Friday, July 31, 2015


Packing, packing, packing. This week has been full of boxes and sorting and bags to donate. We are moving next week; downsizing from a 3br/2ba to a 2bd/1ba. This is all by choice, but man it makes moving a little more complicated. I am trying to do some sorting here but will have to do more once we arrive and live in the space a little. Over the past year I have been trying to minimize, declutter, and only give room and time to that which we love or has purpose. One big sweep is my romantic notion but unfortunately two little hoodlums keep that from being a possibility. So we have been doing it in small batches, slowly, but effectively. It makes me very excited for our new home but exhausted just thinking about it.

Speedy crawler. He was going after my phone.

From a hike last week. He makes the best faces.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

2 years later

Last week the two-year anniversary of James' passing.

I think too hard about how to phrase sentences like that. Not for anyone's benefit but my own. "Anniversary" is ambiguous and doesn't assume any type of celebration and "passing" is the gentlest way I can remind myself that my child died.

Obviously there is no one, correct way to approach it, to talk about it, to live with it. I have learned that no matter how many books or accounts I read, my grief is my own and I need to do what feels right for me and my family.

I have been frustrated with how difficult that can be.

Monday was actually a great day. I got a new swimming suit, went swimming and had a great time talking with a dear friend, ate at my favorite Mexican restaurant. If I picked the day out of the whole year, it would rank highly as full of sunshine and happy moments.

At the end of the day though, my heart sank. It isn't that the day wasn't great or that I regretted the way I approached the day, it was that two years later I am still just as confused and sad and angry about losing James and learning how to live onward.

Earlier in the week Kyle and I had attended the temple which was wonderful but felt premature. The weight of the day approaching hadn't really hit, the questions hadn't returned, the ache had been pushed away.

Before bed on Monday evening I realized that all I really wanted for the day was a moment of silence. Five minutes would be even better and if we are really being honest I want the whole day. A moment, a minute, a day for the world to stop moving, stop working, stop buzzing around. I wanted people to alter their plans and remember my son. I want that for all children who have been lost. For the world to stop spinning, just for a day.

Thank you to all of you who sent messages and posts of love and support. Thank you for taking a moment. Thank you to family and friends who altered their plans to support me in my grief. Thank you to those who took the time on Monday to visit his grave, to take a picture and send it to me. At the end of the day it was EXACTLY what I needed. To know that his life made someone change a moment of theirs.

Next year I have a plan and I am writing it down so that I can remember it, so that anyone who reads this can help me remember it. I want a moment of your day on July 20th of next year. A moment, a minute, a day where you do something kind, do something good, do something out of love. Let's call it The James Effect. 

Friday, July 17, 2015


I found myself making cupcakes in a nightgown with a baby on my hip this morning. I had to laugh because it was a very specific image of motherhood to me. Daniel has been teething this past week, I monitored his top left tooth as it started bulging out of his gums. His gums were so swollen for an entire week and I thought it will cut tomorrow! It cut a week later. There was a lot of lost sleep. Daniel does not teeth well. He wants to me in my arms moving at all times, but today (like mid-morning) has been LOADS better. So yay!

The cupcakes are for a birthday party for a certain four year-old I know. For his birthday he wanted a spider-man umbrella, a lego space-ship, and a blue cake (chocolate flavor). Happily I was able to deliver. His party tonight will be simple and fun. Down at our favorite park with friends and pizza and a surprise parachute I got off Amazon. Max has had a great day so far so I hope it will end even better.

Cold watermelon rinds for hurting gums.

 I was nursing (taking pictures and nursing! SKILLZ!). He was mad. This is what my home looks like 98% of the time. I hope Max mellows out as a four year-old. Either way I will love him, but I might go crazy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Maxwell will turn four on Friday.

Photo by Hannah Nielsen

At four years-old, Max is a shy class-clown. He is very energetic but he needs to warm up, assess the situation and crowd before he starts doing his thing. He likes to make people laugh and is learning (slowly) that causing bodily harm and annoying them constantly is not the way to generate laughter. He eats between 3-5 breakfasts each morning (cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, bagel with cream cheese, english muffin with jam, PB&J). He is a little attorney forcing me to improve my judicial skills each day. He loves his little brother and anxiously awaits when Daniel is big enough to really play with him; knocking Daniel down and lying on top of him will do for now. He has a sweet tooth but knows his limits (the other day he had a m&m cookie and finished half claiming that if he ate the rest that too much candy would make his tummy hurt). He gets carsick easily, loves grilled cheese, tests new shoes out for speed, always wants help putting on his shirt, is proud of his new booster seat, and requests a new lullaby each night.

I love this boy and I love being his mother. 

Friday, July 10, 2015


Things got a little insane these last couple of weeks. After traveling for basically two weeks straight, we had a lot of errands to run, people to meet up with, and laundry to clean. I dug deep on Monday and by Tuesday decided that was way too boring. So we went to the water park. Wednesday we made a visit to Yakima for a play date and an oil change. Thursday we headed to the park with some friends and it went so well that we repeated it today. It has been a great week.

Pulling himself up all over the place and being adorable while doing it.

If you can believe it, this child turns 4 next week. FOUR! My mind can't comprehend it.