Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Around the House

"For it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all..." Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Musical Theater Mornings and Breakfast / Bible Time


Scott's cycling to Work Each Day



Home for Lunch with my Girls

Reading Right After on the Couch

A Few Responsibilities (viola playing, a bit of math)

The Sound of Them Playing in the Playroom (farm is out right now and there's love all around that barn... I love how play changes and grows right along with them)

Baking These Mini Muffins (Abigail loved them oh so much)




From this Cookbook (I love so much)


I spend time each summer planning and thinking through the next year.  There are things that I need to make changes to and things that I want to try differently.  I love having the time to THINK in the summer with the stop of all of that which swirls through September through June.

I adore you summer.

Monday, July 17, 2017


Connor is our godson (one of a few I might add)

Each summer I do the photography for an album cover for him. I think this was the 4th album he's done. Very talented he is. I feel blessed to be in his life, even for just a bit each summer. It's a unique relationship, he the singer/songwriter, me the photograher. Not exactly what I pictured when Scott and I held him in church all those years ago on his baptism day. But for sure, I enjoy our special time together each summer.

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(this was the first photoshoot way back in 2014... my how he's grown)

Friday, July 14, 2017


I usually don't post pictures from my phone but it's also hard for me to not put my memories here.  They look 'big' to me.  'older' But one day I will look back at THIS summer and we'll say, "oh, they were so young then"

So a few from my phone...



All of us at Home Depot (new girls bathroom post back here)


I don't want to forget the sound of Cinderella in the car.


Deposit into savings is ALWAYS such a big deal.


Reading at the pool


Buying her a planner for high school. She was the happiest girl on the planet


Thursday, July 13, 2017


So much has changed since we first joined the pool club years ago. (here's a post from 2011; Abigail is now wearing that bathing suit Anna has on) I remember that Abigail was in the kiddie pool and if she was in the regular pool she was on my hip, being pulled around with me. Anna was just beginning to learn to swim with real swimmer strokes, and she was taking lessons all summer.

Now that Anna is 14 she doesn't even need to pass the "deep end test" like she has had to do each year. She's done with that! She's trilled, I can tell you!


Abigail is still learning but is doing so so well this summer. She passed the 4 ft test right away this summer, so she's allowed to be in the 3 & 4 feet without a grownup. she wears a special bracklet that makes her feel really good! Her strokes (from past lessons) are really really strong. She's actually a really good swimmer! On the day she took the 4 feet test, the lifeguard said she looked ready to to the deep end test, her strokes were that good. But it's a full lap lane and she can't quite make it the whole lane without stopping. So right now she's been practicing with daddy.


Like I said, so very much has changed since we were first members. I love to sit in the chair and watch Anna and Abigail play around in the 4 feet together.

I'm loving our time at the pool this summer. It felt like last summer we just didn't get there enough so when I turned the calendar to July this year, I scheduled in a bunch of swim mornings, afternoons, and evenings. Because when it's on the calendar, we go! And going is relaxing, fun, and good ol summertime good!

Preserve your memories,
Keep the well,
What you forget, you can never retell
~Louisa May Alcott

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Around the House Today

This summer (like the past two summers) Abigail is in my Dad's musical theater production.

Annie is back here

Lion King is back here

This year it's Music Man. She got the part of Amaryllis!  Have you seen the 1962 movie with Robert Preston and Shirley Jones? I love old classics. If you do too, see Music Man, I promise you'll love it.

I haven't been taking rehearsal pictures but I will soon! Here's a little clip of my Dad working with her today. Trying to get her to be sticky sweet in her part.

Being in my Dad's show is an amazing opportunity. To be in a show, well that's so much fun. Singing, dancing, learning... it's all good. But having that special time with your Grandfather? It's priceless!

I have to admit, I don't like 'sharing' her for a few hours each morning so I've set up relaxing "time with me" routines in the afternoon as much as we can. Right after lunch the three of us head to the family room. I bring a cuppa tea and we read. Each our own book. We sink into our 'same spots' and relax. I love it! Having 'readers' is actually a mommy dream come true for me and I count my lucky stars that I have that special afternoon time with my girls each day.


Abigail is reading this...



Anna is reading this...


And I am finishing this today. (It's kinda silly to read this in the summer when every day feels wonderful but it's like studying for that busy school year)


Anna has a joke waiting for Abigail each day when she comes in from musical theater.


Oh, and these were an afternoon treat this week!


The girls have their playroom back! (we had a little flood back here)


And this week are playing a lot of My Little Pony.



This week for dinner we loved an Italian chili


and crispy on the bottom, skillet cornbread!


I've had time to try new recipes. I'd rather be baking than anything. Many days there are 'must dos' that I ignore because I just have to bake. I have to substitute ingredients many times for Abigail's allergies. And this is one of the best recipes that worked well with the switches. Most of my chocolate chip cookies are flat because I can't use butter but this oatmeal chocolate chip recipe came out so good!


Do you keep a few glasses in the freezer? Warm cookies, ice cold milk is Anna's dream.


We were going to keep the tub in the bathroom renovation (and get it refinished) but decided the day before the dumpster left to get a new one.


The dumpster left yesterday and as it pulled away I kinda felt a mix of sad and panic. I LOVED having it and cleaning everything out. Guess how many strollers we had in the attic? SEVEN! Yup! SEVEN!

I love summer.  I love that my focus is my family.  And food (working on gaining weight... I'll get to that post soon).  And fun.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Always a Christmas Girl

We had a huge (size of our driveway, 2 ton) dumpster for the past two weeks.  It was glorious.  We cleaned out every single closet, the basement, the attic, everything (along with gutting the girls bathroom)

I found this beauty.

Tara Santa

I'm the blonde on Santa's lap.  The one with the sparkle in my eyes.  Even way back then I adored Christmas more than the normal kid.  I was a Christmas girl.  Always was, always will be.

I thought I'd post it in honor of "Christmas in July" which we will celebrate this Sunday evening in our house.

Merry half way to Christmas!

Monday, July 10, 2017

This is my Mom. Isn't she beautiful?

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When I grow up I want to be just like my Mom. I thought that for as far back as I can remember. I'm not like her. Not even close. But on a good day I can see little glimpses of her in my life.

She is in the way I raise my daughters.

She is in the way I care for my home.

She is in the way I honor my husband.

She is in the way I love holidays.

She is in the way I cook.

She is in the way I work.

She is in the way I believe.

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My mom is the most content person I know. Never needing or wanting for anything. She simply loves the things she has. Her pretty house, the wonderful things in it. And most of all her family.

My mom is fiercely devoted to caring for her family. (even her grown children) She taught me that it is in the simple things that show love. A home cooked meal. A soft voice, a smile. She taught me that clean sheets on my bed, warm soup on a blustery day, kind and respectful words spoken, warm smiles, and thankful hearts are what make a home. I learned the most important part of mothering from my mom; nurturing.

My mom's faith is the core of her soul. And her love for the catholic church, as well as her own deeply personal walk with the Lord gave me the foundation in life for my own abounding faith journey.

One that I've had to hold on to as I walk this journey of life.

There is no bump in the road that my mom can't withstand with grace and courage and strength. Not even cancer for the second time.

No one is stronger than my mom.

No one.

In her own quiet, loving way, my mom's heart doesn't hold worry. It holds faith. Not fear, but courage. Not doubt, but belief.

Yes, when I grow up... I want to be just like my mom.

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I think we all do.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer Days

Even with such a big big project going on in our house there are days and days that spill out in front of us. There is time to think and time to plan. There is time to play and time to dream. I adore this slower time of year oh so much. I think my favorite part is dinner time with the whole evening spread out in front of us. Lately the girls have been off playing while Scott and I are planning the next step to the new bathroom.

During the day the girls have been so helpful doing little things around the house with me. Our peg system (I explain it back here) changes up a bit in the summer, and for their "zone" the girls just help out. When something needs to get done, they have been more than willing to pitch in and help. I've loved this new attitude.

Abigail has loved pruning the flowers on the front steps.



And Anna has been vacuuming and dusting when we need it right along with me.


I like to do big projects in the summer. (1) the new bathroom (2) fill up a 2 ton dumpster with every thing from the house we can

But I also like to do little things like hand wash the hairbows. Into the warm, soapy water they go.


I have a large bin of hair bows in Abigail's room but these were the ones that used to hang in the girls bathroom (going down on ribbons) and they got quite dusty. Not anymore! I'm not sure I'll hang them in the new bathroom. We'll just have to wait and see.


Somehow the days roll into the weekends during the summer without a care. I don't LONG for the weekends like I do during the school year. No matter what is going on in our house or with any challenges we seem to face in the summer, this time is so precious because I spend my days with the ones I love. Making memories right in our own house.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Fabulous Fourth!

I remember 4th of July when I was a little girl. We spent the day at my grandparents. There was no happier place to be. Especially in the summer. They had a beautiful pool and my grandfather (the florist) was an avid flower gardener. There was so much food and swimming until dark. Fireworks and family. It was tradition and I loved it!
They are some of my sweetest childhood memories.

This year the 4th started the day before with these cousins!


It was so much fun to be with Scott's family!

On the 4th we started our day at the pool club.

They have special events for the 4th like this fun bounce house type slide into the pool! Abigail climbed right up...



... plugged her nose


... and down she went!


and again!




We ate lunch together!





And then we headed to my brother and sister in laws house for a picnic and fun!


These two are super close.


Oh I love them allllll!


and red, white, and blue!


My brother got a family kickball game started and it was so much fun to watch! Here's Scott explaining to Abigail how to play.




Love this natural look on Anna's face as she's watching.



And Scott and I are STILL talking about how cute Abigail is when she runs.




Always together, these two, all day. When Kye was afraid of the fireworks later that night, Anna sat inside the house with him as they watched through the glass doors.


I love her so much!


Time to eat!





My Dad asked for a grandparents picture and really, my favorite ones are the outtakes, the getting it all set up ones.





My mom is starting some scary health procedures today. If you could add her to your prayers, that would be much appreciated.



Getting ready for the fireworks!






Our evening ended with fireworks and looking for lost red sandals in the grass (in the dark), and tired parents, and a really late bedtime. All the things that me the 4th so much fun! I wouldn't have it any other way.

It was one of those bottle it up 4ths that make me want to hold on to it forever. Until next year! Oh how I love summer!

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