Wednesday, December 26, 2012


We finally got our first real snow just before Christmas. We got a day off of school, which we also so enjoy, and the kids just sat themselves outside in a drift and ate snow.

Christmas came and went and we had two terrific days of family celebrations. Santa came and left the kids just what they'd been hoping for. The holidays have been so good this year, the only word I can think to use is CONTENT. Which is the word I'm thinking of  for 2013.




2  [kuh n-tent]  Show IPA
satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anythingelse.
British agreeing; assenting.
Archaic. willing.
verb (used with object)
to make contentThese things content me.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Some Nature

The kids and I enjoyed a nature walk at a park outside of town earlier in the month. The weather has been so warm this fall and Buddy wanted to go rock hunting! We wandered the trails and did find some rocks [gravel]. They walked through the swim pond, all emptied out for winter.

I need to remember to take more opportunities like that. To take an hour and unplug. There is beauty to be found, year round. I don't have to wait for spring or summer. It's there waiting whenever we need a break...

Monday, November 5, 2012

That one time...when I almost didn't get to vote...

I thought I had registered to vote when I updated my driver's license. We've lived in Buffalo County for three years, why was my voter registration still in Douglas County?!

Confession: I procrastinated figuring this out.
Confession: I often procrastinate similar grown up type tasks.

I missed the voter registration deadline.

I was SO SAD that I had missed my chance to vote this year! It would be the first time since '96 that I had missed a vote. I was SO MAD at myself for letting that happen. Kicking myself. Pouting. Frustrated. Looking for the rewind button.

I threw up a hail mary this morning and emailed our election office. I got the answer I had expected, that I had missed the deadline and was out of luck.

Then, I got a second email from the same woman. PLEASE CALL ME! I really did call her (which is kind of a big deal because phone calls are another thing I tend to procrastinate). She checked out my record and I really had registered with the DMV, my registration just hadn't made it to the election office. I couldn't thank her enough for doing that, she made my day. It was so great that she did some checking, I didn't even know to ask her to do that!

So I get to go vote today. On a provisional ballot with some extra paperwork to prove I'm not trying to vote in two counties at once. Hooray!!

A Buffalo County election official saves the day!

And I can remember how important it is to vote, I realized that after I almost couldn't. I knew it was important, but I didn't KNOW. Until that point, I had taken it for granted.

Lesson learned.


Sunday, October 28, 2012


Bee and I spent a bit of time this year on our jack-o-lanterns. We cruised pinterest, looking for what we thought would be best. Then discussed how to put the plans into action. And finally did the carving. She helped with the eyes and the tiny one, I handled the teeth on both - one of which required a figuring out a new skill!

Buddy and the Hubs went for a more classic looking one and a scary-faced guy, the result was a very diverse population on the front steps this year!

I'm mostly just excited to roast the seeds and eat them. The jack-o-lanterns are second to that for me.

Busy and crazy or not, we are coming up on my favorite time of year. Halloween ~ Thanksgiving ~ much to look forward to!!

Happy Halloween!

our front porch ~ with a little help from pinterest this year

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I can't seem to help myself. I'm a bit addicted to Instagram.

Rather than write, I just snap a photo and instantly upload it.

Facebook is sort of my new blog.

But those Instagram pictures are just so LOVELY.

I am smitten.

on a walk near our house

Sunday, September 16, 2012

This Phase

July 2012 ~ Bee's birthday
No, Bee did not get glasses this summer. She sure likes to wear pretend ones though! She is a fourth grader with her own distinct sense of style.

Buddy is in first grade this year. He now takes spelling tests and tells us about lines of symmetry.

We are definitely getting used to being parents of school-aged kids. There is a new found independence, but also a new sense of busy-ness. Balance is something I am still seeking.

These days it's piano and flag football on Monday. Church on Wednesday. Volleyball on Thursday. Youth sports games on Saturdays. Mixed in with the work and recreational things we try to accomplish as well.

I looked at the calendar today and said out loud, "What??!". Can't believe we are halfway through this month. And that I do that every month.

Savoring each day for the day that it is.

And trying to capture the moments in a photograph, if I can, for when it is all a big blur later!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Dog

I woke her up to take this picture.

Our Mollie, who is almost 11. She has become this nocturnal animal and so is happily sleeping now, having just driven me crazy all night.

She walks around all night, in our room, shakes herself off, gives herself a bath. I am a light sleeper, so these activities wake me up! Sigh.

She has to be in our room because she would cry all night in a crate and pees all over if left to roam the house. We've had her for almost 11 years and she is no more trained than she was when we brought her home.

Failure on our part, I would say. She's trained us just fine.

My Mollie. I do love her so. But she is really quite a pain!

Yawn. She is back to sleep now and will do so happily all day. It's like having a newborn whose got his days and nights confused.

I need a nap.


Saturday, July 21, 2012


Somehow, we went from this...

to this...

Our Bee.

Each parent can name the unending list of wonderful adjectives to describe the children that they love so much and I am no different.

This child is so creative, energetic, bold, and clever.

She still enjoys playing and does so with great zeal every day. This summer alone she has been a spy, detective, puppy, wedding organizer (stuffed animals), gardener, caretaker to fairies and an actress. I know that list doesn't include every scene she's done, but those are the ones I've known about!

Being here to watch her grow from the tiny bean who came into this world on this date nine years ago into the tall young lady she is today has been one of my life's great adventures.

Happy Birthday Bee.
Thanks for letting us come along for the ride!


Friday, July 20, 2012

spring baby

Please excuse me while I get a little nostalgic...

I remember how much fun it was to dress her up and take her outside. I'm trying to remember what those long stretches of one on one time felt like. How wide-eyed she was about every little discovery.

She's still much the same. She still gets excited about new adventures and makes sure that there is joy in each day. She still likes to get all dressed up to go out. And she still likes it when we get some 1:1 time.

Tomorrow she'll be nine. Today, I'm just trying as hard as I can to remember that day. March 14, 2004. She was almost eight months old and I was as happy as I'd ever been.

And it just keeps getting better.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

we interrupt this heat wave...

For this bit of cuteness from January 2004. My Bee was six months old.

Doesn't she look thrilled that I plopped her out in that snowbank for a photo op?!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

First Food

My Bee was born before I had a digital camera.
Before blogging.
Before facebook.

This was her first food. Rice cereal at 4 months of age.

It was very exciting. As was everything our perfect first baby did.

She will be NINE on Saturday, so the next few days will be spent scanning in a few of these memories. Now preserved in digital format. Though in my memory, this seems like it could've happened last night.

And it's nine years later.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

mid-year check

I realize that 2012 is past the halfway point. I decided this morning to check in on that resolutions post I had made back in January.

Doing well with:
*Teaching the kids to cook. We haven't done this a ton, but I have had them do a few recipes and taught them a few new things. Especially Bee. Yesterday she made her own quesadilla in the microwave while I was busy doing something else. I gave her the verbal instructions and she went to it. She even used a butter knife to cut it and give half to her brother.
*Teaching the kids about money. We've fallen off the chore chart this summer, but it has worked well and we did set them up with allowance and a system to divide their money into spend/save/give portions (a small three-drawer tote with labels did the trick). We also read Three Cups and another book from the library about money.
*Undivided attention.
*Exercise. It has come in several ways, but I've been doing a lot more physical activity this summer and plan to continue with that.

Still on the 'to do' list:
*One new vegetarian meal per week. We have had meatless meals often, but I have not tried many new recipes.  I default to the meals I have always cooked and have to remind myself to try new things that don't always start with a pack of chicken breasts or ground beef.
*Red folder routine. Long story. But to start this one, I will need to go find the red folder. Ha. It is a routine I had made up and put into a sleeve so that I can mark off the items with a dry erase marker. I compiled the routine from several helpful places and continue to think that if I could just follow that routine, my house and life would be in where did I put that folder....
*Mail one card per week. I do send things to friends and family on occasion, but I want to make it a more deliberate action not only reserved for birthdays and holidays.

All in all, I'd say I'm in good shape. This week I shall take steps to get those last three resolutions underway. I do love a project!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

walking and talking

Photo: a lovely Sunday morning walk with my Brenna

Bee and I took a walk on the trail that runs behind our house this morning. I took this picture at a park nearby, the yellow flowers made me feel happy.

We went a little over a mile. She was a great walking partner and I hope it's the first of many.

If I lure her into a routine now, perhaps it will continue into her teen years. I'm hoping she will be so used to walking and talking, she will continue to do so even after it's not cool to hang around your mom any more.

Devious? Maybe. Fingers crossed that it just might work.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Photo: Always so excited for the first few ripe veggies. Probably will be looking to unload excess cucumbers, squash and tomatoes in about a week!

It's silly, how proud I am when I get to harvest a vegetable I've grown in my garden. I'd be a terribly arrogant farmer. With acres and acres of crops, my pride would really get out of hand.

Being able to cut up a cucumber that tastes so delicious and put it into some dressing for lunch the next day. The taste of a tomato fresh from the garden cannot be compared to anything you can get in the store.

I enjoying weeding, watering, checking it for signs of problems.

It is small, our garden. The amount of happiness it brings us through the summer is well worth the work.

 We've got squash, tomatoes, basil, jalapenos and cucumbers. We've also started a strawberry patch (fingers crossed) that we'll be able to harvest in two years.

 Bee and her grandmother outfitted her fairy garden, which turned out to be such fun. We water those happy plants too and make sure that everything stays in good shape.
It really is one of the best parts of summer. I love my garden.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

blurry but good

June is gone. It was a blur of activities, all fun, but a bit exhausting. Baseball, softball, swim lessons, library trips, splash park, swim pond, playground, free school lunch, a grown ups only trip to St. Louis, a few nights of 4th of July fun.

I'm trying not to be one of those moms who is forever complaining about all of the stuff we are doing when we're the ones who made the choice to do it all! Instead we find joy in each day and sleep really well at night.

It is a really fun phase we are in right now. The kids enjoy most everything we do and are so much more portable. I think we are in the magical period of time between the exhaustion of having toddlers and whatever having teenagers will be like. I had read once that it is a very contented period of time to be in as a parent.

I plan to savor every second.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

4017 Days


Today we celebrate eleven years of marriage.
4017 days.

Last night, J baked me a cake. The guy does not typically bake cakes, I cannot remember him ever baking a cake, this was an EVENT. He made it from a recipe I found on Pinterest (thank you pinterest!). It's delicious. I may go have some when I'm done typing here...

This morning, our kids brought us breakfast in bed with homemade cards. Cheerios for J, toast for me.

In my estimation, the next 4017 days stand to be just as good. Maybe better.

Knowing I've taught my kids that breakfast in bed is a good thing and that cards are required on special occasions means that we are all set until they leave the nest. I'll have to teach Bee how to do a quiche and hollandaise before next June.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012


 A month ago, we took a trip to Florida.
 We spent a week in this magical place where our kids were overstimulated, overfed, and in awe of everything they saw.
It was great.
Looking at these pictures, I find it hard to believe we were ever even there.
Did it really happen? Did we really go.

The Disney trip was exhausting, expensive, and sort of a huge blur.

And totally worth it. We had a blast.

I think now, a month later, I am finally recovered from that trip.

Which means now I can start asking myself - where are we going next?!!


Friday, April 13, 2012


My Buddy turned six. SIX. We are now the proud parents of two full-fledged school-agers.

There were cupcakes on Easter, a birthday cookie at his party on Tuesday, six candles in his birthday doughnut on Wednesday morning, and birthday singers with his ice cream sundae out to dinner Wednesday night. Celebrate, yes we celebrate, how could we not?! Life is grand.

On Thursday morning, he woke up to huge excitement. "MY TOOTH IS LOOSE!" Six for twenty-four hours and he's got his first loose tooth.

"It feels good to be six," said Buddy. I'll bet it does.


Monday, April 9, 2012


It should be fun, right?! An egg hunt in the yard? No cousins here this year, but I hid our decorated eggs and set them loose to find 20. But no, it has to be a race. A competition. There must be anger and tears.


I love my kids, but man. They can drive me nuts sometimes.


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Sunday, March 18, 2012

It is a wonderful feeling to stand on a bridge, watching the river flow beneath you.

We hosted some friends from Omaha this weekend and took them crane watching. Now, bird watching may sound like something that only nerds would do. But don't you know me at all? I'm a card-carrying nerd! Love nerds! Let's learn about science and nature everyone, come on!!

My heart really does belong to Nebraska. The prairie is beautiful to me and leaves me in awe of the beauty of this earth.

The kids went with us Friday night and yes, I spent a good chunk of my time shooshing my children, trying to keep them out of the mud and telling them the birdwatchers were going to CALL THE COPS IF WE DIDN'T PIPE DOWN! But it was a really great experience and they did enjoy the time we spent by the river.
The next morning, my friend and I went out at sunrise to watch them again and it was wonderful. The birds come in to the river at night to sleep and then head out to feed again when the sun comes up. Listening to the sound of them waking up and watching them take flight was beautiful.

It's only about 20 minutes from our house, but we had never taken the time to do this. I have a feeling that now I'll have to go every year, whether anyone joins me or not!



Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Favorite Color Lately...

Photo: Horses graze on the steppe of Mongolia
I've been craving GREEN.

Isn't it wonderful?!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wanting a little winter

It had been so warm, all through December and January. We loved being able to be outside all the time, but it didn't feel like winter...

We felt very lucky when we got snowed in a few weeks ago. It gave the kids huge piles of snow to play on and the grown ups an excuse to stay in their jammies for two days straight. Or maybe that was just ME.

Now if the warm weather would like to return, that would be just fine by us. We just needed a little winter.