catch the moment: wk 42

Less than three days after we returned from our 4 night trip to Portland, we left for a 5 night trip to Tennessee. I really thought I’d have time to blog about the trip to Portland during our trip to the Smoky Mountains but I was wrong. It’s really important to me to document the memories we’ve made while it’s all still fresh in my mind. Can’t believe how fast this month is flying by. As wonderful as both trips have been, I’m glad to be home with no big plans on the weekend for a while.

288/365: Thursday, October 15th. After fall break camp, before dinner…just one of those things that we do every day when we get home. Regardless of the weather or how bad anyone needs to use the bathroom, I always have 1 or 2 little guys help me check the mail.10-15-2015

289/365: Friday, October 16th. My little troopers. They color, watch a couple movies, nap, and then we’re there. All in all, I couldn’t ask for better traveling companions. We stayed at my mom’s Friday night. 10-16-2015

290/365: Saturday, October 17th. Once we got into Pigeon Forge, we had some time to waste before checking into our cabin. We ate a wonderful lunch at Harpoon Harry’s and then looked around for a little bit at the Christmas Place shops. Even knocked out getting the boys’ personalized Christmas ornaments for this year while we were there. Also-ring pops from the candy shop!10-17-2015

291/365: Sunday, October 18th. We had a big day Sunday! I will write more about it in a separate post but I took this picture of my mom and all 5 of her beautiful grandchildren at The Island in Pigeon Forge10-18-2015

292/365: Monday, October 19th. The fun didn’t slow down on Monday – we spent the day at my favorite place in Pigeon Forge…Dollywood! We enjoyed mild weather, no crowds, and fun family time with my mom and Ryan’s parents. I was explaining to Theo why Dolly is so famous and why so many people love her (myself included). I showed him her picture and he said “oh, okay…sooooo? She’s a circus performer?” Ha. 10-19-2015

293/365: Tuesday, October 20th. I searched for a relatively easy hike that my kids could handle and all websites pointed me to Laurel Falls. It was paved but 1.3 miles uphill to the beautiful cascades. The boys did their fair share of complaining but appreciated the reward of the waterfall at the top of the mountain. I was really proud of them! No complaints on the way back as it was all downhill. Afterwards they both said they enjoyed it and would do it again. I get it – I feel that way sometimes too when hiking. 10-20-2015

294/365: Wednesday, October 21st. I took this photo from the loft while I was packing and cleaning up when I heard Dexter’s giggles from below. I keep thinking about how lucky I am that my family and my husband’s family all like each other, get along, and enjoy each other’s company even for the duration of a mini-vacation. Something tells me that’s not super common but I love it. We got home around 615pm Wednesday evening. Normally the blues would set in around this time but I am off the rest of the week and the weather and leaves are phenomenal. I’m going to enjoy every last drop of this fall break vacation!10-21-2015

That’s the end of our exciting plans for a while. I don’t have a favorite picture because I love them all-they all represent so much that I love about my family (of origin and the one I married into) and my life.



catch the moment: wk 41

Another post will come soon with LOTS more photos of our fantastic weekend getaway to Portland, Oregon. Having just been home for 24 hours, I’m still basking in the afterglow of the amazing time we had and all the sights our eyes took in. The mountain and ocean air we breathed. Oregon has always been a place I’d like to visit but it was never on the radar for a family vacation. When my best friend called a couple months ago and told me she and her girlfriend had decided to get married on the Pacific Northwestern coast, the wheels in my mind started spinning. Could I make it work? How could I not? My best friend was getting married and was telling me that she wanted me to be there if I could work it out. Whether it made any logistical sense or not, I knew I had to go. So, it wasn’t easy but we did what we had to do to MAKE it work and guys… I couldn’t imagine not standing there on my friend’s wedding day. The ceremony was short and purely magical. I cried through their vows and felt jitters like it was my own wedding day. The entire weekend was just breathtaking. Can I go back now?

281/365: Thursday, October 8th. Coloring after school…like always. I was running around getting packed and trying to figure out all the last minute stuff for our village of people who agreed and volunteered to help out to make this trip a reality for Ryan and I. 10-08-2015

282/365: Friday, October 9th. A very hectic and stressful week was winding down at work and a getaway couldn’t have come at a better time! My mom got to my house around the time I got home from work. Ryan and I caught a 745pm flight and sitting in the airport was the most relaxed I had felt all week. 10-09-2015

283/365: Saturday, October 10th. After touching down in Portland at 2am Eastern time, we went to bed shortly after arriving at the airbnb that Emily and Lauren had reserved. By shortly, I mean 430am Eastern time. I was TIIIRED. But I woke up with new energy on Saturday. Really early. Pacific time is a rough change. Ryan and I were up early and getting ready to go grab some breakfast when I got a text from Emily asking if I wanted to go for a walk and grab some coffee…talk and catch up before everyone else woke up. How could I turn down an offer like that? It was great to steal the bride-to-be away for a little bit before grabbing brunch with the whole crew of 14 who made the trip out west for the big day. The rest of the day consisted of standing around talking about what we were going to do, walking and using public transport to get around and see downtown, and enjoying a few drinks and yummy local food. 10-10-2015

284/365: Sunday, October 11th. As much fun as we had on Saturday, I was really looking forward to Sunday – hiking day! This is what I had in mind for REALLY seeing Oregon. I only saw a tiny piece of Oregon and it’s gorgeous.


285/365: Monday, October 12th. WEDDING DAY! I let the pros do their job and just tried to enjoy the ceremony for the most part instead of obsessively snapping photos. I have lots more pictures of the coast to share in a separate post. Everything about the day was perfect.10-12-2015

286/365: Tuesday, October 13th. Time to go home. The end of a wonderful {mini} vacation always feels bittersweet. That process of replaying all the cherished moments over and over in my mind so they don’t slip away. Filing them under the “cherished memories” tab in my brain. All of the sweet sadness mixed with the anticipation of getting home to see my boys. The feeling of relief when the plane touches down at “home” and that comforting calm that washes over when I walk through our door. Kissing my boys over and over even though they’re fast asleep. Going to bed 2300 miles away from where I woke up. I love all of it and I’m so thankful for the chance to have been able to make it happen. 10-13-2015

287/365: Wednesday, October 14th. Back to normal life – sort of. Dexter is on fall break this week so he went back to where him and Theo had summer camp. He looked like he was having fun when I picked him up, which was a relief since Theo isn’t on fall break just yet. It was great to just be home and give them baths and cook their dinner, read their bedtime stories and tuck them in. It feels right. 10-14-2015

Okay, hopefully I haven’t blabbed too much about our trip because I still have a lot more to share – a lot more that I want to publish here so I can remember it forever. More photos of one of the prettiest places I’ve seen. Hope you had a beautiful week.



catch the moment: wk 40

Wait, did I just type week 40? How are there only 12 weeks left in 2015? This, I have to admit, has been a rather dull photo week. It’s been a weird, kinda sad, super stressful and odd week with some really great moments sprinkled in for good measure. I’m looking forward to things being better going further into fall and October. This is definitely one of the boys’ favorite time of year with Halloween coming up. They love checking out spooky decorations and picking out their costumes -which we’ve yet to do. Yikes! Running out of time and this month is getting ready to fly by for us.

274/365: Thursday, October 1st. Theo is getting interested in video games! He’d been asking about going bowling so I suggested letting him try it on the Wii. He loves it and he’s rather good at it! As a bonus, his victory dance is pretty cute.10-01-2015

275/365: Friday, October 2nd. We went to the local high school’s homecoming parade to show our school spirit and when I pulled my DSLR to snap a couple pictures of the festivities, I found out that my battery was dead. Boo. We talked about going to the football game but it was windy and started to sprinkle so we decided to go to the movies and see Hotel Transylvania 2 instead. It was weird to see the boys running around with other kids and hearing kids who are complete strangers to me calling Theo’s name and chasing after him. It was a great family night! Dexter sure does love his blue raspberry icees & popcorn at the movies. I snapped this picture on my phone.


276/365: Saturday, October 3rd. A brief break in the middle of a day FULL of fighting. It was a weird, rough day. I knew I needed to go shopping for myself and for the boys. All week I had been looking forward to my day of shopping ALONE! But the whole 5 hours I was gone, I was rushing through the racks, checking the time, and feeling anxious and frustrated. I couldn’t find anything I really liked. I didn’t want to spend money. It was so cold and rainy outside and the mall was blazing hot inside so I was burning up, plus carrying crap. I didn’t have a stroller so every time I wanted to look at anything, I had to sit all my stuff down. It just felt like an ordeal. I was so looking forward to shopping alone and I felt nothing but loneliness. I needed a second opinion. I missed my kids (who were home fighting). I didn’t feel cute at all when I tried things on. I tried to buy stuff for the boys and every time I held something up, I questioned if they would like it and if it would fit. I am not looking forward to taking them clothes shopping but I guess that’s what we’re coming to. Once I got home I immediately felt relieved and at the same time, mad at myself for not being able to enjoy my time. I started cleaning and cooking and playing with the boys and instantly felt better. 10-03-2015

277/365: Sunday, October 4th. Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day here in central Indiana. A perfect day for open windows, sidewalk chalk in the driveway, the smell of fabric softener wafting through the windows from the vent in the basement, candles burning, food cooking, grocery shopping, and all that other good Sunday stuff. For my instagram #souperbowlsundays challenge this week I made Hot Eats & Cool Reads’ Beefy Tomato Macaroni Soup. It might be my favorite soup so far. Looks like chili but no beans and totally different flavors. Very tomato-y and hearty. The leftovers tasted even better than the night I made it.10-04-2015

278/365: Monday, October 5th. UGH-the start of a very busy, hectic, and stressful work week. It started off by rushing the boys to their pediatrician’s office at 8am for their Flu Mist vaccinations and ended with me working late. Ironically, this was the domino setup Ryan designed with the boys that night. Theo and Dexter just haven’t been getting along very well lately. 10-05-20156

279/365: Tuesday, October 6th. I took a brief brain break from work to meet my sweet friend and her even sweeter baby (if that’s possible) at our favorite local spot for lunch. Baby’s first trip to Ben’s! Ryan’s parents stopped by Tuesday night with some fall and Halloween decorations for me to look through and to visit. We ended up all going out to eat, which was nice. Unfortunately, Dexter woke up Tuesday super congested with watery eyes and a runny nose from that stupid Flu Mist. I forgot that it’s a live virus and that Dexter probably had a similar reaction last year. I’m thinking about making him do the shot next year. He was miserable by bedtime.10-06-2015

280/365: Wednesday, October 7th. Even when he’s feeling like crap, you can still get a smile out of him. His little face is raw from wiping his nose so much. His eyes had stopped watering but still congested and nose still runny. He insisted on wearing scary pajamas and wanted to read this souvenir Haunted Mansion book from our first trip to Walt Disney World.  UGH. This topic probably deserves its own post but to sum it up, it was a really hard parenting night for me on Wednesday. We had actually had a GREAT day. Both boys had their parent-teacher conferences by coincidence on Wednesday and both teacher had great things to say about Theo and Dexter. We were so proud. The evening and story time progressed into bedtime smoothly. For whatever reason, Theo made a bad choice. After their lights went out, Theo apparently tried to get Dexter in trouble by telling him to scream. Dexter refused and Theo threatened him with “if you don’t scream, I’m gonna hit you.” Dexter still didn’t scream, so Theo punched him in the nose.  I wasn’t in there but I imagine it wasn’t a light tap, but that Theo hit him as hard as his little fist could hit. I’m pretty devastated about it because it clearly was not impulsive – it was premeditated. He had time to make the right choice and he didn’t. Dexter didn’t retaliate and apparently didn’t try to get out of the way of Theo’s right hook. I know Theo’s only 5 but it breaks my heart. Dexter certainly doesn’t deserve to be treated that way and I can’t stand the thought of Theo becoming a bully. To Dexter or to anyone else. I cried my eyes out and texted my friends. The general consensus is that it’s partly normal brother / kid stuff but that it can’t be tolerated. We’ve had serious conversations with Theo and right now the consequence is going to be that Theo sleeps in the guest bedroom for a week or so until he can earn back our trust and show more respect for his brother.  I felt really sad about it all day today and also had a very stressful work day. I will be glad to get off work at noon tomorrow.10-07-2015

And that’s the end of our weird week.