my “one of the best days ever” list

Yesterday was one of those days that goes on my “one of the best days ever” list.

I took the little guy skiing for the first time.

Yep, he’s 3-1/2. I started skiing when I was 4, so he’s got me beat!

It went almost exactly as I had hoped it would.

We got up early and left the house before 7 am. We stopped at Plaid Pantry and picked up some donuts for a “special breakfast” and m&m’s for later in the day. We talked about how he is going to be a Batmobile driver when he grows up and a bunch of other exciting and important stuff. Eventually, he asked to play games on my phone and I thought it would be okay so I could focus on driving.

We got through Zig Zag and made it to 2500 feet and it started snowing. I mean, blowing sideways flakes flying! This was the only part of the day that did not go as I had expected. The roads were snowpacked, and I was happy to have silence while the little guy played games so I could focus on the road. Once we got on 35 to head to Mt. Hood Meadows the road was really slick and made me a bit nervous. The last time I drove through snow like that was on the way out to Portland when we moved here in 2006! We passed a group of 4 cars that had spun out on the road (later on, I heard that they actually closed the road because of that accident). I took it slow and we got to the parking lot just fine. We got our ski clothes on and made the trek to the lodge.

The little guy walked almost all the way. I did not have mittens for him so he was wearing a pair of my gloves, my hat, and my goggles to keep the blowing snow out of his eyes. I finally tried to pick him up for a little bit, but with my skis and the backpack that I was carrying I could not carry him for long. I told him where we needed to go and he agreed that he could walk the rest of the way. He was such a big boy!

We hit the bathroom and then headed to ski rental for the little guy. He was so interested in the lockers and wanted to know how they worked because they were not exactly like the ones at rollerskating. After a thorough discussion I was finally able to get him moving to the rental shop. It was so easy to get through the rental line. Everybody was so helpful. We were able to purchase our lift tickets there as well which made one less stop for us to make before hitting the slopes. {For those of you who do not know, you can purchase a $10 adult ticket for the Ballroom and Wonder carpets, which is the best place to start your little ones. Kids under 6 are $9 for a full mountain ticket!}

First, we got his boots. He put them on and wanted to try walking around in them. I told him that it might be a little hard to walk in them. He walked around a bit and said, “They feel great!” We also rented a helmet and he carried that while we went to get his skis. We grabbed those and headed over to the ski shop to get goggles and gloves. Now that we had all the gear we just needed to find out where to go. The sales associate pointed us in the right direction and we went back out into the snow.

We got out to the Fun Zone and it hit me…now I need to teach him how to ski! I hadn’t even thought about that part of the day! I know, make a pie with your skis, but what was I supposed to tell him about how to put his skis on? How to balance? How to get on the Ballroom Carpet? I winged it.

He did awesome!

Not once all day did this kid show fear. No trepidation. No holding back. He was amazing!

He got right on the Ballroom Carpet and was just happy and talking and listening. Got right off the carpet (with a little help from me), and turned to go down the “hill”. He ran over my skis, fell down and started laughing. He tried to get right back up on his own, but couldn’t figure out how to get his legs and skis to go the right direction. I helped him out, he pointed his skis downhill and away he went.

The little guy was skiing!

I was smiling. I was laughing. I was cheering him on!

My heart was filled with joy. I was so proud of the little guy. Tears came to my eyes.

I looked around at the beautiful scenery.

Here we were in a snowstorm skiing together.

He was happy. He was excited to do this!

We got to the bottom of the hill and decided to go up one more time.

After another run we stopped and had an m&m snack.

We headed over to the Wonder Carpet, which is a smaller version of the Ballroom Carpet. We took a run over there and stopped for another m&m snack. After sitting in the snow eating the m&m’s he had dropped in the snow his hands got very cold. The little guy started crying and wanted to go inside.

No surprise. Totally expected.

I wish I could have gotten us there faster. I had his skis, my skis, the backpack, and him. He walked…crying the entire way. I wish I could have carried him, but he was tough.

We got inside the lodge and his hands were tingling as they warmed up…you know how that can hurt, right?! He kept crying…until I told him he could have hot chocolate…and a hot dog. What a trooper!

We ordered  two hot chocolates. One with whipped cream. One without.

The world was good again.

At this point I asked him if he wanted to come skiing again. He said, “Next time I want to go snowboarding!” I told him that Mommy only knows how to ski, so we would have to give skiing a try a couple more times and if he still wants to go snowboarding we will have to get him another teacher to teach him how to snowboard. He was OK with that.

After warming up with our hot chocolate and talking about the ski lodge and the snow outside we went to order our lunch. I have never seen the little guy eat an entire hot dog that big! He was HUNGRY! He also ate all of his apples and still worked on his hot chocolate.

I asked him if he wanted to go do anymore skiing and he told me that he just wanted to go home. Not in an “I’m unhappy and want to go home” kind of way, just that he was done skiing for the day and wanted to go home. That was good for me.

We returned all the gear, made a stop at the restroom, and headed back to the truck. I was worried that we would have trouble finding our car since I didn’t really pay attention to where we parked. I did notice the “Doggie Park” sign almost right in line with our row as we walked to the lodge earlier, so I used that as our marker for getting back to the car. And, we found it just fine. He walked the entire way back to the car!

The little guy played with the icicles on the car while I loaded up my gear and got out of my ski clothes. He threw snowballs at me, at the car, and in the air. I got him out of his ski clothes and into the car and we headed home.

The roads cleared up a bit. The sky cleared up a bit. The little guy took a little snooze (which was totally expected). It was a beautiful drive home.

I choked up when I thanked the little guy for going skiing with me. It was one of the best days ever.

home is…being a very proud mommy.

get moving…

…it’s Monday!


That’s how long it took me to run the Shamrock 8k.

9:15 pace.

In the rain.

I love setting goals and achieving them!

My goal was to run the 4.9 miles in less than 50 minutes.


By the way, I came across this online article about setting and achieving goals. Are you a goal setter? Do you get a thrill from the action of setting, doing and achieving your goals?

home is…being a junkie for goal achievement.

thanks, i needed that

On March 5th, 2010 I went wine tasting to celebrate a girlfriends birthday. We went out to dinner, spent the night at The Allison Inn & Spa, had breakfast, a massage, and stopped for lunch on the way home. It was good to feel independent for 24 hours.

When I got home I found out that my baby girl had not eaten anything since I left the previous day at noon. She had a jar or two of solids, but no milk. She was 6 months old and wouldn’t take a bottle.

I felt like a terrible mom.

I felt like a terrible wife.

How could I have left to have fun when nobody was having fun at home?

What was I thinking?!

She never did drink from a bottle.

We tried for 6 months after that.

I bought every bottle I could.

We tried sippy cups.


When she turned a year old I asked the pediatrician how I should go about weaning her.  I was ready to be done. I needed a break. He just told me to stop…cut one feeding a week. (Meaning, if I was feeding her 4x a day, cut down to 3x for the 1st week, 2x for the 2nd week, etc.)

I did.

It took a little over a month.

It was fine.

She still doesn’t drink milk.

On March 4th, 2011 I spent the first night away from my kids since that night. Almost one year to the day.

This time I did not worry about the bottle. Baby girl can eat. She eats all day.

I felt liberated.



(But, I still wanted Ryan to send me pictures of the kids eating their dinner and sleeping in their beds)

Thanks, Ryan. I needed that.

I’ll write more about it later.

home is…not worrying about the bottle.



Do you get them?

I do.

About once a month.  Sometimes more. Sometimes less.

Today I got one.

Before 9 am.

Mine start with an aura or prodrome.

“A migraine with aura comes with additional symptoms, which often begin about 30 minutes or less before the headache. These early symptoms are called a prodrome.The prodrome or aura may last for five to 20 minutes, or it may continue even after the headache subsides. Symptoms of aura include:

  • blind spots or scotomas
  • blindness in half of your visual field in one or both eyes (hemianopsia)
  • seeing zigzag patterns (fortification)
  • seeing flashing lights (scintilla)
  • feeling prickling skin (paresthesia)
  • weakness
  • seeing things that aren’t really there (hallucinations)”

(from WebMD:

The positive side of aura is that I always know when I will be getting a headache in about 1/2 hour. The negative is that the aura is often worse (and scarier) than the actual headache.

It is interesting to me that only about 20% of migraine sufferers experience the prodrome (aura). I have always experienced it. I started getting migraines when I was a teenager.

I know that I am sensitive to light and that different light sources can cause a migraine. I used to get migraines after walking into our darken sorority house after walking home in the sun from campus at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

I have found in the past year of so I tend to get migraines after I exert myself (usually after a Stroller Strides class).  Although, in a lot of those classes we also move back and forth from indoor light to outdoor light and I have a feeling it may be a combination of exertion and light sensitivity that sets me off.

Of course, hormones are always part of the equation, too. I then to get a migraine a week before I get my period (sorry if that is too much information for the men who read this, but it is true).

It is also interesting to me that the article on WedMD notes that serotonin and dopamine are two chemicals that cause migraines with aura. I have a feeling that my body has trouble regulating those chemicals anyway (I have bouts of mild to moderate depression and have taken antidepressants in the past), so I am not surprised.

I always mention migraines on a health history when visiting the doctor, but I have not visited a doctor (other than an OB/GYN) in over 5 years. I am thinking it may be time to go (and maybe even see a neurologist).

I was lucky today because I was at home. My husband was working from home and able to keep an eye on the kids while I went in a dark quiet room and rested for a while. That hasn’t always been the case.  Many times I am away from home with the kids…driving with an aura is dangerous. I have waited the aura out. I have also driven with the kids in the car hoping that I will be able to see well enough to get home to ibuprofen, a Coke, and safety.

My mom used to get them (and I think she still does). My dads sister got them. I have cousins who get them. It runs in families. I hope my kids don’t get them.

home is…having an aura about me.

creative cottage

I love our backyard.

For me, it was one of the big reasons I wanted our house.

I also have big plans for our backyard.

Yes, actual plans on paper from a licensed landscape architect, but my dream plans, too.

I love our house. I also have plans for an expansion because I really don’t want to move if and when we outgrow our current space, but I digress (I’ll save that for another post).

Back to the backyard…

You all know about the plans for the playhouse/treehouse.

I also want a playhouse of my own.

A creative cottage.

All I need to do is convince my husband that we don’t need the two large dog runs in the backyard that just sit empty the majority of the time.  That 12′ x 12′ space would be perfect for my creative cottage…

home is…still dreaming.

pieces of me: october 2003

A couple of things happened in October 2003.

The first of which was I found out I was pregnant on October 10th. It was not planned or expected. I was terrified to tell Ryan. I had just spent 3 years going back to school for my Interior Design degree. I was looking forward to finding a job. And, financially, we really needed me to be back at work. This was not in our plan.

We met at a parking lot near our home (I can’t remember if we had an appointment at the bank, or if we just met there).  I started crying and told him. He was in shock, but hugged me tight and said it would be okay.

We decided to keep it to ourselves until we had a grasp on it and felt comfortable telling our family and friends.

We never told them.

Later that month I went up to my parents house to spend some time with them. It was a weekday and my dad was home working on some home projects. My mom had been to the doctors that morning for some tests. I could tell something was not right. I finally got them to tell me that my mom had a biopsy to check a lump in her breast. They didn’t want to worry us and were waiting to find out the results of the biopsy before they said anything to my sister or me.

A couple days later my mom called me to tell me she had breast cancer. Sadly, I don’t remember what type, or stage, or the details. All I remember is being in shock.

The realization that life could be created, and possibly taken away, so unexpectedly was a lot to handle.

home is…not being ready for the unexpected.

pieces of me: summer 2003

I think it began in the summer of 2003.

Maybe it started before then.

I don’t know.

I can definitely point to 3 life altering events that happened beginning in the summer and continuing through the fall of 2003.

This is the first

Summer 2003:

I walked in on a burglary in progress in our home.

It was the middle of the afternoon. I think I had taken my sister to the car dealership to pick up her car, or drop it off. I was gone not more than 45 minutes. I took our dog Ben with me and then I was going to head home and do some painting in our house.

I was getting my paint supplies ready in the garage (we had an alley entry detached garage) and then walked towards the house. I noticed that our cat, Murphy had snuck out the back window that was cracked open. That was the first indication that something was wrong, but I didn’t notice it immediately.

I walked to the back door, unlocked it, and Ben ran in front of me. He was trained to not walk through doors before us, so this was the second indication that something was wrong.  Then he started growling. Ben barked a lot, but her never growled. This was the third indication that something was wrong.  I held him back and took a look into our kitchen…drawers were open and things were out of place.

I backed away from the house, went to the garage to get a rope to keep Ben with me, and called my husband. By this time I noticed that the screen was off the back window that the cat had escaped from and the window was open wide. Yes, I should have called 911 first, but I thought maybe something was wrong with Ryan and he had to break into the house.

He informed me that he was OK. I hung up the phone and called 911. I remember my voice being shaky and saying, “Yes, I think there is a burglary in progress at my home.”  I stayed in the backyard near the garage and waited for them to show up. It seemed like forever, but they were there in less than 3 minutes.

An officer came through the back gate, gun drawn, and approached me. They asked me a few questions and told me to stay put. Another officer had gone in through the front door, which was  now open. (It had not been open when I drove by the front of the house only a few minutes before)

The burglars took some large LL Bean totes that I had in the front guest bedroom and filled them with electronics and cash.  They had been in our bedroom (which was towards the back of the house) when I opened the back door.  The officers found one of our butcher knives either in our bedroom or living room (I can’t remember which now). They had used it to cut cable cords, but could have used it as a weapon had I gone into the house.

The burglars had left through the front door while I was in the backyard waiting for the police to come. A couple of months later they were caught. They had been burglarizing houses during the day by ringing the doorbell to see if anybody was home and entering through cracked windows, unlocked doors, etc. They were pawning or selling what they found and using the money for drugs.  It was a young man and woman.  The woman was 17 and pregnant.  They also had a young baby.

At the time, I just dealt with it. Did what I needed for the police and kept thinking how thankful I was that nobody got hurt. I felt sorry for the girl, her baby, and unborn child.

I asked Ryan to either get an alarm or another dog that could stay with me when he went hunting every weekend that fall. In November we had Oak flown out to Denver from our breeder and friend in Idaho. She was my constant companion from that Thanksgiving until last May.

What I didn’t deal with was the sense of violation I felt. I struggle with feeling safe…especially when I am alone. I never felt that way before this happened.

I started to feel fear.

home is…feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

being me

This is what appears on the “about” page of my blog:

a blog inspired by real life

I am a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, interior designer, perpetual student of life, and dreamer.

Real life, yours and mine, is my inspiration!

The categories included on my blog are:

being a wife

being a mom

being a daughter

being a sister

being a friend

being an interior designer

being a perpetual student of life

being a dreamer

All of these are parts of who I am, but what about being me?

I am learning to be me again. Somewhere along the line I stopped being me. Or, more likely, I changed things about me that I would like to change again.

Who am I?

Who do I want to be?

I am adding a new category…being me.

Stay tuned.

home is…being me.