I haven't been here because...

it's the end of countdown week

They're leaving in a matter of days, the truck will be loaded on Monday

My house has been kissed by the pitter-patter of extra little feet


the laughter of extra little mouths

while momma and daddy pack up
their lives

to start a new one

My heart is bursting with

excitement for their journey


unshead tears for my journey

I'll be back when I can


fancy girl

saturday morning tea

graciously presiding over the table

in high style

wearing a Barbie couture gown

plastique perles

a marabou trimmed headband

serving Earl Grey and petite fours


pondering the mysteries of invisible food and plastic tea sets


Wordless Wednesday {recess}


Just now...

I sent Alec down to the corner alone
to meet my friend
so he could play with her boys

I watched him as he shuffled through the snow, 
a dark shape with arms and legs,
slowly turning grey in the swirling white

Every house he passed, he turned to look at me
for reassurance

Before he left, he told me that he was scared

I told him that he'd be fine
it was no big deal
he'd be able to see me the whole way
I'd be able to see him

Halfway down the block, he turned and ran back to me, 
his arms windmilling frantically
as he tried to propel himself faster down the untraveled sidewalk

When he got close enough to hear me I told him to 
turn around 

We looked together and saw my friend at the end of the sidewalk,
a blurry shadow in the tunnel of white,
waving both arms

"Run to her, sweetie!"
I said.
"RUN to her, she's waiting for you!"

A moment's hesitation
then he went

I stood still 
watching him blur into grey again
as he ran

Just before he got to the end, another shadowy figure emerged with a snow shovel

I could feel Alec's heart beating faster and his adrenaline pumping
as he made a choice

Split second

He looked at me again
and kept on running
toward the corner

"Call to him!"
I whispered to my friend
"Give him boldness!"
my heart whispered to Jesus

I did not feel sad when he and my friend turned to wave to me as they left

No longing for a little boy
no longing for big eyes turned up to mine in childish wonder
no longing for a tiny hand to hold

I rejoiced in the breaking of bonds
rejoiced in the strength we both found


Go shave your legs, it will make you feel better!

I just did, and used banana body cream afterward.

Then I tried to winterize my brand new, very lovely, very bright, lemon-y yellow top from here
with the addition of an orange tank top, an orange and yellow scarf and a grey cardigan.

It looked stupid.

But I felt better because I had smooth legs under my ugly clothes, and smelled like bananas and coconut.

Tonight is date night, finally!
Celebrating Valentine's day early never hurts, right?
(and it never hurts to shave and smell like dessert before date night, either!)

My Valentine is totally awesome!
Yesterday, he managed to talk me down from a panic attack, and organize and subdue the children in a matter of minutes, OVER the PHONE from his office!

He then told me that he agreed that I needed a day off (a true day off never happens in mom-land, but the thought is really nice!) and told me that I was free as a bird all day tomorrow.

I love you honey!
Thanks for being my backbone when mine's a wet noodle
for being my brown paper bag when I can't breathe
and for loving me when I'm extremely unlovable.

Happy {early} Valentine's Day to the love of my life!



Ava joined me in the bathroom this morning, as I was getting ready for the day.  To entertain her, I sang "So This is Love" from the ballroom scene in Cinderella.

Ava:"And after they danced, Cinderella ran away from the prince and never came back!"

Me: "But he found her, right? He found her because he loved her, right?"

Ava: (with stars in her eyes) "Yeah..."

Me: "Did you know that Jesus finds us if WE run away from Him? Because we're His princesses and He loves us, too."

Ava: *big grin*  "I wanna play hide and seek with Jesus!"

I didn't try to explain to her three year old cuteness that that notion would never work...


Nothin' much...

We had a VERY busy week scheduled

We had 

tap class
choir rehersal
mom's group
another mom's group
home group
date night
basketball game
birthday party

all scheduled
{so far}
all canceled!

So...thank you, Snow, for giving me 

a week of quiet

a week of playing

a week of NO schedule (except my own)

a week of snowball fights
wet mittens 
hot chocolate

a week of reading books to the kids till I'm thirsty
and a week of

beauty in my back yard

but Snow, please don't stay too much longer...

I'm ready for some warm sunshine
no hats


Handmade pt.10

This adorable hat and mittens were salvaged out of a favorite sweater that was beyond repair.

Sadly, it wasn't our favorite sweater, but we took pictures before we gave it to it's rightful owner!
Hmmm, maybe I could offer a "salvage your sweater" service?

What do you all think?


{sugar} Calorie-free!

I have a somewhat unhealthy addiction to scarves

In someone's opinion, I probably have too many

I have found 5 Gap scarves at the Goodwill store

Today I had a bad day

My special time of the month, sick kids, bad weather, no motivation

Today I had a good friend
acknowledges my scarf-lust
loves the Goodwill store like I do
was in the right place at the right time!

Two more Gap scarves
99 cents each.

Way better than chocolate!


Wordless Wednesday


{un}Prepared pt.2

Now, after crying a while and talking to Marvin, I feel incredibly guilty.  Because, honestly, what this all boils down to is selfishness.  Sure, Benji wants to hold on to me, but so what?  He's still there, experiencing music and participating.  I just don't like it. I don't want to be a security blanket.  I want to take my other kids out in the hall (or in the lovely seating area on the second floor) and read books to them or chat with the other mommies while they play quietly.

I don't want to be the center of attention, the plus-size momma that sticks out like a coffee stain on a white shirt, with all my kids clinging onto me.  I don't like the looks of judgement that I see, and the way it makes me look like I'm a bad parent or one who easily gives in and lets the kids walk all over me.  I'm the one who is uncomfortable here, not my kids.

Sure, Benji cried a little at Awana, but for the most part, he had a good time and benefited from it.  I just don't like the inconvenience of entertaining a three year old while I"m on a 2 foot leash attached to my 6 year old.  And yeah, Benji wanted me to be touching him while I sat behind him at choir, but when the teacher handed him the drum to repeat a rhythm, he did it perfectly with a huge grin on his face.  I just didn't like the awkwardness and claustrophobia that came with it.

Being a good parent involves dying to self on a minute-by-minute basis.  BUT it also involves knowing where your limits are and saying no when saying yes means an unhealthy level of stress.  So, where's the line? How do I find a balance between being unselfish, a bit uncomfortable and nurturing a shy child, and  ratcheting up my stress level to a point that I'm completely unable to function.

I don't know.  I simply don't know.


Marvin and I decided to "force" our boys to take choir as the music portion of school.  By "force" I litterally mean FORCE.  If they had their 'druthers, they'd never leave the house.  They'd have all their play dates here, they'd never play outside, they'd only shop online (Ha!), etc.  Yes, I did say "they'd never play outside"!  What? Yeah, I know, they're boys...not sure what happened there...

Anyways, amidst the moaning and tears, I shoved them into the van this afternoon.  I was prepared to quietly entertain Ava while I (and Ava) sat beside Benji on the risers for 30 min. as he (hopefully) listened and followed instructions.  I was then prepared to quietly entertain Ava and Benji in another room while Alec, the braver of the two boys, (hopefully) listened and followed instructions for 50 min.

I was also prepared to park a block or so away and walk to the building with three kids, three bulky winter coats, two backpacks and my bag and water bottle.  Oh, and prepared to pay $50 for the privilege of experiencing this once a week for several months!

So we get there and the building is like something out of one of my claustrophobia nightmares.  A maze of unmarked hallways were constipated with parents, kids and all of their bulky coats and bags.  Not to mention that we're supposed to be quiet so as not to compromise our working relationship with the college who is graciously letting us rent the space for our humble little homeschool choir!

By this point, Benji's eyes were filled with tears and he had a death grip on my hand, Ava was running away, and Alec was frozen wide-eyed like a scared prairie dog.  I convinced Alec to sit at the other end of the room and read, and made my way up to the very front, apologizing profusely to the very gracious choir teacher, and sat down behind Benji with Ava beside me.

I spent the next 30 min trying as inconspicuously as possible to keep Ava quiet while I remained in constant physical contact with Benji so that he wouldn't turn around in a panic, thinking that I had somehow mysteriously vaporized from the seat behind him.

I spent the 10 minute break afterward wading through the constipated hallways again to the postage-stamp sized bathroom and then back to the choir room to get Alec situated for his session. When we got to the bathroom, Ava relieved herself and then threw a tantrum when I insisted on closing the door while I relieved myself.  She must have missed those 5 emails about being quiet.

The next 50 min. were spent sitting in a minorly larger area of the hallway, talking with a couple other moms and pooling our efforts to again keep naturally loud children quiet.

After one final trip through my favorite hallway, we found our way out of the building.  Ava refused to hold my hand, and hurtled herself VERY LOUDLY through the lobby, out the doors and towards the icy concrete steps.  The picture of her bloody lip from an accident yesterday still fresh in my mind, I clamped my hand around her wrist and hauled her down the stairs while she protested.

We're home now and the leftovers that I thought would feed the five of us for dinner barely fed the three kids.

I try to be brave and prepared for anything when I take my kids to this stuff.  But...Benji is painfully shy.  I was as a kid and know how he feels.  Ava is three and fiercely independent. Alec is a little shy, but has three years of public school under his belt, so he knows the drill.

When we get to the class or whatever it is, no matter how much I've psyched myself up, no matter how much stuff I've brought to keep Ava in one place, no matter how many times I've told Benji that I'm not leaving him, I'm never really prepared.

I always end up feeling really angry and frustrated with Benji.  He follows EVERY STEP I take, and has to have constant eye contact or feel me beside him or the tears start to fall. Ava, on the other hand, wants her own seat, her own books, to have privacy in the bathroom (even though she routinely falls into the toilet).

So taking the kids to an activity other than a playdate is a total disaster.  We've taken them to Awana for four weeks and stayed for the 2 1/2 hours so that Benji would hopefully feel comfortable enough to even just participate, let alone stay without us.  Is it working? NO.  I feel like giving up on everything and just keeping the kids in the house with me like they want for another year.

I know it's good for them to experience a wide variety of activities, participate in organized things lead by someone other than me, to meet new people, etc. But at what cost?  Right now it doesn't seem worth it.

(I hear that there is a lovely seating area on the second floor of the building where choir is, for parents of "normal" kids...Maybe one day I'll get to see it, or maybe sit there and read a book!)


just like {momma}

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