Now & Later

Now & Later

So here we are!

Again, it’s been how long?

I love my blog. I really do. But between everything else that goes on when you’re a mom of four, I just can’t seem to find the time to really dig in deep here. But I guess I really don’t have to.

This blog started out as a way to connect. To give the grandparents, aunts, and uncles a way to stay feeling connected and to see photos of the kids. I wanted to go bigger and better, but I never quite made it. I love Instagram and really that’s where I post most of my photos. I mean, they’re all my personal photos – but Instagram are my more personal photos.

So I don’t really know what to do with this. I enjoy having my own little place on the internet, and I love that I’ve customized my URL and made it my own. But I struggle with how to utilize the site.

So we’re learning and growing, balance and progress right? I’m not sure what’s in store. But, as I’m sitting here in the orthodontist’s office and my oldest two children are literally getting brackets put on – as I’m typing this! – I’m feeling a twinge of nostalgia.

Wasn’t this just yesterday?


And even earlier… ME in braces.


All right… back to present time. Here they are today.



And that’s all she wrote, folks. You’ll have to wait for the big reveal!

Edited to add: Duncan just came out all excited, his braces are done, and told me that while he was watching them do Olivia’s they let HIM put one of HER brackets on! Typical Duncan.

Treading potatoes?

Treading potatoes?

I keep popping in, trying to think of something to say. We’ve left Oregon officially, making this – finally – a useful little corner of the internet for those looking to hear news. The problem is, generally to post about news, you must have news! We’re a pretty relaxed family, we don’t get too crazy, but this also makes things a little uneventful.

I’ve been desperately missing my usual game time, which I need to be better and post more about. I have this hang up that people will be uninterested. But let’s face it! You may already be uninterested! And I started this blog, ultimately, for me! If you subscribe, you’ll get an email each time I post and you can quickly scan the writing or glance at the title – worthy? Read! Not? Delete. Simple as that. So I figure, if it’s for me then I’m going to write about it. Why not? My job is to post and share the content. Not your cup of tea? No biggie. Your job is to either whine at/ignore/delete the ones that aren’t of interest. Or, even better, let me know! Are you dying to know just how many potatoes we’ve encountered since moving to the Spud State?! Ask! I’ll draft up a whole post. Just for you!

Anyway! The big kids (11 and 13) have been obsessing over Tomb Raider lately. While I don’t have a problem with them playing the game, it’s a bit steep to do in front of the little girls. But seeing as my PS3 resides in the family room – the hub of our home, if you will – this is a difficult task. They’ve taken to swapping days and playing in the 15-20 minutes between the time that they get home from school and the little girls get home from school. So far this is working. Mildly. If I weren’t up to my eyeballs in things to do with moving, getting settled, finally remembering to call the new doctor’s office and set up appointments, cleaning, ironing Cameron’s shirt that’s been hiding for a week by the bed… well you get the idea. If I wasn’t drowning in that, I might point out that this could infringe a bit on my own game time. But since I’m such a nice mom (LIV!) I haven’t complained. Yet.

On the fun side, Cameron did discover a cheap theater nearby when we ventured out for a date night a couple weeks ago. I FINALLY got to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – be still my heart – and we found out about $1 Tuesdays! Shortly afterwards, we had an impromptu movie night the following Tuesday with all four kiddos IN a movie theater. It could have gone worse. Charlie didn’t quite understand the quiet aspect, or that the movie was supposed to be “that loud”, or that you can’t ask mom three times every scene if you can go to the bathroom. Once we got past all of that, it was fine. The kids enjoyed their candy and the movie, albeit cheesy, was $6 for all of us when all was said and done!

Terrible [quality] photo. Cheesy movie. Cute kids. #shrug

Ugh. That list up there? The things I’m treading water in and around? I need to get back to those. I’m sure things will calm down and real life will kick back in one of these days.

Don’t quote me on that.

What’s your sign?

What’s your sign?

Lately my life has been all about getting stuff done. This move is (obviously) top priority, especially with Cameron leaving for a week in just two days. As I’ve sorted, packed, donated, and so forth, I keep remembering my Gma Cole and all the moves she did with me. Honestly, in such a time of #businessbusinessbusiness, there hasn’t been much in the way of emotional self-support or self-care. So, of course, I think of my Gma and get all weepy.

A friend of mine is doing a Facebook Live series right now and one of her videos was on asking for signs and surrendering. So I thought, why not? Right? So during my meditation that night I cleared my mind and asked for my little sign. Something to help reassure and emotionally validate the paths I’m on. My answer? Star polygons. I struggle with just being still, I’m an anxious little busy bundle and when I was trying to clear my mind and ask for my sign, I clearly heard “just clear your mind, blank slate, like a night sky” and there they were. Hundreds of star polygons all laid out in front of me. I smiled with my eyes still closed and shortly afterwards drifted off to sleep. Surprisingly, sleep came quickly that night.

The next morning I geeked out online and started to explore what this meant for me. Star polygons, sure, I could see them but what were they called? The night before there had been all different types laid out in front of me. My brain is constantly in graphic design mode, what would look good done differently, done the same, would another medium fit more appropriately, etc. You can imagine what happens when I’m forced to read yet another menu in Comic Sans.There are so many of these gorgeous things! And even if you don’t immediately consider the design elements – just the different shapes! Endekagrams, enneagrams, pentagrams, decagrams, hectograms, octagrams, hexagrams – the list goes on and on. I know I’m supposed to be specific in asking for and receiving my sign but the generalized statement of “star polygons” felt right. It felt still and quiet, and that was what I needed. And to me there’s a distinction, obviously I could stretch and consider this to be any number of things. But my whole point in jumping into this exercise was that I was lacking and I wanted a nice reminder that we prayed, we searched the scriptures, we put ourselves out there and asked for confirmation that taking our family to Idaho was the right thing to do and we got it! I’m just great at forgetting that feeling and forgetting that we did the footwork (we still are) and that God can handle the rest.

So, determined to surrender and exercise some faith, I didn’t immediately go searching for the stars all over the place. I wanted to place my intention and allow myself to have the reassurance when it presented itself and just be still. Not easy! After a couple of days had passed, I was melted into my couch after a particularly rough day of packing and was zoning out while Cameron watched some show about repossession in the UK. I was feeling particularly ignored because I need a lot of chatter and action (from an adult, I obviously get plenty of exercise in these areas hanging around my kids all day), whereas Cam’s already had a day full of that and needs the stillness and quiet. So, anyway, feeling a bit down and discouraged after all my hard work that day, my eye was drawn to a spot on my PJs.

Now these PJs are something special. About a week ago I was meandering through the clearance in Women’s intimates and jammies at Walmart. If you like DC/Marvel/Star Wars/etc. jammies and fun two-piece sets, check Walmart! Especially their clearance! On the side wall there was a display (not clearance, of course) of Star Wars bottoms. I won’t go into how much I love Star Wars. We all know! So Cameron popped up… I can’t think of where he was, but he was off picking something up. Anyway, he pops up and I’m begging and pleading. My personal assets… or lack thereof… are in a no-spend month (aka, no spend ever, ugh) and let’s face it – I really, really wanted those PJ pants! Clearly – Cam gave in. Even he can’t resist the Star Wars! And I looooove these bottoms, I’m wearing them all the time. Real life mom style, I need to pack, and I want to be comfy! Pairing these with a Chewie tee and I’m set. It just works.

So back to the couch. I’m laying there, dejectedly, and I realize what my eye is drawn to:Do you see it? When I remembered this and decided to share it I was upstairs packing in the girls’ room and snapped a photo with my phone. Do you see it?oh. em. gee. guys.

They’ve been there all along! Seriously, everywhere. And just like when you buy your new car that you rarely see anywhere else on the road and it’s amazing and original and you drive off the lot and BAM – EVERY HUMAN IN EXISTENCE DRIVES THAT CAR. It’s everywhere, guys!

The Leia print I based my half-bath design on? I forced Hubbs to go along with my design plan for the Star Wars bathroom, and he even built the custom sized frame for my print. #hearteyesBut guess what?Hippy dippy power! I’ve had this print FOR.EV.ER. This is not something new. These things are all over, I’m drawn to them and I’ve never even realized it!

I’m not grabbing this and shouting it from the rooftops, and I’m not going extreme and saying the stars are telling me to do or not do something – but to me it just feels good. It’s still. It’s peaceful. They’ve been there all along, reaffirming me. I’m drawn to them and I didn’t even realize with what consistency. It makes me feel like Gma’s telling me I finally do have the good head on my shoulders that she wanted me to have back in my younger days, lol! It makes me feel like, even though it might seem silly, my Heavenly Father has got my back! He’s looking out for me and knows when I’m making good decisions.

Few more, just for good measure…I’m so thankful to have all the “signs” and direction in my life. No, not just the stars! I feel like there are so many signs around us in this modern world, and sometimes we get caught up on what they’re trying to tell us. When really, they can mean and reaffirm whatever we want them to.

Ultimately, I take these stars as a gift. I’m big on faith WITH works, without works faith itself doesn’t work. So, when you get your sign, you surrender and trust that it’ll be there when the time is right – it’s just like that. Faith lets you let go and surrender to God His part. That doesn’t mean you can’t do yours. After prayer, after studying, and even fasting for this big of a life decision, the little stars I’m running into each day now are a fun little reminder that I am on my Heavenly Father’s mind, and he does think of me and works to help me to know that I’m doing what I should. They’re sweet little reminders that He loves me, that my Gma is proud of me and loves me, a reminder that I should always fit in scriptures and personal prayer, a reminder that Sunday can and should be a rest day! Thank goodness I’m an overachiever and can afford to give myself that day off from packing!

We do what we have to do, right? But these little signs help remind me that I’m doing the right thing. Nothing wrong with that.





So, while this is a little backward – I can’t just leave out our fun first trip to Idaho! Our first… very impromptu throw-everything-into-the-car-let’s-drive-out-of-state trip ever. But we survived, it worked.

We all piled into the Acadia, sans Liv who decided to forgo all the endless hours of driving and stayed with her Grandparents. We drove and drove and drove – not a great first trip with the constant traffic issues we battled the first couple of hours, and a late start, but we eventually got out far enough that the traffic slowly disappeared. Mostly.

And it was all worth it, because you go just far enough and suddenly you can get gas from a DINOSAUR. A DINOSAUR, GUYS.

Duncan remembered the Sinclair dinosaur from our Utah days, but the little girls were too young (or not even in utero yet!) Regardless, they were stoked and couldn’t have cared less why the giant green dinosaur was in front of the gas station, they just wanted their picture with it. And to announce its existence EVERY time they saw it.

I also made Liv send me a selfie so I could include her in our documented insanity… #hipmom! (She’s cringing as we speak.)

We arrived late in the evening at our hotel in Boise and all crashed pretty quickly. The next morning we met up with some friends in Meridian and they fed us an amazing breakfast. The kids quickly got to playing and catching up, and even skipped out on the house hunting with mom and dad… (thanks, Em & Shaun!)

After our breakfast we met up with our Idaho realtor and saw five or six houses. My favorite was already off the market, Cam’s favorite was available, and we prayed it would still be available when the time came.

After looking at houses and saying thank you (repeatedly! so nice looking at houses without kids, ha!) and goodbye to our friends, we packed up back into our very dirty car and hit the road for Utah. If we’re already in Idaho, and only 5-1/2 hours to West Jordan? Why not! It had been far too long since we saw our family there and decided to make the most of the short time we did have together!

We arrived in Utah late Friday night. We crashed, every day more miles, every day a new bed.

While visiting their Meme & Pops the kids also got to go swimming in the pool at the new condo! They were delighted to be out of the car for a longer period of time. But to be in the sunshine and playing in the water? Even better! And with a cousin!

And here’s Rachael, going to get back in the pool. Except it’s not. IT’S CHARLIE. Can you believe that she’s grown up so much? Every time I look at this photo I have to do a double take. If it weren’t for the suit, and the just-too-straight hair, I’d barely be able to tell the difference! Kinder this year, people. Where does the time go?

After the kids swam at Meme & Pop’s pool, we headed over to Tarra & Dane’s house for a quick, fun barbecue before we drove back to Idaho. While in Utah, Cameron took me to see a Tahoe (he’s been pressuring me for a switch for a while) and we loved it, so we went for it. Except now, that meant we were driving two cars home, not just one. Cameron had to be back in town the next evening (Sunday) and we weren’t sure we could make it in two cars and 12-1/2 hours with no significant driving breaks. We had to cut our visit just a pinch short but it was worth it to cut the drive in half, and you know, not die.

We so enjoyed the time we got to spend with our big family! Can you believe that this isn’t even all of my nieces and nephews? Not to mention Victor back in Oregon, and my sisters being pregnant! Eesh! Let me tell you – it’s a LOT of birthday cards! But it’s so worth it!

And then, in what felt like just hours since we were last in the car, we were in the car again. Back to Idaho.

We crashed at our friends’ house that night and left again the next morning. I brought donuts for breakfast and probably totally ruined their children for church… sugar high!

Eventually we made it back, safe and sound, and somehow I scraped together the energy to clean out the Acadia (which I drove the whole way home) and empty all compartments, seat pockets, etc. and Cam gave her a quick pressure wash. We put a few things into the Tahoe, while I grumbled about getting a bigger car that somehow has managed to have LESS storage space.

Out with the old, and in with the new!

Meet Hawn. Shiny.

So there it is! The story of us packing up our crazy lives on a whim, driving all over the NW, and then coming home with two cars.

Yeah, we’re nuts.

Adventures on the farm. Kinda.

Adventures on the farm. Kinda.

This last Tuesday we had our home inspection. Finally! I feel like every step on this path to selling our home and buying our new home feels so disorienting on how time passes! Logically, I know it’s all normal amounts of time that are passing for these kind of things to take place, if not less than normal! We are presenting a bit of a time crunch to our awesome realtors! But it all feels like – okay, next step is this. WAIT TEN YEARS FOR NEXT STEP. When in reality, time has passed normally and all the normal people involved are impressed with the ability to stay on schedule. I should also note that when I’ve never done something before, I tend to get a little over-analytical and anxious. Who would have guessed, right?!

So, back to my point. Inspection! It was another be-out-of-your-house appointment and without our trusty McDonald’s playplace back in business, I ran the kids over to Bauman Farms to play on the many play structures, slides, trikes, and even a mini barn with goats, chickens, and more tiny farm critters. We didn’t feed any animals as Charlie could barely handle the smell without incessantly whining about the “gross” and “dirty” things in the barn. (We must be related.)

But even she still had fun.

Here are a few highlights. (And yes, I’m noticing that even Rey is starting to escape the lens. Duncan was here with us [though not pictured] but Olivia was visiting her aunt and uncle in Independence. These nerdlings love hiding from me!)

Standees are Charlie’s favorite thing in the world. She loves them. Obsessively. “MY FAVORITE THING! Mom mom mom! TAKE MY PICTURE!” We clearly need to take this kid back to Depoe Bay and the many, many fun standees there.

So, even though mom may be lost in an endless, growing, what’s-next obsession – at the least the kids are enjoying the fun mixed in the chaos! 15 days to go!