Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A few of my faves..

I realize that I'm extremely fortunate…

When my 35th birthday came and went last weekend, my highlight was getting the new camera lens that I ordered (won, actually, on ebay).

I spent the milestone snapping away and capturing some moments that make me truly appreciate my life.

It's a crazy busy, messy, beautiful, scary, ect., life and I am grateful that I get the chance to capture it on camera!

Here are a few of my favorites from our Easter break…

this little guy wants to marry his favorite cousin Madi.

We've tried to tell him that this isn't an acceptable thing in the U.S., but little man absolutely adores her and always wants to know where his Madi is!

And me, I am just there to capture moments like these…

Be still my heart.

 Mr. Personality

Love these five little people and wish like hell that my dad could be around to get to know all of them.

Pretty much sums up my two guys…one hates the spot light, the other gravitates toward it and embraces it! Can you tell which one is which?

The perfect family photo op, right?

Aunties little cuties!

We took some time to visit Grandma Maxine…love her and really miss visiting her on the farm. I wish my kids could see that side of her!

"Nope, Madi! It's your brothers turn to get an egg…stay here!"

I absolutely LOVE these family outtakes!

They are so much better than the 'posed' shots!

He couldn't find his last egg and was getting a wee bit frustrated…I just sat back and laughed (can you see the orange egg in the background? It took him about 5 minutes to find!)

Grandma Pam with her grandkids..

Love this shot of the two of them!

Madi took her babies, Millie, Billie, and Lily out in the beautiful weather this weekend.

Grandma T. with her 5 grandkids…I think our kids are looking pretty old these days!

The 3 Tollerud boys…this photo pretty much sums up their personalities (at least with my two!)

Friday, March 25, 2016

March 26

Tomorrow I will turn 35….

he would have been 59….

and as I sit here and type, it looks as though I am simply inputting numbers into the computer.

To most it easily looks like the numbers 35 and 59, pretty mundane and ordinary.

But to me, it is so much more.

In today's world, it's humbling and kind of exhilerating to celebrate a year of growing older.

Seeing a birthday wish sent by a long lost friend via Facebook makes me smile and appreciate social media in new ways.

But nine years ago, before social media changed our whole society, I celebrated my golden birthday by turning twenty six.

I remember that day, although it's a bit of a hazy memory, considering the fact that at the time, I had a two year old and a newly turned one year old (who had just started to sleep through the night weeks before).

That day, I remember feeling pretty excited.

I could feel the specialness of the day deep down inside.

As a child, that date on the calendar had seemed like some distant blip in the future…

like it would never come.

But come it did, and I celebrated it in my usual way….

with him.

He had a big birthday that year too.

We celebrated his big milestone because he was now a half a century old.

Little did we know that day, but it would be the last birthday that we celebrated together.

Just six months later we were forced to say good-bye.

That was the last March 26 where I was innocent and ignorant to the horrible reality of life.

God, Dad, I miss you,

so, so much.

People tell me that I need to move on

and although it's fine to miss him and mourn him,

that  I should celebrate this day because that is what he would want.

I try so hard to follow their advice.

But in all honesty, for me, March 26 will never be the same, no matter how hard I try to move on.

In my heart, it was, and always will be our day.

There was a reason I was born on his 24th birthday in 1981 and not just some random day.

It connected us,

solidified our relationship as more than just dad and daughter…

and I will spend my remaining March 26th's smiling and crying as I remember that truly great man in my life.

Happy Birthday in Heaven dad.

I love you.

Our 1st Birthday Together...

Our Last Birthday Together...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

back to normal

When the weather is partially cool and your children beg you to come outside to watch them play…

what mom can honestly resist? 

I mean, really, look at this face?! 

 I have been blogging now for 5 years and I cannot believe how much they have grown!

I realize, of course, that I have been a mom for nearly 12 years now.

But lately, it just seems to me, that these little people who were entrusted in my care, 

are fast becoming their own people these days.


When did I get so old?! 

I was extremely sick about a week ago, 

and when I say sick, I mean really, really sick.

But these kids of mine never skipped a beat.

If they were hungry they made themselves some sandwiches, if they were tired they laid down.

They did all of this on their own, without my two sense. 

I guess as parents, we must be doing something right…

if said kids mom can be out of commission and so sick she cannot get out bed for a week and the kids can keep on moving on,

things must be going right.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Turning it around.

"Mom! Please come outside and see how nice it is?!"

"MOM!! You GOTTA see me HIT the ball!!"

"Play catch with me, mom, please." 

Tonight, I just couldn't resist my children's pleas through the open window.

The sun was shining, the breeze was lightly blowing and I knew I had to get out there.

For me, last week was brutal...


body aches,

sore throat, 

fever of 104.9, 


ect., ect.

I can honestly say that I have never been so sick in my entire life.

I guess that happens sometimes when you are a teacher and your immune system isn't in tip top shape.

Thankfully I have some pretty amazing family and friends who care for me and picked up the slack when I couldn't bring myself to get out of bed. 

There were times I wondered if I was ever going to get better, especially on day 5 of being bedridden. 

But I am on the upswing, and I can't let it define this week.

So, even though it was just a moment that I watched them, it was a moment that made me smile and realize …

sometimes the bad moments happen 

so we can truly appreciate the good moments. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Putting the T in team

Life is best shared with someone.

Or, at least, this is my belief.

This morning, our 5th grade boys proved to us that yet again …

"you don't inspire your teammates by showing them how amazing you are….

you inspire them by showing them how amazing they are."

For our family, it has been a long winter spent in the gym, I'm not gonna lie.

Although I am honestlyloving this opportunity that I get to watch my kids compete and have fun, I am also ready for it to be done... for now.

I think it's time to put away those stinky gym shoes for the year and celebrate the success and fun that has been had this season.

But of course, this isn't up to me.

We still have two more tournaments to go.

Today, when the boys heard that they would have two weeks off of practice I heard more groans and proclamations of 'how come?!'... than I did cheering.

I guess, unlike this mama, they want to keep their fun going.

But when I think back on this season of success, growth, fun, and most of all teamwork I guess I can't blame the boys for their feelings.

They've created a pretty amazing cammraderie of players and coaches and parents and fans and we've all sort of become this basketball  family as cheesy as it sounds.

I will miss this when it's done.

Thank you, boys, for giving all of us this opportunity to come together.

It's been one a hell of a ride, you make me excited for the future!

They took 1st place in Wadena against 3 teams they have never played before.

They had us a little (ok, for me, it was more than a little) worried during their last game when they went into the half down by 5 (this really doesn't happen with this crew)… but they came back to clinch the win 28-24.

Way to go Vikings!!