1L, 4Ds and 5K

1L, 4Ds and 5K

It’s been a girl themed week.

Last Thursday my 4 daughters and I went big city shopping.  It was a birthday shopping trip for my oldest daughter Grace since I was going to be gone over the weekend of her birthday.  We spent the whole day hitting everything from anthropologie to thrift stores.  The girls are now set for clothes for the rest of the warm weather season, which is a relief to me since shopping with them is a test in endurance.  Of me and my wallet.


For myself, I am on the search for t-shirts with sleeves.  Not long sleeves or 3/4 sleeves.  Just plain old short sleeves that are long enough to cover my arm flaps.  It’s a sad day when you nearly slap someone with your extra arm skin and I am trying to avoid that with sleeves and prayer.

Saturday and Sunday I went to Austin.  I ran my first 5K this weekend.  I did it with my sister….she gave it to me for my birthday and it was a double treat to get to spend the time with her.

I have never had any interest in doing any kind of running or, really, moving at all.  But after walking every morning since last July it was pretty easy.  And on a cool spring morning….almost heaven.

My first 5k

To keep the girl theme going I will be going on a photoshoot for my daughter’s 17th birthday this week.  Shopping is not her thing.  She asked for a photoshoot in the city and as an added bonus she wants to be there when the sun rises to get the best lighting.  Leave the house at 6AM….oh sure.  Because giving birth to you wasn’t enough of a sacrifice.

Next week I need to have a boy themed week.  Those are much easier.  Just dump some Legos in the living room and throw food into the middle every few hours.

Have a great April!

A Birthday Weekend

A Birthday Weekend

One of these days I am going to put my feet up and leave them that way for a week.  But then I think, someday the kids will all be gone and there I will sit with my feet up and wish I had things to do.  So I embrace the business.

Last Friday I took Grace and a few of the other kids to Austin for her birthday.  It was Grace’s 22nd birthday and there were some shops there that she likes, so off we went.  But not before the brothers and sisters gave her some gifts.

It was the most gorgeous drive.  The Texas wildflowers are in bloom and we just soaked it all in.  So, so pretty.  I could have kicked myself for not taking my camera.  These are from my phone.

Noah was dying to go to the Lego store.  He probably would have stayed all day if I would let him.

On Saturday morning Patience and I went out to a friend’s farm.  They were having a planting party for their enormous garden.  We went to take pictures.  I’m not much of a dirt person.  I will let Patience show you the pictures she took because I was busy sitting and fanning myself.  I can give you tips on decorating, but I’m not much help when it comes to gardens.

Yesterday I filled shop orders while the boys mowed.  Don’t you just love a freshly mown yard?  It smells so good and feels so crisp and neat.  Crisp and neat makes me happy.  I could live on a golf course.  Except I don’t play golf and I don’t want to.

Today is Patience’s 15th birthday so we’re off again to do some shopping.  She invited her sisters to go, so we’ll paint the town red and be silly.  I am sure there will be some Chick-fil-A involved and probably a lot of trying on clothes and wondering why they make everything so tight these days.

Maybe tomorrow I will put my feet up.  This is a lot of activity for this tired mamma.


My Brain is Broken

My Brain is Broken

My rememberer isn’t working these days.  I forgot an orthodontist appointment yesterday.  We just didn’t show up.  I have no excuse.  I forgot.  We were home just doing school and acting like we had nowhere else to be.  My orthodontist would get upset with me, except for the fact that I still have 4 kids that need braces.  So I’m probably forgiven.

It is my scientifically proven belief that breastfeeding sucks away your brain power.  9 kids nursing for a couple of years a piece….you do the math.  It’s a wonder that I can remember where the bathroom is in my own house.  By the way kids, you’re welcome.  Don’t say I never gave you anything.

This week we have 2 birthdays.  Grace turns 22 (but we aren’t discussing that) and Patience will turn 15.  My youngest girl is 15.  No more little smocked dresses and cutie pie bloomers around here.  My brain may not remember appointments, but it will never forget the little bonnets that the girls used to wear when they played outside.  They looked so sweet and charming.  Now they are all taller than me, which makes me depressed which causes me to grab Levi or Elijah every couple of hours and squeeze them really hard.  I don’t know why….I just feel the need for a baby squeeze.

They do remind me that they are not babies anymore while I am hugging them, but I pretend not to hear.

I didn’t forget to go to my friend Sara‘s annual spring party last weekend, which was wonderful!  Some girl time was exactly what I needed after a few weeks of not seeing anyone but my kids and my tax season affected husband.  Sara always does an amazing job on the food and decor, but it was the desserts that really got me.

This trifle was calling my name.

It called so loudly that I ate 2 servings.  After all….my new diet was starting the next day.  Good bye chocolate….hello cruel world.  And before you call me a big fat pig and a terrible party guest for eating 2 servings….I was actually doing Sara a favor.  She was starting her diet the next day too.  She didn’t need all of that chocolate around.

This is day 2 of my diet and so far so good.   I do miss chocolate.  But we must part ways or I will have this Dr. Seuss character shape forever.

If it works I will let you know all about it.  If I can remember.  Now what was I talking about?


The Trouble with Thirteen

Brrrr….it was c-c-cold here this weekend.  Everyone in our little town was excited about getting snow.  But we live a few miles outside of town and we only got hail and sleet.  The kids were bummed.  Slush isn’t nearly as much fun as snow, even if it doesn’t stick to the ground.

Saturday was Noah’s 13th birthday.  This, my friends, is upsetting to this momma who refers to him as “one of the little boys.”  The last 4 of my kids are boys so they are the “little boys”.  And now the first of them is an official teenager.  This is the one kid that I have been dreading his teen years.  Not because of the typical teen attitude, but because he doesn’t think before he acts and this leads to trouble.

At least once a day I can be heard saying, “Noah, why did you _____?  Did it occur to you that you should have asked me before you did that?”  “No ma’am,” he’ll reply, “I just thought that’s what I was supposed to do.”  It could be anything from unscrewing the screws that hold the deck together to turning the knobs on the stove….this kid will be the one that burns the house down.

The poor guy does really try, but his mind just doesn’t finish a thought.  It’s something we are working on and hopefully, by the time he’s 30, he’ll be ready to go out on his own.

He spent the day Saturday playing Wii.  Since the “little boys” are only allowed to play once a week for 2 hours, he was dying to just be able to play for a longer period of time.  Throughout the day the rest of us would wander in and out of the living room and play for a while.  I just watched because the only Wii game I like to play is “Cook or Be Cooked” and no 13 year old boy wants to spend his birthday pretending to chop onions and pour oil into a pan with his mom.

And no mom wants to spend her Saturday playing Lego Star Wars on the Wii.

And now that I’m down to 3 “little boys” I’m going to spend the week squeezing hugs out of Adam, Elijah and Levi until they promise never to turn 13 or mess with any of the knobs in the kitchen.

Have a great week!

How Can He Be Twenty?

How Can He Be Twenty?

It can’t be.  Today my oldest son is 20.  TWENTY.

There must be a mistake.  I only have to close my eyes and I can see him lying next to me in my bed.  So tiny, so new.

When I open my eyes again he is standing there 6’1″ tall….he looks like a man.  But it is too soon.

It was only yesterday that he was dragging Woody (with “Jacob” written on the bottom of one boot) everywhere with him.  I’d find Jacob asleep where he played…such a tired little boy.  He was always his own person.  He never felt the pull of peer pressure.

He was just a happy, simple kid.  He loved Legos, drawing and figuring things out.  He was always compliant and glad to do whatever I asked.

He would forget to take out the trash every.single.day.

This is how his brothers and sisters see him now….


It can’t be.

My Special Gift is Finding the Negative in Anything

Am I the only one disturbed by the fact that it is Thanksgiving week, 2011?

Frankly, the 2011 part is still shocking to me, forget that we have made it back around to another holiday season.

Thanksgiving in our home also begins our official birthday season.  Faith’s b-day is always the same week as Thanksgiving, thus starting a flow of birthday celebrations that lasts until May.  As a mom there is a lot of pressure here.  How do I make their birthdays stand out in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle.

Since Faith is my shopping girl, she wants to go out on Black Friday as part of her birthday gift.  It seems she has forgotten her mother’s allergy to crowded places.  Oh, the sacrifices we make as mothers.  Not only do I have to fight the masses of holiday shoppers, but I must give up my annual day of lounging on the couch eating leftover pie.  I hope these children realize the suffering I endure for them.  If Black Friday shopping doesn’t convince them I can always remind them of the hours of labor I endured and how I allowed my body to be ripped apart so they would have life.

You can imagine what a joy I am to live with.

While we’re on the subject of joy, how upset am I allowed to get over the fact that child number 4 is turning 16?  One day I was pregnant, pushing a double stroller with three kids hanging onto my skirt.  All of a sudden I wake up to those same babies all taller than me and wearing my shoes.  OK, Jacob doesn’t wear my shoes, at least not that I know of.  But he does other annoying grown-up things like drive a car and have friends I’ve never met.

I am not happy about this situation.  Not one bit.

In this birthday season not only will Faith turn 16….but next month Jacob turns 20.  TWENTY.  This is the same kid that couldn’t remember which was the front yard and which was the backyard.  I mean every time I said, “Go out the back door,” he would run from door to door asking, “Which is the backyard again?”  And now he thinks he’s going to turn 20?  He’s got another thing coming.  I simply cannot allow it.

Maybe next year.  I will be too exhausted from the Black Friday shopping to deal with any other upsets this year.

I’m taking the Scarlett O’Hara approach to life.

I’ll think about it tomorrow.



A Package of Love

A Package of Love

I was unpacking my bags from the Dallas trip when I noticed a big box underneath…..

It was from Leslie?  My friend from Goodbye, House! Hello Home?!?!  I ripped it open and found a birthday gift bag inside.  Oh my goodness!!!!

More ripping and tearing.  I’m not the most patient person.  There was a big red bow wrapped around a whole bunch of stuff.

Leslie, I am dumbfounded!  I can’t believe how much she fit into this bag.

This gift, in particular, made me cry.  It belonged to her Gram.  :::sniff-sniff:::  That makes it special enough, but I’m a sucker for vintage, handmade linens.

This little frame says it all.  I know she included this because she knows I struggle, like many women, with knowing my own worth.

I so need this reminder that I might make a piece of jewelry out of it.  That way it will be with me all of the time.  If I were cool I’d do a hip hop look.

This pin made me swoon…..I can’t wait to put together an outfit to wear it with!  Kelly Joy has such a cute shop.

As I unwrapped the last item, I nearly fell down laughing…..

A Depends!  Oh no!  Leslie, I laughed so hard I almost needed to put them on! (I most certainly will NOT Photoshop myself wearing these)

Oh my dear Leslie, I wish I could communicate how much this all means to me.  It encourages me to reach out to someone else and send them a surprise care package.  Seeing these things around my house will bring instant joy to my day for years.

Leslie is having a Purge Party on her blog on Mondays.  I know some of my new goodies are from her house.  One woman’s purge is another woman’s gorgeous coffee table tray.


I hope you’ll go visit Leslie and show her some love!

Happy Pots

Happy Pots

What a weekend!  We cleaned and organized and put out the spring decorations….my favorite way to spend a weekend.

My friend Pennie gave me the cutest thing for my birthday….these flower pots.  She tells a tale of plowing a woman to the floor to get them.  That makes them even more special.  Knowing that someone was injured just so I could have them meant the world to me.

With our recent no-spending pledge, I searched high and low for a way to display them.  They needed to hang from the wall.  My large supply of needless items, sadly, yielded no results.  I was going to have to spend real money.  I went to Walmart and found some black brackets for $3 each.  I felt OK about spending $6, but they would need painting.

I already had a spray paint that was almost the same color as the pots.  SCORE!

Now they hang in a little spot in my living room, filled with some Pottery Bard eggs my boys gave me for my birthday.

The little birds, which are my favorite thing about the pots, wouldn’t fit in the hook, so I tied them with twine.

It makes me happy.

Linking to:

Metamorphasis Monday,

Tidy Mom I'm Lovin It Fridays

Craft DIY Ideas

this blessed nest

Transformation Thursday

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating


A Birthday Giveaway

A Birthday Giveaway

We’ve got several birthdays in February.  That means lots of celebrating, lots of gifts, lots of carbs.

We do “Birthday breakfast,” which means the birthday person gets to choose any breakfast foods they want.  That usually includes at least three carbs and some sugar.  For instance, tomorrow is Elijah’s birthday and he wants powdered sugar doughnuts, little chocolate doughnuts, french toast, sausage and scrambled eggs.  Last week Noah had sourdough biscuits, french toast and sausage patties.  What ever happened to regular old eggs and bacon?!

On my birthday, the kids put their money together to get me something so wonderful I just can’t even express how excited I am.  It’s a “recharge station” from Pottery Barn.

Perhaps they thought the station I have now could be improved.

Is this not the best gift ever?!

Since it is better to give than to receive, I thought I’d give you something.  Being the magazine lover that I am, two of my newest favorites seemed the perfect gift for you.

The Flea Market Style is amazing.  It highlights a bunch of bloggers and is packed with great ideas.

But you won’t just get the plain old magazines….no!  I will write little post-it notes all through it so you can know what I think of everything.

It’s really fun.  I love to do this and send them to friends.  It’s like we’re right there together reading the pages and laughing.

Here’s a sample of some things I might say….


Stuff like that.

To win all you have to do is be a subscriber.  If you’re not already subscribed, just click on the little orange rainbow looking thing over on the right side of the page with the words “follow” pointing to it.  If you blog, Twitter or Facebook about it I’ll enter you again.

Then leave me a comment letting me know you’re a subscriber and you’re entered.

I’ll close the comments on Tuesday, March 1 at 12:01 am.  It only seems right to end the giveaway at the same time February ends.

Perfecting My Shopping Skills

Once the wedding was over there was more excitement.  The very next day, Sunday, was Hope’s 17th birthday.  Instead of a gift, she wanted to go shopping.  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

She knew just what she was looking for and we headed to the big city to find it.  In her words, “Layering tops in orange and military blue.”

“You mean teal?” I would ask.

“No Mom.  Teal and military blue are completely different colors!”

“Oh.  Sorry.”

We hit TJ Maxx, Target, Macy’s, American Eagle Outfitters….all of the best places to find layering things that aren’t made to look skin tight.

We don’t do skin tight.

It took a while, but we managed to find everything she was looking for at discount prices.  Am I good or what?  My mad shopping skills do come in handy from time to time.

I try to explain that to James.  Shopping is a skill that takes years to perfect.  I need practice.  If I don’t shop regularly I might lose my touch.

He doesn’t seem to get it.

I don’t get his love for Sci-Fi on TV.  So we’re even.

Maybe not completely even, since shopping is necessary for the real world.

Although it would be nice to be able to beam from one store to another.

See?  James and I are the perfect combination of weird.  Two peas in a pod.  Our children have no hope of being normal.