Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30, 2011

NaBloPoMo has come to an end. I didn't post every day this month, but I decided about half way through that I was ok with that. Considering I have posted maybe once a month in the last year or so, I figured missing a few days here or there this month was still a vast improvement.

As a conclusion to this month of thanksgiving, I thought I would list, as I have seen on many blogs lately, a few of the things for which I am thankful.

::My wonderful family, of course, and the new baby we are about to welcome.

::The amazing group of women that I get to call my friends.

::My friends' children that are growing into great people too, and who bless my children with their friendship.

::The home we settle into more every year and the traditions that we are starting to develop here as a family.

::The opportunity to be able to stay at home to raise my boys and create a loving and warm home for them and my husband.

::Knitting and other crafty pursuits that offer me a chance to be creative and productive.

:: Finally finding a church that we feel is right for us and our family.

::And so many more things - more than I can even name and list here. I am so blessed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29, 2011

Over Thanksgiving weekend my step-brother and his wife were in town with their four month old baby. We spent most of Thanksgiving Day with them, and got a glimpse into how they boys will act with a small baby around. I knew they liked babies, and overall they acted very much how I thought they would.
Landon was a huge help, and wanted to hold the baby a lot. He understood a lot about how he needed to support the baby's head and hold onto him so he couldn't slip away.
Coleson had mixed feelings about the whole thing, and would ask to hold the baby only to push him out of his lap about 20 seconds later. Coleson was very concerned every time the baby cried though, and spent a lot of time taking him various toys.

It was sweet to see them with the baby and watch them give him kisses and gentle pats.
This pretty much sums up how I really expect it to be though, with both of them right there in the middle of the action. I have no doubt that our baby will be very loved and showered with attention from his big brothers.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 27, 2011

I should have posted earlier, before I spent an hour browsing on Amazon for various Christmas presents. I found some good things, though, and a few things that I will get a little closer to Christmas and have them shipped directly to the recipients. But, since I spent so long playing on the internet it's time for bed now and not time to piece together a nice post. So, maybe I will get those pictures from the weekend uploaded tomorrow and put together a real post. Goodnight!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November 26, 2011

Right now, I am...

:: enjoying a quiet house because Tyson is out with some friends and the boys are sleeping.

:: feeling like I should probably get ready for bed, but also feeling like it sure would be nice to spend some time reading.

:: holding off on starting a new knitting project until I get a few other projects out of the way.

:: thinking about what I need to do in order to celebrate Christmas in less than a month (!!!).

:: grateful for time spent with old friends this afternoon, seeing their children and catching up on their lives these days.

:: anticipating going to church in the morning and then decorating the Christmas tree with the boys.

:: itching to do some holiday baking.

:: wishing I could be out having a few beers with my husband.

:: wondering which craft project I should tackle next.

:: hoping to enjoy the last day of our long, lovely holiday weekend tomorrow.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! There is so much to be thankful for, but I am especially thankful for my family, wonderful friends, our home, and the life we are living. We have it so amazingly good, and for that I am thankful everyday. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 23, 2011

I find some days that my patience is gone before the day even gets going. The worst part is that I usually don't know exactly why. Sure, the kids are bickering, the dog is begging for a walk, there is a pile of dishes in the sink, and I need more coffee, but none of those things is usually what is really bugging me. I try to take my vitamins, get enough sleep, spend time with good friends, and do things I enjoy, all of which help so much. But sometimes it just doesn't help enough. The last couple days have been like that for me. I feel quiet and withdrawn. I always come out of this funk after a few days, and feel normal again, but for those few days I generally spend a lot of time contemplating things I want and need to change in my life. Sometimes the changes take place, most often they don't. I always wonder what I should be doing so that I don't feel like this. But then again, maybe it's what I need sometimes. Time to look inward and withdraw a bit.

Largely, I hate the way I feel so low on patience with these little guys during those few days.
Because they really are sweet and they really are just little boys. They are trying to feel their way around in the world so much more than I am, and they actually handle it with a lot more grace than I do. I suppose I have a lot to learn from them, and the foremost lesson is, most often, patience. More, and more, and more patience. Patience for their strong emotions, patience for their slow steps, patience for their constant questions, and patience when they need to snuggle and I need to make dinner/wash the dishes/fold laundry/be somewhere on time for once.

But goodness, it's hard to see that most of the time. Maybe that's what these days are about when I feel so off. Maybe they are about my struggle to let go of me and be even more for them when they need it. Interesting thought. Perhaps I will put it to the test tomorrow and see if my patience returns a bit, because it would be nice to have it back for the long holiday weekend.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011

"Don't complain." Those are the words I read today when I really needed them. They were on another blog, talking about the same thing I had been complaining about far too much lately - being pregnant.

With my other two boys, I loved being pregnant. I felt good, I loved everything about it. People would ask me how I felt and I always thought it was such a silly question - of course I felt great! I was pregnant! But with this baby, I don't always feel so great. I was sick for almost the whole first half. Since then I have been tired constantly and generally don't feel well most of the time. So it's been easy to complain because it's been easy to focus on the things that aren't so great - they are on my mind much of the time.

But today as I was feeling really bad for myself and starting to wish away this pregnancy, I read those words. "Don't complain." And they are so right. There may be much to complain about, but there is far more to be thankful about. Inside me is growing new life, a new human. He is already his own little person in there and he is such a miracle. All babies are. I am so blessed to be joining in this creation and this state is so, so temporary. This is likely the last time I will be pregnant, and I need to make sure I am not wishing it away and complaining about it. Because really, it's a wonderful place to be!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

November 20, 2011

Last December, we started thinking about getting a dog. We had family in town for the holidays that brought their dogs, and our boys loved them. They liked to chase them, pet them, be chased by them, and have them lick their hands and faces.

Maybe, we thought, our boys needed their own dog. So I began pouring over the animal shelter websites and Craigslist for the perfect family dog. I made a few calls, but nothing seemed quite right.

Then one evening, I happened across a Craigslist posting for Jasper. The post even said he would be a perfect dog for a family with a stay-at-home mom and little kids. I called, chatted to the owner to see if the dog met our criteria, and we made plans to go meet him and see if he would fit in well with our family.
We spent maybe 15 minutes with him before we knew he would be perfect. We told the other family we would think about it and call them, but when we climbed in the car and looked at each other we knew we had to have him. I ran back up to the house and told them we would be there to get him in the morning.

And he really has been the perfect dog for us. We marvel all the time that we got so lucky to find a wonderful dog like Jasper. I can't believe another family willingly gave him up, but I suppose they had their reasons.
He is lovingly loyal to us, and has everlasting patience with the boys. He is so well-behaved I can't believe it sometimes. And he is young, so we will enjoy him for many more years to come.
My boys definitely got a great dog to grow up with. Every boy needs a dog, right?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy Fifth Birthday, Landon!

Landon turned five today. It was a day filled with family, friends, and cake.
Oh, and of course, new toys.
My sweet boy is five. It's been five great years of getting to know this amazing boy who is quickly growing into such a fantastic person. He is smart, funny, and so curious. He can be wildly intense, and it's been fascinating to watch him learn to harness that intensity into his passions. He loves video games and super heros, cars and airplanes, and all things physical. He enjoys preschool and can't wait to be in kindergarten next year. He is my first baby, and I am so lucky to get to be his mama. Happy Birthday, Landon!

Friday, November 18, 2011

November 18, 2011

I took some cute pictures today of the boys playing in the snow, but now I can't find the cable to download them from the camera so that will have to be another post.

Tomorrow is Landon's birthday, and he is so excited. He is turning five, which seems like such a big deal. He is no longer a toddler, or a preschooler. He is a kid. He will start kindergarten next fall, and I feel a little silly calling him my baby these days. He is just getting so big. I am excited for him, and for us, but it's a little bittersweet too.

All evening I've been watching the clock, like I do every year, thinking about the events that took place this night five years ago. Right now we would be at the grocery store picking up Thanksgiving food that my mom ended up cooking us because our baby was four days old and there was no way I was doing it. When we got home from the store my water broke, two weeks early, and I went into labor less that thirty minutes after that. It doesn't seem like it was five years ago. I think I will always remember those hours of labor and birth my whole life.

So, happy birthday-eve, Landon. We have quite the weekend of celebration planned!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 16, 2011

Tonight had many of the things I love about wintry evenings.

A snowy, dark walk with the dog. Take-out Thai food with Tyson after the boys are asleep. Snuggling up to watch three episodes of our latest TV show on Netflix. Checking to make sure the boys are tucked in under their down comforters. Finishing a knitting project and starting another.

These long, dark evenings make me want to curl up under a blanket, drink hot tea, and have more evenings just like this one.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 15, 2011

I left for Seattle for the weekend and totally got out of the blogging habit. Oops. But I am back now, and I plan to remember to post from now on.

My friends and I had a lovely weekend away, even though we did have a bit of an adventure with the pass getting closed on us. There was lots of driving, but there was also lots of fun shopping, good conversation, giggling, and knitting.

The boys didn't miss me too much, and Tyson assures me they had a great time. All-in-all,
I think it was a success!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 10, 2011

Tomorrow, my friends and I head to Seattle for the weekend. I am looking forward to conversations not interrupted by one of our collective ten children, a long car ride full of good snacks and music, sleeping without anyone trying to crawl in bed to snuggle, sharing good food, and taking the time to browse stores only available in a big city. I think it will be wonderful, and I'm also starting to think a weekend won't be long enough!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 9, 2011

Today I . . .

. . . dyed yarn with Kool-Aid.
. . . ate the last chocolate chip cookie.
. . . tried a new recipe for dinner, and it turned out well.
. . . spent a lot of time with friends.
. . . snuggled my boys as they fell asleep.
. . . knit a lot.

. . . had a very nice day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November 8, 2011

When you've been up since 4 a.m. for the third day in a row, "healthy" chocolate chip cookies (made with almond flour and honey) are completely acceptable as a mid-morning snack.

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 7, 2011

Lately we have enjoyed going to the Finch Arboretum. I had never been there until a few months ago, and I didn't realize what I was missing!
The first time we ever went, I think the boys would have stayed all day. They love that there is a creek that runs through the park and trees they can climb.
We never make it farther than a few hundred yards from the parking lot, and with 65 acres to explore, I know we haven't seen but a fraction of it. I think it will be a favorite place for our family for many years to come.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November 6, 2011

Tyson has been gone the last few days visiting a family friend and every time he is out of town, even just for one night, I wonder how single mothers do it. We all miss him when he is gone and our family rhythm gets disrupted. I have come to realize that he helps me restore my patience at the end of the day by breathing fresh perspective onto things. I find it very hard to recharge without him here. I have also come to realize that my boys need some rough-and-tumble play with their daddy that I am just not capable of duplicating, no matter how I try. I think we are all itching to have him back this evening and get back to our normal routines.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November 5, 2011

Today we were driving home from spending the night at my mom's house. The boys had watched the Disney movie Aristocats, and we were talking about why the butler wanted to get rid of the cats. I told them it was because he thought that getting the money from the old lady was so important. Landon said, "But money isn't the most important thing, is it, Mom?" I told him no, that other things were much more important. I asked what he thought some of those things might be. He answered without hesitation, "Kids. Kids are more important than money." I added that all our friends and family were more important than money. I'm so glad that they know these things.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 3, 2011

Today, Tyson left at 5 a.m. to go out of town until Sunday.

This morning I watched Gretchen's sweet baby James for a couple hours because her usual babysitter was sick. The boys were fantastic with him.

After he was gone, the boys and I walked the dog in the middle of the day. I usually walk him alone, after dinner.

The walk caused me to miss my midwife appointment and we had to reschedule it for after dinner. We rarely schedule things for after dinner because they boys usually go to bed right after dinner.

On the walk, Coleson fell asleep in the stroller and napped for the first time in weeks and weeks.

When he woke up, I did yard work, which is usually Tyson's responsibility. My pregnant body resented it a bit.

After dinner, and the subsequent rescheduled midwife appointment, I was responsible for putting the boys to bed. That's something else Tyson usually does. I fell asleep with them for a while.

Everything about today was a little off.
Not all of it was bad, but it made for a strange day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 2, 2011

One of the boys' favorite things to do is go four wheeling. Luckily, we have two sets of grandparents with four wheelers who don't mind sharing with us. And one of those sets also has a lovely lake cabin at which to enjoy them. A few weeks ago, we spent a wonderful weekend at the lake and the boys got in lots of four wheeling time. I got in a lot of knitting, but that can be it's own post. My dad and step-mom took the boys out quite a bit on those four wheelers, and they had a fantastic time!
And when returning from a morning ride, what's better than hot chocolate with marshmallows?

Not much. Not much, at all.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 1, 2011 - NaBloPoMo

I have decided to do NaBloPoMo again this year, as I seem to enjoy it every year and it sure is fun to look back on my old entries. Courtney encouraged me to do it, so here we are!
Yesterday was Halloween, although the celebration started for us on Friday when Tyson's company hosted a trick-or-treat party in their office. The boys love visiting daddy's work, and the fact that they got candy this time too was a big hit.

Each of the boys also got to have pajama day at school to celebrate Halloween. They both wanted to wear their costumes instead, but were easily convinced to wear their pajamas in order to get to go to the party at school with their friends.

Last night we went trick-or-treating with our friends, followed with a little more in our own neighborhood. Captain America and the dinosaur (sweet costume made by my mom!) had a great time!
After all the festivities were over last night, they boys dumped their candy out on the table, chose their seven favorite pieces (one piece a day for a week), and packaged the rest up to leave out for the candy fairy. She visits our house every year on Halloween and exchanges candy for a toy or game. The boys love it, and they are always excited to see what she brings!

They fell asleep almost instantly after a late, fun night and this morning they awoke to surprises from the candy fairy. Landon got a new Wii game and Coleson got a construction trucks set. Everyone was happy, and now instead of a huge bag of candy to fight over every hour for a month, we have one very small bowl and a piece of candy to eat every day at quiet time for a week. Much nicer.

All-in-all, a successful Halloween! And now the holidays are upon us. Oh my.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October 22, 2011

After spending a good chunk of yesterday evening backing up all our pictures onto our external hard drive, and deleting them off my laptop to make room for more, I have a completely irrational fear that they are gone forever. I have no reason to believe they are not all safe on the hard drive, waiting for me to access them whenever I choose, especially since I triple checked that they all survived the move. But, moving things like that from one electronic home to another kind of make me nervous. I mean, what if I lost ALL OUR PICTURES from the time Landon was a baby until now? Nerve wracking, I tell you. Luckily, when I do go to access them, I find sweet gems like these from just a couple months ago that are sitting there waiting for me. Thank goodness.

Friday, October 21, 2011

October 21, 2011

Hello, blog. It's been a long time. I have been thinking a lot lately about blogging and how to be "good" at it. I want to have one of those lovely blogs where there are great pictures and moving prose (that possibly eventually earns me a book contract, you know), but I just don't know if I can pull that off and the expectation stops me from writing anything at all. But, I have decided to do NaBloPoMo again this year, and I really would like, at least for the next month or so, to have this be a neat space with decent pictures and maybe something vaguely intelligent to say. So, here we go. I am spending the evening making room on my hard drive to upload a couple hundred pictures from the last few months and browsing some of my favorite blogs for inspiration. Maybe this time I will stick with it for more than a month or so. A book contract would be nice, after all.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Lake time!

We are headed to the lake today - the first time we have ever all gone to the lake together! Landon is looking forward to using his snorkel, and Coleson loves to play in the sand. Plus, there are guaranteed to be shave ice treats there! The temp is supposed to be near 90 (finally!) and I think it will be a beautiful day.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Today, we finally had a really good day, after several really rough days around here.

Today, I realized that my attitude really does set the tone for the whole household, and I decided to be more loving, patient, caring, and nurturing. It was in stark contrast to the cranky, tired, short-on-patience, yelling mama I had been lately.

Today, I swallowed my frustration and hugged those two sweet boys instead.

Today, instead of yelling when they bickered with each other the second I stepped out of the room, I went back in, pulled them into my lap and played with them some more.

Today, instead of sending them to their rooms for every small infraction, I used distraction and told just one more story full of spies and race cars.

Today, we actually enjoyed each other instead of crying out of frustration.

It was a wonderful day, and one I hope to repeat more often. But it did make me tired, and I am off to bed at 8 p.m. At least am going to bed happy with today instead of wishing for a do-over.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pool Season

Pool season is finally upon us, and my boys have been swimming like crazy. Thank goodness Grammy and Papa have a pool! We have spent the last four afternoons over there swimming and they love it so much. Plus, there is the added bonus of tiring them out like nothing else, and ensuring that they eat a great dinner that night. Coleson is constantly on bug patrol, and Landon always jumps straight in even if the water is freezing. I think this summer will consist of lots of time at the pool for these boys.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hiking at Gram's

The boys love to go to my mom's house because there is always something for them to do. My mom and step-dad live on quite a bit of acreage, so there is always work to be done, animals to tend to, and exploring to undertake. We always take Jasper too, because he loves to play "farm dog" for the day. We spent a day up there this week, and it was a perfect glimpse into what will happen there for my boys this summer.

Swinging by the creek.
Hiking across the creek.
Exploring the trails.
Feeding wild turkeys using the dump-the-food method.
Feeding the wild turkeys using the, slightly more coordinated, scatter-the-food-by-hand method.
Getting help over the mushy areas by the creek.
The "farm dog."
Catching a nap between hiking adventures.

It's magical to watch my boys explore nature. They love it so much, and they are just so happy when they are out in the fresh air covered in mud and creek water. I can't wait to spend the summer doing this.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

tree climbing

Landon has discovered a love for climbing trees lately. I knew it was coming - he has always loved to climb outdoors.
He's good, too. I just wish we had some more challenging trees around our house for him.
I look at these pictures and I can't help but see my baby fading away quickly and being replaced rapidly by such a little BOY. His limbs are starting to lengthen out, and he even has knobby knees. I think the tree climbing is just the first of many exciting, and increasingly independent, adventures to come for this guy.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day

We decided to celebrate a day early and it turns out that I have the most awesome husband ever! For Mother's Day this year he got me a Nikon D5100 camera. I had been wanting a nicer camera, since I have a really basic little camera that is quite old, but he went above and beyond with this one. I am currently waiting for the battery to charge so I can try it out. I am really going to have to work on improving my photography skills to feel like I deserve to have a camera like this!

My boys have been really sweet too. Landon told me he is so glad I'm his mommy and that he gets to be with me all the time. Coleson gave me about a million kisses and told me how much he loves me. I am just so blessed to have these little people in my life. We have our rough days, but ultimately they bring me so much joy and love! How amazing it is to be a mother.

So, to all the mamas out there - Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Own Shop?

I'm thinking of starting an Etsy shop for knit and crochet items and paper crafts. I have loved browsing and shopping on Etsy for a long time, and I have toyed with the idea of starting my own shop for a while but I could never figure out what I would make. I finally came up with some ideas for products, and I think I might just go for it. I have a few friends who have them, and I am planning on picking their brains for what works and what doesn't. I am mostly worried about failing big-time at it, but I think even if I sold a few things here and there that it would be worth it. Then I could have a bit of my own spending money, and actually start contributing to my own retirement fund again. It's kind of a big idea, but I've always wanted to be in business for myself, so why not, right?

Saturday, March 26, 2011


It's been a long time since I've been here in my blog space, and we have just been living life with all it's ups and downs around here. Spring is definitely here, and we are starting to transition our activities in that direction. The days are longer, and our outside time is increasing in response. It's been quite lovely.

Today we have plans to work on the garden (expanding it to accommodate the huge number of seeds I bought this week!), re-organize the cluttered garage, take the boys to a dinosaur movie at the IMAX, and do a few more little chores around the house. Tomorrow will involve going to church, brewing some beer, and probably working in the yard again.

We are raising 30 meat chickens, gathering eggs from our five laying hens, and loving our new-ish dog. One of our kitties has had to transition to living in the garage because she was having territory issues with the dog. My kids are growing and changing so fast it's unbelievable some days.

So, are we all caught up then? Good.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Coleson!

This past Wednesday was Coleson's second birthday! He has been really sick all week, so we actually haven't even celebrated yet. We are planning a nice dinner tonight, though, and we will probably give him his gifts, finally. A party was planned for tomorrow, but now Landon is really sick so we might end up canceling that too. Poor guys.

I know parents say it all the time, but it's true. Where has the time gone? I can't believe my baby boy is two years old. Since birth he has been full of joy, and he has brought us so much happiness. He is sweet, caring, goofy, loves his big brother, and takes such delight in the world. He always has a smile ready for everyone, and he gives the sweetest hugs. We love him so much. Happy Birthday, Coleson!
About an hour after birth.
At his first birthday party.
A couple months ago, at Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

An Early Evening

My boys woke up pretty early this morning, and then Coleson didn't nap. So, he just went down for the night at about 5:45 p.m. and I have a whole evening looming in front of me. I am planning some knitting and then Tyson and I are going to watch a movie after he gets Landon down for the night. I love it when evenings like this happen to come together for us.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Year

Well, Happy New Year! A few important things have happened over the last few days around here.

My dear friend Gretchen had a baby boy, James, the afternoon of New Year's Eve. He had to spend a couple days in the NICU, so I haven't met him yet but I cannot wait to snuggle the little guy! Welcome to the world, baby James, and congratulations to Gretchen and her family!

We found a sweet dog on Craigslist, met him, and decided he definitely needed to live with us. On New Year's Day we picked up Jasper from his old owners and spent most of the day getting used to having him in our family. We were told he was a golden retriever and lab mix, but he definitely has a few more breeds in him than that. He has fit right in with us, and we feel so lucky to have found him.

I didn't really make any huge New Year's resolutions this year. Now that we have Jasper, I will have to start walking every day again and that will be a good thing. I suppose I would like to read more books. I would like to lose a few pounds. But mostly I would like things to just keep going the way they have been going. I think I have it pretty good.