Friday, August 31, 2012

Flashback Friday: Grateful

I haven't felt much like blogging lately. Probably because of this. We've done so many fun things this summer, but I just don't feel like spending the time on a happy blog post when I feel like it might be a little fake. Not to mislead, I am happy. I am naturally a happy person, partially because I've been very blessed, but I lately, I just feel sad a lot. Not depressed, just terribly sad. 
I feel like so many people very close to me are struggling. I don't know what to say or how to help them, which makes me feel sad. 
I sometimes get frustrated with God for letting such horrible things happen to people I love, which makes me feel sad. 
I question the amount of faith I've put into my prayers, which makes me feel sad. 
I think about Keith, which makes me feel sad.
I think about people who do all the right things and still have nothing go right, which makes me sad. 
I think about friends and family who can't have children or who don't get to stay home (if they want to) with the ones they have, which makes me feel sad. 
I think about too many negative hypothetical situations, which makes me feel sad. 

I could go on, but I sometimes feel like I struggle to find the right balance between positivity and reality. I love being happy, it comes so easily to me and I'm grateful for that, but sometimes I have a hard time facing reality when I know it won't make me happy. Or sometimes I approach reality with an overwhelming sense of positivity in hopes of making it better with my attitude. I've always felt that happiness can make things better because that's what worked for me. If I approach things as a happy person, I will be a happy person.
And I know blogs aren't a realistic depiction of anyone's life. They are the prettiest, loveliest, idealized version of our lives, but I just don't see the point in complaining and being negative on a blog. And I don't know how to find that balance between being positive and realistic. I write my blog for me and nobody else. Its nice that my family and friends can read it, but its really just for me. That said, I want people who do read it to feel uplifted in a realistic way. I don't want them to see a perfect life, but a happy one, which is sometimes confusing to people I think. Perfection isn't happiness, happiness is happiness. But I struggle conveying this, which is why I haven't blogged about Keith. I don't want to pretend its not happening on the blog because its such a big part of our lives right now, but I don't know how to say it or approach it in a way that I feel will do my feelings justice. And mostly I haven't blogged about it because I am so sad and I have a hard time coming up with sad words because it hurts to say them. And on the flip side, I don't want to not blog about Keith and only the happy parts of my life because I feel guilty. 
Keith is so special. He is such a bright star for our family. To not blog about him would be a travesty. 
But it makes me so sad.
And I don't know what to say. 
But I would feel ungrateful if I didn't express my feelings for Keith, or my other family members and friends going through so much right now. Its a part of my life, just not a part that I know how to share. Or know if I even want to share it for that matter. 

Life is so good. There are so many wonderful things about it. But sometimes its so damn hard. And I hate watching it be hard for people I love. I've thought so much about our purpose lately; I feel like my mind is always mulling over some intense idea. Most of those ideas have no answer, just more questions, but I feel like I've learned one thing.

Be grateful.

In all things, be grateful.

I don't have the words, nor the tear duct capacity to aptly convey my gratitude. When I think about Keith, I just want to get on my knees and thank God for a healthy child every second of every day. I have witnessed the strength it takes to care for a child with cancer in both my sister and her husband, and I know that I do not have such strength. I'm so grateful for their example. 
I'm so grateful to be Evie's mom. And if we're blessed with more kids, I'll feel just as grateful to be their mom. 

I don't know why my life is so good when others have such difficult trials. I know I have had and will have trials, but its hard to understand the unfairness of life sometimes. 
I guess I've avoided blogging because I don't know how to express myself. I still feel like what I've said doesn't convey what I'm feeling, nor make me feel any better. But like I said, I can't blog around my sadness. And I do think its possible to be happy and sad at the same time. I'm devastated for my family, but there is happiness in knowing that we will see Keith again - that is something I know. It makes me so happy thinking about Cole and Keith running around together or how sweet it will be when Darcee gets to hug her little Keith again. I just want to live my life worthily so that I can see these things and I think gratitude is a good place to start. When you live a grateful life, it makes you want to be better. And being a better person makes you worthy of the blessings you have. 

And here, besides Nick, is my greatest blessing:

If this Flashback Friday post wasn't full of my depressing emotions and confusing thoughts, I probably would have called it, "Adventures in Photo Booth." 
Sometimes Evie and I take pictures and send them to Nick at school to show him what he's missing.
(I'm not sure how he feels about this)

I love this girl. 
She is responsible for the vast majority of my happiness at the moment.

Our life is not perfect.
But we are happy because we are grateful. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Everyday I'm Shufflin'

My mom is the world's best babysitter. She offers to watch Evie all the time so that I can accomplish things on my to-do list, run errands, or simply do something fun for myself.

And despite this angry-looking face, Ev loves her Grandma She She.

A few weeks ago we ran our half marathon. My mom watched Evie while we drove to Portland to get it done. We ran the Greater Portland Half and it was small, but fun. 

Our running stance.

I know I'm a huge loser, but an individual pic is a must since I'm documenting our Moo to Marathon.

All the girls. Darel, Me, Darcee, Erin. Erin is Darcee's sister-in-law and I'm so glad she's freaking awesome and decided to run our race with us. 


Erin and her husband, Bryce, who is my sister's husband's brother. 

Probably the worst picture ever. (it was sunny)

My dad placed in his division!

As did Darel and Darcee.

For some reason, I had a tough go on half-marathon day. It was hot and maybe I was dehydrated, but either way I was disappointed with my time. 
Its okay though, there will be other races, but I have to say I could not have finished without Darel. She has been my running buddy and constant companion throughout all of this and she rocks. 
Plus she's hot.

And the hubs. He's amazing and also quite the runner apparently since his time was well under two hours. And even though we don't technically "run" together (as in side by side), we still have such a fun time on race day together. 
Plus he's hot too.

We ran our 15-miler last week and we survived! (The farthest I've run so far) We've got 16 this saturday and it's uphill from there until we taper down the few weeks before the big Marathon.
I'm excited and nervous ... but mostly just hoping that I don't make a fool of myself. 
Its pretty much inevitable that I'm going to do such a thing, but a girl can dream.

Friday, August 10, 2012


My European Trip Kardashian Style Recap is definitely not over, but its been WAY too long since lil Ev took over the blog. 
For those of you who don't live with Evie, here's what you missed:

She is a toddler.
A walking, talking, tantrum-throwing toddler.

I personally love when she brings out the sass. It is a confirmation to me that I had something to do with her conception. Please notice her sippy cup NOT being used in this picture. She prefers to drink out of whatever cup I'M drinking out of, since she's so "big" now.

I'm obsessed with this ombre orange dress Evie inherited from her cousin The Face (who turned 3 yesterday!) 

Now you can be obsessed with it too.

Her latest thing is "hanging out" in the pantry. She'll go in there, hang out for a bit, and then bring me a box of crackers (she says "cracker," now!) or grunt until I give her some M&Ms. Also, it is rare to find her without a popsicle (she says "popsicle," also!) in hand. She probably eats about five popsicles a day. I could say that she's teething and it feels good on her teeth, but lets be honest, I'd probably let her have five popsicles a day even if she wasn't teething.

Cuz remember, I'm not like a regular mom, I'm a cool mom.

Her hair is still curly.

She also fake laughs all the time. If the adults are laughing about something, she will loudly fake laugh as to include herself in the conversation. Which ironically, makes the adults laugh even more, making Evie feel so funny, creating more fake laughs. 

See? A popsicle.

She still loves the jogging stroller, but only if she's got her sunglasses on. 

She's also still obsessed with her blankies. When I wash them she digs them out of the hamper and carries them all over while chewing on them (nasty). 

Please notice the popsicle and my tan.

Evie is enthralled with the outdoors. She loves being outside. Sometimes she helps me water the plants or pick flowers, but mostly she just walks around eating sticks and picking grass. We had a quail lay her eggs in our greenhouse a few weeks ago. When they hatched (about a dozen babies) we would sneak in the greenhouse together and watch the mama quail and her fluffy little babies. Evie LOVED it.  She loves birds, dogs, fish - any animal really.

We got Evie some walking shoes at the Nordstrom Sale. I feel bad because I lost the polaroids they gave us. I know they are somewhere around, but I just can't find them! Anyway, when you buy your first pair of shoes at Nordies they give you a balloon, a stuffed Nordie, and they take your picture. Evie had so much fun trying on shoes and walking around. The only problem was her tiny feet. Half of the shoes didn't come in sizes small enough, and the ones that did were mostly too big. Luckily Saltwaters come in a size 3 and Ev can work with a size 4 in Stride Right. I personally cannot wait until she can really fit into shoes. Can you say mommy-daughter shoe shopping? 

See? Shoe lover already.

Don't worry, the cap is on. I don't let my baby drink gatorade.

She finally conquered her fear of grass!

Other Evie developments:
- Talks constantly. Babbling mostly, but she will attempt to repeat EVERYTHING I say. Her most impressive word is "crocodile." And its not a semi-understandable version of the word, but legitimately the word "crocodile." 
- Loves cold cereal. Any kind, any time of day. She won't eat cereal dry now that she's had it with milk on it. 
- Hates PB&J. 
- Loves quesadillas and grilled cheese.
- Loves grapes, watermelon, oatmeal and of course, popsicles.
- Deathly afraid of bubbles. (She cried and tried to jump out of the tub when I put them in)
- Speaking of jumping, Nick taught her how to jump. She doesn't leave the ground, but she makes all the motions and thinks she's jumping.
- Loves to be near the pool, but not always in the pool. (Depends on the day)
- Gives kisses to everyone.
- Doesn't really like TV, but occasionally will watch about ten minutes of a movie. Usually around bedtime we'll put in a show and she will drink her milk until she's ready for bedtime routine. 
- Says "Grandpa," perfectly, but still hasn't mastered Grandma yet. We're working on it though!
- Obsessed with me. She is my little barnacle. Always near me, wanting me to hold her. 
- Can play the harmonica. (Sort of) She has learned how to blow in and out to make noise.
- A music lover! She is always dancing to music and playing the piano. 

I love having a toddler. Our days are as busy as Evie is (which is usually pretty busy).