Apothecary Chest Before and After

Scott and I love antiques. Well, to be more specific, Scott likes antiques and I loooooooove antiques. So if you do the math, we love them. Not the fancy, expensive, heavy, ornate numbers. We like the well loved and used primitive looking simple antiques. Sometimes the things I bring home are a little too well used and rickety for Scott’s taste. Mostly because when I bring them home, I bat my eyes at him and ask him to fix them. He works his magic and then I find a place for my treasure in our house. This process makes me so happy! A few years ago he went so far as to ask me to please stop buying pieces of junk. I can’t remember exactly how I replied, but I’m sure it was something like, “Oh silly, you know I can’t do that.” One of my favorite pieces of junk joined us on a snowy day in November a couple of years ago. Here are a couple of random pictures from that day (aren’t cell phone cameras neat?):

I found it on Craigslist and somehow talked the seller into delivering it. He and his son plopped it right into my garage. When Scott got home, he smiled at me and said that if I wasn’t finished transforming it and moving it into the house soon, he was just going to use it as garage storage. Um, no.

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What if?

Some days words just won’t come. I think it’s the curse of the introvert. If I could change one thing about my body, it would be to have different vocal chords. I’d love to have a rich, raspy, rangy, soulful, powerful singing voice. But if I could change one thing about my personality, it would definitely be a sturdy rightward slide on the introvert/extrovert scale. I’m what you call an outgoing introvert, so sometimes I just hit a wall and can’t interact anymore until I have some alone time to recharge. I could do with less of that. I’ve had a couple of blog articles floating around in my head for a week now, but today, words escape me. Read more

Podcasts: A Quick, Easy How-To and My Favorites

There’s something about car time with kids. It can try your patience for sure, but it also serves up this captive but natural interaction that can be so sweet and free. I’ve had wonderful conversations with my kids in the car, and I remember car time with my mom being priceless, essential to my emotional well-being, and just what the doctor ordered after a long day of high school as a teenager.  I think the fact that there is conversation without eye contact takes pressure off and lends boldness. My girls ask really hard questions in the car about sex and relationships and God. The setting gives the questioned time to process and ramble and delve. And sometimes kids just say cute stuff that warms your heart like this little snippet.

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Brown Paper Packages … My 10 Favorite Things (well, 11) from Amazon

I was searching for an old Amazon order recently and noticed that ALL of our Amazon orders since 2004 are still in the system. Looking back on those orders was like opening a time capsule into the last 13 years of our lives. In 2004, I ordered a mesh crib bumper pad. Ugly but safe.

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That was the baby phase. In 2005, I ordered The Kite Runner for one of our very first book club meetings, still one of my favorite selections all these years later. In 2006, a sit and stand tandem stroller. The girls are on the move. In 2009, a book about how to train dogs. Enter Flossie.

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2012 was the year of the house remodel. Light fixtures and door hardware. Boring but beautiful. There were optical illusion books and swim goggles, ankle braces and cat doors. In all, we have placed 788 Amazon orders. And that includes the pre-prime years when I used to wait until my cart had 27 or so items before I pulled the trigger to save on shipping. I refuse to calculate a dollar total. I’m sure I’d pass right out. I love life-hacks and am always excited when someone shares a great find with me, so I thought you might like to see what my top Amazon purchases list looks like.

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Survival Guide for the Professional Turned Stay at Home Mom

I meant to write this post a couple of days ago, but then I needed to wait until I was having a day where I felt like I was more than just surviving. My kids are 11 and 13 and I still have days I feel like the joke’s on me. As I’m putting out fire after fire our house becomes more a blast zone than peaceful haven. Those are the-two-steps-forward, three-steps-back days or weeks and we all have them. And then you get a good night’s sleep and deal with your dissues {I explain those here} and forward the laundry, take a deep breath and feel like you’re back on track. My being a stay-at-home mom was not plan A for our family. When I became pregnant with Delaney, I was working a full time family practice, seeing patients at 3 hospitals before and/or after my full day, doing urgent care some nights and weekends, and taking call for our large group a week at a time every 7 weeks. I knew that schedule was completely incompatible with motherhood, but we thought I’d work 2 or 3 days a week and have my mom nanny. Then Delaney was born and reality set in.

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The Mouths of Babes

Kids say funny, amazing, blunt, insightful, crazy things. Hearing these things has been one of the many unexpected thrills of parenthood. These little people are so full of surprises and depth. I have been jotting notes through the years of some of our girls’ doozies, but it probably isn’t necessary because our family language has evolved to incorporate the best of them.

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Things that Make Me Laugh

I once heard a story about a neurosurgeon in a remote part of Alaska who wears a helmet every time he drives his car because he’s the only neurosurgeon around. I have no idea if this is true and can’t remember where I heard it, but I have been laughing about that for at least two decades. I don’t know why it tickles me so much. I guess it just charms me. There’s something so innocent and true and sensible about it. And quirky. He values his safety and health more than he worries about looking foolish. I love that. I think he’s someone I’d like to know.

I just love to laugh! Sometimes with no warning I will recall one of my favorite gems and just laugh right out loud. My girls like to guess what I’m laughing about. They know all my go-tos.

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The Tweedles!

Some of my favorite things in life have been things at which I’m not very good. I loved gymnastics growing up even though I was a head taller than the rest of the team and about as graceful as a toddler. It was so much fun to see what I could make my body do and a thrill to fly through the air and manage to land safely. I loved the challenge, the feeling of power, the complexity of it, the competition against myself to always improve, the camaraderie of suffering through 4 hour workouts with my best friends. I also love riding a bike even though I almost fell off a cliff once when Scott and I were dating and I thought  it would be no problem to ride down a single track at break-neck speed with no experience or skill. I ended up clinging to a sappling for dear life and we decided it would be best if I walked my bike the rest of the way. Fail. I haven’t ridden much in my adult life. Still, every time I see someone dreamily peddling down a tree-lined street on TV, I remember that I am a bicycle lover at heart and make secret plans to get back to it. I also love to sew.

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Tunnels

Do you ever feel like something that is hard in your life is keeping you in a tunnel? That all that you see and feel and think about is being seen and felt and thought through the filter and weight of that problem? That things which should be easy and should require little thought are somehow harder and more perplexing? That your feet are stuck in a thick bog and your brain is full of cobwebs? Me too.

I don’t live this way often. My circumstances don’t control my life as a rule, thank God. But when I’m worried about the health of one of my kids or I’m contemplating a weighty decision, I often feel paralyzed by those issues. Until recently, I saw this as a weakeness, a character defect even. I am a worrier and over-analyzer by nature, so I thought this was just something I didn’t deal with well or was a personal shortcoming. People in every day life don’t talk about it. The interactions we have are usually too fleeting or superficial (appropriately so) to delve below the surface and share what’s really going on in our depths. So when we feel this way, we often can’t see anyone else going through the same thing. And I don’t know about you,  but it never occurs to me to cut others slack because they might be in that boat. I heard a podcast earlier this week that dissects this phenomenon.

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Laundry Room Before and After

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Does this look familiar? I live in my laundry room. I am a folding sage. I feel like it might be the thing in life with which I have the very most experience next to sleep. With four of us and our various activities, laundry is a constant. I love language and puns and rhymes and alliteration, so I’ll lay one of my sayings on you now that never fails to make the eyes of one or both of my daughters roll into their sockets. It’s laundry quandary. If I am overwhelmed with baskets and baskets of clean laundry that are awaiting folding, I say I am in a laundry quandary.  When my kitchen is overwhelmed with dishes that need to be done, I say I’ve got dissues. I crack myself up! Anyway, another quandary is how to keep clean laundry from falling out of those overfilled baskets and landing behind the washer and dryer. This happens so often that I resorted to keeping Scott’s gigantic outdoor sized barbecue tongs in the laundry cabinet. When something goes down, I get the tongs, hike myself up tall, lay over the top of the dryer like someone who put their belly where their bottom goes in the saddle of a horse and reach down there into the dusty abyss to retrieve the lost item which is now full of lint and needs to be rewashed. The last time this happened, I had an idea!

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