Friday, February 17, 2017

Happy Anniversary

Did today feel different to you?

Special in any way?

Today, February 17, marks T E N Y E A R S of blogging for me! Whaaaattttt. I started blogging to document my family (the first post was about my dad falling down the steps after chasing squirrels with a shot gun. Click here) and in the last ten years I've had plenty of life to record (Graduations, marriages, jobs, a move to Africa, babies) Blessed. After maxing out the free storage on my first blog, I switched to Packin' Parkers until I landed at my current blog.

Will you do me a huge favor?

After ten years of clicking away on various keyboards, bearing my heart and soul to you (guilt tactics in full force) and sharing pictures of those near and dear to me...

Will you tell me who you are?

I'm dying to know who my readers are! I know a few of you, but I'm curious to know who my lurkers are. I am the number one blog lurker, no shame.

Reveal yourself!

1. Email me at kpsuits at gmail dot com
2. Text me (if we're close like that)
3. Leave a public comment below

Tell me who you are, where you're reading from, maybe what life stage you're in and what your favorite ice cream flavor is. JOKES. Why does everyone pick favorite ice cream flavor??

You DON'T have to leave any positive/fun/uplifting comments about my blog. This is not a test! It's not like a wife saying, "Don't get me any presents for my birthday this year" ....

I would geek out if some random mom wrote to me and simply said, "Tina from Ohio! I also have two girls. I found your blog by hopping around the internet" Day.made.

I don't care if we haven't actually spoken in ten years. Or you only know my parents. Or if you're my crazy ex boyfriend jokes! Take a second and write to me. You can do this!

Until I receive tens of thousands responses, I'm going to let this awkward camping picture linger here

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Making: Kent paint a dresser (he happily obliged) 
Cooking:  Last night was a sausage/red pepper/rice dish
Drinking: Diet Pepsi Cherry 
Reading: My bible study workbook. That homework keeps me busy
Wanting: I would not decline Mexican food if it showed up on my doorstep right now 
Looking: At possible birthday ideas for Caris
Eating: Honey wheat pretzels 
Wishing: It would rain so we can have a guilt free lazy (tv?) afternoon 
Enjoying: A single rose from my valentine 
Thinking:  That almost every breathing thing in my house might drive me crazy this week 
Celebrating: Caris can fill up her own cup with water using the fridge dispenser 
Loving: This overcast windy day that hints at rain   
Hoping: Liza naps for two hours instead of one (like in recent days) 
Needing: To remake both beds (tee-tee accidents! sarcastic woot!) 
Listening: To my daughter during quiet rest time. "Mama, Mama, Just LISTEN to me..."
Feeling: Thankful 
Wearing: A blue shirt and khaki shorts 
Watching: I watched 13 Going On 30 on Sunday night

Monday, February 13, 2017

Play Dough

On Mondays we play with play dough
I always thought I'd be the mom who gladly swept up glitter every night while quietly humming a song a la Cinderella.  But then.. kids. And messes. And effort. And it just seems easier to putter around the house all day. Then at the end of every week I give the depressing "You didn't bake! You didn't paint! You didn't sweep up any glitter!" speech to myself. I recently made one small change to our week: On Mondays we play with play dough. It's a set plan for me (no backing out), the girls love it and it takes all of 20 minutes. I'm one step closer to being that artsy fartsy mom I always dreamed I would be.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Day in the Life {Winter 2017}

Tuesday February 7, 2017
Kent is 29
I am 30
Caris is almost 4
Liza is 2 

All pictures were taken with my stellar iPhone4 camera
in a house with amazing natural light
(this is a joke)

5:30am Kent's alarm goes off. He brings me a box of cereal, at my request, because I'm starving. I fall back asleep after I hear him lock the deadbolt. He's off to Breakfast Club at Chick fil A.

7:24am I wake up and check the time. WOW Caris slept in for the second day in a row. LIFE IS AWESOME. {We're usually awake at 7,when she's allowed to leave her room} A somber Caris comes to my bed to inform me that "Liza ruined my paper"

Mom "Hmm.. how? She was in her crib the whole time"
Caris "In the middle of the night"
Mom "Ok I'll take a look at it"

7:30-8:00am Liza greets us with a super bad dirty diaper. I change her on my bed and they discover the box of cereal. They eat cereal in my bed while I cook a few pieces of turkey bacon.
8:00-9:00am Caris eats a cinnamon raisin english muffin and milk. Liza declines breakfast (She just ate her weight in KIX) and decides to read princess books to Caris instead. Caris helps her with the names and also chuckles and says things under her breath like, "She doesn't know how to say John Smith." I pack our lunches for the Science Center.
The girls get dressed (I help Liza) and play while I shower/get ready. This includes playing "fetch" with a plastic coat hanger and Liza discovering the printer in the hall closet. She beckoned for her partner in crime "Caris! C'mere. Caris! C'mere" until I caught her. I tell myself my hair can stretch another day with the help of dry shampoo (It can not. But I go with it.)

{On Monday/Wednesday mornings we go to the Y. Wednesdays are also story time at the library. Thursday mornings we have two hours of bible study} 

9:20am We leave for the Science Center and "The wheels on the bus" is playing before we leave the garage. In the driveway I realize Kent has the membership pass that we need. BUMMER. I call Kent twice- back to back- and he picks up. Calling back to back is the parental code for "I just broke both of my legs and can not care for our children anymore" or "We are on the way to have an emergency tonsillectomy" And I called during his weekly meeting with the senior pastor. GO ME. We drive to church and wait for Pastor Suits to meet us. He greets the girls, gives me an exciting update on his ministry and hands over the pass.
On the way to the Science Center, I confirm that it doesn't snow in Florida and try to explain how most cars can drive in the snow, very slowly, and big trucks come to move the snow out of the street. Caris talks about snow like CS Lewis talks about Narnia. We also play "Guess What Princess I'm Thinking Of" Example: "I'm thinking of a princess that has short, dark hair and seven small friends" 

10:30am Arrive at the Science Center! Just 30 minutes late and it's surprisingly not too crowded.

10:30-12:30pm Play, attend a story time, have an unfortunate potty accident, eat lunch (PBJs and string cheese) and try not to judge the mom wearing a "Vegan Vibes" tank top, spandex pants and Birkenstock sandals. The struggle is real.
1pm-1:45pm Liza naps from 1-3 everyday. Insert all the praise hands here. I start a load of laundry (see unfortunate potty accident above) and then complete one and half days of bible study homework while consuming tortilla chips and a Coke Zero. Caris plays alone, for the most part.
1:45-2pm I have 15 spare minutes! I check my Instagram account (I never post, I just look at bloggers and artsy people. I realize this makes me pathetic) My Mom Game is going strong after returning home and throwing on a sweat shirt and fuzzy socks. 
2pm-2:45pm From 2-3 everyday I send time with my oldest. Today we play 3 games of Uno and she wins all 3 fair and square. She plays in the backyard while I sit and watch. "Look! No hands!" We talk and she asks me questions like, "Wanna feel my breath?" Yes. Yes I do. 
3pm Liza wakes up. Tears are shed because diaper changes post-nap are hard. We leave to run some errands (bad idea, but we're missing key dinner ingredients for tonight). 
3pm-4:45pm We donate one bag to Goodwill (I'm showing off for you guys!), buy a few things at the Dollar Tree and buy groceries at Aldi. I surprise them with lollipops while grocery shopping- not as a bribe- just as a treat. And to shop in quiet peace. One daughter slowly becomes unraveled during the ride home. It's that time of day. On a happier note, every five minutes in the car I have this conversation with Liza

Liza "Mama"
Me "Yeah?"
Liza "Hi"
Me "Hi"
Liza "How are you?"
Me "Good. How are you?"
Liza "Good"

So, take a 20 minute car ride. We have this same exact exchange at least 4 times. It's adorable.
4:45pm I put the groceries away and the girls play. Caris walks around outside in rain boots while holding her umbrella. She saw clouds and has high hopes for rain (it never does). Caris is brought to tears when she finds Liza with an open bottle of sunscreen. I think I hear Kent's car TWICE- we go outside- false alarm both times! Worst feeling ever! I switch the laundry to the dryer and chastise myself for acting like a desperate stay at home mom. winkyface

5:06pm Kent's home! He takes Caris outside to swing and I fix dinner- which is just heating up taco meat he cooked yesterday- and preparing some toppings. Liza wanders around the kitchen asking to eat and for "water peas"

5:30-6:00pm We stuff our faces with burritos, even the girls, and we talk about our day and Kent's ministry questions/goals/stories. I, once again, proclaim my love for sour cream.
6:00-6:30pm I clear the table, Kent plays Monster with Caris until a small tee-tee accident (which I predicted), they clean up the main area of toys and shoes.! Kent salvages half of a cantaloupe. It's the story of my life: I buy a cantaloupe, let it sit too long and then ask Kent to work his magic. The girls eat squishy cantaloupe and Caris does "school work" in a notebook.
6:30-7:00pm The girls change into jammies, we read a bible story, Kent reads Green Eggs and Ham, they brush their teeth (with Kent's help) and are in bed by 7!

The picture below looks tense, but it was a great conversation. We were reading the story of Jesus wandering in the desert.

Caris "What does it mean to lie?"
Dad "To not tell the truth. It's a sin. Do you ever lie? I do."
Caris "I sin a lot"
Dad "Yeah, so do I. And Mommy does. That's why Jesus had to come and die to take away our sins"

(Parents must record these conversations to combat the 8,000 bang-your-head-against-the-wall conversations that make you want to gift them with a one way ticket to live with their grandparents for an extended period of time)
7:00-8:30PM Kent does the dishes while listening to a podcast on his wireless headphones (fancyyy) then reads his nightly Charles Spurgeon book (who IS this guy??) I ahem... read blogs and wander around the internet. 

8:30-10:15PM We catch up on the Celebrity Apprentice episode that we missed the night before. 

10:20PM Retire to bed. Kent has me watch a video about a hipster church in Portland. Click here to watch. I know you're dying to... I try to fall asleep after it, but can't ignore the Jimmy Fallon interview with Coach Bill Belichick that he pulled up. Click here to watch it--to balance out the hipster church video. I fall asleep and Kent stays awake looking at hipster church websites.  

And that was 2-7-2017 for us
Thanks for following along! 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

A New Adventure

Deep breaths, you guys, I led my first small group bible study this morning!

Last semester the main leader asked if I'd be interested in joining the leadership team because they were losing a leader in the spring. I tightly clutched my workbook that contained my incomplete homework for that week and told her I'd think about it.

For many years, my dad and Kent have said ministry in some form would be a good fit for me (thanks, guyssssss) Credit to the Holy Spirit and my killer gospel based upbringing.  A big thanks goes out to Chuck and Shelly, if I can toot their horn for a second. BUT stop for a second, lest we forgot that my entire goal in life up until now has been to GO UNNOTICED. Do not call on me in class. Do not make me pay for things at the store with cash. Do not remember my birthday, much less sing to me in a restaurant. I don't care if you don't know my name. Hello, here's an awkward wave from the corner of the room. I score like, 1000% on the introvert scale in public. At home it's a different story... winkyface

5 of the worst moments for an introvert
-Being called on in class
-Having to do a presentation up front
-Joining the church
-Having someone notice you in a store when you're caught off guard
-Talking with someone that doesn't understand personal space

What would you add? 
Clearly, a future librarian bible study leader

A couple of years ago, during bible study, I decided I would start contributing to the conversation  even though my face turned seven shades of pink and my chin sometimes quivered for no apparent reason. I just did it and it's gotten somewhat easier to talk in groups.

And here we are today! We're working through From Garden to Glory  as is everyone and their mother, so I hear. I was capital N nervous this morning and it's good for me! I've been in a safe Mommy Bubble for almost four years. I've hardly had to step out of my element at all(except to join the church...) It was time.

God is with me. God is for me. Also, I have a RAD group of 15 ladies- I am the youngest by about 10 years and we have some ladies in their 70's. They all contributed to the conversation and were very encouraging afterwards.

One week down, nine to go!


Making: A handful of Sunday School lesson plans for our church  Cooking: Y'all...I made spaghetti noodles with scrambled eggs and gre...