puddle jumpers

Our neighbor was draining her pool yesterday so the kids threw on their rain boots and had fun in the RIVER we had in front of our house! SO much fun!

Parker and Bailey were trying to jump as high as they could!

And then Parker started singing! HA!

Oh that kid just kills me! HA!

Happy weekend!

On finding a bottom.

Yesterday Bailey came into my room at 6:50am and asked if I liked her outfit. When I rolled over in bed to open one eye and look at her I instantly started laughing.


“Oh Bails! There is such a story behind those pants!”

(looks behind her) “I don’t see a story.”

Parker, who was standing next to her got on the ground on her hands and knees and said, “Mommy, I don’t see a story either, I just see her bottom.”

If I could actually put me LAUGHING OUT LOUD on a blog I would because MAN did I start cracking up! What a great way to start a day!

The story “behind” those pants?

My dad bought a pair of blue pants from REI when I was about 4 months pregnant with Bailey, before we even knew it was a girl (they are girl pants). They were wrapped up and sent to us (we lived in Spokane, WA) as a gift. At the time they looked HUGE compared to all the 0-3 month stuff we’d been given. I didn’t even know what size small meant in kid-age/size. Those pants have been with us for seven years of marriage, two states and six moves. I just found them recently when I was unpacking and stuck them in Bailey’s drawer. To see these pants we’ve been carting around for so many years actually fit the baby I was pregnant with when gifted them was so awesome.

But to see Parker get on the ground to look for the “story” and only find her bottom?


a few things to remember.

This morning I was making breakfast when Parker walked into the kitchen carrying her new pink cowboy boots (the exact same pair from Target she wore everyday last year but a couple sizes bigger), set them down in front of her feet, looked at me and said, “wouldn’t these look adorable with my outfit?” HA!

Grayson has two best friends. New Parker and New Gray. They are both totally imaginary but both totally a part of our everyday life. New Gray is the quieter of the two and only gets mentioned occasionally but New Parker is around ALL the time. He’ll be doing something and suddenly get up and walk away. When I ask what he’s doing he tells me he needs to go talk to New Parker. When he showers he walks around the tub chatting away to those two. It takes him at least an hour to fall asleep because he sits in his bed talking to New Parker and New Gray. New Parker is the trouble maker. She says lots of bad words and needs time outs sometimes, which he gladly gives her. For a few weeks he was waking up almost every night crying/screaming and while 99% still asleep if he was able to tell us what he was dreaming it was ALWAYS something to do with New Parker. Sometimes his stories about those two crack me up and I think when they go their own way I’ll be sad.

The other day I was telling Bailey something, giving her guidance about something, and as I finished she walked away saying, “Well, that was the lesson for today!” HA!

Today in the car Parker said, “Mommy, you know how we always tell Daddy he’s the best Daddy in the world but we don’t tell you anymore?” Grayson started that little saying and for a long time now he will give you the biggest hug and say, “You’re the BEST Mommy in the world!” Or Daddy or Bailey or Grandma and then he always wanted to hear “And you’re the best Grayson in the world!” right back. It got him out of a lot of sticky two-year old situations that’s for sure! So when Parker said that to me I honestly hadn’t noticed a lack of them telling me that but of course it threw me for a loop. Until the loop went to a huge kick in the gut when she said, “Because Daddy plays with us and wrestles with us more than you do.” and Gray chimed in, “you’re always working”



That conversation happened right as we were pulling into choir so it was interrupted. On our way home later I was the one that brought it up and we talked about how Mommy will try harder to play and wrestle with them more. OF COURSE no one mentioned that Daddy gets to come in at the last second and be the FUN parent after I’ve done all the non-fun parts! But whatever.

So later tonight I had given Parker a breathing treatment after her coughing suddenly turned into some serious wheezing and I was cuddling her on my bed. She uncurled from me for a second and looked up at me to ask if she could have some Mommy snuggle time. Of course I told her. And then she said, “I love your snuggles. You’re the best Mommy in the whole world!”

And as I held my big almost five year old and stroked her hair I knew that even though Daddy would always be more fun he has nothing on my snuggles!

the sky.

Yesterday we woke up and decided to head south on Highway 19, the opposite of where we went Sunday night when we went from Cuba to Hermann. It was another gorgeous day, 70 degrees and the sky was amazing! It’s all I managed to capture that day because we were too busy having fun exploring the back roads! I’m SO glad I paused in our driving to grab these few shots though!

We ended our AMAZINGINCREDIBLEPERFECTJUSTWHATWENEEDED trip by hitting Six Flags! HA! Neither of us had been there since we were in high school and we’ve talked about going all summer. It was hysterical because Chris is SUCH a wimp! HA! He couldn’t handle anything and multiple times I had to cover his mouth with my hand b/c he was cursing so bad in front of the children enjoying the ride! HA!

We got home about 30 minutes before the kids were dropped off to a completely flooded basement. SO many things ruined/destroyed/wet/disgusting and yet it totally didn’t destroy our mood!

Thanks to my parents for keeping the kids and for the Allen’s for helping during last nights disaster.

Oh how I wish I had spent the $10 to show you the photo of Chris screaming for dear life on the American Thunder roller coaster! HA!

one year.

One year ago Chris and I celebrated our sixth anniversary by getting away for two days to C’s Grandpa’s lake house in Cuba, MO. We floated in the water, went tubing, played scrabble, napped, read and had an amazing time. We also had some very serious conversations and a few pretty big arguments. Who am I kidding. They weren’t arguments, they were pretty awful fights. But it was because of those serious conversations and stress. Oh the stress we were under last year. Through the fighting and tears and laughter and fun (because yes, we had all those things in two days!) we made a big decision… to take control of our money by giving ourselves the gift of time. The same night we got home we called C’s parents and asked them if we could move in with them.

Since that day and that weekend we have lived with both of our parents, paid a bunch of bills, saved some money, repaired our credit, bought a house, renovated that house and moved in.

This weekend we are away again to not only celebrate the end of our seventh year of marriage but to celebrate the completion of this year.  The year that WE DID IT!

And you know what?

This weekend is a whole hell of a lot more fun! There is no weight on us this time, no serious talks, no arguments or fighting. Just a lot of fun!

Now when I tell you what we’ve done you might think we’re crazy, but it makes sense for us!

We got here (we’re in Cuba again b/c we really wanted to come back to where it all began last year but we’re in a hotel b/c C’s Grandparents are at their house) near midnight on Saturday night so we just crashed. Then at 7am yesterday our friend Tom came and picked Chris up to go fly fishing. I stayed at the hotel and caught up on work. It was just what each of us needed! I was craving alone time like I never have before and Chris needed to be out in nature (something he craves as much as I crave alone time). He was home by noon and we went to lunch at Country Kitchen! HA! I had soup and salad but Chris had chicken fried steak! We went back to the room and C slept for three hours… something else he really needed. I worked a bit more and then headed out to an antique store (I’ll show you what I bought soon!). The weather was AMAZING at 75 degrees, the rain had stopped and the clouds cleared so I called Chris and told him I was going to swing by to pick him up. We grabbed sodas and sat in the gas station parking lot for a minute.

“Which way should we go?”

“I don’t care”

“How about north?”

“Let’s go!”

We drove for about an hour and a half until we came to Hermann, MO where we walked around a closed winery (Mom… we went up there to get you guys a bottle of wine to say thank you but on Sunday Hermann closes early! EVERYTHING closed early!) and then found a restaurant to have dinner. As we were walking down the street holding hands (something we don’t do often enough anymore) after dinner we found an open ice cream shop, Chris got a cone and it just felt like nothing could get better than this moment.

When we were in the car driving down the small winding highway with good music playing and windows down I looked over at Chris and said, “I literally couldn’t be more joyful!” My heart was just so full of joy.

This was EXACTLY what we both needed.


Well right now I’m taking my time waking up… I am NOT a morning person and LOVE slow mornings. Chris is more of a morning person so he’s up and out to breakfast (I’m hoping he’s bringing me something!). And THEN I think we’re heading south! Another day of exploring, driving, letting the wind whip my hair into crazy frizzy curls and joy. I expect a lot more joy today!

Happy seventh anniversary Chris. I love you so much and am so proud of us for completing this year. Thanks for sticking with me through all the ups and downs we’ve had this year (these seven years!). Thanks for understanding what I need sometimes before I realize it. Thanks for being ultimately patient with me and always forgiving.

I fell in love with you 14 years ago because you made me laugh more than anyone ever had. Thank goodness, because we’ve laughed a lot this year and it’s the laughter than got us through.

I love laughing with you.

Raise your hand.

My good friend Donna makes these “Mental Blocks” and the other day when I was feeling extremely overwhelmed I saw this sitting in my kitchen window. It calmed me. And just so fits my life right now. Truly it fits anyone’s life!

Thanks Donna. For so many things!

More later…


Is that a word? Hermiting? I guess not. But it’s what I’m doing right now.

The older I get the more hermit-like I tend to get. Maybe it has nothing to do with age but just with how busy I am. I’m not sure.

Right now I just want to be alone. I’m craving it. All day I yearn for the 10pm-12am time when everyone is asleep and the house is quiet.

Balancing two near-full-time jobs is starting to take its toll I think. So is the house and its never ending to do lists that just STARE at me. Money is a constant worry that keeps me up at night. I look at sites like this and get the “I want that” stuck in my head which doesn’t help the no money issue at all. Not that we have no money. Actually we’ve started saving again the second we put the stopper in the house-drain that seemed to be sucking our money away faster than we could make it. But there is no room in a saving-centered budget for fun things to make this house like the one in my dreams that I know it can be!

That was a tangent.

I’m finding that I have VERY little time for the kids when I’m not barking orders at them to get ready for school or get ready for bed. Gone are the days of art projects and trips to the park during the day. It makes me sad. I miss being a good mom. Now I’m a good mom in the fact that I’m working my ass off to provide for them. But that’s not how they feel or what they care about I’m sure. I work extremely hard to have good conversations with them individually or take small moments to pray with them, sing with them, dance with them… just so amidst the mundane they might remember having fun with their mommy.

I just kind of hate being a working mom. With a day job and a nights+weekends job too.

Not that I would EVER want to go back to the black financial hole we were in three years ago but when I think back on that time of our life I don’t even remember how broke we were or how stressed I was because of it. All I really remember are the moments when I had the girls at our kitchen table painting, Gray in the sling and kid music on in the back ground. Or the dance parties we had. Or how I could lay on the floor and three babies would crawl+climb all over me. Now when they do that it kind of hurts! It’s funny to me how time really does erase most of the bad. The sleepless nights, the sickness, the lack of money all is nearly gone from my brain and left are beautiful memories of my babies, three under three.

On top of just missing the more simple life we had a few years ago I’m struggling to make it out in the world. I avoid drop offs and pick ups at Bailey’s school because I really just don’t want to talk to anyone. I have nothing to say. If I really started talking to someone I’m afraid I’d just cry or unload all the feelings I’m trying desperately to keep inside. I’m not calling my friends or answering personal emails in a timely way. I’m not even really talking to my sister, mom or mother-in-law like I usually do.

It’s like all of me is so stretched between my jobs and the kids I have nothing left. Not much even for Chris at the end of the day. I just have nothing to give, anyone.

We’re getting away for Sunday night to celebrate our anniversary and it might be the break I need. I’m contemplating even leaving my computer at home because maybe that will also leave the stress of answering emails and work at home. I can’t decide.

Ugh. Just feeling kind of melancholy as I get into this new routine of life. Wishing I could hire a housekeeper to help take away some of that work, wishing I could have more fun with the kids (that I was even in the mood to have more fun with the kids), wishing Chris and I had more alone time, wishing I had any kind of time to devote to my friends, wishing I could keep up with either job better, etc.

Just wishing.