Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Griff: you carry on full conversations now and jump from one random idea to the next.  sometimes we just have to laugh because we have no idea where you come up with some of these phrases.  you've started to really take care of your brother saying things like, "shhhh, it's ok bud, you'll be ok".  You're still daddy's boy and we get along much better when he's around.  You've been fascinated with babies lately and have been asking for a baby in our family, to which I answer, "go ask your dad".  You love to ask questions about when you were a baby and every other sentence starts with... "when I was a baby" or "when you were my age".

Avett: we've entered a whiny phase that doesn't seem to be letting up.  You recently turned 2 and have  become interested in potty training.  a few times you've come to tell me you need to go and sure enough, when I thought you were no where near ready for this, there you are doing your business on the potty.  You've started speaking in sentences.  Yesterday, I counted 5 words put together.  I could not believe my ears.  Today you're favorite phrase was, "I guess so".  If you could live on fruit snacks alone, I believe you would.  That and cafe rio. #favorite.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Making : time for my school schedule is absolutely a joke. I'm lucky to complete assignments at all.
Cooking : also a joke.
Drinking : tons of water since moving to this higher elevation. I still think we are all dehydrated.
Reading: text books. and library books. The SLC City library is such a cool place for the kids to hang out. 
Wanting: One more summer day at the beach, I didn't know how much I would miss it. 
Looking: up at the beautiful mountains that I used to take for granted years ago. They are just so massive. 
Playing: at the park and kids museum daily. 
Wasting: our evenings on the couch, watching way too much TV. We are loving The Voice this season. 
Wishing: we could find our forever home and stay there...moving is hard. 
Enjoying: how griffey wants to buy mama flowers every time we go to the grocery store. 
Waiting: for the snow to fall so we can officially start winter. The boys can't wait to play in it. Thanks to Frozen. 
Liking: white walls. 
Wondering: what to get my husband for Christmas. He's a simple fellow and doesn't require much. That's the problem. 
Loving: that this semester is just about o-v-e-r. 
Hoping: to buy our dream home next year. I can't wait to fix it up. 
Marveling: how much i love my children. They really are my purpose. 
Needing: my hair done. and my nails done. don't look at my feet, they need a pedi too. 
Smelling: probably like i could use a shower. 
Wearing: jackets and hats and mittens. and socks and shoes and pants. The whole thing is just weird. 
Following: my friends on instagram is so much fun. I love seeing what everyone is up to. 
Noticing: the little things my husband does to say i love you. 
Knowing: i can do this. 
Thinking: and changing my plan 5 different times until it feels right. 
Feeling: hurried since moving West. Nothing is rushed in the South. 
Bookmarking: interiors. 
Opening: my eyes to all the good things. 
Giggling: when Avett pulls me out of bed in the morning and says, "come on, come on". 
Feeling: like I haven't slept in years. Oh wait.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Griff says the darndest things.

"Mama, I'm gonna graduate.  But not in a church. They will have treats, and cookies and lemonade.  Will you come watch me?"  Said in the days following Chad's commencement, which was held in a church and afterwards these refreshments were served.

"Dada, you got a job yet?"  Said in the weeks following graduation pretty much daily.

"Mama, I got a job in Chawelston.  It was a number three job."  Meaning Toy Story 3, the movie.

Mom- "Griff, how do you feel about moving to Utah?"  Griff- "I think it's... great!  I think it's not perfect but we can try."

"Mom, I need wifi."

"My belly will be sick if I eat veggies.  My belly wants cake."

Aunt wooge- "Griff, come eat your pizza."  Griff  "Aye, Aye wooge."  Pirate themes are big around here.

"Mom I really like Charleston, I miss it.  But... that's okay.  Dad will take good care of us."

"I used to paint when I was your age."  Said to Chad as they were painting our new apartment.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Being around these guys has made all the difference as we keep adjusting to our new home.  Three of my siblings live within an hour of us.  And what lifesavers they have all been when we have needed help over the last month.  I'm so grateful for them!  Gran and Pop were in town this week from Boise, too.

Love, us.

Friday, October 10, 2014


The water was so blue, it could not have been more beautiful.  This week we took a quick, much needed trip to meet Chad's parents up at Bear Lake.  Fall was the prefect time to drive through Logan and see the colors through the canyon.  Something about the cool mountain air makes me feel like I can breathe easy.  It was still warm out, but the lake was freezing.  My kids immediately thought they were at the beach and started stripping down once we got near the water.  I didn't have the heart to tell them no.

Utah is absolutely beautiful and if we had to leave Charleston, I'm glad it was to a view like this one.  The short answer is, we are doing fine.  It's still an adjustment.  My insides are a bit unsettled and we are all restless.  I think it's the trying to say goodbye to our old home that we loved so much and hello to this new one- all at the same time.  And it hasn't been such an easy thing.  The kids keep asking me to go to the beach, or back to our "real" house.  It hurts to try to explain it to them.

We moved a lot when I was a kid, my family was separated by several states and there were many changes.  I've never really known where home was even in my adult life.  After this past month of gut wrenching changes with my own kids, I've finally come to this conclusion.  Home isn't where your heart is or where it longs to be.  Home isn't necessarily where you were born or where you went to high school.  Home is wherever you are together.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

This baby turned 3.

Oh, Griffey.  I can't believe this day has come, you're three years old.

I just sit watching you sometimes and I think, how is it possible that this is my baby boy?  How did we ever get so lucky to have you here with us?  And, where the heck did you come from?  You have really been an extremely mellow kid, always pretty easy going, very independent, super smart and way too adorable.  People stop us in stores and admire your long blonde curls.  It's like a petting zoo.

You've potty trained yourself, with little direction from us.  No more diapers, not even through the night.  You now wake yourself up if you've got to use the potty.  I think it's some kind of miracle really.

You can work any type of apple device.  iPhone, iPad, Macbook- you name it.  I don't know how you do it, but somehow I always find new apps or music that I myself did not download.  How on earth do you get past my passcode?

You're obsessed with Toy Story's 1, 2 & 3.  Why we had to have 3 versions of Toy Story, I'll never understand.  Frozen comes in at a close second.

We finally took down one side of your crib and now call it your "big boy crib".  Who would have thought you'd love it as much as you have, for as long as you have.  Georgie, froggy and blanks still must sleep with you.  And you still take a 2 hour nap everyday.

Your favorite books are: dad's vintage copy of the Little Engine That Could, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and any of the Maisy books by Lucy Cousins.  Danny and the Dinosaur and Sammy the Seal are big favorites too.

You're extremely independent and must do everything all by yourself.  Even if you end up needing help.  I try to be as patient as possible with this.

You mimic everything your parents do, and everything your brother does too.  I think we have to start being more careful about what we say and do around here.  The other day while going to the bathroom you announced to everyone, "don't come with me, I need some space".  Right on.

You're extremely intuitive with people.  You've always loved watching people, even as a baby.  Even if you don't fully understand a certain concept, I can tell you understand the emotion behind it when your dad or I explain something to you.  If someone is upset, you're the first to console them and offer solutions to help.  I often hear you telling your brother, " it's okay bud, it's okay".

The other day at the park, you climbed the big oak tree all by yourself.  The same oak tree you had been working on climbing for the last 6 months, every time we went to the park.  You usually would get stuck and cry to me for help to boost you up to the top.  This time, I watched you do it all by yourself- 8 or 9 times in a row.  Each time I could see the pride written all over your face.  I was so proud of you too.

I love you Griffey.  I can't believe you're 3, I really don't know how that happened.  I'm so proud of who you are now and who you are becoming.

* update: since writing this post no longer nap at all, unless you fall asleep in the car.  It's torture really, the protests to nap time.

Monday, September 1, 2014

We called him JJ.

A couple of months ago my grandpa died.  While it was very much expected at his fragile age, I was not prepared for the sadness I felt after he was gone.  He left this world quietly and surrounded by family- and I'm thankful for that.  As he spent his last moments here, this is what I wrote.  This is what I want to remember.

He lived a full life.  One that I honestly don't know much about.  He was a quiet man and a little rough around the edges, but a good man- a kind man.  He never told me wild tales about his war days or about his courtship with my grandmother.  I never heard about how he felt when he first became a father or about how difficult it was making ends meet with four children.  I don't remember much at all about what he used to say.  What I do remember, are the things that he did.

I remember his hugs and kisses that he would give us kids every time he greeted us or when we said goodbye.  He made sure we all knew that he loved us.  I remember his smiles.  His eyes were loving and could pierce right through a person.  Those eyes and the twinkle in them, my grandmother tells me with certainty that I inherited.  My gramps always had that same grin on his face, as if he had a million things he wanted to say but didn't.  When I would visit as a teenager, we would talk briefly about his golf game and the Atlanta Braves.  I'm sure of it now, I always rooted for them because he did.  The man taught me to play poker.  I'll never understand where he found the patience to do such a thing.  I still forget the rules, every time.  He would often tease my grandma, "she how you are, Pat?" he would say as she bossed him around.  The phrase always made us kids laugh.  Then he would look to me with the loving eyes and the grin, as if to say it was a hopeless task to try and change her.  It was, and he loved her anyway.

When I was very young, I spent many weekends at my grandparents' house on Choral drive in Southern California.  So many in fact, that their home felt like my own.  I have memories of wild gatherings where we would laugh and swim in the pool in the backyard.  There was always root beer around the house and my grandma's sticky white rice.  We had a lemon tree out back, two dogs, a million birds of paradise flowers, the hanging rattan swing on the patio and the green shag carpet my sister and I would twirl on while we danced to music.  And in my grandfather's den where there were walls of old photographs in frames he made himself, he would sit in his oversized lazy boy chair and promise to give us quarters for rubbing his tired feet.  I loved that house.  I love those memories.

My grandfather JJ was a gifted carpenter.  He spent many hours alone in his workshop crafting gorgeous keepsakes for his children and grandchildren.  I have jewelry boxes that play music, piggy banks, toy chests and picture frames all handcrafted by him.  My boys now ride the rocking horse he made for me when I was a baby, thirty years ago.  The last time I visited grandpa, my boys were with me- and I told him how much they loved the rocking horse.  I could tell his eyes understood how much it meant to me, especially now.  And when I said goodbye that day, with a baby in one arm I hugged him.  He gave me the same smile and the same kiss that he always did.  And, I knew it would be the last time.

I love you, grandpa.  Thank you for loving me.

a few shots I was able to get the day of his memorial service.  I'm not sure how my kids always end up losing their clothes on every occasion, hippie babies.  Also please note: Beckett's bawling in the family photo is due to Griffin stealing his new rocket.  Auntie Kristin appears to be encouraging this, I don't know.  We have since remedied the situation and Griff now has his own rocket.

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