No Big Deal

"Dad, can you come pick us up? Some of the girls are sneaking out and I don't think it's a good idea. I don't want to be here anymore." -me

"Sure, sugar. I'll come pick you up. No big deal."


"Josh? I just got in a car accident. It was totally my fault. I wasn't paying attention and I rear ended a lady who rear ended a lady who rear ended a lady. I'm freaking out." -me

"Okay. It's okay babe.  These things happen. That's why we have insurance. It's no big deal."


"Umm, mom, I was holding the container of water upside down and it exploded all over the bathroom." -Wyatt

"It's okay, buddy. We'll grab some towels and clean it up. No big deal."


I was helping Wyatt clean up the giant disaster he made with the water container in the bathroom when the thought crossed my mind that when I find myself saying, "No big deal" whatever just happened truly becomes not that big a deal.  Like somehow the words coming out of my mouth convince my brain that it's true. 

Later I feel good about how I responded.  I feel kind and giving.  And whoever made the mistake feels good, too.  Forgiven.

That grace, that room for errors, is so beautiful.  
Now if I could just remember to give that kind of forgiveness to myself.



Carly at 13 Months

{signing "more"}
{signing "all done"}

I wish I had more recent pictures of Carly, but she's currently sick & snotty-nosed and has two huge bruises on her face from learning to walk.  (See her signing pictures above to see what I mean!)

Friday Carly turned 13 months.  She is so much fun at 13 months.
Here is a list of things she is doing:

  • Signing "More" still, but now she signs it right, which broke my very heart. I loved how she used to sign it, like a slow clap.
  • Signing "Book" when she wants us to read.  She brings a little book over and then signs, "book" until we read it to her.
  • Signing "All Done" for everything. When she's done eating, when she sees an empty plate and when she wants to be "all done" in her play pen.
  • Signing "Water" so we will give her her sippy cup.
  • Clapping & waving & giving high fives.  Her chubby hands are just my fav.
  • She's starting to blow kisses, and the little "muah!" she does is the best!
  • Gives me open mouth kisses.  Silly girl.
  • Puts her hands up to sign when I sing ABC's or The Itsy Bitsy Spider.  She's starting to mimic the hand motions. 
  • Walking around the house more and more.  Last night she went from my room at one end of the house to the garage door at the other end without falling. She doesn't crawl at all anymore.
  • Pretending to put on her socks & shoes.
  • Putting on her bracelet.
  • Wearing her sunglasses!
  • Combing her own hair. (And pulling out her hair pretties. The other day when I asked, "Where are your hair pretties?" she didn't have the answer, but she touched her hair, as she knew exactly what I was asking her.)
  • Picking up her baby when I tell her to get her baby, and then hugs it, saying, "Mmmm" like it's the best hug ever.
  • Making Wyatt's stuffed dog bark, "Bark bark bark". So adorable!
  • "Talking" on the phone she has in her toys. 
  • Saying "Uh Oh" after she drops something.
  • Vrooming her brother's cars.
  • Patting my chest when she wants to nurse.  It's nice she has a way to communicate to me that that's what she wants/needs.
  • She knows what "no" means.  And when you say it to her, she skrinkles up her little nose and pouts out her little bottom lip.  She can work it!
  • Getting her taggies when it's time to nurse & go to sleep.

We love this little girl. She is our sunshine and we are all so proud of her. I love seeing her learn to sign and talk, and I can't wait for her to start talking even more.



Around Here: Week 8

Enjoying... a super fun weekend last weekend. Josh's parents came to visit, taking the boys for walks and out to eat, and just spending some nice down time with all of us.

Feeling... a bit blah this week after having two kids home sick on alternating days, a sick baby and a not-totally-healthy husband.  We are all sleep deprived and I'm super bummed I missed MOPS due to sick kiddos.  Hoping we can heal up 100% this weekend and be back to full health next week.

Reading... all.the.books. Seriously.  I am working through Believing God, The Children Act, The Lies We Believe, 100 Essential Modern Poems, Auschwitz, Silver Bay and Wonder. Whew!  Hoping to finish one or two this weekend.  I feel a bit scattered reading so many at once.

Discussing... so many beautiful and hard things as a result of reading Wonder with the twins at night.  We are talking about judging people based on who they are, not what they look like.  We are talking about friendship and bullying and honesty. I can't say enough good things about this book and all the conversations it is sparking.

Loving... Carly getting attached to her taggies.  Just this week she has started picking them up on her own before we sit down to nurse in the rocking chair.  And when she spots them throughout the day (in her room or wherever she's left them about the house) she sort of squeals with delight.

Working hard... to make working out a regular part of our evenings.  We are working out more often than not, and we motivate each other to do it, even when we don't want to. Changing old habits is sure hard, and at the end of a long day, I'll be honest, the couch calls to me.  But I keep telling myself, "Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out." A great reminder from Robert Collier that all my work will add up.

Watching... Discovery Go (fabulous app that I use to watch all my favorite shows whenever I want! It's so convenient!)  A few of my favorites are Alaska: The Last Frontier, Homestead Rescue, and Everest Rescue.  I'm also waiting for the next episode of The Wheel.  And for date night I am anxious to watch Snowden with Josh.

Struggling... with a dip in my emotions toward the end of this week.  I can feel the negative thoughts starting up, the anxiety pulsing in my veins.  I keep telling myself they are just thoughts and I'm trying not to get wrapped up in them, but it's hard. I always wonder why.  Why does it suddenly crop up? What causes it? And how can I get rid of it? So I am pulling out my anxiety toolbox and making lists of things I know I can do to either improve the anxiety or strengthen my resolve to withstand it.

1) Sleep. Without sleep, I have no awareness that the thoughts are just thoughts and I'm much more likely to give in to full panic.
2) Exercise.  Serotonin helps combat anxiety and the exercise is also helpful with getting a good nights' rest, so it's win-win.
3) Limit caffeine. I've eliminated soda, and I just drink one cup of coffee each day.  This keeps me from getting jittery, which mimics how the anxiety manifests.
4) Make healthy food choices. This is perhaps my biggest struggle.  When I feel this way, I want comfort food, but my body needs food to fuel the fight, so I force myself to eat well.  (I am also taking probiotics and vitamins)
5) Sunshine. (See "jumping" below)
6) Friends.  Reaching out to people, whether on Facebook, or the telephone, helps remind me I'm not alone and keeps my focus off myself entirely.
7) Laughter.  A silly show, my funny husband, or the hilarious antics of my kids can all help me feel lighter.
8) Accomplish Goals.  Getting things done makes me feel like the anxiety isn't winning. So I try each week to have a handful of goals I'm working toward.
9) Prayer. Feeling like it's all in God's hands helps me let go & carry on.

Jumping... on the trampoline with Wyatt & keeping my blinds open to take in as much vitamin D as possible.  The last three days I've been doing anything I can to lift my spirits to keep the anxiety from settling in.

"With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts." 
-Eleanor Roosevelt


Upcoming Posts:
February Goal Wrap up
March Goals Introduction
Carly's 13 month Update


Around Here: Week 7

Cherishing... Josh's handiness.  This week (on a No School Day due to icy conditions) he replaced all the thermostats in the house and put new blinds in every single window in the house. On another day he fixed the toilet we had that was acting up.  It's exciting to me that we're doing little things here and there to improve our home.

Loving... fresh flowers all over the house. Josh bought me roses and I bought myself some carnations that I put in our bedroom.  That little bit of spring is helping me get through these last bits of winter. It's been cold and icy here (still) and I am pining for green grass and some outside time.

Reading... Believing God, 1000 Gifts, The Lies We Believe, Auschwitz and Wonder with the twins.  I am so close to finishing Believing God, I can't wait! I feel like I've been working on that one for ages.  Auschwitz is really intense (obviously) and I am looking forward to reading something a little lighter when it's done.

Watching... The Accountant for date night last week and watching The Wheel on Discovery.
The Accountant was the best movie I've seen since I saw Deepwater Horizon at the theater. I loved it.  The Wheel is really entertaining and I can't wait for a new episode.

Spending time... at the boys' school running Wyatt's Valentine's Day party and attending the twins' award assembly.  Jack won two awards, one for perfect attendance and one for Mighty Math.  He's been working so hard (with Josh's help) to memorize his multiplication facts and I'm really proud of how far he's come. On his last test he got 99/100 problems correct.
The flip side of that is that Logan didn't get any awards.  As a twin parent, this is my struggle.  I want to fully celebrate Jack's accomplishments, but at the same time, I don't want Logan to feel bad that he wasn't singled out for an award. It's an awkward dance and one I don't pull off well.

Giving... haircuts to all the men in this house. So handsome they all look!

Enjoying... Carly doing her cake smash last weekend. She's such a cutie.  See her cake smash here. And Wyatt's here. And Logan and Jack's here.

Cheering... for the Tucker family as my brother-in-law got one step closer to becoming a Game Warden. I'm so proud of their family.  Their sacrifices and their hard work to get him through school has been awe inspiring!

Breaking... my own goals in the name of self care.  On Valentine's Day, I couldn't want to cook or workout, so I didn't.  We went out to eat, which was such a luxury.  And when the kids were in bed, I just relaxed and read my book.  I will make up my missed work out by working this weekend.  And as for eating out, well, it was worth breaking my goal to not have to do the dishes. Ha!

Start reading Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes for my new local book club
Wash the kitchen cupboards
KonMari the kitchen
Write a Motherhood Poem
Teach the twins how to clean the bathroom



100 Small Things -- Winter Update

My friends Ashley & Tabitha have long been doing :100 small things" lists for each school year.  I finally decided to join them this year. I wrote my list at the beginning of August.

Here is my halfway check in.
I started the list six months ago, 
I am quite pleased with how many I've crossed off the list!
(New accomplishments are crossed off in red)

1. Plant a succulent
2. Make a dirt pit for the kids
3. Clean the windows inside & out
4. Read Brave New World
5. Read Lord of the Flies
6. Blog Weekly Update
7. Register to vote
8. Get WA state license
9. Make pumpkin muffins
10. Make a cobbler
11. Get a vanity for me (I changed my mind!)
12. Buy a desk for the boys (I changed my mind!)
13. Blog twins: separate classrooms
14. Finish reading One and the Same
15. Jamberry my nails
16. Meal plan weekly
17. Buy wool balls for dryer
18. Choose one "grooming" day/week
19. Haircuts every 6 weeks all year 3/4
20. Small group get together
21. Order Home Field. Read it
22. Read When Breath Becomes Air
23. Read What Was Mine
24. Read Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids
25.. Read Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings
26. Read Bird by Bird
27. Read Boys Should be Boys

28. Read The Rocks
29. Read Flight Behavior
30. Read The Shack
31. Read Brain Rules
32. Read Tuesdays with Morrie
33. Read Snow Falling on Cedars
34. Find a doctor
35. Find a pediatrician
36. Find a pediatric dentist
37. Find a chiropractor
38. Follow up with an OB
39. Learn to coupon
40. Meditate everyday for a week
41. Wash kitchen cabinets
42. Read Believing God
43. Read Mindsight
44. Read Don't Let Me Go
45. Read Deception Point
46. Read Iron & Silk
47. Purchase & read Winter Storms
48. Find a dentist for us
49. Read Dave Ramsey's book
50. Find an eye doctor
51. Choose a pharmacy
52. Find a way to display my rock collection
53. Paint the whole house interior 3/5

54. 3 playdates with new friends 2/3
55. Find a Hanford documentary
56. Go over insurance with new insurance lady
57. Workout everyday for a month (working on this one!)
58. Walk the boys to/from school
59. Have Paul & Lynn over for dinner
60. Plant a lilac bush
61. Find a used BBQ
62. Sort Holiday decor into totes
63. Don't eat out for 1 month (working on this one!)
64. Arrange "Tucker Family" sleepover
65. Establish family move night
66. Establish date night
67. Read Kon Mari. Clean house accordingly. (So close!!!)
68. Read aloud chapter books  (on #4 already!)
69. Make 3 pinterest dinners
70. Plant pansies
71. Make carrot cake from scratch
72. Decorate for Christmas
73. Make a book for Pansy/Jerry's birthdays
74. Write a poem about motherhood
75. Write a poem about twins
76. Write a poem about Logan
77. Write a poem about Jack
78. Write a poem about Wyatt
79. Write a poem about Carly
80. Take a pajama walk after dinner

81. Meal plan monthly
82. Collect Box Tops for school
83. Save toilet paper rolls/paper towel rolls
84. Attend MOPS group
85. Try 3 new parks with the boys 1/3
86. Read old journals
87. Share bits of old journals on social media
88. Decorate master bedroom
89. Deep clean master suite
90. Put contact paper in laundry room
91. Spider bomb the house
92. Establish Quiet Time activities
93. Organize kids craft supplies
94. Make blog calendar (monthly) 6/12
95. Have a trampoline sleepover with boys
96. Volunteer in boys' classrooms
97. Buy outdoor chairs
98. Read old writing (from jr. high/high school)
99. Make m&m cookies
100. Make a cake from scratch

Since my last check in, I have:
Decorated for Christmas (so much fun!)
Made carrot cake (& frosting) from scratch (so yum!)
Read three chapter books to the twins at bedtime
Given haircuts to all my men, every six weeks
Read What Was Mine and The Shack (plus countless other books)
Found a dentist for us, one for the kids, and found an eye doctor in town
Meal planned for the entire month of Febuary
Established some quiet time activities for the kids in the dining room


I am currently working on:
Not eating out for a month

Working out everyday for a month
Doing KonMari throughout the house

I only have 47 left to go! 



Carly's Cake Smash

 Today Carly finally got to do her cake smash. She never did it at her birthday party or on her actual birthday. It just never worked out. So today, I made (from scratch!) a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (also from scratch) and for afternoon snack she got to have a go at it. 

As I was preparing it, she kept signing "more", and then when I put the whole thing on her plate, she just kept pointing at it (a new milestone that I find completely adorable) and looking and her dad and me. 

Funny enough, she wasn't all that interested in digging in, and didn't like the frosting getting all over her fingers, so mostly Josh and I had to feed her bites. haha! She can finally make all the mess she wants, and she's not interested.  Go figure!

The boys were joking that Carly's birthday lasted three months because her party was in December, her actual birthday was in January, and her cake was in February.  Now they're dreaming up what they would do if their birthdays lasted three months. Ha!

We sure love you, Carly May!



10 Journal Prompts

Answering these questions sounded fun:

1) 10 Rules I have broken:
I am such a rule follower, I can't think of any rules I've broken.
I guess I've sped in the car before.
And I've definitely gone in the 20 Items or Less Line with more than 20 items.
Seriously, that's all I can think of. Haha! I'm a square.

2) I love the sound of:
Josh making the boys laugh.

3) This morning, when I got out of bed I...
started taking care of my children. It was 4am, and Carly was the one who currently needed me. Then it was the twins, having breakfast. And I made Josh's lunch, and finally I poured Wyatt's cereal. Everyday begins with taking care of others.

4) What scares me the most...
is dying before my children are raised.

5) What is the best advice you have ever been given:
Hold them as much as you can in the first four months.
--This advice, given me by Susan, who had five daughters, gave me permission to stop whatever I was doing, or forget my to do list, and hold.that.baby.  I am so grateful to have had it throughout my parenting journey.

6) Things on my bucket list:

  • Write a novel.
  • Raise happy, successful, kind people.
  • Read all.the.books.

7) My favorite memory from when I was a child is...
the day my little brother Dallas was born.  I checked for the suitcase in the dining room by the china hutch and it was gone. I was equal parts excited for a new baby and that I (finally!!!) got to wear the jean skirt mom bought and was making me save. I put it on hastily and ran door to door telling the neighbors our baby was born.

8) Write a letter to the teenage you:
Dear Shelly,
Trust yourself. You work so hard to make everyone around you happy, but remember to make yourself happy too.  And know that adults don't always know what they're doing either. It's okay to make mistakes or be unsure. You don't have to be perfect. You're enough as you are.
Love, Yourself

9) What do you wish for?
I wish for more time. Always more time. Time to read and to write. But also more time to enjoy my children being children. I know that someday I will really miss this crazy time in my life.

10) If you could be a character from a book, who would you be?
I would be Cinderella after the story ends. She has her prince, and is about to start her life in the castle. I'd fill it with children and be merry.


Around Here: Week 6

Adulting... with things like paying bills, doing our taxes and sorting through the boys clothes to see what still fits & what doesn't.  I always hate doing stuff like that in the beginning, but by the end I feel exhilarated by the change and the feeling of accomplishment.

Feeling... nostalgic for both when the boys were all younger, and for when Carly was a baby. All the "this time last year" posts on Facebook are killing me softly.

Reading... 1000 Gifts, Believing God and just started The Lies We Believe.  Gosh, I just love reading.  It never ceases to excite me.  Especially Self Help. I'm basically a big, giant dork. ;)

Finishing... Chasers of the Light & The Memory of Light.  The Memory of Light is the best book I've read in a long time.  I could not put it down.  I also finished The Other Side of the Mountain with the twins and we started Wonder last night. I am excited to read Wonder with them, as well as the other books by Francisco Stork, who wrote The Memory of Light.

Enjoying... Bookbub. It sends you emails with great deals on Kindle downloads. (For instance, books that are normally in the $10-$15 range for .99 to $3.99.)  I recently got one that was written by one of the doctors at Auschwitz.  Haunting.

Taking pictures... of Carly in my mom's first birthday dress.  My mom and each of her sisters wore it, as well as their daughters and me and my sister.  It feels surreal to have my own daughter to put in it.

Playing... musical beds for two nights this week as a sick Josh slept on the couch, a sicker Wyatt slept in my bed, and somehow I ended up in Wyatt's bed with Carly, trying to nurse her back to sleep after an early morning wake up. I am ready for everyone to be well, and for my sleep schedule to return to normal.

Thinking... about babies.

Grateful... that my anxiety has not reared its ugly head in weeks.  The absence of it is glorious.

Being spoiled... by my sister. She sent me a box of chocolates and bath bombs, along with a note that said she sees all that I do. It made me cry. Please, girls, tell your friends you see them. Send them encouragements (and maybe chocolate)... they probably need it. I did.  Her bit of thoughtfulness reminded me that I matter, and because of that, I painted my toenails, and I bought myself a new shirt. Who knows what much needed self care a little gift could inspire!

Blending... Shakes and smoothies with my new blender, purchased in part with money from the Walmart app.  You simply download the app, scan new receipts (within 7 days of the shopping date) into Savings Catcher and Walmart searches to see if you could have gotten a better deal somewhere else. If you could have, they pay you the difference on your account, which is the same as Walmart gift card. So super easy & cool!

Looking forward... to date night, here at home. Josh, homemade pizza and The Accountant are waiting for me after bedtime tonight. Can't wait!

I had big goals for February.  I am succeeding with not swearing (!) and I have worked out everyday for two weeks. It feels amazing. Josh is doing it with me, and I think it's nice that we have each other.  I am definitely sleeping harder and feel like I have more energy.

Last week I automated all our bills. Hooray!  And we haven't eaten out so far, although (to be honest) I think Josh and I are going to get something for Valentine's day. :)

This week I would like to work on my Motherhood poem, KonMari the kitchen + wash my cupboards down.

I'm still blogging, going to bed on time and reading a ton, per my 2017 goals.

So many good things happening & getting accomplished. It makes me proud of myself.