Archive | My Life

Flops and Failures

Fudge flop #2 has potential to become a tasty sauce. We’ll see!

It’s easy to feel like today was a failure. I screwed up making fudge. Twice. I messed up a piece of artwork I was going to give a friend. Phoebe ate NOTHING so she was in a bad mood from being hungry. I wanted to take a break from “Christmas prep” to have a fun family moment and sing carols while I played guitar, but Phoebe kept saying, “No! No! No!” and then started twisting my guitar strings out of tune. Plus, we’re having a ton of issues breaking down a table we need to move into the living room, because we’re hosting Christmas Eve dinner tomorrow. And I feel sick.

I’m most anxious about not having gifts for people I care deeply about. Because of the fudge flops and the art flops and the LIFE flops, there are no gifts made for any of the family that is coming over tomorrow. Not even the kids. STRESS! We had *plans* for gifts, and we’d budgeted time to make them, but it’s just turning into an impossibility. On top of that, I have no gifts for a few local friends that I hold very dear in my heart. “How will people know I love them if I don’t give them gifts?? How will they know I care?? It’s Christmas and I owe it to them to show them that they are special to me! If I don’t get my special gifts made and delivered by Christmas, it’ll be a disaster!!” THESE are the thoughts and fears racing through my head.

Deep breath.

Say a prayer.

Complain to Matt about it.

Say another prayer.

Ok, God. Maybe I’m not supposed to make the gifts I’d wanted to give today. Maybe I’m just not supposed to give gifts this year. Is that ok? I feel uneasy about it. But right now I’m out of time & there are more important things.

Like playing with my daughter.

And kissing my husband.

And nursing.

And family time.

And opening gifts from Grandma & Grandpa Healy a little early (Thanks guys! Phoebe was super sad for a bit, and your gifts were a life saver!)

And, mostly, leaning into the greatest gifts that surround me: my dear family, a home warmed by love and spirit, and the grace of my Lord.

I hate being incomplete and imperfect. I hate not living up to my standards. But, I guess if Jesus came to Earth to forgive me for not living up to His standards, who am I to overrule the mind and heart of God? If Jesus can forgive me, I can forgive myself (I have to forgive myself…I need to forgive myself…).

Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of taking me just as I am and filling me with the goodness that You are.

A few pictures from the day…

Muffins are just an excuse to eat dessert for breakfast. And I took advantage of that excuse!

Busy. Busy. Busy.

Playing with Christmas stacking dolls.

No matter how busy it got, I still had my helper.

We had really fun family moments today, too!

Her hands are blurry because she’s tickling herself. Lol.

Nursed to sleep by the light of the Christmas tree. By Erin

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Giving Jesus the Gift of Your Sins

What does Jesus want for Christmas? He wants you to give Him your sins.

This is what I remember from church tonight. Between feeling sick & Phoebe not napping and crawling all over me & distracting me & the water she spilled on the floor and herself & changing her outfit & getting her more food & nursing discretely & coloring & and …. You get the picture.

But we made it to church. We were there with our church family. This is an amazing feat. It feels like something is always preventing us from worshipping with our church family: illness, badly timed car naps, being out of town. And I ache for church. I’ve missed it so much. I’m thankful for Christian friends and our mid-week community group, but church just FEELS different.
And even if I was mostly distracted, we were still THERE. We still sang SONGS. We took communion. Celebrated Jesus’s life, death & resurrection. Dear Jesus:

I give you my imperfection, my inadequacy, my incompleteness. Make me whole, in you. Fill me with your grace, that my heart might dance to the rhythm of your life. I cannot hold it together, but I am held together in you. I give you my brokenness, my unfinished business, my anxiety over relationships and unmade gifts and unbaked cookies. I give to you my fears. Fill me with your hope. Abide with me and be patient with me. I yearn to be the body of Christ and to let you love others through me…and I ask that you might also show your love to me, as well, this holiday season. Open me, fill me, invigorate me, let me find peace. And thank you for all the reasons surrounding me to find joy and holiness in even the smallest of moments.


By Erin

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Crayons and Road Trip Craziness

I’ve been getting so worked up today about our road trip this weekend. We leave tonight. It will be the first time Phoebe is in the car for so long; it will also be the first time she sleeps the night away from home. NERVOUS!!!
So, during her nap time, I sat down to craft this little crayon holder for her to play with in the car. And while sewing, I was thinking thinking thinking. And I was forced to calm down. And then I realized: Phoebe doesn’t need STUFF to help her have fun on the road trip. She. Just. Needs. Me. (& Papa of course). She needs us to be calm and fun and easy going. And no supplies or treats or toys or games can replace relaxed parents. So I finished the crayon wrap. And I’ll finish the laundry. And we’ll pack the bags and leave once we’re ready. But first I’m going to renew my heart and mind (or at least try to!!!). Instead of running around franticly throwing things together, I’m going to breathe, involve Phoebe, exercize emotional stability, and stop to smell the roses.Oh. And I’m going to be OK with things being imperfect and out of my control. Because the truth is: the only thing I can control anyways is me.

^_^ Erin

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The New University Place Library (Pierce County, Washington)

Today, Phoebe and I visited the new library in University Place for the first time, and I’m in love with it. The layout of the building is very thoughtful, with a large indoor courtyard perfect for playing inside on rainy days. The library is in the new building on Bridgeport Way, along with the UP Police office and a café. The children’s section of the library is well planned. There are many different places to cuddle up with a book: couches, sofa chairs, bean bags, child-sized chairs and tables…even a rocking chair nestled into a little corner (which I imagine is a favorite for nursing moms).There are tons of different age-appropriate activities scattered throughout: easy shelving and bins for board books, puzzles, crayons and pictures for coloring, and a slew of wall toys, as well as a “fun house” I forgot to snap a close-up picture of. I found this board book, My Foodie ABC, really amusing. It even includes the term “localvore” under the letter “L”!Another thing that impressed me was how clean everything was. The nooks. The books. The tables. The computer stations. Even the bathroom. And one of my favorite things about the layout was that there was a family bathroom right there, in the middle of the children’s section! So convenient! When Phoebe discovered it, she got a huge grin on her face, turned to me and signed “bathroom.” Then she slammed the door to it shut. The bathroom itself was spacious and easy to maneuver in. All in all, I was extremely impressed with the new space. It is much better than the hole in the wall next to Pizza Hut where the library had to camp out for five years.

I anticipate visiting once a week when rainy weather hits, especially since storytime for kids 2 and under starts on Thursdays at the end of September. Wednesday storytimes are for kids 3 and up, and on Saturdays, everyone can come. Storytimes are all at 10:30 am. Even though I’m not a resident of University Place, I was able to get a Pierce County library card, as a resident of Tacoma. So now we are members of the Tacoma library system AND the Pierce county library system. All you books and story times, watch out!!!

^_^ Erin

PS: Yes. I did, in fact, take a picture of a toilet.

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Mixes For Baby: Five Excellent Playlists for Your Toddler

Yesterday I played a mixed cd of “animal songs” a friend made for Phoebe. CD player turned up the 20; track 1: Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog. I scream-sang along, while bounding around the room, and Phoebe just stared, slack- jawed, astonished, unsure what was happening. Then she realized: megafun! We danced together to four or five songs on the album.

Later, at dinner, I told Matt about our mini dance party. When she heard me say “Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog,” she signed “all done;” we let her out of her high hair, then she ran over to the cd player and insisted I put on the music. So I did. And we danced our pants off while I belted the song at the top of my lungs. ^_^ Papa even danced along. Wetzel Family Dance Dance!

These mixes were compiled for us by my friend, Jenna Jones. Here are pictures of the CDs and playlists. (If I have time later, I’ll type out the playlists, as well):I hope you get a chance to enjoy these albums, as I have!

^_^ Erin

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Scenes From A Toddler-Decorated House (aka Why I’m ok with a messy house)

Sometimes bloggers err on the side of only talking about the good/perfect/awesome parts of their lives. “Mommy bloggers” can be particularly awful offenders. Instagram pictures of clean, smiling children in perfect little outfits. Delicious and gorgeous meals. Beautiful and fun outings. New mom shoes. New mom hair. Date night.

It would be an oversimplification to say we are braggers. I don’t think that’s it at all. I think we are optimists. I think being a mom is hard, really hard, and so we focus on those parts of parenthood that give us joy; because, truth be told, a little joy is the gas in the tank that we need to fuel us through parenthood. That and our morning coffee. Getting a few things accomplished or making something beautiful or having a really fun moment…this is what makes us content to not need to be perfect. You could call it “appreciating our blessings”…I call it a way of life. I call it happiness.
So. In the spirit of happiness, I share with you: scenes from a toddler-decorated house. 🙂 I know your house probably looks like this, too, if you have a toddler roaming your halls. Since Phoebe pushes the chairs to wherever she wants to climb, we’ve resorted to laying them on the floor. Yet, she still finds a way…One day, instead of cleaning, we painted this heart canvas for Papa Matt. (And somehow the messes took care of themselves).^_^ Erin

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Happy World Breastfeeding Week! 10 Reasons I Nurse My Toddler.

Ten Reasons I Love Breadtfeeding My Toddler:

1. The cuddles.

2. She’s growing up so fast, but when we nurse, I’m reminded that she’s still my little baby. And that she needs me so much. Nursing reminds me to mother gently.

3. My milk protects her from sickness.

4. I don’t worry if she’s a picky eater and I don’t stress about making her eat enough because I know she’ll get what she needs from my milk. So I let her eat as little or as much ( healthy) food as she wants.

5. When she’s teething and hungry and chewing hurts her mouth, sometimes nursing is the only thing she can handle.

6. Nursing comforts her when she’s sad or scared.

7. Oops! Did I forget to pack enough food? No worries. I always have my boobs!

8. Yes. It is true. Nursing helped me lose all of my baby weight.

9. Since Phoebe keeps my milk production going, I can pump to help others who need milk for their younger babies.

10. Phoebe likes it! It makes her happy. And she let’s me know exactly how much nursing she wants & needs. ^_^ She’s happy. I’m happy. Matt’s happy. Breastfeeding simply makes sense for us.

Phoebe is 15 1/2 months old & we’ll nurse until she initiates to stop. She’s healthy, happy and nursing has been a blessing for our family. Baby led weaning, all the way.

^_^ Erin

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world breastfeeding week blog round-up

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Testing out the TinyDesk app

Hi yall. This is just a test of the iPhone app “Tiny Desk” (for publishing blog posts from my phone). Happy Phoebe picking flowers So far I like the app much better than Blogpress. ^_^ We shall see if its a keeper or not!
Do you blog from your smart phone? What app(s) do you like to use?[youtube]

This is a quote. Test. 1 2 3. 🙂

Thanks for bearing with my test!

^_^ Erin

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Been Gone So Long

Who are these people????It has been almost three months since I’ve blogged. Three. Whole Months. I know, I know…that’s like a BIG blogger faux pas. But I have no regrets.

I spent one month with a sick family: Phoebe was sick, then Matt, then me. Then my cold turned into a sinus infection and I was sick for AWHILE. Then I was recuperating and still weak…you get the idea.

I’ve also been pursuing other things.

I started drawing and painting to build my skill level back up and eventually stock an etsy shop with my art prints and related artsy things (like stationary or whatnot). I started a tumblr feed ( ) tracking my progress on a day-to-day basis. I know most artists don’t want to share their work until it’s complete, but I think that there is a lot to be gained from inviting others into my creative process.

I’m also babysitting my friend’s kid, Scout. She’s mega-super-cute. The proof is in the pictures:

Aaaand Matt and I have been working hard to get out of debt, Dave Ramsey style. We are selling tons of things we bought on credit cards that we couldn’t afford at the time, but now we know better. And we’re growing up. Maturing. Gaining perspective and discipline. And selling the artifacts of our impulsive youth to help dig us out of the debt trenches. It. Feels. Liberating. I’d rather have freedom than stuff anyday.

Also? I’ve just been enjoying the sunshine with my spirited little girl! She is so much fun, you guys. She is growing into such a dynamic and vivacious little lady. I could spend an hour blogging just about her. But, instead, I’ll throw up some pictures, then go prep lunch so that we can eat once she wakes up in a few minutes.

<3 Erin

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