All posts by Shawnna

#hertoo #himtoo

My last post was by far the most stressful and vulnerable thing I’ve ever written. Harder than any other post, paper, exam, college or job application I’ve ever completed. Never in my life have I second guessed myself as much as I did that day. I was literally shaking and sweating as I clicked the publish button. But the response that I received both online and behind the scenes has made me so very aware that I did the right thing.

It is absolutely crazy how many of us have such deeply disturbing stories to tell. Men and women of all ages are affected by this. Today a few friends have decided it’s their time to share. And I’m so very very proud of them. Solidarity, sisters and brothers.

There were also quite a few people who reached out to me but declined to have their stories posted publicly. And I deeply respect that. Because as important as it is to tell our stories, it’s just as important to remember that we don’t owe them to anyone.

#metoo #hertoo #himtoo

“In the summer before my senior year of college, I got a job working at the company where my dad worked at the time. It was a small medical device company and I was hired to assist the sales team. Sexual harassment was a huge part of the culture. Example- if the owner of the company liked my outfit one day he would ask me to stand up and spin around. And I would. But the worst offender, for me, was this guy Shad. I say “this guy”, but really he was a 30 something, recently divorced man with 3 daughters under the age of 6. He asked me inappropriate questions and made weird comments all the time. But the worst time was when I walked into the office that he shared with another guy and he said “Sometimes I just look at that little ass of yours and just think about what I could do with it.” And I just froze. The other guy in the office kind of made a comment about that not being ok to say and I mumbled something about feeling weird about turning around and walking out, to which Shad said “That’s ok, I like the front too.” I walked out and told my direct supervisor what had just happened. Nothing ever came of it, I don’t even think he ever even talked to Shad about it. My direct supervisor at the time was my dad. I also later told the owner of the company and our “HR” representative and they laughed and said he just liked me. I worked at that company for 5 years and I could tell you dozens (hundreds?) of other stories like this one.” – Katie

“A guy in my high school was mad at me for turning him down so he told everyone that we had sex at a party. We obviously didn’t, it was a lie. I spent a lot of time defending myself to other people but to him, I said nothing. And to this day people still believe him.” – Megan

“I was at a party with my friends and I started dancing with a cute guy when all of a sudden he aggressively stuck his hand down my pants. He just did it without saying anything. I pulled away and he started laughing and turned around and walked away. I didn’t even know his name but he still thought it was ok to do something like that. I found a friend and told him what happened and his response was that the guy was probably just drunk. So that was that.” – Anonymous

“Story #1: Senior in high school, New Year’s Eve. It’s me and my three high school besties. My friend had an older coworker at the restaurant she worked out who was throwing a party so we all went. His parents had a huge house, they were out of town, we could all crash there so nobody had to drive. We drank too much. I ended up crashing in a bed by myself. I woke up in the middle of the night, it was pitch black. I couldn’t see anything. But I could feel two strong arms holding me down against the bed, groping me, whispering to me to relax. I was afraid to scream, but somehow after a lot of effort I was able to get him off me. I never saw his face. I went out to the hall and ran down toward another bedroom door to find somebody I knew. I found my friend, shook her awake and told her we had to leave. We left the house, in the pitch black and drove back to my parents house. To this day I don’t even know what he looks like.

Story #2: It was 2008, one of my best friends from college was having a cocktail party. We all got dressed up and invited a handful of friends. This guy I knew from college showed up. I hadn’t seen him in years. I always felt uncomfortable around him, because he had asked me out a couple times in college and I just wasn’t into him, so I always felt like he held that against me. I said hi to him in passing when he arrived but mostly socialized with others at the party. It was late and many people had left the party by now but the few remaining people were having a drunken dance party in the living room, me included. Without even realizing he was near me, I felt someone firmly grab my hand and pull me into this room off the living room that had a futon in it. He closed the door and then threw me down on the bed and got on top of me. I yelled for him to get off me. He didn’t listen so I started yelling for my other friends at the party but the music was so loud nobody could hear me. Somehow adrenaline got me out of his hold and I ran out into the dance party and yelled to everyone “get him out.” I was crying. My girls knew something was up and within a minute he was out of the house. It was a long time before I saw him again. I feared I’d be out walking around Portland by myself and run into him. I had heard he lived in the pearl and I was sure I’d bump into him. I didn’t know what he would do or if he even thought what he did was wrong. But i remember it gave me comfort to think he was too drunk to remember what he did. I’ve told a handful of people this story, because we have a ton of mutual friends. About a year ago, he showed up at a mutual friend’s birthday at a bar. Instant adrenaline rush, eight years later. I promptly left. It pissed me off I was the one who had to leave while he got to stay and enjoy the celebration.” – Ashley

“My moms “favorite” story was being asked if she went down on a first date during a JOB interview.” – Anonymous

“I was visiting a college TA during his office hours and when I went to leave the room he blocked the door with his body and told me he could see up my skirt during class one time.  He asked me if I did that on purpose and then gave me the creepiest smile.  I tried to leave but he kept blocking the doorway until I told him I was going to scream.  I left his office and tried to never be alone with him again. But I never told anyone.” – Anonymous

“This middle aged man started watching me run in 6th grade and followed me everywhere and videotaped me all until I went to college. He would write me these crazy long letters. And come to my house. My parents were very involved but didn’t handle it like I wished. He told everyone he had a terminal illness (lie) so my mom felt sorry for him. He invited me to his house repeatedly and my dad went instead to try to reason with him. Didn’t work. My school got involved and he got banned from school property for a year but would show up at away meets, on my runs, at my house. Tell me he wanted to touch me. Lots of creepy stuff. He never touched me (thank god) but inflicted such emotional turmoil for me all throughout high school.” – Laura

“I was working at a bar and some drunk guys at one of my tables asked me to show them my boobs because they had a bet going on if they were real. I went and told my (male) manager who just laughed and asked me, ‘Well what did you tell them?’. I had to keep waiting on them all night and I’m embarrassed to say that I let them keep speaking to me that way. I needed the tips.” – Sarah

“When I was 9 years old, a known creep in my town cornered me and tried to get me to take my pants off. I was able to fight him off and get away. I’ve never told anyone.” – Anonymous

“I was 14 years old and out with a few friends. This guy that I thought was really cute was also there. As the night went on and everybody started to leave the guy I thought was cute asked if I wanted to go drive around, I said sure. Not long after that we parked somewhere and were just talking, when he leaned over to kiss me and start to go up my shirt. I told him I wasn’t ready. And he basically said that’s too bad. So I laid there and cried. When I got back to my friends house he look at me, laughed, and told me to have fun walking the next day. I was too embarrassed to tell anybody. I figured I had done something or said something to make him feel that’s what I wanted. I felt like it was my fault that this happened to me, so I kept quiet. ” – Anonymous

My heart goes out to you all.

And if you’re reading, I hope that these stories affect you in some way.  Whether it’s to tell your own story publicly or to someone you trust… or confront someone who has wronged you in the past or is still harassing you today… or to keep a dialogue open with your friends and family… But at the very least, I hope it opens people’s eyes to the fact that this is happening to women (and some men) daily.  There is something to be said for the silence that they keep.


#metoo

Like most women I know, I’ve experienced countless inappropriate situations with men. I’ve been groped, ogled, teased, ridiculed, and joked about.  I’ve been uncomfortable, embarrassed, judged and scared.  But nothing has been as disturbing as the times when my “friend” would take advantage of me.

Many many years ago, I was partying a lot with a big group of friends that included this guy.  We’d been close-ish for a couple of years… but I won’t go into further details about him here, as I don’t think this is the appropriate forum to call him out.  The parties were typically at someone’s house and we’d usually all stay up late drinking and then pass out wherever we could find a soft place to land.  Several times when this guy and I were at the same party, I’d go to bed and wake up at some point in the middle of the night to find him on top of me. Kissing, groping both under and over my clothes, asking for more… I’d have no real idea of how long he’d been there doing things to me.  I would tell him to stop.  He would eventually accept my refusal and stop his advances… at least as far as I know.  I guess unconsciousness was his thing.  And then we’d go to bed and wake up the next day and basically pretend nothing happened.

At least one or two other people witnessed this happening to me. And I know at least one other person who had a similar experience this guy.  But still, no real conversation ever happened to let him know that this was wrong.  In the years that have passed, my friends and I have talked about it and wondered why he was just… allowed… to do that.   What I’ve realized is that at the time, my instincts were absolutely telling me that what he was doing was wrong.  But I ignored them, because he was my “friend”.  And to make a big deal out of the situation might make me known as dramatic, or slutty, or worst of all… responsible.  Because that was the underlying thing, I felt more concerned about my role in the situation than his.  Like I should have done something different.  I shouldn’t have drank as much as I did or I shouldn’t have put myself in close enough proximity to him to allow that to happen.

I know better now.  I know that I didn’t ask for that to happen TO me.  And no matter how much I did or did not drink, it was certainly not an invitation for him to behave the way he did. One thing that I tell Crosby (and will eventually tell Willa when she’s older) all the time is “your body, your choice”.  Because I don’t want him to ever feel like he needs to do anything with or have anything done to his body without his consent.  AND I want him to understand that he has a responsibility to respect this right in others as well.  Nothing is owed to him because he’s a male.  In fact, nothing is owed to anyone, ever.  Consent needs to be given, not taken.  And that’s the biggest thing I think about when I replay those situations in my mind, there was absolutely no consent on my part.

Honestly, it’s taken me a while to build up the courage to write this.  I have thought about it for a while but wondered if my words would even matter, if they’d even be a drop in the bucket, especially given the gravity of some of the far-worse stories that women have shared.  But that’s the point of the #metoo movement, to take the power away from the people who have wronged us by speaking up, to tell our sisters that their stories matter, and to show them that they’re not alone.  There is power in numbers, and the magnitude of people who have come forward with their stories has proved that this number is a force to be reckoned with.


fulfilling my fall duties.

You’re like, oh great… more photos of leaves. And I know, I know. I feel like fall barfed all over my instagram feed lately. But I don’t even care because it’s just so pretty! And let’s be honest… if you don’t take a million pictures of the leaves changing, did it really happen?

I have to say that this is the first time in 9 months that I’ve thought Minnesota beats Portland. (My parents are probably cheering.) It is just so mother effing beautiful around here lately. I mean, yes the leaves changed in Portland and it was gorg, but it was also rainy and soggy at the same time. You can hardly build a cannonball-worthy leaf pile with sloppy leaves. Ya feel?

So yes… the fall status here is bananas beautiful right now. And I’m very aware of the fact that it will be over in about 7 seconds so I’ve been really enjoying the heck out of it. I’m taking any opportunity I can to shove my kids into patches of brightly lit leaves and force them to take pictures. As any good mother would do.

We have a giant tree (don’t ask me what kind, I’m no horticulturist.) in our front yard that’s weeping the most beautiful orange and red leaves. So yesterday I did my kiddos a solid and raked them into a pretty epic leaf pile. Crosby had it to himself for a bit while Willa finished her nap. He brought a few of his favorite Daniel Tiger stuffed animals into the pile with him and alternated between shouting “this is so fun!” and screaming “mama, where’s margaret and daniel!?!?!? they’re lost in the leafs!!!” Once Willa woke up, I put her in some snowpants (naturally) and plopped her in the pile too. She wasn’t quite as sold on the fun though, especially when Crosby would pummel her with handfuls of leaves. She’s seriously such a trooper, he can be such a dweeb to her sometimes.

Also worth mentioning? While the kids were playing in this gorgy pile of deceased foliage, my dog Gus was in the house getting into our food cupboard. Again. The first thing I saw when we walked into the house was a container of cocoa powder spilled all over the floor… which is obviously a real big no no for dogs. Even though it looked like he didn’t really eat much of it at all, he did have cocoa dust on his nose, so I knew that he had probably eaten at least a little bit. We’ve had to get Gus’s stomach pumped before and it’s not fun (or cheap) so I did a quick google search and found a DIY vomit inducing tutorial for dogs. (WHAT IS MY LIFE.) Anyways! Cutting to the chase, it worked. He hurled. He’s good. The cocoa powder is now up on the highest shelf in the universe.

And on that note! MOAR PIKCHURS OF LEAFS.

And here we have Willa’s progression into eff fall, in 3…2….1….

The rest of these pictures are from sweet Bill’s bday… in which we went to the park and she was like, meh.

Ok, now I’ll leaf you alone.

It’s just that the trees are so pretty, I could yellow bout it.

Orange you glad you’re still reading this?

Sorry.  Bye.


happy first birthday, baby lady.


My sweet Billy Molasses,

Today you are 1!  I know every parent says this… but how did this happen??  I truly cannot believe it.

This first year with you seems to have flown by. But at the same time, when I look back on all that’s happened over this last year, it seems like a whole dusty decade has passed. We’ve gone through a lot of stuff as a family in the last 365 days. A WHOLE lot. But absolutely nothing compares to the excitement and joy we’ve had in watching you grow into the amazing little 1-year-old you are today.

A few things about you right now… you are a mama’s girl.  !!!!! And for better or for worse, you would prefer it if I would hold you all.day.long.  That said, you do absolutely adore your papa and give him the sweetest smiles.  And you are obsessed with your big brother.  (Though he’s pretty tough on you sometimes. We’re working on it.)  Seriously, nobody makes you laugh harder than Crosby.  You love to be outside, you love to swing at the park, dance, clap and play peek-a-boo.  You love bath time, and splashing in the dogs water bowls, and climbing stairs.

You are so silly… and sensitive… and curious… and loving. But most of all (and I’m going to sound like a broken record here) you have the sweetest little soul. There’s no way I can explain your sweetness. You just bring such a warmth to our family. There are so many times a day that I stop and look at you and just think, “gah! you’re mine?! how did i get so lucky!!?” Seriously kid, you make me so happy.

If there is anything this past year has shown us, it’s that you are resilient and your life is destined to be full of adventure. There’s no doubt in my mind that you will do amazing things with your life.  I am just so proud to call you mine, and am so very excited to watch you grow. (But seriously, take your time because I’m scared of your teen years.)

I adore you, my sweet Willa. Thank you for being here with us, and for being your joyful and beautiful self.  Love you so much!


heavy heart.

I don’t need to state the obvious, but I will. This week has been hard. What happened in Las Vegas is beyond comprehension… yet for the 59 families who are dealing with deaths, 500+ other families who are dealing with injuries, and the thousands of other families who are dealing with the repercussions of having been a first-hand witness of a literal massacre, it’s been a living nightmare. I cannot imagine what they are going through. I cannot express how much my heart is hurting for them.

I had a strong realization this week, that the question is no longer “if”…. it’s “when”.  When will I be in the wrong place at the wrong time?  When will this happen to me or someone I love? I’m not saying this to be dramatic… I’m saying it to be realistic.

Casey and I have talked about the fact that we have been so close to a few shootings in the last few years. I was working 5 minutes from the grocery store in Tucson (where I stopped by before/after work multiple times a week) where there was a shooting that killed 6 people and injured many, including US Rep Gabrielle Giffords. When we lived in Portland, we were 15 minutes away from the Clackamas Town shooting that killed 2 people. Again, I’m not saying this to be dramatic but to paint the picture that it’s happening right next door.

What is happening in our world is unacceptable. The simple fact that we can’t go to a concert… or to school… a movie… to church… a nightclub… etc etc…. without worrying about dying? How did we get here? I don’t know about you but every time something like this happens, I find it harder and harder to be optimistic about the future. At this point, we are dealing with daily mass shootings. According to the gun source, kids are more likely to die from a gun than from a car accident. Our future seems so bleak (especially with our current “leader” ha) and so dark. It feels like we are in a crapshoot and there’s no escaping it. I just want to gather up my people and head underground. But even there it’s possible to bump into the armed Voldemorts of the world. There’s just no hiding from this reality.

By now, you’ve all likely read or seen the stories about the UK and Australia reacting appropriately to gun violence (if not…. here) and it just seems so backwards that our amazingly progressive country has yet to react AT ALL to any of these crazy horrific tragedies.

Which is why it’s so important for us to DO SOMETHING.  To me this isn’t a partisan issue… it’s a moral issue. If you value human lives, you have to agree that something has to change in our country. Guns are certainly not the bottom line.  And yes, guns don’t kill people…. people kill people. BUT the people need the guns to kill the people. And it’s too easy for them. It doesn’t have to be, we can make it harder. We need to make it harder. We need to take action to reflect our values.

Our children deserve better than living a life of fear. We all do.

I know there have been a lot of opinions regarding this topic. And I have essentially nothing new to say. But the point is that I have SOMETHING to say. It’s the not saying anything that keeps us from changing. So. This is me, holding myself accountable for my part in making a change.

Sending so much love to you all, holding my loved ones tight, and putting one foot in front of the other…

Here are ways we can help:

(Illustration by Alessandra Olanow.)


what’s up / 02

Making: i made crosby “turkey kebabs” for lunch today and he flipped.  and all i did was put a small piece of deli turkey, a cherry tomato and a chunk of cheese on a toothpick.  ordinarily, he’d probably nibble on a few of those individual items.  but since they were on a kebab!  he put down 7.  i’m basically calling it a day after that friggin win.

Drinking: water, surprisingly.  we had our first full weekend away from the kiddos (since willa was born) last weekend and we attacked it with the aggressiveness of…. two parents on their first weekend away from their kids (since willa was born).  among other things, we went to a grape stomp at a winery with our friends ALL day on Saturday…. and i’ve felt the need to rehydrate ever since. give me all the blue dolphins on the rocks.

Reading: currently reading In the Woods, which i’m liking so far but it’s kind of a complicated read. the author likes herself some fancy werds.  i’m into murder mystery thriller types lately but… will you laugh at me if i tell you they give me nightmares?  (i’m such a loser.)

Wanting: a camel coat for the fall/winter.  so far i’m digging this one from topshop and this one from old navy of all places… you guys, old navy has been turning up the heat lately!!  (seriously, such a loser. don’t hate me.)

Watching: i think i’ve officially given up on game of thrones after 5 episodes.  sorry, nerds.  any other binge-worthy suggestions that won’t make me lose faith in humanity?

Wishing: that crosby hadn’t fallen out of our couch fort and hit his forehead on the coffee table on sunday, resulting in his first ER visit. luckily he just needed some butterfly tape on his gaping wound and an apple juice and he was good as new.  well, almost… he still has what looks like a nasal strip taped down the middle of his forehead that he has to keep on for a few more days… but i’m so very very aware that it could have been much worse.  file this also under: things that give me nightmares.

Listening: the newish War on Drugs album. it feels like an old friend.

Enjoying: oreo thins!  we were supposed to have friends over for dinner tonight so i bought some oreo thins “for the kids”…. ahem…. but we ended up having to cancel because willa has been feeling kinda funny the last few days and anyways.  i needed to try them to see what all the hype was about.  and you guys, they’re so freaking good.  i mean, they’re obviously the same as…. oreo fats (???) … but CRISPIER.  go, get on out of here and buy yourself some, go on, git.

Loving: picking crosby up from pre-school. it’s currently the favorite part of my day.  if you don’t count the part when both kids naps overlap.

Hoping: that i’m not a punch line at my kids’ pediatricians office after calling there today and giving the receptionist the WRONG bday for willa, like 4 times.  i kept saying oct. 16th and she couldn’t find willa’s file and then she was finally like… um do you mean oct. 19th?  face —-> palm.  (have i mentioned lately that i’m a loser?)

Needing: to win the lottery so i can shop for fall and winter clothes.

Feeling: like i should feel more refreshed after a weekend off-duty. and by “off-duty”, i mean “off-doody”.  (ugh. seriously how are you even still reading this?)

Wearing: JEANS! the only upside to the weather changing is the ability to wear jeans again. i kinda hate shorts.  but jeans…. mama likey.  (you’re unsubscribing from my blog now, aren’t you?)


greetings from my couch.

You guys.  Crosby is currently at preschool (day 3 and I we’re all still emotionally intact!) and Willa is taking a nap and it’s 10:30 in the morning and I’m just… sitting on my couch… drinking coffee… and taking bites out of a giant chunk of Beemster cheese. (Don’t you dare judge me until you’ve tried it.) But like, what world is this that I’m living in right now?  Up until this week, mornings are usually pure chaos and full of activity.  It’s typically when we’d have some kind of outing or adventure or errand.  It’s usually go go gadget.  But I’m realizing now that Crosby is in school 4 days a week, 2.5 hours a day, and Willa still takes a morning nap, which means I have like, free time?  Excuse me while I wrap my head around this.

It’s glorious.

Every day after preschool (so 2 days so far. lolz.) I ask Crosby what he did at school. And according to him so far, he has seen his teacher, blew bubbles and drank water.  So.  Chances are, he’s going to be president one day.  (I didn’t say president of what.)  But honestly, it has been so adorable to see how much fun he’s been having.  The end of his “day” is always playground time, which is where I pick him up.  And both days he’s come running into my arms, sweaty and excited.  Then he quickly turns around and runs back to the playground but whatever.  His teacher has informed me that he’s very sweet and well-behaved and that makes me feel like I just won the lottery.  Also the director of the preschool told me she saw Crosby going down the slide on the first day and he just kept shouting, “this is so much fun!”  Ugh.  So proud of my boy.

Moving on!  So many of you gave me great recipe ideas after my last blog post, thank you!  I love any interaction with readers because sometimes it seems like I’m just talking to myself over here.  (You wish.)  Anyways, you’ll be happy to hear that last night I made a delicious homemade feast.  That consisted of a bag of Trader Joes vegetable fried rice, lovingly ripped open and heartwarmingly heated on the stove.  (No for serious guys, the stove made my chest warm.)  I plated the rice alongside an artisanal cheese stick and a few raspberries that were harvested locally.  In Mexico.

Ok ok, so I haven’t exactly been Julia Child this week but in my defense, Casey worked all day yesterday and then went straight to golf so I was single mom-ing all day about by dinner time I was just like, nope.  But stay tuned because next week!  I’m all in for making some new recipes.  If I make any winners, I’ll share them.  With my kids.

Speaking of which, it’s time to go pick up my firstborn from school!  I wonder what kind of adventures he’ll share with me today.  Maybe he found a stick.  Or maybe he saw a bird.  Time will tell….

 


sunday things.

1. I promised Casey that I would finally start watching Game of Thrones with him because the dude’s been bugging me about it for ages.  And we’re maybe 4 episodes in and I’m just like.  Why.  Someone please tell me what it is about this show that makes everyone’s nips hard?  I just don’t get it.  Does it take a while to get into? Halp me understand.

2. Speaking of ridiculous TV shows.  I’m feeling pretty meh about the pick for the next Bachelor.  What’s his name even?  Archie?  Arnie?  I could just goog it but that means opening up a new tab and reading and I’m just feeling kinda lazy right now.  Anyways, I didn’t watch when Alfie was on whoever’s season so I have no emotional connection to him.  But maybe that’s a good thing?  Or maybe I just won’t watch it this season?  (Somewhere in this house Casey is rolling his eyes hysterically at the thought of that ever happening.)

3. Willa is getting pretty close to walking.  Part of me is all, you better don’t! as I shove her down from standing.  But another part of me really wants this because she has been so physically needy lately.  Particularly during the hours of 4-6pm.  She just wants to be held nonstop.  Which makes it difficult to do anything else, especially make dinner.  I think walking might distract her long enough for me to make our weekly stuffed lobsters with crab imperial.  (Somewhere in this house Casey is rolling his eyes hysterically at the thought of that ever happening.)  ((And mentally calculating how much that dish would cut into our monthly budget.))

4. Ok seriously though.  I’m in a bit of a cooking rut.  I’m so bored with it, quite honestly.  When you consistently cook 3 meals a day plus at least 2 snacks for a family… it gets old as shit.  Not trying to complain but whyyyyy.  Any of you awesome parents have super quick, super delicious, super cheap recipes that a toddler will actually eat?  Please send them my way!  And while you’re at it, could you please send me some chinese takeout too thanksssss.  And a bottle of wine.  Red.  No, white.  No red.  Both.  And some twizzlers.  And sushi!  Wait.  What were we talking about again?

5. Crosby is starting preschool this week (I can’t even.) and last week his teacher came over for a home visit.  We’d been practicing her name for several days prior to that (Mrs. O) and so while she was here I asked Crosby if he remembered what her name was… and he shouted MRS. O!  Which was super great yay good job etc!  And then he very quickly followed it up with MR. POOP!  ::facepalm::  I don’t know if she actually heard this because she was getting something out of her purse in the other room at the time.  But seriously, what is it with little kids and the word poop?  How do they decide that it’s such a funny thing to say?  I don’t know how but I’m sure in some way it’s Donald Trumps fault.

6. Embarrassing thing I’ve googled recently: what do bears in zoos do in the winter?

7. Something that I’ve noticed since moving back to MN… drivers here do not care about pedestrians at.all.  In Portland, pedestrians are treated like royalty.  Drivers basically stop and roll out a red carpet for anyone who looks even remotely interested in jaywalking across a busy road.  I loved it!  But here, folks could care freaking less.  A few weeks ago I saw an old couple trying to cross a fairly busy road and no one stopped.  Finally someone did, but as the couple crossed, an oncoming car started honking their horn from like, forever away.  It was so sad!  MN drivers, get your shit together and slow down for the elderly.  And me and my kids.

8. Has anyone seen IT?  Casey has been begging me to see it with him… but I fear as though I may need to borrow one of Crosby’s diapers if I watch it.  I used to love scary movies but now I’m a big fat weanie and I would prefer to not start weeping in the middle of a crowded theater.

9. Casey and I are house-swapping with my mom and stepdad this coming weekend.  Meaning we’re going to go and stay at their house in Alexandria and they’re going to come and stay at our place…. with our kids.  aliwaleijweliwgoismlwiejfioih!!!!  I have only spent one night away from Willa and Crosby since Willa was born (she’ll be 1 in October).  So I feel like this weekend is well deserved.  We’re going on a date on Friday night and a grape stomp at our wedding winery with some friends on Saturday.  I’m obviously going to miss my sweet little ankle biters, but I am also suuuuuper pumped to pee in peace for a whole weekend.

10. I took these photos of Crosby and Willa over a month ago but I’ve been having some computer troubles, so I just finally got them loaded on here and anyways here they are and you’re like shut up already would you.  Well here they are if you’d like to see!

I mean…. how precious and perfect and cute are they!?!!!

……..

But let’s be honest, this is what life with these two actually looks like…


happy third birthday, sweet boy.

Happy third birthday, my sweet little boy.

I can’t believe we’re already celebrating one more year of your beautiful life. Looking back on the last year, I truly cannot believe how much you’ve changed. You’re like, a real person now! A silly, stubborn, curious, bold, and oh so very loveable person. A person that I can have conversations with and go on adventures with. A person that makes me laugh so hard without even trying. A person that I grow more in love with every single day.

The past year has been full of adventures for our family. Big adventures…. a new sister, saying goodbye to Portland and all your friends, moving, moving again, and then again. And you’ve handled everything like a champ, just rolling with the punches. You’ve amazed me, kid. To be honest, it’s been a tough year for me with all the changes that we’ve faced. But through it all, you have been the one thing that has kept me grounded. You have been my place of comfort amidst a whole lot of chaos. You have reminded me that no matter where we are in this world, in this life, that our family is my home. And I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.

This past year has also been full of dinosaurs. My god, you love dinosaurs. And animals. And going to the park. And the zoo. And mac and cheese and “special treats”. You love dancing. And playing t-ball in our backyard. You absolutely love reading stories. You love bath time. And swimming. And going for walks. You love watching shows and movies. And the popcorn that goes along with them. (You got that from me, kid. You’re welcome.) You love that you’ve learned to stand up when you pee. (I wish you loved aiming too.) And your stuffed animals. You love bubbles. You love spending time with our families. And meeting new people. (They’re so lucky.)

You completely adore your papa. You have mixed feelings about your sister, but you sure do love making her laugh. And for whatever crazy reason… you seem to love me a whole dang lot. I can’t even tell how much I love you back.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again a million times, I’m so lucky to be your mama. Happy birthday, my guy.

 

birthday letter year 1
birthday letter year 2


what’s up / 01

Making: this salad.  I’ve made it 3 times in the last 2 weeks… it’s so good!  My only complaint about it is that if you have children you’ll need to allow yourself 7.5 hours to make it.
Drinking: do I even have to answer this question?  Wine.  From a bottle… from a box… from a can… from an IV…
Reading: I’ve been on page 7 of this book for like, a month.  Is it good?  Don’t know, I’ll get back to you in 18 years when I’ve finally finished it and my kids have moved out so it won’t even matter how I parent anymore waa.
Wanting: like, 12 more months of summer.
Watching: the bachelorette.  I love this season so much.  I love Rachel.  I love Peter.  Ugh, that Peter.  He’s such a treat for the eyes.  Also, I don’t want to toot my own horn, but after the first episode of the season my friend and I sent each other our top ten predictions… and I accurately predicted the top 4… (in this order: 1. Peter 2. Bryan 3. Eric 4. Dean) so… tootie tootie toot toot!
Listening: so much country music.  Who am I even?
Wishing: that sweet Bill (Willa) would sleep through the night.  And not get up at 5am.  Excuse me while I shovel more coffee into my face.
Enjoying: our pool! I went back and forth between buying our pool and another shallower, more obvious kiddie pool with animals and a jungle and 37 other pieces of flair all over it.  And anyways, I’m SO glad that I went with ours because it’s so much more substantial and family friendly.  And it fits all of us.  And it has a bench. And a cup holder.  For my wine can Crosby’s water bottle.  Best buy of the summer.
Loving: when Crosby will group-hug Casey and I and say “I love you guys”.
Hoping: that we can make room in our budget for a house cleaner.  Please and thank you, amen.
Needing: to get my hair done.  My regrowth since Willa was born is almost all gray.  Not kidding.  Not fair.
Feeling: like I want my kids to have a genuinely happy life.  More than anything else in the world.
Wearing: one piece swimsuits.  No makeup.  Jorts.  Birkenstocks.  Basically anything that’s the opposite of sexy.

And some summer photos to send you on your merry way….