Christmas part 1

Christmas was so low key this year.  We spent a lot of time at our own home as a family of four... just enjoying time together.

A few days before Christmas my in laws came down with the awful influenza that is going around.  It has completely wiped them out... Rob's grandpa was even hospitalized for it!  Needless to say, we didn't do our typical family Christmas dinner at my in laws as we normally do.  ... so that is the reason this is titled "part 1"... we will celebrate Christmas with them on New Years Eve!

. f a m i l y p i c t u r e s .

As I blogged about earlier... I had an amazing birthday!... which also included Family Photos by my sweet, very talented, friend, Autumn!

Take a little look at a few....


Having a December birthday is SO much fun!  Since Christmas is my favorite time of year, it makes it so enjoyable!

The last couple of years for my birthday, the plan has been to go out to eat and head down to the broadmoor to look at the beautiful lights and decorations.  Well.  The last two years it has been full on blizzard!  So plans have gotten cancelled.

Well.  THIS YEAR... it was in the 60s and GORGEOUS!


Fall Update

Once again, I find myself wondering where time is going!

Our girls are growing SO fast!  They have become quite the buddies and I'm LOVING IT!

Here we are, right in the middle of the holidays! And it's been awhile since we've done an update, so I thought it was about time before Christmas actually comes and then, well... so much will be left out!

I find myself blogging less and less.  And really, mostly, I'm ok with that.  Except the documented memories.  Especially for the girls.  I want to be able to show them all these memories some day.... especially since I've failed miserably at the whole scrapbook/baby book thing. 

This fall/early winter...


• lilly bug •

oh, our sweet lilly bug.

Tuesday night as Harper went to bed she prayed that God would take Lilly to heaven.
About two hours after that sweet, heartfelt prayer, God did just that!

Our sweet Lilly hadn't eaten since Friday.  She was week.  Her breathing was sporadic.  She was coughing.  We knew the end was near... but we were talking about making the decision to put her to sleep.

I sat beside her on Tuesday, stroking her nose - right between her eyes, her favorite, telling her it was ok.  Telling her what an amazing dog she was.  And again telling her it was ok... that I was so sorry!  Tears were pouring from my eyes.  Not the kind that trickle down your face... these were literally hitting the ground with a splat.  It was so hard to see her in pain.


• ears •

So for quite some time, Harper has wanted to get her ears pierced. 
Earlier in the month we were at the mall and she thought she wanted to do it then... thankfully, there was another little girl getting her ears pierced so we made her watch.  She chickened out. 

But this past weekend... we were back at the mall and again she said she wanted to get her ears pierced.  So there we were.  We picked out her earrings.  She was so nervous!  She insisted that I hold her hand, which I adored!

She was so brave.  The first one pierced.  Then she FREAKED out!  She didn't want to get the second ear done.  But, again, so brave... wiped away her tears and just did it!

• you are w a n t e d •

recently a friend shared with me how she had been in a season of feeling left out.  uninvited. unwanted.  not enough.

it hit me like a slap in the face.  our women's leadership team has been reading the book "nothing to prove" by Jennie Allen, and this is basically what the book is about. 

don't we all go through those seasons? ...


anniversary getaway

we debated for so long on what to do for our anniversary weekend this year!

go away? stay local? kids? no kids? ....


• 7 y e a r s •

&just like that.

a few homes, a couple states, two pregnancy losses, & two precious girls later... here we are, getting ready to celebrate 7 years as husband and wife!  in just four short days, we will celebrate our anniversary!

there are so many marriage cliches that I could fill this page with...
but when it comes right down to it, really it can be summed up in just two sentences:


• harper grace, preK-3 •

I remembered the night before that I hadn't bought a
chalkboard to use for her first day of school sign.... so
a black piece of construction paper and crayons did the trick!

Just a little excited!

Showing off her sequin-girly star wars backpack!

Sister wanted in a picture with her ♥

We are so blessed that Rob has a job that not only provides for us, but allows
him to not miss the important things...

Daddy and his girls!

Her cubby!

of course we got ice cream after!

This!  You guys!   I drew a heart on each of our hands,
including baby sister's... so Harper could look at her heart
and know that we were thinking of her while she was at
school.  THEN.  THIS!  This was their lesson/project!  Now,
how cool is that?!


Hello September!... a look back at August.

It's been awhile since I've done a "what we've been up to" post!  

I am INCREDIBLY THANKFUL for my little family and our day to day life together!


• m a u i •

So, Harper has been asking for a kitten for quite some time.  We have a cat... but ... he is 16+ years old.  No longer cares for himself.  He literally has dreads if we don't brush him everyday.  He is so pitiful, it breaks my heart.  To say he's in his last months would be pretty accurate... although, Rob swears he's going to live forever... haha!  This cat has been through liver failure and heart failure.  And has surpassed his estimated survival by 6 years.  He's quite the cat.  But all that to say... he's rather stinky and just not the cat I want my girls loving on ... and I am constantly afraid they are going to break his brittle bones laying on him, crawling over him, etc.


• grandma & pap-pap •

This past week my parents were here visiting!  We had so much fun!!

Now that both of my parents are retired, they were able to stay longer than before... which was so nice!  But somehow, time still flew by!


• w h o l e 30 • week two

Here we are... almost half way through our whole 30 journey!

I have to say, it is getting easier!  I woke up yesterday feeling fantastic (and super skinny!).
I walked into my inlaws house yesterday morning to drop off our girls and even my mother in law said, "YOU LOOK SO SKINNY!" You.Guys!!! I no longer have any muffin top! haha! I'm down about 6lbs (I'm sooo close to the weight I was at - not only prekids but at our wedding.. I mean.. YOU GUYS!!) and Rob is down at least 8lbs (I haven't asked in the last day or so). I know, I know, you aren't suppose to weigh yourself on whole30... but when you're shrinking before your own eyes, you get curious! Thankfully we don't own a scale, so I can't get too obsessed. 


w h o l e 30 • week one

So, I'm an idiot!


A couple weeks ago, I shared the Whole30 eating plan with my husband and mentioned maybe we should do it.

Right there.  Right there is where I need to learn to keep my big ideas to myself!

But also.  That right there is one of the many reasons God put us together.  I have big ideas and my husband makes me do them.

So, it is no secret that I love food.  It brings me joy.  Breads. Cheese.  Pasta... oh my!  Not to mention I have a daily routine of devouring at least one sweet, yummy latte a day.  And well, Dr. Pepper.  Dr. Pepper is in my veins.

And this.  THIS is why I knew I needed to do a round of Whole30 Clean Eating!  I needed to break some unhealthy thought patterns when it comes to my eating habits.  My whole life I've been able to eat whatever I want and it not effect weight gain.  If I wanted ice cream I ate it.  If I wanted pizza all week, I ate it.  I was a pretty serious athlete growing up and in amazing shape... so a ton of extra calories really didn't add up because they were burned right off.  Then in adulthood, I've been blessed with an over active metabolism.  But... these things have led to SO many unhealthy habits and dependency on unhealthy foods!

A really bad day or a hard day with the girls,  does not need equal a glass of wine and all the chocolate in our pantry.  Or a huge bowl of ice cream.

After having Hayden last year, I feel like food became my happy place.  My mommy survival.  If I was having a bad morning, then it was off to get donuts and starbucks.

I'm not saying this isn't ok every once in awhile, but not only is it expensive... I slowly started seeing my mommy pudge come back that I had lost so easily after having her!

As our Whole 30 start date approached, I became so anxious about it.   Suddenly I felt like Sméagol and my junk food and lattes and dr. pepper were the ring... MY PRECIOUS!!!  I then tried to bargain with my husband.  Can't we just start to limit things and eat cleaner.  His reply: No.  Can't we just try gluten and dairy free again (we've made it through months of this successfully in attempt to help his chronic sinus issue).  His reply: No.  This went on for a bit.  and his answers were always No!

So you're thinking... oh.my.gosh!  How can anyone be so dramatic about food?!  Well.  I challenge you to try it!  Start taking away your favorite foods and see how you feel after a couple of days.  No grains (no rice no corn etc, so no, not even gluten free pasta), No dairy (not even butter!), No gluten, and No added sugars.  You can drink coffee black and natural herbal teas.  Oh... and no beans or peanuts. 

So Sunday we went shopping... our fridge looked like someone else lived in our home... a healthy eating person.  So many fruits and veggies!  Then Sunday night we went out for pizza... the good kind.  the deep dish, cheesy filled with a million toppings kind! 

& Monday we started, and I can't say it's been easy.  

I've made my own ranch.  Found a whole 30 approved mayo.   Found a whole 30 approved hot sauce. Found whole 30 approved green olives.  and THANK GOD FOR CASHEWS!!!  & I'm now that person with almond milk, coconut milk, and cashew milk in my fridge.  

For me, this isn't only about healthy eating.  It's about my thought process regarding food.  It's about self discipline (which I'm SO not good at!!).  

I just found a quote that said, "On the other side of the headaches, fatigue, and moodiness, was power.  MY POWER.  #happierwhole30.  

Can I please get to that.  This moodiness and fatigue and the headaches... and the shakiness.  It's making it hard to push through, but I've been told it's worth it!  

In a few days, I will try to share some of my favorites as far as survival and eating go... But for now, I have some cashews and a banana, with some hot tea calling my name!


• c a m p i n g •

Over Father's Day weekend, we were able to get away with family and go camping!

It was SO fun!!

Here are some pictures from the weekend....


• summer days •

summer is here!  

can you believe it?! 

I really don't know where May went?  Did we have May!??
I seriously feel like we went straight from April to June! 

The days are getting longer. 
It's warming up here in CO!  Thunderstorms are
rolling in most afternoons.  

It's official. 

Summer Days are here!  


• mothers day & the in betweens •

I had just the best mother's day!  It was so fun this year because Harper was actually old enough to kind of get it.  And she was so sweet! 

• our trip to MO •

So shortly after our little getaway to Wolf Lodge, we jumped on an airplane and flew to see my family in Missouri!


• Easter •

Our Pastor took this photo of Harper.  And I am in love with it!!
I have come to realize that blogging is seriously falling by the way side! 

I miss blogging and writing, but the season of life I am in right now... it just doesn't quite fit. 

So for a bit, I'm just going to try and document the big things.  The holidays.  The birthdays.  And maybe a few in betweens here and there... but not a lot.  & we have a few getaways coming up that I will definitely try to blog about. 

But Easter...


bravery and grace.

Not too many people have the privilege of seeing selfless love LIVED out... right in front of them. Our society is filled with so much selfishness, how it effects us, how it makes me feel, what about me... you get the picture.

These two.

Toward the end of last year they committed to taking care of Grandma Esther, supporting her through her lasts (however long that might be). Supporting Grandpa. Laying their own plans, their own schedules, their everyday lives down for the love of Grandma and Grandpa T. 

As they discussed it with 'us kids' we all of course supported them, but all with caution said, "you know this isn't going to be easy".  But... They were all in.  This was not something that was decided on a whim.  Doctors were consulted.  Grandma and Grandpa discussed it.  This is what she wanted. Her lasts were to be spent with as much family as possible.  

Over the past month I saw my father in law and mother in law love so deeply.  I saw so deeply into their hearts and found myself so proud to see how clearly Christ is/was reflected in their lives!  

Many days my father in law didn't get sleep.  Everyday he was caring for his mother with such love and grace, through the sleep deprivation, through the heartbreak of seeing his mom so weak, as she was at the end of her days. 

Not once did I hear this man (or my mother in law) complain.  NOT ONCE!  Not once did they act as if it was an inconvenience. In fact, they saw this opportunity as such a blessing - to serve Grandma Esther so well... to love her with patience, to love her with grace, and to surround her with family.

I consider myself extremely blessed to be the daughter (if only by marriage) of these two.  I pray that one day God will help 'us kids' serve them in such a way and show them the love that they did to Grandma Esther.  

The bravery that it took, to pour your heart out so fluidly.  To courage it took, to sit with Grandma in her last days.  the bravery to lay your own life down, to take care of another.  I consider myself privileged to have had a glimpse into such a love story.  It doesn't get much more biblical than that, friends. 


• seasons •

As I get older, I learn that there are so many different seasons of life.  Some last a short time.  Some you are in for awhile.

I mentioned in my last blog post that we are walking through a season of loss.

I am honestly trying to find the words for blog purposes, for memory keeping purpose, but also to find the words to describe this season, my heart, and yet keep some things private as some of the loss isn't my story to share.  But, what I do want to make note of and never forget...


Happy First Birthday, Sweet Hayden!

This past weekend, our sweet little one turned one!

We celebrated at our home, with just a few family members.

As we are walking through a season of loss in a few different areas of our lives, (I will blog about that later on... maybe.  If I can find the words.), it was great to celebrate... and also a great distraction.

So on Sunday we celebrated.

We watched Trolls (of course)... our girls are obsessed.  Played.  Tried to talk Hayden into eating cake. Opened presents.  talked hashtags (ha).  went live on facebook for the first time (cracking up...).

Then we headed over to Jack and Kathy's for a big family dinner... much like a thanksgiving dinner. so perfect.


• a lil' update •

So I finally wrote about Harper's birthday... my parents were here and it was so great!  We miss them a lot now though!  Oh my.  Life has been a wild ride lately!  But it's so beautiful!
Here is a peek...


Happy Birthday Harper!

Our sweet baby girl is three!  I am not sure where time is going... but wherever it's going, it's going way too quickly!  This precious one is so amazingly smart and quick!  She is beautiful, compassionate, and has a heart of gold!  She loves big!  She has a temper and fire inside of her that is bound to lead her to changing the world. 


loving others & what we've been up to...

God is concerned with what happens to us... but he is a lot more concerned with how we respond to what happens to us. 


• husband love & life •

So oh my goodness!
Gotta love it!
It is seriously one of those weeks that you just can't quite get a grip on.  So much craziness.  Some I can go into. Some I can't.

The girls have been so sick.  We ended up taking Hayden to the Children's After Hours Tuesday night at like 9:00pm because her fever came back.  Turns out ear infection.
Then Wednesday morning like clock work, Harper spiked a fever.  I think (fingers crossed) it is down this afternoon.  But I'm just not confident in that yet.  That kid is a hard one.  There is never a way to tell she is sick.  She will run and play and won't even feel like she has a fever to the touch.  But you take it and BAM 102! She is a tricky one!  Hayden is pretty easy to detect!

Rob got ready to come home from work last night and the car wouldn't start.  Thankfully we think it was just the battery.  And thankful for my father in law who went to his rescue so that I didn't have to take the girls out in negative degree weather!

Life is just messy right now.  My house is a mess.  The laundry is finished, but has taken up residence on our couch and needs to be put away.  I just have that wayyy out of control feeling.

So.  what better time than to focus on possibly my biggest blessing... my marriage!

Reasons I love my hubby continued...

6.  He knows how to change a car battery.  Ha!  Seriously.  He saves us money because he is handy!

7.  He knows when I'm overwhelmed.  Like today he took nap duty and let me make my coffee, sit, sip, and breathe for a moment.  SO nice!

8.  He does most of the grocery shopping. ha!  If your a mom (or even if you aren't) you probably get this one!

9.  He talks me down off the ledge.  Reassuring me.  Affirming me.  Loving me.

10.  He pursues me.  Our marriage. He picks up the slack!


• the n e w year •

Oh my goodness.

So apparently sickness is not through with our family yet.  Hayden started a fever on Friday and it didn't break until last night.

My heart is so sad.  Not only because she has been sick, and still isn't feeling well... but thank goodness no fever, but because Rob took the whole week off between Christmas and New Years.  He headed back to work today and I have just been sad.  I had this expectation of what that week was going to look like... and well.  It just didn't.