Category Archives: Parties

Double 3s

My favorite person in the entire world is 33 today.

Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 2.09.37 AM

33 Facts About Danny:

  1. He can quote Dumb and Dumber from the first word spoken to the last.
  2. His eyelashes are approximately 18” long.
  3. He knows how to swaddle a baby, very well.
  4. Even though every other cousin/sibling got to drive a sports car in high school, he got to drive a tiny, old (like…really old) bright blue Pepsi truck and was cool with it.
  5. My dad once called Pepsi to narc on that blue Pepsi truck for spinning circles in the ice of his parking lot.
  6. His love for Pendleton (the wool brand) runs deep.
  7. He’s super ticklish.
  8. He’s an amazing cook.
  9. He’s a foodie. He’ll try anything (seriously, think of the grossest thing, he’d probably eat it).
  10. He can name at least 10 My Little Pony characters AND name their cutie mark.
  11. He knows what a cutie mark is.
  12. He’s a great musician but will always tell you he sucks.
  13. He’s a gamer. 1st person shooter games are his favorite and you should see him sit with his headset, talking to his teammates who are probably 14 year old boys.
  14. He’s the best at pretending to be asleep.
  15. He loves and appreciates art of all types.
  16. He can almost curl his mustache.
  17. He is the reason there’s an amazing skatepark in Lewiston, Idaho. Hours and hours and hours AND HOURS were spent by him to get that put in. He’s created a place for the community, for everyone to use and was the last to ask for praise and thanks and compliments.
  18. He’s served on many boards of directors.
  19. He skateboards almost every day.Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 2.12.55 AM
  20. He is up for any adventure, even if it requires a lot of work and effort for a short amount of time (i.e.: camping for one night with six kids)
  21. He should be a science or history teacher: he knows so much about that stuff (and is interested in it) and is amazing with kids.
  22. He wanted to go to culinary school after high school
  23. He makes the best cocktails.
  24. He’s insanely generous and would do anything anyone asked him if he thought it would help him.
  25. He can hang with older businessmen or teenagers at the skatepark and he can do both with ease. Everyone loves him.
  26. We were late to a dance once because he had to flat iron his hair.Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 2.13.32 AM
  27. He’s a lover, not a fighter. I don’t think you could get in a fight with Danny if you tried.
  28. He loves chichorrones.
  29. He listens to every genre of music and can find something he likes in them all.
  30. He’s watched LOTR more times than I want to even try and count.
  31. He has the kindest soul of anyone you will meet and if you know Dan, you’re lucky.
  32. He’s always crazy cool, calm and collected.
  33. He can install a carseat in 10 seconds flat.

 

In short, Danny is amazing. He’s the best. If you know him, you know how kind and genuine and patient and generous he is. If you’re his friend, he doesn’t just love you, he loves your family, too, and will do anything for you. He’s the best dad and no one can make the kids laugh as hard as he can. He’s as authentic as they come. He cares about his family and would do anything to make sure we are happy and healthy. Some people base success and status on how much money you have or make, but Dan sees you as successful if you aren’t an asshole, you aren’t greedy, and you take care of your people, whoever your people may be, however they need to be taken care of.  Dan will get shit done – ask anyone who has asked a favor of him and they can confirm.

Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 2.10.30 AM

 


Having severe anxieties and OCD can make me a frustrating person to live with. I need constant reassurance (“Dan, are you sure my headache isn’t a brain tumor?” “Dan, are you sure what I said was okay?” “Dan, are you sure x, y, or z doesn’t think I’m a bitch?” “Dan, are you sure……”) and sometimes I panic. Sometimes I can’t stop worrying about something and I’ll talk about it non-stop. Dan’s my constant. He’s the one thing I know will never change, will always be. He doesn’t get annoyed by me (at least he doesn’t show it) and he’s willing to help me talk things out if that’s what I need. I knew 16 years ago that he was my person and I’ve never once questioned or doubted that.


Being a parent of a child with special needs isn’t easy. It isn’t fun. It’s exhausting and frustrating and sometimes you feel like you are learning a new language as your child grows and changes and no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be fluent. But you still try. You change your life to accommodate your child’s and you find an extra voice inside you to to speak up for them when they need it. Dan is all of this.

 

Our family isn’t typical and I honestly can’t think of a Dad, husband, or, person even, who is better suited for it, who would be able to handle the really stressful, frustrating and hard times like Dan does and be as happy and fun and calm and hilarious and awesome no matter what.

Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 2.10.05 AM

Dan, my friends, is a gem.

Happy Birthday, Danny, you’re the best of the best. ❤

 

Advertisements

Name change parties and a happy boy.

Kids are funny, yeah? Unless you teach them something isn’t quite right, they roll with it. Unless you teach them that one is better than another, they think everyone is equal. Unless you teach them that a little girl who never felt like a girl at all, but more like a boy who is now living his true self is sick and wrong, they’ll think it’s the most logical thing to do. Be who you are, don’t worry about what others think.

I asked Luke what he would say to someone who didn’t support him, who thought it wasn’t right for someone with girl parts to really be a boy and live like a boy. He said, “I would tell them that it’s okay to be who you are and you should just accept people for who they are.”

Kids get it.

So when I went to Luke’s school and spoke to the principal, the school psychologist, and his classroom teacher, we all pretty much agreed that this would be a smooth transition, that children would be accepting. Because that’s how things should be. Treat others how you would like to be treated. Call me crazy, but I think maybe that even includes transgender children and adults. So imagine my surprise when one of the teachers refused to be supportive (not Luke’s classroom teacher and not the school psychologist or principal…they were and are so amazing. My kids are so lucky to be at that school). She refused to take this as an opportunity to teach her students that Alice isn’t transforming into another person completely, she’s just changing her name to Luke and would like to live as a boy…that same friend is still there, just with shorter hair and a different spelling of the name. Imagine my surprise when she not only put his name change party invites into a sealed white envelope for her class, but also posted about it on Facebook, telling parents that the kids have no idea what’s in the envelope and she wanted them to see it before making a decision. The invite literally just said, “name change party.” I didn’t use words like transgender or queer or go into detail about our situation.  There wasn’t even a rainbow on the invite for God’s sake. It was a simple invitation to all of Luke’s friends to come and celebrate this huge change.

I shouldn’t have been too surprised. Some adults will make a big deal out of things no matter what. Even when it makes it harder for children, harder for families, adults still feel like they  need to insert themselves into every situation and try and take charge. This isn’t something that anyone can really take charge of. It’s not something that can change. This is just the way it is, and if you know Luke, you know it’s exactly how it’s supposed to be.

This weekend was Luke’s name change party and how lucky are we that so many people came?

lmp-49lmp-50

All these people were here for Luke. Parents I had never met, close friends, kids from the other class, siblings…all of these friends were here to tell Luke that he’s great. That this change is one that will be met with love and support more often than judgment and hate. These are the people who will be his allies, his helpers, the people he can go to when things get hard.

Oh, these friends of ours (and so many that weren’t able to come and aren’t pictured, too!)

I think I took more Polaroid photos than I did normal ones, but this is a pretty good representation. Luke’s face never quit smiling.

We had food and goodies and such a great time.

Gifts. People brought Luke gifts.

What’s one way that someone can show you they love you? By traveling hours and hours for an event that they know is almost as important as a birth to you. (It was. That might sound crazy but this was so important.)

lmp-100lmp-96

These guys know life isn’t easy and they know it’s going to be even harder for Luke. They know that the one teacher who isn’t supportive is just a tiny taste of what we’ll be met with for years and years. They know that one thing that a child can never get enough of is love. My kids have no doubt about who they can turn to when they need it.

lmp-104-2

These are my people. And all the ones on the other side of the camera. And all the ones to the side and behind us. All the people who see Luke for who he is, what his heart shows, how he treats others, how he loves and how we love him. These are our people, whether they were at the party or not, those who show us love and respect and compassion – those are our people.

 

There’s a song in Hamilton (I know, I know) and the lyrics make me tear up every time.

 

“…you will come of age with our young nation.

We’ll bleed and fight for you.

We’ll make it right for you.

If we lay a strong enough foundation,

We’ll pass it on to you,

We’ll give the world to you

And you’ll blow us all away

Someday, someday.”

Every time I sing this song, I think of what I’m doing for my kids. How hard I’m working, how hard my family is working, how hard my friends are working. It’s not always easy to speak out when you know something is wrong. It’s not always easy to be who you truly are, especially when so many people so loudly disagree. It’s heartbreaking to see someone hate your child when they don’t even know them.

But if we lay a strong enough foundation, we’ll give the world to our children. And they’ll blow us all away. That, I know, and that’s why I’m willing to fight and make it right.

Cotton Candy and the Genius Who is Ruthie

A couple months ago at Hogans (our neighborhood bar that Danny and I frequent) I told Danny that I wanted a cotton candy machine.

“I mean, imagine just, like, making our own cotton candy. And we’d make amazing flavors. And maybe I’d do it at wedding receptions or parties or something. COTTON CANDY, DAN!” Lavender cocktails make me very creative.

I even found a cotton candy cart and organic sugar floss online. Because you can get anything online.

cc-80

cc-75

And then it happened. He got me a cotton candy machine. And the moment that first bite of sugar melted in my mouth, I knew I was a genius. Cotton candy was a genius idea, even if I never once sell a single cone of it.

You heard it here first:

cccupcake

 

It’s true, and you’ll all remember this moment.

And then I’ll have to give credit to my friend Leann who had a cotton candy machine in high school and sparked my obsession. Leann is the coolest.

So if you wanna go ahead and get yourself a cotton candy machine, do it. But don’t be surprised if you can’t make it as well as me because, I’m just saying, I’m boss with a cotton candy cone.

 

And if you want organic cotton candy (did you know there was such a thing?) you know who to ask. Drop by the boulevard, I’ll spin some up for ya.

 

Pre 4th of July Swag

Gift giving is my favorite and it’s even best when it’s a total surprise. We are going out of town for the 4th which we are super stoked about because we’ve never gone away. But we are also a little sad because we will miss the boulevard festivities and our favorite girls next door.

To ease the pain (on our end…gifting always makes me feel better) I went ahead and put together a cute little pail of 4th of July swag.

mug-7

I got that cute paint pail from….Home Depot. I know. I’ve spent more than $2 on the exact same type of pail at craft stores but now I know. At the bottom of that buck is your usual 4th of July stuff: red, white and blue necklaces, tattoos, headbands, glasses, glow sticks, etc. A WHOOOOOOLLLLEEEE lot of crap that Tara doesn’t want. Not even sorry a bit.

But peeking out are some treats.

 

june-156

Store bought rice krispy treats dipped in candy melts.june-158

Candy popcorn: 3 T of melted butter, add 3 cups mini mallows and melt completely. Pour over popcorn and add sprinkles.

 

Packing is my specialty.

mug-6

 

Easy and cute and just what a pair of 2 year olds and their 5 year old sister need, right?

 

Ramen Night

It’s been two weeks + since I’ve posted and so much has happened.

I had another baby

We moved to Canada

We started an exotic pet business

Dan started a band and made it big

We had ramen night.

 

4 lies and a truth.

 

But we have, actually, been busy. The kids are coming up on the last days of school. We pulled Charlotte from her preschool program so she’s been on summer break early. Liz had her baby (Lucia) and I’ve been making excuse after excuse to sneak some snuggles in. Maria had her Spring dance performance and got pointe shoes and had her school Spring concert. Jamie has been researching paradoxes and schooling us on as many as he can. Alice had a birthday party and scored big. Franci has perfected her “no” and “hello” and is basically the cutest baby ever. Ollie has defended her title as happiest human on Earth with zillions of out-of-the-blue giggles throughout the day.

And we had ramen night.

Ramen-146

Okay, so you (probably) know this about me: I love a good party. Themes make them so much better. Not stupid and over the top themes (although I dabble in that as well) but subtle themes. Ya know, like ramen. In San Diego, Danny and I ate at Underbelly, this amazing ramen house. The food there was so delicious and I love dishes that can be customized to an individual’s liking without re-creating the entire dish. With ramen, you have your standard base and you mix in what you love. We decided we’d try it out. Also something about the Prasils: when we decide to do something, we do it.

Amazon happened to have legit ramen ingredients and materials so we utilized our Prime account. Dan made a broth (homemade broth is everything), we skimmed it and skimmed it some more, we smoked some ribs and made a delicious sauce

Ramen-144

soft-boiled some eggs, and arranged it all for the perfect ramen experience.

 

 

Oh, and fried rice. We made fried rice.

Ramen-143

 

We had drinks and hung out with friends. Of the 7 couples we invited, only three were able to come. There were fundraisers attended, sick kids to take care of, sick adults not able to party, and out-of-town commitments. We were disappointed of course but had a great time with our pals who were there.

 

How do you make ramen? Here:

 

ramen

 

Ramen party not required.

seven

Alice Maureen. I’m not sure the name could fit her any more perfectly.

Today she’s seven.

My second girl and I had no idea what I was in for.

11415488_604689446380_95823704255801399_o

I had no idea two girls from the same family could be SO DIFFERENT from one another. But Alice is her own soul and she doesn’t try to be anything she’s not.

She came at night, awfully quickly from what I remember. Like all of them, I was instantly in love.

But how could I not be? She had so much hair and the sweetest little face. I think she weighed 7lbs 4oz and she fit perfectly in my arms. She was an easy baby and an easy toddler and she’s a pretty great kid.

1621921_566235418560_506181707_n1976888_567700477570_616572302_n10947356_594537096770_4129475563998441697_n

She’s not a big talker, but when she talks, you should listen: she has a lot to say. Most of the time, it’s hilarious. A lot of the time, it’s incredibly sweet and thoughtful.

She doesn’t say anything unless she’s thought a lot about it.

She lacks confidence and is unsure a lot. She’s shy and uncomfortable. But oh my, she’s a beautiful friend. She’s an incredible sister and one of the best playmates ever. She plays pretend better than anyone I know. She’s also pretty good at video games and would challenge you in a second.

She has the most beautiful eyes in a really incredible shade of green. Her lips are perfect and that hair — the hair she refuses to let me do anything with is just the best. She still sucks her thumb and she still sleeps in our bed. She’s soft and gets her feelings hurt easily and seeing her big puppy eyes when she’s sad can break you. She’s curious and inventive. She’s fun and she’s hilarious. She’s smart and silly.

She has taught me that even if something looks a certain way, what lives inside might look a lot different. She’s taught me to listen closely when children speak, because even if it’s hard to hear or understand, it’s worth knowing.

Without our Alice, our lives wouldn’t be quite as exciting. We wouldn’t laugh quite as much and we probably wouldn’t think of sweet treats as often, either. We are so happy Alice is ours.

 

Happy Happy Day, sweetest girl.

FIVE

Charlotte Clayton. A beautiful name for a beautiful girl.

Charlotte is five.

005. 5. five.

1shroom-9

I thought she was going to come quickly, but she took her time.

226976_515246231300_5939532_n229373_515259799110_1855235_n

She weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces and we all fell in love instantly.

 

This girl is sassy. Ohhhhhhhh is she sassy!

wellner-5010

She is also beautiful.

She has the most beautiful complexion – her skin is the perfect shade of brown and her eyes are like chocolate pudding. Her one eyebrow can’t be beat and her lashes go on for days.

She loves her sisters more than anything and without being asked will hold the little ones’ hands or help them reach something they need.

She is such a good friend. B has her heart, but her other friends come in a close second: Wyatt, Hayden, Leighton, Mackenzie, Zephryn, Timothy…so many more. She speaks so nicely about all of them and is always so thoughtful in her words.

She’s a smart little thing. She knows what’s going on around her and it’s hard to get anything past her. She’s intelligent but quietly.

She is full of emotion. When she’s mad, she is MAD. When she’s excited, her whole body moves. When she’s happy, her face lights up. When she’s sad, those chocolate eyes fill with tears. She’s never boring.

Her favorite people in the universe start with: her siblings, Dawn, B, Mama and Daddy and then the rest of the family…then everyone else. And she’s not afraid to let that be known.

We are so happy she is ours. We are so lucky to have this thumb-sucking, Deedee loving, bed-stealing, backtalking, hugging, sweet girl.

Charlotte Clayton, you are a gem.

Happiest of days.