Peaceful Celebrations

Holidays are meant for family traditions and not to be filled with chaos or obligations. 

I love holidays! Valentine’s Day, st. Patrick’s, Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Day, Independence Day, Birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas! 

As Peter and I became our own little family holidays were just in passing. Growing up my family went big for them and we got to see our cousins almost every month on my dad’s side. The house was decorated, we’d always get treats, have a feast, and even dress up for some of them! 

After we had Jason I was excited to give him those kind of memories too. We don’t go as big but I create them in ways I hope they remember. We decorate the house, special treats and activities are always involved, and they are simple. 

I’ve learned I’m not the kind of mom who wants to travel, go big, drag my kids to events, cook and bake big feasts. I want the holidays we celebrate with our children to be fun for all of us and not leaving Peter and me burnt out. This means protecting my peace too. I ask myself who, how, and when and what will be the most smooth way to celebrate and make the day special. For example for Easter because it lands on a Sunday we celebrate on a Saturday spreading out the activities and not feeling like it should all crammed and rushed after church. There aren’t any rules on how you celebrate holidays. Only the rules you set! Society may say different but society isn’t in charge of your wallet, your personal beliefs, your children or your peace, you are. We decide under no obligations. That in itself is freeing.

Another post on boundaries earlier in our marriage.

Daily Mountains

Laura taught me something that has helped me have a deeper understanding as a peer in this world.  Her boldness and braveness about her mental health mended some wounds of mine. 

Laura wasn’t my only family member who struggled day to day. My brother has schizophrenia. Growing up he was too young to diagnose. But he did have some unique behaviors. I have a core memory of telling him it’s time for dinner for distraction so I could let the frogs and lizards free that we had caught in fear of him killing them. Another one of me waking of to a bloody nose from being punched by him. This happened twice. It was in the teenage years where his behavior looked more rebellious on the outside and the rest of us standing helpless on the outside.

Everyone was aching. But he ached even more. Steamy tears drip down as I recall him being rushed to the ER the first attempt of suicide of his on Halloween night. His arms filleted open as his cry for help. 

His chaotic episodes and behavior was his internal cry for help. I was angry and even bitter. The worry on our parents faces froze like stone became daily as they yearned for their son. The ache became agony for all of us. 

I’m a firm believer of medication and if it weren’t for it I never would have met Laura and my brother wouldn’t be alive. 

So when I hear comments like: 

“There always seems to be something with your brother. “

“Your just going to enable him.”

“When is he going to grow up.”

Your right. 

There is always something going on with my brother. That something is something he never chose. That something is forever crippling and haunting his life if unmedicated. 

Laura helped me see that. The people who are struggling hate their thorn in their side as much as we do. They are trying to manage it. They need to push a little harder then most just to function in the world. 

As an outsider I support my brother the best I can by being his listening ear. 

There’s a balance that needs to take place in taking care of my mental health while encouraging someone who is struggling with a weight that is unbearable at times. I let him know what times we can chat that way I can give him the best encouragement I can. As a mom and wife I’m split. If I’m going through a rough season that’s when I take a step back and take care of myself before reconnecting with him. I love my brother for who he is and proud of all the work he is doing to overcome this daily mountain. 

Shifted Not Lost

I’ve been intentionally looking for things that bring me joy outside of motherhood. 

There was a time where I felt like I was losing myself and the interest things I loved.

My  life was take care of the babies, then crawl into bed at night, every night. In that time I wondered how long I was gonna be in that season. Because it’s different for every mom.

Now that we are getting up only 2 to 4 times a night and not five times or more I’ve been able to have the energy to pour back into myself.

I’m slowly moving in an imperfect direction of gaining those things back. 

I’m intentionally looking for the open time I do have. The open time is smaller due to my new season but it is still there. When Peter gives the kids a bath and after I’m done with night cleanup and daily chores are caught up on. I have about 20- 45 minute window to take that time to pour into myself. If chores fill up that time I still have after the kids go to bed. That is an hour of time I have intentionally chosen to pour into myself in a way that doesn’t reflect my roles as wife and mom. I’m blogging again, picking up my Bible, and strumming my guitar. It’s all in spurts but they bring me joy. 

I’m still me, just mom me. 

Motherhood Is Wet

From the very beginning of the first tears of yearning for our child. 

To tears of joy when you first meet them.

When wiping their tears of sadness or hurt.

When wiping their noses from colds. 

When cleaning vomit from spit ups or sick days. 

When the potty training begins.

When their wounds need mending.

Their Puddle jumps of play. 

Summer cool off fun. 

The sweat from your day to day activities. 

The pouring of coffee or water refills. 

Absorbing all the spills with towels. 

The splash of water on the dishes.

The water from when we are cleaning our littles in playful bubble baths. 

Motherhood is wet. 

Not A Finished Plate

Our goal for food is to help our children have a healthy relationship enjoying the connection it can bring and not feel guilty or controlled by it. 

In our home we use words like “fun food”and “growing food”. Changing the language teaches them that food is not bad and they should not feel bad for eating.

The fun food is things like cookies, cupcakes, cake, and candy. These show up at holidays, events and at friends home. We follow the same principle with juice. We allow our children to have these things even if there is dye in them because we do not want them to be such a forbidden fruit that they will be craving it more, and feel the need to either hide, or feel guilty if they have anything that is a fun treat. 

Fun treats is not something anyone should feel guilty for having. 

Then there is growing food. Which what we cook and bake in our home.

Including them in as much as we can has been helpful too. Having them involved in grocery shopping and cooking lets them be apart of the whole experience. 

When we go grocery shopping I give them jobs. They put things in the cart, help look for food that’s on the list, help unload, sometimes scan, and they have been loving using the chip reader at check out. We then unload at home excited for all the food we bought both fun, and growing. 

When we cook or bake they love gathering what we need, pouring, mixing, and working all the buttons on the cooking appliances. They love trying out the final product. 

Another thing we encourage is them telling us when they are full. Some days it can be five bites of their food other days they finish the entire thing. I want them to learn at an early age to listen to their body. When we run into the situation when they take one bite of their meal and then ask for a fun food, we count five more bites. Or when they choose to not have dinner we tell them to come join us and they can chat with us and have bread but can’t have a fun snack before bed unless they do a try it bite of their dinner. In our home dinner is not just about meal it is about connection. 

With doing all this the boys love soups, hot dishes, pastas, and other favorite dishes. Our key is connection and involvement. Not a finished plate. 

Left Hungry

Instead of craving the moments of silence with a survival mindset I’m hoping to pour my open time into nights where I tune my heart and nourish my soul in the word. This is how I want to end my days moving forward not only into 2023 but in my life. 

These past few years I’ve craved silence more then ever since becoming a mom. I knew motherhood would be loud. But I didn’t know the pain that would come with it for me. Sometimes it’s physically or sometimes emotional. Read more on this topic here.

I’d reach for my phone for a 5 minute mental breather sending a txt, or scroll on social media. 

I’d fuel my weariness in sitting in silence but was left hungry.  I began my counseling journey and was given tools to help me break down my 28 years of thinking. All I knew had to become gravel and my minds foundation has to be slowly built up. The tools are helpful but they are not a strong enough foundation.  I’m not ending my nights reliant on the temporary helpful tools anymore. I’m ending in abundance, growth, peace, calmness, and rest in prayer and the word. 

You Don’t Fit Me

You don’t fit me.
Because you don’t fit my season anymore.

It’s refreshing to give this away as I choose to be comfortable in my body now. I clung onto a single girl in her 20’s when I’m a mom in her 30’s.
Hanging onto these meant hanging on to the impossible. Hanging onto these doesn’t make room for my growth in my journey. Could I be this size again? Sure. But for now I can always buy new pants.

Mommy’s Gift

In a few days I have the privilege to hear the wrapping paper tear and watch my little boys eager hands rip into their Christmas gifts. What a joy and blessing it is to be able to be a mother and have these memories stored in my heart. These memories are my gifts. Time ticks too fast when I look back each year. So I exhale as I wrap and say a prayer thanking God for this moment. 

Chasing A Seven Year Dream

When Peter and I were Newlywed we often talked about our future.

We’d have kids, a home, and find ways to bless people with our home. 

Over time the realities were covering the dreams and I began to stop dreaming. I was discouraged. Some may say I had given up or settled. When in reality I had to work on learning to be content in all seasons. To take in the beauty set before me. Two beautiful healthy strong boys. A present husband and father who goes great lengths for us. 

This Spring a lot of our friends started letting us know they were moving and Peter was looking for a change in his work. 

This opened up conversations in passing and then they became longer. 

Weeks later we then realized we both want to move for different reasons. More talking happened. 

The more we talked the more we realized that Washington does not have what we want for our children. We want more financial freedom and time with our children. With selling our home we are hoping to buy and have the next place paid off or mostly paid off. The past year was also hard with raising little active boys because it rains so much. So we are moving somewhere where we can be outside more often. I am eager to live far from town and have more privacy as well. 

Our conversations began to snow ball into the steps of us talking to our real estate agent, preparing the house and getting ready to move.

We are moving out of state! 

I’d like to conclude with thanking those who have touched our house making it what it is today. 

The Lewis’s, the Martin’s, Paul Catt, John skubic, The Stabler’s, Steve and Sara, Kiana, Zach Ricks, Tracy Reineer, our neighbor Johnny, and The Schauer’s. 

See it here: 

Grief in Motherhood

I am facing a new reality. As I give my children the gift I wasn’t given I’m thankful and long for what they are given. But it’s not temporary. This grief will be forever. I thought it was because they are the ages of my orphanage years but as my son is exiting the age I was in there for, the emotions stay.

They have the freedom to cry, express any and every emotion, deny, be wild, have opinions, make mistakes, they have the freedom to repair with apologizing, any hours of the day and night for as long as they are ours. 

As I grip this new reality I hold it lose in denial. Then day to day grief is heavier the more I push it back instead of allowing myself to process. 

I play back the stage of my life of his age. 

This is where my earliest memories lie. I’m adopted at this point experiencing my first Christmas and Easter. Saying my first words. 


In todays emotions of my child being disappointed in the color bowl I was filled with a sense of grief. I’m able to recognize my irritation as masking my grief now as my children grow up I’ve noticed I’m not mad at them I’m longing. 

Now that I’m accepting the grief for what it is this gives me freedom as well. 

Freedom to give it to God. Freedom to be thankful and grieve over and over and over with each stage motherhood brings me.