This what parker does during Christmas break: experiments. Vinegar, flour, baking soda, salt, apple juice, sugar. Nothing makes him happier than playing scientist or farkle these days.

He just told me he wants to be an archaeologist. I hope that doesn't mean he'll move far away from home. Never:)


we dance

I woke up knowing this was going to be a hard day. It was one of those times that I woke up tired... without even living yet. Ugh. Not good. Not possible with three young ones.

And apparently, Hollyn is feeling the same way. I know this because she is throwing everything she gets her hands on and hitting...oh, the hitting. I would be doing the same thing if no one was watching.

But we dance.

We have nightly dance parties here in our house. And I don't mean the hokey pokey or any other tame, preschool songs. Nope. We get down. I don't have the moves, believe me. But I don't care. Parker has some serious moves...I have no idea where he learns them. He says music class but I can't imagine that. I'm going to believe that they are from his soul;) Griffin is slightly robotic. Maybe a little stiff but he's coming along. Hollyn knows how to groove. She was born with it. Those hips don't lie. Have you ever seen Joel dance? Then you know...he's got it.

So about an hour ago I was done barking at the kids...feeling like I couldn't last another minute. I turned on some music I hoped would do the trick.

It did. Hollyn danced for four straight songs while Griffin ate lunch and I cheered her on. 

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In this house, we dance. It brings things back into focus and we remember to have fun together. Why is that so easy to forget?



I think I have an obsessive personality. I mean, when I'm into something...I usually just can't help myself. I am bursting to tell someone some of my current loves. And sadly, they're probably not surprising to anyone. I don't really keep my mouth shut.

Seriously. I'm pathetic. I feel so passionate about a cancelled tv show. I don't know if I'll ever be over it.

1. Friday Night Lights. I cried when the last episode aired. It wasn't necessarily a sad ending...I just was so connected to those characters. Obsessed. They are real to me. And happily, I'm reliving all 5 seasons right now. I started over at the very beginning. I'm on season one, episode 11. I would be further but I only allow myself to watch it while I'm on the treadmill. Which brings me to my next point:

2. Running. Now, I'm tempted to delete that word. I told myself I could never be a runner. But...really, that is lame. Of course I can. I'm healthy, youngish...and now that I bought a used treadmill off of craigslist, I don't have a single excuse. None. My goal is to become a runner and enjoy myself. And since I get to watch my favorite show while I'm exercising, I'm LOVING it. 

3. Leaves. We don't have a ton of leaves up here on the prairie...but that is okay. We have great views of the changing colors. I do love the colors, but what I'm really talking about is the Bath & Body Works scent: Leaves!! It says fall, home, cozy, crisp...everything good about the season.

4. Spotify  Do you use spotify? If you do, I don't have to explain the wonder of it all. If you don't, you just must be confused. It is FREE. You will likely never have to buy another CD or mp3 again. I love music. I am so thankful that we live in a time that we have access to so many good artists. 

This is just one that I found today that I LOVE. Yes, I start my Christmas music on November 1st. Sorry to all of you schrooges if that is offensive. Bummer for you;) Check out this brand-new Christmas album: A Very She & Him Christmas.  You know, Zooey Deschanel? You'll love it, too.

5. Parenthood More TV. I really don't watch that much TV...just these two shows. But like I said, when I love something...I REALLY do. Sharing the same Executive Producer as FNL, Jason Katims, Parenthood is tied for first as my favorite. How could I choose? I love all of those Panthers and Bravermans. If you are in a family (and I think most people must be) or have any experience with relationships, you will relate with the characters on this show. Sometimes I wonder if my name is actually Amy Braverman. Sounds nice, doesn't it?

6. Joe Purdy station on Pandora. My fave right now.

7. The Sunshine. It might be a given...most people love the sun. But I feel like I need it. When the sun is out, life is a little bit better. And we've had the most beautiful, sunny fall. Can't get enough.

8. Trader Joe's. Our great town just got a Trader Joes!! It is a huge deal. It really is my favorite place to shop for food. And the prices!! So, after six years of living in a town with out a TJ's, finally the wait is over!! I feel giddy about it. 

I have so many more obsessions. Big and little and everything in between. I would like to share more later but for now, time to get going with real life!


Griff vs. The pumpkin

Griff and I got to go on a school field trip together...without any siblings!! For a middle child, this is a huge deal! I love spending time with my kids one on one.
It was the pumpkin patch this time and we had so much fun on the hay ride, in the maze, petting the animals, picking apples & pumpkins....and eating pumpkin doughnuts!
Thank you, Grandma Dee, for taking good care of Hollyn while we had a special date!!

And yes, I realize these pictures are not upright...but they're from my phone and it is as good as it will get:)



Parker just lost is third tooth... but this is, by far, the most exciting and noticeable! I hope that his new tooth is huge because that gap is ginormous! He is thuper cute:)


ode to {summertime} joy

This is the week we say goodbye to summer...we are back to school. Oh, summer has been good. I think this has been my favorite summer with the kiddos yet! And the strange thing is that we actually did LESS than in past years. We stayed home so much more. I love being home...and I hope that our kids learn to love home just as much.

Summer has consisted of : swimming lessons. neighbor buddies. vbs. dirt forts. sports camp. slip n slide. bike rides. camping. grandparents. city pools. otter pops. cousins. pokemon. Indiana jones. silverwood. friends. bbqs. lake time. roommates. chronicles of narnia. river front park. our little plastic pool. sun kissed skin. bright white hair. bug collecting. baby dolls.

The good stuff of life.

So thankful our Creator gave us Summer!


1st grade - 1st day. Done.

one last hug goodbye
my big boy
griffin getting in on the action
our first
the whole family
he let me hold his hand:)
in front of the classroom

Our first grader is home from his long day! The day was a success and I'm excited to hear more...but trying not to be pushy. I can be pushy sometimes. I just want to know every. single. detail. Can you relate?

p.s. i will post a few pictures of griff's first day of pre-k soon!!
whoa. did I just say pre-k? holy smokes. 


letting go and losing it

2 year old Parker
I couldn't figure out why I've been such a space cadet. I mean, I often find myself in AmyLand...but this is even more than normal. I told Joel that I couldn't figure it out. An example of my spaciness: I left a full cart of groceries in the Safeway parking lot and didn't figure out that they were missing for close to an hour. Embarrassing. Ridiculous. What is UP?? I'm so distracted.

"Your boys are going back to school!"

There was no question in his voice at all...he knows me so well. He knows my heart and how I roll. Ten years of marriage will do that (yay for us!!). 

Of course. I have to let go again. This is our third year of starting school and each year I have to give up a little more control. First, pre-k...then kindergarten...and now 1st grade. This time it is all day. SIX hours. Lunch at school. Oh my gosh. 

I would love to write a smart post about the beauty of letting go and trusting God with our children. I could. But I would just be talking big. I'm just not there yet. I will be when I need to be, but I'm right in the middle of the process and I just don't have the right kind of words yet. But I can say that I can feel my grip loosening just a bit. Tomorrow will be a big day for me as I have to let go...and maybe just lose it for a while. And then maybe I'll have some pretty words. 

I just love them. I sometimes think that the more that I control, the better off they will be. With Parker, I started on day one and was the perfect pregnant lady. I can recall the TWO servings of dessert I ate during my pregnancy...and the handful of days that I DIDN'T work out. I read every book, did everything right. But I very quickly found that it wasn't going to work. Control just is futile. Parenting is a continual exercise of letting go. 

And this is just first grade! Geesh!

If I really lose it and leave my KIDS at the grocery store, I'll let you know;)



My thoughts on being "done" having children.

I am giving myself 5 minutes to write about this subject. Partly because it is complicated and I think I could just confuse myself if I write too long.

Since Hollyn was born, we've been asked numerous times if we are done having children. Totally valid question. But the question itself is kind of too much for me. Maybe it is the wrong question? I get it, though. I ask myself all the time. Here is my answer!

I've been waiting for the feeling to come...the one some people talk about. But I am not getting it! However, technically, we are DONE because my husband has that feeling and you know, it takes two to tango. I really don't want any more children but I also feel weird about closing that door permanently when I am still only 30.

I have told so many people that I have zero desire to be pregnant again. Zilch. My body is done. Three c-sections within five years and my body is just screaming for a break.

I have prayed for God to give my that magic feeling of "done-ness". Nope. You know what I'm getting instead? Not what you'd expect...but an even more intense feeling of pouring into the children I DO HAVE. And I mean intense. God's answers are so creative. Love that.

I don't really think we'll ever decide to have another child. Three feels good and honestly, I am at my limit. I don't think I have any more to give. The quality of my mothering would go down the tubes. My children deserve more of me than that. But here is the thing, I also don't think I'm ever going to feel the magic feeling of being done. I think it has something to do with faith. Something to do with trusting God in the now and trusting that He knows the future...but I don't. And I don't want to.

So my answer is this: We have three children and we're so happy with that number. We have zero plans to add to our family but I also don't have any magic feelings of completion. The end. :)


i need it

I've been trying to think of a good reason why I haven't written on here lately. And when I say "lately", I mean the last few years! I say it is a time thing, but lots of people are busy. We're all busy. But blogging is something I really love to do. Why don't I make time for it? I found my answer!

Tonight I am alone. Alone. Aaaaaahhh!!! The kids were in bed by about 7:30 and Joel is out spending some time with friends. It is quiet. I'm just picking up the tornado that ripped through the house. Drinking some good coffee. Some good tunes (mumford and sons via pandora!!) are quietly playing in the background. I'm really not doing anything important, but I can't tell you how much this kind of solitude just FEEDS my soul. The problem is that I am rarely alone. I'm an introvert and no matter how much I fight it, I am recharged by solitude. And the only time I have any motivation to write is when I have been recharged by this precious time alone. Which..pretty much happens once in a blue moon. And taking a shower does not count.

Seriously, I'm not complaining. I love my life. We have such rich and true relationships with friends and family. I couldn't ask for more. We're just in the thick of it and a dull moment never happens...and I'm finding that this introverted soul can suffer in this environment of constant everything.

I don't need a vacation...I just need solitude. I would pay the big bucks for more of this. I would even love a drive in my car alone once in a while. Not sure it will happen too often, but I'm just saying what this girl needs. Someday....;)



I recently experienced a girls weekend that will go down in history as...the best. Refreshing, for sure! It is a woven web of relationships that is beautiful, and sort of funny too.
Well, funny if you think of dear friendships being formed over the internet and then actually meeting in real life and loving each other more than expected...and coming to find out that we have so many similarities...including certain sisters. It is scary.
But the story has been told. And they tell it much better than I can at the moment. But I will share some pictures that my SIL took during the weekend. I love it when she captures a moment so perfectly. I also love that she can make me look SO much better than reality;)


hollyn and her walk around the block

San Diego--30th Birthday!

I have SO much that I would like to share on here, including:
-my 30th birthday celebrations/reflections
-our amazing trip to San Diego
-the most fabulous girls weekend ever!
-And some more that I keep forgetting...

But, I'll start with just a bit of our San Diego trip. I couldn't think of a better way to spend my birthday than with my little family and my parents in San Diego. It was absolutely perfect. I really wanted to be with my parents on a momentous birthday...they DID give me a life in the first place!

Some hilights! *Beach time*Exploring that great city*Touring the Midway*Yummy food & fantastic restaurants* Lighthouse* Sea World*Awesome family time*Seeing the scene of my parent's other life;)*JETS galore...up close and personal!!*

These are just a few of the many pictures we took on our trip.... go see the whole album here.


she's sort of awesome

I'm going to say this once...and I might be in trouble for saying it at all. Someone I love so much has a blog. She's quietly awesome. You'll see...


another award for me...

Sometimes I wonder if I am just here in the blog world to make all of you feel really good about yourself. Well, here I am again to fill your tank of confidence:) Really, who gave me permission to be responsible for three children? I clearly don't have it all together. I hope you can relate. And if you can't, keep your mouth shut. Thanks.

So I had a remarkable trip to Costco the other day. I don't know why, but I always think that a big shopping trip with all three kids has to be better than the last time. I mean, there is just no way we can repeat that tragic trip, right?! Right?!

Wrong. This time, Griffin was the star of the show.

On the way in, I was pleased that Griffin decided to sing Jesus Loves The Little Children in his outside voice...which actually sounds like the top of his lungs, but not quite. He sang all of the verses. I don't know how many verses, but I do know that we got some looks when he sang about shed blood and dying for children. I was proud. My little preacher. I was also relieved that he was singing instead of karate chopping his brother.

This is going to be a good trip. Nice work, Mama. Deep breaths.

Before even starting in on the list, I realize that Griffin has to pee. Of course, he doesn't tell me...I just notice that he is getting some stares because he happens to be ummm...grabbing. So, beeline to the bathrooms. Check. I even brought sanitizer with me to do double-duty on the hands.

Nice. Here we go!

Pleas for ice cream begin. Quick trip to get sundaes. Griff wants strawberries on top. Fine. Whatever will keep them happy while I cruise thru the list. After one bite, he announces that he doesn't like it and will not even carry it. So I put it in the cart, sorta propped up. Of course the strawberries find their way all over Griffin. Everywhere.

Of course. Shoot. Strike one. This might be a tough one...
But keep breathing. Smile. Pretend you aren't losing your mind already.

We actually sorta kinds cruise through the list without actually losing any kids. I almost did once, but they were just too loud...and I found them in the next aisle. And I almost don't notice the nasty looks and snickers and knowing glances. Almost.

Woo hoo. Gonna get out of here alive! Success. Almost. Just gotta navigate the parking lot and then I can really get a high five!

Oh, wait...got to check out first. Paying is good.

So I get in line while I breathe some relief and the boys argue about who is going to get what out of the cart and load it up on the conveyor belt. Is that what they are called? Anyway, I go up to the register while Hollyn stays in the cart and slightly panics because of the great distance between us. And the strangers, oh my! I hardly notice the boys because I was busy...you know, paying and stuff. Looking back, it might have been a good idea to pay attention. But hindsight is 20/20, right? Right.

I'm immediately brought back to reality when I notice Griffin unloading the 36 eggs from the cart.

MOVE AMY!!! Oh.my.gosh. Aaaaahhhh. No0000!!

You won't believe this...but the cashier (bless his heart, must be a parent or something) catches the carton of eggs before they hit the floor. Seriously. He really caught them...and no eggs were lost in the process! So cool. There were actually finger holes in the bottom of the carton from Griffin's little paws. Sort of cute.

Now THAT was a close one. Phew. Oh, man. Breathe. Nothing happened. Nice work.

Oh, but the best is yet to come.

Debit card swiped. No cash back, thank you. One box, please. Ok boys...ready to go.....Oh.my.gosh!!

I look back and see a sweet older woman come towards me with Griffin in hand..."He's hurt!"

Apparently, Griff had tried to carry the jar of almond butter and dropped it on the ground. He then decided to pick up the shattered glass to put it up on the conveyor belt. Almond butter everywhere. Just a big, beautiful mess.

My response, of course..."Oh, no...it is just the strawberry that is all over him, not blood. No, he's fine....really."

So I scurry out of that place after getting a new jar of almond butter, of course. Get the kids and groceries in the car and use the wipes to clean Griffin up.

Shoot, shoot, shoot...so embarrassing. Bad Amy! BAD!!! Pay attention to your kids. But why isn't the strawberry coming off of Griffin's hands and arms?? Stubborn stuff, this strawberry syrup! Oh no...not strawberry....BLOOD! SHARDS OF GLASS!! Amy, you should not be allowed out in public with three kids!!

Now, I'm going to end this story now....because it just doesn't get any better. Actually, the really good news is that Griffin is ok. And I'm recovering slowly. And the really awesome thing is that this is just an account of a average day...seriously! I'm a mess most of the time, really. Is this normal? It has to be, right?

Anyway, I hope that you feel better about yourself now...or at least maybe normal:)


i survived

Despite my dread, Hollyn Joy's birthday came and went...and we all survived! I feel much better now that it is over, to be honest!

But I think that Hollyn is a little bummed that it is all over--she LOVED her birthday SO MUCH! I really believe she just knew it was her special day/week. Is that a good thing? She just likes the spotlight a whole bunch. I wonder what that means for our future...

My sister has a great post about hollyn's birthday. Check it out here.

Here are some things that we know about Hollyn these days:

-she's a munchkin...not sure of her stats because someone forgot to schedule the one year appointment, but she is sure not a tall girl:)
-chatty! loud!
-pretends to be shy
-but can hold her own with her brothers
-she's a biter. yep.
-she eats just about anything
-loves spaghetti, avocados, bananas, cheese, ice cream
-dislikes sour foods
-has her daddy wrapped around her little finger...and she's so in love with him!
-enjoys Sesame Street characters
-likes to disappear....we often find her in Griffin's room playing kitchen or coloring
-gives awesome kisses, open mouth even!
-plays "where's hollyn"
-loves to dance...can already shake that booty of hers:)
-has a love/hate relationship with Griffin. He is either making her laugh hysterically or driving her nuts. But I think he feels the same way about her. Seriously, they are so loud together!
-likes Parker to read to her
-really, really dislikes getting dressed. She produced real tears whenever she has to be put through the torture of being dressed. Poor thing.
-Discreetly drops her food onto the floor and waits for a response. Really funny...she thinks.
-I know I'm going to think of so many more things after I hit publish...I'll add more later maybe.
-Oh, I know...I love her. I LOVE her. Oh man, that girl is so loved.


what birthday?

hollyn and mooma last week @ Parker's birthday

Denial. I'm pretty much denying the fact that hollyn will be one sometime next week. Seriously, I haven't even looked at the calendar to see what day May 3rd falls on. Third baby. Last one. It is so different. I looked forward to first birthdays for the boys. I LOVE one. I like toddlers more than babies, but I still can't bring myself to plan a party. I will. I'll get over it and move forward like a normal person but I'm sitting in my denial right now...until next week sometime;)


my new foot

I went with some dear friend to get the tattoos we've always wanted. So fun! I love it!
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Our firstborn is six today!

The way I feel about our firstborn is complicated. I love him more than I could ever express and I don't even want to try to describe how I feel about our first baby because it sounds strange when I say it out loud. Maybe I'll try.

I do not have a favorite child whatsoever. But I do have to say that there is something unique about your first child. I dreamed of him for years before he
was born...he was the fulfillment of so many dreams. He was and is the test-drive kid for the rest of them. He had every ounce of our attention for a while...and
still does sometimes. I feel like I've invested so much time and effort into this kid. He taught me how to be a mom and paved a smoother way for his siblings. For me, this picture says everything I can't seem to express with words:

I've posted this picture numerous times on here. For the life of me, I can't seem to find anything attractive about this photo of me. Nothing. However, this moment just says it all....it was when I heard...


for the very first time. That was my reaction.

And he has turned into such a sweet, polite, sensitive, inquisitive, and smart boy. So many adults tell me how much they love Parker and his sweet spirit. Me too.

However. Ahem. ;) As much as I adore Parker...he drives me absolutely crazy most days! I feel so connected to Parker, like he is a part of me. I feel like we're made of the same stuff. I get him. And this can be a good thing at times. There is a portion of his brain that is literally a carbon copy of mine. He knows exactly what to say and do to make me think I've gone mad. He outsmarts me all of the time. We can totally clash because we know how to get into each other's heads. Bad, bad, bad!!

Really, as I was preparing for his birthday yesterday, I was screaming horrible words in my head about how someone turned him into something evil! I was feeling dramatic. He brings out the worst in me.

But he also brings out the very best. Parker has been used to refine this heart of mine in some painful and beautiful ways. I'm right in the thick of child-rearing insanity and I can already see that he is and will continue to be a blessing.

I love you Parker David! With all of my crazy heart.

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*WIFE* to a great man *MAMA* to Parker, Griffin & Hollyn *BLESSED* to be living out this dream & always... longing to be *LOVELY*

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