Shit you guys.

It happened again. I went like a hundred days without writing a goddamn thing. It’s like I was busy getting married to the love of my life or something. And then maybe raising 4 babies with her. Oh. Yeah. That is what I was doing. Don’t you dare come at me with your, “I know this girl with 8 kids and 17 dogs and she writes every day” nonsense, ‘cuz I already know. And you already know I’m not the kind of blogger. But guess what, I’m tryin. Again.

Let’s recap, shall we?

In my absence I got to….

Legally, actually fucking marry my dream girl:

 

 

Have a few adventures:

 

Send these little ducks back to school:

 

Oh and I got ranked as one of the top 100 LGBT bloggers of 2017. I’ll try to actually blog to hold onto my title. 😉

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Happy 7th Birthday, Valentine’s Baby

If you happened upon this post, or caught a bit of subtext in some others, or hell, if you happen to actually know me in real life, you know this year hasn’t always been the very best for my S. Since before that child was born *60 hours of labor, cough, cough*, she has been stubborn and willful and the kind of gal that marches to the beat of her own bongo. See here for some toddler reference.

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In the last couple of months there has been an incredible transformation. Sure, she’s still strong and willful and a bit on the stubborn side, but there is no more “clipping all the way down” almost weekly and landing in the counselors or principal’s office. Almost daily she is “clipping up” to “Role Model,” acting as student of the week, bringing home awards, and behaving in such a way that leads to mommy-happy-tears emails from her teacher. She tries to help out, assists with her annoying little brother and, I swear to god, even her room is clean. (Sure, I did most of it, but she’s maintaining it.)

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She has grown from an irritable, emotional, adjusting and sometimes violent level of strong and bold, to a more patient, responsible, accountable brand of strength. She hugs me and tells me she loves me every day. She astounds me academically, especially in math and science. Her passion for animals has never wavered. She sings and dances all around and gives zero fucks about being any kind of a princess in itchy dresses. She is one of the most balanced and awesome girls this earth has been blessed with.

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I can genuinely say I both admire and envy her. At SEVEN years old she has more backbone than I did at …. Shit. At least 23 or so. Her beauty is exterior in her cute, half toothless grin, chubby cheeks and big blue eyes. But her true beauty, what makes her most fascinating is her beautiful soul. I’m glad I had her when I did, and I’m glad I’ve reached a point in my life where I can be stong enough to raise a woman as strong as she. I never want to hinder her from the greatness I know she will find. I never want to cloud the pure sunshine in her heart. I never want to let her down. I know she leads me just as much as I lead her and I can’t wait to see where this next year of her life leads the both of us.

This morning, all six of us were up extra early to celebrate another year of this girl. We dined on fine chocolate chip muffins, strawberries and sparkling cider in plastic eyeglasses sniffing scented pencils. It was honestly great. I mean, sure, the moms throwing sack lunches together as fast as humanly possible while chugging coffee and water equally after too much the night prior. But that’s us. That’s our beautiful life and I know my baby girl seven year old genuinely enjoyed her quickly family’s cheers to her, AM celebration. Next up: Nachos, a “horse cake,” and headache-inducing karaoke.

Happy birthday, my Valentine’s Baby. I love you forever and I like you for always.

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Lesbian Family Photos: Coming Soon

All in all, I’ve been blogging (even if somewhat irregularly) since 2010 after I had S. I know this because it was all about me living the new mom life and trying to lose weight at the same time. For what it’s worth, that did prove to be a pretty effective way to focus on my goals and shed some weight. It was also where I announced my pregnancy with baby G and that was pretty much the end of that.You can check it out here. When I re-hit the scene as Mrs. Mama Elle later rebranded as Life Styled by Elle it was a lot of the usual lifestyle/mom blog, except I knew a little bit better what I was doing. My graphic design skills weren’t total shit and my writing was pretty good. At quite a few points I kept things quite regular and I must say some of the posts and topics were pretty good. My collaboration with Ruthie from fairywingsanddinosaurs.com was something of which I was particularly proud. In fact, with my impending family photo shoot, I was thinking of republishing it here.

Except now I can’t. It’s pretty heteronormative and even more than that, which of the outfits in the “big girls” edition could I even bribe our girls (almost 7 and almost 13) into wearing? I won’t lie, they are super adorable. But every single option includes pink or lace or a skirt or something and there is just no way. And frankly, if I’m being picky, the family pics I used as examples aren’t that great and every single one is just a little family of four. All a mom, a dad, and little kids that parent dress. That’s easy. Sounds like a revamp is in order. Only this time I’m tackling a lesbian couple with four strong-willed kids. And to be frank, I’m pretty sure 4 outta 5 school days a week, the 5 year old dude has the best style. The grand finale will be our family pics. The proof is in the pudding and you can judge whether or not I’m able to pull it off. And fair warning, if they turn out even semi-cute, I will pin the shit outta every single one on Pinterest. I have yet to be able to find much under “lesbian family photos” that isn’t two cute young mama’s with a single little toddler/baby or even just a bump.

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Basically the only big, lesbian family photo on the whole internet. Great show, BTW.

Our family photos are scheduled for Thursday, February 9th. I’m not yet prepared at all, but I am SO excited. I’m silly about stuff like this. I get that it’s not actually important to my relationship or family well being, but to me, it feels like it is. It’s symbolic. It’s all of us together. Blended, sort of matching, sort of crazy, smiling. It’s Terra and I engaged and promised and together. Basically, it’s everything I want most in life captured to treasure forever. Plus, hey, I’m a multi-tasker and it’s new family photos, pictures of just the sibling pairs for the dad’s Father’s Day gifts, and engagement pics all in one swoop. Hell, I’ll probably get a blog head shot and Christmas card 2017 out of it while I’m at it because I’m just that kind of girl. Wish me luck!

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Happy Holidays…

So ‘member that time (two days ago) when I said my life was just too perfect to even be  interesting enough to write about? What I meant really was that to me, it’s pretty effing perfect. I mean that my life has little to no stress or conflict and that I feel loved and love every single day. Let me assure you that what I did NOT mean is that I have all my shit together. I didn’t mean that my kids eat all local, non-gmo foods. I didn’t mean that I’m caught up on laundry. I didn’t mean that no one in the house ever pegs anyone else in the house right in the face with Nerf bullets. And I definitely didn’t mean that I’m always to work on time in starched clothes.

What I meant was that I high five my girlfriend when either of us comes up with a meal that ¾ of the children eat and it isn’t candy or microwaved popcorn. And that we have more than enough clothes to go a full week without desperately needing to wash everything, and that sometimes whatever we are enjoying doing is far more important than laundry. I meant that our kids are rowdy, playful, and kind of assholes, but they have a hell of a time together and sometimes that means Nerf wars in the house. And I meant that far more often than not, I would rather get 15 more minutes of snuggles and kisses in the morning than actually have my shit together and be ready for the day every day. That is what makes my life perfect.

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We yell, bicker, and lose our tempers. We make big ol’ messes, and forget that it’s chorus day or game day. We dance like maniacs, sing too loudly, and honestly a few of us have questionable hygiene. We get cavities & stitches, we miss the bus, and sometimes people lock themselves in the their rooms or get sent home from school. And this year when I had my heart set on Christmas cards from all of us, I didn’t have one single, non-Chuck-E-Cheese photo of our party of six.

Guess what. I did nothing more than upload a few facebook pics onto the Costco website and have them finalized and printed within hours. There was no professional photography. I didn’t spend hours personally creating the perfect, custom card, and then add on more hours designing a perfect holiday newsletter. It’s just us, being more happy than I thought possible.

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Holiday Happiness

I love to write. I really do. And I really, really love to blog. I love everything about it. I love pretty layouts and conversational feels and lots of photos. That said, no one likes the blogs that feel fake, staged and all to perfect. Especially when you happen to know the person irl—Which brings me to my silence of late. Maybe my shiz is just too perfect right now. I mean yeah, Saturday I neglected to get dressed, shower or even bother brushing my teeth, but that’s cuz I was busy just being with my beautiful girlfriend. After having all the kids for about two weeks straight It was nice to just be with her without stopping to find someone’s other glove, pour yet another glass of juice, or argue about whether bedtimes are necessary.

But that’s it. My biggest struggles in life right now are making foods that all the humans will eat and remembering where my keys are. Other than that, I have just been living. Living my every day to the fullest with the people I love the most.

This holiday season has been glorious already. It’s hectic and I wish I had more time off to slow down and enjoy it all, but it’s still fantastic.

We’ve made Christmas cookies:christmas-cookies

Played games:

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Created and worn far too many temporary tattoos:original

Met Darth Vader:img_1956

Played in the snow:img_1912

Cuz our ‘hood looks like this:

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But warmed up in an indoor water park:

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And had way to much fun with that damn elf I never said I’d be a part of. our elf on the shelf.png

And maybe used shopping centers for our our own, personal photo shoots.

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And frankly, I just love all of it.

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‘Member Me?

If you have followed me and or my blogging at all, you know this one thing neva-eva changes: Sometimes I have a lot of shit going on and don’t write.

I told you I won Tinder, so as a lesbian, naturally that means I needed to move in with her as soon as possible. Nope. Not kidding.u-haul

So as you can imagine, planning, packing, moving, job hunting, interviewing, daycare searching and touring, school registering and touring, etc. and so on take up a considerable about of time. During this time, nothing in the world has been more important than just being and allowing all of us to adjust and assimilate and enjoy our new life rolling 6 deep.

All four kids are strong. All four are crazy. All four are stubborn and silly and vain and sometimes selfish. They are also fun and sweet and kind and loving. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing how much they take care of each other and just genuinely adore each other. I’m not saying that none of them every throw a punch or yell or send their mothers rushing toward the wine rack at exactly 8:10. I’m just saying they love and we are building a really beautiful life. I may not have written damn near anything all summer, but I had the most amazing summer.

A Little Bit Country

As you may have caught on, I like cities. My heart belongs (mostly) in Seattle. I have no intention of ever living anywhere smaller than my current community. It’s no city but with about 50,000 people, we have enough restaurants,  entertainment, bars, events, shows, and shopping to keep me living my preferred life, all with a small enough population to feel family-oriented and safe. That said, there is something you have to love about the country life, or at least in doses.

This weekend GF and I took my littles to our friends’ ranch. GF has known Kirsten and Marie for many years, and their three year old son since he was just a baby. My daughter just adores it out there. They have everything she wants in life: horses, cattle, dogs, cats, wildlife, and wide open spaces. Look at this joy!

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My son in all his 4 years of glory is a tiny gamer and doesn’t particularly care for animals much at all. But look at him go.

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I am so thankful that Kirsten and Marie continue to open up their home to all of us and let my kids experience so much more than I could otherwise offer them. Not only a peak at the ranch life, but the chance to see a beautiful lesbian family. Neither of my children really said anything about it on the last trip, but this time my son, G, brought up how Colton has two moms several times. And he was excited about it. He told GF that he “yikes” two moms and that he loves her. And that it was like he has two moms because she likes me. I’m just retelling what he told my GF, but you get the idea. He does have kids with lesbian mothers in his daycare class, but I don’t think he really ever picked up on it. It’s beautiful to see that he can love his daddy, love his mommy, and still love this new relationship too. He’s both the sweetest and the cutest. Well mostly. Take his shit and he may try to punch you. We’re working on it. 😛

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I’m working on trying to be less helicopter-y in my mothering. The kids are older and love to explore. This weekend I even let them sit (without keys) on a 4-wheeler without me. Baby steps.

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The pure joy and sunshine in their faces from just running and playing and being just as dirty and happy as they please is a delight. I’m really just sharing all these pics so I can remember them always.

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Oh yes and a view and a Sunday morning Bloody Mary for each grown up doesn’t hurt.

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Cheers.