Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Happy Anniversary to us!
This year it fell on a Sunday. We honestly haven't done anything to celebrate. It's seems like everyone is having a busy summer this year. I have enjoyed having him for my companion on this adventure. Full disclosure some of our adventures have absolutely sucked. However, he's made the not so fun adventures manageable. He's been someone I can learn from. He's made the fun adventures unforgettable. We make each other laugh during the lows. He even helps make the sad moments forgettable. Can I just say I'm so happy we got married on a zero year? It makes it so much easier to count. I know how lucky I was to meet someone like him. I'm thankful for him in my life. I wish time would slow down sometimes. Seven years is so short and it's flown by.

Monday, June 19, 2017


Happy Father's Day!
...a day late

Last week we got to enjoy a whole week with Ryan. He took a week of vacation off. We took the kids to Lincoln Park Zoo, and then to the beach.  We did that on Monday since the rest of the week had a chance of thunder storms. I was most excited for the beach. As soon as we got there we had our lunch that we packed. The kiddos were so excited it was difficult to get them to eat! I had learned from past experiences and this time I brought lots of snacks into the zoo with us. I also kept on the kids to make sure they were drinking their water. 

The beach was awesome! We were able to just walk to it from where we parked for Lincoln Park Zoo, so only had to pay for parking once. The boys had such a blast, they enjoyed making big sand holes for us. The water was incredibly cold! They played around in it a little bit. I walked out about waist deep with both boys. We enjoyed sitting in the sun. I wish I brought my camera. I have no pictures from the beach, Next time I'll at least bring my phone. 
The rest of the week we stuck around home and did things here and there around town. On Friday we took the kids to the drive inn. 
It went poorly. 
First off our dinner plan had closed. 
So we were at the mercy of the snack bar. Cam acting extra strong willed. Cole got upset tummy during the movie and started screaming he wanted to go home because he didn't want to use the toilets there. So I walked though all the cars with Cole panicking screaming he wanted to go home. Then after talking him down and telling him I'll help him out with the toilet he calms down. We walk back to Ryan holding a bowl in front of Cam who's screaming and apparently barfing.
What on earth is going on tonight?! 
I begin to entertain the idea of leaving, but Ryan was willing to give it a little longer. This was all after the fighting and someone peeing their pants while we waited for the movie to start. Cam almost quite literally poked a guy in the butt while in the snack bar line. It was almost a crack hit. If I was a second later he would have credit carded the poor stranger. 
Needless to say I was quite relieved when they finally calmed down and actually watched the movie. Cars 3. 
On the way home they fell asleep and I was so happy. 
Oh Saturday. 
That morning we ran a few errands to get ready for the day we were going to spend at Ryan's parents. The kids were bears. Cam was acting like he was catching a cold, and Cole still had a upset stomach.  We began to wonder how family photos were going to go with them acting this sick. We had just gotten all over this mess. I was not thrilled at it starting back up again. We eventually cancelled since I couldn't see either one of them lasting a photo session without something going on. I then realized after they were cancelled that Cam's eyes were red. I had a hunch that this wasn't a cold. I looked at our pollen count and our area apparently had a pollen warning. So I gave him some Benadryl and within a half hour he was perky and acting happy. Poor Cole had to wait his out though. He was feeling better by the end of the night. They even slept in on Sunday morning and we were not about to play poke the bear. 

Sunday Ryan had to go back to work. I felt bad for him that it was Father's Day he had to go back. The kids got him a neat new water bottle, and Ryan also got a Raspberry Pi with a few accessories to go with it. He's been eyeballing that for months and it went on sale. He brought it up a while ago when he found the sale and I looked at him and said
"Gosh dang it, I was going to get you that on my own! I listen!"
Granted he did find a cheaper price than I did. He did wait until Father's Day to open it up. 

I've been using Eat This Much website to plan our meals. I used to be a lot better about meal planning, but now I really really REALLY suck at it. I signed up for the free trial period but I'm considering just keeping it. It's been really helpful and stress free. The kids are even liking the meals it's bringing up. It's even a app on my phone, I'll never leave the grocery list at home again, but I can still forget to buy that frickin Yam for yam fries.

Also my primary physician gave me antibiotics for my sore throat. It's now gone, and it's been amazing. Being pain free is really awesome. My back was starting to go out too, but I think I finally got that one back in line with lots of stretching. 
It's good to be healthy, and now we know Cam has some mild seasonal allergies.

Monday, June 05, 2017


The sickness in our house is mostly gone! Cole seems to have lost a little weight from his stomach bug, so I've been putting Carnation mix in his milk to add some more calories to his diet. Cam is finally done with that stomach bug. As for myself, I'm heading into week 4(?) of a horrendous sore throat. I've lost count. I have been to prompt care again, but they will not treat me for a sinus infection. It's really annoying. So I have to go to my primary care physician, which means more waiting. I'm getting a little irritated at being uncomfortable for so long. It's not a mild sore throat. It hurts quite a bit. Especially at night when I'm sleeping. It wakes me up frequently. 

Activity Day Girl Camp was this past Saturday. It was 10 to 6PM. It was a busy day. I'm glad it's done. The others were so amazing in helping plan this. I still feel like I have my water wings of event planning on. But everyone seemed to have fun.  The girls were able to canoe, swim, make fires, and do knot tying. And next year I am not involved in the planning. So WOO!

Last week we took the kids out for the first time since they all got sick. We went out to breakfast and took them to the spray pad. 
We knew the kids were feeling so much better, they ate their entire breakfast and moved on over to ours.

The Mickey Mouse Pancakes were cute. I gladly shared my breakfast with them. I was happy they were feeling good enough to scarf down it all. 
The spray pad was a let down experience though. It led to angry feelings.
So Cole was having so much fun, until older kids got involved. One kid bumped Cole's head accidentally, he lost his interest in the spray pad after that and he moved on to the park.
We moved over to a bench by the playground equipiment and I overhear a kid exclaiming to the other
"Why did you pee on the slide?"
I draw Ryan's attention to it and ask if he heard what I did.
Ryan at first thought they were joking and it was water from the kids swimsuit. I look up to see Cole about to go down the same slide. 
I yell for Cole to stop and not go down the slide, but he doesn't hear me or pretends he doesn't. 
Then in slow motion almost I see Cole pop out the bottom of slide and see a lot of liquid splash out of the slide. The boys at the bottom of the slide start LAUGHING at Cole. 
I then start seeing Red.
I get up and walk over to the kid who did the peeing.
I asked him where his parents where and that we need to go talk to them.
He isn't laughing now.
He begs for me to just go by myself. I repeat again he is going to take me to his parents. He begs again. My anger rising, then use a very harsh voice, 
"NO, you're taking me to your parents right now."
Ends up it was his Grandmother and she was in their car. He runs over to the car(probably a little tearful) and hops in the back. The Grandmother was very confused, but when I explained what had happened she was very much horrified and embarrassed.  I look over to see Ryan bringing Cole and Cam to the van. Grandma goes and cleans up the pee from the slide I hope. We were getting Cole undressed and wiped down with wipes before we went home and bathed them. 
Right before we left the kid yelled Sorry from his car. I couldn't say it was OK, because it was far from OK. That kid did something really wrong. Even if it was a accident and he was playing it off like he did it on purpose, his end actions were still wrong. 
I felt awful for Cole, he thought he did something wrong. The whole situation broke my heart for Cole. I think he understood once we got home and bathed that he wasn't in trouble. I just wish I didn't have to explain to him that the other kids did something wrong. He is too young to understand they were laughing at him, to which I'm really grateful for. The angry part of me was really happy to see that kid cower when he realized there were about to be some consequences. 
I think I'd be OK with summer vacation being a little more boring.

Saturday, May 27, 2017


The semester is over! I am glad to be rid of that class. The microbiology course I took this semester was very stressful. The teacher strayed from the syllabus every opportunity. I was starting to get some really awesome horrible anxiety going for me. I would feel like something was wrong a lot of the time. I had this doomed feeling that wouldn't go away and I couldn't shake it no matter how hard I tried. It's gotten better with the class being done. 
However the kids and I have been wiped out but a awful cold virus. Cole brought this gem home from school. He and both got ear infections, then Cole got pink eye as well. We got that treated. Then Cam got croup. He scared me so badly. He woke up choking, and I quickly got him and brought him to the hall. He was coughing to badly, gasping for his breath. I briefly wondered if I was going to have a call a ambulance since he could not get his breath. Finally he ended up barfing/choking up some decent size phlegm balls. I relaxed a little bit, and took him downstairs to call the nurse line. I had never heard a croup cough until that point, but I figured that's what a croup cough would sound like. I was still worried since he was wheezing with each breath. The nurse on the phone was very patient with me. I was very distracted and trying to focus my attention to her questions. So right as Ryan got home from work, I had him give the Albuterol treatment before he headed to the ER. The nurse on the line had heard his wheezing and since we have had that from a previous illness she said to do that before we left. So Ryan comes home, got the run down of what happened and immediately started to help Cam with the breathing treatment while I got dressed and gathered things to keep Cam entertained.  We ended up leaving the ER at 3AM. I was quite tired the next day and so was Cam. 
Ryan told me after he left he went to check on Cole, who was awake laying in his bed. He asked Ryan if he gave Cam a hug and asked if Cam was okay. When Ryan texted me that  I felt HORRIBLE. I only focused on Cam when that happened. I didn't even think about this scaring Cole. But I learned my lesson. Cam started to have a coughing fit the 3rd night and this time I was way more prepared. I let Cole know what I was doing and that Cam was going to be fine.  We have recovered from Croup finally thankfully. 
May 2017
Cam spent quite a few nights in our room that week. 

I myself caught whatever this virus is frankly, it sucks! It's all in my chest, and I can't cough anything up. I ended up going to prompt care because I was exhausted from the unproductive coughing, throat hurt so badly from it all. My throat felt swollen.  They gave me a steroid for my throat which thankfully got the inflammation down, a cough syrup for night, and recommended expectorant for during the day. It helped and my comfort level during the day is much better, but nights and mornings. I am coughing so much I'm almost puking.  I haven't gotten more than 4 hours of sleep at night for a while. 
Then came the stomach bug. Cole's last day of class, he puked on the bus. He was sitting next to his best friend too!  I got a call while we were getting the tires replaced that we needed to pick him up.  So Cole ended his school year while style. I felt so bad for him. He loves school. Lucky for him he was able to keep dinner down and was way better the next day. Though not Cam. Cam barfed all day and couldn't keep a thing down. It was a really gross day. So. much. barf.  So we have been sick for 3 weeks straight. I'm practically pulling my hair out. I want us all to be healthy and have some freedom again! It's summer!

In March I did some senior portraits for a family. I was really nervous. I was originally thinking about not doing them because I was in school at the time, and this was a little more serious. If I blew this it would be a big inconvenience to this family. But they came out pretty well. In fact they tried to print them and someone wouldn't let them because they told them they were professionally done! That was exciting to hear. It ended up being a misinformed employee declining the original release I gave them. It was a morale booster for me.

March 2017

Ryan has started his management position. It's been going really well for him. He has compartmentalization down. It's a skill I wish I was better at. He's been so fortunate to miss all this sickness too. Though I feel bad for him, his days off have been filled with sick kids, sick wife, barfing kids, coughing/gasping wife.  Not much of a break for him lately. 
Now we just need to get better so we can actually enjoy the summer. I no longer sound like alien Mr. Burns. For a while there I sounded like Mr. Burns from the Simpsons. For a while my voice got higher? It's been a weird sickness.

Friday, January 13, 2017


Our Christmas was a really good one. We went to church that morning and it was a wonderful Christmas program. I really do love it when we get to go to church on Christmas. I will always remember when I was a kid I was really upset we had to go to church on Christmas. I complained to my Mother and she put me in my place very quickly. I don't quite remember what she said word for word, but the lesson was understood.  We got to Skype with our families. We even did a Wii U Mario Kart tournament Skype session. It's nice to be able to connect with them by modern technologies when you can't be there physically. 

New Years Eve was pretty low key. We celebrated with the kids during their waking hours because it's not in anyone's best interest to keep them up. Then Ryan and I were falling asleep by 8PM. But woke up and then was able to stay up and welcome the new year in. I welcomed it in by playing around with editing photos. 

This year was unusual as Ryan got New Years Eve and Day off.  Then we also got to go on a date too! We went down to Ryan's parents and dropped the kids off. The kids had so much fun. They really do adore going to their grandparents. I think they ask to go almost every day. We went out to see Rogue One and had Dinner at Texas Roadhouse. We were pretty much full by the time our dinners were brought to the table, which made for some really delicious left overs. 

We've enjoyed the zoo pass we've received from my parents. It's going to provide a lot of fun in our downtime. The kids love it so far, and it has the added perk of being able to practice photography as well for me.

Indoor lighting is still the hard area for me. The Chameleon was kind enough to climb right under the light so it was perfectly lit for me!  I think I'll have to bring my external flash next time to get some good ones. 

With a new year comes changes. 
This year I am back in school. With the changes it looks like I'll be able to stay till I get my degree. Ryan is changing up his plans. He's going through another program which better fits his needs. It has the perk of being online and also being much cheaper. So this semester I'm redoing one of my science credits since the school wants those to be within 5 years and mine were barely just expired. I'm getting excited though. Of course that's going to change come time to take the first test and doing topics I'd rather not.  I think this change overall is good for our family. I think the program Ryan has changed to will enable him to finish school and be less stressed without having to worry about jumping around his work schedule. 

Cam is pretty much 100% potty trained! He now has the rare accident. It's awesome. Though the other day I went to school to fill out a form and on the way home Cam says he has to pee. I was going to stop at the store to pick up materials I needed for class. Then it shifted to I peed. I asked him if he peed or he needed to pee. He said needed too. So I continued on to the store with the plan to let him pee there. Turns out he was in fact wet and he got a brand new pair of pants. The one time I forget his extra clothes! Lucky for me though they were on clearance. 
Cameron is now a sunbeam! 

Cole is back in school now. I think he missed it over Christmas break.  He's become a really good eye roller. Sometimes they are so dramatic it's hard not to laugh. Then at others I get really annoyed at the attitude that is being thrown at me.  One thing that has been fairly new is if we are getting ready and Cole gets into trouble enough that he gets to sent out he'll get a little panicky and cry out
It's so sad he worries about that. I try to reassure him that I won't ever leave him. Cole has also been really good about using words to express how he feels instead of throwing mean words. I guess the Mommy break down left a impression on him. Now he will tell me frequently that he loves me all day. He's a observant little guy. He will occasionally play with my hair because it's what Dad does. It melts my heart each time. Added bonus is he doesn't rip my hair out!

I still write 2016 by the way. I have to correct myself about 80% of the time.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

1 year and going

Christmas season is always a little chaotic. Each year I vow never again and promise myself to do better next year. But am I kinder to future me ever? Nope. Now present me has been scorning past me for putting off a lot. Maybe present me will learn a lesson and be nicer to future me.

This year has been a oddball. I wasn't sure what this year would feel like after the doozy of last year's Christmas season. Last year I had experienced a miscarriage a year ago. I think it was a year ago today actually. It's still a vivid memory. It's one I'm at peace with completely. Well completely most days. There are still rare times were I mourn the opportunity lost.  Today is a little tender. A facebook memory came up from the Christmas party we went to when I began to feel the miscarriage. It came rushing back. I remember curling up on our bed to watch a movie trying to get comfortable, but comfort physical nor emotional was coming. Then trying to pretend to be strong and OK. 
Like I said memories and emotions came flooding back. 

I don't have three kids.  I have two amazing ones. 
Cole experimented playing with words this week. He didn't get his way and said he didn't love me and only Dad. I explained to him that words hurt. I explained he should say he's mad at me instead of saying he doesn't love me. The first time I let it go. It stung of course, but I know kids say stuff like that and they don't really understand the pain they can cause. 
Then as the day went on his attitude just got worse. So he had another talking to. I explained to him he would have a much better day if he would listen and follow the rules. He wouldn't get into trouble and would be happier.  Then I told him that I loved him. Snarky Cole hadn't left yet. He retorted
"I love Dad."

Twice in one day? Low blow kid. 
I started to cry. I have insecurities about that. Being around the kids more I get to discipline them more. So I'm not nearly as much fun as Dad is.
 I was trying to hide at first that I was crying, it soon became pretty obvious I was crying. Cole came up and put his hand on my shoulder and rubbed it back and forth. He said 
"I love you and Dad."
I thanked him and hugged him. I told him that I loved Dad a lot too. That I loved him and Cameron too. I explained again that words can really hurt people and we need to be careful how we use them. 
Cole set a good example too, because Cameron came up and began to comfort me as well. He began to tell me he loved me. 

I felt I broke a parenting rule. I let my kid(s) see me in a really weak moment.
But today Cole has told me he loves me so much. I try to not let them in on moments where I feel stress, or anything that may make them feel less secure.
So that is not how I wanted that moment to go when it came up, because honestly I always knew that moment would come up. Today Cole even used "I'm mad at you" instead of that other phrase. But I'm learning that parenting seldom goes the way you intend it to.

I'm thankful for the family I have. We are teaching each other a lot. And I really do have some amazing boys who care and do love me.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Election 2016 For Cole and Cam

Cole and Cameron,
This is something I've been avoiding writing about. This year strong opinions were everywhere. I held a very strong one myself.  Then it got even stronger.
This year's candidates were no one's(mostly) favorites. The DNC got caught red handed being naughty. Trump had a few(lots) of controversial things to say. 
Trump for me is a huge trigger. 

He has so many characteristics of a person I knew. A person from my past who I do not like talking about. So when that video came out of Trump saying those things and then said it was just "locker room talk". Well it got heated fast. I went from not liking him to being repulsed by him. It sealed up my vote. I couldn't vote for him, and I now couldn't vote 3rd party. I had to protect myself from him.  

A lot of things were said and a lot of things were done. People were/are at each others throats. 

Election Day. 
I was stressed. 
The moment I learned Trump won, I was devastated. 
Now it felt as if I had to respect and work for that person from the past. I have to deal with the man who has instilled so much fear in so many people in our nation. 
I cried. 
I cried a lot on the 9th too. 

I cried because of my experience and because of the fear many were feeling as well. 

Now what?

I listened to Hillary's speech and was surprised at her willingness to work with Trump. I'm certain she has a disdain for him stronger than mine. She had to deal with him a lot more personally than I ever had to. I watched Stephen Colbert's video that went viral and he did something I hadn't done all day. Laugh.  He mentioned that we were divided as well and we desperately needed to come together. 

I then finally felt humbled enough to receive help from Heavenly Father. I was just hurting.  The answer I received wasn't anything huge. 
"Have Faith."
I wasn't really happy because I thought "hey I'm here because I'm struggling with that!"
I went to get Cole from the bus and as I was running to the car he looked at me with glee in his eyes.  Then the answer came again and even stronger.
"Have faith in them"

The President of this country doesn't teach my children. I do. I am with them every day. We've had some pretty bad presidents and we've also had some great ones. Someone, somewhere has been changed from this election for the good. Someone, somewhere is going to be that president we need. They will be honest, and will fight for the rights of everyone. They will break down walls. Hillary wasn't that person this year. Maybe in four years she will be the right one. 

I have been reminded to Have Faith. Have Faith in Heavenly Father's plan. To trust it. He'll help us and help those who are making a difference. To inspire and prepare them. We have been promised that Heavenly Father has a plan. Sometimes the plan is incredibly confusing and at times it just hurts. But without the pain we don't know the good. Without pain we are stagnant. We are growing and so is that person Heavenly Father is preparing. 

I will fight on things I need to. I will support the things I believe are good. Just as I would with any other President.  So chin up. Be your personal best. Show others this election does not define you.  Our past experiences hurt a lot sometimes. I know this. Others do too.  We have had moments of persecution. In my experience sometimes it's just wiser to let it go and move on.

So my dear ones Cole and Cameron, I have faith in you. I have faith you'll respect women. You won't ever "mansplain" to them.  I have faith you'll help those in need. I have faith you'll fight for the rights of others. I have faith that you'll work hard to figure out solutions and compromise where you can. I have faith you'll respect others and show kindness even when it's easier to show hate. I have faith you'll be fair in forming your opinions. I have faith that your generation will be strong where mine is weak. I have faith because right now your generation is learning from ours. You'll see what works and what doesn't. I love you both. I'll do what is called of me now. I won't take the decision of whom I elect lightly. I'll do my best. You're going to see moments where I fail and fail miserably, but in those moments your Dad just shines. Because working together works. It's hard but it's worth it. 
Cole and Cameron thank you for helping Heavenly Father remind me of His plan. Thank you for helping the sun come back in and putting the past where it belonged.  Thank you for helping me realize that we can still move forward.

And just like Stephen Colbert said, may we NEVER have another election like this again. I'm so grateful you boys were too young to really get what was going on this year.