When I was a kid, my grandparents lived here in Kansas City. At some point my brothers made these ornaments (kits from said grandparents? I should ask my mom.)

A football player in Chiefs colors, and a baseball player in Royals colors. My grandparents moved away from KC in the early 90s, but these ornaments went on our tree every year. Fast forward to 2014 when we moved out here. My mom sent these to us because here we are in KC! Things come full circle sometimes. These grandparents also sent us each an ornament every year (which I LOVED) and between those, ones I made, and others we picked up along the way I had quite a collection of ornaments by the time Brian and I got married.

I admire those picture perfect Christmas trees, where everything matches and nothing is out of place. They seem very grown up. But I will never have that kind of tree, because I want to get out my box of ornaments and get all nostalgic and reminisce about all of them. It’s one of my favorite parts of the season. I’ll refrain from posting pictures of all my ornaments, but I WILL post this one, because: tiny book! Tiny nursery rhymes!

So. What about your tree?


This afternoon I went out to run a couple quick errands. I had 2 stops, and I figured I’d be home within an hour. Instead, I ended up taking a little detour. To the DMV. Where I spent an hour and a half and $400 renewing the tags for our Civic, because they were expired. It wasn’t an errand I’d planned on doing, because I hadn’t realized they were expired. Not until I GOT PULLED OVER BECAUSE MY TAGS WERE EXPIRED. (First time in my life I’ve ever been pulled over, by the way. Would have been happy to never hit that milestone.)

Not a super great day, is what I’m saying. 

Election Day

When I was in 5th grade, we had a discussion in social studies about the possibility of a woman becoming president. As a class we agreed that it would definitely happen someday. We agreed that certainly it would happen in our lifetime. I distinctly remember feeling SO SURE. Why wouldn’t it happen? OF COURSE a woman could be president.

That was 23 years ago. As I got older, I understood the naiveté of that confidence.

I don’t want a discussion here. Assume that I am a rational, intelligent, THINKING PERSON and that I considered carefully who I would vote for. But also know that all politics aside, it felt pretty awesome to vote for the first woman to run for president.

Today, I’m with her.






(Let’s just skim right over the fact that I missed blogging yesterday because somebody (LYDIA) wouldn’t sleep so I spent all evening trying to comfort her.)


Failing at this

We’re on what, day 6 of this, and I already feel like I’ve failed. I have forgotten almost every day until I’m already in bed at which point I type something up really quickly on my phone and call it good for the day. I’m telling myself that building the habit of doing it is better than nothing but I want to WRITE again. I have things I want to say, even if it’s just so I can come back and read them later. 

Anyway. I’m sure there’s some bigger life lesson here, but I’m too tired to get there. Maybe tomorrow. 

2015 survey

I know I’ve done this in past years, but I’m too lazy to look them up & link them.
1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

Had a kid need overnight stay in the hospital (outside of immediately post birth.) Daniel had surgery and they kept him overnight to monitor him. I feel lucky that this is the first time we’ve had to do this in almost 8 years of parenting.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t make resolutions last year beyond: survive the year. Which I did! Yay! I do plan on making more this year. Lydia is finally doing more sleeping, and I feel like we’re in a better routine. A routine that’s more than just- do whatever it takes to make it through the day. (Don’t get me wrong, there are still days like that, but I feel like we’re finally moving past survival mode.)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My college roommate, a few friends from church, some online friends, and my SIL.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?

I didn’t leave the country this year. As per the usual. I did visit some other states: Colorado, California (and I drove there with my mom and sisters so we also saw Utah and Nevada.) and I went to Illinois for the first time! Also Missouri which hardly counts because we basically live there.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

Better time management. Some sort of workout routine. A lipstick that doesn’t make me feel like I’m in stage makeup.

7. What moments from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Daniel naming all the letters for me.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Nothing comes to mind. Which is pretty depressing.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not having enough patience with the kids

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing serious.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

New iPhone! First time I’ve had a new iPhone of my own instead of a hand-me-down.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Brian’s, as always. And the big kids. We have some really great kids.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Many people in the news.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Mortgage. Bills. Super fun things like that.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Christmas this year. We didn’t move!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Who knows. Probably some Justin Beiber crap that I don’t even know is by Justin Beiber.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?

a) Happier
b) Same. SADLY. I started weight watchers & lost about 15 lbs and then gained most of it back and blahhhhh.
c) Basically the same.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Read. Exercise. Write.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Time wasting. Pretty sure I say this every year, which I think means I should REALLY do something about it.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Home! No traveling, no company until after Christmas. It was really great.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?

I feel super cheesy saying this, but I fall in love with Brian all over again every year.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Arrow. Archer. The Great British Baking Show.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


24. What was the best book you read?

All The Light We Cannot See. I actually listened to the audio book, but I really loved this one.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I’m not a “musical discovery” kind of person.

26. What did you want and get?

Some more downtime during the day. I skew to the very far introverted side of the spectrum and I go a little nuts when I don’t get any downtime. Having 3 kids go to school in the morning has helped A LOT with this.

27. What did you want and not get?

Lydia to start sleeping through the night EVERY NIGHT and also to start talking. (I’m actually planning to call and get her evaluated by early intervention next week.) Also, to magically fit back in my pre-Lydia pants.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Jurassic World! But I haven’t seen Star Wars yet. So.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

On my actual birthday? I think we got takeout sushi? But I considered going to the Hoopla my birthday celebration. I turned 33. First year since I was 24 that I haven’t either A) been pregnant or B) had a baby under age 1.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I would find it super satisfying if Brian and I could get our acts together and stick to our budget. GAH.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

Loungewear. Don’t worry though, for 2016 I bought new, nicer loungewear.

32. What kept you sane?

Brian. Internet friends. My sisters.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?


34. What political issue stirred you the most?

I don’t talk politics on the blog. Or anywhere, basically.

35. Who did you miss?

My sisters. My parents. My long distance friends.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Oooohh, tough one! I met some lovely new ladies at the Hoopla, (plus one who SHOULD have been there & then couldn’t be.)

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

That weight watchers doesn’t work if you don’t actually count points. (Alright, I knew this before, but learned it FROM EXPERIENCE this year.)

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Old song, but from Just Another Day In Paradise (Phil Vasser) “Well there’s no place that I’d rather be.”


With a whimper

I feel a little pathetic about how this year’s NaBloPoMo went. Not because I missed a day (EVEN THOUGH I DID) but because writing still feels like an after thought. I like telling my story here, but this month didn’t really feel like that. Maybe blogging from my phone most days meant trading convenience for depth. It’s definitely more of a “jot down a quick something” way to do it. But! Better a quick something than nothing at all. Right? 

I hope so.


For Brian. I’m grateful every day that he’s who I get to be married to.

For our kids. Four amazing little people- how’d we get so lucky?

For our house. It’s not huge or extravagant, but it’s home and I love it.

For this wonderful, ordinary, lovely life we have. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. 

More miscellany

Almost forgot to blog today! So how about a couple quick and random thoughts?

I put flannel sheets on our bed today. I love flannel sheet season.

We have no plans for Thanksgiving this year. No traveling, no company, no getting together with anyone, and I’m looking forward to it. We’ve been married 9 years and we’ve never done Thanksgiving alone. I might worry about making all that food for just the 6 of us, but Thanksgiving leftovers are THE BEST. So it’s possible I’m looking forward to that part the most.

I finished up Christmas shopping early (as I like to do) and mostly Will is getting Legos, because that’s basically all he wants/talks about/plays with. So obviously yesterday he tells Brian he doesn’t want any more Legos because he has too many already. Sooooo… I’m sure it’ll be fine. Every set he’s getting is one he specifically asked for. Also? He loves Legos. I think he was just momentarily distracted by the Target toy catalog. (He went through it pointing out all the things he “really super-duper EXTRA wanted.” Spoiler: that was everything.) But, this may be the last year that I can shop so early. These kids and their OPINIONS.

I got a new phone for my birthday. (Okay, they just happened to come out a couple days before my birthday, but whatever.) This is the first time I’ve ever had a NEW smartphone. The others I’ve had were hand-me-downs from family. I did not expect to love it as much as I do. Also? I expected it to feel huge (I just got a 6s, not a plus, but I had a 4s prior.) It doesn’t, but WHOA, now my old phone seems tiny! I…don’t know where I was going with this.

Sometimes, when the kids get out ALL the toys and we don’t clean them up I think, “Well, all the toys are already out, so how could it get any messier?” But it does. It ALWAYS DOES. How do children do this? Is it one of their super-powers?

Not that long I go a got an Urban Decay Naked 2 palette, and loved it so much that I went ahead and also got the Naked Smokey palette and you know what? Nice makeup is a GAME CHANGER. Also, as it turns out, 33 is the age at which I start thinking, “WHOA, I should not leave the house without makeup.” Now if I can just get lipstick figured out I’ll be all set. (I feel like lipstick always looks bad on me. Plus my lips are always dry. Does not help things look nice.)

My summer allergies (which were INSANE) have finally eased up which means I got to quit taking my nightly Benadryl. I figured this would help me not feel so tired throughout the day, but instead I just stay up too late because: no Benadryl to make me feel sleepy! It’s a problem. I need to be a responsible adult and start going to bed on time. (Spoiler: I probably won’t.)

My life, some bullet points

I don’t understand how life can be SO CRAZY, yet every time I sit down to blog my mind goes blank. How can I have so much going on and nothing to say? So tonight you’re just going to get some random stuff. About me. Because it’s my blog and I’ll talk about myself if I want to.

  • I’ve decided that this is the year I finally, FINALLY, read the Lord of the Rings books. They’ve been on my (endless & unwritten) “to read” list for, I dunno, probably close to 20 years. I’ve owned them for several years (I don’t even want to think about how long I’ve owned them without reading them. Makes me cringe.) but I just haven’t gotten around to it. But. THIS YEAR! It is happening! I read The Hobbit (which I know is a prequel and is the only one I actually HAVE read before) last week, so I will be starting another one soon.
  • But before I start my next book, I will be finishing Lydia’s stitchery. I finished Daniel’s (FINALLY) just before he turned 3, so his definitely took the longest. I didn’t even *buy* Lydia’s until she was almost 1, and I’m down to just outlining, so hers has taken the least amount of time to do BY FAR. It is quite motivating to see the big blank space on the wall where hers will go. The other 3 are framed and hung, and the arrangement is clearly missing a 4th stitchery. I did discover after Daniel’s was framed that it’s actually bigger than Kalena or Will’s (which I suppose accounts for some of the extra time) but because his is vertical and theirs are horizontal designs, the arrangement still looks really nice. At some point I’ll take a picture. But it makes me SUPER WORRIED that Lydia’s isn’t the same size as Daniel’s and it’ll screw everything up. Yes, I could just take it up there and compare, but if it’s the wrong size I’ll just want to quit forever, so I’m refusing to look until it’s finished and framed.
  • I’m joining weight watchers tomorrow. Again. I mean, I haven’t done it since Lydia was born, but I did it after each of the other kids. It works well for me, and I like it (as much as one can LIKE restricting food consumption to a reasonable amount.) I never commit to anything until I’m getting decent sleep again, because I am incapable of making healthy eating choices when I’m up all night.
  • Related to that last one: *whispers* Lydia is actually sleeping better these days. Don’t say anything.
  • My allergies are INSANE out here. I didn’t even develop seasonal allergies until I was a teenager, but they were never all that bad in Colorado. Here though? MAN. I would say they’re currently the worst they’ve ever been. I take Benadryl every night and Claritin every morning and I’m still sneezy. Skip either one and I can count on a sinus headache.
  • I’d like to get back into doing yoga, but I don’t know WHEN. There isn’t time in the morning unless I want to get up at 5, which A) no I don’t, and B) taking Benadryl in the evenings means I have to drag myself out of bed at 6:30. 5 is laughably early for me to get up willingly right now. But by the time the kids are in bed all I have the energy for is sitting on the couch. That leaves sometime during the day when I’m sure to be interrupted at least a dozen times by various children needing various things. No very conducive to any workout, but seems especially bad for any kind of relaxation/mediation during yoga.
  • I’ve decided 32 is the age at which I actually start taking care of my face. I should probably write a whole post about this, because I want recommendations, but I don’t even know exactly what I need recommendations FOR. So. (Super good at being a grown up, obviously.)


I tend to be bad with technology. And I don’t mean I don’t know how to use it, because I do, mostly. What I mean is, technology that I own tends to break. Just because I own it. I recognize that this makes no logical sense, but it’s true. So it should have been no surprise to me when I broke my external hard drive. This was actually a result of my dropping it, not *just* owning it (although, probably just a matter of time.) Anyway. I dropped it. This has actually happened before with no ill effects, so I was a little surprised when this time after I dropped it I plugged it in and it did nothing. Nada. Didn’t even show up as plugged in. As you might be able to guess, this is BAD. But I did my usual technology fixing thing which is: hand it over to Brian. He’s like my technological opposite. He just has to touch something and it magically starts working again.

When Brian couldn’t get it to work I knew it was really, REALLY bad. And then I got a little panicked, because you know what’s on that hard drive? All my pictures. And, because I’m stupid, that hard drive was the ONLY place I had pictures taken before April of 2009 stored. So: our wedding. Our first house. My pregnancy with Kalena. Kalena’s WHOLE FIRST YEAR.

Brian did manage to find a back up he’d done which included some of Kalena’s baby pictures, but still. I lost a ridiculous number of pictures with that one clumsy move.

This is one of the reasons I want to be better about blogging Lydia’s babyhood. I posted TONS of pictures of Kalena when she was a baby, so at least I still have those. (Note to self: make a blog book before I break my blog and lose all those pictures.) I also, FORTUNATELY, keep scrapbooks. So I do actually have printed copies (in books even!) of about a gazillion pictures of Kalena as a baby. You’d think this would make me feel less sad about losing all the digital copies, but it doesn’t. (Okay, it makes me feel a little better. But not completely.) The little videos of her babbling? Gone. Goofy faces that were fun to look at but not worth printing? Gone. Shots of us together that I didn’t print because I thought they were unflattering of me? Gone. So yeah. I’m sad.