A Fashion Fairytale/ Castlewood Canyon

First off, would the record please show that I no longer have much sway in what Gooner – she said I can call her “Nook” as a nickname – chooses to wear. She thought this outfit was, “SO awesome!”If it is too short or too tight I pull rank. BUT she has definite fashion opinions and I’m ok with that. She looks fabulous in her stripes and is normally the best dressed thanks to her Grandma who spares no expense in making dresses. And Sooner? Why wouldn’t you wear a turkey shirt on our Valentine’s hike?  DSCN0866

I’m using the word hike loosely here. With all the snow we’ve been getting, paved trails are all we can do. Le sigh. I’m thankful for them.DSCN0860 We are missing the outdoors! This is the beauty of Colorado; you have beautiful days mixed among the winter freeze!

Q is an amazing Dad. He just wants to hike, while the girls just want mountain snack. This means all the girls want to do is stop and eat…even though they weren’t hungry. They wanted cookies, which we use as bait to make hiking look SUPER enticing. It works.DSCN0872

Black hair gets hot. And it matched her clothing. Clearly anything would match at this point!DSCN0862

And the 3rd Edition? Yah, let’s call her Dimples. She is SO HAPPY! Almost all the time. She’s easy. She’s awesome. She’s the 3rd child. Birth order matters people.

l am so excited for more hiking! DSCN0869I’m enjoying the stage of “the littles” but I’m so excited for when everyone is old enough to camp! But seriously, I could snuggle Dimples ALL DAY LONG!

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DSCN0765I’m pretty annoyed with all the folks posting pictures of their sick kids on Facebook. Half naked children – post puking – in a salad bowl. A salad bowl I will never trust again if I ever dine at your home, since we all know that said salad bowl is your designated PUKE BOWL. Sick. More importantly, it is sad that small children, who feel MISERABLE – clearly since they are stringy haired and falling asleep in front of the TV on a towel covered couch – are now all over the web. I feel sad. When I’m sick, I like to stay in my bed. And never shower. And I won’t brush my hair. I’m lovely. But I don’t want Q to post any pics of me on FB when I look so NASTY. So why do people do this to their children? I don’t understand. Your children don’t look cute post puke. Is this a way to show how awesome you are as a mother because you made it through a puke fest? WHY DO YOU DO IT? Won’t this embarrass your children?

Me? I’ll just be a hypocrite and post awesome photos of bad hair. My kids have AWESOME hair.

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Snow, Keep on Coming!

Colorado welcomed 2015 with snow. And lots of it!    DSCN0801 DSCN0802

I’m currently burning a candle that says, “Merry Christmas 2013.” I want it finished. I don’t even like the smell very much. Why do I save candles anyway? I always want a fresh new scent each season. Christmas was awesome and my Mom made the girls Christmas dresses! They were so pretty! DSCN0776

Looking back at 2014 is bittersweet. I’ve been reading a lot of FB posts telling people to stop living in the past and just LOOK AT THE FUTURE! Q and I LOVE to look at the past year. What goals/targets did we set…and did we make them? Were our goals too lofty or too easy? If we didn’t make them, why? If we did make them, what is next? We set quarter targets. Yearly targets. A five-year plan and a ten-year plan. Yup, we are planners. We do love spontaneity, but planning is where the magic happens!

Last year was big for us. We bought a house, DSCN0185bought a second vehicle DSCN0579and had a baby. DSCN0314We also tried a lot of weird/strange foods in the name of health. Can you guess what Q is eating?DSCN0073 I’m looking forward to this year. More hikes. More soccer. More adventure!

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The Santa Express

I had high expectations. The train ride incorporates a jolly old elf, Christmas carols, constant entertainment and a visit from Kris Kringle himself. Destination North Pole, decorated with 30,000 Christmas Lights.

Grandma and Grandpa bought tickets for the family and off we went to Canon City. DSCN0710Who says girls don’t like trains? These girls LOVED it.DSCN0714 For them is was magical. DSCN0719Although the train made a lot of stops and they were a little bored at times. The sights weren’t as mesmerizing as I thought they’d be. DSCN0739We were at the bottom of the gorge so we saw loads of rocks. For some reason I thought we’d go UP and have amazing views and vistas. DSCN0740The most exciting thing to look at was the pipeline running down the mountain that used to transport water. DSCN0742Santa bellowed and woke up the 3rd Edition, who then screamed her lil head off.  The girls loved it. He was a pretty good Santa. Gooner asked for, “any toy” and Sooner asked for “Bubbles.” Could my Santa’s job get any easier??? DSCN0748

The girls loved it. We loved getting away. I’m so glad we went! BUT, it wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be. The elves were not super jolly. They were students afraid of making fools of themselves. And the elf in our car had a thong that kept peaking out her short shorts. Thankfully the girls were loving the moment and too involved with the magicalness – spell check says that isn’t a word. It is. – to care.

The girls are so blessed by their Grandma and Grandpa!

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“I have cancer,” she said.

Friendship is different as an adult. I don’t want to spend my one free evening a week drinking vino with someone other than a GOOD friend. I don’t want to give up time with my man. I don’t want to give up time with my kids. Right now I have little ones. Right now I live in a bubble. A bubble that includes breast-feeding and zero pedicures. When I drink wine, it isn’t after hours of doing my hair with perfect lipstick. No, when I drink wine I’m staring through a glass marked with water stains because I forgot to buy rinse for the dishwasher, at my husband, thankful he loves me just the way I am. I’m thankful I made it through another day of vomit, sticky fingers, runny noses, constant hunger and little girl fighting. My evenings are not spent with girlfriends – getting away from the fray. No, my nights and weekends are spent snuggling little girls, reading bedtime stories, fitting in a shower,  princess teas, magical games, braided hair, warm hugs, many kisses, toothless smiles, baby milestones, first words, first READ words, sisterly hugs, dance parties, barbie, and full bellies. I love my family. They are my priority.

I don’t have to be friends with everyone. Nor do I want to. So when Gooner started school I was wary. I didn’t gush on everyone. I didn’t join in on “mothers craft night.” Who even thinks of such a thing? But I did see another mother, if given the right circumstances, thought we could be friends. But we never pursued past drop off and pick up. In fact, I didn’t even know her name.

Until one day in October I saw her in the parking lot. We’d already dropped the girls off and we were both walking back to our vehicles. She looked different. Like maybe something was bothering her. And so I asked her how she was doing. Like Mom to Mom, “are you ok?”

“I have cancer,” she said. And then we hugged. She stared past me at the mountains. Two moms in the school parking lot. Fall leaves whipping about. A shared burden. The realization that life is finite. That you aren’t always in control, if ever.

And so our friendship began. Three little words. The very next day she’d been to the doctor and we had more to talk about. She would be having a double mastectomy. We talked about the angel wing scar.

The day of her surgery I felt weepy. Friends for a moment, but a life time of hurt.

And now she’s cancer free. She’s recovering. I’ll see her for the first time since she went in. Babies make everyone feel better right?DSCN0586

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DSCN0537I am rarely in photos these days.DSCN0546 I’m always behind the lens. DSCN0619Doing my best to capture precious moments that are fleeting. My every day is filled with sticky hands and big hugs. I’m ok with that. I love it. My parents were visiting for Thanksgiving and I can’t wait to download the photos!

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And then she was gone.

Illness. My Grandma died yesterday. It was her time. She’s in the arms of Jesus. She wanted to go.

I’m pretty certain all these things are supposed to make me feel better. And they do. But.

For the past 3 or 4 years every visit was deemed the last. For her 90th birthday, almost 5 years ago, we had a party.  I would call this the beginning of the end. The cousins even joked that the next time we would all be together again would be her funeral. Gone are the days of talk – for this is real. She’s breathed her last.

I wasn’t ready. Emotionally. Oh believe me, I’m so glad she’s no longer in pain. She wanted to go. She was done. But I’ll never again hear her say, “Well hello Laura.”I’d tell her I loved her and she’d act all nervous and tell me she loved me too.

You see, my Grandma was blunt and tactless. The apple doesn’t fall very far does it? I still remember the day she looked over at me and told me I should cut off all my hair because hair is gross. I took a moment, reflected on my blonde locks, and told her to get over it. She smiled. I smiled. And we continued on our journey to the mail box. Getting the mail was one of those things we did together. And if her knees were bothering her, she’d wave at me as I walked by.

When people invest in your life, and then they are gone, you can’t help but look at the past. And smile. Smile for all the ice cream for breakfast. Endless chickens plucked. Summer days by the creek. Dirt cooking in a play house. Worlds largest fan of April Fools. My first pen-pal.

My Grandma was born in 1919. Black people didn’t marry white people. I was nervous about her meeting Q. I shouldn’t have.

I’m missing the funeral. My heart feels as if it is being squeezed by a giant, so tightly that my jaw aches, as if sucking a lemon lolly. She’s already gone. My last goodbye and hug was in fact, our last goodbye.

She reached her arms to Jesus.

They gave her 24 hours to live.

And then she was gone.

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The Birds and the Bees

The Birds: I used to like humming birds. Beautiful, shiny little things. Flitting about, sugar loving, iridescent birds. I currently LOVE sitting on the deck. The girls love sitting on the deck. The neighbors love hummingbirds. They feed them. The hummingbirds have become attack birds. Dive bombing. Not afraid. Death birds. Like torpedo your head, fly through your hair killer birds. It is difficult to teach your children to be fearless while I’m screaming in fear of birds IN MY HAIR. I felt ridiculous and only wanted a tennis racket. And seriously? They are like the size of large butterflies. Gag.


The Bees: I’ve never liked bees, yet at the same time I’ve also never been afraid. The worst that can happen is a sting right? Wrong. The worst thing that can happen is having a bee, with a vendetta against your family, trapped in your van, with your children strapped in their safety belts. I even ran away from the van and though I lured it away from the girls, it flew back in when I rushed the drivers seat! I ended up leaving the girls on the curb, speeding around the parking lot and then pulling them in the drivers side door while the bee dive bombed our windows! Seriously? Gooner, while strapped into her booster, nail falling off and bleeding, was stung. At one point we were all screaming and possibly crying. The bee continued to follow us throughout the parking lot and I needed those girls safely out of my lap and in their seats. Stupid bee. And then the rain came.  I have NEVER been so excited to stand in the rain and help my girls. It was tragic. DSCN0606

The Birds and the Bees: Apparently Gooner (5) learned about the actual birds and the bees during show and tell today. One of her friends brought a vet kit for show and tell…Complete with animals…that birth their babies. Thankfully she didn’t understand it all. According to Gooner: “Mommy’s poop our their babies. Some of them have them out of a different hole… where you probably pee from.” Awesome. I’m not sure if I dodged a bullet or not. I’m not certain why the teacher didn’t stop this informational show and tell. I liked the girl that brought her stuffed animal to share better.DSCN0610

Categories: Crazy Town, Education, Gooner, Parenting | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Bu-Bye Summer!!! – In Photos

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PS. I met a million neighbors at the pool. Like all of them. If you feel lonely – have children or get a dog. Boom. Conversation starter!

Categories: Family, Outdoors | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Moments Before…

…falling into a prickly pear cactus, Sooner was so happy. Our hike was amazing and lovely. The sun was shining, the girls were getting along and then Sooner lost her balance and fell right into a cactus.


HUNDREDS of tiny barbs pierced her hand, pants, and her leg was a bloody mess. In order to fully pull out all the tined barbs we purchased a bikini wax kit. It was terrible! Q held her down while I waxed her! The wax pulled out all the tiny barbs. Using the tweezers caused them to break off. Poor thing. She only has three left in her leg. Through it all she was a trooper and kept on hiking. Please note the new pants as we ended up throwing her old prickly pear pants in the trash!


As the girls grow we are acquiring more and more boo boos! And we are bound to get more! We bought a Jeep and Q took the bigger girls off roading! DSCN0450They LOVE it. Love. They want to go camping. Hiking. “Driving over the super bumpy parts.” Every. Single. Day. Q is basically the coolest Dad EVER. Even the little one gets Dad time,DSCN0483 perhaps not off-roading though… As the Mom, I’m behind. Behind the camera or staying behind while they GO! But 3rd Edition and I have loads of fun snuggling and making spit bubbles. My life is awesome.


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