Pinterest has ruined my life

Seriously.  Pinterest has deluded me into thinking I’m awesome.

Please tell me I’m not the only one this has happened to.

I’m an “ideas” girl.  I’m really good at ideas.  I can see all kinds of awesome things in my head.  I just have a hard time getting my body to cooperate with my brain to get those ideas into concrete “stuff.”  It’s kind of like a lack of hand-eye coordination that has manifested itself into every single fiber of my being.  It’s debilitating.  And incredibly frustrating.

It’s also what makes Pinterest so addicting.

I spend far more hours than I’d care to admit surfing pages on Pinterest looking at others’ ideas and pinning them on my boards because seeing others’ ideas makes me think I can do those, too.

In other words, I’m the real-life definition of a Pinterest Fail.

I’m starting to get back to crafting, finally.  Which means I’ve created lots of things that, well, look nothing like the images I’ve pinned to my boards.  See the following:

Image I pinned:

Front door wreath, hydrangea wreath, burlap wreath, grapevine, french country, burlap bow:

Image via Etsy via Pinterest.  Or vice versa.  

The Danielle Version:

dsc_0678

Pay no attention to the reflection of the person in the (dirty) glass…

 

I sewed curtains for the twins’ room when I couldn’t find any already made that I liked.  Sewing is so not my thing.  They turned out as sort of a disaster.  Hanging them in a certain way somewhat hides the flaw in my measurements, but the crooked hem lines are still pretty obvious.  At least the fabric was only $3.97/yard.

I found this adorable pumpkin that I HAD to make last weekend.  The Pinterest version:

How to Make a DIY Wine Cork Pumpkin. This fall decor idea is adorable!:

The Danielle Version is incomplete because I’m out of jute and I keep forgetting to buy it and the fake leaves when I’m out.  (Also, apparently I need to start drinking more expensive wine because it seems my favorite brands all have switched to rubber corks.  Our of the 26 I needed, I only had 7 that were actual cork.  There may be ten or so in a box set aside for another project in the basement.  Crap, I forgot about those…)

DSC_0717.JPG

I saw something similar to this at a craft show/flea market a couple of weeks ago with my mom and my sisters, and decided to steal some of Ryan’s wood from the garage to try to do it myself:

Every Child Is An Artist - White/Rainbow

Image via Etsy

This is the Danielle Version:

dsc_0712

Enter a caption

(I can’t take credit for the actual artwork.  That’s by our preschooler.  Pins I’ve seen have also suggested digitizing all school artwork so that as things fade, fall apart, etc, we still have record of all of his artwork from school.  I’ve kept everything he’s done thus far, but in one year and two weeks of preschool plus three years of craft day at the library, we’ve filled a JC Penney shirt box.  Eventually, I’m going to run out of storage space.  Fortunately, I live with a computer genius who assures me that if I back up my computer regularly- like more than once a year as I seem to do- everything I transfer from my camera should be safe.  On a server, I think.  Or maybe on “the cloud,” whatever that is).

I’ve tried several recipes too (as noted in this post).  I’ve thrown two birthday parties for our three boys, the ideas for which mostly all came from Pinterest.

On a related note, crafting gives me ADD and anxiety because every time I get on Pinterest I find an idea I MUST try, so as I’m gathering materials, I find more half- finished projects and inspirations I’ve had once, which means I MUST FINISH ALL OF THE PROJECTS.  Right now.

And this past week, because I pinned three cleaning schedules on my “Home” board (I took a cue from Grey’s Anatomy episode names and decided that all of my board names need to be song titles), I felt like my house was a disgusting, disorganized mess (cause, yeah, three boys under age five), I went crazy with fall cleaning.  And when I say crazy, I mean not even my car or our dog were exempt.  I mean, you can’t have a clean house if your dog is shedding all over everything you just cleaned.  Never mind the kids, who obviously thought it was a fantastic idea to put their fingers, lips, noses, feet…and who knows what else… all over everything I’ve painstakingly scrubbed this week.  I even used the one “cleaning hack” I saw where you use a pillowcase to clean ceiling fan blades- I’d recommend that one!

Which is why it’s Thursday night and I’m sipping a glass (or two…) of red following the Grey’s Anatomy premier and writing about it instead of cleaning more stuff.  This mama is pinned. out.

 

Cheers.

xoxo,

~d

My Boys are Foodies-in-Training. And I Love it!

I’d be lying if I told you I don’t love seeing what kinds of weird foods I can get my boys to eat.

Don’t get alarmed- everything I give them is safe, (mostly) healthy, age appropriate, and allergy tested.  I don’t give them, like, dog food or anything.  (They are boys though, and I’m pretty sure all of them have tasted it at least once.  Hey, I’m only one person here!)

No, what I mean is, my kids have very, very mature palates.  Tonight, I fed my sixteen month old twins white pizza with spinach and tomatoes (only minus the mushrooms because I forgot to buy them when we were at the store yesterday; mushrooms are the default pizza topping for four out of five members of our family).  For lunch, all three of my boys had homemade lentil soup with their sandwiches and fruit- and the soup was MADE by my four year old!  (with my careful supervision and assistance, of course).

Yes, he’s four now.  On his birthday a few weeks ago, I decided to make him a special birthday lunch, since we had planned to go out for dinner.  His birthday lunch was a surprise so I didn’t ask before I started cooking; I just made what I know he likes.  That day?  Linguine with clam sauce.  Yep, I feed these kids seafood out of a can, mixed with chopped up garlic and served on a big ol’ bed of carbs.  There was not a bite left over.  They also all love salmon- ANY way I serve it, but this recipe has proven to be a huge hit with just about anyone I’ve ever served it to (including Laken, who was here to visit in May and requested the recipe.  See this post if you want to laugh at me some more about my demented sense of time).

I’ve fed them lentils prepared this way too, found via Pinterest and adapted to basically substitute all the healthiest aspects of the recipe: whole milk for the coconut milk, spinach in place of the kale, regular soy sauce instead of the gluten-free tamari variety, and boring ol’ button mushrooms instead of the mixed variety (my relationship with Pinterest is a whole other post.  Coming soon, I hope).

Of course, kids are kids, so they do occasionally turn mealtimes into their own opportunities to demonstrate their opinions (usually based on lunar phases, which side of the bed they woke up on, or just on a minute-to-minute basis).  For instance, our oldest (“Monkey”) just finished a phase of strongly disliking cooked broccoli (he likes it again now.  He says.)  Twin A (“Scooter”) doesn’t have many definite dislikes; rather, his tastes are often based on his mood, and he just spits out whatever the offending morsel is.  And he makes the funniest faces when he tastes something he doesn’t like.  Twin B (“Squirt”) feeds what he doesn’t want or like to the dog.  (Cantaloupe is something Clohe has had a lot of in the past few months.)  However, Squirt will typically finish everything on his plate, as long as he is in control of the fork and the plate.  Or, sometimes even just having the plate on his high chair tray where he can see what his options are is enough to satisfy him. He’s not big on the unknown. And he’s kind of independent.  Not sure where that comes from…

Have a great weekend friends.  It’s officially football season now, so eat well and share your favorite recipes with me; I just gave you three!

xoxo,

~d

 

 

Hot mess mom

Confession: I’ve never had it all together. 

Y’all knew that already. But seriously, it’s getting worse with age. And, guys, I have an age spot on my cheek. I just found it a few months ago…or a year ago. I can’t remember. Time ceases to have any meaning these days. 

This week has been the culmination of many weeks of chaos around here. Our older guy turned four last week. Ryan’s birthday follows five days later- on Labor Day this year. 

Those three day weekends kill me. 

Weeks ago, I got a phone call from our preschool to schedule an individual orientation time for our boy with his teacher. I chose an evening time slot so Ryan could attend also, and because I thought he might keep me on track.  We scheduled for Tuesday evening but my brain convinced me we were actually going Wednesday. So, Monday being a holiday and Hubby’s birthday, Tuesday actually felt more like Monday. So we went about Monday-ing. Translation: we played. My aunt and I took the kids to the beach, attempting to squeeze the last bits out of summer while we could. While there, we saw another student from preschool with his mom and little brother. His mom and I chatted, as moms of preschoolers do, in broken bits of sentences, peppered with exclamations of, “please don’t eat the sand!” and, “watch where you’re flinging the water!”  In the midst of the conversation, the first day of school came up, along with mention of orientation meetings. I heard without actually registering dates. I vaguely remember making a mental note to double-check dates when I got home. 

Obviously, I forgot. 

Tuesday night as I was getting the boys ready for bed, I received a text from his teacher letting me know that I had, in fact, missed the meeting and oh, by the way, school starts tomorrow! 

It was a major face palm moment. 

With that in mind, I managed to deliver him to school yesterday morning- on time!- and bid my baby a wonderful first day. He went to the play doh table with barely a backward glance.  It was equal parts beautiful and gut-wrenchingly painful. 

Day 2: the twins and I dropped him off for his second day, with first-day papers signed, a bottle of soap for the class to use, and a photo of our boy, plus his show-and-tell item. I was pretty proud of myself for about 3.2 seconds when his teacher  complimented my organizational skills at pickup. 

Then I remembered what a hot mess I am, and that I nearly left the house to meet a Grammy-winning, platinum-selling artist in my scrubby mom clothes and sans makeup. 

My plan was to them return home and get some housework done till pickup time, prepare lunch for the boys, then take a short break to attend a wine tasting/signing with the lead singer from one of my all-time favorite bands in the afternoon. Apparently, outside of Mom-land, “afternoon” happens before naptime. 

Fair enough. So my plans moved from beginning at four pm to beginning at one. Clearly, since my biological clock is no longer ticking, it’s now completely AWOL  (I did feel a bit better to learn, however, from talking to the lady behind me at the signing, that I was not the only person who was under the impression that the event started at 4 rather than 1.)

Regardless, all’s well that ends well; despite my hot messiness, I managed to avoid looking like a total disaster and get everything to fall into place the way it needed to. It took some behind the scenes coordinating, but I have a pretty awesome support system. 


Oh, and babe?

Thank you for insisting that I go. The memory of this day will last forever. I love you.

Xoxo,

~d

Lest it Get Me (spontaneity is the spice of life)

I didn’t wake up this morning thinking, “hm, maybe I’ll cut down a tree today.”

I actually don’t normally wake up thinking anything. Thinking doesn’t happen till the coffee kicks in.  

Anyway, our morning started out much like most other warm-weather days. Breakfast, twins nap, I shower, we go outside. I started pulling weeds yesterday, after taking last summer off to regain our equilibrium with two newborns in the house. It was a mess. And also, apparently, a suitable home for a snake, because we saw one slithering through the grass between the big flower bed and our house. I screamed, then called my husband. I hate snakes. (Lest they get me.)

And that was all it took. No more weed pulling yesterday. 

We started again today. I took the dog with us to scare off anything that might be hiding nearby, and sent my big kid with his plastic hoe to stand guard while I pulled weeds and the twins watched and mocked me from their stroller. 

There was a time when I thought I’d be bored as a stay-at-home mom. That I’d lose my “edge” and my ability to make spontaneously unintelligent decisions. Not so, my friends. Not so.  

As I was pulling weeds, big brother and my auntie took a field trip to the nearby nursery to shop for summer flowers for her house. The twins grew bored and tired of watching me; they went inside to nap. I worked my way around the flower bed, pulling weeds and watching for snakes, waiting for one to strike and swallow me whole. (Kidding. Sort of. Garter snakes can’t do that…right?) 

Anyway, I worked my way around, carefully watching and pulling, until I got to the area closest to where we saw the enemy yesterday. I called Clohe and made her sniff out the area. I kicked around, just to be sure. Then, I went to the garage for Ryan’s little hand saw. And I started cutting away branches of a big, ugly, out-of-control evergreen bush. Before I knew it, the whole thing was gone. 

And that, my friends, is when I decided that I’d cut down a tree today. 

Correction. According to my three-year-old, “mom. You didn’t cut down a tree. You cut down a bush.”

Touché, little man. 

I cut down a bush. 

Xoxo,

~d

Interior designers make the worst clients (and other musings)

I started this blog (way back in 2010) fully intending to jump-start my career in interior design.  Or writing. Or both.

Somehow, over the course of six-plus years, the majority of what I’ve shared has turned out to be, basically, everything EXCEPT interior design.

Cooking? check.

Baking? of course.

Party planning? Heck, yeah!

Parenting? sure, why not?

Whining? eh, maybe a little.

Reminiscing?  yup.

Bragging?  Who, moi?…ok, yeah, that too.

Interior design?  Um…not so much.

There might be a draft or two somewhere in a folder with some posts along those lines, but I’m pretty sure that’s where those sorts of posts go to die.

I was reflecting on this fact last week while I was spring cleaning our living room.  I’m not sure what sparked the specific train of thought, but as I moved furniture around to capture dog hair and cobwebs, I concluded that I’m sort of lost in decorating my own home.  When it comes to design decisions in this house, I defer to my husband.  There’s a reason for this, I think, but it leads to some pretty obvious problems for us.

We’re currently in the middle of remodeling our master bathroom.  As in, new walls, new floors, new fixtures, new lights, the works.  It’s an interior designer’s dream, right?  So it should be easy for me to get online and make quick, sure decisions on what all of the replacements need to be.

Should be.  That’s the key here.

It’s not as easy as it sounds though.

I can’t make a blinkin’ decision to save my life.  I am overwhelmed by all the possibilities of what the finished product could look like.  I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for my husband, sacrificing his evenings and weekends to do this for me and for all the times he’s said, “I’m doing this for you, baby.  Pick what you like.”  I’m overwhelmed by my emotions, which is getting in the way of my professionalism.

Do I doubt my knowledge?  Not often.  Do I doubt my sense for color, texture, aesthetic?  Rarely.  These decisions usually come pretty easily when I’m advising someone else.  In my own house, though, I’m having a major dilemma.  I think my problem is that my personal tastes are too diverse; I don’t have any one favorite design style to base my decisions on.

 

Also, I’ve spent basically all of the past year in survival mode, trying to keep my act together enough to survive life with two infants and a preschooler.  Not complaining, just observing that I haven’t really done much in the way of decor or design in our house in a long time.  I’m out of practice here, folks, cut a girl some slack!

So, my solution to the fact that I can’t decide which style we should go with, and run with it is this: I’m making Ryan do it.

Yep, that’s the plan.

Here’s how it works: together, we selected a vanity that we really like that met all of our requirements (basically, the requirements were, the cabinet could be any wood finish except oak, and it had to be more than 30″ tall and had to fit in the same amount of space our old one took up.  Guys, I’m married to a man who’s 6’2″ tall.  I try to account for his height in all of our life decisions.)  After we selected the vanity, it narrowed our style options down somewhat.  I also decided to match the finish on the vanity hardware (brushed nickel) to the new faucets for the sink, tub, and shower.  Once we decided on the brushed nickel, I narrowed down the selections to a couple I liked.  Then, I made Ryan make the final decision.

I’m dusting off my hands as we speak.  It’s hard work making someone else do all the work.  Seriously.

I’m looking forward to sharing more with you as things progress.  I probably won’t have as much luck delegating writing assignments. Unless I can’t decide what to write.

xoxo,

~d

 

 

 

 

A Letter to Our Twins on Your First Birthday

My Sweet Baby Boys,

One year ago today, I became your mom.  Well, I was really your mom before that, but our formal introduction happened at 7:45 and 7:47 am respectively on this day one year ago.  Seeing your sweet faces, hearing your two very distinctive cries, kissing your soft, chubby cheeks, and holding your tiny little bodies against mine for the first time was a gift unparalleled.

I’ve learned a lot this year, guys.  I’ve learned a lot about myself, I’ve learned that the patience I’ve spent so many years priding myself on actually does have limits, and I’ve reached those limits with both of you and with Big Brother more times than I’d care to admit.  I’ve learned to ask for help, to delegate, to let Daddy lend a hand more often than I ever have before.  I’ve learned to let go of some control, to reevaluate my priorities and my standards.  I’ve learned that these years go by more than twice as quickly when my love and attention are going in more directions than they ever have before.  I’ve learned that I can love you three boys, your daddy, and Clohe more intensely than I could have ever fathomed.  And I’ve learned that just because the two of you share a birthday, just because you look a lot alike, doesn’t mean you’re expected to be the same.

It’s been so much fun for Daddy and me to watch you grow, learn, and explore next to one another.  It’s been fun to see you each develop your own personalities, your own selves, side-by-side.  I could spend all day watching you guys interact with one another and with Big Brother.  I love watching you amuse one another, talk to one another, comfort one another, and- occasionally- antagonize one another.

Twin A: my sweet, loving little Mama’s Boy (please, baby, don’t be offended by the term.  You just love to be near me, and I love the bond we share.  And I have to admit, I’m still gloating over your first word being “Mama,”  One out of three ain’t bad).  A pound larger than your brother at birth, you’re now more than four pounds ahead.  You love the color blue, you love Clohe, and you love to explore.  You, my boy, have no fear.  Of anything.  Which, if we’re being honest, scares the daylights out of me.  I’ve joked that you’ve added more grey hairs to my head in the past year than I’ve accumulated in all the time leading up to your arrival.  You can be moody and temperamental, and you demand to be heard.  You also laugh with your whole being, which is such a sight to behold.  Seeing you throw your head back and chuckle down to your toes can make the worst day into the best.  And when you wrap your arms around my neck, pulling me close for a hug?  Well, there’s nothing in this world I’d sacrifice for that feeling.

And Twin B: you, my boy, are your Mama’s Boy in a different way.  I see myself in you in so many ways, little one, in ways I’ve never felt with your brothers.  You are so fiercely independent like me.  Small in stature, you’re tougher than you look, and you’ve shown us you can take care of yourself pretty well despite your size.  (But I’m still gonna call you Squirt).  You’re the baby of the family, and you know it.  Your eyelash-batting skills are second to none, and your grin could melt the absolute coldest of hearts.  Your laugh is magical.  You love to sit and observe…or play in the dog dishes…and your appetite makes me nervous for what we’re in for in the years to come.  Your first word was “dada,” which you uttered before your brother said his first.  You had the first tooth, you sat upright first.

Being your mom is an incredible gift, and your love and smiles have filled every day of the past year with a lifetime’s worth of joy.  And I get to go to bed tonight knowing we can do it all over again tomorrow.

I love you more,

Mom

PS- I promise, I’m done with the Thing One and Thing Two theme now. But seriously, I had to do it

My baby: not a baby anymore

He’s three and a half now. His head reaches my elbow, he can see and reach nearly everything on the kitchen counters. He no longer needs a stool to use the bathroom, wash his hands, or brush his teeth. His short, chubby legs are now long and lean.  Toddling has evolved to running. His movements are swift and sure; he doesn’t need me to watch over his every move anymore, to make sure he doesn’t fall. His favorite phrase is, “I can do it all by myself!”

Every day my baby boy- no longer a baby- grows by another leap or bound, grows more separate from me. At the beginning of the preschool year, he would cry when I would drop him off, his teachers lifting his sobbing little body from my car as I tried to hide my tears and reluctance at leaving him. Yes, he was ready.  I was sure of that.  He just needed to adapt. Then, this morning at drop-off, I realized that with the passing of crying when he leaves the comfort of our car to go to his teachers and friends, he has also quit kissing and hugging me goodbye.  In the blink of an eye, without me really noticing it, he’s growing up.

It’s Thursday. It’s my TGIT TV night. My, quick dinner, dishes done fast, kids to bed early and maybe pour a glass of wine because Grey’s is on night. (PS, if anyone from the ABC network is reading this, 8PM is far too early for good TV.)

I was bitter. Because, despite his brothers being asleep, and despite pj’s on, teeth brushed, and little man into bed by 7:30, at 9:30 he was still not asleep. Not only had I missed my favorite show, but now I had missed half of my second favorite show (Scandal). 

Then, the little guy crawled out of bed and into my lap.   He held my hand, his fingers laced with mine, and said “Mommy, can you tell me ‘goodnight baby’?”  I was all too happy to oblige. He lay his head on my shoulder and let me rock him gently on the floor as I tried to make sense of how the baby who had once been small enough to cradle in my arms is now half my size. It’s not possible. It doesn’t make sense. And yet, we knew when we became parents that it would go too quickly. So when he presented me with an opportunity to hold and rock him to sleep, I really did hate myself for a moment for thinking that my priority had been a tv show. I hated myself for rushing him to go to sleep so I could have “me time.”  I can watch tv anytime. My babies will only be babies once. 

He’s making us so proud. His empathy, compassion, and thoughtfulness are his most acknowledged attributes. His observations of life and his attention to details are astounding. His memory confounds us. He’s caring and affectionate, my biggest helper in taking care of the dog and his brothers. He’s teaching Clohe to sit, shake, and take treats from him. He’s trying to show his brothers how to use the potty like big boys. He’s Daddy’s little racing buddy and Mama’s sous chef. 

He’s our baby. And he’s not a baby anymore.  

Xoxox,

~d

We Now Return to your Regularly Scheduled Programming

It’s national chocolate cake day, y’all. 

Oh, how I wish every day was national chocolate cake day. On the other hand, we don’t really need national holidays for desserts in this house so maybe it’s a moot point. Regardless, it’s been quite some time since I posted about food here, so today seemed like a good excuse. 

As I posted last week, I’ve been moody lately (that’s an understatement.  Ask the guys I live with), and is there anything I the world dessert can’t fix?  (Actually…yes, but dessert is a good place to drown your sorrows. So we may be doing a bit of that here too). I invite you to join us. 

Friends, I’ve been having a major sweet tooth attack lately. We (ok, fine. I have) been through a LOT of sweets this month, starting with our New Year’s Eve party. I’ll post about that sometime, because I’ve found some really good recipes (according to my critics, at least), and I’d love to share them with you. Tonight, though, I will just share the desserts, because they fit with our theme here.  

Have you guys tried flourless chocolate cake?  We hadn’t, till Ryan’s office Christmas party a few years ago at one of our favorite places downtown. It was love at first bite. If you haven’t yet, I strongly encourage you to try it. And I so badly wanted to create one in my own kitchen, but the idea made me very nervous. So, I added it to our menu for this New Year’s Eve. Then, I enlisted my cousin the pastry chef to make it for me. Next time, perhaps I’ll try my hand.  You can try this recipe…or you can just do what I did and find a relative who’s professionally trained to bake. (*note: we used pomegranate plum juice rather than straight pomegranate, with a very good result. I would think pomegranate raspberry or some other combination would also work just fine.). Also, if you have a scoop of vanilla ice cream to serve on the side, do it. Trust me, you’ll need it. 

I also found a new cheesecake recipe to try: Coffee toffee cheesecake. It was fantastically rich and decadent and amazing, though the coffee flavor wasn’t as obvious as I had hoped for (and it wasn’t just my desensitized palate for caffeine. A friend of mine who hates coffee couldn’t detect it either). I might go full-on espresso next time, or maybe just add more instant coffee granules than the recipe recommends. Or I’ll have my chef do it. 

So, those were our New Year’s desserts. We’ve had some cookies around here since then, but I was still unsatisfied. Until today. Today, my friends, I have struck dessert gold again, and can say that I am no longer scrounging for something to satisfy my need for sweet and rich. 

I started this morning by whipping up a batch of red velvet swirl brownies. It’s where I got my fortitude for the day. While not technically chocolate cake, it was close enough…or, it at least kept me from eating all the batter for the molten peppermint chocolate cakes. Because that, my friends, was dessert. 

Happy national chocolate cake day. I urge you to celebrate with me. Because chocolate cake is the perfect compliment to a glass of red wine. Just sayin’

Cheers!

Xoxo,

~d

A Word from the Girl on the Soapbox

(I wrote the following last night, following what may have been one of the best Saturdays I’ve had in recent history. Or maybe it just felt that way because I dragged myself out of the funk I spent a few days in early in the week.  I’m good now, though. Promise.)

For just a minute, guys, I’mma get up on my soapbox and preach. I try to not overdo it (on the other hand, the subheading on this blog once forewarned of unsolicited advice, so you’re kind of here at your own risk, don’t ya think?)

Anyway, I have something to say. And because I’ve seen about four different versions of this same advice in different places over the course of the last week or so, I feel like it’s not a terrible idea to say this one more time: you guys, can we promise to all take care of ourselves over the course of the coming year?  I’m giving us all a clean slate, and begging that we all go into this together, remembering (and occasionally reminding one another) to put ourselves first every once in awhile, in whatever way that means the most to us. 

It’s midnight and I’m writing. I just finished baking a batch of cookies. This week was hard, and now I’m recharging in a way that is most restorative to me. I helped a friend with a design solution today, digging out the sketch pad and markers for the first time in too long. In the midst of the beautiful chaos of our home and our three amazing boys, it’s sometimes easy to forget who I am aside from my role as Mommy.  And…here’s the part I want you to really listen to…as much as I love my family- as much as I would absolutely, 100%, without question sacrifice anything in the world for any of them- I’m finding that I have to give myself a break sometimes.  Because I know that sometimes we tend to give and give and give, long past the point where there’s nothing left to give. And then we give some more.  Because, (and this is probably one of my biggest character flaws) I feel guilty if I’m not giving all the time. I feel guilty for taking care of me. I haven’t figured out yet how to assure myself that taking care of myself is necessary for taking care of my family.  And, I’m pretty sure this doesn’t just happen to me: just about the time I’m ready to break down and ask for help, something happens that makes me feel selfish for thinking of myself, when my family needs me, and I (give myself) no choice but to swallow my request for help and march on. It might catch up with me someday if I don’t make a change. 

It’s kind of amazing: 10 minutes to go pick up takeout for dinner (because my husband usually knows before I do that I’m wearing too thin), or a 20 minute trip to the store on my own, when I can grab a shopping basket (rather than a cart for two infant seats and four items) and hum along with the PA system music, brings me home in a completely different frame of mind.  Don’t get me wrong- I love taking my boys out with me!  I take great pride when strangers stop me to compliment me on how cute they all are, or how well behaved they are being. I appreciate the offers of help and the compliments on how well I juggle two infant carriers and a preschooler; I really do. But sometimes a trip on my own is both quicker and more fulfilling. And as much as it pains me to admit this, I’m pretty sure it’s a universal truth: I’m a better mom and a better wife when I get away for a few minutes.  By my own admission, I fall short in asking for the opportunity to do that- and I’m positive I’m not the only one. 

This is my plea to you, friends. Let’s take care of ourselves in 2016. We deserve it. 

Xoxo, 

~d

Blessings

By far, the most comment I receive when I’m out and about with my boys is, “you’ve got your hands full!”  I saw an image of Facebook with the quote, “if you think my hands are full, you should see my heart!”  That is what I’d like to say. 

Instead, I usually reply with a smile, and try to enforce how I wouldn’t change a thing. Our life is loud and crazy and hectic, and I love every moment of it…even when it doesn’t appear that I do. My sons hearing strangers calling them a handful, no matter how well-meaning, isn’t something I want them dwelling on. 

This holiday season, I’ve been very reflective of our life and our blessings. One child was a dream we just barely dared to dream; three is enough to make our hearts burst. We made it through 37 1/2 weeks of a twin pregnancy with no complications. We brought our boys home from the hospital the same day I was released. And our big guy is the best big brother we could hope for. 

I know many parents aren’t as fortunate as we are, and face unimaginable heartbreak in losing a child, or facing a horrible illness, or endure any number of horrible circumstances. My heart breaks for those who can’t hold and see and touch their babies.

We just made it through our first Christmas as a family of five, (a four-day extravaganza of food, family, love, travel, and giving), and as we travel home in perfect silence, with all three boys and the dog sound asleep, I keep looking to the back seat. I can’t believe how full our car is now, compared to last year. Full of love, full of family, full of blessings. 
Friends, we hope your Christmas season has found you and yours surrounded by love and family and hope for the coming year. 

Xoxo, 

~d