Friday, May 8, 2015

Thoughts for Mothers Day

I wrote a post a couple years about why I don't like mothers day, and I wondered at the time if I would ever reconsider liking mothers day, and the time has come that I think I do. You see, two years ago I was raising and trying to potty-train a very independent-minded 3-year-old, and it was harder than I ever thought it would be.

I probably had too high of expectations and was worn out and discouraged and my hormones weren't in order. There was that mood-altering, as-yet-unrecognized dairy sensitivity as well (that'll be a topic for another day). 3-year-olds do grow up a little though. They do get potty-trained and they do learn to amuse themselves. The potty-trained part is a huge relief, but I'm not beyond jumping at the sound of running water at inopportune moments in inappropriate locations.

Doubt and fear still sneaks in at times though, making me wonder if I'm good enough as a mom. There are days when I feel like I say, "No, not right now," too often to my girlie. Of course, those are the days when I tend to do what I shouldn't, and take a few moments to look at my "Mothering" pinterest board for an inspirational quote or something to help me feel better.

That is the wrong thing to do.
Don't go there when you're already feeling down on yourself.
It's just full of pictures of lovely mommas and babies, tender moments and kisses. That end up making you feel even sadder.

May 2013, during a rather picturesque mothering moment

The last time I did this, I told my husband that it wasn't encouraging at all and instead made me feel worse. That's when he told me,

"A picture is just a split-second image. It's only a moment. 
I could probably capture 100 of those moments during your day." 

April 2015

That was the best thing he could have told me.
Because that's what mothering is. Split seconds of everyday life 24/7.

We as mothers don't tend to see them, because it's just natural to kiss the top of that little one's head when he wakes up. Or hold hands as you walk to the mailbox. Or quick color the sky blue in a picture with your little girl before you wash the dishes. It's just the things mommas are supposed to do, and we do them quite well.

You can't compare your entire day, with one shutter snap of someone else's life.

But if you imagine a photographer spending the day with you, those are the exact moments they would capture and send you beautiful pictures of 6 weeks later. Then you would sit and realize, wow, I guess I can seem patient and loving. Because it's true. If you stack all those little moments together, you get a lifetime and that's what the little ones will remember.

The annual foot tracing on her birthday.

God has given us all a memory and a tendency to forget things. Sometimes one outweighs the other, but they don't remember when your voice was raised and your anger triumphed as much as we might think. I'm learning that children give grace to us as mothers a lot easier than we give grace to ourselves. I'm not saying they don't remember any of the uncomfortable moments...nor should you just let impatience rule and anger get the best of you.

But they do forgive readily. 
And love incredibly.
And that's what we need to do right back, not only to them, but to ourselves.


So keep on capturing those split-second images, because that's how we can remember all the glorious moments of mothering. In between all the repeated answers to questions the little ones "didn't hear", and the constant explanations of the bedtime routine we do every. single. night.

Happy Mothers Day fellow Mommas!
You are good enough and you're doing a fine job.

Just don't get carried away on Pinterest too often. Turn to God instead.

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, 
so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 
2 Corinthians 5:21

Saturday, March 28, 2015

March Madness at our Home

March has been fun.
It included some fun cousin time, and Aunt Janel time too. I watched the little ones while their mommas worked on a bathroom makeover at my in-laws house, and it was such fun to have these three together one day. It's like having all the fun of twin 16 month olds, but they go home to their own respective mothers at night. How about that. Did I say "fun" enough for ya?



I took advantage of our inter-library loan system and read a few books I've had on my list for quite awhile. The best one so far, "The Lost Art of Dress" by Linda Prybyszewski. I'm amazed at that last name every time I see it. Anyway, it was very inspiring to dress respectfully when out and about, and even take a little more care in the home. We needn't look like slobs all the time, even if yoga pants are comfy. One of my many favorite quotes was at the conclusion of the book:

"We all know that growing older usually makes you less of an idiot. But there's little sense today that age might endow you with sophistication, dignity, grace, stateliness, and wisdom. Or that we might aspire to dress in a way that expresses all these qualities."


And, we gained a new reader in the house. There are officially now three of us reading. Here is the youngest, working through, "Green Eggs and Ham".


I still do a lot of reading aloud to her, and this was a recent gem I found. The cover was rather perplexing to Natasha, but the book was a delight to read. I think my favorite part were the short, stubby grandparent crayons, "Silver" and "Gray".


Daniel had a birthday and we celebrated with German currywurst, Panamanian patacones, American roasted broccoli and cranberry salad (lovingly prepared by his mom), Flourless Apple Cake, and fruit salad. I did half the cake recipe since I didn't feel like using an entire pound of almond flour for one cake, even if it was for a 30th birthday meal. It still made a substantial amount of cake that easily fed 8 people. (One slice each, of course...we didn't go overboard with seconds.) Of course, I have no picture. It was eaten too fast.

And I do need to share my currywurst recipe one of these days. I'm amazed every time I serve it that everyone raves over it and I've already given the recipe out twice. Maybe you'd like it as well?

Natasha thought the gifts needed a special cart for transportation.

What was your March like? Our fun really isn't over yet since Natasha gets to be part the children's group waving palm branches for our church's Palm Sunday celebration this weekend. Easter is just around the corner too...and maybe spring? Really looking forward to warm weather.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

7 Practically Perfect Years


Daniel and I celebrated our 7th anniversary last month. I never expected that in the past 7 years we would have ever done as much as we have together, but it's been grand. Simply grand. Not completely perfect, because hey, we live on earth. We aren't sinless, but together with God, we have had the best 7 years I could have asked for. And I'm so thankful I have spent them with this guy. We shared vows during our wedding saying, "I do." and I'm proud to say, "I still do."

To celebrate this year, Daniel planned a little trip to Puerto Rico for a few days, just the two of us. We basically spent our time as follows:

Reading in the shade with the ocean waves below us and our backs to an ancient fort:16-071

Exploring the fore-mentioned fort grounds:13-040

Walking the streets of Old San Juan:18-075

Eating plantains, sweet yellow ones and fried green ones:IMG_3366

Admiring the blue sky, and that fort again:

Trying out stripes with polka-dots:
At some point of this particular day, I realized I was wearing a completely homemade outfit. 

And thinking we were living a real-life postcard.

Friday, February 20, 2015

I'm Loving White

Which is a very good thing right now because it's very white outside. Good thing I don't mind much.
However, it does mean we're inside...a lot. So I drink tea, read books (to the little one in the house, and myself) and admire the beauty of fresh, clean snow. The bright snow makes the whole house seem nice and bright too. Our bedroom isn't usually featured here much, was fairy tidy the other day and so here it is.

Photo by a certain short person in our house.


Since my love for whites hasn't been diminishing recently, I dug down in the crawlspace for our white down comforter that was a wedding gift. We haven't used it much because it's SO warm. However, I brought it up at just the right time because it hasn't reached 15* for days now. The nights are even colder, and I'm loving the coziness that I forgot a feather comforter offers.



I printed this cute little printable several months ago and cut it to size for my little frame.

I think I should wash that globe...

Oooo let me show off my new print! For my birthday we headed to Ikea and although we didn't come away with what I really, really want (a new couch) I did make a somewhat impulse purchase with this LONDON print. It came with two others: PARIS and NEW YORK, and since I've been to two of the three, it seemed fitting as a birthday gift for myself. It was marked down as well so that might have had something to do with the sudden urge to have it as my own. London was the first to go on the wall since Downton Abbey is still our show of choice at the moment. I still haven't taken down the greenery that I draped over the window frame back in December, but it still seems wintery and makes our bedroom seem more like a cabin deep in a forest somewhere. If we use our imaginations.


Saturday, January 31, 2015

These Winter Days

Everyone might at some point in their life learn to hand stitch in a swimming suit ("Mommy, I'm wearing a long sleeve shirt to make it look like a leotard"), with 6 clips in one's hair so absolutely no hair will fall into your eyes.



Meanwhile, your Mommy might sort your Great-Grandma's cross stitch thread and think to herself, "Grandma sure had a lot of stuff...but she was certainly organized."


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

It's Me


Hello 2015! The Christmas tree is outdoors, the manger scene and ornaments are packed away, the wreaths have been brought in, and things are looking much less "red and green" once again. The New Year's calender has been hung and the annual tidying up has begun again. It's a good feeling to begin anew.


All of December was full of merry-making; decking the halls,


To steal my cousin's comment, "Thanks Pinterest" for wrapping ideas. Couldn't have done it without ya. 

 baking up dozens of cookies,


A gluten-free roll-out cookie recipe that didn't make me want to say bad words when rolling the dough out. It was that amazing to work with. Tasted just like my Grandma's cookie dough recipe too. I can't stop raving over it.

She knows where the food coloring is stored. 
Top shelf.

My Grandma's spritz cookie maker in action. Used this recipe

 sending out of Christmas cards,

Not always so cheerful at facing 30 some cards that need signing.

I must have had New Zealand's sheep on my mind, since they all appeared on on Christmas cards.

making memories,


 They haven't fallen down yet, although my jolly-rancher stained glass window has a hole since the lights inside were a wee too hot and melted it. :)

 and so on and so forth.

Watching a Christmas movie in the living room, then sleeping under the tree.

Cinnamon Rolls for Christmas morning breakfast

 It was a lot of fun, but I feel...tired. Completely wore out and ready to face a proper January with no official celebrations. I want to curl up in a couch (which we don't have) and knit, read and eat chocolate chip cookies. 'Cause lets face it: Iced sugar cookies, spritz cookies, thumbprint cookies and all those traditional Christmas desserts are grand, but they usually don't include enough chocolate.

We decorated these cookies after Christmas with my sister-in-law's expert instruction. 

One of my favorite bloggers mentioned that this is the time of year when we all hunker down for a long winter. And, just as my husband said would happen, the beginning of January brought us winter. Snow and c-o-l-d temperatures. Now I don't mind winter in general, but the single degree temperatures make me absolutely and completely a homebody. I don't feel like going anywhere. Staying warm inside practicing my handstands is enough movement for me and I'll just look out at the lovely snow for entertainment.

Downton Abbey started up again, and we are watching it online to stay updated. Only one episode in, and I'm already planning afternoon tea time with real teacups and saucers. That show has a way of making me do things like that. So please excuse me while I go dig out my Grandma's teacups and have afternoon tea. Perhaps while I do so, I will contemplate how so many of the bloggers I follow can blog and live life at the same time. I seem to be able to only do one or the other. Ha!

Happy New Year everyone!

Post Script: As very close readers might notice, a few of the recipes I linked to have rice flour in them. Rice is a grain, and generally we ARE grain-free. However, white rice is the one exception and we've started to incorporate more of it in our diet. Not only cooked rice on the menu, but rice flour in baking. We haven't noticed any negative affects of this particular grain and especially for baking this holiday season, it made my life incredibly easy with those recipes. I'm singing the praises of the gluten-free baking with tapioca flour, potato starch, rice flour and xantham gum.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Back Home, What I Wore

We have been back in the States for exactly 2 weeks today, and I must admit, it was hard to come back. I can't quite describe it, but maybe it's because we don't *love* where we live to begin with that makes it more challenging to really embrace being home. I honestly only missed my own vegetable peeler and my crock pot. (Aside from family and friends, of course.)

However, we are here. This is where we are for this time in life, and so it is. And, after two weeks in our own home, it is feeling cozy and comfortable. I am excited about the newest Cosco opening near us, Thanksgiving coming soon (Kiwis don't have that!), getting back to my sewing machine, and settling in for a long winter's nap. (Hmm...not really, but it sounded appropriate.)

Fall lasted about a week and a half after our arrival, and now it. is. winter. As in, the ground is white, it's snowing now and there's more snow coming approximately every day this week. I'm usually fine with winter and don't mind it till March, but last year kind of wore me out. So I'm trying to brace myself.

Anyway, the first Sunday back, we went to our own church which was nice and I wore this:




Dress // Made by me, shown more here
Cardigan // Target
Scarf // Bought in Germany last year
Boots // Ugg