hair results are in and done, finally!

•November 16, 2015 • Leave a Comment

So the color results are in! I’ve always been a fan of purple, despite it’s repeated mixed results on my head. But purple and cobalt blue tied on the poll so, for you guys, I gave it another shot.

We kinda mixed the blue and purple, hoping to make the purple last a little longer. It has been known to begin fading before I even wash it. But if any of you see me in person, you know, tomorrow, and it already looks faded, you’ll know my experiment didn’t work. I also skipped my run this morning so I didn’t have to rinse or wash my hair. Just to enjoy it another day. Priorities people.


Side note: the bleaching step of this process was the most ridiculous in between I have ever had. I’ve had to bleach my hair lots of times, color will not show up on  my hair otherwise. Each time I think, that’s kind of ok. I could live with that for a bit, and then I put color on top anyway.

This time I looked in the mirror after I washed the bleach off and screamed holy lord cover it up quick. No you will not be getting a picture of that. It was awful, but it was just a means to an end, but it was so awful. Think like cheetah on crack bad. You know it’s not just you freaking out when you walk down the stairs and your sister busts out laughing. Sisters keep it real people. But the end result I am happy with, so as Pete the cat says, it’s all good.


If you’ll allow me a second side note, we are three hours into day two with no eye twitch! I feel this is cause for celebration. I have never had an eye twitch last over two weeks before. I’ve never had one last more than one day before. But I’m so hoping it is gone for good.

Anywho I’m off to go fill out our DCF paperwork, again. I’m putting it out there. I’m mailing it today. It is going to happen. Till next week.

10 gifts for the month of November

•November 11, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Traditionally people spend the month of November growing beards and listing things they are thankful for. The fact that I am thankful indeed that Bycemaster’s beard is back is just providential. There’s been many years I’ve participated, in the thankfuls, not the beard…but this year I decided to pass for some reason. I don’t know why, generally I try to cultivate a thankful atmosphere around here. I’d say it’s one of my guiding principles, if you will.

This morning the amount I have to be grateful for hit me so hard I just couldn’t help but write a few down. Remembering these things is not always easy. I’m struck when reading the old testament how many times God has to tell people to remember. Over and over, monuments were built and prophets were sent, we are a forgetful people.

For this reason I am sharing my list today. Writing helps me remember. I encourage you to remember and write yours as well! In the comments, facebook, in your journal, on your walls! Ok maybe not that last one, unless you have a chalkboard wall! Gratitude is really a wonderfully powerful thing, sometimes you just need to force it a little, to get the ball rolling.

  1. I am so grateful for Bycemaster and our joint love for music. So many songs have memories attached to them that make us both smile, that’s a wonderful thing.
  2. I got up for the second day in a row to do a morning run. I’m not training right now, just trying to finish out a just almost out of reach goal for the year. It’s getting a little closer 94.6 miles to go. Deep breath.
  3. It was cool out on said run this morning! Like no sun and 60s, it was wonderful.
  4. I’ve watched more than one friend recently take steps towards goals that have been hanging over them for a while. I LOVE watching people do this, pumps me up. Goals are awesome!
  5. Taking a shower with short hair is amazing. No heavy hair, no hour to wash it, no mess, no fuss, it’s done. Low maintenance FTW!
  6. Stress levels are returning to a normal/manageable level over here, some days we are breathing again. That is improvement.
  7. Even though I’d taken back too many chores in my uber stressed state, the kids have adjusted to the flow back to them with surprising grace, even my oldest. This is huge.
  8. Bycemaster got the second PC up and running for school on Monday. It has been amazing! So much faster and yesterday ALL FOUR got full lessons done. It’s incredible really, and look at me, I’m even on the computer. I may get some more grants done yet.
  9. My plea for coffee grounds was headed! One by one, my little plants are being nourished. It’s fun to watch something thrive.
  10. As always I’m thankful for our community. As I look back at the last week and think of the people who have sent messages saying they’re praying for us or responded to my pleas for prayers or made sure I exercised or just hung out and made me feel human again. I am always grateful for the people that are around me and my family. We have been in dry periods before, but I am so grateful we are not there now. Not at all.

What are you all thankful for? Do you do the November thankfulness tradition?

how to laugh when life is burning you out

•November 2, 2015 • Leave a Comment

It’s Monday! Time for blogging! And I have nothing for you. Just more of the same old same old. As I sit here trying write amidst the rousing game of pokemon going on at my feet, I wonder how I ever concentrate enough to do this. My candy addled brain can barely hear myself think over all this noise. Who knew Pokemon was SOOO EXCITING!!! Well, actually, I knew. You probably did too if you have kids in the 5-11 range.

There is no baby update this week. I have done nothing. Well that’s not true, Jena and I have been working on what will be the girls’ room. She’s got all her clothes moved over. We got her new bed set up and ordered curtains and a curtain rod and are almost done with their dresser. I have orders coming all over the place these days. I even finally ordered bottles, go me! When all the room orders get here I’ll post some pics. Jena girl is not even tempted to sleep in said room yet, but she does like to talk about it and even play in there sometimes.

It’s been a nice, non stressful project for us. I’m still physically feeling the effects of burn out. Mentally I’m feeling much less stressed, but my body does not seem to have gotten the memo. I have developed this lovely eye twitch, 6 days and running and it’s still there, reminding me of all that’s left to be done.

Oh and our homeschool blog was down this morning when the children woke me up an hour early. I eventually found the back up the creator put up, so it’s all ok, now. Now to get rid of the 2 hours worth of adrenaline when I thought I might have to recreate our entire years lesson plans. Eek!

So this day is in need of a bit of a reset. Here’s my attempt.

  1. Bycemaster got us a new computer, it’s almost set up. Days where everyone is actually done with school and it is NOT dinnertime are in my future! Thank you baby!
  2. We did a family clean again this weekend, it’s usually an every weekend thing. Not a one happened in October. The level of nasty over here was getting depressing. So while it’s not clean, it is manageable again and that makes me very happy.
  3. We got a free keyboard so the kids can start piano lessons. Yay for expensive items for free!
  4. The missing adapter for the keyboard while ordered, is not here yet. As I watch them happily banging away, I am super grateful it is still in its soundless state.
  5. Finally and this one makes me super happy. Jimmy Fallon makes # vidoes.

I’m gonna go watch some now, you can join me! I have watched way more of these than I’d like to admit. This one is still my current favorite.

Then please tell me, what do you do to de-stress? Tell me please!

what do you want to be when you grow up?

•October 26, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Our Jena has decided she wants to be a baker. The whole ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ question has never really been something we’ve focused or even broached in our home, I mean they don’t really have context for that when they’re little. But this one spontaneously decided recently, and it’s been kinda fun to explore it with her. We’ve had a number of opportunities lately for her to use her new found passion.
IMG_0730Here she is mixing up batter for baby cupcakes for a baby shower. Someone gave us a toaster oven and I bought her a mini pan to fit inside. She made 60 minis in her toaster oven last week. She also discovered that the regular muffin pan on the counter behind her fits too. We are clearing out a cupboard in the kitchen for all her baking goods. She is very excited. Down below are her finished product. Getting to fancy frost them was her favorite part. Plus sprinkles, of course. IMG_0731
IMG_4080But this was her true masterpiece. She made her daddy a chocolate fall out cake, for all the non gamers please enjoy the Wikipedia link to know what the heck I’m talking about :). That is the pip boy surrounded by atomic bombs. It’s a post apocalyptic game so I suppose the end of the world had to be depicted too.

I wish I could have gotten some mid process photos of this one, but I was napping! I helped put the cake in the oven and color the frosting after my race and then laid down. I woke up and she had decorated it all up! The photo below is her practice drawing before she drew it in frosting. Marker is a little easier to work with than frosting. It really does look just like the pip boy to me. IMG_4102
IMG_4099Here she is giving daddy one of the MANY presents she made for him. I love this picture cause she didn’t know I was taking it. No goofy face, just the joy of someone receiving something you’ve given them. He’s also proudly wearing the purple sparkly “watch” she made him, go daddy.

But we also had my race this weekend! Bycemaster’s birthday and my race being tied together is providential. Without him (and my running buddy!) I would not have done near as well this training season. They both kept me going when I wanted to quit. He kicked me out the door and she dragged my butt along when I would have stopped if I was alone. It was a hard training season, it’s been a hard year.

I talked a little bit about my expectations for this race last week. They were lower than low, given what my goal for this year way. After I wrote the post, I did more figuring based off our training runs and became even more discouraged. It really looked like even coming in under our OUC time of 2:28 was going to be really pushing it. But neither of us quit things we commit to, so that wasn’t even really considered.

4am sunday morning I was up getting ready to go. My devotion that morning was on finishing the race. It spoke about how often the journey is hard and no fun, but the end is always great. I remember laughing thinking God you have a sense of humor. I also remember thinking it’s the end, I’m trained up, and about to run this thing, and it’s not great. I still was not looking forward to it really.IMG_0734But here we are at the start, psyching our selves up and trying to talk ourselves into being happy with finishing at what we thought was reasonable. Excuse the awfulness of this pic. It’s the only pre-race shot I’ve got.

However, below is our finish line shot. We were maybe 10 yards from the finish, actually able to sprint and coming in about 15 mins sooner than we could have ever dreamed in the picture above. We were elated. This was the real end, and this was fantastic. We came in at 2:15:03 not even 2 mins over our PR and way under our expectations. sprinting toward the goal

This running/racing thing is so much like life sometimes it amazes me. So many things we are journeying on, down and discouraged just barely putting one foot in front of the other and then the unexpected happens and we are able to finish, sometime even finishing strong.

Right now as our adoption stuff is beginning to expire (we are approaching the one year point of when we started the paperwork) and it’s just one foot in front of the other I’m focusing on that finish line. It will be here eventually, and the journey is part of the joy of the end. I prefer to enjoy each step of the way, and often I can find the good in it all, but some things are just hard. But I know hard does not equal bad, quite the opposite I’ve found. Generally speaking the harder it is, the greater the potential for joy at the finish line.

But just as importantly, the hard part is bearable when you are not alone. The joy is also exponentially greater when it’s shared. So I’ll just be here wading through my hard with all of you, thinking about the joy I’ll get to share at the next finish line.

Thanks for journeying with me.

a day late and a dollar short

•October 20, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Just a quick update on all the things over here.

The computer has become a hot commodity. We’ve switched the majority of our schooling for the big kids over to easy peasy and it’s mostly on the computer. Add that too the reading eggs/mathseeds for the little two and unless we are all out (when I couldn’t use it anyway), someone is on the computer. So far it’s working fairly well, but every now and then I want a turn (could you parents here the whine in that voice, it was there, I was channeling my inner 5 year old.) Some things, like typing, do not work so well on the iPad. We’re figuring it out, in the meantime…here’s our updates.

1)I know you’re all only here to see a baby update, so I’ll end the suspense. There is no update. But someone from our training class is in the hospital now, hoping to take home their baby tomorrow! We are very excited for them, they’ve had a number of disappointments and we are so praying this one is it for them! I’m sure they would appreciate your prayers too.

2)Race day is this Sunday, bright and early. This is a smaller half so I don’t think there will be online tracking like the Disney races, but I will post our end time. We’ll be done before 8:30am hopefully! The hope was to break the 2 hour barrier this year. I can tell you right now that is NOT going to happen. Someone, me, severely underestimated the effect of the stress of everything that has been happening this year. If I can pull in under 2:28 I’ll be satisfied, if I can PR and go under 2:13 I’ll be thrilled. Even PRing this year will take everything I have and potentially more, it’s within reach though, maybe, close enough to try for anyway. I’ll keep you posted.

3)No hair pics cause I haven’t done anything! I have been thoroughly enjoying the short hair though. No regrets, I’m loving it. The color will get there. Purple is the current winner, with blue being a close second. Purple has had limited success in my hair, but I have some new strategies and I’ll give it a try again.

4)Not an update, but still giving it a number. Got away for 48 hours with Bycemaster for an early birthday present for him. Best thing ever. Getting away from everything and going some where with no pressures or expectations just us, it was glorious and so needed. I feel like I can tackle the this phase of life again, instead of it tackling me. It’s been tackling me for months now.

On that note, I’m off to round up the gang. It’s Aldi time! (I will share my new obsession with Aldi shortly I’m sure, I’m in love) Then back to schooling and cleaning and baking with my little baker. Full day, we’re off!

the littlest photographer strikes again, with the new short hair!

•October 12, 2015 • 2 Comments

In case you missed the off hand reference to the coming hair cut last week. I’m giving it and the photo again. Look now, it is going, going, gone!
dancing with tired boy 2- CopySo back peddle with me about four years, when I first left the office to work at home. I will admit, I had a bit of an identity crisis. There were lots of things that contributed to the growing out of my hair, but looking back it really acted as a sort of security blanket. I was out in a new world, having to go out and make new friends, with women no less! That is a scary thing, for me anyway. Long hair is generally liked and accepted and non threatening in social situations. I was leaving the safe known office environment to be a woman surrounded by four little children venturing out into the unknown territory of stay at home moms. It was a tad intimidating. Side note: I’ve found this group to be largely supportive and welcoming in the circles I’ve joined, unlike their interweb counterparts…

However, all that is now in the past. I am surrounded again by a wonderful community and have been for some time now. Right about the time I was ready to go chop chop, wedding plans (of the above picture) were announced and I decided I would hold off till after. Let me tell you, if you’ve ever had doubts about doing something drastic, tell yourself you won’t for 10 months and then see how ready you are!

I was so over this hair I was literally fantasizing about shaving my own head every time I’d re-shave the littlest boy. I mean if Charlize could pull it off in Mad Max, I could do it, right?

Donating was always part of the plan, had to be some other incentive to all those years of growing it out. But unfortunately the pink was not donatable. So it had to go before the main cut. I will admit this cut was a little hard, I loved that pink. It was the only thing about my hair I liked for a while.

IMG_0675Then came the donate cut! Well actually I trimmed an inch or two off the ends first, then I did the donate cut. But here’s the ponytail that is being shipped off. Making a total of about 13 inches of old life that got chopped off my head. From there I just had fun with a razor, which was sharp. I have a nice little nick in my neck when I put it at the wrong angle, whoops! But for now there’s enough hair left to cover my neck, so like Pete the Cat, it’s all good. IMG_0676I was born before the selfie generation and have not acquired the gift. So I enlisted the help of my budding photographer to get a few shots of the new do. She was only too happy to oblige. 


The front, bang side. I believe youtube called these fringe bangs. These took quite a few tries to get right and I still think they’re kinda long, but there comes a point where you know you better stop or you really will end up with that shaved head. Thankfully they’d grown pretty long over the summer so I had a bit to work with. IMG_4062The shaved side! Some part of my fantasy was realized, buzz buzz. 
hair cut final

The front view. I super love it. It is so easy when I get up in the morning. It already looks like bed head! I feel like myself again. me and the photographer

Had to do one shot with my favorite little photographer! She did a great job again, if I do say so myself.

So now I need your help. I love the cut, but I had to cut out the color! I’ve got cobalt blue, feisty fuchsia (this was the most recent color), ultra violet, and teal (which is apparently discontinued, the link is the closest color I could find). The plan at the moment is to dip dye the ends in one of the above colors, though I’m open to suggestions on placement as well. So vote in the comment section or on facebook!

What color will it be?

I’ll post finished pics next week! Thanks guys!

a wedding through the eyes of the flower girl

•October 5, 2015 • Leave a Comment

My sister in law got married this weekend. It was a weekend filled with fun, late nights, and lots of pretties. Bycemaster, Jena and I were all part of the wedding party. To be quite honest the stress of having us all perfect for this wedding amidst all that is already happening in our life right now had me in more than one panic attack. I was having dreams of getting the baby call when we couldn’t leave to go get her (which my rational brain knew was a very small window, but tell that to my subconscious!)

But it’s done now and it all worked out! It happened, it was gorgeous, I survived, there was no baby call during the wedding weekend and I even gained a brother out of the deal. On the flip side now, it’s all good. We are having a day of rest over here. I’m trying really hard not to think of the prep still needed for birthdays and babies on the horizon. I NEED A DAY PEOPLE. JUST ONE DAY. (I’m really screaming at my own brain here, that is desperately trying to get me to sit down and start the planning, ONE DAY BRAIN).

Back to the wedding. I let my daughter woman my camera for the wedding. That was a first, I’ve never let the kids touch it. It was bought with an inheritance from my grandpa at a time when money was beyond tight and the likelihood of replacing it was slim to none. I’m not sure much has changed in that area, but she was being extra careful for once and I decided to let her go. 400+ pictures later and we’ve found a few gems. Jen and Jaron

I’m impressed with Jena. I know the bride is a little blurry, but I love this picture of the happy couple. I’m looking forward to watching them grow together.

a rose among thorns

Jena loved the flowers and I must agree. They came out beautiful. She took a lot of ‘artsy shots.’

sunflowerI wish I could take credit for some of these!Mom

I love this shot of my mom. So rare to catch a real smile on camera.

goofy papaShe got lots of my dad, 80% look like this. My mother wonders where Jena gets her goofy side. Wonder no more mom.
fun hairArtsy shot she snuck of my hair. Love the way the pink came out.

dancing with tired boyFinally convinced my little guy to dance with me at the end of the night. I think he mostly just wanted me to pick him up. The poor thing was so so tired. Also take a good look at the hair. I made it to the wedding without cutting it, but it’s about to be gone.
Anders dancingNot all the little people were dead on their feet though. Jaron’s little nephew (son of one of the awesome bridesmaids) was a dancing fiend. This kid was seriously adorable.
3togetherSpeaking of adorable children. She obviously did not take this one. I do wish sometimes for shots where they are all smiling and looking at the camera. But this is my real life and I love my real life. I can appreciate photos like this for what they are.

Jena selfie 2I also found a series of selfies. I mean what photo shot would be complete without them! (I really do need a sarcasm font)
Jena fleeing

Here she is in her actual role as flower girl. She’d just finished her petal throwing and was fleeing the scene of the crime. She did eventually make her way back up to the front to sit, after I bit of running around. You can also see all of the lovely bridesmaids. I only knew one of them before this wedding, but they were a great group. Even though most of us were strangers, everyone banded together to do what needed to be done. They were a great crew. It was a beautiful wedding. Many congratulations to the bride and groom!


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