Gathering my thoughts, first Monday in November

I find myself:

::noticing God’s glory

the trees on my street are ALL bright red at the same exact moment.  It’s so so so amazing and magical.  I catch my breath everytime I look out the front windows.

::listening to 

Just Dance 4, the Great Pumpkin brought it in a trade for candy on Halloween night.  All three are “dancing” and some may be singing along.

::clothing myself in 

new jeans that fit, a long sleeve burgandy v-neck and a comfy sweatshirt cardigan that I bought when planning for Adam’s first homecoming celebration.


::talking with my children about these books

Ramona and her Father

I love reading about this family with them.  It’s humbling to read about an ordinary set of parents and sisters that love and dislike eachother in the same moments.  Makes us feel more normal.

::thinking and thinking

Easy breakfasts and how to stream line my life, in a bit life is going to fall all on me, and I need to be smart about self care.

::pondering prayerfully

ALL of Proverbs 19 about listening.  I have big lessons to learn.

::carefully cultivating rhythm

We are snuggled into a good routine.  School is getting done a solid 4 days a week and there is lots of moments in there for play, sweet play.  The real work of childhood.

::creating by hand

The scarf I’ve been slowly working on got pulled off its needles.  I’m not sure how to recover it.  I’m really thinking my kitchen chairs need turkey slipcovers though, and my brain is dreaming of embroidery projects.


::learning lessons in

how to be kind to my most important people.  What it means to show respect in chaos and remembering who needs to be put first, second, and third.   It’s easy as a homeschool mom to put my kids first, but I need to be gaurded and reserve their spot for my awesome husband.  He’ll still be here when the kids are gone.

::encouraging learning 

A library trip, the library hold shelf is bursting for us.

::begging prayers

for my husband’s aunt who is dying.

::keeping house

I read that so the laundry goes, so the house goes.  And I think that’s true for my house too, so this week I’m keeping up with putting laundry away after its clean. I’ll be dilligent and the lack of baskets will inspire me to stick with the rest of my More Time For Mom’s chore app.

::crafting in the kitchen 

meals that have gluten as a side dish, I thought this would get easier. Lots and lots  and lots of roasted vegetables and warm cozy foods like chili, hobo casserole, and gluten free pumpkin bread.

::loving the moments

when I see him play, just play with the kids we created together.


::giving thanks 

for texting


::living the liturgy

This is so hard on me.  I’m lost on how to best model this right now.  I don’t enjoy going to mass alone with all three kids, and I don’t know how to fix it.  I’m loving writing the scriptures by hand daily from Jesus Calling and I’ll add in the Divine Office morning prayers.  There’s a great app for that.
::planning for the week ahead

The biggest plan is to get everyone waking up at a normal hour so I can get my workouts in!


Day One: Ramona and Beezus

Ramona and Beezus by Beverly Cleary

I know that I read this book as a girl, but I have to say I didn’t remember much of it.

Rereading this book aloud to my own daughters made it a lifelong favorite.

We curled up for hours one day on my bed, piled on top of each other, while the boy slept. Every time I tried to stop they begged for more.

Thirsty for sisterhood.

I never had a sister, my brother is awesome though. But the connection is different. In this book and watching my girls faces I could see my oldest love her sister more. My youngest girl was set on recreating Ramona’s antics.

That was my favorite part. To be able to read aloud and affirm that they didn’t always have to feel like liking or loving their sister, but in the end they would probably come around and not help themselves.

I see it all the time. One moment the angst over a stolen seat. A hour later the giggles from joining together to build the boy a tower to knock down.

Ramona and Beezus taught me that sisterhood is meant to have hiccups and to relax.

Mrs. Quimby did a remarkable job of staying calm,

31 Day Challenge

It’s October!

My most favorite month, because my birthday falls on the very, very last day.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever outgrow my need to draw bright orange X’s on the calendar to countdown.

It’s also the 31 Day Challenge hosted by The Nester.

Since the biggest thing holding me back from being a blogger is the fear of writing, that’s my 31 day challenge.

To just write, I’m going to write about books.

I’m going to follow the advice I’d tell my daughters and do hard things.

At the end all of the posts will be linked up here.

Day 1: Ramona and Beezus
Day 2:
Day 3:
Day 4:
Day 5:
Day 6:
Day 7:
Day 8:
Day 9:
Day 10:
Day 11:
Day 12:
Day 13:
Day 14:
Day 15:
Day 16:
Day 17:
Day 18:
Day 19:
Day 20:
Day 21:
Day 22:
Day 23:
Day 24:
Day 25:
Day 26:
Day 27:
Day 28:
Day 29:
Day 30:
Day 31:

Tuesday Daybook


Outside my window…

It’s morning and grey

 I am thinking…

of how to best do “Teacher Appreciation Week” at home.  Can I show my girls adeuetly enough how much I adore them and love them and enjoy teaching them.

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” — William Saroyan

So for this week I’m making EXTRA effort to do fun things and to relax.  Like our zoo field trip yesterday which included no mention of workbooks or school.  Just fun.

I am thankful for...

amazing friends who make me stronger, help me see my world through their eyes, and let me love them.

  From the kitchen…

the dishwasher is humming after a Royal Feast last night.  That included Adam wearing an Aloha Shirt and homemade amazing chocolate chip cookie ice-cream sandwiches.

 I am wearing…

jeans, green running socks that match my green t-shirt.  I’m hoping that wearing the socks will give me the motivation to run when the rain breaks.

I am creating…

moments of quiet.  5 minutes of meditation and listening to 15 minutes or more of great stuff everyday has INFUSED my life with peace and joy.  Maybe, it’s due to Baby Boy sleeping so well too!!

I am going…

to work on cutting out my FB time.  I liked Lent when I didn’t use it.  It turns out FB is like a TV with the volume turned up with channels being flipped ALL day long.   I’m not giving it up;  just reworking my plan.


About the meals, I switched to the Paleo version of emeals and that made life easier.  I really do like dinners that don’t focus on grains.  Might be the Ulcerative Colitis.

I am reading…

to the girls Book Two of the Boxcar Children

on audible The Willpower Instinct

and on my Kindle App Life in the Spin Cycle

and lots of  real paper curriculum manuals.

 I am hoping…

that I can learn to be calm so my kids are calm too.  I’m in a season of planting.  Isn’t that what spring is for?   (Still hoping but also actively working on it…)

I am hearing… 

the girls play and the baby waking up

Around the house…

there is laundry and more laundry… I dread folding laundry.  I have lots and lots of clean laundry that I’m blessed to fold.

One of my favorite things…

watching my friends love my kids and kayaking

A few plans for the rest of the week:

showing my teachers appreciation.

Habits: May Challenge

I’ve always heard if “Mama ain’t happy, nobody is happy.”

But I shrugged it off.

I didn’t want to think that could possibly be true.

Could a mother hold that much weight for the emotions in the family.  If so, isn’t that too much to handle?   Why?!?

I’ve been a mother for 6 years and 7 months, almost 8 months. I should have, could have finally know by now that this statement isn’t just a myth.

When I’m grumpy mom. A can’t see anything right in the world. Why are my children always fighting mom, I realize it’s all on me.  That instead of looking for good I’m looking for bad.  And it always comes down to self-neglect.

I know.   NEGLECT.

Definition of NEGLECT

1: to give little attention or respect to : disregard
2: to leave undone or unattended to especially through carelessness           (from:


Yes, I think I give little attention to myself in ways that matter.

I don’t neglect Facebook or Pinterest or Instagram.   (Btw, my Instagram name is FitChristyThomas.  I like that media the best!)

I don’t neglect wasting time on the useless.  I lavish time there.  I prioritized those things that made me feel like I fit in better.

But those things don’t feed my soul.

I lavished my time on that which would let me blend into the world, because I was intimidated by what might just happen if I did the things I dreamed about.

So here’s the challenge.

(I’ve already started it, I’m on day 2.)

  1.  Go to bed at 10:30
  2. Meditate, just sit and breathe for five minutes a day.
  3. Spend 30 minutes reading or watching a pod-cast of something uplifting.

Now, here’s the call to action. 🙂

Do you want to join me? What three things can you do–simple things that would change you?

Make May a month to refresh;  how about  a month of Mother’s Day Gifts to yourself!


Do you have a place you dream about going when life gets rough? When everyone is crying at the same time. When the diaper has exploded for the third time that day. When one of your favorite people is in the hospital far far away from you. When there is glitter all over the bathroom and no one knows how the beautiful mess was created.

In those moments of life, and seems like especially in the long days of motherhood, I dream of escape.

To Tahiti.

Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean

One-way. Round-trip, of course.

I’ve researched flights, spas, hikes, and other relaxing things. If you ever go, I’m better than a guidebook. I’ll plan your trip to the very last detail of where to eat, stay, rent kayaks and a hot stone massage.

But really just the act of planning and looking makes me stop and breathe.

Then I refocus on my kids, my husband, my life here. The the dirty dish filled sink, don’t know when I mopped the floor, I’ve washed the same load of laundry four times, when did they girls practice piano last; chaos.

And I’m grateful. Grateful for my iphone to research my escape when I nurse the baby. For the electricity and warm water to rewash those clothes four, make that five times. For the husband who works hard and takes out the trash. For the kids who love me enough to want to keep touching and talking to me even when I CRAVE silence. For the friends I can text who make me realize I should be counting gifts like Ann suggests. The messy moments are gifts.

Because when I focus on gratitude, I realize I don’t need to escape that my life is amazing here.

Of course taking a long hot bath helps too…