Thankful Thursday {September 27,2018}

It's Thursday! 
Do you believe me 
that I am serious 
about being consistent 
with this again?

After driving all afternoon and evening, yesterday, BY MYSELF (I totally miss my kids but I am doing just fine sleeping in and enduring quiet with the gentle sounds of rain outside my window, besides a few twangs of sadness missing my B snuggles) I am at my parents' home! At some point after I left home (20 years ago), this room got a re-do with antique furniture from my great-grandparents...but there are leftovers from my youth that are standing strong. The blush pink walls and the floral stencil I did MYSELF for one of my YW projects and my mirror-desk vanity (that is now painted white, thankyouverymuchMr.H) and the little handmade wooden shelf with doors on the wall (made by my great-grandfather, of which Miss N has a replica in her mountain room corner) are sweet reminders that this space 
was once my very own.

Tomorrow & Saturday I will drive to and from Franklin to attend the WILD + FREE conference, and ohmygoodness I am excited.

And, naturally...thankful!

I'm Thankful For:

-yoga pants & summer sandals (yes I will wear them as long as possible, no I am not ready for boots)
-black olives
-hammock time in our "forest"
-reading with my bigs, in the corner of the mountain room
-our end of summer/end of garden dinner party--outside, of course, with grilled sardines, pears, and green tomatoes
-grilled pears
-grilled green tomatoes
(I mean, they deserve their own lines, right?)
-our FULL CHALKBOARD WALL of unhurried summer of abundance moments, trips, adventures, and wanderings
-the fun of reading through those chalked out moments with my bigs
-starting a fresh season with a cleaned up chalkboard
-that my dislike of snakes has NOT been passed onto my children (literally, yesterday, from the backyard: "look! It's Bob T. Slither! Go tell Mom!"--I have tricked them into believing that I am thrilled that we have a garter snake in our yard, and I even encouraged them to name it. This both ensures that they do not develop an irrational fear of harmless snakes and ALSO ensures that they let me know when they see him (since he has a name!) and I can steer clear, while also giving encouragement and excitement for the sighting)
-a successful new recipe for breakfast with my bees
-that glow when the sun has set but the sky is holding onto that last bit of light
-the power of a smile
-a clean basement
-our van that is 18 years old that is dying but IS NOT DEAD YET hallelujah and amen
-thinking people who delve into depths of gospel study and then share their findings, thoughts, and insights in powerful ways for the general public (I'm talking to you, Adam S. Miller)
-my Mom's art in my house
-the scout leaders who love what they do and shine love on my boys (I mean, for reals)
-wooden easels with child art drying art around my kitchen
-my boys' excitement over Kahn academy math practice
-my friend N who came to chill with my babies so I could leave and came to pick them up to meet with their homeschool nature group (and then cuddle B in her arms when he woke up from his nap needing his Mama)
-this fall's soccer season & Mr. H's being lead parent for practices (and lots of the games as well)
-the leaves changing in my yard
-my friend B who I can talk with endlessly about heavy things
-audio books
-Miss A's giggles & squeals when she is being tickled
-Mr J's notes to me on the chalkboard
-Mr N's satisfaction with his own planned & organized space
-Miss N's quick karate-chop sounding "huh!" sounds as she jumps off of things/down the stairs
-Baby B's grip on my hair when we snuggle
-fall rainstorms
-nature walks with my bees
-trees that whisper "look, feel, rest" on Mondays with my bees
-videos of baby B from Mr. H's phone
-videos of my little boys from years ago that just popped up on google photos (how does google even have my photos?)
-that moment with Mr. H looks at me and says "I got this--go do your thing."
-this weekend time I get to have me-time, brought to you by my amazing husband, my hosting parents, and the birthday gift to myself, of tickets to this conference

May you enjoy some nature
 and me-time this weekend, my friends!


Thankful Thursday {Friday morning} September 21, 2018

Tomorrow is Saturday the 22nd--
fall equinox

(I had to say that a second time in my head because 
I'm clearly having a hard time realizing that this is for reals--)


So technically today is the last day of summer.
Which technically makes a lot of sense for me because we haven't yet done our "first day fall term" traditions around here (Academy Harper), I haven't done any fall decorating or major planning (I did finally update my google calendar yesterday with all the dance classes, Odyssey of the Mind meetings, updated cub scout dates, and soccer games--but what will we be for Halloween, people!?), and I've been holding onto our unhurried summer of abundance like nothing else matters.

I mean...on my list of To Do's today (besides thank you's from Nathan's baptism almost 3 weeks ago...yes, I'm behind!) is to finish up our massive chalkboard wall of summer abundance, document it, and clear it out, in preparation for the adventures and joys of fall.

But I'magonna start this season off right--I'm circling back to something that I started one fall Thursday ten years ago (!), when I was a newly minted mother, and which became a restful routine for my mind and heart--Thankful Thursday.

I just checked, and my last Thankful Thursday post was a shocking 19 months ago (!). But I am making an effort to change my perspective on a few things. One of those perspective shifts is to do the thing I actually want to do, no matter how "behind" or "too late" or whatever other defeatest mentality is clouded over that desire or interest. IT IS JUST SILLY. And there is nothing better than a good old Thankful Thursday to prove it!

I'm Thankful For:

-the way the light through the trees dances shadows along my bedroom floor in the morning
-sharpened pencils
-Mr. H's little forehead kisses when he leaves in the morning
-the kids morning selves wandering into my room, one by one, to report their dream or tell me what they are reading or just snuggle in the recliner or next to me in my bed
-my morning self who doesn't love mornings but loves being with my morning children
-twinkle lights in the Nook room above a black wall FULL TO THE BRIM of experiences, adventures, trips, outings, moments, and heart-filled memories from our unhurried summer of abundance
-the changing of seasons
-the changing of me
-my imperfect but capable body
-the chance to gather with likeminded women of faith last night in a friends home--for a first gathering of schole and mother mentor discussion
-good, uplifting, inspiring books
-my children's artwork scattered here and there
-my mother's paintings in my house
-Mr. N's apology this morning for a glass hive that he accidentally broke yesterday
-my morning pleadings in the Spirit to have the calm to handle the little bits of chaos that undoubtedly would occur
-answers to that prayer when I had clear help from God --it was His spirit that helped me not show anger or big feelings when he told me how he broke it, but I was able to stay calm, give him a hug (surely he was scared to tell me) and thank him for the ways he was fixing his mistake (he cleaned it up himself, cut his finger, bandaided himself, and came to me to apologize)
-borrowed "boo boo oil" from my friend J that seems to really be awesome for my healing burned face
-a ride from my friend N and awesome conversations about mothering, learning, teaching, and birthing
-that the mechanic shop is not far away, is someone we trust, and hopefully we can get a report that will help us make the right next choice (pay for a fix or buy a new van)
-my joy in drawing
-real power in personal prayer patterns
-Miss N feeling confident in her new dance class
-Mr N making scrambled eggs for breakast (currently)
-Mr J zooming through awesome books and finding joy and satisfaction in reading (and doing his book report pages without complaint!)
-Miss A waking up happy and chipper EVERY SINGLE DAY (currently sitting beside me in my bed and drawing in her notebook)
-Mr B being adorably himself, and his sweet arms always outreached to his Mama
-Mr. H loving and supporting me, even when I'm a crazy person
-texts from friends
-fluffy pillows
-Edna Wordweaver (I'm the kind of person that sometimes names things. This is my 1950's typewriter)
-my Dad's "You are are such a good Mom" whisperings of approval and cheering that honestly fortify my heart to do even better
-my Mom's listening ear and sound advice for the littlest and biggest things in my life, and the ways she adds color and light to make things beautiful
-women. good, kind, giving, generous, cheer-you-on kind of women that every single person needs in their lives
-soft reminders of who I am and the little things I need to get me to where I am going
-dreams that leave me pondering and feeling distinct impressions for change
-the color yellow
-the 5 painted bees on my wall (thank you, artist Mama)
-my kids saying "I'm sorry your face hurts, Mom"
-a clean space
-a walk in the rain with my bees yesterday (and! there's no such thing as bad weather*!)
-the rise-up kind of rest* that comes from expressing gratitude
-God's patience with me as I stretch and learn and reach and fall and try and stumble and discover and learn

And endlessly more. 

My 5 bees! Paintings by my Mama
J-orange, N-blue, Miss N-pink, Miss A-purple, Mr B-in the middle

* Books I'm learning SO much from right now: "There's No Such Thing As Bad Weather" by Linda Akeson McGurk (Swedish understanding of the childhood need to jump, climb, play and experience the outdoors, no matter the weather), "Teaching From Rest" by Sarah Mackenzie (homeschool--digging in, connecting with God, building our purpose with rest not anxiety), and "Read Aloud Family" by Sarah Mackenzie (purposeful parenting, power of reading culture in our home)


Monday Morning Quote: The Spirit of Christmas

"The spirit of Christmas is Christlike love. 
The way to increase the Christmas spirit 
is to reach out generously 
to those around us and give of ourselves. 

The best gifts are not material things
 but gifts of listening, 
of showing kindness, 
of remembering, of visiting, 
of forgiving, of giving time."

~Bonnie L. Oscarson

I have to tell you, I absolutely adore the glitter and sparkle and twinkle and jingle of Christmas time! I start listening to Christmas music around mid-November and don't stop until my family decides they're officially done (I usually extend the holiday until the New Year, you?). 

I am as drawn to the white lights and the candle-lit tables as I am delighted by the green wreaths and the hanging mistletoe (c'mon, who doesn't need extra kisses from the person they love most?). I love the way our home feels with the music, the light glows, the sparkling decor, and the busy baking kitchen (tonight we made a batch of sugar cookies and bread to give away tomorrow!). I close my eyes and I can SEE Christmas. I cherish the traditions and family time and merry making. And it is Christmas. 

It is here. It is in the way we make the days different, and it is in the way we make OURSELVES different--by focusing on our Savior Jesus Christ. And in the end-- as we focus on Him, we look outward and find ways to give His love to those in our circles of influence.

Our family has had amazing experiences this month with our church's #LightTheWorld celebration--not that we've done really huge things (and we've even missed a day or two!), in fact, they have mostly been small and simple--but there is something beautiful that happens when you are daily looking to do something nice for somebody else.

And now (somehow) we have one more week! 

My bigs wake up and rush down the stairs to  find the "Shelf Elf" who has a note. His note has a clue to find "the kindness elves" somewhere in our home. The Kindness elves also have a  note--this time giving encouragement and an idea for an act of kindness to do that day, either inside our home/family or out among our friends/community. 

Every morning they follow the clues, find the notes and rush up to me (usually in bed feeding the babe) to tell me what we should do that day! It has been magical for them and for me, and we are learning how to make a daily focus in giving.

Now...if only I can add a few more hours to the day to organize my closets  (ahem...find all the presents I've hidden--tell me I'm not the only one) and get everything wrapped before the weekend...

Merry Monday-before-Christmas!



Thankful Thursday: February 16, 2017

First of all, I'm totally annoyed that it has been a full month since I last posted Thankful Thursdays--but in my defense my life is kind of a whirlwind right now (colicky baby=little sleep + winter sickness in my house + hibernating fog).

That said, I really do *NEED* to take time to focus only on the thankful thoughts--otherwise, all the other comparing and wishing and hoping and wondering and doubting--it all creeps in, and can feel ridiculous, overwhelming, and defeating. And ain't nobody got time for that. Seriously.

So! Today is Thursday AND it's the 16th, so this little guy? 


I can't even handle it. 
At his well visit today he weighed 13 lb 9.5 oz. and the doctor suggested 
we move up to size 2 diapers already...sheesh!

I'm Thankful For:

-my friend Erin S. who is consistently checking up on me, and sending words of encouragement--we barely bonded before our move but I really appreciated a bossom-buddy like connection and her words and advice have been so sweet for me during the last few months
-my friends the Lichtenbergs (they are in our ward, and she was our realtor) who came over today to hang out with the 4 so I could take B to his appointment...they read books, played games, and MADE CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES. who does that?! *sigh* They do. And I've been eating them. 
-all of the people who brought meals, sent prayers, did some grocery shopping, and reached out over the last two weeks that we've been sick (ahem: walking pneumonia for me and this virus thing for everyone else), it has been humbling to be taken care of, especially after we've already been served so fully after B's birth and when we had to go back to the hospital with him after Christmas
-the swing, bless it (B loves it and is currently napping in it)
-cozy socks
-swirly snowflakes--even though we've missed out on most of the major snowstorms this winter (which I'm always sad about, I love the snowstorms!)--we've had lots of days with swirly snow that has made me smile
-read aloud time with our family...we are currently reading The Green Ember and loving it
-limbo games (we've been playing them after dinner clean up and everyone loves the game!)
-nap time (bless.)
-our van that keeps chuggin' (17 years old now!)
-the good feeling of a made bed and organized drawers
-my Mom, ever offering advice and good thoughts and encouragement (I've needed it so much lately)
-sunny winter days
-the quiet glow of the white lights in our bedroom
-epsom salt soaking baths
-my handsome Valentine, who seriously does so much for me and puts up with all my me-ness
-my sweet little Valentines--who covered our home with punched out colorful paper hearts and made Valentine's day so special!
-my dishwasher & washing machine & everything else that makes my life easier and simpler and cleaner
-medicines (currently taking prednisone and antibiotics for the walking pneumonia)
-probiotics (to counter any gut imbalance)
-tissues (we've gone through wayyyy too many with all these runny noses around here)
-my friend Brittany who's daughter loves Miss N & who Miss N loves and who picks her up early in the morning for fun girl time
-awesome giggles from the toddler
-packages on my porch
-powerful scriptures
-cuddles with the 8 year old
-drawings by the 6 year old
-dance parties with the 5 year old
-snuggles with the babe (which is kind of all the time

I'm sure I have more. Much more.
 Every day is a gift.

Thankful Thursday: January 19, 2017

I'm Thankful For:

-a slow moving Thursday morning (no one was up until 9am, my favorite way to start the day)
-Mr. H getting home from Chicago last night--exhausted, but still worked on a puzzle with us, was front-and-center for bedtime, switched some laundry, cleaned out 2 vacuum cleaners, and held Mr. B to help him get to sleep
-foggy mornings
-going to Target by myself
-newly organized spaces (pantry! bathroom closet! hallway closet!)
-soaking baths
-clarity in stepping away from a situation
-clean babies
-dance parties
-painting afternoons
-crafting mornings
-slippered feet
-surprises in the mail
-my parents--oh my goodness. Breakfasts, clean ups, lunches, clean ups, diaper changes, toddler wrangling, baby holding, big kid playing, bedtime routine-ing, read alouding, errand running, ice playing, snow shoveling, snow sledding, scripture discussing, rock painting, book reading, couch cuddling, movie watching, gingerbread building, cookie baking, dinner making, food buying, early morning holding, floor sweeping, dish washing, holiday celebrating, all-around-dream-make-come-true-ers--yesterday was *the goodbye day* and we are missing them like crazy!
-Mr. H's job (it's not our favorite, but it provides, so I'm focusing on gratitude)
-my (desktop) Mac turned back on!
-easy breakfasts
-Sunday night brownies
-skits with the kids
-big feelings on busy days
-clean spaces
-our washer & dryer--that are running almost every day! 
-big, juicy oranges
-happy babies


January 16th: ONE MONTH of Baby B

8:05am on the 16th

*One month ago* today, the waiting and growing phase gave way for untapped strength. 

Time stopped--a new person was officially introduced to the world and, as it universally does, that moment changed everything. 

Outside, new snow fell from the sky like confetti and we, warm inside our watery cocoon, we cried in relief & joy. Celebration all around!

L: The last days of waiting...41 weeks, plus  R: The first minutes of holding...after 4 hours of labor (VBA2C water birth)

Dear Baby B,

We've been staring at you for one spectacular month now. You are abundantly loved. 

We adore your squooshyface, your squeaky sighs, and your head o'red. You have 4 little people around you all day who think you are the most amazing baby in the universe and 2 doting parents who are smitten. 

In fact, we even think you are cute when you crinkle your eyebrows, give your best grouch impression and cry (except at 2am...OK even then you are super cute). We are excited to cheer on your milestones and be part of your becoming.

Be patient with us, we are still becoming too♡

Yo Mama Bee


Thankful Thursday: January 12, 2017

It's January's 2nd Thursday!

And I'm full of grateful goods.

I'm Thankful For:

-my parents who are still, wonderfully, here from Tennessee...entertaining my crew, cleaning up messes, changing diapers (my Dad!), encouraging goodness, and guiding the days
-my Mr. who is ever encouraging and trying so hard to think of how to support me in my post partum hot-mess-ness
-my 8 year old who is such an obedient soul and willing helper
-my 6 year old who is such a creative genius and gentle baby holder
-my 5 year old who is such a spark of energy and happy dancer/entertainer
-my 1 year old who is morphing more and more into a BIG TODDLER every day
-my baby boy who completes our family in all the sweetest ways (and gave us a rare 5 hours of sleep one night!)
-our warm home
-our van that fits (just!) our family and keeps on keepin' on (since 2002)
-Mr. H's's not his favorite or my favorite, but it provides for our needs, wants, and wishes and really, what a blessing!
-my phone, on which I have hundreds, thousands of photos of memories and moments that make me smile and feel grateful for the days
-hot water to take soothing baths
-our neighborhood for my daily walks
-friends in our ward who have been so supportive and helpful
-uplifting messages and articles that give me hope and perspective
-friends that remind me of who I really am
-genius inventions
-homemade bread, grass-fed butter, and local honey 
-our king sized bed (this is the first time we've had so much space with a newborn at night--dreamy!)
-the family who has been picking J up for cub scouts so I don't have to get out on Wednesday evenings
-exciting changes and blessings for my brother B
-sweet cards in the mail from family and friends who've been praying for baby B
-baby B's healing fingers and toes
-our baby swings (yes we have two, yes we are using them both, yes our baby is a bit on the needy side)
-the way I feel when I look at the moon
-the awesome hoot of an owl that we noticed from our bedroom window last night
-the recliner that helps on heavy crying nights
-clean counters
-organized drawers
-the hope of a future day when I can clean more counters and organize all the drawers! lol
-the power of the Holy Ghost to inspire and enlighten
-the Book of Mormon and it's message of Christ's love and power, if we let Him in
-God's love, as seen in little moments all around.

So grateful. So much. And so tired.