"experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." -randy pausch

Friday, May 17, 2013

letters to Beth {anger management, ALFREDO PIZZA RECIPE, & sunflowers and rainbows}

{our first trip to lani's for SHAVE ice}
{chase, max, viking brennan, and knight cade}
Dear Beth,
in one of my psychology classes at chico state i remember our professor talking about anger.
it is a secondary emotion.
that's what she said.
something always comes before it,
and then it swoops in and covers up whatever you were initially feeling,
and all you can feel is the anger.
well, my friend, i am ashamed to say that lately this has become one of my bad habits.
when i get frustrated with someone not listening, i feel angry.
when i'm sad that brennan won't stop teasing max, i feel angry.
when brennan keeps hitting the wall with a toy, and i've asked him 14 times to stop, and i start thinking about how much time it takes to refill the holes on the walls, texture the walls, paint the walls, {who really cares about holes in the walls anyway?!}, i feel angry.
when brennan is running through the house like a Tasmanian devil,
and spills an entire cup of chocolate milk on the carpet under my kitchen table,
after i told him to stop running by the milk,
i feel tired at the thought of cleaning up the milk,
then i feel annoyed that i now will get to stare at the dark spot from the chocolate that stained the carpet for another 8 months before we clean the carpets again,
and then i feel impatient that we still don't have hardwood floors under our kitchen table,
and then i feel angry.
when brennan shakes chase's high chair and tips it back on its hind legs and almost dumps him over the banister,
i get scared he's going to hurt chase {even though i swear that kid is the toughest cookie around},
and then i feel angry.
when max cries and cries and screams and screams b/c brennan is teasing her,
poking her,
taunting her,
i feel exhausted and sad that he is teasing her,
poking her,
taunting her,
and then i feel like whatever it is i'm doing every day is not working,
b/c clearly effective moms must have children that listen,
and i clearly don't have children that listen,
and then i feel...
wait for it...
not always.
but usually at least once a day i feel angry.
about something.
and the angry covers up the initial emotion in less than seconds.
so that all i'm really feeling is angry.
some days are better than others.
the days when i'm tired are worse.
the days when brennan is more bored are worse.
when max wakes up to early and everyone starts the day crying, it's worse.
when brennan and max are fighting every minute of every day, it's worse.
when chase pushes the power button on my computer time 4 times in a row every 5 minutes, it's worse.
but sometimes it's not bad at all.
those are the times when i truly relish in the happiness of my life.
those are the times when i feel like i need to pinch myself b/c i can't imagine ever being happier than i am right in this very minute.
and i can literally flip flop through all of those emotions 50 times in one day.
i'm not a screamer or a yeller,
but i do have a loud talk.
and when i'm feeling angry, it's a more passionate loud talk than when i'm not feeling angry.
i would consider myself a very happy person.
i love being a mother.
i love being at home with my kids.
i ADORE being with my kids.
and then there's these parts of the day that i don't love.
those parts are what i call the hiccups.
they mess with the groove.
the flow.
they keep you from finishing a single task in an 8 hour period.
it took me 12 hours to unload the dishwasher today.
these days are like chinese water torture.

i've found that to cope with such events i organize.
and throw out stuff.
{my pantry and closests have been something to feature in martha stewart living, if i do say so myself.}
and i loud talk.
sometimes i'll be getting after brennan or max,
and i'll be loud talking and i'll be thinking,
"you are in crazy town emily, you're in crazy town!"
sometimes i keep thinking crazy for a few more minutes,
and the crazy is like "keep going em, this is getting out all of the days hiccups!"
and then the sane part of me is all,
"woah horsey, CHILL-AX. let's just all take a deep breath and put on the brakes. movie anyone? cold beverage? how about a nice hot bath?"
and then i think about how if i were a drinker, i think i might like a glass of wine right then.
so it's a good thing i'm not a drinker b/c motherhood could have very well driven me to become an afternoon alcoholic.
and other times i try to come up above all of it.
like i imagine myself raising up above the chaos and looking down on it.
sometimes i put people in time out.
sometimes we put on a show.
sometimes we all just need a snack and a chocolate milk.
maybe some cheese, and crackers, and pepperoni.
sometimes we go outside.
a change of scenery works wonders.
but this is what my biggest struggle is right now in my mothering life.
anger management.
have you experienced this yet?
at the end of the day when they are all sleeping soundly in their beds,
looking like angels from heaven above,
i think to myself,
i am the child here.
they are the smart ones.
being taller just has made me dumber!
and then i think about how i can do it differently tomorrow.
and then i pray and pray and pray to do it differently tomorrow.
and sometimes tomorrow brings me success,
and other times failure.
sometimes both of those in the same day 5 minutes apart.
or 30 seconds.

sometimes i wonder if my womanly hormones don't classify me as legitimately insane.
do you know what i mean?

today was a day of hiccups.
with intermittent rainbows of sunshine and flowers.
sunflowers that came and went through the hiccups.
like when brennan walked chase around the house,
that was so cute.
brennan was proud b/c he was teaching chase how to walk,
and chase was proud b/c he was doing it.
brennan cheered him on the entire time,
and chase belly laughed through all 4 trips from the big room to the kitchen.
they did this three different times today.
i absolutely loved it.
then max dressed her baby doll in the matching pink Hawaiian dress that she wore today,
and she carried that baby doll around the all morning.
and when chase took a nap i had them glue old cereal in the shape of their names.
and then brennan wanted batman and max wanted flowers and hearts.
and they were soooooo proud of their work.
they ate most of the lucky charms marshmallows too.
and then while brennan was at preschool she pulled off chase's little adidas pants when they were playing chase and then they crashed the police and fire truck cars together.
and then it started to rain and both max and chase ran outside in the rain.
chase turned a truck upside and just spun the wheels around.
sitting there in the raindrops.
and max walked around through the grass.
with the rain falling down onto her little blonde piggy tails.
and they were just so happy.
and i was so happy.
{it's still raining right now, i can hear it on the ground through my open windows. i love spring.}
and when i think about those things it doesn't seem like it was a hiccup day at all.
in fact,
i can't really even remember why i spent the entire day trying to unload that dishwasher anyway.
and why doing that got so in my way.
but i tell ya,
we just can't seem to get going until that dishwasher is unloaded.
i don't know why.
i just know.
do you know?
and it's not even about the dishwasher anyway.
it's just the only thing i can remember now.
and i remember how great your haircut looked on skype.
that was definitely a rainbow and sunflower moment of the day!
i still can't believe how great of a hair-cutter you are my friend.
really, if you just even out that one side you won't even have anything to show anyone.
so don't even out that one side,
b/c the fact that you are still the most beautiful woman with uneven layers just goes to show how truly BEEEEEAAAAAA-UUUU-TIFUL you are!
and 100-30-17 {in a bad way} cat nights are the stories of motherhood that we will laugh about the most when we are old and gray.
i love you,
i love your darling family,
and guess what,
i'm not feeling angry at all anymore:)


i made my first alfredo pizza tonight.
i've included the recipe for you, plus a bunch of random pictures, for your tasting and viewing enjoyment.
you need to make the alfredo pizza.
i did spinach and artichokes with it.
next week i'm going to try chicken, bacon, and tomato.
but oh my goodness, i have to remember to leave some extra sauce off b/c i dipped into the second pizza for extra sauce with my crust.
i just can't tell you how amazing it was my dear beth.

{would you look at those blue lips up there!!!
and strawberry blonde hair blowing in the wind!!! 
and those cheeks!!! smoooooch!!!}

alfredo spinach artichoke pizza
{i doubled this recipe to make 2 pizzas, the following recipe is for ONE pizza}
1 cup heavy cream 
{same thing as heavy whipping cream}
1 stick butter {yep}
2 tbls cream cheese
3/4 cup grated parmesian cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
6 oz fresh spinach, chopped
1 can artichoke hearts 
{i used a little less than 1 can per pizza}
click for my whole wheat pizza dough crust recipe
{or just buy a crust from the store or a pizza parlor you love}

1. make pizza dough, let rise about an hour, start chopping your spinach and making your sauce.
2. in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, stir together the cream, butter, and cream cheese until fully     
    melted {the cream cheese took what felt like forever to melt, i pressed it down a lot in the pan.}
3. stir in the parmesian cheese and garlic powder. continue to cook for 15 min on low heat.
4. meanwhile, place spinach in a saute pan with a tablespoon of water over medium heat and saute until 
5. once spinach is fully wilted, place it onto a clean kitchen towel and wring out all of the liquid by twisting 
    the towel into a ball with the spinach inside {i couldn't believe how much liquid came out. it reminded me 
    of homemade hash browns, but MORE!}. once all the liquid is out, add it to the sauce. it will be in one big 
    clump, so just spread it around with your whisk until it breaks apart evenly and spreads throughout the 
6. roll out your pizza dough, spread sauce over the pizza crust--take my advice and leave some for dipping 
    sauce for your crust at the end!!!
7. place artichoke pieces over the sauce {i broke them up with my hands as i sprinkled them all over}, and
    then top with mozzarella cheese.
8. bake for 16 min. or until your cheese starts to look toasty. let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.
{as usual, i found this recipe on pinterest.}
brennan had 1 full slice.
max and chase ate and entire half slice WITH crust.
and the grownups couldn't stop talking about it for the rest of the night.
you're welcome in advance:)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


why waste a swim diaper when you can be naked?

yep, her 18mo old red polka dot bikini STILL fits:)
itsy bitsy max.
click here and here.
just give them a bucket of water,
and i'll give you, the funniest boys alive...
1                                            2                                             3
1                                            2                                             3

for the last 8 days

my second batch of lilacs from my neighbor's bush have graced my table for another 2 days.
did you know lilac bushes are really more like trees?
i didn't.
but now i do.
and i can't seem to get them to last more than 2 days on my table.
fast little flowering beauties.
sean, please plant me two of them for next year?
i just have to have some of my own!
my house has never smelled as good as it has in the last 8 days. 
i wish lilacs could bloom all year round:)

Monday, May 13, 2013

the pancakes he saw on rachel ray {mother's day}

6:51am-chase wakes up, sean puts binky in, everyone goes back to sleep.

sometime with a 7am in front of it-brennan wakes up and wishes me my first happy mother's day of the day. he has to say it twice, b/c i had my ear plugs in the first time and had to take them out to hear him say it a second time. he kissed me and hugged me. i will always remember the cute smile he had on his face. i love him.

{sean makes card with pictures of he and the kids on the card, including the morning's shenanigans.}
{to be placed on my breakfast in bed tray.}
{all while i am still fast asleep.}

9:34am-brennan with a tall glass of orange juice that i for sure thought he was going to spill, sean with a tray of food and a baby man on his hip, and max with a giant smile, bring me breakfast in bed. i feed them bites of sean's raspberry and blackberry infused, topped with honey butter homemade rachel ray syrup, kodiak cake pancakes. we pass the orange juice around. i open my card and pampering day present. the kids were SO excited. i loved it, even in my half awake state. sean tells me he found the pancake and syrup recipe while watching rachel ray's cooking show at a patient's house, who he was stretching, who was watching it. get it? so cute:)

9:42am-sean shoos the kids downstairs and tells me to stay in bed and relax, read a book, or whatever. i call my grandma joy, and drink some more juice with my pancakes while he feeds the kids breakfast downstairs. i lick the syrup off of my plate. it's amazing syrup. i call my mom. we chat.

10:15am-i get in the shower, brennan comes in once. sean comes in twice. chase gets put to bed for a nap. no idea what max was doing. bless her. so easily entertained with herself.

sean's parents and grandma arrive for hellos, hugs, and flowers.
get ready for church, search for my phone.
start roast in crockpot and try to get to church by 2.
when it starts.
yes, i'm serious.
awful, except on mother's day when it works out really GREAT:)
grandma carol meets us at church.
comes home with us from church.
sit on the patio.
push the kids on the swings.
pull chase out of the dirt.
scold brennan for throwing sand in the sand box.
sean changes max's underwear that she peed in.
sean does dishes.
call family.
tango more family.
call more family.
 {above: my beautiful mom on mother's day, and the happiest baby man alive.}
my favorite part of the day?
when sean collapses and tells me he doesn't know how i do it every day:)
b/c he's been in the kitchen making food, cleaning up food, taking people to the potty 50 times, and put kids in time out for what feels like the entire day.
i laughed really really hard.
and smiled SOOOO big:)
in an 
"i'm so appreciative you love and appreciate me, and our life is so crazy funny AWESOME"
kind of way.
i love these babies.
i love that man named sean.
i love my mom and sandie.
my mother in law.
my grandma's,
past and present.
my friend's moms.
and the many other moms i look up to in my life.
happy mother's day to all,
and to all a good monday!

{below: me and sandie two years ago at the lake house, dinner out. she is such a doll!}
last by certainly not least,
to my awesome DAD!!!!!!!
at the right bold age of 66 he is more fit than most 25 year olds.
really, it's true.
i dare you to try the single water ski.
i bet you can't.
he still can.
go dad.