Simple Joys

Recently our little family joined my side of the family on a nice week long vacation.

To try and accommodate everyone in the family we ended up heading to the Finger Lakes.

(Side note, if you’ve never been out that way I highly recommend taking a trip some day. It is really quite lovely.)

But in the weeks leading up the this vacation I started to worry about what we would do all week with our crazy active two year old.

Don’t get me wrong, as I said before the Finger Lakes are just beautiful. And if you’re into drinking wine (or beer. Or really anything containing alcohol…), you probably need to take a trip out there someday.

But it’s hardly kosher to allow a two year old a glass of wine. This isn’t France after all.

And aside from miles and miles of winery’s (heh) there aren’t necessarily a ton of activities that are super two year old friendly.

So I started to get a little nervous that we would have an exceptionally bored Mini all week. I mean, you can only color in your new “color book” so many times…

But as we settled into our home away from home on the steepest hill I’ve ever experienced in my life (seriously, I probably lost 10 pounds just walking up and down…), I found myself a little humbled.

Because for all my worry, and research, and concerns, my dear Mini was completely and totally content to spend her entire week throwing rocks into the water. Or just down the hill.

Really wherever we’d let her throw them.

Now don’t get me wrong, we still made time for many adventures, including visiting some goats:

Goat

Boat riding:

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And walking through some very pretty waterfalls:

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But if we hadn’t done any of that, I think throwing rocks would have consumed our entire week with absolutely no complaints from the Mini.

And I was struck with the contrast.

Here I was trying to ensure that we’d have plenty of “entertainment” for the week – trying to make sure it was a super special and unforgettable time.

And here my daughter was getting the most joy you’ve ever seen out of throwing rocks.

Rocks.

That’s it.

She found joy in rocks.

Rocks

And it caused me pause.

Because I can get so caught up in trying to make every moment unique that I miss the simple joys that life has to offer.

Like throwing rocks.

I can distract myself from what is really important (just having time together as a family) in my effort to strive for “perfect” parenting.

But really all the perfection we needed was to take in the simplicity around us.

So there you have it. Humbled by, and quite thankful for, a rock.

Who’d a thunk it?

And She is Two!

It’s hard to believe that two whole years ago we welcomed you into our little family.

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Two years ago you made us parents, and we started off on the craziest, silliest, hardest, most rewarding journey.

You are the most special little girl, and your daddy and I feel so blessed to have you.

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You’ve added such spunk and love to our family.

You are beautiful and smart, and your energy levels still continue to amaze me.

You have the kindest heart, and I love watching your enthusiasm for life spill over into everything you do.

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And although some days you drive me right to the brink of insanity 😉

We wouldn’t trade you for the world!

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Happy birthday my little Mini.

Another Year Another Birthday

You always hear growing up that you’d better enjoy life now because as soon as you’re older it just goes by so fast.

And of course as a young child you never believe this, but rather spend your days longing to be grown, because life isn’t moving fast enough.

But the fact of life is it does indeed go by very, very quickly, and before you know it you are all grown up, you’ve celebrated seven years of marriage, and it’s your favorite hubby’s 28th birthday.

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I’m still trying to figure out how exactly this happened (of course, not forgetting that we also managed to become parents in that previously mentioned time frame….). But happened it did.

So I am wishing you the happiest of birthdays my dear hubby. Even though you have to work all day I hope is a good one.

I do have cake waiting for when you get home. (Although I can’t guarantee any frosting to go with it since the Mini did help me…)

But frosting or not we do love you, and are very thankful for all that you do for this family.

I am thankful that you’ve put up with me for the last seven years.

And the Mini is thankful that you’re such a wonderful daddy.

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And that she can eat the frosting off your cake.

So here’s to 28 good ones, and to whatever the next 28 plus may bring.

Love you Hubby.

Keith Birthday 1

I have it “easy”

A long while ago I had someone say to me, in response to finding out I was leaving work to become a stay at home mom, that they wished they too could quit their job and stay home because ‘I just had it so easy.’

Now please don’t mishear me – I’m not looking to start a debate over whether or not “working moms” have it better or worse than “non working moms.” That’s not the point of this post.

But I’ve been thinking about that comment all week. It’s been a long week, and as I’m sure many of you can relate to, ones brain often likes to relive certain moments when it’s the most unhelpful.

“I have it so easy.”

Unfortunately for me, this has not been such an easy week. I won’t bore you with details, but let’s say that it included, though wasn’t limited to:

-What could have been a very serious accident thankfully resulting in “just” a black eye for the Mini.

-Twice, in the span of 24 hours, putting a pan on the stove and completely forgetting about it (resulting in billowing smoke and blaring smoke detectors).

-Very poor sleeping (just mom this time).

-And daddy working some long, long hours away from home.

Yeah.

Reading my list my (and I’m sure other people’s) first reaction is the classic “first world problems.”

I mean, I still have a roof over my head, food on the table, etc etc.

But let’s be honest for a moment.

This thing called life thing is HARD.

Being a mom is HARD.

Having a week where you feel like absolutely nothing you do is going to have a positive outcome is REALLY hard.

And I’m grateful for it all.

I am.

I love being a mom.

I love that the hubby works as hard as he does for his family.

I love the Mini, despite the heart attacks she’s getting good at giving me.

Though it is a good thing she’s cute:

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But
it.
is.
hard.

So I just needed to take a moment to admit that.

And now I need to go figure out how to remove the smell of burnt sugar from my house.

But at least I don’t have to test my smoke detectors.

Springing Into Spring

Well hello there Internet world.

It’s been a while.

A long while actually. I honest to goodness thought it had only been a couple weeks since I had checked in here.

I guess the end of a long winter had me feeling all blah and out of sorts.

But it seems we’ve finally turned a corner up here in the frozen tundra we call home, and for that I am grateful.

Not that our winter wasn’t without its perks.

Romeo found that all that white stuff made the game of hide and seek significantly easier:

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And on a more important note, we were also able to spend some time teaching the Mini the importance of proper snow management:

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We will however have to work on her speed for next winter. I suppose it’s true that you do get what you pay for around here, and Goldfish only get you so far.

In any event, we are now helping to usher out the old and ho hum by giving our little house a facelift. Well, an internal one anyways.

Warmer temps means open windows which means bring on the paint baby:

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(Disclaimer: this is not a job we’ve been encouraging the Mini to assist us with. The little tornado is better served with less…um…delicate tasks.)

There’s nothing quite like a fresh coat of paint. It makes everything seem new and exciting. And of course it makes non freshly painted rooms much shabbier.

We call this around here “motivation.”

It’s been quite cathartic to not only see less snow and more green outside, but to start to personalize our “life” on the inside.

It just reinforces how much I love love love this time of year, because everything just feels so new again.

The grass is growing, gardens are being started (or built. I’m looking at you, Hubby…), and everyone is finally able to go outside without a million layers that you just have to take off once you get inside because the heat is on and you’d literally melt.

Ahem.

Sorry.

Did I mention I’m excited about spring?

I am quite ready for warm days, new life, no shoveling, and all that happiness that springtime brings.

Now if you’ll excuse me, the Mini is down for bed, and I have a date with a paintbrush.

Happy springing!

A Shih-tzu SOS

Hello world.

Romeo here.

It has finally come to this.

I have said before that my humans are insane.

You all have seen the evidence.

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It’s truly horrible, what I have to put up with.

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Just look at how I must suffer.

And of course there’s the whole thing about how they added a tiny human (who I despise) into the mix.

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But it’s gotten worse. So much worse.

I think it’s time I ask for help. Any help. Maybe a new home? New humans? At the very least a vacation…

I’ll take whatever I can get.

Because this:

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Simply cannot continue.

What little pride I have left is circling the drain.

Please, anyone, help me.

Romeo over and out.

Confessions of a Sleepless Mommy

Recently we’ve entered a new phase in our household concerning the Mini.

This wonderful new phase consists of a complete and utter REFUSAL to sleep, unless the hubby or I are sitting in the room with her.

And by refusal I mean bloodcurdling cries, heart wrenching screaming, thrashing until she bleeds, refusal.

Good times.

An already not great sleeper, the Mini, this new phase has caused a lot of extra sleepless nights over here. Nights that, although the hubby is more than willing to share, the whole twelve hour work day prevents much of his participation.

So the enjoyment of all of this falls mostly on my shoulders.

And for the past week or so the majority of my nights have been spent praying – no – begging the Lord to please, please, please let this child go. to. sleep.

Combined of course with the frustration, anger, and exhaustion (duh) that comes with sleepless nights.

Please, try and contain your jealousy.

Last night I went into the evening already dreading how badly I knew it was going to go. The initial struggle to get the Mini to bed was my foreshadowing of the rest of the evening (and early morning…).

As I sat and rocked her, I actually heard my desperate prayers for the first time.

Please dear God let her sleep. I am SO. TIRED. and I just really really want to sleep. So please let her sleep tonight…

And suddenly as I whispered those words out loud it struck me how completely and totally selfish that prayer was.

Did you catch it?

I needed sleep, and I was tired.

And although that was (is) true (and don’t get me wrong, sleep is a good and necessary thing), it sounded terrible when I said it out loud.

I have no idea why we’ve entered this phase of additional sleeplessness, but regardless of the reason, why was I more important than anyone else?

It was a humbling moment for me.

I realized that I was valuing myself much higher than my daughter or even my husband, because my only goal was MY sleep.

So, despite my poor attitude, and honestly not really wanting to, I changed the words to my prayer.

I started praying that no matter how badly the night went, I would have the strength to serve my daughter.

That instead of focusing on how tired and frustrated I was, I would be showing my daughter the love of Christ.

It took a few minutes of praying about this, but slowly my attitude and outlook on the evening changed from it being all about me, to being all about serving.

And you know what?

Last night was one of the worst nights since this new phase has started.

Bad enough where I had to go wake up my poor sleeping hubby to ask him to spot me twenty minutes because I was no longer a functioning human being.

But even though sleep was elusive yet again, I wasn’t thinking (much) about my own tiredness as I sat on the very hard floor of the Mini’s room.

Because it’s not about me.

None of this is about me.

Not motherhood, not sleeping, not even life in general.

And I know I’m going to slip up again, and fall back into my ugly grumpy attitude, but I was thankful last night for my moment of clarity.

For an opportunity to serve.

For the ability to show my daughter a love that doesn’t just come from inside my tired heart.

And while I’m very much looking forward to the end of this exciting new phase (and hopefully a little more sleep) my prayer is that no matter how long this lasts I won’t be looking at it as an interruption of my much desired sleep.

But rather, as a privilege to serve.

As an opportunity to channel the love of Christ.

As a reminder that it’s not about me, but it’s about Him, and serving, with His help, well in the situations He puts in front of me.

And what a blessing that is.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to start my morning caffeine drip.

baby

New Year New Shih-Tzu

Hello world.

Romeo here.

It’s come to my attention that is it standard procedure to make some “new year new me” resolutions, of sorts.

Normally I’m not big into changing anything, at all, but it just so happens that this year I have some New Years resolutions of my own.

Since the custom seems to require that the resolutions be shared, I have listed them below for your enjoyment:

Resolution one:

More naps.

You cannot possibly understand how difficult this is. I mean, the amount of naps I try and squeeze in during any given day?

Honestly it’s just exhausting.

But I am resolved to be better than ever with this, no matter how difficult it may be.

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Resolution two:

Eating more.

I’m afraid if I don’t keep up my calories I’m quite seriously going to whither away to nothing. I mean, have you seen me lately?

It’s bad.

Unfortunately this resolution requires a small assistance by the local humans, which is frustrating, but seemingly unavoidable.

That being said, I have gotten much more effective in begging for food. So that helps.

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Resolution three:

Better avoidance of the small human.

Just look at her:

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You can almost smell the threat(s) in her eyes. Makes my knees shake.

Or it would anyways if I had knees.

For some reason unknown to me this human seems to think we are friends. I have resolved to be much firmer in my resistance.

And finally, resolution four:

I resolve to never again explosively poo all over the humans floor, namely on that ridiculous carpet in the hallway, ever again.

(Before she catches me, this was NOT my idea. But human #2 insisted that I add this to my list. Just you wait human, revenge is a dish best served cold…)

Well, I think that about sums up my new year new me ideas.

Happy New Year to you all.

Except you, small human.

Romeo over and out.

It’s the most commercial? time of the year

I absolutely love this time of year. Ask anyone – my house has been decorated for weeks (hey if I’m going to put in all the time to get it up, I wanna enjoy it…), and I’ve had Christmas music playing since July.

Ok, ok. So maybe I never really stop listening to Christmas music.

Yeah, I am absolutely one of *those* people.

But I’m not crazy. Really. (maybe just a little)

I’ve just always really loved Christmas.

From the Christmas lights (white sparkly all the way!) to my favorite Christmas movies (which is a tie between The Year Without A Santa Claus and White Christmas) it’s always been special.

I have SO MANY memories of Christmas. Baking cookies, giving gifts, decorating the tree, I could go on…

And this year having my own little one able to be just as wrapped up in the excitement makes it all the more special and exciting for me.

(Yeah I know we had the Mini last year too, but let’s be honest, how much can an almost five month old really do…)

From tree getting and decorating:

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To hanging the stockings:

  

To jingle bell rock singing mice:

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It’s already been a Christmas for the books.

But even with all my Christmas, well let’s just go ahead and call it a (small) obsession, I heard something recently that gave me a rather large pause.

It didn’t start out strange, I was listening to someone describe their family’s Christmas celebration.

All was well until I heard the sentence “we aren’t religious in our household, so we just focus on the commercial side of Christmas.”

Huh. Interesting.

It brought to mind the immortal words of Lucy:

“Look, Charlie, let’s face it. We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It’s run by a big eastern syndicate, you know.”
(A Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965)

Ok, but seriously, it made me think.

When pressed further this individual explained that they focus on giving gifts, being kind and generous to others, and a just general “feeling of happiness.”

Now don’t get me wrong, giving, being kind, helping others, etc, is nice. But isn’t that something we should be doing all year round?

If this is our main focus during the holiday season, I’d venture to say that Christmas really isn’t that special at all.

Now I know you can see my “religious” spiel coming a mile away, but hear me out –

If Christmas is a special time of year, then shouldn’t there be a special reason to celebrate it? Shouldn’t it mean more than just the every day “be happy and kind?”

Yeah, I would argue that it is absolutely more special than that.

We can discuss all the origins of Christmas and it’s traditions for days, but it ultimately boils down to this:

Christmas is not just a time to be nicer than usual to your fellow humans, rather, it is the celebration of Jesus Christ coming to earth to walk as a man, die on a Cross, and give life to a world full of sinners.

And although we add things to this celebration such as Christmas cookies and lights in the windows, the whole point isn’t cookies or decorations.

The whole point is the best gift you’ve ever been given.

The only gift you’ll truly ever need.

And I know it may sound crazy, or cheesy, or whatever adjective you’d like to use, but think about it.

Doesn’t it mean so much more actually having a reason behind the season?

An Ode to Romeo

Since most of the country is slowly sinking into a depression regarding the current election, I thought I’d bring a little cheer to the day.

You see, it has come to my attention that this blog has been all too quiet lately in regards to a certain little pup:

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So to correct this terrible error, I would like to present to you: a poem for Romeo.

Romeo, oh Romeo.

Recently how your life has changeo.

Ok, just kidding. I’m not really one for poetry (clearly). So let’s try something a little more natural:

Romeo. We discovered about two years ago that we were going to ruin your life with this:

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Along she came and to your horror people stopped visiting the house just to see you:

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And although I’m not entirely sure you’ve forgiven us, you have been an incredibly good sport all things considered.

You’ve managed to keep your cool through it all:

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(And I mean this quite literally)

You are (most of the time) very patient with your “little sister:”

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(Though to be honest I’m pretty sure this, ahem, vast improvement started when she began throwing food for you…)

And you’ve been ever so relaxed when dealing with your humans as we adjust to our ever changing life:

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So here’s to you, sir Romeo.

Our very favorite dog.

We love you more than words can say.

So to you, I dedicate this blog.

Life, Laughter, and who am I kidding. It's all craziness!