Payson’s 10th Birthday!!

So Payson’s favorite thing in the whole world is Zelda Breath of the Wild. We made a Breath of the Wild themed birthday for him. Allan set up a quest that took Payson all over the house and yard and even to the park! He had to fight monsters (the rest of the family) and earn items (food and weapons) along the way. He kept saying it was the best day of his life! It was perfect!

Lyla loved Payson’s birthday! She had a good time.

Ember loved it, too.

Everett also loved it!

Me and my birthday boy. I love Payson so much! I can NOT believe he’s 10!!!

Back at home I watched Lyla while she jumped on the trampoline while Payson fought more “monsters” to finish his quest.






Payson’s final treasure was the master sword!!

Sierra filmed the last battle.

Lyla begged for milk.

I snapped some fun pictures of Brooklyn.


All the kids played battle for quite a while after Payson had found his new master sword. They love Zelda games!

Some fun pictures of Ember.




Everett showed me his best fighting moves.



And then it was time for cake! Gluten free, of course.

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to Paaaaayson,
Happy Birthday to you!


The mess after 🙂

After dinner and cake I was goofing off pretending the party hat was a beak and the kids copied me and had a hysterical time 🙂

My Mom Comes to Visit

I called my mom to tell her about my divorce. She told me she would drive to come stay with me the very next day. I wasn’t up to seeing anyone, I was firmly in the isolating stage of grief but I couldn’t say no. It actually ended up being a really helpful distraction from my divorce. I’m sure I was the worst host ever but I couldn’t even muster up any emotion to care. I just gave up on everything besides feeding and clothing my kids that week.
I really love my mom. And my kids were over the moon excited to see her.

Ironically my brother was in the southern part of my state that day and my mom invited him to come visit us, too. So he and his wife came that day. I loved seeing them. I had only met his wife once before for a minute or two back in 2014 so it was nice actually getting to talk to her a bit.
I don’t have to tell you how my kids felt about that, do I?


I felt awkward with Allan being there and everyone knowing we were getting divorced. Not bad, mad, sad… just awkward. Like, do we just hang out and act like everything is normal? That’s what ended up happening. My mom invited Allan to dinner with us, too. One big happy family. haha! I am a comedian. But seriously… it was weird acting like everything was fine. My kids don’t know about the divorce yet, either. It’s all a weird secret right now.

The kids showed their grandma, uncle, and aunt their magna tile creations and Sierra made herself a beak. I love this picture.

We went to Chili’s for dinner. We were a huge group. There was so much confusion around getting a table because we showed up right when another large party showed up… or TWO other large parties. They kept asking if we were the party of 9 and we kept saying we had 11. It wasn’t a big deal, it was just funny.
My mom told everyone she was paying (against us all arguing, haha) and let each kid get their own meal with a fancy drink!

Lyla didn’t care about the meals or drinks… just mom’s boob. Allan offered to take these for me and I really like them. I don’t breastfeed in public like, ever, so it was a rare thing and I like having the pictures to remember it.


Lyla’s favorite part of dinner was the chips and salsa. Lyla LOVES dips and sauces and dressings… like, she will just dip the same chip or veggie over and over and suck the sauce off!

These two best friends ♥

My brother sneakily paid the bill for everyone when my mom wasn’t watching him interact with our waitress. She was mad. They are both just too nice and wanted to do something nice for me and my family during this painful time.

Look at us getting a group picture after! I think I asked everyone if we could do this (outside my usual) and I’m glad we did it even though the lighting was terrible… half shade, half sun.

A man going into the restaurant with a group of people asked if we wanted him to take it instead (the camera had been propped up on my brother’s suitcase) and we happily said yes! Thank you.

And then me, my mom, Allan, and my kids headed back to my house and my brother and his wife headed back to Washington.

Did we skip our daily bike rides? Nope!

Lyla was ready for our big, family bike ride but she rode around on her little… um… ride-on toy? What’s this thing called? We just call it her bike so if I say that, that’s why. She likes it being called her bike… makes her feel included, probably 🙂



Payson wanted to ride Sierra’s bike since it’s bigger than his. He’s been really into riding bikes that are too big for him and asks to all the time.


He and Lyla took turns pushing each other around on Lyla’s “bike.”

Sierra got her bike back!

Payson also asks all the time if I will give him a ride. He LOVES it. So I did.

Everett wanted to stay home with grandma since we were going on a fairly short ride just around the block so Payson got to be on my bike the whole time. We went and saw some nearby cows.

The next day we went to Barnes and Noble because that’s a favorite of ours. We get drinks and treats to share from the Starbucks inside and then we go and read books and play with the trains and my mom bought Payson his birthday presents while there since his birthday was coming up!



We went to Fred Meyer for a couple of grocery things and grandma bought a bunch of games and treats for the kids and Everett and Lyla got candy and stickers!

Hanging out back at home.

This was the next morning. My mom went home that day and everyone was so sad! We took some group pictures before she left!

And I snapped some pictures of these kids being adorable!



Going on a hike to breathe my feelings into nature.

So the day this happened was the day after Allan asked for a divorce. I was surprised when he asked for divorce, even though maybe others would think I wouldn’t be after all that’s gone down the last 2 1/2 years? I don’t know, but I was.
I was upset for a million reasons.
Watching someone make choices you don’t agree with and walk away from a family they made… it’s a bad feeling. Watching the person who made vows to build a life together betray those vows over and over again. It hurts.
After going for a drive and crying my eyes out, silently so the kids had no idea, I decided to pull my shit TOGETHER and do the thing that most makes me feel like me and helps me focus on my own dang self and how to be the best person I can be, HIKING WITH MY KIDS.
Nature, motherhood.
They are the only two absolutes in my life so, off on a hike we went! It really was encouraging to be out in nature where everything has a place and does exactly as nature told it to. It made me feel more peaceful like… you know what, doesn’t matter what level of emotional hurt is going on inside me, I am being nature and I can still be nature. I can still be what a human is meant to be even if what happens around me doesn’t look like the blueprint I was given when I was younger. I’m taking care of these kids the best I can and I guess that’s ALL THAT REALLY MATTERS! Becoming better for them and not because I’ll get a happily ever after by those actions. Not because I’ll be a “good mom” if I do a good job. But because I can make their lives a little better if I do a good job. I need to work on me so that I’m a force of good in the world and impact others positively instead of becoming dark and depressed and selfish in my misery. I see easily why humans go down that road and so I want to take the other route… where it doesn’t actually matter what happens to me, I still stand up afterwards and try to find ways I can add good to the world instead of bad. SO WHAT something sad happened to me? I can still put out good in the world.

Thank you all for following my journey. I’m sorry when my sad feelings seep out and don’t inspire. I’m not a hallmark card, though. I’m a person with a jumble of emotions and when I’m in a dark place I hope that you can feel better about your own dark places instead of feeling saddened or even hateful toward me letting you down. I can’t inspire with my perfect life because my life is so far from perfect, but I am real. This is my messy life I’m trying to manage the best way I can with whatever human traits I have. Sometimes I fail and make huge messes. I hope you love me anyway.

I hope I can make myself leave my house and go out into nature more often. I hope that for you, too. I know it’s hard. It’s so much easier to hide in a house where it’s safe from scary people that might hurt me. Some people are freaking scary. They just hurt me for no reason. They say, “I love you” and then punch me in the face.
I’m sorry for being hurt, for hurting others, and for all the hurt you reading have had. Nothing changes it.
But there are other people who are there through the storms, and you can’t find them hiding in your house. They’re out there in the world. It’s worth the battle scars of hurtful human interaction to find the ones who help, uplift, and heal. Who connect and love with everything in them.

I don’t know what I’m saying.
I love you. I hope you love me. Thank you for being here.

Look at Payson, can you believe how big this kid is getting? Wasn’t he just a little toddler yesterday? Where does time go! It drifts quickly by when you’re not looking.

Am I really someone who has had hurtful things happen to her? You could never say that about this woman below, could you? How can anything matter when she has those kids? She is one lucky, lucky, lucky human.

Look at this cute little bug in this pretty flower! I loved watching it.

I only have 3 years left with Brooke at home. That’s so sad. I better get to treasuring it and watching and listening to her more!

This is so funny… Ember found this sign post that had the number 7 and asked for a picture since she is 7…

And we couldn’t find the 4 sign so Everett settled on posing with the #2. haha. That kid is the best kid.

Look at what I get to see when I drive around my neighborhood. How beautiful is that?

Sneakily snapped this while they were talking.

Waiting for KFC. Because while I was trying my very best to hold it together, cooking dinner seemed like it might break me and so KFC stepped in to help out. haha

POOR Everett!!!

Everett was sitting at the counter on a barstool with his legs tucked under him and his feet through the bars on the back. He fell backwards on the chair and his poor legs got squished in the bars!!! The worst part is I wasn’t even home! I was at therapy and I didn’t hear about his injury and tears until the next day when it was bath time and I noticed his bruised up legs! I was shocked and went to find Allan and show him and he told me about the barstool fall and I was so sad for poor Everett! It looks like it was so painful and I was told that he cried a lot. I asked him if his legs still hurt and he said they didn’t. I ended up taking pictures just to show him his bruises because he asked to see what they looked like. And so, I have these photos to show and this was over a month ago so he’s all healed up and gets a kick out of these pictures now! I still cringe thinking about how much it must have hurt 🙁

Remember when I was such an organized blogger?

I would have a complete list (with links!) for you about all the plans I have for Everett’s preschool this year. I’d have a schedule and so many feelings to share and maybe encourage with.

Now I’m like… hey, I did a boatload of research for Everett’s preschool and found a perfect fit and I love it so much but all I can muster to share is this picture of maybe 1/4 of the books and say, maybe you’d like these? Maybe google the titles and buy them? Or not, money’s tight. But they’re great books!

BUT I did link ALL of the foundation of what I’m using in the curriculum tab at the top of my blog!! Maybe I’m not light years away from my old blogging self after all?

But seriously… if you can find these books you and your kids would probably love them. Me and my kids love them 🙂