Saturday, July 22, 2017

These people.

These people. They are some of my favorites.

My Texas favorites. Except they don't live in Texas anymore. Since we have been gone they moved from Texas to Colorado. Just typing that makes my heart hurt a little bit. Because while they are not residency people (GASP! Wait? There is life outside of residency?!) they are a HUGE part of why the last year...year and a half of residency have been bearable for me and my kids. This amazing lady has opened her home to my kids and me nearly every Sunday for almost as long as we have lived in Texas. Oh and we were even allowed in on other days too;)  She loves my kids fiercely and I love hers like they are my own. And she has encouraged and challenged me to be a better me - just by being her. I am so incredibly thankful for her friendship. Texas isn't going to be the same without her there. Good thing Colorado is practically on my drive home from Minnesota. Okay it isn't at all on my way home...but whats an extra 500 miles? Nothing when it comes to friendship. Thank you for being my friend Tami.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The kids and I left Texas 2 weeks ago. As of today we have driven 1,900 miles. And slept in 7 homes + 1 hotel + camp. We've missed naps and eaten dozens of meals out of our van. We've stayed up way too late - way too many nights in a row. We've also slept in and slowed down. Enjoying time with friends and family - people we only get to see once a year. People that we love dearly. 

Just this morning we started our day at my grandparents' home. Playing in the garden and visiting. 

And tonight we ended our day at Joe's great grandparents' house. Swimming in the lake and going on a pontoon boat ride. 

There was a 2 hour van drive between the two houses. But the effort of traveling solo with my four's always worth it. Time spent with family is the BEST time. And as a bonus Minnesota has the best summers. Warm and sunny during the day and cool in the evenings!  

P.S. Don't be confused by this post. Traveling cross-country and living like gypsies for weeks at a time with small children is NOT easy. I don't mean to gloss over the hard or ugly parts. Trust me there have been plenty of those my sunglasses falling in the toilet at our very first rest stop. Or waking up with a neck so stiff I cried out in pain and could not turn it on day 9. Or being so tired that driving just one more mile felt impossible. Or having kids ready to brawl to the death over the last ________ (insert pretty much anything) while family-you-see-only-once-a-year watches. All of those moments plus many more have happened on this trip. But it's been worth it. Family time is the best time. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Drive

The kids and I are started our annual summer trek to Minnesota. We covered 400 miles 11 hours. Oops. We are going to have to pick up the pace tomorrow. But we were just having too much fun - playing along the way. We hit up a playground in one town, a splash pad in the next and our last stop was McDonalds. 

And since we had been having such a great travel day and the kids were being such great travelers I decided to splurge and buy Happy Meals for the girls. Upon the discovery of these...

...instead of the advertised Beanie Boos (stuffed animals) the tears flowed. Those were the least happy Happy Meals I've ever witnessed. Overall though this trip is going well. We've had a few minor mishaps...sunglasses in a (used) toilet, another pair of sunglasses broken, one cut chin at the playground and a few sibling squabbles. But really we are all healthy and mostly happy travelers. I couldn't ask for more. 

400 miles down. 1,000 to go!

Friday, June 9, 2017


Double DIGITS. 

As a child I can remember how exciting it was turning 10. I mean double digits! How cool was that?!  Now as the parent of a soon-to-be 10 year old double digits doesn't sound quite so cool. In fact I can't stop crying because ten YEARS has absolutely flown by. All those people that said "don't blink" and "they grow up so fast"...they were right. Darn it. I blinked and he's more than half grown. 

How did we go from the mom + baby on the left to the kid + mom on the right so quickly? I'll never understand it. Don't get me wrong I'm incredibly proud of the kid Isaiah is today. He's smart and funny and creative. He's an amazing big brother. This kid is the definition of a book worm and his use of language cracks me up. Just tonight he was pushing the coffee table out of the way so "we would have adequate floor space" (for our family dance party). But he will always be my baby. The one who made me a mom. The one who made me love so deeply it feels like my heart might just burst at times. The one who has taught me how to be a mother. (Sorry kid I really don't know what I'm doing but you've been a great experiment!) Being his mother has been one of my greatest joys and accomplishments. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Sweetest Seven

Tomorrow morning this girl will wake up a SEVEN year old! 

And just like I've said every year...I'm not sure how that happened. Because seven years ago tonight I was nine days past my due date and HUGE and 100% convinced I would be pregnant forrrevvvverrrrrr:) 

And now she is seven. And I'm very much not pregnant;-) I loved looking back at these birthday celebration pictures but more than that I really enjoyed celebrating Charlotte today as a family. 

Because of Joe's trauma schedule we did not have a party but instead chose to have a family fun day! It started with donuts for breakfast followed by gift opening and an hour of jumping at an indoor trampoline place. Which Charlotte deemed "the best birthday ever - even without friends". Then we had pizza and ended our day at the beach with our residency family. 

P.S. After every last morsel of those birthday donuts were consumed Charlotte decided to inform that she doesn't like sprinkles on her donuts! Say what?!? That information would have been hugely useful years ago considering 3 of her 7 birthdays have included SPRINKLE donuts. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

We did. We finished the 2016-2017 school year!!! One in public school. Two in homeschool. And one just causing trouble. It was quite the year. 

I'd be lying if I wrote we ended strong. We limped and puttered to a crashing stop. But we made it! And to be completely honest the girls' homeschool ended weeks ago but today was the end of year party for our co-op. So I'm calling today the last day;-) 

Next year school will look different once again. (Three in public school...I think.)  But I'm so glad we had this year. We were stretched and learned and grew together. It was a good year. I gained confidence in deciding what is best for my children and taking action regardless of what others thought. And my children - ALL of my children thrived this year. 

I know I'm going to look back on this year fondly for years to come! Plus it was (supposedly the hardest year of residency or so we've been told) and we are a month away from finishing that too!!! 

P.S. While I was taking these last day of school pictures Levi was playing quietly in the other room...

I should have known he was being TOO quiet! This doll got her teeth and hands and feet thoroughly brushed with an entire tube of paste! That stinker. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Dance Recital: 2017

This little dancer rocked her 3rd dance recital! She may be one of the littlest dancers on the stage (still) but she is in her element up there. All smiles. Absolutely no hesitation. She loves it. And we love watching her do her thing.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Yesterday a group of us resident spouses and residents went horseback riding on the beach. With Joe still on MICU that meant I had to line up a babysitter. (Which is something I never do!) But I moved heaven and earth to make it happen or so it felt. And it was so completely worth it! 

I have always LOVED horseback riding. And it was so fun! I mean riding a horse in the ocean?!? Come on! But the best part was spending an uninterrupted afternoon with friends. These ladies have basically carried me through residency. They have hung out with me at all hours of the day and night. They've played with my kids. They've listened to me laugh, cry and complain. (I've done too much of the last one lately). They have supported me through some of the longest, hardest and loneliest months (almost years!) of my life. I'd be lost without them. So horseback riding with them on the beach was pretty much a dream come true. (Except in my dream my horse was talking to me and in reality Roman did not speak;-)