Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Emmy's Fall Fashion Advice

By now you may by missing the summer weather and longing to get out your summer wardrobe again. Emmy has a fashion tip for you. Take a fall outfit and casually layer a bathing suit over it. You will have the comfort of fall clothes with the feeling of summer. She recommends borrowing a larger bathing suit from a friend (or in her case a sister) so you have ample room to move around.

Stay tuned for more fashion tips from Emmy. I'm sure she will have plenty of winter suggestions.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


The hardest part of living in NC is being far away from our families. Most of them we see maybe once a year. It's really hard knowing we may only see our grandparents a few more times. My grandfather died this past year and I hated not seeing him one more time. My grandmother (Mimi) came down to visit this summer with my mom and sister. It was the most time I've spent with her since I was a kid, and I really treasured it. She is lovely and I'm so glad to have that time with her.

She spent a lot of time with the kids, and honestly I really don't see myself being as active as she is when I'm older. She was constantly reading them stories and playing games. She even played volleyball with Asher at the pool.  

 Four generations of women.
Mimi, you inspire me. You raised 8 amazing kids and have such love for your family. I hope to have the relationship with my kids they way you have with yours.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hilton Head

We went to Hilton Head for Labor Day weekend. It is still one of my favorite places on the East Coast. It's so green and beautiful. The kids loved being at the beach so much. 

 Asher just looks life a surfer. He's been wanting to learn for a while. Neither Nate nor I know how to surf, so Asher is starting with a skim board and hopefully will go to surfing camp next year.

 Most kids when they are at the beach look for shells. Emmy looks for families. She usually walks up and down the beach eying everyone up and trying to judge who will have the best snacks. The last couple of beach trips we have found her sitting on someone else's chair raiding their coolers. On this particular day Emmy wanted to be wrapped up in a towel, but she didn't want us to do it. She dragged the towel around to another family and had them wrap her up. She then proceeded to walk into the water and wasn't so happy anymore.
 This crew makes my heart so happy.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Asher is 8

Asher turned 8 a few weeks ago. This is so strange for me. I was prepared to have babies and toddlers, but I never pictured what it would be like to have older kids. I really really like it. He is way more fun and enjoyable now than when we was a baby. 

He decided he didn't want to have a party, so we went to the beach with some of his friends. This crew is so much fun. They are wild, very entertaining, and a lot of fun to be with (and loud, incredibly loud). 

 Trying to get boys not to wrestle is about as easy as taking Dexter to the store and asking him not to whine.
 5 Guys is hands down all of my kids' favorite place to eat. A good burger after a day at the beach is perfection.
 We finished off the night playing mini golf.

Asher, I am so thankful for you and all you bring to our family. It makes me so happy that you have such fun friends in your life. Celebrating you will always be something I want to do.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Back to School - Preschool Edition

Preschool started up again last week. Dexter is going every morning and Emmy is doing toddler time (which Piper calls toddler school) one morning a week. They both love going, and I'm so glad they have fun friends and sweet teachers.

I just about died when I saw Emmy with her backpack. I seriously have no more babies. 

My kids all have different personalities, but there are quite a few common traits. They are all very outgoing, extroverted, loud, and independent. I've never had a clingy child who had a hard time being away from me. Emmy went right into her class, waved bye to me, and started playing. Sometime I wish she needed me more, but overall I love having her be so independent and adaptable to any environment. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

9 Years

I remember one of the moments when Nate and I were dating where I knew, absolutely knew we would work. At the time I was living with a friend. She had a house and I had the entire third floor. She also had two kids. At the time the youngest girl was 5. Nate was over a lot and would always play with them. One afternoon we were outside and the girl was sitting on Nate's foot while he was walking around. She was laughing really hard and ending up peeing all over his shoe. Nate just sort of smiled and shrugged. I knew he would be great with kids and let things go easily. 

We've been married for nine years. It's not always easy, and it's not always fun, but I  couldn't imagine anyone else I would rather be with. Nate is still easy-going, and patient and kind. He forgives quickly and doesn't hesitate to apologize (something I still haven't mastered). He supports my dreams, and respects me a lot. 

We make one heck of a team.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Back to School

Oh man we all were ready for today. The lack of routine over the last month did us all in. The kids left this morning for school and I forgot how much I enjoy Dexter when his big siblings aren't around to annoy him.

Piper I know this is going to be a great year for you. You have an awesome teacher and classmates. 

 Ashman I hope this is your year. Your year to gain confidence in your abilities and to really love to learn.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Piper turned 6....two months ago

I missed talking about Piper's birthday. Piper you are 6. You are my sweet girly little one. You have such a heart for others and are definitely the peacemaker of the family. You are filled with the perfect combination of spunk and kindness. The opinions you have are strong, and I love what are daredevil you have become. Kindergarten was a great fit for you last year. You did so well and grew a lot. I loved watching you with your friends. I can't wait to see you rock first grade.

To celebrate your birthday we went out to lunch with your favorite pals and went to see a movie. There was a lot of giggles and shrieks and you loved the day.

My sweet Piper, you are one of my greatest gifts.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Thank you for all the comments and encouragement. Things have been a bit challenging lately and it really made my heart happy to read so many kind words. I mentioned yesterday that I am working quite a bit. For as long as I can remember I have always enjoyed working. I started babysitting when I was 12 and worked a lot through high school and college. In high school we read about the puritan work ethic. It's long and I don't remember most of it. What has stayed with me is this "work is a gift from God and a means to glorify him". I've had some really awesome jobs, and times where I couldn't believe I was actually getting paid to work. Other times it was hard, really really hard. In college I worked in a group home for men with developmental disabilities. I had to wash them, and take care of their most basic needs. It was tiring and so many times it seemed I was in a hopeless environment. Even there I had to remind myself that work is a gift. 

I need to remind myself right now that work is a gift. A year ago I turned my tutoring into an actual business. My mom stayed at home with us when we were little and that was something I really wanted to do. I had no idea how hard it would be. For years now when people ask me what I do, I reply that I stay at home with my kids. I am quick to also interject that I tutor. I feel like being a mother isn't enough. Pouring into my kids and molding them seems trite. It has been a hard learning process to see the value in what I am doing. Tutoring has been a perfect fit for this season of my life. I do get to be with my kids, but I also get to work with something I love. 

A few months ago while I was in San Francisco I interviewed for a job. It's a company that helps facilitate people who have solar panels getting paid for their excess energy. The position is completely at home and very flexible. It's a great job and I am really loving it. Around the same time Leah opened up a photography studio. I can barely take an in-focus picture and have no real desire to learn any more. However, I have started working with her. The studio space is incredible and we both have big big visions for what this studio can do. I've started as the party planner, and it is slowly evolving into more. Working with Leah is a gift. It is so much fun to work together.

I feel like I had a good handle on juggling it all until Nate's work schedule became crazy. He started working 12 hour days and I feel as though I'm barley surviving. It's hard to fit working 30 hours on top of taking care of the kids and the house in. I am naively optimistic that school starting will help things. 

This is a picture of Emmy at the studio. It's her favorite spot.
 We got season passes to Busch Gardens and I have a feeling it will be an annual thing. The kids love going there.
 Every kid needs a bike helmet when they are helping with yard work.
 Jada and Bennett did laser tag for their birthdays. I loved seeing Pipes with a big gun.
 Dexter and I are both excited for preschool to start soon. He misses his friends.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Back to Blogging???

So you may have noticed that I haven't blogged in a while. Yesterday Nate asked what my plan was, and I told him I was shutting it down. Thanks to the caffeine I had at dinner last night and a really odd dream I was awake around 2 am. I was thinking about my to-do list today and shutting this down.  I started it right after Piper was born as a way to document our lives (much easier than scrapbooking). This last year I stopped loving it, and it became a chore. I also felt that no one reads it, and it made me grouchy. I started working about 30 hours a week recently and this just seemed like one more thing on my endless list of things I didn't really want to do. Last night as I was thinking about it I remembered why I started it. So often I feel like I've failed at the end of the day. I remember the hard moments. This gives me a reminder that I didn't fail all the time, that my kids didn't spend the entire day fighting and crying. Even if no one reads my words, it's ok. This was for me anyway. So I think I'm going to keep it. I need to be able to look back on the good moments. This will be something I hope my kids will look back at someday.

At the beginning of the summer we went to the botanical gardens again. We all love it there. The paths and wide open spaces give the kids plenty of places to run. It's just beautiful there.

Piper really wanted a picture of us with the roses, since that is both of our middle names. 

 This guy, he is giving me a run for my money these days.
 Pipes is definitely our most fearless one.
 Little Emmy Lu. She has a nickname at the Y these days - The Tyrant. It's her way or the highway. She wants to dictate what everyone is doing. I tried to explain that she is the fourth child, and is supposed to be easy going. She didn't get the message.
 Asher is still well Asher. We started running again this week and I love the conversations we have. We hope to do two more 5ks in the fall.

 Nate adores this one. I think the feeling is mutual.

I'm going to try to be more consistent and maybe use my voice a bit more.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Excuses-Dexter Style

I have to hand it to Dex, he has the most interesting/creative excuses out of all my kids. It doesn't necessarily help him get out of situations, but it does keep me smiling. Here are a few examples.

Dex, come and finish your apples- "I can't, my legs won't walk"

Dex, go and get dressed- "I can't, the stairs are too wobbly"

Dex, go take a time out- "I CAN'T, I HAVE A BUTT".

Dex, go in time out right now- "But I am naked" (it's not my fault he takes off every piece of clothing every time he uses the bathroom)

Dex, pick up the pencil and practice writing your name- "I can't, my hands are too big"

You hands are not too big- "Ok, my hands are too small"

Go wash your hands- "I can't, the water is too sticky"

Dex, pick up the toys in your room- "I can't, my eyes aren't working" (probably because they are closed)

Dex, you need to put shoes on before you go outside- "I can't, someone ate my shoes"

Dex, finish chewing your food- "I can't, my mouth doesn't work"

These are all excuses from just this morning. You can imagine what an entire day is like with him.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The last CA pictures

My tutoring business is quite busy right now with the school year wrapping up. This poor blog is suffering. I'll post the last of my San Francisco pictures. 

While we were near the piers we walked over to the Ghirardelli factory. Piper was very excited. The ice cream was pretty spectacular. 

I love these two girls. They have such great personalities, and fit very well together. 
 Piper is following Asher's footsteps and is opening an investment account. She wants to save and go back to San Francisco.
 One of the best parts of the trip was spending so much time with Patricia. I miss her so much, and it was great hanging out with her. We got to go out a few nights after the kids were in bed.

Monday, April 27, 2015


One of my favorite parts of our trip was going to Alcatraz Island. It was so fascinating, and I learned a lot. We took a boat over, and walked around the Island for a bit. When we got to the actual prison we did the headphone tour. Piper listened to it really well. I can not imagine actually being a prisoner there. It was so cold and lonely. 

 A lot of the original buildings are still there.

 This was one of the solitary confinement cells. Piper could barely go it it, she got a bit scared.
 Of course she thought the toilets were amusing.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Piers

The piers in San Francisco are awesome. There is so much to see, and we really enjoyed being there. I'm pretty sure Piper's favorite thing was seeing the seals. She tried to name all of them, and begged to take one home. I'm not so sure they would enjoy NC weather. 

 Pier 39 is really geared for tourists. That usually isn't my thing, but it was actually quite fun. There was a lot of good food and fun things to see.
 Right before we went to Alcatraz we went around in the Ferry Building. Piper was the perfect travel buddy.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Golden Gate

On our second day we went over the Golden Gate Bridge. The fog was insane. Even when we were right on it we couldn't see the top. The sun was always so warm, but the fog made us feel so cold the entire time. As much as I loved the city I don't think I could live there, I hate being cold. 

This is Piper with the bridge in the background. The fog was covering most of it up. 
 We got out first In-and-Out burgers. They were pretty yummy, but I still think 5 Guys is better. The beach called to Piper again, so we spent the afternoon on the sand.