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Long long ago (1975ish) in a land far far away (Minnesota), my Mom got a dresser from my Great Grandma – because Great Grandma had an extra one and Mom needed one. It had been used and had oil stains on the top, so Mom said thank you, took the dresser, and painted it white so Pat and I could use it in our bedroom.

My bro Pat around 1975ish – with the newly painted dresser (I wish I still had those piggy banks!). And yes, I do believe that Pat, in all of his 1970s coolness, is indeed wearing a short-sleeved turtleneck shirt.



I saw this dresser every now and then at Mom’s house. I wanted this dresser. I’ve always wanted this dresser. I never got the dresser.

Until last summer. I spotted it in a crawl space under Mom’s stairs. She agreed that I could have it, and she sent it home with a friend of hers who was driving to Colorado Springs.

This is what it looked like when I got it.


A little worn, and definitely used, but Keira loved having it as a nightstand in her room – and also as a place to store American Girl Doll clothes :-)

I finally got around to having it stripped, sanded, and stained – back to the most natural state we could. I got it back a couple days ago and absolutely love it! Especially the top drawer with all the fun grain.


I’m hoping that some day down the road one of my kiddos will want to have this awesome dresser!

Homecoming 2016 – 1 of 2

While I was gone last week, Jason went to his first of two Homecoming dances this year. He actually decided to ask a girl from another school! He asked her friend to get her to Serrano’s so he could surprise her. Knowing Sarah loves The Office and Dwight in particular, he got a little creative :-)


I love that he drew a beet – hee hee!

They certainly looked cute together! I have to add that I love that she wore a dress she already had instead of buying another.


Jason was happy as a clam to go to her homecoming dance as well, because his friend he’s had since he was 8 months old (yep, they went to daycare together!) goes to the same school and is part of the same squad :-)


I love that Jason and Travis still hang out together and have so much fun together!

Of course the guys always have to get a guys being cool photo!


I love this pic! Looks like they’re having so much fun!

Another of my favorite thing about Jason and his friends? They know what’s up. This is how every event should be – a group of friends getting together to have fun – and maybe a couple of them go as dates and having matching dress and bow tie 😉


And when one of the squad owns a drone? Well then you get fun pictures of the entire group from above!


Jason said they had a blast, which I don’t doubt for one minute. They started their day at noon with the guys playing football and the girls doing “whatever it is they did” as Jason put it. Then the guys got ready at Connor’s house. They met the girls at Fox Run Park at 4:00 for pictures. They had a potluck dinner at one of the squad members’ houses. Then they piled in 3 cars and headed to the dance, where they had 4 hours of awesome funness!

Ah – to be in high school again :-)

Looking forward to Homecoming 2 of 2 this weekend at Jason’s school! The bonus is, Sarah knows some of the kids in his squad because she played soccer with them when she was younger – so yay!

Fair Game

My baby is 16 . . . and a junior in high school . . . and ready to get cracking with the rest of his life :-)

A few weeks ago, we filled out his profile for college fairs. It’s pretty cool – you get your own personal barcode that the school scan at these fairs so you don’t have to fill out a card for everyone. They  just get the info. based on your profile and you can spend your time chatting with the folks rather than filling out a card.

On his profile, this is what he put for major areas of study, in order . . .

  1. Pre-med
  2. Biomedical Science
  3. Environmental Science

Last night, we went to the Southern Colorado Out-of-state College Fair. He talked to lots of people and got lots of information about lots of schools.

He was very impressed and surprised by University of Iowa and their Biomedical Science program and the school and their med school, etc. I was impressed, too!

Then I had to leave and take Keira to swim practice. Jason stayed for another hour checking out other schools and chatting with admissions counselors. He texted me when he left, all excited. He found a school he absolutely loved and talked to the lady for like 15 minutes and he can’t wait to tell me all about it when I get home.

I was SOOOOOO excited for him!

And then I cried alone in the car – my baby!!!

Then we talked when I got home.

University of Washington in Seattle. U-Dub (can we eat B-Dub at U-Dub???).

He was totally into their Environmental Science program. Couldn’t stop talking about it. All the details. Showed me all the literature. Told me the lady gave him her card and was excited about how she said she’d only given out a few that evening to people who really seemed interested.

So maybe a trip to Seattle is in order for a college visit – I could totally go for that :-)

***I wanted to live in Seattle. We ended up in Colorado Springs, and love it. But I could totally visit him in Seattle 😉 My college roommates also live there with their family. Double bonus!

Anyhoo – this was just one fair of many.

But can I say HOW FRIGGIN’ PROUD I am of my shy guy for putting himself out there and having an open mind? It’s quite a thing to stand there and listen to your kid talk to people about wanting to be a Neurologist some day . . . or an Environmental Scientist.

Who knows – I may have a doctor or I may have a tree hugger 😉 Can’t wait to see what the next few years bring!


Oxer – A horse jump or fence with vertical poles and another pole spread out a foot or two away that is usually higher than the first set of poles.

I have so much to say about Keira and Remi and riding and jumping and Amara getting married and moving to Florida with Seth and the Air Force and us finding a new trainer and and and and.

But it’s Monday and all of that will have to wait.

So I leave you with this . . . Keira and Remi training over an oxer . . .


Their oxer was a 2′ vertical, spaced by tires, 2′ 3″ vertical. Notice the markings on our ruler jump – Keira is over 4 feet in the air on a young 1,000 pound horse.

As a parent, this is NOT easy to watch, and this is a relatively low jump.

See that 36″ mark? That’s her goal before high school.

I’m gonna need more whiskey.

Oh The Places They Have Been

Lovin’ this photo of Keira hiking at Independence Mine in Alaska – July 2012


Summer Baseball

Jason played with the CageRats baseball club team this past summer. It was awesome and fun and a struggle at times. He absolutely loved the workouts and the other kids on the team. They played a mix of out-of-state tournaments as well as a bunch of in-state games against other high school teams.

He struggled with his elbow at times . . . sometimes it would be awesome, and sometimes it would hurt so bad he’d ask to be taken out of the game, which was a big deal when it got to that point.

He got a LOT of playing time in left field, which he totally loved!

We traveled to Phoenix in June. I made Jason and his buddy, Shep, sit on the Jack Rabbit in Holbrook, AZ for our token Route 66 stop :-)



They also had the opportunity to play on the Oakland Athletics’ spring training field! Super nice field! Jason couldn’t get over how awesome the outfield was – how clean and flat and “springy” the grass was. Welcome to the Big Leagues, kid :-)

Jason and Shep before their first game.


Not everyone gets to say they executed a successful hit and run on a big league field!



We also traveled to Atlanta (hot!) for a week – in July. Holy hot Batman! The boys actually played pretty well at the Perfect Game tournament. They could’ve been even more competitive if their coach hadn’t been overruled by the club team owner on who to play where, when. It was tough for the guys to give their best every game when they knew the best team wasn’t on the field at any given time. But, it was a great experience overall. Jason really liked how the team stayed together in the hotel and had a team van where they went everywhere together in. One of the kids’ Grandma had a great house on 10 acres with a pond about 45 north of the hotel. After one of the early games, we loaded up the boys in the van, ran to Walmart for food and drinks, and went to the pond to play, unwind, and enjoy BBQ. It was a great break in the middle of a tough week!

We spent quite a bit of time scrimmaging our own in-house club teams and playing games in Denver. There was a lot of driving and a lot of time spent at the ball field this summer! But, when you get to watch your kid play under the lights and see some amazing sunsets, it’s all worth it.



Tackless Cowboy

Keira decided she needed to get some neck reins for Cowboy. She wants to ride him completely tackless. I guess I’m fine with it because Cowboy is awesome! He may be a turd and try to buck everyone else off, but he and Keira have a special “thing” together – he lets her do whatever she wants to him . . . from laying on his back while he eats hay to dressing him up for costume classes at shows to riding him tackless. We paid quite a bit of money for him 2 1/2 years ago to be a jumping horse for Keira while she got her confidence back jumping after her accident. He’s 18 now and retired from show jumping – he’s had a rough life with lots of jumping. His previous owner was not good to him, so basically we ended up rescuing him.

We rescued him. He rescued Keira.

They have an understanding and I LOVE it!

Anyhoo – back to this . . . neck reins and tackless jumping.

It’s not easy for a mom to watch her kid jump over anything on a horse with full tack! But I completely trust Cowboy and know Keira is a great rider . . . so I got out the video camera!

Because he’s a large pony, she can get on him bareback without a mounting block – and he just lets her climb all over him. It always makes me giggle!


Once she’s on, she goes to town! She took his bridle off and got to work :-) Look Mom! No hands!





She gives me a heart attack sometimes, but she loves it, so we watch and just make sure she’s as safe as she can be.

Hawaii – 2.16.16

Day Six – 2.16.16 – Surfing Lessons and Red Eye Home

Our last to do item was surfing lessons! We chose to take lessons from Ivan at Hook Up Surfing. Their lesson meet place was a short walk from our hotel, so it worked out perfect.

The bonus was it was close to the hotel. The bummer was that we had to be checked out of the room by 10:00 a.m. Our lessons were at 9:00. So we went down early and found a breakfast place on the beach. Then we headed back to the room and stashed our bags in the “day room” that the hotel offered for bags. We had a great time in our lesson! It was the 4 of us plus one other lady with Ivan and Jenny. Keira did the best out of everyone – she did the most actual surfing. Jason was second – thankfully his elbow held out and did not hurt! Dan and I each got up a couple times – so we’ll call it a success :-)

After our lesson, we had literally ALL DAY to wait. We had the red eye out of Honolulu back to Denver. Yuck! We walked around the shops again, hung out on the beach, played in the lagoon, and still had hours to go. It started to rain a bit, so we covered up under towels and each took a nap on the beach in the drizzle. When we woke up, there was a beautiful rainbow. At least that was a little bonus to our long annoying day!

Beach Rainbow

Dan was awesome and got us 90 minutes in a room starting at 4:00 p.m. so we could shower and clean up before getting on the plane for the long ride. We enjoyed finally having chairs to sit in and being able to rinse off all the salt and sand and put on actual shoes.

Our flight home was very uneventful. Same awesome first class seats with all the food and drinks and movies, except this time we actually laid back the seats and slept – the kids had to go to school when we got back on Wednesday!

We thought we’d get them to school by noon since we were supposed to land at 9:00 a.m.

Turns out, we had a CRAZY tailwind and arrived at 6:45 a.m.!!! We got our luggage, got home, they showered, and we got them to school by 10:00. Not bad :-)

Hawaii – 2.15.16

Day Five – 2.15.16 – Travel to Honolulu

We had an early afternoon flight out of Maui to Honolu, so we spent the morning drinking Starbucks on our lanai and watching some people learn to surf :-) It was a great ending to our stay in Maui!

We got to the hotel on Waikiki Beach quite early, but they had our room ready, which was awesome. It was a beautiful 2 bedroom suite with a view of the ocean. Not a bad place to stay on our last night in Hawaii! We spent the afternoon walking around the resort while trying to decide where to eat dinner.

Ultimately, Dan and I decided on The Chart House. Our wedding dinner had been at The Chart House on Maui (now closed), so we decided to take the kids here for a nice dinner before we left Hawaii. We had a table that overlooked the marina. The food was amazing and the sunset through the marina was stunning!

A great way to spend our last evening in Hawaii :-)

02 Chart House Sunset

Hawaii – 2.14.16

Day Four – 2.14.16 – 20th Vow Renewal and Feast at Lele

Our 20th Anniversary day is here! I’d been in contact with Anita at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Kihei since August. She had it all set up for us to renew our vows on our anniversary, which just happened to be the first Sunday of Lent. I called when we got to Hawaii to make sure everything was good, but didn’t get any return calls. Just to be safe, we showed up to the church about an hour early to make sure everything was set and to find out if we needed to anything specific.

They had NO CLUE we were coming! Turns out, Anita had left and moved to Texas in November and didn’t tell them anything about our vow renewal. Of course I had all the information with me, so they found Candi, the church administrator, for us. She was AMAZING and got everything set up and ready to go.

The mass was crazy long because it was the start of Lent, there were tons of visitors, they introduced the Catechumens that morning, and there were lots of announcements.

Finally, after Communion and what seemed like the longest mass ever, Father Watanabe told everyone he had one more announcement. You could feel the near silent groans from the congregation – they’d already been there FOREVER. Then he announced that they were doing a wedding blessing for a couple celebrating their 20th anniversary. More near silent groans as I’m sure they all thought we were just some couple vacationing over Valentine’s Day and decided to renew our vows for an anniversary that was happening sometime this year.

We all 4 walked to the front of church, and when Father Watanabe introduced us and mentioned that we had been married right there at that church exactly 20 years ago to the day by Father Jack, the mood changed. People got a little more tolerant, and the older people got all happy and clapped and smiled that we had the kids with us.

The rest went off without a hitch :-)

2014 01


After the ceremony, we spent some time in Kihei, shopping and eating awesome lunch at an outdoor joint before heading back to the house to relax. Jason was content hanging out in the hammock in the backyard watching the waves. Dan, Keira, and I walked into Lahaina to do some shopping at all the beach front shops. It was a lot of fun! We found some cool stuff nestled in among the tourist things. Of course Keira found ice cream to enjoy 😉

That evening, we had reservations for the Feast at Lele, which was the same location as the luau we went to when we got married. It was only a block from the house we were staying in, so that meant we could walk and enjoy the evening. We got cleaned up headed out early so we could enjoy the pre-party. As always, mai-tais for adults and kids were free.


All drinks come with live flowers in them – which Jason had to give to Keira so he didn’t DIE :-) And of course Dan had to give her bunny ears in the photo. Can’t take him anywhere!

2014 02


Not long after we arrived, we were given leis, which Jason respectfully declined, and shown to our table. It was in a great spot so we could see everything – the stage, the water – it was perfect! We were ready for our feast – five courses of food from five different cultures, each accompanied by song and dance of that culture.

2014 03


Drinks were included, so the kids tried one of everything. Yes, we are THAT family!

2014 04


2014 05


Dan and I enjoyed our first mai-tais.

2014 06


Then we tried something else from the menu – a yummy blended something or other.

2014 07


We just celebrated 20 years of marriage. We have our kids with us. The house is less than 2 blocks away. The meal is five courses, and we figured why not enjoy?! So we did. We topped off our evening with some embellished coffee drinks served with dessert just for us.

Here’s to 20 more years, Honey!

2014 08

***I’m pretty sure the kids walked a good 50 feet in front of us the entire way home!