Saturday, September 28, 2013


kinda like toddler smooches and knock-you-over hugs, candy and my mom's chicken noodle soup - mushrooms bring a smile to my face.  it's that memory of childhood; summers at my grandparent's home, hunting for them around the birch trees, kicking them over, and ultimately, mushroom fights with my cousins.  that rubbery texture, sticking to my neck and slipping down the back of my hoody, all the while laughing and squealing.  the smell of alaskan air; they're part of that nostalgic space in my brain that fills me with happiness and feel-good goodness.

and now, my children carrying on this silly obsession.  several years ago, it started with jack.  eyes as big as dinner plates.  and, just as soon as he spotted one, he HAD to boot it into smithereens.  this year?  

no, don't touch 'em.  just yook at 'em.  

dylan is the one to come along, teasing her big bro and stomping out the brilliant beauties as if they were on fire.  she is such a turkey.    

so on an afternoon, while both girls were snoozing, jackie and i wandered outside.  he had told me there were huge mushrooms on the other side of the fence, and sure enough, we hit the mother load of fungi.  thank you, nearly 30-days of rain, for our supple supply of toadstools.        

Monday, September 23, 2013

18 x 24

remember this post ?

last weekend, ben and some loyal friends flew out to our cabin site to begin the building project.  they completed the foundation and rolled the floor joist.  i think they felt accomplished at what was finished in just a few days' time.

he's telling me: we'll be cozy by the wood stove this winter!  another trip out there, and he'll have the floor sheeted and walls framed.   but, i keep thinking, that's pretty ambitious considering he's taking the kids with him next time!  what - they're HUGE helpers!  no?!

putting in the posts for the foundation
view 1
 view 2
 putting up the beams
rolling joists 

ben didn't want to sheet the floor because he figured it would be covered in snow next time he made it out.  so, rather than shoveling snow, they wrapped the pile in a tarp and called it good.  next visit, they'll be able to throw the plywood sheets down and frame up the walls.

18 x 24 foot cabin!

sunday night, they got weathered in; talkeetna had some serious winds so the 206 couldn't take-off.  this wasn't expected, and they only brought food for the two days... so what did my mountain man do - take the boys out and catch some trout!  (boat availability, thanks to granddad!)

Thursday, September 19, 2013


mom.  moments.  mom{ents}.  i think i'm clever.

the night before her big surgery, i wanted to capture "her" before.  think of it like you would a maternity session.  only, i wasn't capturing a belly.  hey - you never know if you'd want pictures of what you looked like before!  so, just in case, she has these to reflect on.  sure, it's just for her scrapbook, but sometimes, that's all that matters.  if it's important to you, it's important to document.  and, we're visual people; it just made sense.

while i can't exactly show all the images, i can share some of the sweeter ones.  oh, and it's not just you - she IS glowing.

i'm thankful for mark, grabbing my camera.  i'll cherish these (and all the others) for the rest of my lifetime.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

tactical & textile

to shooting a couple hundred rounds of ammo over a day and a half to sewing appliqué. i am woman, hear my sewing machine foot pedal roar.

on a saturday morning, i attended a 4-hour class on handgun safety, statistics of anchorage and south central alaska crime (mostly rape, alcohol-related incidences, domestic violence), safety, firearm training schools throughout the US, safety and oh - did i mention safety?  the class was a major eye-opener for me.  i discovered that anchorage ranks #2 in crime, behind detroit, of all places.  eeek.

not only do i find it necessary to carry while on my mountain hikes for protection against wildlife, but also for the crazies that may be lurking.  i can't believe it's taken me this long to become certified.  it seems silly that i've been out with my children for years, just risking it.  the confidence in my training and the comfort i feel in my pistol has me relieved, feeling prepared and ready for most altercations that may arise.  let's just hope this readiness is all that is needed.  i've made it this long without running into wildlife, and i pray to God i never have to fire this weapon at anything but a paper or steel target.  but, it's nice to know if i had to, i'm prepared.
day 1
4-hour classroom and 3-hour range time
 day 2
the rain let up, momentarily.
kids resting at home with dada, 
while mama's perfecting the 5-shot cluster drill (notice the black circle)

the following day, in support of gramma d's upcoming surgery, jb and i picked out some fabric to appliqué a few t-shirts.  ok, this is my new favorite project!  the possibilities are endless - thread color combinations, layering fabrics, mix and match... i already picked up some new plain tees to dress up with fabric.  

gramma d liked them, just a little bit.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

state fair

gosh, the fair ended two weeks ago, but it may as well be two months ago - just feels like a distant {fun!} memory - i guess because we've had so much going on.  surgery, recovery, school, school, school, new babies to-be & born, bulldog drama... life is just too busy at times.

this sounds so silly, especially when i type it out, but i truly thought i was going to have all this extra time to myself once jack started school.  i could not have been more wrong!  i have not driven my truck more, fastened seat belts more, woke up this early since i was in college, made so many lunches in the wee hours...  i'm twice as exhausted as i was when i sat down this evening, just thinking about it!  but oh - back to the fair...

we had a blast this year.  as the kids grow older, the fun gets bigger!  and i should add, tess was a super trouper.  she people-watched, got tons of ooohs and ahhhs and grabbed a snooze here and there.  fun afternoon in sunny palmer, alaska.

rides & more rides
 lovin' on our girls

  carny games - big winners!
jb won candy (that he shared) and dyl won a tail (?) 

and trip #2...  we decided to take in the fair in evening.  brrr!  but oh, the lights on the rides make for an even better time (right?) and because we seem to be gluttons for punishment... nah!  more rides, more face painting, more giggles and smiles.  we miss the fair already!  so much fun crammed into a short amount of time.

oh, yes he did!

already looking forward to next year!

Sunday, September 8, 2013


{started this post on thursday afternoon...}

i can't believe i'm saying this, but the surgery is OVER.  it seemed like it took forever to get here, and now, we're day 2 post-op.  whew!

l  o  n  g  yesterday.  gramma d had to be at the hospital by 6:30 am, so who knows what time they were out the door.  surgery didn't begin until after 12, when it was supposed to begin at 11...  surgeon #1 spent about 2 hours per breast, removing.  surgeon #2 took over after that, inserting the expanders that will stay in place until (likely) december.  saline will be pumped monthly (?) to slowly get to the size she desires.  another long process.  all in all, just over 6-hours, total surgery time.

last night, ben, jack, tess and i arrived at the hospital around 7 pm.  jb was very shy and cautious of his gramma, all hooked up, tubes everywhere, countless bracelets and bandages - but that was what we wanted - him to see gramma in a "fragile" state so he gets that he can't be super-wild-crazy jack when he's visiting over the next month.  anyway, tess almost made it to see gramma but conked out right as she was being wheeled into her room.

we didn't stay long; just enough to put my mind at ease, comfort mark (who had been alone at the hospital all day) and say good night, and of course, smooch my brave momma's face.

i posted the rainbow picture on facebook, but i had to share it here.  ben and jb were on a tour of gramma d's floor as we were waiting for her to be released from recovery.  they rushed back to the room to show us the beautiful gift from God.  whatta great sign after such a long day.      

the next morning, (thursday) after dropping jb off at school, dylan, tess and i drove in for a quick visit.  again, being out of touch, seeing her in person was the only way i could rest easy.  she looked so much better than the night before:  color was back to her face, not as groggy, voice not as raspy, hey - she was even sitting up!  dylan wasn't nearly as shy as jb, wanting to snuggle with gramma.

so, not only are we blessed having auntie connie here, but my big bro came to visit, too!  i don't know what i would do if the roles were reversed; i'm sorry for him being far away, but i'm thankful he was able to visit - even if it was just a blink of a trip!

do they look like father-daughter or what?!

thank you SO MUCH for all well wishes and prayers.  means a lot!