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.

{through the rearview} 1407

Fifteen years ago Ryan and I decided to buy a house together.

1407 12It was this little house that was built in 1947 by the Army for soldiers coming back from WWII. Our next door neighbor, who called herself “Old Lady Bowden” had lived there since they had been built.

1407 3

We pulled up carpets.

1407 4

Painted every wall at least once.

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Had walls torn down and the kitchen remodeled.

1407 5

We had lots of fun parties here.

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I did lots of Interior Design school projects on that table (which is now our craft table).

1407 8

Murphy, Ben, Hobbes, Oak, and Odyssey…and four of Oak and Ben’s puppies all lived with us at this house.

1407 9

I used chalkboard paint on the walls in this house.

1407 11

Our bedroom was the remodeled one car garage.

1407 10

Ryan had his own den/office.

1407 2We had a dedicated guest bedroom.

It was a good house with good memories. We lived there for just over 6 years.

home is…our first home.

another one for my “best days ever” list

I have been smiling from ear to ear since early today.

My baby girl officially went skiing today.

Remember this day?

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Yeah, today also goes on the “one of my best days ever” list.

skiing 14

We had to make sure that her ski pants were pink.

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She wore a skirt until we were actually skiing.

She put a skirt on as soon as she was done.

To be honest, I almost didn’t go.

Seasonal allergies, and an “introvert overload” almost kept me home (more on that later), but Ryan pushed me and I am glad that he did.

{Not to mention I felt super cool in my new Patagonia ski pants with my Patagonia orange belt…my first new ski pants in about 20 years! Darn you Patagonia for making ski pants that last so long…I’ve had 3 pairs in 25 years…all Patagonia…and I outgrow them…they don’t wear out!}

We had a blast!

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skiing 8Look at how her pink reflects in the tunnel!

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skiing 5


She requested to ski with Poppa after only a couple of runs with Mommy!

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And, our “old pro”?!

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skiing 11

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He’s now using the Go Pro!

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skiing 2

skiing 1


He took a trip up the real chair lift…twice…with Poppa!

We’re thinking he’s ready to learn from a “real” ski instructor next time!

For those of you who might ask…

We ski at Mt. Hood Meadows up on (of course) Mt. Hood.

We buy the season pass for the kids which is $25 for the whole mountain…all season.

We buy a Spring Pass for us (which is $139 now, but we pre-purchased for $119). The Sprig Pass works out since we usually only ski during the spring…to break even we only need to ski 2-3 times…and the season can quite frequently go well into April and even weekends in May!

Currently, we rent skis from the shop at Mt. Hood Meadows, but we are looking into buying used demo/rental skis for the kids at the end of the season. It’s $70 a day to rent skis for the kids (WHOA!), so I am sure we could save A LOT of money buy either buying used skis or renting for the entire season.

We rent a locker for $10 a day and bring snacks and water. We are usually done by lunchtime, but as the days get nicer we plan to pack lunch, hot chocolate, and eat in the sun!

There’s a lot of snow up there and it was coming down today, so come join us for some spring fun on the mountain!!

home is…family fun on mt. hood.




snow much fun

A mother nature imposed break from the real world was exactly what this family needed.

snow days

The forecast early in the week said we might get a lot of snow on Saturday.

When we had snow flying on Tuesday and they hadn’t even predicted it, I knew it was in the cards.

I started to stock up on the essentials on Wednesday.

Meal Plan:

  • Turkey Meatloaf
  • Chili
  • Chicken Soup
  • Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

In no particular order. Just warm food for bodies that have been playing in the snow.

Additional food items:

  • Milk
  • Coffee
  • Hot chocolate mix
  • 1/2 & 1/2
  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Fresh fruits and veggies

And, the fun stuff (all on clearance this late in the season!):

  • sleds
  • snowboard
  • snowball makers
  • snow shovels
  • hand warmers
  • hats
  • mittens

I picked the kids up from school after their early release on Thursday and the flakes flew!

This Colorado girls heart was full. I know I can always drive up the mountain for snow, but snow that “sticks and stays” in our neighborhood is so rare for us. The last time we experienced it was 10 months after we moved to our current neighborhood. Reece was about 18 months old and we just pulled him around the neighborhood in the wagon.

Five years ago.

We’ve had small snow amounts since then…enough for snowballs and a snowman that might last a day, but nothing “big” as far as Portland standards are concerned.

snow days 4

snow days 7

snow days 8

snow days 9

This was Lorelai’s first big snow.

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snow days 2

snow days 3

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snow days 5

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This has been fun.

The kids aren’t whining about being cold.

They don’t want to be carried.

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We are all having fun…TOGETHER!

And, with one more snow day today, we will make the most of what’s left of the snow before the rains melts it all away later today!

home is…snow much fun.

this morning

This morning I have a little more time than usual before we need to get out the door, so I thought I would stop by and say hello!

I’m tempted to say, “life has been crazy, lately,” but it hasn’t.

It has been FULL. Is it full of craziness, sometimes?! Yes, but it’s FULL.

family fun night at baggenstos

I’m tempted to complain that I haven’t had enough time to get everything done, but I have.

I have had the time to take care of sick kiddos, time to rest when I do not feel well myself, time to volunteer in the little guys classroom, time to go on baby girl’s first field trip, time to spend with my mother-in-law, time to visit pumpkin patches, time to be creative, and time to enjoy the beautiful weather we have had here in the pacific northwest.

yarn pumpkins

I’m tempted to talk about all the things my kids aren’t doing, but I won’t.

They are incredible little beings who are inquisitive, strong willed, loving, fun, and happy. They love to create, climb, imagine, run, ride bikes, and learn. And, they love being with me. I can’t beat that, can I?


I’m tempted to vent about the disagreements that Ryan and I have, but that would be silly.

I have an loving husband who does an amazing job providing for our family. He works hard, spends time away from our family each week, deals with my creative craziness, makes our children laugh, and makes sacrifices (like not going hunting) to make sure he spends enough time with our little family.

I grew up being taught that what you focus on expands.

I have found myself focusing on the don’t/can’t parts of my life a bit lately and I want going to change that.

This morning, I’m focusing on the positive with a can do attitude.

Today, I will make enough time to do what needs to get done.

home is…refocusing.

just writing

Getting into the right routine with two in two different schools has taken a couple of weeks…that’s why I haven’t been writing.

I really missing them being home.

Especially the little guy.

I get time with baby girl a few days a week.

I’m torn.

I have free time that I was desperately wishing for, but I find myself wondering what to do with it.

I have cabinets that I need to finish painting.

I have doctors appointments, haircuts, and brow waxes that I should get scheduled.

I have crafts I want to do.

I have exercise I want to add to my routine.

I have Nordstrom Notes screaming at me to spend them.

Instead of doing any of these things, I think…

  • if i craft and do something fun, then i am not getting work done
  • if i paint cabinets and clean then i am not spending time on myself
  • if i go to the appointments it just spends money and time that i really don’t want to spend
  • if i go exercise then i am not doing anything that really needs to get done

Really, my main concern is that I will not be doing the “right” things with my free time…whatever the “right” things are.

If the house isn’t perfectly clean (which it is not) did I fail at cleaning?

If the laundry isn’t done will somebody get upset that their favorite “ballerine” or shorts are not clean?

If I don’t spend time doing things that will make me happy (crafting, exercising, blogging, taking photos) will I just be frustrated that I don’t have enough free time?

I just count the minutes until I get to go pick up my kids.

And, then there is not enough time in the day to spend with them.

And, by the time we get them to bed, I am exhausted and ready to go the bed to start all over the next day.

The answer is just do SOMETHING!


But I get wracked with guilt that my choices will displease somebody.

I’m just writing…so, I’d better go do something.

home is…counting the minutes.

wouldn’t change a thing…maybe

My husband and I are way past the newlywed phase.

This October we will have been married 13 years.

If I had it to do all over again I wouldn’t change a lot, but the options for personalization and making your wedding YOURS are truly endless.

Just a quick search on Pinterest will give you all kinds of DIY wedding ideas, tutorials, and inspiring photos.

When we were planning our wedding I thought we were stepping waaaay out of the box by sending our save the date as a newsletter with stories about how we met, etc, our rehearsal dinner invitations on post cards, and {gasp} square wedding invites!

For instance, have you visited Minted, yet?

They have some of the most amazing invites designed by independent designers.

I might have chosen something like this…

or this…

or this…

or, maybe this…

No matter what, there is definitely more to choose from!

Not only does offer beautiful invites, but you can also view customer- and designer-created inspiration boards.

For weddings…

Northwest Media Photography by Jenny, see more

Northwest Media Photography board by Jenny. See more


Nesting Bird by fatfatin, see more baby shower invitations on Minted

Nesting Bird board by fatfatin. See more baby shower invitations on Minted


…and holidays.

Holiday Card by Lauren, see more Minted

Holiday Card board by Lauren. See more Minted

In fact, we ordered our Christmas cards from Minted last year!

And, wouldn’t you know it, we sent out a post card!

how about a giveaway?

Minted would like to give one of you $50 towards a Minted purchase!

To enter, answer one of the following questions as a comment:

If you could change one thing about your wedding what would it be?


If you are dreaming about, or planning a wedding, what is one of the must haves for your special day?


Deadline is Wednesday, May 1st at 9pm Pacific.

Winner will be announced on Thursday, May 2nd!

home is…time flies when you’re having fun.

pfabulous photography

We had a family photo mini session on Sunday evening with a local portland momma and fabulous photographer, Jenn, of Pfaus Photography.

We met through Instagram, and when I saw that she was doing mini-sessions I signed up.

We have not had professional family photos taken in three years, so it was time.

Here are a few preview photos…

home is…pfamily photos.

a beautiful day

Yesterday we took a trip up to the mountain where the sun was shining.


Reece got up on skis for the third year in a row!

We’re ready to hand him off to some instructors next time so he can really learn, but I think he is doing awesome.








Lorelai  wasn’t ready to start skiing, but she had fun playing in the snow and making a fashion statement.







Don’t be surprised if you start to see tutu’s over ski pants all over the slopes!








She liked spinning, not skiing.












Both of them liked throwing snowballs.



It was a beautiful day!

home is…lots of smiles.