Category Archives: personal

Pinelleohpee is ONE!

Ok, she was one in January.  On the 12th to be exact.  I had big plans to take updated one year pictures of her on the orange chair.  You know what they say about the best laid plans, right?

So today it’s snowing and the kids are in school and I am wishing they were home.  I let Pin out to chase some squirrels because that’s what she does.  The snow coming down was so pretty and the sight of a tiny dog wearing a parka just makes me crack up so of course I took some pictures.  I decided now was as good a time as any to share how big she has gotten over the last year.  Ok, so she’s still probably not a dog that anyone would call “big”.  Compared to her size when we brought her home though?  Huge!

Pinelleohpee* was Teagan’s 12th birthday present.  Teagan, our little lover of all animals.  She’d begged forever to have a pet that liked her because Liza (our 12 year old Chihuahua Poodle mix) didn’t care for her.  I wish I was kidding.  Of all the people in our house, Teagan probably showed the most love to Liza and it was not at all reciprocated.  So I somehow convinced Brad that we should get Teagan a puppy for her birthday.  To this day, he regrets that decision.  Pin would still rather do her business in the house, she barks at anything that might be threatening and she is still very puppy like and loves to chase plastic water bottles around which make a noise that Brad just can’t deal with.  He would totally get rid of her if he could get away with it.  Poor guy.  We owe him big time for this one.

Here she is the week before Teagan’s birthday last March.  Her birthday is always at the end of spring break so we decided getting her at the beginning of the week would work great so she could be potty trained by the time Teagan went back to school.  (Still working on that…a year later.)

As you can see, Teagan was pretty surprised!

This was Pin in November.  I had my studio set up for a newborn session and when we were done, and I didn’t take everything down, she decided it was the perfect spot for her!  (Yes, she’s wearing a cable knit sweater.  We are those people)



This was in January and you can see how much bigger she is in Teagan’s hands.  I don’t think she’ll be getting any bigger than she is now.  Still little bitty but so much bigger than she was!  You can also see her white markings on her chest that form a T.  See, she was MEANT for Teagan!

And this was this morning.  She’s not any better at sitting still in a chair.  Especially if it is covered in snow.  And her little hood won’t go on her head because she has a giraffe neck.  But she loves the snow.  I think it makes it easier for her to see her squirrel friends that she is so determined to catch!

*No one likes the say that I spell her name.  Teagan spells it the same way but leaves out the “h”.  I am fully aware that the proper spelling is Pinelope.  However, she’s a dog and I giggle when I see the phonetic spelling of pin.elle.oh.pee.  Hee hee

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What I’m Reading : April – September 2014


Did y’all see my post back in March about what I read that month?  And how I was embarrassed because it was late April before I even posted it?  And how I said that hopefully it wouldn’t be June before I posted my April reads?

Again I say, oops.

Every month that came I thought about how I needed to do a blog post of what I’d been reading.  And then somehow before I knew it that month would disappear and the next would arrive and I still hadn’t blogged.  I was just telling my husband earlier today that there are like 10 more weeks till Christmas.  Sheesh.  I honestly feel like it should still be May.

So, I have been reading.  Not quite as much as I did the first few months of the year but still, more than I have in recent years.  I’ve also not quite stuck to my fiction/non-fiction reading plan but again, at least I’m reading.

So here we are.  Let’s do this and get caught up!  Since this is so late it will be just a bit condensed.


April 2014

1000 Gifts:  Courtney (by book reading buddy) said she was going to read this book and I already had it so I decided to read it with her.  I had it because I had signed up for an online Bible study with the book and then never followed through with that particular study.  Hmmmm, sounds a lot like my blogging doesn’t it?  While I did really enjoy this book and the idea, I struggled just a little bit with the extreme “sing-songy” writing of the author.  Don’t get me wrong, it was beautifully written.  I’m just a bit more “real” with the way that I speak and so it seemed to read like an ice cream sundae with syrup and whip cream and sprinkles and cherries and too much sugar on top.  Courtney did buy us each a little notebook so that we could track our own 1000 gifts and that has been really neat to have.  (Note to self – dig out 1000 gifts notebook from purse and add to it.)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children:  I picked this book up because I saw that it was a bit of mystery and a bit of photographs and since I love both of those things I figured I would enjoy it.  I was right.  Probably geared more towards the teen genre but I’ve learned that I’m a teen at heart.  Whatev.  Part mystery, part time travel, part make believe…it’s definitely worth reading.  Plus, there is another book that comes after this.  PLUS, I just saw that it’s being made into a movie.  YES!

Wild: Warning.  If you’re anything like me then reading this book will make you want to pack everything up and hike across the country.  Everything always sounds better when you aren’t actually doing it.  This is a memoir about the authors 1100 mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in order to “find herself”.  She accomplished that and so much more.  I really enjoyed this one a lot.  It’s the kind of non-fiction that doesn’t make me want to scratch my eyes out.

Redeeming Love:  My daughter Madilee has been telling me to read this one for quite some time as it’s her favorite book.  Every time we chatted and I mentioned I was reading she’d say, “Have you read my favorite book of all time yet?”  I can finally say yes to that question.  And I must agree, it’s an amazing story. This is an historical romance novel set in the 1850s Gold Rush in California. The story is inspired by the book of Hosea from the Bible. Its central theme is the redeeming love of God towards sinners.  Haven’t read it yet?  Do it.  You can thank me later.


May 2014

Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  I didn’t read a single book this month.  It is, however, possibly the busiest month of the year with school ending.


June 2014

Out Of My Mind: After finishing my last book and being in a bit of a Redeeming Love hangover, I wanted something easy to read.  My youngest daughter Teagan had a book lying around that I figured would fit that bill.  It’s like a 4th grade reading level but was SO good.  It’s the story of a young woman with cerebral palsy who has a photographic memory.  Eye opening and real.  Go read it.

Gone Girl: This is another one from the list of books to read before they come to the theater.  Courtney read it quite a while ago and suggested that I do it so that we could watch the movie together.  It was another one of those books that I read non-stop and couldn’t put down.  I think I texted Courtney at the beginning of each chapter with speculation and questions and just FRUSTRATION.  Also, I think I dropped my jaw about halfway through the book and it was still hanging wide open by the time I finished it.  How many twists and turns can an author put in a book?  Apparently a lot.


July 2014

Paper Towns: Sadie and I were in Tulsa one day for a dance competition.  During an especially long break we went to Target and looked around.  Obviously, we ended up in the book section and Sadie picked up a couple books and I got this one because I had really enjoyed The Fault In Our Stars by the same author a few months before.  I mean, really?  Positives of the book?  It had a character named Margo and I enjoyed the overall theme of the story.  My issue?  Language.  TFIOS had a few really bad words but I didn’t mind them because they totally fit.  I’m not a fan of foul language but I get that sometimes it drives home a point.  In Paper Towns, it just didn’t.  There was a lot of crude teenage boy humor and just unnecessary foul language that I was definitely not a fan of.  My biggest issue was that the author is specifically a teen genre author.  I wouldn’t let either of my teen daughters read this book.

Whistling Past The Graveyard:  LOVED this book.  This was another one of Madilee’s books that she thought I should read.  The story of a 9 year old sweet little girl that is searching for so much in a time when things just weren’t fair, this book will leave you giggling, frustrated, and down right livid all in the same chapter. “My Daddy says that when you do somethin’ to distract you from your worstest fears, it’s like whistlin’ past the graveyard.  You know, making a racket to keep the scaredness and the ghosts away.  He says that’s how we get by sometimes.  But it’s not weak, like hidin’…it’s strong.  It means you’re able to go on.”   This book is right up there on my favorite books of all time.  I’m thinking I need to find some more books from this author.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:  This was different, but I enjoyed it.  A bit like Out Of My Mind with the story being told by someone with difficulties.  This time it’s a 15 year old boy who suffers from possible aspergers or a form of autism.  After finding the body of his neighbors dog, he starts a search to solve the crime and in doing so, discovers so much more.


August 2014

The Giver: Yep, that’s right.  I’m just now reading this one.  Prompted by the movie coming to theaters soon I grabbed it from our family book shelf and dove right in.  Loved it.  Feeling like a ding dong for not having read it until now.

Looking For Alaska:  Remember that time Sadie and I went to Target and I got Paper Towns and she got a couple books?  Well, I let her get two books because this was one of them and was also on my reading list.  It’s been a few months since we bought it and I had forgotten about it so I asked her if she ever finished it.  For the record, Sadie is 14.  When I asked her about it she said, “Um, yeah.  I didn’t finish it.  It was bad.  Like, porn bad.”  First of all, how does my daughter know what porn is?  Secondly, if it was bad enough that she felt she shouldn’t be reading it then it must be pretty bad.  It was.  I started the book and thought maybe the heavy petting was what she was referring to as porn.  Then I got more into it and read the oral sex between high school students.  Skip this book friends.  People rave about this author but if this is what is being sold to our teens then I’m really worried.  SO bad.

The Noticer:  I don’t know.  I  didn’t love this.  It was a little bit 1000 Gifts and  a little bit Love Language.  Motivational speaking that was just a little bit over the top for me.  I’d skip this one.  Especially if it’s between this and Whistling Past The Graveyard.  Completely different books I realize but really, skip this one.


September 2014

Bellweather Rhapsody:  A friend tipped me off to this late one night when I was searching for something to read.  It’s like Glee meets Agatha Christie with characters who don’t seem related who all of the sudden have a lot more in common. One of my favorite types of books, where everything seems to come full circle.  A good, fast, easy read.  Very enjoyable.


Half a year of books in one blog post.  I’m not sure what the next few months will bring.  It’s nearly November and I’ve yet to finish a book this month.  In the end though, I’ve enjoyed bringing books back into my life.  I just really do love reading.  As always, if you have any books that you think I’d enjoy please leave them in the comments.  Thanks friends!



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Throwback Thursday : May 15th

Early this morning I got a group text from my oldest sister. She sent it to my brother, little sister, and myself.

“I love you guys. Thinking about you today.”

This is a crazy busy week, this time of year always is. So in the hour or so that I’d been up it hadn’t hit me yet what today was.

May 15th.

Today marks 21 years since my sweet Mother breathed her last breathe and went to heaven. It amazes me that it’s been that long. I think of her every day. I see her when I look in the mirror, I hear her sweet alto voice when old songs come on the radio, I smile knowing how incredibly much she would have enjoyed her grandchildren. The pain that I felt as a 19 year old that lost her mother is different today. But it never goes away. Even after all these years, there are days that I can’t help but say, “I want my Mommy.” I don’t imagine that will ever change.

Twenty one years ago today I lost my Mom, but 4 years ago today I gained a brother. So while we remember this day back in 1993 and how hard it was, we also remember that day in Colorado that brought us so much happiness. I got to looking at pictures from that wedding weekend while I was eating breakfast this morning. And although I have a million things to do, I decided that I’d take the time to do a TBT blog today and share some of my favorite memories from Emily and Brian’s Wedding Weekend.

The little girls and I left earlier in the week so that Brad and the big kids didn’t miss work/school. We stopped in Denver to meet Emily and some of Brian’s family that just arrived at the airport. Dinner was at Casa Bonita, with the cliff diving gorilla. Good times.

The next morning, we had a delicious breakfast at Lucile’s Creole Cafe in Loveland. After having dinner together the night before, we all decided we liked each other quite a bit. Teagan was especially taken by Brian’s sweet niece Peyton. Such a doll! Know what I remember most about this breakfast? Those beignets. Not because they were so delicious, but because I didn’t have one. Not even a single bite. I was on a diet at the time after having a bit of a nervous breakdown trying to find a dress to wear to the wedding. Story of my life. Anyway, I wish I would have had one. After that, the little girls and Emily and I headed to the Aveda Spa in Berthoud for some pampering.  Finally, we ended the night at a fun family dinner at Emily and Brian’s house.  All the kids loved listening to Brian’s step-mom tell fun stories and Sadie tried to teach Grandpa Hein how to play mancala.

The next day the rest of the family arrived. Yeah! We all hung out together during the day and visited my brother’s store. We got a cousin pic there. Minus Teagan. And Seth. And Jackson. Where y’all at?

That evening, some of us went to the wedding venue for a quick rehearsal. There might have been some playing along with rehearsing.

After that we all met up at an amazing Mexican restaurant in Denver where Brian’s folks hosted an amazing Fiesta!


Fiesta wear optional.  My Dad brought his whip.  I don’t know why he owns a whip.  Weird.


Madi got to sit at the kids table.  She thought that was awesome.  Also, I so wish Teagan would cut her hair short again.  I loved this on her!


Missing this guy a lot lately.  Know he and Mother are having a blast in heaven where they are finally together again.

That’s my Eli.  And my brother.  Sigh.



Look at those cute bangs on Sadie!


Finally, wedding day arrived!  Emily spent the night at home with us and she and Madi shared a room.  That’s her “I’m getting married today but would like to lay here just a bit longer” face.

We had lots of fun getting all dressed up.  Teagan got to help Minnie put her fancy orange shoes on.

While Teagan was doing that,  our step-mom was telling Emily how happy she was for her.  This is Emily’s “Thank you, but you’re going to make me cry” face.


And THIS is Emily’s “walking down the aisle without making eye contact with anyone or else I’ll start crying” face.

A single iris sat next to Johnnie in remembrance of Mother that day.


I loved her dress.  And the flowers.  Oh man, the flowers were gorgeous!

Here we have Emily’s “I’m going to explain how special this day is to me and try really hard not to cry” face.


Oh Johnnie.  That grin!

I don’t even know.

And finally, this is Emily’s “We are MARRIED, and leaving, and you guys get to clean up” face.


Happy anniversary Emily and Brian.  Thinking all sorts of happy thoughts and remembering all that this day means.

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