Friday, October 17, 2014

easton's 'un-pinterest' birthday party.

although i absolutely love throwing swanky/detailed/chic parties, i really didn't feel like doing that for easton's third birthday. maybe i wanted to keep his party low key because i'm busy, maybe it's because i didn't want to spend a ton of money, and most importantly…i just wanted the kids to have fun and expend so much energy that they took a nice long nap when the left.

here's what we did to prepare.

i took easton to the dollar store to pick out his decorations. he chose dinosaur figurines, panda plates, a happy birthday banner, a special candle for his cake, and colorful balloons. i went to michaels and bought big canvases for all the kids and lot's of paint. i figured i could have painting a canvas double as a birthday party activity AND the party favor (who doesn't want a painted canvas hanging on their wall?!?).

for months, all i heard from easton was that he wanted a jumpy house and a chuggington birthday cake at his birthday party. SOOOOO, i bought two chuggington trains for his birthday gift and plopped those bad boys (with festive party hats that i made specially for them) on the cake and called it a day. i decided to splurge on the jumpy house (because i knew that the kids would have so much fun with it) and rented one that had a HUGE slide on one side.

the kids had so much fun- the food was great (togos sandwiches), and all the kids left with a painted canvas to hang on their bedroom walls. it was a beautifully simple birthday party, the kind that was JUST about kids having fun and not about making it look perfect. i loved it. easton really loved it (which is all that matters).

Thursday, October 9, 2014

do you meditate?

i have never been very good at sitting still (unless you count online browsing on but lately, life has felt really chaotic. sometimes the chaos makes me feel really out of control (pulling hair out of my head kind-a out of control) and sometimes it makes me feel full of joy (wow, my life is so full and blessed). no matter which state of being i'm in (out of control chaos or full of joy chaos), it's still chaos.

i've been feeling the need to take time out of my day to just 'be.' i find that unless i am totally intentional about relaxing my mind, it really doesn't ever shut off. i am constantly in a state of 'doing' and want to be better at just 'being.' i mean, I'M ALIVE! I'M HEALTHY!! these are things to be so grateful for- and instead of just letting time pass with the busyness of life- i want to savor some moments of my day.

on days that i work- i always make some sort of time to stop during my day and do a guided meditation. i use the app CALM to help me really focus on whatever it is i need to focus on that day. CALM's guided meditation range from things like, 'motivation,' 'anxiety release' (yes, please!), 'deep sleep,' and 'gratitude' (just to name a few). at night, usually right before the kids get home with tony, i try to get a session in. on days that i'm home with the kids all day, i do a guided meditation while they nap (if they happen to nap together).

the best thing about meditation is that i feel a lot more energized and calm then i would if i just take a quick power nap. meditating has so many health benefits- plus it helps to train your mind to focus (which i'm sure all of us can use practice on!)

i'm just wondering, do you meditate? have you always done it? have you noticed a difference since you started???

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


swimming alcatraz this past weekend was, without a doubt, one of the coolest things i've ever done. i loved being in the open water, swimming with like-skilled swimmers (like-skilled, is that a word), jumping out of a boat to begin my swim (that was what i was most fearful of), and finishing in really great time (48 minutes).

i certainly wasn't the fastest swimmer in the group, but my time might have been better had i not veered off course by about a quarter of a mile (damn those currents). it's such a odd feeling swimming in open water for such a long time- i think freedom is the best way i can describe it. i felt totally liberated, strong, and free. it was wonderful.

swimming in my dad's honor was sort of, cathartic. i felt so much love for him throughout that swim. i felt closer to him somehow. i'm not sure how to describe it in words- but i think the best way is this… it felt like he and i were in it together.

dementia took so much from him, my family, and all of those who loved my dad. swimming for him, raising money in his honor, these were tiny things- but they brought his name, his life, out of the darkness of death and into the light of life. that's all anyone can do after they lose someone they love. keep their memory alive. i've said this, i've written this so many times but it's still true- i am so humbled, so honored by all of the support i've received.

the joy i felt after finishing this race for my dad was indescribable. i'm thankful for these moments of joy because they make the loss of my dad bearable. thank you to those who supported financially, those who supported with kind words of encouragement and prayers. thank you, oh so much, dear friends. WHAT. A. GIFT.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

mama to a ten month old.

we had a big week last week. sailor turned ten months and the next day, easton turned three years. i am in heaven with my two little boys. they are amazing little people.

sailor is still a mama's boy. boy oh boy, does that baby want his mama. he cries for me all day long and wants very little to do with anything if i'm not right with him. he's starting to explore a bit more and crawls around the house looking at easton's toys and anything else he can find in arms reach. he has seven (yes, seven) teeth, and chews his food quite well. he doesn't like to eat when i'm around- i think it's because he would rather nurse.

sailor ends up in our bed every night sometime between eleven and midnight. he's been mimicking us lately- like when tony put his head on my stomach while we were laying in bed, sailor copied him. then tony perked his head up, and so did sailor. this lasted about fifteen minutes. play time is getting so fun. he is also really noticing expressions. i will sit with him and make different facial expressions and he laughs and laughs. is there anything better than making your baby laugh? i don't think so…

he weighs about 20 pounds and his hair is still crazy. i've always wanted to have a baby with long locks, but both of my kids hair has grown into mullets as babies. i have to cut it eventually. it really looks nuts. sailor throws himself down on the bed when he's upset that i won't come to him (like when i'm brushing my teeth in the bathroom).

Sunday, September 21, 2014

easton is three.

our goofy little guy turned three years old this week. easton is sensitive, considerate, kind, finicky, picky, a clean freak, and full of funny energy. he chooses one thing a week to be totally obsessed with and takes whatever that thing is, everywhere. right now it's his "pony" that he got from christine, cara, and baby dave. he hasn't put it down since he opened it at his birthday party.

he likes "biscketie" (spaghetti), grapes, and apple sauce (and that's about it this week), he loves jumpy houses, scooters, and trains. his favorite show is strawberry shortcake and "project" (which is actually a program on baby first tv that i totally don't know the name of anymore). he is like rain-man with puzzles and is up to 48 pieces. he likes homemade apple juice, strawberry and spinach juice, and loves to eat carrots "like a bunny."

"look mama, it's a helicopterine!!" (a combination between helicopter and submarine, i suppose)
"mama, where's doe-doe?" (his little imaginary pal, who he never sees but always asks where she is. it's a she, for sure. he says so.)
"are the kids' sleeping?" (he wants to make sure other kids are going to sleep too)
"mama, are the kids awake?" (first thing in the morning)
"where are the cars going?"
"are there kids in the cars"
"look mama, the moon!!!"
"i can't see the moon"
"the moon is half full today" (there's a lot of moon talk going on)
""no sailor-boy, don't slime my toy!!!!"
"sailor slllliiiiiimmmmmmeeeee"
"shh shh shh, sailor-boy. it's okay"
"mama, sailor-boy's sleeping" (whenever sailor falls asleep in the car)
"i personally like it."
"karen, your garage is very messy"
"there is dust in your bathtub, you need to clean it."
"mama, the table is dirty- you need to clean it" (thanks so much, easton.)
"i'm going to make doe doe for dinner." (he also likes to eat his imaginary friend)
"mama, i love you" (my personal favorite)
"i'm going to my meeting"

on his actual birthday i woke him up with a balloon in hand to get him really excited about his big birthday. we had cake with family and gave him a chuggington train track set which he had been asking for for about two months. it was a great day with lots of laughter and excitement. easton brings so much joy into our lives. he is such a gift.

 Above, you'll notice christmas wrapping paper. sometimes i feel so unprepared….whatever- he didn't know the dif.

 easton ate his cake with the bottom of the candle. so goofy.
 we are a birthday hat kinda family.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

bay area family tourist day: pie ranch

we have so many amazing places to see in this bay area. we are so lucky. tony and i have tried to make an effort to do more, see more, and enjoy more of what our great bay has to offer. yesterday we took an impromptu trip to pie ranch. it's a teaching farm right off of highway 1 (really close to anõ neuvo). the farm has a daily market with fresh eggs, veggies, and fruit that it grows on site. it also serves up some amazing pie. we bought beets (two different types) and pie.

we explored the entire farm with easton and sailor. we fed cows and goats, said hello to the chickens, checked out the huge garden and greenhouse, and rang the dinner bell. we even got to see a snake and cat!

here are some photos from our time at pie ranch. i have to say- if you live in the area, you must visit. it's so beautiful, so friendly, and there are so many great little spots to explore. plus, the pie is absolutely to die for.

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