Monday, February 23, 2015

Ramblings of a Scared Heart

If I thought that Thursday was a rough day, I was about to be given a serious lesson in perspective. 

I woke up on Friday morning, feeling lighter. My demeanor back to it's sunny, happy self. There was freezing rain coming down outside, slowly hitting our tin roof and bouncing and bumping it's way to the cold ground beneath. It was a stay in your pajamas and snuggle kind of day. A day that whispers gently for you to be still, slow way down and savor in it's ease. So that's just what we did. . .

and then in a brief moment it shifted. 

Suddenly I found myself on the phone with an ER doctor telling me he was with my dad- who was, I would find out, in the midst of a major heart attack. Helicopters weren't flying due to weather so they would be rushing him to Little Rock ASAP.

I couldn't make sense of it. My Dad? My Dad? It wasn't feasible- he is the epitome of health. He is my rock and I am his baby girl, how could this be happening.

To say that it was a whirlwind from that moment on would be a gross understatement, yet somehow intertwined thru it seamlessly was also a great sense of peace. Everyone came together, we claimed our roles and we made it. He is doing so much better, and I think we can all say  that we are grateful it happened. Now we are aware of his hearts shortcomings and will have a much better chance of prevention in the future.

Things are still a little crazy right now, and my hands are a bit full at the moment,  but even in this- I feel so wholly blessed. My Dad is going to be ok. My husband is completely and unbelievably the love of my life- always strong, always stable, doing everything that can possibly be done to make it easier on us all. My best friend drove three hours to pick me up by eight in the morning. She drove me to the hospital and stayed with me and my dad until family could get there that afternoon- I can't say that I was surprised, that's who she is, but I was honored. And then there were my beautiful kiddos- untouched by sadness and fear, always thinking about themselves in the most comforting of ways. They have a skill of carrying normalcy with them, pulling everything back down to reality- a trait I have never been more thankful for. 

It's the unknown of incidents like this that leave everyone  coming together- grasping for the ones you love. It leads to more smooches and tighter hugs and has an inherent way of breaking down walls that sadly, have been built as we've grown up. 

Anyway, I'm not sure how to end this- It was just an account for me to remember, a place to seek the good, and also to tell you all where I've been. You, my friends, have come to mean so much to me and your prayers and support would be invaluable.

p.s.- I have not taken any pictures in days, my mind is not really kicking out the creativity and I have no post at the ready- so if there is a topic that intrigues you or a question you would like answered, leave it in the comments- and if given a free moment this week, I can work from there.     

Friday, February 20, 2015

Stinker Daze

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, really bad day.

It just was.

It was one of those days where I was awakened at the crack of dawn, and right away- I just couldn't find myself. Nothing felt proper, my kindness seemed all used up and all I really wanted was to just close the blinds, crawl in bed and hide until the day had passed. 

looking back, I can see that it probably would have been wiser if I had. I was curt and sarcastic and said things I shouldn't have- and I knew, I knew I needed to to just stop. To pull myself out of this funk, restart and move on. It seemed so simple, yet I couldn't figure a way out. I was terribly lost in this day, wallowing in it's ugliness.

Then the wilds started waking up from their nap, stumbling out of their room one by one they converged. Piling on top of me, smothering me with their stinky breath and big smooches. These kiddos don't understand a bad day, they don't get the terms 'space' and a 'moment.' They just love wholeheartedly and unconditionally. Their childlike displays of kindness and need were a gentle cleansing rain, washing away any left behind yucks and leaving me fresh and restored.

We managed to scrap together the evening, piecing it into something good. Their were extra tight squeezes and more goodnight kisses then I could even count. There were late night snacks and stolen moments to chat about loose teeth and cupcakes.  We made it thru.

Now, I'm bundled up in my bed awaiting the morning. A little leg is thrown over mine, and a chubby hand keeps thumping down on the keyboard as a type- and I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Thankful to have a crew who loves me regardless- of a terrible, horrible, no good, really bad day.

Thank goodness it's Friday- Have a great weekend friends.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Thrills on Wheels

Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's just this time of year, but I have had a severe and beautiful case of wanderlust.

I find myself a bit antsy, just the teeniest bit bored, and ready, oh so ready, to go. Craving adventure, every part of me yearning to do something novel, to see fresh places, and try exotic foods. I want to do and be and explore and find. 

For now, to help combat this need, I'm starting small. Exploring what's around. Packing the wilds up and taking them to experience something they've never done, something outside of routine and the day to day.

Last week, we appeased my appetite by taking them roller skating! This was brand new to the kiddos, as at the farm there is not a speck of pavement or cement anywhere, so most wheeled activites are out. We waited till dinner had been prepared, eaten and subsequently cleaned up, then told them to get their 'town clothes' on- we were headed off on an adventure.

It was probably one of the funniest nights of the year. They wouldn't let us put Eleanor in a stroller, so we just rented her skates, which was hilarious. If you can even fathom a one year old in roller skates, it is quite a sight. It was basically two hours of Kaleb and I picking kids up off the ground. At one point we looked up and our eyes met, all four were laid out on the slick wooden floor and we just burst out laughing. Why, Oh why, do all my bright ideas seem to end like this? 

By the end of the night, Aussie and Isaac had gotten to where they could semi-get around. They came home bruised and sore but thrilled with themselves, and I came home happy. My thirst for thrill briefly satisfied. 

Now I'm off to plan this weeks excitement!

p.s. pictures are not great, but it was an all hands on deck situation:)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


It really happened! After waiting not so patiently, pouting and then finally caving and giving up completely, it happened. It snowed! 

Granted, it was only about half an inch, but it was half an inch of pure bliss. 

Needless to say, we relished in it. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Simple Affair

Well, Valentines went as planned. It was low key and quiet- simplified. 

We started the morning with waffles, warm raspberry compote, freshly tapped maple syrup, and homemade whipped cream. We ate and sang songs and the kiddos opened small gifts. We ventured to the great outdoors, where we hiked and ran, slithered and crawled. We fished, to no avail at the big pond in dark choppy water. We loaded up and drove on, when the hay bails began whispering for us to come play, so we obliged- climbing on top, running  wild,  playing games of freeze tag and cops and robbers. We rested, we dipped ripe red strawberries in smooth milk chocolate, intermittently we would pile up and I would read aloud a chapter of our new book. We took to the fields for everyone to have a go on the dirt bike, and as dusk settled in we met at the table for good food, taking turns each naming things and people we love. We celebrated, we basked in the day, and it was good, it was great. It was quiet, it was low key, and it was simplified.

but. . . if I'm being completely forthcoming, there was a very small part of me that missed  the hullabaloo of a bedroom filled with balloons.  It's in my bones, I like to go big- it's just who I am. I like to create unforgettable moments even if it's in the form of a so called disaster. Maybe, I'm not cut out for simplified.

Friday, February 13, 2015

My Valentine

It's almost Valentines! Yahoo- well, ok- I get that not everybody is all smooches and goo about this particular holiday- it's so commercialized and consumer run and all that other cynical smooze- but I love it. It's a day to celebrate love- in all it's cheese and sappy goodness. 

So, in keeping- here's a gushy, slightly hilarious valentines tale for you. . .

About this time last year, I was curled up by the fire, phone in hand, scrolling the visual delights that is pinterest. Page after glorious page of Valentine images, mouthwatering recipes and intricate crafts. When what popped into my mind. . . but a tiny little beautiful brainchild. With open heart I theorized that I don't get a redo here. I won't have another shot to do this parenting gig, and I needed to make it count. Every moment needed to be big! (sidenote- please tell me some of you have had this problem with pinterest? It gets in your head, I tell you. My sweet hubbie's soul fills with dread when he sees me searching- anyway. . )

Obviously, we HAD to create a balloon room! 

If we didn't do it now, when would we- this would be perfect! Nothing says I Love You quite like filling your kiddos room to the brim with shiny red and pink balloons, am I right? It would definitely be a memory they would never forget.

Kaleb, ever loving man that he is, always so happy to oblige and give me what I want- agreed to help fulfill my slightly extravagant, ever too grand, plan. 

Sadly, I was foiled by a few minor hiccups- for one, the wilds bedroom is quite huge, two- renting a helium tank was purty darn expensive. Not a problem I thought- I'll simply purchase a few hundred balloons and a pump from the grocery store, it would be fine, I was positive.

Oh, it was not fine. So. Not. Fine. I bought the wrong size pump. Even more, I don't actually know how to blow up a balloon. Never quite had the lung capacity  for it. 

That's when the love of my life gave me the greatest valentines gift a girl could ever hope for. He single handedly or shall I say mouthily- blew up over two hundred balloons, blowing himself into near delirium til around four o'clock in the morning!

So, yeah the kiddos were surprised, they loved it every bit as much as I hoped they would. They still talk about the day they woke up to a sea of air filled colors, but that is absolutely nothing compared to the sheer, gushy, gooey, cheesy, beautiful, unconditional love I saw tied to each balloon.

It will forever go down in my books as one of the most romantic, dreamy, unforgettable Valentines Days of my life. But yeah, this year will be a little bit more low key:)

What about you- are you a fan? Any grand plans?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Mothers Daydream

In my humble opinion, motherhood is the ultimate lesson in multitasking. 

Usually, while knee deep in the midst of it, my mind captures the essence of circumstance and pulls me into all sorts of crazy adventures.

In one tiny, complicated minute, in the heart of the afternoon I was mama- M.D. to the stars. A hollywood hero- giving shots, prescribing medications (of course, with natural alternatives) and known for having the best hello kitty band-aids on the west coast. Offering guidance and care to all darling pretend mothers like Aussie, the world round.

In the next breath, I was on pit crew for Speedy Zain. Engines blaring, the crowd's loud and the atmosphere thick with anticipation. Pumping throttles, timing rounds, and staying wildly busy with tech inspection. It's a job that means work- you're up early and you leave late, but the pay is amazing!

All this while pursuing a career in the major leagues with my main man- Isaac. Running drills, honing our skills and developing our throwing arms. It's a hard business, but there's nothing quite like the thrill of game day. 

And then there are my duties to the princess-carrying the litter to and fro as per Eleanor's wish. I carry a feathered fan and frozen grapes and do as I'm bid.

It's a storybook life:)

p.s. These are my project 52 photos, which I'm accomplishing with the help and encouragement of Helen from I Will Bloom, you should definitely go check her out! You will find an instant friend, promise. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Television, Newspapers and Bikes- Oh My!

So yes, I do love terrible television (read- The Bachelor! How have I missed every season until now! It's the craziest, most addicting show, I've ever seen.) Yep, I did get married when I was twenty-one on spring break of my senior year in college, I did have three babes in three years, I do have an unexplained and very strange quirk with newspaper- can't touch them! Freaks me out. Yes, everyone wraps my gifts in newspaper as a joke- it's not funny. I was at one point in my life Miss Dance of the Mid-South, and now I can hardly touch my toes. Yes, I haven't worked out in three months, it's a real problem. I have zilch, nada, zero skills with interior design, I have never learned to properly ride a bike, and I have an addiction to cake pops- they are just so good! Yes, I like to pretend I'm a woodworker, a outdoorsman and an artist. I have extremely long femurs, I'm quite proud of them. Next to Christmas, my favorite holiday is St. Patricks Day, and yes- life is a big ole bowl full of blueberries- wild a bit crazy but with a whole lot of pop in your mouth good:)

p.s. Check out my glasses- firmoo sent them to me to try out, and besides feeling like a pretty big deal, I love them. A little bit Potterish, which can never be bad, with a slight hipster edge, which makes me feel young- a total win!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Here's to a Great Week

Today, I am feeling happy. 

All that hormonal wildness seems to have passed and I am left at peace- giddy for the upcoming week. My sweet Kaleb has moved all the furniture, fixins, and rooms back to where they were and I can't explain how good it feels. Who needs a school room really? From the wise words of a kind reader "school happens anywhere, stop trying to bring the classroom home." So very true. 

Also, I completely scrapped our previous homeschooling curriculum and after hours and hours of intense, rigorous research- I managed to combine a few different approaches to come up with a plan that has brought back the happy and sweet buttery bliss that I once dreamed of.

I'm also riding on a high from my first, ever, successful go at a crockpot. I know, they are suppose to be infallible, but I have only had epic fails in my vain past attempts, so this was a real win!

I got to spend the entire day on Friday out and about- eating, shopping, and eating some more with a dear friend. I tell ya true- my people skills have gone wwwwaaaayyy down, and they weren't that great to begin with. I have completely forgotten how to have adult conversations, it's like any other skill and must be practiced, and I have not. So, If you ever meet me some day, I apologize in advance- it will probably be awkward.

Also, I want to say a big Thank You to all of you! Your beautiful comments and thoughts on fear- they encouraged me, they brought me hope and peace and I'm thankful for this incredible community and each of you.

Somehow all of this combines into a thrill. A feeling in the depth of my tummy that is rumbling with excitement- I'm not sure what all the week holds, but it seems good.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Fear and Aging

Sometimes, growing up is hard.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the concept that is fear. How it seems to thicken and escalate, taking on a form all it's own, and how that growth seems supremely tied to our capacity to love. My mind has had even more time to ponder as my littlest has come down with a stomach bug, so in-between bouts, I rock back and forth, cradling her tiny form and wondering. Wondering- how  fear starts, where it comes from, why we let it have so much precedence over our lives, and how it seems to ripen and grow with age.

There was a time in my life where I was free. Unhindered by the world around me. A little bit reckless, very naive, with only myself to watch over, and in that haven- the world was my oyster. A home to explore, to live fully, a safe place to roam wild. 

Then something happened, a quick change I wasn't ready for and didn't see coming. It happened in the second, the moment,  I said those two captivating words- "I do." 

In that brief flash there was a near electric shift. It wasn't just me anymore. Someone needed me. We were attached, two parts of a whole. In that moment, I began to understand fear. The fear of losing someone, the fear of losing a portion of yourself. In that space, my mind began to open to a new part of the world, a part that I had yet to observe in my youth- a part riddled with sadness, divorce and sickness. A world that can be scary, unsafe and wholly unpredictable.

With each added child, a little bit more of my heart was split. Given out, affixed to an independent who is running about with the same wild abandon that I once had- and fear began to close in, tightening around my middle like a heavy weight. My mind  locked in a constant battle of how best to protect them, measures to keep them safe in an unsafe environment, constant fighting to keep us together in a world where nothing is promised or permanent.

Each year that passes brings with it the teeniest bit of panic- the clock is running. There is so much for us to do and see, there is only one shot to dream and become, but fear has taken it's hold and those once wildly talked of adventures are now tinged in apprehension and mild foreboding.

So, yeah, growing up is hard. . . but, what I'm slowly, quietly learning is that's what makes it awesome! It's kind of the unpredictable nature of this life that makes it so dreamy. The unknown, the changing, the aging, even the fear of it- make it all so dang beautiful. The sheer fact that we love and love so fully- that we will willingly give out our hearts. We will break it up into tiny pieces and pass it around. That's what this is really all about, isn't it? We are in this place, this big, big, world, to learn love- sticky, wild, shattered, whole love. 

After really thinking about it, praying about it, wallowing in it- I've come to a conclusion. I don't want to place my fears on my wilds simply because they have my heart. It's because they have my heart that I most want to foster their abandon, their energetic pursuit, and their undeniable reckless joy. I want to show them life. A life lived firmly grasping the brevity and the blessing of each day. I want to walk bravely, in the hope that one day, they will too.

Alright, I know, it's deep, it's heady, a bit jumbled and definitely not my average style- but it's where my mind has been. There's a lot of sadness out there, a lot of unforeseen happenstance, but fear won't change it. I want to remember that. Now, I'm off to enjoy our heatwave this weekend, hopefully filled with lots of outdoor play- hikes, dirt biking, possibly a bonfire- barring the fact that nobody else gets this tummy virus, say a prayer for us:) Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Curried Quinoa

In our home, we are always trying to eat healthier, better, cheaper, you name it! You see, I get bored oh so easily in the ole food department and trying new and exciting recipes is the only way to keep this cook happy. Preparing the same meals day in and day out kills my chef-esque mojo, and in general leads to an extreme lack of gumption to  actually get my buns in the kitchen.

Sadly, I've been plum out of inspiration lately! I have been  rummaging thru cookbooks, scrolling thru blogs and of course snooping about pinterest on the hunt for fresh ideas- something not too difficult, not too time consuming, a little bit out of the box- creativity wise and yet, also chalk full of yumminess and good for you ingredients.

I've been on a huge quinoa kick lately- which is great, because I haven't been able to enjoy it's flavor and nuttiness since I was pregnant with Eleanor. It was one of those weird foods that even the sight of it would make me want to run for the hills. So, I'm just getting my sea legs set and now I'm out to explore all the delicious recipes that can be concocted with this almighty seed(seed right?). 

Thankfully, my sister in law had this little gem tucked up her sleeve, and it is a great one. Easy-check! Delicious- double check! Healthy- check, check, check! It's a total party pleaser. Even my kiddos will eat it and that is saying something. So, here it is, just in case you're in a food rut too:)

Curry Quinoa


2 cups organic quinoa- cooked according to package directions
3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 onion
1-2 Tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp tumeric

On medium low heat, warm your coconut oil, then throw in sliced onions, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, salt and raisins. Stir it all up for a bit, then turn your heat down to low, and let it simmer away til your onions are soft, brown and caramelized. Next, add in your cooked quinoa, curry and tumeric, salt to taste, then stir til combined and piping hot. 

It's really that simple!

This is why I love recipes like this. They are simple and delicious but leave lots of room for playing around. Personally, I enjoy it with toasted coconut and chopped peanuts thrown on top, maybe with a couple extra raisins for good measure. It's great with ground sausage or left over chicken, and a squeeze of lime makes it all the better.

Happy Cooking

I am always to happy to be led to some new recipes if any of you care to share:)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Maybe, I really want to learn to dirt bike- regardless of the simple fact that I've given it many a go, only to end up with my body and pride very bruised.

Maybe, I'm in serious need of some head-n-shoulders, this winter air is no bueno for my scalp.

Maybe, I have worlds worst taste in television and am a bit obsessed with Total Divas- go on, judge away, but the Bella Twins are awesome.

Maybe, my girlfriends and I went out in Memphis last weekend and got hit on- A Lot, which felt kinda good to know I still had it- even if I did respond to every corny pick-up line, with 'ummm, yeah, I've got a husband and four kids.' That usually does the trick- good riddance.

Maybe, I have some of the best friends a girl could ever hope for, who love me unconditionally and come up with the brilliant idea to start a school board in design to cure my homeschooling woes.

Maybe, I need a spray tan- even orange seems like a much better skin color than this Snow White-esque vibe I'm attempting to rock.

Maybe, I get insanely nervous when trying to photograph anyone outside my immediate family- So. Much. Pressure. How do people do it?!

Maybe, I'm craving the color green. Some leaves, a thick patch of grass, some small sign that spring is in the air- If it refuses to snow, then let's just be finished here.

Maybe, life has been so good, so full of happiness that any little change makes me unsure. Nervous that it will somehow break the cycle.

Maybe, I should just enjoy it.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Change is Hard-Even If It's Furniture

True story- I have been an unimaginably crazy, hormonal monster lately. 

I don't know what my deal is, or how my dear kind family puts up with me. Yet, they do it- with the sweetest of love and care that it turns my nutty into tears- scaring everyone further.

It has been a busy whirlwind recently, with small and big changes thrown into the pot to add an extra bit of mayhem on my poor heart. 

We were in Tennessee for a week, and then came home to a complete overhaul of house and structure. First, I decided that this homeschooling route I had taken us on, was not actually functioning. The joy of learning had been lost in a cacophony of worksheets and lessons, action had to be taken! Consequently, I have spent every free minute reworking and rebuilding, hopefully, to have arrived at a program that will put the happiness back in our days.

Then I got the hair brained  idea that a school room would be amazing! A room that we could paint and playdoh, build and create with art supplies abounding. So Saturday we rose early and worked tirelessly all day, moving everyones bedrooms. On a high from all the excitement, I failed to think clearly, and by the end of the day and the move, I realized what had happened- I no longer had a nursery. My baby girl, my sweet tiny little angel, is now sleeping in the big kid room with her brothers and sister. It all happened so fast, just like that, and I didn't even get to prepare.

I woke up the next morning in my new room, listening to the excitement and rowdiness across the hall, and I  couldn't help it, the feelings just came- it didn't feel like home, it was all wrong. 

Here's a true testament to the incredible man that I married- he had worked so hard, taking everything apart, moving beds and furniture, hanging pictures. Each step taking the time, to ask if I liked it, If I was sure this is what I wanted, and then here I am, loco as ever, waiting til it's completely finished - and then crying. Ha, he didn't even get frustrated, just held me while I mourned and murmured that he'd move it all back.

See, hormonal monster.

Lessons to be learned: If your not a fan of change, maybe tred slowly and not when your PMS-ing, furthermore- marry well:)