Calm Amongst the Chaos

Mama of 5 seeking calm in the chaos


I’m always happy when my husband has a birthday. This is primarily for selfish reasons. For 2 months I am 4 years older than him and this gap particular seems to be the most hurtful. 36 and 40. Ugh. So yesterday he turned 37 and closed that gap up a bit. Thank you February 26th.

His dinner birthday request was the family favorite, curry chicken, that my mom made for us when I was a kid. It’s a strong family tradition and because of how easy and tasty it is I decided to share it on my Instagram story yesterday and it was very popular so I thought I would throw all the ingredients here so it’s handy.

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Dear Mama of Littles (me) with love from a mama of bigs (also me):

Many people are going to tell you that you are going to miss this. And yes there are many things you will. The dimples in their hands. Their fresh bathed right before bed smell. Their giggles. The hilarious things they say. The way they dance like no cares. The way they snuggle into you in the early morning hours under a blanket watching Paw Patrol. Yes those moments are imprinted in and you will miss them. But can I tell you something? Only something I feel a mama that has started all over again can tell you.

Shhhh…. lean in …..are you ready?

There are sooooo many things you are so not gonna miss.

Like seriously not miss at all.

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Last week I sat with our 16 year old daughter, Lily, at one of her many specialists appointments. This time it was her Gastroenterologist, ie GI and we were discussing poop. Literally. That is why we see him. And he is great! He speaks to Lily with dignity and respect and even though he knows she won’t be able to verbally answer his questions, he still addresses her as if he is giving her the opportunity to speak for herself. Although since the topic on the table is poop and more accurately the lack there of, I have a feeling even if she could speak, she’d probably leave this one up to me.

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When I turned 11 I had a big sleep over, my mom is the best when it comes to birthdays, a mere week away from Christmas she had anywhere from 7-10 girls sleep over and we all know sleep was no part of that party. I don’t remember much except we snuck out and t-pee’d some boys house (sorry mom) and giggled all through the night. What I do remember the most however was my big breakdown that happened somewhere between midnight and the dawn rising. I don’t know what tripped me, was it a whisper from some girls? An eye roll? Something triggered me and I was a mess of tears and snot with a couple of my besties by my side asking what was wrong. And I spewed it all out, “no one is having fun”, “this is the worst party ever”, “no one even likes me”. Every insecurity came falling out into my pillow while huddled under my sleeping bag on my living room floor. My friends assured me that wasn’t true and soon the whole group of girls were telling me that this was a great party and they do like me. I wiped my tears and I am sure we all fell into a deep sleep for a couple hours and I woke up embarrassed but thankfully no one spoke of that moment again, at least not to me or around me.

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“Instant Family is the perfect combination of hilarity, reality and it’s so heartfelt. It’s as all the forces came together in perfect harmony for this movie.”

Last night I was given the opportunity to attend an advanced screening of Instant Family that included a Q&A and meet and greet with Sean Anders afterwards, thanks to my new position as a contributor for East Valley Mom Blog. Boy was I thrilled! I had seen previews for the movie and couldn’t wait to see it.

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Every time I am trying to find a place to park I want to run for city council. My ONLY opposition will be to change the parking lots handicap parking to have some van accessibility access only spots and they should be in the middle of the lot so no one wants them. Leave the regular handicap spots up front. Just give us wheelchair van folks more yellow spacing lines. Oh and while I’m on city council I’ll make it a felony to park in the yellow spaces and it’ll be a life time sentence of community service patrolling parking lots. Oh just kidding. Or am I?

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“On Saturday, he ate through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice-cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake, and one slice of watermelon

That night he had a stomach ache.”
― Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar


Life lately has had a difficulty factor of an 8. (and if I come across a recipe with that kind of ridiculous hardness, it’s a hard no) And it’s not like we aren’t used to hard. I like to say we swim upstream in hard, but this is different. We are swimming in change and I do not like change. Not one bit. I do not like change in a car or on a plane or in a truck or on a train.

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Andi had an away volleyball game the other day and her team was winning yet again. Her 8th grade team is undefeated and they are killing it this season. I was not paying the greatest attention because the littles are obsessed with the bleachers and they were running up and down them like the wild hyenas they truly are. The 3 of us finally compromised on the very top row of the bleachers while my desire was to sit with the rest of our family on the bottom row. You know compromising with two 2 year olds is a little more yin than yang. Whatever, it’s them telling me where to go and me crying please if you just sit there you can have my phone and all my money and all my gum. You can have anything in the world if you just sit here and let me watch a few minutes of this game.
I’m sure you get the gist. Toddlers are a gift to us. Eat them up.

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I only allow myself to do this once, one time a year. One time and not on her actual day. I am allowed to cry. I am allowed to just get it all out. I can have my fit, wash my face and move on and celebrate. But it seems like August 27th every year is the day I just want to punch life in the face. 
I know the gifts I have been given. I thank God every day for another day with Lily. Always. 
But birthdays are hard. And friends… 16. 16 is like a punch in the gut.
16 is the year I always seemed to referenced when I would think of the nevers. It always seemed to be more focused on the big things. Driving, boyfriends, prom, college visits… gah. The place we expected and the place we are now. 

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August 1st 2018 our family officially grew by 4 feet! Nordy party of 5 became the Nordy party of 7 and we are blessed beyond measure to have added Alfonso Maxwell and Isabella Rose to the Nothdurft family forever.

Thankful to my friend Ashley for these incredible shirts!


Absolutely adore this chalkboard by my friend Lisa Chalked up Charm

My heart exploded the day we met each of them as it did when we met Lily, Andi and Oliver for the first time, but I also tried to hold them at a distance as I knew they weren’t “ours” as we knew for a true successful foster care story the end game results with the kids going home to their rehabilitated parents. On paper this makes perfect, beautiful, redeeming sense.

In this mamas heart that idea was excruciating.

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