2014 In Pictures

Music: Wild Child by Brett Dennan

Ok. Here’s the deal – well, there’s three deals with this video

  1.  I know the photos go by fast. The music is fast and our  year was fast. Really fast. Super-duper, crazy pants fast. Caffeine induced, sleep deprived, pedal to the medal fast. Get the idea?
  2. I know it’s a day late. Instead of sticking to my self-imposed deadline of end-of-day New Years Day, we all piled into the car spur of the moment for tubing with friends. We flew down the mountain, froze our buns off, and laughed like crazy. Having “big” kids is a blast.
  3. I know it’s not enough. This little video doesn’t tell even a tenth of our 2014 story. It was a year that demanded a lot and required we let some things fall through the cracks. This blog and my documenting the little moments slid very neatly into said cracks.

2014 was work. It was Brian working full-time at his day job and full-time on the magazine. It was me juggling magazine and client work. It was Little M heading off to kindergarten. It was Grrr potty training like a boss. It was business trips booked with a quick 13 hour’s rest at home in-between. It was blowing past 100,000 miles on our car and more airline flights than the entire decade before it. It was chocolate and caffeine, naps and all-nighters. It was learning a level of sleep deprivation that newborns couldn’t teach and levels of satisfaction that being an employee could never achieve. We worked hard in 2014 so that 2015 would be different.

On December 28th, I turned 32.

On December 29th, Brian ended employment at his day job.

On December 30th, we began a new phase.

2015 is our year.


Those of you who watched the video four times in a row like Brian, were sure to catch glimpses of great things like…

  • Little M attempting to steal Grr’s sandwich
  • Our house changing colors because we paid someone to paint it and it was the most luxurious thing I’ve ever done
  • Grrr loosing his mind over s’mores
  • Little M getting knighted by a random boy we met in the Montana woods
  • Me attempting to sneak our great-nephew into my purse
  • Fang gloating after one the eight or nine times he escaped our yard this summer


This is the FIFTH year in pictures video I’ve made for our family. I can’t watch all five in a row without wanting another baby* and a neck brace from all the whiplash. Time flies friends.

201320122011 | 2010

* Obviously.**

**So not gonna happen. Obviously.


Little M’s First Day of Kindergarten


I can’t even.


I mean really. Look at that smirk.


He got up and picked which clothes to wear on his first day. I almost died, it’s such a bright and happy outfit! We ate breakfast, snapped a couple pictures, and walked the 1.5 miles to school.

If you’re following me on Instagram, you know we’ve been practicing the walk and it’s going really well. It’s quite far, but he’s more than capable and has embraced the challenge.

Things we talk about while we walk:

  • The importance of exercise to help us grow healthy, strong, and smart.
  • Our capacity for perseverance.
  • Wetland buffer zones.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Poop pollution because of people not cleaning up after their dogs.
  • How cool school is.
  • Green electrical transformer boxes and the “shock monsters” Little M is convinced live inside them.

So basically all the usual things.


When we got to school, Little M requested one last picture, then the bell rang and it was time to go inside. The boy is so ready for kindergarten. I’m thrilled with his excitement for this big new step and the confidence he has in how “awesome” it’s all going to be. He’s a keeper.


Just Be Nice To Everybody

You remember back when you were in high school? Do you remember what kind of shit you were? Do you remember the bitchy, hormonal, teenager-y way you behaved? You remember the petty arguments and the way you raged and whined against “the man?”

You know how, now as an adult, you think teenagers are kind of stupid? How they’re ridiculous and obsessed with all sorts of unimportant things? Maybe you’re like me and think  teenagers are pretty much the worst and feel very apologetic for ever having been one.

Imagine running into one of your teachers from high school now. Better yet, imagine finding out they’re married to one of your cousins. Imagine spending a weekend at a family reunion with them, watching your kids play together on the lawn. That’s what happened to me.


I spent Labor Day weekend hanging with Mr. Schmidt, continually reminding myself to call him Brian. (The same name as my husband — totally weird.)

Ok, I’m being dramatic — it was really very fun. Our boys all got along great and I heard some of the BEST stories about other high school teachers I had. We ate brisket, breathed the sweet Montana air, and went to the rodeo.

The worst part came while playing cribbage. Trying to count crib in my head in front of my high school math teacher was MORTIFYING. I can’t even think about it now without blushing. Ugh.

The moral of the story: Just be nice to everybody. To your high school teachers even when you’re a horrible teenager. To the boss that you hate at that job you’re finally quitting. To your mailman, your dog groomer, your cranky neighbor down the street…

Because you don’t know when your paths will cross again. You don’t know who’s related to who, who’s married to who, who’s friends with who.

Be the kind of person you wouldn’t be ashamed of being reminded about later on. A future job, a new romance, or a family reunion might just depend on it.


Now that we’ve got that business out of the way, can we talk about how incapable my children are at taking normal pictures?


Little M was declared “Most Original” in his preschool year book. Grrr is following along nicely in his big brother’s footsteps. Brian and I couldn’t be prouder.


Little M vs The Tree






The old maple in our back yard has a stray limb hanging down. It’s too low for even the boys to walk under without crouching and makes mowing the lawn inconvenient. I really should trim it, but Little M has grown so found of turning it into monsters and dragons and ninjas and pirates — I just can’t bring myself to ruin the fun. All our lessons on kindness to nature and land stewardship have taken a back burner with this one tree limb. Hopefully his grandfather the forest ranger can forgive and understand the importance of a little outdoor imagination. What’s childhood without a broken stick or two?


Summer Solstice 2014












Our annual Summer Solstice BBQ is one of my most favorite nights of the year.

Every year I think about it a bunch but forget to officially invite anyone until the last minute. We clean house and shop for food at the last minute. I forget to take out my camera for photos until the last minute. But it’s all okay, because summer solstice is nice and the last minute last longer than any other day of the year.

The days might start getting shorter, but they’re only going to get warmer and summery-er (a new word). This annual BBQ reminds us that summer has arrived and gets us back in the groove of lazy meals in our green, leafy backyard. Sharing relaxed evenings in the golden sun with friends is my favorite part of the season. I’m so glad the time has come.


2013 (When I made TWO cakes. Probably the last time I baked a yummy treat.)

2012 (OMG Grrr’s hair. I forgot he used to look like a little friar.)


Good Words Wednesday: We Make Something We Like

Jack Joyce, co-founder of Rogue Ales & Spirits, passed away yesterday. Beyond being a pioneer in the craft brewing world and powerful business mind, he was a supporter of our magazine from the very beginning.  Before we’d published our very first issue, Jack was offering advice and much needed kicks in the butt. He was honest and encouraging. He listened to our goals and told us to go for it. He was a man who didn’t have to give us the time of day, but gave us hours of guidance instead.

Every ounce of fuck-the-man, do-it-youself, make-something-you’re-proud-of, and do-what-you-can-with-what-you-have attitude we’re infusing into our magazine and business was noticed and nurtured by Jack’s words. He was our mentor, our magazine’s first sponsor, and a badass of the highest order.

Artisan Spirit Magazine article on Jack and Rogue.