Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

2009 has brought big and exciting changes to the Romer family. In June, Mike graduated with Honors from medical school. The very next day we packed the moving truck and headed for the Great Lakes State. Michigan is green, beautiful, and HUMID! But we love our community and have great neighbors.

Mike’s residency program keeps him busy, busy, busy! He works long hours but is learning more every day. He loves the work (not the hours), and the interaction he has with his patients. When he’s not working, he is home playing with Miles, teaching the 8-9 year old Sunday school class, and trying to squeeze in a basketball game.

Sarah spends her days chasing around that wild and crazy Miles, and couldn’t be happier. She has become a pro at finger-painting and story-telling. She recently started a small business making jewelry and beaded watch bands and loves the new creative outlet.

Miles is growing up so quickly, and only operates on two speeds: Fast and FASTER! He is constantly running, climbing, and getting into everything! He loves to sing, and if you give him a good beat, he’ll entertain you with his sweet dance moves. He is funny, charismatic, and is the light of our lives.

We just returned from Disney World, where we spent a week with Sarah’s parents enjoying the warm weather. I am happy to report the first official Romer Family Vacation was a success!

Wishing you all the Peace and Joy of the holiday season,

The Romer Family

Friday, November 13, 2009

What the World Needs Now

A little less time doing dishes

And a LOT more time seeking for hidden children......

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Special Birthday Announcement

Today is a special day. Special to me at least. Because today is my BIRTHDAY! My 29th to be exact. And I want to share my birthday excitement with all of you!

I also promised an announcement.

After a little encouragement and a lot of work, I am excited to announce the Grand Opening of my new shop, Just Bead It Design! If you are looking for some cute interchangeable watch bands for yourself or for Christmas gifts, look no further!!

Just bead it design sells interchangeable beaded double stranded watch bands

So for my birthday, I want to give You a present. In honor of my last year in my 20's, I'm offering 20% off all watch bands in my shop now through Nov. 14. AND....if you buy 4 bands, you get the 5th band FREE!!!!! (P.S. the 4 bands don't have to be purchased at the same time) (P.P.S. click on the picture above to take you to the shop, or just check out my sidebar.)

I have several bands posted, and will be posting many more througout the week. I will also be accepting watch face "pre-orders" at 10% off! I will gladly accept custom design orders and special requests. And if that's not enough, I have also started a blog for this new hobby of mine. It is still in the works, but you can check it out at I will be posting news, updates, and GIVEAWAYS all this week, so be sure to pop in there soon.

So there you have it! A birthday, an announcement, a grand opening, and a special SALE!!!

All in one post.

Does it get better than that?

I don't think so. Now go shopping!! :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Halloween Woody's Roundup

Halloween 2009

1 little boy dressed as Woody + 2 biker parents + tattoo sleeves = a whole lot of fun!

It was a chilly evening, but the neighborhood kids were out in full force asking for treats or promising tricks door to door.

Or maybe I should say driveway to driveway.

Michiganders commune on their driveways surrounded by fire pits, barbeques, ghostly decorations and lots and lots of candy. Yeah....we're cool like that. Just one more reason you should move to Michigan.

I started weeks ago teaching Miles to say "Trick or Treat". He learned "Treat, Treat!" But that seemed to work too. Starting around 3:00 in the afternoon, he stood by the screen door, looked longingly outside saying, "Treat Treat, Please!" and "Go Treat Treat!" We headed out around 5:30, and I don't think I saw a more excited child out there.

The home-made Woody costume + one cute little boy + "TREAT TREAT!", followed up with a "DANK UUUUUUU, BUH-BUH" = a WHOLE LOT OF CANDY! He won over the candy passer outers faster than you can say All Hallowes Eve.

And I can't understand why...........

Nah. Of course I can understand why!

Our evening was a complete success. And I have been enjoying the candy ever since.

P.S. I have an announcement. Which I will be making tomorrow. On a rather "special" day, if you ask me. And there might even be something in it for you! Stay Tuned......

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Who knew THAT could be so astounding

We have reached an important Milestone. And when I say "We", I really mean Miles. But a victory for him is a victory for us all.

A few weeks ago we bought a potty chair. And when I say "We", I really mean "I". It was an experiment on Miles' interest level. And I think its safe to say his interest was about a big fat ZERO. And when I say ZERO, I mean if you asked Miles if he wanted to sit on the potty he would start screaming "NO NO NO!!" and then run in the other direction.

But lucky for me Miles is curious. About everything. And independent to boot. And it didn't take long before he realized what that chair was for. We graduated from screaming "no", to saying, "umm, yeah!" And now we have graduated from just "sitting", to actually "doing." (If you get my drift)

And if you don't (get my drift, I mean), I'll just spell it out for you

Miles Used the Potty All By Himself!!
(And I haven't laughed so hard in my entire life)

Why? Why was it sooooo unbelievably funny I had to call my husband, my mom, and my sister immediately to tell them all about it? Well, I will tell you too.

The morning went a little something like this:

I asked Miles "Do you need to go use the potty?"

Miles: "um, Yeah!!!" That is how he always responds. Not just "yeah", but "ummm, yeah." Every time. That detail isn't a pivotal part to the story. Just an interesting fact.

We run to the bathroom, Miles rips off his diaper and sits right down. And in about two seconds realizes something is going on down there. So he does what anyone (and when I say "anyone", I mean "any boy") would do and looks down to see what is happening.

Then, at that moment, a look of wonder and sheer amazement came across his angel face. His eyes got big, his mouth widened to make a big "O". And he said simply..."WOAH!!!!!"

When it was all over, his look of amazement turned distraught and he cried out "More! More! More!" And he sat on that potty chair, straining so hard his little face shook and turned the color of a ripe maraschino cherry, until he managed to squeeze out a few more drops.

He clapped, I cheered, he wiped, and then he threw his fist into the air exultantly and cried out "YESSSSS!" And with that, he ran his little naked bum out of that room and into his bedroom to play with his legos.

And THAT, my friends is why I laughed so hard. And why I love being a mom.
Oh my, my, my. That Miles of mine.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chinese Renewal

I have to say things have been running like a well-oiled machine at our house.

I was rummaging through my dresser the other day. Just as I was thinking, "why do I have so much stuff in here?" I found an old fortune cookie fortune I had managed to save.

It said, "Don't give up on your goals. Your efforts will soon be rewarded."
My subconscious must have realized I would need to read that on a day I was really struggling.

And I know it sounds silly, but that was all it took for me to re-focus and re-dedicate to this crazy thing called parenthood.

(That, and I followed up on my Mom's good advice to re-read Elder Bednar's talk from last General Conference

He spoke on being more diligent at home with our families. This was my favorite part:

" Now and then verses of scripture were read amid outbursts such as “He’s touching me!” “Make him stop looking at me!” “Mom, he’s breathing my air!” ... At times Sister Bednar and I were exasperated because the righteous habits we worked so hard to foster did not seem to yield immediately the spiritual results we wanted and expected.

Today if you could ask our adult sons what they remember about family prayer, scripture study, and family home evening, I believe I know how they would answer. They likely would not identify a particular prayer or a specific instance of scripture study or an especially meaningful family home evening lesson as the defining moment in their spiritual development. What they would say they remember is that as a family we were consistent.... The consistency of our intent and work was perhaps the greatest lesson—a lesson we did not fully appreciate at the time.

Good Gravy, I'm grateful for wise council.

And so, I have found my new groove.

With a new sticker reward system, renaming 'time-out' to 'the naughty chair', giving lots of praise for good behavior, and asking dad to help back me up in the discipline department when he is home, have really helped to turn things around.

Oh, and a renewed personal zeal to have family (and personal) prayer, Family Home Evening, Scripture study, and good quality mother/son bonding time might have helped. Just a little. :)

I'm just glad nice mom is back. Now, if only I could track down Super Mom to come clean my house.......

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Been there?

There are days when I look around my house and I feel like a Super Woman. A Super Mom. A Super everything. Chores are complete, House is clean, Child is happy, I actually had a shower (this doesn't happen nearly as often as it should) and the day is just sitting there, waiting to be discovered. And when that boy of mine learns something new and delights in the things he discovered that day because I provided the opportunity, well....can I say Super one more time?


Then I'll just say I feel like the Best. Mom. Ever.

But things the last few days have not been Super. Not super at all. And I haven't felt like the best mom ever. Or even a good mom. I feel like a mean mom. And it pains me to say this.

But maybe part of being a good mom is admitting when you need help. When you are in over your head. Am I in over my head?


4:00 am - Miles wakes up. I went downstairs to get pancake mix for breakfast. By the time I walked back upstairs, Miles had his potty chair in the bath tub, filling it up with water, and dumping said water all over the bathroom floor and down the heating vent.

4:15 am - I am bending over the tub cleaning everything up when I hear two tiny little feet running at me from behind. One big push by a very small two year old, and into the tub I go. I am soaked. But on the bright side, today is one of the days I got a "shower."

5:00 am - Miles feeds Marlee his pancakes by throwing them all over the floor. And dumping his milk out for her too.

5:30 am - Mom and Miles both changed into clean clothes and settle onto the couch to watch some cartoons. Where mom dozes off.

5:35 am - to wake mom up, Miles throws his Thomas the Train engine at moms head, causing a huge goose egg, blood, tears, a lot of cursing, and a SERIOUS consideration to giving the culprit a good swat. (gasp!) Instead I opt for the naughty chair. Now renamed the VERY naughty chair.

Before Lunch, Miles had also managed to take off his diaper and poop on the floor, rip up the pages to his book, eat half of all the sticks of string cheese in the fridge, lock me downstairs, and feed all the lunch meat in the fridge to Marlee.

After lunch I went for a drive to McDonalds to get a huge Diet Coke. And Miles fell asleep on the way. Relief!

But Einstein said "That which goes down for a nap, must wake up."

And he did. Before dinner he smashed a box of lasagna noodles into little tiny pieces, opened a box of elbow macaroni, and spread BOTH these things all over the basement.


I went to the bathroom, and when I came out, I found Miles rolling around downstairs in an entire 5 lb. bag of sugar he dumped all over the floor.


Then while I was fixing dinner, he broke eggs all over my living room carpet.


I think it's pretty safe to say I am in over my head.

I have tried being firm, I have tried time-outs and the naughty chair, I have tried ignoring the behavior, I have tried rewarding GOOD behavior instead of punishing bad, and I have tried a combination of all these things at the same time.

And its not working.

But its not even the bad behavior that has me in this glumy mood. Its my reaction to it. I am losing the battle to remain calm. I am losing my patience. I am losing my good mom self.

I am turning into a frustrated mom. I have been too loud, too angry, too impatient.

I am the mean mom.

But I want to be the good mom again.

So tell me. I want to know. Seriously, lay it all out. I need your help, tips, tricks, and great child rearing secrets.

Miles thanks you in advance. (I think he is missing Super Mom even more than I am)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Cautionary Tale

This is a story about:

a really tired mom

who accidentally fell asleep on the couch during breakfast time

leaving her two year old to fend for himself.

The End

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I don't want to do it....

Blog, that is.
Don't get me wrong. I love sharing my stories and the comings and goings of my family. I love staying connected with friends. I love keeping a record we can look back on.

I have been procrastinating.

Because I am in denial. And I don't want to admit that

when did that happen??

It's hard to have a "real" Birthday when the Daddy was scheduled to work 110 hours. But I did my best to celebrate with that big boy of mine. Miles blew out birthday candles during his pancake breakfast, which he ate off his red letter day plate.

Then he wanted to watch "Roar Roars" (Dinosaurs in Ice Age 3) and eat "feeshees". In my defense, I tried to get him at least to wear pants. But "No" happens to be his favorite word. And it was his Birthday after all....

A movie, a bath, and one outfit later, we were off to Heritage Park to have fun at the Petting Farm. We saw "neigh neighs", "moo moos", and "Baaaaaaaaaas". He had fun playing with the piggies, donkeys, bunnies, chicks, and even an Alpaca! And after he had pet every animal at least 10 times, we went to "Yum Yums" for lunch. (That is what Miles calls McDonalds. Seriously. Every time he sees those golden arches he cries out "want Yum Yums!" Don't you judge me.....)

We had to wait until the NEXT day to open presents. Miles opened one present Friday morning, the Old Yeller dvd his Dad bought for him . And because Birthday parties are always more fun with friends, we headed to Ohio to celebrate his Birthday with the Tranchells. Miles is a pro at unwrapping presents. He wasn't really interested in the actual present, just the unwrapping of them. For his 2nd Birthday, Miles received:

1. The Old Yeller DVD from dad
2. A homemade magnetic chalkboard from mom
3. A new winter coat from Grandpa and Grandma Romer
4. $50 for his college fund, and a cute pillowcase for his bed from Nana and Papa Atkinson
5. Aunt Rachel and Uncle Ed (and baby boy) sent a card
6. Playdough and a toy truck from the Tranchells
7. and Mom and Dad gave him new clothes, Jammies, snowpants, snow boots, and one new toy: a (small) talking Elmo doll Miles picked out himself

We made it to Ohio, had a homemade pizza dinner, opened more presents, sang "Happy Birthday", blew out the candles, and ate Birthday cake. ( no ice cream. It wouldn't have survived the 3 hour drive from Wyandotte to Akron).

I can't believe how much he has grown in the last year. How much he has learned and developed. I can't believe how lucky I am.
Miles, you are a delight and a joy. Your smile melts my heart, and your laughter brings a twinkle to my eye.
Happy Birthday little man!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Want to head south?

Just a glimpse of the foreboding, dreary, and grey skies that are Michigan today. (And yesterday. And probably tomorrow too.) It is cold, and windy, and rainy and......


And today I am REALLY missing Arizona.

I am sitting on my couch in my softest cashmere sweater. (Which I bought back when I was a single working girl and every cent I earned was used to purchase necessities, like cashmere sweaters. And big screen TVs. But that is a whole other post entirely...)

On top of my sweater I am wearing a lovely yellow and brown University of Wyoming sweatshirt (the only sweatshirt I own) that my mother often wore at least 15 years ago. I stole the down comforter from my bed, because we don't have any other blankets, and I am just beginning to feel slightly less cold. Once the temperature in our house reached 65, I just gave in and turned on the heat.

I know what you are thinking. Believe me. I am thinking it myself. I lived the first 18 years of my life in Wyoming, and the next 5 in Utah. I am used to the cold.


I WAS used to the cold. But Arizona ruined me. And now I am the person my Wyomingite family would laugh at when strolling down the sidewalks of Evanston in July, wearing a coat.

Except that I don't have a coat.

This sudden fast forward to Fall/Winter caused me to take stock of all the warm winter clothes I had in my closet. And except for my sweater I invested in about 8 years ago (that's the beauty of cashmere!) I don't have anything. And I started to panic.

But after a little online browsing, I am happy to say THIS is on the way:

I so wanted to feel stylish and throw caution to the wind by choosing the coat in a fabulous shade of winter white. (which sounds so much better than "cream", Don't you think?) But alas, my practical side won out. I envisioned my beautiful winter white coat smeared with tiny fingerprints of melted chocolate, orange flecks from fishy crackers, and red sticky mess from half chewed fruit snacks which were spit out at me when a certain little someone didn't want to get into his car seat.

So I bought Charcoal.

It is amazing how quickly the purchase of a new coat can help you feel better about the inevitably approaching cold season.

And hopefully, these will be following my coat shortly.

Or maybe these????
I can't decide.

And, if I can catch my husband in a really good mood, maybe even some of these little pretties:

And if I can't catch him in a great mood, perhaps this makes a very conspicuous Birthday wish list???

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Michigan Love #1

There are more than a handful of things I love about being a Michigander. (Aside from the obvious appeal of saying the word "Michigander". )

Try it. You'll want to move here too.

But seriously. There are some pretty wonderful things about living here, and I am finding more every day. ANDDDDDD.....because I have taken it upon myself to convice my friends and family that they should move here too (but only for the next 4 years), I will be regularly sharing (in no particular order) those things that just might get them out here. At least for a visit.

Do you love shopping? And more specifically, shopping for your kids? I do.

And what about saving bags of cash? Do you love that too?

I do, I do, I do!

And if you do too, then you will LOVE this!

EVERY weekend of the year, you can find moms (and some dads too) all over the state of Michigan, rising early and gathering at local churches, schools, businesses and vacant buildings. They rise and gather and wait with baited breath for the doors to open. What are they waiting for you ask? Well I'll tell you.

a Mom2Mom sale to begin. You know, just 100 or so moms who set up at least that many tables, fill them with all of their children's things they wish to sell, mark them at dirt cheap prices, and wait for the early risers to take all those items away. Think garage sale/swap meet filled to the brim with ONLY things for kids. I am one of those early risers, and I look forward to it every weekend.

Today I drove a couple miles down the road. I am in need of winter clothes for that child of mine. And I have to say, I think I struck GOLD!!

I bought: 1 Osh Kosh coat (new with tags), 1 pair snowpants (new with tags), 3 sweaters from the Childrens Place (new with tags), 5 long sleeve shirts that LOOK brand new, 1 Detroit Lions jacket, because we support our local athletic teams (no matter HOW bad they may be,) 2 pairs of jeans, and a comfy sweat suit for snow playing in the not so far off winter.

The price???


And if that won't convince you to move here.....well, I just don't know what will

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Saturday, September 12, 2009


Not at our house. At least not for my Miles.
Here he is. With his prized posessions and comfort items. All of which are an absolute necessity before getting out of bed in the morning. There are 4 balls (2 tennis, 1 football, and 1 small basketball), 1 large stick horse, 1 small knit horse, 3 bears, a "woof woof", 2 books, a plastic golf bag, a stuffed dolphin, and 7....yes SEVEN blankets.
This is our morning ritual.
  1. Mom wakes up, hears Miles throwing things in his room
  2. Mom goes into Miles' room only to find everything he insisted on sleeping with last night is no longer in the crib but strewn about the entire room
  3. Mom tries to put the toys away, but gives up when the disappearance of any of his beloveds gives rise to tears and the saddest little face you have ever seen
  4. Miles makes no less than 4 trips, hauling everything he owns into the living room where he watches his "GRRRRRRRRRs" while mom makes breakfast. (And in case you don't speek Milesese, GRRRRRRs are dinosaurs, as in Ice Age 3)
  5. More tears when the little guy has to eat his breakfast at the table, (Mom insists) and must leave his prized posessions behind
  6. Happy boy again when they are finally reunited

And that is how I spend my day.

Hauling toys from room to room, to outside and back. Putting them in the crib for naptime and picking them up after naptime. Our lives revolve around those darn things.

Miles Birthday is in one month. I'll bet you can guess what he WON'T be receiving.

Here's a hint......It rhymes with "Annoy"

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

For Grandma:
Even though we haven't posted any photographic proof
We have been having lots of fun!
Your little boy isn't so little anymore, and will be TWO next month. Just ask him, and he'll tell you.
We have singing time everday, and he is a PRO at "The Wiseman Built his House Upon the Rock." He can slam that "rock" down on his flat palm, and scrunches his fingers when "the rain comes tumbling down." I'll try to get video
But our newest adventure is this:

Fingerpaints at the dollar store fill almost a full hour of fun on rainy days when we can't go outside. He doesn't like his fingers to be "messy," so he usually just uses one finger.
We love you and miss you, and will post more pictures and video of all the cute things I do soon.
Buh-Buh, Nana.....
Love Miles
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Monday, August 17, 2009

Just call me Auntie

There has been some exciting news in the Atkinson family recently. And I have been dying to share. A good secret can be awfully difficult to keep.

I'm sure now that you all know there was a top secret involved, you want in too.

Well, just head on over to my sister's blog ( to check out her announcement.

Let me just state for the record that though the Chinese Lunar Calendar predicts a boy, and that is what I am secretly longing for her to have, I am predicting lots of pink in her future.

Congratulations Bills Family!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Someone to watch over me

I knelt down this evening to offer the most sincere and humble prayer of thanks and gratitude I could muster. The type of prayer I think really only a mother can understand.
But I'm getting ahead of myself...
Today was a good day. The kind of day when you can't help but take a step back and notice. You know, the kind of day when you are awoken, an hour later than usual, by the laughter of a happy baby playing in his crib. The kind of day you DREAD because grocery shopping is on the agenda, but your mischievous boy manages to stay in his seat the entire time, never once asking for a treat, or screaming "POOP!" at complete strangers at the top of his lungs. The kind of day when everything at the grocery store you want to buy is on sale, and your one week budget stretches to purchase two weeks worth of food. Add to that the 3.5 hour nap my little guy took, and I was on top of the world!
Ironic how everything can change in an instant.
We had such an enjoyable day together, me and that little Miles of mine. And the weather was PERFECT outside. So we drove downtown to Bishop Park. It's a beautifully massive park right on the Detroit river. We go there often to run and play on the playground, chase the seagulls, and watch the fishermen on the pier. The place never disappoints, and today was no exception.
When Miles and I were completely tuckered and could not muster the strength to slide one more time, I scooped him up and loaded him for the short 5 minute drive home. And then I don't know what happened......
Maybe I was lost somewhere between exhaustion and motherhood bliss. Maybe I was distracted by my own incessant mental dialogue, or I was replaying my good fortunes of the day in mind to enjoy a second time. I just don't know.
But one thing I DO know: I never saw the stoplight. What I did see was a large Chevy Silverado. Close. Much too close. I tried to turn, and he tried to turn, but impact was unavoidable. In the blink of an eye, my perfect day was smashed to smithereens all over the intersection at Biddle and Cedar.
I was buckled, and I was okay. And I saw the man getting out of his truck. He was okay. And my sweet sweet screaming baby in the backseat, he would be just fine once the scare was over. The police were summoned, an ambulance arrived (no one needed it), witnesses gathered, and later a tow truck driving man (who heard the whole thing on his police scanner) towed my beloved RAV away.
I have never been one for public displays of emotion. "Public" meaning around anyone but myself. I have developed an uncanny ability to keep it together until I can find a quiet time, usually very late, to be alone. Then the walls come crumbling.
Which leads me to my tearful conversation I had with God tonight. I thanked him for watching over us and expressed my gratitude that neither myself nor the gentleman I hit were injured. I thanked him for the kind and forgiving heart of that same gentleman who, when I apologized over and over said," well, that's why they call it an accident." I expressed my utmost gratitude for the passers-by who rushed to my car and to my side, offering assistance to me, a complete stranger, and my baby boy. I thanked him for a hard working police force who arrived in only minutes. I was ESPECIALLY thankful for a wonderful husband who, I could tell was boiling mad under the surface, but put his arm around me and simply said "I'm glad both of you are okay." But I saved my most heart felt pleas for last.
"Thank you, Thank you Dear Lord, for watching over and protecting my precious baby. Thank you for keeping him safe. I don't know if I deserve it, but I will continue to do everything I can to show You I did. Amen."

Friday, August 7, 2009

After 3+ years of weighing his options, saving, and searching high and low, my dad finally did it! He went and bought himself one of these sweet rides.

I was a little hurt he bought this mean machine the day AFTER I left from my 3 week stay. (you know, as oppossed to the day BEFORE I got there.)
But, in the spirit of forgiveness, I have taken it upon myself to find the perfect name.
I already tried "My daughter moved to Michigan and the only thing that would mend my broken heart was to buy this kick ass boat."
But it won't fit on the hull. :)
So, I have come up with a few OTHER options that are more length appropriate. Check out the poll over on my side bar and let me know what YOU think!
(New suggestions are also always appreciated.)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gone Again

If you hadn't noticed, I took a little break from blogging last month. And for good reason I think. We (meaning Miles and myself) took a 3 1/2 week vacation back to Utah. When I'm away on vacation, I just don't like to spend my time plucking away at the keys on my computer. Or worrying about editing and organizing photos.
No. When I'm on vacation, the only thing I worry about is entertaining me and the little guy.
And this last month, we have kept ourselves VERY entertained. We:
Attended my beautiful Sister-in-Law's wedding

Visited friends at my 10 year High School Reunion

Took in the Little Big Town and Josh Turner concert at the Uinta County Fair

Spent time in the surf and sand at the Atkinson Family Reunion in Bear Lake

And participated in a little event I nicknamed "Spring Break at the Zoo: 2nd Generation"

Nearly every spring break we had growing up, my mom loaded the van up with the Atkinson kids, drove nearly a WHOLE BLOCK to pick up my cousin Darcey, and off we went to spend the day at the Hogle Zoo. Now Darcey and I are all grown up with kids of our own. I live in Michigan and she lives in Oregon, but we happened to be visiting Utah at the exact same time. So Grandma and Grandpa Atkinson arranged for the whole clan to enjoy a day at the zoo.
We had a wonderful time and were grateful to our families for letting us stay. But I noticed a strange thing while I was away. I missed my little Wyandotte bungalow. And I missed husband immensely. (That goes without saying.) And after a couple of weeks, I found I was excited to make my flight back home.
Yes, Home. To Michigan.
How is it that I can feel more at home in a town I have only spent the last 6 weeks, than a place I lived the first 18 years of my life? Yes, most of my worldy posessions were waiting for me in Michigan. My sheets so soft they send me instantly to dream land and my old down pillow that now conforms perfectly to my head, were a full 3 days drive away. But I had left more than that behind.
The old saying: "Home is where your heart is," may be considered cliche, but it is true.
I had left my heart in Michigan, a long with my husband and everything else.
And now I am home, heart and family reunited. And I can't think of a better place to be.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Gone, Baby. Gone.

Our lovely home is no longer ours. Or so that's what they say. We signed a few papers, mailed them in, and just like that, it was over.

When the Title company e-mailed me to tell me the buyers had officially closed on our house, it was bittersweet. I was relieved it was over, but mostly saddened at the thought of strangers living in my home. There were no tears though. In matters relating to our home, I have been very brave.

When the for sale sign went up, my mom asked how I was doing. I told her I had already moved through my stages of grief.

First, shock and denial at what was happening around the country. As in, "my house is worth HOW MUCH LESS than what I paid??!!" I was positive it would turn around. It HAD to turn around.....didn't it?

Then guilt. Mike didn't even want to buy a house. He liked our house, but he just wanted a little apartment across the street from the school. That wasn't the plan. That wasn't MY plan. We had worked. Hard. Really Hard. And we had saved. Saved a lot......And the market was starting to boom. I KNEW it would be a great investment. I just knew it. And......I was wrong. Boy was I wrong. And all the money we worked so hard for was gone. It was all my fault. Because Mike didn't even want to buy a house.

Then I was Angry. Angry at what was happening to us. We had no control over it. It certainly wasn't what I would call an "equitable situation." And Mike and I had completely different views on what should be done. I was angry about that too.

Then Despair. I felt hopeless and sad at what this would mean for our family and our future. Our options were bleak, at best.

But then, a bit of an upturn. I started reading, learning, investigating, and searching for answers. And finally, after several weeks of frank discussions with my husband, real estate experts, and friends and family, we had a plan.

And then there was Acceptance.

Everything went as smoothly as I believe is possible in the selling of a home in the 2nd worst real estate market in the country. Within two weeks we had multiple offers. And so we packed up our home to move across the country. And when I walked through my beloved abode for the last time, I was sentimental, sure. I will admit my eyes flooded with the salty warmth that is so familiar to them. But I refused to let those tears fall. I had accepted it. And it was time to move on.

It took another month to reconcile the details with the bank. I should say, we filled out a form and sent in some paper work, and it took them a month to process it. Then just like that it was over. I felt heavy hearted, but there were no tears. We were one of the lucky ones. And I was relieved.

You see, no tears = brave in my book. (Because those dang tears flow so easily for me.) So I HAVE been brave. least until today.

I stumbled across this unassuming picture in my computer.

And just as quickly as our house was gone, my emotional flood gates were opened.

I remembered the day we moved in. Our excitement permeated every crack and crevice.

And I remembered re-painting the kitchen 3 times until I had the perfect shade of green.

And the sweat and blood that stained the paver stones we used when we built the back patio ourselves.

We built our patio, we built our marriage, and we built a family.

We grew up there. And we grew together.

When we brought our baby home we placed him in his nursery with the yellow walls. Those same walls, months earlier, were littered with hundreds of paint samples. I searched for weeks for the perfect hue.

There were tears of joy, and tears of sorrow, sleepless nights, and the best moments of my life thus far.
That picture was symbolic of all those things and more. It was a symbol to me of all the joy and laughter we shared within our walls. Those priceless every day moments I was lucky enough to capture and freeze in time.

The tears I cry now are not from grief. There's no need for me to travel those stages. (again) I cry because I feel so honored and blessed to have experienced the things I did there. I will miss my home terribly. But I look ahead another four years and am excited to see what surprises will await us here in Michigan. In our new home.

If the future is as good as the past, I have a lot to be excited about.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Backdated Post #3: May 26, 2009 - The Grand Canyon

Graduation was just around the corner, and we knew the time we had to spend with our friends, (who had become our family) was drawing to a close. We had lived in Arizona for 4 years, and there were still so many places we hadn't been. So we decided to take full advantage of our days off, and we headed to the Grand Canyon with the Tranchells.
The weather was beautiful, the views were amazing and.....

Miles was VERY upset we didn't allow him to climb over the fences. We had been warned that taking two 1-year olds to visit a gigantic whole in the earth might not be a great idea. But the kids actually did great. We went for a small hike around the rim of the canyon, and that seemed to be their favorite part.

At the end of the day we went back to our hotel, enjoyed a nice(?) mexican/steakhouse dinner, swam in the pool and relaxed in the hot tub. And eventually, when the kids had fallen asleep, we pushed the tables together, played games and ate treats late into the night.

Thanks Tranchells for a great trip. I think I am going through Carcasonne withdrawls, so I hope we can get together soon!!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Family Pictures

Backdated post #2: May 20, 2009

Every once in awhile the whole Atkinson Family gets together. It was tricky sometimes all being in the same place at the same time, because we lived in Arizona. And when we found out we were moving to Michigan, we knew the few opportunities we had every year to ALL be together would dwindle down to almost never.

And it just so happened there was one Wednesday evening in May when we could all clear our schedules and meet in Ogden to take some family pictures.

We're a pretty good lookin' bunch if I do say so myself.
We met in Ogden at the corner of 42nd Street and Harrison Blvd, where there just happens to be a big Flying J building with AMAZING landscaping. Karma must have been smiling down on us, because I was able to book a great photographer, with less than 24 hours notice, and her only opening for the month was the night we needed her.

Here's just a smattering of the pictures she took. I'm told there are more great ones on the CD that will be arriving at my doorstep shortly.

I am hoping,eventually, these new pictures will translate into new frames on the walls of my home, and a fun new blog design.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My little sailor

Pardon me as I back up a bit, if you consider a month only a bit. But in all the changes and all the chaos going on for our family, we actually had some pretty good times.

I was recently reminded of them when I finally downloaded pictures from all three of my very full memory cards. Over 800 pictures later, and many, many (too many to count) hours spent organizing and backing them up (in triplicate mind you!), and I can't help but share a few of our happy moments with you.

I hope you will enjoy viewing all my back-dated posts as much as I did living them.

May 14, 2009:

Just call us CRAZY...but we decided to brave the cold water, cloudy skies, and bazillions of mosquitos to take the boat for a spin at Willard Bay in Utah. Miles was brave and put his feet in the freezing water. I was forced to pull them out when they started turning blue.

Mike was even braver and jumped in to go wake-boarding. He had a good 15 minute run before his shivering and quivering brought him back to the boat.And we discovered Miles' inner pirate. He's a Captain of the Sea. We're still working on the "Ahoy Matey", but he's a pro at steering the ship.

Did you know it's much easier to Captain a ship if you aren't wearing any pants? Either did I. But Miles insisted.
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Thursday, May 21, 2009


Home from our trip to the D-Rock.

That's what the street folks call it.

Atleast that's what I've heard.

And I am happy to report a few things:

FIRST - We are not living in Detroit. I felt I needed to clarify. We are living in a quaint, family friendly, beautiful little suburb right on the river. Wyandotte is its name. And because I'm feeling extra nice today, I'll help you pronounce said town correctly. All together now........."Wine-dot"

SECOND - It really is beautiful there. My heart feels all a flutter just thinking of leaving behind my boring and dusty rocks in the back yard, and my beige house in my beige neighborhood for green, green, green. Green trees, green grass, and the river is mostly green too. (You prolly wouldn't want to swim in it.)

And THIRDLY , if thirdly is an actual word.....

I am happy to report we have found our new abode

An adorable and super small 1920s Bungalow, complete with 3 bedrooms, a big front porch, 2 car garage, and a great fenced back-yard. I love it.

And it's only 3 minutes from the hospital. Mike loves that.

I actually think I might be ready for this. To haul my family across the country and start a new life there.

Here I come Michigan,

my new Home Sweet Home!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Up to Date

Update on us:

Here's what we've been up to in the weeks since my last post.

Miles sprouted horns, and has spent the last few weeks growing into them

But somehow I still fall a little more in love with him every day

We put our house on the market, and headed to Utah and Wyoming for 3 weeks

We received an offer on our house, and I had my hair cut. (Though not in that order)

Celebrated a college graduation of our dear friend with a Hawaiian Luau. And caught a SWEET video of Mike doing his best at a "Hakka". Seriously, it is hilarious. And I would post it....but this is one of those instances where it is NOT better to ask forgiveness than permission.

We met Papa and Nana at Uinta Golf in Salt Lake so Mike could get fitted for some new custom clubs.
(he picked the new Callaway X 22s.....Lucky!)

While the big boys were playing at the golf store, the girls took the little boys to the aquarium

Don't let this picture fool you. Those boys were heavily bribed by their aunt Rachel to sit on her lap.
Just kidding. They love you Rach!

And I finally got some shots of me and my little man together. This doesn't happen often.

And this is why......
And one thing we HAVEN'T done.......
follow through on the "no binky" rule, obviously.

Only one more month until we are Michigan bound, so I am soaking up everything I can from our trip North. I'm sure it will be awhile before we can make it back.

There's still so much more to do, and so little time. So please don't feel bad if I neglect my blogland duties. For awhile at least. It's nothing personal.

And when things calm down, and we are settled, I have grand old plans for this little blog of mine. So Stay Tuned!