I am everything

It is getting further between each post, as it happens life has stepped in. I’m going to dive right in as thought we’ve already been taking for a while…


My mini Monk…

she was my first heart beat, my first passion, my greatest fear, she is my everything. 

My daughter is an old soul as “they” would say. she is empathetic, kind, and caring. She is brave,talented, and truthful. She carries the worry of the world on her shoulders, and the joy of a child in her heart.

Her memory astounds me; not only does she remember the details of the event  but the way the moment made her feel. Her recollections will change her entire mood,  We sat together this afternoon talking about a few things that were weighing heavy on her mind. Like how when you’re small a little toy can make you feel good for hours. How when you’re small you always know you’re loved because of all the attention you receive. How getting older is hard because your ideas are far greater than your boundaries allow.   How your potential is shrouded by your current abilities and results are not always as one had hoped.How what you like one moment does not carry to the next, How difficult even the simplistic of decisions can make you feel. How you can love, like, and dislike so many things at the same time. 

 I listened in aw of my child.

I spoke a few words of encouragement and we hugged. 

Then my girl; my first heart beat said, ” mom, guess I am just everything”

Indeed my love you are everything. 



for the LOVE of food

I LOVE good food.

i mentioned a few posts ago that I’m not a fan of meal planning…but i love the benefits of doing so. Thus a conundrum!

 In preparation for a new school year (T- 10 days!) I sit down with my pancake dinner and try to devise a plan…


I was telling my friend the other day while he so amazingly accompanied me on a Costco excursion (seriously is that a friend or what? travel across the country to see me then graciously pushes a 2 million pound cart around Costco with me and 4 kids.) so I’m telling him that I spotted a mom from school the other day here  at the co; knowing she has 5 chit’lin of her own I kept scoping out her cart.  I’m very curious about what people with big families feed their kids, do they know something I don’t?


Sure the inter web is FULL to the brim with 30 minute meals and on and on. But sometime you just want to kick it old school and say “hey there stranger couldn’t help but notice you too are dropping some serious coin here at the co, what’s in your cart? Got any good suggestions?”

i should try that I bet people would talk, if I know anything about kids and food and other parents it’s that we are ALL paddling up the same creek. Kids eat A LOT, and OFTEN. and the majority of us what to feed them tasty, healthy, and affordable food.

So I think I have a plan… a flexible plan ( because if it weren’t I would stop using it by Oct. mark my word.) I figure if I give each day a basic theme with multiple options then i all really need to remember it to thaw out the same things weekly, shop for the staples and buy what is in season or on sale and cook accordingly.

Mondays- A ground beef/turkey/chicken meal: sloppy joe’s, meatloaf, meat balls, stuffed peppers…

Tuesday- Chicken, grilled, baked… what eves

Wednesday- Pasta (NON -meat based): spaghetti, lasagna, tortellini, ravioli.

Thursday- tacos or soup & sandwiches

Friday- Pizza/ hot dogs/ breakfast (family night best to make it easy and fun)

Saturday- Grill

Sunday- Crock pot or Dutch oven meal, pulled pork, roast, the options here are endless and It takes minimal hands on cooking time.

Breakfast I think I’m gonna try in weekly rotations. As far as I can tell no one in my house likes cereal but everyone eats it because it’s easy and available. But like with snacks I’m sure if they can grab it they will eat it. This concept holds true for the dad too which cracks me up…

pancakes/ breakfast burritos/ eggs,toast,sausage/ oat meal

We’ll see if this works HOLLA!!!! if not they won’t starve and I’ll make a new plan.

Adventure playgrounds

Have you heard of these? I was reading an article on NPR the other night about these “adventure playgrounds”, a place for children to build, play and create their own play space. How Cool is that!!? Apparently they are volunteer supervised playgrounds that have all sorts of building materials like hammers, nails,  plastic piping, paints, brushes, ect. so  kids can  add  and change and CREATE as they see fit.

The closest one to us is up in the San Fran area… BUMMER!

I want one… for the kids *of course*
Well I was telling the Boo about this amazing place over a cup of joe the other morning and none to my surprise after breakfast he and his brother were busy….
IMG_0042 building , discovering, creating!
*no false advertising here* I was AMAZED that they took this project upon them selves… how super cool!
Their intent little mugs discussing the in’s and out’s of their masterpiece. I didn’t even pull out the hammers for them, they grabbed their hammers a literal hand full of  nails and went to work.
In a perfect world this is what I imagined and hoped my kid’s childhood would be. Good old fashion fun. very nostalgic, I admit. But it goes back to my own desire for simplicity.
I wish I would have had more wood laying around… so until the dad builds me a bed and we have more scrap laying around this is their new “club house”. Sure it’s missing a few walls but the idea is their’s, they did it themselves and more then anything they are proud of it.

good night

I was getting all settled in tonight ready to let the sand man dust my eyes with magical dreams… when I saw the hall light get a bit brighter. So of course I hop out of bed to see who is up.

Now my kids are all getting older, they don’t “need” me to get up with them. A luxury for me and a journey that for years I couldn’t seem to encourage a single one of them to embark on. Until one day or night rather it happened…

one less thing they need me for… and after years of being needed for everything. I noticed. not right away but tonight in fact.

So after the kiddo crawled back in to bed I went in re-tucked said “I love you” and that was that. Immediately a sense of peace came over me. How absolutely blessed I am to get to say good night and give my kids an extra kiss.  A simple thing as parents we do hundreds of times over, until we don’t.  There will come a night that I go to bed first, or many years from now when they live in their own homes and me kissing them good night will be just a memory.

A good reminder to myself on the nights one doesn’t want to go to bed, or 4 glasses of water later… to take bed time slowly, give extra hugs and kisses, to tuck and re-tuck, to read one extra book.

to embrace the “good-night”

lazy weekend

According to the dad “this is how weekends are supposed to be spent”

do’in a whole lota nada. I can get behind that (for one weekend) I get a little stir crazy. Actually I get a LOT stir crazy, especially because I’m home all day everyday. Which makes everyday a weekend… or not. No I really look forward to the weekends because the dad is HOME! Some many moths ago Friday night got dubbed “family movie night” the dad and I turn off all our devices and snuggle in with the kiddos to watch a movie. It has  become something to look forward to at the end of the week. More so during school when there isn’t time in our normal day for a movie.

anyway back to this weekend…

we hung out in the back yard. made some cookies. picked some lemons. smoked a bird. and made soup.


Smoked chicken and rice Soup… so delish. I’m a HUGE fan of using super flavored left over meat in soups. the best chili I’ve ever made came from using left over carne asada… makes me salivate.  Another crowd pleaser, not to mention one of my favorite food memories was using our grilled Thanksgiving turkey to make up a giant pot of turkey and rice soup. the boys took it tail gating the next day. Nothing better then home cooking and football on a rare cold night in AZ.

I enjoy cooking, it’s relaxing . Well… it’s relaxing when you know what you want to make. meal planning is not enjoyable at all to me. In fact if anyone would just tell me what to make I would love that. The only suggestions I get around here are mac and cheese and hot dog with buns. Buns are apparently a luxury around here. My kids are good eaters,  I give the dad complete credit for that. He will eat absolutely anything   I make and always puts on a happy face. He has never once complained and in turn our kids don’t either, very much.

And cookies well who doesn’t like cookies? Or in our case cookie dough. i have a soft spot (right above my thighs*) for cookie dough!

IMG_0051Hope you all have some cookies in the pantry… now that you’re probably hungry. I could go for one too but there all ready gone.

Summer time in the livin’s easy

we have begun our last month of summer break… oh so sweet.

Let the count down begin!

So as  I eagerly await the Tuesday after Labor day to arrive I sit reminiscing over what makes summer time so sweet… especially with kids in tow.

The past two summers have been ones for the books. Last summer we had the big move and the most ridiculously LONG summer ever…4 months! in AZ the kids were out early May and here they didn’t start until September. Lord help me… or maybe it was sangria..hmmm*

This summer we had our very first EPIC family road trip 2,800 miles of compact family LOVE. since our adventure ended the kids have been board… what eves-

Our first full week home was terrible. They were in fact board… and I was tired and didn’t want to entertain them… so we put together a list of what they wanted to do before they went back to school.  The Monk’s only request was to go to Arizona. ahh yea… No nope too hot in August my little friend. so the list didn’t spark any ideas so I’m recapping on what our summer has been… maybe you’ll get an idea for the last few weeks of hell quality family time.

summer is…

20140617_182351campfires and a good drink.

20140804_084619playing out side from sun up to sun down.

20140621_100509the beach.

20140709_091502_1creating and exploring.

forts and movie marathons.

20140615_152657world cup soccer!!!!!

20140807_134203and frozen yogurt.

 IMG_0038construction and destruction with your brother.

IMG_0012making masterpieces on the kitchen table.

a little game

Good Morning…

last night as i was falling asleep I had a great (well I think great) idea. Most of my best thoughts come as I’m falling asleep.  i should probably nap more then I could quite possibly change the world… well there’s something to ponder…

so if you would all humor me and play along i think I may be on to something here.

We could all I’m sure easily name 5 things we would change about ourselves. But that i say is counterproductive and bad for our health. so let’s NOT do that and instead think of five things you would NOT change about yourself.

you can put it in the comments if you’re up for sharing but you certainly don’t have to! Maybe just write it down… personally just putting pen to paper I feel gives my thoughts and emotions importance and meaning.

let’s begin…

1. I would NOT change my height 5.1 has served me just fine, I like the view I have from down here.

2.  My teeth. crooked and gaped they make up my smile.

3. my scars… all of them. each one is part of my time line, a memento.

4. My stretch marks. Out of respect for all the woman that would give up everything to have their own.

5. My ability to take most everything (with the exception of my kids…still working on that) with a grain of salt.

There it is a little positive energy to start the day.

I would appreciate if you share this with your friends… not the post necessarily but the idea. Our society unfortunately has trained us not to love ourselves and when we do it’s boasting. LAME! Confidence will get you further then anything else ever will in my own humble opinion.  So go on love all your perfect imperfections.