A Conversation with Auggie

Me: Auggs, could you please get your shoes on? (Auggie runs out of room).

Auggie: (returns)

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Me: Right. So about those shoes? And did you put jammies back on?!

Auggie: I’m Boots and Bonner!

Me: So I’m thinking we’re going to be late.

Auggie: Do you want a hat too??

Happy Birthday Baylor

I think it’s safe to say, 8 might be my favorite age.

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This year has marked some big confidence growth for Miss. B. I didn’t see it coming so when it plopped down in front me, I was left in awe. Watching her stroll into the first swim team practice of the season like a seasoned professional – no tears, no arguments – and literally dive in, was amazing.

She waltzed into a new camp with the same attitude. I was intimidated by the other kids, but not Baylor. She was by far the kid with the least dance experience and sadly her mother’s gymnastic skills, and not only did that not stop her, she wasn’t fazed in the slightest. She happily danced along the way she wanted to and at the end of the week announced “camp was fine. But I like the way I dance better”.

I hope for the rest of your life, you always like the way you dance better, B Baby.

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Little Loves

Not every day, but a lot of days, I put a note on a napkin in Baylor and Auggie’s lunches. Sometimes they’re funny, but mostly they’re just little love notes and wishes for a good day.

Yesterday, I got a note back. It was so simple, but it touched me so much that B would keep her napkin until she was back in her classroom and then remember to write a love note to me.

I need it on my desk forever – especially on the days I’m not feeling so awesome ❤

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Just Breathe

It’s been a strange spring.

Our normal business was punctuated by some interesting events – don’t worry, all is well. But in my typical style, I pushed and pushed to get through and found myself sicker than I had been in a long time. After some steroids and strong antibiotics, I was still feeling just crummy. I realized that I had been ignoring that voice saying slow down for so long, my body was physically forcing me to do so.

I gave in and decided it was time to be quiet. To give into that voice and just sit still. And the more I listened, I felt the need to push push push melt away.

I’ll need that drive back soon. But for today, I’m just going to enjoy some quiet and breathe.

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Salmon Grain Bowl

Lent is a good time for a lot of things – praying more and figuring out how not to eat meat on Fridays are two of the big ones for me. I don’t know why, but tell me there’s no meat, and that’s literally all I can think about eating.

With little planning last Friday night, I found a sorry amount of veggies left in the refrigerator, salmon (see! at least I was trying to not eat meat) and some pesto. I suddenly remembered a delicious grain bowl recipe I made last summer and started compiling what I had. It turned out delicious!

Ingredients:

So for this Friday, give this guy a whirl to stay on track this Lenten season:

Fresh salmon: 1/2 – 1lb depending on if you want leftovers

Farro: 2 cups

Veggies: I like broccoli and cauliflower

Pesto: bottled or homemade

Balsamic vinegar

Parmesan cheese

Salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375
  2. On a sheet, toss cauliflower with salt, pepper and olive oil (cauliflower takes longer to roast so put it in first). Roast for 25-30 minutes
  3. Drizzle olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper on salmon
  4. On the same sheet (or separate, your call) toss broccoli olive oil, salt and pepper
  5. Pop pan with salmon and broccoli in for roughly 15-20 minutes depending on how big your cut of salmon is.
  6. Cook Farro according to instructions
  7. When the veggies come out of the oven, grate parm over the top
  8. Layer in a bowl: farrow, veggies, salmon and pesto.
  9. Drizzle with balsamic to taste
  10. Eat and enjoy!

Ok, yes. I did get a little out of control with the parm. But it was delicious!

 

 

 

Loving Luca + Dani

I tend to go through jewelry phases. I like one particular style and I wear it forever until I find the next thing that catches my eye.

The favorite for awhile has been a simple gold necklace – currently an evil eye, previously my initials – and bangle bracelets. Good old Facebook kept flashing advertisements for Luca+Danni bracelets and I finally gave in and clicked. They carry several religious medals and I’m obsessed!

I love that the baubles are tied into the wire of the bracelet – no spinning! Your charm is always visible on the top of your wrist. They stack great too.

I am currently rocking Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joan of Arc. Because I need as much grace as possible and a little reminder to be unstoppable is good too.

I think this little blue bauble is next on my list….

 

Sibling Love

Driving to school yesterday, I was in my own head and trying to tune out the argument coming from the backseat about where someone’s stuff animal could sit and where someone’s backpack should go. But then after a minute of silence, I overheard this:

“Sissy. When you go the ballet next time with Grandma, can I go too?”

“Sure, buddy. I think you’re big enough now.”

“How big do you have to be??”

“……..”

“Like how high is the stick??”

“………OH! Like on a ride at Disneyland?? No no, you don’t have to be tall. I mean OLD enough. You’re old enough. You can be any height, you just have to be able to stay up late!”

“Are you KIDDING me?! I can do THAT!”

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Happy New Year 2017!

Wowza. It feels like it was yesterday I was sitting here typing away and thinking about the past year. And yet there’s been a whole 365 days since I wrote this post about my resolutions for 2016. What a year it’s been!

My goals for 2016 were simply written, but given what we did this year, were not always easy to tackle! I wanted to 1. Have No Negative, 2. Have Less Noise and 3. I’ll Do Me. I think focusing on those things allowed me the time and space I needed to do the things I really wanted to do. Well, except one…

I failed miserably at the Less Noise part. It  was supposed to include no long term volunteer commitments for this school year which should have allowed me to just jump in where and when I wanted to. Instead I am Auggie’s class room mom, his soccer coach, was a committee member of the school auction and now the co-chair of the St.Mary’s Centennial Gala. So, yeah. I probably should have written “take on too much” and then when I did the opposite, it would have been helpful. But I have to say, it is all really good. I worked with and am working with people I love and while I was in no way qualified to be a soccer coach, we had an amazing time!

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Given all those commitments, we were neck deep in remodeling our house. Which is one of the reasons my  posts here have been sporadic at best. More on the other reason to come. But for the house, here’s what we did in a nutshell:

We boxed up 3/4ths of our house

Moved out with the other 1/4 of crap

Gutted our house

Put it back together

Moved it all back in 6.5 months later

We are still finishing the final touches… for now. They say when you’re house is done, you die. So I guess the upside is that we’re going to live forever because the list of “phases” keeps growing. I think we’re on phase 15. With about 25 more to go…

from this…

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To this in just 6ish months and many many dollars

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Despite all the house craziness, we were able to get away a few times. We traveled separately and together and it was all awesome.

Mexico

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Disneyland

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Montana

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San Diego

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Oceanside

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One of my main goals for 2016 that I didn’t really write down was to start my writing business. It’s funny, I’m not where I thought I would be, but where I landed is so much better. I finally returned the email I wrote about last year. I negotiated a deal and started the freelance writing “course”. I worked through the exercises and geared up for my first call with the woman who wrote the course. I was so excited to hear her expertise and get her insight….and then she blew me off. And then rescheduled our call. And when we finally did get to talk, she yawned at my work. Like for real. It made me so mad that she was so dismissive of me and my goals – I never finished the course or contacted her for our next meeting. No Negative. See? I got one of them right.

And I’m so glad I did. Instead of moving forward with the course, I contacted friends. Friends who write, friends with small businesses, friends who are just damn good at being cheerleaders. I asked for their opinions, I made a few deals and I got busy writing. And it is awesome. I’ve made contacts and work seems to keep finding me (www.bethwand.com!) It’s a huge and exciting challenge, and  it makes my soul happy.

What’s in store for 2017? I think I’m going to keep working on that Less Noise part. And also:

  • Balance – How do you get it all done?? I have no idea, but I’m going to keep working on finding balance, maintaining balance, and most importantly and most difficult for me is letting a few things go in the name of balance.
  • Reconnect – It’s so easy to fall away from old friends when your lives take different paths. Even when your lives take the same path, there’s always something to distract us. This year will be a good year to reconnect with some friends and keep the momentum of contact going.
  • Keep thinking about and working towards Less Noise, No Negative and I’ll Do Me. I think those things got us pretty far in 2016. Here’s hoping 2017 is juuust a little quieter.

 

More Montana 2016

The rest of the week was jam packed. Did I mention that the Dehaven’s came to visit? They always bring the fun. And Jeff shared his pictures too!

 

We rodeo’d in Livingston…

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We creeked…

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Which lead to a lot of this….

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Do you see the fish right in front of Baylor?!

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And after taking a year off from our last Yellowstone Park visit, we again braved the winding roads with all 7 of us. This trip went far better and we even made it all the way to Old Faithful without murdering each other and only one person vomiting. Success!

Stephanie studying the warnings carefully…

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The amazing Grand Prismaticsimg_4923

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I’m so bummed – the colors of the pools are amazing – but it was barely 32 degrees and so the steam made it hard to see.img_4962img_4987

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A tourist died earlier this year jumping into one of these pools. It’s so hot, by the next morning, they could only find a few bones….img_5086

We also got to see the Beehive Geyser. It’s less predictable than Old Faithful, erupts for a shorter period of time but is as intense. Plus you can get a lot closer!

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And the Old Faithful Lodge was fantastic. At 112 years old, it’s seen some amazing history. Also I’m sure it’s haunted.

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And it wouldn’t be Montana without visiting the Long’s for some horseback riding lessons. The girl’s favorite, Duke, was donated to a school to be a therapy horse. They get reports once in awhile about how happy he is to be ridden every day! Thankfully the ladies were happy to give Heidi a try – and they now have a new favorite.

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Auggie is still not sure he’s a fan

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And we drove kids and a dog around in a gater. While taking selfies. This looks safe, right?

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