The Saturday Spruce-Up: Double Feature

February 4th, 2012 | Posted by Bryn in 2012 Resolutions | Living Simply | The Saturday Spruce-Up - (Comments Off on The Saturday Spruce-Up: Double Feature)

The last couple weeks and weekends have been a little too busy around here, and I feel like life goes too quickly when we’ve got too many activities going on. That said, I haven’t been able to make as much progress on the house as I’d like, but I did get one little area under control.

First let me explain this area. It is our front entry way, but it is the least use part of our house. We have a big screened in back porch, and everyone enters through there into the kitchen, not the front. So this tiny little area has been an hot spot for me to pile junk.

So just looking at this tells me how long it’s been since I had this little space all cleared out. There is a baby swing in there, people, and my baby can already walk. That means it’s been a good nine or ten months since it was used. There are boxes of random papers, “projects” I’ve been meaning to work on, and a tipped over hand-me-down magazine rack filled with old Better Homes & Gardens. Plus this entryway needs drywall and a paint job, but that’s a different project for a different day.

Okay, I admit, this is a lame project for the Saturday Spruce-Up. Lame. Check out the “after.”

So it still needs drywall, trim, and paint, but at least I can get to the front door (and even get it open!) if we ever needed it as an emergency exit or if a stray pizza guy comes to the wrong door.

Now for the awesome part of the Saturday Spruce-Up. But Bryn, you already showed us so much amazing change in your house, how could there be more?

Well, folks, be prepared to be stunned. Presenting: My son and his flippin’ sweet preschool ‘fro.

Oh yeah, I had to include Peach in there too because she's awesome.

Well if I had Peach, I had into include Vanilla too, right?**

Yes, our son had a super sweet four-year-old white boy afro. It took forever to get it all washed and the shampoo all out, plus it was starting to look funny unless I gelled it. And am I willing to gel a FOUR-YEAR-OLD’s hair every morning? Unlikely.

I went to the gym to work out one Thursday evening and here is what I returned to find (in a fort of course!)

I'm not sure what's happening with the elephant and the black stallion...

That’s right, my honey buzzed TT’s hair while I was gone. I wouldn’t have objected, so it was a really fun surprise. No, he no longer has his sweet ‘fro, but we have no more crazy bed head, and no more gel. Nice.

So there ya go. One lame and one awesome Spruce-Up. Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone!

** P.S. The picture above with TT & Vanilla is the TV I mentioned in my Super Bowl post yesterday. See? We are definitely living like no one else now so we can LIVE like no one else later. Thanks Dave Ramsey.

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Make-A-List Monday – Before I Was Mama

January 30th, 2012 | Posted by Bryn in Faith | Kids | Make-A-List Monday - (Comments Off on Make-A-List Monday – Before I Was Mama)

Today’s Make-A-List Monday is things I never had to think about before I was the mama. Being a mom is one of the greatest gifts anyone can receive, but it also comes with major life changes. So here was me, before I was Mom:

  1. It took a half hour at most to get to the grocery store, shop, and get home.
  2. I peed alone.
    And the only butt I had to wipe was my own.
    And I didn’t stand up and announce, “I need to go potty!” every time I needed to go.
    And I had never had a toddler say (loudly), “Good job, Mommy!” after I finished “going potty” in a public restroom.
  3. My house was still unorganized, but I had no one to blame it on but myself.
  4. I had never planned an entire day around nap time. Oh, nap time, how I love thee.
  5. I never noticed how many f-bombs are in R rated movies.
  6. My favorite brands were NOT Graco, Osh Kosh B’Gosh, and Carter’s.
  7. I kept my make-up in the bathroom, not the van. These days, it’s either mascara at stop lights or nothing.
  8. I didn’t know it was possible to love my husband any more than right then.
  9. I relied more on myself than on God. My faith has grown 100 fold since I had children because most of the time, I have no idea what I’m doing and just have to rely on Him. I’d go crazy with worry if I didn’t have faith in God.
  10. I couldn’t function on less than 8 hours of sleep. Haha, that one just makes me laugh now.
  11. Lunch with my mom consisted of actually having a conversation with her and catching up on each other’s lives, not chasing or quieting or encouraging small children to eat more than just ketchup.
  12. Time went by more slowly.
  13. While driving, I actually listened to music or talk radio instead of babbling of babies and toddlers.
  14. I never knew how intensely my own parents loved me. Or how annoying and sad it was when I fought with my siblings.
  15. I had no idea how strong I am. Or how amazing the human body is. Or that labor pain wouldn’t kill me, but could actually bring another life into this world. I was much less confident about my body then.
  16. I didn’t know how much love my heart could hold. It’s like my heart grew bigger with the birth of each child, and I’ve grown to love my honey even more seeing him as a father. Oh, how He loves us!

My four loves at Rocky Mountain National Park last fall. I AM SO BLESSED!


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Make-A-List Monday – Parenting Realizations

July 25th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Make-A-List Monday - (Comments Off on Make-A-List Monday – Parenting Realizations)

I’m starting a new series today called Make-A-List Monday. On Mondays, I usually try to make to-do lists of things to get done throughout the week, but these will just be random lists of things that come into my head.

A play-doh flower made for me by my three-year-old last Valentine's Day

Today I made a list of realizations I’ve had since becoming a mother.

  1. I have a real fear of swimming pools, the strings used to pull up mini-blinds, and bumpers on cribs.
  2. When I order food at a restaurant, I always think about what I can eat one-handed.
  3. My threshold to handle anything gross has gone up 100%
  4. My capacity to love has gone up 300% (for my three manaics!)
  5. I (lovingly) call my children maniacs because they have so much energy and are easily amused. We are constantly laughing.
  6. The sweetest things in life are open mouth baby kisses, handfuls of dandelions, and home made art projects, made by loving little hands.
  7. Toys that make noises are an effective way to torture parents.
  8. Name brand clothes really do hold up longer.
  9. I’m so grateful for shopping carts shaped like race cars.
  10. I love my mini-van.
  11. I would much rather shop at Carter’s or Gymboree than Hollister or Express.
  12. I am a more confident person in all aspects of life, and I’m getting better at decision-making. I have to. I’m the mommy.
  13. God is in control, and “my” kids are just borrowed from Him. He loves them even more than I do. How amazing is that?
This list could go on and on. What have you realized about yourself since you became a parent?

My day so far…

June 9th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Kids | Our Crazy Life - (Comments Off on My day so far…)

My day so far:

4:45AM – Up to nurse Vanilla. After staying up till 1:30AM doing laundry.

5:30AM – Packed a lunch for my honey as he had to be to work at 6:00. Then back to bed.

6:45 – Peach gets in bed with me. Snuggles! 🙂

7:34 – TT whispers loudly in my ear. “Get up, Mommy! I’m hungry!” Peach wakes up, and bowls are filled with cereal.

The morning starts off quietly – we watch the end of A Bug’s Life while waiting for Vanilla to get up. We play with cars, and just get ready for our day.

I decide today is a good day to get things done around the house. I load the dishwasher, and when I’m putting my Finish powder in, I notice the bottom of the box seems a little damp. Hmmmm… yep. Pipe’s leaking. Awesome. I dry out the inside of my cabinet and scrub it with bleach.

By the time I’m done with that, Vanilla is up, demanding to be fed. I whip out a “bottle” and feed her. We play for awhile longer, I get some more laundry in the washer and fold some out of the dryer and put it away. I write a quick blog post while the kids play on the floor right next to me, and then it’s time to get outside. By this time, Vanilla’s taking her morning nap, so I’m out on the porch with the maniacs. TT starts putting on his shoes, and I squat down to put Peach’s shoes on for her. That’s when I notice something greenish-brown all over her legs and one hand. “What’s all over you, Peach?” as I lean down and take a whiff. Yep. It’s poop. This day just keeps getting better.

Complete bath and scrub down of Peach while Vanilla wails in her room and TT actually waits quite patiently. Then I look on the floor search and smell the entire living room and where she had been sitting, and I get to scrubbing four tiny brown spots off my carpet. Okay, deep breath.

TT two summers ago on the swing in question.

An old picture of TT on the swing in question.

I get all three (clean) kids outside and peace resumes. Peach is doing Harry Potter spells with a stick from the yard, and TT is busy destroying ant hills and digging in the dirt while Vanilla jumps and chews on toys in her exersaucer.

When a fight breaks out over a swing, I realize we’ve been outside for an hour and half, and it’s dangerously close to lunchtime. I wrangle the kids back inside, wash their hands in the bathroom sink, and get lunch ready. Lunch is smooth, Vanilla gets another “bottle”, and we watch some of the Nate Berkus Show.

TT starts whining about milk, so I know it’s naptime. When I get to the maniacs’ room, I find another pleasant surprise. Ball point pen scribblings decorate the wall. Deep breath. Lovely. How creative. I bring Peach and TT in for interrogation, and Peach explains in her two-year-old babble that it was her. A trip to the corner is in order.

Now all three are napping, and I’m thinking I’m going to have to do the same if I want to survive the rest of the day. But alas, there’s Vanilla again, wailing for mommy. So much for “getting things done” today.

I truly love being the mommy, but today is just one of those days when I’m happy I haven’t lost my patience.