photo of the day

Audrey had her first play date with a darling little boy, Owen, who is 3-months-old. 


I am still at the kid table

Well, Thanksgiving proved to be as chaotic as usual for my side of the family. I don't think there is a way around it. It always consists of cocktails starting at 10 a.m. and then an argument regarding what to watch on the one t.v. we have with two stations (Macy's Day Parade or football?). Once the t.v. is on, the volume is always too loud or too quite and commercials must go on mute. 

The cooking starts as early as 8 a.m. and you would think that after years of my grandmother and mother doing this, they would have it down to an art. However, there is always a mad rush to get everything done on time, questions of "what did we forget?" and "where is everyone sitting?" Here I am, married and a mother, and I am still at the kid table. We do tend to have more fun though.

Everyone brings their dogs which means our two, my parents' dog and Samson, an even smaller rat dog. The chaos continues as everyone who comes to the door, the dogs all break out in a mass barking attack which then causes a chain reaction of everyone yelling, "Shut up!" 

Baby really lived up her first Thanksgiving. She supported her dad in a Turkey Bowl football game and then slept for the remainder of the day. She woke up, had a little mashed potatoes and went back to bed. I don't blame her- family is exhausting- not to mention that they all constantly go wake her up.

A few years ago, my mom started doing a buffet for the food. This is really fun. My grandma is always yelling and insisting on everyone going first which causes the young cousins to start packing their plates which then causes my grandfather to start breaking out in a sweat, afraid that he will miss out on all the mashed potatoes and rolls. 

Prayer and saying "thanks" doesn't exist anymore either. Everyone eats way too fast and then all the chaos begins again. "Who is going to clean up?" 

While the young crowd cleans, yells come from the living room. The dogs puked. As many times as we say, "Don't give them scraps," nobody listens. 

Everyone then leaves and we all go to bed. Ahh. Until next year.


thankful edition

things I am thankful for this year: 

1. God: He is the provider of it all 

2. Family. They are crazy but we love them. 

3. Audrey. She is a perfect miracle. 

4. Only gaining 35 pounds with pregnancy. Still a lot, but not too much. 

5. Bookclub. It brought together the greatest friends. 

6. Wine. After nine months of abstinence, I am thankful. 

7. My husband's job. I am thankful he has one. 

8. My column. How wonderful to have an outlet to write and write about my family.


part II: my life in a Roseburg size nutshell


I’ve lost the battle of trying to get him to “dress up”. He about threw a fit when I bought him a tie and long sleeved button up for a wedding. I should have known; he had a tissy fit when we went to pick out his suit for our wedding. “Why can’t I just wear nice dress shorts and flips?” So, thankfully most of the weddings we go to are in the summer and pretty casual which allow for his Dickie's shorts and flip flops.

He is going to kill me for posting this because the "manly man " is drinking wine    

However, I have won the battle with our meals. His mother is a fabulous cook who makes those comfort foods with everything covered in butter and gravy. She will make a main dish, a vegetable casserole dish, one to two other side dishes, rolls/bread and provide a salad with all the good stuff in it. I remember the first couple dinners I made after we’d been married and he would look down at his chicken, potato and salad looking like he was going to starve. However, this was also after the dating and honeymoon period where I had cooked up all my good recipes and made twice the serving size. He pants no longer fit so he didn’t complain about his lettuce in a bowl and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray.

Right when I was getting the hang of being married to a man who has permanent dirt stuck under his finger nails, we had Audrey. My friends and family up in the big city actually asked me, “So are you coming up here to have the baby?” I would say, “Uh, no, I live in Roseburg.” “Does Roseburg have a hospital?” OK, I may be a little Green Acres, but I am not in the total boonies.  Roseburg has a Macy's and a Costco- and yes, a hospital.

It is actually a nice town with some wonderful people. Sure, a lot of the people end up on those pictures you see on "People of Walmart" and they keep their Christmas lights up all year around, but they also are not over consumed with their personal lives having to have the newest iPhone or BMW.

It is nuts how different two towns can get. And here are Chris and I in our own little nutshell with our little baby in our little cul-de-sac. He may be a man’s man, and a very stubborn one- and I may be a bit of queen bee, but life is good. If we were a like, it would be so boring.  


my life in a nutshell...a Roseburg size nutshell

I didn’t know what I was really getting myself into when I married my husband. We met in September of 2008, started dating in February of 2009, got married September 12, 2009 and had a baby on June 19, 2010. People say we moved fast, and I just say, “Why fiddle around when you know what you want?” And granted, I wouldn’t change anything about the path I took…even though it is gravel with potholes and has forced me out of my stilettos and into boots.

There wasn’t a question about me moving to Roseburg. Chris had a great job, and I was laid off. When we first got together, I stayed with him at his single wide trailer which was parked right on the river surrounded by farm. I always said, “I like it- It is like camping.” Well no one can camp for that long. We soon after bought a cute home in a cul-de-sac.

I grew up in a cul-de-sac in a dreamy suburb. Every time I go back there I can’t help but start singing the “Weeds” theme song:
Little boxes on the hillside, Little boxes made of ticky tacky
Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes all the same
There's a green one and a pink one and a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses all went to the university

Where they were put in boxes and they came out all the same,
And there's doctors and lawyers, and business executives
And they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course and drink their martinis dry,

And they all have pretty children and the children go to school
And the children go to summer camp and then to the university
Where they are put in boxes and they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business and marry and raise a family

In boxes made of ticky tacky and they all look just the same.
There's a pink one and a green one and a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same.

The cul-de-sac we moved into in Roseburg wasn’t exactly this way. Cops visit our neighbors constantly sending Chris & me diving into the bedroom with our dinner plates and peeking through the blinds.  It is actually pretty exciting stuff.

We weren’t playing house anymore-we were living it and I had things to learn. The meat in the freezer was venison and elk, the heater was a wood stove (we have base board but Chris refuses to use it), the morning of a logger begins anywhere from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m., and the dirty clothes were actually “dirty” and reeked of woodsman things.

I am not the most proactive person about learning to do things. My mom and dad took good care of us girls and I’m not ashamed to say we were a bit spoiled.

It has been two years and I still really struggle at making a fire in the wood stove. Half of the time, my husband will come home to do it or he will get it ready in the morning so that I just have to light the match. Somehow even then, it fails. He tells me I just have to watch it. I’m easily distracted and before I know it, I am cold.

My husband is also a hunter which means the majority of meat we have is either venison or elk. Last December I even packaged the elk for him…pregnant none the less. I’m scowling just thinking about it. Poor guy…I won’t hardly eat it or cook it now either. Pregnancy turned me against it...well, that or Disney movies.  

Check in tomorrow for the other half of the nut =)

the best for holiday



blogger award

thank you to The Rheinlander's and Madge for this award! 

rules of accepting: 7 things about yourself

1) I leave the fridge open when I'm doing things.
2) My husband is best friend.
3) I sometimes miss traffic, the mall, huge lines & suburb drama.
4) I clean everyday, but sometimes leaving clothes on the floor or dishes in the sink makes me feel rebellious.
5) I am Christian.
6) My husband made me fall in love with him with those work jeans, plaid shirts and suspenders. Yumm. 
7) I am not a Democrat nor a Republican: I am an American.

things I am NOT going to feel guilty about

Inspired by thediaperdiaries.net, here is a list of the mommy and wife things that I am going to stand strong on and not feel guilty about:

1. Not being able to breastfeed for that long and giving my baby formula. I KNOW that breastmilk is the best, and believe me...I heard it from everyone. I tried my hardest, and it just didn't work. My baby is happy and healthy, and that is all I could want.

2. Giving up on baking. I don't even like cookies and pies, why should I make them? I know that baking would make me "Wife of the Year" but I told my husband he can just go to his mom for perfect pies and soft cookies. I like the Pillsbury instant cookies (even though I still screw those up half the time).

3. Refusing to wake up while it is still dark. All of us mothers know that sleep is very important. Audrey just started waking up at 6 a.m., and it is dark at that time. She will chat away in her crib and I will wait until 7 a.m. to get her.

4. Letting the laundry pile up or sit in the dryer for a few days. Laundry is just not on the top of my list. I can't stand it.

5. Putting Audrey in front of the tube. This was a big one that Chris and I said we "would not do with our child." ha! Babies are constantly looking for entertainment, and I have other things to do. So, yes...I will plop her in front of a cartoon or movie for just a short time.I try to at least make it something educational.

6. Not styling or even blow drying my hair. One: It is all falling out for some fabulous post-pregnancy reason. Two: It is just a pain and I get so sweaty- again, thanks to some fabulous post-pregnancy reason. 

7. Wanting a glass of wine- or three. 

8. Not sanitizing EVERYTHING the baby uses. Germs make us stronger, and she hasn't been sick yet.

9. Sitting on the couch and blogging until midday or watching a movie. All moms deserve down time. 

10. Not feeling guilty about not feeling guilty. 

Moms, I encourage you to vent a bit and make your list! Then pass your link over to me!


holidays with baby bring out a family tug of war

I had this dream that my immediate family and my husband's immediate family were all on a beach. No, we were not sitting by a fire singing “Kumbaya” and making s'mores. His family stood griping tightly to one side of a rope and my family stood pulling hard on the other.

Chris and I stood divided by the rope with the baby perched up in the middle. I awoke to the “beep beep” of my text message reading: From Mom, “Where are you spending Christmas?”

For centuries all around the world, marriage has been about bringing together family. However, it seems in our culture these days, you most likely see a family divide. Chris and I had a master plan when we got married. We would just split the holidays — easy.

Then I got pregnant. Who gets to be in the delivery room? Who gets to baby-sit? Who gets to spend baby's first Christmas with us? A sweet little baby brought out the fangs, nails, tears and sweat, with a side order of pressure and guilt. Chris and I are now parents to a beautiful daughter and two loving families. We have to make sure they share, play nice and we have to keep things even.

I suppose having twins would have solved some issues: two babies, two grandmas. Similarly, when one side had the baby, I tried to offer the other side our dogs. It didn't work. Guess they just don't smell the same.

Being that I always feel better when I learn I am not the only one dealing with a certain issue, I collected responses from 30 anonymous families. A whopping 80 percent of these couples came up with a plan before their baby was born and only 30 percent stuck to that plan. In order to please everyone, more than 50 percent decided to visit both families during the holidays — even if that meant driving six hours on Christmas to spend half with the other side.

Furthermore, that 50 percent was spending at least once a month arguing about family, increasing after baby was born.

As I sat amongst a group of new wives and mothers recently — a group that is supposed to be talking about a book, being it is “book club” — we sipped our wine and spat out issues regarding our mothers, mothers-in-law, fathers, husbands, babies and dogs. The stories kept circling around the group as every wife could one-up the previous one's story. For three hours that room was filled with gasps, laughter and a whole lot of estrogen.

In the end, I wondered what we would talk about if we didn't have husbands who kept the toilet seat up, babies who were teething, mothers and mothers-in-law who always have opinions and dogs who chew up your favorite shoes. I guess we could talk about our books.

Family is what makes the world go around — the good, the bad, and the ugly. You really can't pick your family, you can just try and love them — or live far away. This Christmas, both families will be coming to our house. We could sit in front of the tree singing carols, but then what would I write about?

By the numbers:
In an informal survey of 30 families:
• 50 percent are closest to the wife's family, while 13 percent are closest to the husband's side; the remaining were close to both sides.
• 80 percent came up with a plan on how to spend the holidays after baby was born.
• 55 percent argue about family, with 50 percent arguing at least once a month.
• 50 percent visit both families during the holidays; 17 percent split Christmas eve and Christmas Day; 22 percent split Thanksgiving and Christmas, and 10 percent just spend the holidays with the wife's family. Only one family had both sides together at the holidays.

My ABC Soup: Holidays with baby bring out a family tug of war | The News-Review - NRtoday.com

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