October Babies


Just like June in our house, October is crazy! Not only is our social calendar packed, we get to celebrate Peter and Auggie’s birthdays. And because they are back to back (literally) it’s a little nutty trying to get it … Continue reading

The Old Switcheroo

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned as a mom is to listen to your gut. Then evaluate what you’re feeling, think through it, re-evaluate, ask opinions, but at the end of the day, go with what your mom intuition says to do.

Despite feeling like we had found a great school for Baylor 6 months ago, when it came to actually going to school there, it wasn’t a good fit. As a family, we crave a community. We need to have those people that we run into a drop off and pick up, the parents who we see at school events, church and sports. While there was community at the first school, it wasn’t our kind of community. On top of that, the very strict on campus policies were adding to already difficult drop offs. The morning that I found myself in tears in the front office over an issue with the front desk, I knew something had to change.

So we pulled the plug.

It seems nuts on paper to switch schools just a month into the year. But my gut was screaming “hallelujah!” at just the thought of something different. I sent an email to a friend asking how her experience was as a new student at their school and gave a brief description of what we were working with. She immediately called me and said “you need to get over here, you’re going to love it”.

And she was so right. After a tour, we got an email the same day saying that B’s application was accepted and there were expecting her at the beginning of the next week. When I broke the news to B, she replied “that sounds fine – I have no problem going to a new school” – which seemed very telling to me.

Now going into our second week, I know we made the right choice. Baylor has gone from being dragged out of bed in the morning, begging to know how many days were left in the week and if she really had to go to school all before melting down at drop off, to bouncing out of bed with a smile on her face. She’s excited, happy and loving her fresh-out-of-college and full of ambition teacher. Peter and I are loving the families who have gone out of their way to seek us out, introduce themselves and then quickly include us in school and social activities. Parents have asked their kids to find “the new girl – she’s the really tall blonde girl” and make sure she had someone to eat lunch with and play with on the playground. We are so lucky-blessed-fortunate to have found the right place.

I think the smile says it all.


And yes, that is a new uniform. I am now the proud owner of several hundred dollars worth of uniforms for a school we no longer attend…oh well. The cost of getting it right!


Monsoon season is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the clouds, the dust storms, the rain, the thunder and lightening, I love it all. And while this season hasn’t been one for the records, we’ve had a few evenings that did not disappoint.

How spectacular are these clouds? No filter, no editing. Mostly because I don’t know how to do that, but really,they don’t need it!

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The Praying Monk makes for the best pictures2015-08-29 06.31.50

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The Month of Firsts

think it’s safe to say that we are on the road to loving kindergarten.

I think.

I was a little surprised by all the stress and how long it has taken to start to feel a sense of settling in our new routine. Two kids at two different schools. New faces, new names. New wake up times, new bed times. New rules. New clothes. Drop offs and pick ups approximately every 3 hours. Hot lunch or cold lunch. It’s been a lot of new and change.

And while we’ve got all year to get used to this, I hate the surprise of it all. I hate not having a routine, a schedule to schedule by and a lack of efficiency. Which is one of my many pet peeves.

Sadly, I’m not the only one feeling the change. Ms. B has had some epic melt downs at drop off. And that coupled with strict visitor policies at her school, has made for some nightmare mornings. Picture her teacher literally hanging onto her as I pry my leg out of her hands while holding Auggie and then making a break for the door. Yeah.

This week, I had a little treat ready for her each afternoon if the morning drop off went well. It seemed to do the trick along with a car drive through drop off and pick ups. Oh and pizza Wednesdays are really doing the trick, too.

Crossing my fingers that the days ahead look more like the first day and not the second day. Or the third. Or the fifth….

first day w auggie first day

The Peacemaker

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A few weeks ago, I saw a post on Facebook from one of our favorite bands, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. It was advertising a small show and tequila tasting at an awesome restaurant called Blanco Tacos and Tequila. I … Continue reading

Breakfast Rush

Peter and I were so conflicted about weather to start Baylor in kindergarten last year or this year. We decided she would only benefit from being a year older in kindergarten so we decided to wait. And boy am I glad we did. Not only have I seen her school skills take off in the last year, I’m now so grateful for that we had one more year of 3 day a week preschool.

Because kindergarten? Is no joke. It’s 5 days a week of early mornings of a slow moving, slightly crabby kiddo.  And bedtime. Sheesh. Trying to convince a six year old that she is indeed tired and in need of an on time bedtime is a struggle in itself.

One of the things that makes our mornings go a lot smoother is prepping the night before. Lunches, uniforms, backpacks, water bottles, dog food, coffee…the list seems never ending. But if the morning starts with simply pushing START on the life line (I mean coffee maker), putting down a bowl of dog food and grabbing eggs from the fridge, it gives us a precious 10 minutes that can save our morning.

The other thing I’ve started to prep is breakfast. It’s a huge time saver for Peter and I, and it keeps us eating healthy too. Here is one of my new favorites:

Breakfast Creme Brulee

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 tbs chia seeds

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 packet Truvia sweetener

3 tbl greek yogurt

Berries, bananas, and or sliced almonds

Combine all ingredients except fruit and almonds. Let sit in the refrigerator over night and top with fruit and or nuts before serving. Make it in a disposable cup and it’s a quick car breakfast.

I also buy an extra dozen eggs and hard boil them (place all dozen in cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from water and place in the refrigerator. The shell will peel easily and they won’t be hot when you eat them). It’s a quick way to get everyone some protein and there’s no prep time. Lastly, I always keep my favorite green smoothies in disposable cups for easy grab and go.


God Bless America

I’m behind, way behind on blogging. I don’t really have a good excuse…writers block? Too many kids with too little to do on hot days? Too many house projects? I don’t know. I do know that Stephanie D says that when you finish your house, you die. And judging by the looks of things around here, I’m going to live for evah. Might as well carve out some creative time to write in between bossing around contractors and fighting with the HOA. Mac Attach is sleeping on my foot, the air conditioning is blowing and the house is quiet. Time to get to work.

We are so lucky to get to spend part of July in Montana. It was a big goal for Peter and I to be able to do this, so heading up for our second extended vacation was amazing. Nothing feels as patriotic as a small town Fourth of July. The parades, the fireworks, a rodeo and lots of roast pig. What more could you ask for?

The view from our rental house did not disappoint. This was the perfect way to end a full day of 2 flights (complete with vomit bags…), an hour long grocery trip with the kids, then a two hour drive. Phew.


The parade in Livingston is serious business. Every “float” throws candy. Nasty, leftover Halloween, been-on-the-street candy, and yet it’s like gold.

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Auggie’s sweet waves to all firetrucks, tractors and any other kind of service vehicle melted my heart!


Baylor is always our designated wrangler for pictures. She takes her job very seriously.



Rides in Noni’s Gater are legendary. She lets them all take turns driving. It’s terrifying.


Wildfires are terrible…and yet make for some amazing sunsets


This guy. He fears nothing. But he is absolutely convinced that he hates fireworks. We bribed him with a set of shooting “ears” to get him to stay out side for fireworks (the pink ones were half the price, sorry kiddo. buck up and then you won’t have to wear them!). And thankfully it worked! He loved the sparklers and he made it through the big fireworks show after a bit of protesting. Progress!


Aaaannndd We’re Back!

This has been the longest break in Goon Room history! But for good reason…we’ve been busy. A quick recap of the last twoish months:

Kindergarten, here she comes

It was surreal to watch B walk down the church aisle and receive her preschool diploma. It made me think of all the graduations to come. We decided to give preschool one more year and wait until she was six for kindergarten. I wasn’t sure this was the right decision until now. Her ability and desire to spell words, sound them out and memorize them is leaps and bounds better than it was a year ago. Kindergarten will be a snap!

IMG_3322It’s wild to see how much these two have grown since the first day of school! And yes, wearing jammies to school was intentional.IMG_3358

We bought a house!

And sold a house! I always said I wanted the ugliest house on the prettiest street and then we could redo it the way we wanted. I didn’t think we had quite achieved that until we walked into the totally empty house the day we closed…our good friend and realtor looked at me and said “are you ok??” It hit me just then; we bought a big, old, slightly funky, tired, house. Suddenly our plan of moving in asap and remodeling next summer seemed so overwhelming. And change isn’t really my gig so getting the house and our lives back into working order with a new routine and process was a tall order. But I can happily report that a month later, we are loving the new neighborhood, the house and dreaming of the big plans for next summer.

Also, moving? Just sucks. It’s so much work trying to fit one house into another. And in 110 degree heat. On a budget. With kids. First world problem, I know, but when the first world problem is burying you, it’s a problem. In the thick of it, buying, moving and selling was daunting. But now that it’s done, I realize how incredibly lucky we were that it went so smooth. Thank goodness God didn’t think I was tough enough for more because I could barely handle the best case scenario.


How quickly they go from getting teeth….


To losing them!IMG_3311 (1)

Baylor turned 6! SIX. Holy moly. We celebrated a little later in June with her friends at the new house in the pool. We scrambled to get the yard cleaned up and party ready and we succeeded. The combination of pool and mostly dirt back yard resulted in a mini Woodstock, which I did not see coming. I always judge a party by the time people leave, the manner in which they leave and what is left behind. The majority of our friends were carrying exhausted, crying children out the door at 9pm and the next morning we started a pile of goggles, swim suits, towels, mostly left shoes and a smattering of other random items left behind. Translation? Total success. Peter said his favorite part was walking out of the kitchen to a couch, a hearth and the floor full of friends laughing hysterically. It was a good night.


Thirty Three.

I do the math every time I tell someone how old I am. I just can’t quite get my head around that number. I am once again so grateful for a healthy 33 years – for a body that can carry kids, dogs, and whatever else needs to be transported – and I wish for 99 more years to continue to embarrass this guy.


Ten. TEN!

PW and I celebrated our TENTH wedding anniversary. It feels like another lifetime that we said I do after moves, dogs, kids, jobs, promotions, deaths, births…it’s been a busy 10 years. And I wouldn’t change a thing. There have been some  sad situations we’ve watched (and tried to support) our friends through in the last year that have made us even more grateful for a working marriage. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner, more handsome husband, loving dad, or hard working spouse. I’m grateful every day for you, Peter Wand. Ok, so most days I’m grateful for you. No really, every day. And most of each day, too. See?? We laugh! That’s how I know we’re going to make it 100 more.

Someone asked me what the tenth year traditional gift is…I’m still not sure, but for us? It’s Pebble Sheen. As in the pool surface. Because for what that sh*t costs, we can’t afford gifts. But we’ll get to spend a lot of quality time in a real nice pool!


Montana Time.

Before we found our new house, we booked our annual trip to Montana. And amazingly, the timing was pretty perfect. We moved, we settled, we threw some stuff in bags and headed north. Our friends the D Family joined us for the first five days for nonstop fun. White water rafting, rodeos, 4th of July festivities, hiking, laughter that makes your muscles ache, and memories for a life time. It’s the kind of trip that leaves you exhausted and rested all at the same time.


And now we are home and anxiously awaiting the pool resurfacing (see tenth anniversary gifting) and the start of school. School uniforms, here we come!

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