Monday, October 20, 2014

Happy Birthday Mother of All Meltdowns

I love my birthday! It's a week dedicated to celebrating me and the joy I bring to other's lives...and cake. That's the best part!! Because birthday cake has no calories, right?

There's a running joke in my family that everyone's favorite type of cake is chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. At least that's what my mom thinks. That's the cake she always offers people for their birthday. And I'm sure no one who reads this will be surprised to find out that chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is my mom's favorite cake combo! It turns out that we all prefer different types of cake even though we lovingly put up with the double chocolate offerings for years.

When you're the mom, you get to pick the cake, right? When I make my kids' cakes for their birthdays, I usually pick a white or yellow cake with cream cheese frosting. It has less to do with a flavor preference and more to do with decorating choices. The Olaf, the snowman cake had to be a white cake, right? And Iron Man was easier to decorate with a white base than a chocolate one.

Why all the talk of birthdays and cakes? Because today I am proud to commemorate the birthday of my book! The Mother of All Meltdowns turns one today! This is an occurrence that I am so honored to recognize today; not only for the fabulous book that was released, but for the amazing friendships and business relationships that have come about because of it. Together my co-authors and I traveled the amazing journey from concept all the way through actual ink on actual paper in a real book. I am honored to have been a part of it and ever so thankful that Crystal chose to include me in it.

To celebrate, we are offering this amazing collection of mothering meltdowns for only 99 cents on You can buy it by clicking right here. You'll discover that despite all those moments you thought you were the only mom falling apart over kid mishaps and parenting drama, you were never really alone. We've all been there, and we lived to tell the tale!

Please note that this blog occasionally uses affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. Your purchase price will not be affected.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Long

Five Minute Friday has a new home! Come check it out and join in on the free-writing fun!
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community...

Five minutes on long...

I had lunch with a friend yesterday. I was nothing fancy: peanut butter sandwiches and leftovers; eaten at the table outside by the parking lot. Regardless of the surroundings, it was nice to sit and chat while we ate. It's been a long time since I had take the time to do something like that.

I took my lunch right at noon, so that when I came back to my office at 1, I had three and a half hours to go before my day was over. The second half of the day always seems to drag by. I typically take my lunch as late as possible so that the end of the day doesn't seem to take so long.

My friend Katie is coming to visit us tonight. We haven't seen her for a long time. She moved to Florida a while back and the times that she's come home haven't matched up with times we've been available. She's Benjamin's godmother, and although he doesn't really remember her, he's very excited to see her because I told him she was coming to see him.

When I saw the word "long" this morning all three of these instances popped into my head. Things that haven't happened in a long time versus things that take too long. And in thinking about it more I see how relative time can be. The amount of time between 1 PM and 4:30 PM seems so long each afternoon, especially on Fridays. Compare it to the time since I've had lunch with a colleague, or seen and long-lost friend and it really is just a blink.  

It's all about the perspective, isn't it?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

You are My Sunshine: Wall Decal {Review}

I have a glider in the kids' room that we got before Frances was born. At the time, it fit in there very nicely and had plenty of room for the matching footstool. I used to sit in the rocker and nurse my babies and sing them to sleep. As the inhabitants of said room have increased, both in size and in number, I've considered taking the glider out. It would certainly free up some much needed space. I just can't do it, though!

These days I sit in that chair and read bedtime stories and lead prayer time with the kids. Sometimes I sit there to supervise cleaning or getting ready chores. (Somehow they can't seem to get things done without micromanagement!) And sometimes, when I'm really lucky, someone will come sit in my lap and let me rock him or her and sing a song. It's usually someone pretending to be a baby (or a baby tiger, or a baby lemur, and sometimes a baby tarsir -Thanks Wild Kratts!)

One of the songs I frequently sang to my babies was "You are my sunshine." It's a pretty standard lullaby for most parents. But it's a standard because it has a sweet melody, easy lyrics and a timeless message.
You are my sunshine; my only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are grey.
You'll never know dear; how much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.
I was recently given the chance to try out a wall decal from Bobee with a quote from this song. The "You are My Sunshine" decal measure 23" wide and 7" tall and comes ready to attache to any wall or smooth surface. The installation was very easy and straightforward. My biggest problem was deciding where to display the message.

I ultimately picked the focal wall in our living room, above the couch. It's the first thing you see when you walk in the from door and I already had some items arranges there that would go perfectly with this message. I've got school pictures from the kids and even a family photo from the church directory that will go on that wall as well; just as soon as they are framed.

Bobee makes all sorts of other wall decals. Check out their selection on Amazon! Then, see below for how easy it is to install your wall decal!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. This blog uses affiliate links. When you click on a link and buy something, I may make a small commission. Your purchase price will not be affected.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Stuffed Jack o' Peppers

I saw an idea last week and immediately knew I had to try it. It involved Halloween and a dinner idea we hadn't had for a while: stuffed peppers. Ken grew up eating stuffed peppers. Apparently his mother made them quite often. I don't think I had even tried them before I made some for Ken about two years ago.

I think they turned out rather well and Frances and Henry loved them!

You will need

  • 5 orange bell peppers
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups of cooked rice
  • 2 cups jarred spaghetti sauce, divided
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (your choice)


  • Brown ground beef with onion and garlic until the beef is cooked through. Stir in the rice and about half the spaghetti sauce, and keep warm on the stove. 
  • Meanwhile, wash the bell peppers and remove the tops by slicing straight across. Set tops aside. Clean out the insides and carve the faces. You can be as detailed as you'd like. Toss the pieces you remove into the ground beef mixture on the stove.
  • Set your peppers in a baking dish that will hold them upright.  Spoon ground beef mixture into each pepper. Top with remaining spaghetti sauce. Put lids back on the peppers and put them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
  • When the timer beeps, remove the tops, sprinkle cheese over the peppers, and put it back in the oven until the cheese melts.
  • Place top back on and serve for dinner!

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