About Me

My photo
I'm Beth. I'm married to my best friend, and he's pretty awesome. We have two equally awesome kids, Gavin and Sophie.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Such a wonderful discovery!

Cookies are the devil.  Seriously, they are just so good tasting, and so bad for you.  So I am SO EXCITED that the paleo cookie recipe I tried last night was delicious, and completely fine to eat. :)  They totally took care of my craving for something sweet and I didn't feel sick after eating them like I would with regular sweets.  Even Sophie said they were awesome and, apparently even our dog liked them, since she stole the rest of Sophie's.  Several people have asked for the recipe, so I'm including it here.  Credit goes to, of course, Everyday Paleo, for this recipe (and for lots of the incredibly delicious things I make).  I followed this recipe more or less:

Nutty Cookies

* 2 bananas, mashed up
* 1/3 cup coconut flour
* 3/4 cup almond butter
* 1/2 tsp baking soda
* 1/3 cup raw walnuts, chopped
* 1 apple, finely diced
* 1/3 cup coconut milk
* 1 tbsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350.
In a mixing bowl, use a fork to mash up the bananas.
Add the coconut flour, baking soda, and almond butter and mix up.
Chop the walnuts and apples finely in a food processor.
Add the walnuts, apples, coconut milk, and cinnamon to the bowl and mix well.
Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spoon large tablespoons of the cookie mix onto it.
Bake for 25 minutes.

A couple notes I have to add:  its really hard for me to find coconut flour around here.  I have to order it online from amazon.  I get the Let's Do Organic brand, and I like it.  Second, I find almond butter is an acquired taste for some people, but we really like it here so hopefully you will too!! Also, used canned coconut milk, not the coconut milk beverage in the refrigerated section.  And don't use the light kind, because it sucks.
I made these like this last night, but I think next time I am going to substitute one banana for some pumpkin, since its close to Thanksgiving and I like festive things like that. :)


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Protect yourself

What I want to say in this post is something that is extremely important to me and on my heart, so of course I don't have any clue how I want to say it or how to organize my thoughts.  I have never pretended I'm a talented writer and I don't think of myself as the most intelligent marble in the deck (hehe), so try to slog along through my stuttering and rambling thoughts and maybe you'll get the message. 
This I suppose would mostly be to the younguns out there.  Actually I have my 'big girl' nieces in mind, and I guess they really aren't little kids anymore, as the oldest two are in college and so really are adults.  I don't really know if I like that quite yet, but that's how it is. 
Everybody makes mistakes in life.  Its how it always has been, always will be, there's no way around it.  You will never be perfect.  (I know, it hit me hard too.)  The best you can hope is to learn from your mistakes.  Its okay to make mistakes, just learn from them and move on.  Wouldn't it be awesome, though, if you could sometimes avoid your own mistakes and learn from someone elses'?  Especially to avoid pain and heartache.  Especially to avoid a lifetime of it. 
I won't pretend to know what its like to be a 'kid' today.  I didn't appreciate it when adults pretended they knew everything I was going through when I was a teenager.  Life has continually gotten harder, kids learn things younger and younger, and I've been out of high school now for 10 years, so it is undoubtedly different than when I was there.  However, on the flip side, I've *only* been out of high school for 10 years, so some things remain the same. :) 
I remember the talks/discussions/lectures/videos/conferences about sex pretty well.  They always tried to drill it into us that you are giving away pieces of your heart that you may not miss at the time, but later in life will come back to get ya.  I've heard it illustrated many, many different ways, and if you're like how I was, you can see what they mean but think "whatever".  Those things were far removed from me at the time, so I couldn't really UNDERSTAND. 
I'm married now, and I have a wonderful husband and we have a beautiful daughter.  I also have a stepson.  I love him with all my heart, he is just as much a part of my family as my husband and daughter are, but I would be lying through my teeth if I didn't tell you that the history involved in his coming to be did not affect my life every. single. day.  Not just my life, but Ernie's life, Sophie's life, and Gavin's life.  Not just us, in our immediate family, but our parents, and siblings, and nieces and nephews. 
When you are young, it is quite easy to think that whomever you are dating at the time is The One.  You cannot imagine feeling any more for anyone else, ever.  Except what if you do?!  I am so far from the person I was when I was 16...or 18...or 22.  And while there are people like my brother and sister in law who married their high school sweetheart and have a successful marriage, that isn't the norm anymore.  Chances are, you are going to get your heart broken.  You are going to date and breakup and date and breakup and learn from life until you find the person who truly IS The One.  Do you want to have to deal with that person who is The One actually being The Fifth?  Or The Tenth?  Or even The Second one?  Do you want to have to deal with them missing out on one part, or three parts, or many, many parts of your heart that someone or multiple someones have taken?  If you could really think about it, really sit and let that sink into your heart, you wouldn't want that.  Or if that doesn't really get you, think about yourself.  I gotta be honest and say that thinking about this future spouse that I didn't know didn't always really hit me either.  What if you find the person you're going to marry and while they definitely love you, too, and you are meant to be together, in their past they didn't have you in mind.  They gave away big parts of themself to someone else.  What will that do to you? How will that affect you? 
Now you can think all you want that you are mature enough to handle that just fine.  But I don't buy that.  The thoughts that hit me about the past are surprising to me at times and come out of nowhere.  I can't control it, and I definitely can't change it.  Because mistakes you make with your heart and with intimate relationships are permanent.  You can learn from them, sure, but you can NOT change what has already happened.  You can't have a do-over, you can't reverse it.  It is part of you and part of your life, from now on. 
(it is at this point, that some big paragraph I typed disappears.  I will try to recreate it...I can't promise it will be as good.) I will once again be brutally honest and say that when I thought about my future when I was younger, I never imagined it would be this way.  I never thought my husband and I would have to involve attorneys for every holiday.  I never thought we'd have to coordinate vacations and all plans with someone we don't really want to have to see.  I never thought I'd have to have my husband's ex girlfriend as part of my life, for the rest of my life.   I have to deal with my daughter's heartbroken crying every time her brother leaves.  I have to try to figure out how to explain to her that daddy is daddy to both of them, but I am not bubba's mom.  Its big things, its small things.  Its a daily thing.  Every single day that affects all of us.  I don't even know if I'm getting the gravity of this across even now. 
Lets be serious here.  Experiences I have with my husband, sometimes it pops into my mind that maybe he had this same experience with someone else.  That hurts.  We've been married 4 1/2 years, and it still hurts JUST THE SAME as the first time I felt this hurt.  Would I change being married to my husband? No way.  I truly believe that he is the one God had for me.  But I also believe that we don't always stick to God's plan, so we both screwed it up before we even met each other.  We both have to deal with big hurts stemming from the other's past.  And it sucks the big one. 
Whatever you may think about what you're doing with a significant other right now...if you think its not going to affect you that much, or at all, or it may hurt at first but as you get older and wiser and more mature that it won't affect you anymore YOU ARE WRONG.  Is there a ring on your finger?  No? Then do the right thing.  Wait it out.  Sexual sin doesn't just hurt for a time.  It leaves the deepest scar on you that you can have.  I promise you that.  You will never EVER regret NOT going too far with someone.  But you don't want to be 35 and still paying for what you considered to be no big deal when you're 18.  Please think about what I've said.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I guess this makes me a typical woman...

Last night it was just Sophie and me at home.  She asked me if we could go to Joe's (the convenience store near our neighborhood) so I said sure.  We hopped in the car -- she got to wear her jammies which she thought was the best thing ever -- and went to Joe's and she got a snack and a drink.  Joe's is also a gas station, but I didn't get gas because I got gas the day before!  In fact I didn't even look at the gas gauge.
Oh yeah...but I guess I forgot that the day before, I only got 20 bucks in gas because the pump was super slow and I didn't want to be late getting Gavin to school.  And then I drove quite a few places.  And I have a Yukon.  20 bucks doesn't go far.  Joe's is honestly about 5 minutes away, and we were on the main street of our neighborhood when I definitely ran out of gas. 
I used to pride myself that I never had run out of gas.  Now it has happened to me 3 times.  This is just embarrassing.  I like to think that my truck is partially to blame.  The needle on the gas gauge likes to float around.  This time, however, was totally my fault, I just had a brain fart. 
Ernie was at work and would be the rest of the night, but LUCKILY I remembered we now have AAA!  Oh what a wonderful thing to remember.  I called, they sent a guy out and he put some gas in for me.  Sophie was wonderful while we waited for him to show up -- she just ate her snack and drank her drink and waved at all the other cars driving by. 
I haven't even told Ernie yet. I'm not looking forward to being heckled.  But thanks AAA!  I love you guys!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Warm Fuzzies

I just want to say I love my kids.  They are just such a huge source of joy.  Of course, they're a huge source of headaches, too...:)  But the joy overrides that.  I was just sitting here thinking about how cute they are together and how thankful I am that Sophie has Gavin as a big brother. I don't think I could ask for a better big bubba for her.  I love overhearing them talking to each other and playing.  Yesterday I heard this conversation:
S: "Gavin, do you want to share some of my candy with me?"
G: "No thanks."
S: whiny sounding, "but bubba, I just love you so MUCH!"
G: "okay, sure, I'll share some."
S: "hooray!"

That just made my heart all warm and fuzzy. :)  Ernie and I were just talking about how we have two really big-hearted kids, and that is just one illustration to me of how its true.  The reason we were having that conversation is I was frustrated how Sophie gets so hurt so easily over any little thing (which sounds familiar...), and he brought up that it is because she is so caring and sensitive and big-hearted.  So I guess I'll take the downside of that to be able to experience her sweet caring spirit the rest of the time. <3  What sweethearts I get to spend time with every day!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Its been a while since I posted, and since my brain isn't organized enough today to actually put thoughts together for the posts I want to write, here is something funny instead:

the truth to understanding men:


Translated: "There is no rational thought pattern connected with it, and you have no chance at all of making it logical."


... Translated: "Why isn't it already on the table?"


Translated: Absolutely nothing. It's a conditioned response.


Translated: "I have no idea how it works."


Translated: "That girl standing on the corner is a real babe."


Translated: "I can't hear the game over the vacuum cleaner."


Translated: "Are you still talking?"


Translated: "I remember the theme song to 'F Troop', the address of the first girl I ever kissed, and the vehicle identification numbers of every car I've ever owned, but I forgot our anniversary."


Translated: "The girl selling them on the corner was a real babe."


Translated: "I have actually severed a limb, but will bleed to death before I admit that I'm hurt."


Translated: "It didn't fall into my outstretched hands, so I'm completely clueless."


Translated: "What did you catch me at?"


Translated: "I haven't the foggiest clue what you just said, and am hoping desperately that I can fake it well enough so that you don't spend the next three days yelling at me."


Translated: "I am used to the way you yell at me, and realize it could be worse."


Translated: "Oh, please don't try on one more outfit, I'm starving."


Translated: "No one will ever see us alive again."

Monday, September 5, 2011

They're just down there right now, shivering!

I was going to finally get around to making a post today about our family camping trip we took last weekend, but I had to instead write about this!

As many of you know, Gavin is one of the pickiest eaters on the planet.  Now, when I say that, its not like 'oh yeah, my kid's a picky eater'.  He SERIOUSLY is a picky eater. I mean, he has some sort of serious phobia about a ton of foods.  Getting him to eat healthy foods is a constant battle, and new foods -- forget it.  Its extremely frustrating and sad to me, because 1)I like to cook and 2) its so hard to get the nutrition into him that I know he so needs. 
Anyway, he had told Ernie he'd try some stuff from our garden, because we grew it ourselves, and I don't know if that's less scary to him or what.  Whatever the reason, I was very happy to hear it but had my doubts.  He says he'll try something and then he'll freeze up and just can't do it.  This past week we were having a bunch of vegetables, and he was eating cucumbers (which are one of the few veggies he will eat).  Since we had some cut up zucchini that I had just picked, I gave him a piece and told him it was pretty much like the cucumber he was eating.  And...


Big deal, your kid ate a piece of zucchini.  No, really, its a HUGE deal.  I was so shocked I just stood there for a minute, speechless.  If we are successful in getting something new down his throat, its not before there is a big deal made, crying, threats of privileges being taken away, etc.  I was so excited that he willingly ate it, no problems. 
So I came up with an idea.  I told him that I would keep track, and when he has tried 5 new healthy foods, he will get a reward.  I'm not usually one for bribing kids to do stuff they should already be doing.  But this is sort of a different circumstance.  And he seemed pretty excited about the prospect so we're giving it a try.  I actually thought it would probably take the rest of the year or more to make it to 5, but yesterday at lunch, he tried a nectarine.  He was more apprehensive about this one -- it sat on his plate through our whole lunch, until he had no other food left to distract him.  He stared at it for a while, but the important part is, he eventually tried it.  It wasn't his favorite thing, but he also didn't die (something he seems to think will happen if he tries something different).  And I don't care if he LIKES what he's trying, as long as he gives it a good try before refusing it by saying "I don't like that".  He has to know he doesn't like it from experience, not just because it seems weird. 

Then came the biggest shock of all.  We picked several things from the garden last night.  One thing Gavin picked was two cayenne peppers.  We were eating dinner and somehow it came up that he would try one.  I totally believed he was just teasing.  I mean, I will not even eat those.  Ernie had them on his plate, and there Gavin went: he actually ATE a bite of cayenne pepper.  This kid that's afraid of homemade hamburgers.  Seriously!?  I was so freaking shocked.  And that is when I knew hell must have frozen over. 
The first bite he said was fine, so he took a second bite and got a seed -- okay so then he wasn't too pleased.  2 glasses of milk, a piece of bread, and a spoon of sugar later he was fine, and more importantly, he had tried something extremely different and made it through!
I am so incredibly proud of him! 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Perfect, perfect example of the entire point of this post: I had a hard time not typing "mom brian". 
None of you thinks mom brain is a myth, right?  It is a serious affliction.  As my kids age, I get progressively dumber.  I am serious.  Okay, I was the stupidest right after Sophie was born, but man...that no-sleep fog you get with a newborn DOESN'T GO AWAY!  You know when they list all the things birth control protects against?  This should be one of them.  You will not be nearly as dumb if you don't have kids.
At least in my case.  If you haven't experienced this, i don't want to hear about it.  So pfffbt.
Which brings me to this.  I started playing Words with Friends on facebook...do you people all cheat or something?!  I have often played Scrabble with my family, and maybe its just because I'm playing against a 9 year old most of the time, but I thought I was alright at it.  But no. I suck big time at WWF.  I can't seem to win.  When its my turn to come up with a word, I will sit here and try to rummage through the recesses of my noggin to try to come up with something and all I find are dust, recipes, and the lyrics to all the songs on Elmo in Grouchland.  Its a tad frustrating.  My memory (okay, this is ridiculous...I typed "momory") is not great.  And by not great, I mean its pretty crappy. I have to WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN on a to-do list for the day or chances are, it won't get done. I like to pretend that I'm just really organized, but that's bull.  I'm forgetful! I have mom brain.
The upside to this, though, is that even though I'm losing these games, I feel like its exercising my brain at least a little.  I'm not just reading directions for cooking something, or scanning the netflix guide to find an episode of Dora, or taping a bandaid around the pink crayon because its broken.  I'm using a different part of my brain, and that at least feels good.
Of course, now I can't remember what I was going to do instead of typing this...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The good life

I posted a status the other day on facebook askin for ideas of things I could do to earn money from home.  I said the reason I can't really have a traditional job out of the home is because of our schedule with Gavin.  I've had people ask me about that, and so I thought maybe I'd elaborate a little.  While I figure most people shouldn't care, because we are of course adults, who can make our own decisions, I know other people (family included!) who have expressed concern over us not making very much money, yet still living on only one income. 
In today's world, material things seem to be a high priority.  People think they need things to survive that really, if you took a look at it, are definitely luxuries.  I know there are people who absolutely need to have both parents working full time jobs to make it day to day, and these people are awesome -- because I can't imagine doing this full time job of being a stay at home mom on top of a full time (or even part time for that matter) outside the home job.  If it was necessary, I would do it.  But since I'm not in that situation, I can't imagine what it would be like.  Being a mom is tough. 
If our situation was a little different, who knows what I would be doing.  If we only had Sophie, maybe I'd be working.  Even then, as Ernie and I have discussed, the majority of my salary would most likely be going toward daycare for her.  Something that doesn't seem to make all that much sense...seeing as how neither of us has a college degree, we don't have unlimited earning potential (kids, stay in school!!!).  However, we don't just have Sophie.  We have Gavin, too, who is a huge blessing but also takes some juggling with schedules. :)  We have Gavin 5 days at a time, which of course includes some school days.  I drive out to pick him up, and on school days, I take him to school and pick him up when school is over.  This has me driving around at different hours, and its a good thing I can because Ernie wouldn't be able to do it with work.  If I were to get a job outside the home, where would that leave us with Gavin?  Sure, Sophie could be easily covered in daycare during working hours (not an attractive option, but not impossible).  But the reality of the situation is that we would be reduced to having Gavin every other weekend, and that is it. 
That's not acceptable to us. 
We do struggle to get by...as most people seem to be doing.  While some people have acted as if we are poor decision makers for living on a small amount and letting me stay home and "do nothing", I just say we have far different priorities.  Are our priorities different than others in this 'day and age'?  Probably.  In order of importance to Ernie and I are:

1) God
2) Spouse
3) Children
4) Others

Material possessions and money are much farther down the list. :)  Is it hard to go without some things? Yeah, definitely.  Our culture shoves so much in your face that its easy to think "oooh, I want that".  But would it be harder to go without such a huge part of our family (our sweet little Gavin)? 100% yes!  I will take penny pinching and coupon clipping and going without 'necessities' like fancy phones, and TV, and new cars, and vacations, etc. to have our family be able to spend time together. 
No amount of money in the world would make it okay for us to give up the life we have now.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Late night adventure

Okay, sorry I didn't update more about my late night hospital visit.  My sleep has been all thrown off so I have been just in zombie mode around here for the weekend.
Friday night I stayed up with Ernie since he was off work, and didn't go to bed until about 1:30.  I was laying there reading and my chest started hurting.  I have had that problem before so I sat up, hoping it wasn't going to be like the other times.  But it got worse -- the worst part about that is, I start having huge amounts of anxiety about it because I haven't yet figured out why I have these chest pains, so on top of the regular pain, I have panic attack pain.  I start thinking in my head that I'm going to die.  Well this time the pain was worse, so I actually woke Ernie up and asked him if I should call 911.  The thought of this scares me WAY worse because I don't have medical insurance and I know how expensive the ambulance bill would be on top of the hospital bill.  Instead, after a while Ernie decided he was worried enough about me that he was taking me to St. Peters.  (One downside of living out here...no hospital in town!)  So at about 3am Ernie got Sophie up out of bed and we made the drive in.  It was no fun. However, once we got there, it was quite a bit different from our other experiences with the ER...just mention chest pain, and you get in right away!! 
I had an EKG done, chest x-rays, and blood drawn.  Most of the time I just laid on a gurney and had my heart monitored.  They pretty much treated it as a heart attack coming in -- gave me the aspirin and all that.  Which is really scary.  I'm 28 years old.  The good news was, my EKG was perfect, my blood pressure is low as usual, and my cardiac enzymes and chest x-ray were just fine.  The only abnormality was elevated white blood cells.  Basically, they don't know why I'm having the pains.  Which sucks...I would like to get it figured out so I know what it is and how to prevent it!!  They have been a ton better since we started eating paleo, so I feel like grains/wheat/fried stuff may have something to do with it, but there's been no definite answer as to what is going on.  Its kind of scary knowing these 'attacks' can still happen even with our change in lifestyle with our eating and all that. I thought I had it figured out and I would never have them again!  I also have a *ton* of anxiety about getting the hospital bill in the mail, but we will just cross that bridge when we get there.  I am trying to control the anxiety I have, worrying about having more of these pains.  They were about a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10, and the most pain I ever had in labor with Sophie was maybe a 6 or 7 to me.  So, I don't know really how to handle pain like that!  Especially when I have no reason for why its happening.  Its really scary!  Am I dying?  Am I having a heart attack?  I don't know at the moment its happening so its pretty hard to deal with.  The good news is, its gone now, I'm not having a heart attack in my 20s...
Another awesome part was how WONDERFULLY my daughter behaved in the ER at 3 am!  I fully expected a 3 year old who got woken up in the middle of the night to be grumpy and clingy and all of that.  And then to have to wait in the waiting room forever, I would expect whining.  But she did none of that.  It was like an adventure to her!  She got to wear her pjs out, and Ernie took her to the vending machines and got her orange juice and a bag of cookies.  She had a great time!  He even laid down on one of the couches and she sat quietly in a chair and looked at a book and played with her babies.  What a good girl!! She made it so much LESS stressful than it could have been.  She even told me "we're gonna take care of you mama." Awww.
I would appreciate prayers for me while I try to figure out what the heck is happening to make me have these!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Whiny Britches

Does anyone know how much I despise driving anywhere except for around town??  I HATE IT.  I wouldn't say I'm a wuss, but it just gives me huge anxiety.  It didn't used to be that way, but it is now.  Living in Yelm, I really don't have reason to drive anywhere else but to Olympia, and out to Spanaway to get Gavin.  And there's not really even any traffic on those drives. 
Today, I had the DELIGHTFUL task of driving to downtown Tacoma to pick up Ernie's race packet for the Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon that he's running tomorrow morning.  Okay, so I wasn't looking forward to driving to Tacoma in the first place, and add on top of it that today is Friday, which is Awesome Traffic Day in the area, especially after 2 pm, which is when the packet pickup started!  Sophie and I left home at 1 pm and went on our merry way.  I got to drive through the armpit that is Spanaway/Parkland (by the way, I can read about 1/4 of the signs in that area.  Not that I mind Spanish...) and when I got to Tacoma, hooray: road construction!  I took the detour, and by this time I really REALLY had to pee.  We found a parking spot several streets and a steep hill away, and finally Sophie and I made it to the hotel where they were set up.  The actual packet pick up was super easy and quick -- I gave them Ernie's name, the lady pulled his stuff out and put it in a bag, told Sophie she was cute and smiled at her, and we were done!  It was fun dragging a tired 3 year old back up the steep hill ("mommy this is too much, its making me SORE") and then it was time to drive home! 
Also, I am terrible with directions.  Usually, if I say something bad about myself, or whatever, my dad will say "oh no you're not"...when I mentioned to him a couple weeks ago that I'm bad with directions, he said "I remember".  So see, I am.  So I printed off directions there AND the reverse directions.  I made it back through the detour and out of downtown in one piece.  I even made it through Spanaway, and by that time the Friday traffic was in full force.  The one bright spot: I got to get a coffee at Big Foot Java, and there aren't any of those near enough to us for me to visit on a regular basis. :)  SOOOO...back to Yelm, had to stop at Walmart (which is also a delight on Friday afternoons) because Sophie is going to make a t shirt to wear for Daddy's race. 
4 hours of my life that I'll never get back later...I'M HOME.  I think when I snapped at the dog for hacking up her lung is when I realized I am super wound up and stressed just from that drive!  And I would consider it a success: I didn't get in a wreck,  I didn't get lost, I didn't scream at anyone...
Tomorrow, we get to drive back out there! I'm so looking forward to it.

I think I need some chocolate.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What a pain

I've been looking for something to help with pain relief that isn't going to kill my liver, like ibuprofen.  Unfortunately I feel like I take too much ibuprofen and it isn't something I enjoy.  I have quite a bit of lower back pain way more frequently than I can just 'deal with'.  So I decided to try this stuff called DLPA, which is supposed to be a natural pain reliever.  It also has anti-depressant qualities, so score!  I took my first dose today.  I am going to try to keep a record each day of my pain level/type so I can see if this stuff really works.  I'm pretty excited to see how it goes!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Best $20 day ever

Today was hot.

I had told the kids last week that after they got back from camping, we'd go to Charlie's Safari.  And God bless them, those kids remembered.  The same kids that can't remember what I lovingly told them to do 2.5 minutes ago, remembered through 4 days of heavy activity one sentence I uttered.  But you know.
So after Ernie left for work (and 4 hours of Sophie saying "can we go to Charlie's Safari now?!") we loaded up in the car.  Gavin has ridiculously thick hair, so we stopped and got him a haircut.  Pretty humorous to see the tan lines around his head and from his glasses. ;) 
So finally FINALLY...we made it to Charlie's Safari.  I'm pretty sure if you could have listened to the kids thoughts you would have heard the Hallelujah Chorus.  They just almost cannot stand it, how much they love that place.
I know I have written about this promised land for kids before.  But seriously.  Best $20 ($10 per kid) you will ever ever spend on a hot summer day!  That place has glorious arctic air blasting in there for all the sweaty kids.  Its so huge that the screaming is not overwhelming at all.  And there are plenty of tables for me to sit at and enjoy my hours of nearly uninterrupted reading.  Oh happy day!  We stayed for 2 hours -- 2 hours of not a peep out of the kids except to ask for water.  No fighting.  No whining.  No bugging.  No sweating...just me and my book and magazines, with my feet propped up on one of the other chairs at my table with that frigid air blowing on me.  It was delightful.  And once we got home, these kids had worked up such an appetite that I didn't have to remind them even once (let alone 47 times) to eat their dinner.  AND, they are worn out, so Sophie is already in bed snoring.  I love it!  And I love you Charlie, whoever you are.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

You can't say I don't love a deal!

Its hot today!  The kids and I waited until Ernie left for work to go run our errands (which I what I do every day, actually.  We like to get to spend time with him!) and it was pretty hot out when we left.  We had several things to get for their camping trip tomorrow -- oh yeah, I'm not going.  More on that later.  Anyway, we went to Walmart and Safeway.  I got everything taken care of (plus spent about 7 hours in the toy section.  Okay maybe not that long, but you know).  After we got gas in the Yukon I decided it was too freaking hot, and so as a treat, the kids got to get sprites at Jack in the Box.  Sophie was ecstatic...seriously?! A pop?!!  So I ordered 2 small sprites, and the Voice from the Box told me that the large drinks are on special and are only a buck.  So I'd be paying more for smalls.  Forget that! I want to pay the least amount I can, always.  I also know, with the sweet and precious way Sophie has been acting, that she won't want to share with her brother, although one large drink between them would still be too much.  So, they each got a large.  I'm nothing if not a bargain shopper...
Sophie's eyes got even bigger than usual when I handed her that drink that's bigger than her leg.  They both geeked out for a while.  This cute picture is of them feeling totally spoiled...about 10 seconds before Sophie knocked hers over because it was too heavy to lift, and then weeping followed.  LUCKILY...another large sprite comes in handy!  They had to share after all.  Haha, take that! 
After the Evening of Sprite, the kids decided they needed to paint.  Actually, okay, they've been bugging me to paint every 10 minutes for the past 2 days.  So I made them eat salad with the promise of painting afterwards, and then Sophie stripped down out of her new clothes so that she could "not get them all crazy".  Brings a tear to my eye, when she tries to avoid messes.  I gave them each a canvas and a palette of paint and they went to town.  I love seeing what they come up with and they get really into it.  Sophie even told me "mom I'm having so much fun, isn't that awesome?!" 
I'm glad these kids are so cute. I started my day off SUPER grumpy...one of the reasons I am staying home from camping.  Okay so, I did not grow up camping.  I'm pretty sure my mom's idea of camping is going to a hotel.  Actually, I'm 100% sure, because that is also my idea of roughing it.  A hotel with no pool.  The one time I went camping as a teenager, was in good ol' Kansas, and the tornado sirens went off.  Which was traumatic.  So anyway, my family is way excited to go.  Lately I have mentioned on facebook that I need a momcation.  Well...this could be my momcation!  I can finish my kitchen cabinets.  I can CLEAN and have it stay clean because no stinky grubby little children will be following me, wreaking havoc.  I can have peace, and quiet.  I will most certainly miss them.  But won't that make me just appreciate them more when they get home? ;)  Plus, no mosquitoes/lack of showers/lack of heating pads for my cramps...and if its too hot I can sit in front of my fan and watch a chick flick.  Yeah that sounds awesome. So, at this moment, I'm not grumpy anymore.  Success!

p.s...I'm saving this in my blackmail file for Teenage Sophie. I've got my eye on you...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


We've been eating paleo for about 6 or 7 months now.  And while sometimes its really easy -- I can't imagine going back to eating pasta or bread or any of that other stuff -- sometimes its sorta hard, like when fries or ice cream sound irresistibly delicious.  You ladies know what I'm talking about. 
I most definitely could NOT have made this switch, though, without some major help.  A lot of that help comes from my super supportive and super fit and healthy husband, but another large portion comes from Sarah Fragoso at Everyday Paleo, who has written the most awesome book!  I say book because it is way more than a cookbook.  A cookbook on steroids maybe.  I have never ever tried an Everyday Paleo recipe that I didn't like.  In fact, Ernie requests them over and over.  And while I do cook other things that are paleo friendly, most of the best stuff I've made has come from the book or the Everyday Paleo website. So thank you THANK YOU to Sarah for helping me exponentially in this huge lifestyle change!
One thing I have been thinking about lately is meatloaf.  I always made really good meatloaf, and I was a little sad that my recipe would be a no-no now.  Yesterday I decided to try a paleo recipe for meatloaf and what do you know...it was AWESOME.  The only downside was that our whole house smelled delicious for an hour while it cooked and we were starving by the time it was ready. :)  So I am going to include the recipe here, courtesy of Sarah Fragoso.  If you're not sure about this crazy paleo stuff, try this!  I bet you like it. :)

Everyday Meatloaf

* 2 pounds ground beef
* 1 cup almond meal
* 2 eggs
* 1- 6 ounce can tomato paste
* 1 finely diced red onion
* 3 minced garlic cloves
* 1/2 tbsp sea salt
* 1/2 cup diced fresh basil
* 1 tsp marjoram
* 2 tsp finely ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients by hand in a large mixing bowl.
3. Place mixture into a large glass baking dish, and form into a loaf (Gavin asked "why is it called meatloaf?" this is why.)
4. Bake for 1 hour or until meatloaf is no longer pink in the middle.

This should serve 5, according to the recipe...however, if you have an eater like Ernie, it will serve about 3.  Next time, I plan on making 2 at once so we can actually have some leftovers because I am already wanting more! :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Yes, please let your pit bull do whatever it wants.

So last night, imagine my surprise when I looked out my dining room window and saw two giant pitbulls in my driveway!  I thumped on the window and told them to get out of here, and since they apparently noticed my fear, they decided to stay.  They even came up on my porch to visit.  Even though leash laws are clearly posted in our neighborhood, these two muscled beasts were just running around, having the time of their lives intimidating everyone.  The part that bugged me was that I have seen one of the dogs often in the neighborhood, roaming freely.  Never on my street, though, and never in my own yard.  No unwelcome guests should be on my property, much less menacing death machines.  I mean, dogs.  I was home alone with the kids, and it was still the time of day they are playing outside. We like to spend time on the porch but it was taken over by these dogs.  They are obviously owned by someone, and this person doesn't have the decency to keep their dog confined, according to the law.  Do they care about my safety or the safety of my kids? Apparently not. Like many people in our culture today, they don't care about anyone but themselves. 
So I called the Yelm Police.  I called them because when I called Yelm Animal Control, their offices wer closed.  So I spoke with the police.  The officer on duty called me back and said they don't handle domestic animals, and to call animal control.  I asked him what to do if its after hours.  His answer was he wasn't sure.  So this morning, I called Yelm Animal Control.  I was informed that since we are just outside city limits, we're not in their jurisdiction.  Call Thurston County Animal Control.  So I did that.  I heard the words I have quickly gotten used to about this matter...they don't handle this.  Apparently, according to TCAC, no one is contracted to handle animal problems in this area of the county.  The police said they can't do it, Yelm said they can't do it, Thurston County said they can't.  I asked for reasons.  He said while it is still against the law for the animals to be running around loose, there is no one to enforce it.  So why the crap even say its against the law?  I am incredibly frustrated.  Its not just an issue of someone's stray chihuahua.  These two dogs are very large, and were racing around, snarling, scaring my dog and everyone else on the street. 
So, with the encouragement of TCAC, I called my commisioner.  I am not hopeful, but it would be nice if someone there actually cared and tried to help me figure out what to do in situations like this.  How helpless do I feel knowing that no one can do anything??  Yelm charges pit owners $500 a year for owning them, but then they don't care what they allow them to do?  Ridiculous. 
I know a lot of people think pit bulls get bad raps, yadda yadda, and I'ms ure there are nice ones.  But I am still going to be extremely intimidated by them if they are running wild.  And I don't think I should have to just be okay with no one doing anything about it.  According to the police, I have to wait until my life is in danger for them to intercede.  Which is awesome. 
If anyone else cares about this, contact out commisioner, Karen Valenzuela, at 360-786-5440, about changing this "decision" of theirs to have no enforcement.

Monday, July 4, 2011

We made it!

Right now Ernie is at his first day of his new job! Hooray! 
We have made it -- its been nearly two years since he got laid off.  Two years of unemployment.  During that time we also had legal stuff to deal with, the worry involved with family court issues: custody, child support, parenting plans, visitations, and a huge one -- attorneys fees.  But we made it.  And most days, I felt like I didn't know how we were getting through it.  But of course, I should know...
"my God will supply all your needs" ~Phil. 4:19

I would be lying if I said that I had that in my mind everyday.  Even most days.  I am too much a pessimist sometimes, as much as I try to think positively. It is scary, the unknown.  I am so thankful that I have a husband who truly 100% believed those words, and remembered them every day.  I never saw him getting down on himself and doubting.  Even when things seemed scary, he always believed that God would provide for us.  And in these two years, He absolutely has.  We have always had a roof over our heads, and we've always been able to pay for it.  We have been able to provide our kids with food without fail, and we have stuck together as a family.  It is not us who made that happen.  Of course, we were willing to do whatever we needed to make it through.  Ernie is an incredibly hard worker and very dedicated.  I know without a doubt I wouldn't have been able to make it through this time without him.  I thank God every day for his support and for his heart and for his desire to provide for his family. 
I know a lot of people scoff at the "God providing" stuff.  And that's okay.  You don't have to believe in my God the way I do.  But it is without doubt that I believe in Him because I have seen what he can do, firsthand.  I see how He has been with us every step of the way through this difficult time.  You know you hear stories of people who have run out of food, or have absolutely no money, and they wake up in the morning and there is miraculously a bag of groceries on the porch.  Or they need a certain amount of money for a bill and have no idea how they'll get it, and mysteriously, someone gives them the exact amount they need...I could always think "oh yeah, that's nice" but just kinda brush that off, because its not personal to me.  But this is exactly how life has been for us!  And I know that it is because of our God. 

"They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them." ~Psalm 112:7

Through these past two years, we have gotten 'bad news' time and time again.  And its still coming, usually in the form of emails from attorneys.  But we have gotten through this.  We have been cared for the entire time.  The bad news will pass.  The bad times pass.  Trust in my God does not. 

A job has been provided for Ernie after all this time and I am so thankful.  A full time job, at that.  As I write this, its 9:30 pm and I am listening to fireworks outside.  Its weird to think that he won't be home anytime soon. This second shift stuff is a huge change for us and will take a lot of adjustment, especially for my 'morning-person' husband.  (Which also means, for me, the night owl. Someone has to get up with the kids!)  But we are happily accepting it.  If he had been offered this job two years ago, would we have been so grateful for it? Or would we have grumbled about him working until 1 am?  There's a reason for everything.  Its hard to see it in the moment, but looking back, things are much more clear.  I need to write that down here so that I can remember it in other times of trouble. ;)  And I know there will be more difficulties ahead.  Life is far from perfect.  But tonight, I am content.  And most of all, thankful. 

Monday, June 27, 2011


Oh my daughter is such a little fart.  I can get so frustrated with her normal 3 year old stuff, but its so great that when the rest of my life seems pretty stressful/not fun, she can say something to make me crack up.  She is like a ray of sunshine!  Today she came up with a bunch of silly stuff, but one of my favorites was when we were running errands.  We had just dropped a box off at Goodwill, and Sophie said:
"Mommy, do you love Goodwill? Is Goodwill your best lady?"
I laughed and laughed and she said "I do. I love Goodwill.  But Goodwill is not my best lady.  Daddy is my best lady."
More uncontrolled laughing on my part...
I informed her that daddy is not, in fact, a lady.  She said "Daddy can have a moustache because boys have moustaches.  But he can be a lady because sometimes ladies have moustaches too and when you see them you say YUCK."

how could that little stinker not crack you up??

Thank you Sophie, for making my day better.
And she's right about the ladies with moustaches.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hooray for summer!!

Monday was Gavin's last day of school.  I can't believe he's moving on to the 4th grade...time seems to be flying!  I feel like I just took him to his first day of kindergarten.  He has been growing into such a smart little fart though (obviously, because of our influence). :)  We decided to celebrate the end of school and the beginning of summer, and since school was just a half day, we all had lunch and then went to Charlie's Safari!  To say the kids were excited would be an understatement.  If you are unfamiliar with Charlie's Safari, its a little bit like Chuck E. Cheese, but WAY better.  Its huge, with bounce houses, and tons of stuff.  Its not just way better for kids, its way better for parents.  There's tons of tables to sit at, and I don't feel like I'm going slightly crazy there, like I feel at Chuck E. Cheese.  Anyway, we stayed for over 3 hours and the kids had a blast.  I did, too, because they played so well together, I got to read the entire time, almost completely uninterrupted.  Totally worth the cost of their admission. :)
After Charlie's Safari, we went to a park and the kids played, and then Ernie went to his running group, and the kids and I went to Target (my version of fun).
By the time we got home, the kids were exhausted.  It was a great first day of vacation.

Tuesday was the first official day of summer!  To celebrate, the weather decided to cooperate and it was beautiful out.  We decided to take the kids and go to the Nisqually Valley Wildlife Refuge.  We'd never been, even though we pass it all the time.  We didn't even really know what to expect.  It was a really neat place!  There are tons of trails to walk through the refuge.  We took the shortest one, since the kids were with us, but I can't wait to go back again just for adult time and walk all over the place!  It was really pretty there, and to make things even better, they had a sign out saying that since it was the first day of summer, they were waiving the admission fee. :)  That is my kinda outing...I love free.  Everyone should check it out though, its only $3 per family when you do have to pay.  We got pretty hungry walking around so we went and used my restaurants.com certificate (that I got for $2, thank you very much) at Norma's Burgers right around the corner from the wildlife refuge.  We'd never been there, either, and while it was a gigantic paleo cheat, it was delicious.  The kids split an oreo milkshake and we all got burgers.  It was awesome!
We were done with all that by 1, so we went home, got our baseball stuf and went down the street to this baseball field and hit some balls with the kids.  I happened to hit Ernie with some balls.  I don't blame my batting, I blame his pitching. :)  Coincidentally, those balls were the only ones where Sophie yelled "good job mom!" Ha! 
  When it was time to take Sophie to gymnastics, we were all super hot and sweaty and dirty, but we had so much fun! 
All in all I think we crammed in enough stuff to make the beginning of summer vacation super fun for the kids! 
Now I think today sounds good for a nap...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Let's go to Joe's!

First off, my daughter is hilarious.  I'm not sure if she is actually that funny to everyone, or if its just me, but regardless, she makes me laugh frequently.  (Which, I think, was God's design to get me through all the non-funny moments.)
We were just driving home from getting a few things we needed at Walmart when Sophie asked where we were going.  When I told her home, she said "no, I think we really really need to go to Joe's!"  Country Joe's is the little convenience store down the street from our neighborhood, and since it was pretty cute to me that she had a strong opinion about it, I took her there. 
I gave her 2 bucks to get a treat inside, and she was overly excited to go in.  Bong is the man who works at Joe's, and he is obviously from somewhere in Asia, and has an accent.  Sophie put her drink on the counter and Bong was very nice to her and talked to her a bunch.  As soon as we got outside the door, Sophie told me "he even speaks English!"
All I could think (while I laughed)  was that I was glad she waited until we got out of the store. :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Capital City Marathon

Today, I got up at 4:30 am.  Why is it that important things in life seem to occur early in the morning?!  At least for us lately.  Since January, Ernie has been training to run the Capital City Marathon.  Which has confirmed for me that he is, in fact, insane.  Every Saturday, he's gone in to Olympia and run with a training group at 7 am.  Sometimes the runs were 8 miles, and they ranged up to 22 miles.  8 miles seems like a ridiculously long run to me, and I'm assuming to most people.  Right?  Anyway, that's not the point.  All that has been leading up to today, and the Capital City Marathon starting bright and early at 7 am!
Except it wasn't bright.

It was definitely early though.  Ernie ran two half marathons last year.  Put those together and he has run 26.2 miles, but not all in one stretch.  That's a huge feat to accomplish, and I didn't think he'd want to drive all the way home to Yelm after putting his body through something which I consider completely unnatural.  So, Sophie and I got up at 4:30 and hopped in the car (drug myself to the car, maybe) and off we went! 

Back to the 'not bright' part...we woke up this morning to pouring rain and gray skies.  Ernie had been praying for cooler weather, since the past few days have been warm, but I am sure this really isn't what he meant.  Especially since he wears those ridiculous little tight running shorts.  (In his defense, he does look nicer in them than most of those emaciated-looking Career Runners.)  Halfway there, I also realized that, in putting a sleeping Sophie in the car, still in her jammies, I didn't think about getting any shoes for her.  Go mom.  I loaded her up in the jogging stroller (and covered up her feet with her coat, since it was pouring) and we went and saw Ernie off at the starting line.  After getting Starbucks of course, which is located conveniently across the street. :) 

Of course, I couldn't let Sophie go all day with no shoes, so we went and got breakfast and then got to Target as soon as it opened.  Sophie considers it a success because she got to pick out some pink polka dot Hello Kitty boots.  And I got to go to Target...but I swear I didn't forget the shoes on purpose.

We got back to Sylvester Park, where the finish line was, and Sophie "made" Ernie a neon yellow sign (she told me to write "GO DADDY!" on it).  We found a place to see the people coming up the finish line, and we waited!  It was still raining a lot and pretty cold. It felt okay for a while, but it started to get sorta miserable.  Sophie got cranky standing, and in my tradition of forgetting things today, I hadn't even thought about taking the jogging stroller to the finish line, so I got to hold all 37 pounds of her, plus all the rain her wet clothes had collected.  To add to that, she fell asleep on me, so she was dead weight for quite a while.  It was still pretty exciting, watching all the runners cross the finish line and hear people cheer.  Oddly enough, they all looked excited at having run that distance.  (I know, I can't figure it out either.)

I got pretty nervous, standing there, waiting for Ernie.  So many things ran through my mind.  He tripped and broke his ankle along the way...he pulled a hamstring and had to quit running...those things didn't worry me because I thought he could fail at all.  It worried me for him, because of what it would do to his feelings.  He would feel like a failure if anything went wrong, although I think even just setting this goal for himself was amazing.

But then I saw him!  Its not always easy to pick out individual runners in these things, because they all tend to dress pretty similarly.  Especially since they get a 'race shirt' when they register, and people seem to like to wear them for the run. Ernie, however, is a different story.  Remember how I said a lot of these people look emaciated?  Well a lot of them are like, 5'8, 90 pounds soaking wet.  You know.  Ernie's about 6'2, 200 pounds, and with his shave head I can pick him out above every one else.  So I saw him coming, and I hurried to wake Sophie up so she could cheer, and I scrambled for my camera.  But dang it if I didn't get any pictures because my husband was *sprinting* toward the finish line.  As if running 26.2 miles wasn't enough, he had to run too fast for me to even get him on film! This run seemed hard.   So many people I had seen come towards me looking like death.  So many were limping, many were barely dragging themselves toward the end, taking as long as they could, with their steps still being considered a 'run'.  Some were even walking.  The weather today seemed to kick so many butts.  But when I saw Ernie coming toward that finish line, he looked awesome!  He looked far healthier than he did last year for the Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon, and he ran twice as long this time.  He ran 26.2 miles in 4 hours, 17 minutes.  His first marathon, in less than desirable conditions.  I think that time is such a huge accomplishment. Especially to do it so well.  I even got a lump in my throat and some tears in my eyes.  Seeing him accomplish this goal at all was such a proud moment for me, but to see him be able to do it so well was just so...there really aren't words.  I didn't want to be the nerd crying at the finish line so I shaped up but still.  I just don't think he realizes how proud I am of him.  Sophie was so proud, standing there yelling "go daddy go! Run daddy run!" and waving her sign.
Ernie accomplished a huge thing today, something the majority of people don't accomplish.  Not just that, the majority of people don't even attempt it.  So if you read this, honey, I am unbelievably proud of you.  You are amazing!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Who would want to get up before 8 am?!

I'm not a morning person.  Getting up out of my nice cozy bed at 4:20 am is not my idea of a good time.  Its actually my idea of something a lunatic would do. 

However, I love clam digging.  Perhaps the only things that could cause me to (almost) voluntarily wake up at that ungodly hour are:
1) UFC (like, what if we had to get up early to travel somewhere? I could do that.)
2) clam digging
3) ....ok I'm coming up blank on this one.

So, to illustrate how much I love clam digging, I will tell you that not only did I get up at 4:20 am Wednesday, but I ALSO got up at the same time the VERY NEXT DAY.  Insanity! 
Wednesday Ernie forced me out of bed and I got dressed and stumbled around until we left the warm house and took off into the frigid cold to go to the ocean.  I was pretty jealous of Sophie.  She got to sleep until right before we left, and then she gets carried out of her room wrapped in blankets and catered to.  Dang it.  To add to the torture of this early morning, I forgot my coffee at home.  If you have any idea about anything that I love, you know that coffee is really high on the list, probably just under family.  Morning hater + no coffee = panic and weeping.

I'm getting off track. SO, Wednesday we loaded up the munchkin and took her with us to the beach, because what good are kids if you can't get their limit in clams too?  It was the perfect clam digging day.  Low tide was at 8:59, and we got our 3 limits of clams (that's 45!) and were driving away from the beach by 8:48!  That is what I call a successful dig.  We hung around in the town for a while, Ernie caught 3 dungeness crabs, and then we made it home in time to clean up and have our small group over. 

After all that, I was super tired.  But we agreed to do it again the next day.  I don't know about anyone else, but things always *sound* better to me in the evening, when I'm not being brutally torn from my peaceful slumber.  So....we got up again at the buttcrack of dawn, I stumbled around trying to get ready, and we squeezed into my mother in law's Suburban.  When I saw squeezed, I mean it.  We left our house and went to pick up Ernie's grandparents, and I was the only candidate for sitting in the third row of seats, next to Sophie in her carseat.  It must have been what sardines feel like.  Well, if food had feelings, which it doesn't.  Anyway.  Today, Friday, is Grandpa Leon's 87th birthday.  All he wanted to do when he found out there were clam tides this week was go to the ocean.  They haven't been in several years, although they used to go all the time.  Ernie has wonderful memories of going clam digging in his younger days with his grandparents, so we were happy to take them.  Ernie, Sophie, Carol, Grandma Doris and Grandpa Leon all headed off to the ocean.  (Let me say that I have to pretend to be a lot more of a morning person when there are old people there.  I feel bad acting grumpy.  So I was using a lot of energy, trying to seem chipper, wedged in beside a toddler in front of stinky crab pots, with numb feet.) 

Once we got to the beach we all made our way down there.  Grandpa Leon is not very steady on his feet, as much as he'd like you to believe he is.  It was a super windy day and I was sad that it was working against him.  He eventually had to go back to the truck, but he got to be out there at the ocean with us.  The rest of us all dug our limits, including Sophie.  Its hard work digging up clams, so we helped her with the digging part, but she was a super tough little girl and she picked up all 15 of her clams out of the sand, something that a lot of people, including our son and many otherwise mature adults, will not do because its "disgusting".  I was very proud of her and she was a really good girl. 

We went out to eat together, Ernie crabbed some more, and then we all drove back home after a very long day. When we dropped off the grandparents, Grandpa Leon said he wanted to thank us for letting them come along.  It was really sweet and I'm so glad it meant so much to him.  My grandparents are all gone now, and they always lived far from me.  Its wonderful to get to do things with Ernie's only remaining grandparents and I'm so glad we got to contribute to a great day for them. :) 

We usually take hundreds of pictures, but of course this time, when we have an extra special trip, we forgot to take the latest in our long line of cameras.  So although this was a long and rambling post, I wanted to make sure to record it because it was important for our family and I want to remember my daughter getting to do something that is special for our family with her great grandparents. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Okay, so...I've been having an alright day.  I took Gavin to school, got a good run in, put Sophie down for a nap and even watched a show while I had lunch.  Then I got in the shower.  All very relaxing. 
I guess that, although Sophie is doing well with potty-training, she decided it would be fun to poop during nap time instead of sleep.  AND, she also thought that it was too spicy for her butt so she stuck her hands in it because it "didnt feel gwood mama".  So I got to throw her in the bathtub and scrub her skin off (okay, I didn't scrub it off, but believe me I was tempted...yuck!), then I had to strip her sheets off and wash them along with all her precious blankies.  I have to make sure they are clean and ready by bedtime or there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  So I hurried through that, because I am sort of on a time schedule this afternoon and neither of those things was in my plans.  At all.  Thanks, Soph. 
We got that fiasco taken care of, clean clothes put on and all of that, and ran down the street to get some gas so we'd be able to make it to small group.  And my debit card was denied!  Not only that, but I had gone inside to pay, so I found out it was denied *after* I went back out to the pump and was trying to pump gas.  How did I find out?  Bong (honestly, that is his name) the guy that works there came out the door and YELLED across the (crowded) parking lot "miss, your card, denied.  DENIED.  Can't pump!"  I had to dig through my purse and find cash, which took up a bunch more time...while my cheeks are bright red of course because it looks like I'm someone who gets their card denied.  Anyway.  I came home and called the bank, because my account for sure has money in it.  After being on hold forever, the lady said "oh, I see the problem.  Your card isn't activated.  When you got your new card, you needed to activate it."  Odd, because I've been USING IT all month, just fine.  She said "oh hm.  Well do you want to activate it?"  Well, yeah.  I do.  I want to be able to use it.  So she transferred me to their activation line.  Which then hung up on me.

How long did all this take?  An hour and a half.  I'm pretty much over today.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Curse you cold and flu season!

I did everyone at church today at big favor by staying home. Not only do I think they would appreciate not catching my super-cold, but I also think the frequent coughing up of my lungs would interfere with ya know, listening/singing/etc. So, you're welcome Reality Olympia! :) I have been doing really well, health-wise, since taking my new vitamins. I've been feeling great! Ernie is a freak of nature and never gets sick, so when we *both* got sick this last week, I was a little surprised. I'm used to getting every single cold, stomach bug, etc., that we are exposed to, but like I said -- I've actually been taking my vitamins every day like a good little girl, something I have never been good at. And so I have surprisingly skipped a few sicknesses. This one must be a tough one though! It has gotten progressively worse for me through the week. Which means I have not gotten a work out in all week. In the not so distant past, I would have been pretty pleased to have a legitimate excuse to skip exercising, but these past few days with no working out or running have gotten me pretty bummed. Which is weird, and makes me think....who is this person?? I have actually asked Ernie each day "do you think its okay to work out today? I didn't get to yesterday." And he keeps telling me he doesn't think its a good idea. Instead of cheering in my head and going happily to do something non-exercisey, I've been let down! Creeeepy. So, I've spent the morning in my jammies, drinking my coffee (my cheat while eating paleo...sorry, me and the coffee beans will always be together), and planning our meals for the week. What is my husband doing while he's sick? Roto-tilling the back yard. We all use our "down time" in different ways... Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to sit on the couch with a blanket and plenty of fluids.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Better Late Than Never...

So my intention with this blog was to write about my family, but I've completely forgotten to write about our little trip we took last month. D'oh. Better late than never, though.
Its no secret that we have a lot of hassle/stress/heartache to deal with frequently regarding "sharing" our sweet boy Gavin. We don't need to get into all that mess... He's in cub scouts, and last month there was going to be a camping trip that he could attend with Ernie. It wasn't our scheduled time with him, so we had to go through the attorneys and all that to get things switched and on paper so Ernie could take him on the father & son camping trip. *Finally*, after lots of time, it got okayed. Unfortunately, there was so much hoopla and took so long, that the campout filled up. :( We were really sad for Gavin, because all he had been talking about was that he had always wanted to go stay in a cabin. We didn't want to just get him for the weekend and do the same old stuff, because that would be a huge let down.
So, we took a trip to the ocean!
We went to Westport, which is right on the beach and one of our favorite places. All four of us stayed in a cute little hotel about a block from the ocean. We've never stayed in a hotel all together, so that was really fun for the kids. We even took Juno, our dog! We got there Friday and got to spend the entire weekend. There was a razor clam tide that weekend, so we all got to dig clams. Our kids are trained well because they actually enjoy that. :) Good thing, because its my (and Ernie's) favorite thing to do! The kids were really excited to play in the sand dunes. Of course, this is Washington, so going to the beach in February doesn't really mean swimsuit weather, so they suited up in their winter coats and boots and had a blast. Juno loved it, too, and loved jumping around in the sand and digging for creatures she assumed were there. We also crabbed a little. We didn't catch much, but Ernie did get a big dungeness crab that a really nice man who was staying in a cottage right by the dock cooked for us, since we were staying in a hotel and didn't really have the equipment to cook it. One thing I really love about going to Westport is that everyone seems a lot more friendly. Everyone that is on the dock crabbing talks to each other. They share bait, and fishing tips, and its nothing like our normal lives here. You wouldn't assume that a stranger would cook your food for you and actually bring it back to you! :) I, maybe being slightly cynical, figured we'd give him our crab and never see it again. Not so there! Its just a nice, relaxed, refreshing place to be.
We also got to see the maritime museum and eat at some cute little local restaurants. One of my favorite parts of the trip was that a couple waitresses and people working in the shops on the boardwalk told us that our children are very well behaved. That made this mama proud! Especially in the shops filled with knick knacks and breakables, the ladies actually didn't seem stressed about seeing my kids walking around looking at stuff.
It was a great weekend. We came home with everything full of sand, and wet, with two tired kids and a stinky dog...I had lots of laundry to do to get the beach smell out and we had to vacuum out our truck. But it was worth it! The ocean is one of the best places to be and I'm so glad its such a huge part of who our family is. :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Change for the better

I started this year on a mission to change. Most people who decide to work out and eat differently seem to make that choice at the beginning of the year...become New Years Resolution Warriors and then fizzle out. So it has been no surprise to people, I'm sure, for me to be more into "health" since January. I knew I wasn't going to be one of those resolution failures, though. You can tell when you make a half hearted decision or a permanent one. I've been trying, since having Sophie, to make changes and figure out how my body will lose weight. It has been a huge uphill battle. My metabolism doesn't want to cooperate with me...it seems to be as stubborn as I am. But 2011 has been vastly different. It helps so much having a husband who is so into fitness and health. I know I couldn't do it without him. It also helps to have constantly in my mind that my daughter will certainly learn by my example. It is already evident in the fact that she loves to exercise. She wouldn't have that excitement about it if she didn't see her mommy and daddy exercising on a daily basis. I want her, with all my heart, to grow up loving to be active and healthy. I appreciate so much that she loves healthy food because that is what we've taught her to eat. She gets treats but she never turns her nose up and fruits and veggies and I am thankful for that. When we started this year I decided to join my runner husband in his favorite form of exercise. Running has never come easy to me. In fact, I have often said that I would only run if someone was chasing me. :) But I decided to give it a try. Its beautiful outdoors here in Washington, and that is definitely a motivator...if I can enjoy the scenery while I feel like I'm dying, I'm more apt to stay with it. The first time I ran, it was awful. I felt like Ernie was the worst person in the world and that I would surely die. My legs killed me, my head killed me, I felt like I couldn't breath. It took me FOREVER to complete the run. I had to stop and walk often. The next day, I was so sore I couldn't work out that way again for several days. I alternated between that and doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. Same with that -- after a day doing the shred, my entire body would be so sore I'd have to take a few days off before I could do it again! It felt like an uphill battle, but I had Ernie encouraging me and Sophie was so excited to "exercise" right along with me, so that kept me going. Slowly (very slowly) the running got easier. Until one day, I made it all the way to the end of the trail without pausing to walk. That has been the biggest achievement this year for me. I pushed Sophie in the jogging stroller and I RAN. I still felt like I was dying...I doubt that will ever change. Running is work to me, it isn't fun. But the sense of accomplishment I felt was worth it all. I have cut about 6 minutes off my time. In the short distance I run, that is huge. I don't have to wait several days anymore between work outs. I can run for 1/2 an hour without stopping on my treadmill, and then do it again the very next day. My weight loss has slowed down for the moment...its easy to feel discouraged about that until I focus on how my body has changed. My fitness level from January 1st until now is completely 100% different. I can do the shred and then run, in the same day. I didn't think that would be possible. I have made such huge strides in just 2 months! I cannot wait to see how the rest of the year goes. It is slow going, for sure. I may not see huge physical changes until many, many months from now. But the way I feel is so completely different, that I can wait for the outside to catch up. I am excited to teach my daughter to grow up to be a strong, healthy woman. And that is worth it all.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

for Amy

Today is my sissy's birthday. I've been thinking about her this week and thinking about what a good big sister she has always been. We're pretty far apart in age...she's the oldest, and I'm the youngest of 4 kids. My mom says she was always like my "second mom", but I don't think I ever really saw it that way. Unless you count her taking care of me and always being kind and loving, instead of how you'd think sisters may be from time to time. :) But I don't think that has to do with her being older than me. Its just because that is her character. I know God made her our older sister for a reason...she's a much better role model for me than I could have been for her! ;) I'm impatient, and have some attitude, I'm too quick to anger and not very even tempered. Amy has always been an example to me of how to be a Godly woman. If I think of what kind of person I want to be, I think of her. And definitely if I think of what kind of mother I want to be, I think of her. My sister has two of the sweetest, smartest, kindest girls I have ever met and I'm sure a huge part of that is because of who their mom is. I can only try every day to be the kind of mom she is and raise my daughter the way she has raised her daughters. My sister is kind, unselfish, giving, and full of grace. And I love her with all my heart and am so blessed to have her as my sister. Happy birthday sissy! love, Dofie

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


So yesterday was a big day for Sophie! She finally got to start gymnastics. We have been talking to her about it for about a month, and I knew it'd be right up her alley, since she loves to jump, and somersault, and pretty much everything else that makes me think "oh man she's gonna break something!" Turns out there's a gymnastics place here in Yelm -- who knew?? Its super close to our house, so I checked it out. Its a BBB accredited business, which is always a plus with me, and they have tons of classes. Sophie started "Turbo Tumblers" yesterday. Judging on the abilities and size of the other kids in the class, she's the youngest. I figure this mostly because they are exactly Sophie's size, and I've never seen her with another 2 year old without thinking "geez she looks tall!". All day yesterday she talked about going to meet her teacher. FINALLY, it was 4:30 and time for class to start. As soon as we walked in a tiny little lady asked "are you Miss Sophie? I'm Coach Rachel!" and Sophie was hooked immediately. :) She wore her cute little black leggings and had red painted toesies and looked like such a cute little gymnast parading around. They have a balcony where moms and dads can sit and watch. Sophie noticed we were up there and so periodically throughout the class she'd say "HI!! Hi mom and dad!" And blow us a kiss. She had so much fun! They crab walked, bear walked, did the balance beam, did log rolls, front rolls, pulled themselves up on the bars, and most importantly, used the giant trampoline! Last night as I was tucking her in, she told me about 15 different things she wanted to tell her "coach" about. I don't know how I'm going to break it to her that class is only once a week...:) I'm really happy that it fits her so well. I knew it would, so it just makes me feel that much smarter. ;) She has strong little legs and I was pretty impressed she was able to pull her body weight up on the bars. I'm glad we found a place that seems so friendly and well organized. It makes me feel like she can stay there for many years, if she wants, and move up. So hooray! So proud to see our little girl growing up.