baby steps, too

Sometimes I go down the rabbit hole of old blog posts. I have blogged since 2008 and there were many years that I blogged multiple times a week. I miss it.

This short post from November 2010 brought back so many memories…

Lately, it seems like things are very out of control in my life. A very busy 3 year old and a 1 year old who wants to keep up with her big brother keep this momma very busy.  My head is always spinning with what needs to get done, what I would like to get done, and what I have forgotten to get done.  Right when I feel like I have it all under control something happens (like a little guy getting sick, or a baby girl who is teething) and I just fall apart.

I have always been independent.

I am a control freak.

I don’t like to ask for help.

I hate the feeling of not being able to handle everything by myself.

Sometimes I feel all alone.

And, yet, I know I am not alone.

At any rate, i’m moving forward.  And, just like my baby girl who recently started walking, I am taking baby steps.

Recently, when talking with a family member who has a newborn and almost two year old I was reminded that there were times that I was barely making it through the days of being at home with two little ones. Somehow I made it through the lack of sleep and tireless physical exhaustion of taking care of little ones. I am so thankful that I was able to be with them everyday.

Lately, I miss those days. Those days filled with taking care of my babies.With both of my kids in school full time my job as “stay at home mom” has turned into more of a job of housecleaner and errand runner, which I am not very fond of.

They are away from home 6+ hours a day and I miss them. I miss how they filled my days.

The short time span I get with them each day after school is so full, but such a small amount of time with them.

They come home to do homework, and most days, want to play with friends as soon as that is done.

Some days there is a sports or school activity thrown in the mix.

Then dinner. Always dinner.It all seems so rushed. I miss the slow days of not having to be anywhere. And, just being together.

I absolutely love the people who my kids are becoming, but I miss being the one that got to spend my days with them.

This is an updated version of that blog post from 2010, 7 years later…

Lately, it seems like things are very out of control in my life. A very busy 10 year old and an 8 year old who wants to keep up with her big brother keep this momma very busy.  My head is always spinning with what needs to get done, what I would like to get done, and what I have forgotten to get done.  Right when I feel like I have it all under control something happens (like a little guy feeling left out, or a baby girl getting upset that she has to clean up messes) and I just fall apart.

I have always been independent, but spending the days by myself can be a bit lonely.

I like to be in control, but am learning that I am not in control of so many things…and it is hard.

I don’t like to ask for help, but there are also things I just don’t want to do and that I would rather have somebody help me with.

I hate the feeling of not being able to do everything well, but want to be able to do so much more.

Sometimes I feel all alone.

And, yet, I know I am not alone.

At any rate, I’m moving forward.  And, just like my kids who are taking more and more baby steps towards independence, I am taking baby steps, too.








it was a LONG, cold, wet winter here in the pacific northwest, but i think we are finally out of the worst of it and spring is FINALLY here!

spring around here means lacrosse season.

reece is playing and ryan is coaching.

lorelai and i love to watch.

when they have home games {and it’s not a downpour} we bring odyssey along with us. he is the perfect lax dog.

luckily, only two of the games have been in a miserable downpour…there’s no such thing as a rainout in lacrosse!

it sure has been fun to watch this team play!

home is…loving being a #laxmom!

our pack…8 years later

The following post was published on my blog 8 years ago…when Reece was almost 2 and I was about 5 months pregnant with Lorelai.  Much has changed…Murphy, Oak, Ben and Hobbes are no longer with us; Lorelai and Rainbow have joined our pack. However, the kids love for their dogs has stayed the same. 

When I wrote the original post, Odyssey was 5 years old and the puppy of the family. The words I wrote about Oak, “Oak is pretty much blind, deaf, and very needy so I try to give her extra attention whenever possible. I am not sure how much longer we will have her around..” now ring true for our sweet 13 year old Odyssey.

Our first “children” were animals.  In December 1999, a diluted calico cat named Murphy was adopted from the Dumb Friends League in Denver.  In March 2000, a black lab puppy named Ben came from our good friend and Grand River trainer/breeder Mike Gould.  In September 2000, an orange and white tabby named Hobbes was adopted from the Dumb Friends League.  In November 2003, an 8 year old black lab named Oak was adopted from Mike Gould.  In April 2004, a black lab puppy named Odyssey, again came from Mike Gould.

For almost 8 years we were the proud parents of our five-fuzzy-faces.  The dogs would go everywhere with us.  We drove across the country to Upstate New York with a stop in Chicago for a family wedding…all with Ben in tow! We went on many roadtrips through Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho with all 3 of them…learning what hotels were pet friendly along the way.  My husband would take the boy dogs hunting anywhere from 40-60 days each fall.  They would all go camping and hiking with us during the summer.  They drove with us from Colorado to Oregon when we moved.  Oak used to go to work with me almost everyday here in Oregon.  They lived the high life!

Then July 5, 2007 came.  The world as they knew it stopped.  Our baby boy arrived and they were relegated to the dog runs and scolded for getting too close to the baby.  Oh, I was afraid that we wouldn’t be able to give them the attention they were used to…and we weren’t…but our little guy is!

The little guy LOVES his doggies!  The first word-like sound he made was “woof”; his first word was “doggie”; his first 2-word phrase was “good girl”;  the second 2-word phrase was “bad dog”; and his first 3-word phrase was “no bark dog”.  When he wakes up in the morning he asks where Oak is.  He loves to share his toys and food with the dogs.  He crawls all over them, snuggles on their dog beds, and loves to play chase with them in the house.  He is part of their pack.

When we are outside in the back yard he loves to play in their dogs runs.  He opens and closes the door, pretends to fill up their water buckets, and likes it even better if they will play along with him…Odyssey usually obliges.  Oftentimes, I will find him hiding in the dog crate we keep in the house for “doggie timeouts”…sometimes he will be in there with one of the dogs.  I am sure that he thinks every kid has a house full of black labs  just like he does.

The dogs (and cats) may not get the attention they used to from us, but our little guy sure thinks the world of them.  Their days are lazy, and they get to stay in the house most of the time, now.  My husband runs the boys down at the river once or twice a week…when he can. Oak is pretty much blind, deaf, and very needy so I try to give her extra attention whenever possible.  I am not sure how much longer we will have her around…she has been a mom to around 30 puppies…and acts as a “doggie nanny” to our little guy.  They are all wonderful pets and “children”…including the boy who was raised by Black Labs.

in between

it’s dark and rainy this morning and it feels perfect.

after a longer than usual, hotter than usual, drier than usual spring and summer i am ready for the rain.

both kids are now in school full time.


the day that i thought would take so long to get here is here.

it’s bittersweet.

the introvert in me loves the quiet, uninterrupted time to get things done.

the part of me that has spent the last eight years as the main caregiver of my children feels like a part of me is missing.

watching them enjoy the freedom that they have leaving me and entering the doors of their school together warms my heart.

listening to them talk about the times they see each other at school lets me know that they are keeping an eye on each other when i am not there to do it.

there are two gifts we should give our children; one is roots, and the other is wings.

this will be an interesting time.

my main job is to still be their main caregiver, but it’s not a full-time job anymore.

i will be figuring out how to fill the time in between.

in between when they leave me for the day and when they return to my care.

today, i will fill it with organizing the pantry, cleaning their rooms, my bedroom, and the bathrooms with the open windows letting in fresh rain filled air while i listen to the maroon 5 pandora station as loud as i want to!

home is…filling the in between.


summer list 2015 update

we checked a handful of items off our summer list during our trip to new york.

new york, of course.




not to mention, the things that were not on the list…

watch fireflies.

play in a creek.

go to an amusement park.

eat three burgers in three days.

night swimming.

watch live music.

eat frozen custard.

home is…summer, moving right along.

the home team

i wrote this post a little over a year ago and never hit publish.

today, i decided to hit publish on it.

i don’t have to single parent for the long haul very often anymore.

in ryan’s current job he only has long stretches of travel once or twice a year.

i am so thankful for that.


in hindsight…

maybe, during those really, really tough times when the kids were really little and  i was sending ryan nasty text and voicemail messages about how hard it was to be home alone with young kids and how tired and frustrated i was while he traveled for work, i should have thanked him for working his ass off to take care of our family so i could be home to take care of our kids.

and, maybe, i should have asked for help.

no, maybe, i should have screamed for help.

but i didn’t.

i struggled through it.

WE struggled through it.

it’s the curse of the competent…

you don’t ask for help {and write a blog that focuses on the good things in our life} and people don;t think you need it.

of course, family would be there for you if you lived closer, but you don’t, so they don’t see how hard it is.

so, you struggle through, and try to focus on the positive, so you can get through another day.

i’m thankful i made it through the really, really tough times.

i’m thankful WE made it through the really, really tough times.

i’m thankful i can be home to raise my kids.

i’m thankful that ryan works damn hard so that i can be here with them everyday.

i’m also thankful that the long trips are few and far between.

truthfully, i don’t need the help these days.

i did, but i don’t now.

and, you know what, even when i needed the help, i still did it myself.

WE did it.

our family is stronger for that.

thank you, ryan, for working your ass off.

WE do this together…no matter how hard it is.

home is…your home team.

summer list 2015

here it is…

summer list 2015

{oh, and i should add “finish painting walls white” to the list…the wall looks like an ugly beige/pink/something in this photo!}

i decided that i liked meg’s chalkboard list, and since our dining room chalkboard has been empty for a few months it was time to fill it up!

for now, i am still in reset mode.  i canceled our trip to sunriver for the weekend…i want to ease into summer.

yesterday, we managed to cross one off the list…

summer list 2015-water balloon fight

after  the little guy’s last day of school we went down the street, and the kids had a huge water balloon fight with some friends. myself and the mom hosting the party filled over 300 balloons! it took me at least an hour to fill two five gallon buckets with balloons…within a few minutes the balloons were gone!

totally worth the smiles and celebration to kick off the summer!

home is…happy it’s summer break.

less loud

my fuse was short last night.

super short.

i ignited like a bomb.


sending kids to rooms.

answering the phone when ryan called to check in {when i should have just let it go to voicemail} and choosing to be rude and vent.

silence over everything.

then, it turned into a rescue effort.




today is a new day, but i still feel guilty for turning into a “mean mommy”.

friday: field day at the elementary school (with baby girl, too), a trip to the pool afterwards, and a return to a home full of repairmen.

saturday: early baseball game, trip to grocery store to get food to prepare for the afternoon end of season party.

sunday: the first day of a 5 day stint of single parenting

monday: first grade field trip…a walk to a local park (with baby girl, too)

not a lot of quiet for this introvert.

being an introvert is not an excuse for a short fuse because, truthfully, i am the only person responsible for my behavior, and i need to make the choice to not raise my voice and be rude.

however, being a parent who really wants to be involved in their children’s activities and being an introvert is really tough sometimes. {check out this post that sums it up pretty well}

today, i get a break.

no school volunteering today.

no baseball or lacrosse.

baby girl is home with me, so it won’t be quiet, but it will be quieter.

less loud.

one and a half days of school left for the little guy and then we are on full-fledged summer break.

both kids will be home with me all day…all summer long.

other than some travel…central oregon, new york, idaho, the oregon coast…we don’t have plans {although we are working on our summer list}.

it won’t be quiet, but it will be quieter.

less loud.

i am really looking forward to less loud.

home is…quieter. less loud.

the return of the summer list

it’s been a few years since we did an official summer list.

there is always one in my mind, but i thought it would be fun to have one in writing somewhere in the house since the kids can read (well, the little guy can and baby girl wants to learn this summer)!!

i was originally inspired by meg’s summer list

whatever | the summer list

in 2011, our summer list it looked like this…

Scan 28in 2012, our list looked like this…


in 2013, i didn’t make a list because our summer was so busy we didn’t need one!

in 2014, i just didn’t make it happen.

this year, the summer list is making a return!

while baby girl is already on summer break we have a couple of days to work on the list before the little guy gets out of school for the summer.

we will need to come up with a list…and a fun way to display it!

until then, i know i would like to implement these summertime rules

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 7.22.35 AM

stay tuned…

home is…planning fun!


spring baseball


The little guy is playing in his 3rd baseball season this spring and it is a whole new ballgame. 



Single A Little League is the real deal.



Playing by the almost real rules means that sometimes the players pitch.



He’s learning when to swing and when not to.




And, sometimes you don’t get a hit or get on base because they are actually calling strikes and outs.



He’ll learn a lot this season, and it’s not all going to be about baseball.


Baby girl is learning how to be patient while she watches her brothers games again.



She’s already a pro at looking cute!


home is…another baseball season.