Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Break

I've been out. Apologies. I probably will continue to be out, or at the least sporadic. You might catch a few posts on my photography blog as I have a good schedule of shoots for this month and next. But on a personal note, Jackson has a most heinous, raging bout of croup complete with double eye infection. Two trips to the Dr in two days time. He is sad and sick and not a good patient (his meds are icky and I do not blame him one little bit). But he is a trouper, and I hope that he will be better very, very soon. It is hard to hear my little boy gasping for his every breath and not be able to do anything to fix it immediately, beyond meds and nebs and love. Little H is just tagging along for the ride - watching lots of TV, playing board games, reading books. Not much fun for either of them, truly, but better days ahead. We are also coping with a very, very sad time in Shawn's family. I don't think I can share too much, it is too emotional right now, but please if you are a praying person and you are reading this, or if you can even just spare some good thoughts or ju-ju, our family could really use them. And please remember your blessings, how big they are, how grand, and how fortunate you are to have them.


Monday, May 25, 2009

BBQ Time!

We had the Pikes over for a BBQ Saturday night - Robb, Lisa, Owen and Lilly. I love this family to pieces. We also were soooo lucky that Heidi, John, and Lucia were visiting from Seattle and also joined our festivities. I also love this family! We all go way, way back, and it was fun to have our old gang back together again, with added children to boot. We all had a wonderful time catching up and remembering old stories that root us to each other. I hope our children will have this same memories as they grow older.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Graduation Day

click on photo to enlarge

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Graduate

This kid - five and smart as heck - graduates from Pre-K today. We could not be prouder of him, and how much he has grown and learned over the past 2 years of Pre-school. I feel like, in so many ways, it was just yesterday that I was going out trying to find the *perfect* preschool for him. And I was worried about so many little things that now, in retrospect, seem a little silly. Naturally as a parent you just want the very best for your child. And I feel like I got that for my son. Ms. Char and Mrs. Alicia have been amazing. I know he got the very best teachers he could have possibly gotten. They encouraged his love of learning, sending home extra books for him to read. They nurtured his spirited behaviour, and helped him learn to control his emotions and outbursts. They have been patient and kind and caring and firm. All things my sweet son needs.

And as for Jackson, well, he is as ready as can be for the next step. He asks daily when he can start Kindergarten. I hope he will always have this love for learning that he has right now. He wants to know the answers to everything, and "I don't really know" won't suffice. Recently he told me to look it up on the computer when "I don't know" wasn't a good enough answer for him. Pretty soon I can tell him to go look it up on the computer. Won't that be a change!?

...But for now, sweet buddy, just know how very proud of you we are. And that we simply cannot wait to see what your future in education holds. You are as bright as can be, and the world is whatever you want it to be. The future is all yours. We love you, to the moon and back!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Summer Begins

OK, so summer is not officially here for like another month, but we heard the first ring of the Ice-Cream Truck for this year, and the boys quickly raced to their banks to dig out a few coins. A few coins indeed. $1 will buy you the cheapest ice-cream bar the truck carries - definitely not the Spiderman Pop or Superbomb the boys both coveted, but who knew the recession also reached the Ice-Cream man. They settled on cotton candy swirl bars because, well, that's what they could afford, and they happily ate them under the eaves of the porch. Bring on the sunshine!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

starting now

... I'm gonna knock off my moan'n and groan'n and remember my blessings. They are huge. And I needed a little kick in the pants reminder of that. I got that today. This was a truly wonderful weekend, filled with dear friends, my beautiful family, visiting family from afar, a truly inspiring photoshoot, and a reminder to give thanks and live fully every single day. That giving thanks part and living fully part, we could all do with a little of that, me thinks.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Yes. I'm tired.

I was talking to (one of my many friends named) Lisa today. We don't see each other near often enough yet we only live half an hour or so away from each other. It's nuts. Lisa and I go way back in that we share a niece and nephew by her brother in law and my sister in law. How 'bout that math!? Also, Lisa and her hubby Robb went to dinner with Shawn and I on our very first date night - in Seattle. And now they live in Colorado, too! They are like family to us, and I'm bummed we don't make the connection to see each other more often, life just gets way, way busy. And I am seeing them in 2 weeks when our mutual friend Heidi comes to CO from WA with her cute little family. But that's another story. In fact it all is another story. The reason I'm writing this is because Lisa asked me with everything that we have going on -- moving with two small children (who were sick), coaching soccer, photo shoots, Jackson's school and gymnastics, etc, etc am I not exhausted?! The answer is: yes. I'm absolutely exhausted. Especially after last night - Jackson got sick, maybe from his 5 year shots? - and was up all night barfing. So Shawn and I were of course up all night with him. 4 changes of sheets - 'nuff said.

I feel right now like every night when the kids are finally tucked into bed (and that has been no small feat - they both are anti-bedtime right now), I feel like collapsing. Yet there still seems so much to do that collapsing gets delayed. I know Shawn feels the same way, possibly even more so considering he's putting in long days at work, too. We are just t.i.r.e.d. When I look at my eyes they are bloodshot and the crow's feet are turning into ostrich feet. My shins hurt from standing so much every day. We are running around like mad. We are still unpacking. And decorating. And working on 16 other projects for the house. Etc. Etc. Yes, Lisa, you hit it on the nose, I'm tired.

But I think this is going to be life for now. Constantly on the go. We just have to find a way, as a family, to balance that. It was one of the many reasons I wanted to be an at-home-mama in the first place. But that was also when I was naive enough to picture a less chaotic life if I was home with my children. How's that for funny.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mama's Day '09

What a delightful Mama's Day at our house. The boys let me sleep in (sort of - 7:45 is sleeping in to me). Honey made me French toast, gooooood bacon, black berries, orange juice, and really gooooood coffee. I also had a delicious cup of tea courtesy of a cute-as-can-be card that Jackson made for me at school - it included a package of tea as a gift. So sweet. I then left my little family and went out, by myself, shopping - stopping off atThe Barn antique shop here in Castle Rock, and Kohl's for a 2 for 1 sale. I even hit my favorite store of all time - Tarjay (Target) - to walk very slowly up and down all my favorite isles (no stops in toys or diapers either!). We topped the day off with Chipotle and a family movie night. It was perfection. My kind of day. And of course, I fell asleep thinking of how very blessed I am. How just 5 years ago on Mother's Day I was nervously taking care of a newborn baby boy who did not like to sleep... and six years ago when, at the time, I was uncertain if being a mother was even a possibility. Time flies. And between the stepped on Legos and the breaking up of incessant arguing and the changing of pajamas six times in one evening and the messy faces and wiping bottoms and million loads of laundry, I know that my blessings are huge and wondrous and named Jackson James and Holden Charles.

Of course the following is one of those viral poems that has made the rounds of the world wide web for awhile now, but my step grandmother BJ sent it to me today and I read through it again with tear filled eyes. Because it is true. It is real. And every mother alive can attest to the honesty it speaks. I hope you and yours had a lovely day, and that you too realized the blessings of this life, however big or small they may be.

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,

I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,

I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep..

Before I was a Mom,

I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.!
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,

I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,

I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom .

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Look Who's Three!

Hey, check this out, my little blog here turns three today! I started blogging on a whim three years ago -- here -- and have been at it ever since. I have kept it going for 1 reason and 1 reason only - my family. I didn't have the patience or the pocketbook or the space for scrapbooking. I have never colored inside the lines so a pre-formed baby book was NOT for me. Keeping this blog has allowed me to track our daily lives as a family. All the ups and downs and ins and outs of keeping up with two crazy youngsters, one terrific and supportive hubby, and most recently a new adventure of my own into photography...this is my blog; this is our life. I've thrown in bits of family life, both immediate and not so immediate. I've written at length about the challenges of mommyhood, and well, parenthood in general. I've waxed poetic about the beauty of my two amazing boys. And I've complained a plenty as well. But most of all I hope that I have been honest and forthcoming, and that one day the boys will be able to have a history to look back on and remember what fun we had as a family, and how much love we shared.

Thanks for coming along on the ride with us, and I hope you'll continue with us on the journey...

Friday, May 08, 2009


The boys decided they needed to get some work done in my (*new*) office yesterday. I sat them down with their supplies and they got down to business . I am loving so much about this house, but seeing them happy here is what makes it truly a "home."

By the way, isn't the color on the walls in here just totally yummy and springy?? I am thinking of painting in some pink somehow as this is my total girly room. What do you think - stripes? circles? Fleur de lis?? The peg board in the background is black and white toile so I'm unsure if adding another color would even work. But hey, it is my room, so I guess I can do as I please! :-)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

And the Grammy goes to...

We have had a wonderful week long visit with Grammy - aka my sweet southern mama. My boys had so much fun playing with her and reading books with her. There were many, many games of "Hungry Hippo" played, and lots of laundry folded (thank you Mom!!!). Shawn and I got not one but TWO date nights out! (woo-hoo!) I got a ton of boxes unpacked. OK, not a ton, that would be exaggerating my unpacking skills because I do tend to easily get sidetracked... But I got a lot done. Mom was so helpful to me, and she put up with me even when I was snippy which I often get under times of stress and mom seems to always visit us during times of stress -- her last visit was when I was planning Kyra's fundraiser; prior to that was for our first solo trip away from the boys last fall, you get my point. My mom puts up with a lot from me. And I'm ever, ever so grateful to her. She makes a very long drive from Texas 4-5 times a year, and I can't thank her enough for all she does for us. Happily we were able to finally offer her her very own bedroom and bathroom for her visit. She is no longer isolated to a tiny hall closet and a made up bed on the couch! I think having a guest room and bath is one of my very favorite parts of the new house.

Thank you again Grammy for all your help and your company. We loved having you here to celebrate our new house and Jackson's 5th birthday!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


My little man is turning five. What can I say about five? Five of the craziest, most amazing, challenging, truth bearing, loving, learning, living, inspiring years of my life. Our life. I'm not sure what Shawn and I expected five years ago on this day. I know we were shell shocked after many, many hours of labor and pushing. I know that nursing was not as easy as I expected. I know that I felt completely wiped out when that gorgeous babe finally came rushing into this world, somewhat like a fish flopping onto a dry deck. I know that we still haven't caught up on sleep yet. I know that we felt like three people on a small island, floating along by ourselves, for the first 2 weeks of that beautiful child's life. I know it has not been easy. I know it has not been all fun. I know it has been a great deal of work. I know I have not been perfect. Far from it. I know that love comes in many forms. I know that miracles happen. I know that being a parent is the most amazing journey a soul can take. I know that I am grateful beyond words for the partner that follows me on this journey. I never knew I could love this much.

And so today you turn five Jackson, my sweet, sweet son. I wish for you on this day, what I wish for you on every day -- happiness, peace, joy, love. At the age of five you are a beautiful, bright, funny, intelligent, perceptive and spirited child. You are loved beyond words.

And I wish to you a very happy fifth birthday. I can't wait to see what "five" has in store for us. I love you buddy, xoxo, Mommy

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Birthday Bash

We celebrated Jackson's 5th birthday a little early this weekend -- he's not 5 until Tuesday. With the move and everything going on we kept it pretty simple. We invited his very closest pals for an awesome celebration at one of his favorite joints - Mickey D's.

I'm more moved by him turning five than I can possibly say...though you know me, I'm gonna give it my best shot. But not tonight. A longer blog celebrating my little man's FIVE will be on his birthday on Tuesday. For now, photos of the birthday bash...

Pre-party presents from Grammy...
Lily, Jackson, Chase
Allie, Jackson George
Lily and Charlotte
Aiden and Grimace
Pure joy from the birthday boy
Our family
Jackson, Jackson George, Allie, Andre, Lily
Charlotte, Chase, Holden, Aiden

Impromptu ring around the rosie
Birthday Cake
Chase and Jackson, buddies