ice sculptures + a giveaway

A year. I’ve been at this blog for an entire year now. I started it as a way to keep my friends and family up to date with our growing family, and it’s grown into so much more for me. It’s become an outlet, a scrapbook, a piece of my life story. And it all started with ice sculptures, which is where we ventured to this past weekend (and by past weekend that means 2 weeks ago, I’ve been busy ok..)


The weather was chilly but the sunshine came out to join us finally. We even lucked out and managed to get prime parking. First things first. Pay the meter. Which according to Hayden $1.25 got us 1,000 years. Who knew weekend rates were so great?!


The sculptures didn’t disappoint. Especially to Hayden.



My tiny companion stayed warm and content and had more interest chewing on his sock wearing hands than the frozen art pieces.











Hayden played on her frozen playground for a while longer until we decided to make use of the nice weather and wander the city a bit.



We wandered the streets until little limbs started to get cold and Hayden dropped her apple in the road, resulting in a complete meltdown. That’s always our cue to pack up ship and head home.

Now for the fun part, a giveaway! To thank all 4 of you for sticking around for the last year, I thought I would join the band wagon and host a giveaway. We picked up a few things during our venture of the city that you just can’t live without! Alright, that is a total lie but who doesn’t freebies?!?! So here’s what you need to do, simply leave a comment on this post telling me what you look forward to in the new year. For me, I can’t wait for all our fun travels we have planned for 2015, maybe it even includes seeing a few of you. In a week, I’ll pick a random winner and send you the best package ever. Because it will have come from me, duh. Now get to it!


I’m thankful for..

sunshine in the shower


Yep. That is totally a picture from my shower.  It’s days like this that really make me appreciate such simple things. Like the fact that when I managed to take a shower, it was right when the sun was shining through my window filling the shower with it’s golden bliss. It just happened to be while Reid quietly cooed and giggled in his swing on the floor next to the tub. Hayden stacked rows and rows of toilet paper, proudly making a castle. The perfect song came on my Pandora station. And in that moment, I stood under the hot water, soaking in the sunshine and serenity and imagined I was actually on a tropical island underneath a waterfall. It’s a big stretch I know, but I get to be thankful for whatever I want, that’s how this works.

Inevitably that moment comes to a screeching halt when I’m overcome with an unpleasant smell and a request from the toddler to assist her in wiping a certain body part. Oh, lucky me.  And that cute content tiny person is now not so content. One last bask in that sun and it’s back to reality…

love. in all ways.

February is fast approaching. The month of love. I don’t think it’s really called that but it’s host to Valentine’s Day so close enough. Some love the holiday, some don’t care for it. I’ll take it or leave it. Of course flowers and chocolates and sweet nothings being whispered are appreciated, but I’m not heart broken without it. I like to think that each day is for showing others we love and value them. Unfortunately, easier said than done.

Andy and I recently watched, I think Dateline, about children getting plastic surgery because they were bullied over their physical appearance. Big noses. Small ears or eyes. Lack of a chin. In other words, things that should without a doubt, not matter at all. Are they less of a person because they don’t have flawless skin? They haven’t quite grown into that nose? They need braces for probably more than your standard 18 months? Of course not. I was taught, as you were probably taught, as I’ll teach my children, we shouldn’t care. People are going to be mean. Hurtful. Cruel. And we need to be strong and know we are beautiful and unique and take the high road. Ignore them. Move forward. Again easier said than done.

It breaks my heart to think that some day my children could come home and been bullied. Or even worse, that they have bullied someone else. (They WILL RUE THE DAY I ever find out they bullied someone though.) It’s our responsibility as parents at the very least to raise decent human beings. To teach them to be kind and respectful. Understanding and patient. We do that by leading by example. -take note that I am in no way saying children who bully have parents with the same behavior.-

Lately I’ve experienced some behavior of others that is far from acceptable. Mean, hurtful comments. Vengefulness and petty low blows. Simply put, being bullies. We as adults are just as easily targets of cruelty, and even with life experience under our belt, it hurts just the same.
So how can we expect our future generation to grow into kind and loving adults when we are ourselves are treating our fellow man poorly? How can we expect our children to be respectful and treat others with dignity when we ourselves are unable to live in the same manner? It makes just as much sense to tell my children “do as I say, not as I do.” The same thought is behind “treats others as you want to be treated.” I’m a firm believer that what you put into the universe, you get back.

Hayden is at an age she mimics all that I do. It makes me as a parent, have to be extremely aware of my actions and choice of words. Because I know that I’m programming her right now on how to react to the real world.
No one is perfect, we all have bad days. We say things we don’t mean. We perhaps use an inappropriate gesture when that lady cuts you off in traffic. We’re human and make errors. That does not give us an excuse to purposely hurt others. To do things knowingly that will cause pain and suffering to someone else. To be blatantly rude and dishonest just to prove a point. And in a world with social media at our fingertips, it’s even worse. There are real human beings behind that screen. Everyone has a side, everyone has a story and everyone deserves love. There are going to be times you want to say something. Times you are just so annoyed with your friend. People you simply can’t mesh it. Such is life. Take the high road. Brush it off. Tommorow can always be a fresh start to a bad day.

If you take anything away from this, let it be, that we should try a little harder to show more love. In all ways.


I’m thankful for….

healthy babies

I am very fortunate that I have had the joy of two easy uncomplicated deliveries and two healthy happy babies to take home.



It’s something that can easily to be taken for granted. You don’t have to be religious or believe in God, but can understand that as women, our bodies were created for certain things. Like growing and pushing tiny humans from our bodies. For some, it’s not that easy. We all have struggles. I had natural child birth with both of my littles. By natural I mean that I ABSOLUTELY had drugs. I breast fed Hayden for a year with a few hiccups, and still continue to exclusively breast feed Reid, with some struggles along the way as well. It does not make us any less of a mother to use formula, to have had a C section, to adopt or to have to go to powers beyond our means to have a family. I have ones close to me that have had really hard deliveries. That are unable to conceive naturally. That have gone back to work, or choose having a family over having a career. All of them are beautiful, strong, amazing women. Motherhood is hard. It’s exhausting, on all levels, and on some days, brings me to tears. So for those families that have children with health issues, my heart goes out to them. They have a strength I could never imagine possessing. And on those days I feel beaten and wore down and decide I need to throw myself a pity party, I’ll remind myself that I’m truly blessed to wake up to see these two shining faces, happy and healthy, and ready to face the world with me.



I’m thankful for…..

tiny siblings

Hayden was pretty skeptical of Reid at first. It was an adjustment for sure, for all of us. But she soon found her soft spot for him. She quickly became his sweet big sister.


She cuddles and snuggles him. Sings him softly to sleep. Original Hayden songs. “Goooo to sleep, in your eyes. Gooo to sleep, in your eyes.”


Teaches him which little piggies went to market. Turns out, it’s not always the little one.

IMG_5493 Entertains him with dance parties while I shower and get ready for the day.



Shares her race car skills with him.



She gently tucks him in next to her and explains the story behind Tinkerbell. “Uh, so it’s not the Pirate Fairies, Reid. But that’s alright, this movie is fine too.”


We still have to work on not yelling in his face, and doing our best to not dance directly on him. He’s a trooper and still gives her smiles all day, even when she steals his blanket from under him.

I am the youngest of my siblings and there is 8 and 10 years difference between my brother, sister and I. It’s a whole new experience to see the love between my children. Hayden is protective and loving of her baby. That’s right, her baby. She’s sure to correct you if you say otherwise. And Reid smiles and coos at her every move. From the day we brought him home, he’s been smitten with her. She can yell in his face, steal his toys, roll over him, smash him on the bed, and he just smiles and is content. It’s a bond I love and cherish and can only hope it only grows from here.




arctic life: january

Winter wonderland takes on a whole new meaning come January in Alaska. It’s been a fairly warm winter and pretty snowless. It’s currently a land of ice. Everything sparkles and glistens, so even though it’s 4 degrees outside, it’s beautiful and a sight to see.



During the course of the last few months, we’ve only gotten 1 or 2 big snowfalls. Then it got warm. Like really warm. 45 degrees for days in a row, which is basically a tropical heat wave for Alaska. So most of it melted, and then it rained, and froze. Ew. It’s now a crunch fest.



The next picture makes me so happy though. Frozen still green grass. It makes me think of summer and the smell of fresh cut lawn and I imagine my littles playing outside while Andy barbecues and I drink a margarita. Oh heaven…


There are some parts of the state that literally get no sun for a month. Like at all. Um, no thank you! While we don’t experience that, we have a period of time on which the sun never really rises. I’m sure there is an actual term for it which I could google, but I’m lazy. So this is what it looked like at 11, about an hour after sunrise.


Aaand about an hour and a half later. The sun is still in the tree line, where it will stay until sunset, around 4.


So what do you do when you can’t be out building snowmen because “UGH! It’s to CRUNCHY!” ??

You play with tiny ponies and dinosaurs.


We try really hard to reach that blue elephant.


Plus wait patiently for our homemade english muffins to finish baking.


Our days will continue to be filled with toys, baking and staying warm inside until spring makes it’s long awaited appearance. And I don’t have a whole of complaints about that.

a day in the life of..

little ol’ me.


It’s always a good start when you wake up to happy little people. Reid and I had actually gotten out of bed way before the sun came up, had some coffee, did some laundry and headed back to bed for a morning snooze until Hayden woke up. Her snuggles sometimes aren’t appreciated by everyone.


Hayden had a dance party for us and once our entertainment was over we headed to the kitchen for some breakfast, late breakfast. It was basically lunch.


Most of our days start out with the three main food groups. Coffee, eggs and bacon.

Breakfast is sort of a big deal in our house. We do our very best to sit down and eat together. Lunch gets missed a lot, and especially when Andy is home, we are elsewhere for dinner. So even if it’s cereal, or a quick plate of pancakes, we all sit down and eat as a family. Hayden loves to set the table, and usually will pour our syrup for us. Even before we have any food on our plates.


Hayden is a really good eater, but she has her quirks. She’s not big on her food all being mixed together, so instead of an omelet like I had, she just had the ingredients of the omelet. Plus mangoes, which she would eat all day if I let her. I’ve always been firm that I’m not going to make separate meals for her. She eats what we eat, it just sometimes gets prepared differently.

The smallest one of us played while we ate.


He waited patiently for his breakfast.

IMG_5318We recently started him on cereal since he doesn’t sleep. Like, at all. He still wakes up 2-3 times a night and really despises nap time, but the cereal seems to help some at night and makes him a whole lot happier during the day. I’ll take it.

We didn’t have plans of going anywhere, so Hayden and I opted to stay in sweatpants. But Reid got some clean threads to wear.



We play this game a lot. He thinks it’s just hilarious to put anything on his face and wait for you to pull it off. It is actually pretty fun.

I had dishes to do and Hayden had windows that needed to be covered in masking tape, so the little man got some tummy time in.


Most days are filled with diaper changes, eating, playing, sleep, repeat. This day was no exception. I managed to take a shower too but that didn’t get documented since someone screamed the whole time. I won’t name names.




Reid got put to bed and I started on some projects that had been calling my name for a while.

We hosted the holidays at our house this year and had gone to Costco and loaded up on supplies. A bag of potatoes and a bag of onions had been sitting on my floor for a few weeks now. Potatoes ALWAYS go bad at our house because they get forgotten about and never eaten. Not this time!


I made a gallon bag of hash browns and another bag of chopped potatoes to use for mashed potatoes or soups. The onions all got diced and bagged up and everything got thrown in the freezer.


I constantly change things. Re pot my plants. Move the furniture. Rearrange art work and shelf decor. Swap curtains. We got some big pillows with our couch and I was over their pattern. So I made new ones.

I only managed to cut out the pieces and get one sewn together before the boss woke up and needed tending to. He managed to spit up all over himself and the couch. He got a quick clean up and was given a sock monkey and told to mind his P’s and Q’s while I finished up real quick.


I still have some adjustments to make to the back of them, but they turned out good enough for my standards.


Hayden did some “sewing” of her own, which meant she had taken half of my push pins and stuck them throughout the scraps of fabric leftover. Which littered the living floor just waiting for my bare feet to come strolling through. Neat.

My sewing project wasn’t entertaining enough for the tiny one, and he was ready for another snooze.


Which worked out well since I needed to start dinner and it was the most important part of the day. Cocktail hour.


Don’t worry guys, I only had one… Ok, two… Alright three! But in my defense the last one was pretty watered down. Don’t judge.

When it’s just myself and the little people to worry about for dinner I usually go the easy route. Chicken nuggets, grilled cheese, burritos. Mostly because the little man gets needy at night and doesn’t want to be put down, and well, because I’m tired and lazy by 6 pm.

I met myself in the middle, I’m not really sure that even makes sense, and made an easy throw together dinner. Spicy Peanut Noodles. They are so easy to make and sooo yummy.


I sauteed some peppers and had a pot of fettuccine noodles going.


Mix together peanut butter, rice vinegar, chili sauce, soy sauce, a splash of worchestershire sauce and use a few tablespoons of your pasta water to thin it down. Throw your cooked noodles into your peppers and mix in your peanut sauce. Top with cilantro and green onions. Really easy and delicious and I usually always have the ingredients I need on hand.


Hayden opted to substitute the peanut sauce for apple sauce.


Reid woke up from his evening nap and wasn’t real impressed by what I was up to. And as you can tell from Hayden in the background, she wasn’t either.


Our nights are typically the same. We eat dinner, we play for a bit, watch a few shows, have baths and get ready for bed.


Hayden was to busy elsewhere for a bath, which meant I had a night off from scrubbing bath crayons off the tub.

Once baths are over and pj’s are on, it’s tea time for this mama.


A moment of TMI. I have had such a roller coaster this time around with breast feeding. I had a huge surplus to begin with and was luckily able to stockpile the freezer. Then experienced a down slope, and a freezer mishap, resulting in losing all that stored milk. So now I take a supplement along with drinking this tea and we’re on the rise again folks. I know you were really concerned. Turns out this tea is really delicious though so no complaints.

And there you have it. We had some snuggles and story time and called it a night. Even though it was calm and mellow, and we didn’t go out and have an adventurous event filled day, it was a special day. A day filled with love and laughter, one I wouldn’t trade for anything.


I’m thankful for…

sweet, loving aunts


My children have amazing women in their lives that entertain them, spoil them and love them wholeheartedly. And those women are their aunts.

Cookies taste better and books are funnier with their aunts. The toys are cooler and the giggles are louder when they are with their aunts.


Games are more exciting and they run just a little harder when they spend time with their aunts.

wed amy

Snuggles are just a little sweeter and adventures end up being that much cooler when they are taken with their aunts.

ron snuggle


april They’ve changed countless diapers and dealt with toddler tantrums. Special boxes get sent to them with goodies galore. When this tired mama falls asleep in the recliner, they feed your toddler, finish the dishes and tuck the kids into bed.
I’m blessed to call these ladies my sisters and my best friends. And I’m even luckier that my children have these ladies to learn from, look up to and have the best of times with.



Project 52: thankful

It’s turns out last year’s Project 52 was a total bust. I gave it a solid effort. But in the spirit of not giving up, I’m giving it another whirl. In the next year, I’ll give you 52 things I’m thankful for. The first one goes to:

the father daughter bond


The relationship between these two is one I could never imagine. They make each other laugh and smile constantly, and Hayden wants to do everything like Andy does. If he isn’t wearing a shirt to bed, she refuses to wear one too. She always has her little tools out “fixing” things around the house. She loves truck rides in the “Boyota” and if she thinks she even hears him start the four wheeler without her, she beelines for the door. Cold pizza and leftover lasagna for breakfast is acceptable if it’s eaten alongside of him and she won’t budge from the recliner with him as long as he keeps the You Tube videos playing. You’ll hear lots of “Blue 42! Blue 42!” from her if Andy is watching the game and the fact that he will throw on his swim trunks and hop in the bath with her only cements the fact that she really thinks life is more exciting with him around.



They are silly and inseparable and have a language all their own. Most nights lately are spent in Reid’s room with him and I love hearing the chatter of Hayden and Andy in the other room.

I know that as Reid gets older and they develop a bond all their own, what Hayden and Andy share now will be in a class all it’s own. It’s a deep friendship, a pure unconditional love, and a type of trust I won’t ever have with her. Her love for her father is something I will forever cherish and be in awe of.

pals 3


Only a few hours left of 2014. It’s a quiet one at our house. The littles and I made pizza and had fun party drinks, and as Reid gets some much needed sleep, Hayden and I are catching up on our favorite episodes of FRIENDS.

All day today my Instagram feed has been filled with New Years Eve wishes and my favorite blogs have reminisced and written about their hopes for the new year. Which leads me to mine. I think most of us have a lot of the same resolutions. Eat better, work out more, don’t spend so much money on useless things, and probably learn a new language or something. My actual focus though is about self reflection and evolving as a person. Sure I have baby weight to lose, and I really didn’t need to eat half of a pizza tonight along with a couple no bake cookies. I haven’t made it to the gym in months and I’m positive that Target will survive if I take a break from shopping there.

What I’m truly struggling with is soaking in all the moments that matter. Having two kids is hard. Having one kid is hard, and more than two… I won’t even go there. I find myself tired and stressed most days and not a very friendly person to be around on more occasions than I care to mention. But instead of appreciating the challenges and rewards of raising a family, I worry about all the little things. The dishes that aren’t done. The laundry that’s gone unfolded for a week. The spare bedroom that is so jammed with junk you can barely open the door. I have countless projects unfinished and motivation for most things is zilch. What should really matter to me? Hayden’s creativity and ability to make me laugh. She starts school next year and soon my little sidekick won’t be around as much and I know it will be a hard adjustment. Reid is almost 5 months old and changing daily. While we don’t have any solid plans for the future, there is the strong possibility that our family of 4 will suite us just perfectly. I need to be gobbling up all his baby moments because they could be my last ones. I have a loving and caring husband who is so understanding and patient with this sleep deprived woman. He deserves so much more than barely 5 minutes of my undivided attention and more praise than I could ever give him.

I started this blog as a way to share with my family and as a creative outlet for myself. Thank you to all you wonderful readers that have read and commented. Your feedback and input is always appreciated and I have so many great ideas for this blog in the upcoming year!

With none of my shows airing current episodes, I’ve been binge watching Netflix movies. I’ve seen Eat Pray Love numerous times but for some reason a quote stood out to me the other day. Julia Roberts is eating pizza, and her friend is concerned that she’s put on so much weight since they’ve been there, and doesn’t want to eat. Julia responds:

I’m so tired of saying no and waking up in the morning and recalling every single calorie I consumed so I know exactly how much self-loathing to taking into the shower. I’m going for it. I have no interest in being obese, I’m just through with the guilt. So this is what I’m going to do, I’m going to finish this pizza and then we’re going to go watch the soccer game and tomorrow we’re going to go on a little date and buy ourselves some bigger pants.”

Now while I’m not using the comparison to myself and losing weight, it’s a metaphor that I need. Be done with the guilt. Look beyond what I feel is so worthy of my stressing, and just breathe and move on. “Buy some bigger pants” per se. Housework can wait another day. No cares but me that my shirt is wrinkled and my hair is in a bun for the third day in a row. My friends are understanding that I’m wore out and I’m content to be in sweatpants and watch ridiculous shows with them, like People’s Couch. My children aren’t going to remember that the bathrooms were always clean. They will remember when we go swimming at the indoor water park, the one with the pirate ship and giant mushroom. When we make cookies and decorate them with so much frosting they are barely edible. That daddy was always there at the bottom of the sledding hill with the four wheeler so they didn’t have to trek all the way back up time and time again. That bedtimes came and went because we were to busy giggling and telling jokes under the covers. And my husband still welcomes my affection even when I’m covered in baby puke and could really REALLY use a shower.

I’m looking forward to having another amazing year to experience with my family and wishing all of you the very same. Hope you all have a safe and joyous start to the new year. And just maybe tomorrow you go out and buy yourself a bigger pair of pants. >insert smiley face<