A Life Stirred

10 on 10 :: The Out-Of-Control-Project Edition

You know that book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie?  You know, where the mouse wants one little, simple thing, and it spirals out of control until the house is destroyed, and he and his human-friend are completely exhausted?  Yeah, that was my day.  I just wanted to organize the girls’ toys.  But somehow it turned into a massive overhaul of the girls bedroom.  I’m pleased with the results, but goodness!!  I need a nap….and maybe a cookie.

Lucky for you, it’s September 10th, which means you get a front-row seat to my out-of-control project.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s start at the beginning…

Once your daughter realizes she can see every picture you take, it becomes very hard to get a quality picture.

Once your daughter realizes she can see every picture you take, it becomes very hard to get a quality picture.

Reading a little Fancy Nancy before we head out for the morning.

Reading a little Fancy Nancy before we head out for the morning.

Pretending to be tech-y...

Pretending to be tech-y…

Meanwhile, my girls were playing with their favorite 11 month old (and his mom).

Meanwhile, my girls were playing with their favorite 11 month old (and his mom).

They can do some of the buckling themselves. It's a game-changer.

They can do some of the buckling themselves. It’s a game-changer.

A quick snuggle before naptime.

A quick snuggle before naptime.

This is when the insanity starts. I just wanted to sort through these toys...

This is when the insanity starts. I just wanted to sort through these toys…

An hour later, the girls room is *completely* changed! They like it!

An hour later, the girls room is *completely* changed!

Another hour later, the living room is back to normal. I moved furniture around....and then moved it back. A lot of work for it to look exactly the same.

Another hour later, the living room is back to normal. I moved furniture around….and then moved it back. A lot of work for it to look exactly the same.

They've been playing in their room all afternoon. I think it's a hit!

They’ve been playing in their room all afternoon. I think it’s a hit!

What a productive day!  I’m awfully proud of myself.  However, “rearrange the girls room” wasn’t on my to-do list…and lots of things were left undone.  Oh, well.  I’ll just add it, cross it off, and call it a day!

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Ten on Ten :: The Summer Edition

It’s finally summer here in the far north.  Which naturally means it’s almost fall.  (I know I should be sad, but I’m not…I love fall!!)

Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve done a Ten on Ten.  Largely because I completely missed July 10th.  Like completely missed it.

But I’m here now, and that’s what really matters, right?

Yesterday we went on a day trip to a lake to catch up with some friends.  (Who moved far, far away a few years ago…boo.)

Of course, a simple day trip requires no less than 47 bags.

Of course, a simple day trip requires no less than 47 bags.

I didn't know this place existed until I was 22, and now I'm totally hooked!

No road trip is complete without a quick stop to Tim’s!

"Holy, holy, holy!"  The chorus of her favorite song.

“Holy, holy, holy!” The chorus of her favorite song.

No road trip would be complete without a random bathroom stop.

No road trip would be complete without a random bathroom stop.

Jo and her Rachel.  It took Jo a few minutes to warm up and then she wouldn't leave her side.

Jo and her Rachel. It took Jo a few minutes to warm up and then she wouldn’t leave her 

Summer sister sweetness.

Summer sister sweetness.

Aaaaand we're back home.  Hello, laundry.

Aaaaand we’re back home. Hello, laundry.

We skipped naps today.  Some of us had a hard time making it through the afternoon.

We skipped naps today. Some of us had a hard time making it through the afternoon.

Pre-dinner playing.

Pre-dinner playing.

I know, I know.  I’m one picture short.  I’ve got no excuse.  Except that it was a beautiful day with some beautiful friends.  And that’s all the excuse I need.

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Ten on Ten :: The Every Day Edition

Why, hello there, Blog.  It’s been a while.  I haven’t forgotten you.  It just turns out that I can only have one hobby at a time.

But today, Blog, it’s your turn because it’s TEN ON TEN!  Woot, woot!  And today, I made a point to take pictures of completely ordinary activities.  Because someday (and that someday will be here before I know it…because time is crazy), I will have forgotten all the completely ordinary activities we did when we had a 3 year old and an almost-2 year old.

Ben put on the "Classical for studying" Pandora station and calls it "Princess Music."  He obviously knows the way to our girls' hearts.

Ben put on the “Classical for studying” Pandora station and calls it “Princess Music.” He obviously knows the way to our girls’ hearts.  (PS Look!  Basil!!)

I'm a sucker for freshly bathed kiddos and their piggie toes...and their zoned-out-watching-Curious-George face.

I’m a sucker for freshly bathed kiddos and their piggie toes…and their zoned-out-watching-Curious-George faces.

Almost two and too cool for school.

Almost two and too cool for school.

Bonus Picture:  Because every 10 on 10 needs a little dose of reality…

Proof that we aren't always happy and perfect.  (Though still cute...don't tell her.)

Not everyone was as cheerful about heading out to run errands.

Sending off some fun mail.  I want to be better at sending snail mail.  It's a lost art, and I want to revive it.  (Because, seriously, is there anyone out there who doesn't LOVE getting fun mail!?!?)

Sending off some fun mail. I want to be better at sending snail mail. It’s a lost art, and I want to revive it. (Because, seriously, is there anyone out there who doesn’t LOVE getting fun mail!?!?)

Playing a game at the library...this was about 30 seconds before they melted down at the suggestion that it was time to go home.  (Also, note Claire's hat change...she found this one in the car and decided it was a better match with her outfit.)

Playing a game at the library…this was about 30 seconds before they melted down at the suggestion that it was time to go home.

  Naptime!  That glorious mid-day break.

Sometimes you just have to put up your feet and snuggle under a blanket.

Aaaaand both kids are asleep.  Pardon me, while I go take a nap too.  It's a perfect nap day!

Aaaaand both kids are asleep. I may or may not be doing a happy dance.

Post-nap train playing.

Post-nap train playing.

Dang, we are cute.

Dang, we are cute.

"We are AWANA Cubbies.  Were happy all day long..."

“We are AWANA Cubbies. We’re happy all day long…”

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Ten on Ten: Mother’s Day Edition

As with any big, celebrate-y day, there is all kinds of potential for high expectations and subsequent disappointment on Mother’s Day.  I tried very, very hard to have zero expectations and to simply enjoy the day (and my family and my job as mother).

And whenever I felt the tug of expectation, I remembered this line from an excellent blog post by Lisa-Jo Baker:

How 24 hours can’t possibly hold the measure of a lifetime of laying oneself low for the loving and raising and wrangling of tiny humans.

Mother’s Day is one day, and it is foolish to think that one day will satisfy all my desires to be loved and thanked and appreciated.

That being said, I had a very nice Mother’s day.  I felt very loved and appreciated…and full!  Literally…as Jo pointed out at bedtime, “We had all your favorite foods today, Mama!”  Indeed we did!

My jammied girls.  My true Mother's Day gifts.

My jammied girls. My true Mother’s Day gifts.

Independent clean-up.  Another Mother's Day gift.

Independent clean-up. Another Mother’s Day gift.

Mother's Day selfie.  Because why not?

Mother’s Day selfie. Because why not?

Alone time = sewing time!

Alone time = sewing time!

Giving the quilt a test run.

Giving the quilt a test run.

A husband doing dishes...be still my heart!

A husband doing dishes…be still my heart!

My flower from church.  And the verse that shapes how I want to mother (the top verse).

My flower from church. And the verse that shapes how I want to serve my family (the top verse).

Doll quilt is DONE!  Naked baby doll seems to enjoy it.

Doll quilt is DONE! The baby doll seems to enjoy it.  No complaints yet.

Making important phone calls together.  Jo's pretend phone conversations are hilarious!

Making important phone calls together. Jo’s pretend phone conversations are hilarious!

I built a killer train track this afternoon.  My best one ever!

I built a killer train track this afternoon. My best one ever!

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Ten on Ten: The Unconventional Edition

Let’s just be honest.  I forgot it was the tenth.  Motherhood does lots of weird things to a person…not the least of which is that I hardly ever write the date anymore.  I mean, I’m vaguely aware that it’s April…and I think it’s Friday (although I’ve been thinking that since Wednesday).

So, please sit back and enjoy “Ten on Ten”…or as I’d like to call it this month, “A Handful of Pictures on an Undetermined Day.”

It’s April…so they say.  April here isn’t really a spring month.  It’s more of a snow-melting, mud-everywhere kind of month.

And sometimes there are ice storms.

And sometimes there are ice storms.

Sidenote:  So, I’ve been thinking about our long winters.  It’s easy to get discouraged and frustrated by winter in March and April.  Especially as pictures of other people enjoying actual-Spring start cropping up on Facebook, Instagram, and blogs.  But isn’t that just a comparison issue?  I don’t live in an area of the country that has grass by Easter.  I shouldn’t really expect it.  And yet, as I start to see everyone else enjoying warm weather and flowers, I get a little jealous.  Comparison really *is* the thief of joy!  I’ve gotta stop doing that…

Anyway, moving on…Once I realized that today was the tenth, I thought I should at least take a few pictures to document the day.  So we did lunchtime selfies!
My sweet Bear-Bear.

My sweet Bear-Bear.

Oh, JoJo, you are a joy!

Oh, JoJo, you are a joy!

We are adorable, and we know it.

We are adorable, and we know it.

Right now, there is a naptime miracle happening upstairs!  Both girls are napping!!  At the same time!!  Clearly, that is worth lots and lots of somewhat blurry pictures, right?

A three-year-old napping.  It's as elusive as Bigfoot.

A three-year-old napping. It’s as elusive as Bigfoot.

Not as elusive, but worth a picture.

Not as elusive, but worth a picture.

I will leave you with that.  Hope you have a great April 10, 2015.  (I know the date now…aren’t you proud?)

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Ten on Ten: The Snow-Castle Edition

Confession:  I am not good at taking the girls outside to play in the winter.  So we stay inside a lot.  I’ve been justifying it because it’s been legit cold for months (5 days above freezing since the start of 2015…that’s cray-cray).

But today?  Today was different.  Today we played outside!!  I will be accepting my “Mother of the Year” award any day now.

This bird feeder makes doing dishes fun...or at least, not as painful.

This bird feeder makes my heart happy.  Hello, chickadee-dee-dee!  (Can you name that book?)

Packing for our upcoming big-big trip.

Packing for our upcoming big-big trip.

Oh, snow clothes, you are such a pain.

Oh, snow clothes, you are such a pain.

Bonus picture (because getting all the gear on is definitely photo-worthy):

Ready to roll!

Ready to roll!

Tell me you aren't a little jealous of this snow castle...

Coolest snow castle ever!

The clothing combos never cease to amaze.

The clothing combos never cease to amaze.

I worked on projects in another room, while the girls destroyed the rest of the house.

I worked on projects in another room, while the girls destroyed the rest of the house.

Without any prompts, she started to clean up.  Two minutes later (without any prompts), she dumped it all on the floor again.  We'll call it even.

Without any prompts, she started to clean up. Two minutes later (without any prompts), she dumped it all on the floor again.

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Ten on Ten: Life-on-A-Tuesday Edition

It’s that time of the month again.

No, wait.  Not that time.

It’s Ten on Ten!  It’s time to document the beauty in the ordinary.  I always enjoy this activity.  Because it shows me that there’s always waaaay more beauty to find in my day than I would have expected.

I find it both adorable and sad that my 19 month old can work her own nebulizer.

I find it both adorable and sad that my 19 month old can work her own nebulizer.

Big sis “reading” to little sis. (In the interest of full disclosure, Claire is crying in this picture…for unknown reasons.)

Executing Plan B at the Mall.  The stroller broke on the way in, so I fed the girls a snack while figuring out what to do.

Executing Plan B at the Mall. The stroller broke on the way in, so I fed the girls a snack while figuring out what to do.

Walking with friends in the mall.  So cute!

Walking at the mall.  The cutest!

Lunch on a snowy afternoon.

Lunch on a snowy afternoon.

A little blog writing during naptime...my favorite.

A little blog-writing during naptime…my fave.

Jo's "Coronation Shoes." (A la Anna in "Frozen".)

Jo’s “Coronation Shoes.” (A la Anna in “Frozen”.)

Grace in action.  Jo finished her snack, and Claire shared hers.

Grace in action. Jo finished her snack, and Claire joyfully shared hers.

Walking on the bed in capes.  Because why not?

Walking on the bed in blanket-capes. Because why not?

Table Time.  (Aka my daily desperate attempt to make it from 4:45 to 5:30 with an ounce of sanity.)

Table Time (aka my daily desperate attempt to make it from 4:45 to 5:30 with an ounce of sanity.)

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Ten on Ten: The Birthday Edition

It’s my birthday!  Yahoo!

I’m 31.  Yahoo….?

It’s funny.  Last year, I turned 30…which is exciting and noteworthy.  It’s the kind of birthday that you can invite friends over and throw yourself a birthday party.  But then, turning 31, not as exciting.  Not as noteworthy.  I didn’t feel like I could throw myself a party either.

Anyway, today’s ten on ten is actually only 8 on ten.  And when you hear about my day, you’ll be glad I stopped taking pictures.

So, I kicked off my birthday with a bit of an intestinal bug, and I got to be awake from 2 am to 5 am.  Not fun.  Granted, I got to wish myself a “Happy Birthday” at my actual birth time (3:10 am).  Not something I want to repeat next year.  Thankyouverymuch.

Ben (awesome husband that he is) let me sleep in, so I started ten on ten late.  Whatever.  It’s my birthday.  I can do what I want.

They turn on the space heater together every day.  Melt my heart.

They turn on the space heater together every day. Melt my heart.

Birthday lunch--homemade chicken nuggets and fries (...and peas too).  So glad I was feeling better.  Yum!

Birthday lunch–homemade chicken nuggets and fries (…and peas too). So glad I was feeling better. Yum!

Tim's and Staples...a happy combo.

For my birthday, I requested time alone.  Tim’s and Staples…a happy combo.

A dressing room selfie?  Yes, ma'am.  I still can't decide how I felt about that stripey shirt.  It was either flattering or it made me look pregnant.  I couldn't decide...so I passed.

You’re never too old for a dressing room selfie, right? I still can’t decide how I feel about that stripey shirt. It was either flattering or it made me look pregnant. I couldn’t decide…so I passed.

Packing for a family outing to the pool...which didn't happen thanks to the intestinal bug making it's rounds to a few other family members).

Packing for a family outing to the pool.  Spoiler alert:  We didn’t go (thanks a lot, intestinal bug!).

Ben's a comedian.  31 candles and a fire hazard.  Ooof.

31 candles are a fire hazard. Ooof.

Claire and I headed into town for fluids. As you can see, she prefers not to wear shoes and socks in the car. Silly kid.

Picnic dinner and a movie.  An attempt to salvage the rest of the day.

Picnic dinner (for those who felt like eating) and a movie. An attempt to salvage the rest of the day.

And let’s just say, things went downhill from there, and I just stopped taking pictures.  You’re welcome.

Intestinal Bug: 3, Morses :1  (Claire is still holding strong…you go girl!)

Despite the rough beginning and ending to my day, I actually had a very nice birthday.  I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store!

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Ten on Ten: The Trapped Inside Edition

It was a very rainy/sleety/icy/snowy day.  So, we hunkered down inside.  On paper, that sounds so cozy and nice.  It was probably 60% cozy, 20% mundane, and 20% sassy and crabby (I’m not naming names or anything).

Checking out the snow situation.

Checking out the snow situation.

Laundry helpers.

Laundry helpers.

But this is what my laundry helpers really looked like:

Because she couldn't have all the clothes in her basket.  Trauma.

Because she couldn’t have all the clothes in her basket. Trauma.

Irresistible tree.

Irresistible tree.

Reading together.

Reading together.

"She Reads Truth" Advent reading.  I'm on Day 2.  Takin' it slooooow.

She Reads Truth” Advent reading. I’m on Day 1.  Takin’ it slooooow.

Christmas cookies and a Christmas episode of "West Wing."

Christmas cookies and a Christmas episode of “West Wing.”

Christmas cookies are a mess!

Christmas cookies are a mess!

"Mama, you need to do dishes!"  Thanks, Jo.

“Mama, you need to do dishes!” Thanks, Jo.

Independent play--a beautiful thing.

Independent play–a beautiful thing.

Joy to the world!!

Joy to the world!!

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Ten on Ten: The Runny Nose Edition

I bet you just can’t wait to see our day in pictures–“The Runny Nose Edition” just promises awesome.

Ten in Ten is all about finding beauty in the ordinary, which can be hard sometimes.  It’s really hard when two out of two children have pretty bad colds.  By the end of the day, I was pretty much covered in snot.  [Don’t worry; I didn’t take a picture of that.]  But even if I didn’t capture beauty in today, I did capture life as it is right now.  As we all know, life just flies by, and eventually, I’ll be glad for the reminder of what life was like at this particular point in time.

Watching Georgie while I made a grocery list (quality parenting right there).

Watching Georgie while I made a grocery list (quality parenting right there).

Ready to go grocery shopping.  I love winter, but I hate getting the girls into winter coats.  Such a pain.

Ready to go grocery shopping. I love winter, but I do not love winter coats.

This cart is a monster.  I usually run over at least one elderly person a visit!

This cart is a monster. I usually run over at least one elderly person a visit!

The girls are in charge of buying the bread at the discount bread store.  Jo handles the money.  Claire handles the bread.

The girls are in charge of buying the bread at the discount bread store. Jo handles the money. Claire handles the bread.

At this point in the day, it was 11:00, and we had spent the ENTIRE morning doing grocery shopping (we went to 4 different places to hit all the sales).  I always feel like I deserve some sort of award on grocery shopping days.  Other than a full fridge.

My pastor challenged us to read Ephesians this week (a chapter a day).  It's been so good!

My pastor challenged us to read Ephesians this week (a chapter a day). It’s been so good!

A switch flipped last week, and now she pees and poops on the potty!  (This might be the most beautiful picture of the day.)

Something clicked last week, and we’ve got a potty trained toddler!!  (This might be the most beautiful picture of the day.)

She woke up too early from her nap.  So we hung out.  I can't even tell you how much snot was on my face after this picture.

She woke up too early from her nap. So we hung out. I can’t even tell you how much snot was on my face after this picture.

After this point in the day, things kind of went downhill.  I took pictures, but I haven’t really figured out how to take good pictures inside after 4:00.  It’s dark by then, and I can’t seem to get any pictures that aren’t blurry.  So I have a bunch of blurry pictures of grumpy kids.

It's cuter when you can't hear her.

Like this.  It’s cute because you can’t hear her.

I’ll spare you the 5:00 picture.  As a bonus, Claire and I took a selfie outside the bread store.  She’s the best at selfies.  A true 2013 baby.

She's even saying "Cheeeeese."

She’s even saying “Cheeeeese.”

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