Friday, December 20, 2013

Don't cry mom...

Last night when we were putting the girls to bed, Sage said to me, "don't cry tomorrow mom." Upon hearing this, my husband laughed out loud and told Sage that he'd buy her a car if I didn't.  My neighbor wanted in on the deal, and he was so confident, he agreed.

Neither are getting a car.  I didn't cry, I blubbered.

Asking me not to feel sad when I put any of my babies on a plane is like asking me not to breath.  My heart literally feels like it's breaking.  I sit here, waiting for their plane to take off and wipe the tears away, willing to be anywhere else and wishing they were there with me.  

When my husband left this morning, he kissed me goodbye and reminded me that I had to take this journey today in order to get all my babies home next Sunday, the 29th.  I tried to think that way today, but when the attendant takes them from me and I have to watch them disappear... I can't help but to feel heartache,  I'm stuck in that moment.

Today, for the second year in a row, the girls had a two hour delay which led them to missing school and allowed some extra time with me.  I had initially intended them to go, but was grateful for the excuse to keep them home.  After all, no point in going just for an hour.  So, I just enjoyed their presence and tried to forget about this afternoon.  

Now, As I wait for them to take off, I pray for their safe return and will them to know how much I love them.  My message to you my dear readers, is to hug your loved ones close this Christmas.  Forget about the presents and stress of buying the right gift... A child in your lap or a sweetheart in your arms is all you need. 

Merry Christmas my sweeties... Hug each other for me and I'll see all four of you soon!  And remember, I love you all to the moon and stars and back...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

My sweet Sam

Taken February 10, 2005
Love.  These two photos are priceless to me. I love how peaceful both Sam and Saxton look, sleeping like babies.    They remind me of all the times I found one of my little ones out of their bed and snuggled up with a sibling.  For some reason they woke up scared or lost and somehow found themselves searching for a safe place to sleep, to find comfort in another.  They also remind me of what a sweet boy I have.  My little Sam was a doll baby from the moment he was born.  This kind, soft soul with a heart of gold.  When I was pregnant with Sage he was just one, but already had the notion to treat me with gentleness and loved to kiss and talk to my tummy.  Sam was three when Saxton was born and just as excited, the smile on his face when he saw his new baby sister is an image i'll never forget.  He's an amazing brother and I'm so blessed to have him as my first born son.  I love you Bubbie, to the moon and stars and back!

You are beautiful inside and out!

Despite many people thinking otherwise, I wasn't surprised, but instead truly grateful to find out my first baby was going to be a little girl.  It was January 1998 and my Ex and I were in Indianapolis having our first ultrasound.  Shortly after the tech gave us the good news, she saw something that obviously upset her.  She sent us to the waiting room and even though we thought we were done, we were called back for the Doctor to have another look.  With a long face, the doctor informed us that my cervix might already be shortening and I might go into premature labor.  I was only 21 weeks or so and it was way too early.

I remember going home in tears with a heavy heart and an appointment the next day at the hospital for a high definition ultra sound.  Never will I forget the sick feeling in my stomach and the worry that enveloped me that I might lose my baby.  After all, my prayers had been answered and she was otherwise healthy and beautiful.

The next day I drove by myself to the hospital and after getting undressed, had to lay in this huge, cold room.  I remember how sterile it seemed and how scared I felt.  However, just minutes later the new tech informed me that there must have been some mistake, that everything looked fine and that my tiny one would be okay.  I cried again, but this time they were tears of joy.  I smiled the whole way home.

Now she is almost grown, a beautiful fifteen year old with a sunshine smile that could light up even the darkest room.  I can't imagine my life without her.  She has been my little co-pilot, riding along a sometimes very treacherous journey with me.  She's this gorgeous sprite and I often can't believe that she is mine.  How could I be so lucky to have created something so spectacular, a true gift from God.

Life is hard, growing up is never easy.  The judgement that we sometimes inflict on ourselves is often ten times worse than what anyone else could do.  As a parent, if I can give anything to my children, it would be the knowledge that they are all perfectly made and special because of their individual gifts, personalities and beauty.  You can always compare yourself to others, tell yourself that they are prettier than you, smarter than you, ect... That's not allowed, because they are not you, never could they be you, nor give to the world all the sparkle that only you can give, the love only you can show.  You are a treasure.


My little Savannah, you have no idea how wonderful you are, how I miss you when you are gone and pray everyday for your brightness to return.  You are beautiful, inside and out.  I love you to the moon and stars and back!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Solo Swimming in the Big Pool.

A week ago my little Max took a literal leap away from me and into the big pool all by himself.  Yes, there was an instructor catching him, but hopefully you get my point.  As I stood watching him in his very first Super Pike swimming class (he tested right out of Pike, my little fish) I was overwhelmed with emotion.  I looked beyond him and saw the parent-child class that we had been in just a few weeks earlier and I couldn't believe how time has flown by.  Weeks pass like days and my littlest one, after just under three years of lessons with mom, has now flown the aquatic nest.  

I expected tears when I left him with his teacher and I got them, not from him, he was all smiles, no they came from me.  At first I was surprised as the almost subconscious emotions caused my eyes to water and then spill over my cheeks.  However  I soon realized, that this is was the faithful and all too familiar feeling of letting go.   Flashes of the past began to cross my mind; first days of pre-school and then kindergarten that have morphed into sobbing in an airport terminal.  There is nothing quite like the heartbreak of letting your babies go. 

I'm confident the ensuing good-byes won't get any easier, time and experience has proven as much.  None the less, today during swimming when Max's eyes met mine, as his smile grew bigger and he waved a big ol' wave, I realized something... That the sweet moments that lead up to those emotional cross-roads and the love that then is carried beyond them, is what makes this crazy life all worth while.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Life isn't always how you perceive it.

Life isn't how you perceive it.

A puddle formed by the rain in a muddy field can allow for a perfect reflection of a gorgeous sunset.  

A walk and a three year old's bike ride can turn into a photo shoot.

All of the ugliness can be tossed aside allowing only the perfection of nature's art to remain.  

After all, If I can teach my children anything, it is to see beauty in even the muddiest of situations.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Our little, big Max.

Whoever knew the nearly proper pronounciation of the word elephant would make the kids and I so sad today. Max can say "el-phant" versus "ela-fa-nent." He even properly said truck... versus the explicative version he's only ever said before.  As the kids quizzed him on other words, we all realized that our little Max is growing up. 

Today I signed him up for big boy swim lessons.  After almost three years of parent child classes I'm sad to be seeing my little guy moving on.  But he was ready, proudly swimming the whole length of the pool by himself last Wednesday, with only the aid of a puddle hopper.  Way to go Max!

Tonight after soccer, Sage was telling me how she was sad about her baby brother becoming a big boy.  When we arrived home, she raced upstairs to see if he was awake.  He was in bed, but not sleeping, so she snuck in his room.  We could hear the two of them giggling, sharing little secrets all their own.   

A little later, after she headed to bed and he called for me, I had my own snuggle time.  I rocked and sang him a few lullabies, including "sister Savannah's song." Yes, he might be growing up, but like his older siblings, he'll always be my baby. 

Good-night to all my babies.  I love you to the moon and stars and back.  

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I heart Twilight

A button says a thousand words.  

Tonight when I was getting out of my car, there on the dashboard was this button.  It had literally appeared out of thin air and I hadn't seen it since Savannah, Sam, Max and I took our super long day trip this summer up to the isolated city of Forks, Washington.  For those of you who don't know, Forks is the backdrop for the Twilight series.  We had decided late on a Sunday night to head out early the next day to Forks, a trip prompted by Sam's desire to see Vampires.  This button is the second sign in two days.  You might laugh and say I could seek out signs all day long and that's true.  However the difference is, these have sought out me.  I don't think they are coincidences, these signs.  Instead they are little gifts to get me through the days until I can see my two oldest babies again.  


Friday, November 1, 2013

My little ladybug

My little lady bug…

This afternoon, I was cleaning, taking the recycling out, rushing about my day, when out of the blue, a little lady bug landed on my arm.  It stayed there for just a moment, an unspoken message.

My Savannah and I were on the phone a few days ago and she told me about a ladybug that had made it all the way up into her room.  I laughed and told her that I had sent it, my love had found her.  

So you see, today when I saw my own little visitor
gently landing on my sleeve, I knew she had sent it in return.

Love is amazing.  No matter the distance, the circumstances, no matter what, true love, a mother's love, knows no bounds.  

I love you sweet girl, to the moon and stars, moon and stars and back.

Below is an excerpt from the book Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You 

And if someday you're lonely, 
or someday you're sad, 
or you strike out at baseball, 
or think you've been bad...

just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair.
That's me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.

In the green of the the smell of the sea...
in the clouds floating the top of a tree...
in the sound crickets make at the end of the day...

"You are loved.  You are loved.  You are loved," they all say.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My green children

Life in a bottle:

These two bottles contain trimmings from two of my daughter's birth plants.  I know this sounds strange, but one is from when Savannah was born.  We got it when we lived in our apartment in Bloomingdale, a suburb just outside of Chicago.  The other is from a plant left on our apartment doorstep in Albuquerque.  A neighbor left it without a note, when I was in the PICU with Sage when she was just a week old.  

I have become attached to these and others that I call the kid's "birth plants."  To me, they're priceless.  I was heartbroken to hear that Sam's giant plant, which I had to leave when I moved here, was gone.  I had grown that from a little planter I received from my biological father when Sam was born.  He never sent flowers, said they didn't last long and instead sent potted arrangements containing "baby sprouts."  I loved them and grew many of them into large, beautiful "adults."

My little Sam felt bad that I was saddened about the loss of his plant, so when we were at Home Depot this summer, him and I picked out a new one. It's not the same, but it still makes me smile and think if him when I look at it everyday.

Savannah and I also planted this summer. I guess she's inherited the urge to nurture and grow beauty as well.    I laughed as she planned our poses for a picture she wanted of us together gardening, soil, gloves and all.  

It's funny, I didn't realize until now how my father set a precident with me and my green children.  I have told my husband countless times that I prefer plants to cut flowers.  I guess over the years, I have seen too much beauty die or get tossed onto the trash.  To me, each plant has instead become a symbol of helping something flourish and grow. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Throwback to Seahawks Day!

If our lives are rated by the accumulation of memories, then I am blessed that you will forever grace mine.  When my mind clouds over, the thought of your sunshine smile makes all things right.  

One of my favorite memories was brought back today when Savannah sent me a picture from summer.  We were at the Seahawk's Richard Sherman's celebrity softball game.  It was Jerry's birthday and my little Savannah and I, as a present, worked as a team to get autograph's for his hat.  During our mission, we often had to share a single seat (the security guy gave us funny looks as she plopped down in my lap when he made us sit down during the game.) With her Savannah Sunshine smile and dodging the grumpy security guy, she managed to get over a half dozen autographs for him and Russell Wilson's for me.  Kam Chancellor was also a big help!  He passed the hat around. A truly awesome day!

Our son Max, two at the time, is wearing the beloved hat.  My other son Sam is wearing my beloved signed Jersey.

The picture posted below was one of several she insisted on taking of us.  I wasn't a fan of all the retakes, but she reminded me that one day I'd be glad she insisted on them.  Today is that day.  
I love you sweet girl to the moon and stars and back.  I miss you and wish you were here. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Healing "bruises" while in New Mexico.

"These bruises 
Makes for better conversation 
Loses the vibe that separates 
It's good to let you in again 
You're not alone in how you've been 
Everybody loses-we all got bruises..." 

The funny thing is that I had wrongfully presumed that while I was here in New Mexico I would have the opportunity to blog more.  However, while I've been here since last Thursday, it's just been one of those crazy busy trips that seem to stretch time, but steal it at the same instance.  Tomorrow I head back home and I am very excited to see my littles as well as my honey-bee.  He has been a rock star while I have been away juggling work and the girls.  I have also had some very appreciated help from my neighbors and our beloved baby-sitter Kate, today she is even taking them to the movies. Thank you all!

This trip has been a much appreciated opportunity to see my family and friends, as well as work, show Max the Balloons and hike A LOT!  My parents and I have taken several hikes and walks since I have been here (we're supposed to go on my seventh hike/walk in a little while.)  They live just a mile or two from some awesome trailheads that lead up to the Sandia Mountain foothills.  Max has been my little co-hiker and rides in a pack on my back.  I have loved it and the one on one time with both my mom and dad, a very special and unusual treat!  Last Saturday we found a new trail and on Tuesday we hiked even further and found some really cool rock formations.  The whole experience of seeing the mountain and lush landscape in a new perspective, gave us the illusion that we were in a whole new country.

Balloon Fiesta on Saturday morning with my momma and sister Elizabeth

Finally just about done!
Max helping my mom spread rock.
Monday I painted up in Santa Fe at my parents office (which is actually a home) and Wednesday we decided to work on their backyard.  My mom and I laughed nervously as a huge dump truck showed up to deliver EIGHT TONS of rock.  As I began to shovel it over the wall into wheel barrows for my parents to spread around the back of the yard, I decided to challenge myself and see how much of the rock I could do myself.  There was something so therapeutic about the manual labor of it and how it just took about everything I had to complete the task.  My parents did come in and help with the last ton and a half, but I was still really proud for doing most of the shoveling myself.  At one point during the day I thought to myself that this seemed like some sort of "physical work" retreat to gain serenity in both body and mind.

It has also felt good to see some of my people and have some long, deep conversations about life, love and future pursuits.  Sunday, I had a bittersweet blast with my dad at The Fox and The Hound.  While the Seahawks lost a heartbreaker, him and I had an awesome time together, enjoying some very rare one-on-one time.  Elizabeth and the girls and my mom and Max met up with us late in the second half and consoled me on my team's loss.  Then Max and I headed to my good friend Becky and Tushar's house to hang out and allow their three year old son TJ and Max to play.  They were so cute and became friends instantly, jumping in TJ's little motorized vehicles and laughing as they rode around the yard.  We spent the night and were treated an awesome dinner and conversation.  (Thank you for your encouragement in my future personal endeavors... I'll keep you posted!)
At Balloon Fiesta Today!

My sister Kathleen got back in town Monday (we've been together every night this week) and spent the night Wednesday.  We both woke up in the middle of the night and stayed up for over three hours talking.  It was nice to lay in bed and discuss the secrets of our hearts in the dark.  I loved having the opportunity to have a sleep-over with both her and Elizabeth while I was here.  (Sort of Colleen too, but she is in the next room with her hubby!)  My sisters are my best friends and my loves.  Last night Colleen and Jed got in town just in time to eat dinner and I was as happy as a clam sitting between her and Kathleen while we ate.

My family and friends are very important to me and I am blessed to have them in my life.  While I was writing this blog, I heard Train's song, Bruises.  The lyrics spoke to me as I wrote about this trip and called to mind how I do have "bruises," but I am lucky to have people in my life who know of them, have experienced them with me and have only the intention of helping me fix them.  No matter if it was hiking, painting, talking, shoveling or watching balloons, all the events of this week have helped to open my mind and bring peace to my heart.  We all do have bruises and while it's therapeutic to discuss them, it's also just as important to let them them go.  Thank you to my family and friends (my people) for helping me on my journey to continue to do so.  

Side Note:  I have officially hit over 20,000 hits on my blog... Thank you so much to all my readers!  You all keep my dream of writing alive!


Belated Post

Written October 3.

Prelude:  I haven’t watched Sex and the City for years, although it must be noted that I was a devote fan when the series was running.  However last weekend I watched a few episodes and was reminded of the writing aspect of the show.  Basically Carrie wrote a blog like column in pre-blog times.  This was encouraging to me in my own aspirations to take my  writing to another level.  Unfortunately to those who are seeing a sexy blog, at this point (stay tuned) my blog is (for the most part) rated PG and lacking in sexual inferences.   However I am sure I could come up with a funny story or two.  What I can do is liken “Sex in the City” to “Momming in the Suburbs.”   I am proud to say that I’m on the brink of 20,000 hits and while this might seem like small potatoes to some, it’s much appreciated to me and encourages me to write on!  Additionally, one of my biggest challenges is worrying about what my Ex might say about my blogs, I am going to make a huge effort not to (pardon my French) give a shit anymore.  I have found that he will find something horrible and negative to say about me no matter what I do… even if it’s being entered into Sainthood.  As my husband told me recently, those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind. 

What a morning.  So at one point today I was running as fast as I could with a three year old in my arms, as well as my huge purse from my gate, back through the airport, to security.  (I left my other bags and car seat with good Samaritans at the gate so I could move with less bulk.)  It was 11:25, the time my flight was to take off, but thankfully the plane was running a little late.  Max, already so very excited to be flying on a plane, his absolutely favorite things in the world, was very concerned as to why we went from preparing to board, to running full speed away from the gate.  While carrying a purse, backpack, computer bag, car seat and three year old I had indeed forgotten my license and boarding passes.

Fortunately security did have my things.  However, I had to wait anxiously for them to be found and print the documents for me to sign in order for everything to be released back to me.  Then, this time with a three year old on my shoulders, I sprinted full steam back to the gate just in time to make my flight.  I feel a bit sorry for the guy next to me, I’m not sure of my body odor status after sweating buckets in my Seahawks sweatshirt while running my airport Marathon.  I wonder if it’s my disheveled look (my bun became a rats nest while I ran) that caused my flight steward to slip a little something extra into my drink.  (Now I know why he winked at me as he handed me my beverage.)  It could have also been the simple fact that I am traveling with a three year old, who has been phenomenal by the way.  I wish I could spout humorous horror stories of him screaming, kicking or throwing tantrums and get knowing sympathy from other parents, but (knock on wood) I can’t.   Okay, I confess, Southwest now has free TV episodes (Thanks Direct TV) that have helped, along with random games and books I have downloaded to my iPhone and snacks, lots of snacks! I digress.

The reason Max and I are flying (currently) to Albuquerque is to visit my family and friends, as well as to hopefully work a little.  I had originally planned this trip in order to work for my old company selling steel art at the balloon fiesta.  However the booth space we were supposed to get fell through.  With my ability to possibly still work, I decided to go ahead and go.  No matter what, I thankfully have my sisters, nieces and parents all there, as well as some friends of mine, (I lived in Albuquerque from August 2001, to July 2006.)  

Well we are starting to descend and one of the joys today has been to watch a little boy truly marvel and enjoy the whole experience of flying…. So it is here that I sign off.  

Written October 4th
I am at my parent's place now, having spent last night at my sister Elizabeth's house.  Max had a blast there with his two cousins.  They were so cute together.  My sister and I felt like little kids as we had a sleepover together staying up late talking in the dark.  This afternoon my parents and I (with Max on my back) took a hike into the desert with the dogs.  "Just taking the dogs for a walk," turned into a five mile trek.  I loved it and so did Max until he fell fast asleep nestled against my back.

I do have to share a "now it's funny" story about yesterday.  When we arrived in the airport in Albuquerque, Max got very excited about the escalators.  So excited that he decided to go on a few extra rides.  This would have been fine except I was lugging three heavy bags, a lunch box full of toys and a bulky carseat.  So when we finally made it back the baggage claim floor I called for Max and headed to get our bags.  However, Max wasn't quit done with his escalator escapades and headed towards them yet again.  Then, just as he was going up, I called out for him to stop and get off.  God bless him, he did turn around and tried to do just that, but fell and was being drug up feet first and with his head down.  I raced to help and in the process of grabbing for him, I dropped the car seat down the escalator stairs causing audible gasps from nearby spectators.  Yes, not my finest mommy moment.  But thankfully he was perfectly fine, just scared and I guess now we are able to laugh about it.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Miracles do happen.

Today was a day where I regained hope that miracles do happen. 

I just want to thank God for saving my mother-in-law today.  She was in a horrendous accident and came away with just a sore elbow after they literally had to use the jaws of life to release her from the truck. 

Grandma, as I call her, is one of the most loving, caring people I know.  Her and my father-in-law (Papa) are amazing.  They both live with integrity and practice true, unconditional love.  From the very beginning, they welcomed me and my little ones into their family literally with open arms. 

The ironic thing was that Papa was at the church mowing when it happened.  They are both devote Catholics and very involved in their church.  I truly believe an angel  followed Grandma on her trip today and watched over her during her accident.  After seeing the damage to the truck, there really isn't any other explanation. 

At times I wonder if God hears our prayers, but today I know that he's been listening.  He saved a wife, a mother and a grandmother and speaking for all of us who truly love her, we thank Him very much.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Edge of Childhood

Today we took the little ones to Bullwinkle'l Family Fun Center.  After we had played games (we really liked this milk jug game), Saxton and Max decided to go play in Kidopolis and Sage initially chose not to.  Figuring she was too big, she decided to hang with the parents.  However, after a little while and after watching how much fun her younger siblings were having, I could tell she was reconsidering her decision.

Finally, I coaxed her to take off her shoes and get measured, (Sage was worried she was too tall.)  We laughed as she literally made it in by a hair and she smiled as he made her way to her sister and brother.  When we finally called them to go, they were grinning and telling us how much fun they had.  I was happy that I'd encouraged my Sage to go ahead and just be little. After all, childhood goes by in just a blink.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A secret between sisters.

H a P p Y   B i R t H d A y   Kathleen!!!

September 24, 2009 Las Vegas Birthday Trip!  
September 25, 2009 Las Vegas!
Four years ago today I was in Vegas with my family celebrating all of our birthdays.  The trip was more than that though.  An hour before I flew from Denver  (I was living in Colorado at the time) to Nevada, my Ex flew to California.  His choice forever changed the fate of our family.  I was an emotional wreck when I landed in Vegas  (September had been a long emotionally and physically draining month.  I lost over ten pounds in three weeks), so by the time I arrived at our hotel I was literally shaking.  Somehow I knew that day, that my life would never be the same.    

I remember walking through the lobby of the Venetian and looking around for my sister Kathleen who had come down from my parent's room to get me.  When we saw one another, we literally ran and jumped in each-other's arms, laughing, crying and hugging.  It's one of those moments I will never forget.  I was finally safe in loving arms and you have no idea how good that felt.  It was raw love.  A few hours later, at exactly midnight, we rang in Kathleen's 29th birthday.  Needless to say, we had a blast!  

Throughout the years my sister Kathleen has walked by my side through many of my life changing paths.  Either there in person or in spirit, I have always been able to count on her.  She, like all my siblings, is my best friend.  Ironically, she is the reason that I am with my husband.  She was there the night we met and actually encouraged him to sit down by us.  Little did we know, how she had just had a hand in aligning the stars.

Kathleen I love you.  I love you in the purest form of the word.  We understand and feel each other's emotions in almost an indescribable way.  God had a plan in giving us one another and I am grateful for you every second of every day.

Happy Birthday Dear Sister!  I love you and hope all your dreams come true!

December 31, 2008 in Estes Park, Colorado
Side Note:  I love this picture.  It was taken while I was still living in Colorado.  We had come up on New Year's Eve to go sledding in Rocky Mountain National Park.  It was a very fun day!  We were wet and cold, but happy when we stopped in Estes Park to get some warm comfort food.  This pictures us in our own little world, almost like we were young children again, sharing a secret between us.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Parenting in the fast lane.

While driving 50 in the carpool lane today, I looked over at the right two lanes sitting still and I realized that having a three year old passenger did have its advantages.  However, a few minutes later when he was making sirin noises as loud as he could I questioned that reasoning. 

Motherhood.  It's a fragile balance between a positive and negative attitude.  Today Max came along with me to a meeting In the city.  It went as well as can be expected with a busy toddler in tow.  But one thing I remember about the drive, was his awe and fascination with the sky scrapers.  He loved the big buildings and the tunnels in the city.  Which inspired this thought; sometimes parenthood is the carpool lane and sometimes it's a traffic jam, but no matter what, the view is the same, so you might as well enjoy it. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

That's what sisters are for.

Today my baby sister Colleen turns twenty five.  A fact that makes me feel both nostalgic and a little old, after all I was twelve when she was born.  I remember her "birth" day like it was yesterday and thank God all the time for her.  She brings such humor and spunk to our lives and truly brought love to mine at a much needed time in my life.  

called her this morning and sang with my best voice H a P p Y   B i r T h D a Y! 
She called back while I was in Costco with Max, but I sang her another quick rendition not caring who heard.  She heard her monkey (his given name from his Aunt) in the background and asked about him.  I professed by telling her how earlier I looked in the mirror in Costco's bathroom and saw that my shirt was holey and see through enough that you could see my black and white bra.  That along with my messy hair was enough for me to wish for no run ins with anyone I knew.  (For those of you who know me well, know I don't often care what I wear unless I'm working.  I have clothes older than Savannah in my closet, but even I had crossed my own fine line in the sand.) 

Anyhow, I continued to tell her how Max was literally monkeying around in the cart.  So at one point, I pointed to this well behaved little girl and encouraged him to sit nice like her.  Then to my horror, I saw who was pushing the cart.  It was a mom I ran into frequently at the YMCA, who of course looked cute as a button.  She smiled a kind smile, but it could have easily been one of sympathy at how disheveled I looked.  Smiling sheepishly, I walked away.  Hey, I wanted to say, In my defense I had to rush out of the house to get one to band before school and home to get another off to the bus.  Then I was off to run several errands.  Although I admit it wouldn't have hurt to look in a mirror.  

So I went on and shared with her my feelings of ineptness, knowing full well that she wouldn't judge me.  I didn't tell her that the shirt I was wearing was the one I found left behind at the Dave Matthew's concert that her and I went to a few weeks ago.  After wearing it today, I realized why they threw it to the ground, probably after replacing it with a newer model.  Nonetheless, I will wear it again, although maybe next time I'll at least wear a cami underneath.  Hey, one person's literal trash is another DMB fan's treasure.  

When I was finished regergitating all this to her about how attractive I was looking today, she made me bust out laughing after making some comment about making out.  She never lets me take life too seriously and quickly I was back to proudly sporting my new (even if used) DMB T-shirt.  

I am lucky to have many blessings and my sisters are three of my biggest. All different, yet special, they add something to my life that I couldn't live without.  

I love you Colleen, Elizabeth and Kathleen and miss you so much.  

H a P p Y   Bi R t H d A y my sweet, funny and adorable baby sister!  Thank you for everything you've done for me and all you've brought into my life! May all your wishes come true!!!

Taken by my honey 9-1-13 at DMB concert. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Seahawks and Seattle

I loved today.  The game was awesome and the crowd electric as the Seahawks beat the Jaguars.  There is nothing better on a crisp fall day than a football game.  Tailgating and then the walk with other Seahawk fans to the stadium is Ike a giant party where everyone radiates excitement.  The actual game is almost indescribable.  Unless you've been to Century Link, it's impossible to comprehend how loud the crowd truly is. Today I was most defintely part of the roar, cheering my heart out during each defensive down.  The twelfth man truly is a force to be reckoned with.  
After the awesome Seahawks win, we decided to get some dinner in West Seattle on Alki Beach.  After a day of showers and sunshine, the clouds and the setting sun were gorgeous over the Sound.  We had an amazing, yet very reasonable dinner at Cactus where our waitress even bought us desert. Yum! 
Our day ended with a walk along the beach and an abandoned fire pit.  Seattle is a special in the way Puget Sound weaves through.  This allows for fabulous views, yet the water blankets enough of the light pollution to where you still are able to see stars as well as the city skyline.  Tonight the cold wind blew away most of the beach goers so that at times we had the beach to ourselves. Having been to Alki many times when the weather is warm and the shoreline is packed, the isolation we happened upon was rare and special.  
Life is hectic and often we find ourselves wondering if we're coming or going.  This makes days like today much appreciated. Where instead of running yourself ragged, you're able to just be.  (Even if that does include, screaming your head off.) 

Good-night and Go Hawks! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

David Vs Goliath, Colorado State Pride

Today I watched CSU battle against the defending National Champions and number one ranked Alabama.  The final score isn't an accurate representation of how well Colorado State played, especially the defense.  They didn't allow Alabama a third down conversion until the very end of the game.  I truly was proud of my Rams.  

One of my favorite quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird, is when Atticus Finch says, "Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It's knowing you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."  Colorado State didn't win on the scoreboard, but I was proud to call them my team.  

From a young girl who used to study at her locker and never missed class, to a mother who had to put school on hold for her family, no one was more excited than I was when I graduated from CSU in December, 2008.  It wasn't where I started my college career, but it's where I finished and that made all the difference. CSU became a place of peace and solitude for me and I will forever be grateful. 

No we didn't win, but because we didn't give up, we didn't get beat either. The people of Colorado have been taking some licks, but after the spirit I saw today, I know they'll right themselves again, I'm sure of that.

I can hear them chanting all the way from Washington, "I said, I'm proud, to be, a CSU Ram!!!"

To donate to the flood relief check out and purchase a t-shirt! With matching grants, 100% proceeds go to relief efforts!!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

A flashback Friday!

Do you ever wish you could jump inside of a video or photograph?!?  I do, all the time.  I loved this day.  We drove and took the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle, about an hour ride and I remember the way Savannah squealed when she was feeding the seagulls.  The weather was gorgeous, making an amazing backdrop to our adventure.  After we arrived in the city we walked around Pike Place Market.  The whole afternoon was just lovely, as quaint as it sounds, the word fits perfect.

I miss and love you my little ones to the moon and stars and back!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hit the Target and Found Footies For Savannah

You could probably hear our laughter all through Target's dressing area.  Jerry said he could hear me across the whole store.  The funny thing is, that one of the people laughing was literally hundreds of miles away.  Thanks to technology, my daughter Savannah and I were both hootin' and hollering at the selfie I had just sent her of me posing in footie pajamas.

My Savannah has homecoming next weekend and as part of the festivities, they have a Throwback Thursday during spirit week.  So yesterday she asked me if I could get her some footie pajamas and send them to her.  Having sadly missed out on getting her a homecoming dress, I was grateful to be able to participate in some way, even if it meant purchasing giant size footies.

So via snapchat, we narrowed it down to a couple different styles and I decided to surprise her and put them on to check sizes as well as model them for her.  I tried on a small because that was the closest that was going to fit her and I wanted to see if the pjs were going to even be close.  They fit snug, but my gosh they were the most comfy things I think I've worn since I was a toddler and actually wore footies on a regular basis.  I was so jealous of Max that he got to sport such comfort every night and later told my husband I want a pair.  (If you want a pair visit

Anyway, that's where the giggles and uncontrollable laughter cues in.  I called her and told her I sent a snapchat of them on me and the second that Savannah saw the picture, she lost it.  However, I knew I was in trouble when I saw she took a screen shot.  It was only a matter of seconds and she had shared it with her best friend and boyfriend.  What I have to admit, is that I loved every minute of it.  I loved being able to feel like we were actually together, school shopping of sorts, bonding over homecoming attire and laughing the whole time.  I say it frequently, but I am going to say it again... I miss her and Sam like crazy.  Maybe that's why I found myself, in Target's fitting room, in Max's pajamas, taking dreaded selfies.

I hope you like them Savannah Banana.  Maybe I will get another pair for me and we can be twins the next time we're together.

Good-night, I love you both, to the moon and stars, moon and stars and back!

Update:  My Savannah in her Snuggies!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sparkly Savannah

When I think of you, you're this little girl, patent leather shoes, spunky little outfit, eight years old with the weight of the world already on your shoulders.  I look at old photographs and wish so badly to be able to jump into those pictures, hug you tightly and tell you everything is going to be okay.  I was looking through several from this day, most were smiley pictures, except for this one.  Here you are lost in your own thoughts, off by yourself.  Looking back at this photo, it's almost as if this unforeseeable force swooped in and stole you away from me.

I naively thought for so many years that I could protect you from all the bad in the world, I was wrong.  I wish every second, of everyday that you were here, you and your brother.  I remember you as babies, snuggled close to me after I nursed you to sleep.  How can it be that you are so far away?  I miss you so much it hurts.

My little Savannah, you're growing up so fast, this beautiful young lady with a personality that lights up a room.  I want you to know one thing, that you deserve every happiness.  I am so proud of you, so humbled at how greatly you love and how brightly you shine.  You're amazing and I am so blessed to call you mine... I know I have said things like this before, but I also know you can't say them too much.

I love you my Savannah and my sweet little Sam, I miss you, I wish you were here.

Good night... I love you to the moon and stars, moon and stars and back.

P.S.  I know you read these and my Sam doesn't.  Can you please hug him for me and have him hug you back.


He buys me my favorite Coffee-mate creamer.

First, read this blog post:

I Didn't Love My Wife When We Got Married

Elad NehoraiSep 11, 2013

The concept of an acting love is one I am  thankful to know.  I have talked before how my sister, after listening to me go on and on about how wonderful my husband was, stopped me and reminded me that yes, he was wonderful, but that the way he was treating me was normal, what I deserved. To me it was still foreign and everyday I'm still grateful.  

Monday I wasn't feeling well (that's why I was naughty and didn't blog). He came home from work and I was cranky. It started when my ironing board broke (Max tried to surf on it... Max won). Something silly, but actually very annoying when you are trying to iron. In comes my prince charming, my knight and shining save-me-from-myself armor. He hugged me, massaged my shoulders and brought me slowly to my center. We had a chat and I felt better. I thanked him, he was acting in love.

My husband isn't overly lovey-dovey, but that's not to be confused with not being complimentary. When I am feeling low about my post five pregnancies body, he is always there to pick me up. When I didn't think I was capable, he made me feel beautiful. It's easy to throw a women a line, it's harder to make her believe it.  That is where the work comes in, the action of making her believe what you say.

People say it's the little things that matter, I agree. It's finding my phone on my charger when it was dead and I was too busy to put it there. Bringing home my favorite treat, taking a walk around the neighborhood, listening to my silly stories, stopping so I can photograph something, welcoming my family with open arms when they visit, helping me put the kids to bed, always kissing me good-bye in the morning, sleeping on the couch-bed in the hospital for days in a row so I wouldn't be alone when I was on bed-rest. It's taking the boys for haircuts tonight and encouraging me to take some time and go for a bike ride.  

My husband doesn't just do these things for me, but also our kids. When I was working my trade show in August, he piled them all in the car to go school shopping because Old Navy was having a one day jean sale.  He recently surprised Saxton with a case for her tablet that she'd been asking for. (It was so cute seeing her open the mail box and smile all the way home with her prize.) A rose on a special day or grapes for lunch because he knows they like them. He was the one last year who woke up Sage early every Tuesday and Friday for band and drove Saxton this morning for her band try-outs. Not because I won't, he's just being helpful. It's going to Wild Waves or the fair on his one weekend day off instead of watching baseball or football. It's the little things after all.

I am blessed with my husband and the fact that he chooses daily to do big and sometimes little acts of love.  Even if it is just bringing home my favorite Coffee-mate creamer just before I run out, it's still appreciated. 

I love you honey! Thanks for all you do!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunflower for my sister

A sunflower for my sister.

I photographed this sunflower today with my sister in my heart and on my mind.  She's going through hell right now, so it's important that she knows that I'm here, her big sister has her back.  

A sunflower is special in that it can grow almost anywhere, under all kinds of conditions.  In tough situations it blooms beautifully, withstands the rain, then opens it's face and welcomes the sun.  

My sister, you're amazing and resilient, this too shall pass and I have faith in you.  I love you to the moon and stars and back.