have a great weekend…

IMG_2257things are just as busy as ever here at the house of mayhem and chaos!  last weekend we went to portland to the oregon museum of science and industry and then to hood river.  we had a blast!  IMG_2280 IMG_2296i have work tonight and tomorrow night but on sunday, i am hosting a little gathering for my best friend’s 3rd annual 29th birthday (see what she did there?)  i’m looking forward to friends and food and kids running around!   then, on monday, christopher and i are thinking of taking the boys to see the new minion movie.  it should be a fun, action-packed weekend with a little relaxing mixed in. IMG_2331

i hope you have plans for a fantastic weekend!

happy 4th of july!


happy 4th of july, everyone!  we are having a wonderful day hanging out at home.  it’s been lazy and just what we needed as a family.  i got to sleep in and the boys have spent all day outside playing with their magic sand.  i got some tie dye kits from target on clearance and we just finished an epic tie dye session!  we are all so colorful (we don’t need no stinkin’ gloves!)  it looks like a bunch of hippies live here!

IMG_2246 IMG_2229 IMG_2235 IMG_2231 IMG_2243anyway, i hope you and your families have a fantastic weekend!  stay cool and Happy Birthday, America!




around the house…

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you may have been wondering what the hell happened at the house of mayhem and chaos because i’ve been quiet for so long.

well, a lot, to put it simply.

i took a very last-minute trip to phoenix to see my family after some “family stuff” was happening (everyone is ok, so not to worry), the boys got glasses, finished preschool and we got them all registered for homeschool kindergarten. and, well, it’s just summer and that means our calendar is super full.

i’m trying to not overdo our schedule, but there are so many people to see and things to do!  i’m also trying to not spend as much time online (it’s a working goal, anyway) and focus on just “being” with the boys.  we have lots of fun things planned for the summer: t-ball, swimming, playdates, tending our garden, working on reading and math, camping trips and some museum visits.  ok, i’m already tired just writing out this list!

but, things are going really well.  the boys are getting so big and will be five next month (FIVE!!!!) and they have requested an epic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles party, so i have that to work on look forward to.  so, that’s what we’ve been up to.  please stick with me, i’m trying to get better at creating writing goals for myself with this blog and i have a lot of fun posts i want to share with you.  like i said, working goals.



that bittersweet time of year…


i am a summer girl.  i love being warm, the sunshine on my face, wearing flip flops and tank tops and shorts and flowy skirts.  i love eating from the garden – a tomato, hot off the vine, is one of the most delicious things i can think of.  i love playing outside with my boys and canning the bounty from our kitchen garden.  i love grilled food.  i love going to the river by our house, watching the 4th of july fireworks, camping and just everything about summer.

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this morning, i woke up and had to put on a sweater.  there was a definite fall chill in the air.  i’m seeing pumpkin lattes advertised, kids are returning to school, and it’s already september.  i am not ready to let go of summer just yet, so i will not be jumping on the autumn bandwagon just yet.  i mean, the first day of fall isn’t until the 23rd, so i’m going to give summer every last bit of my attention.

christopher and i rearranged the boys’ room to give them a new perspective as the season closes.  i like the way their beds are arranged now.  they like them too.  they are so grown up.  it seems like this summer has been pivotal in their development.  i deep cleaned the living room and moved some things around there too.  it seems to maximize the sunlight now and the room seems bigger.

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last week i canned 25 pounds of tomatoes and have a dozen pints of whole tomatoes to use throughout the winter.  i have pizza sauce and some puree to use as i cook up the warming, comfort foods that sustain us through autumn and winter.  i have tomatillos to turn into salsa verde and put up for winter.

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the days are still warm and the breeze is cool, so we have been soaking up every moment outside. i always get a little melancholy this time of year because i know our cold, grey winters are just right around the corner.  i know we won’t be able to play outside in our bare feet every day much longer.  i know that harry and i will start to feel that winter depression and we will stand in front of the window basking in every ray of sun that so rarely pokes out through the clouds during the winter in the pacific northwest.


so, i am keeping a summer frame of mind as long as i can.  i will go get another floral tattoo to remind me of late-summer harvest: a hop vine to complement the grapevine i already have.  and then, maybe in a year or two, i’ll get a forearm full of ripe summer veggies.  i won’t put away my tank tops and shorts and sandals.  i will bask in as much sunlight as i can.  i will relish the cool breezes on my face and the joyful squeals of the boys as they play in the yard.  i will harvest the garden, till it under and tuck it under a blanket of mulch to nourish it for next spring.  i will put up the harvest for the winter and then i will finally settle into fall, but not until i’m ready and the last warm wisps of the summer slip away.

enjoy the last of summer, my lovies.



one crazy summer…


does summer just seem so busy?  it feels like we have more going on in the summer than the school year!  most of our time is spent at home playing in the backyard, tending the garden, splashing in the pool, watching pbs kids and reading library books.  but the month of july is especially jam-packed for us.  starting off with the 4th of july, the month just cartwheels with events, parties and fun things.  the boys’ birthday is in july as well as christopher’s and my anniversary.  we have had the added bonus of christopher’s mom moving to town this summer and we have gotten in a lot of “grammie time.”  all of this fun is interspersed with going to the weekly “free summer kid movies” at the theater, weekly visits to the farmer’s markets and lots of cooking, canning and pickling!

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the week of the 4th of july, our very best friends from california called to say they were (surprise!) in portland, adopting a baby!  we drove over to hood river and met them and had a wonderful day playing in the columbia river and eating at one of our favorite breweries.


the very next weekend, christopher’s company had a huge family day at an amusement park!  we miss most of his company’s parties because we live about 3 hours from the corporate headquarters, but we did all we could to attend this one!  we left at 6 in the morning to get to silverwood by 10 am.  i was not sure how the boys would do since it would be a really long day with a lot of driving and playing, but they were awesome!  they rode tons of rides, including some roller coasters, and we all rode the ferris wheel.  i do not like the ferris wheel.  for some reason, it scares the crap out of me.  i can ride the most brain-rattling upside-down roller coaster, but the ferris wheel makes me cry.  anyway, we all survived (and harry totally loved it.)

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and this last weekend, we had a little birthday party for the boys with some family and neighborhood friends.  there was lots of splashing in the sprinkler and pool and lots of yelling and screaming and merry-making!

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this weekend, christopher and i are looking forward to having a night out to celebrate our 6th anniversary. all of this summer fun has left us all very tired!


i hope you are really enjoying your summer!



the summer list…


now that it is officially summer (yay!), i’ve been thinking about how i want to use my time and what to do with myself and the boys. school ended for them in the middle of may, and i am down to working only a couple days a week, if that, so, we have some extra time on our hands.  on top of that, christopher’s mom moved to town from santa rosa and we are looking forward to spending lots of time with grammie now.

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in thinking of what i want the summer to be, i started to think back on my summers as a kid and to what made them so great.  it seemed like my sister and i never were in the house, which is ludicrous because we lived in arizona and it is hot as blazes, so i know we couldn’t have been outside all the time – we would’ve died of heatstroke!  but, in my mind, we played outside all. the. time.  swimming at my aunt and uncle’s house was another favorites summer past time.  and the drive-in movie.


so, i started to come up with a list of things i want to do and things that would be fun to do as a family.  i think it’s important to have some “me time” scheduled in here too, because, it is summer, after all!  i wanted to have some ideas in my back pocked for things to do on any given day and some ideas for when we get bored.  i want the boys to remember summers as free-for-all-fun-times.

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anyway, here is my running list.  it’s not set in stone and it is not something that i am setting out to check off, one at a time.  it is just something to make me remember what summer is all about.

~ basking in the sun as much as possible (wearing this sunscreen, of course!)

~ living in the inflatable pool in the backyard

~ swimming lessons for the boys

~ eating from the garden as much as possible

~ hitting the farmer’s market once a week

~ taking advantage of the free/cheap kids movies at the theater

~ downtown walks as many evenings as possible

~ hanging out and drinking wine/beer with my girlfriends

~ once-a-month dates with christopher (at least once-a-month!)

~ lots of visits with grammie and the cousins

~ music practice with christopher on the front porch

~ cooking on the grill as much as possible

~ fun manicures and pedicures (and keeping my heels smooth!)

~ drying the clothes on the line in the backyard all summer long

~ going to the free concert in the park on thursdays

~ reading as many books from the library as we can

~ staying up late for the 4th of july fireworks

~ tent camping at least once this summer

~ cool outside art projects like this one and this one

~ pickling and preserving the garden bounty


what is on your summer list?