IMRL (in my real life)

It’s funny how when you start out parenting you think you have a plan. You plan to grow them up, to do all the right things, and to live happily ever after.

Pee on the toilet seat is not part of your plan.

Children who refuse to eat vegetable is not part of your plan.

Mountains of never-ending laundry are absolutely not part of the plan.

I sometimes feel that life and my plan should have a conversation with each other, a shared google calendar, perhaps.

All the stuff that gets in the way of my plan is the problem, not my plan. Right? Right?

Say I’m right.

That’s real life, though, right?


Right now in my real life I feel like a pendulum. I swing from ‘everything is awesome’ to ‘what the freak is happening?’ constantly.

I’ve got to tell you, Lee’s job search is getting to me. I’m weary from the wanting and praying and hoping. Yet, I feel so grateful that we’re okay, that our kids are okay. It’s not where we thought we’d be at our age (hello, the plan I was talking about!) but we’re happy, healthy, and relatively stable in mind.

I feel for people job hunting. It’s demoralizing and tiring.

On to happier things in my real life.


We’ve started our garden. This year we’re trying it in the front yard. I hope it looks beautiful in July. The boys love planting things…hopefully they’ll also love eating the things that we grow. We planted arugula and lettuce. It’s a little late for those but I’m a Brave Misfit! No rules shall be followed in my garden. Green beans and peas went in as well. Sweet peppers are in, and in a couple of weeks we’ll put in tomatoes. I’m stoked.

This is not our garden. It’s not even our yard, but Liam wanted me to put this one in.

I’m getting the Brave Newsletter ready to go out and I’ll share some sites I love for gardening tips – so if you haven’t signed up go do it! You won’t be disappointed.

And if you are, please don’t tell me.


They are taking up my life. I’m going to be transparent here: I really struggle with screen time, I think for a couple of reasons:

1)They leave me alone when they’re on screens. Just being honest.

2) I love screens. I love the interwebs. I love Google and Instagram and Facebook (most days). I want to love Twitter but fail to understand it a little. I write a lot and I write on a screen.  And Netflix. I heart Netflix. I love a great series.

Liam interrupting me whilst binge watching. Er, I mean applying hyper focus.

There’s my struggle. I don’t allow myself to find a series very often because bingewatching is a real problem in my life. Hyper focus is my super power but can be detrimental when applied to movies and shows. Lee, my darling husband, told me yesterday that he wasn’t ready for me to find another series because he needs me to run things.

It’s like I’m the show runner! I AM THE SHOW RUNNER!!!!! Revelation. I’ve had a revelation, an epiphany whilst typing! (Can you tell I binge on BBC shows, which is why I feel I can say whilst?)

I really think we’d all be healthier and happier without screens in our lives, but here they are. So I’m applying some scheduling and trying not to freak out over it all. Liam told me the other day that he knows I often forget they’re only allowed screen time after 3:30, which is why he asks regularly. Smart kid, silly mama. So, I’m also reading some helps for parents with ADHD. 

Summer School

We typically do year-round school, so this isn’t a huge deal. However, this summer we’re going to keep going with Tapestry of Grace because we are behind where we’d like to be. Illness, schedules, math and science took over for a while. I love this curriculum so much, though, and I don’t want to short-change the children.

Spencer is begging me to short-change him, however.

Laurel is excited, though, because we’ll be studying early America, which means HAMILTON. I’m pretty excited, too. I’d be more excited if we won a free trip to Williamsburg, though. Or tickets to Hamilton. Or both.

I’ll probably settle for Fort Boonesborough, though, and be quite content.

Storage Unit
We went to the storage unit to look for sheet music. Laurel stayed home and did math. Look how big Spencer is getting!

It’s been two years.

Really almost two and a half.

I never thought our stuff would be in storage for that long.

The math works out like this: plan + life = new plan. 

I’m thinking, though, that most of this can go in a garage sale. Some of it can go here, too, but Spencer wants to save up for a red footed tortoise so a yard sale seems like the thing to do. I’ve got a ton of homeschool stuff that we no longer need, too. Maybe I’ll have an auction.

I wish I was an auction caller. I think that be so fun.

Here habadnye nadbandye Teaching Textbooks Algebra One heremabnda noeobdanae day dye going for $60 habandyend adyabodydady $80 over. I think I’ve got the hang of it.

So, that’s it. That’s the gist of my real life. Pee on the toilet set, battling binge-watching, planning summer things, lamenting loss, and moving on to summer plans.

Here’s hoping that in next month’s newsletter I can tell you that no urine drops have plagued my behind.


This photo does not represent guilty parties. At least not all of them.

I’d love to hear what’s going on in your real life, too. Share in the comments or shoot me an email, or visit on Facebook or Instagram.

Be brave, misfits. Carry on!


Raised by wolves

When my oldest three were little I held dance parties in the living room as way for them, and me,  to blow off steam. I would turn the music up loud and we’d dance and shout until we were panting for air. Sometimes we’d have freeze dance parties if we were bored with the regular kind. I would turn the volume down on the radio and the kids would have to hold whatever position for however long I kept the volume down.

We had all the fun.

My youngest guy, Liam,  is 6 and I still want to do those fun things with him. I want him to have all the things my older ones did. I don’t want him to miss out on anything. Today I asked my 15 (almost 16, MOM!) year old daughter and 12 year old son to help me have a dance party. That may have been a mistake. It may have also been a mistake to hold this dance party in my bed. The thing is I’m older and more tired than when the first three were little. I wanted to have a dance party on my behind. In my bed. With a cup of coffee.

Now that I write this I realize that may have been my mistake.

Any time I invite Laurel and Spencer to do anything I’m inviting a certain level of chaos. These two love  to take things to the next level.

Things went well at first. We were doing the funky arm moves, getting some decent air time even though I’ve significantly restricted the jump zone. Then Liam moved with lightening speed to the end of the bed and launched a perfect belly flop in the center. I gave him a little leeway because he’s six and they need that. The other two, though, took my clapping and leeway-giving as their chance to up the ante. Spencer, who has not yet come to terms with the fact that he’s an adult-sized person, also catapulted himself across the bed. His bounce yielded several smaller bounces for Laurel and I. Just as I saved myself from toppling over the edge I heard Liam shout, “Cannonball!” and could only watch in silent amazement as he tried to drag his sister down.

I had entered the next level without signing up for it.

The next few minutes involved me boomeranging between please-this-is-not-how-dance-parties- are-supposed-to-go and laughing til I cried.

Thoughts happen really fast, you know? During the madness taking place in my bed I had time to think about the fact that my youngest child never got to love Elmo madly. Instead he chose Batman. It wasn’t Barney that he wanted played on repeat, it was Lord of the Rings. My littlest guy doesn’t know any words to The Wiggles songs but by golly he knew the words to The Phantom of the Opera by the time he was four. Sometimes I feel badly that he doesn’t have siblings his age to play with, or that I don’t do circle time in the mornings anymore , or that when he is indignant he shouts, “What the crap?”  (a very teenagery thing to say, you must admit).



It’s like he’s been raised by wolves.

I snap out of my 7 second contemplation because phrases like ‘frank and beans’ and ‘I can’t breathe’ were being shouted by my children. What I see is that they are having a blast, the music is still going strong, and Liam doesn’t know any different.

His three older siblings are way better than Elmo, hands down.

They are nice wolves, after all, fixing him peanut butter jellies and giving him snuggles when necessary.

Today I conceded that things are the way that they are.

Then I did what needed to be done:  I pants-ed one of my kids.