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Three months, Thirty months

We are just a few days from celebrating a really big birthday, but I wanted to take a minute to update you on the other two sisters since they are currently passing milestones too.

I hit three months with Mayby2 this week.  I’m out of the first trimester and couldn’t be happier about it.  I’m anxious to feel her kicking (or at least confirm that what I’m feeling are kicks), but I’m also so relieved to be feeling nearly back to normal.  It really is true what they say about the second trimester; it is the honeymoon stage.  I’ve started on a few pieces of newborn clothing and ordered a professional snap setter (as it seems like most baby/kids clothes have snaps in them); I’m hoping this will help me in my clothes construction.

Bea turned 2.5 yesterday and she is just as two as ever.

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Of my two, she is by far the more spirited, exuberant child.  I love her for this as I can appreciate many qualities she has that I lack.  As she approaches three, she is learning how to reign in her passion, when appropriate, and is otherwise easy-going and sweet.

She’s done with the paci (check), after the last remaining one broke a few weeks ago and we decided to pitch it before it became a choking hazard (mom’s thoughts).  Much to my surprise, although I shouldn’t have been given the above, it became a non-issue after the first night of sleep.  Just like her older sis, she quickly attached to her baby doll (hers is named Vella, as opposed to Stella) immediately after and does like to ensure that Vella always has her paci to sleep.

Potty training is underway (almost check), and I think she is possibly the easiest trainee on the planet. I did predict that the second one would be easier, but little did I realize how much easier when you have a highly motivated (by praise and candy) child and an older sister along for encouragement (who also gets praise and candy when little one is successful).

Big girl bed has not yet happened (no check) but we’ve soft started.  She starts out in the bed and we tell her she can stay ALL NIGHT LONG as long as she doesn’t get out of bed.  Oh is she excited to try but rarely does this last longer than a few minutes before we hear little footsteps clunking around to find us and whispers of “hi, mommy!” when she does.  As long as she keeps napping (which is starting to become iffy), I’m fine with this arrangement for now.

If I compare the two girls at this age (which I know, you’re not supposed to do), MG was much farther along in communication.  This is surprising, because MG was already a little behind her peers.  Bea has always been a little behind the curve in this but not to the point of concern.  She can say just about anything now to get her point across and is starting to form a few more complex sentences too.  Her talking is very enthusiastic (and she came with a built-in politeness meter, so it seems) that it is very endearing.  “Thank you, Mommy, thank you, Daddy, thank you, Sissy.” She will say in succession until she has landed on the right person.  She will repeat this until you acknowledge her too.

Her baby doll play has really grown in the past month and she loves changing their clothes, keeping them fed, and every time we walk out the door, it seems she must bring along her baby in a car seat, along with a diaper bag full of random…toys.

Bea’s favorite people are all the men in our family: Daddy (first of course), Papa, Gampy, and Uncle Joel.  She is a daddy’s girl through and through.

Thank you for the encouragement on my last post.  I did not mean to make it seem as though I am considering giving up my writing (although I am only one more computer issue away….just kidding, sort of).  The thoughts are just coming to me a little more slowly and I do find I enjoy the immediacy of Instagram more and more.

When I was in college I took a few painting classes to fulfill my art requirements.  I distinctly remember taking an oil painting class and sharing with my mom (who I knew would relate) that I, for the duration of that class, viewed the world in how to translate it into a painting.

In other words, I would look at a tree and think about what colors I would blend to create the perfect color and how to get the shading just right, and what texture to use for the bark.  These thoughts would come to me freely all day every day, with or without a palette in front of me.

Now it seems I go back and forth between viewing everything through the lens of a seamstress and a writer, whatever is more forefront on my brain.  I look at clothes construction in a whole new way, thinking about how to solve various problems I’m having or to create something new.

Similarly, my writer’s brain is most often turned on when I am reading a good book and have quiet time to think.  I translate my day into short snippets that I think would look appealing on a page and harmonize in the brain.  I hope as I let Sweet Mama Makes float away, I will free up more “thinking space” to do this.



Now that MG is almost 5, and the weather and time have forced our evenings indoors, we’ve started having family game nights a few nights a month.

We clean up the dinner dishes, sit down by the fire, and take turns choosing the game.  Sometimes we drink tea and eat something sweet.  It’s exactly as I imagined it would be, warm, filled with little laughs, and cozy.

But of course, you have to factor in a 2.5 year old.  And that means we are constantly dodging fat little feet and trying to talk over the noise of the noisiest toy she could possibly mash a button on, over and over and over.

Last night was my turn to chose the game and I chose Memory.  Princess Memory.  I chose it because I really wanted Princess Go Fish but MG sweetly informed me she had thrown it away.  “Thrown it away??”  Yes, when she and daddy had cleaned out the game trunk a few weeks ago, half of the cards were missing, rendering it useless, of course.

So I chose Memory because it sounded like the next best thing…and…I didn’t really want to play Madeline’s Lost Puppies again.

But even as the thick cards were being spread haphazardly on the floor, I knew I was going to lose.  I realized it before the game even started; and as the cards grew in number and the rhombus grew in size, I knew my heart wasn’t in it.

I still tried.  And when my turn came, I felt my brain literally swell with mock pain as I tried to burden it with the placement of Princess Aurora in row 2, column 1, and Jasmine somewhere near the bottom of column 6.  I played like a three year old.  Each turn, seeing the board as a wide open space of possibility and hoping that my random choosing of cards yielded something to get excited about.  I played as a pregnant, tired mom of two kids who finds her brain completely encompassed with snack schedules and odd grocery lists, with foods I’m not currently allowed to eat, and that one problem I’m trying to troubleshoot on my sewing project.

I lost of course.  I lost pitifully to N who pulled out 16 matches, and can easily compartmentalize a game for a 15-minute short-term brain assignment. And also to the 5 year old who beat me by 1 (who it turns out has a pretty darn good memory but missed a few turns because she had to get water to slay her “sweatiness”).

Sometimes it feels a bit unfair, these things we let go of in the name of motherhood.  At this point I don’t know if I’ll ever get my memory, painted toenails, or eyebrows back.  But I care about those as little as I do winning a game of Memory right now.

The consolation is the sister who was delighted to take second place (because it wasn’t last place), and the sister who just couldn’t quite keep her curious hands away from our Prince Philip, but stayed in my lap to do so.

I’ve been struggling a bit with my writing this year.  The desire is deep, but the words aren’t there.  Or the ones that are feel cheap and pointless.  I’m attempting to write through the writer’s block and praying that there are beautiful words to pull from, but I’m having trouble accessing them.  I do hope this is one thing I don’t have to completely give up in the name of Motherhood, but perhaps, I need to be okay with letting it change with me.

For now,




Ah I am so exciting to announce we are adding to our family!


(Photo credit to Kimmy Howard Photography)

Here are a few question I’m sure you’re dying to know :)

How far along are you?

I am 13 weeks according to my calculations and 12 according to my doctor.  When I went in for the dating scan around 7 weeks, the baby’s measurement was slightly ahead and lined up with what I was thinking, but it wasn’t off by more than A week so they didn’t change my due date.  I am a-ok with that since I’ve had one very late baby, and I’d rather avoid induction if possible and safe.  Moving forward I’m going to count my weeks as I see them but rely on the due date they gave me.

When are you due?

Speaking of due dates, I’m due May 18, 2016.  And if this date sounds familiar, well, it just so happens to be Bea’s third birthday!!  Ahhhh!!!  Definitely not my first choice, but, May is the perfect month for us to have babies in, due to N’s schedule and the weather.  So I can’t complain about that.  Also, you may remember that May 18 was also Bea’s due date, so here’s to hoping they aren’t birthday twins!  And ironically, MG was also due on the 18th of November, so all of my babies have now become 18th due date babies!  MG was the one who came late, Bea came right on time, so maybe this Mayby will make an early appearance?!

How did you find out so early what you’re having?

Yes, seeing as I’m only 13 weeks, I’ve been getting asked that a lot.  I opted to take the Panorama genetic blood test.  There are several different types of these tests available now starting as early as 9 weeks of pregnancy. It’s a simple blood draw, as around this time, the baby’s DNA begins to mix with mom’s.  The main purpose of the test is to screen for certain common  genetic defects.  And in fact, if you are over 35, most doctor’s offices are pushing this test to help screen for Down Syndrome.  (I’m not over 35 but my insurance covers most of the test and we thought it would be worth it to find out the gender early.  That,  and also if there were any abnormalities present, to give us time to explore them {the test doesn’t tell you if your baby has them, just that there is an increased risk, so you need to do follow up testing} , since we have two little girls to explain everything to now.)

So to determine the baby’s gender (which is optional), you can have them screen your blood for the Y chromosome.  Since mom is a female, you wouldn’t normally have this in your blood stream, therefore if it is present, you are 96% likely to have a boy.  (Girl results come with a 99% accuracy).

Are you excited about another girl?

oh yes, thrilled!!  Two girls in, it is hard to imagine adding something different now.  Of course we would have been thrilled with a boy too….but…adding in another girl we already know what to look forward to☺️

Were you wanting another baby?

We were.  I was guarded this time because I felt very content with our family dynamic as it was.  If we weren’t given a third,  I think I could have made peace with that. But we both felt God putting another baby on our hearts and prayed it would come to be.  And just like Bea’s pregnancy, we have to actually want a baby to make it happen :).  My body didn’t recover well (hormonally) from her birth and I had a luteal phase defect again.  Thankfully I was watching for it and knew the steps we would need to take to give us a chance at another pregnancy .

Do the girls know?  How are they reacting to the news?

Both girls are really into babies right now which is a huge encouragement to my heart.  Bea is very curious about them and likes to observe them.  She also has recently latched on to baby dolls and has her special one, just like MG.

We all know MG is a little mama already and she is very excited about a new baby joining our family.  The concept is still abstract for them but I am so excited to see them blossom in to big  (and bigger) sisters!

How are you feeling?

better? Not great, but getting there.  This was the easiest pregnancy on me sickness wise (and this time I took natural measures to prevent the sickness and I’m convinced they actually made a difference!  I hope to write more in detail about this but if you are thinking of becoming pregnancy within the next year and are concerned about morning sickness, check out the connection between your liver and this dreaded pregnancy symptom.  I’m no doctor, so don’t take my word for it, but I spent some time cleansing my liver and taking liver support before I became pregnant. I wasn’t about to go through another illness like Bea’s!  During my pregnancy I used Unisom and B6 (once again consult your doctor) to help curb the nausea//mine is worse at night.  Eating every 2 hours in the day helped keep my blood sugar in check and also made a huge difference).

This pregnancy was the hardest on me energy-wise.  I really struggled (and still am a bit) through my days but now that the end of the first trimester is upon me, I am hoping for a big dose of adrenaline soon.  Plus, I’ve weaned off the progesterone supplement which is supposed to take all of your pregnancy symptoms and make them worse!  Coming off of that, I could tell a difference almost immediately.

Baby name?

yes I think Mayby has a name! I think.  It still feels a little awkward yet as we are playing Around with saying it aloud.  But, while we won’t announce it until birth, I plan to give you a few teaser clues coming up ☺️

This is an overview of my pregnancy up until this point but for a more detailed look, check out my Instagram page dedicated solely to this pregnancy Instagram.com/051816Mayby   I’ll be updating this blog with pregnancy news but more frequently there.  Also a quick apology as I had to type most of this on my phone so it’s not up to my usual degree or error check😀





I’ve come to hate the grieving process.  And I’ve come to hate my particular languishing slog through it.  Why does it take me so long to get to the actual sad stage sometimes?  And why do I find myself moving so slowly through it?

We lost our Birdie (black cat) to a rapid case of feline leukemia this weekend.  She was a good cat, probably the best one we’ve ever had.  Always sweet and gentle with the girls, always outside ready to greet me or any guests.  In fact it was her quietness that made me first realize she was ill.  I hadn’t seen her around the house, not climbing in the windows to meow at me in the mornings or afternoons, not there to greet us when we opened the garage door in the morning.  I went looking for her and eventually found her in the barn, quiet and still, looking at me but not respomding to my call.  She let me pick her up, but only let out a low purr, not her usual violent one that lets me know how happy she is to to be loved.

Together we examined her and couldn’t find any noticeable cuts or evidence of a fight.  She drank water but was uninterested in food.  We hoped she had eaten something foul and would just need a day or two for it to pass.

But it didn’t.  Nate called me this weekend (I was out of town) to let me know she had not improved and in fact only gotten worse.  It was time to put her out of her suffering but I asked him to wait until I got back home so that I could say goodbye and be there with the girls when he told them.

As cats usually do when they are dying, she disappeared sometime on the Sunday of my return.

I dreaded coming home to see her suffering and to give her a final goodbye, but now I think it is worse that I didn’t have closure and can only pray that her death was quick and painless.

As I’ve had a chance to start processing this, and with the death of my grandparents at the end of this summer, I’m coming to realize (late of course), that I am far from the peaceful acceptance stage.  Nope, I’m still stuck in sadness, and sometimes, regretfully, bounce back all the way to denial, which feels cruel this many months removed.

Today I’ve found myself envying the girls’ grieving.  MG lets hers out in one cathartic hour of sobs, but then is able to peacefully move on.  Bea, being blissfully unaware, asks to visit Birdie and calls for her when we are outside.  I reminded her that Birdie is sick and that we won’t be able to see anymore.  “Okay” she says with a hint of a sad face, but that is all.  She moves on.

Tonight I used my grandmother’s hot glue gun to finish a project.  It was one that she gave to me many years ago and it is outdated and the trigger is extremely squeaky, but it makes me happy to have sometime tangible of hers in use.

Where I am in the grieving process with their passing is thinking about their house.  The house that they had lived in for as long as I’ve known them became a constant in my childhood, as we moved several times, but we always made our way back to there for summer vacations and winter holidays.

This house was a white farmhouse, 1920’s style, with a big yard, old trees and a long, black driveway.  It had a screened in front porch with two swings and several rockers that we spent some of my favorite hours in.  I’ve written countless letters and thank you notes to its address and probably won’t soon forget the order of numbers and letters as I’ve had 31 years to memorize it.

It sat next to a field on one side and another old house on the other (home of my grandfather’s late parents), and in the 60+ years they lived there, they watched the developments go up around them.

Behind the house was a dog pen alive with hunting dogs, a weathered hay barn, and soulful cows.  During the better part of my childhood, there was a grape vine, a huge garden, and the best tasting apples I’d ever had that sprouted from several golden apple trees.  All of this was cut down in later years and only the cows were left when Grampy started on his last illness.

The inside of the house starts at the back of the house.  No one ever entered through the front door.  Up until about 5 years ago, Grampy always anticipated our arrival and met us at the back door with a “how yall doing, get in here!”.  Many a roast beef sandwich for lunch and a peanut butter cracker for a late night snack were eaten at the round table in the kitchen (late night snacks were always encouraged at this house, much to my delight).

Nanow was a wonderful cook, much like you imagine most grandmas to be, and cooked for us every time we came until she physically could no longer.  They always made sure to have our favorite cereals and snacks when we came, and there was always ice cream in the freezer.

The dining room was the next room you entered and the gathering of many, many family meals.  Anytime we had more than 4 people, the dining room table was set up, the appropriate amount of leaves were placed in, and we sat around the table breaking bread.

There was a guest room and a living room that held their tv-facing recliners.  They had many recliners over the years I visited them, but they always sat side-by-side, facing the same direction.  Whenever I picture my grandparents, I always picture them sitting there.

Their bedroom was off the hallway, along with Nanow’s sewing room and the “apartment” in back that was an addition built by Grampy when Nanow’s father became ill and came to live with them.  They cared for him, even up until he became unresponsive for his final 18 months. They kept him nourished and flipped him side-to-side to prevent bedsores.  Grampy rigged a doorbell for him to ring whenever he needed them.

Now this apartment serves as a guest area and where we spent our extended stays when visiting them.

I’m so thankful N was around for some of their better years and got to know this house as intimately as I did.  It does ease the loss a bit to know that it is carried by both of us, and really many of us.

Anthropomorphism is a literary word that describes when an inanimate object takes on a human like personality.  In the story of my childhood, this 1920’s farmhouse became anthropomorphic to me; personifying love, goodness, and family.  May we all be so lucky to have a little white house in our lives like this someday.

R.I.P., Biride,



One thing that is nice about four year olds is that they are bold in love and quick to forgive and overlook flaws.  MG often tells me out of no where, “you are the best mommy I could ever have.  And I have the best daddy, and the best sister, ….”.  How could you not love something that gives you that kind of affirmation?

It’s not hard for me to picture MG as a teenager, much less an adult. One of her first words was “Baby” and when she, herself, was still a baby, she was cradling dolls in her arms and gazing at them lovingly at ten months old.  That tenderness has never waned.

Stella is still her favorite doll and a good source of comfort, accompanying her to church, school, and ushering her into dreamland every night.  I’m glad she’s still around and I hope she stays for a long time.

Bea is still changing and growing bigger every day.  At 29 months, she has not yet hit her terrible twos, or if we have, they have been far more peaceable than I imagined.  Lately she has picked up an annoying grunty whine when she wants something, but that’s about it.  We’ve soft-started with potty training, due to her own insistence (second children are so much easier) and her willingness to do anything for “Ghandi!” (candy).

With this growing into the next stage, she’s reverted back to some baby-tendencies lately, clinging fiercely to her paci and even crawling on all fours and asking to be rocked and sung ‘Sunshine” to.  MG delights in this and calls her “Baby Girl”, ordering her around, pretending to feed her bottles and putting her to bed.  This works out pretty well in my favor, so I’m not stopping it…yet.

She’s just now putting 2-3 words together in sentences but her vocabulary is rapidly expanding.  It’s hard to believe that when MG was her age, I was about one month away from having Bea.  I can’t imagine introducing a third baby into our house right now!

Bea still maintains a delightful ‘little” personality.  She is exuberant and sweet and joyful.  I’m so glad we chose “Beatrice” as part of her name because it means “she who makes happy”.  Even at her worse, she keeps a mischievous little smile on her face that is hard to stay mad at.

The girls are overall a delight and although they run me ragged some days, I am enjoying my time with them more and more as little humans.   It is especially helpful and an answer to prayer that their relationship is growing and they enjoy each other’s company so much.

Bea has held on to her good sleeper status, still taking up to three hour naps a day (MG had given them up for 5 months at Bea’s age).  This is one of the reasons I’ve held off on all the big milestones this year: paci weaning, potty training, and big girl bed sleeping.  I’m not eager to disrupt this ideal schedule we have fallen into.

MG is taking ballet again this fall and loves this more than any of the activities she’s ever been enrolled in.  We’ve been knee-deep in the princess phase for well over a year now.  No sign of that slowing down, as of yet.  We do have a 5th birthday coming up in a few weeks so hopes are high for some princess related gifts.

The other half of this duo is wishing that spritely, princess-loving 5 year olds will still adore their mommy just as much as spritely, princess-loving 4 year olds.




The days are noticeably shorter and the air temperature is steadily dropping.  I fear summer is officially gone for another 7 months.  I always get a little apprehensive in the fall knowing that winter is around the corner.  This year especially scares me as I’ve been spotting thick woolly worms here and there.  I haven’t seen since them since the fall of 2013 right before that dreadful winter that has me still scarred.  Bad omen?

But, there are two things which are helping me keep a positive attitude: 1) This is the first winter where we will have a fireplace AND good windows.  That should make a huge difference in inside temps.  and 2) the girls are both old enough to play in the snow for reasonable amounts of time, so at least we won’t be cooped in the house all day everyday.

Today we made an appearance at one of the local story times which we haven’t been to in a few months, due to summer and other things eating up our Friday mornings.  Today was a corner-turning day though, Bea sat through the entire story time.  Granted, we’ve missed large swaths of weeks there at a time, but I do remember when I first began taking her there, I would rock her to sleep on my lap so that she wouldn’t sacrifice her morning nap.

When she could stand, she became disinterested in my lap and would show some interest in the story, but would soon cave to curiosity over the contents of my purse.

When she could walk, she just wanted to walk.  There was no sitting her still, not for long at least, and not without the bribery of a cereal-filled snack cup.  But that only lasted a few minutes and then she was off exploring the shelves of the library and I was left to track along behind her, making sure she didn’t pull off too many books or stuffed animals.

But today she sat.  She sat next to her older sister, protector, her eyes wide with interest.  She turned her head to find me a few times, a pleased smile on her open mouth.  I think she felt proud that she was among the “big kids” now.  She watched the pages of the book being turned one by one, and offered no participation in the chants or songs, she simply observed.  Big Sis was unusually still today too.  Maybe it was due to our lack of recent attendance or maybe it was a silent mimicry of her sister.  I tend to think the latter.

MG’s eyes did carefully follow the teacher as she chose participants, one by one, to hold up a nursery rhyme card for the group.  I could feel her straining to be chosen, but not wanting to draw attention to herself.   As the stack of cards lessened, she successfully made eye contact with Mrs. C and was finally chosen to take a turn.  The pink card was still in the shuffle, and she unhesitatingly chose it, even though she has chosen this one every single time before.

Bea stood up with her, thinking she too would be offered a choice of cards.  Mrs. C kindly told her she would have next pick and while sister held her pink card proudly before the group, Bea climbed into Mrs. C’s chair to wait, looking just as confident and relaxed as ever.

MG found her seat after, but not before giving me her own proud smile.  Holding true to her word, Mrs. C let Bea choose the next card all the while she did not budge from her spot at the front of the room in the teacher’s chair.  She chose quickly but the card fell to the floor and Mrs. C helped her hold it and then arranged it for the group to see as it was first held upside down.

She, too, offered me a smug smile when done, and then hopped down from the chair.  There was a slight confusion as legs blocked her path back to her seat and she found herself trapped in the front of the room.  Big Sis noticed her predicament and reached out her hand to her “Bea, this way.  This way, Bea.”, and guided her back both by voice and hand to the saved seat next to her.

There was one chant left that involved hand motions and it was now that Bea decided to join along.  She carefully copied the teacher’s movements, and MG, noticing this, did too.

At last the teacher stood up, holding her hands out to the class in the universal “sit down” air pat and said, “Stay in your seats boys and girls, I’m going to count you.”.  Bea stood up, carefully imitating her hands, not understanding the directive and thinking the imitation was still being continued.  With a little convincing from me and sis, she sat back down obediently to be counted.

And this is why I am in the sweetest stage of life with these two girls I have experienced yet.  I’m going to be heartbroken when I have to send one of them off to school next year,



I just returned from a weekend at MOMcon which always leaves me feeling encouraged to write more.  One of the workshops I attended was called Express Yourself by Amena Brown  (she is an extremely gifted “spoken word” poet, look her up).  She gave us some writing prompts about shoes and they almost immediately went to an emotional level, for all of us.  There is something about being given a limited amount of time to write on a specific topic that gives you a freedom not to overthink.  It is when your brain doesn’t work too hard that your heart shines through.  There was an open mic where we were encouraged to share our writing and I felt tears prick my eyes after nearly every one because I love to hear stories and perspective from other women in the same stage of life I’m in.

The week leading up to MOMcon was a busy one (as they usually are when you are preparing for a trip away from your kids/home).  I had to pick MG up early from school and happened to catch her at the end of lunch.  She was sitting at the far corner of the cafeteria with a table full of girls.  There was one little, petite, open seat beside her and Bea happily filled it, while I kneeled behind, waiting for her to finish.  The first thing I noticed was that she was the only child not eating the school lunch.  I know I would probably pack a home lunch anyway if given the choice, but it made me sad that she is not given the choice.

This doesn’t seem to affect her social standing though, as the girls that surrounded her were happy to tell me about how they know her and collectively shared a story that had happened to her earlier that day.  MG told me their names and I tried to memorize their faces so I could have context to the stories she tells me in the evening.  “_____ has a cat but she’s a mean cat.”  “_____ has a princess backpack just like me.”  “One time _____ hit _____ but she’s never hit me.” She has always been prone to grace.

It’s picture day and that is obvious by the choice clothing and perfectly kept hair. They all look so pretty with their curled hair and big eyes.  They stare at me attentively in between stories, and I feel like a queen visitor.  I am reminded how much I love preschoolers.

I love observing my girls in social situations.

This month has been a growing one since the loss that accompanied last month.  Just recently, N and I feel like God has given us a vision for our future and our hearts are set on attaining it.  In some ways, it is hard to keep my feet grounded because my head is in the clouds, thinking, wondering, hoping, how and when we will accomplish this.

MOM con always gives me a taste of what God is trying to teach me and a chance to meet with Him without distraction.  This year MOPS is focusing on a theme verse (which I pitifully can’t remember), but the three tenets of it are Notice Goodness, Celebrate Lavishly, and Embrace Rest. The one that I felt continuously sticking out to me was the last one.  At first I felt defensive of it; I am an intentional “rester”!  When I need sleep, I take a nap.  When I am overstimulated, I sneak away to be by myself.  I guard my energy level. But as the weekend progressed it became clear to me that it was my mind that needed to rest, not my body.

Fear and worry sometimes plague me into cyclical thinking before I even realize it.   Do you know what I also learned?  The number one predictor of anxiety in girls is anxiety in their parents.  That is one trait I wouldn’t wish on my sweet, curly-haired girls and if it’s out of my control, then I will have to teach them the power they can have over it.


What are you…

Seems like now is as good a time as any to do one of these…

Eating:  Tonight hot dogs and s’mores!  On my menu this week: chili, BBQ chicken, and anything Fall related.

Watching: N and I watch Project Runway together on the weekends while folding laundry.  It’s one of the few reality contest type shows he can handle.  We always find ourselves in an interesting discussion over who should stay and who should go.  We don’t always agree with the judges, or each other.

Patiently waiting for Fixer Upper to return…

Listening: Pandora, shuffled, is a favorite while I’m working and I’m still heavily into my podcasts.  This American Life and Radiolab top the list but I will try anything in the top charts once.

ReadingDead Wake   I found it a bit dry in the beginning at times, but it builds to a very suspenseful near-end followed by a very haunting end.  Next in my queue is Station Eleven.  A “new” Kindle acquirement has opened up even more book possibilities.

Working on: Well I have intentionally let SMM slow down to a crawl.  I’m taking on about 1-2 custom orders a week which allows me plenty of flexibility with my time.  Burning the candle at both ends burnt me out for a while but I am managing my time better with more of it to spare.  I also hope to channel this free time into more writing…

Writing should be less stressful as I plan to tackle a computer organization/overhaul in the next few weeks.  I finally found an external hard drive that should work for my Mac and I hope to transfer over all of our old pictures onto it.  The new iCloud plans have also come at the perfect time and I’ve been playing around with how to virtually store pictures on there.  You may have notice that my posts have been a little picture-lacking this year, well hopefully this change will help that moving forward.

Looking forward to: September is always a full month.  Last weekend was spent in Nashville with my sister and cousin for a much needed girls weekend.  Tomorrow is the big baby consignment sale followed by MOMcon this weekend.  I also have an upcoming Salt Lake City trip planned, a visit from Granny to look forward to, the startup of MOPS and Bible study, N’s birthday, and the seasonal fall activities all in the near future. It’s no wonder that winter always feels like a letdown!



Just like the previous “new start months”, January and June, August gives us a chance to reset our schedule, make new goals, and find a new family rhythm for the season.

Unlike my resolutions in January and my summer bucket list in June, I generally don’t write down any goals in August; I just make more promises to myself…. ones that I have really good intentions of carrying out through May.  I’ll always put a handwritten note in her lunch.  I’ll take the girls outside everyday, even when it’s snowing.  I’ll volunteer in her classroom so I can get to know her friends.  I’ll occupy Bea’s time with manipulatives and busy boxes so she will learn this school year too.

And then by September, those promises sound a lot less golden and take some mustering to execute.

Finding our new rhythm always takes some floundering too.  MG is off to school two early (for us) mornings a week.  And it makes sense after I drop her off that I do my errands while I’m in town.  So I’ve had to readjust our schedule a bit to accommodate.  Bea is adjusting (rather quickly) to life as an only child on those days, and I find I’m really enjoying my solo time with her.  For one thing, the house is a lot more peaceful without any bickering or fighting over toys and for another, my mind isn’t being constantly occupied by questions, so I have more space to devote to her ever expanding vocabulary and communication.

As far as MG and school, she is transitioning slowly (her general M.O.), but well.  When I drop her off, I get the I don’t want to go to school today schtick.  But by the time we get there, she is eager to carry her backpack in, hang it on her hook, and jump right in to playing with her friends (only one of whom she can ever remember their names….progress…).  She takes a nap every single day which seems a little strange for my non-napping 4.5 year old, but I think it’s good for her brain to rest after all of the new stimulation.

Speaking of naps, can I get a hallelujah that Bea is still a great napper?!?  When MG was the same age, she had already been consistently skipping naps on a weekly basis and it was a struggle for both of us.  Bea still sleeps a solid 3 hours in the middle of the day and not only that but I lay her down and I don’t hear from her again for that time.  The two days a week when MG is at school, this time is especially golden.  Three solid hours of uninterrupted time!  I can tell I am especially refreshed on these days and have much more energy to tackle whatever the evening holds.

I would be remiss if I didn’t post something of the heartache August has also brought us.  I lost both of my living grandparents (dad’s side) within three short weeks.  They both lived till their nineties and a few health issues between them, their loss to our family still feels like a cold shock.  I eulogized them on FB and IG but it was especially sweet to spend time at the funerals and hear others’ eulogies of them as we sat and mourned together.  Right now, I’m saving up some sweet stories and memories in my heart.  Maybe someday, it won’t feel so raw to type them out.

Less noteworthy, but also sad, we lost Teacup this month.  We played with her on a Saturday morning, left for an hour, and when we came back, we saw her body, unmoving, on the side of the road (thankfully though MG was in the car with us, she didn’t).  With the kitties being outdoor cats, we knew this was a possibility, but it still felt especially tragic to lose her, like this, on the day of my Grandfather’s death.

While I distracted the girls inside, N recovered her body and buried her in a special spot in the yard, with a handmade cross.  We took the girls outside and explained (to MG really) what happened.  We fumbled our way through it, trying to use gentle words, but direct the conversation as she began to ask questions.  It took her a few minutes of asking questions and processing before the wave of grief overcame her and she sat in our laps, bereft, for over an hour.  Her first broken heart.

Like a sweet sister cat, Birdie sat attentively on her lap as MG sobbed into N’s shoulder, and she has been good to her ever since.  I had no idea what to expect her grieving process to look like but after a good day of sadness, she seems to have emotionally moved on.  She still asks questions every once in a while, and she asks me to check on Teacup (her grave) while she is at school.  We concluded that since my Grampy loved animals so much, perhaps he is spending his first few days in Heaven taking care of Teacup.

I sure hope September gives us a break because our hearts are a little tender over here right now.



Summer Wrap up

Today is the very last day of summer break.   The alarms are set, the lunches are packed, the outfits are neatly laid out.  This is it.


(the first day outfit still needed some finishing touches in this picture, but I’m having   SO MUCH FUN creating some fall pieces  for MG)

Just like all summers before it, this one went by too fast.  But unlike summers before it, I’m not left with any lingering feelings of regret  nor that nagging feeling of desperation…a state of denial that it’s really over.

Over the years we’ve worked really hard on our delicate summer balance of trips, work, and play and this year we concluded that we hit it pretty close to perfect.  It’s similar to the feeling of not receiving a tax return check because you had just the right amount of exemptions taken out of your paycheck.  Disappointment cloaked in diligence.

IMG_2507On July 22, we celebrated 9 years of marriage.  Our big trip was really the celebration, so a quiet dinner out was the perfect endcap.  Our anniversary has always felt like an indelible summer line.  I try to hold off on my feelings that summer is over until we’ve reached it, and then once we have, I know it’s time to begin the grieving process.


Our little garden experiment went fairly well, all things considered.  We had a ton of rain especially in June and I don’t think I watered more than 2-3 times the whole summer.  We also lost a futile battle against crabgrass.  Next summer, we’ll do more prep work to keep it at bay.  But we’re still getting tomatoes and beans out of it and we’ve eaten quite a few already along with several kinds of peppers.  Valiant rookie year, next year we will go for the gold.


(hallway, taken at night)IMG_2568

(new lighting in living room)IMG_2480

(having fun with the Scan N cut)IMG_2695

(new bed, still needs to be styled but had to show off N’s handiwork)

One of the big pushes this summer was to cross a lot of house projects off our list.  As far as production goes, it was a huge success!  And I can’t tell you how it feels to be relieved of that burden. We only have one big project left (replace the bathroom vanities) aside from a few other little light fixtures here and touches up there.  I’m so glad we can head into the busy part of fall and not have these to-do’s hanging over us.  N installed two new floors, made a bed, had new wiring installed for an industrial light fixture, added a window and new door in the sister room, and finished up some painting.


(new upper, upper cabinets to extend the height)


(sister room inspo, silhouettes by N)


(creative collab with Hello Maypole,  “this one’s for the girls” color way)

Our kitchen received its finishing touches and there is a new sister room coming to the schoolhouse soon.  One of the floors N laid will be the base and I’m envisioning greens, pinks, and bright colors, along with this succulent quilt I made (copycat from an Anthro pineapple quilt I was inspired by)


The kittens have been a wonderful addition to our lives this summer.  They are (still?) so sweet to the girls and MG has been doing a great job of keeping them fed and watered for her chores.  Whenever we are outside, at least one of them is around and purring.  Dream come true.

IMG_2758 IMG_2755

I had nearly forgotten until almost the end of the summer what a treasure (??) Taylor Lake is. The local moms start arriving around 11:00-11:30 and spread their blankets under the ample shade trees like a giant patchwork quilt.  The kids eat their pb&j’s and dip their hands into Costco sized bags of pretzels or chips as sides while making visuals as to where their friends are.  Sunscreen and floaties are applied and then sand digging and swimming can begin.  The moms begin their seaside vigil (with the help of lifeguards) but we cover the hours and back with stories and our best offerings (advice).  The kids get dirty feet and track sand all the way back to the car but they leave tired and happy.  And so do the moms.  We will certainly miss it when we are hibernating this winter.


MG met her teacher last night and school commences tomorrow.  I’m not ready.  But I’m ready.  She’s ready.


I spent an hour last week carefully sharpie-ing her name onto all of her supplies, envisioning her using them to make beautiful creations.  I wondered who her new friends would be and if she would love her teacher to the point of obsession, like most pre-schoolers do.  I wonder what books she will be introduced to this year and how long it will take for her to feel comfortable speaking up in class.  Our home-dictated schedule is coming to an end and we are about to embark on the next chapter of MG’s life.  The one that starts and ends with school.

Happy School Days to you,


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