The Source of Bad Days

Being a parent is way harder than I ever expected. I don’t know what I expected, exactly, but it wasn’t this.

I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to learn what I needed/need to know.

All I knew, at the time, was that Edward and Bella were in love and about to have a baby and ohmygosh I’M IN LOVE and I’M ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY! (Yes, I was reading Twilight when I was pregnant with my first. I have no regrets about this fact.)

Continue reading The Source of Bad Days

Our Favorite Family Tradition. 2017 Edition

Every fall since becoming a mother, I’ve continued a tradition that my mother started when my brother and I were small children.

We bake treats, we dress up in Halloween costumes, and we surprise family and friends with a visit at their home or work.

We never tell anyone we are coming (it’s so much more fun to surprise everyone). This means that sometimes we knock on doors and nobody is home, or that we have inadvertently chosen a day when that person isn’t at work. But this also means that we make plenty of impromptu stops for people we didn’t plan on seeing and the day is always full of visits and surprises and fun. Continue reading Our Favorite Family Tradition. 2017 Edition

Life Lately: What We’ve Been Up To

Fall is always a fun time of year for our family. We celebrate all but one of our birthdays (Bea’s is up next in November), which always makes life feel extra full in a special sort of way. And we tend to soak up the last of the warm weather and beautiful changing landscape with lots of impromptu adventures that fill our memory bank and hearts with all sort of goodness. Continue reading Life Lately: What We’ve Been Up To

An Impromptu Trip To Cleveland – What We Did & Where We Ate

This past weekend is one that I’ll be lingering in the residual good feels for a long, long time to come. My husband and I had made plans to spend some time together, but then my brother and sister-in-law ended up having her baby. Yay! I’m an aunt!!!! Everyone is healthy and doing well, and I was so excited for her to get to spend this Mothers’ Day as a full fledged momma.Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

Saturday morning, after going in to the hospital for all of us to meet the new baby and check on mommy and daddy, we all got back in the van and headed to my favorite Ohio city – Cleveland!

We didn’t have much of a plan outside of our destination. I just needed to get out and travel a bit and even though I wasn’t getting my alone time with my husband, I was getting the next best thing – a road trip with my family.

I love traveling with the kids, and one of my all time favorite things to do is to explore new cities. It’s funny how we think we have to travel far or to a new state to really go on an adventure. We’ve found that all you need is an openness to explore, try new things, and go with the flow, and you can turn any trip into a road trip full of fun!

I had a few ideas for what we could do in Cleveland, but nothing set in stone – that is part of the fun for me. Sometimes it’s nice to have everything planned out for the sake of little ones, but I want to teach my  kids to be flexible and learn how to find the fun along the way. So I planned ahead in terms of packing diapers and extra layers of clothing and cash for parking, and I thought of a few places we could check out. But I didn’t make dinner reservations and our schedule was really wide open. We were out to see what all we could see! Continue reading An Impromptu Trip To Cleveland – What We Did & Where We Ate

Kids, Technology, and Me

I’ve been thinking about technology and social media use for myself and my kids A LOT lately. In fact, it’s a topic that is never too far from mind. How can it be? We hear about it ALL. THE. TIME. For me, I’ve had a hard time wrapping my mind around it all because a) I tend to react negatively to any extreme argument and b) both sides make some valid claims.

But recently, I listened to a podcast from Culture Matters about The Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch. First, let me just say that Crouch has one of the most balanced and reasonable approaches to this topic that I’ve ever heard. He wrote this book (which I plan on reading) not because he saw his kids struggling, but because he say how technology was infiltrating his every day moments as an adult. He decided to consciously make some changes in his own home for the benefit of everyone – NOT just because he was a fear monger who was bemoaning “kids these days.”

I loved that he talked about technology use in general. The lessons he learned and the tips he offered are just as relevant to the single adult as they are to the mom raising little ones or the family with teenage kids.  Continue reading Kids, Technology, and Me

Thursday Things I Love: Salads In a Jar, Little Boys Who Do Yoga, & New Rooms

Hey readers. It’s Thursday. Which means tomorrow is Friday. When means soon, it’s the weekend! That’s the great thing about life. There is always something to look forward to. 😉

This has been a big week for us. Mike went back to school after a nice Christmas break, but our oldest son, Theodore, did not return to kindergarten. We are excited to embark on this great big adventure that is homeschooling/unschooling and the many ways it will change us and facilitate the the larger plans that we have for our collective life together as a family.

But for now, we start small.

Next week I plan on sharing with you some of our homeschooling goals and give you a look at our daily schedule. It’s all a work in progress, but it helps me to “process out loud,” so  you are on the receiving end of all that – for better or worse – depending on how you look at it :-). Wednesday was our first day of intentionally doing school at home, and it was everything I expected times a million – fun, exhausting, a little nutty, and ultimately, kind of like slipping back into an old workout routine; difficult, but also familiar.

All this to say, it just feels right, and that feels good.

Here are a few simple things I’ve loved from this week: Continue reading Thursday Things I Love: Salads In a Jar, Little Boys Who Do Yoga, & New Rooms

This Is Our Exit

When God takes you down a path you never knew you wanted, to lead you to things you never knew you needed. 

I’ve heard some people say that the idea of finding balance in life is a myth.

That, for lack of better terms, and also because I’m a 90 year old woman at heart – is malarky.

The myth, is our understanding of balance.

More often than not, we seek this perfect blend of factors that will yield us peace, happiness, and contentment by attempting to manipulate our scales.

You put this amount of work hours here, and I’ll put this amount of work hours there. I’ll manage this task, while you manage these. You spend this amount of money on me, and I’ll reward you with this amount of affection. I’ll watch our children these days but you watch them on these days. The scales tip, first one way, then then the other, and suddenly…balance. Steady. Even. Still.

That form of balance is a myth. I’ll grant you that. But that is not balance. That’s bartering at best, manipulation at worst.  Continue reading This Is Our Exit

How We Spent Our Christmas Holiday

Today I got the best Christmas gift a girl could ask for – I woke up a full three hours later than usual. (I am the champ at sleeping.) My husband is home for Christmas break which means he does the right thing and lets momma sleep in. 😉

We had a really nice Christmas together. It was low key but full of fun and tender moments. Take a look at how we spent our Christmas holiday! Continue reading How We Spent Our Christmas Holiday