• family, personal 06.04.2011 2 Comments

    I think everyone has a different recipe for what would constitute as a bad day.  Here’s mine:

    3 Cups Interrupted Sleep

    2 Tablespoons Mistakes (my own)

    2 Cup Selfishness (my own)

    3 Tablespoons of “Misbehaving” children

    1 Teaspoon of the General Public

    4 Tablespoon of Messy House

    A dash of Lateness

    Stir well until you can’t breathe or the twitch in your eye won’t stop, whichever happens first.


    I started this post earlier today and recounted every single hard and ridiculous thing that happened today – but I just deleted it all.  It didn’t seem so bad in hindsight of now telling the story.  But it was bad, probably the most trying day in my entire career as a mother, but putting words to it didn’t do it justice so I stopped.  Have you been there?  For example, when I started to describe to John what had happened, I felt silly with some of the stuff I was describing that was SO HARD in the moment – I couldn’t even describe it. It’s crazy how emotions and lack of sleep can magnify EVERYTHING!

    So right now, I’m thankful for God’s mercy to moms that He thought of naps and thankful that tomorrow is a new day.

    What’s your recipe for a bad day?




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  • family, friends 21.03.2011 No Comments

    This is the second year we have gone to stay at a farm over the kids spring break.  We go for a long weekend to let the boys loose in the country and this year we stayed at Hinch Creek Cottages. (our cabin on picture left)  It’s a fun weekend with no agenda except to meet up with our friends in the country at some point – this year it was to picnic at Maramec Spring State Park.

    Although, the weekend is a ton of fun, it’s rather exhausting too – must be the country air, or trying to catch up with the boys,  but this year it was Emma.  It was a hard year for her to go because she is just into EVERYTHING in the cabin and outside she is not so steady on her feet yet.  I think I said, “No Emma.”  about a million times!  She got a good scrape across her nose from falling off the cabin front porch steps and then a rug burn from falling down some of the cabin’s inside steps – I was maybe a foot away from her each time!

    The owners of Hinch Creek, Sam and Nora, raise goats and while we were there were several pregnant goats.  A couple of the mama goats gave birth the day before we arrived so we were able feed these sweet newborn goats.   It was really neat and way different than Grants Farm – they aren’t trying to knock you over to get to the bottle.


    Here are some highlights of the weekend…

    Read more…

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  • personal 12.03.2011 1 Comment

    on my new car.  Ugh.  Our neighbors rotted tree fell on it during the big storm last week – the storm where most of STL had to wake up perfectly sleeping children to go into the basement in the middle of the night.  Thankfully our neighbors are super cool and are going to take care of it for us.  Just mildly annoying.

  • projects 11.03.2011 1 Comment

    My project chair is stripped.  Whoohoo!  The internal diagnosis is not too bad. Some mild wood work and some spring work – you can see the back right spring popped off.  Fixing those will be my next step.  As I was taking the chair apart,  I came to realize this chair is more complex than I had thought, which leaves me a little freaked out but up for the challenge…I think.

    The chair was really nasty to take apart too.  For some reason the fabric is disintegrating (bc of age or type of fabric or combo of both) and there was this fine yellow powder that went on the floor (or on me) whenever I took more of the fabric off.  You can see the yellow powder in the picture on the floor.  Yuck.

    Anyways, still not sure of the fabric.  John reminded me of a chair I did for his sister that was made out of a pink ticking (stripe) and it made me crazy lining up all the stripes.  So I’m re-thinking the circle fabric that I loved before.  I did find this website the other night and it offered some other fabric choices I’ve been entertaining.


  • family 11.03.2011 1 Comment

    important definition you must know before the story…

    “butt-butt”(noun) – a word used in affectionate teasing between the Peel brothers.

    JJ’s 7th birthday is today and we went to Steak and Shake for dinner and then onto the Boy Scout Talent Show.  As we were on our way to the talent show we passed our street and Henry whined, “Where are we going again????”

    John: “To the Boy Scout talent show.”

    Henry complained: “Why are we all going to the Boy Scout talent show??”

    George says, “Because we are a family,  butt-butt.”

    Seriously, where did he get that from?!? It was totally unexpected and hysterical -preach it brother George.




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  • family, kids, personal 10.03.2011 1 Comment

    It’s 9am on Wednesday.  An ordinary Wednesday in the middle of an ordinary week.  We have a day with no plans and I am fighting the urge to have an agenda lined up.  Whether that consists getting something done or planning something.  Both tasks I love to do and I find myself planning a lot when I have downtime like today.  You see,  I plan when I am uncomfortable with not moving.  I plan when I can’t handle the mundane.  I plan because I want to get over the slowness of a usual day and move on to something more exciting.  (I have have an old draft I need to post later that will really get a glimpse of my insane planning mind.)

    I would say John hates how much I plan and look ahead.  He is very good at living in the now and resting.  I think my planning stress him out at times.

    With the conviction of my obsessive planning, I worked on being present in the downtime we have today.  I lie when I tell myself that I am good about being in the moment.  I am not.  Especially with my boys, I’d rather watch them play or let them play with each other than to be fully engaged with them.  I do play with them, but it’s really challenging for me, I think of what’s next or what I need to do.

    I keep coming back to questions like, where else do I really have to be?  What else do I really need to be doing? What is more important than right now? For instance, digging through a bizzillion Legos to find just the right piece? To me – honestly I can think of a lot of things, to Henry it was the most important thing right then.  It was showing him love to help him find the piece he needed and that’s what I really needed to be doing above all else.  So, coffee in my hand, we rocked out to an 80s station on Pandora and sifted through the tiny plastic pieces.  And it actually felt good, no need to plan, no where else I needed to be but just right here, right now at my kitchen counter.

  • My super talented friend Greta has a giveaway on her blog. Check it out here!


  • projects 26.02.2011 7 Comments

    I keep finding myself with bits of time.  I don’t know how or where they have been coming from but I’ve accomplished lots in the last week.  I even started a project that I told myself I would have done in 2009.  I thought I had blogged about it before and found it here dated March 2009.  Two years late.  Thinking back, I made that list when George was 2 months old — those were some high expectations. Ha!

    So here’s the chair I found at the curb down our street about 3 years ago….

    I haven’t done any upholstery in over 2 years and it wasn’t until I got all my tools out I realized how much I missed it.  I love taking it apart just as much as I love putting it back together.  I love making something old new again.  I love wondering what kind of life the furniture had before it came to be in my hands.  Maybe it was someones favorite spot to read.  Maybe it was grandpa’s favorite chair or did it get jumped on a lot by little kids?  When I started taking this chair apart, I kept thinking that lots of kissing went on in this chair – don’t know why.  Wouldn’t that be cool of I was some sort of upholsterer/Medium person… I could tell the past life of the furniture while I was taking it apart.. I digress… a lot… sorry!  That would be cool though.

    Anyways, I haven’t picked out the fabric yet.  I think I want something masculine and modern – I think.  I really don’t know yet.   I’m liking something like these so far….let me know what you think or find something for me……

  • family, fun 17.02.2011 No Comments

    My sister-in-law, Katie, is pregnant with her second baby.  They are finding out on Wednesday if it is a boy or girl and I am dying.to.find.out!!!  Before bed tonight, I asked the boys if they wanted to place a bet on whether or not Aunt Katie’s baby is a boy or a girl.  Now, betting is not a common practice in our home, so I had to explain what betting was and how it works, etc.  They caught on pretty quick and were very excited.  I also explained that we were not betting money or toys but rather experiences and gave them some examples.  They were all on board and we decided on the wagers.

    First, we were down the middle with what sex we were placing our bets.   Henry and I are betting that it is a girl and JJ and George are betting that it is a boy.  Easy enough.  You could tell JJ was thinking about what he would bet right away. Asking all sorts of questions what would count for a bet, weighing his options, but never sealing the deal.  This is SO JJ he is a thinker and is nervous of making a bad decision -  poor guy unfortunately this is a genetic trait.

    George and Henry both decided that eating out qualified as an experience, which I signed off on, and George decided he wanted pizza if it was a boy and Henry wanted McDonalds if it was a girl.

    JJ was still undecided. Some of the wagers he was weighing were extra video game time -or- that he didn’t have to clean up for a week -or- that he could “order” Henry and I around for a full Saturday morning.

    While he was still contemplating I announced my wager if it’s a girl— that JJ and George would have to wear “button” shirts to church the Sunday after we found out.  A little background, my boys HATE button shirts.  A button shirt in our house is an oxford or a polo.  They know I only ask them to wear them on Easter or if they are in a wedding and even those occasions I have to prep them weeks before that they are going to have to wear a button shirt soon. (and even then they find comfort in the fact that their superhero t-shirt is under the button shirt)

    Right away JJ stammers, “I can’t bet.  I’m not wearing a button shirt.”  (I told you they hated them!!)

    So then I go on to explain what if it’s a boy, then if you don’t bet then you can’t win and explain the big concept of risk.  He then decides he is going to bet that it’s a “half-boy half-girl”.  Oh, Katie and Brian – I am so sorry!  But I explained that he can’t do that- he’s either in fully boy or fully girl or he’s out.

    He asked for clarification on the parameters of how long he had to wear the button shirt – just for church, could he take it off right after?  After much debate, I told him he could have a couple more days and we’ll close the bet on Sunday night.  I’ll keep you posted!

    2/25/2011 UPDATE JJ did bet on a boy finally and he chose a favorite dinner option…don’t remember what it was now because he lost.  Aunt Katie is having a girl – so fun!  JJ and George both had to wear button shirts to church that Sunday…although JJ found a loophole and wore his Boy Scout shirt – still a button shirt he said.  I couldn’t argue I didn’t specify which button shirt.

  • family, personal 15.02.2011 1 Comment

    …that whenever I offer JJ a suggestion, he replies with “You’re a genius.” That said coupled by George calling me “Awesome Nation” yesterday, which I think I have chalked up to encouragement from my sons.

    …that the weather is fantastic.  I’ve seen people in shorts, car convertible tops down and people with a skip in their step.  For me, it’s like the part of a movie when you get a glimpse of hope that everything is going to be okay.  Winter is not eternal and the hope of Spring is in air. Whoo-hoo!

    …the yummy recipes I’ve tried lately and have turned into favorites, like the Broiled Tilapia Parmesan and the Ham Tetrazzini.

    …that my new car has yet to wear off it’s novelty and has made me actually want to go run errands – which I normally avoid at all costs.

    …the pockets of time I’ve been finding to read and do stuff I’ve been procrastinating like patching the boy’s jeans.

    …what I have been learning about community and encouragement through people, reading and just life right now.