Sunday, December 30, 2012

The End of the Year

As this year draws to a close I am deeply reflective.  This year has been one of the hardest years of my life!  Each day and each month of this year brought a "first" without Andrew.  It wasn't until November 27, the day after his 1 year anniversary of dying, that I knew what it felt like to live that day without Andrew.  After 11/26, the tension and pressure eased ever so slightly.  The year has been full - we bought a new house, Tyler traveled nearly every month for work, Sonja turned 2, Riley turned 5 and started 3 day/week preschool and I sunk deeper and deeper into sadness and grief, only to finally seek counsel and start to process through the demons and grief this summer.  I am ready for this year to draw to a close.  I see the light and hope that awaits in 2013.  I look forward to keep pressing on and keep finding joy and peace in my everyday life.

Just this morning I read this on a blog I follow - these people live in Seattle and he used to be my youngest sisters youth pastor at UPC until he lost his son several years back.  I wanted to share what she wrote because it hit really close to home.   "People want to know that we are better now than we were then – that we are happy and living again. On one hand the answer is yes. Four years later, pain is not the primary focus of our days. Not because it isn’t there – it’s just quieter. Instead of feeling like we are experiencing cardiac arrest, it feels more as if our bones ache. We have become better at managing it; we are more used to its ways. But it is always just under the surface."

I relate to this so much - the feeling that people expect you to be over it, even after one year.  Everybody so deeply wants you to be happy and ok.  But the truth is, it will always be there, lingering right under your skin.  Of course, as time moves on, it will not be so present and will not suffocate and overwhelm as it did this year.  But how can we ever be the same again?  We lost a family member, someone we grew up with and loved and shared so many sacred things with.  It will be a lifelong journey to discover the new me, the me that lives without Andrew and the me that lives daily with the grief of losing him.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Anniversary #1

I posted this on my brother's blog tonight...I am exhausted, so am going to copy and paste it here.  

Yesterday we remembered Andrew on the 1 year anniversary of his death.  We took his favorite cookies to the nurses to thank them for their care, we gathered at his grave and laid down flowers and spoke heartfelt words about how much we love and miss him.  We toasted Andrew over lunch as a family and then opened our home to family and a few friends so we could be together, share and laugh.  We watched the slideshow from his memorial service and we were again reminded of Andrew's incredible smile, his many accomplishments and mostly his warm and loving persona.  He had many friends and many whom loved him.  He inspired people to be their best.  He did all this in just 33 years of life.  We were honored to call him brother, son and friend.  We miss him in a deep and painful way.  I'm not quite sure that feeling will ever go away.  As my mom said yesterday at his grave, it might not get easier or better, it will just be different and we will learn to live with our grief.  Of course we will all carry on and keep living life, but we are learning to make room for that pit in our stomach and that aching hole in our heart.

We miss you Andrew.  I kept imagining how happy you would have been to be with us yesterday - smiling, laughing, talking and telling jokes. Those were your favorite moments in life.  I ache for all those times, the simple moments when we were just doing life together.  Thank you for being the coolest person I know.

Monday, November 26, 2012

His last day alive

Saturday November 26, 2011

My kids woke up really early this morning and since Tyler had been on Daddy duty all week, I decided to let him sleep in.  Since we were staying at my Mom's house and were sharing that space with my sisters I knew I had to get the kids out of the house.  I loaded them in the car and took them to Target to wander the aisles and do some retail therapy.  I ended up buying some new shoes, a scarf and a big cozy sweater.  Little did I know I would be wearing that sweater that evening, Andrew's last night on Earth.  We eventually made our way back home and spent the rest of the morning at home, rather than the hospital.  Kari had made plans with me a few days before to drive down from Bellingham to watch our kids for the day.  We gave Sonja an early nap and in the afternoon we loaded our kids in the car with Kyle & Kari and Tyler and I headed up to the hospital.  Tyler had not spent much time at the hospital that week, so when we walked in the room and Andrew saw Tyler, Andrew completely lit up and had a huge smile on his face.  Andrew always considered Tyler to be a real brother.  They had a special friendship and Andrew loved him like family.  We spent a few sacred hours together with Andrew - just our crew.  My mom, Ashley, Tyler and my sisters.  We all looked around at each other and the room was quiet and peaceful and we told Andrew that we were all here.   We surrounded his bed and talked and took turns holding his hands.  By this time Andrew was really out of it and would come and go.  He was mumbling a lot but would have several moments of complete clarity.  As we sat there, he rattled off his life story - he talked about basketball plays, about customers from the bank, his favorite foods, nursery rhymes...his subconscious was taking over and his brain was recapping his life.  It was absolutely fascinating, sometimes odd but mostly just sacred and beautiful.  He kept asking us the time and then would point towards the ceiling and tell us there were only a few more hours left.  It was scary, not knowing when it would happen or how.  Every minute and hour was precious.

At some point around 7pm the Youngs brought the kids to the outside of the hospital and I nursed Sonja and Tyler took them home for bed.  Around 9pm the nurse told us that she didn't expect Andrew to make it through the night.  A few phone calls were made to those of Andrew's friends who needed to be there.  At this point Andrew's pain was horrifying.  We were trying to help and everyone was teary and didn't know what to do.  Finally the nurse told us it was time - time to push more pain meds and get an oxygen mask on him.  It was the only thing left to do.  The pain meds settled him down and when the mask was finally put on him his breathing slowed way down.  We stood in a circle around his bed, holding him and each other.  We literally stood there and watched him breathe.  His eyes were closed and his breathing slowed and slowed and slowed and finally, his last breath.  We all watched it happen.  We looked at the clock.  It was 10:11pm.  We called the nurse and she confirmed, yes, he was gone.  All of us crumbled and hugged and wailed and stood and looked at his empty body.  At some point my sisters and I walked out of the room and collapsed in front of his room, sitting on the hospital floor in the hall.  We sat and leaned into each other and cried.  This was how it was going to be from now on - just us 4 girls.  The sweater I was wearing was like a blanket wrapped around me, offering me comfort as I comforted my sisters.  My baby sisters were heart broken and I could do nothing about it.  A horrible feeling for a mother hen like myself.  Every time I wear this sweater I am wrapped in love and remember this beautiful, peaceful, love drenched night, the night that Andrew died.

There was a lot of going in and out of the room and a lot of details to take care of.  We were very compelled to leave though.  Andrew wasn't there anymore and we had to get out.  I walked over to his body and kissed his already cold face.  My last time to look at his body.  As I've described before, the second that Andrew died his soul left his body and joined God in heaven.  It was almost like you could see it go.  And to look at his body was creepy - it was an empty shell.  Thankfully several of Andrew's friends were willing to sit with his body until they zipped him up and took him away to the morgue.  He was never left by himself.

We walked out of that room and down the elevator and into Tyler's truck that was waiting for us.  Carrie had come over to sit while the kids slept so Tyler could come pick up Sarah and I.  We drove away from that hospital and walked into my Mom's house and it was such a blur.  I was physically ill.  My body was shaking and the feeling of having to vomit wouldn't leave.  My Mom and sisters and a few other friends eventually poured into the house and we sat in her living room and cried and recounted what we had just experienced.  Nobody wanted to go to bed.  Nobody wanted Andrew's last day alive to be over.  Nobody wanted it to be real.  At some point in the wee hours of the morning I fell asleep.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Friday November 25, 2011

Andrew really started to decline today.  He spent most of the day sleeping and would occasionally awaken to say hi to whomever was in the room.  His room had a constant stream of people coming and going.  People coming to say their last goodbyes.  It was hard to accept the fact that he spent more time asleep than awake.  We knew the end was near.  It was also hard to have so many people around.  People were very respectful, but each of us wished that we could have individual time with Andrew, or at least as a family.  I was never able to spend the night like my mom and sisters did.  I was still nursing Sonja so wasn't able to be away from her for long stretches of time.  Again, the guilt lay heavy on my heart.  Always wishing I could do more or be more.

Thursday November 24, 2011


Thanksgiving Day.  Our last Thanksgiving as a family.  Our last holiday together as a family.  Andrew's good, and long time friend, Siobhan and her husband bought us a Whole Foods Thanksgiving dinner.  They brought a table, tablecloth, all the food and lots of beverages.  They came in the late afternoon and set up our meal for us in Andrew's room.  My whole family was there - my Mom, Dad, sisters, Tyler, kids and Grandpa.  We were all dressed up and everyone was in a cheery and festive mood.  We were full of smiles and jokes for Andrew.  I made sure to take a picture of every person with Andrew.  I also made sure to have our friend Daniel take a picture of our family.  This picture is above.  I'm so glad I did this.  Ashley had to work this day but she was able to join us that night after she got off.  We were all so happy she was there. I captured a few pictures of them embracing and holding hands.  It was beautiful.

It is hard to describe - but there was a very peaceful and joyful spirit in the room.  It hung over us and was thick with love and gratitude.  I could literally feel it and was moved by its presence.  I knew this time was special and it's one of those times in life where you are fully and wholly present.  My mind and heart were nowhere else except for that room and that night.  At one point during the evening I looked over at Andrew and he was peacefully looking around the room at all of us. He was taking it all in and I'd like to believe that he felt a calm and quiet come over his heart, knowing he was dying with a family full of love for him.  He was not alone and he was loved more deeply and wholly than he could have ever asked or wanted.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Wednesday November 23, 2011

The only thing I remember about this day is my drive home from the hospital. I had spent most of the day at the hospital and I was driving home late at night. I was all alone, the music was on and all of a sudden it hit me. I finally came to the realization that Andrew would never walk out of that hospital again. He would never drive a car again and never listen to music again. I rolled down the window and felt the wind on my face. I felt so alive. I felt so wonderfully alive but so deeply heartbroken by the fact that Andrew was dying in his hospital bed. It was devastating and I cried all the way home.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tuesday November 22, 2011

More of the same today- back and forth. Spending as much time as I could with Andrew and always surrounded by friends and family. It was trying to switch between mom mode and sister/adult mode. The guilt hung heavy and pressed down hard. I wasn't really there for my kids and I wasn't really there for Andrew. I felt like I wanted to do more for both parties, but always felt like a failure. But there was no other option than to keep showing up and putting one foot in front of the other. There was no normal and every day and moment looked different. I knew we would survive and I knew my kids would be okay. But hospital living is not for the faint of heart. The parking, the elevators, the doctors and nurses, the machines and meds, the hospital lunchroom- it is a battlefield that nobody is comfortable with or enjoys.

Monday November 21, 2011

I don't remember much of this day other than I did lots of shuffling around- I was always going between dealing with my kids and spending time at the hospital. Wonderful friends like Kristen, Claire and Carrie all helped to care for my children so I could spend time with Andrew. Tyler would bring Sonja to the hospital so I could nurse her and we were in a constant state of passing kids back and forth. Andrew was moved from the ICU to 12 East on this day. The nurses were so good to us and gave us a double room. Not only is our immediate family so big but there are so many people that love Andrew. People were always coming and going- stopping by to say hi and spend time with Andrew. They would bring us food and make sure we had what we needed.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sunday November 20, 2011

When morning finally came on Sunday we awoke to nurses telling us to come see...Andrew was awake, sitting up and looking fairly like himself.  The doctors had pumped him full of drugs the night before and all the fluids and meds had given him a big boost.  He was chatting with the nurses and was reading his blog on on his iPad.  He told us that he didn't know what was going on so he decided to read his blog to find out what happened to him - he said it was like reading a newspaper.  He was joking and in good spirits.  In the blog post I had written about him the night before, I had described his state as "critical" and he asked me why I said that.  My heart broke - he either had no idea that he was dying or he just had so much hope he wouldn't believe it.  But I had to joyfully tell him that it wasn't a big deal and that we were just really worried about him last night because he wasn't feeling well.  I saw in his eyes that he knew I wasn't telling the truth.  He had a sort of scared look, but didn't want to come to terms with it.  Andrew's social worker and chaplin, with whom he was very close to, both advised us that Andrew needed to die with hope in his heart, so it was not up to us to give him the hard facts.  It was what he wanted and we complied.  We were, however, joyful that he had made such a turnaround.  We really feel like Andrew gave us this last week to be with him all together.

It ended up being a really peaceful and meaningful day.  Andrew decided he needed a haircut so we called his barber in to cut his hair.  He needed the dignity to feel like himself.  His barber friend even agreed to allow Andrew to pay for his haircut.  I think it again helped him feel normal and that maybe everything would be ok.  Andrew's closest friends gathered for Sunday football and Aunt Ingrid and others came and showered us with sandwiches and food.  It was a fun and festive time for Andrew - to get to watch football with his buddies.  I spent most of the day between his room and our private family room.  The day was a gift - Andrew was talking, watching football and surrounded by those who loved him.

Monday, November 19, 2012


I'm going to take some time this week to walk through this time last year - when Andrew was admitted to the ICU and died 8 days later.  This is a true account of what happened, no exaggerations or dramatic statements. Not exactly a perfect holiday cheer blog post -but this is my real life.

Friday November 18, 2011

It had been about a week since I'd seen Andrew, I had spent some time with him in Fort Langely, BC where he was receiving treatment.  I was having a normal-ish day and needed to grab a baby shower gift for a friend's shower the next day.  I had both kids and was standing in the middle of Along Comes A Baby when my phone rang.  It was Ashley calling and I knew right away it wasn't good.  My heart fluttered and for a split second I thought that if I didn't pick up then it wouldn't be true.  I answered and Ashley told me that, sure enough, Andrew's condition had drastically changed and that she needed either Tyler or myself to come right away and help her.  Within a few minutes I was on the phone with Tyler and within an hour he had left his office, grabbed his passport and was in Fort Langley.  Tyler and Ashley carried Andrew out of the house, down the stairs and into her car.  She drove him to Swedish in Seattle and he was soon admitted to the ICU.  I spent the afternoon and evening at home, trying to stay calm and on the phone with family for hours.  I spent my Friday night making "the phone call" to Rachel.  Those are never fun.  I told her to please sit down and then went on to tell her Andrew was in the hospital and all the details that came.  Those are moments you swear you've seen on TV or in a movie but then all of a sudden you are thinking to yourself, this is really happening right now!  Very surreal.

Saturday November 19, 2011

We woke up Saturday morning pretending it was going to be a normal day.  I'm not really sure what we did that morning but we had lunch, put Sonja down for her nap and I was getting ready to attend my friend's baby shower.  I literally opened my front door, took one step outside and my phone rang.  Again, heart flutter, hesitation, thinking...I'm just going to not answer and go to this baby shower BECAUSE I JUST WANT EVERYTHING TO BE NORMAL. But alas, I answered within a few seconds and my mother was on the other line, crying, telling me the doctor told her that Andrew is quickly dying.  I walked back inside, told my mom we'd be there soon and hung up the phone.  I stood in the kitchen and let my head fall into the cupboard as I began to wail.  Tyler was by my side and within one hour we had packed, woken Sonja from her nap and were in the car driving to Seattle.  Tyler drove, the kids were stunned and confused in the backseat and I sat in the front with two phones - on the phone with family on one and looking up flights on the other.  Nobody wanted to tell Sarah what was going on, as she was in the middle of finishing her fall quarter finals of freshmen year.  I knew in my heart that she needed to know and be home, so I again had to make "the phone call" and had to carefully explain to my baby sister that she needed to pack her bags, not worry about her finals and please get to the airport because I was buying her a ticket to come home that night.  Texts and phone calls were going out, altering friends and family to what was going on and by the time we got to Seattle my good friend was at my mom's to watch the kids so we could go to the hospital.  Tyler and I made our way up to the hospital and bumped into family, friends, people coming to say their last goodbye.  We all were stunned and couldn't believe that this "was it". Walking down that hall in the ICU and into his room and seeing him hooked up to every machine is again, something you will never forget.  The room was dark and quiet, except for the beeps of the machines.  We spent a few hours there, talking to Andrew, even though he was in and out of it.  At some point I went home, nursed my baby then went back to the hospital.  Rachel and Sarah were picked up from the airport late that night and when they arrived we all let out a huge sigh of relief.  They made it.  In time.  Those moments were sacred. All of us together, as a family.  Close friends came and we all stood around Andrew trying to make sense of it all.  Next door to Andrew's room was a private family room they gave us, so my mom, sisters and I spent the night in the chair, couch and on the floor.  We hardly slept but we couldn't leave.  When I would drift to sleep I would awaken with a fright, wondering, "is he still here?". It was perhaps one of the longer nights of my life.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

First day of Pre-K & our weekend



Riley had her first day of preschool this morning!  This year she is in the 4's class, MWF for 3 hours.  She is at the same preschool as last year with the same teachers and mostly the same kids in her class.  We have been so excited to start!  This morning she just went for an hour then will start with her regular schedule on Friday.  She was super excited, but a tad anxious as we were walking up and even grabbed my hand, which was so sweet and so unlike her.  She had fun finding her bin then marched right into class, full of confidence and knowing exactly what to do next.  She even hugged both her teachers, which she never does!  When we picked Riley up she was happy to see us, but fairly quiet about how her first day went.  Sonja was more than thrilled to see Riley.  I think she was rather put off by the fact that she could not go to school with her!  Little sister pretty much wants to be Riley, poor thing.  Riley was pretty exhausted from the whole first day hype so we spent the afternoon playing around the house and I had the kids fed, bathed and in bed before 7pm tonight, a wonderful and much needed accomplishment :) 

This last weekend was a busy one - we celebrated Sonja's birthday in more ways than one!  I think I overdid it this year since I was feeling a bit anxious about how I would be feeling.  I wanted to go overboard since last year I felt like my celebrations were shoved to the side for more important pressing matters such as a sick brother.  We invited over our good friends for dinner that evening and had a fun and wild evening with the kids, basking in the amazing late summer weather we've been having.  Here is a picture of most of the crazy kids 


We also welcomed Melinda, Tylers mom, late Friday night for a weekend visit.  She came to celebrate Sonja's birthday with us, as well as help with the kids while I ran in the Bellingham Traverse.  We did this race 4 years ago with some friends when Riley was just 10 months old.  We decided to get our team back together this year for another go at it.  Tyler injured himself mountain biking about 6 weeks ago, so last minute decided to not do his leg.  He found a last minute sub, so he ended up just cheering us on.  The race consists of 5 legs and I did the 3.4 mile trail run.  I had a blast doing it - the adrenaline from the race and the beautiful sunny Bellingham day made for a great experience.  Here is a team photo - with the Youngs as well, since Kyle was our last minute sub (total ringer by the way!!!  he pulled our team from nearly dead last after the first leg to middle of the pack!)


Saturday evening Tyler made us dinner and Melinda spoiled the girls with gifts.  Here the girls are in their matching vest from great grandma Chris aka Grandma in the Bus



Sunday we drove to Seattle for a family party at my mom's house.  We had a very casual and fun time hanging as a family.  I love my family and love being around them.  I have noticed, especially, in the last year that being around my family is refreshing and comforting, like a calming salve to my forever aching wound.  They are the only people in the world that truly get it.  And ps. Martha, Tyler and Henry just got back from a two week roadtrip to Yellowstone and the Tetons, so here Henry is showing off his new cowboy hat.  Love this little man.  




Again, happy 2nd birthday my sweet Sonja!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sonja is TWO!

Happy Birthday to our silly, talkative and adorable little girl.  The last two years have flown by.  I remember her birth so clearly - a successful VBAC after just 6 hours of labor.  We all fell so hard and fast for her.  From the time she was born she was sweet and fairly easy going.  We have loved to see her personality develop over this last year.  She is completely physically motivated - she does not just walk down the stairs, she jumps.  She climbs on top of everything and rarely does she fall.  She has figured out how to maneuver her petite little body.  She was very slow to talk, but at the beginning of the summer she went from just a few words to full sentences overnight.  She loves to read, play with dolls and mostly just follow Riley around.  Lately she has been behaving like a toddler - "no mommy, my do it" is what we hear all day long.  She is definitely a mama's girl and loves for me to hold her and help me do my chores.  She already has an opinion about many things - picking out her clothes just like Riley, ack!!!!

Probably one of the funnier things about her is her ability to make us laugh and make the craziest facial expressions.  It is hard to capture on camera, so I don't have too many great pictures to prove this.  Her middle name is Drew, after her Uncle Drew, and I think that she completely embodies the clown that Uncle Drew was.  We love this about her.  She couldn't be better suited to carry his name.  Today, like most holidays, birthdays and anniversaries, I miss my brother.  He was standing next to me when I gave birth to Sonja.  An unexpected gift that we both gave to each other.  Her last birthday he laid sick in bed for most of her party and this year he is gone.  There are so many moments throughout my day that I'm watching Sonja act crazy and my heart aches because I can not text Andrew and tell him all about the funny thing she said.  Miss you Andrew.  You would love who Sonja is.



This morning we opened presents.  She loves her new car and baby stroller!


Pictures on the front porch



We had a few of her girlfriends over for a playdate this morning.  We had snacks, cupcakes and played!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September so far

I'm going to try and get back into this blogging thing slowly...I am learning in all areas of my life to take baby steps.  But I do miss this space and sharing photos and writing out my thoughts.  The summer has been full of so many idyllic summery moments but also a lot of brokenness and grief.  I think I hit the bottom of my grief and have finally begun to take some healthy steps towards healing.  It is a hard, hard process, but I have already started to experience the peace that comes with being honest and raw.  My family and I are survivors - in more ways than just one - so I know we will keep marching forward.  But I am learning that in order to march forward I have to stop and breathe and take care of myself.  

Just a few pictures from this month so far...

On Labor Day we went for a long bike ride with the kids and ended up in Fairhaven for lunch, bookstore exploring and ice cream.

Riley & Sonja are playing together more and more each day.  It is so fun to see!  Riley LOVES to mother Sonja and insists on doing everything for her.  It is adorable.

This nearly 5 year old starts her second year of preschool in less than 2 weeks!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April 11


If you were here, today on your birthday, I would tell you how much I love you and how ever since the moment I watched your soul leave your body I have never been the same. I would tell you that I'm afraid of living the rest of my life without you. I'm afraid I will forget all of our memories and stories. I'm afraid I won't know who I am or know which way to turn, because you were always there with the wisdom and insight and perspective. I would tell you all about my kids and how funny they are and how proud you would be of them. I would tell you all the boring details of my life, because you cared, and were the best chatting friend a girl could have. I would tell you that I long and ache for you with every cell in my body. I have physical responses to my grief - my breath is literally taken away several times a week when I realize that you are really gone forever.

Happy Birthday Andrew. I love you always.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Our first home

<span class=
<span class=

We closed today on the sale of our home! This has all happened so fast, it is still hard to believe it's real. We listed our house when I was 38 weeks pregnant with Sonja and had it listed for about 8 months. We had many showings, but not a single offer. We took if off the market and decided to just stay put. Lately we've been feeling the urge to get out of our house, but not really sure how we'd do it. We spent many days and weeks discussing all the possibilities and came back from our Maui trip with a plan. However, it was not the plan that was suppose to happen! We got a call that week from a real estate agent who found our house listed on the MLS under the expired transactions. He thought our house was perfect for his client and we showed the house that weekend. They wrote up an offer an hour later and we accepted it the next day. We could not believe it! We then started our own hunt for a new home, either to buy or to rent. After just 3 weeks a house come on the market that was perfect. We wrote an offer and they accepted ours over 3 other offers. The best part was that Tyler was on a work trip so I bought the house without him! It is a 1924 restored farmhouse with plenty of room, an awesome sundeck and a beautiful yard. She was a gardener, so there are already 4 raised beds for veggies. I will have my work cut out for me! Thankfully it's coming at a time in my life where my kids are a little more self sufficient and I can wrap my brain around a garden. Having my hands in the soil will be good for my soul too.

I am sad to move to a new house. Change has always been hard for me, but I've finally come to a place of peace, knowing this is the right move for us. Since having lost Andrew, any big event or change in life is always laced with an extreme amount of grief and sadness. This is the home that Andrew knew we lived in, it's the home that we celebrated events with him in, it's the home he would visit. He's been inside these walls, so it's hard to want to leave. Moving to a new home means that my life is moving forward without him in it. It means he will never ever visit my new home and although that reality is the truth, it is very hard to accept. I know that nothing in my life will ever be the same, but there will always be a part of me that just wants to go back to a time in life when Andrew was alive and happy and healthy.

I recently took a grief class at my church. It was very informative and helpful and the timing couldn't have been better. One of the things the teacher talked about was having a ritual when something comes to an end - it helps us to heal. So for my sake and my kids sake, we are planning a few goodbye house parties. No big party or nothing fancy, just a few different times to have people over to help ease our transition. And of course I've already been planning a big housewarming party!

Goodbye to our first home, a home we poured our energy and resources into. A home we brought our first puppy home to and our two baby girls. A house that was full of years of love, tears and laughter. A home that was always open to friends, despite the size! A home that gave us what we needed but now is time to say goodbye.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tyler's Birthday

Tyler's birthday was a few weeks back on March 6. He was gone on a week long work trip over his actual birthday, so we had to celebrate when he got back. We had a pile of presents and dinner waiting for him when he got home. We were so happy to have him home and shower him with love! I love to extend birthdays so we had an amazing combined birthday dinner party with friends that weekend and even got to ski together with some friends the next day (THANK YOU Claire for watching my kids!) It was a fun drawn out celebration. Happy 32nd to my wonderful husband. I love you more every day.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sonja : 18 months

Sonja turned 18 months on Wednesday March 14. At her doctor's appointment she weighed in at 21# (10%), is 32" long (60%) and her head circumference is 19" (90%). She is a very busy toddler now! She loves to climb, stand and jump on anything and everything. I can not turn my back on her for one second because she is always getting into something. She doesn't have too many words, maybe just 10 or a few more than that. She understands everything we say and gets very frustrated if we can't interpret her screams and pointing! She loves to read books, especially about animals and babies. She is constantly following Riley and wants to do everything just like her. She is quite funny and we will often find her walking around the house with a sweatshirt over her head giggling, trying to make us laugh. Her expressions are priceless. She is a mama's girl through and through. She still nurses about 3x/day but that will come to an end next month when I go away for the weekend. Hoping the weaning process goes well! She is our little ray of sunshine and we all just love her so.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012


We spent 10 glorious nights on Maui at the end of January. We traveled with our good friends the Young's and had a wonderful trip. Even though we were there for 11 days, I could have stayed longer. I think all the kids were ready to come home though. They all spent the last few days begging us to not go to the beach. They were missing their toys at home. Ha! We tried to convince them the beach was 100 times better than their toys. We stayed in two different spots - the first part of the trip in Puamana, near Lahaina and the last part of our trip in south Kihei. We went to the beach every single day, snorkeled, stand up paddle boarded and cooked lots of yummy food. The guys had an afternoon of mountain biking on the volcano and us girls got to paddle board and swim with dolphins in the wild (AMAZING experience!) then end the day with a treatment at the Four Seasons. We were spoiled rotten and it was exactly what we needed. We saw whales breach every single day while we were there. Almost every time we looked out to the ocean we could spot them. A few times the whales were just off the beach and they were jumping and breaching right in front of us. It was a great experience. Other than playing on the beach, we got to see some good friends that still live on Maui and we even got to hang with my friends Carrie & Jeff from Seattle the last day we were there. We will definitely be going back to Maui as soon as possible.