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


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.




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.


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.