I am a perfect parent.

Recently, I realized that I am a perfect parent. It took me a long time to figure it out, but I am going to pat myself on the back. Parenting is hard; parenting means getting things wrong sometimes and having difficult days. Parenting is the greatest gift I have ever been given.

I am a perfect parent.

It took me so long to realize I am a perfect parent because:

My kids fight with each other

My kids don’t listen all the time.

My son slammed his door, again, this morning.

My daughter gets sassy.

My kids didn’t bring fancy homemade snacks to their school parties this year.

My kids struggle with losing at Uno.

My kids sometimes don’t get a bath every day.

My son sometimes forgets to brush their teeth in the morning.

My daughter sucks her thumb.

But, I am the perfect parent, because I am completely devoted to being their parent. Being a parent means a lot of different things and there are a lot of different ways to parent children. I am the perfect parent for my children, I know this because:

My kids are respectful.

My kids are kind.

My kids have imaginations.

My kids are learning every day.

My kids do listen most the time.

My kids love each other.

My kids love their dad.

My kids love me.

It feels good to be a perfect parent. Now to go clean up that mess that the kids just made while trying to color me a picture, why is there so much glue on the counter? Who had the milk? Why are there fruit snacks in the bed? C’mon, it’s just never ending!

Until next write.

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Adventure to the North Pole- A Christmas Experience…. Unless you are on the naughty list.

How many more days until Christmas? I am actually missing it already.

Because we only have a few years of Santa magic left, we worked hard this year to make sure our little’s had lots of memorable, magical experiences. We watched Polar Express 10 million times, we drank LOTS of hot chocolate (maybe this is part of my weight gain), we baked cookies, we had an elf that moved almost every night and we even went to the North Pole.

Our North Pole trip was incredible, EXCEPT for one little thing. Mom didn’t make the nice list.img_4350

So, 2 hours or so north of home there is a lake cruise that will take you to Santa’s Workshop, it is really an amazing time and so much fun for the entire family (they sell hot chocolate and spiked hot chocolate on the cruise). And because 2 hours in a car feels like a lifetime to young littles it is easy to convince them we are covering a tremendous distance.  As you board the boat the Elves get your names and give you a fun little sticker (the names part is paramount here), then you get to board a boat and as you take off the Grinch appears. In a little bit you are pulling into Santa’s Workshop. Santa then comes out, shares some holiday cheer, sings, lights up a tree and…. Checks his list (apparently for the second time, wink wink).  He called out our son’s name, our daughters name, and our nieces names and…… Colby. Well, Colby is my husband. Our kids light up like that huge Christmas tree and started to literally freak out. Exclaiming with great joy “Grownups can make the list, Grownups can make the list!” Then they listened like their life depended on it until Santa finished his list. Guess what, Mom didn’t make it (most likely because people stopped naming their children Cathy like 50 years ago, it was even abnormal when my parents shortened Catherine to Cathy for me), but short story long here- Cathy wasn’t on the list. My daughter quickly had a reason and at a pretty decent decibel level announced to the cruise “Well, you HAVE been yelling a lot lately”. Mortified. Thank goodness for that spiked hot chocolate.9f236935-6ff2-436b-9273-98015f4655ab

Regardless, the kids then went to work from December 8th until Christmas Eve thinking of ways I could make the list. They had ideas like adding more whip cream to breakfast dishes, cleaning up their rooms for them,  buying treats at the store etc.  It was touch and go for a while and I don’t think the kids though I would ultimately make the nice list, but with a  stroke of luck- I did and Santa was VERY kind to me.

Next year, I am optimistic either there is a child named Cathy on our cruise or that Dad doesn’t get his name read again and the little’s and work on him to find ways to get on the nice list too! It did actually add a little special flare to the season!

Until next write…..

 

What Happened?

It has been 6 months since my last post. Forgive me for I have no idea what happened. I had great intentions! Does that count? I reminded myself this morning that the reason I started a blog was 1) at the suggestion from one of my friends, who truly thinks our lives should be recorded and 2) because this is a really great way to share my experiences and find new connections.

So, let me do a 6 month recap.

Things I have done:

  • Camped in the mountains, on the beach, in campgrounds and driveways. We managed to work in every sort of activity you can imagine while camping including dutch oven cooking, golf, movies, racing etc.  We also camped in rain, sun, heat, cold- basically we should enter Survivor now, we are able to handle all elements (as long as there is a camper or other form of shelter)
  • Planned and attended amazing special events such as birthday parties, dinner parties, themed parties, surprise parties, regular community gatherings, and normal Friday night shop parties. It sounds like we partied a lot- we did, but most was family friendly!!!
  • Learned many new things, like how to navigate the elementary school system (you need to be sure to wear a sticker— don’t just walk in like you own the place!), how to make hats, how to plan show n’tells for kids, how to better balance work and life, and lastly how to plan a surprise party 🙂
  • Taken 1,000,000,000 pictures (I think this to be a fairly accurate number) and had my first opportunity to take pics of a newborn baby.. talk about heart melted. I am NO photographer but I LOVE to take pictures, I truly makes me happy and excited. Also, I really love our pony so he makes it into most of my pictures.
  • OH I LOST 25 LBS! and so did my husband. Two words. CODE RED. I am not excited to be in pictures, not just taking them! Also, now I like to share my workout pics 🙂

 

Over the last 6 months there a couple of lessons I wanted to share before I leave you.

  • As a mother I have learned many things these past months ; let me share:
    • As mentioned before, elementary school is a new adventure. For those of you who have yet to navigate take the following tips into consideration
      • Your child is going to say random things at random times and will perhaps not leave the greatest first impression. Guess what? I think Kindergarten teachers expect that.
        • Example: my son told his teacher at our first meeting that the thing he loved to do most was watch his Ipad (which we don’t own), and then play video games and watch TV shows. When asked his favorite activity he said “Playing my kindle”. I had hoped he would mention things like reading, camping, outdoor adventure, imagination, math… the things I HAVE BEEN PREPPING HIM FOR SINCE BIRTH>>> LISTEN SON I DIDN’T LISTEN TO CLASSICAL MUSIC WHILE YOU WERE IN THE WOMB FOR TV TO BE YOUR #1 ANSWER TO YOUR TEACHER (again, I am reminded, you make a plan and God laughs)
      • It is not OK to forget the sticker that says you are visitor when you visit an elementary school.
        • I don’t think I look scary, but then again on some mornings I do actually look terrifying. So lesson learned.
      • Hot Lunch is the greatest invention. Ever. EVER. Make sure your child thinks hot lunch is cool. IT IS LIFE CHANGING as a mom.
    • For mothers of daughters, don’t let them see your pinterest account.
      • If you make that mistake, prepare yourself to spend the rest of your days practicing “heart” braids, planning for rainbow unicorn bedrooms and chatting about how to make polar express hot chocolate (OK that one I actually quite enjoyed)
    • Don’t leave scissors out around your children. Haircuts are easy to fix on a boy, a little harder with a girl.

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  • As a wife, I feel I am always learning, but some of the key takeaways this summer are as follows
    • Do keep a shared calendar, as things get confusing and crazy with children. This will be your saving grace and also very useful when one of you forgets to follow the schedule, it is nice to have the calendar to point to and say “SEE HERE!! YOU KNEW THAT IT WAS BRING YOUR FAVORITE PICTURE OF A CAT TO SCHOOL DAY AND YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO REMIND ME” (that is a fictional event, but trust me it’s not too far off from reality)
    • Do let your husband pursue a hobby and let him pursue it hard. This then opens you up to so much praise and joy just by letting him feel free I have been rewarded over and over and over and over. In the form of chocolates, flowers, champagne, Christmas decor and more. Trust me on this.
    • Do get healthy together, we did and we are closer than ever and more refreshed! We feel great, look great and did it as a team. It was more than about weight loss, it was about changing habits, developing new ones and trying to find a way to be a better version of ourselves so we can be married for 356 years. (#relationshipgoals  am I right?)

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  • As a friend, I have learned so much, including lessons that I thought I had already learned, but apparently needed refreshing!
    • Find your tribe. Love them hard. Keep them close.
      • My tribe is large, it is fantastic and it is what keeps me going when things get tough. I am always a text or phone call away for my friends and they are there for me. Whether it is a last-minute need for help with kids and transportation to needing a wine night to get deep about relationships an feelings, my tribe is important.
      • Keep it simple, stupid. Yes, the KISS method applies here. Don’t over think friendships. Just show up. Just be there. Just send a quick text. Just do it. I am working on this daily as I have relationships that I have let slide, and all it takes to nourish them is a quick, “Hi, love you, thinking of you, have a great day!” followed of course by 10 emojis because emojis are great.

So, there are some of my life lessons since May. Until next write, enjoy my summer recap photos!

Derby De Mayo 2018

The perfect storm, a trifecta even. This weekend was the alignment of three of my favorite things; the Kentucky Derby, Cinco De Mayo and my birthday. This doesn’t happen all that often, so the best way we know how to celebrate is to throw a party and boy did we ever!

Derby De Mayo 2018 was a success.

If you ever want to try to do this, let me share how we pulled it off. I would highly recommend as it was truly one of the greatest days ever. I am currently suffering from Post-Party Depression. I ate cake for lunch. So I thought maybe I should blog about it to help relive the moments.

First, we turned our shop into a pseudo-event center. We  even added an area in front that was paneled off (we called this “The Paddock” to allow for extra seating. We needed to use all the shop space for food, betting and of course TV VIEWING!  The entire family spent every evening last week working on this. The little’s were incredibly helpful picking up sticks, putting away toys, cleaning their rooms etc. They were as excited as I was for the big event. By Friday evening we had a paddock, buffet area, table for hats/bow ties, a viewing section, “Watering Hole”, outdoor kids track, jockey clubhouse, outdoor games area and western “rodeo” corner.

Note:This was all fairly inexpensive; we turned the kid’s playhouse into a “jockey clubhouse” just by adding a play table and chairs and painting the chalkboard wall. We used plain stakes and orange tape to make the outdoor track. We already had outdoor Jenga as Pinterest had inspired me a year ago to make it. I had a girls craft night a month ago to make a bunch of derby style hats since Wal-Mart had hats for $3.98, everyone brought over a handful of crafting stuff and we all just went to town making hats and bow-ties, they were so simple! As far as food, we had a potluck style event. Ultimately, the cost to us was a handful of items from the dollar store, bourbon, tequila, mint, ice and small miscellaneous things. Our friends had an extra pig they let us BBQ, for that we are eternally grateful not everyday someone says, here have my pig!

Once the party got started, we let everyone mingle, get on the “board” and get some food before the big race. We started our party 2 hours before the race so that we had a lot of time to build up “hype”! Most of our friends aren’t into horse racing so this was a new adventure for them! Oddly enough, the favorite for all the sportscaster ended up our crowds favorite too, even though I truly did not think he was going to win. I was so very wrong. This happens to me often.

So the main event came around, we all gathered in the shop, and I can’t even begin to explain how loud we were!! It was incredible. Once people put some “skin” in the game, they get really invested in the outcome!IMG_9751

But the best part of the day, came after the greatest 2 minutes in sports. We had told everyone before hand that after the Derby to make their way to our backyard. I asked most of our crowd to join the “infield” of our back yard track and the 1st Annual Kid-Tucky Derby took place! This was the greatest part of our day! We broke it up into tiers, 5 and under, 6-8 and 9-18. There was only one “Rose’ Wreath for each tier (I strung thread through red crepe paper, nothing too fancy, but still exciting for kids) and each age bracket had to go through heats, where the winner from each heat was called back to the championship round (basically their road to the roses if you will J). The infield was amazing, they cheered, hooped and hollered. The kids ran fast, there were some falls and tears, but it was mostly full of laughs and smiles. It was so incredibly popular that I had to go find a bottle of wine (I happened to have Kentucky Derby 14 hands Blend Wine) and we had to add an Adult Open Class. My sides still hurt today from laughing so hard!

After Kid-Tucky, we moved on to the Cinco De Mayo part of the day. We had two pinatas, one for kids (stuffed with 7 lbs of candy) and one for adults (stuffed with mini-booze bottles, lottery tickets and 3 lbs of Candy).  You can’t imagine what some grown folks will do for a $1 scratch ticket!!

And just like that, the events were all over. However, kids and adults alike left happy and daydreaming of the next time this party will happen again. The perfect storm doesn’t align again for another 11 years, but I think we may have to make something similar happen on an annual basis.

It’s T-Ball Time….. PLAY BALL!

WOW, time flies. My last post was over a month ago. Yet, it doesn’t seem that long ago! Where has time gone? The only things keeping us busy besides kids, school, work is a couple birthday parties, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter Celebrations, a Hat-Making party, a Wedding Shower we hosted, branding cattle and getting ready for our local fair and rodeo. OH and T-Ball.

I will have to share more about all the other things we have been up too some other time, needless to say our shop has turned into an event center. But today, today I want to discuss how to properly be a t-ball mom/coaches’ wife.DSC_0683

T-Ball 101

For those of you who are new to organized sports, t-ball is the small child version of baseball. This is my son’s second year participating, but my husbands first as “Coach”.  If any of you are considering coaching, enrolling your children or just going to catch a game I want to give you a brief rundown of what to watch for.

  • Overload of Adorableness. These kids are wearing jerseys that swim on them, cute little baseball pants, the gloves are miniature. It is totes adorbs. It will melt even the coldest heart.
  • Crazy Parents. Not in the “yell at the ref” kind of way (FYI we don’t even have umpires in our t-ball league), but rather these parents (I am one) scream and yell in delight the entire game. Every hit is great, ever ball stopped and thrown is brilliant and no matter if it is your kid or not, you can’t help but hoop and holler! I think it’s the cuteness that causes us all to lose our minds, its basically a drug.
  • Extreme Inning Lengths. We play 2 innings every game, this takes roughly 45 minutes. Every batter hits, every batter runs and the time it takes for a ball to go from pitcher to first base back to home is approximately 2 minutes. Any more than 2 innings and we would need a full fledged bathroom and concession stand.

If you are going to coach, I am learning there are a couple things to know before you start

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  • Not every family is like yours. Family dynamics are so different, every married couple is different, every divorced couple is different and they all have needs. You will be asked to accommodate those needs and you will need to just have a standard operating procedure you abide by (BC not every kid can have 2 jerseys and not every child can get a ride home from you after practice)
  • Patience is a virtue, be sure you have it in spades. There will be potty breaks, tears, arguments, and confusion—– and then there are the children to think about.
  • Get the Snack Chart set up before games start. So that every mom doesn’t show up with snacks for the team at the first game.

 

Overall, it is truly an awesome experience and a great place to take 10,000 pictures if you feel like you aren’t meeting your picture quota.

 

 

Rural Housewives v. “Real Housewives”

Disclaimer: I LOVE the Real Housewives Franchises, this will not be a bash on them. Just a comparison between myself and my ladies on TV. 

Last night I was indulging in my favorite guilty pleasure. Real Housewives.  I love my break from reality to watch reality.  (thank you DVR for being invented so I can watch these shows when the entire house is tucked in bed). I snuggled down into my recliner, grabbed a glass of wine (Sutter Home, in case you wanted to know just how fancy I am) and I enjoyed an hour worth of women.  Afterwards, I started to think about the similarities and differences I have with them.

  • Clothes
    • THEM: Fashion Week. They went!  And they actually know the designers. I have literally never heard of 90% of those. Also, when they go shopping, ladies, they GO SHOPPING. They try things on that I would never touch,I get too scared of the “you break you buy” rule! They also wear white. I haven’t worn a white shirt since I had kids and NEVER in my entire life did I wear white pants. There is no way I wouldn’t get dirt, grime, or some other substance on them.
    • ME: Let’s just say it’s a stark contrast. The boots and pants I have on cost me less than $50 combined, the most expensive item of clothing I own (besides my wedding dress) is probably a dress I bought for a wedding a long time ago which cost $80. But let me tell you. I make that $80 work baby!
  • Vacations
    • THEM: They go to amazing places. They stay in amazing places. They travel first class. I am actually learning quite a bit about geography from this show. So I consider it educational.
    • ME:We go amazing places, but we RARELY  fly anywhere. We typically go to the mountains, up the river, to the lake, camping, fishing, or horseback riding. It’s not exotic, but it is amazing. I live near Hell’s Canyon, it is beyond gorgeous. And sometimes, when we get that wild travel bug, we will drive a couple of hours and go to the “city” and maybe even stay the night at a hotel.

Side story, this time last year, we actually rented a van with other couple friends of ours, drove to Spokane and went to an Eric Church concert. You haven’t lived until you have been in a 15 passenger van with your friends for several hours. 

  • Children
    • THEM: They have them. Sometimes they are so adorable I can’t hardly stand it! Sometimes they act like total S**Ts.
    • ME: I have them. Sometimes they are so adorable I can’t hardly stand it! Sometimes they act like total S***Ts.

In the area of children, basically I am the same as they are. I am sure that each one has messed up something with their kids schedules, lunches, snack days, etc. I think it a part of the natural mom-condition.

  • Drama
    • THEM: Well, they may not be very different from me in this area. However, the scope of their drama is much different. They get in dramatic flair ups over rooms, houses, glasses. That doesn’t happen here (as much), but the big things like the he-said, she-said or the allegations, accusations, back stabbing. GIIIRRRRLLL I KNOW that kind
    • ME: Rural America drama is different. Sometimes it’s local rodeo drama, sometimes it’s our local elected leaders. Sometimes it’s a super judgey frenemy who makes a mountain out of a mole hill. Sometimes it’s a jealous girlfriend or ex-wife who starts drama. Sometimes it’s the owners of a loose dog causing drama. We have in-law fighting and resentment, we have outlaws on the loose. We have High Society type feuds and we have knock down drag out fights. And bless your sweet heart, we are passive aggressive.

 

  • Quality of Life
    • THEM: They seem happy.
    • ME: I AM happy.

On this we are very much the same, regardless of the clothes, the cars, the vacations, the husbands, the money, the children, the drama, the diets, they seem happy. I know I am happy. I guess it’s true, we aren’t all so very different after all!

 

Why do this comparison? I don’t know, because sometimes it is easy to get jealous of someone else’s life. But in “reality”, the grass is just the same grass. All that matters is that you take care of you own on your side of the fence (this felt like a fitting rural analogy). I will continue to watch my RH franchised shows until Bravo stops making them, but I am never jealous of them. I have my own drama to tend to at home and my own chaos to manage. Speaking of, I just realized I need to find a shoe box lid for a school project one of the little’s has. Oh boy. When was the last time I bought shoes!!!!?????

 

Until next type 🙂

 

Even Sick Days have Silver linings.

 

Sick Days maybe aren’t all bad.
We had managed to escape the nasty flu; until last night. The night ended with a trip the ER for a crazy high fever I couldn’t get controlled. However, this trip did manage to include a strange amount of laughter.  These littles are always teaching me lessons, this was a clear lesson in finding for the silver lining.

First, it is important to know this little factoid: my daughter is OBSESSED with doctors. It is slightly bizarre, especially since our son could not be more opposite.  She wants to grow up to be a baby doctor and a dentist (her picks not mine), at her last check up she was more excited than a girl getting a new pony. She RAN into the office, was bouncing off the wall, asking tons of questions, helping the Dr. and of course telling everyone she was going to be a Dr. someday. Then at the end, she ASKED THE NURSE NOT TO FORGET HER SHOTS!!! After the shots, she looked at the nurse and says “Thank You” in the sweetest voice known to man. It is a sight to behold, this I promise you.

So fast forward to last night, she has a crazy high fever, body aches all over, and is generally miserable. I was unable to get the fever down so we had to take her to the ER. She was barely talking before we jumped in the truck, then from the backseat I heard a faint “Mom…….. are we going to see a Dr.?” I replied that we certainly were and immediately she was an entirely different person! Chatty, excited, giddy….. still with a 104+ fever, but the happiest sick girl. She bounced on into the ER and I couldn’t keep up with her questions about all the equipment, doctors, and people. She was in heaven, she was diagnosed, treated and sent on her way. When we got home, she was so excited to tell Daddy about the hospital.

She reminded me that even in the crudd-iest scenarios, there is always something to be thankful for. In her case, the Gatorade glass is half full.

However, we are in home quarantine for the next several days. I am day one in and I am already having some Lord of the Flies flashbacks. I can’t begin to explain how addicted we are to being outside, being wild and crazy and to not having to be stuck in our house! (I think any outsider could tell if they saw the state of my house cleaning) but I am looking down the tunnel at most likely 3 days inside……….. I am setting some goals

1)      Prevent other household members from getting sick

2)      Put all laundry away, perhaps get caught up on laundry for the first time….. maybe ever?

3)      Buy a pallet of Lysol Disinfectant to assist with goal number one.

4) Enjoy this unexpected time off from work and make some great memories with the littles

5) Keep finding the silver linings

This is unrelated, but I must also share, for those of you who happened to read my New Years Resolutions list, I FINALLY DID ONE!! I actually did a cute Pinterest inspired snack for the other little’s snack leader day! (link below) Rainbow Fruit Kabobs- I somehow, in all my rejoicing, did not take a picture. But trust me. I DID IT and I feel like the most powerful mother of all!!!I was slightly concerned about sending my son to school with the equivalent  of 18 wooden swords, but thankfully there was no issue!

Until next type, stay happy and healthy friends!

 

Fruit Kabobs:

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