Monthly Archives: February 2012

Magical Spinning Plates

You know that guy at the circus that spins a whole cadre of plates balanced on thin sticks? He starts with just one, then two, then before you know it he has 5 or 10 spinning. He constantly has to go back to the beginning and reenergize the first plates. He keeps all of them spinning to keep them from crashing to the ground in a thousand pieces. Constantly moving from one plate to another working his way up and down the row he keeps all the plates balanced. Always keeping an eye on the other plates, while giving a boost of energy to the one in front of him.

I think it looks exhausting. The kind of thing I would say, “eh, does it really matter?” and let them all fall. But it’s also totally impressive that he can do that! You would have to have eyes in the back of your head and be totally focused. You couldn’t get distracted by anything. You would have to be so determined.

I found this video of a plate spinner that appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1969. If you want to be inspired you should take a look.

So this post isn’t really about plate spinners. I just feel like it is. I’ve been thinking over the last few days that being a plate spinner must be a lot like being a MOM.

It’s a lot of work -exhausting. And sometimes Moms have to wonder, “eh, does it really matter?” But it also looks really impressive when you see someone do it well. So focused.

I feel like I have tables full of spinning plates. There is a table for each of my boys. And one for my husband. And one for my career. And one for all the family things I manage. And each table has so many plates. Sports, school, health, relationships, college, career, faith. So many plates to keep spinning. Things that need a little nudge now and then to keep going, to maintain stability. And just when you have that table looking steady, you notice it out of the corner of your eye. Another table of plates is about to come crashing down. Quick, get there, give them a nudge.

That’s what being a mom is like. Exhausting. But completely inspiring when its done well.



Filed under Lifestyle, mom, Parenting

Thankful Thursday – Old Friends

Not as in old lady, but rather known me a long time friends. Long time is relative. For the first 7 years we were married we moved around a lot; 5 cities in 7 years. Needless to say we were always the new kids on the block {Way before the New Kids on the Block!}. We didn’t have a lot of history any where we lived. Which was good and bad. But I longed for those friends who had known me forever. I stayed in touch with college friends during those years, but we were pretty spread out around the country. Talking on the phone is just not the same as sitting down over a soda together.

We moved to KC 14 years ago, after we had our last baby. None of my friends here knew us BC {before children} or when I was preggers. We don’t share that history. But we share lots of raising kids history! I met my closest friends at church. They are the women who have known me the longest. The ones who have been there for me through finding a preschool, starting kindergarten, and navigating rec sports. We have survived tryouts, mission trips, band concerts, first girlfriends and college searches together. I can always count on them to encourage me or kick me in the butt, depending on what I need. They are always willing to share their experience and let me make my decisions. They let me vent and help me talk through problems.

We are all very different. We know each others’ quirks and idiosyncracies. They know I don’t want onions in anything and I know who can’t stand clutter, who has a basement full and who can’t bear to part with a consumable. That’s so comfortable.

And we have gone through seasons in our friendships. Sometimes our own families or careers pull us away for a while, but we continue to find our way back. And we welcome each other where ever we are.  That’s what old friends are like. We have history and comfort in our friendship.

Today I’m thankful for long-lasting, faithful friendships!

Editorial Note: As I was writing this post, from the heart, I suddenly had the feeling I’ve written these words before. This led me on a search of my blog to find when I may have posted the same thing. At which point I got sidetracked reading old posts I’d forgotten about. Which takes me back to being an “OLD” friend! So, if this feels vaguely familiar to you, I’m sorry. It must be the truth if I’ve thought of it twice!

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Catching My Breath

That’s what the last few days have been about. This past week was crazy! I know, I say that all the time. It’s my life. Crazy. I think maybe I wouldn’t know what to do if I wasn’t going in 4 different directions at any given moment. I guess you adjust to whatever your life gives you. And this week it gave me some serious speed!

A couple weeks ago I received a text from Oldest Son just as I was ready to head into a meeting at work.

“I’ve got something else for you to stress about.”

That kid knows me so well! It takes a few texts before I get enough details to make any sense. Turns out he was nominated for WPA Big Man on Campus Court. {WPA, or Woman Pays All, is what we called Sadie Hawkins back in the day. It’s a little more formal that when I was in school. } He was completely shocked by the nomination. And so was I.

This week there were lots of festivities leading up to the dance Saturday night. Wednesday night was rehearsal, Friday morning breakfast for the candidates and WPA Assembly, Friday night basketball game and crowning of the WPA Queen, Saturday night dance and crowning of the Big Man on Campus.

Rehearsal was quick and easy.

We hosted breakfast for the candidates for BMOC at our house at 7 Friday morning. It was fun to see all the guys dressed up and spiffy. I’m pleased to report no ties were spilled on in the eating of the breakfast!

4 of the 12 boys have been in Boy Scouts together since they were in 1st or 2nd grade. And they have all four earned their Eagle Scout Award! Pretty cool group of kids. 

They headed off to school by 8 and most of the parents hung around and chatted before heading to the assembly.

At the assembly all the candidates were introduced. Oldest Son was the first to be announced and he was nervous! He pulled it off without  glitch – no tripping involved:). But this is when it hit me. And the tears started flowing. Hearing them announce his name and what he has been a part of at the high school, just hit me. That is my baby boy! And he is a man now.

The seniors in the marching band played and danced to Party Rock Anthem. It was awesome!

The crowning of the Big Man on Campus went smoothly Saturday night. I got to escort Oldest Son out during the dance. And neither of us tripped:). It was such a fun night. I am so proud of the man that Oldest Son has become.

Middle Son went to the dance as well. He had a good time too.

We drug Youngest Son along for the crowning.

And we spent the rest of the weekend recovering from all the fun.


Filed under Senior Year

Trash to Treasure

I have a project to share! I’m so excited. I started and finished this in one evening! If you know me, you know that’s a big deal. I’m not great at finishing things. But this was so easy and turned out so cute! So here it is.

I found this shade at the thrift store and actually liked it. But when I looked a little closer I realized there were a couple of tears in it. Not big, but definitely there.

{BTW I’m still getting used to my new dining room color. I need to find the right setting on my camera so everything a photograph isn’t red – especially the people!}

I decided to rehab the shade:). To get strated I tore that paper off. This was fun – I kind of like being destructive:)!

This left me with a wire frame. I’d seen a shade on Whatever that I really liked. So that was my inspiration. She had a straight shade though and mine is tapered so I had to get creative. I started by tearing 1 1/2 inches wide strips from each cutting of fabric. I had 5 coordinating fabrics, but you could probably do it with all one or fewer patterns. I just like the variety.


I wrapped the top and bottom wires with the same fabric. It took one strip the width of the bolt for the bottom, and a little less for the top.

I picked a spot to start and wrapped the piece back over itself to hold it. I wrapped until the whole ring was covered and put a dab of glue on the end to hold it in place.

Then I took the other strips and started wrapping them around the shade. I didn’t take pictures of the wrapping part – I was too excited to see how it turned out. Because the shade was tapered, I looped the fabric around every other vertical. If you look closely you can see how one piece just goes over the vertical and the other wraps around. I did this for every vertical wire and each different fabric. When I got all the way around, I tied a simple knot.

Then the next row I used a different fabric and started one vertical support to the right. So when I looped it around every other one, they ended up alternating. This helps keep it from sliding up the frame since it’s a tapered frame.

I used the fabrics in a random way because I didn’t want it to look to matchy-matchy. When I thought I was done, I stepped back to take a look and decided it needed a couple more rows. You could see too much bulb through the shade. I think you could do this as tight or loose as you want.

I think I ended up with 12 rows of fabric strips. I also took a couple of strips and tied them to the lamp itself. I thought it needed a little something to finish it off.

And here it is with the light on.

I absolutely love it! It makes me happy every time I look at it. It has received mixed reviews from the family. Not surprising considering I live with 4 guys! I think it will go on my desk at work. I’m gearing up for an office makeover…more to come!

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Filed under Creativity, Decor

Thankful Thursday – Teachers

I’ve missed a whole lot of Thankful Thursdays. It isn’t that I haven’t felt thankful. Just that I haven’t remembered until Friday. Kind of lame, huh? Well, today is the perfect opportunity to get back into the routine.

Tonight was the teacher conference night at the middle and high schools. We had 21 teachers to see for all three boys. We got to talk with most of them, a few weren’t available or had too long of a line. I think we talked to 16 teachers. And I am so grateful for them! These professionals spend a good amount of time with my kids. And with lots of kids. There really wasn’t one of them who didn’t seem to care. They have been at the school since very early this morning and they were still there at 8 pm. I know they spend countless hours outside of the work day grading papers, preparing lessons and giving kids extra help.

I’m thankful for each of them. For their dedication to helping my kids get it. For their determination when it’s not sinking in. For caring about my kids and their future.

Thank You Teachers!

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Filed under School, Thankful

Spring Cleaning?

It’s been so warm here this whole winter. It’s very strange. I know Kansas has milder winters than Iowa, but this year has been freakishly warm. And that is wreaking all kinds of havoc. It’s made me want to start spring cleaning {the weather and that whole 4 months until graduation thing}!

After we painted this past weekend I cleaned my cupboards!

It felt so good to purge! I was in the right mood. We were all tired of not having room in the cupboards. Always trying to cram the dishes in when we emptied the dishwasher.

There were dishes I don’t use anymore. Coffee mugs galore and no one in the house who drinks it. I did save a couple in case you are planning to visit and enjoy a little coffee.

Now its neat and organized and there’s room for things I forgot we had. I can get to my serving dishes.

I didn’t get rid of any cookbooks – just couldn’t do it. But I did pick the few I use most and put them in easy reach. The rest are in a top cupboard where I can get to them if I need them, but they are out of sight.

They used to be on top of this cabinet. All piled and messy. Yuck! It was a major eye sore! And now it’s clean and lovely and showing off the wine holder my hubby picked out for me. All by himself! No hints or anything.

A week ago I would NOT have shared pictures of the inside of my cupboards! So happy to have things fresh and organized. It’s like Spring!


Filed under Organization