Thursday, July 20, 2017


Is. The. Longest. Day. Ever.
Phone in Toilet Bowl.
Unruly Children.
Dropping $8.00 of dimes for the kids lunch all over the gas station floor.
Child spitting out lunch and screaming he doesn't like what he picked out 2 seconds after purchase.
Woman asking if Alex is mine.
Inability to locate anything I'm looking for within a house I am resisting to clean.
Why has time stood still?
What am I doing about it? Yelling, Sighing with exasperation, rolling my eyes.
I'm totally sweating the small stuff instead of looking at the big picture, treasuring what I have. I know this in my head. Putting it in practice is so much harder.
SO in the spirit of a do over, I will eat some chocolate, take a deep breath, pour on some happy oils, pray, apologize and ask forgiveness from my children and begin the countdown to 5:00....the socially acceptable time to crack open my beer. Cheers Mamas. Summer on.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Blue all over. You?

I am a lover of a good quiz. In fact just yesterday I discovered if I was going to be a descendant of a Greek God it would be Athena. Um, I'll take it (Thanks Wyatt ; ) But personality quizzes?...Well they're my favorite..which is why I was LOVING the color quiz we just took in my work group. It's forward thinking when everyone takes the time to figure out what makes their team tick. What is the other person's motivator? What lights their fire? What is their passion? I mean, how fascinating that this knowledge can help us all get to the same place taking different paths. We're obviously not all going to think, act or approach a situation in front of us the same way. My thinking is the sooner we figure that out and stop trying to change people and work with their God given gifts and talents the better. It's time we exhort one another instead of tearing them down for not being like us.

Unless of course they suck. That is a different issue in it's entirety.

So do me a favor. Take this. Then have your spouse, significant other or bestie take it as you and see if you're filling it out as someone you want to be rather then who you truly are.
Tell me what color you are!!! I want to know!!!
So I took the quiz and I'm blue baby. I confirmed this with my hubby, so that is why I write with confidence. HA! Sometimes I don't trust myself.

"They are fun loving. They live for the moment. They like bright things and happy people. They like to follow strong leadership as long as the leaders treat them nicely. They love a sense of humor in someone. They are very spontaneous. They are not very mindful of being on time. They are forgetful. They spend their money freely (don’t save much at all). They love to travel and have adventures. They love to be outside in the sunshine. They love being social and meeting new people."

I mean, this certainly does not describe me entirely, but it's pretty accurate. I'm followed up by a close yellow, then red and lastly green. I love how if I had taken this quiz years ago, my color would have been different. We're constantly evolving....continually changing. 
I love it. 
Ok. Stop reading this. Take the quiz. Mull it over. Feel free to share. Don't leave me hanging. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Digging Deep

Seeing as writing is therapy of sorts to me, I'll just lay it all out there. If it resonates, great. If you start reading and can't hit that red x in the corner of your screen fast's all good my friend.

Let me just jump right in. My feelings of inadequacies run long and deep. Sometimes,  I literally feel as if the left side of my brain ceases to function. Seriously. When faced with mathematics of any kind; science, equations, statistics, word pulse quickens, my eyebrow starts to twitch and my brain slowly starts to seize up. I can't concentrate, I try to make a joke to get out of the question asked, or I just deflect, deflect, deflect. How does that make me feel? Stupid. Dumb. Completely inadequate. If you know me well, you may know that I struggle and shut down emotionally when I do not feel validated, when I feel like my feelings, thoughts or words do not matter. (Hmmm.....circling back to feelings of stupidity and inadequacy....) My love language is words of affirmation which I'm pretty sure makes me nearly impossible to live with.

My jobs that I've had outside of the home, the ones that I felt good at, provided me with that verbal validation, that sought after adult conversation. When I was working outside of the home, I felt a sense of competence that I could do or be what I was created to be. I love working with people. I love seeing and delving into what makes people tick and how I can provide them necessary resources to becoming their best selves. I love a challenge, learning new skills and accomplishing tasks. I love fast paced environments and have a love/hate relationship with that nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach before a huge presentation and the state of euphoria when it's ended.

Motherhood. Like many many mothers before me, I feel like I'm half-assing it. I show up for the game, but a lot of times I feel like I'm shooting air balls from half court. I look back on my day and pray to God that that day is not going to be the reason my kids show up for their first therapy session when they're twenty-two. I'm not the first mom to voice these feelings of course. There's a lot of other better looking, savier mamas videoing themselves and making musicals on why motherhood is crazy and it's ok to feel this way. If I could hold a note and had better hair, I would totally sing this to you too. Shoot, I'd sing it to myself right now, because let's be real, I had a crappy day mom-ming and that has led to this post.  Please don't get me wrong- I feel immense gratification at my ability to stay home and be with my kids. I just love working too....the creativity, setting's so much more then a paycheck. I want...and NEED both.

So I started my search. When I was overseas, I maintained that connectedness and creativity by delving into direct sales. It's not my forte, trust me. Yeah...The irony is not lost on me...but for me it was fun to get together with friends, throw on some nail wraps and maybe make a few bucks in the process. It filled up some of my free time and filled the work void that I was looking for. When we moved back to the U.S., I knew I couldn't go back into the work force..the boys needed me at home. The little guy requires extra time and support and getting a full time job is just not in the cards right now. So where did that leave me? I took a look at what I was doing, where I spent my free time and where my current interests were directed. You know what? I see a woman I scarcely recognize. I've learned to NEVER say never. I didn't think I'd be living in Utah after living overseas for SIX YEARS in my very late thirties making lip balms and body butter while simultaneously preparing essential oils classes. But here I am.... #notquitekillingit.....Ha. I found I really love my oils and I love the products. It induces eye rolling and skepticism from some and curiosity and excitement from others. I've been lauded and made fun of. If it's not your thing, it's not your thing, but I promise you we can still be friends. It's the balance I found I needed. It has me excited, setting goals, meeting new people, pushing comfort zones, wondering how far I can take it.  I've got that nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach at the thought of upcoming classes and that love/hate feeling is front and center. While my time is divided and some days (i.e. today) I feel less than, I feel more motivated than I have in a very long time.
Phew. Thanks for letting me unload. This motherhood/work balance is not easy. Maintaining your passions and sense of self while raising tiny civilized humans is not easy. It's all a delicate let's just support one another on this crazy journey and remain #notquitekillingittogether...Ok?*Deep Sigh*
Stay tuned.....

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Crystal Bliss

“Crystal is the first truly expensive gift in the traditional anniversary list.  The costliness of crystal is representative of the sacrifice and investment the couple has made to the marriage over the past fifteen years.  Crystal also symbolizes clarity and transparency, reflecting the state of the couple's relationship.  They now know each other better than they know themselves.”

This becomes even more interesting to me when you take a look at the differing types of crystals. 

Covalent crystals are crystals whose atoms are connected with covalent bonds. Covalent bonds exist where the atoms share electrons. These bonds are extremely strong and very hard to break. Because of this, the crystals themselves are also very strong and have high melting points. Imagine gluing together beads with super glue. The super glue is the covalent bond. Now think of trying to glue beads together with a glue stick. They probably wouldn't hold together very well. The glue stick is analogous to another type of crystal we will talk about later. An example of a covalent crystal is a diamond, which is one of the hardest substances known to man.

Metallic Crystals:
Individual metal atoms sit on lattice sites while the outer electrons from these atoms are able to flow freely around the lattice. Metallic crystals normally have high melting points and densities.These crystals sparkle with the lustrous sheen we think of metals having. They are extremely good conductors of heat and electricity.

Ionic Crystals:
This is a crystal where the individual atoms don't have covalent bonds between them, but are held together by electrostatic forces. An example of this type of crystal is sodium chloride (NaCl). Ionic crystals are hard and have relatively high melting points.I

Molecular Crystals:
This is a crystal where there are recognizable molecules in the structure and the crystal is held together by non-covalent interactions like van der Waals forces or hydrogen bonding. An example of this type of crystal would be sugar. Molecular crystals tend to be soft and have lower melting points. Molecular crystals are crystals formed from weak bonds called hydrogen bonds. these bonds are very weak,,,, 

See what I mean? Not all crystals are created equal. Some have strong bonds, others weak. Another is held together by an electrostatic force while the other is sweet to the taste but can’t take the heat.  The same comparisons could be said of couples…
One would hope by the time you get to your fifteenth year with your spouse, your beloved, your chosen one, that there is more clarity, transparency… that you know them better than any other. 

Me? I chose a winner. I love this covalent bond I share with my spouse. Each year we have been together has been filled with new and deeper adventures, complications, stressors, intimacy, and knowledge that I had ever thought possible. Across the span of the past fifteen years we have developed a very strong, hard to break bond. He is my champion- my biggest fan, my rock. Will is a practical minded man of deep rooted faith and integrity. He is gentle, loving, sensitive and an amazing father. 

Marriage can be so hard. There are peaks and valleys. You are walking through the feast, famine, desert, and lush pastures with this person you chose to do life with. Seasons fly by quickly as do the little moments. I have learned to watch my tongue, be more thoughtful…try to be more sensitive..more of what my man deserves. HE deserves the very best- I can scarcely find the words to express how much I appreciate and love him.  He is my greatest treasure here on earth.  Happy Fifteenth Babe. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The quibbling of an emotional mother

I never thought I was going to be a mother. I thought there were women better suited, more compassionate, more loving, patient, gentle and kind..and yet here I am- a mother of two. Some days are fist pump worthy and others? Well, I just apologize, crawl under the covers and start again the next day.

It was at church that my mind started wandering and I thought about the moms whose children had left the house..moved away- grown men and women with families of their own- how will they celebrate? When my sons are grown, will they call me? Visit me? Miss me? These fleeting moments that I'm spending with my boys- will they remember? Will they cherish them? Will they tell them to their sons and daughters as a delightful bedtime story as they reminisce about their childhood? Will I be an older woman with regrets of what I should have or could have done? Will my children harbor resentments and untold hurts against me? To raise a child for decades only to see them once a year with an occasional obligatory phone call rips at my soul.

I think back to the day I found out I was becoming a mother. The mix of joy and horror- the fear of the unknown. The fluttering I felt when this child began moving in me for the first time. The endless months of vomiting, Dr's appointments and the anticipation of this child's arrival. The moment I was told I was having a girl and stared blankly at Will as he stared blankly back until we were told it was a mistake and we both sighed deeply. His reentry into the hospital with jaundice and the terror I felt that I was going to lose him. My feelings of inadequacies of having a first born. What do I do, how do I act? Will I break him? All the firsts. Seeing our Wyatt for the first time, loving him but not feeling that immediate attachment that I thought all mother's had. Faking it til' I was making it. Seeing him develop. His sense of humor. His sensitivity. His sweetness. A mother's pride. Finally feeling that attachment and the fierceness of a mother's love.

I think back to the day we chose to adopt. The choice to become a mother of two. The mix of joy and horror-the fear of the unknown. The fluttering I felt when I opened the email in my inbox and read a  biography about a little boy. The endless months of meetings, background checks, paper trails and the anticipation of his arrival. Walking through the MRT station in Taiwan looking at grown Asian men and teenagers, wondering if that's what my son would look like one day. Tears streaming down my face in public places became commonplace as I thought of my inability to hold him, love him, nurture him. all the firsts that we missed. All the firsts that we experienced. Seeing our Alex for the first time. Loving him, feeling that attachment and praying to God he felt it as well. My feelings of inadequacies as we brought him home. My helplessness to "fix" the problems. Faking it til' I was making it. Seeing him develop. His sense of humor. His bravery. His resilience. His zest for life. A mother's pride. Experiencing a love for two boys that I did not feel was possible.

I'm thinking of the mothers today who have experienced the loss of being unable to bear a child, those that have lost a child, or those unable to care for their child and then selflessly placed them in the arms of another woman. I think of the women AND men who have lost their mothers and the indescribable grief that must sear one's heart at a loss so great.

I'm trying to pull myself together here. Seriously I'm an emotional basket case right now. Anyone else like that today? Right before I started writing this, as I was tucking the boys into bed and with Will out of town, Wyatt asked if he could sleep with me. I rolled my eyes. ugh. My perfect opportunity to starfish hindered by a ten year old body. But these moments are fleeting- and one day he may not call me, visit or miss me, but tonight? He wants to cuddle with pardon me while I end this here.

Friday, April 28, 2017


Alex and I butt heads and test one another on a daily basis. I lose my temper? He throws himself on the ground and begins beating his head. I raise my voice to discipline? He laughs in defiance. He’s small, he’s quiet and I lose him in the house on a daily basis. He’s smart and strong-willed. He’s a dare-devil who loves to leap from high places. People gasp. I sigh. 
I love him. From the depths of my heart to the bottom of my toes I love him. I mourn that I was not the mother who carried him in my womb and brought him into this world. I anguish on the fact that he did not feel my love for him the moment he was conceived, that it was not me who was able to provide him safety and nourishment within the womb and cradle his sweet face and nuzzle his little neck his first day on earth.
I’ve had to parent him entirely differently from Wyatt and a lot of days I feel broken and incapable. I know that the Lord is using Alex in my life to stretch, mold and break me into a better, stronger person. His inability to communicate his needs in a clear way forces me to listen, repeat, listen, repeat…and focus on what he’s trying to say. He snaps me into having to be present…REALLY present. The Lord has broken me into learning patience. The Lord is dealing with my anger issues. Alex is my emotional barometer. Each emotion I display is reflected in my child’s behaviors. There is nothing more simultaneously humbling and horrifying. The Lord has brought the hammer down on my judgmental spirit. We have no idea what another human being is going through. Instead of an eye roll, I ask that momma if she needs help getting things to her car. A mother’s kid is screaming and tantruming in the store? I tell that mom.. You got this. A kid looks like he hasn’t bathed in days and is eating an ice cream cone? I get it. Do whatchya gotta do. I have no idea what I’m doing. There was a picture on Facebook that I posted of Alex in the ergo. It had been months since I had put him in that ergo. Naturally it was another day of ultimate nap resistance despite him needing one, and he was beside himself. I was beside myself. So I threw him in the pack….he was feeling my frustration, my anger, my exasperation…and I believe in those moments he just needs to know I’m there, despite myself, and he needs to feel my love for him despite what I may be saying or showing. So in the pack he goes and he immediately settled and fell asleep. I feel uncomfortable with people saying I wish you were my mom, you’re so sweet…on and on….because no-one saw the moments leading up to that raw picture of seeming sweetness. It is only by God’s grace that I get through the day. It is only by his strength that I make it to the end of the day without having verbally torn my children to shreds. I am a work in progress….and I am thankful for my savior who daily packs me into his ergo and holds me close…because momming is hard..and I’m pretty sure it does not get any easier. 

Thank God it’s Friday.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Brown cylinders and date nights

Image result for bathtub waterWill and I stared into the tub, willing those dark cylinders at the bottom of that murky water to be lego figures. Please be legos, please be legos, please be legos.......
ALEX.......are those your toys?????
He was not lying.
Sighing deeply, Will and I looked at one another and our minds synchronized as only fifteen years of marriage can allow our minds to do and we both silently/not so silently called it.
I read an interesting blog article the other day that talked about married couples and date nights. I think the general gist was that an hour in a restaurant does not make a marriage (which is exactly what the title said); she doesn't date much with her hubby, and it's about living the vows they made daily, in the when possible, but not to waste their days....
I get it.
I appreciate the writer's sentiment and I agree with her that marriage is fun and meaningful with or without date nights. There is nothing that makes me love my hubby more then getting down and dirty in the trenches of our sweet life and doing that life together. I appreciate Will and the sacrifices he makes. I adore when he comes home after running to grab eggs(Cadbury included) at the store,  gives the little one a bath, and doesn't utter a single complaint about eating pasta from a box....again. One of my favorite things to do is to sit on my rocker with him on our tiny porch drinking a cold beer while we both watch the kids play on our patch of grass. Both boys would pile into our bed every night if given the opportunity and our sweet Alex, our sleep struggler often times always ends up snuggled between Will and I. Every. Night.
Image result for brown lego cylinderA dinner out in that corner booth the writer was talking about will not save an unhealthy broken marriage. A dinner out in a corner booth will definitely breathe a breath of fresh air into a marriage that needs a minute from the murky cylinders on the bottom of the tub. A dinner in a corner booth where you can hold hands with your spouse without speaking may be just what the Dr. ordered. A moment to pour open and vomit out thoughts, feelings and emotions that have been piling up for a few weeks may be imperative.
With all that being said -date night does not have to be a dinner out in that elusive corner booth...Perhaps we need to rethink what a "date night" means. What it comes down to is carving out that time. Being creative. "Penciling" it into the electronic calendar. Writing it down will be a reminder to me...Aly, wash your hair. GET OUT OF ACTIVE WEAR. For me, these scheduled pockets of time are times of refreshment, revitalization with the outcome of being a better self with my love and a better mom for my kids.
Without these scheduled periods of reconnecting I feel spent, tired and a little bitter if I'm going to be honest.  For the last few months I've ordered date boxes for Will and I to have a night in, sans kids (i.e. continued yelling at them to leave the room we're sequestered in) and to reconnect with one another after a tiring couple couple weeks at our jobs. It has been so much fun, and he's been a great sport about rolling with it.
Whatever it is do it. Carve it out. Your marriage deserves it.