Sunday, January 31, 2016

Another Sunday

We are still here and not buried under miles of snow. Rumor has it that we're supposed to get more tonight. I'll believe it when I see it. 

It's another Sunday. Tomorrow is the beginning of Michael's off time this rotation, and I'm looking forward to getting some more stuff done around the house. I'm still working out, and still trying to make this house a home...for however long we might be here. (More on that later, I'm sure.)

I was badly homesick today. I am always homesick to an extent, but today was harder than others. I miss my family. I miss my friends. This too shall pass, though, and I'll come out on the other side. 

Now it's time to read to my babies and tuck them into bed. Maybe Michael and I can watch a movie or something if The Lady cooperates. 

Happy Sunday, everyone.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Snowmageddon 2016

It's winter in Colorado. This means that we've spent quite a bit of time inside lately. Even when we don't have snow (and we don't have as much as you'd think) the wind cutting over Pike's Peak is often blowing too hard and too frigid to spend a lot of time outdoors. 

The last few days have been spring like though. Not shorts weather by any means, (though Parker has tried) but the boys have been able to wear only their fleeces while they build elaborate obstacle courses in the back yard. 

They say it's just the calm before the storm though, because apparently Snowmageddon 2016 is knocking on our door tomorrow. I've certainly commented before that I'm surprised how they handle snow out here. A couple of inches is treated like a couple of feet would be back home, and I guess I expected people living at the base of a mountain range to be more used to it. They aren't. The lines at the grocery stores reached all the way back to the dairy section today as everyone stocked up for the end of the world. 

We avoided that, and instead decided to play out front while we could. The boys ran over to get their friends two doors down, and The Lady ran up and down our front walk laughing with delight. Every time she reached me she'd throw her arms around me as if she hadn't seen me in weeks. It's lovely to feel so special! 

She loves the wind!

After awhile she decided she'd run after her brothers and their friends, (who were just so sweet to her too) and I chatted with their mama as it got obviously cooler. Maybe there is something to this Snowmageddon thing after all. I guess we'll see tomorrow. I'm predicting 2-3 inches tops, and utter chaos because of it too. We'll see. If you don't hear from me I'm probably dancing in the middle of the street singing Do You Want to Build a Snowman? at the top of my lungs. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

14 Years Later...

Going unplugged yesterday was nice. Apparently my phone liked the idea so much that it hasn't accepted a call or text message in two days, so if you were trying to get in touch with me I'm sorry. The phone took going unplugged seriously.

I need a journal for my unplugged days, or even just days I'd rather write than type. I did write a little something though, because I said I would.

Today is January 29th. Fourteen years ago, on this day, this guy I'd been dating and I decided to officially become a couple. If I'm being honest, I was already pretty head over heels for this freckle faced, curly haired boy. He'd been one of my very close friends for a couple of years, so when we'd gone on our first couple of dates recently I'd very quickly realized I was hooked. I think it took him a little longer. 😉 

It can't have been too long though. We were engaged a very short four months later, though it would be another three years before I married him. 

I knew I loved him then. I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. Even when he drove me up a wall, made me angry, made me want to scream, (really made me scream), made me crazy...I knew we just made sense together. I could never have predicted all the amazing things that we'd share now though. Here. Fourteen years later!

I didn't predict the health issues I would have that would make growing our family so much harder than we'd planned. Or how amazing they would finally be when they arrived.

I didn't predict the military, or the three deployments in three years, one of which that had him away for the birth of his second child. 

I didn't predict the homesickness, the heartache, the tears, the friends, the joy, the hope, the happiness. 

And through every step of it, the stuff I predicted and the stuff I didn't, he's been there. My team mate. My partner. My best friend. 

I couldn't ask for anyone better, and I look forward to seeing what we look like in another fourteen years. Happy "We're Official" Anniversary!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Unplugged 2016

One of my goals this year was to write something every day, even if it was just "today stunk" or "today was awesome", and so far I have. Go me. 

However, I'd also like to have at least one completely unplugged day every month, and tomorrow is going to be it this month. No computers, no phones, no tablets. Unplugged! I'll still write a little something, but it won't be on the blog. 

I'm looking forward to kicking off Project Unplugged 2016! I'll see you all again on Friday. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Breakfast Date and Mommy Time

For several weeks Parker has been asking for a just him and me breakfast date on Tuesday morning before HSA. He always has to hear about the things Bash, E, and I do after we've dropped him off, and he's really been craving that one on one time. Unfortunately, Michael's schedule has been such that it hasn't allowed it lately, but today Michael didn't have to work and Parker and I were finally able to have our breakfast date. 

He chose Starbucks. We walked in hand in hand, and he was easily the youngest person there by about 20 years. My boy led me through the tables of people discussing their plans for the day or typing away on their laptops to the front where he asked my opinion on what he should eat for this special breakfast. After we ordered he happily selected a table, one of the tall ones that we can't usually sit at when we're with his baby sister, and he pulled out a chair for me with a huge grin. I sipped on my coffee and listened to him chatter between bites of his breakfast sandwich and drinks of chocolate milk. 

He's so big. He's so smart. These are things I already knew, of course, but when it's just me and him I am able to focus on them with a new eye. He's frighteningly observant. He takes in everything going on around him and relates it back to me in this cheery, matter of fact way that he has. I think he develops more freckles daily.

And he's a bit of a goofball. 

Also, for some reason that I can't quite understand, he thinks I'm pretty awesome. 

When it was time to go he asked, very casually, if I would walk him all the way in to his classroom today. Of course. I wouldn't miss it for the world. He was the first one in his classroom today, which is apparently a huge deal in first grade, and there is no shame in giving your mommy a hug and a kiss no matter who is watching. I love first grade.

I found myself, five minutes later, in a van that seemed far too large and absurdly quiet. What in the world does a mommy with no littles do?!

Luckily I got a call from our very best friend right about then. He'll be coming to see us in the spring, and we were able to talk for an hour and a half uninterrupted! (That never happens with the littles around.) 

I also browsed through our local Once Upon a Child while we talked. Lord knows that what The Lady needed was more shoes. And what Mommy Time would be complete without a trip to Target's dollar area? 

I'm not sure I've quite perfected the Mommy Alone Time yet, but I'm getting better. Besides, the best part of being gone is getting to come home to a husband reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to two littles who are sooooo excited to see you when you walk in that an outsider would assume you'd been gone months instead of a couple of hours. 

It was a good day. I even got to talk to my awesome cousin, Alex, which was icing on the cake in my opinion. 

It was a good day. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

14,000 Things

I didn't know what in the world to write about today, and here we are at just after 11, so I needed something. 

So, I pulled out 14,000 Things to be Happy About, flipped it open to a random page, and my eyes fell on this gem.

Doesn't that sound tasty? And cozy. And perfect. I'm ready to move whenever we find it. Maybe with a sunny, yellow door, because Bash would love that! 

Speaking of Bash, he ended up on the wrong end of a broom last night. Being a head wound it bled. A lot. He'll survive though, and even asked hopefully about a scar like Harry Potter. 

There were tears or remorse on Parker's part, who hadn't fully thought about the impracticality of a broom in a sword fight. Hopefully it will be awhile before they try that again. 

Maybe, one day, it can be in a blueberry house with vanilla trim and cranberry shutters. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Back At It

Before Christmas I was doing the Couch to 5K program. I was pretty pleased with how it was going even though I had to modify it quite a bit to keep my ankle from blowing up five times its normal size. (It hasn't been the same since I walked off a porch and tore it all to hell back in March. The doctors don't seem interested in doing anything outside of telling me to be patient though. I think it's probably about as good as it's going to get now. That's another story for another day...) I felt I was making good progress.

Of course then I got sick. The kind of sick where you consider just moving into the bathroom, are fairly convinced that you are dying, and you aren't entirely sure you'd mind. It lasted well over a week, and left me completely drained. It wasn't a great way to find myself right before Christmas. 

Then the holidays came and went. I got through them without gaining anything, but I wasn't losing anything either, so it was time to get back to it. 

Getting back to it kinda sucks, but I didn't do too badly if I do say so myself. I looked pretty rough, but I felt good! That's worth something.

Adam Levine is my work out buddy, because it's impossible to go slow listening to Maroon 5. It's also impossible not to blush listening to some of those lyrics, but I'm getting better at that too. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Pool Days, School Days

Michael offered to take our three to the pool today so I could have some time to myself. It's the first time anyone in our family has been since Parker broke his arm back In October, and I was bummed not to be able to go with them, but I was desperately behind on some things that needed to get done, so I stayed behind while they went. 

I am told everyone had a good time, though Michael didn't take any pictures for me! Can you believe that?! Luckily I took a couple of The Lady before the left. 

I wish my butt looked that cute in ruffles. I wish my butt looked that cute in anything. 

I missed my little family, but I enjoyed the peace and quiet of an almost empty house. I got a ton done in the 3ish hours I was alone. As is usual, when I have a moment to catch up on things, my mind feels more at peace than I do when I feel like anything is scattered and behind. That is, until I remember the hundred other things I need to catch up on...

Ah well. It was a good feeling while it lasted.  

Friday, January 22, 2016

Something New

Eleanor is a little over 15 months old. Depending on the day it's either "She's only 15 months." or "How in the world is she 15 months already?!". I love this age. I've loved it with all three of my children, because it feels like they are learning so very much so quickly. Every day there is something new, and it is such a joy to watch as their mommy. 

The Lady has been showing a particular interest in the potty lately, or at least she is very interested in whoever happens to be on the potty at any given time. Parker is old enough that he closes the door (most of the time), but I am frequently running in to "save" Bash from his sister when she'll toddle in there while it's occupied. She also has little "warnings" that she gives before she fills her diapers which has led Michael and I to casually discuss if we should try putting her on the potty when we think she's getting set to go. It seems so early to me, though Parker was only a few months older when he decided he was ready.

So, today, when it seemed like she might need to go, Daddy asked her if she wanted to sit on the potty. She nodded in the way she does, bobbing even her little eyebrows up and down as she nods, and pattered into the bathroom happily. Daddy pulled out the boys old potty seat, and The Lady sat upon her throne with quite a little audience. (Because, of course, big brothers needed to be right there cheering their girl on.) Songs were sung, and there was a ton of cheering and clapping. I think everyone had a good time, though she didn't go at all. I think, overall, it was an extremely good first experience with the potty. (She's also filled her diaper about three times today, which was hilarious considering she didn't go in he potty at all.)  

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Just The Right Moment

You know how you'll sometimes find yourself in a bit of a rut, and you don't much like it, but you can't seem to shake the "blah" feeling? Yeah, me neither. I hear it can be a real pain though. I imagine, that were a person in a rut of this sort, that even the littlest of things could mean a whole heck of a lot. 

Including someone posting a silly little hedgehog meme on your Facebook page just because they know you like hedgehogs. I imagine seeing something like that in the morning might really put a smile on your face at just the right moment even though that friend had no way of knowing that it would mean so much to you. 

Have I mentioned that I am incredibly blessed in my friends, both near and far, both those who I have met in real life and those who I've simply known for years through texts and mommy groups...I am very blessed. 

And that hedgehog is awesome!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

14,000 Things to Be Happy About

A couple of years ago I read about this book, 14,000 Things to Be Happy About, on one of my favorite blogs. I picked it up, along with 8,789 Words of Wisdom, for some bedside table reading. They have been there ever since, and I'll occasionally pick one up to flip through when I'm feeling the need. 

Today I couldn't think of anything to write about, and I was feeling a little "blah", so I picked up 14,000 Things and flipped it open to a random page. The very first thing that caught my eye? "Being kissy." 

Why, yes. Being kissy is something to be happy about. Very much so, I think. 

I think I'll pull out 14,000 Things or 8,789 Words of Wisdom whenever I'm feeling "blah" or wondering what to write about from now on. It worked tonight. 

The Lady is particularly kissy tonight. I think I'll watch some Rent with her and enjoy my kisses. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


On Tuesdays Parker has his enrichment program up at HSA. Depending on Michael's schedule he will sometimes take him alone, or I will take him alone, or one of us will take him with just one of the other littles, but many times it's just me and my three until we drop Big Brother off to the very capable hands of his teacher. Then it is just me and them for the next seven hours or so, and I think they enjoy it almost as much as I do. 

We have a flexible routine. One that usually starts with coffee and breakfast at the Starbucks inside Barnes and Noble. It's not about the coffee or the breakfast, though they both love a slightly warmed blueberry muffin. Whether I am sitting at a little table with both of them or just one of them it has turned into a time for me to connect at learn more about My Middle and My Little. 

Bash absolutely adores his big brother. Parker has this cheery, shining, beautiful personality. It is who his is, and it is an amazing thing, but it's very easy for Bash to hide behind the protection of his brother's larger than life presence. He is often comfortable letting his brother decide for him and talk for him when they are together, even when he is around us, but not on Tuesdays. On Tuesdays he is all mine, and this big, beautiful, shining personality that is all his own breaks through. 

And Eleanor...Oh my, Eleanor! She is tiny, but with a personality as large as either of her brothers. Not to even begin to mention how much she adores them. I will often sit there, sipping on my coffee, watching Bash and Eleanor interact. He speaks to her in a sweet, sing songing voice as he feeds her small pieces of muffin, and she babbles back at him with secrets that I can't quite understand, but can sense their importance. 

It's not about the coffee.

Some Tuesdays we flip through books and play on the train table. They dance on the stage in the Children's area and I clap for their performances. Some Tuesdays we go to Once Upon A Child to see what deals we can find. Some Tuesdays, when it is warm enough, we find a park and swing to the clouds. I love Tuesdays.

Today we went home after getting our coffee. It was cold and snowy and I just wanted to be home with them. We played together in our own space, and were able to spend time with Daddy when he was able to come home for lunch. We had an indoor picnic, all snuggled together, and then something rare happened. I looked over to see not only My Little fast asleep against me, but My Middle curled up and dreaming too. I was able to curl up next to them and watch them both sleep. Instead of the hustle and bustle that we often enjoy on a Tuesday, I enjoyed the quiet sound of them breathing together as they slept in the warmth of my bed as the bitter wind beat against the windows from outside. 

It was heavenly. 

I woke them only when it was time to go pick up their brother, which is always a magical part of the day in its self. Eleanor watches intently until children start pouring out. Then her face breaks into a beautiful grin, and she points and yells "There!" when she spots him. Bash goes running into his arms, and they hug as if it's been seven months instead of seven hours since they last saw one another. I listen to them chatter, eager to compare their days, as we drive home, and I smile to have My Three together again.

I love Tuesdays! 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Fleeting, But Oh So Sweet

These days are coming to an end. One day soon, they won't want to play together in the tub, fighting sea monsters and sailing ships as the water turns cold. Already we are so far from the days where they wanted me next to them, hands in the water, playing along with their games. Now I listen from down the hall, except when I sneak a peek around the corner, and wait for them to call for me. I love these days. I cherish these days. They are fleeting, but oh so sweet. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Lazy Sunday

It was a beautiful, peaceful, happy, lazy Sunday today. Nothing more. Nothing less. I had laundry to do, and clutter to clean, but sometimes it's good to let all that go for a day and just be present. I did that today, and I enjoyed it.

Laundry and clutter tomorrow. Lazy Sunday today.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Woo Hoo!

It's one of my favorite nights of the week. Nope. It's not because it's Saturday, though Michael's days off are actually lining up with the weekend this week. 

It's new sheet night!

I love the fresh, clean sheets the first night they are put on the bed. I love the feel of them as I slip between the cool cotton layers. I love the crisp scent of our detergent and Scentsy Washer Whiffs. I love new sheet night! And it's tonight. 

The things that make us happy as adults, right? 

I'll bet you can guess who sleeps on which side of the bed. Ad, no, I'm not still sleeping with a baby doll. That's the Lady's birthday doll who I think of as "Bea". 

Excuse the wrinkles in my duvet. I apparently didn't fold it well before I put it in the linen closet after the last time we used it. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Alan Rickman died yesterday. I've had several occasions during the day where I just stopped and said "Well, shit." (Sorry, Grandmama.) I've loved Alan Rickman's work for years. I think I fell hardest for him as Colonel Brandon, but I've never seen him in something where I didn't think he was just brilliant. 

My boys know him only as Professor Severus Snape. (They have been around when I've watched Sense and Sensibility, of course. Understandably, Harry Potter holds their attention a little better.) When the boys found me upset yesterday morning I explained to them that the actor who had played Professor Snape had passed away. Parker was quick to give me a hug and a kiss to help me feel better, but Bash simply looked thoughtful for a few minutes before saying "But when you watch the movie he'll be alive again." It broke my heart, and for a moment I began to explain to him why it didn't work like that, but then I stopped. 

He's right. Not in the way he means it. Not exactly. The world has lost an amazing actor. He will never walk across a stage again, or stand before a camera. There will never be another interview or awards show. That part is over. However, there is a part of his soul in every role he played. He will live on in every line he spoke, and every time someone new watches his work for the first time, every time a character is fallen in love with, that part of him will live on. That's amazing! That's beautiful, and it is something to be celebrated. 

After all, you think the dead we love ever truly leave us?

From our biggest to our smallest, we raise our wands to you, Good Sir! Always. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

It Is Time

I just wrote yesterday about how cancer sucks. This morning, as if to prove my point, I woke to the news that this world lost a brilliant actor of both stage and film. I have adored Alan Rickman for years, and my heart is raw tonight. I can think of nothing to say, or at least I am unable to properly articulate what it is that I want to say right now. I hope that I will be able to. Soon. 

Sorrow helped to make a decision though, and it is time. Tonight we began. They won't experience it the way I did. There are parts of the story they already know, because they have grown with the films as a part of their lives, but I am so looking forward to experiencing the magic with them in a way that can only be done through the written world and a blossoming imagination. Tonight we began the adventure I've been waiting to set out on since I found out we were going to have a child. What a journey it will be!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


A year ago today the world lost an amazing mother, daughter, wife, sister, and friend. So today I wore grey and remembered a beautiful person who I was honored to know. 

Cancer sucks. There really isn't much more that can be said. 

#ateam #greymatters #weargreyforamber #braincancerawareness 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Merry Christmas

I went through some Christmas pictures today, a task that I might actually finish up by this time next year, and there are some good ones. I love Christmas! I love Christmas memories! I look forward to going through all of them. (Hopefully before next year.)

When she saw Funshine Bear in the store she gave her a huge hug and started kissing her passionately. I broke world records getting this bear into the cart for her Christmas present. When she opened her on Christmas she brought the box to me immediately and fussed until I managed to get Funshing out of it. Then she again hugged and kissed and kissed and hugged. Funshine now has a slightly messy muzzle, but she's loved. So loved. Apparently Care Bear love is genetic. 

Somehow more and more Ohio State items keep finding their way into my house. Ohio State items and Legos. 

That is my son. My son hugging a spider. My son thrilled to be hugging a spider. To be fair, it's one of the cutest spiders I've ever seen.

My little explorer loves his new spyglass! This was one of my favorite pictures. It was completely unplanned. He opened his spyglass and put it immediately up to his eye. I just happened to be lucky enough to get the picture!

Monday, January 11, 2016

So Honored

I have been blessed in my life with some amazing friends. One of them, Katie, also happens to be an outstanding photographer. (She took the picture in our current banner and all the photos in the "About Us" section.) Whenever we are home for a visit I make a point of having our family pictures done. I won't go to anyone else. She is fabulous! I've known Katie since high school, I won't mention how many years it's been, and she's been photographing my family since I was pregnant with Sebastian, so almost five years now. If you are in Ohio and need a photographer look her up! You can view her work and get her contact information at her website,, and I promise you that you will absolutely love how she captures your story! Seriously!

A few months ago Katie asked for client testimonials. I was thrilled to write something up, though I thought it ended up being a little wordy. I couldn't say enough amazing things for the passion she brings to her art though. She messaged me later in the day, and I was so happy to have touched her with what I said. I meant it all. I could gush about this lady for awhile. 

Not long ago she messaged me again to let me know that her new website design was up, and I was so honored to find out that she used part of my testimonial right on the home page! It's a little thing, but I am tickled pink that my words meant enough to her to be used when advertising her business! 

Seriously, I love her! I'm already looking forward to our next photo session. (And hopefully going out for a girls lunch or something next time I'm in town, because I miss my friends!) 

Are you booking a session with her? What are you waiting for? Go! Book! Tell her I sent you!  

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Gordon Productions

It seems appropriate that, on the same day as the Golden Globes were being held in Hollywood (Yay for Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, by the way!), there was an epic production being put on for it's very first engagement right here in the Gordon Theater. 

The boys have been "rehearsing" for days, and today they finally had both Daddy and I home to perform for. I was told, under no uncertain terms, that no photography was permitted to be taken and shared, so you will unfortunately have to use your imagination. I assure you that it was a spectacular event though, complete with costume changes, set designs, and 4 action filled acts. 

We opened with our heroes battling Storm Troopers against daunting odds. They ducked behind bushes that only looked suspiciously like bins of toys if you were a person completely lacking in imagination. Luckily they found themselves able, under cover, to make their way to the Millennium Falcon. (One of them carrying a Wookie on their back no less!) They took off, surrounded, and battled through attacking spaceships with only a single gun and crossbow. Finally our heroes broke away and escaped, traveling to Tatooine, Earth, the Moon, and back to Tatooine. (I might have forgotten a stop or two in there. At some point the audience became quite overcome with giggles, and one tiny audience member decided that she was going to join her brothers the actors on stage where she happily bounced around on the trampoline yelling "Yaaaaaaaay!".) 

Act Two began on the Wookie home planet, which was not Kashyyyk in this version of the Star Wars Universe, though it was something equally as hard to pronounce and spell. Here a loan Wookie (wearing a costume of only underwear, since "Wookies are naked, you know, but that would be inappropriate.") walked and climbed around in his beloved forest of trees. All seemed beautiful and peaceful until an evil Storm Trooper stormed in "Bashing" everything in his path, including the trees. Our lonely Wookie was infuriated by this pointless act of violence, and began beating on his chest and screaming in a manner that I've seen in some Planet of the Apes type movies, but never before from a Wookie. The rest of the second act was a dramatic battle between Storm Trooper and Wookie. I've no idea who won, but I hope our neighbors weren't trying to sleep.

By the third act the Wookie and Storm Trooper were fast friends, and apparently building a life together in the forest. Without warning their home was attacked by a group of roaming Storm Troopers, presumably angered at their companion's betrayal, who demolished their house with such force that audience members were required to remind our actors that giant Lego bins shouldn't be flung around the play room with too much force.   

Act Four finds us back on the Millennium Falcon. After a dramatic battle with the evil Emperor Palpatine, in which the Emperor fell spectacularly, there was a wild dance party of celebration (including the little actress who crashed the scene in Act One) before the curtains fell to tremendous applause.

I have no doubt that it could be taken on the road to critical acclaim of the highest form, but rumor has it that The Company is working on a Gordon Productions version of The Hobbit next. 

Tickets were extremely reasonably priced at only $3 a person, though we were given a discounted price of only $1. (We tipped to make up for the difference though.) The stars even had a meet and greet afterwords where you could get autographs! I have a feeling these ticket stubs will be found in a box years from now and treasured just as much then as they are today. 

"$3 esh
thack you"
(and the 3 is backwards)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Let It Snow!

It snowed! It snowed, and we got The Lady's fuzzy and warm new-to-her boots in the mail, so we bundled up and went outside to play for just a little bit.

I know that some people hate the snow and cold. I love it! Maybe not as much as I loved it when I was a child, because I seem to get cold a lot faster these days, but I still love it. I especially love my children playing in it. Believe it or not we didn't get much snow in Idaho. Parker used to get sooooo excited for a dusting where the grass was still more visible than the actual snow. We get more here, but I'm surprised at how unprepared people in Colorado seem for snow. 

Some people dream of moving to the tropics so that they never have to deal with it again. Not me. I love the snow. I could never, ever live somewhere that there was no chance of snow. Let it snow!

How can you not like snow when you see the joy it brings to this little life?!