05.11.15 | MOTHER'S DAY

these kids of mine, they fill my heart with so much joy. for all the crazy, messy, frustrating, hard days, there are so many more days of laughter and giggles, hugs and kisses, cuddles and love and growth. just as they are growing up every day, so am i, as their mama. 

i feel so blessed to be given this life and these little ones in it, to nurture them and teach them and love them the best that i can. 

and now i'm crying, thinking about how precious life is and how we get such a short amount of time here on this earth. i'm forever grateful to my Heavenly Father, for when i do leave this earth, i know i will be with my babies again. it's such a wonderful feeling, to have that knowledge. 

i hope you all had a wonderful mother's day with your children, in whatever form that may be. 

04.27.15 | SUNSHINE

we've been having some crappy weather as of late and then today we were surprised with a full day of sunshine! warm, warm weather with the sun shining down on us and the slightest of breezes, it was amazing. we spent our morning slowly getting ready, waiting for it to warm up a bit, and then we spent pretty much the rest of our day outside. we went on a walk, played out front doing chalk, riding bikes and just enjoying being out of the house. it's days like today that make me not want to move away from oregon. 

landon got a balance bike for his birthday this year and he requests to ride it at least once a day. he was so excited that it was nice enough today to be able to use it. he does amazing with it and it's so much fun watching him get so excited about it. claire is showing an interest in the tricycles we have and seems to understand the concept of pedaling but she ends up pushing it around more than anything. 

keep the sun shining, oregon!

04.20.15 | FOUR

 streamers and balloons hanging on his door, from the birthday fairies the night before

last week, my little guy turned four. FOUR. how is that even possible? i know, every parent says that but you know what? i don't care. it's so weird to think that four years ago we were spending our days and nights in the hospital waiting for the day that we could take our little boy home. and now we're spending our days and nights in awe of how sweet and precious he can be, and at the same time, how frustrating he can be. but really, he's kind of the best. you know what he said to me last week, on his birthday? "mom, i'm four now. and four-year-olds listen to their mommies and daddies." uhm, wow! and you know what else? since then, if he's upset about something i've asked him to do or he's just not listening, i remind him that he told me that and IT WORKS. he is listening so much better lately. 

yesterday as i was picking something up from a friend, justin and the kids were waiting for me in the car. justin asked landon if he had been having a good day so far and landon replied "yeah, i'm so glad i'm growing up! but dad, mom doesn't want me to grow up." i mean, c'mon. how freaking precious is that?!

so on his birthday we planted some flowers, went to lunch with justin at landon's favorite little sandwich shop, visited the gilbert house for a bit and then picked justin up after work so that we could go to red robin and have the servers sing happy birthday to landon. which he loved, by the way, and he also ate the entire ice cream sundae they brought him. 

a few other things worth noting: claire is talking more and more these days. her favorite thing to say? daddy. she's seriously obsessed with him. she's also pretty obsessed with her stuffed animals, which is adorable. landon got a bunch of new toys last weekend from all of the lovely people that came to his party to celebrate him and has been playing with them non-stop. i'm in the thick of preparing for my sister's bridal shower, which is this weekend, and man i've got so much stuff to do still! and to top it off, i woke up this morning unable to move my neck without complete pain shooting down to the middle of my back. so that's fun. it's the last nice day of the week before the rain and clouds come back and i'm stuck on the couch/bed. my poor kids! i'm just hoping i'm back to normal by tomorrow so we can go to our mops group in the morning! 

i used to write letters to my kids here on the blog
but i'm not sure i'm going to continue that any longer. 
i've got notebooks for each of them that i write into
and i think i'm just going to do that instead - keep their letters
private for them. i think it makes it more special? 

04.01.15 | TWO MONTHS

two weeks ago, on the oregon coast

two months. it's been one day shy of two months since i last posted on here. i don't really know why. i haven't been any busier than normal really. and it's not like i haven't been taking pictures like i usually do. but for some reason, i just haven't felt the urge to come on here and update regularly. i don't know, maybe it'll come back. (and really, i hope that feeling does come back because i really like having this blog/diary for myself and hopefully for my kids too, to look back over the years at what we've done.)

anyway, now it's april, and with april comes lots and lots of rain. we've been pretty lucky already this spring, with more sun than normal. but with that, comes lots of rain, too. one day it's gorgeous out and you're wearing shorts and the next day the clouds are black and it's raining buckets. oh well, that's oregon for ya. (by the way, at this very moment it's POURING outside and my idiot of a dog is refusing to come in. like, he's going to be completely soaked to the bone out there. as if he's just come out of a lake or something. NOT looking forward to that. ugh.)


i feel like i have all of these thoughts floating around in my head, wanting to get out, but when i put my fingers to the keyboard, nothing happens. it's like all of those thoughts get lost in the process of formulating proper sentences and stuff. maybe it's the 'mom-brain' that's causing it? maybe i'm being over-stimulated from social media? maybe i'm comparing myself to other people in blogland and i'm feeling that my blog is inadequate? maybe it's because i've missed a couple days of my meds and the weather has been pretty grey and i haven't slept that well? maybe i've got too much stuff i'm doing at one time and my brain feels pulled in all different directions? maybe my brain feels like it's not doing enough and it's getting dumber every day? (hah, that's probably not it but some days it sure feels like it.) i'm not sure what it is but whatever. i'll get it all figured out at some point.


so last month it was the anniversary of my brother's death. 12 years. that seems completely unreal. on his birthday in february, i got all of my immediate family together and we went out to dinner and had mexican food. i put a lot of pressure on myself to eat a taco salad for dinner on the night of his birthday every year. and then on the anniversary of his death, i put a lot of pressure on myself to go to the coast to commemorate him and what he meant to me. (the week after chad died, my dad took me to the coast for a couple of days. i'll never forget that and i've tried to replicate it every year since.) this year, i didn't eat a taco salad and i didn't go to the coast. it kills me to write that. it makes me feel like i didn't honor him and his life at all. and i know that's not true, i think about him practically every single day, in a lot of different ways. but it still hurts and i still experience a lot of guilt from not doing it.


landon turns four in just 12 days. TWELVE. i'm in the midst of getting his party all ready, planning where i'm going to put the decorations so it looks like nickelodeon threw up octonauts in here, worrying that the specialized cake pops i ordered won't get here in time for his party, etc, etc, etc. planning parties is so much fun for me but man, it's also a lot of work. especially when i'm also trying to figure out if pre-school is going to work for landon this year or not. (we've got registration this friday and i'm slightly freaking out about it.) we had a meeting on monday and we all fell in love with the teachers and everything they do there. i know it will be really good for him - now it's just a matter of figuring out the schedules and if that's all going to work out or not. 

also, why does landon all of a sudden refuse to go to bed at night? it's a struggle every single night and it's killing me. almost every night ends up with him in tears because he's not getting his way. like last night, we had plans for him to sleep in the tent that i built for him in his room but of course, he was being a little turd and got that taken away from him. so a melt down ensued and then i end up feeling like an awful person because my kid is crying right before bed again. any tips on getting him to go to bed like normal again?


i'm slowly (very slowly) but surely cleaning every square inch of my house, day by day. i figure that once i do everything, it'll be time to start all over again. i've seen those cleaning schedules on pinterest and i've thought about adopting one of those ideas but then i don't really like following "rules". so i'm just cleaning what i feel like cleaning, when i feel like it. and by cleaning, i mean the deep cleaning stuff. i sweep/vacuum/dishes on a regular basis, duh. it's the scrubbing under things and cleaning cabinets and baseboards and all that stuff that doesn't seem like regular cleaning. should it be though?


we sold landon's old crib and the changing table this last weekend. that feels weird, knowing that we're slowly getting rid of all of the baby stuff. it's sad, actually, not having any use for it anymore. i know there are lots of other moments that are going to happen that will be just as good and fun as the baby stages but it's also really sad knowing that we'll never be bringing a newborn baby home with us again or having our baby sleep curled up on our chest. but then it's also nice knowing that we won't have to sleep-train another baby or worry about diaper blow-outs and things like that. so i guess it's not all bad?


i had cosmetic surgery done at the end of february. it's something i've been wanting to do for FOREVER and i finally had the means and opportunity to do it. i'm feeling more like myself now, and at the same time, not. i mean, i can just about do everything that i used to be able to do but i'm still supposed to limit what i do with my upper body. picking up the kids is still supposed to be done minimally, no arm exercises (like i'm even exercising, hah!), i still can't fully extend my arms up so reaching the tops of the window shades or readjusting the shower head is difficult, stuff like that. i've been picking up and holding claire more and more and as much as i'm enjoying it, my body isn't. i've been pretty sore over the past couple of days and i think that's the reason why. but i'm feeling more comfortable every day, so that's nice.


in february i also turned 29 and with it, i've started to take care of myself a little more. like i'm washing the makeup off my face every single day (which i had a hard time remembering/wanting to do before), i'm flossing my teeth more regularly, drinking more water on a daily basis, protecting my hair more, yadda yadda yadda. c; i've also become quite obsessed with youtube makeup artists, especially jaclyn hill (seriously, watch her. she's amazing.) and have started a collection of grown-up makeup. i bought my first MAC purchase ever a couple months ago and man oh man, the difference good makeup makes! the first time i put some MAC eyeshadow on, using some professional makeup brushes mind you, the eyeshadow was so dark! it's amazing how much better the pigmentation and coverage is on good quality products. a little goes a long way, that's for sure. so of my current favorites, in case you're wondering: buttercup lipstick, buttercream lip gloss, matte cruella lip pencillumiere lippie stix, and MAC pro-longwear concealer. also, if you're looking for professional makeup brushes with a good price, look no further than sigma brushes or morphe. and while you're at sigma, you should just get their brow powder. it's awesome. yeah, i'm only slightly obsessed. but it's fun!


i feel like there's lots more i want to say and at the same time, not much at all. maybe i'll get back to posting more frequently soon. or maybe i won't be back here for another couple months. who knows? 

i'm not proof-reading this post.
sorry if there's any errors.

02.02.15 | IT'S FEBRUARY!

a lot of people tend to hate february, and i don't blame them. especially if you live in oregon. the weather is still awful, it's no where near spring yet, and nothing special happens. unless you're me! because february is my birth month. and that typically means that i like to call february my BIRTHDAY MONTH! month-long celebrations, if i had it my way. c; it never happens but i like to milk it as much as i can.

anyway, none of these pictures have anything to do with my birthday but they're recent and seeing as how my blog has been somewhat neglected as of late, i wanted to post them. 

^^last week, we had a couple days where the fog finally cleared around late afternoon and so one of those days we took advantage of it! we took a little walk around the 'hood and grabbed the mail. claire's carrying all the paper mail and landon's got his newest koala crate for the month. apparently he's too cool to walk with me and claire anymore.
^^also last week we had a little starbucks date, just me and the kids. i've been selling some of their old toys on a fb group and we met the lady this particular morning. to get out the door, i bribed landon with a hot chocolate. easiest way to get him out the door, apparently. he was so excited to order it all by himself. and to get a couple of cookies to share with claire,  too. claire was excited to get her own water.
^^this is the face claire makes when i ask her to smile. it's kinda the best.
^^justin sent me this picture last weekend when he was upstairs, getting ready. the kids decided they were going to wear some of his clothes, apparently. 

other things of note:

// THE PATRIOTS WON THE SUPER BOWL! to all you patriots haters: suck it! i've been a patriots fan since tom brady entered the league (for obvious reasons, hah!) and have enjoyed watching them play every so often. for some reason though, this year i really got into football. like, we got redzone, and i didn't miss a single game. all season long. pretty hardcore. it's pretty awesome when the year you decide to really watch the game, the team you want to win  makes it all the way to the Super Bowl and then wins it. it was INCREDIBLE. did you watch it?! please say you did. and that you're not a seahawks fan. bc i don't know if i can still be your friend if you are. c;

// our taxes are filed! i think i may be the only person that enjoys doing their taxes but whatever, i do. i use turbo tax otherwise i fear i may not actually enjoy doing them. i really like seeing the little refund amount go up when i enter our information in. it's so rewarding!

// the kids are really into tents lately. justin has been making tents in landon's room and they've really enjoyed playing in them. when landon woke up this morning, the first thing he said was "so, let's make a tent under the table, okay?" so i did. and he played under it for five minutes? yeah, kind of a waste.

// they kids are also really into frozen again. it's really the only movie that claire will actually sit through and watch from beginning to end. i can already tell it's going to be on heavy repeat this week as the weather forecast is rain all week.

// so about whole30. no judging, alright? i made it three days. three. i'm pathetic. i was having major sugar/caffeine withdrawals and instead of powering through, i gave in. i was so gung-ho about it too! i know i can do it. i just don't think i was fully prepared for what i was going to be dealing with? plus, i am not an egg person and three days of having eggs for breakfast was the worst. i'm also not a big meat person. and i only like apples, with an occasional banana or grape, in the fruit department and as for veggies, again, i only like a select few. so maybe whole30 isn't the right program for me? i'm still drinking about a pepsi a day, but i don't feel like i need it. and i still feel like i'm making healthier choices - but i'm still eating bread every once in a while and some cereal. and i haven't completely cut out sugar. justin, on the other hand, has been doing really well! he isn't following it completely. like yesterday he had some doritos and we went out to dinner once last month where he had a small piece of bread and some dessert with me and landon but really, he's been sticking with it pretty well. he's down like 14lbs or something. so that's awesome. i've got plans to implement a regular workout routine soon, with the intention of getting up earlier and going to bed earlier, too. so there's that.

// also, i'm slowly organizing things in our house. the toy situation is out of control. so that's getting worked on and all of our paper stuff has been filed in our new (to us) file cabinet in the garage. i feel like i get little spurts of energy where i'm super focused on getting stuff done. they're few and far between though. c;

// and finally, i'm in the thick of making my sister's wedding invitations! i've got them all mocked up and everything. the next step is digitizing them. and even though it's somewhat tedious, i find it relaxing. hopefully i can get our desktop computer working long enough to get it done!