Friday, December 30, 2011


At my worst (and sometimes at my best) I can be a terrible procrastinator. Tonight I am working on a big order that could have been done in small parts throughout the week, but I chose to relax, wallow in some sadness I've been feeling, sleep, try to maintain order in my house. And it got me singing to myself - glue. stuck to my shoe.

So tonight I cut ten sets of teeth, eyes and claws and got myself unstuck. I figured I may as well get my blog unstuck while I was at it. This month has been a roller coaster of social events, fun outings with friends, quality time with family, shopping, wrapping, decorating, playing and lots of working. And my blog got pushed to the bottom of my to-do list. It's back up at the top! I have so many things I want to write about, and they will be written soon.

In the meantime, I'm putting up a little plaque that my grandparents got me for Christmas. It reads: Every day a new story begins. I can't wait to share my stories with you as the new year unfolds.

P.S. "Glue. Stuck to my shoe." are lyrics written by Tori Amos, my hero.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

love this holiday

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Just food and family, plus the whole world seems to shut down just for that one day.

This Thanksgiving was strange because my family postponed the feast until Friday so that my sister, a nurse, could be there to join us. So, Jeremiah and I planned our own small feast, just the three of us. Jeremiah whipped up my very favorite - an italian dish that melts in your mouth made with penne pasta, spinach, marinara, garlic, white wine, romas, cream, and crushed red pepper. Oh my.

A day with the two loves of my life.

The three of us ate by candlelight, mid-afternoon.

The next day we packed up the van and headed for my parent's home to eat a traditional Thanksgiving meal, turkey and all the fixins. My parents always make a special vegetarian version of their stuffing, which I love and always look forward to. Thanksgiving felt complete with all of us together and stuffing ourselves until we needed to nap!

We had so much fun this weekend, I am sad to see it end.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


We've been witnessing a lot of sunrises lately. That is, Ammy and me.

And it's not just the time change, she has not been sleeping much between teething and growth spurts and god knows what else that has been plaguing her. For someone with so many troubles, she sure is a happy kid.

It's getting colder out there, the wind has been blowing and I'm just so not down with that, so we stay inside.

But this is Colorado, so we still get those 60 degree, sun shining, WARM fall days, and we soak it up like it's the last time because it just might be (at least until March). The birds are migrating and flying over us in noisy groups - Amelie loves this.

A couple of baby aspens that my parents gave us are now safe at home in our backyard.

Ammy and her dada enjoy time together on the weekends while I work on hoodies and try to write a novel (November is National Novel Writing Month - I totally recommend giving it a shot if you've ever wanted to write a book but need the pressure of a deadline to get anything done).

To celebrate the upcoming one year anniversary of my shop, I'm offering 10% off everything through December 18. To get this deal, use the coupon code HOLIDAYS at check out.
Teeth, claws and eyes for thirteen monsters

Before Ammy was born, I hardly ever saw the sunrise. In that old life (it seems so distant now) I was so purposeful, every moment of my morning routine was efficient and full, sleeping til the last minute, hurriedly getting ready for the work day. Now I wake to my girl calling out for "mama!", her arms reaching out for me to lift her out of her crib, her excitement to go "stairs!" and see "Neenee!" (our cat Beanie) and all the while the sun just barely peering over the horizon.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I really really really want to do these things

A couple days ago, I read this chick's bucket list and was inspired to write my own list of lifetime goals and dreams, then was inspired further by the giveaway I could enter for some great trips by publishing my list (you can too, click here).

Its intimidating and liberating to spout off my dreams to everyone, but I'm going to suck it up and do it anyway, so here goes:

1. Travel the world with my family. I feel connected to Ireland and want to go back. I want to roam around France, visit the Egyptian pyramids, walk barefoot on a sunny beach in the Caribbean and dive into a pool fed by a waterfall in Hawaii

2. Swim in the ocean.

3. Publish a book.

4. Help my daughter learn through experience by traveling, meeting and spending time with amazing people and doing a whole bunch of cool stuff. 

5. Live someplace open where I can be at peace and feel safe letting my daughter, my dog and my cats run around, but not too far away from cool people and lots of fun things to do. I'd like to raise alpacas someday, because it sounds like fun, and they are super adorable. 
Ummm, right?

7. Learn to weave on my grandma’s loom. 

8. Go on a horseback ride with my mom.

9. Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
10. Climb Long’s Peak with my dad and my sister. (I'm scared but just look at THAT)

11. Learn to play the piano. 

12. Take lots classes. I love to learn, I really want to continue my education throughout my life, for practical purposes and of course for enrichment. And if someday I become Dr. Rachel, I’d be okay with that. ;-) 

13. Make a difference in the world. I want to find a cause I really feel passionate about and spend a good part of my life doing that

14. Research our family tree and discover the stories of the people who make my family so amazing.

15. Become a minimalist in terms of material objects. 

Wow. I didn't even realize how much I wanted to do these things until I took the time to sit down and think about it. How easy it is to let my dreams slip past me in my day-to-day existence without making strides towards them. Give yourself some time and make your own list, I'd love to hear some of your lifetime goals.

Further information on the giveaway:

This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening and is encouraging people to share 15 things that I want to enjoy in my lifetime as a reminder to be aware of my health. Want to enter? Head over to to get the details. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

sweet revelry

This week I won a dozen cupcakes from Revelry Cupcake Company. Autumn, owner and talented baker, let me pick from a list of tempting flavors. I chose the "Boston Cream Pie" cupcakes.

They were super yummy - vanilla cake with pastry cream, topped with chocolate ganache.

I also ordered two of Revelry's gelato pints - decadent coffee milk and dark chocolate. Rich and creamy, perfect. Thank you Revelry for an amazing week of sweets!

You could be the next contest winner! Follow Revelry's blog or like Revelry on facebook for notifications on the next contest. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

remembering my great grandma

All of our regular routines came to a halt last week when my great grandmother died and we headed to Kansas to gather with our enormous family and pay tribute to her long life. She lived 96 incredible years.

She was born in 1914, the year that the First World War began. She grew up in the same small Kansas town where she died. My great grandmother was married and raised four children during the harrowing years of the Depression. She has so many great - grandchildren I can’t even count, but I never realized that I was one of so many all these years, as special as she made me feel. 

She baked amazing apple pies and loved to paint, sew, travel and spend time with her family.  I’m so glad that Amelie got to meet her great-great grandma last year. Ammy was just a baby, 8 months, and my grandma was so excited to squeeze and kiss Ammy's little chubby feet.

Ammy's Great-Great Grandma Otte, with Amelie and me last year
I’m missing her now and feel so lucky to have loved her all these years.  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

busy bees

The last couple of months have been super busy in our house. With the school year starting, I was back to my part time job (at a local private, non-profit high school). The first taste of fall has us rushing around the house and yard, finishing the zillion projects we had so zealously started at one point or another in the summer. Along with my mom and sister, I participated in my hometown's fall festival, Broomfield Days. It's been crazy!! Here are some moments I captured on camera.

Open gym for tots at the rec center's gymnastics area. Ammy had a blast with her good buddy Junior. 

Tekka (our goofy dog) took us to Dog Daze at the Broomfield Bay. He didn't like the swimming much but he sure had fun running around with all the other dogs.

My mom, sister and I hosted a booth at our hometown festival, Broomfield Days. It was an awesome experience and I had so much fun working with my mama to get all the visors and headbands put together. And, as a result, my monster wear army grew.
My sister, Mindy, and me bright and early that morning.

Me with my assistant and daughter, Amelie.

My mama, Mindy, Ammy and me manning the booth.

My husband , Jeremiah, brought Ammy to Broomfield Days

Our Ammy is a toddler now, running, climbing, singing and talking. She learns something new every day.

Amelie likes to do yoga in the kitchen.

The cosmos like the late summer.
Ammy and I went to the zoo with my mama, our neighbor Monica and her grandson (Ammy's buddy), Junior.

We're spending more time in the backyard now that the evenings are nice and cool.

Jeremiah is starting the big job of landscaping our front yard.

Jeremiah broke out the Halloween decorations today. At first I thought Ammy might get scared of them. As it turns out, she thinks they are pretty alright.
Pointing at the bat hanging from the ceiling.

 I'm sure there is plenty more, but this is the story the photos tell...

Thursday, August 11, 2011


My mom, Amelie and I took a trip up to Estes Park yesterday and on the way up I told her that one of my new goals is to climb Longs Peak, sometime in the next couple of years. That particular hike makes my mom nervous. She’s never been but she’s heard stories about treacherous areas and falling climbers. 
Long Peak, East Face
Before my mom was paralyzed, she hiked many of the mountains in Colorado. Hiking was a passion that she and my dad shared, and they conquered many mountains together, dragging along four children with varying degrees of willingness. We lived in Kansas but spent nearly every summer vacation in Colorado, mostly in Rocky Mountain National Park. I know that it hurts my mom terribly that she is no longer able to do certain things that she always loved, but sometimes it hits me like a punch to the stomach how painful this must be. So we got to talking about alternatives. There are some things she won’t be able to do but there are still so many possibilities. 
The three of us at wheelchair-friendly Lily Lake near Allenspark, CO
I’ve been reading a guidebook on Longs Peak and found out that you can ride all the way to the Boulderfield of Longs Peak on horseback. In fact, there are a ton of trails in Colorado that are accessible on a horse. We went back and forth on the logistics of a paraplegic riding horseback. A special saddle would be necessary. Some assistance getting on and off the horse. A second horse to “pack” her wheelchair.

We both knew we needed to do some research. Here’s some cool stuff we’ve found since our discussion: Accessible custom saddles. Therapeutic Equine Centers where paraplegics can learn to ride horses again. Most amazing: an exoskeleton that allows paraplegics to walk. Possibilities.

I'm inspired by the tenacity of people with incredible challenges. My mom wants to get on those trails and I think she's going to make it happen. I'm looking forward to seeing that empty place in her heart heart filled again.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

chasing a dream

Last week I celebrated my 30th birthday. It was a typical weekday in many ways, but made extraordinary with little things like flowers at my bedside when I opened my eyes in the morning. I finished Chris Guillebeau’s The Art of Non-Conformity and started to list my own short and long-term goals, with deadlines around my 31st and 35th birthday. Check out this book, it is refreshing and encourages the active chasing of dreams. So I started making strides towards my own goals each day.  I’m still working on my lists and I’ll be sharing soon.
My birthday, always a long summer day, unraveled slowly and I followed along. In the morning, Amelie and Tekka took me to the park.

 We went out to lunch with Jeremiah.

My talented friend and neighbor, Monica, created this beautiful and incredibly delicious cake (lemon, mmmm). Two layers just for me (I shared a few bites).
So far, I like 30.
We visited the Denver County Fair this weekend. It was part old-fashioned fair complete with ferris wheel and other rickety rides as well as a freak show (is that politically correct?) and part trade show with a variety of local businesses. My friend, Michelle, and I spent a few minutes with a psychic (a first for me). Jeremiah and Amelie enjoyed the petting zoo the most.

The fair was a good reminder for me to get started on my inventory. My sister and I will soon be setting up shop at Broomfield Days, our hometown festival, and I have about six weeks to get ready.
Back to dream-chasing. Have a wonderful week.