anyone wondering how it is living with my in-laws?

I know you are! I know you’re DYING to know how it’s going and I hate to tell you that it’s going exactly as I expected… great.

By 8am most of us are up and out the door and gone all day which is nice so that I’m not worried about the house being a wreck all the time, because I would worry about that to some extent. And the evenings are great because Terri has been doing a lot of the cooking which takes a HUGE load off my shoulders! Not to mention just having someone here with me since mostly I’m by myself with the kids at night. Having someone do dinner or dishes or even do nothing but be here to chat is such a blessing!

The best part? Terri and I watch tv together at night while I work! Usually C is in our bedroom working or messing around on the internet… he’s not a tv watcher at all… so now I have someone to watch all my shows with and chat while we watch! So awesome!

The hard part is that Parker is allergic to the dogs, and they have two Golden Retrievers, so I’m still worried about her all the time… but so far so good and no huge asthma attacks at all. I’m trying to keep up with vacuuming the house each day but have failed and only vacuumed a few times. I’m giving myself a break this week though b/c Grayson hasn’t slept well at all and we’re both up numerous times each night… so on NO sleep (4 hours the last 5 nights) and still unpacking+packing and getting settled and working out our new life… just giving myself one big old fat BREAK!

Truly though, it’s good. And it’s forcing me to look at every single thing we own and wonder how much we need it b/c living mostly in two bedrooms has us downsized in a HUGE way. Which is awesome in so many ways. We all have TOO MUCH CRAP and I like that we’re getting down to the bare essentials… I think it’s a great lesson for the kids too! I’ve cut all of our wardrobes by at least half, cut the toys, my crafts, etc. It’ll feel good to move into a new house with only things we LOVE and NEED!

I do worry a little about the kids… this is a BIG change and I can tell it’s effecting them in different ways. Bailey is wanting more “private” time with me to talk about things (which I love so I’m ok with this change!), Parker’s allergies aren’t great so I’m watching her medicine and symptoms super close and Gray isn’t sleeping well. BUT. In no time I know this will feel like home and they’ll settle in perfectly. There is so much love in this house it is only good for them. Not to mention, they’re at my parent’s most days too so they are just being loved on all the time.

I think it’s all about finding our new normal. Getting fully out of our old house will help, starting to see major changes in our bank account will be HUGE motivation for C and I and settling in here with our own things more. It’s a change. For all of us. I mean can you even imagine how Bill and Terri feel? To have all five of us invade their house? And all they’ve been is gracious and welcoming. And happy to have us!

The second we all get totally used to it here we’ll be ready to start house hunting! And THAT is what we’re all really dreaming of…finding our PERMANENT home. Our HOME.

I can’t wait.

Chris and I got married 6 years ago and moved to Spokane, WA. He was in grad school and I coached college lacrosse. We had a plan to have babies in five years or so. If we were living by our plan I’d be pregnant right now with our first baby! Instead our third baby is two and a half almost. There are times I wonder why God gave us three kids so early in our marriage (when we were using birth control to NOT get pregnant for at least the last two pregnancies!) when we had no money and were so far away from home. Since we got married we’ve been playing catch up and have always been behind financially. Because feeding+clothing three kids AND dealing with medical bills for a family of five is expensive! And we just never had a moment to ourselves to both be working full time making REAL money to put aside and save for when we finally decided to have babies.  But I trust entirely that God has a plan for us and for the first time ever I feel like we can breath. That we’re taking the break we need to catch up and MOVE AHEAD. Get some savings under us, have a safety net, work towards being debt free. And it feels awesome.

SO how is it living with my in-laws?

One of the biggest blessings we’ve experienced. And a huge adventure.

And for now, our new normal.

because someday it will get easier. and i want to remember this clearly.


2:30am C’s alarm went off over and over for no reason.

4am Gray woke up and came into our bed for 30 minutes

5:45am everyone was awake (we made them stay in bed)

7am picking church clothes for the kids, chris doing breakfast

7:15am shower, get dressed, change poopy diaper, get kids dressed, put shoes on kids, do my hair, do girl’s hair, change my outfit, brush teeth, pack bags…

8:15am in car on the way to church in the rain

8:35am get girls in robes for choir, take to church, shepard Children’s Chapel, go back to church, leave early to make logo tweaks, take girls to first Sunday School class, take Gray to the nursery

10:15am Communications Committee meeting (finalize logo)

11:30am grab Taco Bell and head to Lockwood house, eat, watch Project Runway while packing 8 boxes, pack random things we need (food, shoes, etc.)

12:30pm Kim arrives, we set up for newborn session

1:30pm twin newborn session (until 6pm) and pack the studio

6:15pm load car

7pm get fountain soda and head to Allen’s

7:15pm read stories to kids, do Parker’s medicine, tuck kids in

7:45pm unpack 8 boxes, put laundry away, start a load of laundry, put food away, clear bed, eat dinner

9pm upload images from Saturday’s shoot, answer emails, watch Brothers and Sisters premiere

10pm blog

and after that I will edit a few images for the Fresh Art blog, change the laundry and head to bed… but that might not be for a couple of hours!

To say this has been a long day is an understatement. And yesterday was long and so was the day before that.

But someday the kids will be gone and we won’t each be working two jobs and we’ll be sitting together, staring at each other and wondering what in the hell we’re going to do with our day! I just hope I can enjoy that a little… just as much as I enjoy these crazy hectic filled-to-the-gills days we have now!

Because crazy or not, I kinda love my life.

ps… isn’t Sunday supposed to be the day of REST?

me and c.

too tired to blog anything else tonight although i had lots to say and lots of ideas! pics taken at the lake on our anniversary… without children and having a blast!

I think we already need another weekend away!

slow is different for everyone right?

Today I only said “hurry-up” twice and both times I said, “WE need to hurry-up guys!” so I wasn’t actually aiming those words at any one person, myself included! Not sure that matters but it sounded nicer coming out of my mouth.

And it really surprised me how HARD I had to think about my day and how DELIBERATE I had to make my slowing down. It was like stopping to think about how to drive. Insert key into ignition, turn key clockwise, put foot on brake, put car into drive, slowly release foot from brake…. get it? Unintentionally I am a fast mover. My Mother-in-law describes herself the same way and I like how she describes it by saying she does everything with urgency. That’s how I am. I’m urgent.

What’s funny is that in my urgency I move too quickly most times. Coming up with a GREAT idea, wanting to move NOW NOW NOW to get it in motion and then when something inevitably slows it down I lose focus and move on to the next greatest thing. Just a random tidbit about me! HA!

Anyway, so today I slowed myself down very deliberately and yet it was still an incredibly busy day.

First I’m going to tell you my day and then I’m going to tell you the TINY and seemingly MINUTE ways I slowed it down b/c otherwise you might not notice!

Up at 5:50am with Gray, 6am Bailey, C gone at 6:15am and Parker up at 6:30am. Juice and snacks for kids, me in the shower. Dressed and feeding kids breakfast at 7:15am. Kids dressed, lunch packed, backpacks packed and out the door by 7:30am. Drop Gray off at Terri’s house (our soon-t0-be home!) at 7:50am. Head straight across town to Bailey’s school and drop her at 8:20am. Let PJ play on the playground while we wait to take her at 8:45am to preschool. Grab an icetea at QT and in the KCCI office by 9:10am. Work until 2:45pm when I go pick up Bailey. Pick up the other two at 3:30pm. Hit the grocery store at 4:15pm. Head for home at 5pm. Drop girls off at my parent’s who feed them dinner and take them to choir. Head home to unload groceries, feed Gray, put groceries away, clean kitchen, bathe Gray and get him in bed at 6:45pm. Girls arrive home at 6:55pm. Get them showered, jammies on and in bed at 7:30pm. Start working on Fresh Art and here we are at my 9:30pm break with at least 3 hours left to go.

It was a BUSY day.

But everyday is. And there is NOTHING in there I can get rid of. It’s the normal start of day, work day, end of day things that happen when mom works outside the home. But today, with the mindset that I was going to SLOW THE FUCK DOWN there were tiny little mini victories.

1. I let the girls pick out their own clothes

2. I didn’t rush breakfast

3. I sat and waited while Parker successfully buckled her own seat belt

4. I turned the radio off and hid my cell in the car so I could talk to and sing with the kids.

5. I went into Bail’s classroom so she could show me the new gerbils

6. I pushed PJ on the swings and chased her on the playground while we waited for her school to start

7. I walked her into her classroom and chatted with the teachers instead of flying in and out

8. I let Bailey play on the playground for 20 minutes with a friend after school and I didn’t have my phone in my hand so I talked to another parent

9. I kept the radio off so Bailey could tell me ALL about her day at school

10. I didn’t yell once at the grocery store and instead let them help me more with picking food out and putting it in the cart

11. I never once rushed the getting in car routine (that I hate)

12. When it was just Gray and I, I played with him in the tub, tickled him getting his jammies on (usually I am SO fast I don’t play) and played “bat/ball” for 20 minutes before bed

What I realized today is that we ARE busy. Chris and I both are working two jobs (I count teaching and coaching separate), our kids are in three different places and all have to be there within minutes of each other in the morning and right now we’re moving. I have to give myself some slack. But just doing those tiny things made the day SO much less stressful and sitting here now, nearing the end of the day, I feel good about the time I gave the kids even though it was just minutes today with all we had going on. Because in those spare minutes we had fun and I never yelled once! And they were great!

Slowing down is a process and I feel like I took one big step in the right direction today! GO ME! HA!

nothing is as important as my kids.

Did you know that the most common phrase that comes out of my mouth every single day is “hurry up”.

I must say it a thousand times a day.

Today I yelled at Parker not once, but THREE times because she couldn’t get her seat belt on fast enough. And then it was twisted. And I YELLED at my three year old about how she should “know how to do this already!”

I am not a good mom right now. The stress of moving and two jobs and bills and well, LIFE, has me running and leaping belly-flop style off the deep end.

We’re constantly running from here to there and back again. FASTER. FASTER. FASTER.

“Hurry up you guys! We’re going to be late! We don’t want to be late! Come ON Parker, let’s GO! GRAYSON! GRAYSON! YOU ARE NOT LISTENING! WE HAVE TO HURRY! Get in Bailey, GET IN. Now. Seat belts on! ON! COMEONPARKER!”

My face is ugly when I yell at them and it worries me they are going to just remember a hurried screaming ugly-faced mom.

NOTHING is so important that I can’t SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.

I’ve promised them we’d start reading books again once we move to GoGo’s since the books are all packed, and we will, but I have to admit how much I like the faster bed time routine b/c reading has been cut out for a week. And bath time? When I used to sit and sing songs, read books, look at flash cards or just play? Now I’m doing the dishes, cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming and getting jammies ready before I wash them SUPER fast, toss them out of the tub and throw them into jammies.

I can’t tell you the last time we ate a meal as a family. Or the last time I ate breakfast with them. Or at all. I can’t tell you the last time I sat on the floor and played for more than 5 minutes. Or put my cell phone down. I couldn’t tell you the last game we played and it’s been MONTHS since I played outside with them in our yard.

My kids are growing before my eyes and I’m missing it b/c we’re busy. SO FUCKING BUSY. When I list the things I get done in a day it frightens me. And no where on the list is PLAY WITH MY KIDS or TEACH MY KIDS or COLOR WITH MY KIDS. And that’s how I used to spend each and every day.

The good news is that I used to be a good mom. A not-so-busy-two-jobs-mom. And I remember that mom. That creative mom that did rad art projects and let my one and two year old paint every day. The mom that taught her kids the alphabet and how to write and count and be creative without the help of teachers. So the good news is that I remember.

And I swear to you. I will not go to bed crying anymore about the horrible things I said to my children that day and pray to God to forgive me. I may not have time for painting every day but you had better believe I am going to watch my mouth, my tone of voice, my anger, my rushing and learn again how to just sit and BE with them. My kids. My little little kids that are growing so so fast. Right before my eyes.

I’m just so sick of regretting my day with them and putting everything in our life ahead of them. And tomorrow I’m going to work my ass off to change it.

my first video blog. and it kinda stinks.

Last night I had no idea what to blog so I thought I’d do a video blog since we’re doing them HERE and having fun! But then, well, I became obsessed with my FAT FACE and everything I was going to talk about flew straight out the window! And then I decided to just not post anything except that today I’m still obsessed with the question…

Is there a difference between being a chubby mom and just being plain FAT?

Because I’ve been considering myself lately not REALLY fat just a cute chubby mom and then looking at my huge face in the computer last night had me thinking, “no, I’m not chubby, I’m just a big old fatty who’s kidding herself!” Anyway. Even though I don’t want to post it I’m going to b/c maybe some of you have wondered the same thing and can give me some advice or answers or something! Or maybe just bring me a donut! HA!