What We're Thankful For:


  • I'm thankful for Mommy & Daddy.
  • I'm thankful for my robot.
  • I'm thankful for Daddy coming to visit.


  • I'm thankful for my family.
  • I'm thankful for my friends.
  • I'm thankful for Daddy having a job.


  • I'm thankful for learning how to read.
  • I'm thankful for play time.
  • I'm thankful for family & friends.


  • I'm thankful for my marriage.  That man.  He is just so good.
  • I'm thankful for my sons.  They give my life meaning.
  • I'm thankful for my daughter. She's the rainbow after the storm.




 For my birthday this year (since I'm in Washington!) my mom had me over for dinner with my boys & sister.  They all spoiled me with presents.  Make up & maternity tops to be specific, and I couldn't be happier!

 My boys also bought me presents-- 
Mom took them to the Dollar Tree and they got to pick out whatever their little hearts desired.

 Logan got me:
Vanilla Scent trees for the car
A novel about the creator of Girl Scouts
Aqua tank rocks for my rock collection
Super sparkly nail polish
Plus a balloon & a reusable bag

 Jack got me:
A small notebook for my purse
Black pens, cause he knows black's my favorite
A journal
Silver nail polish
A beautiful candy dish
Plus a card & a balloon

Wyatt got me:
A mirror
An eyelash curler (which he told my mom matter of factly was for my eyebrows)
A princess flashlight
Colorful pens
A reusable princess bag

Plus a Minnie Mouse Happy Birthday balloon seen here.

 I was so touched by their thoughtfulness.  

 And how incredibly well they know me.

 I am truly so blessed.

 Time for CAKE!!!

Milo's crazy hair.
Loved it!

It was a super laid back evening, with good food & great company.

My wish was simple:
A healthy arrival for Baby #4

I am so thankful for my family, this pregnancy & for these sweet boys in my life.
Yesterday really was a perfect day.
The only thing missing was my amazing man!



For My Birthday

... Two weeks before my 32nd birthday I miscarried the baby I had so desperately wanted.  We spent the summer before that talking in whispers about the fourth baby we were going to try for, and by the time we were back in our village in Alaska, it was time to start trying.  I got pregnant on the first try (as is my luck with each & every pregnancy) and was elated to get that positive pregnancy test.  I flew out (to Anchorage) in October at ten weeks to check on Babyham's progress only to discover he had stopped growing a week earlier.

I arrived home to my husband and our children amidst the insanity of Halloween and just carried myself through each day, feeling hollow and empty.  And like a failure.

Fast forward two months, just past my last birthday, and there again was the positive pregnancy test.  Another trip to Anchorage.  Another routine exam.  And this time, instead of a bad ultrasound, it was a bad blood test.  I was only five weeks along, but the numbers weren't adding up.

A few days after I got home, I lost another baby.

As I struggled to fight (what I now think was) vertigo, depression & anxiety, my hope felt like it had been put on pause.  I knew that I should hope, and that I needed to hope, but it was so very hard to hold on when it felt a bit like catching mist.

Finally in the spring, I decided that any heartache (like that I had endured for both miscarriages) was worth the possible reward of another baby.  I found out the day before we flew home to Washington from Alaska that I was, for the fifth time, pregnant.  (For those who are trying to keep up with the math-- #1: The twin pregnancy #2: Wyatt's pregnancy #3: the first miscarriage #4: the second miscarriage & #5: my current pregnancy)  At the airport I told all our loved ones that we were expecting, not caring that I was only four weeks along.  I decided that this pregnancy was going to be celebrated for however many days it lasted, whether it resulted in a baby in my arms or not.

It took a lot of faith to go for it again.  To trust God, to ignore my anxiety & my worries.  But it has been so worth it.  From first seeing her on the screen at 8 weeks, to hearing her heartbeat at 12; from finding out she was a girl (!!!) to ordering her first baby blanket... It's all felt surreal and beautiful and like a gift from God.

I guess I write all this to say, it's been a hard year.  A roller coaster year.  Loss & joy.  Loneliness & fun.  Heartache & hope.  It's all part of the journey.

For my 33rd year, I am hoping for: a healthy baby to join our family (even one that's "born wrong"-- per Wyatt's prayers --meaning born a boy instead of a girl); our family to be reunited and living together somewhere that is the perfect fit for us; and for me to remember that everyday I'm here on earth is a gift.  Especially if that day is spent with the ones I love.


If Not Now, When?

If I'm not going to stop and appreciate a sunset, or some beautiful clouds today... When will I?

If I'm not going to read the long book at bedtime, complete with answering all their (million) questions... When will I?

The truth is, we only have now.  

And as I read through the book that my second book club has chosen (The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle), I discover with each page that choosing to focus on now doesn't ignore the future.  It enhances the future.  With every moment I devote myself to being present, my future becomes more full of possibility.  The possibility to find and have joy everyday.  The possibility to make memories with my children and enjoy this stage in parenthood.  The possibility to look back on my life one day and know I lived every day of it with gusto.

What can you do to live in the moment today?  
What joys are you "saving" for another day?
Find a moment today where you're asking yourself,
"If not now, when?"
And then go for it!



Struggles of Last Week

I have no idea what I'm doing.  I feel like my kids deserve so much better.

Currently I am struggling with behavior from all three of them, plus having a hard time making the mornings look like I want them to look (ie, I can't wake up before them to save my life, and they wake up acting like children! The nerve! and I can't want to deal with fighting while my eyes are still closed.)

Josh will be home soon.  Less than six weeks.  I know that's quick.  But on the hard days (like last Friday and the three days that came before Friday.  And the two days before that...) I remember that even once he comes, he's just going to leave again, and I can start to feel really (really) overwhelmed.

Especially when I think of #4 who will be here in less than twelve weeks.  I can barely handle the three I've got-- between not listening, tantrums and the energy it takes to not only care for them, but act as both parents, emotionally I'm wrung out.

All day long, everything I do, is for my kids.  I feed them, I homeschool them, I entertain them, I read to them, I give them boundaries and rules, I listen to them, I feed them again, I take them places, I teach them things, I make them dinner, I do their laundry, I bathe them, brush them & put them to sleep.  In fact, since Josh left, I have only had my mother-in-law put them to bed once and that was because I was at the hospital to check on Carly (all is well, thankfully) because she'd been giving me what felt like contractions all day.

I am grateful to get to sneak away to book club once a week after they're asleep, and that my mom, sister & mother-in-law are always willing to have them for an afternoon here or there, for appointments and whatnot, but nothing is the same as having your spouse there.  To have him walk in the door and be able to say to him, "Hey babe.  It's your turn. I'm out."

When he was here, he'd bathe them, make their meals and read their bedtime stories.  It was so lovely.  Even though I was always still here (I wanted to be with Josh as much as they did) it was nice to just sit in the rocking chair while he put them to bed.  Or relax in the family room while he made their dinner.

I laid with Wyatt the other night.  It's been a long time. Too long, since I did that, and it was transformative.  It reminded me that if I'm so busy doing, I can all too easily forget to be.  And so I wrapped my arm around his middle and he snuggled into his sheets, a huge smile spread across his face, and he fell asleep, holding my hand.  If I can slow down my days, my parenting, just the tiniest bit, those pieces of joy will float softly down to me, filing the edges off the hard parts.  If I can remember to smile, to laugh, to enjoy the boys; their fights, their tantrums & their behaviors suddenly become more tolerable.

That night, after Wyatt was asleep, I had a parenting epiphany.  I have been, since Josh left in August, bashing my head against the proverbial brick wall.  My number one goal since he left (which I have met no more than six times) was to wake up before the boys.  I believed that morning time makes the best quiet time, and that "good moms" wake up before their children.  Where these ideas came from, I'm not sure.  And as I sat down to examine them in the quiet solitude of my room after bedtime, I realized that they are not in fact truth, but opinions.  

I can just as easily have my "quiet time", to gather my strength and prepare for the next day, in the evening!  My children are generally in bed asleep before 7:30pm.  That leaves plenty of time for lesson planning, goal setting and to-do-list accomplishing.  I also decided that just because an idea has settled in my mind (ie that "good moms" wake up before their kids) doesn't mean I have to let it stay there.  So I sent that little judgmental gem packing!  I can wake up when the kids do and still be a good mom.  Shoot, I can keep sleeping while they play in the morning and still be a good mom!  Coming to these two conclusions took a lot of the pressure off.  

The reasons don't really matter... but waking up before my kids didn't work for a lot of reasons.  Our sleeping situation is one in which I have to go through the boys' room to get to the bathroom (or anywhere else in the house), and since my bedroom is off their bedroom, if I were to light a lamp in my room, they would see that I was awake and perhaps not get all the sleep they need to make for a good day.  I also wouldn't want to go downstairs, where my in-laws have their morning routines established, and have my boys wake up and potentially fight with each other because I'm not there when the light turns green.  For all these reasons (and that I'm seven months pregnant and just kinda tired all.the.time) I decided that I don't need to pressure myself into waking before the boys.  Eventually I know that I would like that to become my "normal" but in the mean time, it's all about doing what works.  

So I will turn night time into MY time and prepare for the day that way.
And I think it will work just beautifully.



Just The Worst

And just like that, Josh is gone again.  
We had the most amazing week, and I'm so glad he came... 
but waking up Monday without him again? 
Brutal. Just brutal.

Sunday was the most wonderful day.  Truly idyllic.  We spent a slow morning bathing the boys, then Josh started making homemade pizza for all of us for lunch.  We ate his (insane, amazing, crazy-good) pizza while watching the Seahawks (Go Hawks!) play the Cowboys, all the boys (and Josh) matching in their jerseys.  It was precious.  Josh got me a shirt too when he was out getting pizza ingredients.  I love that he's so thoughtful & wanted me to feel included.

For most of the afternoon all of us were smashed together on the couch downstairs, enjoying pizza and the occasional bite-size candy bar from Halloween.  It was, in a word, perfection.

But before we knew it, the game ended, dinner time was approaching, and the end of our week together was rapidly coming.

We took the boys out to eat (at Red Robin) as we had promised and we had a great dinner.  I was glad the boys were well behaved and all went well at the restaurant because as our time together was coming to a close, I could feel the lump in my throat getting bigger by the minute.

I had held it together all morning until I saw my toothbrush.  Alone.  In the holder.  All week I so enjoyed watching our toothbrushes co-mingle in that glass jar.

After dinner we came home and put the kids to bed, and the waterworks really started for me.

Watching Josh hug and kiss each of the boys one last time ripped my heart wide open.  I had predicted that I would miss Josh, the boys would miss Josh and Josh would miss me.  My brain had neglected to think of Josh missing the boys after a week with them constantly at his side.  Seeing him crawl into Wyatt's bed for some last snuggles was the most tender, heart wrenching thing I'd seen all week.

And even once we had laid them down & Josh had said his goodbyes, Logan got up again, claiming he "heard" something (which he often says) and as I was assuring him there was nothing, he admitted that really he was sad about Daddy leaving.  So I walked him back into our room, where he collapsed into Josh's arms sobbing.  I stood behind them, silently sobbing as I snapped this most precious picture.  This being apart stuff?  It's just the worst.

As I cried later, I apologized to Josh.  He hugged me and said, "It's okay to be sad.  This is a sad thing."  That permission to feel to my feelings, to cry and feel heartbroken was just what I needed.  

About an hour later, after all the kids fell asleep, Josh said goodbye to his parents and we drove to the airport.  When we got there we parked the car real quick and hugged, me crying semi-hysterically into his shoulder.  He gathered his things and we said "I love you" one last time as he walked by the passenger side of the car.  Then, against every part of my body, I drove away as he walked into the Alaska terminal.  

The drive home was awful.  It feels so wrong to drive away from him.  Every time.  I just have to do it.  I cried harder than I probably have in my entire life on that drive back to the house.  I know that sounds dramatic, but it's true.  I was thinking about this, how hard I cried, how awful it feels to exist without him by my side, and I've decided to accept my feelings as valid.  When you love someone, it makes sense that you would hate to be away from them.  When you love someone, it makes sense that you would want to spend your every day with them.  When you love someone, it makes sense that saying goodbye hurts.

When I got home my eyes were on fire.  But I am blessed to have a support system that is out of this world.  My mom, sister and more friends than I can count were praying for me and thinking of us all day Sunday, so I fell into a deep and restful sleep shortly after returning from the airport.

Monday I woke up early and was in the boys room as they woke up.  Jack seemed a bit melancholy.  When I asked him what was up, he started crying.  He missed daddy, he told me, and was upset that they never got to play baseball together.  I thought dealing with my own emotions was hard, but I was wrong.  Watching them be upset and not being able to do anything about it, that's hard.

This is the first time the boys have cried about Josh leaving, so this is new territory.  My intention is to navigate it with as much kindness and understanding as possible.  To acknowledge their emotions and validate their feelings.  And just be here.  Any time they want to talk.

The good thing is that we did it for three months already, and this time it'll only be two months.  And we know from experience the first few weeks are the worst, and it gradually gets better as the countdown gets closer.  In the meantime, we'll keep plugging along, taking it one day at a time.



November & all.the.things

So a few things to note:

1) I made it!!! I blogged every single day in October! #blogtober baby!  I loved getting my draft posts cleared out, and enjoyed making time for it everyday.  I'd like to keep it up for November, so keep checking in!

Bedtime stories.  All the feels when I look at this one.

Video games at the movie theater on daddy's lap is the best!

Daddy captured big brother reading to little brother... I melted.
 2) Josh leaves tonight after the kids go to bed.  I feel all the sadness about that after an amazing week together as a family.  Prayers for strength in single parenting again for the next two months are welcome.
Got our family picture turned into a canvas & I'm loving it!
3) I am excited that it's November for a few reasons.  The first is that I always find it easier to be grateful in November because of all the lovely reminders (thank you, Thanksgiving) and being thankful makes me a happier human being.  I also love November because my birthday month.  I'll turn 33 on the 18th and am excited to spend this birthday here in the city with my mom, sister & friends.
4) I am 27 weeks today and am feeling Carly move more each day.  I am overjoyed that we've chosen a name for this beautiful blessing.  Also? My blanket from iviebaby came yesterday, and I'm dying at how precious it is.  Logan asked Josh, "Dad, did you feel Carly's blanket? Isn't it sooo soft?" It was the first time one of the boys has referred to her as Carly.  So tender.

#riseandshinemama (also? #makeupless)
5) As Josh packs to leave, I'm preparing for a fun new challenge to make November the best month it can be.  I am going to take part in the Rise & Shine Challenge.  Read all about it here and sign up!  Then go to Shawn's Instagram and follow her.  I'll be posting progress as I go and am anxious to have a little more quiet space for myself as I try waking before the boys this month.

6) I am so excited about the stack of books on my night stand.  I got Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings in the mail yesterday and in preparation of starting it, I am skimming through my notes from Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids.  Such a great refresher on peaceful parenting and I can't wait to dive into Happy Siblings when I'm done.

I am also excited to start reading Better Than Before which I picked up with my mom and sister at Barnes & Noble a few weeks back.  I love Gretchen Rubin and her Happiness Project changed my life!

And lastly, we are slowly starting up our next book in The Inspired Readers Book Club and would love to have you along for the journey!  I am leading this book (yikes!) and am about half way through (I'm reading ahead so I can come up with discussion questions), and  I am loving it!  I can't wait to find out how it ends!

Here's to a new week, a new month, and a fresh perspective.
Happy November!