Savor.

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Time is a tricky thing. It goes so, so fast, but yet, incredibly slow too. I have no understanding of this mystery.

Perhaps one of life’s great secrets is how to enjoy life, rather than to just endure it.

I’ve been ruminating on this for awhile now. How can I soak up these precious moments with my sweet ones when so many of the moments are incredibly challenging? It’s hard to savor the moments when I’ve got one child throwing a tantrum, one crying over a toy, one wants to be held, one is hungry, etc.

It can go from zero to sixty in a flash. It’s “high highs and low lows” around these parts.

But I know myself well, friends. Twenty years from now I will not remember the hard moments, only the sweet ones. I am determined to enjoy and endure joyfully.

I will remember these beautiful days spent in my yoga pants while never, ever doing actual yoga.

I will remember the way LuLu wakes up smiling with her tiny dimple on her left cheek peeking out.

I will remember the way Brother runs from the chair to the refrigerator at full speed yelling, “Hooya!”

I will remember the way Bitzy lowers her eyes and bats them for “one more book” every single night.

I will remember the way Nonny always has a song in her heart. She is always dancing and singing. Always.

I will remember the shouts of laughter as they jump on their daddy and wrestle before bed every night.

I will remember these moments, these simple precious moments- forever. 

Speaking of precious moments, my friend Julie Brock of Julie Brock Photography took these priceless pictures of my newest love, LuLu.

I will treasure them forever. Thank you Julie for helping me savor. 

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Let us all stop and savor our beautiful lives today friends. There is always something to be thankful for. 

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Conversations {part 11}

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Today was a hard day.

Yes, there were some beautifully bright spots full with snuggles, “I love you’s” and warm fuzzies. But in the midst of the sweetness there was a certain 3 year old little boy that was determined to push every single one of my buttons. Every.Last.One.

My sweet precious Brother bear is quite the button pusher these days. The child wants for nothing. I hug, kiss, squeeze, read to, play and love that child every day. It isn’t an attention issue. The only thing I can figure is that he’s testing me. Because he does not push his daddy the way he pushes me.

So today, he pushed. And pushed. And pushed some more.

And well, I pushed back. I will not have the disrespectful, non-listening, ignoring your Mama stuff. I will not have it. This resulted in several time-outs, bikes being in time-outs, happy heart chair, talks, fussing and general discord between us (which I hate).

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Finally, after a good supper and a nice chat with Daddy my little guy was back to his sweet self. In the midst of all of his discipline was my Nonny (2 years old) who felt it necessary to cry all day long. So that was super fun.

So that leaves Bitzy (5) and LuLu (2 months), who were both lovely and well behaved today.

During the witching hour (4:00-5:00) when I’m trying to rally everyone inside from playing outside, cook dinner, make sure no one gets burned, entertain them, and try to keep them out of the pantry, etc., it gets pretty wild.

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So as I’m cooking I’m holding LuLu, feeding Nonny chicken while she yells (MO MEAT MAMA!), helping Bitzy with a workbook and making sure Brother doesn’t climb up on the roof and jump off…this happened.

Bitzy: “Mama? Is it hard being a Mommy?”

Me: “Hmmm…why would you ask?”

Bitzy: “Well, it looks hard. Brother has been getting in trouble all day with his TERRIBLE LISTENING, Nonny has cried a lot and that itsy baby has been spitting up all over you too! Good thing I’m such a good girl!”

Me: “I suppose it can be hard. But, ya know what? I would rather be your Mama than anything in the world. It’s the very best job on the planet. I would rather be a Mama than a rockstar or the President or a cashier or an astronaut or a writer or a scuba diver…”

Bitzy: “NO! There is no way you’d rather be a Mama than a scuba diver. Just no way ever in the world! Being a scuba diver would be amazing.”

Me: “No, it’s true. I pick being a Mama. And guess what else? I would pick being your Mama over being a dancer at Tweetsie Railroad!”

Bitzy: (gasp) “REALLY? ARE YOU SERIOUS?”

Me: “Yes, it’s true. Being your Mama is my favorite thing ever.”

Bitzy: “Even though Brother got in trouble all day because HE NEVER LISTENS!”

Brother: “I do listen! What are you guys talking about anyway? About how we’re blessings again? Thanks but I’ve got some work to do in the basement being a super hero. Catch ya later.”

So, yes friends, today was hard. But, just like every other day, it’s so sweet. So good and so worth it.

Keep fighting the good fight with me friends.

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Save {part 14}.

There once was a girl who loved saving money. In fact, it almost made her itchy to pay full price for anything really. But this girl had a baby in her belly and a full-time job and a husband and a house and zero time. So, in the name of busyness she paid full price for groceries.

Then, this girls husband lost his job and the baby was coming out of her belly in a few months and she began working part-time, which equalled- A LOT LESS MONEY.

Money was tighter than tight. But the girl continued to pay full price for groceries.

Then, when the girls little baby was only 9 months old another baby appeared in her belly. This time, a boy baby. By this time her husband had a new job. It wasn’t a fancy job or a high paying job, but a job all the same.

By this point, the girl and her husband realized they had to move. Their townhouse was simply not a kid friendly home. They really wanted to move, but they had a very limited budget, a baby on the way and the small task of selling their own house before buying another.

Only by the grace of God they found a house. But not just any house, a really nice, big house that was WAY out of their price range. Like way, way, way. But, as only God can, He worked it out. God worked out the buying and selling part and the couple now had a great home for their growing family.

However, now they had twice the house payment, a longer commute and very little money.

So guess what happened? Desperate times called for desperate measures. This girl sat on the couch and read everything about couponing and saving money. She watched extreme couponing on TLC, she bought nothing on Amazon or GAP or Kohls. In fact, she barely even drove anywhere because gas was so expensive.

Because, you do what you gotta do to make it work.

Little by little, she got the hang of couponing after many, many trials and errors. Magically their grocery bill was cut in half and her confidence soared.

As their family grew so did her coupon savings and now she is much faster and more efficient at both preparing for grocery shopping as well as the check out process.

And now her husband has a better job and they are living more comfortably but she still regularly saves 50% or more on her shopping trips. Because once you save, you just really can’t go back.

Of course, “she” is me and this is my story. Maybe it’s like your story too. Maybe you’re frustrated and broke and you need a way to save money. You can do it. Really you can.

But guess what? It takes TIME and EFFORT. Just like everything else in the world that’s worth anything. There is no magical class or advice, you just gotta DO IT. And over time you’ll get the hang of it.

I hear that’s like losing weight???? (I’m looking at myself and my 6 week post-baby body). Hard work. Blah, blah, blah.

You can do it friends!

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                                                                             Gammy (my Mama) with Bitzy and Brother. She still calls her toes piggies. And when counting, after 21 she says, “Eleventy, …