Thursday, October 20, 2011

The House After A Little (Okay A Lot) of Elbow Grease

House Before and During Pics

Every room was a different color!

Mice had eaten through the bottom of these cabinets!
Non-working Toilet
The gutted kitchen

Some extra help - scrapping off the popcorn ceiling
The start of the bathroom renovation

One room popcorn free
Master bath - with spray-painted shower tile!

At least we have a view

The hallway/closet of many colors (A.K.A. Joseph's Coat Closet)
Painted brick fireplace

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Terrible Mother

I’m a terrible mother.

She hadn’t had a nap, and I’d dragged her to another afternoon play rehearsal. She was cranky, tired, and just plain OVER IT! She fussed, she whined, she cried, she screamed. It wasn’t pretty. In fact – it was down right humiliating. The principal tried to cheer her up with his usually effective antics – the play director tried distracting her – we gave her a 30 gallon plastic tub of Legos to swim in. Nothing worked. She refused to be cajoled out of her tantrum.

I’m a terrible mother.

Earlier we had walked up and down the halls of the school finishing a few pre-rehearsal errands. Another teacher grabbed me to discuss some scheduling issues. As we stood there in deep conversation, I suddenly realized Juliette had disappeared. I called her name. She didn’t answer. I looked into a couple of the adjacent rooms. Nowhere. Suddenly she appeared from across the hall carrying a new found treasure – a bright blue plastic pail with the words “BARF BUCKET” boldly printed on the side.

I’m a terrible mother.

Later as the rehearsal was wrapping up, I took a few minutes to start cleaning out some of our activity storage space. Jewel had finally settled down, so I let her run around the cafeteria for a few minutes – anything to buy some peace. As I turned around to empty out a few bins, I didn’t notice that the drama club students had opened the outside doors. Two minutes later as I scanned the room, Juliette was nowhere to be found – again. But this time when I found her, she wasn’t carrying a puke receptacle; instead she was running down the school sidewalk, just feet away from oncoming traffic.

I’m a terrible mother.

It has taken quite a few days for the scene of imaginary tragedy to stop running through my head. Thank goodness my legs move faster than hers. Thank goodness she didn’t make the split second decision to bolt in front of the two cars. Thank Goodness for His guardian angels!

Yes, I definitely feel like a terrible mother!

Let’s face it, there are certainly times when we can (and probably should!) make better choices as mothers. There are times when we ask too much of ourselves or our children. There are times when we mess up – and it is ugly, gross, and terrifying.

When I think about the person I want to be, the mom I want to be, I’m realizing more and more that I just don’t measure up. I’m human. And as much as I’d love to be a perfect mom, with a perfect child, it just isn’t possible. Darn it!

But who I want to be is someone who is able to accept those human frailties in the light of God’s mercy. I want to be the type of person that doesn’t waste time beating myself up, but a person who can say, “Thank goodness God’s not finished with me yet.” I want to be able to say, “Well, I really botched that one – thank you Jesus for protecting my daughter today.” When all is said and done, I want Juliette to say, “My mother may not have been perfect, but she continually pointed me to the One Who Is.”

So yes, at times I am a terrible mother – but I am always a terribly undeserving mother who is covered by God’s beautiful, extravagant grace!  And for that truth I couldn't be any more grateful. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

No Fooling

Yesterday two of my dear friends and I snuck off for a Mom's Only Day of Skiing.  Yippee!  I wanted to make a special treat to share with my partners in crime fun.  But these ladies are also my exercising, healthy eating, wheatgrass juicing friends.

But I found this recipe - tweaked it a bit, and I have to say they are DELICIOUS.  I never thought that no eggs, no oil/butter, and no white sugar would be so tasty.  With no cholestoral and only about a 1/2 a gram of fat per cookie, they are pretty much a guilt-free, no-fooling, feel-good treat. 

So with out further ado, here is the recipe:

 Apricot Oatmeal Yummies

1 tsp. chia seeds (or 2 tsp. flax seeds) soaked in 2 Tbsps. water
1 cup. oats
1 cup. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup. raisins
1/2 cup fresh apricots, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup agave nectar syrup
1/2 banana mashed
1/2 tsp. lime juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix chia seeds with water and set aside.  Mix dry ingredients.  Mix wet ingredients and fruit.  Add chia/water mixture.  Combine wet and dry ingredients and spoon onto cookie sheet.  Cook 10 mins our until firm.  Makes 18.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hard To Be Blue Around Her

A few days ago, Juliette staggered into my bedroom in the dusky morning light, with droopy, barely open eyes, whining for "blue strawberries".  She curled up with me under the comforter and fell fast asleep again.  I wrote off her comment as sleepy jibber-jabber, and returned to dreaming myself.  In what seemed like a blink of an eye, but what was probably about 45 minutes later, she woke me again asking for "blue strawberries".  I rubbed my eyes and processed as fast as my pre-breakfast brain could.  Blue strawberries . . . blue strawberries . . . blue strawberries.  Aha!  Blue strawberries = blueberries.  Of course.  Breakfast is always better with some "blue strawberries"!  That girl sure has taste.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


  On the hour and half drive from Boston, we had quite a discussion on how to pronounce the name.

I made the bed and breakfast owner say it several times.

I'm still not sure I have it right.

But they served a yummy wild blueberry bandana, and Seth got his Maine lobster. 
I guess I'll just have to go back to Ogunquit again someday - a person's got to learn how to pronounce the places they've been. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Boston and My Beloved

Seth had a conference in Boston at the beginning of March, so we decided that I would go with him.  With his crazy work/school schedule we needed a little time away together.  Our in-laws were kind enough to agree to take Juliette for the week, so we took a few extra days to enjoy the town - and of course hang out with my sweet sister Courtney.  It was a real treat, because last time I had been there was to help her move.  Now that she has been at school there for a year and a half, she was able to show us around.  I even got to sit in on one of her classes.  It was fun to play college student again - at least until the professor gave out the assignments!

Seth surprised me, and bought us tickets to the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  The symphony hall was so beautiful - and the music was just as lovely!

The one thing Seth said he REALLY wanted to do while we were in Boston was visit MIT and Harvard.  Here is a picture of one of the Harvard dorms.  A little bit nicer than CSU.  Just a little bit.  Haha!

I did manage to coerce Seth into visiting a few historical sites that were not institutes of higher learning.

We had a great time - even though I had worried and worried about how Juliette would do with being apart for that long (and me too, for that matter!).  I even asked my friends to specifically pray for us. Well, Jewel didn't even blink an eye when we dropped her off with Grandpa and Grandma.  And whenever we'd call to check in, she'd talk for about all of thirty seconds and then merrifly head off to play.  The big hug I got on our return made me think that she might have missed me a little however. 

Of course when Grandpa and Grandma left she cried and cried, asking over and over to go "in grandpa's car".  Which just goes to show you should never waste time worrying - it doesn't help, and even if you do worry, it probably isn't even about the right things.