Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I could hear them coming.
“Sleestacking”across the living room with their stuffy noses.
*for all of you “Land of the Lost” fans out there*
Our two sons, dragging their blankets,
were making their way to the side of our bed.
They slept so much later than we expected! Yesss!!

“Haaaappy Morning!!!!” 
our oldest son beamed, grinning ear to ear.
They climbed into bed and giggled and snuggled 
and summoned us to make breakfast.
“I huuuungry, so so huuuungry,” says our youngest, 
while rubbing his belly, and batting puppy dog eyes.
My husband smiled as he squeezed them saying,
"Pretty soon WE'LL be dragging THEM out of bed.”

Yes, in the blink of an eye, 
they’ll morph from toddlers to teenagers, 
and it’ll be US urging THEM to get up, 
as they desperately hold on to their pillows 
murmuring “my preciousssss.” 

Our daughter has graduated from baths to showers.
*although she still loves her luxury baths with bubbles, just like her mama*
She picks out her clothes for school, 
and lays them out with matching hair accessories.
She helps around the house, and with her brothers…
and when I reach to help her with something,
she holds her hand up and declares, “no, no…I've got this mom."

But it wasn’t long ago, when she was our little freshie, just home from the hospital,
and we’d burn hours staring at her in the bouncer. And when I say hours, I mean houuuuurs.
Just staring. Wondering what we ever did with our time before her arrival.

And, as most new parents, we’d think about how to do things “just right.”
But, soon thereafter, you come to learn 
that there is no such thing as “perfection”when it comes to parenting.
Just a beautifully gritty & complex, ever-changing journey 
of discovery and learning. Much like life itself.

I’m not the same person I was yesterday, and neither are my children.
Every day we are transforming. Growing. Together.
I’m learning how to be gracious with myself, and my children,
as I’m teaching them how to be gracious with me.
And they are. They really, really are. So resilient, and willing to forgive.
We’re learning to be patient with one another. Together.
We're learning to listen, really listen, to one another. Together.
And most importantly, we’re learning how to cherish one another. Together. 

I promised myself a few years ago, when life was brimming over,
and I was overwhelmed and overcommitted and exhausted,
that I would stop…
just stop, and downshift, and purpose it in my heart
to take the time, to make more time, for more time. 
And I have.

That I would squeeze the last bit o’ juice out of every morsel,
be fully present, savor the little moments, 
be more intentional, carpe diem and all that jazz.

That I would “eliminate the unnecessary, 
so that the necessary may speak.” (Hans Hoffmann)
That I would tap into the silent stirrings of my soul, and go deeper.
Deeper with myself. With God. With others.

That I would embrace my weaknesses, and develop them.
That I would navigate through my mistakes, and build upon them.
That I would be more courageous, hone my talents, and take more risks.
That I would speak more LIFE, and spread more beauty.

Oh Sweet Sweet Bellas, what a journey it has been, and continues to be.
The more I write, the more I discover how truly passionate I am 
about helping awaken the hearts of others,
encouraging them to step out of day to day drudgery, 
and taste the beauty of life!
To discover their God given talents, 
and SHINE!!

You see, 
YOU are part of my journey, 
as I am part of yours…
and I must say,
you’ve been the most delightful traveling companions.

Onward, Sweet Bellas, onward…

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

TP...or not TP...that is the question...

Made a toilet paper run today. 
My 4 year old son, in the center of the aisle, 
gave me an elaborate, fully animated presentation 
as to why he believed Quilted Northern was a far superior toilet paper 
to the Cottonelle we had now. 
After all, he had seen the commercial. 

Now, I admit, I may have purchased dollar store toilet paper a time or two…
you know, moments of desperation and all…
and it had, in fact, displayed inferior qualities, 
practically disintegrating in your hands before fulfilling it’s ‘duty’…
see what I did there *ahem* 
But, Cottonelle is pretty high grade *in my humble opinion* 
and I was going to state my case.

“But the Cottonelle has RIPPLES son…RIPPLES! That’s sophisticated technology right there…” 
I replied with complete sincerity, with hands on hips and titled head, 
trying to keep a straight face.

He wasn’t taking no for an answer.
“THIS is BETTER for our BUTTS Mom, TRUST ME!!!!!!” 
he said in a loud voice and very matter-of-factly, 
as he threw the 12 pack in the cart, turned around with folded arms and a scowl on his face, 
and proceeded to stand guard to prevent me from removing it. 
He’s got moxie. I’ll tell ya that much.  
Sooo, I took the….wait for it….plunge ;) and made the purchase.

Later that day, while putting laundry away, 
my 3 year old son bursts into the room and declares 
in a loud, gruff voice while pointing his finger at me, that  
“THAT toilet paper IS better for our butts!!!” 

Oh no. What are they up to in the other room? 
I’ve only been in the other room for 4.2 minutes!!! 
I rushed to the other side of the house praying against disaster 
“please don’t let there be a huge mess…please don’t let there be a huge mess…”

As I turned the corner, my 4 year old and 6 year old were 
in the hallway outside of the bathroom on the floor, 
with toilet paper stretched out between books. 
I was told *with absolute certainty* that…and I quote…
”we have 'investigated' and 'scientifically proven' that Quilted Northern IS the BEST! 
We stretched the toilet paper between the books & poured the water on it… 
the other toilet paper broke, and Quilted Northern didn’t! 
We did the test 3 times!! That’s it!!! I told you!!! It IS better!!!” 

Well there it is. 
Scientifically proven people. 
Case Closed. 

Double Sigh. 
Never a shortage of entertainment around here Bellas, 
take my word for it. 

So what does this have to do with 
tasting the beauty of life, 
and everyday beauty? 
Well, just that.
The best & most cherished moments in life are often 
those simple every day moments that fly under the radar.

Like when my husband calls out of the blue
 just to hear the sound of my voice...
how I light up when I hear the sound of his ringtone...
or how we chit chat and chuckle our way through his drive home commute. 
Sweet silliness. 

Like painting my daughter’s nails when she gets home from school 
instead of doing homework because the boys are still napping, 
and she tells me how much she loves “our time together."

Impromptu tea parties…
philosophical conversations with a 4 year old while building lego empires…
coffee with friends while talking about the deeper things of life. 

Snickering when the kids ask “what’s so funny???” 
because only Mommy and Daddy know the jokes behind the jokes…
when he reaches for my hand or I catch him giving me that look…
when our children bust me observing them doing their thing...and smile.

Enjoy the simple moments Sweet Bellas…they’re priceless…and precious…and fleeting...


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