it has begun.

Soccer, that is.

It is officially soccer season, in my mind, after yesterday’s first home game.

Even though the season really started a month ago, now it finally feels like soccer season.

And what I realized yesterday, while I photographed the game and watched my kids play across the field with Angie, her kids, my parents and the sitters I paid to keep my kids out of trouble while I worked… is that soccer and spring go hand in hand.

Because what I really felt yesterday was SPRING. T-shirt wearing, dinner in the grass, going to bed later, baths because you’re actually dirty, SPRING.

But spring in our family, for as long as we’ve been a family, is also the start of the soccer season.

And for the first time, in a long time, I liked that fact.


Because for the first time, in a LONG time, I was able to look at soccer as something else besides just another thing that takes Chris away from us.

I was able to realign my thinking, back to when we were first married, and truly ENJOY this passion of his.

I used to coach. Lacrosse. So really, every single year of my life since I was 14 I’ve had a sport in the spring season. I played lacrosse in high school and college, and straight from college started coaching. I even coached our first year of marriage at Gonzaga University… which ended up being my last year of coaching b/c I realized that with kids you can’t have two parents coaching in the same season.

So soccer won.

But the point is, I am an athlete and coach at heart. And under the 40lbs of flubber I now carry. So my heart understands his passion. It holds the same passion. Except my life (kids, work, house, etc) has taken a front seat and my love of coaching was shoved in the trunk and forgotten about.

But if our marriage is going to survive any more seasons, I have to bring that passion out of the trunk, shake it off and remember it.

So that I can understand C a little better. And BE more understanding of his late nights and absent mind.

So this year I am changing it up a bit. I’m going to go to as many games as I possibly can, not just the home games that work well for the kids. Which means a lot of babysitting this season. And that is a hard decision, financially, mainly. But I want to allow myself to enjoy this sport and stop resenting it. I want to see Chris coach, be a tiny part of this part of his life. Because what I am figuring out, slowly, is that I can’t take this part of him away, even though this part of him does take him away. If we are going to have a strong marriage I have to embrace this sport. The people. The girls. The time.

Because this is the part of Chris I love the most anyway. The part I see come out when he’s with our own kids. He is, literally, one of the best coaches I have ever known. And I’m not just saying that because I married him. He is truly talented at working with and teaching kids. And I have to be reminded of that b/c for the last 4+ years I have looked at his coaching as just something that takes him away. I stopped looking at what it gave HIM. I stopped thinking about HIM completely and only the added stress it put on me.

So this year I’m paying sitters and going to the games. I’m choosing to not let the added stress effect me. I’m going to participate by photographing what I can. I’m going to try to open myself up to seeing CHRIS as a person and not just the person who relieves me of duty when he walks in the door at night. And I think watching him work, being a part of it all and letting go of the old hurt will help me really see HIM again. And in turn I am hoping it will help strengthen our marriage.

A marriage that just had to take a backseat to three under three. Which is ok. We have to give ourselves a break. For the last 4+ years we were just surviving. Doing whatever we could to get through the day. But now we’re not just surviving anymore and need to actually put some time into one another again. So this is my part.

The neatest thing yesterday was taking the time to watch him coach. Because when I slowed down and wasn’t chasing three kids around I could see the parts of him I fell in love with. And it gave me hope that we’re still here. That I’m still here. I may be fatter and busier and more exhausted but if I could see the real HIM it gave me hope that someday I will see the real ME again too.

So welcome spring! AND soccer!

And just because they are too cute not to post.. here are some of the other coach’s kids we run around with during games…

calling 911.

Yesterday morning, after dropping the girls at preschool, Grayson and I headed to the Glendale Police Dept. I went in and asked if we could call 911 to practice b/c I felt like that would be the best way for Bailey to really understand what happens. The officer i spoke with said she hasn’t had that request before but that all I had to do was call the regular number ahead of time and let them know what I wanted to do. She also gave me some stickers to put on our phone with the police and fire dept numbers plus 911 in big letters!

So once the girls were home from school and Gray was napping we sat down to talk about it. I started by telling them what 911 is, and Bailey already kind of knew b/c the fire dept had come to her school earlier this fall. Then we talked about WHEN to call 911. I started by listing some instances like a fire in the house, if she couldn’t wake up Mommy or Daddy, if someone was trying to break in, etc. Then I gave them different scenarios like, falling off their bikes, mommy not waking up, fighting with their sister, a fire… and asked them in each case if they should call 911 or ask mommy/daddy for help. Bailey got each one right but Parker wanted to call 911 every time. Three years old is not quite old enough to understand this concept I don’t think! What Bailey didn’t quite get though was that make-believe things aren’t times to call… she gave her own scenarios like when a monster comes in your house shooting a gun made of fire or when a squirrel breaks in and scratches your face to steal your nightgown! I just told her that sure, IF those things happen she can certainly call 911!

Then we practiced our phone number and address… Parker knew neither and although Bailey already had our phone number memorized she had NO idea what our address was. This morning, after going over it a million times yesterday, she had totally forgotten. Just means we need to start talking about it every day!

I also talked about HOW to use our phone. We have a land line, which the police officer said is best b/c immediately they know where the child is calling from and can send help before they even know what’s going on, and she already knew how to use that phone, but I had to teach her how to use the phone on my iPhone. This will be something we need to keep working on too b/c the iPhone isn’t as easy as a basic cell phone.

Overall I think it was a great idea to practice! And to video tape it b/c they LOVE watching themselves so I know they’ll remember this just by watching it a million times! I’d recommend calling your local police station and asking if you can do this too… it really was incredible and she felt SO special after we were done!

Now, if you want to hear some funny preschool logic and see our basic run-through…

stuck in the car. literally.

Last night Kim was over working on a few things before our Love Light session and Chris got home after taking the kids to watch a JV soccer game. He came in with Gray and when asked he said the girls were out on the trampoline. Thinking nothing of it, Kim and I kept on working.

About 20+ minutes later Chris came in to show us his awesome dinner he’d made and said he was going to call the girls in. Next thing I know the girls come in just sobbing.

He’d left them in the car.

Not on purpose of course, but he’d accidentally closed the door while chasing Grayson after telling the girls they could go play outside on the trampoline.

It was an accident.

And one that ended fine.

But the “what ifs” are still literally haunting me.

I didn’t sleep well last night b/c I kept thinking of THIS photographer who lost her little girl b/c she went to get something out of their hot car and never came back. If it was just two months earlier they would have been so cold I’m not sure what would have happened. Two months from now the heat could have literally killed them in that time.

It gives me the chills.

Not to mention how shaken they were.

I mean, FREAKED OUT comes no where close to describing them when they came in.

We have the child locks set on the back doors and at 3 and 4 years old they never thought to climb into the front seat and try to open those doors (which would have opened easily) or honk the horn. No, they screamed and cried for over 20 minutes, alone and scared. I have tears in my eyes just thinking about what they must have been feeling.

I write this just to remember how precious life is. How fast it can go. What we, as parents, take for granted. That a simple mistake can change lives. To force myself to slow down.

Chris felt awful and has talked to the girls about it a lot. I was gone all day shooting but tomorrow we’re going to teach them how to open the doors from the inside, honk the horn and talk about what to do if anything like that happens again.

And I know this may sound so ignorant, but I’ve never taught them about 911. Bailey doesn’t even know our phone number by heart. So this week I’m going to work on activities to learn those things. I may even call the police/fire dept to see if we can do a test run and actually have her call 911 and talk to someone so she can see what to do. I’m not sure that’s allowed but it seems like a good way to learn.

I just never think “it could happen to us” and yesterday was a major slap in the face that it can. Easily. Without thinking.

I’ll let you know what I come up with for teaching these things and if you have ideas I’d love to hear them!

hanging on the front porch with Gray.

A few weeks ago, on the first warm day, Gray and I sat on the front porch to watch the cars and trucks and buses drive by. It was awesome to slow down, with camera in hand, and just capture HIM being HIM. Because although he seems so big to me now, I know in just a few short years months he’ll seem small. And someday, looking back, I will be happy I took the time to capture these everyday moments.

the “new” marriage idea i heard today.

My best friend, Angie, is home puking her guts out today while caring for her three kids while her husband, along with my husband, travels home from 5 days in CO for soccer. If I were TRULY a best friend I would have not listened to her protests and gone to get her one year old so she had it easier today. But the fear of PUKE entering this house clamped my mouth shut and let her suffer. SORRY ANGIE!

Anyway, while she was not moving on the couch I was, I’m sure, driving her crazy with my marriage talk but she, being the better friend, actually listened and gave me the best insight I have ever had.

I was bitching and moaning about Chris.

And yes, for the first time, maybe ever, I am going to talk about my marriage. Prepare yourselves!

So I was lamenting about the fact that I am a bad wife. For millions of reasons but yesterday specifically b/c I could not muster one tiny ounce of happiness for Chris as he was having a big day of fun out in Colorado with his two best friends and 20 or so soccer players. Instead I was angry and jealous and frustrated and lonely. And I kept trying to find the “good for him to be getting this break and seeing the mountains he LOVES and 1on1 time with Kevin and Dan…” But I just couldn’t.

And the thing I was mad about was really so stupid. I just wanted him to call me. Or WANT to call me. Or text me or something.

Really, I think I just wanted to be missed. Or thought about.

But I didn’t even realize that until today when he finally did text me a sweet note telling me he loved me. A simple note of shortened words sent from his cell to mine that changed my ENTIRE attitude in a matter of seconds.

Back to me and Angie… so I was just telling her how much i WANTED to be happy for him. Not just for yesterday and the mountain-fun he was having but for everything. I have a husband living his passion! He loves teaching and loves coaching. I honestly don’t know many men who literally love everything about their jobs. And I should be glad for him b/c he is my husband, my friend, my love.

But I’m not.


Instead I’m always mad that his job doesn’t come close to paying our bills. I’m mad that he works 14+ hours a day. I’m mad he’s gone at night and on the weekends. I’m mad when Parker cries for him b/c it makes me feel like chopped liver. I’m mad he’s out loving his work and “having fun” (my words, not his) while I’m struggling between kids/house/work ALL THE TIME.

I’m always mad. About something.

And I do think a lot of that can be chalked up to 5 years of struggle. Three under three, not enough money, long distance move, etc. We had a lot of stress in the first few years of our marriage. And three kids so young and close together is hard even if you do have enough money! Just the pure exhaustion can take a toll on your marriage I think.

But life isn’t that stressful anymore. Money is getting better, the kids are tons easier, we’re settled, etc.

But I’m still mad.

And that’s when Angie said that when her and Kev were getting married the priest told them that marriage is 100% all of the time but it’s not 50-50 all of the time.



That sentence has been running through my head all day since my very sweet and very sick friend said it aloud.

And I think it may be the root of my issues.

Because really, when he’s gone all the time I’m not upset b/c I have a nursing baby on my hip, a one year old crying for me to hold her and a two year old needing something. That part is past. I’m just upset he’s gone. Period. And now, I think it’s because for a really long time I’ve been FEELING like it’s more 80-20 instead of 50-50. Because I’m the one that’s here so of course I’m dealing with the majority of the house work and the kids and the doctor visits and school and well, everything. And if one person FEELS like life is so unbalanced for so long of course they are going to resent the other for doing just about anything else right?

This is all still soaking in. It’s percolating. Nothing concrete has formed. But that idea is planted. That maybe I’m not a crazy bitch after all. Maybe I’ve just been FEELING like I carry most of the burden our life holds.

I struggle with articulating my feelings to Chris and so I’m excited for him to get home tonight so I can tell him this idea as a jumping off point to help him understand me better. For me to better understand myself. Because I DO want to be happy for him and excited when he’s excited. I WANT to just welcome him home at the end of the day with a smile instead of a list of complaints. And MAYBE, just maybe, if we can figure out how to make life more 50-50 SOME OF THE TIME I can better appreciate it when it does lean more towards 80-20 you know?


Now that I am back to PERSONAL blogging I will be talking about what I want, when I want. I’m sorry that this blog isn’t filled every day anymore. Or filled with random bits. And if reading about my marriage is too personal for you then just stop reading. I want this blog to track my life. The journey of it all. Including the amazing peaks and miserable valleys. You are welcome to come along for the ride but feel free to hop off at any time too! This is just for me and my husband and my kids. To know me. Better. For ME to know me better.

Thanks to all who hang around!

the girls + gray.

We spent today with all our best girl friends and the little man. Of course there were no husbands. I mean, seriously, when IS my husband around?

No, I’m not bitter.

But it was a good day that started off at Powder Valley Nature Reserve…

For some reason the back of Gray walking, in his new raincoat carrying Dogdog just got me today. Love it.

Can you say arranged marriage? HA!

Crappy photo but can you see his eye? Does this help?

How about a little zoom action to see that BIG BLACK EYE? HA! It happened yesterday when Bailey was trying to help him and his two blankets, two Dogdogs and his baby doll down the stairs at the Allen’s house! He just tumbled down and we have no idea what he hit but he certainly hit something! Chris thinks it’s great and is now calling him BRUISER.

We handed Lauren, the 7 year old and leader of our pack, the camera and I told her to take lots while whispering to Ang that the focus is hard to nail. I laughed when all 10 photos looked like this! HA!

It was a hard angle but I wanted to capture Gray holding my hand. I love that little guy who is so content to hang back with me the whole time!

Thanks to Angie for giving me a new and much needed photo of me and the kiddos!

My favorite part of our friendship? That our kids love the other mom too. My two are totally content to hold hands with Ang and her little Kelsey actually cried to have me hold her today…

SO CUTE! And I love Angie’s face here! Like “What dude? I’m not good enough?” HA!

Our 6 pack. I love these kids and this friendship!

Thanks Ang for making a daddyless day great!

tomorrow is saturday.

And tomorrow Chris is gone, again, all day with soccer. So today I am trying to figure out something fun to do with the kids in the chilly rain they’re predicting. But every idea I come up I’m afraid every other parent in the city will have had also. And I really can’t do all three kids in a crowd without help.

SO. Ideas?

Last Saturday was gorgeous so I took the kids, for the first time, to the Museum of Transportation and my dad ended up tagging along. His meeting was canceled so he met me over there, which was great b/c the kids LOVED having a special day with PawPaw!

I haven’t been there since I was their age and truly have no memory of it, but I do remember being bored on field trips there! Luckily, my memory was totally off! The kids LOVED it! There are even enough fun things to climb on in the parking lot that you could never even step foot inside the museum and still have a good hour of play time!

I’ve always loved history so this was right up my alley. Reading about the trains, where they traveled, what they did, who rode on them, etc. It was really cool!

And it was fun to see the stages that my kids are in. Gray was happy to look at rocks and point to the trains. He took his time and was content walking slowly just taking it all in. Bailey was always in the front. Hurrying us, running ahead and circling back, skipping through the trains we could go in without stopping to take any of it in. Her motivation was to see it all and see it FAST. Parker was right in the middle. I could tell she wanted to keep up with Bailey but she was also a bit more curious than Bails and could have taken more time in some places.

What I found so interesting was remembering my parents. Every vacation we went on had to have some kind of educational aspect to it when I was a kid. We were never a family to sit on the beach but instead we were at museums and historical markers and national parks. And I remember being SO annoyed that my parents took SOOOOO long looking at things and reading EVERYTHING b/c I was at the stage Bailey is in.. I wanted to run through and move on! It was just neat to finally be on the other side of things! I wanted to stay and read everything, learn what I could, etc. I’m just glad I remember what it used to feel like so I can appreciate where they are now.

And where they are now is so great! Enjoying the simple things like balancing on a curb! Days like last Saturday remind me that through all the laundry and messes and whining that I really do love being a mother.


I just have to record that today I did two things I never thought I would do.

And if I thought about either of them too hard I would cry tears of frustration and anger (at myself) and then throw myself a big ole pity party. And then join a gym.

I bought an anti-aging night cream to help with my dry skin (don’t care much about my wrinkles but am desperate to get my skin back to normal).


I bought the next size up in jeans. A size I’ve never been before and said I never EVER would be.

But I am.

And DAMN are those jeans comfortable and MAN is my face soft right now.

So although I should be out jogging and starting my diet tonight I am instead totally beat from a great+busy day with the kids and blogging while Chris puts them to bed.

Oh, and I’m sure a soda will be in my near future. Which won’t help the waistline but DAMN will it taste good. And as I embrace the ripe old age of 30 I’m finding that those simple pleasures in my day far out weigh (most of the time) my growing ass.

I’m also finding, surprisingly, that the older I get the worse my mouth gets.

Don’t be surprised that by my 40th birthday I’m 300 pounds, drunk all the time and smoking 2 packs a day. Because that’s where my bad habits seem to be headed.

And HELL TO THE NO will I tell you what my new and larger than life size is. So don’t ask!

don’t cry.

In the car on the way to school this morning Parker was crying at the injustice of not getting to wear a skirt and Bailey started singing a song that went…

“Don’t cry Parker, don’t cry. Don’t cry Parker, don’t cry…”

And after a minute or so Parker stopped crying.

And when she stopped Bailey held out her hand to her and said, “sisters?”

And Parker, holding her hand, said, sniffling, “yes.”

And Bailey said, “friends?”

And Parker smiled and said loudly, “YES!”

And my heart broke a little as I drove them the rest of the way to preschool.