Della starts school in just a couple weeks, and I won’t lie – I think it’s giving me major anxiety. Yes, it’s only K4, and yes, it will only be 3 hours a day in the mornings, but still. I don’t want her to be gone!

It’s so strange picturing my days here without her. What are Lana and I going to do all morning? Della is my resident babysitter for Lana when I need to get stuff done, whether it be work, cleaning, or just general stuff that doesn’t involve direct interaction with one of my children. Honestly, I can’t picture the days without her. I have a feeling it’ll take actually having her gone those hours before I can wrap my head around it.

I know she’ll be fine, and I’m sure she’ll thrive, knowing that incredible little mind and spirit of hers. Thankfully, our school district is one of the better ones in the state, so I’m not worried there either. It’s all me.

I’m going to miss her, though. She’s my first child, and I never even thought about the fact that her school days would be here so soon. 4 years? That’s all I get with her like this? 4 years?? I feel like we have so many more days we need to play and have no schedule and just be here together. But, sadly, they are quickly running out.

The notion of now being part of a school system for the next 20+ years is a little unsettling, too. Supplies and teachers and new kids and lunchrooms and that smell. Don’t all schools smell the same, or is that just me, too? I’m definitely not looking forward to like 700 new kids and their parents. What if I can’t stand all the parents of Della’s new classmates and then we’re stuck with them for 12 more years? Ugh. Or what if they feel that way about us? Ugh more.

I guess my memories of school days are not all sunshine and rainbows, and maybe that’s why I’m dreading this new chapter so much right now. Not that school was bad for me, I just don’t look back and think wow, those were the absolute best times of my life. I was so ready to be done with school and out of Peoria by the time I graduated high school, that that’s pretty much the main feeling about school that I remember. Sure I can tell you all about my elementary and middle schools, but overall, I just wanted to be done.

So I really hope Della enjoys her school days much more than I remember doing and doesn’t necessarily want to bolt out of here as soon as she can. Because I want her to always want to stay. Which is ridiculously selfish, because of course she won’t want to. But hopefully at least she’ll always want to come back.

I just don’t like this feeling that my baby girl is going to be in this giant sea of other students pretty soon, and I can’t stop thinking about it. I don’t want her to go, but I know she can’t stay here forever. And as much as I’d love to keep her here, I don’t think there’s any way I’m cut out for homeschooling. What, you don’t want to do your homework today? Ok cool, neither do I. Let’s go outside. Yeah, I don’t think they’d get very far with my classroom curriculum.

Is there any cure for this knot I get in the heart of my soul every time I think of her tiny little self walking through those huge, looming school doors? Or will it only be cured with time and seeing that it’s really not so scary (i hope) and watching her grow?

We did take a practice walk to the school today and played on the playground, so I could get a feel of how early our morning routines will have to start come September. It’s not too bad, but I’m sure I won’t be able to take them in the double stroller. Even in K4, who wants their mom to walk them to school in a stroller? Am I right, or am I way overthinking this? I just assumed being dropped off from a stroller would be a little too babyish. So I’ll probably push Lana in the single stroller and Della will just walk with me. Fortunately the playground there is awesome, so I know she was really excited about exploring that and climbing all the new monkey bars.

I simply can’t believe (nor do i want to believe) that this beautiful little piece of my heart is not going to be mine for parts of the days anymore. Somebody better send me 18 boxes of Kleenex for that first day, because I’m sure I’ll be a mess.






August 1, 2014

Della turns 4 years old today. 4!!

I just went back and read my post from her birthday last year, and I can honestly say not a ton has changed. She is still as wonderful, smart, funny, caring, and conscientious as always. Just throw in the additions of Frozen as her new favorite everything, a pedal bike with training wheels of which you can barely get her off, and about 3 inches in legs, and you have her four-year-old self.

I tell her to stop growing so fast almost every day, to which she always replies, “I can’t! I’m a kid, and kids can’t change their numbers.” Meaning she can’t stop getting older. Too bad for me.











I’m afraid there’s no denying it – there is no baby left in this little girl. She is full-blown kid. I still catch traces of that sweet, sweet baby girl we brought home 4 years ago when she’s sleeping, but as soon as those magnificent eyes open, the kid in her awakens and she’s off and running.

Happy, happy birthday, my amazing Della Jolee!! We love you so very much and wish for nothing more than to celebrate a long lifetime full of these days.



I absolutely adore summer. Wanna know why?

Sun shining

Sky warming

Coats and socks disappearing

Windows opening

Breeze blowing

Shadows lengthening

Daylight lingering

Fireflies firing

Dandelions floating

Kids’ laughter pealing

Smiles growing

Play playing

Drinks flowing

Fun increasing

People enjoying

Freshly mowed grass smelling

Bikes pedaling

Skin tanning

Water splashing

Little feet running

Footprints leading

Arms hugging

Legs strolling

Outside happening

Road trips driving

Swings swinging

Hammocks lounging

Laundry hanging

Slides sliding

Vacations occurring

Love spreading

Music drifting


The good times had during summer are always countless, and each and every one simply makes my heart swell.


the spectacular view from our front porch one gorgeous night this summer




Planes & automobiles

July 2, 2014

I’ve been remiss these past few months and haven’t yet posted about the 2 great vacations we took this spring. So sorry. But here I finally am, and I brought pictures. Just 1 thing I learned during our second vacation before I get into all the details, though. All-driving road trips totally suck. I mean sure, […]

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That whole tears of joy thing

Thumbnail image for That whole tears of joy thing June 24, 2014

Last night we went to a Lakeshore Chinooks baseball game, which is the local NWL team. They have a beautiful stadium about 10 minutes from our house that just opened up a few summers ago. It’s clean, it sits directly on the shores of Lake Michigan, it’s much smaller than Miller Park and subsequently so […]

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Oh, my legs

Thumbnail image for Oh, my legs June 17, 2014

This past Saturday I ran my first half marathon. And my last. I’d been toying with the idea of trying one for a couple years, but I’ve never had the time to dedicate to training for one until now. So a few months ago I signed up and started running. And running and running and […]

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Where did she come from?

Thumbnail image for Where did she come from? June 5, 2014

Little Miss Lana Marie has pretty much been a mystery since birth. As a newborn, we constantly tried to figure out the magic trick to make her stop screaming. Now as a toddler, well, I guess we still constantly try to figure out the magic trick to make her stop screaming. Aw, I jest. Kind […]

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