July 15, 2016

Lola Montez is Beautiful

At some point in the past few months, the hubs and I started pretending we wanted another dog. Bean's training has been coming along beautifully and aside from some separation anxiety, he's a swell boy. We considered that maybe it was time for him to have a friend.

Also, have I mentioned how attached dabeebs is to Daddy? Oh that's right, I fell of the face of the earth for a bit so no, I didn't mention it. But it is REAL, folks. Follows Daddy errr'where, must go to the bathroom with him, mows the grass beside him - up and down the yard he goes, what is Daddy eating without me?, is Daddy upset?, ATTACHED. It's both sweet and hella annoying. He loves Mommy, too of course, but he is not my dog.

Months passed and I started to wonder about adding a little girl to our family. Scheming and planning, no. But I wondered out loud a lot to the hubs. He agreed and we began to look for a puppy. We weren't attached to a particular breed, but knew we wanted something Bean-sized and female. Laid back and willing to allow Bean to be the bossy boy that he is. Minimal shedding was a plus. We met lots of pups, but none of them stole our hearts.

Then last week I came across an ad in our local paper for pups near Bryon's hometown. She had a black Imperial Shih Tzu pup that made me gasp. Two days later we drove to meet the breeder and our girl and we fell in love immediately.

So far she's a mommy's girl all the way, but Daddy named her. Introducing Lola Montez!

She is a bouncy, fluffy, bunny-hopping girl with the cutest smashed face and biggest smile. She does have an underbite and a tiny white patch on her chest like her brother, Bean.

Bean loves her. LOVES her. He was even sharing his food bowl and bringing her toys by the second day. He is helping her learn how to go down the steps and waits for her to follow him everywhere.

For precious sakes. Yes, I do plan to topknot her hair most of the time because if I don't, she has no eyes. And she will have some cute sweaters because she's my girl, that's why. Thankfully shih tzus are happy, little clowns that love to play dress up (so I'm told). Mabel and I are already making plans!

Our girl is smart. She loves the water and has figured out how to launch herself into the shower with mommy twice. She scurries and fluffs around the house, almost as fast as Bean already. She also loves to have her ears folded back.

They already sleep beside each other on the bed. And Lola is almost sleeping through the night!

Trevor asked me for a photo of them side by side, for size reference. At 18 mos, Bean is fully grown and about 14 lbs. Lola is 14 weeks old and about 5 lbs now. She will stay a little sister, topping out around 8 lbs.

We are elated and can't wait for the kids to meet her in 8 days!

Don't Call It a Comeback (I've Been Here for Years)

It will surprise no one when I tell you that Judy’s been hollering at me to update the blog. I’m terrible. Awful, lazy, all of those words. The hiatus was not intentional, but it was nice to take a bit of a break and live the life I have been documenting. But honestly, I miss it. I miss my voice. In fact, I’m not sure I can hear it much anymore which is all the more reason to dust off the keyboard, trim my nails down, and get to it.

How about a completely nonsensical post to get us back on track? Mmm-kay.

The kids are back east with their dad for another week and a half. This summer visit has gone very smoothly, relatively speaking. I’m grateful. Moo Moo has matured some and isn’t wracked with pangs of homesickness on a daily basis, so that is also good. The boys seem to be having a good time as well.

How is my baby almost 9? The almost-9, non-baby has asked to play rec league volleyball this fall. We signed her up last week. “Excited” is an understatement. She’s watched big sister Hayley play for years so it’s time to try it for herself.

While the kids have been away, the house has gotten some work done this summer. We now have a fenced-in yard (glory hallelujah, Jesus) and a deck. All 3 of the kids’ bedrooms have been spackled (oh my), repainted, and the main living space is next! I do love surprising them with a special toy or some clothes when they come back – a room update is even more fun! Side note: Hayley is a terrific painter. She helped, and helped hard!

New fence is the best ever. We live on water so this means no more geese in the yard and more importantly, it means Bean Anferny can simply walk outside, do his business, and come back in – without the required leach and paw-holding. Glory hallelujah again.

I felt a quilting itch this summer, so I scratched it. I wanted to turn a very, very hot comforter that I got at Anthropologie years ago into a nice summer quilt that we would actually use. So, I ripped it apart, threw away the innards, and top quilted the comforter top onto white fabric. I forgot how hard it is to top quilt a king size anything at home, mercy! Lots of hours and several Bean claims later, it's finally finished.

So, my hair. Longest it’s been in years and currently, heavily highlighted blonde. Technically my galpal lifted via both babylights and balayage method, but to keep things simple – it’s a heavy highlight. And, blonde enough that I need purple shampoo to cut down on the brass.  Also blonde enough to tell you that Olaplex is absolutely worth EVERY penny and if you’re lightening, USE IT.  It protects the health and feel of your hair. 

It’s been fun for the summer but I don’t feel like myself. I hate that. Happens every stinking time I veer too far away from my natural self in the beauty operator’s chair. Just before school starts, I have plans soon to bring my head back ‘round to my natural level 6/7N with golden balayaged ends.

A la this. Amen.

Except hair products. As you can imagine, I’ve gone through some new favorites and non-favorites in the past 8 months with the blonde. Davines is not all it’s cracked up to be – no way. I used their OI line briefly, swapping it in amongst my fave Living Proof and it totally dried out my hair. Straw. Nothankyouverymuch. After a brief call wherein I was very displeased with their customer service, I chucked the lot of it except the OI conditioner. I use that to shave sometimes, just to use it up. Total disappointment.  I did have better luck with Kevin Murphy’s Re.Store treatment as well as his Blonde.Angel purple shampoo. The smell alone is – wow, so good. But honestly? Living Proof. Always back to it, strong and steady. I use the No Frizz shampoo and the PHD Conditioner twice a week.

I recently fell in love with a new band called Urban Rescue, and the Holy Spirit started poking on me in the best way. So, I felt inspired to write myself a message this week. It's a good reminder.

More to come soon, including an introduction to Lola Montez.

March 28, 2016

Joey+Rory, Like a Mac Truck

The other night I pulled up Joey+Rory's new album, Hymns while we were taking Hayley home. And life and grief and joy hit me like a Mac truck, sitting right there in the seat.

Oh be still my heart. I bought the entire album and have been crying ever since.

Now, if you don't know about Joey+Rory , they are just the sweetest couple. Their lives have touched my heart deeply. Prior to Joey's passing, they sung country duets with an undying love for Christ, for one another, and for their precious daughter Indiana. Joey loved to garden and cook from scratch and she enjoyed the simple things in life. They've put out a few albums over the years and this newest one is a collection of old hymns. Just like the ones I grew up listening to at home, while visiting my grandma's house (on 8-track), and from the wooden pews at Locust Grove United Methodist Church. That was the Mac truck that hit me.

Just watch this one, Mom.

In The Garden

So as I listened to their new album, I was overwhelmed with wanting to share their music with my dad. These hymns have a bluegrass feel to them and I could almost feel him in my arms, dancing with me. Every memory I have with him washed over me sitting in that truck seat. I could barely breathe. Every day I miss him - even though he's been gone 19 years.

And I remembered that the Bible says that we will sing a new song in Heaven. Well, I can tell you one thing: my father could sing. I cannot wait to hear his voice again, singing these same hymns to Jesus.

February 16, 2016

Mommy's Beebs

It's Justin Beaner! The Beanerpottamus. My Beebs is such a big boy. He's also a daddy's boy but we're not going to talk about that today. Today I need to gush and mush about his cutie patootie-ness.

Today we are going to discuss his lovely soft fur. His Frito-toes and big brown eyes. His smile. This boy steals my heart.

Hi, the Beebs!

Hi, the baby! Are you my baby? Are you the mommy's Beebs?

Hi, Precious! Oh, you're so handsome. And fluffy. And mommy just wuvs your wittle nose and smile. Sweet baby.

You might need orthodontics, though. And you've trapped some critter in your beard there.


PS: Yes, I realize the grass is grass instead of covered in snow - photos are from the Fall.

December 21, 2015


I wrote this post months ago and promptly "lost" it.  Ta-da!

Often in the summertime, daddy plays guitar outside. The kids jump on the trampoline, play football in the yard, or basketball in the front while he just sits to play and relax.

One particular afternoon after the kids ran through the sprinkler, the bigs were feeling very big and decided to just sit on their towels and discuss politics and world issues. Actually, I think they were talking about dinner and Pokemon, but they were all done playing for the day. Hot and worn out. They also asked if they could please come inside where the air was on and there was bottled water to drink. Ohmygoodness.

Except for Moo.  Moo is never done playing. Life has her on fire every day and on this afternoon while the bigs sat, she did not.

She asked Daddy if she could run some water out of the hose for Bean to drink. Daddy said yes and since there is little Bean loves more than water flowing from a hose, he said yes, too.

Mabel decided she was thirsty, too.

And figured if she's going to drink from the hose, she might as well dance in it, too.

Dancing to the beat of Daddy's music, and to the sound of her own little drummer.


December 7, 2015

The Def-ication

Yes, I am aware that that pun is ridiculous, but that is indeed what Bryon and I exclaimed when we secured four tickets to Def Leppard this summer. The boys LOVE Def and Styx - and well, Tesla sings Love Song, so duh.

It would be a Def-ication. And their first concert experience. WHOOP.

I had me some punk fauxhawk hair.

The boys were pretty excited. Also, snacks!

Also, could we pause for a moment to observe the man child with the amazing hair and muscle shirt? Amen.

And when it was on, you guys, it was ON. They LOVED it.

Trevor and I walked up to the top level to watch Styx sing Renegade. It was amazing. And my boy sang every. single. word. A stranger stopped me and said I'd raised him right. You bet your ass!

Def was superb. They always are. We made memories none of us will ever forget.

November 24, 2015

Dr. Mabel, Stuffed Horse Vet

Lucy the horse has been around since Mabel was 2. She's been back and forth across the country, participated in lots of sleepovers, gone to school and church, ridden in the car, and played with Mabel every day. She goes to tea parties, Barbie parties, spa parties, plays Pokemon and doctor, attends school, and gives the best hugs.

She's been restuffed twice. Recently she busted her rump and Mabel wanted to fix her first thing on a Saturday morning.

She patiently listened to directions and did a wonderful job securing Lucy's tail back to her bottom.

Mabes was so proud.

After her veterinary work was complete, she decided she should work on another sewing project. So she made a stuffed dog in about 45 minutes.

As far as life skills go, this one goes to Mabel. At least the other 3 will be able to take their sewing repairs to their baby sister when they are grown.

November 3, 2015


Andrew George turned 13 in August! He asked for his favorite - yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I obliged because making their birthday cakes is a morsel of joy that the Lord provides to me as their mother and it is my favorite. Also a morsel of joy - when he asked me to make it gluten free so that I could eat it, too. Precious Roo.

Dude was spoiled this year and got to go to Valley Fair with church friends for his birthday. Heck of a celebration, I say!

Oh, this child. He is so special. He is so strong and confident in such unique ways, such an old soul. He's also silly and distracted by anything shiny.

He loves to layer music, did you know?

He also got a shiny new haircut and my heart exploded!

So proud of you, Andy. We are so very blessed by you every single day. And the pets - you love the pets harder than any one of us. What a heart you have! So proud.