Friday, July 13, 2012

Puppy Love ❤

Life around here has been eventful to say the least.  It all began with one word....


This was a sunny day in March when we brought him home from  Hopes Haven.  He wasted no time in stealing our hearts.  He was so little then, not even eight pounds.  Such a sweet baby!

At first, I reverted back to feeling like a first time mom.  I worried about everything...and I mean everything.  Was he getting enough sleep, was he getting too much sleep, was he eating enough, was he drinking enough, did he have to go potty, does he have to go potty again?

It was easier and calmer then...he didn't take long to turn into a little bundle of energy.

Now he is a toddler.  A 50+ pound toddler.  Thank God his puppy teeth are gone!  He quickly decided we are his personal chew toys and we should like it!  Who needs toys when you have five people who taste so good?  Yes, we have a lot to teach him!

But look at this face....he didn't do it!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dear 37...

Dear 37 Year Old Self,

This is not a year of my life I would like to relive, however I am sure one day when I look back I will think I probably grew more this year than in others.  One day...

This year is most marked by loss.  I learned way more than I ever wished to learn about loss.  My kind & loving sister-in-law Stephanie, my loyal dog Doc and my sweet mother-in-law Pat.  All gone.  Forever.  It sucks, it's incredibly painful, it's not fair, but is.

Life goes on...

My children turned 10, 9 and 14.  Um, hello?  How is this possible?  They are not perfect, but they are perfect for me.  I adore them.

Lover & I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary!  I love him even more than the day I married him.  When I count my blessings, he is at the top of the list.

I had my own health scares.  More than once.  I was so scared.  I am hopeful and thankful my fears were put to rest.  I want to live to see my children grow up, get married, have lives, have babies.  I want to be an old wrinkly lady with my old wrinkly day, not too soon, but one day.

Advice?  Not really, I think you're doing a pretty good job.  You are going to make mistakes, you are going to get some things right.  Embrace it.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012


It is said that 'Hindsight is 20/20'...

Rewind back to January 2012:
Groupon had a paintball promotion.  Live-In #2 had a birthday.  In a moment of what I thought was pure brilliance, I decided to buy admission for the whole family to go paint balling as part of live-in #2's birthday gifts. Live-In #2 opened the gift and was tentatively excited.  Live-In #1 looked at me like I had snakes for hair and asked me if I knew what paint balling was.  It was at this point that I began to wonder if this was really such a good idea...

Fast Forward to February 2012:
We have had cabin fever lately.  This is that odd time of year where the holiday hustle and bustle is over, baseball has not yet started and summer is sadly too far off to think about.  The other day when we needed something to do (other than things that needed to be clean the house, clean the yard, etc) Lover remembered we had the paint ball vouchers....

I called the paint ball company where we were to go play to ask them about attire and began to become greatly concerned when the nice man who answered the phone told me to 'wear layers'.  Huh?   So I dutifully told my live-ins to layer it up and they did so in a very efficient manner.  I, on the other hand, did not heed my warning seriously enough.  Trying to wear older clothes in case they got ruined, I put on a long sleeve (way to thin) shirt and a fleece sweatshirt. Before leaving the house I considered the v-neck in my fleece sweatshirt, but foolishly decided it would be ok.

That would be my mistake...

My family and I carefully watched the tutorial video on 'what not to do' in the arena.  I took great care in making sure my live-ins understood the rules so they wouldn't get hurt.  We recieved our masks, paint and paintball guns and were ready to play.

First, I must say while the masks were itchy and annoying, they were my new best friend in round one.  Within  a minute into the first round I was shot in the mask and could only see out of one eye.  This did not hurt.

In round two I learned from the mistakes I made in round one and kept better cover.  Live-in #1 made it about 1/2 way through the round and then got shot.  She was out.  That left me to protect Live-In #3 who was hiding behind me.  My team was dropping like flies and the round was almost over when I got my first real piece of the action.  I caught an unsuspecting opponent off guard and sent him on his way (I think) and I had my sights set on another opponent.  The problem was he had his eye set on me AND was a better aim than I was.  As I was firing off several paint rounds, feeling ever so empowered...I suddenly feel it...

I'd been shot...only everything was happening in slow motion.  I felt myself jerking as one would in a Hollywood movie when they are shot.  I tasted paint spatter... I felt pain...I had to remind myself to breathe...  When I finally got my wits I heard myself yell 'I'm Out' and desperately try to remember what I told my live-ins they had to remember about exiting the arena.  Luckily I made it out...with live-in #3 hot on my heels.

When Lover saw me he said whoever shot me was a good to the head and one to the heart.  This may be a good time to remind you that I was wearing a v-neck fleece.

So it is true...Hindsight is 20/20...and next time I will definitely wear more layers!

Saturday, February 4, 2012


If you have read my blog from the beginning or even last spring/summer then you would know that my posts have become far and fewer between over the past few months.  At first life got really busy, then life got complicated with new experiences that I wasn't sure how to share and then life got very sad...too sad to talk about.

I have only mentioned my sister (by law, however in spirit every bit My Sister) and her fight against cancer a couple times on my blog.  This is for a couple reasons; first I didn't want to invade her privacy and second I felt completely inadequate in my writing to give any justice to the experience.

But, Stephanie was a huge part of my life in 2011.  I got to know her better in 2011 then I knew her in all the seven years prior.  I helped care for her, tried to help lift her spirits with laughter and went to most all her chemo appointments with her.  During those drives to chemo and during the appointments we would talk and play games and developed a closeness that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

In December, Stephanie passed away.  The loss I feel sometimes feels like a heavy weight on my chest.  Sometimes I still can't believe she is gone, sometimes I am angry that she was taken from our family, from my brother and from her sweet children, and sometimes I feel guilty...that I could have done more to make her time with us even better.  But most often I feel so very sad as I realize again and again that she is never coming back, I cannot call her up to see how she's doing, I can't have her over for dinner, I can't hug her anymore and I will forever miss her.  

I am a person of action.  I have a hard time sitting still and waiting for things to happen, so naturally I start to think about what I can do to get through this difficult time.  My mind keeps going back to 'How can I honor Stephanie?'  The answer is clear, Stephanie was a woman who was a walking example of God's love, compassion, grace and kindness.  She did not hide her love for her Savior, she was not afraid to speak about her I will follow suit.

I hope I will make her proud.  I hope that one day, when we see each other again in heaven, she will look upon me and smile her beautiful smile and tell me I made her proud.

I love you Stephanie.

Friday, January 13, 2012

An Usher Kind of Morning

This morning started out like most other mornings.  I had to tear myself off my mattress and try not to fall down the stairs to get my morning coffee.  Today was one of the morning I would be taking live-in #1 to school, middle school that is, so I started the truck to get it all warm and cozy.  When I got into the truck I noticed the music was turned down too low to hear so I turned it up, one minute later I turned it back appears Alanis Morrissette is not a good match for me in the mornings.

But then, as I am pulling into the parking lot of live-in #1's middle school, my spirits perked up  I came awake with a start...Usher was singing none other than my favorite 2011 boating song.  It was my number one song on my playlist.  I would play it Loud and Proud on the boat and we all loved it.  The song took me back to a July afternoon when I took a boat full of girls out surfing, leaving the guys in our dust...or should I say ripples since we were on the water...

So I only saw it fitting that this morning at 7:45 a.m. I once again played it Loud and Proud...BUT alas I forgot where we were at and how live-in #1 gets very embarrassed by my antics at times.  She immediately turned it WAY down so I turned it back UP, she turned it down again so I turned it back up, told her this was my car and began to work on getting my groove on.  She was NOT impressed.  So I turned it down, only a little, so she could get out of the car and begin her walk run of shame into the school as her mother was obviously deliriously high on Usher...then I turned the music back up and fought the temptation to completely humiliate my daughter by dancing my way out of the parking lot.

When the song was over I went back to normal volume and Live-In #2 told me he thought he might be deaf now.  But I don't care....I needed to channel my inner winterized boating soul!

After all....DJ's got me falling in love!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Letter to Live-In #2

Dear Live-In #2:

On January 9, 2002 at 11:46 a.m. my world was blessed by your arrival.  You continue to bless my life each day.  I love the wonder in your eyes as you discover something new and the excitement you express when you share what you have learned with me.  Seeing the world through your eyes is a wondrous thing.

I tell you sometimes that I am proud of you and I want you to understand why.  You are good, and kind, and caring, and empathetic, and generous, and thoughtful.  You not only make my world brighter but you bring light to those you know.  You are infectious and an essential part of my life!

Now, about that little saying that you have being saying lately..."I am a pre-teen now"...nice about just staying my baby!

Last, I want to you to read this very carefully because I know you are a sponge when it comes to information.  I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as there is air to breathe my baby you'll be.

I love you my son!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy 10th Birthday to My Boy

 Today my son turns 10 years old!!  I don't know where the time goes, but here is a look back at the past year of his life.

He is a fan of the Oregon Ducks

He played tackle football for the first time and loved it!

Well hello Handsome...uh, hold on a are supposed to be my baby!

He made a touchdown at Reesers Stadium - Home of the OSU Beavers
Even though he is a Oregon Ducks Fan.

He showed us his wild side!  
Ozzy Osborne Crazy Train

He continued in his quest to Wake Surf

And Succeeded!!!

He was a West Salem Little League 9/10 All Star

1st day of 4th Grade

Hunting Mice with his brother

Telling stories around the campfire

Playing on the Beach

Showing off his new Oceanic White Tip Shark Tooth Necklace

Goofing around at the Christmas Tree Farm

Light Sabor fun in the garage with his cousin on Thanksgiving

My little Falcons Fan!