Sunday, June 10, 2018

Let's Pretend...

... that it hasn't been almost two years since I last blogged.

Actually, now it's been over two years. I started writing this post in October 2017.

So, the highlights- We moved to Michigan in February 2016 and we will be here until Spring 2019.
We bought a house when we moved here and sold it just over a year later. It was more work than I had the desire or energy to deal with. We downsized from the 2,000 sq ft house to a 1,000 sq ft apartment.

That apartment wasn't big enough for the 12 of us (Jared, Emma, me, Bo, and the eight bikes), so we currently are in the process of moving. Again. This apartment isn't any bigger, but now we have a garage! Bikes make crappy roommates. They don't help with any chores because they are always to tired to help. Slackers.
Woodland Lakes

HA! Proof that I do occasionally do house work!

Jared is an Air Force ROTC instructor at Michigan State University. He is also the president of Mid-Michigan Mountain Bike Associations. He has bought three bikes since we have been here in Michigan. Wait, four, but one of them was for Emma. To be fair, he has sold one. Progress!

I can't complain too much about the bikes because Emma's been enjoying them too.

Emma broke her arm on Halloween in 2016. I always figured her first broken bone would be horse related, but nope, she was running down a driveway. She didn't require a cast and she was all healed up within a few months.

Let's see, what else for Emma. There's so much I'll write a separate post about it!

We lost Bailey to cancer in April 2017. It sucked and still makes my heart hurt that we had so little time with her. Thankfully she wasn't sick for long and she wasn't in any pain.

We bought Emma her first living, breathing horse! His name is Rock It and he is a miniature horse. We got Rock It in October of 2017. Emma got to work with him a few times, but he was more than we could handle and ended up kicking Emma. So once we saved up a bit, we sent him to a board and train program in February 2018. Turns out he was a little terror. His first response to something he didn't like was to kick. Hard. He and Emma were not a great fit, but the breeder we got him from was great about buying him back.

Not the best first horse owning experience, but we love the board and train facility, Wind Walker Farms & Training in Fenton, MI, and Emma has been taking lessons there since. In fact, she's going to be leasing a gorgeous horse that she calls Quinn.

We adopted a puppy in August! His name is Bojite, but we call him Bo. I plugged in the first letter of our names, plus Bailey and Icky, and this was the word that came up. Bojite is a type of rock, which I thought was pretty funny considering we were in the process of buying Rock It when we adopted Bo. By the way, puppies are a TON of work!

Bo is now a year old. It's been a crazy year with all the puppy shenanigans (I was convinced he was part shark for a while), but I'm so happy he is part of our family! He loves to be outside, loves other dogs, doesn't mind people, loves food, loves to learn, and is overall a really good dog.

That leaves me. I am, well, me. I've dabbled with lots of different crafty things over the last few years.

Cement Monster Egg

Cement draped pots

Painted rocks

Paper flowers

I've been walking a lot

Dog sitting. Emma is an amazing assistant!




And we just recently fostered out first dog!
Henrietta. We called her Henny. 
She was adopted two days after she went back to the shelter!  

I just discovered stand up paddle boarding (SUP) and I'm hooked! 

Ok, that's enough for now. my goal over the next few weeks is to do a more in-depth update for each of us. Stay tuned!

Monday, December 21, 2015


I have worked harder in the last 10 years than I have in my entire life. I've passed up more, slept less, cried more, socialized less, and worried more.

Oh, but the laughter. And the love. The hugs and kisses, the snuggles and giggles. The learning, the wonder, and the magic. Those have overflowed in the last ten years, filling up my life with all their goodness, drowning out the bad.

For 10 years I have had the best "job" of my life. I have been Emma's mama.

Hospital1 (4)
December 21, 2005
Tucson, AZ

It hasn't always been sunshine and roses with her. We've had our struggles.

Like when she was nine months old and we couldn't figure out why she had snot coming out of her butt (which we finally realize four years later was because of a gluten intolerance).

a.k.a how we figure out she was gluten intolerant

Or when she was 14 months old and spent an entire flight throwing up only to end up in the hospital with rotavirus for three days while Jared was deployed. 

I had never been so stressed in my life. Thankfully family made it easier to handle, like when Auntie Amber turned Emma's I.V. into friend named Ivy. 

Or the time she busted out a front tooth while we were visiting Auntie Amber in NH.

And the ongoing battle of her perfectionism.  
Ski Day at Showdown- First time skiing (33)
Falling a lot her first time skiing.
Showdown, MT
December 2012

Be we have had so many wonderful times. 

Spending some time in nature at Aqua Caliente Park
Tucson, AZ
September 2007

First ice cream cone at the Dairy Queen we use to go to when I was a kid.
Manchester, NH
May 2007

Spending hours following this toad around in Gramma's yard.
Cresco, IA 

The first time she ever laughed was at our first dog, Icky. She laughed so hard she cried, then fell asleep. 
(photo January 2009)

Mamma and Me Pony Lessons 25Mar10 (13)
Horses! This kid's love for horses has amazed me since day one. 
March 2010

Paper bag puppets with Da while chilling and wearing a cape. 
August 2010

'Wula Hooping' (15)
Learning to "wula hoop," and winning a contest at the farmers market for it. 
Nevada, IA
August 2010

Camera Craziness Apr2011 (34)
Her amazing love for animals
Nevada, Iowa
April 2011

Emma Rock Climbing (25)
The odd and random things she loves to do.
August 2011

Drive to AZ 2011 (2)
Hotel pillow fights
Drive to AZ
December 22, 2011

Bed in the Family Room (4)
Dancing to Taylor Swift
Nevada, Iowa
January 2012

More Bike Riding (16)
Riding bikes
Nevada, IA
March 2012

Sara's Wedding 19May2012 (56)
Being flower girl in Auntie Sara and Uncle Rich's wedding
Cresco, IA 
May 2012

Just being silly together
Nevada, IA
June 2012

Reading State Quaters outside of Subway (9)
Shenanigans all around. 
June 2012

Reading State Quaters outside of Subway (7)
Funny Da!

RAIN- WooHoo (3)
Playing in the rain at Gramma's
Cresco, IA
July 2012

Hiking in Decorah, Nov 2012 (7)
Family hikes
Decorah, IA
November 2012

b. Travel to MT- Day 2- Mt Rushmore (20)
Grand adventures
Mt. Rushmore
November 2012

d. Travel to MT- Day 2- Devils Tower (36)
Devil's Tower
November 2012

Hand Sewing 2- Lambkin (6)
Teaching her new things
Great Falls, MT
February, 2012

Hiking (6)
Getting outside
March 2013

As she get's older, this kiddo of our is more a partner than a responsibility. 

Kitchen Help- Veggie Prep
Food prep partner
Great Falls, MT
February 2013

Walk 5-26-13 (12)
Walking partner
Great Falls, MT
May 2013

Groundworkds Farm 7Jun13 (1)
Farming partner
May 2013

Saige by Emma (3)
Crafting partner
Jun 2013

Library (3)
Reading partner
Great Falls Public Library
June 2013

Morning Glory Muffins (4)
Cooking Partner
Great Falls, MT
June 2013

Question Mark Day 20Dec13 (321)
Jumping partner
Great Falls, MT
December 2013

Rename December (26)
Travel partner
Amtrak train
December 2013

Surprise Visit-Amber and Tucker (84)
My Jiu-Jitsu partner
Great Falls, MT
January 2014

Feeling better (5)
Shoveling partner
Great Falls, MT
January 2014

Partner in goofiness!
Great Falls, MT
December 21, 2015

You get the point.

While I don't expect the next 10 years to be walk in the park (though there will be a lot of walks in parks), I am so excited to see what they bring. I am super proud of the person she already is and I am excited to see who she becomes. 

So, HAPPY TENTH BIRTHDAY to my kind, compassionate, beautiful, thoughtful, funny, smart, silly, happy girl. I love you Emma, and I am so thankful I get to be your mama!