Category Archives: The Everyday


I used to like mornings. I still do occasionally.  If I’m able to get up early, go on a run with my friends, and come home and have a cup of coffee all before I hear the pitter-patter of little feet, mornings can be nice.  The comfort of a morning routine mixed with snuggly hugs, and little boy warmth can be a great start to any day.  But, lately, it’s been winter.  Cold.  Icy. Stagnant.  And that’s just me. The weather has been cold, too, and that means running isn’t an option.

the air hurts my face
Word. [Source]







Yesterday morning was especially rough.  The plan was that Jon was going to take our youngest, Greyson, to the babysitter on his way to work, which meant I had to physically remove Greyson from his warm, cozy bed. Meanwhile, he’s wailing, “I juuuuust want to staaaaay asleeeeep in my buuuuunk!” I took him downstairs, laid him on the couch and listened to him cry.   I wanted to lay down beside him and go back to sleep, but there was too much that needed to be done. 

I got the older boys their breakfast and was finally able to coax Greyson from the couch by telling him I needed help getting Conner’s toast out of the toaster. He loves that job. However, it doesn’t last all that long and then he was back to whining. He wanted cereal, but he didn’t want to sit in a chair. So, he laid down on the counter and ate his cereal while on his belly.  Because I stopped caring. 

I made Conner’s lunch, said goodbye to Jon and Greyson as they headed out the door, and started getting Rylan ready for his day at preschool.  After Conner got on the bus and Rylan was ready for the day, it was my turn to shower and make myself presentable. 30 minutes later, I got Rylan on the bus and I realized I forgot to give Conner his morning dose of antibiotic. “No big deal,” I thought. “I can drop it off at the school on my way to work. I actually have a little time to spare.” 

I grabbed my bag, headed toward the door and grabbed my keys…except my keys weren’t where they were supposed to be.  So, I looked in my coat pockets, dug through my purse…looked through Jon’s desk.  I’m notorious for losing things and I was dreading having to tell Jon that I couldn’t find the keys, so I turned the house upside down.  I went out to the car, thinking I left them in the ignition. Nothing. Finally, I needed to call Jon. No answer.  I sent him a text. Nothing. I started sending messages in all caps: “WHERE ARE YOU? WHERE ARE THE CAR KEYS?!”  No response.

Meanwhile, it’s now 8:45, my training starts at 9, and it takes me 20 minutes to get there. I turn the corner and head straight into panic.  I call the hospital where Jon works and ask for the IT department. An irritatingly calm voice answers stating that I have reached the IT Department. I asked for Jon and the nice, calm man said, “Let me see if I can reach him…”  As he looked up his extension, I stated in a nice, calm voice, “Please find him soon because I CAN’T FIND MY KEYS!”  He may have giggled. I may have sworn at him in my head.

I finally got through to Jon’s coworker.  “John, this is Kim. I need to find my husband because I CAN’T FIND MY KEYS AND I’M LATE FOR WORK.” John had the good sense not to giggle and he calmly said, “He’s standing here in front of me. I’ll hand him the phone while you take a deep breath.” 

Jon: “Hello?”

Me: “Honey, I can’t find the car keys. Do you have any idea where they are?”

Jon: “Oh dear. They’re in my pocket.” 


“Super.” [Source]








Things after that point are a little fuzzy. What I do know is that I had to borrow our neighbor’s van in order to get to work. What would the world be without neighbors helping neighbors?  Angry. The world would be angry.

I finally made it to my training.  I was the imbecile who walked in late at 9:15. They had to pass all of the materials to the back of the room where I was able to find a chair.  I sat down, took a deep breath, and looked over the agenda to see what I had missed.  Then, to my surprise, I learned that the training actually started at 8am, not 9am.  Isn’t that HILARIOUS?! [Insert hand slapping forehead *here.*]

For the record, Jon never does stuff like that. He’s a picture of responsibility and dependability.  He felt terrible…and perhaps a little concerned that his wife was going off the deep end. But, then he remembered who he married and that on the edge of the deep end is where she typically lives…unless she can go on a run.  Then the world makes sense to everyone again.  That’s why he is going to buy me this shirt: 

Truer words have never been written. [Source]







Here’s hoping your morning was better than mine!  Happy weekend!

Starting 2016

Where does time go?  We are in our second month of the new year and last week, I started to write the year 2014 on a check. Apparently, my brain hasn’t caught up to our calendar quite yet.  My boys are now ages 3, 5, and 7.  I think they’re the reason my brain isn’t firing on all cylinders.  Do you know how many brain cells it takes to keep up with three little boys?  It’s a constant, head spinning game of “Who left this here for me to step on?” and “Who spilled this?” and “What is that smell?” and then, “Never mind, I don’t want to know.”  Fortunately, my anxiety about their physical well-being has reduced some since my Dad got the boys football helmets for Christmas. What he may not have anticipated is that I make them wear the helmets all of the time. There’s less crying this way. 

Boys in Helmets
Safer competition. And yes, Greyson does own pants…he just never wears them. I can’t wait to hear from his teachers and principal one day.










We’ve had our share of sickness this winter, too, and that never helps my ability to think clearly.  When kids are up during the night coughing, gagging, and crying, we all suffer.  It can be frustrating in the wee hours of the morning, but then when they look like this…

Sick G
Poor Buddy…







…it’s hard not to just lay around all day and snuggle.  So, Jon and I took turns staying home from work and doing just that. Watching movies and snuggling with our boys.  It was tough, but someone had to do it.

In other news, Jon and I are building a house in the country.  We have lived in town or on a campus for all of our married years, but we both decided it was time to return to our roots and give our boys the opportunity to grow up on a farm like we did.  The process is ongoing, but we do have a driveway now and we’ve been spending a lot of time on the computer and on the phone planning out some of the details. 

The new driveway…we can’t wait until there’s a house on the other side of it!





With the few brain cells I have left, I’ve been reading this book:

Relevant for work and home…









We have drastically reduced the amount of time our boys spend playing video games and on interactive screens such as ipads and cell phones. We found that their innocent racing games and competitive sports games were turning them into monsters who couldn’t deal with questions, problems, or decisions without throwing giant tantrums. It was exhausting and frankly, very tempting to walk away from them while yelling, “Whose kid is that?!  GET.SOME.CONTROL!” 

And last, but not least, I’ll leave you with some artwork created and named by our youngest artist, Greyson. 

Exhibit A: “Mommy Eating Corn on the Cob”

Corn on the cob
Eating corn on the cob without hands is a true gift.







Exhibit B: “Daddy Holding his Pants Up with his Mouth”

Holding up Pants
He had to hold them up with his mouth because, again, he had no hands.









So, life moves forward whether you have all brain cells firing or not. Fortunately, in my circle of friends and family, having brain cells that function is completely optional.  It’s all part of this exhausting beautiful stage of parenting little boys.  


More Before and After Pics, and a Fun Announcement!

While we were in the middle of fixing up our house this summer, I ended up doing a ton of work to various furniture pieces that we had acquired one way or another.  We were in need of several furniture pieces when we moved in, and we were able to get them at a reasonable cost, but many of them were, well, ugly.

Exhibit A:

27-New House 057

This was a beat up credenza that was falling apart and definitely had a 1970’s vibe to it.  A guy at a local secondhand furniture place told me I would be doing him a favor if I took it off his hands.  So I did.  I couldn’t figure out why it had been sitting in his store for so long.  I guess no one thought of painting it coral:

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It fits perfectly in our entryway and is a great storage piece for games and art supplies. 

Here’s a few more transformed projects:

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Amazing what a little paint and a lot of patience will do!  I actually love our new bedroom furniture and it makes me happy to know I had a hand in recreating an ugly, outdated piece.

I know this one doesn’t seem to have much potential.  But I picked it up at a yard sale for $1.00.  Crazy!  How could I not at least give it a shot?  A little paint, a new shelf to replace the broken drawer, some new hardware and cute baskets. . .

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And voila!  We have a pretty dresser that fits perfectly in Bryn’s room!

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Switching gears slightly, I want to introduce you to one of my favorite people on earth:

2-IMG_0861 This is my friend LaRonda.  We’ve known each other nearly 20 years.  She is Canadian, I am from Michigan, we both married Lancaster County Boys and ended up living just a few blocks from each other in Pennsylvania during our newlywed years.  Through a crazy, long, nearly unbelievable series of events, we moved to Ohio, then they moved to Ohio.  We settled in Urbana, they settled in Marysville.  We moved to Michigan, they came to visit.  We got a call to join a church in Marysville, we called Tim and LaRonda and started our conversation with, “You guys won’t even believe this. . .” When we told them we were moving to Marysville, we all started cracking up and saying, “What are the chances??”

SO.  Now I am living just 3 minutes from one of my best friends.  She is creative, smart, funny, and full of great ideas.  She likes to create.  I like to create.  I like big picture stuff; she likes details.  I think in big, bold colors; she is drawn toward sophisticated, understated design.  After much discussion, prayer, dreaming, budgeting, and just a teeny bit of anxiety, LaRonda and I have decided to jump into a business together.  Which brings me to my announcement:

LaRonda and I are now business partners and co-owners of Birch Tree Studio:

BTS small logo We are reclaiming furniture most people are overlooking and working hard to make it beautiful again.  Here’s a few of our favorite pieces:

  16-Birch Tree Studio 034 18-Birch Tree Studio 041 26-Birch Tree Studio 062

We have been working in my garage, which we have claimed as our studio:

04-Birch Tree Studio 084

And, well, I’ve never had so much fun in my life.  We would be honored if you would click over to our facebook page and follow us!  I have just started posting some pictures over there and we will also keep you posted on upcoming sales and events where we will be setting up our goods.

So there you have it.  I’ve been a busy little beaver over the last few weeks as we’ve jumped in headfirst. I am super excited about this new stage of life and I hope you’ll join me on this fun adventure!