Note to Claire About Valentine's Cards

Hi Claire Bear!

I'm at work and you're at school, but I'm thinking about you and the Valentine's you want my help with for school next week.

I want to talk to you about making our own Valentine's this year instead of buying junky ones from the store. You know my saying, "homemade is best!". We've done this before and I think they are FAR better than store bought ones. Why? Because I think it shows originality and personality! What do you think?

I found some really cute ideas online today that I want to show you! Let's chat when I get home this afternoon (IT'S FABULOUS FRIDAY!!!!) and make our choices together! :)
Love you, kiddo!



20 Years

Hi, Howdy, Hola, Hey!

I'm still alive, I promise. (Are you?)

So, I survived bilateral hip arthroscopy and have been s.l.o.w.l.y healing and getting back to my normal routine these past 3.5 months. But it feels like it's taking FOREVER. I'm not a patient patient, in case you were wondering.

Despite the pain, though, Huz and I celebrated our 20th (!!!) anniversary 12 days ago and spent an amazing weekend away in Estes Park, CO where we snow-shoed for nearly 4 hours. Ouch it hurt, but damn it was worth it! It was a guided trip and I'm glad because we easily could have gotten lost up there. We were in Rocky Mountain National Park and walked over frozen Nymph Lake, Dream Lake and Emerald Lake.

We definitely enjoyed our time away without jobs, kids, chores, or home renovations to attend to. We overindulged by going on a self-guided brewery and distillery tour in both Ft. Collins and Estes Park.

We stayed at a gorgeous B&B - Della Terra Mountain Chateau - which was hands-down the nicest place we've ever stayed. It had radiant-heated floors, a fireplace that was viewable from the bed and the soaker bath, a walk-through 360 shower, and our own 2-person hot tub out on a private patio. I want to go there every year!

 I'm still amazed by my very good fortune to have married a man I would grow with over the years and who truly is my best friend.

Yay for 20 years!


Hip Impingement Surgery

Holy cow, I have seriously not gone here in FOREVER. I keep thinking I'll just shut her down, but then I keep needed to reference Bird On A Line for recipes or crafts or something I have done in the past that I want to read about it again. Maybe I need to just do the print your blog into a book and stick it on a shelf? Or keep doing this outdated thing called blogging? I'm not sure.

Anyways, I just had bilateral hip surgery last Friday! Woo hoo! A little background:  I have had left hip pain and snapping when I walk for about a year. I didn't get an injury (fall, etc.) but it would start after a heavy day of running on the treadmill and then just kind of stick around and never go away. A few doctor visits, an x-ray, an MRI, and 6 weeks of PT later, I'm in the orthopedic surgeon's office being told I need bilateral hip arthroscopy for hip impingement syndrome and a torn labrum (turns out both sides were torn, so the bilateral part was a good idea). I see my surgeon for the first time since my surgery on Thursday so I will have lots of questions for him (like, ahem, when can non sleep activity resume, exactly? and when can I put on my own damn shoes?) and hopefully find out how I'm progressing.

I'm only 9 days post-op at this point, so I have no idea if it was successful yet (most sources say this kind of surgery takes 3-4 months to be 100% - ugh!), but damn I hope so. I ain't gonna do that again! I'm supposed to be full-weight bearing on crutches for 4 weeks but they are SO annoying that I leave them and just hobble around the house without them. My new employer has been awesome in letting me telecommute for a week and a day, but I have to go back to the office tomorrow (facing my awful commute on I-70!).

Anyway, I haven't posted these ugly photos anywhere else, so why not here? :) You're welcome!

Night before surgery (date night with Huz!):

Day after surgery (my right hip):

2nd day after surgery (my right hip):

2nd day after surgery (my left hip):

Day after surgery (my face - apparently all swollen due to how much saline they pumped into my hip joints. I was NOT expecting this!!!):

3rd day after surgery (edema getting better):

And, just so I don't leave you with those horrible images, here's a recent picture of Claire Bear and Charlotte, dressed up in the fairy costumes I bought them for Halloween! :)

And one of them playing on their swing set. This is one of my favorite shots of them to date.


Hair Keeps on Changing

Oh, hi. By the way, during my absence here I went from highlighted blonde to very dark blonde/brunette. I'm after a more natural, easier to maintain look. Truth be told, after 7 weeks grow out, my roots looked the same so this IS how dark I am. Shocking!

You like?




Kitchen Storage Solution


I am in need of some storage advice. We got a new refrigerator that has 2 side-by-side doors after us being used to the wide single door with freezer on top. This means the space is much skinnier than I am used to, especially the door shelves. Consequently, our (many) glass bottles of Colorado-brewed beer (and hopefully soon Huz-brewed beer thanks to my Christmas gift to him) have no home. They can't stand up straight on the shelves because the space isn't tall enough. So I've got them on their sides stacked on top of each other, but as soon as you pull one out, you risk an avalanche of glass and beer.

I'm looking on Pinterest and find plenty of solutions for 2 Liters, which we NEVER buy, and wine, but I'm a red wine girl and don't chill my wine:

But I can't really find much for beer bottles, other than this mat which is basically what we're doing now.

Any other solutions you can help me with?


The Family Calendar

What a hiatus this has been. I haven't had the time, energy, or desire, really, to sit down and write in length about myself for all of these months. Sometimes I wonder if my brain has just become lazy and used to the simplicity and brevity of Facebook posts and what, if anything, this blog space means to me anymore. Don't get me wrong, it's been a great outlet for me - both creatively and emotionally - and, frankly, it's served as an awesome record keeper. I can't tell you how many times I've come back here to see if I documented a recipe I really want to try again or referred to my pregnancy/parenting posts to assess how I was doing the second time around.

I sometimes wonder if blogs are dead or dying, but then I wonder if it's just me being too lazy to participate anymore. I'm not sure. Surely life is full and my time is stretched thin between a full-time job, a marriage, and parenting 2 young children. So where is there space for writing? I find time for working out and t.v. watching so I could find time for writing if I feel compelled to, right?

I thought about my blog this morning when I transferred all the birthdays from last year's family calendar to the new one and I realized just how much has changed in my life over the past 12 months. The beginning of last year was full of the attempted reinvention of myself: I was studying madly for the GRE and took it last January; I was shadowing a handful of Occupational Therapists to get exposure to the field and to narrow my interests. And then, with one simple flip of the page to the next month, we had moving companies scheduled to come and give us quotes. We were tying up loose ends by going to the dentist to get our teeth cleaned and getting doctor's visits in one last time before we were unemployed and without insurance or income. The calendar doesn't capture the torture we felt with this rejection and job loss; instead it shows the practicality of our response to the situation - taking control by leaving as soon as we got the news - an attempt to make our own future. In retrospect, I'm pretty damn proud of us.

Then the calendar shows several months of literal blank pages that reflected its time packed away in a box sweltering in the summer heat inside my mom's garage. Our life was on pause, it seemed. Wounds were being licked as we figured out our next steps.

The pages were filled in the calendar again when we moved into our newly purchased home in September. Our documented family life resumed full speed, crammed with home renovations (painting, painting, painting, carpet installations, hardwood refinishing, plumbing, bathroom tiling...) and kindergarten starting. Then there were housewarming parties, birthday parties, Thanksgiving with family at our place for the first time, Christmas and all the family celebrations that come in December.

It's funny how much I wanted things to be different for me - how I wanted to cease being a stay-at-home-mom and get into a new line of work. I got much more than I intended with a move to Colorado, a new home, a new job, lots of time with our extended family, and a new family calendar to fill up with this new life.

I think this blog space is like our family calendar - it's a reminder of the events that happen to me and my loved ones. It's a timeline of all the goods and bads, the ups and downs, and it's valuable. I need to remember these things because after I go through them it gives me the perspective I need to make sense of it and to process it fully. What happened to us in St. Louis was awful and unfair, but now that I'm through it and can look back at those blank pages and the flurry of activity before and after on that calendar, I can see it for what it was: a blip in our timeline (this is something my Dad tried to tell me, but until I saw it months later I couldn't see it as that). It's a blip that we will get past and move on from and, indeed, we have. Huz hasn't found a teaching job out here, but he's reinvented himself as a copy editor working from home which saves us tons of money on daycare. I am at a desk job in the medical setting and get to make my own hours and telecommute at will. Neither of these things is what we pictured for us and our family, but it works. We're making it work. We're moving on.

Here's to our calendar (and blog) being filled with family life both moving on and flourishing in 2014.



My mom recently mentioned that I don't have enough pictures of Charlotte on here. Hell, I don't have enough of ANYTHING on here right now what with the exhaustion of home renovating like mad so that we can move into our new (old) home as soon as humanly possible.

Here's some recent photos for your enjoyment.












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