Monday, November 29, 2010

a good reminder.

While I am definitely excited about taking better care of myself and making a daily effort to put my best foot forward, it's nice to have a reminder about what's truly important at the end of the day. Don't you just love the wisdom of Marjorie Pay Hinckley? 

"I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking the kids to scout camp. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor’s children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone’s garden. I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived."
~Marjorie Pay Hinckley~

Sunday, November 28, 2010

what I learned while hosting thanksgiving:

{Me, posing with my wrecked table decor. ~Thanks Nancy~}
{My cute in-laws.}
1.  Cooking a turkey, while intimidating, is totally doable. (That is, IF your mother-in-law completely preps, packages, and seasons said turkey, and then drops it off at your house with instructions to cook it at 350 for four hours.)
2.Chocolate brown table cloths with sparkly gold runners and earthy zen stones and lots of little candles are really pretty for a thanksgiving table.
3. Little children coming to your Thanksgiving dinner will likely blow out the candles, throw the rocks, and smear mashed potatoes into your gold runners and chocolate brown table cloths.
4. Little kids don't care that your tables are (excuse me, I mean, WERE) pretty.
5. Adults don't really appreciate it either because it just gives them one more thing to try to keep their kids out of.
6. I'm still happy I did it, because, to me, a beautiful table and a lot of effort put into making an event beautiful says "I love you." And that is exactly what I wanted to say. So there. I said it.
7. Saying "No problem! It's just a table cloth." (and meaning it) is an even better way to say I love you. Love is so nice. 

In other news... this week the goal is:
*Keep up with all of the other goals.
*Try to cook dinner...MORE.

I was going to say "cook dinner every night," but since the name of this game is achievable, and I know that there is no way I will be organized enough to cook dinner every. single. night. right out the gate, we are going to go with "MORE." I am going to baby step my way to success!

So, PLEASE, I need two things from you:
1. More recipes. (Easy ones. Like, 3rd grader easy mmmmkay?) and 2. More great ideas for Family Home Evening! Don't hold out on me now...

Monday, November 22, 2010

family home evening.

For f.h.e., we made gratitude tear turkeys. I had this idea last year, but never got around to actually following through with it. It was a hit! We talked about the importance of being grateful for everything we have in our lives, and then went to the dining room and made the tear turkeys. It only took about 15 minutes total, and Kort loved it.

Simply rip up strips of paper in an assortment of colors.
Cut out a brown turkey body (I just eye-balled it, and it seemed to turn out fine.)
Cut out beaks and legs and glue them on.
Let the kids color in their own eyes (Kort's was huge.)
Have kids write one thing they are grateful for on each "feather."
Glue strips on the back of the turkey, with the words facing the front.
Enjoy reading about the things that are important to them!

KORT'S LIST: My dad, my house, baseball, my friend Holden, the sky, the earth, my friends, Easter, football, the snow, St. Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day, my baby, the clouds, Christmas, Veteran's Day, The Holidays, soccer, the school, my mom, my car, Halloween.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” -William Arthur Ward

holiday hustle.

The December/January issue of House Beautiful just hit my mailbox, and it had a fun little insert with tips about how to get your house holiday ready. Here are a few that I found helpful:

1. Play energizing music to motivate yourself and make cleaning a fun workout. (The hubs put together an 80s mix on my ipod that pretty much makes me want to jump on him every time I play it. Paula Abdul, some classic Madonna, and soundtracks from "Pretty in Pink" and "the Breakfast Club"? Seriously? Heaven.)

2. Wear a big apron with deep pockets for holding all of your supplies as you move through the house. You can also drop in items that you pick up as you go and deliver them to their proper place. I also love using a caddy that holds everything I need for the bathrooms.

3. Look at each room as a guest might. See where your eyes are drawn first and start there.

4. Focus on rooms guests are likely to see. Okay, I totally said "Duh." when I read this one. (Yes, even though "duh" belongs to the 80s, and Bart Simpson, I still totally said it. Because, well, it was just that "duh.")

5. Do all your vacuuming at once to avoid bringing dirt from a dirty floor to one you just cleaned.

6. If you're really out of time with lots left to do, just dim the lights! Soft light or candlelight is intimate and festive, and can redirect the focus to what really matters- time together with people you love.

MY strategy for this week?

* Deep clean the house on Monday (a.k.a. today) to give myself plenty of time through the rest of the week to focus on grocery shopping, decorations, and addressing any last minute glitches.

*Do shopping by Tuesday and NOT the day before or the day OF Thanksgiving (even though that's usually how I roll).

* Have tables, chairs, table cloths, decorations, candles, and centerpieces COMPLETELY in place the day BEFORE the event. (This would be Wednesday, in my case.) I have always left that for the "day of" as well, BUT it has always made for a really hectic day, and a host (ahem, me) in her bathrobe with no make up on and a semi-messy house when guests start arriving because she grossly underestimated the actual amount of time it would take to get everything ready. A "guide to entertaining" article in November's "House Beautiful" suggested getting everything ready the night before... and I said: "Aha! That makes complete sense." So, I'm going to give it a try and let you know how it works out... though I'm pretty sure I can already guess. (One word: awesome.)

*Because I will have deep cleaned on Monday, shopped on Tuesday, and set up on Wednesday, I will be all set to 1) Get completely ready, 2) speed clean (just a touch up) 3) cook!

I'm excited.
Let's hope it works.

pumpkin cake.

While I know very (ahem, v.e.r.y.) little about cooking, I HAVE managed to collect a very few, very select, but v.e.r.y. good (okay, they're actually more along the lines of amazing, you know, if I'm being honest) recipes. Here is one that people flip over. Every time. It's cakey on bottom, gooey in the middle, crispy on the top, and most importantly... it's pumpkin-y! (I have a love affair with pumpkin that is nowhere within or even near the parameters of "normal" and/or "healthy.") And even better still, it's foolproof. I mean, EVEN I CAN MAKE IT!  So here it is.


Pumpkin Cake
{Assemble each set separately then put together according to directions.}

1 box yellow cake (set aside one cup for topping)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg

3 cups pumpkin
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
12 oz. can evaporated milk

1 cup cake mix (reserved)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter 
3 tbsp. flour

Crust: Mix cake mix, melted butter, and 1 egg well. Pour and press into lightly greased cake pan. Filling: Mix pumpkin, 2 eggs, sugar, salt, spices, and evaporated milk. Pour over crust mix. Topping: Mix remaining ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over pumpkin mixture. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Cool and serve with whipped topping.

Your friends and family will love it. Trust me. 
{and let me know how you like it!}

Friday, November 19, 2010

End of day ten.

Today was uneventful...

Dressed? Check.
Scriptures? Check.
3 Powers of ten? Check. Check. Check.
Broken Window? Ooops.

I took off in the middle of the day and went and spent the night at my parent's place in Cedar Hills, so I never got around to the broken Window of the day. That's okay though... I left my hubs with a shiny sink, and a very messy basement (that he was hard at work finishing - yay!) and my kiddos had a BLAST with their aunts, uncles, and grandparents - so it was worth it.

This coming week, we're switching gears. I'm going to continue on with the little goal-foundation I have built for myself, but am not going to be adding any new goals. On a week where I am hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner in my home for 38 seems like adding any additional expectations for myself would be along the lines of abusive...and nuts.

So, on Monday focus will shift to traditions, cookery, and my personal favorite, DECORATING - yay! (on a teensy tiny budget! Double yay!)

Stay Tuned.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

End of day nine.


I was such a slug today!
I'm not quite sure what happened.
I got off to a good enough start...

Dressed? Check.
(Even a shower, and a blow dry, and full make up thankyouverrrymuch.)

Scriptures? ...ooops, I'll read those before bed.

Then I even juiced FRESH juice in my (Jack Lalane) juicer. (Sorry scriptures, it was between you and a geriatric juice enthusiast's super sweet infomercial appliance...the latter won. Better luck next time.) Carrots, apples, beets, lemons, and oranges baby! We call it "Super Juice" in order to get Kort excited about it, and so far, it's working. He drank a solid 12 ounces of it before he left for school.

I pretty much felt like super MOM after that great start! Then, I sort of hit a wall. Baby bits didn't sleep well at all last night, therefore, neither did I. So, when Tentens went down for his late-morning nap, I decided to join him. I slept for about an hour and 15 before he woke up. I felt much better, but I also still felt totally lazy.

So, I read VERANDA, ate my weight in leftover mini candy bars from our Halloween haul, and watched "The Talk" (which I find to be eternally disappointing BTW/IMHO, but I seem to watch it every day anyway since nothing else is on...)

I tried to talk myself into doing something productive (on several occasions) but... meh.

By four o clock, I figured enough was enough! I was going to get motivated! ...Then I saw that Oprah was coming on, so I grabbed another handful of Butterfingers and Milky Way Minis, sat down on the couch, and watched the entire show while Kort painted wooden craft animal things at the (now clean) dining room table and occasionally yelled "Mo---m! They just said 'sexy' again!" (It was a makeover show...and he basically thinks that "sexy" is  swear word because I do not, under ANY circumstances want my child using the word "sexy'" at school. EVER! I'm pretty sure I would die of embarrassment. Not that I haven't dealt with worse...)

After Oprah, I realized that the day was gone. I hadn't planned anything for dinner (shocker!) so I put Tennyson down for a nap and left him with dad while Kort and I went to the library. We picked up Burger King on the way home since that was the only dinner I was equipped to provide tonight.

I DID, however, manage to get a broken window repaired after dinner. The project I decided to tackle was the fridge. I set the timer for 15 minutes, and was totally able to get her done in that time frame.  I am so, so happy with the results. Why don't I do this more often? Seriously.

Broken Window BEFORE:
Broken Window AFTER:

{I thought that hanging Kort's masterpiece featuring an Egyptian Spinx was an especially nice touch.It makes me smile every time I look at it.}

After that, I was on a roll! It's what I like to call "the Rally" - which basically includes a timer (power of ten) and the soundtrack from Mama Mia (yay ABBA!) turned up full blast while I run like a nutter all over the house singing "Lay all your love on meeeeeeeeeeee!" at the top of my lungs and put that hot mess back together again. Oh, how I love the rally. 20 minutes later, the dishes were done, my sink was shiny, and the house was tidy and vacuumed! The power of ten is the perfect tool for me because I always feel like I can spare ten minutes, and ten minutes always manages to kick my house's booty back into shape. Love. It.

Favorite parts of today?

1. The fact that I could just walk right out the door and go to the library on a five o clock whim BECAUSE I HAD GOTTEN READY THAT MORNING AT SIX!! {I'm pretty sure that getting dressed first thing is my most favorite goal...and I'm pretty sure that my neighbors, Kort's friends, and the UPS man are with me on this one.}

2. A clean fridge! The hubs has officially been threatened with his life. If he breaks my window...I break his nose. Okay, not so much. He loves the new look and says it made a huge difference in the kitchen and he won't be putting anything up there anymore. Marital crisis averted.

How was your today?
Is your sink shiny?
Did you get dressed?
Did you eat your weight in mini candy bars 
and watch crap-t.v. all the live long day?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

End of day eight.

Up and dressed for the day? Check.
Hair and makeup? Hair-yes, Makeup-no.
Scriptures? Check.
Sink shiny? Check.
Broken Window repaired? Check (Dining Room Table - yikes!)


Monday was really hectic for me, so Family Home Evening didn't happen. I am hoping that from here on out, I will be "on it" every Monday (or let's be reasonable - MOST Mondays). But, in the event that I let a Monday slip by, I am not going to let that stop me from having such an important event at least once a week. That is why tonight (Wednesday) ended up being family night. It went so great! I took Julie's idea of having a lesson on prayer and then painting prayer rocks for our activity and it was a total hit! (Thanks Julie) I highly recommend it for anyone who's looking for a good one!


I found a great lesson plan on prayer here, the lesson title was "Are you saying or praying?" I thought that was cute. It also included a link to a GREAT story titled "The Lord Sent Me a Shepherd." I also found a fun "Prayer Rock" poem online. I changed it a little bit because I can't stand when things don't rhyme AND have a rhythmic syllable count, so here is my version:

I’m your little prayer rock and this is what I’ll do
Just put me on your pillow until the day is through.
At night, turn back the covers, and climb into your bed
And whack! Your little prayer rock will hit you on the head.
Then you will remember, now that the day is through,
To kneel and say your prayers as you’re supposed to do.
When your prayers are finished, just drop me on the floor.
And there I’ll stay all through the night to give you help once more.
When you get up next morning, Ouch! I’ll stub your toe,
So you can remember to pray before you go.
Put me back upon your pillow when your bed is made
And your little prayer rock will continue in your aid
Because your Heavenly Father cares and loves you so.
He wants you to remember to talk to him, you know.


Kort had an amazing time, and while taking his tub later that night he asked "Mom, can we having family home evening EVERY night?" That just melted me. I was so happy that he loved it. It sounds silly, but this really is very new to me and it is so fulfilling. There is a different feeling in our home and I feel like our relationships are deepening and growing stronger with every sit-down dinner and well-planned family activity we have. It's pretty amazing, and my heart is full. I love being a mom. Especially a mom who does "cool stuff" with her kids. (Yay!)  

{After Kort painted his rock, he painted this picture of a Spinx - I loved it.}

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

End of day seven.

How did I do?
Sink shiny? Check.
Dressed first thing in the morning? Check.
Read scriptures for 15 minutes first thing after getting dressed? Check.
Repair a broken window? Oooops, not so much.

Instead, I:
Wrote a Lola Letters Blog.
Read the Ensign.
Read a lot of House Beautiful.
Drank a big ol' cup of spiced pumpkin flavored hot chocolate.
Went to my friend Kristen's.
Ate Pizza, and hot chocolate chip cookies straight from the oven. mmmm...
Snuggled with not one, not two, and no, not even three... but FOUR beautiful babies.
And visited with a wonderful girl.
And guess what? We even decided to make home-made ADVENT calendars for this coming December! How very mommy and Martha of us, no? I will have to share our little crafty project with you when we're done. Kristen has amazing style when it comes to these sorts of things, so it's gonna be a doozy.

Anyway, I owe myself an extra broken-window-repair tomorrow.
Also, we are having family night on Wednesday night this week and I am going to use Julie Weber's idea of having a lesson on prayer and then painting prayer rocks. I have a sneaky suspicion that it's going to be a HIT with my seven year old - but I'll let you know for sure tomorrow.   Please email or comment with more suggestions if you have them. Thanks also to Mary for sharing great tips as well! I will be using and reporting on them in the weeks to come!

How did YOU do?
Is your sink shiny?

Monday, November 15, 2010

End of day six.

"Broken Window" BEFORE:

and "Broken Window" AFTER:

Kay, in my defense, my landing is ugly anyway (even clean) but at least when it's clean it looks like we just haven't gotten around to THAT part of our renovation...instead of looking like we are just slobs!

I am so excited to tackle one of these each day! I should also say that I committed a bit of a FlyLady no-no. She says that you will be tempted to just go nuts and start cleaning out closets like crazy, BUT YOU SHOULDN'T because then you will burn out. Well...

I sort of cleaned the entire landing, half of the coat closet, and all of my REALLY overstuffed dresser. But they weren't "Broken Windows" per se...they were just WAY overdue for a good cleaning. And I'm not burned out so much as I am ecstatic, so, crisis averted. HOWEVER, I fully intend to make up for the overdoing it today by UNDERdoing it tomorrow. I have a standing lunch date with a bestie who just had TRIPLETS! So, I will spend the better part of tomorrow eating pizza, visiting with one of my favorite people on earth, and loving on FOUR babies!

How did you do today?
Any Broken Windows repaired?
Is your sink shiny?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

week two.


Here we go!
Week TWO!
Are you ready?

I've listed the goals in the column on the left. The goal is to KEEP doing the goals from last week, and ADD new goals for this week. So here's the deal, we're gonna keep getting dressed every morning, keep cleaning...except I have found that I can get a substantial amount done in less time, so I'm changing my goal to 30 minutes of cleaning (3 power of ten sessions) instead of 60 minutes. And I'm going to keep my kitchen sink SHINY! It's shiny now, as I'm writing this, and I can't wait for it to rise up to greet me in the morning.

For the NEW week, we are going to be repairing broken windows (not REALLY broken windows... see the post below this one for further information) and starting rejuvenating rituals. I'm going to write and talk more about rituals as the week goes on, but for my ritual this week, I am going to make myself a yummy, comforting beverage, nestle into a chair with a down-feather throw, and read my scriptures for 15 minutes...and House Beautiful for 15 minutes! ha ha! Sorry, gotta have some House Beautiful in there... I love my life when I read the scriptures daily, and I just don't do it nearly enough. So that is the goal. 

Also, I am adding a new WEEKLY goal of planning GREAT family home evenings for my family (more on that later as well.). This where I could use a ton of help. I would love to hear suggestions of FUN and EASY activities and lessons any of you have used that have been a success! Email me at or jut leave it in the comments. I will try some of them, and then let everyone know how they work out! 

I'm also going to try:
not getting a sore throat
not allowing my kid to eat his weight in Doritos before breakfast
not yelling at my husband/angry vacuuming
...we'll see how that goes.
Wish me luck!

What are your goals this week?
Is your sink shiny?

broken windows.

Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House [Book]

It needs to be said that while I am actually terribly inconsistent (and consistently terrible) when it comes to housework and cookery of any kind, I l.o.v.e. reading about it. I guess I erroneously believed that if I learned enough about it, I would somehow be motivated and skilled enough to execute it. Not so. (Too bad.) I guess I'm going to have to resort to practical application and lots of dedicated practice huh?

One of my most favorite housekeeping books on the planet comes from Cheryl Mendelson and is called "Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House."  I love this book. In fact, several years ago, when I first ran across this book at the local library, I nearly read it cover to cover (quite a feat when you take into account the fact that her book is roughly 800 pages in length.) I was riveted. (Strange, I know.) I renewed the book three times straight, then, when I could not get any additional renewals, I returned it, waited one day, then went and checked it out again and renewed it three times straight again. The hubs caught on and bought me a copy of my very own, and we have been blissfully happy together (my book and I...and the hubs too...) ever since.

I. love. that. book.

In it, (my BFF) Cheryl explains the Broken Window Theory. She says:
"Modern police successes are allegedly built on a sociological principal called the "broken-window theory." This theory says that any sign of social or physical neglect in a neighborhood causes people to who are disposed to antisocial conduct to feel more inclined to commit various crimes and misdemeanors. If there is one broken window and it isn't fixed, this suggests to malefactors that no one cares and no one is in charge- that therefore it is safe to write graffiti on the walls, litter, and break other windows. This in turn suggests to more determined wrongdoers that they could get away with mugging and burglary. The first broken window, if not tended to, leads eventually to total social deterioration. Thus, by making sure that graffiti, broken windows, and "quality of life" crimes are immediately stopped or tended to, police have drastically reduced the serious crime rates in many big cities. At least this is the claim, and there is good evidence that it is true. It sounds like common sense to most people.

The broken-window theory certainly applies to every individual home, and the reason why it does is clear. When people are cooperating in maintaining a household, the domestic equivalent of an unrepaired broken-window can result in a chain reaction that eventually sees the home in complete chaos."

Cheryl gives an example of how this works:
"In the hallway between our son's bedroom and our own stands a chair that serves various minor functions. One rushed morning I made the mistake of throwing my bathrobe and newspaper on it as I passed by. That evening, the chair held not only the bathrobe and newspaper but also my husband's dry-cleaning, a plastic replica of the Millennium Falcon, along with Luke Skywalker, a tube of antiseptic ointment, a copy of PC Magazine, and five Tinkertoys. (I remember because I recited the entire list to my smirking husband.) Yet this chair had stood entirely empty for the preceding six months." 

This makes so much sense to me! As I read this section, my mind instantly made a list of all of the broken windows in our home.

The list goes something like:  
Dining Room Table
Corner of the hallway by Kort's room
Baker's rack
Writing dest
Top of the fridge
(Yes, I just said "Top of the fridge"
- the hubs's favorite spot to put all sorts of crap.)

and the worst one of all:
the ledge of our split entry way. 

I mean, it makes perfect sense to stash a bunch of clutter (dog leashes, mail, sunglasses, keys, dishes to be returned to neighbors and even more often to Kyle's mom who makes my most favorite soup on the planet... and sends over all sorts of other delicious things on a regular basis...etc.) right out in the open and in the very first part of our home that anyone sees, right? I mean, who wouldn't want people who come to the front door to see a whole mess of crap right off the bat? I know, right? Who's with me? Yeah, it drives me sort of nuts. Biggest broken window ever.

So, goal numero uno this week? 
Repair (and maintain!) one broken window a day.

I will set a timer and take ONLY 15 minutes (and 15 minutes only) to do this each day.  Then, I will maintain the un-brokenness of the now unbroken windows from here on out so as to not raise a household of window-breaking, graffiti-spraying, mugging, burglarizing deviants.

Where are your broken windows? 
Are you going to repair them this week? (Say yes. Yay us!)

P.s. I think that the FlyLady is a stinkin' genius. To have the very first baby step be "Shine your sink and keep it shiny"? g.e.n.i.u.s. When the sink gets bogged down with dishes, it throws a wrench into all of my other housekeeping practices. In fact, I usually do the dishes at night and start the dishwasher. Then the hubs has a late-night milkshake, and leaves his cup in the sink, and then my window is "broken" right at the start of a new day. (And then I have to yell at the hubs and say "Quit breaking my windows!" Which sounds all sorts of weird.) What a smarty pants that FlyLady is! A smart little smarty pants indeed.

End of day five.

I woke up really sick!
I was going to help one of my good friends with a party later that night, so I went into denial mode, assuring myself that I would feel better by that evening...and got in the shower...and blow-dried my hair...and got dressed...and then crashed into bed feeling like I was pretty much going to die.

So, I DID get dressed (which, technically, I wouldn't have expected myself to do since I wasn't feeling well, but hey, denial can be a powerful motivator...) I did NOT, however, do any cleaning. (That would have just been neurotically nuts and such.)

I spent the entire day in bed.
The trusty hubs even took care of babybits, only bringing him in when he needed to nurse every few hours. (I am so lucky. I won the husband lottery for sure.) I was SO SICK. Totally floored me. No fun. 

Okay, I'll admit that I DID keep my sink shiny though...
Couldn't help it.
I'm an addict I tell ya.
Love me a shiny sink.

This wasn't my ideal way to end out the first week, but all in all, I have to say, I am amazed at the changes in me AND in my household in just 5 short days! I cannot believe the difference it makes in my life when I just get up and get going every morning. Wow.

By the middle of the week, I was so enthusiastic about my progress that I wanted to add more and more and more goals that would help me be more and more and mo' better...but I KNOW that baby steps is the way to go. No burn out for me. Slow and steady wins the race. Slow and steady... (Yes, I have to keep telling myself that...again and again and again and again.)

We're going to take it easy for the weekend, then back to business bright and early on Monday! Can't wait to see you and find out how you're doing!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

End of day four.

How did I do?

Did I get ready first thing?

Did I get ready eventually?

Did I get "all the way" ready?
Nope. The makeup didn't happen, but I did comb my hair and get dressed "head to shoes."

(In my defense, I got no sleep last night and woke up nauseous and exhausted with a sore throat to top all off.)

Was I pleasant and lovely to be around?
Not so much.

Did I let my 7 year old (who came in and woke me up at 5:30 a.m.) take an entire bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos into his room and eat as many as he wanted as long as he promised to leave me alone and let me sleep while the baby sleeps?
Why, yes. Yes I did.

When the hubs made the grave mistake of questioning the parental wisdom of that decision, (the one which I am now calling Dorito-Gate-two-thousand-and-ten) did I scream something along the lines of :

"I'd like to see YOU get 3 to 6 hours of broken up sleep for 3 stinkin' months straight and then wake up with a sore throat and feeling like you're going to throw up and NOT choose to 'pick your battles' with your seven year old at five freaking thirty a.m.!" ?

Um, yeah. That would be me. (I'm not proud of it.)

Then, before the hubs could say a word, did I flip the switch on the vacuum cleaner and angry-vacuum the entire house?
Sure did.

Let's just say it was a rough day, but it got better. (Poor hubs! It must be terrifying to live in crazyville round the clock.)

For those of you who are worried, we made up right after the angry vacuuming. He was sorry for being insensitive, I was sorry for being nuttier than a squirrel turd, and we were over it.

On a completely different note:
My sink is very shiny! The Fly Lady was right... It DID feel like a big, warm hug first thing in the morning. (AFTER DoritoGate2010, that is.) It is such a small simple step, but it sets off such a fantastic chain reaction. (Like Jen said in the comments - Clean sink, clean counter, clean floors.... it just goes on and on like the most delightful little puddle ripple you've ever encountered!) It's like crack. Crack AND magic! Now, I want it shiny all. the. time. I don't let any dishes stay in there and mess it up. Not when it has the potential to look so darn pretty all the time! I even like it. Every time I wipe it out, I like it. I even smile, and then I spritz it with bleach when I'm done because I love the smell of bleach, and it feels sorta like I'm treating my sink to a luxury spritz of something from a Nordstrom cosmetics counter...

Moving on... (I'm not going to pretend that that didn't get a little weird there at the end.)

Now I'm going to sleep.
Pray for me.
Pray for sleep.
(I don't mean to be greedy or anything, but more than 4 hours would be nice... I'm just puttin' it out there.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Love this take...

on the power of ten.

Stephanie wrote in and offered this awesome suggestion to turn "picking up" into a fun game for the kiddos. She said:

"One thing I do with my kids when their room is out of control is give them fun tasks like "Pick up 5 things that are red" or "Pick up 7 things that have sleeves" or "2 things with ears" etc. (I don't necessarily look at their stuff to come up with these tasks, I just randomly pull them outta my head) It gets it done, and they have fun doing it."

Love it.

style tip.


A lot of women still worry about whether or not it's okay to wear white after Labor Day. Being that it makes me crazy to be told what to do, well...ever, I really liked Miss Kate's take on "Wearing white after Labor Day."

She says:
"Wearing white is a personal preference, and you needn't be bound by long-standing traditions. If white is basic to your wardrobe, then by all means wear it year-round. The trick is to tweak it so that it looks natural to each season. In early fall, try an ivory-and-blue seersucker blazer with a scarf. It's the perfect follow up to the pure white of summer."

Being that I am "winter white's" biggest fan, I'm always happy to hear a style-guru give advise that says it's alright for winter white to come out of the closet. ( to speak).

Go shine your sink!


Some of you have written emails mentioning the  Fly Lady, so I had to go check her out. And I have to say, I really LOVED the first "baby step" she suggests for turning over a new leaf with homemaking. She says to:

"After you do this; you will keep it shiny by drying it out after each time you use it and making sure when you go to bed that it is shining so it will make you smile in the morning. This is how I get to hug you each day! That shiny sink is a reflection of the love that you have for yourself."

I loved this baby step because it tapped into one of the hugest problems I have when it comes to maintaining a clean home. When my kitchen sink is shiny and clean, (which, ahem, it almost NEVER is) everything else feels under control. When I let the sink get backed up, and both sides are full of dirty dishes, then we put stuff on the counter, then we leave it on the table, then, when I look at the mountain of mess, I feel completely I just walk away and leave it for another day. (Yes, I know how gross that must sound to expert homemakers.) Then, when I FINALLY bite the bullet. It takes a solid hour (and TWO loads in the dishwasher) to get it cleared away... and it makes me really sad and such.
I love this new suggestion so much, that I've decided to implement it immediately. Starting now. So, three goals: up and dressed, clean for a total of sixty minutes (maybe using the power of ten even?), and shine my sink (and keep it shiny!).

End of day three.

How did we do?

This morning went so much better!
Up at 7:00 (Oooo, I sure like me some 7:00)
Kort got up at 7:00 too.
We turned on some reruns of America's Funniest Videos, snuggled in my bed, and Kort asked if Tennyson could watch too.  This is what happened next.

It was sort of awesome. AND with Kort babysitting his little bro, I was dressed and ready with make up and hair done by 7:20. I made breakfast(eggs), cleaned up the kitchen, and got Kort out the door. My back has been k.i.l.l.i.n.g. lately, so a the hubs took me out for the day. Chiropractor, Costco, and even a little Olive Garden (woo-hoo!). I haven't seen the light of day for weeks! (And let's be honest... I didn't really see the light of day today either - it was overcast, and FREEZING! Boo, Utah...)

When we got home, I put away the haul from Costco, helped Kort clean his room, and even managed to start dinner by 4:00. (Chicken drumsticks that I pan fry and then leave in the oven to slow bake for 2 hours, and asparagus - sauteed right before we eat.) One thing I loved about starting dinner at 4:00, was that it enabled me to clean up after myself and have a clean kitchen to start with at 6:00 when it was actually time to get dinner on the table. This is why crock pots are also awesome, and why I need about 30 more crock pot recipes that actually taste good! (Right now I have about four.)

My favorite parts of today?
1. Not having to take my make up and do it in the car, because, when it came time to head out, I WAS ALREADY READY!
2. Listening to my delicious 7 year old and a hilarious neighbor boy rake and jump into piles of leaves in our backyard. This doesn't directly have anything to do with my goals... but I sure love being his mom. (Wait, maybe that has EVERYTHING to do with my goals - huh?)
3. Coming home from a day of running errands to find a reasonably clean home waiting for me. (Oh, and there was also the little 30 minute cat nap I squeezed in before Kort got home from school. I sort of loved that too.)

How did you do?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Power of 10

One of my biggest pitfalls when it comes to cleaning is getting distracted scouring one project to the hilt, while the rest of the house is in shambles. I think the ideal way to approach housework is to maintain a certain level of cleanliness and organization throughout. Once the most important chores are done (beds made, dishes washed, floors swept) THEN (and only then) branch out and really get into the nitty gritty work. (Clean out a closet, deep clean an area, start a long-term project, etc.) 

I have such a hard time sticking with this though! I will be cleaning the kitchen, find something that needs to go in my bedroom, take it to my bedroom, notice that the closet is a mess, and the next thing I know, I've pulled my whole closet apart. Then, I get tired of that and realize that I haven't eaten for several hours. So I go into the kitchen to make some lunch and realize that I haven't finished cleaning it! So, I finish cleaning it...then Kort gets home from school...I make him a snack...sit down and do homework...start dinner...clean the kitchen again... nurse Tennyson...get Kort in his jammies and into bed...bathe with Tennyson...nurse Tennyson and put him to bed...go into my room exhausted and ready to fall on my face... and find closet vomit covering the bed and floor! Boo.

I was trying to think of how I could AVOID this scenario in the future. Then I remembered something my mom always did when we were kids. 

It's called Power of Ten. 

Here's how it works:
1. Set the kitchen timer for 10 minutes and focus on completing one full (compact) cleaning project within that ten minutes. When the timer beeps, reset it and start on another project. (Sometimes I even do 5 minute increments for even smaller tasks that need to get done.)
2. Give each of your children a bag or basket and have everyone pick up and put away ten items. This is a great exercise to do at the end of each day to restore the house to its original state. It's also fun to set a 10 minute timer and play upbeat music (Kort favors him some Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feelin'" as of late) while you work.  

What time-saving clean up tricks do you use to keep you on track?

style tip.


I had a happy stumbling upon a great book at my local library a few weeks ago. It is simply called "Style" by Kate Spade. The whole book is a yummy little treat, and I really like her definition of style. We have so many voices telling us what we should wear, and what we should like, and who we should aspire to be... I found Kate's take on style to be, well, refreshing. I thought that since this week's goal is to get dressed every day, it might be fun to share some of Kate's takes on Style.

Kate says:

"When you are defining your own style, it's so important not to be nervous. Part of style is confidence - you need to own your sense of style and be relaxed. If you've already pulled off a simple, clean look, then you can add just one great piece: shoes or a brooch. Find something you're drawn to, something you can't stop thinking about. Enjoy it. Play. I'm a big proponent of owning pieces that you cannot wait to wear. You want to find something that speaks to you in a totally personal way."

End of day two.


Today got off to a rough start. Tennyson woke up at 5:00 a.m. instead of 6:00 a.m. Um, five a.m. is sort of a deal breaker for me, so when I got him back to sleep at 6:00, I went back to bed too and slept until almost 8:00. By then, Tennyson needed to eat again and Kort needed to get out the door to school. I got up, resisted the (really powerful) urge to throw on my bathrobe, and got dressed. (bebe sweatsuit) Got Kort off to school, got the breakfast dishes rinsed, got Tennyson down for his morning nap, and was finally able to take 5 minutes and do my make-up. 

The discovery? It is so. much. harder. to get up and ready for the day if I don’t do it right off. Life really has a tendency to get in the way. I was tired and moody. So then, while tidying up the dining room, a craft drawer jammed, so naturally, I reached in, pushed down the gift bags that were jamming it, and started pushing the drawer closed. It was really stuck…so I pushed harder. Then it suddenly gave way and I CRUSHED my hand in the drawer. C.r.u.s.h.e.d. I tell you, crushed! 

Then, Tennyson woke up hungry, so I picked him up and started nursing him. I tried to turn on the t.v. so I could watch a morning news show while I nursed, and the TV box had reset and it was all messed up. Then Tennyson filled his pants. And it turned out to be a total blowout. And poop got all over my clothes. (SO glad I’d made the effort to get dressed.)

I looked at the hubs and smiled (A really creepy fake smile). Then, in the sweetest voice I could muster (so as not to scare the baby) I said “Eff today!” (I’m not proud of it.)

But worry not. I rallied.

My most favorite parts of today?

1. Getting all of the laundry done and put away. (I usually let clean laundry piles sit all over my living room for a minimum of 3 days before I get around to putting it all away. Not today! I had it folded, hung, and put away in everyone’s closets within an hour. Yay!

2. I made a goal to have Tennyson start sleeping in his crib (instead of his swing) on a regular basis and I stuck to it! (Even though his naps are shorter and I get less time to myself because he’s not used to it yet and wakes up sooner.) I’m proud of myself for putting “the big picture” and what’s best for my little man ahead of my current desire to have extra “me” time. I usually give up and go for short term gains, but today, I didn’t. And it feels good.

3. Taking a late afternoon nap and waking up to find that the hubs had fed Kort and gotten him into the tub (best hubs ever!) and ALSO that my house was clean! I only did ONE 15 minute power clean session (because all the rest of my time went to laundry) and it still made a huge impact! Clean kitchen and vacuumed floors? I’ll take it!

How did you do? Did you hit your goals?



Here's a little inspiration that I read whenever I just don't feel like housewifing....

I found what I thought to be a pretty hilarious homemaking book at D.I. It's from the 1960s, and some of it cracks me right up, but a lot of it is really well put. Here's a little snippet.

"Of course it is normal for every homemaker to have bad days when little is accomplished. At times she might be completely discouraged and depressed with her role in life. It is the purpose of this book {or this blog - yay!} to help you with those bad days and feelings of exasperation so that they will become infrequent and fleeting.

Let's begin by defining an ideal homemaker. An ideal is something for which we strive. It is our standard of perfection and excellence. An ideal, or goal, is like the North Star which guides the mariners at sea. Although they never reach the North Star, it keeps them charting their course in the right direction. We can't be ideal homemakers in every way at all times, but we do need a goal to be our North Star and to help us along in the right direction."

And later, she goes on to say:


"An ideal homemaker is ambitious and enthusiastic through application of the law that how one feels emotionally greatly determines how she feels physically."


"An ideal homemaker is devoted to the great career in which she is engaged. She is a professional in her field by being a homemaker every day and letting her devotion and sense of duty, rather than her moods, dominate her."

~Daryl V. Hoole
The Art of Homemaking~

I really love that last part. Because ideally, I don't want to have my life run by my moods. I "don't feel like it" way more often than I do, but that doesn't have to stand in the way of my desire to have a clean and happy home. I find that when I push past my feelings of laziness and go to work despite "not feeling like it," I shift into a better mood and pick up momentum in no time.

I have had SUCH a hilariously bad start this morning (more on that later tonight) that I needed a little motivation to keep going. 

Oh, and if you need a little pick me up on the "getting ready every morning" aspect, Daryl Hoole also says: "BEAUTY IS A DUTY."

So do it!
Ha ha!

The best inspiration for me? Remembering who I am working for. They are SO worth it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

and another thing...

I fed my kid some expired eggnog today.


Can anyone guess what one of my 15 minute projects is going to be tomorrow?
What's that?
Clean out my fridge you say!?
Now why would I go and do a thing like that?

End of day one.

How did we do?

Tennyson got up bright and early at 6:00 am. I nursed him (which is only taking 10 minutes now because he is such a fast eater. Yay!) and immediately got dressed. (wide-leg jeans, navy/white striped shirt, long gray sweater, red earrings, and pointy red flats...which I am actually only wearing out of the house... if I even leave the house.  While home, I wear comfy shoes.)

I pulled my hair into a messy bun with bangs and "fringe" framing my face. Then I put make up on. This took 10 minutes total (hair and make up.) Then Tennyson and I talked and giggled and had a diaper change, and then he pooped in his brand new diaper, so we had another diaper change, tidied up the bedroom, and finally ventured out into the kitchen.

Since Kort wasn't up distracting me yet (he is sooo cute... and soooo high maintenance), I managed to unload the entire dishwasher, wash the dishes that were left in the sink from last night, and clear off the dining room table in 15 minutes - all before 7:00! (Wow!) Kestral made a great comment saying that "An object in motion stays in motion" and BOY is that applicable here... I had SUCH a Brady Bunch/Leave it to Beaver Morning!


So get this: Kort bursts in on the scene right at 7:00. (Thank you Daylight Savings Time). We usually wake him up to get ready for school at 7:30, so he had half an hour to kill. The first thing he said was: "Wow mom, you look pretty!" (Ha ha! Told you it was a rare occurrence around here!) Since he was up early, he asked if he could play with the Perler Beads we were playing with on Sunday night. I said sure. Then I wiped the kitchen clean while he worked on a new little project and even ironed it together before we had to start breakfast. My home just felt so happy and most importantly c.a.l.m! I loved it. 

Once Kort was off to school, I set my timer for 15 minutes to do the second quarter of my cleaning goal. (Baby steps, right?) I was shocked at how much I got done on this set! 

Here is the rundown:
Cleared dining room table
Rinsed/loaded breakfast dishes
Living Room
Tennyson's Room
Kort's Room
Master Bedroom

Then, Tennyson had the worst morning ever! He is usually so, so happy, but he was tired and fussy, and basically inconsolable. I'm wondering if his little bottom teeth aren't getting ready to make an appearance. (Kort's cut through right at 4 months, so with Tentens coming up on three...this may be the case.) Anyway, it was so sad! I spent the next hour and a half trying to sooth him to sleep, so we just snuggled and took it easy. Finally, around noon, he crashed. Since I only got about 5 hours of sleep last night, I went to sleep too! I slept until 1:30 and woke up feeling so great!

When Kort got home from school, he invited a friend over and it was so nice not to have to dash into my room to put something decent on! The boys played with Perler Beads (which I would iron together as they finished each project.)
The hubs got home at 5:00 and we made tacos in the kitchen together.  I love him. Man, do I love him. 

Another 15 minutes cleaning up after dinner, and my kitchen looks great! (That takes me up to 45 of my 60 minutes) I think what I love the most about doing these 15 minute increments is that it reminds me of how possible this is. It would be discouraging if my kitchen took an hour to clean... but 15 minutes? Hey! I've got 15 minutes. (Barely, but I've got it.)

For my last 15 minutes, I wiped down our main bathroom. I didn't totally scour or do the floors, but the mirror and sink are shiny and the toilet is totally clean. 

The hubs is playing checkers with Kort to finish off our family night, and Tentens is sleeping in his swing. I'm going to go get my boys in bed, post communal global, and watch some t.v. with the hubs to wind down the night.


How did your day go!?
Did you try jewelry? Getting dressed?
Did you have a cleaning goal?
How did you do on your goal variations?
What did you find most rewarding?

My 2 most favorite things about today?
1. Not having to dash into my room to get dressed when Kort's friend came to play.
2. Tidying up and vacuuming my bedroom! I usually put ALL other house cleaning chores ahead of my bedroom (yes, even though Oprah, Nate, Martha, and every self-helper on the planet say not to!) because those sections of the house are seen by others. I can't believe how many times I smiled when walking into my bedroom today. It was like a happy little present, just for me.



*Wow, I seem to have struck a liiiitle bit of a nerve right out the gate with this one! ha ha! So let me clarify.

1. When I say "dressed to the nines" I am talking about the kind of dressed to the nines that takes 20 minutes total. Here is my philosophy: It is just as easy to pull on cute jeans or a skirt as it is to pull on sweatpants. It takes the same amount of time and effort, but the "end results" are vastly different. I'm certainly not suggesting that I (or anyone else) should spend an hour each morning getting insanely gussied up - that would sort of defeat the purpose since my ULTIMATE goal is to be a more effective homemaker and time manager.

2. Jewelry is the BEST cheat on the planet! It takes like, two whole seconds to put on, and it makes you look totally put together. Like many moms with small children, I am going to have to fore go the earrings once Tennyson starts getting grabby, but a great necklace can go a long way and (as long as it's sturdy) can even be a great toy/distraction for the baybuh. Its cheap, easy to do, and really fun.

3. I don't base my self worth on my appearance, and I don't want anyone else to base their self worth on appearance, and the purpose of this blog is not to get anyone else to do so. That being said, on this journey to better, more organized living, I have found a very effective trigger point for myself. That trigger point is getting dressed everyday.  The days I get up and get dressed, I take the world by storm. The days that I stay in my bathrobe, I find, at the end of said day, that the laundry is still piled high, the sink is full of dishes, and my son's homework didn't get completed (and he's already in bed for the night). It seems that a (comfy, luscious) bathrobe may very well be the ONLY thing standing between me and domestic bliss okay!? 

4. I've decided to treat motherhood like the job that it is. This means treating it with respect, showing up on time, and coming ready to do the work. Am I going to have days where I stay in pajamas and do pretty much nothing? Probably. But those days should be the exception, not the rule. As one 1960s homemaking maven once said "If you LOOK THE PART, you'll feel like DOING THE PART." This just makes sense to me. It may not be for everyone, but for me, this part is necessary.

5. Sweatpants are so much better than a bathrobe. You can go out and get your mail in sweatpants. You can answer the door (without making anyone uncomfortable) in sweatpants. On days when I know I want to clean my house's guts out, sweatpants will be the clothing of choice.  So don't get defensive just yet. I'm not waging war on our beloved sweat pants... (promise) I'm just trying to root out the biggest contributors to my slovenly lifestyle and turn them around! Dressing nicely each day is a great way to start.

6. I don't beat myself up about not being "that" girl. I'm sure she has her own issues to deal with, and Celeste and Jessie - you said it perfectly - to compare ourselves to others is just demoralizing and utterly counter-productive. What I intended to express with that example, is this: She is proof positive that it can be done. If a mom of 4 kids under five can do it - so can I! That's really inspiring for me. And on days when I don't, that's okay too. Thanks for the feedback so I could hear how that post was coming off. We all have to be the best "US" and not the best replication of what we think someone else is.   

7. I never want this blog to make someone feel like their efforts as a mom and wife aren't good enough. I am so excited that so many of you are EXCITED about improving and making better lives for yourselves. At the same time, it's important that we are always supportive of one another as women and mothers. I will definitely be keeping it real and sharing the BAD with the good as I go along - I'd encourage all of you to do the same.  We're not doing anyone any favors by acting like we're perfect and hiding the things we struggle with. It just makes women with problems (a.k.a EVERYONE) feel isolated. That's never going to be the goal or intention of this project. Thanks you to all of you who made comments that keep it real too! I think there should be a whole post called "Sweatpants confessions." Ha ha! 

And finally...

THANK YOU - to everyone who is participating! It's really great to get feedback about how different women feel about different areas of homemaking. Most of all, it's just good to know that I'm not the only one who wants to do better and be better everyday!

week one: mommy style


You know "that girl"?
The one who shows up to the 8:00 a.m. PTA meeting in a cardigan and pearls, looking like a million bucks while the rest of the moms are fresh from the shower, wet hair and all, sporting their favorite, over-sized Disneyland sweatshirt?

You know, that girl. The one who also never says no to anything, whether it's last minute babysitting, making dinner for a neighbor who just had surgery, or agreeing to head up teacher appreciation week?

And the one who has double (okay, and in my case triple) the number of kids you do, but is always on time and pulled together when you are not? The one who looks amazing, whether it's 7:00 a.m. or 10:00 p.m.? The one whose house is spotless and always has amazing smells coming from the kitchen (because she's making 200 cupcakes for the Children's Hospital Bake Sale, no doubt).

You know, HER?

I sort of want to hate her. 
But I can't.
More than I want to hate her, 
I sort of want to BE her.


We tend to vilify girls like her, but do we just do that because we know that "being her" is way more work than "being jealous and resentful of her?" (Answer: Probably.) Even though my human nature-y self wants to make fun of her and call her a Stepford Wifey, and even though I'd really like to think that she is just really, really fake, and really, really convincing... part of me knows the truth. 

And the truth is. 

She knows what it truly means to be a woman and a mother.
She is dedicated to being an effective, organized nurturer and homemaker. 

And I DON'T "get" it...
But I want to. 


And I'm thinking that there must (simply must!) be something to the whole, "Not staying in my bathrobe and thrashed house slippers all the live-long day" way of life. Maybe if I wasn't in my bathrobe... I would take out the trash...and tidy up my front yard, and not feel like an idiot when someone knocks on my door...and maybe I would even go get groceries so we could have a decent dinner later that night...and mayhaps (if I got really productive) I would return the library books, and not be late for every appointment under the sun!

(Hey, it could happen!)

That is why I have selected:
1. Fully dressed (like, to the nines baby!) first thing in the morning, and 2. 60 minutes of cleaning each day as the goals for Week ONE!

I will give regular updates and tidbits of inspiration that I find along the way, every day this week. Stay tuned!

Do you get up and get dressed every morning?
If not EVERY morning, how often (as in, how many days a week) do you get ready first thing?
Just wondering how "out there" I am compared to the rest of the mommy world. 
I get dressed for the day about once every 10 days... and that's only when I have somewhere to go. (Oh wow, my poor husband...)

What about you?

*JUST SO YOU KNOW: I am pretty sure that Jackie O wasn't an expert homemaker... I suspect she left all that to the nannies, the cooks, and housekeepers, and such. But MAN could the woman dress! Whew! I think everyone should take a page (or thirty)  from the Jackie book of style. The world would be a much prettier place.

Thursday, November 4, 2010



Growing up, I never really paid attention. I didn't watch how my mom operated in the kitchen (nor, did I offer to be of assistance..thoughtful lil' miss that I was...). I didn't cook family meals. I cleaned,  but not well, and only so I could get my allowance and buy two dollars worth of swedish fish and other scrumptious penny candies at the local drug store every Saturday morning. My days were spent dancing, acting, studying, playing, reading, and bossing around any unsuspecting little friend I could pin down for an afternoon. The whole "domestic" thing never really appealed to me. 

My attempts at painting and knitting crafts were sad, and the end results were pretty much unrecognizable. I even  gave my 4-H sewing instructor a complete meltdown when, for the first time in her 10 years as a teacher, she could not (for. the. life. of. her.) teach one of her students (ahem, me) to sew a square bag. 

My college years were spent studying my brains out and dating a whole slew of guys (all of whom I feel very sorry for, in retrospect ;). I insisted, in no uncertain terms, that I was not going to be "some demure, subservient housewife who waited on him hand and foot!" In my (humble) opinion, I had brains, and talents, and p.l.e.n.t.y. to offer the world at large, and  I was not going to waste "all that" by resigning myself to a life stuck at home vacuuming in a skirt and wiping snot-noses. (Yeah, I was a real peach back then.)

Enter the hubs.  I fell. Hard. Gosh I loved him. I tried to hold on to my previous notions, but, if I'm being honest, I just wanted to take care of him.  I wanted to cook for him, keep a beautiful home for him, give him foot rubs when he got home from work and talk about his day... (Okay, I got a little carried away there at the end, but you get the idea.) 

Maybe it was because he was so respectful, and doting, and kind. Maybe it was because he was so low-maintenance that it made me feel like making him happy was actually an attainable goal. Whatever the reason, I wanted to be his wife. And everything else seemed secondary.

We were married on April 20, 2001 and moved into a tiny, one-bedroom apartment in a 100 year olf home in Provo. My early attempts at home-cooked meals ended in disaster, with nasty food on the table, and a sweet hubs choking it down with a smile. Then there were the times when it was altogether inedible and the hubs had to make a 9:00 p.m. Taco Bell run so we didn't go to bed hungry. Oh, and let's not forget all those nights when I got home late from work and didn't bother making anything at all.  

After several failed, miserable attempts at some semblance of domesticity, I conceded. I was no cook, and that was that. We started eating out full time. 

Enter a new baby. Kort turned our lives upside down. (In the best way possible.) Suddenly, the girl who scoffed at scrap-booking and all things crafty, (ahem, me again) had filled 6 HUGE scrapbooks with baby pictures before the little guy had even turned one. Becoming a mother sparked something in me that had been dormant all my life. Creativity. The next several years were filled with projects, diapers, and a home that ran like a well-oiled machine. Life was bliss. Then...

Enter Infertility. When Kort was 18 months old, we started talking baby number two. Then we started trying for baby number two. Three months into "trying for two" I got the sinking feeling that something was very wrong. As it turns out, I was right. 

Enter years of devastating disappointment. Yeah, it was that bad. I managed to function pretty well up until Kort was about four... then, the hopelessness of it all set in (and BOY did it set in). Part of me wanted to pick myself up, dust myself off, and move on... but I couldn't. Part of me wanted to re-dedicate myself to being the best wife and mom the world had ever seen, but after a few successful days, I just fell back into blog-stalking all the live long day with an occasional nod to housework of any kind. 

It's a funny (and completely flawed) outlook, but I started feeling like dinner wasn't worth making - if it was just for the three of us. The house didn't get very dirty - because it was just the three of us. It was impossible to talk myself into a cleaning routine because our lifestyle didn't call for it, but without a routine, the household fell apart. I found myself in a tricky middle area where I was a mother, but it didn't warrant a full time job. 

Enter Pregnancy! That's right. 7 years after the birth of our first son, we welcomed a second. He has been the greatest, most spectacular, and completely unexpected joy since we gave birth to Kort.  Life is so good. My desire to be a great mom and homemaker is back, and...

I have no idea what I'm doing! 

I read and execute recipes incorrectly, I set my kitchen on fire (at least once every six months), I forget to do laundry until we have nothing to wear, I literally live in my bathrobe (which gets a little bit awkward when my cute, "pulled together" neighbors drop by), I'm not gonna lie - I'm a mess! This lifestyle worked okay when I was the mother of an independent 7 year old and the wife of the most easy-going man on the planet, but this is NOT going to work now that my baby-maker is up and running. I want a whole pile of babies, but I've got to figure out how to care for them first!    

There are so many blogs out there that are written by brilliant women who are cooks and crafters and homemakers extraordinaire... this is not one of them.

But maybe someday, it will be.