Friday, April 30, 2010


Todd is an amazing daddy. From the moment our first child was born he was one of those jump in change diapers, feed and cuddle dads. When he comes home from work he immediately jumps in and anticipates what the girls may need. He does a huge portion of caring for them when he comes home. And I never feel anxious about leaving them home alone with him. Not only is he helpful to me, but the girls just adore him.

They both light up when he walks in the room. It is amazing to watch them form bonds and closeness with their daddy. They have special little "things" that belong only to them. Daddy is the one they can jump on and the one who will throw them in the air and help them walk on the ceiling. Daddy means fun and play and running around. But he is also really good at getting them to obey him. Sometimes they will test me to the limit, but he simply has to give a firm tone and they will turn and listen.

He truly is an amazing man and I am glad he is mine! For part two of Love Story.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wise One

So in honor of our 6th anniversary on May 7th, I want to share with you a little about my love of my life. For more of our love story read here...My plan is to post one thing every day that I love about him/ being married to him until that day arrives. Hopefully that works out.

One of the reasons that I fell in love with Todd was that he was always searching for God. He really wanted to follow God and obey His word. He fought hard to follow God's way. And early on I noticed that he was really wise. When he offered advice to me during our friendship (pre-dating) it always seemed to be really wise advice. He continues to be a man of wisdom.

When he gives me direction, even when I do not think it is the best thing, I really listen. I don't follow him blindly or disobey the Lord, but he really is one of the wisest men I have ever known. He searches the scriptures and digs for the truth on issues. He is never content with just taking someones word for it. He has to see what God really says about something. He often gets really angry when verses of the Bible are used out of context. In his heart he wants people to see the truth and not blindly believe something because someone told them it was that way.

I love that I am married to a man who is committed to allowing God's word be the lamp to his feet.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dust Bunny

The other day, I was cleaning up breakfast dishes and preparing for the day when Claire came up to me with something in her hand that looked like the picture above. I laughed really hard and then realized she had been trying to retrieve some ball from underneath a shelf in the kitchen. This shelf is one that I forget to clean under until I see the dirt that has accumulated. I forget mostly because I don't see it. And out of sight is out of mind. I struggle most days to remember to take a shower myself, so cleaning has been a hard task since the arrival of baby one and two.

I have to say that I am getting better. I have read some things on organizing and cleaning and I think our house stays pretty tidy for the most part. That does not mean there are no crumbs or dust bunnies. And right now I just remembered that there is a load of laundry in the washer that has been there for over 24 hours. But I have a much better handle on things than I once did. I will never have an immaculate house. But disorganization and clutter drives me nuts. So here are some things I have learned that has helped me out.

1. Keep cleaning items in every room.
Practically here is what that means for me. I have a broom and mop on every floor of the house. So often I would think of sweeping upstairs, but not have the time to run downstairs and gather all the items required. Now with a broom upstairs it takes 1/2 the time to complete the task. Also I bought an off brand package of cleaning wipes that I keep in each bathroom. When a sink or toilet are dirty I simply pull one out and wipe. It takes less than five minutes and it brightens the room tremendously.

2. Organize
Everything needs a home. If an item does not have a home it will end up on counters, on floors and clutter up your space. And if the items home is not easily accessible, you will probably not put it away that often. That defeats the purpose. Create usable and workable solutions to your clutter problems. For me that was bags. I have various bags that I keep packed. One for going to my parents house for work, one bag with change of clothes for day to day stuff for kids, one with coloring books and stickers for eating out or doctor visits, etc. These bags ended up hanging on the backs of my kitchen chairs. Or worse on the floor in the kitchen. It drove me nuts. Now I have some hooks on the wall just at the top of the basement stairs. The bags now have a home and they are easily accessible when I need them.

3. Clean up a little at a time.
Some people probably already do this, but I was cleaning challenged. Before kids I kind of let things go throughout the week. Todd and I both worked all day, so I would straighten up here and there, but often dishes and messes were left until the weekend. I would spend 5-6 hours on Saturday cleaning. After kids I have no 5-6 straight hours in any given week. So now this means, the dishwasher is emptied when the dishes are clean. That way as soon as a dish is dirty it can go in the dishwasher. When the dishwasher is full I start it. Simple and easy. Also kitchen counters are wiped at every meal. Floor is swept after every meal or at least after every other. I may not have 5-6 hours, but 5-6 minutes means a lot in terms of maintenance.

4. Give yourself a break.
In all honesty I was bit embaressed when Claire came to me with a months full of dust on her hand. But I know that she and Elizabeth will only be little once. I could spend countless hours wiping, dusting, sweeping, disinfecting (I already do, but even more so). But the times spent with them are the times that last. They will not remember the times that the bathroom was a little dirty or the day that I left the toys scattered on the floor. They will probably not even remember specific times that I read a book or played with a toy or took them outside. But they will remember what our family time felt like. They will have a sense of what type of life I created for them. If we never make a mess or if I never leave a mess alone to play with them that will create a lasting impression.

Now some of you are probably thinking that these are very easy and not rockets science. You are right and you are probably the people who already do these things. But for the rest of us, I hope that this post gives you some freedom and some practical tips.

I do not have it all figured out. Right now my house is a bit crazy. Today I did not do dishes or laundry or sweep or wipe anything except butts and noses. Today I took my daughter on a mommy daughter date, had lunch with my husband and kids, watched as my kids jumped on their daddy for 45 minutes and laughed until I had tears in my eyes. I took a 2.5 hour nap with my husband. I woke up and ate pizza with my inlaws. Today was an eventful day. And I wish all days were as wonderful.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Yesterday we went to the park and the saddest thing happened. My little girl experienced her first time being called a name by a peer. I did not see it happen, but was told later that a little girl, not more than 4 years old, walked by Elizabeth and said, "Loser."

Initially, the mom in me wants to take that little girl by the arm and take her straight to time out. (Or more honestly smack her mouth.) How dare she call my sweet, wonderful, beautiful, gifted and loving child a loser? Who are her parents? Why are they not teaching her that calling names is an awful thing? (If I am honest I know that her parents very well could be good, loving people who just let her watch or see something she should not have and she learned it from that.)

But then the verse came to my mind where we are told how to deal with those who mistreat us and wound us. (Matthew 5:43-48) So last night before we went to bed Elizabeth and I prayed for the little girl who called her the name at the park. Elizabeth named her Alexa and we prayed for Alexa last night. We prayed that she would know God's love and experience him and that she could learn to be loving to other people.

I wish I always responded that way to my enemies. I wish I could say I felt no anger or malice towards Alexa. But I did. I really am thankful I did not hear her say that to my child. I very well could have smacked her and her mother in that moment. But I am thankful that I had the opportunity to teach Elizabeth how to respond and I hope that as a result she is drawn more close to the Lord.

I know the reality is that Elizabeth will have people who call her names. She will have enemies in her life. She will have people who are mean and mistreat her. I hope that she will follow Jesus even through those moments. One thing that I have learned over the past 13 years of following Christ is, when I do things the way the Bible says to do them, life just works a little more smoothly. It is not perfect or always great, but it does tend to work better when I am following the one who created life. I pray that my daughter and Alexa can follow the giver of life.