Archive for the ‘something to talk about’ Category

The foyer is painted- I love it, but….

Now I think that door needs paint– would you paint it brown like the walls


Or red like the dining room?

What do you think?


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Tim bolted out of bed and went straight to the gym. I did not. I turned on the radio, fluffed up my pillows, checked my email, glanced at a decorating magazine, and lingered in my quiet, morning bedroom.

My worry levels have been so high lately. However, today its all okay. Mom is home. My sister is busy learning about being a mom. Anna Mae (I hope) is going to get her boot off.

Sure it could be better. There are plenty of things i’d change if I was in charge – but i’m not – in charge- of much of anything- except getting in the shower… And finding out what today will bring…


…but it sure is nice to just linger–a little –right here.

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Be who God wants you to be and you will light the world on fire.

~ St. Catherine of Siena

Tomorrow the new students come for the morning and Thursday we are off and running with our first full day of school.

Summer was amazing. I loved all the time with my babies. I hope I can remember all the sunshine and smiles when the days are short, and cold, and dark…

I’m so ready to go back — I’m so NOT ready to go back — I am so going to do it better this year…

…This year I am going to be a great teacher, I am going to grocery shop, I am going to behave like I appreciate and love my husband, and I am going to drink water, I will keep up my blog, I will play with my kids, I will get my hair cut, I will not let them skip violin when I have to grade papers, I will take the car in for oil changes, I will keep up with the laundry, I will not forget about my garden, I will let my kids have a friend party, I will find time to sleep, I will find time to write, I  will find time to pray, I will read books for fun and talk about them with my friends, I will be a loving daughter, I will be a loyal sister, I will answer my emails, I will check my phone messages, I will buy cat food. I will be generous, and grateful, and optimistic. Really. Or… if I fail at all that…

I will just try to be who God wants me to be and then

I will hope for the best…

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Hey – mind out of the gutter and go even lower – to the mud…  Dirty Girl is a 5k run over uneven, rut ridden, slop designed to get you dirty. To make it interesting, it works in eleven military inspired obstacles  including a water pit, hay bale climb, wall climb, and a cargo net. I did the race with my young – long-legged cousins – and had a blast!

Cousin Ann Marie from By the Light of the Moon was our captain – thanks for the great idea! She brought along her running buddy Katie and they took off with Cori and Bailey. My baby cousins – Colleen and Kennedy ran with me – We were amazing! Cousin Jenni did it later in the day with a pack of her friends – what a beautiful mud runner! I don’t think she dove into the mud – very smart 🙂

I was most scared of the wall climb, which turned out to be do-able. I hadn’t even thought about the cargo net and was up and over so fast I had no time to remember my fear of heights – Whew!

I think I was actually doing great until we decided to slide into what we thought was a pool of mud and turned out to be lined with gravel – my back is a little sore today and I think that might be the cause – a little less cartilage than I had at twenty or even thirty something – but otherwise I feel great.

My sister Cori unfortunately rolled her ankle and is going to have to wear a boot for a few weeks – 😦 Crazy thing is her husband is already on crutches from a bike accident.

Doing the race with family – both the participants and the cheer squad – made it so much fun. We all had a great time pushing each other on, playing in the mud, and even raiding the decorative waterfall after the race for impromptu showers – sorry, this is a family blog – no photos of that –  but trust me it was a whoot!

I love that I  got to show off for my kids – I may be the oldest, the shortest, and the most careful – but I can be pretty scrappy and tough too! It made for a super fun day – one that I might even do again next year!

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I always feel like I need just one more day. No matter what the project, I seem unable to organize things to be ready as opposed to, on the cusp of ready, but not quite there. Going back to school this year is shaping up to be no exception. I keep looking at my calendar trying to figure out if the date really is what I think it is – or as I feel – am I off my a week? Hmmm…no such luck.

First, I need to admit that I do not like going back to school at all. I remember my mom acting giddy as she bought school supplies and gym shoes. She was so excited to have us all back on a routine and away from the house that she would stop people in the grocery store to talk about it. Like a child waiting for Santa on the roof, my mom counted the moments until the bus would show up at the end of the driveway.

Okay, fast forward a few years and now I’m the mom. Back to school should be the light at the end of the tunnel. The house will be quiet. It might even stay clean. The refrigerator will stay full. I might be able to run an errand by myself. This is what any normal mother longs for at the mid-point of August.

Not me.

Day after day, I reluctantly think about school supply shopping while the kids play in the back yard. It has to be done, I know it, but I don’t want to do it anymore now, than I did when I was ten. I love the laid-back summer routine. I crave having the windows open to the sounds of the neighborhood pack riding their bikes in the driveway. I hang onto every park, pool, and porch moment. I know quietly that I am embarrassing the kids by acting as if they are leaving for college across the state, not just grade school down the street, but I can’t help it.

To make matters worse I need to get myself ready for back-to-school. I’ll be teaching new classes again this fall and I have textbooks, lesson plans, and a classroom to organize. To that cause, I’ve taken to sitting on the patio with my laptop and my lemonade, seeking frequent “I wonder what’s blooming over there” breaks, and falling victim to the hypnotic distraction of kids jumping on the neighbor’s trampoline. It’s not all that productive and I’m running out of time.

“Today’s trouble is enough for today,” (Mathew 6:34). I keep telling myself, yet I know that tomorrow’s trouble will be worse if I don’t face it head on, so – sigh – I’m going to do it. I promise to school shop, fill in the forms, and even drag the kids out for new shoes. I’ll take them up to my school tomorrow – they can help me set up my desk and plan out the seating chart. I’ll do my best to get myself one day ahead of where I need to be. My heart is filled with summer and now it’s turning to worry. I can’t, as He says, add even one more day to my life with worry, so it’s time – I know –  to get busy with what comes next – and maybe even have time to enjoy it.

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The word on the street is that the trim is done and we’ll be rolling tomorrow…woot woot! I’m drinking wine and watching him work – could Saturday night get any better than this? 🙂

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I met Tim 22 years ago and we’ve been married for 16 years. Last Friday we celebrated our anniversary with a romantic date – a kayak around the lake, dinner at the Fox and Hounds, and a box from Doug’s – all planned by Tim.

So you might ask, “How do they do it? How do they keep the magic alive? What is their secret?”

The truth is —  I’m spoiled – not by the big anniversary stuff – but by the regular Monday after we put the kids to bed together stuff… You know, when he looks into my eyes and passionately says, “Why don’t you go ahead and blog and I’ll paint the kitchen.”

No, I am not even kidding – I LOVE this man! …. and I’m really gonna love my pretty green kitchen ….

almost as much as the gift from Doug’s

 …spoiled…. I know!

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I just found my camera! It’s been gone for almost a month and since it went missing I thought of nothing else. Grace swimming – where’s the camera? Anna learning to dive – no camera – Ugh! Cole building a bee hive super with his dad at the kitchen table – a lost memory. Truman’s dangling tooth that fell out in my hand (really Aunt Cori, I hardly touched it) happened during the dark month.

This week my thoughts turned to the blog. It’s been my goal all summer to re-balance my life and catch up on a years worth of blogs. It was one of the first things that fell through the cracks when I started teaching last fall. Exercise and date night also went MIA – in order to save my body and my marriage I attended to those first.

The other day while weeding the back garden my mind started playing games… “Too bad I lost the camera because now I will never be able to blog again,” the thought drifted. “I will have to replace the grill and the computer printer before I can slip a new camera into the budget. Of course it will be too late then to start writing or blogging or generally stop feeling sorry for myself.”

“Did you say a prayer to St. Anthony?” Aunt Cori asked. Sigh. I had not.

“Okay, St. Anthony, if you help me locate my camera I’ll start blogging again. I know it’s not world peace, but that’s what I have to offer.” Certainly the quality of that prayer must have gotten his attention. I pictured it being written on a “lame prayer page” somewhere in heaven’s version of Facebook. Or being sent around as a forward on an email titled, “10 most pathetic requests of the day.”

What does St. Anthony care if I blog or not? Besides, I’m still missing that diamond earring and he was too busy to help me find.

Right about that time Cole mentioned that he could not find the charger for his DSI. “I bet it’s with the camera,” I said in disgust wondering what would go missing next – bad things happen in threes right? Then I said, “Okay the camera reward is now up to $10 and the DSI is starting at $1,” the kids went on a hunt while I folded laundry. “It’s pointless,” I said as I put away dish towels and almost didn’t see that right there-  in my dish towel drawer-   sat my camera.

Anna found the DSI charger under a bed so all has been restored to order and there is peace in my mind again. However, I couldn’t go back on my promise to St. Anthony especially since the blog now appears to be a mandate from heaven. I’m happy – and I even took photos of other things that added to my happy today – Thank you St. Anthony!

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God is in the details.

-Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe

I am looking at the piles in the laundry room. There is a lot to do. It takes a lot of time — time that I could be doing other things. I could be working on my book. I could be trying to set up more writing workshops for the summer. I could be weeding my garden. Instead I am doing laundry. There is a lot of laundry.

I read a story once about a religious brother who was assigned to kitchen duty. At first he was not all that happy about it. It was not the job he had envisioned for himself when he dedicated his life to the service of God.

It’s understandable. Imagine entering the path of vocation—you are ready to do something amazing in celebration of the Lord. You study theology, you pray, you meditate, you deny, you dream. The day comes when your assignment is to be given – the role you will play in building the kingdom of God is to be revealed. You are inspired, you are passionate, heck—you-are-pumped… and then you find out that YOU get to do the dishes. Yea, disappointed is understandable.

In the end though – he found grace in the assignment because he viewed it not as doing dishes, but as serving the Lord. He wasn’t just schlepping through the dishwater blues – he was working to keep and create a home and he did his job mindfully – seeking God in all of it.

I hang on tight to that story on days like today. There is not always a lot of glamour in the everyday stuff of home keeping. But God is here. There is grace here – the bathroom soap, the flower garden, and the books on my night stand. They are reminders that I am a work in progress. Piles of laundry are not what I am; instead they are what I am called to do today because I have been trusted to care for and love 8busyfeet.

So I work my way though it all, trying to be mindful that “God is in the details” and it’s my job to pay attention to those lavender-scented-sun-dried details today.

If you want to read more about Living An Authentic Life – check out Melissa at the Inspired Room.

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Tim took care of me yesterday while I stayed in bed sicker than sick. It was not exactly the way we had planned to spend Mother’s Day – but that’s okay – I can plan another day to celebrate my gig as mom. The bigger lesson for me… this is truly a two person job and it’s a blessing to share parenting the 8busyfeet with my best friend – thank you sweetheart!

A few things today…

Check out the letter that Grace brought home from preschool. This made me laugh –


I can’t wait to feel all the way better so I can play with my Mother’s Day gift…

I am feeling guilty about this – it was a total want and not a need. I’ve been pulling over to check out garage sale bikes – ones with big comfy seats, baskets, and a kick stand. I have a mountain bike that I ride for exercise, but thought it would be fun to have a girly bike for trips to the park, grocery store, farmer’s market. 

Tim knew I wanted old and retro, but being a new and modern guy he took the kids to the bike shop and found me a new bike that looks old and retro.

The kids brought it up to my bedroom last night to show me.  I love it – thanks guys!

Also, Anna Mae wants me to take her book shopping again.

She is my reader girl and her most recent favorites are the English Roses series written by Madonna (yes – Material Girl, Like a Virgin, Papa Don’t Preach – Madonna). These are the most beautifully illustrated books, they are very well written, and there is a website where readers can go to play games and read more about the characters. This is my favorite of all Madonna projects – check them out…


 We are still celebrating Cole’s 3rd place at the S.E. WI Council Pinewood Derby – He and Tim did a great job this year – I’m proud of my guys!

Okay – this is big… tomorrow instead of a book review – I will be featuring an author interview with Lesley Kagen – her first two books Whistling in the Dark and Land of a Hundred Wonders are on my book club list and her third book Tomorrow River was just released last month – Come visit tomorrow to meet this talented bestselling author! See you then –

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