Convos with Rainer....

8 am, I'm eating granola with my hands out of the bag.

Rainer: Mommy?

Me: What?

Rainer: Are you being like a dog? 'Cause you don't have no milk! 


Rainer, to Daddy: Daddy, I don't like kid girls.  I do like Mommies, but not kid girls.  Yuck!


Me:  Yay! It's Friday night and we're going on a family date!  For pizza! Do you know what a date is?

Rainer: Yes, but mommy? Dates are not for pizza. Dates are for dates. They are for eating. Eating a date! Like in our fridge.  And, if you want pizza, then you have to have a date-pizza!

(we have Medjool dates in our fridge)

Me:  Of course! 


This kid is something! 

Hair saga

Solomon hates haircuts. 

He has this thick, straight, never-ending head of brown hair that grows like weeds. It seems to grow in all of the least flattering ways, with emphasis on the sideburns and neckline, always making my otherwise gorgeous six-year-old boy look like a neglected delinquent.

But, haircuts. HATE is the word I'm using, people.

Mr P has a deluxe haircut clipper set in its entirety, and we even offer the haircuts in the comfort of our own home, in front of the TV, snacks at our disposal, distractions galore. There has been bribery, and when that fails to work, logic and reasoning, and inevitably back to bribery. He legitimately LIKES his long, floppy hair; the way it falls into his line of vision, the straggly ends approaching his ear lobes, the rat tail out back. I haven't been able to figure out why, or where this preference comes from, because it's baffling. He has not been gifted with the wispy surfer locks or skater side swept bangs. It's a hot mess.

Over the weekend, we coaxed him into the clipper's chair. Octonauts was playing, popcorn was popped, and peanut butter balls were rolled as reinforcements. Daddy managed to complete the haircut mostly without a hitch and at record speed. He was complain-y and whiny when he looked in the mirror, but nothing beyond the usual. We went on with our day.

Cue Monday morning. Two words:  MELT DOWN. 

He physically would not, could not, did not move his body off the floor, as he wailed, flapping at his head, screaming MY HAIR IS TOO SHORT! This kid is not high on drama; he's mellow, even keeled, agreeable and easy for the most part. I stood there, frozen. 

Here I am, watching the scene unfold, feeling completely small. It was one of those moments when I think to myself, "Who left me in charge?" More frequently than I would like to admit do I have these split second inner dialogues, where I genuinely feel transported to my nine year old self, scanning the room for my mommy, or any responsible 'Adult' who can take charge of the situation. I mean, really. When did the growing up actually happen? It's all a blur. 

I'll be the first to admit, I'm not stellar at keeping my cool. Mr P will walk around our chaotic play room as the boys pull each others' hair, and he'll be talking in this soft, soothing monotone voice, while I'm all "STOP THE MADNESS, LITTLE HUMANS!"

But, Monday mornings are teacher in-service, so he goes to work before the sun comes up, and I'm on my own. 

I took a few moments to breathe deeply and actually think about how to approach this situation. Instead of simply reacting, I paused. (This is rare; hence the need to include it here.)

"Sweetie, I want to help you get through this. I know you don't like your hair. But, nothing can change that right now. If I let you stay home from school today, what will we do tomorrow? And the next day? And every day until your hair grows back long?" 

"I don't want to go to school tomorrow either! ::sobs::  My HAIR IS TOO SHORT!"

My mind is racing at this point.  Bullying is real. Someone might say something. What if the kids tease him? What if his teacher embarrasses him? Maybe he should stay home. That instinct to want to protect our children from all potential threat of harm, large or small? That's real. 

What came next wasn't the prettiest or most eloquent moment of parenting. I saw my son shift from genuine stress about going to school with a new haircut, to being just plain naughty. It is a fine line, but when it's crossed, it's usually plain as day.

And, you better believe at that point, I decided in my mind that he was going to school. 

There is never anybody around in those moments to teach you how to confront the (daily) complexities of your child's manipulation, fears, worries, insecurities, or outright defiance. Most of the time, all we have in our arsenal is our gut. So, we react and hope for the best.

"How about this? I'll meet you in the cafeteria at lunch time, and if you are still unhappy, you can come home with me."

He glared at me from the backseat, face blotchy and wet. But, when we pulled up to the curb at the main entrance, he wiped his eyes and confidently grabbed his backpack to walk to his classroom alone. 

I realized in that moment as I watched him walk away that I unknowingly gave him a very special gift. I gave him the knowledge that he could overcome his insecurity. And that knowledge is power.

A few hours later I waved at him from the cafeteria entrance. He smiled sheepishly, as he packed up his things to go to recess. 

"So, here I am. Do you want to come home, or do you want to stay?"

"I want to stay," he answered without hesitation.  And with that, he ran outside with his friends. 

It's certainly not everyday, but this day, I patted myself on the back as I walked to my car, smiling. We can do hard things!



Tiny Adventures

We've enjoyed for the past several weeks going on mini adventures as a family. Mr P bought this book Curious Gorge , written by a local guy and geared toward local people exploring "our gorge." It's been so fun! Our new challenge is to visit each of the 116 entries. We don't have a timeline and we don't have an agenda, except to open to the table of contents each Saturday, pack snacks, and GO. 

The boys have whined and protested each time, but without fail they end up not wanting to leave where we end up. It helps that it's been a spring-like February here in the gorge!  

I'm grateful that I still find myself in awe of this region's incomparable beauty, and I hope it never becomes normal or boring to explore our home. My trusty iPhone comes along on our adventures, but without fail the photos disappoint. It seems the mystery and lure of the gorge is that photos will never be able to capture its glory; you must come see for yourself. 

(We love to entertain.) 

(We have a laz-y-boy pull out bed.) 




three little words

I'm reading a very powerful memoir (thanks for the rec, Eli!) called Three Little Words.  Ashley tells her story of growing up in foster care, living in 14 homes before she turned 13. It's one of those books that you think about as you are driving, laying in bed at night, and rocking your babies to sleep. Read it.  (I'm planning to read her adoptive mother's book next, I speak for this child

Little Rainer is sick. He woke up at midnight coughing like a seal saying "I can't breathe!" I pulled him in close and stroked his head for close to two hours as he struggled to fall back asleep. Someone did that for me when I was sick (thank you, mom), and now I have the incredibly fortunate privilege to do it for my son in his most vulnerable hour. 

My mind wandered to the 500,000 children in foster care. I couldn't help it. 

Today you can find us on the couch, wrapped in blankets, watching veggie tales. I won't be letting go of his hands all day. 

the state of things.

Lately I've been struggling a bit with this blog. I'm not really sure where it has been going, where it should be going, or if it's going at all. Our expat experience in Mexico has been over for almost 8 months now, and we have basically adjusted to our new "normal" life in Hood River. There seems to be less to write about as the little guys grow, and maybe that's because life is more uneventful or life is more personal or life is more full. I'm not sure. 

Part of me knows I will appreciate even the smallest, briefest snapshots of our daily lives, thoughts, and tiny adventures as I read them years from now.  And, another part of me sees a blank page, all day, everyday. Call it writer's block, call it normalcy, call it good old fashioned boredom, but I guess I just don't have much to say these days. I've been focusing on other hobbies beyond writing, and that is a beautiful and very good thing. I'm so blessed to be able to divide my attention neatly over the span of several interests of mine. 

Today I volunteered for a couple of hours in Solomon's classroom. It was basic stuff, but I was smiling inside that I CAN DO THIS. I'm so lucky. Tonight I go to my first training to become a volunteer CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for Hood River/Wasco counties. This work is all about advocating for children in foster care; being their eyes, their ears, their voice in the court system. I'm scared, but again ... so lucky.  I'm sure I'll have stories to share in the coming months. I'm hopeful for many happy endings.

February is around the corner, and we are coming up on 6 months of home ownership. Part of me is shocked, and the other part confused. It feels impossible that we've only lived here for six months, and also Mexico feels like last week and another lifetime. It's all very strange. I love our home. LOVE. IT. 

I continue to plug away at my 30 miles a week, and almost every run feels like a mini vacation from life that I'm ever so grateful for.  I listen to my audiobooks and podcasts (Serial, anyone?!), and sometimes I just space out to Pandora.  In the evenings I read Harry Potter (I'm on book 2) as I fall asleep. 

I've also recently become sort of obsessed with vegan cuisine thanks to a stack of cookbooks from the library. (Oh She Glows is my favorite)  I've been meal planning and making all sorts of crazy nut bars and date balls and stir frys and veggie burgers and rice bowls and tofu and tempeh and it has all been AMAZZING.

Solomon invited his first friend over from school the other day, and it was adorable. We ate chips and salsa and went to the park and played legos. Rainer tried desperately to keep up. The boys love each other so much I think it hurts. The pendulum swings so darn fast from the hugging and kissing to the under the table kicks and slaps of the head when I'm not looking. It's exhausting and wonderful, because it is life. The fighting over legos has indeed pushed me over the edge, however and they are currently hidden somewhere I'll never, ever tell.

So. That's basically the state of things over here on the Heights of Hood River. 


a tiny little thought.

Lately I've noticed I'm thinking more and more about myself.


Well, let me back up.

Aren't we conditioned as women, especially as mothers, that our needs come last? That to think about ourselves is selfish, appalling, embarrassing, wrong? 

It could be now that Rainer is 3, and preschool has crossed my mind, and school is on the horizon, I am realizing that there will come a day when I won't have little ones demanding my attention nonstop. I will wake up one morning and after 7:40 am, the house will be silent. What then?

I want my boys to believe that women can do anything they want to.  But, I realize that first I must believe it. I must think about myself. I must think about my capabilities, my gifts, my strengths and my weaknesses. I must think about where I can grow, who I can help, how I can serve. 

I must believe that I have a lot to offer, and then refuse to let it go to waste. 


Climb out of the Darkness is coming June 20!  Click here if you would like to join us for an urban hike in Portland, Oregon to raise money for Postpartum Progress! (non-profit that educates and advocates for maternal mental health)

Convos with Solo (and Rainer)

Talking about careers and what people do for their jobs

Me: What does Daddy do?

Solo: Daddy is a principal. He gets people in trouble.

Me: What does mommy do?

Solo: Mommy, you are a mom! 

Me: But, what else do I do?

Solo: Hmm... Oh! you are a mom who helps all the babies.

Me: What does Nonna do?

Rainer: Nonna is a sewer. She is a fixer. She fixes pants.

Me: What does Gram do?

Solo: Gram is a teacher!

Rainer: Gram gives us snacks! 

Me: What does Aunt Jessica do? 

Solo:  Um... She goes to work! 

Me:  But, what does she do? 

Solo: She cycles?

Me: What about Grandpa? 

Solo: Grandpa is a feeder. He feeds birds.

The end.

on falling off the wagon...

So, that Whole30 thing? Remember that? Confession time: I re-named it the Whole20. Ha! The night of day 20 I caved and went for the homemade Christmas caramels given to me at a work party ... the sea salt, almond and coffee kind. And before you ask, YES, yes they were worth it. 

However, my inability to enjoy in moderation was also confirmed. And one caramel turned into three turned into mint truffles at my mom and dad's house turned into German pancakes with powdered sugar. So, I fell off the wagon, and I fell hard. I'm not proud of it, but it has taught me where my weaknesses lie (in case there was any doubt before). And next week I'm going for a round 2 of clean eating. I'm not looking forward to detoxing again, but I am ready to clear my head of the fogginess that comes after a sugar binge. 

In other more positive news, I'm rounding out 1,280 miles run this year, which is almost 30 miles a week! You can find me on Strava, if you are so inclined. I'm thinking that for 2015 I would like to run a half marathon, and break 1,200 miles again. I would also love to run another sub 47:00 10K, but I am a bit turned off by the price of most races around here. I'm hoping to find a local Gorge run in the spring.  

And while we are on the topic of goals, Mr. P and I have talked about setting family goals and eating together daily. I read this awesome article that really resonated with both of us. I love the idea of having a mission statement, and trying to talk less so that the boys talk more. 

 "the amount of time children spent eating meals at home was the single biggest predictor of better academic achievement and fewer behavioral problems."

Pretty interesting stuff. Of course right now my 6 and 3 year olds sort of have to eat at home, and I sort of have to be there to supervise. But, it's encouraging to read that these little daily habits are actually laying the foundation for lifelong values. And it matters. RIGHT NOW.

This past year was one of change, transition, and growth. But, if I had to choose one word, it would be:  Blessing. (synonyms: protection, favor.)  Through every up and every down, through each goodbye, transition, purchase and decision, I have felt blessed. I have felt blessed for the experience of a painful goodbye, because that means we loved deeply and without reserve. I have felt blessed to have a family to move home to, one that cares tremendously for our kids. I have felt blessed to find the perfect home in a beautiful community that has embraced and welcomed us beyond our wildest expectations. I have felt blessed through the provision of a car, a job, a nanny, a friend. I have felt, and continue to be, blessed by our health -- emotional, mental, physical, spiritual. I want to remember that this especially is longed for by so many, all the time, everywhere. 

I am eager and excited to begin anew in 2015, in ways far beyond clean eating and running miles.  I cannot begin to imagine the surprises that await our family, and I hope that 2015 can be a year where we seek and find ways to give back these abundant blessings. 



This is our first Christmas "home" in 8 years. Our boys are at the most magical age for the season. They believe in it all, and it's So. Much. Fun. 


Our nanny bought a little stuffed elf and told the boys he has a camera in his belly and he reports daily to Santa on their behavior. And then I gave her a raise.  

I kid.  

But, seriously that elf has kept busy! All day long I discreetly move him around the house when they aren't looking. And every time their reaction when they realize he moved is awesome and priceless and will never get old. I love that they believe in it, without hesitation. There is no analyzing or questioning or doubting. It just is what it is in their little minds, and I love it. 


For the first weekend of Christmas break we surprised the boys with the 2nd set of Star Wars movies. Let me just say our entire house has converted into a galactic scene of sci-fi violence interpreted by a 6 and 3 year old. I get to drink my coffee in peace, so it's a win-win. But, seriously, Rainer will find a pen lying on the counter and it suddenly becomes Darth Maul chasing a granola bar wrapper that is Chewbaca! What?! They can't get enough of it.


Last night we had a holiday party at our house, complete with homemade soups and chocolate and a rousing game of boys vs. girls charades. I look around the room, and I can't believe how lucky we are. It's like everywhere we go we find the best, most awesome people. And I don't know what we've done to deserve it, but we are thankful. 


We have been building epic forts in the living room and going out for hot chocolate and making bird feeders with pine cones and peanut butter and visiting the history museum and the library and let me just say CHRISTMAS BREAK IS ON!!! This morning their nanny came so Mr. P and I could get some work hours in before our family holiday parties, and she came bearing gifts. REMOTE CARS!!! IT'S WHAT WE ALWAYS WANTED! exclaims Solomon, and all is right in their world.


Teaching those little humans

You know those moments when you realize you are responsible for teaching your kiddo major life lessons and you fear you are failing miserably? The moment when you look at your child and all you can think is, Dear God, help us? 

I bought Solomon a few shirts at a second hand store recently. They were in good condition, looked comfy and "cool." I was excited to give him his little surprise, just-because gift. 

His reaction appalled me.  

"That's not new. I don't like those."  

Long story short, I came to the realization that my child had never experienced wearing a hand-me-down. While living in Mexico, we were not close to family or friends whom would potentially share used clothing with us.  He only has one older male cousin, but the age gap is much too large.  

I remember last year at his school in Guadalajara they had a "green" day when all the children were supposed to wear a hand-me-down. Shoot.  

But, of course, time just goes on and we forget about these things.  Until my son rejects a gift I bring him because it is not NEW.  We had a conversation about how lots of kids never have new clothes, and how when something is a gift we accept it and we are thankful.  But mostly I just fumbled over my words in frustration while inside I seethed with anger. Mainly anger at myself for somehow letting it come to this point. 

Since this day, we have had two not pretty outbursts related to wearing these shirts. Seriously. The other day, the most recent, I lost my mind. I was boiling mad inside that I had somehow allowed my child to become a spoiled brat. It was shame that I felt, but instead I directed my anger at my six year old. I knew in my heart it really is not his fault. But, I simply reacted. And then instantly I felt awful. 

I guess I don't have the answers for how to instill gratitude and simplicity in our children. Or whatever else it is we are missing over here at our house. I know that it's not by flipping out like I did. (I'm sorry Solomon.) Rainer and I went to the school to have lunch with him that afternoon because all I could think about was hugging him and saying I'm sorry... I'm broken... We all are. 

At work that night I asked my colleague for a family my boys could buy Christmas presents for. She gave me a list of four little girls, and you better believe my boys were walking the bright pink aisles with me, picking out dress up heels and Dora puzzles. Did it hit home for them? I don't really know yet. But, it's a start.  


week one.

I have completed over a week on Whole30. It has been harder than I thought in some ways, and easier in others. For instance, breakfast cravings surprised me by being probably the toughest time of day. I just want to wake up and not have to think so much about what the heck I can eat. I just want yogurt with granola or cereal or toast or a simple English muffin!! And COFFEE with WHITE STUFF that actually tastes good.

So that's been a bit of a struggle.  Meat, veggies, or eggs are not my favorite thing in the morning, let me just say. A favorite breakfast has been homemade applesauce, fresh or frozen fruit topped with walnuts, pecans and shredded coconut. I have a feeling that's going to get old in a few days, so any ideas are welcome.

Sugar cravings, on the other hand, haven't been nearly as difficult as I expected them to be, as I have a major sweet tooth. I've managed the urges with lots of fruit, blended up mangoes or bananas and raisins from time to time. 

I'm only a 1/3 of the way through, so I realize I need to give it more time, but I haven't noticed any significant improvements or benefits... Yet. Other than feeling super proud at the checkout line of how healthy all my groceries are. 

I'm eagerly awaiting the bursts of energy and glowing skin...

To be continued...


Turkey and detox

What a lovely week we have had! The boys and Mr. P were off the whole week for thanksgiving break. We enjoyed some time to ourselves while our sitter stepped in. Wednesday - Sunday we were lucky enough to host our loved ones. My niece and my parents feasted with us, and my sister and brother-in-law joined for Friday. We ate a ton, went running everyday, played games and watched comedy. It was good. 

Yesterday we drove the boys up to Rowena Crest viewpoint and saw this: 



That's an iPhone shot with no edit. It is really that beautiful. It also happened to be 26*F so we found these:



And these:


and it was gorgeous and freezing and a simple, but wonderful memory. 


I also got my wish of a Christmas tree on Saturday. I bought the first one I saw...And it's perfect. 


Last night in bed I asked the boys what their favorite part of the week was. Here are some responses:

solomon- the turkey!! 

rainer- the Christmas lights! 

solomon- the Christmas tree! 

rainer- playing the robot game! 

solomon- reading books with Nonna

rainer- playing play dough and making stuff!

We didn't go anywhere or do anything, really, but they could care less. It was a full week with people who love them.  


This awful shot may have been the best one we got! 

This awful shot may have been the best one we got! 

And, lastly, because you are probably wondering why the word "detox" is in the title....Yes, I'm crazy and have decided to do a 30 day cleanse (Known as the "Whole30" program) for the month of December. For 30 days I am only eating whole, clean food -- unprocessed, no alcohol, no dairy, no grains, no legumes, no soy, and no added sugars or sweeteners. Bless my sister for doing this with me. 

My grocery store haul from yesterday: 



And my breakfast today:



I've weighed in, taken the before photos and measurements... So here goes something that will hopefully break my bad eating habits and energize me for the holidays!! 

We awoke to a dusting of snow this morning and my beautiful white view is (sorta) making up for my black coffee. Sigh.  

Happy Monday to all, and here we go, December!! 


Musings from a newly 33 year old.

I turned 33 on Sunday. I think 33 might be the best life has to offer. 

It was a beautiful snowy day spent with people I love, eating delicious food and dessert (and coffee), getting kisses and gifts from my boys (boxed up toys from their room). Perfection. 


I treated myself to new snow boots, because that is my reality now. We went running in 18 degree weather and I lived! 



I'm one of the extremely lucky ones. A beautiful home, healthy body and mind, and a family to love and hold.

This will be our first holiday season spent with extended family in 8 years. I plan to relax and take it all in. There will be no stressing out or worrying or over thinking. Just calm.  

Im feeling really thankful these days; its a good thing.  



Baby it's cold outside!!!

My phone awoke me at 5:30am with a message from the school district about closure due to inclement weather. Of course, like a giddy child I couldn't go back to sleep. I laid still, listening to the boys' breathing, trying not to let my mind wander to stressful thoughts like utility bills and icy roads and tax paperwork. Focus, Grace, focus. Soft, fluffy, white SNOWWWW.  

I'm currently sitting at our cozy kitchen table looking outside the window at the snow falling down heavily. I can hear the boys chatting it up as they help daddy rake and bag up the last of the leaves. The neighbor kids just ran out and they are all in the middle of our street making snow angels. Mr. P and I daydreamed about this day for so long. And, now, there they are... my little Mexican boys wearing four layers of clothing, laying in the snow in the middle of our quiet street. 

Happy sighs. 

The first snow angel. 

The first snow angel. 

try to think like a six year old.

I'm feeling a little bit guilty about my brief weather rant yesterday. (first world problems!) I told myself I would not become a grumpy northwesterner. I will embrace the seasons! I will buy thicker socks! I will turn the heat up! I will make soup!  

Despite my wimpiness, I must say I'm proud of the fact I'm still walking Solomon to school. At 7:30am. In the dark. Today Solomon let out a big sigh and proclaimed, "I just love this place!"

"What place, buddy?"

"Henderson Road!" 

This kid asks for nothing else but to play outside after school and watch movies on the weekends. If only I were that easy to please.

Last night I made a yummy dinner of cheesy pesto tortellini and garlic sweet potatoes. Solomon exclaims, "I just never knew the food here would be this good! I mean, I knew it would be good, but not this good!"

"The food where, Solo?"

"The food in Oregon!"

I really can't think of much else that warms a mothers heart more than to see her kids enjoying healthy food. And while verbally professing their love for it? Be still my heart!

For the past month or so we've been giving marbles for good behavior, good listening, sharing, using Spanish, cleaning up, etc. The boys share a small jar and each time I see one of them doing desirable behavior, I drop a marble in their jar. When the jar is full, I told them they would get a surprise. Of course, I have no real idea of what that could be, but I thought maybe something special like a trip to the children's museum or movie theater.

Last night while picking out books to read for bedtime, Solo says, "I think I know what I want to buy when the jar is full of marbles."

"Oh really? But, actually I was thinking we could do a fun trip somewhere special we've never been before!"

"No, I would rather get a new toy! {lost in thought} No, actually, I know! I want to get a CHAPTER BOOK!"

{me, stuttering from disbelief} "Ok... yeah... of course...ANY CHAPTER BOOK YOU WANT!!"

Kids, man. They are awesome. The best, most fun and exciting thing ever for this six-year-old is me timing him with a stopwatch as he rides laps around our block. He's perfectly content to create "jumps" out of sticks, and eagerly await the mail truck each afternoon. His idea of the perfect evening is eating pasta with a scoop of ice cream for dessert. Then, an intense game of chase around the living room furniture with daddy.

At dinner the other day...

Mr. P: "So, what's the best part of life for you right now?"

Solo: "Playing chase with you!"

I'm not sure when or why exactly we must grow out of this beautiful stage of simplicity and gratitude and WOW EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! I'm so grateful for my living, breathing, daily reminder that life really can be 1,2,3 and A,B,C. It's me with my faulty expectations and over-thinking tendencies that messes things up. 



While living in Mexico I often fantasized about fall. I would imagine the vibrant red, orange and yellow colored leaves, pumpkin spiced lattes and the abundance of candy corn and apple cider wherever you turn. 

Let me just tell you, though I am enjoying aspects of this long awaited season of boots, sweaters and scarves, it is a bit overrated. The cloudy skies are putting me to sleep at about 8:30 every night, and my running shoes are taking a beating tromping through wet piles of leafy mush. And perhaps the ultimate letdown? My first (and only) pumpkin spiced latte of the season which set me back $4.65. I mean, REALLY?! I don't even want to think about how many street tacos that could have bought me. 

Alas, onward I will trudge. I will vacuum up tiny golden leaves from my entryway each night and sip on locally pressed apple cider curled up in fleece jammies on the couch, trying not to think about my Mexican buddies frolicking in the park in their flip flops. I will embrace the cold wetness, dangit, like a true Oregon girl should,  running outside in the rain, only using an umbrella in torrential downpours, and drinking a second latte each chilly afternoon. 

Vitamin D drops, anyone? Anyone? 


Photo update

I want to have words this morning, but I don't. I sit here and the screen remains white and my fingers lifeless.

So, pictures instead. Enjoy. 



Mr P and I have been running together once a week in Post Canyon. It's glorious! 

Mr P and I have been running together once a week in Post Canyon. It's glorious! 

one of many weekend morning sunrises on a run

one of many weekend morning sunrises on a run

pumpkin patch was a success! 

pumpkin patch was a success! 

alone time on a 10 miler

alone time on a 10 miler

our neighbor and Solomon contemplating life...

our neighbor and Solomon contemplating life...




boogers and babies

My sweet, dear, precious lifelong friend had her baby yesterday. 

Ohmygosh he's soooo cute. Even in the wrinkly, sort of creepy newborn squishy-ness, he's actually cute.  

Something about seeing someone you love's fresh newborn makes you stop a minute and slow down all the crazy daily routines of life stuff and actually be still. There's something sacred about life so fresh from God, truly a miracle. 

The weirdest thing, I texted her, is driving home from the hospital. I remember thinking that I wasn't sure if they should actually trust me with this human being. (of course it was Mexico, and we were driving away with him laying in my lap, but that's beside the point, or..?)

Remember, you know him better than anyone else on earth, I wrote.

I read her sweet words and looked at that sweet face one last time on my phone, before setting it down for my present reality... Which, happened to be dishes and dinner clean up and two boys to put to bed by myself.  

The first time I held Rainer Marco, I felt so complete. Then, a rush of gratitude that he was here with us. And somehow he has grown at lightening speed into a chatterbox who gives me kisses unprompted at bedtime and loves to play jokes on people like today when he served me a cup of water - complete with plastic straw - filled with rocks from our yard. Man, that glint in his eye. 

Remembering Solomon as a baby is a bit more blurry. I wish I wasn't such a basketcase. I do remember vividly wrapping him in a blanket and swinging him in the hammock until he fell fast asleep, dressing him up in polo shirts for a stroll in the park, and dancing with him in our tiny rooftop apartment. Tonight, as the clock crept closer to 8:00pm and my freedom was within my grasp, I started to feel annoyed at his request for water, another book, the infamous "But I can't get comfy!!"  And, then, the final straw.

"Mommy I have a booger."

"Then get up and throw it in the trash."

"But, I don't waaaant toooooo."

"Neither do I, and it's your booger, AND you have two legs. So go throw it away."

....silence.... lost in my own thoughts of warm sleeping newborns and my mint ice cream sandwich hiding in the freezer.....

.....more silence.....

"Solomon? What did you do with your booger?"

"I put it back in my nose."

Then, I just laughed. Such a release of built up stress and fatigue. I couldn't stop laughing.

Kids, man.  First you are sucking out those boogers so the little guys can breathe, and then they are giving them to you like long lost golden treasures, and I imagine I'll soon find them decorating walls and carpet throughout this lovely house.

Arriba los boogers!!