Sunday, December 6, 2015


When I was in the eighth grade my dad retired (at age 37) from his job as a firefighter/EMT for our city's fire department.  Prior to that, my parents had announced that our family was "going on an adventure."  They sold our house in a down economy and my dad stopped working the steady job that he had worked for the last 17 years.

My dad became a full-time commercial fisherman.  We packed most of our things into storage. I had one small moving box, for my most valuable possessions, that I would carry with me for the next two years.  We stayed with my grandparents and house sat during the summers, when my dad fished out of our home town.  During the winter we moved to a small town called Elfin Cove, it might be more accurately described as a fishing village.  Our family of 5 increased the winter population by about fifteen percent.  The only motorized vehicle on the boardwalk (there are no roads) was the gas powered cart that moved the weekly mail delivery from the float plane to the tiny post office.

I lovingly refer to this period as being "homeless".  I know my mother cringes when I say this, as we always had a roof over our heads (even if the roof belonged to a boat) and food to eat.  We had a fantastic adventure. We learned so many things about hard work and family.  I wouldn't trade those two years for anything.  My parents were a great example of so many things --  of following their passion, of taking risks, of loving the outdoors, of loving each other.  I'm so grateful that they are my parents.   We didn't always have everything we wanted, but we also never wanted for anything.

But some how, I got it in my mind that I needed to grow up and be responsible.  I needed to go to college and get a job and be a "grown up."  I needed to be able to take care of myself, make my own way. I spent 5 years getting my bachelors degree.  Transferring to a less expensive school as a sophomore added a year to my education, but I think I was in the right place a the right time when I started my education at Boise State University. I worked hard, and before graduation I was offered a good job in my field.  I was making a fantastic salary. I had a 401(k) and health insurance. I bought a new truck and moved into a two bedroom apartment further from campus and closer to work.  I thought I had it all!

Shortly after graduation, my dad was raving about Robert T. Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" and insisted that I read it.  I did, somewhat reluctantly.  I don't remember now much about the book, but I remember that it made me feel very defensive.  I knew my dad was proud of me, my education, and my career path. He told me he was.  He talked highly of me to his friends when I was in earshot.  But here he was, insisting that I read this book that, as I remember it, trashed formal education and spoke highly of investing in real estate.  I didn't get as much out of the book because I was defensive. It was unfortunate; I could have learned a lot from it.

Instead, this June, I'm scheduled to celebrate 15 years with my company.  Fifteen years in the same position.  And what do I have to show for it?  A 401(k) and health insurance.  A mortgage for a tiny house that our family of 6 is outgrowing.  And four wonderful children who have spent most of their young lives in daycare.  My baby will be 3, and my next oldest will start kindergarten in the fall.  I don't want to spend another year doing the same thing I've always done.  I want to spend this precious time with my family.

About a year ago, a good friend and mentor recommended that I read "The Jackrabbit Factor" by Leslie Householder.  I was more than ready to receive its message, even though it was calling me out just as much as "Rich Dad, Poor Dad".  Everything finally clicked, the example of my parents, the things things they've always taught me. My husband and I can support our family and still spend time with them.  I'm grateful for them. I'm grateful for this book and for the mentor who introduced it to me. I'll be reading it again this month as I prepare to make goals for next year.

I'm ready for some risks and our family is ready for an adventure.  We are excited for 2016!

If you are interested in access to a free audio copy of "The Jackrabbit Factor", let me know, and I'll send you instructions.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

BSU T-Shirt Dress

When I married this:

I didn't know that I was marrying this.

I think the fact that my husband never wore a hat that wasn't blue or orange or the fact that the first time I saw my future father-in-law in something other than a BSU shirt was the night of our rehearsal dinner, should have given me some sort of clue.

I admit to being a fan of BSU -- I even owned season tickets to BSU Football the first year after I graduated (several years before I met my husband). It is my alma matter, after all.  But I'm not sure I was prepared to bleed blue and orange

We registered for orange stone wear dishes, and while I loved them, I couldn't decorate with blue, for fear that people would think that I intentionally had a Bronco dining room.

Having fanatics as in-laws has some benefits -- I have never had to purchase game day garb for myself or my children, as a Bronco logo seems to be required on all gifts recieved.  (All joking aside, my inlaws are fantastic.)

So Ladybug has plenty of game day hand-me downs, but I worried that people would mistake her for a boy.  (Though her grandmother did buy her a cheerleader outfit it is too big, so it gives me some time to decide how I feel about that.)  I needed to girl up some of the hand-me downs.  So I up-cycled a t-shirt into a t-shirt dress for her.

The t-shirt is size 12M, but its really small.  I cut off about three inches of the bottom.  (I originally was only going to cut off 2 inches, and I should have stuck with that.  Oh well.)  Then, I took some old jeans and cut some 4 inch strips.  I didn't have as much jean material as I wanted.  (I had already used the other leg on a different skirt.) So I was only able to get one pleat on the front, and one on the back.  I would have liked the skirt to be more ruffly.  It turned out okay, but I'm not thrilled with it.  Of course, Ladybug looks adorable in it. 

Check out Ashley's tutorial for the headband.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cloth Diapering My Newborn: Starter Stash

I really wanted to use cloth diapers with my boys, but my husband used his veto power.  "That's crazy to do that with twins,"  he said.  He was probably right -- especially with how much they spit up and how little they slept.  But when I really wanted to use cloth diapers with our new baby, surprisingly, he agreed.  I tried to educate him about pockets and all-in-ones and pre-folds and covers, and get his input.  He didn't care.  He would use whatever I bought, but he didn't want any part in the decisions.

There are a lot of types of diapers made with a lot of different materials. The decisions can seem a little overwhelming.  I think you need to decide what is right for your family.    I was confused by the micro-fibers and stay-dry fabrics, they all seemed to have different washing and drying instructions.  To make things as easy I wanted to be able to throw everything in the washer and dryer together.  I was okay with having to pull a few quick dry covers out, and hang them to dry.  I decided that I wanted to use all-cotton diapers. I wanted to balance cost with usablity, and I wanted diapers that would be easy for my daycare provider to use. 

I finally decided on what I thought I would need:
  • 6 Grovia Newborn AIO
  • 6 Newborn Workhorse Diapers from Green Mountain Diaper
  • 12 Newborn Prefolds from Green Mountain Diaper
  • 2 Bummis SuperBrite Wraps
  • 1 Bummis SuperWhisper Wrap
This stash put me at the 20-24 diapers that is often recommended to diaper a newborn.  I also bought 8 Grovia One-Size AIOs and two Thirsties Duo Wrap, size one -- because they were on sale, and I knew our baby would grow into them.

Our stash was just the right amount when diapers are washed every other day -- which amazingly, I manage to do.

Ladybug and I spent just over 24 hours in the hospital after her birth, and the first diaper change at home she was put in a cloth diaper.  I would like to be able to say that she hasn't worn a disposable since, but I can't. However if you only have prefolds in your diaper bag, and are missing clean covers and snappis, and your daughter has a blowout at your in-laws after Sunday dinner, you may be forced to use a disposable. 

We also used disposables when we went camping this summer.  My stash wasn't big enough for the three days we were gone, and it was really nice to come home to all clean diapers, when the camping laundry pile was huge.

I did expect to use disposables part time, and will probably use them again when we travel.  I've been very thrilled with our stash, and don't expect to have to use disposables as much as I originally thought.  Especially because daycare has been so supportive.  If you are hesitant, give cloth a try.

While I'm not a cloth diapering expert, I plan on writing more about my experiences in later posts. 

Are you trying to decide on cloth diapers for your newborn?   These are my favorite cloth diaper resources:

Simple Mom
Diaper Junction
Green Mountain Diapers

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Blessed Day

Ladybug was blessed on Sunday, September 4th.  It was a such a sweet day.  We are so blessed to have had so many family members supporting us and celebrating with us.  We enjoyed a lunch in our backyard afterwards, and had the opportunity to visit with family that came from many distances to be with us.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Blessing Dress

When I found out I was having a girl, I immediately wanted to make her a blessing dress.  We blessed my boys at two weeks old, because my parents and sister were in town.  The boys weighed about 5 pounds, and nothing fit them, so they were blessed in too big onsies and the only preemie brown pants I could find.

They were cute, and it was special, but I feel a little bit bad that they didn't have special blessing clothes.

My mom had mentioned saving her wedding dress and making blessing dresses out of it, but after 6 grandsons she got rid of it. However, she surprised me with this dress. 

This is the dress that I wore when I was blessed or when I came home from the hospital.  My mom couldn't really remember.  It was a long time ago, I'm not sure I would remember either.

So, now I had this dilemma.  Should Ladybug wear the same dress I wore when I was a baby, or should I make her one. 
She does look cute in my old dress, doesn't she. But the dress isn't as long and flowy as I imagined a blessing dress would be.

I kept coming back to this post on "Make it and Love it"  and thinking, I can do this.  Ashely makes some fabulous tutorials!

I started off by making a bodice out of some yellow cotton I had lying around.  That was pretty successful, but attaching the sleeve didn't go over well.  I decided that I should stick to using the sewing machine for curves or tight spaces, and only use the serger for straight lines. (Heck -- I've had the serger for a couple of years now and just now replaced the thread that comes on it with big white cones.)

I headed to Hobby Lobby.  I bought fabric -- some crushed polyester and lining.  I can't 'actually' sew, so I was being brave --  I was going to sew something that wasn't just quilting cotton.

This is what I came up with.  I'm pretty impressed with myself.  The dress isn't perfect -- it's too big, the sleeves aren't as ruffled as I would have liked, and my blind hem isn't so blind.  But I made it.  I'm still debating putting a single satin flower on the waist.  What do you think?

Ladybug, who never spits up, spit up when I tried the bodice on her.  I'm pretending that doesn't mean that she hates the dress. I'm also not taking any chances and trying it on her again before Sunday. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sad September

Normally, I love the fall. I love the colors. I love the crisp cool air. I love making hot soups for dinner. I love wearing sweaters and my knee high boots. I love school supplies.

This year, I'm dreading fall. I want an endless summer. I dream of infinite days watching my boys play in the wading pool in the back yard, running naked through the grass with golden brown skin. Unnumbered days, rocking my baby girl on the porch swing. Countless trips to the library on Friday mornings. But alas, it all must come to an end.

For come the first of Fall, my maternity leave is over. I must return to the "real world". The world in which I don't get to be just a mom. I won't get to bake bread to go with dinner, or prepare meals that take longer than 30 minutes. No more late mornings cuddling with my kids.

I have about 2 1/2 weeks before I must return to work. I'm trying to enjoy every minute of it, but I find myself spending too much time dreading what is to come. So this is it. I'm crying about it here for a minute. I'm complaining, and I'm moping. I'd really like to spend the next two weeks cuddling with my kids and rocking my baby while she sleeps -- breathing in every moment. Savoring every sweet moment, enjoying the now.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Welcome, Ladybug

I'm a little embarrassed that it's been since April since I lasted posted.  I'm even more embarrassed that I still haven't finished the baby quilt I had been working on.  However, I did finish something -- this little ladybug joined our family on July 1, 2011. 
Turns out, she has something in common with her mama, she likes to procrastinate.  She took her sweet time getting here.  With gestational diabetes and chronic hypertension, I was pushing it, but the doctor gave me until 41 weeks and 1 day before we evicted her.  She was worth the wait.  She is a joy, and we are so glad to have her in our family.