Christmas 2013

posted on: Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas was on a completely different scale this year than years past. And not so much in the way of so-busy-my-head-my-burst-catergory. It was more along the lines of laid-back, should we make breakfast at three in the afternoon kind of way. Which was so refreshing. Annnnnd it was also our first Christmas where we were all on our lonesome. A scary thought at first, but totally worth having the kids sleep-in (yes!) in their own beds.

 It was fun making Christmas traditions for ourselves. And it was even more fun mixing both of our traditions from our families--Christmas pjs, sugar cooking-making for Santa, coconut shrimp for Christmas Eve, Secret Santa door bell ditching, Christmas lightshow perusing, and ringing a bell Christmas morning. It was kind of jam packed that when we went to bed that night we had completely forgotten about watching a Christmas movie with the kids before bed, John merely remarked that there was no way we were keeping the kids up until midnight (um, I disagree--the longer they're up the later they sleep)? And along with all the traditions I gained a new appreciation for my Mom-- how did she stuff the stocking so perfectly?! I believe the orange in the toe is the kicker.

We decided early on this year that we wanted our little family Christmas to be simple. Less gifts equals less wrapping (and clean-up), which is a win for me because I end up doing both. It didn't matter though because once both kids found their toy of choice (Brecken-Angry Birds, Addy-baby doll) there wasn't really any desire to unwrap any other gifts. Ironically, I spent most my time unwrapping all the gifts I had wrapped the night before... ;)
Later that afternoon we spent time with John's family, sledding, and eating, and unwrapping gifts, annnd eating again because it's just the way we are. We also had a white elephant gift exchange.  everyone was coming off a sugar-high and a prime rib induced food coma which all culminated into lamp shade wearing, cowboy hate toting hysteria. you had to have been there. We came home with cookies cutters and Depends....
Christmas, you were good. And you brought us lots of memories. Until next year friend.

The day(s) Addy thought Santa was an ax murderer

posted on: Wednesday, December 18, 2013

So we are in fact sure that Addy does not care much for Santa. I guess we should have learned that bearded man was not clearly her favorite person the first time we went to see Santa, but we thought we would do our due diligence and take her again.
//Has begun to see her life flash before her eyes. And I am sure Santa is thinking the same thing..//
And there you have it folks. I think she's still skeptical and completely scared out of her mind. I could be wrong.

His birthday. a month late.

posted on: Tuesday, December 10, 2013

So Brecken's birthday was over a month ago and I just now realized that I never posted his party. This kid. I could write a book about him and all the things that come out of his mouth. Just this morning he went and laid on the couch and said, "Maaaa, come cuddle me and stare at the beautiful Christmas tree." I mean who could turn that down. But as soon as I laid next to him he said "Maaa! I need your phone to make me feel better." right. It's all about priorities.
And remember the life size Angry Birds display John built? I posted it on Instagram. Well we set it up in the garage for his birthday and the kids were entertained for hours and the gobs of candy and chocolate I shoved down their throats made me an obvious hit with their parents.
My kid is four. Four! Which makes me feel old and it makes me really appreciate the miracle and resilience of kids because I've never been able to keep a plant alive yet we've somehow mastered parenting which is kind of ah-mazing.
Happy (late-late) Birthday kid, you're cool and I really like that.

ten useless facts plus one.

posted on: Monday, December 2, 2013

Have you seen that viral post going around Facebook? You know the one where you get a random number and then you tell that many things about yourself. If you're on Facebook I'm sure you avoided liking at least 50 posts....give or take.
Here's ten utterly useless facts.
1//I get nervous when I'm not talking. Kind of like I have to be talking or else things get awkward and then things get really awkward anyway because I'm usually talking when I'm not suppose to.
2//I once dreamt I was married to Eli Manning. The following week he won the Super Bowl. Coincidence? I think not. (No worries John, your man candy job is safe).
3//I have a thing for chapstick and colorful vintage books and globes AND shoes.  I also have a thing for ugly sweaters. Isn't this shirt from Skip N' Whistle awesome? Ugly sweaters year around they said! I agree. Basically, what I'm trying to say is I have a lot of "things." John would whole-heartedly agree.
4//I always wanted to be the karate kid. still do. it's weird I know. But if that doesn't pan out I would like to go back to law school.
5//I like to cook, but these hands are useless when it comes to baking.
6//I once met the Russian version of Oprah...or so they say.
7//Restlessness is commonplace for me. I always have this nagging feeling like I'm missing out on a party or event. It's always been that way. A life of travel  would be ideal, but I married a homebody so I'm sure you can imagine how that worked out.
8//Waffles and pancakes taste like crap. Along with cantaloupe.
9//I have always wanted to live on a street with sidewalks. When it finally it happened I missed gravel roads. go figure.
10//I have a thing for food too. Good food. Food that tells a story and not only presents itself with love but you can tell it was made with love. yeah, that's that type of food I like. Obviously, McDonalds doesn't fall under this realm, but my favorite bar does, it's delish.
11// I don't follow rules or even my own rules.
Hey. It's also CyberMonday and SkipN'Whistle is offering 20% off from now until Christmas. They have some stellar ugly sweaters and shirts...think dinosaurs-meet-Santa. Just use promocode: SANTA
shop away my friends. shop away.

Busy good. It's a thing.

posted on: Sunday, November 24, 2013

I've been struggling lately. Struggling to keep my house clean. Struggling to manage the chaos. Struggling to wean myself from breastfeeding Addy (yes, I'm the problem). Struggling to stay awake come 2:30 in the afternoon. Struggling to make dinner every night. Struggling just to keep on keeping on.  But I'm not complaining, I'm just struggling (which is that considered complaining)?  Relay For Life is starting again and I'm in the full swing of recruiting new committee members and while working on some fun events with the school and I'm also on the city planning board so all those years of schooling and multiple degrees are finally getting put to good use on writing grants.  Have you ever written a grant? It's this conundrum where you have to be scientific and fact-based while still  having some semblance of human emotion. yada yada'd lobster bisque (quote that show). I'm boring you...
 Anyway, I guess I'm just starting to feel useful again. Like I have a purpose (don't hate me. I know. Mothering is a purpose).  The stay-at-home-mom gig is such a blessing, but it often seems like the most thankless job in the world so to finally be in the world again, working with adults, not having food thrown at me and carrying on a conversation that doesn't involve talking about Lego towers and Angry Birds is kind of refreshing too.  I'm mean, Lego towers are pretty cool though.
Have you ever felt like you were just good though? Well we're kind of there right now. We're good busy and living life in perpetual stage of cluttered toys and days old laundry still sitting in the washing machine, but we all seem to be our happiest right now. Except if someone would like to do the laundry and maybe the dishes I wouldn't object, I may even throw in the vacuuming because, well, I'm a giver. naturally. ;)
 This is pretty typical. Her distraught face//His, "what? it-wasn't-me" look. You know. typical. But we're still good.

18 months

posted on: Monday, November 18, 2013

I'm digging 18 months. Hands down it may be my favorite age yet. You're so squishy and mobile and you still let me lay slobbery kisses all over your face. You only say "No!" (emphasis on the loudness) and a whole slew of animal noises, but you're smart beyond your years (bias, maybe?) No matter the task you go into full-blown action to accomplish it--picking up your toys, putting on your shoes, grabbing diapers, and climbing into your high chair are all tasks you do with ease. Which is so mind blowing since your most common forms of communication are hand tugging and pointing.
I just love you so much and the older you get the more I yearn for time to freeze. You're a picky eater, but if we catch you in the right mood you'll eat about anything. Your favorites right now are candy (shameful), bananas, quinoa, soup, and you have this real hankering for French Fried Onions out of the can (you know, the kind that go on green been casserole) I mean you really like them. And walking. wow. You run, but your little body has to play catch up with your legs so your movements are often jumbled as you topple over your own feet. I like it though, and even more I like chasing those little legs of yours around the living room. AND horse-y time. I think you spend more time riding around on my back which is fun and all except when you brother decides he wants a ride too...I'm not that big of a person so I'm sure you can imagine how the story plays out. And when it comes down to it  I cherish the quite moments in our life when you and your brother crawl up in my arms and we read book, after book, after book (we read a lot of books),  it's in those moments that you gently scratch my hands or run your fingers through my hair (which is ironic because when I feed you your little fingers attach my chest like you're just about to win on a scratch card).
Before you I imagined a whole house of boys, the ruckus of little trains and airplanes (wait. that still happens), but now my days are filled will combs, and tucking teddy bears into piles of laundry...and secretly, I kind of want more girls. oi' vei! (I'm sure your brother would disagree).  Even though your words are limited your eyes always seem to be watching and learning and yesterday I caught you with a stool pushed up to the bathroom counter while you teetered on top of it trying to put on makeup by yourself. And like an old pro you knew exactly where to use blush and what brush was needed on your eyes, heaven help us!
And if being a girl wasn't enough you've really taken the bull by the horns when it comes to your emotions. Your little heart is so big and the slightest raised voice or stern look your way often sends you into a fit of tears. A hug and a kiss is all it takes for you to resume back to your normal self again. I'm not much of a crier, but I totally get the wearing your emotions on your sleeves. It seems that sometimes the only way you know how to communicate is through your larger than life emotions. Your Dad jokes that the teen years will be rough, I hate to inform him that they could be even more than that.
Gosh, I don't even know where to begin and end when it comes to describing my love. I just have so many hopes and dreams for you. You still have so much life ahead that I can't even start to comprehend where life will take our family and because of that I am so thankful for every day we have with you!  
 My baby girl, you are loved.
Love, Mom

bang. bang. bang.

posted on: Tuesday, November 12, 2013

 Lemme just tell you that my hair really should have a blog of it's own for how much it's discussed, or at least have it's own name because it sure has it's own personality.

I always wanted long flowing hair, like the kind of hair that other people would swoon over. Rapunzel-like hair seemed a bit ridiculous so my eyes were always drawn to a Kate Beckinsale meets Blake Lively style which seemed to fit my fancy.  I don't have a lot of things going for me in life, I'm short with wide shoulders so being a model was never in my book, but my hair, it was made for great things. I've always had volume (and lots of it) and curly hair AND if you could have seen it in it's prime it was so thick and lush (not sure it's the right word to describe it). So naturally, I was set up to do down right amazing things with my hair!

Then my story took a turn when I had kids and the curliness became unruly and the long beautiful locks because straggly with patches of thinness and I began to rapidly produce unruly little one-inch hairs that never seemed to go away (or grow). So I toughed it out for a few years thinking my hair would eventually return to it's once stellar grandeur. But alas and as most sad stories tend to didn't. Insert: tears.

 Anyway, five inches later and a full set of Zooey Deschenal bangs, yes baaaarngs, I am finally getting accustomed to my new style. I was a basket case for a few days with a mild case of cutter's remorse and a whole lot of guilt for chopping what little (and did I mention slow-to-grow) length I once had, but I did it and as the old saying goes "there was no turning back."

And if my own reaction wasn't enough to cause me fits at first it was John's reaction that sent me over the edge. Why are guys so bad at hiding their horror? seriously. I'm sure the ombre' took him for a loop, but his dissatisfaction in the bangs seemed to be the hot topic at the dinner table for oh' lets say seven days. He's adjusting now, except for those rare exceptions in the morning where I look like the love child of Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice. Again, my hair has it's own personality.

So that's it, the bangs are here to stay and I'm beginning to transition the way I wear hats, and headbands, AND beanies, and I've even learned to use bobby pins again. And I'm kinda starting to like them.

Your thoughts? On bangs of course. yay? nay? And I guess ombre'. What's your thoughts on that look too?

the one about wild game

posted on: Monday, November 11, 2013

Growing up my family moved quite a bit, I guess not as much as some other kids I knew but enough that the thought of  new schools and friends were always on my mind (yay for fresh starts!). One thing always remained the same wherever we went was the quintessential small town vibe. You know the kind of town with  the main street had  no stoplights and the grocery store was a bustling parking lot of running cars with their keys in the ignition and no drivers to be found.

Ennis is  no different and I wish for one day I could bring you all here. There are so many little events that happen in this quiet little town that make me want to finally give my kids roots of their own.  If you're a Gilmore Girls fan it's kind of like Stars Hollow with bustling a diner and colorful characters and enough drama to fill seven seasons of television ;)

 In late October, right before the opening day of hunting season the downtown businesses hold an annual event called the Hunter's Feed. The sidewalks lining main street become  inundated with eager crowds patiently waiting to try unique culinary works of genius made exclusively made with wild game (insert: kick ass elk brownies). It's a last hoorah before the blustery months of snow and wind, making it almost impossible to stay outside for extended periods of time, so  naturally it's a very popular event.

But it's not for the faint of heart, favorite's of the night included chunky trout chowder, fried antelope ravioli, and jalapeno and bacon wrapped duck and about twenty different concoctions of wild game chili give or take a few...

Stop cringing, the elk brownies were deceivingly tasty ;)

A little corn maze action

posted on: Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Last week we took the kids to one of the local corn mazes in town because it just wouldn't be fitting to go all Fall without getting a little straw in our shoes or in the kid's underwear ;)
And I'm sure I've mentioned that I'm not the biggest fan of the lack of seasons in Montana. Actually, I'm fairly certain that I've mentioned it more than my fair share of times. Anyway, since having kids I've kind of taken on this new appreciation for what little seasons we do have. You gotta take what you can get, right? Arriving at the corn maze was more than Brecken could handle, the excitement in his voice and eyes was worth every penny of the experience. Seriously, you should have seen it, it was kind of like herding a shower. Each time we would get stuck in the maze he would yell "DEAD END!" and then as fast as his little legs could carry him he would bombard through the crowd trying to retrace his steps. He didn't care if we made it out or not, and I'm certain that he was a little disappointed when we finally got to the end.
At one moment, John was bouncing Addy who was ecstatically giggly as they bounded ahead of us, all the while Brecken was still screaming "DEAD END!" as he tried to catch up to his Dad. The sun was just a sliver along the horizon and was cascading the most beautiful magenta hue along the mountains and in that moment I remember thinking how perfect our life was, and I mean really perfect.  You know what I mean? I guess I sometimes get so caught up in this image of creating perfection for my kids that I forget that just living in the moment is sometimes as close to perfection as they will every need. Does that make sense? When you really think about it some of the sweetest moments in life are the ones that you never planned or expected--this was one of them.
P.S. My sister introduced me to Bastille a few months ago and I'm still obsessed. This song is on my workout playlist. For some reason it just gets the juices flowing.

Happy Birthday Brecken!

posted on: Monday, November 4, 2013

My Boo turned four. Four, I tell ya! Where did the time go?! He's a spitfire and a love bug all bundled into one wiggly little package. To say my heart grows a bit more each day for him would be an understatement. He's my pride and my joy, and the little soul that made me into a Momma.
Here's the birthday boy's favorite things:
Angry Birds
Sprout TV
chicken strips and bananas 
iPad watching
Lightning McQueen
Sling shots
Happy Birthday Brecken, you are loved!

A few random thoughts on so and so...

posted on: Monday, October 28, 2013

1. My computer kicked the bucket and in my constant state of procrastination I put off buying a new one again AND again AND maybe again. When I finally ended up ordering a new one it got delayed somewhere between Virginia and Montana it finally got here a whooping 18 days later. go figure.

2. I got bangs. Lots of bangs. And a bombin' ombre hairstyle ta-boot. The first week was full of mixed feelings, cutters remorse and pinning those short little suckers back. Now, I'm adjusting and I kind of like them. I feel hip, if that's still possible.

3. I'm on the hunt for ankle boots. The options are endless I might add. Which has resulted into a oxford leather overload and no actual purchase of the before mentioned boots. Suggestions for a 5'2'' short fry are welcomed.

4. My overindulging side has started to kick in. I blame it on the cooler weather and the baggy-sweater wearing season. Whatever the case, I found a new favorite treat. Caramels are not usually my go-to treat but these Celtic sea salt morsels of heaven may be the end of me. It's kind of like caramel corn minus the corn. could you even imagine.

A post about printing and such...

posted on: Thursday, October 10, 2013

Folks, it's getting serious around here. Brecken's birthday is sneaking up on us and it's kind of a big deal for more than one reason. Mainly, we just love our spit ball of fire and we always seem to make a birthday spectacular of sorts for him. It's really the kick start to a three-month non-stop party that includes: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, more birthdays, and a few other celebrations here and there. whew. To say the least, we like to cel-a-brate.

And what type of birthday would it be if we didn't pull out all the stops with a one-of-kind invite. Recently I was approached by an online printing company, to review their company. And luck would have it that they had just what a needed for creating the perfect invitation. Guys, not only do they offer exceptional customer service but they're a go-to destination for everything from wedding banners to customizable stationery. And if that doesn't seem to fit your fancy they have a full line of banners for any occasion, because when it all comes down to it a banner will make any soiree that much better. 

More than anything I was impressed by their quality as in high-resolution-without-a-stitch-of-graininess-quality. Yeah, they're that good. Annnnd did I mention their online card/banner design program? It's kind of like Photoshop, a little like Illustrator and a whole lot of fun to play around in--believe me, you'll want to try it out. 

Anyway, check them out. They're rad, super fun to work with, and they provide excellent products and customer service. A simple one-stop-shop. I promise.

Let's talk about weather.

posted on: Monday, October 7, 2013

All things considered summer was really good to us. Traveling, fun adventures, babies old enough to hold their own, and a whole slew of other factors made the past four months comparatively easy. And like a broken record the ending of summer always makes me a bit anxious, like I didn't use my time as wisely as possible or I didn't appreciate every morsel of what it had to offer.  

But the welcoming of fall is awfully alluring after weeks of travel and the constant berating of the summer sun. The cooler nights and the opportunity to finally wear boots and beanies are always warmly greeted around these parts. And fall food, well it's the best (don't bother arguing against it, because it really is) it's totally comfort-meets-easy with lots of Crockpot dishes and soups. John is not much for soup (or the Crockpot) so it's about the only time of year where I can actually get away with serving it as a meal and even then I am pushing my food boundaries. 

Gosh, I feel like I talk about the weather in Montana a lot. I promise there really is more to my life than checking the barometer. There's this long standing joke and yes it is about the weather that Montana has two seasons: winter and road construction.  If the road construction doesn't ruin a windshield it can pretty much be taken care of by the gravel on the road during the winter. All joking aside, Mother Nature's temper tantrum last week was manifested in a whopper of a snow storm. I really shouldn't complain, even though the Interstate and parts of the valley got nearly two feet of snow our storm was nothing compared to what hit the Dakotas and Wyoming. If you have a chance send an extra prayer their way, especially for the agriculture community who was hit hard by such a devastating blizzard. 

For us, the sun finally came out after three days and by mid-afternoon all signs of snow had all but vanished leaving behind a ghastly sight of broken trees and branches still full of summer foliage. And ironically enough it's been forecast that we would have an Indian Summer this fall, but I'm beginning to have my doubts... ;)

On a happier note, it's officially boot season, hot chocolate mornings, and no-shave November if I was into that sort of thing and all... 

Fall (and winter) have officially arrived!

DIY: Scotch Duct Tape Clutch

posted on: Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Scotch Colors and Patterns Duct Tape has definitely stepped up it's game. The new bold colors and patterns partnered with the history of reliability makes their products full of potential! So today I teamed up with them  again to create a fun project.
For this project I used Scotch Colors and Patterns Duct Tape in Lace Vegas, Pearl White, and Jet Black. I also made sure to have Scotch Precision Ultra Edge Scissors on hand as well as a small remnant of fabric, magnetic tape and a sewing machine! And as always, the instructions are simple. 
||I cut my "fabric" to be 8.5''x 15.5''||
 ||The angle was cut at 11 inches and the cut to the center||
 ||The binding was made by cutting Scotch Colors and Patterns Duct Tape into 3/4'' strips. The strips were then wrapped around the edge of the entire project||
||Magnetic tape can be found at any hardware or craft store||

This post is a collaboration with Scotch Colors and Patterns Duct Tape. To see more creative projects, visit Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest.

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