Wednesday, December 7, 2011


As we sit here in December, once again unemployed (a topic for another post), I am trying, desperately, to focus on the important things.  And as I have had a particularly frustrating morning with my one year old I am trying to remember all the positives about my children especially.  As I sat thinking about them I thought of some wonderful things and wanted to write them down while they sounded so nice in my head :)

A letter to my daughters,
  When I was young I always had a strong urge to create.  I longed to be more than I was.  I read, A LOT.  I wanted a life that was something out of book.  A life that was spectacular in some way, by something that I did.  A great quest was always something that sounded fabulous, not reality but fabulous all the same.  So I scaled down. 
   I thought it would be incredible to be a drawer or a painter.  Alas, I quickly found that I had no natural talent for it and no desire to learn technique for either drawing or painting.  *sigh*  I thought I could be a writer.  I wrote a few small things and even submitted one short story to a children's magazine, which was not published.  Again I found myself in world where I was okay, but not great.  *sigh*  I tried my hand at music and found a natural ability there... for  years I played the violin and truly enjoyed it.  I even sang in several choirs.  However, I was never "great" and I was not good at writing music.  So really I was an outlet and not a "creator".  *sigh, again* 
  As I got older I tried different ways of "creating".   I took a pottery class in college (looked like a fourth grader did my projects).  Then there were a few things that I enjoyed and was okay at: photography (just enough to have some great photos you girls), scrapbooking (to preserve the pictures, even if keeping up with it is nearly impossible) and crocheting.  All of these things I was fine at but my creating itch was never fully scratched and my life was still not spectacular... that is until one day I realized I had created something, done something pretty.... grand.  
Three somethings to be exact.  
I didn't do it on my own but I did a big part of it.  I created three little lives.  I carried you all, I helped to create your features, your personalities and your lives.  I was, and still am, blessed to be at home helping forge who you are.  I am helping to mold who you will be one day.  Teaching manners and life lessons of all kinds.  Kissing boo-boos and drying tears.  Helping deal with disappointments and excitements beyond your dreams.  Fostering your imaginations and helping you not to grow up too fast.  
Your lives are the stories and poems that I never wrote.  Your songs and laughter are the music I couldn't create.  Your giggles are choirs singing opuses that I couldn't fathom.  Your faces, happy, sad, angry, are paintings and drawings far beyond anything I could have imagined.  No photograph or scrapbook can replace looking at your face as we watch fireworks together on the fourth of July.  Or the pride I feel as you reach out to help someone.  Helping you through your life until you are grown is my prodigious quest.  So maybe I'm not "great".  Maybe my life isn't book-worthy.  My life may look down-right boring and trite from the outside looking in.  And while there are many thankless parts of my life, I've become what I always wanted to be.... a creator, someone who has made a mark on the world.  That mark is you.  You helped me to have the kind of life that I wanted.  Thank you, my creations, you have blessed me beyond measure.  I will strive from now on to be the best molder, forger, encourager and "creator" of your lives that I can be.  I will mess up though, so hang on.   We have a great story ahead of us.  
I love you,

Brianna, Clara and Audrey ~ Halloween 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Grateful, Day 30

Today I am grateful for my friends. Old ones, new ones, all.  Being in a military area there are a lot of people who come and go (which I hate) in my life.  It's not always fun bit it has allowed me to meet wonderful friends that I otherwise wouldn't have.  Thanks to all of you whom I count as a friend! :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Grateful, Day 29

Today I am grateful for Derek's job.  We've had a rough few years and this is the first November since 2008 that he's had a job.  We are thankful for that provision and for all that it is allowing us to do.
I am also grateful that gas prices are coming down a bit :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Grateful, Day 28

Today I am grateful for my parents.  Today is my 29th birthday and without them I wouldn't be here.  Even though I didn't have the most traditional upbringing I always knew that I was loved and wanted.  I have now been blessed with a wonderful step-dad who treats me and my kids as if we were biologically part of his family.  Feeling the love today :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Grateful, Day 27

Today I am grateful for unhurried days.  With three kids, one in school and two in various activities, we're busy... all the time.  Today we just went to church and then chilled the rest of the day.  Now we're getting ready to head out to buy some Christmas lights for the outside of our house.   So thankful Derek will indulge me and put them on the house for me :)

Edited to add... all done with the lights, they look fantastic.  Audrey picked out rainbow colored ones and I think they're perfect!
Picture taken with my phone :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Grateful, Day 26

Today I am thankful for sleeping in... seriously.  I haven't done that very much in the last six years since becoming a parent.  Plus, now we're so busy it isn't always an option.  But today I got to sleep in until blissful 10:00!!  On top of that, my wonderful husband had a hot breakfast waiting for me when I got up!  Have I mentioned how thankful I am for him?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Grateful, Day 25

Today I am grateful for my bed and lots of coffee... no joking!  I am also grateful for my sister-in-law.  We've really become good friends over the last few years.  I am also grateful that she went black Friday shopping with me and allowed me to drag her all over the county until the wee hours of the morning.  :D  (hence the need for lots of coffee)  I am also grateful for a weekend with lots of opportunity to spend time with friends.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Grateful, Day 24

Sounds cliche since it is Thanksgiving but today I am grateful for my family and friends.  I truly enjoyed hosting Thanksgiving at my house, and I wasn't sure that I would.  It was not at all stressful and I think everything turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself.  :)  It was nice to spend a day just relaxing with friends and family.  Although I do have to admit that I am a little  bummed that I didn't take any pictures of my beautifully browned turkey after it came out of the oven :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Grateful, Day 23

Today I am thankful for food to eat.  As I sit here planning out my Thanksgiving menu and wondering if I am preparing enough food I am struck with the realization at how blessed we are to have so much food.  Thank you Lord for your provision.  We are also thankful for Derek's job that is allowing us to host Thanksgiving this year and have over some lovely friends who are missing their dad/husband who is gone this holiday season out to sea.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Grateful, Day 22

Today I am truly thankful for the rain.  We have been getting a lot of it (yes, even for us) in the last few days but at least it isn't snow.  Last year during this week we had a massive snow storm that made us lose power for 3.5 days.  We ended up sleeping on the floor at church one night just to be warm.  It took almost 24 hours for our house to feel warm once we got power back.  Yes, endless rain can be annoying but at least we can be warm and at home in our own beds.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Grateful, Day 21

Today I am grateful for my Brianna Rose.  Three years and seven months ago today she shot into our lives and has been entertaining us ever since.  She may be little but she definitely makes up for it in personality.  She has a quick wit and loves to make people laugh.  She's adventurous, as long as she has the right accessories, and love to give out hugs.   I love you my B-bug!  I can't wait to see what wonderful things are going to happen in your life!
Brianna waiting "patiently" for Audrey's assembly to start - 11/10/11

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Grateful, Day 20

Today I am grateful for all the hat orders I have been getting.  I am really enjoying making hats for so many people that I know.  Plus, it's so much fun to see the kids in them when I am finished!  The money is always a bonus too, especially this time of year!

G. kiddos in Viking Hats
Baylor University, girl earflap beanie 
Skull beanie for a friend of mine

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Grateful, Day 19

Today I am grateful for my garage!  I have never had one before and it has been so nice to be able to get the kids in and out of the car without getting rained on.  This morning I didn't have to scrap frost off of my windshield.  It's such a blessing!!  I love our new place so much!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Grateful, Day 18

Today I am so thankful for my husband.  Derek is a great husband in so many ways but one of the best is the way he has no trouble with me going out on my own every once in a while.  Tonight I am headed to the movies and he never even batted an eye when I asked if he minded if I go... especially since he's had a long week at work too.  Thanks honey!  You're the best.

Derek and Clara at the corn maze - October 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Grateful, Day 17

Today I am grateful for nap times.  I have several mom friends who do not have kiddos that nap much any more and I am grateful that mine still do.  Brianna doesn't sleep much anymore but she will lay quietly in her bed for 2 hours for rest time.  I don't know what I would do without that time to myself.  Seems like such a little, insignificant, thing but that recharging time is great. Thanks girls, you're the best!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Grateful, Day 16

Today I am grateful for Audrey's kindergarten teacher, Mrs. B.  She has made Audrey's first year of school a blast so far.  Audrey loves school so much that she told me it is the "funnest place on Earth".  I have been in Audrey's classroom to volunteer several times now and love the way Mrs. B handles the children and makes sure that the behavior challenging kids do not detract from the learning of others.  I pray that Audrey continues to love school and be blessed with years and years of wonderful teachers.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Grateful, Day 15

Today is my dad's birthday.  I am grateful for him specifically today.  Even though we've spent more time apart then together over the years I have always known that he loves me.  Happy Birthday Dad!

P.S. I am also grateful for my hairstylist.  Got my hair cut today and I love it.  :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Grateful, Day 14

Today I am grateful for our small group at church.  Two years ago we started attending this small group as a way to get closer to those at our church in a smaller setting.  It's a place where we can study about God together and also have a great time.  We really enjoy our time there.  We always laugh a LOT and we can completely be ourselves... no pretenses.  They are our family in the church.  LOVE our small group :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Grateful, Day 13

Today I am grateful for Derek. He is a wonderful and supportive husband. He didn't bat an eye when I told him that I wanted to do a craft fair. Even thought it meant I would be gone 90% of the weekend and he'd be on his own with the kiddos on his day off. He is an excellent dad and the girls love spending that time with just daddy. He didn't complain once and didn't even mind when it didn't go well for me, meaning no money was made. He could have been ticked off and told me it was a waste of time. Instead he consoled me and comforted me in my disappointment. I am a very lucky lady! Thanks honey! I don't know what I would do without you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Grateful, Day 12

Today I am grateful for two cars. We spent the first *almost* five years of our marriage with only one car. When you have little kids at home and no vehicle and your husband works/commutes with long hours.... it's really hard to have one car. I am extremely grateful that we have two cars now and all the freedom that it allows us. I am also extremely grateful that through all the hard times we had that we didn't end up losing a car in the process, God is good to us.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Grateful, Day 11

Today I am grateful for my oldest daughter, Audrey Anne. She is exactly two months away from being SIX! I can't believe it. She has started Kindergarten and LOVES it. In fact, she was faced with the option of leaving school early yesterday to spend some time with my dad and she just could not skip school. You would have thought I was asking her to self-amputate her arm. She is learning a lot and really fast. It is fun to watch her expand her horizons and bittersweet. I can't believe she was my little tiny baby and now she is off in the world, her own person. Love you big girl!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Grateful, Day 10

Today I am grateful for surprises. Most of the time I am not a big fan of the unexpected. However yesterday morning I got a call that my dad was in the area and had two days off. My dad lives in Florida and I don't get to see him a lot. Sometimes his job (commercial truck driver) brings him up this way. We have seen him three times in the last year. Usually it is just for a few hours so it was nice to have almost two full days with him. We didn't really do much but it was nice for the girls to spend a lot of time with him and for Clara to get to know him. She was a little dubious at first but she enjoyed meeting Grandpa Jimmy. Sometimes getting surprised is awesome!
Grandpa Jimmy and Clara chillin' on the couch, getting to know each other :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Grateful, Day 9

Today I am grateful for my baby girl, Clara Jayne. She hits fourteen months today and I can't believe how time is flying. She is learning so much right now. This is one of my favorite ages. She is mimicking everything that she sees and hears. She is starting to talk and is getting quite good at telling us what she wants/needs. She is just so funny some times. I love you little Clara bear! I can't wait to share this Thanksgiving and Christmas season with you!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Grateful, Day 8

Today I am thankful for laundry. It is a task that I really truly hate doing. However, as the temperatures start to drop, especially at night, I am reminded that not everyone is as fortunate as we are. And as a look at the mound of clean laundry for my children I am reminded that even through the last couple of rough years my kids still have a lot of clothing. For that, I am truly truly grateful.

Now I'd be even more grateful if it would magically fold itself :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Grateful, Day 7

In an effort to truly think about what I am grateful for and not be trite about it, today I am grateful for the YMCA in Silverdale. I completely got out of the habit of going in September and October due to moving (at least I let myself get out of the habit). I missed it and had a great workout today when I went to a Zumba class. While I am grateful for the actual facility mostly I am grateful that we are in a place where we can afford a membership for our family and it isn't a burden. I am grateful for Derek's job and all the hard work that he puts in (and has for the last *almost* six years).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Grateful, Day 6

Today I am grateful for coupons, deals, sales and clearances... :) I love being able to go out and get what my family needs/wants and not spend a ton of money doing it. With all the financial hardships we've had in the last couple of years I have become pretty decent at finding a good deal and saving money. There is just nothing more satisfying the eating a delicious meal or wearing a nice article of clothing and knowing you got an awesome deal on it. Okay, maybe not "nothing" but it's up there :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Grateful, Day 5

Today I am thankful for coffee... ugh. Clara has NOT been sleeping well lately and I am not sure why. But today I got to sleep in a bit and got breakfast in bed, including a hot steaming cup of coffee with my favorite Peppermint Mocha creamer that you can only get this time of year! I am also thankful to my hubby who brought it all to me :) :) :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Grateful, Day 4

Early last spring I was feeling the need for some regularly scheduled girl time and also something that would prompt me to expand my reading horizons. I longed for a book club. I wished someone would invite me to one. Then all of a sudden it dawned on me, I could start one. I honestly didn't think anyone would want to be a part of it. But here we are seven months later with 17 members and a monthly get together that I look forward to immensely. So today I am grateful for my book club! Thanks ladies, you're the best!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Grateful, Day 3

Today I am grateful for heat. We have had some chilly nights the last few days and I am extremely grateful that we have heat and I don't have to worry about my children. I know all do not fair as well. In addition, I am grateful for good windows that don't let all my heat out. The last couple of places we've lived have had older windows that just seep in the cold air. It's nice not to have to worry about that here. Thank you Lord!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Grateful, Day 2

Today I am grateful for a good night's sleep. Clara hasn't been sleeping well due to teething and then a cold. Plus, sometimes I just stay up way later than I should so I don't get enough hours anyway. Last night I got eight UNINTERRUPTED hours of sleep. Been about 3 weeks since I could say that. Woo Hoo!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lame Sauce & Thankfulness

Since my blog has been ultra lame this year I am going to try and get back into the habit of blogging by posting a daily gratefulness bite for each day of November. My goal is to be more then generic. Yes I am grateful for my husband, kids, cars, house, jobs...etc. But I want to say WHY I am grateful for those things.

I am hoping by the end of the month I will be in the habit of logging in much more frequently and keeping an up-to-date account of what is going on in our crazy lives.

So here is my grateful bite of the day: I am grateful for my husband being willing to spend 30 minutes working the AWFUL knot out of my shoulder that has been causing me such pain today. Thanks so his time I can actually sleep tonight! Thanks hun!
Here is a picture, just for fun:
Halloween 2011
My girls as the three girls from Despicable Me and my husband in The Box of Shame!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Holy Smokes...

So this year has kind of been a bust as far as blogging. I am really disappointed in myself. Since I don't know if anyone reads this it really isn't that big of a deal but I am bummed. Anyway, I plan to start back up again so if anyone is following... BE PREPARED!! :) We just moved in to a new place and are getting settled so as soon as that happens I will be catching up here. Lots to add including our vacation to Long Beach, WA in August, Audrey's first day of Kindergarten and our littlest little turning the big O-N-E!! :) Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

August and a Challenge!!!!

As per the usual, I can't believe it is already August! So far it is promising to be a great month. The weather looks beautiful for this week and we have a "free" week with almost nothing scheduled... it's refreshing. Also, there are swim lessons, day camp, school prep and VACATION!

Lastly, there's a challenge. Derek and I are challenging each other to go the entire month of August without drinking ANY soda at all. We also decided to try and eat low low carbohydrate dinners and no carbs after dinner. That part is actually harder for me than the soda part but I think with us doing it together we can make it! There's a reward for each of us if we make it and a consequence if we don't. I will keep you updated and we'll see what happens :) :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Beach

I have lived in several states in my lifetime (most before the age of 10) and visited many more. In all the places I've lived I have never seen a state with all types of terrain the way Washington does. There is desert and heat on the Eastern half of the state. There are TWO mountain ranges, rain forest and then there is water everywhere!
Fog on the water at Old Man Beach in Suquamish

I didn't realize how much I love the beach and crave the tranquility that encompasses my being when I am there. Even with the kids I feel at peace when I am on the beach. I enjoy sinking into the sand and watching my children entertain themselves for hours with nothing but sand, water, shovels and some buckets.
I enjoy the ever present breeze that is at the beaches in Washington making it never too hot. Enjoying the beach with friends makes it even better. The kids have company and so do I. Although our summer has been less than spectacular weather-wise we have had days where we drop everything and run to the beach to enjoy the sun that we are getting.
While I don't think I will ever leave the beautiful state that I live in, if I do it MUST have water and beaches :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Strawberry picking...

A day at the patch in pictures.....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

So I failed...

I started June with the goal to blog at least 15 times for the month... *hangs head in shame*... I only made it nine times. I CANNOT believe how crazy June was and July is becoming. Tomorrow will be the middle of the month already and I have only done one post... *sigh*. I don't know how to keep up.

Fourth of July:
We had a splendid fourth of July weekend...

We spent a day at the beach with the Schneiders and Snedkers.

We spent the rest of the weekend at various bar-b-ques and get-togethers with friends. It was a great time. Capped off with me and my big girls heading to Kingston to watch the fireworks. It was nice and peaceful, just the three of us :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I love Washington! (I know it's supposed to be wordless but I couldn't help myself :)).

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Twinkle toes....

Is it wrong to live vicariously through your children? Is it silly to strive so hard to have them do the things you wanted to but didn't? I LOVE the ballet. I wanted to be a ballerina so bad I would lay in bed and picture myself in beautiful ballet slippers with whisper pink satin ribbons that wrapped up my ankles and huge starched tutus that bounced as I pranced and twirled across the stage. I wanted to be lithe and graceful and dainty. I never took ballet, in fact, I'm not sure another living being ever knew about my secret desire... alas, it was not meant to be.

Sometimes, as a mother of a girl (well, three to be exact) I feel like I am getting a second chance. Not for me, but to let my daughter(s) do all the things I really wanted to do but didn't get to or didn't even voice, for whatever reason. I am very careful not to force them do to anything that they don't enjoy but I make sure that I offer them a wide variety of options for activities so that they know they can pursue whatever they'd like to. I was so tickled that both Audrey and Brianna wanted to participate in ballet. I researched and called around and found the school of dance that would best fit all of our needs. Audrey has now completed two years of pre-dance and is moving up to Ballet 1 in the fall. Brianna has completed her first year of pre-dance and couldn't have enjoyed it more if she tried :)

This year my "big girls" were in the same ballet class and therefore got to perform together at the end of the year recital.

They were patient as I curled their hair in rag curls the night before and as I spent twenty minutes untying endless knots and spraying their tendrils like they needed to stay in forever!!
The end result was worth it though:

Wonderfully curly-riffic (currently Audrey's favorite thing to add to the end of words -rrific)

Audrey was the epitome of poise and grace. Brianna, well she smiled a lot. :) She did really well for her first time on stage. She was a little star struck by the audience and didn't do quite as well as she was doing in class. However, she had a great smile and she wasn't afraid at all. I was a proud proud mama.

Flowers from mommy and daddy!