Friday, November 22, 2013


It's Friday!

And not just any Friday, but the eve of a date night with fabulous friends.

I can hardly contain myself, I'm so excited!!!

Last Friday we were riding bikes in jackets or long sleeve shirts...

This Friday we are dawning our snow boots, hats, scarves, gloves, winter coats, and avoiding the biting cold of the outdoors.
Gotta love Colorado.

This little boy loves his fruit.

He follows me around saying, "open, open?"

Love him.

I had my hair done last Saturday.
I love getting my hair done.
But I'm at a place in my life where I don't love the maintenance of it.
Just want to simplify.
So I had Cecil color it back to the color of my roots and fade in a touch of light blond in my bangs.
Hoping for a smooth transition back into au natural.
It's hard to embrace just being yourself in a world full of so many enhancements.


I got my sign!

I am spastically, crazy, over the moon excited about how it turned out.

I have been looking for the perfect sign for a long time.

Something that says what we are all about. What is truly important to us.

The values that build our foundation and are at our core.

I l.o.v.e. everything about it.

I love, just love such a refreshing reminder as we come and go.

A reminder for how to live life as we go out into the world and return home each time.

We got our family picture proofs back!
Remember how horrid my children behaved.
Oh it was a humiliating, humbling experience as a parent.
One that causes you to burn through your deodorant in the first 15 minutes.
One that pushes you to the brink of sanity and tests your patience like only small children can.
Can I get an Amen?
One that leaves you completely deflated.
One where you feel physically and emotionally drained and just want to cry into your drink afterwards. A very stiff drink.
And not see your beautiful children for the rest of the night.
Because how could any creature you raised behave in such ways.
I thought for sure every picture would feature the death daggers I was shooting out of my eyes as my children morphed into little evil monsters that don't listen to simple requests or cooperate in the slightest.
I just knew the pictures would not be the kind you want to mail to family and friends on a Christmas card, but ones you hide in a bottom drawer.
Instead I was completely and utterly shocked by how awesome they turned out. And not just one or two good ones. A whole session of good ones.
Miracles do happen.
Right here in the ranch.
Thank you Sharon for capturing those fleeting moments of beauty among the torture and insanity of a photo session with my children.
They really are precious angels.
Well, most of the time.
Alright. Sometimes.

This week I had the honor of attending an enchanting evening of inspiration. An evening soaking in how to truly build up a peaceful spirit of excited anticipation for Christmas...

How not go into the season bracing for impact and the breath-gripping stress of hurried event lists...self-imposed pressure to create magic.

It was refreshing and motivating and exciting to have someone I look up to and admire so much speak to how to get back to experiencing the awe and wonder of Christmas that we experienced as children.

The evening was such a blessing and gift to receive going into Advent.

I feel like I could burst at the seams and go yell on a mountain how excited I am for Christmas this year.

Instead I'll just blog about it...for the sake of my perceived sanity by others.

But you get the idea. Kinda.

It's a joyful thing.

We went to the book fair at the kids' school this week.
It was Crazytown in there. So many people excited to buy books you couldn't even move.
I love that. I love that so many kids are excited to read and that so many parents are supporting and encouraging that passion.
AJ got a Lego Chima book.
Abby got a Barbie fairy book.
Brody got a truck board book.
And that about perfectly sums up their personalities right there.

I've kinda gone Christmas crafting crazy up in here.

A few projects will need to await their blog debut till as not to ruin any awesome surprises...because oh they are going to be so good. Surprises are hard for me. I just want to do everything this second.

But some I can inundate you with now!

Like this super-fab project I was inspired to create by Meg over at Whatever!

The second I was gifted with Grandma Jody's beads, I knew what they would become. It was fate. They were destined to be on my wall!

I love vintage/retro anything. But there is something so awesome about vintage/retro looking funky beads. They just scream, "Make something fabulous with me!"

I hope I did them justice.

They sure make me happy.

A BFF gifted me with these items this week.

I LOVE her for so many reasons, but Candy.Cane.Oreos seals the friendship for life.

I mean till death do us part and beyond.

Target. They can only be found at Target. Go there now.

Buy all they have on the shelf. Don't forget the milk.

Then call me. I'll be right over.

Is there anything better than snuggling in flannel Christmas tree pajamas and candy cane striped cozy socks?
This combo makes it really hard to get out of bed in the morning.
Add some flannel sheets and a down comforter and AJ is lucky I get up to take him to school. Especially on snowy days. I mean it is like I am stuck.
I mean STUCK in bed.
This boy loves food.
But he REALLY loves sweet food.
He will go to great lengths to get to something he wants.
Determination seems to be a common theme in our family.
In this case Brody decided he wanted Halloween candy for breakfast.

In other news, he has learned to escape the crib and enjoys stripping down to his birthday suit and streaking through the house...when he is suppose to be napping.

And the brown mystery substance on the bathroom floor has passed "the smell test" and been identified as brown paint.

Thank you Jesus, it was just brown paint.

You know "the smell test"....don't act like you haven't done it.

Have a great weekend.

It's been real.


Friday, November 15, 2013


It's Friday.


I didn't take many pics this week.

Not sure why. I just didn't.

It was a pretty chill week.

This is what my day looked like a lot this week as I raced against the clock to organize my digital photos and make our traditional photo calendar and photo book for Nana's Christmas gifts before my awesome coupon codes expired on Wednesday.

Nothing like a deadline to get my butt in gear.

I do much better under pressure.

It's true. I get more done when I have more to do.

Love this little boy with my whole heart and soul.

He has the sweetest, go with the flow, happy, content disposition.

He loves books, bear hugs, cuddly blankets, tractors, dinosaurs, carrying things around in baggies, and food.

He still smiles and laughs his days away.

He plays hard and sleeps hard.

He completes our world and makes it a brighter place.

I've been giving in to my Starbucks desires way too often lately.

I do such a great job resisting for weeks...then one week I blow it out of the water and get one everyday.

What the heck?!

Damn red cups.

Here's a glimpse of Nana's photo book.

The debate in my head is always scrapbook vs. photo book.

I love the dimension and texture of a real scrapbook.

I love the actual process of cropping, adhering, sewing, & embellishing pages.

But I also like the sleek look and feel of a hardback printed photo book.

The photo book won out this year because it takes about 5 hours instead of 10, is less than half the price, allows for double the amount of pictures, and there's no crafting supplies explosion to clean up afterward.

It is kinda perfect for this season in our life.

This little guy kept me company while I worked on the photo book.
So funny.
When I first moved here I didn't see a squirrel for the longest time.
Then the trees started growing, and they started appearing.
It didn't feel like a real hood till these guys showed up.
I rocked my new skinny jeans this week.
It took me a long time to get on board the skinny jeans train.
Tapered jeans used to make me throw up in my mouth.
I much preferred my boot cut jeans and Eastlands. So 90's.
Till I found my coveted my tall boots.

Photo books.


Sleeping babies.


Tall boots and skinny jeans.

And there you have it.

It's a good life.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Snow Camp

Just got back from a weekend in the mountains with 600 amazing teenagers.

Our God is an awesome God.

Young Life rocks.

And I need some sleep.



Friday, November 8, 2013

Insta-Friday Hashtag Edition

Happy Friday!

My heart is full.

So many blessings and so much beauty around me.

My house is messy, my is laundry behind, and my sink is full of dirty dishes.

But I don't care.

It was a week full of living.

Full of snuggles, celebrations, pick ups and drop offs, hugs, emails, reading logs, dance parties in the living room, long chats with friends...just so much contentment among the chaos.

This little boy scored his first soccer goal on Saturday.





I rocked my $7.50 clearance dress and a fancy scarf knot last Sunday.

I felt awesome in that outfit.


Ab dressed up as Our Lady of Fatima for the Saints parade at Sunday school.
So sweet and angelic.

I rocked my new nail polish like a boss.

Love metallic nail polish.

I suck at painting my finger nails.



We got our family pics taken.




I wore my grandmother's bracelet for pics.





The red cups make my heart go pitter patter.





Young Life club rocked this week.



Love snuggle time at home.

Love, love, love it.


Bundled up for some bike time at the park with friends.



Ordered cupcakes for AJ's end of season soccer party.





Love him so much my heart could explode.



Snuggle selfie.


Cookies and milk with this cutie puts everything into perspective.


Part of AJ's gratitude wreath.

Jeess is Jesus. If you say it really fast it works.



Read this book for my online Capernaum training.










Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween Pictures!

Every year our favorite photographer offers free Halloween pics!
We look forward to it every year!  

This  year did not disappoint!

Check her out HERE

Fall in love with her work like we do every time.

We are eagerly looking forward to her Santa picture sessions and
getting our fall family photos back!  

I'm a little excited.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Insta-Friday Halloween Week Edition

Whew. What.a.week.

I'm exhausted.

That's an understatement.

Started out with AJ's soccer game.

Ab and Brody play on the playground near by during AJ's games.

Andy and I tag team it and split up each half of the game so we each get to see part of his game. It works. Everyone is happy.

If there is a way to challenge the normal realm of how to do something, Ab will do it.

I mean why crawl through the tube when you can see if you can climb on top and balance walking across it?

Seriously Abby.

I am the Box Top Coordinator at the kids' school.

Checking expiration dates, trimming, and counting Box Tops isn't so bad the first hour and a half...then it becomes a special kind of torturous hell to push through.

But there are these three amazing saints that help me. I love them. They are kind and patient and the best people on earth.

We got together this week after the Box Top collection deadline at the school and had a checking/trimming/counting/bundling party at my house.

We ate snacks, chatted, and did the Box Top thing for 4 hours solid. It was the best thing ever.

The boys went on a scouting hike during the Box Top party and saw a rattlesnake. Barf.
Ab has been begging to have a tea party forever.
So we invited the girls from her preschool class and prepped for the grand affair!

The party was a success!

The girls were adorable to watch and listen to.

This fall weather calls for jeans and hoodies. Love it.

This little guy is our book lover.

It melts my heart how he carries books around all the time.

So sweet and special.

The beautiful fall weather suddenly turned to freeze-our-butts-off weather this week. And hot chocolate was in order.

I finally bundled the last of the Box Tops and shipped off 12,788 of those tiny pieces of gold on Wednesday. Wahoo!
Mission accomplished.

Dressed AJ is this t-shirt this week.

I just think it's hilarious.

Very mature. I know.

I just can't help it. She tortures that boy like only a little sister can.

And he's the oldest and doesn't retaliate. Most of the time.


I laugh every time I read it.

(Disclaimer: I love Ab more than the world. We know this.)

I love seeing those mountains every day.

It never gets old.

They are breathtaking every single day.

Geared up for trick or treating this week!

Candy and glow sticks!

Oozing body parts candy! So gross, yet so cool!

I love this holiday!

Helped with AJ's party at school and watched the costume parade!

So fun!

I love that his school gets into Halloween so much!

Dressed up as a high schooler this year.

That embroidered dance team sweatshirt was the 1999.


Check all those debate medals. That jacket weighs a ton.

I am such a dork.

I'm okay with that.

Here was my date.
We rocked it.

Pizza party with the neighbors!!!

Love, love, love this tradition every year.

Trick or treating with a Dino loose in the hood.

It was a good Halloween!

Now bring on the turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie!