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{this moment}

November 22, 2013

from:SouleMama

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.IMG_1298

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Thankful part 1

November 21, 2013

I have noticed a trend on Facebook of friends and family sharing something that they are thankful for every day in the month of November. I tried it last year, but was not on Facebook everyday so I hated having to write a long list in my status to catch myself up. So this year I thought I would just do a blog post about it 🙂 With Thanksgiving just around the corner I felt it was necessary for me to share my 15 things that I am thankful for. Next week I will do 15 more things that I am thankful for 🙂

1.) My husband; Nick is my perfect match. He challenges me (not always in a good way), laughs with me, loves me even when I am weird (which is kind of a lot), is my teammate in parenting and my best friend. He is the person I would choose to spend my time with if I could only choose one person to “hangout” with, luckily I married his so he will be spending time with me for all eternity!_MG_9461

2.) My oldest child; Hayden whose heart is so tender. He is my sensitive, mindful child who always wants to please and make people happy. He has a kind heart and is very creative. His love of music and drawing just makes my pride shine when he shows off these talents. My silly first-born has been by far the easiest to parent, but as he gets older is becoming more challenging. These challenges usually come from the fact that as the oldest more is expected of him and he has to be my “helper” all the time with the little kids. _MG_0491

3.) My second son; Elliot is my wild child. He is my challenge! The exact polar opposite of Hayden and I so we do not always see eye to eye. His determination, logic and sense of humor are so much like his father that it is no wonder that people use to call him a little Nick (Ollie is now the new little Nick). His daily “I love you most’s” melt my heart and allow me to forget all the naughty things that he does. Elliot is the child that I constantly have to redirect and keep busy or I regret it later.  life is not boring with him around!_MG_0434

4.) My third son; Oliver is the oldest of the twins but the tiniest of all my kids. He is my little peanut person who uses his cheesy grin and copy cat antics to wrap his Mama, Grandmas and Aunties around his little finger. Ollie gets more female attention then any of my other children and is by far the one who is always putting on a show. He is a silly little nut that thinks he should get all the attention and often demands it by squawking and squealing! I love watching his personality develop and am thankful that this little guy is part of this crazy family!IMG_92508x10

5.) My only daughter; Laney is me when I was little. She is shy and reserved (until she gets to know you), looks almost exactly like me when I was a baby and she has very expressive facial expressions (those got me in trouble when I was younger). She is much more squealy then the boys and a more dramatic which has taken some getting use too.  All the boys are in love with her and are so kind to her (most of the time) as if having a little sister were way better than having little brothers. She also has her Daddy wrapped around her little finger! I am curious to see how her personality will unfold as she gets older (tom boy like me or girly girl since she is my only girl). So thankful for a daughter to shop with when all the guys are hunting!IMG_9290 8x10

6.) My parents; Bob & Pam have taught me so much about life and love there is no possible way to explain what they mean to me. I am thankful that they are still a huge part of my life (I talk to my mom almost everyday) and want to be! I know I can always count on them and they are always on my team…even if they are on the bench far away from our everyday life!

7.) My older Brother; Ryan was always our protector growing up. Many people have stories about their older brothers beating on them or picking on them, I do not. He was almost always kind to us and was very laid back. We had some of the same friends in high school and hung-out quite a bit.

8.) My younger Sister; Kendra was not always a best friend of mine, but now I can’t imagine my life without her. When we were growing up, she was my competition for my parents attention and she was kind of bratty to me (she may say it was the other way around) so we did not always get along. As we have matured we have realized how important family is and I am thankful of the bond we now share 🙂

9.) My Mother-in-law and Father-in-law; Vicki and Mike are the best! I mean handpicked by God, perfect for me, better person because I know them kind of best! No words can express the gratitude I have for them and all they do for us!

10.) My Grandparents; Pearl and Paul are the soul of the Wiechmann clan! If you know any of this clan you know what a compliment that is!_MG_9552 lrg

11.) My extended family; aunts, uncles, cousins…you name it we still keep in touch and are very much a part of each others lives. I feel so blessed to have grown up with family all around me and love watching this family of ours grow!

12.) Our miniature dachshund; Kirby is an overweight, little weirdo that just adds to our already chaotic family! He was our first “kid” and has been with us for over 8 years._MG_9814

13) Creativity; I am so thankful for my ability to create things may it be portraits/photography, blogging, repainting furniture or making gifts for my family. I love being able to do these things and share them with all of you 🙂

14.) Food; Real food makes our heart happy. It gives us sustenance and brings us closer together as a family. Family dinners prepared by Mom and enjoyed by all 🙂

15.) Our home; Although it is not our dream home and has required “fixing up” through the years, I am thankful for the memories made here and the shelter it provides for us.  We are so blessed to have such a beautiful place to call our own!

So there they are the first 15, next week I will share the another 15 things. Hopefully this is not to dull and boring but there are lots to be thankful for here, so stick around 🙂

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.”
― Henry Ward Beecher

{this moment}

November 8, 2013

from:SouleMama

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

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How I learned about love

November 7, 2013

Growing up, I always thought that love was a very strong “feeling” you had for someone or something. It was also something you said to someone to make them feel close to you or make them feel good. As I have matured I have learned that is not what love is at all! Love is not a feeling or an emotion it is an action. It is something you do, it is the verb of a sentence and something that you give. The story of a girl called “P” and a guy called “R” is the best representation to me of what love truly is. Their story goes something like this…

P & R met at a dance when they were in high school. P’s older sister introduced them and they hit it off right away. R was a senior and P was a junior and they liked each other so much that they began dating. R graduated and went off to college and the year after that P graduated and went to a different college. The distance was hard on them so P transferred schools to be close to R, this was a good move. When they were 19 and 20 they got married and finished college. They started a family and had three kids, a boy and two girls. All this time, through the ups and downs they were by each others sides. They raised there kids and worked together like a team. Sure they had their spats and problems every life has its ups and downs but P & R would not let the stresses of life ruin them.

This Love was not always expressed in a vocal way, but in the little things. Doing something nice for the other to make them smile, holding hands in public even when their teenagers were embarrassed, cuddling together on the couch and talking about the day. Little things that we easily take for granted and don’t even realize are signs of love. Everyday things that most people do not notice except for the person receiving the attentions. Giving of yourself to make the other happy…that is true love.

P & R’s love was really put to the test when R was diagnosed with a genetic kidney disease.  His kidneys were shot and he was in need of a transplant. P did not even think twice about giving this gift to her husband. She gave him a kidney a few weeks before their 28th wedding anniversary. P’s surgery was the minor of the two, yet the first thing R asked when he woke from his surgery was  how is P doing. He had to call her room to hear her voice and know that she was okay. That is love, giving of yourself to make the other happy and receiving that love even when you are scared and vulnerable. Love is being vulnerable with someone and allowing them to know all of you without fear of harm from them.

Both did well and continued with their lives. Doing, giving and living for each other and their family. Fast forward eight years, R’s kidneys are failing again. Doctors are baffled as to why they cannot slow this disease. R needs another kidney and P does not have one to give. Their children cannot donate for fear that they may have the disease as well. In steps love in the form of P’s younger sister. She volunteers to be a living donor without any hesitation. P’s sister is willing to put herself on the line for the love she has for her sister and brother-in-law. Love is an amazing action, it is given and received and given again. It is not selfish and thinks only of the others happiness. Love is a verb, not an emotion.

P’s older sister introduced them and one of P’s younger sisters is trying to keep them together. My existence is thanks to that older sister and my knowledge of love is thanks to not only P & R but to P’s younger sister. Love is an action that you choose to give or keep to yourself. What are YOU going to choose?

Please keep P, R and P’s sister in your prayers for their upcoming surgery.

“Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep-burning, unquenchable”
-Henry Ward Beecher

Our food is not weird, yours is

November 5, 2013

Well it finally started, Hayden’s classmates think his food is weird. He came home all worked up because some of his friends made fun of the wild rice casserole that I sent in his lunch that day. They said it looked gross and could not believe that he ate it. He begged me to start letting him eat the school’s lunch so people will stop asking him what he is eating and making fun of it. I, of course, said “no” to this plea and tried my hardest to explain to him why. So I guess this is why…Because quite frankly I do not know what in is those school lunches!  _MG_0486

many people may or may not know this about us, but we eat clean. What does that mean you ask? It basically means, we eat very little processed foods and try to eat foods that are whole by nature. I do still buy some organic snack crackers or Larabars every now and again, but for the most part I make everything from scratch. I make whole wheat bread every couple of days and we stay away from anything that has salt, sugar or white flour. We still eat these types of food but we substitute seas salt, raw sugar and whole wheat flour instead of the “white” over processed versions mentioned above. Our family has not always been this way, but since I discovered the documentary “Hungry for Change” on Netflix I was shocked into cleaning up our diet!_MG_0453

Sometimes it is hard and we cheat when there are no other options available but more often than not we eat healthy whole foods. We also do not make people cater to our way of eating so if we are eating away from home we eat what is served to us. No one likes a picky house guest who turns their nose up at the food offered, so that is something we would never do. My kids still occasionally do that when I served them a meal but it is few and far between. We have a three bite rule that they have to try everything on their plate. Many foods you have to try a couple of times before you can really decide if you like the flavor or not. That is one thing that is nice about this style of eating, it opens you up to so many foods that you may otherwise ignore!_MG_0462

I am proud of the way we eat and am thankful that I learned so much more about food. Since we have switched to our clean eating many things have improved in our lives.  I have lost almost 20 pounds and this has been on what I eat alone (I tried Insanity for 3 weeks but I just hate working out).  We have rarely been sick since our diet consists of a lot of fruits and vegetables (the twins just had their first sickness last week since our diet change in April). My energy level is higher and I do not feel tired all the time, well when I sleep at night anyways. The thing that I like best is how much I enjoy preparing and eating food! I love trying new recipes and tweaking them to make them our family favorites. Food, to me, is a whole different thing then it use be. It is not something I use for comfort or to do when I am board, I eat for the nutrients most of the time. We generally do have one treat a week because I still have an ice cream weakness, but for the most part I am proud to be learning and teaching my kids about what they put into their bodies!_MG_0167

After my conversation with Hayden about how I make all his food with love,  he was accepting of our food and okay with me still making his lunches. I told him next time to just gross them out on purpose and they will think you are tough and cool for eating things that are different! Hope that advice does not come back to bite me in the rear!

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“You are what you eat, so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake.”
-unknown

Please check out 100 days of real food if you want to learn more about eating clean 🙂

{this moment}

November 1, 2013

from:SouleMama

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see._MG_0502

Nobody is perfect

October 29, 2013

The other day a friend of mine made a comment on Facebook about how I am one of those mothers that makes all other mothers look bad. She meant it as a compliment, but I felt I needed to clear some things up. Nobody is perfect and when one shows the “good stuff” the majority of the time it can seem like they are. I sometimes think that when people look at my blog and some of my photos that they think life is perfect here. That I am always organized and on top of all things on the home front. Always putting my kids and my husband’s needs before my own and doing so with a smile and kindness in my heart. I am here to tell you that as hard as I try to do these things, that is not the case!IMG_0174

Some most days I am embarrassed at the state of my house. I often think, man I hope no ones pops in to say hello today, because seriously this place looks like a bomb went off. Cleaning is not my forte. I am not very good at it and so I do not excel or even want to spend much time doing it. Sometimes I try my hardest to keep up with all the cleaning, putting everything in it proper place and loving how nice it looks. Then I move on to the next room only to discover that 10 minutes later all the work I did in the previous room is undone. This vicious cycle is sometimes too much for me, so I just leave it for my sanity!IMG_0256

I have my good days where I would make Martha Stewart look bad, but I have other days where I feel like I am not even fit to be a mother. On the unfit days, the littlest annoyance sends me into a 2 minute temper tantrum about something as silly as the boys knocking on the table trying to get the dog to bark (I hate that). One wonders why we punish our kids for tantrums, when we as adults do just the same thing. Things like “road rage” or “blow ups” over tipping a glass of milk are all types of tantrums that I see many adult guilty of!IMG_0284

Parenting is just one of those things that can bring out the absolute best in us, or the worst. You have to constantly try to keep your mood in check, because seriously, your attitude is what sets the atmosphere for your home. We all want our children to grow up in loving homes where they feel safe and adored. A healthy home is something that is very important to me and I try to maintain the best I can. It is also something that can be challenging when you get a poor nights sleep or your feeling stressed by spreading yourself to thin. So on THOSE kind of days, I just try to make it through and hope tomorrow is better. Quite frankly, nobody is perfect but our children love us anyways and that is what is important!IMG_0193

“I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing.”
– Daniel Hillel

(pictures are courtesy on Schoolmeester Photography, giving credit where credit is due :)…oh and I have the copyrights)