Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Eve?

Since this is the Thursday before the biggest day of gratitude of the year, does that make today the Thanksgiving Eve of Thankful Thursdays??

It does in my book.

So there.

I've been abysmal at blogging this year.

I have my reasons. Many of them actually. But they're my reasons and not everything is meant to be shared publicly:)

But here I am today. And on this momentous holiday, I would just like to say that I am thankful for my crazy life. God shows me every day that He loves me and is mindful of me. When life gets tough, He's there. When life is good, of course He's there. The world is a tough place to live sometimes, but there is so much beauty here. I hope we can all see at least a little of it every day.

Love to you:)

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thankful Thursday

As it's been very nearly three months since my last Thankful Thursday post and as 15 minutes on the internet this morning has triggered multiple negative emotions and left my stomach in knots-

Let's get this back in business, eh?!

Today I am thankful for:

Being able to wake up next to my husband this morning after a ridiculously long business trip.
My beautiful, quiet, peaceful dead-end street.
Picture day at school.
Ice cream.
Great literature from new authors (you should read this. But before that you should read this. And wha-what!?! I just saw that the second is currently FREE. Seriously, what's stopping you now?).
Bret. Jonz. Al. Goose. Trooper.
And Jesus.

And you? What are you thankful for today?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Family Mission Statement

So...years and years ago I posted on here that I was in the process of creating a family mission statement.

I am happy to report that it is finally, FINALLY...out of pre-production:)

We have a family mission statement!

My first attempt at turning it into something cute for our wall failed miserably. I'm now thinking of going a different route. Which is probably good. I think it will be even more eye catching...If I can actually pull it off.

But- here it is:

"Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence." Doctrine & Covenants 4:6

I decided to keep it simple. We prayerfully wrote out a list of attributes we want our boys to embody. Then we combined similar traits and shortened the list. Then we picked out words that had a letter from our last name. I'm going to capitalize that letter in each word and have them all wonky on the wall so that it spells out our last name. It's going to be awesome. Sorry you don't get to see it, but as our last name is not all that common I have to keep it off the internets. You'll just have to use your imagination.

We decided that the last word had to be remember so that we could use that awesome scripture (which, fortunately, contains a bunch for traits we'd like our boys to develop).

So far, so good.

It's simple and easy to memorize. We take five minutes out of FHE each week to talk about one word and how we can better live that word and become more honest, joyful, wise, responsible, considerate, or remember...ful.

It's awesome. And it will be a lot more awesome once we actually get it on our wall.

Anyway...thought I'd check in with that. You know, since it's been months since I posted (we've been moving. And settling. And super busy).

But yeah. There it is.


If I can do it, so can you! Go forth and create a family mission statement:)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I am a woman.

I love being female.

My gender is eternal, beautiful, strong, amazing, capable, nurturing, and incredible.

This Thankful Thursday I want to share my gratitude for the privilege it is to be a woman, a disciple of Christ, and a member of the LDS Church.

Never EVER have I been told or made to feel that I am less than my brothers in the Church. Whenever I have been part of decision-making councils, my voice has always been heard and valued. Even as a teenager!

I have power. I have authority. I have worth. I am an equal partner.

Much has been said in recent months (years. decades. scores. generations.) I don't feel the need to repeat the good stuff or debate the wrong stuff. I would like to just add one point I feel is being missed as the conversation seems to pull over to dwelling on how "mistreated" both sides are.

The one side for being "oppressed," "silenced," and "second class."

And the other for feeling "misrepresented," betrayed," and "belittled."

Yes, we need to love each other. Yes, we need to show compassion. But we seem to have forgotten that sometimes love and compassion is saying, "You're wrong. Stop what your doing. Let me help you understand. But you need to stop because you're hurting yourself (and/or others)."

I don't deny that people have been hurt and some have made very poor choices on how they handle the situation. But being hurt doesn't mean you run screaming down Apostasy Lane. Being hurt doesn't mean it's okay to call OW supporters horrible people. Sometimes you have to tell someone you love that they're being an idiot! And sometimes being loved means you have to hear that you're being an idiot!

The OW movement is wrong and based in misunderstanding, false teachings, anger, and pride.

There. I said it.

I know.


I am not heartless. Empathy runs in my veins (put there by simple genetics and an awesome upbringing). I hurt for the people who have been hurt. And I hurt more that so many are ignoring the loving counsel of family and leaders and hurting themselves and others more. It's sad.

But sadness doesn't mean we ignore the truth and "hug out" the hurt with empty words on the internet.

I am thankful to be surrounded by people who love me. People who will encourage and support me through thick and thin. The same people who will be honest with me if I need to change course. Who won't coddle me. Who will push me to be a better Lindsey. THAT is love. THAT is acceptance. THAT is tolerance.

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

June 5

Wasn't it just Christmas?

Didn't we just barely sell our house?

Wasn't it just last month that we moved down here?

This year is flying past.

While it's a bit disconcerting to have life shooting past me so quickly, I will take this June over last year's. Last June was dumb. Last summer was tough. This June is already worlds better than last year. This summer holds so much more awesomeness ahead. I'm excited to dump last year's summer for this one.

I am enjoying summer with my family. Little league baseball games, sunshine, warm breezes, cool treats, mountain excursions, bike rides, walks, movies in the middle of the day, books, flip-flops, bbqs, vacation planning, star gazing, cloud watching, exploring. Summer is awesome!

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hello Summer

Hooray for summer break!

Hooray for having my boys home all day!

Hooray for sunshine, warm weather, popsicles, dirty feet, forced reading time, elaborate games and pretending, bike rides, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, baseball, eating outdoors, mountains, camping, and all the joys a small town summer has to offer!

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mother's Day

Last night my twins graduated from Kindergarten.

It was cute. It was corny. It was silly. It was drawn out. It was full of too many props. It was entertaining. It was boring. It was crowded.

I loved it.

I loved standing there, trying and failing to get a good shot of my boys distractedly or enthusiastically singing. I loved having the thought, "Those are my boys. They're growing up so fast, but they're still so young and sweet and awesome. And mine." I loved letting the ensuing feeling of gratitude sink in. Gratitude for who they are. Gratitude for what they're capable of. Gratitude for the health and protection they've been blessed with to make sure they've lived this long;) Gratitude for the hilarity that follows them constantly. Gratitude for the new ways they've opened up the world to me with their people-loving personalities.

But mostly it was gratitude for the privilege it is to be their mother. I am so lucky to be Al's mom. I am so lucky to be Goose's mom. It's a tough, draining, inspiring, entertaining, joyful, intense struggle to be their mom. But what a privilege it is. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be a mother to these boys. To all my boys.

This Mother's Day time of the year, a bit more than the rest of the year ('cause let's be honest- I feel this way often), has a knack for dredging up all the ways I feel I fail as a mom. It's tough feeling like I can be this ideal in my head, but continually falling short. I sometimes feel like I should just let go of that ideal and be more "realistic." But that would only help me feel good in the meantime while keeping me from progressing and cheating my kids out of the better mom I can be. I refuse to give up on that ideal. And so the guilt continues:) But this year, I feel more hope than failure. I have a good chunk of years to look back on and see progress. I'm definitely a better mother now than I was nine years ago. Give me nine more and I might be pretty good!

Just in time for most of them to be on their way out of our nest...

For now I will concentrate on the things to love right now. Like the way Trooper says, "ooWooooow!" with enthusiasm instead of just a plain "wow." And the way Al and Goose play off each other and talk over each other when they're pretending. Their voices get steadily louder and louder until they're shouting about all the fun they're creating. It's annoying, but hilarious when I step back. And the conflict I see in Jonz when he's caught between wanting to grow up and enjoying the "little kid stuff" with his brothers.

Being a mom to these boys is wonderful and meaningful and amazing.

Happy Mother's Day!!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

It's been a while

I feel like writing again. So here I am. Happy Thursday!

We hit a noteworthy mark this week in our home. One year of working this new job for my husband. One whole year.

My husband works in the public sector. So many (oh so many) times over the last four years, I have wanted to publicly disparage my husband's previous employer and co-workers. Let's be honest, I wanted to march into the building and start punching people. That would have made things worse for any job, but add in politics and it would have been downright dangerous. So I held my peace and shoved back my anger.

I just want to commemorate this year of freedom from that junk with a "Good riddance, ya loonies!"...I'll be honest, that's the tame version. I'll keep the mean version in my head and be content with this taste of sentiment. 

I don't miss it. I don't miss anyone there. I'm still working on forgiving a few people for specific things. It's great to be a year removed from all that. Freed up to deal with the rest life wants to throw at us.

This Thankful Thursday, I'm grateful to see the back of that organization (but it sure would have been nice to provide a swift kick in the pants to that back). I'm grateful it's been a year. 

And I'm thankful for t-shirts.

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Smell that? It's April. Breathe it in.

The change of months is very refreshing to me. The first of every month feels like a pat on the back:

"Good job, Lindsey! Look at everything that you've accomplished. Another month down. Go team!"

It quantifiable progress.

The change over from March to April was particularly satisfying this year. April just feels more hopeful and happy. General Conference happens in April. There's an annual conference Bret goes to in April and the family is tagging along. The boys' spring break is in April and we're spending it up north. There's April birthdays. Spring flowers. We're supposed to get siding, brick, windows, and doors on this house this month.

Oh. And just this little holiday called EASTER.

April is hopeful. April is happy. April is progress.

Okay every month is progress, but let me feel like there's something special about April:)

Today I'm thankful for April.

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

"Today is Thursday"

Sharon, Lois, and Bram are now stuck in my head. (minute 1-2:30 for those with little time to reminisce)

Today I'm thankful for school, tv, ice cream, internet, hugs, flat irons, my van, General Conference, water, my piano, a soft bed, hot showers, temples, Bret, Jonz, Al, Goose, and Trooper.

And Jesus.

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Because venting is so 2013.

I know I haven't blogged in a couple weeks. I'd give viable excuses, but you wouldn't care so I won't bother wasting my time or yours.

You're welcome.

Today was not an "I enjoy being a mother" day.

Today was an "I don't think I'm cracked up for this gig" day.

Poop. Dirt. Goathead thorns. Dirty laundry. Dirty dishes. Runny noses. Filthy fingernails. Lying. Whining. Crying. Pouting. Entitlement. Lost forever jacket and lunchbox. Constant questions.

And if I have to remind any of my children one more time that we don't lie, whine, drink drinks that aren't ours (especially in public or construction zones), eat random things off the floor (especially at stores), ride bikes without helmets, put our feet in other people's face, hit anyone in the face or the head, or have poor hygiene (wash. your. hannnnnds!) I seriously might explode.

Granted, these weren't all offenses of today. But they are the culmination of two days hard battle and years of consistent war.

It doesn't help that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I think we all did.

Today is a grumpy day.

I still love my children. I still wouldn't trade them for anything. I still love my 24/7 job.

Everyone has days like this. I wish understanding that made it easier.

All children are now in bed and I am holding out hope for tomorrow.

Goodnight, moon.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Again we meet

Every time I put Trooper down for a nap, I get insanely jealous. I want to take a nap, too!!!

I'm sick this week, too, so I want even more to take naps. Sometimes, the one year olds have all the luck.

And right now I have writer's block. So this week you get a list. Which, while possibly very boring to read, is at least much better than last week's nothing!

I am thankful for-

the smell of fresh cut wood as I walk through the skeleton of my future house
a van that gets us where we need to go
a warm house
wild, monkey boys
baby sign language
General Conference (it's coming sooooon!!!)
the Internet (well, most of the time. Sometimes I hate it and wish it would die)
deep fryers
diffusing essential oils
bikes (and the joy of seeing my twins riding like old pros)

What are you thankful for today?

Friday, February 28, 2014

My kids are cuter than yours

It's just me and my Trooper right now. We sit in a quiet house (aside from the virtually ever-present buzzing of the refrigerator- golly that thing is loud!) and he is happily munching on his lunch. While sitting here admiring the beautiful shape of his sweet little profile, the way his round little cheeks move while he chews, the way he'll look over at me to see if I'm still watching and the smile that lights up his whole being when he realizes that I am, the way his neck stretches out just a bit when he's concentrating on what he's tasting, the little voice chattering away in his own little language (yeah...there's just a lot to admire about this kid:)), I thought, "Uh oh, it's Friday and I didn't blog yesterday!"

So here I am to enumerate the blessings I've received this week.

I'm thankful for Trooper, my tender mercy baby who has been a source of peace and joy in a very unsettled time. Life would be so hectic without him.

I'm thankful for Goose, my goofball wild man who is trying his best to teach me patience and compassion. Life would be so mundane without him.

I'm thankful for Al, my monkey boy who is so full of questions I have no reason to ever stop learning. Life would be so boring without him.

I'm thankful for Jonz, my little lawyer who has an answer for everything and is a physical reminder that six year olds do learn to control their energy eventually and I should be hopeful for his brothers. Life would be so empty without him.

I'm thankful for Bret, my brave husband who takes on the world for our family. Life would be pointless without him.

I'm thankful for this totally awesome little town we've moved to. The kind of place where mullets are alive and well (please PLEASE let them die before my boys become teenagers!). The kind of place where the 3rd grade program includes honoring the Browns, who've been a part of the community for over sixty years. The kind of place where half the town is related in some way shape or form and most of the residents have been here for three or four generations. The kind of place that builds a beautiful baseball park at the foot of some of the most beautiful mountains you've ever seen, especially come sunset! The kind of place with century old houses with fruit trees and picket fences. The kind of place where everyone waves and smiles. The kind of place where I can step outside any time of day and hear birds singing while I admire the mountains, sky, stars, sunset, etc.

I love it here.

And speaking of the 3rd grade program- my Jonzy boy started school one week before the show and managed to learn all the songs and dances. He's pretty awesome. And the program capped off with a totally amazing, traditional song that you would never hear elsewhere and that, from the style of music, sounds like they've been singing this song since before I was a 3rd grader and they plan to sing it forever. When the intro music started, Bret leaned over and whispered, "Are we in an Amway commercial?" I almost snorted. And then when the kids actually started singing the words...we couldn't stop shaking with silent laughter. Small towns are awesome:)

And though building a house is insanely stressful, I'm super thankful to be in this process. It's exciting!

And what about you? What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

No more

Ten. Months.

It took ten months to sell our house, but it happened. We have finally moved! Bret has been working at the other end of the state for ten months. We saw him on weekends. Now we will see him every evening! Much has been endured in the last months. To celebrate the end of this era and the beginning of our new adventure, I'd like to make a list of what I will have no more of. Maybe I'll even write it out, rip it up, stomp on it, and burn it for some therapy:)

There will be:

No More Staging the House for Showings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No more showings!
No more not being welcome in my own house.
No more eating out because someone wanted to see the house at dinnertime.
No more planning meals around what makes the least mess and cleans up quickest in case someone calls for a showing.
No more confining kids to the couch or the car while I do finishing touches on staging the house.
No more going to find an item only to remember it's packed up and in the storage unit until we move.
No more going through the stress and effort of staging, dragging my kids around town and/or feeding them less-than-nutritional food because we can't eat at home, bringing them home to finally get to bed late only to find that either no one showed up or they were late and "just need a few more minutes."
No more parking down the street and sitting in the car with restless or cranky kids waiting for latecomers to leave.
No more strangers going through my cupboards.
No more strangers ignoring the "please remove your shoes" sign and wearing their wet, dirty shoes on my new carpet.
No more strangers using my bathroom and leaving the toilet seat up.
No more strangers leaving things out of place and messing with my mild case of OCD.
No more strangers scuffing up my hope chest.
No more struggling (or failing) to not snap at the boys for making the completely normal messes that kids make.
No more dealing with the black underbelly of the real estate business! Hallelujah!
No more being the only adult in the house.
No more handling all the grown up responsibilities by myself. If the pipes freeze again- Bret's on the job. If there's a spider to kill, someone else will do it. Household chores, business, bills, phone calls, projects, errands, organization, meals, heavy lifting, snow shoveling, homework, diaper disasters, sick kiddos, teething baby, drama, sibling fighting, etc. etc. etc- SHARED:)
No more staying up until midnight trying to get in as much talking with Bret as I possibly can.
No more turning out all the lights and having to pray away the fear of someone breaking into the house while I'm alone with the kids.
No more going to bed lonely.
No more trying not to cry in the wee hours of Monday mornings after Bret has left for the week.
No more wishing I could just run simple errands in the evenings without four children in tow because we'd all had enough of each other, but not wanting to ask for help so ending up either not running errands and doing without or taking all the kiddos along anyway.

And now my brain is done thinking, so I'm done writing this list. Plus I need to go pick up kids from school. Hope you're having a lovely Thursday and that you pause to think of something you're grateful for.

Peace out.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


I admit- gratitude has been shoved to the back of my mind for a couple weeks.

It's not a happy way to live. It's not a sad way to live, either, but it's definitely not happy. It's

And I found today that getting out of the habit makes it difficult to get back into the habit.

I tried to think of things to be grateful for (a few things came to mind), but when I specifically tried to nail down how I'd seen God's hand in my life...I'm ashamed to say I struggled.

It didn't come as easily as it did just a couple weeks ago. It wasn't as clear to see what he's done for me today.

Don't worry. It came:) And it was accompanied by a warning/reminder to always try to keep gratitude in the forefront of my mind. This is vital part of the life I want to lead.

Today I am grateful for good friends and all the love I've felt in the last few days. I'm also grateful for Lemon Oreos, money, giggles, hope, Jesus, my laptop, my bed, space heaters, hot showers, hoodies, juvenile fiction, cell phones, pentel pens, cardboard boxes, and rolls of tape.

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, January 30, 2014


I feel obligated to write.

These things happen. It's happened before. It will happen again.

I just don't feel like writing.

And so I don't.

You can't force these things.

But I will tell you that I made a jar for 2014 (and probably years to come, if this catches on). 2013 was a stupid year. I even wrote this letter to 2013 and stuck it on facebook:

Dear 2013, 
I hate you. 
Good riddance. 
It's time to party. 
To celebrate you ending. 
I might even make a cheeseball. 
Because you're over.

People laughed, but I was dead serious (although I'll admit to a smidgen of humor driven behind writing that).

In hopes of keeping an optimistic spirit through 2014, I created a jar. It's a cute jar. I even put ribbon on it. Once we move, I'll probably try to make it cuter. But for now it's mostly just functional. I store slips of paper in the lid and a pen inside. Every day (or almost every day) I write down something God did for me that day and happy moments. I've written down things from my Trooper learning to walk to timely words from a church leader. It's great and I like it:)

So I guess I dedicate this Thankful Thursday to my jar...It needs a name. I'll get around to that.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Because it's been too long

I can't win.

I told my boys last night that they could go downstairs when they woke up instead of waiting for me to come get them. Only stipulation: Be super quiet so you don't wake up Trooper.

The talking (my boys' normal volume is two decibels short of yelling) started before they even got halfway down the stairs.

I can't win.

I asked the boys to unload the dishwasher (a daily chore) and was met with protestations galore. "WHY do we have to put dishes away?" (so we have clean dishes when we want them) "Why is it only ever US doing dishes and not YOU?" (oh no you di'int!) "I HATE having dishes!" (you're welcome to eat off the floor) "Goose, get out of the way!" (you might try asking him nicely) "I HATE selling our house!" (so do I, but bad news: you're still going to have to do this at our new house because this is something that needs to be done whether we have a showing or not)

I can't win.

I tried to make cleaning their room a game. Only stipulation: Be super quiet so you don't wake up Trooper sleeping right on the other side of the wall.

You can guess how many seconds THAT lasted. *siiiiiiiiigh*

I can't win.

Christmas was less than a month ago. The pleeeeeeeease-can-I-have-this requests are already back in full swing. Sat one of my boys down today and explained how blessed he is to have any toys at all let alone the massive amount we do have. He about died of grief when he did not get the "black sonic the hedgehog guy remote controlled motorcycle toy" he saw on a shelf today.

I just can't win.

I have hope that all the years past, present, and future of this means I'm going to win in the long run. When my boys have grown into well mannered, down to earth, hard working, respectful men and all that.

But for now?

I'd really just like a win!