Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Slow day

I can't believe how slow today went by. 

I truly believe that I got done what would have taken me almost a week to get finished. Laundry is caught up, 3 meals made (home made and all delicious I might add!), Avin's 9 month check up (only 1 1/2 months late!) and a Scentsy delivery made. 

I talked on the phone with my stepmom, sister and two team members. I got caught up on dishes and even did a short Scentsy  training... 2 minutes short to be exact!

Joel was home today too and while Avin was down for her afternoon nap, the rest of us sat, in silence, reading! It was incredibly relaxing. Joel got caught up on his Church Leadership reading, the bigs got school knocked out in less than 3 hours and I got dove into my bible study and am almost caught up. 

There was a moment while we were reading quietly together when I just sat... Soaked in the moment... And for the first time in a long time, I felt free. Free from the rush. Free from the constant distraction. I finally felt like I was in the moment. And that lasted almost all day!

I sat down this evening with a stack of piano music and tickled the ivories. I was a bit rusty but after a little while, it all started coming back. I'm not sure if I've ever played like that for my girls. I haven't sat down like that in almost 5 years! The look of pure joy on the girls' faces just affirmed that I made the best decision to step away from social media and get connected at home. 

I want to leave you with an incredible dessert that little miss Alyn made this evening all by herself. 

Caramel Apple Tart

You will need:
Puff pastry
2 honey crisp apples
1 cup brown sugar
1 lemon (juiced)
A pinch of salt
Caramel sauce 
Pecans (optional)

Core you apples and cut them into somewhat thin slices. Put apples into a bowl. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the sliced apples. Add your brown sugar and stir. 

Lay your puff pastry sheet onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Cut it on half. Line up the apples on each puff pastry sheet. Fold up the edges of the pastry. 

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Warm your caramel in the microwave for 90 seconds.
When tart is finished, remove from oven and drizzle with warm caramel.
Add pecans if you wish. So delicious!!! The only thing missing was vanilla ice cream!

We had the best day. It's like Taylor Swift's song "Best Days"; I want my girls to remember these days. Days where we are just completely present with each other. 

Girls, today, I had the best day with you. 


Monday, October 28, 2013


When you know it's FINALLY time to make a change... you just know. Oh yeah, it's made VERY clear.

For over a year, I have known what I need to do, but was always unwilling to change. What if I lost friends? What if I didn't keep up with everyone's everything? How will I know what's going on? How would people be able to keep up with us? Who do I show my kids new tricks to? What happens when I need to chat with someone? Or stay connected with my customers?

Let me take you on a little trip down this very conviction.

Over 2 years ago, I was sitting in a bible study with friends sharing what our biggest sins were.... mine... finding self worth in what other people think of me. I spent a lot of time praying, asking God to remove this idol from my heart. Little did I know, He would remove it physically. The end of that summer, Joel and I 'lost' BOTH of our computers, Kindle and iPods. What's even more interesting... we lost our identity. No really, it's true. We were on a road trip back to South Dakota and as we were leaving the hotel in Montana, we were in a rush. We drove all night and were exhausted by the time we arrived in Rapid City so we went straight to bed. When we woke, we unloaded the car and there is NO electronic bag! GONE! We're not sure if we left it at the hotel or maybe in the parking lot but the hotel did not find it... neither did the police. Not only was all of our electronics in that bag... but so was all of our taxes, pay stubs, bank account info, and everything about us. We were in the middle of purchasing a home and everything, even our identity was gone. (Backing up just a bit... 2 months prior we left our unmarked electronic bag on the bus at Disney World because we were in a rush to get off - - but we got it back that time after 3 hours of searching and amazing Disney workers)

So there I was... knowing the idol was taken away... and I went out that morning and purchased another computer so I could stay 'connected.' It's like I couldn't help myself.

Fast forward two years and MANY conversations with Joel and other friends about how I need to step away or find some balance with my online world.

Friday... sitting in bible study, the group of gals and I had to share what our biggest distractions were that was keeping us from having active faith in God. I wrote about that here but was too scared to write about something that I felt I couldn't live without. So I talked about sleep. (which by the way... we don't have a handle on at all!)

I talked about facebook with the group of girls and we justified that I 'needed' it because that's how I do run most of my Scentsy business... with customers, team, etc. It's just something I couldn't give up... I couldn't live without it.

Saturday night, I was reading '7' by Jen Hatmaker (GREAT BOOK... Thanks Shelby for the recommendation!) on living in excess. Too much. It's taken me a while to get through this book because it really speaks to my heart. This season of my life, I'm seeing very clearly on what is too much. Possessions, Food, Media... Media was the chapter I started AND finished Friday night. In this chapter, Jen and her family took a 30 day fast from all media. This is what she said.

Ok Lord... I'm listening. I hear you, but I'm just not sure I can do it? How can I give it up? How can I still be successful without it?

Sunday afternoon, I saw a friend post on facebook about how she needed a break... a simple post that said "...I need to reclaim some intentional and purposeful meaning to this life."

Ok OK God.... I hear you.

Sunday evening, I had a cranky spell (this happens more often than I like to admit) - -

 insert my thoughts as soon as I yelled at the girls about the house and the mess.  My selftalk: "You are a monster! You are so addicted to what others think of you... You compare your bloopers to every one else's highlights... You want what everyone else has... Stop looking at this! Stop spending so much time comparing yourself to others! Stop spending so much time in the online world and forgetting about YOUR world.  Look around you. You have a God who wants to spend time with you. Who loves you and can satisfy you more than any 'Like' or 'Follow' ever would. You have a husband that is so tired of trying to have a conversation with you while your nose is hovering over your phone and you don't even make eye contact with him. He lies beside you in bed and falls to sleep waiting for you every night to turn off the phone. Your girls deserve more from you! The only reason you get angry with them is because you are frustrated that they want your attention when you are giving all your attention to these online relationships. They just want you to love them... spend time with them... acknowledge them. They are your REAL world."

and as I got in the bath, took my phone, and opened up Bloglovin'; this is what I read.  NO FRICKIN' WAY!


So there you have it... my reason WHY I have to CHANGE and say goodbye to social media for a while. I'm not sure how long.... maybe 6 months? maybe a year? maybe forever?

What I do know is that right now, in this season, social media is not enriching my life. I also know that it is stealing energy from my home and family and giving me a crutch to hide behind a keyboard and not develop strong relationships with people. Do I think it's going to be difficult to walk away? ABSOLUTELY. Do you I think it'll be better for my family? NO DOUBT! When I was telling the girls last night about my decision and we were talking about idolatry and walking in obedience, Alyn looked right at me... with tears in her eyes and said "Mom, for real? You would give up facebook?.... " I said "yes, baby, I'm going to." As a tear fell, she simply said "Thank you." and gave me a hug.

THAT is why I must change. My girls are my biggest mission and my mission starts now.

This doesn't mean I won't be around. I'll be here... right here actually EVERY DAY! I'll be blogging this journey and every journey we have a long the way... in the CRAZY SPRY way... but I just won't be posting on facebook or instagram anymore. So if you want to see us, you'll have to read here. There are a few ways to make sure you stay in our loop... if you want to.

You can click on the FOLLOW BY EMAIL link in the upper left column.

You can click on the FOLLOW ME ON BLOGLOVIN' in the upper right column.

 I know I'll miss seeing you and your families so I would love a text or email every once in a while from you.
Don't be a stranger... Say Hi every once in a while. I'm going to be going through FOMO most definitely... (Fear Of Missing Out) but it'll be worth having the party be outside and me: sitting in my house, uninvited by myself, working on faith, family and relationships.


Cranky Night

As I type this evening, early evening, Avin is crying in her new bed. Not used to her new bed routine or room. Night three blues I suppose. 

The bigs are finishing up homework after a quick clean up of the house. They're heading to bed soon too. 

I'm cooling off after a big bad cranky episode. I hate to even tell you this but yes, I lose my temper sometimes. I'm real. I'm a sinner. 

I tend to get really cranky at least once when Joel is out of town. Tonight was the night. After a whole weekend of fun and girl time, we were in the middle of painting frames and canvases for Alyn & Avin's room, and I looked around at the mess and chaos of the house and lost it. 

I felt like an idiot as soon as I shouted as it is always my fault. I am the root of most of my problems. It always stinks having to apologize to your kids. But I do... And I did. Instantly it humbles me. Then I repent to Jesus. 
Why do I do that? Why do I get so angry? Why does a messy house make one freak out? Why should that matter? I'm ashamed. Sad. Sorry. 

Now that the tears are dry, I will go start a nice bath, grab a cup of coffee, and read my book. 

Joel we miss you. Please come home safely. 


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Giving up to get more.

On Friday, my bible study girls and Iwere talking about what distracts us from having active faith in God.  

All I could think of is myself. My selfishness and laziness (ok ok I know you've heard before but it's so true)

I'm a huge distraction in my walk of faith. 

I spend too much time sleeping. Dreaming. Facebooking. Trying to gain acceptance from others. 

Then we talked about what we are going to do to remove some distractions. 

First step; get a new sleeping routine!
We started last night. Avin has been living in our bedroom with Joel and I since she was born and with nursing, it was entirely too convenient to just put her in bed with us each night. Now that she's older and SHOULD be sleeping through the night, she was crying until we would bring her to bed with us because she could see us. 

So last night, I took apart her whole crib (now that's a job!... I really dislike Allen wrenches!) and moved it up to Alyn's bedroom. Yep... The two girls who ALWAYS want to sleep with mom and dad now get to sleep in the same room! (Insert evil laugh here.)

But seriously, Alyn loved it and Avin slept through the night!!! And so did I!!! It was amazing to sleep 7 hours non stop!!! 

I will say that I do miss her snuggles but now I just have to be more intentional about soaking the snuggles up throughout the day!

Another thing I am doing with the new sleeping routine is a more structured bedtime. Joel is usually sleeping by 1030pm, Avin around 11pm, Arly and Alyn by midnight and I start to drift off around 130am. This needs to change. 

So effective tomorrow (because it's already 1230am and I'm just now blogging by phone in my room before my bedtime routine) we have a way earlier bed time. Beginning at 830pm for all kids. 

Joel and I will definitely benefit by having a couple hours alone together before we turn out our lights. The girls will benefit too by actually getting enough sleep!

Then we can wake up earlier so we can get in Gods word first thing to begin our day. 

Sound like a plan? What does your bedtime routine look like? What time do your kiddos go to sleep? And you?


Friday, October 25, 2013

The Call

2 years... Maybe 3? That's how long it's been since we had a conversation.  Like for real. Years!

We've been through some sticky situations together and some incredible times too. From childhood all the way to today. Boy stuff, sports, high school, a 3 wheeler incident (or ten), kids, endless nights just talking... Laughing. 

That laugh. Oh my how I didn't realize how much I missed that laugh until I heard it today. Every memory flooded me when I heard it. 

To get a random call in the midst of a busy day... chat about life, about kids and adventures, about Jesus and health and maybe some padded underwear and orphans. My heart swells with thankfulness and my eyes fill with tears of sadness. Sadness because I am realizing that I haven't been a good friend for a long time. 

I always say I'm so swamped and overwhelmed. But then I hear other peoples stories and daily routines and I feel like the laziest, most selfish person (two of my biggest sins so if you don't mind I need to be selfish and ask for prayers for that.)

And she called! She called me just to chat! And I picked up the phone!!!! People that is huge!!!!!

I loved every moment of listening to her voice and picking right back up where we left off. We only talked for maybe 15 minutes because she was taking one of her foster kiddos to an appointment. But she called. She took the time and called. She fit in relationship into the nooks and crannies of her busy day. 

It made my whole day. That one little call connected us instantly. 

I've been very passive and disconnected when it comes to long distance relationships. Maybe a Facebook message here... A text there. But it was the actual call that moved my heart today. Changed my heart. I need to be a better friend. 

Nothing can separate friends. Even from here to the North Pole... Literally. I made a vow today to pick up the phone more often. My soul needs that. 

Thank you Tasha for calling. I love you and miss you. Let's chat again soon. 


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My Mama

She's going to kill me... But I couldn't help it. I have to show the world who I came from and who I love.

World... This is my mama. 
And I love that smile. 

I don't get to see if very often but when I do, it makes me so happy. We live far apart and our visits are always so short. But I cherish each minute we get together (even if I am throwing adult fits!)

My mama came out to visit us for a few days earlier this month. The girls always love visitors especially when it's a grandma variety. 

I'm so thankful we got the opportunity because I work for home and we school from home to spend every minute with her that she was here. 

We went shopping, to the market, out to a diner for lunch and a milkshake (see our appetizer... Umm dessert before the meal photo above!) Now that is a smile! Other than that we did a whole lot of lounging and she cuddled with the girls. 

When I see my mom it brings a comfort of home. It makes my heart happy. When she is happy, so am I. 

Love you mom!


She's going to kill me... But I couldn't help it. I have to show the world who I came from and who I love.

World... This is my mama. 
And I love that smile. 

I don't get to see if very often but when I do, it makes me so happy. We live far apart and our visits are always so short. But I cherish each minute we get together (even if I am throwing adult fits!)

My mama came out to visit us for a few days earlier this month. The girls always love visitors especially when it's a grandma variety. 

I'm so thankful we got the opportunity because I work for home and we school from home to spend every minute with her that she was here. 

We went shopping, to the market, out to a diner for lunch and a milkshake (see our appetizer... Umm dessert before the meal photo above!) Now that is a smile! Other than that we did a whole lot of lounging and she cuddled with the girls. 

When I see my mom it brings a comfort of home. It makes my heart happy. When she is happy, so am I. 

Love you mom!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Clay Date

Alyn and I had the chance to sneak away for a few hours on Saturday and creeped through the north side until we found the perfect spot to spend 3 hours together... The Clay Studio!
It was  first time playing with clay and Miss Marlyse was an excellent teacher. We got to spend 3 FULL hours molding and shaping our clay into whatever we wanted... and could use however much clay we needed.
 Alyn made a little vase for her desk and the most adorable cloud shaped letter holder for her desk in her 'almost cloud' room. (We have a little more work to do in there before we show you.) I made a large vase and way too big of a coffee mug (I guess some mornings it'll be just right)

What I loved most about that day is the little words of praise to each other while we were molding and painting... the giggles when whatever we made flopped... the small talk throughout the day (I love her little voice. I love how she looks up at me from her cute little pink glasses. I love her 3rd grader grin!)

We met up with a friend and her son and just had a complete blast!

It'll take up to 2 weeks before we will be able to pick up our masterpieces... but I'm excited to see the look on her face when the firing and glazing are complete.

A quick trip for a pumpkin pie steamer and latte at the 'bucks and a loop or two around Goodwill, we headed home.

I loved our date. It made me so happy. I must be more intentional with spending one on one time with my growing girls. These days go by too fast.


A little date for these Folk!

Joel snagged some last minute tickets for us late this week to see The Avett Brothers band and he even did a fine job rounding up sitters for the girls. (Such good sitters that even when we left them for 6 hours they weren't even close to ready to come home!-- that's when you know you have great friends who love your kiddos!)

We went out to Tamarack (imagine that... One of our favorite little restaurants and brewery in town) for a pre-concert dinner. There we met up with some out of town friends who made the night that much more entertaining. 

We chatted for a while thinking it was ok to miss some of the opening act but when we arrived to the venue, we realized one of our favorite contestants  from The Voice, Nicholas David was the opener!!!! We loved the 3 songs we heard of his!!! (He changes hats while he performs and that is just so cool!)

Avett Brothers are so amazingly talented and know how to put on a pretty darn good show. 
It's so important to go on date nights with your spouse. To have dinner with no interruption, to sit quietly and just enjoy each other. To just be. To hold hands. That's my favorite. 

What kind if date night do you love? What is your dream date night? Happy marriages take time out from everyone and everything else and focus on each other. 


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pumpkin Carving Party

It was such a fun morning hosting our first pumpkin carving party! We had Joel's 10U Avalanche softball team over. We chose morning so the girls would be bright eyed and ready to get creative and so the families could still enjoy their afternoon together!)  

We woke up late but I think our decorations were still pretty cute. 
Paper lanterns make everything a little cuter and more festive!
We made a fall mix using candy corn, pretzels, Reese pieces, and some orange and purple marshmallow popcorn and pumpkin shaped potato puffs... All from Target. We put them in clear treat bags and tied them with green tulle to make it look like pumpkin and leaves!
Colorful pirate eye patches and vampire fangs were a hit!
Ghost pops = easy adorable treat for cheap! It's a PEEP!!! Simply push a ghost peep on a sucker stick and voila!
Disposable table cloths are a must! This makes for easy, quick clean up!
Spider Cider was a smash! So delicious! We mixed 2 gallons of apple cider, 1 large can of pineapple juice and 5 cinnamon sticks. Warm on stove and and serve in a spider punch bowl... What else?!
Get your coach to scoop out all your gunk. That's an obvious. 
And the finished products with their creative artists! I loved seeing all the girls get to know each other a little bit better. They already have the sweetest friendships... We can't wait to keep them growing those relationships. 
Happy Pumpkin Carving Party!!!