Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Final Day: something you're listening to

Something I am not listening too.. Grammy playing with the little girls :( Her train is speeding it's way back to Grampapa in Orlando. We miss her already and I know the girls will miss her terribly when they wake up. I didn't take a single picture of them all together either.. boo to that. The girls had several firsts while she was here though and that was fun. They used scissors on their own for the first time and made a collage with the pieces they cut out. I know I know... can't believe I haven't let them do that before but I was so nervous that they would cut themselves and when I tried once before I had the hardest time showing them how to hold the scissors. Having a kindergarten teacher around the house is pretty stinkin' awesome. She also taught Margot to write her own name. Not to mention she can cut out a pink butterfly like nobody's business. Believe me, I know. My butterfly cutting skills leave pretty much everything to be desired. 

We love you Grammy and we are so thankful for you. And for you Grampapa, for letting her out of your arms for an entire week.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Two in One: Days 27 (Something You Ate) and 28 (Money)

It happened, I missed a day. Oh well.. 2 in 1? What do ya think? Too literal? 

Stephen is home from NY. We are all glad to have him back. It is beautiful outside today. Mary, Stephen and the girls have gone to the park.  I am here waiting for Frank-e-pot to wake up, trying to decide if I should also make chocolate chip cookies. She has a new toof. A tiny point in the top of her mouth.. think another is on it's way as well. She hasn't said a word about it. Who is this child I birthed? She may be the calm that we stormy Shinglers need. Her smiles, her laughs, her babbles.. contagious. 

Last night when I was putting Ada and Margot to bed, singing them to sleep, Ada reached out her hand (as she often does) for me to hold it while she drifted off. I couldn't reach her from where I was because there was an ocean of "babies" in their "beds" between us. I told her so. She sat up in bed "God's hands can reach me?" she asked. "He strong and His arms are long and He can reach my hand?" Yes, Ada, He can reach your hand.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day Twenty-Six: Night

Can you tell I am getting a bit lazy as we coast into the end of this month of pictures? I was going to take a picture tonight.. of "night".. but then I went to have a glass of wine and chat with friend instead so here is a night long ago. A snap shot that I grabbed on my walk home from work one evening in 2007 (has it really been that long ago?). 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day Twenty-Five: Green

Where did the baby go?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day Twenty-Three: Your Shoes

I have a garden on my foot. 

I always wanted a pair of Dansko clogs in the late 90s. Didn't actually get them until this past fall after giving myself a nasty case of plantar fasciitis while Frankie was at Chapel Hill. Gaining 40 lbs while pregnant and then standing next to your baby while she languishes in her tiny hospital gown for hours at a time.. IN FLIP FLOPS.. will do that to a person. Every single nurse that came into her room had a pair on and I couldn't wait to get mine. Anyway, they have cured me. Now I wear them every day and I am looking forward to getting a sandle-ish version this summer.. or next week the way this weather has been going. I think these shoes are very NC.. as opposed to NYC.. home sweet home right? Right. Raleigh rules.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day Twenty-Two: Where You Work

I couldn't decide so you get two shots of where I work.  Classic Ada (goofball) and sweet Margot who always loves having her picture taken.

And since pretty pretty Margot was the reason I got out the camera in the first place this morning.. She put that outfit together entirely on her own. Isn't she beautiful?  She is contemplating her twin who was going crazy on the couch pretending to be a mad lady bug. Le sigh.


There aren't many of those long hairs left from when when she was born.. but just enough. The new hair underneath seems to be coming in a little blonde and a lot thick. Just like the girls hair, only straight. She has been doing the "zombie" crawl on her belly for what seems like 3 months or more and recently taking a few hands a knee crawling steps before flattening back out onto her belly to move at a quicker, more studied pace. This weekend she gave up belly crawling altogether and now only travels by hands and knees. Belly up, head down, full speed ahead. Yesterday she started clapping. I think babies clapping are so stinkin' precious because it is there first intentional expression of joy, as opposed to a laugh or giggle which is more of a reflex. Spending Sunday and Monday alone with Frankie was such a sweet blessing. I am pretty sure it was more fun than it would have been if I were on my own completely. Having one baby is a dangerous thing for this heart of mine.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day Twenty-one: A Fav Photo of You

This was sort of hard since I have lots of favorites of me. A little narcissistic? Perhaps. The thing is, each one of these favorites has Stephen in it. I always feel prettier when he is next to me and that shows up in the pictures. I am feeling particularly romantic today so.. here's one I am sure you have all seen before. Stephen(20) and me(22) in Montana beside the river we were picnicking by. Ah hippie Sarah.. how young you were.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Day Twenty: Handwriting

Mine is terrible... like doctor terrible. Hers, on the other hand, is so pretty. This is hers. The handwriting of a friend at school, who took the time to write encouraging verses on pretty paper and give them to Stephen during a particularly trying period at work. They have been on our fridge ever since. I change the verse at the front from time to time, and each time I am impressed by how much I love her handwriting.

How do I spell vacation? N-A-N-A-P-A-P-A

That is also the way I spell sleeping in until 7:30, a long luxurious morning shower, and eating a peaceful breakfast with a baby who has strawberry breath. 

Stephen is at the state swim meet today..and when he gets home swim season will officially be over. YES. Mom and Dad have the big girls at their house, giving me a much needed break. It's been me and Frankie around here since yesterday at lunch time. The first few hours threw me into a bit of a tailspin. I didn't know where to start. Clean up the mess that my family left in their wake.. or just rest with the baby doll in my arms.. I chose the latter. I didn't expect to feel so lonely. I came around in the afternoon after a pep talk from Stephen and picked up dinner from Outback (since my fav restaurant was closed). I picked up just enough to make me feel calm. I watch the marathon of Downton Abbey on PBS.. and the finale, which was only so-so in my humble opinion. I needle felted two little purple babies for the girls.  Went to bed hearing the soft clicking of snow flakes falling against the windows. This morning the sun is bright and cheerful. I let Frankie crawl around all morning in her diaper and she is now snoozing snuggled in her crib. She is loving her all access pass to the girls toys. Babbling up a storm. It's a nice morning. 

Yesterday when they left and I felt so, blank. I started to worry that perhaps I had waited too long to take a day off like this. I couldn't think of anything that I wanted to do. All I could think of was what I needed to do. I am pretty sure I have some sort of disease. The always be working when you have free time sort of disease. Have I lost myself in wife/motherhood? Nah.. don't think so. I am coming around this morning. I am still itching to clean a bathroom, and I may just do that, but at least my mind is thinking thoughts again.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Day Nineteen: Something you hate to do

I hate doing the dishes. Hate it. Always have, always will. It gets your hands all greasy and you have to dig all the gunk out of the sink when you are done. Ugh. Well.. off to do the dishes!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


While I chopped veggies for stir fry tonight.. with the back door open.. breeze blowing in.. Fleet Foxes playing.. Stephen and the girls were in the backyard. 

 Stephen said she was bending down and picking the grass, standing back up and dropping it through the big "window" in the climbing cube. She will be 9 months on Thursday.

Bye bye!!!

Day Eighteen: Drink

Come now.. you know you didn't really want to see my empty beer bottle from dinner. I can not get enough of this baby. Just can't.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day Seventeen: Time

How does one take a picture of time when A) one forgot that she needed to figure that out earlier in the day and B) one just walked in from spending some quality time with a glass of red wine and some lovely lady friends.. and it is 11:40 PM. This "one" takes a picture of the clock on the microwave in the darkened kitchen and plays around with the shutter a bit. Voila. Time. 

In other news, I did not frantically clean my house today. I fought the urge and won, thanks to a pep talk from the ol' BFF. I enjoyed my girls. I made dinner for a friend with an adorable new baby boy. I made dinner for us (warmed it up really). I painted the girls fingernails hot pink. I took a video of Frankie talking to a picture of Baby Adam .. and actually caught the moment when she tried to say his name on tape. This was her first attempt a real word and I got it! She tried to say "Adam" because we were all telling her it was Baby Adam that she was babbling too. She said "A-dah?" it was really adorable. She also crawled around my room after her nap saying it over and over. I had a marvelous day and I didn't let myself go crazy and destroy it. Go me.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day Sixteen: Something New

A few words, because I really really don't want to clean up the kitchen right now. Today it rained and it was cold and I was desperate to go back to bed. In the spirit of wanting to snuggle into a warm bed all on my own I purposed to spend the day enjoying the girls. While Frankie napped this morning we got every pillow we could find and snuggled on the big bed and read books. Then we played some other Ada and Margot manufactured games, watched the washer wash a load of dish towels, had a play visit from some good friends in their jams and rain gear. My mind told me that while Frankie was being such a good napper today I should at least get the bathrooms cleaned.. or dust.. or fold laundry. Didn't do it. Feel good about it. Here's the catch though... tomorrow morning I all the desires to clean up that I kept at bay will come flooding out and my day will be a scrambling sort of a day. These are the days that I wear myself out cleaning the house "at the last minute" because the temptation to have a clean house, and thus a worry free Saturday morning, are too overwhelming. Annoying right? I might even get cranky because inevitably it will be sunny outside.. and I will resist the urge to be out in that sun because my time is up.. it is Friday and certain things will need to be done so that I can not be a crazy lady the next day. I will kick myself for not having done all that cleaning on this rainy day.. but I didn't want to clean... I wanted to cuddle my littles. UGH. So my question to you is.. it's all fine and good to ignore the housework in favor of spending the day with your children.. but then how do you keep from being a jerk the next day because you have twice the work piled up? I am pretty sure I know the answer but I just wanted to see if any of you did.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day Fifteen: Phone

Someone who should be asleep.. is not asleep.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentimes! (it never gets old)

Thank you Great Granddaddy and Great Grandmother!!!

Day Fourteen: Heart

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day Thirteen: Blue

Baby Frankie's tiny water glass.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Day Twelve: Inside Your Closet

Get it? I'm inside my closet

Oh, that's right. I'm one of those pesky rule followers.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Day Eleven: Makes You Happy

Kids asleep by 7:30 and dinner alone with my man...

Friday, February 10, 2012


I spend a lot of time these days thinking about how to be a better mother. It seems that every evening when I drag to bed I try to soothe myself to sleep with the promise that tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow will not be a total wash. I will be a better mom tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes and I start off with an optimism that I can only assume comes with extreme fatigue/insanity and inevitably during the day I have that moment.. that moment where I feel the sting of intense personal failure. A character flaw has reared it's ugly head, in an ugly way, and I have crushed one of my children.

Have you ever crushed a child? The feeling is unmistakable. Like yesterday, for instance, when I caught Ada doodling in my open address book with the pen that I left next to it. My response " Are you KIDDING ME ADA?!?!? DO YOU DRAW IN BOOKS?!? DO YOU?!??! NOOOOOO!!!!! THIS IS MOMMY'S SPECIAL ADDRESS BOOK AND NOW IT IS RUINED!!!!" .. at which point I snatched said book from her hands and crammed it back on the bookshelf. Then I turned and saw her face. Trying desperately to hold back the tears.. absolutely crushed. I crushed my child. I crushed my Ada. If I had taken two seconds to think I would have realized that she is only 3 and a half and that she saw a book that I had been writing in, open with the pen I had been using next to it and she just started doing what she had seen me doing. I would have also recognized that I didn't give a rat's ass whether there were stray pen marks in my address book as it is a tool and not an archival publication. I could tell you all the reasons that I lost my temper. I could tell you that it was 4:30 and they had been nagging me all day, I could tell you that I was bone tired and my back was hurting and .. but I won't. What I did was childish and it was entirely selfish. I reverted to the mind of a 10 year old whose sibling is messing with the arrangement of pillows on their bed (ah-hem John..). I was so far from being a mother in that moment I couldn't even see the street sign. I dropped to my knees and scooped her into my arms and I hugged her and asked her to forgive me for hurting her feelings.. for scaring her. I asked her to pray with me and I prayed for forgiveness. And then..... the guilt set in. In my mind when something like that happens during the day .. the rest of the day (no matter how great it may have been) doesn't matter any more. All I will remember is that moment of failure. I have always been my own worst enemy in that way. Always harder on myself than anyone else could be. Recently our pastor spoke about grace. I know what grace is, I don't just give it lip service.. I have experienced it over and over again. Grace is the reason my maiden name isn't on Facebook. Grace lets you start over, and it lets you do this freely. Our Redeemer has doled out more than my fair share of grace in this life. Still something Tyler said really struck me. He said that those of us who are always so hard on ourselves are putting a limit on God's grace. It's like we are saying that our sin is too great for him to cover, so we are going to wallow around in it and try to handle it ourselves. In reality, he said, our sin is like a single grain of sand to Jesus' ocean of grace. Why not toss that grain in, and walk away? That is what He desires us to do. Stop feeling like a failure, toss your failures into that ocean and walk away and start fresh.. right away. You don't have to work for grace, remember? Not with Him. So I am practicing walking away from my F-Squared moments and leaving the guilt behind as well. Not an easy task let me tell you. But it is getting easier, with practice.. and I get to practice.. a lot.

So then this morning the girls were happily playing upstairs for like, 45 minutes and I took that opportunity to have a quiet breakfast with Frankie and read my "Bible Study" (which is really just me reading through the book of Luke) out loud. I am on chapter 18 and when I read the parable of the Pharissee and the Tax Collector I was struck again by a realization. I am both of these characters. I am the Pharisee who desires control over her life and is proud of her accomplishments and looks down on others. Just being honest folks. It happens. I like to pretend I never look down on others but lets get real, it happens. I am also the Tax Collector. I am standing far off, beating myself up for my sins. I am a sinner. The Tax Collector says in verse 13 "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!". When I read this I immediately thought "God, be merciful to me, a mother!". I know I am a sinner, but in this season of my life what I need mercy for is my role as a mother. I need His mercy as I try to navigate my way through these difficult years that leave me exhausted and unable to remember what I enjoy when I am on my own.. other than a big glass of wine and a box of Krispy Kreme I mean. Be merciful to me, a mother. It is still echoing in my head more than 12 hours later. Be merciful to me, a mother. I ask for His mercy for my crazy short comings and I accept the grace that He offers to walk away from my mistakes being washing clean and able to move on. I am working on not letting one outburst spoil an entire day, working on not limiting that grace. It's a work in progress.

My OCD vs. My Three Year Olds

"Make yours, like mine."
Raleigh St. Clair

If you have never seen The Royal Tenenbaums you won't get that reference. In reality I said mine was just an example and that they could make their flowers look however they wanted too. I had to sit on my hands and bite my lip to keep from offering "helpful" advice. They were beyond excited with the way they turned out and they glued every single piece on all by themselves while I cheered them on while battling my inner nature. I do not want to create perfectionists.. I know that is not really up to me but it is such a handicap to success and happiness in life that I am fighting myself at every turn to keep from pushing them in that direction. I think we are well on our way.

Day Ten: Self Portrait

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Day Eight: Sun

Photo Credit: Rachel W.

..since I didn't see the sun today.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Day Seven: Button

"Button the Rabbit"

This is the first toy that Margot has named all on her own that wasn't "rabbit" or "baby rabbit" or "blue baby" or something else of that nature. She marched in the kitchen yesterday and announced that this rabbit's name was "Button the Rabbit". I was so excited about the insane cuteness of the name that I probably went overboard laughing and going on and on about how much I loved her name to which she just kept repeating "This rabbit's name is ... Button the Rabbit!!!!" over and over and over. Gotta say it was worth every repetition.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Day Six: Dinner

Two tonight. Up top, the girls seeing Stephen coming down the street to pick them up for Daddy-Daughter Date Night at Chick-fil-A. Down below, dinner. I am told there was a string quintet (yes, quin as in 5) and the real Sleeping Beauty was there as well. They were so excited and tired when I read them bedtime stories tonight that they fell asleep during the third book and I had to carry them to bed.. it has been years people.. years since I carried a sleeping twin to bed.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Day Four: A Stranger

Me with Maddie the day(day after?) she was born. Way before kids of my own. Kind of a cheat but a clever one, wouldn't you say?

Friday, February 03, 2012

Day Three: Hands

Friday. Bourbon, rocks.

Thursday, February 02, 2012


Frances Pauline is eight months old now. Where did the time go....
At 8 months, she can sit on her own, zombie crawl, sit up from crawling, feed herself, and today she started waving and saying "Ba-ba" which we are all taking to mean "bye-bye". Frankie you are our beloved. Your sisters adore you, your father and I are head over heels in love with you... you are precious to us and we can not imagine life without you in our family.

You are absolutely the happiest baby I have ever known. All you do is smile. You play with your toys on your own and smile. You feed yourself puffs and crackers and smile. You see your sisters and beam. Sometimes when I am working in another room, I hear the sound of a baby belly dragging across the floor and I turn just in time to see you peak your head around the corner, see me, and smile. It is so easy to make you laugh. The only time you get fussy is when you are ready for a nap.. and then you only cry out a few times or make a sad face and we know it's time to let you rest. You are a thumb sucker. And it is A-Dorable. When you are getting sleepy you suck your left thumb and you hold my hair or my ear and put your head on my shoulder. You love your strawberry lovey and hold onto that and suck your thumb if it is around. You are just so darn cute! We think you might be a red head or at least an auburn head.. but we will have to wait and see on that one. I love you with all my heart. You are my gracious gift and I do not take that lightly. I am oh so thankful to be your mama.

Day Two: Words


This is truth. Can you see it well enough? No?

How about now? My favorite part is that it is 10:23 AM and the topless muffin beside the dead bananas and empty yogurt cup.

Truth. My girls all ready for the day.. beautiful.. wanting me to take a picture of the muffins we baked this morning. Me anonymous behind the camera in my jammies. 

This is my truth this morning.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Day One: My View Today

February Photo A Day

A FB friend of mine is doing this.. so I thought I would give it a try here.