Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Wrap Up (see what I did there?)


My brother, Zach, flew in from Denver. 

My sister, Krista, was home for the holiday (she lives in Eugene).

We all spent the weekend (with my parents) at the coast and went to Shore Acres in Charleston to see the amazing lights there.

I'm not going into detail (sorry...or you're welcome - whichever) but I'll photo dump for you. 


My Dad and Fischer.

My younger brother, Zach, with Natalie, Jack, and Carter.

 Christmas Eve was spent at home (my parent's house). We shot guns in the morning (at targets, not at random - just to be clear) and then made homemade Chinese food for dinner.


Fischer and I ready to watch the gun shooting escapade. Clearly, Fischer is stoked about his pink backpack and pink ear protection...

Jack helping his Daddy by holding the bullets. :)

Jack getting ready to shoot the 22. (I headed back to help start dinner before the older two kids shot or I'd have pics of them as well. Bummer.)

Jeff making sure the scope is working.


Dad reading the real, organic, good stuff Christmas Story. :)


Christmas Day was spent at Jeff's parents house with all of his siblings and their kids. 

The few days after that were spent with his family. I went on a couple of runs with his sister, Jeanna, and most of us went to the Umpqua river and to Shore Acres (the second time for us) to see the lights because they are so awesome.


These two. They are way too cute together!! (Fischer and his cousin Xyla, who is just 6 weeks younger than him. So fun!)





There really are no words to describe the JOY this kid has.


Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and an amazing 2013! Here's to fresh starts, new hopes, and dreams coming to fruition in 2014 as we praise the Lord for all of His abundant blessing!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

running

As you know, my treadmill is out of commission (and unable to be revived) so I've missed running this past week since it was too slick to run outdoors. This morning I finally got to meet up with my friend and go for a run! My Dad offered to keep Fischer so I could go earlier (when it's really too cold for him to be out in it) and I was actually excited to head out the door!

I always say that I don't love running, but honestly? I really do. When I first started running jogging I wondered if it would ever get easier and after months (and months and months!) of jogs that eventually turned into runs I know that it really doesn't ever get easier...I just get stronger. 

We ran 6 miles this morning and I felt like I could have gone for quite a few more (my friend had errands to run so we were on a bit of a time crunch). Even though my legs could definitely feel the run, my body - my lungs - felt strong. It is such an empowering feeling; addicting even.

I never thought I'd say this with confidence but I know without a doubt now that I am a runner.

I am.

I love it and I am proud of it.

I AM A RUNNER.

source


 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

staying sane

This is the eighth day the kids and I have been stuck at home (because of the snow/ice/school canceled). The farthest we've ventured is out to the barn. At this point I'm not completely sure I remember how to put on make-up and I sure as heck hope my jeans still fit (at least I know I'm getting my money's worth out of all my yoga pants).
Today is supposed to be the last of it (followed by our normal three day weekend) so any Christmas shopping I need to get done in the next few days (and there's a lot of it to get done, I'm not going to lie) will be done with four kids in tow. I promise I'm not trying to have a bad attitude, the sarcasm just seems to flow more freely when I haven't had actual conversations with people (i.e. my Bible Study girls, Target employees, or the barisistas at Starbucks) in over a week.
The beginning was an adventure - even, dare I say, fun - but then my treadmill bit the dust (may it rest in peace) and I about lost it (Jeff would argue that I did in fact lose it). You see, I really LOVE hanging out with my kids - they're all kinds of fun (for reals!) - but when they're fighting and have insane amounts of pent up energy and I can't fulfill all their needs rightthisminute I feel pressure and when I can't run all that off for an hour with Rob Thomas then we've got problems. 
We have water again now (praise God!) which is imperative to my sanity (coffee takes water) so at least there's that. Actually, there's a lot to be thankful for and I realize that in not being thankful I'm actually sort of acting like a spoiled brat (except not "sort of" - I am totally acting like a spoiled brat) so enough of that for now.
I'm thankful that each day my husband has had to drive in this nasty weather on the horrible roads to work he's come home safe. I'm thankful that my kids are fun - I know that's silly but seriously, they're great kids and they've had amazing attitudes this week. I'm thankful for pizza and paper plates. I'm thankful for the wood stove and electric blankets. I'm thankful for our Advent Calendar (Jesse Tree) and the amazing conversations that have developed from questions our kids have been asking.
I'm thankful for my God who loves me all the time and has blessed me in so many little (and BIG!) ways this week. I've totally felt like he's been kissing me on the forehead dozens of times just because he loves me, just because that's what he does. 
Stay warm, friends. {And stay sane. If you can.}

Monday, December 9, 2013

a little chilly

Last night the low was -6 degrees and the night before it was a balmy -10.

Negative ten. 

Besides going outside to care for animals (and one 2 hour bout to "play" in the snow which was really "surviving the snow"), I've been in our house since Thursday with all four kids who have the energy level of a herd (pack? school? flock?) of cheetahs - to say I'm ready for it to warm up would be a major understatement.

I made home-made cinnamon rolls for breakfast this morning in an effort to cheer everyone's moods (but my mood remains less than blissful since I didn't even taste them). I think we're bummed that even though school was cancelled Jeff still had to go to work and we really enjoyed our cozy weekend together as a little family.

The roads are terrible. The temperatures are terrible. Our water supply (since the ground is frozen and no water is getting to our spring) is terrible. BUT our God is good. Our power is on. Our pantry is (semi) stocked. We are healthy and safe.

We are thankful.

We are (I am) trying to focus on the good and enjoy this Alaska-like winter weather because really, it could be a lot worse.

This week we'll just be taking it one day at a time and just going with the flow...even if that means going no where and nothing is flowing. ;)






Thursday, December 5, 2013

little pill

I find it incredibly adorable that Fischer's vocabulary is growing so fast and that his world is getting bigger by the minute due to is ability to communicate and his growing understanding of cause and effect.

Downside?

He figured out that when he says, "Owie!" it gets people's attention quickly.

Like in public.

So now he gets sympathy looks in the isles of Target and I get the stink eye.



Good thing he's cute...

Monday, December 2, 2013

thirty three


My Mom always did my birthdays up big when I was little (which I loved!). I remember themed birthday parties with my friends and gorgeous handmade cakes - she did good, you guys - but I feel like I've sort of (totally) phased out of wanting much to-do on my day.

So yesterday when my kids asked me how I'm going to sleep at night knowing tomorrow (today) is my birthday, I pretty much said, "Like usual." ;)

It's not completely going by the wayside though. My parents are making me dinner and a cake (Jeff had to work and has his last basketball game tonight so he actually won't be here) and then tomorrow  they offered to watch Fischer all day (and then all the kids when they get home from school) and Jeff's taking work off and we're going to spend the day and evening together going Christmas shopping, out to dinner and to a movie (that's how I like to spend my birthdays!).

This morning my good friend called (Maria, the one I run with) to say Happy Birthday and when she found out that Jeff and I are doing our thing tomorrow instead of today she asked if I'd want to run. . . so I also got a 9 mile run in this morning, which totally made my whole day as well. :)

Birthdays definitely look a little different at 33 than they did at 13, but I still feel spoiled, special and completely loved, which is all I could ever want anyway. Blessed - so very blessed!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

that feeling

I love a hot shower.

Wanna know what I love even more?

Knowing that I earned it.


Friday, November 29, 2013

low key

Thanksgiving this year was great. It was super low-key (note: it was us, my parents and my sister and that's it) but it was relaxing and yummy and we had a wonderful time nonetheless. Food was eaten. Laughs were had. Cards were played. Football was watched. Snuggles on the couch were perfect. It was a great holiday.

Today my parents took off for the weekend and we are having a low key day at home. Jeff is currently outside mending fences for the cows. The older kids are upstairs playing on their (new) mini-Foosball-table and Fischer is quietly taking a much needed nap. I just got off the treadmill (I ran 6 miles today making my total for the month {if I don't end up running again in the morning} over 60 miles - my "shortest" run was 5 miles and most of them were logged outside pushing the stroller - I'm pretty proud of myself!).

We're looking forward to dinner and cards with friends tonight and I'm taking the kids to the movies tomorrow while Jeff goes hunting.

These are my favorite kind of weekends. No alarms set. No stress. Just lots of down time, hugs, laughs, and relaxation.

{I feel that for the sake of transparency it should be noted that from the time I started typing this post out the the end of the last sentence the baby woke up crying, the older kids got in a fight, I had to dole out one spanking and put two kids in time-outs... Just keeping it real.}

Monday, November 25, 2013

The morning felt rushed (they all seem to somehow) and I was scurrying around getting lunches in backpacks, eggs and toast into the kids, making sure teeth were brushed and trying to look each of my amazing children in the eye to get a solid, "I love you!" in before they started their day.

I was feeling pressure. Pouring Jeff's coffee in his to-go mug and pulling his lunch out of the fridge for him to take to work. Changing the baby's diaper. Re-heating my coffee (again). Helping Jack tie his shoes. Zipping up coat zippers. Trying my best to remember to smile.

Then Jeff just stopped me. He turned me around so I was facing him and pulled me into a hug hold. The kind of hug that lasts more than just a quick second. He whispered in my ear, "You are such a good Mom. You are an amazing wife. Thank you for loving us so much."

Sometimes that's all we need.

A gentle reminder that all the little things we do matter.

That we are making a difference.

Sweet words can go far and I'm thankful for the moment that my husband took this morning to fill my heart with encouragement.


Friday, November 22, 2013

(Last night at dinner...) 
Natalie: "If we have any more kids in our family will it be through adoption?" 
Jeff: "Yes."
Carter: "So if you have a baby, we'll just put it up for adoption and think about it for a while and then maybe adopt it again?" 
Me: "No, if we adopt it will most likely be from another country. I'm not going to have any more babies in my tummy." 
Carter: "Oh, I see...you got neutered. . ."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

one and done

Jeff and I decided to quit coffee. 

As of this morning I was one day dry.

That lasted until this afternoon.

I love coffee and going without it for 24 hours just reaffirms how much my life is incomplete when I don't have it. 

It missed me - I missed it.

I told Jeff I was quitting the quitting nonsense.

We're both sane people again.

This is the end of the tragic-with-a-happy-ending story.


I heart coffee.
 photo credit




Tuesday, November 12, 2013

photo dump





Yes, this is all I have. Pathetic, I know. . .

Monday, November 11, 2013

food and friends

At the last minute yesterday Jeff and I decided to take our friends up on an offer of a potluck and game night.

We rushed through our list of chores, I threw something semi-edible together, threw the kids in the car and off we went.

I am so (SO! ! !) glad we made it happen. Last night was a total blast! There were 4 families there (with a grand total of 16 children. . . ) - the kids played flashlight tag outside (we also had a movie going inside for them if they wanted to do that instead) and us adults played cards until nearly the wee hours of morning 11pm.

We laughed so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants and Jeff and I learned a new game called "Hand and Foot" - and I don't mean to name names or anything, but someone totally won (ME).

After the semi-rough weekend, laughing and having a great time with good friends is exactly what I needed. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

are you a great mom?

As Natalie was reheating pizza in the microwave I heard Carter say to her, "Talie, you're going to be a great Mom when you grow up."

I'm not sure how I feel that being able to use a microwave is one of the prerequisites to being a "great Mom" but at least I have no doubt that (in Carter's mind) I'm totally rocking at the whole Mom thing because let me tell you, I can use a microwave like no one's business. . . : )


Friday, November 8, 2013

. . .

It is barely noon and I've already shot cows with a BB gun while chasing them down our freakishly long driveway (trying not to throw up in the mean time).

Today is not my favorite day.

{Mama needs a weekend away.}

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I "kneed" to chill

In the middle of the night I woke up with horrible knee pain. It hurt as I would bend my leg it but would be fine once it was bent all the way and then if I tried to straighten it again it would hurt like crazy while straightening it and then be fine once it was all the way straight.

I couldn't even sleep because I was trying to figure out how I "injured" it. I did a strength training workout yesterday (but not a new one or one with heavier weights or anything) and then ran 2 1/2 miles in 20 minutes (which was a first - it was a bit quicker than usual) but still nothing I would have thought would cause such an injury.

Either way, my mind went out of control worrying (uselessly) about how it would impact my workouts the rest of the week and I almost woke up depressed over it.

I was determined to just rest today and see how I felt in the evening. I was "over it." I would just move on.

So why did I eat candy in the middle of the day (and feel like I was going to puke because of the sugar I'm not used to?) to "numb out" my frustrations (if you will)? 

This is not good. My life (and emotions!) will not revolve around exercise and/or injuries. I'm made for so much more than that. I love being healthy and fit and able to run and play with my kids and do all the activities that my weight held me back from before - but I will NOT let not being able to workout give me a negative attitude.

So there it is. Out there. My declaration that my identity is not found in my body's abilities to exercise nor is it found in the way it looks and/or feels.


Okay.

Thanks for the outlet.

{That being said, I think I'm coming down with a stomach bug that may or may not have attributed to my emotional state. Just as a little disclaimer. I'm not normally this dramatic over such petty things.}

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

coffee and conversation

I know I've talked about this before, but I am so thankful for "my girls" (no, not those girls, you sicko) - my Bible Study girls.

In my (almost) 33 years of life I have found that it is imperative to have a few really close friends. The kind that you can just plain be yourself around. No pretending. No walls up. No judgment. Just you. Completely accepted and loved just the way you are.  

Those kind of friends.

I'm blessed to have a bunch of em'. Even more blessed to have so many that are fellow SAHMs (stay at home moms) so we can meet every week and share a meal, prayers, tears, faith walks, parenting issues, life struggles - everything and we can do it freely and without fear.

Those kind of real friendships are (dare I say?) rare these days and I cherish and appreciate all of mine to the fullest.

{This post brought to you by an amazing afternoon spent with some awesome women over coffee and deep life-changing conversation. God is good. All the time.}


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

the way things work out

After dropping the kids off at school I got home and immediately started cleaning the house (to put off running, I thought). I vacuumed, did dishes, cleaned the main bathroom, finished up some laundry, and made a couple of phone calls (see how much I look forward to running?).

When I didn't think Fischer could hold open his sweet little eyes one moment longer (at about 10am) I put him down for a nap (which is the only time I can run on the treadmill during the day). Once he was out (which took about the same amount of time as it took for me to get my running shoes on) I hopped on the treadmill and ran for one hour (7 miles).

I pulled my ear buds out and step off the treadmill and the phone rings. It's Jack's teacher saying he's not feeling well. I talk to Jack. She was right, he's not feeling well. So I tell my Dad (who has just come in from doing barn chores) that I'm headed up to pick up Jack in case Fischer wakes up in the 10 minutes I'm gone.

Sometimes it just works out like that. Feeling rushed to get stuff done in the morning (chores, my run, it all felt rushed this morning) but right now I'm so thankful for that. I'm thankful that as I'm sitting here on my bed typing this out, my (almost) 6 year old is snuggled up next to me under my heated blanket about to fall asleep and all I have to think about is him. I love being available for times like this. There's no place I'd rather be.

I rushed around and got stuff done - not that I wouldn't just take the time to spend with him hadn't I done that, but it's just an added blessing that it's done - and I thought it was because of my run, but it was just God's way of working it all out so I could enjoy loving on my sweet boys today in a clean house with my workout finished. Just a gentle reminder that He cares about the little stuff too.

I'm thankful today for that.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Did you realize it's November already!? Wasn't it August. . . yesterday?

Anyway, time is flying by as usual and life doesn't slow down for nothin'.

Halloween came and went - we had a great time at the Harvest Party at our church - a nice weekend at home and now it is Monday.

Again.

Already.

Soccer season is over which is fine with us since the rain has come and settled in for the winter it seems. My outdoor runs with the stroller are probably limited now, but I sure enjoyed them while I could. On Friday Jeff was home so I got the opportunity to go running with my friend (my running partner friend) and we pounded out 8 miles in 71 minutes. I'm pretty happy about that! It sort of makes me wish the half marathon was in February instead of in July since I (finally) have confidence about being able to actually do it! ;)

Fischer is getting sick again. Actually, in all honesty, he's been sick for a few weeks, but now we can tell it's the RSV crap that sticks with em' for months on end so we're settling in for the long haul. We've already broken out the humidifier, made the eucalyptus essential oil chest rub, and have his crib mattress set to an incline. Poor lil' guy. Hopefully it will pass quicker this year.

Natalie and Jack both have birthdays towards the end of the month (on the 20th and the 21st) and we've been planning for that. So far they haven't complained about sharing parties - they've just come to the realization that they need to agree - which is great for us! :) This year they each get to take a friend to the gymnastics open gym and then we'll pick up pizza and have their party with those friends plus our family (extended) that evening followed by a sleepover. They're pretty darn excited (and I'm excited that it came together so easily). I just can't believe they're going to be 11 and 6.  That part hurts my heart a bit, I'm not gonna lie. . . 

So anyway, you're officially caught up. Now I can make the standard, "I'll try to keep you updated more often" statement before I close.

{ CLOSE }




Wednesday, October 30, 2013

silly girl

After walking through Natalie's {messy} room I find her downstairs and say: "Your bedroom could use some attention..." 
She runs to the bottom of the stairs and shouts up to her room, "Hi Bedroom !"

That's not the kind of *attention* I meant. . .but nice try. 
I just love that girl.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

those moments

This morning Fischer was in the high chair in the kitchen while I was baking cookies and my Dad was throwing together a meat loaf for dinner tonight. We were all three laughing. I can't even remember what over, but it was the kind of moment that I don't ever want to forget.

Dad was stealing spoonfuls of cookie dough while he asked me what I thought about tossing the left over pumpkin puree (from bread I made the other day) in the meatloaf (which we did). Something we both know we won't tell anyone about until after they eat it - a mini-secret that doesn't really matter but so does at the same time because it's what we do, ya know? Dad and I. In the kitchen. Laughing and scheming over dinner plans. So simple, right?

Those moments. 

After finding out about the loss of a loved one in Jeff's our family earlier this week I'm slowing down and appreciating these moments. I'm willing them into my memory. Carving out the space by letting go of stuff that doesn't matter and filling my heart with the things that do.

Like laughs in the kitchen with my Dad.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

kid logic

Jack (at soccer practice pointing to another player on his pee-wee soccer team): "He hit me!"

My friend: "He did?! Why would he do that?"

Jack: "I don't know, but it hurt!"

My friend (calling the other boy over): "Why did you hit Jack?"

Other boy: "Because he hit me first!"

My friend (to Jack): "Did you hit him first?"

Jack: "Yes, but that's not the part I'm tattling about - I'm tattling about him hitting me after that!"


Friday, October 25, 2013

game on

Do you guys see the cloud of steam coming from the top of our house? I'd be surprised if you couldn't (no matter where you may be right now) because I am so hopping mad I'm fuming all over the place.

After my run I was hungry and wanted to grab something healthy and quick and remembered that I had bought a 3 pound bag of almonds at Costco a few days ago so I went to the cupboard to grab a handful. When I went to grab the bag I noticed that it was empty. At first I thought that Jeff must have transferred all of them into a different bag (or taken them and left the bag) but then I saw the chewed through bottom of the bag and I knew.

M.I.C.E.

Those little suckers ate through the plastic bag and took/ate the entire 3 pound bag of almonds!

GAME ON. 

Tonight they die. They all die.

Oh I'm so mad!!!

{And also still hungry!}

Source


Thursday, October 17, 2013

{totally random} Thursday Thoughts

--- I'm tired. Monday my friend Maria and I ran 7 miles and then we ran another 7 yesterday on a different route (both pretty hilly and I pushed Fischer in the jogger both times) - that kind of tired...the GOOD KIND.

--- We had an awesome weekend last week and we're looking forward to another coming up. Last weekend we took the kids to Portland to OMSI (a huge {amazing} science museum) on Saturday and then Sunday we got to fellowship with a ton of friends at one of their houses (with a gazillion kids and adults and and and). We had an amazing worship/service time in their living room followed by a soup/bread/dessert potluck in the backyard followed by a bunch of hours of pressing apples and pears into cider. It was such a great time with friends. We are so blessed to have so many friends that we love like family. Oh, and this weekend we have the homecoming football game on Friday night, we're pressing apples for cider at home with our kids on Saturday and Sunday we have no plans (which is AWESOME). :)

--- I volunteered in Jack's classroom this morning. Kindergarteners are hilarious. They wanted to know how old I was so I had them guess (I know - brave). They guessed anywhere from 17 to 64. {I'm 32.} Jack thought this was hysterical.

--- Because apparently we're a little crazy Jeff and I have agreed to lead "game time" at AWANA at our church on Thursday nights. It is fun {and makes me love my husband even more - he's so amazing with all kids - not just our own} and exhausting, but we're loving getting that time with our kids too {who absolutely LOVE having us there which is so fun!}.


--- As I'm diving into Hebrews and Galations and Romans in Bible study with a few of my closest girlfriends every Wednesday afternoon I'm realizing how much I appreciate having close girlfriends. Friends who see my heart. Who know me and know me well. As we grow closer in our friendships I'm appreciating it more and more - God has blessed me BIG with the friends I have. B I G.

--- The leaves are changing color and our driveway is completely covered in yellow and orange. This is my favorite. I could walk it all day long if there wasn't laundry to be done and food to be made. . . minor details in life. :)

Hope you guys are having a thoughtful Thursday!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

model fall day

Today was the kind of fall day that reminds me why I'm so in love with fall days.

The sun was out in all its glory but it wasn't too warm - crispness in the mid 60s.

Perfection.

We spent a lot of time outside today (for obvious reasons). I got to run (5 miles, which actually felt like a break after running almost 7 brutal up-and-down-hills miles with a friend on Thursday), Jeff got to pull maintenance on all the vehicles, we did some outside chores, the kids played outside all.day.long. and then we went for a drive in the mountains because my sweet husband knows how much I love the colors of fall {and we may or may not have pulled over at a gravel pile and shot our 22s at some empty soda cans for fun}.

Just a sweet day today after a week of rain and crazy schedules and apart-ness as a family (felt like we didn't sit at the table to eat dinner all together even once this past week with sports schedules and working late, etc.).

I'm so thankful for days like today amongst seemingly long lines of crazy days.

I love my little (big) family.

We are blessed.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

. . .

Rain.

RAIN.

Sniffly kids.

Warm fire.

Flickering lights.

Hot coffee.

Vacuumed floors.

MORE RAIN.

Snuggly sleepy baby toddler.

Candles.

Baked apples.

Fleece blankets.

Family.

Sunday.

FALL.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

documentation

Today was one of those days so far that I don't often document because I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, but seriously, it was fabulous.

I (shockingly!) pre-prepped for school today so the morning went really well. I got to thoroughly enjoy my kids before they were at school and we actually laughed on the drive to drop off. That never rarely happens.

I got back from the school and instead of sitting down with my cup of coffee and having some ME-time, I got to work straight away and vacuumed, did the dishes, did a load of wash, and got Fischer fed, dressed, and all ready to go.

My friend came over at 9am and we loaded up the baby and the stroller and headed out for a brutal run. The weather was wonderful - the sun was out and there was a tiny breeze which was awesome. We "only" did 4 miles today but it was completely uphill the first 2 miles and then (obviously) downhill the way back. We felt great at the finish, but I honestly felt like I was going to die on the way up. . . but in a good way.

When I got back home I put Fischer down for a nap (that lasted for almost 4 hours!) and I made homemade rolls, showered, did another load of laundry, packed dinner for tonight (to eat after the soccer games on our way to AWANA - yes, that is our life in the fall), threw wood on the fire, did more dishes, got to talk to my hot husband on the phone and make a game plan for the weekend, AND then got to take a half hour nap.

It was amazing.

I'm looking forward to the evening (I love soccer season!) mostly because I'm going to splurge and buy a big Americano on the way to sip on during the games.

Anyway, it was just an awesome day. It's not that anything amazingly crazy happened, it's just one of those days where you feel like you're actually on top of things or completely forgetting everything that you're actually supposed to be doing.

Either way, it's been great and I'm thankful for it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

details

I sure love them, even though getting them to school makes me crazy.

Weekday mornings are just nutso around here. I swear we could get up at 4:30am and still have that last-10-minute-go-insane-scramble.

The usual rush to get out the door consists of stacking pieces of peanut butter toast that no one will eat and will inevitably end up being a monstrous pile of crumbs on the floor of my Yukon on a paper plate balanced on my lidless cup of coffee while slipping on my hot pink Crocs (yes, I'm aware there's NO valid excuse for them) and trying to stuff Jack's homework, lunch box, and soccer gear into his backpack at the same time.

Natalie and Carter are arguing over who gets to sit in the front seat (which is actually a captain's chair in the middle row, but apparently counts as the "front seat" to them because they're not allowed to ride in the actual front seat yet). I look down after attempting to break up their argument while I'm buckling Natalie's cornet case in the actual front seat (since the latch is broken and the case doesn't stay shut) and realize that my coffee is now all over the front of my no-so-flattering hooded sweatshirt.

After starting the car and heading down the driveway I feel that my legs are wet and come to realize that my 3-sizes-too-big sweat pants are soaked from the bottom to about half way up my calf because my Crocs are backless and the ground was wet.

Carter is telling Natalie she can't practice her cornet during soccer practice because it's annoying and it scares Fischer. Jack is saying he forgot to bring something for sharing and I tell him I'm sure he can find something on the floor of the car that will work just fine but hurry because we're almost there.

We pull up to the school and notice the buses are already parked in the garage and the kids fall pile out of the car.

They wait because they know.

We all take a deep breath even though we're LATE and they look at me expectantly with smiles on their little peanut butter smudged faces.


I look them each in the eyes one at a time and smile as I say, "I love you SO much!"

No matter how crazy the morning goes (and I'll be honest, they're mostly ALL crazy) the only thing that matters is that they know.

The rest is just details.



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

the thing is...

My scale is up six pounds and has been for about 6 weeks now.

I know that's not a lot (I KNOW) but for me it feels like it is, especially since I haven't done anything that would warrant actually gaining that much. If it were just up from this or that (ie: sodium intake, travel, dehydration, etc.) and I knew it was going to go back down I wouldn't be "worried," but it's been long enough that I realize it's not going to just go away.

I'm not freaking out that I'm going to lose all control and gain all the weight I've lost back (because I haven't lost control), I'm just putting it out there that this maintenance thing is no joke. It's HARD (and apparently I'm not doing it).

Really the only thing different from when I was at my lowest (134) to now (hovering between 139-141) is what I'm eating. I was doing the Paleo style of eating before (I stopped in the middle of summer because life got in the way I got lazy). I'm still working out plenty, I'm still counting my calories, I'm still drinking about 100 oz of water a day, I just haven't been eating CLEAN.

Apparently it makes a BIG difference.

The thing is I don't really care what the scale says. If I felt healthy and energetic at {insert any number} pounds I'd be fine with that - but I don't. I don't feel all that healthy and energetic now at 140. I actually feel like crap. And I hate that.

So, I'm going to try to go back to eating Paleo style (fruits, nuts, veggies, eggs, lean meats). I'm committing to one month (until the end of October) and then I'll reassess at that point. I just want to feel my best again. Eating Paleo style is work though. It takes planning ahead (something I suck at) and discipline (that word is offensive to my senses) and self control (gross). None of those things sound like that much fun right now, but I just need to do it. I NEED to.

Now that it's out there I guess I'm doing it.

Oh, and I did end up signing up for the half marathon in July so there's also that. Motivation in and of itself to not be a slug.

I'll keep you updated. I promise. Which, as you know, means that I'll at least  try to remember.


Friday, September 6, 2013

learning

Today is the end of the kids' first week of school (and my heart still breaks each time I get a hug and a, "See you after school, Mom!"), but I'm surviving with the help of Target, Starbucks, and kisses from my littlest little.

Each day when the kids get off the bus and into the car I ask them what their favorite thing they learned that day was. 

Here's Jack's answer from yesterday:

"Well a girl in my class had an accident on the gym floor this afternoon so I learned that if you have to go pee when it's time to run around, you should just go to the bathroom first thing. Oh and also? I learned that if you don't like green beans then just don't eat them because if you do you might throw up like a kid in my class did at snack time."

I might be drying my tears all morning after dropping my kids off but I'd take being a stay at home Mom over being a Kindergarten teacher any day this week for sure!







Saturday, August 24, 2013

blerg brain

I may or may not have misinformed my kids from a very young age that if they watch too much television it will shrink their brains.

Today, since 3/4 of them are sick, they pretty much laid around and watched movies most of the day (aside from our bike ride and when we were all doing chores at the barn - so there was some a little activity in the day as well).

Natalie came up to me tonight right after brushing her teeth to get ready for bed and says, "Mom, do you think my brain is smaller tonight because of all the movies today? I'm sort of worried about it."

I told her that one day of movies isn't going to shrink her brain too much and she's probably just fine.

She thought it over for a minute and after breathing a sigh of relief says, "Well that's good, but I did do a huge division math problem in my head after every 15 minutes, you know, to help my brain stay big - just in case."

what not to wear

Carter: "Where are we going today, Mom?"
Me: "I don't know if we're going anywhere yet."
Carter: "Then why are you dressed like that?"
Me: "Dressed like what?"
Carter: "Like you're going to see more people than just us kids."

{The sad part is that I'm just wearing jeans as opposed to the usual yoga pants. At what point, exactly, did jeans become my "I-put-in-effort" clothes?}

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

CALL ME CRAZY

I'm about thisclose to letting one of my friends talk me into signing up to run a half marathon next summer with her.

Someone {QUICK!} shake some sense into me before it's too late!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

...

Three weeks from today I will drop the three older kids off at school and then will come home and sit here with tears streaming down my face and into my cold cup of coffee as I lament about how fast the summer has gone and why school now gets more time with my kids than I do.

I know that I could home school, but the kids and I both know it would ruin us. Don't get me wrong, there are tons of families that successfully do this all the time, but let me be straight with you - we would not be one of them.

So, that being said, I'm trying (trying!) to enjoy the rest of summer even though, lets be honest, some days I'm counting down the days to when I have nap time all to myself and I only have to drag one kid grocery shopping and to Target, Starbucks, and TJMaxx

I love fall - the air turning crisp, the leaves changing colors, apple cider, soccer season, sharpened pencils, running outside without feeling like the humidity is going to swallow you up. I love it - but right about now is when I start back peddling and freaking out about missed opportunities all summer and mentally (and foolishly) make the list of all that we didn't do. 

My kids have had a great summer. Really - we all have. But, like everything does, it has just gone far too quickly.


Carter's birthday breakfast: Homemade cinnamon rolls!


Natalie kissing the best man at her Uncle John's wedding. :)
Enjoying the sun at the Umpqua river.

Ring security at the wedding.

"Mommy, take a picture of me going super fast!"

I don't know what it is about boys and reptiles, but man they love em'!

"Mom! STOP! I want to take a picture of you!" (Out on a run. My favorite time to have my picture taken! {Sense the sarcasm...})




Tuesday, August 6, 2013

a keeper



God doesn't pick favorites but I still tend to think that if he did have a favorite, I would be it. 

Why?

Because I'm the only one he gave this guy to...






Oh how I love him!

Friday, August 2, 2013

parenting

This is exactly how I've felt since I had kids lately.

  This is especially true when Jeff is gone. {He's gone for the week/weekend.}

Lord, help us survive. AMEN.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Fridge

Monday was Jeff's birthday. He turned 33 but I'm going to stay 29 this year...for the 4th year in a row.

He's well loved around here and well loved at work. This is no secret. He's blessed to work with some amazing Jesus-loving people who not only put up with adore him, but encourage him in many ways as well.

My man has many nicknames - I call him "Jefe"  (which is 'boss' in Spanish) - and I thought it was hilarious when I found out that a ton of people at work call him that, too. Another nickname they've given him there (from over a year ago when he was almost 50 pounds heavier) is, "The Fridge" because he reminded them of the football player nicknamed that as well.

Anyway, this year for his birthday one of the ladies at his work, Renee, (who has a cake-making business as a side job) made him this:


I couldn't believe how amazing it looked! She even has him holding his favorite coffee cup!

Anyway, Happy Birthday to my amazing husband, Fridge.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

parenting win

I'm not above admitting that I'm the Mom who decides to grocery shop at Winco pretty much because it's so much cheaper! there's a separate room where they keep the alcohol. There's a big sign outside the swinging door that says no one under the age of 21 can come in, so I leave my kids right outside the door and stand in the kidless nice and cold room for a minute and pretend I'm on vacation (don't freak out, I can still sort of see them). 

Yes. 

That actually happens.

I might also end up grabbing a Mike's Hard Lemonade Lite (or six) to pretend I'm on vacation during the 15 minutes between the time the kids go to bed and the time Jeff and I go to bed.

I live life big, you guys. Real big.

{NOTE: I'm under no illusion about how very blessed I am in this life and when I write posts like this it's mostly a joke. I don't know exactly why I felt the need to clarify that, but I did. I have four of the best kids in the world and I know it, but I still get tired and drink alcohol sometimes, ya know ? So to clarify again: I love my husband/kids/Jesus in a BIG way and I wouldn't change a thing - this is an adventure we're on and it's crazy scary ours. I'm happy with that. Okay. That's all.}

Thursday, July 18, 2013

dinner convo

Conversation last night over dinner:

Carter: "Wow Mom, this is so good! Who did you get the recipe from?"

Me: "I just sort of made it up - I didn't get it from anyone."

Carter: "No seriously, this is GOOD - you didn't make it up, right? "

Me: "Buddy, I just threw stuff together."

Jack: "Well that's just shocking! I didn't know you knew how to do that!"

{I love that I can take whole wheat noodles, chopped up grilled chicken, pesto, and a little Parmesan cheese and toss it all together and my kids think I'm the greatest chef ever. Obviously I set the bar super high on a daily basis for them to come to this conclusion about a pasta dish.

Friday, July 5, 2013

boys.

One of my sons (who will remain unnamed) was being naughty and playing with my earrings while he was using the toilet and my favorite pair ended up in the toilet. 

Guess what they landed on?

Yup.

So, I started my day disinfecting earrings (however you're supposed to do that) and then all but burning my hands off trying to get them clean but honestly, no matter how clean your hands are after that there's no way to un-see yourself reaching in a toilet to grab something you plan on wearing again.

Hand sanitizer is going to be my best friend for a while.

Also? 

Raising boys is not for the faint of heart (or for the germaphobic).

Just sayin'.



 

Monday, July 1, 2013

SUMMER SWING

We're in it full swing now....this Summer thing.

And honestly? I'm LOVING it (finally in that *good* place again).

Yesterday we got to have "church" at our friends' place with a bunch of the families I love the most. We all met at their house and had a great missionary speaker (through whom God just blew me away!) followed by a delicious potluck and then the kids all played on a huge homemade slip-n-slide, a couple big trampolines, a play structure, and sprinklers while us adults had amazing discussions and fellowship. It was so much fun! Can't wait to do it again next month!

Today is chill day. Natalie and I got up early and made banana muffins for breakfast and the boys are out splitting and stacking some wood with my Dad before it gets freakishly hot (it's supposed to be mid-90s today). I'm going to get my workout in (as soon as Fischer finally goes to sleep) and then right after lunch we'll head to the lake (BLISS). 

Tomorrow is up early to go blueberry picking (one of my favorite days of the year - I LOVE blueberries!) with my sister Jeremi, followed by Bible Study at the lake on Wednesday.

Thursday (which is the fourth of July, in case you're living under a rock) Jeff and I have a hot (literally) date going to a friend's wedding and I'm excited to get dressed up and get to hang out with my HOTTIE husband for an evening (and be around people who don't call me "Mom"). 

Jeff gets Thursday-Monday off of work and I'm so excited for all that time with him I can barely stand it. Have I mentioned lately how blessed I am by my husband? He is all kinds of amazing and even though we had a few (really) rough years towards the beginning of our marriage (maybe sometime I'll write more about it - but let's just say that I was *not* a communicator and that can do major damage - FAST), anyway, he's pretty great and I'm looking forward to some family time camping, fishing, barbequing with friends, and just enjoying the blessings that the Lord has given to our family!

I will (hopefully!) remember to document all this breaking-news events and share next week. Have a great week, you guys!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

this and that

Summer flew in like an Idon'tknowwhat and it hasn't slowed down once. 

The kids are attending Vacation Bible School each morning this week which really throws a wrench in my workout schedule, but I'm being a big girl about it and they're loving it. Jack is excited because since he's entering Kindergarten in the fall {someone hold me} he gets to participate as well.

We have to leave the house by 8:15am in the mornings though. This is rough for Mama, let me tell ya. Getting up earlier during the summer than I do during the school year (for 5 days in a row) is just wrong - but it's definitely worth the extra work, so we're managing smiles. :)

When we get home in the afternoons I quickly make lunch (that looks a lot like yogurt for each kid and then a big plate of cheese slices, apples, and carrots for them to all share) and then I have them sit on their beds for an hour and read (the 5 year old usually falls asleep). We've also implemented an hour of chores each day and it has been so nice! The structure is wonderful and the kids knowing that it happens every day keeps the, "What!? But Mom!" comments at bay. I just make a list for each child that will take them about a half hour (their barn chores take a half hour, so we just add that in) and they are expected to have it done before they get their pajamas on at night. {This idea of an hour of reading and an hour of chores each day was brought to me by my mother in law who is a genius.}

We've managed a few afternoons at the lake, but it's been pretty rainy the past week and a half (sun to come soon though!) so we're all ready for some more outdoor weather to be here. We're really looking forward to fishing and swimming and playing in sand!

Fischer is officially crawling all over the place. He's got 4 teeth (well, 3 and one that keeps going in and out, but since it's "out" today, we'll count it). He's got his bottom front teeth and his two top canine teeth - it's pretty hysterical looking and we may or may not call him snaggle-tooth...

Let's see...what else? We've got weddings coming up (Jeff's good friend from work the beginning of July and his brother is getting married the end of July) and lots of business surrounding that that we're looking forward to. Jack is going to be "ring security" for Uncle Johns' wedding and he can hardly wait. Carter saw the shirt and tie Jack will be wearing (which is to die for!) and decided that he wanted to one-up his brother and wear a tux to the wedding for fun. I kindly told him that would not be happening.

Oh, in a conversation with Natalie earlier this week in the car, she asked me about how you pick the person you want to marry. By the end of the conversation she goes, "so pretty much as long as they love Jesus more than anything else, you'd be good with them?" I said, "pretty much." Carter pipes up from the backseat, "Your top priority for your partner can be them loving Jesus - my top priority for mine is that they love the OSU Beavers." NICE.

So anyway, that's our bi-monthly wrap-up. Hope you guys have a great rest-of-the-week!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

short lived

Already? 

Really?

This is what I posted on Facebook this morning:

"Even though my kids would love for it to be super hot outside and for us to be heading to the lake (which will come soon enough), the first morning of summer break finds us (me) sitting on the couch sipping coffee in front of the fire while listening to the rain outside. I have to admit that all this makes me happy happy happy."

Then real life happened.

Kids started fighting; worn out from the busy first couple of days at school this week, they are short on sleep and loooooong on overdone activities.

It was time. Even on the very first day of summer break, I just knew it. 

Time to pull out my get-out-of-jail-free card.

I piled all the kids in the car and after a 25 minute drive through pouring rain we made it to civilization "town" where we had lunch at Dairy Queen and rented Red Box movies - both of which are a HUGE (and rare) treat in this house.

Right now the three older kids are laying on blankets in the living room zoning out watching a movie. Fischer is sleeping soundly in his bed. The house is quiet. It's still raining outside and, once again, I am happy happy happy.

Here's to everyone living through summer break!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

humility

Jack was coloring this morning and Fischer was playing with some bowls (as opposed to "playing with bowels" as I wrote initially) on the kitchen floor. 

Jack asked for Fischer to quiet down.

I said, "Is his playing loudly messing up your artistic abilities?"

He replied, "No. It's just annoying me. Nothing can mess up my gift of art."

So now that we have "art" down, maybe we should work a little on the humility?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

summer is almost here (!)

Image source

Already we're in that time of year where in order to plan something new we have to look at least 6 weeks down the line to find the time. 

I love summer (the kids have 4 days of school left, not that any of us are counting...) and can't wait for things like my kids' laundry smelling like sunscreen and campfires. Mmmmm.

I might also love Summer because right afterwards is fall and oh how I love fall.

Summer normally isn't my favorite time of year because I don't really like the heat (I hate sweating when I'm not doing it on purpose). I don't like that girls wear next to nothing, seriously - COVER UP! such skimpy clothing, I'm not a huge fan of water (although I love me some lake time!), and I don't like that even though it's summer, Jeff still has to work, but I sure do love having all my kids all the time. 

OhmyMamaheart. 

Summer fills it to the brim.

We're not making a summer bucket list lest I feel I failed, again, at the end of the summer but Jeff and I have a mental list we'd love to check off one at a time and the kids have huge lists that they'd like to check of daily as well. 

All in all, we're ready for this season to begin - only FOUR more school days! YAY! 

Image source

Saturday, June 1, 2013

...

Biggest news of the day?

The dog threw up and ate it.

Aren't you glad you stopped by here today?

Friday, May 31, 2013

going rogue

We have cows. 

Two, actually. They're 9 months old and their names are Jeremiah and Jason {I kid you not} and this morning they went missing.

Since I'm here solo with all the kids for the night I'm the one who got the phone call from a neighbor who said they found the cows on their property and which field exactly they were in {we have 42 acres so "neighbors" aren't exactly right next door unfortunately?}.

So, the kids and I took off tonight on "Operation Find-The-Cows... Mission: Bring them HOME."

The kids were stoked. 

I was stoked to be done with it.

I grabbed my camera (because, obviously), threw Fischer in the Ergo on my back, and we went on our way.

Off to save the cows!

We walked our way through our fields and were trying to find where they got through to the neighbors' field when our cows randomly {and thanfully!} came running through a different neighbor's field to the fence line where we were.

I just had to break down a little of our fencing and let them back in.

We'll keep them fenced in the barn area until someone else...Dad and/or Jeff can fix the fencing again.

This is kids when they finally spotted the cows in the next field over.




Sorry, party's over - the cows are coming home.



MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Gosh, I love these kids!
Carter asked me while I was tearing apart the fence if I liked living in the country now as much as when I was a kid and I laughed realizing that even when things go crazy and the cows go rogue, the answer always a big sigh followed by, "Yep. I sure do."

Heading back home.