Summer lovin’

Summer is both my favorite and least favorite time of the year.

All four of my kiddos are home, which means we can sleep in longer and slowly move through our mornings. I enjoy an entire hot cup of coffee without trying to fill in agendas or checking homework that the kiddos forgot to show me the night before or having to referee clothing fights (because, no, you cannot wear your gymnastics shorts to school).

We function on minimal summer plans simply because it is easier. The kids spend their hours creating art, building with blocks, playing in the yard, reading, but we do it all with no schedule.


Summer also means HEAT and if you know me, the only thing I like hot in the summer is my coffee. Humidity is not my friend. Sunburn is a constant companion, even with 1,000,000 SPF sunblock.

The upside to the extremely warm weather is that I have to get more creative inside, which results in quilt ladders, crocheted blankets, new bookshelves, etc.

Happy June!



fresh starts

When I originally started my blog, it was nothing more than a place to share a few photos and memories, an opportunity to have a small connection to the world outside of being a stay at home mom.

I’ve taken several long breaks from blogging but I have to admit, I always miss it. I long to spend an hour or two in the morning with a hot cup of coffee and my iPad Pro, writing eloquent blog posts, but that is not how being a SAHM works and that’s okay.

In the mornings, my older kids wake to an alarm clock that goes off at the same time as mine. We make beds, bring laundry downstairs, help the younger kids with their bedroom cleaning, eat and spend a few minutes together before I’m rushing all four kiddos into the car. If I’m lucky, I’ll have time to make coffee and pour it into a to-go mug.  If not, it’s a long morning until my 8:45 cup ;)

The younger kids love to build and create, which normally frees up my morning (I adore their independence) but I can’t just leave the clean baskets of laundry sitting in the entry hall, the dishes won’t do themselves and rumor has it my kids enjoy eating on a schedule.

Will I be blogging again full time? No, but writing this single post is a step in the right direction.


P.S. Check out this beautiful sign made for my newly-painted bedroom! A friend made this for me and it speaks to my soul.


putting a 5 year old to bed

(in 35 simple steps)

1. Tell her “it’s time for bed!”
2. Send her up to brush teeth and get in PJs.
3. Explain that if she doesn’t brush well enough, the cavity creep she learned about in school will invade her mouth.
4. Console her.
5. Apologize for reminding her about cavity creep before bedtime & assure her it isn’t real.
6. Send her up to brush/ get in PJs for real.
7. Send her back up because there is no way she brushed her teeth and got in PJs in 37 seconds.
8. Read 6 stories to her.
9. Answer 932 questions about each story.
10. Make mental note to get rid of all books with more than 10 pages/ complicated plots.
11. Give her 3 hugs and a kiss on each cheek, then one more hug.
12. Hug all four of her stuffed animals. Wait, not the giraffe, he’s in time out.
13. Turn on the fans because it’s hot.
14. Turn off one fan because it’s cold.
15. Turn off other fan because she needs both on but they need to be turned on in a different order.
16. Help her get her blankets.
17. No, not the white one, c’mon, seriously?
18. Oh hang on, the white one is softer than the purple one. Switch them.
19. Turn off light and say goodnight.
20. Remember that you promised she could stay up an extra 20 minutes because she ate three helpings of salad and skipped dessert.
21. Hope that she doesn’t remember.
22. Yeah, of course she does.
23. Send her into the playroom with her favorite stuffed animal and blanket so she can pretend it’s a baby.
24. Beg her to stay quiet because the baby is sleeping.
25. Go downstairs to finish dishes.
26. Begin watching a movie.
27. Realize that it’s been 2 hours.
28. Find 5-year-old asleep on playroom floor, wrapped in her blanket and snuggling her penguin.
29. Call husband to carry her to bed.
30. Husband attempts to have her walk since she has the ability to weigh 9,043 pounds while sleeping.
31. Hear husband whisper-yell for you to bring up a camera.
32. Discover that, when woken up, a confused child who falls asleep on the floor in the wrong room will attempt to climb into her “bed” aka the trunk full of play clothes.
33. Laugh and take a photo.
34. Force husband to actually carry the exhausted 5-year-old to bed.
35. Blog about it and post a fabulous photo.


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Dear mama

Dear mama,

You work so hard. The dishes. The laundry. The meals. Heck, successfully dressing the kids at 5:30 am should win you some sort of medal. You keep the house running and sometimes you even manage to take a shower before dinner.

Some days, things fall apart. The kids won’t stop fighting. The dog destroyed yet another back door screen. The cat scratched up the dining room table. The fish died and you have to choose between telling your kids or trying to replace it before they notice. And you just realized that you put dish washing liquid into the dishwasher instead of detergent, which is a mess you aren’t ready to deal with at 7 am.

Some days, everything is perfect! That craft the kids have been begging to do is finished and proudly displayed on the wall. There aren’t any dirty clothes on the bedroom floors. No one spilled milk in the kid’s play kitchen for you to discover three weeks later. The windows are open and there’s a beautiful breeze in the house as you snuggle the baby. You drank your entire cup of coffee without having to warm it up three times.

There is no magic formula to being a mama. Maybe you just use your good mama instincts. Or you might prefer to read inspirational stories of moms who somehow always manage to look like a million bucks. You may take advice from your “been there, done that” mom friends. Or you could use all of the above things and make parts of them work for you and your kids.

One thing is for sure though: You are freaking awesome. Keep on doing you. Turn the dryer on for a third time just so you can avoid folding clothes. Play angry birds on your phone instead of cleaning while the kids nap. Hide in your closet and eat that chocolate bar (but do it fast, the kids are probably onto you).

No matter how many times the kids screamed at you, despite the fact that you ate PB&J for dinner again (just forget the fact that you slaved over the stove for an hour making chicken alfredo, roasted potatoes and a caesar salad), regardless of the water all over the bathroom floor because the kids hate the shower curtain being shut, they love you and you love them.  At the end of the day (aka bedtime, which is a whole ‘nother story), that love is what matters.

Be amazing, just like always.

Mama on, mama.

new puppy love

Sassy has been part of our family for nearly two years. She is a calm, faithful dog and puts up with a lot, given the age of our girls.


We found a companion for her to ease her separation anxiety last year, a lab named Shadow. We were devastated to find that Harper is extremely allergic to lab fur and we had to re-home him. Soon after, Sassy spent a month with my sister and her sweet dogs while we went through a crazy transition period welcoming Terry home from deployment.

When our sweet dog returned home, we knew she would be lonely without a canine companion, but decided to put off the search for another friend until our son arrived.


Apparently fate (or whatever you might call it) had other plans, and we found ourselves meeting Jersey.

Jersey is basically a bigger version of Sassy. Both are shepherd mixes, but Sassy is mixed with beagle, Jersey is mixed with foxhound or something similar.  Sassy and Jersey spent the first few days indifferent to one another. I assumed it was going to be a long-distance friendship, but they seemed to get along well enough for us to have Jersey stay.


The dogs separating themselves was a common occurrence the first few days. It varied as to who took over the giant bed and who found another spot to curl up.


And then, fate hit again. And by fate, I mean the snow arrived. Apparently, Jersey does not *do* snow. She found a tiny patch of grass to do her business on (about 1 foot x 1 foot) and that was enough for her.

If the giant dog afraid of the snow wasn’t enough of a surprise, the fact that Sassy was obsessed with playing in the snow stunned me! She ran, bounced, dug, rolled, I had to force her back in, even when the windchill hit negative temperatures!

But that cold snow meant that there were two cold dogs who both wanted to warm bed and snuggly blanket. And voila, instant love.



They now play in the yard together, cuddle on the bed, follow one another up and down stairs, it’s a total 180 from the first two days of just not caring that the other existed.



Better yet, Harper has had no allergy issues and Jersey has proven that she is just as tough as Sassy when it comes to the kids. I couldn’t ask for sweeter dogs :)

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Another new year

My resolution this year will not be to blog daily, weekly or monthly, despite how much I miss taking the time to sit and focus on a single task without a child involved.

I can’t count the times I sat at the computer to start a blog post, only to trash it and go back to cooking, cleaning, playing or basically anything besides blogging.

After finally taking down the Christmas decorations and rearranging our house yet again, my computer has once again found a nagging home within plain view of any of our downstairs activities. This is both obnoxious and inspiring, so I decided to catch up on blog reading, check the news and somehow I found myself typing up this blog post.

I read “One Simple Sentence” from the Clean. blog that always seems to hold words I need to hear. Err, read.  I never made a resolution this year, which is new for me, but with all the hectic-ness of the holidays, I simply forgot.

Instead of a resolution, I’ll take the approach of a motto, something I can use everyday, something that might help me to live better, to feel more calm, to find peace more often… though with soon-to-be-four children + two dogs + a busy husband, I think that might be a challenge! Hopefully one I can live up to.

I’m still deciding what I’d like my sentence to be. There were plenty of great ideas in the comment section of the blog I linked, I may end up using one of those.

Maybe blogging will once again find a space in our crazy routine, maybe not.

Maybe my children will stop running their cars over my feet as I type this (doubtful).

Maybe I’ll eventually find the opportunity to drink an entire cup of coffee without having to re-warm it (I say as I sip luke-warm coffee, yet again).

And maybe I’ll get to the million projects awaiting me in my yarn basket, my sewing basket, my garage.

But for now, I’m going to sit, relax, unwind and wish that my coffee was warm :)


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