A Cross Country Move…with 3 kids

Tyler and I are definitely west coast-ish people – he grew up in Colorado and I grew up in Arizona. We’ve spent most of our marriage living in Arizona as well. I am a desert dweller; I love the heat, swimming all summer and wearing sandals in December. So when the opportunity came up for us to move to Virginia for a year-long internship program, it seemed about as far away as moving to a different country. We decided to take it as an adventure and went ahead and made the jump to relocate to Charlottesville, Virginia in July. We loaded up a very small trailer with necessities and our 2 vehicles and embarked on a 2,200 mile drive to our new home. It was definitely an adventure with 5 days worth of blown tires, broken trailer axles, countless potty breaks and LOTS of driving. Our biggest worry before the […]

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Faux Brick Wall – tips & tricks

I love, love accent walls. In our last house I had a wood panel wall and a stenciled wall, but in this house I wanted to try something different. I see houses with amazing exposed brick walls and love them, but unfortunately, our house is a basic builder grade Arizona track home…no brick. So, I read pretty much every tutorial on faux brick panels I could find on Pinterest and decided to go for it. There are great tutorials out there so I won’t step by step, but I thought I’d give a few tips and tricks to help anyone who might want to tackle it. HIDING YOUR SEAMS My biggest hesitation was that it would be obviously faux brick panels with seams in between. To avoid this, we used a jig saw to notch out every other brick along the edge so that the 3 panels would fit together […]

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When writing about real life sucks.

Real lifeish. That’s what we named this blog. When we did it, I intended to share the real parts of our life. You know, dirty dishes, funny kid anecdotes, even home renovation mistakes. The really real stuff. I thought, “We won’t filter our life and make it seem like Pinterest.” We’ll be authentic and honest. Never did I think that it might mean sharing tragedy and really hard things. I struggled with whether to even write this. But, it didn’t feel right to have a blog about real life and then leave out one of the most impacting experiences of our life. So, here it is. Life after a Miscarriage – Part 1 Well, at least I can go eat sushi. That was one of my first thoughts when it finally sunk in that we had lost our 18 week old baby. Sushi. Really? I’m not sure why this popped […]

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when you don’t write a blog for almost two months

I wish I had a great excuse for why there has been nothing new on our blog for almost two months. But, I don’t. The truth is (and this blog is all about sharing the truth) that it has been the busiest few months of our entire life – literally. We’ve had event after event after event and are just beginning to dig out from the mess that has accumulated in our lives. And the sad thing is, we love this blog. It’s something we’ve been dreaming about doing together for years, but somehow it was easy to put on the shelf. A blog doesn’t beg you to fill it’s sippy cup. A blog doesn’t need you to wipe its bottom every. single. day. A blog can be ignored for days upon days without whining or complaining. And so, here we are – finally getting back to writing and excited […]

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A Very Ninjago Birthday

For the first few years having kids, I was able to pick their birthday party themes. Dr. Seuss, pirates, race cars. Subtly, I could sway them to pick a theme I liked or one that I had lots of good ideas. This year, my middle child (the stubborn one) turned four and everything changed. Six months ago he announced that he wanted a “Ninjago” birthday party and I was fairly certain that I could change his mind. As his birthday approached, he was still resolute. Ninjago. Ninjago? Really? What about a chef party? Or an artist party? Ninjago was not my favorite pick. At all. I don’t love cartoon themed parties anyway, but this one just felt like it was a fad – something they will like today and forget tomorrow. But, he was convinced and I’m a big fan of letting kids have an opinion and making their birthday […]

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Four Years Later – a flashback blog

Four years ago I wrote a blog post about having our second child while living in Puebla, Mexico. That blog no longer exists and since we just celebrated his 4th birthday, I thought it would be fun to share it here as a flashback. He’s here! Yes, in case you haven’t heard, Pax Elias Staton arrived on March 11 at 10:20am. Now that it is a few days later (and the c-section pain has subsided), I thought I should sit down and share more details about that day, not that it is too terribly exciting, but I thought maybe some of you would be interested to know what it was like to deliver in Puebla. Well, let’s just say we headed to the hospital with a fair amount of anxiety and nerves. I’ve never had surgery before (not counting wisdom teeth) and that alone was enough to put me on […]

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