Looking for Joy in the Hall Closet | Marvelous Mundane

“I just need one more peek before bed to make my heart happy.”

I paused in the hallway, opening the closet door to admire yesterday’s effort. Where disorganized books and paper had spilled over each other, now there were nicely folded towels and neat rows of toilet paper. Some pay admission to an art museum to let their soul soak in beauty, but a well organized closet does the trick for me.

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Stephanie GrayumComment
New Years & New Hope | Marvelous Mundane

New Years rolls in as fresh as my almost-three year old on a power trip. I’m a dreamer imagining all that can be; a procrastinator embracing a restart; a list-lover seduced by grand ideas black-inked across a new journal. Even though I’ve traded bold resolution writing for slow growing habits, the first of January is, as always, distractingly beautiful.

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Stephanie GrayumComment
Marbles & Mommy Time | Marvelous Mundane

“No! Those are MY marbles!”


Our early morning mommy & me playtime was turning into a game of “hog the marbles”. These two little boys of mine love each other dearly- and bug each other fiercely. I know I had my share of these moments with my little sister (although the times I remember tend to revolve around who got the biggest piece of cake. Priorities).

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Stephanie GrayumComment
When you think you don't have a story to tell | Marvelous Mundane

I never dreamed of becoming a writer. 

I never imagined my name gracing New York Times best-seller lists, lining shelves at Barnes and Noble.

Oh, there’s the green notebook full of scribbled stories from seven year old me.

The letters bursting from boxes stacked in the basement, memories of far-reaching pen-pals.

Duct-tape wrapped journals dipping with teenage angst and emotion.

Words have always held a fascination, a special magneetism.

And I'm long convinced words hold the power to change a life. 

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When big opportunities come disguised as big emotions | Marvelous Mundane

You probably know that moment just as well as I do.

That moment the kids run out to find their bikes just before you need to leave, dressed in the clothes laid out the night before. You are thankful for this quiet minute to brush your teeth, double check your bag, walk out the door glancing at the clock knowing you’ll be right on time. And maybe even early.

And then you hear the yell. The yell you know fluently because you hear it every day. Around the corner dash two soaking wet boys. That hose stretched across the lawn pulled them in like a magnet: one is soaking by choice, the other is dripping by another’s choice. He’s the yelling one.

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When Momma is close but her mind is far | Marvelous Mundane

I’m sitting on the hardwood bedroom floor, running my fingers through a yellow Lego box, thinking another moment sifting will inspire a masterpiece. The little boys next to me need no such help. The younger one scatters waves of blocks with his Lego speed boat, the older one proudly holds up his one-of-a-kind car for my praise.

My body may be inches away from these boys playing next to me, but my mind flies miles away and years ahead. The swirls in my head aren’t just urgent questions and necessary decision making: my mind drifts to places I’d rather be, people I’d rather see. My imagination constructs future conversations, someday accomplishments.

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When Marriage isn't all Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice | Marvelous Mundane

“Would you have married me then, if you knew everything you know now?”, he asks, midway through a heated argument.

“Well maybe you shouldn’t have married me either!”, I spew back. “There were some bright red flags waving all over the place!”

Anger is written across our verbal ping-pong game, carried in the sharp-tipped word arrows flying back and forth across the room. Our tucked away histories, our not-so-hidden expectations, our never-dealt-with feelings, our barely-covered sins, they all come tumbling out as our emotions free our tongues.

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In You I See Myself: Embracing Empathy in Motherhood | Marvelous Mundane

Those mornings the three year old’s whine sounds more like a war cry, a high pitched declaration of battle between his childishness and my sanity; the eight-year old’s foot dragging a shot fired against all my glorious intentions. And the almond-eyed two year old, those whacks he gives his brother are blows to the grace my heart embraced in the early morning quiet, before the walls of this house echoed with the noise of three life-filled boys.

Days come where it seems this white sided house is a casualty laden battlefield. We line up, them against me. Their to the death stubbornness against my i will survive determination. Their quick shifting emotions against my fast fading patience. Their muddy shoes and soup dropping hands against my momentarily clean floors. Their childish cries against my not so adult-like sighs.

 

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10 Games For When You Are Sick of Candy Land: Games for Your 3-6 Year Old

I was one of those lucky kids, with grandparents right down the street in our quiet town. I could make a quick phone call, then jump on my bike, riding off to eat some chocolate chip cookies, sew a new doll dress, and play a game (or two, or ten) with my grandma. This is an entirely non-exhaustive list of games to start your own traditions with your younger kids. Whether they are Candy Land professionals, or gaming newbies, there is sure to be one that will light the game spark in your home!

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