Honestly …

life has been really hard for the last several weeks–maybe even the whole month of April.  I’m not entirely sure why. I’ve felt overwhelmed and under-prepared more often than not. I’m getting older and maybe even starting the whole menopause thing (who knows?) I’m wanting badly to slow down and adjust my daily schedule and expectations. I’m super excited to have an office off of my kitchen, but I’m tired of living with construction (and I feel guilty for complaining.) Speaking of complaining, I guess I’ve done a lot of that lately–at least my husband says so. I finally wore him out on Friday evening, and he let me know. Yikes!

My physical strength and energy are not what they used to be and yet my family is just as crazy, busy, demanding as ever (maybe even more so.) I adore my little Addie, but let’s face it, toddlers are super intense.

I tweaked my toe over a year ago and it has bothered me ever since. I put off doing anything about it and now it’s getting really bad–I can’t run or do yoga (I can still do my Elipse machine), but I’m finally paying attention to it and seeing what can be done. I used to have a full hour of quiet in the morning, but now Addie wakes up with Chase at 5:30 and so I get maybe a good 15 minutes. I consider quiet early mornings and running two of my best coping strategies — it’s safe to say I’m not coping very well without them and I think this may be bringing on the bouts of negativity (referenced by my hubby.)

Since launching stacyjulian.com I sometimes (ok, generally when “Aunt Flow” comes) feel so much pressure. I used to “ignore” my blog if I didn’t feel like writing, but now I have this low-hanging anxiety about making it all work all of the time. What’s up with that?

So, wow … what a wonderful thing to read on a Monday, eh? A positive uplift from Stacy J. Here’s a few of my Picture Spring photos to prove it’s not all doom and gloom …

I think the reason I’m ok sharing this today is because this weekend was a turning point. I know that another of my best coping strategies is cleaning and organizing and there are a few rooms and spaces in my home that have been bugging me–so, I tackled one on Saturday. I took out the frustration (directed at my husband and everything else) and turned it into productivity in our toy room.

I threw away and gave away two HUGE big garbage bags full of stuff. I organized two closets and basically transformed the area from little boy to mostly little girl. I have a few items left to wrap up, but it feels SO GOOD to have accomplished this. It took about 5 hours–which included the run to Target and Fred Meyer and you should have seen Addie when we were done!

Anyway, by Saturday evening I was *almost* all the way better. Yesterday, I fasted and prayed extra hard and opened up to my husband and he listened (he really is a very good man–it’s not easy being married to a wound-up, emo girl like me!)

We’re putting our new family-jobs plan into place tonight. And just so you know, I’m “paying” my kids now, because I’m done paying for them. It’s going to take some real effort, but I’m done handing out money here and there for odds and ends. Essentials — got it covered. Treats, toys, games, movies, DVDs, extra clothes, birthday parties (yes, they can purchase gifts for their friends) and other activities are now my kids’ responsibility. They know the “top dollar” they can earn and they can get paid Saturdays at noon, when they bring me their “time card” and report how well they did. They will tell me how much they earned, we’ll review their efforts together (if necessary) and I’ll write Clark and Chase a check and give the younger boys cash. They’ll all have a checkbook record to keep track of funds in.When we run errands together, I’ll remind them to bring some money if they want to–we might drive through Dairy Queen or something, but they’ll need to pay. Of course, I’ll still splurge some of the time, but those times will be the exception. We are very blessed as a family and I’m feeling like my children don’t quite “get it,” so … wish me MORE luck!

I’m sure if you have children you relate to the need to invent and re-invent. I am feeling very hopeful this morning and am extremely happy that it is not raining and the painters are here to paint our addition on the outside and finish up the trim on the inside. I’m preparing to unveil what I’ve done so far and I’m almost giddy with how things are turning out!

Lots of other things that are good and happy …

Chase was startled by a mouse in the house (laundry room to be exact) last Thursday. Geoff was ready broom in hand, but I talked him into catch and release. I can do rodent and small snakes, but NOT spiders. Anyway, he was a cute little mouse and I was so pleased I got to show him to Addie.

Found these adorable little blank books at Fireworks in the Seattle airport and bought them for my mom, aunt Shirley and sisters and sisters-in-law. We are all getting together this weekend (we haven’t had an official girls weekend in probably 3 or 4 years!) And everyone is coming to my house.

There is much more to be grateful for and I’m glad that I’m back in a place where I can recognize that more readily.
Life is hard, but so good!

Stay tuned for a cool giveaway from my sponsor Helmar (wonderful adhesives) coming soon!


  1. Kristin Kanner says:


    I always read your blog and have taken your classes and am always amazed at all that you are able to accomplish. I, too, as a full time working mother of three (including 8 year old twins), often feel overwhelmed and that coffee-time beffore everyone wakes up in the morning is crucial to my mental health. Also, right before my period, the clutter/mess in my house stifles me and become a rip-roaring maniac. You need to go get your toe checked out and take a deep breath! It will all be ok. And I’ll pray for you with the new house-jobs thing!

    Feel better. Kristin

  2. Thank you! I love your blog but sometimes wish I was as positive and upbeat all the time. This taste of “Stacy” proves once again that we ALL can have a bad day/weekend/period and it’s ok. Thanks for all you inspiring words. And please know even this while it may have felt downer to you was truly inspiring for me. Hope you have a wonderful week. Love another mother (a preschooler & an infant).

  3. Hello Stacy – here’s to finding a groove that works for your ever changing life.
    I heard on a debt show that a lady quit paying for all her daughter’s stuff. She gave her money, back account and check book and then the daughter had to buy her own clothes, makeup, msuic, andything like that. They would sit down with her reciepts and go through her budget. What a great life lesson to teach your kids! Considering all the debt and bad moeny decisions people make nowadays I think it’s an invaluable lesson.

  4. Deep breath in, deep breath out. We are only human and we have good times and bad times. I love what you are doing with the kids… I too started an allowance with my 9-year old and gave her a chore list. My biggest hurdle is that she needs to do it without being reminded. I tell her all the time no one reminds me to do the laundry or cook dinner. Teaching our children the value of a dollar can never hurt them. She gets $20 a week, $10 has to be put away for something large (like her iPod touch), $8 is what she is allowed for herself, and $2 she has to put in a “donation jar”. The donation jar (a friend gave me this idea) is for all things at school. The $1 dress days they raise money for some charity, or the teacher appreication gift, or to help the humane society, or local food bank.
    Take a break and go get a manicure and a pedicure. Or maybe go get a good milk shake- they always make me feel better.
    I can’t wait to see your new room.


  5. Dawn Reynolds says:

    Thanks so much Stacey J. for sharing this part of your life. I NEEDED IT! I, too have been struggling with some home organization issues, physical & mental energy and kids (I have 3) with chores although my attitude has been “oh forget it I’ll just do it myself” (only because it will be the “right” way…”my” way and I don’t want my kids to spend their allowance on those crazy, expensive sunglasses that they want so badly because this money is burning a hole in their pockets, we have never done the whole allowance thing either.) Anyhow sorry – I just wanted to thank you for some great ideas and inspiration. Here’s hoping I accomplish my Spring cleaning/organizing and it doesn’t turn in to Fall cleaning/organizing. LOL! Looking forward to starting our family jobs-plan also!

  6. Hey Stacy,
    I can TOTALLY relate to the “our family is blessed but my kids don’t quite ‘get it’ ” feeling you are having. Recently, I too was feeling the sense that my children believed that treats and extras were expectations and the lack of respect that my children were showing toward the family and each other really bothered me (my children are 8 and 6). We recently started “Respect Jars” in our house to help reinforce the concepts of doing your best, respecting others and yourself, being responsible for chores and realizing that money is a privilege to be used wisely.

    The concept is simple–earn quarters for demonstrations of respectful behavior, random acts of kindness, daily chore completion–a predetermined set amount for the chore list and the quarters get capped off at $1/day for the other acts. You can lose quarters for disrespectful/unkind behavior and a “big time offense” (i.e. lying, tantrums etc) gets the jar emptied. I took worried about the “what you are paying your kids” viewpoint, but we chose to take it to the next level and teach our kids how to handle money–when the jars get emptied every month the kids get to spend 1/3, save 1/3 and give 1/3 of the total. We are only in our first month and things are going well–but I gotta tell you–mama even cried when the first child had to empty their bucket!

    I wish you success and peace in your endeavor! You are such a blessing to me in my life!

  7. {{{{{HUG}}}}} It sounds like you are working on turning the corner on a bad period, but also analyzing some long-standing issues. The time of the day that I most require is after I get my daughter to bed — that is the time I can play with paper or read or catch up with a favorite TV show. Without that time, it’s just work and sleep and what fun is that? ;-) Just said a little prayer for you.

  8. Thanks for that … sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who’s overwhelmed with it all and can’t possibly get throught the next day. I sit and wonder how everyone is so positive and upbeat all the time and I’m feeling so not that.

    Not that I don’t love your upbeat blogs but it’s nice to see that hey, I’m not alone, it’s not just me. Hope your toe gets better with treatment and you’re back on the road soon. I know that running feeling… that time to sort it all in your head hour.

    Enjoy your girls weekend, you’re very lucky to have those people still in your life! :)

    Love you, {{hugs}} Ann in WI

  9. Thank you, Stacy, for sharing this “imperfect” part of your life. Sometimes it’s easy to think that the people you read about have a perfect life, and it’s nice to see that you are a real person too. I’m not happy to know you are having a tough time, just happy to know that I’m not the only one! Life is hard, but it’s also thrilling, exhilarating, joyful, the list goes on and on. Chin up, take time for yourself. You are an inspiration to many.

  10. It could be pre-menopause. My family has been on one roller coaster ride for the past 3 years. My husband lost his job and decided to start his own business, we moved AGAIN(this time it’s to stay!) and my daughter transitioned from catholic school to public. The first 6 months of living here was horrible for me. I just wanted to lie in bed and forget everything. I told my husband today that I finally feel better. That things don’t look so bleak and I actually feel good about the move and our family. Give yourself some space and it will happen. I notice that you are a type ‘a’ personality from your blog. Calm down and things will fall into please. Nobody is perfect!

  11. I can do small snakes and spiders but not RODENTS!
    Thanks for sharing your ups and downs with us.

  12. Hey girl…sometimes it’s a good thing to vent! Don’t be so hard on yourself. We all need it. Lots of hugs being sent your way. So glad things are getting better. I sure hope someday to meet you! XOXO

  13. It’s AWESOME you share the bad with us, too. It’s sometimes hard to read blogs that are ONLY super upbeat and cherry sweet. I often think “REALLY? Is life REALLY that easy for you?” It’s nice to know you are human, too.

    Regarding your blog. I’m ASTOUNDED at how often you post new content. It’s mind boggling. And sometimes overwhelming if your posts come with scrapbooking ideas I might want to try. Maybe your expectations are too high for yourself? Your readers love your posts, but I’m sure we’d all understand if you wanted to take it back down a few. Sometimes you are doing 5 (color challenge, sprinkles AND several personal blog posts!!!)…that’s a LOT! I love that you give give give to us, but maybe you should take back some of your time to yourself!!!!!! [I think we can give you permission!] ;)

  14. rachel in Cali. says:

    We all go through this stuff girlie! Good for you for getting it all out there and wearing it on your sleve! ;0)

    I think that just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a supportive husband to raise a mommy!

    Sending hugs!

  15. Thanks for sharing – I think so many times that we, as moms, look at our friends and acquaintances and think they’re super mom and, well, we’re not. The truth is that we all struggle at times. I may have had it a little easier bc our boys were only three years apart and had only slightly different schedules. I applaud moms of more than two children – juggling the schedules alone is full-time job!! Just this weekend we were all together [they're 20 & 23 now] and I just had to take a moment and give the Lord a great big thank you for helping us raise these boys – and I know you depend on him daily too – He’ll hlep you through this busy time of life because, before you know it you’ll be living in the empty nest [and I can say -- it's different, but not a bad place. *wink*] Saying a little pray for you!

  16. I, too, am glad to read about the “real” and very human Stacy. You still amaze me and I am glad that you are willing to share the good, the bad and the spiritual parts of your life. I think the reinventing part is vital–and I think it’s intentional by our loving Father in Heaven. Just when we figure something out (family, kids, house, callings, work) then something changes and we have to change, too. Nothing stays the same. Kids grow and go to school and your boy toys get changed to girl toys. Life is quite the experience, isn’t it? You know, I love reading your blogs but if it’s too much, let go a little. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be uplifting. Short and sweet is okay, too! :) Hugs and a virtual brownie to you!!

  17. Wow- rodents. I’m impressed.
    Thanks for sharing the bad and the good. It’s nice to know we all struggle and life is hard but good.
    Love the money idea. And I agree there’s nothing like cleaning and organizing to make the day go better.

  18. Stacy,

    I am so glad you unravelled. I am glad that us females know that you too can feel this way. I have always viewed you as SUPER Stacy.. and now I know the truth and it has set me free. LOL

    Your toe has hindered your workout – yoga routine. I relate. I have hip issues that have stopped me dead in my tracks and it sucks real bad. Have you thought of doing an adjustment on your toe (gentle chiropractic’s) or possibly acupuncture. I am currently working with both and I have to say I notice all my aches and pains are shifting. Now if I could just get them to release and move out of my body I would be great.

    I hope you feel better…

  19. I always love when my “heroes” show their human side! Whether it is PMS, perimenopause, or just too much on your plate, you are entitled to have a bad day here or there and even to vent about it. Now you’ll just have to figure out how to get some “Stacy quiet time” built into your day because it sounds like you need the solitude as much as I do!

  20. wow. SO glad to know that you are normal!! you are such a great example. i’m glad took time to sit and read what you wrote today. i’m in the early stages of pregnancy right now and feel TERRIBLE 98% of the day. i feel like my house is constantly falling down around me…whilst i lay on the couch. yes, i’m sitting on the couch reading the never ending stack of books that my sweet 2 year old keeps me supplied with…but dude, i’m hoping i can re-join the land of the living soon!! thanks for being honest, it’s so good to know that super wonderful people like you sometimes get overwhelmed…it makes me feel better!:) good luck girl. you are such a great example..you make so many pepole happy and help them to remember what is important in this life…our memories. i want you to know i’ve got my emergency sprinkles from CHA(i met you…and loved that i got to see you around for a few days…i’m from duvall…just to help you remember me…:)) and they make me smile every day…thanks for that!!:)

  21. Stacy,
    Thank you for sharing your challenges. We all look up to you and it’s comforting to know you too struggle with family issues. Hang in there. Life ebbs and flows, but things always do seem to get better. You are really taking a giant leap in the right direction. Again, thanks for sharing. Sharing helps us all in one way or another.

    God Bless, Debbie

  22. A big virtual {hug} to you…hang in there! I was doing a scrapbook page for my son and there is a baseball quote that I’m using (that I thought you might like): “My motto was always to ‘keep swinging’. Whether I was in a slump, or feeling badly, or having trouble off the field…the only thing to do was keep swinging” (Hank Aaron).

    Another quote that I’m using on another LO is one that I really like: “peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things & still be calm in your heart” (unknown)

    Hope you find peace…and keep on swinging!

  23. Sara Mangan says:

    Oh, Stacy, I hear you. My daughter is 3 and she has just started to sleep until 6:00 most mornings. This means if I get up at 5:00 a.m I can get a little time to myself. I have started walking during that time.
    My point? Exercise & time alone to me are huge. I am so much happier. My husband even told me today, “go for a walk you were so crabby yesterday.”
    So I hope you can find the answers you need about your toe. A mama needs exercise and some time alone. Wishing you luck in both those areas.

  24. Awwww….Stacy…way to turn it around, girl! I’m sure I’ve told you before – you don’t have to be all happy inspiration for us here – being *real* is part of your charm and we’re here for virtual {{HUGS}}. So funny, I just had this conversation with my girlfriend this very morning. We were supposed to get together today for a walk and lunch and scrapping, and it just was not happening. Need to combat the lack of energy, the battle of the bulge, and feed our creative spirits. So we yakked on the phone and we’re just and *eense* older than you, and it was all about “could this be menopause?”. No way I’m letting it take over my life. I went for my own walk, and will spend some time on creativity. I’ll keep fighting the good fight, and am happy to see you pulling yourself up by the bootstraps. Life IS hard, but I am thankful for it :)

  25. Thank you for being honest. I’ve found my most honest friends have been the most helpful to me, especially when I am struggling. Their honesty helps me to not be so hard on myself when I am having a hard time keeping up with the demands of mom!

  26. Jennifer S. says:

    Sometimes we have to have hard days to realize just how normal we are. We aren’t super human, we can deal with a lot but not all the time.

    We are also constantly re-inventing things at our house.

    Good luck, take each moment as they come, and know that this too shall pass….

  27. Glad to hear I am not alone, my energy comes in spurts lately too, and I am not even a mom….I had to laugh at your picture of Ralph (sorry call them all that) I had one destroy my car on and off this past year and just sold it ….made ME happy Ralph was at your house and not mine (if only it was that easy :) ) Hang in there and take time for you….

  28. So refreshing – your honesty and your approach to life and scrapbooking. Thanks for helping us all look a the BIG PIC.

  29. Hang in there, Stacy, you are on the way back up! We all have those times when things just don’t seem to be going our way and we can’t seem to catch up. Sounds like you are getting things under control though.
    I love your new jobs for the family ‘program’ wish I would have thought of something like that when my kids were younger, I think it would have helped them to not take things for granted and see how important money management really is.
    You are an amazing woman, don’t forget that……ever!

  30. It must be the time of year. Somewhere between really warm, sunny weather and the still occasionally grey days of Spring. The last few months have been the same for me as the weeks have been for you. In the middle of finishing our basement (I think I sent you the picture of my green room), lack of energy even though I exercise 5 days a week and the challenge of parenting a teenager and a tween have all been taking their toll. It is always good to hear that there are more people out there having ‘issues’ than just me – everyone is human, after all. I love reading all the responses to your blogs and seeing that everyone faces the same struggles is reassuring and somewhat comforting. Thank you for sharing your life with us, Stacy. Cathy Z had a great video on her blog today, but have your tissues at the ready!

  31. Stacy — thanks for “keeping it real.” I read a lot of scrapbooking, knitting, etc blogs and it can get so tiresome, look at my perfect kids, look at my perfect life, I just love unloading the dishwasher 3 times a day, look at my photos of a house that is clean and no photos of the constant mess. Everyone has difficulties even in the best life.

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said you cope with challenges with running and quiet time and now you have lost those 2 things and cannot replace them. I recently went thru this, losing my own coping strategies, and not having new and better ones to use instead. Those 2 strategies help you release some of that negative energy and transform it, without them then you have no release and it all builds up.

    I think your plan to pay your children and not pay for them is an excellent strategy for training them for life. We all work for a living and pay for ourselves. Kids need to learn that. Good plan!

  32. Stacy,
    Thank you for being honest with us about how you feel. If you’re overwhelmed with the ‘deadlines’, try to take a little break. We all understand ‘those times’ when kids, husband, schedules, work etc are just too much. I’ve been married for more than 36 years, have 5 grown children and 5 grandchildren and even though our lives are ‘slowing down’ I still need a break from everything and everyone once in a while. The demands of my job, the uncertainty of the economy, my health, and my ‘extra’ activities within the community and church can just be too much. About 20 years ago, a friend told me that it was okay to take some time EACH day just for me. Sometimes it was only 15 minutes and other times I felt happy to find a whole hour but since I started to do that, I’ve been a happier person and more able to cope. So as a cyber friend, I’m telling you to TAKE TIME EACH DAY JUST FOR YOU!

  33. TracyBzz says:

    Maybe this will lift your spirits. I got the book last week and today Cathy Z had the link on her blog.

    Watch this video, if you are an emotional person, grab some kleenex. I
    just got her book and the first paragraph (some of which you hear in the
    video) made me sad.

    “The Gift of an Ordinary Day” by Katrina Kenison

    Her first book about the younger childhood years is Mitten Strings for
    God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry
    The second book The Gift of an Ordinary Day is about the teenage years.

    So here’s to all the wonderful mom’s out there. Happy (almost) Mother’s Day!

  34. Bec Kilgore says:

    I am an alone empty nester now but I still have the same kind of feelings when job, to-dos and the shoulds get overwhelming. My house has been feeling negative lately so I am working on turning that around these days.

    There is something to be said for menopause, if you can learn to love the hair on your chinny chin chin, haha. The getting there can be rough, tho. Happy for you that you are having a ladies weekend.

    I appreciate your honesty. I think women always appreciate knowing that there are others out there who understand the struggles we face at times.

  35. Peggy Leland says:

    Stacy I’ll never know how you manage everyone, keep a house, big picture scrapbooking, scrapbooking and everything else you manage to do. If you haven’t been able to run and do yoga I’m sure your body is wondering where all those endorphins you used to have went.

    I also know when other things are stressing me out and the kids seem ungrateful or just plain clueless that makes me feel even more stressed.

    I was wondering how your plan went over and how it was going to work. Keep us updated on that one. I’d love to know it goes. It sounds like something we might try down the road. My 2 are only 10 & 6.

    And always know your blog readers are behind you no matter what mood you are in. We know some of what you are going through. Hang in there.

  36. Thanks for always being “real” with us. Big hugs to you!

  37. Oh Stacy…I can TOTALLY relate and it seems like you and I are feeling the same emotions these days. I just “lost control” with my family yesterday and cried feeling like I am taken for granted. I an a CTMH consultant and have SO much n my plate right now. I just can’t seem to focus on any one thing…this is not good as I have some MAJOR deadlines coming up.
    I would LOVE to hear about you new Family Plan with the jobs. It has been a constant struggle for me to remain calm when I constantly repeat myself to clean this or that, etc. Perhaps you can enlighten me and my family.
    I am a vendor at Donna Donwny’s “Inspire” workshop. I am looking forward to hearing you speak. I would love to chat at some point about how we are feeling and brainstorm how we can overcome these yucky feelings!
    In the meantime, hang in there and know you are not alone, my dear friend!
    Thanks for being so open and honest!
    Have a super night and week!

    Amy McGrew

  38. Stephanie T says:

    Hi Stacy–PLEEEEEEEASE go easier on yourself. I am a 2010 LOMer who has failed miserably at keeping up with class. BUT I am printing out all the lessons and handouts and know that I have access to the classroom anytime, so I decided to stop beating myself up about it. I read your blog daily and get mommy guilt because I just do not get nearly as much done as you do on a daily basis. Remember, your family loves YOU, not all the million and one things you can do for them. And you mention the dreaded menopause thing. Oh boy, when I was 41, odd things started happening to me that had never happened before. I was feeling awful, out of sorts, and just plain useless. Once I surrended to the waves of perimenopause, it was MUCH easier to deal with. So if your lovely hormones are contributors to your current state, please cut back on what you can normally expect of yourself and others. The yucky feelings will most likely pass–you just need to bounce along with the waves that you can’t control. I am assuming that you don’t drink caffeinated drinks, but I have to say that even chocolate put me over the edge at times. I’ve almost completely given up chocolate–I know. That should be a crime, but can live without chocolate!! Hope this helps–sorry it’s so long.

  39. Even in your frustration you are inspiring! We’ve all been there, or will be there, and we so appreciate your honesty AND your perseverance to dig yourself out of your funk and get your Stacy J back on. No matter how long it takes or much you need to pull back the reins on the website a bit. We will be here. We love you, the good the bad and the ugly, chica!


  40. I hope everything works out for you soon, sounds like you are on the right track. I have read your blog for years and appreciate your honesty and keepng things real. I am sending warm fuzzy happy thoughts your way….

  41. Wendy Oaks says:

    Thank you for your honesty! So refreshing and a much-needed post for stressed-out-not-enough-time-in-the-day-busy Moms! It’s always nice to know that we’re not alone in our struggles! :-)

  42. There must be something in the water…feel like my boys only think “What have you done for me lately, Mom?”

  43. I’m having a stinky week as well–hope it cheers up for you soon!

  44. Thanks for keeping it real! Even happy people get down sometimes. Thank you for sharing, and I wish you the best on the changes with your kids and your new office.

  45. I am so glad you share your ups and downs on your blog. I appreciate your honesty. It is what I enjoy about your blog. We all have periods of stress, unpreparedness, and being overwhelmed (and taking it out on our spouses :) ). You never cease to amaze with your enthusiasm, projects, creativity, and ways that you bless your family. Take a deep breath. Take some time for yourself . . . and know this too shall pass.

  46. It must be something in the air. Last week I was a wreck emotionally, too. My poor hubby! But then Aunt Flo appeared over the weekend. It looks like she may be setting up housekeeping. At least I feel like it.

    We are in the midst of home improvements, too. So I know how it feels to live in chaos for weeks at a time. We are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel now. So hopefully by this time next month, we can both breath a sigh of relief.

    Have fun with your family this weekend. Hang in there!

  47. Ahh- no need to feel bad about sharing real life as it happens – cause the rest of us are living through similar but different.

    The best advice I was given with a newborn- my first . . .” It doesn’t get better, it just gets Different” It has held very true. Their are challenges at every age. Bigger as the kids get bigger! Hang in there- can’t wait to see the new work space.
    Happy Monday!!

  48. Appreciate your honesty; always enjoy your posts. Hugs!

  49. Ditto to all the above comments. Life is so good but it can be so overwhelming at times. That is one reason though why I really want to continue to scrapbook because 1) it puts me back in focus about what the important things are and 2) when I look back I remember all the special things that happened in the midlle of craziness

  50. Stacy == You must have been the little Mouse in my house today! It is a real blessing when someone like YOU — admits to US that you have all those real feelings, and problems too. I have heard you speak many times– even going back as far as your DOTS days and I have always admired your energy and happy attitude, so it is actually good for ME to hear you have times of negativity too! I have felt the overwhelmed feeling lately too– and am trying to SLOW myself down– especially my expectations of myself,. I am pretty sure in my 30s I thought I was superwoman. I, too have been doing the PICTURE Spring class and having to focus on the amazing spring this year has helped me to really cherish the time and slow down to notice it! Thanks for being honest and we can ALL relate! I am glad to know you are human, too!!! Bless u

  51. Tracy Wallace says:

    Well thank goodness you’re normal like the rest of us! I was beginning to wonder. :)

    Hugs and prayers for some sanity – coming your way!

  52. Regrouping…it’s a good thing!

  53. Margot/NZ says:

    It’s very reassuring to find out that Stacy J gets the ‘blahs’ too. Thank you so much for sharing this (and of course we love you all the more for this).

    One idea from my mother-of-four friend Mary: when you do something for your (now financial) children (that they are supposed to have done), they pay YOU. After all this is how it works in the real world, when we get something done for us rather than doing it ourselves, we have to pay for it. So she simply paid herself for every chore she did that one of the kids didn’t do (after fair warning that this would happen) and deducted this from the total due to the child. This might make a useful addition to your scheme.

  54. Oh Stacy. Thank you so much for sharing such personal information. I really needed to hear this right now as life has been hard and trying around our house too. It feels good to know other moms have the same exasperations as I do. Thank you. Thank you. I too spent some time organizing over the weekend. It gives me some semblance of control over life.

  55. Bless your heart Stacy – you’re human! We all go through these trials/difficult times in our lives, and hopefully become stronger because of them! You’re very brave to share such a personal post – I enjoy reading your blog – you are an inspiration to all!
    Lifting you up in prayer….

    Hugs & Blessings to you!

  56. Jennifer Rogers says:

    Hello, Stacy, from a Johannesburg, South Africa, class member of yours (Sept 2008). I read your blog a lot and today I have to comment: On your tiredness & “negative” moods– Don’t discount the effect of having “construction people” in your space & place– as much as I loved planning all my renovations, shopping for them & enjoying the results (spoilt brat stuff) it wasn’t just the mess that got to me, it felt a bit like assault! I have taken more than a year off from the madness, but will have to start again soon and am dreading it, so I wonder if “the intruders” aren’t partly to blame? Enjoy your girl time and the new space.

  57. Miss Mayberry says:

    Don’t be so hard on yourself, especially about this blog. We all think you are pretty awesome, and it’s even better that you are human. Last night my youngest asked for “one more luddin” (loving) and then, “Can you tell us a story when you get done wif your work?” Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, sloppy kisses seem to cure everything. And yes, work was wrapped up within minutes. Have a great day!

  58. Kathy Jo Camacaho says:

    Hang in there Stacy – it will get better. I believe it is the construction; the mess and the disruption causes a lot of these feels to come out. (Someone should do a study on the psychology of contstruction in the home.) From one who just went through an in-home office renovation this last month, I’ve felt exactly as you have described yourself. It WILL get better, and like you said, you’ve done all you could and should; prayed, talked to the hubby and put changes in place. You go girl! You got this one! :) All is well.

  59. Stay strong and positive… I know sometimes life can get overwhelming and you lose a sense of what’s good and kind in the world. But, it will get better and God has a way of popping up in the most wonderful ways to remind you that you’re not alone in this world. I really enjoyed your post and I am glad that we, as women, do not hesitate to express our opinions to each other as well as support each other when going gets a bit rough.

    BTW – love your money idea with the older kids. I will have to book mark that one for future use! :)

  60. Rhonda H says:

    You forgot to mention the all-consuming LOM that’s currently on your docket! LOL!
    We love you Stacy. As the British army says, “Keep calm and carry on.” (In your best British accent, of course!) Summer’s comin’ Do what you can to MAKE it a NO FLY ZONE. No flyin’ in and out the door with too many commitments. Nancy Reagan said it best: “JUST SAY NO.”
    The fact is, Moms are “in the trenches” of childrearing, but nobody does it better.

  61. This post hit too close to hom for me. I’m 99% with you on this one, Stacy – our difference, you have the understanding husband – mine is not. I keep reading your post and the tears just flow. As the saying goes (and I’ve been practicing it for years) “when everything around you is pushing you to the end of your rope, tie one more knot and hang on…” I’m beginning to wonder what you do when there’s no more room to add another knot. Sorry so down. There are things I should be grateful for – everyone’s healthy – but lately it doesn’t seem to be enough. Just another day. It’s Just Another Day.

  62. Karen Smith says:

    Well congratulations Wonder Woman! You have finially joined the ranks of the rest of the working mothers, wives, homemakers, friends, daughters. Welcome. We’re glad to have you. You’ve made the rest of us look so bad for so long! NOW, JUST ENJOY!

  63. Stacy…I so appreciate your honesty. Sometimes as moms I think blogs like this are necessary and relievers….it is great to know that everyone has moments, days and times like these in their lives and that we all do the best we can to adapt, change, and move forward in the best way we know how….knowing things will get better from here on out…hope your Tuesday is a great one! :)

  64. Stacy: Thanks for your honesty and even though we don’t know one another personally, I’d love to give you a big hug and say, “It’s okay.” You’ve done a lot to care for yourself. Keep on doing that. If you aren’t caring for yourself, you are less effective at caring for all the souls that depend on you.

    I know this from personal experience. Be gentle with your dear, creative, wonderful self!

  65. BIG Hugs Stacy! You can only do what you can do and so far it is is pretty darn amazing! Just my two cents!

  66. Thanks for sharing Stacy. We’ve been overwhelmed here as well. I’m sorry to say but it is relieving for me that when someone who seems to have it all (sorry), has days like mine. Only mine is expecting a new baby (we have two under 5 already), continued unemployment (15 months now) and the uncertainty of the future. We are regrouping as well. Trying to decide what to do; send my husband back to school (he already has a PhD you’d think that would be enough school wouldn’t you?), think that we are here in our house instead of the constant thought of packing (and then unpacking when you need something), or what. So I can relate. *Hugs* enjoy the transformation of your space with the paint, may it help breathe new life into your day to see another thing coming to completion. :)

  67. WOW awesome post. I think I even want to print it out I loved it so much. I want to do more writing like this about myself just for the process of it and to include in between the pages of my scrapbooks or just printed out and kept in 3 ringed binder ; kind of like a diary. The thing I love about blogs is that they are like a diary, but the thing I don’t love is that there isn’t some hardbound printout of them that I could curl up with on a couch someday to flip through and remember stuff.

    • Sara Mangan says:

      Have you tried Blurb? You can turn your blog into a book.
      I also print out my blog posts and keep them in a 3-ring binder.
      There is so much on my blog that I wouldn’t want to loose.
      It is fun to sit down and “flip though it”.

  68. I am one who WHOLEHEARTEDLY agrees that if you get NO me time (and I’m sorry, 15 minutes does NOT cut it) then it means that your personal “bank” isn’t being filled up. If it’s running on empty, everything else drains quickly to help feed that one and as a result, you’re entire tank runs on fumes which typically leads to fuming — at your kids, at your spouse, at yourself! :) Find a way to make it happen sister! You have to for YOUR sanity!

    AND… I want to hear/see/copy these weekly time cards! I think I may want to institute that!

  69. Stacy thank you for being so normal and real! Truly inspiring!

  70. Thanks for such a great post Stacy…you remind us that life is not always perfect, and that can be just as intimidating to those of us who read your blog and others like it…we can’t keep up with it, and neither should you. Thanks for showing us that you’re human too and it’s ok to be that way! And…go take care of that foot.

  71. Sarah B. says:

    Well no wonder you’re struggling, if you’ve lost your two best coping techniques. I’m super cranky all day if I don’t get my half hour of quiet time in the morning. Yes, toddlers are intense, and you need that time to regroup. I hope you’re able to regain some of that time. And I’ll bet when the construction people are gone things will seem calmer too. Hang in there!

  72. I agree with the other posters: thank you for being real! I find that it’s honesty and authenticity that are the most inspiring … and assures the rest of us that we’re “normal” after all. :)

  73. Hugs to you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  74. Kary in Colorado says:

    Oh Stacy, I can relate. When my youngest was 3, I was 45, and I had a 5 (with mysterious learning issues and serious health challenges), a 9 and a very rebellious 17–oh, and we were adding on to our house as well. What a year! What a couple of years! It is now 10 years later and that 3 just became an official teenager, the 5 will get his learning permit this summer, Miss 9 leaves for a summer in Thailand working at an NGO (yikes) and the 17 has served a mission and leaves next month for a PhD program at the University of Chicago. Life changes scary fast. Take care of you. Get the toe fixed, cuddle Addie (and anyone else who will still tolerate it!), and cut yourself a lot of slack. I so appreciate you and love what you have done for me with BPS and SS and all the rest. Your inspirations have helped me get through my last ten years with a positive outlook and grateful for the tender mercies that come day by day. Thank you–you have been a real blessing in my life.

  75. Jennifer says:

    I’m glad to see your just like the rest of us. I know about needing some of your own time. I have 2 girls and my husband has had a rotten 2010….throat surgery, 2 kidney stone surgeries, probably will have to have gall bladder removed and just found out he may have to have knee surgery – glad we met our deductible already!!! I’m thinking of running away – wanna come? I have to learn to take time for myself too, but I always feel guilty to do so when I have laundry, something to be cleaned etc!!! I can’t seem to relax until everything is clean which seems to be never. Hang in there and know you’re not alone!

  76. Oh Stacy, I am sorry you’ve been feeling stressed and overwhelmed; but I am relieved in another way—it’s good to hear that you are just like everyone else (me)….when I feel overwhelmed and stressed one of the first things I do is check your blog for something cheery and uplifting…and the other day I’ll admit I did wonder–why is she able to do so much more that I do and be so much more positive??? I know consciously everyone struggles, but it is validating to see/hear about it. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with people you dont even know. It really does help and inspire us….and, you will feel better…sooner or later!!!

  77. Hi Stacy ~

    I can relate & I thank you for keeping it real! March was terrific & I had ‘my groove on’. . April I just haven’t gotten into the swing of & here it is almost over!

    A note on the paying your children. . . my husband & I JUST started doing this (our guys are 13 & soon to be 18. . 7th grader & Senior in H.S.). . we too have expectations for them & every two weeks they get ‘paid’ for what they’ve completed. We too cover the basics but if they want that newest ‘scent’ or hair goo, or iTunes download, it comes from their $$. It makes them think twice. Our motto is “save some, spend some, give some away” & we review with them periodically. It seems to have helped the $$ flying from my wallet & also increased their awareness.

    Thanks so much for keeping it real, & knowing you can share it with us!


  78. Everyone else has said it all so I will just send {{{HUGS}}}. We all feel this same at some point.

  79. WHEW! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has days/weeks like this! You are such an inspiration and am so relieved knowing that most moms go thru rough times! My only wish is that I had the urge to go organize something when I’m stressed. My 5,000 sq foot home would be totally a show piece if that were the case here LOL!!!! As an avid blog reader of yours…it’s OK not to post all the time..we all completely understand!!!
    Thanks again for sharing your honest thoughts!

  80. You are always such a bubbly positive person, I know how hard it must be when you are not feeling the way you normally do.
    Days will be better and then there are some bad ones too. You are lucky to have your mom and aunts to have girls days with. I wish i had had some of those while mine were alive. I miss my mom and mother in law so much. I look forward to the times my daughter will want a mom/daughter time out. She lives in Ohio and I miss her alot too. Right now when she has the time and the money she wants to be with her friends but I know one day my day will come.

    Hang in there and hug your kids more often. They grow up too fast.

  81. I think we all go through this sometimes… I was just reading an article about the same kind of thing yesterday, funny to see a similar theme here today :-) {{Hugs}} http://www.powerofmoms.com/articles/sometimes-do-you-just-want-to-cry.html

  82. So you are normal!!!
    As for paying the children, here is my take on things. I refuse to pay my children for helping around the house, in my opinion my children need to learn that helping take care of things and picking up after themselves is part of being a family. I will not pay them to keep their room clean or to pick up their dirty clothes or scrub down a tiolet that they use…I do however give them many oppertunies to earn money by doing jobs around the house that are not the usual up keep of a home like picking up the fallen apples, weeding a flower bed, organizing the game closet, or cleaning out the garage for example. I am in no way saying that those that pay kids allowances are wrong, I am just throwing this solution out there for anyone else that struggles with the whole allowance thing like I did.

  83. Stacy….your a normal mother who loves her husband and children!!! Love the little books you found, hope I find them around here some where. Love you girl!!!

  84. Oh Staci, I’m sorry you’re having a rough month! I feel for you, I really do. I’ve been having a rough month myself and I feel out of sorts. Nothing horrible, but a bit off track. Just so you know, your blog is always a ray of sunshine and happiness in my life. I enjoy peeking at your life and seeing what new and interesting things you and your lovely family are doing. To be honest, knowing that you struggle sometimes makes me feel like I’m not alone. Does that make sense? You have a zest for life that I admire and inspires me. Thanks for all that you do!

  85. First of all, I am sending you a smile, and many happy thoughts. But I also have to admit, that it is comforting to know that I am not the only one who feels the same way! I am jealous of how creative and organized you are! You are an inspiration, so just remember that even on a bad day, there are some of us out there wishing that we were as “put together” as you are!
    Oh, and I love, love, love Hillary’s new cupcake bracelet that you inspired! I’m hoping for one for Mother’s Day! :) Enjoy your week!

  86. Hi newbie here. Just read a few comments. I think children should learn to earn. My rulesrooms clean by thurs or stay home with mom on the weekend,

    At 12 -13 you play video games? a washing machine and dry are much easier. I am training you for independent living. I had 2 sons.

    Once a week you help cook a meal that insures you know how to feed your self. When they were older they took over dinner one night a week. Order out with your own money if you want.

    garbage, dishwasher, bathrooms rotated weekly less arguing over who didn’t unload etc.

    They of course mooched money when they needed it. Need ore money try the tree out back or check the needs to be done list.

    Summers were the best.
    Mom had a list of jobs with $$$$ attached . You could only choose 2-3 and they had to be completed before you could sign up for more.

    clean and organize pantry
    wash windows
    scrub porch
    things you would normally have them do, but with a hint of bribery

    All I can offer is talk to your husband and get for family involved in helping you stay on top as much as you can.

    Take care of your self first and you will be tons better.


  87. At least I don’t feel alone now. I hope things go better for you now. {{HUGS}}

  88. It is not easy having construction in your home. We have been in never-ending remodel mode for the last 12 months. The kitchen remodel (now completed) turned into a “re-do the stairs to the basement”, which turned into re-do the basement (including jackhammering up the old floor and digging it down to add head-room, adding a bathroom and dog-wash station), and simultaneously remodeling our third floor, adding a bathroom and a man-craft (fly-tying) area. We live in a 100 year old home and it’s never-ending. There are days when I just want to tell the guys – GO HOME. I need some ME time! It’s noisy, it’s dirty, it’s no fun. But I know the end result will be awesome…and I know I shouldn’t complain, because there are many others who simply don’t have the ability to make home improvements.
    As for the kids and money…you go! I fear what the endless remodeling (and purchasing to fill the spaces) is teaching the kids. I want my kids to learn that money has to be earned…that it’s not an unlimited resource that magically appears in your bank account. They don’t see the years of struggling through college, med school, residency, etc. I don’t want them to just get everything they want. They need to earn it. We developed a 401K plan for them. Each week they earn their age in dollars. HALF goes to a bank account. They’re allowed to spend the other half. The bank account money earns interest and they’ll have access to it at the age of 18.
    You’re doing the right thing, and what you’re feeling is normal. (menopause? maybe. I’m feeling a little of that, too. I’m 43.)
    And oh yeah, I’m sorry about your toe. A broken baby toe (if that’s what it is) never really seems to get better with anything but time. UGH.
    Thanks for sharing!

  89. Bridget Maher says:

    As many of the rest have said, Thank you for letting us into your little world everyday and letting us know both the good and bad. In reading this yesterday, I had decided to stay home from work because I just didn’t want to “cope” with all the day was going to bring, and just needed a “me” day, even though I didn’t really do much around the house.

    You are always uplifting to me, and it is good to see we all have our days. You inspire me in every way, and just know it’s OK to let go every once in a while and it is perfectly normal.

    Thank you for being the person you are!!!

  90. Christine says:

    I think that we all know that you are gifted and talented, but now we know that you hold yet an even greater gift…the gift to be able to step back and reflect, breathe and truly look at yourself and your life, and embark on whatever you feel will enrich it even more. I have always been a fan of your SB talents and insight, but honestly, your work takes on a whole new light and value for me when I see what a genuine and “full” person is behind it all. Thank you for sharing your true self with the rest of us — I pray that in doing so, your journey becomes even richer!

    And I have to add…I used to love listening to my grandmothers, great aunts, etc. talk in the kitchen and over sewing, etc. about real life things, real things in the lives of women. Most of us don’t have those same opportunities these days, so if Blogging works, then Blogging it is!

    A happy and healthy day to you!

  91. Gosh Stacy, you sound just like me lately!

    Thank you for your honesty. You are such an inspiration. Please don’t feel pressure to post all the time…your blog readers will totally understand!

    Hey, last year I put my two sons on a very similar allowance plan and it has been great. I was feeling like an ATM and they were not learning about budgeting at all (and they were killing *my* budget). Now when they want something, I say “did you bring your wallet?” It’s amazing how much more thought they give to purchases when it’s their “own” money!

    Take Care…

  92. I remember those days of feeling completly overwhelmed when the kids were young, the hormones out of whack and the perceived duties hanging over your head needing to be dealt with yesterday and I can emphasize. I loved your pictures, especially the one of the heart shaped rock. I have three similar heart shaped rocks sitting on the shelf in my scraproom, each given to me over the years by my son who is now 20 and away at college. I am sure other people might look at them and think ‘dust catchers’ but I look at them and think ‘love’ from my son and for my son.

  93. Honesty is the best policy:) Love that you can share this with us. Gosh knows I feel this way. Oh you do need your me time to re-energize, reflect and renew. I remember recently feeling so out of sorts and I realized I wasn’t doing my usual Morning pages sitting by my window time. It had been weeks and my spirit was feeling it.

    I love how you cleaned, organized and purged:) That always does the trick too. Do take care of yourself:) Have a wonderful day:)

  94. I can so totally relate to the desire to slow down! Life gets really crazy sometimes, and families need to understand that moms need a break from time to time to rejuvenate, although that’s not always possible exactly when it’s needed.

    We will survive without a blog update for a few days if that’s what is needed. Of course we would miss it, but we’ll be OK!

  95. Sending prayers and energy your way. Thank you for your honesty, it’s nice to know that we moms are not in this alone. Take care of yourself. :)

  96. Hi Stacy! Hugs to you :) I thought of this post today when I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts (Joel Osteen). He said “Not every season is a harvest season. You’ll have a season of planting, a season of watering, a season of weeding.” He’s talking long-term but it could be a season that lasts a day or a week. Maybe this is the “season” to take a breather and KNOW that your boundless energy and optimism will return (and it WILL–maybe already has?!). As for me, when I turned 50 I got a sudden burst of creative energy. I am excited to see what amazing things you do in all the seasons of your life :) Have a wonderful day!!

  97. Prayers & hugs to you! This post touched me more than any other–possibly because I can relate so much! Love the new family plan–I think I may have to go there because I need them to recognize the value of hard work & money. They honestly think I’m an ATM machine!

  98. Nicky from Canada says:

    Lots of hugs coming your way – so understand where you are coming from.

  99. Stacy, thank you for your honesty. We all feel that way sometimes (at least I do this week).

    Don’t let the blog weigh you down. We’ll keep checking in. Love this article about No Obligation Blogging (http://www.tartx.com/blog/?page_id=233). It is refreshing to think about blogging in a way that is authentic and true to who you are and what’s going on in your life.

  100. great post as usual!

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