Oh, 2012….

Tonight I am sitting on the couch while the makings for lasagna sauce and enchiladas are cooking away on the stove.  The house smells awesome. I am sick, wrapped up in a robe and antique quilt, waiting for Tiny Beast to make her appearance.

Another year will soon come to a close, and like the past few years, there were amazing highs, and soul crushing lows.

2012 was definitely the year of good bye’s. It started with my mother living with me, and me calling the police to have my father committed again after getting a call from a friend that he was walking around the complex incoherent. It would continue, having him recommitted after threats of suicide, and awful panic attacks and delusions. We would go through periods of not talking, overcoming changes in providers, changes in medications, and pulling favors to keep him out of jail and in facilities that could keep him longer than a few days. Constant exhaustion, travelling down to Tacoma to help him, and fear every time the phone would ring lasted until the last call I got, in June, when I found out he had ended his life. Being his daughter was the hardest, but also the most rewarding job I have ever had. I miss him all the time, and there’s not a day that goes by that I still wonder if there was more than I could have done. He was, and always be, a proud Veteran and an inspiration.  He was a man who fell through the cracks, and suffered far longer than any of us thought that he would.

2012 also saw the passing of my fur baby Mia. We didn’t see it coming, and she was such a trooper, trying to make us happy even in her last moments. She was an amazing pup, and I am grateful for the time that we had.

It wasn’t all bad, of course!  There were great things as well.

I made the resolution to write more, and to just put myself out there. I start posting my blog to people who weren’t strangers. It was odd to put myself out there, but good to share my crafts, recipes and adventures with people.

My Mom moved into her own place, and started a life on her own as a single gal. I know that the changes weren’t easy on her. She handled it with courage and grace, and I am so proud of her.

In early 2012, Nick and I made the decision to start trying to conceive a tiny life of our own. It was scary and amazing, and after close to 4 months, we were able to announce to a very select few that we had hit the baby jack pot, and then started to share the news publicly in July, after we were sure that we’d be able to maintain the pregnancy after losing my Dad.  Here we are 9 months later, about to give birth to our Tiny Beast. I am still excited and scared for everything that she will bring and teach me.  She’s measuring around 7 lbs, and I have just over a week to go, in theory.

We travelled!  Our favorite trips were to Montana and Wyoming, where I scared the crap out of Nick by moving bison with my newly pregnant self, which resulted in my promising that I’ll be a little more careful. Which was followed up with me dragging Nick through a marsh, chasing elk for the perfect picture. We hiked, camped, and spent lazy days at the beach eating delicious fresh sea critters.

My bestie and I found that small breweries couldn’t handle the two of us getting pregnant at the same time, and we saw the closing of our favorite brewery. We powered through pregnancy and made it look awesome. I was and am glad to have had her to go through this process with someone.

We found new love in Kip, an abandoned fur baby, who has fit in perfectly with us. He makes us laugh every day, and I can’t wait to have Kip and the baby spend time together. I want every day that he has with us to be so fabulous that he forgets about the abusive past that he had.

Work was also good-I challenged myself to do more, to work harder, and learn more about the role. I took on new projects, and had more fun than I thought I would. I can’t wait to see what 2013 will bring for me, the programs I work with, and for the company.

I took on new culinary adventures, pickling, canning and jamming new treats. I braised, I roasted and I baked. I drank my way through multiple countries via wines and beers, and shared toasts with friends.

I am so grateful for amazing friends, the support they have provided, and for all of the good times I have had. I am also grateful for the hard times, as they made the good that much sweeter.

For 2013, my resolutions are to do as much good as I can for those in need, to teach Isabella about her world, and to be strong for her at all times. I want to continue be an amazing partner for Nick, and make sure he knows every day how lucky I am to have him in my life.  I want to strengthen my friendships, now that life is quieter on some fronts. I vow to eat bacon, and to continue my culinary adventures. I want to take on new art projects, and to get in more photography.  I’ll try to forgive myself over things I have no control over, and to be ok with the past. I’ll continue to blog and share my silly stories with you all.

Here’s to all of you, as you leave the last year, and welcome the new year ahead!  I leave you with this:


Contractions, and not the grammatical kind

Unless you count a combination of a cuss word and another word. Because I sure do.

I now (in theory) have less than 3 weeks and the Braxton-Hicks have come to visit.  Tiny Beast is still head down, and we have another appointment in less than a week, and the following, until she gets here.

Oh, contractions. I appreciate that you are practice for the real thing. It’s like a light warm up before the race. Of course I totally forgot that, and started holding my breath and making faces like something smelly had just sat next to me on the couch. Which, by the way, is not a recommended look while at Babies R Us. Nick reminded me that this is a good time to start practicing my breathing, so that when the real stuff comes down, It’ll be second nature.

I started to make squidgy face at him, before I realized he was right (yet again).

So, the past few days have been spent practicing breathing.


Not like normal breathing. I am pretty set on my skills doing that. I’m practicing that special, not quite hyperventilating, pregnant lady breathing that you learn in a class. Also, not to be done at Babies R Us. People tend to worry and think you’re going to drop a kid right there in the bedding aisle.

Aside from practicing my mad breathing skills, I have also apparently been nesting. Now, this isn’t the earlier cleaning and gutting of my house that was more Rambo-style. Oh no…this is ‘everything must be in its’ proper spot, or I will freak out, and you’ll have to do it all over again, if you’re the one screwed enough to get stuck helping me do stuff’ type cleaning.

For example: I made a quilt holder out of willow reeds, and placed tiny stuffed animals on it, so it looks like a happy little forest wonderland on the wall. From this hangs a banner I made from paper, fabric, letters and dried flowers. It’s really a pretty wall, but clearly overly thought out.

When it came time to put the quilt up (a beautiful antique, hand embroidered alphabet quilt), Nick had to do the honors, since I couldn’t get behind the crib or close enough to the wall without smooshing my ever-growing belly. Within seconds I realized that the quilt looked horrible, and had him take it down. Along with it, came the tiny forest creatures. Nick put them back up and started to hand me the quilt, only to see the look of “WTF” on my face. He spent the next few minutes trying to rearrange the critters to the exact specifications that I was trying to convey through what can be best described as vague and including interpretive dance.

Sigh. Again, I have an incredibly patient man. I may have also lost my mind.

Along with nesting comes cleaning. Yep. I have Charlies Soap for the diapers, Dreft for the clothes,  organic hippy cleaners for everything that the baby could touch. Clearly companies that make cleaners market to the pregnant freaks…and it works. So here’s how I envision me in the nesting phase:

Thank you Hyperbole and a Half for a meme that sums up everything that makes late-stage pregnancy crazy.

Thankfully, the nesting comes in waves, so I can still manage to be a normal human being most of the time. Meh. Less than 3 weeks, and I can transition into a new phase of sleep-deprived craziness. At least I’ll have company with Nick not sleeping either.

Here’s to cleaning all the things (in reasonable moderation)!

HA! Who needs Bob Villa?

I don’t know if this is a sign that Nick and I are ready for maternity/paternity leave or what, but it made me chuckle and I had to share.

Nick came in to my office earlier today while I was finishing lunch to say, “Did you know screens come in different sizes?” He started to go on, but it was too darn funny to not stop him and remind him that this conversation was awfully familiar, as over a year ago, it was ME asking HIM this very same question (clearly the screen situation never got completely resolved, after a cat decided to chew his way through the screen. Again.)

Not to be deterred from getting in a laugh, I continued; “I remember having this very same conversation with you, and you said ‘yes, they do as windows come in different sizes’ and something about setting myself up for success! I even blogged about it!”.

This wasn’t as funny to him as it was to me, as he continued on, super unfazed by my wit, to say that McLendon’s has screen workshops and repair events, and that he still has no idea why I was using scissors to fix anything.


Either way, it looks like all of the screens on the house will get repaired AND i had a chance to quote my own blog (located: here), even though my point totally fell flat.

I may just have an incredibly patient man.

So here’s to letting someone else play Bob Villa, even if they don’t appreciate your creative tool usage.


Current Events…

I posted this to Facebook, and then realized, not all of my readers know me in real life and are on my Facebook page. I’m somewhat political, more so around women’s rights, but definitively so around mental health care. A change is needed, and while gun reform is something that is needed as well, it feels…well…like a band-aid. Good to stop the bleeding, but not the cause of the injury. My heart bleeds for the families. It terrifies me to think I could bring my child to school and home from the morgue in the same day.

It terrifies me that shootings happen in schools far too often, but they are in poor, and usually non-white neighborhoods. It breaks my heart that mass genocide happens daily in other countries, as well. There is heartbreak and tragedy everywhere. Does that limit my hurt for the families in Connecticut? Of course not, it’s a reminder than we live in a cruel world and that more love and compassion are needed.

We don’t just a better band-aid, but a better way to prevent the injury itself.  Do I have the answers? No, but I have enough compassion to say something, to hold the ones I love and to not turn my back on those in need, near and far. To you, dear reader, may you go into the world, help who you are able, and hopefully leave your little corner of it a little better than when you came to it.

The post:

I’m probably going to piss someone off with the post that follows. If that’s you, I apologize in advance for how you view my thoughts. This is my stance, and you’re welcome to take it or leave it.
1. While I appreciate seeing the faces of the children who died in CT, real change doesn’t start with an empty action. We can remember tragedy in our heads and hearts, but taking real action requires more than posting a picture. CHANGE to the status of mental health care in America will guarantee less crimes like this. Supporting parents of severely mentally ill children and adults will help ensure that there is enough energy to go around and that all people get what they need to survive. Call your local government official. Vote for money to be place where it needs to be placed: Social Service.
2. For those of you who have this to say about why the tragedy happened-“This is what happens when you don’t let God in”, or “God doesn’t go where he isn’t welcomed” Imagine me pinching my nose and squinting my eyes. My last understanding is that God is all loving, and supportive. That feels like a dick-move and a crap agenda. Again, my two cents on this. My gut says to say “Shut Up”, but that’s your belief, so I’ll let it go.
3. Gun ownership. Now, most people don’t know, I am a gun owner. I believe in the right to ownership, but I believe in people having reasonable access, and a boat load of training. I also believe that if you own guns, you better damn well ensure that they don’t fall into the wrong hands. Lock it up, protect the key. Use common sense. As far as whether more guns in school would have prevented this: Please see issue #1. 


Inside jokes

Today was potentially my last day working from the office before Tiny Beast gets here. She’s been head down for a while, and I’m starting to dilate. In theory, I have less than 4 weeks, but this little bear has a mind of her own. At yesterdays appointment, the midwife suggested more rest, less hours, and working from home. There were other recommendations in there, like pick a day to stop working. She and Nick didn’t seem to keen on my answer, “My last day is when I go into labor”.

So here I am…

It’s odd thinking that she could come any time. It’s odd that I get to work from home full time. It’s just plain odd that I am no longer in control. I’m trying really hard to let that go, but as it turns out…I suck at that.  Here’s to trying.

A few weeks ago, I felt hiccups for the first time. From inside. That weren’t mine. It was the most amazing, yet weird experience yet. Movement, I get. Hiccups, just another experience. I do have to say that it makes me giggle now, feeling the tiny jolts that make my belly slightly expand rhythmically. It’s nice to know she’s doing well in there, and that she and I know what’s happening, but no one else does. I’ll admit I probably look nuts smiling down at my belly, trying not to laugh.

I also think…man, what are you doing in there that you get the hiccups so often? Who knows.

Outside of baby-ness, things are good. Nick is clocking close to 70 hours this week at work, and we’re trying to arrange a guys night for him, and dinner for our friends. Busy days!  We picked up a tree, which is sitting in it’s stand, undecorated. Meh-we’ll get to it tomorrow. Saturday, my Mom is coming up to help with some house stuff and to cook us a big dinner. We’re trying to hang out as much as possible, without me getting overwhelmed/annoyed. Moms are great, just in small doses. We may get in some photography and shopping.

Craft-wise, I have some photos I want to enter in some contests, and there’s the food blog that needs updating. I have a few sewing projects to complete this week and next, as well.

Other than that?  It’s put up my feet, relax, get in some dog park time and wait. Not a bad way to spend the winter. 🙂

What’s on tap for you all this December?

Here’s to the final weeks wrapping up!


6 months later

I look at this picture, and it still doesn’t seem real that he’s gone, or that it has been 6 months since he died. In some ways it seems like a lot longer, and some it seems like the time has flown by in the blink of an eye. In some ways, it makes sense, in some ways it still doesn’t click that he’s gone. Some days I still find myself planning to call him. Habits, I guess.  I don’t know that losing a parent ever gets easier, it just gets to be different than it was.

Sunday was the first time I have gone to visit my Dad since we laid him to rest in June. I don’t have a good excuse for not visiting. The cemetery isn’t that far. I just haven’t made it. Work, life, baby, everything has kept me busy, and I really didn’t know what to say.  We found his spot, and I stood there, and cried. I didn’t have any words, just an outpouring of emotions. I missed my Dad at that moment so much, I grieved for my loss, for Isabella’s loss, my mom’s…I just hated that he was gone.

When he first died, a friend of mine said, “It doesn’t ever get easier, it just becomes different”. The happy memories start taking over the bad. I still remember how frightened he looked a few weeks before he passed away- wild-eyed and panic stricken as I tried to find any facility that could take him. That is slowly fading, and his happy dance that he did when I told him I was finally pregnant is replacing it.

I was, and still am, so fortunate to have had an amazing man as my Daddy. He was smart, artistic, funny, and brave. He put others before himself and his safety. He taught me to love travel and to rebel against a stagnant life, to seek out happiness, but not at the expenses of others. He tried to teach me to not take myself so seriously (something I am still working on), and to concoct odd food combinations (kipper snack ramen, anyone?? No?)…He gave me my huge hair, and my love of 80’s music (hmmm…the two go well together), and to help those less fortunate than myself.

In short, he made me who I am today, and gave me the traits that I hope to instill in my child.

Again, I still miss him so much, and I loathe the PTSD that took him away from us too early, but I am so lucky to have had him in my life as long as I did.

Here’s to you, Dad. You’re still so, so missed and always loved.