i am an emotional mess...

can i take a break from addressing christmas cards?  why don't they address themselves, dang it!?!

anyway... i have been emotional lately.  my sweet little guy turns 5 on monday.  5.  
5 is old.  5 is a big birthday.  time is going so quickly.
to say i have been emotional about it all is the understatement of the season.  add that to the fact that it could be our last christmas season in fort worth. 
and then the tragic events of the day in connecticut.  so senseless and scary.  horrifying.  sickening.  
anyway, i am a complete basket case about ethan growing up {which, of course, is what i want.   i want my son to grow up!  i am happy he is here with me.  its just happening so fast.}
so, we went to church last weekend, just me and the kids, and since that was the case savannah had the pleasure of going to her sunday school class because i didn't feel up to the whole outnumbered-in-church scenario, where little people want to talk during quiet moments.  and it was full orchestra sunday, with special music from the choir and the youth and children's choir.  it was a full house.  

and can i take a minute to tell you i really love our church??  i love it.  my babies were baptized there.  the building is beautiful.  the music, always fantastic.  it is traditional methodist, with all the hymns and the prayers and the liturgy that i learned from years of going to church.  there are no big screens. or jazzy bands.  it isn't trendy.  and the sermons are fantastic.  applicable.  poignant.  

and i love christmas time at our church.  it is moving. 

anyway, ethan and i walked in, and squeezed into a pew close to the front.  the lady next to us (that i did not know) didn't scoot over quite enough, so i felt like we were now a trio sitting there.  and then they started in with the first noel.  
and i started crying.  i. could. not. stop.  it was just so beautiful.  and the children were singing.  and the orchestra.  but lets just hope the cameras didn't capture me crying.
and the snot coming out of my nose.

and the lady sitting too close to us for me to grab a bib or a diaper to wipe my face since of course i had no tissue.  thank god that lady next to me saw my despair and gave me a tissue. 
can i tell you it took me 40 minutes to regain composure from that first verse of the first hymn?  
i am a mess, folks.

in other news, ethan is now a yellow stripe belt in tae kwon do.


here he is with his teacher and his buddy pierson after his belt test last week.  tae kwon do is awesome.  pierson's mom is awesome.  and that's another whole post for a different day :)

have a happy weekend.  i will be avoiding sad movies and the like.  i am emotional enough as it is... :)

and now... back to the cards.  and i should probably cook dinner, too.   eeek.

xoxo, s



thursday stuff

hi friends!  thank you SO much for your overwhelming supportive response to my home schooling adventure.  wow.  i felt so blessed by your vote of confidence! 

we are headed out on a thursday adventure, {pictures to come next week!} and i have been busy sewing...


but in the meantime, go check out my guest post today on north hills hospital's blog.  it's about finding balance... hahahaha.   balance?  what's that???  :)

xoxo, s


home. school. holy crap.



happy tuesday, friends.  we woke up to a cool overcast morning... and i do believe it is giving way to savannah taking a nap.

thank the lord.

she's quite the rascal these days.  so much so, that i don't even want to get into it.  naughty in such a selfish and intentional way... like, pulling up a stool to the counter and grabbing a fist full of pumpkin pie.  taking cups of bath water and pouring them on the floor.  throwing the most dramatic fits.

deep breaths.

anyway.  the crazy, but adorable child, is nestled into her crib.  and boy wonder is behind me watching star wars... laying on the couch, twisting his hair like he's done most of his life when he is sleepy.  he needs a nap still, but just can't seem to sit still enough to fall asleep.  so sometimes, i cheat and let him watch a movie.

and i am on cup 3 of coffee.  and have eaten 2 chicken salad sandwiches.  they were small, and i didn't eat breakfast... does that make a double helping lunch sound better?

anyway, this isn't a catch-up post.  although, i certainly could use another few.  it is an announcement post.  i might as well make it blog official.

next year, for kindergarten, i will be homeschooling ethan.

let me start off by saying, that if you had told me i would type that sentence even six months ago, i would have said, "no freaking way"

and if you had asked me six years ago?  i can tell you, with absolute honesty, this was not my plan.  i can also tell you, though rather bold to assume that i understood correctly, i felt god whisper it in my ear.

i am serious.  audibly.  a whisper.

i felt like jonah being asked to go to ninevah.   seriously.  i cried about it.  i said i wouldn't do it.

in case you are new around here, we are moving to the san diego/la jolla area this summer.  for just a year.  and then, as of now at least, we don't know where we will be headed after that.  that really stresses me out sometimes.  and let's also mention the fact that around these parts, "what are y'all doing for kindergarten?" is a perfectly normal conversation starter.  there are a lot of good options here, and a lot of strong opinions.  but it is also a bit like religion and politics... slightly taboo...  if you know what i am talking about... then you understand.  and if you don't, well, there is nothing i can do to paint it clearly.  i am certain that i had no clue as a young mom of an infant who went to a mid-sized public school in east texas, where {almost} everyone went to a public school.  i heard people talk about kindergarten... but i didn't quite get it until last year.

so this whole what-are-you-doing-for-kindergarten phenomenon?  yah... i had no clue.  and you know, i am sure there are some people who don't think it matters.  i have heard a lot of "it's just kindergarten" as well.

remember, i said slightly taboo?

anyway... i care.  a lot.  and i was not happy about the options in la jolla.  private school is simply not going to happen.  our money tree is not in bloom.  and if it were, it would be going toward housing in california.  {which is its own kind of horrid mess.  i knew it was expensive.  but what you get for so much money is so very, very ugly.   really.  and i don't care, i really don't.  i can live in ugly.  it is only a season.  however... you would think that for a small fortune, you could have a slight step-up in design? no.  not at all.}

so i fought god's whisper for months.  i had a mouth full of stress induced ulcers.  i had calls to all the public schools.  i scoured the message boards.  i tried to come up with a plan.

my plan was to send him to one of the public schools in la jolla.  then spend time after school with him to keep our options open to going to private school for first grade.  i figured he would need enrichment reading etc.  i didn't want him to be behind or have any options limited.  though, i knew in my heart, that it would be tricky.  how do you get a kiddo that has been in school all day to focus on hard lessons at home??  how do we enjoy everything the area has to offer on the weekends only?  how much time will i waste everyday dropping off and picking up... the daily grind that doesn't produce anything productive.  all this for a school that i probably won't love like someone who is committed to the area. 

god continued to work on my heart.  i got a text message from a dear friend who was vacationing with her family in san diego     


and then, shaking my head, saying no way, no homeschool.  i googled on my ipad:  home school san diego.

and then i found it... an option i hadn't thought of.  an option that sounded do-able.  a hybrid charter school.  a hybrid charter school where he could go twice a week, and then have school work with me. the other days.  we could do things together.  educational things.  enjoyable things.  it would be harder on me.  but at the same time easier on me.  it would be overwhelming but wonderful.

and then i found a preschool for savannah that is exactly what i needed.

it is such a peaceful feeling; i know what we are doing for kindergarten.

there were nudges all along the way... i would realize one of my favorite bloggers homeschools her kids.  the first person i called to verbally vomit all my kindergarten confusion to:  i had no clue, but she had been homeschooled.  i could go on, and on.

so, this isn't a declaration that i am homeschooling forever.  just next year.

so... more to come on my adventure.  although, i am not sure if you are even all that interested in the nitty gritty of it all.  but i am excited.  and humbled.  and a bit overwhelmed.

but i know it is the best possible choice for us.

so please spare me any comments about people you know who have been screwed up for life because they were homeschooled.  but other than that, i am welcome to your comments.

and you can go ahead and use this to further label me as crunchy.  extended breastfeeding.  homeopathic remedies.  cloth diapers.  and now homeschool.  and i wear chacos.  and my toenails are not painted right now.  {gasp!!!}


and because i haven't posted any halloween photos of my children, and it is christmas time... this is as good a place as any to include some belated costume pictures.  :)  ethan was captain america and savannah was cinderella.  and i have zero influence to what they will be for halloween now.  they are so grown up these days.

xoxo, s




the state fair. a month late.

i have some sweet and encouraging friends... thanks for letting me know that you've missed me on here.

we are here.


intentionally living.

thursdays are my "free" day... with no school and no activities... i try to make those fun.

one of those thursdays we drove over to dallas to the state fair.  {the day before big tex burned}


do you like the old ladies that are in our photo?  because i don't.  i asked them if they would move so we could take a quick photo and they said no!!  they said it was "senior day" at the fair and i needed to be respectful!

old geezers.

anyway... in attempt to catch things up on our family blog... i need to do some photo dumps... this will be the first installment...  enjoy.  highlights from the fair for the kids included big tex, the ride on the farris wheel, greasy junk food, and the car show souvenir table.

afterwards, i truly could not move.  exhausting fun.


he was doing this fake barfing thing in all our big tex photos.  boys.









my little piggy :)




you should have seen him go to the cow and get it ready to be milked.  he knew what to do and didn't mess around.  hilarious!  past life farmer??



i have about 17 pictures of them laughing like this.  i should have taken video.  they were precious.


isn't he cute?  i have a thing for all camelids... alpacas... llamas... and camels... be still my heart.

and more catch up to come...

thanks for hanging in there with me.  xoxo, s


hard stuff


i wasted a lot of energy yesterday on things that were not worthy of my focus.  things that have no eternal value.  things i can't change.  like the petty, shallow nature of other ladies.

you know, the same topic that has stolen joy from me for years now... through middle school and far, far beyond.  this stuff does not go away.  the bodies of the people get older, but the same immature and ugly behavior is there.

and at some point, i bet i have unintentionally been on the ugly side of things, too.  i am sure that i can't be blameless in what seems to be a universal issue:  bitchy women.

but i got to thinking about the bigger picture.  how i want my daughter to be unaffected by it.  and, well, that's where the convicting thoughts came:  how on earth will my daughter be unfazed by the rude and shallow behavior of other girls, if i am not?  

it is like demanding my children to eat healthy foods, yet only eating junk myself.  children are smart.  they won't fall for hypocrisy.

it's a practice-what-you-preach sort of issue.  and i need to work on mine.  which includes removing the bitterness from my heart when i am around those women.  choosing christ's love for them, since i have none of my own to give.

xoxo, s    


full heart


this past thursday we went to the arboretum for the second week in a row.  i'll include pictures from both times... it is an easy drive... i would like to go back a few more times with the kids while it is still fall and all the pumpkins are there.  i feel like i am so late to the party, but wow.  we should have been doing this all along.

between visit 1 and 2 we talked a lot about chihuly and his sculpture {it is on display until early november.}  we watched youtube videos.  and this next week we will paint inspired designs.  so enjoy a few of the photos, all jumbled and out of order.  and the post that has nothing to do with them.  :)



friday i was at an estate sale, where i happened to score $16 worth of treasure:  a vintage children's cookbook, a bag of polished rocks, a lovely embroidered tea towel, and the entire bbc planet earth series, still in shrinkwrap.  it was a total score.  especially since it isn't the season for me to score big things.  like furniture.  :(

IMG_1389 - Version 2

but while i was there, a woman working the sale commented on the kind of customers attend their sale, and to illustrate her point that the customer based was varied, she said that there were people that could come on friday morning who didn't work.

now, i don't want to ignite a battle of working mom's verses stay at home mom's... but i did look at the lady and very pointedly told her that my children were in preschool, and that they are indeed a full time job.

to which she basically said that was bologna.

and i bit my tongue, as not to cuss.

you see, the two mornings a week where both my nuggets are in school for three hours work out to a total of 5 hours of time for me.  a week.  {i subtract out the 15 minute drop off and pick up circus} two and one half precious hours twice a week.  where i am sure my children are safe, cared for, attended to, and their minds stimulated.


parenting is a full time job, working or staying at home.  but the working mother must hire someone, or ensure that there is a caretaker.   my role is one that can not go unfilled.

it is my pleasure.  it is my sacrifice.  it is my god's loving way of teaching me my sinful, selfish ways.

there are very fun days.  there are very hard days.


but i wanted to tell that unfortunate woman who works for the estate sale company, it is quite a busy, full time job.  especially if you are engaged in the needs of your children.  quite simply put, my children need me.  they need me now more than ever, it seems.

they want me fully.  play with me.  PLAY with me.  dance, mommy.  why don't we see the sun at night?  what does that sign say?  i see an 'S'!  why does the man next door have so many cats?  why do the cats use the bathroom in our yard?  can i have another fire truck for my birthday?  i took my shoes off!!  put my jacket on please.  i want more MILK, please!

you get the point.

but do you know how full it makes me feel?  how wonderful it is to fully engage with them?  how madly and deeply i love them and how remarkable it is to play their annoying music in the car and listen to them enjoy singing those songs?

and when savannah naps and i pull myself away from trying to clean the very messy home we live in, and i spend that time with ethan... reading to him.  having him read to me.

they are full, FULL moments.  



however, i need to find a way to come here more.  to my little place on the internet that clears my head.  but i feel pulled.  needed.

and if it isn't the kids, it is the house.  or a dozen other things on my list.

or i am brain dead and can't make heads or tails of my thoughts. 

and sometimes when i get here, i do get a little bit of stage fright.  do i share?  will i be judged?  do i sound spoiled complaining about xyz?  there are people who would love to have the privilege to complain about xyz.

and then i think, screw it.  i will write what i want, and people can chose to read.  but by then... i am tired, and my groove is gone.


so... friends.  i leave you with this one thing.  something that i have heard, but i am watching unfold before my eyes.  the older they get, the more your kids need you.  total truth.  i thought, how on earth??  but i am finding, if i want to grow them well, they need me now more than ever.

xoxo, s 


september begins


yesterday i took both the kids to church.  by myself.  with the intention to have both of them sit through the whole service with me, because i don't believe in shipping them off to the nursery or sunday school, or what have you after the children's moment. 

they need to learn how to manage their boredom.  to sit still.  to not talk.  lord, please have mercy, teach them not to talk in church.

ethan knows.  savannah... well...

let's just say that we made it.  i did have to get up during the sermon.  she screamed, "DON'T TAKE ME OUT" all the way up the aisle.

ethan sat with the nice college girls behind us until i could discipline savannah and get back.

it can only get better.  i hope.  it was savannah's first time since she was an infant to sit with me.  she has to learn at some point, right??  and i would rather my kids be 2 when they learn than when they are 7.  because how annoying is it when a big kid doesn't know how to manage boredom?  although, i am halfway convinced it is only me and old people who are annoyed by this.

it is okay for kids to be bored.  i will step off my parenting soapbox now.   

i will add that god did give me the small miracle of preventing her from asking to nurse.  that would have gone over quite poorly with our extremely traditional congregation.

thank's again, god.  seriously.  i would have died.  she did make a loud comment, "is it over, now?"  niiice.  and since our church films the service i made sure to let my mom know she could fire up the internet and hear her little voice.

all in all, the service was beautiful.  and refreshing.

and we had an awesome weekend.  and really, last week was pretty great too. {minus one day where the kids were angry zombies}  and i have high hopes for this week as well.  it is our first full week of school and activities.  i have really, really, been craving fall.   and a real routine.

and cooler weather.

all of which we are getting right now.

now i have the daunting task of catching up the ol' blog.

unless you follow me on instagram.  and then you know all the little stuff.

but let's get a few things out of the way, why don't we?

first day of school:  {do you know how much i wish that i had a professional photographer following me around all day?  all these "back to school" photos are not pretty.  sigh}



and then ethan went to school on friday,  thanks to the "split days" so the class can meet at first in a smaller setting.  ethan and i had wednesday morning to ourselves... it was our "date."  melt my heart.  we went to the botanical gardens and chick-fil-a.  :)



please, take note of the killer backpack.  it's just so... grown up.  and plasticy.  why can't he do the monogrammed thing forever??

more soon --
xoxo, s


pictures of august


it's been awhile.  maybe the longest span ever of non-blogging.  and i really hate that, because the little things are lost.  things like savannah's commentary on traffic lights {mommy, the light was red but now its black!!!!} or documenting ethan's newest obsessions {currently his new transformer, starscream and his lego house he built with my dad}



but seriously.  it is august.  my husband is on a very intense rotation, so when he comes home he is tired.  not chatty.  my dear friend that keeps me sane and we talk everyday, she just moved.  so we haven't talked everyday because she is very busy with the hell that moving is.

and i can literally go a day or so, with no "real" adult conversation.  which really, doesn't seem so bad at the time.  ethan is very conversational.  savannah, too.  i feel like there is a lot of talking going on...

but little by little... i start to lose my mind.  and i am not kidding.


little things become big.  i lose perspective.  i have been out of the house without a child in the car three times now since the kids' summer fun school program ended in july.  3 short errands.

bananas, i tell you.


i wanted to do an entire post on how i miraculously saved a smocked dress from savannah's non-washable expo marker graffiti.  it took internet research, an hour and a half, and elbow grease.  i was a stain fighting ninja. 

that is not worth a blog post.  i even took pictures.  do you see how i might be losing it??


i also have thought about blogging about the stress it is to drive to different grocery stores to get the things that i like {TJ's has the best salad dressing.  i like sprouts' almond butter.  blueberries from costco.  organic strawberries from tom thumb.  a different salad dressing and tortillas from CM.  milk from braum's.}  again.  this is me being neurotic.  not a blog post.

and august paleo?  big fat fail.  as in, i didn't even try.  ahhh.... there is always september...

i can't wait for the school year to start in september.  i really crave the schedule, whether i want to or not.  i need it.  i need it to be cooler.  a little house and triple digit temps... not good.  and i need the precious little break i get with them in the care of someone else.  i need them to be disciplined by someone else, so that they see i am not the only one demanding good manners.  i need them to miss me.


we have had a great summer.  we have played, and swam, and seen friends.  we have enjoyed nature, visited my family, and made new friends.

ethan went from knowing the alphabet, to knowing how to read quite well.  nothing beats witnessing your child unlocking the knowledge of reading.  nothing.


savannah plays pretend and plays well with ethan and ethan's friends... she is transitioning out of parallel play.

she also managed to get all of her molars in... so we are free and clear of the dreaded teething.

it has been a rich and full summer where i have loved on my children.  where they can play with each other in their pajamas in the mornings and love on each other.  and fight with each other, too... :)  



but i am craving fall, because i need the schedule.  somehow, the summer can leave me lonely, and i really don't think that it is very accurate, because i have had lots of fun play dates for the kids... but it's like i can't shake those middle school year summers.  those were lonely summers for me and i don't like it when that 11 year old girl resurfaces in me.  the truth is, i have these two, so i am never lonely.  and i have sweet friends.  and what more do i really need?


i have two more weeks of summer... here's to making it count.  we went to the zoo yesterday.  a play date today... the weather has been cooler, so i am making full use of outdoor activities. 

xoxo, s

p.s.  these photos... about half were pulled off instagram... sorry they are so grainy on the blog.  one day i will have more megapixels in my cell phone :)
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