Around Here: Week 13

Singing... in the shower since Josh bought me these waterproof speakers on Amazon. He asked if I liked them, and I told him it was the best day of my life. I was only slightly exaggerating. I LOVE singing in the shower, and our stand up shower has the BEST acoustics. Now I can really belt it out!

Getting... excited about Logan's grades this quarter.  He has been working really hard to improve his spelling and his hand writing in particular, and his teacher and I are both so happy to see his hard work paying off!

Taking... both twins to get sealants on their teeth at the dentist. It's funny, we already hate driving to school after walking just a few days. We were all bummed to have to drive so I could get them to their appointments right after school.

Suffering... alongside Carly as she suffers from teething.  The last three days she has been completely unhappy unless she's eating, nursing or being held. It's been exhausting.

Enjoying... a fun birthday party at the gymnastic place in town with the twins.

Watching... the boys do baseball tryouts. Our life's about to get crazy with three boys on teams.

Learning... more about epilepsy in this book I got on the neurologist's recommendation.  I am only two chapters in, but it is answering a lot of questions and teaching me so much about the brain and how seizures happen. I promise to share more when I'm done reading it.

Grateful... that Logan's side effects have been quite minimal this week.  I'm praying that this trend continues.

Finding... this article online about celebrating mediocrity. I love every thing about it.

"What if I never really amount to anything when I grow up- beyond mom and sister and wife? But these people in my primary circle of impact know they are loved and I would choose them again, given the choice.  Can this be enough?"

In regards to my blog being "small beans":

"What if I don't want to write a cookbook or build a six figure business or speak before thousands? But I write because I have something to say and I invest in a small community of women I care about and encourage them to love and care for themselves well.  Because bigger isn't always better and the individual matters.  She is enough."

Gah. Go read it!

Buying... some new clothes (at Walmart, hah!) & anticipating spring days and less layers. So exciting!!!

Reading... The Gift of an Ordinary Day, still, after finishing The Girl on the Train on audio. Both are so, so good.

Wrapping up... my 21 days of gratitude.  This challenge has changed how I view my everyday and has really planted a seed of contentment in me. I highly recommend giving it a try.

Looking... forward to spring break!!!  Ready for a little down time and a little play time with my family.

Meditating on:
"Resistance creates suffering.  
Stress happens when your mind resists what is... 
The only problem in your life 
is your mind's resistance to life as it unfolds."
-Dan Millman



Book Reviews {Jan-March}

I've been doing a LOT of reading in 2017,
so I thought I'd do a super-quick book review of what I've read so far!

Truly Madly Guilty:

  • liked it, but didn't love it
  • did enjoy the hoarding storyline in this one

Chasers of the Light:

  • great for love quotes
  • and life quotes
  • my personal favorite:

"Promise me 
you will not spend
so much time
treading water
and trying to keep your
head above the waves
that you forget,
truly forget,
how much you have always
to swim."

What Was Mine:

  • messed with my mind!
  • good writing
  • makes you side with the kidnapper!!!

The Alchemist:

  • not a fan of this one
  • i was unimpressed, and it felt looooong

The Shack:

  • i skimmed to the end
  • too fantasy-like

The Precious One:

Believing God:

  • helped me have a bigger faith
  • full of awesome quotes, lots of underlining
  • that said, it was difficult to finish

The Memory of Light:

Silver Bay:

  • utter disappointment after her other novels (ie me before you)
  • so slow moving
  • main character is very much one dimensional

Britt-Marie Was Here:

Inside The O'Briens:

  • amazing characters that easy to connect with
  • helps you understand every aspect of Huntington's disease
  • first book i listened to on Audio-- where has this been all my life?!?
  • i love all of her books

The Girl on the Train:

  • wow. listened on audio & could not turn it off
  • so many story lines, deep characters
  • and crazy turns of events
  • loved it

What are you reading? And do you like it? Love it?
Who are your favorite authors?



Carly at 14 Months

At fourteen months Carly is more fun than ever.
And such a sweet little smarty.
Here's a little about our sweetheart at just two months past her first birthday...

Signs She Knows:
all done
thank you

Words She Says:
bark bark
thank you

She barks every time she sees a dog,
and "signs" with her hands any time we sing a song.
(like baby sign language gibberish)
She gives high fives and play peek-a-boo.
She has eight tiny, perfect teeth.

She can put things back where they belong,
comb her own hair,
throw things in the trash,
and wipe her nose with a tissue.

She also tries to put on her own shoes,
tickle her feet when her shoes & socks are off,
and wants a bath every time she's naked.

She's very patient, and will sit in her carseat or stroller for long periods of time without complaint, but she hates being stuck in the pen (gate) in the house. It's like she knows if she hollers enough someone will save her (usually one of the twins). Ha!

She is absolutely adored by every single one of us.  I just love how they love her, those big brothers of hers.  Wyatt speaks to her only in an insanely high-pitch baby voice that is so syrupy sweet it can bring tears to my eyes.  The twins will do anything (anything!) to get her to laugh, and fight over who gets to get her up from naps on the weekends.  She loves reading books with Josh, and thinks it's hilarious when he puts her shoes on her hands.  With me she likes to play chase (I chase her or she chases me, squealing hilariously the whole time) and pet the kitties.  And, of course, nurse.

She was sleeping more at night the last week, then had a bad night, but I think it's cause of the bit of cough she has lingering from her cold.  She's basically up at least twice a night (that's a good night) but awake more than that often times. I'm the only one who can comfort (nurse) her back to sleep, and it's making for a very tired mama!

I was reading old blogs about Wyatt at this age, and by 18 months he knew 112 words.  It makes me very excited for the next few months to pass with Carly so we can start communicating more with her.  It's gonna be so much fun!


Living with Lizards

I have found the last few months that living with my anxiety has been quite tolerable.  It still comes and goes, but it doesn't scare me the way it did before.  When it rears its ugly head, I've been reminding myself what my favorite counselor taught me.  "You have to think of your anxiety as a lizard to live with, not as a dragon to slay."

I tell myself, "You're feeling anxious.  You're worried.  And that's okay."  Then I carry on as though my anxiety weren't there.  I remember to move slowly, at a normal pace and to stay occupied so the thoughts don't take over.  

I try to step back and watch my thoughts (mostly they're actually worries, like "What if Logan's medication doesn't stop his seizures," or "How will we afford the roof the house will need soon?") and see the thoughts like leaves flowing gently down the river.  I watch them come and go and try not to let them seize control of my brain.

This week I'm hoping to add daily meditation (using the Calm app) to my anxiety tool box.  What tricks do you use to combat panic attacks, worry & anxiety?



Hey. Can you talk?

 My best conversations with my sister start with, "Hey. Can you talk?" 

{feeling the twins kick}
The phone rings, one of us answers and what follows that question (sometimes, often times, accompanied by tears) is usually our deepest, most raw, most intimate and beautiful conversations.  Our most inspiring talks start this way.

A disagreement with our husbands, heartache on behalf of our children, a fear of moving forward, a fear of standing still, wanting to be seen, wanting to be heard... We've covered it all.  

Pregnancies, parenting, promises...
all shared on the phone, heart to heart, sister to sister.

I found out she was pregnant on the phone, she found out I miscarried on the phone.  I heard she was getting Annie on the phone, and she heard Josh got a job in Washington state on the phone.  Our news, good and bad; our lives, ups and downs, have been shared on the phone.

Today is my sister's birthday.  

Happy birthday, little sister. 
I am so glad you were born.  

And I'll always be here, to answer your calls that start with, "Hey. Can you talk?"



Around Here: Week 12

Reading... The Gift of an Ordinary Day after finishing Believing God and all the other books I was in. It feels nice to be reading one book at a nice, leisurely pace.

Worrying... about Logan and his seizure meds' side effects.  He's tired and nauseous and dizzy.  I remember Josh feeling the same way when he started seizure medicine, and it got better with time, so I'm trying to feel patient... but it's hard on my heart.

Still... doing treatments for Wyatt for his Reactive Airway, and hoping that his cough will be completely gone soon.  On the plus side, while we were at the doctor getting a wart burned off his hand (he was so brave!), the doctor listened to his lungs and said they sound alright and he is on the road to healing!

Taking... my kids to the dentist.  They are all cavity free- hooray!  The twins love the dentist's office because they have xbox's and they get to play Minecraft while they wait. Ha! Wyatt loves it cause they have an epic prize box.

Exploring... a new park last weekend with my family.  I am really proud of us for finding new things to love about where we live and for trying really hard to "bloom where we're planted."

Sleeping... 8 hours last night! I can't believe it. Carly slept 10:30-6:30am and this mama is so glad!

Walking... to school again now that the weather has warmed up a bit.  The boys love it and so do I!

Wishing... I could get my eating under control. I just want to eat all.the.things.  My self control and willpower is nil.  I could really use some advice about what works for you if you have any.

Wondering... if Carly is ready to transition to one nap a day. I find that two naps is really cramping our style lately. (I can't ever run errands and I can't do the things I want/need around the house because they're loud and she's asleep.)  By this age, all three of our other kids had transitioned to one nap. For sure by summer she has to be down to one nap because I can hardly keep the boys quiet for two days on the weekend for her twice daily naps. I certainly won't be able to (nor do I want to) keep them hushed all summer long!

Meditating on this...

"There is eternal influence 
and power in motherhood."
-Julie B. Beck



Around Here: Week 11

{Late nights with Wyatt}

{Nursing my rainbow baby}

{New garage door!}

{Her new favorite friend, Scentsy Lambie}

{Fav creamer, new Dollar Tree mug (!) & Walmart dish towel}

{13 months of sass!}

{Baby hair cuts = More baby neck}

{The dab.  All day, err day with third graders}

{The elusive Easter Baby!}
{Mama finally got a hair cut, too!}

 Healing... colds & coughs slowly but surely.  Wyatt was finally back at school yesterday after missing three days!  It's been a lot of long nights around here, doing nebulizer treatments & blowing noses.

Adjusting... slowly to Logan's seizure medication.  He'll do half a pill for a week, a whole pill for a week and then finish at a pill & a half twice a day, which is where he'll stay.  So far he's complained only of being a little tired and some nausea. Hoping that his body keeps adjusting.

Playing... basketball.  Well, the boys are playing basketball anyway. And lots of it!

Loving... spring weather with blue skies!

Opening... our garage door with the touch of a button. Voila!

Finishing... Britt-Marie Was Here, Inside the O'Briens, and The Precious One.

Reading... The Lies We Believe & Believing God.  It feels good to be down to two books after reading so many the last few weeks.

Spring cleaning... the house!  I was suddenly motivated to clean & organize Wednesday and I'm so glad I did.

Getting... a haircut, as promised.  I'm loving how healthy it feels, but to be honest, it's taking some time to figure out how to do it so it looks how I want it to.

Missing... having a monthly meal plan.  I never made one up for March and am regretting it every night when the kids expect me to feed them again. ;)

Noticing... that as I look for the good, I see more good.  I love my house more, my kids more, my life more.  Everything is sweeter since I began my gratitude challenge.

Not allowing... myself to start another book until the last two on my bedside table are done!  It was fun to have so many books going at once, but I did find myself feeling quite scattered.  I think one or two at a time is more reasonable than six at a time, which is what I had for some time last week.

Enjoying... posting my 21 days of gratitude daily.  It's a fun challenge to wake up exhausted, bleary eyed after being up all night with sick kids and be forced to look for the good.

Feeling... more like myself this week.  Less grouchy/angry.  I'm so glad I made a plan to change last week and that those changes are having the desired effect.

Loving... listening to my first audio book.  This is a game changer! If you haven't tried it, you must! Suddenly you're dying to grocery shop on Saturday morning and to fold those four baskets of laundry.  Anything to listen for just ten more minutes!

Also loving... the hand towels I picked up for $1.88 each at Walmart. #itsthesmallthings