Saturday, August 29, 2015

Swim Team Essentials

This was our first year having our daughter participate in Swim Team. It meant every day practices as well as about 4 outdoor swim meets over the summer. I knew NOTHING about the swim team culture having not been involved in competitive swimming in any way before now. So, I asked a lot of questions and learned about Medleys, Relays, IM's and all that jazz. Then I watched. What did people bring to swim meets for themselves and for their kids? I found quite a few common things that most swim team families were toting to each meet. So for the sake of all the other first time swim team folks out there, I decided to make some mood boards. For the Girl swimmer (as that is where my experience is) and the Swim Team Mom. These are the things that I found are the most helpful to a great day watching your kid have a blast in and out of the water. And for the moms, some ways to survive the heat and enjoy celebrating your giving it their all. And for all the Dads out there, I've seen it all...Laptops, headphones, iPhones, and books. Most dads are in shorts, t-shirts, a chair, a hat and sunglasses.

1. Sunscreen, something the kids can apply themselves 
2. Goggles that are sun-reflective (for backstroke) 
3. A really great swim cap
4. A great absorbent towel 
5. UNO H20 (a great water proof version of the original 
6. Classic speedo style swimsuit 
7. A swimmers backpack has water proof areas 
8. Markers especially for athletes, as you will have to write events on your skin...If your child happens to use permanent marker on their skin...spray on sunscreen and wipe with a paper towel. 
9. Snacks
10. A money pouch for more snacks (one thing all swimmers love to do is snack)

1. A great sunhat (we must protect our face from sun) 
2. A great pair of sunglasses like these, (from Salt City Optics) I love bright colors and these stand out 
3. I love Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer sunscreen 
4. A light-weight graphic tank so your kiddo can spot you as they line up for a race or once they are done. 
5. A loose fitting cotton short, because you'll be sweating A LOT
 6. iPhone (duh) 
7. Caffeine (I like mine strong and iced)
 8. A fold up chair so you can claim your spot nice an early 
9. A great camera (Go NIKON) 1
0. Snacks you feel good about 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Memorable Mothering Moment

As mom's we have memorable moments with our kids. Since it is mother's day I wanted to document a recent moment that my girls and I had....We had just put a craigs-listed swing set in the backyard and I was enjoying watching the kids play on a beautiful spring day. Iced coffee in hand, I was soaking it in. Relaxing while the kids took imaginary journeys to the rainforest to rescue animals and the deep ocean to help injured humpback whales. I sat there, enjoying it all in my jeans and t-shirt. Spring had come. Birds tweeting, butterflies fluttering and bees buzzing. Bee's buzzing. Suddenly, I felt a sharp feeling on the back of my right thigh. In that moment my 'fight or flight' instinct kicked in. And like any good survivalist, I shrieked, sprang out of my lawn chair and took my jeans off as quickly as possible. There I stood in the middle of my chain-link fenced backyard with only my t-shirt and underwear on running toward the back door of the house. My oldest daughter realized what was happening and beat me inside (due to her fear of bees). My 2 year old was saying, "Where are you pants mommy"? I entered the house and found my daughter in her room laughing hysterically. She was so scared but even more amused. I found a new pair of pants and returned to my rapture looking pile of shoes and jeans sitting in middle of the lawn. I stomped and shook those babies out. Then I surveyed the neighboring backyards, just to make sure I hadn't given anyone an intimate encounter with me. I'm pretty sure we were alone at that time (I hope so, at least). I love my far away friends that I can have HILARIOUS text conversations about these things with....thought I'd share:)

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Like a Boomerang...

These last two weeks most of our family have been coughing, feverish and 'needy' in some way or another. There have been moments where I needed to step up and serve differently, because Brent was quarantined to the bedroom. Sleepless nights taking the temperature of a sickly babe. All of that is mildly annoying, and yet I mostly had a good attitude about those things. Then I became the sickly one. Feverish, coughing, generally miserable. My attitude went downhill. I became grumpy with my husband, who wanted nothing but to serve our family well. It is in these moments when I realize the harder thing for me is being served. This struggle comes at me like a boomerang. It is out of my sights for a moment then comes at my face and I want to duck for cover. NOT THIS AGAIN! I know that this will be one of the great struggles of my life. Accepting help, receiving, saying thank you and having nothing to offer in return. I felt I had come so far in this area and yet this week I was reminded again that I need Jesus to meet me back in this familiar place. Growing up in a ministry home and then diving into ministry myself it just feels less comfortable to be served, dare I say, less spiritual. Yet, that's the lie for me. Service doesn't equal spirituality. Letting my husband bring me kleenex and cough syrup requires me to lay down my pride, my ability to 'do it all'.  It reminds me of my need for Jesus.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Easter all the time!

Easter Sunday has come and gone now we are left with baskets of chocolate and new 'tiny' toys that seem to create both joy and clutter for the kids. Yet this year, I'm left with more. I felt the anticipation of remembering the resurrection of our King. Easter is life. It is joy. The truest picture of "all things made new", this side of Christ's return. I was filled with gratitude and joy this Easter. The TRUTH is that everyday that hope is available to me. I can live with this joy all.the.time. It's not circumstantial or seasonal. It's real, true, raised Jesus from the dead, Holy Spirit power. Available 24/7. That's where I want to live. 

Monday, November 03, 2014

Living in tension

Most of my life I've been connected. I grew up as a Campus Minister's child. My parents took me all over the world, I was able to see God change people's lives. I never resented or rebelled against this calling of my parents, I embraced it as my own. I chose to follow that path and spent 12 years investing in college students as my profession. As I furthered my education with a Master's of Spiritual Direction, I felt connected. I married (my seminary sweetheart) and we were passionate about engaging in people's stories and helping them move closer to Christ. The first two years of our marriage were a lot about that. It was wonderful being on staff at a small seminary, mentoring those that came our way. Now, Brent is a full-time pastor/dad and I stay at home (pastoring our kids). I'll be the first to tell you that being a stay at home parent, isn't my top choice. I believe in it, I enjoy it most days, but I love grown-ups. It's a tension I feel almost daily. Almost 6 years into parenting and I still feel the tension. It is hard to say what I'd want to change. I am satisfied, but longing. I'm thankful that God gives me an open and flexible schedule to be available to others. I'm open to God. Wanting Him to be the one that fills and guides the longings (He knows them better than I do). 

Saturday, July 12, 2014


I have been thinking about words that would describe me and these three have been swirling in my mind. Today, I got spend a few hours with my dear friend, Amber. She invited me to help her set up her booth at a local Artisan market and to put a few of the things I have been creating on her table. These things are a ton of fun. I get to people watch, to see what other artists are doing, and meet new people. I did learn about a new product I'm excited to try bbfrosh chalk paint. Basically you mix this powder into in flat paint and it gives it the properties of chalk paint. The price point on this stuff is so great, $10 for powder that will last for many, many projects. Check it out. So, thanks Amber for letting me crash your booth. Here's a picture of our booth and some of my goodies.
Celebration flags {perfect for a birthday cake or potted plants} and words made from wire rope. Let me know if you want to buy some;).

Friday, May 16, 2014

Ikea Hack Drum Light

We live in a 1950's house that for some odd reason has no light fixtures in the ceilings in any rooms except the dining room, bathrooms and kitchen. Our living room was a cave and we were just tired of sitting in the low lighting lamps provide. Our first step was getting a contractor out put an electrical box in our ceiling, which was a lot less of a hassle than we expected. Then we looked and looked and looked for a light fixture. Because we have an open floor plan and low ceilings it was a challenge. Try and find a large flush-mount or semi-flush mount drum light under $400. They don't exist. We found this out after buying 3 different lights, returning them and looking some more. It was four months and my parents were headed to Chicago and asked if we needed anything from Ikea. We quickly looked at light fixtures and saw nothing except for a drum light shade that was giant. 28" wide and 16" deep. Really big, you guys. Brent checked out the assembly instructions and showed it to me, and I thought we can alter this to make it exactly what we want. Here are lots of pictures and instructions on what we did. I am SO happy with the outcome.

Here are the assembly instructions that came with the shade.
Measure 2, or 3 times. We wanted the shade 8 inches high.
Score and cut little by little
The ribbon edging was easily pulled of and still sticky to reapply after cutting.
We popped out the plastic clips on the side we were not using.
We used the lamp shade piece we popped the clips off of as a template to know where to put holes on the newly cut side of the shade. Then used this scrapbooking hole punch to push two holes in and an exacto knife to clean it up.

They easily popped right in.
Reattach trim ribbon and snap rim onto shade. 
We wanted a diffuser and this shade didn't come with one, so we had a local glass place cut a piece of 1/8 inch white tinted plexi. It was the most expensive part of this project, at $50, but so worth it in the end.

We purchased a semi-flush cheap light fixture and Brent made it the length we wanted it. We had to attach the light shade at the same time he wired it to the ceiling, but it was pretty easy.

We bought an attachment that screwed on the bottom of the fixture where we would screw on the diffuser with a finial.
Shimmy the diffuser in and here is the finished product with the light off.


With the light on....I'm in love and can't wait to get rid of the 1990's floor lamp. Brent and I had a great time doing this project together and instead of $400. We spent $120 all said and done.