Hi there.
This is me...a happy wife, mom to three awesome boys, teacher to two of the aforementioned boys (we homeschool), chauffeur to karate, archery and all sorts of other activities, former scrapbooker and founder of the 
Good Grief Blog.
Life is good.



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So. This happened yesterday...

Yup. I finally got tired of my long teal hair, lol. Had almost a foot cut off and switched to purple touches. Yay!


Speaking of happy...

We're a bit over halfway through our summer here already (well, it's less than halfway for Noah, who got out for the summer slightly later and starts back to school later). May and June seem to have flown by, and I'm trying to be more intentional about how I'm spending my time. Also, on any given day with these three teenagers, it's entirely possible to start dwelling on negatives, lol. But. I'm trying to avoid that. I'm generally a very optimistic person. So, I'm looking on the bright side and want to share why I'm pretty darn happy about this summer and these teens of mine...

Noah and I have started going to the archery range and shooting together. My shooting earlier this week wasn't great but before that I managed this grouping...which I thought wasn't so bad, considering it had been more than a year since I'd gotten my bow out. :) 

For what it's worth, I feel much stronger than before but still lack aim, lol. Noah, annoyingly, has pretty good aim. :) (He claims it has nothing to do with the fact that he's shooting a compound bow with a sight and I'm shooting a bare recurve bow. Ahem.)

Asher and I have been going to the gym after he gets home from work every other day or so...in preparation for his second degree black belt testing next week. We've been working on cardio and endurance by doing interval drills on the assault bike and rowing machine and treadmill...yes, both of us. This usually has been happening on afternoons after I've already gone to boot camp that morning (boot camp is an hour each time and I've been walking to and from the gym for that this summer due to having two vehicles and four drivers). I don't have any pictures from the gym, lol. 

And Micah and I have been going to the climbing gym three times a week all summer. (We really like Ascent!) He has friends who meet us there some of the time and I'd initially figured I wouldn't climb those days. But. I've been climbing every time and am actually getting better! I don't have high aspirations or anything but am proud to have recently started moving beyond only the "beginner" routes. Here's me on an overhang route that I finally conquered earlier this week:

I'm definitely getting stronger and learning more technique but still have some issues with my dislike of falling, lol. 

So. Yes. I'm a little tired lately, lol. (In case you weren't counting, in one week that's three times to boot camp and three times to the gym to do intervals and three times climbing and once or twice to the archery range.) Things will slow down in a week or two after Asher's second degree black belt testing week is done.

For the moment, though, I'm trying not to think about the fatigue and instead focusing on and appreciating the fact that I'm able to hang with these boys of mine (and hold my own, if I do say so myself, lol)...and that we have the time in the first place...and that they're willing and happy to spend the time with me. :) So fortunate and thankful.


5 on Friday: happy

Just five random things that have been making me happy this summer...

1. My peonies. They're done blooming now but were gorgeous a couple weeks ago. I have such fond memories of cutting peonies with my parents for Memorial Day arrangements. 

2. This driftwood suncatcher I made. So...one of the things Nathan requested after his grandparents died was a giant driftwood collection that had been arranged on a big board and hung inside and outside their house for years. When Nathan's parents drove out last year for Noah's graduation, they brought it with them. And then it sat in the basement and took up a decent amount of space. ;) After some discussion, Nathan removed all the pieces from the board and we stored them in a big tub until we could figure out what to do with them.

Seemingly unrelatedly, I have some fun snowflake suncatchers that I put in/on the kitchen window every Christmas. I love how they cast rainbows around the kitchen and am always a little sad to put them away after the holidays. 

These two things came together when I decided to use some of the pieces of driftwood with a prism. We made one for us and one for Nathan's parents...excellent (and smaller, lol) momentoes of the large driftwood piece and fun suncatchers. And now I have rainbows year round...yay!

3. These women. Every so often, as time and schedules allow, a group of us tries to get together. These are women I began our homeschooling journey with (this picture is a subset of all of us...those of us who were able to make it to happy hour last month, lol). We've been through many years and curricula and transitions...and, though our kids may be taking different paths these days, we remain a tribe. And I am thankful and blessed to call them friends.

4. Letters like these. I was sorting through boxes in the basement recently and found a stash of letters. Among them, I found a collection of notes written by my mom and three youngest siblings...notes mailed to me while I was at college. (By the way, they sent me a LOT of letters. I feel kind of bad that we don't send more mail to Noah when he's at college. Then again, it's so much quicker to text, lol. Still. I'm so thankful for the sheer volume of correspondence when I went away.)

This is a sample of the letters from my youngest sister (who was almost 9 when I left for college). It cracks me up.

5. Getting rid of stuff. I was going through the boxes in preparation for our neighborhood garage sale last weekend. I actually went through much of the house and purged a lot of stuff back in February and felt I was doing pretty good. When the neighborhood announced their garage sale, I figured "why not?" (and thought it would be good incentive to get Nathan and the boys to do some sorting) but didn't expect to have too much to sell. But we did end up selling a good lot of stuff and promptly took the leftovers to Goodwill rather than bringing it back in the house. Yay! (Plus, it was a good excuse to visit with a number of our neighbors and even meet a few new ones!)

And those are some of the things making me happy this summer...hope yours is happy, too!



Happy July! And that means it's time to wish my sweet Asher a very happy birthday! He's seventeen today. He's also at work, so we took pictures yesterday...and here are seventeen faces I got when I asked Asher to let me take a picture...(I honestly was only looking to get one decent picture but the boy gave me so many faces I had to include 17 of them here, lol)...

Seriously...all of these faces actually do represent my Asher. :) Such a great guy...loved his trip to Costa Rica earlier this summer (still working on getting those pictures organized to share--but soon!), working hard at his summer internship, getting ready for his junior year at CEC (he'll be switching to full time and will have four college classes this fall), and currently training for his second degree black belt (testing week is soon!). In his limited down time right now, he enjoys computer games, YouTube videos and continuing with parkour, karate and demo team. Yup. He's a busy guy!

And here are the obligatory height comparisons. Sorry. I'm too lazy to make new groupings including this year's pictures so am just adding the current photo after last year's...

Yup, growing up. Happy sigh. ;) 

We went out to a celebratory lunch yesterday and will have a cookie cake and a few gifts later tonight. Happy birthday, Asher!


Father's Day

I'm a day late (was busy actually celebrating it yesterday) but wanted to wish a very happy Father's Day to the dads in my life...

Here's me with my dad when I was one or two:

And here's probably the first picture I have of me and my father-in-law (before he was my father-in-law, obviously, as this is my high school graduation...honestly, I'd forgotten we took this picture but was delighted to find it at my mom's house earlier this year):

And, of course, a happy Father's Day to my fabulous husband! Our father/sons mini golf tradition seems to have gone by the wayside sadly but we still managed to have a great time yesterday. First, we went to see the new Men In Black movie...then to lunch up in Old Town...then rock climbing:

...before heading home for some family Netflix binging, hammock time for Nathan, and a yummy dinner before getting ready for the coming week. 

Big thanks, to all you dads, for everything you do and for the example you set!! So blessed to have these three in my life. :)