Friday, April 3, 2015

The Ducks

We arrived at the Easter party and the first thing my kids wanted to do was play on the playground.

I could have kept them blissfully ignorant. I suppose I didn't really want to.

"Hey," I said to Brown-Eyed Boy. "Do you want to see some baby ducks?"

He snapped to attention on his swing. "Yes!"

Baby Blue Eyes, of course, wanted to come along because she wants to do everything her brother does.

So I led them to the little cage where my friend had housed two tiny ducklings, both still fluffy with yellow and black down. A crowd of other kids were already ogling them, trying to pick them up and squeezing them too hard. My children joined the crowd, fascinated.

I could have let it end there. I didn't have to tell Brown-Eyed Boy that the ducklings were a raffle and he could win them if we bought a ticket. I didn't have to hand over two dollars for two tickets.

But I think, deep down in my five year-old heart, I wanted those ducklings just as badly as Brown-Eyed Boy did.

And even though I've spent the last three days cleaning up duck poop and transferring the ducklings from my bathtub to their outside cage and back into the bathtub, nothing beats the way it felt to drive home from that party, Brown-Eyed Boy clutching a peeping box of ducklings on his lap, telling me over and over, "I'm so glad I won the ducks, Mommy."

I am too.

The Brown-Eyed Girl

Monday, March 16, 2015

Not Being Happy

During Family Home Evening one Monday night, Mr. Brown Eyes gave a lesson about talents. We talked about all the things we're good at.

For Brown-Eyed Boy, the answers were "playing, building with blocks, and riding his tricycle." Baby Blue Eyes was told she's good at making silly faces and dancing. Mr. Brown Eyes is good at fixing things and making us laugh.

When asked what Mommy's talents were, Brown-Eyed Boy said, "Not being happy."

Um, what?

Mr. Brown Eyes told me just to laugh it off, that it was just a four year-old spouting words the way four year-olds do.

And I did laugh it off, but I haven't been able to forget about it. Because, in a way, he's right.

I am an expert at seeing the worst in myself. In rushing through fun because I can't get my eyes off the next thing I need to get done. In taking myself so seriously that I forget to laugh.

I need my goofy children--who stand on their heads, and pull their arms inside their shirts, and bust up over words like "booger" and "poop," just because it's silly--to remind me that life is meant to be enjoyed.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said it well in this talk that I love. "The next time you’re tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead. It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable."

I am trying.

Not a Gloomy Mama,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Real Life Family Pictures

Every time we get family pictures taken, I always pick the best ones to post on facebook and hang on my wall.


But I get a kick out of the pictures that don't make the cut, the ones in which we are not all smiling happily and looking at the camera.

The ones where, yes, sometimes, I look like I am about to strangle my children.

In other words, the ones that are a little more true to life.

Here is a sampling:



Those imperfect moments will bring back happy memories in years to come.

Keepin' it real,
The Brown-Eyed Girl


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Three Days of Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Mr. Brown Eyes works Christmas Eve and Christmas this year, so we're celebrating tomorrow. Today I am doing my best to distract my kids from their pile of presents at home by hanging out at my parents' house. We've opened presents, played legos, and eaten cookies for lunch.
And tomorrow--we'll do it all over again!
Here's to three days of Christmas!
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Gingerbread House

Homemade graham crackers
 + homemade frosting

+ not-so-homemade candy

= an awesome gingerbread house

Or more like a gingerbread cottage.
It taste delicious,
The Brown-Eyed Girl



Monday, December 22, 2014

Share the Gift

If you are trying to get into the Christmas Spirit, please go here and watch this video.

I love everything about Christmas--the lights, the music, the food, the presents, the excitement (ok, I don't love Santa, but that's a story for another time)--but when it comes down to it, the Savior is what matters. He is the reason we have Christmas at all. He is the greatest Gift we have ever been given.

Merry Christmas,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Brushing my teeth at the sink, I turned away from Baby Blue Eyes for just a second. When I turned back around, she had emptied an entire box of band-aids, scattering them all over the floor.

Normally I probably would have sighed, scolded her, and told her to clean them up. But instead, I immediately knelt down beside her, held open the box, and said in a gentle voice, "Help me put them away, sweet girl."

As she smiled at me with that heart-melting, gap-toothed smile and started shoving bandaids into the box with her baby hands, I suddenly had the feeling that this is how Heavenly Father deals with us.

He sees us make messes. All kinds of messes. Sometimes horrible ones. And He doesn't roll His eyes at us and yell, "Look at that mess you made. Clean it up."

No. He kneels down next to us. Puts His arms around us. Says gently into our ears, "Let me help you."

Sometimes our efforts are clumsy. Our hands shake and falter. But He is so infinitely patient with us. He will see our efforts, take our shaking hands in His, and give us of His strength.

I am so grateful I don't have to clean up my messes alone.

The Brown-Eyed Girl