Happy Halloween!

Since today is Halloween, but I haven’t dressed my kids up yet, here are a few photos from Halloweens past… Enjoy!

Not a great photo, but one of my favorite costumes ever. The first year we were married, Hubby and I were the Incredibles. Stay tuned to see it again in a year or two, plus the kids!

Not a great photo, but one of my favorite costumes ever. The first year we were married, Hubby and I were the Incredibles. Stay tuned to see it again in a year or two, plus the kids!


Here's a shot of Hubby's whole costume!Here’s a shot of Hubby’s whole costume! That’s a proud moment of making those costumes ourselves!

Lady Gaga was one of my most fun costumes, and the only thing I bought was the wig!

Lady Gaga was one of my most fun costumes, and the only thing I bought was the wig!

The year I was pregnant I was just growing out of my clothes, so I wanted something silly. Reverse Cowgirl it was! Kelly (on the right here, and on the right in the one above) and I always get pictures together!The year I was pregnant I was just growing out of my clothes, so I wanted something silly. Reverse Cowgirl it was! Kelly (on the right here, and on the right in the one above) and I always get pictures together!

Ella Kate's first Halloween - Photo cred. Sophie Van ZandtElla Kate’s first Halloween – and you can hardly find her, haha!
Photo cred. Sophie Van Zandt

Last year, Hubby was Sully and EK was Boo. I ran out of time before turning my belly into Mike... but my two loves looked great!Last year, Hubby was Sully and EK was Boo. I ran out of time before turning my belly into Mike… but my two loves looked great, and EK had fun at our church’s Trunk or Treat event. That’s where we’re headed tonight, so you’ll see pictures soon!

What are you dressing up as this year? What are your kids going to be? How many Elsas have you seen?!

I have a quick temper.

I’ve been trying to be a better mommy to my two year old. We work on sharing, letters and numbers, using the potty, and being nice to others (including me). But sometimes, she’s a drama queen. Sometimes, she can be manipulating. I know- that sounds crazy to have a manipulating two year old, but it’s the truth. She knows how to get what she wants from me and from daddy. And that frustrates me. She’s so smart and great at communicating and behaves so well! So when she’s upset or hurt or frustrated and can’t tell me, she just starts doing weird stuff. I don’t know why, so I tell her to stop. She cries. I get frustrated. She cries more, then I cry. Sometimes it’s a nasty situation in a short number of minutes.

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I was talking through this with Hubby’s mom, and she totally commiserated. She also gave me some advice. My frustration has a root somewhere deeper. It could be jealousy (“I want my Daddy!” when she’s with me and not him) or perfectionism (she isn’t perfect, however totally awesome she might be most of the time). It could be that I’m too quick-tempered (I know already that I am). It could be a plethora of extenuating circumstances that have stressed me out and out me on edge before EK has even entered the picture.

There is an element of a generational curse that I am trying not to inherit. I have a quick temper, like my parents before me. I know for a fact that I cannot overcome it myself – I need God’s help to get past it and relax and move on. Hubby’s mom gave me four R’s to help remember a good process to squelch that temper as it comes on…

Recognize it as sin.

Repent and ask for forgiveness.

Receive the forgiveness. Not just ask for it. Fully receive it.

Take responsibility for it, and be able to call it down.

Then, the next time the quick temper bubbles up in me, I can go through the steps more quickly. I can recognize it before it actually happens, repent, receive forgiveness, and take the responsibility for it. Then it’s easier to move on, without the temper (and the words/actions that would follow). Praise Jesus for the opportunity to lay our sins at his feet, and have them washed away!

Do you have a vice that just keeps pecking away at you, no matter how much you try to control it? What do you do to get past it?


Linking up this week with Hannah at Joyful Life for another edition of Currently – a quick, easy update on you life, right at this moment. Join our community!

T H I N K I N G || I’m really consumed by two overwhelming feelings this morning… Thinking about how wonderful it was to have Hubby’s grandparents in town (his dad’s parents live in Hawaii, are 87, and come to town once a year for two weeks) and how relieved I am that life is returning to normal since they are safely back home. Would we love it if they lived here? Absolutely! However, having them in town for only two weeks a year means that our lives revolve around spending as much time with them as possible while they’re here (as it should be!) but that gets exhausting with two kids thrown from their regular schedules and places and planned into extra family events, meals, etc. It’s wonderful, and a lot. We should just get them to move here!! Best of both worlds, right?

D R E A M I N G || This one is an interesting one. I’ll tell you about an actual dream that I had. I was in a group of girlfriends, and several f them announced they were pregnant. So I said I was too. I wasn’t. And that is what I dreamed last night. Ha!

O R G A N I Z I N G || We are still going on the basement/garage. I feel like every time I gain a little bit of ground, I have a few days where I just don’t have a moment to get to work down there until I am way too tired to consider it. One of the next items on my list is to go pick up some of those Rubbermaid (or comparable) bins to store some of the kids’ stuff (read: clothes) that I don’t want to part with, in case Hsu baby #3 (also read: not pregnant) needs them later. Anyone know of a place selling those bins on the cheap?

L A U G H I N G   A T || EK has had some HILARIOUS kid speak recently. Strawberries are “raw-be-yeah”. Applesauce and apple juice are both “applesaucejuice” (it’s a toss up to determine which item she’s asking for). Water and swaddle sound the same. “Tee-tee shoes” is EK speak for “princess shoes”, also known as those plastic dress up shoes from T. J. Maxx. She wants to wear them everywhere and does not appreciate it when I tell her she can’t because she’ll trip.

R E A D I N G || Less and less every day… I know that’s sad, but I’ve been so busy. Hubby and I have both had some family in and out of town, and have been working a lot. Not to mention, you know, keeping house and raising kiddos. Ha. But seriously, I love reading, and I’m always sad when I don’t get to do it as much as I’d like. I’m also a bit sorry (and a tiny bit excited) to say the lapse in reading is also partially due to the return of tv shows in the fall. Gotta catch up with Jess and Nick, right?

What have you been up to? What’s going on in your life currently?

8 Things I Want My Non-Parent Friends to Know

This post also appeared on MyBigJesus.com along with tons of other awesome posts – check them out!

I have lots of non-parent friends. They’re great! I love spending time with them, although sometimes it seems that I don’t get to as often as I’d like. So, non-parents, here’s to you!

1. I still want to hang out. Yes, it might mean you come to me more often than I come to you. Yes, it might mean that I come with one or two little stowaways. Yes, it might take a little more planning. Yes, it might even mean that it’s cut short or cried out by a kid (with me or with someone else). But I still value our relationship. It looks different, but I don’t want it to end.

2. I can still be spontaneous. There’s the odd night that my kids are in bed early, and I am not tired. Yeah, I said it. Sometimes, I want to leave the house at 8:00pm and watch tv with you or catch a late dinner. Give me a break and meet me for a drink, already!

3. I didn’t stop being cool. I still like listening to good music, seeing good movies and eating good food. Why do you assume I only eat chicken nuggets while listening to Raffi?

4. I’m still a woman. Yes, “mommy” is one of my number one defining attributes. However, I’m a wife. I’m a friend. I’m a daughter. I’m a sister. Most of all, (GASP!) I’m a woman. I love wearing mascara, shopping for shoes, sipping lattes and (insert any other cliche about females here).

5. I don’t think less of you because you aren’t in my shoes. Just because you decided not to have kids, or haven’t found your soul mate doesn’t mean I think any less of you. I have friends in every stage of life; I haven’t limited my hangout group to “parents of young kids”.

6. I like to stay up late! I’m still a night owl; I can function on less sleep sometimes. I’m productive and happy at night after my kids go to bed, so call me up or come over for a chat! Don’t assume I crash at 7:30pm when my kids do, because that’s only sometimes true.

7. I love my kids, but I don’t mind leaving them sometimes. In fact, I think it’s healthy for me to have conversations with other adults, have a meal I don’t have to share, and to peepee in the potty without an audience.

8. I would love it if you hung out with my kids. They’re hilarious. I’m proud of them. I want to show them off in their best light, and I also want you to see their off days, so you have a real picture of who I am through these little lives I have created, shaped, loved and let go. Yeah, it might not be for you right now. It might not be for you ever. But being a parent is fun, crazy, hard and rewarding. It’s who I am. It’s the greatest gift God has ever given me, and I do my best to relish it and share it. Get to know my kids, and you get to know me.

My First 10k Is COMPLETE!

Y’all. On Saturday (yesterday), I RAN A 10K! I deserve some props, yeah?!

My sweet friend Aida (this race was her idea!) and me before the run!
My sweet friend Aida (this race was her idea!) and me before the run!

After I started training and learned what a “normal” pace was for me, I decided that my goad would be to finish the race in an hour or less. That meant I needed to keep a pace of a little less than 10 minutes per mile. I’m totally happy to say that I punched that pace and that goal in the face. I kept my pace between 8:42 (that was mile five, lots of downhills) and 9:40 (that was the first mile, aka my warm-up). My finish time (unofficial – the time that I saw on the giant clock as I crossed the finish line) was 57:11. I am SO beyond okay with that!

I had lots of friends that all killed it at the 10k, and had several more friends that killed the 5k. Let me just say, running a race with all those hills is not for the faint-hearted, no matter which race you were running. It seemed like every time I turned a corner I looked straight up another ridiculous hill. Blegh. But that made me glad that I did most of my training in my also-hilly neighborhood. Love me some Sherwood Forest!

So here’s some encouragement – I have a 10 month old baby. Because he was born in December, I didn’t even consider running until the weather warmed up a lot, so almost all of my “training” was since May, and I wouldn’t really call it actual training until August. I ran 2-4 times a week, depending on how busy I was, and when I ran (even towards the month of the race) I ran anywhere from 2.5-5.5 miles (usually with my double jogger and the kids – I didn’t run with the stroller during the race). I only ran a 10k distance once before the race. I did other workouts, like some strength training and a fair amount of yoga, but I wasn’t running nearly every day, or even working out every day. I just made up my mind that I wanted to do it, and worked in that direction till I did it. And now I love running and I’m so pumped that I was able to take part in and complete such a great, local race!

Have you run a race before? Was your experience good or bad? Has anyone else run the Ardmore RAH?!


This is my sixth time linking up with some awesome bloggers to share life, connect, and give and get ideas! Love this link up – join us!

D O I N G || We are working on potty training and house purging/organizing, almost to the exclusion of all else. Both are very productive and healthy for us to be doing, and we have a ways to go yet.

P L A N N I N G || We have already started making our plans for the holiday season. Are we going to go see my family in GA? Will we invite everyone to come here? Will we plan lots of things or be a little more relaxed? All valid questions. All have no true answers yet. My schedule is already gearing up for church, since there are extra services and functions I’ll need to attend, as well as social gatherings of friends far and near. It’s going to be a busy few months, folks.

R E M E M B E R I N G || My maternal grandfather passed away in November of last year, and I think about him all the time, but especially now. My son has his eyes and his hairline (read: cowlick) and sometimes I look at him and want to weep for his great-grandfather and the fact that he won’t know him. He so would have loved my son, and my son would have loved him.

W I S H I N G || I love my kids at their stages right this minute… I’m wishing they could stop time for a few months and not change.

L O V I N G || I got a tip from my friend Aida about some fantastic boots on Amazon… so I bought them. And they are wonderful. I have worn them every other day almost. I’ve worn them with dresses, jeans, leggings, tights, and been completely happy every time I’ve put them on. Here’s the link: Very Volatile Women’s Mel Boot. I got the dark taupe. They come in teal, and I’m thinking about telling Hubby that’s what I want for Christmas…

What’s going on in your life currently?

The Great Pumpkin Patch Meltdown

I had a grand idea. It was to get Hubby and our kids, Hubby’s brothers, their wives and their kids all together for a photo shoot. It’s fall, so we figured a local pumpkin patch was the best place to do it. We planned our outfits, picked a time that worked around everyone’s naps, and planned our weekend around it. J can sometimes have a super long morning nap, so I ended up having to wake him up to get him ready to go. I was a little worried whether or not he’d let go of me and hang out with the other kids so we could get some good pictures.

Little did I know, he wasn’t the one I needed to worry about.

EK had had a totally normal morning, and right when we got to the pumpkin patch, she was really sweet on all the littler babies. But then, we decided we wanted to put the babies in a wagon (this place had those red Radio Flyers you could put the pumpkins in to take them to the car) and have EK pull it. But it was tougher than it looked (when it was full of pumpkins and babies), so I tried to help her a little.

Note: She didn’t want the help. Cue the biggest “terrible two” meltdown I’ve ever seen.

This was a lay-on-the-ground, scream-at-the-top-of-her-lungs sort of tantrum. My even-tempered child turned into an angry monster over whom I had no control. No one could do anything, so we all stood around, a little nervously, and try to pretend no one noticed the tantruming toddler.

Hubby’s mom finally picked her up and took her to get a snow cone from the stand nearby (because it’s okay when grandmas do that) so that we could try to continue taking photos. But as soon as snow cone time was over, it was meltdown #2. Or maybe the meltdown had only paused. Either way, the cute photos of my daughter were pretty much over.

What does a mama do in that situation? Wait it out. In a public place, surrounded by family and strangers alike, I just had to let it run its course. Thankfully, everyone was gracious and turned a blind eye to the ground-shaking sounds erupting from the small body. It was her first real tantrum, and we haven’t had another one since.  Here’s to praying that it was a one-time fluke… right?

The mischievous face of my darling two-year-old, pre-meltdown. I think she was plotting all along.
The mischievous face of my darling daughter, pre-meltdown. I think she was plotting all along.

Potty Training Update

Here’s a TMI post for you if I’ve ever written one…

Our potty training has been extremely lax. Our philosophy has been that when EK is ready, she will start making moves. So we bought a little potty, put her on it a couple of times each day, asked her several more times a day if she’d like to use it (usually receiving a “no” for a while), and otherwise let her tell us how interested she was – or wasn’t. She’s just now two and a half, so I haven’t been terribly worried about it, especially because in the past month or so she’s been doing a GREAT job.

((Side story: Hubby and I traveled with the kids to GA for my high school reunion. On the way back to NC, we were, uh, really tired, from the party the night before, so we just put the kids in the car in their pajamas, and hit the road. We stopped at a Subway for lunch and hydration and rest, and EK decided that she HAD to use the potty. At Subway. Gross. And guess what she was wearing? One piece zip-up pajamas. So I’m in the Subway bathroom, exhausted but giving my A+ parenting game, stripping my daughter to her skin to hold her over the toilet seat, that I’ve completely covered with toilet paper but I’m still not letting her touch. After she has successfully done her business, I’m trying to get her back in her (dry!) diaper and zip-up pajamas with no changing table… aka standing up… without letting anything touch the floor. Blerg. That was a long ten minutes. Now back to regularly scheduled posting.))

She’s started mentioning using the potty more, so we’ve started asking her a lot more often, and it’s been working! We keep a dry diaper a lot of the day, and use the potty several times, so we’re feeling great. On Thursday, she even (wait for it…) POOPED in the potty! And even my limited potty training experience tells me that’s a milestone!

Funny little thing about the past two weeks… EK has decided she no longer wants to use the little training potty. She only wants to sit on an actual toilet. Okay, great. Except she can’t really keep herself from falling in all that well. It takes a little more help from whoever is with her. But it’s pretty cute to see how proud of herself she is when she’s tinkling in “Mommy’s potty”. We’ve been rewarding her with a couple of jelly beans each time, so she’s extra excited to get those!

So now we’re to the point that we need to really buckle down and get her from using the potty most of the time to all the time. We just bought some Pull-Ups, so that should help. What are you suggestions for completing the process? And then, how do we wean her off the jellybeans?!


Today I’m linking up (belatedly haha) with Hannah at Joyful Life for the next installment of the Currently series. I love building community with these fantastic bloggers who inspire me. Join us!


T H I N K I N G || As you might know, I’ve been training for a 10K that’s on October 25th. I ran 6.23 miles (just a little over) on Monday for the first time – usually I have been doing between 4 and 5 miles – and it killed me. I am still sore. I thought that when I lost the stroller (I usually run with my double jogger and both kids) the last mile and a half would come easily. It didn’t. I managed to finish, but I was really dragging my booty at the end. I’m hoping I can get at least three more of those actual 10k-length runs in between now and the race. I’m not going for a certain time… I just want to finish!

M A K I N G || This makes me think of crafting… but Lord knows I haven’t been doing that. I love to craft, but just haven’t had the time. I will stick with making friends. Building relationships. That’s a good thing to be making, right? I’ve been learning more about the gals in my women’s small group and I love it!

A N T I C I P A T I N G || I’m really looking forward to church this Sunday. I’m leading worship at a different service since J and his cousins are getting baptized, and all of our family will be in town. It’s going to be a joyous occasion all around!

W E A R I N G || Scarves. And. Boots. And. Boots. And. Scarves. Seriously. I’m wrecked because the weather hasn’t really gotten that cool for more than a few hours at a time, so I’m sweating in my boots and scarves. Oh well, it’s October, and I’m in the right and the weather is in the wrong.

T H A N K F U L   F O R || I’m thankful right now for a mother-in-law that I not only get along with really well, but who also speaks truth and goodness into me, Hubby and the kids. She’s a fantastic lady, and she is one of the reasons our family is so darn awesome.

Here’s a little glimpse of our fall photo session from last Saturday. I’ll go into detail about it later… But we love working with Sophie Van Zandt – the best 16-year-old photographer you’ve ever seen! She always cranks out tons of cute photos of my kids and our family.


We’re eating all the fruit.

One of the changes we’ve made at our house to be a little more healthy is to have healthier snack options. Yes, I love Cheetos. However, I know that there are approximately 2,463,910 healthier snacks. We’ve been keeping Pretzel Crisps (we like the “Everything” flavor) and Nut Thins to eat with cheese, and tons of fruit as our preferred snacks. (Unless I’ve recently made those spiced pumpkin muffins from Against All Grain. Then all bets are off.)

My kids love the fruit. And I don’t mean a little bit. They are fruit nuts (see what I did there?) and so a trip to the grocery store is colorful and fresh and often. We buy berries of all kinds (twice as much if they’re on sale), grapes, bananas, apples, plums, and anything else the looks good or is cheap.

Today the grocery trip wore them out, so I had a double nap (WIN!) to do a little more to the fruit than usual. Often, I only have time to throw it in the fridge, and then I’m distracted doing something else. But since I had time today, I decided to take the fruit snacking thing to the next level.

I took the blueberries, strawberries and grapes we bought and gave them a vinegar rinse. I got this ideal from my mom… apparently a vinegar rinse kills bacteria that causes fruit to mold after a few days. Her “recipe” is 1/4 cup white vinegar for every gallon of water. My “recipe” is put the fruit in a bowl of water, dribble some white vinegar in there, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Seems to work just as well.

The next thing I did was to semi-prepare the fruit so that when my kids want some, I can just toss it in a bowl for them and it’s ready. I cut the tops off all the strawberries, pulled the grapes off the stems, and even quartered a small bowl of them (J can’t eat them whole yet). Blueberries are, well, ready. Obviously.


All of this took me about half an hour, but I was also doing some dishes and talking on the phone, so I didn’t feel like it was wasted. And now J is eating his bowl of quartered grapes and I’m blogging about it, instead of quartering them now!

What are some healthy snacks you like munching on? Do your kids love fruit as much as mine do?

Just because I have to include a picture of my cute kiddo 🙂