wife to Jake, mommy to my 3 crazy munchkins, Lily (7), Jonah (5.5) and Kate (4). Taking this crazy blessed life one day at a time.


Exciting life and house changes!

We have lots of exciting things going on in our house these days. 

Jake has been busy with his new job as a full time firefighter in Wenham, which he is loving. He has also decided to go back to school full time to get his fire science associates degree. He should graduate in May 2015! Then after that, if he wants to continue, he might be transferring to another local college to get a second bachelors degree in fire administration. Taking these classes will open a lot of doors for him in the future, like someday becoming a chief! Please pray for Jake and for me and the kids as we take this on for at least the next 1.5 years. 

We are also drawing up plans and getting quotes to put an addition on our house! Jake and I have done lots of talking and going back and forth about how we would like to expand out house. Since we bought our house almost 3 years ago, we have said that someday we will put a second story on. But after really looking at what our needs are, we realized that we don't need more bedroom space, we need more practical living space.

So, we are planning on adding a big family room onto the side of the house. This will give us the living space we need, so we don't feel so cramped all the time. Once we have that room built (which will have high ceilings, another wood stove, and lots of windows), we are thinking we will turn our current living room into the dining room. If you have ever been to our house, you know that our "dining room", if you can even call it that, is tiny. It hardly fits just our family! So, we would turn the current living room into our dining room and give us lots more space and the ability to get a much bigger table so we actually have places for guests and family to sit. Hooray!

Jake is also planning on converting our screened in porch, that is on the back of the house, into a real mudroom. He wants to finish it off and turn it into a real part of the house. I am thrilled about this since we have hardly any room to store the massive amounts of shoes, coats, snow gear, summer gear...you get the idea. It will be amazing to have plenty of space to take off shoes and coats without standing in the middle of the kitchen making my floors muddy.

We are also planning on taking down the weird little wall that separates the front door and the dining room, plus taking out the front closet. We won't need it with Jake building a mudroom plus it will open up the current living room so much! That little wall doesn't really serve a useful purpose anyway, so I am excited to take a sledge hammer and knock that thing down!

Our other house plans involve us all switching bedrooms. Jake and I would move our bedroom downstairs to one of the rooms he built. The girls would move into our room and Jonah would move into the girls room, giving everyone a bit more space. Then that would open up Jonah's room to have as an extra bedroom, and then we can hopefully continue to pursue adoption, which is still heavily on our hearts! Jake and I are so excited that this could actually become a reality!

So many exciting changes coming in the near future!

The kids are loving the game of Sorry lately.


Little boys and pretend guns.

We have never allowed guns in our house. We don't talk about guns. We don't pretend play with guns.

Or any weapons, really. 

We don't have video games. My kids don't play games on the computer/ipad/ipod (aside from school stuff). 

But once Jonah started kindergarten, he was ALL about guns and violence. All the time. 

(NOT actual pretend guns, but he uses his fingers as a gun)

I'm not going to lie. It freaked me out. I hated seeing my sweet little guy pretending to shoot things and act so violent. 

Jake and I fought it. We were constantly telling him NO guns, NO violence. 

But it wasn't working. It helped a little, but it was still happening all the time. 

Finally I realized that I was going about the situation all wrong. 

All wrong, I tell you!

I realized that I had to really sit down and talk with him about guns.

I needed to teach him the history of guns and why they came about in the first place.

I needed to tell him the correct uses for guns.

I needed to tell him when it was okay to use guns and when it wasn't okay.

I needed to let go of my fear that all of this pretend gun play would somehow turn my little boy into a dangerous adult. 

I needed to realize that guns do serve a purpose in this world, and it's not all bad. 

So, I talked with him. 

Instead of telling him no, I told him yes. 

Instead of banning guns all together because it scared me or because I was afraid of my boy turning into a violent person, I taught him the correct way to use them and will allow him to use them for pretend play as long as he uses them correctly. 

And since we have talked about guns, we actually have not had any issues! 

I still do not like pretend gun play, because I really just hate guns. But if he wants to pretend to go hunting and shoots a deer, then that's okay. If he wants to pretend he is a police officer and shoots an imaginary robber, then that's okay. Those are real uses for guns. But his pretend gun play will not go much beyond that. 

So far, finding a way to say yes, has given Jonah a bit of freedom to do something that he wants to do, but in the right way. And it has helped more than I thought it would. 

catching snow flakes on your tongue is serious business!


Progress. {How we are dealing with sibling fighting}

Lately, fighting has been at an all time high in our house. Fighting between the kids and fighting between the kids and the parents. 

So, the past few months, I have really been putting an extra emphasis on love and kindness in our house. I have also been pushing the kids to talk out their problems with each other instead of running to me immediately. 

Whenever someone hurts someone else, whether it be hitting, kicking, punching, biting, shoving, name calling,  or tattling (Yes, all of those things happen at my house quite often), this is usually what happens:

A kid comes running and crying to me because someone did something hurtful to them. After making sure the kid is physically okay, I ask them if they talked to the kid that hurt them. Usually they say "no". So the hurt kid goes over and says something along the lines of " Lily/Jonah/Kate, please don't hit/kick/punch..... me because that really hurt me and made me feel [insert child's emotion here]." 

The kid that did the hurtful thing then usually says something like " I'm sorry for kicking/hitting/punching.... you Lily/Jonah/Kate." Then they hug and forgive and make up and all is well with the world until the next thing happens. 

I also talk to the kid that was hurtful and remind them that "In our house/family, we do not hit/punch/kick.... That is not a kind or loving thing to do. That is hurtful. We do not behave that way. Were you showing love or kindness when you did that?" And then we have a little conversation about what happened and how they can handle it better the next time. 

When it comes to hurtful words,which probably is the most common offense in this house, I ask them "was that a kind or loving thing to say? What would be a kind thing to say? " 

Now, this process has been going on for a few months. The fighting and tattling between the kids was getting seriously out of control. I felt like all they did was fight with each other about every tiny little thing, despite me working with them constantly.  

But,  I realized yesterday that 

I finally saw that all of the things I have been trying to teach them are starting to sink in and the kids' behavior is slowing starting to change. 

They are really starting to work things out themselves, in a good way. They are apologizing for hurtful things they do, without me having to tell them to apologize.And it's usually a real, genuine apology, not a quick heartless "I'm sorry", but one that shows they mean it. If one of them is starting to do something or say something hurtful, they will remind each other that what they are doing isn't very kind or loving, and help them realize that they don't want to be doing that hurtful thing. 

Now, they still fight and tattle quite a bit, and I still have to help them work things out sometimes, but this is progress, people! 

Sometimes I hear Lily make little comments about how it's love that matters. 

They are getting it. They are beginning to see and understand the message. 

I can see them growing up. I can see them maturing. 

It is bittersweet, because I miss them so much as babies. But I am also so proud of them for making progress with this. And it is so fun to be around them and do things with them and watch them interact with the world. 

I pray that they are able to show these little lessons of love and kindness in their lives outside of our little family. 

Keep up the good work, kids. The world needs
as much love and kindness as it can get.


8 years ago our lives began.

8 years ago today I stood at the end of the aisle, shaking almost uncontrollably, from the cold, but also from the nerves.

With some help, I managed to put one foot in front of the other until we were side by side. 

It was not the day I had dreamed it would be. 

But with my hand in yours, saying our vows to each other, looking into your eyes, I knew we would be okay. 

Even though our first year was the hardest year we went through together, I'm glad we got through it, because it has helped us get to where we are now. 

I love being married to you. 

I love what we have together. 

I love our little family more than I ever thought possible and I love that we get to parent together. 

I love the way we hold hands, not with my fingers in between yours, but with just my pinkie in between your pointer and middle fingers. It fits perfectly. 

I love how we watch the entire series of Scrubs and Everybody Loves Raymond at least once a year. 

I love our date nights.

I love that you need my hand on your chest for you to fall asleep. 

 I love that you are such a hard worker and give 100% to everything you do. 

I love that you are a firefighter and that you truly love your job. 

I love that all of the hard things we have gone through have only brought us closer together. 

I love how easy things are between us, how well we get along together. 

I love watching you with our kids.

I love our hopes and dreams for the future. 

I love our life together and that there are so many things I love about you that I can't begin to list them all. 

Thank you for 8 awesome years and I can't wait for 70 more :) 

Marrying you was the best thing I have ever done. 

I love you Jake! 


What I want my kids to remember instead of my yelling.

I've been trying to figure out why I sometimes have a hard time controlling my anger and frustration. 

I feel like that is something I should have down by now. I mean, I have been a parent for over 7 years now. Shouldn't I know how to control my emotions? Shouldn't I be ready for the tantrums, the crying, the whining, the not listening, the fighting?

Yes, I should. But, no, I don't always know how to.  

It is something I struggle with every single day. 

Maybe it's because I was raised in a home with yelling and losing tempers. 

Maybe it's because I never totally learned how to work out my feelings in a healthy way. 

Maybe it's because I need to eat better and exercise more. 

I don't know. Probably a combination of everything and more. 

But I know that I need to work harder. 

I don't like losing my temper. I don't like yelling at my kids. I don't like acting so childish. 

I don't want my kids to remember me constantly blowing up at them. Even though it's not all the time and the times that I am calm and we do work things out peacefully far outweigh the times that I lose my cool. 

That's what I remember from my childhood. Those are the times that stick out like a sore thumb. Those are the times that are painful to remember. 

I want my kids to remember my gentle touch. 

I want them to feel my love. 

I want them to remember me taking a minute for myself, to pray and calm down, when I am feeling frustrated or overwhelmed, so that I don't take it out on them.

I want my kids to remember me hugging them and holding them when emotions run high. 

I want them to see that it's okay to feel all of the crazy intense feelings we have each and every day. But to learn how to handle them. 

I want my kids to see me apologize and hear me tell them that I was wrong and tell them the right way to handle their temper when I do inevitably lose it. 

I want my kids to see a parent, and not someone who should be the parent but is instead acting just like them. 

When my kids are all grown, and are parents themselves, I want them to think back on their childhood and remember that yes, their mom felt frustrated and angry sometimes, but that they still felt loved and safe and secure during those times.  

I know that I won't be able to control my emotions 100% of the time, but I do know that I can do so much better than I am right now. 

My kids don't deserve to look back and remember their mom yelling at them all the time. 

They deserve a parent that sees and acknowledges one of their biggest weaknesses and is willing to work every single day to turn it into one of their biggest strengths. 

(catching snowflakes)