Saturday, December 29, 2012

So long 2012.

Well, we've had quite the year. More ups and downs than I can really count. I can say one thing though. I am ready to leave 2012 behind and start fresh.

This year we're getting a house.

This year we're getting married.

This year we'll have 8 year olds.

This new year can't come soon enough.

See you on the other side!

What's going to happen for you this year?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Keeping Up

Some pictures of our other adventures. Maybe I'll start writing on here again sometime...sometime.

Zucchini Racing

Zucchini Racing

Carving Pumpkins

Oooh! Spooky!
Lily the Witch

Kendra the Pirate

Lily of the Leaves
The Fairy Circle in the Garden

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fall Fun

Oh Fall!
We're still here. Always busy or finding trouble to get into. Last weekend we helped Auntie Briana rake a huge pile of leaves and then jumped in them. What could be more fun?
Looking forward to Thanksgiving this week and spending time with family and friends. Thankful for the time we get to spend together.  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lily's Birthday Party

We celebrated Lily's birthday with her friends at Paint the Town this weekend. I tried to keep it pretty low key with just a couple kids. It went well and turned out to be really fun. I can't wait to pick up the pieces we painted next weekend and see how they turned out. Lily asked for leaf cupcakes so we did a google search and came up with an idea to do chocolate cupcakes with colored fondant in the shape of leaves. While we were shopping I found a cute ceramic owl and had the idea to make paper owls to go on top of the cupcakes too. Lily loved them and I had fun working with the fondant for the first time.
At Paint the Town the girls all got to pick one piece to paint- I think some of the concept went a bit over their heads like the glaze layering etc but each of them worked very diligently to finish and the amount of time we had to paint was just about right- with enough time for cupcakes and presents at the end. Then of course, how could we resist playing in the fountain for a few minutes before we headed home.

Last weekend she had so much fun bouncing on a backyard trampoline that we decided to give Lily a trip to Sky High with a friend as her birthday present. I can't wait for the next adventure!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Today you are 7

Dear Lily,

Today you are 7. It seems you are on the cusp of something much bigger. You are growing up too fast. Some words that have been used to describe you recently: precocious, smart, sweet, intense and thoughtful.

Your memory astounds me.  I can't believe how much you can remember of things that happened years ago. I am constantly surprised by your attention to detail. You love order and predictability- it makes you feel safe after a year of lots of changes and some really tough stuff.

I never thought I would come to love that gap tooth smile as much as I do. When you laugh you just light up. You make lots of jokes and fall down laughing at them sometimes. Since I bought you a radio to help you sleep at night your love of music has grown. You listen and sing along all the time- just like me. We are always singing buddies in the car. I think your confidence in singing has grown too.

I hope you continue to grow in your self confidence and learn to be comfortable with who you are.I hope you have so much fun being a first grader and making new friends. I hope you always know that you are my baby girl and I love you with my whole heart!!!!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

When the going gets tough...

Look at baby pictures.

Just ignore the incorrect date stamp.

Thinking about the good times to get me through some tough ones. I love my baby girl but man is she giving me a run for my money these days.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Elementary school, growing up and other terrifying things

We're gearing up to start another school year. My baby girl is growing up too fast and is starting First Grade- and Kendra is starting Second!  It feels so foreign to me to have two very definitively school age children. At times over the last several years it felt that Lily's toddler-hood would never end. Kindergarten felt like a million miles away...and now here we are: the first year complete and ready to start the next. Sometimes I miss those days feeling goofy and being silly and saying silly things. I think they've grown out of that in some ways, though not completely. I can't get away with being as silly in public anymore- I have no toddler in tow to entertain. I don't get the knowing looks from other mom's as much, and they are definitely cute in a different kind of way, having completely outgrown their baby faces. Both girls are a bit gangly and haven't quite grown into their skin yet. They still need their snuggles though.

I'm trying to get more involved in school this year. I don't know exactly how it happened but last year kind of got away from me, so this year I am trying to do more. I'm working on PTA stuff and working with a group of parents creating classroom networks for parents. I want to take a more active role in both of the kids' classrooms and make fewer excuses to myself about why not- about not having the time or flexibility. I know it will come if I make the effort. I know I'll never be a volunteer in the classroom everyday- or even every week- but I can work on helping where and when I can and building community in the school and classroom.

I still feel like the impostor mom sometimes. Just like at work- where it feels like a game of "pretend you are the manager" every day. (How can I be the manager???) How can I be the grown up mom in charge of getting people together...taking the lead...facilitating get-togethers? So surreal. I guess I always wanted to be involved but it was hard to picture what that would look like. Now I am here and it feels strange but also I think I'm not the only one who feels the same way.

Anyway, I guess I am rambling on a bit here. We've got lots coming up, school clothes/supplies shopping, possibly a "Fair Day", Lily's 7th Birthday...I'm thinking about getting them into swimming lessons in October and also I have a weekend scrap booking getaway in October too. We're going to have new routines to get used to and new teachers to meet and get to know. It is exciting but also exhausting just thinking about it. So, here goes. We're jumping in feet first.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer Family Vacation

We took our family vacation this year on a road trip camping down the Washington Coast. We were lucky to have great weather and find some really fun spots to camp. Just wish we had more time!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

My latest project

My first finished "Torn Paper Painting." I've been working on this for the last several weeks and am glad to finally have it finished. I used an 18x24 inch canvas and found a picture that I liked. Then I sketched the outline before starting to paint.

I used acrylic paints to create an underpainting before applying the torn paper.

The technique for the torn paper is pretty simple. I used paper I had on hand that had similar coloring, then I painted over the entire surface of the paper using the colors I used on the underpainting. After drying I tore them depending on the look I was going for. I did a lot of uniform type pieces for the sky but for the water I tore a lot of them in long strips to mimic the waves in the water.

I applied the torn paper with Modge Podge and a paintbrush (and tweezers for the really small stuff). The splashing water was by far the hardest part. I am overall very happy with this piece and I've learned a lot for the next time I take on a project like this. I created this piece to go on the wall of my work office in memory of my coworker who recently passed away.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

When you can't sleep...

The moon will keep you safe. The moon will stay awake for you. (From a long gone children's board book of Lily's)

For some reason those words have always resonated with me though it isn't the dark or the eerie night quiet that keeps my eyes open.

The din of a million thoughts each vying for space and attention finds me at night. In the stillness of the night my thoughts become crashing cymbals- one after the other- waves on the shore. The next thought forms before the last completes on an endless loop.

I may be lulled to sleep eventually but for now I blog. I blog because I don't know what else to do but throw my thoughts out to the universe and hope to find peace. Hope to find a moment of peace that allows my eyes to close and forget.


Logic. Logic brings order to seeming chaos. Logic finds the words in the scramble the numbers in the puzzle.

Yet I can't logically wrap my head around gone-ness (if that is a word). Of being here one moment and not the next. Of taking a breath and not taking another. Of life and death.

And what is more confounding is that the world doesn't stop or hesitate or even pause a breath for that first moment of goneness.

It doesn't make sense- logically- even though I know it is so.


There are a certain number of so called stages to grief. It makes sense to go through phases after the passing of a loved one, family member....or friend. I seem to have had some part in many of those but it still hurts and I can't seem to grasp the whole thing. And yet I also have to keep moving through the day to day. What stage is that? The one where you hurt and hurt but have the knowledge that this earth holds no answers.

That one. Just let me get through.

Photo by Lori (Estep) Willson

Rest in Peace Lori- I know you are really flying with the Angels now.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

We went for a drive.

We're kid-free for a few days so we decided to take a daytrip over the mountains. It was 90 degrees. I got a sunburn. It was awesome!!!!

We drove all the way to Vantage and enjoyed the beautiful views and landscape and of course the summer heat. We "hiked" a bit at the Petrified Forest too. I haven't been over the mountains in a long time and had no idea how many of the "windmills" had been put up. I know some people think they are an eyesore- but I think they are amazing in their own sort of way.

I'm so thankful Martin and I got to spend this time together- just the two of us.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Once goes on.

So much has been going on...this is the story of my life though. It always seems to be pretty crazy no matter what the intention is. I've struggled lately to put much of it down in print. Emotionally I have been struggling with some major stuff- my boss unexpectedly passed away on the 16th, Lily's anxiety (as yet undiagnosed) is out of control, I turned 30, and next week I am going back to work part time. I'm dealing in my own way- struggling some- just taking one day- one minute- at a time.

Amid all of this we were busy...
Lily sang with her class in the talent show

Kendra danced for the Talent Show

Kendra's class science project on Bean Sprouts

Field Day Tug-o-war

Field day Parachute play

Lily Graduated from Kindergarten

Kendra Graduated first grade

First summer craft project- Tie Dye Shirts

Floyd helped with the summer homework
 Hoping the rest of the summer will be crazy just because we're having so much fun...