Monday, November 28, 2011

cyber monday...

there are SO many great deals out there today!
and i'm not gonna lie...i may have purchased several items from my christmas list today.
the best purchase i've made so far, you ask?
you can give them in someone's name and the adventure project will send them an e-card HERE.
check it out.
if you're looking for a gift idea for me, i'd LOVE a stove or two purchased in my name!! :)
for real.
consider heading on this journey with the adventure project.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Remember Jody?
You know...that friend of mine from a while back? :)
I may have mentioned her a time or 2 on this blog.
And guess what...she's still a part of my life. And she's been busting her butt this past year or so getting The Adventure Project up and running.
Their impact has been amazing.
Their philosophy is new and different and is filled with dignity and and the belief that creating change from the inside out by providing sustainable solutions is possible.
It's awesome.
Watch this...

Give a Stove this Holiday - The Adventure Project Campaign on Vimeo from The Adventure Project on Vimeo.

I love this for may reasons but one of the main ones is that for the first time ever Jody is speaking at a normal pace and her arms are not flailing. She must REALLY REALLY believe in what's she's doing because that took some serious self-control on her part. :)
(love you, jody!)

So I will be buying stoves for Christmas. Because the impact is huge.
And sustainable. And good for the earth. And amazing for communities that are working to pull themselves up out of poverty.
I hope you join me.
Check it out!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

still adjusting

seriously, will we ever get this figured out?
i stayed at home for the better part of 10 years.
i did everything home-wise.
because that was my job.
bills, laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, pet care, running errands and on and on.
so we knew when i went back to work full-time that it was going to be an adjustment to say the least.
we knew we were going to have to make some shifts in responsibilities.
and honestly, we've transitioned quite well.
but once in a while, things just get overwhelming.
and i freak.
like this morning.
last night brigg found a tick on willow.
this morning i said to paul "what was the date you took willow to the vet? we probably are about at one month and need to give her her next pill for fleas, ticks, heartworm, etc."
he stared at me blankly.
"what pill? i didn't give her a pill that day."
(enter my freaking out because our neighbors dog died of lyme disease last year).
so we bicker back and forth as i'm throwing dishes in the dishwasher and FORGETTING to switch over the wet clothes into the dryer. barking at him from the kitchen as he's rushing lani along to finish drying her hair and get the big kids out the door.
apparently i never told him about the pill.
because i just DID IT.
it was never written down.
i don't have a list.
i did things for TEN YEARS.
it was just something i did.
so now when i forget i just assume someone else will pick up my slack.
without ever telling them.
(or him).
and it's frustrating! for both of us!
so paul rushes out the door with me shouting out reminders as he's in the doorway and i rush out the front door to get ayla to daycare 10 min late.
after i drop her off, paul and i meet again on our cell phones.
we go over the plan for the day.
for the weekend.
what am i forgetting?
he says "you need to write it all down. everything you do."
oh my.
but this weekend that is the plan.
write it all down. because geez, this stuff needs to get done!
in my panic i had visions of a dead dog and sobbing children and late bills and paul's business failing and us living in a van down by the river.
you know how one little thing in your brain can evolve into the end of the world? :)
yeah. that's me.
i'm trying. i don't want to fail at any of my jobs.
and we are getting there.
but we are obviously still going through an adjustment period.
(paul called the vet and he calmed my worries. we think willow might live. whew.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

The American Girl Store

my american girl place post! :)
so we went to the store after a long night before and a train ride to chicago and we had already walked all over the city with no stroller so ayla was tired.
and this place was insane.
totally crazy busy.

it was loud and overstimulating for me.
but we had been planning this and we also had reservations for "tea" at 4:00.
so we ventured in and someone must have seen the overwhelmed look on our faces.
she was like a personal shopper.
for real.
she just walked around with us and helped us find what we were looking for.
she was nice.
but paul and i kept looking at eachother and kind of giggling.

because really, i don't think paul and i are American Girl people.
we know so many people who love going here.
so i really hate to say anything negative.
BUT we did not love it.
although we DO love ayla.
and she had been dreaming of an american girl doll for a long time.

4:00 came and we went to "tea".
a loud bell rang and everyone that was sitting outside got to go in and be seated.
they had highchairs for the little girls' dolls.
and little tea cups and plates for the dolls.

and finger food.
little sandwiches and some mini scones and some fruit.
paul had decided he didn't want to eat any of the food, but he still had to pay a $10 "sitting fee".
appparently to just BE in the room.
oh my.
did i mention we are not american girl people?
also...did i mention that we could not stop looking at eachother wide-eyed and laughing?
ok good.

so the moment we gave ayla her doll made it all worth it.
she was so cute.
and so happy.
and i think paul's 2 hours of torture turned into a smile. :)
i'm so glad we went.
i'm so glad she loves her doll.
but i'm pretty sure we'll never go again.
i LOVE chicago.
but i'm thinking we'll stay away from this store in the future.
we'll stick with checking out marilyn's panties. :)
and i won't give a "formal" review.
because honestly, i know LOTS of people who love going here. I hadn't heard one person that shared my distaste, so take what i say with a grain of salt. you should check it out yourself.
you may be pleasantly surprised.
happy birthday ayla. we really really love you.
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One of my favorites...

Tonight we finished harvesting the garden.
Brussel sprouts.
One of our favorites.

This has been so fun!
The kids LOVE picking our produce out of the garden!

And the best part?
The kids ate brussel sprouts tonight.
All 3 of them.
They would NEVER eat them if they hadn't picked them.

So awesome!
And really...I had NO IDEA this was how brussel sprouts grew!

Can't wait for next year's garden.
We will tweak things and it will be even better!
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Our Storm...

Oh Ayla...

How can you possibly be FOUR YEARS OLD today?
How is it that it feels like you are only a baby but yet you have been a part of our lives forever?

Our little unexpected gift.
The one who turned our world upside down even before you showed your face.
We had no idea what was coming.
And then on November 9, 2007, you arrived.
And our lives have never been the same.

Over the past 4 years you have REtaught us how to be parents.
You are passionate and intense.
You are stubborn and curious.
You bring spunk to our household.
You are UH-dorable.
Everywhere we go, people tell you that.
But I love it best when they say "she is so CUTE!" and you say "AND smart."
with attitude.
It's true. Brains, beauty and spunk.
You love deeply.
You scream loudly.
You laugh genuinely.
You are ONE OF A KIND.

As you turn four today, I pray that you learn to channel your intensity for good. That you use your confidence and energy to spread love and joy.
I pray your curiosity grows and motivates you to learn more. To love deeper and give freely.

We love you, Ayla Lyn.
We cannot imagine our lives without you in them.
You have completed our family.
We cannot wait to see what God has in store for you.
Happy birthday Ayla bean.
With all our love, Happy Birthday.
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Sunday, November 6, 2011


As u Can imagine...ayla is tired. Long weekend.
Good exciting funny moments mixed with stubborn crabby tired moments.
This is ayla. In muscatine or in Chicago.
She is no different.
She is in love with her American girl doll.
She waned to go to the dolls where u pick one that looks like you.
She picked the black doll with long black hair.
She insisted.
So cute.
We love her so so much.
She wears us out.
And now Paul and i are ready for a vacation. :)
More to come when I'm not on my phone jammed in a train....
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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

2 of the 2989 reasons...

we love living out here.

and Leona...

they live directly across the street.
they are amazing.
they have 8 grandsons and NO granddaughters.
they say they don't need any...they have ayla and lani.
it's a perfect relationship.
we adore them.
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