In My Next 10 yrs

I know, I'm jumping things a bit...but, it's the end of 2009, which means we're heading into a new decade!

This also means I am 10 yrs older...my birthday happens to be New Year's Eve.

Which also means I've been married to Mr. Wonderful for 10 years! A decade! Yes, we got married on my birthday. The best birthday present EVER!!

We have had 5 babies in the last decade...a season which I *think* is now over. I've now been pregnancy-free for 19 months! The longest stretch in our marriage.

I feel I'm just now finding out who I am.

I was young when we got married. I had a lot to learn about marriage, communication and healthy relationships.

I had been walking with Jesus 4 years and was still learning a lot about what it means to be a Christian (I am still learning a lot!!).

I married into ministry. This has been such a blessing and source of growth for me. It has also created some challenges I was not prepared for. It took several years for me to even figure out what being a pastor's wife really meant. Now that I feel I have some idea, I am working (with grace) to do it the best I can.

I had babies...and more babies. And when I thought I was done, I had another baby! I do think A LOT of the past 10 yrs have been an exhaustion-induced fog. I had times when it was all I could do to get everyone fed and diapers changed! I have learned a lot about what it means to be "Mommy". We have just begun our journey into school and "big kids". I am finding my voice and the balance of authority and nurture.

I also spent a lot of the last 10 years overweight. Yes, I said it. Yes, I was aware of it. It was no secret to me. I have finally found something that works for me, and I lost 30 lbs last year. I plan to lose another 10-20 lbs this year. It's amazing how different I feel not carrying that junk around! Woohoo!!

I started this blog this year. It's been good to journal and document what our life entails. I am also loving getting to know all of you! I love browsing other blogs and getting ideas for how to be a better wife, mom and homemaker. It's so fun!

I feel I'm getting a hang of this homemaker thing. I am cooking, keeping up on laundry, and decorating in fun, creative ways. It's (mostly!) stress-free and I think I'm finding a balance of perfect & clean home vs fun & healthy home.

I am looking forward to my next 10 yrs! I think I will learn more about God, myself and the people around me. I am looking forward to challenges (kind of!) and growing. It'll be interesting to see who I am, who my husband is, and who my (teenage) kids will be then!!

What about you? What are some of the things you've learned? What do you hope to learn in the future?



I have been waiting to write about this until I had my thoughts together. They're not totally together, but I decided to give it a shot anyway...

**I first have to say that these are my feelings and emotions...I'm being vulnerable about my process. They are not necessarily the same as Brad's feelings, emotions and process.

I had mentioned before that we are going through some changes...changes for our family and extended family which include changes for our church.

Ross and Aimee, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law are going to plant a church in Austin, TX. Ross has been the main worship pastor here, and so now Brad will be fulfilling that role.

It's definitely a bittersweet time. More bitter than sweet, right now.

I am so excited for them. I know that this is God's plan for them. I know that He is in it and OneChapel will be amazing. I think it's going to be great for them and their kids. It's going to be great for the people who are choosing to go with them. It's going to be great for the city of Austin.

When they first told us they were considering this move, my first reaction was to jump on board. I tend to be loyal, to a fault sometimes. I love them and believe in them and want to help them in any way I can, even though I'm not ready to leave New Life. Brad and I began the process of thinking and praying about what God has in store for us.

One thing I learned years ago...whenever Brad and I have a decision to make regarding calling and moving, I ask the Lord to tell him first and confirm it in me. I got burned once before by feeling like I knew what God was saying. When Brad and I didn't agree, I defaulted to him, which is what I feel the Bible instructs me to do. So, then I was left with a decision. Did I miss God or did Brad miss God? Yuck. You may not agree with my reasoning, but it has worked out much better for me (and my heart) to trust Brad. I am not the silent wife and I give my opinion, but ultimately, it is Brad's decision.

Brad has felt for a few years now that New Life Church is where we belong. We left here once, for a short time, and knew we were being obedient. We loved the people we connected with while we were away. However, 18mos into our time there, God called us back here. Our hearts are here. These are our people. We know that this is where we belong.

Emotions aside, I know that we are in God's will. I know that He has some amazing things in store for us personally, and for New Life Church. I am excited for what is to come. I think Brad and I are both growing and stretching (which is uncomfortable, sometimes!) and I look forward to what's ahead.

But, right now, I'm sad. Our family is moving away. We have had the dream situation. 3 brothers working together. Sisters-in-law that I adore. Our kids knowing their cousins well, playing together and going to school together. That part breaks my heart. Birthdays and holidays are going to be different.

The good thing is, they are moving to a great part of TX and we are excited to visit!

I know this isn't the end, it's just the beginning of a new chapter. A different chapter. And I will embrace it, even if it's a little uncomfortable.


Better Late...

I am officially in the Christmas mood! I spent almost the entire day at home yesterday...time I so needed. Our house is *almost* in order (so we can relax after Christmas!!) and I made lots and lots of cookies!

We all loaded in the car after dinner, in our pjs, with cookies in hand. We drove around and saw the best light shows in the city. It was so fun and relaxing!
Here are my Christmas decor pics. It's far from perfect, but it's comfortable and fun for us.
We normally have 2 trees, a kid one downstairs and a formal one upstairs. Unfortunately, my formal one didn't make it this year, due to her limbs falling off. We decided to do the kids' tree upstairs.

I decided the rest of the decor should follow suit.

The spice drop wreath I made (yes, you read that right!).

Our table with the infamous gingerbread house on it.

The sleigh my grandpa made. It normally holds our Christmas cards, but I re-purposed it this year.

Because I won this at a gift exchange! I love it!

The dining room hutch.

The advent calendar my sister and I used when we were growing up. Now my kiddos use it!

The mantle. I can't show you a wide shot because I didn't clean off all the cds and movies that are behind the decor! And the girls were watching a movie.

There it is. Simple and fun. Hope you're having an amazing week-before-Christmas! We're almost there!


Giving vs Getting

We have tried different things to teach our kids about giving at Christmas. Honestly, it's been something I struggle with. Our kids are pks (pastor's kids) and sometimes they give just by the nature of what we do. Several holidays are busy times for us at church and the kids are there with us or with babysitters. There are times when Brad is needed and isn't able to be at home. My kids are amazing and rarely complain. They actually love being at the church and I think they feel a sense of ownership, like it's their church. And it is.

All that to say, when Christmas comes around I have decisions to make. I know they are giving because their parents are busy. Brad and I come home tired (and wake up tired) sometimes. Even if they can't express it, they feel the season we're in. I see more bickering and tears. Because of this, I want to just spoil them. I want the times when we're together to be focused on them and on us, as a family.

On the other hand, I know I need to be more deliberate. We have taken goodies to our "community helpers" on Christmas. We have taken food anonymously to a family in need.

This year, I feel like I've been playing catch-up. I think because of our sabbatical and being gone for so long, the holidays snuck up on me. We went straight into rehearsals (for Christmas Eve services) and Christmas parties. I haven't taken the time to talk to the kids about giving, much less arrange a way to do something special.

Yesterday morning at church, I was sitting with Paige. She asked me how many days are left until Christmas. When I told her, her eyes lit up with excitement. She got so giddy. I was happy that she's excited, but a part of me wondered what she's excited for. I was feeling the mommy guilt. I don't want them to be so excited for presents. I want Christmas to mean much more. But, I didn't press the issue. I let her have her moment of excitement while I processed my mothering skills.

We came home from church and ate lunch. As I was in the kitchen cleaning up, Emma came in and asked if she could have some wrapping paper. I asked why (as i explained that we don't waste wrapping paper. i was sure she had some crazy craft planned and i was not about to let her use my good wrapping paper for that...blah, blah). She said "I need to wrap my presents". I went and got some paper and followed her into her room. All three of the older kids had collected "presents" that they wanted to wrap and give their younger siblings. They all found toys of their own that they wanted to give.

I was impressed! I love that they took it upon themselves to give to their younger siblings. We spent about an hour wrapping and talking about how happy the little ones would be.

Last night, we went through all the toys in the house. We always clean out before Christmas in order to make room for new toys. I asked Emma if we could give away her "Ponyville Station" playset. She said "Yes, Mom, let's give it away. I would love for a little girl to have it. I think she will like it." My heart melted.

I've done a better job in the past of teaching giving. This is not my golden year. But I think they catch onto our attitudes and they know that we love people and we give when we can. I can't wait for Christmas Eve when they give their gifts to their siblings. I pray that they will feel the joy that only comes from giving!

How do you teach your kids about giving?



I'm sitting in my living room. Brooke and Micah are munching on snacks while watching Rudolph. Through my window, I am watching horses nibble on snow. I am at peace.

I am not thinking about the dirty bathroom downstairs.
I am not thinking about the last gift I have to buy.
I am not thinking about the busy-ness that will hit when the older kids come home.
Or how busy our weekend is.
Or the teacher's gifts I have to get ready.

None of that...I am reminding myself that I really do love this season. And I love these peaceful moments.

I hope that you can find a few moments of peace in this next week. It is the most wonderful time of the year!


Why I Love Being a Pastor's Wife at New Life Church: Reason #538

Brad and I love what we do. How amazing is it that his job is to love people and enable them in their gifts?

My job coincides with that, but a lot of it is behind the scenes. I've heard many pastor's wives talk about how hard it is to "live in a fishbowl" to "be on all the time" to "not be appreciated".

Here is my response: I do feel people watching me, but I have nothing to hide! I am genuine in my struggles and my triumphs. I am a Christian woman trying my best to follow the heart of God. With that comes flaws!

I am not "on" all the time! And I will admit it!

I do not look for appreciation from the people around me. Just as in my role as a wife and mother, I look to the Lord for my validation. I know that He sees me, and my struggles, and comforts me when I feel under appreciated. It is definitely nice when someone says thank you, but that is not what keeps me going!

I do have to say, however, that I think my "job" is easier than for some women. I don't feel a pressure to be perfect. I don't feel like the people around me hold me to a higher standard. Maybe they do and don't tell me!! Regardless, I never feel pressure from them. I feel love and acceptance and grace.
Here is the great thing: Brad and I LOVE the people we serve. The people of the NewLifeWorshipChoir are some of the most genuine, God-fearing, loving people I've ever met. Our hearts are knit with theirs and they have become our family.

Life brings many changes, but we have seen people come and go, marry and go to be with the Lord. We have seen them victorious and struggling. And, yes, they've seen many of the same things in us!

Last night we had our leadership team over to our house for a night of socializing, eating, praying and planning. We have an amazing team of people (did I say that already?).

Everyone brought food and what an amazing spread we had!

Brad spoke to us and encouraged us in our role in leading worship and being intercessors. Later, we broke up into our leadership groups and talked through some nuts-and-bolts of our responsibilities.
It was so great to be together and continue our mission in serving the people of New Life Church. My heart is full!


Quiet Time

In my reading this morning, I came across this set of scriptures. It was so encouraging to me and I think it goes along with what my pastor, Pastor Brady, has been speaking to our church about. I would love for this to be the description of the church...

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help,
and he will say:
Here am I.

If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.

You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called

Repairer of Broken Walls,

Restorer of Streets with Dwellings."

Isaiah 58:6-12


Housekeeper or Friend and Social Planner?

This is just one of the many battles I deal with in my journey as a stay at home mom.

I have weeks when I just stay home (besides running the kids around) and do the laundry and clean the house. I can have dinner planned and be ready to receive everyone home from school and Brad home from work. This kind of order makes me feel peaceful and in control.

I also have weeks (like last week and this week) when my calendar is full of activities. I have to run errands 1 or 2 days, we have a playdate or two scheduled, I have coffee and/or lunch with friends...these weeks are fun. However, almost every time I come home after one of these outings I feel overwhelmed by all the things that didn't get accomplished while I was out.

Is there a balance? I haven't found it yet. I have been doing this stay at home thing for 8 years now and I have yet to find a balance. I know, I know, I should enjoy my kids while they're young. I feel like, for the most part, I do that. But there are things that have to get done. The laundry and dishes are 2 things that I can't really take a break from.

This is what my laundry and kitchen duties have looked like:

Brad and I share the kitchen responsibilities. We're not structured about it. Depending on the night and who has homework and bath time, one or both of us do the dishes, wipe the counter tops and table and sweep the floor. It doesn't happen every night, but most nights we do this so we can wake up to a clean kitchen.

For the laundry, I normally take Tuesday and Wednesday and do it all. I pile it all in my bedroom floor and sort and do loads from there. I fold it all and have the kids put it away.

Today, I tried something new. I decided to do just one load at a time because I know I'm going to be busy this week. I didn't want dirty laundry sitting in my floor for a week (it's happened before), so I thought this might work better. We'll see.

My bathrooms, floors, dusting, etc. happen on a needs basis. Basically when they are screaming "clean me!"

There are still things that rarely, if ever happen...dusting my blinds and light fixtures, baseboards, showers and bathtubs. I'm just being honest. Sorry if I'm grossing you out. Somethings have to give when you have many small children and a life that runs at the pace ours does. These are the things that have given.

So, there's the honest truth. I am definitely still learning and that frustrates me sometimes. I wish I had a system that really worked consistently. I welcome any suggestions, pearls of wisdom, encouragements!


I'm a Bit Off-Balance

Which is how I think the Lord likes it. He doesn't let me stay too comfortable for long.

I am getting into the school groove, back into our routine. I am spending regular time in the Word. I am keeping up with the housework (as much as can be expected...). I've been feeling pretty good.

Then, bump.



He begins hinting... "We need to work on this area...and this area...and over here too"

He just nudges. It's never forceful. He just bumps and nudges until I pay attention.

As He reveals these "areas" to me, at first it can feel a bit overwhelming.

My thoughts begin: "But, I don't think I can do that" or "I don't think I'd be good at that" or "I've never done that before"

Again, He's gentle. And reassuring. And motivating. And loving. And comforting.

And so I say "Yes. Okay. Help me. Use me. Have Your will in me."


The Last Week

Hello, blogging world...I've been a bit disconnected the last week. There are several reasons for this...

I painted last week. After 6 different colors went on the wall, Brad and I finally agreed on a color for his new office. We had a hard time because we are not vanilla, neutral people. We know, however, that we will probably sell this house sometime within the next 3-4 years, so we didn't want to do a bold color that we'd have to re-do later. We were also trying to find a color that we could do in every room of the house, that was neutral, but not white. So, we decided on a color called "Natural." Here was the room before as Micah's nursery:

Here it is this week, set up for Brad's parents to come visit:

I'll show you more when we get his office furniture in, after our visit with his parents :)

So, I finished that Friday morning.

Friday night, Brad and I went to dinner with Pastor Rick Bezet. I had met him a couple of other times, but had never had any lengthy discussions with him. We went to Ted's Montana Grill (one of my favs) and had great conversation. That man is a real pastor. His passion for people and what he's doing in Arkansas was evident and we just really enjoyed our time with him.

We had just dropped him at his hotel when we got a call from our babysitter saying Brooke had thrown up. Seriously? Didn't we just do that? So, we rushed home and I spent the next 2 days taking care of my sweet baby.

Sunday night, we had a leadership meeting with our NewLifeWorshipChoir peeps. It was great to see everyone after our summer hiatus, and everyone is so excited about starting back up again. Their energy is contagious and I am so excited for what God has in store for this choir season! Good things to come!

Monday came and I began sorting toys with the kids and cleaning their rooms. How do we accumulate so much stuff? We gathered 2 large trash bags each of things to sell and trash. I then rearranged our rec room and cleaned it. Still not settled on the configuration, but I'll be better able to tell after we move Brad's office stuff out. Pics to come on that.

So, here I am today. I am slowly getting my bearings after such an odd week. I have been doing laundry all day (can you imagine the amount of laundry??) and we had several extra kids here today. Does life ever slow down?


My Home Project Wish-To-Do List

So, I am now ready for school to start. We have all the supplies and uniforms. I just spent the last 2 days clearing closets and bringing out current sizes and fall/winter wear. Now on to other things!

We have had a rotation of rooms happening this summer, initiated by Emma's desire to have her own room (she had been sharing with Caleb). We have 5 bedrooms, 2 on the main level and 3 in the basement. The 2 upstairs currently house us and Micah. Downstairs has been Caleb and Emma in a room and Paige and Brooke in a room. The other room has been in a constant flux, going from baby room to playroom to office to Brooke's room to guest room and is currently Emma's room. My struggle is Brad's voice lessons. He does private lessons here at our house and his office is currently in our basement/rec room. This is not the best-case-scenario for anyone involved, so I'm trying to find an office for him. So, here is the plan...

Move extra bed from Caleb's room to Emma's room...move Emma's current bed to new office/guest room (currently Micah's room). Give this bed back to Brent and Maria after in-laws visit sometime in August.

Move Micah to Caleb's room (which Caleb is thrilled about). I'm hoping this will work!!

Paint Micah's current room to a neutral color to become Brad's new office. Bring in dark green curtains that are not being used.

Move toys and art table (currently all over the place!!) to old office space. Affix Micah's old curtains (red) from ceiling somehow to create a divider from tv viewing area.

Paint Micah's old dresser to become new snack and game storage area for rec room.

Use old changing table as art supply/coloring book storage for new play area.

Make new pillows for the couch.

This should take me through November...

After Christmas, start painting walls in master bedroom and bath...

Whew! We'll see how much actually gets done!!


I love...

summer. The warmth of the air, splashing in the pool, the deep green of the trees, the flowers in my garden, sleeping in, staying up late, long days of sunshine.

a good book.

Micah. The pudginess of his hands, the way he gets giddy when he sees me, how he speed-crawls with his head down, watching him learn new words and observe the world around him. I love all my kids, but he's just at an irresistible stage right now.

my Bible. It's like a dip in the pool after being hot, a nap when I'm so sleepy, a big hug right when I need it. It refreshes and inspires and bring peace to the craziness around me.

my dining room. Chocolate brown walls and bright white crown molding. Sheer curtains that blow in the breeze.

waking up early to a quiet house.

watching my kids learn.

vacation. I really could take one every month and be happy. Until my next one, I'll be planning and dreaming.

my husband. He is the perfect balance to me.

the anticipation of autumn. School supplies and uniforms, activity planning, the crisp air, planning holidays (and 3 birthdays around here). The fresh start to a new school year.

my life. It's pretty great :)



I love being happy. There are specific times and places that I can think of when I've been happy. That rush of emotion, a smile that won't leave. That giddy feeling in my tummy. I love that feeling. I can also think of times when I've been the opposite of happy. Teary, crying, grouchy, angry. I am all one for emotion, but I definitely like the happy more than the not-happy. Don't we all?

So, does God want me to be happy? And if He does, why is it that I'm not happy sometimes, even when I know I'm being obedient?

I think about my relationships with my children. I love it when they're happy. It makes me happy to see them giggling and smiling. But am I willing to withhold simple pleasures that bring this emotion in order to bring them opportunity for growth? You betcha. Is it necessary to sometimes make my children sacrifice for someone else's good? Definitely.

I think this is also how my Father is with me. He loves seeing me happy, but He sees a much larger picture and sometimes has larger goals than my happiness. I once heard someone say that you are happy when you're in God's will. I don't know that this is true. I think it could be that God is interested in our eternal happiness and that may not coincide with our happiness here on earth.

So, I am learning to "be content in any and every situation" (Philippians 4:12) and I am looking forward to the everlasting joy that comes from being obedient and serving, rather than spend my life searching for a "happiness" that is temporary.


I Broke All the Rules

Today I was doing my usual routine. Hopped in the car with Brooke and Micah in just enough time to pull into the carpool line and pick up Emma from morning kindergarten. She got in the car and quietly said "My friends are going to the pool today. When do we get to go to the pool?" If you live in Colorado, you know how difficult a question this is. We don't know many people who have a pool and not many public pools are open yet. But it was a beautiful 80 degrees...
Let me say, I am not a spontaneous person. Especially when it comes to outings with the kids. I am normally armed with diapers, wipes, bottles, snacks, etc. But, I decided to be crazy. So, we took an impromptu trip to Walmart to buy a kiddie pool for the backyard. I had no makeup, sweats, and greasy hair pulled into a knot. Brooke had no shoes and a poopy diaper. I had no bottle or food for Micah. We went through the "10 item" line with 12 items in my basket. And we all had candy bars from the check out aisle for lunch. So, I broke all the "mom" rules. Did we all survive? Yes. A good way to start our summer? Definitely.


My Love Story

So, this morning was a great morning at church. I normally love church, but there are some mornings that stand out as special. Today was one.

We were in the midst of the worship service, singing "Yahweh". When we came to "Ancient One, so amazing..." I was struck by something. HE has been here FOREVER. Forever. That's a big word. He is a big God! I was imagining the angels all gathered around Him, telling Him how great He is. We were thousands gathered today worshipping Him, bowed to Him.

I was remembering what it was like to be in junior high or high school with a crush on the super popular guy. We had 2 kinds at my school. We had the super popular, hot guy who never dated anyone. He was too good or had strict parents that wouldn't let him date or he was too serious about sports, grades, etc. Then we had the super popular, hot guy who would date lots of girls. I remember how special I felt when he finally looked my way. Too bad that's as good as it got. After that look came heartache...does he really like me? Was he using me? Does he like her more than me? A "relationship" with that guy never ended well. For any girl. I remember when Brad and I were first starting our relationship. He was that super popular, hot guy in my grown-up world. I remember the feeling when I realized he was looking at ME. That giddy feeling in my stomach. Really? Me?

So, today I'm struck with the realization that God is looking my way...and He always has been. Here is this amazing, huge, God who has been here forever. Who has angels and millions of people bowing to Him. How amazing is it that He wants my attention? He waits patiently for me to return my gaze to Him. Then He shows me His love and gives me gifts and helps make me a better person. What a great love story. This one never ends and only gets better with time...


Mother's Day

So, yesterday was Mother's Day. Just another holiday that lands on a Sunday. I know for most people it's probably a great day to celebrate their moms, but for me this has always been one of the days that it's hard to be a pastor's wife.

I tend to build up holidays in my mind. Every December I have to remind myself to calm down, not to build up the anticipation of Christmas. If I'm not careful, I create visions in my head that are larger than life. Definitely larger than the reality of our life with 5 small children. Then I have to deal with the day after Christmas, when I'm teary and let down over the gift I didn't get or the reaction to the gifts I gave. Or the fact that we never end up playing board games. For some reason I feel like we should play board games on holidays. So, I repeat this pattern all year long. Anticipation of my birthday, our anniversary, vacations, and holidays. Especially Sunday holidays.

It's not that it's his fault. He's a pastor and pastors work on Sundays. So, every year I try to prepare myself for the let down. He'll be busy and my kids are too little, so it'll be a normal Sunday. He'll leave early in the morning and I will get everyone up, dressed, fed, me dressed (and fed if I'm lucky), diaper bags packed, everyone loaded in the car, everyone unloaded from the car, into the stroller, checked into class, do my trek through church to the 5 different classes to drop them off, sit through service, go to all 5 classes again for pick ups, loaded in the stroller, into the car, out of the car, into the house, quick lunches, and finally...naps. And that's just the "mom" part of my responsibilities. I'll go into the other "responsibilities" of a pastor's wife at another time! I'm not complaining. I love what we do and I love my kids. I feel the benefits far outweigh the cost. But on some days, like Mother's Day, it's hard.

This year was different. I was at home on Friday when a package arrived at my door. It was 2 dozen roses! What? What for? From who? Of course, from Brad. Happy Mother's Day to me! It turns out, they were supposed to arrive on Saturday for my surprise Mother's Day :) So, Saturday I woke up slowly and drank my coffee, checked my computer, watched the news from the comfort of my bed. Brad and the kids brought me breakfast. The kids brought me their gifts from school. Caleb had made a pin for me that he handmade, complete with 5 little beads in the middle. Emma made a plaster mold of her tiny little hand. The detail of her tiny fingernails and every crease on her petite hand brought tears to my eyes. Paige made a flower pot with plastic jewels pasted on it with her paper hand prints inside as the flowers. They each had a handmade card for me.

That time was priceless. The only Mother's Day I will ever have with my children at ages 7, 6, 4, 2 and 11 months. I loved every minute of it.

So, Sunday I awoke refreshed and rested. I felt so appreciated and loved. So, I didn't mind that he had to leave early. I didn't mind the work of my morning routine. I arrived at church ready to give of myself and ready to spend the day appreciating the moms in my life, especially my mom, who gives unconditionally and continually.

So, to my wonderful husband who made Mother's Day so special this year...thank you.



We live at the end of our subdivision, at a dead end. Behind our house is a large field (that will one day be filled with houses). There are horses and cows that graze there and the occasional antelope. I love it because I have a perfect view of the field when I'm doing dishes. Gotta love the simple things!

So, the other day, I'm doing dishes and I see Emma, my 6 yr old in the backyard by herself. I can't tell whether she's singing or talking to herself, but she has pulled some wild flowers (or weeds, as I like to call them) and is walking along the fence that separates our yard from the field. And as I'm watching her, I'm reminded of myself as a little girl.

I used to be such a romantic. I remember going up into the mountains with my family. I always loved the Aspen trees and the way they grow together like huge groupings of alfalfa sprouts. I would run into those trees and suddenly I was Anne of Green Gables on Prince Edward Island waiting for my beloved Gilbert to come and sweep me away. I used to make up songs and sing them, thanking God for the amazing creation all around me. Whenever we would drive down long stretches of road in the dark, I would look out and pretend we were driving over a long bridge, headed to some amazing island far away...

So, here I am in the present. I can't remember the last time I was driving somewhere and saw anything other than traffic and stoplights and the super slow person in front of me, keeping me from where I'm going. I do dream about vacations and beaches but am quickly reminded of how expensive it is and how much work it would be to get everyone packed and do I really want to spend that much time in a confined car with all of our kids? And, I definitely love my Brad, but when was the last time I thought of him as my knight in shining armor? It's been a while.

So, I guess I'm officially a grown up. Ugh.


The Beginning

So, I've been thinking of doing this for a while now. It's a strange thing, to think I can come here, jot down some thoughts and suddenly make it available for anyone to see. It's intimidating. I have, however, come to a realization that this isn't necessarily for you. It can also be for me. I find sometimes that I'm in the midst of laundry, mopping floors, changing diapers, disciplining children and I just want to say what I think. I want to say how I feel in that moment. So, here it is. A place where I can say what I thought in that moment. I hope not to offend, but I can also say that I'm not going to stress over how to say it. The last thing I need is one more thing to stress over! So, read if you want to, or, move along if you don't. And, since I'm opening this up as a place for honesty, please feel free to leave your comments!