Wednesday, December 16, 2015

3 tips for homeschooling while pregnant

A few weeks ago, in response to my traditional "sorry I've sucked at blogging but first trimester" post, a reader asked me to talk about how I manage to homeschool with all that ridiculousness going on.  So let's talk.

First I have to say that I was not someone-hospitalize-me-quick sick.  I also wasn't mild-stomach-irritation-but-could-still-go-on-10k-daily-runs sick.  There's a middle ground in there where I found myself and where I think many of you might find yourselves someday, and that's where I'm coming from here: a fairly standardly incapacitated first trimester

Monday, December 14, 2015

Earrings (and other jewelry) giveaway. Perfect stocking stuffers!

A long, long, long, looooong time ago, a reader named Elizabeth sent me a beautiful pair of Our Lady of Mount Carmel earrings that she made herself as well as a matching pair to give to one of you. 

I even 'grammed them back in July.  Super cute, right?
I have worn the earrings and have loved the earrings and have gotten compliments on the earrings but have NOT, have not, shame shame shame on me, given the extra pair to one of you.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Stairwell and hallway project: before pics

You know how everything looks truly terrible right before it starts looking great?  I remember on the day of my prom, I looked HORRIBLE right before I really started getting ready.  Because it's not like you get ready first in the morning and then get ready again at night, know what I'm sayin'?  Okay, well *I* didn't do that sort of thing because Kurt Cobain and flannel.

Okay.  What?

Things looking terrible, yes.  So my house is actually not horrible, but I like to start projects and then take pictures of the shambles I've created and call them before pics so you think "why did she buy such a horrible house?  It's weird!  But dang that after picture is the bomb."  Yes, you still say "the bomb."  It's cool.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I'm not dead yet....!

Every time I get an email notification that someone has left a comment on a blog post these days, it's someone extolling the powers of a certain witch doctor to win back a wayward spouse or promises of wealth and fortune if only you (and I ) join the ranks of the Illuminati immediately.

You guys, I don't even know how to blog IP addresses or whatever it is people do when spammers are killin' it in the combox.  But more importantly the only comments I'm getting are spam because I don't blog anymore.   So depressing.

Hey, I'm finally starting to feel betterish!  As long as I don't go too long between snacks and don't go overboard on the sugar and don't try to chug water, especially not on an empty stomach, I can pretty much do, like, regular things.  Regular is so, so nice.  I actually thought about that this morning while I was getting dressed- about the why of early pregnancy sending everything into shambles, at it goes something like this...

Thursday, October 22, 2015

30 Days to Calm- a book review + preorder

Several weeks ago, I had the privilege of seeing Jenna's new book  when it wasn't even a book yet, and although I don't suffer from anxiety in the way that I know many of my friends do, I still found it incredibly helpful.

Do you know Jenna?  Am I getting ahead of myself?  Yes, as usual.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Habits vs. Information

Lately  I've been thinking about the idea of developing habits versus learning skills and information.  We are trying a new method of scheduling this year and though we are only in our fifth week, I feel it is going remarkably well and is teaching us all a lot more than I expected and pushing us to grow in ways I didn't anticipate and I can't help but ask myself why this is.   I don't know for sure and I'm guessing I'll keep learning as the years carry on, as is always true, but I'm starting to think it has to do with the fact that it seems fairly easy to learn information but fairly difficult to develop habits.  And the tricky tricky darn darn part is that it seems more helpful to life in the long run if we have good habits and not quite as helpful to have oodles of information memorized.

Not that I'm saying we should stop learning and memorizing things!  Oh gosh.  Never.  But bear with me a minute.  If I say that the A#1 primary GOAL, goal with a capital GO, in life is to attain heaven (I'm trying to find a way to infuse some jokes into this post but I'm just not finding them yet.  Pray with me?), it seems like learning good habits- a habit of prayer, a habit of trust, a habit of intentionally ordering our lives rather than jumping haphazardly from one task to the next- would be pretty important.  It seems like that sort of learning, the developing of habits, might be primary over other sorts of learning.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

big kids

I just want to tell you a story.

The other night the big girls and I prayed together and I sent them up to bed, planning to go up in a few minutes, as they like me to do, to tuck them in and kiss them good night. 

Out of the corner of my ear I kept hearing muffled giggling, but I didn't pay much attention as I was distracted by something probably super duper important on the Internet. Well, when I finally started up the dark staircase, whom should I find at the top of the flight but my two teenaged girls huddled in the dark, laughing their butts off over ???________________???

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday morning in September

The bugs are gone and the sun is shining but you don't get hot even when you're tromping around outside in jeans and rubber boots and your garden is still producing and the raspberries are goin' nuts and basically it's just an amazing time of year. 

September.  Happy sigh.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Den Gallery Wall Details

Since it's back to school season and everyone's brains are a fried (amiright?), I'm not gonna do the giveaway for the most excellent earrings from this shop yet, but I DO insist you click over and scope them out in advance so that if I can get my little paws on a discount code for y'all, you'll be ready to pounce.  Soon, soon, my friends.

Instead, because I'm sad imagining this blog totally die (it's weird how much "free time" I have if I don't do any of my hobbies, btw), I'm gonna take a picture of the not-really-a-gallery-wall of photos that I put around the tv many months ago because someone asked me to do it and so.....ta da!  I'm doing it!

The most important thing, if you care at all about items hanging on the wall, is this most glorious article and corresponding blog which you simply must read.  Must.  Musty musterson.

Anyway, before I build it up too much, here it is in all its regular, not extremely impressive glory.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Using a checklist instead of a schedule to homeschool

I'm doing it, Blythe! I'm just sitting down and doing it and NO ONE CAN STOP ME! AAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Running with scissors!!!!

Hold on.  Cecilia wants help doing the math book we haven't started yet.

Holy moly.  Okay, I'm back.

So today on Instagram, I shared these two pics of a quicky project.....

Dagblamit all to heck.  Called away again.  THIS IS WHY I CAN'T BLOG YOU GUYS.

You know when this can't blog thing basically got started?  When I hit six kids.  It's like I'm maxed out.  We have a LOT of fun, I love homeschooling, I love my house projects.  But I can't manage to do all the things anymore, I guess.  Especially in the not-housebound weather.

Welp, it's been 14 minutes since I wrote the above paragraph.  Enormous bug-eyes emoji.

This is why we have to do checklists and not a schedule.

Monday, August 17, 2015

5 Books We've Been Reading Lately

Hey hey hey!  When I first hit publish on this a few hours ago, I didn't know that my interview with the Little House Mothering podcast was going live today.  Well surprise!  It did!  So if you're not so into children's books right now but want to hear me struggle and then not really struggle to complete a full sentence out loud (there is a reason I blog and am not, like, on television or something.) then clicky clicky right here.  But it was so fun.  You'll have fun too.


Once Upon a Time Saints

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Easy Slow Cooker and One Pot Meals Link-Up

Hey hey hey! I'm doing it! As promised, here my easy peasiest crowd pleasingest slow-cooker recipe and at the bottom you'll find a link up for everyone else to add theirs.  Now we can all stop using our stoves forever.  Or at least until we have no children under the age of three in our homes.  I know, right?

Simple Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

Can be eaten in a pile with nothing else if you have, for example, just given birth to a baby and are on a strict all protein, no cooking or food prep diet, or it can be slapped on a bun (with or without sandwich fixins) if you're feeling especially culinarily adventurous.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

I plopped my hair (with video!)

Ever since Mary was born a little over three years ago, when my hair turned against me and suddenly became almost-but-not-quite curly, I've been in a little bit of a war with my own head.

Remember that unfortunate Luanne haircut I so cruelly gave to myself? I'm not proud. Learn from my foolishness, friends. That's when I realized that if giving excellent haircuts were easy no one would be paying other people to do it for them. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Slow-cooker and one-pot recipes wanted

The other day when I shared my three favorite tips for managing clean laundry, a reader named Megan mentioned the fact that feeding small people on the daily, multiple TIMES a day, is a feat challenging for even the most seasoned project manager turned short order cook.

What to do, what to do?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Homily Rambles or "Pity them, but not alone"

Today was a wish-I-had-a-notebook-and-a-pencil-during-the-homily kind of day at our parish, but since I didn't, I want to write it here before I forget it all.

So first, in case a baby was shrieking in your ear or forcing you to take them potty for the zillionth time or you're not Catholic or _______________, here was the gospel reading:

The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 
~Mark 6:30-34 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

If Theme Thursday were still a thing: Fireworks

Back when Cari ran her Theme Thursday series, back in those days of her old house when she didn't have so many other worthy things giving her peace and contentment, I could count on at least one day of the week giving me an artistic task if I needed it.  Because Cari's life is all about memememememe, of course.

Friday, July 03, 2015

This is totally 3, y'all

For weeks whenever Mary would hear anyone say anything about the number two, she would proclaim "No, I'm STREE!"  Vvvvv stressful for the slightly older siblings not to correct her, as you might imagine.  Welp, never fear friends because June has come and gone and our squishy Mare Bear is finally not a liar anymore.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Den and Playroom reveal (before/after pics)

Why It's So Hard to Post a Room Reveal by Dwija Borobia


The end

No but for real, you guys.  See, the best time of the day to take pictures in our den/play room is around 4 or 5 pm, when the gorgeous early evening light is streaming through the west facing windows and everything is warm and bright and happy.  But if you have kids of your own, I don't have to tell you why trying to take photos of a playroom at 5 pm is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea.

So 7 a.m. it was.  And I just had to give up on things being just so.  On every toy being stacked and set at exactly the right jaunty angle.  On....I don't know.  On perfection I guess.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015


On the 5th, our not so tiny tiny baby turned one.  This is the first time I've felt really, truly sad about reaching this milestone.  It's silliness, I know.  He will be my boy for eternity.  He will never not be my son no matter what.  But his arrival was so remarkable, his infancy was just so blessed and joyful, and his new-found toddlerhood so charming and entertaining, that I can't help but want to hold on to all of it somehow.  What an absolutely scrumptious baby he is.

Monday, June 15, 2015

and I will tell of what He has done for my soul (free printable from Vine of Plenty)

If you've been reading this blog for a while, since back when I used to blog more than once a week or so, you'll know that community is my spirit animal.  The community, the relationships, the discussions, the resources, the support- they are such incredible gifts that the internet and our internetting together, can facilitate.

Also, I just used the word facilitate, which means clearly I know what I'm talking about.

Me talk goodly sometimez.

Wanna celebrate the Psalms together?  Spoiler alert: you do.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ewok walk

Paul built the Great Wall of China across the playroom with mega blocks this morning. Now Katy is trying to teach him how to blow a bubble with bubble gum. It's going...about as well as you'd expect. Read: terribly.

The peas are almost ready to pick in the garden! We're already getting strawberries. The melons and pumpkins and zucchini and yellow squash all have sweet little leaves.  Will the eggplant and the bell peppers be a bust again this year? I'm guessing yes. But that doesn't stop me from trying, nope.  Hope springs eternal and all that jazz.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

What's in my bed? (May garden tour, complete with clickbait title!)

Welp, I'm a liar. By the time I post this, it'll be Saturday and I claimed I'd do it Friday.  And it's not like I think you care or mind but DANG it's not easy  At least not on time anyway.

But, good news- the disaster I've created in the living room has finally turned the corner to "slightly better than the most horrible it can possibly look" which is an enormous improvement over three hours ago which means yay!  Blogging at midnight!  Only best practices for this gal.  Ahem.

My garden tour is not as much a tour from point a to b but maybe more of a tour through time.  And I just told you that because I talk too much.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

I should be too embarassed to share picture #3, but I'm just not {phfr}

The perennials at the new house (the rule is that you can call it new for one year because each season is like "whoa!  whoa whoa whoa.  What the heck is going on now...?) got off to a slow start but are completely rockin' my socks at the moment.  A full May garden tour tomorrow (Cari is hosting a link up, so do the taking of the pictures, m'kay?) but just a little sneak of the peek right now...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

If You Feed Them, They Will Come : hospitality and why I'm always giving your kids snacks

If you could see my dining room table right now, you would not find a clear surface ready for "real" entertaining or school work.  Not a collection of craft supplies or the mail from the last three weeks.  Not piles of clean, carefully folded laundry.  What you would find is what you will almost always find: food.  Sliced apples, pretzels, graham crackers.  Maybe a  half-eaten banana that someone is saving for later.  Definitely too many abandoned kiddy cups of ice water.

Yesterday I read this post by my e-friend Jenny.  In it she wonders out loud about snacking and asks why people feed kids at random times of the day- not only their own children, but other people's children who happen to be at their houses.

"Why do people want to randomly feed my children? I do not want to randomly feed their children. I do not want to randomly feed my own children. Why is this a thing?"

Monday, May 11, 2015

Can I tell you an embarassing secret?

It's taken me a while, a too long while, to finally really talk about the beautiful book of reflections on motherhood that I was blessed to be a part of. Do you want to know why? Because...well because I couldn't remember what I had written and I didn't want to find out because reading the things I've said gives me that same feeling of panic and shame that a person experiences when hearing their own voice on an answering machine.

Hah! Answering machine. I bet some of you don't remember those existing. I'm old.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Let's Talk About Hanging Plates (7qt)

Let's talk about plates, baby
Let's talk about you and me
Let's talk about all the good things and the bad things
Let's talk about plates....

Welcome, welcome, welcome, to Dwija's amazing house of super hard math problems on the wall!  Step right up, step right up....

Actually I didn't plan this out and have nothing to say at this juncture.  Hold please while I crack open an economy beer.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

What crazy people do (dining room before and after)

One thing that crazy people do, I think, is to go to hardware stores on the day of their son's first communion to buy 1x2 boards.  And then they come home with said boards and they measure them and cut them.  And then the thing that crazy people do is to nail the cut boards up as trim around the last unfinished doorway in their kitchen, now just a few hours before they need to be at the church, and then caulk the seams.  And now the crazy people are priming the new trim (twice) and painting trim and saying things like "why are you walking through this doorway??? Wet paint! Wet paint!" Because crazy people think that their kids should know that new trim would be going up on first communion day, ohmygoshpayattentionchildren.


Ta da!

Saturday, May 02, 2015

A Normal Day

Sometimes it's early in the morning and you're feeling pretty annoyed that the infant woke you up at 5:30 in the morning again and then you discover you've somehow run out of butter, and then you spill your coffee just as you hear the as-yet-un-potty-trained toddler hollering from her crib.  And when you go to extract her from said crib, the crib she refuses to give up in exchange for a big girl bed, you discover that she has pooped in her already saturated overnight diaper and yes, you guessed it, has leaked all over her bedding and precious stuffed animals.

Monday, April 27, 2015

5 Biggest Kitchen Reno Questions Answered

Well, to be totally precise, the only kitchen reno questions answered.  Tomayto, tomahto.

From the combox of the reveal post:

1) What is the plan for the flooring eventually? -Kris

Sigh.  Physics is so mean.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sunshine, Kung Fu, Boogers, and Lies {phfr}

Spring is such a tricky trickster.  Cold and windy; warm and sunny.  I often think of that Charles Dickens quote "...when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."

We're goin' on a dandelion hunt, gonna find some good ones...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kitchen: After pics!

Before we get to the good stuff, let's all say a prayer of gratitude that our family's eight guardian angels are apparently great friends with St. Florian and somehow worked it out that our house didn't burst into immediate flames an unknown number of months ago when this happened:

Can you guess what you're looking at? 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Kitchen In Process Pics

Hey. Want some pictures of the in-process kitchen?  Are you tired of hearing about the kitchen yet?  Me.  Too.

We're also trying to figure out what to do about mowing and maintaining a summer version of this house (which we've never experienced, you know?), wondering how to open the pool, and planting the gardens (lettuce, spinach, peas, onions, carrots so far).  Oh.  And an orchard.  Have we talked about the orchard?  Apparently we have one now.

Only by God's abundant grace am I still a functioning human right now.  Thanks St. Joseph!

So.  Kitchen.

The beforebeforebefore pics of the kitchen are HERE if you've not seen them yet.  It is scare bear.

Ready, Freddy?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Hey guys....wait up! (7qt)

I'm doin' it!  I'm blogging! What day is it! I don't know what's going on! A major kitchen renovation is no joke! Especially when there's nothing to show for it but an enormous mess!  Beer me!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015


Three of our eight birthdays happen during the first three weeks of spring, which also happen to coincide with Palm Sunday and Holy Week and Easter this year.  Plus the sap is still flowing and the syrup is still boiling and the garden is being planned and there's a full kitchen remodel starting the weekend after Easter and Paul is preparing for his first communion and oops, I should really order those end of year tests soon, shouldn't I?


Anyway.  I'm not anxious or overwhelmed exactly.  Just....I'm just all in, y'all.  I'm feeling really so immersed in all the things.  So how 'bout some pich-ers instead of talkin'?


Friday, March 27, 2015

Kitchen Re-Re-imagined

If you are not already tired of hearing about The Kitchen....well, bless you.

Once upon a time I wanted all white cabinetry and white countertops and white all the things because I'm delusional or something.  Or I just wanted opposite of what we had in the past maybe? Ugh, it was a hard decision to make, to switch away from that vision.  You know why?  Because I love love love looking at pictures of crisp white kitchens on Pinterest and imagining myself standing at the window with a gentle breeze blowing through my hair whilst I lovingly massage some fine china with my hole-free rubber gloves. Sadly, reality is a thing, you know?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

March is too Springish for computering I think

AH MAH GAH. What is haaaaaaaaaaaapening, dweej?

Shoot, y'all.  If you aint on the instagram, you can stalk my feed over in the right sidebar, because it's basically the only place with (almost) daily updates.  I just can't keep up with life right now.  We're happy!  Everyone is great.  Good things.  But whoa.

The weather changed and the snow melted and we started pruning things and babies who had been stuck inside got to start going outside.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Ramona Quimby and the Sacrament of Reconciliation (with pics of Paul's big day!)

These days I'm reading the Ramona books out loud to Paul and Cecilia.  One chapter a night before bed.  She's like a girl Calvin, have you ever noticed?  I'm finding the books WAY more entertaining as an adult with kids than I did as a kid reading them to myself, that's for sure.

Anyway, there's this one chapter where Ramona's parents get in an argument over something silly because they are tired and she's freaking out because this is clearly going to lead to their entire lives falling apart and how COULD HER MOTHER DARE thwap her very own husband on the hiney with a spatula as she marched out of the kitchen????  (As someone who regularly thwaps her own husband with a spatula on a regular basis, this particular detail had me rolling).  The next morning we find everything patched up between the mister and the missus and Ramona and her sister shocked and furious that their parents aren't perfect and that they make mistakes.

Friday, March 13, 2015


I'm I'm reclining on a one of those lie-down-and-sunbathe chairs on the deck on the south side of our house. Around the corner, about two suburban backyards away, I can hear, just faintly enough, three of my kids shrieking with glee as they create yet another ridiculous trampoline game. The sun is glinting off the white text on my eldest's sweatshirt. She's sitting two chairs away reading Sherlock Holmes.

Her eyes are squinting. She is happy.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Treasuring (with a teeny tiny before and after)

Sometimes the same theme keeps cropping up in the various things I'm reading and doing.  Does this happen to you?

Lately it's been the following: we cannot love or treasure the absence of something.  It won't work, at least not for long.  We need to fill the absence with a thing to treasure and love.  For example, Jesus is a thing.  He is real.  We don't simply treasure the absence of the enemy but rather we love Jesus, whose presence results in the absence of the enemy.  Does that make sense?  We can't cling to not lying.  Instead we must exalt in the truth.  We don't simply love the absence of hunger- we seek out having food.

It's the same with kids, you know?  Often saying "don't do that.  No, don't do that either.  Nope, that's also a no" results in everyone being frustrated and exhausted, but when you can replace those don'ts with "hey, let's do this" you find your success and peace much more quickly.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Tapping a Maple Tree in 10 Neurotic Steps

Hey, we did something new today!

At the old house, we had a sweet little red maple in the front yard, but it was young and tiny and also not a proper sugar maple.  Do you know what we have at the new house?  Two (at least.  There may be more in the woods, but since we've never done this before, we're in the "do it to learn something" phase and two trees is plenty for that.) enormous sugar maples quite near the house.  Obviously we had to give it a try.  Doing the seasonal things is one of the ways to find magic in a place with seasons, you know?

Note the snow up to the dog's belly on the right.  Snow too deep to go without snowpants, day too warm for a coat.  #puremichigan

Step one: watch 15 quadrillion youtube videos about tapping maple trees.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

5 things to remember when you're suffering from the winter blahs

A sweet reader named Betsy recently asked this question on the blog fan page:

I really enjoyed your guest post/interview on homeschooling. I'm in my 2nd year of homeschooling, 1st, K, and 2 non-schoolers. I'm wondering if you could share (with me or as a blog post) how you/your kids survive being with each other 24/7. The school part is going well, but now that's it's February, cold, etc. there are days when I wish they went to school just so all had a break from each other. Help!

Well, now it's March but in our part of the world we're still pretty much stuck in the house, so I'm going to call this question still relevant.  Still very, very relevant.  So, five things to remember when the winter blahs are killin' your will to do anything:

1) Everyone Hates Everything in February

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

See Me Homeschool

I've never homeschooled anywhere but Michigan so I don't know if this is true, but I always imagine if we lived somewhere more hospitable to human life (kidding.  sort of.) my homeschool days would look roughly the same throughout the school year.  But we don't which means that schooling in October looks very different from schooling in February which looks very different from schooling in May.

Oh February.  It is the hardest and the worst.  Our daily screen time per capita has reached its absolute pinnacle for the year.  And as much as the perfectionist in me wants to hide that fact from all of you (whilst editing out all the out of place toys and crumpled up pieces of paper), I won't.  Resist the temptation, dweej!  I did take these photos over the span of a few days, however because a) it gets on everyone's nerves for me to be shooting every little thing all day for the entire day and b) I can't manage to do everything I need to do and photograph it at the same time.  Thank you to Micaela and Theresa for prompting this series inspired by last year's How I Homeschool fun.

Commence photos of our homeschooled life, sans comentario:

Saturday, February 21, 2015

7 year old boy draws

Paul has recently become obsessed with making pictures using Microsoft Paint using the desktop, so I made him his own folder and showed him how to save things.  If you have a reluctant writer due to fear of errors, might I humbly suggest this little trick?  Being given the opportunity to name his own files has turned Paul into quite the young wordsmith

Real quick before he gets home, wanna see 'em?  Don't mind if I do... 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Speed up. Slow down.

Back in my horse-crazy days, I rode this event called a Hunter Pace.  Basically it's a timed trail ride wherein the winning team is the one that crosses the finish line at closest to the ideal time.  Not the fastest or the slowest team but the team that rides the course the "best."  Slower speeds over rough terrain, faster speeds over smooth terrain.  You aren't told in advance what the ideal time is, though.  Instead you have to use your training, skills and intuition and then pray for an extra bit of luck in order to win.

It makes sense, then, that a person with a naturally anxious, quick horse would be working to keep him under check during much of the ride whereas someone riding a more laid-back mount would probably find themselves prodding and encouraging a lot during the course.  Two riders attempting the same feat by doing opposite things.

So.  Lent starts tomorrow.  Have you heard?  (<---joke.  Because Catholic blogs)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mom Lyfe (7qt)

We haven't put up curtains in the dining room  anywhere yet because we want to de-antlerize the window trim (eventually) and paint them (eventually) and paint the walls (eventually) and I feel like I can't even force myself to put them up just to take them right down and patch the holes I just made.  Can you feel me?  So this instead:

Oh my gosh, y'all.  Yesterday was the first day in nine (9!) days straight that I didn't clean up any disgusting bodily fluids.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

5 Favorite Inspiration Pins - kitchen edition

In the combox of yesterday's post filled with before pics of my poor, distressed in a bad way not in a hip way, kitchen, Charlotte suggested I talk about all the wonderful and fantastic ideas I have for the new and much improved kitchen to get my mind off the blah. 

An excellent idea, Sahib.  (This is a phrase that Tommy started saying to the kids when they suggested something absolutely ludicrous [e.g. "I know!  We can have snicker pie for dinner!"] but has become something we all just say about any idea.  I have no clue what it means.)

Why don't I go ahead and troll my own Pinterest boards so you can daydream alongside me?

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Kitchen Before Pics + stream of consciousness rambling

We're on day three of being gloriously snowed in.

Okay, well, we're not actually still snowed in today BUT I have nothing outside-the-house on the calendar, the local school district is closed, and after today we have five days straight of commitments.  So.  We are staying home and I am loving it.  Love love love love.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Inventory Management

My favorite paying job that I've ever had (sorry freelancing!) was being a buyer for a retail store.  Wow, I was good at that.  Maybe not quite at first.  But eventually yes.  You know how mostly people don't like their jobs?  Not I.  Not then.  No, I really loved that job.

If I ever have to go back to work outside the home, I hope I can go back to doing something just like that.

When you're homemaking, there are a lot of things expected of you (mostly expected of you by yourself, amiright?  Like sometimes I say to my husband "gosh, I'm sorry I didn't get to *insert obscure house cleaning task here* but there just aren't enough hours in the day!" and he looks at me with this "wow, I have no idea whatsoever what you're talking about, but you're pretty and I like you so I hope I say the right thing here..." face and I realize know...I've taken things a little too far) and I'd wager to guess that most of us don't love every single aspect.  I mean we're trying and we're learning but, just, temperaments and talents and all that.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Two silly things

I don't remember how to blog.

This is the perfect time for me to do it.  This is, like, blog o'clock.  And I've got nothing.

Sometimes I'm scrubbing the dishes (did I tell you that the current kitchen has no dishwasher?  Well, it does have one, but it's broken.  And it's tiny.  I mean TINY. could not fit a single large stockpot in there.  Period.  No.) and I think "there's a blog post in here.  Something about how I'm always looking for the quick fix and not a lot of work, so I want to leave the dishes to soak and hopefully I don't actually have to do any work to get them clean. And maybe there's something in there about mothering and my spiritual life, too.  Regular stuff, soaking, whatever is fine, but sometimes you just have to suck it up and do the hard scrubbing in order to get the results you're hoping for."

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Laundry room reveal! (before & after)

I keep waiting for the perfect amount of sunlight and the perfect artwork and for every bit of the room to be perfectly clean, but you know what?  Life, y'all.  A whole lot of life happens in a laundry-room/mudroom combo when you have eight humans and two dogs living in one house, know what I'm saying?  So I'm just gonna show you now and it's gon' be great.  Greaty greaty great great.



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Good thing I'm in charge, yep.

Raise your hand if you have a dog.

Keep your hand up if you've ever taken that dog to the vet.

Now keep your hand up if you've ever taken your dog to the vet with three or more children under the age of eight.

You can keep your hand up if you've ever taken your dog to the vet with three or more children under the age of 8 and when you arrived you discovered that your 4 year old was...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Other People's Clothes (What I Wore Sunday)

What I should be showing you is a size double extra large t-shirt from UD's 1998 Sleeping Bag Weekend,during which I was in some sort of leadership position.  To whomever thought that was a good idea: I thoroughly apologize.

I wear it as a smock during my multi-week renovation projects so if suddenly I'm required to make an emergency visit to Menard's, I can just yank it off, revealing semi-presentable apparel underneath so no one is the wiser as long as they don't look too closely at my fingernails or hair (hashtag: covered in paint).

ANYWAY!  Even though I've had it on for the last 8 hours, I did not in fact wear it to Mass this morning.  Go me.  Instead, I wore this:

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Stage Mom Talking

Yesterday Katy made this sweet graphic for the show she's been rehearsing for since the beginning of creation.  I mean, uh, the beginning of the school year.  Similar time frames.
She took the photo herself (Learning the Big Girl Camera 101) then used photoshop to fix it up real fancy-like (read: crumb removal), so obviously that was school work.

Friday, January 09, 2015

My thinning, postpartum, shrimpy mop of hair (7qt)

Remember back in the olden days when I blogged a lot and did quick takes almost every week?  My brain gets in my way.  It does.  Stupid brain.  Anyway, I love how Jenna  has started doing the same categories every week, presumably, since everyone is just like me, because her brain gets in her way, too.  So maybe Imma start doing that.  I could even make sweet (and by sweet of course I mean lame because creative is what I am not.) graphics for each category, you know?  I'm feelin' it y'all.  Feelin' it.

Now if my brain would just shut up for long enough that I could come up with my categories....

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

5 Housebound Faves

Hangin' out with Jenna Jenna Bo Benna, Banana Fana Fo Fenna with the favorites in multiples of five.  Aw yiss.

1) The Best Laid Plans planner

This is Kelly's book from This Ain't the Lyceum.  I get a new planner every Christmas because I really like to live on the edge and this year Kelly published at exactly the right time so I snatched one up.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Just a little saintly butt-kicking (2015 word, saint, resolution redux)

Have I ever talked about my word for the year here? I think so. In 2013 it was "patience," which is almost too obvious for me since my actual face is on the Don't Like to Wait for Anything-ers Anonymous marketing poster.  Then in 2014 it was "peace, " which felt like a cop-out, but really ended up meaning that I would need to practice being at peace whilst all sorts of swirling twirling craziness swirled and twirled around me.

A few days ago I started praying for a word for 2015 and was pretty much convinced that it would have to start with a "p" because obviously.  Penance?  Perseverance?  Pickled Pumpkin Pie?

Red buzzer sound.

Monday, January 05, 2015

In your honor (with some before and during pics)

So about a year and half ago, life was really hard.  And because it was really, really hard and there was no way to make the horrible go away, you guys helped in a different way and the horrible laundry room became the beautiful laundry room.  Not because you care so much about laundry but you care about kindness, you know?  Of course you know.  You did that for us.

Is it weird that the laundry room was one of the only reasons I didn't want to move out of the original house?  Because it really was.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

7 months

Tomorrow my bubble-eyed buddy turns seven whole months old.  Only eight pictures of him doing the exact same thing: admire my restraint, friends.

Friday, January 02, 2015

A Love Letter

It's almost one o'clock on the morning. I'm glad I haven't actually made my resolutions yet or I would have already broken them: go easy on the sugar, go heavy on the sleep.

I've been thinking about Nicholas a lot lately.  And crying.  We passed the cemetery where he's buried and I said to Paul and Ceci, who were my only passengers that day, "this is our cemetery, guys.  St. Nicholas, pray for us!"  But then when they started talking and asking questions, as I knew they would, as they always do, I just couldn't keep it together.  Thankfully they were buckled snugly in two rows behind me and were easily distracted by the mention of....something.  I don't know, but I changed the subject as quickly as I could so I could swallow the lump in my throat.
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