April 24, 2014


OK, God read my last post. And He must have had an extra cup of coffee because He decided to head into action and, like, intervene or something big like that.

If you didn't catch the drift of my Easter Daybook the theme emerged that life needs to slow down a bit. Really we aren't doing that much more than normal things: school, kids, family, work, a few other things. However it all adds up. The errand here. The meeting there. The emails here. The weekend away there. And when life hands you some majorness (like busy busy busy for the husband at work) and getting ready for a 4th baby (among other things) there leaves little room for sitting down and just, well,


I don't do stress. Or multi-tasking. I *hate* it when I get to the point of being grumpy with my kids just because my own world is too messy. These are just things I choose not to have in my life so when they creep up (like being super frantic and having to remember/to do a million things at once) I know this is when things need to change - when I need to cut something out. However, cutting out is hard. It means giving up certain things that are good and right in and of themselves. And when you don't have the strength to cut them out, sometimes God does it for you.

I just wish it didn't come in the form of puke.

Yesterday afternoon Levi woke up from his nap with a 102deg fever and, at dinner, decided to leave his dinner all over e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Fun times if you're idea of a workout is scrubbing stuff on your hands and knees. Michael and I were slated to head away this weekend to Leavenworth - our only second weekend away since the kids were born. Ironic enough that this is the only time all cold/flu season we've been sick…...We were of course looking forward to our time together (oh lawdy and the sleeeeping in) but I knew right away that it wouldn't be right for us to leave. With a chance of the big kids getting sick or, worse, getting the sitter sick, I called off our reservation (they were appreciative we wouldn't be tracking any viruses over to the other side of the mountains) and now we are scheduled to have a quiet weekend home with our babies. Which, to be honest, is just what we need.

Sure, Michael and I need to get away. But our marriage isn't going to fall apart if we don't get two whole days away together. It will fall apart, however, if we are so rushed from here to there that we don't have time to just be. God took away something good to perhaps (no, I know) give us something better: that being a movie on the couch, NO PLANS, time to not worry about the house being messy, time together as a family to ride bikes around the block, and maybe a nap in there somewhere? Yes, please.

Being open to a change in plans is not easy. Yet the fruit that can result if we just let go will be better than what we originally thought we wanted. Oddly enough, I am more at peace with staying home than getting to have this adventure. The time away will come but getting these moments of respite and doing nothing are few and far between. So, I'll take it.

So much for not getting sick after Max's well-child check up last week, bahahaha.

April 23, 2014

Easter Daybook

Outside my window…
Clouds. Which is fine for today because Wednesdays are nuts and we have no outside playing time anyway. Easier to run around town when it's not nice outside.

I am thinking about…
How freaking excited I am to meet this baby. And how much I don't really want to keep growing this basketball for 2 more months.

I am thankful for…
Perspective. Simplicity. And a toddler that God made super cute because otherwise I would sell him.

In the schoolroom…
Learning about the human body and planning out the rest of the year until baby comes. Avila told me she would eat all her dinner last night because it would make her diaphragm stronger so she could run faster. Love that girl. We will probably keep schooling until the end of June so that we can really take July/Aug/maybe Sept to cuddle with a new baby.

This would be Max. With a purple liver. That looks like a potato.

From the kitchen…
After the kids being GF for almost 2 years and just about dairy free except for the occasional cheese, they have finally gotten the clue that they eat what I make or it's nothing at all. Last night was salmon, spinach salad, and watermelon and instead of "ugh, boo, this is gross" I got a "ugh, Mom, best dinner ever." I always win. I'm excited to get my new cookbook, Against All Grain, as I try to cook mostly grain-free as well and this book has so many easy to make, super yummy recipes. Perhaps it'll make my favorite things list….Except I wish Pirate Booty was grain free. Because I do could literally eat half a bag in a sitting.

I am working on…
Creating simplicity in every. single. area. of our lives. From the cupboards to the heart. I'm excited to share with you my journey towards simplicity and minimalism in a new blog series coming up. Stay tuned!

I am hoping…
That these next 2 months before baby won't fly by super fast but then I do hope they go by fast because we want to meet you little one. I'm also hoping I can really embrace slowing down but given the track record of today (car wouldn't start, Max late to Catechism, me late to doctor's appt, me late to picking up Max, kids over for a playdate, school in here somewhere, ballet, another meeting, then groceries tonight) I wonder when that's gonna happen. Must. make. it. happen. Either way, baby will make it happen.

I am praying…
For our unborn child. And that God will give us the grace to handle all of the unknowns with this new life. Healthy baby? Safe delivery? 4 kids? I don't worry - it's all in His hands.

I am struggling with…
Talking to my kids in a patient way. Who am I kidding, what parent doesn't struggle with this? They have been short and temperamental with the way they talk to each other (rude rude rude) and I know that comes from me. Which means mama needs to slooooow down (noticing a pattern here about the slowness) and shut her mouth before she thinks of how to talk to them.

Around the house…

Towards health…
Working on listening to my body and not pushing it too hard (again SLOW DOWN THEME). Maybe 80% vs. 135%. I would never put our baby at risk but on the flip side I really do feel so great during this pregnancy and I can't wait to see how running while pregnant will (hopefully) make me a stronger runner later. Or at least it'll be easier running without someone on my bladder.

Clicking around…
Loaves and Fishes from Amongst Lovely Things

Can We Bring the Holidays Down a Notch by Kristen Howerton

A few plans for the week…
Catechism for Max, Ballet for Avila, doctor's and hair appointments for me (man does this mane grrrow). On the 2-week doc visits now and I get to look forward to the glucose test next week. Shoot me. Max was excited I got a shot in the butt at my appointment today. Gotta love being Rh negative.

One of my favorite things…
This little corner in our kitchen. A copy of a picture my grandma had in her kitchen for years. Orchids from my husband (that remind me of my favorite place in the world) and Levi's "abc's" on the chalkboard.

OK, now go away hump day.

April 22, 2014

Sometimes Good Friday lasts a little bit longer…

Soooo, I had half of this big long post written on how sad I was on Easter and how "everything" seemed to go wrong (not the least of which were missing my husband, the fridge breaking and thus having to throw away Alaskan salmon, the house seeming to have almost gotten broken into, Levi puking up some sort of food he didn't feel like eating, and me having contractions all day. again) but then I told myself to get over it and that life really doesn't suck.

And sometimes, when "everything" seems to go wrong all you can do is throw your hands up in surrender and acceptance. And then you realize that you still have so so so so so much to be grateful for and that life isn't going to suck everyday.

So after all that I turned on a movie for the kids (on the big TV no less…big treat) and snuggled with Levi and he held my hand. I realized that if things hadn't been horrible I probably wouldn't have sat down with the kids that night and I wouldn't have had that moment with Levi. The first of moments in a day that was redeemed - Easter Sunday, no less.

This past weekend Michael had the great opportunity to head back to Iowa to celebrate his grandpa turing 100. He had such a wonderful time and we were there with him in spirit. But man, did I miss my husband! Busy busy busy has been normal life and we haven't seen much of each other these past couple of weeks. But absence does make the heart grow fonder and we've vowed to never ever be apart for like forever. Unless we get tired of each other, then, well……

I came home from a weekend away at my parents' house to find that the front door handle had been super jiggled loose aaaaand it looked like someone tried to bust it off. The only people who had access to our house were neighbors and the FedEx guy and before I called in a tirade to the FedEx people I told myself I'd wait for Michael to get home to look at it. After he checked out the door he saw that it wasn't tampered with but just loose from the inside. Then yesterday I saw Max hanging on the front door handle after opening it for someone and I realized who my real burglar is. Stupid Silly 4-year-old boys.

This would be me. On the stairs for 20 minutes. After a long day of driving and not looking forward to unpacking and laundry. Cry me a river. Or just poor me a drink and save it.

Oh and the refrigerator? Broken. Downside: sticky frozen banana juice all over the floor and having to THROW AWAY FOOD MY BIGGEST PET PEEVE OF ALL TIME. Upside: we have another fridge in the garage and luckily I was low on the groceries in the regular fridge. But still. Boooooooo. We got it fixed yesterday and beings the introspective person God made me to be (stupid brain, will you just be quiet sometime?) I am actually grateful something like this happened. (FOR THE RECORD I was not grateful at the time. I was saying words that I should erase from my children's memory.) But for one, the kids got a lesson on the fact that actually having food is a blessing. And seeing an empty fridge reminded them (and me) to always be grateful for the abundance that we do have! Plus having an empty fridge is quite freeing. It teaches me to fill it (and other areas of my life) with only that which I need. Because you never know when it will be taken away. So now I get to start fresh and instead of just going out and refilling it with food, I will be intentional about meal planning and what I keep behind those black doors.

On the even more not fun side of the day, Levi is in this stage where, if he doesn't like some sort of food, he holds it in his mouth until all the drool is vacated from his body. Except this time the drool didn't happen and puke did. Apparently oatmeal and pizza don't go together so Levi decided to leave it all over the floor. And the table and the chair and the wall. Given that I wasn't feeling well either, I thought we were coming down with a stomach bug (either that or having been glutened) and either prospect didn't look exciting. Luckily the big kids aren't sick and maybe mom and Levi just share in our germs because we can't stop kissing on and snuggling each other. Oh well, small price to pay for a toddler love.

So there. Sometimes Good Friday lasts a little bit longer than planned. (Well, who really plans their crosses anyway?) But always always Easter Sunday shows up. Perhaps it shows up in the hand holding on the couch or in the lessons learned but it always comes around. And it is always glorious because of all the hard stuff preceding it. I know this won't be the last time super crappy things happen, because they happen all the time. The important part is that they don't last forever and the joy that follows is better because of it.

Happy Easter! He is Risen, Alleluia! And the best part about being Catholic through it all: we get to celebrate for 50 days! 
Par-tay time!

April 15, 2014

A birthday boy and a girls only weekend

We are seriously trying to live it up before baby comes and we hibernate. I love hibernating, really and truly. But I also love this time to be able to focus on the big kids and have the time to blow up balloons and make a cake out of a box and not screw it up. Because I have done that before. Many a time…

Max turned 4 last Thursday, finallllyyyyy. He was the last out of the kids (and Michael) to have a birthday this spring so he had to wait so patiently through everyone else's cakes and special days. So we (namely Avila and I the master party planners) made sure to make him an extra special day. 

Last day of being three. In other words, playing house with Avila as mom, Max as dad, and Levi as the psycho kid.

We filled up his room with balloons and he awoke to a surprise. Red and blue obviously mean a Spiderman theme except a random green one snuck in and while blowing them up late at night we thought some of the pink ones were red. Oh well, it's the thought that counts.

Avila made all these special pictures of her and Max. Love love love that girl.

And then she jacked his Spiderman suit so she could go skateboarding...

This is the cake that I almost but DID NOT SCREW UP. True love is picking out all the red and blue M&Ms and conveinience is using his Spiderman doll as an accessory. 

On Saturday, Avila and I headed up to Seattle for some serious(ly tiring) mother/daughter time. Great Wheel, Pier, Farmer's Market, Shopping, coffee date with my sister, Pike's Place, taxi ride, swimming, hotel movie in bed, staying up late, Mass, Kerry Park, and the PNB Ballet. 24 hours in, however, we were both desperately missing daddy and the boys. I think Avila might have cried halfway through the ballet because she wanted to get home to play with Max. 

I guess she would turn down a GF muffin for two hard boiled eggs. 

And some just-turned-7-months-pregnant bigness goodness.

So thankful for our time together. But while it was fun and we had some good memories I think we both realized that some of our most special moments are spent just day-to-day. The hugs in the morning. The talks at night (of which Michael doesn't understand at all…."how can girls talk THAT long???") It made me realize that once we add another kid to this growing family that the other ones really won't be forgotten. As long we we just remain present and keep life slow and simple they will get all the love and time and attention they need.

But for now it's time to keep ignoring them (like I have all morning) and go make lunch or something.

April 8, 2014

Five Favorites

Linking up with Moxie Wife for the weekly "Five Favorites" thing.

1. Starbucks Verrismo Espresso Machine
Came home with this baby after a recent auction and it's been super cool. Often I'm not in the mood for a big cup of coffee (say WHAT?!!!) but I still require/desire/long for the caffeine. Insert espresso. I usually top my morning off with an Americano and this thing is easy to use, heats up fast, and (despite not liking regular Starbucks coffee) tastes pretty darn good. Got the milk frother to go with it and I'll whip up some frothy almond milk goodness and lick the foam off like an ice cream cone. TMI???

It's the one on the far left, next to the Keurig. The only thing I'm annoyed about is adding something on to the counter. My non-favorite thing is counter clutter.

2. WEN
Ever seen that infomercial with the guy with the longish hair advertising the "no lather" shampoo that'll supposedly change your life? Well, IT DOES. I first heard of WEN a couple years ago right after Levi was born and I watched QVC late at night to pass the nursing time. And in March I finally pulled the trigger to try it out. A-flipping-mazing. I noticed immediately, after the first washing, that my hair was thicker, softer and super easy to style. And if you know me, I don't style. No really, I hate spending time on my hair. My go-to is wash, stick in some curling cream (more on that in the next favorite), put into a braid, sleep on it, and then don't do anything except for curl unruly bangs for the next few days. I even did an experiment to see how long I could go without washing my hair so see if it got dry or oily or gross. ELEVEN DAYS LATER I finally threw in the towel and washed it although I bet I could've gone longer. Some tips: brush hair out completely before washing. For the application apply to roots, middle, and ends then rinse. Repeat and leave in for the rest of your shower. Rinse out and apply a quarter size to ends. That's it. I'm sold. The Pomegranate is the only version that's gluten free and I bought the big bottle on Amazon (waaay cheaper than QVC or WEN.com) and I think it'll last me 3-4 months at the rate I'm going.
Love Love Love.

Just WEN in the hair a baby on my lap and Maui in the background.
Yes, please.

Great product, creepy guy? Option was to save this as my desktop wallpaper.
No, thank you.

3. Pureology Colour Stylist Illuminating Curl Cream
Keeping on the topic of hair I love this curl cream. Totally not crunchy and it makes my weird random waves turn into beachy goodness. Just scrunch in lightly after towel drying then let air dry or diffuse. I've had my bottle over a year and am only half way through!

4. Monogrammed Cards
I love having random cards with our last initial on them. They make for such quick and easy thank you's, thinking of you's, or whatever else cards. I collect them whenever I find them on sale at Target or whatever other random place I might be in. I actually just like cards in general. How fun are they to get? Not just the birthday cards but the out of the blue thinking of you cards. It must be the fact that someone took the time to write, address, and send a note.

5. Target Maternity Tanks
$12.99. Super thick and stretchy. Don't fade. Don't look maternity-ish and therefore wearable after pregnancy. I'm usually not a fan of Target clothes (don't get me wrong they are cute. They just don't last for me beyond two days of wear and tear). I'll probably do a separate post on my maternity clothing favorites in general but these babies (bahaha no pun intended) go the distance. I've worn them to a variety of different events/days out and with sweats or skirts.

No, these aren't tank tops. But they are Levi's favorite thing. I'm just glad I pulled the covers back before I climbed in.

And now my least favorite thing of the day: Screaming. But I guess if it goes along with a rousing game of hide-and-seek I won't go bonkers…....Maybe.


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