Thinking, Playing, Reading

(Gorgeous sunset on the river - wish I never missed one.)
Of how excited Jeff and I are to have almost all my kids home this weekend.  Matt won't make it home from college (Halloween weekend at campus is not to be missed this first year) but having almost all of them home has to be close enough for me.  I have a list of recipes to bake and cook which makes me so happy.  (I'll post those all next week.)

I'll have to wait until Thanksgiving to get them all back.  I now know what my mom meant when she said, "I just want you all here under my roof."  It's really a deep settling feeling, even with the extra work and chaos, that our hearts all crave as parents, even subconsciously I think.

You have all helped me so much with my winter/sleep issues.  I had a good time shopping for all the things I need, and have already tried several and they really really work.  I went all out because I know I need to.

1. Epsom salts at night have really made a difference-the magnesium helps, and the lavender scent.
2. Lavender essential oil-I learned this during yoga class, at the end, when our instructor gives us a cloth that smells like lavender to put over our eyes and I almost fall asleep.  I really want to lay there for the rest of the day but that is probably not allowed.
3. Citrus essential oils and diffuser for the daytime.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this.  It smells like summer and like 'clean' at the same time.
4. A super warm hood so I can walk outside and get some exercise.
5. Vitamin D.

I found a cozy blanket at TJ Maxx and some running gloves at Costco (they aren't warm enough though-I think I need mittens?).  I am still working on finding some good magnesium supplements.

I also found the CUTEST winter clothes on Amazon of all places, for Janey (after giving up on Gymboree :(.)  I wish I would have spent more time online shopping (I feel like I am always way behind on the trends-Costco, grocery pick up, etc...I always end up saying "This is genius!")

It's Boden knockoff but the quality is good enough for the price.  We had so much fun choosing them together. 

Janey is beginning to read on her own and she is SO proud of herself and it's just so exciting.  I love that little "click" when they get it.  And it's happened at all different ages for all of my kids (and had no bearing on how well they did learning in the future!!!).  It's just such a wonderful thing to witness.

Bob Books (our's are so well-worn)

Patrick is reading all these books at once (which drives me crazy, but one is for school and one for home and one he and Jeff are reading together-Resistance is about WWII, so pretty heavy material.)
He LOVES this one.

Math, stats, and reading all in one and no complaints! :)


  1. I love that you found Lavender Essential Oils. Please make sure you get good quality. A lot of store brands have chemicals in them, which defeats the whole purpose. Hope you're sleeping better!

  2. Finding little girls clothes is so tricky! The only places we found stuff this year were gap and h and m surprisingly! I have been searching for nightgowns though, I should try amazon!

  3. I got chelated magnesium on amazon. It seems to help.

  4. I love how you expressed your appreciation for the hints people gave, that you tried them, and found some that worked! What a good example of humility you are! I've been thinking about your post about winter. I live in Montana where we have about five months of hard winter. For me, I think having a wood stove has made a huge difference. And a heating pad to set on my lap when I am not in the room with the stove. I also like winter because of the things we do NOT have to do--no yard work, no fruit flies, no flies, etc. I am grateful for the evenings we get to spend at home. I am also grateful that winter is dotted with the major holidays. I also have a good book recommendation for you: Self Coaching 101 by Brooke Castillo. Her ideas about how our thoughts influence everything in our lives is very compelling. We may not have control over our circumstances but our choices in how to view them are everything. It has helped me realize I have a lot more power than I have sometimes thought--I do NOT have to take the lowest common denominator road just because.

    1. Ana I just started listening to her podcasts! Really really interesting and helpful. Thank you!

  5. For magnesium I love this resource and her products.
    She is my go-to expert on magnesium. She has a magnesium cream that is the ONLY thing that eased my daughters growing pains (and I’ve tried 20+ remedies). Lots of good info regarding magnesium & sleep, too!

  6. Sarah - thank you for sharing your heart with us. I love reading your posts! I am so happy that you are finding some solutions to your sleep issues. There is nothing more therapeutic than a good night's sleep! xo

  7. The diffuser and citrus oils sound wonderful- do you like them all? I am contemplating just the sweet orange. I use citrosolv to clean my bathroom because I love the smell - if I could have that in a diffuser, I would love it!!

    Buy good quality ski gloves - Marmot or North Face - invest and you will not regret it. I wear gloves because I find it hard to walk the dog etc in mittens but I invested in a few good pairs and my hands stay toasty. Wool socks are great too to stay warm!

  8. I have been using this magnesium supplement. http://naturalvitality.com/natural-calm/

  9. I'm waiting patiently to have all my "kids" home for Thanksgving, too!! It will do this mama heart good!
    Thanks so much for getting back to us with an update on the winter suggestions! I'm going to chime in, too, to say make sure you are getting good brands of essential oils. Do your research. I get mine from Rocky Mountain Oils. Two other things: It took me a while to find a magnesium supplement that didn't have ill effects on my gut. I take Magnesium Glycinate and it's made a great difference. Lastly, make sure to take the Vitamin D with a good source of fat. Since it is a fat soluble vitamin it needs to bind to fat for you to absorb it. It has made such a difference in my life in the last 6 or 7 years that I've been taking it!! Hoping you get the same results!
    I'd also like to encourage you to read up on taking Curcumin supplements for breast cancer fighting and prevention. Here's one that specifically talks about triple negative.....https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271265702_Curcumin_and_its_derivatives_in_breast_cancer_Current_developments_and_potential_for_the_treatment_of_drug-resistant_cancers

  10. I worked up to two of these magnesium a day - but start with one for a while! This type is easier on the digestive tract! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00013YZ1Q/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  11. I love what you said about learning to read. My son was born a couple weeks after Janey and he's starting to read too, it's fun to see it happening. My mom had seven kids and most of us learned to read before kindergarten except for one of my sisters who didn't until second grade. She was always stuck in the lowest group and felt ashamed. Well, six of the seven of us have college degrees, but she's the only one with a PhD. So your disclaimer about when they learn to read is 100% true. :-)

  12. Hi Sarah! I recommend Ancient Minerals magnesium oil for your sleep needs. There are a lot of different kinds of magnesium and they all help different issues. I started using it for my daily headaches and ocular migraines and I can really tell a difference. I would order straight from them so you can get discounts and free samples:)