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?