Monday, June 9, 2014

Just to Hear You Breathing

So many romance movies and songs have lines about being brought to a complete standstill by the other's very existence. The first one that comes to mind is, "I could stay awake just to hear you breathing... I don't want to close my eyes, I don't want to fall asleep, 'cause I'd miss you baby, and I don't want to miss a thing." Those lyrics sometimes cross my mind as I roll over to notice Danilo, who almost always falls asleep before I do, gone til morning. I give him a hard time sometimes, how can you close your eyes? Don't you want to stay awake just to hear me breathing? But to be fair, I can't say that I've ever stayed awake just to hear him breathing, either. I figure I'll catch him in the morning.

The more movies and television series I have seen, the more I have realized how dramatized most of them are. By dramatized, I mean taking real life and amplifying it. I mean, Dr. Quinn experiences more in one episode than most people experience in their whole lives. It used to stress me out... how is she handling all this week to week, the diptheria outbreaks, her children being kidnapped, mines collapsing, going to jail for helping the Indians, being held hostage, and stay sane? Drama makes things more interesting. If she didn't face some major obstacle every episode, I probably wouldn't have been so driven to watch it clear through to the end. And you know what? I bet Sully would stay awake just to hear Michaela breathing.

I'm probably not alone in having watched movies and fantasized what it would be like to live a more dramatized life. But while real life can't provide what movies can by way of soundtracks and the resolution of all problems in a couple of hours, on the flip side movies cannot provide some of the things real life does.

The other day I was putting things away around the house when I stopped in Grace's room and I could see Danilo out the window working. We've both wanted a vegetable garden. I had done some research and even went to a class in preparation for the whole project, but got a little overwhelmed by all the details and was okay if we put it off til next year.  He took the process of setting up the garden off my shoulders and set to work doing it all by himself. I stood there in Grace's room and I watched him. I was thankful to be married to such a hard worker. I enjoyed watching all the faces he makes while he is doing something hard. My heart was full and happy in the fact that he and I share a life together, and a backyard and children. I realized I'd just had one of those moments. I had been standing there for 30 or 45 seconds just in awe of his existence. No, I wasn't staying awake just to hear him breathing, and while I am grateful that he breathes, this was deeper, this was more satisfying. I had the opportunity to realize that my love for him has grown more real and more true, and to appreciate some of the things I love most about him.

He is loyal. He is hardworking. He is good. He has nice muscles. And he is real.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I have discovered Downton Abbey and my life will never be the same

Can you relate? Does this music cause your heart to speed up too?

I am completely enamored by the story and its characters. The other night when the end of the episode found Mr. Bates in a desperate situation, I almost mentioned him in my prayers. I didn't think I'd ever say it, but Dr. Quinn has met her match. Thanks to Mom for introducing me, to Karlene for lending us the seasons (hopefully we had them back before you even knew about it :), and Danilo for watching it with me (was that supposed to be a secret? I love you. :)

There Is Life After Thrush

I am generally fairly private about matters like these, but if anyone is desperately searching for help like I was and happens upon this post and it helps, I will be so happy to have been able to help.

Long story short, nursing has been EXTRAORDINARILY painful with baby Danny, which surprised me, because it completely went off without a hitch with Grace. I have discovered nursing is NOT like riding a bike. You CAN forget how to do it properly. One thing led to another and I developed a horrendous case of thrush.

Someone said that most women would voluntarily choose labor again over thrush.... If that labor comes with an epidural, mark me as a definitely.

During this time, the internet became my best and worst friend. I sorted through dozens of suggestions from women and doctors on how to cure thrush. Many of the suggestions left me with more questions. But nothing was so straight-forward, direct, and helpful as the link below.

If you find yourself with a case of thrush, read these instructions and follow them to a T. In three day's time, you will come to know why I am leaning towards naming my next son Jack (make sure to read the handout on gentian violet). 

That's all I'm going to say except to thank my dear friend Margo for her help, and to leave you with this picture of my sweet boy on our road to recovery. Questions... please please please email me at

purple mouth from gentian violet

$140 Richer

I don't like clutter.

I am sentimental.

My upstairs is clean, but my basement is overloaded with stuff. A quick jog downstairs to grab a jar of spaghetti sauce will cause anxiety to pulse through my insides. It bothers me and sometimes keeps me up at night, because someday we will finish the basement and the stuff must be dealt with.

So I made myself start and complete a project that I think was very helpful to me. One of the largest piles of stuff downstairs consisted of an ever-growing pile of Gracie's clothes, from the time she was newborn up til last winter. Every time I clean out her drawers, I just drop a new garbage bag full of outgrown clothes on the pile. I clenched my stomach every time I considered doing something other than keeping them.

But I knew the local children's consignment sale was going to be setting up at the fairgrounds this fall. I determined I was going to use the opportunity to get some clutter out of my basement (ouch, it hurts to call it clutter) and make some money. I knew that they only accept clothes that are fairly current and trendy, and that if Gracie's baby clothes were going to make the cut, I'd better act fast.  

I started by sorting through the clothes and keeping my VERY favorites.

I found I could think more objectively when I sorted through the clothes during the day. I was WAY too sentimental at night, especially after Grace had gone to bed. I wanted to keep everything. 

Thought process: "....oh! The purple outfit! Remember that cute picture of her in the purple outfit!" Yes. And because I took a picture of her in the purple outfit, I will remember it.

"Remember the cute picture we got of her in this outfit?!" Yes. Again. You have the picture to remember. And that outfit's STILL cute! I would STILL buy it! So let's let someone else grab it for a good deal.

There was NO WAY this one was going. This one's never going.
My tags printed off and ready to attach to the clothes. It's a pretty cool system.

Organized by size in the living room
Packed and ready to drop off at the sale... sniff

It took me about two weeks to get all the clothes ready, and yes, the majority of the work took place the day before the clothes were due... but it's done!

I sold 58 outfits total and made $140. For stuff (really special stuff :) that was just sitting downstairs. I have about 50 outfits tagged and ready for the spring sale too.

If you're interested in doing the same with your clothes, stop and visit here. I participated in the Just Between Friends event. I know the same thing or something similar takes place all over the U.S. If you have any questions about my experience, email me at

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sometimes you just need a break from the norm...

so you ride a pony
get a kiss from a goat
chase some bubbles

chill on a pumpkin
make friends with a clown

and have funnel cake for dinner.
That did it. Thanks to the State Fair for making it possible. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Danny's Blessing Day

It was the kind of day you want to wrap up and tuck away in a special drawer so you can pull it out to enjoy again later. Danilo gave the blessing in Spanish. Danny's grandma (Nona) had his outfit specially made by a close friend. I was able to share with the congregation the reason why we named him as we did. My Grandpa Achter expressed how meaningful it was to him that I had spoken about his father (Herman Erich). We hosted a major event in our backyard for the first time with family after church. I am so thankful to our families and our ward family who extended their love and congratulations to us on this special day.

Note to self: get a picture of all four members of the Collado family together next time. :)