Thursday, September 30, 2010

What I am lovin'

In the last week I have posted twice about how I am missin' Utah... I am really not a debbie downer... I promise.  I thought it was about time to reflect on what I am loving about living in SoCal... because there is a lot to love about life here : )

WEATHER!  I will not take for granted that 99% of the time it is great weather and I can send the kids outside to play!  This week has been a bit on the toasty side, but even the heat I love!

BEACH- we are so blessed to live so close to the ocean.  On average, I would guess that we go to the beach twice a week.

CHURCH- we have loved the verse by verse teaching of our church here.  Mr. Steady and I are being encouraged and challenged each and every week.  We are so thankful for the kids programs and the marriage group that we are a part of!

NEIGHBORS-  We have amazing neighbors (that feels like an understatement).  God has totally blessed us with great friends right here in our neighborhood.  My sweet friend Dena has the same motto as I do, "we are made to do life together!"  And that is what we do!  We watch each others kids, share meals, run errands, play at the pool, work on projects, hold babies, pray for each other... life is just better with a friend : )

LIFELONG FRIENDS-  I wouldn't have survived our move without the sweet care of friends that have known me since I was 18!  Each of my dear friends has a cool hubby that is great friends with my man.  We are so thankful for the amazing friends that have eased our transition!  Pool time, BBQs, game nights (lots of NERTZ), playdates and more!
 (too bad all of these girls don't live close by)

TRADER JOES-  Oh, how I love TJs!  I really don't know what I will ever do if we move to someplace (like Utah or Colorado) that does not have Traders?  Sounds funny to put a grocery store up there on my list, but it is true I love Traders!!

MR. STEADY'S JOB- It has been so much fun to see my man excel at his job; and to get endless amounts of recognition at work.  To see him enjoying the challenges that each day brings and the "wins" along the way.  I have been so encouraged by his desire to be a light in all he does!

FAMILY TIME- Since moving here we have had so much more time as a family.  Which has been a HUGE blessing.  We have started new family traditions and just enjoy our time together.

Life really is good here!  I have so much to be thankful for!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

1 Year Ago today...

... we said goodbye to what we thought could be our forever home.

It was way harder than I even imagined it would be, because it was the first step in a HUGE leap of faith for us.  We didn't move for another 2 months, which I really view as God's grace for us.  The last 2 months we were in Utah we spent in a short-term rental.  It gave us more time to say goodbye to friends there and it even gave my heart a time of acceptance of the change that was ahead.  The time was a blessing because by the time the move actually happened I was ready to see our stuff again (95% of our possessions had been in PODS for 2 months), I was ready to find a new normal for our kids and to "just get it over with."  Sometimes anticipating change is actually as difficult if not harder than the change itself.  Which was a little true for me!

All of these sweet friends came over and helped load up our PODS, clean my house and claim stuff we didn't have room to bring with us.

I miss our house
I miss the memories of each room
I miss our friends stopping by
I miss my backyard view

I miss the change of season
I miss the feeling of stability
I miss a tight-knit community
I miss the hours of entertainment and laughter this swing-set brought us

I can't believe it has been a year!

Monday, September 27, 2010

told yourself

Some of you may have seen this on Facebook... yet with so many friends (and my sweet sister-in-law) becoming a new mom in the last few months I wanted to post it here encase you haven't seen it yet : )

I think my sign would say "Soak it in, you now live life in fast forward."

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I am feeling so pulled between life here and life back "home."  In my mind, Utah is still home.  We have been in SoCal for almost 10 months now, and calling it home feels like a stretch.  When we anticipated this move I had a strong desire to feel settled, plugged-in and lovin' life by the 6 month mark.  Mr. Steady and I were talking the other night about life and we both agreed that we thought we would be so much further in the emotional and social aspects of the transition than we are.

I don't know if it is because we are coming up on the 1 year mark of when we sold our house (which was the first incredibly difficult step in our move)... or if it is that it is Fall and I LOVE Fall in Utah... or just because it is Fall.  In the Fall is when everything is starting up both here and back home.... here I still feel like the "new person", longing to be known (I mean really known where I don't have to give explanations and there are no pretenses)... things are starting up back home, and I feel like I am missing out... maybe it is because we have friends going through hard times back home and so much of who I am longs to be there to be available to help in ANY way that is needed.  Maybe it is just a little of everything and the culmination is weighing down on my heart.

I don't like this feeling of being stuck, I want to have a heart of total acceptance, of joy and peace, really overall contentment.  Truth is we don't know if this is a pit stop for us or if this is where God has us forever.  None of us every really know what God has in store!  The unknown is killing me, but I am trying to come to terms with it.  Mr. Steady and I have decided to make the most of our time here (whether that be months or decades).

But while I have Utah on my mind... I wanted to share some pictures of Utah Fall... Oh, the beauty of Fall colors!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mommy & Daddy CD/ playlist

I read a book when H was just 1 year old called Creative Family Times.  You can get it for DIRT cheep on (less than $1).  It is full of many amazing and yet super practical ideas for parenting, teaching our kids, talking about God, and cultivating open communication with our kids.  It is a very quick read and a great resource to have around.

Creative Family Times: Practical Activities for Building Character 

In this little book there is a chapter called "Tape Time."  (Can you tell this was published in the late 80's... when most of us were still kids ourselves... too funny).  The idea in this chapter is to make a tape, (I will just say CD) for your kids to listen to when they go to bed at night.  The content of the CD is up to you, but the intent is to let this be a teaching time for your kids, so to think through what you want them to learn.  The author gives multiple ideas for content such as critical information (address, phone number...), memory verses, children stories, kids songs, manners, and godly character.  She even gives specific scripts, which are super helpful!  {I want to reiterate again that this is a great resource to have}

We made the first CD for H when he was 16 months old.  He loves them and still asks to listen to some of the first the Mommy and Daddy CD's.  He has the stories memorized and has learned so much scripture though this too.  One of my favorite parts to some of his CDs is when we talked about all of the things we love about him.  Everyone could use the reminder of how lovable they are : )

If you have a Mac it is really easy to make the CDs in the program called Garage Band.  I am sure there are programs to do this on a PC, I just don't know the details.

Here is a quick run down on how to make these in Garage Band
1.  Once in program click on create a "New Podcast Episode"
2.  A screen will pop up to create a file name to save as.  I have found that it is best that I write in the exact content of what I am recording.  Such as "Golden Rule verses."
3.  Click on what kind of track it will be, I click on "Female Voice"
4.  Then click on the large red circle to start recording
5.  Click the red button to stop recording
6.  Save
7.  Click on "Share" then "Send Podcast to iTunes"
8.  Once in iTunes create a playlist and burn the CD

It does take some prep to get all of your books ready to read, verses out and list of things you want to talk about on your CD.  However much time it takes for you to prep will be worth it!  Your kids will love getting to hear your voice as they fall asleep; what an amazing way to end their day : )

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

totally humbled

My heart is HEAVY tonight!  Some of our dear friends are in the midst of difficult times with their little babies.  It is so hard to wrap my mind around how incredibly hard it is to have your precious baby going through countless surgeries, multiple series of tests, receiving less than desired prognosis, and all of the little set-backs along the way. 

"Why me?" is not something that we have heard from any of the couples going through the situations with their babies.  Each couple has put their total trust in God's plan for their family, for their child and for this trial.  They have chosen to look at the positive in each and every detail.  They have not been unauthentic or sugarcoated what they are going through, but even in the raw emotions there is acceptance and praise for God being faithful.

Why me?! Why has God blessed me with three healthy kids?  I am so thankful and incredibly humbled!   I don't want to take a day with my kids for granted.  I don't want to take my own health or Mr. Steady's health for granted either.  I so desire to look at each and every day as the blessing that it is!

I am humbled by our friends' godly response.... and embarrassed to admit that I would probably not respond with as much grace.

We are praying for these sweet babies fervently.  At meal times if we forget to pray for one of these little ones, H is quick to remind me and he finishes the prayer.  I would give anything to change the situations for my sweet friends and yet I am so encouraged by how God is meeting them in the midst of the trial.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

3 months old

Three months old?!?!  Three months is a long time, think about a trimester in pregnancy (that never goes by too quickly) yet where have the last three months gone?

Oh, Baby Bro you have stolen a huge piece of my heart.  I love your wide open-mouth smile when you see me!  I love that you instantly stop crying when you know you are going to be picked up.  I love that you hate tummy-time, because that so reminds me of your brother and sister at this stage.  This month you started to like the swing and it gives me at least another hour a day with my hands free.  You haven't been a huge fan of the carseat, an arch of your back and quick cry in protest, but then you are usually fine once I have the buckles done up and binky back in your mouth.  Overall you are so content.  You are one sweet little buddy and I can't wait to see more of your personality come out!

You have such a great mix of go with the flow and super flexible with only the slightest bit of feistyness.  You let your big sister smash your face as she is trying to lovingly give you your binky. 

You are chill little man!!!  And we LOVE that about you!

Friday, September 17, 2010

First Day

Today was H's first day of Pre-K.  I wanted to make today feel really exciting and special for H.  We had an extra special breakfast, french toast on cinnamon burst bread {thanks Sal for bringing it out from UT}.  We spent a lot of time talking about how great school was going to be, the kinds of things he might learn, the new friends he was going to make, how big he is getting and so much more.

We made it a family affair to celebrate H's big day...

 In the car on our way... H is holding BB's bottle as he was in-charge of feeding him while we drove

 Quick family shot on our way in... too bad Bug and BB aren't looking

He had a great time and when I went in the room to tell him it was time to go he said, "Mama, why do I have to leave already."  I reassured him that he would be back next week and that we had to go so that we could go out to lunch with Daddy. 
H-man, I am so proud of you buddy!  I am confident that you are going to learn a lot and love school this year!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


H's first official day of pre-school (away from home) starts tomorrow!  I can't believe that this day is here!  Mr. Steady and I spent much time praying, discussing, researching and talking with H, and we decided that this year to enroll him in a homeschool hybrid.  The kids go to school 1 day a week for pre-K and homeschool the other days. 

So far I have not been emotional about this at all.  Probably because I am pretty certain that he is going to LOVE it, and I couldn't be more excited about the school he is going to! I also think a large part of it is that he is still home with me all of the other days of the week.  I love my little H-man, and I am so blessed to be his Mama and to get to spend so much time with him! 

There has been a little more prep than I expected, but I think we are ready...

{To do list is complete}
School supplies
Name on all school supplies
Lunch box full of snacks
Outfit laid out
Camera ready
Special breakfast plans

All week long H has been counting down the days until he gets to go to school.  He is ecstatic to say the least... I hope he likes school as much as he likes the idea of school : )

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


We had a full and busy weekend.  For most of the weekend we had 6 adults and 8 kiddos (all under the age of 5) at our casa.  It was fun, chaotic, a tad crazy, a little loud and totally wonderful : )  Two of my college roommates and their families spent the weekend with us.  Kat and her hubby only live 20 minute away, so they would come for the days and hang out late into the evening.  Court and her hubby came down from Central California.  Oh what a treat it was to have these life-long friends here.

I loved getting to watch both of them mother, getting to watch their kiddos and just observing each family in action.  We all parent in slightly different ways.  And can I tell you that I was so encouraged and challenged by these differences.

You see, I am a little bit of a type A personality.  There is always a to-do list in my head and things that I see all around me that need to be done.  I am so guilty of putting tasks at the top of my priorities.  More than once this weekend, H asked me it I would play with him, to which time I said "no," because I had a ton to do.  Then H asked Kat, Court or one of the dads and he heard, "Yes, of course, what do you want to do Buddy?"  I watched the pure delight on his face at the realization that someone said yes!

Uggh, why am I so quick to say no?!?!   I want to be better at playing.  I want to be a fun mom.  I want to prioritize my kids over my tasks.  Where to start??  I am sure this sounds beyond ridiculous to some of you... but it is the truth, sitting down and playing (JUST PLAYING) is hard for me to do.  So I am setting a goal of playing with each one of my kids for at least 15 minutes each day... focused time, no answering my phone or sending a text, not getting up to change the laundry or start dinner... just focused mommy-time playing.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Italian Meatloaf

Supper tasty meatloaf even the kids will love!

1 Cup Boiling Water
1/2 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes (dried ones)
1/2 Cup Marinara for meat loaf
1 Cup breadcrumbs
3/4 Cup Chopped fresh Basil
1/2 Cup Quattro Formaggio cheese (grated)
2 Large eggs beaten
1 lbs. ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 Cup grated Zucchini (optional, or add more for more veggies)

  • Combine boiling water and sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl; let stand 30 minutes until soft.  Drain and finely chop tomatoes.
  •  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine remaining ingredients, mix well in a bowl.
  • Spray baking dish or cookie sheet with cooking spray (Pam).
  • Shape meat into a 9"x5" loaf
  • Spread 1/3 Cup Marinara on top
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour
  • Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing
  • Serve with Pasta

    This meal was a hit for all of us!  The fresh basil and sun-dried tomatoes give this so much flavor!

    On a little side note, my sweet buddy H has never been much of a meat eater.  He even went through a stage that he could be labeled a true vegetarian.  H is very sensitive to texture; we have been working on slowly introducing meat over the last few years.  This was the first time he voluntarily ate ground beef.  I think the reason is 2 fold:
    1. I had him help me make dinner.  He was in charge of getting the basil off of the plant, and he also helped grate the zucchini and mix all of the ingredients together (before I added the egg and ground beef).  Not only is it fun with our little ones to have them help in the kitchen, I think it also makes a meal more enticing to try if they were a part of making it.  He was so proud to tell Daddy that he had helped!
    2.  This is just a tasty meal, that he kept having more bites.

    Either way, I am just thankful that H enjoyed dinner!

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    She is still a baby...

    Bug became a big sister at 19 months of age, which was (and really still is) a huge transition for such a little person!  I have tried to remind myself often that she is still a baby.  Okay, more toddler than baby, but still a baby none the less!

    Today Baby Bro started fussing, so I started strapping on the Baby Bjorn to put him in it (I keep my cute Beco in the car for when we are out and about).  As soon as I had it on Bug said, "My turn?!?"  Followed by "Choo, Choo!"  Which, when translated, means "Hold you!" and this is Bug's way of saying, 'mama please hold me'.  So in light of my attempt to remember that she is still my baby girl, I picked her up and put her in, and carried her around for a while.

    I think she liked it:

    This little buddy likes it too : )

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Character Training

    H-man has another year of pre-school before he starts kindergarten.  I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what to do for him for this year of pre-K.  He will be attending a home school/ Christian school (co-op program) 1 day a week and they will be providing some of the academic curriculum.

    Beyond the curriculum that the school is providing I was really struggling trying to narrow down what to do for school time with H.  I don't want to do too much on the academic side because I have a fear of him being bored when he gets to kindergarten.  I was talking with my friend Jen, that has a son a year ahead of H at the school and she encouraged me to just really focus on heart-training.  As she said to me, all kids will catch up in the academics, but I only have so much time when our main focus can be heart-training.  Whew, what a weight off my shoulders to now have a plan.  But, yikes, I had the realization that teaching the ABC's and numbers is SOOOO much easier than instilling Biblical character in my kids.  Truth be told, I have an easy time identifying negative character qualities in my kids but I am not always as good at knowing how to turn those negative character qualities 180 degrees in the opposite direction and teach them the corresponding positive, Biblical character qualities in a way that is accessible and discernible for their age.  

    I have found some amazing resources that I am going to use for our school time/ heart training.  I started with Hubbards Cupboard Pre-K curriculum on Character.  Then through the amazing blog-o-sphere, I came across a mom that made printables for each of the character traits.  We are going to be doing the character traits a little out of order so that it can match up as best as possible wit H's memory verse for preschool.

    Below are some other amazing books that we will be using to add content, stories and more:
    My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God's Word in Little HeartsWisdom and the Millers: Proverbs for Children (Miller Family (Harvest House))

    What an amazing year ahead of us.  Praying that God will give us wisdom and we parent these adorable little people that have been entrusted to us!

    Monday, September 6, 2010

    sweet baby

    I can't believe how quickly Baby Bro is growing up.  Seriously, I love this stage, and I love my little man!

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Oh wait, that is me...

    Have you ever stepped across shoes that need to be put away and thought "won't someone clean this up?"  Or left your car with sippy-cups on the floor of the back seat and thought, "someone needs to bring those in the house!"

    Yesterday I opened the refrigerator door and the handle was sticky.  I immediately thought, "I sure wish someone would wipe this up." Then it hit me, "Oh wait, that someone is me."  Oh dang, when did I become the most responsible party present?  I guess that is part of being a grown-up!

    It is me... I am daily embracing that rarely do I make the mess, however I am the one that get's to clean it up or assign and supervise the cleanup.  Probably an epiphany many of you had years ago... I am a slow learner I guess : )

    I think this point has become even more relevant to me since Mr. Steady is going on week 4 of being laid-up with his herniated disc in his back.  He is helping out where he can, but still so much of taking care of the kids, house, cars, yard and such is up to me.   How do you single moms do it?  Seriously?!?!

    So here is to embracing {with JOY} the fact that there is lots to get picked up, cleaned up, put away, taken out, wiped down, and loved on.  Whew, being a mom is hard work!  Bring it!

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    keeping it real

    So recently someone told me that I looked like I had it all together.  Ha!  Seriously made me laugh out loud.  Oh, if you only knew....

    In order to keep it real, I thought I would show you what I found when I took the carseats out of my car to rearrange.

    I think that there had to be at least 5 pounds of goldfish and other snacks smashed under the seats and on the floor.  Not so together... ya think?!?


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