31 Dec
2013
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Do Over

Hot air balloon during a Wyoming winter

Today is a do over.

Yesterday was not one of my best performances as a mother, also not my worst. By the afternoon, I was ready for the day to be over. Everyone was ready for a do over.

Nothing horrible happened. I was tired. All four kids had forgotten how to listen or respect each other. I was sarcastic (more than normal) and short-tempered. The kids were breaking the simplest of rules. They were picking at each other. I was yelling. It all resulted in them doing forced labor as penance while I fumed. Not a good day.

Today is different. We’ll end 2013 on a good note. Everyone is trying a little harder today to play nice and take a breath before saying something they’ll regret (that one is for me). I’ve apologized for my reaction to their humanness. That’s all it was. Five people all having a bad day at the same time. It was the perfect storm.

I’m thankful I have the chance to shake off the yucky feeling a lackluster performance leaves in its wake and do it over better today.


 
Resolutions 2014
By     |    Dec 30, 2013
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Resolutions 2014

My resolutions are simple and complex at the same time. Be still. Be enough. The definition of resolution that resounds with me is the “firm or unwavering adherence to one’s purpose.” With each passing year, I feel my purpose becoming clearer. I know more precisely what brings me joy, what feeds my soul and what to avoid. This year will be about taking clear steps which align with my purpose. Most of my resolutions are about ever-striving, ever-learning to be... [Read More]

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New Year’s Eve Plans
By     |    Dec 29, 2013
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New Year’s Eve Plans

Our New Year’s Eve plans consist of staying at home and celebrating with four very cute children. It’s been years, over a decade, since we’ve gone out and celebrated with just adults. I don’t miss that kind of celebration. We’ve had a few years where we invited families over to celebrate with us. I wish I would have been more on top of it and invited people over to ring in 2014. I actually enjoy mass chaos. Those moments of... [Read More]

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Day After Christmas
By     |    Dec 26, 2013
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Day After Christmas

I feel bad for the day after Christmas. It just seems so ordinary. Yesterday was spent in the bliss of my family spending the entire day at home. We ate our Christmas feast when we felt like it. There was no hurry to prepare waiting for relatives to appear. It was just us. It’s a blessing to have the ones I love most all to myself, but I always end the day melancholy that the house wasn’t more full of... [Read More]

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5 Things I Don’t Worry About (Anymore)
By     |    Dec 23, 2013
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5 Things I Don’t Worry About (Anymore)

When our youngest was born four years ago, I felt like I was treading water and never getting anywhere. My to-do list encompassed far too much and little things in the house drove me nuts. Now there are things I don’t worry about anymore that I used to try and control. These are my top five tasks I used to waste my time and energy dealing with or worrying about when really they don’t have anything to do with me.... [Read More]

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Christmas Lights Tour
By     |    Dec 21, 2013
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Christmas Lights Tour

Driving around town looking at houses adorned with Christmas lights and blowup decorations is one of our favorite seasonal family activities. We count nativity scenes and vote on which home is our favorite. The excitement is palpable leading up to loading up the car and heading out. Tonight we ate dinner, the kiddos took baths and put on pajamas. We made hot chocolate in to-go cups and loaded up the vehicle. Before I even got into the garage, our 4-year-old... [Read More]

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Hot Chocolate on a Stick
By     |    Dec 19, 2013
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Hot Chocolate on a Stick

The idea and recipes behind hot chocolate on a stick are not mine. I came upon them and had to make them for someone. The someone turned out to be by husband’s co-workers. Making homemade marshmallows made me feel quite domestic. It also cost me my KitchenAid hand mixer. The recipe calls for using a stand mixer. Trust me, use the stand mixer. It’ll save you smoke billowing from your hand mixer. The treat is a truffle-like rich chocolate cube... [Read More]

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Allowing Independence
By     |    Dec 18, 2013
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Allowing Independence

A conversation in the women’s locker room at our local rec center  yesterday keeps replaying in my head. I wish I could be back there and talk about allowing independence in our children with the other mother who decided to engage me. In hindsight, I know what I want my retort to be. I want to sit down with her and really talk about parenting, mothering, what it all means. I want her to take a step back from her... [Read More]

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Toffee Goodness — Cracker Roca
By     |    Dec 17, 2013
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Toffee Goodness — Cracker Roca

There are a handful of items I bake every December without fail. Cracker Roca is one of them. It’s one of the simplest dessert recipes I make. In fact, my 11-year-old son made this year’s batch tonight. My sister gave me this recipe 12 years ago, but there’s a lot of versions out there. I haven’t a clue where it originated from. The butter and brown sugar combined with a hint of salt and crunchy texture make these addicting to... [Read More]

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The BEST Sugar Cookies
By     |    Dec 16, 2013
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The BEST Sugar Cookies

I know you’ve heard it before, but I’m serious. These are the BEST sugar cookies. I don’t even look at sugar cookie recipes anymore. This one has yet to be topped.  My husband brought the recipe into the marriage. It originated from a teacher when he was growing up. In his opinion, a life-changing event when he was brave enough to ask for the recipe and she actually gave it to him. It’s our family’s favorite cookie. The secret is... [Read More]

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Snowflakes and the Felt Tree
By     |    Dec 13, 2013
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Snowflakes and the Felt Tree

Today marks the 12th day before Christmas, which in my family means we start an activity countdown. Each day until Christmas there’s a new activity for us to do as a family. Day 12 had us making paper snowflakes. The repetitive nature of making paper snowflakes is calming for me. I have a hard time getting the children to stop. There’s a lot of repeating “just one more.” We added ballerina snowflakes to the mix this year. Our little ballerina... [Read More]

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Spreading Christmas Cheer
By     |    Dec 12, 2013
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Spreading Christmas Cheer

My three boys are part of their school’s student council. For the second year, the council chose to spread Christmas cheer by decorating doors at a nearby assisted living center. Last week, the students were placed in groups and given free-reign to design Christmas-themed doors. The two council sponsors approved all designs, and today those designs became reality. There was a reindeer holding sheet music and singing, a gingerbread man standing on gumdrops, a snowman, Santa Claus holding cookies wearing... [Read More]

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