Showing Up

How’s my life going? I am surviving, but also feeling the effects of too much to do for a very long time. Right now, we are trying to get landscaping and construction done, care for five children some of which are very small, and my garden design business has clients and designs to get done.

So there are moments when I just show up. I went to preschool graduation and took one, insignificant photo. Other people posted a heard of lovely pictures on social media. But you know, I was there, supporting my child, and that’s what counts.

Keep Trying

When all of my kids and great-grandpa have the stomach flu, there’s a lot of cleaning and laundry to do. And not much time for sleep. I feel like I’m giving more than I have, and often the cost does not seem worth the reward. But many good things we do have little to no reward. I recently read this scripture in John 14: “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Sometimes good things are only rewarded in eternity.

I keep trying. In a yoga video, there was a version of this quote by Mark Manson:

The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.

I’m striving to accept my crazy life, which is never quite as successful or easy as I would like, but still has enough joy and wonder to keep me going. Naps and flowers, and time to be creative help me be okay.

Busy Season

I try to go through pictures about once a week. And lately, I’ve only taken pictures of gardens. But not even my own garden, I’m taking pictures of other people’s gardens that turn into garden designs. It’s busy season for work.

And really, for parenting as well. My children have track, soccer, piano lessons, basketball, and homework projects. We started a fishing club, where this lone, blurry picture comes from. I think this is Curtis’s first fish he caught by himself. Not a bad catch. I think I might buy a fishing license and start casting a line in myself.

Spring Break

Much of our spring break was spent looking at snow. We had a lot of fun, even if the weather wasn’t spring-like. We went up to the Hill Aerospace Museum, visited an arcade, and went swimming. We took days for a little trip and visited a bunch of my siblings and Dinosaur National Monument. Then we had a wonderful time celebrating Easter.

It’s amazing how big my kids are getting. The picture is wrong though: I’m still taller than all of them, but just barely.

Basketball, Birthdays, Play

Well, our kitchen is close to done. And that means more time to work outside. But it’s snowing. This combination of events has resulted in a much-needed break for me. I think I’m getting to the point where I would rather be working than sitting though.

Peter keeps playing basketball. He finished a season, started another league, and just signed up for club ball. I asked him if he wanted to keep playing in another league, and he said something like, “You don’t need to ask me. If it’s basketball, the answer is always yes.”

Curtis had a birthday, and they went to the space center with his cousins for a party. They enjoyed themselves, although next time positions need to be changed.

The yard is dirt, but never discount the play value of dirt. And a bonus picture of Evie clapping with all her new teeth.

Spring Fever

Life is kicking my butt sometimes. Although reflecting back on life, there hasn’t been a time when life wasn’t hard. The few times when life was boring I remember…well I would pick hard over boring any day.

Five kids: mostly happy. Peter got first and second in shot put and high jump at his track meet. Curtis participated in knowledge bowl and probably scored the most points on his team. Evie is recovering from an ear infection and starting to happily sleep better.

Me: Rediscovering the emotional roller coaster of female emotions as they are returning to normal after childbirth and nursing. Sometimes I feel really sheepish when I discover that the reason I yelled at my kids for little reason and then cried for an hour was basically just PMS. Sigh.

I did actually get some income from my business. It’s the first time this year, but it’s a start. Right now, though, I have far more ambition than time for work.

Spring is nice. Although I love to get outside more, I also always feel a little frantic keeping up with everything I want to do in the garden.

Garden Tour

This video took me probably a year from when I thought about making it to actually finish it. Video production is quite an undertaking, and I’m not any good at it, but I’m still glad I did it.

Creative work is often a process: you have to make stuff that isn’t that great to eventually make stuff that is a lot better. I think it’s worth sharing the not great stuff, because even if it’s not polished, there are still things worth sharing that others can benefit from. And the feedback helps you become better.

Winter Continues…Forever

It’s snowing outside, and I don’t want snow. I want warm weather, crocus, and pruning.

For what I thought was our last hoorah for winter, we went sledding up at Tibble Fork. I broke out the snowshoes and went on a little walk with Zack too.

We later went up to Battle Creek and weren’t quite prepared for all the icy snow. I did tell my children to wear good shoes with traction, but that doesn’t mean they actually listened well.

We are also working hard on the kitchen. This is what my husband has been doing with all his free time. We’ve got the cupboards in and are now working on countertops. It’s been pretty satisfying to do all the work ourselves, but a bit overwhelming too.

A Generic Blog Post

As a mother of five children, including a baby girl and four boys, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to juggle the needs of multiple kids. But I’ve found that there are several strategies that can help make the job a little easier.

First, I’ve learned to ask for help when I need it. Whether it’s from my partner, family, or friends, having a support network can make all the difference when things get tough.

Second, establishing a routine has been a lifesaver. Having a set schedule for me and my children helps us stay organized and manage the various demands of the day.

Third, taking care of my own physical and emotional health is critical. Whether it’s finding time to exercise, eating healthy, or taking a few minutes to meditate, prioritizing my own well-being helps me be a better mother to my children.

Finally, staying positive and focusing on the joys of motherhood is essential. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day challenges of parenting, but remembering the good times and celebrating my children’s accomplishments keeps me motivated and energized.

In conclusion, being an overwhelmed mother with a baby girl and four boys is no easy task, but with the right strategies and mindset, it’s possible to manage the stress and find moments of joy in the chaos of motherhood.

That was AI-generated. AI is very weird. I don’t think it’s replacing humans yet, and if what you do can be replaced with AI, maybe it will push us all to be a little creative.

Pictures will be forthcoming. I’ve tried four methods to get the images from my camera to the computer and they all failed. So I’m giving up.


I was watching a video and a person similar in age to me mentioned that she thought she would be on her fourth kid by now. Not single with a career. And then she went on to reminisce how maybe there was someone with a fourth kid who felt like they wanted to be where she was. There I was, feeding my fifth child, and thinking about how I wished I had more time to work on my career.

I’ve been guilty of not appreciating my life. I feel like maybe the life I have didn’t match the life I would need to have to truly excel. I’ve wanted to have more success in my career, more financial stability, and more opportunities for adventure.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be successful. I think it’s easy to get caught up in a narrative that to be successful is to have more: more money, money followers, more influence, and more opportunity. But maybe success is more about having enough: enough money, enough love, and enough opportunity.

I looked at the decisions I’ve made in life and seriously looked at other paths I could have taken. None were perfect, and all had both good things and hard things. The path I did take has led me to a life with lots of love, opportunities for creative work, and the ability to grow into a better person. It has suited me, not that I was already suited for my life, but in a way that my life has pushed me in ways where I needed to grow.

I’m glad that I’m a busy mom with five children, a role that takes up almost the entirety of my time and energy. It’s far better to live and appreciate the life I have, than to pine for a life I think I want, but perhaps is a fantasy that will never be as glamorous as it seems.