day trip… Lake Mary Rd. Flagstaff

it has been raining the past few day here at the casa which usually means its been snowing up north.

yeaahhh…snow day!

we didn’t get out and play (we were afraid the big kids would riot) but it was a beautiful drive with lots of snow.

IMG_3349

it felt like winter. I could just picture sitting next to a warm fire in one of those beautiful cabins along the road, watching the snow flurries out the window.

IMG_3367

Boo begged to get out and play…until nature called…. then he changed his mind.

IMG_3365

the dad and I got out for a few quick pictures

IMG_3355

but we had to be on our way… it is a school day

IMG_3360

oh and… drum roll i harvested some of my beets!

IMG_3339

d.i.y valentine’s day decor

ahhhh Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and that makes me smile

i heart Valentine’s

I’ve never thought of it as a day for lovers but always a day to wear pink and tell the people you care about that you love them… that and chocolate!

My dad has given us ladies a valentine every Valentine’s day as far back as I can remember… usually a small box of chocolates or my favorite…flowers.

I enjoy making valentine’s and sending them out. come on who doesn’t LOVE getting a valentine?

Wednesday while boo and i were search our depleted pantry for a treat to make i found a box or red velvet cake mix, so we whipped up some crinkle cookies minus the powered sugar (i was out). the vibrant red instantly make me think of Valentine’s day… and just like that I was in the spirit.

IMG_3274

 the d.i.y decor…

I wanted to paint a sign…and of course the little ones wanted to paint too. I love when they paint, sure it’s messy but watching them get immersed in their own beautiful creation makes me feel like all is right in my world.

IMG_3295

i had some 8 to 10  inch 4×4’s laying around that we had been using to stack plants on, so i poured some crimson (because it really is more beautiful then plain old red) and white paint in the top of an egg carton and let the kids go to town.

as it happened they painted 6 blocks when they were finished. but as everyone already knows a group of 6 is not pleasing to the eye

(always group in odd numbers)

however if you spell out

i love u

it only takes 6 blocks and it breaks down in to three groups… meant to be I’d say

IMG_3305

I love the hand made look and knowing that they were made by hands i hold so dear makes them all the more meaningful. i may just keep them up year round.

as for the sign i made… it turned out cute too. simple

IMG_3306

it too has a very hand made look with the bears lovely finger prints down at the bottom.

easy. free. and beautiful!

new foods

I really like the idea of making food from scratch… i love to cook and bake and  progressively I’m getting better. Because i enjoy it and I have the time to play in my kitchen… i have been.

that said  I had a failed attempt at drying apples in the oven today… should I leave a comment next to this “easy” pinterest  pin? Nahhh better to try and fail and try again then to lament…

IMG_3266

Monday (yes this past Monday) I made beet and cauliflower soup courtesy of February’s Martha Stewart magazine…

it was Delicious

me, the dad, and the Bear liked it. the others tried it and did not… However Boo did say, ” it is beautiful Mama, it just’s not tasty”

it was a beautiful soup, i think i will try dying some napkins or something with beets later on… i personally love the earthy taste of beets.

totally an easy recipe… but better served with a meal it’s not very filling.

1 diced onion (browned in olive oil)

3 chopped beats

1 head of chopped cauliflower (add to pan after onions are translucent)

cover in chicken stock ( or veg. whatever you prefer)

IMG_3228

bring to a boil… cover and let simmer until everything is soft

let cool… and puree in small batches

IMG_3232

enjoy!

IMG_3233

  Tomorrow morning i thought i’d try some pancakes (not from a box)

i attempted to get as much of it prepared as I could ( the dry ingredients are in the yellow bowl)… we shall see

IMG_3268

I also tried putting a pot of water/ sliced oranges and a bit of vanilla extract on a back burner and let it simmer for a few hours. errrrmygod mi casa smelled wonderful… this i highly recommend doing before anyone comes over, they’ll want to stay for dinner it smells SO GOOD !

and for a side note completely random….

my girls were super funny this afternoon…

the Monk now poses when the camera comes out, she was trying so hard to keep a ridiculous silly face plastered to her mug that when it finally broke and she had cracked both herself and me up I got this one

IMG_3248pure joy

as for the bear who has been picking her own clothes out for the last few weeks and demanding a wardrobe change with each diaper change, I found her sporting my kicks in the yard this morning

IMG_3241 these must be her what ever what ever shoes! because by 3 o’clock when the kids got home she opted for her vintage butter cream dress circa 1970 (thank you Aunt Darlene)

IMG_3253“oh this old thing? why I only wear this when I don’t care how I look”

I LOVE MY GIRLS

oh Monday why do you hate me so…

i’m sitting here on hold as I have been for the last 15 minutes, looking at a growing list of things to do, feeling guilty that I’m not entertaining my kids who have the day off. looking over at my work notes that are covered in the bear’s scribbles, drinking my cold coffee  and trying to pull the giant thorn that ASU has lodged in my side out. I don’t normally hate Monday’s, to be perfect honest i usually loose track of the days… but today i need to get sh*t done and Monday is fighting me all the way!

So forget Monday, let’s rewind to Sunday… a great beautiful day, i spent ridding my favorite cruiser around Tempe watching my mama kick major hiney at the Rock n Roll half Marathon! that’s right my mama did 13.1 miles LIKE A BOSS!

IMG_3214We are all so proud of her!

I’m one of those extremely fortunate girls that has a strong and happy relationship with my mom. She is always encouraging, and supportive, loving and kind. but i think her greatest gift to me is her compassion.. for other and herself.  She continually follows her heart and reaches her goals. everything she has she has earned by working hard, never by hurting or hindering another. she has always reminded us of how beautiful we are because of what we do NOT how we look. She has given me the luxury of self confidence. she is an inspiring woman, and I love her. It felt so good to finally be able to cheer her on like she has done for us our entire lives.

IMG_3223

snap back

I just wanted to thank everyone for all the LOVE sent my direction after Saturdays post… my day quickly snapped back to normal

and normal is GOOD….

my folks took the big kiddos for the night (the bear only stayed home because she has become quite the evening explorer) The dad and I picked up a pie from Mellow Mushroom, and watched some football. If you haven’t yet tried Mellow Mushroom let me just tell you IT IS DELISH!!! we’ve tried a new pie  every time and each time I fall deeper in love with the ridiculous flavor explosions and sweet rich crust. mmmm yum-o

long story short we fell asleep at 9:30 and got some much needed rest, the next morning we awoke normal…happy… and laughing.

laughter always follows any conversation we have about our relationship before having kids. it seems like a life time ago but in reality it wasn’t that long ago, we just took the highway in creating our family. then we laugh because it was a tad insane ( 4 kids in 5 years)… but that is our normal

and normal is GOOD…

today was normal… the bear fed the dog, the dog shared with the cat

IMG_3157yes he is a huge dog and those are very small bites… he also enjoys chewing rocks and has no teeth… it’s not cat food

IMG_3158

and RT shared with boo… Rt asked if  i could take him to the store after school to buy something because he had some change burning a hole in his pocket, sure I say we need milk. the monk too decides she would like to go…but she doesn’t have a lot of money (she trades it with RT for what ever little sparkly thing he found on the ground that day) so what does RT do? reaches in his pocket and gives her a dollar, so she can buy something too.

and if that wasn’t cute enough while at the store he spent part of his money on a new toy for boo, “cause he’ll be sad if we get new toys and he doesn’t”

have a mentioned this boy will change the world?

IMG_3144

 Everyone was happy…

self goal

So I thought I would try and write this morning instead of waiting until the kids are in bed. Lately I’ve felt to tired to talk by the end of the day and more honestly had nothing nice to say. And like we were all taught as children “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”

I have been in a funk the past few day, just feeling very negative… and that’s not how I like to roll. traditionally with the exception of the dad i try to keep to myself because I don’t want to bring anyone else down. this time however I thought I created a place for myself to air my feelings and emotions so why not use it. the hesitation in doing so is somewhat self incriminating. letting my guard down is not something i like to do. for those of you that know me best you know i let just about everything roll off my back. but I have to say the older I get the harder that is.

I don’t know maybe it’s a combination of unrealistic expectations for myself and knowing that everything is a choice.

so much of my regular struggle comes from what i feel i should do and what feels right….

i think it is fair to say this is a common problem in our society… we are contently bombarded with what is expected, considered right and acceptable. who and how we love, what we should be doing with our lives, how we should look, and how we should feel about things. it’s intense!

even when you disagree with main stream, there are anti-norms to follow. so where does that leave us? well for me in constant limbo… and i really don’t like limbo…

So here I sit fitting into multiple rolls; mother, wife, student, employee, homemaker, feminist… each conflicting and none satisfying any particular self.

I can easily say which I enjoy most and ironically it is the same that makes me most conflicted.

at what point, if ever can I abandon societies norms and start truly following my gut?

i read a quote the other day that fits my new self goal of  abandoning  the negative, following my gut and enjoying the journey as it unfolds before me.

Do the best you can until you know better.

Then when you know better, do better.

-Maya Angelou