Currently: Thankful

Hey everyone! Look at me getting this out on a Monday! It’s like all my kids are napping at the same time, or something… I hope everyone had as wonderful a Thanksgiving as we did. I’m linking up with Becky at Choose Happy again this week, so join us and let us know what you’re up to currently!

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Thankful for || my family. Y’all, Thanksgiving was great. It wasn’t busy, and it wasn’t the most exciting one we’ve ever had. But it was great. My parents were here for most of the week, and my brother and his girlfriend were here for a day and a night. We really loved having them in town, and a low-key Thanksgiving was just what we needed.

Anticipating || Christmas. As I’ve mentioned before, advent is my favorite time of year, and I’ll probably say it again. The idea of already and not yet is the beauty of the Gospel. Jesus has already come and saved us from our sins, but he’s going to come again! The opportunity to celebrate this again and again every year is exciting to me, and I would “do Christmas” every day of the year!

 Listening to || Glory in the Heights. It’s a song written by the friend of a friend, and we incorporate it in our Christmas worship services at my church. Here’s the YouTube of the story behind it. You can download it on Noisetrade! It’s SO GOOD.

Baking || sugar cut out cookies! My kids love them, and love making them. The recipe I have (I’ll try to post it this week!) is okay to freeze, so we are going to make a double batch, and freeze some dough in small chunks so we can make a few cookies fairly often. It’s hard for us to finish a whole batch of something before they’re stale, so I love to use recipes I can either half or freeze.


Cleaning || all of the things! I had a really productive day today, folding a lot of laundry, several loads of dishes (we were really lazy after dinner last night), cleaning the floor and counters in the kitchen, and changing sheets on every bed in the house, I was feeling like superwoman. There was a lot of coffee involved.

So now, tell me… what are you up to currently?

Trimming the Tree: Thought Processes of Preschoolers

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

I was so excited this year to get my Christmas decorations out and spend an evening with my family trimming the tree. Advent is my favorite time of the year and I love starting the season with music and lights and family.

I got box after box of carefully wrapped decorations from the attic, as visions of sugar plums danced in my head, and as my mother forcibly held my almost 2 year old son back from climbing the ladder after me. My 3 1/2 year old daughter, well-acquainted with the magic of Christmas, danced around the room, alternately shouting about how excited she was about the artaments and shouting at her brother to not break them.

We unwrapped the shiny, sparkly goodies and helped the first round of them get on the tree. I put the most fragile as high as I could, and let the kids do what they could reach. J quickly lost interest upon learning that actually putting the string around a branch was difficult, and resorted to pushing all the buttons on the ones that made noise (cue the off-key renditions of Disney songs and light shows that could cause seizures).

Having only broken a couple of ornaments so far, I felt like it was going well. The next day, however, as I admired our handiwork, I noticed a few things. This is what my preschoolers must’ve thought:

First of all, ornaments look best on the bottom of the tree. Either that or they didn’t bother to reach above their waistlines. Clusters of ornaments hang at my knee level and below, mostly including the “fun ones” or ones that my daughter made.

Secondly, once a kid got hooked on one branch, it had to have at least four ornaments before moving on to the next one. Branches are weighed down so heavily that I’ve moved several ornaments off to relieve pressure.

Third, similar ornaments must be hung together. If they came in a set together, they were meant to be hung near each other. Why spread them out evenly? (Close proximity of polka dot hats and silver garlic blubs – thanks Hubby for pointing that shape out.)

Lastly, the tree is not the only place for ornaments. The kitchen table, nightstands, and the middle of the floor are all acceptable places for tree ornaments to be residing. Note: if they make noise, they’re in a kid’s hand all the time.

All in all, I kinda dig it. I can have a tree worthy of Southern Living when I’m an empty-nester.

What I’m Thankful For This Year

I try to be thankful every day. As I’m sure you know, some days it’s easier than others. I spent the last couple of weeks trying to do small kindnesses, just paying a little love forward. It was wonderful to see the way it changed someone’s attitude sometimes, and the times I didn’t see it, it was good to know that someone would be blessed by what I had done. We are blessed to be a blessing!

This year, I’ve posted pictures in my Instagram every day of things that in thankful for, and they’ve often just been spur of the moment things, however I was feeling right then. But here’s a list for you, of a few things that are gratefully heavy on my heart today.

 My family. I mean the ones that brought me into this world and raised me. I have incredibly hardworking and loving parents, an awesome brother who I am glad to say I’m friends with, a sweet, sweet grandmother (and three other grandparents in heaven who I miss). I have aunts and uncles and cousins galore, all who I wish I saw more often, but they’re all truly wonderful. Family is awesome, y’all.

My family. NOW I’m talking about the family I’ve started… Starting with the most wonderful husband in the world, who loves me so well each and every day, even when I’m grumpy. I also have three healthy and happy children, all of whom we are able to feed, clothe, teach and treasure. Nothing is better than that.

My home. We live in a big house that keeps us dry and warm. That’s an incredible blessing. Not to mention, it’s also a safe place for our family and friends, and we have already, in our five years in it, made wonderful memories here.

My education. My parents worked hard to get me the best education available where we lived, and then send me on to college. This is a privilege and I am so thankful for it.

My town. Y’all, Winston-Salem is the coolest. It’s a great community full of innovative and excited people and I love living here.

My church. Reynolda has changed my life in so many ways, and I will always be grateful. The people there are nothing short of fantastic, loving, and grace-filled. They are my people. 

Those are just a few things… just a start. What are you thankful for this holiday?

Things Toddlers Say 

Hey y’all! Happy Tuesday – before Thanksgiving! I hope you all get a few days respite and time with your family this week!

I’ve noticed that what I’m writing each week is getting a little more conversational. Even J is getting to be a big boy (and did you see he’s in his big boy bed now?!) with the way he talks. It’s getting good, folks. Enjoy!

Me: It’s raining today, so let’s put your boots on.
J: No, I don’t wan’ wear ma boops!
Me: Okay, well let’s just get dressed.
(Puts all the other clothes on.)
J: Mom! I wan’ wear ma boops!
Just act like it was his idea.

For J, when he gets in trouble, he sits in time out. And apparently I’ve been speaking too harshly, or else he knows just how to dramatize it. Sometimes, randomly, he’ll shout, “Time out!” and point to the hallway (where our time out spot is) and not crack a single smile. I don’t necessarily feel like I shout it, or say it without explanation, but he gets the point.

Overheard from the other room…
EK: Hop in there, Joe Joe!
J: Okay!
EK: We’ve got to get to home!
J: Okay!
EK: Come on, Bing Bong!
Hubby, coming into the room: Do you know what they’re doing? It took me a while to figure out… They’re playing “Inside Out”.
Me: And of course, J is Bing Bong (the imaginary cotton candy-elephant-cat).

Instead of asking for eggs like he normally does, J has started calling them eggies. A little throwback, perhaps?

EK: Mama! Here’s your bootiful bracelet!

Hartley: They have really good collard greens here.
Me: Are they spicy?
J: Are you spicy?
Me: Hahahaha!

Me: Hey, where did you put the cream cheese?
EK: On the counter, next to the knife block and the coffee maker.   Me: Very astute. You also just used several words I didn’t know you knew.

Annie, upon giving EK a Lindor truffle: Did that taste really good?
Annie: What did it taste like?
EK: A bird in my mouth!

J: Mom! Look!
Me: What is it?
J: A that!
Me: A what?
J: A fire truck!
It was a yellow car.

Driving home from the store, we had a case of wine in the back seat…
(Loud clinking)
EK: Be quiet, wines!

Are your kids funny, too? I want to hear what they say!

He Is Secure, Even If I’m Not

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!  

 This weekend, unbeknownst to me, Hubby transitioned my little tiny baby J into his big boy bed.

Okay, so he’s not so tiny. But he’s still a baby, right?!

J won’t be two till just after Christmas, and even though he has an actually tiny baby brother, he himself is still a baby. A toddler, maybe, but in many ways still a baby. He needs snuggles and has warm milk at nap time and won’t use the potty and should still be contained in his crib. 

But while I was out on Saturday, Christmas shopping with my sisters-in-law and my mother-in-law, Hubby put J down for a nap in the queen-sized bed (that’s already in his room for lack of another place to put it). We had been talking about moving him into it, and letting J get used to the idea, but hadn’t made any real plan for when it would happen.

With EK, we tried to move her to a big girl bed too early. We were preparing for J’s arrival, and just couldn’t get her to stay in her big girl room, so she slept in his nursery even after he was a couple of weeks old. She wasn’t ready, and she was not going to sleep there until she decided it was time.

Now on Saturday (with no warning, may I add), I just received a picture text from Hubby of the video monitor, pointed at the bed, with a tiny spot of J somewhere near the headboard. I couldn’t believe it! Tears came to my eyes when I thought of my little baby boy, asleep in that giant bed, without me snuggling next to him. Surely he can’t be ready! He must feel so scared alone in that huge bed!

But he wasn’t scared or sad. He was ready. I was the one who wasn’t.

Upon further conversation, I learned that he didn’t go immediately to sleep, but he slept soundly once he was. He has even spent two nights and another nap in the bed, only escaping the room a couple of times before drifting off.

He isn’t even my last baby, but I’m not ready to lose the crib. What if he misses it? What if he asks to sleep there? But it’s my security blanket, not his. I’m the one that wants to hold him back. But he knows that his needs will be met, his fears will be stilled, and he can be brave because he is loved and taken care of. He is secure.


I just can’t get my updates out on Mondays anymore. Sheesh! I guess not much has happened since my update on Thursday, but here goes anyway! I’ll link up with Becky as usual! Here’s what I’m currently doing…IMG_0614

Eating || fried eggs. Why I’ve just rediscovered their deliciousness, I’m not sure. But I cannot get enough of them! I’ve always loved eggs in basically any form, but right now, frying them (over medium) is my jam.   

  Listening || to Christmas music! Not all day, every day yet, but the local radio station has switched over, and I’m also planning my advent music at church, so it’s just been a nice transition. 

Enjoying || the lovely weather right now! We’ve had clear skies and cool (but not cold) afternoons. It’s perfect, and we’ve all enjoyed some time outside! 
Thankful for || this season of preparing our hearts for Christmas. I’d always loved advent, and just before it gets started is a great time to set our hearts in a posture of gratitude. I am blessed immensely, and I choose to be grateful for the people and things in my life. 

What are you thankful for? What are you up to currently?

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday!

EK, over dinner: When will Necie be here?
Me: At Thanksgiving, in two weeks!
EK: Yay! (Turns to J:) Necie will be here in two weeks!
J: Yay!
EK: Jenn Jenn comes on Tuesday with Necie in four-five-teens. Hey! What’s Annie gonna be for Halloween?
Me: Well, Halloween is already over…
EK clearly confused.

EK, looking at a pot of boiling bolognese: Daddy! Your dinner is blowing bubbles!

EK, talking about our friends…
What she tried to say: They have a doggy named Bella!
What we heard: They have half a donkey named Fella!

Helping EK wash her hands…
Me: Did you get some soap?
EK: Yeah, I got mucher.
Me: ….do you mean a lot?
EK: Yeah, lots…

We have a set of four boats in the tub, yellow, green, blue and pink…
Me, to J: What color is this one?
EK: Yeddow!
Me: I’m asking Joseph! Okay buddy, what color is this one?
J: Green!
Me: What color’s this one?
J: Blee-you! (Because one syllable for “blue” just isn’t enough.)
Me: What color is this one?
J: Ella Kate’s!
Me: Well, I guess she does always get the pink stuff…

EK and I were drawing our family. We got to my mom, and EK says this…
EK: Necie has skinny hair.
Me: We usually say short hair…

EK’s new favorite game is bingo…
EK: Hey friends! It’s bango time!

EK’s new names for Hubby: Father, Poppy, Papa, Pop Pop. I think she thinks he’s a grandfather now.

J: I poopy! I sticky!
Thank goodness I know he means stinky and not sticky. 

If you aren’t familiar with Sofia the First, she wears an amulet. We have a Disney junior bingo game that is all pictures, and the amulet is one of the spaces. EK keeps saying “amble-it” and it cracks me up!

What are you kiddos saying? Anything particularly funny this week?

Napping Is My Jam

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus! 

 My four month old son is (thankfully) a heavy sleeper during his naps. His siblings run loudly up and down the hall past his room. His brother even opens the door, runs in, and slams it shut. Through these things, he can always sleep. He heard those sounds in the womb, I suppose. Maybe they’re comforting noises. Either way, he’s snoring right through their laughter and their tears. Or another example is that when he eats right before his nap, he falls asleep so deeply that when I go to put him in the crib, his limbs are all floppy. I could basically dump him in there any old way, and he’d stay asleep. No amount of jostling between the rocking chair and the crib would jolt him awake if he is ready for his nap. A good three hours later, I’m turning on lights, throwing off blankets and trying to wake him up.

But let’s just say that the children are all tucked in for the night, and I’m getting ready for bed. If I so much as creak a floorboard on the way to my room, or dare to use the ice maker to chill my water, he wakes up. “Mom! I heard you! That must mean it’s time to eat! Oh, and will you give me a fresh diaper, too? And maybe a long snuggle?”

Yes, my son. I will always snuggle you, take care of you, and love you. I will do these things to the best of my ability all day, every day. I will spend my life making your life (and your siblings’) the best I possibly can. However, I could be so much better at these things if I could just get a little sleep. So sweetie, my darling… please sleep through the night as heavily as you nap.

Adulting: Expectations vs. Reality

When I was a kid, I expected to have a grand adulthood, full of traveling, a job I loved, buying what I wanted (I’m usually a reasonable spender), and surrounding myself with incredible people all the time. Sure, I’ve traveled a bit and I’m not wanting for anything, and I absolutely consider myself blessed. But the expectations I had didn’t exactly come to fruition. There are a few things about adulting that I thought would be more fun. 

 Buying a car. This sounds great, right? You’ve saved up, and you’re ready to buy a car! Give me the shiniest thing with the most swag, am I right?! Wrong. Google safety ratings and gas mileage, weigh your options for leather interior and a sunroof, check and recheck the budget, and figure out how many car seats you can fit. Next, see what two colors your “dream car” is even available in. Once you choose, spend an unbelievable amount of time on paperwork to actually make the car your own. Then just hope nothing goes wrong.

Owning a home. Sure, this was fun for the first few months. We bought our house in early June, right around our first anniversary, so a glorious summer of back porch parties commenced. We became pros at cooking for 15 if all those people brought beer. We played cod hole and board games out in the porch, smoked cigars, drank beer, and played obnoxiously loud music. Yes, we were those neighbors. However, once the shower leaked, the grass got way too long, and the oven just couldn’t find the temperature I set it on, I started wishing the handy man from our old apartment complex would visit my new home.

Going on vacation. The picture in your head that’s conjured by the word “vacation” varies from a person with no kids and a parent. When we planned vacations before the had kids, like our honeymoon, we only thought about how nice the hotel was and getting cheap airfare. Now when we choose a hotel, we have to question how thick the curtains are on windows, how many beds there are, whether or not they have portacribs, and if their continental breakfast includes pancakes. That’s in addition to whether or not there are big enough cities with Chick-fil-A’s at all the times along the way that our kids will need a moment to run around and we will need coffee. Because we SURE aren’t flying anywhere.

Eating and drinking whatever I want. When I was a kid and I had to eat my vegetables (and whatever else my mom made for dinner) I just thought it was because I had to do what they told me. Yeah, it’s healthy, whatever. I feel fine when I eat pizza and ice cream! Now that I’m in charge of my own diet, it’s a constant battle between what tastes good, what is healthy (read: what won’t settle directly on my hips) and what I can feasibly make/buy. Thankfully, I have no allergies, but there are definitely days where I only feel like making macaroni and cheese – not that my kids would complain. But my hips would, and I’d be sluggish to boot. Open the wine!

Staying up late. This one is a big one for me. Still having lots of single friends and a husband whose job is to play music late at night, I like to go out and stay up late. My kids aren’t terribly early risers, so I can usually get away with a late bedtime without too much problem. But boy, staying up late can sometimes wreck me for days. It feels like a two-day hangover without the alcohol. I’m a night owl by nature, so going to bed early is a challenge even if I’m at home. Throw in a threenager who thrives on a 10pm bedtime, and there’s almost no way I’m seeing my pillow before 11:30. No matter how much cajoling I do, she’s a night owl, too, and so my dishes or laundry wait till she finally decides she can crash.

Bills. Now I’m no idiot. I knew there were going to be bills. Rent, utilities, car payments, student loans… I knew these things were coming. It was the wildcards that I didn’t quite expect. Things like the ever-fluctuating price of gas, groceries to feed a family of 5, and HEALTH INSURANCE. Why have we got to pay so much to maybe need something? And who decided my health insurance should be twice my husband’s, even though we are both young and healthy? That doesn’t even count maternity coverage!

Being an adult is an adventure, and often packed with surprises. But loosen up and enjoy the ride! You’ll figure it out… eventually.


I keep on saying that every Currently that’s late is the latest one… however, this Thursday night edition may take the cake! I’ve had a busy week, amid semi-sickly kids (getting over some junk from last week) and finally catching a bit of it myself. You’d better believe I’m overdoing the Vitamin C! Anyway, I’m joining Becky’s link up as usual (thank goodness it’s still open!) and here’s what we’ve been up to…

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Baking || muffins! I have had a can of pumpkin staring me in the face for a couple of weeks, and I finally used it today! I found this recipe for paleo pumpkin streusel muffins, and had to have it. 

 I’ve never been a great food photographer (or a chef focused on the look of the food) so don’t let their uglyness deter you!

Watching || Grimm. Hubby and I only have Netflix and Hulu plus, and somehow we’d missed that Grimm had started back up for the season until a couple of nights ago. We blasted through the first couple of episodes in one night! We really like that show, no matter how not great it was when it first started. 

 Hoping || that I don’t get sick(er?) and lose my voice. It’s really inconvenient for a worship leader to lose her voice! So, hot tea, Vitamin C and water, water, water for me! 

I’m also hoping that J’s tantrum throwing slows down a bit once the sickness is cleared up and everyone is sleeping more. I can’t figure out what might be causing them (aside from the fact he’s almost two) so I’m holding on to the hope that they’ll pass. We are getting about one a day, typically right after his nap… It’s so sad for me, and I’m sure for him, too!

 Enjoying || some time outside with my kids. I often spend my time outside working while they’re napping, but the past week or so, I’ve made sure to include them in the yard work. Even if they make more work for us (read: raking the leaves the wrong direction) it’s fun to be outside with them!
Wishing || that I had some time to sit and write. All of my writing (including this post!) has been in a short burst here or there, or with a kid or two distracting me. I would love a couple of hours to just sit and write, with nothing else going on around me. It seems easy, in theory, to squeeze in an hour or two… but I know if I’m at home, I’ll find “better” things to do, like dishes, laundry, and the like. Which brings me to…

Anticipating || Our first day having someone come in to clean the house tomorrow! We haven’t decided how often we’ll be making this happen, but we are REALLY excited about our first “deep clean” tomorrow morning! (Local people: we are using Maid Right, based in Greensboro!)

Anyway, there’s a little bit about my life! What’s going on with you currently?