Monthly Archives: February 2013

Easy Egg Mini Muffins


We try fairly hard to eat well around our house. Fruits and veggies are common snacks. We eat whole grains and lean meats.
BUT morning is not my friend, and we usually end up eating cereal or “cereal bars” (which may have some redeeming qualities, but are mainly sugar and preservatives). And so I decided to look for an alternative, and I think I’ve found it: mini egg muffins. They take about 15 minutes from start to finish and only have a few ingredients!

You can cook these in a regular size muffin tin, but it takes longer to cook…and to cool!
Plus little hands can grasp at the little ones a lot better.

Start by whisking 4 eggs in a small bowl.
Add 1 cup of “goodies” and a little salt and pepper.
What kind of “goodies?” Cheese, meats, veggies, whatever suits your fancy!
Best part? You can mix and match your favorites, which for us is usually whatever was left over from dinner the night before.
Just chop the meat and veggies into little pieces and toss them in!
I’ve done ham with Swiss cheese, chicken and broccoli with Italian cheese, and pepperoni with mozzarella and parmesan.
**Edited to add: Make sure you grease the muffin tin with either butter or spray.**
Pour the mix into the mini muffin tin. This recipe will make 1-2 pans, depending on the size of your “goodies.”
Remember that eggs expand when they cook, so only fill it about 2/3 full.
It won’t look like much, but I promise it’ll rise.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
The toothpick test will work with these if you aren’t sure about doneness.
And that’s it!

The Ugly Cry

I am convinced that sometimes life is so good and so happy and so wonderful that I just can’t stand it.
And so I have to do something to mess it all up.
No, really. I really, really believe it.
Call it the curse of the twisted soul or something equally sinister sounding.
It’s not intentional.
(Or at least I don’t think it is).
(I don’t mean for it to be).
But I’m skipping along, singing some bright and airy show tune and then…
Stupid mistake.
Poor choice.
Bad judgement.
It’s not always something big.
(Although sometimes it is).
But either way, it steals my joy.
And tears crash down my cheeks.
And there’s no shortage of sobs or snot.
I begin to empty out my aches, one drip at a time…
And they race to fall the fastest, the hardest.
(Even my tears are over-achievers).


I rarely cry without thinking about a book I read years ago.
It spoke of pain as if it were a blessing, reminding us that without pain we wouldn’t know relief.
Without grief and sadness, we couldn’t ever really wrap our minds around what is good and wonderful.
Without tribulations, we couldn’t really comprehend joy.
And – in some ways – I hope that it’s true.
I hope that my tears remind me of what I have that is good.
And that the physical release facilitates an emotional one.
I pray that with each tear that falls, a pain is washed away.
And with each shuttering gasp, I am taking in a gulp of goodness and grace.
Because goodness and grace are ours for the taking.

For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.  John 1:16


The Valentine’s Day That Was (Part Two)

I am beyond exhausted and pretty darn happy.
Today I played more games of CandyLand than I’ve ever played in my life.
I’ve also laughed and smiled more during a game of CandyLand than I ever have in my life.
I highly suggest buying a $4 pack of paper and a few rolls of tape.
Hours and hours of fun!
(Also? This kid makes the best faces ever. EVER.)

photo (46)

And I know that moustaches are soooo 2012, but I still find them quite amusing.
As do my children.  (Dang, they’re cute!)

photo (47)

People brought goodies.
Friends came to play.
Cupcakes were made and eaten.
We laughed and danced and sang.
It’s been a really lovely day.
Many thanks to you all.
Goodnight, friends.

Did you miss Part One of our Valentine’s Day?
Click here to see more about our fun.


The Valentine’s Day That Was (Part One)

When I told you of our little valentine dilemma, you were all quick to help.
We got cards in the mail and people rearranged plans to be with us for our after-school party.
One friend even bought an entire box of cards and sent them to school with one of her teacher friends.
The teacher let each of her students write a science fact on the card and seal it up.
The big three loved it. The little one decided that chocolate was way more interesting.


The children really wanted to do fun valentine cards/gifts, so they helped me comb Pinterest for ideas.
I was planning on doing cute little printables for each one, but they wanted to do them by hand.
Also? My children are as corny as we are. Lydia in particular.
She snorted when she saw the “You’re just WRITE for me” one.


They are so excited, they can hardly stand it!
And I must admit that – even for a girl who doesn’t really care for Valentine’s Day – today’s going to be just lovely.

Redefining Distraction

We’re chaotically schlepping down the street, with what appears to be no system, no plan.
But there is a method to my madness.
I count religiously.
Always, always counting.
One wants to stop to pick up ‘goofy rocks’.
Another is jumping on cracks, singing of breaking backs.
(Mine, in particular).
“Move it, guys! We’ve got to go!”
And we trudge onward.
An older gentleman watches us as we head his direction.
I struggle to get them all to one side of the sidewalk.
My worry is that we will be in his way, cause him to stumble or hold him up in some way.
As we get closer, he smiles.
He calls out to me, “Your hands sure are full.”
Words that often bristle me don’t this time.
The knowing smile and sparkling eyes speak to my heart.
“We had four children, my wife and I.”
“It’s busy, but it’s fun,” I reply and keep walking.
Noticing the ‘goofy rocks’, he says, “Quite a collection you have there.”
And one to never miss a chance to speak of his blessed collection, my little man smiles and opens his hands gently.
Proudly displaying his treasures, he talks of the black one that sparkles and the one he found under his car seat.
I rush him through his words, finishing sentences for him.
The gentleman looks into my eyes and, without a trace of admonition, shushes me and winks.
Instead of being nonplussed and annoyed, I smile, knowing that he is right.

As we walk away, my throat tightens and my chest feels warm and heavy.
For all my talk of savoring the moment, I certainly don’t do it often enough.

Babbles become words before you know it.
But I want to remember the nonsense sounds.
Rocks fall from their tower of privilege to their home on the ground.
But I want to remember the joy of finding the perfect one and marveling at its perfect rockness.
Silly songs of childhood sung at the top of her lungs will soon cause her to face to redden and eyes to roll.
But I want to remember the reckless abandon of singing like the whole world wants to hear your song.
Stories of super secret spy missions will be left behind in search of grown-up goals and gimmicks.
But I want to remember how to believe that anything is possible as long as you have imagination and your trusty sidekick.

For Lent I am neither giving up nor taking on.
I am redefining.
Redefining myself, my dreams.
Redefining my direction.
And, mostly, redefining distractions.

Pausing to hear their stories with my whole self, even when I’m busy.
Taking a moment to brush my fingers across their cheeks, even when we’re running behind.
Redistributing time to allow for gaps in my day, pockets of nothing made for just being.
Leaving breathing room in my moments, time to catch my breath and not worry about what is next on my list.

I think of the old man; how I was so worried we’d be in his way.
Yet, it seems, not only did he not mind us barreling into his day, he actually made room for us-in the moment and in his heart.
He didn’t see a mother struggling down the street with four rambunctious children.
He saw happy memories and moments long gone now brought back to life.
He already knew that distractions are not things from which we should hide.
They should be welcomed warmly and with affection, even if it wasn’t in the plan.

Time Flies

I’ve been sorting old photos and taking little trips down memory lane.
Won’t you join me?








Give and Get

photo (34)

I went into their room for something else and noticed his red-rimmed eyes.
“What’s wrong, buddy?”
She interjected, “He’s sad because of Valentine’s Day.”
“Because of Valentine’s Day? Why?”
“Because I won’t get to give and get valentines this year,” his voice cracked.
“Because I’m homeschooled.”

I’d never thought about valentines before.
I am always asking if they like homeschool, if they’d rather be in public school.
The answer is almost always yes they like it, unless they think about the new playground at the school.
Yes, we love homeschool, they tell me.
And I believe they do.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t miss some of the “old ways”, the things they did when they went to public school.
The music classes where they learn songs and then sing them at a concert.
Recess on a fancy playground.
And Valentine’s Day.

Unsure of what to say or do, I assured him he’d get at least one valentine, probably more.
Valentine’s Day has never been a big deal to me.
I’ve never put emphasis on it for them, and had this not come up I probably wouldn’t have gotten them anything at all.
I might have made heart shaped pancakes or something.
But now I sit here with his hurt in my hands and I’m fumbling around with how to fix it.

We’ll have a party!” I suggest.
We can invite your friends to come after school and we’ll have snacks and games.
What do you think about that?”
A smile crosses his face and goes up to his eyes.
“Let the planning begin,” he declares.
(He is so my child).


Blissdom Bound (Again)

A few years ago Monica asked me if I wanted to go.  She’d share a room with me and we could drive together. I was nervous, but I was completely thrilled.  She wrote for Blissfully Domestic and knew a lot of the Blissdom ladies. I was just a tag-a-long, really. But something happened when we got there.  I met people who became fast friends. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and introduced myself to people first and danced at the potato party and sang karaoke in front of people in my pajamas.

In 2010, something even bigger happened than stepping outside my comfort zone.

photo by Malia

photo by Malia

In 2012, I’d found my footing and was more confident and spent most of the time building deeper relationships
with some of my favorite ladies.

photo by Mary

photo by Mary

photo by Heather (I think)

photo by Heather (I think)

But if you want to know about the impact that Blissdom has had on me, I think it’s easier to just let you read what I wrote when I got home from that first Blissdom:

I could tell you a lot about Blissdom.  I’m sure there will be hundreds of posts chronicling the sessions, the parties, the speakers, the food.  Well-written posts about friendships made and cultivated, the beautiful Opryland Hotel and Harry Connick, Jr will surely be out there, too.

And although those things were awesome and I learned so much and met so many, something bigger happened.

Somewhere inside me, in that quiet little place that I sometimes hesitate to share with even my closest friends,
I felt a movement, a revolution.

There were times this weekend when I laughed so hard I cried.
There were times when I was my normal, loud-mouth self.
There were times I stepped outside my comfort zone.

But often I found myself just being quiet.
Watching others.  Listening.
Listening to others and listening to that inner part of me that so frequently gets drowned out at home,
shushed and squashed by my to do list.

Blissdom was not a Christian conference.
Blissdom was not about religion or God.
Blissdom was not about growing in your faith
or becoming a better person.

But Blissdom was inspirational.
And Blissdom was educational.
And Blissdom changed me.

Over and over and over, whether in sessions or conversations or within my own mind,
the same three phrases kept re-surfacing:
Be authentic.
Be passionate.
Focus on what’s really important.

Not really novel concepts.  Not something I hadn’t heard a hundred times before.
But exactly what I needed to hear,
what I wanted to hear,
what I was ready to hear.

Several panelists talked about finding your voice, but I realized that in order to find my voice, I must first find me.
I’ve gotten lost in the shuffle.
I’ve gotten wrapped up in things that don’t matter.
I’ve let some influence me too much, and others not enough.

It’s time for a change.
Thanks, Blissdom.