Thursday, July 30, 2009


When Henry was 9 months old, he fell through the railing at our rental house, 7 feet to the basement below.

He was clutching a sharpened pencil and landed on his head.

After a CT scan and an MRI, they found him to be in perfect condition.

Yesterday evening, he fell off the couch at my parents house onto their hardwood floor.

He fell approximately 16 inches.

There was no CT scan or MRI, just an x-ray.

Which confirmed that Henry has a b-r-o-k-e-n left collarbone.

Sometimes life is funny that way. You don't always get what you expect.

He looks like he's miserable, doesn't he?

Don't get me wrong, I am grateful that the first accident ended so well.

And I realize that having six kids, odds have always been stacked against us as far as broken bones and other issues.

But falling off the couch seems a sad story to go along with a broken bone.

Who wouldn't rather say, " I fell backwards down 13 steps, cartwheeling into a heap at the bottom, breaking my collarbone". Oh wait, that was Julia's story when she was 3.

Or maybe, "I fell backwards off our friends front porch onto my head the day before kidergarten and broke my collarbone". Oh wait, that's my story.

Seeing a trend here?

Hopefully it ends today with Henry.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lost, found, and an apology

I am happy.

What seems like years ago, actually just 2 1/2 short years, I lost my wedding ring.

During my pregnancy with Henry my fingers did their usually swelling and became too sausage like to continue wearing my wedding ring.

So I tucked it away in my jewelry box anxious for the day when the water would evaporate and my hot dog fingers would return to normal.

As time went by, my fingers did not reduce, so I purchased a fake ring to wear in the meantime.

And in the meantime, my ring sat in my jewelry box, ready to be taken out and played with by the nearest 3 year old.

As we packed our house to move from Utah, I decided to look at my ring and see if it fit.

But to my surprise and sorrow, it was not in the jewelry box!!

I didn't worry too much, I figured I would find it hidden among Anne Marie's things as we packed up.

But alas, it never showed it's lovely, memory filled, 11 years of marriage, shiny head.

I deemed it lost forever, most likely buried in the back yard where it was probably played with.

I asked the purchasers of our home is they would keep an eye out for it, but they too never chanced upon it.

So, sadly, I asked Jeffy to buy me a new ring. Which he did. And while I love my new ring (it's bigger!!) I have had a sad little spot in my heart for the ring that he placed on my finger 13 years ago.

And then, miracle of miracles!!!

Kate came to me not 1 week ago with a little gift in her hand.

"Isn't this your ring mom? The one you thought you'd lost?"

Oh, the thrill, the complete shock. I was in fact speechless, if you can imagine such a thing from me.

Where could she have found what I had deemed to be lost forever?

Anne Marie did have it, but not in the way I had suspected.

She had been playing with my little mini hope chest that I received as a senior in highschool. It's where I kept all of my concert tickets and in this instance, my wedding ring.

And then, I remembered. In my pregnant with Henry state, I had placed the ring in that little box because I felt it would be safer from little hands then the easily accessible jewelry box.

And then I promptly forgot where I put it, and blamed my innocent little 3 year old for losing it.

Dear Anne Marie,

I am sorry I thought you lost my wedding ring. I am sorry that my brain stopped working and I forgot that I was the one who had hidden it so carefully that even I forgot where it was.

I'm sorry that I secretly blamed both you and your three year-old-ness and myself for being so careless with my precious item.

I know you are a good, sweet girl, and I love you. And thank you for finding my ring.



Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I love naptime.Usually.

Children wake up all warm with sleep lines on their faces, still feeling cuddly, and in a much better mood then when they went down.

This wonderful time of day lasts til different ages with different children.

For my kids, somewhere around ages 2.5 to 3, naptime has consequences I am usually not willing to live with.

While the naptime itself is wonderful, it tends towards a phenomenon called: "I fell asleep in the car and now I feel so great that it will be impossible to get me to bed on time"

Case in point.

Henry fell asleep in the car yesterday at 4:45.

I woke him up, since I am knowledgable about the won't go to sleep at night side effect.

I brought him in, still crabby since he didn't sleep very long, and set him down so that I could carry my bags into the kitchen.

After 10 minutes of other distractions, I wondered, "Where is Henry?"

Our search for him led us to this:

He looked so sweet curled up on the stuffed cheetah, that I just left him.

When Jeff came home half an hour later, he picked Henry up and sat with him on the couch to wake him up.

Instead Henry fell asleep again on the couch until 7:30. By that time I figure the damage had already been done.

This next picture was taken at 11:09 pm last night.

Finally at midnight he "let" me put him to bed.

I'm thinking next time he falls asleep we may have to try more drastic measures.

Ice cubes down the shirt?
Air horn?
Feather on the nose?
Any ideas?

Monday, July 20, 2009

To My Children

Dearest Children,

On Saturday you embarked with your father and I on a little family adventure.

With Henry and Nora snuggled safely in their backpacks, we traversed 5 miles through the Cougar Mountain area.

At first the going was quite easy.
Level paths, shady, a gentle breeze. Perfect hiking conditions.

With contentment shining on your faces, we happily went along.

But then, my darlings, something happened.

Not unlike life itself, the road started to get harder. The way, steeper. The path, more treacherous.

At first it wasn't that noticeable, happy chattering still emitting from your lovely mouths as the path began to climb.

But then, as your muscles began to ache, and your breathing became labored, you realized with much dislike, that this path we were on was suddenly much harder then it had been before.

But you pushed onward, a few of you dropped where you were, and for a brief time, refused to go a step further.

Until, until, the realization hit you that sitting where you were would not only prevent you from going forward, but it allowed you to see the trail behind you and realize that you could not go back.

So, slowly, carefully, you pulled yourselves up, you climbed that last hill, practically dragging your tired legs with you, thinking it would never end, that you were sure to die from the effort.

And then, quite suddenly, the hill was behind you, the way was level again, and the fatigue slowly eased so that we could all continue on our way.

And my dear children, you endured. Not only did you endure the path itself, and the difficulties that 5 miles of ups and downs presents to children and adults, but you endured my empassioned speech about how the path was like life, and how if we give up when it gets hard, we'll never accomplish anything.

But you didn't give up, you complained so little that my heart swelled with pride for you all.

And at the end, you experienced what all the others who have accomplished those ups and downs have felt.

An overwhelming feeling of how tough you are, that you accomplished something you weren't sure you could do. But by not giving up, you became stronger, so that the next trail with it's hills and rough terrain will not bother you.

In fact you might just say....

Bring it on!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I lost one

And I'm ok with that

I lost a follower.

I had 11 in the morning, and by evening I had 10.

What does that mean?

Am I that boring?

Is my simple life of motherhood too mundane rather than the occasionally inspiring piece of the internet I hope it to be?

Or did someone just decide to stop following because they didn't have time, or did I hurt their feelings, or did some cataclysmic event happen that prevents them from reaching their computer?

I don't know the answers to these questions.

But it has caused me to ponder my blog and why I write it.

Partly it is to keep a record of my life with my husband and children.
On some occasions it is for me to share whatever thoughts are trapped in my head and need to get out.
While at other times it's just for attention when I feel especially witty.

But ultimately it's to feel that I have a presence that isn't only physical. That somewhere my thoughts to words are recorded and kept, cherished by the few who give a darn about my little world.

Obviously that's not for everyone. So to the follower who no longer finds me worthy of following, I wish you well in your search for a blog that feels worthy of your time.

To the rest of you, I love you. Seriously.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I "heart" anniversaries

Author's Note: This is mostly a journal entry for me to remember this past weekend. But I am inviting you along for the ride.

My sweetheart and I have been married for 13 years.

Definitely a lucky number.

In our marriage we have experienced much that has been difficult, joyous, life altering, challenging, and blessings beyond number.

But through everything we have kept a deep abiding love and respect for eachother.

We have made our marriage the priority in our lives so that we and our children will be happy and secure.

Part of that effort has been date nights, and anniversaries spent away.

And oh, how i highly recommend the anniversaries spent away.

For this anniversary, we wanted to get away for an entire weekend, but alas, with little money, we had to exercise the creative parts of our brains.

We came up with camping.

And let me tell you, it was the best time we have ever had.

We have had weekends at the Westin, the Fairmont Copley in Boston, a resort in Massachussetts, Leavenworth Wa. Great places that pampered us and made us feel like royalty.

But nothing compares with camping with your sweetheart.

We chose a remote location by a little lake in the mountains.

We dug our own latrine, cooked everything over an open fire, and heard nothing but the sounds of birds, crickets and mosquitos buzzing in our ears.

We talked and talked and talked. We laughed and held hands and kissed without worrying which of our precious children would catch us smooching.

Of course, the downside to the whole weekend was that Jeff grabbed the camera not knowing I had taken the battery out to charge it. So, alas, no pictures.

So I'm snaking some from the internet of the places we were just so you can see how beautiful it was.

We arrived on Stampede Pass around 5 on Friday. Set up camp, had a look around. The lake right outside our tent flap was Lake Lizzard. I saw no lizzards, so I'm not sure if the name was relevant or if the explorers just got tired of trying to come up with names for all the lakes they found. And lizzard is so outdoorsy and woodsy, I mean really, you couldn't name it Lake-there's-a-foot-of mud-at the bottom-, or Lake-mosquitos breed here. Both of which are true.

But I digress.

After setting up camp we went for a swim in the lake. Well, Jeff swam and I gingerly walked in up to my waist before becoming panic stricken that the mud would suck me in like quicksand and I would drown. (Did I mention I'm occasionally paranoid?)

After I managed to get the mud out of, well, everywhere, we got our campfire going and ate steaks and sauteed mushrooms followed by Jiffy Popcorn and Toasted Marshmallows.

Camping is all about the food, you see.

Then the magic happened, and don't worry, it's not a post about THAT although there was plenty of THAT. Hee Hee.

No, the magic was that we sat and talked. And talked. And talked.

No one interrupted us, no one came and snuggled next to one of us and listened to everything we said.

Don't get me wrong, I love the snuggling and interrupting of my children, but it was nice to be just grownups, talking about whatever.

And Jeff whittled. He got a knife at REI as a anniversary present (we've been married long enough that we just pick our own anniversary presents usually) and he wanted to try his hand at whittling.

I did not get a knife, so therefore I didn't whittle, but I wanted to feel productive and outdoorsy so I took the string off the bag of briquettes I opened and I made this:

Impressed? I know, me neither. But it was fun.

Jeff, however, proved once again that he is multi talented, and that he loves me deeply.

He whittled me this:

Yes, I hold his heart in my hand. And my pocket, which ever is easier.

We talked until the stars came out, honest, open, good conversation mingled with toasty marshmallows and toasty toes next to an open fire.

I read to him the Story of our Love. For our 9th anniversary I wrote down how we met, and had it made into a book with pictures of our courtship. It was fun to relive those memories together.

The next morning we felt adventurous. We looked at our trusty map and saw another nice little lake that we thought would be fun to hike to along the Pacific Crest trail.

The Pacific Crest Trail, for a little background, is a trail that runs from Canada to Mexico, 2600 miles. Through rugged terrain, woods and mountain lakes. We picked it up across the road from our campsite.

And let me just tell you, an inch or two on the map, combined with the switchbacks of a trail, turned into 6 miles in and then 6 miles back out.

But it was totally worth it. We hiked to Stirrup Lake, which was truly one of the most beautiful things I have seen. By the time we arrived there, we were so hot and sweaty that we immediately changed into our swim suits (there was not another soul around for miles) and went for a swim. Well, Jeff did, I got up to my waist before the aforementioned paranoia set in. But the water felt soo good, the sun shone down upon us, and there was not another sound but the wind through the trees.

After hiking for 3 hours, this is what we came upon.

Photo by by Dorota Heidel

It was such a welcome sight.

After swimming, and discovering that it was a great place for mosquitos (I have the bites on my behind to prove it) we ate some lunch and got ready to head back.

The hike back, needless to say, was harder then the hike in. We were tired, foot sore, and a little dehydrated. But the worst part? Well, swimming in the lake washed off all of our insect repellant, and we forgot to bring more, so the entire 6 miles back went something like this-*slap* smack*scratch* ARGHHH!*

Jeff finally abandoned his walking stick after he smacked himself with it one too many times while attempting to squash yet another mosquito.

And when all was said and done, the damage amounted to 49, yes 49, mosquito bites on my left arm alone!

I will spare you the pictures, I look like I have a disease. Jeff faired a little better. But we learned our lesson about camping, hiking, what have you. Alway, I repeat, ALWAYS, carry more bug spray.

When we got back to camp, we pretty much collapsed in our chairs. Then hunger kicked in and we ate calzones that Jeff made and a pineapple upside down cake that I cooked in a dutch oven. We ate like kings I'll tell you. Didn't I say camping is all about the food?

As the sun began to set, we stoked up the fire and began to ask each other questions.

What's your favorite meal?

Who are your best friends?

What are your unfulfilled dreams?

Favorite movie?

Favorite book?

And so forth and so on.

I came home feeling that I truly know Jeff better. That two days alone in the woods with no distractions helped me see into his soul once again. Every wonderful reason I fell in love with him and continue to fall deeper in love with him was made bright and shine-ily apparent.

It was like taking a deep, cleansing, clarifying breath.

But now we are home. Real life is back in full swing.

Occasionally I will get a whiff of campfire, or the blister on my pinky toe will throb for a moment and I will be transported back to the best anniversary to date.

But the connection I feel with my one and only (I know gag, barf, too sappy, but true)is stronger than ever.

And that is truly the best anniversary gift anyone could receive.


Thank you to my parents and to Jeff's sister Denise and her husband Jim for watching our kids for the weekend. Good, reliable, kind people taking care of your children sure helps with being able to relax. We love you guys!

Monday, July 13, 2009

More to come

Jeff and I spent a fantastic weekend camping for our anniversary. I have much to tell you about. But I'm gathering my thoughts and want it to be worth the wait. So check back tomorrow, if you would please.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I see you

I see you. I'm coming. I'm almost there.

Any second now. Oh! There you are. Now pick me up

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

That bike

I think I would really, really, really love this bike. I don't have a bike. I want a bike.
I want this bike. The Madsen. I can carry Henry and Nora in it and go on rides with the kids. That would be sweet.

Dag nab it. That bike rocks.

Click on it and see how cool it is for yourself.
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