Wednesday, March 30, 2011

5th Birthday + Circus = FUN...

Our little monkey turned 5 years old on Sunday. From beginning to end our day was filled with food, family, friends, and fun. I think the pictures say it best...

As you can see, by the end of the day it was work just to hold her head up she had so much fun. What a great way to celebrate the joy that Brea brings to our lives. Happy birthday Monkey!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Wish...

I wish there was a way to know.

To know what's the "right" decision to make.

To know what "right" means. "Right" on paper? "Right" in my heart? "Right" for my business? "Right" for my family? Are those "rights" different when I hope that they can be the same?

To know which gut feeling, the one that gives me feedback as a business owner and community member or the one that gives me feedback as a Mom who just wants to take care of her family, is the right one to follow.

To know that no matter which decision I ultimately make, that I can commit to that decision fully without questioning, and that it will have been the best direction to move given all the factors involved.

2 weeks. That's the amount of time I've given myself to weigh it all out and come to a conclusion. I'm thankful for all the support so many have offered during the process. In the end I know that life will move forward, and it will be OK, no matter my final conclusion.

But as for today, today I wish...


Friday, March 25, 2011

Tucking Away the Memories...

It's hard to find the words to effectively communicate the meaning of our trip last week to visit my family in Nebraska. The time spent with each loved one, the silly moments, the quiet moments watching my girls soak up each and every experience, the stories shared...there is simply no way to describe the place those memories now hold in my heart.

I came home with a couple hundred photos from our trip. So many the memories almost overwhelm me as I sort through them all. Here are just a few of my favorite shots that have made their way through PhotoShop thus far.

Some of you might recognize the lovely lady standing next to me in this one...the incredibly fun Marie from Permission to Unwind.

Great memories. Great love. Thanks for all who helped to make our trip such a lovely time. More photos to come...plenty more.


Friday, March 11, 2011


Over the course of the next week I will be:
  • Knitting
  • Yoga-ing
  • Hot tubbing (
  • Sleeping in
  • Visiting
  • Knitting
  • Reading (this and maybe this)
  • Eating
  • Chatting
  • Contemplating
  • Photographing
  • And of course...knitting
Happy spring break all. See you on the flip side.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Not Again...

It's happened several times over the past 8 months. I'm in the middle of a task or I'll start planning a project and I go in search of a craft item/some paper work/that old "whatever" I thought might come in handy one day. And I search. And I pull things out of our new attic space. And I dig through boxes. I can SEE the item in our old house in my head, knowing exactly where it lived in our basement full of random stuff. Yet in the travels from there to here I have no clue where it might be...or if it even made the trip.

Most of the time the item I'm searching for is actually of little importance. Generally it simply means switching to plan B after I spend most of the day frantically searching with no success. Except for today.

Today I started prepping our tax return. Today I needed to find the paperwork from when we originally bought our house in Grinnell over 6 years ago. Today I went to the file box on top of which that folder of papers has lived for the past 6 years (it was an extra long folder so it didn't actually fit inside) only to paperwork. So up to the attic I went to find the box labeled "random paperwork to be filed" only to find, no house purchasing paperwork. And after digging through several boxes, retracing my steps 3 times, and then looking AGAIN I have house buying paperwork.

I'm angry.

I'm ashamed to admit how angry it makes me. Angry that the time from February of last year when we decided to take the steps towards listing the house until July after we had made the physical relocation is simply a blur. Angry that in my quest to de-clutter and simplify our belongings I apparently didn't make very good choices about what to off load and what to keep. Angry that when I go hunting for a specific item, what I generally find are a few boxes of holiday decorations, a few boxes of memories, and a whole lotta random useless shit. Angry that I felt so alone during the whole process of sorting and packing our lives up while at the same time that I tried to keep the girls on their normal schedule, my teaching schedule going, and plans made to move my business and our home. And now angry that I feel similarly so as I try to make sense of the stuff that actually made the trip. Angry that through the years I haven't figured out a better system for keeping track of the really important stuff as I sift through all the clutter that a family of 4 can so quickly accumulate.

I'm trying really hard to just let it go. After all, nothing is probably REALLY that important...including the house purchase paperwork. I guess we'll find out if we ever get audited. I'm trying to just let it go...but obviously if I'm sharing this with you all, I'm not doing a very good job at the moment. I guess just like figuring out a good filing system, it's a work in progress.

Thanks for letting me vent.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Rodents Welcome...

Welcome to Hamster Hotel...

Complete with designated areas for eating, sleeping, grooming, play...and that tissue paper covered box off to the left is the bathroom, because even rodents need a little privacy when nature calls.


Sunday, March 6, 2011


Yesterday I turned 36.

I will not's a number that has made me really stop and consider my age. Not that I find it a depressing age, just a reality check. I notice a few more wrinkles these days at the corners of my eyes...but I still feel ageless in my heart. In so many ways I still feel like the 16 year old who fell in love with the man who would become my husband, and best friend. I still feel like that 20-something-year-old who moved to Iowa ready to take on the world and start a family. I still wonder about what I should "be" when I grow up at the same time I'm watching my own kids grow.

(Taken yesterday for no reason except for feeling overwhelmingly lucky to have these two beauties in my life.)

Sometimes I wonder what I'm "suppose" to feel like at 36...then I get over it because it's just a number.

My family, and so many friends, helped to make my day yesterday truly special. Scott and the girls showed up at the studio at the end of my morning yoga class with a basket full of fresh baked muffins to share with my students. It makes me a little teary to think about what a thoughtful gesture that was from all who helped plan the surprise behind the scenes. The studio, and the people who it has brought into my life, has become such a special place in my heart over the past 6 months. I'm so thankful and could not have asked for a more perfect gift of celebration.

We got a chance to Skype with Uncle Jason in Germany. Mom called from Nebraska. Throughout the day friends and family sent text messages and Facebook greetings...each one made me smile.

Most of our afternoon was spent at home, where I played in the kitchen making cheesecake cupcakes for a little evening gathering planned at our neighbor's. My loving husband gave me the gift of doing the many dishes that resulted from all my play. While I reduced and grated and melted and whisked, he washed. My relationship with food lately has a bit strained (a topic for another post), so it was so fun just to play...and enjoy the fruits of my labor at the end of the day with a glass of wine (or three) and friendly conversation.

I make one basic cheesecake filling and then created 4 flavor variations through the toppings. From left to right the toppings are: reduced red wine with a semi-sweet chocolate truffle drop; strawberries and raspberries resting on a tart citrus and honey sauce; reduced espresso syrup swirled with fresh Irish cream whipped cream; mini chocolate chip cakes topped with a fresh vanilla bean whipped cream. We used the left over vanilla bean whipped cream and strawberries on our waffles this morning...and maybe a spoonful of the Irish cream whip made it's way into my coffee. Delicious.

All in all, I would have to say my first day of year 36 was simply perfect. Thanks to all who helped make it that way. Everyone should have an opportunity to feel so loved.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Old Dog, New Trick...

Eight and a half years ago we adopted Jasper from the shelter in Newton. In that amount of time he has NEVER requested to get up on the furniture. In fact if we would lift him up to sit in our lap for a special treat, he was a nervous bundle of shivers until we put him back down so he could go curl up in his bed. We're not sure why, but all of that has changed over the past 2 weeks.

First he would put his front paws up on the couch when we were sitting there and wait for us to help his hind end off the floor.

Then randomly one day he discovered how easy it was to jump up himself, and as you can see he's soaking in every opportunity for couch snuggles he can come across.

Generally speaking we were no dogs on the furniture kind of people...until Tilde came along. (Having her on the furniture is the least of our worries in comparison to her general neurotic personality.) And now that Jasper has found this new joy in his old age I just can't stand taking it away from him. Who knows how many more snuggles we have left to share with the little old guy.