Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas tree picture {the REAL story}

How hard can this be?

Mady's not happy...Dylan looks like a pirate...

Cute, but baby sister is MIA

Now it's all falling apart...

Everyone look at the camera (preferably at the same time)!

Thought this was going to be the money shot but Mady's head got in the way.


{Except that was the first picture I took. Guess I should have quit while I was ahead!}

What are you willing to go through to get that classic Christmas shot?

Friday, December 17, 2010

room mom-ing

No one tells you

when you bring your baby boy home from the hospital

that someday you will be up later than you would like

(while he sleeps soundly upstairs)

baking reindeer cookies

with pretzel antlers and M&M faces

for his kindergarten Christmas party.

And no one tells you

the next day


you will be so glad that you did.

Monday, December 13, 2010

oh, Ella!

Here is our dilemma lately...if Ella naps in the afternoon, she's up until 10pm at night. If she doesn't nap, she either a) cries, whines and throws herself on the ground from 4pm-7pm or b) falls asleep in odd places when you really don't want her to (i.e. 5:00 at night). Here are a couple of my more recent attempts to keep her up during the day (in hopes of a little kid-free time in the evening).

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

In the first photo I had sent her to her room for time-out because she was driving me nuts (product of a no-nap day) and I was trying to make dinner. We went to call her down to eat and Matt found her like this. Hilarious, but bedtime was no fun that night.

The second picture just happened today - again I am trying to keep her up so she'll go to bed on time for me tonight (Matt always works late on Monday nights and it helps my night if I can get all three kids down by 7:30 or so). I told her she could watch a movie, things got eerily quiet, and when I went to check on her, there she was, out cold. It's only 2:00 in the afternoon and I can actually hear snoring as I type this.

Anyone out there have any ideas for bridging this nap/no-nap phase? We went through it with Dylan too but it didn't seem to be quite as difficult with him (and it didn't last this long). Help!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

blogs, blogs, blogs

I've come across a few new blogs in the past few weeks - thought I would pass them along since that's how we all find the good ones...word of mouth. (I hope you are all still enjoying Young House Love and Catalog Living as much as I am).

And if you haven't discovered the beauty of Google Reader yet, you really need to climb aboard. I thought about posting about Reader *ahem* years ago but I figured everyone knew about it already. Sounds like some of my friends out there are simply sliding into their 30's, not even pretending to stay up on things ;)

  • Simple Organized Living - I came across this site through some Facebook friends. I want to be that really organized person and sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don't. She has great tips on staying organized, time management, saving money, etc.
  • Money Saving Mom - I go through phases where I sign up for freebies on-line like crazy and then phases where it doesn't even cross my mind. I appreciate sites like this one that list them all for you, so you can visit this site when the mood strikes and sign up for some free stuff. You have to pick and choose your offers but I've gotten some great stuff FREE in the last few months - Starbuck Via samples, a Fisher Price TRIO car, and handful of shampoo/conditioner samples (great for travel). Stick with the companies you've heard of before so you don't end up with crazy offers filling your inbox (I use my gmail account for these which filters out the spam pretty well and you can usually opt out of the email marketing right away).
  • Simple Mom Reviews - I picked this one up from Facebook too - a friend of a friend writes reviews for this site. Most of their reviews involve giveaways so this is essentially a giveaway site. I am determined to win something fabulous one of these days* so I've been entering them a lot - especially when they are relatively easy and don't take much time. The ones on this site usually involve leaving a comment or "liking" a page on Facebook. [*I have won in the past few months, some loot from Thirty-One, a newsboy cap from Rylee's Collection and a $5 Seattle's Best gift card from Joyous Photography - these were all Facebook deals though...I'd love to win something through a blog giveaway as's a simple pleasure in life).

Monday, December 6, 2010

let's take the "work" out of work out

4 friends.
20 dollars each.
5 days a week.
15 minute minimum.
Miss a work out, 5 dollars buys you back in.
Last one standing takes the jar.
What motivates you?

home team

A few months ago, I read Bittersweet, Shauna Niequist's newest book and I meant to blog about it then. A friend is reading it now so I've been thinking about it all over again. It's a good read - there are themes that run through out the book but each chapter can stand on its own too which is great for those of us (OK, all of us) who are a little short on time most days.

One of her chapters is called "the home team". She writes,

Lately, I've been working hard on my commitment to the home team. Everybody has a home team: it's the people you call when you get a flat tire or when something terrible happens. It's the people who, near or far, know everything that's wrong with you and love you anyway. The home team people are the ones you can text with five minutes' notice, saying, I'm on my way and I'm bringing tacos.

...these are the people you visit in the hospital no matter what. These are the people whose weddings you attend, no matter how far the destination is or what terrible thing they've chosen for you to wear. These are the ones who tell you their secrets, who get themselves a glass of water without asking when they're at your house. These are the people who cry when you cry. These are the people, your middle-of-the-night, no-matter-what people.

Matt and I are in a season of our lives where I am constantly reminded of how blessed we are by our families, our friendships, our communities. I can hardly talk about our home team without wanting to run out, get t-shirts printed up, and start handing them out.

There are moments that literally take my breath away.

There was the time after we had Mady and we were still at the hospital and people kept calling and showing up and bringing kids and presents and balloons and pretty soon our room was filled to the brim and it was the happiest sort of thing. I remember someone saw a picture of it later and said, "Woah! That is a lot of people," and the way they said it made it sound like it was a bad thing; I remember being puzzled by that.

Or a few weeks ago, I told some friends I was in a bit of a funk - nothing serious, just kind of sad about the mundaneness of life, tired of my husband working long hours - and a day or two later a friend knocks on my door and hands me dinner.

The way people remember our kids' birthdays and celebrate them with us.

The way our community gives and gives and then says, please, please don't return the favor.

The laugh-out-loud emails, texts and Facebook posts.

The last minute, please-come-over-for-dinner-don't-bring-everything-we've-got-it-covered invitations.

The moment when we looked around the funeral home and realized just how many people made an effort to come, to make sure we were doing OK, to give us a hug.

The relief of being real and no one even batting an eye. Realizing you've actually forgotten how to be fake, how to pretend.

The ridiculousness of taking up multiple rows in church with people we've gathered through the years - small group friends, childhood friends, family members, new friends [if you ever find yourself at Mars Hill at 9am, you can find us in the section near the sound booth.] The feeling of attending a large church and realizing that years have passed since it's actually felt large.

The feeling that yes, this is it. That sigh of relief - this is how God created us to live - living, loving, laughing with our home team.

The blessing of seeing Him through others and the privilege of being Him to others.

If you need a home team, it's never too late to start recruiting. If you already have a home team, make sure those people know what they mean to you.

To our home team: you know who you are. Thank you. We love you dearly.
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