When Life Demands a Slower Season


Hi Smallish friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve said hello without a resurrected archive post following. I hope you’re enjoying the first glimpses of spring (or fall, for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere!). I’ve spent the past several weeks adjusting to our new normal as a family of five in the Shoebox. Click through for a peek into our real life, which seriously demands a slower season…

Overall, we are doing really well. Caveman is working a new great job and loving it.The boys love their new sister. Little Lady is a sweet, beautiful, easy going baby. I am recovered and thankfully have the energy to at least keep up with the whirlwind of energy I am charged to manage.

Those of you who know what it is like to have an infant, however, know that a season of “survival mode” must be weathered since babies require so much focused care. Therefore “doing really well” with a newborn in the house certainly means something different from other stages of life. ;)

Can I be real for a moment? Well, I’m always real. But I don’t often tell you about those less-than-shiny moments in the Shoebox. So allow me to open the door wide: it’s always a mess. Like, complete disaster zone all the time. I can’t keep up with laundry or dishes and organizing clothes is now something I can only do in daytime fantasies.

I’m tired. Like, so tired I cry in Target parking lots for silly reasons. One morning not so long ago I turned on the wrong burner and succeeded in cracking a glass bowl full of oranges instead of cooking oatmeal. Feeding myself is suddenly very difficult to find time to do; a good day is when I eat something more than the crusts of the boys’ sandwiches. Everybody always needs something from Mommy, and the days are a wild sprint from first noises to bedtime tuck-ins.

Put simply, I cannot handle anything besides mothering from sunup to sundown.

That’s just life with three children three and under, I guess. Lest the above description smack too negative, let me say this loud and clear: LIFE IS GOOD. Mothering these children is sweeter than cotton candy. It’s amusing. It’s fun. It’s a precious gift.

These days swell with hold-my-breath-amazing moments. My boys are hilarious. Hilarious. And so smart. It’s fascinating to watch them learn new facets of life every day. I am rediscovering amazing literature (The House On Pooh Corner is dazzling!) My daughter is gorgeous and simply a dream for whom to care. Her smiles and cuddles can seriously stop time. I marvel at my children’s long eyelashes and soft cheeks and the intelligence of brains that somehow my body grew from scratch. Crazy-no-time-for-anything else-mommying? I.love.this. I LOVE IT!

But I barely have time to feed myself each day and certainly no time to blog on a regular basis. This sweet, sticky, stinky, slobbery, sparkling season will be over all too soon, and I don’t want to miss it. I won’t. I want to look back and say that I gave these little years—these little humansmy all.

This sweet, sticky, stinky, slobbery, sparkling season will be over all too soon and I don’t want to miss it.

That’s a long way of saying that I won’t be posting weekly for awhile. I’ll still be around and will publish posts when I can manage, but more likely is that I’m managing nap times, playing trucks on a so-dirty-I-don’t-even-want-to-think-about-it floor and teaching letter sounds, which frankly is exactly what I should be doing.

I have lots of thoughts swirling around to share with you all though! I just can’t commit to a writing schedule at the moment.

Thanks for your grace and patience as we plod through this season. Thanks also for sticking around as I step back a couple keystrokes to concentrate on my kiddos.  :) Chat soon………

Hidden Storage: Under Table Top Space


Good morning! Guess what? We just finished another fun space-saving mini-project. Well, Caveman did it all. I just clapped and smiled and encouraged because that’s really all I’m good at. However, I am proud to announce that THIS idea was my own. My genius! Caveman’s design! We recently modified our kitchen table into “two tables in one” to gain some hidden storage space. Click through to see more pictures. 

When life feels like a holding pattern


Hello! This week I’m sharing yet another one from the dusty archives, as we are still adjusting to life as a family of five. And by now, I’m really, really tired. This post first ran back in 2012. I hope it blesses you today!  > > >

Years ago my family and I were flying into Cairo, Egypt. We were approaching the destination, descending. Smiling flight attendants asked us to store our trays in the upright and locked position. We were getting close. I looked out the tiny window and was thrilled to see the Nile, sprawling and sparkling in all its ancient splendor. The plane banked hard and I admired the landscape, how it morphed from lush green near the river to brown desert so quickly. Then, instead of the runway the Nile came back into view again. And again. And again. Finally the captain announced that we could not land yet but were flying in a holding pattern. Six times we made that enormous circle around Cairo. Finally, the pattern broke and we were able to land and move on with our trip. (Have you ever been in a holding pattern? Click through to read about mine…)

Three Tips to Spring Clean Your Closet


Hey all. I am still taking a much-needed baby break. Here’s a post to get you fired up for spring, from the archives from a year ago. > > >

Oh friends, you should have seen my closet a couple weeks ago. It was in a sorry state—an unruly mess of outdated styles, tops with tiny holes (it’s not that noticeable, is it?) and clothes that just plain didn’t fit right. I knew I needed to perform a closet-spring-clean, but I just didn’t have the motivation to make decisions or the courage to actually get rid of items. So I brought in the big guns, (aka White Dove Styling) to help me with the dirty work. Jeanette Klausmeier not only did a fabulous job streamlining my wardrobe, but she also dished out these three tips to spring clean your closet.

Easy make-ahead potato rolls


This post was first published way back in 2012. It’s still a great recipe… maybe you’ll get the chance to try it out this month? :)   >>>

I feel sorry for people in whose houses dinner rolls are just for dinner time. (I actually don’t know anyone like this, probably because I wouldn’t get along well with such an odd creature.) In our house, they are breakfast rolls, snack rolls, lunch rolls, picnic rolls, and just-because rolls. We heart them. I especially love a soft, just-sweet-enough potato roll. Now that’s goodness. So I thought I’d introduce you to my go-to potato roll recipe. Click through to meet them!

The Tightwad Gazette and ten uses for “trash”


Hello again. Happy Monday! I’m still taking it easy from having baby #3, so here’s another oldie but goodie from February 2012. > > >

Since launching Smallish I’ve been amazed and blessed at the ways friends and family (and even strangers!) have jumped on board. Each week someone new tips me a book title (or an actual book) or an article or a quick video pertaining to one of Smallish’s three focal points. It encourages me to have so many people looking out for content and ideas. So thanks, people. I appreciate the help so much!

Recently a sweet friend passed me a book called The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn. Actually, the book is a compilation of articles published in a newsletter that circulated in the early 90′s, (when I was busy obsessing about horses and doing my best to get out of wearing a dress to church every.single.Sunday).

Tips for living without a dishwasher


(This post is another one from the archives, since I am getting to know my new baby girl and settling into life with THREE! kids… the info is still perfectly relevant! Enjoy. :) )

One of the quaint quirks of the Shoebox is that it has no electronic dishwasher. That’s right. We’ve lived for over three! years now without a dish washing machine. In fact, they’re such a novelty to Red that when we go to friends’ houses they can hardly keep him out of their dishwasher. The same for me, I guess. I randomly find myself loading and unloading friends’ dishwashers just because they have one. It hasn’t been that bad though. We’ve learned a thing or two over the past couple years of hand washing all our kitchen wares. Here are my tips for living without a dishwasher.

New Baby in the Shoebox!


Hi all. Will you celebrate with us? There’s a new baby in the Shoebox: our daughter arrived early last week! :D

You’ll know her as Little Lady, at least until we get to know her a bit. She is perfectly healthy and, we think, absolutely beautiful. There are five of us now in our in beloved apartment, and I’ll be honest—it feels quite cozy. ;) So while we figure out how to gracefully fold our family into these 450 sq. ft., I’ll be sharing some posts from the archives. In the meantime stick around; interact with old posts, or send me a message with questions you have. I’ll be back up and running with new content as soon as possible. :)

Thanks for joining us on our living small journey!

Three Budget-Friendly Date Ideas


HI! This post from the archives ran last year around Valentines Day. Although dating our spouse should be a high priority all year round, it’s especially relevant during everyone’s favorite (or least favorite!) romantic holiday.   > > >

Those of us in the early stages of raising kiddos might not have the extra money or energy to hit the movies each weekend, but you can still make some amazing memories right in your own home. Caveman and I enjoy “home dates” a couple times each week. Here are our top three budget-friendly date habits.