Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Newborn Days Tired

That's what these animals have me.  TIRED.  For the last three weeks it's been broken sleep or up at 5:30am. every. day. including weekends.  At the end of the day, M and I are practically begging the kids (both furry and fleshy) to go to sleep, so we can hit the hay by 9 o' clock.  I am ready for this phase to be over.  Though, I am still glad we got these little animals.  They give our house a different energy (and suck the energy right out of me!).  They force us to go outside.  They force us to play and be thoughtful.  One of the best things about getting up at the crack of dawn is that the Hubs and I get about 1 hour of alone time before the human kids wake up.  That is super nice.  Almost like a date night.  Maybe I could name it "Date Dawn".  I miss my sleep tremendously, but I do love quiet conversation with my man.
This is only a short season in our life, right?  Soon the puppy and kitten will be grown up and then what?
Then I will sleep 12 consecutive hours and not clean up and poop or pee for an entire day.  Heaven.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The New Kids in Town

Along the way this non-pet loving Mama happened to pick up two sassy little creatures.  We had no intention of getting a puppy, but somehow the sadness of the local Humane Society ripped at my heart and I could not leave this little girl alone.
So here she is, the cutest thing... Miss Elsa

 And a birthday surprise for our sweet and spicy 5 year old... Mr. Kitty, or "Oki".  Although, the name changes daily and lately I've been referring to him as "Kit Kat".

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Favorite Read

Once in awhile a book comes along that I want to read over and over again.  These books inspire me and/or teach me something new each time I read them.  These books I hold onto.  
Usually, I will read (or try to read) something and then it's tossed in the goodwill or used bookstore pile or given to a friend and that's that.  
Only a few little gems make the cut and are kept for life.
"Heaven is Here" by Stephanie Nielson is one of those gems.
For me, this book is jam packed full of life lessons, inspiration, motivation, and insight.  Things that I hope to pass on to my birdies.  
One the most important being Gratitude.  
In the midst of deepest pain and sorrow, there is still love and beauty all around us.
To my little loves:  If you are ever reading this, know that gratitude will change your perceptions, your circumstances, your life.  Everything we need is right here.  And we never need very much.
I have always loved quotes and typically have them swirling in my head throughout any given day.  I'm not sure what it is, but quotes and lyrics of certain songs really boost me.
A few of my favorite gratitude quotes:
"If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
Meister Eckhart
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Backtracking- Christmas Peek 2013

 In no particular order, a few Holiday memories.  I figured I better get these posted before summer hits and all is forgotten.  Since A certain little boy has been learning piano we have had the joy of listening to many of his concerts, especially at Christmas time.

The artist himself
Our in house expert on all things "techy"

The Little Miss had her turn too.  She is on a lesson hiatus.  I am hoping she will pick it up again soon.  I love the sound of piano music in the house.

Healthy treats for the reindeer.  Fattening treats for Santa.

This was to be our last Christmas in our little home.  The day after, we signed the contract on our forever home.  The next month we closed and the first week in February we moved in.  What a whirlwind!  
The best part of Christmas Eve were the hilarious family videos Papa Ran and Grandma Ann brought.  Some were from my college days.  I think the kids were shocked that Mama actually used to be quite silly and fun ;)
We face timed Uncle Will and had him read us all the Cajun Night Before Christmas in his best Old Farmer Thibodeaux voice.  He nails it every time and cracks us all up.
Goodbye 2013.  Hello 2014, the year of new beginnings.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

One of My Favorite Ever Gifts...

...has to be this Instagram collage made by one of my favorite ever girls, our long time babysitter, pseudo 4th child, sister-Avi-never-had, and friend Laura (aka LaLa).
More about LaLa later.  I love that she captured the kids' personalities and our old house just right and how the kids would always yell "Lay a towel out!", meaning let's have a picnic in the living room and watch a show while we eat (middle pic).  The giant front yard tree and beautiful urban trail down the street, I miss.  And especially the amazing neighbors we had.  Though our time there is full of sweet memories and lessons learned, we are excited to finally be right where we are supposed to be and excited to build  
new memories in our new place.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I thought I would be fun to photograph our home after only living here a month, before we start on the projects we want to eventually tackle.  I love seeing the before and after.
I know there will always be something that needs work, but when we moved in this house was pretty much just right for us.  Luckily, there were only a handful of things that we knew right off the bat we would want to change and that would be fairly easy, but would make a big difference.  
This summer our big job will be the back yard.  
Right now it is a blank slate, which is great because my Hub loves yard work and landscaping.  
It's like meditation for him.

Welcome home!  It's so nice to have a place to call our own.  Down the road (like WAY down the road) I think we want to repaint the exterior more of a sage green color to blend in better with our surroundings.  But for now, baby blue it is!
Really strange door in our master bedroom.  It doesn't quite belong and leads to nothing.  Right now it just takes up our very limited wall space.  Maybe we could fill it in with dry wall one day?

Front yard.  Can't wait to plant some trees and some greenery.  Maybe grass.

This back wall of our eating nook I would love to make one giant slider.  I think it would add more light to the whole area and it would be nice to look outside once we have landscaping.

Now this is the first project this summer.  The backyard.  We want to put in a grass lawn for the kids and trees and bushes along the fence to spruce it up.
And me in our master bedroom. Excited for the possibilities here.  Maybe a headboard?  A bench at the foot of the bed?  Curtains?  I want it to feel relaxing and romantic.  All in good time.

Monday, March 24, 2014

A New Found Secret

After 35 I noticed a shift.  My energy and patience were lower, my PMS longer and all over the place, and my overall feeling just wasn't as sunny.  It was like my body was finally saying, "enough already!".  I put myself through plenty of abuse over the years.  Some of it positive, like having three beautiful babes and being fortunate to breast feed each of them, and running races that were far too long, but oh so much fun at the time.  Some not so positive, like not putting the best things in my body throughout my teens and twenties.  I have learned lately to really listen to myself and tune in to what I need.  Hard to do when we have little ones demanding every second of our time....but, getting much easier now that they are more independent.  When I went to my naturopath, one of the suggestions that really stuck with me because it was so simple was "Seed Cycling".  Seed cycling may be the secret for getting myself back on track, along with a good diet, moderate exercise, and lots of sleep.  Here are the basics:
Phase 1:  Follicular Phase (Days 1-14) eat 2 tbsp. raw pumpkin and flax seeds
Phase 2:  Luteal Phase (Days 15-28) eat 2 tbsp. raw sunflower and sesame seeds
Simple as that!
Flax seeds I have to add to other dishes to get these down, but the raw pumpkin seeds are delightful on their own.

Raw sunflower seeds.  These are easy to just snack on.

Sesame seeds... these I have to put in a smoothie, stir fry, or oatmeal.  I only chew a spoonful if I'm desperate.

Our "woodsy" new kitchen.  I'm liking it.  And that is good since this is where I spend all of my time (or the car).

And my Little Miss.  My daily company and constant entertainment.
So, that's it friends!  Simple.  I never like to make things complicated or add undue stress to my life.  Life is is already stressful without adding more, right?  One more thing:  You can also add daily fish oil during days 1-14 and evening primrose oil during days 15-28.  But, sometimes I forget.  I'm not good at supplements.  So, I figure if I'm doing the best I can, that's ok.
Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Mini-Spring-Break-Escape

This may be the first little vacation we have taken that poolside=relaxation.
Typically, with three little birds, hanging out by the pool is fun, but also an exhausting, tension filled, heart pounding experience.
These guys are now almost 5, 8, and 11!  These are good ages.  They were able to safely and completely entertain themselves on the sandy beach, the three-story water slide, and table tennis.  We also saw some adorable baby ducks.  The Hub and I were able to lie in chairs, drinks in hand, and watch the excitement.  Daddy and our Little Middle actually both won 2nd place in the water slide speed contest.
We arrive.  I'm always amazed that we can drive two hours and find spring time.

Our very own "Vampire Kitty"

Table tennis championships

And hours of content sand digging

Until next time, so long beautiful paradise!
*The funniest part by far had to be when our Little Miss yelled out in her sleep at 3am "Oh ya I forgot, WHO WANTS TO WATCH FROZEN?!".  After all, it had been a  full 24 hours.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Let's Try This Again

So many times I have said, "I need to start blogging again!", "I'm not a scrapbooker, I HAVE to blog!", "This is the only record of my family!".  And then.... nothing.  So here it is again- another attempt because nothing is more important to me than this family.  I am always reminded of just how special our time together is when life throws us curve balls.  Like a co-worker covering for my husband, getting into a horrific car accident, and going completely blind.  Like breaking out in shingles for no apparent reason, other than the fact that life is a little stressful at times (as it is for everyone).  Like my husband fighting like mad to protect everything he has worked so hard for.  It is sickening to me that in his line of work there are no guarantees.  There is always someone looking to pounce on all we have built and claim it as their own.  Makes my stomach ache. And dealing with people who we assume are good and honest.  Why wouldn't they be?  Sadly, some people just aren't built that way.  BUT, (and that's a BIG BUT!) we have an amazing family that I couldn't be more proud of and they are my daily motivation to keep on keepin' on.  And the fact that I am blessed beyond measure and am grateful to my core.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Growing Pains

This week I had a little growth spurt and it was painful.  Questions popped in and out of my head continuously and left room for little else, my stomach felt tight and clenched and not in a good way, I thought, and assessed, and visited my family's future and really took a good hard look at what I want in life.  And especially what I want for these three little beings that are depending on me to point them in the right direction.  They are counting on me to provide love, security, healthy food, and a home that is a sanctuary away from it all.  My children are looking to me as there first example of a woman.  My little girl looks to me to see what she will become and I can see it in her eyes.  I can see that little twinkle when I am putting on my makeup and she grabs my brush and says "like this mommy?" as she paints her face.  My precious boys are looking at me and forming a picture in their heads of what they will hope for ( or not hope for) in a wife or girlfriend someday.  This motherhood job- IT COUNTS.  More than we realize sometimes.  This little quote I found on another blog last night brought me to tears...
"My mother didn’t specialize in home decor or gourmet cooking, and she didn’t lift weights or run marathons. But she makes me feel like I am the most important, wonderful person ever born. If I could pick any mother in the whole world, it would be my mom."
I thought, wow, to make another human being feel so loved.  Now that  is an accomplishment.  And with that feeling of love and security, that child will do amazing things.
I feel like there is only so much time in life.  We have to pick and choose what is most important to us.  My time, my energy, my physical capabilities are limited resources, that I now realize I have to protect with everything I have and share carefully.  So, I have been asking myself- what is important to me?  What do I devote my life to?  The first thought that always pops up is the health and well-being of my children.  I will take the time to plan and prepare nutritious meals, I will take the time to read to them, and snuggle them every night.  I will treasure the relationship I have with their Daddy.  I will take the time to care for myself, so that I can be as present with my kids as possible... eating well, exercising, and resting (resting is so good, and I don't feel like we allow ourselves to do it enough).  I want to take time with my close friends and family and let them know how important they are to me.  And I want a career where I can help others.  Everything else is just a bonus!
I want to always strive for a life of simplicity and gratitude.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Don't Know What You Got 'Till It's Gone

I almost lost this neglected little blog tonight.  And why should I care?  I haven't even visited her since January.  But, the 45 minutes that I thought it was all over left a pit in my stomach and made me unable to engage the outside world, including my children, for that entire period of time.  It was like I was trapped in a blog-less-cyber-bubble where time stood still.  It was horrible.  And so here is my attempt at redemption.  Random pictures that I never posted, events I never wrote about, people I haven't mentioned in forever, but should.
  This first pic, I present my lovely Aunt, my Mom, and myself.  I love my Aunt SO much and so wish they were closer.
My favorite tree.  Right in our front yard.  It makes the house.  We are currently just renting and I can't wait to have our own place again, but gorgeous tree, I will miss you.

A snap shot of a favorite vacation at Disneyland.  We spent 3 days and it was not enough.  Next time, a week I say!

And then to La Jolla Shores, our favorite beach spot.  Private, beautiful, sentimental.

One of the many hikes we are fortunate to do every year with my Mom and Randy.  A blessing.

Our birdie takes flight!

Love the Hub's intensity in this one...

Little loves at Easter.  Such a funny picture.

Yours truly through my children's eyes.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Summer In a Day

 Well, these aren't the prettiest and they definitely do not convey the warm beautiful day that it was, but we were able to make a quick escape to the Valley for a warm up.  I am just getting back into this blogging thing and trying to do it from an iPhone, with which I am sadly very challenged.
We jumped and jumped and jumped.  We bumped boats, golfed, and raced go-carts all with our faces pointed toward the glorious sun.  Soaking up every second, every ray, every ounce of that bright light.
 It's really hard to convey how much warm air is appreciated when you have either been stuck indoors or braving sub-freezing temperatures.  It's like you just can't get enough.  And I truly did not want to leave, but I'll take what I can get!
My favorite girl in this world and her "baby".  A flower she found on the ground, snuggled it up, and called it hers.  Funny, how girls have a mothering instinct about them right from the get go.  She cradled her baby flower through the green grassy lawns, in and out of stores, and out to lunch.  I sometimes find shriveled up "babies' in my purse or pants pocket at the end of a day.  She usually at some point will ask me to hold them for her and "be careful and make sure the boys don't get them".  And I, being Grandma, always oblige.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I Really...

I really want to pick this blogging gig back up again.  It's important.  I have loved going back and reading old posts, looking at old pictures, more than I realized I would.  It's amazing to look back and see how quickly life changes, yet in the moment it feels like time is sometimes moving so slow it's at a stand still.  I think since I'm not a scrapbooker, photo-album-maker, take tons of pictures type mom, I had better maybe try to at least do this.  I think I might regret it if I don't.  Plus, I think how fun for the kids, when they are grown, to come home and go through old blog books, laughing at all of the silly phases we made our way through.
As I was skimming over my last couple posts, I was reminded how life has a way of working itself out.  Not long ago, I was torn as to what to do with my little middle bird.  I want him to be free, be himself, flourish, and be happy.  Desperately.  At the time I thought another year of kindergarten.  What's the rush?  Let him take his time.  We made the difficult decision to pull him out and homeschool him for a year.  It's been...ok.  He misses his friends.  And it's not easy having a mom for a teacher.  But, we are working so super hard trying to keep him up to speed, so that he won't have to repeat and will be able to jump right back in with his buddies in 2nd grade next year.  It's a lot, but I feel like it's the best decision we have been able to come up with.  And here we are already half way through the school year.  We are doing this!
Usually, I am not a fan of New Year's Resolutions, but this year I felt inspired to give it a whirl. 
1)  Prepare nutritious meals for my family consistently.  Plan ahead.  Be thoughtful of these growing bodies in my care.
2)  Self-care.  Get enough sleep.  Eat well myself, not just feed the kids well while giving myself a cracker for lunch.
3)  Love more.
Happy 2013!

Friday, April 20, 2012


My lack of posting does not mean to imply I don't love this little blog.  Life has been getting in the way.  To recap the last nearly half a year:
I now have a 3, 6 and 9 year old!  When Aviana was born, I remember thinking 3, 6 and 9- that's going to be a good year and it really is!  I think this may be may favorite year yet.  My birdies are old enough to do some really fun stuff, but not too old to do it without ME!
I started a Masters in Professional Counseling program.  It's been awesome.  I was a little intimidated about going back to school, but it's been easier and much more exciting than I imagined school could ever be.  I suppose this is due to the fact I am not being forced to take accounting, philosophy, statistics or any other lovely undergrad course.  I am getting to study what I love and that's people.
We are thinking of having our middle bird (the one who probably wishes he really were a bird) repeat kindergarten.  It's been a really tough decision.  I've done a lot of research and I feel like another year of kindergarten or maybe home-school may be our best bet.  My worst fear is that he would be forced to fit into some average American kid mold and the real little man we all love so much would be stifled.  I don't want him to change one bit.  I want them to change.
Today's weather is absolutely breathtaking.  I spend way too much time on Facebook.  Dylan starts tennis next week.  I need to be more true to my core.  I can't wait for summer.  I can't wait for monsoon season.  I can't wait to buy our home.  I love how hard the Hub works for us.  I am truly lazy compared to him, but he never says a word about it.  I am so grateful for this life.  I need to appreciate each day more and make it more meaningful.  The years are slipping away so fast.  My doctor just informed me a huge hormonal shift is normal at 35- fabulous.  I had eyelid surgery last month- hope I don't regret it.  Don't think I will.
Birdies, I love you more than I know how to describe and more than it appears some days.  I need to be more present, more fun and more appreciative of every moment I have you three with me.  As I said, these years are slipping away so fast.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Best Snowman Ever

And a complete original designed by the two oldest men in the bunch.  I think it's pretty brag-worthy ;)


Life has been little hectic.  See how we're still smiling?  Well don't be fooled.  It's been a little bumpy heading into winter here.  My dear Hub became sick.  I mean the sickest I have ever seen.  He was in the ER overnight and stayed 4 days in a hotel, so he wouldn't infect us.  So sweet.  Well, we thought he was better, but whatever it was seemed to drag on and on and on.  I started to worry and I am not a worrier.  But, his symptoms were so strange and long lasting.  It wasn't looking good.  Well as soon as he was about to head in for further blood work and xrays, the sickness was gone.  It was over a month of weight loss, sweats, pale skin and then BAM he was well!  Needless to say, I am so grateful that whatever this was, was a horrible bug and is gone.
My Birdies have had a very healthy winter (of course, knock on wood).  I think I credit this to raw milk, but it could just be the luck of the draw.  While Hub has been fighting for his life and working his tail off simultaneously, the rest of us have been busy with basketball, art, legos and impromptu dance parties.  Which I will post a million pictures of next!  Stay tuned.

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Last Days...

 The Fall has taken us by surprise and given just one more weekend of Summer this year.  We didn't take it for granted for one second!  Just weeks before we were covered in a cozy blanket of snow and ice, our fireplace blazing... my hair smelling of ashes all day.
When the temps started to soar down south, we jumped out of the mountains and landed in a new found swimming hole.

We were excited just to have the hot sun baking our backs, but soon we saw this place had a lot more...

Yep, a boogie board.  You don't find that around these parts much.  Just lying there on the rocks.  We dunked it in to the icy snow melt and went for it!

Sometimes certain pictures capture this feeling that I have, that I really am so fortunate.  There is truly not a day that goes by that I don't remind myself of this.  Just two short years ago, I was facing one of the most challenging and stressful times I have ever faced.  I felt as though my entire life was on the rocks.  I know it wasn't and people face FAR worse circumstances then I'm sure I could even imagine.  But, it jolted me.  And I definitely needed a good jolting.  I needed gratitude and not just when things were awesome and not for all of the "things" we had, but for the smallest things.  Things I wouldn't have counted then.

I think this might be one of my favorite pictures of my little Sory.  So pensive.  I love this guy.  I feel like I'm finally starting to see who he is.  A thinker, an artist, intensely caring and creative.  A bundle of unconditional love.

Another amazing find on our journey was this rope swing.  The boys went crazy.  Especially this one.  Screaming at the rope "come to PAPA!!".  Had us in stitches.

Grandma and Grandpa were the launchers.  Daddy played catcher.

It was SO icy cold.

And so beautiful.

And so crazysillyexciting!

Our little pixie hopped along the edge and let her toes in.

This will probably be the last swimming hole day for a while, but plenty more adventures are in the forecast.  When the snow and ice returns, we will always be grateful for our little getaways down the hill, for Grandparents who always know just where to take us, for Daddies who find the best treasures and for Mamas who sit quietly and breathe it all in.