Today Might Just Be the Day…

What happens in the daily life of the family.. the drama of foster care, the adventures of parenting, & pictures to share with everyone!

12 Years a Wife


Maybe I should change that title… Eh, anyone who knows me knows I love my role as wife!

Today B and I celebrate 12 years of wedded bliss. A dozen years as partners, a team, a couple.

And here is one shot from mostĀ of those years:





adoption party 030

Amanda's Family ) 043




iphone 513




As I have been going through these, it’s amazing how much our lives have changed! It’s also funny how technology changed.. We were wed back in the dark ages & my wedding photos are all photos, no digital! I own the negatives though :) (That used to be important!) And looking for shots from this year, I don’t have any.. Or, rather, I don’t have any on this computer at this point. They’re all hiding in my phone or on the cloud.

What has not changed–I love him, he loves me, we were made to be together.


Love you, Baby-Baby!


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Blood, Sweat & Tears


You all know that I run. And, if you have met me in real life, or seen me run, you know that I am s-l-o-w. There were a few brief moments over the past few years that I wasn’t so slow, but then I have promptly returned to my turtle pace.

I love half marathons… They’re far enough to be a real challenge, but short enough that training doesn’t have to take over my entire life. And I can usually walk the next day :)

But, at my speed, half marathons are a grind. They just take a long time. And it’s tough.

In a couple of weeks I will run my next half. I anticipate a time around 3 hours. Yep, 3 hours. Three hours of moving my body, pushing it, grinding out 13.1 miles. Today I was given the gift of a day off. The little dude I watch didn’t need me so I decided to sneak in my long run for the week. I did a 10 mile run. It took me about 2.5 hours.

Historically, if I run over 10 miles there are tears involved… Sometimes there’s a full-on mental breakdown and sobbing even (darn the 26.2 distance!). Usually, they’re happy tears. Almost always they come from thinking about my life. I am a very lucky girl. I start thinking about how amazing it is that this chunky middle-aged mom of 4 can accomplish pushing herself this far.. I think about how often I have doubted myself and cry because there was no need.

But, what really gets the tears flowing is my husband.

During my training, he puts up with me talking non-stop about training.

He does give me a hard time about the race fees, but he is the one earning the money that pays for the races.

He, thankfully, seems to turn a blind eye to the stacks of running clothes and new shoes that magically appear.

He doesn’t get disgusted by my missing toe nails or the weird chaffing issues–at least if he does he hides it well.

And, more importantly, he believes in me. Many times I have sent a text message to him during those long miles. I tell him the truth about how I feel and share my doubt. He never flinches. He always has an encouraging word. He has my back. Today, at mile 8, I was fairly certain I couldn’t run anymore. I decided I would walk and I would complete the distance, but I wouldn’t speed up. I sent him a text. He responded with encouragement and the idea of changing up my music. And it was just what I needed. I think that those last 2 miles were faster than the 2 before. I cranked up some rap and sang along (you can be glad you didn’t have to bear witness to this sight!). And I could almost feel him here with me.

And, yes, I did cry.

I have a wonderful husband.




One of the oddest things I learned in college was that I could pick my friends.

It still doesn’t feel quite right to not be a friend to everyone. But, it’s ok to be friendly & chose not to spend more time/energy than that.

The worst (hardest?) is when you realize you’ve given too much to someone not worthy.. Not worthy of your time, love, you. It is so hard to walk away from that investment. It means that you misjudged. It means that they aren’t who you thought they were. It means they didn’t value you.

And that stings.

I am not good at it.

I am not good at quitting relationships.

I feel guilty.

But, the truth is that I am worthy. I deserve to be around people who value and love me. And that’s ok.

Once again


I feel so weak and powerless.

But, once again, I am grieving for a child that will never be.

It *must* be a silent suffering… How could I feel this sad when I have been given so much to be happy for? How dare I love my children with less than all of me…?

But, still I mourn the fact that I will never get to know a child before he is born. I will never look at a baby and see parts of me looking back. And it does hurt.



So much has happened, but most of it has just been life… The normal busy stuff. The normal day to day, kids, work, friends, sports, school, scouts…

There are huge changes looming on the horizon for us, but nothing that is clear or ready for the masses.

But, we have already started taking on 2015. I ran another half marathon, not quickly! Beanie is days away from cookie season. V & D both have birthdays next week & Dan is already up to his old (bad!) habits at school.

And I, too, am up to my bad habits… I started this post weeks ago & forgot all about it.

In fact, just now I went to get a straw. Seeing the drawer so cluttered, I found 15 things to either toss or donate. Once the crap was out of the way, I saw how dirty the actual drawer was & had to clean that. Ten minutes to grab a straw! That is how my days have been going lately!

Stages of Marriage


My baby cousin is officially hitched.

The wedding was beautiful.

And the reception was a blast!

But, in honesty, the bigger highlight, for me, was the fact that my siblings were all there. This was the first time since 2006 that we have all been together. My parents have tried to get us all together since then, but the 4 of us are hard to get to come together… And life moves quickly! Since 2006 there have been a few deployments, 4 more grandkids, and a new girlfriend.

Which leads me back to what I started with… Marriage… My youngest brother has a wonderful girlfriend–she may even be the favorite Aunt right now & they’re not even engaged. But, we are all ready for that engagement! It’s fun to be around them. They are obviously in love & at the beginning of a relationship.. They have been together for a couple of years, but they are still DINKs (double-income, no kids). They are a little strapped for cash, living in San Francisco is expensive, but the extra they do have can be spent on themselves. They have long commutes & work hard, but their weekends are filled with friends & football & the dog–no taxiing children, juggling sports and birthday parties and the “have to” junk.

My parents are on the other end of the spectrum… They did it! They raised 4 kids who have all found our ways in the world. They have made it to 44 years wed.

My other siblings and I are in the middle.

In the middle you spend a lot of your time putting out fires.

There are months that we move from crisis to crisis. The chaos of home and work and kids can suck the life out of me (& I like to think I am not alone!).

I like to think, that this middle is also where our love is growing from the young love of newly-weds to the mature love of my parents.

I am so very glad I picked B for this trip.

He makes me laugh (at inappropriate stuff & times). He has my back (always!). He is my biggest cheerleader and my partner in crime.

Often, I don’t have the time or take the time to appreciate him, but a wedding is a good reminder… Our vows remain true and I am still a happy bride.


Aren’t we cute? Together again :)



I think I have blogged a little lately.. I am mid-flight so I can’t check. But, I am fairly certain it was about running. And as I was contemplating this post, my mind went straight to my runs.

I guess I am a bit obsessed.

And I am ok with that.

Other than running… The kids went back to school this week. We all (I think all, at least) like the modified year round schedule their school follows. It’s nice to have a couple weeks off several times a year.

However, I am always ready for them to go back to school. I just get a little worn out with kids at home all the time.

So, how did we fill their break..?

Universal Studios
The beach
The movies (twice)
The Science Center
Football practice & a game
The Arizona Coyotes home opener
Video games
Pumpkin painting with friends
Brownie craft night (siblings, too)

After this weekend, I think I will take a nap! But, for now, I am heading to Iowa to watch my cousin start his “Happily Ever After”.

Should be fun to see everyone–all of my siblings will be in one place for the first time since my last cousin got married :)

Much, much, much better!


Life & chaos continue even when I have my rough days.

Thankfully, I am doing much better!

Running is so key for me, & I had a great run yesterday!

I have a half marathon coming up in a few short weeks. Honestly, I haven’t trained as much as I should. This will be the least amount of prep before a half that I have ever done. But, this will be #9. And I know I have it in me. Having that run there on the calendar does so much to push me out the door or on my treadmill. It really does keep me sane.

I do not look like much of an athlete. And I will never win one of the races I enter–it’s pretty unlikely I’ll ever even place in my age group!

But, my body has done some amazing things.

I still barely believe that I have run a marathon. I have conquered a challenge that most people never even face.

Thank you if you thought of me & my struggle the other day.

My depression is a fight that started 20 years ago & I am fairly certain I will fight it for the rest of my life. Today I am just glad that I have running as a weapon in the battle.


Really struggling with the beast called depression today..

No rhyme or reason, there doesn’t have to be bad in my life for me to feel bad.

And I feel so guilty. It prevents me from being a good wife/mom/friend. Which then makes me feel even worse about me.

My kids don’t deserve a sad mom.

It is just not fair.

And times like this it is the hardest to muster up the strength to even think about fighting back. It feels so lonely, yet I don’t want to allow anyone else in… Nobody should have to feel this way, it’s not a feeling I want to share. So, I try to isolate myself. I try to hide from even myself until I feel a little less painful. I try to just get through and hope that tomorrow has some hope.



I always thought I would live forever in my childhood home. Sure, I’d move out for college & a couple years of travel, but then my parents would downsize & I would move back in.

No clue where I thought my siblings would be, but I was always going to live in the house in the woods.

I am pretty sure we’d like that house… It is big enough to fit us.

But, my parents sold that house long before it was time for them to downsize. And we have all moved more than a couple times since then.

And I am not the only one not in Iowa. We all left. In fact, we are scattered clear across the country.

My parents have made it their goal to see each grandkid at least twice a year. But, with 9 grands in 3 different states it’s not always easy. We’d love to go see them more often, but flying 5-6 of us is expensive & we need a rental car, too…

So, this summer they made it out our way for a bit. And then my little brother learned he had training in SanDiego & my parents started making plans to see him & his wife and little girl. And SanDiego is only a few hour’s drive for us so we decided to tag along. *And* my other little brother used to live in SanDiego, too, & his girlfriend is from there.. So, they decided to make the trip, too!

All told there were 13 of us enjoying the sun & cooler weather (cooler for us–at this time of year in PHX we are getting really annoyed with 100+ days).

We checked out a couple museums in Balboa Park, relaxed on the beach, swam, ate, drank & got to know each other. This was the first time that my brother & his family had ever met B & V!





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