Monday, February 23, 2015

.tea with me.

I love to take pictures of the fun moments. Today, my sweet Miss Mia and I had our first tea party
I am a big believer in the power of a tea party. 
So is Miss Mia, it would seem.

I hope you enjoy some of my favorite quotes about tea (emphasis mine), and some pictures from our first tea party of many.

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.
C.S. Lewis


 There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
 Henry James


It's always tea time.
The Mad Hatter 

Polly put the kettle on, 
We'll all have tea.

 Would you like an adventure now, or shall we have our tea first?
Peter Pan


"Lovely stuff," she said as she sipped from her teacup.
Beatrix Potter

Sunday, February 22, 2015

.family sunday.

B - It's all coming down to this last week - finish flight school strong, Sweetheart!

J - You make friends wherever you go, sweet boy. It's been fun to see you become so outgoing, especially this week with so many friends coming over, going to friends' homes, and going to the beach.

W - I love to see your sense of humor come out. You make me laugh all the time and your sweet grin is infectious!

A - You are fearless. And determined as all get out. And spunky. You keep us all on our toes. And we love you.



Thursday, February 19, 2015

.pleasant words.

I know you've heard the old phrase "sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me." It's not really true, is it? The truth is words often hurt more.

My words are quick to come, and it has been a lifelong battle to make sure my words are edifying and not destructive.

I was not a perfect child (shocking, I know) and one particular time I had said something mean to my brother (I honestly cannot remember the incident AT ALL), but I remember vividly the discipline. My mother sat me down with her Bible and a concordance and had me look up 10 or so verses talking about the tongue. Talk about hitting close to home. The Bible has a lot to say about the power of the tongue, and as a young girl, I was a bit shocked about how powerful my words were. It was definitely a "punishment" that has stuck with me my whole life.

Words are my way of expression, which is why I love to blog, but they can also be me undoing. I like to think I have my tongue better managed than when I was 9, but some days I am not so sure.

Part of working towards a clean heart and right spirit is to make sure I am thinking on words that build up instead of tear down. My Pandora station is set to hymns today, and the verse from Proverbs above is what I am thinking about today. (This is a verse that hung in my room as a girl, and is one that I memorized early on to remind myself of the power of the tongue. I love the phrase "Sweetness to the soul." What a perfect visual for me - I certainly need sweetness in my soul. It seems, after all, that words not only have the power to hurt more than sticks or stones, they also have the ability to heal. I know I will be working harder than ever to make sure such a powerful tool is managed well.

Blessings, Laura

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

.a clean heart.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
  and renew a right spirit within me. 
Cast me not away from your presence,
  and take not your Holy Spirit from me.  
Restore to me the joy of your salvation 
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
 Psalm 51:10-12

My spirit has been restless lately.
I am stressed...big changes are coming for our family with my husband's career. What if we don't get the duty station we'd like? What if we do? What kind of helicopter will he be flying for the rest of his military career?
I am least one, maybe two, of my kiddos are getting teeth in. People aren't sleeping, they're cranky.
I am sick...stress is not kind to me. If I stray even a tad from my very strict diet, I am sick for days.
And so my spirit has become tired. I've been cranky and short-tempered with those I love the most. I've let the craziness of my life become an excuse for my behavior. And, quite frankly, it is just that: an excuse. Yes, things are a bit bonkers right now, but, really, not a valid reason.
And so this verse is my prayer.
My prayer for the Lenten season is a clean heart and a right spirit as we prepare for Easter.
If you are struggling with the craziness of life, I hope you will join me in this little quiet place. I would love to share this season with you. To partake in Lent together, Friend, would be so delightful and refreshing to the spirit.
Blessings, Laura

Other posts in this Lent season
.pleasant words.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

.family sunday.

B - The orchids are beautiful. Thank you for being such a wonderful example to our boys of how to treat a girl on Valentine's Day (or the day after)

J - You are such a good big brother; I love overhearing you tal to your siblings

W - I'm sorry your teeth have been hurting you this week, but I am so grateful for your silly sense of humor

A - You're growing up so quickly! Trying to stand, and picking out your own clothes at the store, and chasing your brothers around the house; just slow down!




Wednesday, February 11, 2015

.crazy life.

And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times
It's you, it's you, You make me sing
You're every line, you're every word, you're everything....
Whatever comes our way, ah we'll see it through...
Everything, Michael Buble

Life is crazy.
Well, it feels like it's crazy, anyways.
I get caught up in the day-to-day: the laundry, making dinner, changing diapers, all those little things that are part of running a household. But all of those little things, all of those crazy moments, they are quickly adding up. Most of my time is spent doing those little things; and doing them with my husband is one of my greatest joys.
I love you, Sweetheart. Happy birthday!
I am so glad I get this crazy life to spend with you.
I am so grateful to be able to look towards the future with excitement.
Thank you for being my witness.
[I]n a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'.
Shall We Dance

Monday, February 9, 2015


Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.

Lord Byron


Do you write letters? Do you send handwritten mail on a regular basis?

Although I don't often write out long letters, though I should, I love to send mail through the postal service.

I try to send out at least a photo card for most occasions: Easter, Thanksgiving, those sorts of days.

To me, it is one of the best ways to let those I love know I am thinking about them. I don't get to see my extended family often, so mail is my way of saying "hi".

This year, J and W were able to help me make handmade valentines. Nothing fancy, just hearts cut out of card stock (freehand style), some stickers, and crayons. This task-oriented perfectionist is learning that life is not a production. It is messy, silly, and almost never perfect. But it is wonderful. It is personal. It is An experience meant to be cherished.

I love seeing the difference in my boys' approach to art. The way they tackle a task is as different as their personalities. I have one boy who is a methodical, detailed thinker (what is Grandma's favorite color for her valentine?) and one big picture boy (why not fill the whole page with color and stickers?). It is so fun to watch.

So this year, instead of sending that perfect family picture (that we all know is never going to happen), we are going to be sending out kid-made, handmade cards. I'll probably still include a photo in the ones to grandparents, and great grandparents, because, you know, grandparents love a good photo (and a good laugh at a bad photo).

Life is a bit messy, thank goodness. Now it's time for me to embrace that!

PS - my boys do have clothes, they just prefer not to wear them...and I don't always prefer to fight that battle.



Sunday, February 8, 2015

.family sunday.

I know it's been awhile since I've done my family sunday, but now is the time to start getting back into the habit of sharing something sweet from the past week with each family member.

B - It has been such a treat to have you home for dinner this week - we love spending time with you.

J -This has been a big week for you in the potty training department, and I am so proud of you! Keep working at it, kiddo!

W - My little boy, you have been so generous with your sweet hugs this week. Thank you.

A - You are such a character, sweet are discovering the independence of crawling, and chasing after your brothers.



Friday, February 6, 2015

.family photos.

I am a big fan of Pinterest. I think it is an amazing resource when used correctly.
As someone who's dietary restrictions change on almost a weekly basis, I love being able to search for pretty much any recipe I could want. The resources available at our fingertips are almost impossible to quantify.
Like anything in life, though, it can be abused and used improperly. Aside from the questionable ethical and moral content of quite a few pins, Pinteredt had the tendency to cultivate feelings of jealousy. It is SO easy to look at that "Pinterest-worthy" living room, or that perfect outfit that only looks good in size 0 and costs $5000. I know, I've done it.
The big one for me is the family photos. You know, where the family is perfectly posed, with the perfect background light, the perfect backdrop, the coordinating clothes, and the smiling faces. Yeah, the smiling faces is the big one for me. How do you get your toddlers to sit? Let alone smile on command?
Don't get me wrong, my kids laugh and smile all the time. As I'm writing, their giggles are echoing through the house. But they are running around - not sitting in a super-cute field of flowers.
Every once in a while (and by that I mean at least once a month), I think to myself, maybe this is the week! This might be the week where they will sit together and smile for just one shot. We'll finally be one of those families. It usually ends up in tears from the kids and groans from my husband.
Oh yeah, the last time this happened? Last night. Yep, that was me out in the freezing cold (okay, it was in the 50s) trying to get just one good picture. Even one okay picture would have been good.
But the truth is, my family isn't a "posey" family. The best photos I have of them are "action" photos. They'll probably never go viral as the cutest family pose of all time. In fact, I know they won't. But they'll be my family. When I look back, I'll see who my kids were at that moment in time.
I know, though, that I'll still keep trying to get that perfect photo. But I am going to work more on accepting my kiddos for the action heroes that they are.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Leaving the house with my kids means unsolicited advice from strangers. Every. Single. Time.

Sometimes it's good advice, even great advice: like the elderly gentleman who told me about having your sick kiddos blow up balloons to help drain their ears.

Sometimes it's unnecessary advice: like the lady who screamed across Target to let me know my son was about to stick the closed bottle of hand sanitizer in his mouth. Um, he's almost 3, if it tastes bad, he'll take it out. And the lid is closed! If not, well, that makes up for putting his mouth on the cart ten minutes ago.

But the piece of advice I get the most often, and at least once every out-of-the-home experience is: don't blink. It goes by too fast.

I usually smile and nod. And pray that time goes by fast through this meltdown. Pray that time fast forwards to me not having to change fifteen diapers a day.

But in my heart, I believe them. I know my babies are growing up fast. I know that if I blink they'll all be in school and these moments will be gone. There are moments that are hard, but there are so many more moments that are too sweet.

Over my blogging break, I had to let go of my wonderful work-from-home job so I could spend the most time possible with my kids. This is my first week in a long time of no other obligations but them. I know they won't always want me around every single minute of the day, so for now, I will be.


Monday, February 2, 2015

.be brave.

Courage, dear heart.

C.S. Lewis

I am not a brave person.

On my journey of being an active duty military family, a mama to three sweet kiddos close in age, and far away from home, being brave is important. Living with fear and self-pity is miserable.

So this is my year to be brave.

To embrace my life where it is and thrive. To cherish the moments I have with my children, before the moments are gone. To invest my time in friendships, not tasks. To be a witness to others' lives.

Being brave does not come naturally to me. It's hard. It's frightening. But it will be worth it.

For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7



Sunday, February 1, 2015

.go seahawks.

Yeah, I know...I KNOW...but I'm back, for realsies.

I am...not...the most athletic person. I don't like to play sports, watch sports, go to games, or talk about sports.

And then came the Seahawks. Now, I would have told you ten years ago I was a Seahawks fan, and I would have told you twenty years ago I was a Seahawks fan. I'm from Seattle. The Pacific Northwest is my home.

And back home, being a 12 is a huge part of the culture...especially over the past couple years.

As I have been working on me and being me, I have discovered that I am a huge Seahawks fan and a passionate 12.

Outside of the Northwest, the Seahawks aren't a very popular team. Walking around with my jersey on makes me stand out. It makes me...unique. It represents a piece of home. It allows me to share who I am and where I'm from, and feel like I have a connection with everyone else back home. And it's just so darn fun.

Go Seahawks!!!