Kinda Stinky.

Another bug recently hit our family.  This time around it's just a fever and headache that lingers a few days. Sickness is one of those strangely familiar unwelcome guests that just keeps letting himself in despite your insults and attempts to keep him out!

Over the past 13 years, every winter I have braced myself for the bugs that will inevitably come our way.  Mothering is full of all kinds of amazing experiences, but comforting and caring for a sick little person is rarely one of them. Yes, having their warm little bodies curl up to you is a perk...but I'm talking about cleaning puke out from between the slats of a crib.  Scrubbing the carpet while gagging.  Peeling off vomit covered clothes that stick to you and smear across your face as your trying to release yourself from them.  Never sleeping soundly because you're hyper sensitive to every sound, wondering if what you just heard is a crying kid or throw up hitting the tile in the hall way.  And then multiply it all with 2, 3, or 4 kids!

So the past few days as my kids have piled up on the couch, sleeping and watching TV, I've felt strangely grateful.  At one point, all five kids were asleep.  Can you imagine!?

Later Alice, my 13 year old, came up to me and apologized that I had to deal with so many sick kids.  Such a sweetheart :)  I chuckled and said that it really wasn't a big deal.  She looked at me kinda funny and asked what I meant.  I smiled and went into story telling mode...

We really have come a long way as a family!

But I'm still human and I need to air one complaint.

So about day three of the kiddos being sick,  Jeremy and I noticed something.  Actually I noticed my husband walk into the living room, get a puckered squinty look on his face, double over, and exclaim, "What is that smell!?"  I walked over and was smacked in the face with the same insulting aroma.   So of course, as any good mom would do, I went around sniffing everybody and everything like some crazed bloodhound.   My investigation was inconclusive, which only served to increase my agitation. So again, like a good mom, I instructed all five of my sweaty, dirty, stinky kids to go change their clothes and brush their teeth.  And then I proceeded to open all the windows.

So gross.

Babies don't stink.  Well... not like that at least.  What happened to all my squishy babies who smelled like baby soap, pampers, and milk!?  Oh, wait, I know... they grew up and got stinky.  haha.

Okay, I feel better now.  I just had to get that off my chest.  :)

So minus the stench, it has gotten a whole lot easier!  Be encouraged all you mamas in the trenches!  Your day is coming when you won't mind your whole house being overtaken by a fever and you might even take a few pictures :)

A complicated and dense character...

When I was a little girl, maybe 6 or 7, my grandmother introduced me to personality tests.  I remember her sitting with one leg crossed over the other on her leather couch, adjusting her tortoise shell reading glasses on her nose as she read the questions aloud to me.  "Which do you think you are, Amy dear?"

According to Myers Briggs I'm an INFJ. A few months ago I read an article describing a few odd things about this personality type.  Apparently, I'm very good at reading others and am very empathetic to their feelings....BUT very out of touch with my own feelings.  ( Insert the laughing/crying emoticon here.)

Great.  Lovely.

The article went on to explain how INFJs need to audibly/externally hear their own thoughts in order to make sense of them.  They will talk in a disjointed random manner, stumbling around, until upon hearing all the information they're able to put it together and make sense of it all.  This just cracks me up.  Seriously this makes me sound like a very complicated and somewhat dense character!  But sadly, I can't argue.  It's true... Even the fact that it took me reading an article about myself in order to know that fact about myself, confirms that it's true.  So tragic.

Then today, for some random reason, I decided to pull up "my old blog", haha.  I got lost reading through old posts.  I  smiled, laughed, and teared up a little remembering all of the moments.  And it occurred to me that during those years that I posted frequently, writing was one of the main ways I processed life.  It was in the task of sorting out my words, typing those sentences, that I sorted out life.  

I don't have time to write blog posts.  I'll be honest, my personality is also know for getting very bogged down by the daily tasks of life... getting overwhelmed and frustrated by too many irons in the fire.  Yet, I feel like there are some legitimate benefits to this exercise.  Plus I always enjoyed the photography as a creative outlet too, which has fallen by the wayside for the most part as well.

So I think I'll try.

But things are very different now... compared to 6-8 years ago when I was fully engaged here.  I'm not sure I know what to write about anymore.  Babies turned into actual people (who can read the things your write about them- gulp)... creative outlets gave way to illustrating to build a business... and the fun of decorating yielded to misleadingly perfect little squares of pretty things on Instagram.   Life seems very different.

Yet so much is the same.  I'm still a mama struggling to live a life of faith.  I'm still seeking Christ and growing in all the messiness of life.  I still have stories to tell.

So we shall see what this odd INFJ personality comes up with over the next months.  I greatly appreciate the few that wander over to this blog and listen to my ramblings.  Apparently I need you more than I realized :)

Free Printable Stickers to Cheer You!

Hi friends :)
Happy New Year!  (a bit...a lot...late!)  How's 2017 treating you?

I feel rather blah.  I already feel discouraged about the goals and changes I had hoped to make in the new year.  It's been gloomy, rainy, and blah around here.  Usually I enjoy the quiet of winter...the need to cozy up with tea...the shorter days and the slower pace of life.

I feel like I'm stuck in a the standard rhythm of life is pulling me down and not allowing me to break into new rhythms.

Within that train of thought, it occurred to me the other day that this is the longest I've been in a consistent place in life. Up until now there have been significant changes every year or so.
First marriage,
then a baby,
a move,
a job change,
a new house,
a baby,
a move,
a job change,
a new house,
a baby,
a call into ministry,
a move,
a new house,
a baby,
a new house,
a job change,
a baby.....................................................................................................

And now almost four years later,  I've found myself in a place that is entirely strange.  Nothing new.  I always said that I wanted to settle in some where.  And I still feel that on one side of my brain.  But I'm realizing how comfortable I am with change.  In fact, how much I enjoy change!  I love new houses, I love new challenges, and I LOVE new babies.  So here I sit in a house I love, a town I love, a church I love, with growing kids (that I adore!) ... and I'm feeling stuck.

What do I do with that?

What can I do but seek the Author and Finisher, my Creator and all powerful loving Father... He sees where I am.... in this GOOD, but challenging place.  And I WAIT...  for His direction, for His plans, for His peace and joy.

But it's still hard...especially because I'm impatient :)

When I realized that this was the first time in our marriage that we'd gone so long without any significant change,  I wanted to take things into my own hands....  So I told Jeremy maybe we should get my tubes untied and have another baby.

you should have seen. his. face.  :)  haha

He said no.

So we compromised and decided we'll paint a room.


But in the midst of all this "lack of change,"  I'm increasingly grateful for my little creative business.  It gives me something to develop ( along with those 5 squirrely kiddos of mine).  I always have some new goal, ambition, or project that I'm working towards.  And this is most certainly a wonderful gift from God.

So I created this happy little set of Care Bear stickers the other day... for me...and for you!!  I used them in my planner, but you could use them for anything!  They make me smile and think of my childhood :)

So enjoy!  Maybe they will cheer you just a whatever place of life you find yourself :)

Simply print on sticker paper (I like Avery full sheet labels), cut, and stick wherever!

Click on the high resolution JPEG below and save to your computer.


Tis the season of Christmas lists! ...and a free printable!

Hi Friends!

Well, it's official... we are on the count down to Christmas.  And if you're like me, that means it's time to start making lists!  There's so much to do.  oy.  So today, instead of tackling my long list, I decided to make some cute printable lists for myself...and you :)  It's called procrastination.  

So for your over abundance of inevitable Christmas lists that will be made over the next weeks... I present to you these...ta da! I'm putting mine in my planner... and on my desk... and on the fridge... and on my bathroom mirror.  ha.

Download the PDF version HERE

Or click and save the high resolution JPEG below....

As always, my printables are for personal use only.  They may be gifted.  They may not be used for resale or profit of any kind.  Files may not be distributed.


Free Printable Merry Mail Stickers!...and a dose of honesty.

So does it irk you that I'm posting Christmas stuff already? Or does it get you excited? I hope it makes you feel all giddy inside, but I'm very well aware of the fact that it might make you feel overwhelmed and behind before you've even begun. 

Here's how I know:  5 years ago, I felt nothing but disdain for the Christmas season.  That sounds horrible, I know, but it's true.  In fact, the awareness that I was supposed to love Christmas, especially as a follower of Christ, only served as added fuel to the emotional disaster that the season was for me.   

At that point in my life, I had a grumpy 9 month old and 3 young girls. I was chin deep in toys, laundry, stress, sleeplessness, freelance design work, and homeschooling.  I routinely went through cycles of moderate depression and intense physical fatigue.  So from this place, all I could see were the added responsibilities and expectations of the Christmas season.  I remember talking with a mentor of mine and guiltily admitting that I dreaded this time of year.  She asked how she could help and I found myself gushing a desperate plea to be relieved of having to make Christmas cut-out cookies with my girls.  This was one of the things they were looking forward to the most and the very thought of the mess and chaos it would bring nearly triggered a panic attack in me.  She just smiled and said why don't you let the girls come over here and make cookies this year.  

It seems funny now :)  But that's just where I was at... everything overwhelmed me.  

That stage lasted for a few years. Then last year as the end of October rolled around I realized that I was actually looking forward to the upcoming holiday season!  As if I was suddenly freed from a dreadful curse, I felt light and happy anticipating all that Christmas would bring.  My stage of life had shifted and the heaviness of that season was no longer so oppressive.  

So if any piece of that resembles how you feel going into this Christmas season, I'm sorry...I remember the feeling so well and hurt with you.  Or maybe it runs even deeper for you.  Maybe you're experiencing loss or deep pain and Christmas is only going to intensify the reality of this.  Whether your situation is quite mild or all consuming, the answers are still the same.  

Find someone to confide in and to help bear the weight of where you're at.  And if you don't have anyone, email me! We were never meant to do this life alone.  The enemy of our souls wants to isolate us.  He wants to mess with your mind and make your think things are hopeless.  But in Christ, and in the fellowship of believers we are never alone and we always have hope.  

And most importantly, if you have to let everything else go... cling tightly to one thing.  Spend time each day in God's word and in prayer.  It doesn't have to be a lot, but pursue the only thing that has power to bring you out of darkness and into light and freedom.  It doesn't mean that as soon as you open up your Bible, everything will change.  But as you seek to know Christ more in this way, it will give you strength to endure and you'll find comfort from his presence.  After all, that's what Christmas is celebrating... Jesus coming near... so we could know Him and find life in Him.  Nothing else really matters.  Not even Christmas cut-out cookies :)

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

"Let us strive to know the Lord. His appearance is as sure as the dawn. He will come to us like the rain, like the spring showers that water the land." Hosea 6:3

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

So if it doesn't overwhelm you, :) .....and if it helps you get excited for this season of our Savior coming near...  I have these printable Merry Mail sticker for you! 

You can download a PDF of the stickers through Google Drive HERE

Or you can save the high resolution Jpeg file below...

Just print on sticker paper (I like Avery full sheet labels) and cut with a scissor... or if you have a Silhouette or other cutting device, just pop the jpeg into the design program to make your own kiss-cut stickers!  fun. fun. :)

Blessing to you!

My Work Space... a tour!

Back in the day, one of my favorite things about blogging was taking pictures of my home!  I love to decorate and I enjoy photography, so naturally combining the two to show you all is a blast!

My oldest daughter, Alice, was snooping around this blog the other day and stumbled upon the "home tour" button.  She came to me and with an observation... "Mom, your blog is really out of date! You need to show some pictures of how our home actually looks now."   Yes, Alice...wise child... you are correct. :) So the most obvious place to start, for me, is my work space!  It's kind of home base for me during my days at home.  My work space is what technically should be the formal dining room, so it's very centrally located in our home.  I hang out there responding to emails,  keeping up with my Etsy stuff, designing and drawing, working on my planners, etc.  The bigger kids come to me for school work help or questions, the littles come begging for snacks or tattling on each other :)  But they always know the first place to look for mom is in her office/work space.

So without further delay... I present to you my happy place... my work space!

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I do! 


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