our 2018 in tiny one second little snippets. I love this way of documenting. I love seeing our everyday moments all gathered together. this is us. we are here. we are living and doing and loving and crying and laughing and through it all… we are here & we just keep going.

After not documenting 2017 it feels good to document our lives again…

nothing can take away our memories. our purpose. our striving to be better and fulfilled and connected to one another and that is what I see in this video.


all in…

I poured my heart & soul into this one… the girl & the video. ha.

I spent a few months gathering photos, scanning photos, crying over photos, placing photos, finding the exact music with the right words & beat, making & re making this video.

it is like a time capsule for me. not only of Mikayla’s life but of our family’s life. the good times, the hard times, it is all in here. I remember every day just by looking at these photos, what was happening in our lives at that time & I love having it all together here, in one place.

things that struck me the most were, just how little Mikayla was when she came to live with us. she was 6, she was the age Sophia is now, she was still a baby. it hits my heart deep, how much of a change that was for her & all of us. Little did we know that all of our lives were about to change forever, in the best ways possible. We became us, if that makes sense.

I remember diving in head first. I remember the day that happened. it wasn’t spoken, I just knew & I am so thankful for that moment now. you know, when life is happening, you just do it. you do what you need to do to keep life going & then when you get to some sort of an “end” or resting point or point of reflection, like a high school graduation, you realize that although not every day was easy, you wouldn’t change a thing.

if I had it to do all over again, I would still go all in. I would love just as hard.

looking at this video makes my heart happy. makes me proud. makes me excited to build even more memories & even more years together.

I know that when you graduate high school you don’t realize what an accomplishment it feels like for your parents as well.

all of the early mornings getting everyone up & fed & out to where they need to be on time, after school pickups, homework, spelling tests, field trips, volunteering, practices, supporting from the audience, pushing, expectations….. all of it, every day.

as a parent, to watch all of your hard work pay off, to watch them succeed & move forward & to know that you had something to do with that, yep, that is an amazing feeling.

so all of you parents out there, working hard every day, please pat yourselves on the back. you deserve it!!!


Mikayla, I look forward to watching your journey. I know that you are going to thrive…… all my love, mom.


broken dishwaher…


it has been a very busy couple of weeks & the next few weeks until June are only going to get busier & fuller. We just celebrated Easter on the most beautiful day, my grandma turned 93 & we all got to be together to celebrate, Mikayla just turned 18, Sophia will soon turn 6, Mikayla will graduate high school, Jarred will turn 21, Sophia has a dance recital & my photo schedule is beginning to take shape for the summer!!! all exciting things.

but right now I just want to slow down.

yesterday I realized our dishwasher has been leaking under our kitchen sink. we are actually lucky we caught it, it looks like the floor was going to cave in if it was left with that puddle of water any longer.

my first thought, “well great. I don’t have time for this. I don’t have the money for this. why me??????”  shaking my fist to the heavens. ok, not quite that dramatic, but close.

just one more thing to deal with.

but, we went on with our day, we had an awesome little, fun birthday party for Mikayla. pizza & cake & gifts & just a few of her friends & the fire pit & tent in the back yard. all night I just kept loading that dishwasher with dishes, knowing I wouldn’t be able to use it but just not quite ready to dive into washing the dishes by hand.

then today, I realized I couldn’t hide from those dishes any longer.

the window was open, Sophia was running in & out of the house taking everything she owns out back into the tent.

I set up one bowl with soapy water, one with rinse water & set out to wash the dishes.

I know, it seems like such a ridiculous thing to write a blog post about. but, this struck me as soon as I started.

instead of throwing the dishes into the dishwasher & moving onto the next thing. I stood at that sink & watched my drapes blow in the wind. my music was playing low & the window was open & Sophia was laughing & the sun was peeking thru the drapes so perfectly.

I stood & washed & rinsed & thought.

I thought about my husband & the fact that after Mikayla & her friends left to go to a late movie & after we had pried Sophia away from the fire pit & gotten her in a bath & put to sleep, instead of going straight to bed, we talked. like, just talked, not about the kids really, about ourselves. our lives. the future, the past, the day.

I realized that we don’t do that enough. we live our days together & we love eachother but sometimes it can be so easy to just turn on auto pilot & go.

I stood at that sink today & realized that this life, our lives together are too special to be lived on auto pilot. i thought about what is important to me & it isn’t being busy, it is being. just being. with myself, with the moment, with my family. just being.

i stood at that sink & felt so lucky.

i felt at peace.

the calendar is full but i cant let that run my days. i cant let being busy take away from the life that i really want. the life where the little things mean something. the life where i can look at someone that i have loved for 13 years & realize that just like me, they are constantly changing too. we are together a work in progress & that is an amazing thing.

i am sorry that it took my dishwasher breaking to take the time to remind myself what really matters to me.

it sure isn’t having a dishwasher that matters to me.

it is this life that we have built together.

& always will be.




memories in motion…

end of February, 2017.

when I first looked at these photos, all I could think of was memories in motion. so that is what I will call this series.

this day, I asked her to put on a pretty dress & go jump on the bed for me so that I could take some fun photos. she looked at me straight faced & said she was busy!!! I mean really. she kills me. of course, about 10 minutes later she came out with a pretty dress on & asked me if I still wanted her to jump on the bed. haha. yes, little girl, of course I do…

I posted one of these on Instagram & this is what I wrote…

“give me grace. give me strength. give me quiet. give me peace. sometimes moments & emotions seem to swallow me whole. I let my emotions get the best of me. they make me feel like a child, I convince myself that I am watching my world crash around me, even when it’s not crashing down at all. why is it that when one thing in my life feels unbalanced, I cant seem to find my footing anywhere? I guess just one more reminder that I will forever be a work in progress…”

I have read this & re-read this & these words mean so much to me. these words are so true to who I am & how I feel right now.

forever a work in progress…

swinging with my girl…

so, the past week has been hard. very hard. I’m not ready to write it down yet, hopefully soon.

I am reflecting on the past. thinking of my children & all of the years I have spent giving every piece of myself to them.

parenting is hard. we all make mistakes. we learn. we keep going.

I can only hope that none of them ever question my unconditional love. my desire to do the best that I can. my desire for them to do the best that they can.

I know that family are the people that see you at your worst & love you anyway.

and for that I am grateful.

so today, swinging with my girl, that felt good…

you know what, life isn’t easy.

but, life is good. full of blessings & laughter & love.

and for that I am thankful.

I am thankful for my sweet, sweet girl & all of the joy she brings to everyone around her.

especially her mama…


Jan-february so far…

well, not doing so hot keeping up to date with my daily posts. been doing pretty good with my photo a day, just not posting them, its ok, cant win them all. ha.

January 23…


just waiting on the cookies. my little cutie.

these blurry photos, these mean so much to me. I imagine that when Sophia is grown & our last child leaves the house to do amazing things, I imagine that this is what my memories will look & feel like. grainy, blurry, completely out of focus but full of emotion & love…

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January 26th. Happy birthday to mom!! I was going out to dinner with mom & art for her birthday, we had a really busy day that day & I told Sophia she would get to see grammy the day after her birthday, oh my gosh, the tears. she just melted into tears, she had to be able to wish her grammy a happy birthday & blow out the candles. so we made it happen & again I am reminded, this is the stuff of life. this is the stuff that makes life bigger & fuller & make it what it is.

happy birthday mom…

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a little bit of snow to end the month…

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February 2nd.

not the best photos but I had to snap a few. Sophia found the little box of treasures that she came home from the hospital with. where does the time go…

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February 12

the weather got nice & we took our paints outside for the first time this year…

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trips to the park in February in Nebraska!! awesome….

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and a little car wash…

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of course, starbucks…


and more park, February 22nd. 2 days before another big snow storm!!

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my little treasure collecter…

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basking in the sun..

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February 25th. we went shopping for the last time for a prom dress for Mikayla. bittersweet moments for sure! we found the most beautiful dress this year, she truly is stunning & looks like a princess in this dress!! I imagine I will probably cry at prom this year…

and of course, dressing room shenanigans…

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last night, February 26th Sophia & I went to go see my cousin Lisa’s son Boston as Lord Faruaat in his high school production of Shrek at burke high school. he was AMAZING!! so happy we went to see this awesome show. Sophia loved it!

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well, that is it. up to date on photos. maybe not all of the emotions involved but, when I see the photos, I always remember the exact emotions I was feeling.

I guess that is why I love these photo a day projects. it brings to light all of those emotions that we go thru in one day, one hour, on minute, with a family of 5.

Winter concert 2017…

Valentine’s Day 2017, Mikayla’s last winter concert of high school!!

They blow. Me. Away. Every time.

Mikayla had a few solos this concert & she did amazing. This was her first concert being asked to stand after her solo. Seriously, made me cry.



Amazing job mikayla & the Millard west band.

I will miss these days.