Monday, December 22, 2014

from my family to yours

I'm not mailing out Christmas cards this year.

It's not a decision I feel bad about because...
a) I mail them every other year, and this is an 'off' year (with the twins being born this year though...)
b) I can hardly keep on top of the laundry and housework these days, so taking the time to label, lick, and stamp cards would mean my family goes without clean socks and underwear.  And we can't have that! Oh wait, we already do??! Shhh! Quiet boys!

That being said, I still made a simple card to hand out/email to family.  Oh, and to share with you guys.

I look at this picture, and I feel incredibly blessed.  Look at all those happy, healthy faces!
This beautiful family of mine is one of the greatest gifts I've been given.
Even if their laundry is a part of their package. ;)

Wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year!

Friday, December 5, 2014

I'm Loretta

I'm sure you know me.  I'm Loretta.  You can call me Retta Bean. Everyone else does.

I have a brother, Graham.  He's my twin and I think his name should be Jumping Bean.
Oh, that's his foot right there. He's always trying to kick me in the face.

I'm pretty used to his shenanigans, and he doesn't faze me.
After all, I did spend nine cozy months with him in the same womb.
3 month photo shoot

My mom likes to say that we take turns being chill, but I'm chill! So long as things are going my way.
My mom also says my smiles make her day, so I save my best ones for her.

I like to talk, sing, and holler. I'm pretty good at conversing with my older siblings.
  I try to strike up conversations with my twin brother quite often, but he's not the chatty type, 
and I end up doing all the talking. 
We're kind of like my Mom and Dad!

our 5 month picture

Speaking of my Mom and Dad, I have the best spot in the house when it comes to sleeping.
Yep, you guessed it! Right between the two of them!

I'm five months old now, but I've been rolling over and rocking tummy time for a couple months.
Actually, these pictures are a couple months old. We weren't all that coordinated back then.

Take, for example, Graham in this picture.

Yeah, coordination is not his middle name!
He's always getting himself into scrapes.  And it looks like this time, he involved me!
"Mom, could you get my brother's bottom out of my face?"

"Mom, are you there???"

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

120 points for me

This morning, I had a chance to stop and think about what I wanted to do; both babies were napping.

I started pulling out the ingredients to make peanut butter blossom cookies.  In my mind, I was alternately writing a blog post and painting some DIY Christmas gifts.  Then I noticed that I needed to clean up breakfast before I could make cookies. So I ate a chocolate kiss (or three) while I loaded the dishwasher.  
Graham woke up before I even got the counters wiped.

So...the oven is sitting warm and empty, the dishwasher is still open, and Graham is on my lap playing with the wet wipes case while I type (it smells like I should make use of those wipes).

This is my life right now.
I spin circles.
Or I just sit in my robe, too dazed to do more than change diapers and watch the chaos around me.

morning play

post-sauna evening snack
But it's good, this chaos around me.  Our house is alive.  There is fighting and laughter, crying and cooing. And my voice, occasionally rising above it all, saying "Donovan and Elaina, get in the shower. Brant, did you finish your homework? Connor practice piano, and Aubrey, for the fourth time, hang up your towel!"

We're cruising along at quite a pace, whether I like it or not.
But these babies! Oh, how fun these babies are!

We all work hard for baby smiles!

Line 'em up for diaper changes.  20 points if you get them both to smile.

50 points if you get a classic nose-scrunched, eye-squinted grin!

I'd say that having the cookies ready for after-school snack is worth another 50 points.
I've got three and a half hours; sounds doable. I'll take those points now, and cash them in for three more chocolate kisses and twenty baby kisses.  I can never get enough of those!

Monday, September 29, 2014

pulling out my camera

Whenever I'm having a hard time finding the joy in mothering my brood (and let's be honest, mothering the twins), I pull out my camera.

For some reason, viewing snapshots of my daily life makes me realize just how fortunate I am.

 I mean seriously!  Look. at. these. two.

Are they not the cutest things ever?!
Are cameras not the best piece of equipment a parent can own?!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

CUTE is not a good enough word

Perhaps you expected a lot more twin cuteness on this blog.
Truthfully, I did too.

I simply have not had the energy or the time!
Yes, I suppose that is obvious, and if I were being realistic I might have realized this would be the case.  But you never know what something will be like until you've lived it.  And life with twins is something you can only imagine.  If you have children, you have a little bit of a better idea what two at a time is like.

Let me tell's crazy.
And it's wonderful.
It's exhausting.
It's busy.
And it's so incredibly fun!
You have all of the adorable, precious, heart-swelling sweetness of one baby...times two!

Loretta and Graham at 6 weeks

But had you asked me what it was like any time in the first seven weeks, I would have only given you the exhausting and crazy answers.
I was only getting about 4 hours of interrupted sleep each night.  Mastering breastfeeding was a month long challenge. I cried every evening as I tried for 40  minutes to get my daughter to latch on.  When one of them would finally fall asleep, the other would awake. Or worse, one would wake and cry while I was already busy feeding the other. When they hit a growth spurt, or needed to increase my milk supply, at 2 and 4 weeks, I literally sat in my chair and nursed all day long.  I was always hungry.  I longed for a 30 minute steaming-hot shower.  I wrote mixed up notes to the kids' school teachers.  I word botched or spoke complete nonsense on a daily basis.

But gradually, life with twins got easier. And at seven weeks, I started finding the joy in raising them.

You know why I say seven weeks?  Because that is when they first smiled at me.
I was having a pretty rotten morning.  I was exhausted and wondering "why did I get twins? Why me?!?" I went outside (because that was one of the surest ways to stop their crying), sat on the bench, and placed Graham on my lap. He made eye contact with me and smiled! (Loretta had already smiled, but Grandma and Daddy got those ones). In an instant, all the sleepless nights, all the tears of frustration, all the floors we paced, all of it...was paid off by the sweetest, most fleeting smile.

And now that they are 12 weeks old, we have lots of daily doses of baby love.  They are smiling and coo-ing and wiggly and squirmy and basically the most squishable, lovable little beings out there.

Graham and Loretta - 3 months old

Our family is always saying "they're just SO cute!". But cute is not a good enough word.  Cute does not convey what happens when you hold your newborn baby.  It is not a strong enough word to explain how your heart swells to bursting, or how the rainiest day is suddenly sunshine, or how you relax and smile, or how the laughter bubbles up from deep within, or how you would give your very life for this tiny little being (or these two!).  So we all continue to say "they are just so CUTE!".
We love on them like crazy.  Although I'm not sure who's doing the loving and who is receiving!
These two babies (as were all my other babies) are the best cure for any frowns, because they are just so cute.

So if you are a soon-to-be mother, or another mother of a newborn (or are lucky like me and have multiples)...take heart.  The exhaustion, discomfort, and pain will all be worth it soon.  Life does get easier. You will be rewarded.  You will get to shower again some day.  You will eventually sleep (I'm still waiting for that one).

And if you try to explain your baby or mine, and can only come up with "they are soo cute!", it's okay.
I completely understand what you mean.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How we girls get-er-done

One morning, the girls and I spent some quality time together.
Cleaning their room.

We had way too many stuffed animals and dolls, and it was time to get rid of some.

I think we'll keep the one on the left!
No seriously...we had some great girl's time!
Because not a whole lot of cleaning was getting done.
And because for some reason my camera was on the bed beside me.

It started out well.  I nursed Loretta on the bed, and directed the girls to bring everything out of the closet and start making piles: donate, keep, and trash.

Loretta fell asleep, and since Graham was sleeping soundly already, I decided to hold her while she slept (who wants to clean, anyway? It's way more fun to hold sleeping babies).

photo credits to Aubrey
In hindsight, being in my robe probably hindered my productivity...but anyway, after seeing this picture on my camera, I noticed that there was really great lighting in their room. So we rolled with it.

Elaina makes a really great subject.

Actually, both girls are really photogenic.  And a whole lot of fun.

While Loretta slept, I snapped pictures. And we laughed at how Loretta bounced on my chest when I laughed.
It was a fun hour.

This was what the bedroom looked like when we left it that morning.

Yeah. We got a lot done!

Later that day (after I had finally gotten dressed) I went back in there alone and finished cleaning and organizing. 

I didn't mind. I prefer my photos and the fun we had to their help getting the room done.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

In exchange for room and board

When we bought our house, the "outbuilding" was a shed/workshop. I imagine some atv's were stored on one side, and someone worked with wood on the other.

Double doors on the left and smaller doors on the right
A nice little wood burning stove occupied the space along with lots of fluorescent lighting, a huge workbench, and a laundry sink (do you need water when building? When fixing your riding toys? Perhaps my theory is incorrect). Anyway, we don't need a toy garage, nor do we need a wood working shop (actually, it sounds fun, but I haven't the time nor the tools at this point...).

We decided the building would make a pretty good guest house, or mother-in-law quarters.  After all, it already had electricity and water. We drew up some plans and filed them away. It became a storage shed as our mothers are not in need of quarters.

Then we bought a sauna. So the guest house plans were modified to include a sauna room. Dean built a wall separating the space into two, installed an interior door, and wired the sauna into the corner of one of the rooms.

Then a friend of ours needed a place to stay for the school year.  So it became rustic living quarters (in other words, a roof over a young guy's head).  Dean added real exterior doors and a window.

guest room on the left, sauna room on the right
Then we found out that we were going to have a guest for the summer. So we decided to make it a little less rustic by finishing the electrical work and texturing/painting the walls.

And what a good thing it was to finish that room!

well...finished except for the floor
It was used by Tiina for the summer.

We said goodbye to her a week and a half ago, and we miss her dearly already.

But the room is still getting plenty of use.  I crawl out there when I can no longer keep my eyes open and need a quiet place to nap. My sister and her boys as well as my mother-in-law (hey, what do you know?! It's a MIL quarters after all!) have, and plan to, put it to good use.

I'm hoping it will see lots of use in the coming months and years!

What a blessing friends and family are! I don't know what we'd do without their help and support right now.
(And no, helping out is not a requirement for use of our guest house!
Wait, maybe that would be a good idea after all...)

If you know how to run a sewage drain line, welcome up to our beautiful mountain town!
We'll let you stay in our guest room while you work! ;)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hangin' with Daddy

I feel lucky.

I have had so much help this summer.

Friends and family have cleaned my home, brought dinner over, and even taken all my kids for five days.

And I have Dean...who took a week off of work after we brought the twins home.

Oh, he worked!  He changed more diapers than he probably ever thought possible.  He learned how to make a bottle and feed a baby.  He burped and swaddled and bounced and rocked.  And pretty often, 2 am would mean I was in the chair nursing one baby while he sat up in bed burping the other.  I would sometimes blink fully awake and look up to find a perfect tiny little head against his bare chest. And I would smile.
And it would warm me down to my toes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Graham and Loretta's arrival

"If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?"

That was the question I posed to Dean from my perch on the birthing ball.
We were in a labor and delivery room of our hospital, and I was getting sick of waiting for the full dose of antibiotics to drip into my system so I could get on with my induction.  I was looking for distraction.

The question was the wrong one to ask though.  We each knew the other didn't want to be anywhere else but there.  We were both ready to meet our twins.

And I was ready.  I had gotten over my fear and reluctance of being induced (call me chicken if you want, but I like familiar. Inductions were not familiar. Actually, come to think of it, neither were twins).

Regardless, I showed up at the hospital on Friday morning ready for pit, and whatever the drug would bring.
Except it took foreeevvveeerr to get the IV into my narrow veins.  And forever for the antibiotic to run (they were worried that I would have the babies before they could get the full 4-hour dose in, so they 'paused' the induction - which was just an ineffective gel at that point - to finish the penicillin).

I told Dean at one point that "being induced is for the birds!  It's such slow going!"

At 1:00 they finally started the pitocin drip.
At 2:00 I told the nurse "I got this. This is easy," as I rocked my way through contractions on the exercise ball.
At 2:30 I told Dean "two more hours" (I'm getting pretty good at guessing arrival times of my babies)!
At 3:00 I asked the nurse if she could "bump up my pit".
At 3:30 the Dr. broke my water (what a relief!) to intensify labor.
At 4:00 I was wheeled into the operating room (protocol, despite my natural labor).
At 4:20 my Dr. said "Whenever you're ready. Bear down whenever you feel you're ready".
And at 4:30 I was listening to two babies cry.

At that moment, I was utterly and completely exhausted!
But filled with the most peaceful happiness too.
My babies were here, healthy and whole!

Graham Reid arrived, wide-eyed, at 4:26 pm weighing 6 lbs 14 oz and measuring 19 1/2 inches tall.
Loretta Irene arrived, already exercising her lungs, at 4:29 pm with the exact same weight and height as her brother!

Throughout my two night stay in the hospital I got lots of congratulations.  Most of my nurses would enter my room for the first time and say something like "I hear you are a rockstar!"

But no, I am not a rockstar.  

I am a mom.  
A mom of seven.  
A mom of twins!
And it's pretty darn awesome!

The sweet welcome we drove home to.

They are so perfect!
We couldn't feel more blessed!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Oh yeah, they're here! The twins!

You know...I thought I'd try.
Try get a blog post about the arrival of our twins up.

But Loretta just let out a holler from the bedroom, and Graham is starting to fuss in the swing.
Oh, right, that's what we named them.  Loretta Irene and Graham Reid.  Born three minutes apart on June 27th weighing in at the exact same 6 lbs 14 oz.  These two are in sync!  So much so that if I take Graham out of the crib at night to feed him, Loretta senses he is gone and wakes up too.
Then I have two crying babies and only two hands with which to work.

Yes, the nights are sometimes crazy. And so are the days, actually.

Day five went something like this (thank goodness my hubby took a week off work)...

Struggle to get Loretta latched on (yes, I am breastfeeding both babies. Yes, I sometimes wonder if I am crazy, or will go crazy, for making that decision). Finally relax and feed Loretta.  Graham starts to cry and root around as she is finishing up.  Hand Loretta off to Dad to be burped, and feed Graham.  Loretta wants to eat again while I am burping Graham.  He loads his diaper, so I hand him off to Dad to be changed and feed Loretta once again. Graham comes back hungrier than ever now that he has room in his stomache.  Dad is pacing and bouncing Loretta, trying to stretch a few more minutes in until Graham is satisfied.

Repeat the above several times.

My sleep deprived brain is producing thoughts such as these:
Wait, did I miss lunch??
It would really be nice to take a shower today.
They are soo stinkin' cute!
Did I just take my vitamins, or was that yesterday?
No need to hold my bread while I butter it hon, I got this one handed stuff down pat.
I have been sitting in this same chair ALL day long! I need a breath of fresh air!
I just love newborn soft skin. And Loretta's hair!
I am starving.
Who the heck boils their breast pump parts for 10 minutes after every use?!?
Help! I am drowning in milk over here!      

So I apologize for not getting a real announcement with photos and a story posted here for you. It's coming, I promise. In the meantime, refer to the instagram side bar to the right for all kinds of adorable cuteness.

I'll be back once I figure out how to keep my head above water.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

And so I wait

Words elude me.
Or perhaps they simply all seem trivial, inconsequential.
Goodness, I've deleted enough of them here in the past few months as I've tried to write a blog post.

It's a strange thing, not being able to write, when I feel so much.
No it's not the heartburn or the exhaustion or the discomfort I want to write about.  I don't want to complain.

It's the heart-wrenching things: the excitement, the longing, the anticipation, the nervousness, and the fierce love that I've been feeling.

I think it's a given that I already love these two beings. I've carried them for 35 weeks.
I think it's also a given that I'm nervous.
Did you know that it's standard procedure (here anyway) for a twin delivery to take place in the operating room surrounded by some 12 or something people?  Even if you are having a natural, vaginal delivery.
Yes, nerve-wracking.

And yet, I am so excited to experience this labor and birth because it means I am going to get to finally hold my babies and feel their skin on mine. I will get to hear their cries, and get to soothe them and cradle them.

I am looking forward to that sweet, sweet moment.

And so I try to practice patience.
I could have one week until I meet my little loves.  Or I could have five.

I simply wait.
For the moment when I can welcome them into our world.
Perhaps then the words will come.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

our world

Well hello there!  It's been awhile since I've visited blog land.

First off, I feel like I have to talk about the twins.  
I have done nothing about Dean's suggestion to document my growing belly each week.  Except snap one more distorted, half body cell phone pic around 26 weeks.  It's not worth sharing.  If you would like a comparison though, at 28 weeks I measured 36 weeks pregnant.  :)

But I am feeling good!  Wait, perhaps I am lying if I consider the last time I've posted.  This week, I am feeling good.  I am doubtful you want boring details of the last couple months.  Lets just say that I know what you feel like if you have pregnancy anemia or even tachycardia.  Not good. And it's not fun.  I have never felt so drained and weak in my life.

Despite that, the twins are growing well. Good thing they take everything first, and leave me any leftovers.  At almost 29 weeks, I was surprised to learn that they measured 3lbs 3oz and 3lbs 2oz (they're getting big)!  Everyone at the office assured me that it was great news that they are growing at the same rate. 

And as is usual with me, having an ultrasound makes me think about these babies as real little beings that will join our world soon.  Which pushes me to consider names (the day after every ultrasound you will usually find me listing names and/or perusing baby name sites).  And over the last couple weeks, I have thought of my babies by name, sounding them out in my mind, trying them together and separately, seeing if they take root or not.
Oh! The joy and content I will feel when I can finally welcome them into our bright world, hold them and whisper their names against their soft, sweet smelling skin!  

But I am not ready.  Not ready for twins to join our family yet. I am only about 30 weeks along.
I know it has little to do with me, and everything to do with them, but my room needs to be spring cleaned. We need to put flooring in our bathroom and hang doors.  I need to wash sheets and set up the cradle. Sort clothes and place them in drawers. Wash car seat covers. Buy diapers!
And the list goes on.

And we, of course, went off camping this past weekend instead of ticking one little thing off our list.
I knew this would be our last chance to go for a good year or more.  So we hooked up the tent trailer and went.

It was such a fun and relaxing trip that I voiced going again next month.  Dean quickly nixed that idea! 
He is more realistic than I.

And so I cherish the memories and let my mind wander:  
To the sight of my children playing with their cousins in the woods.
To napping in the warm sunshine, lulled by the sounds of the creek and the birds.
To the taste of roasted apple slices dipped in cinnamon and brown sugar.
To our family conversations (and jokes) once tucked in bed in the dark of night.
To watching my youngest two eagerly unzip the canvas windows first thing in the morning 
          to see what kind of sunny world awaited them outside that day.

Monday, April 7, 2014

A gift for a friend, a gift for myself

I had thought I was burnt out on quilting, that I no longer had any desire to piece together scraps of fabric.  Even though I've used my sewing machine plenty, it's been a couple years since I've made a quilt.

But I have a dear friend expecting her first baby. I needed a special gift... and a homemade quilt is the answer (in my book anyway).  So away to the fabric store I went.

And I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of making this quilt!

Isn't it fun?!

It makes me want to get back to my fabric stash and the sewing machine and whip up a couple more.  I think I could put two quilts to good use soon. :)

This quilt did not feel like work.
It was a joy to make.
And that is a gift I gave myself.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


I have blundered upon another technological time-waster.
(see right side bar).

And I have not picked up my dslr in a good week or two because of it.

Or perhaps being in week two of mothering and housekeeping a family with the stomach flu has more to do with it.

Either way, I kind of am loving having a 'camera' in my pocket or purse at all times.
It makes it rather easy to leave my bigger camera on the shelf.

It feels really strange to not have random pictures to share...but my camera card is empty save for projects around the house, the biggest of which you've seen - the laundry room progress.
And like I mentioned in that post, we are sharing the kid's bathroom sink with them.

The only storage we have in here is behind the one big door of the vanity.  I put a plastic 3-drawer thingy under there, but do you think the kids use it?!?
It drives me batty when they leave their toothpastes, brushes, and floss all over the sink.
I've tried the standing holders as well as the hanging ones. Neither of them are big enough to fit five tubes of toothpaste (Dentist's recommendations to keep the cavities in the few kids that have them).

So my solution was to hang trays on the back of the door, making teeth cleaning supplies easier to get to, and easier to put away.
One 99 cent pack of 8 cup hooks and one $1.23 pack of divider trays (for a junk drawer) from walmart had me in business.

I marked where each hook would need to go, predrilled holes (oak is a hard wood), and simply screwed the cup hooks into the door and hung the baskets on them. This way, they are easy to remove when its time to clean the dried toothpaste off.
The only hitch I ran into was that the screws were longer than my cabinet door was thick.  So they aren't screwed in all the way, but it still works.

How's that for organization?  We now have a clean bathroom counter.  And I no longer have to put away 5 brushes and pastes before I brush my own teeth.
It's the little things in life, like hanging trays and clear counters, that are making me happy this week.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Naming our twins

Now that we know we are expecting a boy and a girl, we can get serious about names.

I've always been the name finder, and hubby has been the voter. I read from my list, and he gives his input.
That one's okay.  
Naw, I don't like that one so much. 
[thoughtful look] I kinda like that one. 
[look of distaste] No. 

And when he does come up with names on his own...let's just say none of our kids were named that way.

24 week bump

My kids aren't much better, by the way.  My six year old suggests the names of all his friends.  My eight year old recently suggested Peter and Piper... to which her dad said "hey, if it were two boys they could be Mike and Ike!"

So yeah, discussions about baby names in the past have often ended with me throwing my hands in the air, and discussions in the present leave me shaking my head or cracking up.

But naming twins seems like a much more difficult task than naming one.  I have to come up with two, and while that's not too hard, making them go together is.

And no, we will not have a Jayda and Jaden, a Harper and Parker, or even an Olivia and Owen.
I have decided that these two will have unique, individual names, just like the rest of my children.  Because I want to recognize that they are unique individuals, even if they share a birth date.
I want to treat them as two separate beings with different needs and dreams.

Oh I'll love dressing them matchy, we'll start out with a shared crib, and I fervently hope that they will share a special bond.  But I also hope that we can nurture their individuality and not shape one around the other.

So, finding two names that go together well, yet are also unique, is my newest challenge.

I'm guessing that we'll keep our tradition of not settling on any names until we see the babies, but I've already got a boy's name I love stuck in my head.  And unfortunately, the girl's name I like starts with the same first two letters!  So it's back to the drawing board for me so Dean can vote some out.

And speaking of hubby, he didn't even get a word in edgewise about choosing matchy names.
I've just decided that it is going to be that way.
Because I'm the mom, that's why.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Moving our Laundry, part 1

Guess who's excited to be spinning laundry in a brand new washer and dryer in a half finished laundry room?!?
Me! Me! Me!

Those shiny new machines almost make up for the bare drywall and open walls.  Almost.

But let me back up a little.

We've lived here for a little over two years, and have thrown around lots of different ideas of how and where to move our laundry from the moment we first looked at the house.

You see, I've been washing clothes for a family of seven in the entry way, between the front door and the door to the garage all this time. Yep, makes perfect sense to me too! I think the laundry must have been an afterthought on the architects part.

Have you guessed yet that our house was built in the 80's?
I can't wait to replace the tile this summer!
These two little laundry closets are in the farthest corner from the bedrooms (i.e. the dirty laundry), in the highest traffic area, and right next to the front window that any visitors look into when they ring the doorbell (more than once I've had to kick aside dirty laundry piles to open the front door. Talk about embarrassing)! Not to mention that I have to lock the garage door any time I do laundry to prevent the door slamming into the laundry closet's bi-fold doors. 
Had to. Thank goodness that is past tense now!

So when we started talking addition plans (because we're soon to become a family of nine) it made sense to tackle the laundry room first. This most recent round of brainstorming brought forth the fact that our master bathroom has a lot of wasted space.  Duh!!  Put the laundry in our master!
It may seem weird to you to have a laundry off the master, but I think I'll love it!

We had a large sink area, off of which is a toilet and shower room.

We decided to turn the sink area into a laundry room and turn the toilet/shower room into the master bathroom by knocking out a closet (it was the smaller of two closets in our room).

It was not a quick process, and my room is full of drywall dust despite hanging sheets and plastic over the construction areas.

But we are moving along!  Progress is good, even if it comes slowly!
I think that Dean expected me to be satisfied once the new washer and dryer were installed (this morning and five weeks after I bought them), but *shhh* I'm not.  I need my counter to fold clothes on to.  I need my sink to rinse and soak stained clothes.  I need my cabinets and shelves to store the laundry soap and dryer sheets in.
And I am really looking forward to an updated bathroom, not to mention actually using my own bathroom again.

Our plan. Or what still needs to be done.

So we plow forward.  Once the electrician/plumber has time to come back and finish his work in this area, we will fill in the walls and extra doorway, hang cabinets and counters, paint the walls, install new light fixtures and a vanity, and re-tile the bathroom floor.

Meanwhile, there has been drywall dust footprints down the hallway about every other night.
I'm actually looking forward to deep cleaning my room and mopping the whole house when this little project is done. 
It could be a while... 
but I guess I can go watch my clothes spin in the pretty new machines while I wait.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nothing quite like family

Over the past weekend, we packed up the car and headed 2 hours west to meet up with my family.  My parents, grandmother, and all my siblings with all their kids were present coming from different parts of Arizona, California, and Alaska.
It had been almost five years since were all together!
So of course, we had to take a family photo.

And of course all ten cousins had a blast playing together.
Gosh, but I have an adorable niece and nephews!

And yes, ten kids in the house was wonderfully crazy. We adults were very glad to shut them into the garage-turned-rec-room when the noise level got out of control!

We kept them busy with faux snow balls (hours of entertainment for all ages!), sidewalk chalk, bubbles, kites, and a painting craft.  The weekend actually went really well.  I wish we had had more energy to stay up past the kids' bedtimes for some adult time, but it was still good to be all under the same roof anyway.

The weekend ended way too quickly, and we were all sad to say goodbye.

The whole crew.  We were missing two spouses.
I love the quote "families are a lot like fudge: mostly sweet with a few nuts."  And I have no problem claiming the 'nut' title! It's all good, because family accepts each others idiosyncrasies. Besides, if I'm a nut, then most likely, so are my siblings. :)

Ah, there's nothing quite like family get-togethers.
I can't wait to do it again!