Sunday, April 15, 2018


It is with an absolutely broken heart that I write this post. In fact, I've waited a week to write it because every time I try to, I start crying again.

Last Monday night our sweet Charlie passed away. 

While I know I am biased, I can say with absolute certainty that Charlie was the best dog. He was sweet and gentle. He loved our kids. He listened.  I could go on and on listing all the good that he was. 

We brought Charlie home 12 years ago. We had been dating almost two years. We were both still in college. We were so young. Everyone said we were crazy. They said, "If you get a dog together, it's a guarantee you'll break up." But we went to the pound and we knew, without a doubt, Charlie was our dog.

He lived with us in our tiny, two bedroom apartment for a few months. Technically it was me and my roommate, but we also had S staying with us, and two other friends. So five people, in a tiny two bedroom, and then a puppy. We used to have to take him out on the leash in the early morning hours to the patch of dirt outside our front door to go potty. S was waiting for the house we were going to move into to finish being built, and when it was taking longer than we thought Charlie went to live with S's dad for a few months. We hated leaving him, but he loved that big yard and his other dog friends.

When the house was finished Charlie came back to us and lived in that house for a year. It was S and I, and several of his fraternity brothers for roommates. So Charlie was basically raised in a frat house.... it's pretty amazing he turned out as well as he did! In the time we were in that house we adopted our Stella. And by adopted I mean we spent way to much money on her at a pet store. But she was a damn cute puppy and, like I mentioned early, we were young and dumb at this point in our lives. Charlie and Stella became the best of friends, and our little family of four was complete for the time. They were our "fur babies" and we loved them so much.

And then life kept moving on. Charlie (and Stella) moved with us to Phoenix. We finally had our own house with no roommates! They were there when we got engaged, and then when we bought our first house. They were there when we got married, and then when we brought home L from the hospital. Our first "real" baby, after the dogs. We worried about them being jealous or acting out, but they loved L. Especially Charlie. The kids could pet him and play with him and sit on him and occasionally try to ride him and he was so patient and loving to them. And when we brought home two more babies, he loved them too. And then we sold our first house and bought our dream house and bounced around for a month or so while we did work on the house, and he just went with the flow. Because that 's the kind of dog he was. He was just happy to be where we were.

And then we started to notice he was slowing down. His legs were obviously hurting him, and he didn't move as easily as he used to. He occasionally wouldn't want to eat. I was pregnant with C, but we start to prepare ourselves that the end might be coming soon. And then, just a week or so after C was born, he had a really bad night. And we thought he may not make it through the night. We cried and said our goodbyes and I was so happy he had held on to meet baby C. But then, he bounced back. He was still moving slow, but he seemed ok. And we took a deep breath and were grateful we still had some time.

But, this last Monday night, our sweet boys time came. He went to go outside and his legs gave out, so we carried him out to the grass. He was breathing very deeply, but he dint' seem to be in any pain or distressed. And we knew this was it. So we laid with him in the grass out back. We held him and pet him and told him what a good boy he was. We told him he had been the best dog and that he didn't need to hold on for us. And, by morning, he was gone. I can't explain how broken our hears are. It almost seems silly, because pets die and we all know that. But Charlie had been with us from the very beginning. He grew up with us. He was there for every life event. And we will miss him so much. But, we were so lucky to have had him. I will say again, he was the best. We love him so much and we are grateful for the time we had with him.

Goodbye our sweet, sweet boy. You will be missed forever.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sister tattoos

So, trailing of my last post about our family visit.... sometimes these visits bring out the most unexpected things.

Like, a casual conversation with your sister delving into the fact that you both always kind of wanted tattoos but didn't know what to get. 

And then that conversation moving onto an idea to get matching sister tattoos. And then a few days of scouring pinterest and other sites to find something that you both liked. And then an idea about a moon and stars to represent the both of you. And then adding in a third star to represent the brother that will never, ever get a tattoo with you guys, but should still be represented in the sibling.  And then, after a few day of talking and brainstorming and checking out a local tattoo parlor, you make and appointment and on the Saturday before Easter your suddenly getting your first ink at the age of 34. 

I love it, and I'm so glad I waited until I had something meaningful to get.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Family visit 2018

It's that time of year again! Last week our house was packed full with seven kids and four adults, as my sister and her family came for their annual visit. This year was especially special because it was their first time seeing our new house, and of course getting to meet baby C!

 (A is pretty happy about having another girl cousin!)

We started off the trip with a two night camping trip up at the lake, like we normally do. I was a little nervous about having an 8 week old out camping but C was a trooper and went with the flow with no problem!

It was also nice that all the kids, except C, are pretty much old enough that we don't have to monitor their every move. And the older ones are old enough to keep an eye on the younger ones, which means the parents all get a bit of a break!

 (Doesn't R look like a spokesperson for Diet Dr. Pepper?)

After camping my kids had school so we spent a lot of time just hanging out and letting the kids go swimming, but we did take a trip to the zoo and let our kids play hooky for that!

And the we wrapped the whole trip up with an Easter celebration before they had to leave on Sunday.

 (C relaxing with her auntie!)

The kids all did Easter eggs (so much dye everywhere! But only a few broken eggs, so overall it was a win!), and then the Bunny brought them baskets and hid the eggs. I was really proud of how well the older kids did at taking the Easter egg hunt slow and making sure the little ones got to find the majority.

And after all the eggs were found (I hope, fingers crossed!), we sat around and ate all the yummy food before everyone had to head to the airport.  It was an amazingly good visit, and our house seems way to quiet now that everyone is gone!

And of course I have to close this post by mentioning it was baby C's first Easter! Doesn't she look adorable?

Monday, April 2, 2018

Two months

OK, I'm about a week late, but we had family in town so I actually have a good excuse for once! But our sweet little C turned two months last week, and it's crazy how quickly time is flying! Like, she's not a fragile little newborn anymore. Her personality is growing more and more everyday, and I love every moment of it.

So let's see. Two months. First, our little girl is turning into quite the little chunk. She was just over 12 lbs at her two month well check, and she is still wanting to eat every two to three hours. Breastfeeding is still going amazing, and because I tend to overproduce I have a good freezer stash going so S can give her a bottle on nights I want to have an extra glass of wine or if I ever need to go out with our her. 

She's just starting to give us little smiles and coos, which is pretty much the most adorable thing in the world. Her awake periods are becoming longer and she's more alert during them, although she's still sleeping a good amount during the day. Nights are actually pretty amazing. She goes down pretty easy and sleeps usually until about 2:30,  and then we just side nurse in the bed and go right back to sleep until it's time to get up. She's also been staying asleep while I get the boys up and ready for school which makes my life a lot easier!

The boys still absolute love her, and L is an amazing help to help me. S and I are pretty smitten too!

And then, just because it shows her adorable chunkiness, one last photo!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


 So, I turned 29 (again.... for the 5th time...) last Friday.

OK, OK. I turned 34.

34!!!!! That number seems insane, because in a lot of way I genuinely still feel like I'm in my 20's!

But,  these days I"m feeling pretty OK with getting *older* because life is pretty amazing right now.  A year ago I would have guessed that we maybe would be pregnant or talking about getting pregnant right now.... I never would have imagined we would have already welcomed out little girl into our lives! This past year was crazy and full of surprises. I tapped into a political and activism side I never knew I had, and did some things  that normally would have been way out of my comfort zone. I'm proud of myself for getting involved and getting educated about the things going on in our world, and hopefully being part of the change to make things better for our kids. I lost my Grandmother. We sold our first house, the house we welcomed our three boys home to. We bought our dream house and put a lot of time and money and work into making it perfect. We found out we were pregnant!! (Definitely the biggest surprise!) Yes, it was certainly an eventful year!

So, after a crazy and eventful year of being 33, I'm feeling ready for 34 to be calm and peaceful. I"m excited to continue to working on our dream house and hopefully be able to start some major backyard renovations (hello, pool!) in the next year. I can't wait to see who baby C joins into and enjoy all those baby moments that come and go so fast. I think 34 is going to be pretty great!

 (my boys got me three succulent plants!)

(homemade birthday card!)

And at the end of the day, these are these people that make every year of my life so wonderful. (Not pictured is S, who I couldn't do this life without.)