Thursday, December 29, 2011

Some Christmas-y Photos.

:Bry and Ever had a campout in the living room last night, cozy-cozy:
:a little static:
:the snow princess trying out her new skis, with a princess hat of course:
:Ollie and Sir Telly in his new cozy hood :) :
:my Christmas early bird with his new pj's and a new toy from Omi:

The upcoming week is an full one, we will be:
:: welcoming a new baby cousin any day now,
::well-wishing an anniversary,
::missing a loved one especially on her birthday,
::planning and preparing for a birthday party for another special little girl,
::And of course ringing in a New Year -- 2012!
(who am I kidding, I will be asleep)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Come along and spend 7 minutes with us....

It's long. It's messy. It's noisy. It's probably a video only their parent's can appreciate ... but maybe not :) But we miss you all so much and want to show you a couple personalities in bloom:

The following is from a blog that I check regularly, and it's like a Hallmark card for me. Christmas was a whirlwind, but it was so, so, so very special and this captures my feelings just right:

i want to linger here the land of child-made jewels and glittery roof-topped house, minty candies and laughing family, surprises and silliness, singing with joy, and gratituous displays of generosity.

As these special days of the year pass us by, I find myself wanting to hold on just a litle bit longer. I want to linger in the love and light, and etch in my mind the memory of those faces, voices and the hearts behind them inthis moment of each of their lives.

This morning, I'm grateful for photographs - the ones on my hard drive and the ones in my heart - that help me linger in it all just a little bit longer. I hope you're finding ways to linger this week, too. Moving slowly, as we're able. Holding on, as we can. Noticing, embracing, lingering...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Birthday.

Pinned Image

Well, as we walked into church last night I realized that I had fallen short of some of my Christmas hopes... For decorating, for doing, for giving, for making. But before we let Ever open one of her presents at bedtime ("I moose have a hug" PJ's that she picked out herself), we asked her why we celebrate Christmas. She answered, "Because it's Jesus' birthday."
Mission accomplished. The only one that's really important anyway.
Merry Christmas -- xoxo

Friday, December 23, 2011

My Christmas Sweater.

I have so rarely ordered anything from Anthropologie. I drool over their magazines and toss them out. In October though, I ordered a sweater because it was 20% off and free shipping. It was a perfect sweater for the holidays. Simple and cozy, but with 3/4 length sleeves to keep cool during the busy work, and a zipper down the back.
And doesn't it look beautiful on Ever?
Why I still love wool is beyond me.
It it shrinks, it will be shrunk. Sooner or later. Alas, this sweater did not even make it to the second holiday of the holidays. Merry Christmas Ever. I hope you like your new sweater from Anthropologie.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Confused? CLICK HERE!

Hi there! Weird, eh? So I'm finally playing with some of the new blogger layouts. I don't think I will keep this one for good, but thought it was pretty fun for the end of the year since you can easily look back at the last two years. Two years!! Somebody pinch me and wake me up from the twilight zone I am in.

So anyway, you just have to click on the box to read the post.

I'm sure I'll change it again soon... When I find a little time again to sneak away for something completely unnecessary.

Happy Snow Day!

P.S. Totally regretting posting the ugly picture of the streak of paint on the wall...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Solstice.

It's taken me 11 years, but I finally realize why Alaskans celebrate Winter Solstice. It's a big day. Tomorrow we actually gain some daylight. I can't wait :)

The day started out with an order for 'cones from Ever (scones). I sighed a heavy sigh, but went for it and the baking went surprisingly smooth. And I was reminded that all she needs is about 1/8 cup of flour and her rolling pin and she's happily occupied for at least 10 minutes.

Tell and I celebrated by first waking up at what would traditionally be the crack of dawn in normal parts of the world. This afternoon we got to take a short walk together. I really cherish our quiet walks, just the two of us. We have fun with Ever too, but it's a little less quiet if you can imagine.
The other pictures are of our latest visit to the hangar. (Especially for Opa.) Bry's plane is the pinkish one under wraps. So much going on in that place... Even Tell found something to do ;)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Around Here So far...

Deciding to paint the living room two weeks before Christmas was a bad idea.... It's seriously cutting into my crafting, gifting, and decorating time. And the color I picked was bad too, so we're doubling up the semi-wasted time. Meh....

Yet, painted or not painted, Christmas is coming. And it's going to be beautiful regardless.

P.S. Another Ever quote:

Me: "Ever, quit shaking the table!"
Ever: "I'm like an earthquake. I'm shaking the table."

(We had a pretty good earthquake a few days ago and it made quite the impression. She said, "It just wanted to come in the house and play." We need a Magic Schoolbus book on earthquakes apparently.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I need to express a big THANK YOU for my birthday wishes and gifts. I am so spoiled. I was made not one, but -- wait for it -- 4 cakes (counting a batch of the most perfect brownies ever)! Incredible.
And I am a food = love type of person, so I can definitely say I was showered with love this year.
::cake & present from Stacey::

::the boys just had to go to Joann's to get their craftin' on. And, um, no, they aren't twins. Two ladies asked ;) ::
:: Miss Christmas herself rockin' some new moon boots. Toasty toes indeed!::

Ever melted my heart when after not seeing her for two days, she walks in the front door and says, "Is it Christmas? Is it Christmas Eve time yet?"
Love it.
And LED Christmas lights are worth every penny. After we decorated our one tree outside I couldn't stop looking at it all day. It's the prettiest thing I've ever seen. Two strings of lights on a wimpy spruce tree next to an old barrel.
And that, my friends, is the benefit of living in the middle of nowhere and everywhere.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Catching up.

Even though we're still not gaining any ground on the sleep frontier, things are going good around here...

I'm nearly finished with one of my projects. And just in time, because my living room paint just arrived this weekend and I honestly can't wait to jump in. I actually have always liked the green color, but I think the grey will be a nice, fresh look. We can always accent with the green. I will have to wait to paint though, beings as the little ones don't want to smell paint fumes all week... babysitters (and Papa's schedule) must be arranged. My goal is to get it done really soon so it can be finished for the Christmas tree.

Today was a big day for me -- it's kind-of silly though. I finally caved this morning and painted Ever's nails. She was pretty excited about it at the time, but is already asking to have it washed off. She's growing so fast. I swear if Grama didn't have a job during the week, Ever would want to live at their house. She's already pulling away ... We took some videos of her reading with Papa but it's going to take a day and a half for me to upload and share them.

I've been fretting about buying/making Christmas stockings for the kids. My own memories of Christmas stockings were a good reminder that kids have no clue how fancy they are, and although the fun of "picking one out" is memorable, discovering what was inside them was much more fun. That said, I still haven't decided ....

On Saturday, Johana threw a fun little birthday get-together for me. She had beautiful sweet treats and a super sweet, homemade banner that said, "EAT CAKE". It was truly lovely. A good time with some wonderful women (and Tell, my go-to date for most events). We relaxed, ate, and swapped stories of children, births, husbands, and life. And I got to spend some time getting to know this little peach of peaches, my new niece, Piper.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


So it's a little funny when you've been up like eight times in the last ten hours to tend to a baby and you finally ask a special someone to take over and that someone says, "I've been up since 3:00."

That's funny. You don't look like you're up.


Good thing I listed to "Sugarland" Pandora station yesterday and all those good ole' country songs reminded me why I fell in love and started a family. It's a good one for that, really and truly.

Friday, November 18, 2011


8 below makes my cheeks glow ;)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

These are the days.

Yesterday Ever was asking Papa if he would like to be a girl. And I realized how happy I am to be in a stage where girl or boy simply means either wearing pink and purple or wearing green. Papa didn't want to be a girl, but obliged anyway, as he always does. Ever gave him a couple nice necklaces, colored his hands with markers, and "painted his nails so he wouldn't bite them." To make it all believable, she of course had to call him either "Princess" or "Papa Girl." What a sweet Papa. And he even wore his nails and necklaces to work in the hangar.

In other news, I'm in the process of trying to pick a paint color for the living room. These are my two favorites:

Pinned Image
Chelsea Gray

Kendall Charcoal

Yesterday I also started a project that I'm hoping I can share with you by Thanksgiving.
We'll see!
Oh, and it's -21 degrees this morning. Brrr.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Grace and Nature.

So last night, because the stars aligned and Ever was at Grama & Grampa's and Tell was asleep (for most of it) and I felt like just doing nothing essentially, I watched The Tree of Life.

It was long, slow, visually beautiful, a bit vague, a bit frustrating, but... I kind-of liked it. I'll admit, I fast-forwarded through some of the "evolution of the universe" as I later read it to be. And I fast-forwarded maybe one or two more parts, but really, I can't afford a 2 hour 20 minute movie in its entirety these days.

Anyway, it starts out with this narrative, which really struck a cord with me (it may not be exact):

"...there were two ways through life - the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you'll follow. Grace doesn't try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries. Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things."

Maybe it was because I was having a rough day and needed another perspective on, well, perspective? But "finding reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it." Simplistic, maybe, but I find comfort and inspiration in it all the same.

I wouldn't say I "enjoyed" the movie, but I'm glad I watched it. And I also think there's something to be said for a movie that's about more than just entertaining. And, who am I kidding, there's the Brad Pitt part.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It might be time.

It might be time to pull out the old {not in an endearing tone unfortunately} sewing machine again. Although it always ends in a fight and us walking away from each other in anger ...
Sometimes I break her, sometimes she breaks me (as in when the little cuss put her needle through my finger two years ago).

Anyway, I'm really hoping to make Ever a quilt for her bed and everyone knows they take about 10 years longer than you expect, so if I want to get it done before she graduates I better get going ....

Here's my goal:
Colorbrick Quilt
Photo from StitchedInColor

First things first: picking and buying fabric. The funnest part :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Never Again.

Never again will I tape off anything when I paint.

It's like they sold me joke tape or something.


Just reminding myself for next time....

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tell's Turn.

I'm always writing about what Ever is up to, so I thought I'd show you what Tell is busy doing. Once you watch it you'll want to come visit him, so you better not watch unless you're ready to pack up and come to Gakona...

In Color For Omi.

Looking cute and reading to baby brother. Just doing her part ;)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Recap.

If I thought it was hard getting a good picture of one kid on Halloween last year .... three is impossible!
:devoted Papas trudging through the snow with their Halloween goblins:
:beautiful butterfly:
:handsome pilot:
:the whole crew (Tell was a lumberjack):

Lessons learned:
Facepaint, although fun, makes things a little more stressful
(ex. "Don't put your face on Grama's couch!!!!").

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tell's First Flight.

He flew in a jet to Nebraska this summer, but this was his first flight in the airplanes at home.
A special day...

The question is: Is he hooked for life??

Friday, October 28, 2011

As if I needed....

another reason to be on a computer...


Just have to close the window.
I'm tellin' you.
Don't say I didn't warn you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Bulky Mittens, Owl Mitts, Baby Bella Mittens

A few projects off (mostly) of the needles. And just in time too...

It is officially a winter wonderland out here. Ever is most definitely a winter baby. She has, from a wee babe, loved to eat snow and the tradition continues another year. She just eats, eats, eats and then wham! - "I'm cold!!!"

She's a smart girl and I've tried to explain the connection to her. I guess it's comparable to me, chocolate, and a stomach ache? We never really do learn, do we...

I'm trying to finish up some "Fat Baby Booties" :) for Tell. Then he can quit wearing Ever's cotton gloves or flower-beaded moccasins when we go on walks. Poor kid. Like we didn't know winter was coming in Alaska... I'm also hoping to finish up a scarf for myself before I start in on this for Josh:
Holy smokes. Wish me luck...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Fishing.

Notice I didn't say Fall Catching ;)

So, it's embarrassing, but I'm pretty sure I casted my first (and probably last) line of the year yesterday and it's the middle of October! This is only embarrassing if you factor in the rivers that I live in such close proximity to that are full of salmon all summer. In my defense, rivers + small children = scary.

Bry and Ever swung down by the river while out on a drive and saw a bunch of grayling hanging out by the new ice that's forming. So they came home for me, Tell, and the fishing poles. We gave it a shot, but I caught nothing except ice.

Ah well, it was fun anyway. There's always next year...

Monday, October 17, 2011


I realized the other day something about parenting that took my breath away...

There have been many times over the years when I've been upset and arguing with Bryan and as I'm talking there is a tiny, tiny voice in my heart saying, "You should be telling this to yourself." There's a psychology term for it. What is it... what is it... I can't remember.

Anyway, this feeling reminds me of that feeling. As we are struggling with certain behaviors in Ever, I have realized that as my child she has also become the most brutally honest mirror of myself. If I am honest with myself, I can admit that she has learned most of her behaviors from me, and that includes the bad ones. I see my temper in her. I see my lack of patience in her.

Unfortunately, when God handed me this beautiful child he didn't hand me an extra gift of patience or extra wisdom. I am working on that and praying for it.

In short, I guess I feel that (if we are lucky) we are given children, but we must become parents.

Lord, help me ;)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Grampa took this picture of the frosty kale when we were digging up the last of the potatoes and carrots.
So I can't really say much about what we did do on "no web Wednesday", but I can tell you what we didn't do and that was nap...

And as I was elaborating to Ever about how hard it would be on her if she didn't nap (how crabby she would be et cetera...) I realized that I was actually talking more about myself than her. The absence of her nap was definitely harder on me than her. What is the word for this? Irony or no??

Anyway, right now I'm craving...
:: movement
:: progress in our house coming into some sort of non-chaos
:: salmon benedict from Snow City Cafe -- weird because I've never even had it?!?
:: coffee every hour of the day :(
:: a doctor that I would trust taking my kids to
:: sleep

oh, and more time in the day because I just received this HUGE box of lovely yarn from a friend and it's been sitting by the bookcase whispering at me ....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New routine.

Tomorrow I'm going to try out a new thing I'm gonna call "No Web Wednesdays."

No computer. All day.

Turnin' it off.

Don't ask me to look at something. Especially you Bmen.

Can't wait to see all the other things we are going to do instead of Googling.

Going to have to get out the trusty ol' pen and paper to make a list of all the things I'll want to look up on Thursday ;)

By the way, the new chairs Uncle Josh brought to Alaska with him are getting the thumbs up. LOVE them.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Cake and A Conversation.

Well, after much waiting, IT'S A....

We will be joined by a new nephew sometime around the New Year. Yay!

And, the Ever conversation of the day:

Me: Ever, if you don't shape up, you won't get any stories or books at bedtime.
Ever: I'm like a magna-tile. I shape up.

Seriously??! Who is this kid?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Wedding.

Sorry. No pictures yet. I actually didn't get my camera out the entire weekend. I did however, want to make myself a short list...

Don't Forget:
1) How very, very, very beautiful my sister looked.
2) How incredibly beautiful my mom looked.
3) The sweetness of fathers and daughters coming down the aisle (Bry & Ever, Dad & Stace)
4) The flowers. Exactly what we had pictured in our mind came to be ... incredible.
5) The joy of having both Bry's family and my family together. Love it. I'm so thankful for everyone that came.
6) Jose's dance moves. I had no idea...
7) Josh's dance moves. This I have seen before, but it gets me every every time.
8) Jose & Josh DANCE-OFF.
9) Jon's dance moves. Yes, you heard me right.
10) Thinking about dancing with Jenny at the bar years ago and how fun it was to dance with our babies now.
11) Getting to dance with Bry again...
12) The music Stacey & Jose chose. So many good ones. This song will always tug at my heart strings and give me an image of my sister walking with Dad in her white dress and her bright orange bouquet, Dad looking dapper with his handsome tux and spider-mum boutonniere.
13) The pure feeling of LOVE.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Future Cage Fighters??

Welterweight Owens vs. Heavyweight McMahan
Round 1

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My sweets.

A couple weeks ago I decided that Tell's birth was essentially a {lovely, blessed} bomb going off in my life. It felt like my brain, my home, my life was all a big MESS. It still is, don't get me wrong. But just yesterday I felt like everything was s-l-o-w-l-y getting better. Slowly, mind you.
Tell is simply incredible, with a smile that will melt you every time.
So strong. So happy.
Ever is the very sweetest big sister. And constantly cracking us up with her antics.
Bry is an A+ papa and husband.
Our Omi, Opa, Grama, Grampa, Aunts, Uncles, cousins... the list goes on.

I. Am. Blessed.

I've still got a lot of sorting and figuring out to do, but I wanted to get this in ink for myself to look back on. I am so lucky. And lucky may not always equate with organized, calm, tidy, or easy but it's lucky all the same. xoxo

Friday, September 16, 2011

Getting stronger ....

Yes, that's my garden. With a horse in it.

It's been a busy couple weeks and it promises to be a busy couple weeks coming up. I'm swearing to not leave Gakona for a month after October 4th ;)

What we've been doing...
::RV-ing. To Homer and back. Three super fun, super tiring, beautiful days with Opa, Aunt Stace, and cousin Oliver. Making internal promises to do this every summer....
::A trip to the salmon hatchery with Opa. All involved LOVED it -- including Diesel who got to try his hand at fishing for salmon which Ever thought was hilarious ...
::Ever's first ride on the train with Opa from Wasilla to Anchorage. Super special. Pictures to come later ...
::Thinking hard and trying to help with the upcoming wedding -- so exciting!
::Most importantly we welcomed a new baby girl into the world -- Piper Lynn Sherman. What a very special, special week indeed.

What we've got to do...
::Keep thinking and trying to help with the wedding :)
::Get back to the ultimate home makeover I desperately need to do since our baby Tell moved in with all his belongings.
::Fall bulb planting, cleaning up the greenhouse, digging up carrots, onions, & potatoes. All those fun outdoors chores.
::Get some baby girl outfits in the mail before 8 pound 13 ounce Piper outgrows them :)

But right now we've got to get some supper going, so I'll be off ... xoxo