I've now typed several paragraphs trying to put my feelings into words. I suppose some things are simply too big for words.

The feeling I had yesterday, as I rocked my son before his nap, was too big for words.

I was overcome with gratefulness.

I haven't always been able to share my days with three of my favorite people. Yet, it's something I frequently take for granted. So, yesterday as I snuggled with my son, overcome with emotion, I knew I had to somehow record the moment.

Even if it was too big for words.


Maybe if We Were Clowns

Do you know the scene from a circus or a cartoon of several clowns piling out of a tiny car?

That is what came to mind as I observed the three, count 'em, three car seats my husband managed to cram into the back seat of our car. I should mention that our car is a Ford Focus hatchback. It has four doors. Because we traded in the two door one when we were pregnant with Ann. We thought four doors made a family car. Funny, huh?

Our other car is a minivan. We need to take it in for some maintenance tomorrow. So, we needed to see if all the car seats would fit in the car in order for us to have transportation for the next day or so. I told my husband not to worry about it, but, I think he liked the challenge of fitting the car seats in the small car.

And that is why I had visions of clowns. It made me sort of chuckle. However, I quickly stopped laughing when my husband suggested we take the car on our upcoming road trip to Colorado.

Let me just say that gas prices would have to at least double before I considered a ten-hour trek in a tiny car with three little ones. Some things are just worth the money.


For the Record

We can now add a chunk of granola bar to the ever-growing list of items my three-year-old has inserted into her nose. Lovely.

Now, how in the world do I get this otherwise very sensible girl to stop doing this, if the pain alone hasn't done the trick? Crazy kid!


Three Little Words

As a mother of young children, I spend a lot of my day reminding them of the right thing to say.

I'm always urging them to say words and phrases like "please, thank you, I'm sorry, and I forgive you."

Of course, there is nothing quite like a child's first clear utterance of "I love you." Even if the first time he says it is to his daddy.

Yesterday was Chris' first time to say these sweet words without our help. He said them first before his nap time. The second time he said them was before bed last night. According to Tony, he said I love you and went on to say the name of each member of our family.

I have a feeling that no matter how many children you have, those sweet words never grow old. Like a baby's grins, those words seem to make all right in the world, even if for a moment.


Not the Only One

I'm not the only one with full hands around here.

Ann, Chris, and Jane, you sure are blessed to have such a wonderful daddy.


Seeing Red

We finally finished our painting project! Well, we finished it nearly two weeks ago. So, maybe I should be writing that I finally posted a picture.

This is my view of the kitchen from the chair where I frequently sit to nurse Jane. Glancing at my red kitchen always makes me smile. For whatever reason, I've always wanted a red kitchen. I've also wanted a kitchen with a black-and-white checkered floor. I think we can all agree that it would be a mistake in this kitchen.

Here is my favorite touch. I found it at Kirklands, while enjoying a morning out with a friend.

And, now, won't you please share any ideas you have for decorating a kitchen. I know the picture above isn't the best, but the wall space is pretty bare. I don't have much space, but, I would like to add a few items to finish the look. Any suggestions? What works for you?

Happy Friday!


Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Friday night, the five of us went to a our city's minor league team's game. The outing was planned by a group at Tony's office. We thought it sounded like something our entire family could do. Since the children are still so young, opportunities like this are a bit rare. We were all excited to go to the game. It was the kiddos' first live baseball game.

We worried it might not happen. As we were driving to the ballpark, the clouds darkened. Then, the rain started pouring. Tony and I decided we'd at least go get dinner.

Here are Chris and Ann waiting for us to finish unloading the van. Due to a certain 3-year-old girl's dramatic tendencies if she experiences the slightest discomfort, such as getting wet, we let her ride in a stroller. We hoped the stroller canopy would prevent the princess from getting wet.
We must have made quite the entrance with our little stroller brigade. Though I was tempted, I didn't ask anyone to take a picture of us and all our baby gear.

Fortunately, as we headed into the ballpark, the clouds started breaking up. While we ate, blue sky reappeared.

Tony and Ann enjoyed hot dogs and coleslaw.

Chris was also happy to have a hot dog, but, he was most enthralled by Tony allowing him a few sips of pop.

After dinner, we noticed there was a playground in the stadium. We headed over there where Ann and Chris also took turns jumping in an inflatable bouncer. (I'm not sure why I can't remember the name of those things right now.)

Here is Jane taking in the sights and sounds. Isn't she the sweetest?

We were sure we'd never get Ann and Chris to leave the playground. But, after playing for a while, they were ready to go sit and enjoy the the game.

Of course, by enjoy, I mean they were ready to repeatedly spread out their blankets on the grass. I have no idea what it is with my kiddos and spreading out blankets or beach towels, but once they get started, they do it over, and over, and over again. Weird, I guess?

They also spent most of the game staring at the other children around them. Typical, I'm sure.

Baby Jane spent most of the game in my arms.

Once the mosquitoes came out for dinner, we packed up. I couldn't even tell you what inning it was. I can, however, tell you that the sundaes we ate at Sonic, after the game, were quite delicious.

It was a fun evening of family time. I hope it was only the first of many more adventures for the five of us.

Please Tell Me She Was Kidding

Yesterday morning found me watching my friend's two kiddos. They are 5 and 8, so really it is more like perfect entertainment for my children. They love the "big kids."

All went well until the 8-year-old came to tell me how tired she was since she'd been up since 8 that morning. Seriously?

If you've read many of my posts, you know that my children are early, as in by 6 in the morning, risers. So, you can understand it took much self-control on my part not to say something extremely sarcastic to my little charge. Truly, what can an 8-year-old on summer vacation be so exhausted from? And, since when is 8 a.m. early?

Oh, the carefree days of childhood. I vaguely remember once telling my grandma I had a headache. I believe I was met with a comment like, "you don't have anything to have a headache about."

Tell me about it.


The Power of Words

Words are kind of funny, aren't they? By simply uttering a few words, a person can easily make or break your day. Words like "I love you," spoken by the right person, can make you feel like nothing else.

I suppose it isn't surprising then, that I find written words to be so powerful. I have special notes, cards, and letters, that I've received, tucked away in different places. They always make me smile when I find them. Like a good book, they are worth rereading. In fact, I frequently tuck these notes into different books, even my Bible. Of course, some notes are simply saved in my email inbox. Below is one such note.

Not long ago, I was at a store with my son and my younger brother. A lady commented on my parenting choice. It was something that really hurt me. You can read about that experience here.

I'd like to share what my sweet brother wrote after reading my post about that experience. I certainly hope he isn't embarrassed by my sharing his words, but some things are too good to keep to yourself. I truly can't help but smile each time I read this. And, I'd be lying if I said I didn't tear up the first time I read his words.


I just read your post about the lady at Target. I think you did exactly what you should have. It was what, 9am on Saturday, there weren't many people in the store and you had to show him that you wouldn't cave in to that behavior. I think it is pretty ironic that you would post something about that because it really bothered me that the lady made a comment like that. It was pretty hard for me not say some pretty mean and inappropriate things to that lady (honestly the only thing that held me back was the fact that Chris was there). I actually told a few people at work about that incident and how mad I was that that lady could make such a rude and condescending comment (they are on our side with how you handled it by the way). The whole point is that I was thinking about why that comment upset me so much and I realized that it is because I have seen first hand what a great mother you are and to have some stranger question that without knowing you was infuriating. I was hoping I would run into her when I went back to get the coffee creamer by the way. Anyways, I obviously know nothing about parenting but if I ever have kids I can only hope that I can be half the parent Tony or yourself is. I was exhausted from a long weekend of being a small part of it and you do it everyday. You do a great job and you should never question that. I had no idea that comment offended you so much but I wanted you to know that it made me angrier than I have been a while...Thanks again for having me out.


Words like that are powerful. I hope I remember that the next time I open this mouth of mine.


Party Time

Hi, thanks for stopping by my little party. I'm Lizz and I've been blogging for seven months. Before I actually had a blog, I read blogs. Many, many, many blogs. One day my husband asked me why I didn't have one. So, on a whim, I started one. You can read my first post that explains my blog's title here.

My days are pretty full of being a wife and a mama. I'm married to my college sweetheart. We have a preschooler, a toddler, and a baby. As you can imagine, they keep us quite busy.
I blog about a variety of things. However, I mainly blog to keep perspective on these precious years with my kiddos. I do my best to see the glass as half full, even when my day doesn't go as planned. I sometimes write about giving my children treats when they least expect it, and yes, that and this backfired. I also write about my experiences as a mama, especially when I start to question my decisions.
Thanks for stopping by, feel free to grab some coffee and a slice of "The Pie." Stay as long as you like. The kids and I are happy to have the company.
After your visit here, please be sure to stop by and see the hostess, Robin at Pensieve.


This Should Be On Sticky Notes All Over My House

It's not about me.

It's not.

It's not.

It's not about what I do or don't check off my to-do list.

It's not.

It's not.

Am I the only one who needs this reminder daily, if not hourly?


I May Have Even Had Time to Dream

I really like Fussy's Thursday carnival of focusing on life's positives. I do believe I'll participate again this week.

In fact, I have a couple of things I'm quite thankful for this afternoon. One of those is sleep. As in, I HAVE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT FOR TWO CONSECUTIVE NIGHTS. Sorry about the caps, but that statement necessitated their usage. All three children have let mama sleep. There have been no night time visits from Chris. Also, Jane, all 18 pounds of her, finally seems to think she can make it through the night without a quick snack. Yippee!

I'm also grateful for sleep of the nap time variety. You certainly won't catch me complaining that all three of my children are currently napping. I love them dearly, I do, but quiet is sometimes nice.

The other thing I'm very grateful for today is successful potty training. I admit it. I didn't want to do it. I was all for waiting until Chris turned 3 next May, but, the little guy was showing all the signs of being ready. He has done well. Perhaps a little too well. That is to say, he really likes the process of going potty. Rather than take care of business all in one clean sweep, he likes to poop and peek. This means he gets off the potty two to four times while taking care of business. At the risk of starting to complain, I'll just say I'm grateful that he is going in the potty. Again, yippee!

Oh, wait, I do have two more things I'm thankful for this summer day. First, thanks to Michelle at Life With Three for giving me the Arte Y Pico award. I'm truly honored. If you haven't read her before, please check her out. She is also the mama to three young children. She posts abouts about their lives and throws in some wonderful recipes too. Thanks Michelle!

Then, as if that wasn't enough, Holly at June Cleaver Nirvana gave me this.

Holly's blog is one of the most entertaining and original ones I read. I stop by frequently because reading her posts never fails to make me smile and usually I laugh out loud. Thanks Holly!

Now, I wouldn't want to be the one to stop the traditions, so here goes.

I'd like to pass the Arte Y Pico award on to Kelsey at My Sweet Life. I really enjoy the way she obviously loves on the children she nannies. In addition, her photos are fantastic. I'm also sending this award over to Chaotic Joy at Joy in Chaos. I recently found her blog and am loving it.

I'm sending the I Love You This Much Award on to Kelly at Love Well. Her posts always make me think about the truly important things in life. It also doesn't hurt that she posts some pretty adorable pictures. This award also goes out to Deidre a For Such a Time as This. She shares from her heart and her posts frequently inspire me. Finally, I'd like to send this one over to Fussy at Mrs. Fussypants. To say that I admire how she handles herself during times that might try one's patience is an understatement. She always makes me smile.

Wow! That was a lot of linking. I'm tempted to skip proofreading this and go straight to publishing. I'm getting a bit tired. It must be all that sleep I got last night.

Happy Thursday. Hope your day is full of things that make you grateful.


A Little Clue

If your child looks like this while whining that her brother was being nice to her,
you can certainly assume that she is tired. By all means, put her to bed.


Making Lemonade

This morning I was handed a lemon. Not literally, but a lemon nonetheless.

I had just finished packing the diaper bag. I asked Ann and Chris to head to the van with me. As I got ready to load them in the van, I realized we were missing a car seat. We'd forgotten to take it out of the car and put it back in the van.

Argh! We weren't going to be able to go to our MOPS meeting. This year I get the privilege of being a part of our church's MOPS steering team. Today was our second meeting. I was really looking forward to it.

But, it wasn't to be. At first, I got frustrated. There may have been a bit of immature stomping around on my part, accompanied by a bit of huffing and puffing.

After a few minutes and an unsuccessful attempt to borrow my neighbor's booster seat, I took a deep breath. I accepted the fact that I wasn't going to make the meeting. Ann and Chris seemed to also accept the fact that they wouldn't be playing with friends at church. We all continued about our morning.

As I was in the midst of doing chores, I thought of something. I realized that maybe God had wanted us to be at home this morning. Then, I realized that if that was the case, He must have something good in store for us.

He did.
Ann and Chris played beautifully. They seemed to be happy to see one another after a brief separation while Ann stayed with Grandma.

Jane took a refreshing nap. This is something she needed after a little bout with pink eye and a cold.

I was able to get more chores done in a half an hour than I normally do in a couple of days.
But, the best part was our picnic. We obviously weren't able to drive anywhere, so I suggested walking to the park. The kids thought it sounded like a good idea. They finished building their block castles and we loaded up the double stroller.

As a bit of an afterthought, I packed a little picnic lunch.
We had an great time. We played tag and laughed. I can't remember a time recently where I enjoyed my children more.

So, thanks Tony for accidentally driving off with the car seat. If you hadn't, I would have missed this.

And this.

Most importantly, I would have missed the gentle reminder that I'm not in charge of my days. For that, I couldn't be happier.


Don't Look at Me

Who knew it would be so simple to get my two-year-old to look at me? All I had to do was tell him not to look at me, and it was all he would do. Clearly being obedient is not yet his strong point.

Can you see the mess around his sweet little mouth? His mouth looks like that after eating only one or two M&Ms. I probably should have chosen a different reward for potty training. Oops.

And, one last thing. He has a wallet in his hand because wallets are his new favorite toy. He grabs them out of our dress-up bin and carries them everywhere. He even likes to sleep with one.

I love the little quirks kids have. They are quite entertaining. Perhaps this little guy is especially entertaining. I love that. Most of the time.


Happy 5 Months Sweet Girl

My Sweet Baby Jane,

I can hardly believe it. Last week, you turned five months. And, what a month it has been!

You are on the move. You may not crawl, but now that you've also learned to roll from your back to your front, you are a little rolling machine. The other night you rolled across the family room floor until you bumped into the fireplace. Then, you looked at me as if to say, "Hey Mama, do you think you could get this out of my way?"

In addition to your constant rolling, you've also figured out how to scrunch up your little legs and push off the floor with your feet. This moves you forward so that you can get things out of reach. This little move also helps you to frequently get stuck in the corner of your crib.

You continue to brighten our days with your smiles. More than one person has commented on how you smile "with your whole face." It is true and your smile is something I could stare at all day.

The only thing that might be better than your smiles is your sweet laugh. The more tired you get, the more you giggle. Your brother, Chris, knows how to make you laugh better than anyone. I'm sure it is the beginning of a special relationship the two of you will share.

You are getting bigger and stronger everyday. At your check-up, this past month, you weighed just over 16 pounds and measured almost 26 inches. I'm so thankful that you are strong and healthy.

Baby Jane, if I had to sum you up in one word, it would be happiness. You bring so much of it to our lives, it is impossible to imagine a life without you.

We love you sweet girl!


Uh-Oh, It's a Project

My kitchen is trashed and I couldn't be happier.
After all, it means that we're on our way to getting the kitchen painted. In fact, we got the wallpaper torn down today. Now, all that stands between a fun red kitchen and me are a coat of gray-tinted primer and at least two coats of red paint. Well, that and my tendency to be a pro at starting projects and very much an amateur at finishing them.

At one point today, Tony, who has taken the week off from work, was kindly using his vacation time to work on the kitchen. I, on the other hand, had wandered from the kitchen and was organizing Ann's closet. Clearly the kitchen will look better if Ann's closet, which couldn't be further from the kitchen unless it were in my neighbor's house, is nice and tidy.

Fortunately, I was able to refocus and joined Tony in the kitchen. Here is a little picture of our project underway.

And, a close-up of the wallpaper. It just isn't my style.

With any luck, by the end of the week, I'll be able to post a picture of the finished kitchen. And, who knows, my closets may be organized too.


Home Again

We survived another road trip. And yes, survived is the correct choice of words. However, we greatly enjoyed the visiting part of our trip. Seeing family is always fun for us. Getting to see family over a fun holiday is even better.

So, now we're home. The bags are unpacked. The contents of those bags are put away. For dinner, we satisfied a little Chipotle burrito craving. Now, it is time for one of the best parts of coming home after a trip--sleeping in my own bed with my own pillow. Ahhhh.

It's good to be home, but, I'm missing this little one.

She stayed behind to enjoy a few more days with Grandma and Grandpa. If my posts are a little more sparse this week, it is probably because this little girl isn't here to give me material.

Until next time, please do your best to stay away from the "Cheeto Bugs", as Ann calls mosquitoes. They seem to be everywhere here in the rainy Midwest.


For Mimi

Happy Fourth of July!

We're off to celebrate with family. We'll be back soon.

(I took this picture early this morning before loading up the car. Mimi, I hope you like it. We'll miss you. )



Fussy is hosting a great little carnival. She is encouraging others to post about things for which they are thankful.

I thought I'd join in. I guess that means I shouldn't post a picture of my kitchen table covered in Play-Doh. I also probably shouldn't label that same picture with the title "The Bane of My Existence." No, no, that won't do.

Instead let's talk about the grocery store. Isn't great when a trip goes smoothly? I had such an experience this morning. The only little glitch was that it seemed that we kept getting in the way of the same man. The fact that I was pushing a stroller and pulling a cart meant that it was challenging for us not to be in the way. Each time I got in his way, I apologized. I warned Ann to be careful too.

It really came as no surprise to me that we found ourselves in the same check-out line. He was right behind us. I had just asked Ann to say something to the cashier. She did a good job, but had her mouth full of crackers while she said it. I told Ann she did a great job and then apologized to the cashier for her full mouth. It is quite possible a few crumbs made their way out of Ann's mouth as she spoke. Hopefully they didn't land on the cashier. Yuck.

"Stop apologizing," said the man in line behind us.

"What?" I asked.

"Stop apologizing. You've apologized through the whole store. You're doing fine," he reassured.

"We've all been there," added the cashier while looking in the direction of my three little ones.

I started thinking about it. They were right. I was apologizing, but my kids had been great. They did exactly what I asked them to do the entire time we were shopping. I realized that my apologizing for things that weren't misbehavior was undermining my words which said they were doing a good job.

Sure, there is a time and a place for apologizing for disturbing the whole store with a toddler's tantrum. It might also be good to say sorry when your toddler throws something and narrowly misses the person behind you. Not, of course, that I would know anything about that.

But the way I was saying sorry today may eventually come across as an apology that my children are even taking up space in a public place. I am most definitely not sorry for that.

So, today, I'm grateful for the kind man and woman at the grocery store. I'm grateful they acknowledged that taking kiddos to the store is not an easy job. I'm also grateful that they made me think about making sure my words match my thoughts. I'm proud of my kiddos and am more than happy to call them mine.

It's the Play-Doh I could do without.


Playing Dress-Up

If my vacuum, my beloved Dyson, were to break, I'd be in the market for a new vacuum.

If we needed to move, I'd be in the market for a new house.

As it is now, I'm in the market for boy dress-up clothes. That is what happens when you glance up from washing dishes to see your two-year-old son tearing around the playroom in nothing but a diaper and a pink tutu.

Excuse me, I believe I have some shopping to do.


A very good friend of mine has declared this summer one of being intentional She is doing a wonderful job of making sure she lives in the moment, especially with her family.

I'm going to do just that today by closing my laptop and not opening it again until the kiddos have retired for the night.

But, here is my question, how are you intentional in your endeavours with your kiddos, family, friends, etc....?

(And don't think it won't be very hard for me to ignore the computer and those wonderful blogs I love to visit. It will be kind of like giving up chocolate and coffee on the same day.)


Half Full

Yesterday I said I would do my best to have a heart full kind of day.


Let's just say I was quite productive. Isn't that great? I read with the children. We went to Bible Study. I did a little laundry and some cleaning. I was even able to deep clean Chris's room while Ann and Chris played together and Jane took an extra long nap.

I cleaned all of the things that were contaminated by Chris's poop episode at nap time.

Really, the walls, carpet, dresser, bedding, light switches, door, doorknob, toys, shoes, rocking chair, stuffed animals, and the boy, especially the boy, needed to be cleaned anyways. It has been nearly a year since I deep cleaned his room. (Please note that the boy gets cleaned a little more often.)

Now, how is that for looking at the glass half full?

Hope your day smelled better than mine.