This Day Is A Gift

I read a disturbing fact on Pinterest a few weeks back.
There are only 940 Saturdays between your child's birth and them leaving for college.

It seems this is good advice considering we get less than a thousand weekends before it's all over.




Mid June we enjoyed a trip to the zoo with my sister and her two boys, plus my friend Kori and her two boys.  It was a super fun trip and we wore those boys out that day!  

Enjoy the cute pictures I got!

{"Look mom, I can be a flamingo!"}

{My boys ALL love their Aunt Roxanne!}

{They play lion sound effects-- pretty scary-- and Milo hates them!  Poor baby!}

{When Wyatt saw the baby lion cubs all laying together he said, "They look like a family!"}
{These two talk to each other in their tiny voices and it's the cutest thing ever!}

{"Mom, look! They're snuggling!"}

{We all wanted to take the chameleon home!}

This is the stuff I look forward to all year... It was so great to be with two of my best good friends, to laugh and share our parenting experiences with each other, and see all our boys together.

Happy day indeed!



My cousin Alix, who was born when I was only eleven, just had her twenty-first birthday.  
This meant two things.

1. I am old.
2. I got to have my first strawberry margarita since arriving home!

We talked books, boys & other things, and some of the stories were quite fascinating.  I will spare you the details of what made my mom make this face, but suffice to say, it was shocking!

Tequila shot for the birthday girl!

It was great to see Alix again. She's been busy globe trotting with the Air Force, and I've been busy raising my brood up in Alaska, so we haven't seen each other since Wyatt was 8 weeks old & she left for boot camp!

I love this girl.

Being there for her party was too much fun!



My Little Family

I read a blog today about a family that is falling apart.  Try as they might, their marriage isn't going to make it, and their family will never be the same.  I am certain this mom particularly will navigate this life change beautifully, and that her children will be well cared for throughout the transition, but I still found myself feeling sad for all of them.

Then I flipped that coin and began feeling really lucky for myself.

Lucky that our marriage has survived more than a decade.  Lucky that in addition to being my spouse, Josh is also my friend.  And lucky that we have each other to navigate the craziness of raising this bundle of boys together.  



This Sucks

My new favorite words are "This sucks."  The day we left Alaska to travel for twelve hours with the kids, we were about five hours in when Josh was like, "This sucks. I don't know how you do this all day."  Then last week when he was vacuuming for his party, he was like, "This sucks.  I hate vacuuming." 

It's funny, but those two comments made me feel really, really good about myself.  Like I was getting recognition for the difficult things that I do on a daily basis.

Well now my friends, I am walking a mile in your shoes, and I want to tell you.
This sucks!

Traffic? Sucks!
Grocery shopping with three small children? Sucks!
Trying to get somewhere on time? Sucks!

I had forgotten all about the parts of living in a city that were challenging. When I am in Marshall, everything in Vancouver takes on this ethereal dream like quality where being at the grocery store sounds luxurious and loading the kids in the car seems like it would be an amazing adventure.

Well I am here, and I will tell you:
-There are a million people on Mill Plain (a major thoroughfare in Vancouver) at all hours of the day.  And for the love of pete, could people go any faster? Where's the fire, people?!?
-Children "helping" me grocery shop generally means a lot of hurt ankles & harried apologies aimed at random strangers my kids have run over or accosted. 
-And the EVIL WITCH that I transform into while attempting to get my three sons out of the house, into the car, and across town for appointments, makes me cringe.

I applaud all of you.

It's true, living in rural Alaska is tough.  There are sacrifices I make to live there, and it's not for everyone, but stop for a minute and give yourself a pat on the back.  What you do here, in the city, (running kids to preschool, swinging by the park on hot afternoons, attempting to "keep up with the Joneses") is not easy.  I repeat, What you do is hard!  And I am impressed that you have the wherewithal to maintain it for twelve months at a time.  I am less than a month in, and I'm pooped!


Honest Moment

The other night I was surrounded by a group of girlfriends when I stopped and said, "Honest Moment," and followed with a heartfelt confession.  I have been feeling called to share another confession here on the blog.  If you're here for Alaska stories, summer adventures, or cute kid stories, this post may not be for you.

Last week I was suffering a bit of anxiety.  A culmination of things really-- sick kids, a messy house, piles of laundry, health worries and exhaustion-- that all lead to my worrying more than I have been.  After we got the kids down for the night, I crawled into Josh's lap and fell into tears.  My thoughts were swirling, it had been a long day, and I was feeling vulnerable.

I found myself laying all my worries on him (something he thankfully doesn't mind) and in the end I was telling him about how fat I feel.  I told him the worst part of being overweight is that I feel bad that other people have to see me like this.  If I lived alone with no mirrors, I can honestly say I don't think my weight would bother me in the least. It doesn't keep me from doing anything, and I feel healthy.

But having to look in the mirror, or subject other people to my waist line has me hating myself with a new passion.  Which, of course, only leads to more comfort eating.  Which, naturally, leads to more weight gain. It's a vicious cycle.

I want to wear a sign that says, "I know I'm fat. I'm sorry."  I don't want people to think that I think I am anything other than I am.  It's embarrassing.  I also feel bad for my relatives.  They must be so upset that I'm fat.

It's bizarre, though, that I think this way about myself, because when I think of people I know personally who have packed on a few extra pounds, I don't think any of these things about them.  I think they are smart and funny and successful, and I am proud to know them & be around them.  I don't wish they were thin or different than they are.  I don't think they lack value in any way, shape or form because of their size.

My insane judgment is reserved only for myself.

Some might think, Well, if you hate it so much, change it. And I do often contemplate trying to lose weight, but the depth of commitment, and the risk of failure are too great.  It scares me.

I write this not to make you feel bad for me or bad about yourself.  I write this simply to share my experience as a mama who has gained weight to the point of being uncomfortable in my own skin around others.  Josh said he read this article about women and said he believes that if women would stop policing each other, we would all be a lot happier.  I think maybe he's right.  And it starts with me.

Why am I saying to myself things I would NEVER say to a friend or loved one?

"It's never been true, not anywhere at any time, 
that the value of a soul, of a human spirit, 
is dependent on a number on a scale."  
-Geneen Roth



T-ball Camp

These three cousins are so cute!  They love spending time together, so when my mom suggested they do t-ball camp together this summer, my sister and I were both in!

It's on the other side of town, which is a bit of a pain, but the drive is beautiful, and I just love this place, so I've made peace with it!

The boys' coach is awesome, and oh so patient, and their teammates are a bunch of sweethearts!

There are eight of them, all ages 4-6.

Logan said his favorite part was playing catch with the coach (where he caught the ball and would try to get the players "out") and he told me, "I said, "Betcha can't catch me, coach!  You'll never catch the White Shadow!"  Seriously. Where does he come up with this stuff?!?

Jack said his favorite was playing catch with his cousin Ferris.

I was so glad they had such a great time.

{Cutest huddle ever!}


Little brothers Wyatt & Milo were too young to join practice, but have had their own fun each day.


After camp (which lasts an hour) we head to the park nearby to play.  Monday I saw this rainbow around the sun.  It's called a Sun Halo and was absolutely breath taking.


Tuesday we headed to practice again, and the boys did awesome again.

And after practice we spent more time at the park.

I can't wait to see how the rest of the week goes.
My boys are particularly excited to have Daddy attend tomorrow!