Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Love, Your Dad

This piece was originally made for Breakaway, the women's retreat I attended back in March.  The first time I saw it, I sobbed.  Tears streamed down my cheeks and I was powerless to control them.  This weekend, it was shown to our congregation during our worship services and although I didn't bawl my eyes out again, it once again hit me right in the gut.  I think this video does an exceptional job of using Scripture, the very Word of God, to speak right to our hearts.  It reminds us of the nature of God and most importantly, of his never ending, never failing, all consuming love for us.

I don't know about you, but I'm bookmarking this video to return to over and over again.

God the Father Speaks to His Child Through Scripture from Elmbrook Church on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Shark Tooth

Isaiah had a tooth wiggling since January, but he was never able to wrestle it free.  Months passed and he kept messing with it, but it refused to budge.  A couple weeks ago, Evan even tried the old trick of tying a string around it to yank it out, but it was no good. 

For some reason, that tooth just did not want to come out. 

We didn't think much of it until Evan noticed one day that the permanent tooth was already coming in, but it had broken through the gum behind the stubborn baby tooth.  I called the dentist and they confirmed that this was definitely something we needed to get taken care of, so we brought him in to get his very first loose tooth extracted.

Poor kid.  Most kids get the thrill of yanking out that first tooth and putting it under their pillow, but Isaiah had to go in to the dentist to have them pull it out for him.  Plus, Mommy had a to write out a check for a copay of $46.75.  For a tooth. 

The dentist told us what Isaiah had was known as a "Shark Tooth."  He suddenly felt pretty B.A.

What was pretty cool was watching Micah take the whole scene in.  He stood right next to the dental chair at Isaiah's hand.  While he comforted his big brother (who really was just peachy), he asked the dental assistant about all the tools in her arsenal.  He wanted to know their names, what they did, and requested a demonstration of each item.  The dentist got such a kick out of it that she declared that Micah was destined to become a dentist one day.  He seemed pretty excited at that prospect, but I was less than thrilled at the idea of that many student loans.

Isaiah was very brave and only flinched a little when the dentist used the "yankers" to pull his tooth out. They presented him with a teeny little yellow treasure box and then the dentist excitedly proclaimed, "Now you get to put your tooth under your pillow!  Who's going to come visit you tonight??!!"  Behind Isaiah's back, I was making huge chopping motions across my neck and shaking my head.  She suddenly noticed the message I was trying to send and her face went into panic mode.  Meanwhile, Isaiah was considering her enthusiastic question and responded, "Ummmm....Daddy?"  Luckily, the dentist had fully picked up on my "We don't do the Tooth Fairy" vibe and said, "Daddy is going to be home tonight? Awesome!!"

Fun for me. 

I guess we will wait to see if the tooth next door comes out on its own or if it's going to cost me another $46.  I think the Tooth Fairy would've been a bargain at this point! :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Lion Tamer

Living in the Milwaukee area presents its own set of challenges.  There are wonderful things to be said about the area, no question.  Miller Park only minutes away, a fantastic children's museum, brewery tours that crown a "Bung Queen" at the end, and so much more.  When we first found out we would be moving here, I was nervous because I was unfamiliar with Milwaukee, but I have grown to love it more and more.


There are also dangers to living here.  Not to be taken lightly or shrugged off, residents need to be aware of a very real and very specific threat that is lurking in the seemingly peaceful streets of Suburbia.  Stalking, searching, ready to pounce.

Don't let that charming disposition fool you, folks.  There I was, minding my own business one morning, when this ferocious beast came bursting out of my son's room with a mighty "ROAR!!!"  Wasting no time, he began to stalk through the room, sniffing and hunting.  Before I even knew what had happened, the lion jumped up on his hind legs and stole an apple from my unsuspecting fruit bowl.  I swear, I was this close to him.

I'm lucky to be alive. 

On yet another occasion, I was playing outside with Thomas when I heard our front door slam.  I turned to see that same lion come bounding out of our front door and it was headed directly toward me.  Fumbling with my phone, I tried to call 911 or animal control or the zoo emergency hotline, but I wound up with my video camera open instead, so I went with it and recorded the evidence of the beast.

Terrifying, isn't it?  If I hadn't stopped him, I'm certain he would have crossed the street to terrorize another innocent family.  As it was, I was able to convince him to come back to my house with me by promising to give him a snack and letting him watch Frozen.

(You should have seen the looks we were getting from people as they drove their cars past our street.  Hilarious.)

Parenting Micah does sometimes feel like trying to tame a lion.  He is emotional and explosive, passionate and strong.  If you've ever seen footage on the nature channel of a lion pounced and ready to strike at his prey, that is the exact look Micah gets in his eyes when he is holding a lightsaber and suddenly gets the bright idea in his head to go whack his brother over the head with it, just to see what happens. 

Try telling a lion to go take a potty break when his favorite cartoon is on. 

He doesn't back down, refuses to be intimated, and can be a real beast to negotiate with.  Trying to teach a lion when it is okay to roar and when he needs to be still is incredibly hard.  I want to encourage his strength, but show him how to channel it into healthy activities at the proper time.  He struggles with self-control and emotional outbursts, but we have already seen improvement in this area since he made a new friend at school that he has committed his loyalty to.  He protects and values her. 

Oh, my little lion.  You are already so fierce.  It is going to be absolutely incredible to watch Micah grow into a man and to see the fortitude develop that God has already placed in him as a small boy.  He is going to be a force to be reckoned with, make no mistake. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

I Win Today.

Written on an afternoon this very week when I was feeling particularly accomplished and perhaps a slight bit smug.

I woke up early today so I could shower and put on makeup before the kids got up so I wouldn't have to go to my Bible study group looking like....well, like I normally do.  I woke up without an alarm and, hand to God, I only went back to dozing for five minutes tops before I got out of bed without audibly cursing or needed a cup of coffee shoved immediately into my hand.

Did I take a shower?  I did not.  But I did manage to wash my hair using the hand held shower head, so that totally counts. 

I was dressed, hair sprayed, and mascaraed before the last of my sons got out of bed and spent a few minutes snuggling with my youngest while he played with a plastic Thomas the Train candy container I got on clearance at Target.

Two out of three kids dressed themselves in weather appropriate attire, but Thomas doesn't dress himself yet so I'm still going to call this one a success.

Everyone ate breakfast.
Everyone was ready in time to leave the house.
One out of three brushed their teeth.

For bonus points, I even remembered to push the ON button on the crock pot before we hustled out the door and had our daily battle over who gets to push the button to open the power sliding doors on the minivan. 

Today - nailed it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

TBT Stories - Before "The Mystery Man at Miller Park"

Five years before all the hoopla about "The Mystery Man at Miller Park," we took Isaiah to his first Milwaukee Brewers game.

He was about nine months old and we drove hours down to Milwaukee to attend my husband's summer work party being held at the stadium.  We were understandably nervous about how our infant would handle the excitement and the unfamiliar setting.

But that kid was PERFECT.

He ate well, napped in the Moby, and giggled the day away.

And just like he did five years later, he charmed the socks off everyone he met and put a smile on their faces.

Isaiah asked me the other day if we planned on going to another Brewers game this year.  I told him that we would love to take him to another game, but he would have to understand that not every baseball game is going to turn out like it did last year.  That kid had a once in a lifetime opportunity to become a local celebrity for a couple weeks and that he shouldn't expect to get interviewed on TV....

....or invited into the Brewers dugout during batting practice.

But Isaiah insists that he is most excited about the game itself.  He is saving his special personalized jersey for the first day back at the ballpark.

I'm looking forward to it too, kiddo. (But it would still be pretty sweet to meet Ryan Braun.  Just sayin')

Happy #TBT.

Throwback Thursday Stories

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday

Make no mistake, Isaiah is kind of over watching Curious George, so when I looked into the living room the other morning and saw my boy holding hands with his little brother while they watch the antics of a certain monkey, I darn near died from the cute.

These are the moments we live for, are they not? 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Headache Makes it Hurt, but I'm Writing Anyway

I love my job.  Really, I do.

It's frustrating as all get out sometimes and I cried the other night when an eight top walked out with both credit card slips, leaving me with a big goose-egg of a gratuity on a $233 check, but the majority of the time I actually really and truly enjoy my job.  I like (most of) the people, I like the fast pace, I like all the talking I get to do, and I like working at a job that I am quite good at. 

But I'm also not going to pretend that my days off aren't my favorite.  They are also a bit daunting.  These are the days I should be accomplishing all the things.  There are no water glasses to set out, no wine bottles to open, no specials to schpeal (shpeel? schpeel? Yeah, I have no clue how to spell it), no sidework to do so I should have a whole heap of extra time to accomplish so much more.

I also work from home, which I also love.  It's flexible, interesting, fresh, and fun.  I enjoy it immensely and I love being able to supplement my income a little bit with something I'm good at that I can do right from the kitchen while my kids whack one another with Minecraft swords and lightsabers until someone inevitably cries or bleeds or both. It makes it a little hard to keep track of the the time I'm putting in, but I've recently started using the stopwatch feature on my iPhone to help with that little issue, but I have to be sneaky and hide the phone under the pages of my planner or Evan's woodworking magazine or the kids' iPhone Radar will go off and then my precious little Smeagol will turn into the murderous Gollum right before my very eyes, precious. 

The point of all the crap is that I look at the stack of library books on the table by the couch and I want to read them.  I look at the piles of picture frames stacked up in the corner of my bedroom and I want to hang them.  I flip through the photos on my hard drive and I want to lock myself in a fully stocked hotel room for a week and scrapbook the heck out of them while I eat chocolate, drink wine, watch stupid movies, and not gain a single pound. 

Is that too much to ask? 

Seriously, this headache is absolutely wicked.  The Excedrin Migraine I took isn't even touching it.  Hey, I need to remember to put the Wicked soundtrack in the new van because there is a multi-disc changer in there so I don't have to be stuck listening to Frozen every single time I get behind the wheel if I don't want to.  Aw, crap.  It's movie night at church tonight and I'm pretty sure the kids are watching Frozen, so I probably shouldn't be letting Micah watch it right this very second.  Who cares, he's already half way done.  I don't have a skull.  Or bones.  Bones.  Meat.  I need to figure out what to make for dinner.  I just went grocery shopping like, TODAY.  How can I not know what to make for supper?

Someday I'm going to get good at this, right? 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

#tbt - I hear this is a thing.

I'm not even going to admit how long it took me to figure out that #tbt on Instagram on Facebook stood for Throwback Thursday.  I'm an embarrassment to the Internets.



From what I gather, the whole concept behind TBT is to post a photo from back in the good 'ole days and then reminisce and smile as you think about how skinny you were back then or what was I even THINKING with that haircut or thank Heaven I didn't end up marrying THAT guy.

Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that last one considering what I am about to write about.  (Evan, that was just an example for other people.  Not me.)

So my friend Jessica decided to start a weekly series on her blog The Mom Creative to share her throwback stories and for others to link up theirs.  I'm always looking for a fun bandwagon to jump on, so let's do this thing.

Travel back with me for a moment to the year 1999.  I was fifteen, I had long hair, and I had recently met my future husband.

Do you see him?  Ignore the loud mouth princess singing in the foreground and take a look at the guy in the wizard hat scowling at her.  Yup, you betcha.  That's the father of my children right there.  Funny thing is that I'm usually the one shooting a similar look his way now.

This was the beginning of my love affair with theater and I suppose it was a part of the beginning of my future marriage as well, unless you count the fact that at the moment this photo was taken I was likely either dating the dude playing the knight who knocks up his (fictional) girlfriend, or the minstrel who couldn't carry a tune in a bucket who ended up taking me to prom, but also ended up cheating on me so I dumped him after the dude in the wizard hat ratted him out and promptly swooped in as my rebound guy and then stuck around year after year until he had convinced me to marry him and bear him three children.

Funny how life works, isn't it?  :)

Can't say I blame him, really.  My waist was teeny tiny and the girls still hadn't felt the cruel effects of gravity and breastfeeding.  The good 'ole days indeed.

Happy #TBT.

Throwback Thursday Stories

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Honest Talk about Stitch Fix

One glimpse at the sidebar to the right and I can see that the most popular posts I have written recently have been my reviews of the personal styling service Stitch Fix.  Now, my purpose in blogging has always been to write about whatever the heck I want to write about with a commitment to authenticity.  I don't want to pretend to be someone I'm not by picking and choosing only the impressive things to share on here.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  I want to be honest enough to admit when I've had a bad day, when I'm struggling, when I spend three days straight in my pajama pants, when I've plucked out my fifth grey hair.

Not that I'm counting.

It dawned on me that my Stitch Fix reviews may have been creating an impression among my readers that is not entirely accurate.  If someone were to read those posts and nothing else, they would think that I'm a really style-conscious woman with a hefty disposable income to spend on a brand new box of clothes every month.  I would argue that these posts alone might indicate a certain level of self indulgence, vanity, and disregard for living frugally or perhaps even a sense of superiority over the clearance tag or Goodwill shoppers.

Friends, nothing could be further from the truth.  Truth be told, I definitely fight prideful tendencies every single day and I don't even try to kid myself into thinking that every "selfie" I take isn't a symptom of vanity, but I would like to take this chance to set the record straight about this whole Stitch Fix thing and explain a few "behind the scenes" facts that I hope will clear up my motivations behind my enthusiasm for this service.

Myth #1 - I am blowing a crapload of money on this stuff.

Why beat around the bush?  I am fully aware that this is the top assumption that people make when they see my posts and ask me about Stitch Fix.  It makes perfect sense, after all.  These clothes are not cheap - they aren't made cheaply, the fabric and cuts are on another tier than you would find in the local store where you also buy your tampons and Goldfish crackers, and they were hand-selected for you by a stylist.  The price tag of a typical Stitch Fix box for me runs anywhere from $180 to $300, depending on what items I receive.  Obviously a box with a pair of jeans and a blazer is going to cost more than the box with a pair of earrings and a tank top.

There are three primary ways that I keep Stitch Fix budget-friendly.

First, the "whole box discount."  When you choose to keep every single thing in your box, a 25% discount is applied to each item.  Many times the math works out so that one of the items ends up being free.

Second, keep at least one thing.  Remember, you pay a $20 "styling fee" just to have that box of goodies land on your doorstep.  Find something to keep in each box so you aren't throwing your money away.  I had a couple fixes early on where I only kept the jewelry item I was sent because I wasn't loving any of the clothes enough to drop the coin on them.

Finally, it is primarily the referral credit that allows me to enjoy Stitch Fix as much as I do.  What that means is that I have YOU to thank for helping me stock my closet with nice clothes without even leaving the house.  Every time I try on a box full of clothes, I share the experience with you here on the blog and I make sure to let you know each time I write a post that I use a referral link.  Every time a new person uses my unique referral link to give Stitch Fix a try, I get a $25 credit to my account.  Friends, those add up.

Make no mistake about it.  It is thanks to all of YOU that I get to have as much fun with Stitch Fix as I do.

So if you are a blogger, write about it!  If you have Facebook, share your referral link on your wall!  If you are on Twitter, tweet your referral link when you share the photo of the cute skirt you just scored in your fix.  ONE referral credit pays for the styling fee for your next Fix and two more will likely get you a free item. 

Myth #2 - I'm in cahoots with Stitch Fix and they are compensating me for singing their praises.

Nope.  False.  Straight up wrong.

There is a small contingent of bloggers who were the lucky few who got to be the faces and voices of Stitch Fix when they first launched and I was not among them.  Even those gals weren't "perked" to write about their experience with Stitch Fix other than the referral credits I just mentioned.  To be fair, those bloggers did just get to go visit the Stitch Fix HQ out in San Francisco a few months ago, but that was only after their initial efforts helped create the momentum to make Stitch Fix insanely popular.

Myth #3 - My Fixes are always fantastic.  

Do I love it every time my doorbell rings and I see that beautiful teal seal on the box?  You betcha.  I enjoy the heck out of opening the box like it's Christmas morning and the opportunity to shop these beautiful items from the comfort of my own home.  But it's not always perfect.  I would direct your attention to the Tarzan Sack Dress and Ugly Shirt of Fix #4, the Tribal Bathrobe of Fix #10, and the Funnel Coat of Fix #8 to name a few.  They aren't always perfect, but they are always a blast!

Myth #4 - Modeling Stitch Fix clothes is the perfect excuse to take self-indulgent selfies.

Well, yeah.  Part of showing you all the clothes I get in each Fix is taking pictures of how they look on me, but believe me when I tell you that I am an awkward freak every time I get ready for these pictures.  I have been known to answer the door in my dirty PJ pants I've been wearing for the last two days straight, wipe the crusties out of the corners of my eyes so I can focus enough to see that my latest Stitch Fix box has arrived.  Usually I get the baby down for a nap and then plunk the four year old down either in front of a movie or with the iPad in his lap so I can shower, put on makeup and do my hair so I feel like slightly less of a lunatic when I set up the tripod on my back porch to take photos of myself where I squirm around like an idiot trying to figure out why I keep turning my leg at a goofy angle or why I can't seem to put my arm in the right place.

And let's face it - cellphone selfies open up a whole new world of problems.  

I'm not a Big Blogger, you guys.  I'm nothing special.  I'm just a mom who rarely gets to go pee by herself, let alone go shopping for clothes.  I still drop my son off for preschool in pajama pants 80% of the time and a good deal of the time I still default to the jeans I found at Plato's Closet and my favorite Target t-shirt.

I'm also an authentic believer in Stitch Fix.  Thanks to this service, the referral program, and this blog my clothing budget has been relieved of a significant burden.  I will never know who the wonderful folks are who clicked my link and got their Fix on, but I am grateful to each and every one of them for continuing to support me and my attempts to live life on a budget, but with enough style that I don't embarrass my children too badly in public.

Please laugh with me as I continue to snap awkward selfies and share my Stitch Fix story.  I love reading your comments and critiques of the items I receive and I cheer with you every time I hear that someone just got the Holy Grail in their latest box.  It's awesome.


Ready to give Stitch Fix a try? I'd love to hear about it and thank you so much for using my link.  One of my favorite parts is that it is NOT a subscription service where you are charged every month.  You can get one Fix and be done or not get another one for several months if you choose. can choose to get a box of goodies every month.  It's your call!  CLICK HERE to get started!

Disclosure:  I was not paid by Stitch Fix to write this or any of my other reviews and all opinions are my own.  I do use a referral link so I get a credit to my Stitch Fix account when new folks get their Fix on!  Thank you for supporting this blog (and for helping keep my clothing budget under control)! 


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

That Time I Put Them to Bed

There was a good deal of crying and yelling at bedtime tonight.

Since I work most nights, I don't often get to do the whole "put the kids to bed" thing and sometimes my attempt to run that little circus show makes me feel like an amateur at this whole parenting thing.  As I sit here now in the fourteen minutes of quiet I get to enjoy before Evan gets home from Bible study, I find myself wryly smiling as I think back on all the things that happened during my attempt at a bedtime routine that is usually executed with military-like precision.

First Thomas wanted to wear his Thomas the Train PJs.  At least, I assumed he wanted to wear his Thomas the Train PJs because those are the PJs that he pulled out his drawer with a flourish before announcing, "Deees!!! Deeees PJs!!!"  Imagine his horror when I started to then remove the Curious George shirt with the two gaping holes ripped in the front in an attempt to actually force him to wear the most horrible PJs on the face of the planet, you know....the ones he picked.  The tears fell quickly and he threw himself face down on the carpet in protest to such an affront to his dignity.  Mothers are such tyrants.  Eventually he went to bed wearing the exact same shirt he had worn all day, but I did manage to get him into comfy pants instead of his toddler Levis.  I'm gonna call that one a victory right there.

Victory was short-lived after said toddler came to the traumatizing realization that it was not, in fact, his turn to pick the book and that we would NOT be reading Curious George Rides a Bike for the eighth time today.  He sobbed and hollered, "George read!!!  George read!!! Biiiiiikkkkeeeeee!!!!" the entire time I read the story of the woman washing Jesus' feet with her hair and anointing him with perfume.  Apparently Thomas didn't get the memo that this is Holy Week.

As for the older and wiser brothers, their task was to clean up their room after they had gotten their PJs on and instead opted to spend their time whacking each other with swords, pulling on the other one's earlobe, and pretending that pushing the toys off to the side of the room is the same as "cleaning up."

While his brothers were already brushing their teeth, Isaiah was sitting on the floor of his room crying because he had tied a jump rope around his ankles and now he couldn't get free.

Micah seemed to think that "time to pray" is a synonym for "time to twirl Mommy's hair and ramble on about Legos and sniffing butts and asking for stupid things for my birthday."  When I reprimanded him and explained that we are talking to God right now and to focus pleaseandthankyou, he starting blowing raspberries and babbling in baby talk.  When I stood up and moved on to pray with his big brother, Micah started howling and screaming, "I sooooo coooooollllldddd!!!"

Prayers finally said.
Lullaby (aka "Let it Go" from Frozen) finally sung.
Blankets finally tucked in.

Over an hour later, they are quiet and there is an Oatmeal Stout with my name on it.  But what a fun, fun night.  My heart is full.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Shingles, Smoothies, and Sun Screens

My kitchen smells like burnt plastic and metal.

But I'll get to that in a second.

Last night a customer was gracious enough to inform me that I "need to get a new job."  He didn't mean that in a you're far more amazing that people realize kind of way, but more in a you are absolutely useless kind of way.  After a couple weeks where it was just one thing after another knocking me down, it wasn't exactly the warm fuzzies I needed.

As you know, the boys and I were in a car accident two weeks ago that totaled our van.  Pretty much every spare moment I have had in the last two weeks has seen me glued to my computer searching the listings on Autotrader and CarGurus, on the phone asking about vehicles, and talking to insurance agents and claim adjusters.  In fact, we were already in the process of an insurance claim for our roof so there has been that to wade through as well and Wells Fargo hasn't exactly been very helpful with that whole process.  What was really fun was when the doorbell rang at 7:30 in the morning on Tuesday and we opened the door to find a roofing crew all set and ready to rip off our roof and slap on a new one.  Of course, this was the very day we were minutes away from leaving for Illinois to go shop for a van, leaving a slew of babysitters behind to take care of our kids. 

I left a Post-It on the counter that read, "Surprise!  New roof getting put on today!"  I also sent them all text messages to be cautious when entering the house and to keep the kids inside so they didn't get hit by debris or step on a nail. 

Alas, I don't have any funny stories to tell about this round of Van Shopping, unlike last time when we encountered such characters as "Toothless Terry" who removed the teeth from his mouth and cleaned them while he tried to sell us a van.  Evan and I did enjoy reminiscing about that little gem though.

We arrived home Tuesday night with the keys and registration to a new-to-us van, but we weren't able to drive the van home because there was a hinge in the front door that we wanted repaired first.  So, we packed up all three boys Wednesday afternoon and drove an hour and a half back down to Illinois to pick it up.  Really, the kids were as good as we could've expected on a long drive except for that brief moment when we had to pull over and help Micah fix his seat-belt because the little stinker was messing with it.  They entertained themselves with a game of "Red Car, Blue Truck" that Evan and I ended up getting in on.  We promptly started debating the point values that ought to be attributed to purple vehicles since they are technically a combination of red and blue and whether or not maroon counts as red or purple.    

Eventually, we made it back down to Libertyville and picked up our van with newly repaired door hinge.

By the time we pulled into our driveway at bedtime that night, Micah had already ripped the sunshade off the back window and the motor was making a goofy "flappa flappa" sound that we hadn't heard on the lot or on the test drive.  We found out the next morning that there is a leak in an exhaust pipe that needs to be replaced, so we will be getting that replaced soon in addition to repairing the scratches left behind on our other car by the Snowblower Incident.  If you are ever in the market to buy a vehicle, do yourself a favor and do not let my husband or I be involved in the process in any way because apparently we are cursed.

After two weeks of taking my anxiety out on my diet and having cookies for breakfast and Gino's East pizza for dinner, I decided to get off on a better foot this morning and whip up a healthy berry smoothie for breakfast complete with power greens and protein powder.  After a minute or two of blending, the motor started growling and I smelled burnt plastic and metal.  Before the berries and kale had even been fully pulverized, my blender threw up the white flag.

So I had a cookie.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Just Metal and Paint

When things happen that are outside of my control, I panic a bit.  My head starts swimming, my heart races, logic jumps ship, and I inevitably launch myself into panic mode.  And that's just in the first five minutes.

I'm working on it, really I am.  My husband insists that I have made huge improvements in this area over the past couple years, but sometimes things happen that are so unexpected that I can't help but feel a bit shaken.

I think this counts.

I was driving to church last Wednesday morning to meet up with my wonderful ladies in the Mom's ministry I attend.  Two of my three sons were in the van with me, happily singing along to the Frozen soundtrack.  We made a left turn onto the street the church is on and soon after the turn, the right lane was closed off due to construction.  I was in the left lane, but there were two cars over in that right lane with their turn signals on beginning to make their move to merge into my lane.  I hit my brake to slow down to allow them in and I immediately felt the impact as a pickup truck slammed into the back of our van.  Thankfully the cars in front of me were not so close as to create a domino effect, but the noise combined with the force of the collision had scared the living daylights out of the kids.

Praise God the kids were only frightened and not hurt.
Praise God that I was uninjured as well.
Praise God that the driver of the truck was uninjured, kind, apologetic, concerned and amiable.
Praise God for the quick response of the police and fire department whose primary concern was the well-being of my children.
Praise God for my friends from church who drove by the accident and launched into action to come rescue my kids from the van, bring me coffee, and pass around a card of encouragement.

It's only metal and paint and that's all that was lost.  Praise God for his protection on that morning.

As you can imagine, it's been a frustrating week since the accident.  Dealing with the insurance claim, initiating the estimate and repair, obtaining the rental vehicle, waiting for the estimate and then negotiating with the claims office once the van was deemed "totaled," the pressure of starting to shop for a new van when our budget was really not expecting it.

It's a lot.

So please bear with me as things are a bit quiet over here.  I'm elbow-deep in printouts from Autotrader and since we have about a week to find and purchase a van.  It's also taking a ton of energy for me to keep my anxiety from taking over and to try to keep my anger from flaring.

Praise God for a mother-in-law who sends me a text at the very moment I need it, encouraging me to read Psalm 37.

We are safe.
It's just a van.

And we are so thankful.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Project Life Tuesday - Week 42

The Mom CreativeI had hoped to have more recent stuff to share with you today, but life has just really gotten in the way of plunking my butt down and scrapbooking lately.  It's so rude of life, isn't it?  At some point here I am just going to have to say to heck with it and blow everything else off so I can power through and finish up 2013 and then maybe I can start on this calendar year!  Wouldn't that just be a hoot?!

If you're looking for inspiration on what others are doing with their Project Life, you can check out my board on Pinterest and be sure to link up on The Mom Creative!

Week 42: Coral Kit

I love how the teals, yellows and oranges look with these photos.  I thought this kit was going to be really "girly" at first, but it ended up working out really well.  And yes, I did have to document that I cleaned the bathroom.  That is a really big deal for me.

Can we please talk about my baby sitting on the couch wearing a Curious George t-shirt and sitting next to his Curious George monkey while eating a banana?  The cute is killing me.  And do you spy George in the photo above that too?  The one where he is on his tippy tippy toes to get a drink from the bubbler?  Love.

Yes, I call it a "bubbler."  I live in Wisconsin and I am a Badger alum so it is indeed a "bubbler."  Google it and you will know I speak truth.

Lots happening on this right page.  I finished turning a soccer ball pinata into a Death Star for the boys' epic Star Wars birthday party, Isaiah finished out his soccer season, and our furnace got replaced.  For the record, I never actually use the phrase "For Reals," but the card worked so nicely with the photo and QR code that I used it anyway.

The Mom Creative

Thus ends another edition of Project Life Tuesday!  See you next time and I swear I will have a bunch of new stuff to share!

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