time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life - brian andreas

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

pretty in pink

My last few posts have been pretty somber. 
Which is strange because I've been feel really great lately...the sun has been shining.  The kids are out of school.  Dylan is home more (holla). 
I am committed to not being such a Debbie Downer (no offense to my friend Debbie, who is almost always chipper and happy)...because no one likes a downer.
Last week we took the kids to the Duyck Peachy Pig Farm...I know what you're thinking. 
What is that!? 
I thought that also...
It's a farm with the most delicious assortment of fruits, vegetables, and you can pick them yourself.

I, of course, took only 1 picture the entire time we were there.  Because I'm awesome like that. 
And it's not even a good one:

Dawson looks like the biggest ragmuffin ever.  Oh well...Go Brasil!
Anyway...the reason for the lack of pictures is that we were too busy shoving our faces picking strawberries. 
26 lbs to be exact. 
But I'm happy to report, I didn't waste a single one...except for a few that Beckham threw in the bucket...he really wasn't as picky as he needed to be.
It made for a busy weekend of all things pink:

there were about 26 katrillion (yes, that's a real amount) more berries than this.

it only took 45 minutes to pick 26 lbs.
but it took me hours to cut and wash all the berries.

26 lbs of strawberries made 8 containers of freezer jam, 2 containers of pureed berries, 4 milkshakes,
1 fresh pie and 3 happy kids... who munched on them for 3 days straight.

my immature husband who was not cooperating...but was enjoying his milkshake.


prepping the berries for pie.

i decided to make homemade crust. 
and it turned out flaky and beautiful...

until it was left too close to the edge of the counter and beckham took a big chunk out of it.

fresh strawberry pie.

And while we're on the subject of pink, I wanted to show this light pink dress I bought a few weeks ago at that amaaaaaazing antique sale: 

It has layers and layers of filmy organza on the skirt.  And the top is 3 layers is thicker organza with a cotton lining:

My absolute favorite part though, is the thick floral band around the sleeves and waist:

Speaking of sleeves...when I wear it, I feel like Anne of Green Gables.  Because of the puffed sleeves.
It has a few spots on it...but you get what you pay for...and I paid $.50 for it. 
So I guess I'll live with the spots.
Oh, and I decided to go dark last week...I have been blonde my whole life.  Except for 2 weeks when I was in college...
freshman 15 + bland brown hair = fat heffer. 
But I've decided to revisit the idea.
And I think it's fun for now.


ps: don't you think Harpers outfit is stellar?  She wore this out today:

Monday, June 27, 2011



Before I had a blog I remember reading on other peoples blogs that they often used theirs as a journal of sorts...to document their lives, children, recipes, projects, activities, etc. 
Now that I have one, I understand.
Perhaps its my justification as to why I am SO wretched at keeping an actual journal...truth be told, I don't even have a journal.  I think I stopped keeping one when I worried that someone would actually someday read it. 
I feel like I track our life through pictures, facebook posts, and now my blog.  Hopefully my posterity will appreciate all my laziness/lack of a real journal efforts.
This post is merely a journal entry.  There will probably be no fun pictures.  No witty jokes that I know you have all come to expect...see, there was one right there.  And no pictures of recent thrift finds (sad, I know).  But it is something I want to get down on cyber-paper... so I can look back and always remember it.
About two years ago Harper began having behavioral problems.  She would whine all day...from the moment she woke up to the moment she went to bed.  She was not sleeping well.  Her favorite word became 'no!'  Nothing we did was good enough.  She was impossible to please.  She was unhappy in every area of her life.
At first we assumed it was the twos...you know what I'm talking about?!  When children morph from sweet innocent creatures to defiant radical monsters.
 Yeah, that was her.
After about a year had passed, we decided it was not the twos....it had gone on far too long and she was getting too old. 
We thought perhaps it was all the changes...within a matter of months we left all our family and relocated to Oregon, added a new baby to our family, Dylan was MIA, and I became a stay-at-home mom...and not the best one, a lot of the time.
Halfway through her 3rd year of life we realized that things were not improving.  She alienated herself from other children.  The fits continued.  And her strong-willed personality was replaced by defiance and total non-compliance to our rules/requests. 
After a few (and by few, I mean so many I lost count) conversations with friends, family, and doctors, Dylan and I decided to have some blood work done to rule out any medical conditions or possible deficiencies.  She was brave when they drew 4 vials of her blood for the tests.  And she tried to be patient as we sat through hours and hours of intake appointments with pediatricians, naturopathic specialists, and therapists. 
I am embarrassed to admit that I hoped they would find something.  Anything to explain her utter disappointment with the wonderful life we were trying so hard to create for her. 
We decided to take Harper to see a behavioral therapist, at the suggestion of her doctor.   
Our first consultation was eye opening.  There was a laundry list of things that the therapist suggested could be the culprit for the disconnect we were experiencing: lack of trust in our love for her.  Fear of change.  Questioning her role in our family (aka: middle child syndrome).  Lack of consistency in our discipline. 
The list went on and on.  But I felt hopeful.
We got to work.  Each Monday I would drop the boys off at a friends and drive the hour to therapy.  We would spend an hour in a room together, just she and I.  Equipped with an earpiece and microphone, I would take ques from the therapist who was watching our interactions from a two-way mirror. 
It was surreal.
I was listening to a perfect stranger teach me how to interact with my 3-year old. 

The goal of the therapy was three-fold:
-strengthen our relationship
-illustrate the importance of her role in our family
-help her understand the purpose of obedience

Each week I would leave with homework assignments that we would work on each day.  And each night we would have play-time for 10 minutes after the boys were in bed. 
It was hard work...constantly trying to identify issues and work through them.  The days were so long.  We slowly eliminated possible reasons for her unhappiness.  She soon grew resentful of our 'forced' playtime together.
Today was our 9th therapy session and together we made the decision not to continue any more.
There has been no change in Harpers temperament, attitude, or willingness to comply. 
I feel an odd sense of defeat...what kind of mother doesn't know how to parent her own child?!  What mother can't make her own child feel happy and fulfilled?!  And why is parenting SO hard?!
The silver lining is that I feel like I've exhausted every resource.  I don't think I'll ever look back and wish I'd done more.  I don't think Harper will ever feel that I didn't try.
And I feel like things will be okay.
Because I grew more in those 9 weeks than she did...and it was intended for her(isn't that often the case?!)
And I am learning to appreciate the good moments we have together.
Like tonight when we put in a new pair of earrings and she squealed from the bathroom...'I look so cute.'
Or when she flashes me that dimpled little smile in the rear view mirror of my car.
Or sneaks into my bed halfway through the night, snuggles up against me, and lays her little arm across my chest.
And those are the moments that make it all worthwhile...even if they're few and far between.
And give me hope that everything will be just fine.  

I sure love that girl.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011


This is going to be a short post.
I have to be up at the crack of dawn to take Beckham for surgery.  He's FINALLY getting ear tubes tomorrow...and I can. hardly. wait.
Seriously, it's been a long time coming. 
He's been sick for 6 months.  Ear infection after ear infection.  Every now and then I get a little glimpse of my happy-go-lucky little boy...inspired only by loads of sugary juice and antibiotics.  Sad.
But tomorrow, all that is going to change.
And I can. hardly. wait.
Did I already mention that?

The purpose of this post is actually to brag that I spent the last week with my family (minus Jacque...sad. and no pictures of my time with Betsy...lame.)
We spent our time eating way too much, shopping, laying in the sun, and laughing.  It was the BEST ever.

yes...this is my 55 year old mother.  senior citizen.  and her body is nicer than mine. awesome. 
how cute is she?! 

aunt jennie and the kids...sporting their shades.

cousin kate.

beckham and kate in the bath.

I almost didn't come home.
But then I realized that I had loads of things to do here.  And a life (if it can be called that).
Oh yes, and this guy:

this is the only recent picture i have of dylan.  nice.

So after an 8 hour drive home, with one screaming little boy (yep, he cried the entire time), too many snacks, and 6 (you read that right) rounds of 'Little Rascals'...we arrived home. 

the floor of the car under the kids

Need I say more?!


ps: if I ever have to hear 8 hours of Alfalfa singing and Darla talking again, I might scream.  O---tay?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


It's been a rough couple weeks for me...for lots of reasons. 

Last week I decided it was time to get a new swimsuit. 
Bad.  Idea. 
I went to Gap and started trying on suits.
And then I turned around and realized how saggy my bum has gotten and that I have cellulite on my thighs.  The experience just reaffirmed my suspicion that I need a vintage inspired suit with a lower cut...to help hide the sag.  And maybe a skirt or ruffle for the cellulite.  Awesome.

Then yesterday our Saturn (yes, we have a Saturn...the one car I swore I'd never own...it's blue.  And it's a sweet ride.) was broken into at the school Dylan attends.  The car was locked so the thief had to shatter our window to get the goods.  They made off with 200+ CDs.  More devastating was the $4200.00 in optometry equipment that they stole.  At first I felt mad.  Then sad.  Then felt violated.  Now I'm just hopeful that somehow it will turn up.  Or that our renters insurance will cover it.  Either way...total pain and lesson learned: we live in the ghetto and NOTHING is safe.  Even if it's locked up.
 I've also learned the when the contents of your car are worth 4x more than the car itself, you just pray that someone steals the worthless car and leaves everything else.

And 2 weeks ago I stumbled upon the BEST SALE EVER.  I'm pretty sure I've said that before...
You're probably wondering why I'm sad about that. 
Stick with me...
There was a huge historical building that had a little cardboard sign outside that read 'SALE.'  Lisa (thrift/yard sale/hummus buddy) and I almost drove right by...but our commitment is to always stop.  At every sale.  No matter what.
So we did.
It was  FULL of treasures...it had previously been a venue for events and also a site for selling antiques and vintage clothing.  When the tenant quit paying their lease and left her items behind, the landlord decided to sell the contents for $1!  It made me a little lottle (yes, that's a real word...it means a WHOLE lot) sad to see so many wonderful things being sold and thrown away (there was a HUGE free pile and a FULL dumpster). 
For example: there was an all-lace cream wedding gown that was just lovely...it had a high collar of lace and the underneath had a sweetheart neckline.  The sleeves were long and sheer.  It had an a-line skirt and medium length train (not that I was taking notes).  It was $.25 (yes, a whole quarter) and I didn't even buy it.  Since I'm already married, I didn't really feel it was necessary...even though I really wanted it.  And it almost made me cry that someones beloved wedding gown was being sold for a quarter.   
Don't worry, I've only thought/talked/obsessed about it non-stop a few times since.

Lastly, a few days ago I was combing my hair into a headband fluffing it with hairspray (yes, fluffing) and almost cried when I glanced in the mirror.  There it was...staring back at me. 
A gray hair. 
I have horrible hair as is...it's not a warm chestnut color like my 3 lucky sisters.  It's not jet black like my foxy moms.  It's mouse brown...just like my dads (thanks Mike) and now it has gray in it.  I'm much too young for grays...but maybe it's all the stress in my life. 

What stresses, you might be wondering?
Have you been reading this post??  
Think stolen goods, cellulite, and wedding dresses.
Don't worry, there is an up-side to all this.
Here is little mourning dress I picked up at the antique sale. 
It was $1 and fits like it was made for me:

in addition to the back silhouette of the dress, i just love the construction
cones and huge garbage can in the background of this picture.

And here I am dancing...trying to amuse my kids.  Don't worry...it worked:

I feel like the pictures don't do the dress justice...I just love the detail. 
The sleeves puff just the right amount where they meet the shoulder.  There are little slits on the underside of the wrists.  There is a waistband in the back that closes with a vintage button.  The length is perfect.  The sleeves are sheer lace.  Plus it's VERY comfortable for dancing. 
I could go on and on and on....it's one of the best things I've found in a LONG time and I can't wait to wear it out.
I suppose if I'm going to be mourning, at least I can do it in style. 


ps: I'm going to need someone to invite me a 'black tie attire' event so I have an excuse to throw on some heels and wear my new (to me) dress.  Thankssssss.

Friday, June 3, 2011

$5 days

I feel like lately all I've been blogging about are the trash totally awesome treasures I've been finding.  Dylan suggested I should start an additional blog for just my thrift finds...I think he is sick of sifting through the never ending blogs of clothing, just to catch a glimpse of our little kiddos. 
I lean towards not doing that, only because I always HATE when people have tons of blogs I have to remember to check...I'd rather just have one...but that's my opinion.
What do you think?
Or do you even care?
Probably not.
Moving on....

I'm grumpy today.  The sun is out, birds are chirping, the neighbors car alarm has stopped (it went off for 24 hours straight....awesome)...so I'm not sure what my problem is.
However, I'm hoping that posting this will improve my mood.

My goal this last week was to dress in a new piece of clothing every day....for $5. 
Not $5 per day. 
$5 for the week. 
Yeah, I get excited about things like that.
I know...I need to get a life.
Anyway...I had to recruit my sweet husband to take pictures again...I don't think he was that into it.  Also, he snaps millions of pictures without warning...so in many I'm talking, glaring, or yelling whispering sweet nothings to my children. 
These are the best...shocking I know.


my favorite find...color block dress with spaghetti straps and v-neck in t-shirt material, $1.00.
(my biggest purchase of the week...wowza).
and yes, this was the best picture. wth.

this is how hard it was raining...all week. 
so my picture this day was with an umbrella. 
it's not a prop to make the outfit look cuter.
it was necessary...to avoid looking like this:


pink ruffled silk shirt with puffed sleeves, $.25.

floral tunic with empire waist, $.50.
there were also these, which are awesome:

double awesome:

gray, tan, white umpire waist tank top, $.25.

yellow silk tank top with ruffled top, $.25.

striped tank top, $.25.  vintage gold 5 string necklace, $.50.
my roots look awesome...i know.
oh and i think this might be a maternity top.  double awesome.
 i still like it.

3/4 sleeve v-neck, tan/white floral shirt. $.50.
nice and centereddddd.

My total for the week was $3.50.
I just love a good challenge.  I know, I really aim high and try to challenge myself in things that REALLY matter...
I realized how fun it was having new (to me) clothes every day....and how nice it was to not have to pick out an outfit. 
I also realized I need a tripod.


ps: there were several of these also...which gives me 3 chins and makes my nostrils look even more lopsided that usual:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I made a trip last Tuesday to the Goodwill bins with my friend Debbie.  She was a virgin binner (yes, that's a real word) and was anxious to experience the chaos and culture there.  She brought gloves along and we both dug in...it was so fun and we both found LOTS (think 4 bags total) of treasures. 
Since last Tuesday, I have been wanting Dylan to take pictures of me wearing my finds.  It's a much better way to show how cute they really are...especially since it's all about how the pieces are worn.
And since last Tuesday we haven't gotten a single picture taken.
So I decided to just lay them out on my bed and show them instead. 
Prepare yourself...these pictures are pretty craptacular. 
Hey, I never said I was good at photography
Anyway, my total was $11.00, and I bought 23 items...which averaged out to about $.47/item.
I'd venture to say this was my best shopping trip ever:

white v-neck boyfriend t-shirt. rubbish.
gray v-neck boyfriend t-shirt. rubbish.
skinny jeans. old navy.

gray pullover with hood (love hoods in oregon). nike.

button up sleeper shirt. victorias secret.
perfect pink tank top. converse.
vintage black velvet vest with cream silk lining. i plan to replace the buttons.
pink, gray, and white tank top with ruffled pockets.  calvin klein.
pink and cream high waisted baby doll camisole. love the lace detail.

white v-neck lounge shirt. love the v-neck detail and button up sleeves. ann taylor.

black and cream stripe sweater. love the thick black bands on the sleeves. converse.

slate gray v-neck ruffle shirt. gap.

coral skinny capris. american eagle.
skinny black pants. these are so thick and have seaming down the front and slits at the bottom. my favorite find. express.

cream corduroy flare capris. i love the buttons at the bottom. gap.

Wizard of Oz Dorothy costume for Harper.  It is so cute, so tiny, and in perfect condition!
Long sleeve blue sweater for Dawson. Gap.
Navy blue shorts for Dawson. Gap.
Long sleeve green plaid shirt for Dawson. Old Navy.
Short sleeve blue plaid shirt for Beckham. Old Navy.
Navy blue mens athletic pants. Nike.
Black and white striped vinyl make-up bag.

The purpose of this post isn't to brag.
It's to prove that the bins are awesome and motivate all of you to come visit me.
Tickets are on sale at southwest.com right now...and we have a hide-a-bed couch.
The end.


ps: you're probably wondering what my kidlets were doing while I was doing my photo shoot:

See?!  Safe and sound. 
And wrinkly because they were in there for almost an hour.