raising a mommy

raising a mommy

Friday, May 30, 2014

fmf: nothing

Here are the rules:
1. Write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back to Lisa Jo Baker's blog with the rest of the Five Minute Friday-ers.
3. Comment on the person who linked up before you.

Please join us!

Today's prompt: Nothing


It's a word we use all too often, usually, probably, without meaning it.

"What can I do for you? What can I do to help?"

"Oh, nothing!"

"Thanks for having us for dinner. What can I bring?"

"Nothing at all!"

"What's wrong?"


That last one especially. If there's anyone out there who claims they haven't used it, they're most likely lying!

But what is it about the response? Why do we feel the need to deny the help of others? To shield our real feelings from them? To refuse to even let them pick up a bag of baby carrots and some ranch dip when they just want to bring/do something?

Are we so arrogant that we need to be that self-sufficient? We want to open our homes and be hospitable for a dinner or a night or a party, but we can't allow them to reciprocate by bringing a bottle of wine, a salad, or a platter of fruit? We really have to prove that we can do it all ourselves? And why, even, sometimes, around close friends, do we hide ourselves? If something is wrong, it's true that they may not be able to do a single thing about it. In fact, they probably can't. Maybe they can offer some advice or tell about when they were in a similar situation, but, most likely, they'll just have to listen.

And that's okay. Because even if someone can't solve your problems, even if you don't want them to, just speaking them out loud to a trusted friend can make a difference.

As a soon-to-be mom of a toddler and newborn, I've been mentally prepping myself to drastically reduce, if not eliminate, this word from my vocabulary. So if you come to visit after the little nugget is born, and you ask what you can bring or what you can do to help, you'll probably be swinging by the grocery store for milk and fruit or spending a few minutes sweeping my floor or washing a few dishes.

And if I come visit you and ask what I can do to help, I fully expect you to come up with something.

You have been warned.


Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

our week in pictures

Today's blessing:

Friends, I've been absent for awhile. For about a week, we were without internet. There are certain places in our house where I can pick up a 3G signal on my phone, so I could occasionally check e-mail or facebook, but for the most part, I was unwired. Not going to lie - it was kind of nice.

But now it's back, and I'm back in the virtual world. However, the weather has been so nice that I haven't spent much time on my computer anyway. Here's a quick recap of what we've been up to:

We went to the park one morning. It took her a little while, but by the time we left, she was going down the biggest slide all by herself!

"Look, Mommy! It's a P!"

Rockin' the shades and exploring the tunnels.

Baby wasn't quite so adventurous. She waited until we got home, and P helped her go down the little slide.

We planted some flowers. P helped me dig the holes and then water them. She dumped her little cup of water in the dirt near the flowers, and then said, "Happy eating, flowers! Happy drinking, flowers!"

We got to meet baby C, friend S's baby brother. When P was holding him and he started fussing, she leaned in and said, "It's okay, baby. It's okay!" Cutest thing ever.

Highlight of my life so far: P wanted to go running with me. Not riding in the jogging stroller, but actually running with me. The tutu is a nice touch.

Then she got distracted when she realized that the dirt road is basically like a giant sandbox.

This is the result.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

yum: grandma's homemade granola

Today's blessing:
Real food

I'm trying (in a baby-step kind of way) to gradually increase the amount of real food my family eats. I've found a number of great recipes on the 100 Days of Real Food blog. They have a granola recipe that I'm sure is delicious, but I have one that works, so why mess with it?

Here's what I love about this recipe:

  • It is so easy! Dump ingredients in bowl. Mix together. Bake and stir. Store. Eat.
  • There is nothing bad for you. No processed sugar, no salt, no nastiness.
  • It is flexible. You can change the quantities of ingredients based on what you have in your pantry. If you have almonds and pecans but no cashews, that's just fine. I don't think I've ever used ground sesame seeds.
  • It's delicious in yogurt, as cereal, or just by itself. Sometimes, if I want to sweeten it up a little more (though it certainly doesn't need it!) I'll add a handful of raisins or dried cranberries to a bowl with my granola. Delightful.
  • It makes a great gift. Kind of goofy, I know, but if you're in need of a hostess gift and you've already exhausted your standards (for me: homemade salsa and jam) this is a great option. It's also a nice thing to pass on to a new mom. Package it in individual serving containers for her to keep wherever she nurses baby. Healthy, one-handed snacks are a God-send. (It is a one-handed snack, I promise. Take off the lid and drink it up!)
  • It came from my grandma. Grandmas always seem to have the best recipes!
So, without further ado, here it is:

Grandma's Homemade Granola

6 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup shredded coconut (all I had was sweetened, but I'm going to try to find unsweetened next time)
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup nuts
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1/2 cup raw wheat germ
1/2 cup sesame seeds (ground)
Whatever else you like, is good for you, or have handy
1 cup oil
1 cup honey

Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 300 for 40 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes. I divide mine between two cake pans. Next time I'm going to line them with parchment paper, too, because the dishwasher doesn't quite get everything off, and I'm lazy.
Stays fresh in an airtight container for several months. If it lasts that long. As you can tell, it makes a pretty generous batch!

Mmm...don't you just want to grab a spoon and dive in? I do...

Thursday, May 8, 2014

fmf: grateful

Here are the rules:
1. Write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back to Lisa Jo Baker's blog with the rest of the Five Minute Friday-ers.
3. Comment on the person who linked up before you.

Please join us!

Today's prompt: Grateful


So my husband has started this new thing (well, not super new, but he's being more intentional about it), and it's pretty wonderful. He's a pretty great guy, and he's had some really great mentors who have helped him become the stellar human being he is.

He's always been good about thanking me for what I do. Some days it doesn't feel like much, but he finds something for which he is grateful, and makes sure I know about it. Even if it's just laundry, which I actually don't mind doing, he thanks me.

I think I'm just doing my job - nothing more than what is expected of me. But he can see the love in that.

Love is always having clean underwear and socks.

Love is not having to wash a plate quick to eat a snack because they're all dirty.

Love is noticing the little things and being thoughtful enough to say "thank you".

I'm so grateful to have such a great guy!

Tell someone today you're grateful for what they do; it'll make their day!


Five Minute Friday

another celebration

Today's blessing:

Amazing! It seems like just yesterday I was doing my first giveaway for reaching 5000 blog views, and now it's doubled! Wow!

I wanted to do something special for you, my friends, for helping me reach this exciting milestone. I mean, five digits...that's pretty cool!

I've been playing around with some do-it-yourself spa stuff lately, and it's been a lot of fun. So, I figured I might as well share the fun with you! In thanks for your kind devotion - whether you read every post, once in while, or have just stopped by because you saw the chance to win something - I think you'll enjoy this one. I'm giving away a little collection of my homemade spa treatments! Here is what the kit will include:

Peppermint Grapefruit Salt Scrub
If you live in the Midwest like me, you may be just starting to think about summer and getting your feet flip-flop ready! This fresh smelling scrub will do just the trick - I started using it a few weeks ago once or twice a week, and for the first time, they didn't have to bring out the nasty heavy-duty cheese grater thing for my feet when I went for a pedicure! (Out of, you know, the four times in my life I've had a pedicure.)

Honey Vanilla Bubble Bath
It smells so good, and it leaves your skin feeling so nice and soft! You might think it would be sticky, but it's not; I promise!

Homemade Soy Candle
In my favorite scent: Warm Vanilla Sugar!

There you have it - everything you need for a relaxing night to yourself!

We'll see, maybe I'll even throw in some more fun stuff if I try any more great recipes in the next week!

Note: I actually am moderating the entries...you are required to comment on this post for any of your other entries to count, so if you say you commented but you actually didn't, you will not be eligible to win. I know, I'm mean!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 1, 2014

fmf: mess

Here are the rules:
1. Write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back to Lisa Jo Baker's blog with the rest of the Five Minute Friday-ers.
3. Comment on the person who linked up before you.

Please join us!

Today's prompt: Mess


"Please excuse the mess; we live here."

Someday, I will have this on a giant sign displayed proudly in my home for all to see. It will most definitely have a place of prominence.

I don't like to clean, but I hate living in a mess even more. Therefore, I will clean just enough to be passable. I may be messy, but I cannot tolerate living in "dirty." There is a difference!

Right now, however, I am dealing with a different kind of mess. I'm in the midst of the mess that comes with loss. My husband lost his dear aunt just under a week ago. She was a piece of work. She was stubborn and sometimes a little bit scattered. But she loved fiercely. Every living thing - be it one of her crazy family members (and they have more than their share of crazy in that family!) or a pregnant stray cat that got stuck under her porch and, before long, the stray's kittens. All of them.

She left behind a bit of a mess.

Her family is an extremely emotional one, and they can, at times, be a mess.

Her cats are confused as to where she is, and they are a mess.

She died too young, unprepared. Who plans for the trifecta of sickness: lungs, heart, and blood, at the age of 52? That left everyone, and many things, in a mess.

But, as she would say, you just have to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
Psalm 23:4

We don't run. We don't crawl. We don't stand still and look around. We put one foot in front of the other. And we walk.

And we do not walk alone.


She has not aged at all...her face is exactly the same!
I wish I could take credit for the "just keep swimming" spirit of this post, but I can't. I based it on a message preached by my husband, which was based on a sermon preached by the remarkable PK, who I am honored to call my friend. The simplicity of the message is what makes it so brilliant.

Five Minute Friday

For another take on "mess" and how I'm dealing with it, click here and here.