Thursday, April 29, 2010

the last day of my twenties...

Today is the last day of my twenties. Officially. There is no turning back now, I am a real adult. When I was little 30 always seemed so far. Now, I'm there. While a few weeks or months ago I may have been having a bit of anxiety at the thought of reaching this milestone, today, I feel totally at peace. I am happy and thankful for where God has planted me.

The last ten years has been busy. I have learned much... About life, about relationships, about what is really important, about myself.

In my twenties, I started a business and watched it flourish, planned a wedding, got married, moved many times, bought & remodeled two houses, had two pregnancies, gave birth to two of the most beautiful baby girls God has ever created, cried tears of fear, tears of joy, tears of sorrow, tears of happiness, I was baptized, grew closer to God, have learned many things, have spent many sleepless nights, traveled to different places, have created a home, have realized who my true friends in life really are, have learned how to be more selfless, have been lucky enough to use my creativity almost daily, have been hurt, have been hugged and loved by dear loved ones, have kissed passionately, have stood by the edge of the ocean and felt small, and last but not least I have begun to grow into the woman that God designed me to be.

When I look at that long drawn out sentence of everything that has occurred in my life over the last decade, how can I not be anything but excited to embark into the next decade with anything but happy anticipation??!

Some people spend their twenties playing... Some drinking... Some traveling... Some making mistakes... Some doing great things...Some growing up.

Me, well I'd like to think I spent mine exactly where I should have. Learning lessons specifically designed just for me. Now, it's time to turn the page, and start the next chapter. I can't wait to read on. To see what happens in my thirties, and to continue to grow into the woman that God has designed me to be.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

beach trip...

family collage

the beach

time together

Back from the beach and it was heaven! So nice to visit, play, be goofy, and enjoy the beach with loved ones!

sunshine, sea, sand, & shells...

sun to sea


Tuesday, April 27, 2010



It's my Monday...
We're back from our mini vacation to the beach, and it's back to life and reality!
I've developed a chest cold.
My kids are probably going to drive me insane this week, due to the lack of sleep and routine on our mini vaca.
I'm only 3/4 of the way done unpacking, and I don't care.
I have to be to work in a little over an hour.
Meritt threw a fit through my entire nail appointment this morning.
Matt has to work late, and then has basketball.
He will miss "bedtime"
There are no groceries in my house.
It is raining really hard.
There is tons of laundry to do/fold.

But, do you know what??? It's all OK. Cause that's life, and I hold a secret in my heart about the grace that God provides! With that I can do anything, and that makes me about the luckiest person on earth! Because when you look at it like this...

I was lucky enough to go to the beach with the best family ever.
The cold will pass, and over all I am healthy.
My children are a gift... even if they drive me crazy at times! The joy is always greater than the pain!
I'm already 3/4 of the way done unpacking!
I have the greatest job ever!!! I get paid to do something I love, with my mom and my girls, and a handful of wonderful ladies that have become true blue friends!
I get to have my nails done by one of my best friends, it's "our time" to catch up!
I am blessed beyond measure with the best husband a woman could ever wish for!
I have the freedom and ability to grocery shop whenever I like, and there is still plenty of food in the house if I just looked! Mostly, I am one of the lucky mom's that doesn't have to wonder how I'm going to feed my children. There is always plenty.
The rain is watering my plants and yard so I don't have to!
The laundry will wait, and when I get to doing it... it will smell Divine!

I guess, it just depends on how you look at things, huh?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

my happy place...


looking forward to the beach


Do you have a happy place?

Mine is by the ocean.

So, looking forward to this weekend...

One more day!


Happy Earth Day!

earth-day stamp
Happy Earth Day Everyone!
Woodsy Collage
Today, I will totally be rocking my Woodsy Owl, "give a hoot, don't pollute" tee shirt!
(my favorite)
Remember, if everyone does little things to help the earth,
they turn into BIG things when you combine them together!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


dirtgirl’s backyard is full of friends. There’s scrapboy, her best friend, who lives next door and is a whiz with junk, grubby with her worm’s eye view, ken the weevil, a super stunt star weevil with an inferiority complex, roger the rooster and the chicks, hayman the monosyllabic scarecrow, and the green thumbs…real kids in real gardens having unreal fun. Watch dirtgirlworld on Sprout starting April 22! Visit the official website

dirtgirlworld is a celebration of life outside.
It's a place of bizarre insects, underground tunnels,
vaudevillian trained chickens and performing stunt bugs.
Funky pop songs, guitars with attitude, beats, grooves and loops all blended with a tractor,
make up the infectiously cool music in dirtgirlworld.
This musicentric series explores the natural world and invites the audience to 'go get grubby' in the big world outside.
dirtgirlworld is a place where we find out that we protect what we love.
As dirtgirl says...'it's all about balance'.
Made for 4 - 7 year olds,
dirtgirlworld takes this audience to a world where real and unreal hang out together.

Looking foward to watching this with my girls tomorrow to kick off and celebrate Earthday!
Click on the black and white color page and print for a color project for your kiddo's!
Have Fun.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

totally random thoughts...

Here I sit totally enjoying the fact that my girls are asleep (finally) and that Matt is off with his boys playing basketball.

I hate to say it but, sometimes it's so nice to be alone.

Hear yourself think. Breathe. Veg. Be. Waste time blogging.
Don't you think?

My head is pounding... it's been a long day (maybe two)!
Working with my Meritt girl in tow is HARD. I am thankful I don't have to do that everyday anymore. Holy Cow, how did I do that for as long as I did? It's a miracle I stayed sane... did I stay sane, or was I silently just going crazy? Hm mm. I vote for the later part of that sentence!

Meritt is very 3!!! She is a lot of work right now. Something tells me this girl just may be a handful for the rest of her life! Good thing she is so cotton picken cute and sweet, or let me tell you, she would have been dropped off on someone else's door step a while back. I keep trying to remind myself... Consistency, Consistency, Consistency. You can't expect her not to yell, if you are yelling at her. Boy that one is easier said than done! My voice just doesn't seem to be heard unless it's yelling, why is that???

On a totally separate note, what do you all think of American Idol this season? It is less than impressive to me... They hyped it up as the best season of all... No, Simon, Cara, Ellen, and Randy, I disagree. Random people, random songs, random moments of good. But NOT the best season. In fact I hate to say it, but I think Idol is on it's way out. Anyone else??? Or is it just me?

Guess what I get to do this weekend, that I am SO LOOKING forward to? We are going to spend the weekend at the beach, as an early birthday thing with my big brother. He rented us an awesome beach house, and I am just so looking forward to hanging out with my whole family for more than a day. The last time my parents, us, and my brother were together for longer than a day-ish visit, was probably when we all lived together, and that was a long time ago. I will take lots of pictures, that I will be happy as a clam to share when we get back. I just can't wait! My girls are so excited that you would think Christmas has come again. Meritt was singing "Uncle Ansen, Uncle Ansen, I love Uncle Ansen at the Beach"... all during dinner, how sweet is that?

So, the rest of this week is going to be busy! Getting ready to leave for the beach, school carnivals, meetings with sales reps, grocery shopping, packing, haircuts, lining up everything to leave Emma with her puppy sitter, and I'm sure a hundred other things I can't even think up at this moment! (probably real glamorous stuff like laundry, and scrubbing toilets, vacuuming, and other fun stuff!)

Well, there you go. Those are my random thoughts for the moment.

Life is good.

I am grateful.

God is good.

He never gives me more than I can handle! (thank goodness)

Monday, April 19, 2010

the dedicated...

the dedicated

Looking foward to reading this book called, Crazy Love.

It looks wonderful.

(click on Crazy Love to see the website!)

Have you ever wondered if we're missing it?
It's crazy if you think about it. The God of the universe — the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and e-minor — loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss.
Whether you've verbalized it yet or not . . . we all know something's wrong.
Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts — it's falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same.
Because when you're wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.
"With an urgency that seeks to awaken a sleeping church mired in the comfort of middle ground, Crazy Love gets to the heart of the matter and leaves you wanting more — more of the matchless Jesus who offers radical life for all."

— LOUIS GIGLIO, director of Passion conferences

meet "sassy"... my new ride!

Remember yesterday when I said I wonder what else God had in store for me for the day...?
Well, it included this.
My new ride, I named her sassy.
Traded my gas guzzling SUV/Crossover in for this:
a 2010 VW jetta sport wagon TDI
- getting somewhere between 35-50 MPG
another step in the right direction.
She is so cute! I love her. VW is in my soul!!!
My first car was a '67 bug,
this and the VW we bought for Matt yesterday will make this 6 VW's now.
Do you want to know the absolute best part???
This afforded us the ability to buy Matthew a newer car,
(like almost 10 years newer)
and now I know that he's safe!
That makes my heart soar high!
(especially with his new job that is requiring him lots more traveling!)
So, that was my yesterday... how was yours???
***Just want to say a HUGE thank you to my mama and daddy for watching the girls while we were literally at the dealership for more than 8 hours... what a long day! Thank you for being such amazing grandparents/parents. I have no idea what we would ever do without you two!!! You are so important to us, and the girls, and thank you just isn't enough! But for now I guess it will have to do! We love you and are so grateful for such involved and loving support in our lives!***

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Morning...

It is 8:41 am on Sunday morning... I have now been awake for a little more than two hours. I have been greeted by sunshine on my face, birdies chirping, pug feet clicking on wooden floor, kids climbing into bed, Hi Mama's, cups of coffee, Sunday morning paper, a foot and back rub, and the cutest of all... my three year old coming down stairs "dressed" proud as punch for getting herself ready in a striped tee-shirt, striped bermuda shorts, knee socks, sandals, a snow jacket, a binky, and a blankie dragged behind. Days just don't start better than this! Can't wait to see what else God has in store for me today! What do you have on your list today? Don't forget to slow down, take a deep breath, and enjoy the little stuff! It's the little stuff you'll remember!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

i love this show!

Have you watched this show on ABC?
It's great!
Friday Nights, ABC 9pm
Check it out!
Changes are being made out there, I love it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

late night rantings...

Dear Someone,

Why am I always so hungry late at night when I'm SUPPOSED to be sleeping??? I feel guilty for it, and I'm tired of it! The words of Dr. Oz, Oprah, and all those other daytime TV peoples voices and tips on how to live a healthier life ring through my head. There is a great big ol fat girl inside of me just dying to get out! She is screaming for French Fries, Mac and Cheese, and guacamole, and all kinds of naughty stuff.

would it really be so bad to let the girl inside me out?

Dear new organic lifestyle,

I have something I need to admit... I miss faux cheese. You know, Velveeta and Kraft, that orange, creamy, delicious, horribly wondrous lover of my soul. (There goes the fat girl screaming to get out again!:))

why does everything so good have to be so bad?

Dear Morning,

Between my children getting up at the crack of dawn, Meritt knocking down my bedside table spilling my coffee, water, and all the other contents off onto the floor, Emma having ooey gooey old lady problems all over my floors, and several other things that knocked the wind out of me before 8am, I just want to let you know that was a sucky way to start ones day!

so glad you are over and tomorrow is a new day!

Dear Meritt,

I AM SICK OF THE POOPING IN THE PULL-UP STUFF!!! While I'm at it it's time for the bink to go too!

a mama who has changed all the poopy diapers she wishes to!

Dear Sunshine,

I am thankful for you. You were one of the only great things about my day! Please stick around... I love the happiness you bring!

a girl who's ready for warmth

Visit Shortmama for more!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

the journey...

going organic

So, when our family made the decision to go organic/local in our home we caught a lot of criticism and doubt... things like "we'll see how long that will last" and "right, that will stick" were some of the things that people said. We also got things like, you know you can't make a change... right? All I have to say to all of that is this; no, we alone will not make a change, but even if everyone changes the way they think just a bit, it can make a BIG change. If we don't start to change our thinking, our eating, and our educating about what we put in our bodies, our children and their children will have a bleak future!

I am proud to say that our family has stuck to our commitment to becoming organic. It has taken new thoughts, change in habit, re-educating ourselves, and a little more planning... but it feels great! My grocery shopping habit is probably what has changed the most. I have to plan more, spend a bit more, and go a few more places, to get everything I need, but now that I have been doing it a while, it is becoming easier and easier. 50% of my shopping is done at Trader Joes, 25% is done at Costco, and the other 25% is done at the Grocery Outlet (they have great prices on organic products!) I'm also getting ready to plant my garden for the summer, and am looking forward to teaching the girls a lot more about gardening as well as farming as the summer goes on. I am also glad and excited that the Farmers Market will be back here soon, as well as our favorite farms stands opening back up for the season!

The hardest part of this change has probably been eating out, although we have found several great options locally that we love. Some we already loved like Burgerville... (as a "happy meal" alternative) and new places that are great like, Cafe Yumm (in Corvallis), and First Burger (in downtown in Albany). The other down side is the cost. It is quite a bit more expensive to eat all organic/local. But, like anything, if it is important enough, you make it work. We have had to give some things up in order to be able to make the change, but to us it's worth it!

The best part about our change, is how great we feel. Our tummies feel better, we have more energy, and we feel great about what we are putting in our kiddos bodies. Teaching them this lifestyle now, will be a gift to them their whole lives!

Have any of you out there reading this made any changes???? I'd love to hear about what your doing!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Love......a simple four letter word.

Hello bloggers. This is Mr. Blogger. That's right, Mandy's blog has been overtaken by her loving and often crazy husband, Matt. I thought this would be a great avenue for me to tell my wife how much I truly love and adore her. And since my blog never really came to fruition, I am stuck here in her blog.

So, Manda I just wanted to tell you and the rest of the world that I love you more than life itself, you are the apple of my eye, and you are the best life partner a man could wish for.

Love, Mateo aka your nutty, but loving spouse.


Monday, April 5, 2010

April showers brings May???

Am I the only one out there that is praying that all of these April showers do in fact bring May flowers??? For that matter, June flowers, and July flowers, and so on and so on... I am DONE with this rain. I am DONE being cold. I am definitely a "true Oregonian", I've lived here all my life. Generally love the rain, and am not affected by it. In fact I have even been known to miss it when it's gone for too long. But, for some reason this winter it is affecting me! It's gloomy, it's cold, it's.... well.... getting old. I am ready to go outside, and feel the sunshine on my skin. I am ready not to be wearing 16 layers everyday. I am ready to feel the warm air blow through my open windows. So for today, I pray that all of these blustery April showers will soon bring us some May flowers! How about you?
“God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.”

Saturday, April 3, 2010

remembering the meaning...

While bunnies, chicks, chocolates, and pretty little Easter dresses are all nice, lovely, and fun. Don't forget to wake up this Easter morning with appreciation and remembrance for what this day means. For all that it brings. New life, eternal life, everlasting life... in Jesus. He's Alive! Let us remember the true meaning today, and everyday. Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Exactly 30 days, and I will be thirty years old... and that's no April Fool's joke. I'm having a hard time for some reason embracing turning thirty. It's kind of hard to explain. In no way do I think 30 is old. It just seems so huge to me. For some reason it feels bigger than I am. I would have like to have thought I would have been a more evolved person somehow by the time I hit this milestone. (if that makes any sense at all) Well, I guess I have 30 days to figure it out! Times a tickin.