Sunday, June 21, 2015

Against all odds

Ryder and I recently celebrated another anniversary on June 4th. :)

21 years ago I met the love of my live in a nasty trailer, in a small town, that I happened to be in because I was trying to escape from my horrible home life. It didn't start out a very pretty love story. I was a lost and broken fifteen year old. Sad to my very core. Angry. This boy walked in with big beautiful eyes and a swagger. Full of attitude and himself.  There was something about him that spoke to me on such a deep level. I couldn't even fully understand it. I was hooked. Like a drug. Which isn't a good way to start anything. ;) Turns out that underneath all that swagger was a young and hurting man. Two very broken people trying to make things work. We had a very turbulent start and were on and off for the first few years, mostly off. He left me for a while and it broke my heart so bad that I didn't think I would ever get over it. Probably wouldn't have. But that time apart led to me coming around to loving myself and learning to value who I was, after hitting rock bottom. And I mean rock bottom, shattered to pieces, and slowly gluing myself back together again. I got onto my own two feet, moved away from that small town, got two jobs to support myself and after living in my car, and on the couches or floors of some very sweet souls that went out of their way to keep me afloat and off the streets I finally got my own studio apartment at nineteen. I was living in the same area as his mom, I had moved to be closer to his brother who I had tried to take care of since he was born. Whole different story. When I moved there Ryder was living in a different state and I didn't know if I would ever see him again. But turns out his mother eventually told him I was around and he dropped everything he had going on in that state and moved back. We slowly ended up getting back together, although I had my doubts at first on if it was the best choice for me or not. Mostly because his leaving the first time had hurt so bad. I wasn't sure I was strong enough or brave enough to open myself up again. There was no denying that I was still strongly attracted to him though. Thankfully this time around things were different, because I had started my road to recovery, healing myself from the hurts of my childhood and learning to love myself. Which we all know we need to love ourselves in order to truly love others. Ryder had grown and changed as well. That's not to say everything was smooth sailing, two very hurt people carry a lot of baggage and past hurts come up when you least expect it. But the nice thing about baggage is that you can slowly unpack if you want to. ;) It's been a long road with lots of ups and downs. But at the very core of it we love each other, and have clung to each other for strength in our darkest moments. We have built each other up and have accomplished together what I don't think we ever could have done alone. We are truly a team. When we got engaged we decided to change our last name together. To start all over with a fresh family tree. It's one of the best choices we've ever made. It truly felt like breaking the chains once and for all. 

Our wedding day 2005

This happened to be our tenth wedding anniversary. I look forward to what the next ten years hold for us. I truly feel so blessed to have this man by my side and I'm so glad that even in the rough spots we decided to cling together and grow instead of break apart. There is something that keeps Ryder and I tightly bound together against all odds and for that I am so truly thankful. He is my one and only and I'm still so madly in love with him. It's a deep love now, not the love of a broken teenager. A deep love that comes from all the things we've shared together, and from facing hard moments together and coming out on the other end, still together. Got to have those down to truly appreciate the ups. :)

Feeling the need

I'm feeling the need to let it go…

Poem by Safire Rose

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Get ready. Get set. GO!




Okay enough, I'm ready to share. We are finally making progress on the kitchen project that has been a dream of mine since the day we moved in, seven years ago now! For about a year now Ryder has been working on the cabinets in his shop, little by little in his very rare spare time. He didn't have required over time at his job this past weekend and was finally done putting them together, so he said it was go time!

This has been my set up for seven years! Using a folding table as a make shift counter. Messy and ugly, plus over all there is hardly any actual counter space in this kitchen. We eat a whole foods diet so for someone who is constantly cooking from scratch three square meals a day and then some it was a bit frustrating. As soon as we put Atty on his special diet for seizure control and I started spending the majority of my days in the kitchen (only a slight exaggeration) I started to loathe my kitchen. I am so thankful for a handy husband, even if it did take FOREVER AND A DAY!

All geared up and ready to be Ryder's sidekick.

This was my job, to handle the spray bottle and the vacuum, both I know well. ;) Ryder had to cut the tile and then chip it all up where the cabinets were going.

It was a nasty job and he ended up cutting up his hand really bad before he put gloves on.

Worst part of the whole thing. Ryder did most of it on his own because I had to get our food shopping done. 

But I bought chocolate ice-cream bars to make up for it. :) Nothing like ice-cream bars when you are working hard at watching daddy work. ;)

This guy was especially happy because they were ice-cream bars that he could actually have. Made out of coconut milk. Happy kid.

Bringing in the cabinets and scoping things out. 

It's so exciting!!! This is exactly how I felt on the inside. ;)

Putting in the drawers. All of this was made by hand by Ryder!

There are some deep shelves back there! Ha ha!

It was a joyful moment when I actually got to fold up this folding table, that has been well used now, and store it away! As it should be. :)

There is a lot left to do. We have to strip the older cabinets of their paint and then paint everything. We are adding knobs/handles and last but not least… NEW COUNTER TOPS! Oh man I can hardly wait!

For now Ryder put a board on top to use as counter space. Hopefully he doesn't get too comfortable with that idea. ;) I'm a pretty patient wife for the most part, but I have a fever for this kitchen to be finished already!!!

Honestly I keep walking into my kitchen and just staring around in awe. It's so awesome. I reorganized everything, did a kitchen purge and a thorough cleaning and now I don't mind spending so much time in there. ;)  There's so much space!

This was from before I reorganized everything, it looks even better now! :D

So there you have it, the kitchen remodel is in full swing and hopefully more updates soon!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Ira turns eight and other adventures...

Ira turned eight!!!
He's been waiting, impatiently, for four months. ;) It drives him crazy that Atty's birthday comes first, ha ha!
Birthday pancakes, got to have them! ;)

Another cake success! Grain free, dairy free, soy free. This time I made a chocolate frosting with Enjoy Life chocolate chip. They do have cane syrup in them, but Atty seems to be able to tolerate a bit of sugar now and again. It has been five year after all since his last seizure. :) The cake its self was sweetened only with maple syrup, and the coconut cream in between the layers inside the cake were sweetened with a little honey. Still trying to stay as close to whole foods as possible (I'm aware that maple syrup is processed but I'm more okay with that than the other types of processed sugars). Every once and a while I'm okay with making an exception since over all we have a focus on healthy eating. 

I love seeing how excited the kids get about getting their sibling a gift.
Atty got Ira a fishing pole! So sweet. :)

Ira's auntie got him this awesome pirate gear. He makes a pretty fierce pirate!

He's a jolly pirate. ;)

Banden got Ira a football!

Leiella made a million cards for Ira, so sweet. 

She also got him some cool survival gear. My little survivalists. :)

Blowing out the candles! He got every one!!!

So, so, so, good!!! Best cake ever. I keep saying that, but truly they just keep getting better and better. Practice makes perfect. :)

So Ira really wanted a camp out for his birthday. So we packed up the trailer and went to a local KOA. it was a blast! We had some friends come and my mom and sister. Besides the fact that it took forever to get on the road Friday after Ryder got off work. It was just one thing after another. It sort of turned into a bad joke. After finally getting the trailer hooked up and finding everything we needed for that, it was so late that I went inside to cook the chicken for dinner at home instead of at the campsite. That left J to help Ryder get out, which involves maneuvering through a gate and down the side of our house with millimeters on each side. It's ridiculous really. Well J failed, big time, in guiding Ryder out and one of the legs on the canopy on the side of the trailer got ripped off and long story short Ryder ended up taking a saw to the fence post and chopping the whole thing down! It was crazy. Then when we finally got on the road, around 7:30 pm, we got two minutes down the road and Ryder realized he didn't put the big side mirrors on. It's illegal to drive without them because he can't see behind him. So we had to turn around and go back! After a lot of cursing on my husbands part (which the kids thankfully didn't hear because they were in the suburban) he realize that they were in the underneath compartment of the trailer. Sigh. I'm telling you it was no fun. Thankfully when we got there things improved dramatically and we ended up having a really nice time. Lesson learned hopefully. When leaving on a Friday after work have as many things figured out ahead of time as possible!

Mini golf! This place has it all and is one of our favorites for a quick get away now. Pool, mini golf, playground, a beautiful creek, movie on the lawn at night, bouncy pillow, you name it, they've got it! Plus a good lay out for the kids to ride around on their bikes. It's glamping, not camping, but you know what… I don't care any more! I use to be sooooo against it! I was all about roughing it and getting as far away from people as possible prior to kids. But now with kids it's just stressful and so much work for me! This trailer camping thing is perfect for this time in our lives. And the KOA's are so family friendly! Although I like taking the trailer to regular campgrounds as well. :)

Playing at the creek, they can spend hours here!

Great way to spend a Saturday, reading outdoors next to a creek listening to the kids giggle and play. :)

Silly girls!

Building a dam. It's a favorite pass time for my boys, ha ha!

Then Atty drove us all home.

Just kidding! We had a blast and despite the hard start it fed my fever for trailer campouts this summer!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Family days

My favorite spot to sit now. :)

Before you start thinking that my husband is never ever around, I thought I'd post some pictures of the family days we sneak in every now and again. ;)

Great walk at Padilla Bay.

Atty learned how to ride his bike! We turned his bike into a balance bike last year by removing the training wheels that weren't doing him any good and taking off the pedals. It really did help him get the idea of balancing. This year we put the pedals back on but he wasn't showing much interest in learning how to ride. Well a few weeks ago I really wanted to go on a family bike ride (our first one ever!) so I told Atty he could either push himself alone the whole ride or he could learn to ride his bike. It was slow going at first, and Ryder and I took turns hanging back with him while the rest zipped ahead. At one point he got really discouraged and I started talking to him about his attitude. That he needed to have a "can do" attitude and that someone who beat seizures can do anything they put their mind to. I traded spots with Ryder and went ahead with the other kids. A little while later I hear Ryder singing to Atty, a sweet song about being a bike rider now. I look over my shoulder and sure enough there is Atty just cruising along. Made my heart so happy. It's a real feat with his neurological issues. I'm really excited too because it's a good therapy for him! The whole rest of the 4 mile ride he kept up his good attitude, even in the rough spots, I was really proud of him. He's a bike rider now!

The moments when we are all together are the moments I feel the most peace. Such a treasure.

Just enjoying nature

More pictures of our favorite spot.

We can't spend enough time here. ;)