a new day!

I’m happy to report that today was a MUCH better day. Perhaps it had something to do with the very solid sleep I enjoyed (albeit not enough). Or the latte I made myself. Or the fact that I snuggled on the Jack-boy for a full 15 minutes after he woke up and read to him from his Jesus Storybook Bible before I spent a smidgen of time in 2 Peter. (Where I was reminded AGAIN, right off the bat in verse 3 of the first chapter that I have been given all things that pertain to life and godliness by His divine power.) At any rate, today started and ended with a much happier boy and mom than yesterday. 🙂

And we only had two potty accidents today! Er – two and a half.

Happy. Happy. Happy.

I also managed to get this whole house of mine in tip top shape. Really its a shame no one is coming to see us this week because it looks particularly fabulous. My man and boy are definitely “special” enough to warrant living in a happy haven of cleanliness though. Fresh cut flowers from my baby shower grace the table and Kyle helped me SCRUB the heck out of our rather dastardly tub surround. I squirted the toxic solution, he wiped and scrubbed and rinsed. It’s a great relationship we have.

Can you say nesting much? Sheesh. I’m kind of crazy. All the baby’s stuff is now ready. Clothes are washed and in her drawers, teensy tiny cloth diapers (I didn’t start w/ fuzz on Jack until he was 2 months old and like 15 lbs., so his diapers were never tiny!) are on the shelf of the changing table and we just need to get the cradle and carseat out of the storage closet.

If I can only muster up some gumption to get some meals in the freezer (I’d like to have at least 10 in there) for after the baby arrives, I’ll be set. Working in the kitchen and washing dishes makes my back hurt since I have to stand so far away from the counter to reach stuff, so I sort of avoid it as much as I can. But I don’t want to be cooking AFTER the kid is born, that’s for sure and for certain!

And now, grateful for a nice day and much grace from the Lord, I will settle into bed and listen to the gentle, soaking rain fall outside on this cool night. I am blessed.

some days are like that…

even in Australia.

As the Swedes would say: uffda. This has been a rough day. Mostly due to a small child who is behaving more and more like a terrible two-year old. Who body-snatched my sweet kid and put a defiant, willful child in his place?! I don’t think pregnancy and two year olds go well together. It’s like peanut butter and pickles or something that just should. not. mix. 😛

Anyway – to make myself feel slightly better about today’s dismal mothering skills, I wanted to at least jot down all I got done. That way when I wonder why I’m still so tired tomorrow, I can remember how much I did and feel better about feeling so exhausted. Keep in mind I’m at 35 weeks of pregnancy with only 5ish left to go. Thank you.

  1. Hardboiled a dozen eggs
  2. Had Jack help me “open” the baby shower gifts again and put them away
  3. Fed him breakfast and myself breakfast.
  4. Got us dressed.
  5. Cleaned up four potty accidents and the boy four times as well before 11am. (I started potty training on Friday with a few hiccups between now and then.)
  6. Whooped it up when Jack boy did make it to the toilet to poop for the first time! (Sorry everyone – yes, I’m excited about poop. In a toilet.)
  7. Went for a short walk with an ornery dog and the boy.
  8. Made lunch, ate lunch and cleaned lunch off of myself and Jack before his nap.
  9. Swept and dry mopped the floor.
  10. Completely cleaned the kitchen: emptied the dishwasher, filled the dishwasher, put stuff away, etc.
  11. Folded two loads of laundry.
  12. Dusted the main floor.
  13. Made BBQ chicken thighs and homemade pasta salad w/ fresh veggies and instant pudding for our evening picnic.
  14. Did more laundry as a result of the many pee accidents.
  15. Enjoyed a lovely picnic with my boys at a beautiful park overlooking a river and dam on a really gorgeous late summer afternoon.
  16. Picked up the main floor.
  17. Whooped it up again when the boychild pooped a second time IN THE TOILET. Not in a diaper. Not on the floor (he hasn’t done that ever, thankfully).
  18. Organized baby girl clothes into sizes, put away the too big sizes, dumped all the newborn & 0-3 month stuff into the washing machine.
  19. Bathed the boy, who in the process (while I was away for 5 minutes) emptied the entire contents of a brand new (shower gift!) bottle of Burt’s Bees Baby Wash into his bathwater. :-O Not happy Bob.
  20. Rinsed the boy off, since he was basically swimming in soap, and dressed his very fresh smelling self in PJ’s.
  21. Put the boy to bed.
  22. Researched and wrote an article for the newspaper.
  23. Folded another load of laundry.
  24. Went to bed.
I’m really, really glad the Lord’s mercy is new every morning, even every minute as I need Him so desperately. I want to APPLY Him – his gospel truth – to my motherhood. Today I feel like I failed, but I know that tomorrow is another day and His grace is fresh for me. Oh how glad I am of that. A few days ago I came across this blog post by one of my favorite writers, Rachel Jankovic. Her book, “Loving the LIttle Years” is one I’ve mentioned before. This evening I’m resonating with this:
Do not use your own mistakes as an excuse to wallow about what a bad mother you are. Repent, seek forgiveness, get it right, and move on. Believe. Be forgiven. Extend that forgiveness, that belief, that joy, to your children.
And this – she has wise and winsome words about applying the Gospel to our kids:

Mothering is a job that is full of difficult moments. You need to take what you believe and apply it to these difficult moments. Does the Bible teach us that God is disgusted by our frailty? That he doesn’t want to carry our burdens? That he doesn’t have the energy to deal with us?

The good news is, you don’t need to have been through some elite mother’s training camp to apply the gospel in your life. You need to believe. Trust God, give thanks. Laugh. Believe — and that will feed your children. Rest in God, and your children will learn to. Extend God’s kindness to you, to them. Forgive them the way God forgave you. You have everything you need to spiritually nourish your children, because you have Christ.

So tomorrow is another day – no mistakes, no spilled expensive shampoo, no angry words and the chance to begin again with the EVERYTHING I have in Christ to do this monumental task/gift of motherhood.


I’ve fallen so behind on this little project, but its only because life and developing other things (like another child) has been taking precedence over developing my photography skillz. I will say that I’ve been attempting to use manual or at least aperture priority settings more often as I’ve been taking photos this summer and I’ve been pleased with the results. We discovered that our camera tends to under-expose things (maybe a sensor issue?) so one has to set it for letting more light in than normal anyway. Fun facts to know and tell, as my mom and dad would say.

I took this the other evening with my iPod – it takes the best pictures in outdoor light, but even then, I know its a total cop-out. I just haven’t had it in me to set up the camera with the tripod and have definitely not had great amounts of inspiration. However, I do not mind be a model for OTHER, real photographers. Earlier this month, on our fabulous vacation with the extended Puelston family, Kyle’s sister Sarah (a pro) took some awesome family/maternity pictures for us. I just ❤ her style and eye for beauty. And oh my stars, did Jack ham it up for the camera?! Here’s my top four favorites from the shoot she did:

So there ya go – a 35 week pregnant me sitting in our front yard while the menfolk swept acorns off the deck, with REAL pictures of our current family at t-minus 5 weeks till Taylor/Norah makes her appearance. 🙂 ’tis a happy thing indeed!

on my mind this lovely morning

today as I sit at my kitchen table and face the day, I have a heart full of people and needs and love and gratefulness.

  • my pastor’s little 3 year old daughter is having a rough time after open heart surgery to repair her valves, so I’m lifting them up in prayer.
  • friends in our small group lost their preemie twin grandsons this past weekend and the funeral is on Saturday. Praying for the Lord’s comfort and peace on them.
  • its a beautiful morning! The weather for the next few days looks to be simply gorgeous, which makes me very happy. I love late summer.
  • my friend Amanda flies in today from Hawaii! She’s the first of my group of friends from an online forum that are coming into town for a retreat/girls weekend. So fun!
  • Apparently, I need to make zucchini fries. Almost every food blog I follow has featured them this summer. Sounds like “girl” food fit for a weekend of gourmet delights.
  • Last night my wonderful group of “mommy friends” here in MN threw me and baby girl (we’re waffling on her name now – she might be Norah Charlotte instead of Taylor Charlotte, but we’re waiting till she’s here to decide) a very sweet baby shower. The gourmet s’mores bar and conversation was utterly delightful and now this sweet child will have CLOTHES to wear! My unbelievably creative and talented Jes knit her a CUPCAKE hat and mittens! aaaahhh! I’m still freaking out about how adorable little girl stuff is – I really am excited about ruffles and girly stuff. And the baby girl that will make those possible.
  • See? Isn’t this the cutest thing EVER?
  • I also can’t believe how close we are to meeting this sweet baby – 7 weeks. Maybe 6, maybe 8. At any rate, its close! I’m pulling out these tiny outfits that I can’t believe will fit her little body.
Last thought for the morning – I better get my butt in gear to finish cleaning this house before 10 women descend upon it for fun and mayhem! 🙂 Happy Wednesday!


august…so far

wow. My blogging skillz have gone OUT the window, apparently! Considering its practically the middle of August and I haven’t said a word or even posted a picture. Gasp.

This summer has just been crazy. I feel like its been one big event that requires all of my attention one right after the other. Shew! But I’m finally feeling like we’re in the home stretch…my Crossings friends are coming this coming weekend and then the next Big Thing is my sister-in-law Sarah’s wedding in the middle of September. ahhhhhh – big sigh.

We just returned from a WONDERFUL week Up North. Old favorites like cliff jumping (but not by me), hiking, World’s Best Donuts, smoked fish and cheese for lunch on the river landing, Sven and Ole’s pizza (oh. so. good.), throwing rocks into Grand Marais harbor and other traditions were indulged in. New memories were made with an epic sunset harbor boat cruise courtesy of the US Coast Guard and one Jesse Sullivan, fantastic live music on the roof of Gunflint Tavern on a chilly night, collecting 8 stamps in our State Park passbook and receiving our first patch (we only have 64 more to visit before we’ve seen ’em all!) and visiting Grand Portage, MN which is on the Canadian border. What a great time!

And the best part was being with our family. Jackson really loves his aunts and uncles and grandparents, all around. I don’t take it for granted that we can see them as often as we do and make memories together like we did this past week. It’s fun too that the Puelston extended family is growing so much this year with two in-laws and a new baby joining the mix by November. 🙂 Happy happy!

So that’s our August so far – recovering from July’s insanity and vacation. Hurrah for a lighter schedule of events for the rest of the month and the chance to enjoy the last weeks of summer in Minnesota.

and to sneak in “foto friday” – here’s one of my favorite “artistic” shots I took this week. This is at the Grand Portage National Monument and is a replica of the fort that once stood there in the fur trading days of yore.