That Time I Unintentionally Paused My Blog….

Coffee Break

I had plans. So many.

Posts in que ready to go, scheduled out. Dreams and happenings for this little blog of mine to do some awesomeness.

Then, life happened and I unintentionally paused my blog.

I know.

I’m sometimes completely terrible at this. Okay, most times.

But, I also completely believe in being honest and transparent. And sometimes life just happens and you have to reset and regroup and decide on whats going to take priority.

And as quiet as it’s been on the front side of this blog, it’s been anything but quiet behind the scenes….

There are still posts in que and things going on and plans being made and all that fantabulousness. And hopefully, SOON, I will be sharing more about all that.

Meanwhile, I’m going to have to push PAUSE just a little bit longer….

But, until I release that pause button and go full steam ahead again, I hope YOU are doing well and amazing!! And whether you are doing amazing, or sorta kinda MEH, let me know! How ARE YOU doing??

Mocha Java Latte Love {make your own mocha recipe}

Make Your Own Mocha Syrup

It’s no secret around here that I love coffee.

Like, a LOT.

And I adore a good iced mocha. But I don’t so much adore the cost when getting one at the oh-so-convenient drive-thru around the corner….

I’ve attempted to make my own here and there over the years and never could get it quite like I liked it.

Then, one day I decided to try it again and was determined to get it right this time! So, I thought I’d share my discovery with you…

Now, there is something you should know about me. I don’t like super sweet anything. I don’t even like sweet tea.

{Gasp. I know…and I’m a native Texan….}

I drink my coffee black at home. And if I’m out and about, you might see me add cream and sugar. Just depends on my mood and how strong/bitter the coffee is.

My mochas? I don’t like too sweet. So, just FYI, this is not a super sweet mocha syrup, but you can adjust it to your liking….that’s the beauty of making it yourself, right?! Right.

Mocha Syrup DIY

Basically, you take some unsweetened cocoa powder, strong brewed coffee and a little sugar and whisk it all together in a sauce pot….

Mocha Syrup DIY

bring it to a low boil and whisk it while it thickens….

Make Your Own Mocha Syrup

{not quite ready yet}

I Spilled My Coffee Mocha Syrup DIY

{done!}

Then let it cool and place in a jar and then pop in the fridge for when you want to make up your own mocha!

Mocha Syrup DIY

{Now when you make this, be sure to lick the chocolate off the whisk (obviously for taste testing purposes), but do it just before a neighbor knocks at your door, so that when you answer, you have just a little something on your face and your neighbor is staring at you, and you’re all wondering why, and then you check the mirror later….It’ll be awesome.

Not that I’ve…ahem….done that or anything}

Mocha Valencia DIY

Want to kick it up a notch and make it mocha valencia syrup? Just zest an orange into the mix while whisking the ingredients together. YUM!

**************************************

Recipe recap forĀ DIY Mocha Syrup:

***************************************

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup strong brewed coffee (I kick it up a notch in my french press for this) or coffee concentrate.
1/4 cup sugar (I use organic cane sugar and sometimes coconut sugar)

DIRECTIONS:

Whisk all ingredients together in a pot on low heat
Bring to a low boil, whisking often until it begins to thicken
Once thicknened, remove from heat and let cool.
Place in glass jar {like a mason jar} and refrigerate.

Easy Peasy!

Here’s the fun and delicious part…..

To make yourself an iced mocha, simply pour one cup of your favorite milk {I use coconut, but almond, cow’s, whatever you like kind, would work well too} into a sauce pot and place it on the stove on medium-ish heat. While that’s heating up, take your favorite glass or mason jar and add in a couple tablespoons of the mocha syrup.

By the time you finish doing that, your milk should be warmed up enough, so go ahead and pour it right over the mocha syrup in your glass and stir it up!

{if you like your mochas warm, just do the same, but add it to your favorite coffee cup and enjoy a nice hot mocha!}

You could add in a little extra coffee at this part, or leave as is. You could add some ice cubes (or some coffee ice cubes ), grab a straw and drink it up! Or, as I like to do, at about 10-ish in the morning I make this up, then place it in the fridge. Then when the littles go down for a nap, I grab my already made mocha, toss in some ice, add a straw and take a deep breath and enjoy my iced coffee for the two seconds the house is quiet.

I Spilled My Coffee Mocha Syrup DIY

{happy sigh}

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go do that right now….

Over Here In Between All That……Is Me. I Think.

In the current state of the stage of life I am in, I seem to fall somewhere in-between “I really want to look put together” and “I totally do NOT have my crap together, I’m a total mess”…..

Haven’t quite figured out where that somewhere is yet.

Coming out of the last two years of “twinfant turned twinadoe toddler” stage, and actually taken a breath and been able to keep my head above water for more than 3 seconds, I finally feel more like getting into jeans and a nice-ish {read, not covered in snot and goldfish crackers} t-shirt and maybe even some {gasp!} makeup and actually brush my hair out of it’s usual pulled back pony.

Now, let me say, I am a huge fan of my yoga pants. I love them. AND? I actually do workout in them…and then just keep them on, because: twin toddlers. For real.

However, in this wanting to be more put together when leaving the house, I almost feel like I’m TOO dressed by having some lip color and earrings in. And my kids notice…even the littlest littles. And then it makes me more self conscious, like, am I trying too hard here or something?!

Naturally, then I just totally overthink things. Because that is just totally WHAT I DO. It’s a terrible habit.

But then people notice I am wearing non snot covered, non sticky like clothing…..and then I think to myself, “so do I always look like a slob?”….cue that blasted overthinking again.

I want to look put together. But I don’t want to look like I care TOO much. But, I also don’t want to look like I am a completely ridiculous person who totally doesn’t have her crap together.

You get me?

Yeah. I know…I totally don’t have it all together. I’m not really sure I ever will.

Then there are those days that I am totally rocking it, lunches packed, homework signed, clean laundry for all my people, and actually have clean clothes on ME TOO. And it’s awesome.

Then other days, well, opposite of all that.

Balance.

Does this actually exist? Because I’m truly beginning to wonder.

{Le Sigh}

SO, I’m a little in between right now. Perhaps for longer than I wish. Also? Learning to except that sometimes it’s absolutely perfectly OK to not have it all together.

But I still want to.

How about you? You ever feel in-between the put together and not so much so? What do you find helps to balance it all out?

I’m Not A Night Time Blogger

So, I’ve realized something….

My best and most productive thought time to blog is between 9 and 11 am.

But, this is pretty much the worst time ever to have lots of thoughts I need to get out of my head and on to a screen.

It’s pretty much the most busy and involved parenting time of the morning. Which makes it a not really great time to have the computer out and attempting to blog.

I’ve tried doing the whole night time blogging thing, and this is what I have discovered…

I’m not a night time blogger. I have tried. I just can’t.

Yet, it’s really the only time of day I have uniterrupted time to actually blog.

But, I not do my best work at night. Nope.

You know what I do well at night? Sleep. Sleeping is what I do best then.

{that is, when ALL the children actually stay asleep for those night time hours}

And I’ve thought about doing the whole get up before the rest of the house and blog then, but it’s not really working for me either.

Mainly because three days a week I am getting up before 5am, but I am going and working out. And working out helps keep me more sane the rest of the days.

And that is VERY important while all the children are home for the summer. It’s been busy and active and mommy needs to get that time in then, or it isn’t going to happen.

Coffee and kickboxing. It’s what mama needs.

And my kids need me during the daytime hours. And I need to be present for them.

And can I be honest with you? It has been a HUGE struggle for me this summer!

Trying to keep all the things in a somewhat structured schedule for one kiddo that desperately needs it, but still being flexible enough for the other kiddos that would like to just chill and have a more laid back summer (which I am ALL about, truly), has been hard for me this summer. Like, kick my butt hard.

And they are ALL home. Together. And not always getting along.

{ I know, I bet you thought I had perfect kids…}

By the time 9pm is rolling around I. Am. Beat. Like, dragging up the steps and crawling into bed and….wait, just kidding. I have more to get done before I can do that.

So, by 10, 11…12, when I am finally finishing things up and prepping the next days things and activities and such, I am toast. The balancing act of the day has zapped my brain power and I pretty much have nothing left to give.

And attempting a blog post then would just be silly.

I keep hoping a rhythm will come about. I’ve been hoping this all summer, but it hasn’t happened.

I’m not sure where this leaves me. Perhaps I should try getting up the two other days I don’t currently get up before the sun and blog then.

Perhaps.

Or perhaps I just continue to blog when I have a minute. It might mean that my blog posts don’t have a theme or a rhythm to them. And I’m mostly okay with that. I tend to write what I feel when I feel it. Sometimes that means I am able to blog several things out in one sitting. Other times it might take several days for one post.

I know it’s not a perfect formula, but it seems to be what works for the time being.

Tell me, when is your favorite time to blog? What helps you get in a rhythm?

Blogging Basketball and Distractions…

I brought my oldest to basketball practice, thinking I’d try to get a little blogging time in.

Hahahaha. That was such a nice thought.

Instead, I’m sitting here listening to a bazzillion different bounces and squeaking shoes and loudness in the sports center his practice is being held at.

And it’s kind of distracting. Plus, I totally want to watch him more than focus on other
s t u f f.

And I have a headache. So all the l o u d n e s s is kinda hurting my heady-ball. A lot.

So, instead of knocking out the couple of blog posts I’ve been wanting to get out of my head and typed onto screen, I bring you this random blog post.

Random can be fun. Yes it can.

You know whats funny about this whole basketball thing? I’ve never liked the sport. Not really.

{go ahead. gasp away.}

I never minded shooting hoops, I’ve just never really enjoyed watching it.

Hockey? I love it. Football? Definitely.

But basketball? Never truly been a favorite.

{I know, I know…}

And I remember years ago, my husband asking “what if J ever wants to play? What will you say?”.

And I remember immediately answering “then I will go and watch and support him and learn to love it!”.

So I am. And he’s never really played before this year, other than shooting hoops in the driveway, and he. is. loving. it!!

And I am enjoying getting to see him learn a new sport and enjoy it. And have fun.

I believe having fun is a very important part of sports. They are just kids after all. I think letting them be kids is important, too.

So, I sit here, typing out this random post, peeking up to see my biggest big kid every once in a while.

Speaking of, I’m going to sign off now. I want to go watch this awesome and amazing kid and give him the undivided attention he deserves.

Later!

When A Quick Errand Turns Into A Mini Vacation…..At The Craft Store

The other day, I got to go to my local craft store. Alone. For a whole 30minutes…to myself!

I was actually running a quick errand, but it turned into a little mom time. It was nice and not a busy day or time, so I leisurely decided to stroll up and down the isles.

Okay, really, they rearranged the store since I’d last been in there, and I had to search around to find what I was looking for. But that’s okay…because thats how it turned into me having a mini vacation.

And I know, that IS sad that 30 minutes alone in a craft store is like a vacation to me right now. But, it’s the season I’m in. And I’m okay with it…most days. And I have a few things planned throughout the second half of the year that include this mama having a little more time to recharge.

But I digress.

So, while I was meandering through the store, I stumbled upon some fabulous grown up coloring books! I flipped through some, and then one jumped into my shopping cart. And since it did, I decided it needed some new just-for-mama coloring pencils to keep it company.

I grabbed what else I needed and secretly wished I could just go home and color….but the kids needed dinner first.

Such is life.

Seriously though, I was like a giddy kid and could.not.wait till I could sneak away and lose myself in some coloring….however, it was like almost a full 24 hours before I even touched that book and pencils…

But when I did…ohhh…therapy.

It was maybe only for 20 minutes, but it was a glorious 20minutes. And as I colored, I processed through all that is going on and my to dos and the fast approaching end of the school year….And so very much is going on and so very many things to do.

Which, is partly why I have not blogged in a while. Truth be told, there hasn’t been much time outside of life to do much else. There are times I feel like I’m under water with simply the daily tasks and parenting/mothering/being a wife…

Life can be crazy. Life IS crazy busy.

I constantly have about 3-5 blog posts running through my head, and inevitably, I will finally get to sit at my computer, only to have a few emails I need to respond to, texts, the laundry will beep…and suddenly my time has been eaten up. And then the twinnies wake from their naps…the bigs get home from school….then DINNER!

It’s amazing all that happens throughout the days. And before I realize it, it’s late and I’m too tired to stare at my computer screen to type out a post. A post that is now lost in my head somewhere and my brain too tired to retrieve it and turn it into words….

So, I might color instead. And coloring will eventually bring those thoughts back to being, and they will swirl around in my head and at some point find their way to my computer screen…

Coffee, Blogging and Confessions

Confession time:

It’s after 2pm. I have approximately 30 minutes before my one kiddo’s school bus arrives, and shortly thereafter, if not sooner, the babies will wake from their naps.

And I.am.tired.

I just sat myself down on the sofa, hot coffee in hand, and I looked around and saw CHAOS. The twinnies were extra extra busy babies this morning. And in my attempt to change out the laundry {and I wasn’t looking} they got hold of sidewalk chalk their older siblings left within reach and drew all over the living room floor. And then emptied out the DVD drawer that I haven’t managed to child proof. So there are now DVD’s and chalk strewn throughout the downstairs.

And there are crumbs from lunch still on the floor in the kitchen…and some trailed into the just vacuumed living room, and scattered about on the floor. The same floor covered in toddler chalk drawings….

And, at first glance, one would never know I had JUST cleaned it all up last night and it actually looked relatively civilized.

It was. This morning. Promise.

And I have a bazzillion things on my checklist I need to actually get checked off. And I kinda feel it’s one of those days I’m simply a hamster on a wheel and just getting absolutely no where…and getting there rather fast.

Laundry, menu planning, church stuff, dinner prep, homework, diaper changes….and I swear every.single.diaper {times 2} today has been poopy.
{sorry if that’s TMI, but I DO have twin toddlers. Poop happens around here}

And it’s days like these that can be discouraging. Because of the mundane. Because of the feeling like nothing is getting done or will get done or keeps having to get done. Again. And it’s easy to fall pray to the “you’re not enough” whispers.

So easy to feel like what I’m doing is not enough. Not enough one on one time with each kiddo, or not enough blogging, or not enough {insert whatever here}.

Oh and how easy the comparison voice sneaks in too! “what? you haven’t posted in over a week?! but so and so has and they have like 20 kids and homeschool and, and, and…”

UGH. And I think, heck! I don’t have 20 kids. And I don’t homeschool. I’ve got 4 kids, 2 of them go to school OUTSIDE the house. 2 are twin toddlers that take up pretty much all my extra time. Sleep? I’ve heard it’s nice, but no time to sleep…too much to get done when THEY ARE asleep! Blogging? My WORD! Sometimes it takes me days {seriously} to get a blog post finished. Or sometimes I’m able to type one or two out within an hour. Just depends…

And yet, I think “how are THEY getting it all done?”…these other mamas and papas.

It’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it? Comparison. Not enough. Do more, be more…

But, I also recognize that the work I do? The “job” of being a mom? Is pretty darned important. I’m raising little people that will become grown up people. That’s kinda a BIG deal you guys! Tiny humans that will become all grown up and out in the world people that will take on new and exciting things in their lives.

Aaaannnd, they will need to know how to do their own laundry and cook and things. Because, seriously, those are important survival skills. And this mama isn’t going to be doing it forever!

But, it is something they need to learn. And it’s us parents very important task of teaching them. It’s important work. It’s amazing work. And sometimes it involves chalk drawings on the living room floor.

It’s a season.

Oh, hey, look! The bus is here….until next time!

Blogging Between The Babies

It’s funny how you can have an idea in your head, and you’re desperate to write it out, type it out, or however you best get an idea out of your head and more in the direction of actually happening.

And there you sit, with a baby in your arms, or a toddler in your lap reading the same book for the 37th time in a row…and you. are. trapped.

Don’t dare think of getting up to write this out, or take out your phone to jot it down to try and jog your memory later…

Nope.

It’ll have to wait, sorry.

Sometimes I have a spare minute or four and I will attempt to get SOMETHING accomplished and type a few lines of a post out, or jot a to-do down. But, then little footsteps can be heard and it means I have to quickly shut the computer, and toss the bag of dark chocolate back into it’s hiding spot as to not be caught with it…or I’ll have to share.

{and chocolate and toddlers together? chaos}

Annnd, I get back to things and maybe, just maybe I grab another spare minute to try and type more out, or {gasp!} actually publish a post!

This? This is, quite often, what happens in my day to day life. I have all kinds of plans and to do’s and blogging ideas in my head I very much want to get out onto a screen, but…life happens. And sometimes, by the time all the littles are taken care of and safely tucked into bed, and all the others to-dos are mostly done, I am ready to just collapse into bed and get SOME sleep before one {or both} babies decides to wake at some un-godly hour of the night.

And, as much as I love blogging {hello, it’s totally my therapy..}, this isn’t a paying gig. Although, that would totally rock if it did, right?! I mean, there might be an affiliate link here or there, but that’s not really going to pay for my kids college…

If this blogging thing ever led to more, awesome! But, for now, I am taking care of littles. And I refuse to blog over taking care of these tiny humans, that will one day be all grown up and out in the vast world being the next generation.

So, I blog between the taking care of twin toddlers, two older kiddos, running around to therapy appointments for my oldest girl and general household {is the laundry MULTIPLYING before my eyes??} things.

Such is life. And I’m learning to be OK with it.

2015 {one little word}

Here it is…that time of year where I choose {along with many others} my one little word for the New Year.

As I look back, I cannot believe this will be year 6 that I am doing this! Where did all the time go??

If you’re curious, here’s the previous years words:

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

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Last years word was gratitude. I spent many a day/week/month remembering that word in all the little, and big, things of life. Last year was one full of changes…so. many. changes.

First up was deciding to put our house of almost 12 years up for sale.

We did. It sold and we moved 1/2 mile around the corner to a better functioning house. And trying to pack up and move with four kiddos, two being twin infants and newly mobile at the time, was quite the comical undertaking…

In the middle of all that, I ended up having gallbladder surgery { I know }, two weeks before the big move and wasn’t able to pick up my baby twins for almost an ENTIRE month.

I had to keep reminding myself about that word…gratitude. I was grateful is wasn’t longer {but how I wished it was shorter!}, and that I was able to hold them again before they turned ONE.

Then they turned ONE. I’m still in shock about how crazy fast that one year zoomed!

Then, a couple weeks later, my sister moved over 900 miles away.

For the past 12 years, we’ve lived 10 minutes from each other. 900 plus miles is REALLY, really far…

There were lots of other changes, but I won’t get into ALL of them…you get the gist. Lots and LOTS of change….like a revolving door around here!

Gratitude. It helped give me a little perspective when I needed it. And it definitely led to the word that chose me back in September when I started thinking about what 2015 would look like.

I wasn’t really thinking about my “word” for the new year, but just pondering. Thinking. And then it just was there…the word that I would mull around, toss about and think on plenty.

E N O U G H

My word for 2015 is ENOUGH.

As this past year moved through all it’s twists and turns and we packed and decluttered and unpacked {still unpacking} and decluttered some more, I started really taking to heart the process of simplifying.

I would look around and wonder HOW was there still so much stuff after all the purging and decluttering and garage sale-ing??

I know we are in a season of our littlest ones having lots of hand-me-downs. And we are grateful for them. And I process through and process through again and only keep what I know I will put on my babies.

Anything more is too much.

And the process of simplifying has filtered it’s way into the rest of our lives and we have slowly been decluttering and simplifying in many areas.

My husband and I looked at each other in the process of packing and unpacking and agreed “we just don’t want a bunch of stuff!”…

And baking and cooking….I try to plan ahead about two months in meal planning {it’s a process} and in doing so, I typically make about two weeks worth of meals, sometimes more, of freezer and crockpot friendly fare that will feed us well more than once.

{I’ve become a recent convert to liking leftovers…}

Throughout the past several months, simplifying and making sure there is enough, without being too much, has become something I really strive for.

So much so, we’re thinking of selling our freezer.

I know. I’m pretty sure I just heard a GASP! Because I did the same thing when my husband suggested it. But in reality, I’ve been working on us having ENOUGH. Not too much, but enough.

And so, we started using up what was out there and, luckily so, because not too long ago, without our knowing it….the power blipped and the freezer was NOT ON! For like a few days.

And that word, gratitude, came into play one more time. I was SO thankful that we had used most of what was out there. There were a couple bags of veggies and some ice packs. That was it.

And I am so grateful I had already been working on the {still a process} having enough, that I didn’t fill up the freezer with meals like I had been planning to. Because…ALL of it would’ve gone bad.

Now, this is not to say that freezers are bad. I think they’re really awesome. Just, for our family, we want to focus on having just enough of what we need. Enough to feed us for a couple weeks, maybe a little more, but not so much that we have to have extra storage for it.

Again, not that that is a bad thing. Just not for us. Not right now.

I want to focus on what is enough. Not more. Not excess. Simply E N O U G H.

I am certain it will stretch me in the year 2015, as we continue to simplify and declutter and choose to live more simply.

And it is a process I welcome. To have E N O U G H, really, in the grand scheme of things, is quite a lot.

Do you choose One Little Word each year?

Yeah. That.

I just spent a ridiculous amount of time starring at the inside of my refrigerator, trying to figure out the best way to reorganize it so as little hands cannot reach so many things.

Because…BECAUSE. I just chased down twin toddlers that I am pretty sure have figured out they outnumber me, and are working together to distract and accomplish tasks on their own little agenda. Things like one grabbing a just within reach jam jar, while the other grabs the syrup, then take off in TWO DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS.

I am pretty sure any rearranging I do of the fridge will be in vain. Because they will grow and get taller. And reach more things.

Also happening? Earlier, I just got some coffee {after I put the twins down for a nap}, set it down, did something else, and then COULD NOT FIND my coffee. Also missing? My shoes. Again. Why? Because either the twins are bringing them to me to wear, or taking them off my feet and trying to wear them themselves. It’s funny…until I need my shoes and am in a hurry to get out the door to meet the bus arriving with my oldest daughter. They also swiped my favorite hoodie yesterday, and I’ve yet to locate it.

Seriously. It’s like I need an intervention.

Then there was the delivery of some cloth training pants I’d ordered for the twinnies. No no….we’re not to the potty training thing yet. I just like to plan ahead a bit because I have four kiddos and planning ahead is pretty much a necessity for survival. And since we have done cloth diapering with Flips {that we have really, really liked}, I decided to get their training pants as well. Just two each. For now.

But here’s the deal. When their adorable little cloth diapers first arrived when I was preparing for their arrival almost {gasp} two years ago, I was so excited and so looking forward to all the fluffy bum fabulousness. I was about to be a new mommy…to TWINS. Then the training pants arrived and I literally burst into tears.

OHhhh my word. Sadness. And we haven’t even started potty training yet! I just ordered ahead to make sure I am prepared for when we DO start. Seriously, I’m a mess over this. And it’s not because of the whole potty training and dealing with the accidents and all that. Honestly, I already change and wash wet and poopy diapers on a daily basis. And, from what I remember from the first round of potty training my oldest, it’s not that much different. NO, what it is this time, is I know these two are my youngest and last two littles that this will be happening with.

And they are growing at light speed you guys!

And wow, what a crazy, random post this is! I’m seriously debating about even hitting publish. Although, I probably will. Because I like to keep it real around here.

So, I’m going to go try and find my shoes now, before the bus arrives and I have to run out barefoot. And I am also going to attempt finding my coffee. I decided to change my clothes to something warmer, so I won’t need my hoodie.

I’m sure it will turn up. Hopefully soon.

How’s your day?