Sunday, April 27, 2014


My baby is now six months, and as I have snuggled his sick little body this morning, I have felt such an overwhelming feeling of peace. My eyes brimmed with tears as I held this little one in my arms, quite possibly the last little one I will ever have.

How could I feel this way some would ask? Life is demanding at our home, there is more to be done than humanly possible for one mother, and I often feel inadequate for the task. But then, another day comes, another morning dawns, and more prayers are offered up to heaven asking for His help to begin another day... and I miraculously do it carried by a strength beyond my own.

I held his tender body, felt his soft skin, his chubby fingers & gently wiped his snotty nose. I don't want this phase of my life to end. That's all it really is though, right? Different windows open and close throughout our lives. Some are open for short periods of time and close just as quickly. But this window of creating new life with my husband, nurturing a completely helpless, beautiful baby, and smelling Johnson's Baby Lotion on a freshly bathed, chubby body has been open for half of my life. I don't know if I would ever welcome the closing of this window.

Just as with his older brothers and sisters, I look forward to helping him spread his wings and fly. Yet I want to hold him close and never let him go at the same time. Do you think he will still like wearing Johnson's baby lotion when he is 16? Probably not, but mom can only hope it will be a cologne someday :) He is a gentle, sweet boy and though I only have 17 years left with him, I know now that it will go by all too quickly.

So what is next?

Last night, Jedrick said "Mom, can you imagine if all of us have as many children as you did? That would be SIXTY-FOUR grandchildren!" I can't imagine anything more delightful! How could I ever want to keep that window from opening? To gently hold my children's new babies while their mother sleeps, clean their home while she gently holds the new life she and her husband have created, and make meals for their freezer to be used after I leave will be the new sunshine in my window. Maybe, just maybe I will love this phase and can quite possibly embrace it.

The longer I write, a smile has crept across my lips and that peace I felt holding my own baby has carried me on to a new peace that everything will work out as it should. I don't have to try to control it, simply live it and love it.

It's time to hold my chin high, take a deep breath, and walk forward embracing all of the changes to come. It is exciting and I wouldn't want to miss it!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Raspberries Made Me Cry... Ugly Cry

My husband informed me that it is time to move the raspberries.

I have fought this for a couple of years. Once raspberries are transplanted, they do not yield berries the next year. It takes time for them to take root. Even longer to produce enough berries for this crowd to eat, let alone turn into jam!

In fact, after three years, our bushes finally produced enough raspberries for our family to eat all summer. Not enough to can, but enough for everyone to feast on.


Here's a condensed history leading up to the talk about transplantation.

Kids wanted a treehouse. We have no trees. Stern asks neighbor if we can borrow his trees and gets his consent. Stern, Jedrick, & Coyote build. They build and build and build. Tree house is two stories. Neighbor gets nervous. Neighbor says it has to come down. Stern's kids cry. Neighbor offers a crane to lift it out of the tree into our yard. Crane has to drive on my raspberry patch.

"NO!" I shouted at my husband. "They are the ONLY thing I care about that grows on this place!"

Now, I know that may have seemed a little irrational... aaaaand.... Stern may have walked away wondering where this explosion came from. You know, cuz I'm always super calm and rational and all. Seriously.

I realized I have attached the life of those raspberries to my children... Bo in particular.

If those raspberries are moved, there will be no berries until the year Bo graduates from high school and leaves for college. In some weird way I feel like if the raspberries stay there, Bo will stay a little longer.

If those raspberries are moved, I will never hope to have raspberries again. I don't want raspberries! Raspberries will mean the drain plug has been pulled from the bottom of the family home and one by one our children will begin to slip out the drain and on with their amazing lives fulfilling dreams and hopes of their own. First Bo, a year later Jedrick, and the outflow will continue, taking my heart with it.

I went to my room and cried and cried. The ugly cry ~ puffy eye/spastic breathing cry as I poured out my heart to my Father in Heaven who I knew would understand my heart. I felt peace but knew that I cannot stop time.

Regardless of where the raspberries end up, I still have time. That is all my children want anyway. I want to enjoy the time I have with them while it lasts. 

They don't stay like this for long.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Trip to Paradise

Sometimes mommies need a break. 

Sometimes those breaks are to the store alone, to yoga, or a date with a good book.

Sometimes, or maybe just once, mommies need a BIG break and that's just what we ladies decided to do. 

And yes, I totally saw all of this with my own eyes and took all of the pictures myself!

A typical Hawaiian Sunset - ya' know, the norm...
The ladies who brought me along. Note the amazing Hawaiian backdrop ~ we totally planned that.
My new favorite flower... Plumeria
A note home to my little loves
Tasty food after an awesome day at the beach
One of my favorite pictures! Robyn about drown in the background while her loving sister laughs hysterically. Katie almost made the wave but was quickly sucked under as Bobbi gleefully heads to shore. These ladies have skills!!

Beautiful scenery but it needed something more....
So I stuck Cathie in it!
I was so safe when I took his picture of Melinda's Jeep while driving following in her Armada. I just couldn't pass it up!
"Are you the boss of these guys?" Yeah. She totally is.
A view out the back windows of the house. Not a bad way to wake up in the morning.
Me & my girl. Can you tell she's 7 months pregnant? I'm thinking I look more pregnant than she does!

These are the coolest trees ever. They send down vines that attach to the ground making them HUGE!

This trip was full of fun excursions, fun ladies, and lots of laughs.

A huge thanks to "The Boss" for pulling it together!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sensory Overload

Our home can get loud sometimes.

Okay. A lot of times.

And maybe really loud is a better way to describe it.

Somewhere along the road of raising our children I forgot the "indoor voice, outdoor voice" lesson.

And maybe sometimes it's not even the volume, but the frequency.

"Mom... Mom.... Hey, Mom.... Mo-o-om.... MomMom... Momomomomomomomomom....."

Some days I feel like I'm functioning in slow motion submerged in a swimming pool.

Or in a dream when you try to run away from the bad guy but you can't get your legs to move.

It's such a weird feeling.

Sometimes my children are talking to me and I am looking at them but nothing is registering.

I realize I missed everything they said and I say "I'm sorry. I didn't hear any of that. Can you start over?"

Sometimes I think it only happens on cloudy days. I'm pretty sure I'm more alert on sunny days.

Or something like that.

I am grateful for my family's forgiveness on my "slow days."

Giving a heartfelt apology to our children for our "shortcomings" goes a long way. Withholding an apology for pride's sake does irreparable damage..... until we humble ourselves enough to admit we are not perfect. 

They understand.

Sometimes I long for silence, but not permanently. Just for a day or so, and then I would miss it and welcome the mayhem back with open arms.

It's what I love.

At the end of my days when I literally fall on my knees in exhaustion, I thank my God for the opportunity to be a mother. I ask for His ever-supportive hand to buoy me up and give me strength to continue despite the lack of sleep, logistical, emotional & physical demands, and the fact that there is only one me.

I know I fall short. Yet, I know He is there to make up the difference.

I know He is there and He loves me.

He wants me to succeed.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Guest Post: Stern Tackles an Unspeakable Subject

My wife asked me to share an experience with doTerra Essential oils.  I used them recently...umm...on my hemrrhoids. least I have the courage to admit I had them.  Most folks would deny the fact.  Anyway, I rubbed helichrysum on the itchy little fellers for a few days and low and behold, the irritating visitors departed and returned from whence they came.  NUF SED.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Swirling Ideas

Here are all of the things I have to write about but don't have time...

1 - A plug for Mom jeans

2 - My new love: Half Tee's

3 - jill'E'jam's review of The Hunger Games movie

4 - Kindness begs a slap in the face
5 - Remission - Life without Arti = total amazingness

6 - Binks Bubbly Buns and Totally Chunky Chubbs

And other awesomeness that I'm sure you'll be waiting for on the edge of you seat.

Patience. These things take time!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Finding More Within

Have you ever had to do something hard?

Really hard.

Like, seemingly impossible hard?

As many of you may know, I am not known for my perseverance ~ i.e I run only when someone is chasing me... I begin projects only to leave them 3/4 of the way done. I totally drive my poor husband crazy.

Last week I agreed to do something I had never done before.

It sounded fun but as the time grew near I began to see that maybe I had bitten off more than I could chew. The demands of my life seemed to be mounting.

I decided to take each day one step at a time as the deadline grew near and prayed for strength, direction, and patience.

Wednesday came and the home button on my iPhone quit working. You know, you don't realize how important that stupid little button is until you have to turn it off and back on just to go from an email to your calendar. In my efforts to mend the limping gadget, I plugged it into our desktop inadvertently losing all of my information and loading my husband's phone from iCloud. I'm super techy that way.

Needless to say, I was frustrated.

Thursday came and I was putting the final touches on a doTERRA class I was teaching on Friday night. My laptop began clicking, almost like someone was hammering inside, and then it died. 


I have never in my life had this happen. I lost everything. Pictures, documents... everything.

I have a family who needs me 99.8% of the time and free time is precious. I knew that the time wasn't available to do all that I'd committed to do.

I recreated everything I'd lost for the Friday night's Reinventing Healthcare class and got there to teach. I also did the same for Saturday's Spa night and made it home by 9:30 pm. While on the phone with my friend Jennifer that night, she sweetly asked if there was anything she could do to help me prepare for Monday. I told her I thought it would be okay because I had gathered all of the information. It was just a matter of organizing it all.

She asked, "do you still have it?"

Ugh. No. It was on the dead computer.

I didn't want to work on it on Sunday so I prayed for help to keep my mind clear, get rested and be able to start in the wee hours of Monday morning.

Sunday night my husband said "you know, sometimes crap just happens. Just call and tell them that your computer crashed and it's just not going to happen."

Something boiled up inside me and I looked him square in the eye and said "No. I am going to do this. I always quit and I am not quitting this time."

I worked until 2:30 in the morning and then was up again at 6:30 to continue. I thought I had all day until Bo reminded me that she had an orthodontist appointment and Cheroo had a dentist appointment right after. My entire afternoon was now gone. I wanted to give up. It was too hard!

It was in that moment that I realized I had a choice before me. If I were in college (my not-so-secret dream) and had an enormous assignment due, would I quite? Heck no!

I would not give up.

I hired Coyote to babysit Binks and I set back to work. My mind was clear and it was coming together. I was getting really excited.

I turned in my presentation just one hour before the webinar  was to begin. At the appointed hour I was introduced and my voice was broadcast as I read my presentation accompanied by the PowerPoint I had created. It was absolutely magical! Who knew one could be so confident and have so much fun talking to a computer!?!

When I finished and Bo came downstairs to see how it went, all I could do was say "I DID IT!" over and over again in my high, squeaky voice as I jumped around the room doing my best happy dance!

I did not quit!

I really did it.

There is something awesome about finding more within ourselves than we ever knew was there.

 The feeling is indescribable!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Duplicatable? No ~ It's Duplicable

I like learning new words.


This is my new focus. 

Is it duplicable? And if it's not, it won't work.

I had a super-duper a-ha moment today when I learned this word and I believe it may very well change my life.

Remember FlyLady? Her system is duplicable. Everyone can do it. It never changes ~ you just have to stick with it. I'm totally still doing it ~ I finished my 15 minute morning routine aaaaaat 4:30 this afternoon. But that's okay.

My husband's job ~ it's duplicable. The company gives them materials, shows them how to teach it, and the reps go out and do it. It works.

I have been thinking of my own life and family.

Am I duplicable? Let's see... no. I somehow missed that lesson when it was taught before I had children. I think I would fit more under the category of fickle ~ apt to change my mind every 10 minutes or so.

As I pondered (oh, yes, I have all sorts of time to ponder. Unfortunately sometimes it's when one of my children is telling me something and when they get done I realized that I didn't hear one word they said! Shameful! I digress.) Ahem ... as I pondered, I thought of someone I know whose life is dupicable.

I know a man whose life is totally organized. Totally. It runs like a well-oiled machine. When he does something, he does it the same way every time. Why does this matter? Because anyone who watches him can immediately turn around and duplicate what he has done with success. It has been well thought out and is done methodically. That, my friends, is what makes him a great teacher. "Watch me do it ~ now try it yourself" is his motto. Well, not that I've heard him say it but I'm totally sure it would be his motto if he had a motto.

Now, let me paint you a picture of complete non-duplicability. Wait, I don't even have to paint it. I snapped a photo of it. Go over here to see it. Impressive, right?

I am realizing now that had I not been so proud, or tried to reinvent the wheel, I could have learned a lot from this mentor mentioned above. 

I realize now that I have had a duplicable system in place. It's just not one I ever intended to create. 

I have a lot of work to do.