Two years ago when we moved into our home (you know the one we bought sight unseen from Switzerland) I took my first drive through the neighborhood and spotted a home that looked similar to the layout of ours but had fresh grey siding and a happy, red door. I jokingly told Seth that whoever lived in that house would be a friend of mine. She had great taste!! So certainly she was friend material.

We dove head first into our home renovations and got busy settling the kids before school. School kicked off and we lived in that first month fog trying to navigate life with a little boy in school, along with all of the wonderful to be stateside activities like playdates, bible study and MOPS! A month or so into school Jackson pointed out one morning that he knew the little girl coming out of the mysterious red door on our way to drop off. I soon learned that this little girl was from Jackson’s class and that her mom was the class room mom. As I got to know her she indeed became a fast friend. Not one that I spent tons of time with but one that I could quickly relate to and jump in where we left off in our last “speed session”. I learned that her family too was a family that moved every couple of years for her husband’s job and she was juggling making life normal for her kids while also trying to keep her sanity in the midst of life being in a state of flux most of the time. We shared a similar lifestyle and similar work so we had plenty to chat about!

Over the last couple of weeks we have been doing the final touches on our outside work on the house. The shutters are done and the fixtures are up but the last thing to do was a cheery red door.  And as much as I wanted a red door I can now tell you from experience that the process was a bit more vulnerable than I had anticipated.

We picked California Poppy by Behr for our first go round. It came out, well, let’s just say, more poppy than we wanted. I went out to take pictures around dusk to send to my mom and it practically glowed!  We tried a couple more coats in hopes it would deepen. Next round we took the remaining paint to HomeDepot and had them add a little black which was supposed to deepen it. When Seth popped open the can to get going on the last coat he discovered that the guy had added WAY more black than needed and it had turned a purpley maroon color. So back to HomeDepot (wonder how much Homedepot makes from projects gone wrong?…probably  more profit there than original purchases) for a deeper color all together. Ruby Ring it is.

Here she is. I haven’t rehung our wreath but you get the idea!









































She looks extra good with a cute tball player posing in front of her! Don’t you think?!

Back to vulnerability and what the heck this all has to do with friendship. The minute we started taping the door we were causing a scene. Our winter barren front yard left all the attention on the action. Cars were slowing down to see what Seth was doing! Ha! With each coat we got comments from neighbors and held our breath for the outcome. The texts and facebook comments were coming in! It’s a bit like putting yourself out there in friendship. It requires a bold move and risk. And it certainly requires time for the friendship to develop into what you hope it will be. You can feel a little silly and awkward in those early attempts but if you can endure those days of deepening you can see something so much more unique and fulfilling than the surfacy stuff you began with.

The risk is worth taking. On friends and doors. :) The friendships I have taken risks on are worth every effort, and if they are not I soon know to move on….to other paint colors, I mean friendships.

Paint something red this week….and take a risk on a new friendship. Don’t get scared in the maroon, poppy phase…it will deepen in to something so much better!

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Last month we had two fun visits with cousins! My sister-in-law, Christina, and my neice Grace, along with their family came through Baltimore on a trip. We jumped at the opportunity to meet up for brunch. MaryAnne was sick which was no fun but it was fun to see the babies together and to hold Grace!   Later that month my cousin Erin and her little guy Graeme came to visit.






















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And then we bought a cow…

Last week MaryAnne and I had some time to kill between doctors appointments so we found ourselves in HomeGoods…yes, we found ourselves there. Not sure how we were drawn in but it happens.  We (I am saying “we” so she can be partially responsible and I won’t feel as guilty writing “I”) found a super neat plaster cow head. You know like instead of a deer with antlers for the wall, it was a cow with horns. The boys love cowboys and over the years I have collected cool things to decorate their room with. All of which took justification to the Mr. and all of which he later thought looked great in our house. I could take you on the tour of things Seth wasn’t so sure of but loves now but there are too many to list. Annnnnyhow, back to Angus. He was handsome and white and plaster and so super cool for a little boys cowboy room…but he was pricey. He didn’t make it into our cart that day. I just couldn’t justify spending the money one something that seemed so unnecessary but so right!

A few days later Seth was home for a sick day which allowed me some quick errand time alone. I asked him that morning if I could rescue Angus from the lonely shelves of HomeGoods…if he was still there that is. He could have already been sent to the wrong home since I didn’t rescue him at first glance.  Seth *may* have rolled his eyes and said a drawn out “okay” but the good news of the day was that Angus was still there waiting for us!  The cashier asked where on earth he would hang…she thought it would be perfect in a little boys room! See, perfect.

I got home, wowed Seth with my purchase and then sat Angus laying on the dresser, looking at me throughout the day. How silly that I spent money on a plaster cow head.  Not quite buyers remorse more like wife-guilt.{let me make a note that this is not guilt Seth puts on me…we both know our money and use it wisely, It’s something I put on myself!}  The boys saw it after school and LOVED it! Guessing every human they have seen in the last few days now know about our cow friend.

The afternoon chugged along with a stressful doctors appointment for MaryAnne and a few other happenings. Tension was high in our home related to the appointment and in the middle of our dealing with drama a man knocked on the front door. Seth spoke with him on the doorstep for a few minutes and came in to tell me that the guy was selling steaks (he was from a legit, reputable co). Basically the guy talked my frugal, practical husband into buying not one box, not one case, but 3 cases of steaks and burgers!!! Basically a cow! And while the deal might have been slightly good it didn’t account for the fact that we don’t eat steaks and burgers every day!  I foresee many bbq’s in the months to come!

That night I tucked Angus in on Seth’s pillow before he came to bed. When he came in to find him I said “I may have bought a cow head but you, you bought the whole body today!” He he. No more wife guilt. He took the cake on this one. and he’s going to have Angus to catch his eye whenever he forgets about his meat day!





















Isn’t he handsome?!  I’m going to smile every time I see him!  {ps- HomeGoods did not sponsor this post! Although they could have…. I <3 HomeGoods!}

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Some big boy updates!

Owen is the family comedian and chimes in often with his quick wit!  He has a fierce temper but is the first to apologize and offer affection. He is growing up!  We often find ourselves laughing at his funny sayings. Here are a few from the past couple of weeks.  try correcting this one on the “right word”…he’s already written his own dictionary on these.

chicken pox=chicken nuggets


diary of a wumpy kid=wimpy kid

a couple of weeks ago I choked during lunch. I don’t know that this has ever happened to me but it was very scary! Seth was teleworking that day. I panicked and ran into the kitchen to “catch my breath” and not panic Owen but realized quickly that it wasn’t improving and I needed help. I motioned for Seth to do the Heimlich. By the time he ran around the table I was able to gasp and slowly recover. VERY SCARY!  As I recovered and caught my breath Owen said “WHOA! I did not see that coming!” Comic relief, that boy!

tatoo-this comes out with more of a British accent “tawtoo”

privacies=private parts

pork=we learned recently that Owen thought we were serving porcupine every time we had pork.



The sound track to Jackson’s life plays continuously! I can remember when he was 3 1/2 walking up our hill in Switzerland asking him what he was singing. He hadn’t even been aware that he was. That’s how is is these days too!

We are venturing into the world of the school online library and it is interesting to see his brain absorb all of these new things! He continues to love studying history and science. I am humbled by how much I forget of what I learned in school. The other day he asked me a tough math question. I told him he should save that one for dad and he said “mom, did you go to school too or just dad?” Ouch.

Jackson has been on a mission this year to dis-spell the bullying that goes on at school and is passionate about helping others. He was delighted to go to a food packaging activity at our church recently with Seth. They packed thousands of meal boxes for people in the Philippines. On their way into church Jackson whispered that he was a little concerned because it sounded like they were going to pack food for the Philistines!  He is working on his philanthropic heart at home…that arena is harder!

Jackson and Owen continue to build there brotherly bond through great big, loud fights, and simple invitations to make up and play again. They play hard and fight hard if that makes sense. They are working on their friendship and as ailing as the referring is it is nice to see those moments of sweet friendship. Discipline one and the other is the first to come to the rescue!  The picture below sums it up pretty well. The big scratch on Jackson’s face was from his warrior brother Owen in a fight. And yet, they are inseparable!


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