Monday, February 2, 2015

The Avoidance Clause

You know what's weird?  Getting a divorce.  It seems that there is an avoidance clause in our social culture that if there is a significant change in someone's life that has the potential to cause....feelings...the proper response is to turn and run.  And for those who have at least enough social grace to remain present, the obligatory avoidance of eye contact and lengthly conversation is most certainly in order.

I understand not knowing what to say.  I get it, it's awkward.  Especially if you were friends with both of us and now you feel like you have to choose.  But here's the really great thing.  I'm an adult and you are not responsible for my feelings.  Let me put your mind at ease.  I don't want to talk to you about it.  I'm not going to vomit drama and tales of suffering and woe all over you.  I'm not going to give you any details, even if you ask, because that's not where I am focusing my energy.  I'm still a person outside of the shift in my life.  Still a mom. Still in school.  Still a woman, a sister, a friend.  I still like to laugh at jokes that really aren't that funny. You'll even find me dancing in the middle of the aisles at the grocery store.  Do I feel extra stress? Yes.  Am I suddenly in the market for a full time job with benefits?  Yup.  Do I worry about my daughters, their well being, and their future?  You bet.  AND I still choose to move forward with faith, hope, and happiness.

If I'm having a tough day and you don't say anything, that hurts.  And if I'm having a tough day and you say, "Hey, I was just thinking about you.  I hope you're doing o.k."  I might cry a little, because sometimes emotions are raw, and fears are real, but I'm still going to be really grateful that you acknowledged my reality and reached out to me as a person. I am bigger than my circumstance.  This is part of my path, my journey.  It's nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.  Life is big and God is good and with Him, all things are possible.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


A couple weeks ago the girls and I tried a new way to paint.  We mixed glue with white paint and then dripped color into it, then swirled and smooshed it until we came up with something beautiful!

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Leah is twelve.  She's been asking me to teach her how to shave her legs for months!  And unlike me as a child, she actually waited for instruction rather than sneaking off to her friend's house with hairy legs and returning home with semi-smooth, band- aided legs.

So I sat her down on the sink, she lathered up and I handed her a razor.   Then I left and came back with my camera. :)  That look is priceless!

"What are you going to do with that picture?!" she asked.

"Why, post it on my blog of course!"

"That's it!  I'm going to start taking embarrassing pictures of you and make my own blog!"

Bring it on little lady.  Can't wait.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Because sometimes a girl just needs to feel strong

I've got a lot on my mind.  There are many big decisions needing to be made in the upcoming months and my brain just won't quit!  In an effort to stop OVER thinking,  I decided to spend the day hiking.

After discovering a lovely trail called Iron Mountain, I parked on the side of the road and found the trail head. After a VERY brief visit to the port-a-potty (sick!) I was ready to hike, all by myself, with no cell service, and no one knowing where I was headed, alone, in the woods, alone, with my camera and sack lunch, all by myself.
It did not escape me that this trip was starting off like every single episode of "Rescue 9-1-1."  All that was missing was a freak snow storm when the weather was predicted to be clear and sunny.

The hike was quiet and nice, weaving through the forest, among beautiful trees and old growth.  I was comforted to hear the sound of cars driving by on the highway below.  Eventually, all sounds of humanity ceased as I got higher and I started hearing other sounds.  Nature sounds.
I found myself scanning the tree tops for birds, chipmunks, bobcats, and vampires.


After a while the forest thinned and opened into a clearing.  I saw this beautiful rock structure and snapped a photo of it.  Had a little snack and carried on.

At the top of the meadow, I found myself at the base of the lovely rock structure I had taken a picture of earlier.  My first thought was how impressed I was at climbing so high without even realizing it.  (We'll see how true that is tomorrow when I can't walk.)  And then it hit me.  That's Iron Mountain!  I'm going to the top of that?  Turns out I'm not much of a quitter.  Onward and upward!  The longer I hiked, the more determined I was to get to the top.

 I'm not entirely sure why someone felt the need to put this sign here, when the only other alternative was to fall off a sheer cliff face...  Anyway, the terrain became more rocky and looked more like a dessert.  I started hearing these loud clicking noises.  Based on my extensive wilderness training and complete absence of paranoia (cough...liar...) I was just certain there were rattlesnakes in the bush up ahead.  I picked up a rock and chucked it in the direction of the sound.  Out of the bush flew a grasshopper...whose wings clicked when it flew.  Thankfully there was no one around to witness my relief that it wasn't a flying rattlesnake, and on I went.  Not too much later I reached the summit.  It was beautiful!  Incredible views in every direction and so peaceful.

 And this little guy was up there to keep me company...and eat the ham out of my sandwich. :)

I realized a few things on this adventure.  1.  I can do hard things.  2.  This kind of felt like a metaphor for the journey I'm on right now.   It started out only mildly uncomfortable.  Then there came a moment of decision.  Do I turn around now because what is up ahead looks intimidating, or do I keep moving forward?  Keep moving forward.  It got harder.  Much, much harder and sometimes even a little bit scary, but I did it.  I made it to the top.  (and back down again...)  3.  I really need a pet chipmunk.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Still Kickin'

It's the week before school starts for me so I figured I'd take a gander at my blog...I still have one right?  Good news, it's only been 10 months since I posted last, and that's way better than a full year.  :)  I figured it was about time to do some catching up, and perhaps keeping up?  I'll give it my best shot fully knowing that this is what Mary Poppins would call a "pie crust promise.  Easily Made, easily broken."  I never really agreed with the easily made part, but I digress.

A quick look back at what has happened since November 2013...
Heidi had the worst Easter ever.

We bought hummus at the farmer's market and promptly dropped it in the gravel

I found a sign that said "Stop Hammer Time"

Leah rode in the car with a lot of balloons

H and E fell on the floor because they were both in one robe

I took a blurry selfie with E and H

I was confused by this product. "African Black Soap for all skin types."

My brother visited and shoved his finger up my nose. 

My children all stuffed oranges in their mouths.
It snowed.

I think we hit the highlights.  Also, everyone had a birthday and moved up a grade level :)
So, now we're all caught up.  Moving forward from here.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Toothfairy FAIL...again

Well now it's just getting ridiculous.  I forgot to be the Tooth Fairy AGAIN!  I was about to debunk the whole myth this morning, just to absolve myself of the guilt, but then i realized Heidi hasn't even lost ONE tooth yet and that wouldn't be very fair to her to crap out on tradition, just because I can't remember to follow through with it.  (Good reasoning right?)  Anyway, Emilia asked if she could write the Tooth Fairy an email this morning.  It was the least I could do.

dear toothfaiy why don't you give me dollers my frend's git dollers and why didint you come lastnight what is your name and what do you look like!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
love emilia

Well, I guess since I'm lying to her anyway about the existence of a Tooth Fairy, I won't give her the straight answers to her questions, otherwise it would read something like this...

Dear Emilia,
I don't give you dollars even if your friends get dollars because I'm already paying for the care and maintenance of your teeth.  YOU should be giving ME dollars.  I didn't come last night because I am so ridiculously busy with being a wife, mom, student, employee that remembering to switch out a tooth for a quarter is about #796 on my list of things to do.  My name is Mom and I look like a very tired mid thirties woman with brown hair.  Magical, isn't it?

The Tooth Fairy aka: your Mother who has been lying to you for the first eight years of your existence

Saturday, October 12, 2013

An honest conversation

This was the Google chat conversation I had with my parents as I was telling them about hanging up my photo exhibit. This is a priceless gem :)

6:03 PM
i just put it up...and it literally all fell down. so i put it up again today

Gary Fagersten
6:03 PM
what do you mean it fell down?

6:04 PM
i mean, it fell off the wall and onto the floor.  i used SUPER sticky tabs, guaranteed to hold 1 lb per square sticky
apparently my pictures were very heavy?

Gary Fagersten
6:04 PM
why those dirty cheats, I'd get my money back

6:04 PM
i would, but i stole them from the art office

Gary Fagersten
6:04 PM
why you dirty cheat

6:04 PM
i'd have to pay THEM!

Gary Fagersten
6:05 PM
you deserve to have them fall down

6:05 PM
that's probably true

Gary Fagersten
6:05 PM
just staple the pictures up

6:05 PM

Gary Fagersten
6:05 PM
where's my magic marker. I'm going to draw mustaches on them

6:06 PM
you are officially UNinvited
consider this your UNvitation

Gary Fagersten
6:07 PM
where is your show?

6:07 PM
i'm not telling

Gary Fagersten
6:07 PM
well, I'll find out. . .you just wait


Friday, October 4, 2013


Leah will be horribly embarrassed one day when she decides to scroll through all my past blog posts and comes across this one.  So, sorry daughter in the future, but this one is just TOO good to pass up.

Leah and I were sitting in the car and I looked over at her only to discover her with her hand down her shirt.  "What are you doing?" I asked.
"I found a dime and I'm tucking it in my bra.  That's where I keep all my valuables."
" that's what they're calling 'em these days."
"What?!  Mom!  Oh my gosh." 

The next morning before school I said to Leah, "Make sure and put a bra on.  You've got to keep those valuables covered."  She rolled her eyes and turned six shades of red.  Awesome. :)

Old. Just Old.

This is a picture of me.  ME, I tell you!

Reasons I feel really old this school year.

1. The kid I work with tells me every day I'm as old as the Crypt Keeper.  (Shut up Nick!  I'm just kidding.  No you're not.  OK, I'm not.)
2. Students are submitting applications with their birth dates on them that are the same years as my high school career. 
3. I'm taking a 200 level communication class that is generally taken by freshmen, and it is VERY obvious that I'm not following the fashion trends of hoop earrings, off the shoulder sweatshirts, and stretch pants with high tops.  (Sorry folks, I did that in the 80's.  Yes, the FIRST time it was popular.) 
4. I referenced a quote from "Top Gun" which came out in 1986.  I was attempting to prove my youth by saying, "Ha!  I was only seven when that movie came out!"  But before those validating words could escape my lips, my counterpart said, "Ha!  I wasn't even BORN then!"  Fail. 
5. My girls keep asking me to tell them stories from the "olden days, you know...when you used chalk boards at school."
6. I got dressed up for my artist reception and one of my fellow classmates said, "Wow!  You look really pretty when you're not wearing 'Mom Jeans'."  I'm you REALLY know what 'Mom Jeans' are?  Because you probably weren't born when this SNL skit came out.
7. My youngest daughter is starting kindergarten.  Most of the other moms are dropping off their first child.
8. My oldest daughter is in MIDDLE SCHOOL!  How did that even happen?  

Friday, September 27, 2013

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

I work in the art office on campus and things are picking up with school starting Monday.  It was an 'everyday feels like Friday' week!  So to celebrate it actually being Friday, I wanted to bring cookies in for everyone.  One of the staff is allergic to wheat and dairy so I came up with a recipe for peanut butter cookies that worked around those limitations.  And the good news is, they were good enough that the "regular" folk didn't notice anything was missing.  :)  
Flour-less Peanut Butter Cookies
1 c crunchy peanut butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 t salt
1/4 c (not) butter
1 c oat flour
Mix well.  Drop onto a pan, criss-cross with a fork and bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

Note: If you use all natural sugar free peanut butter, you may want to leave out the (not) butter and increase the sugar to a full cup.