6am to 8am


The decision to have hot or home lunch comes right after breakfast (unless we are out of bread, Claire chooses cold lunch every day).

Today they made their own, me explaining that teaching them how to be independent is my job as their Mother … (but really I just wanted to drink my coffee and text with my brother and sisters).


And then Cade gets all his homework and reading signed off on from the night before. Responsible and thoughtful, this kid (especially because he always has a pencil/pen and doesn’t make me search around the house for one for him. It’s the little things!)

The long sleep part is very true for Claire and for me. We need sleep or else we fall apart. I’m 10 months behind on my sleep. You may make whatever inferences from that that you wish.


The world is a better place because I don’t have to wait for an entire pot of coffee to brew before I get a cup. It’s the first thing I do in the morning – stumble into the kitchen and get it going. Usually while Rylan is drinking his super healthy shake and talking back at the news on TV.

Shhhhh. I’ve come for the coffee.

She is something special.


And so is this one.


Spelling words that must be mastered before technology.


Naked because I love his tush. 


This is something I found at the book store that I wanted to share.

Each night Claire and I read a passage and talk about the lesson from it.

It’s Jesus’ teaching in the first person and written in a way that opens dialogue with her.

I’d like to get another and do the same thing with Caeden.

This is another set of books that I read to Claire.

They also teach a daily lesson with things that kids struggle with.

It’s been a great way to get Claire to talk about things that she normally doesn’t (What makes you a good friend? You are worthy of not being someone’s second place, etc.)


Yesterday I was talking to Jill about pictures. Specifically how we as Moms are never in them.

Especially me, since I cannot stomach the idea of paying someone else to take pictures for me, but that is what it is going to come to.

As soon as the weather turns better, I’m having them done.

Tired of being so self-critical (baby hairs popping up all over the top of my head from losing all my hair after having the baby, turning 40, not being pretty enough, thin enough, cute enough clothing, WHATEVER! Bleh. It’s exhausting to hate yourself that much. I’m done.)

So this is a huge leap for me. A picture at 7:42 am. Before I’ve brushed my hair. In workout clothing. No makeup. Just me in Claire’s room.

I do exist. And perhaps should workout so I can shower and try this again. haha


A photo of some photos in Bear’s room. Claire with her Grandma when she was teeny tiny.

Me as a 6 month old baby with 500 fat rolls.

My paternal grandfather in the very back. A rancher from Nisland, SD and a man who never lost the twinkle in his eye.

I suspect I was his favorite. (He made us all feel like that.)


And flowers. These arrived with a bottle of wine on a really crappy night this week when the wind blew and the roads were icy as could be.

We drank the wine while sitting at the kitchen island, talking a lot …  about nothing important.

Which is important.

And walking by the flowers this morning makes me feel thankful that the weekend is almost here.

I’m ready to have my family all to myself for longer than a few hours in the morning.




The one that  you talked about from your very first day of school.

The  one that you have made plans to live beside (in AZ … with a connecting gate).

The one who has the ability to crush your day when he decides to play with Colin instead.

The one who taught  you how to make fart sounds (least favorite, Claire. LEAST favorite).

The one who has a “skinny head.”

The one that makes  you giggle non-stop.

And smile. He makes you smile.

The one who mixed your beloved slime colors into one big mass … and you didn’t care at all.

The one who lives close by. A summertime buddy, too.

The one who wanted to play with your brother’s trucks (which you still have in your bedroom just in case he comes back soon and wants to play with them again).

Your first best friend.



bebe j + 10 months


In a blink, you’re 10 months old.

2 teeth, crawling, waving bye-bye.

Trying to teach you how to say “Ma-ma,” but you repeatedly say, “Da-da. Da-da. Da-da.”

Center of attention and loved by your siblings.

Wake up 3-4 times a night, and I think, if you were taking requests, sleeping through the night would be amazing. Much needed. – And your Mom would be a changed woman.

You want to eat whatever we do. Getting you to eat baby food is harder and harder.

Won’t take a bottle or formula.

You love to go for walks on your Dad’s back or in the carrier.

Everywhere we go, people stop to comment on how ‘pretty’ you are.

10 months ago today, the world as I knew it would never be the same.

Love You Sweet Baby.



to dance … with goggles


i wish to live a life that causes my soul to dance inside my body.

(Arizona 2015)



we hit the road (well. we flew, but whatever.)


took our first family vacation as a set of 6.

plenty of sunshine + unlimited citrus + grandparents + non-stop swimming + kid activities galore + great shopping + memories, memories, memories = we’ll be doing this again!

back to the picture of the day tomorrow.