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!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

bakin' like I'm gettin' paid to do it

Jeff and I had an amazing weekend away! We spent one night on the Umpqua River and spent the next day relaxing, fishing, swimming (my yearly prove-I-can-still-doggy-paddle-swim-even-though-I-hate-the-water), eating delicious food, drinking delicious coffee, and laying in the sunshine. It was great.

After our fun night/day at the Umpqua we made our way to Florence on Saturday night where we stayed that night. We went out to dinner and then got to sleep in the next morning before meeting my parents at church with the kids. We had a fabulous time (and so did the kids!) so it was a great weekend!

Before we left for the weekend, Jeff surprised me with a KitchenAid Mixer (and ice cream maker attachment!) and it was love at first sight.

I mean, seriously - isn't it gorgeous!?

I've been baking like crazy this past week! Actually, it's almost embarrassing but delicious.

So far I've made 2 loaves of banana bread, 2 batches of cookies, pizza dough, 2 loaves of regular bread, 3 quarts of ice cream, a batch of muffins, and 2 dozen cinnamon rolls (don't worry - we've been sharing with others).  When I list it out I see how it's down right ridiculous! haha

I need to figure out how to use my new power for good and not for evil.

At least I've been keeping up with my sweaty workouts. ;)

 I'm a little scared that now that school's starting I'm going to still want to bake but not have little people around to eat it, so my goal is to start exploring really healthy recipes to make. ...I'll keep ya updated on that goal. ;)

Hope everyone is having a great last few weeks of Summer! Did the past 2 months go by crazy fast to anyone else!? I'm glad the kids are stoked for school to start because I'm sure not! :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

making it through Mono

Natalie all dressed up (crazy!) to cheer me on at the half marathon last month. I just adore this girl! :)
Test results came back and unfortunately Natalie's got Mono. I'm glad that we at least know what it is, but still, that word kind of scares me. My brother got Mono his freshman year of college and he was so sick for so long (and it took such a toll on his body) that he couldn't even try out to be the kicker for his college's football team because he was just so weak. However, since Natalie is quite a bit younger than Jeremy was when he got it, it seems like she's getting through it much more quickly.

We went to the lake yesterday so that the boys could get some energy out (Natalie hung out with me on the lawn) and it was so nice to just get out of the house and in the fresh air for a bit. Feels like we've been stuck "resting" for so long. Then last night when Jeff got home he decided to get his work out in and it inspired me to go for a quick run while he was lifting weights. I put Fischer in the stroller and off we went. We did four miles (well Fischer didn't really do anything except point out all the animals we saw along the way and make their noises but still...), which is not a "long" run at all anymore, so I decided to push it and try to go a little faster than normal. My first mile was a 7:55 pace (!!!) and the next mile my average was 8:15 pace (which is still pretty quick for me!) and all four ended up being at about an 8:50 pace (I definitely slowed down as I went along, but still!). I was happy with that! :)

Today is, you guessed it, resting some more for Natalie. Luckily it's cloudy out and not too hot (not the 101 degree weather we had on Monday! Yuck!) so it doesn't feel miserable just hanging out. In fact, this weather gets me excited for the fall!

Getting through this week hasn't been too bad because Jeff and I are going away this weekend for our anniversary and I'm unbelievably excited! I have no idea what we're doing (he won't tell me!) which makes it even better! I'm so thankful that my parents offered to have the kids for the weekend so we could get away. They love our kids more than they love me so much and we soooooo appreciate how involved they are!

Oh, and just because, here's a picture of Carter and Jack yesterday morning (at 6:40!) heading outside to play. I seriously love raising kids in the country (and not just because we can shoo them outside in the early morning hours and not worry that they're waking the whole neighborhood). ;)

Monday, August 11, 2014

living it out

I have all my little ducklings with me now and it feels right. Last night Jeff and I sat on our back patio in camp chairs sipping smoothies (full of probiotics, vitamin C, and other please-help-us-not-get-sick stuff). We got to just talk and take some deep breaths while giggling watching Jack showing Fischer how to pee off the patio onto the grass. We laughed out loud when Fischer exclaimed, "Yay! Pee-pee ow-thide!!!" Half of us are still sick (and actually haven't even heard back from any doctors as to what's actually wrong with Natalie) but we've been trying to just be as healthful as we can and power through it.

This past week has just been an adventure. Not just with the kids getting shifted around and all the illness, but also as far as discussions about our family, about the fall (sports, work, hunting, etc.), about our kids, about us, and it's been fun wading through it all in the random 2 minute increments we've been afforded to actually discuss stuff.

It's amazing how few words you actually need when you don't have time to waste any.

All this stuff going on is our life. This is the good stuff. The taking steps in faith when we know it's right, even when it scares us half to death. 

Even though living it out can be hard and sometimes heart breaking and there's always something you don't expect around the corner, it's worth it. It's in the difficult and unexpected that we get to hold His hand and trust that He's holding us. Even the seemingly impossible can be fun because this life we've been given is an adventure that we intend to LIVE!

photo credit

Saturday, August 9, 2014

what the?

I'm hoping that writing this won't make people want to never come to our house but...

I mentioned that Fischer wasn't feeling well earlier this week. All that and more stuff just kept developing as the days went on. I took Fischer in and found out he has Pink Eye (gross!) so we got him started on medication to clear that up but he's been a bear all week because he's been so miserable. Then we got a call from my birth-Mom (Jolene) saying that Natalie's throat had been hurting all week but Natalie had been down playing it (she's actually really tough!) so Jolene looked in her throat and sure enough - white puss and swollen tonsils, etc. so Jeff and I had to think quickly and decide what to do (she was 3 hours away).

So...since Jeff was leaving on a fishing trip (which he suddenly felt horrible about going on because he didn't want to leave me with all this but I knew he really did want to go {I don't blame him, I would too!} so I told him to just go and have a good time, he needed the break). Anyway, I decided I'd just drive over (yesterday) with Jack and Fischer and pick up Natalie and try to get her to the doctor to get tested for strep. We decided that since Jack was feeling fine, to leave him there with Carter and let them hang there for the rest of the weekend (everyone was excited about that, so that was nice! And Jolene and Scott will bring them back home tomorrow).

I drove over 400 miles yesterday with two sick kids and then after that went to the doctor (at 8pm!) to have Natalie seen. They did the rapid strep test and it came back negative (which really surprised me!). The doctor (whom we love!) said he thinks it's Mono from the looks of it {insert mild freak out on my part here} but we're waiting to test for that until the regular strep test comes back negative.

Poor Natalie is miserable (but doesn't complain - she's amazing!) and I feel awful for her! I'm nervous about it getting passed around, but I guess the younger you are the easier it is on your system and the quicker you get over it so if the boys do get it (praying they don't!) it shouldn't hit them as hard as it is her (unless it's strep - then this is all a "moo point" {"it's a cow's doesn't matter"} - 10 points if you know where that quote is from).

Our weekend hasn't been what we planned but this is how  life goes, right? We're trying to just roll with the punches and take things as they come and act like I'm not as anxious for Jeff to get back tonight as I am. ;)

Deep breaths and round house kicks! We'll make it through!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

summertime, sickness, and snuggles

What a whirlwind of a summer this year! It felt like we were just getting it all started when I realized I was flipping the calendar to August and justlikethat we have less than four weeks left until school starts again {someone hold me}. I feel like throwing a but-that's-not-fair!!! fit, but I'll refrain this time and attempt to enjoy the days we have left to their fullest extent.

This past weekend we drove to central Oregon to drop off Natalie and Carter with my birth-Mom and her husband for the week. They do this every summer and always look forward to all the one-on-one time they get (and the younger boys enjoy that at home and at my parent's place this week too!). On our way home I noticed that both Jack and Fischer weren't feeling all that great and over the past three days they've had coughs, fevers, diarrhea, and headaches. Our one-on-one time got bumped up a notch (not in the way we planned), but we're making the most of it.

Fischer woke up this morning with extra nastiness from head to toe and everything he touched during the night (Curious George, his special blanket, sheets, pillowcase, etc.) all got thrown in the wash while he was in the bath. His poor eyes are all goopy and red and his tummy is obviously not feeling much better yet. I wanted so badly to make this week really fun for Jack (who didn't want to be away from us for a whole week but also didn't want to be 'left out' either) but we're just having to take things as they come this week and not make too many plans that may have to be cancelled because of Fischer.

That being said, Friday I'm hoping to take the boys (if they're feeling better) blueberry picking (we're not on our best game this year because we haven't gone yet and the season is over for most farms already!) Then on Saturday Jeff is going fishing on the Columbia River with his Dad and brother and I'm hoping to pick up some fabric to start some sewing projects! Sunday we'll get Natalie and Carter back (can't wait!).

Right now though it's probiotics for the tummy, The Lego Movie for the bazillionth time for sanity, laundry and baths for obvious reasons, and toddler-wearing with the Ergo because it's added weight for mild exercise and snuggles in one. ;)

Here's to feeling better SOON!