{milestones} golden eight

Lola celebrated her golden 8th birthday on the 8th.

This girl burst into our world on her own schedule eight years ago and she has been a shining light since that day.

She continues to be one of the most positive people I have ever known.

She manages to find the good in almost everything.

She is a loyal friend.

She is a loving sister.

She is a helpful and caring daughter.

She loves gymnastics, drawing, writing, notebooks, pencils, people, puppies, and pigs.

She makes my heart happy.

Press play…

I asked her some questions to get a feel for how SHE feels at eight.

  • favorite color: teal and shrimp
  • favorite toy: ipod
  • favorite t.v. show: jessie and raven’s home
  • favorite game: minecraft and hide & seek
  • favorite snack: extra cheddar goldfish
  • favorite animal: pig
  • favorite holiday: thanksgiving and christmas
  • favorite book: junie b. jones and ivy and bean
  • favorite song: no place like you and take the world by storm
  • what do you take to bed: puppy and sleep mask
  • favorite food: steak
  • favorite thing to do outside: climb on ninja line/slack line
  • what do you want to be when you grow up: wildlife photographer or teacher
  • what are you most grateful for: my family and friends
  • favorite part of the day: being on my ipod
  • what makes you happy: hanging out with family and piggies
  • what are you scared of: the dark and spiders
  • what makes you special: my positive attitude

{milestones} the little guy is ten




the little guy is not so little anymore.

don’t let his tough exterior fool you, he is incredibly caring and tenderhearted. he might like to play lacrosse, ride BMX bikes, and do all kinds of other crazy stuff, but he is sensitive to others needs and very loyal to his family and friends.

it’s really hard for me to put into words what an incredibly amazing person he is. i really enjoy spending time with him. he is one of my very favorite people. i love him to pieces.

i took a walk down memory lane of the last ten years with him in our lives. it has been filled to the brim, and many times is overflowing, with love, fun, challenges, and success. i cannot wait to see what the next 10 years brings.

as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so these photos should say many thousands…you can click on the photos below to scroll through them individually.

also, scroll all the way to the bottom to see the answers to the questions i try to ask him every year around his birthday.

i asked him some questions this morning to give us an idea of what he likes at ten…

  • favorite color:  purple and chrome
  • favorite toy:  fidget spinner
  • favorite t.v. show:  battle bots
  • favorite game:  destiny (ps4)
  • favorite snack:  flavor blasted goldfish
  • favorite animal:  turtle
  • favorite holiday:  my birthday
  • favorite book:  big nate
  • favorite song:  where are you now by justin bieber and jack ü
  • what do you take to bed:  stormy, his black puppy
  • favorite food:  bailey’s burgers
  • favorite thing to do outside:  go to the skate park
  • what do you want to be when you grow up:  law enforcement, preferably SWAT team
  • what are you most grateful for:  my family
  • favorite part of the day:  night time
  • what makes you happy:  food
  • what are you scared of:  spiders
  • what makes me special:  good with technology

home is…double digits!

{milestones} baby girl is six

I asked her some questions this morning to get a feel for how SHE feels at six.

  • favorite color: hot pink
  • favorite toy: elsa doll
  • favorite t.v. show: the thunderman’s
  • favorite game: minecraft
  • favorite snack:  chips and guacamole
  • favorite animal: turtle
  • favorite holiday: christmas
  • favorite book: i believe i can fly
  • favorite song: sugar by maroon 5
  • what do you take to bed: puppy
  • favorite food: meatballs
  • favorite thing to do outside: ride my new bike
  • what do you want to be when you grow up: ice skating teacher
  • what are you most grateful for: ice cream
  • favorite part of the day: school
  • what makes you happy: mom
  • what are you scared of: bugs
  • what makes you special: i’m silly

{milestones} the little guy is eight

eight years old.

do you know what that means?

it means that i have been a mom for more than half of our married life.

we waited seven years to have kids.

let me tell you, this eight year old made it all worth it.

he is an amazing human being.

he’s loving…he loves his family and friends like crazy.

he’s funny…especially when he’s not trying too hard to be funny.

he’s strong…headstrong, heart strong, and physically strong.

he’s brave…he’s willing to try anything…sports, food, new activities.

he’s smart…he doesn’t love our summer learning packets, but he does love to learn. he excelled in first grade, and i think second grade is going to be an awesome year for him!

he has his own opinions, ideas, and thoughts.

i love him so very much.

i asked him some questions this morning to get a feel for how he feels at eight…

  • favorite color: green, gold, and purple
  • favorite toy:  ipad
  • favorite t.v. show:  mountain men
  • favorite game:  rayman legends and planes vs zombies garden warfare
  • favorite snack:  apples
  • favorite animal:  dog, cat, panda, and wolf
  • favorite holiday:  my birthday
  • favorite book:  arctic tale
  • favorite song:  don’t really have one
  • what do you take to bed:  black puppy
  • favorite food:  pizza and ice cream cake
  • favorite thing to do outside:  play
  • what do you want to be when you grow up:  youtuber
  • what are you most grateful for:  everything
  • favorite part of the day:  lunchtime
  • what makes you happy:  when i get lots of rest and don’t have to play
  • what are you scared of:  spiders
  • what makes me special:  everything about me

{milestones} baby girl is five

We celebrated baby girl’s fifth birthday recently.



She is full of life.

One of the most positive people I know.

For instance, at a recent family vacation to the oregon coast she said, “Good thing it was a great day for flying kites at the beach!”

She can be moody, but she always finds the good in things.

I hope she never loses that.

She loves to play games that she makes up. Recently, its been “family” with dolls, but she makes up all kinds of games to play on her own, with friends, with one of us, and especially her brother.

She adores her brother and loves to play the games that he plays. He’s not always interested in playing with her dolls, but she is always up for playing Minecraft, Mario Brothers, or any of the games that her brother loves. 

She is strong and sensitive.

She’s silly and loving.

She is social when she feels comfortable, which means she talks my arm off all day long.

She has become a lot more independent this year and doesn’t cling to my leg everywhere we go, but can still be very timid with the unknown.

She’s always been my girl and tells me all day long how much she loves me.

She humors me and poses for all the photos I ask to take of her. Goodness is she is photogenic.

She loves to draw pictures and do all sorts of crafts.

Recently, on one of the games she plays on the computer, she has figured out how to use the shapes to create cards for us…she created a Minecraft card for her brother and many cards for me that, in her words, “tell you I love you”.

She swims, scooters, climbs, runs, digs in the dirt, skis, plays sports with her brother, twirls, dances, and sleeps ALWAYS in a skirt.

Everyday she wears a skirt. This year has been the year of the long dresses and skirts.

She is all girl, but in her own very special way.

She will ALWAYS be my baby.

I love you baby girl.

baby girl is five

I asked her the same questions that I asked her brother this year on his seventh birthday to get a feel for how SHE feels at five:

  • favorite color: all the rainbow colors
  • favorite toy: puppy and peppa pig
  • favorite t.v. show: peppa pig and tom & jerry
  • favorite game: mario brothers and candy land
  • favorite snack: fried cheese sticks
  • favorite animal: puppy
  • favorite holiday: christmas and easter
  • favorite book: little house in the big woods, my bible, and goodnight moon
  • favorite song: let it go
  • what do you take to bed: puppy
  • favorite food: fried cheese sticks
  • favorite thing to do outside: swim at the pool
  • what do you want to be when you grow up: a kid that has real wings that can fit through the door
  • what are you most grateful for: mommy and puppy
  • favorite part of the day: when reece comes home and playing with all my toys
  • what makes you happy: my family
  • what are you scared of: the dark
  • what makes me special: because i’m thoughtful

To be part of her life EVERYDAY and watch her become her own person is one of the biggest joys of my life.

home is…five of the most rewarding years of my life. 

{milestones} the little guy is seven

We celebrated the little guys seventh birthday recently.


That’s big.

He’s awesome.

Physically, he can do anything he sets his mind to.

Rock climbing, bike riding, baseball, skiing, snowboarding, swimming…pretty much anything he tries, he is good at.

When I asked him what he wanted to do on our upcoming trip to the lake he replied, “I’ll try anything.”

And, he will.

He’s reading. Not voraciously into books quite yet, but I imagine it will only be a matter of time.

He’s brave. It’s hard to remember what it was like to go to a new, big school and have to make ALL NEW friends. He did a great job this year.

His favorite class (and teacher) in school this year was music. Music. What an awesome thing.

He loves his sister. Sometimes, it’s not cool to show his love, but most times he does. He reads to her, lets her play minecraft with him, shares his legos with her, and indulges in the play that she leads. He is the best big brother she could ask for.

As tough as he is, he has a real sensitive nature. He loves fiercely. His feelings can be easily hurt.

One on one time with him is amazing. He has awesome thoughts and ideas that he doesn’t always get to share unless we get time alone with him.

He loves science, nature, and exploring the outdoors.

He knows a lot about technology and is not afraid of it…he knows more about iPads and iPhones than I do!

He is creative and thoughtful.

He has boundless energy that can sometimes get him into trouble, but most times is just hard to keep up with.

He keeps us on our toes.

He tests boundaries.

He loves his family.

And, we love him. Like crazy.

the little guy is seven

I asked him some questions this morning to get a feel for how HE feels at seven.

  • favorite color:  green, yellow, gold…well, actually, the whole rainbow
  • favorite toy:  bike
  • favorite t.v. show: wild kratts
  • favorite game: minecraft
  • favorite snack:  chewy chcolate chip granola bars and poppa’s popcorn
  • favorite animal:  pronghorn
  • favorite holiday:  christmas
  • favorite book:  anything about minecraft
  • favorite song: welcome boys and girls (sung by his music teacher as they enter the classroom)
  • what do you take to bed: sweetie (his big yellow dog)
  • favorite food: pizza
  • favorite thing to do outside: ride his bike
  • what do you want to be when you grow up:  zoologist or wildlife biologist
  • what are you most grateful for: ben and pop-pop
  • favorite part of the day: afternoon
  • what makes you happy: sweetie at bedtime
  • what are you scared of: spiders
  • what makes me special: my family

To be part of his life EVERYDAY and watch him grow is one of the biggest joys of my life.

home is…seven of the most rewarding years of my life.

{milestones} the little guy at the big school

He wanted to wear his shorts and jersey from the boys next door.

the little guy at the big school 1

He wanted spiked hair and photos with Odyssey.

the little guy at the big school 8

He let his sister sit in the chair for a few photos with him.

the little guy at the big school 3

She was as excited as he was.

the little guy at the big school 2

They waited for their friend to walk to school with us.

the little guy at the big school 4

We stopped to look at snails, but walked quickly so we would not be late for the first day of school.

the little guy at the big school 5

The little guy was fighting back his tears to smile for the camera.

the little guy at the big school 6

He’s a little guy in a big school and I am sure that he had a great first day. I am so excited for him.

the little guy at the big school 7

I get to go find out in one hour when we make the walk again. One that will become very familiar in the years to come.

I am so proud of my little guy.

home is…snips and snails and puppy dog tails.

{milestones} a visit from the tooth fairy

Reece has been working on a loose tooth for a few weeks now.

hanging by a thread

Last week it started hanging by a thread.

I was sure that the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy would bump into eachother at our house on Saturday night.

Once the tooth was really wiggly, Reece didn’t want it to fall out.

Yesterday, on his way in from the car after he was picked up from school, he pulled the tooth out.

He came inside, excited, but also a little sad.

it's out

He didn’t want to pull his tooth out.

I had ordered some adorable tooth pillows from a local Portland mom who has a fabulous etsy shop…go check it out!

tooth pillow and note

We made a tiny little envelope to put his tooth in and put it in the little pocket for the Tooth Fairy.

fairy dust

This morning, we found that she left a tiny little note, one dollar, and some fairy dust on Reece’s pillow.

We got ready for school as usual and, as I do every Wednesday morning, I asked Reece what he would like to take for sharing.

I thought for sure that he would want to take his pillow with the fairy dust and note to school for sharing, but he ran upstairs crying and said he didn’t want to go to school.

After finally getting the kids into the car and on our way to school, I asked Reece why he was so upset.

He told me that he really didn’t want to lose his tooth.

He didn’t want to share what he got from the tooth fairy.

He didn’t want to talk about it at school.

He wanted me to tell his teacher and ask her not to mention it.

So, I did.

It’s almost like he is mourning the loss of his tooth.

He is such a sensitive kid sometimes.

I love that about him.

home is…mourning the loss of a tooth.

{milestones} the little guy is five

Last night, as I was settling in to bed, the little guy came into our room and said, “Mommy, it’s my birthday. Can I please come snuggle with you? I promise I will fall asleep.”

It was 10 o’clock and I was recalling five years ago when we were told, around that time, that I would need an emergency c-section.  It wasn’t what I had expected, but I really had NO idea what to expect as I had never given birth before.

All we wanted was a healthy baby.

I hugged Reece tight last night as I ran through that night in my head and told him the story he has heard many times before.

“…sitting on the operating table shaking from the medicine they gave me to slow down my contractions to keep you safe. You see, every time I had a contraction your heart rate dropped. They told me to sit still so they could give me another medicine so it didn’t hurt when they made the cut in my belly to get you out…

I held Poppa’s hand and minutes later the doctor announced, ‘You have a healthy baby boy!’

I turned to Poppa, tears streaming, and said, ‘You got your boy.'”

I got my boy….and he is all I could ask for in a little boy

Challenging, frustrating, and defiant at times.

Thoughtful and loving, most.

Strong and funny.

Smart and precocious.

Cautiously observing, sometimes.

Fearless, most.


Yesterday, on his fifth birthday, he learned to ride a bike without training wheels.

Today, he went on a zipline at playgroup…

and, tried riding his bike “off-road”.

He skis.

He climbs rock walls…

among other things…

He loves to go fishing.

He is starting to play team sports.

He loves superheros…especially Batman, Angry Birds, and Mario.

He knows more about the iPhone, iPad, and the Wii than I do…well, not really, but he’s better at all the games.

He still has trouble falling asleep…just like when he was a baby.

He likes to come snuggle in our bed…never liked to snuggle as a baby.

He likes to play with his friends from playgroup, preschool and the neighborhood.

And, is always willing to make new friends at the playground.

He likes to wrestle with his Poppa, shoot nerf guns, train dogs, and hit a baseball.

He’s learning to swim and loves to play at the pool…including going down the water slide and jumping off the diving board by himself.

And, most of all, he adores his family.

He is kind to his sister, is willing to give hugs and kisses, and tells us he loves us all the time.

Reece is all I could ask for in a little boy.

home is…celebrating five years of all boy.