Thursday, August 31, 2006

Random Question of the Day

If you clean the baby off with that considered bathing?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

WARNING: Middle of the night nonsense ramblings...please forgive all spelling, grammar and crazy thoughts, it's just me trying to process the junk

I was talking to my brother yesterday about some of the things that have been weighing heavy on my heart. HEAVY...wake me up at night...throat tight...chest tight...heavy. The stuff that fills my prayer life and my thought life...and even invades my mind at 3:ooam. As I'm typing this I'm hearing the children's rhyme "Can't get over it, can't get under it, gotta go through it."

It turns out my little brother has grown into an amazing listener and counselor. He probably has always been these things and I am just catching on. He said something to me that really stopped me in my tracks and truthfully has my mind spinnng. He said that life is not made up of points in time but rather it's linear. It's not that an event will happen and something will "finally" be...but rather that an event will happen and then the sun will come up the next day and the next and the next. Life will continue to go on and we will continue to be players in the game. The game may get redefined by an event but as we all know, "the game will go on." Then his next question is the real tough one, "What will my life look like as the game continues after the "big event?"

I know this is very cryptic but I really don't want to go into personal details because I think there is something we all can learn from this concept w/o my details. His example was of when someone dies and you go through the wake and have the funeral and then the lunch is cleaned up and the mourners go home, the family goes to bed and the sun comes up the next morning as if nothing happened. But for the family, the game has been redefined, they must now "do" life in a different way. For me, he said, I'm focused on one event, one "finally" event, but that I need to see beyond that to dare to look at what life will be like after the sun goes down and then comes back up again. To play the movie of what, where, when and how things are going to look like and then get okay with all the scenarios.

I large part of my spirit and my thinking and my feelings just want "it" over with...done, finished. And I guess what he was saying is that life goes on and I need to see that. Having an "end game" really doesn't mean end game it really means transition strategy to someplace else, some place that's not here waking up at 3am.

I know these are the middle of the night nonsense ramblings of Mommy Brain...but if I don't get them out I will never get to sleep.

Monday, August 28, 2006

To all my blogging girlfriends...I'm sorry I've been gone for so long!

I've been in the middle of a huge project that has kept me from life in general...just ask Doug. But it ended last night and I'm so relieved. Last year, I agreed or maybe even jumped at the chance to organize, create and lead the annual "Christian Education Prayer and Praise Service" At the time, I was disgusted by the traditional tone the service had and thought it needed an update. Contemporary worship at last year's service was defined with the song "Bind Us Together!" At the time, I was even quite sure that I was the person for the job and that it would not be that difficult or that different from what I did on a weekly basis at my own church. At that time I was a fool!

This has been an enormous project that filled many hours...some constructive and others taking place at 3am just worrying about it. On Wednesday, I'm pretty convinced that I made myself physically sick with the stress of it all. Which makes me really irritated at myself...I should have more control and be better at handling things. By the end of the week, I was just a basket case...which my husband or any of my friends can attest to.

Thank you to all who put up with my moodiness, my complaining, my stress eating and my just being mentally & emotionally absent altogether. This was a project that meant a lot to me and it took a lot from me as well.

Last night was the service. It was an awesome experience that in the end was worth the work...but not the stress. I need to figure out how to "do" it better so that it doesn't consume my life. I was surrounded by my A-Team singers, Doug & Sheila, and a new band that I had rehearsed a total of 4 hours for the 30 minutes of music we did. I couldn't have asked for a better team...Doug & Sheila are the best harmony singers I've ever worked with and we hit a homerun last night. It was great!

So today, I have nothing on my plate...Hallelujah! It is a great feeling! I'm exhausted...but I'm back to blogging!

Monday, August 21, 2006

More Happy Places...

So maybe it's that the kids are going back to school in just 1 mere day or maybe it's because my new cleaning lady just left and now my house looks and smells clean or maybe it's just because it's 75 and sunny, I don't know but I feel happy and want to share more happy places!

This is my oldest son's room. I love the way the three colors meet and how the glow in the dark stars look on the ceiling. This room was such a pain to paint that I told him that he will be getting married with his room looking exactly the way it does today...I will never paint it again!

Because our house was a "spec"sp? house we really didn't have that many different choices to make. We picked out cabinets, carpet and light fixtures. I loved looking for light fixtures! It became an obsession of mine.This is my bedroom light fixture...I searched the internet for 2 weeks to find this specific fixture and then even found matching bathroom ones! We haven't painted this room but it is first on the fall project list.

This is where the party always starts and ends. When the sun goes down we turn on the twinkle lights on the ceiling. This is where we have date night, where our family sits for dinner and where our friends drink wine and have long conversations that last into the night. I love the's like another room of my house.

My Most Happy Place... my bathroom with the door closed! No one is knocking, no one is crying, no one is shoving a note under the door...

Saturday, August 19, 2006


This is tour of the places in my home that make me smile, give me a sense of accomplishment or remind me of good times past and to come...I hope you enjoy your visit and that you will come back again someday.

This is our front walk. I enjoy gardening and absolutely love the way the front of our house has a "prairie" feel. The ornamental grass hedge, it's hard to see, is my favorite but the flowers take more loving care.

When JD talked about a place in her house that just makes her happy this is the view that immediately came to mind for me. The color in my family room makes me happy because it required so many Wednesday morning coffee's to pick just the right shade of brown. After I painted, I shopped at Ettema's department store for the mirror. I was so lucky because it was a manager's was almost like I stole it! This is the view from my kitchen it!

Here is my creamy custard and habanero pepper kitchen. Hot Mamma and I painted it in one great day! Doug left for work and it was white and came home to these awesome warm colors. We love to entertain and this space provides enough room for people to have a drink and mingle while we prepare dinner. You can't see the other part of the room but it is BIG, I love it...last year we had 22 people for a sit down dinner.

For some reason I can't get the rest of my happy places pictures to you will have to wait for another day. Until then, I'm so glad you dropped by...maybe next time we can have coffee.

~Mommy Brain

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Why do I wake up in the middle of the night...only to start thinking about all the things that need to be done or all the things I haven't done but should or all the people I should pray for or why I haven't gotten a babysitter yet or's not like I can fix these things at 2:29am! Sleep sweet sleep please come quickly! Does anyone else have this problem? I have NO problem falling asleep at night...just staying asleep. Once I'm up, it's at least another hour or two before I fall asleep again! I'm so tired!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Those last precious few hours

It's becoming very clear to me that I'm not sure if I am celebrating or lamenting the end of summer. Every year it is a bitter sweet change for me that is enhanced now that the children are in school. I remember when no one was in school and the change of seasons was simply that, a change of seasons. I would hate to see the warm weather go and the days get shorter but my day to day life really did not change all that much. Back in those days, there was never a change in my life as each day looked and felt exactly the same. I had no Monday blahs, no TGIF, no look forward to weekends just morning, naptime, noon, naptime, dinner, and bedtime. My measuring stick was shorter. I celebrated naptimes and trips to the mall and stressed over getting out the door on time for my 9am Coffee Break group.

As I look back on those days, I can't say that they were easier or harder, they were different. I only had a couple of cherubs to take care of so I guess those days were less busy and I didn't have to divide my attention so many ways, but my kids were smaller and they needed constant care. These days, even though I have a 1 year old, I also have 7 & 9 year olds to fetch diapers, pour milk and find lost blankets.

Now my years are divided into semesters again. August means school supply shopping and regular bedtimes and eventually back to school. Although I loathe fighting the crowds at Target and Kmart, I do love picking out new folders, spirals and pencils. It makes me feel like a kid again. I love the way it represents a fresh start. I get excited buying a clean empty spiral with a Strawberry Shortcake cover and often, I buy one for myself too.

I get less excited over the back to school routine. These last 10 days before school starts, mommy stays in bed much longer than usual. I may see the clock at 6:00 but I roll over and indulge in sleeping until 8:00 because I know that soon that luxury will be a memory. My pillow feels softer, my bed feels more luscious and I delight in the lavishness of staying in my pj's until lunch time. It is sort of like the last piece of chocolate or last bite of cheesecake before you start a diet. (My diet is a whole different post!)

I know that in the end, the routine is good and that we could never live without it. I would not survive in perpetual summer with no schedule, continual late nights and endless parties on the pool deck. Even those things after 3 months are starting to lose their appeal and are feeling more routine than special.

Time marches on and there is nothing we can do to stop it or even slow it down. But I do think it's good to mark those moments, celebrate what was good and look forward to the future. It has been one great summer, one I'm afraid we will always want to repeat but will never quite get the recipe right and so saying good-bye is a little hard. But I do have a brand new spiral notebook that I can't wait to open!

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Ok so all of you read my post from last night. Some of you cried, some of you scoffed, some of you wondered what was wrong with me. Well let me tell you. Last night I blogged in the quiet of my clean house. 3 of the children and the hubby were at VBS, one slept soundly like an angel and mommy was home alone. She sat at the computer and wasn't interupted or cried at, no one made a request of her, the TV was even turned off. And from that chair she wrote the oh so sweet words of leaving the role of mommy behind and how difficult that would be. Then, reality set in. Hubby came home from VBS angry at the kids because they lost their manners and made him look bad. #3 cried because he was too tired and didn't want to go to bed. #2 wouldn't stop talking and talking and talking and talking. #1 wanted to stay up to watch Drake and Josh and thought we were the most cruel parents in the world because we wouldn't let him. #4 continued to sleep soundly. 6am came, mommy got up and did pilates and yoga, read your mostly beautiful comments to my blog, drank coffee and made herself breakfast. She sat down to enjoy her breakfast and was promptly asked what she was giving #2 & #3 for breakfast. She got up w/o eating and made them breakfast, then #4 got up and demanded breakfast, then when that was done #1 wanted his breakfast. She tried to take a shower only to be interupted by all four at separate times, she tried to pee only to have #4 and the dog come in and watch. And at that moment in time wondered out loud..."what was I thinking?" Oh school bus you are welcome here...oh teachers you are blessed...oh summer roll, roll into fall ...mommy is tired and hungry and can't wait to sit down for a cup of coffee!

Friday, August 11, 2006

The End of Summer

I've been thinking alot about how this summer is ending and school will be starting soon. It puzzles me and frightens me how fast the years are flying. I know this sounds so cliche' and am reminded that 'there is nothing new under the sun' but this is really hitting home in my heart right now. My position, my career, my status as "mommy" is slowly being replaced with "mom" and soon to be replaced with "my mother" and what does that mean for me? Sometimes I hold my little Wesley and feel his soft cheeks and smell his wonderful baby smell and tell myself to 'remember this.'

My oldest is 9 and getting to be almost as tall as I am. He is clever and funny and smart and it is a joy to get to know him as an individual. I love seeing him discover things that interest him and things that he feels passionate about and watching him navagate his way through this world. But I feel sad knowing that my role as "mommy" is in it's final hours with this boy.

And then I ask myself, sometimes with joy and sometimes with sadness, who am I? Who will I be when this daily grind is over and I don't have to pour milk, cut meat and change diapers? If I think about it too long I feel very alone. I can find myself day dreaming about what life will be like when the kids are bigger...I can sing the praises of what life will be like when I can finally go to the bathroom alone or the grocery store or anywhere...but what will it be like? What will it be like when there are no more giggles, no more baby tears, no more one piece blanket sleepers? I get this way every time summer roles into fall...

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast: The most important meal of the day. I hear this mantra in my head each morning as I try to prepare breakfast for four children, all of who have very different ideas of what is acceptable. There is added pressure to this question now that school is approaching because soon what I feed them in the morning will have a direct impact on the kinds of grades they get and how well they are able to listen in school and how well behaved they are.(Why do I read those parenting magazines anyway?!) I never know what is considered 'good' breakfast food. Waffles are easy...but not healthy. Eggs are healthy...but not easy. Nobody likes cereal in my family...I'm at a loss. I've read that smoothies are great brain food for kids, but who has time to cut up fresh fruit and get out the blender and make smoothies before 7:00? Now, I'm starting to get stressed! If anyone has good breakfast ideas, please let me know. It needs to be healthy, fast, good, and kid approved... Good Luck!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Skinny Cow

I was at one time a skinny cow...however, I didn't know it. I am no longer a skinny cow...however, I'm acutly aware of it. I hate that! Four children have left my body in less than perfect condition and I've also aquired a taste for pregnant eating habits. Now that I am no longer pregnant, this is not working for me! I thought that after I had #4 I would be so motivated to get back into skinny cow body because he was my last child...that didn't work. So, I was reading Jana's 102 things and was struck by her comment that she loves to diet because she loves the discipline. What a comment! Why can't I also love the discipline? Well, I'm 4 hours into my new discipline and I hate it! I long to be the skinny cow again, but I also long for things like Dove Bars and Oreo's and Hot Wings. And here is the rub, not like a BBQ rub...which I also love, I don't like the way I look and so I either need to do something to change it or shut up. I hate that too!

Monday, August 07, 2006

The hottest date place in town...

Doug and I have discovered that sometimes the best date place is home. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to go out. I love going downtown to fancy restaurants, I love going to the new martini bars popping up all over the place, I love to go to the movies or any of the other typical date places. But as we have gotten older , acepted more responisibility and added more children to our house those types of dates aren't as easy or practical as they once were. First of all, we are hardly ever home, so going out doesn't always sound so great. Secondly, we are so blessed to have a life full of friends for this moment in time and if we are going out, we are probably with them. And thirdly, it is very expensive to pay a babysitter to watch 4 children, a lot of the time my babysitting bill is equal to my dinner bill...and that's just wrong. It costs us over $100 to do the dinner, movie, babysitter thing.

Our perfect date place is our kitchen table or our patio. This date does take more work and you do have to clean the dishes yourself but in the is perfect. We have found that we love to cook together and many times what we cook is better than anything we could order off a menu. A bottle of wine, a few steaks, good ice cream and great conversation...what could be better than that?

WARNING: you have to be committed to turning off the tv, the internet, the phone, it's too easy to fall into the dinner, TV, go to bed mode. Light a candle, get out your fancy wine glasses, use real plates, no sippy cups allowed!

If you don't have the $ to put down for a babysitter or dinner...wait until the kids are in bed, make your own special meal, sit at your table and dine together at home. It's so worth it! You might find yourself having dinner together more than once a week! It's a great way to reconnect!

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Great Blogging Girlfriends Get-Together

Well, I'm exhausted! Yesterday was the infamous Blogging Girlfriends Get-Together. Sadly, a few key players were missing. Jana's family was still sick and although we missed her we were all glad she stayed away. Kary was just AWOL! She promised to come with her cherubs but then never showed...maybe she got lost in IN somewhere, blank stare. We did meet Kim & Elise! We all agreed that Jen & Kim look sooooo much alike and when they have sunglasses on, well then you just can't tell them apart.

The BIG surprise of the afternoon was that Jen's hubby Tim came along for the ride. He made some excuse about taking a truck to a repair shop in Joliet, however, I think he just didn't want to miss the fun. So, with Tim & Dr. Beautiful there, we had the start of a party! Carrie, NonBlogging Girlfriend, invited her hubby over, Tina, NBG, invited her hubby over, Laura invited her hubby over, Carol invited her hubby over(although we never found him) and we even had a NBG, Laura, stop by for a Margarita. Soon, it was 6:00 and we had four pizzas, beer and 30 people on my patio--on a Thursday! What will my neighbors think?!?!?

The day started out cloudy and rainy but by the afternoon the sun came out and then it got HOT! I think almost all BG and NBG were in the pool at some point. Elise loved the pool as long as she was fully dressed, once Kim put her suite on she wanted nothing to do with the water! Although, new Aunt Steen tried to get her to swim she wanted none of it. Greta took a nice long nap in one of the bedrooms upstairs and when Jen went to go "check in" on her she fell asleep too. Glad you had some time to do that Jen! You deserve it after the week you've had!

So although the Great Bloggging Girlfriends Get-Together wasn't so full of bloggers we still had a great time. And don't worry Jana, Kary, Amanda, Melissa=), Lisa, Becky or any other blogging girlfriends who visit this site, we will do it again! Until next time~ Mommy Brain

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My day...

My Most Precious Gift

My husband Doug is the most precious gift God has ever given me. I know that many women would say their children are their most precious gifts, and God has given me four of those, however, they are only mine for such a short time. Doug will be with me until death do us part. There is no greater security than that. Doug is the most amazing man I have ever met. He is strong in character. His character and integrity will not waiver...I've never seen it. He will stand for the weak, speak for the child, and fight for those who can not. He will not be moved by popular opinion but will stand on biblical principles and seek God's will. One of his most valient traits is his quest to seek and understand more about God's human race. He longs to understand so that he can serve, and he serves others so humbly. Doug is faithful to God's call on his life to be a physician, healer, counselor and guide. He is a loving father who provides for his children materially, emotionally and spiritually. He is a husband that only other women could dream of. He has created for me the most wonderful marriage relationship and I am so grateful to him. He is always there for me, always seeking to learn more about me, always looking for ways to surprise me, always nurturing me, consistantly encouraging me to be a better woman, mother,wife and friend...he sees that those roles in my life are seperate and understands that they are also intricately connected, and I love him for that. His heart is BIG and his emotions are real. He cares, nurtures, provides for, protects, educates, allows, communicates, listens, plays, gives, opens, seeks, laughs and cries for me and my family. I could not and never will ask for more.
I love you Doug! I will support you in your every quest. You are my slayer of dragons.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

You Heard The Man! Thursday is OK!

The Doctor is in and he has ok'd the reschedule for, can you guys come?

Blogging Girlfriends Get-Together in DANGER

Ok, so Jen's going to a funeral on Wednesday and Jana's puking sick(the WORST kind). I just want to cry...this was suppose to be such a great day! I need to talk with Dr. Beautiful yet, but if it is possible, would you be able to come over on Thursday instead? Thursday is the Doc's day off so I hesitate to reschedule, but I will talk to him soon and then repost. Please let me know what your week looks like...Kim is only in town for the week, so let's try to make this happen.


That's all I really wanted to say...I had to go grocery shopping today and I'm so bra is house is a mess...and the girls are coming over's too hot to do anything...even the pool is too hot! I really want to pull a Laura and just stand over the fan for the rest of the day.(You will have to ask her yourself) I'm a baby I know...but it's too hot!