Details in Jules’ Room

I began accumulating items for Jules’ room in December and I feel like I have come far enough to post about where we are today.

Here was where I started with the inspiration.

I am not sure why I had the pink in there nor why I was so on the fence about changing it to a teal.  I was set enough to start purchasing the teal as I was making that inspiration board!  Jeez girl.

**All of the pink went to Jane.  Jules only ended up with the pink as she found this blanket, that I had stored for Jane, and claimed it for herself……cuz it is crazy soft.  but not to worry – that teal blanket below is just as soft. 

We kept all the art from her Montana room.

She is super jazzed that everything is up on the walls and that her fairy lights are up.  The room is very small but it is the only one with a closet and that’s what was most important to her.

Source List:


Hey Peeps – It’s been awhile and I apologize.  There have been some major changes for our family and I am just feeling settled enough to start typing/talking about it.  I have accepted a position in a different state and we have up and moved.   We now live in Dave’s hometown in North Dakota.   To give you some insight into how small his hometown is….our addition to the town has increased the population by 13%.


Dave grew up on a farm 2 miles from a town of 30-ish, 20 miles from a town of 2,500 and 60 miles from a town of 30,000.


View from the farm yard into the field



Looking across the highway into the fields west of town



Moon is high over the Fire Hall Fundraiser

If you follow me on Instagram you have seen the change in locale.

J Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge


Storm rolls in over the pasture

Join me as I document our new adventure on the prairie.

Losing my ever loving parent mind

Have you ever taken a good look around at your life and wondered how you are still sane?  That’s me right now.  Dave has been getting his work travel on, which leaves me with the girls.  The girls have decided to up their game in the bickering department, the dogs are at an all-time high in annoying-ness, the cat cannot decide whether she wants to be outside or inside and the chickens have decided that flying over our fence is a good idea.   Out of all of that, the kid fighting is the worst.

Background: I have a sister but she graduated high school while I was still in elementary school.  I have no memory of being a bickering kid with her.  I do remember fun visits, letters, phone calls, being ecstatic when she came home and teary eyed when it was time for her to go.  Given that this is my experience with siblings…I have a hard time with how my girls interact.

I wanted more than 1 child, we tried for years to have Jane.  When she finally got around to making an appearance, Jules and Jane ended up almost 5 years apart.   Jules was so easy as a child that the difficulties that Jane presented almost broke me.  Jane scream cried every afternoon and would never take a nap.  She hated being on her stomach, hated being on her back, hated being in a vibrating chair, hated being in a swing…..on and on.  Getting her to sleep was an exercise in Mary Poppins Ninja moves.  Sigh…Parent mind.  I miss those days….Sigh.  See?  CRAZY!  When she outgrew that stage, there was this wonderful lull in which she hadn’t started talking a whole lot.  Then there was the game changer, Jane decided she had a voice and started using it.  Much to Jules’ dismay  The fights started almost overnight.  Jane did not want to be Jules’ minion anymore and let us all know about it.

I know that they have fun and can play well together.  


the happy crazy house jules and jane play

But man oh man, their noise level drives me out of my ever loving mind.  Or maybe it’s the constant MOM, MOM, MOM??

The ultimate crazy comes from the fact that I hate to be parted from them.  Example:  My mom and I spoke and saw each other multiple times last week.  I must have had that crazy eyed, visible nerves running along the skin parent look about me, as she volunteered to have the girls over for a sleepover.  My instant response was, Are you sure?  Mainly because I love waking up to them in the mornings.  The girls had their sleepover with mom and enjoyed themselves immensely, while I dealt with misbehaving dogs and chickens.  the chickens had to get their wings clipped – a necessary step to keep them safe.  see this video for an example.   Not the relaxing morning that I had hoped for, but what can you do?   HA!

I love those girls so much that it hurts sometimes.  They are so smart, cute, complicated, and challenging.  But apparently, I am surprised by how annoyed I can get by the whole being a mom thing.  I NEVER thought this would happen to me. Delusional?  Hell yeah.

but…..then they do something ridiculously cute and I melt.

the happy crazy house kids

iPhone pic in the car….sorry….but you see what I am dealing with right??!!  


Our new cat – Harriet

Well – in my last post I introduced you to our new kitty, Harriet.

Not gunna lie…Lillian (my last cat, that passed away last year) was a special cat.  She loved to cuddle, came when called, allowed the girls to pet, love on and cart around.  I was doubtful that another cat could come into the house and be as cool with the girls as Lillian was.  Well…..this cat is super cool with the girls.

Harriet is a pretty chill cat.  She has a semi routine now and it revolves around this kitty bed I purchased just for her.

Isn’t she gorgeous?  Jane loves to chit chat with Harriet….see that colored paper in the bed?  that’s a gift from Jane to Harriet.


Harriet loves her chin and cheeks to be scratched.

Seriously, this cat is super chill.

Man oh Man….so pretty and so good natured.

Yeah for Harriet!


A Day in the Life

As usual I am late to the ‘Day in the Life’ party….but I am here now.  So let’s do this day in the life of a working mom thing.

Mornings –

I am usually awakened by my alarm….that I push snooze on at least twice, but today I was greeted by a child’s butt.  At some point Jane had crawled into bed with me and she was tossing and turning – she ended up kicking me in the ribs and that’s how I woke up with a butt in my face.  On other days, I try to get up and get ready – hair, teeth, make-up and clothes, before the girls wake up.  Sometimes I am successful, most times I am not.  When the girls trudge up the stairs I am prepping myself for good morning or bad morning.  you parents know what I am talking about.   is getting dressed and brushing teeth the equivalent of throwing yourself into hot lava?  yup….   The girls are inherently gabby and sunny natured – but if there has been any illness or sleeplessness – the bears come out.

but in these pictures they look like little angels.

Depending on when the girls wake up, we have anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to get ready for the day and out the door.  The dogs always make it interesting, as they are chomping at the bit to get outside and do their business.  So the girls sometimes race to be the one that lets them out.

Brushing hair and teeth commences and then the age old girl question of “What to wear?”  When Jules was younger, she used to have full on melt downs over what to wear each day.  I tried everything to eliminate this habit, from picking out clothes the night before, to only having a few things in the closet to choose from, but nothing worked.  I ended up putting her to bed fully dressed one evening after her bath and the next morning was smooth sailing.  It seems weird to put a kid to bed dressed but it worked!  She eventually grew out of that faze….Thank Goodness.

We load up in the car and its hugs, kisses and ‘I love you’s’.

Lunch time –

I will run errands during my lunch break and/or come home and clean house.  If Dave is in town, he leaves after me in the morning, so I take advantage of an empty house and clean.  I will clean up all the dishes that did not make it from the sink to the dishwasher, pick up the kitchen, move laundry, put away laundry, etc.  I will also vacuum.  I am allergic to my dogs, so keeping up on dog hair is essential.  does anyone know why dog hair likes to hang out on stairs?  seems to multiply over a few hours….there has got to be some science reason for that.  I try to get as much cleaning and picking up done during this time frame as possible.

Depending on my plans for dinner, I will pull together a crock pot meal or prep any food that I will be using for dinner.

Anything that doesn’t get done during the lunch hour – is held over for after work.

After work:

Jules will practice piano and Jane will bother her, while I finish up the details on dinner. 

After Dinner:

Help Mama with the dishes

After the things that are more ‘have to’s’ are done…I send the girls off to play for as much of the evening as possible.

On this evening the girls made a maze for Tinkle to go through while she was in her hamster roller ball.  So cute.

After clean up and prayers….the girls are off to sleepy land.  hopefully

If Dave is in town, I like to get him to watch a show or 2 with me.  Right now we are on Sleepy Hollow via Hulu.  If Dave is not in town….I can go a little crazy.

This can be me….

And then this one……

This could have happened….hahahaha. 

If binge watching Netflix isn’t my cup of tea, then it’s off to snuggle with a book.

Obviously our days vary…but this sums it up.  The girls and I love it when Dave is home.  In the mornings, he helps with the girls by getting them up and ready for the day.  When he gets home from work, he usually distracts the girls from their ‘have to’s’ with running, chasing, wrestling and just plain horsing around.  They are hilarious when they decide to play zombie together.


Once dinner is done, Dave will go and work on the house or vehicle projects until the girls come to distract HIM.

I have yet to come up with a good summation of Dave….for today, a good way to describe him is ….best thing since fire, cars and beer.  Neither Dave or I like to get our photos taken all that much but I do have a few that I have managed to sneak in.  They represent ‘other days in the life’.

and then this super adorable one.

Well there you go.  What are your days like?


Parent Judging

Free Range Parenting vs. Helicopter Parenting vs. whocaresletsjustsupporteachother

I ran across this article yesterday and can’t stop thinking about it and what it implies about the world we live in now.

Washington Post Article “Maryland couple want ‘free-range’ kids, but not all do

First off – I hate the idea and practice of labeling your parenting style.  It is a very popular trend and I feel like it divides rather than unifies parents.  Being a parent is challenging enough…..we don’t need people silently or not so silently judging because we are in a different parenting style group.  Now, don’t think I am a saint and haven’t had disdainful thoughts or words come out of my mouth about another person’s parenting choices, but you can be damn sure that I check myself.  (A very good practice passed to me from a friend, K.  But that is a different post)  No one is perfect and it is about time that we support each other and our parenting choices.

This video that has been all over Social Media pretty much sums up what we do…..but ends with what we should be doing.  If you notice that it was Similac that put out the video and feel inclined to make a comment about how the video is a subtle advertisement…..yes, I know that….but it does not make the message less valid.  I read the comments on the original video posting and it made me realize that the majority of people posting needed to watch the video again.

Most parents feel judged, and not just judged about bottle feeding vs breastfeeding.  Parents are made to feel that their choices are not good enough, from how often you get up with your kids, when you start potty training, when your kids start to walk and to bring it full circle -to Free Range Parenting vs. Helicopter Parenting.  Stop it already.

Peace out peeps.

Stop Comparing

Story time:

 **A close friend recently asked me ‘how do you do it?’  It equals a relatively clean house, full time job, home improvements, cook every night, keep up with 2 young kids and have a husband who is away most of each work week.  This is NOT a bragging post….I promise.  What struck me was that on the surface she is right….just writing those words makes me feel kinda proud….but there is so much more to the picture than just those words….What she missed is the gigantic kid fight I had to break up between the kids before she got to my house, the laundry that I would rather burn than actually fold and put away, etc, etc, etc.

For some perspective:  A number of years ago a very nice girl wanted to be friends with me and as skittish as I am around new people….she really had to pin me down and make me be friends and I will be forever grateful for her persistence.  For the purposes of this story I will give her the name of ‘Emmy’.  Emmy and her husband are a little bit older than Dave and I and married before we did, but that didn’t stop me from comparing.  The worst thing I could do.  Comparing is not fair to yourself or the person you are comparing yourself to.  Emmy and her family had the same outside interests…camping, boating, etc.  We met up on weekends at the lake to enjoy the outdoors together.  One day I made an offhand comment about how envious I was about their things and place in the world.  Emmy did not take that comment as offhand and looked me straight in the eye and said ‘In life, we are in a different place than you’.  I remember being floored.  What a simple concept and she was/is so right.  In general terms I was comparing my beginning to their middle.  Talk about a sure fire way to feel bad about yourself.

I learned a valuable lesson with that comment and I hope you all do to.  Stop comparing where you are in life against where someone else is in their life.  It’s so hard to do to reality….but once you adopt this mantra- your mental health will improve.

Here is a short and sweet recap…  I do it because my kids are old enough to have a set of chores, Dave and I have our routines down……and I close the door to the laundry room so you can’t see the pile 🙂

 stop comparing