eight years

eight years ago this month i wrote my first post for this little blog of mine.


reece and oak

while it wasn’t my first blog post ever, it was the first one that led to another, then another, and then a move to pretty consistent blogging.


me and lorelai

i was pregnant with lorelai and reece was 20-months old. i had officially been a stay at home mom for a year, after going back to work for a bit and making the decision that i did not want my children to go to daycare…even if it meant giving up a job i absolutely loved.


reece and oak

i’m so thankful that i am able to be here for my kids. they have both been sick with a nasty cold the last few weeks, and it is such a blessing to be able to not have to think twice about having them stay home with me.


reece and odyssey

there are sacrifices that are made for me to stay home and there are things i miss out on when they stay home with me, but i wouldn’t change it. i wouldn’t change the memories that are being made and the life we are living.


me, reece and lorelai (in my belly)

i am so thankful that i decided to write things down here in this space…so much of it would just be forgotten if i didn’t have the words to read and remind me…

“He says (and waves) hello and goodbye to everybody at Safeway, Target, Whole Foods, or wherever we may be. He is perplexed when he is pushed by another child while at OMSI. He loves his three dogs and two cats more than anything in the world. He gives lots of hugs and kisses. It melts my heart when I am sitting on the floor and he comes up and gives me a great big hug (and pats me on the back). He has a heart of gold.”

img_0144i’m going to go snuggle my not so little boy, who happens to be home with me today.

rain and sunshine

It takes both rain and sunshine…

reece rain and lorelai

to make a rainbow.

Meet Grand River Hoji Rainbow, our new black lab puppy! We call her Rain, Rainy, or Sweet Girl…as Lorelai likes to call her.

This was her very first adventure with us…cutting down our Christmas tree!

She came from the litter of tiny puppies that the kids got to hold in October when we visited Idaho.

You’ll be seeing lots more of her.

home is…plenty of rain and sunshine to make rainbows.


grand river hoji ben {january 25, 2000 – july 7, 2014}

We bought our first house with him in mind.

He was born less than one week after we were engaged.

We drove 6 hours, one way, to pick him up…I had to drive the last hour so Ryan would not speed.

His biological mom’s name was Jo-Jo.

His biological dad’s name was Fast Eddy.

He was a grumpy old man as a puppy.

We got married when he was 10 months old.

We used to run across creeks and hide behind trees to make him learn to swim.

More times than not, when he would throw a fit about getting into the car (usually in the middle of nowhere Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas or Nebraska) we had to get in the car without him and drive down the dirt road, with him in hot pursuit, just to get him to decide to get into the car with us.

He taught us about tough love.

He introduced us to people and places we never would have met or seen without him.

He took us on adventures I will never forget.

We ran through high mountain parks in snow-thunderstorms together.

We “got turned around” (you are only lost if you are never found) after dark on logging roads in Idaho together.

We woke up with a snow covered wall tent at 10,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains more than once together.

He traveled from coast to coast with us.

He stayed at Hotel Monaco in Chicago (even took a bath in the tub) and Super 8’s all over the country.

He swam in rivers and lakes from New York to Colorado to Oregon.

He chased birds where most will never get a chance, or be good enough, to chase birds.

He stopped me from walking in on a burglary in progress in our home.

He taught me patience.

He taught me unconditional love.

He taught me to be a mom before I was a mom.


flat tops 9:2005

hunting in the colorado flat tops {9/2005}

bella beach 7:2011

bella beach {7/2011}

walk around the block 2:2012

walk around the block {2/2012}

thought we would lose him then 3:2012

almost lost him {3/2012}

st louis ponds 4:2006

the three amigos – Oak, Ben & Odyssey {4/2006}

snuggles 3:2012

snuggles {3/2012}

sleepy face 3:2012

sleepy face…he was so sick in march 2012 {3/2012}

sharing his bed 12:2013

such a gentle boy – sharing with baby teal {12/2013}

reece's first hunt 11:2010

reece’s first hunt {11/2010}

mt hood 8:2010

mt. hood {8/2010}

mike gould and ben 10:2005

grand river seminar with mike gould {10/2005}

lab at play


just hanging 10:2011

just hanging on the deck {10/2011}

instagram dog 8:2011

dog of instagram {8/2011}

idaho 10:2006

loved to dig a hole to rest in – idaho {10.2006}

grandchild is a dog

pillow we bought for ryan’s parents

grand river seminar 10:2011

grand river seminar – idaho {10/2011}

getting a bath 2:2014

getting a bath {2/2014}

family dog 8:2011

family dog {8/2011}

family dog 3:2011

dog pile {3/2011}

chukar 1:2009

chukar hunting {1/2009}


He couldn’t hear.

He couldn’t see.

He was in pain.

For the last week he barked each time he had to go out to go potty because he needed help standing up to go outside.

Last night, after he barked for help I slept on the floor with him.

His last night with us.

This morning, I carried him outside so he could go potty.

He was stubborn. Always.

He didn’t want to have to be carried outside to go potty, but his body was failing him.

It was time to let go.

Fourteen and a half years.

Our family won’t be the same without him.

grand river hoji ben

Rest in Peace, Grand River Hoji Ben.

home is…knowing all dogs go to heaven.

grumpy old men

Our house has three of them.

Well, technically, they aren’t men.

They are two dogs and a cat.

Ben, our oldest lab, turns 14 this week.

Odyssey will be 10 on the same day.

Hobbes, our cat, will be 14 in March.

They are a lot of work right now.

Ben doesn’t know if he is coming or going…the poor guy. He wanders aimlessly through the house. Click. Click. Click. The sound of his overgrown nails on the floor is enough to drive you insane. He soils his bed routinely, hasn’t gone up to the second floor in almost two years, and barks outside because it is hard for him to get back up on the deck once he goes down onto the grass. His whole body is stiff. He can’t see well at all. And, I am pretty sure he can’t hear much of anything either. I wonder about his quality of life.

Odyssey has been having some major incontinence issues since late November. We treated him for a UTI. It got better, but then came back. We put him on a second round of antibiotics and had a more sensitive urinalysis done. They found no bacteria. No infection. So, we recently started him on an incontinence drug. A 10-14 day trial. We are 5 days in. It’s not working yet. We are washing his bedding daily as it is soaked every morning. And, he sneaks up onto the kids beds if their doors aren’t closed, so their bedding gets soaked, too. To make matters worse, the washer won’t finish a cycle and it takes forever to get through laundry (the good news is that we have a part on order to hopefully fix that). I am hoping and praying that suddenly this medicine starts to work in the next five days. If not, we are in for seeing a specialist for more imaging to find out what is going on with him. I don’t even want to think of the possibilities.

Hobbes. Our little patient, diabetic kitty. Right now he is just on a prescription diet and we don’t give him injections. It seems to be ok. The good news is that he is no longer peeing all over the house since we got our new floors in. He misses his litter box occasionally, but I now use “wee-wee pads” around his litter box and that soaks up the mess. Hobbes is always the last to get fed and I find him sleeping in my bathroom sink because he falls asleep waiting for somebody to turn on the water for him to drink. He gets grumpy with the dogs. In fact, as I was typing this he was guarding the stairs and would’t let Odyssey past. Just like a grumpy old man.

Lately, I have been impatient with all of them. It feels like every ounce of energy is spent cleaning up messes (theirs and the kids).

I don’t want to let Ben out…AGAIN…so he will, moments later, want to come right back in.

I don’t want to hear Hobbes meow for me to turn on the bathroom sink so he can drink from the faucet.

I don’t want to walk into my bedroom and smell urine on Odyssey’s soaked bed…and have to do another load of laundry.

What I NEED to do is…

take Odyssey for a run to clear my head, get some fresh air, and the exercise I so badly need so I can be patient.

snuggle Hobbes and just turn on the faucet so he is happy.

give Ben a “mommy massage” like I used to do when he would come back from a big hunting weekend with Ryan.

The time will come when there is not a dog to run with, a cat meowing for food or water, and a dog that is barking at the door to be let out or in.

There won’t be soiled beds to wash or a litter box to scoop.

When we moved to Oregon eight years ago we came out here with all of of belongings…including three dogs and two cats. We said goodbye to Murphy in 2009 and Oak in 2010.

Sadly, I see more goodbyes in our near future.

Right now, I’m going for that run with Odyssey.

home is…taking care of our four legged fuzzy faced friends.

good mornings

This summer I am trying to spend as much time as I can in my happy place…our backyard.

After I feed the dogs, I head out to what I call “the best seat in the house” and drink my coffee.

Sometimes it is just minutes before one of the kids wakes up, or yells from the house in need of something.

Others, I have had nice chunks of time to sit and watch hummingbirds, read, catch up on blogs or blogging, and just soak it all in.

Each of those mornings I have a friend join me for coffee…

Odyssey LOVES coffee.

If I leave my cup unattended he will drink it all!

I love these summer mornings in my happy place with my special coffee loving friend.

home is…sharing my coffee.