Hey guys! I feel like it’s been a while since we just chatted.  I mean, yes, I’ve shown you some of the projects I’ve been working on and written heartfelt posts about my little sole-mates, but decorating and wearing matching shoes with my kids isn’t necessarily representative of how I spend most of my days.

So, I thought we might just hang out for a bit and talk about life lately, with a little help from my Instagram pics. Of course, it’s just a monologue if I do all the talking, so I fully expect y’all to tell me what you’ve been up to as well in the comments when we’re done. Deal? : )

First up, we have a super-rare occurrence around here:

straight hair

Me, with straight hair! The hubs had been wanting me to do it for a while, and I kept putting it off because when you’re so busy that you go multiple days in a row without showering (ew, I know), taking the time to blow dry and straighten your hair kind of gets bumped down (waaaay down) the priority list. I finally went for it on his birthday, though (don’t worry; that wasn’t his only gift).


Oh look! Me with (poofy) curly hair again. See that pained expression on my face? Apparently, that’s what my face does after teaching an hour of BODYCOMBAT starting at 5:45 IN THE MORNING (I live 1/2 an hour from the gym, so you can do the math for how early I have to get up to…exercise…at least on mornings when I sub the 5:45 class, which are rare).

Speaking of exercising…

For the past 2 months or so, I’ve been training for a 15K race, which will take place on March 1st. I’ve only ever raced a 5K before, and that was many moons ago and was far from being a true race (I just jogged along giggling with my friends). I’ve always been pretty running-averse, despite my deep love of other forms of fitness (BODYCOMBAT, how I love thee…let me count the ways).

So, Saturday, when I ran 9.24 miles at a 9:19 min./mile pace (and that included getting lost in a neighborhood and having to stand around/walk for a while to figure out where we were), I was pretty stoked.

I still don’t think of myself as a runner, but I’ve discovered two things that motivate me:

1) being fit—in the past, I could run 3 miles without a problem, but I was at least somewhat miserable while doing it simply because my level of cardiovascular fitness didn’t allow me to run without huffing and puffing or getting a stitch in my side. Now that I teach fitness classes where I do jump-kicks while yelling, running steadily without losing my breath isn’t a problem.

2) company—now that I’m fit enough to both run and talk without pain, as long as I’ve got someone to talk to, I’m not focused on the part I like least about running (the monotony of placing one foot in front of the other over and over and over again). My friend, Amy, and I chatted throughout our 9 mile run (which is 15K, in case you were wondering), and the miles just flew by.


(it only makes sense to reward yourself with a Chick-fil-a chicken, egg, and cheese bagel after a good long run, right?)

Of course, exercising only takes up about 6-8 hours of my week. Most of the time, I’m doing something more like this:


That would be 3-way chess with my boys. They like to gang up on Mama and refuse to take each other out until they can get me first. I can usually still outwit them at this point, but I’m not a very good chess player, and I think the day is fast approaching when they will regularly beat my pants off.

As you might imagine, the twins are usually just outside a shot like that one, toddling around playing with their dolls or eating (again! those girls are bottomless PITS!) in their high chairs. They’re little sweethearts and usually very happy.

Or at least they are until…

bathroom break

…Mama goes in the bathroom and shuts the door. And then there is much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

On the opposite end of the emotional spectrum, I bet you can imagine just how full-to-bursting of joy my mama-heart was when I glanced behind me at a red light and discovered my children doing this when “Here I Am to Worship” came on the radio.


All I could think about was when Jesus quoted Psalm 8:2 to the Pharisees, saying, “Have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants
you, Lord, have called forth your praise?’”

It was an incredibly sweet moment.

In other news…are you as obsessed with the Olympics as we are? We watch them every night.


And sometimes we turn them on in the afternoon while we do chores together like folding laundry (Della had just woken up from her nap here and was in a total daze). I’m the type that gets really nervous for the competitors, even if I know that the race was over hours before. I don’t quite go so far as to put my fingers over my eyes, but I’m definitely tense right before a big jump or trick.

At least recently, watching the winter Olympics has felt appropriate because it’s been pretty chilly around these parts.

We even had a little bit of snow the week before last, and this is how my children reacted.

snow day

They underdressed and then ran out on the front porch and posed for a picture! Yes, this is our snow day, and no, none of stuck.

Warning: if you have any sort of allergic reaction to extreme cuteness, avert your eyes.

owl hats

Because it doesn’t get much cuter than identical baby girl twins wearing owl hats. AmIright??

Our big bad “snow day” morphed into a big, bad ice day, and let me assure you—you don’t want to be on the roads when it’s sleeting, and the roads are icy, and East Texans in quad-cab doolies are careening through the slippery streets. It’s ridiculous, but when I’m driving “in town,” and it starts raining, it never fails that 15 minutes after the first drops fall, an ambulance siren is blaring. So, you can imagine that it’s much, much worse with ice.

All of this is how I justified skipping a rather desperately needed trip to Walmart for groceries. And it’s how we ended up with this for dinner:

king ranch chicken

That would be King Ranch Chicken made from the remainder of the last edible elements I had in my fridge/pantry: chicken, onions, avocados, and the remnants of—ahem—five mostly eaten bags of corn chips.

More cold, dreary weather called for polka dots and a bright yellow raincoat (I’ll show the whole thing soon; it was a steal!).

yellow and polka dots

And a Valentine’s party called for some serious creativity since I still hadn’t made it to the store.


Washi tape and Hershey’s nuggets make everything—even the Valentines you threw together the day of the party—better, right?

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, ours was enjoyable and low-key. We ate a yummy breakfast of eggs and bacon, cinnamon rolls (arranged in the shape of a heart, natch) and chocolate milk (all of this was a huge treat considering that my children almost always get their own raisin bran for breakfast). And then we went about our morning mostly as usual. That afternoon, we took the kids to my mom’s house, and Shaun and I went on an impromptu date to eat “dunch” (“linner?”) at 3:30 in the afternoon because we’d skipped lunch and were too hungry to wait until a respectable time to eat dinner. Also part of our date? A trip to Lowe’s (I know, so lovey-dovey; but seriously, going anywhere without any kids with my love is pretty darn romantic these days). I’m not going to give it away yet, but that trip had something to do with my Valentine’s gift from Shaun. I can’t wait to do a big reveal!

The older kids stayed at my mom’s, while we took the babies home, got them in bed, and then made these luscious individual chocolate cakes (and then topped them with sea salted caramel sauce + Blue Bell homemade vanilla…SO STINKIN’ GOOD!!) and watched men’s figure skating.

Around about 10 PM, this is how we looked (and felt).


It might not sound like the most ooh la la of Valentine’s Days, but, considering that I got to spend at least a little bit of time with practically every single person I love most in this world, I’d call it a pretty incredible Day of Love.

Speaking of love…


{consider this your sneak peak at a completed project from my latest Project Elephant list}

“Love is all you need.”

True that.

That and antlers. Okay, so you don’t actually need antlers, but I’d been keeping my eye out for a cheap set in the right size for, well, an embarrassingly long time at this point, and I just happened to stumble across the perfect ones for $4 at a roadside sale after my run last Saturday.

Of course, I paid for it in spades of awkwardness when, after I had stood around for a while trying to find someone to actual sell me something, a guy finally pulled up in his truck and hopped out, apologizing for not being there. As he walked toward me, puffing on his cigarette, he held out his arm. I glanced around, trying to figure out what he was reaching for…until I suddenly realized it was ME!

He must have seen the look on my face because he said, “Aw, c’mon now, I’m a hugger!”

My response: before I even thought about what I was doing, I ducked under his arm as his hand grazed my shoulder and twisted away with an emphatic, “I am NOT a hugger.”

Truth: if I know you well, or even if I don’t and you seem like you need/want a hug, I will gladly hug you. But when I’m all alone at a yard sale, and a random mid-forties guy I’ve never seen in my life walks up with a certain gleam in his eye trying to hug me before even introducing himself, I am NOT a hugger.

My suspicions of his less-than-honorable intentions were confirmed when an older couple walked up not long after, and “The Hugger” made absolutely no attempt to embrace them and even changed his tone from one of casual playfulness to serious respect.

Hugger, my foot.

And last (and most definitely least), I ironed, then wore this shirt two days in a row and ended up a super-wrinkly hot mess at the end of both days.

wrinkly shirt

I feel like a total hack at this adulthood business when I actually make an effort to iron and still can’t keep my shirt crisp, but maybe it’s just the nature of chambray shirts (and wearing them while taking care of five small humans)?

And now, you may consider yourself pretty well caught up on the minutiae of my life.

If you want to follow along on a daily basis, I’m @misformama on Instagram.

So, now it’s your turn. Want to tell me what you’ve been up to lately? In case you don’t even know where to start, feel free to answer any/all of the following questions.

What’s the weather like where you are? Are you like us and looking at a week full of temps in the 70’s or still stuck in the Polar Vortex (or somewhere in between)? Can people actually drive in inclement weather where you live, or is it a stay-home-or-risk-an-accident kind of scenario like it is here?

Do you ever discover multiple almost empty containers of something in your pantry? Chips are definitely our nemesis. With a big family full of sweet tooths, we tend to polish things like cookies and fruit off in no time. But we always end up with a few crumbles languishing in the bottoms of what seems like a dozen different bags on a disturbingly regular basis.

What’s your favorite winter Olympic sport? My traditional answer is ice-skating, if for no other reason than that I have fond memories of hours spent watching it snuggled up next to my mom as a little girl. But I like downhill skiing (and all variations thereof) a lot too.

If a total stranger (male) tried to hug you while you were all alone at a yard sale, what would you do? Would you stay around to buy something that caught your eye? I’m actually surprised at my response since what I usually do in situations like that is freeze. Maybe BODYCOMBAT is sharpening my reflexes/making me more aggressive?

Any tips for keeping button-up shirts wrinkle-free? I almost never wear them because I’m such a rumpled mess by the end of the day.


  1. Yes, most people can drive in inclement weather here (no choice). I always find it disturbing, however, when I am driving 35 mph (like I was Thursday night coming home at 9 p.m. in a lot of snow and slush) and someone passes me but they never cleaned off their back window! No way to truly see what is behind them. Seriously?? By the way, naming the storms does not domesticate them or make them any friendlier. I wish they would stop doing that.

    I will admit that sometimes I throw away the last cracker / crumbs because there is something in my mind about eating the “last” of something. It is weird.

    Speaking of weird, I think you handled the “hugger” fantastically. I cannot think of any specific incident, but I have become aware that I have “a look” (as in an expression that comes on my face when someone starts to cross my boundaries). Apparently it is quite strong; some “clinger-type” people who visit where I work have learned to not come near me because I do not have a welcoming expression (but that is a different situation).

    I have not seen any of the Olympics.

    I have gotten rid of most of my shirts that need ironing at the end of the day. Some shirts I put in the dryer for a short period of time and pull them out while they are still hot; that gets rid of some wrinkles when I wash them. But I have had a few shirts that looked twice and big and horribly wrinkled by the end of the day and I just gave up.


  2. I agree about the hugger-bugger…yuck! Also, try spray starch when you iron, it is amazing! It makes ironing easier and makes your shirts perk right up! Good luck!

  3. It was a balmy 25 degrees today in Minnesota… not being sarcastic- it felt great after many weeks of below zero temps. I even shoveled 6 inches of snow off the driveway in my sweatshirt this morning 🙂
    We don’t usually have crumbs in our house… we are the shake the last few crumbs in your mouth type of folks.
    I thought the skeleton (i think that’s what its called?) Event was interesting. I don’t think i would EVER want to try it yikes!
    What a creeper that man was! When stuff like that happens I leave immediately and feel absolutely shakey and freaked out!
    I do what I can to NOT iron. Literally I will skip buying shirts that NEED to be ironed. Sort of pathetic lol.

  4. We live in the Pac nw and are winter has been pretty norm. rain n sun rain n sun. we had a huge snowstorm last week but it was gone and back to 50s in acoupke days. I am active in a door to door Christian ministry and several years ago I had a man pull the same stunt. I stiff armed him.and hr backed off quick.
    my daughter and son in law and 2 g-daughters live with us. so my house is a zoo but wouldn’t life be boring without family?
    don’t watch the Olympics or any other competitive sports
    will soon be time to plant my huge garden. went to buy rain barrels today after all this is rain country. keep em coming. love your blog

  5. Shoot, I have no advice for wrinkly shirts, but OH those owl hats are delightful!! I live in Central Ohio and it’s darn cold. Every. Day. And I have four teenagers so no, I never find almost empty food containers. Sometimes I’m afraid they might actually eat the containers.
    I probably would have bolted for my car and left the antlers, and my heart would have pounded for a half hour.

    Love your blog and must confess, a few months ago when I first found you I read the entire thing in one setting. ;). Now I just check in daily. Hope that’s not creepy. 😉

  6. I live in SC. We got about 9″ of snow here last week and there’s still a good bit on the ground where it was piled up. However, temps here are supposed to be almost 70 later this week, so I think all remnants of the polar vortex will be gone soon.

    And we have been loving the Olympics. Ice skating is my traditional favorite answer too, but I really liked the aerial skiing the other day (I think that’s what it’s called?)

  7. Fun update! I just got back from a body pump class and am trying to find the strength to start cleaning my house. Your update is the perfect distraction 🙂

    To answer your questions:
    I’m in the Pacific Northwest. We had our big winter blast last week. Folks generally do fine driving in the snow here, but we typically eventually get a layer of ice over the packed snow and then everyone just stays home. Pacific Northwesterners aren’t winter driving
    pros like Midwesterners or New England types (although we rock driving in the rain), but we aren’t Atlantans either, thank goodness.

    I’m a clean and organized pantry nut so, nope. Nothing lurking in there.

    We’re skipping around through the prime-time showings of the Olympics. I like the skating and alpine skiing. This Olympics has been underwhelming for a variety of reasons, so we’re not as into it as usual.

    Ugh. Creep man. I definitely would have backed away and said some really strong version of “no!” as you did, and then I would have immediately high-tailed it outta there. Yeah, I would have left those antlers where they were. But now that you have them, paint them white or leave them natural.

    I can’t stand wrinkles and have even been known to iron a few wrinkles out of a shirt while I was wearing it. Not a good idea and I have the scars to prove it. I just stay away from the most wrinkle-prone fabrics. I have enough challenges. 😉

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  8. 70’s here and expecting a slight cool down.

    No almost empty containers I am always checking to be sure. 🙂

    I prefer summer Olympics probably because I live in the desert southwest. I do like figure skating and did watch some of the men’s skeleton WOW!!

    Ewww that guy would have heard the same from me and I probably would have run away.

    I try not to use my iron.

  9. I don’t know you in person (which is rather heartbreaking for me, personally), but I read your blog religiously and *feel* like I know you (which will have to do, I guess, for now). So much so, in fact, that all I could think about while crafting recently was, “I bet Abbie would like this,” or “I *know* Abbie would probably have a hard time resisting this.” The reason? Whatever I was working on at the time was some form of aqua/teal/turquoise/blue green goodness. 😉 In fact, I opened an Etsy shop with some of that color in it specifically! https://www.etsy.com/shop/AprilsCreativeCorner

    By the way, random days of updates and “chats” like this totally make me smile! I especially love any and all updates your kids. Your “sole-mate” post melted my heart! Literally! I’m not married yet and therefore have no kids, but I’ve always thought of myself as a boy mama, and that post pretty much made my day!

    To answer your questions…

    It’s been beyond cold and snowy here in east TN, but it’s finally starting to look like we’ll get a reprieve. Thank goodness, because drivers here have enough trouble on the roads as it is, not to mention adding snow and ice to the mix!

    You guys are sweet tooths – I’m a salty tooth. I’d gladly help you finish off those few crumbles languishing at the bottom of your kitchen containers.

    I have watched all of one night of Olympics. I love watching them, but I’ve been too busy getting my Etsy shop ready to go that I’ve missed the vast majority. I did manage to get some luge (is that how you spell it!?) and ice skating in, though.

    That man was seriously CREEPY and up to no good! Fortunately, I have too-fast reflexes and would have put me back in my car before he had time to finish his creepy “hugger” statement.

    I have two wrinkled shirts solutions that are super duper easy – cease to care about the wrinkles and wear them anyway, or simply not wear them. That’s my totally lazy but completely accurate “true story of my life” moment.

I love hearing from you guys!