Sunday, December 11, 2011

This year has been so crazy at our house. My going back to work has been an incredible blessing in so many ways, but it has been disastrous for the blog. Which is really a bummer for me. I love this blog! It’s such a history of our family life.


Admittedly, I’m better about posting to Facebook. (Although I do that much less now too.) It’s on my phone…and it’s easy to come up with a sentence or a quick iphone photo. When I post here I want to write. I want to post thoughtful pictures that have been edited and whatnot.

Someday I’ll be sad that I don’t have every little thing archived here. I guess not someday. NOW. Now I’m sad about that.

Le sigh.

I thought it might be fun to go through my Facebook account and post some of my favorite status updates from this year. They are below, chronologically from the end of the year to the beginning. Little snippets of life in our house. Little snippets…

I was just helping 4 year old William in the bathroom. As per my good mommy training, I said, "Nice work Will! Good job listening to your body." And he said, "I know mom. I'm a GREAT pooper. If I went to a poop festival, I would win a trophy. And I bet it would have a metal poop on top." Umkay. Yeah. Maybe we have been a little overzealous with the encouragement.

And just like that, I have two kids who can read. I guess I'm going to have to start spelling more complicated expletives. C-R-A-P!

Lauren: "I'm really thankful for Turkeys mom. Because they are yummy. (thoughtful pause) But I bet Turkeys aren't very thankful for us!" Hoping your Thanksgiving Day is filled with moments of gratitude. Big and small.

Two fabulous parent teacher conferences today. So proud of my hard working kiddos!

Will, "I need to get in the tub and wash my boobies." Lauren, "you're a boy, you don't have boobies." Will,"Oh yeah, what are these then?" Lauren, (incredulously) "Those are your pickles." Will, "Pimples?" Lauren, "Yes!" (rolling her eyes at her super un- savvy brother...)

Dear world,
Between my new job and both my kids being in new schools I have met literally a thousand new people in the last ten months. So if everyone could just wear name tags for a while, that would be SUPER helpful. K. Thanks.

Will was so excited to see frost on the ground today. Like, SO excited. Talked about it for 10 minutes straight. It was delightful to live in his wonderland for a bit. But now I'm just cold.

Will: I ate lunch with Autumn today. She's a kindergartener. Lauren: What does she look like? Will: (defensively) What? She's a girl. Lauren: I just asked what she looks like. Will: Oh, well...she has long curly hair, a nose and two eyes.

How did I end up at karaoke on a school night???

Happy 4th Birthday to my little man. Wow, how these four years have flown by!!

Happy "Lucky 13th" Anniversary to my Prince Charming, my Best Friend, my Soul Mate, my Babydaddy, and the only guy who can stand living with me...I love you Mr. G! You’re the berries.

Why didn't I take any pictures at the party we went to last night??? Now you guys are just going to have to take my word that I was in an incredible house, eating uber delish food like little ahi bites on sesame crackers, fancy little sliders, and jalapeƱo cheese puffs, while looking fabulous in borrowed stilettos with all my girls.

Went to my first all school Mass with the St. School kids today. Pretty moving to hear all those little voices singing and praying together.

Citizens of Earth...Never fear! We are safe from the evil Dr. Toilet Paper Roll. SuperKitten has destroyed it. It joins the fallen villains PaperTowelasaur, Mr. Homework, and The Tissue Box. The world can rest easy tonight. But SuperKitten knows that lurking in the shadows are an endless supply of evil paper products. And so he sharpens his claws and waits...

Yesterday we found one of the goldfish floating in the bowl. Lauren immediately announced that it was Will's.

So proud of my girl on her first day at a new school! She put on a brave face this morning, and by noon she was telling me she loves her new school! Yay! And phew!

Sometimes God comes to you disguised as your life.

Mr. G is either going to get a great pic of this barn, or a farmer is going to shoot at us for trespassing. Hard tellin' which.

Me: "Will, please be quiet and let your sister sleep so she will be a happy camper today." Will, "WE'RE GOING CAMPING???!!!" Let the daily (unintentional) crushing of his spirit begin.

Got my annual "dumb mom" sunburn. You know, the one you get when you spend the morning making sure the kids are covered in SPF 50, have their hats, goggles, snacks, beverages, floaties, towels, sand toys, etc. And then after 4 hours at the lake you realize you never asked anyone to help get that part of your back that you can't reach. I'm crispy. Prepared, but crispy. Damn.

Yesterday Will was afraid to get his face wet. Today I bought him some goggles, and no lie, he learned to swim. OMg, someone slow this crazy ride down!!

Thank you to everyone on Payette Lake who let us sit on their dock, play in their sand, ride in their boats, eat their food and drink their beer. This was one for the books!

McCall Friends, we have decided to let you fight over who gets to host us at their lakefront/boat-ready retreat tomorrow. You can start your bidding here. We take bar-tending staff, gourmet buffets, and fireworks viewing locales into consideration when making our decision. Go...

We took some items to the thrift store, including a chair. Will's reaction was straight off that hoarder show on A&E. He threw his body across the chair and wailed, "I'll miss you chair!" I had to make up a story about the chair's happy new life. So just for fun, Mr. G told him we were going to get rid of the couch too.

Lauren just informed Will that she is the Queen and he is the servant. Then she demanded that he bring her "a glass of martini." Who is that kid's mother???

Will: Dad, can I have chocolate milk for breakfast? Mike: I don't know buddy, that sounds a little... Will: Undignified?

I really hope 5/21 isn't the end of the world. I have Wicked tickets.

Happy Mother's Day to all my beautiful girlfriends! I'm thinking that all the stretch marks, sleepless nights, diapers, barf, smashed tubes of lipstick, whiney fits and temper tantrums to date have been absolved via a homemade card with a hand print and a poem in it. Hope your day is just as schmoopy. Or, that you get sent to the spa. Either way...

Happy Birthday to my beautiful girl!! Being your Mama for the last seven years is my greatest joy!

Navigating tomorrow without getting fired or causing my child psychological damage is going to require a bend of the space time continuum. I need some Harry Potter powers and I need 'em quick.

Will would like to let the other 3 year olds of the world know that flushing an entire roll of TP at once is, in fact, a VERY bad idea.

Will told me tonight that he has an itchy spagheeto bite.

Friday, November 04, 2011

One of the myriad of things that I love about my job is the opportunity to attend our monthly all school Mass. (I love this almost as much as attending Mass on Tuesday mornings with my daughter’s grade school. If ever there was proof that God loves us, it’s a church full of happy kids singing and praying together.) This week, we celebrated Mass together on Tuesday, All Souls Day. Dios de los Muertos. The Day of the Dead. And here’s what I learned:

Someone smarter than I has estimated that since the beginning of time there have been roughly 110,000,000,000 people on earth. In case all those zeros confused you, I said one hundred and ten BILLION people. Some seven-odd billion of us are still here wandering around. So that means one hundred and three BILLION of us have gone on to greener pastures. Wow. Is anyone else sort of getting this mental image of bugs piled up in a porch light?

Anyway, the point is that on The Day of the Dead we are remembering, celebrating, and praying for those one hundred and three billion of our brothers and sisters who have already died.
I’m sure that it wasn’t his intention, but when Father Frasier got to this part of the homily I was starting to feel a little bit insignificant. And then he really drove it home with this gem:

Someday I am going to be dead. And everyone who knew me is also going to be dead. And I will be forgotten.


I suppose if you are super well adjusted that doesn’t freak you out. But anyone who reads this blog knows how far from well adjusted I am. Can you hear the panic in my printed voice?? Forgotten? Me? The girl who was convinced that by 37 she would have star on Hollywood Blvd? Me? The woman who is pretty sure the Great American Novel is lurking somewhere within? Me? Can’t be. I scrapbook. I blog. I take pictures of the stuff I make for dinner for goodness sakes. I’m ARCHIVED. Forgotten?
And then that quiet little voice inside my head asks me, “What do you need to be remembered for?”


I would like to be remembered for being kind and loving. I want to be remembered as a good mother and grandmother (someday). I want to be a good friend. I would hope to be remembered as generous, but the likelihood of that ever being at the level that gets your name on a building is slim. When it all boils down, I don’t think I really need to be remembered. I would love to be thought of fondly by the people who I interact with in this life. But when all you crazies are gone too, what does it matter if my name is ever spoken again? That’s a lot more than most can hope for.

That said, I know that God remembers. And Dios de los Muertos is a day for us as the church to remember. So say a prayer right now for someone else who led a good and ordinary life. And then was forgotten.


Monday, October 24, 2011

This weekend we celebrated four trips around the sun with Sweet William.  I just adore that kid!  I mean, seriously...could he be cuter??  And his heart is made of pure gold.  He's kind and gentle, he's smart and funny, he LOVES his sister, he's a good friend and an excellent builder of train tracks, hex bug habitats and Lego creations.  Every night before bedtime he asks me to sing him a lullaby.  He remembers his pleases and thank yous, he gives incredible hugs and he loves to snuggle with his mama on the couch.  Last week he drew me a picture of Jesus.  (And it was pretty good!)  That little boy is my heart, and I am so blessed to be his mom. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY WILL!!  We love you so much!


Monday, August 08, 2011

Superfun BIG excitement...

We got a new kitty!  His name is Henry and he is absolutely the sweetest thing.  Very mellow and snuggly.  The kids are over the moon. 

Henry is a little camera shy, but I'm working on getting a good snap of him.

In the meantime, check out Mr. G's new blog for lots of beautiful pictures of things other than Henry.  You won't be sorry!

Reticent Photo


Monday, August 01, 2011

I’m just going to be really honest here.

I’m not very brave. I wish I was braver. I really do. Bravery is especially lacking when it comes to anything involving hurtling through space. Skiing especially comes to mind. But also riding on a motorcycle and even driving at night. There’s just something about the fact that I could get flung to neverland at any moment that doesn’t sit well with me. I can strap myself in and ride a rollercoaster until the cows come home. But put me on an inflatable tube behind a speeding boat and I’m gonna squirm.

My children, thankfully…or maybe not, I’ll let you know when we survive the teenage years…didn’t inherit this from me. I think I’ve mentioned before that it’s Mr. G’s job to make them brave. And he’s doing fine work. They love to tube and ski and otherwise put themselves in harms way in the name of fun. And somehow, when it comes to watersports, I’m always the responsible adult who has to get dragged around the lake with them. That makes no sense, does it?

There must be something about the look on my face or my white knuckled grip that makes Sweet Pea a philosopher when we’re tubing. Maybe she figures she better ask me questions about life and death while she still has a chance. Or maybe she thinks my guard will be down and I’ll tell her some secret that she’s not old enough to hear yet. Who knows? But for whatever reason, whenever we’re whipping around the lake at mach speed she asks me deep questions.

Last night she hollered at her dad to speed up, made a motion that indicated she would like him to try his best to give us whiplash, and then said to me, “Mom…what is the future?”

Uh…that thing that’s getting cut short right now.

I was stumbling through an answer, shouting over the noise of the boat when Will looks over at me and says with a sly smile…”Watch out Mom! THE FUTURE IS COMING!”


Thursday, July 21, 2011

This summer feels like we have turned a corner, or made a leap...or something.  My kids are just suddenly so...I don't even know.  Capable?  Accomplished? Grown up?  All of the above.   It's enough to take your breath away.  And sometimes leaves me standing around wondering what I should be doing.  Is it Ok, for me to sit and read a magazine??  I'm just not used to not being...needed.  Le sigh. 

But I do like to read magazines...

We headed into Spring with me in a panic over the lack of swimming skills at Casa Del Clover.  It felt like a big parenting failure on our parts.  So I signed the kids up for 4 weeks of swimming lessons and crossed my fingers.  On day one, Sweet Pea jumped in the deep end and swam across the pool.  Yay!  Yay!  So she's taken care of, and that was my #1 goal.  But now I have to finish 2 more weeks of Mommy and Me swimming lessons at the public pool.  And that is another post entirely.  (They don't heat the public pool.  Did you know that?  And if you think I'm being a weenie about that, don't even ask me about the lack of waitstaff.  I'm just sayin'...)

Anyhoo...I'm so excited about the newfound water skills.  To that end, we have been beaching, boating, pooling and otherwise consuming more than our fair share of spray on sunscreen.  (Has anyone else noticed how expensive that stuff has gotten?  It's like $10 for two trips to the pool.  I've over it.  I bought a bottle of old school No Ad the other day.  I guess that's another perk of older kids.  They don't squirm while you grease 'em up.)

This week we are soaking up our summer sun Mountain style.  These are some pics of day two of our Southern Idaho Staycation, at Davis Beach in McCall. (Courtesy of Mr. G.) In just a few days we'll head to Sun Valley for part deux of G Family Fun.  My happy kids tell me they like this summer itenerary.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

You know that thrill you get when you get to make the very first tracks in fresh snow?  I absolutely love that.  Ever since I was a little girl I've daydreamed about what a place would look like without buildings or roads, or even footprints.  It's not often that I've been able to see a place that really looked untouched by people.  A few days ago we went on a hike that was probably as close to that as I've ever been.  Of course we saw the occasional trail marker, footprint, and even an old log fence.  So it wasn't exactly an appearance on Survivor.  But you felt like you could see for miles, and for miles and miles we didn't see another soul. 

For all my local peeps, you should hike this trail.  And if you camp, check out Goose Lake which is on the way.  It is stunning and the campsites are right on the little lake.  I think it would be perfect if you're camping with kids, but ready to break out of the campground scene.  It would be even more fun if you had a canoe.  (And I will come visit you and then drive back to my bed at my nice warm cabin.  Hey, I'm honest...)

The trail we hiked is the Twin Lakes Trail.  It is past the ski resort on Brundage Mountain in McCall, Idaho.  (You keep driving on that road for 9 miles past the lodge.)  The drive is stunning.  The hike is listed as moderately strenuous.  It's 3 miles roundtrip.  A mile and a half up to the lake, and then you just hike the same trail back down the hill.  It was muddy and rocky, and we found lots of little patches of snow.  But the kids and the (old) dog did great.  There was so much to look at (and sniff) that I guess they didn't notice they were climbing a pretty steep hill.   This is a good one for families, but not an easy one.  Everyone is going to need to be able to walk the entire distance on their own. 

It's mid July and the trail was definately still mucky and wet.  I wouldn't hike this with kids in the springtime.  And there are big stretches without much shade, so pick a cooler day and wear sunscreen!

 By the time you see this sign, you're almost there!

You start out in this meadow full of little yellow and white flowers.  Wear hiking boots!  It's soggy.

There was a big fire here in 1994.  Ghost trees everywhere.

Up the creekbed.  I bet the water was raging down this hill a few weeks ago.

Snow in July!

A vantage point about 1/4 of the way up.

The lake!  The name Twin Lakes suggests there is another one, but I didn't see it.

See the snow?  Yeah...the lake is c.o.l.d.

William's walking stick.

A family picture at the top.

When we got back to the meadow, Will found a lucky horseshoe!

Hope you get to have a beautiful summer day here, or whereever you may be!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I love that I am married to a guy who can program websites, balance the books, and make incredible art!  Mr. G. has been tinkering with our camera and finally cracked the code on how to manage some manual settings in the way that he wanted.  The results and have been breathtaking!  I'm sharing a few courtesy of my better half...


Monday, July 18, 2011

My list of reasons for not posting more here is long and predictable. This job thing is kicking my butt.

I love my job. Really and truly I do. I am back to doing something that makes a difference in people’s lives. If you have a bit of a superhero complex like I do, you just can’t beat a career like that.

Not that staying home with my kids wasn’t impacting lives. I mean…duh. But that’s not on the table anymore. So as long as I have to go to work, I’m glad I love what I do. And bonus, my job comes with a few incredible family perks. Win. Win.

I’m doing a lot of writing at work. I think more than anything I’m all written out. And that’s been the pin in this grenade. Ok, that and my valiant attempt not to gain 20 lbs. In order to make it to my 6:00 a.m. gym date I have to go to bed really stupidly early. I’m just not one of those people who can function on less than 7 hours worth of sleep. If you know how I can change that, please share. If I could squeeze a couple more hours into the day I think I’d be a lot less stressed out.

I can’t help it. I like my stuff the way I like my stuff. It bothers me that my house is a mess. I miss planning lovely dinners. I long for organized rooms and shiny surfaces. I look sadly at neglected projects and undocumented events. (And in my head I pretend that all that stuff happened when I wasn’t working…)

But c’est la vie! We go to the lake instead of cleaning the house. We haul our laundry with us to the mountains. We hike and swim and eat takeout. And yeah, I gaine 5 lbs. (Damnit!) It is what it is. I’m learning how to be Ok with that. (And also I have threatened to leave the country if the housecleaner isn’t hired back the second school starts. So there’s that.)

Mr. G is picking up the slack in so many ways. Although its less sexy than emptying the dishwasher…he is doing a great job of documenting our summer fun. Pictures soon to come. In the meantime, here’s some stuff you might like to know:

Sweet Pea has spent the last few months becoming a world class athlete and scholar. She can now swim the full length of the pool, serve a tennis ball, hit a golf ball straight, kick a soccer ball, cross the monkey bars and…most importantly…READ.

She’s in a summer reading program - courtesy of Aunt Sue, the recently retired second grade teacher – and she’s making great strides. We were so lucky to have the first grade teacher and reading staff that we had. They got everything clicking and really lit a fire in her. This summer has been about working out some kinks. I know she’s going to have a great second grade year.

And speaking of…we’re off to a new school. As bittersweet as that decision was, we felt like we had to take advantage of the free tuition for catholic school that came with my new job. I’ve chatted with her teacher, made friends with a couple of new moms and tapped into the network of cool families we already know at St. New School. There are two uniforms hanging in her closet. I guess we’re ready! It’s going to be a big adjustment in terms of logistics and volunteer expectations. But I think it will be good. And when I think of the big picture, the fact that her school will also be part of her faith, I get a little misty eyed.

Will is absolutely hilarious right now. And also three, which means maddening. Mr. G calls him the Sour Patch kid. First he’s sour, then he’s sweet. He is so grown up suddenly. Of course I get a little sentimental about my baby getting independent. But mostly its fantastic! We can do so many big kid things now. Golfing, hiking, movies, restaurants…I love my little foursome.

We have discovered that Will has no volume control. Is that a 3 year old thing? He shouts All. The. Time. OMg, I’m not even exaggerating. By the end of the day he’s hoarse. Every day! I hope he grows out of it. If not, he’s going to be that loud guy. The good news is, the stuff he shouts is generally brilliant and really funny. He also randomly tells me how much he loves me and begs for butterfly kisses and lullabies. I’ll keep him.

I kept those babies up late last night so that they could roast marshmellows and hike around in the woods with headlamps on. They have been sleeping soundly, but I think I hear some rustling. I suppose that means it’s time to sign off for now. But since I’m on day three of my Southern Idaho Staycation, I’ll post more soon. Otherwise, it might be Thanksgivng break before you hear from me again…

A few summer snaps. Taken on my new fancy iphone and "Instagrammed." I <3 that app!

Froggy Friend

The famous Packer John's Cabin

Sailboats on Payette Lake

 Tubers on Payette Lake

 Will and Brennan feel the need for speed!

Sweet Pea's "Bird"

Flowers in my yard. 

Summer is here!

He does everything with gusto.

At the park with Miss S., our summer Mary Poppins

Another baby tooth bites the dust.

Big, BIG rock.

Hiking the Goose Creek trail.