Wednesday, October 12, 2016

When It's Time To Accept The Change Of The Seasons

This past weekend was more difficult than I expected. It has been almost 10 years since I founded my floral design company. This business was truly a work of the heart as I built it from the ground up, mostly by word-of-mouth. Those personal referrals were the best. I had never been formally trained in flowers, but I realized quickly that I loved working with them. What better job than designing a masterpiece out of God's beautiful creations? But as my husband and I welcomed more children into the family, my time became limited, and instead of enjoying my life as a mom, I was becoming frustrated with the little ones and frustrated with my lack of time to design flowers. I shouldn't be surprised anymore by God's sense of humor, because just when my business was exploding, I decided through many hard lessons, that it was time to close the doors. I needed to focus on the little ones and their needs above the needs of my brides. These days and years are just so short, I don't want to miss these crazy moments!

I truly admire the women who can do it all - the family, the career, the social life, and personal time, but I am just not one of those women. I can definitely stretch myself thin and still survive, but I don't want that type of life. So I have learned that through every phase in life, it is time to accept some things and give up others and right now I choose to give up my entrepreneurial aspirations for my family - except my writing, I need my writing! It was difficult to let go, especially since I can be a controlling person, but I can always start up the company again in the future. Nothing needs to be final, after all, there are so many phases in life. Just like the season for apple picking (which we did over the weekend). All fruits and vegetables have their own special seasons, so do the seasons of our lives. Change is good - it's just difficult to accept sometimes!

It was difficult for me to give up a company I had worked so hard to grow, but it was time. I can still get my flower design fix by creating arrangements for our church, but I do have a sense of relief that there will be no more weddings in my near future. Instead, I will have much more time with the family, sewing my quilts (a hobby I haven't tapped into for many years), time for school functions, church events, and of course, my writing. Ultimately, if I am not working towards the good of my entire family, then I am working towards nothing, because my greatest gifts are my husband and my children and if I don't treasure them first, then nothing else matters.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

When It's Time for Chocolate - Katherine Hepburn Brownies

There are just some days when my sweet tooth takes over and I.MUST.HAVE.CHOCOLATE! I found the most delicious brownie recipe, and then tweaked it to fit my own style. You will definitely want to try these Katherine Hepburn Brownies for your next dinner party, work treat, or even afternoon snack. My kids couldn't get enough of these, I will need to make these again soon!

I love gooey brownies, so I removed the walnuts from the original recipe.
These brownies were baked in muffin tins.

There's something special about powdered sugar sprinkled over a delicious brownie - so I added my own special touch

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything" ~ Katherine Hepburn

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday is Momday - Thanks to Cat & Nat!

Thanks to the fabulous moms who invented the hilarious #MOMTRUTH Fridays (or is it Friyays, am I too old to say that?), Cat & Nat, I decided to share a bit of their humor from this morning's live video. Did you know that Mondays are now Momdays? Thank you, Ladies, for my new favorite day of the week!

Photo Credit: Facebook Profile

  • Momdays are now the days that I can drink as many cups of coffee, without guilt, just to survive the heaping loads of laundry that have piled from who knows where over the weekend.

  • Momdays are now the days that I will never get a nap in, because my two year old still has energy leftover from the weekend.

  • Momdays are now the days that I just want to sit and eat cookies, but my 11 month old needs to nurse and snuggle... I can't resist that. Afterthought, I should eat cookies and nurse!

  • Momdays are now the days I wake up earlier to pack the kids' lunches, because for some reason, I just can't get my act together on a Sunday night. Drink wine with my husband and watch Netflix or pack lunches, what would you choose?

  • Momdays are now the days that I need at eat at least 6 meals, because all weekend was spent on my feet with the four little ones and I forgot that food gets me through those days.

  • Momdays are now the days that the refrigerator needs to be restocked, because grocery shopping on the weekend is for the birds!

  • Momdays are the days that I must suffer through a whining 2 year old, who found his pacifier over the weekend and kept it in his pocket. Now it's time to take it away, again, for the third week in a row...

  • Momdays are the the days that I have all the best intentions to keep my meal plan schedule. Don't ask about it by Wednesday night. Anyone want Mac & Cheese?

  • Momdays are the days that I pray for little homework, because it's the only night without activities or family commitments. Family dinners are always chaotic, but one of my favorite times of the day! Yes, please!

  • Momdays are sometimes the saddest days, because I only have two out of the four children at home with me.

  • Momdays are now my favorite day, because at the start of every new week I get to wake up my sleeping children to give them kisses and I am so grateful for this awesome vocation called, MOTHERHOOD!

And that's my Momday Monday! Enjoy your week!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Please Excuse My Social Absence

            It’s not you, it’s me. No, really, it’s me. My famous last words, or more like my personal motto for the past several years – one that I was not always proud of, but one that I have learned to accept. As a mother of four children, my schedule has changed quite drastically since the birth of baby #1. With the first two children, life was relatively carefree. "Carefree" in a loose definition of the word. Yes, there were struggles; I learned how to breastfeed my babies, while also adjusting to the lack of sleep, but for the most part, life was simple. There was still plenty of time to meet friends for morning coffee, lunch, and even pedicures. It was relatively easy to find a babysitter for two kids, or even bring them along. But as each beautiful new baby joined our family, adjustments were made and it became difficult for me with four little ones to accept social invitations.

            Everyday tasks that had once been easy, now needed much more planning and occupied double the time with four children at my heels. I wanted desperately to visit with friends and have non-interrupted moments while discussing a book in a mom’s group, but this was not my world any longer and I needed to accept it. I dreamed of a night out with my friends, sans kids. It wasn’t easy to put myself first anymore, actually there was no time for myself, especially with an on-demand nursing baby. I always had good intentions, but when the clock started ticking and it was only an hour or two before meeting friends, I was just too exhausted. It sounded more enticing to get these little ones to bed and enjoy a quiet evening home with my husband. It’s not you, it’s me.

There reaches a point in every mom’s life when it is no longer easy to leave the house with those little bundles of joy. For some moms, the magic number might be one, for others it might be three, but for me it was four. I am still in awe of those supermoms who take all five children out for dinner. I salute, YOU! I just wasn’t one of those supermoms and the thought of bringing my four children, three of them rambunctious boys, out to a girls' lunch felt like a daunting task. So I decided it was best not to risk the potential failure.

It wasn’t easy for me to pass on these social invitations. Those “good times” with my friends had at one time been memorable, now I just couldn’t get myself out the front door. Caring for my wonderful children all day long was exhausting and there was very little energy to muster up for myself. I was upset at myself that I couldn’t juggle it all. Why didn’t my little ones want to spend a quiet morning at the coffee shop nibbling on a pastry? Then I had an awakening – I wanted to stay home with my little family. I preferred to stay home and make breakfast with those little happy faces rather than getting everyone packed up and to the coffee shop by 8:00 a.m.

            So for all of those frustrated women that rarely see their “mom friends". It really, truly isn’t you, it’s just the way of motherhood. Don’t stop the invitations, because one day, that mom will be able to find the energy after a long day and sleepless night to spend much needed time with her close friends. She will finally find a night to have a little bit of “me time.”

Friendship may be a two-way street, but my children bring an entirely different perspective. There will be one day when I can fulfill each one of those social obligations that I once loved, but for now I am quite content spending these fleeting moments with my children while they are still young. I don't want to miss these carefree days of childhood.


Friday, September 9, 2016

The Building Blocks of Childhood

I am a strong believer in children learning to play on their own. Developed imaginations are so incredibly important, from this children will learn how to be creative as adults. So, I strongly encourage this in my little ones.

Now that the two older children are at school for full days (which I still can't believe), there's much more time for me to spend one on one with the younger boys. I forgot how much I can do with only two children at my feet. Our new found time has been spent on long walks, scavenger hunts, bike rides, and creative play. We pulled out these fun cardboard blocks that Santa delivered last Christmas and built several forts, castles, a bridge, dinner, and even a birthday cake!

I love to watch the boys use their imagination to create new worlds with these ALEX Blocks. We finished our day of play with ice cream cones for everyone!

Imaginative plays allows the child to use all five senses, that teaches children how to become miniature inventors. Maybe your child will be an architect, fashion designer, engineer, or musician. Help your child view the world in a positive way by the process of imaginative and creative play.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

From The Kitchen: Weekends are for Family, Friends, and Food

"A picture is worth a thousand words, but friends are priceless..."

We are back to warm weather in Wisconsin, but I'm not going to complain. These days won't last long and then comes the cold Midwest winter. Labor Day Weekend was jam packed for the family - we had two house showings, an open house, and of course, family parties! I wouldn't trade all these crazy moments for anything. So among all the craziness, I tried a new recipe that I absolutely love and the boys couldn't stop eating it. That's an obvious sign it must be quite tasty!

I added 3 eggs to the original recipe for an increase in protein. 
I have three growing boys!

Fresh basil is the best!

I can't get enough of fresh mozzarella.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Sending Them Off To School With A Mother's Love

Just when I thought life might get a little easier with the two oldest in school for the full day, it actually got harder. I assumed having two out of the four kids at school for an entire day would make my life easier. I was wrong. It might be a little less noisy in the house, but my two older children, who have extremely creative imaginations are no longer here to keep the two year old and 10 month old occupied with games of house, kitchen, or castle building. Now my two year old needs even more attention than before, how is that possible? Because he wasn't needy enough before? It's nice to spend more quality time with the two younger boys, but I also have laundry to finish, floors to wash, and furniture to dust. And honestly, no, it can't wait until tomorrow, because we also have our house on the market. So who knows when the next showing will be requested.

I'm blessed to  have my children at an amazing school where I know they are taken care of, because it definitely isn't easy handing them over everyday. I truly thought giving up the reins would be easier as they grew older and became more independent, but it's not. It's sad realizing that I'm not needed as much as I used to be by those two silly ones. Then I get brought back to reality when the 10 month old starts crying because he's tired and hungry. Luckily, all my children are still very young and I have a lot of time left with those smiling faces. As much as I love the daily structure of school, I am already missing those carefree summer days. And it hasn't even been a week!

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