Monday, September 10, 2012


Vacation in our house is not always a vacation. We, like others I assume, have high hopes at the beginning. We start with rose colored glasses on and end stumbling with beer goggles. Not literally, but close. This year inspired by our kids' favorite movie it was going to be Jellystone for 7 days. Preceded by 4 days of camping at my family reunion. Just so we're clear, that's 11 days without phone, internet, running water,electricity, and the comfort of our own beds. Doesn't sound too difficult. Let's then throw in all three kids getting colds the day before we left, Sequoia teething, 90 degree AND 40 degree weather, rain, long screaming car rides, rain, broken tent, swarms of bees and the picture of the perfect vacation gets a bit muddy, for real. By day 5 Daddy Oak and I were ready to throw in the towel, but stuck it out and tried to enjoy what we could salvage. We rented a cabin, got out the tylenol, threw on rain gear when needed and smiled. All in all, I had a good time. I think for the most part the rest of the clan did as well. We played soccer int he rain, went to Fort Michilimac, explored St. Ingnace. We played games and went for hikes and ate fudge. I appreciated the time away even though camping with kids is definitely not a vacation.  Now we're home and can laugh that our vacation resembled that of the Griswald family.

Here are a few photos from our trip . Oh, and my camera died mid vaca so I don't have any pictures of the kids with Yogi when he did finally show up.

We had just gotten to Yogi Bear. Just after this we found out that there were no activities and no cartoons for the week. 

Helping to hammer stakes. I think you can see tears on Willow's face. It was a rough day.

Wood hauler. He's such a big DIRTY helper. There was no grass at the campground but LOTS of dirt that sticks like crazy.

Musket fire at Fort Michilimac. We had such a truly good time together there as a family. An awesome family of history nerds. 

Hanging out with Sequoia and Willow while Daddy and Cedar watched the cannon fire. It was still pretty neat from afar. 

She has a talent of finding heart shaped rocks. We spent the afternoon on the Lake Huron shore skipping (and throwing) rocks, having a picnic, watching cars on the bridge, and seeing ferries come and go to Mackinac Island. 

So happy to have these people in my life. 

Willow lighting the evening's campfire.  She knows how to light a match, better than her Mama.

Hanging out with St. Francis at the Cross in The Woods. 

Feet in Lake Huron, St. Ignace.

Sequoia even liked the water!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I've been thinking alot lately about emergency preparedness. Really about my emergency UNpreparedness. When Jeremy and I met we had a running joke that I could be ready for anything in an instant. I have had an irrational fear of house fires most of my life and have prepared likewise. I have a wicker chest that was given to me as a middle-schooler. I filled that thing with every thing that was important to me and that I didn't want to lose in "The Fire" (because I was certain one was coming). From home, to dorm room, to college apartment after college apartment, to our first married apartment, to house, to cabin, to apartment I always parked that thing in front of a window and would spend my last few waking moments each night reviewing my escape plan. . . Where is my favorite necklace (later became wedding ring)? Do I have shoes by the door? Where is my camera/phone? Are our water bottles full? Remember where the photo books are in case I have time to grab them. Do I have clean diapers ready for Willow? 

I'm not joking. Not exaggerating.  I lived in fear of "The Fire".

Sometime not long after Cedar was born this fear crept to the outskirts of my worries and eventually out of my mind.

It all came back with the smell of burning and every smoke detector of our house being open and without batteries. (really? I live with a former firefighter. . .  )  Thankfully said smell ended up being the belt on a fan and we quickly replaced the detector batteries.

Come one! We are the type of people who had personal life insurance at age 22. We save, we plan ahead.  I'm the mom who carries bandaids, first aid spray, and extra sunblock with me at all times. I always have full water bottles, extra sweaters, blankets, and rain gear packed int he van. But we would totally be screwed if a disaster caught us off guard.

Now, fully alert and a bit more rational  I am determined to get my house in order for an emergency; "The Fire" or any other kind. Despite mocking and laughter from my husband I am determined to get everything organized and ready before the start of the new year. I know this seems like a long time. . . . but let's face it, I'm the queen of procrastinators and even giving myself 4 1/2 months is pushing it.

Here are some resources I am looking to for help:

72 hour kits
Emergency Binder
These ladies are prepared
Crank Radio/Flashlight

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Finding the Joy

 I'm still here. As you can see in the above photo. . . . I've been busy for the last year. Meet Sequoia. He's big and strong just like the name we've chosen. So far he's weathered a long labor and birth, a battle with RSV and a 16 day PICU stay, and the often overbearing love of his two older siblings. He's calm. He's steady. He's my Sequoia.

This is a snapshot of our life right now. Finding the joy a midst 6 year old curiosity, 3 year old emotions, and the needs of a newborn. That smile is real. I love my job. I love the days that I can see views from the summit and ones that I'm covered in muck (sometimes literally) from being in the trenches. My life is rich with love.