The Dead Sea, Clogged Toilets and a Spelling Bee Champ

Life is full of ups and downs. Dark days and bright spots. Days when you feel alone and like the worst spouse/parent on the planet and days when you feel like it’s all rainbows and green lights.

When I was in the 5th grade I won my school spelling bee. I remember it clearly. The winning word was puce. More importantly, I defeated a 6th grader. That was a big deal. When I went into the school gym later, the kids cheered for me. That was a good day.

Then there was  hard day when someone thoughtlessly made a hurtful comment about one of my kids and their behavior/character. It was unintentional; but I still went into a bathroom stall and cried. I felt like the absolute, worst mom ever. That was a bad day.

Good days, bad days. We all have them. An amazing day can quickly be followed by a day you’d rather just forget

A few months ago, (Though now it seems like forever and a day ago.) The Hubs left on a  a 12 day trip to Israel. (I say two weeks because it’s sounds much more dramatic than 12 days. ) When your other half is gone and you are parenting solo for that long, there is bound to be some bad days.

Don’t get me wrong. I realize him being gone for 2 weeks is a drop in the bucket compared to those moms who are actual single parents. They do it alone day in and day out, every day. How about those military spouses whose partners are gone for months at a time? I am most definitely not you. You guys are amazing. You are strong and brave. My hat goes off to you.

But The Hubs had never been gone this long and definitely not while we had kids.

So as I said, The Hubs spent 2 weeks in Israel. When the opportunity came up several months ago it was a no brainer. Of course he had to go. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

As the trip drew nearer, I began to get more anxious. I  began to second guess my decision. Why am I such an amazing and selfless wife to let him leave me for two weeks with two kids and two dogs?!? Amazing and selfless were his words, not mine. I was not feeling so amazing or selfless, instead I spent the days leading up to his departure fighting back tears.

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//The Kiss Jar. One kiss for each day dad was gone. When the jar was empty,

dad came home//

The first week he was gone was hard. Just hard. It sucked. The calendar was full of commitments I couldn’t change. There was a lot of running around and finding sitters (or arranging drop offs with their Mimi) and just doing things alone. While the busyness of those days made the days go faster, it made for one stressed mama.

And I just missed his face.

Yes, there was a major meltdown (from child and me); the likes of which we hadn’t seen in quite some time. But what pushed me over the edge was the clogged toilet.

First, let me explain to you how often I deep clean my kid’s bathroom. Not often is the correct answer. Admitting that is really gross; but essential to the story. Well, I decided to clean that bathroom top to bottom. I scrubbed that toilet and sanitized every surface in sight. The floor was mopped and sink shiny.

And then one of my kids clogged the toilet.

And then I tried to flush when I should have plunged.

And then the toilet overflowed.

Thankfully most of the nasty stuffed had been flushed; but this murky toilet water gushed all over my newly cleaned floor.

Earlier that day The Hubs had sent me a picture of him floating in the Dead Sea. (Trust me. I see the irony here.) When I stopped to soak in how truly amazing that picture was and what a surreal experience that must be for him, for the first time I felt jealous. Up until that day I had felt nothing but happy for him.

I was holding down the fort and he was floating in the Dead Sea.

I was on my hands and knees cleaning up poo water and he was seeing and experiencing things I would have loved to see and experience.

The next day was church and though it may seem like it can’t get any worse than wading in poo water, it ended up being the worst day yet. I was just having some bad days.

One week down, One more whole, long week to go.

Monday, though, was a good. day. My girl was participating in the Spelling Bee. We had studied hard, she was stepping out of her comfort zone and we were both excited and nervous.

As we went through several rounds of words I thought, “Why are all the third graders such dang good spellers?”

The group started to thin out and it was down to one boy and my girl. At this point I was beyond proud of her. I knew she probably wouldn’t win and I was just giddy she  had made it this far.

Now don’t get me wrong. I believe in my girl 100%; but this other kid was a spelling machine!! Remember Drago from the Rocky movies? He was like the Drago of spelling. He didn’t hesitate. He didn’t pause. Nothing was stopping this guy.

Did I mention I won the spelling bee in the 5th grade? I loved watching these kids spell. There is nothing like a good spelling bee!

There is something so heart filling about seeing your kids work hard at something and succeed, even if it’s not first place.

She got second place. (There was  no stopping Spelling Drago.) We were both so excited. Her huge smile said it all. I think mine was bigger.

My string of bad days melted away. In fact, as The Hubs return came closer, ( I could count the remaining days on one hand) the days slowed down and got better, easier. I thought, “I can do this.”

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So, I took away 2 pretty big lessons from my short stint as a solo parent.

First- If you think marriage is 50/50 you need to redo the math. It’s really 100/100. Sometimes, it may feel off balance like I’m going 30% and he’s doing 70% and vice versa. The Hubs has been very thoughtful and has been trying to “pay me back” for letting him go. And yes, I needed some alone time and I’ve been on a girl’s weekend since then. But marriage isn’t about keeping score or making sure things are even. He went because it was a great opportunity and he would have done the same for me if the tables had been turned. There will be times when he picks up the slack and does more in our partnership and then there will be times when I will do more. That’s called balance.

Second- I realized how I need to get away and recharge a little more. There are times when “Me Time” seems virtually non-existent. There is nothing like spending 2 weeks without a break to realize that taking some time out for yourself each week (or even each day) is not too much to ask. In fact, it’s essential. I would take time for myself and then feel guilty that I had been gone from the house for too long.

If there is something that brings you joy and fills your bucket, then do it. I’m trying to do that more. What can I give my family if my own bucket is empty?

I feared my post would come off whiny and complaining because yes, we all have bad days and we deal with it. I’m not the only one with kids who melt down, toilets that overflow or have to do bedtime alone.

I guess that’s the point, though. You aren’t alone. If you are having a really bad day or a never- ending string of bad days, you aren’t the only one. There’s another mom out there who is cleaning up poo water, too. It might just be me.

 

 

 

 

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A Blogging Break and Other B Words (What the Bauers have been up to)

I could not believe it when I looked at my last post and realized I had not posted since May 24th. Yikes. Two months. Then I began to write a post. Set it aside and checked in again. It had been three months! I never intended on taking a blogging break; but life had other ideas.

If I could give you an extended title to my blog post that I feel aptly describes the last three months it would be- A Blogging Break, (moving) Boxes, Burney Falls (and other camping adventures), Birthdays and just plain Busy.

Our summer has been good, very good. But it was pretty busy. By the end of our summer, I just really wanted to stop and be home. I was starting to crave the routine of school and having to be home. With all our comings and goings and fun of summer,  blogging took a back seat and pretty much writing all together.

I can’t not write, though. It’s just not possible. I knew when I was ready my fingers would lead me back to the keyboard, my pen to journal, and I would be writing again. So here I am and I hope my small but precious followers are still reading.

So what has the Bauer Brood been up to? I won’t brain dump in one post. It would be much, much too long. But here’s a breakdown and I’ll be back with more posts soon. Promise.

(MOVING) BOXES:

We bought a house in May. Very unexpectedly. The house needed a. lot. of. work. So not only did we move, we also remodeled. We spent all of May busting our humps on that house and moved in June 1st. And yes, we are still remodeling, there are still boxes to be unpacked and almost no pictures up on the wall. It was such a blessing to even be able to buy a house. It’s worth all the work we are putting into it and it’s worth how crazy it made our summer.

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Pulling up floors from the 60’s and some pretty questionable carpet.

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Getting my demo on!!

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Texturing and Painting- with the help of friends.

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We were able to put in new laminate floors before we moved in and I love them!!

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Ahh…. the chaos of moving!

Burney Falls  (and other camping adventures): Towards the end of June we went to Burney Falls with my in-laws. It was such a great week. Burney Falls is gorgeous. You could hear the falls from our tent!! We’ve visited the falls before and Andy and Lily went camping there last summer. This is the first time  we’ve camped there as a family. We will be back for sure.

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The kids love their Mimi and Papa.

We hiked to the falls, visited Mt. Lassen, ate amazing camp food, played cards, and took several trips to the General Store.

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Mt. Lassen had a ton of snow.

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A snowball fight in shorts- of course!

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And we did a lot of fishing!!!

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God’s creation is breathtaking isn’t it??

We actually went camping 2 more times this summer. Andy and the kids took a 4th camping trip just the three of them and gave me a mom’s weekend alone. The Hubs earned major Husband and Daddy points for that one!

BIRTHDAYS:  H turned 5 and we went to 5 birthday parties (including H’s) in less than a week. Was everyone procreating back in September or what? Sheesh!! We called it the parade of birthdays.

I can’t believe my little guy is five. I mean, I’m in serious denial about how fast time is flying. It’s official. Our days of diapers, sippy cups, and strollers are over. We are out of those toddlers days for good. He is still my little shadow and calls me his ” very best friend”. Yes, please!! I’ll take that for as long as I possibly can.

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Throw in our 16 year wedding anniversary and that was our summer. Busy; but oh so fun.

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Our 24 hours in the city, traipsing around and doing whatever we wanted because #nokids and seeing Jim Gaffigan perform.

Thanks for letting me recap my summer. More posts to come and I won’t let three months pass by before I do!

What We’ve Been Up To: Turning 8, Tahoe & Taking Family Photos

Every month or so (maybe more like every other month!) I like to do a review of our month in pictures. I really enjoy looking back at the memories we’ve made. I want to capture those little, and sometimes big, moments so I don’t forget them.

So, here’s what we’ve up to around here lately:

We have a ton of family birthdays in January; but at the top on our list is Lulu’s of course. She turned 8 this year and we had a tea party, with real tea cups! It was quite lovely.

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Unfortunately, our butler (aka dad), is not pictured here. He did an outstanding job serving the ladies at this party.

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Grandma and Grandpa hung out with us, too. But seriously….. her face. That smile. I love it!

On her actual birthday, we had our traditional pancake birthday breakfast on her birthday plate and we had her birthday dinner at her favorite restaurant, Applebee’s.

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Auntie Clue and Uncle TJ joined us and the rest of the fam.

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I wish I was better at taking pictures. Besides her aunt and uncle, my in-laws, my parents and my sister were all at the house and Applebee’s that night. Not a single picture of them!

Earlier that month, we went to Tahoe with our friends, Kyle and Sandy. They brought their dog, Lucy, and we brought Boomer. (We’ve already decided that Boomer and Lucy will get married. Yes, I’m one of those people that treat my pets like they are human!) Our kids have never really been in the snow before. They absolutely loved it!

No, really, they like the snow. Don't let this picture fool you!

No, really, they like the snow. Don’t let this picture fool you!

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The kids really loved sledding. So did, I. I wished I could have done more of it.

The kids really loved sledding. So did I. I wished I could have done more of it.

Boomer loved catching the snow in his mouth.

Boomer loved catching the snow in his mouth.

H just loved eating the snow.

H just loved eating the snow.

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It was such a fun trip to take with fun friends. We can't wait to go back!

It was such a fun trip to take with fun friends. We can’t wait to go back!

The rest of the month was filled with more birthdays, taking family photos, getting back into school, and many, many rainy days.

I found some super cute rain boots, though.

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When it did stop raining, we tried to get out and take advantage of the sunshine. We spent an afternoon at our local Children’s Museum. We have a yearly pass and it’s so nice to be able to go whenever we want.

 

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Yes, he’s wearing a fox tail. He was a fox that day, of course.

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One of my goals this month was to go out on a real date with The Hubs. That was not happening for many reasons. I was determined to date my  husband, though! We had a really fun “date night in” with take out from Sweet T’s and Ant Man (which I loved) from Redbox after the kiddos went to bed. Date night and I got to wear my pajamas! Win-Win!!

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The highlight for me, though, was taking our first ever family photos with a real photographer (not JC Penny’s). She is my friend and  fellow homeschooling mama. She has her own photography business called Enlighten Me. I am so in awe of Caitlin’s talent. I am absolutely thrilled with these pictures. These really mean a lot to this mama.

Here are a few; but I’ll probably share more in a future post.

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This is one of my faves!

Happy Friday!

February Goals

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January just sped by, didn’t it? Though I didn’t accomplish all the goals I set this month, I’m so glad I narrowed my list down. It helped me focus on the areas of my life that needed some extra attention. Here’s how I did for January.

Goal #1 My Health – SLEEP. As in I need way more of it. Going to bed at a reasonable hour and waking up before my kiddos is where I’m headed with this goal.

So this was my big  goal for the month and I’ll talk about it a little further in the post.

Goal #2 My Marriage–  Having more quality time with the Hubs.

Between sick kids and lucking out on babysitters, it was hard to go out on a date, which was what I wanted to do with The Hubs. I just wanted us to get out of the house-ALONE. It wasn’t happening so, we took matters into our own hands and had a “Date Night In”. We ordered in from one our favorite restaurants,  hit up Red Box and had our date after the kids went to bed. Mission Accomplished.

Goal #3 My Family’s Health– Getting us all up and moving more was the goal.

Like it is with little kids this time of year, we’ve been sick! And it has been raining a ton. So my ideas of family walks and riding bikes did not happen very often. The family walk didn’t happen at all. Lily and I did start a special walking workout. I signed Lily  up for a homeschool running  group called Kids on the Run. We are starting with walking and working our way up to running.

February Goals:

Marriage- I’m still not giving up on that date night OUT!! Also, The Hubs and I have been wanting to start a couple’s devotional book together. We’ve picked one and our goal is to read it together once a week.

Family/Health- I am determined to get us up and moving! I have three goals this month. One, is to go on family walks (weather permitting). Two, is for me to take Boomer for a walk at least 3 times a week. Three, is for Lily and I to start training for Kids on the Run. The program starts in March with the end goal being the kids running a 5K. So, we are starting our training now.

To Read- This month I have two books I want to read, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats and The Fringe Hours. I want to finish Money Making Mom.

Home- The Hubs and I started to declutter our house right before Christmas.  We are chipping away at the clutter a little every week. We’ve decluttered our clothes and most of our books. This month we are hitting the garage. This is a big task. It’s scary in there! I’m determined (with The Hubs help) to clear it out.

Jen- Last month I strived to get more sleep. I really struggled with getting to bed on time. I’ve developed a really bad habit of staying up to the wee hours. So, this month I’m DETERMINED to get to bed early and get at least 7 hours of sleep. Here’s the kicker, though. I need to get up early, earlier than my kids. I know this will make mornings run smoother. Better mornings, more sleep! Win-win, right? Yet, this is an area I really struggle with.

I’m excited to start forming some new habits and meeting my goals. Good thing February has an extra day this month!

 

January Goals:: Let’s Start the New Year Right

IMG_8493We are over a week into the New Year already. How did that happen? My new year didn’t start off as planned at all. I was getting ready to jump back into homeschooling the first week of January and start working on my goals when IT happened. I finally caught the nasty head cold the rest of my family had.

Needless to say, school did not go as I intended or anything else for that matter. The Hubs (who was already sick) and I just felt awful. We are just now feeling like our old selves. So, I’m making this coming week my first week of the New Year. I can do that, right?

If you didn’t get a chance to read my post about My Word For This Year, I’d love for you to read it. That word DWELL is setting the tone for my goal making this year.  But let’s see how last month was in the goal setting department. Shall we ?

December Goals::

1.) Books To Read:: I aimed to read a Christmas picture book each day with the kiddos until Christmas. We also tried a new advent book this year,Jesse’s Tree.

Yes, we read a picture book every day until Christmas. This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. We tried the advent book, Jesse Tree and liked it. I might wait a year or two to use it again. It was a little old for my kids. 

2.) My Marriage:: A second try for a date night.

The Hubs and I did have a date night. It was a Christmas shopping date; but we had dinner and we were alone, so it counts!

3.) My House:: Next on my hit list- Decluttering  Henry’s clothes and toys.

Yes to this one, too. It was just in the knick of time as Christmas brought more toys.

4. ) Jen:: I’m attempting to make pajama pants in a cute fox pattern for Lulu.

Why I thought I’d have time to sew, I’m not sure. And seeing as I sew maybe once a year, this wasn’t a very practical idea. So, no, I did not sew the pj pants. I do have some really cute fox fabric that may or may not become pj pants in the future.

5.) Homeschool:: We are only doing school for half the month and my goal is to stick to a routine; but not as academic as I would normally have. I am focusing on our advent activities and a fun Christmas Around the World unit that will focus on history, geography, fun crafts and cooking.

I have to say, this was a wise decision and perfect for the busy season. 

6.) My Family:: Movie nights with popcorn and hot chocolate, quiet afternoons doing crafts, time with family. I am intentionally planning some afternoons and days where we have no plans.

Getting the family up and moving-making exercise a priority.

Yes and No. Yes, to the quieter, slower family time. No to the family exercise. This was due mainly to the fact that it rained- a lot- and it was hard to get out for walks and play time.

7.) Being Intentional:: I’m planning an afternoon visit with friends or maybe a coffee date. I also want to send out two more encouraging notes this month.

Yes, to these goals!

January Goals::

What’s in store for January? Well, my list of goals for this month are quite a bit shorter and this is why. I learned a great lesson from a book I read awhile ago, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine. I was feeling frazzled and over committed and this book helped to give me some proper perspective. In her book, Crystal talks about determining the priorities in your life and challenges you to make a Best Stuff list.

My Best Stuff list should always start with my relationship to God, my marriage, and my family. After that my Best Stuff list may be different depending on what’s going on in my life and what season I’m in. My Best Stuff list may be different come June than what it was for January.

The great thing about this list is that it keeps you focused on what you are trying to accomplish and it helps you say no to opportunities or distractions that are time wasters.  It helps you keep your focus on the people and commitments that need you most.

So, I made my Best Stuff list and that’s Goal Setting Tip #3.

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Then I did something I’ve never done before, I took my list and circled the top three items. Just three! I’ve decided that these areas are so important to me right now that they need a lot of my attention.

Goal #1 My Health – This is what I’ve neglected the most. Me. I feel the effects and it doesn’t feel good. There is so much to work on here; but I’m going to start with the most blaring deficiency. SLEEP. As in I need way more of it. Going to bed at a reasonable hour and waking up before my kiddos is where I’m headed with this goal.

Goal #2 My Marriage-  I think I’m pretty darn lucky, no blessed, to have The Hubs be my husband. He’s so much fun to be with and easy to love. He loves me so well. But I think I’ve done what a lot of spouses do. When things are easy, we don’t put as much effort into them because they are easy. I don’t want to get lazy in my marriage.

Goal #3 My Family’s Health- Getting us all up and moving more has been a goal for awhile. I haven’t had much success here, so it’s moving up to my top three!


How am I going to meet my goals? Making a plan to meet those goals is just as important as setting them. That’s Goal Setting Tip #4 – coming soon.

So, what’s your Best Stuff list? What are your top three or five  priorities for this month or maybe this season of life that you are in. I’d love to hear.

Any ideas for getting a night owl like me to get to bed on time? I’d love suggestions.

 

 

To My Husband on the Eve of The Star Wars, The Force Awakens, Premier

Dear Husband,

As I sit here in the recliner, checking my email and half watching Star Wars with you (really the first one; but technically the fourth one), I smile to myself as I hear you quote the movie word for word. And I mean, literally, word for word. It’s pretty cute.

As we’ve gotten closer to the new movie coming out, I’ve seen you allow yourself to get more excited and dare to hope that this won’t be another Phantom Menace debacle. You so badly want this movie to be epic and everything you’ve dreamed; but you’re afraid to get your hopes up too high only to have them dashed to pieces. I get it. Sort of.

You’ve likened this event to a new Anne of Green Gables movie coming out for me. (Yes, give me a Nerd Card. I will proudly claim it!) Though, I’m still grieving from the real life death of Jonathan Crombie. RIP Gilbert Blythe. You can’t comprehend my love for those books and those characters; but you never make fun of me for loving them so.

You’ve loved these movies since you were 5 years old. And while I am a Star Wars fan for sure, (Did I or did I not just buy a Darth Vader shirt??) I don’t have anywhere near the level of deep love and reverence for this story or these characters as you do. I don’t totally get it; but I love you. And I love that just the hope of “The Force Awakens” being everything you dream it might be “gives you goosebumps”. (And yup, I’m quoting you directly.)

I love it that you are 38 and this movie has you bordering on giddy. You are playing it cool on the outside; but I  know you. You are geeking out on the inside. This last week, you’ve been counting down the days, every day. “Jen, just 3 more days! Just 2 more days!” Again, adorable.

We have our paper tickets in hand. We have our babysitters. We have our plan of attack. Now, all we have to do is wait. Just 24 hours.

I watched Pentatonix sing their rendition of the Star Wars theme on You Tube today with the full orchestra coming in at the end. Babe, I got goosebumps! Turns out I’m getting excited about it, too.

Please, for the love of my sweet, adoring fan of a husband, don’t suck, The Force Awakens!! J.J. Abrahams, if my husband walks out of the theater tomorrow night with his head hung low and all his boyhood dreams dashed I may or may not have to end you.

Turns out my love for you has made me love this crazy movie franchise. And because of that love, I’m praying tomorrow’s screening is truly epic. If not, we will always have episodes 4-6 to hold on to and love.

And yes, watch the trailer for the 50th time. I won’t mock you.

Love,

Your Star Wars Loving Wife (Storm Trooper #1: Hey, have you seen the new BT16? Storm Trooper#2: Ya, some of the guys were telling me. It’s quite a thing to see.)

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31 Days To My Best Yes:: Day 13 When It’s Super Hard To Be Thankful

 

Read all my other 31 Days posts here.

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It stared at me and almost seem to yell out, “Be Thankful!”

It was an inanimate object, a paper banner with the words “Be Thankful”, to be exact. There is was smugly hanging from our mantle just daring me to make the right choice.

As soon as the words spilled out and my, “I can’t believe you dropped the ball on this.” look took over my face, I knew I had given in to my bad attitude.

What could have gotten my panties in such a bunch? A little backstory first.

We are a LEO family. That’s Law Enforcement Officer Family. That’s fancy talk for I’m married to a cop.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here on the blog before. If I have, I don’t do it very often. I can think of very few things that my husband could do for a living that would make me more proud. He’s only been a police officer for two short years; but he’s been working in the law enforcement community for several years now.

I won’t go into all the ins and outs of being married to a cop. That is definitely another post for another time. Let’s just say his time is not his own. While The Hubs would never put his work before his family, to a certain degree and on some occasions, work must come first. It’s the nature of the job and you know that going in.

Again, this isn’t a post about being married to a police officer; but this job has changed our lives in many ways. It has stretched me in the area of patience tremendously.

As wonderful as his job is; it can be very frustrating. His schedule. Ugh! Don’t even get me started.

Let’s just say the source of our heated discussion  was part miscommunication, part just the  unavoidable busyness of his job,  and part the busyness of my life with the kids.

Long story short, I had made an appointment that I really needed to go to and he had to work. It was overtime and it wasn’t marked on our calendar. I had made the appointment because I knew he would be home to watch the kids. But he wasn’t going to be home. This was not a kid friendly appointment.

Let’s just jump ahead to the part where #1 My sweet Hubs has been working a lot lately. More than usual. #2 He’s so tired and rightly so. #3 We used to be really good about putting the overtime on the whiteboard in the kitchen. #4 We’ve both become lazy about it. #5 He’s allowed to make mistakes.

And as for me #1 I’m a pretty patient wifey and I’m aloud to make mistakes, too. #2 This double booking had been happening a lot lately and I was just getting frustrated. #3 Even though I know him working overtime is part of the deal, it’s just  not easy sometimes.

I had two options as we stood in front of the whiteboard “discussing” our dilemma .

Option #1 Be calm, express your frustration in a loving way, knowing he doesn’t  enjoy being gone from home a lot either. or Option #2 Put your sassy pants on and let him have it.  

It wasn’t so much that I got upset, it’s that I took a minute to stop and  weigh my options……….and then I put on my sassy pants and let him have it!

After a few minutes of fuming. Real attractive, I know. I walked to the shelf to put some dishes away and walked past that annoying sign that I had hung on the mantle myself.

BE THANKFUL.

Not a suggestion, not a nice thought, not a last resort; but a command. Be thankful.

Be thankful he has a job. Be thankful it’s a good job. Be thankful that he loves going to work each day. Be thankful I can stay home with the kids each day (And yes, I am thankful to be home with my kids all day, every day.). Be thankful that the problem is too many hours of work instead of not enough hours of work. Just. Be. Thankful.

Because being thankful is most definitely  a choice. And yes, people have it far worse than me. This is what I would categorize as an inconvenience, not a problem. But even if that weren’t true, it’s still my choice to be thankful or not.

I pouted for a bit and then put my big girl pants on and decided to change my attitude. I also bought him a huge peanut butter cookie  for when he wakes up because yes, he has to work an extra shift tonight.

Proverbs 13:3 Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,

    but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

It is always a Best Yes for me to speak in love and to show grace, to turn a frustrated heart into a thankful heart.

*I actually wrote this post yesterday and tonight The Hubs is home, finally!

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