Time is flying.

I cannot believe I haven’t been to this space in 3 months. CRAZY.

But friends, it’s true what they say. Ya know, those “cherish every moment” people.

It truly does go by so very fast.

Time, I mean.

And children. They GROW, like, every single day.

I look at pictures of my tiny people from 6 months ago and BAM! they have grown so much.

It’s also true what they say, “The days are long but the years are short.” 2 years ago I would have thought those people were incredibly negative.

Now? Since my children have humbled me to the point of never, ever judging anyone ever again, I get it.

The days?

They are long.

Kinda like today.

Brother is in the midst of potty training and he’s been doing SO GREAT this week. However, during his nap/rest he starts screaming “MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY I NEED YOU!” At this time I was seconds away from Bitzy falling asleep beside me. So we rush upstairs to find his carpet, shorts, toys, FOOTPRINTS, toes and hands covered in (you know where I’m going with this) poopy.

Oh it was so nasty.

After the extensive clean-up I was desperate for them to nap.

Like, desperate.

Did they nap? Nope.

Where they wild, whiny, exhausted, rough and difficult in general for the rest of the day?

Um yes.

Was I ever patient, loving and full of grace?

Um no.

So, again let me say.

These days? Some of them are long, very long.

Some are just plain magical though.

There are days were I’m ready to bring a little baby number 4, 5, 6 into the world.

Like Saturday. We were ready for adventures! We had a full day o’ fun and there were so many moments where I was lost in a bliss of gratitude.

Even the sweet precious days, are sprinkled with tantrums and screaming and whining and stomping and (my personal unfavorite) screaming, “NO!”

But I know (especially after bedtime) that the years are shockingly short.

So I will read, play, cherish, 1-2-3 timeout!, cook, clean, and LOVE my little people with all my might. Every day. All day long.


Conversations {part 10}.

My precious Brother Bear is ALL BOY. He loves trucks, cars, dinosaurs, swords and has quickly learned that he is a brave warrior. Soon after reading the story of David and Goliath I taught him to say, “I have come to fight you in the name of God and God makes me brave!”

So now, with his foam swinging sword he is VERY brave.

And hilarious.

This is a sweet conversation we shared today…I want to remember it forever.
Me: “What do you say if a stranger ever picks you up and tries to carry you somewhere?”
Me: “No, remember I want to you scream as loud as you can ‘You’re not my mommy, you’re not my daddy!”

Brother: “OH YEAH! I FORGOT.”
Me: “What do you say if you’re ever sick in your bed and you need help?”
Me: “No silly boy. How about Mommy I need help, I’m sick!”

Me: “Well, you can yell and tell me that the elephant is sick too. But please let me know if you’re sick in your bed, ok?”

Me: “Ok, let’s try again. What do you do at the park if Mama yells, ‘Red Light!’ Do you stop and come to Mama?”


Me: “Oh yes, brave knight. Always and forever.”


Oh yes, God sure does make you brave my beautiful 2 year old  knight. May He make you braver than you ever knew possible.

Love you forever Brother Bear.


Save {part 13}.

Hello my super savers!!!!

I’ve had quite a few people say to me lately that they “can’t” coupon and save money at the grocery store because “you can only buy junk food with coupons” or “I tend to spend more money when I have coupons then when I do not.”

These are valid concerns. My quick advice would be to make a list of what you truly need and find coupons to match. No more, no less.

I’ve also had several people ask about eating organically and/or gluten free and how to approach saving money. I am no expert, but we are learning more in our family about eating well. At this point in our home crackers and pretzels are a junk food. We really don’t eat much processed food and we are close to eating only fruits, meats and vegetables. But it’s a process and Rome wasn’t built in a day. As I said, we’re learning.

In that process, we have been eating more fish. The problem with fish is 1.) It’s expensive and 2.) It’s hard to find really good fish here in land locked Kentucky. So, it’s been very challenging to find good deals on fresh fish.

I’ve had a bit of luck. Here’s an example of how to spend less and eat fresh healthy food!

At Earth Fare, they have very fresh organic fish but it very pricey. I receive their emails with coupons and I’m on the lookout for good deals on meat and fish. Last Friday I received an email sales flyer, they had their organic Scottish Salmon on sale for $8.99 (down from $14.99lb). And their Bay Scallops were $6.99 down from $15.99lb for Friday only.

For organic, fancy pants fish, these prices are fantastic. So, I got 4lbs of Scottish Salmon for $36 and 1lb of scallops for $7 for a total bill of $43.00. After I checked out on my receipt their was a coupon for $2 crabcakes (down from $3.99 each).

I’m a sucker for a good crabcake so I went back and got 5 crabcakes for $10.00.

Take in mind, that I’ve had my eye on all the emails coming in from Earthfare, but I didn’t have any coupons when I walked into the store.

Let’s Review:

4 Pounds of Organic Scottish Salmon: Retail $14.99lb = $59.96

1 Pound of Organic Bay Scallops: Retail $14.99lb = $14.99

5 Organic Fancy Pants Crabcakes: Retail $3.99each= $19.95

Retail Total: $94.90

What I actually paid…..

4 Pounds of Organic Scottish Salmon: $35.96

1 Pound of Organic Bay Scallops: $6.99

5 Organic Fancy Pants Crabcakes: $10

Total: $52.95

I saved 45.3% just by paying attention! 

Many of the “healthy” grocery stores like Whole Foods, Fresh Market and Earth Fare have excellent in store coupons that you can get too!

Basically, I’m saying you have no excuse to not save money people!

Get to saving…and as always I’m here if you have questions!

Save {part 12}.

Hello my beautiful savers!!!!

Lately I’ve gotten tons and tons of questions about couponing and saving money. I’m getting the feeling that you guys are finally ready to begin saving big at the grocery store!

Because if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, “YOU ARE A CRAZY PERSON IF YOU’RE PAYING FULL PRICE FOR GROCERIES.” Crazy, I tell you.

So, I’m going to show you my process and maybe it will boost your confidence so you can begin saving too! Also, please go through my previous saving posts (Save parts 1-11) that will really help too! (On the toolbar you’ll see “Little Savings” click on it and go to town!). Just like you, I’m going through a process of learning how to coupon and I get better and better at this stuff the more I do it. So, as you’ll find I’ve learned a lot and grown a ton in my couponing efforts!

So let me walk you through my process!!!

1. First things first: I clip all the coupons that I think I will use. Long ago, I would clip every single coupon from the paper and online and put them in a binder. I don’t do that anymore. Not because it’s not a good way, it’s because I’m not a naturally organized person so I found the binder very stressful. Now, my Mama sends me her coupons from the paper and I print out the ones that want via,, and Now, take in mind that you only get 2 prints per computer on printable coupons.

For normal $1 off or less coupons I’ll print 2 from my laptop and that’s it, but for high value coupons ($5 off 2, etc), then I’ll use Zach’s work computer and his home computer for 4 more prints. The bad news is that high value coupons usually don’t last long because they have a certain number of prints. Once that number is reached (usually it’s 10,000), then that coupon is unprintable. Make sense? So to recap, I clip the coupons from the paper and then the printed ones that I have from my computer.

2. Once all the coupons are cut, I put them aside and go to and get my produce matches. 95% of the time they have the best produce prices (Good news for my NC Mountains peeps, there is an Aldi in Lenior so you can match there!). Occasionally they won’t have some produce that need and I will look at, or So first and foremost my list is comprised of fruits, veggies and meat. These are must haves. Then, if crackers, oatmeals, detergents, etc are on sale I’ll add those to the list. Or if I’m totally out of something I’ll add, like this week I needed laundry detergent as my stash is finally up (It’s taken 2 years for me to use it all up from my last stock up!).

Something important to remember here is that in the land before couponing you may have gone to the store and grabbed a few things here and there without much thought. Before you knew it you spent $100 on a few items. It was instant gratification. You want Oreos, you get Oreos. Now you have to change your mindset! You have to work hard on making a list, coupling with coupons and finding the cheapest prices available. You may not get your Oreos now and you may have to wait, but you’ll get them for much less and be more satisfied with waiting! Over time, you’ll build a stock pile. For example, I’ve got over a years worth of shampoos, conditioners, razors, toothpaste, toothbrushes, salad dressing, dish washer tablets, dish soap, hand washing soap, lightbulbs, tampons, and more. But it has taken time to build up. You don’t have to be extreme and have 40 coupons of the same thing and get them all for free. You can get 2 things for free each week and over a year you’ll have a nice stock pile. Patience and time will pay off.

3. After I have made my entire list I go through the coupons and put the multiples into piles, (example: 4 Pampers coupons in a pile, 2 Kraft coupons in a pile, etc). Then, I add these items to my list with the amount that I need (amount is important to match up with number of coupons).

4. At this point, I haven’t done my matches for non-produce items to match up with my coupons. Once I have put every coupon item on my list, I think of any other items I need that I do not have a coupon for. If I do not, I will do a search online for a coupon. Sometimes they are available and sometimes they are not. So I’ll go through the sales papers online to make those matches. For example, I have 3 coupons for Blue Diamond Almond Milk and I need a match. So, I look up “Blue Diamond Almond Milk Sale 3-7-14 Louisville, KY” and viola! Kroger has them on sale for $1.99 this week (regularly $2.99). With my $1 off coupon (from and I’ll get a half gallon for $.99 (66% savings!). I will do this process until I have matches for most or all of my items.

5. Once I have my entire list it looks like chicken scratch and somewhat unreadable…so I make a new master list. I start in the health and beauty section and work my way through the store, via my list. That way I’m not missing anything. It’s extremely time efficient. Once my list is complete, I gather up my coupons into a handy dandy plastic sandwich bag (fancy, I know) and I’m ready to roll.


Here is a quick round up of my shopping trip this week.

I needed diapers bigtime, produce, meat and detergent. Those were the biggies. In addition there were good deals on a few other things and I stocked up.

Here’s a quick run down of a few of my deals…

6 Naval Oranges: Retail: $.88each Price Match: $.49 = $2.94

5.32lbs Fuji Apples: Retail: $2.67lb Price Match: $.98 = $5.21

3.18lb Green Grapes: Retail: $2.98 Price Match: $1.49 = $4.74

2 Bags Clemetine Oranges: Retail $5.98 per bag Price Match $3.99 bag = $7.98

3lbs Strawberries: Retail $2.98lb Price Match $.99lb = $2.98

4.74lb Bananas: Retail $.52lb Price Match $.44lb = $2.09

3 All Laundry Detergent: Retail $4.97 Price Match $2.49 Coupon for $1.00 off (this was a peel off on the item) = $1.49 each

3 Luvs Diapers: Retails for $6.97 each Price Match $4.97 Coupon for $1.00 off = $3.97 each (this is not a great stock up price for diapers, but we were running really, really low. So, ya gotta do what ya gotta do).

4 Almay Eye Make-Up Remover Pads: Retail $1.14 each No Price Match. 2 Almay Cosmetics Coupon $5 off of 2 items. $5.44 MONEYMAKER!

Let’s go over this deal again to show you how easy this is. Almay released a printable coupon for $5 off 2 items. Remember that you can get 2 prints per computer. So, I got 4 Almay Eye Makeup Remover pads (in the make-up section) for Walmarts normal price at $1.14 each. I got 4 of them, totaling $4.56. I used 2 Almay Coupons for $5 each, and they PAID ME $5.44 to take these items out of the store. Easy peasy.

3 Suave Professional Shampoos: Retails for $2.28 each. Price Match at $1.19. Coupon for $1.50 off (via = MONEYMAKER $.93. Again, that means Walmart PAID ME $.93 to take 3 Suave Professional Shampoos out of the store.

So imagine getting freebies like this every single week. Before long you’ll have a nice stash of things that you didn’t pay a dime for. Amazing, right?!

I saved over 50% on this trip simply by price matching and using coupons. I would have paid almost $50 for 6 packages of diapers alone!!!! With meat, another $30. That is INSANE. Almost $100 for a few things. You could really stretch that $100 with couponing!

And friends, that’s the deal. From start to finish it usually takes me around 2-3 hours. Then, the store usually takes a total of 1.5 hours. So at most I’m looking at 4.5 hours a week. My goal with normal weekly grocery shopping is to save 50% (not extreme couponing trips) so if I save an average of $150 per week that means my time is worth around $33 an hour.

I know what you’re thinking…I don’t have time! I’m stressed! It’s too confusing! I hate Walmart! Blah, blah, blah. Guys, I’m saving around $600 month on groceries. SERIOUSLY. Some of it goes into my stockpile, some in the freezer and some on our plates for meals, but it’s good food, for less. In fact, if you and I got exactly the same thing in our carts and I got mine for half of what you spent wouldn’t that make you crazy mad?! Well yes!

So friends, stop the excuses and start saving money. The time is now.


Not every day is awesome.

Not by a long shot.

Most of our days are really great, but with ample amounts of crying, meltdowns, reading, playing, adventuring and snuggling.

But some days…are epic.

Some days seems to be tinted in roses.

Like today.

Days like today I want to remember when I’m rocking in my rocking chair on my little nursing home porch. In fact, if I only had one day to live, today would have been a great way to sign off.

I breathed in my sweethearts all day long. (They smelled like strawberries in case you’re wondering).

I read “Where the Wilds Things Are” to Brother at least 13 times and nursed baby Nonny all morning as she seemed to be extra sensitive and needing me more than ever. And Bitzy woke up telling me stories of elephants, tigers, and dragons.

We snuggled and I stroked their hair and rub their soft cheeks. I memorized the lines on their faces and whispered prayers over each of them.

“Do they know how loved they are?” I wondered. I whispered “I love yous” and “you’re beautiful” into their ears and prayed it would travel to their hearts for safe keeping.

Then we ventured to the zoo. It was chilly but the sun made it bearable.

We talked about mammals and how strange it is that African Elephants and Asian Elephants have different sized ears but otherwise look the same. We talked about Madagascar and how the Lemur is such a beautiful creature. We visited the giraffes and marveled at their long tongues. We watched as a gorilla ate a huge bunch of broccoli and threw a piece of lettuce.

We talked how creative God is and how incredible animals are.

All such beautifully simple actions.

After the zoo we napped. All of us. It is not often that all members of our family rest. But we did. The house seemed to be at rest too.

Then, we hiked.

As we hiked up the trail, my sweet Brother Bear at only 2 years old said, “I wuv you  guys. Today is my favorite day of my whole life! I wuv to hike! It’s my favorite adventooes eva”

Me too, buddy. Me too.

Then we played on the playground and Zach and I watched our darlings delight in being outside. It was amazing to see how they have grown in only a few short months since we have been there. This winter has been extra long and hard, but as the sunlight pours in I appreciate the coming spring more than ever.

I remember being at this very playground when we first moved to our little town. Bitzy was only 15 months old. I remember another mom at the park saying how sweet her “cute little baby noises were.” Now that tiny baby is 4 years old and can talk without taking a breath for minutes at a time. She can tell you most anything you want to know about most animals, most Bible stories she can explain and she is becoming quite effective at speaking the Gospel to most anyone she meets. It seems that only yesterday we were there when Brother was in my belly and her baby noises were charming everyone around here.

I told Zach about my memories and he said he could hardly remember her at that age. We talked about how time is a tricky trickster. We held hands and caught our baby Nonny as she slid down the slide for the first time.

We chased chestnuts and played ring around the rosy and hugged and kissed like this was our very last day on Earth.

Sure there were a few meltdowns and tears, but they were few and far between.

No day is perfect, but this one was darn near close. It’s been said that a good day is like sucking the marrow out of life, and I have to agree.

The marrow of this day is long gone friends.

Everyday is not awesome, but today was.

So I will remember it.



WeightLoss {baby #3}.

So, baby Nonny is now a year old. It just seems amazing to me. I’m not feeling quite as overwhelmed these days, so it’s a fine time to lose this silly baby weight once and for all.

Sure, I’m late(r) to the party this go around than I was with Bitzy and Brother, but everything these days seems to be moving a bit slower. My brain specifically, but that’s a whole ‘nother Oprah.

I have beat myself every day that I haven’t lost this weight yet. I was back to pre-baby weight with Bitzy when she was 8 months old and back with Brother when he was only 6 months old. But alas, here I sit with 16 extra pounds crowding up my favorite blue jeans wondering what is standing in my way.

Nothing! It’s time to take it off once and for all.

These past several months I have just been overwhelmed and haven’t had the gumpton to take it off. Yup, I think having 3 kids in 3 years has put me at my maximum capacity for exhaustion, stress and hormonal imbalances! Bring on the peach rings!!!…I know that there are women much wiser and more capable than me who have children every 12 months and never get stressed, always look fresh and fabulous, are fit and trim and will not rest until they have a quiver full of 20 children.

I am slow clapping for you all. Seriously, I am. But me? I’ve spent the last year in XL yoga pants dreaming of peach rings with orange slice candy on top…oh, and I full night sleep of course.

Ya know another time that I eat? When I’m deliriously happy! I’m enjoying my little people so very much. They are really and truly my best little buddies. I often feel like a Mama duck with my 3 little ducklings following close behind everything I do and everywhere I go.They are delightful companions mostly. Sure we have hard days, but more often than not they are my JOY.

So let’s review…I eat when I’m tired, happy, stressed, emotional, joyful, overly hungry…so basically all the time I want to eat.

I’m glad we settled that.

But now, it’s time friends. It’s so time.

As you may remember I love Weight Watchers. It has worked for me time and time again. I think it’s wonderful and if you have any extra money in your budget I completely recommend it. However, if you are cheap like me, consider My Fitness Pal. It is free and counts your calories. It’s easy and did I mention free?

For me, counting calories and counting points are the same thing, they are both tools to help keep you aware of what you are putting in your mouth! If you are like me you don’t feel like you eat much, but then when you go back and count you’re eating much more than you should! My Fitness Pal is helping me to count calories to help me fit back into my awesome clothes that I haven’t been able to wear since I got pregnant with Nonny!

So, at the beginning of January, we bought a used treadmill and Zach and I signed up for My Fitness Pal. Since that day, Zach has lost nearly 17 pounds and I have lost 11 pounds. Not bad for one month! I still have 16 pounds to lose before I’m at pre-baby weight, but I’d really like to lose at least 20.

In some ways 16 pounds feels like nothing! But in reality I know that every single pound is a victory.

Do you have weight you want to lose? Care to join me? Let me know where you are where you want to go. I’d love to use this space to encourage one another.

In the meantime I’m going to stay away from the can of icing calling my name from the pantry.


I remember it like it was yesterday. Bitzy had recently turned 2 and Brother was 6 months, and we had just returned home from a trip to North Carolina. After everything was unpacked and the kiddos were asleep I began slowly going through a weeks worth of mail.

Most of it was junk of course, but there in the pile was a newspaper. I normally skip the news for the coupons if we’re honest with ourselves, but there was a picture that struck me on the front page. I slowly began reading a story about a 33 year old mother of 3 who had recently died from the horrible disease of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

And honest to goodness, right then and there, it was like anxiety rushed over my body like a wave.

For the next few days, weeks and months if I felt the tiniest twinge, tingle or pain I was 100% convinced that I had ALS.

I mean, convinced.

My mind had completely given itself over to this lie that I was literally dying of this disease.

I had no idea, that my “disease” was anxiety. Not ALS.

So one evening after struggling silently, I confessed my feelings to Zach. I was bawling, like ugly crying. I told him exactly when I had contracted ALS, my symptoms and mostly how sad I was for him and the babies to have to watch me die from this disease.

Thankfully he DID NOT laugh at me. He was very gracious with my fragile heart and explained that I could be experiencing postpartum anxiety and that most likely I did not have ALS.

I argued that I DID NOT HAVE POSTPARTUM ANXIETY, I clearly had ALS. I even walked across the room and said, “See, look at my feet! Don’t I have a limp? I have ALS!” He had the nerve to say that I didn’t have a limp! Can you imagine my horror when he again said that all of this was in my mind?

Still, I cried and cried. I was so relieved to tell him how I felt and yet so annoyed that he was accusing my “symptoms” of being due to anxiety. Finally, he encouraged me to see a doctor (other than WebMD).

When I made my appointment I had decided that finally I would get my diagnosis. Then, Zach would see that I was truly dying. As I went into the room and waited for the doctor I was really and truly terrified. In my heart I truly did believe that I had a terrible disease.

The doctor came in and asked about my symptoms. When I told her, she looked at my chart and said, “Oh I see that you recently had a baby. How have you been feeling emotionally?”

There it was again. All this chatter about emotions when really I just wanted someone to agree that there really was something wrong with me!

Then, she said it. “Molly, you are suffering from postpartum anxiety. I want to prescribe you a medication that will help you feel more calm and subdue your fears.”

In case your wondering, I still wasn’t convinced. I kindly said, “No thanks” to the medication and went on my way. I just couldn’t understand why no one else was freaking out!

Finally, I got it.

I was innocently watching an episode from Parenthood (best show ever), when Christina found out that she had breast cancer. It was a very emotional episode and through tears I thought, “Oh my goodness. I have breast cancer. I know that I do.”

And friends, it was like a light bulb went off. I realized that it wasn’t normal to “have” ALS and breast cancer within two minutes of each other.

Since that revelation I have still struggled with anxiety off and on for the past 2 years, but now I realize that it’s not real. That it truly is all in my head. I still do not take medication (this is a decision for me personally, however, I do not judge or condemn anyone who chooses to take it).

I would love to tell you that it’s gone. But it’s not. When I stopped breastfeeding Brother he was 18 months old and I was 7 months pregnant with Nonny. Those 2 months that I wasn’t breastfeeding (aka: extra hormones racing through my body), I really did feel much better. There was a huge reduction in my “death and destruction” feelings.

But, as you know, 2 months later, my precious Nonny came along and immediately those feelings returned.

Now that she is a year old and I’m nursing, some days it’s much better and some days it’s really bad. I now know that these crazy feelings are directly related to hormones and they are not real…but in the heat of the moment they feel very, very real.

But somewhere along the road through working through these feelings (sure, they are irrational feelings, but feelings all the same), with Zach’s help, I have come to a place of peace.

At this moment I could have cancer or ALS or another strange disease or I could die in a car wreck tomorrow. (Hopefully I don’t, but I could).  And now I’m learning that my life is not my own. It was bought by our Lord Jesus Christ and truly our tomorrow is not promised. There is truly nothing to fear when you have hope in Jesus.

And reading this is funny looking back on it. Because, I mean, I’m crazy. I admit it. Anytime I’ve told my friends this story we just laugh and laugh because it’s so hysterical…but at the time, it wasn’t funny at all.

I’ve also renewed my empathy and love for those dealing with depression and anxiety. I get it folks, I really do.

I share this with you because I didn’t know that this was “a thing.” I thought PPD was only when you drove your babies off of a mountain top, I really didn’t understand it could look very different from that.

One Bible verse that really helped me (and maybe it will help you), is “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:5.

So, every time I had/have a crazy medical aliment I pray that God will allow me to take that thought captive and submit it to Him. When I do this, it helps so much. However, I admit, all too often I do not and I struggle until I do.

I share this with you to help you or someone else. Surely I’m not the only crazy person out there. Right?


Growing {everyday}.

Dear Babies,

In this very moment all is quiet at 1:00pm. I hear the rushing sound of water on the video monitor, rush….pause, onto to the next room, rush…pause, onto the next room, rush…and back again. All three of you sweet ones are sound asleep. This is a feat that is quite rare. My Bitzy,  normally you take a “rest,” which actually means you party like it’s 1999 in your room for an hour and then you tip-toe downstairs begging for snuggles. And you, Brother, love to play, play, play with your toys. I’ve wondered at times if you are possibly an introvert deep down because you love to play in our room alone so much (while you’re supposed to be napping I might add). When you finally do pass out it’s normally somewhere on your floor. And you my sweet baby Nonny are such a wild card. You certainly love your sleep..until, well, you don’t. Then, you wake up fussy, mad and refuse to let me put you down. Your amazing 11-12 hours of sleep a night only lasted a mere few weeks before you declared war on sleep. So, you’re back to being awake to eat ever 2-3 hours during the night. It makes for your Mama to be a tired cookie.

So today, when this miracle of sleep has come to visit this house I am take long breaths of enjoyment, for who knows when the wild rumpus will begin again. Could be 30 minutes and could be 2 hours, one never knows.

Today has been a really, really, really good day. A day will plenty of snuggles, book reading, lots of “I love you mommy” and sweet “smoochies” as Brother says. Everyone is happy and kind (mostly) and full of joy. Sadly, not everyday is so full of fun. We have plenty of “training days” when I feel like I say “NO” a million times.

“No, you can’t climb on the kitchen table!”

“No, you can’t turn the light off and close the door of your closet while you’re baby sister is inside alone.”

“No, you can’t eat candy for breakfast.”

“No you can’t draw on the walls of our living room with crayons.”

“No you can’t put a battery powered dinosaur in the bathtub.”

“No you can’t jump over your baby sister while you pretend to be Superman.”

“No, you can’t sing ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen at the top of your lungs while the baby is sleeping.”

“No, you can’t eat Goldfish for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

“No, you can’t grab a toy out of your sister hand and then break it in half!”

“No, you cannot suck on your fingers and then wipe them all over my face.”

“No, you cannot use the hand towel for drying your hands to wipe your bottom.”

“No, you may not eating your boogies, even though you say they ‘taste like cake.’”

Do you get the point here? Believe it or not, I’ve said these exact same phrases this week.

I’m laughing as I write this, because it’s so true. And it IS funny. But, in the moment after saying “NO!” over and over again it can make the strongest gal weary.

The training and the endurance it takes to day after day teach and guide you little people is so thrilling at times, but at others daunting to say the least.

Not to mention the mess. Not just the mess of toys, that is understandable of course. I mean the mess of having 3 meals a day plus at least 2 snacks a day for 3 tiny people. The mess is daunting too if we’re honest.

But darlings, you are growing at an alarming rate. Bitzy, somehow or another you have become a little girl. Your toddler years are over now and you’re a perfect ballerina princess. My 4 year old little love. You seem so very big to me now. Sure, you’re still emotional and you sometimes struggle to keep your attitude in check, but overall, you are just a delight my love.

And Brother, your speech is amazing. Even your Papa commented on how incredible your vocabulary is and how sweet you are telling your stories and imaginative play. All day long everyday, “PETEND YOU A SKUNK AND I A DINO! NO, YOU A DINO AND I A SKUNK! READY! GO!” You are certainly growing my love. In fact, for Christmas you got a pair of size 2T-4T ski gloves and they are way too small. As in, they don’t even fit over your knuckles! I’m afraid you’re going to be a big boy like your uncle Luke honey.

And my baby, my Nonny Bony Puddin’ Pie, you are almost a year old. How, oh how, did that happen? This year has been so challenging figuring out what I could eat in my diet that would not bother your tummy. But through many trails and many errors, we’ve finally figured it out haven’t we love? Hopefully you’ll continue nursing for a long time to come. You are now crawling and cruising and standing on your own. I’m sure you’ll be walking in a few short weeks. Watching you grow is so wonderful. Teaching you animals sounds and how quickly you catch on and repeat. These simple actions are so special. I’m so thrilled that I get to be here for every one of them. I feel so honored to be with you every minute of the day. I truly do.

As time continues to march along I am determined to try my best my darlings. I may fail time and time again, but please know, that your Mama gave it her very best. On our refrigerator I have written “Tomorrow they will be a little bit bigger. Enjoy Today.” And sweet ones, I try, oh how I try to enjoy each day.

Regardless of my endless trying to be the best mommy that you could hope to have, each night I go over and over our day and think of how I could have handled things differently. I question myself on how I can do better tomorrow. And it really never ends. Even on our best days I know that I could still be better tomorrow. Thankfully, the grace of our loving God blankets all of my shortcomings. Amen to that!

More than anything my babies, I want to you know that you are loved. You are loved more than I even thought I had the capacity to love…it’s funny how that works. God just multiplies the love over and over again.

As I say to you ever single night, I’ll say it again…I love you to the moon and stars and the planets and the galaxies and more than anything else in the whole world always and forever, no matter what.

Always and Forever,


Bitzy is 4 years 3 months old, Brother is 2 years 8 months old, Nonny is 11 months old.


Save {part 11}.

Well kiddos, it’s over. Christmas has come and gone. Our Saviors birth has been celebrated and now we’re left with WINTER.

The most dreaded time of the year (for me anyway).

And just think, now that the candles are blown out, the wrapping paper dumped and the last piece of fudge is consumed those blasted credit card bills will begin rolling in.

This is the perfect time for you to begin saving money at the grocery store. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times, if you are paying full price for groceries you are a crazy person.

However, I get why you don’t. Couponing can be confusing and time consuming. You are already overwhelmed and you really just don’t have the time, right? Does this sound familiar?

So, here’s my solution for you “I’m too busy and I just can’t do it” folks.

Price Matching.

In this installment of my little stories I’m going to give you an example of a shopping trip where I only used 2 coupons (I saved $1.55) and the rest of my items were either on sale or I price matched. You’ll see how you can save big without dealing with coupons.

I was doing a whole bunch of Christmas baking, so I had to get lots of items that I normally do not get. I had to really scour the newspaper ads to find these matches and I found some really great deals!

Clearly, I love coupons and I recommend using them whenever possible, but I understand that sometimes price matching is the best we can do.

So here’s the list straight from my receipt:

5.61lbs of Fugi Apples- WalMart Price- $1.57lb   Price Match: $.99lb (I would have paid $8.81. I actually paid $5.51. I saved $3.30!)

8lbs of Bananas- WalMart Price- $.52lb Price Match: $.44lb

5lbs of Green Grapes- Walmart Price: $2.98lb Price Match: $.99lb (I would have paid $14.09. I actually paid $4.70. I saved almost $10!)

5lbs of Grapefruits- Walmart Price: $3.78 (Sadly, I couldn’t find a match! Boohoo. Paying full price makes me itchy).

Organic Buddy Fruit Packets- Walmart Price: $3.48 (Again, no match).

Quaker Oatmeal- Walmart Price: $3.98 Price Match: $2.50

Jet Puffed Marshmellows- Walmart Price $1.98 Price Match: $.99

2 Bags Nestle Chocolate Chips- Walmart Price: $2.48 Price Match: $1.68each

4 Packages of Great Value (Walmart Brand) Cream Cheese- Walmart Price: $1.98 Price Match: $.78each

2 Bags of Kraft Shredded Cheese- Walmart Price: $2.48 Price Match: $1.48each

Great Value Cube Cheese- Walmart Price: $1.98 Price Match: $.99each

3 Great Value Salted Butter (4 pack)- Walmart Price: $2.98 Price Match: $1.69

3 Nestle Peppermint Mocha 32 oz. Coffee Creamer (my one true vice)- Walmart Price: $3.49 Price Match: $2.50

2 Packs of Gwaltney Bacon- Walmart Price: $3.98 Price Match: $3.00

8 Boxes of Rachel Ray Oatmeal- Walmart Price: $2.00 per box (Sadly, no match to be found).

2 Loaves of Bunny Bread- Walmart Price: $1.98 apiece Price Match: $1.00 each

4 Bags of Great Value Pretzels- Walmart Price: $1.98 apeice Price Match: $.99 each

3 Packages of Great Value Taco Seasoning Mix- Walmart Price: $.44 each (No match).

Organic Sunflower Seeds- Walmart Price: $2.98 (No match).

5 Jars of Natural Peter Pan Peanut Butter- Walmart Price: $2.58 each Price Match: $1.88

2 5lb. Bags of Great Value Sugar- Walmart Price: $2.98each Price Match: $1.48

Magic Tape 3pk- Walmart Price: $3.00 (No match).

2 Bags Equate Cough Drops: Walmart Price: $1.98 Price Match: $.67 each

Great Value Organic Milk Gallon: $6.28 (So sad to say, No match. This one is a killer for me).

Scott Paper Towels 6pack: Walmart Price: $5.99 Price Match: $3.99

Natural ALL Laundry Detergenet: Walmart Price: $4.98 Price Match $2.99

Maxwell House Coffee: Walmart Price: $7.99 Price Match $5.99

5.38LB of Chicken: Walmart Price $2.48LB Price Match: $1.48LB

7.5LB Ground Beef: Walmart Price $3.39LB  Price Match $1.99LB

4 Packages of Chicken Drumsticks: Walmart Price $.99LB Price Match $.66LB

3.1LB Rump Roast: Walmart Price $3.97LB Price Match: $2.48LB (This would have been $12.66 before match. After match it was $7.91! I saved almost $5!)

Retail total before tax would have been: $230.73.

After Price Matching and 2 coupons my total before tax was….drumroll please…$148.18

I saved $82.55 by simply telling the cashier what my price match was. No sale papers, no drama and no sweat. Easy peasy. To put simply, if you were behind me in line and got exactly what I had in my cart with no price matches, you would pay $83 MORE dollars than I did.

Isn’t that CRAZY?!

So friends, please oh please, try it. Just once…just for fun. If you save $80 every time you go to the store and you go once a week, that means you could save $360 PER MONTH. No coupons needed…well that is unless you want to save even more.

Jump on the train friends….

(If you need more information on Price Matching and how to do it, please go to the “Little Savings” portion of my blog and start reading!).



He’s Here! {love came down}.

With only a few hours left of Christmas 2013 and all three of my Christmas miracles sleeping soundly in their beds, Zach and I are sitting on the couch happy and exhausted from the events, traveling and precious memories of this blessed season.

I’ve been especially weepy this Christmas for some reason. It seems that each time the thought of Jesus putting skin on to come down to our sinful Earth comes to mind I resolve in a heap. Nearly every single time I read and/or teach my children about the beautiful story of Christmas my voice catches several times and I end up wiping away my secret tears. It’s just too wonderful to consider.

I also have a very heavy heart for people that I love who are hurting this Christmas season. For a season that is filled with so much hope and joy, at times the weight of heartbreak can be crippling during Christmas. Perhaps that is one reason why I’ve been especially sentimental lately.

I admit that I put tons of pressure on myself to make every day an event filled with memories because (as I sobbed about last night), Bitzy only has 14 more Christmases at home before she’s in college! Every single Christmas season has to be filled with MEMORIES. Precious ones!!!!! There is no time for relaxing,WE MUST MAKE MEMORIES! As you can imagine, all the memory making is resulting in Mommy making everyone a little nuts. But the one thing that I will not budge on is making Christmas, all of Christmas, about our baby King Jesus. If they don’t remember one sugar cookie decorating, live nativity or  Christmas light show, they will recall how their crazy Mama taught them about Jesus. And I suppose that’s all that really matters.

That said, I know that I’ve mentioned the greatest childrens Bible ever before, at least I think I have. If not, here it is (no affiliate link) The Jesus Storybook Bible.

We read this Bible every single day. Without fail, every single day I sweep away tears because His story is so clearly written and explained. In fact, whether you have children or not, I would encourage you to get this Bible. God’s love story and His Secret Rescue Plan for you is amazing and humbling.

Because I love you all so much, I would love to share the Christmas story as told by the brilliant Sally Lloyd Jones in the Children Storybook Bible. Please enjoy on this Silent, Holy night.

Come join me and worship the Baby King, He is the Lord of Everything.



I have been writing and rewriting this post in my head for quite some time. Trouble is, it’s either too positive or too negative or too mushy or too completely full of half truths. Because, the reality of motherhood, the nitty gritty truth of motherhood is tricky. It’s hard to describe and incredibly difficult for me to arrange these complicated thoughts in my little head.

I remember when Bitzy was a baby and I would hear people talk about how hard motherhood was and I would roll my head-in-the-clouds eyes and sigh. “What is so hard about it?” I’d think. “It’s the best, most amazing adventure ever in the history of the whole wide world!” I would see well meaning mommies tweet about hiding in the bathroom for just a minute of peace and I would sigh and judge them and feel sorry for their bad attitude.

And still, 3 years and 3 kids later I still say a resounding YES that being a mommy is the most amazing, incredible, exhilarating adventure that I could ever dream of being a part of. It is 100% my dream come true and I cannot imagine not being a stay at home mommy. Just the thought of not being with them throughout the day, everyday, puts me in a panic. But, (of course there is a “but”), it’s also hard.

This has been a plaguing heartache of mine over the past year or so. I really wanted to be THE ONE Mommy who would never utter those words. In my heart of hearts I wanted to be the Mommy who had obedient children who never fight, never had an attitude problem, always napped, never cried and who are practically perfect in every way. I wanted to be an example for tired mommies everywhere, that a positive attitude and kind spirit holds the key to a happy mommy, fulfilled husband and mostly perfect babies.

But friends I’m here to tell you, I’m not her. I’m not sure if “she” exists, but I can tell you right now, it ain’t me.

And again, it’s hard to write and even harder to process. If being a mommy and wife is my dream job and I admit it’s hard, does that mean that I’m not cut out for it? Does that mean that I am failing?

We all begin motherhood all hopeful with wide eyes and full hearts and think that we can’t lose. This is why the first time I felt the crazy panic sweep over me because Bitzy wouldn’t stop crying…like, would not stop crying people, I thought I was flawed somehow. That my dream was a hoax that I would never be the mommy that I dreamed I would be. That we were all doomed.

I know it sounds dramatic, because it is dramatic! And in the moment it’s even more dramatic.

I’ve cried, prayed, talked to friends, poured my heart out to my beloved Zach and they all say the same thing, “What you’re doing is hard, very hard. What you feel is normal and I have felt that way too.”


Other people feel enormously guilty for not enjoying every single minute of every single day, even with the crying, whining, disobedience and minute-by-minute training? Other people feel overwhelmed with playing, crafting and being a spiritual and relational teacher throughout the day but still having a clean house and cooking three meals every day? Other people wake up every morning feeling energetic and hopeful and by naptime have no energy and no patience to match?

I can’t tell you what a relief that is.

Even still, I desire in my heart of hearts to be different…to be the exception. To be full of grace and truth and LOVE for my babies. To have patience and a wealth of hope that every minute will be special and they will see Christ in me.

For me, just admitting that it’s hard has helped. To know that I’m not alone that God is my help and that you ladies and gents are fighting the good fight with me gives me great comfort. But I don’t want to park in the hardness. I want to admit it and get on with it.

I want to smile when a well meaning person says, “It goes so fast, enjoy every minute.” Of course I will vow under my breath to never, ever say those words to a young mother when my babies are older. Because it does go fast, that’s why admitting it’s hard seems so much like failure.

But it’s not failure. The hardness just reminds me that I need a Savior all the more.

I’m learning that resting in the hope of Christ when I feel tired and guilty and weary isn’t hard at all.

I need you, oh I need you. Every hour I need you sweet Jesus.




It’s a beautiful day outside. Breezy, but nice.

This morning I watched my son pretend to be a baby fox amidst chairs and sheets constructing a very fine fort. I laughed as my beautiful Bitzy played Flopsy and Mopsy with her sweet friend Ana. And I sighed as my baby Nonny only took a 30 minute morning nap when she really needs at least an hour.

I laughed with Lolly, Zach’s Mama, about how funny they are. The crazy things they pretend and say and do. How magical they are. 

And now during this peaceful naptime hour, I wonder what divides us as mothers. Surely, every child in the world is magical in his or her own way. Surely everyone has a baby that at one point or another has refused to nap. I have yet to meet a “boring” child. Each one is filled with different gifts. That said, each of us mothers get to experience this incredible journey. While it’s very different for each of us, so much of it is exactly the same. And yet, we squabble about silly things. We fiercely judge one another. And often, we choose being “right” over being kind.

In fact, a few months ago I read a blog post entitled, “Why letting your baby cry it out is not God’s way.” Now, let me get one thing straight, I’m not an “advocate” of cry it out. I am, however, an advocate of survival. With Bitzy, I survived with little to no sleep every single night for over 9 months. But, I was basically a wreck much of the time. At the time I had a part-time job and one afternoon we had an “enrichment” were we sat in a circle and talked. I basically cried for an hour straight. I was honestly so exhausted I had almost no control of my emotions. This, my friends, is unhealthy.

When I took her in for her 9 month well check up, the doctor gave me a pep talk. He explained if the one and only place she would sleep was my arms, we had a very large problem. This, I already knew. It got so bad that in the middle of the night when I nursed and rocked her, the moment I stood up from the rocking chair she would scream until I sat back down to rock her more. She wanted to sleep in my arms at all times. Nighttime or naptime, she wanted me and me only. So, I’m assuming you see how this is a problem.

Finally, I followed the doctor’s advice as I clung to the video monitor as Zach laid in her floor while she wailed continously, I was crying right along with her. It was not quick and it was not easy, but finally she began sleeping in her crib and not waking up 5 times a night.

I tell you this story, as an example of survival. I was on the brink. Seriously. And thankfully, I’ve never suffered through serious post partum depression. I wonder how exhaustion plays into PPD’s hand. I can imagine how they can do serious damage together.

And I wonder if all the new Mamas like me that read that blog post and felt terrible about themselves. Or all the mamas who waved their holier than thou flags. Friends, these are the things that cause division.

Another divide I’ve heard so many times is food. What we feed our kids seems to cause so much division. I confess, that I’ve played this game too. I once saw a lady feeding her child a Coke that she poured into a bottle. I immediately wrote a Facebook post about the horror of this act and I had many well meaning commenters agreeing with me on her horribleness. And now, I regret that so much. I wonder all the loving mothers who had also poured their child and a Coke and read my post and felt bad about themselves. I sadly caused division.

And of course the obvious divides. Stay at home Mamas and Working Mamas. I have a friend who will make a working mama feel extreme guilt over not being at home with her babies. Somehow after a 5 minute chat she can make even the most confident working mom feel awful. This again, is division.

And breast milk over formula. Ah, it’s such an old fight. I’m obviously an breastfeeding advocate. I’ll probably still be breastfeeding for many more years to come, but that doesn’t mean if it didn’t work out for another Mommy that they are wrong or bad or less. Again, it’s division.

Division can come with words, Facebook posts, mean stares, whispers and even with not very nice thoughts.

I fight it almost every single day. I try so hard not to judge other Mamas, even when it feels natural to do so. Because sometimes the mean way, seems to be the easy way. Fighting against our natures and forcing ourselves to be kind takes much more effort. 

Does this mean that we can’t have opinions? Of course not. But I have learned that often we need to keep our opinions to ourselves unless we’re asked for advice. This is a good rule to live by.

Because friends, usually…almost always, people are doing their best. And sadly, we are all fighting our very own battles one day at time. Can I encourage you to  fight against division? We’re in this together. Rather than working against each other, let’s fight for each other.


When I look at you my babies, I want to really look at you. Like, in the eye. I don’t want my gaze to wander around the room to the zillions of chores I have to do, I want to stare into your eyes and really soak you in.

When I listen to you my babies, I want to really listen. Like what your saying matters. I want you to feel me listening and know that your words matter to me. That you have a voice, and that I think it’s beautiful. That I will listen and love all of your stories and your dreams. That someday, when you have big, fancy, important and possibly terrible things to tell me, since I listened well to all the little things, you’ll know that I can really be trusted with the big ones.

When I play with you my babies, I want to really play. I want to play skunk and honey badger and circus and Cinderella and zoo and Flopsy and Mopsy and brave knight and bumble bee and all the zillions of other pretend games that you dream up. I want to be your playmate and your best buddy. I want you know that I love watching you play. Your playtime is meaningful and really brings me so much joy.

When I feed you, I want you to know that I really care about your health. That all the vegetables and fruits and organic this and that are because I believe that food should be used as fuel. That you have been created for a powerful purpose. I want you to know that I love you and work hard to feed you nutritious food that is really good for you.

When I discipline you, I want you to that I really, really, really love you. If I didn’t love you so much I would let you run around screaming at eachother, hitting and acting like little crazy people. But since I love you so much, you have to obey. You just do. I have to obey God and you have to obey me. That’s really how it works babies.

When I read to you, I want to really read to you. I want to do fancy voices and big voices and quiet voices. I want to read you the Bible and Fancy Nancy and Peter Pan and all the silly stories that you want. I want you to feel comfortable and peaceful sitting in my lap reading. In fact, I want it to really feel like home to you.

When I teach you, I want to really teach you, like what we’re learning about is the most important thing in the world. I want to get down on your level, look into your eye and explain things. Like, how God made all the different colors of the rainbow, and how a T-Rex is a carnivore and how Jonah made a bad choice by not going to Nineveh. I want to teach you all day long about sharing, Gods love, my love, colors, writing, words, kindness, imagination, manners, food, and a zillion more things. I want to really love teaching you and I want you to really love learning.

But more than any of these things, I want you to know that I really love you. That I am keenly aware that this day will never come again. That tomorrow you’ll be a little bigger and that I get this one shot at being your Mama. So my loves, I promise that I will really try to look, listen, play, feed, read and teach with all my heart. Even if I fail at all the other things, please know, that I love you forever and always.


Our days are not filled with fancy toys, expensive activities or extra long errands and chores.

I don’t want that and neither do my little miracles.

We like to have fun.

Whether we go out or stay home, fun is always our goal. Granted there are a few hiccups in our fun plans many days, such as (but not limited to), baby fussinesses, 2 year old tantrums and 3 year old mood swings. But still, fun is the goal.

Sometimes, it feels like a totally fun day from top to bottom is an unattainable goal. It’s very difficult to get all 3 little tiny people happy at the exact same time. It seems like one of them has to be in a bad mood at some point during the day.

But then, there in the mix of a hundred crazy, whiny, insane days, there is a miracle day where all 3 tiny people are happy at the same time.

And this happens…

This, magical extraordinary ordinary day that is filled with FUN, laughter, pretend play, sharing, kindness and L-O-V-E. I could have never imagined in a zillion years how much joy these little people would bring to my heart. And we don’t need anything fancy pants…because we have eachother. And that friends, is more than enough.

I love our simple, ordinary life. It is absolutely my dream come true.

So today, on this wonderful ordinary day, I will choose to enjoy these carefree days of no school, schedules or appointments and relish this day that has been so graciously granted to us.

Save {part 10}.


Hello friends! Here I am again trying to convince you crazy kids to give your wallet a break and try your hand at some couponing/price matching. If you’re still on the fence, can I help convince you?

Imagine this…

A few weeks ago I put my 3 beautiful little miracle children to bed and FINALLY sat down at 9:00pm to spend some time with my handsome husband. At 10:30pm he went to bed and I began obsessing about all the coupons I had that were to expire on July 31st. I had less than 2 hours to get them all together, make a list, go to my beloved Walmart and check out by 11:59pm.

I really, really, really did not want to go. I mean, who in their right mind wants to go to The Walmart at 11:00pm on a Wednesday night? Not this cowgirl, that’s who. But alas, I knew that would be throwing away valuable items if I didn’t go.

So I tipped-toed into our room and told Zach that I was going to the store and off I went.

Turns out, it was quite successful. Here’s the skinny.

22 Bottles of Herbal Essence Shampoo: Retail $2.97. Price Matched at $1.99.

8 Packages of  Tena Pads: Retail $4.97

5 Reynolds Baking Cups: Retail $.92

2 Planters Natural Peanut Butter: Retail $2.48

Great Value Cooking Spray: Retail $2.28

Peppercorns: Retail $3.99

4 Renu Contact Solution: Retail $1.47

Retail: $146.89

After Price Matching: $124.67

After Coupons: $1.46

That’s right! You heard me correctly! I paid $1.46 for all this stuff! The crazy thing is that I only price matched the shampoo! Everything was bought due to awesome coupons.

If you’re intimidated by price matching/coupons you are not alone. The first time I ever tried couponing I went to Kroger with a stack of coupons and NONE of them worked. They were expired, for the wrong product, wrong quantity, etc. I gave up for awhile because it seemed so hard. But then, I tried again and again and again. Eventually I got the hang of it!

And now, I have an awesome stock pile and use coupons to help pay for my groceries! Quite the transformation!

You can do this too!

Happy Saving Friends!




Picture this: Nonny screaming incessantly after feedings every day for 4 weeks.

Her Mama gets a clue and asks the Facebook world to diagnose her baby. Never to disappoint, Facebook world rightly declares that Nonny has a dairy sensitivity.

Thank you Facebook world. I’ll take your word for it any day of the week.

So the next day, I cut obvious dairy and chocolate.

You heard me right friends.

The original addict quit chocolate.

Because I love my baby more.

The next few months were better…much better. Still normal new baby fussiness, but nothing crazy. So 3 weeks ago, I decided there was still something more I could do. I quit all grains (with the exception of oatmeal) as well and everything, EVERYTHING processed.

Which means, I quit candy.

I know, let’s let that sink in a bit.

Because I love my baby more.

It’s hard, like really hard.

No more quick peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. Did I mention no more candy? No more bread, crackers, twizzlers, ice cream, spaghetti, pizza…you get the gist.

Now I’m eating meat, some veggies as she’s sensitive to many of them, fruit, nuts and oatmeal.

But I’m doing it. And guess what? I’ve got a happy, happy, happiest baby in the world to show for it.

This really makes me wonder if Bitzy didn’t have colic after all and had the same sensitivities. I’ll never know for sure, but I wonder.

So friends, this is a motivation for us all. If I can quit processed foods/chocolate/sugar then anything, ANYTHING is possible.

You would think that weight would be falling off of me right? Sadly, you are wrong. I’m still fighting the good fight to get this blasted weight off. I’ve lost 25 pounds in 4 months, but it’s WAY harder this time around, ounce by ounce it’s coming off.

How did you guys lose your baby weight? Give this Mama some tips!  And then go eat some candy in my honor!


                                                                             Gammy (my Mama) with Bitzy and Brother.

She still calls her toes piggies. And when counting, after 21 she says, “Eleventy, Twelvty, Firtendy, Fourteendy, Fiftendy, Sixteendy, Seventydy, Eighteendy, Ninteendy, Firty!”

She’ll never have another summer being 3.

Just typing the words springs tears to my eyes and plants a pit in my stomach.

These days are fleeting. I know this.

I know that when I walk into Brothers room every morning he won’t always say, “MOURING MAMA! HOWS YA SEEP ‘AST NITE? I DEEMED ‘BOUT ESUS!”

And I know that Nonny won’t always want to sleep in my arms all night long, every night, and wake up with an amazing sparkle in her eyes each morning.

But even with the knowledge that it won’t last forever, it’s still not easy.

Not by a long shot.

In fact, yesterday was not my favorite day ever.

                                                                                                                      Nonny 5 months old!

Brother was inconsolable much of the day. “MY MOUFF HUTS MAMA! MY TOE HUTS MAMA! I NEED YOO WEALLY BAD MAMA!” The ouchies don’t really gets to me, although they are aplenty. It’s more of the arguing/fighting/that’s mine/screaming/selfishness that puts me over the edge.

Picture this: It was naptime. Everyone was tired and needed a break from each other. Brother and Bitzy play amazingly well together for a 3 and 2 year old, until they, well…don’t. And then, the gnashing of teeth begin. The crazy crying and fighting.

And at 1:00pm my patience needs a nap. It had been a really hard morning and it was so time.

So I asked Brother to come into his room to read books with me before nap.

He ignored me.

Rinse/Repeat about 10 times.

Now I’m a patient person, but I do have my limits. Not listening/ignoring me just runs all over me.

Just about when I want to blow it off and go pick him up and put him in his bed I have this vision of him being 15 and ignoring me and saying something punky like “Whatever, Mom.” And then, I realize that the TRAINING is NOW. As hard and awful as it is to constantly train, all day everyday, these are the years that will turn the 15 year olds “whatever” upside down.

So I put him in timeout. Again. All the while thinking about how I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Why won’t they listen to me? I doubt myself. I blame myself. I try to put the puzzle together: too late for nap? too early? hungry? teething? ear infection? I mean, there has to be a reason why this child is a lunatic today, right?

And then a little voice in my heart chimes in, “He’s only 2. You are training him. This race takes endurance.”

I know this when I think rationally. Like when everyone is asleep and I forget how Bitzy screamed, “NO! NEVER!” at me today when I put her in timeout for a bad attitude.

These days are hard friends. They are good, no, great. But still hard.

It takes endurance.

It’s training. And sometimes training is really tough.

At the end of this very exhausting day when I snuggled up with Bitzy to read books I asked her what her favorite part of her day was (we went shopping, indoor playground, lunch, pretend play, going to her Lolly and Pops house. So a really fun day). Her response? “SNUGGLING WITH MY MAMA! YOU’RE MY FAVORITE IN ALL THE LAND!”

And then I sigh, remembering that this business of training cannot be overshadowed by the season of savoring the snuggles and whispering my pride and love into my little miracles ears and willing them to reach their tiny hearts.

It’s worth it. Every single bit of it.


Blessed is the husband that gives his wife a break before she loses her everlovin’ mind.

I don’t take breaks. Not on purpose really. Lord knows I need them sometimes. It’s just that I love, love, love my babies. Not just love them, but I love being around them. I truly enjoy their company. It’s true that a 3, 2 and 4 month old are truly good to hang around with. Sure, they are work. They take an incredible amounts of patience and tremendous amounts of love, but they are my true companions. If we were bazillionares Zach, the babies and me would hang out all the time and travel the world and then come home and have jammie days galore. No thanks on the nanny, but I will take a housekeeper pretty please.

But sometimes, sometimes Mama needs/craves/desires a minute.

And the truth is that I’m exhausted. Even though my Nonny isn’t up all night every night, she’s still not sleeping great. Normally she’ll sleep in the swing from 9:00pm-2:00am (with a feeding inbetween) and then she won’t go back to sleep unless I’m feeding and holding her. That said, I’m basically getting 2 hours of good sleep (from 12:00-2:00am) until I’m holding her until 6:30am when Bitzy wakes up. And tomorrow my sweet Nonny is 5 months old…so I really haven’t slept good in 5 months. Actually, I didn’t sleep good while I was pregnant so that’s 14 months total. Then, (let’s face it), I didn’t sleep good before I was pregnant because I was sleeping with and nursing Brother and then before was the pregnancy, then same cycle with Bitzy.

So, Bitzy is 3 years and 8.5 months old, plus 9 months of pregnancy = I haven’t had a decent nights sleep in 4 years and 6 months.

I’m tired.

But I’m also wildly in love with my life. And I get it, it’s part of the package. These beautiful tiny humans are my biggest blessing and I truly see them as a reward from the Lord. I refuse to take them for granted and complain about them.

But can I still be tired?

This is why I never take breaks. I feel like if I take a break from them then somehow I’m not thankful for them. That I’m complaining about them somehow.

I know it’s sounds nuts, but it’s how I feel.

But today, after several nights of barely sleeping, the two cups of coffee just wasn’t cutting it.

As I was serving breakfast I mouthed to Zach from across the room, “I need a break.”

He didn’t question, complain or bat an eye, he simply nodded and whispered, “Go and take as long as you need.”

That’s a good man friends.

After breakfast was over, the baby was fed and down for a nap, I slipped out as Bitzy and Brother were snuggling with their sweet daddy.

And here I sit.



Missing my babies and Zach.

Isn’t that the craziest thing?

Life is funny like that.

I wish you all the very best of Sundays my friends. Soak it up.




Today while my 3 year old Bitzy was jamming to the music and story time at our AWESOME library, my 2 year old Brother was having a 100% epic meltdown as I was nursing my 4 month old Nonny in the Ergo carrier. During this “event” I noticed a few things as I was literally holding Brothers mouth closed and loudly whispering in his ear to “RELAX” while trying to hush the baby who was also crying.

Here are my observations that I noted through the sweat drops that were literally pouring down my face:

1. Mamas with one child stared at me like I was a crazy, sweaty, insane, mean mommy who could not control her children.
2. Mamas with two children stared at me with a bit of pity but still looked at me like I was insane and who could not control her children.
3. Mamas with three children stared at me with a “Carry On, Warrior” fist bump.
4. Mamas with four of children or more didn’t even notice.

And yet again, I am encouraged to always, always, always help, encourage and LOVE mommies of all children and give them a solid high five no matter what.

This Mama stuff is not for the weak.

Save {part 9}.

Friends, I have the couponing fire again. It was stagnant as I was in pregnancy misery (have I mentioned how much a H-A-T-E being pregnant? Well, I do).

Now, I’m back in the game and it feels oh so good.

I really, really, really want you guys to do this. Like, really. I find it startling how few people take advantage of The Walmarts price matching policy. It’s like free money people. Do you get that? All you do is go to a register, give them your item and give them the price match. According to the price matching policy you DO NOT have to show the ad. Granted, if it’s a crazy amount off (more than 50%), they may ask to see the ad, but most matches will be a dollar or two off and they won’t flinch to give you the price match.

The matches I use are in the paper, I just learn about them from online. For example, Annie’s Organic Mac and Cheese is $1 from Kroger so I say “$1 Price Match from Kroger.” Everything you match has to be in your area. Publix always has awesome prices, but  I can’t match because we don’t have one. Make sense?

I know that many of you (or most if we’re honest), hate The Walmart. I will admit that it has a few flaws, but overall with this policy you honestly just can’t find a better deal on groceries.

Let me give you the scoop on my trip a few weeks ago. Hopefully it will inspire you!

Strawberries: Normal price: $2.48lb Price Match: $1.00lb

Blueberries: Normal price: $2.98lb Price Match: $1.49lb

Red Grapes: Normal price: $1.98lb Price Match: $.99lb

12 Almay Deodorant: $2.24 (no match)

3 Covergirl Eyeshadow: $3.14 (no match)

Hair Elastics: $2.17 (no match)

Colgate Kid Toothbrush: Normal price: $2.28 Price Match: $1.00

Natural Peanut Butter: $2.38 (no match)

4 packages Huggies Wipes: $1.97 (no match)

Bananas: Normal price: $.52lb Price Match: $.25lb

Gala Apples: Normal price: $3.19lb Price Match: $.99lb

2 Bags of Lettuce: Normal price: $2.24 Price Match: $1.00 per bag

Hellmans Lite Mayo: Normal price: $2.98 Price Match: $1.98

2 Secret Deodorant: $2.47 (no match)

Suave Kids Shampoo: Normal price: $2.24 Price Match: $1.00

11 Pounds of Amish Farms All Natural, No Hormone Chicken Tenders: Normal price: $2.48lb Price Match: $1.48lb

Before Price Matching and coupons these groceries would have cost $123.18. 

After price matching the total was $92.87.

So, just by matching I saved $30.31. Then with my awesome coupons my total before tax was….wait for it….


That’s right! All of the non-produce/meat items were FREE, plus I had an overage on many of them to help pay for the other items.

Isn’t that nuts? 

All this can be yours with planning and  a wee bit of work!

You CAN do this!




One question that we’ve been getting a lot of these days is “Are you guys done having kids?”

This is a toughy.

We just don’t know.

Maybe? Probably? Possibly?

Again, we just don’t know. 

There are days that we think that we are for sure done. And others that we’re not so sure.

The other night was particuarly rough with Nonny waking up like several times to nurse, Bitzy had 2 different accidents in her bed and Brother was partying in his room at 3:00am like it was 1999.

Zach said at 4:20am, “If I ever mention having another kid punch me in the face.” (That is a direct quote).

But then there are magical days where everyone is rested, happy and awesome in general and we think, “Hmmm…one more would really be great.”

So this morning I was reading to all three of my sweethearts in our favorite “big white chair” and there were smiles all around. We were laughing, snuggling and having so much fun.

I said, “Oh guys, I just love you all so much. Do you know that? Do you know how much Mama loves you?”





Me: Oh really, does that sound good?


Me: Oh my! Don’t you think that would be a lot of work?


Me: Well in that case! Bring on the babies!

Have a great day friends!

Save {part 8}.

Let’s talk about couponing, shall we?

With the pregnancy and birth of my sweet little Nonny I have changed my approach to couponing and price matching, maybe this will help you guys too.

You see, before, I would comb through the Sunday paper every week and write down all the best deals, clip all the coupons, organize them and then go for one big couponing trip once a week.

With this method I built a large stockpile that basically fed us throughout my pregnancy and for the last few months. I just cannot even tell you what a blessing having a good stockpile is. There are no last minute trips to the store, or emergency trips for diapers, wipes, shampoo, soap, etc. It’s so nice to have all of that neatly organized in the basement.

HA. Who are we kidding? Neatly organized is VERY STRONG, but still, it’s there if I need it.

Anyway, throughout pregnancy I relied on price matching for meat, fruit and veggies. I did very little couponing.

Now that baby Nonny is 3 months old and I’m settling into this Mama to 3 tiny people thing, I’m getting back into my couponing groove. It just looks very different now.

Here’s the way I’m working it.

Every week I go to a few different websites to see the deals (I’ll post the sites that I use at the end of the post). I’m most interested in price matching fruit, veggies and meat.

After I have my list of matches, I go to the “freebie” or “under $1 section” and see what great deals they have.

So last week as I was looking and there was a $4 off any Almay cosmetic coupon. Turns out that Almay considers deodorant a cosmetic. Therefore the $2.24 deodorant has a $1.76 overage on each one with the coupon. Upon reading this I immediately went to ebay and purchased 40 coupons for around $8.00.

That means that when I purchase 40 deodorants I will receive $70.40 in FREE MONEY, plus I’ll have 40 Almay deodorants. With the overage I will buy meat. However, if I wanted the cash they would give it to me. Do you get that? They could give me 40 FREE deodorants and $70.40 for taking it out of the store.

This, my friends, is the power of the coupon.

However, I would never have known this information had it not been for the couponing blogs that I read.

So basically what I’m doing nowadays is price matching for produce and meat and only couponing for things that we don’t have a stock pile for and freebies.

I spend about an hour looking at the websites and ordering coupons and about an hour at the store.

Here’s what I got after planning and shopping for 2 hours.

3 Loaves of Whole Wheat White Bunny Bread: Price Matched at $1.00 piece

2 Pounds of Strawberries: Price Matched at $.99 apiece

2 Cartons of Blueberries: Price Matched at $1.49 apiece

2 Cantaloupes: Price Matched at $1.00 apiece

Bananas: Price Matched at $.29 per pound

15 Softsoap Hand Soaps: Price Matched at $.97 apiece

20 Bags of Steamfresh Veggies: Price Matched at $1.00 apiece

4 Bags of Red and Green Grapes: Price Matched at $.97 per pound

4 Bags of Mixed Green Lettuce: Price Matched at $1.00 apiece

10 Boxes of Annies Organic Mac & Cheese: Price Matched at $1.00 apiece

4 Pounds of Boneless Pork Chops: Price Matched at $1.97lb.

20 Bottles of Colgate Mouthwash: Price Matched at $1.99 apiece.

With coupons and price matching I got much of these items FOR FREE and paid only $42.00!

This is without all the extensive work and time it takes to go through the paper and coupon, remember.

You can do this friends. You are a crazy person if you’re paying full price for groceries!!!! CRAZY. 

Just give it a shot. You will not be disappointed!

PS: I use The Krazy Coupon Lady and I Heart The Mart. 

PPS: I know all of you OCD people are going crazy because my mouthwashes were not in a perfect row for the picture. You know who you are! 




Bitzy was only 9 months old when I became pregnant with Brother. That’s right. I had just lost my last few pounds of baby weight and I was feeling more like myself.

My Bitzy was sleeping through the night, I had figured out nursing, I was really feeling very comfortable with our sweet little family of three.

And then, those double lines hit yet again.

I was actually in a Target bathroom when I found out Brother was in my belly.

Classy, I know.

At the time, I really didn’t get what having babies only 18.5 months apart would mean. I didn’t understand the stress, messiness, and pure JOY it would be to watch them grow and become best friends.

All I knew in that Target bathroom was that I would get to have another baby. I would get to love and cherish another tiny little person. I was overjoyed to say the least…surprised yes, but still so excited.

And then Brother was born. My sweet, laidback, precious son.

At first it was tricky and very stressful if we’re going to be honest. But little by little, we worked together and got the hang of it.

And it’s not always easy. Now that they are 2 and 3, there’s lots and lots of fighting, arguing, hitting, wrestling, yelling and crying.

But there’s lotsa love too.

My babies are crazy over one another.

In fact, this afternoon my little Brother Bear was having a very difficult time obeying and Bitzy turned into a little Mama. It was really the first time that I’ve seen her in a “Big Sister” role. She took him by the arm and said, “You are not obeying Mommy. Don’t you know you’re going to get a consquence? You need to listen and stop being so wiggly woggliy!”

Then he replies, “O-TAY SISSY. SAWWRY MAMA. I GIVE YOU.”

She’s like a little miracle worker with him.

Later when he was in time-out (are you noticing a theme here with sweet Brother Bear?), she said, “I MISS MY BEST FRIEND. I DON’T LIKE PLAYING WITHOUT HIM. HE MAKES EVERYTHING SO MUCH FUN.”

I mean seriously people. Is that the sweetest thing ever?

I guess the best things in life are sometimes really hard and stressful…but then they give us the biggest rewards.

Hopefully when little Nonny is old enough to play they will all be in love.

Happy Tuesday Friends!


As a Mama to 3 little ones I’ve seen and experienced a lot of really gross stuff.

Like, really gross stuff.

But today I think my tiny baby Nonny upped the ante.

We were at gymnastics watching Bitzy when my Nonny got super fussy. I knew she was hungry so as I was talking to a daddy who was beside me I attempted to feed her with a blanket over us, which means I’m awkwardly trying to chat while trying to not expose my entire breast to a sort-of stranger.

As I was feeding her I felt her tummy rumble and the next thing I know there is baby poop (breastfed poppy, think yellow mustard), all over my hands, pants, and as if this wasn’t gross enough, it began dripping on my feet and into my flip flops.

Yes, I’m serious. This actually did happen.

This is also about the time that class was dismissed (of course). I asked the dad that I had been talking with to ask Bitzy to come upstairs to me.

The problem is that my Bitzy has quite an active gag reflex.

I got a blanket on the floor to try and change Nonny I realized that I have 89 packs of wipes in the van but ZERO packs in the actual diaper bag. I mean, why should I?

So, luckily I had to blankets with me. I used them to clean us up. And by some miracle of Jesus I did actually have another outfit for her. Call me prepared.

Meanwhile Bitzy is standing over me coughing her brains out and gagging. In between gags she would say, “CAN (gag) WE (gag) BOUNCE AT THE (gag) BOUNCY HOUSE (gag)?”

I wasn’t sure how to accurately express to her how absolutely impossible it would be for me to go to the bouncy house with BABY POOP BETWEEN MY TOES. So I said, “No baby, let’s just go to Lolly’s and get Brother, OK?”

Thank Jesus she obeyed and didn’t push me.

After an insane morning with lotsa crying from Brother and then the poopy debacle, I wasn’t in a great place to argue.

But alas, just when I think I have reached my limit, they push me yet again.

When we left Lolly’s to go home to nap, about 10 minutes away, both Nonny and Brother were loudly crying.


Happy place, happy place, happy place. 

When we got home I immediately put Nonny to sleep and then easily put down my wacky son who has been possessed this week. His new favorite thing is biting. So there’s that.

Then it was time for Bitzy. She’s always the hardest and most time consuming to get down for a nap.

But today, I think she could see the doneness in my eyes.

She went right to sleep without a fight.

Finally, this dirty, poopy Mama got a shower and it never felt so good.

I’m in the trenches friends and somedays it’s really, really stinky down here. 

Tell me that I’m not alone. Pretty please. Or as Brother would say, “PEETTY PEAS WIT SWUGAR ON TAP?”



This is my baby REALLY enjoying his 2nd birthday ice cream sundae a few days ago! 

I think we have well established that I love my babies. Right? I mean, I love them more than anything in the world. Really, I do. Please don’t let my screaming, “Brother, come back here!” Or, “OK, TIME OUT!” fool you. I’m sure my neighbors think I’m a mean Mommy because my baby boy apparently goes deaf every time he enters the out of doors.

That’s right. I’ve got a runner.

Let me back up.

It all began innocently enough when I went into Brothers room one bright sunny morning. I was chipper and ready for a super fun day. When I entered his room he was sitting on top of his changing table reading books like it was the most normal place in the world to sit.

After I grabbed him, held him and rocked him because I was so freaked out that my baby could have fallen and gotten hurt I saw the twinkle in his eye.

You boy moms, you know the twinkle that I speak of.

It’s like the Pokey Little Puppy feeling frisky. I just had a feeling that my very own little one was going to have a Pokey Little Puppy kind of day.

Before breakfast we had normal amounts of meltdowns, not sharing, being OBSESSED with exploring the bathroom (which absolutely drives me nuts), ya know, normal stuff.

Then after breakfast we cleaned up and geared up to visit my friend who just had a baby a few weeks ago.

I was feeling great about my mothering as I had explained why we were delivering food and how Jesus wants us to love others.

Pride always comes before the fall ya know. 

After I loaded up the car with the food, bags, snacks, water, etc., I opened the van door and told Bitzy and Brother to get in their seat while baby Nonny and I went to let out the dogs. I was gone approximately one minute. When I got back to the van I was greeted by a little boy holding a pumpkin muffin in each hand and several other muffins that had been tasted and stepped on.

I am not proud of what happened next.

I basically freaked out.

Not in a yelling kind of way. More like a huffing, puffing and completely frustrated kind of way.

I mean, there was 9 (3 were saved) pumpkin muffins smashed ALL OVER MY VAN. I mean, all over. Like the steering wheel, the seats, his car seat, his shoes, his shorts, the diaper bag. It was everywhere.

For one thing I was really sad that I had made these muffins for my friend and now they were ruined, but also, the mess. The completely yucky mess that was all over my car. Did I mention is was ALL OVER? Well, it was.

I honestly thought that I was going to cry. Baby Nonny was screaming, the mess was overwhelming and I was pouring sweat.

An ironic twist in this little story is I had a book sitting in the seat entitled, “Loving the Little Years” that is now completely smeared and covered with Pumpkin Muffins. Ha. Irony at it’s best.

After it was all clean and I was a sweaty wreck I told them I was sorry for being so upset and asked their forgiveness.

So at this point, everyone is okay. We’re shaken, but still intact.

Then, I take my friend her food and we had a visit. The kiddos played and we had a great time. My baby boy still had the fleck of crazy in his eyes, but he did great at her house. Little did I know he was gearing up for the great escape.

After we had lunch and were heading home I knew that all three of my little miracles were exhausted. They are quite obvious about it with Nonny screaming her brains out, Brother whining and Bitzy zoning out. So when we pulled into our garage Bitzy says “I’M GONNA PEE PEE IN MY PANTIES! I HAVE TO RUN FOR IT!” So, I let her out and she runs into the potty. Then, get out Brother and Nonny.

Normally when we pull into the garage I immediately shut the garage door behind us so Brother doesn’t run out. But today I didn’t because I needed to grab the mail. So, when I got them out I asked Brother if he wanted to get the mail with me. He enthusiastically said, “YES MAMA. WE GET MAIL. IT FUN!” After we got the mail and began walking into our house he started running into the neighbors yard.

He’s done this many times. It’s not his first transgression. You see, the neighbors have a trampoline. Which, as you may know, is like the holy grail for a newly 2 year old boy. So he sprinted, straight into their yard, climbed up into the trampoline and started jumping.

Just to recap, Bitzy is inside going potty and I’m holding my 3 month old while my baby boy has ran away from me and is jumping on my neighbors trampoline.

Remember that whole frisky thing?

So I do what any other tired Mama would do, I yelled, “Brother, do you want to go to time-out? Come here right now?” in my most stern Mama voice.

Hahahahahahaha! Are you kidding me? He was in trampoline bliss, he wasn’t biting. Plus, I was way up on my driveway and he was 300 feet away jumping for his life.

Finally, I just called Zach because when I have a major disciple problem, it’s his department. I said, “Brother, your Daddy is on the phone and you’re in big trouble. You better get down!” Shockingly, he did! It was a miracle. Granted, he immediately laid in the grass thrashing and crying, but still, at least he was out. I mean, come on people, it’s not like I’m going to climb up in there while holding a tiny baby. I’m not that crazy.

While he did get down, he wasn’t moving. He pulled one of those limp body tantrums. You know the ones I speak of. So again, mother of the year over here just drug him. That’s right. With my tiny baby in my left arm (football hold), I literally drug my 35 pound son up the hill with him saying “THIS FUN!” the entire time.

When we got in the house I put him in time out and all the sudden it wasn’t so fun anymore. Interesting how that works.

Then it was time for a glorious nap, because let’s face, I was on the brink.

He slept for almost four hours today, so clearly the kid was exhausted which equals acting crazy.

When I went to get him from nap, he was sitting in the middle drawer of his changing table. That’s right folks. Perfectly normal, right?

My dilemma here is that I really don’t want to squash the “boy-ness” of him. I want him to be all boy, to be wild and wonderful and funny and silly. I really do. It’s just the apparent loss of hearing that he encounters when I say something that he doesn’t want to hear that really gets me.

All of you “boy moms” with multiple sons really have my respect. I can’t imagine having more of him.

However, the other side is the sweetness. Ah, the child slays me.  He’s gotta be the sweetest little thing ever. After all of his transgressions today he pats me on the cheek and says, “I SOWWRY MOMMY! I GIVE YOU!” How could I possibly resist him?!

Love my baby boy always and forever….even when he’s frisky.