Thursday, March 19, 2015

Real (5 minute post)

Real (I guess I had a lot to say! This took 10 minutes)

Wrote this when the kids were in bed, except Hailey practicing her cross stitching.  Blake was fixing our friend’s computer.


Real is life.  For example:

I am sitting in an oversized shirt of Blake’s that says “Growing old is mandatory. Growing old is optional.”  Because it is super comfortable and the first shirt I grabbed. No, I don’t have a bra on, thanks for asking.  It is 9:15 pm and it has been a great and long and fun and exhausting day. 

 Real is a white table we painted white as a family, but is now getting all scuffed and messed up because I didn’t put a sealant on it.  And I guess I don’t feel too bad about it because we might just have a great time painting it again.  The scuffed table is semi covered with paint from a paint project the kids did earlier because they had watched tv for 3 (4?) hours this morning.  Because they wake up extremely early and because I slept till 8:30. Because it’s spring break for crying out loud!  And they already watched enough tv this morning, so was trying to keep them busy.  Which is much easier said than done. 

Real is finding a half eaten apple in the car that doesn’t look like an apple anymore. Ew, is right.  Real is spilled milk, spilled water, poo and bodily functions, smooshed make up from my five year old.  Real is fighting kids, hitting kids, screaming kids.  Real is busy.  Real is tired!

But real is my life and my perfect life.  My friend, Hanna, 19 years old, told me that she sees a lot of moms walking around looking like, “This is my life?”  And I had to smile a little because honestly, I have thought that before.  I used to write papers! I used to have intellectual conversations! I used to take a shower every day and stretch marks weren’t even in my vocabulary!  But I did tell her, yes, we all have those moments, but they are just moments.  They are not every day.  Every day is filled with “Play with me, maw maw”, from William.  “Want to play chess?”, from Spencer. “Let’s make cupcakes.”, From Brooke.  “Will you teach me to cross stitch.”, from Hailey.  These are the moments of perfection that make me forget late nights without sleep, no showers at times, no privacy in the bathroom and my Netflix filled with children’s shows on my profile.  Because I would trade it all for these four little humans who have made my life what it is. Every once in awhile, I will think back on the good old college days and think about what it used to be.  But I don’t want to go back to that. Yes, I love writing and reading and William Wordsworth, the great British poet.  But the happy thing is I can have all those things, as well as my family. I get the best of both worlds.  And this world is one I would never trade. Not for a million hours of sleep or a stretch mark free stomach.
Most recent photo of what I wouldn't trade anything for!

Published Piece on Power of Moms

Every once in awhile, I get something published and it is a great feeling.  Not because it makes me feel important or better than anyone, but because it validates this little dream I have.  This dream to impart a few words of wisdom and maybe be able to help a few people here or there.  I am so thankful for all the great people who have championed me and supported and encouraged me.  It really is so great.  Thank you community of friends!

Gather (5, actually 9 minute prompt)

Gather 3/19/15  (oops, I went for 9 minutes)

Wrote this while my kids were playing “John Deere engineers” outside.  Then finished while half playing a game of checkers with my son, which I lost.  Crazy kids!  They have a sensor for when I try to write. 

One day, my friends Julianne and Jo were over at my house.  Julianne mentioned that she loved how welcoming my house is.  It’s a “come as you are” house.  Most of the time, it has toys on the floor, maybe a sink of dishes (our dishwasher is broken) or a few sticky spots on the floor.  It’s definitely not perfect!  But I most likely will have crayons available or a hot cocoa or a piece of homemade bread.  Because that is part of my vision of what “home” should be.  But I was thrilled to hear her say it was welcoming. It made me think about what I think of as welcoming.  Is it a perfectly decorated house? Don’t get me wrong! I love pinterest houses and love the ladies who can make their houses into pinterest houses!  But I just didn’t get that much of the creative gene.  Or time, I guess.  I love a house that smells like cookies and bread and warm chocolate.  Or a scentsy. I also love this beach house we have visited before, thanks to my childhood friend’s parents. It’s sunny and bright and clean and if we track a little sand inside, it’s still acceptable.  I love a cabin with a fireplace, that smells like woods and cold turned warm with a cocoa and a warm cookie.  I love my parent’s house with the blue carpet and the projects that my dad is always working on, whether it’s the yard or his garden and my mom’s closet stuffed full of books.  I love my sister’s house that has such a fun eclectic collection, that ranges from lighthouses to antiques to boy toys and scooters. I love my brother’s house that acquired a table after years of living there and a bassett hound who weighs more than my first born child.  I love my sister’s house, an apartment, because it’s the reminder of where most of us start.   I love my in law’s house with the never ending yard and swing set dug six feet down to defeat the Idaho wind.   I love the house of my sister in law, Kellie, and the smell of babies (twin boys) and the organization I wish I could have!  I love the house of my sister in law, Monica, who has a great sense of decorating and is just clean.  She doesn’t believe it, but she’ll see when she visits my house in May!  Overall, I love the sense of gathering that a house brings.  It is comfort, homey, warm, no matter what the style is or what the smells are.  That our houses are a reflection of our personalities and that each place has an invisible welcome sign on it for friends or family or people who just need help. 
Googled picture of old country house and found this one that I would love!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

When (5 minute prompt)

I wrote this while waiting at church for my daughter to get out of an activity.


There was a time when I wrote a piece about Blake entitled “When” and then it became too personal to share.  And I knew that I had written a happy letter to him that I hoped he would treasure forever.  And I realized that when I write these prompts, I try to let go of my inhibitions and not be tethered to what other people will think about my writing.  But I feel like I can only let go if I don’t plan on publishing them.  Because there is something about writing and knowing people will read it and not putting every bit of honest and true feelings into it.  That is what a journal is for.  But I realize that I need to journal more. I need to spill my guts to the paper and let the paper carry my secrets (to the grave, hopefully).  My mom has kept journals for 20 years and guess who claimed them in her will, yes, me.  I will read them and I will not judge her, but I will be grateful for this well kept history of her life.  Sometimes I think we don’t truly know our parents until we are older, and even then, they are still our parents.  We are still the children.  There are a lot of things my kids don’t know about me.  My fears, my feelings because sometimes, they just don’t need to know.  I hope that one day, when I am gone, they will look back on my writings and catch a glimpse of a different person.  Of a human person!  One with fears and joys.  And maybe I will just share with them all of my writings a little bit at a time, so they will know me in the here and now.


Disclaimer: My mom told us to “request” stuff from her so we don’t fight over her deathbed. As if!

Also, you don’t have to read us all your journals, mom. Just the good stuff.

My mom and dad

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Keep (5 minute prompt)

I wrote this one day while the kids were playing. When I saw the word "keep" it just busted out of me.


Disclaimer: I don’t hate celebrities.

So,  I used to have this dirty little habit.  It was caring about what celebrities were doing and why they were healthier, skinner, wealthier than I.  Why, when I was living a regular life of school drop offs, cleaning, and trying to keep up with the kids, could other people be off on an island for a “weekend getaway” or just because they could.  I ended up with a free subscription to a celebrity magazine, which I usually only read in the tub or when I had free time (ha!).  The pile on top of the fridge grew and grew.  It was seriously a foot tall.  I know.  One day, I got into purging mode and noticed the magazines.  I hefted them down to the counter.  I looked at the covers and thought, “Hmm, why is Taylor Swift single?” “What is Angelina’s take on that topic?”, etc.  Then I woke up.  I thought who cares.  Because honestly, who does care?  If all of the celebrities in the world were to ship themselves off to a happier and greener planet, we would still be here.  We would still be raising our children and taking care of our families and having late night girls night or writing binges.  Our lives wouldn’t alter.  So, why did I care to know what they thought or spend my time reading about it? 

So, I threw them all in the garbage.  If I hadn’t read the April issue and it was now December, did I even care?  I think not.  And that thought made me happy.  And happy is not something I usually felt after learning about so and so’s recent break up or dream house.  In fact, I felt downright annoyed and sad because we have a society who glamorizes wealth and people, who sometimes, should not be glamorized.  Why not spend my tub time or “free time” reading that novel I’ve had sitting on my shelf for months or years or writing or playing.  Just living my regular life! 

And you know what, you can keep the celebrity magazines and lifestyle, if you so wish.  I won’t judge you.  But, for me, I am going to “keep up with the Bells” and know that that is good enough for me now and forever.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Open (5 minute post)

I wrote this while sitting on the couch at church waiting for my daughter to get out of an activity.


I like to think I am an open book. I like to think that I am friendly and forthcoming about my life.  I like to think that.

But I am kind of wrong.

I was once talking to a friend I had made in Iowa and she mentioned that, “Yes, you are a little hard to get to know at first.  But then you open up after awhile.”  I thought she was crazy!  I try to be nice and friendly.  Then my other friend I made in Iowa said the same thing after I asked her.   As I thought about it, I realized, I am a little closed up, a little guarded. 

I don’t know why. I know a lot of people. I know their kids names and things about them.  But to make plans with them really takes an effort on my part.  Do we match? Do our kids match?  Can I be myself around them? The true self.  The sometimes goofy, crazy, emotional self?  I don’t know. 

I have a few friends in life who have really gotten to know me, outside of my family, of course.  Tara, my longest friend to my college roommates to my newest friend, Karen.  And many others.  As I thought about it, I kept thinking about all those people.  And I think maybe I am less guarded than I thought?  Maybe I am open?  But I think that right connection just works and you make a friend and you are friends for life.  The end. I will check on you. I will call you after you have a baby.  I will text you hilarious memories from the past.  And I will be grateful for the list of friends that have been grouped through the years.  And when we have become friends long enough, we will be neighbors on our best friend street in heaven.


Sunday, March 1, 2015


5 minute prompt from Kate Montaug.  Join in with us!  I wrote this while laying on the couch and watching Friends.  Conditions don't have to be perfect.


To have a visit with my future self or my past self for that matter.  What would I tell my past self?

Stop worrying about your weight, looks, clothes, etc.

Love yourself.

Give compliments.

Be where you are and be happy about it.

Play with abandon.

Don’t stress over the crumbs so much.

Take care of yourself.

Love and listen.

Listen fully.

Be friendly.

Don’t be afraid.

All the things that we look back and regret or just wish to change. Though I don’t feel like I have many regrets, my only one is not going to Europe during college, but those little moments when you just think, “Why did I do that/say that/think that?” Did it really matter?  Did it change my life?  Well, future self.

Love more.

Smile and laugh, many times in the day. Even if you have to make a conscious effort to remember to do it!

Snuggle and relax with the family.

Stop having an agenda so often.

Go skydiving. Overcome your biggest fear!

Use all your lotion, perfume, make up. 

Use your time wisely.

Grow some plants and let them live in your house.

Make that soufflé already!

And in the meantime, don’t regret things. Don’t stress about the future or the past or the present. Just be and be what you need and want to be. Not what someone else thinks you should be.  Just be.
Me, last summer in my hometown of Las Vegas.  I was watching my kids chase geese and my friend took this picture. 


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