Humble Tuesday

Sweet Landon

It’s rare these days that I get any one on one time with my kids. It’s the nature of our season of life. So it was a nice little surprise when I got to go to the store alone with Landon last week.

One of the joys of having a baby with older children in the house is the small amount of freedom it offers. Annika was asleep last Thursday, and I needed to pick Tia up from gymnastics, so I left Sloan home with the sleeping babe, and Landon and I scooted out, swinging by the store to grab some milk.

As we walked the store aisles, I felt a moment of pride sort of puff me up. Lee had been out of town all week, and I had managed the chaos without any major meltdowns. Somehow I didn’t even feel terribly overwhelmed despite going on five days flying solo.

I’ve got this. I’m doing good,” I thought. And yes, I felt proud. Not the healthy “Atta girl” sort of pride, though. More like the unhealthy, thinking-more-highly-of-myself-than-I-ought-to sort of pride.

I grabbed Landon’s hand as we walked, because he’s 7 and he still likes to hold my hand, and I looked down at his little freckled face and smiled.

“I’m glad I get this time with you, buddy,” I said with a smile. “I sure am glad I get to be your mom.”

He grinned, his loose front teeth hanging at a sort of odd angle, and blinked back up at me, big, adoring blue eyes trained on my face.

“I’m glad you’re my mom, too,” he said with a grin.

“Thanks!” I said. “I think you’re awesome!”

He smiled big. “You’re awesome, too. And pretty.”

Aw, I thought. What a sweet boy.

“But not as pretty as my friend at school’s mom.”

Wait, what?

“Her mom is cuter than you.” He looked up at me. “No offense, mom. I’m just saying.”


Happy Tuesday, everyone! May your day be filled with grace, peace (yes, I am praying for peace), and the perfect dose of reality to keep you humble.



Body After Baby: A Guest Post

I’m over at Extraordinary Mommy today. Join me there?

“Mom, are you having another baby?”

I get asked this question by my nine and seven year olds at least twice a week. Three times if I’m lucky. Our fourth born arrived four months ago, and the children are certain that something is terribly wrong with me since my body hasn’t immediately bounced back.

Tact. We’re working on it in our home. Clearly we need some practice.

Dressing your postpartum body can be quite the chore, particularly in those in-between months when you’ve finally (blissfully) gotten to the place where your regular clothes fit again, but they don’t fit…well. What to do when you want to wear something besides yoga pants, but you don’t want to purchase a whole new wardrobe? I have one word for you:


The modern day girdle, Spanx are a gift for those living in that transition between almost there and finally made it back to pre-baby weight!

It’s true that Spanx make you feel like you might die a slow death of midsection claustrophobia. Just pulling the body-shaping undergarments on is a workout in and of itself, so basically when you wear Spanx you’re killing two birds with one stone: Workout, and completely eradicate the flesh over your abs.

I am now at the point that, with the help of my trusty Spanx, I can fit into almost all of my regular jeans. No, I don’t think I get the full amount of oxygen that I need to fully function while wearing Spanx and jeans, but I do get my kids off my back about having another baby. So I consider it a win.

So for you moms who are trying to get your body back after baby, here are a few tricks (to go along with the Spanx, of course).



Read the rest at Extraordinary

Viva La Minivan!

An actual conversation I overheard yesterday while out running errands.

Teenage cashier to the lady in front of me: “How are you today?”

Lady: “Fine.”

Teenage cashier: “It’s so nice outside, isn’t it?”

Lady: “It sure is.”

Teenage cashier: “Do you have any fun plans today?”

Lady: “Actually my husband and I are going to drive over to the beach, put the top down, and enjoy this beautiful weather.”

Teenage cashier: “Oh, that sounds fun. That’s great that you have a cool car that you can do that with. At least you’re not stuck, like,  driving a minivan or something.”

Both respond in hearty laughter.

Can we STOP with the anti-minivan propaganda, people?!

I will have you know that I, too, can drive down the coast with my top down. That sun roof provides ample amount of fresh air, while also keeping the heads of my children protected from the elements.

And the satalite radio keeps the jams pumping. I’m fond of the ’90’s station in particular. I like to “Pump Up the Jams,” if you will.


Sloan read me a story from the local news the other day of a Lamborghini that went up in flames here in Tampa. Literally went up in flames due to engine failure. My minivan has never burst into flames on the highway.


I pointed this out to Sloan after he read and he just shrugged his shoulders. “A Lamborghini is still cooler than an Odyssey, Mom.”

Maybe, but can a Lamborghini comfortably seat eight people, 15 sips cups, and stash a handful of stale fries under the seat for a rainy day?

A few weeks ago, I looked in the rear view mirror to see Landon frantically pawing at his tongue, a look of horror frozen in his eyes. “What’s wrong?” I asked, slightly alarmed.

“I ate the cheese stick I found under the seat and it tasted SO BAD,” he cried, tears welling up in his eyes.

Okay, so on occasion my minivan may poison small children, but no matter. It’s practical, predictable, and the sleek, sexy black exterior doesn’t hurt, either. That’s right I said sexy.

When it was my turn to step up to the cashier, I got that same genial greeting from the teenager. “Hi there. How are you doing, today?”

“Oh I’m fine,” I said with a smile, all the while formulating my response to the minivan comment. She smiled back and continued sliding my merchandise across the table.

“”It’s a lovely day, isn’t it?” I asked, and she smiled and nodded her head.

“It really is! I get off in a couple of hours and I want to just get outside and enjoy this weather!”

I nodded and grabbed my bag of groceries, the fight going out of me at the girl’s youthful, giddy grin. No reason to burst her bubble now. Her day will come soon enough. The day when she walks into a dealership, hands them the keys to her cute, sporty car, and drives home in a minivan.

And the back seat will probably be noisy and stinky, and if she’s lucky full of moldy cheese. A trip to the beach will be less relaxing, but more fun. And all of this is okay, because at the end of the day her minivan will cost less than a fraction of a Lamborghini, and it won’t spontaneously burst into flames on the highway.

Viva la Minivan!

Man in the Mirror: A Philosophical Smack Down


“Why isn’t anyone commenting on my blog?!”

I hear this question at least once a day now that Sloan has his own blog. He’s written all of two posts in the two weeks since he started it, and he’s learning how to manage his expectations.

Welcome to blogging, son.

Yesterday after breakfast, he asked if he could check his blog. In general, our rule is no technology in the mornings before school, but I caved because we were out of coffee, and I can’t be expected to uphold any semblance of order in my home without some sort of stimulant.

He sat in front of the computer and stared at the screen, shaking his head in clear consternation. I peeked over his shoulder and fought off a grin. He had 15 comments on the last post, but most of them were back and forth between him and a friend.

“You have to put more content up on the blog,” I informed him. “After about 24 hours, people generally quit coming to your blog. It’s not supposed to be a chat board. You just need to put up a new post and bring people to it.”

That’s when Lee stepped in.

“Son,” he said, his voice getting a little deeper as though he had a great nugget of knowledge to offer. “I’m going to give you a bit of wisdom from the great philosopher of the ’80’s and ’90’s. He was a man who gave the world much. His name…was Michael Jackson.

This is when I stopped making school lunches and turned, eyebrow raised, to listen where this conversation was going.

Lee leaned down, putting his elbows on the table so he was eye level with Sloan.

“Mr. Jackson said something important. He said, ‘I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to make a change.’ If you want to make a change in this world, start with yourself,” he put his hand over Sloan’s heart.

“If you want to make the world a better place, just look at yourself and make the change, son,” he said. His voice emphatic. Meanwhile I’m about to wet my pants laughing.

“Don’t worry about how people respond to your blog posts, or what they say. You just make the change and tell the stories. Let that be what your blog is about.”

Sloan nodded, his face laced with both awe and amusement. He was trying to discern whether or not his dad was serious. For the record, Lee was (mostly) serious.

Lee stood up and turned to me, his eyes wide. “Man, that was good stuff right there. Did you see what I did? I was on fire. That was awesome! Wiggety Wack!”

This is my life. My crazy, hilarious, at times baffling, life.

Everything and Nothing

I have a confession: I desperately miss the carefree days of blogging at Minivans Are Hot. It was time to move on, and I’m glad that I did, but I do miss that space. I miss the random and ridiculous, and all the laughter.

So I decided that this space is going to have to lighten up a bit every now and again.


Here’s the thing – I’m really not that deep. I don’t find great meaning in each and every day. My life is crazy. It’s a fight to keep my head above water most days, what with ALL THE CHILDREN, ALL THE TIME. Seriously, there are kids everywhere right now. I feel like Miss Hannigan.

Everywhere I turn, I can see them.

And then there’s the laundry. Lawdy, all the laundry. As I folded clothes tonight, I tried to think of something I could write that would really encourage and bless the internet, and you know what I realized?

Laundry is just laundry.

I can’t always find a Jesus-y application in a pile of clothes. (Wait…hang on. I’ve got it. The clothes were dirty, but they were made clean, just like our sin made us dirty, but Jesus washed us clean.)


Okay, that was awful.

So I don’t have something super deep to share today, and there are so many reasons for that, one of which is the fact that I am completely and entirely distracted by the roaches in my kitchen.


In my kitchen.

This is not as horrific as the time I killed a roach in my bed, but it’s a very close second. You want to know why? (Of course you do!)

Because they have apparently made a nest somewhere in my kitchen, and I’m fairly certain that nest is somewhere inside, or above, or under, or behind my microwave. Which can only mean one thing.

It’s time to burn the house down.

At least that was my suggestion, but Lee said I should call the bug man first and see if that works. Seems like a waste of time when we could just torch the place, but I figured I’d give it a try just to make him happy.

I killed three roaches around the microwave the other day. Yesterday, when I opened it to reheat my coffee, another one came crawling out between the glass panes, then he turned and laughed in my face because he knew he scared the bejeebus out of me, but I couldn’t smash him.

He then proceeded to do a little jig while I pawed at the glass, trying to figure out if I could somehow kill him without breaking it.

The bug man is coming out tomorrow, and I’m perfectly content with him taking a hatchet and a blow torch to the microwave, or really to the entire kitchen. We don’t need a kitchen. That’s what restaurants are for.

So there are the roaches who are distracting me from any deep thoughts. Then there’s the whole not sleeping all night thing, which leaves me sort of fuzzy most days. There just isn’t enough coffee.

And I mentioned ALL THE CHILDREN, ALL THE TIME right?

Sweet kids. I love them so much. But we’re going on day four with daddy out of town, and my brain cannot ingest any more talking, and three out of the four really enjoy the talking. They have words they want to share, and stories they want to tell.

Detailed stories. So many details, all of which I am apparently supposed to remember. Then they all start talking at once, and I go into a zone. Then suddenly Sloan is waving his hand in front of my face and yelling “Earth to mom!” Which they all think is hilarious, and they laugh while I stare at them blankly, trying to remember what they were saying…and their names.

And did I eat anything today? Sometimes I forget to eat, which is probably fine since THERE ARE ROACHES IN MY KITCHEN!!!


There’s also the baby, God bless her. She’s wickedly adorable, and a welcome distraction. Until she starts crying.

So let’s see, I can’t think of anything deep and profound to say because of the children, the roaches, and because I can’t find Jesus in a pile of laundry.

I did, however, write some pretty words for Extraordinary Mommy this week. Words about gratitude and family, and tender moments with my daughter. So if you want more pretty words, join me over there.

But if you want nonsense, stick around. I’ll be here, babbling semi-coherently until Lee walks through the door.

Have a good weekend, everyone! Go have some fun! Pour a tall drink! Share a laugh with friends! Talk about everything and talk about nothing, and when you do, think of me.

I’ll be here, digging out from under the laundry and listening to all the words.

31 Days: The Pros and Cons of Allume

I’ve decided that the conference life is not really for me. While mom-lady seems to be have a slam-bang time, I am more exhausted than anything else. Blogger ladies are noisy. They are also a verbose bunch, and when they all cackle at the same time it sounds like an explosion of joy, which one would think would be a delightful sound, but when you’re in a dead sleep it sends you into spasms of fear.

There are a few pros to attending a conference with mom-lady, though. First, I have been held almost non-stop. Mom-lady has been the primary holder, but when her arms started to tremble under my weight, there were an abundance of other mom-ladies here who gladly offered to take me for her.

It’s been a snuggle fest this week in Greenville, South Carolina. 


The other pro is that mom-lady finally started feeding me more. Maybe it was to shut me up. Hard to say. In any case, it’s about time she upped the formula because I WAS STARVING TO DEATH.

Seriously – yesterday afternoon I almost died in the two minute that it took her to prepare my bottle. I saw my entire life flash before my eyes.

The cons lie firmly in the fact that I am exhausted. Just when I get into a deep sleep, the blogger ladies start applauding something or other, or someone starts playing music, or mom-lady decides to scratch her nose and jostles me awake.


The nerve.

It’s been a lovely adventure, but I’m ready to go home. And judging by the way mom-lady and her friend seem to have lost their minds, I think it’s time we all got back to normal.


My mom is strange.

31DaysmdThis month, I’m linking up with The Nester for this 31 Day series as I survive the newborn haze of sleepless nights, endless nursing, and squeezing in life in twenty minute increments throughout the day. If you want to receive the posts directly in your email inbox, just leave your email address in the box on the sidebar, and subscribe so you don’t miss a post!

I’ll share photos every day, some of them good, and some of them mediocre, because baby leaves me little time to worry about taking and editing the perfect photos.

I’ll also be sharing my daughter’s thoughts, as dictated to me telepathically while she nurses, because she has informed me that she is a mind ninja, and I am merely her portal to the outside world.

Her words, not mine.


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