Monday, August 30, 2010

Upcycled Sweater Coat

A few years ago I was struck by how gorgeous one of my friends sweaters was. It was different shades of pink and is so soft and lovely. I asked her where she got it and she mentioned Portland. I never forgot that sweater. Recently I stumbled upon the designer at the Portland Saturday Market downtown and fell in love all over again.

I did not however fall in love with the price tag. I went home day dreaming about those sweaters and how easy I know they are to make. I decided to take a chance and go dig around at the local Goodwill OUTLET.

Who knew there was such a thing? I had tried to go there once when Grayson was tiny but because it's sifting through bins and rather gross and time consuming I decided it wasn't worth the cheap price per pound.


I ditched the kiddos with Zack and headed off. Luckily (or unluckily...) for me it is less than a mile from our house. I came home with 10-12 sweaters, 2 pair of pants and a scarf all for cutting. 2 pair of pants, 3 shirts all for me to wear. 1 pair of cords a shirt, and a pirate hat for G. a rash guard for J for next summer and a pair of thick knit mittens/fingerless gloves.

Grand total $20.

Yes, 2-0.

I am a thrill of the hunt girl. :) It makes me happy to find something and either turn it into something else better (upcycle) or that can be used that wasn't previously.

This is what I came up with. It's all shades of gray. It's my new brown (which replaced black). I love gray. In the front are two spots of light pink angora. mmmm. yum. Angora!

Still have to add the buttons and surge that other sleeve I just realized I forgot. :) But I love it and if it's in every photo on here from now on you know why! (these pics are HORRIBLE! I need a new camera- stupid iphone)
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

My dirty little secret...

well, I guess it's my 'clean' little secret.
Meet Laundry Mountain. Who is usually accompanied by Sock Hill. But that would require sorting, which has not been done in 2 weeks. This photo does not do it justice. It is close to 4' tall and about 6' long.

maybe this one.
nope not really doing it either... just know I am afraid.
Very afraid!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just Breathe

art work by a dear family friend Tom Voss

I remember it like it was yesterday and yet it seems like a lifetime ago. I was so excited and so nervous. I was about to walk down the aisle. All I could think was just breathe! The rest will come. This was it.


I couldn't believe it. I was getting married. I remember thinking that morning what this really meant to me. I knew it meant I got the privilege of loving this man for the rest of our lives. Of growing old together on our front porch in our rockers.

We are a ways of from that still but the last 9 years have been amazing. Not only in good ways but we have come through the bad and difficult stronger and more secure in ourselves and our marriage. And it has been a privilege loving Zack. He is sweet and kind, generous and smart. He works hard for our little family and is the strength that supports us. I love you honey!

Thank you every day and especially today from the depths of my soul, for being my husband and loving me.

Happy 9 year Anniversary!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Goodbye dear friends.

Sometimes people come into your lives and they leave such a mark on your heart it's as if they take a piece of you with them when they leave. This family has done that to us. Jamie and her family lived next door until yesterday morning. Many memories made, many pantry staples shared and many hugs exchanged in the last 2.5 years. You will be deeply missed friends and my heart already breaks as I look at your empty house next door. :(

I wish you many wonderful blessings on your new adventure and hope that you love your new home and neighbors. (not as much as me though. hehe) Thank you for being there when I needed you most (when I found out about Jonathan) and for all the little things too. Love you dearly friend and pray the best for you!

Oh! And you spell your name wrong. :)

(The house next door is for sale: 4 bedrooms, office, bonus room, 3 full baths, 2500 sqr feet. granite counters, stainless appliances. upgrades and custom moldings galore. If you are interested, I promise I won't compare you to them... please email me for more info)

Monday, August 9, 2010

A wonderful day for friends.

Last weekend we went to Columbia Park with our friends Nick and Renee and Ada. We had such as great time, I wish we lived closer to us, especially now that we have tiny babes about the same age.
We had decided to do a picnic lunch so I took one of my favorite recipes that I have found lately.

Cowboy Caviar
1- 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed

1- 15 oz cans black eyed peas, rinsed
1- 17 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (or more) quinoa
1 large tomatoes, chopped

2 large avocado, diced

2/3 C green onions, chopped

2/3 C fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Dressing
  • 1/4 C red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 t cumin
  • 3/4t salt
  • squirt of lime juice
Mix all ingredients together except avocado and lime juice which is to be added just before serving. Keep refrigerated.

We also had fruit salad and pasta. Delish. There is almost nothing I like more than good friends and good food! We met Nick when he first moved into his previous house next door to our previous house. We were neighbors for about 3 years before we moved. And then he (rudely) upped and moved to the EAST SIDE!


Just kidding but we do miss them!

It is amazing to me just how alike my hubby and son's mannerisms are in this photo, right down to their crooked hats and stance.

I heart Hydrangeas!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Help for a friend

I posted the other night that my dear friend lost 2 of her 5 children in a house fire. I have connected with her over email and she has expressed that while their immediate needs are met (they won't starve or freeze) there is the costs and the fact that the family is spread out over a few states as they prepare the home they are in for the rest of the family to join them.

A fellow blogger, Clay, has started a fund for this family and I also have posted her Paypal donation button below if you would like to send a pp donation directly. If you would prefer a gift card or something you can send it to me or Clay and we can forward it on. Please email me at for more info on how you can help this wonderful family. (also, for what it is worth I do know this Mama in real life and she is amazing)

button is in the works- it's being a PIMA.... in the meantime, here is Dana's blog who has a working button! LOL

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Grayson's 3!!! (and a half!)

When Zack and I decided to try to have a baby we talked about things we would like to have and not have. One of the things neither of us wanted for our children was to have a December or January birthdays because of the proximity of the holidays and everyone's vacations. Those birthday's just seem to get lost in the shuffle.

3 children with January birthdays later, something seems to have gotten lost in translation.

Since Grayson got a brother for his birthday (Jaxon was born 1-16, G is 1-13) we decided at the time to have a half birthday and have it at the park with some friends, doing something with just us as a family on his actual day.

Fast forward a few months and Spider-man has taken over our life, our house and our child!
It's not uncommon for Grayson to be in full SM gear. It wasn't hard to figure out what kind of party to throw.
We called it a super hero party so the other kids could wear whatever costume they wanted to.

Grayson couldn't decide on which super hero costume to wear, so he wore both!

The food! Mostly red and blue (I tried to keep the red (dye) #40 to a minimum.)

Sadly, that smile turned to a frown not long after when he was running by the picnic table and tripped on the cement. He smacked his eye/forehead so hard I heard it across the park. He cried a LOT and it ended up very swollen and purple. We ended up in Urgent Care the next day just to make sure it wasn't broken around the socket or anything.

The cupcakes I made. Did you know you can learn to frost cupcakes from YouTube? I did!

G loved them.

Helping bring the gifts over.

Ollie running around in his Super hero cape I made as the party favor.

These capes too a looong time! Pretty easy but I don't usually go easy on myself so instead of glue I sewed, All 20 capes and stars on the backs. I was up until the weeee hours of the night before the party.

Caitlyn in her Super baby diaper.

The kids, and Jax the moose!

I LOVE Josie's outfit! Her Mama and Grandma make the cutest stuff for her! Her mama is the local celeb Elle Zober, who does all of our amazing photos.

Grayson LOVED all of his fabulous gifts. He is still amazed when I pull something new out.
Thank you everyone who was able to make it. Thank you for all of his fun gifts. He loves everything and Spider-man has officially infiltrated EVERY single aspect of our lives. (he has spider-man: boo boo ice pack, kite, band aids, ball, books, coloring books, cars,
and last but not least a bicycle and helmet from his grandma and uncle.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

July 19th

Today started out as a normal day. I woke up early to nurse Jax, we both fell back asleep in the rocker. G woke up a bit later and we made our way downstairs. Coffee and juice and vitamins were to be had and morning cartoons helped remove the fog of night. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Jax went down for his a.m nap, G and I showered, I checked email. I toyed around on Facebook. Morning was fine. And then afternoon struck. I opened my email again about 1230 to find an email from a friend to a group of us asking if any of "us" had seen another friends blog. It had a link.

Part of me wishes I had never opened that email, never read those words, never followed the link. I did though. I read in horror that my dear friend Sarah has suffered the worst tragedy a mother or father can endure. She lost 2 of her 5 children in a house fire on the 19th. I know little as far as details but I do know the ones that were lost were "M" age 9 and "R" age 3.5. The same age as Grayson.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. Like the dream I had when I was pregnant with Jonathan that I lost G to drowning. Thankfully mine was just a dream. Unfortunately for my friend this is a nightmare. One she will never wake from. One that is permanent. I know the loss. I know the horror and yet it's not at all the same. I had only months to get to feel my baby and minutes to know him before he collected his wings. She had YEARS and YEARS.

I feel like my world has been turned upside down today. I know these people. These sweet little innocent souls. This amazing huge hearted loving Mama who lost these babies. Things like this just don't happen to people you know. You know?! It's always in the paper or on the news, not in real life. And I guess I should know better since I was that person someone knew not that long ago.

But I can't help but feel lost. Shaken. Unstable and so so depressed. And if I am there I can only imagine where she is.

Please say a little prayer (or send a vibe or do a dance to the god of children- whatever it is that gets ya going) for my friend and her family. They can use all they can get.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A stick in hand

My friend Heidi and her family used to split time between Portland and AZ but last summer they sold their house here and became mostly full-time AZ residents. (boo) They do visit for most of the summer though staying with family and not nearly as close as they were before.

We recently got a chance to meet up with her and her boys at Washington Park, where the old zoo used to be. (mentioned here) Her boys are just a bit older than G at 4 and 6. They were having a great time playing on the equipment and in the sandbox.

Heidi's youngest 'C' had a stick and was playing quite happily with it, not hurting anyone, when we notice a woman getting up and coming over to where we were watching the boys from. She walks over to us and asks in an accusing tone "Do you have rules for sticks or something because your son is jumping off the elephant with that stick and he's making us nervous... he's going to hurt himself of someone else". Heidi responded with something to the effect of "Thanks! He's ok." The woman apparently couldn't believe her ears because she just stared at us dumbfounded, shook her head and walked away.

Then she turns, looks at us and says quite exasperated "SEE!? He's pointing that STICK at that little boy!!" That little boy was G and he was being HANDED the stick by C. LOL Some people just can't let go. I said, "Thanks, that is my son and he doesn't look concerned so I am not either" They continued to play happily while she packed up her child, who was screaming at being dragged away for no reason.

We just shrugged.

Heidi asked if she should tell her "A stick in hand and all is grand!"

T is the one hiking up his shorts, C is in black track pants.

I figured it was best left alone. Though I really wanted to "poke the bear". I just love people like that. They make me laugh.

G after he face planted off the elephant.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

two years ago

Two years ago today my world changed in an immeasurable way. Two years ago today I got a heart breaking call telling me something was wrong with my baby. They didn't know what. I had a good idea based on the number from the tests they were reading. I called one of my closest friends who ran right over (she lives next door) and she just hugged me while I cried. And cried. I called Zack who came home. We cried together. And cried.

The next day we found out Jonathan had Anencephaly.

Noone prepares you for that phone call. There is no college coarse or book for someone to recommend before it happens. All you can do is look at the shattered mess of your life around your feet and attempt to pick up the pieces and go on. I don't know how we have done it but two years later I can look back and say that we have survived. I look at his pictures and think of Jonathan every day and every day my heart still breaks. I see the things Jaxon is doing and wonder what stage Jonathan would be at if he were alive and able to play with his brothers. I still feel the great loss.

Two years ago today we were a great gift that was Jonathan's life. He was so strong. He had absolutely no reason to live and yet he did. Against ALL odds, he lived almost 3 hours. He gave us the gift of love and our love for him. He brought our family closer to each other and to so many people around us. I have never felt so loved as I did when I think of the time around his pregnancy and delivery. Thank you all who were there every step of the way and to those who still stand next to us in this life. We wouldn't want to do it with out you.

Jonathan Belly Photos

Jonathan Birth and Life

(search baby Jonanthan or Jonathan for the rest of the posts. First post starts August 6, 2008)