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.

Friday, September 12, 2014

sleep procrastination.

i am one of those people who loves to stay up late. i love it. really, i do.

i remember when i was pregnant with easton- i felt this impending doom. like, soon, i would be so tired i wouldn't be able to stay up late, watching whatever show i wanted or reading a book into the wee morning hours. i was right! having babies makes you understand the need for sleep.

lately, tony and i have been having a little trouble getting up and out in the morning. we are feeling a little sluggish, a little frazzled, and really really sleepy. i attribute this morning daze to 'sleep procrastination.' we are staying up to watch 'one more' of our favorite tv shows. we are planting ourselves in front of the tv to marathon watch Parenthood, True Detective, Ray Donovan, and Masters of Sex. we just want one more hour of quiet time, without kids.

the problem is- that additional hour (or two) is really making us sleepy. my best instincts tell me to turn off the tv, disconnect from the computer, clean the kitchen, and get into bed by 9:30. the little kid in me crosses my arms, digs my heals in, (says, 'humph') and stays up anyway.

do you sleep procrastinate? my goal for next week is to be in bed at 9:30 every night. even if i'm reading in bed- i want to make an effort to start getting to sleep earlier.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

before a third baby…one big swim (at least)

a few months ago, i was on a hike by myself. i do my best thinking while hiking. my thoughts began to drift to the idea of a third baby. what would make me feel ready for a third baby? i couldn't quite get beyond the thought that IF i was ever going to have a third, there are a few things i want to accomplish. here is the list i came too:

-swim alcatraz
-hike kilimenjaro
-take at least one (maybe two) international trips
-finish paying for our (overpriced) jeep
-climb half dome in yosemite
-camp a little more
-lose the baby weight (i have 20 lbs. to go)
-grow our savings account

i may get all of these things accomplished before/if i have a third child, i might not. one thing i know is that if i never start- i'll never finish. so, i started work on my first goal. swimming from alcatraz to shore. i have always wanted to do this swim and we live so close to san francisco- it felt so…doable.

i've started training and i feel great. swimming is like first nature to me, it's my happy place. one thing that really helps me (with any challenging feat) is having a goal in mind. getting to shore seems like a pretty good goal, not getting eaten by sharks- another good one; but those didn't seem sufficient. i needed something more... emotional.

i decided to dedicate this swim to my dad- who loved to watch me swim. i have been donating money every month to an organization whose main mission is to provide funding to dementia and alzheimer's research.  that, i thought, was the perfect goal for my swim. i will try to raise money in my dad's honor to help fund research for the very disease that took his mind and his life.

losing my dad was the hardest and most devastating loss i have ever felt. watching him suffer for years, knowing himself, that his mind was slowing fading…it was so painful. i know that there is much work and much money to be raised, to one day eradicate dementia. but this is one small way that i can help the cause.

if you would be so willing, i could really use your support. below is the link to my fundraising page where anyone can donate ANY amount. thank you in advance! i'll let ya know how the swim goes!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

slowing down.

the past month has felt really really busy. when life gets busy, i get anxious. when i get anxious my serenity is a little…off. i have been reminded lately just how beautiful my life is. i know that all the 'fullness' of life can make me feel a bit unmanageable at times but i'm grateful for the fullness. a full life is what people strive for- it's how i know i'm on the right track.

sometimes life just has to be busy. we have work, daycare, preschool, workout regimens, commitments, friends, and family that all need a piece of our time. but that's not just it. other things take up time, too. like dishes. i hate dishes. cleaning up after myself and my family feels like a full time job sometimes.

when life starts feeling unmanageable, i have to remind myself of a couple of things. first off- if all i do all day long is love my children and husband, treat them with dignity and respect, i'm doing the right thing. if i get to work on time, do my job to the very best of my ability, i'm doing the right thing. if i love God, and trust that it's Him who has control of all those little pieces that i want to control so badly (but know in my heart that i can't), i'm doing the right thing.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things i can, and the wisdom to know the difference." amen.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


 easton started preschool last week. he was shy and timid but he warmed up and has been really enjoying his new school. he spoke about starting 'skuuuuule soon' for the entire summer. every time we passed a school bus he would ask, excitedly, if he was going to ride on a school bus to preschool. of course, he can't take a bus, but we are hoping to pull some strings to allow him a ride on a school bus very soon.

easton is such a sweet boy and his small Christian school seems to be such an amazing fit for him. thankfully, it is also a great fit for our schedule. i can't believe how hard it was to find a preschool that accepted early drop off and two full days a week. most of the preschools we toured were either half day programs or five full days a week. we were thrilled to find this preschool close to sailor and easton's daycare that is minutes away from tony's work. all is right in the world.

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