possible.  we are blessed.

1.17.2013

having been someone who was the 'new girl' quite often in life and struggled to find my place among friends that felt like home, i cherish that feeling perhaps more than most.  moving from school to school definitely taught me valuable life skills and i can drum up a conversation with a stranger at the drop of a hat, but left me without a group of friends that i had shared my whole childhood with.


i remember in high school after moving my 9th grade year my parents sat me down and tried to gently talk to me about my lack of friends.  they were trying to encourage me to invite people over or ask classmates to do social things together.  i was one part embarrassed, one part apathetic to the whole thing.  luckily for me by my senior year i had finally found a group that felt like home.  mostly misfits and new kids, but they were my people.

as an adult it has felt infinitely harder to find my people.  especially with children who rightfully require the majority of your attention and love, it can be so hard to find and invest in true friends.  perhaps the only thing i hate about austin is the fact that wonderful people move here from all over the country but then eventually most move closer to their families when they have kids.

i woke up this morning thinking about starting my day and i felt this immense thankfulness.  i am in a period of life where i have my people and it feels so wonderful.  i have amazing friends at church, i have my sister and her family nearby, i have a fun group of social friends that i look forward to spending time with, and i get to have a sleepover every night with my best friend of all.  if life has taught me anything, it is that things can and do change in the blink of an eye so for today i want to say 'thank you' to the people in my life that make it so amazing.  to the people that make me feel loved and make me laugh, 'thank you'.

1.07.2013

happy happy new year to all!  yes, i have been missing in action.  life has swallowed me whole it seems.  i am trying to avoid 'resolutions' but it is past time for me to incorporate more wisdom into my daily life and infuse my girls with truth.

a long time ago i had an index card spiral notebook i took everywhere with a verse on each card to memorize and internalize.  i'm reverting to my 1995 self and picking up a spiral today.

so go to the comments and share verses, truth, and wisdom with me you think should be in the book!!

12.11.2012

this fall has been crazy.  i took on a lot of (too much) work not knowing what kevin's job situation would be and i've spent the last two months with amazing people working, but not as much as i would like with the amazing people that are my family.

september was work, work, weddings, work. 
october was work, wedding, haiti, work, work, my birthday.
november was work, WORK, work, work, work, thanksgiving.
and i'm afraid december will be work, work, work, work, christmas.

i'm trying really hard to not let that happen.  i want to breathe in this holiday season and not let it pass by unnoticed.  annie is turning two in just one day and we only have a few weeks before christmas!!!

so thanks for putting up with the quiet around here. :)

11.28.2012

i have so many memories imprinted in my mind that involve index cards and without fail they all involve my dad.  he rarely went anywhere without a pocket full of index cards to jot down his thoughts and ideas.  i have seen countless index cards on my mom's bathroom mirror with little love notes and so many on the kitchen counter saying 'i went running, be back in a bit.'  

in my makeup drawer there is an index card.  it has been there for over 10 years and is written in the unmistakeable handwriting of my dad.  it is an apology.

i see it most days and it never fails to make me smile.  this morning as i was getting ready, i pulled open the drawer and while rummaging for something the note fell to the ground.  when i leaned over to pick it up, i turned it over in my hand and thought about how much i love my parents.

see the thing that strikes me most about the note is, i don't remember wheat the apology is for.  i don't remember what feelings were hurt, but i do remember there were tears involved and for better or worse i was upset about something that seemed important at the time.  all these years later what stays with me is not the argument, who was right, what feelings were hurt or why.  what stays with me is my dad loves me so much, he will always make sure i know i am loved.

as i go about my day with the girls i will hope that they do not remember the arguments, the hurt feelings, the yelling or the grumbles.  my hope is that they remember that their mama makes sure they always know they are loved.


11.27.2012

i'm going to pretend that wasn't my first thought when lily asked what rhymes with 'duck'. 

....ummm TRUCK!  yeah, that's what i was thinking... truck.
you know that moment when you're about to say something and you can almost feel it coming on a message wire from your brain out your mouth and it is too late to stop, but you're already thinking to yourself 'really?  i said that??'

i had one of those this morning.  eve was bringing me her craft scissors a little to swiftly for my liking and as she was rushing my way, i said it.  'don't run with scissors!'

hilarious and wise all at the same time.

11.22.2012

day 17: i am thankful for groups like help one now for changing our world view and perspective

day 18: i am thankful for afternoon snacks in a bowl shared with the little hands of my girls

day 19: i am thankful for peppermint mocha creamer for getting me in the holiday spirits early every day

day 20: i am thankful for ideas that grow into vision that grows into reality

day 21:  i am thankful for family time & holidays. 

11.16.2012

day 11:  i am thankful for the photographic history of my kids.  i love looking back over their babyhood through pictures

day 12: i am thankful for caffeine.  i don't know how i'd make it through the busy season without it.

day 13:  i am so thankful for the joy my kids find in each other (during their good moments) and the patience to wait for that joy during the not-so-good moments

day 14:  i am thankful for fuzzy socks on concrete floors.

day 15: i am thankful that after years of painfully straightening my wavy hair, 'beach waves' are finally in style and i can be lazy and stylish at the same time

day 16: i am thankful for whatever genius thought of pandora.


11.10.2012

day 9:  i am thankful that my kids have such amazing cousins.  from the ones they see on a regular basis to the ones they don't see as often, they are all so loved by us!

day 10: i am thankful for the families that trust me with capturing their weddings and lives.  its an important job and i'm honored to do it.

11.08.2012

day 8: i am thankful for perspective, that turns wallowing in to appreciation.

11.07.2012

day 6: i am thankful for katy.  finding a kindred spirit at a very crucial point in life saved me in many ways.

day 7: i am thankful for a family who knows the meaning of a good group hug.  and MEANS it! :)

11.06.2012

day 3 - i am thankful for my husband.  i have no words for his patience and love.  it is divine.

day 4 - i am thankful for giggles, cuz they help mute the screaming from earlier in the day

day 5 - i am thankful today for warm coffee and cuddles in the morning.  what a way to start the day.
step one:  watch this video http://vimeo.com/52887946
step two: join pure charity (need an invite?  email me mollie@ bloomaustin.com)
step three:  let's do this.

11.02.2012

day 2 - i am thankful for soft beds and cool pillows after a long day of kid rearing and business running.
30 days of thankfulness- day 1

I am thankful for my confidence in my faith and peace that comes with knowing God on a personal and intimate level.

11.01.2012

so much sweetness.

so on a wild hair i thought i'd pull a jimmy kimmel on lily... she let her sweet spirit shine straight through my shenanigans.

10.25.2012

still here.  enjoying our october.  heading to a pumpkin patch soon.  halloween just around the corner.  life is good.


10.12.2012

returning from haiti a second time, my heart is quiet.  the ocean expanse closes and our plane is pulling closer to florida, closer to america, closer.

closer to my family, my loves, and farther from my passion and my heartache.  farther from what feels like a purpose.  a calling.  abandoned girls calling my name.  calling for love.  calling for a mother, while my children at home are calling for their mommy to return.  i close my eyes and above the drone of the plane engine i can hear the songs of the little voices at yaveh shamma orphanage.

i hold their angel faces in my hands and plead for them to see their strength and beauty.  beg for them to see their lives as a chance at real growth and change.  they look at me and see a mother and everything they long for.  they see loving eyes and hands that comfort.

we both see the best parts of one another.  we both hope dangerously.  recklessly.

faith the size of a mustard seed moves a mountain.  this is no mole hill.  it feels like the change in haiti would be moving an entire mountain range.

instead of backing up at the sight of what seems to be insurmountable odds, let's pickup the first pebble and move it.  we cannot change a population.  we must first educate a child, who empowers a community, who inspires a region, that shifts a culture.  and maybe, just maybe that pebble can start an avalanche.
 

10.04.2012

lily's joke of the day.

L: do you know i can jump higher than a mountain?
me: no??  you can?
L: silly, everyone can jump higher than a mountain!  mountain's can't jump!

**cue knee slapping**

9.25.2012

gwen stefani comes on 'ellen' wearing a teeny top.  upon seeing her sixpack abs, i promptly google to find out how old her children are.

seeing they are barely older than mine, i take a look at the fried veggie straws in my hand and slowly set them down.

wherever you find your motivation, right??

9.21.2012

lily: what does 'holla mean?
me: challah? its special jewish bread
lily: no, no. when people say 'hollaaaaaa!'
me: oh! um, i guess it means hello in that context
lily: in what part of the world?
me: new jersey??

9.20.2012

eve is in a codependent relationship with two fingers on her left hand.  it is simultaneously adorable and disgusting.  she will literally pet livestock moments before shoving those things back into her mouth.  but gosh she looks awfully cute.

the dentist as well as other health professionals have recommended we assist her in ending this habit.  it is just SO EVE that i haven't had the heart to break her of it.  i do ask her to take the fingers out from time to time but they are subconsciously re-inserted within minutes.

enter that yucky tasting nail polish my mother put on my nails to help me stop biting them.  my memories of the stuff is mainly how it used to make my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches taste rancid.  i've had a bottle of it on the counter for a week and just couldn't bring myself to use it until this morning.

eve hasn't sucked on her fingers all day!  i wasn't sure if i believed her but i haven't seen her do it.  i asked her if they tasted like a skunk and she said 'i don't know!  i haven't tasted them!' so in my disbelief i licked her fingernail.  HOLY MISTAKE.  that stuff is just as nasty as i remembered.

so here is sweet eve doing a mime of her finger sucking to satiate her desire for now.  we'll see how it goes at bedtime!