December 30, 2008

What Are You Doing New Year's?

Every December 31st without fail I have certain goals in my head- resolutions for the New Year to come. And almost always they are great things to aspire to, but not always reasonable. And by February are long forgotten. I'm not talking about promising myself to join the gym and fit into my size 4's again (yes, I once had size 4's) sigh. I'm not talking about giving up chocolate or fast food or pop or things of that nature.

It's the stuff we might not even say outloud or write down. The things more spiritual. More life-growing and character-building.

These things have taken on a new meaning to me. In areas where I think I need to start over or be someone new, I am now seeing that I can stay me. I can take the things that I don't like or would like to improve and, well, improve them. Make it better. Fix it.

How incredibly "green" it would be to stop throwing out ourselves and just conserve. And reduce, reuse, & recycle within.

Personally, one area of myself I'd like to fix is how I see the world. I'd like to take more time to see the world how my children do. To take more moments to consider their perspective instead of my own. And the same goes for my friends. And family. As much as we are all alike, we are just that much more different.

We are going about this life, living day to day just trying to get by. Just trying to make it to the next. And somewhere in the middle is a whole lot of purpose waiting to be discovered. Parts of us ready to be used how they were meant to be. Parts that don't need to be thrown out after all- parts completely capable and deserving of being cleaned up, sharpened, fixed, and renewed.

This New Year's I'll be picking myself up, brushing the dust off, and moving forward.

Wherever that may take me.

Cross-posted at 5 Minutes For Parenting.

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To All The Friends I've Side Hugged Before

One of my favorite memories of this entire year was my surprise baby shower earlier this summer. It was over 6 months ago and I still get little butterflies in my stomach when I think about it. And I still can't believe they managed to surprise me.

But I also was surprised to learn something about myself. My friends revealed that I am not a good hugger.

of all people- Miss Personality and happy-go-lucky and all- was not a good hugger.

In all my life I never knew it, but I wasn't giving real hugs.

I am a side hugger.

And that, I'm told, is not a real hug.

So since then, I think about this every time I hug someone. And people noticed! when I started giving good hugs! Not only were the people I was hugging missing out, but I was missing out.

There is nothing like a good, frontal hug with arms wrapped nicely around you.

I am so thankful that my friends were kind enough to give me a hug intervention. It's really a whole new way of life.

Now doesn't this make you want to hug? Hug as many people as you can today.
Don't forget your hubby or wife. And your kids. Even babies. Dogs. A good pillow.

Be open to the idea that there are even things you'd be surprised to learn about yourself.

This is my hug to you.

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December 29, 2008

Four Kids Is A Lot

A lot of love. A lot of noise. A lot of laughter. A lot of time. A lot of fun.

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December 27, 2008

Did You Hear?

The sweetest sound in the whole wide world.

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December 25, 2008


In a blur it's gone. As fast as it came upon us, Christmas is over. Whir.

I don't even know what day it is. Is it Thursday? Or is it Friday?
Blink blink it's already tomorrow.

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December 24, 2008

So This Is What It's Like

Since the day she was born, maybe even before, I've felt like every moment with Ivy is like Christmas morning. I really don't know how else to explain it.

There is nothing like a Mama and her boys. My heart will always feel this way.

But it wouldn't be truthful for me to hide the sparkles in my heart and the tingles from the top of my head to the ends of my toes that I have for my baby girl.

As I dressed her for Christmas Eve in her ruffled tights, navy patent leather shoes, beautiful dress, and bow for her head I felt like every crevice in my being was filled complete.

In that portion of time I truly felt like I had it all.

I'm where I am. Wherever that is. It's where I should be.

Recognizing I'm so incredibly blessed that it can not be contained. That's the abundance I seek.

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December 23, 2008

So This Is Your Christmas Card

If I really did have it all together there would have been a lovely photo card sent out the day after Thanksgiving to all our friends and family.

In the message I probably would have said something like:

Merry Christmas! See blog.

Love, Jeff, Steph, Noah, Carter, Grayson, & Ivy

Hopefully this video of all of us makes up for it a bit-

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It's All About The Shoes And The Places You Wear Them

So, I'm speaking at BlissDom '09 and I would love to meet you and hope you'll consider attending, too. Have some Christmas money to spend? If you register before December 31st, the conference is only $100!

I know, I know. It's not about me. I know the main attraction is Ivy. She'll be there. And she can't wait to hang out with fabulous ladies like Shannon from Rocks In My Dryer who sent her these fine sparkly shoes that Ivy thinks are fierce.

And Katja from Skimbaco The Lifestyle who sent the fun Monkey Toes Little Ladies Mary Janes.

And Arianne from To Think Is To Create who bought Ivy her very first pair of shiny red patent leathers that proves shoes are delicious.

There are of course other fabulous speakers that didn't lavish Ivy with shoes.


Keep up with all the deets- check out the blogroll of everyone that's coming and follow BlissDom on twitter.

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December 22, 2008

Who Knew You Could Get So Excited Over A Stinkin' Diaper?!

This is where it begins! I'm about to wash my first load of diapers and I CAN'T WAIT! Seriously!

All the cloth diaper supplies I have so far:

6 BumGenius diapers
Charlie's Soap* (update- this irritated Ivy's skin, so we switched to All Free & Clear for now)
2 Snappis
12 Indian Prefolds
2 Thirsties diaper covers
1 Bummis Whisper Wrap
1 lg & 1 small wet bag

See anything that I'm missing? I am SO thankful for all your suggestions so far!

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Pleeease Celine, Come Out Soon!

We drove all night... read all about it here.

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December 21, 2008

I Can See Clearly Now

It's so frustrating when you don't feel like yourself and you totally know it and just want to be back to normal, or at least your own sense of normal, again.

I think I'm back.

The past few days have been so much better. I feel like a better Mom. A better person.

I have still not made it to the bottom of the laundry pile and have so much to do ahead of me, but it all doesn't seem so large after all.

This is the third time I've tried to write this because our power keeps going out.

I think I'll get back to this. (See photo.)

Life is so good.

P.S. I'd love your input over here today!

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December 20, 2008

This Is The Song That Never Ends

Someone is following in Mommy's footsteps. (I majored in theatre.)

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Chazz Star Has Got Nothing On Them

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

December 18, 2008

I'm Looking In On The Good Life

Ivy LaRue, 3 months

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December 17, 2008

I Never Eat December Snowflakes

And other things I realized about myself while watching A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Like Chuck, I seem to be the only person who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem.

That's not me. That's not the usual me, at least. Not the me I want to be.

I am so thankful I have a new stocking- a pink one!- to hang up this year.

I love it that Noah is the only o
ne who can make Ivy laugh the deep belly laugh.

It makes me sad that today Carter wrote "My Mommy is tyred sometimes" but also happy that we can talk about it...

and rethink just what is worth it: nourishing my soul, shining a Light, investing more time in seeing the world through these eight eyes instead of a heart-less computer.

Sometimes it's not about balance at all. There really are things in life that are just more important than others.

When I think back to the past couple months, yeah, they were rougher than I'd like to admit.

But this entire year? Amazing.

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Inside Joke

"The Dynamic Duo"

Photo by Jen

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December 16, 2008

P.S. to that S.O.S.

The almost-car-accident was not my fault and wasn't because I was tired. A big truck came flying into the roundabout near my house and I was already in the circle with the right of way.

But it did make me think. About a lot of things. I was glad my mind wasn't somewhere else and that I wasn't distracted with my phone or CD player.

My hubby stayed home today.

I definitely have super-woman syndrome, but it's not because I feel like I have to wear a cape. It's because I want to do these things like bake cookies and give a zillion percent of myself to everyone and every thing. It really does make my heart happy.

There's just so much that a human body can do. I get that.

(ducking) I did make 10 dozen cookies today.

But now I'm resting. It's a good thing. It's replenishing.

And just might be the only way I can have more of myself to give.

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My ship is sinking fast. I can feel it.

I am so tired that I almost couldn't type this post.

Last night I narrowly avoided a car accident- I'm still a little shaky inside from it- and that woke me up for a little bit.

But today, my body begs to hibernate. I have kids to dress and feed and cookies to bake and things to write and packages to mail.

I'm so tired I forgot what I was going to say next.

If things get done, they get done. If not- oh well. Of course my kids will be dressed and fed and even loved on some.

But that other stuff? We'll see.

December 14, 2008

It Could Be So Different

blink blink

In the rare moments of quiet I have found myself wondering how exactly I got here.

I look around.



I have four kids.

I am almost thirty two years old.
I'm, like, a grown up. When did this happen?

I've done things, made decisions to get myself to this very moment in time.

I've had faith that moved mountains, I've fallen on my knees, on my face, down big black holes. Sometimes I thought I'd never get up.

But always, somewhere deep, deep down I knew I was going to win.

This photo has special meaning for me, during a time that t
here was so much unknown ahead. We never let it get the best of us- the darkness, the epilepsy, the heartache, the loss, the being beaten to the ground- whatever you want to call it.

We got up.

By the grace and mercy and power and might and strength and love of God, a very good God, we made it.

The hard times are never really over. But we're still winning.

blink blink

We've already won.

I Think It Really Was Santa

Wide-eyed, they listened as he said to be very good and keep their room cleaned.

(Thank you, Santa!)

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December 13, 2008

A New Adventure Begins

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December 12, 2008

My Bug, My Bug. My Lovely Lady Bug

Remember this?

These adorable Little Ladies Mary Janes by Monkey-Toes were sent as a gift from our friend Katja from Skimbaco Lifestyle.

Not only are they sure to be known as the little lady bug shoes worn by baby Ivy, they have another really neat story behind them involving Tom Cruise and his daughter Suri and Oprah.

That Oprah episode is airing again today and in the spirit of all the giving away of things, Monkey Toes would like to give you a pair, too.
And they aren't just for babies- you can get them in sizes all the way up to 5 years!

Just comment here if you'd like to win a pair! I'll choose one winner at random tonight after midnight CST and announce tomorrow!

If you Tweet or blog about this contest, you will earn an extra entry! Be sure to leave an additional comment letting me know you did!

Contest has ended. Congrats to Noob Mommy!

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December 11, 2008

she fits perfectly under our tree

In her Christmas dress, a gift from a friend.

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December 10, 2008


I made oatmeal this morning and Gray said "this is good email."

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December 8, 2008

Phil Connors, I Thought That Was You!

My Mom took the boys for the day yesterday. I got some good rest and woke today quite optimistic.

That's not unusual, actually, and I thought about this. It's why I felt like today was just another Groundhog Day. The few hours before noon I have goals that I think I might actually meet and by 1 PM I am reminded that it is just like any other day and again I've gotten nothing done.

But it comes in waves and just a bit ago I had one of those rare moments of I-can-do-this-ness. I did finish the last of my Christmas shopping- so what if it was from my desk chair. Kids are fed dinner already even if it did involve the microwave. And most of this post and other work I've done today has been typed from my iPhone.

But I have an even better feeling about tomorrow...

December 6, 2008

Man Down

I've resisted coming to terms with the fact that, as much as I previously thought I had my act together and could do anything and still make it look effortless, I'm a big fat faker.

So much for trying to clear my plate a bit. I think I don't know how to stop shoveling it in. And my body finally took a stand and is making me stay in bed with the chills and aches and oh does it hurt to swallow now. And I am no longer speaking metaphorically.

But I have so much to do and no time as it is, getting sick is hard enough as a Mom. I can't have this right now.

And so I am in and out of sleep, sometimes delirious, and am frustrated at all the mistakes I've been making. The not giving it my all. Or giving it my all but stumbling over the mess that I'm making by not paying attention or having enough attention to pay. (And now I think the delirious is kicking in again.)

I can't help but think about this movie my Mom loved when I was growing up called Ice Castles. There's a scene where the girl does this amazing figure skating routine despite just losing her sight and the crowd goes wild and as she's taking her bow and exiting the rink she trips over all the roses the fans had thrown onto the ice. She hadn't planned for the roses and falls as her skates get caught up in the stems. And now her secret is out and everyone realizes she can't see.

I don't even know what I'm trying to say here. Except that maybe I feel like I shouldn't be complaining about anything or having too much on my plate because I am so thankful I have anything at all. And all this stuff that's tripping me up, it's good things. Opportunities and life and roses.

Just now you know maybe I can't do it all. I don't know how she does it! Well guess what? I don't. No one can do it all.

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December 5, 2008


I've hung the stockings here, too.

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Sleeping With The Dinosaurs

Ivy zonked on the play mat I'm giving away here.

And (clears throat) cough cough *winkwink* I'll be speaking with the fabulous at BlissDom '09 in February.

I'm Going to BlogHer '09

Think you can try to come, too?

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December 4, 2008

Smells Like Patrick Dempsey!

Ok, so I get to talk to Patrick Dempsey next week! And I only get to ask him ONE question- and thank goodness it doesn't have to be about Grey's Anatomy because guess what? I've never seen the show! BUT I'm a huge fan (it's the African Anteater Ritual!!) and anyway...

I need your help!

He has a new fragrance called Unscripted by Avon and my question must have something to do with that. I want to sound smart and funny and cute and memorable...

What should I ask him!?

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What If I Didn't Put Up A Tree This Year?

It's four days into December and our home shows no signs of Christmas.

Normally I have the tree all up by the day after Thanksgiving and the house covered with the various Christmassy trinkets we've acquired over the years.

This year, to be honest, I'm tired. And just not in the mood. Each day passes and I have not even the slightest desire to decorate. A friend came over yesterday and held Ivy while I wrapped presents. I was hoping that would jumpstart my holiday spirit.

It didn't.

I don't know what it is! And it's not that I am not into Christmas because I am. I think maybe it's the whole meaning of it all. Maybe my age- does your thirties suck all the fun and excitement and materialism out of it?

I know my heart is in the right place- I understand how my desire to not overshadow the Real Reason may be causing the other things to grow strangely dim.

Will my kids need therapy if we don't do a tree?

Ok, ok! I might need therapy if we don't do a tree. Going to get one today.

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December 3, 2008

For The Sake Of Just Moving That Other Post Down

P.S. Despite the bedhead, I love my bangs and they are here to stay for now!

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December 1, 2008

Hold Me Closer Tiny Sweater

Ivy in the dress.

Ivy in the sweater
Mommy made for her to go with the dress, including a vintage button from great-grandmother's button jar.

Someone stop me. I can't get enough of her!

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It's Gonna Get Ugly

I hope to finish this today so that Ivy can wear it with the dress before she gets too big!

And I just might be participating in the Ugly Sweater Contest. Totally gives me reason to curl and poof my bangs, too. I just might.

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