Photo Friday

Photo Friday – President’s Day Hike

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Since we can’t ski this year on President’s Day and the weather was beautiful we went for a hike. The ski resorts are actually closed because they don’t have any snow, so no skiing for us. It was a fun little hike not far from our house. Luckily we got there early, because when we were leaving the parking lot was full. We got to look for a swamp monster, see the largest, oldest tree on Tiger Mountain and find a rusted out bus. Then the boys chose Five Guys for lunch. A fun morning.

Jack hiking.jpg  Will hiking.jpg
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Photo Friday

Photo Friday – Will’s Gingerbread House

Will and Mom Gingerbread.jpg

This week Will’s Kindergarten class made gingerbread houses. It was a fun project to help him with. He had very definite ideas of what he wanted to do, like the marshmallows on the roof and the mini-wheat cereal as the doors. It turned out so cute and we have managed to keep Islay out of it so far. (She tried to get the other one we made until I had to move it from the five foot high shelf to the six foot high one. Silly Swissy!)

Will gingerbread house.jpg

Photo Friday

Photo Friday – Sarah’s 40th Birthday

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My 40th birthday was Sunday and I got to celebrate it with some surprise out of town guests. Jim planned an amazing dinner which included a surprise visit from my sister Steff, niece Quincy, my parents and some good family friends. I was blown away by all the love I felt from everyone at the dinner on Saturday night and the impromptu birthday BBQ on Sunday. Sunday was topped off with a purple and yellow tie dye cake that Steff made. Yum! I couldn’t think of a better way to start off my 40s.

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Counting Down to 40: Being a Mom

rainy selfie.jpgI am less than two weeks from my 40th birthday. Although I didn’t get my countdown written out like I had planned, I have spent plenty of time reflecting in my head.

My husband Jim has done a wonderful job of reflecting on me with his 40to40 countdown on Facebook. For those that haven’t had the pleasure of seeing his daily posts about the reasons he loves me, a couple of my favorites have been:

· #21 We think the same things at the same time. It’s magic.

· #37 She bleeds purple. Go Dawgs!

· #26 She is the most giving person I know.

Through my reflections about where my life has taken me, the thing I am probably the most proud of is being a mom. Becoming a mom changed my life and has continued to move me in directions that I never could have imagined.

My boys make me so happy. They are little rays of sunshine and make me smile each day. I love them more than I could have imagined before they were born. They can frustrate me and then turn around and make me laugh.

This is a job I will have for the rest of my life and a role I couldn’t be happier to play.

Photo Friday

Photo Friday – Eric & Kati’s Wedding

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Last weekend my cousin Eric married his high school sweetheart on a gorgeous day at Newcastle Golf Club. It was so fun to celebrate their love story stepping into a new era. The day couldn’t have had better weather and the view couldn’t have been any better. Such a wonderful day.

Mom’s Skills

steffi's wedding 142.jpgMoms possess an amazing set of skills. Something happens when you have a baby and you develop skills beyond your imagination.

Here are a few of the special mom skills

· Mother finger – Allows you to shake your finger at people to get them to do what you want.

· Eyes all around your head – This way you can see everything that is happening even if you aren’t facing the kids.

· Super hearing – Moms can identify their child’s cry from miles away, even while they are having an intense conversation.

· Ultimate multitasking – There is never a time when a mom is doing just one thing. Even on weekends away we still are multitasking.

· Pack mule – A mom can carry anything needed between the car and the house, no matter how many bags or how much it weighs.

In honor Mother’s Day think about all of the special skills the moms in your life possess. Maybe you will even see a few new ones.

Ten Things That Make Me Happy

tulips.jpgSpring has sprung in our neck of the woods. In honor of spring and being happy with the blooming flowers and more sunshine, here are ten things that make me happy right now.

1. Will’s questions and comments – It seems like he says something memorable each day. I try to capture them, but sometimes they are so quick they get lost.

2. Jack running – Jack runs very effortlessly and is extremely quick. It is his secret weapon.

3. Islay laying quietly in the backyard – This is the dog we know she will become, but it is hard to remember when she is running and jumping on everyone.

4. Tulips outside my office – My tulips are blooming in front of the house and I can see them when I am sitting in my office.

5. Hearing the boys laugh at each other – The sound will fill the house as they are playing and enjoying each other’s company.

6. Watching Game of Thrones with Jim – We love watching the show together and speculating about what will happen or figuring out what just did happen.

7. Pulling capri pants to the front of the closet – The appearance of capri pants means summer is just around the corner and it is finally warm enough to wear them.

8. Fruit on Mulligan’s tree – There is small citrus fruit on the tree we bought in honor of Mulligan. I can’t wait for them to ripen.

9. Sun shining on my morning walk – It just brightens my spirits when Islay and I can see the sun on our morning walk.

10. A glass of champagne – I can almost taste the crisp bubbles when I hear the cork pop. Yum!

What things make you happy right now?

Counting Down to 40 – Being an Advocate

Jack pH probe.jpgAs part of my Counting Down to 40 series I will be writing about things about myself of which I am most proud. The first in the series is the importance of being an advocate.

When Jack was born I expected to become a mom and have the mother bear instincts kick in, but I didn’t anticipate the importance of becoming an advocate. Quickly after he was born, certain medical issues presented us with situations that we weren’t prepared for and forced us to learn how to navigate through trial and error and support from our pediatrician. Through those situations I learned to believe in my instincts and how to be strong for my child and advocate for him. Those skills helped me be a much better advocate for our second child, Will, right after he was born, and also be an advocate to others through this platform.

The Will to See was started as a coping mechanism for me through a difficult time in Will’s infancy that included diagnoses of swallow issues and Ocular Albinism. As time has passed, I have been using this experience and the voice created through this blog and other relationships tell our stories while providing information and hope for other families in similar situations.

During our struggles with Jack’s eating there weren’t any resources or people for us to call on. We felt like we were flying blind in very difficult situations. By making our experiences available through this public medium, I hope that I can provide support and ideas for other families. Even if it is just saying that I have been there and I know how difficult it can be.

This role of being an advocate is one I am very proud of. I have always felt there is a reason why we have been challenged in these ways, if for no other reason than to help others through their situations and provide a light to follow when it was otherwise hard to see.

There are times when I get frustrated with page views and other site statistics. Then I will get an email from a family whose child has a feeding tube or has just been diagnosed with Albinism and I remember why I put in the time and effort. And if this helps just one person to better navigate the lonely and heart-wrenching roads that we traversed, well then it was worth it.

Have you found yourself creating a different role for yourself now that you have children or are put in a situation that you didn’t expect?

Photo Friday

Photo Friday – Big White

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whiskey Jack.jpg

We have been skiing at Big White this week for winter break. It was a fun week with great snow and finally better ski weather at the end of the week. Will went to ski school and did great as an Eager Elephant. Jack skied with us all week for the first time and skied all over the mountain with us. The boys got matching helmet covers. We love this mountain and will definitely be back.

Counting Down to 40

Sarah San DiegoI turn 40 in October this year. I have been thinking about how I want to countdown to this milestone.

Many people create lists of things they want to accomplish in the year leading up to their 40th birthday. I haven’t felt comfortable about making a list like this for a number of reasons. Most of which is because it creates unnecessary pressure to complete the list. It could be reminder of the things I haven’t done yet and things that I may have thought I should have completed by now.

Instead of creating a to-do list, I am going to celebrate the woman I have become. My life is very different than what I imagined 20 years ago, but that is just fine. I am proud of who I am and where my life has gone, even if it isn’t where I thought I would be.

So much of the time we do not celebrate who we are and allow ourselves to be proud of our accomplishments. Over the next eight months I will highlight some of the things of which I am most proud.

My hope is that it will prompt others to think about their lives and remember to be proud of who they are and what they have accomplished at whatever stage of life they happen to be in.

How will you celebrate your next birthday milestone?

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