It was just one of the many many lessons I’ve learned from being a mother.

Some of the most important parts of my job are to act with kindness and to own my ish.

Today everything exploded this morning. Miscommunications, missed expectations, running late to a friend’s house, my oldest suddenly with us instead of having big boy time, the instagram charity auction for Zelie & Co bustling, and a bad night the night before.

Cue me shouting and them all shouting and it’s 10 degrees and 20 below windchill and YES YOU MUST WEAR YOUR SNOWPANTS INTO THE CAR.

By the time we were all loaded into the car, I felt it. That regretful feeling in my stomach. I’m the adult. I need to control my crabby temper. Just because my kids are being rude and not cooperating doesn’t give me license to let loose on them. I am the adult. And once again, I’ve proven that mothering, for me, is the quickest way to being a better person.

Because instead of having control over my life, with minimalism well under way around the house, and days of creative output for me, and a well-balanced diet, and clothes that I enjoy wearing, I’m in the thick of real life with small kids. Our house is messy, our days are well worn with book reading and painting and hide & go-to-seek and naps, I’m eating pepperoni & melted cheese on tortilla chips, and I’m out of shape so my wardrobe is limited to clothing I don’t feel I’m yucking out in.

So that apology I issued to my kids in the car because my life isn’t under my control and they’re not robots? It’s sincere. I shouldn’t shout. They deserve respect. If the plans change and they don’t like it, they can voice that (within reason). And when I’m blundering my way through my feelings about my waistline or my sewing time or my playdate tardiness (aka excuse to see my girlfriend), I lose sight of what matters to me right now: how I treat them.

My son said: “We need more respect and to be included in what’s happening around here. I don’t like it when I have no say.” Ouch. OUCH.

Do they have a mama who is attentive and positive or one who is escaping and complaining? I don’t have to be “present” every moment and throw my iPhone out the window. I can scroll Facebook & watch to make sure no one brains another with a lego castle. But am I smiling at them? Am I respectful to them? Am I the grown up who’s in charge of my temper and my feelings?

In the car, I asked what we could have done better that morning to deal with the hurricane of all of it. SuperBoy gave good feedback and SweetPea reminded me it is unlegal for him to stay home by himself. BabyLoves shouted ME TOO and we worked toward a better day the rest of it. I was jolted out of my selfish view of the world.

It’s not my world anymore; it’s our world. And that makes me a better person.

A few good posts from the years gone by about similar things:

Day in the Life with Small Kids

My Day with Three Kids

Sample Day with Two Kids

Lenten Scripture Study for Moms Still Available! and I launched my spring legging line in la shoppe!

waiting in the word


ZelieCharityAuction Logo The struggle of the young mom who is alone on her parenting journey is near and dear to my heart. I’ve partnered for a good cause with Heather from Mama Knows Honey Child and the artisan whimsical children’s products shop on testy called Honey Child Forest or on instragram, too, Honey Child Forest. She felts, makes amazing banners, hand lettered art, and so much more (including custom family portraits!). We met at the Edel conference in 2014 and I thought, this is my kind of girlfriend!

Lately we’ve been working together over at the instagram popup weekly shop of many mama artisans called Zelie & Co. For the shop’s weekly sale tomorrow, we’re changing things up and doing an auction-style sale with ALL the proceeds going to charity!

{My girlfriend Jenny is telling you about my gift set offering–leggings, bib, burp cloth, plush blanket–all organic!}

honey child forest
My charity of choice is the Philomela House here in Saint Paul. They provide housing for homeless expecting mothers and the support they need along their journey. A friend’s mother (since deceased) founded it and we pray for those mamas every night!

Heather’s offering a super sweet bunch of goods valued over $100!!

Needlefelted heart garland – 3 feet long

Needlefelted/embroidered wool felt fawn crown

honey child forest

Totus Tuus felt flower and wood sign

honey child forest

A rustic “Give Me Jesus” banner

honey child forest

And two Fox and Gnome beeswax candles

honey child forest

GET OVER THERE tomorrow and BID, friends!


Somehow this last six months has felt like a shift in our family. SuperBoy isn’t a little kid anymore. He’s in a whole different place, so I’m in a whole different place as a mom. Yes, he still has epic clashes with me and trouble listening at times, but his maturity is sometimes (sometimes) amazing.

His wings are growing. Banging. Bashing around, looking for higher heights to leap from, and leading the way for the little kids to want and be and do more and more.

Case in point. The other day, for the first time in months, SuperBoy was the gentle big brother I know is in there somewhere. He changed into his play clothes in the morning without a fight. He let his sister play with his legos without apoplectic screeches. He spoke in the cutest LOUD SLOW BABY TALK to the toddler who understood him perfectly and let us know with lots of “BABA” and “JEE-JEE” responses. {that’s my dad’s name and Jesus, FYI}. His idea for Lent? Offering up all treats and adding in doing all his morning chores before breakfast.


I thought about these posts I had written throughout the years:

big boy battles,


taming your toddler’s tantrums,

feeling powerless with your preschooler,

power parenting: why force & fear don’t work, 

helping emotional boy find his voice & ears.

He’s growing up.

That’s my dad’s dresser from his childhood we’ve repainted around those 50’s decals a few times for our babes. 


Lent starts on Wednesday. Our Scripture Study that’s so basic and so guilt-free will start up. Waiting in the Word has been, for me, baby steps to starting more of a prayer life than HELP, GOD! It’s doable for a few minutes a few days a week, or even all in one felled swoop on a weekend afternoon. It’s easily on your phone or computer. I just wanted something that could hold my hand through Advent and Laura & Nancy made that happen.

If you are thinking about doing something for Lent, doing something, not just offering something up, come and join us in our facebook group after you buy your bundle. We talk, we support each other, we journey towards a deeper faith together. And I need that. We’re being pro-active. I need that, too.

Raising my kids has been more transforming to me than I thought. I thought, oh, yes, I’ll learn how to feed them properly and change diapers. I had no idea I’d be explaining miscarriages and racism and outer space. And choosing good and love over being selfish, that part I’m teaching and I’m trying to do.


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