Monday, April 24, 2017


I had a nightmare last night and I wanted to write it down.  I'm not sure why.  No one reads this anymore since I've only written once in almost 2 years, so this is just for me.  I don't want to post it on Facebook and have people commenting on it.  It's too personal, but I do want my grief recorded.  For me, for my kids.

I had one of those horrible dreams last night.  The kind where it feels so real that you would swear it was happening.  Not the floaty feeling, time has no meaning dream, the kind where every minute is accounted for and it is happening in real time.  The kind you wake up from and you don't realize you've been dreaming for several minutes.

I dreamt that a beloved family member was sick and getting sicker.  I dreamt that I couldn't accept that it was real and happening.  I refused to believe that she was just sick and I needed to accept it.  I traced down medical records, interviewed people, contacted the police over and over again, and risked my life in an undercover operation to reveal the culprit.  Things got hairy, but in the end the villain was revealed and taken away into justice.

Walking away from the scene, I ran into my cousin, and bruised and bloodied I was able to tell her I had fixed the problem.  I had found the horrible monster and he wouldn't be poisoning our wonderful family member any more.  We hugged and turned to walk down the street together.

Then I woke up.  I felt elated.  I felt invincible.

Then it hit me.  It was a dream.  I didn't save anyone.  My aunt is still gone.

And I cried.

I cried because I miss her.  I cried because I didn't see her much in her last year because I was always sick from having to work around 8 year olds.  I was mad that I couldn't go to Thanksgiving to see her one more time before things got bad.

I cried for the sound of grief I heard come from my grandpa at her funeral that I will never forget as long as I live.

I cried for my cousins that lost their biggest cheerleader and champion.

I cried that my kids would have so few memories of someone who helped shape me into the responsible hard working person I am, and loved me even when I wasn't.

And I'm still crying.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Daddy Daughter Dance

It's been a weird year.  I will just leave it at that for now.  Here is the Daddy Daughter Dance.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Music Recital

We were lucky enough to find an amazing art center less than 5 minutes from our home. It started when I emailed about dance, and found out they would let the girls join so late in the season. I then found out they offered piano lessons. When we went to our first dance lesson I asked if the owner if she knew of any saxophone teachers. Turns out her daughter just graduated with a Masters in Oboe Performance and was going to start teaching woodwinds. So one-stop shopping for all our art needs. We really like them and are excited we will be able to continue to take advantage of their many offerings (and I'm so relieved I don't have to "break up" with so many teachers at once if I didn't like them!).

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Pick(le) Me Up

We've had a crazy week.  I should be posting about everything that has been going on, like moving to a new state, but I have a final tomorrow and I have to pack and sell a time! 

Last time we went to Disneyland Ethan and I were talking in line about random things.  We talked about the "old" movies my parents and aunt and uncle made based on Indiana Jones.  That got us  talking about how funny it would be to make beloved movies (Frozen, Star Wars, etc) entirely out of pickles. 

Even though this is the worst possible week, and we are all super sick, the kids really wanted to make it happen today.  They had spent all day coughing while packing up, so for the last hour of daylight Eric calmly sit and taped them do take after take.  I edited as soon as they were done, and here is the first Picklemation production:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Livi is Thankful

What it says:
I spend Thanksgiving with (picture of our family including Tonks)
My favorite thing to eat at Thanksgiving is: cinnamon rolls and pumpkin squares
Before Dinner we: wash our hands
After dinner, we: watch Doctor Who together (it's a Tardis on the tv)
One tradition my family has is: play together

I am thankful that the things that are important to me I've seemed to successfully instill in my children.  I am thankful there wasn't video games, or yelling, or frowning faces.

Saying Goodbye

I've put off writing about this because it has just been a little too raw. We found out in May that the Bagleys were going to move. Everyone was devastated. It has been a very hard transition. Months later Livi will still break down and cry about missing Carter. Ella seems a little lost with out Maddi in her classroom. They had been in every single class together since preschool. We don't have people to invite over for birthdays, or Thanksgiving. I don't make friends easily and very rarely share my deep emotions with those outside my family and I lost the one person I had here. There are wholes in our hearts, and we are still trying to heal.

Before they left we made sure we got together and spent some quality time playing:


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Not Much Dignity Left

While waiting for Ella during her piano lesson I got to talk to several other parents and our teacher's wife.  I mentioned how unhappy I was with my professor's lack of actually teaching, and that I sometimes get a little stressed out doing my homework. 

Livi chimed in, "Mommy cried and yelled and screamed when she did her homework."

Everyone stopped and looked at me.

Thanks Livi.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Keep It Classy Scottsbluff

Thank you random citizen for allowing me the opportunity to explain to my 5 year old why someone would put a picture of a giant naked woman on their truck.  Truly, thank you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

No Place She'd Rather Be

Eric was here first.  Tonks plopped down and promptly fell asleep.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Break Out The Diamonds, Livi's A Preschool Graduate

The title above refers to the ridiculous tradition here of getting kids gigantic gifts for graduating from the most basic of things. I only saw smaller things like balloons, toys, and candy at this one, but I fully expect bikes and clothes after Kindergarten.
Saying goodbye to Mrs. Freelove.  She moved to Texas just a few weeks later and we miss her!

Livi and Carter.  Looking at these pictures is a little bitter sweet.  The Bagleys have moved to Wyoming and we are all still coping.  Livi and Ella are especially having hard times since they had never been to school without their best friends.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Talent (???????) Show

Every year there has been an end-of-the-year talent show for the K-2 and 3-5 grades. This was the first year any of my kids wanted to participate so I "got" to go. Ella played a very pretty piano piece that she had been working on. It's had to hear since they had the piano facing entirely the wrong direction, and the air was on, but I am so proud of her for going up and performing in front of all her peers! Besides Ella's piano, their friend Leilani's near professional singing, and a few other great performances, most of them where a little...tedious.
Ethan's friend doing what we all wanted to at this point.

Ethan was in the audience silently and immobile-y cheering Ella on.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I Feel Like We Are Just Going Around In Circles, or Race Day

Every year the 3-5 grade students have to run in the end of year races against the other elementary schools. Last year was not the most fun time ever since Ethan was at the peak of his asthma problems. This year Ella got to run and Ethan was (is) doing much better. They both ended up getting ribbons and feeling very proud of their accomplishments. Ella got first and Ethan got second in their heats!
Ella on the field hearing the instructions.

Ella with her relay team; Austin, Maddi, Ella and Clara.



Ethan and Elijah waiting their turn.

Ethan at the starting line. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Ella Turns 9

Ella and her spoils.

Casey is getting more brazen in his attempts to claim his spot in the family.

We had our end of the year Activity Day gathering at our house where Ella got to hang out with friends and eat junk food while watching a movie.  Fun all around.

The Bagleys were nice enough to come over after to celebrate Ella.

We had a cupcake bar where the kids were able to decorate and pile on as much candy as possible.

Friday, October 10, 2014

What the HAL is going on? or Ella's Passion Project

Our piano teacher recently pointed out that when I say "Ella's at HAL" it sounds like she is in a much darker place.  In the spring the kids in HAL (High Achievement Learners) worked on a passion project, which they presented at the end of the year.  They could pick any thing they were interested in learning more about, and were supposed to spend a certain amount of hours researching and working on a presentation.

Ella could have picked anything.  I thought it would be dance, or music, or writing, or stars, but she surprised me with "baking."  She wanted to know more about how it works, and to do more of it herself.  We ordered books, she did research on the internet, and she baked 3 different yummies (mostly) by herself.  She made cookies and this power point as her presentation on what she learned.  I helped with the execution of one or two things, but it is 99% her hard work. 

Ella's Presentation Table.

Livi and Carter being "supportive."

Ella explaining her project to one of her advisors.

Dwerping At The Park

The weekend before my birthday I dragged everyone to Cheyenne to go to Outback and the bookstore. While we were there we went to a cute park in the center of town. I got some good pictures of the kids and loved being silly with everyone.
Does anyone else see this and think James Franco?

A very historical train that was very...historical.  I can't remember why it was cool, but at the time I was thoroughly impressed.


Eric on the tinniest swing in the world.

Failing at Waiting, or Ethan's 5th grade program

The school programs here are always crazy. For some reason they turn into big family reunions the likes of which I can only fathom for graduations or weddings.  Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, second cousins, everyone shows up to every program.  Ethan's 5th grade music program was combined with all the 5th grades in the district so they decided to hold it in the concert hall in the high school.

I knew going into school program and dance season that I wanted a better camera for taking pics and videos under the lower lights.  I have a good DSLR but it is so old it doesn't do video.  Using my birthday money early, after hours of research, I picked a camera and found it actually available in town.  Knowing I would have to be early to get a seat, and armed with my new camera, I arrived an hour early to the program. 

We got great seats, third row, on the side that Ethan said he would be standing on.  Unfortunately Ethan didn't share the fact that due to the amount of kids in the program they were set up at 90 degree angles and my "perfect" seat was basically the one place in the auditorium I wouldn't be able to see him.

 I did get to glimpse the back of his head a few times.

Monday, October 6, 2014


Things have been a little hectic in our house.  I could list all the things that have kept me away, but I want to document them here so I don't forget this crazy, horrible, wonderful summer and fall.

 Recently Eric decided that we needed to refinance.  It is a smart financial move, based on the original loan we got and the amount of sweat equity we've put in, and the future we have ahead of us, but that means that for the last 10 days we have been finishing every project I started or wanted to do in the last 4 years.  Everything we did would have taken about 6 months for normal people but we crammed it all in in a week and a half.

How did we do this?  Caffeinated soda and candy.  We would get kids off to school, Eric would go to work and I would start work around 8am.  Taking breaks only to get kids and take them to activities I would work until at least midnight almost every night.  Almost, because there were a few nights I was up until 1:30 or 2am.

I feel like I was hit by a truck, I am so physically exhausted.  After hiking Crypt (that will be another post) I felt refreshed compared to what I feel now.  It will have been worth it after a few nights sleep, and a little time, but right now I just feel tired of my house.  OTBS it is really nice to not have projects hanging over my head.