Mirror Messages

Lately, mornings have been rougher than normal.  I don’t know if it’s the whole darker outside thing or the sometimes cooler temps but my normally up-and-at-’em boys have been harder to get out of bed some days.

Insert Mirror Messages.


I will randomly write notes to them on their bathroom mirrors.

When I find Brooks has snuck into his brothers room, I’ll put a note to both of them in Landon’s bathroom.  If they’re in separate rooms, then they each get a personalized one on their own mirror.

It’s nothing complicated – usually just a note like “you are my sunshine” or “good morning Bubba”. Sometimes I sketch faces for them to stand behind (i.e. I’ll add a mustache or beard that will show up when they stand behind it).

It’s the simplest thing – just a dry erase marker directly on their mirror. But they love waking up to find the messages and I love that they have an extra pep in their step those mornings.

What do you do to shake up the morning routine at your house?

Fall business (busyness)

We have a busy fall in the Dean house. Our weeks are packed and weekends busy.

The kids are in swim lessons and it’s adorable.  They swim two days a week at the same club I swam at when I was growing up.  #TeamMAC


Landon is just finishing up his fall baseball schedule and he’s had a great time learning machine pitch.  He has really learned a lot more about the rules of the game and I definitely think he’ll want to play spring baseball – much to his dad’s delight.


(This action shot was taken by one of the dad’s on Landon’s team.
I love the tongue action – gets that from his Mom and Gigi.)

Basketball season starts for Landon soon and we’ll trade pitching and catching for layups and dribbling.

We also have a surprise trip to Disney coming up soon. I know the kids are going to be so excited.  We plan to just pick them up from school one day and hit the road – no warning!

We also need to hit the pumpkin patch so we can do a family hayride, carve pumpkins and get our fall decor put up outside.

It’s also the perfect time for hot tea (me), pumpkin coffee (Dean) and hot chocolate (the boys).  Chili and soup will make a regular appearance in the meal rotation, and the oven will start getting use again (cookies, muffins, etc.).

Before you know it, Thanksgiving will be here and we’ll be full on into the holidays – fall is really the BEST time of the year.

Fall Goals:
– get outdoor lighting set up for our house
– finish our dining room (we just bought a new farmtable and now it’s time to get the chairs and also get the junk out that is in our dining room)
– invite people over to enjoy our new dining room
– enjoy fall beers on our back patio area (now that the summer heat is over, it’s the perfect time to enjoy our back patio.)
– redo our half bath (my husband is NOT thrilled about another house project, but I’m ready to cross this off the list). It won’t be extensive, mostly paint and molding!
– a cousin sleepover – I’d really like to invite the cousins over one weekend when we’re in town for a cousin sleepover party!
– reorganize our playroom and playroom closet and get rid of all the outgrown items.

Brooks-isms: Age 4

This boy.  God bless him.   He keeps us on our toes.


I really can’t make up stories like this:

“Mom, I gotta color these bananas.”

I hand him a yellow crayon.  Bananas = yellow, right? He takes it and gets to work.

“Mom, I need the black now. I gotta color all the black spots that are on my bananas.”

So, I guess he’s noticed that mommy serves over-ripe bananas in his lunch box.



We’ve been having some challenges over the past few weeks with Brooks’ behavior at school. Two or three days a week he’ll come home with YELLOW or RED behavior at school.  GREEN is good, YELLOW is medium and RED is bad.

He recently came home with a RED report and we had a talk about it. He got spankings and I told him that he’d need to apologize to his teachers the next day.

When Uncle Zak arrived for carpool the next morning, Brooks ran down and showed him his Ankylosaurus.  “This is my A-A-Ankylosaurus.” (It’s ‘A’ show-and-tell day this week.)

Then I asked Uncle Zak to remind Brooks to apologize for his red behavior yesterday.

Zak said, “A-a-apologize. That starts with A!” reinforcing the letter of the week.

Brooks turns to me and doesn’t miss a beat, “Mom, that’s why I got red. I wanted to A-A-apologize since it’s ‘A’ week.”

What?!!?!!??  Who is this kid?

Of course, I responded with… “Well, let’s have A-A-amazing behavior today for ‘A’ week.”

A boys and mom weekend

We had a “boys and mom” weekend recently. While Daddy headed to a golf getaway, I got to soak in all the little boy fun I could.

And we were busy:

Bike rides, runs, baseball games.


Skipping rocks on the nearby lake.

Donut date – just because.


Shopping and errands. (Mom had some coupons to use.)


Red Bowl dinner with the cousins, Gigi and Papa.


And several Food Network dessert cooking shows in moms bed at night.


It was a jam packed, filled to the brim weekend of fun.



Boy life.

This boy.  I find him like this a a lot.  Lost in his own little world of imagination and pretend.

It looks like he’s lining up trucks, but in fact, it might be baby magic cars who are making a train.  Or little people stuck in traffic.  Or ants that look like cars.

Yes, that’s how his mind works. His thoughts are bigger than the simple image you see.

You might see a banana.  He’ll tell you it’s a yellow sword to fight mutant brothers who need to be put in jail.

I stood here for almost five minutes and watched him. That’s how long it took him to notice me. I wasn’t hiding just standing across the room and observing his imaginary time.  Enjoying the innocence of a four year old boy with a heap of cars.



Married: 8 years

8 years.  In eight years, we’ve done a lot.  We’ve had two kids, lived in two houses, changed jobs, participated in several couples bible studies, taken lots of beach trips, a few international vacations and more.


Yes, those are the big things.  But the big things are just that – big – extraordinary – not the norm.  It’s actually the little things that really make up our marriage.

In those 8 years we’ve gone grocery shopping together over 500 times, we’ve tucked in the kids over 2,300 times, we’ve made 2,000+ dinners together – some out of a box, some from scratch, and we’ve watched every episode of Big Bang Theory. But that’s not all.


We’ve also had at least 100 fights – some big, some small – and we’ve apologized at least that often.  We’ve disagreed on everything from decorating our house (no we aren’t going with his purple Ravens Man Cave idea) to disciplining our kids. I still yell at him at least once a week about his driving skills and he “reminds” me not to be quite so opinionated whenever I meet someone for the first time.


But there have also been hundreds of kisses; huge, enveloping hugs at just the right moment; laughter in bed as we talk about our life (and kids!) and so many fears, secrets and dreams shared.

It’s been a busy 8 years, and I’m thankful for every day of it.