Sunday, November 28, 2010


we had pete's celebration party last night.
it was the perfect punctuation to an unbelievable year.
i had expected to be consumed with the horrible, and scary details of where we were exactly one year ago.
i thought it would be like re-living it over again.
i assumed that's what everyone would want to talk about last night.
i have been pleasantly surprised.
it was truly just a celebration that focused on life,
on pete's life,
and the happiness that we feel still having him here.
and the details of the cardiac arrest event...
they seem to be slipping away,
almost as if it never happened.
i'm still reminded of the lessons daily.
reminded that we only get one shot at this earth life,
and we must make the best of it everyday.
we must love more deeply,
anger less often,
and do the things we love.
that is the memory i want to carry,
and i prefer to leave the image of pete's ashen face laying lifeless on my bedroom floor in the past.

a year ago i would have punctuated everything in my life with an exclamation or question mark.
now, with the passing of this 1st year,
it feels better punctuated with just a nice period.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

light up my life celebration

the anniversary of pete's cardiac arrest is upon us.
i have spent a lot of this past year in a dark, scary place.
i have held onto much of the fear of that initial night,
and i have feared losing him again.
as the anniversary has gotten closer,
those fears have faded
and have been replaced with light.
pete lights up my life,
and i am overflowing with gratitude that he is still here a year later.
and because he is still here i want to celebrate
instead of anxiously pacing the floor, piddling, the nights away.
i know pete's story reached many and touched many,
and many of you may want to celebrate, too.
so, let's make it a party.
and you are all invited.
this saturday, november 27
from 6-8
we will be here celebrating.
please feel free to stop by and celebrate life with us.
come when you want during that time,
stay for as long as you want.
if you are interested in celebrating with us,
then please email me for the location address.
i prefer to not post that information on a public blog.
don't let that stop you from coming,
just email me.
this is going to be quite the celebration.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

i stumbled on these pics,
and they made me smile and cry.
it is hard to believe that this life ever existed,
that that was really me.
i smile because it did in fact exist,
and i cry because it passed too quickly,
and i cry that so many of the characteristics of that time have been lost over the years,
so much of what it could've been was destroyed.
i can't help but long for knowing how things could've turned out differently had we all been raised together.
i smile because there is an element of that childhood that has never gone away.
we still have each other,
and regardless of how sibling relationships grow & change,
these relationships have remained the very best of my relationships.

i am thankful to have always had a sister who is so level headed & grounded,
and i'm thankful to have a sister who is so fun & easy to be with,
and i'm thankful for a brother who has always given me ideas & inspiration.
i'm thankful that no matter where we all end up we are still a priority to each other.
i'm thankful to know that our lives will always be so intertwined,
and i'm thankful that's how it has always been.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"strong to the finish if you eat your spinach!"

i really do like spinach,
a lot actually.
i just don't always know what to do with it.
i buy this gigantic bag from costco almost every time i'm there,
but it almost always goes to waste.
not this time!
i'm going to do something with spinach everyday until that bag is gone.
i know there must be 100 things to do with it.
so, join me until my bag of spinach is gone.
oh, and PLEASE send me your spinach recipes!

tonight i made this tasty recipe from my sister-in-law sarah.
it was a little bit of time,
but it was definitely worth it!
i felt like i was eating in restaurant.
you must try it!

roasted butternut squash orzo salad
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-in. cubes
1/2 red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup orzo pasta
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
3/4 c. dried cranberries
drizzle of olive oil

1. preheat oven to 400. line a baking sheet with foil. place butternut squash cubes, red onion slice, and garlic cloves on prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. season with salt and pepper and gently toss. place in oven and roast for 40-50 minutes, or until squash is tender. make sure you stir once or twice while the squash is roasting.
2. while the butternut squash is roasting, cook the orzo pasta. cook for about 10-12 minutes or until orzo is tender. drain the orzo and put it in a medium bowl.
3. chop the roasted garlic and onions. add the roasted butternut squash, garlic, and onions to the orzo. stir in spinach and dried cranberries. drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. stir once more. serve warm or at room temperature.

serves 4-6

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

learning to spell

if you have not yet discovered cheez-it scrabble crackers,
then you need to check them out.
i love cheez-its thanks to my mom,
and i love teaching my kids about letters & spelling just from everyday life kind of things.
so these crackers are a perfect fit for me!
each cracker has a letter on it.
you should've seen all the words sam & i spelled on the pew at church on sunday!
it was so entertaining spelling & eating that it made it hard to listen;
check them out,
you may love them that much, too.

Monday, November 15, 2010

jumping into motherhood

i have a deep, dark secret.
only my sister amy really knows about this secret,
and that is because i vent it to her almost daily,
and she has heard me say some really stupid things.
what's the secret one might wonder????
i have unobtainable expectations of myself as a mother.
i don't hold other mothers to the same expectations.
in fact i envy that i give them a break.
i have never given myself a break;
i'm never free from the constant inner pep talk to do better, to work harder, and to do more.
i've never really even been able to admit that being a mother is hard.
i can even recall saying to sam's pediatrician when he was a baby that i didn't see what the big deal is;
i hadn't figured out why other mothers thought the job was so hard.
he advised me to be cautious on who i said that to.
now i know why he said that;
he was helping me not make a fool of myself.

being a mother can be hard.
so, what's the problem?
i've just thought that if i was trying harder and doing it right, then it wouldn't be hard.
and on days that it is hard i don't want to admit it to another mother for fear she might think that i wasn't working hard enough.
my expectation has gotten so out of control i've even been afraid to admit to my sister how hard my days can be.
oh, and here i am freaking out that i'm even writing this!
i fear that it means i'm not a good mother if i say it's hard to have a baby who won't nap or sleep at night because she is getting teeth,
or who gets woken up by a loud brother just after she falls asleep,
or how hard it is to have a 5-year old who fights me on almost everything and demands all of my attention at most moments of the day,
or how hard it is to know if you are letting your 3-year-old get away with too much because you are trying to protect him from getting the middle child squeeze,
or how hard it is to have a messy house at any given moment of the day,
or how hard it is to not have 5 minutes of alone, uninterrupted time to myself during the day.
i know there is so much more to being a mother than the hard things.
i have tasted on so many occasions how wonderful it is to be a mother,
and that is where i like to try to keep my focus.
however, i just want the freedom to say it's hard
and not feel bad about it afterwards,
like i'm not enjoying it or wishing it away.

so, from here on out i'm jumping into a realm of motherhood that seems to exist outside of my ridiculous expectations.
i'm going to start feeding my kids cereal for breakfast,
and sometimes it might even be lucky charms or some other sugar cereal.
i think i'll eat more pb&j sandwiches for lunch,
and maybe even artic circle for dinner when i'm too tired to prepare a meal that covers all food groups with recipes containing 10+ ingredients.
i'm even going to take people up on their offers to take my kids for a few hours,
and i will admit that i needed the break and enjoy it.
i will try to work on looking at my messy house as a life that was lived and not just preserved on a shelf,
and when people stop by and see it i will welcome them into our living space with no apologies.
and i will remember that we mothers are all in this together.
none of us are perfect,
and we need each other for support
and for an understanding ear when we just want to be able to say that some days are hard.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

hard to believe

(sam at age 16 months at the "ABC park")

today i had my boys at the park.
my mind was drawn to a park day with sam before he was even 2.
will wasn't even born.
i remember looking at sam not even being able to climb up the stairs.
i couldn't imagine him ever being big enough to master a playground.
i found myself today in disbelief as he was swinging from the monkey bars,
and will was born and climbing the slide,
and maggie is here, too.
i know she will have it all mastered, too, before i even know it.
it really feels as if it all changes with the blink of an eye;
i'm trying hard to not blink.
i don't want to miss a thing.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

new names

the hardest part of being sam's mother is that nothing gets past him.
if i'm having a good day,
he notices.
if i'm not on top of my game he notices.
so his comment today did not come as a surprise.
as we were on a walk this evening he informed me that he was going to change everyone's name.
he was changing will's name to "bully brother".
the reason:
will told sam that he couldn't jump off the curb on his scooter.
he changed maggie's name to "precious maggie".
that hit the nail on the head.
he changed pete's name to "time dad".
the reason:
he said dad is always telling him to hurry up and setting the timer for him to do things.
here's the kicker name.
he named me "changing mom".
the reason:
he said i'm always changing from nice mom to mad mom to normal mom to angry mom.
before i cried (i didn't really cry; i just wondered if i should) i asked which mom he liked best.
he said he liked all of them,
he just likes me changing.
that's not what i expected him to say,
but what a relief!
the kid likes the variety i guess.
i guess he called that;
i'm not always on top of my game,
but i'm learning that just comes with territory. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

the black hole

we have a black hole around our house.
some pretty important things get sucked in there.
like $100 bills and the only two sets of van keys that we own.
oh, and the toilet paper spring rod from our main bathroom.
if anyone can crack the code, please let me know.
or if anyone can spare a couple $100 dollars to replace the missing $100 and pay the $100 fee to have a key made from our ignition and then $200 more to get 2 replacement electronic keys,
then simply just email me and i'll get you my contact info. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

just a phase

have you ever noticed as a parent how quickly a phase comes and how inevitably it is ushered out by a new one?
sometimes it's hard to let a phase go,
and other times you can't chase a phase away quick enough.
i'm not going to lie,
there are parts about this phase right now that i'm not enjoying.
better yet, there are parts that are down right hard!
like taking your screaming, crying child to preschool 2 times a week,
not only is that not hard enough, i have to listen to the 5-year-old expletives all the way there.
i'm trying desperately to grow from this experience
and more importantly to keep it all in perspective.
admittedly, that does not always come easy for me.
however, if i've learned anything as a mother it is that time moves forward and phases end.
in the meantime, i hope that i can embrace the things about this phase of my life that i wish i could hold onto forever,
having a 5 year old that wants to lay with me every night and talk about everything on his mind,
or a 3 year old who loves to climb on me and kiss me
or how every time i asks him if he knows i love him he says "i do!"
or a baby who never stops smiling or nuzzling my shoulder.
there are some wonderful things,
but man, will i be glad when sam masters the separation lesson!

i recently re-read this quote,
and it reminds me to not wish too much away.

"Enjoy your toddler! Although it may seem at times that they will never grow up, they always do. The long, seemingly endless days will gradually be replaced by days with not enough hours in them. Children who once needed you for everything will need you less and less, and the days of leisurely walks, playdough and afternoon naps will be a warm and fuzzy memory. My hope is that both you and your child will have many happy hours of playing, growing, and learning together."

Monday, November 1, 2010


maggie is 7 months today.
hard to believe!
the celebration of her life is just the beginning of life celebration this month.
her birth brought the cycle of life full circle for our family.
when we almost lost pete 1 year ago,
i was so grateful that i was pregnant with her;
she was a piece of pete's life that i would still have even in his absence.
in those days of despair and uncertainty,
i tasted the tremendous amount of pain one might feel with a loss of that magnitude,
but with maggie's birth the feelings of potential loss were replaced by the goodness of life.
with the 1st anniversary of pete's incident quickly approaching,
it is life that i want to remember,
not loss,
not pain.

thank you, maggie, for bringing life back to our family.

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