Writer’s Workshop: Best Gift Ever!

gingerbread houses

4. Best or worst gift you ever received.

It’s hard to nail down the best gift ever since in my lifetime I’ve experienced so many wonderful Christmases.

There is the white kitten my Mom got me so that I would finally stop begging for it.

My step-dad dropped a tiny black lab into my lap when he came home from a hunting trip one year. I can only compare the sheer joy and shock I felt at seeing the dark bundle tumble out of his zipped up jacket to the birth of my firstborn child. Overjoyed to tears in the midst of my hormonal teenage phase.

I purchased myself a small figurine of a husband, wife and small baby for our first Christmas after Maile was born, but since I wasn’t working at the time I felt guilty and returned it. On Christmas Day, my Grandma (who was known for some odd gift giving) had the exact figurine wrapped in a gift bag for me without knowing anything about the one I had taken back to the store.


My sister spent hours upon hours crocheting a gorgeous blanket one Christmas. Every evening she would be watching TV in a recliner near our fireplace and row by row made progress on that blanket. Until one day I was all, “your blanket’s on fire”. It wasn’t actually on fire, but it had been scorched pretty badly and we both stared at each other in disbelief that she had spent so much time on that blanket for nothing. But it wasn’t for nothing. I was the lucky recipient of the scorched blanket and proud owner of it still.

My older brother had a very special gift for me one year and I unwrapped it to find a ponytail of hair. His hair. I had encouraged him to cut it all of for Locks Of Love, so he did…and I still have it.

(video here)

And this year I have already opened a wonderful gift from Kainoa. He purchased it for me at the school’s Santa Shop and insisted I open it early. Last year I received a gorgeous bejeweled compact and I wasn’t sure he could outdo himself, but when I opened this heart shaped diamond ring it became clear I am raising this boy right.

heart shaped diamond

He is going to grow up and become a rap star and buy me a new house and car, I just KNOW IT.

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1. Complete the “Where I’m From” poem. (template here)
2. Share a favorite holiday inspired recipe!
3. Create a list of must-have gifts you’ve got your eye on this Christmas.
4. Best or worst gift you ever received.
5. Describe how you would celebrate the holidays if it was totally up to you and money was not a factor.
6. Write a blog post inspired by the word: icy

Worst Challenge Ever

health challenge2

I’m an inconsistent wife and mother. I get it.

About once a month I “turn over a new leaf” and decide I’m going to organize all the closets or I’m going to exercise or I’m going to wash clothes again, etc…

I’ll stick to my new leaf for awhile, but like all leaves, my new ones usually turn brown and die before floating gracefully to the ground. I get distracted by other goals and kids and fun projects and no longer have the time or desire to maintain what I set out to maintain.

When my husband came home from Cross Fit the other day telling me he was going to participate in a challenge, but had to think up a goal, I was all, “Cool! That’s great!”

And when he was all, “but I can’t really think of anything because I’ve already reached a healthy weight, I have large and tone muscles, and I’m all around really healthy and amazing!” (I’m ad libbing here folks)

And I was all, “Yes, that’s true honey!”

And then a day later he was all, “I think I know what my goal needs to be!”

And I was all, “Oh I can’t wait to hear more!”

And he was all, “I just really need to get consistent with my meals and maybe meal plan every week so that I have healthy things to eat at all times.”

And I was all, “Oh….”

And he was all, “Wouldn’t it be great to have a personal chef? That’s the dream right there.”

And I was all, “ahem. I suppose.”

And he was all, “And I need to eat as clean as possible. High protein, clean meals every night.”

And I was all, “You know Pat? This challenge of yours is starting to sound an awful lot like a challenge for ME. I mean…personal chef? Isn’t that basically what I am for this whole family?”

health challenge

And he was all, “well I don’t know…you didn’t cook anything tonight.” (Hold my earrings).

And I was all, “I mean, your goal to eat healthy meals consistently…we both know you’re not going to cook. It takes you three times as long to prep a meal as it does a normal human.”

And he was all, “Yeah I know!”

And I was all, “So if you want to succeed at your personal challenge it means you need ME to get more consistent with, not only planning your meals but planning clean eating, high protein meals, every night. This sounds like the worst challenge ever.”

And he smiled and was all, “thank you honey!”

And I was all, “A challenge is supposed to be something that is personally difficult for you to change. It’s supposed to make you a little uncomfortable. You’re supposed to feel like you accomplished something.”

He nodded emphatically agreeing.

And I was all, “personally I’d love to see you give up your daily coffee drink. It’s not clean or healthy and it’s expensive.”

health challenge3

….I don’t think Pat’s participating in The Challenge anymore.

8 Favorite Instagram Accounts

instagram favorites

I have a love affair with Instagram because the reality TV junkie in me loves to see what people are doing all over the world at every passing minute. Here are 8 favorite Instagram accounts I recommend you follow because they make me happy…they’ll probably make you happy too.:

1.) Chateau Gudanes.

Follow the story of an Australian family currently restoring a chateau in the south of France.” They are restoring a CHATEAU! In the middle of FRANCE! Can you even imagine? So fun to watch the progress they make!

Instagram ChateauGudanes

2.) The Itty Bitty Kitty Commmmittee.

“Fosterer of kittens, maker of things. Litter and glitter. Cats and crafts.” This one is obvious. I’m a cat lady, this gal fosters kittens and takes beautiful pictures of them and I’ve been following her blog off and on since I started blogging seven years ago!

instagram Itty Bitty Kitty

3.) Northwest Mommy. A blog friend! I had the pleasure of watching Stasha’s account blow up when people started paying attention to her photos. She’s got a little boy, big dogs, and surprise surprise…she’s also in the Pacific Northwest with me.

instagram northwest mommy

4.) Sara Record. “Sharing my sweet family, lifelong equestrian obsession, puppies and adventures as a PR consultant.” Sara has a horse, a standard poodle and a pixie daughter with sass. What’s not to love?

instagram sara record

5.) Love Maegan. Maegan is another blog friend I’ve had from the beginning. I love her fashion finds, diys, and all three of her adorable puppies.

intagram love maegan

6.) Tacoma Jones. “Glimpses of my work as a Realtor and mother of boys. Not a photog by any means, but love to capture the natural beauty of our area.” Anne has a way of making me want to move into every home she shares on Instagram. She says she loves to capture the natural beauty of the PNW and she certainly does! Fun side fact, we also played volleyball together, so I’m partial.

instagram anne jones

7.) Housetalkn. Oh look another blogger! More houses I want to move into! Kerry is all around hilarious and somehow combines humor with that inner nosey neighbor in all of us.

instagram housetalkn

8.) Taylor Swift. I know, TSwift is already famous and what not, but I really love looking at her pictures. She has her typical concert and famous people photos, but she also shares these behind the scenes moments with her friends and cats and I think that strange balance of famous and normal is fascinating.

instagram taylor swift


I guess this can be considered part 1 of my favorite Instagram accounts without promise of a part 2 because Lord only knows if I can be organized to follow up with more of my faves in a timely manner.

Your turn, who do you love on Instagram?



Episode 49: Flower Pot Pumpkins

diy flower pot pumpkins

It is insane, the number of things we come up with when it comes to pumpkins.

What other fruit and vegetable do we spend two months decorating, carving, painting, eating, drinking, and lighting? I mean you name it, we’re going to try to pumpkinize it.

Aside from The Easter Egg, I’m not sure there is any other food that we go this ape shit over. And naturally, I have tossed my hat into the patch and decided to put one of these pumpkin crafts to the test!

Enter, my flower pot pumpkins. For my 49th episode of Crafty Mom’s (not so) Weekly Challenge I carved out a real pumpkin and a fake crafting pumpkin, and I turned them into the flower pots I’ve seen on Pinterest.

You can check out the entire episode here and see how easy this was to actually put together. They turned out really cute, but in the video I said I felt like I preferred the REAL pumpkin as opposed to those weird, fake, crafting pumpkins.

And I want you to know…it’s been a couple of weeks…and I’ve changed my mind about that.

pumpkin flower pot fail

Writer’s Workshop: Signing In!

being ridiculous

2.) Share a quote you love.

I’d like to share that favorite quote with my daycare licensor who happened to drop by for my yearly review the other day. I wonder if the people who are paid to enforce the ridiculous rules understand how ridiculous they are.

I’m not kidding when I tell you that every time my licensor visits (and every time it’s someone new), they tell me the outlet covers I use to safe proof the house are not good enough. I replace them with whatever is recommended that year. Last year, I replaced them with covers that are so hard to pull out…you need to push buttons in from the side and also down from the top WHILE pulling out…even I can’t get them out half the time.

It’s what last years licensor recommended, but this years licensor has told me they’re not up to code and that I actually need to replace them all with these covers instead:

outlet covers

But that’s not what I’m complaining about today.

I’m also not going to complain about how they made me drill the blinds covering our windows into the window sills so that they cannot be pulled up (or properly cleaned) in the licensed portion of the daycare. Nor am I going to complain about how after this visit she’d like to see me do the same to the windows in the UNlicensed portion of my home. Because children walking past that portion of my home might make a beeline for the blinds and wrap themselves up in my window coverings.

And I’m not going to complain about the time my licensor reminded me to keep tampons readily available downstairs, because under no circumstances (not even for a tampon) am I permitted to go upstairs to retrieve anything. Because I can’t be away from the children. Am I permitted to poop in the bathroom for 15 minutes? I’m not sure…I didn’t ask. I was afraid she’d say no.

daycare rules

And never mind the fact that I’m supposed to be keeping my kids daily vitamins in a locked box for them. Because that’s convenient. Because you never know if another child in the daycare might climb up onto my counter, open the child proof container and overdose on Omega3 Fish Oil gummy bears.

But we’re not talking about that today. Today we’re talking about my attendance book. I proudly presented my perfect attendance book, completely filled in with full signatures from parents (NOT INITIALS) and I learned it actually is not perfect at all.

Because it’s missing four pages. One for me and each of my kids.

We need our own sign in pages.

Indeed. I need to climb out of bed every morning, put on my game face, unlock the front door for my daycare families to arrive and also SIGN MYSELF IN.

I’m in everyday. I live here. I run a business here. I rarely leave.

And if that is not enough, I also need to signing in that yes…Maile is still here sleeping in her bed, Laina as well, Kainoa also…there’s my signature as proof. Everyday.

And what about signing out? Do I sign us out when we don’t leave each night? I can’t really. So if I can’t sign us out…how in the actual fudge am I supposed to sign us back in again the next morning?

On the flip side…do I sign out to take the kids to the bus and back in when I return? Out again when I retrieve my mail and back in again? Out when I go meet the kids at the bus stop after school and in again? Who has time to sign themselves in and out of their own home throughout the day and what purpose is that serving?

Of course there I am sitting with this woman in my house with a smile on my face as I nod in agreement, “Oh yes, okay I didn’t realize that must be a new policy! Interesting…okay. Well then.”

And then she leaves and I call everyone I know and complain.

Now you’ll excuse me…I need to sign myself out…mentally. I’ll make a note of that on my attendance sheet.

dayare nap2

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) The first day of Fall is September 23rd, take a photo and share what the first day of Fall looks like in your next of the woods.
2.) Share a quote you love.
3.) Write about an embarrassing moment!
4.) Write a blog post inspired by the word: late
5.) Pinterest inspired! Try something you saw on Pinterest and share the results.

Link up!:

Go On And Meet Him

grannys 89th

Three days before another anniversary of her son’s death crept back around, my Granny was called to go on and meet him at those Golden Gates.

“Breathe that beautiful fall/summer air and know she is at peace. We all love that sweet, funny, irreverent classy lady who would buy a dress for a wedding and take it back to the store……So many stories to tell…..” -Mom

It was a good life.

photo credit: cousin Arianna.

Writer’s Workshop: Miss Helen L. Woods

helen l woods

2.) Find a photo of your grandmother’s hometown and share it.

Well I fell down a rabbit hole in my attempt to dig up a photo of my grandmother’s hometown. I was inspired by this prompt when Granny mentioned she grew in Boulder and I was all, “HEY I’ve BEEN to Boulder!” because for some reason things get a little more personal when you’ve actually experienced a place as opposed to just hearing Granny mention it in passing.

And actually, this was the first I had ever heard her mention Boulder. I thought she grew up in Kansas, which is actually where she was born, but she says most of her childhood was spent in Boulder.

Don’t ask me how she got to Seattle or where she met my Grandpa because I don’t have a clue. How can I know so little about my own grandparents?

What started off as a Google search for Boulder in the 1920’s (here it is by the way, compliments of wikipedia):


ended up as a paid service with Ancestry.com and a family tree filled in with a hell of a lot of people related to me that I’ve never heard of. Naturally.

My Mom gave me a little to get going, like Granny’s maiden name, and after a quick search I texted my Mom and was all, “Does Granny have a sister named Marjorie? Is her Mom Irene and her Dad Charles?” and my Mom was all, “well I’ll be…that’s them!”

And so began the fascinating process of figuring out who my Granny is.

Miss Helen L. Woods.

At 11pm.


family tree2

That’s just a sliver of a side of the project I decided I needed answers to immediately.

And can we please bring back names like Helen, Marjorie, Fannie, and Elma? I love these ladies.

Happy birthday Granny!


Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) Share a back to school memory.
2.) Find a photo of your grandmother’s hometown and share it.
3.) Talk about one thing you learned last month.
4.) Describe how your family celebrated Labor Day Weekend.
5.) Good television is coming! Share the Fall lineup you’re looking forward to.


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