New Year Goals

The start of a new year always sends my anxiety fluttering.  Setting goals makes me sweaty.  It all feels like a need and yet also, applies pressure.  Sometimes I need the pressure, but most of the time I just need a crap ton of grace.  It’s a hard line for me to walk.  I’m not good at balance.  I do love actually putting pen to paper and getting goals written down.  I’m a visual person so writing them down and then seeing them helps my head out a bit.  9 times out of 10 I start writing down goals and then it kind of morphs into more of a to-do list.  I like to feel like I accomplished something so a “bake on Sundays” and “fold clothes” throws me a bone every now and then.  This might not be wise in the goal making department, but you do what you have to do.

I have already accomplished a few things, I mean, I haven’t bitten my fingernails in 4 whole days.  THIS IS HUGE.  I did paint them on January 1st with 5 coats of fingernail polish.

Sidenote:  Having painted fingernails instantly makes me feel fancier and pretty sure I should be a hand model.  I hold things a little differently and a little longer.  Need a hand model…hire me now.  End sidenote.

  Seriously, it’s sad, but when I discover a lady who bites her nails I’m all “Let’s be best friends and make each other feel better about our nervous habit.”  Last year on our Swaziland trip, one of my new friends bit her nails too and it immediately boosted my own self confidence.  Nail biters unite.

Also in the goal department I have already scheduled our photos with Cheyenne and cleaned up my Pinterest boards.  Again, with the more “To-Do list” VS “Goals”.  Our photos with Cheyenne totally deserve a goal placement though.  And now I can cross two things off.  Riding pretty high on my horse.

Eating healthy…well, I ate pizza for dinner.  You win some, you lose some.

Don’t stress as much…Ummmmm, I drove two full laps around the perimeter of Kroger’s parking lot today trying to convince my very tired self that I could indeed take all 5 kids into Kroger and grocery shop very close to lunch and nap time due to a very very empty refrigerator at home and 3 extra guests staying the night with us.

Myself:  I can do this.  Mom’s with way more than 5 kids take them all grocery shopping…I bet, some even during nap time.

Myself again:  I can do this.  I can do this.

Myself again again:  I’m bailing.  We can all split 3 tortillas, 2 pieces of salami and 4 strawberries.

Myself again again again:  Nope.  We’re doing this.  I am the boss.

Myself again again again again:  Okay guys.  We can do this.  We’re getting in and out and going home.

Harper:  Mom, we can do this!

I then almost broke down into tears in the deli because we had already been in the store for 30 minutes and hadn’t even made it past produce…which is at the beginning…due to 2 different bathroom trips.  Sigh.

Some goals are just easier than others and it just so happened on January 1st I wrapped up Hebrews.  I loved Hebrews.  Shockingly loved Hebrews.  And as we were starting this new year Hebrews rang so wild and true “All we care about is living well before God”.

In all the real reality…I’m a giant failure and a big ole’ sinner…so I’m just going to try my best for God…goals accomplished or not.  I want to love and give and try to not grow weary as I so often do.  I want to dream and ask God to do crazy things…things He can only do.  And then I want to keep expectant eyes ready…ready for His crazy goodness whatever it may look like.

So maybe I’ll get to go to Swaziland and encourage people by handing out flowers in pickle jars and finally have a new vanity installed and spend less time on my phone, but no matter what, I really really just want to live well before God…I want to make Him proud…and I kind of don’t think He cares if I bite my fingernails or not 🙂

Happy Monday.

Swaziland 2016

Our New Year hasn’t kicked off exactly as I planned.  Hahahaha.  Sickies everywhere, but I think we’re on the mend.  I mean, everyone kept down their breakfast so far and Hudson did not wake up in the middle of the night to report to me he thinks he’s dying #asthma, so that’s a solid win in my books.

Our couch cushion is fully exposed because Amon barfed all over it laying face down.  It’s dry clean only, but I was all, screw it!  And threw it in the washing machine.  I’m a rule breaker and oddly enough, not fond of puke all over our couch.

Hard truth learned in 2015:  If you put something up on a pedestal/make it an idol…oh say, like your new Ikea couch, God will most definitely bring that idol crashing down hard and fast via red paint and marker by small lady toddler, ink pen crushed by man husband while sleeping on couch, throw up, throw up and more throw up.  Truth people, truth.

Tomorrow 2016 rolls on in and no one can stop it.  We’ve been dreaming about 2016 and what that may look like…what God has in store.  One thing I’m in hot pursuit of is Swaziland.  I’m itching to get back and see our friends and all those precious kiddos again.  This year was huge for my heart in so many ways and God showed me more than ever if He wants something done, He will do it.  He knocked out the playground fun just like that.  He proved Himself rock solid and showed off completely.  We all just sat in awe and wonder of His greatness.

I was exchanging messages with a lady yesterday about scheduling a Bible journaling class.  She asked to make the payment directly to the Ngungwane garden fund and when I went to pull the link for her there sat the garden fund finished…fully funded.  It’s so crazy awesome to watch God do what only He can do, but also watch Him use our gifts and talents and abilities when we offer them up to Him.

We’re working on gathering our team for our next trip coming up in May…we’re leaving May 28th to be exact.  I’m hoping some of you may come with us.  We’ll be going back to the Ngungwane carepoint again…spending crazy good time with the ladies and kiddos.  You can read about our past trips and what we did below:

Ngungwane {Swaziland, Africa}

The Sweetest Feet

 Empowering & Self-Sustaining

Swazi From My Phone

Tables & Small Bright Red Chairs


Comfort, Courage & Hope

He Is Fun

Fun Day


Tees For Ngungwane #theDealio

That was quite a little walk down memory lane for me.  Makes me a tad weepy.  You guys, God is just good.  And it’s an honor when we get invited into people’s homes and stories.  Just an honor.

So are you interested in going with us?  If so, you can message me HERE or email me at pitterpatterart at gmail dot com  I really hope you will consider it.  Last years trip was crazy good and I made several brand new friends because of it.  Meeting new people is good.  In fact, just this morning Sidney…one of the ladies who went last year who knew not a soul…yeah, well we’re legit friends now and she informed me Target has Swedish Fish Trident gum.  She knows me well.  This is the kind of thing you have to look forward too 🙂

Hope your New Year’s Eve is awesome.  Here’s to all the amazingness 2016 holds.

Happy Thursday.

As of Late…

And so it begins.  The first Monday of the new year feels pretty legit.  Our Christmas tree is down and decorations have been put away.  I took down all our Christmas cards and cleaned our chalkboard for some new art.  We cleaned the house and de-cluttered and tossed stuff and donated and re-organized.  I even threw out all my running socks that had holes in them and Josh Kelley got me new hole-less ones.  Maybe this was our prep for the new  year.

It seems there are 5 million different ideas and dreams and thoughts and goals running through my brain.  Josh Kelley is a good listener.  He helps break things down and brings wisdom into my chaos.  We’re a good pair.  Ideas and goals have been discussed.  Plans have been made.  Everything isn’t set in stone though.  Some things will develop more over the year and we don’t want to miss out on God’s works, so we’re keeping our eyes open for all the new relationships and opportunities He will present.  Everyday is meant for love Him and others.  Everyday is His.

A big thing for our new year is just flat out attempting things.  So many times I’m hindered by my own pride and the possibility of failure and what that looks like to others or the awkward and uncomfortable feelings.  I’m going to learn to be okay with failure.  I want to learn to wear it proudly.  I may fail, but I didn’t sit still…I did something.  And the more we talk about how awkward and uncomfortable things will be in the beginning, when action is put into place and you just keep doing, the awkwardness and uncomfortableness lessens and relationships build and love moves in.

I want to be thankful this year and honest and encouraging.  I want to stop feeling like I’ve been inconvenienced by someone or something and realize things just aren’t as big a deal as I’ve made them out to be and everything doesn’t revolve around me.  Give people a break, show grace and mercy…goodness knows I need more myself.  Jesus lived in service and in love.

“…But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Mark 10:43-45

I want to be more Christ-like.  I want more of Him and less of me.  I want to love like He loves.  Show compassion and grace like He does.  I want to be invested in people’s lives as deeply as He is invested in each of us.  I want to be generous and kind like He is.  It’s so simple and yet so difficult.  It kind of feels like the answer to everything…the solution to all my struggles…the resolve.

I also realized quickly when making my goals I started adding to-dos to my goal list as well.  Things like…call plumber…because Amon has officially put the upstairs toilet out of commission.  Listening to water pour down in between your walls and then run out of a door frame makes my stress level rise 🙂  And fix dry wall.  I’ve decided throwing some to-dos on your official “Goals of 2015” list has the possibility to put the pressure on to actually get these things fixed and will make me feel a tad accomplished upon completing said things.

Tomorrow school starts back.  This brings hope to my heart for a few reasons:  1) Tomorrow I will be in our house…alone…and I will listen intently to the silence.  I might cry.  2) I will eat lunch with a friend.  She’s a grown-up, which means we’ll probably have a conversation and she won’t throw any food on the floor.  3) For approximately 5 hours tomorrow I will have my own personal space.  This has the potential to bring about tears of joy.

And now I’ve got an intense date with Harper, Hudson and Solomon to finish the nail biting movie City of Ember.  What can I say…Josh Kelley finds us some winners at the library.  We had to turn it off yesterday when a giant bug entered the scene.

Hudson:  Turn it off.  Turn it off.  It’s too much.

He then proceeded to wake up at 3am…”because of that scary movie.”  Geez.  We’re about to tackle our fears people.  Giant bugs, PG rating and all.  Wish us luck.

Happy Monday!

On A Thursday

I have lots of goals and dreams and resolutions for this year.  Some are stupid.  Some are legit.  Some are crazy and bold.  Some are super simple.  Some are very unlikely, but I like a challenge.  Some are big and some are little.  It’s quite the variety.  And then there’s today…January 2…two days in and I feel like this dude.  Broken feet, right arm broken off and beard plucked out by a small human toddler child.

I’ve realized I should just resolve to most definitely break all my current resolutions.  Ha.  I should have planned a little more and not just on paper.  Good eating in the new year probably shouldn’t be kicked off with an empty fridge.  I did enjoy my one piece of leftover re-heated in our toaster over pizza for lunch though and the kids did scarf down their 1/2 tortilla with turkey pepperonis, cheese & flax seed.  The flax seed cancels everything else out.  Plus they had a side of moldy applesauce, canned mandarin oranges and the crumbs from the bottom of a chip bag.  Like I said, we need to go grocery store.  All will be right with the world again when I get jiggy with Kroger.

I’ve also already lost my cool with the kids and had to repeatidly apologize to one kiddo in particular.  I’ll leave you guessing.  All I can think is how hilarious I am to resolve this and that and plan and shoot for and aim high and dream big and so on and so on and so on…and those things are good, great, grand and wonderful, but no matter what, no matter my intentions, I’m still human and I will always be falling face first into grace and forgiveness and mercy.  Always. Always. & Forever.  And after apologies and big bear hugs all was right with the world yet again.  “Let’s restart.”  And I was concurred with.  These kids of mine, I’m blessed and don’t deserve them at all.  I’ll claim them every dang day.

Some things have gone right like downloading The Secret Life of Walter Mitty soundtrack.  Go ahead and laugh, but I was thoroughly pleased with my choice.  As were the Kelley kids.  Amon is a huge fan of music and this soundtrack gets him grooving.  By the way…the movie…go see it.  It’s clean and sweet and bold and funny and visually beautiful.  Josh Kelley and I both really liked it.

Oh and no pants in the new year is always cute on toddlers.  Not so much on adults though.

We also have made some schedules and plans and have had some “come to Jesus small kid meetings” where we got real about things for the new year.  Harper, Hudson and Sol have also been thinking about what their goals for 2014 are which have included going hiking, rock climbing, bike rides with dad, playing soccer, reading on a higher grade level, dance class and trying softball.  It’s really fun to hear what they are thinking about…things they want to shoot for this year.

It’s true, the day hasn’t gone exactly like I anticipated us kicking off this new year, but I suppose in a way, it’s gone better.  We’ve started the year off in grace and mercy and forgiveness and with the real everydayness of life.  And for that, I’m kind of totally thankful.

Happy Thursday!

Hey There 2014

We’ve been anticipating you!

I’m expecting one beautiful year.

And here’s to a great start.

Happy Wednesday!

Sickness…no bueno.

This post is totally random…along with random pictures…Laci of Barefeet Photography rocks my socks off.

I’m approaching my 3 week mark on being sick.  I will be making my way to yet another doctor tomorrow to try and figure this mess out.  I think I have pneumonia.  I’ve never had it before, but I’m going to go out on a limb.  Crossing my fingers I hit the jack pot with a new doctor tomorrow and “big money, big money…no whammies.”

I have all these big 2013 goals and yet, I feel completely stuck right now.  Today I did clean our house…and I mean cleaned, cleaned our house.  It needed to be done.  I may have almost passed out multiple times, but It.Got.Done.  And a clean house feels good.  Like sheets are changed, bedding is washed, floors are swept and everything Lysoled in general…and while I may have hacked a million germs all over everything that was being cleaned…it was at least clean for a bit.  That counts right?  Totally.

One of my goals for 2013 is monthly running miles.  The last 2 years I’ve done 1/2 marathons and this year I just wasn’t feeling it.  Nothing in me really “wants” to do a big race this year, but I thought setting mileage goals for each month would be fun.  I decided to go for a total of 55 miles for January.  Right now I have zero.  This way I can run my way to 55 miles over the course of a month.  If I could just kick this chest funk and actually breath easy.  My peeps are running tomorrow morning…texting all about it right now…and I want to weep.  Jami…Betsy…Barry…Brian…Bobby…any of you want to drag an O2 machine for me?  Anyone else want to join me?

I haven’t baked in like 3 weeks either.  It’s killing me.  When I get better I’m going to bake up a storm.  I have people to bless with the tastiness of sweet treats.  Top three things I want to try once I’m miraculously healed:

1)  Homemade Twinkie Cupcakes…like whoa right?

Picture Source

2)  Sugar Cookie Squares.  I’m totally intrigued…they look amazing.

Picture Source

and 3)  Buckeye Bark.  Yep.

Picture Source

Baked goods can change the world.  Boom.

Oh and I am totally planning a little 2013 New Years giveaway.  I soooo appreciate each of you even reading my totally random, off the wall, tiny itty bitty piece of the internet.  I wanted to thank you for all the encouraging and praying and loving you did for our little Kelley family…and especially Amon…last year.  It will be a good giveaway.  I owe you a big thank you.

Being sick allows for lots of web surfing and dream shopping.  I would totally buy these FeedTwelve Toms.  Goodness me.  Love these.  And my mom was the youngest of 12.  Extra cool points.

Jon Contino is crazy amazing.  I could easily purchase any and all of his prints or canvases.  Typography at it’s finest.  I just need to figure out how to find this print and all will be right in the world.

Amon pretty much must have this Anchor Tattoo Sailor Jerry Onesie.  He would rock this so hard.

On Pinterst people are always pinning these inspirational words.  I saw this one and thought, “Yes.”

My craft room definitely needs this Make Do & Mend print.  My heart needs this lesson.  Maybe 2013 will be a year of “making mends”.

And how about I leave you with some art pieces I made for Christmas gifts and Christmas orders.  I waited to post them because I didn’t want the surprise to be ruined.

4×12 Dr. Who canvas.

More 4×12 M&S love.

16×16 2 Timothy 2:24-26

And that’s all I’ve got.  Hope your week has been good.  Hope your Thursday is grand.  Happy Wednesday.

Happy 2013!

It’s here and it’s full of possibility.  I’m anxious and hopeful for what this new year will hold.

Let the hope and comfort and joy and healing come.  God is making things new.

So happy 2013…from our crazy Kelley crew to yours.

PS:  I did in fact decide to dress up to bring in the new year.  Getting fancy.

A Bid Farewell

Today is the last day of 2012…part of me loves it and part of me hates it.  I always feel with a new year there are lots of new possibilities…the world at your finger tips…magic, but it’s also sad to let the first full year without my mom go.  I guess life is most definitely always full of these little catch 22s.

I’m sick…again…for reals.  Can’t believe it, but I’ve got some strong meds and maybe some whiskey to help ease the pain.  Ha.  I’ve spent most of the day in the bed, but did get out for a bit here and there to document our last day of 2012.

Krispy Kreme for breakfast.  This dozen didn’t have a chance in the Kelley house.

A morning game of checkers.  In the bed.

My bed side table.  The last part of December has not been kind to me.

Lunch of the sick.  Ramen noodles.  #thecollegeyears

Lots of book reading.  In bed.

Cutest little crib napper ever.  Rad.  Stellar.  Totally.  {Insert any other cool 90s adjectives}

Josh…the glue that holds this family together when sickness strikes.

Ringing in the New Year in the exact same clothing I’ve been wearing for 2 days now.  Maybe the New Year will bring on a change out of PJs and a pedicure.

Mischievous, funny, quirky, cute little brother boys.  In the bed.

Movie watching.

More attempted crawling.  With fabulous hair.

Getting outside for a much needed walk.

Chili…it’s whats for dinner.

Excited to start this little reading gem.  Plus a bit scared.

And most definitely…hands down…no contest…the best thing about 2012.  Our incredibly sweet ace of hearts.

Here’s to a New Year.  Here’s to 2013.  Now I need another nap.

Happy Monday.