Showing posts from July, 2019

I Just Climbed Mt Everest...

I just climbed Mt. Everest... Well, in my own way. It wasn't really Mt. Everest, of course. Did you know Everest is in China and Nepal? I didn't until recently when, as I was homeschooling, I learned that right along with my kids... funny. Maybe everyone knows and I just didn't. Anyhoo, that's a side note. I had an "Everest Moment" today. I've been crazy busy simplifying our home (read more about that HERE ), and with the yard sale, as I've mentioned. My husband worked Sunday and I stayed home with kids. It's just been BUSY!!! And, so, I haven't made it to the grocery store to buy food. I haven't made it to ANY store to buy a few simple things we need for the house, and yesterday I was SO BURNT OUT by my baby screaming at me all day I took a break (ALONE!) at the park instead of going grocery shopping... We are out of bread, milk, tortilla shells, sour cream, nuts, and about everything else. In my fridge I have rotting

The First Week

My baby is a week old now. My first week with him is gone. It was a sweet week, full of snuggles and long gazes that made my heart just absolutely overflow with love for this little one. It was also a little bit of a hard week. For some reason, I always have a struggle with breastfeeding my babies. My first baby lost a lot of weight in the beginning and I had a hard time getting her to gain. Looking back, I think my biggest problems were lack of confidence and lack of knowledge. I had read a lot about pregnancy and labor and the newborn, but had not really researched breastfeeding. It was natural and the healthy for both of us, so it should be easy, right? I was so disappointed and frustrated with myself, my one job was to feed this baby and I was failing at it. Every time I had to supplement her, I felt like a failure. Even if the supplement was my own pumped milk. I ended up topping off about half of her feedings with a little bit of formula until she was 6 months old, then


You are Beautiful! So why don't we see it? As I mentioned, my girls had swim lessons at our local YMCA this last two weeks. As we shuffled in and out of the locker rooms for our four days of swim over those two weeks I noticed a fellow Mama who also had her kids in swim.  She had three young children! I asked how old her baby was one day while my baby tried to sidle over and say hi to hers. "9 months" she said. I noticed her again when I was up in the observatory watching my girls swim. She was at the side of the pool, sitting up against a wall, not wearing any makeup and looking kind of tired as she nursed her baby. I thought it was so sweet and beautiful. I admired her. Photo Credit: WHIO I heard her talk to her kids another day with such gentleness and understanding. I listened as she explained how she wanted to go swim too so they were going to "play with the toys" (daycare) for a little bit. After bring her kids to swim and feeding her baby sh

Encouragement from a Stranger :D

As Moms, we are doing a lot of tiny little jobs every single day that have a big, forever impact! We talk about this a lot here at Joy in the Journey because it's such an encouragement point to look at the greater goal when life's mundane, difficulties, and monotony gets us down.  The fact that we are On a Mission  as we raise our kids. That the love we give our kids spreads and goes further than us or them. That Motherhood MATTERS ! That these little things we do are not nothing but in fact they are everything ! So today, I wanted to share another Mama Victory that gives me strength and encouragement so that you may be encouraged as well. :) The last two weeks my daughters have had swim lessons at our local YMCA. They were learning how to swim on their back, beginning diving, and swim the length of the pool. They have had a ton of fun and met every challenge with enthusiasm and strength.  Photo Credit: YMCA Today was their last class and I had the privilege of ge

House Tour (Main living areas)

Minimalism Diary  An Update Hello y'all,  I just wanted to give a little minimalism update to let you know how the house simplifying is going. First, my house FEELS different! It feels big and bright, airy and peaceful! It's super easy to straighten things and clean up. I feel like I've completed "Layer 1" of getting rid of stuff.  I think one of the biggest things that has changed physically is I got rid of several pieces of furniture. When downsizing, I just didn't NEED space to store extra stuff, I just got rid of the stuff. That has opened a TON of space up in our room. I've got rid of one or two pieces of furniture in almost every room of the house and it feels so nice! So here's a little Picture Tour of just the main living areas. I wish I had before pictures for you but I'll just explain as we go.  So here is my kitchen as of right now. It used to have lots of stuff on top of the cupboards and lots of stuff on t

Asher Lee's Birth Story

I am in baby land right now. I’m concentrating hard on recovering from childbirth and overcoming jaundice in the baby and building up my milk supply, so I haven’t had time to write a blog for today. But I thought I could at least tell you about Asher Lee’s birth story. He is sleeping on Daddy’s chest right now and hopefully he holds on long enough for me to get it down! We live a 1.5 hour drive from the hospital, so when my water broke at 2:30 am on Thursday, we got out of the house as quickly as we could.  It’s kind of a funny story. I had been fighting a nasty cold and coughing all night long. Suddenly I woke myself up coughing and thought that I had peed myself. So I got up and change my underwear and laid back down and coughed again and realize that my water had broken. My five-year-old had just gotten up to go to the bathroom and I told him my water had broken so he went and woke up all his siblings. There were a few more things we needed to get together before we left

Enabling Their Dreams

How to support our kids dreams. And how we ended up with a Yard Sale this weekend. My middle daughter is a very ambitious little lady. She wants to be a chef, a musician, a dancer, you name it, she wants to do it! She constantly has new ideas and wants to try new things. She has created a homeschool "curriculum" packet for her kindergarten-aged cousin before. She's created a menu to go along with her plastic kitchen toys and made us all sit down and order from her "restaurant". She's constantly coming up with new and creative ideas and testing them out on us. ;) One constant in this array of ambitions is money. :) She likes to make money, which is great. She works hard on her chores so she can earn her every-other-week "pay check". She gets small fines as a consequence sometimes and she finds that very motivating.  She's been watching her dad and I sell various things on Craigslist and she has wanted to do the same. She'll sa

Birth Stories

I’m getting ready for the birth of my 5 th  full term child (I have two babies in heaven).  I am so excited. And so scared. But mostly so excited. When you are pregnant, people love to tell you their birth stories. Some of them are awesome. Some sound like they belong in a horror movie and you wonder, “Did you really need to share that with me right now, in the checkout line at the grocery store?”. I think most women love to share their birth stories because birth is such a big deal. I know it has been a transforming experience for me every time. I’ve been reflecting on my previous birth experiences and I thought I would share an abridged version of each one and what each one taught me. My first experience was pretty textbook. My blood pressure was getting a little high near the end of pregnancy so I was admitted to hospital and they gave me medication to soften my cervix to see if that would get labor going. Looking back now, I would not have went to the hospital,

What is Minimalism?

What is Minimalism? A Definition One of the biggest things about the term "Minimalism" is it means different things for different people and looks different for each minimalist. I was talking to a relative yesterday and we got on the topic of simplying. "I couldn't live your lifestyle," she said and talked about how few clothes we had. I explained that we have at least 2 full weeks of outfits (really more than that and it's always expands) and how my wardrobe is limited right now due to breastfeeding. But as I pondered that statement "I couldn't live your lifestyle", I thought that may be true. It's not for everyone. But I also thought of what minimalism meant to me and as I thought about that, I wished I'd explained just a little bit of the WHY minimalism. What minimalism means. Minimalist DOESN'T have to do with what we DON'T HAVE it's about what we DO HAVE. In short I want to: Having less  so  we

Don't Grow Weary with Doing Good

I am weary. "Don't grow weary of doing good." Good morning ladies, I am sitting outside right now. I just finished praying and my heart is heavy. I've written several blogs recently about my preteens... and here is yet another one! I struggle with discipline as I've mentioned (read more HERE ). I find myself feeling resentful that my kids don't just learn their lesson and move on. I have to repeatedly head into the same behavior problems over and over. I feel incredibly frustrated by this! Today was no different. Lying. Both of my girls seem to go through periods of lying over everything.  Then I work on being consistent with discipline and the behavior improves. Still, I always find I feel hurt and disrespected when once again my children are lying to my face with no remorse. So I pray. For me, there is nothing more encouraging and strengthening than talking to Jesus, who loves me more than life, about my children who I love more than lif

I Couldn't Sleep Last Night!

I couldn't sleep last night. I'd gone to bed at a reasonable hour, I had winded down like normal, but as I lay there in my bed, all I could feel was my heart racing. My heart raced and my head flooded with thoughts. Every. Thought. About everything! The week ahead, scheduled stuff, decisions to make, relational things, my babies birthday party details, and on and on and on! Things that should not be a huge point of concern were, at 10:30 at night, blazing through my brain, unstoppable. "You have to do this! You have to do it all!" The thoughts came as the mental list continued to scroll and my chest continued to constrict. "So much to do! Too much to do! What do I do?!" Heart thudding... It had been 20 minutes of laying there in the dark with my worry and anxieties and my GIANT, overwhelming list. I knew sleep was not going to come unless I first dealt with my internal struggle and worked through the thoughts. So I crawled quietly out of bed, as to

Lee's Podcast Picks

We parents need support and encouragement. I hope that you are finding that in this blog. Maybe you have other blogs that you follow, too. Friends and family are good support sources. Moms groups are great, whether its something formal like MOPS or just meeting other moms for playdates. Another thing that I find really helpful is podcasts. Whenever I am cooking or doing the dishes, my phone is usually propped up on my kitchen windowsill.  Maybe your question is, how does a busy mama find time to listen to podcasts? Well, I'm not going to lie and say that it is easy to do. Sometimes it takes three sessions to get through one episode because I am repeatedly interrupted by my children's needs. However, I find the best time is either when I am washing the dishes, folding laundry, or soaking in the tub. Sometimes I listening the car, but I rarely drive the car alone and when the kids are with me they always want to listen to audiobooks. When I am healed I am hoping tha

Rest. What does that mean?!

As I'm writing this, it's Saturday morning at 11:10 when I'm writing you this and I haven't showered, I haven't got dressed, washed my face, or put a stitch of makeup on. I haven't cleaned, I haven't done really anything. I've fed the baby, made breakfast, and cleaned up the babies mess from breakfast.  My oldest is at Grandmas for the day, my middle child is sick and in bed, and my baby went with daddy to look at classic cars. I lounged around and looked online for free handwriting for my middle child whose handwriting just recently took a turn for the worst. I got caught up in sending my husband way too many PDFs to print off for me when he got a chance. My sick daughter fell asleep and I decided to go pray and read my bible before showering. I downed a glass of water while I heated up my coffee, told my daughter where I would be, and went to doctor up my coffee.  As I lifted the coffee and that wonderful aroma drifted through my senses I thoug

Why Are We So Mean???

Why are we so mean to ourselves? Recently, two of my friends posted this meme on Facebook: One friend was a single mother of a little boy and the other was a newly single dad of four. My heart screamed "No!!!" when I saw each post. I don't think it was a coincidence that both of these people are young parents. We are so hard on ourselves. But... No way! No matter how many mistakes you make, you are not garbage! It doesn't matter if your significant other has left you (even if they had good reason to), or if you've lost your job (through mistakes of your own), or if you've screamed at your kids for the 100th time today (even though you know you should not have), you are NEVER EVER garbage!!! We humans are broken things. We make mistakes, lots of mistakes. Sometimes we make the same stupid mistakes over and over again. But that does NOT mean we are worthless. You are the only YOU on this planet. I believe with my whole heart that you were crea

Bittersweet Mama Tears

My children's birthdays always seem to bring bittersweet emotions. I'm so proud of how they are growing and developing, yet another year has passed and my babies aren't little babies anymore... My son is turning one this week and I'm full of emotion. I'm SO honored to have him as our son. I'm SO grateful that God created him for our family. I'm SO delighted as I see him grow, healthy and strong, and reach his first birthday as a happy little boy. I remember the first time he held a rattle and I didn't want to admit he was growing. I remember when I first saw him hold a bottle and I had a mommy cry fest. I remember cheering over his first roll, standing, and crawling. It's such a joy to get to be here to watch my children grow. But the bittersweet feelings are real. The sadness is real. The tears are real. Why? Why do we cry when our children grow? Why do we feel such mixed emotions over every landmark and transition?  Because even though we

A Note on Expectations

Minimalist Family Journey A Note on Expectations: I'm kind of going to just share with you about our family journey to simplify as a diary type of thing, sharing as I go, when I have something to share. This, as always, is for the purpose of encouragement. If you care about something, do it! Don't just dream it, work towards it! This blog is a dream of mine, to encourage and to write. This simplifying journey is because I want to make more of a difference and I know if I keep going around and around in the cycle of Buy, get rid of, buy more, and keep following the consumerism train I will not be as impactful as I could be, as I want to be. So tomorrow is the yard sale... I thought, I wanted to get through my whole house, minimizing all of it, or most of it before tomorrow... Mistake #1 The expectation that this is "easy" or will take no time at all. "I don't have a lot of stuff. I work to only keep what I need," I thought. However, when I

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