Monday, March 30, 2015


A little brother of Vera's friend is totally being drafted as a buddy for my kids. Gus and Pearl will woo him until all he thinks about is hanging out with the our kiddos.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Painted Cabernet

J's first time at Painted Cabernet and a reunion for Vera's soccer team...a reunion for the parents. ;) We all really liked each other! Can you tell that J and I made our paintings match-ish?

Sequoia - Part 5: Random

 Keller was happy to show off both our room and his game of Risk.

The weather was ideal for this vacation. Cold enough that the kids got to sled, but warm enough that we weren't freezing all the time. A bit more snow would have been awesome too, but playing basketball while have a snowball fight is good times. 

Family hike!

At one point during the hike, Keller ditched us for the lodge. J offered to keep the two little ones throwing rocks in the lake. This meant that Vera and I got to actually hike while taking pictures. It was breathtaking. 

We made it to the three bears for photos. 

Keller was the friend maker of the trip. He played with kids that were at the lodge with their families, he played with the 5th graders that were there on a school trip, and he even managed to get his big sis involved in a game of Risk. If you couldn't tell, Risk was THE game this trip. 

Sequoia - Part 4: General Sherman

The Sequoias are amazing and beautiful. It is easy to see how settlers arriving in California were in awe of these massive trees. 

Sherman has a large branch that is basically a second tree coming off of it. 

I think we took more photos of the 6 of us on this trip than in the last year combined. 

Sequioa - Part 3: Moro Rock

365 steps to the top of Moro Rock. For a brief amount of time (10 minutes), J and I thought that we would climb it as a family. Uhmm...that was before this mama realized that the railings were not adequate for toddlers, there were way too many drop-offs, and I had a mini-panic attack (along with Vera). It was not the shining moment of the trip. The kids and I made it up 150 steps before they refused to go any further and I full on was done and scared. Kiddos and I sat in a little bench area while J completed the climb for the family. I might have still yelled at him a bit when he got back to us that he had taken too long. Whoops. 

Yep, there is J on the top of Moro Rock. You go honey, just stay away from the edge please. Also, note to everyone, I may have a fear of heights. 

Sequoia - Part 2: Snow Fun!

Sequioa - Part 1: The Drive

I really, really wanted to see Kevin Costner pull up next to us. Our lunch stop was in McFarland!

Are we from Santa Barbara or what? We stop at the first snow what we see and Keller immediately takes off his shoes. Really Dude?!?

Happy camper when she realizes that there will be snow on the ground during our vacation. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015



It has been a long time coming, but we are finally sleep training Pearl. What this means, our girl (who refuses to stay in her crib as she falls asleep) has had the sleeping room to herself. Aka, all four kids normally sleep in one room. What was happening, was that Pearl would wake up in the middle of the night and she and I would make our way to the playroom futon to have a sleepover. Nice mommy and baby cuddles, but not so nice mommy sleep time. Pearl is a wiggler and a try to lay my head directly on your head to sleep type baby. 

Now, we attempt to get her to sleep in her crib. She cries at around 4am and either J or I take a traveling mattress and put it in front of her bed so that she can't climb out of her crib. That said, sometimes we are just too darn tired and Pearl ends up on the traveling mattress with us. 

This picture (taken with flash in a dark room) is where Pearl ended up after we put her to bed in her crib. Yep, Gus would not have been pleased since that is his bed. 

While we have been training Pearl, the other three kids have shared the futon in the playroom so that they are not disturbed by her crying or fussing. They love it! It reminds me of the pioneer type stories, where all the children snuggle down into one bed.  I think (and hope that they would agree) that there is comfort in having family so close while sleeping.

Basketball - Vera

Did I mention that I coached Vera's 3rd/4th grade basketball team this year? Whew! Being a coach in any sport was a first for me. It was crazy fun and incredibly stressful. There are some people that just have what it takes to coach. I think I might need to work on it a bit. Truth, I was constantly doing internet research on plays and practice drills.

What I loved about coaching - seeing Vera's confidence as a player increase and how aggressive she is on court, getting to spend time with an amazing team and see their growth, and grow a bit as a parent/coach. Having never been on the coaching side, I don't think I truly realized the work that happens when you volunteer to coach a team.  Between planning the practices and games and worries about whether we won or lost...I was exhausted by the end of the season. It didn't help that I had some anxiety...not surprising...about whether I was coaching "right" or doing right by the girls. My anxiety these days leads to sleepless nights. All that boils down to the fact that I learned a ton about myself and coaching.

Basketball - Keller

Keller was a Nugget this year, a 1/2 grade basketball team. What he really came away with this season is a  love for playing knock-out. 

It was a little challenging for our dude this year. The Page Center is known as a competitive environment and playing time reflects that attitude. That and the fact that he had two very good shooters on his team meant that Keller's role on the Nuggets focused on defense and rebounds. He still lists basketball as a favorite sport, which basically means he had fun playing it. That is the goal.