Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Morning Moment.

Nothing like watching a hazy, autumn sunrise from the window, swallowed up in a well-loved sweater with a steamy coffee settled between my fingers.  

I revel in the quiet.  But in just moments, this house will spring to life, bursting at the seams with much too much to do in one day.  

(Does anyone else ever look at their calendar and just want to cry?  And, by the way, where did October go?.)

But for now, for just a moment longer, it's quiet.  And my coffee is still warm.  And the house is still sleeping.  And I will think on this...

 "I can do all this through him who gives me strength."  Phillipians 4.13 (NIV)


Love & Coffee.


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Monday, September 16, 2013

The Old-Fashioned Way.

I sauntered into the kitchen, intent on whipping up a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  I sneaked.  I was discrete.  But I got caught.  

"Mommy!  I want to help in the kitchen," Lovey said.  She is my helper.  She is always there.  If I am in the kitchen, she is glued to me.  And most days, I don't mind.  I welcome the company and the playful banter of my sweet Lovey.  But today, I just wanted... to be.  To think, uninterrupted.  To ponder, uninhibited.  

I tried to dissuade her.  

"I'm going to be very boring in here.  I am going to do dishes and not even turn on the radio."  (Which was mostly the truth, because I still had a sink chock full of lunch dishes and random containers from my morning fridge-cleaning session.) 

She took the bait and decided just this once to go watch Max & Ruby.   

But then...

Ladybug appeared in the kitchen doorway.  "I want to do dishes."  

Perhaps I had heard wrongly.  "I'm sorry, WHAT?"

"I want to do dishes."

I have this weird control-freak thing, especially when it comes to my kitchen, however, I am trying really, really hard to just let go and let my girlies do more things. Even if they are done the wrong way at first.  Freedom to fail, right?

"Ummmm... okay.  Well, how about you rinse these off and arrange them in the dishwasher like so."  This was also really hard for me, because I am notoriously particular about how things are arranged in the dishwasher.  

"No, Mom.  I want to do it the old-fashioned way.  You know, I just want to scrub them in the sink."

"Wouldn't you rather help me bake cookies?" I urged.  (So much for the just being thing.)

"Mom, don't you just get a great feeling when you do things the old-fashioned way?  Like you baking cookies from scratch?  Or when you make laundry soap?  It's like you really worked on it and made it special and it feels good, doesn't it?  I just want to do that to the dishes."

*crickets chirping*  (And seriously, there is a random cricket chirping in the far corner of the office as I write.)

"Okaaaayyy.  Well, here is the footstool.  And the rag.  And a little soap.  Have at it, Sweet Ladybug."  

Suddenly, she had made perfect sense to me.  Because I do get that.  I still do all kinds of crazy things like write in a journal, keep a datebook, wear a watch, patch my jeans, and write hand-written thank you notes.  There is something inherently sacred in performing a simple task "the old-fashioned way" that seems to connect me to my childhood, my mother, my late grandmothers.  

And here I sit, enjoying the morning "the old-fashioned way."  Sunrise and a steamy cup of joe.  


Love & Coffee.



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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Still here.

Really, I am.  

We started school.  

(And I cried only a little.)

I have been nursing a concussion.  

(Please, don't ask.  It's terribly embarrassing.  And no one even caught it on video so I could win some cash on AFV.  Boo.)

And we said goodbye to summer as we returned from a Labor Day road trip.   

(Which will NOT be happening again anytime soon.  If Google Maps says it will take 5 hours, it will inevitably take us EIGHT.)  

But fall is approaching.  And lovely things are happening outside.  And sweet, delicious coffee is brewing along with wonderful things in my head that I need to write about.

So many good things are coming...

Love & Coffee.




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Monday, August 5, 2013

Is this real life?

Yes.  Yes, it is.  

This.  Is.  My.  Life.

It was a lovely evening, just 5 short nights ago.  Eleven 'o clock was fast approaching.  The evening news faded and my eyes were weighted with the heaviness that comes from a much-lived day.  That's when I heard it.  The pitter-pat on the stairs.  (I thought they were all long fast asleep.)  

It was Lovey.  Her eyes welling with tears.  "There's a bee in my nose!"  What???  "There's a bee in my nose and it really hurts!"  Again... what???  I assumed she meant a wasp, because just the day prior, I had bested a nasty one by means of a corn-husk broom and a Hello Kitty flip-flop.  But still... could it really have stung her in the nose?  

The Man was there.  He asked her one more time.  "What is the meaning of this?"  

"There.  Is.  A.  BEAD.  In.  My.  Nose.  And.  It.  HURTS!!!  Waaaaaahhhhh!!!"  Tears were flowing freely by this point.  Good grief.  *sigh*  I think I would have much preferred the bee/wasp scenario.  I have heard of kids doing such things and honestly, considering the nature of my sweet Lovey, I should count my blessings that we haven't dealt with this sooner.  Keeping my full-on panic at bay, I told The Man we have to take her in.  There was no other way.  

The Man was not happy.  The Man glared.  The Man disappeared.  The Man reappeared.  With a flash light.  Lovey howled as he inspected the damage.  "It's past the sellion," The Man declared.  (Yes. I had to spell check that word.  Several times.  And bonus points to the The Man for using it properly in a sentence.)

Okay... pretty sure I didn't know what a sellion was, but I still voted for the ER.  

"I am not driving into town at 11:00 pm.  There IS another way," declared The Man.  Spoken like a man who had labored all the live-long day and was dying to go play a video game.  All the while, Lovey is crying her ornery little heart out.  

The Man was not happy.  The Man scowled.  The Man disappeared (longer this time.)  The Man reappeared.  But not empty-handed.  Oh no.  He wielded a most frightening contraption beginning with a disassembled balloon pump and ending with my vacuum cleaner. 

Full-on panic was no longer at bay.  I couldn't watch.  

"You're going to suck her brains out!!!" I cried.   

"I promise not to suck her brains out," he mumbled.  

I retreated to the other room for the "procedure."  The deafening sounds hearkened me back to a time when I was barely 16 and my hard contact lens was running amok on my eyeball.  The darn thing was suctioned to my eye with a death grip and I was at a loss.  My dad emerged with vacuum specialty of his own, only his version involved panty hose and a rubber band.  "Please don't suck my eye ball out!" I cried.  "I won't suck your eyeball out," he mumbled.  But I digress...

Moments later, the gangly pair emerged.  Brains intact.  Bead in hand.  

The Man played his game.  Lovey and I cuddled on the couch.  And all was right with the world.

I'm not sure there's a moral to this story other than the fact that I have men in my life who do strange and sometimes helpful things with a vacuum.  

Thank God for coffee.


The offender.


 Love & Coffee.



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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Not very well, I'm afraid.  Not very well at all.  

You could call this an excuse, but birthing a baby just before planting season didn't help matters much.  I have a bucket full of seed packets that I fully intended to get in the ground.  It's mid-July, and the bucket is still sitting in the utility room.  I did manage to put in some lively red begonias in one of the large planters near the entryway.  My newly transplanted hastas are barely surviving... I think they may just need water.  I'm so bad at this!  I could have taken pictures, but honestly I am embarrassed.  I will spare you the agony.

(But if you are desperate to see some of my past "handiwork" you can click here:  Greenthumbery.)

Ladybug says we have nothing.  The chickens are dead.  Our dog is dead.  And the tomatoes are on their way out.  (I am really bad at remembering to water things.)   

Homesteading is hard.  And there have been some wonderful life lessons learned here in recent months.  I hope my little lovies will remember the time we didn't give up and eventually made it work. 

On the lighter side, we have loads of mulberries this year... more than we could ever dream to pick ourselves.  They are beautifully sweet and devilishly messy.  I made the mistake of taking the girls out picking, leaving Lovey in a white shirt.  (I never cared for that shirt much anyway...)  I think they ate at least twice as many as made it into the bucket.  Our freezer is nearly brimming with berries and we have only scratched the surface.  I have dreams of pies, cobblers, and sauces. 

Caught red-handed.

Briefly distracted to catch butterflies.

Big helper.


Our hearts are still healing.  We really miss Holly.  But they are so many great things ahead.  I am so thankful we get to call this place home.


Love & Coffee.


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Saturday, July 6, 2013

And then she was gone.

I don't want to write this.  I don't want to think about this.  I.  Just.  Don't.

Holly von H. is gone.  It hurts so much to type those words. 
Yesterday was easily one of the most horribly terrible days of our lives.  The day started out so well.  We were coming off a lazy 4th of July, still high on sparklers and the smell of gunpowder.

It happened in mere seconds.  Seconds, I tell you.  And life was suddenly different.  

She always had a fascination with wheels, be it a stroller, a wheel barrow or... a passing car.  *sigh*

It happened in front of the house, right by the mailbox.  I cannot begin to tell you the mass hysteria that ensued.  The lady driver was visibly upset, as well as her young son who accompanied her.  The Man was running to her and sobbing.  I ran inside to shelter my girls, but it was too late.  Cupcake was napping, while the other girls held each other tightly, hysterically looking on through the bay window.  

The Man cradled her in the road as she passed.  I held her lifeless body soon after, bathing her in tears, and telling her how sorry I was.  There are so many disturbing images from yesterday that I wish could un-see.  

This.  Hurts.  

The woman turned out to be a neighbor from down the road whom we hadn't before met.  Her husband came soon after to offer his help in burying her.  The woman came again even later to bring flowers.  I assure you this is not the way we wanted to meet our neighbors, but I am grateful we have good people living close by.  They were so kind. 

One second she was pawing at the front door and the next she was gone.  There is much sadness in this house.  The homestead feels so empty without her.  She was our first family dog.  We waited so long for her.  I find some sort of patriotic irony in the fact that she was born on 9/11 and passed the morning after Independence Day.  

Ladybug whimpered through tears, "You told me I would have her until I was at least 16!"   Lovey said, "But God's still alive.  He's in my heart and my heart is not broken."  Peanut just buried herself in the couch pillows and cried.  

And The Man is a mess.  And so am I.  I loved Holly.  And him even more so.  No one ever told me it would be this hard.  I am not even an animal lover by nature, but I love the life that God created.  And Holly was special.  And she was ours.  And I miss her.  And even coffee can't fix that.



"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

Psalm 34.18 (NIV) 


Rest in peace, Sweet Holly.

 

To read more about our sweet Holly von H.:  A Boy and His Dog.

Love & Coffee.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

No nukes...

is good nukes???

No, this isn't a political statement... but a family experiment of sorts.

I ditched the microwave.  I thought we were ready.  I thought it was time.  And I'm driving everyone crazy!  But it is gone, gone, gone.  

Sort of.

There is plenty of good material/research on the negative effects microwaves have on our food.  This is not one of them.  As a family, we decided some time ago to reduce our use of the microwave as much as possible for a lot of reasons.  Aside from the obvious health concerns, zapping perfectly good leftovers until they resembled barely recognizable, chewy, leathery fare didn't seem to mesh with the simple, homestead-y life we are aspiring to out here.  

So the microwave... it's been banished to the utility room to co-exist amongst other appliances such as the washing machine and dryer.  Currently it resides on the floor until I can decide on it's permanent home.  (Or until I can clear off the laundry counter and make room for it!)   I will probably still use it to heat water on occasion and for warming rice pillows (to toast cold little toes in the winter).

Besides.  I really needed the counter space.  

How true it is... you don't realize how much you really use something until it's gone.  I was under the impression that we were truly already living without it.  Until I didn't have it.  


Day one didn't go quite like I expected it to.  Things were going along quite swimmingly until around 10:00 am.  This is the time when the morning coffee has often gone cold.  And I usually sneak a cup into the micro for a quick warm-up.  No such luck!  Okay... so I pour my cold coffee into a small saucepan to heat on the stove.  No problem, really.  Perfect in no time at all.  Swish out the pan and I'm good.

Noon.  Lunch.  The kids want leftover spaghetti.  Oy.  Is it sad that I have practically never re-warmed anything in my entire life on the stove?  Correction:  NEVER re-warmed anything on the stove?  I dump the spaghetti into the pot, adding a little water to keep it moist, cover, and heat over medium until it's hot.  Five minutes.  Not bad!  I could get used to that.

Then dinner.  Shoot!  I have not one bit of thawed meat.  No chicken.  No beef.  No nothing.  

And it's 5:00 pm.  

I called The Man and asked him to pick up a pizza on his way home from the office.  Epic.  Fail.

I don't regret it, but it is definitely something new to get used to.  I'm positive there will be more to come on this topic, but until then...


Love & coffee.





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Monday, July 1, 2013

A Boy and His Dog.

Her name is Holly von H and she's quite possibly the sweetest Rottweiler in the history of ever.  

However...

The Man did not tell me.  Supposedly he was at the office.  On a Saturday.  And it wouldn't take long.  (Ha!)

I called to see what the hold up was.  "Work.  Lots and lots of work."  

Suspicion.

Hours later... (lots of hours later), The Man arrives home with a puppy.  A very large, 7 month old Rottweiler puppy.  Nevermind the fact that we had a weeks-old infant in the house at the time.  The girls were in love.  Me?  Less so.  I don't think I have ever been (or ever will be) an animal person.  I prefer to appreciate them from a distance.  But Holly...

She was so very excited.  She peed on my rug.  She peed on my foot.  And she peed on my kitchen floor.  Twice. 

The next morning, I awoke to a sloppy, wet, UN-human kiss all over my face.  I could barely breathe beneath all crushing 70 lbs of her. I didn't want this to ever happen again.  

I. Don't. Do. Animals.  At least not this up close and personal.  

But The Man is crazy about her.  And she loves him, too.

3 months later.  Holly and I are becoming friends.  Even though she buried my socks in the neighboring field.  And wiped her muddy paws all over my freshly washed white comforter.  And rolled in critter poo before our evening cuddles.  

Holly von H, you are a keeper.  


Love & coffee.




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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Daddy Day.

It's Daddy Day.  

One year ago we still had no idea we would be adding sweet #4 to the gaggle of girls we have going on here at home.  Instead of me blathering on like usual, I thought this post might be better off left to the kids.  (Of course, with a little commentary in the appropriate places.  So without further ado and completely unedited...)

Peanut is 9.  Ladybug is 6.  Lovey is 3, nearly 4.  And Cupcake is 3 1/2 months.   

(You can read more about our sweet family by checking out my new and improved "About Me" page!)

1. What is something Dad always says to you?
Peanut - I think you're awesome and you're beautiful.

Ladybug - I love you.
Lovey - Pick up your room.
Cupcake - (*blows raspberry*)

2. What makes Dad happy?

Peanut - Making a card.
Ladybug - Us.
Lovey - Kisses.  Cleaning our rooms.  Heart pictures.
Cupcake - (*gurgle*)

3. What makes Dad sad?
Peanut - Not obeying.
Ladybug - Not having us.
Lovey - When we don't clean up our rooms.  (You got that right!)
Cupcake - (*more gurgling*)

4. How does Dad make you laugh?

Peanut - Saying something weird.
Ladybug - Silly jokes.
Lovey - Monsters with stretchy hair.  (I have no idea what she is saying.)
Cupcake - (*gummy grin*)

5. What was Dad like as a child?

Peanut - Being really cute.
Ladybug - He had a bunny and a great family.
Lovey - He took baths and read books like a pretty girl.  (Someone is being silly...)
Cupcake -  (*coo*)

6. How old is Dad?  

Peanut - 32.  (Close.)
Ladybug - 32   (Ummm... still close.)
Lovey - 3 like me.  (Not quite.)
Cupcake -  (*drooling*)

(He is 33.)

7. How tall is Dad?

Peanut - 3 or 4 feet.  (Not even tall enough to ride the roller coaster.)
Ladybug - Bigger than you.  (This is true.)
Lovey - This big.  (*arms outstretched as big as they will go*)
Cupcake - (*more drooling*  Perhaps it's time to run and get the burp rag?)

8. What is his favorite thing to do?
Peanut - Talk and hang out.
Ladybug - Play with us.
Lovey - Put lotion on his face.  Or eat lotion.  (Lovey, I think YOU are the one who eats lotion...)
Cupcake - (*Mommy wiping the chin*)


9. What does Dad do when you're not around?

Peanut - Eat chocolate.  (Maybe his secret stash is not quite so secret...)
Ladybug - Work most of the time.
Lovey - Leave and play games.
Cupcake - (*blows another raspberry*)


10. If your Dad becomes famous, what will it be for?

Peanut - Hunting.
Ladybug - Discovering fossils.  (Mmmm... okay.)
Lovey - He would kill pink dinosaurs with a gun.  (Oh, honey...)
Cupcake - (*still blowing raspberries*)

11. What is your Dad really good at?

Peanut - Making monkey fists.  (To clarify, this is a little contraption The Man makes out of paracord.  It IS pretty cool.)
Ladybug - Making bracelets.  (To clarify further, The Man sometimes makes survival "arm bands" also out of paracord.  You know... just to clarify.)
Lovey - Doing his computer.
Cupcake - (*Mommy pops in the pacifier to stop the raspberry spittle*)

12. What is your dad not very good at?

Peanut - Feeding the baby.  (Ha!  Yes.)
Ladybug - Basketball.  (I don't recall ever seeing The Man play basketball so I'm sure this is true.)
Lovey - Trying to run fast like me.  (No.  One.  Runs as fast as you, Lovey.)
Cupcake - (*finally passed out cold from all that drooling and raspberry blowing*)

13. What does your dad do for his job?

Peanut - Plans all the fun games.
Ladybug - Youth pastor.
Lovey - Works on a pink computer.   (Wishful thinking, my dear one.)
Cupcake - (*still snoozing*)

14. What is your dad's favorite food?

Peanut - Steak.  (Yes!)
Ladybug - Chicken.  (More yes!)
Lovey - A bean stalk with magic beans.  (What???) 
Cupcake - (*zzzzzzzzzz*)

15. What makes you proud of your dad?
Peanut - He helps give me a great birthday.
Ladybug - Because he is our dad.
Lovey - When he comes home.  (I'm glad he comes home, too.)
Cupcake - (*zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz*)

16. If Dad were on TV, who would he be?

Peanut - A survivor guy like on Man vs. Wild(Most likely!)
Ladybug - A clown.  (He does tell some amazing knock-knock jokes.)
Lovey - A girl mermaid with pink hair.  (Okay, I think someone is done with these questions.)
Cupcake - (*zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... restless legs begin kung fu fighting... zzzzzzzzz*)

17. What do you and your dad do together?

Peanut - Play Minecraft.
Ladybug - Go on dates.
Lovey - I sit on his lap and watch him do games with Ichtar Tarpick.  (Lovey always says Daddy plays "Ichtar" with his "Tarpick."  Say it out loud.  Get it yet?  The Man thought it was worthy of a Guild Wars character.  I don't care what it is, but the next animal we get seriously has to be named Ichtar.)
Cupcake - (*zzzzzzzzz... toot! Zzzzzzz....*  Oh.  No.)

18. How are you and your dad the same?

Peanut - We both have allergies.
Ladybug - We play on the computer.
Lovey - Our hair.  (*sigh*)
Cupcake - (*Toot.  Toot.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz*  Come on, we're almost done here.)

19. How are you and your dad different?

Peanut - I am not a boy.
Ladybug - I play with toys.  He plays with a computer.  (Wait.  Doesn't this directly contradict your prior statement?)
Lovey - I shake my booty.  (*shaking my head*)
Cupcake - (*gummy grin*  Well, I'm glad someone is enjoying this....)

20. How do you know your dad loves you?

Peanut - Because we're his kids.
Ladybug - Because he's our daddy.
Lovey - In my heart.
Cupcake - (*blows another raspberry*  Annnnnddd... it's off to the changing table we go.)

All that to say...

Happy Father's Day to the best daddy in town.  You make us smile.



Love & Coffee.


(You might also enjoy reading this post I wrote for my own dad, who is the other best daddy in town. Click here to keep reading:  Daddy.)


And here's Grandpa, too:

 
 And Grandpie.  (I miss you more every day!)


Happy Father's Day, Everybody!


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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tastes like carrots.

I looked at The Man. He matched my stare.  I daintily sipped mine.  He cautiously sampled his.  My mind searched.  His, too.  It must have been mere seconds, but it certainly seemed much more.  Gingerly returning his cup to the saucer, The Man uttered, "It tastes like..."

"Carrots?" I offered.

"Yes, carrots.  Exactly like carrots."

The long-awaited, specially ordered, paid-too-much-for coffee tastes like...

Carrots.

Disappointment abounds.

End.  Of.  Story.


Love & coffee.




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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Better than a card.

For The Man.

So you're not into cards.  Here you go:

Happy Anniversary.  

11 years.  (Does this make us old yet?)

10 of them with kids.  (What exactly did we do with our time when we were always saying we were busy before they got here?  Yeah, I don't know either.)


9 vehicles.  (Remember when the '72 AMC Hornet died?  Again.  And me "pushing" it down Fleur Drive with the Lumina?  Those were the days.)

8 houses.  (Wowza!  We should stop moving.  Like, seriously.)

7 cell phones. (When we got married, we still had phones with antennas you had to extend to make a call.  And we thought text messages were ridiculous.  Who in their right mind would ever do that???  It will never catch on...)


6 in the family.  (We've multiplied ourselves times three!  Now THAT is something.)


5 trips to ER for your fish allergy.  (I think we have learned some very valuable lessons here.  Let's not tempt fate in the future... and that's all I will say about that.)

4 daughters.  (So last year at this time, who knew there would be four???  Ha!)

3 snow shovels.  (Maybe this year we'll stop misplacing the previous year's shovel and not buy another new one.  Or maybe we'll just stop moving reducing our chances of misplacing it in the first place.  In some cultures, three snow shovels might bring good luck.  Or it might just mean we have an astonishing amount of snow shovels.)

2 star-crossed lovers.  (Well, most days.  Some days I'm just cross.  But kiss me and do the dishes and that will usually turn things around.)

1 bottle of Fuzzy Peach Perfume Oil from the Body Shop.  (I know it's your favorite.  And they don't make it anymore.  But I'll still let you sniff the bottle, because we are celebrating something special.)



I said all that to say this...

I.  Love.  You.


  
Click here to read more smoochy smoochity:
 

(I really love that guy...)



Love & coffee.


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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Counting chickens...

Or not.

I have been putting off writing this post for nearly a week now in the hopes that putting a little time and distance between me and "the event" would make it less true or painful.

Baloney.

I couldn't help becoming attached.  I couldn't help being giddy with anticipation.  I couldn't help loving them.

Just.  Couldn't.  Help.  It.

The chickens... are no more.  And this is how it went down:

It was Tuesday morning.  The Man grabbed a few extra winks before heading to work, leaving no time for the chickensSo it was all me.  It was my first time to care for the chickens and I was halfway looking forward to it.  I had The Man on the phone to make sure I went about it correctly.  

I carefully measured the feed into the bucket and playfully chatted with The Man as I crossed the lawn to the coop.  I opened the door and found it eerily quiet.  Odd.  I asked The Man if he had moved the chickens to another building.  Confused, he rejected that notion.  I questioned, "Are you sure?"  And then I took note:  feathers.  EverywhereLoads of feathers.  And not a bit else.   I darted outside the coop.  More feathers.  And a hole.  Dug right under the other side of the door.  My heart sank.  More so for The Man than for me.  And for my girls.  10 weeks of hard work and anticipation of our first farm-fresh eggs.   

We were so close.  


Feathers.

There must have been a struggle.

The hole.

To make things worse, our dog was incessantly barking like mad in the wee hours of morning.  We shrugged it off as nothing... still relishing every bit of sleep with a new baby in the house.  Darn critter.  Or critters.  

My princess angels are devastated.  We never should have named them.  Each of the girls went out to the coop to gather a few feathers as a keepsake in a Ziploc baggie.  Peanut wrote and illustrated a book for Hamburger, her favorite.  Ladybug drew a memorial portrait of Fluffy.  Lovey has shed plenty a tear for Joseph.  

I suppose we will have another go of it once The Man has time to beef up our poultry living quarters.  I consider it a life lesson learned. 

But in the meantime... I'm oh-so-sad.  

Extra-sugar-in-my-cup-day.


Love & coffee.



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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chasing after the wind.

So hey.  I'm back.  I just can't stand it anymore--the whole "not writing" thing.  I do not care if my life is psycho crazy right now.  Write, I must.  I guess it's not so much crazy as I just never have two seconds without a little person (or occasionally a man-sized person) who wants (needs?) something from me.  

A glass of milk.  
A silly song.  
Snacks.  
A roll of toilet paper.  (Oh, yeah.  *Scribbling toilet paper onto this afternoon's grocery list.*)   
Help with math homework.  
Snacks.   
Finger unstuck from the van door.  (Yes, this really just happened.  To the tallest finger.  To the Lovey child who wants to show her boo-boo tall finger to everyone we know.  *sigh*) 

If I manage to get a shower with mascara and lip gloss applied, and cup of coffee before I hear the band of angels tromping down the stairs in the morning, we will call it a good day.  

As a child, I wasn't necessarily the most athletic.  It was that awkward stage right about fifth grade.  I had these amazingly large glasses that rendered me rather owl-like.  My favorite outfit included a white blazer with tropical fruit on it which I wore for my class picture that year.  Circa 1991.  

As you might imagine, gym class was not exactly my thing.  Really not my thing.  One cloudy day, our class headed out to the ball field for a game of baseball.  Ugh. I sauntered to the outfield, not expecting to do anything but stand there until the next inning.  I couldn't run.  And I couldn't catch.  I am 97.3% I was daydreaming about "New Kids on the Block," when I realized the ball was coming my way.  I am not sure what I was thinking other than the fact that, "I might be able to actually catch that thing!"  I started running after the ball.  And running.  And running.  And... running?  Shouldn't gravity be kicking in by now?  I hear my name.  I assume they are cheering me on.  I run harder.  "Come back!  Where are you going?"  It dawns on me as the "ball" gracefully darts across the street and nests in a nearby tree.  A bird!!???  To this day, I still don't know how I could possibly have made such a ridiculous mistake.

And that is a little like my life right now.  Chasing after something I will never catch.  My days start out with a list like this:

To Do:  

Laundry
Dishes
Pay the Bills
Mop the floor
Vaccuum
Scrub the bathtub
Blog
Return calls
Pack away girls' too-small clothes 
Upload pics from camera to computer
Update baby book
Make dentist appointments

And this what I actually get done:

Start a load of laundry.
Feed baby.
Diaper change.
Feed kids breakfast.
Feed baby.
Diaper change.
Oops!  Forgot to switch laundry to dryer.
Feed kids snack.
Feed baby. 
Diaper change.
Feed kids lunch.
Oh yeah.  Still forgot to switch the laundry.
Feed baby.
Diaper change.
Feed kids snack.
Feed baby.
Diaper change.
Feed everyone dinner.
Start dishwasher.
Feed baby.
Diaper change.
Collapse into bed of complete exhaustion and as I am drifting off to sleep...
DARN IT!  The laundry is still in the washer!

Oh well... at least everyone's tall finger is still intact.


Love & Coffee.

"I look up to the mountains;
    does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
    who made heaven, and earth, and mountains."

Ps. 121.1-2 (MSG)


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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Out of Order

Everything has changed.  

My sweet Cupcake is 8 weeks old today and I finally feel as though we are stumbling out of that newborn-induced delirium and into real life again.  Like swinging open a grand door and breathing fresh air again.  I have savored these sweet moments hidden away with my precious angels.  Late-night feedings bathed in dim lamp-light, too-early morning snuggles watching the news with the big girls, and daily breakfast in our jammies.  Even so, I look forward to gradually reacquainting myself with schedules, routines, and commitments, yet immersed in fresh perspective.

There seems to be order.  Yet not.  It's different.  You see, I am the sort of person who puts everything in her closet in rainbow order.  (Yes.  ROYGBIV.)  And arranges my spice rack in alphabetical order.  (Embarrassing, I know.)  Even my socks are carefully sorted by color, season, and type. 

Now that I have had four babies, I have learned a thing or two along the way.  The passage of time never slows, only picking up speed with each passing moment.  My babies won't be babies forever.  And while I sometimes miss the sense of accomplishment and self-worth that can be found in certain jobs and tasks, I simply cannot hurry back to them.  People say, "When are you coming back?"  "When will you do 'such and such?'"  "It's different without you."  And while all those sentiments flatter, none of those jobs seem to matter much to me at the moment.  

My family needs me.  And I need them even more.  

I am cooking again.  Real food.  Oh, how I missed the tasty artistry that thrives in a warm kitchen.  Lovey continually stands at my side, asking for the step stool so she can "help" in the simplest of ways.  Her smallish hand laid gently across mine "helps" me scoop the sugar or sprinkle cinnamon.  Ladybug lingers in my bed after early-morning cuddles fritter away a bad dream.  I spy Peanut hiding away, gripped by yet another Nancy Drew adventure.  Cupcake greets me with innocent smiles and the hint of a giggle.   

Who would trade this?

Because I have temporarily stepped back from my commitments outside of our home, I find myself experiencing life in a fresh way.  I arrive here and there at different times, meeting new people (and consequently missing others).  I sit in a different spot at church and go to the library on a different day of the week.  Grocery day now requires the precision coordination of a military exercise (with a fair amount of coffee beforehand) and my favorite jeans still don't fit quite the way they used to. 

And honestly, it's rather refreshing.  


Love & Coffee.



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"See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland."

Isaiah 43.19 (NIV)


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chick-a-licious

They are here. 

We.  Have.  Chickens.  

Not that I have anything else going on around here... like a newborn baby to tend to.  However, I digress.  

Cupcake was barely 2 weeks old when The Man says, "I think we need chickens."  He called me from the farm store, where he and the three older girls had just finished a class on caring for chickens.  I wish I could have seen my face.  In a lack-of-sleep induced delirium, I agreed.  And the next day there were 10 peeping chicks, making themselves quite at home in our foyer.  That was well over a month ago and they now reside in the lovely little coop down by the barn.  And now that they are outside, I miss them.  Just a little.

I have zero ideas on what to do with the critters.  This was his idea.  And his responsibility.  The Man and his chicks.  (People say they don't know if he's talking about his animals or all of the young women he has at home.)  

At present, I mostly just feed the baby.  And change the baby.  And make googly eyes at the baby.  Like all the time.  And I'm okay with that.  I mostly forget the chicks are even around anymore now that they aren't inside.  And it's pretty awesome that at the moment, I get a free pass to not have to care for them.  

They aren't quite so cute anymore.  I had no idea how quickly those sweet little things would turn into... chickens, which aren't nearly so cute.  They are all quite feathered and strangely fierce-looking.  My girls have named three of them.  Mary.  Joseph.  And Hamburger.  (Yeah, I have no idea either.)  The Man just wanted to name them Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. 

Guess I'll just pour myself another round of coffee while I wait for those farm-fresh eggs...  tick, tock.



Love & Coffee.


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