Currently

July has been such a busy month around here, y’all! So this currently post isn’t a link up and it isn’t on time, but it IS an update on what’s been going on over here with me! img_5993Celebrating || the 4th of July with an impromptu family cookout – minus Hubby, boo! Look at these cousins!Visiting || West Jefferson and Todd, NC. Our friends were super kind and let us stay with them for a day and a night at the cabin they had rented in West Jefferson, and the next day, we went tubing (read: floating not rafting!) in the neighboring town of Todd, on the south fork of the New River! That was a BLAST. We went through Wahoos Adventures, and the kids LOVED it. We already are looking for dates to go back and do it again! To be totally honest, I love the beach, the wide expanse of the ocean, and the pure sunshine, but the mountains are where it’s at for me actually feeling relaxed, experiencing the Lord’s creation in it’s fullest sense, and being refreshed and rejuvenated. This view might have something to do with that.Wearing || my Chacos every single day (obvi), and lots of easy, casual dresses. It’s too hot for pretty much anything else around here! I have a couple of “traveling” dresses, one from Costco (it’s great!) and one by Patagonia (also great, and obviously a little more expensive) that I’m digging for their ease, their cuteness, and their support if I want to be active in them. I hiked in the Costco one in West Jefferson and it was very comfortable!Loving || the new podcast, No Thanks We’re Booked! I found out about it because one of the gals on there, Katie, is on another podcast I listen to through the Everyday Exiles podcast network (it’s called Pictures and Pages when you click on that link up there) and I’m super excited I get to HOST HER on Pictures and Pages next month! I’ll put up that link when it’s up!Reading || a lot this summer! Which I’m happy about, of course! I’ve finished up The Nix (Nathan Hill), Everybody Always (Bob Goff), Radium Girls (Kate Moore), and How to Walk Away (Katherine Center) all of which I highly recommend! I’ve already loaned out Radium Girls and Everybody Always, so if you’re local, let me know if you want to borrow one! I’ve started up Southernmost (Silas House) because it’s his new one and I love his writing. I literally saw it on the “new arrivals” shelf when I was getting another book, and snagged it as well. You might remember my review of A Parchment of Leaves, since it was his first I had read. Clay’s Quilt is the other of his I have read, and I’ve got The Coal Tattoo to get to soon.

Things Toddlers Say

Hey y’all, and happy Tues…Wednesday! Yesterday was a bit of a whirlwind with a lot of work, and then a concert out of town… we saw I’m With Her and they were INCREDIBLE and inspiring and I cried a lot. Anyway, between those things, I just completely forgot it was Tuesday, and didn’t remember I hadn’t put up the funnies until this afternoon. My apologies!!img_0259

J, giving compliments: You’re a genius!
EK: Or you could say rock star.

EK: Oh! My foot’s asleep!
Me: Oh no! *I rub her foot*
EK: It’s okay. It’s time for the rest of me to go to sleep too.
Me: That was easy.

J: Wait Mom!
Me: *waits* Ready, Freddy?
J: *pause* Yeah, Frank!

J, seeing a Harley Davidson commercial: They look American!

We clearly have a little more to teach D about gardening…
D, watering the kale: Look! I planting tomatoes!
Shooting the water in the air: I watering the sky!

J with a scratch: This hurts even badder!
Me: …than what?

EK: The pool is close to our school. There’s only one school, one restaurant, and a Reynolda House till we get there.

Well I hope you enjoyed the Wednesday Edition of Toddler Tuesday! Leave a comment to tell me what your kids are saying these days!

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday! Sorry so late, but we just hopped up to the mountains yesterday and today, and got home around dinnertime tonight. We are so full of mountain love right now – with no plans for the 4th! What are you doing??

Here are some funnies from our week… we took two days away for our anniversary (Praise Him!) and then internet was spotty in the mountains, and we were unplugged there for a couple of days (thank goodness!) so this is what I’ve got! Enjoy!

EK: D doesn’t weigh that much.
Me: He’s actually pretty heavy, just not as heavy as you and J.
EK: Yeah, cause we been working out a lot.

Me: Did you miss me and daddy while we were gone?
D: Yeah! And I had fun at Meta Kate (our sitter)!

J: Wanna be a fisher girl and I’ll be a fisher man?
EK: I’m thinking of working at Disney.

Hubby trying to put goggles on D…
D: I got a big noggit. (Noggin)

D, at the Asian restaurant: How about we could our dumplings?!

D, exclaiming: Holy mammoth!

EK, remarking on the weather: What is it, like, a hundred twenties out here?!

Friend: Is that sandwich good?
J: You knew it was.

J: A popsicle a day makes the future a gooder one!

J: Can I walk the dog?
Friend: Well… she’s big. How much do you weigh?
*pause*
J: I didn’t eat that much this morning….
Friend: I just meant she’s way heavier than you are!

What is it that your kids say to make you laugh?! Tell us in the comments!

It’s Hard to Say “I’m Sorry”

Nothing makes me apologize like just being a mom.

Oh, I should say it louder for the people in the back?!

It is SO IMPORTANT to practice saying “I’m sorry” and being humble when you’re a mom.

Let’s think. Who is it easier to lose your temper with than your kids? Who is it more likely you’ll fumble your words with than your kids? Who is it that sees the most exhausted, short-tempered, foolish version of yourself? Your kids.

I don’t know about you, but being a mom of three seems like a good reason to apologize for everything. I’m constantly “hurting someone’s feelings” by telling them they need to eat their vegetables. I’m always mortally offending someone by telling them they have to turn the TV off. (Anyone? Beuller?) But what’s even more important is that I actually apologize when I do something stupid in their presence.

Let me explain.

I inherited a short temper and tendency to shout from my parents. I don’t think I came away with any wounds necessarily, but I did learn to get angry and shout about it. Feel me? So when I have big feelings (that’s kind of a lot, because I’m a type 4 on the Enneagram) I sometimes speak before I think (oops), I sometimes shout when I oughtn’t (oops again), and I can’t help but fail my kids again and again and again.

But what better thing for my kids to see than the fact that I’m not perfect? What better way to teach by example that I need Jesus so much that it hurts to admit it? What easier way to include Jesus in everyday interactions with my children than continually apologizing to them, and showing them my need for Jesus to be present with me, Holy Spirit to counsel me, and God to forgive me for the words I’ve spoken out of turn?

Now, hear me out. I’m not condoning shouting at your kids or being angry all the time. But I am advocating for repentance. Visible, true repentance. My daughter – most like me, for better and worse – has had me in tears at bedtime, praying for forgiveness for us both. My first response isn’t always to ask God to help, but I’ve learned it truly does make it easier on me when I’ve started my day with a plea for the patience that doesn’t come naturally, and the turning over of a new leaf when I “literally can’t even”.

Here, right now, in front of all of you (millions of readers, am I right?!), I say this: I am not perfect. But I love hard, I try and try again, and I ask God to fill in my gaps. And that’s how I mom. I do it with love, and grace, and Jesus.

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday, friends! We had a little trip to the lake last week (where I was mostly unplugged, and it was great!), and the kiddos are in summer camp this week, so we are fully launched into summer! We’ve picked our first squashes and zucchinis, and eaten our first tomato. It’s a good time of year at the Hsu house! Here are some funnies – enjoy!

Driving to Lake Norman, and we see the (Marshall) power plant’s steam drifting up in clouds…
EK: I see Marshall!
D: Yeah! I see da marsha-mellow!

J and D sharing a bed and trundle…
J to D: If you get scared, you can come get in my bed instead of bothering mommy and daddy.

Me: What do you want for dinner?
J: Chicken wings!
Me: Chicken wings?
J: Yeah! Hot, roasted chicken wings!

When D is asking for things, he begins with “I need you to say….” as in, “I need you to say I want some jelly beans!”

J: Hey, D?
D: I don’t want you to talk, ‘tupid!
Me: You may not call your brother stupid!
D: But I don’t want him to talk!
J: *laughing*

J, shouting in the car.
Me: You’re being a little too loud for the car.
J, still shouting: I lost my inside voice!

What funny things do your kids say?!

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday, folks! Here are a few summer funnies for you – enjoy!img_1147

EK, doing a “medical procedure”: What’s your name?
J: Um, *says my dad’s full name*
Me: *laughs and also wonders why he knows my dad’s full name*

Summertime potty training:
Me: Do you need to use the potty?
D: No, I need to use da treeeeeee!
Me: *face palm*

A redundant argument between J and EK, where they both just shout: STOP COPYUING (no typo, lol) ME!

Me after J had gotten hurt: You’re a trooper, babe.
J: I’m a storm trooper!

J, above, looking through the “scopa-tella” (telescope)

D’s name-calling trump card: Toolet face!

Me: If we do some chores and clean our rooms, maybe then we can head to the pool!
EK: Well let’s get this party started!

Brother stuff:
D: You wanna pee on the tree?!
J: Sure, sure, sure! That sounds amazing!

J’s new song: My God made the bushes, and I love God and I love trees and bushes!

What are your kids saying these days? How are they making you laugh?

Summer Can Be Scary (And I’m Not Sorry)

I’ve spent the last few weeks praying about our summer.

I’m so nervous that my kids will think it’s boring, or lame, or both, or whatever. What do kids even think these days? I don’t mind my kids being bored, really. I think it builds character and creativity for them to just figure something out to entertain themselves. I also LOVE to make them get outside. Go ride a bike, pull some weeds in the garden, blow bubbles, or draw with chalk. I don’t care, but don’t tell me you don’t feel like doing it.

There’s a lot of Pinterest and Instagram pressure to make summer an “epic” experience for your kids. But what I really want to do is lowball it as hard as I can, and make them make their own plans. Sure, they’re 2, 4, and 6, but they can tell me what they want to do! We’ve got chore charts intact, complete with a reward system. I have a ready answer to “I’m bored.”

Otherwise, to tell the truth, I enjoy having fun, too! I WANT to go to the pool, and to the park, and the mountains, which blessedly aren’t that far away. I WANT to see our friends and live music and whatever other events are going on. But we just can’t do everything, and I need to take the pressure off of myself NOW or else I’ll drown in it. The pressure is stifling to those of us who just don’t “do” what everyone else seems to do. I’m spontaneous, which is sometimes a great thing with kids, and sometimes not so much. We never sit around the house for too many hours in a row, but there are times that I get an idea in my head, and it’s just too late to make it work.

The other thing that may save my life is the YMCA. We (re)joined a month ago, and so far, beginning my mornings there with my kids in a safe and fun childcare (with lots of their friends!) has been a big stress reliever. Now, my workout doesn’t depend on the weather or on whether the baby takes a nap at the time he’s supposed to. I can get up, make everyone a nice breakfast, and head to the gym to get the endorphins blasting, and then I feel GREAT about whatever else we get – or don’t get – accomplished.

What is saving you this summer? Letting go of your expectations? Making a weekly plan? Lots of vacation or none at all? Tell me all the things that you do to survive and thrive in summer!

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