What seems like forever ago, I had just began sewing, and I had two little girls who loved to dress alike.  Each holiday they had matching everything.
These pumpkin dresses hold a very special place in my heart.

Come take a walk down Halloween lane with me.
I can hardly remember them that little.
My heart cannot take it.

I do not want to talk about it.

Maybe my favorite picture I have ever taken of these three.
Bald baby.  
She is just too much.  That face.

A small boy joined our land of pink.

The littlest dress has seen it's last Halloween.

Time moves on.
Kids grow too fast.
Maybe that is why I hold on to these little traditions, my feeble attempt to remember the moments that too quickly fade away.  Much too quickly.

Our sweet Halley has decided to follow Jesus.

No turning back.  No turning back.
The cross before her.  The world behind her.
She entered the little pool holding hands with her daddy.
In front of our dear church, that is so much more than a church.  It is a family.  A family that cheers wildly and cries joyfully to see this little girl stand up for the savior that she loves so dear.

Our hearts are full. Overwhelmed with the gift and blessing that she is.  The daily honor it is to be her parents.
May she always follow hard after her Jesus.
No turning back.

You know those things that you used to do all the time, but then life and change got in the way?  Those things that you really, really miss, but your current circumstances just don't really leave room for?
Surfing is one of those things.  We used to go all the time.  Then we had all those cute little ones that require a bit of watching while we are at the beach. Throw in my insane shark phobia that keeps me from going out in the water without Jason right beside me.

My surfboard collected dust.  It saw the light of day for Shane's one year pictures, but that's it.  So sad right?  That very day I decided that 2012 would be the year that I would get back out in the ocean.

Shortly after, I finished reading the book For Women Only (totally recommend it). There is a whole chapter on how couples need to play together.  I don't know how to golf, I'm horrible at frisbee, card games make me crazy, and I'm way past my snowboarding years.  Never has there been a better time to revisit surfing.

We snuck away for a night last month for our anniversary, and you would not believe surprise and delight when I told Jason that he needed to pack two surfboards.  What was a much needed getaway, turned into the most fun, refreshing, silly, twenty four hours in recent memory.  The waves were perfect.  The water was warm.  I got pitched time and time again from my board,  got tangled in my leash, inhaled saltwater, and finally, victoriously, caught a few waves.

It wasn't about the surfing.  It was about us, our time together, floating on our boards, just like it used to be.  Just like it still should be.  If only for a day here and there.

You're never to old to play.  Nor are you too old to learn how to surf.  You can be a mom and still do cool things.

What fun, silly, activity could you and your husband go do?  I dare you to try it.  You won't regret it.

1.  I am so glad to finally find people that are willing to admit that although paper straws are insanely adorable, they are SUPER CREEPY to drink through.  Come on, you know that you are thinking it.  Have freedom.  Admit it.  I could totally make MILLIONS if I knew how to invent paper looking plastic straws.  Maybe I should go on Shark Tank with that idea.

2.  My Christmas cards are DONE.  There I said it.  Deal with it.  Not addressed and such, because that would be insanity.  But done.  I heart Katygirl designs.  She rocked them.  Doesn't hurt that I had epic photos to choose from either....

3.  This.  So rad.

4.  I am having a total love affair with the Old Navy Rockstar boot cut jeans.  LOVE THEM.  Got them when they were on sale for $19 and am so mad I didn't buy five pairs.  The campfire color is my fave.  The ruby color is okay.  But campfire and me are running away together.  I have been having jean issues, and they solved them.  Plus they come in short, so I didn't even have to go to my trusty tailor.  Holla for us shorties!

5a.  Currently have a huge crush on this blog.
Love how she writes.  Love how she lives.  Love how she makes me think.

5b.  I also love this post.  It sums up my feeling about this whole fall ennui I am trudging through.

6.  I am the worst soccer mom ever.  EVER.  I wish for rain each Saturday (and the occasional Sunday- which I have a huge issue with.  It's AYSO!!!! Why are there games on Sunday????)  I want our weekend back.

7.  I am busy thinking/ making/ dreaming up things/ for DrewB's mini sessions.  SO EXCITED.

8.  Queen Bee Market is this weekend in my old hood and Grace for Grace is going to be there.  OBSESSED with everything she makes.  It's somewhat unfair the beauty that she can create with chalk.  NO, super unfair.

(Jess, Katy, & Kim)
9.  A few weekends ago I spent time with these lovely friends.  We talked, and laughed, and cry laughed, and ate things.  It was the best.  The very best.

10.  My kid is a beast and he loves to not be held.  He also doesn't walk.  So he crawls on the ground. All sorts of grounds.  Yep.  OCD mamas beware.

11.  We went on a day date to California Adventure- NO KIDS.  Yesssssssss.  Roller coasters and nobody needing anything, for dayzzzzzz.

With that I conclude this list of randomness.
Until I find eleven more.

I burn myself all the time.
Hot glue gun.
Flat iron.
Curling iron.

All the time.  I am a dangerous baker/ crafter/ hair tamer.

A little A.D.D., a little clumsiness, a little to much multitasking (I am horrible at multitasking.)
It's so bad.  Mostly though its those little annoying burns.  Nothing major.  I can think of only a few times where they have been major.
The kind of major that makes you stand by the sink with your hand in a bowl of cool water for hours.  The kind that you can't even fathom taking you hand out of that bowl of cool water for a second to go to the bathroom, or eat, or sleep, or anything.

The kind that I just got last week when I grabbed a cookie sheet, fresh out of the oven, with my whole bare hand.  The same cookie sheet that I just took out of the oven with a potholder, not one minute before.  (I hate when I am lazy and store things in the oven instead of putting them away.  I especially hate it now, because that offending cookie sheet was stealthily preheating, while I was stirring, and looked all cold and innocent when it was sitting all lava like on the counter.)

The kind that tethered me to the sink while my children ran loose and needed things.  Like food, naps and diaper changes.  The kind that made me want to throw up.  The kind that I knew would keep me from sleeping, or doing anything buy whining and crying about how much pain I was in.

I was desperate.  I couldn't even imagine taking my hand out of the bowl of water to go to the pharmacy or the doctor.  The thought of having to leave the house, much less buckle carseats and touch the steering wheel was too much.  I had to make do with what was in the house.
Not much was in the house.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I remember reading someplace how the Lansinoh HPA Lanolin is good for cuts, scrapes, and burns.
I had a little tube of it leftover from the hospital when I had Shane.
(Thank you hospital sample.  Thank you.)

I found it, slathered my hand with it, covered it with a sock, took Advil, curled up on the couch, still wanting to throw up or cry, and waited to see if it would work.

It did.  Beyond.  Within an hour the pain was manageable.  By the morning, what should have been a hand covered in angry blisters, was only a little angry.  It still hurts, but nothing like it should.

Thank you little sheep for your magical lanolin.  You now have a permanent place in our first aid kit.  I'm sure I will be seeing it again soon.

This summer was crazy, and hard, and wonderful, and scary, and beautiful, and tough.
Lots of saying no to things.  Skipping camp, movies, going out to eat.  Spending nights walking and on adventures as a family instead of spending money.
Spending days in the pool.
Lots of trips to the airport.  Lots of goodbyes.  Lots of hellos.
Lots of drama.  Lots of laughter.
So much prayer.
Anticipation for the last week of summer, which was certain to be the best week of summer.
The week where all of the saying no, the saving, the tough choices, would culminate in a week together.  Away.  At our most favorite place in the world.

 {Print from the rad Katygirl Designs}

Driving into the Yosemite Valley, we were listening to this song.

Chills and weeping.
Thankful for the Creator of the universe.
For His creativity.
For His great love.
For my little family.
For our time together.

Undone and unworthy of all that He has given me.
Thankful for both the peaks and the valleys in my life.
Astonished at the beauty in both.

Three kids at school.   Baby boy at the grandparents.
Five hours.


We have been stealing off to the beach.
Just us, chairs, towels, burritos, and books.

Like two careless, carefree, twenty year olds.
With no kids, no jobs, no responsibilities, no electric bills, no broken washing machines.

Twenty year olds who have nothing better to do than spend five lazy hours watching waves, reading, dreaming.

Being fake twenty is so awesome.  Even if only for a few hours.

(P.S.  I just started reading The Book Thief.  By page two I was hooked.  By page ten I was weeping.  It is beautiful and painful.  I cannot wait to see where it goes.)

So, I'm doing something a year ago I said I would never, ever, ever, ever do again.
Speaking at a conference.
Honestly, I still have straight up PTSD from last year's Blog Sugar.  Not joking.  I sort of panic when even thinking about that day.  It was rough.  I know that God used it, but it was not my favorite.

Sometimes it isn't about you, or about your fears, issues, and drama. 
It's about using your experiences, your journey, your heart, and setting aside the fears, issues, and drama.

When Emmy shared with me her dreams and vision for the Choose Joy Conference, I wept.  I wished there was something like it ten years ago.  When she asked me if I would consider being a speaker, without hesitation, I said yes.

I will be sharing my heart and chatting about infant and pregnancy loss.

Sigh.  I know.  So hard.

If anything the past ten years have taught me, is there is so much joy, hope, and healing in the midst of deep pain.  I feel ill equipped to share, useless to speak, but I am willing to be there.  To try.  To see God show up.  To bring the comfort, wisdom, and encouragement that only he can.

The conference will be a time of happiness, tears, information, support, and growth.
It will be a time of JOY.

So if you, or anyone you know are walking through infertility, loss, or pursuing adoption, I would love to see you there.

Tickets go on sale today, at a special early bird rate.

I will be there.  Unfit, willing, nervous, most likely throwing up, definitely crying.
Using my story in whatever way God would have it.
Because my story isn't mine. It is His story.

Learn more about the Choose Joy Conference and to register click HERE.

Happy birthday PinterTest Kitchen!
Just a year ago Jessica threw out the challenge to get us pinning less and doing more.
What good are projects and recipes if you don't make or bake them?

This month, Pinterest was good to me.
Three successes.

First project- cute up some simple tea towels.
I love tea towels.  I love cute tea towels.
I love this project from A Pretty Cool Life.

 I just happened to have all the thread that I needed, and a stack of plain tea towels.

Super easy project.  Super satisfying.  I had my headphones on and listened my way into rainbow happiness.
Hello dishes.  You will be dried by something very cute tonight.

Next up- a yummy treat.
That I cannot stop eating.

This recipe.
It has everything you could need.
Easy.  Salty.  Sweet.  Crunchy.  Chewy.  Caramelly.  Chocolately.  Peanut buttery.
I swapped the mini M&M's for mini Reese's Pieces, because peanut butter makes everything better.  Then I renamed it CRACK.  Because it is, and it is worthy of joining the crack family of treats.
Make it.  No stove.  No oven.  No regrets.

Lastly, a dinner that didn't make anyone cry.
Hear me again- NOBODY cried.  This lack of crying includes a certain three year old who hates bread, chicken, butter, and cheese. She both ate and LIKED something made out of bread, chicken, butter, and cheese.  Momentous.  So momentous.

I needed to douse mine in Frank's Red Hot Sauce, but that is standard.  Everyone WOULD be crying if I even put one tiny drop of it on theirs.  Oh, the drama...

Did you make anything that you pinned lately?
Now is the time to link up.  THERE ARE PRIZES!!!!

Oh, and have you brushed up on your Pinterest manners?
I can totally admit that I am guilty of many an infraction.
Love this gentle nudge from Less Cake More Frosting.
Yes indeed, Pinterest does not make things.  My vocabulary will change.

(Read about the past 40 mile challenges here.)
So I did it.
Not well.
44 miles in September.  Plus a few dozen more footsteps.

This is how it went down.

(Or when I blame lots of other things for the fact that I was just sort of lazy.)

We walked together as a family almost every night in August.
Soccer and homework have jacked up those plans.

The weather was nice in August.
It has been hideous all September.

I like freedom.
I do not like schedules.

Schedules jack up my freedom.
Schedules take a while for me to embrace.

The 1st quickly became the 10th.  On the 10th I had logged a total of zero miles.
The 10th became the 17th.  On the 17th I had logged a grand total of 5.27 miles.

I was in big trouble.  Gigantic trouble.
Thirteen days.  38.73 miles to go.  I should have quit.  I really should have.  But I am stubborn.  I don't set many goals, because when I do, it kills me if I don't reach them.  Keeps me up at night.
So I did what any night owl who is a nightmare before 7am would do...
Set my alarm for 5:45 am.  Put on my workout clothes.  Drank a lot of coffee.  Ate a Luna bar.  Grabbed my earphones.  Headed out the door.  Alone.  Because nobody who values their life is allowed to talk to me before 7 am.  Nobody.

Guess what?  Being alone is amazing.  Being alone means you get more miles in quicker.  Mainly because of the music and the whole no stroller/ nobody crying/ needing/ dropping things/ thing.
Lots more miles.

Lots less sweat too, since the sun has hardly awakened and started scorching the earth with it's wrath and fury.  Go away sun.  If I wanted to live in Phoenix, I would live in Phoenix.

The seemingly impossible became somewhat possible.  Three miles one day, four another, eight another (morning solo, evening with the family).

Mumford & Sons came out on the 24th and made it enjoyable, even.  I was so excited going to bed on the 23rd knowing that I would be able to listen to the whole album straight through the next morning.  That lovely next morning was my longest and fastest to date.  So good.

My knees and ankles may hate me.  I should have been smarter, I should have taken some days off when I was hurting.  But I am alive.  Alive, old, and slightly broken.  Even so, another month down.
No quitting.  Nope.

The goal for October?  41 miles.
My alarm and Mumford greeted me in the darkness this morning.  I thought a few times I might get murdered.  I need to borrow a dog.  Or watch less crime shows.  I do not want to be #44milesondateline

It's on October. You don't have a chance.
3.7 sweaty miles in before the temperature reached triple digits.   37.3 miles to go.  Yesss.