Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

{some days, they are like glue}




{missing Mama, all day at work}



{slowly, getting better}



{the best big sister}



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, August 28, 2011

running through my head

I haven't done a stream of consciousness post in a while!  I think it's time.

An update on Gracie's eye: I called the doctor again on Wednesday and said, "the bottom line is I want to be seen.'" And we got an appointment.  The doctor's opinion didn't change.  We have to let the chalazion run it's course and it's best to let it resolve itself.  He did think it may have been infected, so he prescribed oral antibiotics and I was thrilled we could discontinue putting the cream in her eye.  He said that surgery was really only for convenience sake and most parents choose it because they are tired of looking at the chalazion.  And it's general anesthesia, which comes with it's own risks.

On Thursday, the skin was even more chapped and scab looking.  When I put a warm compress on it, the skin softened enough for puss to start oozing out.  Sorry if that's gross.  It is, but it's also rad.  It's amazing that her body basically pushed the infection out and the skin opened completely on it's own.  It has continued to ooze when the scab softens and is about half the size it was a few days ago.

Lily is having at least one accident a day.  I'm pulling my hair out.  She doesn't seem to care.  It's not that she waits too long or is upset about it.  She rarely even tells me.  I discover her accidents and she's just hanging out in her wet clothes.  We are trying to keep her naked on the bottom around the house.  And she still will pee in her highchair or booster.

I don't know what to do.  I've tried not making it a big deal.  I've tried making her take her own wet cloths off.  I've tried rewards.  Being naked.  We're looking at sending the girls to a few days of preschool, but she can't go if she's having daily accidents.  When I first potty-trained her, she was doing SO well and was dry every nap and almost every night too.  But after her long fever and hospitalization she had major regression and we just haven't recovered from it.

However, I am thrilled that it's been over 4 weeks since Lily's last fever.  It's been over a year since she's gone that long fever-free.  I am believing and claiming that she has been healed.

Miss Rose starts 2nd grade in just over a week.  She seems to have matured and grown up so much this summer alone.  I'm scared for next year.  I feel like she is coming into her own more, having opinions and tastes.  I'm not sure how this will play out in school and how she will be influenced.  I'm praying a lot.  She has such a strong personality.  I want to see her use her strengths for good and to make the right choices in life.

I am a thrifting wanna-be.  I LOVE pinterest.  I'm not a very creative person by nature.  In fact my junior year of college, when I was responsible to decorate an entire floor, my best friends laughed and wished me luck, because that stuff does not come natural to me.  But blogs and pinterest inspire me and I am slowly gathering ideas for our home.  My sister and I spent an hour at a church rummage sale and one garage sale.  I scored a buffet type dresser for just $20!  I've been wanting one for the living room.  This one is perfect with lots of little drawers and cupboards with shelves.  I need to paint it and rearrange the living room.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.  I also got 3 mini-muffin tins (lets be honest, I'll probably make cupcakes) for $1!  I've wanted some of those for a few years now.

How often do you change the sheets on your bed?  Your kids beds?  Do you give your kids allowance?  What kind of chores do your children do?  What are your favorite dinners?  We are in a huge dinner rut. Some in the family are picky.  Tine is short and money is always tight.  This makes for very repetitive, boring dinners.  How do you make a kid like fruits and vegetables?  Gracie will only eat bananas, apples and raisins.  I make her eat a few bites of other fruits, but she gags and chews each bite for a minimum of five minutes.

That friends, is what's running through my head.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wordless wednesday

Ready for her first-ever soccer practice.




Lily really wants to play too.



Monday, August 22, 2011

chalazion

Ready for your medical lesson, via the family who seems to deal with all these odd issues??

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before or not, but for the past few months Gracie has been plagued by these bumps under her eyes and on her eyelids.  They would come and go, and she didn't complain about them much and I attributed them to allergies.  Then one on an upper eyelid started draining puss slowly.  And a lower eye one started growing.

Finally, I was done waiting it out and Bean took her in to the doctor (I think I'd already made a doctor trip that week with Lily) and we got a referral to a children's ophthalmologist.  The pediatrician said she had a clogged eye duct and it would probably need to be drained.

The ophthalmologist confirmed it was a clogged duct, but said that draining it was a surgical procedure requiring sedation and was a last resort.  Instead, we had to spend $20 on a special eyelid wash (who thinks of making things like this?) and $15 on eye ointment (because of course the pharmacy didn't have a $5 generic version).  He wanted us to do these treatments every night for 4 weeks and see him again in 6 weeks.

The medical term is chalazion.  It's a clogged oil gland in simple terms.  It is similar to a stye, but styes generally resolve themselves and have a different cause.

Do you know how incredibly challenging it is to put eye ointment, that burns briefly, INSIDE the eyes of a 4 year old?  I seriously spend ten minutes a night in the bathroom with Gracie alone brushing, flossing, swishing mouthwash, washing her eyes and applying the ointment.  If she's tired, she's very resistant and there is a lot of crying involved.  It's fun.

Oh, and 20 minutes a day of a warm compress on her eyes.  Do you know that anything barely warm feels like BURNING to a 4 year old?  I don't even think we are successful in applying a compress warm enough to do anything.  And being that it's summer, we're busy, kids are in full-time play mode, we haven't been as diligent with the compresses.

It was looking like this.  See the swollen bump under her right eye?  Not terrible, although not great.



Then last week, this started to happen.



Can you see that it's larger?  And redder?

And this is what it looks like tonight.  It's not pretty friends.



I will say, it's not quite as red as these iPhone photos make it appear.  But it still is very swollen, very large and very red.  (but aren't her freckles so adorable?!)

What's really frustrating to me is that our follow-up appointment isn't until the middle of September.  More than two weeks away.  I called the doctor today and they didn't have any appointments, so I spoke with him on the phone.  I tried my best to describe it, and he was fairly nonchalant saying he's seen them as large as a garbanzo bean (to which I replied, yes that's at least the size hers is) and they can get bigger and keep doing compresses and he doesn't need to see her sooner.

I would feel better though, if he at least saw her.  Just take one look, even in the waiting room.  I'm going to call again tomorrow and find out if there is an email address I can send these photos to.  Or maybe we will just walk in and ask for one minute between appointments.

It may be that we have to wait and there is nothing we can do for her.  She doesn't complain much, unless it gets bumped or touched.  Now when I do her eyewash, I can't even hardly touch that eye because it hurts badly.

Seriously, I don't even want to add up how much we have spent in co-pays this year between Lily's fevers and Maleah's eyes now.  And we still have a whole quarter of a year to go.  I am thankful though that our co-pays are $15, because I know it could be a lot worse.

So now friends, you know what a chalazion is and how it differs from a stye.  Someday, maybe this information will be useful to you.  But I hope not.  Because I would not wish this on any child or adult or parent!

Friday, August 19, 2011

too much fun to be had

We are playing and having all sorts of fun on our momcation, which also means that mom is exhausted by the end of the day!


The kids have some great tan lines right now from their bathing suits.  I am a few shades darker, but this is the time of year their 25% Mexican blood really comes through.  They get so dark in the summer sun, while I just get slightly tan.



Things wind down a bit this weekend.

Bean is in a wedding and so we'll have two whole nights of adult time for the rehearsal dinner and wedding itself.  Dare to dream!  I have loved every minute with my girlies this week, but adult time is always a nice balance.



This blog will resume regular activity next week!

Have a great weekend.

I hope you love the weekend like Gracie loves a big stuffed animal.


Monday, August 15, 2011

mom-cation: both feet in one world

I took the week off from work.  About a month ago I realized I was feeling pretty burnt out---on work, life, kids, everything.  And then I realized, I hadn't taken any substantial time off work since Christmas.  I have quite a bit of vacation built up, which also is a good indication that it's time for some time off.

A true vacation, where you leave home and eat out every meal definitely isn't in our budget.  I feel like it will never be!  Plus, the kids are still a little young to truly make the most of a vacation.  We need to invest in a timeshare where we can bring our own food, have bedrooms and a living room etc.  That's our kind of vacation.

But, if you can't afford a vacation, there's no better place to live than San Diego!  Everyday living can be like a vacation if approached the right way.  So staycations are the norm for us.  At their ages, the kids really just want to be with us.

I've used the term "mom-cation" before and decided to google it today.  I found that it typically refers to a vacation moms go on by themselves or when moms prioritize a project or hobby over some of the daily chores.

For this mom, a mom-cation means being just a mom.  Just doing the mom thing.  It's no vacation though.  It's being a full-time mom I always am, without the full-time other job.  It's actually being able to keep the house picked up, to do errands, plan fun outings and not feeling overtired from the work week.

Balancing a career and motherhood often means less of the fun stuff, the hanging out, the lazy mornings.  Schedules have to be adhered to.  There are morning wake-ups and making lunches and the only time for bathing is at night.  By the end of the week the house is a wreck, because the kids are a priority and there isn't much energy for more than being fully present with them.

My mom-cation started out by hitting the youth swim night on Sunday.  Hanging out, kids swimming, eating s'mores.  We were home and had the little girls in bed by 9pm but Miss Rose stayed later with a friend and didn't get to bed until 10pm.  That is mom-cation.  Normally, we'd be in bed on time on Sundays, because everyone has to wake up and be ready for the day early on Monday.

This morning we lounged around the house a bit and then hit the road for some errands--without having to worry about what time it was, when we'd be home, naptime etc.

It was a big day for Miss Rose!


Notice anything new?  (sparkle sparkle)

Her cousin had her ears pierced recently and that seemed to give Miss Rose the courage she needed to commit.  She got pretty nervous right when it was time for the piercing and needed to hold my hand.  She cried, but she didn't freak out (which is a sign she is growing up).  And she was very happy to have her ears pierced.

The little girls wanted a photoshoot at Old Navy.  Silly girls.


I got to do the two things that I love the most.  Be with my kids and exercise!  I exercised this afternoon so that Bean could exercise when he got home from work.  We've been trying to exercise together, but it's gotten pretty challenging.

I also had the energy to clean & organize the little girls' room.  Honestly, what do you do when your 4-year-old owns at least 20 stuffed dogs, and knows every one of them?  She cycles through which ones she plays with, but they all get played with.  I feel so guilty downsizing, because she loves them so much.  But their room usually ends up with a huge pile of stuffed animals in the corner.  Not tonight though!  This mom-cationing mom had the energy to put things away and even dust.  Amazing.

Being a stay-at-home mom is exhausting.  I know this.  And it is a full-time job.  I know if I were a stay-at-home mom, I wouldn't always have the energy for all of these things.

But since usually I live with a foot in both worlds, it is a breath of fresh air to have both feet in one world for the next 7 days.

7 and a half years, 3 children and it finally happened

There are those rites of passage that all parents go through.  Being puked on, pooped on, blow-outs, accidents, green beans being raspberried all over the place, and the list goes on.

All parents realize, at some point, your child will lock themselves in a vehicle.

It took longer than I would have expected, but we finally went through that rite of passage.

Miss Rose & Gracie were headed to spend the night with their Aunt who lives about 90 miles away.  We met halfway to do the exchange.  Lily wasn't quite ready for a sleepover (although mama would have gladly let her go!).  While I was moving carseats over, Lily climbed in the front of the van (which was off) and was playing.

The transitions were made and I grabbed Lily and put her in the back to climb into her seat, which is on the driver's side.  Went around to open the door to buckle her in and...all the doors were locked!

I quickly ran back around to my sister's car before she could pull away.  I needed some moral support and perhaps her phone, since all my stuff was in the van.  I was nervously laughing, knowing things would be okay, but still panicked!

Thankfully, the keys were sitting on top of my purse on the passenger seat.  I had to yell to get Lily's attention.  I am so glad she wasn't buckled in then!  It took a few minutes to communicate to her to get reach up front and get my keys. Then it took a few more minutes of telling her to hit the buttons on the alarm for her to finally hit the "unlock"button, but it worked!

I'm sure it took no more than five minutes, but it did feel like an eternity.  Lily was quite proud of herself proclaiming "I did it" several times, although I don't think she realized that she was locked in the van.

And I'm thankful we didn't have the experience my friend shared on Facebook with me, where his 7 year old son locked himself in the car in their garage, and remembered about the "emergency hammer" in the glove compartment to break windows.  He broke two windows out of the vehicle.  I'm thinking a 7 year old would have been capable of unlocking a door, but the hammer was much more exciting.

I wonder what our next rite of passage will be.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

boasting gladly

I spend too much time waiting for the other shoe to drop.

This may seem odd, since I'm generally a glass-half-full, optimist. I think there is no use crying over spilled milk because you can never get it back in the glass anyways, so might as well move on.

My optimism mostly applies to everyday life.

When it comes to the big stuff, the unexpected, the tragedies, I am always waiting for the next bad thing.  I sometimes daydream about things that could possibly go wrong in life (illness, death) so that if they do, I'm somewhat prepared.  I admit, it's a bit demented.  And I remind myself that "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind."  1 Timothy 1:7

The problem is, I've experienced my fair share of the other shoe dropping.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.

You find yourself waiting for that shoe
Because your childhood friend dies just 6 months after diagnosis of a brain tumor
As a high school freshman getting ready for school in the morning, you hear about the murder of a teenage girl the night before.  Then they say her name.  And you scream.  Because she was in your youth group.
The group you're camping and hiking with inadvertently starts a forest fire, and you all have to run for your lives
Your best friends mom, who is like a mom to you, is diagnosed with lymphoma
Urgent messages on your pager, answered using a pay telephone reveal your dad has had a massive stroke that almost take his life and leaves him disabled.
Minutes away from being sent home from the ER, doctors come in to take your mom to emergency surgery, where she almost loses her life while they repair a perforated ulcer
Your healthy mother-in-law is diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer
Friends and family go through horrific things, too much to even recount here.

I have no doubt that anyone who's lived 34 years like I have, could come up with a similar list.  But still it frustrates me that I am often waiting for the next tragedy.

Hearing that my cousin's son had a brain tumor, hit especially close to home since we had just been in that same hospital with Lily a month prior, preparing ourselves to hear the worst.  Lily and Levi are just a few months apart in age.  And their older son is a few months younger than Gracie.  There wasn't a "worst" for us, but there certainly was for little Levi.  Although he's doing quite well after surgery and thing seem hopeful for a good recovery right now.

I have spent so much time in prayer this week.  As I drive, as I go through daily routines, as I go to sleep at night and when I wake in the morning.  And I've felt such peace.

Yesterday the words of Paul came to me,

"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses"

New understanding dawned.  There is nothing like relying on God, like needing to rely on Him; when God is your only source and you can do nothing but cry out to Him and rest in Him.  That is why we should boast when we are weak, when tragedy comes, when the pain of life seems too much to bear.

It is in those weaknesses that he is most strong.  And in turn, we are most strong.  He shines in times like these.  I see Him shining in my cousin and her husband.  They speak of peace and encouragement, of weights lifted.

I'm going to work on changing my mentality.  Sure, the other shoe may drop sometimes.  But that's when God shines and our faith grows and I feel closest to Him.  I don't need to prepare myself or anticipate it.  If something tragic were to happen, I will embrace my weakness and His strength.

I feel like my words are so feeble right now to describe this incredible truth that came to light in my heart yesterday.  All I know is that Jesus told us we'd have trouble in this world, but that he has overcome it and we don't need to let our hearts be troubled.  It doesn't make sense.  Jesus often doesn't.  But it's something I know and have experienced deep in my soul.

I will proclaim it to the world
I will declare it to my heart
Sing it when the sun is shining
I will scream it in the dark

You are faithful
You are faithful
When You give and when You take away
Even then still your name remains
Faithful
You are faithful
And with everything inside of me
I am choosing to believe
You are faithful



from "Faithful" by Steven Curtis Chapman


Friday, August 12, 2011

Miss Spotty, mena & chunks of love

It still is true that my blog is basically a cyber baby book for my children.  I was great at filling out baby books for the first two during their first year.  Notsomuch after that.  And Lily?  Still haven't even cracked Lily's book open.  I did an okay job of her First Year Calendar.  I still have yet to order a copy of her birth certificate.

Here's a couple cute stories I have to share, so that I won't forget!

We have a handful of movies that are in the van and we aren't good about changing them out.  The kids don't seem to mind though.  Shrek is one of our van movies.  The other day in the car Gracie starts telling me how when the Princess is an ogre, her name is Miss Spotty.

Like all mom's do, I nodded and said "oh yeah?  interesting" and didn't ask her about it.  She brought it up again when Miss Rose was in the car, and we started discussing why Gracie thinks this and she claimed there was a point in the movie where Fiona says her name is Miss Spotty.

Yesterday, Shrek was on and I remembered to ask Gracie when Fiona says that.  We got to that part in the movie (when she first turns into an ogre) and turned it up to listen.  Fiona says to Donkey at one point "it's me, in this body."  Wouldn't you know, it does sound A LOT like "Miss Spotty."

Miss Rose and I laughed so hard.

If you are watching Shrek, listen closely and you too might hear Fiona calling herself "Miss Spotty."

I also must record that Lily calls bananas "menas".  It's the cutest thing.  Bean and I still refer to oatmeal as opelay often, which is what Gracie called it when she was real little.  I love the words kids make up that become part of our vocabulary.  Miss Rose gets frusterated because she wants to say "spaghetti" but it still comes out as "masghetti".

One last story for the road.  (Because we are driving somewhere, I guess.  Sometimes I sound so old!)

A few weeks before my birthday, we were eating dinner and I was joking around with Miss Rose and I told her "you should do chores and earn extra money so you can buy me a nice present."

She looked at me and said "um, no.  I will get you a big...chunk...of love."  She really said it like that with those pauses for emphasis.

Going along with it, I said "oh yeah, well how will you give it to me?"

Not missing a beat, Miss Rose said "I will cut open my heart and then squeeze the blood all over you."

Well, there you have it folks.  I'm not even sure what to say about that one.

A quick, creative, yet logical thinker my girl is.

And that's the end of this entry in my cyber baby book.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

on choosing hope

My cousin's husband wrote a post tonight, on the eve of their 2-year-olds brain surgery.  I guess that makes him my cousin-in-law?  

Anyhow, it's a great word on choosing hope instead of fear.  Please go check it out.  

I'm going to set some alarms on my phone for tomorrow, to remind me to pray for Levi, although I don't think I'll really need them.  Every time I look at Lily, I remember being in the hospital with her last month, and she's just a few months older than Levi.  

Please pray for Levi with me.

7:17am on a thursday

It's 7:17am.  I've been awake since 6:35am when I heard Lily crying for her "wee-ooo" which is how she says "Wubbie", which is the little red blanket she's addicted to.

The duck came several months ago, but her attachment is to the long skinny tag on the blanket.  She has gotten very adept at turning the blanket with one hand until she finds that tag, and then the tag goes next to her nose while she sucks the two middle fingers on her left hand.

I went in, found the Wubbie, which had fallen between the  bed and the wall and turned on the music.  Lily said "wake up?"  I said no and tucked her back in.  Then a few minutes later Miss Rose got up from the couch and asked to go to the airbed in her room, where her cousin is sleeping on her bed.  The airbed they were both so excited about, didn't turn out to be where either of them wanted to sleep after a chance to lay on it.

Bean settled Miss Rose and left for work and I pretended I'd be able to doze off again.

But as I expected, before 7am I heard the little girls and a minute later the pitter patter of feet coming towards my room.  Then it's a battle to get them to whisper since my room is right next to Miss Rose's and she's always sensitive to that.  I quickly abandon the idea of snuggling with them in bed because they are loud.

I get them settled on the couch to watch little Einstein and I get them cups of dry cereal.  I go back to my bed to see if I can doze.  Two minutes later Gracie yells out "milk!"  Just that one word.  I'm working on manners and polite talking, but she's the worst offender of NOT talking that way.  I try to tell her "in a minute" without yelling too loud and disturbing Miss Rose and cousin.  Then Lily pads in and tells me in her cute 2-year-old-speak that they want milk and I say "five minutes" which she attempts to convey to Gracie.

The little girls are arguing over something on the couch, both attempting to lay at either end and their legs are touching.  Ok, ok, I'm up.  I get milk.  But they argue over who gets the blue cup and who gets the purple cup.  They both want purple.  (note to self, buy another pack of sippies so we have two purples).

I'm thankful this morning I have my favorite coffee and favorite creamer.  With the strong espresso coffee and caramel flavor, it's almost as good as my favorite Starbucks drink. And so much cheaper!  And so many fewer calories to.

It's now 7:37.  Gracie decided she'd drink from the blue cup after all.  Miss Rose & cousin are up and finishing a movie they started last night.  I'm about to re-heat my coffee.  I have a thing about super hot, almost burning my tongue coffee.  Unless I'm drinking coffee out and about, I reheat it at least twice.  Usually because I am interrupted so many times while drinking it.

We're supposed to go to the beach today.  I'm NOT feeling it.  Hoping I can come up with a substitute activity that will please Miss Rose.  She had heart set on the beach.  But the little girls have a cold, that I probably gave them, which turned into a sinus infection for me.  And I'm tired.

So that's what's going on this morning.

I'm going to embrace the day.  Whatever it holds.  Even when kids are grumpy and mama is tired.  I love Thursdays no matter what state we are in, because we call it a "Mama day" around here.  As opposed to a day the kids have a babysitter or go to Grammie's house.

{brief pause while I carry Gracie to my bed to play.  don't even ask.  i'm her mama, she's my girl and sometimes i do silly things she asks me to.}

I peaked in and Lily is laying on Miss Rose on the airbed watching the movie with the girls.  Moments like that are so precious!  That's what Thursdays are about, slow mornings of being together.

How's your day so far?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless wednesday

It's almost not Wednesday anymore, but I can sneak these in, right?












- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

will you pray for Levi with me?

"Every mothers worst nightmare came true August 7, 2011. We discovered that Levi has a brain tumor. "


This is the introduction to a new blog that my cousin Kara had to start today, for those wishing to follow the journey they've just embarked upon.  I wish she didn't have to start this blog.

Kara is a mom much like me.  She balances working with motherhood, and her heart is always with her children.  She enjoys being active, exercise and a healthy life for her family.  We are close, in the way that cousins are, but we have almost always lived at least 45 minutes apart--so we don't see each other a lot.

Levi is 2 years old.  He is confined to the hospital crib and can't even be picked up or held for comfort, due to drains in his head and his medical condition.   I spent 24 hours in the same hospital with Lily last month and it was such a surreal experience.  I can't imagine knowing we'd be there for days or maybe weeks.


Would you click over and read about Levi and keep him and the family in your prayers?  They also have a 4-year-old son who is having his world rocked as well.

I am so thankful that my cousin shares my faith in God.  We depend on Him so heavily in times like these.  Not all the members of our extended family have an active faith in God.  Perhaps God will use this to draw them unto him.

Feel free to comment and encourage them on their blog!

Monday, August 8, 2011

the legend of Hopper

Once upon a time there was a little bunny, who would be named Hopper.

Hopper was being chased by a cat and was rescued by an angel named Stacy, who searched high and low for a suitable home for this friendly little bunny.

Enter Auntie Mimi, who became aware of Hopper and although she really wanted the bunny herself, she instead baited her sister, who was also a bunny lover and mother of three girls who desperately wanted a pet of their own.

After a flurry of emails, it was decided that Hopper would come to live with the little girls, who couldn't have been more excited.


The three little girls hugged, squeezed, kissed and loved the little bunny so much.



The mama sat down the first night to determine the breed of this bunny.

But oh no, s/he appeared to look a lot like a wild cottontail rabbit.  This was not good.  There were warnings that wild bunnies may be friendly for a time, but may get mean and wouldn't thrive in a domestic setting.

The girls were warned that Hopper might not get to stay, but they would get a forever bunny soon.



Daddy took Hopper (along with the girls) to Project Wildlife where they agreed Hopper looked wild and thought s/he might be a bush bunny.

The little girls were sad, but they were brave and anxiously awaited a new bunny.

Imagine the family's surprise, when one day later they received a call that Hopper didn't seem to be wild after all.  Hopper was very dependent on humans and didn't exhibit the normal characteristics of a wild bunny.



And the little girls rejoiced!  Hopper could come home to stay, and be their forever bunny.

Hopper already has a fan club.  Hopper might even need a Facebook Fan page for updates.

And this friends, is the legend of Hopper.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

welcome! come on in, but don't look in the closets

Welcome to my very own brand new space on the interwebs! I am so excited that this has all come about. Those who may have been following me for a while (which is like 4 people, 2 who are related to me) will know this is my third blogsite! But my first actual url and personalized design.

A huge thanks to a secret sponsor that helped make it possible. And to Liz of Sweet Simplicity Designs for making my ideas come alive on the screen. Liz's husband was my senior prom date. I had great intentions of finding a photo to scan and share here, but it just hasn't happened. I still might though. Stay tuned.

I also envsioned this fabulous blog launch with all my ducks in a row and everything on the blog and new design being perfect.  But who I am kidding.

I remembered that I work almost full time and have three young kids and it's summer and life never slows down.  So here I am.  It sure looks pretty!  But not every link has content and there are things I still want to add.  It will come as we go I guess.

It's like when you move into a new house and your furniture is in place and maybe even a few pictures on the wall.  But there's a room everything is shoved into and the closets are a mess!  But I'm still really glad you are here.

While I still am the ringmother of a Three Bean Circus, I decided I wanted a theme to my blog that was a little wider and had more room for development.  This is still a family blog, and also where I love to share my life and thoughts.

Why EMBRACE THIS DAY?  It took me quite a while to land there.  Just ask my sisters and my husband who are my blog muses.

In a nutshell, a few years ago I read a line on a blog (that I since can't find the link to) that said "Embrace the life you didn't expect."  It has really stuck with me.  Because who of us is living the life we expected to live?  Some things are better than we ever expected, some things are more challenging.

As a busy mom, every day usually turns out differently than I expected.

I can let these things completely throw me off.  I can let them ruin my day.  I can let them put me in a funk.

Or I can embrace them.

Several months ago I had the epiphany that when the Psalmist says "this is the day the Lord made" it wasn't just talking about the wonderful good days.  It doesn't only apply to the Sunday morning worship service where it's often quoted.  It applies when the day is falling apart and nothing is going my way.  It's still the day the Lord made.  And I can't ignore the next part of the verse which says "I will rejoice and be glad in it."  Not always easy.

I have been trying to live by this principle for a while.  It does help.  I'm not always successful at embracing what the day holds, but I'm working on it.

I've missed blogging the past few weeks.  I purposefully took a bit of a break to get more on the new site, although I didn't get all done that I hoped.  But I'm back now and will be adding stuff as I go.

Let me know what you think of everything!  I'd love your feedback, both positive and negative.