Category Archives: Full of Awesome

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.


It’s FriYAY! – Bye, Bye Summer Edition

Ok so let’s see here. Last I left off on this FriYay thing it was early July. I had a good run. Basically? We were too busy have fun all summer. We had an awesome summer, with some really great adventures and a lot of family time. We hit the coast for a few days, went camping for the first time as a family of 5, I took the kiddos to do karaoke with my mom a couple of time, and we even packed up the family and road-tripped to Wyoming for a long weekend. I had a couple of solo trips in there as well… I did my annual Thread weekend in July and then I had to go to Texas in August for a show. See? Go, go go! I hope to get some photos loaded up from all of our summer fun over the next few weeks. But no promises.

The beginning of a new school year is always a little rough. Andy works super long hours and comes home exhausted (and in pain). The kids all come home from school exhausted and kind of grumpy. I’ve been making the joke that Reese has been riding the struggle bus lately. But I relish in the routine. And the silence!

Awesome things from this week…

1. Rylee’s first day of school!

2 I kicked off another fitness challenge. I spent the whole summer being super lazy about working out. So now that all the kiddos are back to their routine, so am I.

3. Andy and I spent Monday out at his school working to clean up his shop class to get it ready for students. It’s so fun getting to spend one-on-one time with him.

4. Definitely ended this work week on a high note. We got a huge mailing out and I had some really promising calls about some media packages for 2017. I love it when things start falling together!

5. Last weekend we went to a wedding. We left before the dancing started, much to Reese’s dismay. But we rallied by stopping for DQ on our way home. Man, my family cleans up nice!

6. Lincoln was acting tired earlier today and was just sitting at my feet while I was working. I asked if he wanted to sit with me so he climbed up in my lap. Then fell asleep! I honestly don’t know the last time that happened.

Photos from the week…


Lincoln is obsessed with pockets.

Wedding reception shenanigans with my girls.

I get all sorts of heart eyes when I look at this one. She looks like such a little lady.

And then there’s this girl. Her spunk and sense of humor are the literal BEST.

He still puts up with me for now. :)

Lap Nap! Also rocking a sa-weet necklace Reese made for me at school yesterday.

Things I’m looking forward to next week…

1. Rylee starts soccer!

2. My sister, K1, and I are going to an OSU football game with our dad!

3. Tomorrow we’re going to our little town’s fall harvest festival. Should be fun!


It’s FriYay! July One

Awesome Things this week include…

1. Lunch with B! It had been far too long.

2. The kiddos wrapped up their last week of daycare for the summer.

3. Playtime in the water.

4. Mojitos!

5. Wrapping up work every day between 3:30 & 4 PM. What an awesome schedule for summer!

Fun pics from the week…
Lincoln is often asking for breakfast within minutes of him waking up in the mornings. My current work schedule of starting at 6 AM and having a daily call at 6:30 AM interferes with his morning plans. Luckily for me he’s a pretty patient little man. And also quiet. Clockwise from the upper left we have Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

He still loves me!

Reese before our run on Saturday.

My girls and me. All the heart eyes.

Auntie & Reese. Walking buddies.

Straight iron curls! I’m legit proud of myself for finally figuring this out. Girling is hard, yo.

Fun in the sun! Lincoln is now obsessed with playing in the water!

Next week I’m looking forward to…

1. Spending time with friends for the 4th!

2. Short work week that’s ending in a camping trip with some great friends!

2. Planning our first camping trip as a family of 5!

It’s FriYay! – two weeks worth edition

So I missed last week… that’s why I can never commit to these sorts of things. Par for the course.

Last week I spent Sunday – LATE Thursday on my trip to Texas. Friday I spent working most of the day, then when Rylee got home from her last day of school for the year I hung out with the fam the rest of the day. Then the weekend we had a Tball tourney and Father’s Day.

Awesome things from that week:

1. Super productive time in Texas. I am SO stoked for this new job.

2. The food in Texas. Oh my gosh the food. Tex Mex, BBQ, fried chicken… it was all so delicious!

3. Rylee’s team got 3rd in the tournament!

Photos from that week:

FaceTime with the circus is always entertaining.

TEXAS! This cookie so so dang good.

Rylee and her trophy!

Awesome things from this week…

1. This work week went by really really fast. I guess that happens when you’re stoked about your work and you’re nice and busy.

2. I got to catch up with some old coworkers for lunch.

3. The girls started swimming lessons.

4. I knocked 42 seconds of my mile!

5. After unintentionally taking the entire week off of working out while I was in Texas, I was happy with how committed and motivated I was to get back at it when I got home.

6. I’ve been starting work at 6 AM to be in line with my counterparts at HQ in Texas. It’s been pretty awesome because a) I’m always up by that time anyway and b) I’m done working at like 3:30 each day giving me more with to spend with the family!

Photos from this week…

Day 1 of swimming! This one is pretty sweet story… we got there 10-15 minutes early and Reese was watching the same lessons that she would be starting. She was all excited about it but when she saw the kiddos bobbing under water, she got kinda quiet and then reached for Rylee’s hand.

I don’t normally take pics like this, but I was doing the fit tests for the fitness challenge I’m doing.

Rylee did my workout with me yesterday. I LOVE that she’s into fitness!

Summers are for after dinner walks to the back of the property!

Oh this girl… she woke up at 5:15 Am “wide awake, mom!” Then when I told her to climb in bed with me she was passed out within 10 minutes.

Next week I’m looking forward to…

That’s actually a really good question.

1. The girls and I are running in our first 5k race tomorrow with Auntie Julia and Auntie Kelli! We also have some friends doing the race too. Andy and the other dad are planning on tailgating the event and making breakfast burritos for us when we’re done with the race!

2. Getting back to my regularly scheduled lunches with my bestest.

It’s FriYay! On a Saturday.

This is why I shouldn’t commit to things! Already dropping the ball on week 2. If I cared more, I might be disappointed in myself. But as the reigning champ of world’s okayest mom, I’m mostly just…


Anyway. Moving on! This last week was pretty great…

1. It was family filled! Shopping with K2 on Saturday. Grandad came over for a BBQ on Sunday night. I had dinner with K1 and fam on Wednesday. Huncle came over for dinner last night.

2. Rylee’s team played their last regular season game. They’re heading into next weekend’s tournament undefeated!

3. My June fitness challenge is going great so far! I worked out Monday through Thursday and took yesterday as a rest day.

4. We celebrated National Donut Day! A day late but remember that whole bit about world’s okayest mom?

5. I wrapped up my last day of work on Wednesday and had Thursday and Friday off. I went out to Andy’s school on Thursday to help him pack up his office for the summer.

And now for a couple of photos…I didn’t take many this week.

Packing for Texas… Darn it! My gun holster doesn’t match my outfit! 

National Donut Day is delicious!

Next week I’m looking forward to…

1. My trip to Texas to start my new job!!

2. Coming home from Texas and back to my fam!

3. Rylee’s tournament!

4. Week 2 of the fit challenge!