This Page

has been moved to new address

Simplicity in the Suburbs

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
body { background:#fff; margin:0; padding:40px 20px; font:x-small Georgia,Serif; text-align:center; color:#333; font-size/* */:/**/small; font-size: /**/small; } a:link { color:#58a; text-decoration:none; } a:visited { color:#969; text-decoration:none; } a:hover { color:#c60; text-decoration:underline; } a img { border-width:0; } /* Header ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #header { width:660px; margin:0 auto 10px; border:1px solid #ccc; } } @media handheld { #header { width:90%; } } #blog-title { margin:5px 5px 0; padding:20px 20px .25em; border:1px solid #eee; border-width:1px 1px 0; font-size:200%; line-height:1.2em; font-weight:normal; color:#666; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; } #blog-title a { color:#666; text-decoration:none; } #blog-title a:hover { color:#c60; } #description { margin:0 5px 5px; padding:0 20px 20px; border:1px solid #eee; border-width:0 1px 1px; max-width:700px; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#999; } /* Content ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #content { width:660px; margin:0 auto; padding:0; text-align:left; } #main { width:410px; float:left; } #sidebar { width:220px; float:right; } } @media handheld { #content { width:90%; } #main { width:100%; float:none; } #sidebar { width:100%; float:none; } } /* Headings ----------------------------------------------- */ h2 { margin:1.5em 0 .75em; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#999; } /* Posts ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { .date-header { margin:1.5em 0 .5em; } .post { margin:.5em 0 1.5em; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; padding-bottom:1.5em; } } @media handheld { .date-header { padding:0 1.5em 0 1.5em; } .post { padding:0 1.5em 0 1.5em; } } .post-title { margin:.25em 0 0; padding:0 0 4px; font-size:140%; font-weight:normal; line-height:1.4em; color:#c60; } .post-title a, .post-title a:visited, .post-title strong { display:block; text-decoration:none; color:#c60; font-weight:normal; } .post-title strong, .post-title a:hover { color:#333; } .post div { margin:0 0 .75em; line-height:1.6em; } { margin:-.25em 0 0; color:#ccc; } .post-footer em, .comment-link { font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } .post-footer em { font-style:normal; color:#999; margin-right:.6em; } .comment-link { margin-left:.6em; } .post img { padding:4px; border:1px solid #ddd; } .post blockquote { margin:1em 20px; } .post blockquote p { margin:.75em 0; } /* Comments ----------------------------------------------- */ #comments h4 { margin:1em 0; font:bold 78%/1.6em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#999; } #comments h4 strong { font-size:130%; } #comments-block { margin:1em 0 1.5em; line-height:1.6em; } #comments-block dt { margin:.5em 0; } #comments-block dd { margin:.25em 0 0; } #comments-block dd.comment-timestamp { margin:-.25em 0 2em; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } #comments-block dd p { margin:0 0 .75em; } .deleted-comment { font-style:italic; color:gray; } /* Sidebar Content ----------------------------------------------- */ #sidebar ul { margin:0 0 1.5em; padding:0 0 1.5em; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; list-style:none; } #sidebar li { margin:0; padding:0 0 .25em 15px; text-indent:-15px; line-height:1.5em; } #sidebar p { color:#666; line-height:1.5em; } /* Profile ----------------------------------------------- */ #profile-container { margin:0 0 1.5em; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; padding-bottom:1.5em; } .profile-datablock { margin:.5em 0 .5em; } .profile-img { display:inline; } .profile-img img { float:left; padding:4px; border:1px solid #ddd; margin:0 8px 3px 0; } .profile-data { margin:0; font:bold 78%/1.6em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } .profile-data strong { display:none; } .profile-textblock { margin:0 0 .5em; } .profile-link { margin:0; font:78%/1.4em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Arial,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } /* Footer ----------------------------------------------- */ #footer { width:660px; clear:both; margin:0 auto; } #footer hr { display:none; } #footer p { margin:0; padding-top:15px; font:78%/1.6em "Trebuchet MS",Trebuchet,Verdana,Sans-serif; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.1em; } /* Feeds ----------------------------------------------- */ #blogfeeds { } #postfeeds { }

Monday, January 31, 2011

Matchy Matchy.

I have always had a thing for matchy, matchy.

My mom used to dress my sisters and I coordinating when she could get away with it. With a 12 year spread between the oldest and youngest though it didn't always work.

To this day, I remember how excited my little sister and I would get though about being matching. My crafty mama sometimes even made our outfits.

Specifically I'm remembering these cherry dresses she made when I was in maybe 6th grade. With matching headbands.

I do the same things to our kids when I can. Matching, coordinating, I love it. {I do not however make them myself. Ever. I wish I could though.}

E and I have matchy, matchy pajamas now. E got hers for Christmas and I've been eyeing mine since school started. Finally, finally they were marked on sale. And then sale again. And then sale once more and I could justify a silly matchy, matchy pajama purchase.

Truth be told, they are now my favorites.


Winner of the sproutcandleshop candles....#11 Megan.

Still time to give your marriage advice over here. Twenty-six and counting...

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Tyler summer 10

And today, T is 12.

H just this morning asked me why T is growing up so fast and so old, so quick.

I told him time and kids and growing up is a pretty funny thing. It just keeps happening even, or maybe especially when, we adults just aren't ready.

Happy Birthday T!

**If you haven't yet entered, there are two giveaways going on right now. Go here for the sproutcandleshop candles and go here for the Project: Happily Ever After book. {I am loving the advice being given! Keep it comin'!}**

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Project: Happily Ever After. {Giveaway!}

I admit when the email popped up in my inbox, I was almost ready to hit delete.

Send me a marriage book?
Are they implying my marriage wasn't working?

But I replied, received the book a few days later and devoured it within days.

Here's the deal, I do think that J and I have a good marriage, in fact most days I think we have a great marriage.

But I think I spend more time and energy focusing on being a good mom than I do a wife, and I don't think I'm alone. I want to be a good wife.

Sometimes I think I am, othertimes I know I'm not.

There are days that we, like most married couples, wake up and we're off all day and I'm on him for leaving his breakfast dishes on the counter and he's on me for doing the naggity nag thing. And then I'm irritated he didn't answer his cell phone for the 347th time and he's irritated with me for having an attitude.

Then there are the days he comes home from work and he's tired from working all day and I'm tired from mothering all day and anything either of us do or say is going to annoy the other.

Neither of us are perfect. I can be bossy and overly sensitive and have high expectations and sometimes that drives the guy crazy! He can be forgetful and work late one too many nights and sleep through a train wreck in the middle of the night and sometimes that drives me crazy!

Last Saturday morning, one of our children was up way, way, way too early. Both of us were tired, crabby with said child which then led us to being crabby with each other. The typical molehills of getting ready and getting out the door for T's basketball game turned into mountains and so we drove silently seething at each other to basketball about things that really don't matter.

This April, we'll have been married for seven years {!} and we are happier and more in love today than we were then. And in the end we have way more great days than bad, off and icky days, but that doesn't mean there aren't bad days and that there isn't work involved.

The work is the letting go, caring less about meaningless things, knowing when to speak up and when to just let it roll. The work is into giving our marriage to God, praying over it, reminding each other of His word. The work is in the giving of grace {even when you want to point out mistakes!} and knowing when you need a moment. The work is in the communicating and the scheduling and the coordinating of who will be where, when and how we'll make it work.

Author Alissa Bowman bravely shares her marriage story in her new book Project: Happily Ever After Saving Your Marriage When the Fairytale Falters. She spent four months, doing everything she could to save a marriage that many {friends, colleagues, even her mom} had written off as hopeless. She shares tips and details of what she needed to do and the work her and her husband had to do from being a couple on the verge of divorce to a couple renewing their vows at the end. She writes with refreshing honesty. The kind of honesty that needs to be out there more because I am certain there are other couples in a place that she was in.

She writes about how she originally pinned it all on her husband, that it was his fault their marriage wasn't working and all of his issues. And then realizes that she plays a part in all of this too. It takes two. {This is usually the case, no?} 

They share with each other all the qualities they love about each other and realize they still very much love each other and she especially needed to get her mind and heart on that path again.

Her writing had me laughing many, many times. J would usually peak over and ask what I was reading and what was so funny and he too, found the humor in her stories, typical marriage issues and her advice.

Alissa would like to give one of YOU a copy of her book that just hit bookshelves this month. Maybe you are looking for something just like this, maybe your marriage is on cloud nine and you just think it'd be a fun read. {It is a super easy quick beach read!} Maybe you've got a friend or family member who you think would love the book or maybe you'd like to give it as a wedding gift. Whatever works.

To enter to win your own copy, please leave a comment sharing some marriage advice you have. {Even if you're not married, you can share some advice you've heard or given! I'm excited to read these!}

Contest ends Wednesday Feb. 2 at 8pm.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Simple Little Things That Bring Me Joy.

1. The Clifford Bag.


He got to bring the Clifford bag home yesterday and Clifford has yet to leave his side. So far, H has been learning that just because Clifford wants to do something, doesn't mean it happens. There are a lot of things Clifford apparently has planned during his stay here.

We loved looking through the book of all the pictures his classmates {or their parents, ahem!} have drawn and written about their time with Clifford.

2. New boots.
We went to Cabela's Saturday evening to look at the animals and all their boots were on sale so I bought H and E's next year boots. But E loves hers so much that even though they are two shoe sizes too big she wears them morning til night.

3. Two of our kids have this habit that in the middle of the night they come and visit us. Sneaking in while we sleep and when we wake up in the morning one is usually sprawled across us and one is on the floor and I know, in my head that we should put a ka-bosh on it. But in my heart, I love it and I know how temporary these phases can be.

4. Preschool love.

Read the note. Enough said.

So, what are some simple little things bringing YOU joy this week?

Share your little joys in the comments for a chance to win a little something from sprout candle shop. Jill makes the most delicious smelling {and looking} candles. She'd like to give one reader this Lavender Soy Candle and some Hydrangea Butterfly Tarts. 

One entry per person, please.

Winner to be chosen by Monday Jan. 31 at 8pm.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Spilt Milk.

It's a bazillion below zero here today. You think I'm exaggerating, I'm not.

H had a little playdate this morning. Two little friends came over to play and they ran and they dumped and they jumped and just did boy things for two hours.

E and I tried to steer clear of this crazy.

{I was more successful than she was. She seems drawn to crazy.}

After our friends left, I lost my cool at lunch when H "accidentally" spilt his milk for the fifth time this week.

My four {and a half} year old is a smart one, my friends, because when he decides he is finished with lunch {or dinner, breakfast, snack...} and I ask him to finish his milk, his milk just "accidentally" spills.

As I cleaned up milk on the floor and table for the fifth time this week I was fuming and thinking about how I never would have done something like this. Especially not five times over. And then I was fuming at myself because it's just spilt milk, why am I this upset?

Meanwhile H sat on timeout complaining that we always make him drink milk.

Do you watch Parenthood?

It's currently one of my favorite parts of the week. I love each of the characters, the parenting situations they face are real and I just relate on so many levels with it.

{Like the removal of the daughter's bedroom door this last week on Tuesday. Anyone else think that was a genius lesson?}

Earlier this week I got caught up on the shows J and I missed on vacation and there's this conversation/scene that takes place between a mom and daughter:

"When you have kids there's something you should know. Very confusing thing they don't tell you. You see so much of yourself in them. You see your ironic take on the world, you see your smile, your walk, your sense of humor, whatever and you think they're you. But they're not you."
The character {played by Lauren Graham} goes on to explain to her daughter that they have their own baggage and insecurities and issues...

Sometimes I see so much of myself in my kids. It's not uncommon for me to say, "I remember doing that as a kid..." or "I never would have done that as a kid..." as though they are me.

But they're not me.

I can read H like a book. H is his own person, full of mischief and crazy ambition. He's shy when I least expect him to be and sometimes he is just plain challenging. A lot of people say he looks a lot like J and T, but I still see parts of myself in his coloring and his lanky body. I see myself in him when he sits writing letters to my grandma or tells me crazy, long creative stories.

He's a complete boy, loves running and jumping and reading his library books. He melts quickly if he's overtired and yet, is pretty much the most joyful person I've ever known. He does things five times over and steps over the line in the sand that I thought was made in permanent marker.

He's not me. {Even when I see certain looks or mannerisms or behaviors like me.}

He's him.


I think it's good I'm figuring these things out now.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Busy Body.

If it's not the diaper bag she's digging through, it's J's laptop messenger bag. If she's not climbing onto her changing table to dump out the powder or glaze her face with vaseline, she's climbing onto the cupboard to help herself to a snack.

This girl proves day after day to be just as much a busy body as her big brother was. {Maybe even more.}

She changes clothes, by herself, four or five times a day. Everything these days is "I do. I do. I! DO!" Don't even think of trying to help because she'll take off the shirt to re-do it herself or close the book and begin again, whatever it is, she's on it and she's doing it herself.

She is full of bumps, bruises, scrapes, owies. She has something she needs a bandaid or an ice pack for at least once a day.

Tuesday was a doozy. She fell on the gate by the steps, clocked her head on the entertainment center and unsuccessfully climbed out of her crib. Meaning she tried climbing out and ended up toppling out. A THUD during naptime is never a good thing.

She is just proving to us that we haven't seen anything yet.

Miss E modeling one of the outfits she put together from the too-big-so-far, hand-me-down drawer. {With some ketchup on the middle of the shirt for good-measure!} You'll also notice she's got a battle wound on her cheek. This girl means business!

Want a glimpse into some of the local writing I'm doing? There's a feel-good story you can take a peak at here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sick Day.


We never plan them and they usually sneak up when they're the least convenient but today a sick day was just want we needed.

Yesterday, I never got dressed. In my pajamas and with messy, tangled hair, I only left to pick up some much needed Starbucks while J tended to the sickness.

And today, I knew it'd be a slow, nothing day.{And officially both H and M's first sick day from school.}

So my middles hunkered on the couch watching Curious George and iCarly episodes and though I hate when they're sick, I love when we can just be, without the rush of going here and there and everywhere.

I do love to be on the go but sometimes it just takes a day or two like this to remind me, I like hanging here too.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Just like that, we're back.
The ship from Coco Cay.
We spent five days cruisin' the Bahamas. Staying up real late and sleeping in even later. {Do you remember the last time you slept 12 hours straight?}

Sitting on the beach in Coco Cay reading books, sipping Pina Coladas and relaxing the day away.
dinner with new friends.

We met new friends at dinner that we laughed with as though we'd known them for years.


We explored Nassau on a scooter. {Crazy doesn't begin to explain this experience. Drivers in Bahamas are very different than Minnesota drivers!} Something J always wanted to do and something I'll hopefully never do again.

Most of all we loved spending time together, going where we wanted, when we wanted, doing what we wanted, catching up on sleep, long lost conversations and just being together. I highly recommend it!

It was good to go away, but it was good to come back too. You know what I'm talking about?

There's something lovely and exciting and so refreshing and great to go away and leave all the responsibilty behind but then there's something like right now, where my littles are sound asleep dreaming in their beds and J and my bigs are laughing around the table playing Scattergories reminding me that this is such a good life.

My cousin, who gave us such a gift by being here, did a great job with the kids and we didn't worry because we knew they were in great hands. She planned fun things for them, got them all the places they needed to be when they needed to be there and just took care of them and loved them even on the hard days.

Even still... I missed them like crazy.


I'm pretty sure they missed me too.
More pictures are on my facebook page here. Are we friends?
I've got a Facebook fan page here too, so go "like" me while you're there.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Simple Little Things That Bring Me Joy.

{The vacation edition}

1. Pre-vacation pedicures.

One must leave for vacation with flip-flop ready toes. My friend S leaves on her own vacation next week so it was perfect timing to go together.

Saturday morning coffee and pedicures with a good friend equals a good way to start a weekend.

2. Packing.

I admit that packing isn't my most favorite activity but now that's it's done minus anything I need tonight or tomorrow, I am a happy girl.


3. Good reading material.

Most of the books I read are either from the library, borrowed from a friend or sent to me from publishers for review {one of which in that pile is just that}. I get a few magazine subscriptions but rarely {if ever} am able to read them cover to cover.

Going to the store and picking out a couple books and magazines for a trip is what I call a fun and rare treat. {Knowing I will actually have the time to read them as much or as little as I want, that's dessert!}

4. Being ready.

Having all the notes and information written. Paperwork printed for J and I. Special little things awaiting the kids and just knowing that my littles will be in the great hands of my cousin and that there are friends willing and able to help her along. Ah, the people in our life, we are blessed.

Have a good week, friends!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

{My} Very Important Kid.

When you are 4 {and a half} when those sheets of paper finally come home in your backpack telling you that you will finally be the Very Important Kid, it's a really, really big deal.

Like dump out boxes and bags of photos and start ripping pages from magazines, big deal.

He loved every ounce of doing this project.

And it's so him. Every last photo trimmed and glued on. Every magazine favorite food. The answers to the questions.

They're him.

Highlights include:

His favorite story: Transformers

His favorite song: Where You Go I'll Go....

His favorite foods are quite interesting and besides the juice box, I'm not sure he's even ever had Spaghetti O's or the other rice dish he cut out.

What he likes to do most: Play superheroes

He is special because: He loves his mom and dad. He has 1 brother and 2 sisters. He is a really funny and nice boy.


He is all that and more.

And he's pretty much one of my very important kids all the time.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


It's Wednesday night and I have no idea where the week has gone.

Between Christmas and New Years, company from out of town, getting back into the groove of school, writing assignments and an out of control email inbox it's been a little bit crazy this week.

J and I are getting ready for our trip. Actually, that's not quite true. I've been getting everything organized and ready for the kids while I'm gone. Making lists and schedules, leaving notes and phone numbers for my cousin who will be here for a week. {She is brave!}

H is Very Important Kid next week at school, so the other day M and I pulled out piles of pictures for him to dig through to find his favorite ones to share on his poster pages next week. {What's that? You want me to share him and his completed project? Ok, you twisted my arm!}

While digging through the photos I found this one:

Circa 2001
Anderson Hall at North Park University

This, my friends, is how Simplicity came to be.

I really liked "Felicity" {read: after a marathon of watching Felicity episodes before the series finale, I decided I really liked Felicity} and I joked to a few friends that I'd like to be called "Simplicity" and it was a joke and a silly, laugh until we cry, sort of thing.

I would sign notes and letters with it. Using it every chance I got.

It kind of stuck.

Just so you know, I still get voicemail, emails and even an occasional note in the mail, addressed to "Simplicity"

I still love it.

Winner of the Coffee-Mate Coffee House GIVEAWAY....comment #1  Sorry for the delay!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Just like in years past I've rounded up the past year and even though I knew the year was full, re-reading and linking back throughout the year proved to me just how full and big of a year it was.


January: I went to my very first blog conference/retreat. You helped me help Haiti. I packed meals for Haiti with other Minnesota bloggers. T turned 11 and H had his first bowling experience.

February: I realized we were not at our worst but also not at our best in this whole blended family thing. I asked for help with separation anxiety for E and H wrote his name. I became official. I wrote about a bad day and we started finding out about E's food allergies.

March: My littles and I went to a Cub Foods Blogger Event. H got his very first pair of light-up shoes. I found a new definition for fair. E became an official walker, M turned 9 and I turned 28.

April: E gained some weight. J and I celebrated six years and H turned four and we celebrated like superheroes. Oh and T, he got a cell phone.

May: A bird went to heaven and I realized that even on the bad days I've got it pretty good. The littles and I spent time up north while J worked.
My Littles.

June: E turned 18 months and I made a bucket list. I threw out the first pitch at the Saints game. H finally conquered the water slide and I realized sometimes water balloons can be therapeautic.

July: We took our kids camping and across the country all in the same month. J turned 37.

August: It felt like I ran a marathon and then I recapped our vacation to Indiana, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C and eventually Virginia Beach. We spent a week in Brainerd and a Good Samaritan helped us out on the way home.

September: School started again. We walked to remember, again. I wrote about the challenge of mothering him.
October: I had a date with H.  I started sharing some simple things that bring me joy.  We had a winning weekend with my extended family.

November: I blogged every single day again. We had fun with the first snow and made cupcakes for my mom's 54th birthday. J and I celebrated eight years with a big surprise. I shared that we send our ex-in-laws Christmas cards and we got our first real Christmas tree. Once again, you helped me help others by donating to support Rachel's trip to Haiti.
Charlie's 2

December: E turned two. I reflected three years without my mom. I wrote about wanting my kids to be a team and we had a party. We had our most simple, most peaceful Christmas yet.


All this to say, thank you for visiting me here, whether that's clicking on my site, visiting through facebook or twitter or if you read from your email or a reader, I appreciate your support.

Here's hoping your new year is bright, full of hope, love and joy!

Goodbye 2010 and Happy 2011 to you!

If you're in the sharing mood tell me what you're glad to leave in 2010 and what you're looking forward to in 2011!

Related: Glimpses 2009
              Glimpses 2008

Winner of the Starbucks giftcard is #11. The Petersons. Email me your address and your giftcard will be on it's way Monday.