Thursday, June 12, 2014

That Post Where I Catch Up...Again...and Try to Figure Out Why I Have a Blog in the First Place

It looks like that I have once again become so far behind with this poor ole' blog that I just keep putting off updating it.  It seems like such a chore to sort through and edit photos all while trying to remember where they were taken and what we were up to.....and then I'm supposed to come up with intelligent and coherent sentences to summarize them all?! 

My original intent in beginning this blog was not only to chronicle our family's life, but also provide an outlet to express myself through writing.  Sometimes (or a lot of the time) being a stay-at-home mom of babes and toddlers felt very isolating.  I could go for days without talking to another adult face-to-face besides my husband (and even then, by the time we were able to talk, all I could think about was sleep), winters were long, dark, and cold, my kids were too little to enjoy the science museum or indoor parks or library, sickness came and ravaged through our family like wildfire several times a month, and although not ever boring, the monotony of day-to-day caring for young children was just plain hard.  So, sitting down at the computer for a few minutes each day and processing my thoughts through writing was huge for me...a way for me to have something of my own in the new world of motherhood where every part of me seemed to belong to someone else. 

Over the years, my writing has taken a back seat to the task of trying to make sure I don't miss a major milestone in any one member of our family's life.  I've also found that as the kids have gotten older, those precious nap times have all but disappeared, taking away my afternoon hour of sanity and leaving me to ponder why anyone ever told me I would  have "so much more time to myself as the kids grew older."  Obviously such people are either delusional or fibbing to make a worn out momma feel a little bit better. 

On second thought, to be completely fair, I guess there are grains of truth to that statement:  sleep deprivation is a thing of the past, my body is no longer the sole source of anyone's nourishment, and I'm regaining the ability to use the bathroom in absolute privacy because I am no longer concerned that someone may jeopardize another's life in the mere seconds it takes me to relieve myself.  But, all those demands, while different with older kids, are not necessarily less.  Things have changed, yes, and while some parts have become simpler, other aspects have increased in difficulty.  My guess is that is how it will always be on this journey of motherhood...that I will continue to grow and learn right alongside my kids...always changing with new challenges every day. 

I'm still not sure where this blog is going. I'd like to have more time to write, but with school out for summer, I'm quite alright with spending our days catching up with old and new friends, swimming at the pool, exploring new parks, riding bikes, watching cartoons on rainy days, and enjoying the fact that as the kids grow older, they become increasingly more fun. 

For now, here's all the photos that need chronicling.....maybe I'll even include a few of those coherent sentences too....
While the big kids have been in school, Olivia has been practicing writing her name.


New chalkboard art for the kitchen.  And yes, we have had our fair share of summer ice cream.  In fact, it's root beer floats in celebration of the last day of school tonight!


HOUSE PROJECT #1:  Installing Laundry Room and Mud Room Cabinetry

Before:  Basically, just an empty room from the garage to the kitchen. 
After:  We (or basically, Ben) installed cabinets above the washer and dryer, a countertop for folding, mudroom hooks, mudroom bench, and mudroom cabinets.




I went on my fair share of field trips since the kids began their new school.  Although I didn't get pictures of all of them, I went to the Science Museum with Allie's class, Como Park and Zoo with Allie's class, bowling with Zach's class, and a park/picnic field trip with Zach's class.  Fun times!

HOUSE PROJECT #2:  Backsplash



We are getting really good at backsplashes...I think this was our second one within a year's time.

Zach's first package from the Green Bay Packers.  Oh, yes...we moved to Wisconsin and he had to become Junior Power Pack Fan Member. 

One of those rare napping occurrences.

WE FINALLY HAVE GRASS....and plants, and trees, and gardens.  WOOOOHOOO!

Visiting one of the neighborhood parks on a glorious weekend.

He seems to be adjusting to the new house just fine.

Finally get to wear shorts to school!

First time this season wearing pigtails....and probably the last since she got her hair all cut off on Tuesday.


House Project #3:  Backyard Play Set or The Insanity Project

Observe the free play set we managed to acquire via Craigslist:

After dismantling it, renting a U-Haul trailer, hauling it home, reassembling it, and staining it.....

.....We now have the most AWESOME PLAY SET EVER!  Definitely a lot of work, but we couldn't go wrong for the price.  Our kids love do all the neighbor kids...I better stock up on popsicles!

Olivia's favorite part of spring was the pink trees!

Friday morning happiness

See how happy Fridays make us?

Teddy Bear Park play date with new friends.

Can't wait to go back!

House Project #4:  Living Room Built-Ins or The Very Last House Project for a Very, VERY Long Time

Before:  Living room....not bad, but definitely in need of some functional storage solutions

After:  Living Room.....oooohhh.....ahhhh....built-ins!

Are you still with me?  Almost done....I promise.

Celebrating My BIRTHDAY!

Best cake EVER:  Red Velvet.  Love finding new bakeries!

Here we are channeling our inner Miley Cyrus.  Just kidding.  I'm pretty sure the kids have no idea who Miley is, but I saw this picture and that is the first thing I thought of.  Sad.

We also celebrated our 11 year anniversary last weekend!  By celebrated, I mean we finished the play set and installed built-ins in the living room.  Anniversary date to come in July....

How we managed to find 33 candles and cram them all on that cake?  The world may never know.  But the cream cheese icing was a little melty after I blew them out.

The birthday card Allie wrote for favorite part is "You have erased my mistakes on homework!"



Goodbye 2nd grade and Kindergarten!  It was a great year, but time to move on up!

And just for fun....Allie's To-Do List for the last day of school:

Whew...we made it!  Happy Summer everyone!

1 comment:

Aha Moment Tour said...

Hi Jen,

I work for the company that produces Mutual of Omaha’s aha moment campaign; check out to see what an aha moment is and the incredible stories we’ve filmed over the last several years. As I came across your website, I couldn’t help but think that you might have an aha moment to share.

For the 5th year, we’re taking our 34-foot Airstream mobile film studio on the road again for the 2014 Aha Moment Tour, visiting 20 cities across America to capture inspirational, life-changing aha moments from folks all over the country. We are headed to St. Cloud, MN on July 10th and 11th and would love to invite you to share an aha moment, and how your life has changed since. It can be about your work, your family or other life experiences. You would just have to step into the Airstream studio for a few minutes and tell your story on film to our tour producer. Your video will then be posted to, where you will be able to share it with your friends and family via email, Facebook and Twitter!

On July 10th and 11th from 10am to 6pm, we will be parked at the Great River Regional Library, 1300 W. St. Germain Street, St. Cloud, MN 56301. Here is a map link to the location:

We’d love to have you. Let me know as soon as possible and I can reserve your time slot.

Many thanks!

Rachel Clark

See the 2014 Aha Moment Tour page:
View aha moment videos:
Follow the tour: