stop and look around

I’m feeling a little uninspired in my writing lately.

I have started to look back at some old posts for inspiration.

Here one of my favorites from 2 years ago…

{tuesdays with lola} the allison

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

– Ferris Bueller

Life is good.

It’s easy to forget that when you are frustrated about migraines, 3-1/2 year olds who don’t go to sleep at bedtime, stomach cramps, teething toddlers, messy houses, death, arguments, and all the other normal stuff that happens in life.

It’s all good.

What makes it tough is if we don’t stop to appreciate all of it. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

I don’t know who is in charge, but “they” have a plan for all of us. We’re just along for the ride.

Speaking of ride, lola and I went for a drive this morning after we dropped the little guy off at school. When I don’t feel like tackling the to do list I often just go for a drive.

This morning the sun was peaking through the clouds, and I thought we would get out and enjoy it before raindrops start falling again.

We drove down to The Allison. One of my favorite places to take the kids for a little bit of an adventure. We walk around the beautiful grounds and soak up a little bit of what the Willamette Valley has to offer. It’s a little different every season.

Here is what we found today…

home is…putting the to do list away for a morning.

{milestones} baby girl is three

Don’t tell her I called her “baby girl”.

She won’t be happy.

We celebrated Lorelai’s third birthday last weekend with some good friends.

Being pregnant with her still feels like yesterday…

I sent the above photo to Ryan as a text message when he was at the National Sales meeting for his company. I think he was surprised.

It was quite a surprise when she wanted to come 2 weeks before my scheduled c-section (3 weeks before her due date). I had a plan in place, but apparently she had a plan of her own.

I’m just glad that Ryan made it home from Alaska a few days earlier.

Man, what a mess I would have been if he hadn’t been here…and our awesome neighbors who took Reece for the day.

She’s still my baby.

She always will be.

She’s always done things the way SHE wants to do them.

She only wants to wear “ballerine’s” (dresses).

They can’t be long sleeved.

They can’t have buttons.

They can’t have anything that needs to be tied.

She likes to wear dancing shoes…with flowers or sparkles on them.

She also only wants to wear nighties…no pj pants and tops.

She loves dolls, dress up, and stuffed animals.

She wants her nails to always have polish on them.

She also loves to get dirty in the backyard with her brother.

And, she is learning to hold her own with him.

If she can’t push or hit, she can scream the loudest.

She still won’t let me put a ponytail in her hair.

She wants me to take my ponytail out every night when I put her to bed.

She’s definitely a momma’s girl, but has a soft spot for her boys.

She can be overly emotional.

She likes to sleep.

She likes to just “hang out”.

She likes to dance and sing.

She likes to play ballerina and sing songs to make me happy.

One she has named The Sunflower Song goes something like this, “I’m fishing with a sunflower. I’m fishing with a sunflower. I’m fishing with a sunflower…”

She doesn’t want to miss out on what they boys are doing…whether it’s fishing, playing football, or otherwise…but is more of a spectator than an active participant.

She is a “happy, sunshine girl”…that is what she called herself this morning.

She is my baby girl…even if she is three.

home is…celebrating three years with baby girl.


Lately, I start my mornings outside in what I call the best seat in the house.

Odyssey likes to share my coffee.

Yesterday, I found this knocked over.

Kind of a bummer.

growing up

I signed the little guy up for camp this week.

Every morning.

As of yesterday morning, he had only gone to one day.


He was brave.

After a little bit of a struggle {read: he was hugging me and my legs and not letting go} he walked into the big gym and played along side with kids twice his age.

When I picked him up, he looked so little.

His Batman backpack dwarfing his body.

He wasn’t happy.

He wanted to be with his mommy.

He hurt his toe.

It was cool outside, and they were in the pool for a long time.

I kept him home the next two mornings.

Yesterday, Ryan was home.

He wanted the little guy to go.

I totally understand the lesson he wanted to teach…you sign up for something {and Poppa works hard to make the money that pays for things} and you follow through.

The little guy went to camp.

He walked into that big gym.

He was brave.

He looked so little.

He IS so little.

I wanted him to be home with me.

I cried the whole way home.

When I got home, I cried as Ryan hugged me.

I have to admit, I signed him up for camp for selfish reasons.

I thought I would need the time away from him.

But all I want is to be with him.

And, baby girl.

They are growing up.

Right. Before. My. Eyes.

selfish reasons

I couldn’t wait to pick him up.

Baby girl and I mailed a colton+cadence order and made a quick stop at Goodwill.

Then we went to pick up the little guy.

I told him how brave he was.

I told him how proud I was of him.

I have to admit, I was telling him those things for selfish reasons.

To make myself feel better.

He had fun at camp.

When we got home, I pickled some cucumbers while the kids had a little lunch and quiet time.

Then we went on an adventure.

Local farm stores…

and, Sonic for ice cream…

before dinner!

We played outside in the backyard until Poppa came home.

Baby girl was exhausted after her bath and was asleep the second her head hit the pillow.

The little guy was having trouble going to sleep, so he got to come downstairs and play outside with the neighbors while Ryan and I worked in the garden.

Sometimes big boys get to stay up past bedtime.

I have to admit, I let him stay up way past bedtime for selfish reasons.

To spend time with him that I had missed in the morning.

To redeem myself.

And, to make myself feel better.


home is…learning from our mistakes.

baby girl said

We have transitioned baby girl to a big bed this week.

And, she is not taking naps…which is a good thing because she is very tired by her 7:00 bedtime.

This evening, while changing her diaper (potty training is next) I said, “Are you sleepy?”

She replied, “I not sleepy. I La-La.”

I replied, through my laughter, “You are cute.”

To which she replied, “No. I La-La!”


I also have to add that later today she also said, “Mommy, I not sassy.”

“Oh, you’re not sassy?” I asked.

“No. I La-La.”

*photos were taken last month at home and at friday playgroup

some random and a winner

I have been up before 5 am the last 4 mornings.

On Friday, the little guy complained that his ear hurt, so off to urgent care we went. He has an ear infection. His first.

On Saturday, baby girl started coughing.

On Sunday, baby girl woke up at 4:30 am with a coughing fit.

On Monday, baby girl woke up a little after 4 am with a coughing fit.

On Tuesday, baby girl woke up at 4:19 am with a coughing fit.

Today, baby girl woke up at 4:42 am with a coughing fit.

We get a snack, snuggle a bit, then the little guy comes downstairs (this morning at 5:20 am), we eat some breakfast, then another breakfast, then a snack.

Baby girl hasn’t lost her appetite.

Yesterday, we were able to do a lot of crafts. It was fun.

The little guy took a nap. He never does that. I think the early mornings are catching up to him.

I know they are catching up to me.

He had a bit of cabin fever yesterday afternoon, so we took a drive to get gas, and stopped in at Target to get a treat at the dollar bins.

I didn’t even stay up to watch Parenthood last night! I DVR’d it, so hopefully I can watch it after Modern Family tonight.

I can’t workout when the kids are sick since they can’t go to the childcare at the club. That’s a bummer.

Well, enough random.

On to the winner…

Thank you all for the comments and giveaway entries!

I hope you will all enjoy following my blog via e-mail or Facebook.

I also promise that I will have some fun stuff coming up with colton+cadence in 2012.

I used to pick a winner…

That would make this comment from Cindy A. the winner!

Thanks for tweeting, Cindy!

Please contact me at so I can get your information and get a package to you!


And, keep coming back…I will be posting the December giveaway in just a couple of weeks!

That was fun!

home is…early mornings, lazy days at home, and a winner of my first giveaway.

impromptu idaho

I mentioned yesterday that we took a road trip to Idaho over the weekend.

Just about 12 years ago Ryan made contact with Mike Gould. Ryan was looking for a hunting dog and had read Mike’s book, The Labrador Shooting Dog. One night when we were having dinner at a friend’s house they pulled the book out, called information, and asked for Mike Gould’s number in Kamiah, Idaho.

Mike answered the phone and Ryan spent about an hour talking to him about a dog. Soon after that Ryan sent Mike a long letter about what he would like to see in a hunting dog. Ryan and Mike talked on the phone weekly, and by March of 2000 we were on our way to Utah on a quick road trip to pick up our Grand River lab, Ben.

Through the years we drove up to Idaho from Colorado multiple times a year. We spent hours driving the logging roads, talking about hunting, nature and dogs.

By 2004 we had 3 Grand River labs. At the beginning of May 2004, Oak (our female) had a litter of four puppies in our garage. We had 7 Grand River labs living in our small house near Cherry Creek in Denver.

One of the reasons we moved to Portland was to be closer to Idaho.

Something about our drives and visits to Idaho make it feel like home.

I’d have to say it is one of my happiest places on earth.

The little guy made his first trip to Idaho when he was less than 3 months old. We have spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with Mike and the friends we have made there.

Every fall Mike hosts a Grand River Seminar in Kamiah, Idaho. It had been 3 years since we had been to one. In fact, the last one we went to I was pregnant and we told everybody there before anybody else in our family knew…mainly because I wasn’t drinking beer around the campfire like I usually do. {I miscarried a month later, but that’s another story}

It was about time to make a visit to Kamiah.

Ryan had been trying to figure out how he could make it work. He was going to fly out there alone. He was going to drive out with Odyssey. He was going to fly out with Reece. Finally after we calculated how much time it would take to fly and drive (from Spokane or Lewiston) we figured we could drive out there in the same amount of time…and ALL of us could go.

So, on Friday night while I took the little guy to a birthday party Ryan packed up food and supplies for our road trip.

We left Portland for Kamiah Saturday morning at 5 am.

We arrived at the seminar (after checking into our cabin at the Lewis and Clark Resort) around 1:30 pm.

The little guy did NOT want to go to Idaho on Saturday morning.

On Sunday morning he did NOT want to leave.

The property that the seminar was held on was FULL of fruit trees…some wild, some planted on purpose at some point.

Apples, pears, plums (we picked 3 different kinds).

The kids and I drove back to the cabin around 9 pm…Ryan finally made it back after 1 am. I am glad he had the time to catch up with all the guys.

After eating breakfast by the campfire we visited with friends for a bit longer and then got back on the road.

The kids earned some new toys for being so good.

We could hear geese down on the river, so they guys started calling.

We left Kamiah for Portland Sunday morning at 11:30 am.

And, made it back home just in time for baths and a good night sleep.

It was well worth the 15 hours of driving for the time spent with friends…new and old.

And, here is my favorite series of photos from the trip.

Our good friend, Dr. Duck, made quick friends with baby girl by helping her with her shoe after it fell off.

home is…dropping everything to go on an adventure with our little family to see great friends.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that the little guy played baseball during a lull in the afternoon. Man, he was hitting the ball HARD and far. All the guys at the seminar were really impressed with his left-handed hitting skills…I think we have an athlete on our hands! I wish I had taken pictures of it…I think I was making a run back to the cabin for a diaper, or down to the store for M&M’s!

summer’s last blast

So, while some of you are experiencing a quiet house with kids back in school, we still have a week of summer vacation left.

This last week of summer I am going to soak up the sun. Really enjoy the last full days I have with my kids before the “scheduled” days of the school year start.

I am going to take the week off from the computer…well, from being online.

I’m going to work on catching up with summer photos and posts…and maybe, just maybe, finish the photo album I owe our family from 2010.

We will also be celebrating baby girl’s 2nd birthday this week, so I need to give that the same attention that I gave the little guy when we celebrated his birthday earlier this summer at the beach.

I am not going to check Facebook, no tweets for me, no new posts on my blog, and the hardest will be not checking Pinterest or posting to Instagram.

{I will still be checking e-mail, so you can comment on this post or send me an e-mail and reach me}

Until Wednesday, September 14th.

I look forward to catching up with you all in a week!

Until then, here’s a recap of some of our summer fun…all from my iphone and instagram!

home is…savoring the last week of summer.

a rambling catch up


July was crazy busy.

And, what…where did August go?!

I have lots of catch up posts to put together about some of our summer adventures…

  • Bella Beach with Meme and Topher
  • The 4th Annual Playgroup Birthday Party
  • Our cross country trip to visit family in New York

I promise to get to them.

More for me than anything.

The little guy asked me if we still had things to cross off on our summer list.

Yes, we have a few.

And, a few will wait until next summer.

For now, I am going to embrace September.

I love the changing seasons.

I used to love the beginning of a new school year.

I look forward to the sounds of football coming from the TV or radio, cool evenings, crisp mornings and sunlight streaming through leaves that are trying to hold on to their green color just a little bit longer.

Ryan has been traveling a lot. Like, every week. It’s just the way things are. It’s the life we have chosen.

He’s tired.

I’m tired.

And, we just push on.

He texted me today from Northern California and said, “Would love some hardcore family time on Saturday.”

So, I will plan some hardcore family time for us.

Maybe cross some things off of our summer list.

Oh, and we have a birthday to celebrate on Monday.

Ryan will be 39.

Oh, and we welcomed a new little bundle into the extended family on Tuesday.

My sister-in-law texted us on Tuesday afternoon and said, “Think I might be in labor.”

Less than 4 hours later she texted us again and said, “SHE is here!”

Welcome little Katherine Grace to our extended family. She is surrounded by brothers and boy cousins…and has our baby girl to help show her the ropes!

Speaking of baby girl, she will be 2 a week from today!

Two. Years. Old.


home is…hardcore family time.