Thursday, October 17, 2013


Going through six years of extreme illness has given me a soft spot for those struggling with health as well as an appreciation for those going through battles with a smile. I was recently contacted by a fellow blog reader named Heather. You must watch this video and be inspired by her story . . . that has no other title to me than true LIFE.

Everyone faces bumps in the road in life and some bumps are bigger than others. With each bump however, you always have a choice. You have a choice to follow your fears and assume the worst case scenario at all times OR you have the choice to look at the scary situation, buckle your seat belt, trust God in His never stopping love and grace and face it head on with a smile.

Thank you Heather for your willingness to share your story. And thank you for your great reminder to never give up hope!!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Back To School

Fall is in full swing and the Marsh girls are back to school.

Hannah, my tall brown eyed girl, has entered fifth grade (the last year of elementary school!!!). She is beautiful and intelligent and amazingly musical. She loves to read and is the most creative writer. In her spare time she likes to draw "fashions" and ride her bike in the garage with her sis. This summer she perfected her cartwheels and loved swimming lessons. I am so proud to be her momma.

Haley, my little blue eyed girl, has entered second grade. She is funny and spunky and says the most hilarious things. She has become an amazing reader and loves to play games on the IPAD. In her spare time she loves to do art. Right now she currently drawing and creating a exact replica of Dr. Suess' Foot Book. This summer she loved swim lessons and learned how to ride a 2 wheel bike. She loves to ride in the garage now that the weather has turned wet and yuck. I am so proud to be her momma.

And for the first time in 11 years, I have gone back to work. We have had to buy 2 cars in 4 months, have a broken washing machine to fix and are planning a week vacation to Disneyland. When we sat down and looked at finances, although we are ridiculously grateful for Travis' steady paycheck, we decided we could benefit greatly if I was able to get to get a job. I was only interested in working if I could get a part time job at the girls school. We looked online and low and behold, there was a part time job available at the girls school. After filling out tons of applications and interviewing with our new principle, I got the job. I work three hours a day as a para ed. One hour is spend in classrooms working one on one with a fourth grade student and a group of seven in first grade. The other two hours are spent on the play ground handing out bathroom passes, putting on bandaids, blowing my whistle, and wearing the most attractive bright yellow vest ever!

And yes . . . I do have a badge!!

Here we go . . . 2013/2014 school year. It is sure to be a year of learning and growing and whistle blowing.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Summer in a Nutshell

Our summer was filled . . . there are thousands of describing words I could use at this point (exciting, memorable, adventurous etc. etc. etc.) but I'll just stick with full. It wasn't the overwhelming this-is-not-fun-we-need-a-vacation-from-our-vacation full. It was fantastically, wonderfully full.

Fourth of July was spent with our family. We went to Wiser Lake and enjoyed a sunny day outside. Then later in the evening, joined our great friends on Lake Ki for tons and tons and tons of fireworks.

We had weather like no other this summer and spent countless days outside in the water.

The end of July we headed down to Rockaway Beach on the Oregon coast for a week of family reuniting and reminiscing and making new memories. (We took a detour to Portland a day before to visit some very special family members on Travis' side of the family - Kim - what an incredible treat it was to chat and laugh and walk and chat and laugh some more! You must know - there are very few things in this entire world that would get me up and out of bed by 6:30 - you are one of the few things!!) From 6 states, my dad's siblings and their children and their children's children, came together. There was a lot of laughing and eating and exploring the beautiful Oregon coast.

We spent some time at a fun mall/square that had a taffy store, huge bikes for many to ride at once (of which there are no pictures because my booty was to busy peddling to even think of grabbing a camera), a carousel and a funny hat store.

And these four little girls became inseparable.

There was a whole lot of squealing and dance routine making and tickling and story telling done between these four cousins. It was love at first sight!!

There was the bi-annual family bowling tournament and a new addition of mini-golf.

The prizes for the bowling game were white elephant gifts that each family member had brought. You can't truly appreciate this story as there are no pictures to prove it but one of my favorite moments involved a whole chicken in a can, a few hilarious young ladies, a late night camp fire on the beach and quite an adventure!!

One day we rode an old-fashioned steam engine into the town of Girabaldi.

The kids, of course, loved the beach and spent most of their time in the sand.

I may as well fess up and say that I spent most of my time in the sand as well. I may have spent hours upon hours making sandcastles . . . even after the kids had lost interest and were off to something else!! One time on the beach I was looking at the ocean with Melissa and Ben when I said, "I'd love to just go swim in that water." Ben said, "I'll go up to my waist if you do?" I said, "You're on" and started walking in. Ben looked back at Melissa, looked back at me and said, "We're really doing this?!" Oh yeah - we did it. And in the eyes of my kids, we might have well have swum the whole thing!! (See the jumping up and down? I love having kids to enjoy life with!!)

It was so cold that after the initial shock, it was actually quite warm . . . I'm sure that's the beginning sign of hypothermia . . .

In the evening, my dad built a rocking fire on the beach so we could roast marshmallows and enjoy the ocean breeze.

If you've never seen the sunset on the Oregon coast, it is truly something that must be added to your bucket list. Pictures can do it no justice.

As the sun set on that part of the summer, we headed back home with a gratefulness in our hearts to have spent so much time with such important people in our lives. I am so thankful that my kiddos are able to grow up knowing their extended family. It may not be as often as we'd like but no matter how many days pass between visits, family is with you and for you always.

We got back just in time for blackberry season. We have a big berry bush across the street from us and it was not uncommon for one of the kids (and I'm including Travis in with the kids) to run across the street to get some fresh blackberries to go in our cereal or on top of pancakes or in a crisp.

(And no - I did not stage them in height order! And yes - Haley is wearing her PJ's . . . I'm that mom.)

The last week of August, I got in the car for my first road trip by myself since having kids for a 6 hour ride to visit my bestest friend since 7th grade. It was just me and the road and a bunch of CD's.

Less than a month before my arrival, she had given birth to two incredibly beautiful full term twin boys. I couldn't wait to fill my arms with them!!

I got to re-teach her oldest how to crochet, play bubbles with the second, take on some wii challenges with the third, read to and make the forth giggle, and snuggle numbers five and six. Yup . . . six. Six of the most beautiful, incredible, loved, prayed for, and adored little ones.

And yes - I figured out how to pick one up while holding the other. And yes - I was amazed by my friend's ability to nurse two babies at the same time. And yes - I took four kids and a GPS to locate some early morning coffee. And yes - I cried my eyes out when I had to leave. A friend for 20 years is not something that comes easily or is often obtained. I feel so blessed to still have this amazing woman in my life. It's incredible to slip right back in where we left off last time as if we were never apart. (But I don't like being so apart!!!!)

I came home with one day in between to finish school shopping, do laundry, love on my own kids, then head back out the door for four days with my mom and sister back on the coast. My parents recently bought a cabin located right on the ocean. We spent four days playing games, eating yummy food, crafting, and of course, shopping. We found some great thrift shops around town and spent over an hour in an antique jewelry store. I'm going to pretend to be surprised when I get my Christmas and birthday gifts this year but I can't wait!! They had some amazing pieces . . . that might come to my house soon?!

So here we are already in September again. How does this happen? How does time fly by so fast? And why is it getting faster every year?! I am so grateful for the summer we had. For the memories we made and the people we got to visit. For the adventures we took. For the laughter we shared. And for the family around me. I could not ask for anything more.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Precious Moment in the Summer

I have so many posts rolling around in my head and tons of photos to share of all the adventures we had which will come but I just go home from an incredible 4 days spent with one of my oldest bestest friends and her incredible family.

She just blogged an amazing post (complete with adorable photos of this family) that you must check out Amongst Lovely Things

I am humbled by the words she said and am still in awe that she had 2 babies in 1 day!!! It was such a tearful goodbye and when I first looked at these photos I found myself still quite misty about having to leave. I love those kiddos . . . love that amazing supportive dish-washing, grocery shopping, diaper changing, cooking daddy . . . but most of all love that incredible, amazing, strong, inspiring, funny, encouraging, precious Momma.

Thank you my friend.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

CONGRATS are in order

Twenty years ago I met one of my favorite people on earth. We clicked instantly and have enjoyed countless hours laughing, talking, drinking coffee and supporting each other as we grew through life. We graduated high school together. I was in her wedding. She was in my wedding. I was there after her first little girl was born. She came to the hospital when my first little girl was in the NICU. We spent tons of time on the phone and not as much time in person as we'd like. She has a beautiful blog that inspired the start of this one and you must check out her two latest miracles. They are absolutely a sight to beheld. My heart is swelling with joy for her and her growing family!! Way to go sister!! One more incredible milestone in life that I am honored to witness!! Love you Miss Sarah!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Twelve Years

The years truly are short . . .even those at times the days are long.

Yesterday marked our 12 year anniversary as husband and wife. Over the past twelve years, we have moved three times, had two beautiful little girls, faced medical problems beyond belief, lost some special family members, laughed, cried, attended sibling weddings, went on family vacations, driven the same cars (until Travis' recent update), welcomed a niece and nephew into the world, taken countless pictures, had two dogs, some fish and a few hermit crabs, switched school districts, watched two elections, the falling of the twin towers, some amazing storms and the rising of Duck Dynasty, made friends to last a lifetime and continued to grow as individuals and a couple.

We have been through a lot. Some amazing and some less than amazing. Life is not easy - our kids throw up, bills stack up, washing machines break, unexpected and unwelcome surprises come our way . . . but we are strong. We have not broken and we will continue to grow even closer as the years go on.

Twelve years ago we made vows. Vows to stick together. So we have . . . and I'm thankful for it.

Travis - for the long days and fun days and sad days and growing days and happy days and crazy days . . . I'm so glad I'm spending my days as your wife. Here's to many more.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I have a blog?!

What happened to my blog? To the space I loved so dearly. To sharing photos, adventures, musings, laughter, and a day in the life of our family? Who knows - but I want it back.

Mark this down as a re-start. The dawning of a new chapter . . . ok - just re-reading the same chapter you lost your place in when you set down the book.

Here's what you missed the past few months . . . (months? really? pathetic.)

Hannah had her piano recital. No offense to "Hot Cross Buns" but she has improved so much and continues to surprise me! If I was more talented and tech savvy, I'd be able to insert the video here. Obviously I'm not.

Gerry conducted his final memorial day service at Washelli cemetery with his SPU wind ensemble. He is officially retiring after over 40 years of teaching, coaching, and inspiring young musicians. It was a beautiful service and was a special opportunity to teach our kids the reason we celebrate and honor our veterans.

For fathers day, Travis wanted to head to Chateau San Michele, a local winery that has beautiful gardens, fish ponds, buildings, and of course, ducks.

It was a great day spent honoring a great Daddy.

Once again I had the opportunity to attend a Beth Moore conference. She is my favorite speaker, an true inspiration and a lot of fun. This time, I went with some of my favorite people including my sweet Lisa who is moving to Alabama. It was an incredible opportunity to spend one on one time with her before she had to leave. I will miss her smile on a daily basis!!

 We had almost front row seats!! Truly a perfect trip!

Six years ago I started on a journey that forever changed my life. In that span of time, I've spent more days in hospitals, more hours on nebulizers, and more medications than I can count. I should not be here. Or if I was here, I should be stuck on my couch hooked up to a breathing machine. INSTEAD, I have spent the last two years losing 93 pounds, staying out of hospitals, and July 3rd was the first day in the last six years that I have not taken steroids!!!! And now, three times a week I attend two hours of Zumba and a boot camp. God is so ridiculously good!!

The end of the school year, Haley's class went to the zoo . . . one of my favorite places!! And they have a baby lion cub!!

The girls had 2 months of horse lessons.

It was amazing how quickly they learned and was pretty incredible to watch them ride around and around the arena all by themselves!!

Hannah - the 3 pound preemie baby - turned 10!!! For her birthday, she wanted to get her ears pierced and have frozen yogurt at Menchies. And of course, we had to get the American Doll's ears pierced first.

We have been saving money in order to afford a trip to Disneyland so we've started cutting Daddy's hair. For some crazy reason, he let Haley do it this time.

Surprisingly, she did an incredible job!

And last but not least, our deck remodel is almost done!! When we moved in our beautiful new home, the back deck - or should I say a broken concrete slab with a broken hot tub taking up half the space - left a lot to be desired. We now have a big, beautiful trex deck which we have spent time on non-stop since it's been finished. We've eaten breakfast on it, bbq'd on it, read books in lawn chairs on it, and planted some beautiful flowers on it. We couldn't be more thankful.


Here's to the reviving of the blog!