The phone rings as I’m dropping my daughter off at a friend’s house for a play date. It’s my best friend since elementary school and in all the unexpectedness of the call I answer on the last ring only to quickly ask her to wait. I keep the play date drop-off momentum going all the while Natalie listens to background noise: “where’s your shoes…remember your manners… listen to her mommy… I love you, see you later”. Finally, I’m kid free with a moment of silence to hear my own thoughts. I can’t wait to have an adult conversation. And then, oh no…. she’s talking through tears. Why is she crying?

Turns out, she was playing soccer. Yeah. Just a regular ol’ game that takes a turn for the worst when her teammate goes down with a yelp and rolls around in pain holding her knee. Aside from the deep and caring realization of how much that sucked for her teammate, you see, Natalie called because also realized how much it sucked for me and also for her, and for all our fellow soccer everywhere.

Twice within the last three years Natalie has had the pleasure of escorting me home like a mobile nursing service after each of my soccer induced ACL surgeries.  It quite frankly might be the most feared of all soccer injuries and when witnessed, feelings of doom and dread follow, undoubtedly. The injury just sucks on many levels.

  • your soccer career is over as you know it
  • you can’t walk
  • you have no idea how you’re going to afford the care and surgery you’ll need to get better
  • you lose the f’ing game you were playing
  • you had no idea the injury was coming, no warning signs at all
  • you don’t deserve this
  • fuck fuck fuck fuck this sucks
  • the pain, just the f’ing pain
  • the embarrassment, how did I let this happen?
  • as you heal, prior to surgery you feel somewhat normal and then no, you end up on the floor crying in pain because you stepped down on the stairs wrong. the pain!
  • you can’t hold your children or put them in their crib because your leg isn’t stable enough. Can’t hold my kids, seriously. F you!
  • you cannot move freely without fear
  • you hate everyone who can walk normally
  • you hate sitting in the waiting room
  • you’re filled with fear, omg, they’re going to do what during surgery, drill through the bone? I have to choose between a cadaver replacement ACL or using my own tendon? What the F!
  • also, when when I say “you” I mean me, so yeah

Now, her tears weren’t all just an empathetic demonstration of her love for her teammate, me and all our fellow soccer players, they were also crazy tears. Crazy tears as in, why the hell do we love soccer so much that we play to the point of bitter and devastating injury? Are we crazy? What is wrong with us?

It’s true. I love soccer more than I ever imagined possible. The rush of imagining just the right move and then executing it in the moment and juking another girl out of her shorts just to get an assist and see your team go one up in the last minutes of the game? Yes please! Then there’s the physical and mental fitness required to stay in the game, pump yourself up to be better than the last time, see yourself improving, moves getting easier that used to be difficult, or making that last run or connecting a tough pass or making one last shot on goal even when you think you’ve got absolutely no gas left in the tank. Uh huh, that! Not to mention the whole team part. You’re sharing an experience of oneness (OK this is getting a bit deep but hang in there with me) with 12 other girls all fighting for the same cause, working their butts off to win. Laughing, crying, ganging up on that one chic on the other team who can’t quite seem to keep her elbows down or her obsessive hacking under control. Word! The camaraderie is unmatched, I’ve just never experienced anything else like it on the same scale or with the same frequency.

So  wrapping up the whole bitter injury spiel here, twice I went from a euphoric, can’t-wipe-this-smile-from-my-face and I-can’t-wait-until-we-do-this-again high to WHAM! Denied. Nope,  you just ripped to shreds this kinda major ligament that you didn’t even know you had but it keeps your leg from bending in all hellish directions. So no, a-buh-bye. UGH, pure hate and anger oozed from the deepest core of my being.

Fast forward to today and its like to clouds have parted and the sun has come out to answer my prayers. I worked hard through physical therapy for the last 8 months and setting aside for a moment the countless early mornings and hardship that comes along with a relentless dedication to a full recovery of being able to play soccer again,  I have a massive amount of gratitude for my body and all its amazingness. Crazy, I never thought I’d say this but all the hate and pain was totally worth it.

So, Natalie,  your seemingly crazed and tumultuous burst of tears and worry are quite sound. We can and do love soccer as purely as we did as 10 year old kids. We love it and all the painful, thrilling, joyful, fulfilling, exciting, and exhausting experiences and feelings that come along with it. All of it. Are we crazy to love soccer so much? Nope and nothing will ever replace it… that is until I recently discovered Zumba! No, who am I kidding? It’s just a solid runner up. You wanna join me for a class sometime? Check out the schedule at the Y, let’s gooooooooooooo!

Above is Tracy, Natalie and fellow teammates in 1990 and again 20 years later still playing strong. The smiles say it all.


I’ve always been inspired by coincidental happenings. There’s nothing like that small world, that wondrous, that awe evoking “isn’t this amazing?” feeling. You know, those moments in life when you have to pinch yourself and un-boggle your mind from fathoming how, in world full of so many people who make gazillions of choices each day, we come to cross paths in the most amazing ways? And timing, uncanny and impeccable.


Perfect example – the first of my two most adventurous life events this far – a road trip across the country as a 19 year old. Never having been outside of CA except to see Grandparents in New Mexico, I was seeing the world. Or at least more of it. The week before I had left, I had no plans to go. In fact, had my best friends loser boyfriend not blown us off that Saturday night, I wouldn’t be telling this story nor would we have run into an old friend. And yes, 19 year-olds have old friends. A friend whom in fact would happen to be leaving for a trip across country and was looking for a co-pilot. Timing, again, impeccable.


The second was moving to Mexico. I was 20. What?! And not like just over the border, come home and do my laundry on the weekends kind of Mexico. Mexico City, Mexico. El DF. I met the right people, the most warm, welcoming and fun people. The world was my oyster and it always had been, but at this time I was stupefied by how true it was. I felt it to my core. Cruising around a foreign country, with two semesters of Spanish under my belt. Seriously? Everything worked out. Beautifully so and I’m so thankful. Hashtag blessed.


I haven’t felt that way in a long while. That uncanny, yet seemingly scripted string of coincidences that jazz up life in the most fulfilling and joyus ways. Yeah, not really. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love my life and family and friends who fill it up, but yeah it’s been a while. So instead I mooch. That’s right, vicariously living through the excitements of others around me, especially those close to me and there’s a long list of candidates to mooch from.

I shall now impart onto you, in no particular order, the good vibe mooch list.

A Ramble of Goodness

Here we go: Auntie B’s little first born is almost one. Auntie Ali and Uncle Natey are expecting their first baby girl. Natalie and Kevin just bought their first house and is getting all settled in. Aunty G and Uncle Tuffy welcomed baby #3. Kam and Jamie guys just moved into a bigger place. Jenn Sanders has ventured out and taking off with her massage business. Uncle Lukey is coaching for the number one team in the NBA right now. My brother is full timing in comedy down at the American Comedy company rubbing elbows with some of the greats that we fully laughed our butts off to as kids. Dad is retired and keeping busy tinkering (remodeling) his new house, happy as a clam. Down in Cardiff, Stef rocked out a waitress shift at the longest line for breakfast shack in town, Pipes, and Suz goes boogie boarding with one of the most amazing boards I’ve ever seen, like daily. Good God, Christine is in a roller derby league, people!

Yes, Please!

Amy Poehler new book says “Yes, Please!”  and I say “No, no. Thank you”.  I bought this audiobook so I could listen to a funny woman on those nights when my Dish just didn’t record any good TV. Little did I know that she would make me cry as hard as she made me laugh – maybe its just the hormones. Either way, here’s a good review  or two of the book for the full scoop, however I will make a plug for you to be sure to read the email exchange of apology letters; I sobbed, the birthing plan; I peed my pants laughing, and the part about how to treat your career like a bad boyfriend; I pondered.

The Man Behind “Save the World and Still be Home for Dinner”

Will Marre. Holy-moley this is some powerful shhhhh this man is talking about. It is seriously mind blowing to me. Check out one of his articles here: http://willmarre.com/stage/why-you-may-never-get-a-raise/

I Feed my Inner Nerd Daily

Did you know that at Atlassian, a company that I happen to adore, they offer a 10K referral bonus? That is some serious cash for landing talent. Check out the “Perks of the Trade” section here: https://www.atlassian.com/company/careers

Also on their website, I stumbled upon this little ditty – “Just enough is more”. I dig it.

For the Fashionably Challenged, See Ms. Abernathy

Jennifer Lauren Abernathy and her mobile clothing boutique in her spare time, are you f’n kidding me?! Oh to have the fashion sense and apply it to something fun and new that clearly drives her heart to sing. Shop now: http://jenniferlaurenboutique.com/

Be Good to Your Heart

My aunt. She is not well. She has not been well for a while. She has changed her diet. She has stopped eating junk, soda, in fact sugar of any kind. This makes my heart sing and I’m sure hers has begun to heal as well. I’m so thankful that she is taking better care of herself so that she can be in my life longer. I don’t know what I would have done in my life without her.


Avery: When will I be grown up?
Me: You grow up a little bit everyday but why do you want to be grown up?
Avery: I want to be a lifeguard.

Avery and I have taken to watching “Kids how to paint videos” on youtube. They are super fun and we can’t wait to actually try some of them out. Here are our three current favorites:


Patrick is in a very squealy happy phase. Its so darn cure, but there was a time about a month ago I thought he had a breathing problem. Turns out that’s just how he emotes excitement. What a dude buddy. This was shot at the wee hour of the morning after he woke up and had breakfast.

Brain Sync

Kelley Howell. If you haven’t listened to her guided meditations as you fall asleep you’re missing out on the feeling of being wrapped up in a heavenly, angelic, yet lucid dream of pure bliss. I highly recommend her work. Living Prayer is probably my favorite. Check ’em out: http://www.brainsync.com/audio-store/personal-development/guided-meditation.html

Preschool Teachers

I am so thankful for the staff and Avery’s fellow schoolmates and parents over there at St. Andrews preschool. They are loving and kind and care so much for Avery. I’m so grateful for not having to worry about how things are going at school. They’ve created a nurturing atmosphere that fosters her juvenile essence and nourishes her happy little soul. A soul that’s eager to connect with others, have fun and learn. Thank you teachers!

The End

I guess I’m looking forward to the next most exciting and adventurous string of undeniably, uncanny coincidences where I can look back and say – that was awesome. It could be happening right now and I just don’t know it. In fact I’m sure it is. Fine, but I will continue to live vicariously through my peeps and float on all their good vibes. I’m sure it won’t be long before I have another awesome adventure to share with the world and return the favor of inspiration to those who cross my path. Until then, I curtsy to all ya’ll out there living you dreams, expressing their truest essence and voice without wavering. Its a pleasure to witness.

There you have it. Thanks for reading. Much love.

So as it turns out, I like people. Yup, I even like them in my house, laughing, eating… conversating, the whole nine yards. I kid, I kid. But really, there was a time when my oldest was a baby that I was fairly isolated from people and I realized that I really do like people. Being on maternity leave now with my son, I again craved some additional adult-non-mommy time. Hence, the Favorite Things party. I had seen this on Pinterest and tucked it away in my head as an idea that I’d like to do someday and then…. that day arrived and it was a blast.

I read up on other blogs about how to host a Favorite Things party and I’m pretty thankful as it went really smoothly and everyone had a great time and couldn’t wait to do it again. We might just make it a regular event, it was so fun. It was like Christmas, but better.


I was inspired by the Evite invitation design that I emailed out for the party – Yellow! Here’s the note I included:

Come by and eat, drink, laugh and have a good time. Wondering what a favorite things party is? All ya gotta do is think of ONE favorite thing of yours that is in the $10-$15 price range. Buy three of them, wrap them individually and bring them with you. It’s that simple and you’ll get to go home with three new favorite things.


Gift Bags

For guests to take home their loot. If you’re interested in the docs I used to make the tags, here ya go Favorite Things Label




Food, Flowers and Wine

And lots of it! I also had some scrumptious artisan pizza brought in from Pandora’s pizza – gluten free friendly and very tasty!



I also had a set of Table Topics (above) to stir up conversation especially because I had read the they made the Oprah’s Favorite Things list… but we never ended up needing them. Also in this picture are some chalkboard wine glasses. I searched all over the internet for them and found the best deal at Pier One. They are also on my favorites list. It makes it so easy for people to find their glass.


And lots of favorite things – well, this picture was taken early and I never got around to taking a picture of the table loaded with our favorite things. Whoops, I guess just another reason to throw another one. The picture above shows the favorite thing gift that I gave – a cell phone charger station. A nice little pocket to keep my phone and cord all neat and tidy. Get your own cell phone charger station here on Etsy.


Giving Our Gifts

I went with 3 things in the $10-$15 range which seemed to be a great fit for our crowd. Ahead of time I printed up names of all the guests (here is the doc I used to make the name labels: Name Label), sorted them out into four piles with each persons name in each of the piles. Well, then I actually mixed up three of the four piles into one pile. Then I pulled three unique names from the big pile and grouped them with one of the names from the small pile making sure that there were no duplicates of names. I folded the name from the small pile as this would be the name of the person who would give their gifts. The three other names would be the recipients. I repeated this until all of the names were grouped and I put the groups into their own small envelope. I then put one envelope in each of the gift bags.

When it was time to start the game, I handed a gift bag to each guest. Then we went around the room and each person would pull out their envelope and give the three unfolded names to the person whose name was folded. After a couple of people went through the motions everyone got the hang of it. This was the tip I most appreciate as we didn’t have to sort through duplicates during game time, I handled that before we got started. One caution however, this works best if all of your guests who you make names for all make it to the party.

Buy Four!

It was funny how many people commented that they had wished they had bought an extra one for themselves. It was our favorite thing after all. So if you’re going to throw this party, I highly recommend that you mention that your guests not forget to treat themselves to their favorite thing as well. Some of the gifts were:

  • hair detangler
  • necklaces
  • bracelets
  • homemade organic jam
  • local artist stationary set
  • cookie sheet
  • handmade soaps
  • lip gloss
  • cell phone charging station
  • sweet treats, music gift cards and handmade stationary

Looking at this list of items, it seems way more drab than the gifts actually were. I think it’s because one of the best part about the gifts was hearing why each person loved them so much and sharing in their excitement to hand them out. Plus we learned about some local shopping gems that were in our own backyard.

A Little Thank You

I found these thank you bags at Michael’s and grabbed’em up. Then I picked up these neat paper soaps and tissues at Pier One and added in some Altoids as a little thank you favor for everyone.

thank you

thank you 2


This is a must do party. Everyone will love it and you’ll be so glad you hosted, even your kiddos who are great at crashing parties and soaking up some love.



This year’s Superblog is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.  Our starting lineup features superstar ARW, whose mommy-daddy coaching staff vouch that she’s been super focused on acquiring as many minutes on the playing field as possible to get ready for the big day.  Camera crews have worked around the clock to bring you images of all the action! And here we go……

feb 2013 collage for blog 500px

Play Book Sneak Peek

The Munchky’s playbook is filled with a lot of the same ol’ plays like the classic stuffed animal play “hug-all-my-buddies”, and the get ready for nap time “run park left, hut hut, go swing”, and the oh so popular fashion play, “blue-56 shoe shuffle”. More recently, however, team SD-Walton has been scoring big with some new plays.

Top on the list to watch out for is a technically strategic play involving a new piece of equipment, the iPad, aka “different book”. Special thanks to team sponsors Grammy Lori and Grandpa Bill for that donation last Christmas. Yes, at times our star player can drive coach daddy a little crazy with how quickly she has learned to open the music app,  put a song on repeat and then bounce from one favorite app to another.

On and off the field, Avery is not one to purposely leave her game-day equipment unattended. In fact, she keeps a close eye on where the mommy-daddy coaching staff lock it up for the night. Her dedication is so strong that I wouldn’t be surprised if she dreams about game-day playback Toy Story style (code name “moomie buzz”), after all it’s the first thing she asks about when she wakes up in the morning. What perseverance and dedication, I must say!

I am certain that Avery’s hard-work will pay off. Word from our sister team, OC-Walton is that superstar Livy Dubs is getting pretty savvy with the iPad too. Coach G reports via Facebook that team OC is perfecting the YouTube moves, especially when it comes to finding recipes for making chocolate cake. Good to know that little Aves has a a little friendly competition on the iPad front.

Pep Talk

Field reporter Elmo reports that Aves like to keep her pep talks short and sweet. Although she has recently expanded her vocabulary and will often string together several words for a complete sentence, she also to like to abbreviate. Cases in point:

  • Neck = Necklace. At times this also means “peety necklace” and “hand me the necklace so I can put in on”.
  • Poc = Pocket. At times this also means “watch out, I am a great pick-pocket when your phone  is peeping out from your back pocket”.
  • Jack = Jacket.
  • B’da = Banana. Not sure where this abbreviation came from, but it was about the 4th or 5th word that Avery added to her pep talk vocab.
  • Mah-melon = Watermelon. Also means “get in my belly, now!”

It’s Sure to be a Sweep

Miss Aves loves her some sweeping. Oh so much fun! She even throws in some warm up squats into the routine.

Catch all our game-day video here on YouTube.

Injured Reserve

Coach Mommy is currently listed on the injured reserve as “questionable”.

My knee surgery was uneventful and pretty straightforward. The doc did find a tear in each of my meniscus while he was in there and stitched those  up as well. Unfortunately, it just means that I need to wait a little longer for those to heal before starting physical therapy. For now I have a big ol’ honk’n brace (yes, that is a technical term) that I wear and I can hobble around. Lots of the usual ice and rest is still in full effect. Soccer isn’t a question again until at least the end of the year, but we’ll see when we get there.

Thank you to my soccer team and all my other friends and family who stopped by, brought over some yummy grub or who sent lots of well wishes my way. All much appreciated, I don’t know what I would have done with out you. A special thanks to coach daddy for being such a trooper and waiting on me rain or shine. I’m truly blessed.

Meet the Newest Fans!

Baby Zachary


What a little angel bundle of love. Congrats to mom Christie and dad Chris!

Christie, your birth story is an inspiration to me. Thank you for letting me be a part of welcoming little Zachary into the world. I am humbled being in the presence of the amazing thing called life and birth. You are an AMAZING woman and Zachary is so lucky to have you as a momma. Don’t ever forget it!

Baby Isabella


Technically, baby Isabella hasn’t graduated from the womb, but she is on her way as I type. Welcome mat is laid out and birthday balloons are ready. Now all we need is the little princess. Hang in there Sue Peck, you’ll have your baby in your arms soon. To be continued…

Update! Baby Isabella has arrived. She is just hours old in the picture. I melt. Both mom and baby are happy and healthy. Congrats to you Sue Peck! Much love to you as you enjoy your babymoon 🙂

Jump on board, don’t mind those barnacles and wipe off that sea weed because you are about to embark on one of Avery’s most favorite adventures. We’re headed down the Australian coast in search for Nemo.
Well, sorta. MAN she loves that movie!

december 2012 collage for blog_500x647

Daddy’s B-day is aka Halloween.

We were quite the pumpkin family for Halloween this year. You may have remembered last year’s costume, which although as convenient as it was that it still fits, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add to the library of cuteness-overload and transform the munchkin into a pumpkin princess.

Who’s coming to visit?

I think I’ve watched this video like 18 million times. I didn’t understand at first, but “Gia” and “Baby” are Aunt Gina and Baby Chase. My favorite part is the little butt wiggle kick thing she does as she rounds the corner out of the kitchen. But you can’t blink or you’ll miss it at the last second.

I’m a nice shark. Not a mindless eatin’ machine.

I’m in the mood to give this blog a rant-like spattering of the different things that Aves is “into” these days. In no particular order: Cookie monster, cleaning the shower with the squeegie, checking her temperature with the thermometer, especially likes to hear it beep, asking for two of something, helping to cook dinner by helping mommy stir everything or smelling all the ingredients before going into the pan, going shopping at Trader Joe’s (sidebar: latest TJ addiction is the dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Seriously, they’re like crack.), going on the swings and the slide (aka: the “weeeeeeee!”) at any park, going to parties, loves, loves, loves parties, putting things “back” or asking when someone like daddy is coming “back” from work, reading in her cubby, reading any paper that has words on it, and watching as much Finding Nemo as humanly possible. Also, stuffing her face like a mindless eating machine. I have the YouTube videos to prove it. Oatmealicious, I rest my case.

He’s lost his son, Elmo.

elmoAvery kept talking about this giant Elmo from the Buy Buy Baby store an entire week after seeing it. I mean, it’s practically life size, I know, but prior to this picture, she hadn’t ever seen Elmo before. Now I get to remember this as one of those moments that made a first big impression on the little munchk. But creepy, right?  We have two stuffed Elmos, and I’m pretty sure that any stuffed animal is classified as an Elmo in Aery’s book.

It’s awesome, Jellyman.

As another year comes to an end, I send out a giant thank you to everyone. Wait for it… THANK YOU!

I am especially thankful for my health. I recently tore my ACL playing soccer and I have a renewed appreciation for having all the moving parts of my body working harmoniously and health-like. I want to be healthy forever! Outside of a couple of sprained wrists, ankles and that one bone contusion, I’ve never seriously injured myself. I know I will be ok and I know that I will be active and running again, but man oh man I don’t think I’ll ever look at a soccer field the same way again.

Gratitude for health aside, I am patiently waiting to understand the good that will come from this experience. In the meantime I’ve drummed some up. Here it goes: this knee brace goes much better with skirts and dresses, two items of clothing that I don’t wear near enough. I will eventually get my own personal trainer (physical therapist, whatever, don’t hate). I had been meaning to get back to Yoga and this new ice pack that Jen told me about is heavenly, I wish I had known about this a long time ago.  I’m working from home more and coincidentally related, it looks like I’ll be moving to a full time work from home status starting next month. Hello pajamas all day!

Thank you, 2012, for another fun-filled, adventurous year of life and the fun-loving people to share it with. I hope 2013 is only more of the same plus bigger, better and more fun!

You never really know, but when they know you’ll know, ya know?

What would a Walton Family Blog be without a new birth or wedding announcement? Well, here ya have it!

Natalie & Kevin

the_dusisBestie of all besties, my childhood soccer playing, up to no good, trouble making since we were 10 years old, best friend ever in the world is tying the knot. Congrats!

I am honored to be matron of honor, ready to serve and willing to go to the depths of Pinterest and beyond for the most perfect wedding ever to celebrate you two! October will be here in no time, can’t wait. 🙂

Luke & Bre

she said yes After enough time for threats of commo-law marriage, Lukie-boy finally popped the question. Congrats! And although they are both far away in cold and snowy Cleveland, I’m hoping they’ll be home soon. Miss you guys!

Also, details needed. For example, what is Gus Gus going to wear? Too cute!

Enchanted, You Say?

Thor, name games and a new cousin in this rendition of The Walton Family bloggity. I’ve also thrown in some musings from the neighborhood and of course lots of Avery pics (because it wouldn’t be a proper blog post without ’em).

Enchanted Aves

It has become something of a routine this summer to come home to Adam telling me all about how much fun he and Aves had at the beach that afternoon. I’ve taken the liberty to sum up the story and add a little heroism. Excuse me while I indulge.

The sweet spot is the end of the slant where the water slides down the shore into the ocean. As soon as the coast is clear, it’s Munchky’s cue to squat and scoop. She’s a bit like Thor in that she is never without her enchanted scooping weapon. Yes, in lieu of a mace, Munchky”s beloved is that of the shiny, plastic, yellow variety. The mighty shovel. Oh, yeah baby. She is armed. Look out.

It is her duty to scoop. I don’t know if its just the allure of that smooth, freshly washed, cool, flat sand that begs for a hearty dig. Maybe its the rush that comes from knowing that a mere second or two later  she’ll be chased back up the shore by the next wave. Its an endless cycle, you see. Water goes out. The Munchkin scoops, laughs, runs and repeats. Queen of the shore and no one can stop her!

The beach is her where her heart sings. It seems to be her calling. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of coming home to these stories of the scooping kind.

The Name Game

Little Aves is turning into such a chatter box. She mainly rattles off a seemingly compelling monologue in her very own Avery dialect. She will, however from time to time, amuse me and partake in a wholesome game of copy-cat. Ya see, I like to name a bunch of people in our family and see if she will repeat ’em. But this last round of the family name game didn’t go over quite as planned. Pay close attention to my position on the totem-pole. Not cool. Cute, but not cool.

Me: “and Grammy Suz?”
Avery:  “shusch”
Me: “and Ma’am Ma’am?”
Avery: “Ma’am Mm”
Me: “and Mimi?”
Avery: “Mimi”
Me: “and Mommy?”
Avery: “Dadda”
Me: “Oh, you have got to be kidding!”
Avery: “Dadda”

Good Morning Park Dale Lane

Living close to an elementary school definitely has its ups and downs. Ups? Walking to school beats an extra stop in the car, anytime. Whenever we get a doggy, we’ll have quick access to a big open field for playing fetch. Downs? Morning school rush traffic. Or a quiet Saturday morning during soccer season, not happening. For the most part the good and the bad weigh out about even, and the bad isn’t really even that bad.  Growing up next to an elementary school though, none of this seems all that unfamiliar, however we didn’t have a Mrs. Greenburger.

For those of you not fortunate enough to live within earshot of Park Dale Lane‘s  loudspeaker, let me give you the low down. Every morning we are greeted with the almost ceremonial sound “dooo doo do doowhip”, which signifies the start of Principal Greenburger’s “Words of Wisdom”.

“Good morning Park Dale Lane”… she’ll begin and then blah blah blah blah, I can’t really listen because I’m chasing Munchky around the house, but it’s some kind of story and then the closing kicks in… “Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours”.  Each spiel starts and ends the same, every morning, Monday through Friday. It’s starting to get a  little creepy how her voice is getting burned into my brain. I’m just say’n.

As usual, you can see all our videos on our YouTube Channel here.

Dadda, RyRy, Yadda Yadda

“Dadda” and “RyRy” are the Avester’s favorites. A solid “Dadda”, or more recently “Daddee” is required before sleeping and immediately upon waking up, guaranteed. Dadda is the only word she will diligently pause , blurt out and continue chowing down on her bottle (bottle, by the way is also known as “bubble”).  RyRy is just short for “I want to go play at my cousins’ house, ok? Let’s go.” RyRy is requested minimally by the hour, possibly more.

In Other News

Its been a year since I started a new job at a large, professional services company. I was excited at the promise for stability, opportunity and moving on to the “bigger and better”. This week I was promoted, whooo hooo. Up the ladder I go! I am so thankful for all the support of my friends and family for cheering me on as I make my way. There’s no looking back now!

Welcome Cousin “Chay”

Welcome our newest little nephew angel to the family, little Mr. Chase William Walton! Born August 22 to proud parents Gina and Tuffy and big sis Liv, Chase is the cutest, tiniest, and full-head-of-hairy-est baby I ever did see. Seriously, the kiddo has some luscious locks. Love you Chase-man, welcome to the family!

Trivia fact: Aug 22 is quite the special day. Not only is it CWW’s birthday, but it’s my mom’s birthday and it’s also the day that we found out we were pregnant with Avery.

Enchanted, You Say?

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of the post and assuming that you’ve read this from top to bottom, I think you deserve an explanation for the title of this post. Aside from being almost midnight as I tie a bow on this post and get it ready to shove out the door to all my pretties (yes, that means you, dear reader), um…. yeah so aside from being really late at night, I have no better explanation than, well,  I think that writing this blog is close to the only time where I get lost, and not just day dreamy lost, but really lost in imagination and storytelling. I guess it makes me feel enchanted. So there you have it!

Enchanted: To fill (someone) with great delight; charm.

You may or may not have noticed that its been a few months since my last post. I have my reasons. I am back again now, though. No worries. For those keeping score, I had a few minor setbacks. My computer was slower than molases in winter, my phone was so full of pics I couldn’t take anymore AND this little munchkin has gone mobile. Not cell phone mobile but just moving around, won’t sit still for a decent picture kinda mobile. Long story longer, we’re back!

What’s Your Sign?

Avery is a signer. Yeah, she signs. The sign for poop is all the latest rage. When we first started signing for poop, she couldn’t stop cracking up about it,afterall the sign for poop is actually pretty funny, but it’s been great. Now she will sign when she has a poopy butt. Yay! One step closer to potty training (rrr potty learning, is that the new PC term?). Plus, its aweful gosh darn cute to walk in after a nap and get the poop signal right out of the gate. Even before the nose gets the signal, if you know what I mean. Other popular signs are “more” and…. well that’s it, that’s all we got. “More” and “poop”. They actually go hand in hand quite well because she signs ”more” really only for more food. She ate three times as much food the week after she learned it. More goes in and well, you know, more comes out.

The Moose.

I’ts my current favorite nickname for the munchkin. Other flavors include moosey-poo, moosey-goo and moosey-mo-goosey.

The Courtesy Flush

This is gross sounding, but I couldn’t think of any other name for it. You know, like when The Aves is obliterating a cup of yogurt. Sometimes she needs a quick wipe down of the face and hands so that she can continue on. Yeah, so that’s a courtesy flush.

Up The Vocab

Adam and I decided that “up” is her official first word. “Mamamamamamama” and “dadadadadadada”, although terribly cute and heart melting, seemed too easy to be considered her first words. “Up” was really an intentional I want you to pick me up kinda first word. She’s now moved on to some form of “ba” and “bir” for “ball” and “bird” respectively. Then, oh, theres the occasional “bah-na” for “banana” and the lovely “go” for “go”. She speaks some form of some language all day, but it seems that about one to two new decipherable words pop up during the course of a week.

The Dragon

We’ve got a growler, we call her the dragon. Didn’t you know that dragons growl? Of course they do! Anyhoo, any animal is greeted with a growl. Any talk of an animal is answered with a growl. Most who encounter the growl, I have noticed, return the greeting with a growl. And so now, imagine if you will, all of us sitting in the room growling at one another. It’s grand, really. It is.

Love Makes Life A Paradise

Congratulations to the newest Mr. and Mrs. Walton-to-be, Nathan and Ali, who in a short 48 hours will be walking down the isle of wedded bliss. Eeeee! We are so excited for you and wish you nothing but blessings of pure happiness and harmony in your lives together.  We love you!