Category Archives: My kids

But Today

My husband was away on a work trip overnight. I usually have no issues when he leaves, but it was kinda weird being left in Missouri with the kids alone. Just extra alone feeling, I suppose. With Joany passing away last Friday this has been a very difficult week. In addition, it just didn’t work out for me to make the 1770 mile trip home for her services, which reminded me how very far away I am from home. This will be the first of a long list of moments that I am going to not be there for. Things are different. I stopped drinking vats of diet coke cold turkey last Friday. We got quotes back on the work we wanted to have done before we moved into the house and they were all too high. So, we will be needing to do a lot of it ourselves.  I think I definitely have entered a “poor me” stage. Then to top it off we found out escrow was delayed a few days. Not really a big deal, but there was a very sentimental reason that we wanted it to close on the 14th and now it won’t and that was kinda the straw.

So, this morning I laid in bed feeling sorry for myself and then I decided to get up and knock it off. Time to get out of the house and have some fun. So I grabbed the camera and we left. With zero plan.

Cleanliness is next to godliness. So this seemed like an excellent place to start. Car washes in Missouri are weird. First, there are people inside them. I don’t understand this.


Second, there are no full service washes that I have found. So at the end of the wash if you want the interior done you have to get out in the two degree weather and vacuum it yourself. I just can never do it as good as those car wash dudes anyway, and then if you want the dashboards and stuff wiped down, hopefully you brought your own supplies. Not really a problem, I get it, just modern conveniences, you know.


But there is rainbow soap and this is the redeeming quality. For years when the kids where little we would turn up the music, I’d let them out of their seats and we would drive through and have a car wash dance and the highlight which always evoked screams was the rainbow soap. I can smell it now. This isn’t quite rainbow, but purple will do just fine.


Next Stop. Fritz’s.


The place where trains reign supreme. Waitress bring drinks and yell choo choo. There are train whistles and noises everywhere. You call on the phone at your table to order and the train literally drives to your table, stops, and lowers your food down to you.


There are trains everywhere, and everywhere else, literally.


It made me happy to watch my three year old. He is a hard core train dude and his little heart was about to burst.


Next we wandered around Crown Center where the restaurant was located. We stumbled upon a Wizard of Oz exhibit. Free. Completely free.


These people are unknowingly in my photo album forever. Do you ever wonder how many people’s photo albums you are in as an extra? Something to think about.




We found all kinds of other treasures.





Kalidescope, sponsored by Hallmark. A serious creative wonderland. It’s this whole world with craft supplies galore. You take a bag, you create as long as you want, and then you take everything home. I could not believe when the gal said, “come on in, it’s free.”

Don’t mind if we do…





A dirty diaper caused a premature escape to the car because we brought nothing in. I had no idea there was a whole mall and all this stuff. We thought we were going into the restaurant and back to the car.

So one upside of snow? You keep a sled in your trunk and it is the perfect place to keep little things from rolling around and it also doubles as a comfy bed for diaper changes.


We took a long drive around Kansas City. It has such a similar vibe to San Francisco. I feel at home down there. I kept expecting to turn the corner and see the Golden Gate but no such luck ;). I do miss the ocean here. It’s my favorite. But I pretty much love downtown. SO much to do. So fun.


And since we were blessed with 46 degree temps. We rolled the windows down and turned the music up on our drive.


I couldn’t help showing the kids West Bottoms. It’s going to be a place they are photographed often :)




As the sun was setting we stopped at Target to get a couple of last minute Valentines things and then finished the day up with drive thru eat in the car dinner and a trip to the library.



One foot in front of the other, and a day out of the house taking in everything new with these four munchkins was good for the soul. I do so love our new home. Feeling normal here will take time and on the hard days I need to remember this day.

There will be hard days. Today started out as one.

But today ended very different. Hearts full and tired.

We can not control our life, one single bit. BUT we can control how we respond.

There’s good everywhere. Somedays you just have to look a little harder for it. Surely you WILL find it.

I promise.

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First Snow

We fell in love with the steady snowfall all day long. So beautiful.

Praising God for new experiences.





















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She Is Thirteen




Remember when I struggled with THIS???? It doesn’t get easier watching them grow…

I am glad I got to sneak in a few shots for her 13th birthday in between client sessions before we left California. We were several months after her 13th birthday, but we got some.

I wanted to completely embarrass her by posting some adorable newborn photos of her, but alas my photo albums are in California and I am in Missouri, so she will escape for now.

A beautiful little lady, with a giant heart of gold…..









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Just Us


Oh pictures!

We tried these today. I decided yesterday to do them.

Everyone grab clothes in your closet. No fresh hair cuts, new outfits, nothing. Real life complete with grumpiness and running late so we had about 18 minutes to get this done before the sun went to sleep, and no time to flat iron my hair.

A toddler running everywhere, a mom feeling mom frumptastic, and my remote stopped working so I did the whole timer and run thing. HA!

I love my family!

PicMonkey Collage

…and did I mention this is in my backyard? Going to miss this view!!!!






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The Donut Shop

There’s something about the box. In order to the get the “box” you have to buy 12, so we rarely do. We have really changed our diet quiet dramatically and definitely don’t do this often, but sometimes the pink box calls and sometimes it is best to listen.


A few weeks ago, I sat with my littles at the donut shop. I put the purchased donuts in the center of the table and we each take a fourth of the different kinds. It equals a whole, but you get four different kinds. Perfect. Why eat one whole donut when you can eat one whole donut made up of four different kinds?

As we sit on the run down vinyl chairs, a woman walks in with four children of her own, and she begins talking to the police offer, perfectly placed in my favorite donut shop. {The use of the word favorite implies that I have tried multiple donut shops and have chosen this as the top choice. Guilty. Donuts tend to be my favorite junk food.} They make some small talk and he asks where the children go to school. She says, “I homeschool”. I literally want to jump and scream and go “me too” “me too”. It is like I realize we are part of some secret society and I need for her to know I am a member. I sit silent and in utter astonishment, as I hear the police offer begin to give heartfelt praise her for her education choice. He tells her what a wonderful option homeschooling is and how awesome it is that she is giving that gift to her kids. I sat watching wishing it was appropriate for me to get up and hug them both, but then I remember my children (2 of which are teens). I realize it would probably cause permanent scaring to them. There is no way that they could wrap their hormone supercharged brains around why their mom is hugging total strangers…in the donut shop, over homeschooling. I refrain.

My desire to hug ran deep because I remember the not too long ago days where I would just get mortified at the sideways glances people give over our education choice. My kids have been made fun of for being home schooled. I have been the recipient of strong opinions against our homeschool choice. Homeschooling is tough and all of the disagreement and objections can make it SO much harder. Hearing these two kindred spirits made me happy. I agree with them. I agree wholeheartedly. It is a wonderful option.

As I enter my fifth year of homeschooling, I am so at peace. There are definitely challenges. Challenges for me, challenges for my kids, and challenges in our home. BUT challenges, or the lack there of DOES NOT DEFINE or confirm God’s will in our life. They never should. He does that.

After an over busy summer, I find my self burned out, struggling to keep my head above water with all of the responsibilities I have in the next month. Yet, I realize that my God, who created the universe,  made 24 hours in the day and that is enough. I no longer pray for more time, but pray to discern how to use the time I have been given. As I shift focus these last 27 days before the new school year begins {on Sep. 9th} from daily playing, to deep cleaning and organizing the house, preparing curriculum, decorating and organizing the classroom, and trying to discern what needs to be completed and what should be set aside, I can say it is well with my soul. {one of my favorite songs of all time.} Last Friday, I unexpectedly found myself strolling through an antique shop and my heart stopped as I saw this little guy hanging there for just $5.00. {Ever since seeing, this I have been wanting to display those words in my home}.


Fast forward to yesterday. Back to the donut shop and I am paying. There is a gentleman who has been talking to the clerk. He is an older man, likely in his 70’s, he says “why are women only nice before they are married?” His eyes are twinkling with fun. I chime in,”hey, I have been married for 18 years and I am still nice”.

“You look nice” the gentleman says.”What’s your name, young lady”?


“That’s a cute name. A real cute name. Where’d you meet your husband?”

“Church… and today he is a worship pastor.”

“He says no wonder you are happy. Have a GREAT day, today, Darcy”

“I will” and as we say our good byes and I walk away, pink box in hand, I hear him say, “thats a real cute name, Darcy. I like that.”


That man had a twinkle in his eye like no other. It made me happy.  Sometimes donuts hit the spot like no other. Many times I feel like there isn’t enough hours in the day. Yesterday I woke up crying because of the sheer exhaustion life can bring. Then we got up, ate donuts, and did a little swing dancing in our back yard, and it was good.

Today, my to do list is longer than Santa’s, naughty or nice list.

But It is well with my soul.



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You are my sunshine, my only sunshine


*my 8 year old made a birthday breakfast with a little help from Pinterest and her daddy.


*and she spent her quarter chore money on a Target gift card for her sister. Every last cent. 


You make me happy when skies are gray


You’ll never know dear, how much I love you


Please don’t take my sunshine away



Man, I love her.

A bittersweet (for mama’s heart) celebration of the end of her childhood and the beginning of her teen years.

Time indeed does fly swiftly by.

I love you Taylor Grace.


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The Girls

Following the trend of the last 4 years of my life, I can now add the sentence, “I own six chickens” to the list of things I thought I would never say.

There are six of us in our family, so we each picked a chicken and a name.


The parent’s chickens~

Stevie belongs to my hubby. A fan of all things Apple. So, naturally she is named after the late Steve Jobs.

Princess Consuela belongs to me. I have seen every episode ever made of Friends. I find it to be the best show ever. So, upon the recommendation of my niece, Princess Consuela it is.


*Stevie and Princess Consuela

Both of our chickens are Silkie Chickens, like Tori Spelling’s chicken, Cocoa. If you are unfamiliar, please google. These “chickens” are “exotic” chickens the Chicken Store people told us. I think they are a cross between a poodle and a chicken. Whatever the case, stinking adorable. Black and white for us. Romantic, eh?



The kid’s chickens~

Cameron’s chicken is named Diver. This kid LOVES him some ocean. Appropriately named. Very clever.

Taylor’s chicken is named Iris. She LOVES her some astronomy. Iris is named after the Iris Nebula.

…and may I just say now that I love those two kids.


*Diver is camera shy

Emma’s chicken is named Lola. You know why? “Because it is a cute name”. Good reason. Great reason.

Greyson’s chicken is named Emily because he loves Thomas the Train and since we have girls we had to name it after the girl train, Emily. Makes sense right?


*Princess Consuela

In several weeks these girls will move into their chicken coop Home Sweet Home.

In several months we shall be eating their eggs for breakfast.

Pretty fabulous.

Thanks in advance, girls.



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The Crib

“Why are you crying, mom?” she says as she enters my toddler’s room. “I’m just rearranging and baby proofing in here because his crib is coming down soon. It’s a mom thing. I put all four of you guys into this crib that your grandma and papa bought for us and this is the last time it will ever be used for one of my babies. It’s a little sad to me.” {WHICH was a total lie because it is a lot sad. Like eat a pound of chocolate and wear black for an entire decade kinda sad. The kind where I have to text one of my besties and say “you’ve been through this, I will survive, right?”. My 12 year old can wait to realize this part of motherhood, I decide.}


“Unless”….I perk up.

“I’ll save it and then when you guys start having babies maybe I will have an extra room in my house and can set it up again for your babies to sleep in when they come over to party with grandma!!!” I have a moment of triumph and then…


Wait just a minute.


I had a sickening revelation that I am the grandma in this scenario and that these days are not really THAT far off. The tears begin again, mixed with laughter, and the confession to my 12 year old that I am struggling lately with the speed in which time is choosing to fly.


The crib came down.

With heart ache quite deep and plenty of cuddling and savoring the moment of the last shred of babyhood I could find in my boy. We rocked, he hugged me, he patted my face, he wiped one of my tears. God is so great and my baby boy is so dang precious.

Then I made the choice to celebrate.

1-2-3 YEAH..chubby hands over head, we all cheered with him.

“You want a big boy bed?”, I ask? He says yes to which his answer is to just about everything. He has no idea what a big boy bed is, but I need somebody in this scenario to be excited he’s getting one.

“I want more” he says.

1-2-3 YEEEAAAHHH…again and again.

We repeat 602 times. The exact amount I need to remind me.

He had no idea what he was celebrating, but I do not want to live my life living in what is no more. So, when all else fails and it is hard to find your happy, throw your hands up in the air and yell.

The first haircut, transition to the big boy Sunday School room (complete with the craft he brought home), the move to the toddler bed…

all beautiful steps of growing up.

Diapers, pacis, and bottles are disappearing in my home and talks of high school days are beginning. Having a 2 year old and a 14 year old simultaneously is quite interesting. It makes me conscious and present of what is to come and how fast time does go.

Then today I read this.

Last Bites.

We are having plenty of those last bites around here these days it seems. They are so delicious, but the new chapter will be too.


Finding the good…it’s everywhere.





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Cleaning Up

I don’t really understand allowance. Maybe, I am mean. Maybe, it’s just the ultra tight budget we live on. Whatever the case, it just doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t ever recall any time in life when you get paid for nothing, right? Except when you breath a sigh of relief as you go past Broadway, turn the corner, and collect $200. Then there is FREE PARKING. You gotta love that.

Around here, my kids do chores and always will do chores. There is no payment for them. They are expected because they live here and we are a family and all help pitch in to make the household run.

A few weeks ago, I told them that they now had somewhat unlimited earning potential in the form of Quarter Chores. I will offer them during the day at random times when I need help and they are free to do them or not. They are also free to come and ask me if I need help or any quarter chores done. {The neighbor kids also have been known to help out with Quarter Chores. The word on the street got out that I am payin’.}

It has been fascinating to watch how they all handle this. The chores, mind you, are maybe 10-15 minutes tops. Little things. Only one of my children has grabbed a hold of the fact that a little bit over and over adds up to a lot. {I need to learn that lesson too}. It was really humorous the other day to see that my oldest figured out if he did one quarter chore each day, he could have $7 per month. Kinda like allowance. Oh, light bulb moments. How I live for them.

So, I figure it is teaching them discipline and hard work. They have the ability to earn and save. It’s all on their shoulders. Kinda like life, right? I realize that .25 cents is hardly “worth it” to them to help out. Maybe they will learn the value of hard work. Maybe I’ll just constantly be at a shortage for quarters.

If you are in the need for quarters, come visit. I have a list waiting…



After several weeks of no menu planning, it felt good to sit down and get my meals all squared away for the next couple of weeks.

January Meal Plan

January Recipes on Pinterest- All in one place so that I can easily find them!

I just recently bought this ecookbook. It’s pretty fantastic. I am excited to try a couple of new recipes (that are on my menu plan) from it this month. Freezer meals, healthy food, crock pot. I’m in :)


Today we cleaned up the shaggy heads of my four cuties. We drive about an hour to get hair cuts. I know that is kinda crazy, B U T…. it’s worth it to me. Low key, non snobby salon, adorably nice entertaining people in salon, and ridiculously cheap prices {$5 a kid, no lie. We were there 2.5 hours and she gave them the royal treatment}, plus insanely talented stylist. That’s my perfectly normal explanation. We make an adventure of it. Hair Cut Day.

My littlest. His first hair cut and his first lollipop which he kept yelling “mmm dandee”  for candy and not because he thought it was dandy.

Yes, my heart broke a bit.



 and after. The curls stayed! Which is good because if they had left, I might have cried in the salon. Crisis averted.


 mmm I am so glad I get to squish this little monster every single day. I freaking love him.


Seriously, how did these kids get so big and how many times can I say that?


 and dear sweet girl, can I please have some of that gorgeous hair? After all, I did go through labor for you. It hurt really bad and I think it would be only fair. Thank you. Muah.


Jaime’s magical chair. I’m going to buy this girl a pony one day. She’s the hair whisperer and we love her.


Happy Wednesday.

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The Mission Statement

“Do you think it’s normal that at 41 I feel like I am just figuring out who I am?” I ask.

“No”, he says promptly…”but I think it is good.”

Park conversation between my man and I, while chasing a toddler, watching two girls try and master shoot the duck, and feeling the absence of the 6 foot tall teenager who was lovingly abandoned us to join the neighborhood teens at the skate park near by.

Hardly the words that should accompany this moment, I think. Truth is, moments rarely happen the way you think they are going to. For that matter, life in general rarely happens the way that you think it will.

I’ve got post holiday slump. I always do this time of year. Tonight I was driving home and I gasped alone because off in the distant field I saw it, the one lone house. The hold out. Multi colored lights in meticulously straight lines framed an outdoor tree that was unaware of the date on the calendar, as it still shone brightly. Blow up Santa was peeking out of the chimney and I paused thinking this will perhaps be the last time I see lights this season. I wonder if the inhabitants of this house were die hards and didn’t want to see the sparkle boxed up until next year, or far more likely just busy. Maybe even just big procrastinators. Who knows, or really who cares for that matter. I am just glad that they still had sparkle. My last hoo~rah.

I have been strangely silent the last month. Not because I have nothing to say, but rather because I have too much.

We had an amazing holiday season, all of it. It seems I just declared my intent to move slowly through December and savor every last bit of it when I suddenly find myself banging pots in the street at midnight and yelling Happy New Year as loud as I could. I blinked and the best 6 weeks of the year happened. They were planned for, lived out, and almost cleaned up in the fraction of a second. I don’t know how that happens.

*our yearly post Jingle Bells in hushed tones serenade to mom and dad picture. Read about that here.

…and now here we are. Just days into the New Year. The blank slate, the shiny new calendar. The opportunity to grab dreams and make them realities. The inevitable moments to reflect upon the last 365 days. The very convenient time to make changes, better ourselves, and our lives. What will this year hold?

All of these fragmented thoughts and feelings swarm around inside my heart and head struggling to make any rhyme or reason at all. I recently remembered the opening scene of Jerry Maguire. That’s who I feel like these days. That night where it all bubbled out in the form of a mission statement. It ultimately cost him his job, but “I was 35, I had started my life.” -Jerry Maguire. True change requires true sacrifice. It’s never easy.

*little man received a train table. He played with it for 3.5 hours straight. #notkidding

One of these days, and it’s coming soon, it’s all going to blurt out of me. I am going to channel my inner Jerry, but until then I keep processing and dreaming of an old school typewriter that I can unleash my new found thoughts on when they become coherent.

*new favorite game, to copy my faces

It’s amazing to watch the days play out in my life and see God’s hand using every single breath I take. He promised it and so it is, but sometimes we can’t see the bigger picture and then sometimes God in His infinite wisdom, allows us a glimpse. I caught such a glimpse the other day. A big huge dream and thought wow…what if? If I knew this was coming, how would I change my todays. It inspired me.

*the whole family, minus me behind the lens

Growing older is crazy. The more wisdom I gain the more I realize just how very little I know.

I began praying for a word to focus on in 2o13. The last word of mine was passion. I had lost mine. I found it again and I have had a burning desire for where to put it all. After very little time the word that just was screaming at me was HOME.

I have such a passion for home. The four walls and roof that house the hearts that dwell here. The whole thing from top to bottom and inside and out. The structure that frames it and the people that fill it. Without them I would not be who I am. They make my role on this earth possible. The wife and the mother that I am to be depends on the very breath that they take. They are not a prop in my life. They are my life.

I have been awestruck the past few months at the very big responsibility that lies in my home daily. What a big role I have in shaping our home. I better be doing it and doing it well. Living intently. Living healthy and whole and living Holy. Relying on the very One who gave me life to guide me and move me. My responsiblity is one that is easy to overlook as a home becomes just a place to lay our head at night all to quickly in this warp speed life we find ourselves living. So many things fighting for our attention and it is easy to think home is o.k. when in fact it is not. It’s easy to turn our eyes and take for granted those we hold most dear. To give them our left overs instead of our firsts.

*antique shopping. He doesn’t normally carry furniture around the streets of small quaint towns.

My heart, my marriage, my children, and my home….in Christ, the foundation for all things. It better be in order.

*how we roll on Fridays.

Not so coincidently, I have been gearing up for the great organizational clean out of twenty thirteen. I have said it so often that my husband is threatening to write a jingle for it.  It’s in full swing. I began in the kitchen. Everything got sorted, wiped down, cleaned out, and rearranged. It energizes me in ways words can not express. {Not to mention entertains me immensely as I watch people go to reach for things, remember they’ve been moved, roll their eyes, pause for a moment, and then go to the new location.}

 *”E A T.”

 I’m just kinda crazy like that.

Happy New Year.








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