California Dream’n

Our trip to San Diego brought with it many firsts. Our first BIG trip with the kids. First time on a plane. First time taking in the beauty and magnitude of the ocean.  First time on a boat. First time at a horse track etc. etc.

I was wishing I had one of those old carousel slide projectors that I could click through each photo I took and regale you with all the details of our trip. Then I remembered how boring that might be.  I really tried to trim down the picture count here or break it up into multiple posts, but it was just. so. hard!  We had such an incredible time in California and I want to remember every bit of it. To make it all more bearable for you, I have created a little game for you to participate.  Answers will be found at the end.

  1. Mia’s very first flight left her a) hungry for more b) a little sick to her stomach, but happy c) close to tears

2. We are so tempted to buy a condo where we stayed.  The one for sale (1 bedroom/ocean view) was priced at a) $579,000  b)$990,000  c) $1.1 million


3. Who was kind enough to take our group photo at Sea World  a) A real live dolphin trainer  b) a Sea World custodian  c) a fellow tourist.

4. True or False  At Sea World we went to both the Dolphin and the Orca Whale show. Did we choose to sit in the Splash Zone at both shows?


5. We could have easily spent $100 dollars feeding these highly trained animals which also has been the inspiration for a Halloween Costume.

a) dolphin                                 b) sting ray                                 c) sea lion

A.                                 B.                                  C.

6.  After a strenuous bike ride through Balboa park,  on both a tandem and 4 person cruiser bike, Mia exclaimed, “Look! I’m under his nardos!” whilst taking which picture?

7. At the Delmar Thorough Bred Club, home of the Breeder’s Cup, Nate won $75 by betting on which winning horse? a) Mistress of the Night  b) Last Promise Kept  c) Little Darling

8.  We took a Zodiac boat out onto the ocean. What did we see?  a) a blue whale  b) sea lions c) a pod of over a 100 dolphins with their babies d) all of the above

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9. Bailey could have spent many more hours exploring the La Jolla Tide Pools and the creatures they carry.  A fellow tide pooler caught a grab to let the kids hold. Did Mia hold the crab?  a) No Way!  b) She tried but she dropped it  c) You bet she did!

10. Our very favorite place to eat was called a) Claim Jumper  b) Light House Diner c) Phil’s B-B-Q

11. True or False  We all LOVED the Ocean?


Answer Key

  1.  B  Kindles are not necessarily a good thing on a bumpy landing.
  2.  B  Things are a little pricey… dreams were shattered.
  3.  B  Did you spot that hint in the picture?
  4.  True  Things got so wet in the splash zone during the whale show that Mia and I had to move to higher ground and everyone else was dripping and damp the rest of the day. Bailey LOVED it.
  5. C  The Sea Lions would wave and perform tricks for the fish we would feed them. Google has failed me in finding a Sea Lion costume to buy or make. Crossing my fingers that Bailey will find something else that inspires her before October.
  6.  C  That’s some art appreciation for you.
  7. A  Of course
  8. B &C  Too warm for the blue whales this year
  9. A  Nope, No Thank you very much!
  10. C They say the ribs are THE BEST….I thought they were a lil spicy;)
  11. TRUE The ocean and this trip left us hungry for more! Looking forward to planning the next one.

Mornings with Mia

No matter what time I set my alarm, Mia is sure to be up at least 5 minutes before hand. Like all kids her age, she has a special power where she can wake you up with her mind and her eyes. We call it the lean in and stare.  Most mornings I get to open my eyes to this:20170801_101201 (1)

It really is the best way to wake up.

Being the snuggle bug that she is she will at least crawl in to snuggle for at least 5 minutes before asking in a whisper if she can look at my phone. But the other day she asked me, “Can I get you anything, mama? How about a cup of coffee?”  as all mother’s do with four year olds, I declined. But she persisted, and I thought it would be a wonderful skill for her to learn, I mean, she’s up any way.  I did have to get out of bed to help reach of few things then I left her instructions with the Keurig and by Jove, she did a wonderful job.

I hope this servant heart lasts forever.


Eight is Great!

There is nothing like a birthday to get me back into blogging.  Bailey had been looking forward to turning eight for quite some time.  She has always been excited for a birthday, but this year there was more excitement over the actual age.  As every year has been, turning 8 was tons of fun.


This year Bailey’s birthday landed on Easter Monday. We headed to Montana for Easter and a full weekend of Celebration ensued.  Amongst, the egg hunts and Easter Celebrations there was a Birthday Party.  The last time we celebrated in Montana, Bailey was turning one. Her request was Pappa’s chocolate cake with Fudge Frosting and she would bring the horses to adorn the cake.



The celebrating didn’t end there, we took ice cream cups to school and then prepared to host a slew of 8-10 year old girls for a kid party.  Bailey was happy to have a party at the house this year, unless we could arrange horseback riding for close to a dozen girls, which we couldn’t.  So we had a Rip Roar’n Good Time with a house party!


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We painted horses


Held Potato Sack Races along with some regular running races.



Tried our hand at at the lariat

(and have a whole new respect for calf ropers)

 It’s not a party without a Pinata


The girls had a blast!  And so did I.   I did learn that 8-10 year old girls are extremely loud and can eat their weight in Rice Crispy Bars and Ice Cream Sundaes.

Bailey Bug, you sure make 8 look pretty great!


Halloween 2016

Since we are gearing up for Christmas, I thought why not take a look back at Halloween.

When Bailey told me she wanted to be Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit, I beamed with pride.  A girl after my own heart, swoon.  But you know what is hard to find at the thrift stores…hobbit gear.  I don’t know why I assumed it would be easy to find a green vest, red corduroy jacket, and some tweed pants that I could alter. But after hitting the third thrift store and coming away with nothing but a  white blouse, I took to the internet,  “How much could a hobbit costume be anyway?”  $9.95 that’s how much…sold!  Bailey wasn’t as thrilled as I was, “That’s not how it looks in the movie.”  It took just a little bit to convince her that a movie quality costume wasn’t a possibility.  She was thrilled when it finally came in the mail but more thrilled when the hairy feet showed up.



Mia on the other hand kept looking outside for a package with her costume in it that was never going to come.  When I suggested she be a troll for Halloween, I was thinking of the old gem trolls that were a hit in the 80’s.  She was all for it, although I could have suggested she be a centipede or a rock and she would have been all for that too.  Every day she would declare, “I’m going to be a tiger.   I am going to be a horse.  I’m going to be a kitty cat.  I’m going to be a witch.” And then I would say, “I thought you were going to be a troll?” “Oh yes! I am going to be a troll!” and so on.  But then we started seeing toys and previews for the new TROLLS movie and  a new excitement was reached. Bailey was pulling for Mia to be Branch, but Poppy was triumphant in Mia’s eyes.  Her costume was all about the hair.  We teased and sprayed until we could “TASTE IT IN MY MOUTH!!!“, but we survived. We didn’t see the movie before Halloween but have seen it since. Go see it, it will make your heart happy.

Like every year, Bailey seemed to be more interested in handing out candy than going to get it. There can’t be very many situations where it is is the kid saying, “Can we go home, now?”  and the adults saying, “Let’s just do one more house.”

My only regret is not showing up as Gandalf the Grey to Bailey’s Halloween party at school. I had picked up a Wonder Woman shirt with attached cape to get in the spirit of things and was greeted joyfully by Bailey and her school chums. But when I asked Bailey if she liked my costume, she gave me one of her disapproving looks and whispered “You should have been Gandalf.” I am wasting these days! What kid is okay with their mom showing up in a themed costume with them! AT SCHOOL!

I can only hope for next year.



Happy Birthday, Big Girl!




Dear Mia,

You are certainly a blessing to your family and friends and those you meet along the way.  For a four year old you have a  BIG personality, making us laugh on a daily basis even on the occasion that you get in trouble (today it was screaming through the door, “I. AM. CALM!”). You are witty and smart and have a smile that melts our hearts. As big as you like to show us you are, touching the sink on tippy toes or showing us how much your arms have grown since yesterday, you are actually pretty small. You just moved out of 2T clothes into 3T which you find ridiculous since you are 4.

Preschool is going very well and you come home singing and counting up a storm. You have always been patriotic and currently stop and put your hand on your heart when you hear the Star Spangled Banner on TV.  This happens often with all the football and baseball we’ve been watching lately.  Tonight I found you eating popcorn on the couch watching the Cowboys and Vikings by yourself. For the record you were rooting for “the stars”.

My very favorite thing I love about you is how much you LOVE others.  You are our snuggle bug.  You can be found crawling on laps, holding hands, and sneaking kisses onto the babies at church.  Not only do you lavish on the love, you demand it from others. No one leaves the house without a hug, “and one from you too, ________ (mom, dad, Bailey).”  Which makes us all remember to love a little greater.

As much as you love us, we LOVE you.

Your sister adores you…

No one more excited to celebrate you.



You have your dad wrapped around that tiny finger.



(You laughed your amazing belly laugh when you opened that dragon. “My Dragon!” you exclaimed.)

And then there’s me, your mama. Since I’m writing this blog, I get to tell you that I love you the most (The two above would disagree).  But the truth is, my heart overflows with love for you. You are loved so very much by so many…we all are.  Our Great God has blessed us with all the love He has for us… that we are able to feel it so tangibly here on earth with each other is incredible. You, my sweet girl, are right in the midst of it.

I love you more than you’ll ever know,




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Hey Chicago, What do you say?


AUGUST Coors Field Cubs vs. Rockies

The Chicago Cubs have won the World Series. After 108 yrs, the Cubs have won it all. In our house this was a big deal.  Nate has been a Cubs fan as long as he can remember, which calculates to a little over 30 years.  I have been a Cubs fan as long as we have been together, which is a little over 12 years. We’ve made the trips to Chicago, watched games together, and there was a time when Bailey was a baby that I desperately wanted to dress her as Harry Caray for Halloween.  This October has been an incredible one for a Cubs fan, but it all came down to a Game 7 against the Cleveland Indians on November 2.

Most people know Nate as a huge sports fan and a great broadcaster.  But one of his lesser known gifts is his incredible memory. It’s not a memory that can regale you with stories of old, no, it’s a “Rain Man” memory that can tell you all of the players on the Billings Mustangs minor league team in 1994, what position they played, AND what number they wore on their jersey. This makes watching games with him lots of fun. Nate fills you in on not only the history of the teams, but each player and the stories of who they are .

It  can also make watching the game extremely stressful. Like when steely, calm as a cucumber, pitcher Kyle Hendricks is pulled for Jon Lester and Nate reminds you that Lester has a mental block and can’t throw to first base. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING, JOE!” I won’t go into the play by play here.  I do not know of a spectator sport that is more stressful and exhausting to watch, especially when it’s game seven of a World Series your team hasn’t been in since 1945.  There was pacing and gnashing of teeth and, yes, some undesirable language.

But in the 10th inning, the Cubs scored first and then….then the DVR quit because we had only recorded an EXTRA hour and a half  and a rain delay ruined everything stopping our recording as Cleveland took to the bats (insert more gnashing of teeth here).  We braced ourselves and went “live”. There it was, sweet celebration! Cheers of joy followed by relief. The full weight of it all setting in. Nate commented on “all the memories” that sifted through.  The past days have been spent trolling social media, reliving highlights and watching the celebrations.

I am still kicking my self for not getting us to Chicago this past summer. Back in April, Nate had said that “this was the year”.  We did make plans to go to Coors Field in Denver in August when the Cubs would take on the Rockies. Nate was gifted with a Media Pass from one of his media friends to watch the Saturday night game in which he had the Awesome seats you see above and a great Cubs win. We opted to take the girls to the Sunday afternoon game which was a scorcher.  The seats were almost too hot to sit on, I could feel rivers of sweat rolling down my back and the Cubs lost, big. I didn’t mind though, because it isn’t very often this little babe falls asleep in my arms.


Like the rest of Cub nation, we’ll be wearing our gear with pride.  The girls can be found singing “GO, CUBS, GO”  randomly through out the day, and I’m still watching highlights on Facebook.  We’re soaking up the glory and looking forward to watching it all unfold again next year.

Wheels on the bus…2nd Grade

The first time I had to ride the bus to school on a daily basis was when I was a freshman in High School.  I dreaded the whole idea and I can’t say it ever got to be great. My only consolation was that one of my best friends, Leslie, had to ride the bus too and was on my route.  We also got to school early enough to get last minute homework done. Our bus driver, Mr. Bachmeier, was known for speed, and making kids sick traveling the curvy, Boulder Canyon road. Most of my bus memories consist of me running down the gravel road with a backpack and some sort of athletic bag, which in the spring time was a bag of golf clubs.  To Bachy’s (as we affectionately called him) credit, if he saw me, he would slam on the breaks and I would breathlessly thank him for stopping.  There was more than one occasion that I missed the bus entirely and that never boded well either.  Not exactly good times.


One of the highlights of the move to the new house, for Bailey, was that she was going to be able to ride the bus.  We had filled out the proper paper work in May and Bailey was thrilled to get her bus number in the mail right before school started. Nate and I put our foot down about riding the bus to school, that is Daddy’s time, but on that first day of 2nd grade she could ride it home.


Bailey skipped off that bus the first day of school beaming like a ray of sunshine. She couldn’t stop talking about how great that bus was and all the friends that ride it.  It was THE highlight of the whole day. Bailey has been riding it home ever since.  I think it is partly getting to spend more time with friends and partly stretching her independence that makes the bust attractive to her.  She even walks down the street to our house all by herself on occasion. Although, she has come to find it isn’t so bad having her loving mom, sister and dog walk her home either.

This kid continues to surprise and impress me with how much more brave she is than I ever was at that age!  We are so proud of you Bailey Girl!