July 31, 2013


I would like to start off with a little school lesson this morning, if y’all don’t mind. Recently Mabel was scolded for calling Bryon “daddy.” That makes my heart sad. I will never mind that this person had absolutely no business whatsoever scolding my child for something she’s done… on her own… since age 2. And instead I’m going to take the high road on the internets today and post the Merriam-Webster definition of FATHER for all of you. Maybe someone will learn something.

1: a  a man who has begotten a child
     b (1) : god 1 (2) : the first person of the Trinity
3: one related to another in a way suggesting that of father to child

Mabel is very blessed that she has two daddies and she would like for it to stay that way. She loves the both the same and her heart is big enough to hold two after all. Anyone that doesn't like that can take it up with moi. Amen.

So the kids have been back in our house for 4 days. We put another 840 miles on the ‘burb to go pick them up and it was well worth it. That said, the quiet has gone. The cats are very happy that their little people are home and I think, quite possibly, that Bo missed being carried around the house by Moo. There has been a lot of laundry, wrestling, and iPod re-calibrating. Lots of giggling and hugging – oh my, the hugging. I could barely move in the house for the first two days, but for one of the kids outright attached to my body. Trevor is possibly the clingiest; he is super happy to be home. All 3 of them want eleventy hugs before bed. They have all asked to pray and sat on laps. It feels good to have been missed.

On Monday night, Mabel and her best friend Peyton decided to paint their fingernails without asking. They also painted their legs, their hair, the swingset, and the neighbor’s schnauzer. Good times. And I can’t wait until they are 15.

Our technology rules at home stand thusly: there is no open access to the internet (this includes email, YouTube, Facebook, iTunes or browsing) at ANY time by anyone that isn’t an adult. They can ask, obtain permission, and go on occasionally for homework purposes, to say hello to family and friends, or to look up fun things. Parental controls reign supreme. We restrict because WE ARE THE PARENTS and because little people Google things like naked people, toenail fungus, and text with anyone that contacts them, for fun. No. It might be okay at someone else’s house but it is not at ours. Also, we need to be picking up the phone to converse with people instead of relying so heavily on email and text. I’m not about to grow up another 4 kids who can’t communicate properly. No. Anyone who doesn't like it can take it up with moi. Amen. Again.

So for those of you monitoring the daily progress of my hair growth, how about an update? In February, I cut my hair into a pixie. Multiple reasons (go, hair health!) but overall, I couldn't get comfortable with the look. I've been growing it out ever since. Biotin works, Ladies.  So do prenatal vitamins, but I didn't have those. Last month, I had the back mullet chopped off and finally this week, I’ll go have it trimmed again into an actual haircut. The length will come up in the back just slightly, but it’s the right thing to do at this point. Also, while using my dry shampoo last night, I came across a very silver hair that ran the full length of my hair. My first reaction was disgust: the gray hair is spreading and I really must make a decision soon if I’ll dye it or not. My second reaction was positive ELATION when I realized the gray ran the full length of my hair. That means that any semi-permanent color that was residual on my hair from last year’s blonde has washed away. For the most part, my hair is virgin again. Wow. It’s been almost 3 years since the last time it had no dye or bleach. I think that’s pretty nifty. Also pretty nifty? I think it's been about 20 years since I didn't have bangs.

LifeLight is soon upon us. Bryon is chairing the committee with me again this year and we've been talking about it for weeks. He’s alllll about listening to Flyleaf, For King & Country, and the Rhett Walker Band this year. I love growing in the Lord alongside this man!

Hoping we can make it up to the lake at least one more time before the summer comes to a close. The unseasonably cool temperatures don’t make me want to jet ski, Peeps.

July 30, 2013

Lake Brandt, 2013 - Take 1

Pros: hot summer sun, the sound of the watercraft on the water, grilling out with friends

Cons: 40mph wind that chilled everyone to the bone, despite the hot summer sun

Still AH.SOME.

July 26, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

1. The Sam Edelman petty boot. I have them and they may be (...wait for it) my favorite shoes of all time. I could sleep in them and they're perfect with dresses and pants!

2. Ascot Friday love. Her style is wicked cool.

3. This is what I'll be looking for the next time we visit the Black Hills. LOVE.

4. Dear JCrew: always. Even (and maybe especially) when you inspire track pants with a blazer. Dayum.

5. I LOVE this idea on refreshing an old item. Thrift repair and ripped jeans are quite the rage right now, so I love this method of showing the repair.

6. If I had the time, I would do this more often. I find that the kids eat much more fresh food if it is prepared ahead of time. The kids love the portability of this as well.  And every child should be raised on hummus.

7. This faceted planter is awesome.

8. The large animal print and hide 'thing' is really growing on me.

9. Clay beads were something I used to make during French class in high school, when I wore Birkenstocks and had charms in my hair. Might have to do that again. And involve my girls.

10. I haven't quilted in a while. I love this pattern!

11. These delicate rings look the opposite of flashy, but still totally cool.

12. Dream dining room. Look at those built-ins! The Eames chair and rug are pretty sweet, too.

All images are Pinned for sources.

July 24, 2013


Just 3 more sleeps until the littles return. I’ve done quite a bit of work on their rooms, so I can’t wait. More to come on that.

Hayley was over last night. We had to have a discussion on honesty and chores. Little Miss isn’t so fond of putting away laundry. Instead, she hides piles of clothes in clever spots around her room… which I found when making their beds. This is the third time this has happened after telling me she’d done the job. So we had to talk about what honesty and dependability mean. I leaned down to her level and I put my face in front of her face and said, “Remember how I’ve told you that I will NEVER lie to you, no matter what you ask, NEVER?”  (nodded head) “That’s what I expect from you, too. Every time. Never, never lie. It’s worse than anything else.” She nodded some more and then there were tears and hugs and giggles. She hugged me big and then wiped her eyes and took off in a flash because she said she wanted to write me a note. 

"My life wasn't complete without you and now [our] family and my life are complete. Love, Hayley"
Be. Still. My. Puppy-Licked. Heart!

She also made me a friendship bracelet this week.  

I really must do a post very soon on the plant hangers that Hales and I made recently. She loved it so much that she was inspired to go home and made umpteen friendship bracelets with the yarn and floss she had at mom’s. Way cool. WAY cool.

I also really must go running a bit more often. I’m ashamed to tell you how little I’ve done it this season. Should be zero excuses for that but often, it is exhaustion.

Bo doesn’t let me sleep much. He’s rocketing through the house every night, all night, or he’s licking my face all night long. He clearly favors his mama, though this doesn’t really come out until sleepy time. He also enjoys sleeping in between Bryon and I when we’re spooned and passed out tangled in a knot. Not acceptable, Feline. No, no, no.  And so between this rocketing and licking, he scratches the wicker hamper or fights with a small shadow all night long and makes SO. MUCH. NOISE. I can’t sleep with him moving about, but my husband can’t sleep with the door closed. Ergo, Bo is allowed the run of the house by his mama because my husband’s sleep means more to me than my own. Except I am thoroughly exhausted. It’s been several days of this now. I’m hoping that he’ll tour the kids’ rooms when he they get back and leave Mama alone. By the way, Kiki is thoroughly nonplussed by all of these events. She knows what night-night time is and sleeps soundly – in one place or another – all night long. Wish he’d get the drift.

Last night, Bryon, Hayley and I went to a new used furniture store. I typically don’t have much luck on Craigslist, but on a whim I searched and found a nearly-new round coffee table. Solid wood, perfect condition, for $39. We brought it home after I jumped up and down and fanned myself in excitement 37 times. The thrill of the hunt, I swear!

I have a new coordinator at work. She’s amazeballs. She has funky hair and a piercing or two, yet remains thoroughly professional when dealing with everyone. I really enjoy working with her and she is an enormous help to our department. Jesus gift right there.

And Dear B: I’m glad that my excitement over a vintage coffee table makes you love me. Your chest hair makes me entwined in you for life. Also, you're one hell of an alarm clock.

July 23, 2013

4 Days

The children come home in 4 days. I'm very excited to see them and it sounds like they missed us too.

I was looking back through photos and realized how quickly they're growing. It's sad how fast every day passes. Where does time go exactly? How do we not spend every day squeezing the heck out of the ones we love, if we know we'll never get that day back?

Look at Trevvy Trev. He looks like a man-child. I am so proud of the man he's growing into!


How about little Roo? Still as goofy and grinny as ever, but so big now. This child is my heart.


And this peanut was literally a peanut a few years ago. Now she's a force. Try to hold that in your heart once!

Take the time to squeeze your littles, even if they're big now. Say the things you would say if today is your last day - because it could be!

July 22, 2013


We got to see Nana when we drove back to my old hometown. Oh, sweet Nana. It had been too long. She can't travel anymore after her valve replacement (just call her Judy Bovine) and she isn't interested in moving out to Da Plains... yet. Maybe one day. Until then we will miss her until our eyes cross and squeeze her as often as we can.

It was lovely to see her and smell her lovely, lotiony smell for a few days. I needed that deep in my soul. She just hugs differently, you know?

The kids ate her up!

July 18, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

1. Heck yes.

2. Dream kitchen!

3. I tried something like this for Andy years ago. This is much, much cooler.

4. Love this.

5. I hope our trees get this big. This is gorgeous!

6. Fall uniform: boyfriend jeans, heeled clogs, tee, and a blazer.

7. YES.

8. I love this simple, messy 'do.

9. Alexa, you are ah-mazing. I love this makeup look.

10. Taylor Tomasi Hill, let's be friends. Please?

11. I have a couple of girls, both of whom I want to be mighty. What a great list this is!

12. Love this bracelet from Lisa Leonard Designs.

13. Balayage is the bomb!

14. So true. Don't be afraid to try a new look, or to combine comfort with structure and poise.

All images are Pinned for sources.

July 17, 2013


I have so much to say, but I am censoring myself a bit. I hope you’ll understand for now and ignore any hidden snark that might leak out.

Last week, Bryon and I drove east to attend a court hearing (I’m defending custody. I’m so not kidding.) and to drop off the kids for summer visitation with Shoes. It was tense as we walked into his new place, as I shook the hand of his new friend, and took the suitcases inside - but we did it. Nevermind that the photos that hung gallery-style in his new place were taken by me - moments captured by a mother completely in love with her children and abandoned by her (then) husband. That was a little creepy, yes - but we marched on. Or in, rather.

Before the court hearing began, my husband prayed with me and read his Bible in the truck while I was driving.  Joshua 1:9  Be strong and courageous, for I am with you wherever you go. He turned on The City Harmonic’s Manifesto. Wow. Babe, you’re AWESOME. And then he turned his wedding ring around so that the cross stamped into the tungsten would be facing outward. LOVE. THAT. All spiritual warfare, my husband in his purple tie. The hearing went well, however I expect things to drag on for months like things always do. I am proudly asking you all for prayer to surpass this trial with a smile on my face and not even a fluff to my feathers.

Once we got home I had the chance to go thrifting alone. I found a few things to take home – a cream afghan with fringe (oh the fringe!), a pair of wide leg trouser jeans, and a Pyrex dish.

This week I was feeling more bad assed than I have in a long time. I used to have my left upper ear pierced when I was younger. Like, 15 years ago. And by pierced I mean twice. I took them out after meeting my ex-husband and tucked the bad ass away for too many years. And so this week my moxy combined with possibly too much Pitch Perfect-watching landed me back in a bathroom with a diamond stud, isopropyl alcohol, and my hair strapped back against my head. I was allllll set out to do something slightly outrageous for a 36 year old mom of 4. There’s nothing to a cartilage piercing really (if you’re a consenting adult, that is) and I intended to find the old hole in the cartilage, and simply repierce the skin in front and behind of the same hole. Relatively painless. After locating the faint holes that existed there 15 years ago, I cleaned my ear and then pushed the stud in a bit and… it slipped all the way through, effortlessly. Part of me was like, ‘Of course! I’ve been a bad ass all this time!’ and the other part of me was genuinely disappointed that it was the most boring piercing ever. Later when I showed Bryon, he smiled and told me I was kind of a hippie. Then he asked me to show Hales. Everyone thought I was a rock star. Now I get to shop for wicked ear spikes and that is kind of exciting.

Last night, pandora’s box was opened a little. Bryon had shit flying at him at supersonic rates and boy howdy, he did his best to catch it all and clean me up. I was a mess of tears and screaming and he was watching with his wide eyes. He later offered to sign me up for a kickboxing class. I think he learned a bit more about my fragile heart and why I repeatedly say I WILL NOT BE BULLIED. EVER. When I feel bullied or threatened, I latch the door behind me and the haymakers start. Near death experiences will do that to a girl. You can’t survive the shit I’ve lived through and not have a mark or two on you. And boy oh boy have those marks made me stronger. Look out. I mean it. Look out. Ain’t enough bourbon in Kentucky for me to forget it. Not that I drink bourbon. Blech.

What is it that they say about grace? Mercy? I need to find some more of it.

While in my old hometown, my husband bought me a beautiful silver bangle to commemorate the victory we felt. I haven’t taken it off since, except to shower. It’s perfect and I love it so, so much.

Also while in my old hometown, we got to lay our eyes on Judy. She’s doing quite well, puttering around her apartment reading tons of books and smelling good like Nana smells. The kids saw her briefly before going with their dad and it was hugs all around. It is amazing to watch Trevor and Andy with her. Growing up in her home counted for something; Nana is forever in their hearts in a permanent way. She looks at them with a greater accountability because she knows their spirits. Little Moo was too young to remember being Nana’s hippanus but Nana remembers. She cuddles on Mabel like no other, trying to smoosh her spirit in by force I think. And I could sit in Nana’s house forever, smelling Nana’s lotion-y smell. It just felt good to be there and to help her with things. Seeing her made the whole trip worthwhile on its own. I miss her already.

Wait! Speaking of bourbon, I have news! Bryon and I finally caught wind of a concert nearby and will be cleaning our cowboy boots up accordingly. Double billing: Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert !!  HUZZAH !!

Somewhere in Iowa after a quadrillion hours in our vehicle, my husband and I pulled off at a gas station for a snack. There, beneath the beef jerky and to the left of the sunflower seeds, were my favorite snacks in high school. I grabbed a bag and scarfed them within moments, try as a might to make them last. I’ve grabbed a few bags since and taken them to the office. Pizzeria Pretzel Combos and I are besties again!

Finally, I’d like to ask you to pray for some friends of ours. Bryon and I have a coworker whose 4 year old daughter was just diagnosed with a very rare form of brain cancer. They are very cautious about what they’re sharing with others right now and the prognosis is what every parent fears. Kallie is her name and she has bright eyes and long, brown, curly hair. Would you please pray for God to cover her with healing and comfort, and for Him to embrace her father, mother and big brother in peace? And finally, would you please pray for every parent to stop for a moment and hold their babies close? Life is too short, People. Make it count EVERY day.

And Dear B: Whoa, Fella. We got there. I was a bit worried you wouldn't catch me out of fear of... I dunno. But you did. Thanks for the best and strongest arms I have EVER felt. Thanks for cuddly tee shirts and for changing my clothes when I just didn't have it in me anymore. Thanks for not making me shut up and for listening. You are an amazing husband and I am so very grateful for you and for our family. I love you forever.

July 16, 2013


They aren't here, but my love for them still is.

Perhaps looking at photos from the last week or two will help with the missing?

Nah, just made it worse. But that's okay. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Though, I'm not sure Kiki would agree some days.