Category Archives: Family Rules

On hard work and helping others

Dear Rylee,

There are times, as a parent, that you can’t help but stop and realize how proud of your kids you are. As you grow up, I seem to have these little moments with you more and more.

Some of my favorite time spent with you is when it’s just the two of us in the car. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does our conversations are some I hope I never forget.

I don’t think either of us realized that our seemingly casual conversation in early November would morph into a full-family community service project. But I am so glad it did.

We were talking about our upcoming Advent Activity tradition. You were asking me what kind of activities we would have this year. As we talked about the activities we always have on there – getting the Christmas tree, decorating the house, etc. – we also talked about the service-oriented projects I try to include. Like the S.A.N.T.A. project and the community food bank. You mentioned that you wished you, Reese, and Linc could have more than $10 each to spend for each activity so you could buy more food and better toys.

Somewhere in there, I made a suggestion of figuring out how to turn that $60 into more. And that’s how the wreath-making fundraiser was born. You said, “what if we make some extra wreaths and sell them?

I guess you figured since we make Christmas wreaths the day after Thanksgiving anyway, what was a few more? I made a quick post on Facebook that night and started getting comments.

We spent the entire weekend clipping greens, wrapping wreath rings, making bows. For the first time you got to yield the hot glue gun and you styled and decorated nearly every wreath completely by yourself. Reese helped out here and there – she had fun learning to use the nippers. And your brother was just excited to play outside for hours on end.

You didn’t complain once about being tired or bored or cold. All in all, we made 22 wreaths, 3 candy canes, and 7 swags – earning $500 to be used for buying toys and food for our little town!

Actually, I just lied. You did complain. About my choice in Christmas music. :)

Your brother and sister may still be a bit too young yet to truly grasp the magnitude of what your idea meant for our community, but I know you understood. And I think that’s what drove you to work as hard as you did.

I hope you never forget how excited you were every time a new order came in for a wreath. How excited you were to add up how much money you’d earned. How diligently you added up everything that was placed in the cart to ensure you didn’t spend too much. How you beamed with pride every time you told someone about your project. How kids at your school stopped and stared when we made the deliveries to the school. And most importantly, how hard you worked to fulfill those orders.

So back to those moments that make a parent stop in their tracks? This whole project was one of those moments for me. I am so, so proud of you, Kid.

You have always had a heart for helping others and I hope that never changes. I can’t wait to see the positive changes you make in this world, my girl. You are going to move mountains.


When no one is watching…

Miss Rylee,

There are moments as a parent that will stop you in your tracks. Last weekend was one of those moments for me.

Ten, twenty, even thirty years from now you may not remember that day, but I will.

Your dad, sister, you and I piled in the car and headed over to Bend for Cousin Connor’s super hero birthday party. It was a great day.20130927-093615.jpg

Part of the party was a “super hero training course” where you had various obstacles to complete around their backyard. While all the kids were running around having a good time a “super villain” came out and dropped “bombs” on you guys. They were balloons and you had to run around and pop them as fast as possible to “save the city”. Everyone was having lots of fun running around making the “bombs” blow up.

There was a boy there. He was bigger than you. He was louder than you. He knew more of the other kids than you did.

You both went for the same balloon. You beat him to it. You popped it. You giggled in delight. He was mad. He threw himself on the ground and started crying, frustrated that you beat him to the balloon and that he didn’t get to pop it. You noticed him, but seemed to move on to grab the next bomb that was being dropped. You were having so much fun.

That’s when something extraordinary happened.

Instead of grabbing the next balloon, one of the last ones, and popping it, you rushed to grab it and you immediately ran over to that boy, who was still lying on the ground, and handed it to him.

When your dad was telling me this story, it was at this point that my heart stopped. I may have got a tiny bit teary eyed.

The truest test of one’s character is how they act when they think no one is watching.

Well, your dad saw this whole thing take place. You had no idea he was watching your every move, you were just doing what you thought was the right thing to do. As soon as it happened he called you over to him. He hugged you as tight as he could, kissed you on the top of your head and told you how proud of you we are.

You smiled at him and said thanks. Then ran back to the obstacle course to keep playing.

From the time you took it upon yourself to thank soldiers sitting in a restaurant for their service, now to this, I am continually amazed by your kind heart and your thoughtful, gentle nature.

You really are a super hero.

I am so proud of the little lady you are becoming.

I love you,



Just solidifying my old lady status

Holy crap I’m exhausted today.

As Brandy would say, “I mommed the shit out of this weekend.”


See? Even wore a total mom outfit…cardi, skinnies & ballet flats.

Andy was busy working outside all weekend {springtime in the country, it’s a beautiful thing.} hauling firewood, working on the tractor and just generally doing some spring cleaning on the property. That meant I was on solo kid duty.

Saturday I was showered and ready before 8 AM…that? never happens. The girls & I were out of the house by 10:30, hitting Target, of course. We did a bit of shopping then headed out to the airport to have lunch at my best friend’s restaurant…she’s working Saturday’s now/again {WOMP}, so I thought maybe she’d like a visit from a couple of cute little girls. {I got multiple compliments on how cute, darling & well behaved my girls are.}



After lunch we headed home and after Reese napped we headed outside.



Sunday the girls and I hit two grocery stores, grabbed doughnuts on the way home then spent a bunch more time outside. While Reese knocked out a 2-ish hour nap I weeded the front flower beds.

There was a mid afternoon bath for Rylee courtesy of the unfortunate placement of her head being directly in line with Reese spitting up.

Then of course there was the general household duties that I attempted to work in there too.

We topped off the weekend with ham, homemade mac-n-cheese, biscuits and veggies.

From sun up to sun down I didn’t stop. Chasing after kids. Holding a needy, teething Reese. Bending. Running. Cooking. Etc. Etc. Etc.

I had my phone tucked away nearly the entire weekend and it was glorious.

But now? I feel old. Like…I didn’t do anything seemingly out of the ordinary, yet here I am on Monday morning completely worn out and physically sore.

And as if it weren’t already completely obvious that I’m the oldest not-even-thirty-year-old on the planet {remember?}, I’ve gone and done it again…Today I’m over on Brandy’s blog ranting about how kids these days are kind of assholes. <–GO READ IT!

Apparently the sun got to me this weekend, because today? COLORED TIGHTS!


Happy Monday Friends!!

Life Lessons & Family Rules


Turns out, while this blog isn’t about writing you letters, I kinda like it. I’ve found that taking the time to write my words specifically to you, helps me collect my thoughts better and shows that I feel like what I’m saying here is important so I want you to listen up.

While I was driving home from the grocery store the other day I was thinking about our family rules that we have hanging up next to the front door for all to see. Your father & I try to live by these rules on a daily basis and we hope that you’ll learn them by our actions.

You see, these rules are important to your father & I and we want to make sure the expectations are clear. Just because they’re hanging up in our living room, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll notice them. By the time you’re old enough to read these words, that handmade canvas will likely just blend into the wall and you’ll walk past it like it’s not even there.

I’ve decided that for future reference, I’ll highlight one family rule at a time and explain to you why it is important to our family. That way, if you ever wonder, you can always come back here for a refresher.

Even though I’m constantly wanting time to just slow down, I am really looking forward to seeing the women you two will become. If your personalities now are any indication of 20 years from now, I couldn’t be more proud of you.

You two are my whole world.


Your Mama