We did it!  We made it across the country to PA!  We are still in transition mode since we have not settled on our home in Philadelphia yet.  The kids and I are staying on the farm with Mumsie.   Tommy's program has already started so he is staying with Mary and Andy in Philly (thanks you two!).  It is not an ideal setup to be spending this time apart, but I am trying to remind myself that this is temporary.  I have been focusing on living in the moment and to taking each day at a time.  It sounds like it should be easy enough, but it has been really hard for me.  Addison has turned into a clingy monkey.  The loving grandparents have been spoiling the rugrats with every snack that I don't normally allow.  Each bite that they take makes me fear that they are never going to want to eat my healthy foods again. Just as I am about to loose it, I peak in to find them snuggled up on Mumsie's lap reading a book, and I realize that it really doesn't matter. All that matters is that they have this time to get to know all of their grandparents better. They are getting the time that they haven't had over the past four years.  They won't remember their daddy being gone for a few weeks and that haven't been in their own beds in their own bedrooms.  But they will remember the countless baseball games that they went to with Pop Pop, morning meditation with Mumsie, bonfires and sleepovers with their cousins, and lake days with their Grammy B.  This summer is not what I had envisioned when I planned for us to make our move, but that is ok.  Sometimes when our plan goes array we end up with something even better.  God always provides us with what we need, and right now we need healing in the arms of our families.

Wherever You Go is a book that has quickly become one of our favorites.  It was given to us by our amazing friends, the Gomez family.  It is a lyric type story about following different paths in life.  I highly recommend it for anyone moving or going through a transition.  It's a children's story but it applies to anyone at any age.  Beautifully written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler.  

You can find the link below.  It is on sale at Amazon right now!

"Roads give you chances to seek and explore. 

Want an adventure?

Just open your door."



A Bittersweet Goodbye

Four years ago, Tommy and I came out to San Diego for the first time.  Tommy had just taken an oath to join the Navy as an officer in the Dental Battalion and we found out that he would be stationed at Camp Pendleton.  We left Mason and Elizabeth in Philadelphia with my mom and came out to search for a place to live. I remember being in such shock of California.  As we drove around from San Diego to Carlsbad, I saw that it really was just like it is in the movies. There were beautiful homes on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and surfers walking barefoot from their cars to the beach.  Friends and bonfires lined the shores every evening.  Was this real?  Were we really about to move our crew out here so far away from our family?

Now four years later I find myself thinking back to that couple who came out here and I can barely recognize them.  So much has changed since the time when we took that leap and moved our little family across the country, far away from everything that we had ever known.  I have grown and changed in ways that I never thought possible.  Tommy and my marriage has strengthened and we feel closer than ever. We have created our own family traditions and learned how to parent on our own.  I have truly envisioned us living here forever and raising our children in this amazing environment.  We have had serious conversations about buying a place and settling here.  But then at the beginning of this year, Tommy was accepted into the Oral Surgery program at Temple University.  He has always dreamed of becoming a surgeon so he decided to apply for residency.  When I found out that he was accepted, I was thrilled for him.  What an amazing opportunity and a chance for us to be back near our family.  As much as I was excited for him, I was also so disappointed for us.  We have created a life out here and its been a wonderful one.  We have grown and strengthened.  We have added to our family (Yay Addie Girl!!). We have so many wonderful and amazing friends who have become like family to us.  We are involved in school, baseball, music, theatre. If we leave all of what we have valued does that mean that we leave some of us behind?

As much as I am scared to start over, and as sad as I am to leave our life here, I find myself feeling so grateful that we were given the opportunity to live here.  I am so thankful to all of our friends here who have taken us in and made us family.  Your friendship has made our time here that much more amazing.  As we close our this chapter and prepare for our next adventure I ask God for guidance through our move.  We can do this Bris Family!
Thanks Cali.  You are like no one else.


Happy 1st birthday to my forever baby girl

Addison Guthrie,

Happy 1st birthday my love! What an emotional journey we have been on during this year of your life. It started with you shocking us all. Instead of showing up as the boy we were informed you were, we were blessed with a sweet baby girl. We have had to make many tough decisions over this past year regarding the future of our little family and where we will live. It has not been an easy year, but man, it has been a great one. I have never felt alone through it all because I have always had you with me. You have such an amazing and strong soul. You are brilliant. You pick up on everything so quickly and have understood so much of what we have said from the beginning. One of my favorite things about you is how you have always prefered to have your head near my head when I carry you around.  You push your forehead against my mouth when you want kisses.  It always leaves me with your sweet smell which I just drink up long after I put you down. You give best cuddles. Every single night I have the hardest time putting you to bed. I lay with you to stare at those amazing long lashes, lips, and your dimple chin that is just like your daddy's. I could hold your sweet little body forever!
Thank you for coming into our family and showering us with such sweet love birdie. You have brought us so much joy and have given me much strength.

I love you forever my Addie girl.

“But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after - oh, that's love by a different name. She is the babe you hold in your arms for an hour after she's gone to sleep. If you put her down in the crib, she might wake up changed and fly away. So instead you rock my the window, drinking the light from her skin, breathing her exhaled dreams. Your heart bays to the double crescent moons of closed lashes on her cheeks. She's the one you can't put down.” -Barbara Kingsolver

Photo cred due to my amazingly talented friend Sarah Smylie :)  Forever grateful to you for capturing these moments.

Happy 5th birthday to my sweet Elizabeth

To my dearest Elizabeth, 

When I was about 6 years old I saw the movie Baby Boom. Even though it was not a kids movie by any means, I loved it. I loved the story line and I absolutely adored the baby Elizabeth from the movie. I imagined a time when I would have my very own Elizabeth baby girl to hug, love, and care for.  About 20 years later, on April 30th, 2010, my wish came true. From the second that you were born, I could not take my eyes away from you. The nurses begged me to rest that night but I could not close my lids. I did not want to sleep for a single second because if I did, it might mean that my fairy tale dream did not come true. Since the moment that you were placed into my arms, you have amazed me and you continue to amaze me in every step that you take through life. Your soul has a deeper understanding of the world. You have grounded me with such simple, but profound statements.  The world is a better place with your beautiful spirit in it. You are my dream come true buttercup. I waited so long for you. Thank you for all of the joy and knowledge that you have already given me. I'm so proud to be your mommy and I love watching you grow. Happy birthday my Elizabeth. 

"I wanted you more than you ever will know, so I sent love to follow wherever you go." -Nancy Tillman


Photos by the crazy talented Tyler Branch :)

Family camp

We spent the weekend camping at Vail Lake campgrounds with the YMCA adventure guides. Mason and Tommy have been attending their father son campouts at various locations for the past 3 years. It is an amazing program and such a great way to strengthen their bond. I love when they come back and share stories from their trip.
I was especially excited to go to this campout with them to experience some of the fun myself. Well, I do have to admit that I was mostly excited, but also very nervous to campout with an almost one year old in a tent for the weekend. I was kind of expecting the worst with that little Addie girl. 
We arrived on Friday had a great dinner, bonfire, and drinks with the tribe. I put Addison down early. The big kids stayed up super late running around with glow sticks and chasing their friends. It was adorable to see them all wound up and excited to be there. Around midnight the bird woke up freezing. Even though it was high 80s during the day, it went down to 35 overnight! We were not prepared for that so we were pretty cold. Even though we had very little sleep that night, it didn't stop us from having loads of fun on Saturday. We played lazer tag, swam at the pool, had tons of yummy food, a very entertaining nation fire, and ended the night with s'mores, drinks, and card games by the fire. I forgot to mention that the whole weekend was 70s themed so we got to have some fun dressing up in our daisy dukes!
What great memories that we made this weekend. The best part was spending the weekend unplugged from phones, tv, and the computer. Feels so refreshing to be present in the moment.

The best valentine ever

I received the best valentine ever from my Mason. He found the idea for this in his Highlights magazine. He followed the instructions and free hand drew the flamingo. The love note in the middle was his original thought. "I hope that your my only valentine forever.."
Wish granted moodle. There isn't anyone else that I would rather be valentines with ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Happy birthday to our boy

My boy. The one who made me a mommy before I was ready 8 short years ago. You have taught us so much in your time on earth and you have changed us down to the core. You will always challenge us, make us grow, and set the path for our parenting ways. Your sisters have you as a the greatest example of a the kind heart that a boy should have. Your imagination is so incredible and it fills me with such joy to see you still dress up and give as much effort into every different "role" or job that you take on. Your ability to read at such a young age has helped your brain to grow to imagine and question so many things in our world. Mason means to build or strength with stone. Little did we know that when we named you how much that would apply perfectly to your role in our family.  You are the foundation of it all. You started this bond and we couldn't be more proud as we watch you grow. Love you to the moon and back moodle 

Tackle your fears

Elizabeth had her first soccer game last weekend.  She was excited to get dressed up in big brother's hand me down soccer shorts and cleats. As we got ready to walk out the door though, a fear set over her face.  She shared with me that she was really nervous to play soccer against all the other kids.  She was scared to be out there in front of all of the parents who would be watching. I assured her that it was ok to feel nervous but she didn't have to.  She was going to have so much fun running on the field, kicking the ball, and playing with her buddies.  I also told her that she would feel so proud of herself when she was finished.
When we got there she eagerly ran onto the field, greeted her coach, and put on her uniform.  The fear seemed to disappear and she relaxed.  I looked on with delight as she aggressively went for the ball.  As she was running off of the field during a break, she yelled over to me and said, "Hey mommy, you were right, this is fun!  I'm so proud of myself for playing!"
I couldn't feel more joy toward her at that very moment.  My little girl tackled her fears head on and succeeded.

Treasured family time

I find that we are all so busy anymore that we do not get many days to spend together alone as our family of 5. We decided to take advantage of the day off and travel north to check out this little gem of a beach that has tide pools and low waves. It is the perfect beach for the kids. Laguna Beach is about an hour north of where we live in Carlsbad. Instead of giving the kids snacks or an iPad to occupy them on the drive we just let them sit in their boosters together in the 3rd row. They spent the whole time giggling, drawing pictures for each other on the magna doodle, and looking at the scenery outside. It was a refreshing break from the every day schedule that is filled with work, school, homework, after school activities, the computer, and tv.  
The forecast said partly cloudy in the mid 60s but it turned out to be a gorgeous sunny, 70 degree day. Mason and Elizabeth ran in and out of the ocean, built castles, dug holes, and burried each other in the sand. Tommy, Addison, and I spent some time relaxing in the chairs watching the rascals play. We let Addie down in the sand thinking that she would hate it, but she ended up loving it! She was crawling all over and putting gobs full of sand in her mouth. During low tide we explored the tide pool area. There were great rocks to climb all over so that you could see the little sea creatures. We saw fish, muscles, crabs, urchins, and snails.  Mason and Ellie were fascinated!
It was a great day. One that I will truly treasure. I don't know what the future holds for us later this year when Tommy's contract ends with the Navy. These may be our last few months on the west coast so I'm going to do my best to live in the moment in this beautiful state that we have been lucky enough to call home.


Reflecting back over 2014

I sit here on this beautiful day reflecting over this past exciting and emotional year... And my time as a mother.
We were blessed to welcome into our lives a beautiful baby girl on May 4, 2014. We had a bit of a ride through the pregnancy. Both mason and Ellie were born prematurely. Mason came into the world 6 weeks early at 5lbs 14 oz. In true Mason fashion he came out kicking and screaming, but within an hour of birth he had respiratory distress and wound up in the nicu. After two weeks of feeding issues we were able to take our peanut home. That scarred us severely as young first time parents. It took us a long time to even consider number two, but once we did we were excited to give mason a sibling. After a high alert pregnancy, filled with progesterone shots and bed rest, Elizabeth Ruth was born 4 weeks early at 6 lbs 8 oz. She was a little squirt but she was strong. "Ellie" managed to get by without any nicu time! Wahoo! She was in my room the entire stay at the hospital and she left with me when it was time to go home. Life had been pretty awesome with these two rascals that we really had to think long and hard about bringing another one into the mix. First off what would the pregnancy bring, and secondly, life is good and easy- do we want to start over again? I'm the oldest of 3 and tommy is the youngest of 6. Our siblings both mean the world to us. The thought of Mason and Ellie not experiencing another sibling made us sad. We wanted the dynamic that three would bring so we gave it shot. We got the pee on the stick "yay you are preg" positive at the end of august but we didn't get the official doctor read until September 30th which just so happens to be our 7th anniversary. We told the kids and our family after we got the green light on that day. We didn't really want to find out the sex but Mason was really anxious to find out if he was going to have a brother or sister so we decided to find out. Our ultrasound was on December 23rd, so we had the idea to have the tech write down the gender so that we could find out together on Christmas what the baby would be. I can admit this now but I was totally hoping and expecting it to be a girl. But to my surprise BOY was written on the card we pulled out on Christmas morning. After a bit of tears and a few weeks of adjustment to the thought of a boy I got excited for a little baby boy. I spent the rest of the time getting his room ready and filling his closet with the most adorable little outfits (thanks Tish :)
 I was on high risk because of the other two, so I took it as easy as I could with two other rascals running around, but there isn't much down time between school run around after school activities and life. I was taking the progesterone shots but right around 29 weeks I ended up in the hosital with regular contractions. After a dose of blood pressure meds to smooth contractions I was able to go home. I spent the remaining weeks on red alert as I started to dilate. At 36 weeks I was already at 5 cms so we figured any second he would be here. Surprisingly it wasn't until 39 weeks that I actually started having contractions. We made it into the hospital and after a few short hours and one push our baby GIRL came out. What a shock that was! They placed her into my arms and when I looked at that sweet face, I said her name is Addison. I was living on a cloud as I snuggled my new baby girl in that hospital and brought home a bundle of pink. I sit her today staring at the photos my dear friend Sarah took of our Addie girl about a month ago.  I can't help but think about how one little thing can change life in an instant and you are never the same..  My heart couldn't be fuller as I think about how God has given me everything I have ever dreamed of.  I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store for this family of mine as we embark on our journey in 2015.

And baby makes 5!

Yes, it's true baby Bris number 3 is due in May of 2014.  If the way I have been feeling is any indication on this child's personality, then I am petrified! I have been anything but a joy to be around with the mood swings (I made a waitress cry when our food took too long).  I am constantly nauseous, yet I am starving all the time (weird combination).  I could fall asleep with the snap of my fingers, which makes it interesting when you have a 6 and 3 year old that need your constant attention.  I can't seem to manage anything, including keeping the house clean or getting through our heaps of laundry.  As I hit my 13 week mark, things are starting to improve a bit.  I am hoping its uphill from here on out. Which means that I should probably say sorry and thank you now to Tommy, Mason, and Ellie for being patient and loving towards me, even though I have not always been the same with you all!!

I do not know if I am the only one to feel this way but its different your third time around.  The first time I was nervous, and excited, just sort of oblivious to what is really about to happen and how my world was about to be changed forever.  The second time I was just so excited and I could not wait to see how Mason and his new sibling would interact together.  I have been so set with out little family that I am having a hard time picturing what life will be like with this next baby in the mix.  It will be harder, that's for sure, but just how much harder?  I only have two hands, the perfect amount to hold when crossing the street, how will I manage with three little hands that need their mommys protection?  I'm scared.  I'm scared for the challenges, I'm scared for the sickness, I'm scared for the heartache that our children tend to give us.

I have just been focusing on all that I have been scared of and living in somewhat of a dark cloud.  I was finally able to see a little light coming through the clouds after I heard the baby's heartbeat.  All of a sudden, an image of the baby being placed on my chest came into my head and it made me feel calmer.  It doesn't matter how hard it will be.  It is all worth it.  I cannot imagine my life without Mitch and Claire.  They are my favorite people in the planet.  They are apart of me and have made me who I am today.   I want this for Mason and Elizabeth.  There is nothing in the world like a sibling and I thank God that I am able bless them with another one.
I cannot wait to meet you baby Bris. I love you already!

life in the fast lane

As I sit here on this beautiful October day and stare out to the ocean,  I can't help but think about where all the time has gone.  We have had a lot happen since our move to California.  Its hard to believe that it was only 2 years ago!  The kids are involved in all different activities- school, gymnastics, soccer, theatre class, music class, plus working in naptime, eating, park dates, the beach, the pool and finding time to hang out with our friends...our days are filled! and I know the older the kids get, the busier we will become! I find myself falling asleep every night before my head hits the pillow.
I feel so blessed to have so much going on in our lives and to have so many friends and family here and on the east who care about me.  As a result, I find that I spend quite a bit of time on my phone planning our filled days and checking in with everyone.  
There was an article published recently by a couple who works for Apple technology.  They have children and they limit their time with an iPad and iPhone to a maximum of 30 minutes a day.  Their reasoning?  They say that this technology is so new that we do not know what this will do to us in the long run.  Plus, it takes away from a major important part of brain development- playtime.  Children need hands on playtime.  They need to manipulate objects in our 3-d world and use their sight and smell to explore. Upon hearing this, I immediately let out a sigh of relief and thought, this is good.  My kids rarely use my phone or the iPod.  I mean maybe an hour a week is spent on it.  We are in the clear.  It wasn't until the next day that I started to think about the amount of time I spend on my phone.  Let me tell you- its way more than a mere 30 minutes.  So shouldn't I be concerned with myself?  And why am I actually spending so much time on my phone?  I find the rare time that I actually have time to myself (be it a doctors waiting room or in the line at the grocery store) I spend it checking my Instagram, Facebook, or sending texts.  I used to read a book or a magazine when I was looking to relax, but now I read about and look at others lives on Facebook.  I am not so sure that it is the best way to find calmness.  Not only do we not know what this technology will bring us in the long run, but I also don't want to spend my days looking at other peoples lives when my amazing life is passing by me super quickly.  My Mason is in first grade..  He was just born 2 days ago.  And my Ellie Belly is in preschool- how is that possible?!! Life is only going to get busier.  Its time I put the phone down.. 
As Ferris says "Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." 

The one and only "Grandfather"

We lost a great man today- my Grandfather.  The one man who didn't receive a cutesy Grandpop name because "Grandfather" was just too fitting.  He was a strong, proud man who worked hard every day of his life.  He was up before the sun- he spent hours cutting the grass and taming the fields on his property, organizing his office, and labeling every device in his house.
He was the rock for my mother (and our family) while going through the divorce.  I wish I could frame the look on his face when that barn house was all ready for us to move into.  He may have looked stern and hard but inside he had a heart of gold.  He lived for those phone calls from his 11 grandchildren, which would last at the most 2 minutes, but afterwards he would talk on and on about, it as if we had been on the phone for hours.
Thankfully, Grandfather will never be far away.  He managed to sneak his hardworking, OCD genes into Mason.  That boy will spend hours working on his homework (he doesn't get that from me, right Katie?!), he likes his room perfectly organized and in order, and when he doesn't like something- you know it.
Memories I will always treasure- visits with you in the den; the BEST Oreo cookies from your cookie jar; your smile around your great grandchildren; your sweet birthday cards; the day that I brought Lilly home; Christmas in the living room; and all of your stories from your past.
I am so thankful that you are where you wanted to be 5 years ago when your Ruthie left.  Give Missy and Miss Jean big hugs & kisses.  I love you.. and Thank you.

one of my all time favorite photos of RE and his love Ruthie

DIY Fun Tepee Tent

We had a fun time creating this little tent for Masons room.  When my siblings and I were growing up, our best friends, the Savages, had an amazing Tepee.  Mitch, Claire, and I always wanted one of our own. When I saw the post for one on Pinterest (I mean seriously, how addicting is Pinterest?!), I knew that I had to make one for myself... um, I mean, Mason and Ellie :)  We had a pair of curtain panels from Mason's old room that we were not using anymore so we used those for the sides.  Worked out perfectly since the colors still match his room decor :)

Different blankets, pillows, books and stuffed friends love cuddling in the tent.  My favorite is when I climb in and we all read books together.  Its snug but super cozy.  
Here is the instructions that we followed 
Hope you enjoyed :)

Pleaseeee can I get it mom?!

We have all seen the scene before- A screaming child in Target with their death grip on the latest toy, while their mom pleads with them to let it go. How many times have I passed that and thought "gosh what a brat. I would never let My kid do that." Flash forward a couple years to me watching Mason as he is throwing a tantrum on the floor of Target because we are leaving without the candy bar...

At first when mason was little, around Ellie's age, I was able to let him carry the toy around until we got to the counter where I would be able to sneak it to the cashier and have her put it back while I distracted him.  We 
ran through this scene pretty smoothly for a couple of years until mason got onto our game. He just wanted those Thomas underwear so badly, he would not be able to live without the buzz lightyear doll, and god forbid we leave the store without that new curious George book.  

I think I got the idea for "the list" around his Christmas when he was 3. He began one of his requests at Target and I said why don't you add it to your Christmas list? He was so excited to make his list with EVERYTHING that he wanted that as soon as we got home, he " wrote" down all of his requests. It was a win win- he felt relieved to make his request concrete and we were relieved to leave the store with everyone happy.  

We follow this all year long- birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, groundhog day, fourth of July- now of course he doesn't get a gift every day of the year but the list making gets him distracted enough. 
By the end of the week he forgets about the list and most of the items on it. The ones he really remembers I know are the golden tickets so I make my own list for those special moments when a gift is deserved :)

I'm still in the clear with my Elle belle but I know the time will be here before I know it when passing off the toys to the cashier won't work, so the lists will begin for her too ;)
Ps watch out aunt Claire...Mason has your address and knows where I keep the stamps! A special request list may be making its way to your mailbox!

Life is good

It has officially been one year since we moved to San Diego. In some ways I can't believe a whole year has passed, and in others I can't believe it has only been a year! We are so thankful for the friends that we have met that have so warmly welcomed us into their world. It has made the transition easier and enjoyable. We miss all of our family and friends so much, but these amazing SoCal days are making it hard to imagine living anywhere else but california. Now I know why people move west and never come back. I mean honestly, how can you get a better view than this on your morning run?

Stay tuned for our back and forth battle of where our "forever" home should be :)

Happy Birthday!

Tommy and I attended the 100th Birthday Ball of the US Navy Dental Corps.  It was held on Friday night on the USS Midway in downtown San Diego.  I felt so honored to be there for this beautiful event which honored all of the men and women who have cared for our soldiers for the past 100 years.  Inspiring speeches were made by two retired Naval Officers who each had over 25 years of service to our country .  When they spoke about how lucky we are to live in the United States of America, I felt chills. I know that I take most of my comfortable days for granted.  Our table has food on it every night and we eat until we are full, then we go to sleep in our cozy beds, confident we will see the morning.  Sadly this is not the case in most of the world.  Being in the presence of our military makes me proud to be a part of this country, and very proud of my favorite man for dedicating his time to become someone our military can rely on :)

Happy Friday

Here is a little photo from our morning.  Family day at beautiful Lake O'Neill on Camp Pendelton's base.  Bounce houses, slides, pinatas, volleyball games, egg and sack races- plus load of yummy food- were enjoyed by all.  Proud and happy to be a part of this amazing community of people.  Enjoy your weekend!  I know I will- I'm the birthday girl on Sunday :)

Just walk away.

My little zookeeper, Mason, had some elephants who were going down for a nap in their cage.  As you know, those elephants can escape easily so Mason needed to lock the door to their cage.  Since we do not have a zoo or an elephant cage in our home, my bedroom and bedroom door became their sleeping chamber.  I was not aware of the elephants until I tried to get into my room and found it to be locked from the outside.  We have one of those lovely stick keys that you have to poke through the tiny hole and turn the lock.  Just as easy as 1, 2, 3.... Except that you have to hit the exact spot without being able to see where you are jamming this thing into.  If only someone was there to video the madness- Mason bobbing around the hall with his headlamp and zoo keeper outfit on, Elizabeth running around the house buck naked with a pair of Mason's rainboots on, Lilly with her damn cone on (yes she has a cone again Kate, but thats a whole different story), and me trying every different angle with this stupid key.  So after what felt like 5 hours, I lost my cool. I was about ready to rip the door off of its hinges and down an entire bottle of wine. BUT it was noon on a Tuesday and I had a very tired two year old that needed to get to bed, so I decided to walk. away. from. the. door.
After putting E down for a nap and cleaning up the dishes from lunch, I decided to give it another whirl.  Within 30 seconds the door popped open.  Just in time too, as the baby elephants were starting with their little "wake up noises." Sometimes all we need is a little time away to totally restart our engines :)

all you need is love.. (and sleep :)

Absolutely exhausting day with my five year old. When does it get easier? Just when I think that we are out of the woods with the tantrums and crying, we have another rough day.
Mason enters into a total meltdown when I ask him to clean the pile of books up from his bedroom floor. He cries and screams in his room for 10 minutes. It would take a total of 2 minutes to clean up, why does he have to make it more difficult on himself? I try my hardest to react without emotion when all I want to do is slap him and scream in his face ( I know, i know, I sound so harsh. Please tell me someone else feels this way!). After 15 minutes of crying he is finally cleaning up. I Fill the tub, wash Elizabeth, let her play.. Still waiting for mason to finish. After another 10 minutes I go to check on him. All of the books are away but now he has taken all of his pjs out of the drawer, all the socks out of their drawer, and all of his underwear are on the floor. He claims ( with heavy, tired eyes) that he needs to reorganize them because  they were much too messy. I'm already spent from the day and it's making me even more tired to look at his exhausted face. 
I give him a quick bath, brush his teeth and then ask him to put his pjs on as I put E to bed. When I come into his room he is attempting to re-roll his socks. 
I could not be more tired and frustrated. I know that all he (and I) need is sleep. After prayers and a song, I kiss him and leave the room. As I'm gathering my things to head to my room, he comes out and asks me to come sleep w him because one, he is not tired at all and two, he doesn't want to sleep alone. I resist because I'm scared for this to continue night after night, but as I crawl in bed next to him and tell him that I love him he throws his arms around me, buries his head in mine, and within a minute his heavy, sleeping breath is in my ear. I layed there staring at his little face and reminding myself ( for the thousandth time) that he is just a sweet 5 year old boy who was having a bad day and needed his mommy to comfort him. Hell, I'm 29 and I still feel instantly comforted by my mommy. These kids are my world and yes, I do need a break every once in awhile, but Instead of Counting down the minutes until they are in bed, or planning my next night out, I need to realize how sweet and precious this time is.. Tantrums and all :)