Monday, December 29, 2014


Couldn't see or hear my kids earlier this morning so I looked outside for them to no avail. Poked my head in the boys' room and found them all sitting on the floor quietly taking turns reading out load to each other.

Each of those kids stole a piece of my heart the moment they were placed in my arms and they keep chipping away at it moment by moment as we go about our days and sometimes I wonder how, after all the stealing, my heart is even able to still beat.

How did I get so lucky as to be their Mama?


Friday, December 26, 2014

it brings Him joy

We are overwhelmed (and that is the understatement of the century). I'm not talking about overwhelmed with the business of the holiday season, Jeff's job, the kids' schedules, or any of that (that's just life stuff)...I'm talking about being overwhelmed with the generosity and love that others so selflessly have shown our family.

We have so many people loving us that my heart feels like it's going to swell so much that I won't even be able to squeeze any words out of it. We have been given to, loved on, prayed for, and encouraged more than I even know and there just aren't any words big enough to say 'thank you' properly. There is nothing (nothing!) that we can do to repay the generosity that has been given us and that's what makes the giving so selfless and pure - it's what makes it love from Jesus shared directly through His people.

As Jeff  and I were praying together this morning, tears ran down my face because I was so overwhelmed with the pure love that has been shown our family. I was continuing to thank the Lord later in the morning while I was driving home from taking Carter to basketball practice, and I found myself completely overwhelmed, and then more stuff happened later in the day and I just couldn't even handle it emotionally. God is so good. He is faithful and BIG and trustworthy and just waiting to bless His children - He delights in us and it brings Him joy to bless us - do you know that?! That's HUGE!

Anyway, I'm so flustered that I'm sure this post doesn't even make much sense, and that's okay, I just wanted to sing the praises of our God. I wanted to express my gratitude to Him and to the people he's so obviously working through. We are blessed (yet again - and always) beyond measure.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

On the second (and third!) day of Christmas... neighbor gave to me:

on the first day...

If finding this on our doorstep yesterday morning doesn't prove we live in the best community with fun and amazing neighbors, then I don't know what would:

 I mean, really, how fun is that!?

Monday, December 15, 2014

each age and stage

Tonight I gave my two little big boys hair cuts. I remember the first time I tried to cut their hair. It almost ruined our relationship. I hated it. They each hated it. My only saving grace was the bubble-bath they were promised if we all survived the ordeal afterwards.

Things have changed a lot since then. Now they are such men big boys about it. They hop up in the chair and sit still, it goes rather quickly and before I know it, their hair is cut off and they look 2 years older.

I know that it's so cliche, but it's true you know. "It" goes by so fast. Too fast. I heard once that 'the days are long but the years are short' and boy-howdy is that ever accurate. Some days I feel like I'm barely getting through this parenting gig (even though I, like every mother, love my kids more than life itself) and other days (most days) I look at these children God gifted me with and I just can't believe they're so...grown already.

There are certainly hardships and hilarity in each age and stage of their growing up but I have to admit I'm a little sad when I'm reminded by simple things like the fact that they don't need booster seats when they sit in the haircut chair to try to cherish the good in each day, because even though these days can be long, the years are indeed short.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Coziness of Christmastime

We got our tree up and decorated and it's just beautiful. I love the glow of the lights and the warmness it exudes during Christmastime. It just makes my heart happy. Fischer thinks the tree is just called "Christmas" so he'll come out of his bedroom in the morning and say, "Oh! Christmas is right there!" He is so much fun!

Jeff has been MIA for a while (not really - he's been working like crazy but the time he's logged at home has been few and far between the past few weeks months) and having the house decorated and cozy has made a big difference in my we-can-get-through-this attitude. There's just something about the holiday season (ahem - JESUS) that makes everything just a bit easier. Even when life is this busy and stressful, at the end of the day (usually) there is a calm. I appreciate that calm now more than ever. {That being said, my husband will be back home tonight from a business trip and I'm ready for the calm that he brings home with him too!} 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Now that it's finally the "tomorrow" I talked about yesterday last week, I'll grab some photos we've taken lately and catch you up. It's December and life is busy! We have a middle schooler who is on the student council, the basketball team, and is working her tail off in school - her schedule alone makes me exhausted. Add in three younger brothers, two part time jobs (of mine), an insanely stressful more-than-full-time job of the hubs' (it's not always this stressful but right now? WHOA.), an international adoption and the holidays - you get us - we're on the brink, people. But still - we're sailing trudging through this one day at a time (while holding hands and praying we don't slip off the edge).

God is good though. So so good. He is faithful and present and we're constantly amazed at the ways He's showing up. Every time. So, in all this busyness and stuff we're singing His praises because wow - He is worthy of it!

Friday, November 28, 2014

From Blachly to Burundi and back...

Tomorrow I will do a photo dump on here and catch you up via snap shots on life as of late, but for now I'll catch you up on our most exciting news...

We're in the (beginning of the very long) process of adopting! We've begun our international adoption journey to Burundi and we are beyond excited. The process is 2+ years so we've got a lot ahead of us, but we're prayerfully taking steps forward in faith and we're just so impressed with our amazing God and His faithfulness to us and how He is leading us one step in faith at a time through this already.

I'm the terrified type of excited about it all, which I think is a good place to be. My heart is full as we press in on the desires God has placed in us a long time ago, but there's something fresh and scary about actually jumping in with both feet and telling people you are!

Prayers for our family (and for our sweet child, that God already knows by name) as we forge through uncharted territory are greatly appreciated - thanks, friends.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

go ahead - laugh

You might think I'd be embarrassed that when I realized something we needed to do was scheduled for 4:30pm PST I asked my husband, "So what time is that for us?" and he just gave me a blank stare and said, "4:30pm."

But since I have no shame left, I share it on my blog with all of you...obviously.

It's okay to laugh. My husband did.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

christ centered craziness

This week is a busy one and there's no end in sight but I'm amazed at how much being centered in my identity makes me feel ready to tackle it all. 

I know who I am.

I do not find my identity in my circumstances. It's not found in how I feel about my body. Not in my accomplishments (or lack thereof). It's not found in how well behaved (or not) my children may or may not be acting. It's not in how clean (or dirty) my house is. Not in the car I drive. Not in how much money we make (or don't make). It's not in what we do (good or bad).

I am a daughter of the most high King. I have been made a new creation.

My identity is found in those things alone and nothing in or of this world can change that. Yes, circumstances certainly suck sometimes. Hard things still happen. Life presents tough situations but knowing who and what I am deep down is, in the end, what it's all about.

I'm living my life in dependance on God. I can trust Him. I can make decisions based on faith and not on fear because I know He's got my back. He never changes.

Like I said, this week is crazy. I very well may not get any sleep at all that might be a little exaggeration but I'm resting in Him - and I can - because I know that all this stuff going on around me doesn't change anything about who I am because He already has.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

hump-day ho-hum

I just poured a cup of coffee that I've been waiting hours to enjoy, only to find out that I'm out of my favorite sweetener to put in it. While searching through my purse for a single-serving pack of sweetener (that I never located), I found a dirty diaper that I'd meant to throw away yesterday (or the day before - ahem). Gross. Anyway, then I thought I'd hit the jackpot by finding a candy bar at the bottom of my bag (that I could stir into my coffee!) but turns out it was just a stray tampon lost in the abyss.

These first world, I tell ya.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Saturday was such a gorgeous day! We picked apples and pressed cider at my Mom and Dad's (my sister and her boyfriend were there too) and afterwards watched a football game on TV and had a delicious dinner of pork roast, salad, potatoes and cooked carrots (pretty much my favorite meal of all time).

It was an amazing day.

Have I mentioned how much I love October? ;)

Oh, and also this happened. I will no longer complain about how much my husband paid for our camera.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


God made October just for me. I know it.

For some reason it feels like I can see more clearly, think more clearly, in October. Everything is crisp, clear, a little brighter. The colors are vivid, the temperatures are in my opinion perfection, our runs are just a bit longer, our breath is out there - seen.

Today it rained. We ran. We got soaked and cold and hot all at the same time. After showers, we drank coffee and went to our fellowship group. My body was tired and my heart was full. My feet hurt but my soul was resting.

I notice the little stuff more in this season. I notice Fischer laying on the floor concentrating on something so little but so big to him. I note the excitement in Carter's face over making a mud hut for a history project. Natalie's grin at the anticipation of her first middle school dance which I don't want to talk about.... Jack's sweet words that can't quite get out fast enough when he's thrilled about meeting a goal. My husband's eagerness to take us in the mountains on drives where we have the both the best views of the valley and the best conversations.

Oh sweet Lord, thank you for loving me so much that you made me October.

Monday, October 6, 2014

it moves me

"The road to courage is lit by God's wisdom. His word in the Bible and through the Holy Spirit to you and through others is how you know."     --Annie Downs ("Let's All Be Brave)

 I just love this.

Friday, October 3, 2014

the half marathon (that happened over 2 months ago...)

I just realized (because I ran into someone today, that I hadn't seen since early high school, who reads my blog - HI SARAH!) that I never wrote anything about that half marathon I'd been training for for oh, NINE MONTHS.

I ran it! We ran the whole thing (as per my personal goal) without walking at all and I'm so proud of that!

A couple of things about the race.

1) It's a long flipping time to run! And the whole if-you-run-faster-you'll-get-done-sooner crap? Yeah, that doesn't work. It's more like if-you-keep-breathing-you-won't-die hopefully.

2) I have never, NEVER felt more proud of myself than I did seeing my family there at the finish line cheering me on and seeing their proud faces as I finished. It brought tears to my eyes! It was amazing. My husband's pride in his eyes? Yeah. Nothing like it.

3) Eat the goo stuff they're tossing to people along the way. I lost my energy at about mile 9. I ate a half of a really mushy nasty banana at the beginning of mile 7, but it didn't seem to last long and I should have had something to eat to give me a boost for the last few miles.

4) The signs spectators were holding are priceless. They were encouraging and hilarious and everything good that keeps your mind in the right place to stay strong and finish. My favorite sign was held by a woman sitting in a lawn chair on the sidewalk sipping coffee - it read, "THIS IS THE WORST PARADE EVER." Another one I loved was, "Hurry up! The beer at the end isn't going to drink itself!" And at about the last mile there was one that had a huge picture of Christopher Walken on it that read, "This ain't the time for Walken! Finish strong!"

5) Running with someone is imperative to making it to the finish line for me anyway. I would have had a much more difficult time running the whole thing if it weren't for Maria's encouragement. She's seriously like the energizer bunny and it was great having her there dragging me running with me the whole time.

When we were done I had two immediate thoughts. The first was, "I am NEVER doing that again!" followed quickly by, "I will do WAY better than that next time!"

So, there you have it. I DID IT!

Oh, our finish time was 2:09. This made it an average pace of 9:52 or something and our normal average pace is about 9:10 so I was really disappointed with the time, but again, still proud that we finished and really proud that we ran the whole thing!

Mari's girls and mine - they got up at 3:30am to get dressed up and ready to cheer us on along the way (with Maria's husband)! It was priceless!

All the kids (wait, except Jack) - watching for us to come around the corner to the finish line.

And then (like a flash of lightening!) there we were!

My amazing little supporters. These are my people.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

humility at its finest

Running shoes = $90

TomTom running watch = $130

My10 year old son saying, "Um Mom... I don't think you should run in those pants anymore because I can see the pattern on your underwear right now." = Priceless

{Can't help but wonder how many people who passed me today and who knows how many days prior to this! know what pattern is on my underwear...}

ready to recieve them

It's October. My favorite.

Yesterday afternoon Maria and I decided not to run...but walk. We made a pot of coffee, packed Fischer in the jogger and we set out in the beautiful October sunshine and walked. Almost 6 miles of pure bliss. It was crisp out, the leaves were falling, and the air smelled like sunshine mixed with wood burning in a fireplace somewhere close. Since we were walking we were able to have great conversation and enjoy just being.

That is my favorite.

It's no secret that I love fall...


I've also been enjoying other moments. Trying to appreciate them as I see em' and thanking the Lord for each one, accepting it as a gift from Him to me personally.

It is so easy to focus on the negativity (I struggle with you didn't know that). I don't want that to be my heart (and it isn't) but it takes practice to change. A heart of gratitude is developed as you consciously choose to be thankful for the blessings you have. Big or little. They're all gifts.

Here are some of mine from lately:

A dahlia given to me from a friend.

Fischer bringing me this asking for cookies.

Bubble baths!

Eagerly wanting to help Daddy wash the car.

Cinnamon rolls to share with people we love.
Playing "tow-boyth!"

Colorful food.

My sister going to the lake with us!

This smile.

This girl. Everything about her. She's just amazing.

Feeling SAFE with friends over. :)

 So many little blessings when I slow down enough to see them.

May I continue to have my eyes open to see them and my heart ready to receive them.

Thank you, Lord.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Look at this face.
I just can't even.

I get to hang out with this cutie and also relax and try to finally kick this illness that has knocked me down this whole past week. Spending time in the Word with some coffee in hand is just what I need today. So...

...don't mind if I do.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

magic's gone

Jeff's been gone for 6 days now (hunting, remember?) and I haven't talked to him once (they're in the middle of no where and there's no cell service...kind of like where we actually live).

Anyway the no-contact thing sucks. Obviously.

Couple that with me being sick the whole time he's been gone and I'm sooooooo ready for him to be home!

The fact that we've had next to zero contact might be good though because it's kept me from, you know, saying all the words that I can't take back in the not so rare moments of frustration I've had this week of flying solo around here except not solo because we have a third of a dozen kids {whom I adore...obviously}.

I might be annoyed that I haven't been able to breathe out of my nose in almost a week, my eyes haven't stopped watering, I've sneezed no less than 75 times each day (I usually sneeze in threes - fun fact for the're welcome), and my throat has felt like it got rubbed on a cheese grater and you know what? Sometimes I just want a back rub. But, nonetheless, he's not here and I can't complain to him bless his heart, so I'm putting on my big girl panties and taking things one tissue at a time and complaining to you instead because I'm mature like that.

Two more days (at the most!) and he'll be back. {That's 32 kid length Netflix movies if that's all we did from now until him getting home not that I'd ever do something like that. ::side eye::}

If nothing else (like, if there's no elk), at the very least this week I've grown to appreciate having my husband here even more than I already did (which was A LOT).

But seriously - GET HERE FASTER, husband of mine!!! Pretty please?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

daddy huntin'?

Jeff's gone hunting all week so it's just the kids and I. This means a few things.

1) Nothing can break. {If something does break - it stays broken until he gets back unless I get fed up and throw it away and buy a new one. I'm completely useless when it comes to "fixing" things like that.}

2) We're eating a lot of "easy" food {the kids may or may not refer to this as "Dad's-gone-food". Grilled cheese. Granola. Pancakes. The kind of food that on normal days wouldn't be classified (or qualify in my brain) as "dinner" choices, but we're making this week fun. :)

3) I have someone different in my bed every night (no, not that kind!). It's been Fischer for the past 2 nights, but towards the end of the week I have a feeling the other kids are going to start asking to take turns sleeping in my bed too. {I'm not going to lie, I love it.}

4) We watch more movies. Snuggling on the couch and sitting so close that we're all touching just seems to be more of a necessity when Jeff's gone. It's like we all subconsciously bond together and like little groupies we watch Curious George and Finding Nemo like we haven't seen them a bazillion times already. {Whatever it takes to keep Fischer from asking again, "Why Dada huntin'? Daddy home?"}

I never love it when Jeff's gone. We're a team and when he's out of town I feel like I'm pulling the weight for both of us, but the kids and I always have a good time you know...most of the time. I do love that I know he's in his element. He's out in the wilderness, sleeping in a tent with his best friends, hiking mountains and (hopefully!) shooting an elk! :)

That being said... T minus 5 days until he's home!

Friday, September 12, 2014

even if our eyes can't see

"But it's too wonderful!" Abraham said. "How can it be true?"
"Is anything too good to be true?" God asked. "Is anything too wonderful for me?"
So Abraham trusted what God said more than what his eyes could see. And he believed.

- From Jesus Storybook Bible

{Nothing is too good to be true. Nothing is too wonderful for God. So we're going to trust - we're going to believe - even if our eyes can't see.}

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

teeny tiny town

I got a call today while I was at work (at the teeny tiny post office in our teeny tiny town). The call was from the manager of all the buses/bus drivers up at the teeny tiny charter school that our kids go to. This is literally what he said:

"Karey! I'm in desperate need for more bus drivers this afternoon. I know you're at the post office right now and that your Dad is babysitting Fischer but I was wondering what you'd think about me sending Amy Rose {his recently-graduated-from-high-school daughter} over to your parents' house to babysit Fischer until you get done with work so that your current babysitter can come and drive bus?"

I love small town living. :)

{And everything worked out because my Mom got home from town in time to watch Fischer so my Dad could drive bus but still - it just cracks me up how our town pulls together to make stuff work.}

Friday, August 29, 2014

goodbye, summer

We spent our last summer afternoon at the lake today. All we have left of summer break is a three-day weekend. Then it's over. Gone. Zilch. Nada. And back to the grind.


Even though the days flew past entirely too quickly, we have made an immense amount of memories this summer and that's something, right? Such a great summer - one for the books, that's for sure!

Here's to freshly sharpened pencils, watching the local high school football team play their games under the big lights, new back packs, waving to the school bus, having a schedule again, watching the leaves change colors, soccer games while sipping hot caramel apple cider, walks in the crisp air, and.....hunting season! :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

i smell bacon

So...mama got a job.

It's part time (only 8-12 hours a week for now) but I'm pretty stoked about it; mostly because I'm so flattered I got asked to do it. :) I randomly got a call from someone in our community telling me they'd love to have me work for them (at our local post office) and just asking me to think, talk, and pray about it with my husband and get back to her. So we did.

I started training yesterday morning. It's a lot of remembering. A lot of repetition. A lot of routine. A lot that I'm just going to have to practice to get the hang of it. The more I do it the easier (and faster!) it will be. I really enjoyed it though! For now I'll be working every Wednesday (all day) and then every other Saturday morning.

I haven't had a job outside the home (or a paycheck with my name on it!) since 2002 and it feels weird, but I'm excited to have something that works my brain, lets me have adult interaction, and is fun to do!

Jeff has brought home the bacon thus far, but now I get to bring home half of a slice too! :)

photo credit

Monday, August 25, 2014

toddler town

Jeff's parents were babysitting his younger sister's daughter (Xlya) and invited us down to their house to visit for a while on Saturday. Xyla is 6 weeks younger than Fischer and the two of them together is always just hysterical! Their personalities are very different, so watching them interact as they get older is so comical! I love our sweet little niece so much!