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This week Tuesday we celebrate 13 years as a team.  And that’s no small thing.  Relationships are hard.  The struggle to live life with someone quite different than yourself, to love them when they’re selfish, to forgive them when they hurt you the deepest, to support their dreams and make their dreams part of your own.  This stuff doesn’t come naturally.  Some days feel like a ton more work than others, yes?  And other days are better than the sweetest dreams I had as a much younger gal who fell hard for a skinny happy boy named Ryan Underwood. I love this man.  He is amazingly talented and wise on the inside.  And outside?  He’s smoking hot.

-One more month and the fall schedule starts here in Duluth.  I’m starting to think about it, but I don’t want to put school supplies in the shopping cart just yet.   So far Colette picked out a new backpack for preschool.  Now she tells me she “needs” to bring it along on all outings, even if it’s empty.  We’re soaking up as many hours as we can before school days.  Yesterday included a picnic lunch, thrifting as a family (a first), baseball, and more walking after dinner.  Our kids are tan and popsicle sticks are littered through our yard. It’s been a good summer.

-I’ve been daydreaming of these pillows on our bed.  A great price and a fun way to switch things up!

-Since having my baby sister live with us (a couple years back already), I’ve slowly been learning about makeup products and application.  Thanks, Debs!  This eyebrow pencil is now a staple on my very minimal make-up look.  I thank my dad for these eyebrows.  Anyone have a favorite lipgloss you can tell me about?

-We like Kind bars around here.  These new ones at Target are super good.  Add them to the back to school list.

This song is on repeat here.  Fitting for our anniversary week.

*Photo credit to our favorite Kiley Marissa Photography.  



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I woke this morning to the kids talking and laughing together.  The sun was shining through our sheer white curtains, mabel was curled in a ball beside the bed, the ceiling fan was keeping our room the perfect summer temp, Ry was zonked out beside me, and for those few minutes it was heaven. Then Colette started screaming.. Our fierce baby girl.  You’re gonna change the world.

-I missed my post last week.  Duluth had a significant storm a week and a half ago.  The rain was minimal, but the lightening and thunder and wind were amazing!!  We woke in the early morning to flashing over and over against the bedroom walls and knowing even then we had no power.  After our family was all piled into the bed, I remember my first thoughts were “did we leave the van windows down” and “what if our weeping willow were to fall?” We were safe.  We were without power for several days (with Ry’s family in town), but we were safe.  To see pics on some of the disaster you can click here.

-Jameson and Lucia started swim lessons this week.  We’ve kept up on most things for these two.  They’re doing great in school, they’re up on their vaccinations, we make time for reading, we brush their teeth.. but we’ve slacked a bit in the swimming department.  BUT we have a new yearly membership to the YMCA here and the kids started in the “Polliwog” class together on Thursday night.  How cute is that?  Polliwogs.  Next they’ll be “Guppies”.  It’s too much!

– If you could treat yourself to two things what would they be?  For me it’s fresh flowers and getting my nails done.  One of our local flower shops does a weekly wrap for $10 that I want to pickup every single time.  This week these ones came home to live with me.

-I preordered this book and cannot wait to crack open the fresh pages.  Shauna Niequist is on my list of best authors.

-I threw my back out (again) this week.  The combination of having old lady problems and a new membership to the YMCA challenges me to get stronger.  Because if you could see how I’m moving… it’s not strong.  Or pretty.  I’ve been contemplating for months getting a Fitbit to motivate myself with a goal.  The problem is the Fitblaze Blaze is the prettiest but way more than I need or would spend.  The wristbands aren’t all that cute and I’d want something I can wear all the time.  So I’m contemplating just the activity tracker and finding a buddy for accountability.  Remember I’m an obliger.  Anybody else needing a buddy?

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We love Duluth.  We love our home, our street, the people we share life with, and this amazing lake just minutes away!  Fridays Ry is off so we took off after lunch yesterday on a family outing.  We picked up new t-shirts for church, got Jameson a super duper needed haircut, had dinner at our favorite burger stop, and then sat by the lake throwing rocks and letting Mabel just run.  It was a perfect summer night!!

Other snaps this week:

-Jameson is smart beyond his years, but when he tells me I’m “sartastic” I can’t help smiling.  Thank goodness.. there is still a boy inside that teenager.

-foster baby E (that we keep only one day a week) turned one this past week.  He is a little radiator when we cuddle, so I knew this blanket was the perfect gift.  And due to the size he can use it for years to come.  I know..  Lucia and Colette still use their blankets.

-smell this dish soap that Ry picked up on our last Target run.  I love washing dishes.. I love it more when the soap smells divine!

-this bean salsa will be on our menu every week this summer.  So good.  Even the kids eat it.  Inhale it.

My in-laws come into town this next week and the kids are making agendas of all the fun to be had with Grandpa and Nana.  It feels like a good week to family vacation and slow down..

Happy weekend friends.  What are you up to?

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After a few years contemplating.. I got my first tattoo this week.  So far I would say it’s perfect.  I wanted something small and symbolic of the journey of being a mom.  Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?  Like a warriors fistful of arrows..”  (found in Psalm 127)


Turns out getting a tattoo does hurt.  The pain reminds me I’m strong and was able to do this incredible thing in giving birth three times (something I had great anxiety about as a younger woman).  I wanted the tattoo on my forearm so that I would see it as I extend my hands to our kids.  So I see the tattoo often!  Lastly- it’s a permanent reminder to see them as a gift.  Undeserved.  Three of the best gifts ever.

Other snaps this week:

-I’m eating this cereal with sliced bananas again this morning.   So good.

-After months of living with a super cracked iphone screen, my hubby took the whole thing apart last night to replace the screen for me.  I got this replacement kit.  It looked about as complicated as performing open heart surgery.  But it worked!

-I’m making a library list to reserve things ahead of time for our run there this week.  Anything I should add?  Both the girls loved this one.  I’m starting this one this week.  The cover got me.

-Isn’t spray sunblock one of the best things ever invented?  If you’re shopping just don’t get this one.  I bought it for Ry for his Memphis trip.  Just being a good wife ya know.  So he sprayed himself down and headed out with the teens looking like a smurf.  It looks like you put a layer of slightly blue desitin on and is that hard to get off.   We found out when Ry brought the left over sunblock home and we packed it for our family beach day over the 4th.  It especially stuck to Ry’s beard.  Sexy.  It must be something in the “mineral” ingredient.  Here is a much better one we now have on hand.  The girls love the smell of it.

The sun is shining here in Duluth and the kids and I are headed out shortly to work on our tans.  Yard work included.  Happy weekend friends!