Happy feet…

I was cleaning out closets recently and I found a bucket of old Native brand shoes that hadn’t made its way to the donation pile. This basically sums up the shoes Briggs wore for the first 5 years of his life. He could put them on himself. They didn’t rip. They were easily washed. They protected his feet. They were the best.

We have a store called Nordstrom Last Chance (with crazy good deals) close to us and I had a neighbor that would pick up the next size for me anytime she saw them there. We were stocked and had multiple colors in every size and Briggs wore them every single day. However, when he started kindergarten and was spending time in the sandy playground (mixed with his sweaty feet), they just didn’t make sense anymore so they slowly found their way to the back of the closet.

These were the last pairs I had left – its the end of a shoe era. Thank you Native for being the best childhood shoe for an Arizona boy.

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A little emotional…

I was visiting an english classroom at the high school and in between the shelves of books and motivational sayings, I found this painted on the wall:

I walked across the classroom to get a better look and I immediately found my current emotion among the brightly colored squares. I’m not sure the teacher’s intent on painting this on the wall besides the interest it adds to a windowless room. Perhaps it serves as a quick mental health report card – I know I scanned the chart and checked myself. Maybe it’s serving an english purpose and providing better descriptive words for emotions in students’ writing.

Either way – I liked it and I appreciated it’s place in the high school classroom. I snapped a picture on my phone and have found myself periodically going back to it and referencing it.

I think I’ve become lazy when describing how I feel. I’m well. I’m tired. I’m excited. I’m frustrated. That pretty much sums up all the emotions, right?! 🙂 Really, there’s a whole slew of emotions I don’t regularly recognize for what they are. Am I well or am I satisfied? Am I tired or drained? Am I excited or optimistic?

We use so many of those interchangeably but as I look at the chart, I see just how different some of those are. I like the idea of narrowing it down a little more to truly recognize what emotion I’m sitting with.

And looking at this chart it’s clear we’re all a little emotional – both good and bad.

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Birthday boy…

We celebrated this boy today – the big 14!

Hunter is driven and passionate.

Here’s his 14-year-old snapshot:

He loves Phoenix Suns. He loves Green Bay Packer football. He loves ASU Football but it may be a couple years before they’re worth following!

He loves playing sports just as much as watching sports and he’s a great athlete and just completed Grand Canyon Rim to Rim (24 miles in one day) with no training.

He loves Lake Powell and wake surfing – his favorite vacation.

He loves the stock market and tracking his stocks.

He is a good student and abnormally good in math – he’s two grades ahead and is sitting at a 98%.

He’s social and has a broad group of friends but he’s also busy enough that his life doesn’t revolve around friends. He isn’t typically the center of attention, but always seems to be a quiet leader.

He’s driven and knows how to work hard.

He’s happy and even tempered and is always willing to play football or soccer with his brothers. He’s a great listening ear to his sister and still loves to tease her.

If this is what teenagers are made of – I’ll take them all.

Happy Birthday Hunt-man!

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Painting and cookies…

One of these things is not like the other.

Call me crazy, but sometimes my wild night includes a large batch of chocolate chip cookies and painting trim.

Actually, its been a while since I’ve had a paintbrush on my counter. Which is funny considering for years and years I probably had a paintbrush on my counter more often than not. And then life shifted. The time and energy I once spent building and updating our home was redirected to other things. What was once the norm has become the exception and as I was cleaning my cookie mess the other night, the paintbrush stood out to me. It looked a little out of place. I have painted nearly every surface of this home and yet it still looked a little out of place. Funny how life changes on you.

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Middle Mom…

We are in an interesting phase of life. We have a revolving front door with all ages running through and its become a little bit of a balancing act. Weekends have to be planned so Hallie and Hunter know when they can brings friends over and have full access to the hangout room. And if neither of them claimed dibs, you better believe the other three are chomping at the bit to host a pool party or a movie night or whatever other genius plan their minds conjure up. I can play referee to 6-year-olds one afternoon and then entertain teenagers the next.

Our home is always open. Is it always clean? Nope. But they know they’re welcome here and I’m not going to freak out when a dozen kids are traipsing through my kitchen with their wet feet after I just mopped the floors (even more reason for me to mop them less often – as if I needed an excuse).

Hunter decided to host a gathering a couple weeks back. The plan was to play frisbee dodgeball at the church and then come back for cookies and swimming and the invite list was extensive. (And in situations like this it’s always an open invite. So every person who asked if they could bring another friend, the answer was always yes.) I’m not sure how many people couldn’t make it, but I do know that 38 people decided to come. And they had the best time.

As a parent, I’m happy they’re here because I get to know every single one of them and that is worth the messy floors and dozens and dozens of cookies consumed.

One weekend evening, our house was quiet and Steve was heading off to bed as I slipped out to grab Hunter from a friend’s house. While picking Hunter up, I was chatting with the mom and catching up when I saw a call come through from Steve. Finding it odd he was calling so late, I picked up the phone, “Hallie’s group just arrived and they don’t want to see me, they want to see you so come quickly!”

And just when I thought my night was winding down, it was in fact ramping up and I wasn’t even sad about it. I was excited at the idea of seeing Hallie’s friends and feeding them cookies.

After a heavy week of hosting every age of kids, I came across this quote on Facebook and I couldn’t relate more – I am a middle mom.

I am a middle mom and this has to be the sweet spot of parenthood. We are in the thick of every age and it’s exhausting, but so great and rewarding. It is rare that a day goes by that we don’t have welcome visitors/playmates and it makes for a busy but joyful (at times joyfully loud) home. Hoping we can make this stage last as long as possible because we sure do love a full home.

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