Thursday, September 26, 2013

Throwback Thursday :: How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Pumpkin

Originally posted 08/18/11

So I got all smarty pants yesterday and for some reason
decided that I wanted to start
a new "How to" series on my blog.

So here is the first in a series
of what will probably bereally bad ideas.

How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Pumpkin


Step 1: Drag your kids to Walmart (with good intentions).
While there you will need to pick up

*A pumpkin

*The cheapest black spray paint they have



*A Sharpie


Step 2: Tape a doily to the pumpkin.
At this point you should have high hopes
that a whimsical pattern will appear on the pumpkin.

Take a moment to feel super creative and smart.


Step 3: Spray paint the crap out of the doily.
Be sure to hold the spray paint can way too close to the pumpkin.

Also, let your fingers get in the way
of the paint as it sprays
so that you get a ton of smelly black paint
on your fingers and under your fingernails.

Start to feel unsure about your little project being successful.


Step 4: Remove the doily to uncover
what could be the ugliest pumpkin
ever to be created.

Flip pumpkin to other side
in an attempt to try again.

Repeat steps 2-4.

Step 5: Draw a face with a Sharpie
in an effort to fix the ugliness.

Accept that you just created a pumpkin that
looks like it has some sort of disease.

Give up dreams of being the next Martha Stewart.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

On a rainy day...

I call this photo my
"instant cheerer upper".

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Happiness Project :: Week 31

I chaperoned a class field trip for Griffin
and had the pleasure of driving 
three spastic best friends in my car for 2 hours.

I listened in on a rousing game
of truth or dare that unfolded in the back seat.

It was very educational.

We headed to a gold mine in the outskirts 
of the North Georgia mountains.

We panned for gold.

Look, there's gold in them there hills!

We did a little gemstone mining.

We also travelled miles down into the gold mines.

We saw some amazing sights
and learned some really cool facts.

I love being a stay-at-home mama
so I can be available to go on these fun trips.


Want to join me in my quest
to scout out happiness for a whole year?
Simply post a photo of something that
makes you wildly happy and tell us all about it.
Then, steal my button and include it in your post.
Don't forget to link up to Mr. Linky.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Throwback Thursday :: The Inept Throwback

Originally posted 01/18/10
I am an inept throwback to the 1950's housewife. Our grandmothers just seemed to know how to be domestic engineers with flair.  I could blather on and on about how it's the most important job known to man or ramble almost incoherently about how it's a thankless job it (especially since my 9 month old has kept me up all night and has woken up for the day at 5 am that last 3 nights). I love being a Stay at Home Mom but I am constantly laughing at the fact that I am the one running this household. For the most part, I love this job and in my heart I want to keep the house tidy. I wish that I could throw together an elaborate dinner made from scratch every night. In my heart, the kids are always clean and dressed. The reality is that most of the time they have remnants of lunch on their faces and Griffin spends the afternoon running around on the couch in his underwear while a store bought casserole cooks in the oven.

It's comical that I am the one in charge of the laundry because I am challenged when it comes the completing the task. We typically have two laundry baskets in the living room full of clean and unfolded clothes. We simply select the clothes we want to wear from the baskets. We spend some time searching for various items and nine times out of ten, Griffin goes to school in socks that don't match. My husband goes to work with two different socks on all of the time. It's awesome.

It's ridiculous that I am in charge of keeping the house tidy because I am the messiest person on the planet. Once, in High School, my best friend was rummaging through my drawers and found a half eaten Snicker bar stuck to a pair of tights. I wasn't even ashamed when she pointed it out to me. I just shrugged and went on with my life.

I adore the concept of the 1950's housewife, as absurd and outdated as it may seem. The whole notion of running a smooth household is a mystery to me. I just love the idea of creating this wonderful space for your family to live in. I love the romantic notion of being this well groomed woman that has her sh*t together and drives to the grocery store in fancy shoes.  Yet...I can laugh at my inability to be that woman.

As I float through my home and look at all of the crap that needs to be done to keep it nice and tidy I am not willing to make the sacrifices needed to have that perfect home. I would rather let the dishes sit in the sink and play Go Fish with Griffin instead. I would rather let the laundry sit unfolded as we dance around the living room. The mopping can wait as I sit on the floor and play with Koen. My home is not perfect but in my heart, I am the type of Woman who can do it all. In reality, not so much.

Thank God my family loves me despite the fact that I am domestic joke.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wrestling Hour Insanity

Things get a little bit crazy 
at our house after we eat dinner.

The boys have wrestling hour with Daddy
and the living room is filled
with squeals and laughter.

They're a blur of activity
as they smack, hit, jump, kick, push.

It's like Lord of the Flies 
is being played out in my living room.

All of the boys
(including the biggest one)
absolutely love it.

I may not understand it
but it makes me happy to see
the kids getting much needed time
to wrestle and act like crazy boys with their daddy.

We all treasure the insanity.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Happiness Project :: Week 30

Hosting a dinner party
and toasting with old and new friends.


Want to join me in my quest
to scout out happiness for a whole year?
Simply post a photo of something that
makes you wildly happy and tell us all about it.
Then, steal my button and include it in your post.
Don't forget to link up to Mr. Linky.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Throwback Thursday :: Despite my twitchy eye

Originally posted 08/18/11

As I opened the letter from Koen's future preschool my heart sank. "Meet the teacher day" was the following week and biting on it's heels was the first day of school. I glanced over at my sweet 2 year old playing with his tools on the floor and I knew that neither of us were ready.

I wasn't ready.

So, I made the decision to trust my instincts and keep him home with me for one more year. Just one more year to have him here with me. He has the rest of his childhood to spend in a classroom. I am treasuring every moment as even the simplest tasks seem more fun because he is here. A trip to the grocery store is an adventure as we stop to visit the fish tanks. His eyes get big as the gold fish swim up to the filter and dive fast with the current of water. "They having fun, mama!" he squeals with glee.

"So are we kiddo"
I think to myself.

I take him to a gymnastics class once a week and as he jumps down the tumble track with his arms held high over his head, I soak in that image. Before long, he will be off to school and I will miss these simple moments. Like my sweet boy bouncing as I run alongside the trampoline, cheering him on as bounces higher and higher. We fall onto the blue mat at the end and roll around together. His little body wiggles happily in my arms and my life feels so full at that moment.

I made the right decision.

Our favorite book is I am a Bunny. We curl up at nap time in the glider and read the sweet story before he drifts off to sleep. Why would I want to miss this fleeting moment in time? When we get to the page where the bunny blows the dandelion seeds into the air, Koen always takes in a deep breath and pretends to blow onto the page. His little eyes shut tight as he releases his breath and we both silently make a wish.

This is where he is supposed to be.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Stay at Home Mom Chronicles :: Glitter Bombs

My days around here seem to run together.
Ordinary moments unfold around me daily
and I need to stop and relish in them.

One day, my boys will be out living life
and I will miss these everyday experiences.

So, I am taking the time to document
the simple moments that pass between us.
I'm calling this little collection of memories...


Glitter everywhere.

 Koen created this lovely glitter blob recently
and I made the mistake of allowing him
to play with a tube of glitter without supervision.

Now I'm finding glitter in the strangest places.

Like in my shoes...

on my toothbrush...

scattered on our fireplace hearth.

 My favorite was when I discovered
that he tossed glitter onto a huge spider web on the front porch.

It was a glorious site to behold.

I'd be mad about it
but my house looks fabulous.

Other places that I found glitter but aren't shown:
my pillow
a sandwich
our remote control

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Happiness Project :: Week 28

We grabbed a few books off our bookshelf
and took a little walk with them in hand
in my parents' neighborhood.

We had plans to visit a special library.

A few houses up the block from their house

It's a national organization that plants
boxes around towns and cities, 
fills them with books 
and operates on an honor system 
where people take a book and return it 
or a place different book to the box.

The kids were so excited to select
the book that they wanted to trade.

Then they sprawled out 
in a special little reading chair.

I feel so lucky
to live in a town where people care enough to
 foster a love for reading.

As we walked away
with our new books in hand,
another neighbor pulled up
to trade books in the Free Little Library.

I love the sense of community that we felt on our little journey. 


Want to join me in my quest
to scout out happiness for a whole year?
Simply post a photo of something that
makes you wildly happy and tell us all about it.
Then, steal my button and include it in your post.
Don't forget to link up to Mr. Linky.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Throwback Thursday :: Being the Teacher and the Student

Originally posted 07/03/11

{photo credit here}

My oldest son is a deep thinker who has big thoughts that take up residence in his mind. Don't get me wrong, he is a joyful child in general but as he goes out into the big bad world, these thoughts live in him, and turn over in his sweet young brain. It's my job to help him process these hefty worries that are just slightly too complex for him. We have many conversations and I am beyond thankful that he feels that he can confide in me. Yet, as a Mother, it is a heavy burden to bear.

I try to give him strategies to stop the cycle of anxiety that turns within him. Sometimes they help him and sometimes they don't. The other day I decided to give him a "worry doll" to put in his pocket. It was a small heart that he could rub if he felt worried about anything and I told him that rubbing it would activate my love for him and give him comfort. "No, it won't, that's not real." He scoffed as he placed the silly talisman into my defeated palm.

My heart sank, he's getting wiser and harder to comfort. Yet still, he comes to me, curls up in my lap, and tells me his innermost thoughts. I try to explain to him that he is in control of his brain and that if he feels anxious that he should just stop the scary thought and replace it with a different thought. I've tried to teach him the art of visualization and the power that our thoughts have over reality. I've tried to teach him to not be afraid of his own mind. These are huge concepts that some adults can't even grasp.

As I scoot him out to the world, my heart goes with him and wishes that I could carry the burden for him. What I would give to be by his side always, to build him up and make him feel strong. Worry settles in my own mind as my spirit aches to protect his sweet heart. It dawned on me recently that I have to practice what I preach if he is going to learn anything from me. I am the one who needs to be in control of my own thoughts and not allow myself to be consumed with worry about the fact that he worries. It's a strange and surprising paradox.

The truth is that I can take comfort in the fact that within all of his big thoughts, there are lessons to be found. I can't be afraid of watching him hurt because every single struggle that he overcomes is going to make him a better person. He can't be sheltered from his own anxiety because otherwise how will he ever learn to manage it as he grows into an adult? My hope is that he will be a very mindful man who has an extraordinary understanding of his own thoughts. I can only imagine how self aware he will be from the hard work that we are doing now. Maybe I am planting seeds that will bloom as he ages. Perhaps he will remember the day that he curled up in my lap and his mama told him to never be afraid of his own thoughts. Maybe the same seeds blossom in me as I learn to manage my maternal worries that I feel for him.

I am his teacher but I am also a student. My hope is to always learn something new about myself through my children as I navigate with them through this life. Motherhood is such a humbling experience for me as the responsibility lies on my shoulders to guide them through life. Yet, sometimes as I work my hardest to lift Griffin up, I find that it is actually his small and brave shoulders that carry me.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Few More Scenes from the Beach


*Tummy bug that hit Koen not shown*
*who wants to remember that junk?*