Tuesday, December 31, 2013

13 Photos from 2013

So there's this girl hosting this photo link-up but she didn't even put any photos on her own post.  ZOMG!  Who does that?!?!?  Clearly not someone who's been blogging for more than five minutes.  Pffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffft.................................


Anyway, obvi I never got back around to adding my 13 photos from 2013 into the link-up post yesterday, so I'm going to post them now and then link up to my own link up.  Because this is my blog and I do what I want.

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 in 13 Photos: a link-up

Kelly and Cari have both separately reminded me that last year's 12 pictures from 2012 link-up was the bomb diggity.  "Host it again!" they said.  "We're lost without you!" they said.  Okay, I'm paraphrasing here, but I know that's what they meant.  And that's really what's important.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Where the heck did I go? With 16 week belly pic!

I should be sharing Christmas photos. Like, kids decorating cookies in matching pajamas and stuff like that. But guess what?  Ice storms are a fart face.

Our power went out at 6:20 a.m. on Sunday.  Do you KNOW when it was restored?  2:15 p.m. on THURSDAY.  The day after Christmas. 

Oh lawdy.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Well endowed snowmen, a winner, a party (7qt)

Since Cari is not only talented and funny but also organized and on top of things, she has already led with the biggest news of the day in this here hemisphere, so Imma have to save that for last.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Black-and-White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies recipe

At the bottom of yesterday's post, I put up a pic of the cookies we (Lizzy) made on Tuesday, and y'all were all like "blah, blah, blah...quit talking and give us the cookie recipe, devil woman!"

So here it is, in all its glory.  They are worth making even if you hate to bake.  Yes, that good. 

Black-and-White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
(makes approximately 40 cookies)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It's not how you think it is

What if someone told you that yesterday afternoon they baked cookies and listened to Christmas carols while their children painted long swaths of brown packing paper, turning it into one-of-a-kind hand painted wrapping paper?  What would you imagine?  What are you picturing in your mind right now?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas pagaent. Elf Twitter Party. Cute pictures. The usual.

Oh my gosh, we needed a day like today.  I know lots of people thrive on doing stuff and going places every single day, but we are just not those people.  After going somewhere pretty much every single day for, like, 6 days in a row, including having to actually wake people up in the morning (so not good.  If they're not waking up on their own, they're not sleeping enough, ya know?) to get to wherever on time, we are finally just staying at home today, entertaining ourselves with whatever, eating snacks, and possibly, eventually, doing a bit of school work.  Maybe.  Don't count on it.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Faux crunchiness, not-faux other things, and Mama Mary (7 qt)

(1)As I'm writing this, Cecilia is hollering "Paul!  Make me into a sandwich!"  Your guess is as good as mine.

The other day we got a decent snowfall during the night and the sun was shining during the day.  What kid could resist?  Well, "any kid who can read a thermometer" would be my guess because it was 7 degrees out.  Well, at first it was 7 degrees.  Then Paul begged enough that I agreed he could go out once it got over 10.  Degrees.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

5 Favorite Family Gifts

Before I start: thank you for all your amazing prayers starting Saturday evening and going through Monday.  We heard a beautiful 146 bpm heartbeat yesterday afternoon and there have been no further frightening events.  Whew.  Y'all are good.  So good!

Alright, on to the favoriting of the things.  This week we're doing a gift guide so I can double link up with Hallie , for five faves, and with Mary Kate, who is hosting a gift link-up (and it is so handy.  Really, I was stumped on a couple of kids and now I am READY.  So get thee some ideas, fo sho.)

I'm not smart enough to divide my list by age group like Mary Kate did, so I'm going to list 5 gifts that have been favorites of my kids' over the years and let you decide who would love these things.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Mommy blog it up, y'all

I go back and forth between wanting to just completely embrace my mommy-blogger identity and post nothing but photos and updates on the kids and shunning the very notion of being a mommy-blogger at all.  Because I am a woman of extremes!  Can't just be a little of whatever, oh no sir.  Gotta be all adamant and over the top.  Tired of the clutter in my house?  Sell it and buy a new one!  Get frustrated with a zipper?  Never purchase another article of clothing that features a zipper ever! 

You get the picture.

Friday, December 06, 2013

dolls,books,yummies and a belly shot (7qt)

I know today is St. Nicholas day, but I'm sure err'body's gonna lead with that , so I'm gonna throw y'all for a loop and come out of the gate (how many idioms or metaphors or whatever they ares can I use in one sentence?) with this high quality ipod photo of....

Thursday, December 05, 2013


Wow. Taking pictures of lights is REALLY hard.

I'd like to pretend that my results can be blamed on minimal research beforehand and the stubborn refusal to get out the tripod, but mostly I think the problem is lack of artistic vision.

Dude.  If I can't line the cute little bar up in the middle of my viewfinder, I pretty much fail at photography.  Don't get me wrong.  I still enjoy myself.  But the results?  Meh.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Pregnancy after Loss- my discernment

As promised last week, I'm going to share with you guys a a little bit about getting to a place of peace and acceptance with this new pregnancy.  Or getting there BEFORE this new pregnancy, which I managed to allow God to help me do.  Because I have received so many wonderful private messages and emails and I realize that so many of you have the same concerns and care for our family in such a deep way (for which I am forever amazed and grateful).

What I'll do, I think, is to copy and paste an actual email response I sent to a friend, at her suggestion.  I'm touched that my words were not only able to help her but that she feels they might help someone else as well.  So keep in mind that the following text is unedited, off the top of my brain, messy, and maybe hard to follow at some places.  But sometimes it's better that way.  Sometimes I just need to let go and let God, know what I'm sayin'?

On deciding it was the right time to accept a pregnancy after loss.  An exact email transcript...

Monday, December 02, 2013

Git in Mah Belleh! And other things you'll say when you read this book

Last night before dinner I had FOUR scrambled eggs with salsa as a snack.

Then I ATE dinner.

Then I had second dinner of a turkey taco (yes that is too a real thing.  you would drool if you could smell it).

Then I had a THIIIIIIRD dinner of leftover fried rice augmented with delicious, delicious Sriracha.

Friday, November 29, 2013

7 Quick Takes- food coma edition

 Thank you for all the amazing luv 'n' hugs (I'm taking the liberty of imagining that a lot of all that would translate into hugs in real life.  I like to make assumptions) after yesterday's post.  I will write more about getting to this place of complete peace and happiness, or rather allowing God to give me the peace and happiness instead of putting my fingers in my ears and running away screaming "Lalalalala!  I can't hear you!!!!", but let me just say right now that I am there. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The one thing I'm most thankful for

I mean sure...house, cars, job. All very, very good things. But there's one thing that I'm more thankful for than any of these.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

America's Test Kitchen Apple Pie

Holy last minute, folks. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, today we are all making pies and suddenly I realized I've yet to link up with Cari's Thanksgiving Recipe exchange thingy.  Hey, maybe you're in PST and you're a procrastinator and this will actually help you.  Otherwise, see ya next year minus three days, y'all.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ogle these things

This morning (that turned into afternoon) a friend of mine came over with 50% of her children to work on the Christmas pageant.  Well, she worked on the Christmas pageant and I threw food at people and distracted her.  How helpful.  Then five kids went outside and just three stayed inside and it was suddenly calm and serene like the sensory deprivation chamber at a spa (is that a thing?  I need that).  At which point we started having a real conversation which eventually resulted in her saying "Oh yeah, how is your blog going?"


Thursday, November 21, 2013

People. Talking.

Cari has said before that the only rule for Theme Thursday is that there are no rules, so watch me cheat on this week's photo theme yet again.

It really does sort of fit because I'm ashamed that its taken me so long to share these photos with you.  It's shameful that I kept putting it off.  See, most often I feel like this is everyone's space and I'm just here to make it comfy or fun or interesting.  I wanna be one of those independent chutzpahwomen (it's a word.  trust me.) who writes her blog for herself and doesn't care who she offends or makes feel uncomfortable or whatever, but I just can't.  So it's taken me this long to share these photos because I didn't know how to bring it up in a way that was comfy or fun or interesting.

But I also know that you would want to see anyway.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The nitty gritty

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! This window has been open for, like, three hours.  But all these kid and life things keep happening and I can't get back here to say dumb things that no one cares about.

Mary has just had her third enormous poopy diaper of the day.

I'm trying to copy some history sheets for Lizzy.

Paul was so excited about the idea of the Titanic (thanks Life of Fred) that he would not stop asking me to put on a video about it.  So I did.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


"Maybe you could go get dressed..."

"Maybe YOU could go get dressed" she giggled.

Then Miss Sassypants set her chin on my shoulder so she could see what I was reading without enduring the extra effort of holding up her own torso.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Grocery Store Evangelization

Do you follow the facebook page for St. Paul Street Evangelization?  You should.  Their updates are totally uplifting.  I love the idea of regular people sharing with other regular people the regular-ness of living a Catholic life.  Does that make sense?  It's not just priests or sisters or church employees or editors of Catholic publications or insert-who-you-imagine-evangelizing-here.  It's you and me.  People just like you and me just standing there having a chat.  It's a beautiful ministry.  Big puffy heart love it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

It only took two and a half years...

On Saturday my husband took four of the kids with him on an unnecessary errand running spree, mostly so I could clean up a bit in peace (the child he left behind was one of the perfectly capable ones, in case you're wondering.  I know.  What a catch.) because that really is all I can think of sometimes.  Gosh I'm glamorous.  So they went, and on their way home passed St. Philip's in Battle Creek.

image here

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

That Hideous Strength (WWRW)

I did it. I finished not one but ALL THREE books in a trilogy. I'm a big kid now!

But first, can we talk about C.S. Lewis space trilogy being classified as young adult?  That is lunacy.  My 12 year old 7th grader is super advanced when it comes to reading and all things related and there is NO WAY she could properly appreciate these books.  Sure she could read the words and string them together to make sentences.  But following what's really happening?  Catching the nuances?  Understanding the subtleties of relationships, particularly between man and woman?  There's just no way. 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Don't let the door hit ya, October

Boy. Was October a poop-fest or what? I don't know. Maybe it was awesome for you.  But for me it was like...it was like I was starring in a new reality show about how to be the most boring, most suck-tastic, most non-homemakerest woman in the world with an added helping of Terriblest Homeschooler Ever.  Or maybe it was just the last week of October and it gave the entirety of October a bad name.  Whatever it was, thank God it's over.  OVER.  OVAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Friday, November 01, 2013

Art and Cookbooks and Kids and Junk (7qt)

Hey, remember that one time you took all five kids to Mass at noon on a Friday and the two youngest ones sat demurely and didn't fight over the one sippy cup they found in your bag and didn't at all find an open granola bar wrapper and fling the crumbs all over the place? And then start saying "nanoo nanoo nanoo" at each other?  Hah!  Me neither!

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Tricky tricky Halloweeny!

Apparently this is what the kids in Tommy's border town used to say when he was growing up.  I mean, he didn't own his own border town or anything.  He just lived in it.  And he didn't say "tricky tricky Halloweeny!" because English was his first language.  Although he DOES say it now.  So maybe he did and he's a big ol' liar?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

*EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW* and a review. What more could you want?

If you've been meaning to get back to reading real books and not just buzzfeed posts and blog entries (guilty), I'm telling you...Pope Awesome is the place to start.  If you're accustomed to reading real books all the time, like Jessica of the awesome book-reviewing skillz is, make this book the next on your list.  Just move aaaaaaaaaaaaall the other books down a notch and wedge this one right in there.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I'm fixin' to get good at math!

Maybe you remember my curriculum post at the beginning of the school year.  See, sometimes I like to put on this tough-gal front and pretend that I don't care about stuff or that it's my way or the highway.  Makes for funnier jokes, ya know?  But the truth is that I DO care about things and am always looking for what's better.  This is working, but could it be better?  In this case what wasn't working was Lizzy's math curriculum. 

She has never loved math.  She struggles.  She comprehends the concepts but when it comes to putting pencil to paper, numbers end up in the wrong place or there are the wrong number of zeros or the decimal point isn't where it should be and the whole thing falls apart even though she GETS the overall concept.  And forget memorizing facts with flash cards.  I mean, just forget that scene altogether.  For a while I thought maybe she was a bit dyslexic, but she can read with no problem. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Los Siete Take-os de Quickitos

Have you ever had one of those days....yes, I'm pretty sure you have...where everything just seems blah?  When I don't have something to look forward to, this happens.  Or when the weather first turns gross, this happens.  Or when I'm being a moody bword, this happens.  So this happened on Saturday and it was raining and not even 50 degrees out  and all of a sudden I says to my husband I says "Clearly this is the ideal time for me to force everyone into complementary outfits and put the timer on on the camera and get that elusive family portrait we've yet to achieve since the birth of our 5th child."

Except I didn't say it like that.  It was more like "Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, I am so boooooooooooooooooooooored.  We don't even have any family piiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiictures.  It's gonna be Christmas agaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaain and we won't even have doooooooooooooooooooooone it and then it'll be, like, snowy and junk and everyone will be in snowpants and hats and complaining that they're coooooooooooooooooooooooooold."

I am pleasant.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Not pre-teen angst after all!

Last night I was kissing the big girls goodnight (when will we stop going to their rooms to tuck them in?  I hope never) and Lizzy asked me how she could get an annoying song out of her head.  "I've already tried replacing it with a different song and it just won't go away! Ugh!"

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Story isn't Over

How are you?

Things have been a little quiet...

Are you okay?

After a few of these kinds of sweet, concerned emails, I'm starting to realize that maybe I've unwittingly gone into hermit mode.  I do this.  Maybe some of you do this too.  It's the mark of the secret introvert I think.  The barely extrovert.  Where we are go out there and talk to all the people and say and do all the things and stay up late and have the fun and go and go and go until we are tired and done and can't manage even a single sentence.  And we turn off our computers and we stare at chickens out the window and wonder if it would be as wonderful as we imagine it would be to quit the internet forever.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What happens when you change the aperture? TT: Orange

One of my very favorite treats this year was being able to get my hot little hands on a big girl camera.  Yes, old.  Yes, used.  Yes, totally worth it.  It's like I get to be artistic without getting messy.  A neurotic girl's dream!  But I haven't really been experimenting with it much lately.  Just taking photos "in the usual way" and moving on.  Today for the orange challenge, I decided to take a few precious moments and play around with the little numbers on the screen. 

So first, here's the photo I would use if I were just posting one and not experimenting:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

5 fave sites for saving dinero + DISASTER BABY

Several (many) weeks ago, a friend suggested I put all my fave online money saving places in one spot.  And then I forgot. But I just remembered!  So here ya go.  For pictures of cute baby, skip all the yammering and scroll to bottom.  Enjooooooooooooooy!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Attack of the Killer Baby

So last night I was up way too late because correcting a 6th grader's math work is about as exciting as getting a dental exam.  Except when you're getting a dental exam you can sit in a squishy reclining chair and close your eyes and enjoy slightly modified versions of to "Love Lift Me Up" or "When a Man Loves a Woman," so yet another a strike against boring dumb ol' responsibilities and clearly reading about the Whole 30 was a reasonable thing to be doing instead.  Because hello: procrastination

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ten on 10

A picture every hour for ten hours on the 10th of the month....


Paul sets up shop in the utility room.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

5 Faves- Laundry Room Edition

When I posted the laundry room reveal, there didn't seem time or space to talk about all the little details.  Not so much that there are extravagant details in the room itself, but rather the little things that do so much to make our lives easier, to make them better.  Because what you all gave to us was so much more than just a room we could successfully wash our clothes in.  No.  Besides giving us hope and happiness during such a difficult season in our lives, you gave us peace.

And that right there is my first favorite about the best room in our house...

Monday, October 07, 2013

5 Tips for Stretching the Food Budget

So.  My husband gets paid once a month.  Now, I know a lot of grown ups have been budgeting this way for years but for me it took a while to get used to waiting sometimes 31 days between paychecks.  Oh, and when you get paid every other Friday, you sometimes get a month with three paychecks instead of two, ya know?  I always loved those months.  Pero no mas para nosotros.

Anyway, it's now eight days until payday, and this is when I always have to go on a spending freeze because basically I'm a child who spends as much as possible for the first 23 days of the pay period so that I can Mr. Krabs it up for the final week.  So in the spirit of said cheapskatery, I'm going to try and spend just $50 at the grocery store tomorrow for enough groceries to last us until the following Tuesday with no eating out budgeted in.  Eek. 

Thursday, October 03, 2013

A Little Secret

Wanna know a secret? Sometimes my kids are a red. hot. mess.  See, usually I go through the seventeen thousand photos I take and try and post the cleanest ones- no food on the face, no stains on the clothes, charmingly mussed but not insane hair...you know, basically trying to convey a sense of "real" life without actually damaging my imagined reputation as a responsible mother and homemaker.

Welp, that all changes today.  Sorry, Mary.  The baby always gets the embarassing posts.  Says so in the bloggy manual.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

My Kids are Obsessed with Monster Headphones

If you have a kid with sensory issues who gets jumpy and overloaded at weird textures and loud sounds and just too much stimulation overall, you'll know what's going on in this picture.

I didn't ask the boy to vacuum and those aren't even technically those headphones you buy for noise cancelling but Imma tell you...the minute he put those Monster N-tune headphones on, he was a happy little camper.  He wasn't even listening to music!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Hey, you in the t-shirt

Hey, you in the t-shirt.  Yes, with the curly red beard.  Hi.  You look like the kind of guy who likes going to Bell's brewery downtown and you're totes excited about the Arcadia that's going in down by the river.  Now we can have a Michigan craft-brew smackdown every weekend, amiright?  Su-weeeeeeeeeeeet.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Laundry Room Final Reveal

Remember that one time when I insisted I was too cool for one of them new fangled motorized electrical clothes drying machines?  Boy was I a dumby dumb dumb dumberson.  God invented dryers for a reason, y'all.

And now, after over three entire years straight of hang-drying the clothing for a family of six which then turned into a family of seven in the not-mild climate of Southwest Michigan, I am enjoying (oh yes, quite literally) the beauty of this glorious modern convenience.  I can do multiple loads in a single day if I want!  Take that, stinky underoos.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

In case you forgot how I feel about September in Michigan (TT) (phfr)

Hi. Would it be annoying for me to mention yet again how amazing and spectacular September is in Michigan?  Yes?  Too bad!  Oh my gosh it is so wonderful outside these days.  You guys, COME AND HANG OUT WITH ME BECAUSE IT IS SO GORGEOUS AND YOU DESERVE BETTER.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How to Talk to Toddlers

I'm sitting on the floor of one of the kids' rooms right now.  Wearing an apron because I really thought that today...yes TODAY. THIS DAY. NO MORE DELAYS. I was going to get really really really on top of this housework so that it isn't just one-notch-above-uninhabitable when my unwitting husband walks through that front door.

Have you ever lived with a three year old?  So yes, you know exactly why I'm not in fact loading the dishwasher with my limoncello apron on and instead am sitting on a bedroom floor to prevent the escape of one such minuscule tyrant.  Er, um, 'blameless human being.'  Ahem. Whilst I await her imminent descent into dreamland.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Love Comes First

The day that my husband fell in love with me, the day he knew I was the one he was going to marry, I was not Catholic.  I wasn't Christian at all.  And even though he was very much both of those and knew in his heart that I would be happier if I were too, he loved me anyway.  And when he told his parents about me, over the phone across an ocean and a continent, they were just happy.  Maybe inwardly they were nervous or wondered what I was like or worried about whether or not I was the good Catholic girl they probably always prayed to God for.  Maybe.  But outwardly they were nothing except excited.  Is it because my mother in law is a convert too that they truly appreciate the power of the Holy Spirit to do work that regular folk see as unlikely or even impossible?  It could be.  But it doesn't matter.  What matters is that the love came first.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Seriously I forgot we have apple trees

It's seems weird to say this, but Imma be brave...

deep breath...

I think I've been doing too many link ups.

There.  I said it.  See, here's what happens in my brain lately:

"Gosh, I love this bb cream.  I should tell people about it!  Okay...but I'll save that for Wednesday and make it one of my five favorites."

Wednesday arrives. Toilet overflows. 2.5 hour art class.  Diaper blowout.  Unexpected phone call. Math meltdown.  Dweej doesn't blog.

No bb cream recommendation for YOU!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Just three quick takes this time

Holy McMoly. It's Friday.  FRIDAY, y'all.  How...wha....I just....can't even.  No one told me that scheduling my kids for multiple things during the week and trying to keep the house presentable AND trying to actually make all our meals at home would result in me *sniff sniff* not having time to blog.  If you somehow manage to accomplish all of these things, will you kindly share your secrets?  Because dude.  I mean, I'm supposed to be waking my kids up right now to get them to our Friday co-op and boy...I kinda don't wanna.  WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WAKES UP A SLEEPING TODDLER EVER EVER EVER EVER???

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lilla Rose giveaway, y'all. Click for freeness!

I've never met Katrina Burbank in real life, but I'd like to.  At first I thought she was just a nice mom who reads my blog, which is enough to make a friend for me, but then her kids each made me a card back in July when we all needed a pick-me-up most, and those cards, along with her dead-pan commentary of hilariousness, made me laugh and cry at the same time.

Not-coincidentally, I found out later that she is somehow friends with a friend and fellow psychology major from UD- a friend who used to have blue spiky hair and an enormous wallet chain and carry a briefcase instead of backpack who is about to be ordained a priest.   Take THAT, stereotypes.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wherein I tell you where to spend your money (7qt)

Before we start, I'd like to ask y'all take a moment and raise your seventh cup of coffee with me in celebration of the first full week of school ending without anyone crying about school work.

Tears welling up doesn't count.

And we even managed to get to church at 8:30 this morning to hospitalitate for our first round of Friday co-op classes, where I succeeded to only minimally embarrass myself and my children by employing my uber-cool "raise the roof" hand gesture on multiple occasions.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A bird, some vandalism, and a spicy pepper (phfr) (TT)

Earlier today I was at the tail end of an e-rant about how everyone and everything was frustrating me this afternoon (don't worry.  Just your run of the mill big-kids-waking-up-baby-from-nap-can't-we-just-be-quiet-for-a-little-while-what-is-wrong-with-y'all) when Paul ran inside and told me that I really had to come out and see this and I would like it.

After yesterday's missing tree debacle (oh, did I neglect to share that with you?  Tomorrow.  Mark my words.) I was a leeeeeetle bit nervous.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How to Change a Life

When we moved here to Michigan, we didn't know anyone.  I do have family over on the east side (thank you, God!) but here in the Kalamazoo area we had no one.  No built in co-workers or acquaintances or even a realtor that was planning on giving us a gift basket full of chocolate and mortgage documents.  It was hard.  But only a little hard and only for a little while.  Because, and you can probably guess where I'm going with this...

Monday, September 09, 2013

2013 Homeschooling Choices - 1st, 6th, and 7th grades

On Thursday I asked y'all if you'd be interested in my big-kid curriculum chatter and several of you said yes, so let's do it.  All the people, all the things.  First individual subjects, then combo stuff.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Weekend Redux

Right now Tommy is singing "Old MacDonald Had a farm" in a terrible British accent and Mary is laughing hysterically.

When I first thought about starting to write this, he was bottling his most recent batch of beer and little-bit was sleeping off the teething terriblness that has made her a cranky whiny-pants for the last three days.  We even had to cancel going to my cousin's baby's baptism because poor thing had such bad diarrhea yesterday...


Thursday, September 05, 2013

When your kids design their own portraits

Tuesday was the most glorious day. Scratch that- this week has been nothing but gorgeous days so far.  This is our fourth September in Southwest Michigan and I think I'm finally convinced that there is no greater month anywhere ever no matter who who are.  Ever.  In the world.  Throughout all time.

Srsly.  It's hard to be inside for any reason.  The windows are open all day long.  No air conditioner, no heater, no bugs, no humidity.  Can you see the glittery stars encircling my eyes right now?  'Cause they're there. No lie.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Checking in and some outtakes

So I'm totally jumping on that Pinteresty first-day-of-school photo bandwagon, but not before Cari makes my pictures all snazzy using her mad photoshop skillz. But I also can't wait until she's finished to post again because it will have been an entire week since I last talked to y'all and that just will not do.  No.  It will not do at all.

So, here I am.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

What Carmen Said

When I was in the hospital after Nicholas was born, I had a nurse named Carmen.  I still thank God every day for Carmen and ask Him to bless her and take care of her.  Not that He hasn't and doesn't but I'm just not sure what else I can say or do on her behalf.  She was an absolute blessing to me and by extension to our whole family.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hate Cooking, Love Cleaning (WWRW) (5Faves)


Hey remember my super scintillating vacuum cleaner "situation" a few months ago?  Welp, we've been using our new Hoover ever since then and ehrmagherd, we are in love.  They didn't give me this for free or anything, by the way.  I paid for 'em with my own American doll-hairs.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Beach Birthday Photo Fest

Apparently I took 215 photos on Saturday.  One birthday, five children, two hundred fifteen photos.  Intervention time.

Paul turned 6 on the 24th and I just...it's amazing.  If you have a boy, or any child for that matter, who will neither sleep nor eat despite the experts telling you that babies will sleep when they're tired and/or eat when they're hungry and you feel that you will forever live in a vortex of tsk-ing pediatricians treating you like you are an incompetent ninny,

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Food (Theme Thursday)

One of the great things about living in a place with seasons and plentiful rain is the push to grow your garden during the limited time you can.  Or achieve anything in the limited time you can.  I'm a procrastinator, you know.  I work well under pressure.  Scratch that.  I ONLY work under pressure.  And a Michigan summer is the ultimate pressure.  Warm enough, rainy enough, and blessedly very short.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Books and Other Favorite Things

Katie Morag

I know I've mentioned this book before, but we just had to order a new copy because our old one was literally falling apart at the seams (the binding can be called a seam, yes?) so I'm sharing it again.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Former Runner Whines

Yesterday, after complaining and shuffling and moping about for an obscene amount of time, I fiiiiiiiiiiinally dug out my musty, dusty, trusty running shorts and ever so slowly tied my little running shoesies.  Neither has seen the light of day for almost 15 months. And then realized that there is no music on my ipod so I would have to go out and ***horror of horrors*** listen to the sound of my own terrible, ragged breathing.

Is there anything worse?  That's what I thought.

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Zoolander reference and other things (7QT)

Wow.  Two numbered list posts in a row.  Pretty high-falutin' bloggin' goin' on up in here (oooh, three words in a row with an apostrophe instead of a "g."  Super fanciness comin' [there's another one!] at you straight from Chez Berberbera [the girls had a ballet teacher who said our last name like that]), I tell ya what.

Anyway, I think we've been milking this last month of summer for all it's worth or something because I feel like...freeze!  Announcement!  Tommy is doing the dishes while I write this extremely worthy tome of epic proportions.  Pretty fair division of labor if you ask me.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Five Favorites

Should I be embarrassed to lead with a cleaning product?  Have I already told you about this before?  You know what, I love this so much that I don't even care.  Srsly.  It is absolute magic.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Blueberry Breakfast Cornbread Recipe (MIM)

My friend Jessica has been co-hosting this Mystery Ingredient Monday link-up for approximately seven decades now but I have yet to participate because at best I am an absolute bore in the kitchen and at worst I am a complete travesty.  Luckily for y'all at least one of my kids has inherited her father's uncanny ability to turn all things into delicious (children under the age of 8 are still open for deliberation although Cecilia does make a mean plastic food sandwich pizza.  It's a thing.) so I've taken complete advantage of her skillz so as to finally share some yumminess up in here.

Alright, no more yammering.  Break it down, Lizzy time:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Laundry Room Reveal Part 1! Exclamation Point!

Remember that one time, long ago and far away, when our laundry room was a haven for rodents and threatened to electrocute us and there were holes that led straight to the basement for maximum death potential?

*Sigh*....I remember those days notfondly...

Well guess what?  Just today, a mere two hours ago (on a Saturday, my friends), the contractors finished the contractor work and it is just so beautiful I can't help but show you some details rightthisverysecond even though we haven't put any shelves in or cabinets up or hung window treatments or applied pithy decals to ironing board holders.  YET.  Wanna see, wanna see, wanna see????

Friday, August 09, 2013

7 Quick Takes

Results of BlueberryFest 2013?  Well, for the piece de resistance (blogger thinks two of those words are in English, but I'm counting on you to imagine the little slashy marks wherever they're supposed to be.) y'all are gonna have to wait until Monday for the Mystery Ingredient Monday link-up, but I'll happily share with you the runner-up specimen:

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

What We're Reading Wednesday

I am all about keeping up on posting this week.  Because I like it but also because it's a great distraction from the fact that Mt. Laundry-manjaro is about to topple over in the bathroom if this project doesn't get wrapped up ASAfrigginP.  Ohmygosh.  It is crazy.  And right now the water is turned off because they're doing the plumbing (woo hoo!) so I cant, like, clean anything else in the house either.  Or go potty.  Sweetness.

So: blogging distraction at you're service, linking up for the first time with Housewifespice's What We're Reading Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Mom Fails

Yesterday after Blueberry-palooza, a sweet reader and bloggy friend sent me a message complimenting me and encouraging me in my fun mothering-ness.  And I was all "That is so kind!  But oh dear.  Now I'm going to have to have to drop some truth bombs to make sure everyone understands what really goes on 'round these parts."  You see, I'm willing to be fun when I have other moms around to pick up my slack (yes at swim lessons and while picking blueberries and while going to the lake and while all the things.  I tag along or we don't go), but I'm also a foolish stumbler.  Still.  Even after wrangling chil'rens for almost 13 years.

Let's just take today, shall we?

Monday, August 05, 2013

Blueberry Picking Photo Dump

In honor of Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things, who I've been praying for all day today (how does one manage newborn twins when you already have four kids running around the house? Hopefully she'll let us in on her secret someday), some photos shot in manual mode today for her not-right-now Manual Mode Monday link-up.

Friday, August 02, 2013

A jump, a floor, a happy girl- 7 Quick Takes

One thing that's a little tricky about redoing the laundry room is that, like, you have no laundry room.  This is one tiny detail I hadn't really considered before we hauled the washing machine out of the workshop and ceremoniously pushed it over a cliff.

Not really.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Beach Babies and Other Things (phfr) (TT)

Maybe I should give myself a dang blogging challenge every week, huh? Because last week: so much. This week: so nothing.  Until today, my friends.  Until. Today.

The pretense for posting is going to be linking up with Cari's Theme Thursday, which is "knots" this week and adding a little PHFR from Like Mother, Like Daughter.  First I was like "Oooooh, like knots in your life and you're trying to undo them and then Mary Undoer of Knots comes along and...." And then I slapped myself and grabbed the first thing I could find that's in an actual knot and took a picture of it.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

His Gifts to Me

Some moments are easy and some are hard. Some days are "good" and some are "bad." It's hard to know, impossible to know, what will happen to send me down that road.

Two days ago the FedEx truck pulled up at our house at 8 p.m.  "Sorry I'm so late...." he said.  "Oh, don't worry about it!" I said.  I always say.  And I took the box and took it inside and wondered what it could be because I wasn't expecting anything.  Scissors, box opened, packing peanuts.  Something fragile.  A packing slip.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Oh my gosh. When you've decided to post for seven days in a row, is there anything better than a link-up? Answer: no to the wiz-ay.

Today's theme for Theme Thursday over at Clan Donaldson is "Askew."  Y'all know I'm always cheating on these.  Decide something first and then figure out how it can pretend to follow the rules?  Yep.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I sort of already regret claiming that I'd post seven times in seven days. Because, like, it's 11:04 p.m. on Tuesday and I juuuuuuuuust realized I hadn't done it.  Here: things that happened today...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Unexpected Blessings

I think Mary has finally fallen asleep.  Things have been, you know, not normal.  Poor little thing.

I'm not sure where to go from here.  What to say.  So much has happened since I last talked here on Wednesday that it seems impossible to even begin to share it all.  So I guess I'll just write a little something for the next seven days and maybe at the end you'll know something about the miracle of the Church in our lives, of friendship and family and love and grace.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


"Who can face a tragedy? No one. No one can face a tragedy. Only God can face a tragedy.  He gives us His grace so that He can face the tragedy for us."

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What We're Reading + 5 Faves

Trader Joe's Orange Chicken

My dear friend Mary Kate brought us 12,000 meals the other day.  Or so it seemed.  Included in her truck load of yumminess were delectable treats from my long lost buddy Trader Joe's, to whom I bid adieu when we left California lo those three years ago.  Trader Joe's, how I've missed you!

Have you tried their frozen orange chicken?

Sunday, July 07, 2013

What I Wore Sunday- 20 week belly edition

On Friday I turned 20 weeks pregnant and realized that so far y'all have been subjected to only ONE bump photo.  Preeeeeeeeeeeeetty sure that's against bloggy law or something.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Simple Saturday- a link up

Do you know Iris?  You should start knowing her.  She is really such good people.  And a Michigander to boot.  Or to mitten, as it were.  Mitten represent!

Anyway, a while ago she got this idea to host a link up called Simple Saturday.  It's super complicated.  Psych!  No.  Kidding.  It's simple.  Says so right there.  Share some photos, something you're grateful for, something that caught your eye.  And link it on Saturday.  Bada bing, bada boom.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

5 Favorites- lists and people and cheapness


Can I even begin to tell you how absolutely life-altering the people I've "met" and met through this blog have been?  And all the people I haven't even virtually met but who are praying for us anyway and who made  THIS INCREDIBLE GLORIOUSNESS happen?  Seriously click the link.  And then come back.  Because you can't know the truly mind-boggling goodness of the people I'm talking about (You!  Who are reading this!) without seeing it.  And with a graphic like this...

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Bad Things, Good People

The other day I was chatting on the phone with my mom about all this pregnancy hoopla and she, understandably, was not too thrilled about the prospect of her own baby being away from her babies followed by the not-born-yet baby potentially getting off to a rough start at the end of the whole thing.  I mean, the poo-ness of all this started when?  At 9 weeks or something?  So crazy scariness for over ten weeks already leading up to more scariness for maybe even MORE than then more additional weeks.  It just seems so sucky and....unfair.

"You're such a good mama and a good person and this kind of stuff just...."

Monday, July 01, 2013

Birthday Season #2 (with TOO MANY PICTURES)

We likes to lump our special events together. It's a special combination of procrastination and laziness, I think.  I mean, I guess we didn't purposely do it, but obviously it happened on purpose.  Like God was all "oh, honey, no.  You will not be able to handle a separate birthday season for each person.  And then celebrate your anniversary, too?  I am lol-ing!"  (That's totally how God talks to me.)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Laundry Room Tour

It's high time you lovely folk got a decent gander at the full glory of the laundry room, yes?  First, a super chic black and white shot to link up with Theme Thursday over at Cari's.  The theme is...wait for it...black and white.  Sneaky?  Berry, berry schneaky.

Welcome!  Don't you just want to do all the chores in this room?

But you need more.  More, I tell you!  Let's start at the beginning:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Perinatologist Q&A + Name & Gender Reveal!

We are back from the world's longest doctor's appointment.  Whew.

Today we met with the perinatologist, which I will refer to as MFM from now on (maternalfetal medicine) because it's quicker to type, for the first time.  And had our 20 week level II anatomy ultrasound.  AND had bloodwork drawn.  All in the same afternoon.  I was gone for 5 hours while my sweet friend Virginia stayed at my house and played with all 5 of my kids while our sweet friend Amanda stayed at HER house and watched Virginia's kids so that we could go alone and no one would be at risk of catching last weekend's bug in case it's still lingering around here somewhere.  And Virginia scrubbed out my fridge while I was gone.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Living / Dining Room Reveal (before and after pics)

I know! You totally thought I'd forgotten.

Well, very lucky for me I've got renovations on the brain because I have the most generous friends and readers in all of America-land.  Wait, lemme back up a sec.  Sometimes the thoughts come faster than the words, ya know?

Friday, June 21, 2013

My Current Fantasy + Maternity Jeans (7qt)

Sometimes (and by "sometimes" of course I mean every day of my life) I fantasize about being ambushed for a quick episode of What not to Wear and/or (AND is preferred, but in a pinch I'll accept OR) Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.  I can think of nothing more exciting at the moment than having someone competent cut and color and style my hair- I'd need to be wearing an enormous white fluffy bathrobe of course- while someone else simultaneously gives me a pedicure.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

{p,h,f,r} + theme thursday

It's so....neat and great and wonderful, this community that God plopped us into.  Because there's no good reason we're here, really.  You know?  There was no job or friends and my family is a solid 2 hour drive from here.  But there has never been even a moment of doubt that this is where we are meant to be right now.  Even through struggles and uncertainty, the love and support of the friends we made so easily here has always smoothed the edges of our frustration.

Monday, June 17, 2013

17 week update (with photo!)

A black winged bird with a colorful breast and tail- not a robin, not a red-winged blackbird- hopped into the water table under the tall spruce tree in the front yard.  The picture windows, damaged, drafty, beautiful, are a treasure I'm only starting to truly appreciate.  Every season, every day, offers some new scene, some new bird, some new flower to pique my interest and entertain, as I spend more time than I ever wanted to sitting, reclining, lying.  Maybe one day I'll be one of those interesting people that knows the names of all the birds and plants and when they'll arrive and what it must be like outside for them to appear.

Friday, June 14, 2013

7 Quick Takes: napping, family, fires, napping

I'm waiting for the photos to download off my camera right now.  105 of them.  I need an intervention.

Mary is apparently giving up her morning nap.  ****insert sobbing soundtrack here****

Okay!  Photos are done.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Teaching in Your Tiara- review and giveaway

The nice thing about self-imposed lazing about the house is that, in addition to having all our curricula for next year purchased and maybe a few (zillion) items of maternity apparel ordered despite the fact that I already have a full wardrobe of such (what? doesn't that happen to you?  You pull out your old maternity clothes and you're like "What was I thinking??? Burn it!  Burn it all!") is that I can reeeeeeeeeeeeeeead.

Monday, June 10, 2013

PPROM: Nuts and Bolts and Ranting

Let's get practical.  We're gonna chat a bit about pprom (preterm premature rupture of the membranes), how our particular situation is going and what I'm personally doing on a practical level to try and keep myself and baby as safe as possible until our perinatologist appointment.

When this first happened, I didn't even know what to call it.  I was pretty sure I was leaking amniotic fluid, but if you google that, you'll find all sorts of message boards filled with people who, it turns out, have little experience with noticing regular discharge or have weak bladders.  I am not a member of the latter club and, thanks to many years of NFP, am the mastah discharge analyzer.  The more I searched, the more frustrated I became.

Friday, June 07, 2013

7 Quick Takes

Today the following occurred: floors vacuumed; dishes washed; kitchen cleaned; play room and den cleared; wet laundry hung on the drying rack; new rug put under the dining room table; prescription picked up from the pharmacy.  Can you guess how many of those things I did myself?  None!  Zero!  Because you guys, my family is so great.  It is incredible how struggle can bring out the best in people, even little people.  I just couldn't imagine how it could be, and then it was.  Love really does conquer all, even love for a tiny person we've never even met.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Update after today's ultrasound

Okay, we're back from our ultrasound appointment and I know so many have been praying tirelessly for us that I need to give you an update right away.

Theme Thursday- Girls

iso 100 -- f 3.2 -- 1/3200s

Probably I should post a picture that's heartwarming and adorable for this week's

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

5 (more) Favorites


Used designer clothing at actually good prices.  Especially the jeans!  Have you ever shopped for jeans on Ebay or at Goodwill?  How can pockets be so tiny and so high?  Who designed those?  And the color of the denim...I just....can't.  Anyway, I'm stoked about this site. 

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Homeschooling Kindergarten

Quick like a wink!

I've got dinner in the slow cooker (go me) and I'm ignoring my children (I can mostly hear them, so obviously no one is shaving the dog or dumping the trash into the toilet), so let's talk about my first year teaching kindergarten.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

That foolish worry I used to worry

In the past, I've wondered whether sharing easy, happy news might make those in not easy, not happy circumstances feel bad.  If I praise my kind, selfless husband who happens to also cook the most delicious food you've ever sunk your lucky teeth into, will it make those who are struggling in their marriages wistful and disheartened?  If I thank God that breastfeeding went so smoothly with this baby, that she was a natural, that we have no issues, that my chunky monkey still loves her milkies with her first birthday just around the corner, will the mamas who had to fight for any successful nursing sessions at all feel like failures?

But now...oh, I feel silly.  And foolish.  And so very small minded for worrying about those things.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Still pregnant and thankful

This is not my favorite kind of post to write.  The only reason I MUST is because it's one of those things....well, it's what my life has suddenly become about, so if I don't tell you, I have nothing at all to tell you.  Does that make sense?

Burdening people, sharing sorrow- it's doesn't come naturally to me.  I just like to make people's lives better, you know?  But here goes.

Today, I am thankful to still be pregnant.  If I am still pregnant tomorrow, I will be even more thankful still.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Theme Thursday- Self Portrait

I actually planned this one in advance. I was going to do, like, my reflection in some sunglasses so it would be mostly a photo of sunglasses and not really a photo of me.  Like....I would be an afterthought.  Then I saw Cari's post and was like "hmmmmm, I'm probably not actually supposed to be an afterthought in this particular instance.

And so I got super brave and didn't put on any make up or fix my hair and I even made the bright sun shine right into my eyes so I would have to squint.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Tale of Two Vacuums

Well, I've finally become that woman.  The woman I never thought I could become.  Oh, you know the woman I'm talking about.  The woman who says things like, and I am not even joking, "...which would make dusting the moulding SO much easier!"

Friday, May 24, 2013

Too many pictures. You're welcome. (7qt)

Ugh!  Cari!  In her effort to not get scooped, she totally scooped me on the world's most incredible invention that you guys probably already know about but I'm always late to the party, okay?  Okay.


If you are not playing this game yet, ehrmagherd, brace yourself for wonderous wonderment.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

5 Favorites


Y'all seriously- having chickens is the best.  Yes, last spring we had a raccoon issue and someone (read: children) has to take care of them a.m. and p.m.  But it is SO easy and the results are tangible and plentiful and ohmygoodness I love having chickens.  Of course, as with any hobby, you can go berzerk and spend a bunch of money on a fancy coop and get stressed out about....I don't even know.  I'm sure you can find a ton of things to get stressed out about on chicken forums (yes, there is such a thing), but dude- it's a chicken.  It's just a chicken!   No worries.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A bad attitude and a dinner story

(If you're just here for the food, scroll right on down past this rambling...)

The Saturday before Mother's Day, I was a raging jerk.  For no reason.  Did a lot of stomping around the house, never had a concrete thing to complain about (because if I did then the problem could be fixed.  I didn't want the problem to be fixed.  I wanted to be MAD), and just in general was a pretty insufferable human.

Monday, May 20, 2013

In the garden. Out of the garden.

Have you heard the one about the guy that spent his entire Saturday working in the yard, spreading compost, digging garden beds, mowing lawns and transplanting seedlings?  And then finished off the day by making an incredible, amazing, fantastic crazy-gourmet dinner for 10 people?  It's a good one.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Brain dump, sort of a confession + baby update

I feel like being pregnant turns me into a honey badger (link not safe for kids.  Or people who don't like swearing.  Like really.  But man it makes me laugh....).  Or MORE of a honey badger.  Or something.  I can't post anything or write anything because all I can think is "Ugh!  That article made me so mad!  What an unabridged douche canoe that dude is!" (I used that exact phrase, "unabridged douche canoe," on facebook the other day and it was a huge hit, so I'm feeling like...you know...if it ain't broke, no repairs necessary and all that.  Okay fine, along with being honey badger, my brain is made of cheesecloth.  Total inability to think of new material.)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Living Room, Spring, Ernie... (7QT)

As foreshadowed in Monday's post, the crappiness has continued this week with a four day lull between my visits to ye olde blog.  Mea culpa!

Did you know it got spring up in this piece?  It totally did!  Mr. Camera came with me outside on Wednesday morning (because God is being so so so so merciful to me with this pregnancy that the 2nd trimester is actually.....wait for it....bringing some relief from the barfy sleepiness.  Can you believe it?  I thought that thing was a total lie!) and I snagged a couple of shots of what's going on in the yards:

Monday, May 06, 2013

Why I've been such a crappy blogger

Right now I'm eating raw asparagus spears dipped in spicy Asian garlic sauce (like Sriracha but comes in a jar with a green lid.  Has pepper flakes in it).

Last week I went to an actual doctor's office for the first time in....over three years.

The week before that, I called my husband at work in a hysterical frenzy, sobbing into the phone.  He had to come home, I said.  He had to come home right now. 

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Videos, ranting, and book rec (7QT)

The other day my husband dropped an enormous truth-bomb on me as I was standing, all unsuspecting-like in the kitchen.  Are you ready?  

I have a weird sense of humor.

Whaaaaa.......?  14 years together and he just NOW tells me this?  ApparentLY (you have to say it like that, with the emphasis on the LY)

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Kuntry-rific Play

Because I am a slacking procrastinator (there's nothing as productive as the last minute, friends) I never plan ahead for the Theme Thursday posts.  This is probably why it's also good that I don't host my own regular link-up or anything.  I'd be all "Oh, was that today?  Think anyone will notice?"  Honest.  So lame.

Anyway.  Thankfully the theme today is "play" so I walked outside and decided to take a picture of the first kid I saw.

Well, the first kid I saw was just sitting in a chair eating an apple and since this is my game and I do what I want, I CHANGED the rule

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I'm not Pinished, so look at these pictures

So I thought I would be all clever and give you another sneak peek at the (still-unfinished) living room/dining room brewhaha and link it up over at Scrutinies for Dorian's Pinishers thang, mostly because have you ever seen a more awesome graphic?

No.  I thought not.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Kids, Bill Lumbergh, History (7qt)

It's been a while since I made you ogle pictures of my kids, hasn't it?  Must rectify, stat!

First, checkout delicious Ms. Mare Bear during breakfast this morning, 10 months old and filled to the brim with personality...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Theme Thursday: sky

Well.  I'm a tiny bit (and by tiny bit, of course I mean "hugely") shocked and humbled and, well I don't know, nervous?, about how many people have read yesterday's post about the baby-makin'.  So you know what I'm gonna do?  I'm gonna pretend that it's, like, my 10 closest friends reading it over and over again as part of some dare to memorize and then do a dramatic reading competition at some point when...etc etc etc.

Yeah.  That makes good sense.  That'll totally work.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"NFP doesn't work. You have so many kids!"

Recently I shared this little NFP interview that Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas published.  Do you know how long ago she sent me those questions?  A long, long, long time ago.  But it took forever for me to respond.  And do you know why?  Because I kept thinking "No one is gonna want to hear what I have to say about NFP because, like, look at all these kids I have. They're gonna think it doesn't work."  I was embarrassed to act like I'm some kind of ambassador for natural family planning what with the fact that, I don't know, we have a family and all.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Paint and Paneling. Punch them Both.

Mornin' y'all.

You know what's super suck-ando-licious?  Painting super textured dark wood paneling.  If you ever put up super textured dark wood paneling throughout every living area in your house, I will personally come and picket your front yard.  Does that sound like a threat?  I'm just trying to make the world a better place, promise.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boys, cereal, beer

If you are banished to a region of America sans the wonderous establishment known as Meijer, look away. Look away, I say!  Well, okay, don't look away because Paul looks really cute in one of these photos, but you can totally stop reading the words.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Five Favorites

So, I used to use cotton pre-folds inside of an adjustable diaper cover because, well, I'm cheap.  As it turns out, though sweet baby Mary's sweet booty is quite sensitive and needs to be dry, dry, dry, dry, dry.

Enter pocket diapers with their expensive expensiveness....

Monday, April 15, 2013

Manual Mode Monday

Rubber boots. Bare arms. Sidewalk chalk. Lollipops.

Spring, you fickle, wonderful beast.  I just can't quit you...
ISO 100  --  1/640s  --  F 2.2 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

True Love of an Accidental Hipster

This is going to be a bit of a disjointed brain dump.  Bear with me if you can.

First and most importantly, thank you so much, all of you, for your prayers since Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Please pray.

I love to share joy with all of you, but I am not so good at sharing sorrow.  But in this world, you will always find both. Today is a day I share some sorrow with you and ask you for prayers for someone you probably don't know.  I begged for your prayers on Saturday, and I'm going to beg that they continue.  The storm has yet to pass.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Garden, Kids, Renovations. You know.

Sometimes you just need a little break.  Not from the kids, but from everything else besides them. It's a tiring, frustrated thing when you start feeling disconnected from the very reason you do all the things you do around the house.  There you are doing the things and feeling irritated with the little people that keep getting in your way, when the little people are the whole point.  All the rest is details. Necessary, sure, but details. The people, the little ones and that big one you're married to, they're where it's at.

Friday, April 05, 2013

I love being Catholic. And spring. (7qt)

These first three takes are inspired by Micaela and her 3 Reasons I Love Catholicism link up.  The last four are your typical dweej-nonsense.

The fundamental dignity of every person

If you didn't grow up believing in reincarnation as a fundamental bit of your belief system, this one might not be high on your list.  But for me....wow, this saved my life.  Anyway, you can read about the problem with reincarnation here, but the idea that I am really me and God loves ME, this exact individual person, gives my life purpose and meaning and ultimately joy.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Five Favorites

These tweezers are amazing.  I have a pair of those silver ones, you know, the ones your mom always had growing up?  They are terrible.  Horrible!  I have to hold them at juuuuuuuuust the right angle and then I have to squeeze them reeeeeeeeeeeally hard just to grab the hair and oh my gosh they are such a frustrating waste of time.  These Revlon tweezers are the bombdiggity.

Gosh, we do love this.  Even though it's fun for even the youngest littles, everyone in your family will enjoy the rhythm and sweet illustrations in this book.  On Easter Day in the Morning is a book you'll happily read all year long.

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back
If you shop online and you are not shopping through ebates today is the day you stop doing that and start saying yes to FREE MONEY.  Do you know how many actual dollars have been sent to me since I signed up with them?  FIVE HUNDRED AND SIXTY EIGHT.  Yes.  $568.91 in the form of real checks, not gift cards or merchandise, sent right to my snazzy little mailbox.  Go to there.  Git ye some dinero.

 I know, I know.  If you've been reading this blog for more than five minutes, you know that I'm like an evangelist for this book.  I'm not being paid by them (why???  Why, ATK???  Give me some comission!).  I just want your life to be better.  Except for Mexican food (what can I say...my husband is a purist), every single thing that we've made out of this book, and it is a HUGE book, has been mouth-wateringly delicious.


"All the way to heaven is heaven, because Jesus said, 'I am the way."
St. Catherine of Siena

(I've been thinking lately about how to live the way as much as the destination.)

Now hop over to Moxie Wife to check out everyone else's favorite stuff.

p.s. You didn't hear it from me, but it maaaaaaaaaaaaay be a certain Hallie Lord's birthday, so give her some love and some overdue baby prayers, will ya?

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Monday, April 01, 2013

Easter Finery Redux {wiws} {oti}

Because I am the loser mother who can't manage to acquire a photo of my entire family despite my complete lack of planning and time management skillz, I don't have an adorable shot of the seven of us smiling serenely.   Mea culpa.  Maybe individual shots will do?  They'd better or you're out of luck.

But wait.  Can I explain to you something about our BIG holidays (those being Christmas and Easter)?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

More pictures! Celebration! Food! {phfr}

Today we celebrated my biggest little person's birthday.  How can I have a 12 year old child?  How can it be?  It is truly unpossible.  Oh, and someday I swear I'll write her birth story.  Poor thing.  First to be born, last to have her arrival story told.

Today though, more pictures.  Pictures of all the things!

The birthday girl chose tonight's dinner- salmon cakes.  And I, the woman of zero culinary talent and no imagination whatsoever, managed to think of turning them into Crabby Patties (a la Bob Esponge.  Or "Spongebob" for all you English speakers our there.) except they were Salmony Patties.  Of course.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

3rd Birthday Photo Dump

Today we partied 3 year old style in honor of Cecilia (Sleepless Wonder) Borobia and the anniversary of the day of her (not so) holy birth.

For dinner, she chose chicken tacos.  Chicken the way daddy makes it, "the yummy way".  For dessert, strawberry shortcakes, a little one for each of us.  I can still taste the delectable deliciousness now. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

She Mustache you an Eyebrow.... {wiws}

I probably shouldn't be allowed to link up this week because look at my "outfit" shot:

Hmmmm.  Impressive and informative.

But I am in love with this new shirt from Kohl's (have you started shopping their clearance section yet?  Even online they have great sales with coupon codes and cashback through Ebates.  So much winning!) so I'm here anyway.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ignore This

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

^^^^^how lame is that?

I'm only posting this because Bloglovin' is making me do it so I can claim my own blog on their site.  Hopefully no one is reading at 10:56 on a Friday night.  If you are: mea culpa!

Let me see if I can find a picture or something so you don't unfollow me out of frustrated boredom...

Aw, look at tiny Cecilia, one whole day old with her sweet big sisters.  Next week she turns 3. 

Holy moly.

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Pizza Recipe and Other Junk {7qt}

Do you know Jessica?  She blogs at Housewifespice.  At first I thought maybe she was anonymous, but I see her name right there on her sidebar so Imma risk it.  Anyway, you should read her blog and not just because she just sent me my very own (drumroll) 50mm lens. (insert jazz hands here)

Canon clickers in the house!
clearly a super camera-shy baby I've got

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Green Ninja! I Need You!

I'm about to commit bloging suicide, y'all.

Oh yes, you guessed right: it's time to talk about the weather.

One year ago, this was going on:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Closet Reveal {WIWS}

Have you been hitting refresh on your browser non-stop since you saw yesterday's before pics of my closet?    I totally understand.  Hopefully your parish offers an evening Mass.

First (I'm making you wait just a leeeeeetle longer.  Bwahahahahaha!)- what I'm wearin' as I write this at you:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Surprise Gift and Closet Purge

I wasn't even going to post anything today, but then something exciting happened and why bother having a blog if you don't use it to tell people exciting things, right?  Right.

So this morning our....eccentrically taciturn (ahem) mail carrier woman lady brought us an ENORMOUS box.  Huge.  Larger-than-toddler huge.  And guess what? 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ridic Stream of Consciousness + video (7qt)

friday friday Friday!

 Oh my gosh, y'all. Never sign your kids up for a class at noon. Okay probably you can because you are more organized and proactive than I am. Me? No. Disaster. In my defense, I thought it was at 9 am when I agreed to it.

Which is....further proof of how disorganized and opposite-of-proactive I am

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

Once again I attempted a Ten on 10 and once again failed because HELLO!  March and February have the same days of the week and junk!  Which means it was a Sunday.  And no matter how hard I try to ignore my kids in favor of art (y u no like art, children???) on Sundays, it just never works out.  I know.  I have such a trying life.

Instead, let's do Ten on Tuesday.  Which basically means it's Tuesday and I've got ten random pictures.  Tricky, tricky.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

My very own dog photo bomb {wiws}

doggy photo bomb 
I totally love this sweater but am not stoked with this picture.  I'll spare the litany of things that are wrong with it in favor of saying: 50 degrees!  No coats!  Woo hoo!

Saturday, March 09, 2013

I am not afraid of hell

Sometimes I make the mistake of reading the comments on an article or blog post that's been published on a secular website.  Never read the comments.  Ever.

But sometimes I ignore my own excellent advice and do it anyway.  Inevitably one of the themes that pops up is an athiest, maybe former Christian, maybe not, who says something about how Christians live in fear and that's a stupid reason not to do stuff and what the hell (hah! stupid pun intended!) are we really afraid of anyway?  THEY are afraid of wasting their lives worshiping a Cloud God, or some...what do they all say?  Something about a magical cookie monster or something? I can't remember.  And you know what I say to that?  ME TOO.

Friday, March 08, 2013

5 + 2 = 7 {7 qt}

It's 20 minutes 'til 11 and I am so exhausted from staying up too late doing nothing important the last few nights that I MUST be finished by then. 7 Takes! 20 minutes! Luckily, Jessie tagged me in that 5 Things Thing (new official name) so Imma just roll 'em out right here:

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Chewbacca Costume, Cute Baby {phfr} {t.t}

My husband is working on some kind of project involving strands of burlap.  Lots and lots and lots of burlap.  Piles of burlap. He tried to tell me something about natural looking camouflage something something but all I heard was "blah blah blah Chewbacca costume blah blah blah."

Chewbacca costume!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Five Favorites (vol. 1)

The lovely Hallie Lord at Moxie Wife recently started publishing short lists of her 5 favorite....whatevers.  Foods, videos, words, pictures, lotions- well, you can see where this is going.  Then she made it a link up!

Honey, you KNOW I've never met a link-up I didn't like. I am totes jumping on that bandwagon.

Eats on Feets: 'cause babies luv the boob juice

Will you look at this baby?
I just love her.  And you know what she loves?  The boob juice.  Oh, it is her favorite.  She and I have been lucky enough to have a great boobage/baby relationship, in terms of supply and time and accessibility.  I am so grateful because I realize that this isn't the case for every mom who wants her baby to have breastmilk.  But until recently, I thought the only other option was formula.  Au contraire, mon amis!  Donor boob juice!  It's a real thing!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Shaklee Awesomeness- WIN IT, YO.

Happy weekend, y'all!

Hey, remember when I did that Shaklee review back in January?  You know what I forgot?  A GIVEAWAY.

How can I do a review with no giveaway?  I can't, that's how.
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