Monday, December 31, 2012


I say it every year but I love New Year's Eve.  Like, really, really love it.  I spend most of the year looking forward, accomplishing this task so I can move on to the next task and I rarely look back.  Frankly, who has the time?  But I get all nostalgic at year's end and I start reminiscing.

For me, this year has been consumed by two things, running and relationships.  In big ways, running has strengthened relationships with my two fellow runners, Niki and Billy.  We signed up for the Eugene Marathon next year and have spent the last few months of Sunday's trudging along the miles as we work towards twenty six point two.  There have been moments when I felt like an Olympian (who says there's no such thing as a runner's high?  I am clearly no Olympian!) and others when I felt quite certain I should quit, sit on the couch and get fat.  They come in equal measure so it always feels like a double accomplishment when I log in a good long run and don't die, puke, or faint.

I've felt conflicted this year about relationships that have taken a back seat and about others that have grown.  There's only so much time in life so where one relationship grows, another has to shrink.  Time, distance, changing interests, life just gets in the way.  I miss my friends but I am so blessed to have deepened relationships with others.

I still struggle with the same things I did last year, namely having enough time to do it all, and being ok with ME when I can't..  This may just be my issue, something I deal with on a daily basis.

As this year ends, in light of school shootings, mall shootings,  movie theater shootings, unimaginable gang rape, I can only wrap my arms around my babies, kiss their innocent little heads pray that they are spared exposure to the type of violence and evil that leaves me completely at a loss for words.  Because, really how DO you explain that to children?

But there's also been beauty this year.  A baby for my best friend, another on the way for another friend.  Watching my kids grow, play, fight, love.  Singing, dancing, running, writing (HA!  not much), lots of love.  2012, you've been a good year.  But I think 2013 is going to kick your ass.

Happy New Year, Friends.  Kiss your littles and each other!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Things that make me happy

1) hot weather. even without air conditioning, i love hot weather

2) the way finley says "tattoo". it is seriously the cutest thing you've ever heard. and you probably will hear it becuase she wants everyone to admire her tattoo. her brother picked out a skull and crossbones which may not be the MOST appropriate thing but whatever, she likes it.

3) the other day i happened to look at conor and thought the color of his eyes was changing. I grabbed his chin and looked into his eyes. in the most exasperated tone of voice he said "I know mommy, i'm cute".

4) this email that I got from a friend a couple months ago: "If I haven't already told you a million times I love hanging out with Conor. He was the sweetest boy yesterday. As soon as I got in the car he told me he liked my sweat shirt (jacket) and I looked really pretty. Not the only reason I love him but it scored points. Then we had a conversation about Mommy and her friends and Mommy's new car. Then, "I love my Mommy!" You just want to kiss him all over. He was really a good boy yesterday. Went potty at the 5 minute mark (1 minute) like Tara asked and was totally ok. I told him It was snack time and he said he didn't need a snack. Till he found out it meant cupcakes. " i keep it on my bulletin board at work and read it when my kids are exasperating me.

5) my new yellow shoes that i got for $15

6) my new orange shoes that i got for $15

7) my friend billy who is awesome and an inspiring mom

8) my job which is challenging and rewarding and makes me feel like i accomplishing something worthwhile daily. it's also paying for a new fence and hardwood floors which isn't so bad either.

9) a freshly made bed. i make mine every day and love getting into cool, crisp sheets

10) friends who text me funny things and make me laugh during the day.  you know who you are.

11) lists.  makes me feel productive

12) getting my hair cut.  its like im a whole new person.

13) the color turquoise

14) the smell of rain on pavement in the summertime

15) morgan


Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Dear Finley,

 At just about this time, two years ago the nurses were tending to me and you were snuggled up against Daddy's chest in just your diaper. You were both so quiet, just looking at each other with these looks like "oh! it's you! I've been waiting to meet you." Two years later, I'll still find you snuggled on Daddy's chest as though those first few hours gave you a taste for the snuggle that you've never been able to let go of.

 You have blossomed from that little snuggle bunny into a fearless daredevil, and it's not uncommon for us to find you in the most precarious of positions. In fact, not too long ago, Daddy went looking for you after realizing you had been quiet for just a little too long. He found you on top of your dresser! Looking around he realized that you had pulled your kitchen over to your dresser, opened the doors, climbed the shelves and there you were, proudly conquering your own mountain.

You are are equal parts sugar and spice and piss and vinegar and everyone who meet you says, "Wow. That Finley. She's always up to something." And you are. And we love you for it. You have an attitude that widens our eyes and makes us shake our heads and Daddy and I point at each other and say, "she got THAT from you!"

 When your brother was your age I could number the words in his vocabulary, list out the letter sounds he could make, catalog the shapes he knew. With you, I just don't do that. You are a remarkable child and it's not measured in letters or numbers but in giggles and grins and sly looks when you're doing something you know you shouldn't be. We catalog your expressions which range from sheer joyous excitement to your thundercloud stare where your eyebrows lower and knit together and your nose scrunches up. Inevitably, two second later, you're back to smiling again. 

You're just so amazing to me! Such a handful and such a joy. Your blue eyes just light up when you see me and you come running to me on your chubby legs. "Mommy's here, Mommy's here," you yell and I crouch down and you jump into my arms, your soft little arms clutching around my neck. And its THE BEST part of my day. Every day.

 I love your independence and your "my DOO eet" attitude which makes everything take three times as long as it would if I just did it myself. Ok, it frustrates the heck out of me too, especially when we're running late in the morning (we're always running late in the morning) and I have to remind myself time and time again, that I want to nurture and foster your independent spirit, because with a will and a spirit like yours, you might one day rule the world. You'll certainly rule your own world. And I have NO IDEA where you might get that trait.

(Photo by Bethany Raelene Studio)
 You and Conor have recently started to really play together and while you tend toward more destructive types of play and Conor prefers more structured play it brings me such immense pleasure watching the two of you. You also fight like brother and sister and you frequently can be heard screaming, "no HEET me CAW-nuh!" Even if he hasn't actually hit you. There just aren't enough words to fully describe who you are and ALL you are.
You single handedly completed our family. You color on the walls with markers and kiss and pet the cat so gently. You smack Conor across the face for some imagined or real infraction and, in the blink of an eye say your catchphrase, "Ah La Loo (I love you)" with those baby blues sparkling like the stars might actually twinkle within them.

 I am so glad for you, for all you are, for all you're going to be. I am SO happy to be your mama and I hope you never, ever, EVER forget how much I love my sweet little piglet.

 Always your mama, always my baby girl.

 I love you.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Clover fields

We went on a drive this morning and made a photo stop along the way. Thank goodness for long weekends.

Monday, May 21, 2012


After being sick and home from daycare for a week, the kids were finally healthy again.  For a week.  And then Fin threw up.  In the car.  On the way to daycare.  This morning.  And I feel terrible not only because she was sick and now the car smells like throw up, but because I KNEW she was sick.  I knew I should be keeping her home but since I was home from work with the kids so much the last time they were sick, well, I simply prioritized work over Fin.  And I feel like an asshole.

But now that I'm home with her, I feel like an asshole for not being at work.  The common theme here being me feeling like an asshole and no matter what I do, I'm letting someone, somewhere down.  I know that no one thinks I'm an asshole but part of being a working mom is this desire to do it all.  To somehow be able to wrap my arms around everything and keep everything managed and controlled and wow.  I just.  Can't.  Do it.

So the kids are parked in front of the tv (Finley, of course, feels much better now that she's thrown up and is back to her usual mischievous self) and I'm scrambling trying to keep up with email.

And it's raining!  So today, frankly you can kiss my ass.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A good weekend

My 33rd birthday was on Friday and it was the best birthday in a long time. I felt so loved! My friends and family are truly amazing and made me feel so special!

Morgan and the kids and I spent the weekend at Aunt Nancy's cabin and had a wonderful time. The cabin has a special blend if relaxation and fun and it was the perfect way to decompress from a rather challenging month at work.

I got a birthday card from a friend at work and, while I don't need to go into the details, it reminded me of just how good I have it. Honestly, I could complain, but why would I? My life is awesome and beautiful and any challenges I have just highlight all the perfect things.

Seriously! Best birthday! 33 is going to be SO great!

Bath time shenanigans

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bridge to brews 2012

I ran the Bridge to Brews 10k for the second year in a row. My goal was twofold: I wanted to finish the six miles without walking and I wanted to finish faster than the 10:17 minute miles from last year.

I met both my goals and even achieved my secret goal of finishing a race with under 10 minute miles. Ten minute miles may not seem like much to some but it feels pretty darn good to me.

I also had the pleasure of running with two good running buddies, Billy and Taneha, and was inspired by my 62 year old Dad who beat me in his first ever race.

Really, I love to run.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

This face

I was SO frustrated with him tonight. Just so, so frustrated. But, I mean, just LOOK at this face! Ahhh, kills me every time.

Blogging by phone

It's really the only way to do it. Fast. Easy. Can do it while sitting on the couch. Beautiful.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


In one day I drove through rain, hail, fog, snow and sunshine. Fortunately I ended the day with this.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bath time baby

The girl loves her "bash".

Just a few more reasons why I love Conor

I went to a Blazer game last night and my friend Taneha took Conor to a birthday party. Here's what she sent me this morning...

"If I haven't already told you a million times I love hanging out with Conor. He was the sweetest boy yesterday. As soon as I got in the car he told me he liked my sweat shirt (jacket) and I looked really pretty. Not the only reason I love him but it scored points. Then we had a conversation about Mommy and her friends and Mommy's new car. Then, "I love my Mommy!" You just want to kiss him all over. He was really a good boy yesterday. Went potty at the 5 minute mark (1 minute) like Tara asked and was totally ok. I told him It was snack time and he said he didn't need a snack. Till he found out it meant cupcakes. I hope you had fun at the Blazer game. Conor and I had fun. Thanks for letting him go with."

God, I love that boy. I also love good friends who remind me how awesome my little man is. It can be easy to forget sometimes and a reminder from an outside source is always good.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

10 things I love

conor and finley and they way they hold hands when walking down the street

my blankie and how I don't care if you think I'm stupid and childish and ridiculous (TARA!) because it makes me feel good

Top Ramen because it is so good I almost can't believe it's only 31 cents

conor's brown eyes and eyelashes to the ceiling, how I can picture them vividly even when he's not around

finley's blond curls because oh em gee they are so darn cute

Crossing things off a to-do list

boots over leggings because its like wearing sweats to work but I don't get in trouble for wearing sweats to work

my friends who are too numerous to name here. they are awesome and amazing and astounding and they surprise and inspire me every. damn. day.

my crockpot. really? do I need to say more?

Morgan. for the obvious reasons like he's a good dad and a good husband and he provides for us and he has a sense of humor but more for the less obvious reasons. Like, he puts up with me and thinks I'm amazing where most people would think I was crazy. he brings me coffee every. single. morning. he still sings finley to sleep. he's affectionate with me and the kids, in public, and it doesn't occur to him to be uncomfortable. he supports me in running and weight loss and laziness and weight gain. for loving me, unconditionally, through ups, downs and sideways. through excitement and bordom. for better and for worse, forever and ever.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Monday, January 23, 2012

I don't always love my job...

but every once in a while, I get something like this and it makes all the not-so-great days totally worth it...

An actual email from a client

"Both K and I are so incredibly thankful for all the excellent service that we received from both you and Erin. We have never experienced this level of professional and personal care in any of our mortgage experiences in the past, nor have we ever heard of this positive experience from any of our friends. You have absolutely earned our respect and support and we will share our experience, including being a reference, with everyone. Again thank you both and once we have an open house we will let you know. Thanks, K and O"

It's not always an easy job, but it sure can be rewarding.