Currently: It’s SPRING!


Thinking… that getting out of bed at 3:22 am this morning is going to come back and bite me this afternoon. Let me explain. I had a headache yesterday morning and it didn’t go away after lunch and lots of water (I haven’t been getting headaches very often so it not going away was bad news), so I knew I was heading into a migraine (I don’t have them often but I get them a handful of time a year so I know they are bad news). So I took some migraine medicine right away and tried to work on my computer a little while the babies were sleeping. By 4 pm yesterday I was done. I had a full-blown migraine, was sick to my stomach, noise and light were killing me, and I now had 5 awake children at home. I called Thomas to come and rescue me. It was the first day in almost 2 weeks that he’s been at the house working and I asked him to come home. That was a little sad, but come he did. I crawled into a bed in our basement where it was nice and dark and he managed the chaos. I woke up around 6 to an empty house. Thomas has taken all 5 kids, alone, to get a hamburger, at a “sit-down” restaurant (because we have no fast food close to us). His way of “cooking dinner” and letting me sleep. He’s the best and the kids loved their “dad date”. They came home and Thomas and Macey practiced piano while I got the little boys bathed and dressed. I ate a banana, wasted time on my phone, and then was back in bed for the night by 9 pm. I woke up at 3 this morning knowing I wasn’t going back to sleep anytime soon. So here I sit, at 4:02 am, eating a banana, and writing my very favorite kind of post. My house is wonderfully quiet. I have no guilt about being on the computer because doing anything else would be too loud at this hour, and I’m enjoying every minute. Wish me luck come 2pm though, I’m going to need it.


Feeling… grateful. Blogging has brought incredible people into my life and that has been very evident lately. I have a “meeting” every Monday with Cassie from Wholefully and it’s one of my favorite hours of the week. She’s so motivating, inspiring, and I come away from that time with her ready to be, not only a better blogger/entrepreneur/business woman/mom boss, but a better human. Being around positive people who believe in you is awesome. I’ve been able to maintain and foster relationships with so many great people. There’s a fabulous woman named Deb C. who started commenting on recipes she was trying really regularly this year. Then out of the blue I received this amazing 10 page letter from her in the mail. TEN hand-written pages. We have crazy similar lives (her and her husband owned a hardware store for years, she lives outside of a national park now, we even have the same purple Fitbit!). She was driving through and asked if she could stop by, and stop by she did. She told me she had a half hour to visit and she ended up staying for 3 hours. It was wonderful! One of my other favorite online friends is Lacey (she blogs over at Easy Peasy Pleasy), she had a few blogging questions a year or so ago, sent me an email, and we have been emailing and talking online ever since. She is a gem of a human and blogging brought us together. These aren’t the only times either. There’s a wonderful woman in Boise who I appreciate, there’s Emily, Lindsey, Becky, Julie, friends from college or other places we have lived that I stay connected to because I blog (and they are kind enough to read and comment), and a million other little things over the last 5 or 6 years that have been so wonderfully filling. I worried about writing actual names because that means I’d inevitable leave people out, but know that I read every comment and I know so much more about YOU than you realize. You are why I’m here and I know that. Thank you. And really, you are invited over anytime you can make it.


Watching… The Flash on Netflix. Thomas and I have watched one other show in our marriage (really!) and this is the second series we watched the whole way through. It was SO GOOD! It’s light, action-packed, clean fun that I would recommend to you. Friday is our “date night” which means we try to put the kids to bed on time or a little early and then we snuggle up in bed and watch an episode and then stay up and dream our dreams together. We get out of the house every 4-6 weeks on a proper date, but those sometimes are more work than enjoyment #momof5. We both work most nights after the kids are in bed, so choosing to spend Friday’s doing something a bit different is fun. The individual episodes of The Flash are good but we really got sucked into the character plot line. It’s a good one!

ReadingThe Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Tell Your Family History, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More by Bruce Feiler. This book. You guys. THIS book. I have read, own, and love many many many parenting books but this one lit a fire under me. I love it. Recommend it. Want you to buy it. It’s the best $11 I have spent in a long time.

Here’s what Amazon has to say about it.

In The Secrets of Happy Families, New York Times bestselling author Bruce Feiler has drawn up a blueprint for modern families — a new approach to family dynamics, inspired by cutting-edge techniques gathered from experts in the disciplines of science, business, sports, and the military.

The result is a funny and thought-provoking playbook for contemporary families, with more than 200 useful strategies, including: the right way to have family dinner, what your mother never told you about sex (but should have), and why you should always have two women present in difficult conversations…

Timely, compassionate, and filled with practical tips and wise advice, Bruce Feiler’s The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More should be required reading for all parents

I want to write a whole post about it, because it really has changed some things in our family. It was a great read and gave me a few important things that I started implementing right away in our family. It’s funny, well written, and easy to apply to your own life. I like that he gives lots and lots of great advice instead of a list of 5 things that you then feel like you must be doing. It’s a great book. It extends past just parenting your kids too. It talks about grandparents, difficult adult sibling conversations, extended family, and marriage. I loved it.


Excited… to have chicks in the house again. Oh my heart, their little sounds are the most soothing sound in the world to me. They bring a whole lot of joy and peace to our living room. I was meant to be a crazy chicken lady because I really do like them.


Missing…my sisters! The last two years in a row my oldest sister and her crew came down from Idaho for spring break and they weren’t able to come this year (boo!). But my two other sister’s are coming down from Provo this coming weekend, so that fills in the gap nicely. Sometimes I really worry about and feel sad that Macey doesn’t have a sister. There’s just no other bond in the world like it.

Wondering… about so many little new things that are happening in my life. I spend a lot of time thinking about this blog and where it might be in a year. I wonder about my house and if it will ever be done. I dream about the fire pit/grill/pizza oven and lovely outdoor space I’d like at the house one day. I wonder about my kitchen table and who will sit at it in the future. I wonder what it will be like to have kids old enough to date. I wonder how the new Dollar General that is opening in town is going affect our businesses (I’ll be honest, I’m super nervous). It’s the first company-owned commercial business to come into our little town and it just feels a little icky to me. I wonder if anyone close to me has the book It Was Me All Along because the bookmobile doesn’t have it and I’d really like to read it. I like to wonder. A friend of mine calls me an “active dreamer” because I’m always working on my next dream which includes a lot of “wondering” mixed in with a lot of work.

Working… on losing my baby weight. I’ve been very actively trying to loose weight for about 4 weeks now and it’s nice to feel in control of that part of my life again. Some nights I look in the mirror and think, “I have been doing this for WEEKS, shouldn’t I look like I did when I was 20 by now?!”  and then most mornings I wake up with a fresh take on life and I feel excited about how strong my body is feeling. One day at a time!


Stressed… over how many “things” my kids are doing. I am not a “goer” when it comes to motherhood. I like my kids at home with me and too many things on the calendar stresses me out. That being said, April is the magical month when the few activities we do participate in all seem to over lap. Macey plays piano, decided last minute she wanted to try dance (it’s only an 8 week thing with one recital), and also said yes to playing baseball (which I assumed she wouldn’t want to do since she didn’t last year). So she is in THREE things this month. Plus the little boys start t-ball. They take swimming lessons in the summer but that is just about the extent of what we do outside of our house. I know this sounds like nothing but it’s a lot when you aren’t used to it. I can feel myself slowly moving out of the “young mothering” stage and I think it scares me.

Proud… of how kind my kids can be. We went to a town egg hunt last weekend and a few kids showed up just a minute too late. 97% of the eggs had been picked up and they were kind of wandering around, checking the corners to find any overlooked eggs, with about 3 eggs in their basket. I watched all three of my oldest kids, at two different times, approach a child with a nearly empty bag and started plopping handfuls of their own eggs into the other child’s basket. There were no adults around, no one had said anything, but they noticed a need and went out of their way to fill it. TWICE. I teared up a little as I stood back and watched. Motherhood can be ridiculously rewarding some days, and little people can be full of surprises.


Wanting… Costco to set up a delivery service. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I’d really never have to leave my house if they would bring me frozen blueberries, diapers, and vanilla. A mom can dream right.

Wishing… it was June! We have been planning a reunion at the beach in Alabama with my parents and siblings for over a year. It’s finally getting close and I’m getting so excited. My kids have never seen the ocean and I have not vacationed with my siblings and parents since I was kid. It’s going to be grand! I’m looking for a photographer in Gulf Shores. Holler if you know anyone!


Eating… chocolate covered strawberries and also fresh butter!!! The kids needed a little Sunday family activity so we made honey whole wheat bread and then made butter! Just stick 1 cup heavy whipping cream in a quart mason jar, add lid, and SHAKE!!! Room temperature cream takes about 10 minutes of shaking, cold takes about 15. It’ll whip up in the jar and get really hard to shake but press on, once the whipped cream breaks you’re close. It’ll look like butter and milk in the jar (the milk is buttermilk which you can save and use!) Pour off the buttermilk. Add about a half cup very cold water and shake again. Pour off milky water (discard), add 1/4 teaspoon salt, shake, done! It’s fluffy, light, very flavorful butter. So good! I was shocked at how much butter we ended up with, over a half cup. Super fun family activity with a tasty reward for the effort! Do it!

Drinking… water and the best herbal (noncaffeinated) tea in the world.

Loving…two-year-old caveman speak. Seriously, as frusterating as a two-years-old can be (hello, a whole tube of tooth paste all over the bathroom and a new bottle of fancy organic shampoo dumped down the drain in the 5 minutes I was nursing), it is also one of my favorite ages. Paul is learning so many words! He’s talking lots though I have no idea what he’s after sometimes, and he’s even started singing. You guys, he sings. Few things are more wonderful than babies singing.


Speaking of babies, my baby is 8 months old now. How did this happen?! He’s crawling all over, in love with food, and sleeping much better!

Thanks for letting me spill. I love writing these journal-style posts and I hope you like to read them.

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about me

About Melissa

I have a lot going on, and I’d much rather spend my time enjoying my messes than fretting about what I’m going to make for dinner. Over the past few years, I’ve nailed down a few strategies that helped me keep my kitchen running like a well-oiled machine, so I started Bless This Mess to help other mess-loving parents solve the nightly dinner delimma—no stress, no drama, just really great food your whole family will love. Read more...

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How cute is the Easter egg story! I teared up myself.

I love reading your updates! I totally get you on the kids activity things. Our kids do swimming each summer and then usually one other activity. However, with 4 kids it adds up to a lot of running around! I’d rather stay home and have them all play in the yard together 😉

These are my favorite kinds of posts as well! I just love how kind and giving your kids are 😀

I love you, friend. <3 <3 <3 You are the best. Thanks for always keeping me on my toes and keeping me inspired.

And the two-year old speak? SO AWESOME. My favorite thing is that Juni adds extra syllables to words, and it's hilarious. "Chicken" is "CHEEEK-ENN-NOSE" and "puppy" is "PUPP-EEES-SHHH". My gosh, it's adorable.

Oh my gosh. I love your blog… Like I’m listening to one of my sisters.

First, I love your journal style posts! It’s a great way for me to catch up with what’s going on with you! I do hope you are feeling much better today…I can’t even imagine how awful a migraine can be. Thank you so much for the kind words! A great friendship has formed with some simple key strokes. It makes me think we are a modern day version of pen pals. It’s a friendship I will cherish always! Those Dollar General stores are everywhere….keep pushing shop local! The local stores are my favorite! I hate to say it but I feel your days of being a goer are just starting. Don’t worry, it will be second nature to you before long. You are already a doer so adding goer to the list will be a piece of cake! You may need to skip the decaf tea for some caffeine to keep you going this afternoon…lol! I can’t wait to see all the fun y’all have in Gulf Shores! Thank you for always taking time out of your busy life to be a wonderful friend to me! I feel truly blessed! xoxo

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.