August 28, 2012

confessions of a recovering....


If you were to walk in my front door, you would be cheerfully greeted by legos all over the front living room. Like covering almost every square inch.

If you walked by the desk, you'd see crayons ev-e-ry-where. Like all over the desk. Inside the desk and littering the floor under the desk.

If you walked into my kitchen, you might see dishes stacked in the sink. They are rinsed though. Because I can't stand prying dried oatmeal from bowls. 

My pantry and closets have no rhyme or reason. I used to dream of having my pantry so organized it would rival that of  M Stew(Martha Stewart). Not got happen any time soon. 

And if you were to open a junk better not. 

My dining area and family room are generally picked up, otherwise life is outta control. And I try try to clean the boys' bathroom frequently, in case anyone stops by to whiz. Because it would just be rude otherwise. Rude I tell you!

If you walked into my bedroom, you would probably see that I forgot to make my bed. Which drives my hubby nuts. Once upon a time, I was wheeling and dealing, and convinced him to spot me some cash for a Petunia Picklebottom, in exchange for me making my bed for a whole year.  I looked so sincere, he must have said yes. What a sucker. That lasted about all of 2 or 3 days. Not a fact I'm proud of. 

And my poor master bathroom. Looks like a gas station more often than not. Once again. NOT something I'm terribly proud of. 

And of course, when you are taking pictures to post on OH SAY YOUR BLOG, you can always tilt the camera at just the right angle to crop out the messy areas of your home...or better yet, lower the aperture so that the background is superrrrr blurry. So thanks for that, Canon. 

My point?  I am not a stereotypical perfectionist, and if you were physically walking through my house during the day you might not know I had a problem.  Rather, I have "pockets of perfectionism". Only certain parts of my life are plagued by perfectionism. For example, there are some perfectionists who literally label and color code their pantry and closets. Their houses are spotless all the time. This was never the case with me. 

Other people are meticulous with their appearance. Their clothing and hair are immaculate. Also not the case for me, at least most of the time. I get into terrible ruts and wear the same thing all the time. My latest uniform consists of denim cutoffs with a black v-neck tee. And I wash my hair every 3 days. Don't judge. It's pretty much awesome and you should try it too.

So. Where does my perfectionist side emerge?

It pops out in projects that are important to me. Like when I try to sew a lil quilt, I get super picky with the fabrics, especially the color and scale of the design. I've been known to dye fabrics on occasion, or even sew/embroider a pattern when I could not find what I wanted in the stores. THAT IS NOT NORMAL PEOPLE. Seriously. If a fabric did DID NOT EXIST, I forced it to exist. I'm laughing now, because that is CRAZY. But that is the person I used to be. It was like I was in a trap. I knew it was insane, but I just couldn't break out of it.

I remember making a pumpkin cake with some friends for a baby shower. The orange color of the frosting was too bright for me. I kept making my friends add MORE AND MORE brown dye to make the orange more muted. My friends thought I was nutso. They called me a color snob. And rightly so.

When I was in high school and college, I was perfectionistic about my grades. Only A's were acceptable. That's a lot of pressure for a kid. "If you don't get good grades, you'll work at a gas station!" my teachers would bark. I would SO take their words to heart...when really they were probably talking to the gang bangers. I went to school with thugs. My hippie parents were great though and never pressured me. In fact, they would always tell me to STOP studying and go have fun. My parents were totes more cool than I was. So wrong, baha.

And the worst was when I invited people over. Now all of a sudden, the house HAD to be clean. I would stay up reallllly late and make extra trips to the grocery store just to make yummy food. It just wasn't fun anymore. By the time company arrived I was too worn out to even enjoy it. 

So WHY was I like this? I never really knew. And to be quite frank. I did not care enough to really change. Until last fall. I was getting increasingly stressed out to the point where it was starting to effect my health. Ya know, like tummy aches and lack of sleep. Plus. It just doesn't feel good to be stressed.

A few weeks ago, my husband handed me a book called Hope for the Perfectionist. He told me to read it "so that I'll understand him more". He's kind of a "pocket perfectionist" too...takes him FOREVER to mow the lawn. And he'll stay up til midnight doing lesson plans. This would make me all cranky and nag him.  

A few things from the book REALLY stood out to me. They might even cure you if you are a perfectionist...and if you are not a perfectionist?  It might help you understand that annoying delightful friend of yours. *wink*.
 Like this part WOKE ME UP. I'm going to wildy paraphrase here, k?

>>>>>Basically it's because of pride.

Wait. What? Me, prideful? Nawwww.

Read on.

Everything has to appear perfect because we are prideful. We want to be perfect, like God is perfect. It's the original sin of Satan. He wanted to be like God in heaven. And it also was the first sin of mankind. Adam and Eve took the fruit so that their eyes would be opened and they would be like God.

Yup, every bad thing on earth seems to have its root in pride. 

To me, this fact make perfectionism easier to deal with. I don't need a 12-step program to rid myself of perfectionism--I need Jesus. And his forgiveness when I'm prideful. And I need to stoppit. Only God is perfect. I am not.

I'm not judging anyone but myself here, ok?

>>>>>Instead of striving for perfection, strive for excellence. What is the difference? To me, it's a heart issue. We should try to do the best we can on a project, with the time, money and talent given us, for the GLORY OF GOD...rather than the glory of ourselves. It's a subtle shift, but a major one. People on the outside may not ever know the difference, but in your heart, you will know. 

I always just KNOW when I'm crossing over to the dark side. Like when I was working on Lindsay's baby shower, I wanted flat long skinny popsicle sticks, so they my paper doll center pieces would lie flat, rather than puckering.

The old Davi would have driven her wheels off to every store in search of sticks that did not exist. The new Davi called a few stores, got all angsty.....but eventually recognized that these sticks probably didn't exist, and instead worked with the sticks from Michaels.

My dolls puckered a bit. They were NOT perfect. But I ended up having fun with it.

Nobody cared. Because it didn't really matter.

But still, initially, I had to fight an internal battle over it. 

Someone striving for perfectionism will try their hardest on a task, never being satisfied, always wishing for the impossible. It's not realistic.

Someone striving for excellence will be satisfied that they did the best they could. They don't compare themselves to others. Let's just face it. Some people are more talented. For example, when I was in art class, we had to draw a pumpkin. I spent hours and hours agonizing over my pumpkin drawing, yet it still didn't look real. I'm just not a talented artist. I got to class and one of the boys forgot to do the assignment. In 5 minutes flat he drew the most amazing 3D pumpkin I have ever seen. So rude. I cannot expect myself to do that. It's not realistic. 

>>>>>Perfectionists often deal in extremes. To them, things are black&white, never grey. Things are all-wonderful or all-terrible. They have an all-or-none attitude. Like in college, I had to have an A or nothing.

If they can't do something perfectly they won't even try. Because how horrible to try something and fail. Or worse, to be average. Once again, I see pride rearing its ugly head. Everyone can't be the best at everything. Heaven forbid you are average at a particular task. Average. Can you even deal with being average? I know, I know. It's a hard pill to swallow. But in the end, its good for us because it makes us more humble.

God opposes the proud, 
  but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6

And by humble I don't mean "woe is me, I'm so untalented". I'm talking about having the right perspective on who you are, compared to God.

If you are a perfectionist and you try at something and fail? Let me give you some tips. You need to realize that (1) You are pretty cool for trying, because you were brave (2) Even if you failed at one job, that does not mean YOU are a failure. So what? You screwed up on something. You are not perfect. It's ok. It means you are only human. Don't be so hard on yourself. 

And my personal favorite: 

>>>>>Perfectionists think that everyone must like them. 

This is just not rational. It is not possible for EVERYONE to like you at ALL times. Perfectionists tend to be people pleasers and go through great lengths to make people happy. And they will often push themselves to the point of ridiculous stress, just to keep the peace. Been there, done that. Don't care to go back. But I've since learned, that I am limited and can only do so much before I get diarrhea, lol. TMI. 

It's ok if someone is upset with you, if you cannot meet their expectations. 



This one was news to me. I hate disappointing or upsetting someone. But it's inevitable. I'm human. I make mistakes. I'm going to disappoint people. Of course I should try to live at peace with people and apologize when I'm in the wrong. 

>>>>>Even if you STINK at something new, you might have tons of fun doing it.

But you will never know if you don't try. Basically, if you are a perfectionist, you are missing out on a lot of fun in life. Isn't that sad???!!!! I think so!

For example. I can't dance. I'm not coordinated. So I tend to avoid it. But it's fuuuuuuun. My sister recently gave me a workout DVD that involves some Brazillion dance moves. I look ridiculous when I'm practicing{and practicing. seriously girlfriend cannot dance} and my husband laughs at me. But I am truly having SO MUCH FUN. Who knew?

Since reading the book, I now purposely look for ways to be non-perfectionistic. Then I reward myself with a cookie. I kid.

>>>>>My husband was out of town and I was home alone with 4 boys. I suddenly got the urge to write some hand-written letters to some friends. I thought of going to target for some cute stationary. I needed something to reflect my style, right????? But I realized it was not realistic to drag 4 boys into target. The old Davi would have abandoned writing letters. All or nothing, baby. I realized that was silly. I had some perfectly serviceable stationary in my drawer.

I did not have a lot of time before dinner. So I quickly wrote on ugly stationary, before I lost my nerve, and sent them out. So if you got an ugly card, I'm kinda sorry;) But trust me. It was actually a compliment to YOU, that I had faith you would not judge.

>>>>>When I have a project that needs to get done, I give myself a set amount of time and stick to it. No more nit picking. This also means I get to bed on time because I'm not up late working. Bonus.

>>>>>Some dear friends were coming for a little visit from out of town. I was exhausted after a few days of VBS. They would be arriving at dinner time. Our budget was low and there was no time for elaborate food prep.

Quick, what do I do? Now that I am no longer a perfectionist, there are now some fun options!

"John, can we invite them over for hot dogs? And chili out of a can?"

I was getting SO excited. I LOVE hot dogs!!! We cooked frozen fries, chopped some watermelon, boiled up some corn and I even had the energy to make brownies! My house was a little messy. Of course I cleaned the boys' bathroom, on account of the whiz. The boys and I looked disheveled. We had the BEST.NIGHT.EVER.  I am a new person.

C'mon over for some hot dogs, ya hear?????

p.s. that was lonnnng and you deserve a badge if you made it this far. 

August 23, 2012

recent creations

My boys love kitties, Ollie in particular. While his older brothers are constructing lego creations of mass destruction, Ollie has been making these little lego kitties recently.

He designed them all by himself. I know they are not wildly elaborate, but I was charmed by their sweetness. I love the grey tail to the right.

He even made one for Twain, who walked around clutching it.

And from the looks of it, mama couldn't stop playing with them either...doopty doopty doo...


As previously mentioned, daddy and finny have been constructing a MASSIVE scratching post for Peach. Presenting, the kitty tower of babel, in all its radiant splendor: 

I know you are jealous.

A few things to note.

>>We decided it was too much of an honor for this tower to reside in the family room. Wink. The honor was officially bestowed on the boys' room, making its grand debut next to Finn's bed. Because surprisingly, Finn has turned out to be Peach's biggest advocate. He gets up before the sun, just to feed Peach some canned food. And then he crashes back in bed, where Peach subsequently joins him. 

>>Can you even spot Peach in this room, amongst all the neutral tan beige blah? She is practically camouflaged. I'm sleepy just looking at this photo.

>>The boys room needs a whole new face look. But I have no money or time for that now. I am currently trying to save for a new couch. So.


Yesterday Finn came home from school and disappeared in the garage for a while. Eventually he emerged, with a PVC pipe and some green string that I never knew existed.

Constructing a new weapon.

He recently bought some gold blingy duct tape that he thinks is fab.


And presto. A new bow. Watch out Katniss. You did not think I could resist a hunger games reference did you? Never.

Finn then turned to me and said "Mom, I need to make an arrow. Can I used one of the feathers from the dead bird Peach caught?"

I then put my head in the sand and went to my happy place of unicorns and rainbows, where dead birds and the west nile don't exit.


I reverted back to my 10-year-old self and made a unicorn bookmark for my Bible.

I really needed this bookmark. Because I like to read two different chapters of the Bible, and the ribbon being tucked into two chapters at once was giving me anxiety.

Currently reading through Psalms and Proverbs. Psalms has been amazing. David's prayers have been directly reflecting my heart lately. And Proverbs? Well, I need wisdom every day and so I think I will need to read a chapter of Proverbs every day for the rest of my life.

I love the bejeweled tush of this unicorn. I am going to open up an etsy shop and sell these bookmarks. Ha. I mean do you think I could get 10 cents each? I could market to 10-year-old girls.

if you are new to my blog. please do not take me too seriously.

And while we are talking about unicorns, I must show you this picture, that Olive Oyl texted a while back, which will forever be emblazoned on my soul. For better or worse.

Ok. I feel better now.


Monday I was shopping with a young girl named Ashanti at Target. While there, we randomly met this very cute 9 or 10 year-old-girl, with strawberry blonde hair and the biggest blue eyes. She was shopping with her father, who kept holding up all these blingy items for her to wear. Where was the mother? I have no idea. Anyway, the father disappeared and the cute girl tried to make friends with us. 

"Hi" she said. 

We then started talking nonstop about clothes and outfits and whatnot. For her back-to-school outfit, she was wearing some jeggings, wild glittery sneaker boots and this unicorn shirt:

I realize it looks extremely gaudy here, but it looked totes adorbs on her and my 10-year-old self almost bought it. Until I realized I was full-grown and would get mocked by my friends for wearing it.

I did have fun helping both of the girls find some cute stuff. You moms of girls sure must have a lot of fun. 


Listen up.

I am turning ON my comments section for a spell, and am going to see how it goes. I turned the comments off like a year or 2 was supposed to be for lent for 40 days...but I kept them off longer because it felt right. I just needed a break, to make sure my head was on straight. And to make sure that my heart was in the right place. It's nice to mix things up a bit though ...and I do love being able to comment on your blogs. I get all angryfists when I'm not allowed to comment.

So here I am, and I kinda feel like the awkward new kid on the block. Um, "hi, my name is Davi". And can someone please tell me what's up with word verification lately? It is getting harder and harder to prove that I am NOT a robot. Like I have to enter the ridiculouslysquished letters and weird low-budget tile number sign(what is THAT THING?) THREE times before it lets me comment. It's killing me.

August 22, 2012

Rojo pelo?

As we were driving to the after-school reading program today, I passed a billboard on the freeway. It had a picture of Oprah Winfrey and said "Encouragement" and then underneath "pass it on".

I recently read somewhere that the word encourage literally means "to inspire courage".

I walked in the front door of the reading program. I was instantly greeted by the cheerful Pastor Cesar and his wife Maria, who have recently taken leadership of the reading program. 

Pastor Cesar is quite the character--half the time he speaks English and half the time he speaks Spanish, while his wife translates. Seriously, he will be chattering about something in English, when all of a sudden he breaks into Spanish when he can't find the right words to say in English. He is always laughing and joking around and is just a lot of fun to be around. I am almost always smiling when he is around(I just used the word 'around' 3 times in a row). On the other hand, he is quite serious and passionate about the reading program and demands excellence from his volunteers. 

Today, a family who just moved from here El Salvador, walked in the doors of the reading program--they did not speak one word of English.

It was a bit daunting.

Thank goodness Pastor Cesar was there. He immediately started talking to them in Spanish, and made them feel at home. He is so good at that. 

One of the girls from El Salvador, named Sindy, sat next to me at the table. She looked like she was in junior high. One of the translators helped her fill out some paperwork and then got her a Disney Princess book to flip through. As she sat looking at the pages of the book, she looked so sad. I cannot even begin to imagine how tough it would be, to be transported to a foreign country, without knowing the language.

I was helping another kid at the table. Even though the majority of the kids are from Spanish-speaking homes, most of them can speak English fairly well. But not Sindy. She only speaks Spanish. I smiled at Sindy but had no idea what to say to her--you see, my spanish is a bit rusty. 

I took a few years of Spanish in high school...3 years to be exact. There was a point in time where I could speak some Spanish. Sort of. I mean, I couldn't roll my R's and sounded like quite the gringo. My little sister Lindsay used to practice with me for hours "rrrrrrrrruffles have rrrrrrrridges" on and on...but I just could not roll my R's to save my life! However, since I had just taken Spanish, at least some of it was still fresh in my mind.

But now? Notsomuch. Use it or lose it. I have forgotten most of my Spanish vocab, along with the verb tenses and conjugation. Man. I wish I could speak Spanish!

I looked again at Sindy and her sad face. I looked back at the other kid I was helping. I felt kind of torn. I really wanted to say something to Sindy...anything. But what? For a minute, I was tempted to just go back to the kid I was helping and pretend like I was not able to help Sindy. 

I could have sat there in my comfort zone. And nobody would have known.

I looked at her mother across the room and I looked back at Sindy, who was listlessly turning the pages of the Princess book. I wondered if she could understand anything. Was she bored? Lonely? I wanted so badly to make her feel loved and welcome. I felt the nudge(most likely by the Lord) to try to speak to her in Spanish, even if I made the biggest fool of myself. I would rather look foolish, than for this girl and her mama to walk out of the doors and think nobody cared about them. 

SO. Here goes.

I asked Sindy, "sad to be en Los Estados Unidos?" She kind of looked at me quizzically while Pastor Cesar walked by and quickly translated for me. "She is very sad that she is not in El Salvador", he said. He then patted me on my back and cheered me on. "You atryin' to speak Spanish?" he asked happily...followed by "very good". Then he said to me and Sindy..."you two should teach each other".

Pastor Cesar knows how to encourage. Encourage=to inspire courage. I definitely needed courage to speak Spanish. Pastor Cesar gave me just the nudge I needed.

I then pointed at the Cinderella in the book and said "Cinderella". I felt like the queen of awkward. Pastor Cesar and Sindy told me it was "Cenicienta" in Spanish. Say what?? Come again? They repeated "Cenicienta" and I tried "Cececente", mumbling incoherently. 

I pointed at one of Cinderella's mice and said "mouse" and she looked at me with her eye squinting and said "mowsss???" with the funniest look on her face. She then said "raton". I repeated, "raton".

We could barely understand each other's language and kept having to repeat the words. I pointed at The Little Mermaid's red hair and asked,

"Roja hair?" My brain couldn't think of the word for hair in Spanish. And red in Spanish is actually rojo, but whatevs.

"Hayyyyyyer?" she asked me in confusion. I grabbed a piece of Sindy's brown hair and tugged it and said, "yes, hair". She said, "Ohhhh pelo".

Finally I grabbed a piece of paper. I looked at the picture of Ariel and Eric with the fireworks and pointed to the fireworks and said "fireworks"...and then wrote it down for her. She then wrote for me "Fuegos Artifisiales". 

Pastor Cesar told me that fuego means fire. Hey that makes sense! Artifisiales means artificial. Fire artificial=fireworks. Not bad. We were getting somewhere. 

So I pointed at the "castle" and "prince" and we translated for each other by writing it on the piece of paper. We were laughing and smiling. We ended up having a great afternoon. Thank you Lord. She was learning English and I was learning Spanish. 

Even though I may not give much thought to random billboards on the freeway, I do think that encouragement is meant to be passed on. Pastor Cesar passed it on to me and I am excited for my next opportunity to pass it on to someone else!

August 20, 2012

Go Fish{review and giveaway}

Today I am doing something new. 

Standing by a corral? Good Guess...but no.

I am doing an official clothing review, mkay?

Today I am reviewing the Notting Hill skirt, made by a very cool clothing and jewelry company called Go Fish.

This skirt is very fun and flouncy and I had a great time tromping around in the fields in it.

But I would also wear it on a date with the hubs in a heartbeat. Actually I would wear it anywhere. 

Very comfortable and soft, made of a rayon/spandex blend.

I love the deep color blue. Goes with all of my yellows, which is always a bonus.

It has a thick waist band and I covered it with a belt. Because I love belts.

I actually folded the top of the skirt over a little bit so that my belt covered the band more completely. But you could also wear the skirt without the belt and it will make the skirt a little longer.

I also love how the bottom of the skirt has a slightly ruffled edge.

Everyone needs a good solid skirt in their repertoire!

And if you hop on over to their blog, you will see the coolest bracelets EVER on their header.
I am kind of obsessed with these unique Peruvian bracelets. They are made from from a family in Peru, out of antique Peruvian fabrics. You can find it on the Go Fish website as the Mollie Bracelet. No two are exactly the same!  

This is one of the things I love about Go Fish--they have authentic products. Go Fish travels to developing nations and helps the talented indigenous people groups by purchasing and selling their homemade goods. 

Go Fish ever so kindly let me select a product to give away to ONE OF YOU. And I picked the Peruvian bracelet of course! Makes me so happy!

To enter this giveaway, simply hop on over to their Facebook and like them. Then let me know in the comments below! Easy peasy!

For additional entries,
1. Follow their blog via GFC or Bloglovin'
2. Follow them on Twitter.

Winner will be randomly selected Sunday, August 26th and announced the next day.

This giveaway is now closed, and the winner has been contacted! Congratulations to the owl of Stars in my Eyes!Thanks all!

Sweet hubs took my pictures--see, it was kind of a date. Love you honey!

August 17, 2012


Just in case you haven't noticed. I'm CRAZY about these two love muffins.

I'm planning to visit them next weekend.

And I'm giddy at the thought. LOVE THEM.

Don't you love peaceful sleeping baby pics? James thinks NOT. 

Oh amigo. Or little leprechaun. He is a boy of many nicknames. Since day ONE he has always been extremely alert. Eyes always open and looking around.

He came thisclose to conking out. Please, please, pleeeeeaaaase.

ALMOST asleep.

Like one more second and he would have been out cold.

But no. 

Someone outside made the slightest peep. 

AND BOOM. Back to square one. Oh my. 

And Savannah just smiles. Hey! Isn't there a movie called Savannah Smiles? Why yes, there is.


He is a mama's boy through-and-through. Will scream his lungs out til mama picks him up.

Then he's happy as a clam. Very consolable. And very engaging. 

Until we try to get him back down for a picture with his sissy. No way, no how, he was not going to have any part of that. 

All the while, sweet little Savannah just slept the day away. 

I was a good sleeper, just like Savannah, when I was a baby. So I have been told.

As peachy as can be.

And then, Savannah finally wakes up and decides it's time to eat. She is wisked away. 

As Savannah is eating, little amigo FINALLY decides to take a cat-nap. It was a conspiracy.

He reminds me of ALL my boys. They always wanted me to hold them. Always crying for mama.

Sweet prince, how I wish you would have napped with your sister. But auntie will take what she can get. 

And then he woke up 2 minutes later and screamed til the sun went down.

No lie, after all lighting was gone to take pictures--he fell into a deep trance.

Such is life with twins. And I was just there for one day.

I cannot even imagine the 3-ring-circus that my sister deals with day in and day out.

Madness I tell you!

I want twins. {hiiiii John! I see you!}

August 16, 2012


You are hereby cordially invited to join me over at The Budget Maven today, as I discuss my attempts at being nifty thrifty!

August 11, 2012

Happy 7th Birthday Calvin Jack!!

we think this boy is pretty special







calvin jack.
you are one of a kind.
you have brought joy and sunshine to our hearts every single day.
for 7 years straight.
i hope you still give your famous hugs when you are all grown up.
you still remain the most huggable, squishy boy i have ever met.
xxoo, mama