fun in the tub

i was spring break this week and although i am totally laid up with this foot surgery…i had a couple surprise activities planned for the girls.

rainbow-bath-fun-webok you must know…liquid watercolors are the coolest thing ever!

liquid-watercolor-webthey can be used for a variety of different activities from art to play.  i suggest you get a few colors and have them on hand! (be sure to buy washable!!!)

first, i present the rainbow bubble bath!

four-bath-play-webwe just did a normal bubble bath using dish saop for the bubbles (because the bubbles are stronger than with a bubble bath soap) and then squirt the liquid water color onto the bubbles.

rainbow-bubble-bath-webnext, i present rainbow shower paint!

rainbow-shavingcream-paint-webalso very simple…get some shaving cream, and simply mix in the watercolor and paint till it is the darkness you like! (i did about 2 teaspoons)

rainbow-shaving-cream-paint-webbecause the liquid watercolor is washable, the clean up for both is really simple.  everything just needed a good rinse!  

clean-baby-girl-weboh…and instead of playing=messy kids…it’s playing=squeaky clean kids!  

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be the light!


a few weeks ago i gave a lesson at church to a group of women called the relief society.  it is an amazing group of women who have been so very supportive and inspirational to me and my family.  with this recent foot surgery i am required to stay off my foot and elevated for 6-8 weeks, and they have been graciously bringing in meals for our family.  this is so helpful because ryan has gone from full time working firefighter to full time dad/caregiver over night.  it has really helped lighten his load.  it’s an honor to be a part of such a great organization, 6 million women strong, one that helps it’s members and all people alike.  in short, the relief society has provided countless hours of service and immeasurable acts of relief to people around the world.

i’m not sure i have ever been so moved by a lesson that i want to share it on my blog, but this one really hit me hard! it focused on the importance of strengthening and preserving the family unit….the most valuable unit on earth and in heaven.  i won’t go in to all of details, but the most important point i took from the lesson was that we have to be the light.


i handed out these little light bulbs to everyone who who came to the meeting that day.

be-the-light-quotei LOVE that!  it is just was so clear. the light…the workshop…it paints such a great image in my mind of how this works.  i know with out a doubt that i must be the light in our home.  my mood, my attitude, my actions, my words, my ideas, my activities, my goals, my outlook…my very countenance should reflect…light.  i know that when i am the light, my children and husband will be energized…charged, even ignited to go and take on the world.  and then…their little lights will shine.  ahhhh, it is the sweetest reward.  it’s truly the best thing for me to see…it’s simply…bliss.  

and so it’s simple really, it starts with you…be the light!

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ireland…my nature girl turns 6.


my sweet ireland.  lover of animals, dragons, climbing, and all things nature…she is our earth child!  she turned 6 and asked to go to a farm sanctuary for her birthday. she is SO awesome!  after some serious research and lots of planning, this is how our fantasic weekend went…first stop was the olympic game farm.


we have mixed feelings about this place.  it is great for us to see all of the unique animals, most of which are unwanted by zoo’s, pet owners, and old film companies…the game farm is basically a retirement center for large animals.  of course it is not ideal for some of the animals that clearly were meant to be in the wild, but better here than being mistreated or neglected. with so much land dedicated to the farm, there are quite a few wild indigenous animals that have made the game farm their home.  it is a pretty cool place to take the family, and a great laugh as you will most definitely get chased by buffalo who will stick their whole head in your car and give you a lick…(check out my instagram roll for some hilarious pitures!)

then we made our way into to mountains where we stayed at an awesome bed and breakfast…the elwah ranch.


there was a huge storm that night and we had to snuggle to keep warm because the power went out…we woke up to fresh fallen snow…it was magical.

speaking of magical…the highlight of it all…the precious life animal sanctuary.


this place…it is amazing.  i called and spoke to the owner of the farm and told him about sweet ireland and her birthday wish.  his name is ralph, and he is so kind hearted, hardworking, and was so good to oblige us.  i told him we would love to come spend some time on the farm and help out for a morning…he welcomed me, our entire crew, and i am sure…the help!  it was a surprise snow day, and we did not come prepared to get our vanagon up into the mountains, so we had to hike into the farm, which was so fun for the girls.


ralph is so wonderful with these animals.  they are his friends, as it should be.  he has saved rabbits, cows, horses, turkeys, pigs, goats, dogs, deer, and ducks.  he treats them with such love, respect, and belonging.  he works effortlessly to tend to them, and does so with compassion.  what an amazing example he has set for my little flock.


at the entrance to his farm there is a wood carved sign that displays the poem, ‘if i can stop one heart from breaking’  written by emily dickinson.  it reads:

if i can stop on heart from breaking,

i shall not live in vain;

if i can ease one life the aching,

or cool one pain,

or help one fainting robin

unto his nest again,

i shall not live in vain.

-emily dickinson

robin-in-his-nest-webi painted this because i was so moved by everything that ralph stands for, and so inspired by everything irleand loves…and because…in my mind, this is how it should be.

(please if you feel so moved…go to his site and make a donation…he runs this magnificent farm out of his own pocket, and i can only imagine how expensive it is. i have done enough research to know just how difficult this kind of farm is to run…he is saving animals not using them for gain!  he primarily single handily maintains the farm, and it is not open to public…he was just willing to let us come and be a part of his routine for the day.  he does get a few volunteer groups at times…so we are going to be visiting the farm again this summer, and are looking to put together a work crew of volunteers!  if you are interested…please, PLEASE respond or email me!)

it was an awesome birthday wish, and i am so grateful that she has such a warm heart.  it allowed our little family to have quite the adventure, a great time together, and a reminder of the peace we should keep.  happy birthday to my young but old soul…my sweet girl…my earth child!  i love you.




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on letting go. really just letting go…

the last few weeks have been quite eventful.  i had planned to use them catching up on old blog posts, preparing for fun new content, painting, creating, volunteering in the school, working out everyday, teaching, cooking, finally doing that post holiday deep cleaning in the house…playing, crafting, and adventuring with my little flock, training them for gymnastics tryouts…oh, and of course having homemade muffins made for the family everyday…the list goes on and on…

instead our poor little family has been hit pretty hard with sickness.  sinus infections, colds, coughs, reflus, bronciolitis, fights, neck pain, back pain, tummy pain…more infections, and major fatigue.  also, we finally got in for sweet little silver’s torticolis treatment…only to be discouraged when we found out she is loosing WAY too much weight and is not thriving…so she has been attached to me non stop!  then today, the cherry on top…i found out that i have to have foot surgery.  again.  on the other foot this time.  umhhh…defeat. in short…i’m feeling really maxed out and super spread thin.  i just don’t see how i can do it all right now?

the last few days, and especially today, i have been thinking about how i really need to ease up on myself…to just let it go! let the expectations go!


its not unusual that i resign to let things go, resign to have faith, and resign to trust in a bigger plan because it is the only option left(trust…it’s a hard one for me!)  what if instead i could learn to practice letting go.  yes, practice it!  i have to practice gratitude (by the way my gratitude practice today: doctors who can do for me and my family the things i could in no way do for myself or them.)  it’s seems i have gotten in the habit of misleading myself.  i tell myself that if i hold onto pain, discomfort, and unrealistic expectations for myself…it will give me some control, some comfort, something to hold on to.  a layer of protection maybe?

oh healing soul…that is not the protection you need.  you simply need is an armor forged in perspective and an arsenal of unconditional love.  this will help you clearly prioritize your true center.

be brave little girl…and let it go!  let go of the self judgement that comes with that laundry list of unrealistic expectaitons you have set for yourself.  hey…it’s doable, you have done it before. you let go of the fear that came when ryan deployed….both times!  you let go of the sorrow that came with loosing your name when you regretfully sold heidi grace designs.  you let go of the emptiness felt when you miscarried.  you let go of grief that accompanies ill family members.  you let go of heartbreak that clings to martial stress (this is a work in progress.) you let go of the discouragment that came with those new mama blues.  you even let go of the defeat that shadows realization that in this season of your life, you just can not have a perfectly clean house.  none of these are greater than the other, pain is pain.  though this list has left some unhealed battle wounds…you hold them as a reminder, carry them like a badge of honor…then as you chisel down what matters…it is really quite clear:


so when life gets busy, gets lonely…gets hard…take a breath, remember you are more than you used to be…recenter your perspective and let the expectations go!

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roots and shoots soup

roots an shoots soup or stew….so tasty, and very healthy!



1 box of vegetable broth

6 carrots

6 small sun chokes

3 parsnips

3 celery stalks

3 small purple yams

1 turnip

1 yellow onion

1 rutabaga

1/2 minced garlic

1/4 c. ginger syrup

chopped parsley to taste

salt and pepper to taste

chop the above vegetables to desired sizes, add to broth and season. cook in crock pot on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours.


same as above

after it has stewed for about 2 hours, add the following:

3/4 c. gluten free flour

3/4 c. nutritional yeast


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on working at marriage…

ryan-with-canvasa few days ago ryan and i got in a doozy of a fight…then, just a couple days later ryan took me on a date. our first “official” date since silver was born.  he arranged for my parents to watch the kids, then….drumroll please….he took me to a local art store to buy some new canvas.  they were having a huge sale and we got so many beautiful new canvas…fresh and ready for creating…

no big deal right…wrong, here’s why:

first of all, money is pretty tight for us right now, and spending what we have on canvas was not in the budget…ryan is stingy…um, i mean frugal (wink, wink), so it’s pretty meaningful.  then there is the fact that i have started, failed, and restarted creative ventures so many times, and ryan would be so justified in not finacially supporting another one…but he continues to support me.  he calls it his best “investments.”  finally, his faith and certainty in my talent.  he sees it when i don’t.

long story short, i’ve been struggling with just where my creative path is going to lead, in fact i’ve been struggling just to even get on a path at all.  ryan knows that this struggle is very destructive for me.  so, he took me to buy canvas…a couple new brushes, and some paints.  I LOVE IT!  he does know me!  don’t get me wrong…our marriage is work, but it is the most worthwhile job i could  have.

you know, i used to work so hard at my job.  i’d stay up till all hours of the night,  forgo meals, and dismiss self care if it meant i could use that time to work.  i loved work…i craved it…i championed it.  it was never simple, usually a challenge, and almost always exhausting.  but it was worth  it!  i am a visionary…and when the work seemed too  much, i would rely on a end goal to carry me through…

the reward was simple…knowing i was moving toward something more than myself…something greater than me alone.

so it should be with marriage…

ummm….wait, what about those lovely chick flicks(that my ryan says are just as bad as a violent/crass action dramas).  the ones that leave you wondering why my own marriage isn’t daily displays of passion…acts of affection shown by rainbows, chocolates, and beautifully planned dates with music, dancing and fireworks…that’s love right?

hmph…what about surviving physical and emotional pain, or staying up half the night fighting then waking up ready to work it out.  what about the suffering…what about being right along side each other through tragedy…through heartbreak…or celebrating your greatest creation…our children.  what about problem solving uncontrolled circumstances that will change things forever…what about for better or for worse…  or,  how about when you together you are still…when the world you created seems like total chaos…or looking at this world, and realizing that the two of you together have created something extraordinary…something more than you could ever do alone.

our life is a roller coaster ride, full of twists and turns, ups and downs…and an occasional turn into a cave of darkness.  i am in the front seat, and i hold on to the hope that i am not on this ride alone.


(this is totally in the works…but i like where it’s going…)

ryan and i have had our share of trials, and although sorry to admit, we have more often than not, let our marriage be the casualty to those trials.

with that i will remind myself of this…it’s work.  IT’S WORK!  it’s work…and your best work comes with fortitude. this marriage is the most valuable work you will ever do.  for yourself, for your man, and for your girls.  what you make of marriage will cultivate your own happiness, how i treat my man will nourish his happiness, and showing the girls how it’s done will lead to their happiness.   ps…he can be quite charming!




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protein crispy bars


chocolate, maca, peanut butter, cashews, quinoa and protein crispy bars…oh my!


1 c. coconut oil

1 c. peanut/almond butter

8 tbs agave

1 tbs maple syrup

1/3 c. maca powder

1/2 c. cocao powder

1/2 c. vegan protein powder

3-4 c. quinoa crisps

3/4 c. raisins

1 c. crushed cashews

melt the coconut oil, and peanut butter on low heat.  mix in all other ingredients in order.    pour into pan. let them cool completely before eating.

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on embracing change…


a friend from my old career days asked if i was going to be at cha (it’s this huge craft show in our industry) this weekend… and i told her, “oh no that ship has sailed.”  you know, there are times when i think i’ve missed the boat. truthfully though, nothing beats my view and company from right hear at port kilo!  i don’t think i can ever say my artist career days are over, and i’ve got some pretty good ideas up my sleeve, but i am taking time to reinvent my art style…and for now, i am just enjoying this season of my life. yesterday after church, we painted and listened to music all day. i experimented with watercolor and canvas, and with these very thoughts in mind created this piece. ok, and seriously…who wouldn’t enjoy these little gems!


this is a…big…no huge change, and there are definitely days i fight that change…and i sometimes catch myself thinking the grass is greener on the other side…so do remeber this story when those thoughts creep in.

 i was shopping at trader joe’s last week and noticed the sweetest older gentleman shopping.  it was obvious he had never really shopped in a store like that before, as he was anxiously devouring all of the labels, reading the ingredients and then periodically sighing with disappointment, only to place the item back on the shelf.  as i walked by him, he heard my little silver coo, and stopped looked at her and then at me and said, “that’s what it is all really about you know.”

i was instantly smitten by him, and we bumped into each other a few more times as we were shopping. through our short interactions his story started to unfold.  he has recently moved into a small apartment by himself, and told me that his grand daughters were there visiting and went though his cupboards and told him he had to start eating healthier…he told me that they had got rid of almost all of his groceries.  then told him that he could only shop at healthy stores from now on.  they had given him a list of healthy do’s and don’ts.

he was so charming as he asked questions about different ingredients and different health benefits of certain kinds of foods.  one of the things he told me was that his granddaughters told him he had to switch to almond butter instead of peanut butter.  he thought that was crazy, until i agreed that is is a more healthy option, and then he resigned to agree.  he asked me to walk him over and show him exactly what to buy.  i asked if he liked chunky or smooth, and he told me he liked chunky peanut butter better, so he’d probably like chunky almond butter better too…i had to chuckle to myself when he said, “unless of course smooth almond butter is a healthier option, then i better get that?” i told him i thought he’d be just fine with chunky.

we chatted about a few more healthy options he could purchase to restock his cupboards, checked out, and then he  graciously helped me to the car and loaded my groceries for me while i tended to silver.

what a great example of someone willing to embrace change!  i got the impression he’d been eating the same foods his whole life, and carried on in the same old routine…but a sudden change had left him alone and  when told by his young grand daughters a new way to eat, he embraced it.  he embraced it with enthusiasm, and determination.

it made me think about the changes i have made in my life over the last few years, few months and even few days. some changes have been huge, and others quite minor…some change is  self prescribed and other change was placed on me with no choice at all.  today a freind reminded me that sometimes, things just happen.  we don’t always know the reason, but we can take peace in knowing that we can control is our attitude toward those happenings.

my thoughts this morning are…stop surviving change, and instead embrace it.

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what are you holding on to?


what are you holding on to?  why are you holding it so tightly?  why aren’t you willing to let it go…to put it down…to move on? what…is in that suitcase?

i painted this little girl last summer, while thinking about the stuff i was holding on to.  my baggage.  i haven’t really been able to let myself think about it again till now…(thanks to my new friend susan, who unknowingly gave me the nudge i needed to write about this)

i believe most great experiences in life come with highs and lows.  they come with memories i cherish and hope to never let go of.  yet i find it’s those memories that can just slip right through my fingertips.  then there are the memories that hurt, the ones i desperately want to let go of, but just can’t seem to find a way. the ones that i hold on to so tight, as if their very content will give me something valuable.  it’s just like holding a balloon and a suitcase.

i am practicing gratitude and striving for physical wellness right now…and right along with that comes focusing on what i choose to hold on to.  i have got to let go of a painful past, forgive people who have hurt me, surrender the resentment, and waive the white flag to expectations. there is just no room for it in my life.

girl…you are more than you use to be!  more than you used to be 5 years ago, and more than you were just 5 days ago. so, when you wake up each morning, think about what you really want to carry with you…and be sure there is no baggage!

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on practicing gratitude…


prac·tice (prkts)

v. prac·ticed, prac·tic·ing, prac·tic·es
1To do or perform habitually or customarily; make a habit of: practices courtesy in social situations.  2To do or perform (something) repeatedly in order to acquire or polish a skill: practice a dance step.  3To work at.  4To carry out in action; observe

some days there is no need to practice…gratitude…it’s just there.

team kilo at resti took this a couple of weeks ago one night after a day filled with pleasant adventures…ending ever so peacefully.

…then there are days like today!

i woke-up, dealt with the racket of figuring out how to fix the washer (only to find out we’ve got another week till the repair guy can come out…BLAST!) got four girls ready…forgot we did not eat,  grabbed some muffins and juice…lost keys…found keys…was late dropping off the kids at school…now two girls in tow…confirmed ireland and reagan are in gymnastics…ran to the store to grab supplies for kindergarten art class… rushed to the Y…rowed…then walked with a sweet friend…ran to artco to get the stuff to fix ireland’s dragon egg necklace (um..yeah it is totally a real dragon egg!)…got to the car, realized it was the wrong stuff… returned the wrong stuff, got the right stuff…realized i forgot after school snack, ireland’s climbing harness, and reagan’s jazz shoes…jet home, discover that typhoon has eaten all but one of the batch of muffins i baked for the after school snack…prepared a new snack…zipped in to get my foot x-rayed…flew into the school to teach art to ireland’s kindergarten class(with paisley painting on…well, everything and everyone’s art…and silver crying the entire time…23 kids…alcohol ink snowflakes, i am sure you can imagine.)…tried to leave, lost keys…found keys, quickly changed all girls in the car…dropped off reagan at jazz…dropped off ireland at climbing…picked up reagan from jazz…made lot’s of phone calls for doctor’s appointments…picked up ireland from climbing…all the while singing songs to occupy paisley and frequently nursing silver…oh, and the loading, unloading, and reloading..and loading again…FINALLY…home!…ate dinner…showered my little ducklings…went to bed…(not really  it’s 10 pm, and i still here paisley and reagan sneaking  into each other’s rooms)

practice gratitude today? um…when…i was like go. go. go. go. go…breath…

my gratitude practice is as follows…

i am grateful to have a phone, washer and dryer in our house…grateful for how incredible unique each one of my sweet girls are in style, attitude and personal expression…grateful that both girls have teachers who love them regardless if they are late…grateful i made muffins last night…grateful that i found a good gymnastics gym with quality coaching…grateful that we have stores on every corner that make it easy to get the basic things we need with such ease…grateful that the Y finally brought in rowing machines…grateful for connection with a safe friend who shares and listens with encouragement and without judgement…grateful for ireland, our nature girl…for her imagination, her creativity, and her spirit of adventure…grateful that they know me so well at artco…grateful that we live in short driving distance to all of our activities…grateful for typhoon, my loyal companion and his old age antics…grateful for local grocery stores that carry healthy options…grateful for insurance…grateful that ireland’s teacher understands the spirit of community and welcomes me to teach art in the classroom even with two additional kids in tow…grateful that those kids (ireland included) are happy to see me and enthusiastic about learning…grateful for keys…um…i’m actually still pretty resentful toward my keys, i lose them everyday!…grateful my kids are motivated to do sports…grateful for my iphone…grateful that reagan has a fun and safe place to express her creativity through dance…grateful that ireland has found her peaceful place with climbing…grateful that paisley loves to share her sweet singing voice with me and everyday else around with such conviction…grateful that little silver eats so well, sleeps so well and rolls with our circus…grateful for plant based meal replacement bars, i ate 3 today…SO grateful for the vanagon (it’s quite possibly the smartest investment ever!)…grateful for our duel head shower (it’s huge)…and truly grateful (though cliche) for our home…one that it is filled with wild energy, sweet laughter, love and belonging.

wink…and good night.



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