Monday, December 31, 2012


2012. What a year! Here is a very shortened version of our 2012. It was very busy, but also very normal...if that's the right word.

January: Jeff quit working at the paper and returned to school full time to pursue his Master's Degree in Business Administration. He is also an active member of ROTC and will graduate an officer. I take on single parenthood during the week. I am about 14-16 weeks pregnant with the little Giblet and feeling pretty dang good. This month begins our separation of Jeff living in a different town during the weeks and coming home on the weekends.

February: Separate lives during the week. Pregnant. Evil sinus infection. Find out our baby is a boy! Caderyn has tubes put in his ears.

March: Still pregnant and growing. I turn 27 and Caderyn turns 3.

April: Jeff has spring break. Caderyn and I go to Phoenix for a week.

May: Still pregnant and madly trying to prepare for maternity leave and upcoming birth of the Giblet. Jeff finishes his first semester and has a job secured for the summer.

June: Still very pregnant and now swollen and have high blood pressure. Only ice cream can console. Jeff leaves for his AFT with the military, I forbid myself from going into labor until he gets back. Jeff turns 29 while gone. My parents get here and all is well. June 15, Jeff gets back and I go into labor. Yep. Mr. Gabriel arrives at 8:08 a.m. on June 16 and our lives are forever changed.

July: Gabriel turns one month old and goes on many trips to Idaho, the cabin near Darby, Missoula and Great Falls. Jeff works a lot. I sleep some. Caderyn adores having his grandparents here for the summer. I end up having to go back to work part time. My friend, Sarah, comes to visit from Hawaii and we pull off an amazing trek around MT which includes a trip called "Yellowstone on Crack."

August: Gabriel turns two months old. Jeff and I celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. My parents head back to Arizona. I work part time and on the days I am home, discover I would be a terrible stay at home mom. Jeff heads back to school and I start figuring out what parenting 2 children is like. I join Weight Watchers again.

September: I'm in a wedding, then its back to work full time. I establish a routine and realize that I have no life. Jeff gets an internship.

October: Pretty much the same as September. There is some sickness. I have no life. We go to Missoula for a super fun Halloween.

November: Our lives are: wake up, eat breakfast, get ready, out the door, daycare, work, home, eat dinner, and bed. More kid sickness and me sickness. We did Thanksgiving with Jeff's family.

December: Jeff completes a full year of school and prepares for his last year. He has an internship and a graduate assistant position (woohoo!). We spend Christmas and New Years in Phoenix with my family.

When you look at it like that, you realize how quickly a year can pass you by!
I am a little glad to see 2012 go because I know 2013 is OUR year. This is the year Jeff will finish school and figure out what he is doing. We will know if we move or if we stay and right now it is exciting because of the options we currently have within reach.
Caderyn will turn four, Gabriel will turn one. For my children in 2013, I want them to keep growing. I want them to be happy and continue to know the love they have in their lives. Caderyn will be playing soccer and probably t-ball. I am also thinking of enrolling him in gymnastics.
Jeff will turn 3-0 this year. He will also be gone most of the summer completing his ROTC Field Training Experience. When he returns from that, he will officially be an M4 Cadet and on track to graduate an officer. Woo! He will also find out next fall what the military will have him do in terms of specialty. He will find out where he is going and for how long. If it is 6 months or more, we will probably move with him for the duration of his training.
I will turn another year older in 2013 (obviously). For me, I really want to focus on getting rid of the baby weight and being healthy. I ran into a bit of a road block where I stalled on losing weight. For about a month, all I did was gain and it was frustrating when you are eating healthy and working out. Right before we left, I think I figured out what was the cause and now I am anxious to get back into my routine and hopefully lose the weight before summer. I want to try and continue to get my nails done at least once a month or maybe every other month. That's just something I like to do and it makes me feel a little better about myself :)  I want to continue to read more books and write a little every day.

So, 2013, we are ready for you.
I was going to do a picture review of the year, but since we're still in Phoenix, I don't have access to my pictures and will have to amaze you with them at another time.

Monday, December 24, 2012


May your Christmas be merry and bright.
May it be filled with love, and, above all things, laughter!
Photo courtesy of Lisa Kunkel.
This picture has been a long time in the making. I was inspired by a hilarious photo I found on Pinterest and started chatting about it with my photographer friend Lisa about it.
It almost didn't happen.
I was tired and busy and a little camera shy, but Lisa was persistent and showed up at my house one night with wine, a sweater, and her camera.
Then the magic happened, as you can see :)

Friday, December 14, 2012

IPHONE LATELY 12.7-12.13

Oh, you know, just being fabulous.
1. The family party at work was a success with the kids. 
2. Gold shoes patiently waiting for Santa. 
3. I got to personally escort this guy around the campus.  
4. Waiting in line for Santa.  
5. Telling Santa what he wanted for Christmas. 
6. Sharing a picture with Santa.  
7. Hanging out with friends, eating cookies and drinking hot chocolate.  
9. George got into some pretty good shenanigans this week. Do you see him? 
10. Oh ye of little attention.  
11. Watching The Polar Express with a bud.  
12. Showing off  
13. Just wants Santa to let her catch a squirrel this year.  
14. Brothers 
15. Crazy George 
16. Mr. Sickiepoo again. Double ear infections= super cranky baby and tired Me.  
17. World War PirateZZZZ 
18. I shall call this "George's Revenge" 
19. My morning guy 
20. One day, he will thank me... 
21. Kicking and splashing 
22. George cut down all my decorative Christmas trees. 
And that's all she wrote.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


A conversation in the car this morning.

Me: Caderyn, what do you like to dream about when you're asleep?
Caderyn: I like to dream about Daddy. Is he coming home soon?
M: Two more sleeps.
M: Caderyn what do you want to be when you grow up?
C: I want to be a big dinosaur.
M: Oh really?
C: Yeah. A big, green dinosaur. Do you think Grandma (my grandma) could make me a dinosaur?
M: For when you grow up?
C: No, for Halloween. I want to be scary.
M: Oooh. Sure.
M: What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends?
C: Tackle Daddy.
M: What is your favorite thing about Mommy?
C: Snuggling.
M: What is your favorite thing about Gabriel?
C: When he looks at me.
M: What is your favorite thing about yourself?
C: I'm a superhero.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

World War PirateZZZZ

Things are getting just a little bit out of hand over think?
My post title is in reference to the book World War Z. I know how to spell pirate as a plural: pirates. See, I is smawt.

Monday, December 10, 2012


I find, that when it comes to words, I am easily impressionable.
Like instead of talking about being pregnant, you continually refer to yourself as being preggers.
See what I did there? I shortened it, made it sound more hip or maybe just made it sound annoying.
Or, instead of saying, "That's not okay." or "Gosh I really think that punishment is rather harsh" we tend to now go, "That's so ghetto."
It's funny isn't it? How easily we can fall into using a certain wordage as part of our daily vocabulary.
It's like we're constantly living in our own real life Mean Girls movie where we're trying to change words into new formats or slang and make them popular. That's so fetch, isn't it?

Since I am always striving to be a good person, I have noticed that in the last couple years, there have been people and events in my life that have changed the way I speak and want others around me to speak.
While personal and family experiences have influenced this change, I think the majority of my mindful attitude toward positive communication has to do with having children. I try to think of myself as a model (which is obvious because I'm their parent-duh) for how I want them to speak and treat others as they grow.

A few years ago, I found myself extensively and comfortably using the word "retarded" as part of my usual jargon. For example, when I thought something was dumb or someone was acting stupid, I used to say, "Well, that's retarded."
But if you stop and think about it for a second, that's an awful word and it is terribly hurtful when used in that sense. It is blatantly insensitive to a group of people who have worked very hard to have that tactless and ugly word removed from stereotyping or categorizing them.
In my family, there are people with special needs. I see how hard their parents and other relatives fight for their rights to get help from the state, to get answers from the doctors, and to get respect and equality from the community.
My musings on this pinpointed such an ugly reflection of myself that I could only hang my head in shame.  I wasn't helping them out if my mindset was still focusing on using that word in my daily jargon. I was hindering all of their hard efforts and any support I had pledged to them if I couldn't even change my language. I also felt like a huge jerk for using a word that was hurtful to a family member who is absolutely beautiful and amazing, but has been dealt a different take on life. It definitely made me stop and think about who I was as a person. I was ashamed.
That word has been barred from my life for many years now and is not allowed in my household. Just ask Jeff, I'm constantly correcting his speech the second he walks in the door. I'm pretty sure it annoys him to no end, but in the long run he will be a better person for not dropping the f-bomb every 30 seconds or for using the word "bottom" or "booty" instead of "butt" in front of our kids.

After removing "retarded" from my vocabulary, another word took its place. Like the previous word before I used to describe something dumb or silly, so too did the word "gay" take its place.
Like, "Oh how gay is that having to work on a Saturday?"
I know.
And you know what? One of the best things that could have happened to me was to be called out on using that word.
A while back, I had a student working for me who was openly gay. While having a conversation with them one day I used that word and the tone of our discussion rapidly changed.
An apology was immediately given and they pretty much dissed me for being so thoughtless.
I needed that shock to my system, and thus began another transformation of my language.
Shortly after that incident, an extended family member bravely came out.
I was and still am extremely happy and supportive--just as they have always been of my decisions to go to college, to get married, to have kids etc etc.
I think, in the world we live today, this must be accepted without questions or judgement.
And so, I again reviewed my ugly choice of words and made a commitment to vanquish such commentary.

I want my children to grow up knowing the right way to verbally express themselves. They don't need to demean another person, race or sex in order to get their words out clearly.
If something is silly, say it is silly.
If something is funny, laugh as hard as you can.
If something is mean, say it is mean and use other words to clarify just how "cruel" or "unkind" the action was.

Quit using other people as scapegoats for your lack of vocabulary and start expanding your knowledge and culture on the millions of words our language and other languages have to express our emotions, the actions of others, or our lives in general.

Think before you speak. Think of those in your life who could be affected by your words or how your words will affect others.

Words are powerful.

They can also be funny:

Friday, December 7, 2012

IPHONE LATELY 12.1--12.7

Huzzah! It be-ith Friday!
I am so glad this week is over. I'm glad it is Friday and I'm really glad we have no plans this weekend. Without any major commitments, it kind of feels like the sky is the limit!
Tomorrow I plan on staying in my pajamas for an extended period of time and then getting in a good solid hour at the gym.

Here is what our week looked like:
1. Family Pictures.
2. To get our tree up, we had to do some rearranging. I came to the startling conclusion that...we have kids.  
3. Caderyn was so super excited to finally be putting up our Christmas tree. He was very helpful. 
4. The finished product. 
5. Caderyn's letter to Santa.  
6. Tired guys. Gabriel was a little sickie poo last weekend.  
7. My boys.  
8. Superhero  
9. My poor, sick little bear went to the doctor. He's been out of sorts all week.  
10. But he is still a goofball. 
11. Caderyn's picture of the tree vs Mommy's picture of the tree. I like Caderyn's best.  
12. Thug life hat. Poor guy- just look at his face. He was so miserable.  
13. Battling my dog for control of the couch and the heating blanket. She's such a turd.  
14. Choosing an outfit that I felt belonged on The Jersey Shore.  
15. Quiet morning, pretty tree.  
16. Santa sent a special delivery and left it under our tree with a note.
His name is George Angry Elf, and, as Caderyn says, "He's so happy he's angry." 
17. Finally started to feel better around Thursday.  
18. Oh George, I can see you're going to get in lots of trouble.  
19. Gabriel has been very tired this week. He fell asleep in the rocking chair while I was making his bottle.
20. Oh George.