{through the rearview} 1407

Fifteen years ago Ryan and I decided to buy a house together.

1407 12It was this little house that was built in 1947 by the Army for soldiers coming back from WWII. Our next door neighbor, who called herself “Old Lady Bowden” had lived there since they had been built.

1407 3

We pulled up carpets.

1407 4

Painted every wall at least once.

1407 6

Had walls torn down and the kitchen remodeled.

1407 5

We had lots of fun parties here.

1407 7

I did lots of Interior Design school projects on that table (which is now our craft table).

1407 8

Murphy, Ben, Hobbes, Oak, and Odyssey…and four of Oak and Ben’s puppies all lived with us at this house.

1407 9

I used chalkboard paint on the walls in this house.

1407 11

Our bedroom was the remodeled one car garage.

1407 10

Ryan had his own den/office.

1407 2We had a dedicated guest bedroom.

It was a good house with good memories. We lived there for just over 6 years.

home is…our first home.

an autumn chalkboard

fall chalkboard artwork 1

The chalkboard in our un-dining room has been bare since after the Fourth of July. It was time to get something on it!

fall chalkboard artwork 11

fall chalkboard artwork 12

fall chalkboard artwork 13

I sketch it out and then of back in and change the hand lettering to the style that I want.

fall chalkboard artwork 2

fall chalkboard artwork 3

Lorelai almost always wants to do the same thing on one of our smaller chalkboards. She gets frustrated that she can’t do things as well as me, but I am totally impressed with her artwork!

fall chalkboard artwork 9

fall chalkboard artwork 6

fall chalkboard artwork 5

fall chalkboard artwork 7

fall chalkboard artwork 13

fall chalkboard artwork 8

fall chalkboard artwork 10

home is…an autumn smile.

life is messy

Yesterday, I posted the following photo on Instagram with the caption about how I am changing up my cleaning routine and hoping to reduce the clutter that, at times, feels constant in our home .

instagram bedroom

Nice clean bedroom and bathroom, right?

A couple hours later, I posted the following photo with the caption, “oh, a clean house feels so good…”

instagram kitchen and family room

It does. A clean house feels great, however, my WHOLE house was not clean.

So, I posted a third photo just a bit later with the following caption: “in full disclosure, only *part* of the house is clean…the craft table, the office, and the kids rooms are total disasters. tackling the craft table this afternoon, the kids rooms next week (when they are at school), and the office is all @rctaddeo!”

instagram keeping it real

Keeping it real. Giving myself grace.

After that, I ran around the house and snapped the following photos with my phone before we rushed off to pick the little guy up from school.

life is messy 1

In reality, life is messy. Not messy everywhere all the time, but messy.

life is messy 2

Sometimes it’s just the floor.

life is messy 3

Or a table.

life is messy 4

Or, the one slipcovered cushion that got dirty right after you cleaned all of them.

life is messy 5

Sometimes, it’s the entire path that gets you where you need to go and you need to clean up one little mess at a time.

life is messy 6

Sometimes, those messes aren’t messes you made, but you need to clean them up anyway.

life is messy 7

Sometimes, you just shut the door to ignore the mess.

life is messy 8

Sometimes, you need an overview of the messes so you can figure out where to start.

life is messy 9

life is messy 10

life is messy 11

life is messy 12

life is messy 13

Some messes are best taken care of when other’s aren’t around to tell you how to clean it up.

life is messy 14

life is messy 15

life is messy 16

life is messy 17

life is messy 18

Other messes are ones that we might need some help with because we just don’t know how to handle them.

Whether it’s our house, or our life, it gets messy.

Messes can be overwhelming. They can stop us in our tracks. They can keep us from moving forward because we just don’t know which one to start cleaning up first.

Sometimes, I need to focus on the sparkly parts, so I can get motivated to work on the mess.

Just know that we all have messy parts…not just in our house, but in our life.

home is…giving yourself some grace.

{milestones} baby girl is five

We celebrated baby girl’s fifth birthday recently.



She is full of life.

One of the most positive people I know.

For instance, at a recent family vacation to the oregon coast she said, “Good thing it was a great day for flying kites at the beach!”

She can be moody, but she always finds the good in things.

I hope she never loses that.

She loves to play games that she makes up. Recently, its been “family” with dolls, but she makes up all kinds of games to play on her own, with friends, with one of us, and especially her brother.

She adores her brother and loves to play the games that he plays. He’s not always interested in playing with her dolls, but she is always up for playing Minecraft, Mario Brothers, or any of the games that her brother loves. 

She is strong and sensitive.

She’s silly and loving.

She is social when she feels comfortable, which means she talks my arm off all day long.

She has become a lot more independent this year and doesn’t cling to my leg everywhere we go, but can still be very timid with the unknown.

She’s always been my girl and tells me all day long how much she loves me.

She humors me and poses for all the photos I ask to take of her. Goodness is she is photogenic.

She loves to draw pictures and do all sorts of crafts.

Recently, on one of the games she plays on the computer, she has figured out how to use the shapes to create cards for us…she created a Minecraft card for her brother and many cards for me that, in her words, “tell you I love you”.

She swims, scooters, climbs, runs, digs in the dirt, skis, plays sports with her brother, twirls, dances, and sleeps ALWAYS in a skirt.

Everyday she wears a skirt. This year has been the year of the long dresses and skirts.

She is all girl, but in her own very special way.

She will ALWAYS be my baby.

I love you baby girl.

baby girl is five

I asked her the same questions that I asked her brother this year on his seventh birthday to get a feel for how SHE feels at five:

  • favorite color: all the rainbow colors
  • favorite toy: puppy and peppa pig
  • favorite t.v. show: peppa pig and tom & jerry
  • favorite game: mario brothers and candy land
  • favorite snack: fried cheese sticks
  • favorite animal: puppy
  • favorite holiday: christmas and easter
  • favorite book: little house in the big woods, my bible, and goodnight moon
  • favorite song: let it go
  • what do you take to bed: puppy
  • favorite food: fried cheese sticks
  • favorite thing to do outside: swim at the pool
  • what do you want to be when you grow up: a kid that has real wings that can fit through the door
  • what are you most grateful for: mommy and puppy
  • favorite part of the day: when reece comes home and playing with all my toys
  • what makes you happy: my family
  • what are you scared of: the dark
  • what makes me special: because i’m thoughtful

To be part of her life EVERYDAY and watch her become her own person is one of the biggest joys of my life.

home is…five of the most rewarding years of my life. 

ripping off the bandaid

Today was the third day of first grade for our little guy.

We promised him, after walking him into his class EVERYDAY last year, that we would walk him into class for the first week and after that we would only walk him to the door.

Today, the THIRD DAY Of SCHOOL,we only got to walk him to the door.

The new principal was blocking the doorway through to his hallway and only letting students through. Now, I am all for keeping strange adults out and keeping our kids safe, but this was ridiculous. Especially since there was no notice to those of us who take the time and effort to walk or drive our kids to school AND get them safely to their classroom. 

And, they are in FIRST GRADE, for goodness sake!

If he wants the 3-5 graders to walk to class without parents, I am all for it. Get them ready for middle school.

But, my first grader, who still holds my hand as we walk into school?! Who still gives me kisses and hugs in front of his classmates?!

He doesn’t need to learn his independence on the THIRD DAY OF SCHOOL!

Luckily, Ryan was there with me. I was livid. I didn’t even get to say goodbye to Reece as he was ushered through the door…tears falling.

I looked at Ryan and said, “I need to know why this is happening.”

He went right over to the new principal, introduced himself, and asked.

I won’t go into detail, but the new principal said that it was to help the kids gain their independence.

I wanted to help my guy get through the first week before we worked on independence.

While he had the chance, Ryan also asked the new principal about the email that I sent to him almost 10 days ago questioning a decision they made about informing incoming first graders about their teachers. The new principal claimed that there was a lot going on and that he thought he replied, and it’s been busy…yada yada yada.

I still haven’t received a reply to my e-mail, which he said he would look for and reply to today.

The bad news: I am not a fan of the new principal…and we aren’t even a week into the school year.

The good news: I don’t have to be the bad guy about not walking Reece into to his classroom.

Just venting.

home is…growing pains.

*To top it all off, Reece’s class was somehow dismissed almost 10 minutes early and he was left to walk away without the teacher even acknowledging that a parent was there to pick him up! I guess that’s how they teach them to be independent.



{in the kitchen} thai basil pesto

our garden has really produced this year.

early on we had bowl after bowl full of strawberries, handfuls of raspberries, and our first real harvest of blueberries (which we are still collecting by the handful every few days).

our greens came on strong and have added to ryan’s green smoothies almost every morning.

we have also made collard greens from the garden multiple times in the last few weeks.

our bush pickle cucumbers are producing enough for me to produce a quart of pickles each of the last two weeks and there are still many more flowers and babies on the vines.

we had an issue with our green beans so i am not sure how many we will get, but we still have a couple jars of dilly beans from last year!

i collect a few cherry tomatoes each day from my trailing cherry tomato plant that is hanging in a basket.

our san marzano and roma tomatoes are a little late to fruit, but it looks like we will get a great crop. considering the fact that we started these plants from seed in our house, i am super impressed that they made it! i am looking forward to harvesting and canning a bunch…maybe even pickling green tomatoes late in the season.

we winter over some of our herbs…thyme, basil, mint, and chives. they are doing well…in fact, we took a bunch up to the lake and still have a bunch to harvest.  we have tried drying herbs, but usually end up making pesto from our basil and using the rest of our herbs fresh when we cook.

i planted a few different types of basil this year. our usual sweet italian basil, a purple basil (which is supposed to taste like sweet italian, but i thought it would be fun to have purple pesto), a variegated basil, and a thai basil.

with all of that being said, i decided to try to make a thai basil pesto with our beautiful thai basil.

photo 1 copy

thai food is tough for me…i like the flavors of the herbs and spices, but i dislike coconut and peanut. most of the thai basil recipes called for peanuts…and in some cases, coconut of some sort (oil, water, or shredded).

so, i made up my own recipe…

thai basil pesto

  • 2 cups thai basil leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (i bet you could substitute coconut oil if you like the flavor)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp red pepper

put it in your food processor, pulse a few times. then, blend until smooth.

place in airtight containers and freeze or keep in refrigerator.

home is…coming up with your own recipe.

eating a rainbow

this is not a foodie blog.


we like to eat.

we like to eat healthy.

we like to cook.

we like to try new things.

now that our summer has slowed down a bit, we are enjoying slow mornings, unplanned weekends, and finds in our garden and the local produce stands.

which leads to trying new recipes and, although the days are warm, time spent over a stove for canning of fresh produce.

first things first, we are trying to introduce our kids to more adventurous foods…meaning vegetables.

so, i tried feeding them a rainbow.

they love earning a treat, so they had to try every color to get ice cream.


i made sure to include some foods that i knew they would eat, but some that they would need to “try”.

it ended up that baby girl really loves avocado, and the little guy was willing to try everything on the plate.

so, i tried it again…


i knew baby girl would eat her newly “liked” avocado, so i added it to her plate along with the strawberries, carrots, mango, pineapple, broccoli, and blueberries (along with chicken nuggets) that she would eat.


the little guy, a little bit more set in his ways, received blackberries, which he requested, added to his plate.

once again, they did great eating some of each color and asking for seconds of their favorites.

another key was small portions. if there is just a couple of bites of each food on the plate it is not as intimidating…and they can always ask for more.

while i am not going to serve their dinner like this every night, it is a fun way to get them to try new foods.

i’ll be back soon with a garden tour, and some of the canning recipes i have tried!

home is…ROY G BIV!


the lake

we were in northern idaho with family last week playing at my aunt and uncle’s lake house. i had over 1000 photos between my phone and big camera. i’m only sharing a few here…

























playing, smiling, paddle boarding, sailing, talking, waterskiing, running, eating, jetskiing, collecting, laughing, boating, teaching, fishing, learning, swimming, jumping, loving, exploring, celebrating.

home is…a week of lake life.