An Attitude of Gratitude


I'm happy to be contributing over at The Better Mom today! It was one of those days. By 8am I was ready to throw in the towel and the day had only just begun. The whole family seemed to wake up on the wrong side of the bed.  My oldest was upset that I vetoed [...]

How I Get My Kids to Clean Their Room


I haven’t talked about it much but for the past year or so an epic struggle has been waging in the Soukup household.  It is Mommy versus Kids in the War of the Tidy Room, and while there are still small battles being fought now and then, I can finally say with confidence that I [...]

Sometimes The Flu is Just The Flu


The flu struck our house with a vengeance this week, and let me tell you, it has been rough. The girls both started feeling sick last Thursday, just as I was getting ready to head out of town to go to the BEECH Retreat.  My dad and stepmom had flown down from Seattle for a [...]

And Then I Realized I Was Doing It All Wrong: Lessons in Homeschooling


Last spring, as I prepared to take on this crazy adventure called homeschooling, I read countless books and articles and websites, most of them helpful, a few of them scary, but almost all containing phrases like this: Every homeschool family is unique.  You’ll start out doing one thing and end up someplace completely different.  You [...]

What I Won’t Give My Kids For Christmas This Year


A couple of months ago I wrote about taking all my kids' toys away, and how that experience has fundamentally changed our family and the way we look at stuff.  The response from that post--both positive and negative--was completely overwhelming, like nothing I have every experienced before while writing this blog.  Who knew I could [...]

weekend in key west {princess turns 6}

If you've been reading this blog for a while I probably don't have to tell you just how much I love throwing parties.  I look forward to my girls' birthdays all year long, and start collecting party ideas accordingly, picking their themes at least 6 months in advance. So I was more than a little [...]

Tender Spirits: Why We Decided to Homeschool


It is often in our failures that we learn the biggest lessons; the same holds true for parenting. Several weeks ago, on the final leg of our summer road trip, I had an epic mom fail.  We still had 4 hours to go and  I was tired and crabby and ready to be out of [...]

Reptile World Orlando

I hate snakes. Actually the word 'hate' doesn't even seem strong enough to describe the way I feel about snakes.  Just the thought of them makes me shudder.  I don't like talking about them, reading about them, looking at pictures of them, or especially seeing them in person. Unfortunately for me, Princess has been totally [...]

summer road trip {quality time with the girls i love most}

The girls and I hit the road last week for our very first girls-only road trip.  I was a little nervous about tackling a 9 hour drive with a 5 and 3 year old all by myself, but the girls were absolutely amazing in the car.  They were such little troopers and we had SO [...]

my little ballerina {dance recital 2012}

I've never been a big fan of organized sports or activities.  After watching the craziness of so many of our friends and siblings shuttling their kids from one activity to the next, Husband and I swore we would be different.  "Our kids will just be kids," we said, "whatever happened to letting kids just go [...]

kids artwork display {3 easy DiY projects & a fail-proof tutorial for how to hang a gallery wall}

A couple weeks ago I shared our new {surprise} Rainbow Family Room.  I was so nervous that Husband wouldn't like it, but as it turned out he absolutely loved it.  So much so that my oh-so-unexpressive, non-writer, engineer husband actually wrote me a poem to thank me!  And it was pretty good!  He said I [...]

rainbow family room {a surprise room makeover project}

Husband was out of town this week for a business trip so I decided to surprise him by remodeling our former guest room while he was gone.  This was a project we have been planning for a while but are never able to get to.   In fact, we sold the bedroom set a few [...]

Daddy’s Girl


There is no getting around it:  My daughter is a Daddy's Girl. It  occurred to me this morning, as they skipped down the sidewalk together on their way to school, that I have lost her completely.  I think I probably knew it already.  It was crystal clear a few days ago during this conversation: "Mommy, I'm [...]

busch gardens tampa {family fun}

On Saturday we spent the day at Busch Gardens in Tampa.  It is only about 2 hours from our house and yet this is the first time we've ever gone as a family, and the first time Husband and I have been since 2004.  We had a GREAT day! When we went to SeaWorld last [...]

manatees, ice-cream, & some really hot wings {a mini road trip}

 We took a little family mini road trip yesterday.  It was a great way to spend a Sunday.  We first went to see the Manatees at the Tampa Electric viewing center.  It was pretty cool.  It was also free, which made it even cooler! Do you ever wish your kid could wear a sign that [...]

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