In Real Life: Week 21

Here’s a peek at our 21st week of 2017…

“Yes ma’am? May I help you?”

My mama paid for me to have a massage as a lovely Mother’s Day gift.

I found this lovely little spa nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains a couple of years ago via Groupon. I’m always impressed at the feel of her outdoor space.

It’s just lush, and full of details.

Baby birds! Gotta love spring.

Tostada remnants.

James thought my Henry Weinhard’s root beer was so cool. I matched the editing to his old west attitude.

The rest of Sunday consisted of a lot of food prep.

Including this whole chicken, which I butterflied and roasted on the grill.

Sometimes I’m good at this game.

A perfect mid-week hike.

There’s a little trail a few miles from home, which i used to hike a lot before I got pregnant with Jack.

It was always one of my favorite places to think and meditate and pray.

I used to spend a lot of time asking God why he wouldn’t let me have a baby.

And now I get to bring Jack, and all feels complete.

I noticed a lot of new details on our hike.

Like this tree, which I’ve walked past dozens of times, but never realized was twisted until this week.


I love how even amongst decay, there is still life.

We even made a new (furry) friend on the trail.

My sweet, sleepy boys.

Froyo with Auntie Critto.

Jack was pretty happy to have a bottle with a handle on it. He’s getting pretty good at feeding himself.

Friday got off to a good start.

Sunny Saturday.

I don’t always love being a widow to swordfighting. Even though that’s been my life in one way or another for nearly 10 years now.

But I do love how badass my husband looks when he’s in his groove.

Passion tea and Birks. Feels like summer.


We got a babysitter for a change and checked out this neat little taproom with some friends.

The place was hopping! And the beer was pretty good.

They had beers from a ton of different breweries, including quite a few local places. I sampled several. Even the local kombucha that Pato accidentally poured was quite tasty.

And then I got to come home to this sweet boy, who apparently wasn’t quite ready for bed yet.

And that’s a wrap! Have a great week 22, everyone!

In Real Life: Week 20

Happy week 20, everyone! Here’s what our week looked like…


Taquitos for the win.

Oliver loves anything that can be used as a fort.

Even Jack’s exersaucer.

How adorable is Jack in James’ steampunk glasses?


“Excuse me… which way to the chemistry lab?”


Friday night eeeeeeeats. Vanilla vodka is tasty in good root beer.

“What do you want, mom? I’m kinda busy here.”

Mine too, Henry. Mine too.

I took the kids to the swimming pool on Saturday. James made fast friends with some random kids there, of course.

Jack and I splashed and floated for a while, and then he passed out hard for a nap.

And I took the opportunity to read a little while both kids were otherwise occupied for a change.

If this is what it will always be like, I think we may spend most of the summer there.

And then we capped the day off with some ice cream. Of course.

Have a great week 21!

In Real Life: Week 19

Take a peek at our week 19 of 2017!

Sunday was a good day for grilling. I had to basically unhinge my jaw to fit this in my mouth, lol.

It was also a good day to just chill outside in my new, low-to-the-ground beach chair. Jack was surprisingly entertained by the passing clouds.

Pretty foliage.


Sometimes I fantasize about getting the Kraken logo tattooed on my ankle.

When I first started using the bullet journaling method, I decided that I would stick to one color for everything and just change it every month. But lately I’m finding that I actually like having different colors for different categories. It’s working for now… we’ll see if it sticks.

Robbie makes the best tuna melts. But when he isn’t around, I don’t do half bad myself.

Smiley boy!


Couch potato.

I’ve been eating a lot of oatmeal this week. Usually I throw in walnuts and dried cranberries, but one day I forgot to pack them and had to use some trail mix out of my snack drawer at work. What a bummer.

With the jasmine in bloom, the walk into work from the garage smells AMAZING.

Seriously. I don’t know how one tiny flower can pack so much scent.

He’s definitely figured out how to put his toes in his mouth. Now the dilemma becomes, which to eat first, the foot or the toy?


I had to renew my Basic Life Support certification this week. Baby, baby… are you okay?!


I cannot even deal with this face.


I took instant ramen and made it better.

Visiting Daddy at work!


This made me think of Tracy.

Mama’s boy. ❤

We went to Mother’s Day breakfast at our favorite spot.

As usual, the eggs Benedict did not disappoint.

Jack even tried the high chair like a big boy! Though he didn’t stay there long… he still doesn’t have quite enough control to keep from sliding around and tipping over.

Then I went off to do my own thing at The Verve for a while.

Mama needed some introverted time.

An almond croissant is a totally acceptable lunch on Mother’s Day, right?

Mmm… flakey.

That one little pink-flowered plant at the top of the garage caught my eye.

Last year on Mother’s Day, we formally announced that we were pregnant. And now on this Mother’s Day, my baby boy had his official half birthday! I know all moms say this, but really… where did it go?! I feel like if I blink he’ll be in kindergarten next.

He’s so much fun these days… babbling all day long with real consonant sounds like bbbb and ddd and zzz (he’s really threatening to make dada his first word, despite my attempted brainwashing of mama-mama every five minutes since birth)… and eating all kinds of pureed foods, like pears and squash and apples and sweet potatoes and bananas and carrots and prunes… and using his bottom to scoot himself into better vantage points for seeing things… and definitely taking anything within reach (like my very interesting 6-months sticker) and trying to put it in his mouth. He’s made many leaps this month!

And the Piece de Resistance of my Mother’s Day experience, was the luxury of getting to spend an hour over the stove cooking whatever I wanted for dinner. Which in this case, wound up being spring risotto with peas and lemon, garlic-lemon sautéed shrimp, and blanched asparagus with – you guessed it – more lemon. Yummmmm.

We’re staring down the barrel of 20 weeks now! If this year were a baby we’d be finding out the gender any day now, lol…

Have a great week, friends!

In Real Life: Week 18

Here’s what our week 18 looked like…

Sunday started with a walk/jog around the park by myself. It’s so much easier to pace myself without the stroller, and I don’t have to worry that Jack will wake up if I stop to take photos of pretty things like these.

And then I came home and had lunch with this little monkey. He’s really loving real food these days… bananas, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, apples, pears… he’s almost not even interested in milk anymore.

I’ve been trying to stop and take a walk outside at work every once in a while. I’ve also decided that I want a lavender plant for home.

The hospital actually has a pretty neat little walking path, that is great for taking a break to clear your head when you need it.



Jack is really into his feet right now. I’m waiting for him to figure out how to put them in his mouth.


He’s already figured out how to do that with everything else.


I bent down to photograph this little dude, and then realized that I could see the path where he had dragged himself onto the concrete from the grass. Neat.

Tulips, day 3.

Tulips, day 6.

Mama is apparently hilarious.

Calories don’t count on Cinco de Mayo, right?

Jack has been very clingy in the afternoons. Wakes up from his naps screaming and demanding comfort. After spending all week away from him at work, I’m happy to oblige.

He’s perpetually in motion, otherwise.

Morning hair, don’t care.

Robbie and James have been out of town all weekend doing their swordfighting thing. Thanks, Tara, for taking awesome pictures so we can be there in spirit, too!


This is possibly the best candid photo ever taken of James. His shaggy hair actually looks good, for once, too.

I’ve been keeping busy at home with things like putting this mirror together myself. I’m excited to finally replace the cheap old one that’s had a broken frame for well over a year now.

I also took Jack out to West Cliff for a little jog on Saturday.

It was rather overcast and pretty windy, but Jack didn’t seem to mind too much.

The scenery was still beautiful anyway.

West Cliff has been one of my favorite places to walk and be near the ocean since we moved here, 3 years ago(!) now. It feels a little special to get to bring Jack now, too.

I love how nature eventually takes over everything if you let it.

Wild Saturday night.

How was your week? See you next Sunday!

Depression lies.

They say that depression is a disease.

But for me, depression is a voice.

A tiny, nagging, Negative Nancy that never shuts up.

Sure, sometimes she gets quiet. Maybe down to a whisper. Sometimes almost inaudible. But she never actually goes away. Not really.

Depression is like having that little devil on your shoulder that you see in old cartoons, constantly feeding you all the thoughts you know you shouldn’t be having, giving you ideas you know you should never act on.

Depression is the little voice that says, “No one cares about you, not really.”

“They only tolerate you. Because they have to. They’re just being nice.”

“This is why you have no friends. You don’t deserve to have friends.”

“But how pathetic does that make you? What sorry excuse for a person has no friends? Even losers have friends.”

It’s the voice that whispers, “Not even he really loves you.”

“He’s only here because he has to be. Because he signed the papers, and getting out would just be too much damn work.”

“You’ll never be as good as his ex. He only settled for you because he couldn’t have her anymore.”

“Sure honey… keep nagging him. Eventually it’s just gonna push him away. Hell, right now he’s probably only one more of your passive-aggressive meltdowns away from just walking out the door. If you want to save your marriage you should just put your head down and deal with all the shit yourself.”

“Why is he even with you? There’s nothing to you… not a damn thing about you that makes you interesting anymore. No wonder he’s always talking to someone else.”

“How could he possibly want to be with someone as broken as you are?”

“You’re so fat, so ugly, so inept that you couldn’t possibly satisfy him. God… you can’t even fill that role for him anymore. How useless are you?”

It’s the voice that yells in your ear, “It’s not ever going to get any better than it is right now. There’s no point in trying.”

“Man, if you thought today was impossible to get through, just wait. If you wake up tomorrow it’s just gonna be more of the same. And so will the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after that…”

“No matter what you do, the outcome will still be terrible. Moving won’t fix your problems. Then you’ll just have to find another job – which you’ll undoubtedly hate – and the financial stress will drive a wedge into your marriage, and your children will suffer, and you’ll, yet again, have to face the fact that you still don’t have any friends. And you still won’t be happy.”

“You don’t deserve to have anything better than this. You can’t even be grateful for what you have.”

“God… if you can’t even handle the one baby you have now, what makes you think you’ll ever deserve to have another?”

“And why is this so hard for you to deal with anyway? That person over there is handling things just fine. Millions of people all over the world have it way worse than you do, but here you sit, spoiled little first-world brat, feeling sorry for herself.”

The night is dark and full of terrors. That’s when it’s the loudest. At the end of the day, when you remember all the things you did wrong, realize how happy everyone is but you. Those are the nights you curl up into a ball so tight that you fear you might simply disappear into a black hole. When you sob so hard that you fear your shaking may wake him, despite your ability – practiced since childhood – to do so without making a sound.

“What’s the point in waking up tomorrow? Nothing will change.”

“Everyone would be better off without you. Your brokenness just ruins things for everybody else.”

“Oh, you think you’re a fighter? That’s cute. How long have you been fighting this battle, and you still haven’t won?”

Depression lies. Or so they tell us.

But depression answers back that that’s just something they say, to make us feel better. To placate us. To make us stop saying scary things that make everyone uncomfortable.

Depression won’t be silenced by an easy one-liner like that. That’s just fake news, bitch.

You can know intellectually that all these things are lies. You can read enough self-help books, listen to enough uplifting lectures, go to enough therapy sessions to understand that depression doesn’t really have a leg to stand on. But it’s just one more punch to the gut when you realize that you know all the right words, but they haven’t had any real impact on how it feels to have a monster buried deep within you, in the marrow of yourself. It’s just one more demonstration of just how broken you are, that not even all of the right tools could fix you.

But what is there to do but keep going? You’re not ready to give in… there is – somehow – still fight in you yet. Take an ambien to silence it for now, and pray that tomorrow is somehow better, despite the inevitable crying hangover to come. This, too, shall pass.

You start with just one more. One more minute. One more hour. One more day. Give it just one more chance. Give yourself just one more chance. One foot in front of the other, dear. Now just one more.